Saint Petersburg Branch of the Russian Humanist Society
How they dupe dopes

A critical article was published in the 18-25 December 2002 issue of Literaturnaya Gazeta by G. Chernikov entitled "Torsion Fields" about a hypothetical phenomenon "supposedly arising during the rotation of bodies". The subject is not at all new. Petersburg's Ye. B. Aleksandrov, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences [RAN], has been exposing the torsion myth since 1989. Back then he subjected to scientific criticism one A. Akimov, whose activity had been determined by the RAN's Branch of General Physics and Astronomy to be a large-scale scam. The truth is, this person has not shut up to this day and continues to dupe those from whom he can extract a lot of money (including the goverment), and not without success.

"In principle", explains Yevgeniy Borisovich, "theory permits the existence of such fields but the effects associated with it are so hopelessly small that experiments are not even being planned to observe them. However, these especially hypothetical constructs of theoreticians are constantly being used by charlatans from pseudoscience, who exploit leading edge terminology of sciences for their ambitions and, more often, simply mercenary interests. They have declared that "torsion fields" were observed long ago in secret laboratories of the USSR and all-powerful torsion generators were developed which have been operating for a long time for the country's welfare and are now freely available for citizens interested in being cured of any illness, from curses to radiation sickness. And they're not expensive - several hundred bucks total".

One should not think that the torsion epidemic has seized just Moscow; it has also come to the northern capital where a certain organization has become one of its disseminators, operating in some cases under the pretentious name of "The International Scientists Club" and in others as "The International Shaping Center" where the scandalously famous pseudo-professor (in reality, an ordinary candidate of physicomathematical sciences) A. P. Smirnov has been quite active. This club is building their "reputation" with the aid of systematic tiresome appearances of an invited citizen (as leader) with sympathizers before a viewing audience on the NBN television network in a series of pseudoscientific programs and also by distributing video cassettes containing recordings of these programs, pseudoscientific literature written and published by the club, and "shaping" techniques being developed, calculated to "form not only a perfect body but a world view". This little-respected club could not be mentioned if there was not a suprising insistence in the business of distributing parascientific fictions, that is, in a hurry to dupe and fool broad circles of citizens.

Besides their television and literary publishing activity once or twice a year the club holds so-called "international congresses" with widespread arm-waving for an investigation of no less than "the fundamental problems of natural science and technology". The latest one was held in the summer of 2002. Among the published reports of the "congress" we see a report of "The successes of Vortical Thermal Energy" (the authors are Yu. S. Potapov, L. P. Fominsky, and S. Yu. Potapov from the so-called "International Scientific and Technical Center of Payloads of Space-Based Facilities" in the Moscow suburb of Mytishchi, wh┼re it talks of "the state of affairs in the development and production of so-called 'Vortical Thermal Generators' in the CIS which have an efficiency of over 100% (relative to the thermal energy produced by the required electricity). It reports the creation of a new-generation thermal generator which is simpler, more compact, more powerful, and cheaper than predecessors" (the wording is from the abstract of the report).

Anyone who has taken a physics course will understand without difficulty that the developers of wonder generators are threatening no more or less than one of the principle laws of nature - the Law of Conservation of Energy. Since time immemorial to this day inventors have tried to make endless modifications of "perpetual motion machines". The suburban Moscow subversives of classical physics complain that their device is also being called a "perpetual-motion machine" and this "undermines the trust of the purchasers". But now the theoretical basis, the lack of which has hindered the recognition of their production, has supposedly been found: a "vortical generator" is a special nuclear reactor where "a synthesis of protons into deuterons occurs under the influence of torsion fields", "a water vortex generates the torsion field, which directly draws energy from a vacuum" (that is, from nothing!)

The people at Mytishchi write "The time is not far off when we will raise the efficiency of the thermal generator still higher. Then, instead of a motor, one can place a turbine to drive the thermal generator into rotating and the steam developed by the thermal generator will be directed onto the blades of this turbine. Thus it is turned into an stand-alone device which will develop heat (and electrical power if an electrical generator is also attached to the shaft of the turbine) without requiring energy, generally speaking. Mankind will get an inexhausible source of energy".

In trying to confirm the reality of the torsion myth, the organizers of Smirnov's "congress" led the participants to the St. Petersburg "Experimental Machine Shop" (Ulitsa Salov 23; the director is B. Kh. Faynshmidt) to familiarize themselves with the three thermal generators (of varying power) being produced (the very same thing, vortical) under the name of "TOMZ". In the advertising flyer delivered to the tourgoers it informs them that "the principal value of the device is the low power requirement in comparison with other means of producing thermal energy". The following figures are cited as confirmation: with an electrical motor of power 22, 37, and 55 kilowatts the thermal productivity is 47,600, 80, and 119 thousand kilocalories/hr respectively. Glancing at a physics handbook, if we calculate the kilocalories/hour per kilowatt then the output power of the wonder generators is 55.4, 93.1 and 138.5 kWt respectively and this means that the efficiency promised purchasers is about 2.5. This is science fiction, pure and simple! The Petersburgers have simply run circles around the suburban Moscow "handymen".

This past winter a letter came to the Ioffe Technical Physics Institute in St. Petersburg from V. Khristova, a Bulgarian journalist, with a request for help - swindlers there, passing themselves off as scientists and supporters of "the new theory of torsion fields of the Russian figures A. Akimov and G. Shipov", in alliance with corrupt officials are forcing the country into buying locally-bottled vortical thermal generators, so to speak. The truth is, they were more modest about the efficiency; theirs is only 1.3.

"As we see", continues Yevgeniy Borisovich, "the Russian pseudoscience mafia is directing its gaze abroad, too. The story of the attack on the Bulgarian budget is just one episode. Before this, Australian oil workers tried to find out in the RAN what was behind offers coming to them from Russia to search for oil through "spontaneous torsion radiation" from the depths of the Earth. And in England some firm with Russian roots bougt a license to search for oil in Britain using torsion technlogies. Physics World investigated this matter and came to the conclusion that the purchase of a cheap British license pursues purely fraudulent purposes: referring to the license as an official certificate, the swindlers plan to sell their 'microlepton technlogy' to Arab countries".

They are also saying that Akimov's people have had success with swindles to scatter storm clouds over Indonesia with the aid of torsion fields and cleanse the river Yauza in Moscow. But is the taxpayer paying, as always?

The above illustrates what the damage can be which is inflicted on people and entire countries by con men and charlatans who have attached themselves to science and who are trying (often successfully) to place its authority at the service of their pocketbook.

G. G. Shevelev, Candidate of Technical Sciences.
Translated by Gary Goldberg.