Dinshaw Ghadiali

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Col. Ghadiali

Colonel Dinshaw P. Ghadiali (28 November 1873 - 30 April 1966) was an American born in India who invented equipment for light-based medical therapy. During World War I he served as a pilot in the New York Police Air Reserves, where he rose to the rank of Colonel.

Early years

In August 1911 Ghadiali emigrated to the United States.[1] His wife Manek, then 30 years old, was in England at Chiswick, a section of London. Two sons, a daughter, and a nephew lived with her.[2] In October Manek and the two younger children followed Dinshaw to America.[3]

Theosophical Society involvement

Ghadiali was admitted to the Indian Section in Bombay on August 24, 1891 and transferred to the American Section on August 29, 1962 at the age of about 89.[4] His address in 1962 was Visible Spectrum Research Institute, Malaga, New Jersey. In New Jersey he was a member-at-large rather than being attached to a local lodge or branch, until his death on April 30, 1966.[5]


After his immigration to America in 1911, Ghadiali set up a business as an inventor in New Jersey. He elaborated on the color theories of American mesmerist Edwin Babbitt and creating electrical devices.

Four years after he arrived, the New York Times reported that he had filed a patent for the Dinshah Photokinephone, which he claimed was the first film projector able to coordinate sound with flickering images without the use of a phonograph. The article claimed that he already had “several inventions to his name,” such as the “Dinshah Automobile Engine Fault-Finder.”[6]



Ghadiali is best known for inventing and marketing of the Spectro-Chrome, which was widely used in medical therapies until it was discredited by a skeptical Food and Drug Administration in 1945.

The device was described in this way:

An FDA agent who dismantled this curious machine, which looks like a simple aluminum slide projector mounted on a stand, described it as follows: “Examination showed that the device consisted essentially of a cabinet equipped with a 1000-watt floodlight bulb and electric fan, a container of water for cooling purposes, two glass condenser lenses for concentrating the light, and a number of glass slides of different colors.”[7]

A journalist summarized the theories behind the Spectro-Chrome:

Ghadiali believed that the body was made up of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon, which were colored blue, red, green, and yellow respectively. When the four colors are out of balance, people become sick, and the Spectro-Chrome promised to restore a natural harmony. Ghadiali published a chart which showed the twenty-two parts of the body that particular colors should be projected onto to cure different illnesses, and specified the exact time of day each hour-long sitting should take place in a series of complicated regional astrological tables.[8]


On July 14 1951 the FBI arrived at his laboratory:

"[They] proceeded to lay out each and every one of the strange machines in Mr. Dinshah’s clinic on his lawn. With sledge hammers they smashed each one of them to pieces as the old man, his patients and his neighbors watched. Dinshah, who had spent a lifetime promoting a healthy vegan lifestyle and the healing through color was sentenced to three years in prison. To this day there remains a PERMANENT Federal injunction against the Spectro-Chrome"[9]

Despite this destruction, Ghadiali's ideas persisted and others developed specialized light therapies. A video demonstration of the Spectro-Chrome is available for viewing at Aetherforce.com.


Ghadiali edited Spectro-Chrome, the official organ of Spectro-Chrome Institute and American Association of Spectro-Chrome Therapists, and Visible Spectrum Researcher magazine, from 1922 to 1957. He also self-published books on his scientific theories and his legal problems, plus fiction and selections of Bible quotations and humor. The Spectro-Chrome Institute owned a printing press. Some works have been translated into Chinese and German. They are listed in chronological sequence.

  • Rout of Obstinacy and Triumph of Union. Subtitled "full and true account of all the proceedings of the general meeting of the Zoroastrians of Nanpura, Surat held ... the 4th of December 1904: and a succinct account (summary) of the first meeting held ... on the 27th November 1904." Surat: Dinsha Pestonji Framji Ghadiali, 1904. 40 pages.
  • Railroading a Citizen. Subtitled "diabolic perjury, branded innocent as white slaver; supernatural powers, hypnotism, mesmerism, mysticism, astral projection, flying through space, otherwise Salem witchcraft, vilely adduced in Portland, Oregon, federal court, to convict a reputable American ... Fearlessly exposing flagrant injustice in America." Malaga, N.J., Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1926. 2 volumes in 1. Frontispiece, illustrations, plates (some color) portraits. Stated as being "by its victim, Colonel Dinshah P. Ghadiali."
  • Good Thoughts. Subtitled "one good thought a day, keeps the evil away." Malaga, N.J.: Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1929.
  • American Sex Problems. Malaga, N.J.: Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1929. 242 pages.
  • Spectro-Chrome Home Guide. Subtitled "for family use of cabinet equipment in Spectro-Chrome metry, measurement and restoration of the human radio-active and radio-emanative equilibrium (normalation of imbalance) by attuned color waves, the science of automatic precision." Malaga, N.J.: Spectro-Chrome Institute, 19??. Third edition 1935. Fourth edition in 1938. 104 pages with illustrations, portrait.
  • The Spectro-Chrome Metro Encyclopedia. Subtitled "home training course in spectro-chrome metry: measurement and restoration of the human radio-active and radio-emanative equilibrium (normalation of imbalance) by attuned color waves ; the science of automatic precision." Malaga, N.J.: Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1933-1934. Second edition, 1939-1940. Fifth edition at Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Health Society, 2003. 195 pages with illustrations.
  • Master of Occultism (Himalayi mahatma sakramagogo). Subtitled "thesaurus of occult lore, from personal study and experience in phenomena of higher human life." Malaga, N.J.: Spectrochrome Institute, 1935. 786 pages: illustrations, plates, portraits, map. Fiction.
  • Family Health Protector. Subtitled "revealing exposure of the medical racket, and the medical trust in 52 articles, especially written for 'The Record.'" Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1943. 112 pages with illustrations, portraits.
  • Healing Triangle of Light. Malaga, N.J.: Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1930. 171 pages with illustrations. Available at Google Books.
  • Dinshah naturalization case clearing contested citizenship. Subtitled "entertaining narrative of how a lawfully naturalized citizen of the United States of America, defeated a medico-political plot to deprive him of his citizenship and making of him a 'man without a country'". Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1944. 88 pages with illustrations, portraits, plates. Reprinted in 2013 by Literary
  • Triumph of spectro-chrome attuned color waves vindicated in New York Supreme Court. Subtitled "instructive narrative and complete transcript of record of the prosecution of the originator of spectro-chrome metry, on charge of grand larceny and his acquittal by the jury in Buffalo, New York." Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1944. 340 pages with illustrations, portraits.
  • One thousand years ahead. Subtitled "complete text of the transcript of record and evidence, taken in the United States District Court, in Brooklyn, New York, in the trial caused by the first seizure of a spectro-chrome." Malaga, N.J. : Dinshah Spectro-Chrome Institute, 1947.
  • Dinshah Cook Book. Subtitled "a cook book in a class of its own." Malaga, N.J.: The author, 1950. 148 pages.
  • Wisdom in Wisecracks (wit and humor revamped and revised). Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Pub. Co., 1951.
  • Gems in the Bible. Subtitled "mined from the text, set forth in the Authorized version of King James, in 1611 anno christi." Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah, 1952. 5 volumes.
  • Let There Be Light. Malaga, N.J.: Dinshah Health Society, 1985 (First edition). Eighth edition in 2005.

Additional resources

  • Dinshaw Health Society website offers an account of Spectro-Chrome history and a selection of books. It is a membership-based nonprofit organization.
  • Dinshah P. Ghadiali collection, 1926-1927 at Oregon Historical Society Library. Archival collection includes: Typescript letter to the editor of the Morning Oregonian, 2 pp, June 16, 1926, regarding his innocence of violation of the Mann Act; Pamphlet, "Railroading of a Citizen," 2 v, 1926; Newspaper clipping, June 3, 1927, regarding his conviction.
  • Dinshaw P. Ghadiali Papers at College of Physicians of Philadelphia Historical Medical Library. Collection of spectro-chrome-metry materials, 1936-1941, including photographs, scrapbook of correspondence, and miscellaneous items.
  • Edward S. Kubersky, "Dinshah P. Ghadiali and the Spectro-Chrome" Caduceus 9.1. Article in series "Health regimens and Therapies."


  1. Passenger list of the S. S. Oceanic, Southampton to New York
  2. 1911 Census of England and Wales.
  3. Passenger list of the S. S. St. Paul, Southampton to New York
  4. Theosophical Society General Membership Register at http://tsmembers.org/. See book 1, entry 7360 (website file: 1C/35).
  5. Membership records on microfilm. Blue Ledger Series No. 2. Theosophical Society in America Archives. Note that date of admittance is shown as October 26, 1891 in this record.
  6. Christopher Turner, "The Kingpin of Fakers," Cabinet No. 18 (Summer 2005). Available at Cabinet.
  7. Christopher Turner, "The Kingpin of Fakers," Cabinet No. 18 (Summer 2005). Available at Cabinet.
  8. Christopher Turner, "The Kingpin of Fakers," Cabinet No. 18 (Summer 2005). Available at Cabinet.
  9. "The Return of Spectro-Chrome: The Most Suppressed Medical Technology Ever" Aetherforce. Available at Aetherforce.