ION KINETICS - (taken from TT Brown patents 2,949,550 & 3,018,394)
"In the immediate vicinity of the electrode 21 where the potential gradient is very high, free electrons are stripped off of the atoms and molecules of the surrounding medium. These electrons migrate to the positive electrode 21 where they are collected. This removal of free electrons leaves the respective atoms and molecules positively charged and such charged atoms and molecules are accordingly repelled from the positive electrode 21 and attracted toward the negative electrode 20. The paths of movement of these positively charged particles appear to be of the nature represented by the lines 27 in figure 1.
It appears that upon reaching or closely approaching the surface of the body 20, the positively charged atoms and molecules have their positive charges neutralized by the capture of electrons from the body 20 and in many cases, it may be that excess electrons are captured whereby to give such atoms and molecules a negative charge so that they are actually repelled from the body 20.
It will be appreciated that the mass of each of the individual electrons is approximately one two-thousandths the mass of the hydrogen atom : and is accordingly negligible as compared with the mass of the atoms and molecules of the medium from which they are taken. The principle forces involved therefore are the forces involved in moving the charged atoms and molecules from the region of the positive electrode 21 to and beyond the negatively charged body 20. The force so exerted by the system on those atoms and molecules not only produces a flow of the medium relative to the apparatus, but, of course, results in a like force on the system tending to move the entire system in the opposite direction; that is, to the left as viewed in the figure 1."
Another explanation (found in US patent 3,022,430 p3) says, "Thus, between the mobile vehicle itself and the gas cloud or fluid stream left in its wake, there is produced a force tending to move the surrounding medium past the mobile vehicle and to the rear of the trailing gas cloud. This force, of course, is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction which serves to propel the mobile vehicle forward." Hence, it is the negative electron environment which moves (as it is the more mobile of the two anyway), but as it is also attached to the mobile vehicle it also propels that as well - so the opposite reaction movement is always perpetuated.
Or yet otherwise, polarize the electrode environments, shoot the electrons to a distant area - then they will be forced to move with that environment. The returning REACTION is what determines movement (see figs.31).
Note : This is quite an under-statement of his point - for an individual electron has one thirty-thousandth the mass of an oxygen atom, and has one four-hundred-thousandth the mass of a lead or bismuth atom...