The California medical board is threatening to revoke the license of Dr. William Edwin Gray III for selling homeopathic sound files over the Internet that he claims—without evidence or reason—can cure a variety of ailments, including life-threatening infections such as Ebola, SARS, swine flu, malaria, typhoid, and cholera.
In an accusation filed with the state(PDF), the medical board writes that Gray is guilty of gross negligence and requested a hearing in which the board would decide whether to possibly revoke or suspend his license.
In an interview with the , Gray said he had decided not to contest the board’s allegations, saying it would cost too much money to fight. He added: “Frankly, I think we’d lose anyway.”
That leaves Gray’s fate entirely in the hands of the board, which will make a decision in coming weeks, according to the . Gray seemed unbothered by the prospect of losing his medical license. The doctor said he has largely focused on homeopathy since he finished medical school. According to his website, he graduated from Stanford Medical School in 1970. Because homeopathy doesn’t require a medical license, he can largely go about his business without it.
Homeopathy, as Ars readers are likely familiar, is a centuries-old, scientifically implausible system of “alternative medicine.” It relies on principles such as “like cures like,” meaning that a substance that produces symptoms similar to a disease or ailment is able to cure that condition—when heavily diluted. Homeopaths also believe in the “law of infinitesimals,” which suggests that dilution increases a substance’s potency. Most homeopathic remedies are diluted to the point where they no longer contain any of the original substance. Some homeopaths believe that water can have a memory of the substance.
Extending that illogical bunkum, Gray claims that sound waves can carry “the energetic signal in homeopathic remedies” to treat patients. He claims to be able to collect that energy by placing vials of homeopathic remedies (like water) in electrified wire coils and recording any emitted sounds. With this method, he produced 263 “eRemedies,” which are 13-second recordings (conveniently available as either .wav or .MP3 files) said to sound like hissing.
Patients—who are not examined or even seen by Gray—can get these “remedies” via Gray’s website, mdinyourhand.com. There they can “dose” themselves with the recordings to treat a variety of ailments. The website lists 23 ailments the recordings treat. A user simply answers a series of questions about their condition and the website serves up the appropriate eRemedy. The individual recordings go for $5 a pop and users can also subscribe to receive 25 for $100.
In the biographical section of the site, Gray claims that in 2014 he “created [a] campaign to treat Ebola via cellphone, curing 3 out of 3 within 4 hours simply by playing the appropriate eRemedy several times in an hour.”
The board has concerns about all of this. There’s obviously no evidence to suggest the recordings are safe and effective. If they really did treat such serious conditions as Ebola, then they should only be available by prescription and would require approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The fact that patients weren’t seen Gray was also worrying, the board wrote. Those with serious medical conditions listening to the “eRemedies” may delay actual medical treatment, therefore putting their lives at risk.
Even homeopaths seemed wary of Gray and his claims. Robert Stewart, who founded the New York School of Homeopathy, wrote to the in an email: “He’s on his own in this.”