Book Proposal: Radio Vision: The Life and Times of Ruth Drown, America's Greatest Woman Huckster


You may have heard many of the numerous and elaborate lies circulated about Dr. Ruth Drown.  Let me tell you the truth.” – Trevor James Constable


One version of the story is this:  Ruth B. Drown invented a new kind of miracle.  The miracle was called a “Radio Therapeutic Instrument.”  With her invention, Dr. Drown, using only a dried drop of a patient’s blood on a piece of blotter paper, could accurately diagnose any and all diseases afflicting the patient, including cancer.  What is more, Dr. Drown could then cure the patient without the need of radiation, drugs, surgery or a hospital.  Sick and dying people flocked to her laboratory in Hollywood, California, where they expected to be healed.

Another version of the story is this:  Ruth B. Drown was the single greatest female flim-flam artist in the history of medicine.  She deceived thousands of patients, by the bye killing some of them, and made millions of dollars all while thumbing her nose at the American Medical Association. 

Born in Greeley, Colorado in 1892, Ruth learned the photographer’s art from her father.  After high school, Ruth married Clarence Drown, who was a farmer.  Farming bored Ruth and so did Clarence.  During the seventh year of the marriage, Ruth decided she couldn’t take any more.  So she left, taking $800 and her two children with her.  She ended up in Los Angeles, where she opened a gas station and lunch counter.  One year later she sold the business, and went to work in a Hollywood photography lab.  Shortly thereafter, a friend, who worked for Southern California Edison Company, got Ruth a job with the Edison Company.  The new job was in the accounting department, where Ruth supervised the mechanical addressing machines, which sent out the monthly billing statements.  It was there, while working at the Edison Company, that Ruth developed a passion for radio. 

In 1923, Ruth attended a lecture given by Dr. Frederick F. Strong, who was a pioneer in the application of radio energies to treat disease.  Inspired by Dr. Strong, Ruth knew a good idea when she heard one.  Desiring to learn more about the wonders of radio-therapy, Ruth took a low paying part-time job in Dr. Strong’s office as his office assistant.

The science of radio-therapy, which came to be known as Radionics, had been discovered, advanced and refined by Dr. Albert Abrams.  Radionics was based on the concept of life force energy, which was called ether.  All living tissue, according to Dr. Abrams, emanated ether.  These etheric emanations could be detected, measured and classified.  And if abnormal, the emanations could be restored to normalcy.  Restoration resulted in perfect health.

Ruth had found her niche in life.  She flourished.  While working for Dr. Strong, she also attended Chiropractic College.  And in her spare time she experimented with new ways of manipulating the life force energy encountered in Radionics diagnosis.  Her experiments were aided and guided by her intuitive understanding of metaphysics, especially that of Atlantean wisdom.  In other words, Ruth was deeply rooted in the occult.

By 1935, Dr. Ruth Drown had perfected a machine that could diagnose disease and tumors in situ.  She baptized it the Radio Therapeutic Instrument.  It was a mind-boggling machine, which some referred to as “the greatest invention in modern medical history.”

What it was really, was a bunch of wires and crystal diodes sealed in a box.  Nothing more than a crude radio receiver replete with flashing lights and humming noises.  It was humbuggery.

Dr. Ruth B. Drown was in business.  Her business was pulling the wool over people’s eyes and charging them exorbitant fees for the miraculous healing ability of her machine.  The fact that some of her patients died never discouraged Ruth.  She maintained that the dead patients had simply not followed her instructions.  If they had, they would be alive and in perfect health.  

Eventually, the FDA and the AMA went after her, using lawsuits and undercover operatives to try and stop her.  For a long time, Dr. Drown managed to outmaneuver the government authorities, wriggling free with only a small fine.  But in the end, she was indicted on felony charges.  Her miracle machines, journals and notes were seized and destroyed.  Before the trial began, Ruth Drown suffered a stroke and died.  It was 1965. 

Radio Vision will tell the true story of Ruth Drown, her miracle machine and the historical era that embraced them.  The book will utilize historical records, books and brochures written and produced by Ruth Drown, along with records and documents of the AMA, court transcripts (U.S.A., Plaintiff, vs. Ruth B. Drown, U.S. District Court, No. 21639-Criminal).  It will also use articles from the Chicago Tribune, and files from the FDA (file on Drown Radio Therapeutic Instrument, Interstate Office Seizure No. 60-624K, FDA Records).

This select wealth of documentation forms the platform for the book.

The book will be written in an easy to read style and encompass 100,000 words (negotiable).