In the curious process I went through while dealing with this
fascinating subject, I found that had some personal characteristics
(don?t mean ?talents?) quite adequate to work it out, such as being
passionate about clean energies, not a science-know-it-all, and
friendly towards innovation ?as much as cautious and in no way biased.
Thus, I approached it with a moderately trusting enthusiasm. The first
time I saw your question I went to the Genesis World Energy website
(http://www.genesis-scientific.org/genesis_world_energy/htm ), and
after a general overview, I had a positive impression about it, while
noticing a few spots worthy of further analysis to acid-test its
As you stated it, this query has two aspects to consider: business and
science. (We might agree that there?s a third one: *drinks* -but
that?s another story ;-)
For the business aspect I focused on the object we have at hand: the
website itself, trying its consistence with what is expected from a
corporate website. That with disregard to the scientific aspect, given
that general public, potential customers and investors (you, me,
anyone) don?t need to be scientific connoisseurs beyond common
I already knew some tips to identify possible cover-ups of something
dubious, so I looked for them and, when found, registered and
As to the scientific information needed as a reference to weigh their
claims against, I couldn?t rely on just the general knowledge I might
have retained from my college days, but looked for it on chemistry,
physics, engineering, as much as a non-expert person can understand.
- Website general design and structure -
I like its design. It?s elegant, sober, the classic style that?s often
seen in corporate websites, transmitting feelings of security,
seriousness, solidness. The image of a beautiful, powerful wave at the
home page, well proportioned elegant fonts, pastel colors. The icons
of the different pages frames, suggesting action, productivity, images
associated with the energy business, subtly in line with the
specificity of the page?s subject in some cases.
A very clever logo. The second ?e? represented by three undulating red
lines, evoking horizontal flames, also waves and even a rippling
American Flag; observe that their red and the blue of the letters are
very close ?if not identical- to those of the American Flag. All of
this resulting in a compound of energy, strength, reliability and
inspiring emotions. The circle around subtly reminding of two opposed
rainbows, suggesting the idea of recycling, perpetuity, light (energy)
and water. Everything looks OK.
The website?s structure also is alike that one of any reliable
businesses. Organization and navigability are excellent. Its sections:
About Us, Products, Newsroom, Q&A, R&D Partnerships, Corporate Giving,
Licensing, Suppliers, Communities, Financial, Employment, all of them
are frequently seen in websites of reputed corporations. The links
don?t fail: they aren?t slow, don?t hang up the browser, don?t take
you to a wrong or ?under construction? page. The website works just
The slogan at the home page, ?Harnessing an *unlimited source* of
energy from the molecular structure of water?, may sound a bit
grandiloquent, but not untrue if we don?t take the words ?unlimited?
and ?source? literally. As it?s well known and widely documented,
splitting the molecule of water to obtain hydrogen is already being
done (1), and the current challenge is efficiency (2), so the use of
the expression ?unlimited source? -arguable if we stick to scientific
rigor(3)-, together with the idea of ?harnessing?, may be intended to
suggest the achievement of an outstandingly efficient process. In the
context we are analyzing, it may very well impact as determination to
achieve the most challenging goals. Besides, we are used to some
exaggeration in corporate communication about their products or
achievements, aren?t we?
What is all this telling you, me, the general public? ?We are
reliable, we are good Americans, we master technology, we do things
well.? Regardless how honest they might be or not, I reckon they do
count with an excellent communication expert. Those of us who happen
to be traders, lawyers, waiters, actors, historians, musicians,
administrative employees, writers, bus drivers, factory workers,
corporate executives, accountants, anything unrelated to hard sciences
or technology, can do an overview through most of its sections, get
interested or even awestruck, and hatch not the seed of a doubt.
Now, you?re asking to investigate a doubt.
- Contents -
So far, we?ve analyzed the website?s organization, style and
functionality. Now let?s go further on the contents. Of course, it
would be too long, too boring and pointless to analyze each one of its
fifty seven sections and subsections. Instead, I chose a dynamic
approach, by following some logical paths through the website?s pages,
according to a navigation sequence originated in information
We?re at the home page now.
The statement in the bottom, which also appears in some of the other
pages, makes a reassuring effect in a first sight: ?This website is
intended for informational purposes only. Genesis does not do business
or interact with the general public. Its business relationships are
limited to dealings with authorized Genesis technology licensees,
technology partners, suppliers, employees and parties responding to
published Genesis opportunities.? One may think: ?they?ve probably
built a business model based on partnership with other entities, so
they want to keep clear each part?s role without interfering?. Sounds
fine. However, we?ll see how it may also have its tricky side when we
had gone further in the website.
Let?s find out who these people are, the ?About Us? section should tell.
This is the section where companies usually describe them to us the
way they see themselves ?or the way they want us to see them. In this
case, they?re picturing an organization that could fall into the
category of ?social enterprise? -either philanthropic not-for-profits
with a commercial self-supporting model, or commercial for-profit
businesses with an altruistic philosophy in their core activities- the
latter being the type that most seems to fit the image that this page
transmits ?given the use of the word ?business?- despite the ?dot org?
domain suggests not-for-profit purposes. This is expressed by phrases
>> ?...team of people dedicated to the positive advancement of world conditions?;
>> ?...a unique business model that will potentially allow everyone in
the world to eventually share in the benefits of their technologies?;
>> ?...creating a new future for the world that will greatly benefit
humanity and the environment.?
To go deeper in understanding how they show themselves to the public,
let?s go to their subsection:
/Understanding Our Business
What I find of interest in this page is, in first place, the mission,
?to facilitate the manufacture and delivery of technologies created by
the Genesis Team to the people of the world?, which reinforces that
character of social enterprise I mentioned above. They describe a
model where they have a role of developers and manufacturers of the
key components, and the licensees would assemble the products,
customize them for the peculiarities of their local markets, and trade
Very well explained and explicitly, they state that their ?business
relationships operate on a for profit basis, while profits generated
from its own operations are used to support a range of scientific,
humanitarian and charitable causes?.
By saying that they would license their products and technologies to
?the largest corporations in the world, to individuals passionate
about building a business dedicated to helping the world and
everything in-between?, they are showing adherence to the value of
equality of opportunities.
Actually, this whole page is all about values, and while appealing in
one hand, it has a confusing side, because in the other, it lacks of
other kind of conditions that one would expect to find in this
section, such as specifications about business management capability,
background on the technology field, qualifications as manufacturers,
experience as vendors. The criteria of eligibility for nations and
companies for licensing are a list of political correction and
corporate ethics items, which are welcome, but no explicit business
specifications, except for this reference: ?Genesis World Energy
requires licensees to meet or exceed the provisions of US
After looking for it in the internet, I found that the norm, about
standards for potential contractors of the Department of Defense, was
cancelled by its creators in October 1996 (please see the 1996
document titled ?Cancellation of Mil-Q-9858A and Mil-I-45208A? at
), and it doesn?t seem available any more (at least, I couldn?t find
it, nor a way to get it).
However, since according to the same source cited above the ISO-9000
standards are acceptable, we can infer that being ISO-9000 compliant
will do it for GWE as well, but it?s still intriguing that they cite
an old standard, currently difficult to find, while the International
Organization for Standardization is so much at hand
There might be an alert here. I had a hard time trying to figure out
for what reason they would require an outdated standard. Maybe they
just find it better than ISO, what could be eccentric and arguable,
but not illegitimate. But an alternate hypothesis could be that they
were targeting companies whose management would not really aware and
updated, and consequently more vulnerable to dubious practices. This
is not a statement, just a possibility.
Back to what I was trying to find in first place, their business
specifications for licensees, I had wouldn?t find any. The link to
led me to a page with the same list of ethical principles for
countries and businesses.
So, looking for wider information about licensing, I went to the
?Licensing? section (http://www.genesis-scientific.org/licensing/index.htm
). Here I found again a brief description of the business model, and
One was about the reopening of licensing for ?exclusive national
manufacturers? in a list of seventeen countries. According to their
information: ?These exclusive licenses are being placed back on the
market either as a result of the fact that the original parties that
acquired them were unable to arrange funding to pay for them, or based
on the fact that the original licensee was ultimately rejected by
What is deserving of some serious though is what countries are those:
Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Japan, New Zealand, Russia, S. Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, United Kingdom. Now my alarms ring again. Most of those
nations are major markets, with long-time settled industrial
development, important energy needs and a vast tradition in
businesses. How come that no company in any of them was at once able
to fund the licensing and be eligible? Not one among the tens of
thousands of well established companies in, just to mention a few,
Switzerland, Germany, UK, Japan, Canada? I find it really intriguing.
If we are exploring a doubt, one explanation could be a business that
was not meant to really work, but to collect license fees from
companies before they realize the technology would not work. However,
it?s still possible that licensees just didn?t make it in all those
countries for explainable legitimate reasons.
Another piece of news said that ?Genesis World Energy concluded its
relationship with World Energy Management (Genesis' license
application processing subcontractor for the 2003 and 2004 licensing
application periods) in the fall of 2004?, which I found of interest
because I?ve seen that name in other references that I?ll mention
Finally, the two remaining pieces of news announce that:
>> they have already accomplished their plan for complying standard
manufacture licenses issuing until next releases in about one year;
>> and that they will accept additional marketing licenses
applications as long as the manufacturer?s products enter the market,
because they have sufficient applications for the moment.
These two last ones encouraged me to look for a list of licensees: I
thought that if all the licensing they had planned is already
accomplished, there had to be a good number of them to contact. This
was a disappointing experience, because after having exhausted all of
the links related to licensing, I couldn?t find one single licensee
name or contact information.
At this point I started to feel a bit discouraged, since I couldn?t
figure out why the creators of the technology, manufacturers of the
key components, who claim that they long for everyone on Earth to
benefit from their cheap and clean energy production technology,
wouldn?t make their licensees available for any occasional visitor of
their website. That?s the tricky aspect of the statement in the
homepage bottom I told you about: it doesn?t sound illogical that they
didn?t want to trade their products themselves if they have a
licensing business model, but it *does* sound illogical that they
didn?t provide contact information of their licensees. It seems as if
they were trying to prevent potential customers to contact them
instead of encouraging it. This *is* weird.
I thought I should ask them. There might be reasons I just could not
figure out not to publish the licensees contact information, and they
would probably be willing to provide it by email. I clicked on the
?Contact Us? link, expecting an email address, a postal address, a
location, a fax or phone number, but all I found was a contact form
where all that information was required from me. I have a principle,
that I consider self-protecting: I only give identifying or contact
information on a reciprocal basis. Many websites use some sort of
contact form, and do not provide an email address; but you can always
find a location, the management?s names, very often their photographs.
But there was no way to find any of those facts at GWE?s website. The
specific contact links ?typically called ?interest form?-, for
licenses applications, suppliers, scholarship requests, product
donation applications, etc., had all the same structure. The Genesis
Team section shows no name either; not a person stands for Genesis
World Energy with his/her name, qualifications or background.
I decided not to fill in a form with information about me to an entity
that wouldn?t give me information about it.
Still thinking of learning about the licensees (and through them, how
and where could the products be obtained, and have an idea of how they
were making it in the market) I did a Google search for the keywords:
genesis-scientific OR genesis-world-energy licensee (hyphens link the
words so the search engine will take them as a one piece). The
results? page URL is:
. Unfortunately, none of the results was a GWE licensee.
Out of twenty one, two are pages from the GWE website itself, some
reproduce information from GWE?s website, there is the coverage of the
only GWE public presentation I?ve found information about (actually,
by their former marketing licensee World Energy Management), in Boise,
Idaho (http://www.matr.net/article-5090.html ) and others are articles
or forums were GWE legitimacy is ultimately questioned. Just for a few
(The Lycaeum Forums)
In the latter, one of the participants had posted (Dec. 10, 2002) the
who-is information from genesisworldenergy.org (former domain now
redirecting to genesis-scientific.org ) and worldenergymanagement.com
, whose domain name matches the company name of the former Genesis'
license application processing subcontractor, mentioned above. I did
my own who-is search for both domains
http://whois.webhosting.info/WORLDENERGYMANAGEMENT.COM ). I?ll
highlight some points that called my attention regarding our subject,
some of them emerging from the comparisons between 2002 and present
who-is information (please note that we have no certainty that the
alleged who-is information for 2002 is real or accurate, so the
comparisons are done on a supposal basis):
>> the expiration date has been extended from November 2003 to
November 2005 for the latter, and November 2006 for
>> although registrant persons in 2002 were different for each domain,
the persons have the same last name (Shaw)and, according to the
above-mentioned article about the presentation in Boise, they would be
brothers: ?Nejhla Shaw, a former New York Life Insurance sales
supervisor, is president of World Energy Management, which is the
licensing representative for the Edison Device. Her son Darren Shaw,
who previously owned a wireless communications company in Arizona, is
CEO. Another son, Charles Shaw, is corporate counsel for Genesis World
Energy, the technology development, production and supply arm of The
>> the registrant organization field for genesisworldenergy.org shows
a curious difference between 2002 and 2005: while in the 2002 record
that field is for Law Offices of Charles Shaw, P.C., in 2005 it is for
Guy, Rome and Associates, Inc., names that match the acronym GRA,
casually the same of GRA Interactive, appearing as administrative and
technical contact for worldenergymanagement.com in the supposed 2002
>> another company name appears in the who-is record for
genesisworldenergy.org as administrative and technical organization,
Genesis Energy Systems Inc., name we?ll see later again.
I also did a who-is search for genesis-scientific.org , and in this
case the most remarkable information is the absence of it: there?s no
person?s name, neither a location address except for state code, city
name, zip code and telephone number.
Probably the most disturbing among the critic web pages was the one
about investigation for fraud by the New Jersey Attorney General?s
Office in 2003 (http://www.emediawire.com/printer.php?prid=93743 ).
However, I searched the NJ Attorney General?s website
(http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ ) and couldn?t find evidence of the
prosecution being continued in the present.
A bit discouraged by the last news, I tried a different approach. I
figured that a registered patent would be, if not a proof, at least a
sign for legitimacy. I couldn?t tell for sure if luck got any better.
I searched at the US Patent and Trademark Office website
(http://www.uspto.gov/ ) for patents with all the different company
names related to our quest mentioned in this answer in the assignee
field. The closest approximation I found were two patents for Genesis
Energy Systems, Inc., one from Los Angeles and the other one from
Peebles, OH. The name matches the one mentioned as administrative and
technical organization for the domain genesisworldenergy.org , but
there is no evidence for these organizations, one from Ohio, another
from Los Angeles and the other one from Livermore (CA) to be the same.
There?re no matches for persons? names and the patents abstracts talk
about processes related with energy but in a very different approach
than the one claimed by GWE (you can check them at
). Neither did I find the trademarks claimed by GWE website, except
for iGas, but owned by a completely different company. The search
engine for trademarks works differently, so the URL would not work,
but you can check it by doing an easy search at
At this point, I had realized that a major obstacle to determine GWE?
legitimacy was that, whatever way I tried, it always only referred to
itself. Its website shows no way out: no location address, no
management names and background, no licensees contact information.
Checking from the outside you find no registered trademarks, no
confirmed patents, no traceable business relationships. Even whether
they?re collecting money from investors or licensees remains obscure.
I found no solid between GWE and the rest of the world.
As a control case, I checked another website from a company in the
same field of work, which I extracted from the National Hydrogen
Association?s (http://www.hydrogenus.com/ ) member list
(http://www.hydrogenus.com/nha-members.asp ). The company is Hydrogen
Power, Inc. The general design is similar to that one of GWE?s
website, although visually less attractive for my taste. The home
(http://www.hydrogenpowerinc.com/ ) page shows the dates and locations
for four future public presentation in tradeshows.
Their trademarks Hydrogen Now and Hydrogen Just In Time are registered
by them as owners, under the serial numbers 78367191 and 78445959
respectively. The Corporate Info page shows all the facilities
information and telephone numbers. The contact page, besides having a
contact form asking for name, telephone and email, offers the CEO?s
name, telephone and email.
Their technological claims are that ?The Hydrogen Power Inc. (HPI)
patented Hydrogen Now (TM) hydrogen production system directly powers
fuel cells or internal combustion machine. Hydrogen Now(TM) eliminates
the need for hydrogen reformers or inefficient hydrogen processors.
Hydrogen Now(TM) provides hydrogen free of carbon monoxide impurities,
through reaction of aluminum with tap water in presence of
) The Management Team page
(http://www.hydrogenpowerinc.com/hydrogenpower_manage.htm ) introduces
the names and backgrounds of the major officers. Similarly the
Scientific and Technological Advisors page shows their scientists?
names and backgrounds.
Well, what does all of this mean? Here we have more suppositions than
facts, so nothing conclusive shall we take out of it. So what is its
use? As we know from the very beginning, we?ll reach no certitude by
this analysis, but these hints may help you build a plausible answer
to your doubt in the form of a reasonable hypothesis.
You must have noticed that I made no use of resources such as John
Lichtenstein?s Genesis World Energy Watch
(http://members.cox.net/john.lichtenstein/ ), because you probably
knew it already, and its arguments, and I wanted to hold a
non-influenced blank mind on it.
So, what do we have in the end, what hints if not facts?
>> A very well built, convincing website.
>> A technological claim that, in its broadest enunciation -obtaining
energy from the molecular structure of water- is not impossible, but
that is objected by established science if it implies ?creation? of
>> The obscurity of their management and chief technologists.
>> The lack of contact and site information their facilities and offices.
>> The alleged but untraceable licensees.
>> The unavailability of their products in the market after three
years stating that they?re ready for it.
>> Several forums and articles questioning GWE?s honesty.
>> A prosecution with an uncertain result.
>> No independent sources advocating for GWE?s claims, except for some
press coverage of their own announcements.
>> No evidence found of trade mark registration by them for those
holding the ?TM? acronym in their website.
>> No evidence found of patent registration for them as assignees.
>> No evidence of trademark registrations.
I hope the research work I offer to you could help you find a
reasonable answer to your doubt. Please do not hesitate to ask if you
need clarification. I thank you very much for this question that made
me learn so much.
As to your drinking bet, you might discuss these arguments with your
contender and see whether you reach an agreed decision. In the worst
case, who knows, maybe new sensations prove better than expected ;-)
Best of luck!!!
(1) ?About 95% of the hydrogen we use today comes from processing
natural gas. The remainder is produced using electrolysis ? a process
that splits *water* into its individual components, hydrogen and
oxygen.? Quotation from ?Hydrogen Production and Delivery?
), fact-sheet available at the website of the International
Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) (http://www.iphe.net/ ),
organization integrated by governmental representatives of the
following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, European
Commission, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Norway,
Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United
(2) In the context of the energy technology, efficiency is understood
as the amount of work effectively produced out of a source of energy,
which is frequently expressed as a percentage of the theoretical
?ideal- work expectable. Hydrogen is actually not considered a
?source? of energy, because it is too instable and light to be present
in its molecular state in the Earth. It would react with other
elements to form another molecule (like water, hydrocarbons, etc.), or
else fly away. So it can?t be ?found? and extracted as fossil fuels
are, with a relatively low cost of energy. Hydrogen, instead, needs to
be ?manufactured?, by splitting of water or hydrocarbons. To split any
of those molecules an amount of energy is needed, taken from actual
sources such as hydroelectric, fossil, nuclear, in its first steps
tidal and wave energy, wind power, etc. For that reason it?s actually
considered a ?carrier?, because the energy used from any of those
sources to split, say, the molecule of water, is ?stored? as
potential, chemical energy in the molecular hydrogen, which can be
carried, and turned into work by combustion or producing electricity
in fuel cells. The current challenge is to do that process with the
least possible loss of energy. Apparently, according to the accepted
knowledge of physicists, chemists and engineers the loss of energy
will never be equal to zero, what seems to be implied by GWE?s claims.
Moreover, GWE?s claim would mean that there would be not only no loss
of energy, but that the water itself would be a source of energy
itself, because no other injection would enter the system. That would
not be possible within the physical laws as are still understood by
scientists. From that point of view, zero point energy phenomena might
not be related with the possibility of ?creating? energy, at least for
the time being.
(3) As far as science knows for now, nothing is truly ?unlimited?, but
we can accept it figuratively given the abundance of water, similarly
as we talk about ?renewable? sources just because they are so in our
human time scale. Actually, we know that they?re renewable as long as
the sun keeps shining, either to give us its photons, evaporate the
water to place it in the riverheads, so we can take the energy of the
falls, or heat the air to produce the wind; or as long as the moon
keeps moving around us producing the tides, out of which we can also
take energy. We know that some day all that will be over, but
scientific estimates talk about 5 billion years, what for a species no
older than 3 million sounds eternal.