-The JULY 12 demonstration-
An independent review by
Subject: Dennis Lee -- Hackensack Demo
Well people. It looks like Dennis's excuses for not offering acceptable
proof of free energy were both "dang, it worked fine last week" and "there,
see it worked for a few seconds". Apparently, the only amazing thing was
that most of his dealers bought it hook line and sinker. I'm sorry I wasn't
able to show up my self and hand out tracts giving the other point of view.
Dennis's most recent voice mail messages have talked of problems involving:
pinched fingers, broken cars, bad teeth, and over flowing bath rooms. -not
much about their turning down my offer to give them incredible positive
publicity if they would let me verify the claim. He also said a dealer
in jail for growing dope endorses the sonic bloom. I haven't heard of Dennis
asking for more money which is a relief. I offer the following well written
review from a fellow who went to show:
------- FORWARD, Original message follows -------
Date: Saturday, 12-Jul-97 04:20 PM
From: Bob D
Subject: Dennis Lee -- Hackensack Demo
I wish that I had seen your web page about Dennis Lee before today, but
until today I didn't know his name.
I am an electrical engineer, MIT class of 1975. I am, apparently like you,
a cheerfully skeptical sort of person. My father, also an electrical engineer,
is a less cheerfully skeptical sort - for example, he regards the
Laws of Thermodynamics as quasi religiously set in stone. I am always
willing to at least glance at something which on the surface violates them
in the hope that maybe there is a loophole. It would be so wonderful if
there were a loophole. But I am never surprised when, as invariably happens,
an apparent violation turns out to be a misunderstanding, an error, or
But it was my father who ran across a quarter page advertisement in The
Wall Street Journal a few days ago. It said that The International Tesla
Electric Company was going to demonstrate free electrical power, free home
heating, earthquake-, tornado- and hurricane proof home construction which
would last 2,000 years, explosion proof netting and a few other equally
wondrous things which I don't recall at the moment. This demonstration
would take place in South Hackensack, New Jersey.
His first inclination was to ignore it as an obvious scam, but since it
was free, and since the location is only about fifteen minutes by car from
our respective homes, we decided to go.
When we got there a few minutes before the scheduled start time of noon,
several hundred people were waiting in the hot sun in front of what appeared
to be an out of business warehouse outlet store. I spent the time eavesdropping
on conversations around me in the crowd; one fellow was talking about how
he had been to previous demonstrations in Charlotte and Philadelphia, and
he was getting concerned that he had yet to see the electricity machine
A few minutes before noon a Chrysler mini van pulled up into the middle
of the crowd. Several people were on board. The driver got out, and I got
a good look at a man around 40 years old. About my height, 5'10", maybe
a little taller. Probably about 200, 210 pounds; very paunchy - didn't
strike me as being in good physical condition. Walked with a limp. A couple
of people called out to him; he smiled and waved in response. It seemed
odd, somehow, that he wasn't saying anything, but that got explained shortly.
Somebody said, "That's him - that's Dennis Lee." As he walked into the
building, a portion of the crowd gave him a small burst of spontaneous
applause. My instant evaluation was, "Personality cult?"
A few moments later an amplified voice was heard. A high-pitched painful
tenor rasp. It was Lee, explaining that he had come down with a horrible
case of laryngitis, but that his wife would work from a script that they
had prepared, and the show would go on. Meanwhile, he said, there would
be a delay of thirty minutes or so. The Tesla machine had lost its charge,
and would have to be recharged. Also, there had been a problem with the
water welding machine, and the mess had to be cleaned up.
At that point we just about decided to leave, but became engaged in conversation
with somebody in the crowd. He claimed to be an engineer, and when we asked
him what was going on, he explained some of Lee's background, complete
with the classic conspiracy theory description of "the powers that be"
that would not let him succeed. He enthusiastically described the "impossible"
welds that he had seen of dissimilar metals (like copper to steel), and
of seeing a steel rod welded to a brick. He also discussed that there was
energy all around us, and that the trick that Lee had just about solved
was that of converting that energy to useful form. When I mentioned the
"Tesla machine" that had "lost its charge", he suggested that the charge
mentioned was a charge of coolant, as opposed to an electrical charge.
Another person expressed surprise that we had come because of an advertisement,
convincing me further about the personality cult aspect of the proceedings.
By then enough time had passed that we decided to go see the show instead
of just heading home. Several hundred people were in the room, which had
been fitted out like an auditorium or lecture hall. Color TV monitors high
on the walls offered views of what would have otherwise been invisible
up front. Very comfortable rental chairs. A woman, about 55 years old,
directly behind us, was engaged in conversation with her chance seat mate.
She told him that when she traveled and stayed in hotels, she slept on
the floor. That was because the foam mattresses that hotels use "suck the
energy out of you."
Lee's wife opened the proceedings with an explanation about the laryngitis.
She explained that this was a show to introduce the public to the technology.
The scientific demonstration for scientists and engineers would come at
a later time, and so there were to be no questions asked during the show.
So, please, she asked, be gentlemanly about it, and Doubting Thomas's in
the audience should be quiet. She then gave a heartfelt prayer that everything
should go well and that people should keep open minds, open eyes, and open
hearts about what they were going to be shown. I was struck that she kept
using the word, "show". I would have thought "demonstration" to be more
She started in with the prepared lecture. Perpetual motion is impossible,
she read. You don't expect your car to run forever unless you have a perpetual
source of gasoline to put in its tank. And energy is all around us. We
have an energy source that moves at 67,000 miles per hour (nervous about
her reading, she didn't notice her husband sitting next to her grandly
gesticulating at the ground) and all we have to do is tap into it. She
went on in that vein for about five minutes. My father, deciding that the
semantic content of what he was listening too was null, fell asleep.
After some more talk in that vein she turned the proceedings over to another
fellow whose name I didn't catch, who went on to talk about the "most advanced
heat pump in the world." The first element of the system was a pair
of large black plates. He held up a demo section of the material. He said
it was aluminum, and that it had tiny veins running through it. It was
on the order of a quarter of an inch thick. This was the "solar panel",
but it could work in a blizzard at night. A special refrigerant boiled
inside this panel at very low temperatures, and he described, as if it
were obvious, that when things boil there is a lot of heat in them. A short
side lecture pointed out that even if zero degrees Fahrenheit seems cold
to us, it's really about five hundred degrees above absolute zero. I happily
noted the seemingly intentional effort to confuse heat and temperature.
I woke my father to tell him, "It's a refrigerator." Not being particularly
interested in refrigerators, he fell asleep again.
After that, the boiled refrigerant goes to a compressor. The TV close-up
showed what sure looked to me like an ordinary refrigerator compressor.
There, it is compressed, and as everybody knows, when you compress a bunch
of air, it gets hot. Some people in the audience were invited to feel the
output side of the compressor. Yup, it was hot. Those coils were used to
heat some water. Yup, the water was warm. No mention of the fact that the
compressor was plugged into the wall using electricity generated by the
coal fired power plant about ten miles south of us.
This system can also be used for cooling. He threw a switch. The TV monitors
went dead, and some of the lights went out. The fuss woke my father again.
During the five minutes that it took to find and reset the circuit breaker
and get the video equipment running again, I remembered a cartoon that
a coworker once had on his office wall. It showed a stage surrounded by
a big collection of outdoor speakers. A sign announced that this was the
"First Annual Solar Powered Anti-Nuclear Rally." The fellow at the podium
was looking back over his shoulder. An obvious techie, crouched at the
mixing panel for the audio system, was calling out to the guy at the podium,
"It IS on."
During that impromptu break, we overheard a conversation in the aisle.
One guy said that he was a distributor of Lee's stuff. When he was asked
what the distributorship cost him, he said, "One hundred thousand dollars."
I looked at my father. He said, "Let's buy two." At this point the
show got going again. The cooling capabilities consisted of running a hose
through a coil of copper tubing and releasing "an environmentally safe
hydrocarbon coolant" to the atmosphere. Having said that, he held the end
of the hose pointing straight up, and opened a valve. He let the compressed
gas, whatever it was, escape freely into the room for about five seconds.
It wasn't just pure air; there was a clear stream of some kind of condensed
material coming out of that hose. I suppose that it could have been ordinary
air with some water vapor. People in the front rows were invited to touch
the copper coil. Yup, it was cold.
At that point I had been sitting there for about forty-five minutes and
had been shown an ordinary heat pump using drilled aluminum plating as
one of the sink/sources (as opposed to the more ordinary finned coils),
and a grade school demonstration of adiabatic cooling that can be duplicated
by anybody willing to waste a can of hair spray by holding the button down
until the can gets too cold to hold.. Had I been there on my own, I might
have stayed, but I figured that my father would be more comfortable falling
asleep in his own chair at home.
I nudged him awake and said, "Let's go." And we left. We came, obviously,
with the preconception that it was chicanery. We would have stayed if it
looked like *good* chicanery - but it wasn't. It seemed rather clumsy.
I suppose to be fair I should have stayed through the whole "show" and
watched more carefully. But you know what? If I had available to me the
kind of technology that The ITEC was claiming to have, I could put together
a demonstration that would make Siegfried and Roy look like kid stuff.
And I'd be rich beyond dreams of avarice.
If you like this kind of stuff, you have to get hold of the movie "Gizmo."
It is thoroughly delightful. Towards the end, we hear a song about an hapless
inventor who is never daunted by his ideas that don't gel, and his inventions
that just don't work. The inventor in the song is named, "Benjamin Lee."
I wonder if there is any relation?
If you think this account might be of interest, feel free to post it.
July 12, 1977
Bob also wrote the following when granting me permission to repeat this:
Feel free to post it.I suggest removing the word "clear" from the adiabatic
cooling episode. I meant it in the context of "there clearly was some condensed
material" in the stream; as it stands it is confusing.Given that some of
Dennis Lee's followers may be excitable, please remove my name, since I
have given more than enough clues so that somebody could find my address
and phone number. But you can leave my e-mail address in.There was absolutely
no chance of my being sucked in. A book that my father remembers, with
great fondness, having read once is named, "The Big Con." Confidence games
are absolutely fascinating. If it weren't for the money lost by people
who just can't afford it, it would be great sport. We only went for the
opportunity to see a con game at work.Sigh. Why can't people *think*? Here
is a man who claims to be able to feed the hungry, house the homeless,
drain swamps, irrigate deserts, build motors that have no exhaust, deliver
free electric power, and, probably, cure warts.But he drives to the show
location in a Chrysler, powered by an ordinary gasoline engine. The show
is held up when a circuit breaker pops.The mystery is not what Dennis Lee
does or doesn't do. He is a charlatan, like Uri Geller or any other snake
oil salesman, and if he couldn't make money at it he'd do something else.
And maybe he is slightly pphacthotic and actually believes that he is on
the trail of something, and that it's okay for him to generate some cash
this way so that he can get on with his true work. The mystery is that
people are willing to believe him. Gads. The things people *are* willing
to believe. 300 MPH carburetors, when the energy content of gasoline just
isn't there. Alien visitations. Area 54. Black helicopters. All of a sudden
the government is competent to keep secrets? I wish that his voice had
been healthy -- it must have been so incredibly frustrating when something
so obviously built on one man's personal charisma couldn't be supported
by that man speaking to the crowd. I glanced over your web page. Keep up
the good work -- I hope that even a couple of people might read it and
decide to keep their money in their pocket.
------- FORWARD, End of original message -------
The following is what I
was hoping to distribute at his show:
especially after hearing him say stuff like: installations before 1997,
OJ is innocent, Indians or secret businessmen will loan millions, anti-gravity,
magic camera, farmers pumps, etc. You probably came here to finally see
really evidence of the free energy machine (which Dennis has been promising
for 10 years). So far Dennis has been offering nothing but excuses for
the lack of evidence: "must warn the government first". "God says wait",
"need more $", "a few more adjustments", "must clean up radiation first",
"must locate Fisher", "lets cash flow other stuff", etc.
Dennis doesn't mention the 200+ year history of people losing money on
phony free energy claims. Other "free energy messiahs" also have
been known to target Christians, only produce promises and excuses, mix
in politics and religion, switch causes, claim deity channeling, hide behind
conspiracy claims and get in protracted battles. (i.e.. Joe Newman is still
taking investor money after 20 years with out valid proof.)
James Randi offered Dennis Lee over $1,000,000 just for simple proof of
what was to have been installed nation wide. Dennis has run a foul of Pat
Robertson, Tesla society people, the law enforcement community, skeptics,
newspaper investigators, businessmen, internet people, and many current
dealers. If he has a real free energy machine as promised, we all should
help him - but if not, investors deserve to know so they can get on with
their lives. The MAIN claim that motivated dealers to write checks is the
free energy machines. You could of sold power plugs, fire retard ants and
fertilizers with out buying a dealership- Don't be distracted by the other
ordinary products which have questionable proof, disputed ownership, limited
application, inflated prices, and history of past failures in the market
There are a number of open prizes for proof of free energy but, all the
free energy messiahs out there today avoid such open tests. Dennis has
been breaking promises to have open free energy demonstrations for about
10 years (before that, he was charged with fraud for several unrelated
scams) So far, any demonstrations just use conventional stored energy to
generate power for just a few seconds. Don't be fooled such a lame demonstration.
An extraordinary claim needs extraordinary proof. A real demonstration
of free energy should have a machine no covers or connected wires on a
raised clear Plexiglas frame, lighting banks of bright light bulbs continuously
for hours (not seconds) with trained independent engineers making measurements.
Such precautions are perfectly reasonable considering the long history
of free energy and perpetual motion fraud. Dennis has not responded to
independent offers to confirm his claims scheduled for July 12. Dennis
is an excellent salesman with pathological optimism who is able to convince
people to trust him. Dennis makes many serious scientific errors in his
presentations. Many scientists and engineers have long told him his theory
is fatally flawed. There seem to be no trained scientists or engineers
willing to openly argue in favor of Dennis's theories.
People should be skeptical when hearing "God" and "Money" in the same breath.
Dennis (like Do, Koresh, Jim Jones and Moon) has claimed to receive regular
revelations directly from God (he's also claimed to "write in tongues").
But the bible warns us to beware of false profits ;) Cult leaders all demand
huge amounts of money, preach belief in a conspiracy against the cult,
make endless grandiose promises to loyal members, hold marathon training/recruiting
sessions, strongly attack unbelievers, hold strange political views, are
self educated and have big run ins with the law or main stream society.
It looks questionable when he has people sign away legal rights after midnight
for a "tonight only" deal. see Math 7:15-20, 24:24, 2Cor 11:18-21 Please
pass this on to other dealers.
But it's exciting to keep hearing Dennis's amazing claims and it's easier
to wishfully hope that one of his claims will pay out than deal with the
possibility of having been scammed.
For more unofficial information on Lee: contact the NJ BBB or the Christian
Broadcasting Network, or the Utah Deseret News Also, find a high school
kid to get information on the internet from: http://www.phact.org/e/dennis.html
For free information by mail, send a self addressed stamped envelope to
"the Other side of BWT" Box 21970 Philadelphia PA 19124
Skeptical information on BWT is found at:
and pro info at:
a good source of fraud links:
--- some of the lessons learned:
Even when the dennis saga is done - I hope we are never done learning
lessons in life (the kinds not found in text books):
The law moves slowly after criminals.
Don't sign if: it's after midnight, you haven't heard a 2nd side, you are
asked to sign away legal rights, you are looking to get rich quick, don't
understand lots of jargon.
Promises can go a long way, as long as wishful thinking holds sway.
Most people aren't willing to help expose what they know is wrong.
It's possible to have schizophrenic delusions of grandeur and still function.
Someone appearing to have integrity may still not be right.
Lots of unverified rumors don't add up to truth.
Things that sound too good to be true probably are.
Most people keep quiet about being ripped off.
A well publicized scam can work even if only 2% of people succeed.
The main stream media won't always investigate scams.
We all crave hope and exciting news.
People would rather cling to a faint glow of hope than admit losses.
An experienced huckster will have answers to everything. contest: Win a
subscription to Skeptical Inquirer or Skeptic Magazine. rules: All you
have to do is guess the excuse Dennis will use for not offering real proof
of the free energy machine July 10. I'm willing to keep the contestants
anonymous if they wish. Sorry, Dennis, it would be unfair for you to be
eligible. The tie breaker will be to guess the nearest month and year of
Dennis's next incarceration. Only one submission per person and are to
only be made via email. I apologize if this is in somewhat bad taste, but
life is rough and we need a little humor to make it through.
Check one from the following list:
___ "My assistants didn't leave the machine working"
___ "Sorry, more bad guys stopped me"
___ "just wait, I'll have something even better next
___ " . . there, 5 seconds running - see, it works"
___ "pay no heed to the power cord running up to
___ "trust my meters, we have no time for yours"
___ "here's hours of theory, just trust me it works"
___ "can't show it, must stop people from stealing
___ "God just told me not to show it after all"
___ "I have to solve the nuclear waste problem first"
___ "must locate Fisher before I can start making
___ "first give me more money"
___ "I'll give big business one last chance to join
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Creator of this page created
11/10/96, last updated 6/25/97 this page can be found as http://www.phact.org/e/dennis32.htm
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