I got an e-mail from a woman who had read my article on ASEA, a multilevel marketing diet supplement that I characterized as an expensive way to buy water. She had not tried ASEA products but was applying for a position as an accountant with the company, and she chastised me for not doing my due diligence and researching the new science of ORMUS.
First she dismissed science, saying “science as we know it is no longer valid and quantum physics clearly shows this.” Then she claimed there was valid science that would support ASEA’s claims. She had personally done a sea salt cleanse with good results. If ASEA is only salt water, that doesn’t negate its validity, since ORMUS material is from sea salt and when minerals are rearranged they no longer register as the original element. Alchemy is not a myth, and the “quantum non-mainstream sciences” prove it is real. Quantum physics “explains that particles can interact without actually being on contact, this is a form or property of superconductivity.” She thinks ORMUS material is superconductive and constitutes a percentage of the human brain mass, allowing transmission of thoughts to others who tune in to these superconductive energy transmissions.
But wait, there’s more! She went on to tell me about an experiment where a dog’s entire blood volume was replaced by seawater. She shared her belief that the power of the mind can heal all disease, and she explained that she relies on a natural knowing within herself and only uses outside evidence to confirm her beliefs. She has been studying subjects like sacred geometry, Vedic mathematics, the golden ratio, quantum physics, and extraterrestrials.
Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Elements
This woman is obviously misguided and misinformed, but what is this ORMUS she’s talking about? I’d never heard of it, so I started with Rational Wiki:
ORMUS, also called ORMEs (Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Elements) and m-state materials, is a fictitious group of substances exhibiting many miraculous properties, such as healing powers and superconductivity at room temperature. They were supposedly discovered in 1975 by David Hudson, a cotton farmer from Arizona.
They are precious materials like gold and platinum in an exotic state of matter where they exist as single atoms. They are life-giving elements found in all living beings, and they can supposedly:
- Cure all forms of disease, including cancer and AIDS
- Correct errors in the DNA
- Act as a superconductor
- Emit gamma radiation
- Partially levitate in the Earth’s magnetic field
- Read a person’s mind
- Have a “weigh-ability” different from mass, which probably means an inertial mass different from the gravitational mass
- Be fused into a transparent glass
- Act as a flash powder, causing “explosions of light”
- Make severed cat tails grow back
The “discovery” of ORMUS
The notoriously unreliable Natural News website explains how ORMUS was discovered:
[An Arizona farmer named David Hudson] discovered some material in his soil that he had never seen before. He laid it out to dry in the hot Arizona sun so he could have it analyzed. What happened next was absolutely remarkable: the stuff exploded in a big flash of light and disappeared! But when he dried it without the use of sunlight it didn’t disappear.
A professor at Cornell analyzed it and found gold, silver, iron, and aluminum. These did not dissolve in acids as they should have, and after removal of the elements a staggering 98% of the material was left. Further analysis by a German expert who built special machinery and by a specialist at the University of Iowa revealed that:
- It contained various precious metals
- With heat treatment, precious elements were absent up to 69 seconds but appeared after 70 seconds
- It changed into a white powder or glass depending on temperature
- Elements spontaneously disappeared or morphed into other elements
- It changed weight when exposed to air
He patented 12 elements that he called Orbitally Rearranged Monoatomic Elements or ORMEs, that exist both in a material and an immaterial, energetic form, are superconductors, dissolve in sunlight, and are exempt from gravity. By dissecting animal brains he showed that they contained ORMUS. We can increase the ORMUS content of our brains by taking in food and water with a high ORMUS content.
ORMUS conspiracy theories
The author of the Natural News article goes on to make conspiracy claims. ORMUS makes us more spiritual and corrects our DNA. The ancient Egyptians knew about it, but today knowledge is suppressed by dark and powerful sources that are trying to prevent our true evolution to a higher consciousness. Diseases are both caused and treated with war chemistry; chemotherapy is nothing more than a variation of mustard gas. GMOs make plants sick. In the slaughterhouse, animals are skinned alive.
He recommends that we expose ourselves to as much ORMUS as possible by:
- Growing food with diluted ocean water or sea salt
- Taking supplements like Mountain Manna or Liquid Chi [You can look these up. The first is homeopathic, and both claim to have miraculous health results.]
- Eating natural products grown with love
- Gazing into the sun with eyes closed and palms outstretched
- Breathing in as much forest air and sea air as possible
He says ORMUS is life energy, and we need it to counterbalance
the death energy we are exposed to daily through our food, our drinking water, our ‘medicines’, electromagnetic fields and radioactivity due to the use of depleted uranium by a flourishing war industry. This negative energy keeps us sick and dumb.
Many amazing claims are made for health benefits of ORMUS. Here are just a few:
- Enhanced immune system functioning
- Increased rate of healing
- Slowing and reversing the aging process
- Boosting strength and athletic conditioning
- Mood enhancing and antidepressant
- Improved sleep
- Heightened energy and awareness
- Increases electrolytes
- Improves vision
- Increases absorption of nutrients
- Maintains healthy blood sugar level
- Promotes healthy cellular pH balance
Another website makes specific disease claims for AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, MS, and several others.
Citing Hal Putoff
The Natural News article says Hudson consulted “one of the pioneers of quantum physics, Hal Putoff.” Putoff’s PhD is in electrical engineering and he is a parapsychologist. His name will be instantly recognized by many in the skeptic community as half of the gullible Targ/Putoff team that was fooled by Uri Geller into believing he had psychic powers. Putoff was a Scientologist who reached the top OT VII level and claimed he had developed remote viewing abilities.
Rational Wiki says most of the time Hudson is “babbling incoherently and not even wrong or teaching a disfigured version of high school chemistry.” They provide a non-exhaustive list of his errors, showing his misunderstanding and distortion of basic chemical and physical principles.
There is a lot of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo about ORMUS on the Internet, including claims that it is the philosopher’s stone long sought by alchemists, that it is the secret alchemy of Mary Magdalene, that the word Ormus was originally another name for the Zoroastrian deity Ahura Mazda. There are even instructions for making your own ORMUS at home.
But there is some scientific research. Here’s a list of scientific papers about ORMUS. In my opinion they don’t even begin to support the claims that have been made.
The dog experiments
Rene Quinton did experiments on abandoned dogs in 1897. In one experiment he completely removed a dog’s blood and replaced it with diluted seawater. The dog developed an infection and fever, but recovered and by the eighth day had become exaggeratedly exuberant and ran about wildly. Five years later the dog was still alive and well.
Based on this experiment, some people have suggested sea water could be used as a substitute for blood transfusions, which would be a great boon for Jehovah’s Witnesses if it worked.
Frankly, I don’t believe the story. There is a huge body of established scientific knowledge that would have to be overthrown before we could accept that an animal’s entire blood volume could be replaced with saline without resulting in death. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this century-old report doesn’t even meet the standards of ordinary peer-reviewed published evidence.
A tribute to the unlimited inventiveness of the human imagination
You are probably rolling on the floor laughing at this point. Indeed, there is an entry for David Hudson in the Encyclopedia of American Loons that describes the ORMUS people as belonging to the more extreme fringes of the lunacy movement. It says they serve as an illustration of how far into idiot land it is possible to fall without being committed to an institution.
ORMUS is a tribute to the unlimited inventiveness of the human imagination and the human capacity for self-deception, and it is great as humorous entertainment, but there is no reason to think it has anything to do with reality or science. If the claims were true, it would be Nobel Prize-worthy. Science doesn’t recognize ORMUS, and it won’t unless the proponents can come up with credible evidence. I’m not holding my breath.
This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine Blog.