The Dangers of Homeopathic Research

Proving the Unprovable

Dielectric Strength Testing of Homeopathic Dilutions of HgCl2 (Mercuric Chloride) by Albert Brucato M.Sc. and James Stephenson, MD

There are mysteries and then there are . . . anomalies.

Here’s Brucato, a rare and fascinating physical study of high dilutes by a couple of Americans. I spent most of the night copying it to my website, so I hope you appreciate it. Don’t feel as if you can’t understand it. What may feel like the inabiity to understand is just that, but let me assure you, it doesn’t come from a lack of an education.  It’s actually fairly well self explanatory, much like the driver who was stopped by the cop for erratic driving.

COP: “Where do you think you’re going?”

DRIVER: “I’m going to a lecture on alcohol abuse.”

COP: “Oh really? Who’s giving the lecture?”

DRIVER: “My wife.”

No, you see, it’s not from an inability to understand it in its technical terms.  What it is is an inability to understand because of a lack of credulity, an we shuck this off in favor of “it’s too technical for me.”

But its not. Hidden within the numbers of Brucato is the supernatural power of human potential.

Now, people who brag about being skeptics don’t really know how skeptical the average person is or can be in not more than an instant. If something doesn’t make sense the average person will just turn off the indoor lights and try not to be impolite, leaving the outdoor lights on so you won'[t hurt yourself after they’ve ushered you to the door.

You see, like all demonstrations of homeopathy, Brucato is truly an anomaly. That doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t explain it in physical terms. I think what makes it an anomaly is that more people haven’t been and aren’t interested in it beause of the frightening potential for destruction it suggests.

Like destroying your career. That’s the real danger of homeoapthic research. Benveniste demonstrated that for us. He was a renowned immunologist but once the science sharks smelled his blood he was through.

The bigger you are the harder you’ll fall. It’s not what you know that’s important, it’s who knows you. Take a look at some of the best, most revealing, most original research ever done on the subject and look what it did to him. That’s good ol’ Western medicine for you. You’re fine as long as you stay in the patent medicine paradigm.  But Benveniste was small change compared to his successor. When Nobel prize winner Luc Montagnier repeated and expanded upon the Benveniste experiments, they kicked hm so hard he ended up in China.

I think, maybe, what it suggests is just how helpless really we all are. The average person, even the above average person I’d say, just doesn’t know how to interepret this sort of thing.

I think it’s like being abducted by aliens. After you’ve been probed and returned safely to your room, what are you supposed to do? Who are you going to tell? Who’s going to want to believe you?

Oh, it’s a million dollar cash prize test, according James the Amazing Randi, the man who’s offering it, he says, to anyone who can prove homeopathy to him. Sure, sure it is. A million dollars in negotiable bonds, and cashable, where?  At the Bank in Guatamala?

Of course you don’t really believe that, now do you? Aren’t we suppose to employ our powers of skepticism here?

Sure sure.

It was explained to me by an attorney long ago, Randi’s million dollar challenge is essentially a greased pole contest.  Anyone who studies it can see that. Skepticism is much easier on the mind than belief.

Belief actually takes work, a committment, an investment. Lying is much easier, more fun and more profitable, too. I think in fact that there is a correlation between lying and how much money you have.

But nevetheless I think this Brucato test is worth looking at for what it says about the physical environement, as well as the social, political and the dangers of homeoapthic research.

Homeopathically Brucato is a rare test. I say Brucato is rare because unlike most physical studies that simply show structural differences of solute diluted water, Brucato shows the electrical potential of it as well, half of normal, what it should be.

With a little tinkering, it may be worth more than a million dollars. Within it there may be a solution to the world’s energy crisis, for eample.

I leaked it to my homeopath and scientist friends first, a select list, because I wanted to have a little response, but to date, nothing.

“Note that the puncture voltage suddenly and significantly drops at the 7x dilution,” I wrote, “a total anomaly to most if not all chemists and electrochemical theory, yes? The drop continues to Avogadro’s limit where it begins to show rhythmic ups and downs, acting like it still has in it a part mercuric chloride per thousand parts H2O!”
“On the average I estimate the drop in puncture voltage between 6x and 30x is 39 volts per dilution. This means it’s increasing electrical current flow in H2O. Theoretically, at that rate, there would be no electrical resistance at all by the 158th dilution! Unfortuntely they stopped testing at the 33rd dilution. I suspect the trend also oscillates.
“A relatively simple test that demands repeating and extending the test into higher dilutions, and suggests trying other solutes and other tests, such a electromagneitc caliometry.”

There’ so much more to say.

Dielectric Strength Testing of Homeopathic Dilutions of HgCl2 Mercuric Chloride

Albert Brucato M.Sc. and James Stephenson, MD


Volume 59, Nos. 9- 10 September-October 1966

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10 comments on “The Dangers of Homeopathic Research

  1. click here says:

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  2. skepto-troll says:

    I find myself very much opposed to cult skeprics.
    When I observe homeopathy working, I am not looking for conventionally acceptable excuses for what I see. When I read of homeopathy failing in “scientific” tests, I am drawn to conclude that there is something wrong with the test, not the phenomenon.

    However, I find myself agreeing with “Mr. Scient” 4tis, that these experimental results would be more happily convincing if there was at least visible calibration against, say, real distilled water.

    Not more convincing to the average skeppo, of course, because it’s part of their belief system that observations of nature are inferior to theory and the Authority of midgets.

    A blinded trial, as 4tis has suggested, ought to show the same results for good phenomenon.
    There is nothing to fear in that; it is more than stupid to leave it to replicators to find any methodological problems.
    I would much rather have proper (real-world)calibration, and blinded comparisons – so long as there were no conjurers present to fix the results by sleight of hand, contamination, fraudulent reporting, refusal to accept results as evidence, whatever.

    For my part, I would also have wanted to see what happens with a sequence of potencies, similarly prepared, of the starting water.
    It is conceivable that such a series would dilute the results (no pun intended), since a potency of water is a repertorised homeopathic remedy – aqua pura, alchemical water – in clinical practise used amongst other things for kidney failure & for far-gone cases.
    ( My own imaginary straw skeptic is disappearing up his own existence at this point, so I don’t think we need any foolish comments from that sector, thanks 🙂
    There are other remedies which would be even more interesting to me, such as hepar sulph, which is known to change ‘direction’ with potency, or the more hormonal preparations, which seem not to.

    Significant “anomolous” repeated results obtained in more properly controlled circumstances would be cast-iron convincing, even to the most ardent skeptic, be they retired medic or second-rate journalist.

    I’m sorry, but it drives me completely uP the wALL when people run & publish experiments without necessary controls – this should more correctly be termed an exposition, a thing that rightly belongs in the 17th century – or, as I sometimes see, with confused ideas about what constitutes consequence or significance.

    And it drives me ROunD the BenD when some very good homeopaths, here & abroad, run clinics, tell us proudly what they are treating, what remedies they are using, but think it is of negligible importance to record & publish outcomes, successes, failures.
    IMNSHO, these people are as bad as skeptics, and just hand out anti-homeopathic ammunition – they had better have a very, very good excuse for that.

    So, yes this is very interesting. It needs to be redesigned and run properly. I hope it is still interesting when that is done.


    • johnbenneth says:

      WHy is it everyone’ an expert until they do it? Can you name one test with a postive outome that “skeptics” think was done properly? There always seems to be something wrong with any test that show any action. If they an’t fin something to ritiie, they make it up, as is done here regarding the aumption that there is no non-sucussed dilute control.
      Brucato tested plain water, noted as 0 dilution in all eight series of tests and showed the puncture voltage peak to be 6.05, the low to be 5.60 kV and the ag to be 5.83 kV.
      But what’s the use of explaining this? They wouldn’t believe it if they saw it for themselves eigne by them an done by them. Having been on the other side of the crucible they’d know exactly what’s coming.


      • skepto-troll says:

        Hi, John
        First could I say I’m glad you’re an expert in experimental design, because that is exactly what is needed to convince the scientific faction. I’m sure you can see immediate refinements which would dismiss objections from many sceptics (“c”).

        As for skeptics (“k”), that’s an indoctrinated cult following, and a harder nut to crack. Because of their creed, they stop at the first experimental result which confirms their own prejudices, even if they have five results that challenge them.
        It’s as if they they believe they can prove it’s quite impossible to score at basketball, because they stop testing at the first shot that misses (“told you so!”).

        However, these jerks are a fact of politico-economic life, and it is essential to tackle them in such a way that the have no ground to stand on. Then at least the proper scientists may see skeptics(“k”) for what they are.

        I did see the attempt at calibration (described on page 2), but what threw me was the graph on your final page (journal, 285) showing “_projected_ ” curve for water (presumably distilled). I’m sure you understand.
        It also looks to me as if the apparatus may be subject to variation, which would need to be addressed for a firmer result.

        As I understand it, the Brocato & Stephenson is essentially a repeat of Gay, A. and Boiron, J., alluded to on your page3 (journal,283) & their “Demonstration physique de l’existence réelle du remède homeopathique”, Edition des Laboratoire P.H.P., Lyon 1953.
        I have to say I’m surprised that that this hasn’t been repeated & refined more often since 1966 – which is approximately when I measured Avogagro’s hypothetical constant for myself, some thing else that I doubt many skeptics have ever done or even fully understand. And that doesn’t put me off observing & using homeopathy.

        The dielectric test doesn’t look like Big Science, it could almost be done as a school science project.

        None of the skeptic rantings convince me that we already have a full scientific (or other) appreciation of the nature of all phenomena.

        However, I do, still, insist that homeopaths can & must do better to convince scientific academia.
        I am sure that must be possible, because the phenomenon is real, as real as pharmacological competition. It is very likely that this will be a condition of future funding, & indeed for continued legality of this excellent form of medicine.

        And that means refining experimental designs until the proof is incontrovertible.


        • johnbenneth says:

          Thank you very much for your thoughts and I agree with you 150% except for one thing, and that is I do not consider myself an expert in experimental design and odn’t know anyone who is . .
          Testing dilectric trength in 1952, Gay and Boiron reportedly were able to identify 600 samples of saline dilute and inert controls blind using a modified Galvanometer.
          Brucato appeared in the same journal issue that included Smith’s Moern Instrumentation for the Evaluation of Homeopathic Drug Structure, a report of the first NMR analysis of a high dilute
          And an obituary of Barnard, the author of the Microdose Paradox, in which he makes the first known reference to structural differences in hydrogen bonds in a high dilute, (noted in Smith).
          I read once that research is the enemy of homeoapthy, and I have never competely understood why this should be, but it seem to be true. It woud appear to be a curse on anyone who attempts it, mentions it, or studies it unless it supports hydrophoobia, the putative conclusion that homeopathy is nothing more than plain water.
          This simply increases my interest in it.


  3. Peter says:

    From “Brucato and Stephensons” Experiment we can learn a lot about our own body, how a little substance entering our bloodstream could change the electrical conductivity of our whole body.

    In the “Traditional Chinese Medicine” the acupuncture is used in order to regulate the flow of the so called chi (qi or life-force). Indeed science proved that acupuncture change the electrical conductivity along certain “paths” called the meridians. And it is also known that some doctors who use acupuncture search for the right acupuncture-points with the help of a ohmmeter.

    So and now here comes the correlation between acupuncture, homeopathy and the resistance of water: It is proven that thoughts or relaxation techniques are able to “open” this acupuncture points … just thoughts, just the mind, … and the entire conductivity of the body is changed.

    Regarding the succussion: Out heart is a succussion machine!!!

    (Pseudoskeptics just shut up, you expose your dogmatic point of view to the entire web and this is a shame!)


  4. 4tis says:

    All very nice, but…

    I don’t see any evidence in the paper that Brucato used a control sample, I.e. incontaminated water that otherwise had gone through same process as the homeopathic sample. The reason why this is important is that the graphs look as if it may be that the measurement system has “saturated” and that the “oscillation” is just noise.

    Oh well…


    • johnbenneth says:

      LOL! Maybe the reason “skeptics” are always grasping at straws is they’re hoping to get enough to make a man.
      I will concede this though, and although I despise the motive, I compliment what anlysis there is, even if it isn’t all that good.
      With that said, the succussed non-dilute (what apparently you’re referring to) should indeed be a control in dielectric stress testing of dilutes, as well as other dilutes.
      The succussion phase has indeed been suspect as all there is to lowering the puncture voltage, and this should be investigated further, athough there are physical tests that show include it. However, if succussion alone could alter the dielectric index, then we would expect it to be relatively non-exceptional, either flat or random. But that’s not what we’re seeing in this test. Correct my mth if its wrong, but there’s a downward trend of 39.5 volts per dilution/succussion phase, as well as the expected sine wave oscillation, and I say “expected” because ALL OTHER tests for dilutes show a sine, this same up and down oscillation, which just so happens to show an alteration at Avogadro, 24x, and at 30x, which is a common frequency.
      There’s also a concordant frequency shift between the peaks and the lows, beginning at Avogadro forming the “W”. That sugget a fundamental environament shift that doesn’t effect ilutes in that range . . perhaps the background radiation.
      What disappoints me is the lack of curiosity I’m getting over this from the homeopathic and “scientific” communities, although I learned not to expect much from the latter (which hardly rates as a community either), for like most homeopathic research this has huge potential for appliations within and without it.
      The dielectric test for hi dilutes needs to be rerun extensively on not only sucussed non-dilutes, but on higher dilutions and other solutes, including those that have had a cooling off period.
      And could I ask you please, stop spending all your time on this trying to discredit it? Why can’t investigate this thing without prejudice?
      I mean, I really appreciate your interest, its more than most can show, but why does it always have to come at the end of a stick? Why can’t you show a little curiosity instead of this constant, non stop, monotone, anonymous vituperation?


      • 4tis says:

        You agree that a control sample would have been a good idea? We don’t know if there were systematic problems with the measuring equipment but if there were, then the use of a control sample would have elucidated them. For example the slight downward trend, if real, could be down to time dependent behaviour in the equipment (“warming up”?)

        A control sample (ideally blinded) would have demonstrated one way or the other if this was the case.


        • johnbenneth says:

          Yeah, but what’s the point? The fundamental control is pure water, which for this study is 6kV. You’ve dismissed that for something you’re not even elucidating . . and then suddenly questioning whether or not the equipment was warmed up. Brucato ran 8 series of 33 sparks. That’s 264 tests. I’d think that the HP stress tester would have had time to warm up, and they’ve stated, and I’ve reiterated, the error ratio for the equipment was 1%. You’re simply raising doubts that are no less than global for any and all tests of any kind. You could simply raise the doubt about the veracity of the reporters and say how do we know they didn’t just make the whole thing up? Pharmaceutical testing is renowned for producing sham clinical stucies, yet I don’t hear any doubts, theoretical problems, criticism, questions or anything at all from you about testing for drugs that later were found to be deadly. And Brucato isn’t a clinical test. Brucato is an easily replicable physical test, Mr. Science.
          WHy aren’t you saying “hey, I want to see this for myself?” Who’s got a dielectric stress tester? If this was truly about investigating anomalous reports, you’d be asking questions and proposing further testing instead of hiding behind your pseudonym and keyboard with what adds up to nothing more than an attempt to discredit anything that challenges your negative hypotheses. So put up or shut up, Mr. Science. Or did you already send this year’s science budget to Randi for the Deyvi Pena Defense Fund?
          WHy instead aren’t you coming forward and suggesting how we can replicate this test? If you really think you know “science,” why not put it to work?
          I’d be interested in knowing if relaxation time affects puncture voltage (pV). I’d like to know what the usual fixative of alcohol does to the pV. I’d like to know what happens after the solution has been transferred to the usual storage medium of lactose sugar, and then reintroduced to the water. I’d like to know what the pV is for higher potencies. I’d like to know what happens to the pV after the solution has been exposed to heat, light, UV and magnetic fields, RF, and if proximity of a potency to inert H2O can transfer a change in pV.


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