Author of the Month

Radionics and T. Galen Hieronymus - an excerpt from The Secret Art (cont.)
By Duncan Laurie

Because he was savvy in understanding of the dangers of radionics research, he was able to keep close contact with the authorities on the legal parameters of his research. Even his Patent, titled “Detection of Emanations from Materials and Measurements of the Volumes Thereof” was couched in language designed to be acceptable to mechanistic models and reviewers. Yet his actual research couldn’t have been more anachronistic to the mechanist credo.

Hieronymus began working in radio in 1913. After he received his license, he began working with KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he took part in the first-ever public radio broadcast. As a radio operator and electrical engineer with the Rainbow Division in France during World War I, he worked to develop a wireless telephone. It was there that he observed certain metals and minerals had unusual properties or emanations, a discovery that led him to radionics.

By 1930, Hieronymus was working with radionics inventor J. W. Wigelsworth to improve the Pathoclast, the successor to Abrams’ Oscilloclast. The Pathoclast was considered to be “the most advanced condenser-tuned radionic instrument ever made,” incorporating vacuum tubes for amplification and other electronic features. It is also important to realize that by the time Hieronymus began designing his own version of the Pathoclast for Wigelsworth, mainstream doctors had adopted radionic-type therapies for clinical diagnosis and treatment throughout the country. In retrospect, one can sense a fusion occurring of homeopathic medical principles with electronic gear. For that period in the 1920s and 1930s, there seemed every reason to believe that radionic medical devices were evolving into a modern form of medical instrumentation. It was this favorable climate that clearly made the issuing of the Hieronymus patent possible.

In addition, the grassroots success of the Pathoclast/Radionics technology must also be considered when it comes to comprehending what Hieronymus faced later on in his career when his patent was popularized in a famous 1950s science fiction magazine. By then, Hieronymus had already witnessed thirty years of medical successes using these technologies across America. A great deal of technical evolution in radionics had occurred in the interim, with a large number of highly respected electrical engineers and instrument designers providing expertise and experimental insights. The world of radionics that Hieronymus entered in the late 1920s and early 1930s was an exciting place, as this fast developing, non-invasive, revolutionary medical technology had universal appeal. He was in the vanguard and was well positioned professionally to advance a technology being created as quickly as the healing successes were being reported. Before him lay a business venture that was successfully providing quick and inexpensive health care to ordinary people.

Aside from the history, it is informative to look at the nature of radionics in this period from the vantage point of art. Art movements often begin with a renegade group of artists following a course of action in conflict with the status quo. They self-organize and collectively begin to project their ideas upon the world. Individual artists with little else in common discover a common theme; soon they begin to articulate and develop ideas from one another, cross-pollinating their efforts. The radical nature of their ideas is often the key to their success. But both medicine and science, unlike art, have much more efficient means of policing their turf and squashing dissent.

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