Chapter 15 from The Secret Art
In England, as we have noted, radionics took a much different turn than in America. For one, the British radionic inventors moved away from an electronic basis for their devices and into other forms of design. Predominately, English design utilized light, magnetism, diagrams, and sound to effect radionics transactions. As such, they were aligned much more closely to traditional occult technology. The radionic devices also appeared more artistic in the manner in which they were conceived, constructed, and used.
Langston Day, writing with George de la Warr about his instruments, said, “They were effective only if the operator was able to control his thoughts and form a clear picture of the diseased organ, or whatever it might be, with which he was dealing. In fact, these instruments were no more than aids to personal skill, and although the help they afforded was great, de la Warr was not satisfied. His ambition was to invent an automatic device that would eliminate the personal factor. This would not only overcome the difficulties of inept or poorly trained operators, it would lend itself far better to scientific investigation of its merits. But as he was to discover, the invention of such an instrument was a very difficult matter indeed.”
Regardless, the revival of radionics in Britain was due in large part to the efforts of this dynamic Oxford couple, George (called “Bill”) and Marjorie de la Warr. Bill de la Warr was born in 1904 and was educated as a mechanical engineer. For sixteen years, he was the Chief Engineering Assistant of the Oxfordshire County Council, among other jobs. Marjorie was the daughter of a scientist. Together, around 1940 when Bill was discharged from the Army for asthma and contact with persons outside England was difficult, they received permission from Ruth Drown to copy her instrument.
In light of subsequent developments in radionics, particularly for art, many of their laboratories’ discoveries had long ranging effects. In many ways their work foreshadows the current era of radionics sound devices and sonic art installations. De la Warr’s fascination with sound began when a friend casually At that time, de la Warr had been pursuing a course of study that convinced him that nature held the remedy for most ailments, and that the curative properties of plants and minerals were probably due to the radiations they produced.
De la Warr wondered if sound or ultrasonic radiation could play a role in this process. He attached some galvanometers to plants that could measure tiny electrical reactions, following the work done by Jundigar Bose in India some years before. These tests convinced him that plants emitted a radiation capable of reacting to outside stimuli, namely the static electricity around the cells that was particularly influenced by sound. Further tests showed that the proper tuning of sound waves to individual plants increased their rate of growth.
These experiments, conducted in the early 1940s led de la Warr to evolve a complex theory of resonant relationships that replaced the established notion in radionics of radiations emanating from matter. He believed that subtle resonances, when combined properly in the right harmonic relationships, could produce waveforms in a “primary” state of matter that could be instrumentally detected and interpreted by his devices.
De la Warr’s experience and research caused him to believe these resonances, especially in living matter, were extremely complex waveforms corresponding to harmonies and chords. This resonance phenomenon, he believed, established a relationship, “link,” or force field that acted as a “carrier” for whatever energy was used with it, such as light or sound. Resonant links of this kind could be established between blood, hair, and photographs – all the normal witnesses found in traditional radionics procedure. Because the resonant link was more information than energy, it did not obey the laws of physics and diminish in intensity with distance. Once the resonance between patient and operator was established, it would respond to influences, such as electrical stress, magnetism, sound, chemical action, or light. This revelation led to the design of devices for manipulating sound and light that were said to improve the therapeutic effect of his radionics equipment.
De la Warr’s first experiments set about trying to make antenna arrays that could pick up these waveforms from plants. Ultimately, the operator using a stick plate that covered a hollow resonant cavity inside the detector obtained the best results. The detector linked the operator’s sensitivity, expressed by the stick reaction, to the radiations being given off by the plant, which was captured in the resonant cavity and then calibrated in various ways, ultimately by a resistance dial. Visually, it was a familiar form of radionic dowsing but used in a completely different technological sense than earlier techniques.
The operators rubbed the plate while seeking the desired resonance in some numerical or graphic form. When the resonance was found, the finger would stick or drag on the rubber covering the stick plate. In this manner the operators’ consciousness acted as a modulator of complex and constantly shifting waveforms emitted by the subject. The skill came in holding one’s mind on the object under study long enough to allow one’s own bodily radiations to tune to the plant or whatever other object was under study. When these radiations came into a harmonic relationship with one another, the effectiveness of the process was augmented and reinforced, objectively perceived by the finger sticking on the plate.
De la Warr device
De la Warr’s plant experiments led eventually to the design of very sophisticated radionics equipment that incorporated a color and sonic component into their design. Light and sound manipulation were seen as an economical and highly flexible way of directing and rearranging the subtle, pre-physical resonances from the realm of thought and emotion, which he believed were the source of diseased conditions. These treatments were initially performed directly upon the patient, and it came as a surprise that they could be transmitted across space along the resonant link.
What is striking about de la Warr’s experimental procedure is the degree to which he allowed an intuitive aesthetic sensitivity, based upon resonance and harmonic coupling, to guide his research and instrument design. It strikes me that the designs of his instruments have far more in common with a violin than they do a radio transceiver. De la Warr’s description of energy resonance will perhaps be more comprehensible to those artistically inclined. Paintings, music, art of all kinds give us a sense of meaning, or convey an energy that completely transcends the form and circumstance of the work, including the best scientific description of the medium. What explanations are available usually rely upon terms such as “resonance” to explain what takes place between the viewer and that being viewed.
In addition, de la Warr’s approach to the entire field of radionics seems far more intuitively comprehensible than the purely electronic or psionic/occult methodologies developed by earlier inventors. Far from precluding the mind as an active agent in obtaining a radionics diagnosis, he instead applauded the mental faculties employed and the need for concentration in obtaining results. His something about the subsequent growth of advertising techniques employing modulated imagery composed of sound and light.
What struck me about the approach that de la Warr took to radionics was that he seemed to understand the subtle signals he sensed were more akin to values than actual patterns of energy or frequencies. By using the word “values” it is suggested that his technique was more like the resonances a composer or singer uses to dial in a particular emotion or feeling. A great deal of aesthetic subtlety is needed to turn a group of notes or pitches into music that is deeply felt and appreciated. The artist composition, a song, or a theatrical calibrating nuance and using it to shift the modality of a disease, comparable to an artwork that can cause us to see and feel the world in a new way.
De la Warr had a passion for accuracy and a high regard for fine instrumentation. When confronted with the task of reconstructing and improving on the Drown design, he brought in a top instrument maker and a physicist to consult on the project. Together with Marjorie, they began Delawarr Laboratories. Marjorie’s efforts were directed toward creating a successful radionics practice while the others concentrated on design innovations.
The Drown instrument was among the first to be run on mental energy, not electricity, although it used electrical components in its design. Drowns’ approach was considered occult, involving esoteric concepts from the Kabbalah and elsewhere. By contrast, de la Warr’s approach, while equally esoteric, appeared more grounded. For him, the radiations more interesting was the fact that his instruments shared commonality with ancient technology, especially geomantic devices and, in the detectors, African rubbing board oracles.
When de la Warr discovered that plant growth and electrical potential could be stimulated by sound waves of certain frequencies, he noticed that their potential seemed to change when the plant was rotated in relation to the magnetic field of the earth. This observation is reminiscent of the Abrams discovery many years before. De la Warr found that when a plant was rotated to a “critical position” vis-à-vis the Earth’s magnetic field and then planted, it grew better.
These discoveries impacted his radionics designs. He was able to construct graduated dials of spring metal in a uniform way that allowed for a standardization of rates across all of his instruments. Nine of these tuning elements were first connected in parallel and then to the lower plate of the detector. This detector was a condenser made of rubber mounted over a metal sheet, which was separated from a similar piece of metal below it by a pocket of air (the resonant cavity). The dials were mounted on a Bakelite (plastic) panel and connected to two small “wells” to hold the specimens being analyzed. The small unit did not require electricity and was easily transported in its black carrying case. The enigmatic “Black Box” was thus reborn, British style.
The ease of construction and standardized design allowed the de la Warrs to establish their own set of “rates.” In refining this process, they discovered that by adding a rotating magnet to define the instrument’s position in the Earth’s magnetic field, they were able to stabilize and sharpen the tuning capacity of his device. The tiny bar magnet was placed on a rod attached to a rotating dial. The magnet was mounted between the two input wells, above the panel holding the dials, and connected in parallel to them. In time, more than 8,000 rates corresponding to various conditions and their cures were established and printed as the Book of Rates and Detail Sheets.
One can only imagine the contempt, derision, and skepticism such a subjective, self-referential technology met with in scientific circles. But the howls were only beginning.
Upon returning to the sound experiments with plants, the de la Warrs devised an instrument that worked with light and color called the Delaray Lamp. This device had even more resemblance to an art object. It was composed of a brass tube fitted with four pre-adjusted spirals inside it. The spirals were mounted over a blackbody infrared radiator housed in the base, at right angles to the radiation device, and could be exchanged with other similar elements of slightly different design. These spirals were tuners that could be vectored according to a dowsing methodology employed by the operator.
The spirals (as a tuning mechanism) were based on the assumption that radionics energies followed a vortex pattern. A similar, but later, device using light was named the Colorscope. In this design, a light beam passing through optical filters could be reduced in such a way as to accurately define the rates in measurements of light. These measurements were easily repeatable. In later versions, a plate holding a drop of blood (the witness) could be inserted and rotated on the axis of the light or Critical Rotational Position (CRP) of every form of matter was now one of the most important features of the de la Warr instrument design.
The Delawarr laboratory also experimented with the therapeutic potential of sound. Radionics author Edward W. Russell states that attempt by the laboratory to put a “friendlier” face on radionics treatment that wasn’t so occult in appearance. In fact, this line of experimentation led to a discovery of great importance for later researchers.
While broadcasting sound into the body, it occurred to de la Warr to see if the same sound was coming out of the body. Pursuing this thought, he discovered that a different waveform emerged from the subject being treated with sound. This waveform would vary with the patient’s disease. His discovery led to an invention called an Autoplotter or Psychoplotter that mapped the shape of the emerging waveform. The resulting graph or “Histogram” of this process was a description of the tissue or substance under treatment. The Histogram gave de la Warr the ability to inventions had on the organism undergoing the treatment. In the case of patients in need of a cure, this baseline could be further correlated with blood tests performed at an outside diagnostic facility.
De la Warr – Nodal point diagram
In the world of visual art, Duchamp’s 1914 photograph, Air Current Piston, showing a screen with big black dots in the mesh, is visually similar to de la Warr’s large scale Autoplotter experiments that plotted big white dots across a floor to ceiling screen, indicating “nodal spots” detected in the energy field of a subject. No doubt the similarity is purely coincidental, but the persistence of the dot matrix in energetic description and composition has ancient artistic forbearers.
Adding to their therapeutic tools, the lab also developed another purely magnetic device for treatment called the MT/3. This device consisted of a group of small solenoids that permitted magnetic fields to be applied directly to various parts of the body. (The solenoid is a small coil of wire around an aircore carrying one amp of current.) These solenoids broadcast a magnetic field into the body, sometimes pre-recorded, whose effects could then be analyzed via blood tests. When combined with the other therapeutic devices and the histogram, a novel methodology of radionics treatment became available.
It is worth considering for a moment the importance sound was beginning to have within the arts. The power of sound alone now led composers and sonic artists to experiment with it artistically. The electronic music of Cage, Stockhausen, Varese, and others and, more often, felt around us. Many such compositions assigned aesthetic value to radiant soundscapes. This process mimicked the therapeutic value of soundscapes assigned by the radionic devices.
Later, sonic artists fused these experiences with visual art forms and performance. Ambient music became popular as a “lite” version of radionic audio impressions designed to heal or harmonize. Without realizing it and with little or no subsequent credit, the de la Warrs had initiated and explored an important venue for artistic discovery in the late 20th century.
Radionics as art was not confined to sound. In 1919 Thomas Wilfred (1889-1968) produced his first Clavilux, an instrument that allowed light forms to be played by piano type keys, in a performance titled Lumina. Wilfred was a dedicated Theosophist and believed that fluid, polymorphous streams of ever changing colored light demonstrated spiritual principles, perhaps suggesting a therapeutic or radionic component. Wilfred performed Lumina in front of large audiences, foreshadowing Psychedelic Art, the stroboscopic Dreammachine of artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville, and even the VJ Performance Art of today.
Wilfred also produced a smaller, deco inspired console version called the Clavilux Jr., whereby the operator controlled a kinetic light display housed in the console by means of a wire-connected keyboard. This art device had many thematic and visual similarities to subsequent light-based radionics devices, notably those of de la Warr’s Colorscope and Dinsha P. Ghadiali’s (1873-1966) Spectro-Chrome light therapy.
More than just structural similarity exists between the artworks of Duchamp and the radionics inventions of de la Warr, Rae, Butcher, and others. The radionics inventors all had one element in common, and that was the utilization of applied intent to overcome the boundaries defined by a mechanistic and deterministic science. Marcel Duchamp was an artist who effectively changed the way we perceive art. He also shared with de la Warr and others in radionics a tendency for overturning well entrenched ideas about their profession.
If the radionics inventors had been artists instead of healers, they probably would have been seen as contributing to the avant-garde, particularly Surrealism. More specifically, the designs of their apparatuses and their fascination with resonance and energy would have placed them in the deep but narrow confines of Radio Art. Loosely speaking, radio art defines the relationship of sound and radio to the arts. In this case, the name “radionics” implying a fusion of radio and sonics would have instantly insinuated that it was radio art, regardless of what anyone thought radionics actually was.
Craig Adcock, in a chapter for Wireless Imagination, a book about radio art, discusses the impact of Duchamp’s work upon the world: “The key to Duchamp’s seemingly disproportionate success lies in the fact that he was largely responsible for proving that art can be whatever the artist decides it is. In sculpture it can be the unnoticed objects of the world – the ordinary things like bicycle wheels and bottle racks – that lie undisclosed in the oblivion of disregard. In music, it can be the noise that lies hidden in the intervals between the notes or the gaps left empty between the sounds.”
Adcock’s thesis is that Duchamp wanted to place art once again “at the service of the mind.” Later, in the notes, he adds a quote from Duchamp to this end from a television interview in 1956: “I considered painting as a means of expression, not an end in itself. One means of expression among others, and not a complete end for life at all; in the same way I consider color is only a means of expression in painting and not an end. In other words, painting should not be exclusively retinal or visual; it should have to do with the grey matter, with our urge for understanding.”
In 1946 Duchamp had said something similar in an article in The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art (13): “I was interested in ideas – not merely visual products. I wanted to put painting once again at the service of the mind. And my painting was, of course, at once regarded as ‘intellectual,’ ‘literary’ painting. It was true I was endeavoring to establish myself as far as possible from ‘pleasing’ and ‘attractive’ physical paintings. That extreme was seen as literary.”
Duchamp’s statements imply that he was making a form of art that continually questioned the nature of what art was. During roughly the same time period, the de la Warrs were initiating experiments of a scientific nature, one that incorporated their own consciousness into the results. Their intent was also to question the assumptions that science was making about the healing process.
The delirious pace of development in the Delawarr Laboratories after the war proceeded unabated. Though expanding quickly, they remained financially independent, due in large part to de la Warr’s engineering position with the town of Oxford. As fast as de la Warr and his team designed and built new devices, Marjorie would perfect their use and treat patients with them. They obtained excellent results.
They were also carrying out their operation with very high professional standards, especially as to who could buy and be trained to use their technology. Aside from the animosity aroused on the scientific issues (or lack thereof), for all appearances the de la Warrs were in the midst of an extraordinary surge of discovery. These discoveries were similar to radionics in the United States after Abrams; only the “instruments” in the visual sense of the word and their ability to function successfully remained subject to the operator’s psychic ability. The main difference between the instrument and pure psychic ability was that anyone with the prerequisite skill could learn to calibrate and tune the instrument to a specific goal.
What is not generally known, but what we have tried to expand upon here, is how much radionic technology imitated the arts. We have previously asserted that Ruth Drown should be considered the first radionics inventor of an art form known as Radionic Photography. Later, Delawarr Laboratories, without intending to, took the radionics/art overlay much further. With each refinement of their light boxes, diagnostic tools, radionic cameras, and abstract renderings of the human energy, the Delawarr technology grew closer to art.
In retrospect, their research seemed the convergence of European occult traditions with Dada and Surrealism. Avant-garde thinking permeated all new fringe ideas and drew from them for inspiration. The de la Warr’s discoveries could hardly have escaped this scrutiny. Artists fed up with war, materialism, and bourgeois culture could easily have taken joy and inspiration from the odd (and beautifully crafted) therapeutic devices produced by de la Warr and others, which appeared to function through magic.
The fact that the radionic connection to art in Britain remains obscure can be attributed to several factors. The de la Warrs were ultimately hoping to obtain funding and the approval of the medical community. For this reason, their research efforts were structured in a quasi-scientific manner. In order to sustain credibility as a healing technology, radionics under the de la Warrs needed to project a clean, untarnished public image as void of cultural controversy as possible.
All semblances to voodoo or the occult were a liability in this regard. Even the comparison of their instruments to avant-garde art could potentially relegate their technology to mere metaphor. Even without scientific approval, clients were reporting cures and increasingly more people including physicians were beginning to give radionics the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, British Radionics was walking a tightrope.
The precarious balance sustained by the de la Warrs was soon to meet a serious challenge. The tension between the self-referential methodologies employed in their research and the “burden of proof ” required in meeting scientific standards met headlong in a tempestuous fury when it came to the subject of radionic photography. As the debate over the authenticity of these radionics photographic techniques has recently been resurrected, de la Warr’s original radionics photographic efforts are worth re-examining.
On January 18, 1955, the Delawarr Laboratories received a French Patent, No. 1,084,318 titled “Improvements in Research into Fundamental Radiation” for what was being called “the de la Warr radionic camera.” In practice, it worked much the same way as the Drown instrument, though it had no design similarities. Like the Drown camera, it could not produce photographs by itself without adding a stimulus from the operator or someone in the room with psychic abilities. This did not prevent the de la Warr Mark I camera from taking more than 12,000 photographs in the eight years following its invention.
A technical analysis, published in the 1999/2000 issue of the Journal of Theoretics, describes the way the Mark I camera operated: “The Camera consists of 4 major ‘boxes’ mounted on a plinth which contains a vibrator driven by a 220 volt supply. The vibrator is turned on during the time the Cassette is inserted into the Light Tight Box, which is mounted superior to the other three specimen and tuning boxes. The Cassette contains the unexposed film or photographic plate (as in the original silver emulsion plates). The film is ‘exposed’ in total darkness. There are focusing devices inside the top box that ‘direct’ the information/energy towards the plate or film. The three other boxes are mounted beneath the top box and two of them contain specimen plates, magnetic tuning devices and radionic dials (to specify the information ‘codes’). The boxes also contain various types of focusing devices. The technique requires that the photographic medium (film or plate) be ‘sensitized’ briefly in the dark room (no half-light is permitted at this stage) before being placed in the light tight cassette. When this is done the cassette is inserted through a slot in the bottom of the top box where it is ‘exposed’ to the information being sought by the operator. After the cassette is withdrawn it is taken to the darkroom and development of the film or plate proceeds normally. Before the cassette is loaded the operator(s) place an appropriate specimen on the plate(s) of one of the 2 tuning boxes beneath the Light Tight Box. The box dials are then ‘tuned’ directly to the information being sought – e.g. Myocardial Infarction or Tuberculosis etc, etc. The individual doing the plate sensitization is not necessarily the same person operating the camera. The camera will not produce an image if the condition, etc. is not specified precisely. A good example of this occurred years ago when a patient was suspected of having carcinoma in his jaw. The camera would not produce any image until the code was reset for Osteomyelitis at which point the image was produced.”
Edward Russell also wrote extensively about the operational peculiarities of the camera. After over 12,000 radionics pictures had been taken, many were images of ailments for which a drop of blood provided the only connection to the camera. With only the blood as a witness, pictures were obtained of growing embryos in pregnant women and animals and all types of other internal conditions, much like a MRI or x-ray. One incident had the laboratory investigating a cow with colic from a piece of hair. The radionic diagnosis detected foreign bodies in the cow’s complicated stomach, and ultimately a picture of a piece of stone and a piece of metal were photographed. Stupefied, the vet refused to operate. Another vet had to be found, and when he operated, the objects in question were found.
For a time, the Mark I Camera was loaned to an unidentified doctor and hospital where roughly 400 photos were taken of patients under treatment, allowing for an independent verification of medical benefit.
Edward W. Russell in Report on Radionics described meeting this mysterious doctor (later identified by Langston Day as Dr. Foster Cooper of Bart’s Hospital). The doctor reported to Russell that the only time high quality photos emerged was when an operator from the Delawarr lab was present at the time the pictures were taken. However, in spite of this drawback, the doctor did not believe the pictures were fakes. Russell, after asking bluntly about their authenticity, quoted the doctor as saying: “No, even if they had wanted to do so – and I have no reason to whatever to think they might, the people at the laboratories simply do not have the anatomical knowledge to produce some of the pictures that came out of the Camera.”
The doctor told Russell of an incident where he obtained a cross sectional photograph of the brain of a patient from a drop of blood that revealed a large tumor. An autopsy following her death revealed a tumor in the exact position and of the identical shape and size of the tumor in the photograph.
In spite of the many clear-cut cases of correct medical imaging and substantial evidence that the camera could become a valuable medical tool, the doctor was forbidden to continue his investigation as soon as word leaked out to higher authorities regarding his success with the camera.
Recently, with the publishing of Arthur M. Young’s posthumous autobiography, Nested Time, other details have emerged about the helicon years of British radionic photography. Young’s invention of the Bell helicopter and his industrial accomplishments, along with an engineering background, make him a potent commentator on the subject of radionics, particularly the camera. He knew both Ruth Drown and the de la Warrs personally, and had set up a foundation later for the specific purpose of funding alternative studies of various kinds.
According to Young, the Delawarr Laboratories had not only borrowed the Drown Radionic camera technology but for a time had built instruments for her. By the time Young met de la Warr, their technologies differed, as Marjorie de la Warr was careful to point out to Young. Like Russell’s mysterious doctor, Young confirmed that the camera would only work when its builder, Leonard Corte, loaded the plates.
Corte was more than happy to discuss his work. He carried none of the pretensions of being “psychic” and was only remorseful that scientists viewed his photos with little interest. Young found the camera seemed “to have no limits.” He mentions witnessing Corte holding the thought in his mind of a pen knife, then seeing the image appear on the camera plate, with only a drop of blood as a witness in the camera connecting Corte to the photo.
“It seemed extraordinary,” wrote Young, “to think of this important work going on in Oxford; right under the noses of scholars talking about Plato’s world of Ideas, the noumenal and the phenomenal, who didn’t dream this work existed—nor would they have come to look at it if they knew.”
Later on, with the publication of Matter in the Making by Langston Day, it became known that indeed other individuals could operate the camera, but there were only four, including the controversial Dr. Cooper. What was subsequently discovered was that the distances between the camera-head, the specimen, and the magnet were critical for each person operating a camera, and each camera needed to be custom made for the individual. It was widely reported that the camera itself had its devilish idiosyncrasies as well.
Day reported that Anthony Broad, of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, required a custom-built camera with design modifications that resulted in the lower corners of the device being removed to better get at the controls. The revised camera would not work, not for Broad or even for Corte, until it had been restored to its original shape. Even then, the resonance cavity would only respond to Corte and Broad was forced to use him to load the plates.
From a strictly artistic point of view, there were other discoveries that were made in the Delawarr Laboratories with the camera that are of great interest. First of all, there is the camera itself. If thought photography could work merely by psychic concentration, then why bother with a large, cumbersome instrument the size of a refrigerator? The answer was that while it was possible to produce an adequate photograph by psychic means alone, the camera was needed to produce repeatable identical ones.
Further tests were made to solve the question of how the photos were being made, particularly to determine if Corte was cheating in any way. Broad devised an experiment where Corte was locked in an upstairs home darkroom with no camera while five witnesses sat in front of the camera in another room below. The camera was set to photograph the force fields of a copper sulfate crystal as the others looked on. At the end of the process, one person took the plates to Corte and he successfully developed them, the image being repeatable. Whatever psychic component Corte brought to the photographic process, it either took place remotely from his access to the camera or directly upon the emulsions.
One might surmise that the instrument be recognized as a new type of camera in need of an operator with a unique skill. If radionic cameras function, in part, like ordinary cameras, then any photographer seeking to extend the boundaries of his medium would undoubtedly find the radionic camera design of interest to extend the range of artistic potential.
After radionic photography in the 1950s and 1960s came remote viewing in the 1970s and 1980s. Remote viewing was the psychic capacity of an individual to view a remote location without travelling there in person, retrieving details and intelligence in the process. Remote viewing was invented by an artist, Ingo Swann, in conjunction with Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ of the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in California.
In the 1990s, the Project Stargate was declassified and many details of the 20 million dollar project were made public. Of interest to this discussion is the fact that the way remote viewing worked was that an internally generated (eidetic) mental image of a place could be retrieved from a representation of that location, even if only a set of coordinates. The process was eerily similar to radionic photography, and one wonders with such outstanding psychics in their employ, if the SRI team didn’t seek to duplicate the Drown and de la Warr results and obtain actual images.
Such an experiment would have been made even easier by another de la Warr camera named the “Mark V Prospecting Camera” precisely because it was designed to detect inanimate objects under the surface of the ground. At one point a prominent oil company took an interest in this invention. Initial experiments were made that confirmed the camera’s potential. For fifteen months, the paid research continued, until the company asked for one last test. From fragments of an aerial survey, de la Warr was asked to discover where the green sand on the east coast of England was located. Without the operator being able to relate his thoughts to any specific points in space or place names, the camera could not deliver better than 50 percent accuracy, and the work was halted. This operational peculiarity was not even suspected by the de la Warrs until this test.
Another subjective facet of radionic photography soon emerged from the outside verification process. People not familiar or dead set against accepting radionic photography could jam the output onto the negative with hostile thoughts. Occasionally, this problem could be circumvented if the operator “pre-conditioned” the negative for positive results. In the end, the case for the scientific analysis of radionic photography became too vulnerable to skepticism.
By contrast, clues to the artistic potential of the camera lay in de la Warr’s early experiments. In these, photos of rudimentary elements and simple salts showed the existence of arrow-like shafts of light he believed were the “fundamental rays” of each material. When these materials were combined, so were their rays. These shafts of light had different angles for different elements.
What appears significant about these early radionic photographs is that a baseline for approaching the phenomenon of “rays” or “radiations” could be visually established by experimentation. Once the results were repeatable, variations from the norm could be introduced and catalogued, providing a visual library of overlaying input.
During this same period of time at Yale, modernist painter Joseph Albers was demonstrating the relativity of color. Through his famous series of paintings that demonstrated his Color Theory, every color was subtly changed and shifted in tone and hue by the presence of the color next to it. Within the de la Warr photographs, perhaps an even deeper abstract layer of light had been discovered and photographed, one shifted by thought and intent.
De la Warr also discovered that in order for an operator to capture a photograph, the operator had to stand beside the camera and be aware of what the camera was trying to detect. When developed, the pictures appeared to reinforce the discovery of the measurable “Life” or “L” field discovered by Dr. Harold Saxton Burr and his associates at Yale University, again, at roughly the same time.
There is another interesting aspect of the role subtle light played in de la Warr research. Rotation of the substance caused a single, narrow shaft of light to appear from the element the instant it hit its “critical position.” De la Warr photographed (radionically) this light emitting aspect of matter as it hit the “critical position” many times.
The discovery of a fundamental ray within materials has a much earlier precedent in the Hermetic idea of “the prime material.” In “The Geometry of the Naked Singularity,” researchers Henry Hallmon and Carl Hollingsworth state: “In the centers of form/ The prime material hides/ Informing the host/ That it secretly guides.” In presenting a theory that attempts to explain how geometry and dark energy interact in physics, genetics, and neuroscience, Hallmon and Hollingsworth explain Hermetic science this way: “For thousands of years…Hermetic scientists concluded that prime material was a subtle spirit substance, hiding within the myriad forms of the universe by occupying a strictly ordered geometry of locations. Great importance was placed on the golden ratio and the Fibonacci series, both evident in the golden rectangle.
“The golden rectangle is a gnomon which regresses to a potential prime location in a gnomic regression. Gnomon is defined as ‘any figure, which suffered no change, save for magnitude.’
“Since everything physical generates from central prime material in a gnomic growth pattern, the material world is considered a network of gnomons without independent existence of their own.”
Any tangible connection between visible subtle energy and the gnomon would provide a window into how sacred proportions, and therefore much about aesthetics itself, can be understood energetically. (Malcolm Rae was fascinated with these ideas.)
In the introduction to Sacred Geometry by Robert Lawlor, there is a quote by Professor Amstutz of the Mineralogical Institute at the University of Heidelberg who sates: “Matter’s latticed waves are spaced at intervals corresponding to the frets on a harp or guitar with analogous sequences of overtones arising from each fundamental. The science of musical harmony is in these terms practically identical with the science of symmetry in crystals.”
De la Warr was convinced that his element and crystal radionic photographs supported a connection to geometry. If one assumes that radionic instruments change this geometry through treatment, crystals in a drop of blood would have an energetic signature, both before and after treatment, which could be supported photographically.
Recently, astonishing photographs of water by Masaru Emoto of the I.H.M. General Research Institute in Japan have revealed similar phenomena. Hundreds of pictures taken in his lab suggest that when thoughts, words (written or spoken), pictures, and sounds are directed at samples of water, crystals produced when the water is frozen will be beautiful or ugly depending upon the intent directed upon them. Emoto’s critics have been quick to challenge his methods as being less than rigorous and biased toward his beliefs. As usual, lack of scientific duplication has resulted in these wondrous photographs being consigned to the world of pseudoscience and his claims ignored by all but believers.
This situation is most unfortunate. If the healing nature of intent in crystallized water also produces definable changes in the blood or tissue of a patient, an empirical basis for examining radionics effects could conceivably be established. In addition, understanding the process could shed light on how shamans and native healers apply aesthetics in curative ceremonies. A bridge between art and healing long ignored or dismissed could take on new significance.
In their writings and discussions, radionic inventors often return to the idea that it is the basic patterns of geometry at the core of all form that are being changed by radionic treatment. In illness, these geometries have been thrown into distorted relationships with one another. They are out of harmony. It is the job of the radionics practitioner to identify where that has occurred. Once diagnosed, the practitioner transmits an intention or signal through the instrument directly to the afflicted patterns instructing them to return to their proper harmony.
The process of refining a task over and over again until harmony is established is essentially organizing an aesthetic into form. There is no need for the artist to “prove” that this process advances him to his goal. Likewise, someone treated successfully by a radionic instrument finds it unnecessary to “prove” that he was healed.
The Delawarr Laboratories went on to produce numerous variations of their camera. Some were designed to detect inanimate objects in the ground, while others were used to detect lost people and things. Different experiments were designed to use the photographs to impress radionic energies on inert substances and vegetation, in the manner of Curtis Upton.
Best of all, experiments were carried out to see if photographs could be obtained of past events. De la Warr was convinced that a radionic photo he took in 1950, while holding the intention in his mind of “My wedding day 1929” and using blood spots from himself and his wife, produced an image of that day. Edward Russell however, described the picture as “two dark patterns with a very faint resemblance to human beings.”
Going beyond the concept of the camera, de la Warr created a device that could be described as a subtle energy communications technology. His Nodal Point Detector was based upon identifying a latticework of points in three dimensions in the space around a magnet, plotted radionically using the stick plate. De la Warr discovered that these points could extend far beyond any possible magnetic field, even miles away.
Apparently, a noise near one magnet could be detected at all the other the nodal points. De la Warr was determined to design equipment that could impress the magnet with recorded frequencies and another that could detect those frequencies at a distance. The reported results were generally favorable in tests that were performed at distances from a few hundred feet (with intervening walls) to thirty miles away. He concluded from the experiments that he was dealing with a hitherto unknown attribute of space. Whether that was true or whether his results were an early form of psychic remote viewing (and hearing) will never be known for certain.
Sadly, after a period of so much brilliant work, the de la Warrs were faced with a legal challenge nine years before his death in 1969. A woman who had bought a radionics instrument from them in the late 1950s claimed, through court proceedings, that de la Warr had acted fraudulently and was himself unconvinced that the radionics box worked as stated. She claimed that in trying to learn how to use it properly, she had been driven from “a healthy optimist to a frustrated neurotic.”
Ultimately, the de la Warrs’ honesty and integrity were upheld and the case was thrown out of court. Though not jailed like Ruth Drown and Wilhelm Reich, the de la Warrs were nearly bankrupted in the process. Their savings and vitality were severely depleted, a harsh payback for helping so many people for decades.
What remains fascinating about the de la Warr approach to radionics is the fact that they engineered technology to work with subjective criteria that became comprehensible through the universally familiar experience of resonance. Today, thanks to digital media, we are comfortable in the knowledge that a musical phrase can be heard as sonic energy released by an instrument or pure information described by midi notation. Likewise, any resonant construction can become pure information and sent invisibly through the air and be reconstructed as sound or light, music or film on our computer or TV screen. De la Warr began with the same belief most radionics practitioners have held since the beginning: that some type of energy traveled between the operator and the patient. But, due to experiments with the camera, he was forced to conclude that changes taking place inside the patient were evoked inside the patient’s body/mind and were not being sent to him or her by the instrument through space.
It must have seemed preposterous in the 1940s and 1950s to suggest that a set of healing resonances could be decoded from the body/mind of a patient and applied as resonant reinforcement to strengthen that patient’s ability to fight off some disease. Yet in a similar sense we know that a set of notes combine to make a melody that in turn can produce a cascade of feeling and catharsis, which many would argue connotes a therapeutic process. This process goes back to ancient Greece, where theater was first used to provoke mass catharsis, a purging of emotion in the audience that was considered healthy for society.
One extraordinary feature of the work of the de la Warrs is the precision with which they were able to translate their intuitive skills into practical diagnostic and treatment protocols. In the appendix of Matter in the Making, Langston Day refers to case studies touched upon in his earlier book with de la Warr, New Worlds Beyond the Atom, where patients suffering from untreatable conditions found relief through his radionic method.
In one case, a 56-year-old woman suffered from a spasm that caused recurrent head movement and came to Marjorie de la Warr for help. Standard medical treatment had only worsened the condition, and injections of atropine had nearly paralyzed her. Radionic diagnosis showed the torticolis condition to be influenced by three main factors: the sheath of the trapezius muscle, the posterior cervical plexus and sub-trapezial plexus of the nervous system, and the vertebrae of the skeletal system.
Digging deeper, Marjorie de la Warr found that the sheath of the trapezius muscle was injured and showed the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; the posterior cervical plexus and the sub-trapezial plexus had vitamin and mineral deficiencies and imbalances; the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Clostridium tetani bacterium contributed to the muscle spasm; and finally, that one of the cervical vertebrae was fractured. The situation indicated that the Clostridium tetani was causing the muscle spasm by irritating the nerve. The patient then recalled a suitcase falling against her head while traveling by train some years before.
Radionic treatments for each condition were applied, and at intervals the severity of each condition was measured and found to be diminishing. Within several months the conditions lessened and in time the patient completely recovered.
People like this patient, who had all but given up hope, were being treated by these methods with great success. Not just people, but animals and plants also demonstrated a response to radionics treatment. Skill, training, and an open mind were required, but the de la Warrs had demonstrated an alternative healing methodology that would work on a variety of ills. The manner by which it worked, however, was of such a startling nature that many who were not receiving any direct benefit remained understandably skeptical.
Significant to the discussion of the relationship of radionics to art was the contribution the de la Warrs made to the understanding of how radionics actually functions, specifically “resonance.” Consider the various dictionary meanings of the word:
“The quality in a sound of being deep, full, and reverberating…
• Figurative: The ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions…
• Physics: 1. The reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object.
2. The condition in which an electric circuit or device produces the largest possible response to an applied oscillating signal, esp. when its inductive and its capacitate reactance’s are balanced.
3. A short-lived subatomic particle that is an excited state of a more stable particle.
• Mechanical: The condition in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force having a frequency close to its own natural frequency.
• Astronomy: The occurrence of a simple ratio between the periods of revolution of two bodies about a single primary.
• Chemistry: The state attributed to certain molecules of having a structure that cannot adequately be represented by a single structural formula but is a composite of two or more structures of higher energy.”
The de la Warr’s use of resonance in his radionics design seems to make use of a number of the overlapping definitions. The figurative sense is clearly one, because Marjorie de la Warr described the importance of holding the image of the patient in one’s mind prior to engaging the device. The physics definition of “the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object” captures something of the relationship the detector cavity has to the object of study. Already de la Warr had stretched the definition beyond a physical vibration into a type of vibration that is a priori to matter. Whether this use of the word bears a relationship to the excited sub-atomic particle part of the definition bears closer examination but will not be reconciled here; ditto the astronomical interpretation. The chemistry interpretation no doubt factors in to how the healing process proceeds from the radionics signal. Perhaps the molecular changes that proceed while a disease is being cured are the result of some form of chemical induction triggered by the radionics signal; it is impossible at this time
to know precisely how de la Warr viewed the actual progression of events he termed “resonance.”
What we do know from his biographers is that sonic resonance was often a carrier wave for a deeper, virtual resonant phenomenon. Edward Russell illustrated this in a story he told about de la Warr giving sonic therapy to his mother-in-law for her sore shoulder. In the process, he discovered that the sonic waveform that came out of the shoulder was entirely different on the oscilloscope than the waveform going in. In time he discovered that the emerging waveforms varied with the disease of the patient. Not being able to afford a recording oscillograph, he invented a system of plotting the emerging wave forms on a Psychoplotter or Autoplotter, which produced a graph of the state of the tissue being treated called a “Histogram.”
With this tool he was able to create a frame of reference for understanding the influence of music, art, light, sound, or any other factor on the human organism. Russell wrote that he believed this discovery to be “one of the most important discoveries of the Delawarr Laboratories.” Russell did not elaborate on why he felt this discovery was so important beyond saying that histograms were taken of subjects treated by solenoids (a device he called the MT/3) placed near points of the body, exposing them to a weak magnetic field. In the course of this study an independent lab analyzed the subject’s blood. The results showed a reduction of white blood cell counts and cholesterol. Strictly speaking, these experiments were less radionic than scientific. But before they could publish or obtain additional confirmation of their results, a Russian team of scientists published a similar finding. This event effectively derailed the public relations benefit of the Delawarr Laboratory discovery, as now the radionic findings would be perceived as trying to once again co-opt scientific research to justify questionable radionic methodologies.
At issue was the potential to confirm by scientific means the beneficial impact of a radionic treatment. Had the Russian study been properly employed to confirm the Delawarr study rather than seen as obscuring it, the Delawarr lab may have begun to obtain the scientific credibility it so desired.
By the end of his career, de la Warr had come to believe that the radionics cure was the result of the patient’s own organism overcoming the disease, not because the radionics box sent a signal to do so. Rather, the cure proceeded because the operator’s mind had linked to the patient on a pre-material level and was able to establish the nature of the disease. Once a numerical rate on the instrument could be identified signifying this connection, the disease could be turned off or overcome.
The de la Warr process was not like a radio transmitter sending a tune across the airwaves and a receiver tuning into audible sound waves. Sound waves could perhaps boost the primary signal, but the actual transaction occurred instantaneously once the mind of the operator obtained “resonance” with the subject and began engaging the healing process. This progression of events was entirely nonphysical until changes in the organism could be detected either radionically or by standard medical procedures.
It is worth noting that the resonance phenomenon that de la Warr believed was responsible for the success of his technology was in fact explored by the avant-garde some decades before. In particular, the experience of synesthesia, where neurologically one sense involuntarily intertwines with another, such as letters or numbers appearing as colors, or sounds are seen as colors (or variations thereof), became of great interest to early modernists. It is fair to say that synesthesia also appears to function according to some unknown form of neurological resonance between the senses and consciousness and can produce measurable behavioral consequences.
Synesthetes of the period, often under the influence of excessive amounts of psychotropic drugs and liqueurs, probed the experience for artistic inspiration. Post-Symbolist and early Futurist groups, especially in early 20th century Russia explored “colored music” and other forms of “anarchistic” sonic composition. The mystic, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1872-1949), who had a significant influence at this time, had reported seeing monks in a Christian monastery fully germinate a seed to maturity in 30 minutes chanting “ancient Hebrew music.”
In 1910, Aleksandr Scriabin (1872-1915), an ardent Theosophist, completed his fourth symphony, Prometheus: A Poem of Fire, a “synesthesic fusion of the senses,” wrote Mel Gordon in his article “Songs from the Museum of the Future,” noting that it was written to be accompanied by a “light key-board” that projected color images. A color organ designed for the Prometheus symphony, which translated Scriabin’s Music-Color Symbology from note to color, was later realized (and patented) by Aleksandr Mozer. Scriabin grandiosely began Prometheus with an even more powerful resonant effect, his “Mystic Chord” of superposed fourths that was purported to “dissolve any normative time sense.”
Adding to his thesis on Russian Futurists, Gordon also wrote about the work of Mikhail Matyushin (1861-1934), a significant artistic figure in the imperial court who turned to Futurism later in life. Beyond his many other accomplishments, Matyushin also conducted scientific experiments on the relationship of color to form: “Drawing on the theories of French Cubism as well as Ouspensky’s Gurdjieffian speculations, Matyushin wedded cogent scholarship with intuitive leaps of the imagination…Matyushin’s final discoveries were brought to Germany by Malevich in 1927 and later published in The Natural Law of Changeability in Color Combinations (Moscow-Petrograd, 1932), were the result of nine years of precise laboratory work. According to Matyushin, noise levels and the intensity of different colors influence one another. When either a monochord or pure color dominates, the other will appear weaker than it would normally to human receptors. If both are equally strong, then the noise will cause the color to be more visually ‘active.’ High, sharp sounds lead to a lightening – that is to a ‘cooling, or bluing’ – of the color. Conversely, low, rough notes have a tendency to ‘redden,’ darken, and condense the color in the eye of the spectator.”
Clearly, early Russian Modernist composers and artists were fascinated by the capacity of sound and color to achieve significant impact, both psychologically and spiritually. Best known in this respect today is the pioneering abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Kandinsky believed that the function of art was to reveal inner beauty and spiritual necessity. Through stimulating the inner resonances of the soul, the artist, by virtue of the same mysterious process described by de la Warr that takes place in radionics healing, expressed a communion between artist and viewer, image and sound to intellect, as in any synesthesic combination.
In Kandinsky’s work, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, published in 1911, the artist discusses a phenomenon that would be familiar to radionics practitioners. The colors of the painting first make a purely sensorial impression on the viewer, as the taste of delicious food would on the tongue. However, the effect can go much deeper, causing emotion and even resonance at a deep soul level. This process, according to Kandinsky, occurs through a foundation of form and harmony which is passed on to the viewer from the artwork in a manner reminiscent of de la Warr’s theory of resonance, being not so much energetic as virtual, a transference of inner content through inner necessity. Kandinsky saw this transaction as being a matter of color mixture and movement, implying various combinations and geometries, perhaps analogous to radionic rates.
We can deduce that the aesthetic content of the artwork is analogous to the resonant component of the radionic signal. Something qualitative, not quantitative, is triggered in the subject. In the same manner, the subjective component of the artwork, the part that affects us, follows criteria similar to the de la Warr description of radionic signals. A powerful artistic experience leaves us with a permanent resonant relationship to the art form, one that can be triggered by any representation of it, a picture in a book, music in an elevator, a slogan on a billboard, etc.
Synesthesic events can trigger eidetic memory, flooding the mind with images, as Marcel Proust (1871-1922) found when certain smells produced an avalanche of forgotten memories. Techniques like hypnosis can insert false memories in peoples’ minds. Hypnotic commands can also produce involuntary behavior, even long after the subject has resumed normal life. Both experiences point to the enormous unknown power of resonance in triggering the mind and behavior.
The conclusions formed by Kandinsky, de la Warr, and others about the power of resonance has very interesting implications for the artist or media specialist, but also goes far beyond them. We do not readily accept the proposition that a tuned form of thought, color, smell, or sound can manipulate our behavior and even our body chemistry, but that is clearly what many artists and radionic inventors imply. This conclusion reveals privacy issues and a host of other more sinister possibilities, which we shall revisit in the forthcoming chapters on T. Galen Hieronymus.
What is truly beneficial about resonance, as it is thought of by de la Warr and others, is the degree to which the individual can become empowered by simply controlling one’s mind, giving it a positive focus in tune with the higher forces of Nature and the Universe. In a sense, the resonance discovery of de la Warr suggests that we are a tunable transceiver; we become whatever signals we tune in. The upside to this discovery is that we can tune to the deepest wellsprings of meaning in the universe, if we so desire, and that this will shape our very being.
The Secret Art is available from Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Art-Radionic-Technology-Individual/dp/1933665424