Orgone Biophysical Research Lab
Ashland, Oregon, USA Open Letter: Dec. 2001
Response to the Correas
Irrational Criticism and Attacks
Ashland, Oregon, USA
Open Letter: Dec. 2001
Response to Irrational Criticism
Public Disclosure of Previously-Private Materials:
Preface to Open Letter
This page summarizes critical information and corrections, regarding a scientific controversy and personal attacks against myself, James DeMeo, spread on the world internet by Paulo and Alexandra Correa and their assistant Malgosia Askanas. On their own initiative and against my advice, they decided to push a once-private critical discussion on scientific matters into the public arena, spicing things up with unfactual accusations and personal attacks, characteristic of an emotional plague outburst. Their attacks began after my original curiosity and support for the Correas was replaced by a scientific skepticism. They had claimed to reproduce one of Wilhelm Reich's critical experiments, on the thermal anomaly inside the orgone energy accumulator, but with a "naked metal box" design that produced -- so they claimed -- fairly high temperatures, on the order of 5 or 8 degrees Centigrade, rather than the usual fraction of a degree. My examination of their protocols and a good-faith effort to reproduce that experiment showed serious errrors, in how they were mistaking ordinary diurnal thermal lag effects within an experiment that had significantly deviated from Reich's original designs. They also claimed to have replicated Reich's original orgone motor (what they call the "aether motor"). However, as my skepticism grew, and they became angry at my quite simple and rational inquiries about the nature of their experimental claims, I withdrew my initial support and insisted they make a demonstration of their claimed "aether motor", outside of their laboratory, where a confused tangle of wires made it impossible to say for certain just what was going on. This was shortly after I had been asked by them to review several of their unpublished documents, and found many significant problems. I also did not like their many nasty personal comments against other scientists, and their failure to cite or honestly present the works of others they were criticizing, in what was supposed to have been experimental research reports. They also were distorting Wilhelm Reich's original ideas, and laying claim to some of Reich's findings through unethical semantic re-definitions. All of these problems came to a head in Fall of 2001, resulting in their ferocious public slander and attacks.
This is a fight I did not seek, but their public accusations and malicious behavior cannot be left unanswered. Here, then, are the documents which disturbed them so mightly, including my original experimental report which exposed serious flaws in the protocols of one of their main experiments. I should point out my criticisms of the Correas work has no bearing whatsoever upon Wilhlem Reich's findings, which remain well-supported by all those scientists whom the Correas love to hate.
The Open Letter -- reproduced below -- provides a more detailed historical narrative of events.
The Correas have made very large and public claims about the work of Reich -- that they have understood better and advanced farther into the subject of Reich's work than others, that their own experiments are far superior to those of Reich and anybody else, that Reich's experimental orgonomy is flawed here and there but corrected by themselves in their new "aetherometry", that Reich's followers are incompetents too far beneath themselves that they should waste time to cite their work and findings, that things discovered by Reich can be re-worded in new "aetherometric" terms as a measure to claim such discoveries for themselves, etc. -- all of these bald assertions were made by the Correas in public, on internet web sites which were announced in full-page magazine advertisements, and in published articles aimed at a community of scholars and inventors interested in unorthodox subject material. Upon receiving my pointed but constructive criticisms presented to them in a professional and private manner, criticisms which exposed serious problems with their methodology, experimental results and conclusions, they have retreated from scientific dialogue and instead went public with serious misrepresentations and accusations, evading the Critique in favor of biased historical recountings of who-said-what in lengthy emails. Their pretense is, while they have full right to make their questionable claims and personal attacks against other researchers in public, I should not have shared my Critique with anybody but themselves, specifically to a half-dozen scholars who got a copy from me, and whose work had already been subject to dismissive attack in the Correas own publications. No scientist has such a right or privilege, of isolation or immunity from criticism, especially when they have themselves deliberately used such harsh words against the work of others, and made such large and sweeping public claims. Only unpublished and admittedly-preliminary work can claim such immunity from public criticism, and that certainly is not the case with respect to the Correas' work. The reader who has the time and desire to follow the details of the matter is invited to review all the pertinent information and judge for themselves.
This web page will be removed from the OBRL internet site on the event that their attack materials disappear from Internet.
James DeMeo, Ph.D.
TO: Paulo Correa, Ph.D., Alexandra Correa, B.A. and Malgosia Askanas, Ph.D.
Dear Dr. Correa, Ms. Correa, and Dr. Askanas,
Only recently do I return from overseas work, to find your two articles,
an array of most incredible venom, circulated by email and posted to internet:
Let me clarify a few things:
1. You called me up and invited me to come to your
facility to witness a demonstration of your claim to have solved the riddle of the "Y-factor" and to have reproduced Reich's original orgone motor. I came in early May, and for two days witnessed your demonstration, and came away very enthusiastic, writing you a letter expressing the same. However, my original enthusiasm for your demonstration, with offers to help you spread the word via my OBRL-News and web site, and in other ways, was progressively ended after I read your S2 article series (posted to http://www.aetherometry.com). I informed you of several significant problems in your experimental work by ordinary email, but you dismissed my concerns and insisted upon a more elaborated and explicit critique, even while continuing to press me to allow you to post my original enthusiastic letter to your internet site, and to post an announcement of your web site to OBRL-News, and include it also in our Pulse of the Planet journal, the #5 issue of which is now being typeset.
2. I never violated our agreement of confidentiality and non-disclosure, and remind you, that you approached me to obtain a validiating outside opinion and critique, that you acknowledged my 30+years of work and expertise in this field. However, I am under no obligation to conceal what is already a matter of public record. Factually, almost all of the setup you showed me (I do not speak about your PAGD device) was similar or identical to what is contained in Reich's own voluminous writings, or which is revealed in the videotapes regularly played at the Reich Museum in Rangelely, or which has already been summarized in my article on "The Orgone Motor" openly circulated since the 1980s. Your attack-paper "To Be Done With (An)Orgonomists" makes reference to both an "embodiment of the Orgone Motor" as well as your claimed "novel improvement, referred to as the Aether Motor" -- during my visit, you never made reference to any such differences and so I must assume you only demonstrated to me the former device. Nevertheless, the use of vacor tubes, orgone accumulators, antennas, grounds, and spinner motors are no surprise to anyone who has studied what is available on the orgone motor. The only undisclosed and previously-unknown component in your set-up, presumably, is the "Y-factor" Reich never revealed, and while I may assume you have re-discovered that principle, you never revealed to me the specifics of that matter, or anything about the electronics and wiring of the various components in your set-up. I even presented to you, as a gift (along with several books and articles), one of the original KS-9154 spinner motors which you did not have, and which I previously obtained from surplus. I informed you also, that a group of students at my lab had succeeded in getting it to spin from conventional power sources -- no large feat -- but you know very well I am no novice on this subject, which is precisely why you invited me to witness your demonstration in the first place. Today, however, after witnessing your reactions to my open criticisms of your laboratory work -- the degeneration into personal attacks and misrepresentations -- I now *Fully and Completely Retract* my original letter of support, and state publicly that I have lost confidence in your capacities as scientific people, to make essential self-critical evaluations. I also wish to repeat, that you do not have my permission to copy or circulate any of my letters or emails by either photocopy or internet posting or circulation. I also ask for the immediate return of the KS-9154 motor given to you, as it was obviously an expression of misplaced confidence in your persons. Specifically, I also point to the following problems with your demonstration:
3. Since you now make a public attack against my private Critique, I will post the original Critique and my negative results on your bare-metal-box experiment to internet as well, making it public, and people who wish to examine the materials can make up their own minds. An Abstract of the Critique ... with the full text is posted at: http://www.orgonelab.org/correas1.htm
4. You always had some good points in your papers, which I acknowledged in my Critique, and even on the matter of problems in published papers by Reich's followers, there is room for improvement -- but your own laboratory work, as I have shown, is no better than anything you so hotly attack and dismiss, and also needs considerable improvement. Your larger theory of aetherometry -- which is erected upon the findings of Reich but which you attempt to substitute as an alternative to Reich's orgonomy -- simply cannot be supported by the data and arguments you present.
5. Your personal attacks against my capacities as a scientist will fail, precisely because my various publications countering such a negative view are a matter of public record (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_DeMeo/contributions), and because your demeaning "analysis" is false. Just as your claim there have been no advances or genuine replications of Reich over the years is false. The advancements may be minor details as compared to the very large contributions of Reich, but that's another issue entirely -- the replication studies of Reich's original findings are significant and published. In spite of some large claims, your own "replications" and "advancements" on Reich appear seriously flawed, at least as presented in your S-2 series, which you clearly cannot tolerate to be criticized. Judging from the lack of explicit citations in your publications, it appears your knowledge of the published works by Reich's followers is extremely limited. If you had read that literature, and were as knowledgable in thermal physics as you claim, then you would know in advance of the problems with thermal lag, and the fundamental importance of the morning hour measurements, as this issue is explicitly discussed in some of the papers you failed to cite, and claimed were substandard. Whereas before I criticized you for an apparently willful failure-to-cite the various unnamed scientists you were attacking and dismissing wholesale, now I suspect you simply don't know what's been published -- otherwise you would not be "citing" only some unreliable stuff from the internet and from lay researchers. Why do you "cite" several of the Reich enthusiasts who were never trained in scientific methods, who do not hold advanced degrees and who never held university or research posts, but ignore all the persons who did recieve such training, degrees and held university posts, in the context of a scientific discussion which hinges upon matters of experimental natural science? You cite the lay researchers and even a few bona-fide cranks, to dismiss them, but don't cite the natural scientists engaged in this work, even if you do cast a few names and organizations into the garbage pail. This is malicious distortion.
I will close by saying, that as a scientist my first duty is to the facts, and so I openly state my willingness to retract every negative sentence given here if your own experimental proofs eventually turn out to be as correct as you believe they are. I remain doubtful if this would prove to be the case, however. But more to the point: Factually, your actions in this matter have been wholly unprofessional and unethical, and appear designed to avoid any contactful discussion of the experimental research issues. Your provocative and insulting words, posted to internet from the very start, even before I presented you with a single word of criticism, appear directed towards setting yourselves up as the sole authorities on Reich, or yourselves as the "New Einsteins", something attempted by evading rational criticism, and by thrashing down every other researcher in this field with a blanket of poisonous dismissals. That is hardly "rational science" and it won't work.
James DeMeo, Ph.D.
PS. I will delay posting of this material to internet and to OBRL-News until after the holidays, so you have a short grace period in which to consider removing your attack-articles. If you do, then the matter will end here, without the public posting and circulating of my own materials.
Postscript: 14 Jun 2002
More Attacks from the Aetherometry Web Site
Recently many persons informed me that yet another malicious
"article" has appeared at the Aetherometry web site of Paulo and Alexandra
Correa, this time posing to be an authentic review of our new publication
Pulse of the Planet #5: Heretic's Notebook/
A review, it most certainly is not. Instead, the Correa article, "Pulse of the Planet Taken to Task" (www.aetherometry.com/PP5.html) is saturated with the authors' rage, presenting a stream of personal insults, character assassination, poisonous and muddled half-truths, and many completely false assertions, directed against nearly every contributing author in our publication, whose works are deliberately misrepresented in the worst possible light. The Correas are not mentioned or criticized in this new publication, so it remains a curiosity as to why it attracted so much of their venom. In any case, their article does not rise to the level of being authentic scientific criticism, and I have no intention of wasting time to rebut such nonsense, an effort which is more rightfully reserved for genuine and rational criticism (which theirs is not). Instead, the interested reader is encouraged to simply obtain a copy of our Pulse #5, and read it, and then make up their own mind. ...
It is regrettable that the Correas apparently have nothing better to do with their time, than to construct such lengthy and elaborate disinformation pamphlets, something which we have learned to expect from the organized "skeptic groups", but not from bona-fide scientific workers. Such malicious personal attacks have no place in scientific discussions. I believe I speak for every author in Pulse #5, that while we regularly and gladly engage in scientific discussions with genuine and honest critics, we will not be drawn into making a "defense" against such transparent malicious distortions and personal attacks.
Our apologies to the OBRL-News subscribers, who received the Correa materials unsolicited, as we do not know how they obtained our subscriber listing.* And thanks to the many persons who sent their supportive statements to us, informing us of the problem. Again, Pulse #5 is an excellent documentation and support for Reich's original orgonomy, presenting many new findings and novel research efforts, and the reader who obtains and reads it, making up their own mind, will not be disappointed.
James DeMeo, Ph.D.
* - Shortly after this email was sent, we learned that the Correas assistant, Maglosia Askanas, had hacked into the OBRL-News email list server, stealing away the subscriber list and shutting it down. Such malicious "dirty tricks" are typical of the CSICOP "skeptics" but this is the first time we have experienced such unethical behavior from a claimed "scientist".
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