Tracing a phantom: The BEMER “Institute for Microcirculation”

The tax haven-registered BEMER international AG sells controversial magnet therapy devices globally. Not recognized by medical science, BEMER cites research by an Institute for Microcirculation in Berlin (german: Institut für Mikrozirkulation) as proof for their devices’ effects. During my last visit to Berlin, I decided to find out if that obscure facility really exists.

[See also: Study finds BEMER to be useless in Fibromyalgia] and [A BEMER rep answers]

The institute is not in the phone book or any other address- or business directory. It’s not in the trade register, i.e. it is not a registered company. It’s not a registered trademark. The only hint we have is the institute’s website, which it maintains since 2014, first under institut-mikrozirkulation.de (defunct) and later as institute-microcirculation.com. The physical address mentioned there is the same as in their last regular paper, which dates back to 2013.

website-address

Note that the name has a spelling error (Reiner). The address is also false, there is no Erwin-Negelein-Haus in Bernau. However, there is an Erwin-Negelein-Haus at the Forschungscampus Berlin-Buch, Robert-Rössle-Str. 10. The website tells us the institute’s research lab is situated at this address, and so I started there. Armed with a BEMER business card I grabbed somewhere, I would pose as a churnalist, an idiot-level healthcare professional, or an interested reseller – just in case there’d be a real facility with real people.

bemer-card

The campus gatekeeper had never heard of such an institute, although he’s doing the job for several years now. Nobody had asked him so far for such an entity. The map and site directory list neither an Institut für Mikrozirkulation nor its director, Dr. Rainer Klopp, BEMER’s key expert.

campus-buch-plan

The Negelein Haus is building no. D79. There is no such institute. The guiding plate at the entrance let shimmer through the names of the former labs and offices at the spot, and there has been no mark for an Institut für Mikrozirkulation on the former versions.

negerlein

I inspected the building as far as possible. The labs and other premises are rather small, there is a number of companies which have post boxes in the hall. One of them is ICP Healthcare. postboxes-negelein
The co-author of the last paper mentioned above, Prof. Schulz, was affiliated with that company. Did he lend his address to Klopp’s institute?

schulz-address-icp

The search would have ended here, but the gatekeeper found me a contact at BBB Management GmbH, which operates the whole campus. There was a nice and helpful guy, with whom I had this conversation, word-for-word:

I’m looking for an Institut fuer Mikrozirkulation, which claims to have research labs here. Have you ever heard of such an institution?

– Yes, that’s Dr. Klopp. It’s not here.

Can you tell me where the institute is?

– The address is [—]. You will find Dr. Klopp there.

The institute “is” Dr. Klopp? Not that I expected anything else, but that was remarkably direct.

The site in question is at Wiltbergstr. 50, a kilometre from the other. It’s a 19th century hospital ensemble. At the entrance I found that map, which finally was the first hint that an Institute for Microcirculation really exists, physically. On the lower right, from the bottom, the second entry.

wiltbergstr-plan

The building was a 1,5 story pavillon, and at the back door 20d, between trash containers, there’s the sign I was searching for.

haus20d-side

entrance-20d

There is nothing but that plate (the name here correct: Rainer). No doorbell, the lock destroyed. Inside a rubble. From the german writings on the wall, it’s a former surgery from East German time, not any institute. There’s hardly any research work ongoing, since even the electricity cables are torn from the walls.

institut-mikrozirkulation

The same in the basement. All windows taped, appearingly the site is completely empty. No institute here. Possibly here are premises under construction, but there’s no Institute for Microcirculation or any related research facilities at the given addresses.

In late 2017, however, a new address appeared on the “institute’s” website: the management would be at Marktplatz 3, Bernau bei Berlin. Bernau is a small town about 15km away, just beyond Berlin’s city limits. Marktplatz is the central town square. It is quite small in this case, with only a handful of buildings. No. 3 looks this way.

klopp-institut-marktplatz3

There is a barber and a photographer downstairs. A local construction firm informs at its website, that the former offices in that house were turned into apartments. There is no institute here, but the bell sign tells us who lives here. It’s Dr. Klopp, the “director” of the “institute” which should only be written in quotation marks from now on.

klopp-residence

The “Institute for Microcirculation” is a virtual entity.

There is no such research facility at any of its claimed addresses, and there’s little reason to assume that it has ever been.

The “institute’s” management resides at the apartment of its director, Dr. Rainer Klopp.

Dr. Klopp seems to be the “institute” in person.

 

 

contact & corrections: earlightswindle@gmail.com

18 thoughts on “Tracing a phantom: The BEMER “Institute for Microcirculation”

  1. Thanks for good detective work!

    It’s not surprising that the “Institute” does not really exist, because the Bemer public representatives have false or unverifiable academic credentials (except for Rainer Klopp, who probably has a real MD degree). Their “certificate” for the Bemer equipment in Germany has been obtained by an outsourced company that did not do any scientific evaluation but relied on Bemer’s “publications” which are in fact paid commercials in pseudoscientific or predatory journals.

    1. My last lookup of “bemer” on PubMed came up with 14 published studies. Checking on a couple of their five Euro patents show the usual names and demographic info like any other patent. Dr Klopp’s book Mikrozirkulation is listed for $470. I met him personally at the last IMIN conference, a very humble gentleman with 3 PhD degrees. I’m a bit puzzled by your findings here and have asked BemerAmerica for comments on this.

    1. I found this company name inside Peter Carl Simons’ book on microcirculation (translated from German to English, 2016, available at Amazon.)

      BEMER AG operates in the medical engineering sector, conducts and supports research in the area of microcirculation, and develops physical treatment procedures to positively influence the aforementioned. The multi-patented and market-leading technology of the physical vascular therapy BEMER is available in different, innovative product lines, which the company distributes through its own, widely spread direct specialist distribution and the corresponding local representation in over 40 countries. The company’s registered office is in Triesen, Liechtenstein, where over 50 employees are employed.
      BEMER was founded in 1998 by Peter Gleim as Innomed International AG, and in the year 2010 was renamed accordingly. Today, Gleim brings along many years of experience in managing the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

      1. Peter Carl Simons is obviously a quack writer. Calling himself “international expert for [whatever]” and posing on book covers in a white coat, he has lots of such brochures on sale. These are all BoD, i.e. printed on demand on personal funds. From the microcirculation book you mentioned, the final “chapter” is about Bemer. Either the whole “book” is written as an advert, or it just copied advertising to fill the pages. In that case it may infringe Bemer rights.

        The second review on amazon is good. 15 pages for 18€, 5 of which are advertising the Bemer product.

        Quite the opposite of a trustable source. In fact, it makes me *facepalm*: if you have such friends, you don’t need enemies.

        (ps. I was in the business at amazon for several years via a contractor, and had extensively to do with medical text books etc. We did not even mention this kind of product as a book.)

  2. According to this bio I found online–Dr Klopp is currently 75 years old, which may be why he is difficult to track currently. I don’t believe there was ever a BEMER institute of Microcirculation-it is not recorded in the history of BEMER international AG, Liechtenstein-but rather Dr Klopp pioneered research in microcirulation and BEMER contacted them for evaluation of their product(s). Dr Klopp was a physician and professor at Humbolt University in Berlin (Charite) holding director and teaching positions of both undergraduates in physics and biophysics, and as a senior physician of the Institute of Cardiovascular Diagnostics and researcher in the medical school. He founded a research institute of microcirculation while at Charite in 1991 and was awarded research monies from the German government as well as other sources.
    Dr Klopp is well published in Europe.

    Average of retirement in Germany is 62 to 65 years old. In 1991, the year his separate institute for microcirculation studies was formed on the campus of Charite, Dr Klopp was 48 yeas old–he is now 75 years old. Dr Klopp worked with the founder of BEMER Intl AG Peter Gleim to study and understand the original BEMER wave signal and provided validation of their product’s impact on the capillary and micro capillary system in the human body . BEMER did not own his Institute of Microcirculation which he founded at Charite University medical center. In the review of published research on pubmed.gov where he is listed as an author over the past 11 years there is no mention of the research being conducted at the Institute of Microcirculation–indicating that it is probably not an active research facility, hence you would not find it on the campus. This is not really a validating factor that it did not exist, and even here in the USA physicians, professors and clinical researchers are often referred to by the last position they held before retirement. They are often consultants that can still be involved in ongoing research.

    While I appreciate your investigation of the campus attempting to locate the Institute of Microcirculation, a further investigation of an actual interview with Dr Klopp himself, review of current research on BEMER wave signal–such as the USA Dept of Defense research on wound healing presented at the IMIN conference in Florida in Sept 2016, research of the history of the formation of the institution of its original charter, financial contracts, employees, etc which are records of the state university – Humbolt University(Charite) and the government records of Germany would be much more informative of the actual work of Dr Klopp and his founding of the Institute of Microcirculation–rather than chasing addresses and drawing conclusions from that.

    In the USA many foundations, non-profits etc are formed specifically to financially support the research of work of physicians, clinical researchers etc These entities have university addresses that are fluid and are often decided upon committees of the university and have no real bearing on exactly where research is conducted. As a quick perusal I just did an internet research for a well respected deceased physician researcher–former Assoc Dean of Medicine for Stanford Univ School of Medicine and Head of multiple departments at Stanford, who was recruited to Harvard University with a significantly higher research dollar budget–neither of his research centers laboratories are even named in his bio–yet they took in 100’s of millions of dollars in funding. There is no current record of their addresses that you would find if you tried to locate them in the manner of which you did your research on an institute of microcirculation associated with Dr Klopp, and a never in existence “BEMER” institute of microcirculation.

    I would also recommend a search of who owns the English website of Institute of Microcirculation should be investigated(where you obtained a current address from)–the style of English content does not appear to be written by Dr Klopp himself as it does not match his other writings I have read–English translations originally written in German.

    I am a skeptic, open skeptic, with a history of university and hospital administration, USA Natl Institute of Health clinical studies site coordinator, and have supported clinical research at Univ of Calif San Francisco and Stanford Univ. I also have experience as a research analyst for high tech and biotech startups and expansions being evaluated for venture capital and other sources of funding. I recently traveled to Liechtenstein to BEMER Intl AG headquarters and met much of their staff as well as members of the founding Gleim family. I also before going to visit their headquarters, I read ( having had translated for me by a native German speaker and research scientist) 10 peer reviewed studies on the BEMER wave signal, as well as video conference attended the most recent IMIN conference 2016 in Florida, and have read some of the transcripts on current research and case histories presented by physicians at a conference of approximately 400 medical doctors at a medical research conference on BEMER wave signal in Europe fall 2017.

    After thorough research, and personal testing of the BEMER Pro device, I decided to become a BEMER independent distributor. I do not speak on behalf of the company, but from my own personal point of view.

    FROM an online website:
    Prof. Dr. med. Rainer-Christian Klopp MD

    Born in 1943.

    From 1962 to 1970 he studied medicine at the Medical Faculty (Charité) of the Humboldt University in Berlin and completed additional studies in physics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science of the Humboldt University in Berlin after graduating secondary school in 1961.

    1970: Summa cum laude doctor’s thesis at the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin (Charité), 1971 monograph / dissertation (Johann Gottlieb Fichte Prize).

    1970 – 1975 : Research Assistant and later Assistant Professor at the Institute of Physics and Biophysics at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Research in the areas of ultrasound physics, fluid mechanics and elasto-mechanics.

    1975 – 1980: Deputy Director and head of undergraduate education at the Institute of Physics and Biophysics at the Humboldt University. Teaching qualification for physics and biophysics. Lectures, seminars and practical training in the fields elastomechanics, vibration and wave theory, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics as well as research on the effects of ionizing radiations.

    1980 -1983: Senior physician at the Institute of Pathophysiology at the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin (Charité). Board certification. Teaching qualification for clinical pathophysiology. Main lectures and seminars in the field of clinical pathophysiology and functional diagnostics. Research in the field of cardiovascular diseases.

    1983 – 1990: Senior physician at the Institute of Cardiovascular Diagnostics of the Medical Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin (Charité) and head of the independent University Department of Microcirculation. Pathophysiology seminars and main lecture on heart failure.

    1991: Founded and directed the Institute for Microcirculation at the Charité, which has existed independently of the Charité since 1992 as an independent research institute. Research on microcirculation in the fields of biophysics, cardiology, angiology, oncology, internal medicine and dermatology.

  3. I don’t own a bemer. I have no fancy degrees after my name and I don’t claim to be an authority on anything so I’ve got no fear of being quackifide. So I will say this. Dude! you got all the way up to Dr Klopp’s door and you didn’t knock on it? You haven’t talked to the guy? If I was a qualified quackifier I rap you on the head with my quackery stick! That’s like getting all the way to the Moon, circling it, and saying “Yep! Now we know what it’s made of!” Instead of landing on it and scooping up some of the dirt.

    1. Believe me, I stood there for a while and the decision was not easily made.
      1. It was around Christmas
      2. the man is 75 years old
      3. I was stalked sometimes (also related to this blog)

      It was still a bit unexpected to find myself in front of Klopp’s apartment and I had no questions prepared. My aim was only to find the “institute” and I showed there’s none.
      Last not least it’s easy to contact him at any time, I don’t have to confront him like this. Everybody has a right for privacy.

  4. I met Peter Gleim and De. Klopp this past weekend at BEMER’s 20 yr anniversary celebration in Orlando this past weekend. Many I know have also been to BEMER’s headquarters in LICHTENSTEIN. Not sure where you went. Also check out their patents. [Ie
    Apparatus for stimulating local and higher homeostatic autoregulatory mechanisms in the organism
    Patent number: 8808159] Those are not given to fake anything.

    1. 1.) I went where BEMER Group sent me: To find an university-level Institute for Microcirculation in Berlin, which they claim has developed the BEMER method and is doing research in the field. As I described here, and again etc.

      It does not exist. Still, Klopp appears as it’s “director” in Orlando and elsewhere.

      2.) Where was “the world’s foremost expert on microcirculation” and his “research” when the *real* microcirculation world congress was held? What do *real* researchers say?

      3.) It is spelled LIECHTENSTEIN.

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