The time 1976. The place, a province on the Eastern coast of Canada, New Brunswick. The problem, many years of infestation and destruction of the province’s forests by an insect known as the spruce budworm.
After many years of spraying insecticide in the forests of New Brunswick, Canada to control the spruce budworm infestation, the infestation had only become steadily worse.
In the beginning of the chemical spray program in the 1950’s DDT was used, DDT may have killed some of the budworms, but it killed many other things too, including the natural predators of the budworm, the birds that ate them. Later on, chemicals other than DDT were used, but the millions of acres of forests were still being ravaged by the budworm, add to this that many people in rural areas, who lived next to forests being sprayed were becoming ill, some especially children even dying. Although no official link had been made between the chemical spraying and the illnesses and deaths.
Spraying Forests with Chemicals
Trees Killed by the Budworm
By the year 1976, it was decided to try something other than spraying chemicals on the forests, which clearly was not working very well. The wealthy Irving family of New Brunswick, who owned saw mills, pulp mills, and either owned or leased hundreds of thousands of acres of forest had already lost a lot of money due to the budworm and stood to lose a lot more if something wasn’t done.
First flights were made over the forests to obtain good aerial photographs of the budworm infested areas. Squares were marked on some parts of the photos with a red marker. The areas designated by the red squares were not to receive any radionic broadcast, while the unmarked areas would have radionic “treatment”.
One such photo was sent to a radionics operator in Chicago, Illinois many miles away.
The next question was what could be used as a reagent against the budworm. It was decided to use an insect hormone called Juvabione, an insect hormone. Juvabione is known as an ovicide (egg killer). Juvabione is a natural substance secreted by the white spruce trees as a protection against insects. Initially, it was decided to broadcast Juvabione radionically to about 200 trees.
The results were quite stunning. The number of budworms in both the treated and the untreated areas was still the same, but the budworms in the treated areas were no longer eating the trees. The results of this experiment made radionics look very promising in controlling the budworm problem.
The second experiment in using radionics to control the budworms was to try to ensure the budworm’s eggs would not hatch. To assess the results of this experiment the Canadian Forestry Service egg counts were used. The results on radionically treated blocks of forest were 63, 62, and 97. On the adjacent untreated blocks the counts were 308, 273, 156, 83, 194, 326, 197,511, 163 and 654. These results combined with the results from the first experiment were very favorable for using radionics to control the budworm problem.
An article was written in New Brunswick paper detailing how successful the radionic experiments were in treating the budworm problem. Also how these radionic treatments were only a small percentage of the cost of aerial spraying of chemicals, and radionics only targeted the budworm with no ill effects to any other living thing.
As with other stories of this kind of new, innovative, comparably less expensive, much safer ways of doing things in other parts of the world. The use of radionics to control the spruce budworm in New Brunswick did not have a happy ending.
Fear, disbelief, and mostly greed put an abrupt end to the use of radionics in the forestry industry of New Brunswick. Most people in that part of the world at the time had never heard of radionics, when they heard about the budworm experiments they either didn’t believe them or they thought radionics akin to witchcraft or voodoo.
The main reason for not continuing with radionics in the fight against the budworm was greed. The people selling the millions of dollars worth of chemicals being sprayed on the forests stood to lose a lot of money. These vested interests had a lot of money and a lot of power. They were able to lobby and convince forestry companies, and governments to abandon radionics in favor of spraying pesticides on the forest. Needless to say, the budworm epidemic continued for many more years.