Wednesday, August 12, 2020
The Invisible Rainbow   by Arthur Firstenberg    Source

book cover

The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life

Does electricity have any detrimental effects on plants, humans and other animals, and if so how much of a problem is this and why is it not a much bigger concern to us, are the main questions which Arthur Firstenberg aims to answer in his book ‘The Invisible Rainbow. A History of Electricity and Life’. To understand the raison d’etre for writing this book, it is important to realise that its writer, a researcher, journalist and consultant, as well as a practitioner of “several healing arts”, experiences the effects of self-diagnosed electro-hypersensitivity. As such, The Invisible Rainbow, is not only a work of popular science aimed at providing a historical account of the introduction of electricity into society and describing, based on early warnings about side effects of electric shocks and scientific experiments on humans, other animals, and plants, how this may affect biological systems, it is also a campaigner’s warning about the consequences of the ubiquitous presence of electricity for human health and the environment.

The Invisible Rainbow is divided in two parts, entitled ‘From the Beginning...’ and ‘...To the Present’; roughly corresponding to a description of the history of how electricity became ubiquitous in modern society, interwoven with descriptions of historic experiments of effects of electricity on plants and humans in part 1, and a discussion of health effects on humans and the environment more generally, and their alleged associations with exposure to electricity in more modern times in part 2.

The reason I am referring to ‘alleged’ associations in relation to the second part of the book is that it builds the argument regarding the detrimental effects of electricity on human health for a considerable part on work by Dr Milham. His work, described in his book ’Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization‘ (ISBN 978-1938908187) and related peer-reviewed papers, although thought-provoking, is one of correlations rather than causations and relies on weak epidemiological evidence. Although I specifically highlight the link to Dr Milham’s work, because I am most familiar with the epidemiology, and have discussed inherent weaknesses in these data and the analytic method previously (de Vocht and Burstyn 2014), this relates to a broader issue regarding the scientific arguments made in The Invisible Rainbow: evidence is systematically brought together from a wide variety of sources spanning over 200 to 300 years but is of very varying quality. This should not necessarily be a problem, but unfortunately the synthesis of all these studies, anecdotal evidence and other sources of data, relies on supporting the central thesis of the book rather than on the scientific rigour and quality of data. Evidence from rigorous experiments are combined on par with results from studies that are, at best, fringe science, and are supplemented with anecdotes. As a result, it is difficult for readers, especially those unfamiliar with scientific enquiries in general, are new to this field, or who are unfamiliar with adjacent disciplines to their own, to infer how robust the scientific basis is for claims made in the book.

Nonetheless, despite misgivings, Firstenberg expands on Dr Milham’s work significantly in terms of the inference and triangulation of different areas of science and relates the correlations described by Dr Milham to other epidemiological and mechanistic studies to strengthen the argument that electricity may have a part to play in the observed disease trends. This is a considerable strength of this book: whereas much of the work in this area is limited by the absence of credible biological mechanisms that could explain the correlated phenomena, The Invisible Rainbow goes to great lengths to provide explanations of how, at least theoretically, exposure to non-ionising radiation would link to health and environmental effects. Of course, the studies by Milham are also by no means the only evidence on which Firstenberg’s thesis is built, and as such this book is a very detailed and rigorous work and succeeds in advancing the original arguments.

An additional concern with respect to the inference made by Firstenberg, is that many of the studies used to support the book’s central thesis, especially those describing experiments, were conducted several decades (and often over a century) ago. This is not a problem by itself as scientific studies, if not falsified, remain as much scientific evidence as more recent studies; however, here they are generally presented as of equivalent if not stronger evidence than recent studies. Arguably, the scientific method, including accuracy and precision of measurement, has made great leaps forward over that time period.

As a result of these issues, to accept the thesis of ‘The Invisible Rainbow’ the reader has to accept two important preconditions

  1. there have been no significant improvements in the quality of research in the last (at least) 100 years, an
  2. there has been a worldwide conspiracy started soon after the introduction of electricity in society and lasting to present day dedicated to hiding the true impact on health from non-ionising radiation.

Personally, I do not find these two preconditions very convincing, at least not to the extent required to accept the book’s conclusions, but other readers may be more willing to accept these. If you are willing to accept these preconditions, then The Invisible Rainbow is a great book. It is probably one of the most detailed and best researched ones on the topic, and the arguments laid out in the book are clear and concise. If you are however, like me, not that willing to accept these in their totality, this is still a very interesting book on the history of electrification and possible effects on humans and the environment. In addition, it is also very well written.

It is however worth pointing out that although electromagnetic radiation includes a wide spectrum of different types of radiation (including for example Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Radio Frequency (RF) radiation, but also visible light) as well as different possible exposure levels and sources – and which have different effects on biological materials – this distinction is rarely made. Electricity is treated as a generic concept throughout, but it is left up to the reader to work out, which is sometimes difficult, whether a specific paragraph refers to ELF, RF or other frequencies. A possible way of working this out is to refer to the original source materials, which are provided in the extensive Notes and Bibliography (169 pages).

Regardless, the writing style is pleasant, the arguments are laid out in a clear and concise manner, and the book is aimed at the general public. So as a work of popular science it deserves a place on the shelves. It is, of course, not just a work of popular science. The Invisible Rainbow is also a call to arms. It is a call to recognise that biology is not just about chemistry, but also about electricity, it is a call to recognise that electrification of society could have effects on humans, animals and the environment more general, and most of all it is a call to arms for the recognition of electro hypersensitivity and to study this more and better. And in these calls to arms, Firstenberg has been very successful.

Frank de Vocht
Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School
University of Bristol. Bristol, UK
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LINK to original posting


0 part one


PART I From the Beginning …
1. Captured in a Bottle
2. The Deaf to Hear, and the Lame to Walk
3. Electrical Sensitivity
4. The Road Not Taken
5. Chronic Electrical Illness
6. The Behavior of Plants
7. Acute Electrical Illness
8. Mystery on the Isle of Wight
9. Earth’s Electric Envelope
10. Porphyrins and the Basis of Life

PART II … To the Present
11. Irritable Heart
12. The Transformation of Diabetes
13. Cancer and the Starvation of Life
14. Suspended Animation
15. You mean you can hear electricity?
16. Bees, Birds, Trees, and Humans
17. In the Land of the Blind




About the Author


ONCE UPON A TIME, the rainbow visible in the sky after a storm represented all the colors there were. Our earth was designed that way. We have a blanket of air above us that absorbs the higher ultraviolets, together with all of the X-rays and gamma rays from space. Most of the longer waves, that we use today for radio communication, were once absent as well. Or rather, they were there in infinitesimal amounts. They came to us from the sun and stars but with energies that were a trillion times weaker than the light that also came from the heavens. So weak were the cosmic radio waves that they would have been invisible, and so life never developed organs that could see them.

The even longer waves, the low-frequency pulsations given off by lightning, are also invisible. When lightning flashes, it momentarily fills the air with them, but they are almost gone in an instant; their echo, reverberating around the world, is roughly ten billion times weaker than the light from the sun. We never evolved organs to see this either.

But our bodies know that those colors are there. The energy of our cells whispering in the radio frequency range is infinitesimal but necessary for life. Every thought, every movement that we make surrounds us with low frequency pulsations, whispers that were first detected in 1875 and are also necessary for life. The electricity that we use today, the substance that we send through wires and broadcast through the air without a thought, was identified around 1700 as a property of life. Only later did scientists learn to extract it and make it move inanimate objects, ignoring—because they could not see—its effects on the living world. It surrounds us today, in all of its colors, at intensities that rival the light from the sun, but we still cannot see it because it was not present at life’s birth.

We live today with a number of devastating diseases that do not belong here, whose origin we do not know, whose presence we take for granted and no longer question. What it feels like to be without them is a state of vitality that we have completely forgotten.

“Anxiety disorder,” afflicting one-sixth of humanity, did not exist before the 1860s, when telegraph wires first encircled the earth. No hint of it appears in the medical literature before 1866.

Influenza, in its present form, was invented in 1889, along with alternating current. It is with us always, like a familiar guest—so familiar that we have forgotten that it wasn’t always so. Many of the doctors who were flooded with the disease in 1889 had never seen a case before.

Prior to the 1860s, diabetes was so rare that few doctors saw more than one or two cases during their lifetime. It, too, has changed its character: diabetics were once skeletally thin. Obese people never developed the disease.

Heart disease at that time was the twenty-fifth most common illness, behind accidental drowning. It was an illness of infants and old people. It was extraordinary for anyone else to have a diseased heart.

Cancer was also exceedingly rare. Even tobacco smoking, in non-electrified times, did not cause lung cancer.

These are the diseases of civilization, that we have also inflicted on our animal and plant neighbors, diseases that we live with because of a refusal to recognize the force that we have harnessed for what it is. The 60-cycle current in our house wiring, the ultrasonic frequencies in our computers, the radio waves in our televisions, the microwaves in our cell phones, these are only distortions of the invisible rainbow that runs through our veins and makes us alive. But we have forgotten.

It is time that we remember.

Author’s Note

FOR EASE OF READING I have kept the endnotes to a minimum. However, all sources referred to in the text can be found in the bibliography at the back of the book, together with other principal works I have consulted. For the convenience of those interested in particular subjects, the literature in the bibliography is organized by chapter, and within some chapters by topic, instead of the usual single alphabetical listing.


In memory of Pelda Levey—friend, mentor, and fellow traveler.


In his recently revised and updated book The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, scientist Arthur Firstenberg has made both science and history comprehensible by explaining the importance and significance to life on Earth of a vital consideration that has long been ‘invisible’: electricity.

Indeed, as Firstenberg makes clear, if we want to understand life on Earth, we cannot do so without understanding the role that electricity plays in making life possible, healing it and, if abused, threatening us all.

Firstenberg’s book is unusual on at least two counts. Based on decades of scientific research, he carefully explains each point in language accessible to the non-scientist while documenting his case with exceptional clarity and detail complemented by a 138-page bibliography.

If you want to really understand this issue, and what is at stake, you will be doing yourself a favor by reading this book.

The Universe, Electricity and Life: In Brief

As Firstenberg’s subtitle promises, his book includes a history of electricity and its role in the Universe but particularly on Earth.

Almost all of the matter in the universe is electrically charged…. The stars we see are made of… charged particles in constant motion. The space between the stars and galaxies, far from being empty, teems with electrically charged subatomic particles, swimming in vast swirling electromagnetic fields, accelerated by those fields to near-light speeds. Plasma is such a good conductor of electricity, far better than any metals,  that filaments of plasma – invisible wires billions of light-years long – transport electromagnetic energy in gigantic circuits from one part of the universe to another…. Under the influence of electromagnetic forces, over billions of years, cosmic whirlpools of matter collect along these filaments, like beads on a string, evolving into the galaxies that decorate our night sky.

The Milky Way, the galaxy in which Earth is located, is a medium-sized spiral galaxy that is 100,000 light-years across; it rotates around its center every 250,000,000 earth years, generating around itself a galactic-size magnetic field. Filaments of plasma, 500 light-years long, generate additional magnetic fields.

Our sun, also made of plasma, sends out an ocean of electrons, protons and helium ions in a steady current called the solar wind. This wind bathes the Earth before diffusing out into the plasma between the stars.

The Earth, with its core of iron, rotates on its axis in the electric fields of the solar system and the galaxy, in turn generating its own magnetic field that traps and deflects the charged particles of the solar wind wrapping the Earth in an envelope of plasma called the magnetosphere. Some of the particles from the solar wind collect in layers we call the Van Allen belts where they circulate 600 to 35,000 miles overhead.

The sun also bombards the Earth with ultraviolet light and X-rays. In addition, atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (known as cosmic rays) shower the Earth from all directions as well. It is these cosmic rays from Space and the radiation emitted by uranium and other radioactive elements in Earth’s crust that provide the small ions that carry the electric currents that surround us in the lower atmosphere.

It is within this electromagnetic environment – a fairly constant vertical field averaging 130 volts per meter – that all life, including Homo Sapiens, evolved on Earth.

In fair weather, the ground beneath us has a negative charge and the ionosphere above us a positive charge. ‘Electricity courses through the sky far above us, explodes downward in thunderstorms, rushes through the ground beneath us, and flows gently back up through the air in fair weather.’ This happens in an endless cycle as about 100 bolts of lightning, each delivering a trillion watts of energy, strike the Earth every second.

Every living thing is part of this circuit. The current enters our heads from the sky, circulates through our meridians, and enters the earth through the soles of our feet. This current provides the energy for growth, healing, and life itself. See ‘Putting the Earth Inside a High-Speed Computer’.

The strength of the atmospheric electrical current is between 1 and 10 picoamperes (trillionths of an ampere) per square meter. Dr. Robert Becker found that 1 picoampere is all the current that is necessary to stimulate healing in frogs…. It is these tiny currents that keep us alive and healthy. See ‘Planetary Emergency’.

The fundamental point about all this is simple: The Earth is incredibly delicately balanced with a great many forces making up this balance and thus making life possible.

One of the many ways in which we have been disrupting this balance is by disturbing the global electrical circuit, that evolved over eons and sustains all life, without paying genuine and sincere attention to what we are doing and what this means for the Earth and all of its inhabitants, including us.

Given the profound implications of generating ‘electric pollution’, some might label this behaviour insane. It is certainly unaware.

Human-Generated Electricity on Earth

It was in 1746 that scientists were finally able to ‘capture’ electricity so that a start could be made on using it directly for human ends. Sure, the wider implications of its use were not considered but it offered opportunities not previously available. And when the damage from its use, on humans and other living organisms, started and then rapidly picked up pace, the association between the spread of electricity (particularly through the telegraph wires in the mid-nineteenth century and electric lighting a few decades later) and the adverse health and environmental impacts were not made, or ignored when they were. And so diseases not previously recorded in the medical literature started to appear: anxiety disorder, influenza, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But it wasn’t just us that was impacted; so were the other living organisms of our planet.

And now we are bathed in the 60-cycle current in our house-wiring; the ultrasonic frequencies in our computers, Wi-Fi routers and modems; the radio waves in our televisions; the microwaves in our cell phones and the electromagnetic radiation generated by everything from baby monitors to ‘smart’ devices of all kinds, as well as the vast network of satellites, transmission towers and power lines all endlessly but variably impacting, adversely, virtually every human being on Earth. And if 5G is deployed, there will be nowhere on Earth that is safe for humans, insects, birds, animals and plants.

We will have fundamentally altered the very conditions that made the evolution of life on Earth possible.

amazon rainforest

An exaggeration?

Here is the briefest sample of the damage existing human-generated electromagnetic radiation is causing life on Earth.


Apart from being logged mercilessly, burned down to create cattle or soy farms or palm oil plantations, destroyed by the endless proliferation of mining for various mineral resources including coal and oil, damaged by dam construction, wildlife poaching and the extraction of resources like rayon, viscose and modal to make clothing, and adversely impacted in many other ways, forests are being destroyed by electromagnetic radiation inflicted by humans. While acid rain and global warming have been blamed for much of the ‘forest die-off’ that has occurred over the past 40 years, the evidence that electromagnetic radiation has been the real, or at least primary, cause is rather overwhelming once the full circumstances of the damage are seriously investigated. While Firstenberg cites many very compelling examples, the case of the Amazon rainforest makes the point rather starkly.

In 2005, it was noticed that trees were dying without obvious cause. This has been blamed on global warming which caused an unusual drought in that year.

However, on 27 July 2002, the US-financed and Raytheon-built System for Vigilance of the Amazon (SIVAM), a $US1.4 billion system of radars and sensors, began its monitoring activities in a two million square mile area of remote wilderness.

Ostensibly to deprive drug traffickers and guerrillas a safe haven, it also ‘required pretending that blasting the rainforest with radiation at levels that were unprecedented in the history of the world was of no consequence to the forest’s precious inhabitants, human or otherwise’. So the system’s ‘25 enormously powerful surveillance radars, 10 Doppler weather radars, 200 floating water-monitoring stations, 900 radio-equipped “listening posts”, 32 radio stations, 8 airborne state-of-the-art surveillance jets equipped with fog-penetrating radar, and 99 “attack/trainer” support aircraft’ can track individual human beings and ‘hear a twig snap’ anywhere in the Amazon.

Again, at the cost of electromagnetically damaging every living organism in the rainforest.

To reiterate though, the Amazon is not the only forest in the world adversely impacted by electromagnetic radiation with many studies examining the issue, wherever they are conducted, consistently revealing forest damage by electromagnetic radiation from civilian and military installations (and even recovery when, as happens occasionally, the local radiation stops).


In 1901, Marconi sent the world’s first long-distance radio transmission from the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England. By 1906 and now host to the greatest density of radio transmissions in the world, the island was almost empty of bees. ‘Thousands, unable to fly, were found crawling and dying on the ground outside their hives’. And healthy bees, imported from the mainland, began dying within a week of arrival. ‘Isle of Wight disease’ was then reported in European countries, South Africa, Australia and North America over following decades with almost everyone assuming it was infectious. Despite various suspected diseases and parasites accused over many decades, each was eventually ‘cleared’ of causing the problem.

bumblebee october 2007 3a

But in the second half of the 1990s,  problem again accelerated and acquired the name ‘colony collapse disorder’ in 2007 as bee populations were decimated in many parts of the world. And despite the resistance of beekeepers (who are largely convinced that infectious diseases are driving bee losses and that toxic pesticides are necessary to kill mites), some scientists were starting to investigate the impact of electromagnetic radiation on bees. The simplest experiments involved placing a cell phone inside a bee hive: ‘The results of such experiments, considering the complete denial by our society that wireless technology has any environmental effects at all, have been almost unbelievable.’

‘The quickest way to destroy a bee hive, investigators have found, is to place a wireless telephone inside it.’ Landmark research conducted originally in 2009 and then subsequently, which involved placing two cell phones in a hive for 30 minutes at a time every few days, demonstrated that electromagnetic fields interfere with cellular metabolism: bees practically could not metabolize sugars, proteins or fats and, as in humans but far more rapidly, their cells become oxygen starved. Three months, at this modest level of exposure, would destroy a hive.

One particularly nasty development that occurred in the (northern) Winter of 2006-2007 that is considered by some the likely immediate cause of the disastrous colony collapse disorder at the time, is that the US military’s HAARP – High-frequency Active Auroral Research Project – in Alaska reached full power with the installation of the last of its 180 antennas at that time. HAARP is the most powerful radio transmitter on Earth and ‘turned the ionosphere itself – the life-giving layer of sky to which every creature is tuned – into a gigantic radio transmitter’. Why? HAARP was being used for US military communications, particularly with submarines.


Even in 1988, when HAARP was still being planned, physicist Richard Williams, a consultant to Princeton University’s David Sarnoff Laboratory, called the project ‘an irresponsible act of global vandalism’ given the power levels that were to be used.

In fact, according to other researchers, the HAARP project has also been used to research and develop electromagnetic weapons, such as directed energy beams. See ‘HAARP: Secret Weapon Used For Weather Modification, Electromagnetic Warfare’.

But whatever its functions, even though now transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Ulrich Warnke points out that the frequencies of HAARP superimpose unnatural magnetic fields on the natural resonant frequencies of the sky, the daily variations of which have not changed since life appeared on Earth.This is disastrous for bees because they ‘lose an orientation that served them for millions of years as a reliable indicator of the time of day’.

Of course bees are not the only insects adversely impacted by this recent human obsession with electromagnetic radiation. Experiments with other insects, such as ants and fruit flies, again simply using exposure to cell phones rather than any specialized equipment, revealed equally instructive results. A few minutes exposure for a few days, for example, dramatically reduced the reproductive success of the flies. And exposed to phones turned off, in standby mode and then turned on, ants displayed a variety of behaviors including leaving their nest and taking all of their eggs, larvae and nymphs with them.

As an aside, experiments of this nature also revealed ‘intensity windows’ of maximal effect. This means that ‘the greatest damage is not always done by the greatest levels of radiation. Holding your cell phone away from your head may actually worsen the damage.’ And even a cell phone that is turned off but has the battery in it, is ‘clearly and obviously dangerous’.



The disastrous effects of radio waves on birds were first noted in the 1930s. It was immediately obvious, for example, to diverse groups of people who worked with pigeons – those involved in pigeon racing and those still using pigeons for military communications – when the birds lost their way during the rapid expansion of radio broadcasting. But by the late 1990s, as cell phone towers proliferated and vastly greater numbers of birds were unable to fly home, pigeon-racing plummeted compelling pigeon-fanciers to revisit an issue they had earlier set aside. Unfortunately, it was too late. In 1998, shortly after Motorola’s launch of 66 Iridium satellites had begun providing the first cell phone service from Space, 90% of pigeons being raced in various locations in the United States over a two-week period vanished.

Of course, it is not just pigeon populations that are being decimated. Wherever dramatic bird population declines are being studied and electromagnetic radiation is considered as a possible factor (which is not always the case), the results usually reveal a link even if the damaging impac
t is variable.

If electromagnetic radiation totally disorients pigeons, how do migratory birds navigate? Often enough, they don’t.

For example, in 2004, scientists at the University of Oldenburg in Germany were shocked to discover that migratory songbirds they had been studying were no longer able to orient themselves for their migratory journeys. Conducting a simple experiment – surrounding the aviaries of Europea robins with grounded aluminium sheeting to remove the influence of electromagnetic radiation – the immediate and positiveimpa
ct ‘on the birds’ orientation capabilities was profound’, they noted in a study published in 2014.

One series of studies was conducted by wildlife biologist Alfono Balmori Martínez in Spain for more than a decade from the 1990s, after noting the dramatic increase in leukemias, cancers, headaches, insomnia, memory loss, heart arrhythmias and acute neurological reactions suffered by people near a new installation of antennas adjacent to a local school.

His subsequently published research revealed, among many other points, the following:

  • kestrels vanishing from breeding sites after antennas for mobile telecommunications were installed, nest abandonment by storks near the radiation beams from telephone masts,
  • rock doves dead near phone masts,
  • plumage deterioration and locomotive problems in magpies at points highly contaminated with microwave radiation,
  • a dramatic decline in sparrow populations in irradiated areas, which matched a European-wide trend with, for example, sparrows in the UK declining by 75% between 1994 and 2002.

Balmori’s conclusion was simple: ‘This coincides with the rollout of mobile telephony.’

One of the problems peculiar to birds, already identified by Canadian researchers in the 1960s, is that ‘feathers make fine receiving aerials for microwaves’.

By the way, have a ponder what happens when a bird (or animal, reptile, amphibian, fish or even insect, for that matter) is radio tagged so that its behavior can be monitored. It exposes the creatures to immediate radiation, in comparison to that from distant cell phone towers, thus adversely impacting their functioning and altering their behavior! Firstenberg characterized this procedure, politely in my view, as ‘scientific folly’. Other scientists have documented many serious, adverse impacts from radio tagging but the practice is far from over with most wildlife scientists simply assuming that tagging has zero impact.


The ongoing serious decline of frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians all over the world has been notable since at least the 1980s. Not something you think about?

Well, amphibians have been falling silent for a range of reasons but, once again, electromagnetic radiation is a key one. Notably, even iconic species, such as the famous and highly protected Golden Toad, named for its brightly colored skin and resident of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica, have gone extinct without any real fight to save them.

Puzzling to most scientists was the fact that amphibians have been vanishing even in ‘many pristine, remote environments that they thought to be unpolluted’. And they were pristine, except for the ‘invisible pollutant’ that permeated even these environments: electromagnetic radiation.

Needless to say, the usual range of scientific studies has long since proved that exposure of amphibians to electromagnetic radiation is ‘incompatible with [their] survival’.

As Firstenberg notes:

Environmentalists, for the most part, like the rest of modern humanity, have one terrific blindspot: they don’t acknowledge electromagnetic radiation as an environmental factor, and they are comfortable with placing power lines, telephone relay towers, cell towers, and radar stations in the middle of the most remote, pristine mountainous locations, never realizing that they are intensely polluting those environments.

5g us

The key question is this: Will humanity, and not just environmentalists, wake up to the threat posed by electromagnetic radiation in time?


In this brief review, I am not going to discuss the extensive evidence of the damage to human health caused by electromagnetic radiation. But there is not a significant, modern human disease – diabetes, ‘influenza’, cancer, heart disease, strokes, obesity… – and a host of other mental and physical ill-effects (including anxiety, memory loss, impaired motor function, attention-deficit, sleep disturbance, reduced lung capacity, higher white cell counts and headaches as well as a disturbed balance in the boy/girl birth ratio) that can be fully understood without understanding the impact of living in a disturbed electrical environment. Again, Firstenberg spells it out in gruesome detail.

However, to briefly mention two examples: Firstenberg explains how electromagnetic radiation damages the mitochondria – thus inhibiting cellular metabolism – with disastrous consequences for those many individuals impacted. However, they are only rarely medically diagnosed as such. And the effects of radio waves on blood sugar are extremely well documented but none of this research has been done in the United States or western Europe.

As an aside, you might be interested to know that a large, rapid, qualitative change in the Earth’s electromagnetic environment has occurred six times in Earth’s history, as noted by Firstenberg: in 1889 power line harmonic radiation began (accompanied by the 1889 pandemic of influenza), in 1918 the radio era began (accompanied by the ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic), in 1957 the radar era began (accompanied by the Asian flu pandemic), in 1968 the satellite era began (accompanied by the Hong Kong flu pandemic), and twice more coinciding with changes that you can read in the book.

Since a few months before the book was published in February 2020, however, the deployment of 5G technology has been proceeding in earnest, as discussed below. Interesting that during this time people have also been impacted by a ‘virus’ labeled COVID-19, don’t you think?

Anyway, as you probably guessed as well, electromagnetic radiation causes biological damage to fruit trees, crops, farm birds and animals too, with adverse implications for the human food supply (apart from the shocking impact from the mass killing of pollinators such as bees).

What is the State of Play Now?

Despite its enormous health hazards and implications for military violence, as well as its potential for intrusive surveillance, which is also extensively documented. See the following important articles:

How Big Wireless Lobbied Governments to Build 5G for Citizen Data Collection and Surveillance – and the vulnerability of satellites to cyber attacks with potentially horrific consequences –

Hackers could shut down satellites – or turn them into weapons’ – the deployment of 5G has begun. From the elite perspective, it is critical to implementation of the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision.

This means that the existing fleet of functional satellites orbiting Earth, which totaled 2,666 on 1 April 2020 – see ‘Satellite Database’ – but has already grown by a couple of hundred since then, will be vastly expanded to tens of thousands in the near future.

For example, the Elon Musk corporation SpaceX has already launched 538 satellites into Space and is planning to launch another 60 every two weeks into the ionosphere. See ‘538 Satellites and Counting’. Again: ‘The ionosphere is a source of high voltage that controls the global electric circuit, which in turn provides the energy for life.’

Moreover, on 26 May 2020 SpaceX filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA for 30,000 ‘next-generation’ (‘Gen2’) satellites. ‘If and when [SpaceX’s] Starlink signs up millions of paying customers, it is possible that nothing will survive – no humans, no animals, and no insects. It is likely that it will be blamed on COVID-19, unless this world wakes up in time.’ See ‘Putting the Earth Inside a High-Speed Computer’.

But SpaceX is not the only satellite corporation although it has a large scheme compared to most of its major competitors, except OneWeb (UK/USA) which submitted a plan to the FCC in the USA on 27 May 2020 for 48,000 satellites.

Some other private corporations or government agencies that have satellite constellations they are planning to expand include Boeing (USA), Spire Global (Luxembourg, Scotland, USA), Iridium (USA), Orbcomm (USA), Globalstar (USA), Telesat (Canada), Eutelsat (Europe), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Earth Observing System (USA), the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (USA) with plans for hundreds or potentially thousands of satellites in seven layers – see ‘National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC)’ – the Russian Satellite Communications Company, GLONASS (Russia) and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (China).

Yet other groups, such as Amazon, are planning major constellations – see ‘Amazon to offer broadband access from orbit with 3,236-satellite “Project Kuiper” constellation’ – and Facebook has an experimental satellite license.

In addition, the new corporation Lynk (USA) has been deploying ‘cell-towers-in-space’ satellites and boasts ‘We will connect all 5.2 billion mobile phones on the planet, everywhere.’ How? ‘Subscribers receive coverage from terrestrial towers when they have it and satellite towers when they need it, all from their existing phone.’

As has been noted before this, the slowly-evolving night sky that creatures from Earth have observed for billions of years will be rapidly obliterated in what will presumably be the first instance of astronomical pollution. Stars visible to the naked eye will vanish from view.

On 23 March 2020, the ‘Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020’ became law in the United States. See Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020. It’s purpose?

To require the President [within 180 days] to develop a strategy to ensure the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure in the United States and to assist allies and strategic partners in maximizing the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems, infrastructure, and software, and for other purposes.

So 5G technology is now being rapidly rolled out with elite agents in the telecommunications industry advertising bigger and faster downloads. They just don’t mention that it will kill us.

‘Why not?’ you might ask. ‘Won’t it kill them too?’

Yes, but they are insane which, in this case, means that their minds are incapable of paying attention to, and considering, the ‘big picture’ (including all of the ecological and social variables impacted by their decisions) because their focus is on limited imperatives, such as profit. This is why all of those scientific studies that have consistently exposed the extreme dangers of electromagnetic radiation over recent decades have not only been ignored but great effort, including through the corporate media, has been made to prevent public discussion of the impacts based on the knowledge in this research.

For brief explanations of this insanity,

see ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’

and ‘Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’

with fuller explanations in ‘Why Violence?’ and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.

This insanity is why the global elite, through its corporate and political agents, is endlessly manipulating us into fighting their wars – even dragging us to the brink of nuclear war – destroying the climate and the environment, driving the collapse of biodiversity, and generating a vast range of political, economic and social crises without ever considering the fundamental outcome – its deleterious impact on all life – of their behaviors. 5G is just the latest manifestation of this insanity.

Of course, all of these crises could be resolved if we were dealing with people who were sane. And if most of us were not readily distracted from paying attention to reality.

See ‘The Disintegrated Mind: The Greatest Threat to Human Survival on Earth’.

Resisting the Deployment of 5G

Given the military and surveillance implications of 5G, if you think that governments are particularly concerned to investigate and consider the extensive evidence of the enormous hazards of 5G, you might find it sobering to read the dismissive three paragraphs given to the subject in the European Parliament’s official report on 5G.

See 5G Deployment: State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia’.

The reality, as touched on just above, is that elite interests are shaping what happens. You still don’t think so?

In 2002, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the former Prime Minister of Norway, ordered people entering her office in Geneva to not carry a cell phone. Why? Because cell phones gave her a headache. The following year Brundtland was no longer the Director-General of the WHO. ‘No other public officials have repeated her mistake.’

See The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life.

Nevertheless, the resistance to 5G is rapidly gaining pace with concerned scientists and activists setting the pace. For example, you can see a ‘List of Cities, Towns, Councils and Countries that have Banned 5G’.

And if you wish to join those resisting the deployment of 5G, options include signing the International Appeal: Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, supporting legal challenges such as this one in Denmark – see ‘State of Play and Danish Suing FiveG Network’– and simply getting rid of your mobile (cell) phone. See ‘End Cellphones Here on Earth (ECHOEarth)’.

Moreover, if you wish, you can campaign strategically to halt the deployment of 5G. You can read a list of strategic goals, as well as how to develop a local strategy to prevent/halt the deployment of 5G, at Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

Separately from this, if you would like to join the worldwide movement of people working to end all violence, you can do so by signing the online pledge of The People‘s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.


So what is Arthur Firstenberg’s chilling conclusion?

‘You cannot contaminate the global electrical circuit with millions of pulsed, modulated electronic signals without destroying all of life.’

But, as outlined above, since ‘controlling’ electricity in 1746, humans have been increasingly contaminating the global electrical circuit and it has culminated in what will now be the final electromagnetic assault on Earth.

Which means that unless we can halt the launch of these 5G satellites and the rollout of the technology ‘on the ground’ we will be ‘destroying all of life’. And while some groups advocate measures to protect ourselves as individuals, inadequate though these must be in the unfolding circumstances, no amount of measures to individually protect ourselves from this electromagnetic radiation will protect ‘all of life’ in the wild.

According to Ross Adey, the grandfather of bioelectromagnetics and atmospheric physicist Neil Cherry, we are electrically tuned to the world around us and ‘the safe level of exposure to radio waves is zero’.

There is virtually no time left to understand and act powerfully on that knowledge. What will you do?


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Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of Why Violence? His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and his website is here. He is a frequent contributor to ‘Global Research’.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Robert J. Burrowes, Global Research, 2020


0 title pageCopyright © 2017, 2020 by Arthur Firstenberg.
All rights reserved.

Drawings on pages 3 and 159 copyright © 2017 by Monika Steinhoff.
“Two bees” drawing by Ulrich Warnke, used with permission.
No part of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form by any means without permission in writing from the publisher.
Originally published in 2017 by AGB Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Sucre, Bolivia.
This paperback edition published by Chelsea Green Publishing, 2020.
Book layout: Jim Bisakowski
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First printing February 2020.

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