"The Boiled Frog Syndrome" Reviews

Thomas Saunders asks if we are in silent collusion with architects and doctors because the majority of us are prepared to suffer the gradual deterioration of health ­ even when if it may end in early demise ­ rather than allow anything to interfere with our current or hoped for lifestyles... He claims that the perception of ancient seers who respected our planet as a living being with all things interconnected had a deep sense of the subtle play of energies by which the cosmos functions. However, buildings of today lack harmony with the environment and subtle energies that help to maintain a balance in our health and well-being... I found the book made me consider aspects of my work and home environment from a different perspective ­ and as chance would have it, I was looking for new office premises for our team. This book definitely influenced my search and how it was furnished


Our health is being compromised because we inhabit a built environment which has not been arranged to promote wellbeing....the second half...identifies why it is that older buildings sometimes possess the positive life-enhancing qualities which modern buildings so often lack...This provocative book may not win many converts within the building professions but it will give potential clients and building occupants, some valuable insights into the art of creating spaces that are harmonious and healthy.

Positive Health (Integrated medicine for the 21st Century ) Issue 95 December/January 2004

Saunders' fascinating book manages to weave together the practical, human dangers arising from the ever-encroaching rise of technology and pollution, with “ancient wisdom”, to provide a clear and erudite map of the problems facing buildings of the 21st century, plus some esoteric solutions

The Journal for Healthcare Design & Development, May 2003

That, [ the boiled frog syndrome ] according to architect and health care observer Thomas Saunders, represents the fate of patients in our air-conditioned, artificially lit, technology-focused hospitals. Of course, we mammals do not give in so easily to temperature swings. But Mr. Saunders argues that sick humans adapt to hospital conditions at the expense of their own recovery. He believes modern medicine has largely lost sight of the importance of pleasant surroundings, natural light, diurnal rhythms, fresh air, peace, quiet and privacy. Instead, he says, hospitals are designed ' for the convenience of the staff, ' with a round-the- clock bombardment of noise, light and other disturbances.

Hospital Doctor, MAY 2003 & Development, May 2003

Our air, water, food and electromagnetic environments are increasingly polluted with novel ‘substances'...
... The book assumes no pre-knowledge of the subject, but has been clearly written for the literate reader, including further education students and professional people...
The second half of the book is subtitled “Perennial Wisdom” and is a stimulating debate about integrating science, knowledge, wisdom, soul and spirit in a holistic lifestyle, drawing on lessons and traditions from the past and looking forward to a better future

Electromagnetic Hazard & Therapy 2003, Vol.14
Reviewed by Alasdair Philips

Thomas Saunders brings together knowledge, experience and wisdom. He reminds us that we are not just matter, but we are body, mind and spirit, interacting with the full spectrum of energies which make up the environment, and that by consciously building in harmony will provide the peace and security to which we aspire...

Building for a Future, Vol.12, No.2, Autumn 2002
Reviewed by Anita Bradley

The author throws down the gauntlet to complacency in built environment design

The Environmentalist, No.15, February 2003

By bringing new perspectives to important global environmental and design issues, he suggests steps that we can take to ensure our homes, workplaces, hospitals and schools are safe and conducive to our health

EHJ - Environmental Health Journal, Saturday 1 March 2003, p26

The author emphasises that the challenge for the 21st century is to synthesise and bring together the wonders of modern technology with the integrity of ancient spiritual wisdom and the understanding of the eternal laws of nature and the universe

Facilities - FM Magazine, Vol. 21, No.1/2, 2003

If people want to know the whys and wherefores of the intrinsic misunderstandings that are at the heart of modern architecture then they would do well to read this book. When architects thought they were looking after the body in a certain way, Thomas points out that this is the opposite of what happens

Kairos, Quarterly Update September 2002
Review by Professor Keith Critchlow

[The Boiled Frog Syndrome] is a must for anyone who wants to be made aware of the hidden hazards of our present-day environment...a fascinating book. Let's hope the large corporate companies are listening to get things right for the employees.

LBC Radio 3 May 2003 - The Michael van Straten Show 8pm to 10pm
Quotes by van Straten

The book heightens our understanding of how the design of any building can provide us with a harmonious healthy and satisfying environment. It includes guidance on practical solutions to prudently avoiding some of our current health hazards

Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation (RILKO) Journal, No.61, Winter/Spring 2002/03
Reviewed by the Chairman, Bob Harris


"This is a fascinating book. Whatever your views, prejudices or assumptions, Thomas Saunders brings new perspectives to important global environmental and design issues affecting the future of our planet. He suggests that the way we live now has, within it, the seeds of long term corrosion. His detailed research into 'sick building syndrome' and the possible effects of what he describes as the electro-magnetic 'smog' surrounding us, shows a disturbing picture. He asks whether we are continually adjusting our lives in such a way that we are becoming complicit to irreversible change and damage.

His is a spiritual book, in a non-theological sense. He seeks to find pointers to the way people must live together in the future, if we are to survive, from the understandings, mysteries and philosophies of the ancient past. The book challenges us to care for harmony, balance and proportion (in architecture and in lifestyle) as much as we care for our material well being. He explores the arcane and mathematical relationships between music and sound, numbers and structures in the natural world as well as the man made world. He argues that the pace of change has snapped our intellectual inheritance and he makes a powerful and intriguing case."
Robert Rowland
Executive Producer: Corporate Television Networks (CTN)
Formally, Head, BBC Open University Production Centre
President, Oxford Union 1960

"Thomas Saunders shows how life on Earth is part of a universal vibratory system. He takes a sober and authoritative look at the risks and proven harm accompanying neglect of the laws of this system, in the modern architectural and electromagnetic environment. He then takes us on an inspiring journey illustrating that early cultures had profound understanding of how to co-operate with natural energies and showing how great architecture reflects the grand design of the universe. The Boiled Frog Syndrome is an eye-opening, life-enhancing book".
Neville Hodgkinson
Formerly medical and science correspondent, The Sunday Times
Author Will To Be Well and AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science

"Thomas Saunders' book could not come at a more relevant moment when events remind us that we must have respect for the environment in which we live - otherwise we will cease to live.

A complex, fascinating, always open minded attempt to show us how to challenge the Establishment."
Maureen Lipman

In our modern world there are a number of raw nerves. Thomas Saunders touches on arguably the most important of these in his book The Boiled Frog Syndrome. The impact on the subtle energies of organic life from modern technologies as far apart as architecture and electricity has been brought between one set of covers for the first time. This achievement needed the broadest and sharpest of intellects, a simultaneous and detailed knowledge of those technologies combined with a deep understanding of the subtle energies of our planet, two talents rarely found in one person. This book demands the reader's attention from first to last page, and will undoubtedly prove to be a formative and informative influence on every reader.
Roger Coghill
Coghill Research Laboratories

Thomas Saunders' fascinating new book offers us all a wake-up call for the way we are living our lives. He convinces us that we can play a part, however small, in changing both our personal and global environments.

The Boiled Frog Syndrome is a book that can truly make a difference.
Les Dennis

Thomas Saunders has written a remarkable book. His findings at once generate interest, concern and outrage in equal measure. He effectively links the seemingly mutually exclusive worlds of ancient arts and skills, modern sciences, humanity and design to weave a compelling story that makes these arcane subjects accessible to all. More importantly he describes in detail how people, the natural world and our technologies interact with a disturbing potency with the potential to create both harmony and harm.

Like the parabolic boiled frog, we tolerate the intolerable until it's too late. This is one of the key messages. It's always later than we think and unless we understand and act on the facts presented in this book, then we will deserve to enter the age of ignorance. This book is suitable for general reading and should also become a standard text for architecture and design students and other professionals. Everyone should be aware of the need to look beyond the obvious and have the ability to ask informed questions of those who shape our world. Thomas gives us the tools to do this. Those who create our environments need to be aware of the subtle (and not so subtle) forces that make the difference between places that promote well-being and delight, and those which act to defeat these qualities.

This book has two parts. The first introduces us to a diverse range of natural and artificial phenomena, and the effect that each has on humanity: sunspots, the sub-atomic universe, the nature of 'sacred' sites, radio waves, and geopathic stress are some of the many topics covered. However, Thomas is an architect and in the second part he proposes an important set of ideas related to design that are rooted in history which are important for us today. He discusses the revival and uses of low technology and natural effects to offer a gentler and more humane design response. His explanation of the mystical language of numbers and of divine harmony is important and readily understandable. Thomas is no reactionary academic; he continually seeks to explain how these quiet sciences can be used by everyone, not just the design professionals.

Not long ago, Thomas might have been burnt at the stake for his research. Thankfully we live in an enquiring world which is richer for this immensely readable and comprehensive book. After reading The Boiled Frog Syndrome we will never look at the world in the same way again.
Peter Ullathorne, JP RIBA AADipl. FRSA AAIA
Vice President
HOK International

A tour de force combining in depth analysis of the pernicious health effects of much of our modern built environment with a passionate plea for a renaissance of perennial principles of life and architecture that can be expressed in a new built environment that is both healthy and beautiful. The book is both visionary and immensely practical, giving advice from which we can all benefit.
David Lorimer
Project Director
The Scientific and Medical Network