It was being kept alive courtesy of a small team of French scientists, who administered the right combination of oxygen and carbon dioxide, part of the type of state-of-the-art surgical technique used for heart transplants. In this instance, there was no donor or recipient; the heart had long been divested of its owner, a prime male Hartley guinea pig, and the scientists were only interested in the organ itself and how it was about to react.
They’d applied acetylcholine and
histamine, two known vasodilators, then atropine and mepyramine,
both agonists to the others, and finally measured coronary flow,
plus such mechanical changes as beat rate.
The only unusual aspect of the
experiment was that the agents of change weren’t actually
pharmacological chemicals but low-frequency waves of the
electromagnetic signals of the cells recorded using a
purpose-designed transducer and a computer equipped with a sound
card. It was these signals, which take the form of electromagnetic
radiation of less than 20 kilohertz, which were applied to the
guinea pig heart, and were responsible for speeding it up, just as
the chemicals themselves would.1
They were beginning to demonstrate in
the laboratory what Popp had just proposed - that each molecule in
the universe had a unique frequency and the language it used to
speak to the world was a resonating wave.
Popp believed that biophoton emissions orchestrated all bodily processes, and the French scientist was finding out the exquisite way in which it worked. The biophoton vibrations Popp had observed in the body caused molecules to vibrate and create their own signature frequency, which acted as its unique driving force and also its means of communication.
The French scientist had paused to
listen to these tiny oscillations and heard the symphony of the
universe. Every molecule of our bodies was playing a note that was
being heard round the world.
He’d been appointed research director at
the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research
(INSERM) and distinguished himself by discovering PAF, or platelet
activating factor, which is involved in the mechanism of allergies
such as asthma.
His papers were among those most often cited by scientists at INSERM, a measure of distinction and standing. He’d even received the Silver Medal from CNRS, one of the most prestigious French scientific honors. Benveniste possessed craggy good looks, a regal bearing, and a rakish sense of humor, and he’d been married for 30 years.
Nevertheless, neither his marital status
nor his present contentment in the slightest curbed a tendency to
innocently flirt, an attribute that, as a Frenchman, he considered
more or less mandatory.
One day, Elisabeth Davenas, one
of his best laboratory technicians, came to him and reported that
she’d seen and recorded a reaction in the white blood cells, even
though there had been too few molecules of the allergen in the
The results you are claiming are impossible, he declared, because there are no molecules here.
It was only when she tried to repeat the experiment with the same dilution and came up with the same results that he realized that Elisabeth, a meticulous worker, might have stumbled onto something worth investigating.
For several weeks, Elisabeth kept returning to his office with the same inexplicable data, showing powerful biological effects from a solution so weakened that it couldn’t have enough of the antigen to have caused them, and Jacques attempted to come up with ever more far-fetched explanations to fit these results to some recognizable biological theory.
Perhaps it was the presence of a second antibody reacting later, or maybe the reaction to an undisclosed second antigen, he thought.
After observing these results, one of the tutors in his laboratory, a doctor who was also a homeopath, happened to remark that these experiments were quite similar to the principle of homeopathy. In that system of medicine, solutions of active substance are diluted to the point where there is virtually none of the original substance left, only its ‘memory’.
At the time, Jacques didn’t even know what homeopathy was - that’s how classical a doctor he was - but the research scientist in him had had his appetite sufficiently whetted.
He asked Elisabeth to dilute the
solutions even more, so that absolutely none of the original active
substance remained. In these new studies, no matter how dilute the
solution, which was, by now, just plain water, Elisabeth kept
getting consistent results, as if the active ingredient were still
If this kind of a cell is affected by something, you’re not likely to miss it. Another advantage of the IgE is that he could test their staining properties through a test he’d developed and patented at INSERM. Because basophils, like most cells, have a jelly-like appearance, when you’re studying them at a lab, you need to stain them in order to see them.
But staining, even with a standard dye
such as toluidine blue, is subject to change, depending upon many
factors - the health of the host, say, and the influence of other
cells upon the original. When these IgE cells are exposed to anti-IgE
antibodies, it changes their ability to absorb the dye. Anti-IgE has
been referred to as a kind of ‘biological paint-stripper’ 2
because its ability to inhibit the dye is so effective that it can
virtually render the basophils invisible again.
Each dilution was then vigorously shaken
(or succussed, as it is technically known), as it is in homeopathic
preparations. In total, the team used dilutions like these, of one
part solution to nine parts solvent, then kept diluting until there
was one part of solution to ninety-nine parts solvent and even one
part solution to nine hundred and ninety-nine parts solvent.
To Jacques’ surprise, as much as
anyone’s, they discovered that they were recording effects in
inhibiting dye absorption by up to 66 per cent, even with dilutions
watered down to one part in 1060. In later experiments, when the
dilutions were serially diluted a hundred-fold, eventually to one
part in 10120, where there was virtually no possibility that a
single molecule of the IgE was left, the basophils were still
The effect of the highly dilute IgE
began increasing at this point and continued to increase, the more
it was diluted.3 As homeopathy had always claimed, the
weaker the solution, the more powerful its effect.
The thirteen scientists then jointly published the results of their four-year collaboration in a 1988 edition of the highly prestigious Nature magazine, showing that if solutions of antibodies were diluted repeatedly until they no longer contained a single molecule of the antibody, they still produced a response from immune cells.4
The authors concluded that none of the molecules they’d started with were present in certain dilutions and that:
To the popular press, which pounced on the published paper, Benveniste had discovered ‘the memory of water’, and his studies were widely regarded as making a valid case for homeopathy. Benveniste himself realized that his results had repercussions far beyond any theory of alternative medicine.
If water were able to imprint and store
information from molecules, this would have an impact on our
understanding of molecules and how they ‘talk’ to one another in our
bodies, as molecules in human cells, of course, are surrounded by
water. In any living cell, there are ten thousand molecules of water
for each molecule of protein.
The editor, John Maddox, had consented to publish the article, but he did so after taking an unprecedented step - placing an editorial addendum at the bottom of the article:
In his own editorial, Maddox also
invited readers to pick holes in the Benveniste study.5
Were a magician, a journalist and a quackbuster the best possible team to assess the subtle changes in biological experimentation, wondered Benveniste. Under their watchful eye, Elisabeth Davenas performed four experiments, one blinded, all of which, Benveniste said, were successful.
Nevertheless, Maddox and his team
disputed the findings and decided to change the experimental
protocol and tighten the coding procedures, even, in a melodramatic
gesture, taping the code to the ceiling. Stewart insisted on
carrying out some of the experiments himself and changed some of
their design even though, Benveniste claimed, he was untrained in
these particular experiments.
At this point, Maddox and his team had
their results and promptly left, first asking for photocopies of
1500 of Benveniste’s papers.
The Maddox judgment also failed to note that the staining test is highly sensitive and can be tipped with the slightest change in experimental condition, so that some donor blood isn’t affected by even high concentrations of anti-IgE.
They expressed dismay that two of
Benveniste’s co-authors were being funded by a manufacturer of
homeopathic medicines. Industry funding is standard in scientific
research, countered Benveniste. Were they implying that the results
were altered to please the sponsor?
Nature’s results had a devastating effect upon Benveniste’s reputation and his position at INSERM.
A scientific council of INSERM censured his work, claiming in near unanimous statements that he should have performed other experiments,
INSERM refused to listen to Benveniste’s objections about the quality of the Nature investigation and prevented him from continuing.
Rumors circulated about mental imbalance
and fraud. Letters poured in to Nature and other publications,
calling his work ‘dubious science’, a ‘cruel hoax’ and
By that time, he also felt he had no choice - the genie was already out of the bottle. He had uncovered evidence that demolished everything he had been taught to believe about cell communication, and there was now no turning back.
But also there was the undeniable thrill of it. Here was the most compelling research he could think of, the most explosive of results he could imagine. This was like, as he enjoyed putting it, peering under the skirt of nature.
Benveniste left INSERM, and sought
support from private sources such as DigiBio, which enabled him and
Didier Guillonnet, a gifted engineer from École Centrale Paris, who
joined him in 1997, to carry on their work. After the Nature fiasco,
they moved on to ‘digital biology’, a discovery they made not in a
single moment of inspiration, but after eight years of following a
logical trail of cautious experimentation.9
The usual theory, called the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR), is that two molecules that match each other structurally exchange specific (chemical) information, which occurs when they bump into each other. It’s rather like a key finding its own keyhole (which is why this theory is often also called the key–keyhole, or lock-and-key interaction model).
Biologists still adhere to the
mechanistic notions of Descartes that there can only be reaction
through contact, some sort of impulsive force. Although they accept
gravity, they reject any other notions of action at a distance.
The central problem with the current theory is that it is too dependent upon chance and also requires a good deal of time. It can’t begin to account for the speed of biological processes, like anger, joy, sadness or fear.
But if instead each molecule has its own signature frequency, its receptor or molecule with the matching spectrum of features would tune into this frequency, much as your radio tunes into a specific station, even over vast distances, or one tuning fork causes another tuning fork to oscillate at the same frequency. They get in resonance - the vibration of one body is reinforced by the vibration of another body at or near its frequency.
As these two molecules resonate on the same wavelength, they would then begin to resonate with the next molecules in the biochemical reaction, thus creating, in Benveniste’s words, a ‘cascade’ of electromagnetic impulses travelling at the speed of light. This, rather than accidental collision, would better explain how you initiate a virtually instantaneous chain reaction in biochemistry.
It also is a logical extension of the
work of Fritz Popp. If photons in the body excite molecules
along the entire spectrum of electromagnetic frequencies, it is
logical that they would have their own signature frequency.
All sounds on our planet - the sound of
water rippling in a stream, a crack of thunder, a shot fired, a bird
chirping - occur at low frequency, between 20 hertz and 20
kilohertz, the range in which the human ear can hear.
This would explain, in Benveniste’s
view, why tiny changes in a molecule - the switching of a peptide,
for example - would have a radical effect on what that molecule
Others before Benveniste, such as Robert O. Becker and Cyril Smith, had conducted extensive experimentation on electromagnetic frequencies in living things.
Benveniste’s contribution was to show
that molecules and atoms had their own unique frequencies by using
modern technology both to record this frequency and to use the
recording itself for cellular communication.
In every instance, the biological system has been fooled into thinking it has been interacting with the substance itself and acted accordingly, initiating the biological chain reaction, just as it would if in the actual presence of the genuine molecule.10
Other studies have also shown that Benveniste’s team could erase these signals and stop activity in the cells through an alternating magnetic field, work they performed in collaboration with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Medudon, France.
The inescapable conclusion:
The DigiBio team tested out digital biology on five types of studies:
Like whole blood, plasma, the yellowy liquid of the blood, which carries protein and waste products, will coagulate.
To control for that ability, you must
first remove the calcium in the plasma, by chelating - chemically
grabbing - it. If you then add water with calcium to the blood, it
will coagulate, or clot. Adding heparin, a classic anti-coagulant
drug, will prevent the blood from clotting, even in the presence of
Colleagues of his at Northwestern University in Chicago recorded signals from ovalbumin (Ova), acetylcholine (Ach), dextran and water. The signals from the molecules were recorded on a purpose-designed transducer and a computer equipped with a sound card.
The signal was then recorded on a floppy disk and sent by regular mail to the DigiBio Laboratory in Clamart. In later experiments, the signals were also sent by email as attached documents. The Clamart team then exposed ordinary water to the signals of this digital Ova or Ach or ordinary water and infused either the exposed water or the ordinary water to isolated guinea pig hearts.
All the digitised water produced highly
significant changes in coronary flow, compared with the controls -
which just contained ordinary, non-exposed water. The effects from
the digitized water were identical to effects produced on the heart
by the actual substances themselves.11
Scientists understand gases to a large extent through the laws of classical physics, but are still largely ignorant of the actual workings of liquids and solids - that is, any sort of condensed matter. Gases are easy because they consist of individual atoms or molecules which behave individually in large spaces. Where scientists have trouble is with atoms or molecules packed tightly together and how they behave as a group.
Any physicist is at a loss to tell you
why water doesn’t just evaporate into gas or why atoms in a chair or
a tree stay that way, particularly if they are only supposed to
communicate with their most immediate neighbor and be held together
by short-range forces.12
They are particularly interested in this phenomenon as it occurs in water. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, Preparata and Del Giudice demonstrated that water molecules create coherent domains, much as a laser does.
Light is normally composed of photons of many wavelengths, like colors in a rainbow, but photons in a laser have a high degree of coherence, a situation akin to a single coherent wave, like one intense color.13
These single wavelengths of water molecules appear to become ‘informed’ in the presence of other molecules - that is, they tend to polarize around any charged molecule - storing and carrying its frequency so that it may be read at a distance.
This would mean that water is like a tape recorder, imprinting and carrying information whether the original molecule is still there or not. The shaking of the containers, as is done in homeopathy, appears to act as a method of speeding up this process.14
So vital is water to the transmission of energy and information that Benveniste’s own studies actually demonstrate that molecular signals cannot be transmitted in the body unless you do so in the medium of water.15
In Japan, a physicist called Kunio Yasue
of the Research Institute for Information and Science, Notre Dame
Seishin University in Okayama, also found that water molecules have
some role to play in organizing discordant energy into coherent
photons - a process called ‘superradiance’.16
In 1992, FASEB (the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) held a symposium, organized by the International Society for Bioelectricity, examining the interactions of electromagnetic fields with biological systems.17
Numerous other scientists have replicated high-dilution experi-ments,18 and several others have endorsed and successfully repeated experiments using digitized information for molecular communication.19
Benveniste’s latest studies were
replicated eighteen times in an independent lab in Lyon, France, and
in three other independent centers.
Professor Madelene Ennis of Queen’s University in Belfast joined a large pan-European research team, with hopes of showing, once and for all, that homeopathy and water memory were utter nonsense.
A consortium of four independent laboratories in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland, led by Professor M. Roberfroid of the Catholic University of Louvain, in Brussels, carried out a variation of Benveniste’s original experiment with basophil degranulation. The experiment was impeccable. None of the researchers knew which was the homeopathic solution and which pure water.
All the solutions had even been prepared
by labs which had nothing further to do with the trial. Results were
also coded and decoded and tabulated by an independent researcher
also unconnected with the study.
Nevertheless, even the automated results showed the same. The high dilutions of the active ingredient worked, whether the active ingredient was actually present or water so dilute that none of the original substance remained.
Ennis was forced to concede:
This represented the last straw to Benveniste.
If Ennis’s results were negative, they
would have been published in Nature, thereby forever consigning his
work to the trash heap. Because their results agreed with his, they
were published in a relatively obscure journal, a few years after
the event, a guarantee that no one would really notice.
Of at least 105 trials of homeopathy, 81
showed positive results.
Despite the scientific design of the trial, an editorial in The Lancet, redolent of Nature’s response to Benveniste’s initial findings, agreed to publish the results but simply refused to accept them:
On reading The Lancet’s on-going debate on the Reilly studies, Benveniste couldn’t resist responding:
Benveniste was so tired of laboratories trying and sometimes failing to replicate his work that he had Guillonnet build him a robot.
Nothing much more than a box with an arm which moves in three directions, the robot could handle everything but the initial measuring. All one had to do was to hand it the bare ingredients plus a bit of plastic tubing, push the button and leave.
The robot would take the water containing calcium, place it into a coil, play the heparin signal for five minutes, so that the water is ‘informed’, then mix the informed water in its test-tube with the plasma, put the mixture in a measuring device, read the results and offer them up to whoever is doing the investigation.
Benveniste and his team carried out
hundreds of experiments using their robot, but the main idea was to
hand out a batch of these devices to other labs. In this way, both
the other centers and the Clamart team can ensure that the
experiment is universally standardized and an identical protocol
carried out correctly.
Cherchez la femme, Benveniste thought, although in the Lyon lab, which was replicating their results, a similar situation occurred, this time with a man. In his own lab, Benveniste conducted several experiments, by hand and by robot, to isolate what it was the woman was doing which prevented the experiment from working.
Her scientific method was impeccable and
she followed the protocol to the letter. The woman herself, a doctor
and biologist, was an experienced, meticulous worker. Nevertheless,
on no occasion did she get any results. After six months of such
studies there was only a single conclusion: something about her very
presence was preventing a positive result.
On or off, success or failure. A drug
works or it doesn’t. In this case, something in the woman in
question was completely interfering with the communication of cells
in his experiment.
This seemed too incredible to believe - more the realm of witchcraft than science, Benveniste thought. He then had the particular woman hold a tube of homeopathic granules in her hand for five minutes, and then tested the tube with his equipment.
All activity - all molecular signaling -
had been erased.28
These were the two mysteries that he was getting no closer to solving. All that he could do was to carry on where he felt most comfortable - with his laboratory experiments - showing that these effects were real. But one thing did seem clear to him.
For some unknown reason that he didn’t dwell upon, these signals also appeared to be sent outside the body and somehow were being taken in and listened to.