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Orgone Biophysical Research Lab

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Adventures in the Orgasmatron *

Critical Review of Christopher Turner's Adventures in the Orgasmatron

A Defense of Dr. Wilhelm Reich and his Orgonomic Science

Against Renewed Sexual Slander and Defamation.*

By James DeMeo, PhD

* This article is posted to internet as a public service. It is an early version of a work that was revised with additional detail plus extensive citations and references, and which later appeared in the following book:

James DeMeo: In Defense of Wilhelm Reich: Opposing the 80-Years' War of Mainstream Defamatory Slander Against One of the 20th Century's Most Brilliant Physicians and Natural Scientists, Natural Energy Works, Ashland 2013. Available at Amazon and other on-line bookstores, also also from here.

The reader is encouraged to obtain that book for the more detailed version with citation references, and other chapters including a Timeline history of Wilhelm Reich's life and discoveries.

"Love, Work and Knowledge are the Wellsprings of Life.
They should also govern it."

Wilhelm Reich

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get its pants on."

Winston Churchill

Contents of the Following Article:
(Click on items to skip down to those sections.)


Wilhelm Reich's Scientific Work and Verifications:
What Christopher Turner Doesn't Mention.

          Published Books and Journals by Wilhelm Reich
          Reich's Sex-Economy and Sex-Pol
          Breakthrough into Orgone Energy and the Orgone Accumulator
          Independent Scientific Confirmations of Reich's Discoveries
          Clinical Case Studies of Disease Treatment
          Controlled Studies with Laboratory Mice
          More Recent Books on Reich and His Orgonomic Science

Turner's 2004 Swipe at Reich, Orgonomy and Summerhill School

Turner's 2011 "Orgasmatron" Book
          Turner's Background and Credentials For this Effort
          Repeating Old Slanders: The Mildred Brady Smears
          Reich and Einstein, Misrepresented
          Influencing America: Reich versus Kinsey
          Reich and the Bohemians, Redux
          More Nasty Accusations: Insanity and Pornography
          Reich's Bioelectric Experiments, and the Lie About "Masturbation of Patients"
          Betrayal of Reich by Michael Silvert with Slanders from Turner
          Aurora Karrer's Confusions, and Reich's Last Years
          The Death of Troll


Other Reviews of the Turner "Orgasmatron" Book


There is no figure in 20th Century science and medicine who has been so badly maligned in the popular media as the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich: Physician and natural scientist, protege of Freud, therapeutic innovator, social reformer and anti-fascist freedom fighter, researcher into the bioelectric nature of emotion and sexuality, investigator of cancer biophysics and the origins of life, discoverer of a specific life energy, the orgone, and inventor of the orgone energy accumulator, developer of an apparatus to trigger rains in droughty or desert regions... I could continue this abbreviated list for several paragraphs, and a small library of books has already been written on the subject of his work. Certainly it was and remains controversial. So it is not surprising that he would "kick up some dust" within carefully guarded circles. But that is a rather mild description of the controversial nature of Dr. Reich's work and ideas.

There was the 1930s Norwegian press smear campaign against him, launched in newspapers by the Nazis and Communist Party whom his writings simultaneously offended. They wanted him dead. Around the same time, there was the whispering smear campaigns against him by the European psychoanalysts and psychiatrists, many of whom had plotted to have him expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) at the same time they were asking Jewish members to quietly resign, so they could better "get along" with the Nazi regime. Most of them fled with Reich to the USA for shelter from the storm of WW-II, where the whispering campaigns continued. Then there were the published smears in American magazines, newspapers and books in the 1940s and 1950s, written by cloaked Stalinists such as Mildred Brady and Martin Gardner, happily reprinted into a few unethical medical journals by some of the same angry psychoanalysts. Reich and his associates did their best to counter the smears with their own published articles and legal approaches -- his associate Dr. Theodore Wolfe wrote a small book addressing the worst of it (Emotional Plague Versus Orgone Biophysics: The 1947 Campaign, Orgone Institute Press, NY, 1948) -- but nothing worked to halt the onslaught.

The Brady-Gardner articles and their many copy-cat items hit pay-dirt, triggering an equally malicious US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) faux-investigation to "get Reich". A fraud was thereafter perpetrated upon the US Courts by the FDA, with help from all-too-willing judges, leading to the banning and burning of Dr. Reich's books. He was thereafter railroaded to an early death in prison, for a petty technical violation of an obscure cosmetic labeling law, and by judges who refused to allow him to defend his research findings in court. The pogrom was carried forward long after his death into modern times, on a frequent storm of copy-cat articles amplifying the maliciousness, notably by the "skeptic clubs" and their academic supporters, and hordes of mainstream media parrots. And so it continues. Beyond the absolute number of these articles, and their continuation now for over 70 years, it is the sheer intensity of the maliciousness directed against him, the bitter-mouthed lying towards the goal to utterly destroy the good name and entire life-work of a man long dead, the intensely personal nature of the attacks employing the most outrageous lies and twisted half-truths, which stuns even those who know little about the man. A "protest too much" by a conspiracy of court jesters, "little men" to use Reich's lexicon. Even today, with all the self-proclaimed "intelligent sophistication" and "openness to new ideas and scientific findings", Reich continues to deeply, personally and bitterly offend. As the late Dr. R.D. Laing wrote in 1968:

"He assaults our narcissism in almost unforgivable ways. Freud was cool. Reich is uncool. He tells us that homo normalis is a sort of bladder, often dried up, sometimes overtaken with convulsions, longing and terrified to burst, whether through penetration from outside, or explosion from within: terrified to live freely, which would be to love; with an insane fear of being destroyed and at the same time with a senseless readiness to die, to destroy what he fears; fearful of almost everything, most of all, himself; psychically turned inside out, persecuting righteously his persecutors outside himself, none other than his own projections of evil." (R.D. Laing: "Why is Reich Never Mentioned?" 1968, reprinted in Pulse of the Planet 4:76-77, 1993)

I was just a few years out of high school when Laing wrote those lines, and when I firstly began to read Reich. It was a liberating experience to finally read someone who understood the sexual problems of youth, who spoke to the heart, and who offered an understanding of the neurotic and frequently violent nature of many families, teachers, doctors, priests, and so on. He provided a "way out of the trap", at least in understandings, and it made all the difference. So I was never totally surprised at how the "uncool" Reich, and anyone who dared to take him seriously, was always getting hammered. Out of curiosity, years later I assembled a citation list of more than 100 published articles and books which attacked Reich, mostly published in "top" newspapers and national magazines, and it is hardly a complete listing.

British author Christopher Turner, whose writings will be the subject of this article, adds considerably to this heap. Not only are his writings saturated with clever twists and frequent repetitions of old slanders and defamations from Dr. Reich's European and American detractors of c.1930-1960, but he follows their same old approach of systematically ignoring all positive evidence in favor of Reich's scientific work. Turner's missives are filled with gaping holes from the numerous lies of omission (the worst kind of lie, as George Orwell noted). He provides few words of support for Reich, and no space for any kind of rescuing opinions from any of Reich's supporters, dead or alive. And worst of all, from my perspective as a natural scientist who knows the many successful replications of Reich's biophysical research findings, the book carries not one mention or citation to any of the studies or scientists who have independently verified Reich's experimental work over the last half of the 20th Century or the nearly 12 years of the 21st.

In this Review, I'm going to briefly (as much as this is possible) make an overview of Reich's work and some of the more significant studies which have confirmed him. Afterwards, I'll provide quotes from Turner which can be compared to Reich with added commentary. There also are several shorter excellent published on-line reviews of Turner, and these are listed at the bottom of this article.

If the reader already knows this material, on Reich's science and the verification studies corroborating his results, they can click here to skip down to the sections addressing Turner.

Wilhelm Reich's Scientific Work and Verifications:
What Christopher Turner Doesn't Mention

Reich's findings and theories on human sexuality, family structure and human emotions are paramount for a clear understanding of the origins of fascist (Left or Right-wing varieties), and totalitarian warlike societies. His experiments on the biophysics of life-energy resolve an equal number of riddles and mysteries in biology, physics, meteorology and astronomy. Before taking on the distortions of Turner's "Orgasmatron" book, I will give a bare-bones review of Reich on these issues, after which Turner's claims can be compared.

Reich's early work was not focused merely upon "sexual organs and orgasms", but examined the whole complex of social issues which affect people's capacity for love and a gratifying sexuality -- these were essential prerequisites for happy families and children, and hence cooperatively stable and non-violent social structures. Reich proposed family-structure was the foundation upon which state-structure was formed, and that the two composed a self-reinforcing functional unit. Patriarchal authoritarian families based upon forced and compulsive moralism led to authoritarian state structures. Where family life was more fluid and permissive, a self-regulated morality existed, with a similarly cooperative social and state structure. From that essential standpoint, his later clinical and experimental work led forth into new territory and a host of new empirical and experimental findings, too much to detail here, but I will simply note how the full sweep of his discovery is of Galilean stature, posing to envelop the modern sciences with a new all-encompassing sea-change or "paradigm shift" in our way of viewing ourselves, and the living universe we collectively inhabit. This is elucidated best in his various books which are widely available in libraries and bookstores.

Here is a list of the titles of Reich's books and major research journals, to give the reader a sense of what's at issue. Space does not allow for any explicit discussion of their contents.

Published Books by Wilhelm Reich, alphabetical order:
Current editions, English language only.
Does not include many small pamphlets and archive materials.
Available from Natural Energy Works, or the Wilhelm Reich Museum Bookstore

* American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940-1947
* Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals 1934-1939
* The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety
* The Bion Experiments: On the Origins of Life
* The Cancer Biopathy (Discovery of the Orgone, Vol.2)
* Character Analysis
* Children of the Future: On the Prevention of Sexual Pathology
* Contact With Space: Oranur Second Report
* Cosmic Superimposition: Man's Orgonotic Roots in Nature
* Early Writings
* The Einstein Affair
* Ether, God and Devil
* Function of the Orgasm (Discovery of the Orgone, Vol.1)
* Genitality in the Theory and Therapy of Neuroses
* The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality
* Listen, Little Man
* Mass Psychology of Fascism
* The Murder of Christ (Emotional Plague of Mankind, Vol.2)
* The Oranur Experiment
* The Orgone Energy Accumulator, Its Scientific and Medical Use
* Passion of Youth: An Autobiography, 1897-1922
* People in Trouble (Emotional Plague of Mankind, Vol.1)
* Record of a Friendship: The Correspondence of Wilhelm Reich and A.S. Neill (1936-1957)
* Reich Speaks of Freud
* Selected Writings: An Introduction to Orgonomy
* The Sexual Revolution

Research Journals edited by Wilhelm Reich:
(English language only - photocopy editions available from the Wilhelm Reich Museum.
Does not include journals published after Reich's death.)

* International Journal of Sex-Economy & Orgone Research: 1942-1945
* Annals of the Orgone Institute: 1947-1949
* Orgone Energy Bulletin: 1949-1953
* CORE - Cosmic Orgone Engineering: 1954-1955

Working as a young medical doctor in post WW-I Vienna and later Berlin, Reich directly observed the deteriorating social situations at a time when he was engaged in clinical psychoanalytical studies of people suffering from emotional and mental disturbances. These, he argued, were frequently the result of social conditions, of social structures characterized by, or degenerating into authoritarian violence and fascism, with a low appreciation of the sexual, physical and emotional needs of infants, children and adults. Masturbation and pre-marital sex were basically a crime, as was contraception, abortion, divorce and adultery, though men were allowed to have mistresses or visit prostitutes. Women were basically chattel, with few rights. Mother-love for children was systematically interfered with, as was the spontaneous magnetic attraction which always develops between children and adolescents, where adults don't make strong efforts to oppose it. Adolescent love, as with the example of Romeo and Juliet, and which by its own unrestrained natural push for emotional-sexual joining, Reich observed, was always obliterated and crushed out of existence within authoritarian societies, where violations of the female virginity taboo carried severe consequences. By Reich's view, violent authoritarian fascism within the larger social and state structure was founded upon repressive patriarchal authoritarianism within a violent and brutal family structure, where women and children could not have independence of thought or action, and where everything was ruled by dominant fathers, brothers or husbands, who themselves were trapped in hierarchical systems of political and social obedience. In such conditions, arranged and loveless marriages were the rule, and sexuality was rendered down into a loveless "discharge", or suppressed outright. Abandoned mothers with children, living destitute on the street, was one major consequence of this terrible state of affairs, inflamed by the large number of men who had been killed during WW-I. By all historical accounts of the period, the situation progressively declined into chaos, with disruption of food supplies, a migration to the cities with massive unemployment, war refugees from all over, the public awash with political movements and extremism. An ineffectual paralysis gripped the struggling post-Imperial government structures as they attempted their first tentative steps towards establishing democracy, which ultimately failed.

Reich's Sex-Economy and Sex-Pol

Into this chaos, starting in the late 1920s and lasting through around 1932, Reich established special psychoanalytic clinics, helping working-class families and working also with the Marxist political parties who at the time he believed were interested in authentically beneficial reforms. His work, with several psychoanalytic associates, grew into a social movement he called Sex-Pol. Starting with his early clinical work in psychoanalysis and continuing into Sex-Pol, Reich was able to work with and study the lives of ordinary people in their daily working conditions, to learn of their aspirations and the barriers they faced, in both love and economic-social advancement. He developed his own theoretical understandings into a new theory he called Sex-Economy. Sex-Pol also undertook political actions and published a journal devoted to sex-economic principles. Reich eventually announced several publicly-stated goals for Sex-Pol, which were aimed to benefit the sexual and family lives of ordinary people. Here's a list, taken from Myron Sharaf's Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich (St.Martin's/Marek, 1983, p.162-163):

1. Free distribution of contraceptives to those who could not obtain them through normal channels; massive propaganda for birth control.

2. Abolition of laws against abortion. Provision for free abortions at public clinics; financial and medical safeguards for pregnant and nursing mothers.

3. Abolition of any legal distinctions between the married and the unmarried. Freedom of divorce. Elimination of prostitution through economic and sex-economic changes to eradicate its causes.

4. Elimination of venereal diseases by full sexual education.

5. Avoidance of neuroses and sexual problems by a life-affirmative education. Study of principles of sexual pedagogy. Establishment of therapeutic clinics.

6. Training of doctors, teachers, social workers, and so on, in all relevant matters of sexual hygiene.

7. Treatment rather than punishment for sexual offenses. Protection of children and adolescents against adult seduction.

The reader may note how most of these points have already been instituted, more or less, within the Western liberal democratic nations, though it would be an error to consider that Reich was solely responsible for such transformations -- a point I will return to later on, in discussing how Turner and friends try to "blame Reich" for things they don't like about the modern world situation.

Reich exposed these elements of sex-repressive patriarchal authoritarianism within both the Nazi and Soviet states. Both became infuriated and banned his books, impounded and/or burned them, and wanted Reich dead. I've already written about how Reich was being tracked and hunted by both political extremes during his European period of work. The Turner book makes the pretense of being an "authoritative source" on this set of subjects, but doesn't provide even a superficial accounting of this material, which is essential to understand Reich's social-sexual theories.

Breakthrough into Orgone Energy and the Orgone Accumulator

Turner's distortions of Reich's life history and work is even worse with regard to his biophysical research, which Turner never mentions except in short sentences mixed with ridicule and contemptuous dismissal. This makes it sound "unbelievable" to the average person who has no knowledge on the subject. However, just to give a quick overview of the large scope of Reich's work (which you will not even know about from Turner), the reader is encouraged to make a simple review of the entries listed in the on-line Bibliography on Orgonomy. Therein one can find citations to many hundreds of articles and books which support Reich across the board, on subjects such as:

* Identification of a bioelectrical basis to emotions and sexual excitation;

* Discovery of the microscopical bions which originate from disintegrating matter, and stand at the border between the living and non-living; with a report to the French Academy of Science on the subject;

* Discovery of the bionous process by which the cancer cell arises, as well as the emotional foundation for the more systemic cancer biopathy;

* Discovery of a new radiation from sand-bion cultures, which was later identified as a unique life-energy;

* Capturing and amplification of the life-energy radiation from sand-bion cultures in special Faraday-cage type of structures;

* Identification of a similar life-energy radiation from within the atmosphere and from all living matter generally, which was thereafter called the orgone energy, and invention of the orgone energy accumulator;

* Symptomatic treatment of cancer and low-energy immune-depletion symptoms by orgone accumulator therapy;

* Discovery of unique physical anomalies within the orgone energy accumulator, such as the slowing of natural electroscopical "leak" discharge rates, a subtle heating effect, effects upon nuclear radiation detectors and high-vacuum tubes;

* Discovery of meteorological processes at work within the orgone energy accumulator, and orgone-charged high-vacuum tubes;

* Observations on the Earth's orgone energy envelope, along with the existence of an atmospheric and later cosmic orgone energy continuum which exists throughout the cosmos;

* Theory of Cosmic Superimposition for the development of raw matter in the universe, as well as for specific formation of spiral galaxies and hurricanes, sea shells and embryonic life;

* Discovery of an anti-nuclear effect, oranur;

* Invention of the cloudbuster apparatus, with field applications on the East Coast USA towards increasing rains during droughty conditions, and later demonstrating its usage in open deserts of the Southwest USA.

Reich's work on these subjects was amazing enough, and if correct and true, suitable to have earned him three or four separate Nobel Prizes. But is it true? Was Reich correct on this amazing sweep of research and discovery? I can say, the answer is Yes, and have no hesitation to stand up for Reich on this matter. And I do so not by some second-hand appeal to authority, but firstly by direct reference to the results of my own extensive experimental investigations into Reich's findings, and secondly by the legitimate authority of the many other research scientists and physicians who have likewise tested and verified them.

Independent Confirmations of Reich's Discoveries

Independent confirming studies of Reich's work by serious natural scientists and physicians go back over more than 70 years. Most all of these later studies were undertaken by individuals with MD or PhD degrees from mainstream universities, and using the best-available equipment for their time, working in private or university laboratories and employing controlled systematic procedures. A few of these studies employed double-blind procedures. My Saharasia research, mentioned below, employed a quadruple-blind procedure. These studies were published in scientific books and research journals, most of them meeting the standards for peer-review of their period (being critically reviewed and overseen by other knowledegable and credentialed scientific people in the same field of study). Some of them are found within the academic mainstream as well, including as university theses and dissertations which typically are more ambitious works receiving a greater critical scrutiny than the average article in a research journal.

Turner knows of this large body of work, because he repeatedly met with people intimate with Reich's life and work, and attended at least two scientific conferences devoted to these subjects. He attended a 2004 Summer Conference at the Wilhelm Reich Museum, on The Orgone Energy Accumulator: Its Medical and Scientific Use wherein Dr. Jorgos Kavouras, a German physician and author of Heilen mit Orgonenergie: Die medizinische Orgonomie, reported his many years of successful treatments of various disorders and diseases using the orgone accumulator. He also attended a Conference on Wilhelm Reich in the 21st Century: 2007 International Conference on Orgonomy, organized by the Reich Museum in honor of the 50th anniversary of Reich's death. That event hosted a group of around a dozen natural scientists, historians, and physicians who reported on their various research topics. These included a presentation by Dr. Stefan Muschenich of Germany, author of the book Der Gesundheitsbegriff im Werk des Arztes Wilhelm Reich (1897 - 1957) and one of the principal investigators of a double-blind and controlled study of human physiological response to the orgone accumulator, undertaken at the University of Marburg in Germany. This study demonstrated statistically-significant biological effects upon the heart-rate, blood pressure, body core temperature and other parameters within a group of volunteer subjects who knew nothing about the accumulator; the effects were not observed in other volunteers who sat in a nearly identical but non-accumulating dummy box. A similar controlled-blinded verification study was undertaken by Gunter Hebenstreit at the University of Vienna a few years later, it should be noted, and both those studies as well as many clinical case-studies have been published over the years, exactly verifying Reich's published accounts on the biological effects of the orgone accumulator.
(See: Mueschenich, Stefan & Gebauer, Rainer: Der Reichsche Orgonakkumulator: Naturwissenschaftliche Diskussion, Praktische Andwendung, Experimentelle Untersuchung, Nexus Verlag, Frankfurt, 1987; Hebenstreit, Guenter: Der Orgonakkumulator Nach Wilhelm Reich. Eine Experimentelle Untersuchung zur Spannungs-Ladungs-Formel, Diplomarbeit zur Erlangung des Magistergrades der Philosophie an der Grung- und Integrativ-wissenschaftlichen Fakultat der Universitat Wien, 1995.)
        At this 2007 Conference, I also gave an hour-long PowerPoint presentation on my experimental findings with the Reich cloudbuster, detailing field experiments starting in the late 1970s at the University of Kansas, now published in a book bearing the same title as the original study: Preliminary Analysis of Changes in Kansas Weather Coincidental to Experimental Operations with a Reich Cloudbuster. My later work was undertaken at many different places in the USA, and later still in Israel, Namibia and Eritrea, Africa, with the assistance of entire teams of volunteer associates; all of those projects were evaluated using official weather records and showed positive rainfall increases, in keeping with Reich's original findings. Detailed reports were written up and published, some being available on internet. My results thereby mirrored and supported not just Reich, but the many prior cloudbusting studies undertaken since Reich's death, as by Dr. Richard Blasband, Mr. Jerome Eden, Dr. Courtney Baker and others. A publication by the Italian natural scientist Roberto Maglione, Wilhelm Reich and the Healing of Atmospheres: Modern Techniques for the Abatement of Desertification makes a complete survey of work done in this field since Reich's time, and it has been available in English translation since 2007.
        Other lecturers at this Conference presented on subjects such as orgone therapy, replication of the bion experiments, and so forth. Therefore it is well known that Mr. Turner was exposed to some very good experimental findings in support of Reich's original discoveries. But he chose to ignore every bit of it; none of those presentations nor anything similar from other published sources is mentioned or cited in the Turner book, even as he denounces the accumulator and cloudbuster as quack devices having no working functions whatsoever.

Aside from this important Conference, I can also speak to Reich's biophysical work in a more direct and personal manner, as I've confirmed much of it in my own early university work, and later by experiment in my own laboratory at my private institute, the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab. Most of my research and experimental reports are published in books and journals, some being peer-reviewed within the university system or by professional reviewers of mainstream science journals or book-publishers. I will summarize only:

One of my earliest and most central research projects was a systematic test of Reich's sex-economic theory on the origins of human irrationalism and social violence. My work on this subject constituted what was (and probably still is) the largest global cross-cultural review of human behavior ever undertaken. My findings, made over a 7-year period during the 1980s and now published in the book Saharasia, involved a systematic review of human family and sexual life, and tendencies towards social violence, in over 1000 separate human cultures, each of which was pinpointed on world maps to review the regional similarities and differences. I produced the first-ever world maps of human behavior and social institutions, and it verified Reich's positions exactly, to wit: Human violence originates and exists most strongly within cultures which have two major characteristics:
        1) They treat their infants and children with heavy-handed ritualized violence which is consciously or unconsciously designed to inflict painful trauma, and otherwise to destroy the maternal-infant bond, and establish male dominance over childbirth and child-rearing.
        2) They also crush down heterosexual love by punitively obliterating the sexual interests of the child and unmarried adolescent (ie, Romeo and Juliet) with sexual phobias, demands for virginal sexual ignorance, compulsive love-less marriages, vaginal blood taboos, prohibiting women the rights to control their own fertility and life-destiny, and also by simultaneously permitting adult rape of emotionally-crushed children and adolescents -- mainly: pedophilia of boys, and child-marriages of old men to young girls.

The more a culture engaged in such practices, the greater was its quanta of bottled-up emotional misery and rage, out of which developed higher levels of social violence and the tendency to engage in aggressive wars and other atrocities against other cultures, and against minorities and social dissenters within their own society.

Like many before me, I've also made basic replications of Reich's bions, which is a most amazing discovery. Bions are a transitional microbial form of around 1 micron diameter and visible in the light microscope. They develop and exist between the worlds of living and non-living matter, with relations to what are today called archaea or extremophiles, and provide an answer to many mysteries in biology, as well as a solution to the Origins of Life question. Just recently, I posted a YouTube video of photomicrographs from my own laboratory, as presented in a PowerPoint to an International Symposia on Pleomorphic Microbes in Health and Disease. My laboratory has hosted laboratory seminars on this subject for about 10 years starting in 1996, led variously by Dr. Richard Blasband, Dr. Stephen Nagy, and/or Prof. Bernard Grad.

Reich's own published journals carried many microphotos of bions and bionous organizational forms, by himself and others such as Prof. Grad, and specialized journals have published numerous papers by physicians and scientists on this same subject, in both Europe and North America. These findings on the bions also underscore Reich's important discoveries on the origins of cancer, and the cancer cell. I'm not a physician so do not treat people with cancer, but others have done so, and go the additional step to verify Dr. Reich's findings on the orgone energy accumulator, as a powerful therapeutic device. Again, these studies are published, and can be identified via the online Bibliography on Orgonomy.

Years ago, having seen several of my loved relatives pass away from cancer (or due to the heroic/horrific cancer treatments) I wrote a book on this subject: The Orgone Accumulator Handbook: Wilhelm Reich's Life Energy Science and Healing Tools for the 21st Century, with Construction Plans. That book is more of a "how to" help for people wanting to break free of the allopathic medical system, to insure Reich's discoveries on the orgone accumulator could never again be wiped out by a power-drunk FDA or medical societies, and gives a listing also of various research papers on the clinical use of the orgone accumulator against various diseases and conditions. I will quote from a few essential parts of my Handbook:

Clinical Case Studies of Disease-Treatment

Here is a listing of published papers giving the diseases treated along with the name of the physician who authored the paper, and the year of the publication. For full citations, consult the author-year listings here: http://www.orgonelab.org/bibliog.htm

Disease/Condition ------- Physician/Author -- Year
Cancer Biopathy --------- Wilhelm Reich 1943-48
Cancer, Burns ----------- Walter Hoppe 1945
Mediastinal Malignancy -- Simeon Tropp 1949
Multiple conditions ----- Walter Hoppe 1950
Multiple conditions ----- Victor Sobey 1950
Rheumatic Fever --------- William Anderson 1950
Breast Cancer -- ---------Simeon Tropp 1950
Ichthyosis -------------- Alan Cott 1951
Manic Depression -------- Philip Gold 1951
Hypertensive Biopathy --- Emanuel Levine 1951
Leukemia ---------------- Wilhelm Reich 1951
Cancer Simeon ----------- Tropp 1951
Diabetes ---------------- N. Weverick 1951
Coronary Occlusion ------ Emanuel Levine 1952
Multiple conditions ----- Kenneth Bremer 1953
Skin Cancer ------------- Walter Hoppe 1955
Pulmonary Tuberculosis -- Victor Sobey 1955
Uterine Cancer ---------- Eva Reich, W. Reich 1955
Uterine Cancer ---------- Chester Raphael 1956
Rheumatoid Arthritis ---- Victor Sobey 1956
Malignant Melanoma ------ Walter Hoppe 1968
Cancer Biopathy --------- Richard Blasband 1975
Cancer Biopathy --------- Robert Dew 1981
Multiple conditions ----- Dorothea Fuckert 1989
Skin Infections --------- Myron Brenner 1991
Cancer Biopathy --------- Heiko Lassek 1991
Multiple conditions ----- Jorgos Kavouras 2005

Controlled Studies with Laboratory Mice

There also are many controlled experimental studies undertaken with laboratory mice, evaluating the effects of the orgone accumulator or orgone medical dor-buster (a related apparatus) upon their health and longevity. This includes mice either genetically predisposed to develop spontaneous tumors or leukemia, or who were given tumor transplants. As noted, these studies showed considerable improvement in the health of these immunologically-stressed or weakened mice when given a daily treatment with the orgone accumulator, as compared to otherwise identically-treated control groups. This was reflected in their overall descriptions and vitality factors as detailed in the various papers, but mostly is objectified in their dramatically increased lifespans. Orgone accumulator treatment increased the mouse lifespans from 1.6 to 3 times as long as the controls!

1. Wilhelm Reich: "Orgone Therapy Experiments", in The Cancer Biopathy, Orgone Institute Press, Rangeley, ME 1948 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973, p.290-309). ...The orgone accumulator approximately tripled the life-spans of the treated mice.

2. Blasband, Richard A.: "The Orgone Energy Accumulator in the Treatment of Cancer Mice", Journal of Orgonomy, 7(1):81-85, 1973. ...The orgone accumulator treated group lived 1.6 times as long.

3. Blasband, Richard A.: "Effects of the Orac on Cancer in Mice: Three Experiments", Journal of Orgonomy, 18(2):202-211, 1984. ...The orgone accumulator treated mice, developing spontaneous tumors and treated early, lived nearly twice as long.

4. Trotta, E.E. & Marer, E.: "The Orgonotic Treatment of Transplanted Tumors and Associated Immune Functions", Journal of Orgonomy, 24(1):39-44, 1990. ...The orgone accumulator more than doubled the lifespans of the treated mice.

5. Blasband, Richard A.: "The Medical DOR-Buster in the Treatment of Cancer Mice", Journal of Orgonomy, 8(2):173-180, 1974. ...Medical dor-buster treatment alone led to a significant 50%+ increase in longevity.

6. Grad, Bernard: "The Accumulator Effect on Leukemia Mice", Journal of Orgonomy, 26(2):199-218, 1992. ...The orgone accumulator treatment reduced their leukemia incidence by around 20%

7. Baker, Courtney F., et al: "Wound Healing in Mice, Part I", Annals, Inst. Orgonomic Science, 1(1):12-23, 1984. "... Part II", Annals, Inst. Orgonomic Science, 2(1):7-24, 1985. ...Observed increased healing by orgone accumulator treatment from a nominal 1% to 12% increase in Therapeutic Index, and were statistically significant.

Conclusions: Overall, these studies indicate the orgone accumulator is most effectively beneficial when applied quickly after identification of the illness or injury. The most reproducible anti-cancer effects were observed primarily where spontaneous tumor development occured. A lesser, but noticeable and important anti-cancer effect was observed in the case of transplanted tumors. This is in keeping with observations from published clinical case-studies of orgone accumulator therapy on human cancer patients.
The reader might correctly complain there are only a few studies to show after so many years following Reich's death. However, one must appreciate how all of these physicians and scientists took great personal and professional risks in doing this kind of research. The chronic open warfare against orgonomy by the FDA and medical groups, which has existed since the 1940s, has taken its toll. Nevertheless, everything here confirms Wilhelm Reich's original positions, and powerfully suggests the orgone accumulator ought to be available for use in every home, clinic and hospital, worldwide.

[End Quote] (J. DeMeo: The Orgone Accumulator Handbook: Wilhelm Reich's Life Energy Discoveries and Healing Tools for the 21st Century, Third Revised Edition, Natural Energy Works, Ashland, Oregon 2010, p.134-141.)

In addition to these studies, significant clinical work has been undertaken investigating the orgone accumulator's effects from the viewpoint of Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Studies have suggested orgone energy is the empirically-documented Western-scientific equivalent of the Chinese Chi energy, and that specialized small hollow orgone accumulators made in tube-form, can elicit reactions in the body identical to acupuncture needles. Other studies showed positive evaluations of patient physiological reactions to the orgone accumulator using bioelectrical "Ryodoraku" instrumentation, and other measures.
(See: Senf, Bernd: "Wilhelm Reich: Discoverer of Acupuncture-Energy?" American Journal of Acupuncture. 2(7):109-18, 1979 April-June, 1979; Southgate, Leon: Chinese Medicine and Wilhelm Reich Lambert Academic Publishing, London 2009; Mazzocchi, Alberto & Roberto Maglione: "A Preliminary Study of the Reich Orgone Accumulator Effects on Human Physiology", Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine, 21(2):41-50, 2011.)

Replication studies have also been made, showing excellent results, for Reich's findings on the physics of the orgone energy accumulator. Nearly all the major anomalies have been confirmed by others, with new ones uncovered, using even more precise measuring and recording equipment than was available in Reich's day. The on-line Bibliography has dozens of published papers on the subject of the orgone accumulator thermal anomaly, electroscopical discharge-rate anomaly, the Geiger-muller counter anomaly, and so on. I've personaly undertaken most of these experiments, including a multi-year study verifying the thermal anomaly within the accumulator, as well as anomalous impulses recorded within orgone-charged Geiger counters. One of my specialized orgone-charged radiation detectors yields from between 50 to 4000 counts per minute, while an identical control instrument not orgone-charged yields 10 counts per minute at most.

Another multi-year study of mine showed a systematic 34% boost to growth of mung beans when sprouted inside the orgone accumulator, and I've recently published a major paper on the subject of water anomalies created by orgone-charging. For example, water shows an increased absorption in the UV frequencies between 240-280nm when charged up inside an orgone accumulator, as compared to control samples. I've written multiple articles on these subjects, providing references to other verification studies of Reich's findings. My own works, and most of those of other scientists replicating Reich's findings, were undertaken with strict control procedures, and the best-available scientific measuring and data-acquisition equipment.

These findings by multiple scientific investigators on three continents, and published in research journals over many years, have confirmed Reich exactly on all the critical points, notably regarding the existence of a powerful unusual energetic force within nature, which can be amplified within the interior structure of his orgone energy accumulators. But do not try to find any mention of them, even one single reference or citation, in the Turner book. You won't find any.

More Recent Books on Reich and His Orgonomic Science

Let's make a simple list, to be clear about it, and provide some weblinks to underscore that, even while many of these books are out of print, used copies are still easily available, aside from their general availability in libraries. I will limit the list to only those works in English and German, the two languages Reich wrote in.

There are at least five major authoritative English-language biographies of Reich since around 1970, written by American, British or Scandinavian scholars, to wit:

Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich by Myron Sharaf, PhD
Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of His Work by David Boadella
Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy by Ola Raknes, PhD
Wilhelm Reich Versus the USA by Jerome Greenfield, PhD
Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War by Jim Martin
Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography by Ilse Ollendorff Reich

There are additional books detailing Reich's psychotherapeutic ideas and methods, by practicing physicians who studied with Reich:

Man in the Trap by Elsworth Baker, MD
Emotional Armoring by Morton Herskowitz, MD

Also one major book in the German language, previously mentioned, detailing many successes in treatments of disease symptoms by use of the orgone energy accumulator:

Heilen mit Orgonenergie: Die medizinische Orgonomie by Jorgos Kavouras, MD

Another German volume previously mentioned on Reich's clinical research findings, and his larger concepts of genitality and life energy as a foundation for mental and physical health.

Der Gesundheitsbegriff im Werk des Arztes Wilhelm Reich (1897 - 1957) by Stefan Mueschenich, MD

Additionally several good compendiums of multiple articles by many different professionals, which cover both Reich's sex-economic, therapeutic and medical work, as well as his orgone biophysics:

Nach Reich: Neue Forschungen zur Orgonomie edited by James DeMeo, PhD and Prof.Dr. Bernd Senf
Heretic's Notebook: Emotions Protocells, Ether-Drift and Cosmic Life Energy edited by James DeMeo, PhD
On Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy edited by James DeMeo, PhD
In the Wake of Reich edited by David Boadella

And another set of works, some mentioned above, covering the scope of Reich's orgone energy and atmospheric research, with work done by others since his death:

The Orgone Accumulator Handbook: Wilhelm Reich's Life Energy Science and Healing Tools for the 21st Century, with Construction Plans by James DeMeo, PhD
Wilhelm Reich and the Healing of Atmospheres: Modern Techniques for the Abatement of Desertification by Roberto Maglione, MS
Preliminary Analysis of Changes in Kansas Weather Coincidental to Experimental Operations with a Reich Cloudbuster by James DeMeo, PhD

These are all in addition to the very important and substantial materials as originally published by Reich himself, as listed above, and all the other journal articles and reports published since Reich's death, as separately indexed in the on-line Bibliography on Orgonomy.

Now, let's go to the point of this review article, and the reason for listing all the above material:

What has Mr. Turner done, what has he produced with all the information available to him on this large and important subject?

Turner's 2004 Swipe at Reich, Orgonomy and Summerhill School

In 2004, Christopher Turner announced his presence with an ugly little article "Summerhill School and the Real Orgasmatron" in the London Review of Books denouncing the British Summerhill School run by the late A.S. Neill, who was a personal friend of Wilhelm Reich. Reich was the main target of the article, however, being subjected to sexual slander in relation to an old orgone energy accumulator which Turner found on the Summerhill campus. Turner wrote:

"While I was there, I discovered that an Orgone Energy Accumulator had once been used at the school... for the purpose of improving its users' 'orgastic potency' and by extension their general, and above all mental, health. It became fashionable in the 1950s and 1960s, and was used by such countercultural figureheads as Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs -- who claimed to have had a spontaneous orgasm in his. Woody Allen parodied it as the 'Orgasmatron' in Sleeper. I wondered what place such a machine would have in a school... rearing a child in a cupboard, away from civilisation?" Turner, "Diary: Summerhill School and the Real Orgasmatron", London Review of Books, 26/11, 3 June 2004. (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n11/contents)

In these few short sentences, Mr. Turner weaves together no less than six major falsehoods, nearly all of which constitute dirty-minded sexual slander:

1) A misrepresentation of the orgone accumulator's construction, as if it were just a simple "box".

2 & 3) Two lies about its function which repeat the old Brady-Gardner slanders of the 1940s. To be clear: The orgone energy accumulator was never promoted by Reich or his associates as something to "improve orgastic potency" nor for curing neurosis or emotional/mental illness.

4) Additional misrepresentations that Reich's clinical scientific work and his orgone accumulator could be defined by the ideas or behavior of the "beat generation/outlaw" cult novelists and poets, such as
- Alan Ginsberg (a homosexual pedophile who wrote poems exalting his pathos),
- Jack Kerouac (a bisexual alcoholic and drug-abusing mystic) or
- William Burroughs (a predominantly homosexual alcoholic drug-dealer who shot his wife in the head).

5) Misrepresenting the Woody Allen "orgasmatron" device (a fictional electronic cabinet into which one went to obtain sexual excitement in a fictional future of widespread sexual abstinence) as something legitimately comparable to Reich's accumulator, which was in fact no "sexual appliance".

6) Suggesting the lie that Neill or Reich, or both, might have locked up children in boxes.

These various accusatory claims will be more fully addressed and refuted below, as they are repeated in grander style within Turner's 2011 "Orgasmatron" book. This short 2004 article carries more of the same, and the reader will hopefully get the point, that Mr. Turner presents Reich and his findings in the most awful manner designed to make the reader believe he was some kind of twisted pervert and medical quack. The article was additionally curious given how it was no "review" of any new book. Why the London Review of Books chose to publish it, I cannot say, but it suggests their editors either were all taken by Mr. Turners persona, or were also angry-bothered by the "uncool" Reich -- who by the way, considered homosexuality to be a neurosis, and pedophilia a criminal act. He would spin in his grave to be compared with the likes of those well-known but quite disturbed persons who, on the one hand Turner seems to admire, and yet on the other hand appear to be deliberately selected out for a false comparison to Reich, as a means to destroy him. Turner does this in other contexts, as I show below.

Turner's 2011 "Orgasmatron" Book

Turner's new book is titled Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux of New York. A British edition appeared a few months later with the longer title Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex: How Renegade Europeans Conceived the American Sexual Revolution and Gave Birth to the Permissive Society published by Fourth Estate. These were followed by multiple apparently pre-arranged "review" publicity articles in major mainstream print and internet newspapers and magazines, nearly all of which expanded and amplified upon all the slanderous and defamatory content of the book. Finding the Woody Allen sarcasm about the "orgasmatron" to be a useful device by which to skewer Reich, and boost sales, the book capitalizes upon the "orgasmatron" theme. While the subtitles suggest it is a work detailing social problems related to the excesses of the Western sexual revolution, in fact the book is dedicated to attributing all of the pains and ills of Western sexuality to one person: Wilhelm Reich.

Following the advice of all good propagandists, Turner includes some factual or quasi-factual material, though I speak here about such small things as where Reich lived, the names of his associates, and other basic details. However, when dealing with the substance of Reich's work and ideas, Turner almost systematically turns the truth on its head so dramatically that the book, in total, produces a fictionalized account of Reich's life and work. Whatever is authentic or factual gets quickly corroded by its acidic salacious accusations, which frequently can be traced back to similar published attacks and slander from the European and American yellow press several decades ago.

The book is given a false aura of dignity via self-congratulatory claims by both author and publisher, that it is an "exhaustive biography" or even "the first authoritative biography" of Reich, which is a marketing ploy. This is exposed by the listing I just gave above for the authentic historical biographies and scientific texts on the subject of Wilhelm Reich's life and work, which are erased from existence by Turner.

The books I listed are all scholarly works, some better than others, some more focused upon one or another aspect of Reich's work, life and times, but all are a thousand light-years ahead of what is found in the Turner book in terms of scholarship and factual content, and it beggars any comparison given how Turner's book is basically a theatrical fiction. Turner's book title alone, referencing Woody Allen's fictional orgasmatron from the movie Sleeper, and with a cartoon image of a naked woman on the cover, should alert the reader that this is not anything of serious or scholarly merit. The book uses this also as a successful marketing ploy, similar to how romance novels always have an attractive couple on the cover, locked in a half-naked kiss. The porno magazines exploit this method more exactly, and it is hard to say if the Turner book could do better. You won't miss it on the non-fiction shelves, though it should have been placed into the modern fiction or satire category.

But the title deceives in other ways, as there is no light-hearted sexual humor at work. It grabs the reader with the direct and purposeful comparison between Reich's orgone energy accumulator -- a device for scientific biological or physical research, constructed from very specific material arrangements -- to the fictional "orgasmatron" where people of the future supposedly go in alone to get an electronically stimulated sexual discharge. The entire book tries to hammer home that kind of fiction: that Reich's work was purportedly focused upon some kind of fantastic gadgetry aimed at "orgasm-energy", by which he could be casually dismissed as a "crackpot, pervert and fraud", or even "mentally ill", with no legitimate scientific findings worth a damn.

Turner's Background and Credentials For this Effort

What are Mr. Turner's credentials, to take on such a task as the full-bore disintegration of the character and life-work of Reich? His biography and credentials are listed on-line by his publicist. There's nothing of natural science or historical research in his background. Instead, he's a student of the literary arts, with a London humanities PhD focused upon "the cultural history of disgust" (this is no joke, the exact title being "The Disgusting: The Unrepresentable From Kant to Kristeva"). This literary achievement was appropriately followed by consulting work in London theater. His publishing credentials include a collection of book reviews, a newly acquired editorship of Modern Painters magazine, and he posts up his own magazine-blog Cabinet, which inflates the term "literary intellectual" to new heights. The Summer 2011 issue carries articles by his associates on such unserious topics as "Key Dates in Clown Crime", "People's Friendship Salad and Other Culinary Expressions of Brotherhood", "Drab Colors", "No, Oedipus Does Not Exist" (a bit of denial there?), "The Ethics of Rubbernecking", and another one by Turner skewering Reich, though in far fewer words than his 532-page Orgasmatron book, in which the same trend of shallow maliciousness is continued.

These facts suggest he's wandered out into deep water, way over his head, even if there are a whole lot of people standing safely on the shore, cheering him on.

With that foundation, or lack of one, Turner undertook a multi-year odyssey to investigate Reich -- so it is said -- but the finished product suggests it was mainly a quest for dirt. As I will show, Turner treats the subject of his study -- Wilhelm Reich -- with unfairness and contempt, mixing up a few facts with salacious innuendo and slander, never giving him the benefit of the doubt on controversial but scantily documented, or fully undocumented charges, and basically cherry-picking sentences here and there to manufacture a revisionist faux-history of the man and his life's work.

Because Turner packs so many false statements into single sentences, and later repeats the same fundamental charges in different wordings later on in the book, I will devote considerable space to refuting his initial mentions of them from his Introduction. The reader will thereby gain a much better appreciation for the facts of Reich's life and work, than they did from Turner's entire book.

Repeating Old Slanders: The Mildred Brady Smears

Let's examine a few of Turner's major claims and charges. He begins his discussion of Reich in the Introduction section, with a series of falsehoods which build upon each other towards the end of the book.

CLAIM (p.4-5) "...Reich...arrived in New York in late August 1939...optimistic that his ideas about fusing sex and politics would be better received there than they had been in fascist Europe. ... Reich was a sexual evangelist who held... the orgasm was a panacea to cure all ills...[and] would lead to a 'genital utopia'..."

FACTS: Reich began to wind down his social reform Sex-Pol work, of merging Freud and Marx, starting around 1932, the same year when he came into severe conflict with the German Communist Party and IPA for his departures from their respective theoretical positions. By the time of his 1939 departure to the USA, he was dedicated to developing his new experimental findings on bioelectrical functions of life, on the microscopical bions, and his very recently developed ideas on the orgone energy radiation and accumulator. He was no "sexual evangelist" as Turner contemptuously proclaims in this same section, and appeared so unsettled about how his Sex-Pol activities had been defeated by the rise of German fascism, that he had changed his views about the benefits of such direct political activity. Around the time of his arrival in America, his work ethic is best described by mottos which were hung on the walls of his laboratory, stating: "No Propaganda is the Best Propaganda", "Work Not Politics" and a more optimistic remark about his scientific findings, "It Can Be Done". He did research, trained therapists, wrote and published, but did not make public propaganda nor try to build up a social movement as he once did in Austria and Germany.
        Turner correctly points out that Reich's critics mocked him as "the prophet of orgasm" seeking a "genital utopia" -- but this was not a statement of fact which accurately described Reich's beliefs or theory, as Turner implies. Such reactions were merely the usual hysteria Reich witnessed in those years for daring to use the words "sex" and "orgasm" openly in his publications. The fact that Turner can publicly use the word "Orgasmatron" for his book title, even with a cartoon of a naked woman, without risking his own neck or job, is a testament to how the times have changed -- and in some measure, he can thank Reich for that (but of course, doesn't). Female orgasm wasn't even accepted in those times, and as Reich noted, concepts of male sexual potency were confusedly tied up with phallic narcissism. They still are. Reich was attacked for daring to write openly on such subjects, and as is typical in such situations, his critics reversed the entire meaning of his work. So Reich, who was against pornography and the "free fuck" as he called it, is described by Turner alongside Henry Miller's declaration about Europe being "the Land of Fuck" (p.5), as if that was an accurate description of Reich's agenda.

CLAIM (p.5): Here, Turner makes a ridicule-description of the orgone accumulator which is straight out of the malicious writings of Mildred Brady and Martin Gardner, repeating his earlier venom from 2004:
"...a wooden cupboard about the size of a telephone booth, lined with metal and insulated with steel wool... Reich considered his orgone energy accumulator an almost magical device that could improve its users' 'orgastic potency'... [which] could not only help dissolve repressions but also treat cancer, radiation sickness, and a host of minor ailments."

FACTS: This paragraph contains several lies all mixed up, not only presenting an inaccurate description of the orgone accumulator, but claiming that Reich considered it to be a magical device able to treat just about anything, including sexual impotence. While he did develop an experimental cancer therapy, and showed it could ameliorate against radiation poisoning in laboratory mice, and do other things, these facts are so abbreviated by Turner, and without any detail, just being thrown in as a chaser to the lies so as to make it all sound phony. This is a practiced tactic of propaganda disinformation, in case the reader is unaware.
        Firstly, the orgone accumulator resembles a Faraday cage, and wood is mainly used in the supporting structural framework. It is more authentically composed of alternating layers of specifically ferromagnetic metals interlain with dielectrical insulating material such as sheep's wool or fiberglass. These dielectric materials are typically alternatively interlain in the walls with sheets of steel wool. A final layer of sheet metal steel or galvanized steel is added to the interior, and insulating dielectric on the exterior. This type of structure also resembles the layered nature of an electrolytic capacitor, except it is much larger and has a hollowed-out space within the interior and a door to enter or exit. As such, it had the additional properties of what I call a hollow capacitor, able to spontaneously build up a higher charge density within its interior. This higher charge was documented by Reich firstly from its biological effects, but also for its physical properties. The orgone accumulator could slow the discharge rate of a standard electroscope, and trigger a sufficiently-charged Geiger-counter into higher count-rates (without nuclear materials), indicating the higher charge could affect the ionization properties of both open air and the vacuum. And it typically could generate a slight spontaneous thermal warming anomaly. The orgone accumulator was used experimentally for a variety of health problems, mostly related to immune functions and energy level, but Reich never claimed it could cure cancer or sexual impotence or emotional repressions. Those kinds of claims were put into his mouth by his unethical critics, just as Turner does, as a means to discredit him. Turner certainly knows this history of unethical smears and lying, and so his repetition of the worst of the malicious 20th Century misinformation can hardly be accidental. Here are a few quotes from Reich's publications, written after the Brady smears which continued to be repeated in the popular press of his time, leading to the FDA "investigation".

"In Collier's, May 26, 1951, pp. 53-54, the erroneous statement is made that Reich claims to have a cancer cure, a slander originated some years ago by Mildred Edie Brady in The New Republic. Reich does not now nor did he ever promise any cancer cures. Reich's research on the cancer problem, including his solution of the riddle of the origin of the cancer cell, is described in The Discovery of the Orgone, Vol. 2: The Cancer Biopathy." anon. "On the Record: Clarifications", Orgone Energy Bulletin, IV(4):218, 1952.

"In 1946 several Russian sympathizers gathered in the assault upon orgonomy. Wertham, a physician, who was a member of the American Russian Friendship Association, a clear cut 'front organization', published his attack in The New Republic, a left wing, then Russian-minded periodical. Mildred Brady then took over by planting the slander of 'orgastic potency' having been promised to a gullible public, an accusation easily disproved. Brady was followed by the FDA, an agency which had shown no interest in the discovery whatever until the Red Fascist sympathizer had reared his ugly head.
        ... the old Mildred Brady slander, namely the alleged function of the accumulator [was] to provide 'orgastic potency.' ... distortion and slander, contrary to truth. No one had ever promised to cure the widespread disease of 'orgastic impotence' by way of the accumulator.
        ...The pornographic slander started by Brady, that the orgone energy accumulator 'conveyed orgastic potency' was now connected with 'fraud' and with the Brady slander of 'cancer cure'".

Wilhelm Reich:
Atoms For Peace Vs. The HIG, Wilhelm Reich Biographical Material, History of the Discovery of the Life Energy, Orgone Institute Press, Rangeley, 1956 pp.9, 13, 24.

Today, Turner repeats the same old slanders. It is important also to note that Reich was 100% correct about the Soviet sympathies, and even the cloaked Communist Party backgrounds of his detractors Wertham and Brady. Both published their attacks in The New Republic magazine, which at the time was run by Michael Straight, a self-confessed American member of the notorious Cambridge spy ring. The magazine was then edited by Henry Wallace, a Soviet mole who had ascended to the top position of Vice President of the USA under President Roosevelt, until his pro-Soviet declarations led to his being replaced. Mildred Brady and her husband Robert were both fired years earlier from the Roosevelt Office of Price Administration for their open Soviet sympathies. She had been subjected to an FBI wiretap which revealed connections to the American Silvermaster spy ring, which took atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. All this and much more was documented in the book Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War by Jim Martin, who used Freedom-of-Information-Act searches of FBI and other government documents on Reich's detractors. They were all certifiably Reds, and there are suggestions some of the same may have been at work within the FDA. My article "New Information on the Persecution and Death of Wilhelm Reich" provides a summary and additional references on this point, including new documentation from Soviet archives indicating the NKVD (forerunner of the KGB) had put Reich's name on a death-list. It appears, Reich had escaped the Soviet death machine in Europe, only to be attacked years later by Red operatives working clandestinely in the USA, under the cloak of "consumer protection" and "helping the FDA to protect the public from medical quackery".
        Turner gives only one citation for his own paragraph, where he back-pedals a bit, clarifying that orgastic potency was only the end-goal of Reich's emotion-release therapy method. But if he knows this, then it makes his statement in the text-body of the book all the more deceitful. He references Reich's Function of the Orgasm on that one point. But if you go to the page-reference Turner gives for Reich's Function, it does not support any of his slanders -- it refutes them, in fact. To the casual reader who might not worry about double-checking the citation accuracy, it appears as if Turner's ugly description is accurate merely because it carries a "reference to Reich", even if it is bogus and doesn't say what Turner claims, that "Reich considered his orgone energy accumulator an almost magical device that could improve its users' 'orgastic potency'." There is nothing in Reich's work which supports Turner's malicious lie. Reich never said such things as Turner claims, about the orgone accumulator construction, or its functions, or experimental use.

Reich and Einstein, Misrepresented

CLAIM (p.6): "Reich persuaded Albert Einstein to investigate the [orgone accumulator] machine, whose workings seemed to contradict all known principles of physics, but after two weeks of tests Einstein refuted Reich's claims".

FACTS: Reich published the extensive letter exchange between himself and Einstein in a document titled The Einstein Affair, which is the primary source on this matter. The two men originally met for a five-hour meeting and discussion on Reich's discoveries at Einstein's home in Princeton. Einstein was so intrigued with Reich's demonstration of a small orgone accumulator and orgonoscope (which allowed direct visual observation of the orgone energy) that he asked to borrow them for a period. Reich consented, and a short time later Einstein wrote back to Reich: "I have now investigated your apparatus... [and] made enough readings without any changes in your arrangements. The box thermometer showed regularly a temperature of about 0.3 - 0.40 higher than the one suspended freely." (Letter from Albert Einstein to Wilhelm Reich, 7 Feb.41, Contained in W. Reich, The Einstein Affair, History of the Discovery of the Life Energy, American Period 1939-1952, Documentary Volume A-IX-E, Orgone Institute Press, Rangeley, Maine, 1953).
        Einstein therefore confirmed the thermal anomaly within the orgone energy accmulator. He had stated, during their original meeting, that Reich's findings were "a great bomb in physics", so he knew their controversial nature. However, while he was man enough to admit Reich was correct about the experimental anomaly, he came to believe the thermal effect was created by convection currents in the room, and not by an orgone energy effect. Reich replied by sending him detailed instructions on how to set up control experiments to rule out such convection effects, but Einstein never undertook those experiments, nor responded to Reich. The reasons for that remain a mystery, but it could be explained as the consequence of WW-II, when Einstein was placed under a national security umbrella.
        Einstein may not have undertaken the necessary control experiments to rule out ordinary thermodynamic effects such as convection, but many others have. My own multi-year replication of Reich's thermal anomaly experiment fully ruled out such convection effects by use of a control enclosure thermodynamically matched to the orgone accumulator, and by placement of both accumulator and control on a slowly rotating platform. My experiment allowed around-the-clock data acquisition using thermistors calibrated down to thousands of a degree. A pulsating 0.5 degree anomaly was clearly measured and documented, over several years of the experiment. My paper on this subject, which cited six other scientists who had made similar positive replications, was published in a peer-reviewed science journal late last year ("Experimental Confirmation of the Reich Orgone Accumulator Thermal Anomaly", Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 20(3):1-16, 2010). Turner may not have known about my on-going work in this area, but my institute has a free downloadable, periodically-published Newsletter where preliminary reports were given. Turner does list The Einstein Affair publication in his bibliography, which carries this important correspondence. He also cites papers from the Journal of Orgonomy where it suits him, and that Journal also has several good papers documenting the thermal anomaly experiment. Even a ten-minute search on internet would have brought up some detail on this subject, so his misrepresentation about what Einstein actually stated, and the failure to mention Reich's important rebuttal, nor any other published experiments on the subject which verified Reich, appears deliberate.

Influencing America: Reich versus Kinsey

CLAIM (p.6): Turner added several false statements immediately after the one on Einstein.
"...the orgone box became fashionable in America in the 1940s and 1950s, when Reich rose to fame as the leader of he new sexual movement that seemed to be sweeping the country."

FACTS: Kinsey was the man of the decade getting tremendous publicity, not Reich, who remained in relative obscurity, his books selling only very modestly by comparison. According to the Kinsey Institute website "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male sold more than 200,000 copies when it was published in 1948", and went on to become a "bestseller... an international sensation". The later Sexual Behavior in the Human Female added to his fame. The books have been considered among the most influential of scientific books during the 20th Century.
        By comparison, Reich's Orgone Institute issued a report in 1951 indicating that, over the prior six years, approximately 35,000 copies of all of Reich's books combined had sold. ("Two Year Report of the Orgone Institute Press, 1950-1951", Orgone Energy Bulletin, IV(3):157-161, 1952.) That means around 5,800 copies were sold annually. That's not so bad, and we know Reich's books have been slow steady sellers over the years, but it hardly approaches the intensive interest stirred up by Kinsey's books, at least during that period. At the height of Reich's working life, there were only about 300 orgone accumulators being rented out to patients by his non-profit institute, as a means to fund his research, and then only by prescription from the medical doctors working under his direction. So Reich's ideas and works were hardly "fashionable" by any account, and the world wasn't exactly "beating a path to his door". Only a very small percentage of the American population even knew about Reich, save possibly for those who read the salacious smears after 1947, which distorted everything.
        As mentioned above, Reich did not lead nor try to lead any new "sexual movement" in America, which is not the case for Kinsey, who relished the lime-light, and hob-knobbed with all the high-up fashionable people. Kinsey got all the public laurels, and in my opinion, undeservedly so, and not all of the Kinsey influence was healthy. His ideas were promoted by the Hefner Playboy magazine, with later influences upon American law. Time Magazine actually put Alfred Kinsey's picture on the cover of their 24 April 1953 issue, effectively promoting Kinsey's "anything goes" empty-sex discharge theory. But they, like most other mainstream media, never had anything nice to say about Reich. In later years, as I mention below, Time Magazine editors would basically dance on Reich's grave. Kinsey was "cool". Reich was "uncool".
        It is also important to note, that while Kinsey promoted an empty-sex "discharge" theory of "orgasm" (confusing mere sexual climax with full orgasm), where masturbation, oral or anal intercourse were considered just as good as the genital sexual embrace, Reich viewed those methods as pre-genital in nature, able to build excitation, but not able to create a full orgastic discharge -- especially for the orally or anally passive-receptive partner. For such reasons, Reich considered homosexuality to be a neurosis formed out of sexual anxiety, in the avoidance of the greater excitation and fuller orgastic release provided by genital heterosexual intercourse. Because of this divergence in views, Kinsey viewed Reich with contempt, giving him only one footnote mention in his Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. And that footnote validates just what I say above, that Reich's concepts of genitality and orgastic potency were incompatible with Kinsey's own ideas about "discharge". But to the point, Reich remained, as always, "uncool" and out of the limelights. And he was a critic of pornography, empty-sex, and homoerotic behavior. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Reich on these points is not the issue for the moment -- the point is, Reich had no major supporting influence on the pathological side of American sexual mores during this period, when pornography, empty-sex and homoeroticism spread across the American landscape. So on another key point, where Turner goes on to blame Reich for whatever he doesn't like about American sexual life, Turner presents no facts to back up his charges.
        Besides Kinsey, there were many other social influences such as the birth-control pill, and various loud and competing social movements which would later in the 1960s explode on the social landscape in the women's movement, the civil rights movement and the student movement, and they dominated the microphones and the press. Reich was dead by that time. While Reich did argue in his publications for a loosening of compulsively moralistic sexual restraints, in favor of self-regulation (ie, abolition of arranged marriages; legalization of divorce, contraception, abortion), as noted above in his list of reforms for Sex-Pol, he was no promoter of pornography nor the sexual chaos (ie, Marcusian "polymorphous perversity", licensuous hetero- or homosexual public acting-out) that was to frequently appear during the years after his death. Those were the consequences of Kinsey's ideas, and those of Marcuse and other Freudo-Marxists who distorted or even hated Reich (see below), that were written into law. True, some Marxist students of the 1960s tried to resurrect Reich's early European writings (which he had basically repudiated), but they ignored or ridiculed his later American views on the counter-productive nature of pornography, the need for slow-going reforms in the face of widespread human armoring, and his ideas on socially cooperative work democracy which were decidedly anti-communist. Most students of the 1960s were never so radical, however, and mainly wanted freedom for love and some modicum of independence in their lives.
        Reich argued in support of a more loving and emotion-based, self-regulated sexuality. While erotic excitation is a necessary and important aspect of human sexual life, his clinical work showed how this does not by itself make for the most full and deeply satisfying sexual gratification. There are in fact many people who can "go to bed" with another and get nothing out of it; men with cold erections, women with dry vaginas, copulations without tenderness or release, and so on. The capacity for bioenergetic expansion and trusting open contact with another, with emotions of tender love must also be present, and an adult can't get that fully from only masturbation, nor by submission to (or being) a predator who wants only oral or anal sex, nor by promiscuous multi-partner empty-sex "fucking", nor by sitting in an orgone accumulator. Reich more than any other writer of his time, or since, focused upon such considerations. He considered phallic preoccupations, heterosexual or homosexual, to be just another kind of sexual impotence, laden with narcissism and lacking in tenderness. The man who could "do it" many times in one night was no "super lover", but rather an up-tight and miserable "tough guy" masking an inner sexual anxiety and sadness, who simply could not let go of himself emotionally with tender feelings for any one partner. Other men were too anxious to stay erect, or ejaculated quickly. Likewise, the frigid or inorgasmic, or claimed "multi-orgasmic" or nymphomaniac female exhibited a complementary set of emotional-sexual problems. In this, Reich viewed the pornographer as merely the functional opposite of the anti-sexual church moralizer (whom history shows, is frequently an immoral hypocrite).
        By Reich's determination, emotional blocking inhibited the whole sexual impulse and experience, for men just as for women, and he calculated that around 60% or more of the population was sexually impotent by these definitions. (The percentages increase dramatically in nations characterized by female genital mutilations, sexual slavery and arranged child-marriages, by my determinations.) These important differences in Reich's clinical definitions of sexual or orgastic potency are immediately understood by most people, but some react to them with anger, as it holds up a mirror to their faces, and reminds them that their own sexual lives are perhaps lacking. We then become witness to such jokey distortions as the orgone accumulator being called an "orgasmatron", or malicous claims that "Reich advocated the accumulator as a sex-box" or that "Reich's therapy methods included masturbation of patients", etc. All those salacious accusations were generated by his sex-frustrated critics, church moralists and pornographers alike, who probably weren't able to have a real orgasm, much in the same manner that sex-frustrated prudes get all excited and furious at young people smooching in a car, and let their fantasies run wild about what's going on.

Reich and the Bohemians, Redux

CLAIM (p.6): Turner rattles off the names of people he claims are representative of Reich's work and ideas -- none of them are, however. They all promoted their own brands of sexual libertine lifestyle, or outright perversions in some cases. If they mentioned Reich, or used an orgone accumulator, it was not necessarily with accurate reference to Reich's ideas or writings. Turner states:
"Orgone boxes were used by such countercultural figures as Norman Mailer, J.D. Salinger, Paul Goodman, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs -- who claimed to have had a spontaneous orgasm in his. ... Bohemians celebrated the orgone box as a liberation machine, the wardrobe that would lead to utopia, while to conservatives it was Pandoras box, out of which escaped the Freudian plague -- the corrupting influence of anarchism and promiscuous sex."

FACTS: Turner repeats some of what he declared in his 2004 article, as mentioned above, which in turn was trance-channeled and updated from the dead smear-writer Mildred Brady, whose articles attacking Reich expressed similar sentiments: "The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy" (Harper's Magazine, April 1947). "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich" (New Republic, 26 May 1947). Turner continues to define Reich by casual references to alcohol-saturated or drug-addled freedom peddlers (as Reich called them), as if the fact that they occasionally sat in an orgone accumulator proved something. Well, it does prove two things:
        1) The accumulator may give people a bit of a sensible boost in energy, even if they are Bohemians, but
        2) The orgone accumulator cannot cure alcoholism or drug addiction, nor make people orgastically potent or provide mental health. And that, Reich did assert quite clearly (some quotes given below).

CLAIM and CLARIFICATION (p.7): Turner gives a long and bizarre quotation by James Baldwin, another drug-abusing anarchistic homosexual writer who, with some remorse, reflected back upon times of "experimentation with sex, with marijuana, with minor infringements of the law". Turner provides this quotation as a means to blame Reich for the sorry situation, merely because someone in Baldwin's circle had an orgone accumulator. Again, this proves the orgone accumulator cannot make people sexually or mentally healthy. But a more critical point which Turner misses is, that people like Baldwin came to their point of (temporary?) remorse and reflection only after having firstly exhausted themselves with all the possibilities of empty-sex and brain-fogging drugs. Then they hit bottom, and realized it. But it would be a stretch to claim that Baldwin had any clear-minded appreciation for Reich. The last sentence in the quote provided by Turner says it all: "The people I had been raised among had orgasms all the time, and still chopped each other up with razors on Saturday nights." No, these were not "orgasms" as Reich defined it, but merely sexual climaxes, empty-sex discharge, and the violence which those people carried in their guts, inside their character structure, and which led them to "chop each other up", blocked their capacity for full surrender in the sexual embrace. "Discharge" alone has no ameliorating effect upon character structure. If it did, then the Imperial Japanese soldiers who raped so many "comfort women" during WW-II would have been "comforted" themselves and spontaneously stopped their killing machines. Same with the polygamous Muslim culture of terrorism, where plenty of "screwing" goes on, frequently with boys, but they don't seem to question Muhammed's dictates that they should hate and murder all the non-believers. For 1400 years they've had plenty of "discharges", but no benefits to character structure, and won't until the day comes when they can treat their own women as equals, with a humane attitude.

That's the message from Reich, bound to infuriate a lot of people who don't want to hear it, and utterly lost on Baldwin and Turner.

By page 8 of Turner's Introduction, he takes several cruel and off-the-mark shots at the Summerhill School in rural UK, as a follow-up to his 2004 missive. The text moves on to selectively quote from Reich's ex-wife Ilse Ollendorff, who gives an unclear description of Reich's emotion-release therapy methods. Turner's discussion adds little to clarify things, and at that point it goes into a muddle.

More Nasty Accusations: Insanity and Pornography

One wishes to see a quote from Reich, but the entire book is suspiciously devoid of anything significant. But Turner is sure to quote from some of the psychoanalysts who came to hate Reich's guts and spread rumors of his going insane, as on page 11 where Sandor Rado is cited. The implication is, because Rado says it, then it must be true! In fact, Rado and many of the psychoanalysts felt deeply uncomfortable with Reich's early redefinitions of sexual potency, his criticisms of childhood latency and the Oedipus conflict being culturally, and not biologically determined. They either could not fathom, or loathed his clinical findings on orgastic disturbances and genitality, his divergence from free association and his changes in therapeutic technique -- and this was well before Reich began to look at people's bodies, identifying such things as skin pallor or shallow respiration, and actually began pushing on their stiff jaws or rigid chests to release the pent-up energy trapped within. His efforts to merge Freud and Marx also discomforted some, but not all (many Freudians were already far more "pure Marxist" than Reich ever was), as did his public criticisms of the Nazis (don't provoke them!). His later bioelectrical experiments and especially the bion experiments and the orgone accumulator were the final blow for nearly all within German psychoanalysis. "Reich is insane" the rumor mongers whispered. Even his Marxist allies mostly abandoned him once he dared to criticize their pantheon of Communist Saints.

Such clarifications aren't necessary for Turner, apparently, and he adds mud to the water at this point by zipping forward from the 1931 opinion of Rado by some 20 years to Reich's 1950s observations and time-lapse photographs of UFO flight-tracks, contained in one of his last books, Contact With Space. Turner also ridicules Reich's cloudbuster invention, as if merely the unusual nature of such things automatically makes them unbelievable, and Reich a crazy person (does the dear reader recall how the telescope, microscope, airplane, and rocket were initially greeted by the "top people" of their day?). Turner's effort here is to infer that, because Reich saw UFOs, and later engaged in weather-modification experiments, then "he must be crazy". That presumes everyone who has seen a UFO must "be crazy", including several former US Presidents, military and airline pilots, astronomers, and people from all walks of life. And all the scientists engaged in weather modification experiments also "must be crazy".

By page 13, Turner quotes from Time Magazine of 1964, which blames Reich for a claimed widespread pornography and promiscuity they've identified. Apparently they and Turner forgot about Kinsey being on the Time cover only 11 years earlier. But that would not be the first instance where Time Mag would attack Reich, nor the last. They did so in articles dating back to 1947, which was shortly before they celebrated Kinsey, and after the Brady smear campaign began. Time has been as regular as clock-work in making periodic smears and jabs at Reich, all parroting the Brady lies. In their pre-millennium edition of 24 March 1999, Time Magazine fully skewered Reich, along with Pons and Fleishman of the cold-fusion experiments, in an article on "Cranks, Villains, and Unsung Heroes", putting Reich's photo on the same page with Stalin's Lysenko and Hitler's Mengele.

Now, THAT is how low Reich is considered, and how miserably he has been treated, by "all the people who matter" in the literary intellectual circles. Many Letters to the Editor were sent by professionals in objection to that last turn-of-the-century article, I know because I wrote one myself and know many other professionals who did so -- none were published, to my knowledge.

Turner gives us no hint of this on-going malicious hatred of Reich by so many in the mainstream "intelligentsia" and literary crowd. Reich gets no credit for having contributed to the softer and more rational-healthy aspects of the sexual revolution and for which he advocated -- such as the legalization of contraception, and end to severe prudery about the naked human body, the growing rights of young unmarried couples to have a love life without going to prison, and the improvement of the rights and status of women all around. Reich's Sex-Pol platform from the 1930s was imminently sensible, and contains much that even conservatives would agree with -- and which opinion polls already suggest, take advantage of. Divorce, contraception and abortion are embraced even by American Catholics, and the only time young women are killed in the USA for violations of virginity taboos are by Muslim immigrants, whom the liberal-left pro-Kinsey 60s radical intellectuals are always rushing to defend. But these same "literary intelligentsia" today give Reich all the blame for things he in fact opposed and which their own radical leaders approve of: The explosion of public porn and "free love" fucking, narcissistic phallic obscenity in public homoerotic "street festivals" and "parades", characterized by pubic screwing and drunken screaming, defecation and urination (ie, the "Folsom Street Festival", "Berlin Love Parades", etc.), intellectuals defending pedophilia, bestiality and sado-masochism as "alternative sexualities", dressing up little girls as adult sexual objects, and turning young boys and men into "metrosexuals". Overall it suggests the entire society is being gradually shoved away from basic heterosexual love, and towards legalization of pedophilia, with some kind of weird feministic embrace of polygamy and the Islamic veil to boot.

While such things are neurotic and psychopathological by the Reichian view, only Reich gets publicly blamed for it, or alternatively Reichians are labeled "prudish phobes" for not going along with the trend. Turner has little or nothing to say about these kinds of public horrors. He doesn't explicitly criticize people like Ginsberg or Burroughs, but only brings them up as false comparisons to Reich, using them as a weapon against Reich... but let's not criticize THEM!?

In today's world, everything is turned upside down, and political correctness has immobilized the larger population. Mainly the Christian conservatives oppose this last trend of social destructiveness as I outline above, as they are the ones having the most children, and don't like the current trend towards legalization of pedophilia (child rape!), which seems waiting at the end of this particular road. And you don't have to be a Christian conservative to object to that.

Turner's book is an utter failure in this regard, to educate and warn the public about who is really responsible for the current degeneracy, where it does actually exist. Nor does Turner educate about the more healthy aspects of the sexual revolution. He reveals no appreciative sense of the more repressive conditions which existed, for example, at the time of my own childhood. America was never even half as bad as Saudi Arabia or Iran, where independent-minded women, or those who violate sexual taboos, and homosexuals (but not pedophiles) are beheaded or hung from cranes. But I still remember with open-eyed wonder, as a teenager, when contraceptives appeared on the shelves of the local pharmacy. Contraception, particularly the birth-control pill and other barrier-type devices, meant that both married and unmarried couples could have a sexual life without the serious concern of unwanted pregnancy. I've written an entire chapter in my Saharasia book devoted to these issues, showing how ancient peoples and aboriginal tribes around the world already had potent herbs used for this purpose. I've also detailed how every kind of sex-hating religion made war against contraception, and the women who had such knowledge. The burning of women at the stake in the Christian world was frequently for the "crime" of having contraceptive knowledge, and much of the struggle up from the nightmare of the Dark Ages, through the Reformation, Renaissance, Enlightenment and Democratic revolutions against the Divine Power of Kings, is a history of similar struggle for sexual, reproductive and marital freedom, of people seeking to control their own destiny. Reich was a part of that struggle, and his supports for contraception, abortion rights, women's rights to divorce, equal pay and professional training, and allowance for youthful romance without going to prison, did not constitute any endorsement for the kinds of things which Mr. Turner accuses him of.

The remainder of the Turner book is basically a re-hash of the condensed points I address above, so it would serve no purpose to recount those repetitions. But there are a few real zingers to be found in the later parts of the book which demand addressing. To wit:

Reich's Bioelectric Experiments, and the Lie About "Masturbation of Patients"

CLAIM (p.178) "Whereas in Reich's laboratory experiments subjects were encouraged to masturbate, his therapy was entirely different. He did aim to improve orgastic potency but this was done through massage of other parts of the body, in the hope that such treatment would free muscular blocks. The distinction was important to Reichians -- though of course to their critics the line seemed extremely fine -- because actual 'masturbation therapy' was at the time a competing school of thought."

FACTS: In this outrageous quote, Turner feigns to give Reich a complement, but it is loaded with falsehoods by which Reich is actually denigrated. Firstly, it suggests Reich's laboratory experiments constituted some kind of "masturbation festival", with nothing more. In fact, his bioelectric experiments, carried out in a laboratory room in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo, addressed the issues of both emotional and sexual excitation. His book on The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety gives the full details, and in there one will find a recounting of the very first scientific measures, by bioelectrical recordings, of human sexual and emotional excitation. One test subject did masturbate, but in most other experiments, the measures were made of far more mundane things, such as a couple kissing, or the pleasure experienced from a warm gentle stroking of the hand compared to a hard stroking. In another test, the bioelectrical tracings recorded reactions of a person eating a spoon of sugar, or to record the "disappointment reaction" when told they were being given sugar, but instead were given salt. Tickling versus pressure reactions were recorded. Or when a kiss became unpleasant. In another, a relaxed subject was startled by the popping of a balloon. These experiments produced the first quantitative measures of previously only subjective phenomenon, and addressed the larger question of pleasurable versus anxiety-provoking stimuli.
        The overall discovery was, firstly, that erogenous zones had a generally higher or more reactive bioelectrical potential than other skin surfaces. Secondly, Reich documented how pleasure created a bioenergetic expansion with an increased electrical charge at the skin surface, while anxiety created an overall bioenergetic contraction with reduced skin surface charge. This was an important breakthrough finding especially as regarding how the two major branches of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic and sympathetic, could under conditions of prolonged stress and pain, become habituated to an undercharged energetically contracted and weakened condition. The experiments documented the bioenergetic aspects of pleasure versus anxiety, and of the differences between healthy people's capacity to expand out into the world, versus the big problem of life-trauma leading people into conditions of pleasure-avoidance, frigidity, sexual anesthesia, panic, and chronic anxiety. It clarified many questions on human sexual response, as well as on basic physiology and neurology, questions which have even today not yet been resolved by modern medical science precisely because of an avoidance of the kind of sexual and bioenergetic issues which Reich addressed.
        These experiments were therefore not some kind of "jerk-off" extravaganza as Turner and other Reich-critics suggest or invent (and thereby reveal their own sexual anxiety). However, Turner uses such claims, with intellectual gymnastics, to tar and feather Reich's orgone therapy methods. After misrepresenting Reich's bioelectrical experiments, as from the above quote, he admits Reich's therapy "was entirely different", meaning it did not constitute "masturbation therapy". But without missing a beat and in the same paragraph, Turner suggests this issue is only important to "Reichians" because of the existence of unnamed "competing schools" of "masturbation therapy", as if there are no differences between them and Reich. But a distinction is firstly important for its factual content, that Reich's emotion-release therapy was not "masturbation therapy" in any manner, and did not involve any kind of genital manipulations; it is secondly important in how it reveals Turner's eager willingness to cleverly conflate Reich's orgone therapy methods with these unidentified "competing schools" into a deliberate smear, and without a shred of evidence.
        We can determine the facts by referencing Reich's own publications, wherein he identified a rumor campaign launched against him by the "psychoanalysts and neurologists", as in this quote from a longer published report by Dr. Alan Cott:

"...in the Spring of 1948, a group of psychoanalysts and neurologists decided to smash Reich's work. ...several obviously malicious attacks, unworthy of physicians, have been launched [to include] Sudden outbursts of malicious gossip in mental institutions and in university lectures to the effect that patients are "being masturbated" in orgone therapy. We have many legally executed testimonies of witnesses regarding this concerted campaign of defamation of orgonomy. We have transmitted all documents to our law office for eventual legal prosecution of these criminal gossipers who, instead of helping to solve the misery of children and adolescents, are busy with defamation, slander, lies, distortions. ...
A. ALLAN COTT, M.D., Secretary
Committee on Medical Orgone Therapy"

("A Warning", Orgone Energy Bulletin, 1(1):35-36, 1949.)

Here's another statement by Reich's ex-wife Ilse Ollendorff, written some years after Reich's death.

"One thing has to be stressed, that vegetotherapy or Orgone Therapy has nothing to do with mechanical massage or with 'masturbation therapy.'"
Ilse Ollendorff: Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography, 1969, p.36.

        While Reich did write that masturbation was a natural development for children, and not harmful for adults (though not as pleasurable or beneficial as the genital embrace), the accusation that Reich "masturbated his patients" is entirely false. From Reich's publications and archives, however, the source of this salacious rumor has been identified, as alluded to in the quote from Dr. Cott, above. It came from within the circle of psychoanalysts who had conspired to throw Reich out of the IPA in the mid 1930s, spreading various malicious rumors at the same time. During the period of Reich's falling out from mainstream psychoanalysis, it was his one-time friend and associate in the Freud-Marx movement, Otto Fenichel, who more than anyone spread multiple nasty rumors against him. These predominantly appeared in Fenichel's "Rundbrief" letters, which were mailed in multiple copies to all the top psychoanalysts of that period of exile during the war years, keeping everyone abreast of new goings-on. In them, Fenichel frequently and openly disparraged Reich, directly (or repeating statements by others) calling him a mad-man, alluding to his "personal foibles", attacking his new scientific works, his therapy methods, calling him a quack, and so forth. The details on this are now published in two massive volumes
Otto Fenichel: 119 Rundbriefe, which is one of the most important uncensored historical documents revealing private discussions within the inner sanctum of international psychoanalysis during the period from 1934-1945. Much of what Fenichel circulated in his Rundbriefs was further spread by their recipients in whispering campaigns in Europe and notably within America, especially when Fenichel worked for a time at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka Kansas, where he filled the ears of Karl Menninger and other staff members with such poison about Reich. This would later figure into the American smear campaign in the USA, when Menninger reprinted one of Mildred Brady's smear articles attacking Reich and the orgone accumulator with salacious innuendo, in his Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic (Vol.12, 1948).
        Even before the Brady articles, the American branch of the Freudo-Marxist psychoanalysts included a who's who of European psychoanalytical emigrees to the USA, including Reich's ex-wife, the psychoanalyst Annie Reich, remarried under the name Annie Rubinstein. And they were spreading all sorts of bad words about Reich. Two of this group, Dr. Hermann Nunberg and Dr. Annie (Reich) Rubinstein, were identified in November 1948 as spreading a rumor into the Hillside Psychiatric Hospital, New York, about Reich allegedly "masturbating a female patient." When the rumor reached Reich, the two were confronted by Reich's lawyer. Denial prevailed but the woman patient was eventually identified and also denied ever having said it. As it turned out, this woman had never met Dr. Reich, nor had ever been in treatment with Reich or any of his trainees or associates. (W. Reich, Conspiracy: An Emotional Chain Reaction, Orgone Institute Press, 1954, Documents #157-161 for 1948, p.12.)
        Later that year, the fingerprints of Mildred Brady emerged within the psychoanalytic smears. Dexter Masters of the Consumers Union organization, who also was a close associate of Mildred Brady (who also once worked at C.U.), spread another set of rumors, declaring that he was "...a friend of Miss Brady" and that the orgone accumulator was "a box whose purpose was to activate masturbation." Reich's participation at the Lucerne 1934 IPA Congress was cited as background evidence for this accusation, even though that was years before his discovery of the orgone or invention of the orgone accumulator, indicating a direct link between the Fenichel-Rubinstein psychoanalytic slanders and the Brady slanders. Brady's article not only appeared in the Menninger Clinic Bulletin (12(2):61-67, March 1948) but also as a short note in both the Journal of the American Medical Association (139(2):96-97, 8 January 1949) and later Consumers Reports magazine (March 1949). None of these publications made any kind of investigation as to the truth or falsity of the Brady accusations, nor of the rumors, but they worked to fabricate a new "truth" about Reich's claimed "insanity" and "masturbating patients", which was spread even further by professional gossip and innuendo, and in various copy-cat articles. (W. Reich, Conspiracy: An Emotional Chain Reaction, Orgone Institute Press, 1954, Document 178 for 1948, p.14) And today, of course, we have Mr. Turner to thank for spreading these lies even farther!
        The reasons for this severe hatred of Reich by the predominantly Freudo-Marxist psychoanalysts appears at root to be a personal nervousness about the new steps Reich had been taking, as I give above in the section about Sandor Rado proclaiming Reich insane. But there was another element as well, in that Reich remained highly respected in some quarters of psychoanalysis for his new innovations in therapy, which actually helped people far better than the older mode of free association on a couch, where you don't even see the analyst (who can then conveniently take a nap). After fleeing Germany Reich got a warm reception by the Scandinavian psychoanalysts, some of whom went into training with him. Other psychoanalysts remaining loyal to the IPA considered this a threat to their organizational existence, if not to their personal incomes, and it constituted an additional motivation to try and destroy Reich's professional standing. Fenichel and other Marxists within the psychoanalytic movement had additional personal reasons, based upon Reich's growing criticism of the Soviet Union and "pure Marxism". Fenichel remained a "Red", as did many other Freudo-Marxist psychoanalysts, including those such as Erich Fromm and the Frankfurt Group, which by then had fled to London: they loathed Reich and considered him to be "a bad Marxist" for example because of his attribution of human irrationalism to emotional trauma, genital frustration and character structure, rather than to Marxist historical materialism and class-conflicts. Reich wrote that neuroses and sexual impotence was found just as frequently among the Marxist proletariat as among the counter-revolutionary bourgeois, which contradicted Marxist-Leninist thought entirely.
        It is therefore ironic that today, Reich is denounced by many conservatives as a central figure of the Freudo-Marxist "Frankfurt Group", to which he never belonged, and whose membership considered Reich to be something of a "right-wing turncoat" (my words). They only cite his earliest works, but never his later sex-economic, orgone biophysical or anti-communist writings, where they also believe he "went insane". (See for example, Daniel Flynn's A Conservative History of the American Left which attacks Reich as an immoral and socially-destructive force, ridiculing the orgone accumulator, etc., with phrases taken straight out of the articles by the Communist Party hack writer Mildred Brady.)
        It is notable that Reich's ex-wife Annie Reich-Rubinstein also absorbed these ideas completely, and in the years thereafter had nothing decent to say about her ex-husband, and poisoned the minds of her two children with Reich: Lore and Eva. Both daughters were educated as physicians. Eva Reich later in life saw through this hatred and became a close participant in her father's work, teaching professionals and laypeople about the orgone accumulator, and later training midwives and mothers in her Butterfly Touch Massage methods for helping distressed infants, and advocating for gentle home-birth and an end to genital mutilations (circumcision). Lore Reich followed in her mother's footsteps to become a conventional psychoanalyst, and in recent years has been parroting the same old deceit as she got during childhood and later on from her angry mother Annie Reich-Rubeinstein, and other psychoanalysts. Turner predictably quotes Lore Reich on such matters, but without a hint of the historical issues I give above.

Betrayal of Reich by Michael Silvert, with Slanders from Turner

CLAIM and CLARIFICATIONS (p.316-324): There is a known case where one of Reich's medical trainees, Dr. Michael Silvert, without Reich's knowledge, was apparently seducing a confused and underage female therapy patient, whose own mother was, in my opinion, complicit in that she could have, and should have stopped it. Turner covers this incident, but convolutes it into a weapon against Reich's entire life-work, as if Reich approved of pedophilia. The girl is now a grown woman and so I won't mention names, but in the Turner book she is quoted:

"I found out many, many years later that Silvert did tell Reich what he was doing, or I guess it came out in his therapy with Reich, and Reich flipped out. It did redeem Reich in my mind a lot; I never thought he was responsible... never ascribed Silverts behavior to Reich, it was an aberration." Turner, p.321.

        Turner reproduces this quotation, which exonerates Reich from any knowledge or responsibility, and also notes that Reich forbade Silvert from treating women patients, and suspended him from practicing orgone therapy for a year. That latter information came from the memoirs of Dr. Elsworth Baker, who worked with Reich. Personally speaking, I feel Reich was too naive and optimistic about therapeutic treatment for adult sexual offenders. He's not alone on that, and psychiatrists of all backgrounds have periodically made stupid blunders by releasing rapists from prison, thinking they have been rehabilitated, only to have them commit additional crimes. Reich should have thrown Silvert out of his circle entirely, but did not and instead tried to rehabilitate him in a program of therapy. While he saved the young woman from further predations by Silvert, this decision to continue working with him on other matters was costly to Reich. In some kind of psychological revenge, Silvert later was responsible for knowingly violating a court injunction which had been imposed upon Reich, against moving orgone accumulators and books across a state line. Even though Reich was at the time working in Arizona and knew nothing about it, that action triggered a new legal action against both men for violation of the original fraudulently-obtained injunction. Ultimately both men landed in prison -- leading to Reich's death, and some months later, to Silvert's suicide.
        Turner's admission of Reich's correct actions to protect the girl, by demanding Silvert no longer conduct therapy with females, is a temporary lapse from habit. Move from page 321 to 322 in Turner's book, and he starts in once again, besmirching Reich's efforts to allow unmarried youth comparable to "Romeo and Juliet" the rights to their romance (and thereby to not commit suicide). He then presents a report about one of Reich's trainees who -- years after Reich died -- is known to have engaged in some highly questionable scare tactics with child patients, in efforts to get them to scream and cry. But the incident is reported by Turner to suggest that it involved some kind of child sexual abuse. He quoted from an interview with Dr. Morton Herskowitz, whose statements I feel were rather off-the-cuff and difficult to accept on face value, namely because I have another report from an orgonomic physician who knew the accused therapist and is certain there were no sexual improprieties involved. Additionally, two of that therapist's accusers who have already published their accounts, but whom again I will not name, also indicated there was no sexual abuse, even while they remained very upset about the scare tactics they were subjected to as children. And Turner, who possibly knows this contrary evidence (but does not report it), admits on the same page 322, "It is not clear what the evidence... was". My, how selective is Mr. Turner, in what he will and will not report! While all the very clear experimental evidence supporting Reich's research findings, for example in biophysics and natural science, the orgone accumulator and so on, is totally erased from mention, Turner will happily report such malicious and accusatory things in spite of their unclarity! But it gets worse.
        Even though these events took place well after Reich's death, Turner will leave us with the suggestion that, maybe Reich really did advocate pedophilia? No, he did not. But the reader is being set up for a powerful lie. Mixed with Turner's misleading sentences scouring for tangible dirt beyond the Silvert affair, aimed at other Reich-trained therapists, he throws in an outrageous mention of the Rene Gunyon Society,(!) a pedophile group to which neither Reich nor any of his associates or trainees had any connections to or approval for whatsoever. This "dropping of hints" with false comparisons to perverse actions by others is exactly as Turner previously did by inappropriately and unjustifiably referencing unrelated and out-of-context "competing schools of masturbation therapy" in a long sentence discussing Reich's therapy methods. By Turner's slanderous innuendos and inserted suggestions, the uneducated reader is led to believe Reich not only "masturbated patients", but maybe also was "a pedophile"! There's not a shred of evidence for either of those smears, but it is done in such a devious manner that Turner can claim, technically, "he didn't say exactly that". But the implication is absolutely clear, as there is otherwise no reason to mention such things.
        No citations, references or documents are given to support these malicious accusations, and Turner also goes silent in these sections on how Reich and his associates were already for many years under constant attack by sexual slander and defamation, as detailed above, started by his old European enemies and the Brady articles. Turner then discusses the departure of Dr. Allan Cott from Reich's organization, claiming -- again with no citations or sources, and entirely based upon innuendo and supposition -- that Cott left orgonomy because of something improper going on. However, Cott's departure was detailed by Reich's personal secretary during those years, Lois Wyvell, who wrote a series of memoirs in a self-published magazine Offshoots of Orgonomy. In the Autumn 1983 issue, she wrote that Cott became frightened of the FDA investigations and related attacks in the press, as triggered years earlier by the Brady smear articles. Cott departed orgonomy in March 1952, by Wyvell's account. There was no mention in her account of Cott making accusations against Reich or other orgonomic therapists, sexual or otherwise. ("Orgone and You", Offshoots of Orgonomy, Issue #7, Autumn 1983, p.9.)
        Turner ends this ugly section of his book with a second-hand report about what Reich's angry ex-wife psychoanalyst Annie Reich-Rubinstein purportedly said back in the 1930s, as remembered in the late 2000s by their now 70+ years old daughter, psychoanalyst Lore Reich, who was only a small child at the time and grew up with poison being poured into her ears by her mother. Turner quotes Lore Reich where she sounds to be just blabbering away ad-hoc without any apparent thought to fact or truth. He references her unsettled feelings about family photos taken on the beach, where few or no clothes were worn. Some of those photos are reprinted in the book by Ellen Siersted Wilhelm Reich in Denmark, and they are quite innocent. One photo shows Reich with his two daughters Eva and Lore, who are sitting on a blanket with the father Reich sitting behind. The two girls are nude, though Reich wears swimming shorts. Little Lore Reich is cringing, but not Eva or her father. She still cringes today. Such is what Turner is reduced to reporting about. Pathetic detailing of gossip and innuendo, trying to turn innocent things, such as photos of a family on the beach, into something dark and dirty.

This is nothing but a pile-on of outrageous slander, innuendo and deception, given how protection of children from adult seduction was an explicit point in Reich's clinical findings, included into the Sex-Pol platform which he publicly advocated back in the 1930s, when he was politically active in Europe, and as I quoted from above. And he never changed those views. One can review Reich's entire body of printed work, in many books and research journal articles, search the entire Bibliography on Orgonomy, and one will not find even one sentence of support for the pedophiles, anywhere. Instead, one finds a constant theme of protecting infants and children from harm and trauma of all sorts, including and especially from sexual trauma. Reich was one of the primary psychoanalysts who argued that neurosis was founded upon real traumas, including sexual traumas, and not upon imagined "fantasy or wish" as per the usual psychoanalytical excuses. And that's partly why the IPA psychoanalysts came to hate him, and spread malicious rumors about his "going insane", which Turner so casually and maliciously repeats.

Turner's book would have us believe that Reich was leader of some kind of a non-existent "child-abusing pedophile-masturbation cult", which is of course a complete fiction. It should therefore be re-emphasized how Reich's entire body of work gave much attention to the helping and rescuing of children in bad life situations, to ameliorate whatever damage was done to them in the hospitals via heavy-handed obstetrical interventions, or by contactless and cruel caretakers and parents. Children are generally referred to orgonomic therapists because they are deeply suffering in some manner, being frozen emotionally, contactless or acting out in some highly aggressive way. Frequently this can be ameliorated by simple measures, recognizing for example that the child is being subjected to teacher-cruelty or bullying at kindergarden or in grade school, and to simply remove them from that situation. At other times, it is helpful or necessary for the child to cry or scream, to mobilize their breathing and frozen emotions. But the therapy Reich developed had no harsh cruelty advocated or built into it. Reich got kids to cry by tickling them, or by playing with them as in one reported case by getting down on the floor on his hands and knees, and telling the child "Let's play doggy", barking and scampering around, panting like a dog with his tongue hanging out, and the child then delightfully copied him in play, started breathing deeper, and then out came the crying. He'd cradle the child in his arms. It was playful, emotionally touching, not threatening, and those kinds of reports are typical of Reich's approach to children. His daughter Eva Reich was similar, developing a Butterfly Touch method that could trigger similar deep breathing and crying in distressed infants and children with no pain or threats whatsoever, and applying soft manual touch-pressure less than when taking a pulse. Nothing in Reich's journals nor in the later orgonomic journals published by his surviving trainees reveals any sort of hard abusive cruelty to children. Just the opposite. If there was child cruelty written up in any of Reich's publications, or in those of his associates, Turner would have happily quoted from it. But he does not, and cannot because such does not exist. So it becomes quite outrageous to see, once again, how the truth is turned upon its head in the generalization of these few examples of abusive conduct, to all of Reich's work and research legacy, if not also to Reich personally.

Turner selectively excludes everything of importance which Reich wrote on these issues, save for whatever could be abused towards destroying his name and work. Every ugly rumor or nasty accusation which has ever been remembered or written against Dr. Reich is dutifully reported and magnified so as to lead the uneducated reader towards the worst possible conclusions. Citations that don't check out; questionable materials which are cherry-picked for derogatory content; uncomplimentary factual material from an isolated instance being generalized as a common or frequent occurrence, inappropriate comparisons of Reich to outrageous sexual criminals or groups to which he had not the slightest connections, or facts just simply twisted into their opposite. Turner frequently also takes the Grand Inquisitor tone, expressing feigned sympathy for the poor Reich tied to a stake, even as he pushes a burning torch into his face.

As noted in several instances, some of the worst salacious slander comes from one of Reich's ex-wives. How many reading this would like to be defined forever by their worst enemies, by debauched people or groups they don't associate with or even know, by the actions of people a generation later, or by disappointed ex-lovers or angry former spouses?

Aurora Karrer's Confusions, and Reich's Last Years

One final example of Turner's tarnishing of Reich's personal character comes from the confused and contradictory personal-letter archive of Reich's last lover and common-law wife, Aurora Karrer. Reich had a stormy relationship with Ms. Karrer starting in the Summer of 1955 and lasting until March 1957, when he was incarcerated in Lewisburg Penitentiary. He died on Nov. 3rd of that same year. Mrs. Wilhelm Reich, as she frequently identified herself, died around the turn of the millennium, but left an archive of letters and other documents which cover the approximate 2 years of their relationship, plus Reich's period of incarceration and the years afterward. In the early letters, Reich and Karrer expressed the most tender and deep love for each other. As the legal process against Reich ground on, as the legal appeals were exhausted and imprisonment approached, Reich appeared to collapse into agony over the situation, and periodically began drinking heavily. By all accounts, he was fully unpleasant and even abusive at those times. Reich's feelings of personal betrayals, sadness and aloneness are apparent in his writings and photographs from the period, and he also clearly missed his children and former wife Ilse Ollendorff, who had moved away shortly before he met Ms. Karrer. And Karrer knew this, but stayed with Reich out of her own love and volition. But my impression from reading Karrer's many written notes about Ollendorff is, there was a great resentment brewing. Turner consulted those archives, and some of his most damning condemnations of Reich emerge in that part of his book, using Karrer-Reich as a reference. But once again, he provides only selected material from that Archive. I'll present my own view here, noting the risks in how I have not reviewed Reich's own personal archive or diary on this matter for the years in question. In fairness to Reich, his side of the events must ultimately be detailed. Those materials may eventually be published, and if so, will hopefully shed additional light on his relationship with Aurora Karrer, and events of that period.

Ms. Karrer was 33 years old at the time of Reich's death, but from what I can determine, she had no other man in her life afterwards. She left behind extensive and sometimes day-by-day diary-like reports, written on note pads or chaotically on whatever paper was handy, recounting her whereabouts and activities. The early entries are one of love and compassion for Reich, and she outlined the start of a Wilhelm Reich Biography even while living with him. The contents of this early outline, from 22 July 1956, is a work of reasoned accuracy with appreciation for Reich's scientific work. She listed philosophers, musicians and artists whom Reich admired, and others he disliked, plus a list of his own favorite writings, his thinking on Einstein, Kepler, Darwin, Marx, and so on. It was an outline for a serious bit of work, but also one which never even got started. Following Reich's death in prison, by my reading of her materials, she appeared stunned and emotionally lost, and increasingly resentful towards Reich. She had given up a medical technician's career at the National Institute of Health to come and live with Reich, and help him in his work -- except that his work was seriously interrupted at that time by the FDA legal prosecution, and in a little more than a year, he was headed for prison. After his death, his oldest daughter Dr. Eva Reich stumbled in her role as Trustee of the Reich Estate and Trust, and Karrer made efforts to gain the Trustee position for herself, trying also to affirm her legal status as "Mrs. Reich". Those efforts were unsuccessful, and when the court-appointed Trustee, Ms. Mary Higgins, took legal action against her to acquire Reich's archive materials in her possession, she appears to have lost all compassion for her former love.

Karrer's archive subsequently reveals a woman preoccupied with her dead husband's past loves and wives, and she drafted a new book outline title "The Genius: Personal Life and Loves of Wilhelm Reich". This new book idea was not organized or written up in any significant manner, but did have an outline of possible contents, revealing an unhealthy preoccupation with all the women whom her former and now deceased common-law husband had previously slept with, and loved. Overall it shows a bitter sexual jealousy wherein her own angers and resentments periodically pour forth in the same diary-notes. Ultimately, she writes lists of remembered or reconstructed events which at one moment are loving, appreciative and kindly towards Reich, but at other moments become terribly venomous, expressing extreme hatred. Very little of this material could be verified, but the character and tone of it suggests a woman in deep emotional grief and agony, mixed with deep resentment and hate. On some of her older diary materials complimentary to Reich and written when Reich was still alive, she added marginal notations in 1970 or later, which are completely without empathy for him, and also revealed memory confusions. The 1969 publication of Ilse Ollendorff's Wilhelm Reich, A Personal Biography (Saint Martin's NY, 1969) may have triggered this reaction.

The Death of Troll

The death of Reich's dog, Troll, is an example of Karrer's confusions, about which she gave three different accounts. In one diary account dated at 5 September 1955, she stated "Troll... found by WR at the observatory in pain with broken right leg and left paw swollen." Another page written sometime afterwards stated: "About September 1, 1955 Troll was found nearly dead with broken right shoulder and broken left paw, and inner bleeding near to the observatory. He was hit by a bar or something heavy twice we believe. He is in the hospital under Eva's care." But later, she wrote "...he [Reich] knew he'd beaten his dog Troll with an iron bar...". This last report came from some period after 1960, but exactly when cannot be determined. It could be as late as her 1970's entries. Other than Karrer's confused and contradictory reports, scribbled on various bits of paper which found their way into her archive, the only other written recounting of this event comes from the published biography of Reich by his ex-wife Ilse Ollendorff who stated in her book: "Reich had been given a beautiful German shepherd dog in March 1953; a year or so later the dog was found one day with a badly broken hindleg -- which may have been caused by an encounter with a car." (Wilhelm Reich, A Personal Biography p.119)

This quote from Ollendorff suggests Karrer was confusing things, and that the dog was hit by a car and not a "bar". There is no other published account I know of which clarifies the matter. When I asked Dr. Richard Blasband who knew Reich and worked at his laboratory one summer, he recalled the incident slightly differently, that the dog "was killed by someone in the Rangeley community. I believe found dead, possibly by poison." This was only a short time after some local pestilent characters in Rangeley Maine, where Reich's laboratory was located, had carried out provocative acts. Specifically this was when a group of children, led by a man in the Rangeley community, paraded outside Reich's laboratory driveway shouting "orgy, orgy, orgy, commie, commie, commie". That Reich was opposed to pornography and such things as "orgies", and became increasingly anti-communist in sentiments, starting as early as 1932, is a point of fact lost on those citizens, who had got their misinformation from the Brady smear articles and their various copy-cat items, published repeatedly since 1947.

A common point of all these reports, save for the last one by the elder Karrer, is that Reich was hated by some Rangeley citizens and the dog was most probably killed by them, either from being accidentally or deliberately hit by a car, or possibly by poisoning. But as one might predict, Turner only cites the most malicious and last of these accounts from the confused, agonizing, and very angry Aurora Karrer, of Reich killing the dog himself. Turner doesn't mention the other accounts in the Karrer archive which did not blame Reich, nor the one in the Ollendorff book which made note of a car hitting the dog. No serious historian of merit would do such a thing, to recount such a serious incident by cherry-picking from the verbal reports only the one which best serves a premeditated conclusion, in this case, of Reich being some kind of cruel monster. But then, Turner is not a historian. He's a liberal arts pop-magazine writer, who aims for creative imagery, like paintings on a canvas, to suit his favorite whim.

Reich suffered from the emotional shocks of the FDA book burning and public ruination of his name and research findings, leading to social isolation and eventually a mild heart attack. He felt alone and betrayed by nearly everyone, and had good facts to show there was a communist conspiracy against him, standing behind the original FDA "investigation", though nearly nobody believed him on that either. He also anticipated he would die in prison. All these issues piled up during his last months before being led off in handcuffs to Lewisburg Penitentiary. So the man occasionally got drunk. Who among us under similar circumstances, would not possibly do the same? Other scientists of historical note, faced with similar public smears, lies and financial ruination, simply committed suicide, such as Paul Kammerer or Michel Gauquelin. Reich's heart attack probably was at least in part related to the smear attacks and FDA investigation, and the same was true of the maligned scientist of water-memory fame, Jacques Benveniste, who suffered from a heart attack after being shamelessly assaulted by both "skeptic groups" and major "science" journals, dying a few years later. But Reich gets no sympathy from Turner, who re-shapes the facts to suit his impressionistic artistry: Reich is transmorgrified into some kind of pornographic drunken womanizing Frankenstein monster, an "orgasmatron-quack" with zero confirmation of his orgone energy findings by anyone in the scientific or medical community, and who beats friendly dogs to death with iron bars.

Thus is Christopher Turner's incredible faux-history of Wilhelm Reich.


Such revisionism saturates Christopher Turner's book. The essential facts of Reich's life and work are censored out. Nothing which validates Reich, or defends him, or which would overturn Turner's central thesis of "Reich-as-quack" enters into discussion. Which only goes to show what Goebbels and the Soviets knew and perfected in the mid-20th Century, that by deviously clever methodology one could tell very believable Big Lies by mixing up lesser lies with many half-truths and lies-of-omission.

Turner's book thereby creates a Grand Theatre, a scripted play and illusion that there wasn't anything of merit to Reich's entire body of work. And that clears the decks for his auto-da-fe of Reich's personal and professional life. In the fictional illusion of Turner's world, Reich's orgone accumulator becomes Woody Allen's orgasmatron, Reich's clinical terms on the orgasm reflex is confused with the sexual orgasm or "masturbation"; his emotion-release orgone therapy becomes "masturbation therapy"; his opposition to pornography is convoluted into a support for pornography; his efforts to decriminalize homosexuality (while still considering it a neurosis) and his opposition to pedophilia (to protect children from adult seducers), his support for women's rights and freedoms, all of it is turned around and upside-down. "The Life and Work of Wilhelm Reich" by Christopher Turner is a train-wreck of sabotage.

The Turner book has, since its release, been given warm celebratory reviews in articles within many major American and European newspapers and magazines, nearly all of which subject Reich to additional torture and indignities. In these reviews, Turner's own ugly accusations are condensed or magnified, with the usual malicious and jokey, anti-scientific "skeptic club" tone -- all of which devolves towards the repeatedly parroted claim, like a broken record, that Reich was "a pervert and lunatic", with "nothing of scientific merit" to his name.

And what about Reich's books, which Turner hardly cites at all? Nor does he reference in any honest manner the prior biographies of Reich, which carry an exceptional amount of factual material, documentation and information. But I surmise they are too friendly to Reich for Turner to bother with, and they don't validate his own ugly painting.

So it is not surprising also, that the Turner book makes only short mention of the FDA and US courts ordering the burning of Reich's books, and his imprisonment for daring to defend his discoveries. These are side-shows to Turner and his friendly reviewers, whose articles are laden with gloating and schadenfreude. Are we supposed to accept such material as a serious rebuttal to Reich's research findings? As a "serious historical biography"? Apparently so.

One must ask, why is it that more than 50 years after his death, so many of this same "intelligentsia" and mainstream "literary journalists" get so worked up about Reich's findings that they not only write 500+ page books where nearly every page throws merde upon his grave, but a major publisher once very friendly to Reich's work then proceeds to circulate such trash in a publicity campaign with hardbound and softcover editions, significant advertising and major media reviews? Did the publisher even bother to submit Mr. Turner's work to serious outside reviewers? Or if so, were these reviewers selected from the cadres of known Reich-haters? Or the skeptic-club cheerleaders for book-burning? How many happy cocktail parties, filled with hollow laughter, were held at the Farrar, Straus and Giroux headquarters during the production and release of the Turner book? This whole enterprise spat upon not just Reich's grave, but indeed, also upon the grave of Roger Straus, who heroically stood up to the bully-boy FDA in the 1960s and championed the republication of Reich's banned and burned books when no others would consider it.

In addition to the coordinated publication of the Turner book and the many review articles in major newspapers, a major UK film company, Channel 4, also made a well-timed release of yet another set of significant smears against Reich, contained in a program called "The Sex Researchers". http://www.orgonelab.org/Channel4WagTV.htm This suggests a close coordination towards the utter destruction of Wilhelm Reich and his research legacy, on both sides of the Atlantic. Reich termed this kind of organized malicious scheming and plotting the Emotional Plague, and it characterized the Nazi movement, the Communist Party movement, and also crept into the USA on the backs of organized Big Medicine, primarily in the structure of the Food and Drug Administration, which basically does the bidding of the major pharmaceutical firms and the worst of the medical profession.

But the Emotional Plague is also alive and well within "journalism", the intellectual social manipulators and other "do-gooders" working to clean the social landscape of dissenters and heretics in science and the healing arts. This current effort by Turner is only the most recent blow against the facts about Wilhelm Reich's life and work. Hopefully, the younger generation won't become too hysterical about it, and seek out the facts as found in Reich's original writings. My hope is, though I confess it is only a dim one at the moment, that Turner's book may wind up doing more to publicize Reich and his scientific legacy, rather than to erase his existence. Turner and friends may then find their own reputations in a shambles, while Reich is resurrected to a properly honored position in the History of Science.

More will be reported on these continuing malicious attacks in the future, but in the meanwhile, here are a few additional items providing refutation and critical review of the Turner book:

Book Review (in press), by Richard Blasband, MD

Unpublished Letter to the Wall Street Journal, by Peter Crist, MD

Standing Up for Wilhelm Reich, by Peter Jones

Published Letter to Editor of NY Times, by Kevin Hinchey, Co-Director of the Wilhelm Reich Museum and Trust

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