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Royal Raymond Rife (May 16, 1888 – August 5, 1971) was an American inventor and early exponent of high-magnification time-lapse cine-micrography.
He is best known for a claimed 'beam ray' invention during the 1930s, which he thought could treat some diseases through vibration. Years after his death, it was manufactured and sold in several countries as a cure for cancer, AIDS, and other conditions. Many patients died, and multiple promoters were convicted of health fraud and sent to prison.
Little reliable published information exists describing Rife's life and work. In the 1930s, he made several optical compound microscopes and using a movie camera, took time-lapse microscopy movies of microbes.He also built microscopes that included polarizers.
Rife also reported that a 'beam ray' device of his invention could destroy the pathogens.Rife claimed to have documented a "Mortal Oscillatory Rate" for various pathogenic organisms, and to be able to destroy the organisms by vibrating them at this particular rate. According to the San Diego Evening Tribune in 1938, Rife stopped short of claiming that he could cure cancer, but did argue that he could "devitalize disease organisms" in living tissue, "with certain exceptions". In a 1931 profile, Rife warned against "medical fakers" who claim to cure disease using "electrical 'vibrations'", stating that his work did not uphold such claims.
Rife's claims about his beam ray could not be independently replicated, and were discredited by independent researchers during the 1950s.An obituary in the Daily Californian described his death at the age of 83 on August 5, 1971, stating that he died penniless and embittered by the failure of his devices to garner scientific acceptance. Rife blamed the scientific rejection of his claims on a conspiracy involving the American Medical Association (AMA), the Department of Public Health, and other elements of "organized medicine", which had "brainwashed and intimidated" his colleagues.
Interest in Rife's claims was revived in some alternative medical circles by the 1987 book by Barry Lynes, The Cancer Cure That Worked, which claimed that Rife had succeeded in curing cancer, but that his work was suppressed by a powerful conspiracy headed by the American Medical Association.After this book's publication, a variety of devices bearing Rife's name were marketed as cures for diverse diseases such as cancer and AIDS. An analysis by Electronics Australia found that a typical 'Rife device' consisted of a nine-volt battery, wiring, a switch, a timer and two short lengths of copper tubing, which delivered an "almost undetectable" current unlikely to penetrate the skin.
Such 'Rife devices' have figured prominently in several cases of health fraud in the U.S., typically centered around the uselessness of the devices and the grandiose claims with which they are marketed. In a 1996 case, the marketers of a 'Rife device' claiming to cure numerous diseases including cancer and AIDS were convicted of felony health fraud.The sentencing judge described them as "target[ing] the most vulnerable people, including those suffering from terminal disease" and providing false hope. In some cases cancer patients who ceased chemotherapy and instead used these devices have died. Rife devices are currently classified as a subset of radionics devices, which are generally viewed as pseudomedicine by mainstream experts. In Australia, the use of Rife machines has been blamed for the deaths of cancer patients who might have been cured with conventional therapy. In 2002 John Bryon Krueger, who operated the Royal Rife Research Society, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in a murder and also received a concurrent 30-month sentence for illegally selling Rife devices. In 2009 a U.S. court convicted James Folsom of 26 felony counts for sale of the Rife devices sold as 'NatureTronics', 'AstroPulse', 'BioSolutions', 'Energy Wellness', and 'Global Wellness'.
In 1994, the American Cancer Society reported that Rife machines were being sold in a "pyramid-like, multilevel marketing scheme". A key component in the marketing of Rife devices has been the claim, initially put forward by Rife himself, that the devices were being suppressed by an establishment conspiracy against cancer "cures".The ACS describes Lynes' claims as implausible, noting that the book was written "in a style typical of conspiratorial theorists" and defied any independent verification. Although 'Rife devices' are not registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and have been linked to deaths among cancer sufferers, the Seattle Times reported that over 300 people attended the 2006 Rife International Health Conference in Seattle, where dozens of unregistered devices were sold.
Albert Abrams was an American physician, well known during his life for inventing machines, such as the "Oscilloclast" and the "Radioclast", which he falsely claimed could diagnose and cure almost any disease. These claims were challenged from the outset. Towards the end of his life, and again shortly after his death, many of his machines and conclusions were demonstrated to be intentionally deceptive or false.
Magnet therapy, magnetic therapy is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice involving a weak static magnetic fields produced by a permanent magnet. It is similar to the alternative medicine practice of electromagnetic therapy, which uses a magnetic field generated by an electrically powered device.
The National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) was a not-for-profit, US-based organization, that described itself as a "private nonprofit, voluntary health agency that focuses upon health misinformation, fraud, and quackery as public health problems." The NCAHF has been criticized by the supporters of the treatments it opposed, including practitioners of alternative medicine.
Quackery, often synonymous with health fraud, is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess; a charlatan or snake oil salesman". The term quack is a clipped form of the archaic term quacksalver, from Dutch: kwakzalver a "hawker of salve". In the Middle Ages the term quack meant "shouting". The quacksalvers sold their wares on the market shouting in a loud voice.
Orthomolecular medicine is a form of alternative medicine that aims to maintain human health through nutritional supplementation. The concept builds on the idea of an optimal nutritional environment in the body and suggests that diseases reflect deficiencies in this environment. Treatment for disease, according to this view, involves attempts to correct "imbalances or deficiencies based on individual biochemistry" by use of substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, trace elements and fatty acids. The notions behind orthomolecular medicine are not supported by sound medical evidence, and the therapy is not effective; even the validity of calling the orthomolecular approach a form of medicine has been questioned since the 1970s.
Stephen Joel Barrett is an American retired psychiatrist, author, co-founder of the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), and the webmaster of Quackwatch. He runs a number of websites dealing with quackery and health fraud. He focuses on consumer protection, medical ethics, and scientific skepticism.
Quackwatch is a United States–based website, self-described as a "network of people" founded by Stephen Barrett, which aims to "combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, fallacies, and misconduct" and to focus on "quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere". Since 1996 it has operated the alternative medicine watchdog website quackwatch.org, which advises the public on unproven or ineffective alternative medicine remedies. The site contains articles and other information criticizing many forms of alternative medicine.
Chromotherapy, sometimes called color therapy, colorology or cromatherapy, is an alternative medicine method, which is considered pseudoscience. Chromotherapists claim to be able to use light in the form of color to balance "energy" lacking from a person's body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels.
Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German ex-physician, was the originator of Germanic New Medicine, also formerly known as German New Medicine and New Medicine, a system of pseudo-medicine that purports to be able to cure cancer. The Swiss Cancer League described Hamer's approach as "dangerous, especially as it lulls the patients into a false sense of security, so that they are deprived of other effective treatments."
Max Gerson was a German-born American physician who developed the Gerson Therapy, a dietary-based alternative cancer treatment that he claimed could cure cancer and most chronic, degenerative diseases.
Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was an Iranian writer. He is best known for his book, Your Body's Many Cries for Water, and his writings related to health and wellness.
Gary Michael Null is an American talk radio host and author who advocates for pseudoscientific alternative medicine and produces a line of questionable dietary supplements. He is also faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Hulda Regehr Clark was a Canadian naturopath, author, and practitioner of alternative medicine. Clark claimed all human disease was related to parasitic infection, and also claimed to be able to cure all diseases, including cancer and HIV/AIDS, by "zapping" them with electrical devices which she marketed. Clark wrote several books describing her methods and operated clinics in the United States. Following a string of lawsuits and eventual action by the Federal Trade Commission, she relocated to Tijuana, Mexico where she ran the Century Nutrition clinic.
714-X, also referred to as 714X or trimethylbicyclonitramineoheptane chloride, is a mixture of substances manufactured by CERBE Distribution Inc and sold as an alternative medical treatment which is claimed to cure cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and other diseases. There is no scientific evidence that 714-X is effective in treating any kind of cancer, and its marketing is considered health fraud in the US.
Energy medicine, energy therapy, energy healing, vibrational medicine, psychic healing, spiritual medicine or spiritual healing are branches of alternative medicine based on a pseudo-scientific belief that healers can channel healing energy into a patient and effect positive results. This idea itself contains several methods: hands-on, hands-off, and distant where the patient and healer are in different locations.
Live blood analysis (LBA), live cell analysis, Hemaview or nutritional blood analysis is the use of high-resolution dark field microscopy to observe live blood cells. Live blood analysis is promoted by some alternative medicine practitioners, who assert that it can diagnose a range of diseases. There is no scientific evidence that live blood analysis is reliable or effective, and it has been described as a fraudulent means of convincing patients that they are ill and should purchase dietary supplements.
Radionics—also called electromagnetic therapy (EMT) and the Abrams Method—is a form of alternative medicine that claims that disease can be diagnosed and treated by applying electromagnetic radiation (EMR), such as radio waves, to the body from an electrically powered device. It is similar to magnet therapy, which also applies EMR to the body but uses a magnet that generates a static electromagnetic field.
Samir "Sam" Chachoua is an Australian alternative medicine practitioner, trained as a medical doctor. He is not actively licensed to practice medicine in Australia or the United States. Chachoua offers treatments in Mexico that he claims to be effective alternative medicine vaccine therapies for cancer and HIV, among other diseases. His claims lack scientific support, and are disputed by medical doctors. David Gorski, a cancer surgeon and research scientist, evaluated the science sections of Chachoua’s website, and found the case histories unconvincing and the scientific rationale implausible. He characterized it as “a lot of horrifying pseudoscience.”
Alfredo Darrington Bowman, better known as Dr. Sebi, was a Honduran herbalist and self-proclaimed healer, who also practiced in the United States for a period in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Bowman claimed to cure all disease with herbs and a vegan diet based on various pseudoscientific claims, and denied that HIV caused AIDS. He set up a treatment center in Honduras, then moved his practice to New York City and Los Angeles. Numerous entertainment and acting celebrities were among his clients, including Michael Jackson.
Although unanimously condemned as worthless