I've listened to Roy Masters for many hours on talk radio and have blogged about him before on a few widely read posts. He has talent in sort of a Kent Hovind or Deepak Chopra sense. In other words he's someone whom scientifically minded skeptics would regard as a crack pot. And he could have been the next Rev. Moon until conservative Christians, who think his teachings false, heretical and cultic, put a stop to it. Masters likes to blame the liberal media for this, but they weren't the ones who stopped him from being more influential among the Washington Times crowd.
Masters is moderately influential in right wing circles. Some notable followers of his include Michael Savage, Matt Drudge, David Kupelian, Bob Just, Jesse Lee Peterson, and purportedly, John Wayne. Masters used to be housed in California (now in Grants Pass, Oregon), fitting, in that he is sort of a Marianne Williamson for the John Birch Society. Much of his advice on positive thinking sounds nice. It's New Age like motivational thinking not unlike what you'd hear from Chopra, Williamson, Tony Robbins, and Oprah Winfrey's Eckhart Tolle. But it's done through the lens of a mean spirited, Calvin-like "biblical" framework (Masters views human nature as utterly depraved). Masters tries to pass himself and his teachings off as "Christian," "biblical" or "Judeo-Christian." This schizophrenia of pleasant, New Age like positive thinking mixed in with doom and gloom negative, doomsday crack pottery that tries to appeal to the religious right makes him all the more interesting.
Indeed, one of his most notable followers is David Kupelian of "Marketing of Evil" fame which captured the attention of so many Christian fundamentalists. But when these orthodox Christians find out what Masters really believes, they put him in the same box as the Moonies, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Anyway I've heard Masters -- an armchair physicist, author of "Finding God in Physics" -- say he's discovered what amounts to a modern day perpetual motion machine such that respectable physicists are interested in his theory. If what he's found is true (as you'll see, real scientists regard this as pure crack pottery) Masters is about to become the next Bill Gates (or given the fact that he's almost 80, his relatives are).
You can read the abstract of his idea for yourself. I wanted to know what the deal was when he said he was presenting his idea before a reputable bunch of physicists. I found out here. A quote from the article:
Physicist Reinhardt Schuhmann read the abstract Masters' submitted for his "Electricity from Gravity" presentation.
"It's balderdash," said Schuhmann, a senior editor of Physical Review Letters, an APS publication.
"It doesn't make any sense."
The main problem with Masters' concept is that it violates the law of conservation of energy, he said.
Though energy can change forms - electrical energy into heat energy, for example - it cannot be created or destroyed.
"You can't get energy from nothing, and that's basically the problem with all these schemes," Schuh-mann said.
The American Physical Society's annual March meeting includes a handful of presentations that event organizers acknowledge are either scientifically suspect or outright nonsense. Year after year, a handful of researchers present findings on:
"Free energy" sources that will solve the world's energy woes.
The merits of cold fusion.
Einstein's major blunders.
There is also some interesting new stuff on YouTube showing Masters. As you will see, he can be quite charming and interpersonal, which gets him accused of being a "cult leader." Here he is on Joe Franklin's show, whom Masters has managed to charm:
And here is Masters handing himself quite well with skeptic James Randi. [They introduce him as a man who claims to have cured "cancer," "blindness" and "homosexuality."]
And finally here is a fun clip of Masters performing an exorcism: