PAP-IMI fan sought military study
Panos Pappas and the PAP-IMI found a powerful patron in an unexpected person: Berkley Bedell, a former U.S. congressman and millionaire founder...
Seattle Times staff writers
Panos Pappas and the PAP-IMI found a powerful patron in an unexpected person:
Berkley Bedell, a former U.S. congressman and millionaire founder of Berkley and Co., the Iowa fishing-tackle manufacturer.
Bedell, a Democrat who represented northwest Iowa for 12 years in the House, became so enamored with the PAP-IMI that he pushed to have it tested for use on soldiers in a clinical study, hoping the results would validate the unproven machine.
Bedell, 86, ardently supports alternative therapies, which he credits with his successful battles against Lyme disease and prostate cancer.
When Bedell retired from Congress in 1988, he created the National Foundation of Alternative Medicine. Then he sought an energy device that could successfully treat pain and disease.
"We used to have a joke among us: What Berkley really wants is for us to find some guy who, in his garage, has built some device to cure everything," said Tim Forbess, a former president of the foundation.
Bedell thought he found the device in the PAP-IMI machine, invented by Pappas, a professor of mathematics in Athens, Greece. Pappas said his electromagnetic device could cure anything from cancer to AIDS.
In 2001, Bedell went to a PAP-IMI clinic in Los Angeles, Bio-Energy Services, to learn more about the machine.
While he was there, two clinic employees said, they warned Bedell of problems with it.
But he still supported it.
Months later, another alternative-medicine foundation, Samueli Institute for Information Biology, started by billionaires Henry and Susan Samueli, came to Bedell. The institute wanted to see if he would use his political connections to help the like-minded foundation snag some federal money, Forbess said.
Bedell said he turned to his friend, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. In 2002, Harkin sponsored a federal earmark that directed about $2 million to the Samueli Institute for a military alternative-medicine program called MIL-CAM.
The institute then paid Bedell's foundation $100,000 from the earmark, Bedell said.
When the institute asked Bedell about alternative-therapy devices worth studying, he said he had just the thing: the PAP-IMI.
Bedell came up with a plan to validate the machine for use on U.S. soldiers in one of Samueli Institute's government-funded clinical studies.
But after an FDA investigation linked injuries and death to the device, Bedell reluctantly dropped his support of the PAP-IMI. "We're a little bit scared of it," he said.
Bedell continues his quest for an effective energy device. Last year, Harkin sponsored an earmark that pushed about $5 million to the Samueli Institute, which again sent $100,000 of it to Bedell's foundation, he and an institute official said.
And Bedell is monitoring a new device being used at a South American clinic that he believes holds promise. He won't reveal more.
"We're scared to death of the conventional medical community, FDA and so on," Bedell said. "We're doing our work mostly offshore. We're quite anxious to keep under the radar screen until we have things adequately documented."
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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