Dr. Albert Abrams

and

 

Ken Raines

 

 

 

 

The electronic technique has been conceived by a master mind. It is far more intricate and ironclad than medical fads of the past. It deals with a new form of energy which, we are told, cannot be detected by the physicist's most delicate instruments, but can be detected by the abdominal reflexes under the guidance of an electronic diagnostician. These reactions are said to be affected by the presence of skeptical minds.... It has given rise to all sorts of occultism in medicine. It has been a renaissance of the black magic of medieval times. It has given free reign to idiotic ideas...

Scientific American, September, 1924, p. 222.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Albert Abrams of San Francisco began to make some astounding medical claims in the early 1920s. His claims were so outrageous as to be viewed by many as absurd on its face. He claimed that all substances radiated electronic vibrations that could be detected and measured. All human organs, diseased and healthy, transmitted radiation or "vibrations" unique to that organ or disease. All that was needed from a patient for diagnosis was a drop of blood, a single hair, or even a handwriting sample as these would give off the unique "vibrations" of that individual. Not only were diseases ascertained by a drop of blood or handwriting, but one could determine a person's religion, golf handicap, sex, age, present location, when that person would die, and innumerable other tidbits of information.

Did Abrams discover something of significance? Was the scientific diagnosis and cure of every conceivable disease within reach? This became a huge controversy in the early 1920s when the famous author, Upton Sinclair, wrote the article "The House of Wonders" for Pearson's Magazine in June of 1923 which promoted Dr. Abrams' theory and methods. This led to numerous articles on the E.R.A. in popular magazines both pro and con. The scientific and medical communities in the United States and Britain were forced to respond to this situation. Two scientific investigations were conducted to get to the bottom of the matter.

Who was Dr. Abrams and how did his peers in the medical community view his theory and methods? What did the scientific investigations of his claims and methods discover?

 

Background and training

Albert Abrams was born in San Francisco in 1863. [1] In his teen years he learned German and graduated as an MD from Heidelberg in 1882. He became Professor of Pathology at Cooper College in San Francisco in 1893 and resigned in 1898. [2] He was also elected vice-president of the California State Medical Society in 1889 and made president of the San Francisco Medico Churgical Society in 1893. [3] By the early 1900s Abrams had become a respected expert in neurology. [4] By all accounts, Abrams had a respectable background and promise of a distinguished career.

 

Spondylotherapy

In 1910 Abrams published a book on a medical technique he called Spondylotherapy. This volume "constituted his first definite departure from medical orthodoxy."[5] Even in Abrams' estimation, his "spondylotherapy" was his version of Chiropractic and Osteopathy which were viewed as "cults" by "orthodox" medicine at the time. [6] For this reason Dr. Abrams began to be viewed with some suspicion and concern by his peers for promoting questionable medical practices.

 

The electronic reactions of Abrams

 

An ERA practitioner using the "percussive" method. Nurse in background is "localizing" an infected tooth.

 

In 1916, when Abrams published his New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment book, he had been experimenting with what came to be called "the electronic reactions of Abrams" or the E.R.A. This was a complete departure from conventional medicine and those in the medical community were not hesitant to call him a quack as a result.

Describing the E.R.A. can be difficult due to its complex nature and theory as well as the numerous methods and devices used. Briefly, the theory behind the E.R.A. was the human body transmitted radiation or "electronic vibrations" from the atomic level, specifically from the electrons. These electronic vibrations emanating from the electrons, if normal, would vibrate at a specific rate, if they vibrated at an abnormal rate, it would cause or indicate the presence of disease. Each disease vibrated at a unique rate. In this theory, one could cure disease by transmitting back at the disease the same electronic vibratory rate it was transmitting. This would neutralize the abnormal vibrations and allow the electrons to return to normal vibration rates and eliminate the disease. Abrams believed that drugs worked when they had the same or similar "vibrations" as the disease they cured.

How Abrams detected and normalized these "electronic vibrations" of diseases was bizarre and complex. He would take a hair, handwriting or blood sample (sometimes a photograph) of a patient to be diagnosed. This would be placed into a device he called a Dynamizer. This was hooked up by wires to a headpiece to be worn on a healthy individual (called a reagent) who, while facing west, would "react" biologically through the central nervous system to the diseased "vibrations". These "reactions" could be detected by percussing (thumping) the abdomen of the reagent which would reveal areas of "dullness." The location of the dullness (a dull note sounded when thumped) and its size would indicate the precise disease and its location in the patient.

The precise rate of vibrations were ascertained by boxes containing resistance coils which were also hooked up by wires to the reagent and Dynamizer. Dials would be turned to different "ohmage" rates once the disease was identified. This would pinpoint the exact amount and rate of the disease the patient had. Sometimes horseshoe magnets were placed over the reagent's head to "clear" him of extraneous "vibrations" to get a better "reaction."

Methods used later by Abrams and his followers involved stroking the reagent's abdomen with a glass rod to obtain the "reactions." Later the reagent was dispensed with altogether and the operator stroked a plate hooked up to the Dynamizer, etc. with his fingers to feel the "vibrations" from the patient's blood or handwriting.

In all this, numerous things could interfere with the vibrations as they were sensitive in more ways than one. In collecting a blood sample, the patient had to be facing west in dimmed light. No strong orange or red colored material could be present in the room. The same was true when getting the reactions from the reagent to the sample. In addition to the above, reactions could be driven away by the presence of skeptical minds or enhanced by other mental activity. For these reasons, most have compared the E.R.A. to psychic phenomena, sympathetic magic and the occult.

Abrams had another device called an oscilloclast which he used to cure patients. This machine supposedly transmitted back at the diseased tissue the same electronic vibrations it was emitting until the patient was "clear" of the electronic reactions in the reagent. The best account of how Abrams came up with this theory and how he developed these strange methods is given in the pro-E.R.A. book, Report on Radionics. [7]

 

"Orthodox" Medicine and the ERA

The AMA and Dr. Albert Abrams

The American Medical Association (AMA) never did take Dr. Albert Abrams' claims seriously. No formal investigation of Abrams' methods was ever undertaken by the AMA.[8] The AMA believed Abrams' methods and claims were ridiculous on the face of it, and that it therefore wasn't worth the time and money to investigate it. The AMA commented on Dr. Abrams and the ERA in their two periodicals: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Hygeia (changed to Today's Health in 1950), the latter being a magazine on health issues for the general public. Both were edited by Dr. Morris Fishbein during the 1920s and 1930s. Fishbein also wrote numerous articles for various popular level magazines on quackery. These were published in book form in 1925 as The Medical Follies. This was followed by The New Medical Follies in 1927 and both were combined and updated in 1932 as Fads and Quackery in Healing.

 

JAMA

JAMA began commenting on Dr. Albert Abrams and the ERA in response to readers' letters, beginning with their March 25, 1922, issue (pp. 913-914). This and following articles appeared in "The Propaganda for Reform" section of the Journal that dealt with quackery. The articles mainly presented some of the clearly ridiculous claims and experiments that Dr. Abrams made with the ERA, such as carrying around on one's person a cut potato for curative and diagnostic purposes, his claim that numbers and vowels have a "sex," experiments with determining the outcome of a chicken's sex before it is born, determining the religion and present location of a patient from a drop of blood or handwriting sample, etc. [9]

A couple JAMA articles dealt with Medical Associations that made the decision to either charge MDs that used Abrams' oscilloclast with "unethical conduct" for promoting and using quackery, or expelling from their society those who used it. [10] Some JAMA articles recounted tests by other's of ERA practitioners' diagnostic ability by sending them blood samples in the mail as requested. In one case, a blood sample from a fictitious "Miss Bell" and another from a fictitious "Mrs. Jones" were actually blood samples of a male guinea-pig. "Miss Bell" was diagnosed as having various ailments including a streptococcus infection of the "the left [fallopian] tube". [11] Another article presented the results of a similar test of an ERA practitioner who was sent the blood of a rooster. The "innocent" and apparently virtuous rooster was diagnosed as having a venereal disease![12] JAMA also noted that the California State Journal of Medicine invited Dr. Abrams to participate in a scientific test to see how accurate his ERA tests were in diagnosing diseases. Abrams "flat-footedly" refused. [13]

 

Hygeia and Today's Health

The AMA's popular level magazine Hygeia contained numerous articles on quackery and medical "cults" it believed the public should be informed of and warned about. The Hygeia articles on medical fads and quackery continually referred to Abrams as a quack, even stating he may have been the greatest quack of the 20th century:

IF SOME ONE were to set about the task of selecting the greatest medical quack in history, he would find a long list of colorful competitors.... In recent times, our country has produced no greater charlatan than Albert Abrams... the founder of the "electronic" and "radionic" hokum that still flourishes among many medical cults. [14]

As James Graham of Celestial Bed fame easily ranked first among quacks of his generation, so the name of Albert Abrams (1863-1924) leads all the rest in the history of medical charlatanry in the first quarter of the present century. [15]

The rankest piece of quackery of our present generation was that of Albert Abrams, whom HYGEIA called "the most finished medical charlatan of our time." [16]

Many Hygeia articles in the 1920s and 1930s on quackery mentioned Abrams or recounted his story.[17] As late as 1939 they printed a full length article on Abrams' life and quackery. [18] Most of the Hygeia articles, like the JAMA articles, ridiculed Abram's bizarre experiments, instruments, and claims, such as his "Reflexaphone" device which allowed him to diagnose and even treat patients over the phone. [19]

The successor to Hygeia was Today's Health. It also printed many articles on fads and quackery in medicine during the 1960s. Some of these were still pointing back to Abrams, his theories and devices, as these were still being used by Chiropractors and others in updated versions as late as the 1960s. [20]

 

Dr. Morris Fishbein

Dr. Morris Fishbein's first book, The Medical Follies, became an influential best seller. His 1932 book, Fads and Quackery became a classic in the field and was referred to by many authors who wrote on the subject of quackery in the coming decades. [21] All three books by Fishbein dealt with Dr. Albert Abrams. Like the AMA literature, he ridiculed Abrams numerous outrageous claims, methods and endless gadgets. He also made it a point to mention how much money Abrams was making as the result of his "practice." He believed quackery was perpetrated for the revenue it generated. Abrams was reportedly worth $2,000,000 when he died in 1924. Courses in Spondylotherapy and the ERA went for $200.00 a head with the terms being cash &endash; in advance. His oscilloclast was leased at around $200.00 with a monthly $5.00 charge thereafter. The lessee was required to sign a contract stating he would never open the device. [22] These things were pointed out by Fishbein to show that to him, the whole thing was a sham operation designed to "separate sick people from their money" as the Watchtower Society later claimed about radionics.

 

"These Cults": A Response to Fishbein

In 1926, Annie Hale wrote the book, "These Cults" as a response to Morris Fishbein's 1925 The Medical Follies. [23] It defended the medical "cults" from Fishbein's attacks. These included Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Naturopathy and others including the "electronic reactions of Abrams." Her chapter on Abrams covered pages 80-106.

Her complaints about the AMA's attacks on Abrams such as Fishbein's book was that it was an a priori attack without investigating it (p. 81). She complained that Abrams was the "storm center of medical rancor and hate" (p. 84). As an example, she mentioned JAMA's review of Abrams' book Spondylotherapy that was "a long sarcastic review... a gratuitous slap at its author"(p. 87).

In Abrams' defense she said he was "one of the most educated men of his day" (p. 84). She mentioned a few prominent individuals who supported the E.R.A., the most prominent one being Sir James Barr, a past president of the British Medical Association. As would be the case after the Scientific American and Thomas Horder committees' investigation of the E.R.A., she only briefly mentioned the Scientific American investigation and paid much attention to a few positive statements by the Horder committee and ignored their mostly negative conclusions (see below).

 

British Medical Societies and the E.R.A.

British medical journals also mentioned Abrams and the E.R.A. much in the same vein as the AMA including ridiculing Dr. Abrams' bizarre claims, experiments and gadgets. [24] One of the gadgets mentioned, the "sphygmobiometer", was used by Abrams in court to determine the father of a child in a paternity case based on the "vibrations" of a blood sample! [25]

 

 

Scientific Investigations of the ERA

 

Science journals such as Nature commented as well on the Abrams controversy. [26] It wasn't taken any more seriously there than by the medical community. A long Scientific Monthly article on quacks called Abrams a "queer freak," outdoing even JAMA 's and Hygeia's name calling. [27]

Two major scientific investigations were done on the ERA in 1923 and 1924 to get past the rancor, charges and counter charges. One was conducted by a committee set up by the Scientific American, the other was conducted by a committee headed by Sir Thomas Horder in Britain. Of the two, the Scientific American investigation was the most comprehensive.

 

1. The Scientific American investigation

The adventures of Alice in Wonderland are tame in comparison of those of an investigator in the land of ERA.

Scientific American, April, 1924, p. 240.

In 1923 and 1924, the Scientific American magazine put together an investigation committee and investigated the "electronic reactions of Abrams". The investigation lasted about one year and cost the Scientific American $20,000 in 1923/1924 dollars. The Scientific American reported on the progress of the investigation in each monthly issue from October, 1923 to September, 1924.

In the second installment in the series they printed the results of their first test of an E.R.A. practitioner in New York City. [28] The practitioner was to diagnose the diseases contained in six vials. These contained pure germ cultures from diseased patients. The results of this first test was typical of the rest the Scientific American conducted with E.R.A. diagnosticians. The results were published in a chart reprinted here (numbers are "ohmage" rates of disease).

 

 

Each tube containing a pure germ culture of one specific disease was diagnosed as a host of diseases. For example, tube #2, which simply contained Pneumacoccus (a bacterium that causes pneumonia), was diagnosed as being syphilis, tuberculosis, septococcus, malaria and the flu, at which the committee decided that was enough diagnosing, which they called a "broadside". "The purity of the germ culture was questioned" by the doctor. There was no such thing as a pure germ culture according to the doctor. After a few more tests, the doctor "sought some reason for his flat failure". The Scientific American reported:

He asked to look at one of the pure germ culture vials. Looking at it in full light, presumably for the first time, he discovered the red edge on the label, as well as the blue handwriting. Right then and there Dr. X found the reason for his unsuccessful diagnosis. He explained to us that red is fatal to the accuracy of the electronic reactions! The presence of that bit of red on each label was sufficient to upset the reactions completely.... Furthermore, there was handwriting on our labels. No doubt the electronic emissions from the writer of those labels were being carried along in the diagnosis. If so, the writer of those labels must have been in a terrible state of health--and mind, so we reflected at the time. [29]

This was typical of the problems and obstacles the committee faced in testing E.R.A. practitioners. They accommodated such complaints by taking pains to eliminate any possible electronic contaminations. For example, in the above case, after "Dr. X" complained about the red edged labels and the blue handwriting, the committee had new labels attached in accordance with the doctor's specs, such as typing the numbers on plain labels, etc. Further testing, as their chart indicated, resulted in "broadside upon broadside" diagnoses that were completely off the mark. Further tests with other E.R.A. practitioners using various techniques in the following months resulted in complete failures as well. [30]

Additional strange complaints and requests of the doctor in the above case were common in the various Scientific American tests. Dr. X several times during the tests requested that all those present:

... and especially the reagent, keep their minds off the pure germ cultures.... It seems that even the thoughts of those present have a serious electronic effect on the reagent and the accuracy of the diagnosis. Sensitive-super-sensitive, these reactions! [31]

Later, in mentioning an ongoing correspondence with Dr. Abrams in which he said he would "demonstrate" his technique but not submit to test by their committee, they wrote:

Dr. Abrams, it will be noted, calls attention to the psychological factor. He indicates that when the E.R.A. diagnostician is working under test conditions, he is at a decided disadvantage because of his anxiety regarding the outcome of the test. From time to time we have been warned against a skeptical turn of mind, for such a state on the part of the investigator has a decidedly detrimental influence on the reactions... [32]

The committee came to the conclusion that the E.R.A. was occultic or psychic in nature. Before beginning the test with Doctor X in their first test, they said the preliminaries (subduing the light in the room, etc.) reminded them "in no little degree of a psychic seance"(p. 203). After tests with other doctors that included similar and even more bizarre claims and procedures ("queer" they said), they came to the conclusion that:

The whole thing bears striking resemblance to the subjective psychic phenomena. Compare it to the ouija board.... Compare it with automatic writing.... The ERA technique works-when it does work-in just this way.[33]

They also noted frequently its occult nature:

Dr. Abrams claimed that his electronic diagnosis enabled him to tell how old was the donor of the drop of blood, whether he was white, black, red or yellow; what diseases he was suffering now; what diseases could be expected in the future... and the expectancy of life. If additional information was desired, Dr. Abrams could tell the religion, the racial traits, and even the location of the individual at any given moment. In fact, during one of his classroom demonstrations he received a photograph of a young man, placed it in the dynamizer, found the young man to be insane as a result of serious syphilitic condition, and then, running an electrode over a map, located the individual at Stockton, Cal. Photographs, strands of hair, handwriting and many other things intimately connected with an individual could be used for electronic diagnosis in place of a drop of blood. The thing was uncanny. It bordered on occultism.[34]

Dr. Abrams himself diagnosed his own "life expectancy" and predicted his death would occur in January of 1924 based on his own E.R.A. diagnosis, which was fulfilled. [35]

After one year of tests and $20,000 dollars spent, the Scientific American committee's conclusion as to the scientific basis of the E.R.A. was that it was "the height of absurdity" and "utterly worthless". Their official statement was:

This committee finds that the claims advanced on behalf of the electronic reactions of Abrams, and of electronic practice in general, are not substantiated; and it is our belief that they have no basis in fact. In our opinion the so-called electronic treatments are without value. [36]

 

2. The Thomas Horder committee

In 1924, a British committee was put together to investigate an adaptation or modification of Abrams' E.R.A. apparatus and technique by Dr. W.E. Boyd of Glasgow. This committee's investigation and mostly negative conclusions are intriguing and a little puzzling to me. It has given rise to debate and claims that the E.R.A. was vindicated by this committee by those who endorse radionics.

A report of the committee's findings were recorded in both The Lancet and the British Medical Journal in January of 1925. [37] Basically, the tests of Dr. Boyd were at first complete failures. He was asked to differentiate between two different substances placed in the Dynamizer at random. His results were much less than what would be expected by chance. A physicist was also employed for six months to determine if "any effect measurable or detectable by orthodox physical apparatus was associated with the so-called 'reactions'. No such change could be found, and this aspect of the work was ultimately abandoned." [38]

However, after complaining about electronic interference, Dr. Boyd undertook further tests at his insulated residence with Whatley Smith of the committee in which he was able to differentiate between substances with remarkable accuracy. For example, he determined when a sample of saliva on filter paper was placed in the Dynamizer correctly 25 times in a row. This was estimated at being done by chance alone at 1 in 33,554,432. Most of the other tests thereafter yielded nearly 100 per cent accuracy. Was Mr. Smith deceived by Dr. Boyd due to his having more control over the experiments at his own residence?

The entire committee repeated the tests later with Dr. Boyd and obtained similar results. The entire committee was "satisfied" that the results were accurate. Overall the committee obtained numerous negative results with other E.R.A. practitioners of the Abrams and Boyd variety when dealing with diagnosing diseases, much like the Scientific American. However, they obtained some success from Dr. Boyd in differentiating certain non pathological substances such as "sulfer" and saliva. Their four stated conclusions were as follows:

(1) That certain substances , when placed in proper relation to the emanometer of Boyd, produce, beyond any reasonable doubt, changes in the abdominal wall of "the subject" of a kind which may be detected by percussion. This is tantamount to the statement that the fundamental proposition underlying, in common, the original and certain other forms of apparatus designed for the purpose of eliciting the so-called electronic reactions of Abrams, is established to a very high degree of probability.

(2) That no evidence justifying this deduction is yet available from the work of those who practice with the apparatus as yet designed by Abrams himself.

(3) That the phenomena appear to be extremely elusive, and highly susceptible to interference, so that in order to obtain reliable results it is necessary to take the most elaborate precautions, particularly as regards the elimination of effects due to irrelevant objects.

(4) That it would be premature at the present time even to hazard in the most tentative manner any hypothesis as to the physical phenomena here described. [39]

The first conclusion has of course been quoted by just about every pro-E.R.A. individual since then as confirming the E.R.A. However, this had nothing to do with the diagnosing of disease as the successful tests were done on non pathological substances such as saliva and sulfer. As the committee said after their above conclusions:

It is impossible to emphasize too strongly that nothing in this Communication is to be taken as implying that any correlation of those changes in the abdominal wall, referred to in conclusion (1), with pathological conditions has yet been shown, or a fortiori, that any justification-- physical, pathological, nosological, or clinical--exists for the direct use of either the Abrams or the Boyd apparatus in diagnosis or treatment.

This was further emphasized in the closing remarks of the committee's Communication which has been quoted by numerous critics of the E.R.A.:

To sum up. The conclusions arrived at in this Communication leave the practicing electronist as scientifically unsound and as ethically unjustified as it was before. They give no sanction for the use of E.R.A. in the diagnosis or in the treatment of disease. Nor does there appear to be any other sanction for this kind of practice at the present time. [40]

This Communication was delivered before the Royal Society of Medicine. At the end it was put to a vote as to whether the matter should be discussed further then or at a later time. Neither was decided, the matter simply dropped for the most part and hasn't been taken up again as far as scientific investigations are concerned. Some magazines picked up the controversy during 1925 based on the Horder report, but this quickly died out. [41]

 

Abrams' Legacy

After the Scientific American and Thomas Horder investigations, the E.R.A. lost most of its credibility. A few individuals carried on with the E.R.A. The major individuals in its later development were George De la Warr and Dr. Ruth Drown. Drown was the last major E.R.A. practitioner in America. The AMA dealt with her claims the way they did with Abrams, including recounting investigations and tests of her techniques similar to the rooster and guinea pig and Scientific American variety which found no basis for her claims. She was twice charged with fraud and died awaiting her second trial. [42] To my knowledge, "radionics" and associated devices are considered fraudulent by the U.S. Government and using it to diagnose and treat diseases is now illegal.

Due to the endorsement of Sir James Barr and the Horder report on the E.R.A., England has had more tolerance for radionics. The writer has read books published there in the 1960s and early 1970s that were still pointing out individuals using radionics without much government interference there. The last reference to individuals such as Chiropractors practicing radionics on patients in the U.S. was in the early 1960s. [43] Today, the only ones supporting radionics on either continent are those involved in the occult and the New Age movement. [44]

One occult spiritual group that supported the E.R.A. after the scientific investigations that denounced it were the Jehovah's Witnesses (JWs) who supported it until 1953. [45] Individuals within the movement even invented new radionics devices to cure fellow JWs of diseases including cancer. [46] Today, radionics is considered quackery and to be occultic, psychic and spiritistic in nature by JWs. [47]

 

[For pictures of Abrams' "Reflexaphone", an early Oscilloclast see this link]

 

 

References:

1. Russell, Edward, Report on Radionics, (London: Neville Spearman), p. 17. Other sources put his birth in 1864 (Fishbein, Morris,The Medical Follies, (New York: Boni & Liveright), 1925, p. 99). There has been some uncertainty about his date of birth as Abrams apparently put the dates 1862, 1863 and 1864 for his birth in various sources. For a discussion of this see Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA ), 78:1072(April 8, 1922).

2. Report, p. 18; Follies, p. 99; Hygeia, January, 1939, p. 53.

3. Follies, p. 99.

4. Report, p. 18.

5. Follies, p. 99, JAMA 78:913.

6. JAMA, 78:913.

7. Russell, Edward, Report on Radionics, (London: Neville Spearman)

8. One AMA magazine article said the AMA joined in with the Scientific American investigation of the ERA, but I haven't been able to confirm this. Kaplan, Jack, "The Health Machine Menace: THERAPY BY WITCHCRAFT," Today's Health, February, 1961, p. 83.

9. JAMA, 78: 1072, 1334-5, 1832-33; 79: 92; 80: 1317-18.

10. JAMA, 80:1245, 1459.

11. JAMA, 80:1317.

12. JAMA, 81:493.

13. JAMA, 78:1832-33.

14. Hygeia, January, 1939, p. 53.

15. Hygeia, May, 1938, p. 462.

16. Hygeia, January, 1936, p. 26.

17. See for example, Cramp, Arthur, "Electric and Magnetic Cure-alls," Hygeia, May, 1938, pp. 439-441, 462, 479, 480; Kovacs, Richard, "Health Gadgets for the Gullible," Hygeia, January, 1936, pp. 24-28.

18. Page, Ernest W., "Portrait of a Quack," Hygeia, January, 1939, pp. 53-55, 92, 95.

19. Hygeia, January, 1939, p. 55.

20. Holbrook, Stewart, "The Golden Age of Quackery," Today's Health, 38: 52-3, 82-85 (November, 1960); Kaplan, Jack, "Therapy by Witchcraft," Today's Health, 39:28-31, 81-87 (February, 1961).

21. For example, Martin Gardner in his popular 1957 book, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science had a chapter on quackery that relied on Fishbein's book for its content. Gardner also mentions Abrams.

22. JAMA, 78:913-14.

23. Hale, Annie, "These Cults" (New York: National Health Foundation), 1926.

24. The Lancet, Jan. 26, 1924, pp. 176-178, 191.

25. The Lancet, Jan. 26, 1924, p. 177.

26. "The Abrams' Cult in America," Nature, 113:809-10 (June 7, 1924), 114: 525-6(October 11, 1924).

27. Gibbes, Dr. J. Heyward, "Quacks and Quackeries," The Scientific Monthly, November, 1925, pp. 533-550 (p. 542.).

28. Scientific American, November, 1923, pp. 306, 307, 370.

29. Scientific American, November, 1923, p. 307.

30. Scientific American: April, 1924, pp. 278-80, 281; May, 1924, pp. 313, 361-2; June, 1924, p. 383, etc.

31. Scientific American, November, 1923, p. 370.

32. Scientific American, January, 1924, pp. 69, 70.

33. Scientific American, March, 1924, p. 212.

34. Scientific American, Sept., 1924, p. 160.

35. Scientific American, March, 1924, p. 214.

36. Scientific American, Sept., 1924, p. 159.

37. The Lancet, January 24, 1925, pp. 177-181; British Medical Journal, January 24, 1925, pp. 179-185.

38. Forum, 4: 201 (August, 1925).

39. The British Medical Journal, January 24, 1925, p. 184.

40. The British Medical Journal, January 24, 1925, p. 185; The Lancet, January 24, 1925, p. 181.

41. Smith, Whatley and Fishbein, Morris, "Abrams-Scientist or Quack?", Forum, August, 1925, pp. 199-207; "The Inquiry into the Abrams "Dynamizer" and Similar Apparatus", Discovery, March, 1925, pp. 107-110; Spectator, January 24, 1925, pp. 112-113.

42. See JAMA, 112:1853-4(May 6, 1939), 142:506-7(Feb. 18, 1950); Gardner, Martin, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, (New York: Dover Publications), 1957, pp. 209-211.

43. Holbrook, Stewart, "The Golden Age of Quackery," Today's Health, 38: 52-3, 82-85 (November, 1960); Kaplan, Jack, "Therapy by Witchcraft," Today's Health, 39:28-31, 81-87 (February, 1961).

44. See for example Hartman, Jane, Shamanism For the New Age: A Guide to Radionics and Radeisthesia, (Placitas, NM: Aquarian Systems, Inc.), 1987.

45. The Golden Age: February 25, 1925, pp. 323-4; April 22, 1925, 451-455; November 30, 1927, pp. 138-9; April 30, 1930, pp. 483-93, February 18, 1931, pp. 338-342; Awake!, September 22, 1953, pp. 20-23.

46. The Golden Age, April 22, 1925, pp. 451-455.

47. The Watchtower, November 15, 1962, pp. 679-680; Awake!, January 8, 1963, pp. 12-14; The Watchtower, June 15, 1982, pp. 25-26.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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