(Investigator 183, 2018 September)
The use of ozone gas for therapeutic purposes dates back to the early
part of this century. In their book, The Use of Ozone in Medicine,
German doctors R. Rilling and R. Viebahn cite numerous scientific
papers that show the effects of ozone treatment. Joachim Varo, MD,
another German physician, reported in 1983, that (using ozone as an
adjunct to conventional treatment of cancer) "the most noticeable
result was significantly improved well-being of the patient". Companies
promoting Ozone Therapy include Medizone International in New York
City, the International Ozone Association and the Medical Society for
Bluish in colour with a pungent odour, ozone consists of three atoms of oxygen, or triatomic oxygen (O3).
In nature, ozone is produced when oxygen is exposed to the sun's
ultraviolet (UV) rays or lightning. When ozone breaks down, O1 is
released and it is this molecule which will attack a wide variety of
organic molecules. This ability to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi has
found many commercial applications such as the sterilisation of medical
equipment and the purification of drinking water.
Ozone generators are used to produce medically pure ozone for use in killing bacteria, viruses and parasites in the human body.
Ozone is administered by injection under the skin, into the muscle by intravenous infusion, or by enema.
The beneficial claims made on behalf of Ozone Therapy include those for
the treatment of AIDS and cancer. However, there is little or no
evidence to demonstrate that ozone therapy is effective for the
treatment of any serious disease. To the contrary, it has demonstrated
potential for harm. Joachim Varro's evidence was based on anecdotal
evidence and he admitted that no controlled study had been carried out.
The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer sufferers do not
seek this "alternative" method in preference to proven medical
The following article appeared in the December 26, 1997 edition of the American Sun-Sentinel:
Sellers of "miracle" machines indicted
A couple who sold more than $1 million in "miracle" machines purporting
to cure AIDS and cancer patients by blowing ozone into their bodies
were indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury in West Palm Beach.
Grand jurors charged husband and wife Kenneth Thiefault, 57, and Mardel
Barber, 50, formerIy of Jupiter, with failing to pay taxes in
connection with the sale of "ozone generators" nationwide.
The couple grossed more than $1 million in sales of the $4,800 devices
between January 1991 and December 1993, according to the indictment.
Consumers were fraudulently induced to buy the generators by false and
misleading information in the company's promotional advertisements,
including a videotape featuring Thiefault titled "The Miracle of
Ozone," according to the indictment.
Depending on the disease, Thiefault and Barber recommended that the
ozone be administered rectally via a catheter inserted in the anus;
vaginally, also with the aid of a catheter; by placing the tube
directly into the ear; or inhaling through the nose or mouth.
Some victims, according to the indictment, were encouraged to take a
hot shower, dry off and then stand naked inside a body bag attached to
a tube through which ozone flowed from the generator.
The couple also sold two drugs known as "Kanzyme" and "Kanzyme II" that were supposed to supplement the ozone therapy.
"Kanzyme II" which was administered by injection, orally or intravenous drip, was a liquid substance containing silver.
Authorities are unsure of the contents of "Kanzyme," which the couple claimed cured cancer, AIDS and other diseases.
Investigators from the Internal Revenue Service and the Food and Drug
Administration said Thiefault failed to maintain books and records of
the sales of generators and two liquid drugs that were supposed to
supplement the ozone therapy. He also failed to file income tax returns
and told Florida tax authorities that one of his companies did not have
any gross sales.
In 1993, Thiefault filed records with the clerk of court in Palm Beach
County declaring himself a free man not subject to any governmental
authority. This declaration, often made by so called tax patriots, does
not recognise the IRS as a legitimate government agency.
Barber, reached at her home in Kooksia, Idaho, was unaware of the
indictment on Tuesday, but she proclaimed the couple's innocence.
"(Federal investigators) have made us out to be bad persons," Barber
said. "They've made some ridiculous accusations about us, especially
about him. They've alluded to all kinds of things that he isn't. I
can't even begin to describe some of the things they've been asking
about him." Assistant U.S. Attorney Rolando Garcia said arrest warrants
will be issued to bring the couple back from their hometown, 160 miles
north of Boise.
Thiefault is charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, wire fraud,
mail fraud, distribution of ozone generators, distribution of ozone and
misbranding an ozone generator. If convicted on all counts, he faces up
to 41 years in prison and $1.75 million in fines. Barber is charged
with the tax fraud conspiracy. If convicted, she faces up to five years
in prison and $250,000 in fines. Thiefault, according to state records,
was convicted in 1996 for his role in a telemarketing scheme that
defrauded consumers who thought they were investing in public pay
He was sentenced to probation. "That conviction is under appeal", Barber said.
Thiefault once worked for Broward County ozone generator salesman Basil
Wainwright, who was sentenced to three years in prison in 1990 after
pleading guilty to practicing medicine without a license.
Wainwright, who sold AIDS patients $7,800 kits that claimed to produce
immune-enhancement treatments by blowing ozone into the rectum, was
considered the guru of ozone therapy in South Florida, with his
charismatic style, extravagant public claims and aggressive marketing
of his unapproved ozone machine.
In a November 19, 1990, Sun-Sentinel story, Thiefault acknowledged
selling Wainwright's ozone devices, but said he had left "the medical
side of the business".
Thiefault, in the article, said he had sold only three machines, all
for purifying swimming pool water, after a falling-out with Wainwright.
Instead, the indictment alleges, he went into business for himself, making many of the same claims as his flamboyant mentor.
By Larry Lebowitz Staff Writer
Barrett, S. 1988. Bogus Claims for H2O2 stopped. Nutritional Forum 1988:5:50.
Lebowitz, Larry. Sellers of 'Miracle' machines indicted, American Sun-Sentinel. December 26, 1997.
McCabe, Ed. 1988. Oxygen Therapies, Energy Publications, Morrisville, New York.
Rillings, S. Viebahn, R. 1987. The Use of Ozone in Medicine. Karl F. Haug Publishers, Heidelberg, West Germany.
Sweet, F., Kao, M.S., Lee S.C. et al: 1980. Ozone selectively inhibits growth of human cancer cells. Science, 1980:209:931-932.
Thompson, B. 1990. Do Oxygen Therapies Work? East West, September 1990. p. 70-75, 110-111.
Varro, J. 1985. "Ozone Application in Cancer Cases" La Raus J: Medical
Applications of Ozone, International Ozone Association, Norwalk,
Wilson, B. 1990. Dubious Degrees and Spurious Science, in Barrett, S and Cassileth, B.R. (eds): Dubious Cancer Treatment, American Cancer Society, Tampa, Florida. p46.