American inventor Royal Rife (his real name), in 1934, cured 14 “terminal” cancer patients and hundreds of animal cancers by aiming his “beam ray” at what he called the “cancer virus.” So why isn’t the Rife Ray in use today? Barry Lynes, in his 1987 book The Cancer Cure That Worked, details how Rife’s invention was discredited by Morris Fishbein, the director of the American Medical Association (AMA), after his offers to buy a share of the technology were rebuffed, although this has never been proven and the AMA has denied it. A 1953 U.S. Senate special investigation concluded that Fishbein and the AMA had conspired with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to suppress various alternative cancer treatments that conflicted with the AMA’s pre-determined view that “radium, x-ray therapy and surgery are the only recognized treatments for cancer.”
Billions of dollars have been spent researching how to create energy using controlled “hot fusion,” a risky and unpredictable line of experimentation. Meanwhile, garage scientists and a fringe group of university researchers have been getting closer to harnessing the power of “cold fusion,” which is much more stable and controllable, but far less supported by government and foundation money. In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced that they had made a breakthrough and had observed cold fusion in a glass jar on their lab bench. To say the reaction they received was chilly would be an understatement. CBS’s 60 Minutes described how the resulting backlash from the well-funded hot-fusion crowd sent the researchers underground and overseas, where within a few years their funding dried up, forcing them to drop their pursuit of clean energy.
Despite how silly it sounds, water-fueled vehicles do exist. The most famous is Stan Meyer’s dune buggy, which achieved 100 miles per gallon and might have become more commonplace had Meyer not succumbed to a suspicious brain aneurysm at 57. Insiders have loudly claimed that Meyer was poisoned after he refused to sell his patents or end his research. Fearing a conspiracy, his partners have all but gone underground (or should we say underwater?) and taken his famed water-powered dune buggy with them.
George Washington, who is rumored to have said “I cannot tell a lie,” was a proud supporter of the hemp seed. Of course, the only thing more suppressed in this country than an honest politician is hemp, which is often mistakenly for marijuana and therefore unfairly maligned. Governmental roadblocks, meanwhile, prevent hemp from becoming the leader in extracting ethanol, allowing environmentally damaging sources like corn to take over the ethanol industry. Despite the fact that it requires fewer chemicals, less water and less processing to do the same job, hemp has never caught on. Experts also lay the blame at the feet of (who else?) Presidential candidates, who kiss up to Iowa corn growers for votes.
In 1953, when severe drought threatened the blueberry harvest in the state of Maine, Dr. Wilhelm Reich, the inventor of a supposed rainmaking device called the Cloudbuster, and he was contracted to bring rain. The Bangor Daily News reported at the time that within hours of setting up the Cloudbuster, nearly � inch of rain had fallen across the area, despite no precipitation in the forecast. Curiously, it does not seem that Reich attempted this feat again and, in 1954, the government put a stop to his work entirely. After Reich’s conviction for selling a phone-booth-sized box that he claimed cured the common cold and impotence, in violation of FDA rules, Reich was sentenced to prison, where he soon died. The court also ordered that Reich’s inventions, their parts and any writing about them be destroyed.
In 2001, Nova Scotian Rick Simpson discovered that a cancerous spot on his skin disappeared within a few days of applying an essential oil made from marijuana. Since then, Simpson and others have treated thousands of cancer patients with incredible success. Researchers in Spain have confirmed that THC, an active compound in marijuana, kills brain-tumor cells in human subjects and shows promise with breast, pancreatic and liver tumors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use, unlike Schedule II drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, which may provide medical benefits. What a buzzkill.
Nikola Tesla was more than just the inspiration for a hair metal band, he was also an undisputed genius. In 1899, he figured out a way to bypass fossil-fuel-burning power plants and power lines, proving that “free energy” could be harnessed using ionization in the upper atmosphere to produce electrical vibrations. J.P. Morgan, who had been funding Tesla’s research, had a bit of buyer’s remorse when he realized that free energy for all wasn’t as profitable as, say, actually charging people for every watt of energy use. Morgan then drove another nail in free energy’s coffin by chasing away other investors, ensuring Tesla’s dream would die.
Phillips, GE and Osram engaged in a conspiracy from 1924 to 1939 with the goal of controlling the fledgling light-bulb industry, according to a report published in Time magazine six years later. The alleged cartel set prices and suppressed competing technologies that would have produced longer-lasting and more efficient light bulbs. By the time the cabal dissolved, the industry-standard incandescent bulb was established as the dominant source of artificial light across Europe and North America. Not until the late 1990s did compact fluorescent bulbs begin to edge into the worldwide lighting market as an alternative.
The holy grail of automotive technology is the 99-mpg car. Although the technology has been available for years, automakers have deliberately withheld it from the U.S. market. In 2000, the New York Times reported a little-known fact, at least to most: A diesel-powered dynamo called the Volkswagen Lupo had driven around the world averaging higher than 99 mpg. The Lupo was sold in Europe from 1998 to 2005 but, once again, automakers prevented it from coming to market; they claimed Americans had no interest in small, fuel-efficient cars.
The Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS) device was created to alleviate pain impulses from the body without the use of drugs. In 1974, Johnson & Johnson bought StimTech, one of the first companies to sell the machine, and proceeded to starve the TENS division of money, causing it to flounder. StimTech sued, alleging that Johnson & Johnson purposely stifled the TENS technology to protect sales of its flagship drug, Tylenol. Johnson & Johnson responded that the device never performed as well as was claimed and that it was not profitable. StimTech’s founders won $170 Million, although the ruling was appealed and overturned on a technicality. The court’s finding that the corporation suppressed the TENS device was never overturned.
What if you had a device that could see into the future and revisit the past? And what if you didn’t need Christopher Lloyd to help you? Father Pellegrino Maria Ernetti, an Italian priest, claimed in the 1960s to have invented what he called a Chronovisor, something that allowed him to witness Christ’s crucifixion. The device supposedly enabled viewers to watch any event in human history by tuning in to remnant vibrations that are caused by every action. (His team of researchers and builders included Enrico Fermi, who also worked on the first atomic bomb). On his deathbed, Fermi admitted that he had faked viewings of ancient Greece and Christ’s demise, but insisted the Chronovisor, which had by then vanished, still worked. Unsurprisingly, conspiracy theorists say the Vatican is now the likely owner of the original Chronovisor.