The instrumental detection of hypothesized vital energy
patterns as a means of diagnosis and therapy of disease. In radionic
theory, all living things radiate an electro-magnetic field
which has different characteristics in health and disease conditions.
Energy patterns are given a numerical value or ‘‘rate’’
usually calibrated on the dials of a diagnostic apparatus called
a black box. The original black box, sometimes called the
E.R.A. or Oscilloclast, was the invention of Dr. Albert Abrams,
a San Francisco physician.
The black box consisted of several variable rheostats and a
thin sheet of rubber mounted over a metal plate. A blood sample
from the patient was put into the machine, which was connected
with a metal plate placed on the forehead of a healthy
person. By tapping on the abdomen of this person, the doctor
determined the disease of the patient according to ‘‘areas of
dullness’’ in relation to dial readings on the apparatus. This
strange procedure brought together the special sensitivities of
radiesthesia or dowsing and medical auscultation.
After the death of Abrams in 1924, his procedures were developed
by Ruth Drown of the United States in the 1930s and
George De la Warr in Britain. De la Warr devised black boxes
that dispensed with the auscultation techniques of Abrams and
even an apparatus which produced photographs relating to the
condition of the patient whose sample was placed in the machine.
De la Warr claimed that they registered a radiation pattern
showing the shape and chemical structure of the radiating
body, and given a suitable sample the camera plate would register
not only regional tissue but also its pathology.
It should be noted that Abrams was attacked by the American
Medical Association, but in England a committee of the
British Medical Association gave him some initial approval in
1924. Then in 1950 Drown was given a test under the auspices
of the American Medical Association. It was completely negative
and had the effect of driving radionics out of the United
States. Defenders of radionics have argued that the worth of the
diagnostic techniques is based upon the consciousness of the
operator, a fact which in itself takes the practice out of the
realm of medical science and into the field of parapsychology
and spiritual healing.
In England, the De la Warr Laboratories designs and manufactures
radionic instruments and offers diagnosis and treatment
for patients. It may be contacted at Raleigh Park, Oxford,
UK. There is also a Radionic Association in Britain, which
trains and represents radionic practitioners, located at Field
House, Peaslake, Guildford, Surrey.
In the late 1960s, William A. Tiller, then chairman of the
Department of Material Medicine at Stanford University, reported
favorably on his experience in 1971. In 1975 an important
development in American radionics studies was the U.S.
Radionic Congress held in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 19–20,
1975, at which papers on research in the field were presented
and discussed. Amongst those present was Thomas G. Hieronymus,
regarded as the dean of American radionics researchers,
whose patented invention of a machine to analyze a new type
of radiation in 1949 led to American interest in radionics under
the name psionics. Psionic was a term coined by John Campbell,
Jr., editor of Astounding Science Fiction, to denote a combination
of radionics and psi phenomena. He gave instructions
for building a Hieronymus machine in the June 1956 issue of
Abrams, Albert. New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment. Physico-Clinical,
Day, Langston & G. De la Warr. New Worlds Beyond the Atom.
London, 1956.
Inglis, Brian. The Case for Unorthodox Medicine. New York
Berkeley Publishing, 1969.
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Radionics
Proceedings of the Scientific and Technical Congress of Radionics
and Radiesthesia London May 16–18, 1950, London, n.d.
Tiller, William A. ‘‘Radionics, Radiesthesia and Physics.’’ In
The Varieties of Healing Experience. Palo Alto, Calif. Academy of
Paraspsychology & Medicine, 1971.
Young, James Harvey. The Medical Messiahs. Princeton N.J.
Princeton University Press, 1967.