The AMA's Charge on the
by Stuart Troy
Note: The Dinshah
Health Society is a non-profit, scientific, educational,
membership-based corporation. For further information,
contact the Society at: P.O. Box 707, Malaga, NJ 08328;
telephone: (609) 692-4686; web:
About the Author: Stuart Troy, a native of New
York City, is a researcher and writer. His first foray
into print was in 1978 with a critical article, "Sigmund
Freud and the Relevance of a Newtonian Scientist in
Post-Einsteinian/Heisenberg Age," for APERION: A Journal
of Philosophical Inquiry and Opinion, for which he was
also an associate editor. His first book, co-authored
with Jonathan Eisen, was The Nobel Reader (Clarkson, N.
Potter, NY, 1987).
Stuart is currently working with noted historian Monroe
Rosenthal on a history of women warriors of the Jews.
His other driving passion is the preparation of a
detailed report on the various iniquitous activities of
Dr. [sic] Morris Fishbein, and he requests Nexus readers
with any documentation or anecdotal material on Fishbein
to communicate with him care of P.O. Box 5027, Fort
Lauderdale, Florida 33310, or e-mail him care of
The evils of some men have a karmic momentum that extends beyond the
grave, undiminished by their deaths.
If you could somehow quantify
and accurately ascribe human pain and needless suffering, then the
pernicious legacy of Morris Fishbein, M.D. (1889-1976) of the
American Medical Association (AMA) would exceed in villainous
ignominy the legacies of Hitler and Stalin combined.
While a more subtle and quiet offence which may pass
unnoticed in the historical moment, ideocide is ultimately, in its
continually expansive accumulative enormity, a far more pernicious
crime against all humanity than any "simple" genocide. When a
genocide indictment is finally issued, it contains specifics: dates
of onset, locations, duration, victim identity lists. But who can
name the victims or measure the pain that marks Fishbein's ideocidal
career? Indeed, when can we even end the tally?
If the only adduced instance of Fishbein's ideocide were the
persistent, obsessive persecution of Colonial Dinshah Ghadiali,
M.D., D.C., Ph.D., L.L.D., from 1924 to 1958 and the attempted
eradication of his Spectro-Chrome Therapy (SCT) both from practice
and from print, it would tragically suffice to make my point.
Popular history would have us believe that the (now scandalously)
shocking FDA-instigated incineration of the printed works of Dr.
William Reich was an unprecedented and isolated event in these
United States of alleged First Amendment protections.
However, the dubious distinction of having been the first Federal
book-burn victim belongs to Dinshah. Ten years previously, in 1947,
in compliance with a Federal Court order, he had to "surrender for
destruction" his unique library and all printed material pertaining
to colored light therapies to U.S. marshals in Camden, New Jersey.
All during those years he remained steadfastly dedicated to truth in
the healing arts, and to his personal vision of an earnest,
energetic, open America (a vision he formed some fifty years earlier on his first visit).
The source of this resiliency is found in
part in his often-repeated motto:
"Truth can be defeated, never
In the better-known case of Dr. Reich, the very barbarity of the
assault itself added to his mystique, impairing a legendary
martyrdom and ensuring an elevated niche in history independent of
the content or validity of his science.
In contrast, very few, even
among practitioners of the alter-native disciplines, know the story
of SCT despite the uninterrupted efforts of the Dinshah Health
Society, established and run by his son Darius Dinshah on the
original 23-acre Malaga, New Jersey estate. Operating under the
strict confines of the final 1958 Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
injunction, which is still in effect, SCT has somehow survived to
enjoy the modicum of legitimacy conferred by the 1994 recognition
and listing (as an information source only) of SCT by the United
States Office of Alternative Medicine.
Fortunately for us, the core of the system (any projected light
source except fluorescent, plus 12 colored filters) is so low-tech,
and the "tonation" application formulations—laboriously determined
and charted by Dinshah—are so simple that the ease of home assembly
and utilization allows for convenient accessibility. (See diagram of
the Spectro-Chrome Therapeutic System on p. 262.) Unfortunately for
Dinshah (the "Ghadiali" was dropped in America), it was precisely
this low-tech accessibility and therapeutic efficacy which made him
an irresistible and inevitable target for Fishbein and the
Born in Bombay, India, in 1873 to a Parsee watchmaker of Persian
descent (the Zoroastrian faith to which he adhered is often referred
to as "the Faith of Light"), Dinshah's special genius and industry
soon became apparent. He began primary school at age three, and high
school at eight. By his eleventh year he was an assistant to the
Professor of Mathematics and Science at Wilson College, Bombay.
His father did not encourage his early fascination
with electricity, and Dinshah told of sneaking downstairs to study
through the night, retiring for a few hours of sleep shortly before
dawn when he and his father would arise together. He took his
university exams at fourteen, winning proficiency awards in English,
Persian and religion. (In his spare time, he was to achieve
competence in eight oriental and eight occidental languages.)
The following year he divided his time between giving demonstrations
in physics and chemistry and meeting the demands of running a
successful electric doorbell/burglar alarm installation business.
It was also the year he began his medical studies.
At eighteen, having mastered the practice of Yoga Shasira and having
been awarded a fellowship by The Theosophical Society, he added
spiritual subjects to his oratorial repertoire. His reputation and
experience as an electrical engineer earned an appointment as
Superintendent of Telephone and Telegraph for Dholar state. Three
years later found him serving as Electrical Engineer of Patiala
state and Mechanical Engineer for the Umbala Flour Mill.
His medical studies completed, in 1896 Dinshah made his first trip
to America, where he lectured on X-rays and radioactivity, meeting
Tesla, Edison and other scientific notables. A darling of the press,
Dinshah was affectionately referred to by The New York Times as "the
The freedoms, the opportunities, the stimulating intellectual
energies he perceived in pre-war America left him with an inspired,
compassionate optimism that future events could not dilute. Upon his
return to India he became a social reformer and the first
publisher/editor of The Impartial, a weekly founded "to further the
cause of freedom in speech and writing."
The year 1897 was to prove pivotal, for it was the year Dinshah
became the first person in India to apply and thus effect a cure for
disease in accordance with the hypotheses of Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt
(as in his book, The Principles of Light and Color, University
Books, New Hyde Park, NY, 1876, reprinted 1967) and Dr. Seth Pancost
(Blue and Red Light, or Light and Its Rays as Medicine, 1877).
During the plague years of the early 1900s, Dinshah's eclectic and
unorthodox ministrations effected a 60 percent recovery rate, in
contrast to the 40 percent recovery expectations of conventional
Responding to an influential Theosophist friend's urgent summons,
Dinshah, from his supervisory position in a major light installation
several hundred miles away from central India, traveled to the
bedside of his aunt who was dying from mucosa colitis (dysentery).
Upon arrival, Dinshah faced several handicaps. The attending
physician of record was a prominent Parsee and the Honorary Surgeon
of no less than a personage than the Viceroy of India. The old woman
revered him as a demigod, but contemptuously referred to Dinshah as
"that kid doctor."
For three days he had to watch silently as her health continued to
fail rapidly under a brutal but conventional medicinal regimen.
Although the regimen was well thought out and in conformity with the
best recommendations of The British Pharmacopaedia, Dinshah
saw that the opium administered for the pain was stressful to the
heart; the catechu, although a good astringent, was a peristalsis
inhibitor; the chalk, intended as a binder, was an intestinal
irritant; the bismuth subnitrate, a local antiseptic, choked the
alimentary canal; and the anti-flatulent chloroform was escharating
As Dinshah noted:
Thus she stayed two days more, drinking the
poisonous concoction. On the third day she was in such a
condition that she lifted her hands to me and implored me, "O,
Dinshah, save me!" Medically she was beyond recovery and I said
with a sigh, "Call on the Almighty to save you. Dear girl, I
have no power, no medicine of which I know I can be of service
to you, but if you let me I shall endeavor to do the best
She nodded her consent and I promptly threw out
the drug mixture... I brought [indigo-] colored pickle bottles
to act as the slides... Within 24 hours the [100 daily bowel
evacuations] were reduced to four a day; within 48 hours they
came down to two; the third day Jerbanoo was out of bed!
Reflecting an Eastern patience and restraint, and
reflecting the slower technological pace of a pre-electronic age,
Dinshah did not rush impetuously into print.
However, before he
could publicly promote SCT he had to be satisfied that he could
exercise confident control of the procedure. Thus Dinshah embarked
on a lengthy theoretical research project, producing remarkably
precise and accurate tonation formulations.
By 1904, at Ajmer and Surat, he had established "Electro-Medical
Halls" for the promotion of color therapy research, magneto-and
electro-therapeutic approaches as well as orthodox medicine.
However, early on he was forced to abandon the otherwise promising
electric modalities due to frequent episodes of nerve anastomosis
and the inherent and insurmountable problems he encountered with
"unmanageable and freaky currents."
In 1908 he left India to promote his inventions through Europe,
eventually, in 1911, dropping anchor in the United States with his
(first) wife and two children. He loved America and vigorously
embraced the principles and politics of an open democracy. However,
the same cannot be said of his wife who, in reaction to her early
years of impoverishment and per-haps more than a little
culture-shocked, returned alone to India.
Dinshah was so taken by his vision of a Walt Whitman/Horatio Alger
America as perceived in those pre-war years that in 1914 he turned
down a private offer of $100 thousand for his Internal Combustion
Engine Fault Finder which he developed while serving as Professor
and Chief Instructor at the New York College of Engineering Science
and Auto-mobile Instruction. Instead, he gave all rights to the
United States military for aviation application.
(Amongst his patented inventions are: #983,703,
Electrical Wiring Device, 1911; #1,144,898, Automobile Internal
Combustion Engine Fault Finder, 1915; #1,544,973, Color Wave
Projector, 1925; #1,724,469, Electric Thermometer, 1929; #2,038,784,
Color Wave Projection Apparatus, 1936.)
Dinshah was granted U.S. citizenship in 1917. The following year he
was given a commission as Captain in the New York Police Department
Reserve, and in recognition of his wartime civilian aeronautic
harbor-patrol activities he was promoted to Colonel, awarded the
Liberty Medal by New York City Mayor John Hyland and appointed head
and principal instructor of the NYPD Aviation School. The banner
year of 1919 found him a member in good standing with the American
Association of Progressive Medicine, and the elected Vice-President
of the Allied Medical Association of America and the National
Association of Drugless Practitioners.
This all seems a strange background for a "charlatan" and
"huckster," as he was to be labeled and pilloried by Fishbein's AMA,
in conjunction with the equally acquiescent, ever-spineless FDA in
the decades that followed.
Something insidious and unnoticed had happened during the
twenty-four years since Dinshah's first visit to America. The robber
barons of the nineteenth century had discovered value in technology
and proceeded to exercise the same piratical control over
intellectual property as they previously had over the traditional
sources of material wealth. Lights dimmed all over the short-lived
Age of Enlightenment as new acquisitional and inquisitional
institutions became empowered and entrenched.
Social historian and author David Lindsay (Magnificent
Possibilities, Koodansha America, Fall 1996) notes that with the
change of the century there was a change in the perception of the
technical man, the inventor. New social forces coalesced, mediating
direct contact between people and technology. The control and
credibility that had been the scientist's were co-opted by agencies
of industry working with agencies of government.
Canadian political scientist Andrew Michrowski fixes the date with
even more precision:
"It was possible for Nikola Tesla, Alexander
Graham Bell, and George Westinghouse to make their mark because
in their time, before 1913, the retardant forces were not yet
organized enough to totally counterweigh their innovations."
Suffice it to note that 1912 was the year that young
Morris Fishbein, MD [sic] (neither passing anatomy nor completing
his residency), entered the employment of the already disreputable
American Medical Association, without ever practicing medicine. In
1913 he became Assistant Editor of the AMA's journal, JAMA. A
prolific writer of articles, editorials and, later, books crusading
for the medical profession, Fishbein became Editor of JAMA and
Hygeia in 1924, holding these two posts for 25 years.
So it was against this background that Dinshah, ignorant of or
indifferent to this dawning of a New Age of Darkness, innocently
went public with SCT in April 1920 in New York City. The first
formal instruction, in
December that year, was attended by 27 students. During the next
four years (as Morris Fishbein consolidated his political power
within the AMA) Dinshah held 26 classes, training over 800 students,
predominantly physicians but including many lay trainees as well.
It was the very ease with which the correct tonation could be
determined and applied by laymen in the privacy of their homes (as
much as, if not more than, mere efficacy) which constituted the true
threat. If Dinshah had kept the SCT technology arcane, the equipment
expensively over-designed and within the preserve of the professional
health community, events would have played out quite differently.
Unquestionably it was this accessibility and the consequent
commercial threat which SCT represented that made Dinshah an early
target for an eager Fishbein.
Fortunately for Dinshah, an early attendee was the
twenty-three-year-tenured Chief Surgeon of the Woman's Hospital of
Philadelphia, the highly credentialed Kate W. Baldwin, M.D., F.A.C.S.,
a member of the AMA and the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and the
first woman in the American Academy of Ophthalmology and
Until her death in 1937, she remained a private SCT
practitioner and a vociferous advocate in public, frequently
defending SCT and Dinshah against the dark forces of repression.
Dr. Baldwin enjoyed sufficient status and seniority that the initial
anti-light-therapy onslaught could only incommode but not intimate
or destroy her. Indeed, so forceful was her presence and so
unequivocal her defense testimony at Dinshah's first trial in 1931,
that the government refrained from any prosecution of Dinshah—on the
basis of science—during her lifetime.
In 1921 Dr. Baldwin arranged for Dinshah to lecture in Philadelphia.
Eventually her brother, the equally eminent surgeon L. Grant
Baldwin, M.D., F.A.C.S. (Mayo Clinic), was to produce several SCT
units to his Brooklyn, New York, practice.
Some of the social (political) history of SCT is to be found
reserved in the meager, but reliable, regular Minutes of the Board
of Managers of the Woman's Hospital in Philadelphia. Over the next
five years these records were to suggest even more than they
Dr. Baldwin's request to address the Board on her in-patient SCT
work was granted, and on 21 December 1923, according to the Minutes,
she "gave an illustrated account of the wonderful work done in the
Hospital with the spectrochrome [sic]. She described a remarkable
case of a child ... so badly burned that there seemed no hope of her
recovery. With the use of the Spectrochrome [sic] [primarily using
the color turquoise, i.e., blue plus green], the child is almost
entirely cured. It is such an unusual case that the Board feels it
should be written up for publication by Dr. Baldwin...
The Spectrochrome is used in no other hospital and credit should be
given to Dr. Baldwin for developing its use here. There are four
instruments in the Hospital and more could be used if the room were
It was but a short five weeks later, in the 26 January 1924 issue of
the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (which had
just recently fallen under the editorial control of Fishbein), that
the first salvo was fired: a lengthy, baseless denunciation of SCT,
complete with a defamatory attack on the character of Dinshah and,
by associative implication, all SC therapists—with explicit
reference to Dr. Baldwin, who, among numerous physicians, had been
regularly contributing case histories to Dinshah's Spectro-Chrome
monthly journal (which he published from 1922 to 1947).
The JAMA article concluded:
Some physicians, after reading this article, may
wonder why we have devoted the amount of space to a subject
that, on its face, seems so preposterous as to condemn itself.
When it is realized that helpless but incredulous patients are
being treated for such serious conditions as syphilis,
conjunctivitis, ovaritis, diabetes mellitus, pulmonary
tuberculosis and chronic gonorrhea with colored lights, the
space will not be deemed excessive.
While it took four years for Fishbein finally to
bring Dinshah before his first magistrate, the first blood had been
drawn much earlier.
Two months after the JAMA article appeared in
print, the Woman's Hospital Board of Managers' Minutes of 28 March
1924 report the receipt of a letter from the staff, requesting that
Dr. Baldwin discontinue the use of SCT. The only ground offered for
this initiative was the JAMA article. The Board's time-tested
response was the classic bureaucratic reflex: an ad hoc committee
was established to evaluate the situation for later discussion.
Not all the Board's problems conveniently faded during this interval
and it was forced to address the issue head on. According to the
minutes of 23 May 1924:
"... the question had been considered from every
view-point and... the Committee recommended the continuance of
present conditions. This report of the Committee was accepted."
Almost a year later, the Minutes of 27 March 1925
"Dr. Baldwin in a letter spoke of her need of
more room for the Spectrochrome. She asked to have two cubicles
made; she is getting many cases..."
Subsequently Dr. Baldwin was permitted to install
additional treatment cubicles.
Notwithstanding all of these initial successes, buttressed by the
consistent clinical evidence, official affirmations and
institutional support, SCT was soon to suffer the first of a nearly
unbroken string of reversals. There is a subtle but interesting
peculiarity to this sudden, decisive turn-about spontaneously
appearing in the Minutes without warning. True, the Minutes give no
picture of day-to-day hospital politics, and given their narrow
purpose and focus, especially as the sole historical source, they
would of course tend to conceal more of a general contextual
circum-stance than they could reveal.
So we are left to speculate on the strangeness of the impudence of a
letter from the hospital interns, received by the Board and reported
in the Minutes of 24 September 1926, expressing their objections to
Dr. Baldwin's presence on the surgical staff.
Traditionally interns, from a socio-political perspective,
constitute the least vocal and effective participants in hospital
policy formation. However, one can perhaps understand, even
sympathize with the interns' position, with their cumulative daily
frustration as endless streams of serious surgical candidates and
other diseased patients were regularly being sent home without ever
seeing a knife or pill. What is less understandable is the
effectiveness of their one letter.
The September meeting moved to request Dr. Baldwin's resignation
from the surgical staff, but also moved that she,
"be granted the privilege of practicing
Therapy with her private patients in the Woman's Hospital."
Both motions were carried.
The Board passed on the
request to Dr. Baldwin, and by the meeting of 22 October 1926,
without record of internal debate or explanation, the board accepted
"with regret" Dr. Baldwin's resignation from the surgical staff.
Just before Dinshah's first trial in 1931 in Buffalo, Erie County,
New York state, Dr. Baldwin received a letter from the Secretary of
the Erie County Medical Society specifically soliciting her comments
about the 1924 article and the impending criminal action.
The letter read:
According to [the JAMA] article, Susie T., age 9,
who was admitted to the Woman's Hospital with a sloughed
appendix and peritonitis, developed a pneumonia which was
treated by Dr. Baldwin with lemon, turquoise and magenta colored
lights. Susie went home well and happy. Dinshah P. Ghadiali,
using the title M.D., is the publisher of Spectro-Chrome. He is
under arrest in Buffalo charged with grand larceny for selling a
course of lectures and leasing a colored light apparatus of
alleged curative value for human ailments.
We are wondering if the article in which your name is given is a
correct statement. Our Society is somewhat interested in the
outcome of this case and we will very much appreciate your
telling us if your name was used with authority.
Dr. Baldwin's ringing endorsement was but faint
indication of the eye-opening testimony she would soon deliver under
Her reply read:
Your letter of June 9th is just received. The
statement printed in the Journal of the American Medical
Association of January 26th, 1924 is practically as written by
me for Spectro-Chrome magazine. Susie's was an emergency
operation at nine o'clock at night. There was nothing left of
the appendix to remove. There were quantities of pus.
The wound could not be closed, free drainage was
provided and the child put to bed with little hope that she
would live until morning. For some days, an enema would simply
pass through and out of the abdominal opening. Susie did develop
pneumonia. I did use Spectro-Chrome and eventually she did leave
the hospital in good condition.
In the Woman's Hospital, I used Spectro-Chrome
for many things to the satisfaction of the patients, the staff
and the Board. The results were approved by all interested,
until the article cited came out in the Journal. Then the staff
turned traitor. The Board appointed a Special Committee of five
to investigate, and a copy of its report I am enclosing. After
this investigation I was granted a large space for the work of
The American Medical Association continues to
rate me as a Fellow in good standing. Not the slightest effort
to prove the truth has ever been made by the AMA or the doctors.
The simple fact that the AMA made the statement against Spectro-Chrome
was sufficient to condemn. At the time I wrote to the Journal
stating facts. The courtesy of a reply was not granted. The
letter was sent by registered mail and a return card showed that
it was delivered. Eventually this article was the cause of my
losing my position on the surgical staff of the Woman's
The AMA has not been just to one of its members or to humanity;
within the year of 1929, communications have been sent by the
AMA to several of my patients in the shape of a reprint of the
article published in the 1924 Journal and a letter ridiculing
Spectro-Chrome and me.
Spectro-Chrome has more value as a therapeutic measure than all
the drugs and serums manufactured. I would close my office
tonight, never to reopen, if I could not use Spectro-Chrome.
Dinshah was to face tribunals eight times, winning
vindication only twice and having to serve a total of eighteen
months in prison.
His first victory, at Buffalo, NY, in 1931, was
the last time the anti-light forces dared expose themselves to a
decision rendered by a jury allowed to hear medical evidence and
expert scientific testimony. His second victory (the first Camden
trial, 1934) rested on the judicial reasoning that, being of Parsee
descent, Dinshah was a "white man" and therefore, 17 years after his
naturalization, he was ruled to be not deportable.
Just as, in retrospect, the involvement of the normally
non-influential intern role in efficaciously precipitating Baldwin's
predicament seems to be more than meets the eye, so too is the
circumstance that led to Dinshah's arrest in May 1930. The
indictment charged that he "did feloniously steal $175 from one
Houseman Hughes by falsely representing and pretending that a
certain instrument and machine [Spectro-Chrome] would cure any and
all human diseases and ailments."
Again, the reliable Court record here gives scanty insight. Looking
back at the actual ascertainable, there is reasonable inference that
Hughes was only a point man—but for whom? He was a layman who had
admittedly never received, witnessed or administered a tonation
treatment. Affidavits and testimony from official records show only
that he leased a unit (subsequently defaulting on the payment) and
promptly pressed charges. There is no indication that he even
removed it from the box. Someone on the prosecution side did turn it
on, although did not take advantage of the exercise to attempt a
The core of the embarrassingly under-prepared prosecution (what could
they actually say?) was the "expert" testimony of a physicist who
testified to the fact that the unit used an ordinary light,
projected through ordinary colored glass filters, producing no
spectral alterations nor new rays of any sort. This was rather
extraordinary testimony, considering that Dinshah had never claimed
(This 1931 trial was also the last time the government was to base
any indictment on its "ordinariness." Later, when the FDA, in a
convenient about-face, proclaimed the Spectro-Chrome a "medical
device" (though unauthorized), it provided the cloak of legality
under which they conducted, unopposed, hundreds of warrantless,
confiscatory and non-compensatory raids through the living rooms,
basements and converted garages of otherwise innocent,
non-complaining citizens after 1947.)
Dinshah, despite facing a looming 10-year/$10,000 adverse judgment,
chose to defend himself with a five-witness defense which included
three M.D.s. He reasoned:
"The judge knows the law and I know my science so
I can defend it better than any lawyer. Truth can be defeated
but never conquered."
Unprepared for an impregnable defense,
the state produced in its rebuttal its only medical witness: Albert Sy, M.D.,
a practitioner of the high-tech, expensive and generally
inaccessible treatment modalities of radium, X-ray and ultraviolet
This prosecution witness, also testifying to his zero
experience with SCT, was forced to admit under oath that he had no
evidence at all for his "expert" opinion that there "could be no
therapeutic value of colored light or other appreciable effect on
Dinshah's first witness, Dr. Welcome Hanoi, an early SCT student and
enthusiastic proponent, had posted the $1,500 bail. His modest
credential was his reputation as a local general practitioner of
thirty years' experience. He gave unresolved credit to SCT for his
successes with cancers, diabetes, gonorrhea, syphilis, ulcers,
neuritis, meningitis, heart conditions and many other disorders.
Dr. Martha Peebles had a distinguished twenty-four-year private
practice in New York where she had also held public office with the
City Department of Health before serving with General Pershing's
expeditionary forces (attending up to sixty-one operations a day).
Invalided by crippling arthritis and neuritis, her health was
restored one month after receiving her first tonation treatment from
Dr. Baldwin, and she subsequently re-established her medical
practice. In court she recounted her success with cancers,
hypotropic arthritis, poliomyelitis, mastoiditis, sciatica, heart
disorders, goiters, ulcers, neuritis and many other disorders.
Dr. Kate Baldwin's testimony was extensive, forcefully unequivocal
and unshakeable. The worst nightmare of a prosecuting
cross-examiner, she repeated affirmatively as to SCT's efficacy in
the treatment of cataracts, glaucoma, acute eye infections and
hemorrhaging; mastoid and middle-ear problems; tonsillitis and
adenoidal disorders; tuberculosis, bronchitis and pleurisy;
functional and organic heart disorders; ulcers, hemorrhoids, boils,
drug addictions, asthma, laryngitis, mouth disorders, rheumatism,
lumbago, syphilis, cancer, radiation burns, appendicitis,
strangulated hernia and many other disorders.
The trial lasted for four days before the jury returned a "not
guilty" verdict in ninety minutes. Subsequently (in addition to his
previous loss in Portland in 1928), Dinshah was to lose actions in
Cleveland, Wilmington, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn (the decisive FDA
ruling) and, finally, in Camden in 1947.
By 1941, mail sent to Dinshah's institute was being returned by the
local postmaster, marked "Fraudulent: Mail to this address returned
by order of the Post-Master General." No doubt this purely postal
administration, not the result of a judicial proceeding, contributed
measurably to the recognition of the AMA as a para-governmental
agency of intimidation, and hastened the final discontinuance of SCT
by the dwindling numbers of loyal M.D. practitioners.
Through an internal restructuring and reorganizing at the Spectro-Chrome
Institute, Dinshah was for a while able to circumvent and
neu-tralise the mail blockade. Suffice it to note that Dinshah's
maneuver was a short-lived expediency, lasting six years until 1947.
While looking back on Dinshah as an exemplar of indefatigable,
persevering resiliency and inner strength of character, in balance
we must also note with all due respect the persistence, long memory
and vindictive, single-minded purposiveness of the private
professional associations, in concert with government regulatory
agencies, now legislatively armed to dispose of the inconvenience of
the evidences and protocols of both court and clinic.
No narrative, historical reportage or creative mythology of
suppression and censure, however factual or fantastical, is complete
without the obligatory, timely, lab or library fire under suspicious
circumstances. To paraphrase Cervantes very loosely, a tale of
"intellectual inquisition" without arson is like a meal without
The 1945 fire that destroyed Dinshah's main building, just ninety
days before the Brooklyn trial, caused inestimable damage not just
to his defense but to all of us through the destruction of
demonstration proto-types and the irreplaceable case histories of
Losing the second Camden trial (the FDA-driven action on
"mislabeling") in 1947, Dinshah was fined $20,000 and sentenced to a
five-year probation period, a condition of which was to "surrender
for destruction all printed material (save some personal notes)
pertaining to colored light therapy—a singular collection valued
then at $250,000. He was further ordered to disassociate himself
from any research in the field.
Probation completed in 1953, Dinshah again restructured his
institute, this time as an educational institution, Visible Spectrum
Research Institute, and resumed the dissemination of information and
equipment—but with the disclaimer asserting that "in accordance with
the current conventional medical view, there is no curative,
therapeutic value" to these projection systems. Independent of any
SCT/Dinshah data, this scientific "edict" was already known to be
false. (In 1958 the FDA finally obtained the permanent injunctions,
still in effect today, under which Dinshah was to operate until his
death in 1996, at the age of ninety-two.)
Contrary opinions such as those of the medical
establishment-respected A. J. Ochsner, M.D., F.A.C.S., author of
still-classical surgical text-books, could again be made weightless
by edict. Writing to no apparent effect in those days, he reported:
In a personal experience with septic infection, the pain was so
severe that it seemed unbearable. When the use of electric light was
suggested, it seemed unlikely that this could act differently from
the other forms of therapy that had been employed. Upon applying the
light, however, the excruciating pain disappeared almost at once,
and since this experience we have employed the light treatments in
hundreds of cases of pain caused by septic infection, and quite
regularly with results that were eminently satisfactory, not only in
relief of pain but also because the remedy assists materially in
reducing the infection.
There is little comfort to be taken from the fact that half a
century separates us from those distant, dark ages of book-burning
in America. The relation of phototherapies to the medical mainstream
has not much improved. The dynamics of the relationship, the rules
of combat are unchanged. Large and loud, unapologetic denial;
unembellished, unforgivable, inexplicable and dangerously erroneous
counter-factual utterances are still being recycled by the usual
bunch of high-prestige suspects.
For example, the highly regarded Cancer Journal for Clinicians (CJC)
in 1994 (44:225-127), in an anonymous diatribe, characterized the
World Research Foundation (WRF) (41 Bell Rock Road #C, Sedona, AZ
86351, USA) as,
"helping people locate questionable cancer cures
.... [and has] touted the Spectro-Chrome device."
It then astonishingly concluded:
"There is no scientific evidence that shining
colored lights on the body will produce any biological effects."
This must come as quite a shock:
to the generations of
the pediatric health community who, for half a century, have
routinely been treating the jaundice (neonatal bilirubin imbalance)
of premature babies with the spectrally rebalanced, blue-enhanced
Westinghouse maternity bulb
to the generations of commercial
breeders of chickens, chinchillas and fish who, for half a century,
have been using the monochromatic reformulation work of
photo-pioneer John Ott (the original champion of full-spectrum
light) to manipulate fertility, gender and even behavior
readers of the respected American Teacher (71:16, March 1987),
who were gullible and naive enough to believe the account of H. Wohlfrath of the University of Alberta, Canada, who in 1982
replicated the nearly fifty-year-old work of Soviet researcher E. I. Kritvitskya, in which high-frequency-restored classroom light
reduced absenteeism, eye strain, dental caries, etc. as it increased
attention, retention, etc.
When Dr. Sy expressed his "disbelief" in 1931, he could do so with a
certain innocent honesty.
But would the editors of CJC have us
dismiss vol. 453 (1985) of the Annals of the New York Academies of
the Sciences, on "The Medical and Biological Effects of Light" (an
entire conference on the subject) as so much chopped liver? Or was
the then nine-year-old Annals too recent to have come to the
attention of the CJC editors, or too old for their consideration?
Unlike Dr. Sy, they are at least guilty of criminal paucity of
Responding to this anonymous CJC article, Dr. Steve Ross, writing in
the WRF International Health and Environment Network Journal, World
Research News (2nd quarter, 1995), goes succinctly to the core.
The Cancer Journal for Clinicians is sent to virtually all the
physicians in the United States dealing with cancer. Could this sort
of stupidity and misinformation be one of the reasons why the answer
to the cancer problem has not come as quickly as suspected?
During the Inquisition, individuals were burnt at the stake for
believing that the Earth revolved around the Sun. The same
Inquisition takes place today when the bastion of the medical
community persecutes and removes those individuals who attempt to
discuss and utilize therapies that are different than the
therapeutic system that is being touted by the pharmaceutical
In all fairness to Fishbein, he did not create the Torquemada
mentality—a mindset untroubled by the subtle (or not so subtle)
distinction and easy interchangeability between a science of data
and a science of dicta. After all, the JAMA before, during and after
Fishbein was never the arena to seek the open Lockean dialogue in
"the free marketplace of ideas" in which truth would always emerge
as the best value. Ridicule as retort and censure by consensus
pre-date even Galileo. It could be argued that all of this is part
of our collective hardwiring.
The real and ongoing legacy of Fishbein—the apotheosis of the peer
review, the institutionalization (professional, academic, corporate
and political) of entities that perpetuate and fuel the reactionary,
counter-evolutionary potentials of the human intellect—is not a
simple, single bequest. It is rather an annuity that pays out
incrementally in pain, indefinitely.
Today, a century and a quarter after Dr. Babbitt and 100 years after
Dinshah's empirical confirmation, in most Western-style hospitals
all over the world you will find the seriously traumatized
post-surgical patient routinely maintained under the arbitrarily
bizarre and randomly unbalanced spectra from cool and allegedly
"white" fluorescence, while meticulously sustained on FDA-determined
minimum daily nutritive requirements. You may sneak in a
full-spectrum light; you may sneak in anti-oxidant vitamin megadoses.
But here in the United States—the Land of the Litigious where the
unholy AMA/FDA annuity is issued—take great care to call the light
"only cheerful," the co-enzyme pills "only food."
The operative words are "sneak in" and "only."
Otherwise apprehension constitutes an inference with the conventions
of established (hence, ossified) medical practice; and the
consequent shifting of criminal, civil and professional
responsibilities (especially monetary liabilities) is quicker than
186,270 miles per second in a vacuum.
This confusion, this melding of the professional proclamations with
the proof of the pudding, may, in some Hegelian antithetical manner
(the ". . . and one step back" of the historical process), provide
some sort of intellectual brake to the evolutionary inevitable.
However, as bleak a picture as this is, the flip side of the
Hegelian paradigm promises a net gain of one forward step. This
could be the philosophical principle that makes Dinshah's motto
about defeated truth remaining unconquerable, a feature of the
universe rather than mere personal mantric expedient.
At any rate, the work of Dinshah P. Ghadiali, the light of
spectro-chromology and related photo-therapies, although
deliberately dimmed for decades has not been extinguished. In fact,
SCT endures and modestly thrives under the diligent, dedicated
tutelage of Dinshah's son, Darius Dinshah—the accessible and gentle
prime-mover for the active work being continued by the Dinshah
The Society serves as an active information-clearing centre, holding
annual meetings, publishing a newsletter and archiving relevant
literature available to an increasingly interested public.
Especially recommended, both for historical
background as well as for its simple, utilitarian instructional
material, is Darius Dinshah's book, Let There Be Light.
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