Radionics and T. Galen Hieronymus - an excerpt from The Secret Art (cont.)
By Duncan Laurie
Another parallel of radionic technique to artistic technique lies in examining how intent becomes focused and realized through instrumentation. In the 1920s and 1930s, the radionic inventors seemed relatively comfortable with the notion that their technology functioned much as an artist’s brush does for the artist. A certain amount of intent is required, which is then tuned through the instruments influencing a medium to produce a desired outcome. By the 1940s and 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism was overturning representational art, substituting impulse for carefully crafted imagery, radionics was developing a more intuitive and energetic approach to healing, where the curative process seemed to proceed far more from releasing and balancing natural forces than from any set of mechanical medical skills. At that time, medicine linking the intuitive guidance and skill of the doctor to a device inexpensively resonating with the curative forces of nature seemed highly desirable.
By the early 1950s, Hieronymus was also collaborating with Brigadier-General Henry M. Gross (Ret.) in Pennsylvania and the Homeotronic Foundation (of U.K.A.C.O. fame) on the development of agricultural radionics. It is at this point that radionics, and Hieronymus in particular, had their famous brush with popular culture. Coincidentally, the notoriety given the success of radionics in destroying predatory insects in controlled agricultural experiments briefly brought radionic theory and technology to the attention of big business and science. The fascinating details of these circumstances will be examined shortly.
It is important to realize something about what the Hieronymus patent represented at this time. As the power of the American Medical Association grew and the allopathic medical model became dominant, radionics pioneers and other alternative health and agricultural innovators were systematically persecuted for introducing and practicing what was considered pseudo-scientific bunk. But the better the radionic techniques, the higher their rate of cures, which exponentially increased professional animosity from the establishment. In the midst of this struggle, Hieronymus and his colleagues were trying to establish a scientific basis for the way these instruments worked, even accepting the fact they employed the skill of the operator’s mind. Even the most dedicated and pragmatic of instrument designers believed that it was only a matter of time before science confirmed their suspicions that a new form of energy was being engineered.
While many radionics inventors were being persecuted, a host of other bright scientific minds were clamoring for a better scientific understanding of life energy and consciousness. J.B. Rhine of Duke University was busy making a statistical case for the existence of parapsychology and psychic ability in general. Carl Jung in Switzerland was exploring the landscape of the unconscious and linking alchemical knowledge to dream psychology and art. Harold Saxton Burr of Yale and Leonard J. Ravitz Jr. were measuring the life or “L” field of all living things with sensitive voltmeters. Robert Rosenthal of Harvard was demonstrating that bias, or the thoughts of an experimenter, could influence the behavior of laboratory rats. And, as mentioned before, S.W. Tromp, a geologist from the Netherlands, published the first scientific review of dowsing and radiesthesia entitled, Psychical Physics, in 1949.
In prior decades, German scientists Gurwitsch, Stempell, Rahn and others were publishing papers about their discovery that living matter produces volatile components and radiation that could pass through selective membranes and act on colloidal substances, even without direct contact. In 1944, Soviet scientist V. S. Grischenko raised the possibility of a fifth state of matter termed “bioplasm” existing in living organisms. Much later, in 1962, physiologist L. L. Vasiliev at the University of Leningrad published a comparable study, his 178-page monograph Experiments in Mental Suggestion. The Russian work was taken up later at Columbia University by three scientists, I. I. Rabi, P. Kusch, and S. Millman, who developed an apparatus that “conclusively proved that some kind of ray or vibrations pass between one molecule and another.”