Sweigart Report: Freakin’ Frequency Generators | Vol. 4 / No. 17.1

A device with a number pad, dials, and a small read out.

The summer before college, I worked for some family friends who bought into the woo. One of them had cancer, in the form of a baseball sized tumor on their neck. They eschewed conventional medicine in favor of “alternative” medicine.  (FYI, the only time “alternative” should be viewed without suspicion as an adjective is when it comes to music. Any other time, it’s code for “not based in scientific evidence.”)

They discovered this amazing machine, and bought my family one. It was a good couple thousand American dollars at the time…so of course we accepted it graciously and used it. Because the pricier it is, the more it must work?

People, I give you the frequency generator, aka Rife Machine (in this case, the Bio Solutions™ branded piece of quackery.)

Here’s the device plus accessories, from an eBay lot. | Photo:Ebay

Invented by Royal Rife, it … well, how about I just let QuackWatch tell it:

During the 1920s, [Rife] claimed to have developed a powerful microscope that could detect living microbes by the color of auras emitted by their vibratory rates. His Rife Frequency Generator allegedly generates radio waves with precisely the same frequency, causing the offending bacteria to shatter in the same manner as a crystal glass breaks in response to the voice of an opera singer. The American Cancer Society has pointed out that although sound waves can produce vibrations that break glass, radio waves at the power level emitted a Rife generator do not have sufficient energy to destroy bacteria.

The whole history behind this device is covered in conspiracy theory, as Rife decried that his research was being discredited by other scientists, which was a dastardly plot by major health organizations. It was revived in the 1987 by Barry Lynes’ The Cancer Cure That Worked, a book all about the conspiracy. Naturally, people saw a golden opportunity to make money off it and tons of frequency generators were being peddled to cure cancer, as well as everything else. There’s been multiple health fraud cases against it, and I’m pretty sure this is the guy we got ours from. Even alt-medicine celebrity Dr. Weil says NOPE. But that photo above is from an eBay lot that sold for $852 USD in March 2016. And there are plenty of websites that peddle it still.

So … how do you operate it?

Crystal Resonators…like, seriously, these are the ones I held as a naive child. We still have them. | Photo: Katelyn Sweigart

You stick those wires into the device, then select your method of contact. We originally had the steel rods, but they were very uncomfortable to hold because of the frequencies. It’s exactly like playing the Addams Family Generator arcade game. So I was often holding the “Crystal Resonators” (see right) — which looked to be glass vials with crystal chips suspended in liquid. There were also metal plates, but we didn’t bother with those.

Then you open up that lovely spiral-bound book of wonder called the “Frequency Research Manual” and pick your ailment. Any ailment. No, seriously, any ailment. You thought echinacea had a long list? Check out this manual for a similar machine. From abdominal inflammation to zygomycosis, it will give you a number that you punch in, and it outputs the corresponding frequency needed.

You then hold onto the rods for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, or however long you feel you need to as the toxins … shatter.

Remember that family friend I mentioned that gave us this device?

He died from cancer.

Because this shit doesn’t work.


Katelyn Sweigart is a recovering woonatic and This Week In Tomorrow’s new regular correspondent for your weekly dose of Monday woo.


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