THE ORIGINAL CONCEPTS of the late Dr. ALBERT ABRAMS, M.A., M.D.
A LECTURE DELIVERED TO THE RADIONIC
ASSOCIATION on MARCH 17th, 1956 by --
ERIC PERKINS, M.R.C.S.,L.R.C.P.
Dr. Albert Abrams, M.A., M.D., LL.D.
Dr. Eric Perkins is probably the last surviving friend of Dr. Albert
Abrams in this country. His tireless efforts to gain recognition for his
friend's remarkable achievements have been an inspiration to us all. Dr.
Abrams, born in 1863, was the first person to introduce a calibrated instrument
capable of assisting in the detection of the disease radiations of living
tissues. This raised Radiesthesia to the level of the science known today
In this widest form Radionics can be said to be the meeting ground of
all the sciences, and those who wish to study this exciting subject would
do well to commence by giving serious attention to Dr. Abrams' work. His
method of differentiating between the numerous radiation patterns emitted
by the human body has provided the basis for all the subsequent work in
Geo. W. de la Warr.
The original concepts of the late Dr. Abrams
Between the years 1914 and 1920, my reverend friend and teacher, the
late Dr. Albert Abrams of San Francisco made history by drawing the attention
of the Medical Profession to certain medico physical discoveries of far-reaching
importance he had made, by research involving the direct application of
the then recently established doctrine known as the Electron Theory of
Matter, to the ultimate particles, the atoms and molecules, of human tissues.
Abrams' discoveries, being demonstrable, proved completely convincing to
large number of medical men who had not only witnessed them "in action",
but were, in many cases, themselves making daily use of them for the benefit
of their own patients. These physicians clearly understood the theories
underlying the discoveries in question, since being members of Dr. Abrams'
Post Graduate classes, they were well acquainted with the epoch making
but still very recent revelations in regard to the nature of Matter, then
issuing from the laboratories of the Atomic Physicists all over the world.
Had the eminent medical men, the supposed leaders of the Medical Profession,
themselves had the privilege of studying under Dr. Abrams, they too would
have understood the latter's discoveries, and applauded them, but in their
ignorance of the new (atomic) physics (admittedly a closed book to most
other people in those distant days) they refused to believe or even politely
to listen to, the facts that Abrams' students, earnest, responsible medical
men thought they were, sought in vain to put before them. But if treatment
meted out to Abrams' supporters was offensive, it was nothing in comparison
with the spoken and written references made by these men against Abrams
himself, and reproduced weekly in the Medical Periodicals of those days.
Regardless of the easily ascertainable truth in regard to Abrams' high
qualifications and professional status, he was variously described as a
charlatan, a quack, and a shameless exploiter of the sick and suffering
for the sake of financial gain: As a rat in a hole, gnawing at the pockets
of his unwary dupes: As the inventor of a "Box", which he (Abrams) claimed,
would "first find out what was the matter, and then put the patient right
again". Unfortunately, the Medical Profession, knowing nothing of the truth,
believed this nonsense: it has not yet been possible to undo the incalculable
I want to begin this talk by telling you the truth about Abrams the
After that, I shall beg you to be patient if -- for an appreciable time,
I say no more about Abrams or his discoveries, for I feel it is essential
in the first place -- to describe, step by step, the epoch-making discoveries
made by the world's greatest scientist between 1898 and 1914. They were
by far the greatest scientific discoveries of all time, so great that they
must inevitably transform all our lives within a comparatively few years
-- or else -- end them!
These discoveries have -- of course -- to do with the exact nature
Abrams did not make these discoveries, but he was the first physician
to realize that sooner or later they would inevitably transform the whole
theory and practice of Medicine, and thanks to the extraordinary successful
and original experimental work he carried out in his own laboratory, he
proved that the dawn of the new medical era he envisaged, was already breaking.
And now, let me tell you the unvarnished truth in regard to Abrams -- my
Born in 1863, Abrams was the son of a successful San Francisco merchant
from whom, at an early age, he inherits a vast fortune.
Despite his wealth, he decided to devote his life and his fortune to
the furtherance of medical knowledge. The best medical education that was
available in America in those days, did not satisfy him, and so, after
mastering the German Language -- though already holder of an American medical
diploma, he enrolled himself as an undergraduate at the University of Heidelberg,
from which in due course he graduated with the degrees of M.A. and M.D.
-- the latter with First Class Honours, and the gold medal of his University.
Loaded with Academic honours, this alleged quack was now as highly qualified
as any physician in Europe. It is worth noting that while at Heidelberg,
Abrams' brilliance attracted first the attention, and then the lasting
friendship of his Professor, Van Helmholz, a doctor, whose memory is also
revered as one of the greatest physicists who ever lived.
Abrams followed the advice and example of Van Helmholz in devoting his
life to research, having as its object the correlation of the discoveries
of science, to the functioning of the human body. Returning to his native
San Francisco, Abrams was made Professor of Pathology, and later Director
of Medical Studies at Stanford University, California. Most of his time,
however, he devoted to original research associated with the mysteries
of the Human Nervous System.
Abrams' most intimate medical friend in this country was the late Sir
James Barr who described him as the greatest medical genius of our time.
A verdict which, I do not doubt, history will confirm. Abrams died almost
suddenly of Pneumonia in 1924. But Sir James Barr's opinion, it would be
more true to say that he was "hounded to death by his professional brethren".
* * * *
If you were to take a piece of some such elemental material as iron,
or sulphur (an element by the way, is a substitute w r you started to cut
up, your final subdivision would be an atom of iron, or of sulphur -- wouldn't
it? It would seem that nothing could be more obvious than that! Nobody
ever doubted it until the early years of this present century when one
of Nature's most closely guarded secrets was wrested from her.
I have no time to tell you what made certain great men of science begin
to wonder if an atom -- any and every atom -- might be something totally
different from what they had hitherto imagined it to be, nor can I tell
you with what persistence and ingenuity the world's Masters of Science
pursued their investigation.
All I can tell you is, that between the years 1906 and 1914 the nearly
unbelievable discovery was made that ALL atoms, ALL atoms,
consist in their last possible analysis of positively, and negatively charged
electrical particles, and of nothing else.
Since every material object, from a diamond to a potato, from a cancerous
tumour to a mince pie, from a cabbage to a King, and the crown he wears,
subdivides into atoms, there is no way of escaping the fact, that every
material object that we can see, hear, feel, touch, smell or weigh is an
electrical phenomenon -- AND THIS MEANS YOU. Matter is electricity, YOU
ARE MATTER -- and that's that. Although every atom is made of exactly
the same "stuff", electrical stuff, scientists know exactly how to distinguish
between one kind of atom and another; because they have discovered that
each elemental atom (let me remind you that an element is a substance composed
of atoms of exactly the same kind, there are in all, about 92 elements)
each elemental atom possesses characteristics which make it different from
any other elemental atom.
Iron is an element, so is sulphur, so is gold, so is mercury. In what
way do they differ from each other?
Well, the iron atom consists of 26 positively charged electrical particles,
and 26 negatively charged electrical particles. The sulphur atom consists
of only 16 particles of each kind. The gold atom possesses seventy-nine
positive particles, electrically balanced by seventy-nine negative particles,
and the mercury atom, just one more of each kind. It was the dream of the
mediaeval alchemists to transmute the atoms of certain base metals into
gold atoms. They failed, but during recent years some elemental atoms have
been artificially transmuted into other elemental atoms, though not I think
on a commercial scale.
There is more to tell you about an atom than that is consists of particles
of electricity: no man has ever seen or ever will see an atom -- they are
far too small, yet thanks to the experiments and mathematical calculations
of the physicists, it is quite possible for you and me to envisage an atom, mentally.
Think of the Solar System, a sun encircled by ceaselessly moving planets,
and you have got an almost exact mental picture of an atom. Let us envisage
the ultimate subdivision -- the atom of any
element -- iron will do as an example. It consists invariably of 26 positively
charged electrical particles now spoken as Protons, and 26 negatively charged
particles now known as electrons. The 26 protons, clumped together in an
inseparable mass form the central nucleus or atomic "Sun", the 26 electrons
are not clumped together, far from it, singly and individually, like the
planets of the solar system, each electron ceaselessly whirls round and
round the nucleus, not in any haphazard way, but each one in one or other
of a limited number of possible orbital tracks. Unlike the planets of the
solar system, in certain circumstances an electron can jump from one orbital
path into another.
I can tell you two other startling facts about these electrons; each
one whirls round and round with a speed beyond human imagination, many
thousands of miles in a second, and each electron is relatively (repeat relatively) as far from the atomic nucleus, and from its neighbouring
electrons, as the planets of the solar system are from the sun of the solar
system, and from each other.
Between our earth and the sun, 98 million miles away, there is -- apart
from a thin envelope or thin air immediately surrounding us -- NOTHING.
Between an electron and the atomic nucleus, there is also NOTHING, "nothing"
being another name for the ether of space, a still unsolved mystery, for
though it is certainly non-material, it can nevertheless be thrown into
ripples of vibrations by energy radiated from the sun and the most distant
stars, ripples or waves which we call light, or heat according to their
The ether of space appears to have no beginning and no ending; some
people deny its existence altogether, though Sir Oliver Lodge and Einstein
did not. Some people regard it as the medium through which thought vibrations
can be telepathically transmitted. Some people believe that it links --
and even act as a means of communication between, our material universe
and other less substantial, but equally real, and may be much pleasanter
Now, even though fewer than a hundred different kinds of atoms exists
-- some extremely rare -- they yet suffice to supply this earth with all
the innumerable goods that it needs -- from the Atlantic ocean, to Sir
Winston Churchill, or a tablet of aspirin.
This is because some elemental atoms have a way of combining with other
elemental atoms, and when this happens, an entirely new substance comes
into existence. For instance, two atoms of the has Hydrogen are always
delighted to take into partnership with one atom of the gas Oxygen: the
instant result being the formation of the wet stuff chemists call "H2O",
and you and I call water.
When a single atom of the elemental metal known as Sodium comes within
nodding distance of a single atom of the elemental gas Chlorine so great
is the attraction -- no doubt the electrical attraction between
the two, that they rush together to form the compound that clever people
call Sodium Chloride but which ordinary folk call salt. When a substance
consists not of one kind of atom only, but of different kinds linked together,
can no longer regard its ultimate particle as AN atom. Atoms in combination
with each other, are called "molecules", a word meaning "little masses"
(of atoms). The atoms which form our tissues are always chemically combined
with other atoms to form molecules. They may be fairly simple structures,
or very complex indeed, some molecules may consists of hundred of linked
atoms. The ingredients forming perhaps the bulk of our human molecules
are Hydrogen atoms, Oxygen atoms, Nitrogen atoms, Carbon atoms, Sodium
atoms, with an added sprinkling of iron, Phosphorus and Calcium atoms,
rather loosely linked together.
These molecules are for the most part enclosed in tiny envelopes known
as cells, which, small as they are, can easily be seen with the aid of
a microscope. Billions of molecules are needed to fill even one cell, millions
of cells form the substance of our bones, our muscles, our organs, our
skins, our bodies.
Now, while the fact remains fresh in your minds that atoms, whether
in their elemental or their combined -- that is to say, their molecular
form, are vibrant structures, far more vibrant than the propellers of an
aeroplane in flight, let me quote a few words which came from the pen of
that great physicist, Sir Oliver Lodge when he was writing on the nature
and properties of atoms and molecules.
Here they are:
"A particle cannot quiver or move without disturbing the medium
in which it happens to be;"
May I repeat that last sentence?
"A boat cannot oscillate from side to side without disturbing the water
in which it floats, into ripples or waves;"
"A bell cannot vibrate in the air without rippling the air surrounding
it into sound waves;"
"An electron cannot vibrate in the ether of space without at the same
time vibrating the ether into etheric -- that is to say, into what should
be termed, electro magnetic ripples, waves."
"An electron cannot vibrate in the ether of space without at
the same time vibrating the ether into etheric -- that is to say, into
what should be termed, electro magnetic ripples, waves."
Perhaps at the very moment Sir Oliver Lodge was writing these words. Abrams
was writing these:
"As Physicians we dare not stand aloof from the recent amazing
advances made in Physical Science, and segregate the human entity from
other entities of the physical universe whether the object of our differentiation
is a healthy man, or merely a mass of diseased tissue, we are in either
case, dealing only with a congregation of vibrant atoms, which in their
innumerable molecular combinations are the basic constituents of
everything that exists."
In those few words written nearly 40 years ago, Abrams proclaims his acceptance
of a fact which, though unknown to our parents (at any rate to MY parents)
cannot be evaded now, namely that the molecules which form our tissues
are electrical entities, and that a large proportion of the diseases which
mankind, are primarily due to as yet obscure electrical deviations from
the normal in the structure of the molecules which in their billions form
the substance of our cells, which in their turn, form the substance
of our bodies.
Now, if you are prepared to admit that the sound waves transmitted through
the air from bells having a different structure from each other,
will have a different character . . . . you will also be prepared to admit
that electronic waves transmitted through the ether from vibrant molecules having a different structure from each other, will also have a different
Abrams -- feeling quite sure that the vibrant electrons forming a cancerous
molecule must be differently numbered and differently arranged from those
forming a tubercular -- or any other pathological molecule, was equally
sure that the waves or radiations they respectively send out, would also
be different and characteristic. There would be the cancer wave, the tubercule
wave, the malarial wave, the streptococcal wave -- and if you like, the
sulphur wave, and the quinine wave too. No physician had ever thought THAT
thought before. Let me repeat it.
Well, it is one thing to suspect -- even to the point of certainty,
the real existence of all kinds of pathological waves . . . But it is quite
another thing to find a way of detecting them, and of identifying them
Since the medical Profession has hitherto remained aloof, and unconcerned
in regard to the new aspect, the electronic aspect of the molecules
which collectively form healthy (or perhaps diseased) human tissues --
Abrams knew that he could expect neither help, nor even intelligent interest
from his colleagues during these early days of his research work.
He did, however, gain the sympathetic understanding of certain radio
experts, notably a Mr. Samuel Hoffman, who had achieved fame, by devising
a then unique method for the detection of still distant Zeppelins approaching
the U.S.A. coast. Hoffman and his colleagues thought it might be just possible
to design a radio receiving set of such supersensitivity as to be capable
of responding in some appreciable way to the various pathological radiations
that Abrams so anxiously hoped to detect and identify. Mr. Hoffman was
willing to "have a go". Money being no object, Abrams engaged the services
of this gentleman and his colleagues, built and equipped a laboratory for
their use, and awaited results!
Months passed, but alas, there were no results, which perhaps was not
surprising, for in those distant days, "Wireless" was in its infancy: amplifying
valves had not been invented, broadcasting had not begun . . . If a really
great Radio Expert failed in his efforts to detect molecular radiations
-- could Abrams hope to succeed?
This is perhaps an appropriate moment to mention a puzzling observation
made by Abrams -- I don't exactly know when. For some reason -- it matters
not what -- he happened to be "percussing" (tapping gently) the area immediately
above some patient's navel. The note elicited by his percussion was, at
it normally is, hollow sounding, resonant. While Abrams was still tap tap
ping, someone without warning switched on a X-Ray apparatus which stood
a yard or two away. At that very instant the hitherto resonant percussion
note dulled, and now sounded as dead as the note you would expect to hear
if you tapped a lump of putty, instead of a gas filled abdomen! What in
the world had happened? Abrams -- who always thrilled to anything strange
and unexpected, insisted on repeating the experiment over and over again,
even making the man being percussed, stand facing North, East, South and
West, while the X-Ray set was switched on and off. Most puzzling and mysterious
to relate, this strange dulling of the percussion note when the X-Ray bulb
was glowing, only occurred while the individual being percussed faced East,
or West. If he faced North or South, the note elicited by percussion remained
continuously -- resonant.
On some other occasion, Abrams was forcibly reminded of the episode
I have just related when he was overhauling a new patient -- a man -- suffering
from a cancerous ulcer of the lip (epithelioma). Merely in the course of
his routine examination, Abrams percussed that same area of the patient's
abdominal wall, immediately above the navel. The patient was standing --
facing as it happened West, but no X-Ray bulb had been switched on, nevertheless
the note elicited by percussion was strangely flat, dull, dead. Abrams
asked the patient to change his stance and face North: the percussion was
repeated, but now the dull, dead sounding note had become hollow sounding,
resonant, NORMAL. I need not tell that Abrams continued these manoeuvres
until he was satisfied beyond all doubt that there could be no possibility
of error in regard to the validity of the phenomenon he had just observed.
Somewhat to the surprise of his class of Post Graduate students, Abrams
got up from his chair, excused himself from further attendance at the Clinic
that day, and walked quietly out of the room -- apparently lost in thought.
It is quite certain that he could have offered some theoretical explanation
for both the observations I have related, but he did not choose to divulge
his thoughts at that time: -- neither shall I !
Although I did not personally know Abrams during those very early days
of his work, I think it is safe to assume that he followed up the observation
he had made in connection with the man with a cancerous lip, by collecting
other patients suffering from cancer in any part of the body, and percussing
their epigastric regions while they stood facing North, South, East or
Always he found in these cancer patients, that the percussion note sounded
dull while they faced West, but resonant -- the exact opposite of dull
-- if they turned to face either North or South. The same phenomenon was
also apparent over an area immediately to the inner border of the left
shoulder blade -- in patients suffering from cancer. This phenomenon was
not detectable at all in the case of healthy people, nor is it easily detectable
by a physician who is not skilled in the difficult art of percussion.
One day Abrams notified his class of Post Graduate students, that on
the following morning he was proposing to carry out a series of original
experiments which, he believed, would be deeply interesting, and might
also -- if successful -- prove to be of great practical, and scientific
He referred to the disappointing results of Mr. Hoffman's efforts to
design a wireless receiving set of sufficient sensitivity to detect the
very feeble radiations emitted by pathological material, but expressed
his belief that he had now succeeded in procuring a detecting device which
-- in skilled hands -- would prove to be one-hundred per cent satisfactory.
This instrument would, for the first time, be used for the detection and
identification of molecular radiations of a pathological nature, at 10
a.m. on the following morning.
Such an invitation could on no account be missed. The class assembled,
to find Abrams seated at his desk, beside which stood a glass-topped table
on which were an array of pathological specimens, or rather -- of fragments
snipped off pathological specimens -- each of which had been carefully
authenticated as genuine, by the director of the pathological department.
All the specimens had been wrapped in tinfoil, and duly labelled. Seated
in a chair beside Abrams was a healthy looking youth of perhaps 22 years
of age, well known to everybody present as an odd job man; he helped in
the garden, and did the washing up, in addition to running errands, etc.
There was no sign of the mysterious apparatus that Abrams was so sure would
prove so vastly superior to anything that poor Mr. Hoffman had been able
to design. Perhaps it would be brought into the room later !
Abrams addressed his class. He had not, he said, devoted the best years
of his life almost exclusively to research relating to the human nervous
system, without becoming daily more and more impressed with the amazing
manner in which it would react to incredibly feeble stimuli. He quoted
many examples -- the contraction of the pupil, for instance, to the faintest
beam of light. He dwelt for a moment also on his observation that nerve
fibres in the epigastric region would react to the stimulus of X-Rays generated
in an apparatus some distance away, with the result that a group of muscle
fibres, motivated by the stimulated nerve-fibres would contract,
and by their contraction completely change the character of the note elicited
"When I notified," continued Abrams, "that that same group of muscle
fibres appeared to be in a state of permanent contraction in the
case of any patient suffering from cancer in any part of the body, the
thought was forced upon me that this strange, but none the less real, muscular
contraction was a reflex phenomenon, due to radiant energy rippling, in
the one case from an X-Ray bulb, in the other, from the vibrant molecules
collectively forming the cancerous growth". Abrams declared that his
radiation theory was -- if anything -- supported by his further observation
that the contracted muscle fibres at once relaxed if the individual under
observation turned to face either North or South.
In this case, Abrams suggested, his body would be brought
into line with the very powerful electro magnetic forces passing through
the earth from South to North. Might it not be the case that these forces
would deflect, or even neutralise the far feebler radiations which bring
the phenomena we have been discussing into existence.
However -- concluded Abrams, so long as we can make absolutely sure
of our facts, other people can decide which theory best accounts
"And now" said Abrams, "it may surprise some of you to hear that the
apparatus with which I am about to carry out some by no means unimportant
experiments, is none other than the nerve-muscle mechanism which is an
integral part of the body of our friend here, Ivor, my faithful house boy,
who on countless occasions has obliged me by acting as guinea pig while
I carried out experiments associated with my Neurological research work
on him ! Let me repeat. There is nothing in the world so sensitive, so
responsive to stimuli, however feeble they may appear to be, as the living
nerve fibres of a healthy young man or woman. Ivor has kindly assured me
that he has no objection to being the Subject of today's experiments. For
the purpose of this demonstration we must forget that Ivor is a man, and
regard him merely as a super-sensitive wave detecting device. Abrams then
asked the boy to strip to the waist, and stand -- facing West, while the
clear, ringing resonant note was being elicited by percussion over the
area just above his navel. Will everybody please take note of the hollow,
resonant quality of that note?" "Very well" said Abrams, "and now will
one of you gentlemen step forward and take hold of this pair of forceps
to which I have affixed one of these cancer specimens.
While I steadily and continuously percuss this area of Ivor's abdomen,
will you, Dr. Robinson, place that specimen in light contact with his forehead.
Keep it there some four or five seconds, remove it for a few moments, replace
it again -- and so on.
"Will you all listen to my percussion very carefully, and take note
of any change -- from resonance to dullness -- which may occur as the specimen
is placed in contact with, and then removed from the boy's forehead?"
The result of this experiment was exactly as Abrams hoped, and I have
perhaps led you to expect. The instant the specimen was placed in actual
contact with the boy's forehead, certain muscle fibres contracted, altering
the pitch of the note elicited by percussion so completely that no one
present could fail to hear the difference.
After verifying the validity of this phenomenon by repeating the experiment
with other attested cancer specimens, Abrams chose another kind of specimen
from the collection beside him. This time the specimen was not cancerous,
but tuberculous. When this (tubercular) specimen was brought into contact
with Ivor's forehead, the resonance of the note elicited by percussion
just above the navel underwent no change, but Abrams quickly noticed that
an area just below the navel had now become
abnormally dull when percussed, but only so long as this (tubercular) specimen
was held in contact with the subject's forehead. When removed, the dull
sounding note gave place to the normal resonant sounding note.
During the days, weeks and perhaps months which followed, Abrams devoted
the whole of his time to the laborious task of confirming the above phenomena.
Hundreds of known cancer specimens had to be tested, hundreds of tubercular
specimens had to be tested, before he would finally pass either the
cancer reaction, or the tubercle reaction, as valid.
It was in no hasty spirit that he began at last to draw up a series
of charts, depicting the areas on which these "reactions" as he named them,
might be detected -- by careful and skilful, percussion.
The cancer reaction is detectable -- here:
The tubercle reaction -- here:
The malarial reaction -- here:
The streptococcal reaction -- here: And so on.
These early experiments -- conducted as they were with operating theatre
or post mortem room specimens, may not at first sight seem of much practical
value to the workaday physician, but for all their -- very temporary --
crudity, they had already proved this hitherto undreamed of fact -- which
eventually the Medical Profession will inevitably accept, namely, that
from the body (yes, and as Abrams subsequently showed, from every drop
of blood in the body, of a sick man), signals denoting the nature of his
disease are continuously being broadcast, and they are detectable,
perhaps even from the moment that the disease begins.
Abrams -- once Professor of Pathology (the science appertaining to disease
tissue cells) at a great University, was the first medical man -- to proclaim
his belief that the time-honoured tradition that disease is of cellular
origin is out of date, and must be discarded. So long as the molecular
constituents -- the only constituents of a cell, remain normal in regard
to the number and arrangement of the electrons and protons they contain,
there can be no cellular disease. It is not until the molecular constituents
-- the only constituents, of a cell undergo some structural alteration,
i.e. some change in the number and arrangement of their planetary electrons,
that the cell itself begins to wilt and slowly develop characteristics
which at long last become visible through the microscope of the cellular
Surely, it is impossible to imagine that the electronic architecture
of any one of the molecules forming a cancerous cell is identical with
any one of those forming either a normal cell, or of a pathological cell
of another kind!
The differing character of the Reactions of Abrams denote electronic
differences between differing pathological entities, but of what exact
nature are the forces which change a normal molecule, into a pathological
As yet, no one knows: no one has made any serious attempt to find out:
no one except Abrams and his skilful followers,
have even considered the matter, and few -- if any -- of the latter are
competent to blaze the trail towards the vast unknown territory which some
day will be entered and explored by the Molecular Pathologist.
Research -- as envisaged by Abrams, carried out by competent atomic
or molecular physicist, might solve many as yet unsolved problems associated
with the origin of disease. Forces might be discovered which are available
even now -- if we only knew it -- not only for correcting intra molecular
aberrations, but even for preventing their occurrence.
The time will inevitably come when every physician will know how to
detect, and how, successfully to treat sick molecules, and thus arrest
disease before pathology in the orthodox, cellular sense of the word, has
even begun. Some of us sincerely believe that this is possible -- even
In my efforts to describe Abrams' discoveries clearly, and even, to
the best of my ability -- briefly, I have made no reference to the numerous
minor problems which so frequently confronted him. The time has now however
arrived when mention must be made of a problem of truly gigantic proportions
which had to be solved, if Abrams' lofty ambition of presenting the Medical
Profession with a new, additional method of medical and surgical diagnosis
was ever to be realised.
Still making use of carefully chosen and attested post mortem room and
operating-theatre pathological specimens, Abrams found that despite the
obvious electronic differences which must surely exist between, for instance,
cancerous molecules and those derived from syphilitic tissues, or between
syphilitic and sarcomatous molecules, the reaction induced -- detectable
by percussion -- was in each instance -- identical !
Malarial material induced a very definite reaction two inches below
and two inches to the left of the "subject's" navel. But so also did a
specimen consisting of a few grains of quinine !
The tubercle reaction was duplicated by the reaction induced by material
infected by a somewhat rare disease caused by a fungus known as "Actinomycosis".
The reaction induced by streptococcal pus from an abscess was identical
with that induced by a pinch of the element sulphur and so on. A cancerous
specimen was detectable, so also was a syphilitic specimen, or a sarcomatous
specimen, but the problem of DIFFERENTIATING one form of disease
from another -- that seemed to many of Abrams' friends insoluble. They
underestimated both Abrams' persistence, and Abrams' genius.
Although the reaction of cancer, syphilis, sarcoma and some other entities
(e.g. mercury and lead), might occur on the same area of the subject's
abdominal wall -- namely, immediately above the navel, none the less, the
character of the wave inducing the respective reactions could not possibly
be identical, it would be different. Abrams was sure of this, as difference
as are the waves sent out from different Broadcasting stations. Hitherto,
Abrams' experiments had been conducted with pathological specimens placed
in direct contact with the "subject's" forehead;
now for a reason which will quickly become apparent he wished to find
out if the radiations from his specimens would pass through a six-foot
length of flex wire. A metal disc -- two inches in diameter and furnished
with a wooden handle -- was soldered to each end of the wire, the subject
being told to place the disc he was holding in contact with his forehead:
some bystander was to be ready to hold the other, the distal, disc immediately
above a pathological specimen which would be placed, alone, on the glass-topped
table. Abrams made ready to percuss, and was pleased to find that the interposition
of six feet wire between the specimens and the "subject" in no way affected
the definiteness of the induced reactions.
The problem of differential diagnosis of course remained. Abrams' class
of physicians however received a little thrill of excitement when Abrams
pointed out that it made no real difference if the experimental pathological
specimen was placed on the glass-topped table, or was contained within
the body of a living man ! He enquired if any member of the class had reason
to suspect a focus of disease in either of his organs, whereupon one of
the students volunteered the information that a year previously he had
received sanatorium treatment for early pulmonary tuberculosis, and would
be most interested to learn if -- by means of the tubercle reaction, Abrams
could detect the exact site of the infection. Abrams willingly consented.
The doctor-patient took his place alongside the 'subject', who held the
disc at his end of the wire against his forehead, Abrams sat ready to percuss
that area of the "subject's" abdominal wall, just below the navel, an assistant
grasping the handle attached to the distal disc would at a word from Abrams,
place the distal disc over every part of the patient's chest -- while the
members of the class, tense with excitement, awaited the tell-tale change
in the percussion note which would (or should!) occur when the disc, picking
up the tubercular radiations, reached and was held over the affected spot
-- and the ringing, resonant percussion note did change to a dull
dead note at the moment when the distal disc was placed over -- as it happened
-- the extreme apex of the patient's right lung. "Check up on that" said
Abrams, "see if I can tell when you remove the disc and replace it over
that same area". He could tell, and so could everyone in the room, by the
dulling of the note elicited by percussion.
The doctor-patient spoke: "You were dead right Dr. Abrams -- every time:
the trouble is in the apex of my right lung, nowhere else, as your reaction
showed." "Well of course," commented Abrams, "what else did you expect:
haven't you seen me do the same experiment a dozen times, but making use
of a specimen placed on this table instead of in your chest." Abrams' temper
was never very sweet when he was worrying over such a problem as obsessed
him now -- the problem of differential diagnosis.
It is unfortunately true that many people associate Abrams' name with
a meaningless phrase, "Abrams' Box", or the "Magic Box", a phrase deliberately
coined and put about by that great man's enemies in order to bring ridicule
and contempt upon his
remarkable diagnostic achievements. I gladly seize this opportunity of
publicly stating the truth. I have already told you that for the purpose
of detecting the infinitely feeble radiations emitted by pathological,
chemical and medicinal material, Abrams was completely satisfied with the
reflexes made apparent by percussion the human subject.
These reflexes, or "reactions", he knew beyond all doubt to be both
valid and reliable, a fact first publicly ridiculed, but subsequently experimentally
tested, confirmed, and ESTABLISHED by the late Lord Horder and his
Committee of Investigation. But the urgent problem of differentiating -- between two or more apparently identical reactions remained, until --
after months of experimental research, it was solved by Abrams who found
a suitably calibrated instrument known to generations of electrical engineers
as a rheostat, would perfectly meet all his diagnostic requirements, since
it would function not only as a rheostat, but, in regard to the feeble
waves already referred to, as what is known as a Variable Inductance. Thousands
of physicians, originally members of Abrams' Post Graduate Classes, possess
this instrument which they call the Abrams "Reflexophone" -- an adaptation,
only, by Abrams, for his special requirements, of an instrument used (though
for quite another purpose) by electricians everywhere.
The firm of Messrs. John Bell and Croyden have kindly provided me with
a technical description of the Reflexophone as used by Abrams himself,
and his followers, to this day.
There is no more "Magic" or mystery in the Reflexophone than there is
in a wireless set, a photographic camera, or a telescope; each is the product
of knowledge, tireless industry -- research -- and -- "vision". So much
then for the discreditable "Magic Box" myth! In the manner of its functioning
at any rate, it appears to be the equivalent of the device with which every
Wireless set is furnished, and with which nowadays we are all familiar.
Turn the knob of your set until the needle on the illuminated dial points
to the spot marked "Home Service" and -- if that Station is, as they say,
"on the air", you will feel sure of two things, firstly, you will know
beyond all doubt that the programme which you are now hearing is the programme
being radiated from the Home Service Transmitter of the B.B.C.; and secondly,
that in the act of tuning in to receive that programme, you have automatically
tuned out all other stations, and can enjoy your Bach or Brahms, without
the slightest fear of being serenaded by an unwanted crooner broadcasting
from other Station.
Abrams now divided his six-foot length of flex into two, one of the
cut ends he screwed into the "input" terminal of his "Reflexophone"; the
other cut end he screwed into the output terminal of that instrument, this
latter length of flex terminated in the disc held by the 'subject' in contact
with his forehead; the other disc that I have sometimes referred to as
the "distal" disc could be held above any specimen being experimented with.
For his first experiment, Abrams chose a cancer specimen. Somebody took
charge of the "Reflexophone -- wireless set," and
by Abrams' instructions set the indicator pointing nowhere in particular:
the 'subject' held his disc in contact with his forehead, an assistant
held the distal disc over the cancer specimen, Abrams steadily percussed
the area immediately above the subject's navel. The note elicited by percussion
was resonant. Abrams told "the man in charge of the knobs" to keep
the indicator on the move until he said "stop". Very shortly after this
order had been given, the note elicited by percussion dulled.
Abrams asked the position of the indicator, and was told it pointed
to a spot on the dial marked "50". By Abrams' order, the cancer specimen
was then removed and replaced by a syphilictic specimen; the indicator
dial was deliberately left pointing at "50".
The note elicited by percussion remained, resonant. Again Abrams
told "the man in charge of the knobs" to keep the indicator on the move
until he said "stop". This time, the percussion note lost its resonance
and dulled when the indicator pointed to a spot on the dial marked "55".
Once more the specimen was changed, and a specimen of sacromatous tissue
was substituted. Abrams ordered the indicator to be set at the spot on
the dial marked "50".
The note elicited by percussion remained resonant. Abrams ordered
the indicator to be set at the spot marked "55".
The note elicited by his percussion remained resonant. Yet again
Abrams told "the man in charge of the knobs" to keep the indicator steadily
moving until he said 'stop'. This time the percussion note dulled when
the indicator pointed to a spot marked "58".
A specimen picked up at random was then tested: on this occasion the
percussion note changed from a resonant to a dull sounding note
only when the indicator pointed at the spot on the dial marked "55": Abrams
diagnosed Syphilis. And he was right. Had the percussion note dulled while
the indicator pointed at the spot on the dial marked "50", Abrams would
have diagnosed Cancer: and he would have been right again, just as he would
have been right in his diagnosis of Sarcoma, had the indicator pointed
to a spot on the dial marked "58".
Attested specimen representing every kind of pathological condition
that the San Fransisco Pathological Department could find, were sent to,
and tested by, Abrams -- first, in order that he might find and chart the
exact position on the body of the "subject" on which the reactions they
respectifely induced would occur; and next, to determine and record the
various positions at which the indicator of the Reflexophone must be set
in order to "pick up", or "tune into" their respective radiations: thus,
"50" carcinoma: "55" syphilis: "58" sarcoma: "42" tuberculosis: "60" streptococcal
toxins: "32" malarial toxins: "9" pneumococcal toxins -- and so on.
With the Reflexophone, which might be described as a wireless set specially
adapted to "pick up" the specific radiations sent out by pathological,
chemical and medicinal molecules, the problem of differential diagnosis
had been triumphantly solved -- at
any rate in principle. Future improvements were to be hoped for.
In an address delivered before the Royal Society of Medicine in January,
1925, Lord Horder referred to the Abrams' Reflexophone. He announced that
an X-Ray photograph of this apparatus had been taken, and it had been reported
to him that it was, in point of fact, "a complete fake". Later in this
same address, Lord Horder referred to the Reflexophone as "a gadget, which
so far as he could understand, might very well be replaced by a coal scuttle,
or a pair of tongs".
(Lord Horder told his audience, that since the Reflexophone
was sealed by Abrams, and sold to the present owner only on the condition
that it was never opened and examined, there was no complementary but to
take an X-Ray photograph of it. Lord Horder was misinformed, these instruments
were never sealed, and Abrams made no secret whatever of their constructional
In the issue of the British Journal of September 3rd, 1955, Lord Horder's
most misleading reference to the Reflexophone of Abrams' as "a complete
fake", was repeated.
The present writer immediately sent his own Reflexophone, as standardised
by Abrams, to the famous firm of Electro Medical Instrument Manufactures,
Messrs. John Bell and Croyden, with a request that the instrument should
be subjected to every possible electrical test.
On September 23rd, 1955, the following Report was received:
Messrs. John Bell and Croyden.
As requested, we have examined the control panel of your Abrams' Reflexophone.
This is comprised of three stud-controlled rheostats having scales so marked
as to indicate various ohmic values. The markings are:
0-50 in steps of 10 Ohms.
These values are necessarily approximate, owing to certain variances on
the stud contacts. This panel could well be used in conjunction with an
0-10 in steps of 1 Ohm.
0-25 in steps of 1/25th Ohm.
The rheostats are wound in such a manner as to be inductive, and therefore
variations in resistance will also cause variation in inductance. It is
possible that the function of this inductance is to pick up certain frequencies
that Dr. Abrams found served his special purpose.
Manager: Electro Medical Department."
This Report was immediately sent to the Editor of the British Medical Journal
with a request that it should, in fairness, be published. This request
was repeated three times, but on each occasion the request was rejected.
Comment is needless.
During the years that Abrams was patiently establishing the basic principles
underlying the new, and even fantastic method of diagnosis he was gradually
perfecting, he preferred to experiment only with pathological specimens
the nature of which was precisely known to him.
The next step was to determine experimentally, if blood specimens taken
from patients obviously suffering from clearly defined forms of disease,
such as cancer, tuberculosis, diphtheria, abscess formation, and so on
would suffice to induce the same unmistakable reflexes or "reactions" on
the body of the human wave detector as did pathological specimens representing
these same forms of disease. In this respect, Abrams' hopes were not disappointed.
What must have surprised -- if not Abrams himself -- but surely his class
of Post-Graduate students, was the fact that even less than a single drop
of blood received on to a slip of white blotting paper was amply sufficient,
with the aid of the Reflexophone, to render detectable perhaps several
different injections -- such as tuberculosis, streptococcal toxins, malarial
poisons in the same patient. A container for the blood specimen, which
latter Abrams insisted should be "earthed", had to be designed. It was
made of solid vulcanite, so shallow, that the blood specimen resting on
two "earthed" pieces of aluminium was no more than a quarter of an inch
below the condenser lid -- which represents and replaces the "distal" disc,
which in earlier days was held just above Abrams' pathological specimens.
A short length of wire from the lid of this specimen-container leads the
radiating energy from the blood specimen to the input terminal of the Reflexophone.
And now -- for example, supposing pulmonary tuberculosis to be suspected,
the dial of the Reflexophone would be set at "42", for at that setting
tubercular radiations will pass through the Reflexophone to the forehead
of the human "subject", or wave detector, on whose body the radiations
would register as a muscular contraction in the area just below the latter's
navel, slight, but amply sufficient to alter the note elicited by skilled
percussion, from a resonant to a dull sound.
Supposing, however, the resonant note remained resonant: an complementary
diagnosis would need consideration, possibly malignant disease. Alter the
setting of the Reflexophone from "42" to "58", and percuss the area just
above the "subject's" navel, if now the resonant note gives place to a
dull note, the correct diagnosis would almost certainly be -- not tuberculosis,
but that form of malignant disease known as Sarcoma. Yet other diagnostic
possibilities of course remain, but can almost certainly be correctly determined
by continuing as above. Lord Horder was impelled to make many striking
admissions as the result of the hesitant not to say, evasive investigation
relating to Abrams' diagnostic methods he carried out in the year 1924:
striking than his admission that an infinitesimal amount, a less than
visible amount, of the element sulphur would, apparently infallibly, induce
the "sulphur" reaction, detectable by percussion on the body of the human
'subject'. In a series of no less than twenty-five trial tests for the
"Presence", or the "Absence" of sulphur in the specimens presented, not
one single error was recorded, despite the almost astronomical odds against
"accidental" success on the part of the percussor, or operator -- odds
computed and published by Lord Horder as being One to Thirty-Three million,
five hundred and fifty-four thousand, four hundred and thirty-two !
The intelligent reader will understand that Abrams' test were devised
primarily for the early and accurate detection of disease, and he
may consider that Lord Horder's time would have been more usefully employed
in investigating the infallibility of Abrams' tests for human maladies,
rather than the relatively unimportant tests for chemical infinitesimally.
However: -- "We decided to leave temporarily on one side" -- wrote Lord
Horder -- "all question of the manner of degree in which the reactions
of Abrams (if any) might be correlated with disease" . . . But, why?
Abrams' next very essential task was to devise some means of determining
from the tiny blood specimens taken from patients, how far the latter's
diseases might be said to have advanced. He achieved this by means of a
second Reflexophone through which energy, already picked up by the inductance
effect of the first Reflexophone, would have to pass on its journey to
the human subject.
The reader will remember Messrs. Bell and Croyden's description of the
Reflexophone, as being comprised of three stud-controlled rheostats having
scales so marked as to indicate.
from 0 to 50, in steps of 10 Units.
Abrams obtained a one-drop specimen of blood from a patient in a very advanced
stage of tuberculosis: another from a patient in a midway stage of tuberculosis:
a third from a patient in a very early stage of tuberculosis. The first
Reflexophone was set at "42" (for the moment all three dials of the second
Reflexophone were left at 0). The blood of the patient in an advanced stage
was then placed in the container, and the dull sounding note indicative
of tubercular disease, elicited by percussion in the ordinary way (and
incidentally, precisely as Lord Horder witnessed the dull sounding note,
indicative, on that occasion, of sulphur being elicited).
from 0 to 10, in steps of 1 Unit.
from 0 to 25, in steps of 1/25th of a Unit.
The dial (0-50 Units) was then advanced one stud (equalling 10 Units)
another stud (equalling 20 Units), a third stud (equalling 30 Units), a
fourth stud -- but no, on reaching the fourth stud, the dull note had given
place to a resonant note: it appeared that the radiations from the blood
specimen were blocked by the 40 Units of resistance placed between them
and the "subject": they could no longer reach him.
Ten Units were accordingly removed, and then the dull per-
cussion note was to be heard again. Leaving the "0-50 in steps of 10
Units", dial on "30", the "0-10 in steps of one unit" dial was brought
into action, steady percussion proceeding the while, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35,
36, 37, 38 -- stop, at this point, maybe, a resonant percussion note is
heard again: one Unit is removed -- the dull sound reappears, and that
figure may be taken to indicate the stage reached in this advanced case
of tubercular disease. The radiations from the blood of a patient in a
midway stage of tuberculosis might be blocked by interposing some 12-14
Units of resistance between the blood specimen and the 'subject'.
Those of a patient in a very early, possible even a prepathological
condition, might be blocked by the interposition of even less than 1 Unit
of resistance, perhaps no more than 12/25ths of a Unit as measured on the
"0-25 in steps of 1/25th Unit" -- dial. One learns from the collective
experience of oneself and one's colleagues, the number of Units which may
be regarded as indicating a high, a medium or a low reading in the case
of any given disease.
Although it must be frankly admitted that Abrams' ideas, like those
of any pioneer and original thinker were new and therefore unorthodox,
it is difficult to understand why they should evoke the derisive smiles
they so often do evoke, though generally from those who know nothing of
the true facts, or insist on associating Abrams' name with some purely
Unable to discover any instrument made by human hands which was
sufficiently sensitive to register atomic or molecular radiations, is there
anything inherently foolish in the fact that he adapted to his needs the
nerve-muscle mechanism of a healthy young man, which, from the point of
view of sensitivity, far exceeds any device that human ingenuity can achieve.
Is there anything inherently foolish in Abrams' acceptance -- nearly forty
years ago, of the now universally recognised fact, that the atoms and molecules
forming the human body, and all forms of matter, are electrical phenomena,
and therefore subject to electrical laws? Need Abrams be adversely criticised
for believing that different entities are sending out different radiations,
or for his attempt, his entirely successful attempt, to detect and identify
these radiations, very much in the manner that we are all accustomed to
detect and identify the waves broadcast from innumerable British and Continental
Thirty years ago, Lord Horder laughed at the so-called Electronic Reactions
of Abrams, but twenty-five years ago, after what he described as a "merely
preliminary" investigation, he was compelled by the sheer weight of experimental
evidence, not only to admit the validity of the reactions as they occur
on the human 'subject', but even, officially, to declare the phenomena
"established, to a very high degree of probability".
"Neither fury of tongue, nor truculence of pen" -- wrote Abrams in 1920
-- "can discredit my observations, which are capable of analysis and demonstration".
His observations have assuredly been suppressed, but they cannot be discredited.
Much has been made of the fact that throughout the investi-
gation carried out by Lord Horder and his Committee in 1924, the Reflexophone
of Abrams was replaced by an instrument of a somewhat different design,
the so-called Emanometer of Dr. W. Boyd of Glasgow.
That Dr. Boyd was far from regarding the Abrams' prototype of his own
instrument as "a complete fake" is made evident by the following words:
"To Abrams is due the important discovery that the attachment of apparatus
(namely the Reflexophone) can modify the human reactions, and render them
selective in nature". (Extract from the Presidential Address to the Scottish
Branch of the British Homeopathic Society, by W. Boyd, M.A., M.D.).
One of Abrams' discoveries, a highly important one too, might well be
regarded as fantastic if only because, so far as I am aware, no theory
has yet been advanced that can satisfactorily explain it. It has to do
with localising tests, which in some way, possibly by change, Abrams hit
Let us take, as an example, the case of a woman who has developed a
hard mass in one breast or the other -- which, is not known. A spot of
her blood has been obtained, placed in the specimen container: the dial
of the Reflexophone has been set at "50", a setting which by inductance
picks up the cancer wave.
The diagnostician, anyone familiar with the technique and a skilful
percussor, takes his place before the 'subject' and proceeds steadily to
percuss the area immediately above the subject's navel. The note elicited
by percussion is dull -- therefore the cancer diagnosis is not in doubt.
Remember, the patient is not in the room, and we are assuming that the
diagnostician knows nothing whatever about her. We are challenging him
to tell us if the cancerous mass is in the patient's right, or the patient's
Steadily and continuously percussion, taking all possible care not to
vary the character of his percussion stroke, he, the diagnostician, tells
the subject to point with his finger tips first to his own right breast,
and then to his left breast.
It may be while he is pointing to his right breast, or while he is pointing
to his left breast, but positively while he is pointing to one or the other,
the dull sound elicited by percussion gives place to a normal, resonant
sound (though only while the subject continues to point). It is precisely
at the spot pointed at, that the woman owner of the blood spot carries
By precisely the same method, one can determine the exact site of --
for example -- tubercular or any focus; its exact position in the lung,
in the bowel, in the bladder, or in one or other of the vertebrae, etc.
At the cost of a chronological inaccuracy I have deliberately chosen
to leave my description of the crowning achievement of Abrams', that great
physician and humanitarian's life, until the end of this story. Already,
by means of the "reactions", Abrams had discovered a method for the detection
of disease in its earliest and mostly easily curable stages. By means of
the "reactions", he had also rendered detectable, and measurable, the
health-destroying products, or toxins formed by innumerable micro-organisms
such as the streptococcus, the staphylococcus, the pnenumococcus, etc.,
which though not detectable by means of a bacteriological microscope, are
frequently the obscure, and even the unsuspecting cause of lasting ill-health,
both functional and organic.
From my personal knowledge of the man, I can declare that Abrams was
prepared to sacrifice everything he possessed in order to achieve earlier
and more accurate methods of diagnosis than had hitherto been available,
but, if the best use was to be made of new methods of diagnosis, they must
surely be followed up by new methods of treatment. I believe inspiration
came to him in the following manner: One day Abrams was demonstrating the
reaction induced by blood taken from a malarial patient (this reaction
occurs over a small area two inches below, and two inches to the left of
the subject's navel. Abrams turned to his class. "Well", he said, "there
are upwards of forty of you physicians present, and probably all of you
would prescribe quinine to a patient suffering from malaria, but can anyone
of you offer any scientific reason for doing so -- something better than
the merely commonplace fact that its effects is nearly always beneficial".
There was no reply. Abrams thereupon sent for a few grains of Sulphate
of Quinine, and having removed the malarial blood from the specimen container,
he put the Quinine in its place. His next step was to percuss every part
of the "subject's" abdominal wall in a search to locate the position of
the area over which the percussion note would be rendered abnormally dull
by reason of the reaction induced by Quinine. That area was found two inches
below, and two inches to the left of the "subject's" navel: it was, in
fact, identical with the area over which the malarial reaction occurs!
As always, this observation was checked and rechecked by removing and
replacing the Quinine specimen, over and over again.
Few of those privileged to be present are likely to forget the significance
of the next experiment, for all its simplicity. Abrams replaced the malarial
material in the specimen container, placing on top of it a grain or two
of Quinine wrapped in tissue paper. Abrams again attempted to elicit the
malarial, or complementaryly, the quinine reaction. But the dull sound indicative
of a reaction had given place to a resonant sound. Abrams expressed no
surprise: he put forward the suggestion that the radiations sent forth
by the vibrant electrons forming the quinine molecule exactly cancelled
those sent forth by the electrons forming the malarial molecule. It was
not by any operation of change that quinine had a curative effect on malaria,
more probably it was a manifestation of some hitherto unsuspected electrical
law which should become the subject of intensive research.
For the next several months Abrams followed up the idea suggested by
the "Quinine versus Malaria" experiment.
For more than a hundred years the drug mercury was looked upon as the
sovereign remedy for syphilis. This element induces,
as does syphilitic material, a reaction just above the "subject's" navel,
but when mercury and syphilitic material are tested simultaneously, the
reaction induced by the one appears to be cancelled by that induced
by the other. The dulling of the percussion note simply does not occur
unless one or the other specimens are withdrawn from the specimen container.
Many physicians, notably Dr. Boyd of Glasgow, whose name has already
been mentioned as delivering the Presidential Address to the Scottish Branch
of the British Homeopathic Society, now choose the remedies the prescribe
for their patients by testing them against the reactions induced by the
patient's own blood.
Never for a moment did Abrams doubt the real value of these "interference
tests" as they are sometimes called, "Quinine versus Malaria", "Mercury
versus Syphilis", etc., but yet another thought, still based on the electron
theory of matter, and therefore on his molecular -- as opposed to the cellular
concept of disease, was filling his mind. His thoughts ran on these lines:
"--the complete disappearance of both the malarial and the syphilis 'reactions'
when quinine or mercury respectively are placed even in the vicinity of
the specimens, can surely only be due to energy radiating from the vibrant
electrons which form the quinine molecules, or the mercury atoms".
"Is it beyond the wit of man to devise a wave emitting instrument, a
kind of wireless broadcasting station, which of necessity must be fitted
with a device for altering the character of the the transmitted wave (ultimately
to be delivered to the patient) in such a way that -- as quinine does,
it will cancel the reaction induced by malarial material: as mercury does,
it will cancel the reaction induced by syphilitic material. When once the
principle has been finally established, surely we need not despair of devising
a wave emitting instrument which can be so adjusted as to cancel not only
the malarial reaction, but the tubercle, the streptococcal, the staphylococcal,
the pneumococcal, and other of the test reactions, possibly with the same
beneficial effects that the malarial patient will almost certainly receive
when he takes quinine, one of the very few 'specific' remedies we possess".
By profession, Abrams was, of course a physician, a neurologist, and although
thanks to the example and influence of his Heidelberg friend, Professor
Van Helmolz, he was at all times fully alive to the revolutionary discoveries
which in those days were engrossing the minds of physicists the world over,
he did not profess to be a technician.
His fertile brain was capable of conceiving a treatment instrument embodying
the new, but perfectly logical, ideas hinted at above, but its constructional
details were more properly the affairs of an expert radio-technician, and
once again Mr. Hoffman was sent for. To him, no doubt, Abrams fully explained
his ideas, and demonstrated them in a practical way with quinine and malarial,
mercury and syphilis specimens. Abrams may also have demonstrated the amazing
effect of the gum resin gamboge in dissipating the reaction induced by
a tubercular blood specimen, even at a distance, of several inches from
the specimen. Unfor-
tunately gamboge is too poisonous to be given internally, though conceivably
it might have a beneficial effect if administered in homeopathic doses.
Mr. Hoffman quickly grasped Abrams' mental conception of the proposed
treatment instrument, and promised to do his utmost to overcome the many
technical problems involved in its construction. It was not completed without
many months of experimental work on the part of Mr. Hoffman and Abrams
too, but at last they had reason to believe that the instrument had reached
the stage in which it might be used for the treatment of a patient. Abrams
happened to be interested at the time in a young man suffering from tuberculosis,
a definite, but not unduly advanced case. He was sent for; a specimen of
his blood taken -- which, with the dial of the Reflexophone set at "42",
induced the characteristic reaction on the body of the healthy human 'subject',
immediately below the latter's navel.
A four inch square metal plate attached to a wire from the new treatment
instrument was then attached to the subject's body. All was now ready.
Abrams seated himself before the 'subject' and again demonstrated the
dull percussion note indicative of the reaction. Mr. Hoffman switched on
the new instrument, setting the wave tuning device at stud 1 (there are
eleven studs altogether). There was no change in the dull percussion note.
Stud 2; Stud 3; Stud 4, and still the note elicited by Abrams' percussion
remained -- dull. Stud 5 ---- A breath-taking moment, the dull note gave
place to a resonant note, the tubercle reaction at any rate, had disappeared
as completely as the malarial reaction disappears when a malarial specimen
is tested simultaneously with quinine -- or, as Dr. Abrams and Mr. Hoffman
quickly discovered, when a malarial specimen is exposed to the wave radiating
from the treatment instrument when the dial is set at Stud 1 ! I cannot
pretend to know what effect treatment on Stud 5 of this instrument had
on this -- the first patient ever to be treated, but I can speak of the
effects obtained on innumerable other patients suffering from the same
and other forms of disease, and treated with the wave or waves so adjusted
as to cancel the test reaction or reactions induced by his or her blood.
The vast majority of the patients who received their daily hour for some
four weeks while I was studying under Abrams improved immensely, and often
spectacularly. Many of them I have kept in touch with, and many of them
have been able to assure me that during the many years that have elapsed
since they received Abrams' treatment, the cloud which so long darkened
their lives has never returned.
(During the year 1925 a neutral observer of the highest
competence, namely Professor Taylor Jones, D.Sc. etc., Dean of the Faculty
of Science of Bangor University, was requested to examine the Abrams Treatment
Instrument, known as the Oscilloclast. His highly technical Report with
constructional diagrams , together with upwards of a hundred case reports
of patients diagnosed by Abrams' methods and appropriately treated
with the Oscilloclast, forms the Appendix of a book edited by Sir James
Barr, F.R.C.P., entitled "The Abrams Method of Diagnosis and Treatment".
Publisher: Messrs. Heineman.)
There are just two points which I might refer to before I take my leave:
(1) Never once have I referred to Atom bombs, or the fearful forces locked
up within the atom, which physicists are trying to release safely. These
forces are locked up within the nucleus of the atom and are only released
when the atomic nucleus is rent asunder -- hence the phrase, now becoming
so familiar, "nuclear fission". In the ordinary processes which are the
concern of chemists and brochemists, the phenomena which occur have to
do with the electrons encircling the atomic nuclei, rather than with the
(2) Why not dispense with the "healthy human subject" and elicit the
reactions on the body of the patient himself? Well, one can, provided that
the patient is in fairly good shape. But too often the patient is old,
nervous, enfeebled by illness, and -- as a piece of apparatus (for that
is what the subject actually is) obviously useless. Not only would it be
a nerve-shattering ordeal, but an extremely exhausting one for the patient,
if he or she was required to stand at attention while the doctor was steadily
percussion the abdominal wall in search of possible cancer, syphilis, sarcoma
or tubercle reactions.
In taking my leave of you, I am reminded of the day when I took my leave
of Abrams, a man I had respected from the first, and had grown truly to
love. I thanked him not only for what he was doing for humanity in the
teeth of the cruelist opposition, but for all he had done to widen my outlook.
"My dear fellow", he replied, "I claim nothing, expect to established a
new principle. Thirty years of stiff research lies ahead, and I shall not
live to accomplish much more". (He died six months later.) "It is for those
of you who have become familiar with my methods, to familiarise others:
and for those of you with an aptitude for research, to carry on from the
point at which I must leave off".
Thirty-three years have passed, I am now nearing old-age myself, and
have few ambitions left, but one at least remains, and that is to proclaim
what I know to be truth in regard to Abrams' discoveries, and so far as
in me lies, to ensure that his name shall live in the annals of Medicine,
and receive the honour which few men indeed, have more justly earned.
World Copyright Reserved.
Reprinted, by permission of the Radionic Association of
Great Britain, for Delawarr Laboratories, Oxford to perpetuate the early
work of the late Dr. Albert Abrams.