Dr. Albert Abrams was born in San Francisco on December 8, 1863 (differing birth dates have also been reported). He was the son of a successful San Francisco merchant from whom, at an early age, he inherited a sizeable fortune. Despite his wealth, he decided to devote his life and his fortune to the furtherance of medical knowledge.

In 1878, at the age of 15, he enrolled at the Medical College of the Pacific and worked as an assistant to Prof. Douglass and Prof. Hirschfelder. He received a medical degree on October 30, 1881.

Having also mastered the German language, and even though he already held an American M.D., he enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of Heidelberg and graduated with the degrees of M.A. and M.D.

While at Heidelberg, Abrams’ brilliance attracted the attention and lasting friendship of his professor, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821-1894), a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions in several scientific fields. Abrams later enrolled in postgraduate courses in London, Berlin, Paris and Vienna. In fact, he was one of the most highly trained medical physicians of his time.



The information in this biography is solely meant to inform readers on the life and works of Dr. Albert Abrams and is thereby intended for informational purposes only. The content herein is based on websites, Dr. Abrams’ books and other references, Dr. Abrams’ historical practice patterns, and reviews of scientific research data. As always, this information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice.

None of the listings nor any of the contents of this biography constitute a claim that any radionic or scalar technology device is effective in the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or any other human ailment. Prior to making therapeutic decisions, users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions.







n the early 1900s, Dr. Abrams developed a physical medicine technique called spondylotherapy, or spinal reflexology, that was partly inspired by chiropractic and osteopathic practices.

Spondylotherapy is based on the role of the spinal cord, especially involving autonomic nervous system mechanisms. It views the spinal cord as consisting of 31 segments (8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 1 coccygeal). Each segment (and its associated nerve) serves to innervate organs, glands and tissues. These serve both as part of the central nervous system of a simple reflex arc and as a focal point for the remote onset of synergistic physiological processes often through nerve pathways.

Due to reasons lying in the embryonic evolution of humans, all nerves leaving the spine between two specific intervertebral disks innervate a horizontal slice of the body. Moreover, some innervated areas are arranged in a vertical direction.

The main consequence of this segmentation is that different nerves running to or coming from areas in one and the same segment can interact in the spinal cord. An impulse sent by an inner organ can induce an impulse connected to a specific part of the skin. This phenomenon is now termed the visceral-cutaneous reflex system or reflex arc. 

Returning to his native San Francisco, Abrams was made Professor of Pathology, and later Director of Medical Studies at Stanford University, California. He devoted most of his time, however, to original research associated with the human nervous system.

Dr. Abrams was elected Vice President of the California State Medical Society in 1889 and became President of the San Francisco Medico-Chirurgical Society in 1893.

By the turn of the century, he had become a respected expert in neurology. In 1904, he was named President of the Emanuel Polyclinic in San Francisco. Little is published of his later personal life, though it is reported that he outlived two wives.

Dr. Abrams published numerous books from 1891 to 1923, and died in San Francisco on January 13, 1924 (from broncho-pneumonia).


Through the stimulation of nerves originating from the spinal cord, reflex actions on viscera or inner organs may be stimulated. Dr. Abrams performed reflex stimulation with controlled percussion – either with hands or a plexor/pleximeter applied to the spinous processes.

Occasionally, percussion was combined with sinusoidal electric currents and sometimes the application of ice. Dr. Abrams published several editions of his book Spondylotherapy between 1910 and 1918.

A simplified version of Spondylotherapy was first published by Alva Emery Gregory, M.D. in 1914. This technique was later translated into French by Dr. Regnault and published in his book Les méthodes d’Abrams (Maloine editions 1927). Similar acupressure techniques have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as Tuina.

Dr. Abrams then began research in radiesthesia and was the first to design various calibrated instruments capable of assisting in the detection of the disease radiations of the body. He called this diagnostic phenomenon Electronic Reactions of Abrams (E.R.A.) and created several different devices that were used by physicians in the early part of the 20th century.

This raised radiesthesia to a high-tech, subtle-energy level and created the science known today as radionics (Dr. Abrams is considered the “Father of Radionics”). The concept of radiesthesia was known to the ancient Egyptians, Chinese and Babylonians – its use is depicted in their artwork and hieroglyphics. Radiesthesia, though it has been a traditional part of many cultures (the use of dowsing rods or pendulums may date as far back as 7,000 years), is considered by most as a quasi-science and still evokes considerable skepticism.






The basic concept of radiesthesia is that there is interaction or resonance between the mind of the dowser and the object or information being sought. Practitioners refer to this interaction as the use of a kind of sixth sense, or extra sensory perception. It has also been described as a kind of instinct. Some who practice radiesthesia say that as many as 80% of people have the ability to dowse, but many are unaware of it.

Despite the skepticism, many objects have been found with the aid of radiesthesia. Underground springs for water wells might be the best known. However, the list is long and includes animals, plants, minerals, lost objects and even people.

Practitioners specializing in this field list several uses of radiesthesia for health purposes. They claim that, in addition to locating areas and causes of disease, dowsing particularly with pendulums or biotensors can indicate the body’s energetic or nonphysical health condition as well as guide in the selection of appropriate remedies.

Radiesthesia tools rely on the skill of the operator much like a stethoscope. A stethoscope must be used properly to be an effective diagnostic tool, and this is also the case of dowsing rods, biotensor rods, pendulums and radionic equipment. These are all subjective diagnostic tools that are dependent on the skill of the user. Some individuals are quite adept at using radiesthesia devices to detect abnormal health conditions. Whereas, others are not.

The name “radionics” is somewhat misleading, as this form of diagnosis and therapy has nothing to do with radio or radio waves – nor does it have anything to do with electronics. As applied to medicine, radionics is an art by which diagnostic data is obtained through use of equipment which enables a trained operator to detect and measure differential radiations by the different organs and tissues of the body. Other uses of radionics equipment includes detecting and determining the location of disease in the body, measuring the amplitude of various types of pathology and health conditions of tissue, and locating and measuring any foreign micro-organisms, and other irritant factors that contribute to disease.

Radionic analysis is not a medical analysis in the strict sense, as it assesses the energy-body of the patient (not the physical organs). By identifying energy imbalances and disease patterns at the pre-physical level, radionics can recognize the underlying causes that later manifest as physical conditions. Radionic detection equipment has also been used to determine whether a remedy (such as a vitamin, mineral, homeopathic substance or nutritional concentrate) is helpful for a certain organ, system or function of the body. Later radionics instruments were developed for treatment and even “broadcasting” information or subtle forms of energy for treatment at a distance. Keep in mind that all healing is self-healing. The radionic means which the practitioner uses (including numerical rates or geometric card patterns) are simply triggers which put the self-healing process to work in the patient.

At the core of radionic theory and practice is the concept that humans – along with all other life forms – are submerged in the electro-magnetic energy field of the Earth; and further, that each life form has its own electromagnetic field or signature frequencies. If these frequencies become distorted, then disease develops. Hence, radionic practitioners view organs, diseases and remedies as having their own frequency or vibrational rate. This idea is now central to modern quantum physics, but in the early 1900s was considered quite radical.

Dr. Abrams was passionate about designing radionic instrumentation that would both simplify and increase the accuracy of traditional radiesthesia tools. He taught radionics and published several papers and books. The first book devoted exclusively to the development of E.R.A. was Dr. Abrams’ New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment, published about 1916. This followed very closely upon Spondylotherapy editions referring to E.R.A. Many of the preliminary experiments which led to the development of E.R.A. are detailed in the book New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment.

A decade of experiments led Dr. Abrams to two basic hypotheses:

(1) All matter radiates, and the characteristics of the radiations from any type of matter are dependent upon the molecular constituents of the material involved. (Every element or compound has a radiation differing from the radiation emitted by any other element or compound.)

​(2) The radiations emitted by different types of matter (and by the different organs of a living organism) can be detected, selectively differentiated, and the radiational amplitudes measured by a trained operator using relatively simple equipment.

These factors can be expressed in numerical values which are known in radionics as “rates”, and radionic instruments are provided with calibrated dials on which such “rates” are set for analysis and treatment purposes.

Radionic practitioners, in making their analyses, use the principle of “dowsing” by applying their extra-sensory perception to the problem of detecting disease in much the same way that the dowser detects the location of water, oil or mineral deposits.

The form of ESP used in radionics is often referred to as “the radiesthesia faculty” through which the practitioner, by means of a series of mentally posed questions, obtains information about the health of the subject to which the conscious thinking mind has no direct access.

Dr. Abrams organized the American Electronic Research Association and primarily sought out osteopathic physicians to become his trained practitioners. Abrams’ discoveries, being demonstrable, proved completely convincing to a large number of medical men who had not only witnessed them in action, but were, in many cases, themselves making daily use of the devices for the benefit of their own patients.




In the early development of radionics, Dr. Abrams had a very detailed procedure for physical diagnosis, with extensive use of percussion and palpation. He particularly emphasized percussion and found correlations between abnormal percussive sounds elicited from specific areas of the abdomen and pathological parts of the body. In other words, he realized there were reflex connections between specific organs and areas of the abdomen and the sounds elicited by his percussion tests differed if certain diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea or TB were present.

The percussion tests had to be performed while the patient was standing, facing a certain direction, with the abdomen bared. Dr. Abrams’ physical examination procedure was long and rigorous; to make it easier on patients who were too ill to stand for the required length of time, wires were connected from a metal band on the forehead of the patient to a similar band on the forehead of a healthy person, and from a metal plate touching the patient’s feet to a second metal plate on which the healthy person stood with bare feet. This allowed Dr. Abrams to perform his tests upon the body of the healthy subject while the patient who was ill sat in a chair or reclined in comfort on a couch. This technique of using a healthy test subject in resonance with the patient is commonly used by Applied Kinesiologists today.

In his search for methods to sharpen and amplify the percussive sounds and thus make his diagnosis clearer, Dr. Abrams tried the insertion of “rheostats” in one of the wires leading from the patient to a healthy subject. A rheostat was a device used to control the amount of current flowing in electrical circuits and consisted of a coil of bare resistance wire wound around a tube or frame bent or formed into a curve. This usually encompassed the greater part of a circle. One end of the resistance wire constituted one of the contacts to the rheostat. The other contact was connected to a slider which could be rotated by means of a shaft and knob. The arm of the slider contacted the coil of the resistance wire in such a way that by turning the knob, the number of turns of resistance wire in the circuit could be increased or decreased, depending on the direction of rotation of the knob and shaft. This design was soon replaced with a more stable measurement device (Dr. Abrams was constantly improving on his inventions).

Some instrument makers continued to use rheostats for volume measurement purposes, while others replaced them with selector switches to which a series of fixed resistances were connected (as with the tuning controls).

As Dr. Abrams’ radionics practice grew, he had an ever increasing number of patients eager to be diagnosed by him, but who were unable to visit his office (either because they were too ill to travel or lived too far away). In an effort to be of service to these individuals, Dr. Abrams experimented with blood specimens – and discovered that blood carries all the radiations of the body and could therefore be used as a substitute for the actual presence of the patient in his examining room. These blood samples were placed in a metal cup (which Dr. Abrams called a “dynamizer”), which heated the sample with electrodes and was connected to the healthy subject. This was then connected to a “Reflexophone”, and then further connected to the “witness”. An assistant would tune the Reflexophone dials as the physician percussed the witness’ abdomen, and reactions would be recorded as settings on the dials (called “Rates”). The blood sample was a “holographic witness” for the patient. Basically, an “energy link” to the patient is required and may be called a “radionic witness.” Nowadays many radionic practitioners use photographs, hair samples and blood spots as “witnesses”.

With the blood in the metal cup connected to the healthy subject, the diagnostic tests performed on that subject produced the same tunings and measurements as those prevailing when the patient (from whom the blood had been drawn) was personally present and connected with the tuning controls. 





The use of blood specimens broadened the utility of the E.R.A. method, but also introduced several challenges. One of the main problems was that of contamination. The radionic method is extremely sensitive to the extent that if someone other than the patient handled the piece of paper on which the patient’s blood specimen was placed, contamination could occur. That person’s information could become mixed with the patient’s specimen.

The result would be that the practitioner would then likely detect the combined information of the two individuals. This led to detecting and reporting of ailments or conditions not present in the patient. Once this was discovered, special precautions were created for the preparation of blood specimens, to keep them free of contamination.

The use of blood specimens also opened the door to trickery of various kinds. For example, blood specimens from animals such as roosters were sent as human blood specimens. When the reports came back listing the various diseases found, the method was mocked and ridiculed. Of course, animals are subject to much of the same toxic and infectious diseases as are humans. The reports of disease information found in the animal specimens did not invalidate the method, but created much criticism from those who do not accept what they do not understand.

Because the percussion method of eliciting sounds or responses required considerable time and a high degree of skill and patience, the technique became difficult to perform and difficult to teach. Dr. Abrams eventually abandoned the percussion method and replaced it with a method of rubbing or stroking the abdomen of the healthy subject with a glass rod. The use of the glass rod, while still not easy to learn, required less time and effort. The ease with which it slipped over the abdominal surface was noted. When the rod appeared to “stick” over an area, in conjunction with specific tunings or rates, it indicated that certain imbalanced conditions were present.

Dr. Abrams’ next development was equipment for treating diseases called an Oscilloclast and an Autoclast. These machines emitted a short-wave band but differed from short-wave diathermy in many ways. First, short-wave diathermy uses high-frequency electricity which heats the body tissues. Around 1891, Nikola Tesla was the first to suggest the use of high-frequency currents to produce heat in the body as a therapy. In 1908, German physician Karl Franz Nagelschmidt coined the term diathermy and performed the first tests on humans. Hence, Dr. Nagelschmidt is considered the founder of the field. The Abrams treatment equipment purposely avoided heating up the tissues as it was more designed as a frequency therapy. Second, short-wave diathermy operates on one frequency only. The Abrams equipment allowed a choice of eleven different frequencies. Lastly, short-wave diathermy current is not interrupted (interruption would slow down the heating process and require longer treatments). In contrast, the Abrams equipment used an interrupted or pulsed current to achieve the desired effects of the frequency therapy. The thinking was that an interrupted current would be more effective than a continuous current, combining high frequency and low power.

The shortwave Oscilloclast also used radio waves generated by vacuum tube circuits, tuned in the 75-80-meter shortwave band. Oscilloclasts pulsate their output at approximately one-two pulses per second by means of a mechanical interrupter circuit (causing its characteristic “clicking” sound). Abrams believed that by applying the proper frequencies to the patient, disease-causing pathogens would be “broken”, hence the name oscillo- (vibrate) -clast (break).

Some of these eleven frequencies were designated for the treatment of specific diseases or groups of diseases, as the result of correlations found between disease emanations and short-wave radio frequencies in the detection research. The other treatment frequencies were for the functional stimulation of major organs such as the liver, lungs, kidney, heart and spleen. Again, radionics sees organs, diseases and remedies as having their own unique frequency or vibration. These factors can be expressed in numerical values which are known in radionics as “rates”, and radionic instruments are provided with calibrated dials on which such “rates” are set for analysis and treatment purposes.







20th-century advances in physics are helping us understand a reality of the universe which is much closer to the way a radionics practitioner might see things.

Electromagnetic physics has proven that all electrons, protons, and other subatomic particles exist in a state of continuous motion and incredible energy at the atomic level. While all the particles are universal and uniform – the electrons in a peach are the same as the electrons in a carrot – the patterns in which these subatomic particles move and the wavelengths at which they resonate dictate which tangible, physical shapes manifest in the “real” world. To take it a step further, atoms are comprised of even tinier particles, i.e. protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, gluons and many others orbiting one another with such speed that they appear as solids even though they are mostly comprised of empty space.

These subatomic particles are the building blocks of atoms. The number and arrangement of subatomic particles in atoms determine whether an atom takes one form or another in our physical realm. For radionic practitioners, it is all about frequencies and wavelengths.

Physicists are also aware, and to some extent are beginning to understand the issue of consciousness and how consciousness affects not only reality, but even scientific experiments and their observation and measurement. Medicine could be said to be a couple of hundred years behind physics – and is still operating largely from a Newtonian or reductionist view of the universe – a mechanical, physical, biochemical view of reality and illness. But radiesthesia and radionics is very much aligned with quantum physics and can gather information about subtle energies to heal both the energetic and physical body.

Dr. David Bohm, physicist and author of Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980), viewed quantum theory as an indicator of a new order – an existence in which all things are connected in an unmanifest “implicate order”, by the entire field. This explains the concept of the universe as a unified field. Distant radionics works because the field of the practitioner can contact the field of the patient to obtain an analysis. The practitioner, keeping in mind his or her own question, must use some means of determining when the state of resonance has been achieved – that is, the pattern of the patient’s energy field has been identified and transduced into a rate, response or set of numbers which the practitioner then correlates with a disease condition.




After Dr. Abrams’ death, radionic detectors continued to advance in design. The problem with Dr. Abrams’ E.R.A. technique lay in the fact that many patients were not compliant. It required standing for long periods of time with the abdomen bared, while submitting to the percussion procedure or the stroking of the abdominal skin repeatedly with glass or plastic rods.

Dr. Earl Smith, one Dr. Abrams’ students, developed a technique of stroking the fingertips over glass plates to create a “stick” effect. The patient’s information (blood) remained inside the specimen container and that information was conducted to the glass plate by means of a connecting wire. That glass had to be covered with a certain type of coating to create the “stick” effect. The rubbing plate assembly was noticeably less difficult to learn and use and became an integral feature of radionic equipment. Much later, George De La Warr created a detector with a stick plate covered with a special rubber.




It is well known that musical tuning forks react spontaneously when exposed to identical frequencies. In the same way, parallel plate tuning capacitors in analog (non-digital) radionic instruments serve as adjustable, high resolution tuning forks that physically resonate when tuned to the frequencies that define the appearances of the particles that make up the physical world. Also, like tuning forks, analog radionic instruments require no electrical power to achieve a state of resonance that is detectable by the trained operator; the energy is inherent in the vibration mode found in each atom.

This natural state of resonance makes the components (including the capacitors) of the radionic instrument ideal not only for setting known rates, but also for detecting and documenting new patterns of resonance discovered through an open scan or search. The radionic capacitor’s purpose is to build and hold a charge which includes the faint energetic signals that are automatically amplified for easier detection by the radionic researcher.

It is important to note that radionic rates are not absolute frequencies like those used by a broadcast radio station, where the settings are stated in cycles per second (hertz). For example, setting your radio to “750” on the AM dial means the tuner has been set to 750,000 Hertz.

In the 100 years since Dr. Abrams first discovered radionics, there have been thousands and thousands of rates developed. Many of these patterns of information were identified by brilliant inventors of the radionic instruments – George De La Warr, Galen Hieronymus, Malcolm Rae, David Tansley, Peter Kelly, Ruth Drown, and others. A book of radionic rates may be obtained from

 For over twenty years, the Abrams treating equipment used mechanical means of interruption of the current output, termed the “tic toc” apparatus, due to its similarity to the pendulum of a clock. The cyclic process of starting and stopping the circuit was designed to enhance specific therapeutic frequencies, but also created periodic sparks. The spark itself was also thought to impart therapeutic value, as later demonstrated in Lakhovsky multi-wave oscillators.

By 1921, 3,500 practitioners claimed to be using E.R.A. technology. Conventional medical organizations and practitioners became extremely suspicious and critical of radionics. It was not long before an intense dispute broke out between Dr. Abrams and his followers and the American Medical Association.

Defenders of Dr. Abrams and radionics included such notables as American author Upton Sinclair and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes).

Dr. Abrams, who was once highly praised and honored as a medical professor at Stanford University, soon became an outcast of the orthodox medical profession. Sadly, many of his followers who were licensed medical practitioners were also persecuted. Numerous media reports paid for by opposition forces condemned radionics as quackery and even referred to it as “The Abrams Cult”.

“In essence, what appears solid is actually a flowing mass of subatomic particles frozen into what appears as solid mass and connected to all other things through an energetic field or matrix.” 

-Albert Einstein

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is

indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur C. Clark


Dr. Abrams left money in his will to establish the College of Electronic Medicine in San Francisco to carry on his work. The College later changed its name to the Electronic Medical Foundation (EMF).

In 1961, the FDA brought a criminal contempt action against the EMF and its president, Fred J. Hart. The charges were not contested, and the organization was dissolved. Remnants of the organization survive as the National Health Federation.

According to their website:

Established in 1955, the National Health Federation is the oldest health freedom organization on the planet, the only such organization working to protect individuals’ rights to choose to consume healthy food, take supplements and use alternative therapies without government restrictions.

The E.R.A. method was replaced with other radionic innovations after the Electronic Medical Foundation dissolved.

Radionic technology has survived more than a hundred years since it was first discovered by Dr. Abrams in the early 20th century. Not since that era has radionics been so full of promise. Over time, radionics has morphed into hundreds of forms and is used successfully worldwide, despite profound skepticism as to its scientific validity. Dr. Abrams and his E.R.A. techniques and theories are the foundation of radionics as we know it today. However, radionics has so greatly advanced technologically that the science no long resembles anything like what Abrams was doing.

Over the years, radionics has been ridiculed, and in some countries outlawed by the establishment, so it has not had the perfect political environment or opportunity to grow. However, radionics continues to be used openly and freely in England, to a lesser extent in some other European countries, and on a reduced scale in the U.S. (due to pressures brought to bear by various medical organizations and medical boards). Albert Abrams’ genius gave birth to an astonishing new science, and he remains a hero to all free thinkers for his perseverance and bravery.



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The Radionic Association, founded in 1943, exists to train in radionics, to serve as the professional body for qualified radionic practitioners and to provide a forum for others who wish to learn more about this fascinating science.

The Radionics and Dowsing Association of Canada

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Abrams, Albert. New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment: Physico-clinical Medicine, the Practical Application of the Electronic Theory in the Interpretation and Treatment of Disease: with an Appendix on New Scientific Facts. San Francisco, Calif: Philopolis Press, 1916. Print. [Digital: <>; reprints are available through BSRF in its classic xerographic format: <#B0210, “New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment”>]

Abrams, Albert. Human Energy. San Francisco: Philopolis Press, 1914. Print. [Digital: <>; reprints are available through BSRF in its classic xerographic format: <#B0211, “Human Energy”>]

Abrams, Albert. Spondylotherapy: Physio and Pharmacotherapy and Diagnostic Methods Based on a Study of Clinical Physiology. San Francisco: Philopolis Press, 1914. Print. [Digital: <>; reprints are available through BSRF in its classic xerographic format: <#B0177, “Spondylotherapy”>]

Burr, Harold S, and F S. C. Northrop. The Electro-Dynamic Theory of Life. United States: s.n, 1935. Print. [Digital: <>]

Russell, Edward W. Report on Radionics – Science of the Future: The Science Which Can Cure Where Orthodox Medicine Fails. London: N. Spearman, 1973. Print. [Re-ed., 2004: <>]

Russell, Edward W. Design for Destiny: Science Reveals the Soul. London: N. Spearman, 1971. Print. <>



  • Proceedings of the Scientific and Technical Congress of Radionics and Radiesthesia

  • Plants, Soils, Earth Energy & Radionics by George L. Kuepper

  • 21st. Century Radionics by Nick Franks

  • Radionics in Agriculture by Arden Andersen Ph.D. D.O – This is not just a book, but a set of videos on DVD and a  book. Dr. Andersen video taped on of his radionic teaching seminars and these DVD’s are the end result.

  • The Secret Art by Duncan Laurie

  • Vibrations by Virginia MacIvor and Sandra LaForest

  • Report on Radionics by Edward W. Russell

  • My Search for Radionic Truths by R. Murray Denning

  • Report on Radionics by Edward Russell. Neville Spearman Ltd.

  • Chakras-Rays and Radionics, Ray Paths and Chakra Gateways and the Subtle 

  • Radionics in Theory and Practice by J.O. Wilcox

  • Anatomy of Man by David V. Tansley, D.C.

  • Radionics-Interface with the Ether Fields by David V. Tansley, D.C.

  • Dimensions of Radionics by David V. Tansley, D.C.

  • Radionics-Science or Magic? by David V. Tansley, D.C.