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Orgone Energy

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Orgone energy

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 - November 3, 1957) was an Austrian psychologist trained by Sigmund Freud.

He is known for three things:

  • Freud regarded all his theories as unscientific.

  • He tried to join Marxism and psychoanalysis in studies of fascism, producing a very popular book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism.

  • His creation of the mystic pseudoscience of "Reichian Therapy", based on the concept of orgone energy, and persecution by the US government of himself and his theories until his death

Reich's development of his orgone theories

During Reich's exile in USA he developed a mystic pseudoscience of "Reichian Therapy", where Freud's concept of the libido has been transformed into orgone, a form of universal power (an "energy field", similar to qi or other semi-mystical energy concepts). Orgone was an unproven form of energy first described by Reich in the late 1930s. Reich characterized orgone as a type of primordal cosmic energy, blue in colour, which is omnipresent and responsible for such things as:

  • weather,

  • the color of the sky,

  • gravity,

  • the formation of galaxies,

  • and good orgasms (the sense of well-being felt after orgasm was supposed by Reich to be due to the orgasm optimising the flow of orgone energy throughout the body.

Reich even speculated that this energy might be used for propulsion of UFOs.

As a consequence of his theory, illness was primarily due to depletion or imbalance in the orgone energy of the body. Reich devised devices known as orgone accumulators, which he claimed could concentrate and store orgone energy. Published descriptions of orgone accumulators depict a box made of alternating layers of metal and non-metallic material, with the metal on the interior. The outer, non metallic layer attracted orgone energy, and the metal inner layer trapped it and reflected it within the box: multiple layers amplified the effect. The patient would sit within the accumulator, and absorb the concentrated orgone energy. Reich also devised smaller, more portable accumulators of the same layered construction, for application to parts of the body to promote healing.

At one point Reich claimed the existence of a second form of energy, oranur or DOR (for "deadly orgone radiation"). DOR seems to be the antithesis of orgone.

Reich designed orgone "guns" called cloudbusters to suck DOR from the sky. It has been claimed that they can be used to manipulate the weather and to create rainstorms in a process called weather engineering. According to some accounts, the government of Eritrea financed several such projects in the 1980s and 1990s in order to change the weather in the region.

Status of Reich's books

In his book, "The Function of the Orgasm", Reich argued that the "functional" orgasm causes an electrical discharge from the body and a dynamic spasm of the nervous system that are necessary for optimum health. Without such functional orgasms, the body becomes stiff and rigid and develops "body armor". Reich claimed that the masturbatory orgasm does not produce the functional electrical discharge, and that conscious thought during the sexual act prevented the functional orgasm.

Reich's earlier books, in particular his book The Mass Psychology of Fascism, are regarded as somewhat scientifically valuable. However, during his later career, Reich subsequently revised his older books to include the orgone concepts. As these are generally regarded unscientific, scholars of psychology and sociology prefer to refer to earlier, German, editions of his works. Any attempts to reprint old editions of his books are blocked by the foundation which owns the rights to Reich's works, which is why they are scarce and hard to find.

Part of the FDA's injunction against Reich's orgone accumulators included any documentation of the accumulators, as well as withholding any of his existing books from publication until mention of orgone energy was expunged from them. This has caused many to levy charges against the United States government of censorship of Reich's ideas. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Reich's ideas enjoyed a revival and most of his books were reprinted and read by the loosely defined "New Left". As of 2003, the majority of the scientific community dismisses Reich's claims as pseudoscientific. Many people view Reich's theories as a system of magic.

The orgone accumulator and the cloudbusters are now mostly remembered for the songs of the same name by Hawkwind, Pop Will Eat Itself and Kate Bush.


By Reich

  • Der triebhafte Charakter : eine psychoanalytische Studie zur Pathologie des Ich, 1925

  • Die Funktion des Orgasmus : zur Psychopathologie und zur Soziologie des Geschlechtslebens, 1927

  • Über den Ödipuskomplex : drei psychoanalytische Studien with Felix Boehm and Otto Fenichel, 1931

  • Character analysis or in the original: Charakteranalyse : Technik und Grundlagen für studierende und praktizierende Analytiker, 1933

  • The Mass Psychology of Fascism - even the 1946 USA edition is regarded as bogus in scientific contexts, what should be referred to is the German 1933 edition of Massenpsychologie des Faschismus : zur Sexual Sexualökonomie der politischen Reaktion und zur proletarischen Sexualpolitik which was banned in Nazi Germany.

About Reich

  • Fury on Earth Myron Sharaf

  • Reich for Beginners David Zane Mairowitz

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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