What Happened to Dr. Harvey Bigelsen?

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
March 17, 2019
Question (originally asked in 1998)

One of my parents is considering cancer treatment at the Instituto de Medicina Biologica located in Tijuana, Mexico. The clinic is operated by Harvey Bigelsen, M.D. The doctor uses “dark field” microscopy and biological terrain assessment diagnostic techniques. He practices such treatments as “Enderlein Remedies”, developed by Dr. Guenther Enderlein in Germany, Chelation Therapy, Cytokines, German Live Cell Transplants, and Homeopathy. We read a book called “Hidden Killers” written by Dr. Erik Enby, a Swedish physician who practices in Gothenberg Sweden. In it he explains the works and therapies of Enderlein. Dr Bigelsen says he studied under Enby in Europe and uses the Enderlein Therapies to treat cancers and chronically ill. He claims to have a high success rate. Do you have any information on him or his clinic? He is quite expensive, but when you are desperate for help that may not matter.


We discuss most of the above methods on Quackwatch and consider them highly questionable. The Bigelsen Method Web site states that (a) he originally trained as an ophthalmologist, (b) after working as a trauma surgeon in Vietnam, he practiced for about five years in Princeton, New Jersey, but lost confidence in standard approaches to the treatment of chronic disease, (c) in 1981 he co-authored the Arizona Homeopathic Medical Practice Act, and (d) he was appointed by Governor Babbitt to establish a board and, while acting as the board’s president, to set the standards for “holistic medicine.” [1]

In 1990, after the homeopathic board had found no wrongdoing, the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners censured Bigelsen in connection with his treatment of two patients. However, this decision was vacated by a Superior Court judge who ruled that the medical board could not assume jurisdiction and overrule the homeopathic board.

In December 1992, a federal grand jury accused Bigelsen of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States; 63 of false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims; forty-four counts of mail fraud; one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States; and eight counts of obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies and committees. The indictment stated that he attempted to collect $3,500 for colonic therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic services (including acupuncture)—which were not covered under Medicare—by submitting claim forms on which they were represented by procedure code numbers for services covered under “physical medicine.” The indictment also charged that Bigelsen and two associates attempted to evade prosecution by changing data in the computer account histories of several patients and by submitting altered and falsified progress notes in response to a grand jury subpoena. The case was settled by a plea bargain in which he was forced to surrender all his licenses in the United States, including his Arizona homeopathic license [2]. He was sentenced to four years probation and ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution. He surrendered his New York State medical license in 1995 [3].

Subsequent Activity as a “Hemobiographic Consultant”

From 1994 through 2000, Bigelsen served as director of biological medicine at the Institute de Medicina Biologica in Tijuana, Mexico [4]. In 2000, he relocated to California, where he began offering seminars and professional services as a “hemobiographic consultant” to other physicians. His advice was based on examination of blood specimens with a darkfield microscope, a procedure he refers to as hemobiographic analysis. His site also stated:

. . . From one drop of blood I can analyze the status of the patient’s physical body and the reasons why it has arrived at this stage of life. I believe each individual disease has its own specific fingerprint or biogram. . . .

Edgar Cayce, America’s most prolific psychic, said, ‘The physician of the future, from one drop of blood, will tell everything.’ Acupuncture has been using the hologram in the ear. Reflexologists have been using the foot and palm. Palmistry has been around for centuries. Why not the blood?

I have been looking at live blood for 20 plus years on thousands of patients. I have looked at my own blood during different times, states, moods, etc. I have found that the patterns of the blood will change instantaneously with each thought or emotion. For example, if my lawyer called, the change would be immediate. Joy, sorrow, worry, anger, etc. are all seen in the blood.

There is no medical school in the United States that teaches a physician to look at living blood. Normally the blood is stained, which is a poison, and the cells are chilled and fixed for immortality. You are never taught how to watch the blood die and what happens, for example. If something is not stainable it, therefore, is invisible and/or an artifact. There are many things in living blood that has no name in American literature. For example, we are never taught, while watching a person’s blood, if the blood dies in one hour compared to the blood dying in five days, which person is healthier. It is obvious that the second person is healthier. The character of the cells, the plasma, the debris, the deterioration, and the snowflake patterns all have a purpose. By studying these biograms, I can analyze an amazing amount of detail about that person. This total concept I call hemobiographic analysis [5].

In 2002, Bigelsen applied for a license from the Nevada State Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners but was not successful. Duting one of the hearings, he stated that he did not acquire a Mexican medical license but “had a physician that fronted me, and I had working papers that I had, so I was totally legal to work there.” [6] In 2004, sued the board members, charging that the board’s actions were economically motivated and improper, but the suit was also unsuccessful.

Bigelsen’s 2011 book, Doctors are More Harmful Than Germs, claims that, “Medical doctors doing surgeries and prescribing drugs (poisons) are the number one cause of chronic disease today.” It also asserts that all people with chronic health problems have “trapped inflammation” in their body that can be diagnosed by looking at their platelets under a microscope and relieved by treating scar tissue to remove “blockages”—a procedure called “neural therapy.” A 2012 article on Bigelsen’s blog amplifies his notion that neural therapy can treat Lyme disease.

Pasteur’s rival, Antoine Bechamp, believed that germs grow in the diseased body. Germs adapt and change according to the pH and chemistry of the terrain of the physical body in which they live. Following Bechamp’s theory, we look for stagnant ‘ponds’ and key inflammation areas in which the germ is growing. What I have found recently is that the biggest cause of a stagnant ‘pond’ is a surgical scar. At the base of the surgical scar there is a great deal of inflammation, as the body is attempting to heal. Thwarting this attempt, the scar acts as a disturbance field blocking innate healing ability. When I treat a scar using neural therapy and isopathic remedies (to heal the inflammation), the results in Lyme disease patients are dramatic. The cure of Lyme disease is directly related to breaking the stagnation that causes trapped inflammation. If you look for and treat the surgical scars, you will find that they are the most common cause of obstruction and trapped inflammation. Essentially, those with Lyme are analogous to a car that is running on only four cylinders. I am searching for the reason why the ‘car’ is running on fewer cylinders. By releasing stagnation, the car is able to run on eight cylinders again [6].

Dark-field microscopy is a valid scientific tool in which special lighting is used to examine specimens of cells and tissues. The objects being viewed stand out against a dark background—the opposite of what occurs during regular microscopy. This allows the observer to see things that might not be visible with standard lighting. Connecting a television monitor to a microscope for diagnostic purposes is also a legitimate practice. However, Bigelsen claims to see “holographic images which may show disturbance fields” that are “blocks in the body which inhibit the body from healing properly.” [7]

Bigelsen Response (2007)

In 2007, Bigelsen complained to me that the actions taken against him in Arizona were unfair and asked me to add his viewpoint to this page and to refer readers to his for additional information. He summarized his perspective on what happened during the 1990s this way:

I believe I was a target of a conspiracy by the “Medical Establishment” because I wrote the first precedent-setting Law in US history (Arizona’s homeopathic licensing law) that broke the Medical Establishment’s monopoly. Normally, when a procedure is not covered by insurance, the company just asks for a rebate. In my case, an insurance company complained to both the medical board and the federal government.

What was the Government’s motive and how much did it cost the United States taxpayers to go after me? As one criminal attorney said, 117 counts totaling $3,500 is “overkill” and is usually used only when they going after mobsters or big drug dealers.. I pled guilty to 4 counts totaling $145 worth of offenses. I did this because I was threatened with jail time and that would ruin my family. I was forced to give up all of my licenses as part of the plea bargain.

I do not think that what happened to me was fair. Compare my case with the largest health fraud case in U.S. history, in which a health care company settled fraud charges by agreeing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. Yet nobody in the case went to jail.

Convicted Again, But Still Going Strong

From about 2010 through 2014, Bigelsen did business as the Biological Health Institute, which stated on its Web site:

Counter to conventional medicine and Big Pharma, which promote treatments that merely attack and kill germs, Dr. Bigelsen believes that germs are not harmful, and actually live in a symbiotic relationship with the entire body. He treats the patient’s physical body in order to get it working at its highest performance, and has achieved high success rates through a combination of structural therapies, cranial-sacral adjustments, neural therapy, isopathic remedies, and European cell therapy.

In 2014, Bigelsen was charged with practicing without a medical license at his clinic. In responding to a motion to suppress evidence, the prosecutors told the court:

Before commencing the operation the MBC [Medical Board of California] sought and received permission from the Nevada Country District Attorney’s Office to secretly record the undercover operation. On March 4th, 2014, posing as a patient, Investigator Vanderveen was seen by the Defendant who identified himself as a “Medical Doctor,” had the Investigators blood drawn so he could use it to make a diagnosis, suggested she discontinue using the Prozac which her doctor had prescribed her and sold her an injection to be used on herself. On March 20th 2014, MBC and California Food and Drug Investigators visited the Defendant’s office. They interviewed the Defendant, took some pictures, seized the microscopes the Defendant used to make his “diagnoses” and issued him a citation for practicing medicine without a license [9].

In June 2014, the State filed a misdemeanor complaint charging Bigelsen with four counts related to practicing medicine without a license and five counts related to the drug products he provided to patients [10].

In 2015, Bigelsen settled the case by pleading no contest to a criminal charge of using the titles “Dr.” and “M.D.” in his letterheads, business cards, or ads despite the fact that he had no medical license. The plea agreement, which was negotiated with the Nevada County, California) District Attorney’s office and approved by the court, called for Bigelsen to serve probation for two years, during which time he could not use the titles “Dr.” or “M.D.” in connection with his business except when lecturing, teaching, or being an author. He was also required to pay $6,750 in costs for the government investigations. It was also agreed that when the probation period ended, if he stayed out of trouble, he could withdraw the plea and the charges would be dropped without any conviction [11]. I do not know whether he pursued this provision.

Shortly after sentencing, Bigelson began selling memberships in the Bigelsen Academy, which he described as a “private education and information association” that would enable club members to “share information with each other in a private setting.” The cost for membership was $29/year. In a YouTube video, he described plans to set up Webinars, remote consultations, training courses, a clinic that would “make people younger,” and a dental clinic “lined up with acupuncture philosophies.” He also promised to “clean you up, open you up, maximize you, and start to re generate you.” The screen shot to the right shows Bigelsen’s “hemobiographic analysis” equipment.  
Bigelsen Response 2016

In June 2016, Bigelsen telephoned me and had his son Adam e-mail me objecting to portions of my report about the 2016 criminal case. Adam said that his father does not and has never diagnosed anyone” and did not tell the undercover investigator to stop taking her medicine. When I asked for clarification, Adam replied:

  • His father “identifies what the body is concerned with” and “does not label anything.”
  • A disclaimer on the Bigelsen Web site states: “Harvey Bigelsen and his colleagues do not diagnose medical conditions.”
  • Another page on the site states that “Western medicine uses symptoms to diagnose medical conditions . . . . something Dr. Bigelsen does not believe in or do.”

Bigelsen died on March 6, 2019 at the age of 79.

  1. Harvey Bigelseon. The Bigelseon Method Web site, accessed March 16, 2019.
  2. Findings of fact, conclusions of law, and request for cancellation of license with cause. In the Matter of Harvey Bigelsen, M.D. before the Arizona Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners, No. 93-05, Dec 7, 1994.
  3. Surrender order. In the matter of Harvey Bigelsen, M.D. New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct, Case # 95-242, Oct 16, 1995.
  4. About us. Dr. Bigelsen.com Web site. Archived April 2, 2009.
  5. Bigelsen H. Answers to frequently asked questions. Dr. Bigelsen.com Web site, archived Jan 27, 2005.
  6. Testimony of Harvey Bigelsen before the Nevada Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners, July 19, 2003.
  7. Bigelson H. Dr. Harvey Bigelson. Harvey Bigelson Blog, May 21, 2012.
  8. The Bigelsen Method is not to be confused with live cell analysis. The Bigelsen Method Web site, accessed June 7, 2016.
  9. People’s opposition to defendants’ motion to suppress evidence. The People of the State of California vs Harvey Bigelsen. California Superior Court, Nevada County, Case No. M14-001029, filed Oct 28, 2014.
  10. Misdemeanor complaint. The People of the State of California vs Harvey Bigelsen. California Superior Court, Nevada County, Case No. M14-001029, executed June 6, 2014.
  11. Brenner K. Plea deal cancels trial in Bigelsen case. The Union, Feb 14, 2015.

This article was revised on March 17, 2019..