Part One: Unnatural Frequencies
Have you heard the joke about the guy who plugs himself into an electrical outlet in his home for protection against disease-causing high frequency electromagnetic fields, then paradoxically zaps himself with an electrical device to kill pathogens?
Unfortunately, it’s not a joke. This is for real. The man’s name is David Avocado Wolfe. And he’s not just practicing this silly electrical voodoo on himself, he’s selling products that cost hundreds of dollars to innocent, scientifically illiterate followers, with the promise of similar protection. Sadly, it’s all a scam, and there’s the very real chance that seriously ill people are eschewing real medical treatment in favor of quack remedies like earthing and zapping.
In this multi-part series, I’ll be exposing Wolfe’s deception. In part one, we’ll look at the myth that’s the very foundation of “earthing” nonsense: the claim that high frequency radio waves–those in the gigahertz range–are “unnatural”, dirty, or inherently dangerous.1
This can be debunked in one sentence: there is no such thing as an unnatural radio frequency. All radio frequencies are natural.
There, we’re done.
Oh, you want a demonstration? Well, fair enough. This is a science blog, after all. Here’s some food for thought: David Avocado is an advocate of “sun gazing”–staring at the sun to absorb mystical healing energy.2 The problem for Avocado and his earthing buddies: the sun emits the very same high frequency radio waves that he’s selling protection from.
This is easy to prove. A simple twelve gigahertz radio receiver can be built using a discarded home satellite dish and less than $10 in parts from eBay or a local electronics store. Twelve gigahertz and below are right in the “Wolfe Danger Zone” for consumer electronic devices. But if we point our receiver’s dish at the sun– as natural a source as you can possibly find–we’ll quickly see how full of [expletive deleted] earthers are… we’ll pick up these very frequencies! Here’s a quick YouTube video of me doing this demonstration. If you don’t like video, scroll down for some captioned screen snapshots outlining the experiment.
For those of you who prefer pictures over video, here’s a simple photos essay of what’s happening in the video above. You can click any photo to enlarge.
The take-home message of this demonstration is that you cannot take a radio frequency out of context and label is safe or dangerous, dirty or clean, natural or unnatural. (Well, OK, all radio frequencies are natural, so Wolfe is just completely wrong on that one.) How strong is the electromagnetic field? How close are you to the source? Are we talking about ionizing radiation? There are a lot of factors to consider. The bottom line: neither the radio waves from the sun received in this experiment, Wi-Fi routers, or cell phones are harmful, just because they are measured in gigahertz. And this is David Avocado’s claim: high-frequency radio waves are unnatural and therefore bad for us.
Yes, there is harmful electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays come to mind), but Wolfe doesn’t begin to approach the subject honestly. The World Health Organization has a wonderful online resource on this subject. If you’d like research from experts who have studied this, you can get started here.3
What I’m here to shoot down is Wolfe’s claim that frequencies of billions of hertz–gigahertz–are unnatural and, by extension, somehow inherently dangerous to us. As you can see in the graph below, the sun does output more energy in the visible part of the spectrum than the radio, but it the radio waves are there, and they’re certainly natural.
Why Are Wolfe et al Frightening People?
So, their apparent lack of understanding of basic physics aside, why would David Wolfe and other earthers want to frighten you away from frequencies above 1Ghz? Let’s take a peek at the offerings from Wolfe’s online store, Longevity Warehouse, and see if we can divine an answer:
Wake the kids and phone the neighbors!
- “Grounded” pillow cases for $129.98.
- Matching wired sheets for $179.99.
- Step out of your grounded bed every morning and exercise on a $99 earthing yoga mat.
I think I’m seeing a pattern here. Do you, dear reader?
Ladies and and gentlemen, David Wolfe and his bank account thank you.
In the next installment of this series, we’ll show just how confused earthers are about electrical potential and the flow of electricity, batteries, and we’ll even delve into pH woo. In subsequent episodes, we’ll ask why these folks fret about voltages developing on their skin due to EMF, yet they outlay hundreds of dollars on devices that shock themselves (when the same devices can be built for pennies on the dollar).
From there, we’ll move on to the strange practice of plugging your body into the ground outlet of your home’s electrical socket, and how this might actually kill you.
If you think the world is a strange place, stay tuned. Pardon my poor grammar, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.
David Wolfe screen, product, and video captures used under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
Smoothed Solar Spectral Irradiance graph used with the kind permission of the Window to the Universe Project, derived from the NCAR Comet Program/High Altitude Observatory project. Use of the image does not imply that these organizations endorse or agree with the viewpoints presented in this article.
(1) Mind Blowing Experiment With David Wolfe
(2) David Wolfe Sungazing
(3) World Health Organization: What is EMF?
Why on earth is he selling pillow cases when he clearly states pillows are an epidemic as bad as heroine?
Asking we all give up our pillow addiction?
Why then we he do such co-dependent action as sell pillow cases tsk tsk.
In that same video he says a long time ago he read (para phrasing cause I can’t watch it again).
That any hit piece, big thing you hear or read the opposite will be the truth, then goes on to explain his discovery!?
Wouldn’t that mean that whatever he claimed the opposite would be true?
Just a crazy thought on my part I guess.
There is two people that keep popping up that no one seems to have addressed.
One is Ronald p. Drucker (lists himself as a doctor, he is a chriopractor and I wont use the doctor title he uses ).
He is out of fla, and besides his woo his fb and site are sketchy as all get out.
I was banned from commenting and I emailed him about it he denied it and still I’m not able to comment.(he was very amiable in his response)
The other is the medical medium.(not sure if his name) but he recently released a book, one of those all disease cause by x(EBv) and cured by diet and spirit? I guess I’m not paying to find out.
But he posts daily about cure all super foods and detoxes.
I would like to see some debunking of this took kooks that fill my feeds on the daily.
Anyway if you find time, try and check out their woo.
Thank you for the ideas Lisa. I will try to dig into the backgrounds of the quacks you mention. There are so many of these people and so little time to address all their woo!
He’s selling garbage with totally made up health claims
Drucker is my own pet peeve, he is mostly in the same level as most quackopractors.
But this medical medium guy is off the charts. And the big concern is that he (or possible ghost writer) do it very well, it’s not your typical crazy.
He writing could be very convincing.
So I hope you do check him out at least.
I know there is so much out there, but I have fears about this guy going on checked for so long, and I hear his book is on the best seller list.
Anyway thanks for taking the time to respond, I really do enjoy your takedowns.
Thanks for the feedback and the leads Lisa. The blog is a labor of love, it’s nice to know people are enjoying it and I’m always looking for fresh material 🙂
Will we see a David Wolfe Faraday cage on the market anytime soon?
Don’t give him any ideas!!! ☺️
You briefly mention ionizing versus non-ionizing. Evidently, you have not read the scientific studies for the last 3 decades on low frequency non-ionizing radio waves on Potassium, Calcium, and Sodium, in the phospholipid bilayer, blood vessels, as well as the brain in ranges less than 150 MHz…I have no problem criticizing the electric pillowcases, and other frivolity for profit, but seriously, there are scholarly peer-reviewed studies that show the effects.
I don’t believe you are naive enough to confuse unnatural radio waves ELF, etc., aka, produced by technology, versus what the earth and sun emit.
Electromagnetic energy/fields within 60 feet has been shown to affect nerve impulses, cause chromosomal instability, change electrical potential in blood vessels, and if you really want to run the gamut on the depth of penetration of such ‘innocuous’ waves in the human body…Tell that to someone with a pacemaker that lies under bone and skin, when something such as a signal from a cellphone can be detected and cause interference…Our entire body is ran on biochemical, and electric impulses/charges.
If I were you, I would have approached it from investigating his products by his own claims of logic by measuring the frequency emitted by the ELECTRIC pillow cases and bedding themselves. Especially since exposure would range from 8 +/- hours daily and be in close proximity to the thyroid and lymphatic system which are the most commonly affected in studies conducted, and after all, Mr. Wolfe’s concerns are about bolstering the immune system — not compromising it. 🙂
This is my third reply on different topics of yours…Maybe, it’s technical error, but none so far have been posted.
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Wolfe’s pillow cases aren’t electric and don’t emit EMF. They are plugged into the ground plug of an electrical outlet, which is tied directly to Earth ground.
Also, apologies for the delay on getting your comment posted. It was indeed a technical issue (first time commenters get held up in a queue by WordPress until approved due to spam issues; I get ~10,000 spam comments a month 😦 ) but you’re very welcome here and can comment at will now. I hate censorship and welcome differing opinions. As for the points about the dangers of radiation, there are many factors to consider, including strength, proximity, and frequency. The point being debated is whether there are “unnatural” or “natural” frequencies (Wolfe’s appeal to nature fallacy) and it was demonstrated that the very frequencies he says are dangerous are emitted by a source he tells his followers to gaze at–the sun.
Okay ,is a EMF with a frequency of, say, 900MHz (radio waves) different if it produced by a radio station compared to production from a ‘natural’ source? Assuming the signal strength and distance are the same of course.
No. Can’t see any reason why, based on the info provided. The wavelength would be 33 centimeters. 900 million of those waves would cycle in one second. They’d be very blissfully aware as to their origins and would behave the same if they met the antenna of one of my receivers, which covers 900mhz and above. The radio waves themselves could be modulated in various ways, or polarized, etc, but no, I’d argue they’re still 900mhz. Wolfe would argue they’re dangerous because of the high frequency, regardless the origin. He’d claim the radio waves from the radio station are dangerous because Mother Nature didn’t make them.
Reblogged this on ILLuMiNuTTi.com.
You really should tell us who you are. I’m a journalist and I was going to mention your blog in an article, but I can’t do it without knowing who you are and your credentials.
There is a short bio at the link below. It’s supposed to be publicly accessible via WordPress, linked to my blog, but IMHO they don’t do the best job of making it accessible. I’d be honored to have the blog mentioned in your article if it turns out to be fitting. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information.
Hi Mark – you don’t know as much as you think you do. If you don’t want to “believe” – ok. But there are many studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/
Hi Mr. Berry, thank you for reading and replying. I’d love to discuss any errors you found in the article. You didn’t mention any, only hinted they are there. Could you please describe the science in your own words? I look forward to discussing this with you. Thanks, Mark
Mmmm….. a valid observation, but your post does raise an important question: that is, does broad spectrum sunlight have a different effect compared to isolated frequencies?
Another aspect is that it seems that it is not healthy to be exposed to EMF’s while sleeping (I assume that means the sun’s natural broad spectrum radio frequencies could also be implicated, but somehow I doubt that). However, I personally experienced worsening health (unusual headaches) when I installed a WiFi extender near my sleeping quarters, until I removed it.
The other aspect is that according to some websites on grounding, is that if you ground yourself while you are being exposed, then you are actually turning your body into an aerial and therefore exposing yourself to potentially much more voltage than when not grounding. Better to use a grounding mat while away from your devices, if at all.
Another aspect is that the ground around you, and indeed the earth wire of your home may in fact have ‘dirty’ electricity, as underground cables in your locality can charge the earth with stray voltage, and so you may be inadvertently charging your body with this stray voltage while thinking that you are grounding yourself. Better to check the voltage of the earth wire that you are grounding to. Apparently many people seem to feel health improvement using grounding mattresses, but many also find their health getting worse.
There are also unhealthful natural geological frequencies that can be generated under your living space if, for example, there is an underground stream disrupting the earths own natural resonance of 7.83 Hz. The purpose of grounding is supposed to be to align our own frequency with that of the earth. But do these man-made isolated wavelengths disturb this body harmonic?
It seems to be that their needs to be more thorough research on this topic for sure.
If you’re exposed to frequency “A”, then you’re exposed to it whether as part of a broad spectrum or in isolation. Nothing has changed. I’m at a loss as to the significance of the first part of your question. Likewise the second part. Sleeping or awake, why would you think that makes a difference?
I’m afraid may have been been sold a bill of goods on “grounding”. What exactly is it you think has been accomplished? You haven’t “aligned” any “frequencies.” You have an electrical current flowing along your skin and into the ground when there is an imbalance of charges.
My suggestion is that perhaps combinations of wavelengths work in somehow synergistic fashion similar to how vitamins work in a synergistic fashion in food, as opposed to isolated drugs and vitamin pills which may have side effects when the nutrients are separated from their natural source. Perhaps the wavelengths are harmless when combined as in their natural form, that is, sunlight, but not so when isolated?
As for exposure to EMF’s during sleep, it has been said that the body needs a rest from any sources of man made radiation for at least eight hours per day, especially during sleep, as this is when the body heals, and such radiation can disturb or hinder the natural chemical reactions that occur while our body is regenerating. (Incidentally, we are also not supposed to be closer than two meters to household WiFi during the day). So I have made a habit of turning off WiFi at night because of this, and doing so made a definite positive improvement for my own health.
My understanding of how grounding works is that our body is supposed to be aligned with the earths natural resonant frequency, but that the charge that is present in the body is changed when exposed to man made EMF’s. Therefore it becomes necessary to connect with the earth in order to discharge or re-balance any excess potential back to the earth. This is what I mean when refer to the need to ‘align’ with the earth. Sorry for any confusion. Of course, as others have said, it doesn’t make sense to be connected to earth *while being exposed*, as you then are just making yourself a conduit or an aerial, as mentioned earlier, rather than protecting yourself from the exposure.
There’s no such thing as natural vs unnatural form of a wavelength. I’m very confused as to where you’re coming from. A 1cm wave is, well, a 1cm wave. That’s it.
Why such an arbitrary distance as two meters for wifi? Are you familiar with the inverse square law as it relates to RF? And you don’t mention the frequency or output power of the transmitter. Again, with respect, I’m not sure this is being approached scientifically.
In that vein, aligning a body with the natural resonant frequency of the planet doesn’t really make sense scientifically. Could you please explain what you mean? You switched between “charge” and “frequency” in the same sentence–those terms have to very, very difference meanings. If we could get on the same page and agree on terminology… find common ground (forgive the pun :-)), a more fruitful discussion could be had!
Thanks for reading and commenting. All viewpoints are welcome here!