Complementary and alternative medicine Friday Woo Medicine Quackery Science Skepticism/critical thinking

Your Friday Dose of Woo: A bio-photon here, a bio-photon there…whatever a bio-photon is

Let’s try this again.

Two days ago, I tried to get away from blogging about antivaccinationists. I even succeeded for one day. Unfortunately, that was all, because J.B. Handley and his crew of antivaccine loons cooked up a really big, really deceptive, and really desperate gambit that just couldn’t go unremarked upon. Thus was I sucked back in again. Even worse, this all came hot on the heels of a very sad time in the lives of my wife and myself. I needed something to lift my spirits.

And nothing lifts one’s spirits quite like fine, grade-A woo.

Or perhaps I need my bio-photons analyzed with the Advanced Bio-photon Analyzer! Check it out:

The Advanced Bio-Photon Analyzer is designed to tune up your biofield through a resonant effect that harmonizes your energy and helps you to navigate smoothly through a stressful world. Think of the ABPA’s effect like tuning forks that remind your biofield of its optimal functioning state. Worldly stress causes the biofield to become more chaotic and incoherent. The ABPA reverses this process, promoting efficiency, harmony, and balance.

First off, I didn’t even know that I had anything like a “biofield.” Oh, sure, I know my body emits detectable energy. After all, under most circumstances, my body is warmer than its surroundings; so it’s always letting off heat. If it weren’t, infrared night vision cameras wouldn’t work. But “biofields”? Not so much. In any case, mundane heat energy or the weak electrical impulses that our body produces, the kinds detectable by EKG or EEG leads placed on the skin, is not what woo-meisters mean when they refer to “biofields.” The sorts of things they claim that the Advanced-Biophoton analyzer can do is what they mean. In other words, they mean the purest of pure woo:

  • The primary function of the Bio-Photon Analyzer is to provide countermeasures to stress on the body’s biofield
  • Broadcast intent, energy, healing frequencies and remedies to any Polaroid 600 photograph placed in the Photograph Well or in the Solution Well

A Polaroid 600? A Polaroid 600? A friggin’ Polaroid 600???? You know, I could never figure out why woo-meisters like this can fling around all sorts of science-y-sounding terms and go into all sorts discussions about quantum physics (OK, I know it’s bogus quantum physics, but it sure sounds impressive), but then they choose such painfully low-tech, obsolete, 1960s technology to incorporate into their woo machines.

But what else can this wondrous machine do? Lots:

  • Support the detoxifying of your body at a safe and gentle rate
  • Neutralize stressful energetic residue that may be contaminating foods
  • Antidote and neutralize the energetic effects of chemicals and toxins in household products that may be weakening your body (such as household cleaning products and personal hygiene items)
  • Neutralize harmful energies in your living area and land, including sick buildings, water and soil

Truly, is there nothing the Advanced Bio-Photon Analyzer can’t do? Apparently not. Personally, I want to know how to use it to neutralize those stressful energetic fields contaminating my foods. Maybe that’s the reason I’ve–unfortunately–put on about 10-15 pounds over the last year. After all, it couldn’t possibly be eating too much, liking beer too much, and not exercising, could it? Of course not! While I’m at it, I’ll neutralize the energetic effects of all those toxins and harmful energies. Then I’ll go on to cure cancer, end world hunger, and bring peace to the entire world.

But here’s my favorite thing it can do:

  • Reduce the effects of electromagnetic fields that may weaken your immune system
  • Customize the energetic match of a homeopathic remedy
  • Create your own isopathic restorative structure in just 40 seconds

Well, all right! Nothing like matching the energies of homeopathic remedies to persuade me that this is nothing but the finest woo.You can even use it for feng shui, although I honestly don’t know what an isopathic restorative structure is. So I Googled it. The only hits that came back were all related to this lovely device, which tells me that whoever invented it must have been a visionary. No one else has figured out isopathic restorative structures. Even better, my Google search led me to these videos on how to use this amazing device. Oh, yes, the woo it is good. Just check out this example, where Dr. Alan Back, the inventor of the Advanced Bio-photon Analyzer, explains all:

OK, I admit that this guy has all the charisma of a wet sponge with mold growing on it. I really can’t imagine what it would be like to watch all two or three hours of his videos, and I did not watch them all online. I’d probably end up all twitchy and cranky from having to listen to such woo delivered in a monotone. Maybe it’s just ol’ Alan’s way of delivering a homeopathic dose of excitement. Fortunately, though, he does do good woo. But, dammit, it’s still just so friggin’ low tech, as this video shows:

Yes, you have it right. It’s a nine-volt battery, and he’s telling you how to snap it into the device. I can only wonder where the Polaroid is. But where, you ask, did he learn all these potent healing methods?

You heard it right again. He was in the Army and claims to have worked on electronics projects for Special Forces. I always knew Special Forces soldiers are among the most bad-ass in the world, but I never knew they were so bad-ass that they can use “subtle energies” that way. Be that as it may, that’s where Back further claims to have learned all about subtle energies. (You know, energies so subtle that real scientific instruments can’t detect them; only woo instruments can.) Outstanding! That is, if you can handle his monotone. Even better, look at how simple the controls are!



What could be simpler? You can even buy the optional (but highly recommended) imprinting plate:


The Star of David is a nice touch. I wonder if you can progam this thing into sending some of that mad Kabbalah energy my way. But what does this imprinter plate do? Lots of things:

The Vortex Imprinter Plate is based on the exacting principals of Ancient Geometry and Sacred Geometry and the works of Nikola Tesla (The Lost Inventions of Nikola Tesla), Tons Brunes and the early Del-T antenna designs. Some new theories suggest that the triangulated geometrical shape of the Vortex generates a Merkaba (MER – Counter Rotating Fields of Light, KA – Spirit, BA – Body) field that researchers believe is at the core of every DNA code. The resulting generated field appears to interact with the human energy field, helping to transmute detrimental energy into beneficial energy. The underlying principals behind these energy theories are thoroughly covered in “A Course In Cosmic Consciousness” by Walter Russell.

No! Not Nikola Tesla again! Haven’t woo-meisters abused Nikola Tesla enough? What’s Alan Back got against poor Nikola?

At about this point, I thought I was done. I had poked around the site, found some hilariously pseudoscientific nonsense. I had written my bit; I had poked my fun. Then I found it: The owner’s manual for the Advanced Bio-Photon Analyzer. Here’s just a taste:

Inherited I.D.F. (Intrinsic Data Field): IDF’ are genetic pre-dissipation of the family gene pool. Many believe that the IDF can cause most diseases that are attacking our families in the world. There are 4 major classifications of IDF’s and they are as follows Gonorrhea IDF miasm, Syphilis IDF miasm, Psora IDF miasm and (TB) Tuberculosis IDF miasm. Many say that these are the 4 root IDF’s that will cause most of the illness and after mutating with today’s chemicals, many top doctors in the natural and chemical practices say that even heavy metals may attach to a genetic IDF chain, so now you may have a mutated IDF these mutations can cause illness and diseases which are on the rise in every part of the world and most doctors are struggling with ways to help the patients. In the natural energetic area, we are told that if you give a very high remedy frequency of an IDF antidote to a member in the family you will cancel that one frequency out of that person and also out of the remaining family members in your immediate gene pool. So, on one hand, this is a good thing to know; and on the other, you could be “opening a very large can of worms” if you’re not careful of what you are doing.

I hate to tell Alan, but neither gonorrhea, tuberculosis, nor syphilis are inherited. However, it does appear that the concept of psora comes straight from Samuel Hahnemann; so it’s all good woo.

Now I bet you’re wondering how much the ABPA II will set you back? After all, your energies are contaminated; you’re not feeling so well; you could use some energetic readjustment. Fortunately, Alan’s willing to sell the complete package, including the Vortex Imprinter Plate for the low, low, low price of $1,795! Such a bargain!

So what are you waiting for?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

49 replies on “Your Friday Dose of Woo: A bio-photon here, a bio-photon there…whatever a bio-photon is”

Many believe that the IDF can cause most diseases that are attacking our families in the world.

*snerk* Yes, there certainly are a lot of conspiracy theories about Israelis, aren’t there? (Am I the only person who noticed that?)

I thought syphillis was heritable, if you happened to have the misfortune to be born to a mother who was infected. I suspect that’s not really what he means by “inherited,” though. And speaking of novel word usages, I have to say I’ve never seen “antidote” used as a verb before.

All this poking fun at somebody who is trying to help people and make a few bucks on the side is unworthy of you, Orac.

I answer you with the same comeback a poster smacked me down with on another woo-infested forum – this treatment may well have _psychological validity_.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Smarty-Pants.

Now that’s good woo!! Thanks for that one, Orac. It has me smiling heartily. I’d love to know how many people actually buy this. Do you think I could get their addresses? I wouldn’t mind topping up my financial funds with their help.

Intrisic Data Field? Is that anything like the Intrisic Field from Watchmen? Maybe if I soup this bad boy up with a couple of car batteries and a Tesla coil or three I can turn myself into Dr. Manhattan …

I would love to open one of those things up and see what’s really inside (note how he makes a big deal about how it’s sealed for safety and you can’t open it up). I particularly wonder whether there’s anything at all inside other than the circuitry for the lights…

Why even bother opening it up? Even in the little thumbnail size image, you can clearly see the cable from the device to the vortex imprinting plate isn’t actually connected to all that copper tracing – the two terminals aren’t even connected to each other, so there’s no circuit. Clearly this device operates entirely on subtle energies, and our primitive understanding of electricity wouldn’t be sufficient to figure it out. We probably couldn’t even detect the power flowing through that cable!

No doubt the nine-volt battery is just to run the little LEDs, and upon opening it up that would probably be the only wiring backwards close-minded types like us could recognize.

I thought syphillis was heritable, if you happened to have the misfortune to be born to a mother who was infected. I suspect that’s not really what he means by “inherited,” though.

No, that’s transmitted: the disease doesn’t come from the genetic code, but is spread through contact with infected tissues including blood.

Totally inside information*:around 1965,a young woman who will eventually inherit a large fortune (based on a woo-publishing empire)marries a physicist who had previously worked on … what do you think!…. for the US government.They start a new company, with her father’s blessing and “contribution”.Now that I’ve “led you down the garden path”, so to speak, and *just* possibly have you thinking,”Hmmm, Tesla-powered chelation?” Relax.They make home lighting.*(my cousin works for them)

Bill H totally steals my joke:

Intrisic Data Field? Is that anything like the Intrinsic Field from Watchmen? Maybe if I soup this bad boy up with a couple of car batteries and a Tesla coil or three I can turn myself into Dr. Manhattan …

Just be sure you plan beforehand how to reassemble your body.

(A couple friends of mine built a Tesla coil a few years back; the capacitors were Leyden jars made from beer bottles. I like that idea.)

Maybe it’s just ol’ Alan’s way of delivering a homeopathic dose of excitement.

Oh, that line right there is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. If I’d been drinking soda it would’ve gone on the keyboard via the sinuses.

You know, I could never figure out why woo-meisters like this can fling around all sorts of science-y-sounding terms and go into all sorts discussions about quantum physics (OK, I know it’s bogus quantum physics, but it sure sounds impressive), but then they choose such painfully low-tech, obsolete, 1960s technology to incorporate into their woo machines.

They need to use an instant camera for it to work, because the film is entangled with you via the captured photons, allowing the Advanced Bio-photon Analyzer (ABPA) to analyse the superposition of waveforms representing you, and carefully collapsing it to one in which you’re healthy.

There are a few downsides to this – as a side effect, the camera you used to take the picture is now intrinsically associated with you, so you have to take really good care of it, lest it give you cancer.

You have to use Polaroid 600 film because the others don’t have the right ISO level or size to entangle properly, leading to either an incomplete superposition, or a inverted superposition, so the ABPA will actually make you less healthy! That said, 779 film will work just as well, of not better, being of higher quality.

Ah! Now I know it’s nonsense. You NEVER terminate a length of coax cable with a jack plug! Doesn’t this guy know anything about matching? guess not.

I love the retro sci-fi look of the machine, with all the blinking leds and old-fashioned switches. Is there no video of the polaroid coming out?

My favorite is the Matrix-3 Advanced Bio-Photon Analyzer, which comes with an advanced magnetic pad that looks suspiciously like the thing I sleep on when camping. It’s $3500 and runs off a 9-volt battery. Don’t like it? No problem! They charge a $350 restocking fee.

As always: “All instruments are factory fresh”.

Oh man that’s great. That “imprinting plate” kind of reminds me of a piece of woo my dad once bought, it was called a “Q-link”, it was this stupid pendant that was essentially coiled copper. It was supposed to absorb electro-magnetic waves that cause ‘disturbances’ – my dad swore it helped his golf game. Apperently it was suppsoed to help with concentration. Needless to say he doesn’t have one anymore…

No doubt the nine-volt battery is just to run the little LEDs, and upon opening it up that would probably be the only wiring backwards close-minded types like us could recognize.

You just don’t appreciate the full genius of the device. In an extension of homeopathic principles and quantum theory the box is actually quantum entangled with the real ABPA device, which is stored in a secure, remote location. No actual hardware is necessary: it could just as easily be any object. (Though obviously it must be conductive.)

Just watch the last 20 seconds of that last video.
I’d left it on in the background and was jolted to find the monotonous tones of woocrap were interrupted… I went back and checked, and he even breaks into a quarter of a smile!

Look at all the sciency switches! Inherited I.D.F! Clone! Engage Dampening Field! Vortex! Launch Antidote! Check the solution well output! Switch On! Switch Off! Thunderbirds are GO! BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Call now and you get a FREE VORTEX IMPRINTING CABLE so you can . . . imprint . . . uh, more . . . vortexes . . . oh, nevermind. I make fun of crap for a living and there’s no point in even trying to parody this crap, it’s virtually self-parodying.

I want to tune up my AUTO with it, can you see the special mode for it listed on the panel? Plant, AUTO, Animal!

Orac, you wasted a great chance to save a lot of autistic kids a lot of suffering – you should have made this the “Orac approved” CAM treatment. Very few things driven by a 9 volt battery can do much harm, and the price is less than a month of chelation and lupron.

This is so over the top that I thought at first that it was a spoof.

After reading the “manual” and even going as far down the ordering process as I could without entering personal information (I kept expecting a “gotcha” message, like “Fooled ya!” or “April Fools!”), I’m tentatively accepting this as an actual attempt to promote and sell unadulterated bullshit.

Of course, it could still be a really good spoof.

That’s the problem with woo – it’s so “over the top” that you can’t spoof or satire it. Good satire requires going “over the top” more than the thing being satired; in this case, there isn’t enough headroom.

I liked the Polaroid film part, expecially since nobody makes that kind of film anymore. Maybe you can get some on Ebay.

The other amusing part was the 9V battery. An alkaline 9V battery has a capacity of about 560 mAh. This works out to a hair over 5 Watt-hours of energy.

That works out to 18 kjoules or 4.3 kcal. In terms of food energy, that’s about the amount of energy our cells can get from a gram of sugar.

That’s the maximum amount of energy this device can put out – given the usual losses in circuitry, the actual amount will be much less.

So, how exactly is this piddling amount of energy supposed to “dampen” the electromagnetic field from power lines, radio transmitters and cell phones, let alone “cure” or “antidote” us?

Obviously, this fellow is either kidding or clueless.


I like “pre-dissipation of the family gene pool” — although I thought it was more pre-dissipation of the family available funds.

So… is there anyone who is so clueless to actually believe the claims??? I really want to meet that person and stare at him/her.

One other thing that makes this totally woo is what you can do with the verrrry long wavelength. It’s probably so low in energy that it can’t make any change if it interacts with anything. Oh, that’s right, it’s subtle. Uh, nevermind.

And for your folder:
There’s something better that detects your biofield and responds favorably to it to correct the effects of electromagnetic fields – the Q-link. Much classier website, with lots more gobbledygook, and it’s worn by Madonna, Sara Jessica Parker, Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Hopper & Mick Jagger!!! So you know it’s gotta work.
Except that mean old fuddy-duddy badscience already pooh-poohed it.
And check out the BBC report on it, it’s at the website, real science in action. The Q-link site also gives you the, uh, inventor of “Biofield” a Dr. Beverly Rubik from the NCCAM. She’s got 3 real winners on PubMed. Really needs a dose of respectful insolence.

Maybe it’s just ol’ Alan’s way of delivering a homeopathic dose of excitement.

No. His lips were moving. It it was homeopathetic, nothing at all would be happening.

Whilst wondering what to do about lunch (at the level of I’m getting hungry, what’s there to eat?… hum, I wonder what this was? It’s now fuzzy, green, and ouch! fights back, so let’s have something else…) it suddenly occurred to me what a bio-photon is: Isn’t that what a Hooloovoo is made of?

hears a giant crash in the kitchen… oops, sounds like the creatures from the white refrigerator have gotten out again…

I prefer the original woo this is based on: Radionics – the original radionics at least had that fun diagnosis with some paper with your signature on it and the vaguely creepy blood drop stuff.

Anyone else notice that a lot of the wierd woo terms are relevant to the Israeli military?

IDF-Israeli Defence Force
Merkava- The main battle tank of the IDF,
and of course,
The Star of David on the “imprint plate”?


They’d better be careful. Jon Osterman became Doctor Manhattan after someone accidentally removed his “intrinsic field.”

We could wind up with a bunch of woo-powered supermen (“Woopermen”?) wandering about.

Whoops–I see Bill H got there first, but I like the term “Woopermen” so much I’m gonna leave this up.

It doesn’t seem to have a Flux-Capacitor, which makes me suspicious that it mightn’t perform as well as claimed.But on the other hand it is really scientifical (but not rocket surgery).Good science impresses me and that’s where this guy has swayed my opinion………… he’s full of useful technicality.And I don’t need a doctorship from M.I.T. to know that the mystical parts of what he says ,all check out and support the quantum mechanics facts.I’ve always wanted a Polaroid camera too,for like 36 years,but never wanted to fork out for it.Now I’m getting one thrown in for free.Game set and match as they say in horseracing.Wooooooooooo

I just found out I have to buy my own camera which blows,coz I’m not going to be left with much change out of 2 grand.But hey,if I live to be 190 years old with no syphilis its a win win situation.Bon appetit here I come.

Until you are sick, really sick, you can gafah all you want at these people who are centering on the body and its on innate ability to cure almost anything if caught in time and given the right tools. Is cancer curable? YOU BET IT IS! Do the pharmacist and the politcal rallie conduits which bleed you for all you are worth trying to “find a cure” when it is available within you and mother nature. Don’t let the secrt out because then they will be out of a job and a billion dollar, yes, multi-billion dollar organization would be done with also. Check it out. Read about it. Study about it and don’t be one of those closed mind renegades that they are hoping you are so that you don’t find these answers, but turn to the medical and pharmacuetical practices to try and treat your disease. CURE is not in their vocabularty. Think about it. None of the major diseases are cured only postponed from the enevitable end which surely will come if you do not heal the body first from the inside out.

Congrats, penny, on posting the most inane babble I’ve read all day. You win!

And you’re full of crap, too. Please do explain what “heal the body first from the inside out” actually means beyond some vitalistic trope…

Hey, a certain few of us, and the number is growing, are doing something other than accept a fate of being poisoned by media, medicine, and our environment.

To those searching for the alternative, keep at it, and don’t let naysayers or sarcasm bring you down.


Wow, a whole page of skeptics with IQs probably lower than room temperature and nothing better to do than sit around on their hemorrhoids and crack wise about things they don’t understand. This is the greatest concatenation of Billy Bob six-pack postulation I’ve come across yet. What losers.

Valiant Thor @ 39

A little slow, aren’t you? This post is over a year old. What took you so long to find it?

Valient Thor, why did it take you a whole year to come up with that response?

Do you guys even notice when the post was made? Why do you care about something written over a year ago?

The really sad thing here is that this sort of garbage takes advantage of the fact that there are things that science can’t explain, so the more gullible, or more desperate, can be convinced that maybe this is one of those things, and persuaded to part with their money.

Meanwhile, potentially useful unexplained effects and treatments get lost in the woo noise.

Yes, Billy Bee, there are some of us searching for alternatives, and there are also a lot of charlatans making a lot of money by pretending to have those alternatives. There are also honest people out there with part of the puzzle who have convinced themselves they have all the pieces. If we accept all the guff out there as gospel, we’ll be led up the garden path and won’t have any money or hope left for the real thing.

Keep up the good work Orac. I found this page while checking whether biophotons are real or woo, and whilst I still have insufficient evidence there, your woo-meter seems spot-on on the ABPA. Products like this deserve to be ridiculed (hey if I’m wrong, at $1,795 a pop he’ll soon have the money to finance the research to prove it).

it just so happens, that I and my son are trying it, and had 4 sessions today, after our inital two last month. we have 3 or 4 more to allergins to clear tomorrow. it is part of an allergy elimination therapy. our pharmacist’s wife and kids did it and have been healthier than ever, and hardly any allergies than before. they swore by it, and were completely blown away on how well it actually worked. i guess you need an open mind. it cost the same as seeing the chiropractor. and if it works, it is worth the 2 hour drive to get there. So, i guess we will have to wait and see if we have any results.

Wow! It’s really amusing to see how dumbed-down the skeptics really are. One of the first posters said he didn’t know he had a bio-field. Maybe he doesn’t, but everybody else does. He is obviously unaware of the decades of research done by Dr. Valerie V. Hunt in her lab at UCLA which documents with clear video recordings the huge bio-fields present around people and animals. These bio-fields extend out as much as 30 to 40 feet. The skeptics here are also unaware of Bell’s Theorem (an accepted theorem in physics) which is the basis of this instrument and technology. The title of this page should really read “Respectful Ignorance”.

Mr. Kilog, Dr. Hunt retired from UCLA over thirty years ago. Any reason why it took you two years to think of your evidence free comment?

Now the skeptics have moved off topic and introduced time into the equation. OK, so they want an explanation. It took be over a year to find this page because I was never really looking for it. Had I been searching for skeptic information I would have been Googling skeptic and relevant synonyms and terms such as jerk, jackass, moron, borderline intelligence, language obfuscation disorder, etc. Instead, I happened upon this page by accident, probably the result of an errant algorhythm on the part of Google, when I was searching for updated information regarding colloidal encapsulation technology. I apologize, but that is my only excuse for not getting here sooner.

Are you Mr. Kilog’s sockpuppet? The only uses of the words “jerk, jackass, moron, etc” are from you. Why do you think general insults are a viable replacement for evidence?

You might be interested to know that at least some of the skeptics around here know enough about Bell’s Theorem to recognize that it has exactly zero relevance to the question. Which you apparently do not.

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