Orgone Biophysical Research Lab
Ashland, Oregon, USA New Evidence on the
Persecution and Death of
Ashland, Oregon, USA
New Evidence on the
New Evidence on the
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Wilhelm Reich unfortunately became one of the crushed-down victims of a deadly mid-20th Century medical-academic assault upon unorthodox scientific discovery. Significant social forces were at work, but not according to the usual "politically correct" narratives. In the decades since his death, many publications spread the misconception that Reich was destroyed by American conservatism, "right-wing McCarthy-ites" and such. Historical research has shown that to be untrue. Reich was persecuted and attacked by both Nazis and Stalinists in Europe. In the USA, however, he was brought down by a combination of Comintern (Communist International) Stalinist agents, pestilent journalists and MDs, and finally by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Scholarly books and articles are now available referencing newly-exposed Soviet files from long-closed archives, and internal FDA and FBI files using the Freedom of Information Act and other sources. These are cited in the Reference section. Here is a summary of what they reveal.1
Over the period 1927-1931, as a young psychoanalyst and physician working within Freud's inner circle of close confidants, Reich was setting up clinics for working-class people in Vienna and later Berlin. In this effort, he formed mutually cautious working alliances firstly with the Communist Party (CP) of Austria and later the CP of Germany. The CP organizations allowed him to hold lectures in their halls, and sell his publications in their bookstores. His lectures on sexual health and the needs of children and families deeply interested working-class people, and typically attracted more listeners than the dry and bland speeches on Marxist economic theory, as given by Party functionaries. Reich's following within the Sex-Pol movement which he created, grew dramatically, eventually numbering in many thousands of people, with additional professional volunteers from the psychoanalytic movement.
Reich saw the possibility to prevent neurosis en-masse, through legal reforms based upon psychoanalytic principles. Through Sex-Pol, he argued for legalization of contraception, abortion and divorce, and championed the rights of young unmarried people for a healthy sexual life. He advocated for improving the oftentimes desperate economic conditions of abandoned mothers with children, and fought against the stigma of "illegitimate" children, which carried severe consequences for the child's future education and employment. Women were legally subordinated in many ways, and the cruelty of abusive husbands and fathers incurred little social consequence. Compulsive and frequently loveless marriages, along with high birth rates from unplanned pregnancies, plus a bad economic situation following WW-I, led to a permanent marginally-existing poverty-class with high levels of neurosis, emotional resignation, family violence and suicides. Reich was highly critical of the Royal families and the Church, which held great economic and political power, and thereby could have improved upon these aspects of people's lives. But in fact, existing social institutions were paralyzed and did little in the way of social reform. The goals of Reich's Sex-Pol, however, were to help people out from such desperate social, family and emotional conditions, towards happier and more productive lives, thereby making psychoanalytic therapy obsolete. He joined with and pushed the CP to include his points into their Party platform.
While initially tolerant of Reich, his public criticisms of anti-freedom CP policies and Party bosses, in both lectures and writings, resulted in a total break-off of their relations. He was misbranded a "Trotskyite" for his outspoken challenges to Marxist-Leninist theory and Stalinist dictates, in favor of his own Sex-Pol ideas. Reich eventually criticized both the Communists and Nazis as dangerous anti-freedom psychopaths, especially in his Mass Psychology of Fascism.
Reich also lost support from Freud, and leading psychoanalysts rejected his Sex-Pol ideas. He had criticized their lethargy in the face of such immense social problems, and made public speeches critical of the Nazi movement, which they considered an unnecessary provocation. He was then expelled from the IPA (Int.Psychoanalytic Assn.).
Reich was therefore at great risk, and had little support if he stayed in Germany. He fled to Scandinavia shortly after Hitler came to power, and within a few years was on both the Comintern and Nazi death-lists, his books banned, impounded or burned by both the Communists and Gestapo.
Upon arrival in Scandinavia, he soon found himself being openly attacked in both Nazi and CP newspapers. Worse, unbeknownst to Reich, he was at that time also being tracked by the Soviet NKVD (forerunner of the KGB). A 1936 Comintern/NKVD document marked "Top Secret" and identifying "Trotskyists and other hostile elements in the emigre community of the German CP", obtained from Soviet archives after the collapse of the USSR,2 included his name. That was tantamount to a Soviet arrest warrant and death-sentence. While Reich was never a follower of Trotsky, the accusation alone was sufficient for his name, and that of one of his Denmark-Norway contacts, Otto Knobel, to appear on what amounted to a Comintern/NKVD death-list. Knobel's offense was having been a known associate of Reich, indicating Reich was the primary target and offender. The document carried notations on others who had already been apprehended and sent into prisons or off to the Siberian gulag, or executed. Knobel was in fact later arrested by the NKVD and imprisoned, or "disappeared" (executed).
While his time in Scandinavia allowed for new lines of research to be developed, Reich eventually fled to the USA in 1939, just ahead of the outbreak of WW-II. In the USA, Nazi sympathizers were few and suppressed, and so he was relatively safe from their agents. By contrast, the American Comintern had a very large network of organizations, frontgroups, supporters, Comintern and NKVD spies, and fellow travellers (Comintern agents who did not formally or publicly join the CP, so as to more easily carry out spying and Soviet plots). While initially ignoring Reich, American leftists and the Comintern would later turn on him with a fury.
For nearly two years, Reich was left alone to work, unmolested. He abandoned the public Sex-Pol work from his years in Vienna and Berlin, and instead focused upon the natural scientific and medical research he had begun in Scandinavia, building up a cancer research and biophysics laboratory, and therapy training facility in Forest Hills, NY.
Following the Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor in December 1941, which brought America more directly into WW-II, the FBI arrested for questioning many German, Italian and Japanese emigres. Reich was one of them, and he remained incarcerated for nearly a month until such time as the FBI was satisfied he was against Hitlerism, and constituted no threat. Reich continued to live safely and productively in the USA, and without significant harassment for the next six years. He continued with clinical, biomedical and physical orgone energy research, starting a new institute, and published journals for publication of his findings — the International Journal of Sex-Economy and Orgone Research, which was later followed by the Orgone Energy Bulletin, and another entitled Cosmic Orgone Engineering. These journal titles reflected his growing interest in orgone biophysics.
A group of American physicians, scientists and educators studied with Reich and supported his efforts, helping in the work. He moved to a larger rural facility in Rangeley, Maine, giving it the name Orgonon, and which hosted a large observatory building and student's laboratory. His plans included eventual construction of a medical treatment clinic, centered on the orgone energy accumulator.
Reich's orgone energy experiments occasionally attracted hostile commentary from a few physicians in the medical community, and his writings on sexual freedom also attracted complaints by a few moralists of this period. But these had no serious affect upon his work. His books, such as Function of the Orgasm, were given sneering reviews by mainstream medical journals as early as 1942, stimulating a rumor campaign which he addressed by public exposure and rebuttals in his new Journal . No legal attacks or organized persecutions came from any of these early American annoyances. This would change, however. In 1946, shortly after the first English edition of his Mass Psychology of Fascism appeared in the USA — one of his works from the 1930s which got him on the Nazi and Comintern death-lists in Europe — he once again came under serious attacks from the Communists.
The New Republic magazine figured centrally in the renewed campaign against Reich. Developed from the family fortune of Willard Straight, an American investment banker, New Republic was originally liberal-progressive but pro-American in outlook. By Reich's time, however, it was taken over by the young Michael Whitney Straight, who by his own later admissions had been recruited as a Soviet spy in 1935, while attending Cambridge University. Straight was an important American member of the NKVD-controlled Cambridge Five spy ring, which worked primarily out of the UK, and included the notorious Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, and Kim Philby. Together they provided the Soviet Union with atomic and other top secrets during the period of WW-II until around 1952, when they were exposed. Straight successfully concealed his Soviet connections until 1962.
As owner of the New Republic and NKVD-KGB agent, Michael Straight brought many open and cloaked communists onto their staff, such as former US Vice-President (1941-44) Henry Wallace, as editor. Wallace's unconcealed Soviet and CP sympathies, his white-washing of Soviet gulag death-camps, open meetings with Comintern operatives, and other factors forced President Roosevelt to drop him as VP in 1944, in favor of Harry Truman. Newly-released materials from Soviet archives confirm Wallace was in fact working covertly for the Soviets.
Under Straight's oversight and Wallace's editorship, the New Republic obtained its direction from the Comintern and KGB, to steer old-fashioned and healthy American liberal democratic sentiments towards pro-Soviet and Comintern agendas. In this regard, assaulting anti-communist freedom-fighters like Wilhelm Reich, who had personally seen and wrote about the poison of Red Fascism, was certainly a central part of their mission. It appears, the newly-published 1946 English edition of Reich's Mass Psychology came to the attention of the Comintern and New Republic staff, triggering a renewed interest to destroy him.
Under the editorship of Henry Wallace, the New Republic firstly published a slanderous "book review" of Reich's Mass Psychology, authored by Fredric Wertham, a socialist-oriented psychiatrist who eventually made his fame in books and articles denouncing the ill effects of comic books upon American youth, advocating censorship. The article misrepresented Reich as a dangerous political radical out to do harm to the USA, accusing him of having "utter contempt for the masses", as if Reich's criticisms against the murderous Nazis and Communists were ill-conceived. Wertham called upon "the intellectuals in our time ... to combat the kind of psycho-fascism which Reich's book exemplifies."
But the Wallace-Wertham slanders would pale by comparison to the public sexual slander and smear campaign started the following year, 1947, by the Communist writer Mildred Brady, in both Harper's and the same New Republic magazine. Her smear articles "The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy" and "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich" made additional unwarranted accusations, which stimulated copy-cat articles within other magazines, newspapers and professional publications of that time.
The Bradys — Mildred and her husband Robert — were intimate with the Straight and Wallace networks of Comintern friends and KGB agents. Robert Brady's academic post at the UC Berkeley campus was identified by the FBI as a meeting ground for contacts and go-betweens stretching back to the Soviet Union. The Bradys also had a long relationship with the largest and most successful Soviet spy-ring working in the USA, as established by Nathan Gregory Silvermaster, which also was involved in taking atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The Bradys had years earlier been central in founding the Consumers Union organization, which had a powerful influence within the FDA and medical organizations. They had actually written some of the specific language for legal codes later used by the FDA to attack natural healing methods, such as the "interstate transportation" and "mislabeling of merchandise" clauses. While nominally overseeing the safety of foods, drugs and cosmetics, a perhaps more central goal of the FDA starting from its earliest years, and apparently due in part to pernicious Comintern subterfuge, was to concentrate Federal Government control over large sectors of the economy, public behavior and health issues.
The Bradys played a key role in setting up that dictatorial "health" infrastructure, even after being fired from their jobs at the Office of Price Administration in 1941, during the Roosevelt Administration, due to their open Soviet CP sympathies. The Dies Committee of the US Congress had publicly identified the Bradys as Soviet agents, resulting in their firing. One of the employees of their Consumer's Union (which later went on to publish Consumer's Reports magazine) was also identified in FBI files as a Soviet courier and get-away car driver for the assassin in the 1940 murder of Leon Trotsky in Mexico City. Once Wilhelm Reich was identified as a possible threat to Comintern goals in the USA, this same network of Soviet agents and sympathizers began orchestrating a serious and deadly assault against him.
Brady's smear articles denounced Reich by putting falsehoods into his mouth, implying he ran a sex-racket, and repeated defamation from old Socialist and Communist newspapers which had attacked him ten years earlier in Scandinavia. Brady also denounced Reich for his criticisms of Stalinist sex-repression — factually, the Bolsheviks and later Stalinist dictatorship had progressively betrayed every human right and freedom as existed during the early authentic Russian Revolution, or even as left-over from Tsarist days. As a skilled writer, Brady smoothly lied about nearly everything, implying also that Reich was advertising the orgone accumulator as a cure-all, which was never the case. Her article used standard Soviet methods of public disinformation, with ridicule and half-truth mixed with lies, with the goal to isolate and destroy her target. She ended with an open call for government investigation of his work.
The Brady smears were quickly picked up and reprinted verbatim, without any fact-checking, by other publications, including by hostile medical journals. The influential Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic reproduced the entire Brady article, as Karl Menninger had been strongly influenced by various anti-Reich psychoanalysts and psychiatrists whose animus dated back to Reich's European period. The Journal of the American Medical Association also also joined in, publishing a derogatory item based upon the Brady article, given their on-going war against all forms of natural healing that competed with their beloved and very profitable pharmacy drugs. Short versions of the Brady article, or new ones drawing from it, and salted up with even more salacious commentary, appeared in Colliers, The New York Post, Everybody's Digest, Mademoiselle, Consumer's Reports and others, as well as in chapters or sections of new books on medical and psychoanalytical issues. These publications reached tens of millions of people.
Brady's smears were significantly amplified a few years later by the Marxist "humanist" Martin Gardner (later of CSICOP3 fame). His 1950 article in the Antioch Review presented Reich to the academic world as a misguided crackpot. In Gardner's influential 1952 book Fads and Fallacies In the Name of Science, which contained a chapter on "Orgonomy", Reich was subjected to what later became a trademark of Gardner and CSICOP — a litany of false and exaggerated cartoon-like caricatures of serious work, with slanderous distortions of public dangerousness, and hyena-like laughing ridicule. Reich was branded as a crackpot and charlatan. Together, Brady and Gardner got the anti-Reich bonfires stoked and roaring hot. The orgone accumulator was by then being publicly called a "sex box" in men's magazines such as Sir!, and Reich became the object of public scorn and ridicule, with open calls for "government action" to "protect the public" from "medical quackery". It was, as Reich noted, a communist conspiracy playing upon sexual anxieties, with a subsequent emotional chain reaction.
At the height of this anti-Reich press smear campaign, the Brady articles were delivered into the hands of top FDA officials by influential medical doctors, which triggered the start of an official but exceedingly biased "investigation". What was the FDA like at this time?
By the 1940s, the FDA was financially energized and socialist-oriented, a "do-good", "consumer activist" and "anti-corporation" organization, with a considerable amount of its resources dedicated to snooping out and eradicating independent medical pioneers of all sorts, under the authority of "stamping out medical quackery". Even without active Comintern agents working within its ranks, it was a decidedly socialist outfit and did not need a whole lot of encouragement to go after yet another unorthodox physician — and they had entire ready-made departments dedicated to such efforts. The FDA's mandate also placed it into a close working relationship with the MD-hospital physicians and pharmaceutical companies. Their economic motivations and mechanistic allopathic ideology influenced the FDA to such an extent that it became an agent for destruction of the many less-costly natural healing clinics and methods as applied by non-MD health-care practitioners. In this regard, towards building up a gigantic bureaucratic power that could crush down anyone they cared to, both the Comintern moles and the MD-hospital physicians shared common goals.
The FDA had previously destroyed Harry Hoxsey's popular cancer-treatment clinics, whose Native American herbal remedies were used widely with much success. They had smashed down the many healing water health spas which existed across the nation, where orgone-charged blue-glowing waters (see Chapter 10) flowed up from the Earth, like Lourdes in France, and were used and accepted by most of the natural-healing physicians and ordinary people of that period. Historically, the Indian tribes would smoke the peace-pipe and enjoy sweat-lodges around these waters, to regain health and heal old injuries. Other natural healing clinics and pioneering physicians such as Max Gerson, were shut down through deceit and brute force by the FDA fanatics, working closely with the MD-hospital system, American Medical Association (AMA) and pharmacy companies. Most of this occurred years before Wilhelm Reich came to their attention.
The FDA assault upon Reich was primarily led by W.R.M. Wharton, Chief of the Eastern Division of the FDA, and by Resident FDA Inspector for the State of Maine, Charles A. Wood. Wharton is described by other FDA personnel and biographers as a ruthless and pornographic, sex-obsessed character, who kept a ceramic phallus in his office, placing it provocatively on his desk when his secretary would take dictations. He wrote internal FDA letters and notes repeating the salacious accusations of the Brady articles. Inspector Wood, who took the key evidence-gathering role in their legal case against Reich, also was prejudicially influenced by the Brady articles. Early in his investigation, he declared to one of Reich's employees that "the accumulator was a fake...and Dr. Reich was fooling the public with it..." and would "soon go to jail." His investigation thereby, from the start, assumed the Brady smears were factual material, and Reich was running some kind of "sex racket" or "fraud".
By ironic coincidence, the name Charles A. Wood also appears some ten years earlier as a judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) as established under Roosevelt's administration. Today, from Soviet archives, we know the NLRB had been heavily infiltrated by Soviet moles, to steer the American labor movement towards Communist agendas. NLRB Judge Wood ruled against independent American labor groups in favor of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which the US House Dies Committee had identified as being a Soviet-controlled labor outfit. The NLRB Wood also made rulings in favor of fired CP members of the Consumer's Research organization,4 who shortly thereafter went on to form the Comintern-directed Consumer's Union (later publisher of Consumer's Reports magazine). NLRB Judge Wood thereby very likely came into contact with Mildred Brady while determining the C.U. case, ruling in favor of the fired communists some ten years before Brady would later write the most destructive smear articles attacking Reich -- articles which would later influence FDA Inspectors Wood and Wharton, to prejudice their investigation against Wilhelm Reich.
Upon his first arrival at Reich's research facility in rural Maine, Wood began romancing the daughter of the carpenter who actually built the orgone accumulators for Reich, and converted her into a spy for the FDA investigation. Within three months, he had married her. For a time, the unsuspecting Reich cooperated with Wood, until the allegations of "sexual rackets" came up. Legitimately infuriated, Reich gave no further interviews or assistance to the FDA "investigation". Wood's report to the FDA home office eventually denounced Reich and the accumulator as "a fraud of the first magnitude".
Other than from Wood's reports, FDA officials in their Boston headquarters overseeing the Reich case put great stock in gossip and rumor from the Brady smear articles, which had gained "respectability" through uncritical republication in medical journals. Finding no evidence of a "sex-racket", however, they shifted focus and went after the orgone accumulator. Their investigation could not find anyone who complained about the accumulator, nobody who found it unhelpful and who therefore might be abused to level complaints against Reich. Quite the contrary, in fact. So the FDA bureaucrats began securing the cooperation of biased "expert" hospital-MDs and dogmatic scientists from their "quack-busting" lists. They had no familiarity with or interest in the scientific facts involved, but could nevertheless be called upon to cobble together a few "experiments" guaranteed to produce negative results, or render an armchair dismissal.5
For example, I have in my files a letter from the son of one of the primary scientists who worked with the FDA at the time -- physicist Kurt Lion of MIT -- wherein he states, he clearly remembered his father being asked by the FDA to "prove that the [orgone] box was just a box and that Dr. Reich was a fraud". Now, that is quite a different thing from being asked to honestly investigate the orgone accumulator, which they never did, and never intended to do. Many breaches of legal, moral and scientific ethics occurred as FDA officials, and a number of psychiatrists, analysts, and physicists, teamed up to put an end to Reich's work. In this, they were steered and guided by the smear articles, and by Chief Inspector Wood. By the end of 1954, the FDA had spent around $10 million on their investigation of Reich, a significant percentage of the entire FDA budget.
Other pro-Soviet moles popped up in the Reich case. One of Reich's personal attorneys at the time, Arthur Garfield Hays, a prominent New York lawyer and founding member of the then (and now?) predominantly fellow-travelling American Civil Liberties Union, was also pro-Soviet, and a founding member and associate of the Brady's Consumer's Union organization. Hays was virtually up to his eyeballs in many different pro-Soviet, communist front-organizations and legal-defense activities. Publicly, however, Hays was known only as a mainstream liberal civil rights advocate. In this capacity, Hays dissuaded Reich from filing defamation lawsuits against Brady and Gardner for their smear articles, and offered no suggestions for legal intervention against the FDA's clearly prejudicial investigation. Hard-hitting lawsuits against both the smear-writers and the FDA might have brought their investigation to a crashing halt. There were many things a good lawyer could have done to confront, slow, and possibly even thwart the FDA investigation and newspaper attacks. Hays wrongly advised that nothing could be done, however, and thereby unethically protected his Comintern confidant Brady, and the FDA-medical conspirators.
Reich knew nothing of Hays' Soviet sympathies or connections with the Bradys, and Hays never informed Reich about it. Reich was thereby manipulated towards disaster at critical points. The smear articles and legal machinery of the FDA ground onwards, with scant opposition other than Reich's letters of protest to FDA officials and newspapers, and articles in his journals, trying to set the record straight, and making public pleas for honesty and an end to rumors.
From this, it is clear the FDA was hot to "get Reich" on whatever charges they could, and had been urged in this direction by various highly-placed individuals within the medical community, by smear articles authored by Comintern agents, and by probable Comintern agents working in key FDA posts. Reich was aware of the Communist backgrounds of some of his major detractors, of their unethical actions, and a number of his co-workers had been professionally hurt by the gossip, slander and FDA actions. Such attacks and betrayals made Reich understandably furious.
When in 1954 the FDA finally sought a Complaint for Injunction against his research in the Federal Court at Portland Maine, yet another betrayal became apparent. Reich's former personal attorney Peter Mills then appeared in the role of the State prosecuting attorney. Mills was an opportunistic social-climber, a former minor politician in the State of Maine legislature, and delighted in his new post as high-ranking Prosecuting Attorney. Consequently, he refused to remove himself from the case, which would have been the ethical thing to do. In a 1986 video interview about the Reich case, Mills stated the FDA had arrived at his offices with full and complete paperwork prepared for the prosecution, all ready to go, so he didn't have to do anything except sign off on it. He declared he wasn't about to give up his job for the sake of Wilhelm Reich, and nervously laughed and became evasive when asked about the book-burning, calling Reich "coo-coo".
Following the years of smear articles and betrayals, and finally the FDA Complaint before the courts, Reich refused to appear personally, to act, as he put it, "as a 'defendant' in matters of basic natural scientific research ". Instead, Reich wrote a compelling Response ("Motion to Dismiss") to the judge, wherein he recounted the history of unethical FDA abuses and lying journalist smears. He also refused to grant authority to the courts regarding the validity of his orgone research, making arguments from the viewpoint of a natural scientist. This prompted a harsh and punitive judicial ruling against Reich which is unique in American history, and which holds far greater significance for our Constitutional protections than the better-known Scopes Monkey Trial, where public school teaching of Darwin was temporarily forbidden in one small Tennessee town. The judge simply ignored Reich's written Response, which in fact should have been accepted and acted upon as the legal document it was, leading to the next step in the defense proceedings. Instead, the judge ruled Reich had not responded at all, and thereby lost the case by technical default.
The FDA was then granted all they wanted, in a Federal Court Decree of Injunction which declared the orgone energy "does not exist" and reclassified all books bearing the forbidden word "orgone" as "advertising literature", forbidding their interstate transportation. This included books into which the taboo term appeared only in the preface, or introductory remarks. Additionally, all publications discussing the orgone energy in detail were ordered destroyed, and devices using the energy, dismantled or destroyed.
Portland, Maine, Judge John D. Clifford, Jr.
"BANNED, until expunged of all references
The Discovery of the Orgone
BANNED and ORDERED DESTROYED:
The Orgone Energy Accumulator: Its Scientific and Medical Use
And so, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Reich's books and research journals, even those which were "only" banned, were periodically seized by FDA agents and Federal Marshals, and sent for burning in Maine and New York incinerators. No scientific or professional organizations, nor journalist's, writer's or "civil liberties" unions publicly objected to the book burning, or acted to help Reich in any manner. His laboratory headquarters were, as a final insult, invaded by FDA agents, who destroyed orgone accumulators with axes. In addition to the above actions, the court ordered Reich to cease "disseminating information" on the orgone energy, effectively censoring his writing and speaking on the subject.
Several years later, Reich was charged with Contempt of Court when without his permission, an assistant moved a truckload of books and accumulators across state lines, from Maine to New York, thereby violating the "interstate commerce" clause of the original Injunction. This happened at a time when Reich was more than a thousand miles away, engaged in field work in the deserts of Arizona. Still understandably distrusting of lawyers, Reich acted as his own attorney. But he was forbidden from introducing evidence on his research findings, and was found guilty on the narrowly-defined "Contempt of Court" charge, where no testimony was allowed other than regarding the issue of whether or not the transport of forbidden items across a state line had actually occurred.
Though he appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court, Reich lost the case on the "Contempt" charges, again by technical default, and was hence incarcerated in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, where he died less than a year later, in 1957. His death in prison occurred two weeks prior to his parole hearing and probable release, at a time when he was anticipating freedom and being reunited with his loved ones.
Whatever we may think of Reich's response to the court challenge, the principles upon which he stood were very important, and date back at least to Galileo's trial by fire with the Catholic Church. The lesson from Galileo's time was that no Court, Tribunal, or religious or scientific organization on Earth has the capacity to say, on the basis of textual comparisons or divine revelation, just what is or is not Natural Law. The results of an experiment cannot be judged by those who have never reproduced it, and the unresearched opinions of doctors and scientists are no better than the unresearched opinions of anyone else, be they members of the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, or the same Country Club attended by the President. Galileo urged his critics to look into the telescope, to verify his observations in a most direct and simple way. But they refused to do so on moral principle, and derisively mocked him. Reich's critics have taken the same approach, in their adamant refusal to reproduce his experiments, and in most cases, to even review the published evidence. Today, many years since Reich's 1957 death in prison, his most vocal critics still take the same anti-scientific approach, and condemn what they have not personally read or investigated.
Let us summarize: The major responsibility for the campaign against Reich included:
For all of this, nobody can be excused. Nobody except Reich, who was surrounded and outnumbered, betrayed by nearly everyone. He was supported only by a few close friends and professional associates, who wrote letters and articles on his behalf, trying to gain support and help from everyone they could contact. At one time, they actually filed a Certiorari Petition to the US Supreme Court on Reich's behalf. Nothing worked. While the press and FDA may have been awash with Soviet sympathizers and zealots for the MD-hospital system, every prosecutor and judge knew book-burning was impermissible and illegal, as was throwing physicians into prison for thought-crimes and development of successful new therapies — but somehow they all voluntarily ignored their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution.
Today we have a similar situation, where new smears and assaults against Wilhelm Reich's research legacy have continued, hardly missing a beat after his death. There is a new specter, of organized and well-funded "skeptic group" organizations on the social landscape, whose sole mission in life is to wipe out new scientific discoveries under the false-flag of "scientific rationalism". These organizations were founded by old Communist Party hacks or hard-line Marxists who cloaked themselves in slogans such as "protecting the public against medical quackery", much as the "do good" FDA. Some of the same people appear in this post-Reich pogrom against orgonomy, such as Martin Gardner of CSICOP, but many new smear-writers have appeared as well. It is therefore not accidental that the left-wing media — New York Times and Time Magazine chief among them — frequently attacks Reich and orgonomy with lies, often repeating the original Brady smears, in a most unethical manner.
These facts about the Communist and Soviet role in the persecution and death of Reich came to light in new studies only since around 2000, as well as from various Soviet archives. This was well after the major biographies of Reich were written. Notable in exposing this new material has been the book by Jim Martin, Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War, which lays out the details and documentation abundantly. I've personally examined some of the same source material, and found additional support for Martin's conclusions, and so can attest to it's authenticity.
Reich's older biographers, all of whom were liberal or left-wing in personal views, simply failed to investigate the backgrounds of Reich's major detractors. They frequently mischaracterized Reich's rational anti-communism as off-the-mark at best, or evidence of "paranoia" at worst. Most people today who know about Reich, for example, will reflexively blame his death and the book-burning upon "right-wing America", "Christian conservatives" or "McCarthyism". But there is no credible evidence to support this charge, nor the charges against Reich either, which would try to suggest that anti-Communist sentiments are some proof of emotional illness (and by extension, that Communists, who slaughtered 100 million people in the 20th Century, must be "emotionally healthy"!). There is, however, plenty of evidence to indict the Communist Party and their cadres of left-wing supporters for destructive and malicious social terrorism, both during Reich's lifetime, and in the decades after his death. It is past time that we accept these facts, if only to realize who is friend, and who not, in the current struggle against political irrationalism and repression of our hard-won social freedoms.6
Based upon these historical facts, it is clear that the FDA, and indeed, all courts, academic bodies and governmental agencies of all kinds, have forever relinquished any moral authority or ethical right to say anything about what the average citizen may or may not do with respect to the orgone energy accumulator. The discovery of the orgone is in much safer hands among the average citizen, than in the hands of the various politicians, academies of science, and medical organizations. This Handbook is therefore not primarily directed towards an academic or medical audience. Instead, the case of Dr. Wilhelm Reich and the orgone energy accumulator is taken directly to the general public. Like the sunlight, the air and water, the orgone energy is a part of nature, existing everywhere, and ought to be available to everyone, free of restrictive regulation and control. As an invention, the orgone accumulator is also now in the public domain, unpatentable, and cannot be dominated by any single individual or corporation. It is also still perfectly legal for citizens to build, own, and use orgone accumulators.
Of course, with this right comes a great deal of responsibility, as the proper use and maintenance of an accumulator makes both social and environmental demands upon its owner. The atmospheric orgone energy ocean can, like our air, food, and water, be disturbed and contaminated such that it loses some of its life-supporting qualities. Knowledge of how to avoid such contamination is imperative. This Handbook will give a basic overview of the orgone energy, the accumulator, and the construction and safe use of orgone accumulating devices. For the more precise scientific details and data, the reader is encouraged to obtain and review the published materials listed in the Reference and Information sections.
Within a few years after Reich's death, the trustees of his estate arranged for developing his home and laboratory into the Wilhelm Reich Museum, and for the republication of his major works. Today, most of his books have been republished in multiple languages, and are found in bookstores and libraries worldwide. Starting in the late 1960s, Reich's co-workers also founded new organizations and research journals, such as the Journal of Orgonomy and Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science. These efforts reflected new investigations and scholarly studies documenting the scientific legitimacy of Reich's discoveries. The author's Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory was likewise founded in 1978, with a new research journal Pulse of the Planet . (See the Reference section.) Interest in Reich's works has gradually increased over the years, and many new experimental studies verifying his findings on the orgone energy and the accumulator have taken place, worldwide. College courses focusing upon Reich's life and works now exist, and in some cases orgone energy experiments have been openly conducted within universities or medical clinics, yielding positive results in favor of Reich. He has also been the subject of many reviews, biographies, and short films. In spite of some mystical distortions and continued attacks by a few malicious "skeptics", a new generation of scientists, health practitioners and ordinary concerned citizens are rediscovering the authentic Wilhelm Reich.
One major new clinical research study from Germany, on the orgone accumulator, is summarized in the Appendix, with another on the question of the cosmic ether of space, which has similarities to Reich's orgone discovery. These and other new studies have given added importance and urgency to review Wilhelm Reich's findings with newly opened eyes.
The effort to kill the discovery of the orgone has failed.
* This new 2010 edition of the Orgone Accumulator Handbook is 262 pages, about 100 pages added from prior versions, with much new material, clarifications, photos and diagrams, a section discussing living water and natural hot-springs, another on full-spectrum lighting, two research articles as Appendix documents, along with construction plans for orgone blankets and accumulators. It will become available for purchase from catalogs and bookstores sometime in late November 2010. For updates and details, inquire at: orders(at)naturalenergyworks.net
1. The author has a longer work in progress which goes into these issues with much greater detail. Unless otherwise indicated, most of what is contained in this article is from Jim Martin's Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War, Jerome Greenfield's Wilhelm Reich Vs. the USA, John Wilder's CSICOP, Time Magazine and Wilhelm Reich (free download of this linked below), or Wilhelm Reich's unpublished work Conspiracy: An Emotional Chain-Reaction. See the Reference section below for full citation information. For a full citation list of the smear articles mentioned in this section, see: http://www.orgonelab.org/bibliogPLAGUE.htm
2. See "Document 20... Memorandum on Trotskyists and Other Hostile Elements in the Emigre Community of the German CP, Cadres Department", dated 2 Sept. 1936 in the Yale University Archives: http://www.yale.edu/annals/Chase/Documents/doc20chapt4.htm This document is partly reproduced as "Document 17" in Enemies within the Gates? The Comintern and the Stalinist Repression, 1934-1939, by William J. Chase, Yale Univ. Press 2001, p.164-174. (NOTE: The Yale weblink to Doc.20 appears to be dead, but you can review a copy of it in the book by Chase, or on-line here: http://www.orgonelab.org/Document20.htm.)
3. CSICOP: Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. (Today re-branded but without any change in character, as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.) An unethical "skeptic" group which has warred against natural healing methods, and against Reich and orgonomy. See: http://www.orgonelab.org/csicop.htm and http://www.orgonelab.org/gardner.htm
4. An Inventory to the Records of Consumers' Research, Inc., 1910-1983, bulk 1928-1980, by Gregory L. Williams. January 1995. Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries http://www2.scc.rutgers.edu/ead/manuscripts/consumers_introf.html
5. See: Richard Blasband and Courtney Baker: "An Analysis of the United States Food and Drug Administration's Scientific Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich" in three parts, Journal of Orgonomy, 1972-1973. Full citations in the Reference section below.
6. Also see the author's article on continuing FDA repressions: http://www.orgonelab.org/fda.htm
Works Addressing the 1940s - 1950s Smear Campaign and FDA Attacks Against Wilhelm Reich
Baker, C.F.: "An Analysis of the United States Food & Drug Admini-stration's Scientific Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich, Part II, the Physical Concepts", Journal of Orgonomy, 6(2):222-231, 1972; "...Part III, Physical Evidence", Journal of Orgonomy, 7(2):234-245, 1973.
Blasband, D.: "United States of America v. Wilhelm Reich, Part I", Journal for Orgonomy, 1(1-2):56-130, 1967; "...Part II, the Appeal", Journal of Orgonomy, 2(1):24-67, 1968.
Blasband, R.A.: "An Analysis of the United States Food and Drug Administration's Scientific Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich, Part I, the Biomedical Evidence", Journal of Orgonomy, 6(2):207-222, 1972.
DeMeo, J.: "Postscript on the F.D.A's Experimental Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich", Pulse of the Planet, 1(1):18-23, 1989.
Greenfield, J.: Wilhelm Reich Versus the USA, W.W. Norton, NY, 1974.
Martin, J.: Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War, Flatland Books, Medocino, CA 2000.
Reich, W.: Conspiracy: An Emotional Chain Reaction, Wilhelm Reich Biographical Material, History of the Discovery of the Life Energy (American Period, 1942-54), documentary volume A-XII-EP, Orgone Institute Press, Maine, 1954.
Wilder, J.: "CSICOP, Time Magazine and Wilhelm Reich", in Heretic's Notebook (Pulse of the Planet #5) J.DeMeo, Ed., OBRL, p.55-66, 2002. Available as a PDF download (0.2 MB): http://www.orgonelab.org/WilderOnTimeCSICOP.pdf
Wolfe, T.: Emotional Plague Versus Orgone Biophysics: The 1947 Campaign, Orgone Institute Press, NY, 1948.
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