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Various: Reich, History, Sex and Magick

From: (nagasiva)
Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.magick.tantra,,
Subject: Various: Reich, History, Sex and Magick (LONG)
Date: 6 Sep 1997 13:30:38 -0700
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~From: Clay Holden 


Mogg of Mandrake wrote:

>@>I'd like to elect Wilhelm Reich
>to which Sans Peur said:
>@For sainthood.

Whatever his faults, Reich certainly deserves the recognition by any
Gnostic worthy of the title.

The motto which appears in the front of all his later works is worth quoting:

"Love, work and knowledge are the well-springs of our life. They should
also govern it."

>     Mandrake, please: I've recently been confronted with the
>@question: what, if any, connection was there between Reich and Crowley?
>@I think that Reich was very much into the psychology of human sexuality,
>@and performed sexual experimentation in the relm of psycho-sexual
>@altered states science, but was there also a Crowley connection.  They
>@both were doing the same 'sort' things at around the same time period,
>@were they not?

As a Reichian friend of mine from Toronto (who was also working with Tesla
coils, Lakhovski multi-wave oscillators and Stropharia cubensis
cultivation) once noted to me, Crowley was dealing directly and
experimentally with matters that Reich was trying to get a *scientific*
handle on to write about.

It doesn't necessarily make one less important than the other historically,
but does point out a difference in their training and viewpoint.

I think both held similar opinions of the "biopathic" nature of
sex-negative religious, political and cultural control processes. Both saw
Christianity, Fascism and Communism as anti-life forces (though Reich began
as a Marxist).

Their approaches to the issues in practical terms were very different,
Reich having been trained by Freud, and Crowley by the Golden Dawn. Both
incidentally broke with their "teachers" on grounds of defined doctrine
being either wrong or inadequate (Reich over disagreement with Freud's
"Death Wish" doctrine, and Crowley over the lack of leadership in the
Second Order of the G.'.D.'.).

On Reich's behalf, I would note that Crowley never devised an instrument on
the order of the Orgone Energy Accumulator, which (despite Brother Bill
Heidrick's remarks to me some years ago) displays healing properties
unexplainable in terms of traditional a "Faraday Cage" effect. [No, the
"boulometer" doesn't count ;)]

On Crowley's behalf, I doubt that Reich could have had too great an
argument  with Crowley's definition of "Magick" as he puts it in Chapter 0
of _Magick in Theory and Practice_. He was, however, probably too much of a
dialectical materialist to the bone to have followed Crowley's argument
much further...

Years before R. A. Wilson wrote _Masks of the Illuminati_ (where he has
Crowley, Joyce and Einstein meet), I thought an interesting novel (or play)
could be made of Reich, Crowley and Ayn Rand meeting. Don't know that I'd
want to read the resulting work these days, and am pretty damn certain that
I wouldn't want to be fingered as the author ;-) (I'm certainly *not*
looking to stir up an Ayn Rand debate on this list, thank you very much!!!)

Leroy Lauer replied:

>It's been a while since I read any Reich, but I do not
>recall any mention of Unca Al.  I doubt if the two ran into
>each other, as Crowley was obviously not in need of any
>psychiatric or theraputic care - 8{) - and Reich would
>probably have eschewed anything remotely "Magickal" as not
>being, despite the definition we all know and love,
>But that's just my opinion.

Reich was *openly* hostile to an acceptance at face value of any sort of
psychic/magickal phenomena to the end of his life, convinced that all
"psychic" manifestations were explainable in terms of misdirected Orgone
energy, and that "mystical" experience was by definition the result of
sex-negative programming.

His work, however, was also an attempt to synthesize the best aspects of
science and religion (see _Ether, God and Devil_ for example) into a
coherent approach.

Reich's theory of "Character Armor" is the foundation for all bio-energetic
work in the West, from Alexander Lowen on, and sits at the core of Ida
Rolf's work as well. The proof of his correct assessment of how to address
stress-related physical illness has long since been established. His
aversion to and open hostility to towards anything smelling like the
"occult" has never achieved the same status.

Lest anyone might think otherwise, I am not at all hostile to Reich's work,
and consider his "fear" of the occult to have been one of the great
imbalances in his character. I am blessed to have a microfilm archive of
nearly all of Reich's surviving writings (five full 100' 35mm reels, filmed
from his daughter Eva's collection), from his earliest work in Germany to
his last published works in America before he was killed in prison (of a
heart attack two weeks before his release). It is, however, undeniable that
his last published writings are full of paranoid speculation, unchecked by
his earlier rigorous scientific method.

The fact that there _really _were people "out to get him" (not the least
the FDA), and the possibility that some of this may have been fallout as a
result of the disastrous "Oranur Experiment" are mitigating considerations.

Reich had been run out of more than one country, having first had a price
put on his head by Adolph Hitler, and later by the Communist Party when he
broke with them.

Reich was the first American scientist (a legal immigrant) ever to have had
his scientific works burned in America by the U.S. Government. This
happened in 1956 and again in 1960, several years after his death in

I am told by an old friend who knew his daughter Eva, that when she saw her
father's ghost on the property at Orgonon after his death, that she did not
know how to handle the experience.

Clearly, in my opinion, there are a number of important connections to be
made by the resourceful student between Crowley's writings and Reich's work.

Regardie seems to have held a similar opinion.

Incidentally, plans for Orgone blankets are pretty easy to come by these
days, as are plans for full-blown Orgone Energy Accumulators. Explanations
in terms of a "Faraday Cage" effect really don't cut the mustard once one
has experienced the effect of an Accumulator.

Experimentation is the best answer.

Best wishes,


P.S. Keep them *wel*l away from television sets once you've made them!!!

                                 Clay Holden
                                     ( - )
                   ( + )
                        "Super caelestes roretis aquae:  __:__
                         Et terra fructum dabit suum."     |
                                  -John Dee              /^|^\


~From: (John Everall)
[some duplication from above deleted for space-savings -- 333]

>Whatever his faults, Reich certainly deserves the recognition by any
>Gnostic worthy of the title.

Reich's work interests me, and I read a great deal of his writings in my
late teens. There is much of value in his work, but his rampant homophobia
has always disturbed me. Also his sex-pol theories, while having a certain
amount of validity, sometimes seem wide of the mark. "The Mass Psychology
Of Fascism" traces the origins of Nazism to sexual repression rather than
to the punitive conditions of the Versailles Treaty, and in this I think
Reich is mistaken. Versailles constituted a profound humiliation to the
nation of Germany which ineluctably led to the rise of Nazism as the likely
candidate that would restore the 'warrior' pride of Germany as a nation( a
number of British and American politicians warned that the abject
humiliation inflicted by Versailles would produce precisely such a
phenomenon). The 'sexual repression as primary causal factor in
manifestations of political extremism theory' doesn't really hold water
when you consider that the most sexually repressed nation in Europe(my own!
- although I will exclude myself!) has never really gravitated to any
political extremes & is in fact rather tolerant and moderate(If Reich had
moved to Britain he probably would have been tolerated, even if regarded as
somewhat eccentric in his views).

The FDA 'persecution' of Reich is perhaps understandable(if not excusable)
given Reich's intransigence. My - perhaps inaccurate - understanding is
that he was told he couldn't ship Orgone Accumulators across State Lines if
he was making unsubstantiated claims about them (i.e. that they
cured/prevented cancer) and that he ignored this and carried on in contempt
of a court ruling & consequently was given a jail sentence. Reich's 'martyr
complex' is pretty evident in his writings, so he undoubtedly got what he
wanted. His Orgone theory is still not accepted, and whatever his skills as
a psychoanalyst, I wonder if he was really qualified to work as a scientist
in other areas(especially as the man arrived at the idiotic suggestion that
the sky was blue because of Orgone energy! A High School student would know

John Everall.

~From: Tim Maroney 

>Crowley was dealing directly and
>experimentally with matters that Reich was trying to get a *scientific*
>handle on to write about.

They both dealt with sex, but their theories of orgasm were quite 
different. Reich dealt with its as a release of tension, while Crowley 
saw it is a creative act expressing one's ultimate individuality. They 
were also worlds apart on the vital Reichian issue of character armor, 
which Crowley's practices -- with their emphasis on developing a 
razor-sharp aura and keeping every muscle tense -- seek to strengthen. 
(If I had to take sides on this issue, I would say that Regardie's 
infusion of Reichian relaxation techniques into the Crowleyan/Golden Dawn 
system added some much-needed balance.)

I have to question the assertion that Reich's work was "scientific." Even 
the better psychoanalytic thinkers such as Freud and Adler are often 
considered to have been prescientific, while Reich is regarded as a 
crackpot, with good reason. His wild speculations about UFOs seeding the 
planet with negative orgone energy were clearly absurd, and in fact none 
of his orgone theories has been confirmed under reasonable experimental 
conditions, decades after his death. A crackpot may of course still make 
contributions as a thinker, and Reich's earlier work deserves more credit 
than his later, but the unbounded positive regard that he commands in 
occultism is undeserved.

>Incidentally, plans for Orgone blankets are pretty easy to come by these
>days, as are plans for full-blown Orgone Energy Accumulators. Explanations
>in terms of a "Faraday Cage" effect really don't cut the mustard once one
>has experienced the effect of an Accumulator.

One could say much the same of born-again Christianity, which is often 
not regarded as a scientific method. Personal anecdotal evidence from 
doctrinal believers is of no relevance to scientific psychology.

>Experimentation is the best answer.

I couldn't agree more with your recommendation. If one constructs two 
apparently identical enclosures, one of which contains (closed within its 
walls) the materials required for "orgone accumulation" and the other 
only supposedly orgone-neutral materials of the same mass and density, 
can randomly selected test subjects under double-blind conditions 
determine in which enclosure the orgone has accumulated? More precisely, 
is there a statistically significant difference between questionnaire 
responses of the test group and the control group? If so, can these 
differences be used to refine the orgone technology and boost 
significance levels on an ongoing basis?

Tim Maroney

~From: Patrick Crumhorn 


On Tue, 8 Jul 1997, Leroy Lauer wrote:

> Well, of course.  Probably more meat in Willy than we'll 
> ever have the good fortune to dig into, although I recall 
> being told that some of his work will be/is available 
> soon/now.

     Almost all of Reich's major works have long been available in English
translation, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publishers, among others.
Several of his later works, mostly regarding UFO phenomena (which Reich
called "Ea") and the Oranur experiments (concerning the deadly effects of
orgone energy in conjunction with electromagnetic and nuclear radiation)
have been withheld from publication by Mary Higgins and the trust that
administers Reich's literary estate.  The latter grouping is a bunch of
stone-cold right-wing paranoids, unfortunately.  Still, one can't blame
them completely, since the ban on Reich's work in the US (which declared
*all* of his scientific research over a 40-year period to be "quackery"
and therefore illegal to print, sell or distribute in the USA) is
technically still in effect.  Obviously, it is not being enforced...can
you imagine a bunch of FDA goons raiding Barnes & Noble to confiscate all
their copies of "The Mass Psychology of Fascism?"  Well, actually, I *can*
imagine it.  B-/

     93  93/93


          Patrick Crumhorn        
           "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for
            you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."
~From: Clay Holden 

93 Tim,

I'm not a "true believer" in Reich's work, so I don't intend to get into a
big argument with you here. I have no particular investment in your opinion
or anyone else's of Reich, but I do have some bones to pick with you over
what you wrote here.

>They both dealt with sex, but their theories of orgasm were quite
>different. Reich dealt with its as a release of tension, while Crowley
>saw it is a creative act expressing one's ultimate individuality. They
>were also worlds apart on the vital Reichian issue of character armor,
>which Crowley's practices -- with their emphasis on developing a
>razor-sharp aura and keeping every muscle tense -- seek to strengthen.

This is a good point, but nothing in it suggests that Reich's "tension -
charge - discharge - relaxation" formula cannot be used as a magickal
formula as well (perhaps to better effect than some of Crowley's formulae).

I think it perhaps more accurate to describe Crowley's method (in general)
as building tension and focus in a ritual until the climax, when all
tension (and control) is released. I think he gives this pretty clearly in
Chapter XV Part I of _Magick in Theory and Practice_. To me it is an
interesting parallel with Reich's formula. You are of course welcome to
disagree with me.

>(If I had to take sides on this issue, I would say that Regardie's
>infusion of Reichian relaxation techniques into the Crowleyan/Golden Dawn
>system added some much-needed balance.)

I agree that it provides a balance, but other than recommending Reichian
therapy to students, I don't see where he infused Reichian "relaxation
techniques" into the magical systems.

>I have to question the assertion that Reich's work was "scientific." Even
>the better psychoanalytic thinkers such as Freud and Adler are often
>considered to have been prescientific, while Reich is regarded as a
>crackpot, with good reason.

Reich's early work, and in fact most of his work up to and including
_Character Analysis_ are well considered by many. His Orgone Energy
theories are not so well considered. His final work can pretty clearly be
described as crackpot. This does not invalidate his entire career, nor does
it tar all his work as "crackpot".

Furthermore, Reich and his associates did a great deal of actual scientific
and medical laboratory work, which you would know if you had studied his

> His wild speculations about UFOs seeding the
>planet with negative orgone energy were clearly absurd,

Crowley certainly came up with some bigger howlers than that ;-)

In any case, that was *very* late in the day, and is a cheap shot if you
are using it to discount the remainder of his work. Much of his last
writings are incoherent, paranoid and rather pathetic. I question whether
you have actually read any of those writings in which he postulated these
things, other than selected quotes in the writings of others.

> and in fact none
>of his orgone theories has been confirmed under reasonable experimental
>conditions, decades after his death.

Really, Tim? How did you come to this conclusion? Where have you looked to
see whether such work has or has not been conducted? Has it occurred to you
that such work might be being done in other countries as well as in the

> A crackpot may of course still make
>contributions as a thinker, and Reich's earlier work deserves more credit
>than his later, but the unbounded positive regard that he commands in
>occultism is undeserved.

"Unbounded positive regard" from whom? Certainly not from me, and certainly
not from anyone who has read a variety of his works. There is good and
there is bad. Much of his early writing is polemical, and full of Marxist
rhetoric. It was suited to a particular purpose at a particular time, and
is only of historical interest now.

His middle period work, including much of the Orgone Energy material, is
worthy of close reading and consideration. Reich *never* touted the Orgone
Energy Accumulator as a "cancer cure", as can be clearly determined from
studying his work. Experimentation demonstrated, however, that exposure to
Orgone Energy caused malignant tumors in laboratory rats to shrink, and he
used them experimentally on terminally ill humans as well, with documented.

His final work is painful, as he fought a losing battle against a legal
system which was determined not squash his life's work, based on reports
from an FDA that never adequately tested his theories.

>>Incidentally, plans for Orgone blankets are pretty easy to come by these
>>days, as are plans for full-blown Orgone Energy Accumulators. Explanations
>>in terms of a "Faraday Cage" effect really don't cut the mustard once one
>>has experienced the effect of an Accumulator.
>One could say much the same of born-again Christianity, which is often
>not regarded as a scientific method. Personal anecdotal evidence from
>doctrinal believers is of no relevance to scientific psychology.

Exqueeeeze me? You obviously haven't the faintest idea what I'm talking
about here. What does the suggestion that one build and test something have
to do with "personal anecdotal evidence from doctrinal believers"?

>>Experimentation is the best answer.
>I couldn't agree more with your recommendation. If one constructs two
>apparently identical enclosures, one of which contains (closed within its
>walls) the materials required for "orgone accumulation" and the other
>only supposedly orgone-neutral materials of the same mass and density,
>can randomly selected test subjects under double-blind conditions
>determine in which enclosure the orgone has accumulated? More precisely,
>is there a statistically significant difference between questionnaire
>responses of the test group and the control group? If so, can these
>differences be used to refine the orgone technology and boost
>significance levels on an ongoing basis?

You would do well to familiarize yourself with at least some of the
literature before you assume that no such work has been done. Obviously you
have read little or none of the work Reich and his associates conducted
during his lifetime, let alone contemporary publications such as _The
Journal of Orgonomy_.

Since you live in the Bay Area, try going to the Lane Medical Library at
Stanford University one of these days, and have a look at their collection.
You might be surprised.

Or, more simply, get ahold of a copy of _The Orgone Accumulator Handbook:
Construction Plans, Experimental Use and Protection Against Toxic Energy_
by James DeMeo, Ph.D., with a Foreward by Eva Reich, M.D. ISBN0-9621855-0-7

93 93/93


                                 Clay Holden
                                     ( - )
                   ( + )
                        "Super caelestes roretis aquae:  __:__
                         Et terra fructum dabit suum."     |
                                  -John Dee              /^|^\


~From: Patrick Crumhorn 


At 10:13 AM 7/9/97 -0700, Tim Maroney wrote:

>That's not correct. In fact prior restraint of this sort is impossible in 
>the USA, though destruction or confiscation of works prior to publication 
>can happen in some cases. Prior restraint is a major Consititutional 
>bugaboo and the courts would prefer to let a libelous work, for instance, 
>be published and then punish the publisher rather than prevent it from 
>being published.

     Prior restraint means an attempt to prohibit the work from
being published or distributed in the first place.  All of Reich's
major books were *already* in print when they were ordered confiscated.
A ban *was* put on further distribution of the material, as *all*
of Reich's works were declared to be promotional material for the
(presumably fraudulent) orgone accumulator devices.  It was the 
refusal to obey the ban on further distribution of both books and orgone
accumulators that resulted in the trial of Reich and his colleague 
Michael Silbert for contempt.  The ban was ruled lawful, Reich and 
Silbert were jailed.  Reich's total refusal to allow his lawyers to 
mount an effective defense was a factor here, but the outcome was
the effective removal of Reich's works from general availability
for around a decade and a half.  
     It is true that the ban only applied to Reich, his associates, his
Foundation, and persons "acting in concert" with them, but as they were 
the sole source for the material until Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Noonday 
Press began republication in the mid-1970s, the censorship was effectively
     Further, all the FS&G editions were produced in co-operation with
Mary Higgins' "Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Fund."  Higgins (who may not
be alive anymore...does anyone know?) was an associate of Reich, and the
trust fund was set up in accordance with his will, so since the FDA
ban has *not* been formally rescinded, it can be argued that Higgins
and the Reich Trust were/are still in violation of the terms of the
     See "Fury on Earth" by Myron Sharaf (St. Martin's Press, 1983) for the
blow-by-blow on the ban and the trial.

     93  93/93


                  Patrick Crumhorn
           It IS as bad as you think, and they ARE out to get you


~From: Tim Maroney 

>> They both dealt with sex, but their theories of orgasm were quite 
>> different. Reich dealt with its as a release of tension, while Crowley 
>> saw it is a creative act expressing one's ultimate individuality. They 
>> were also worlds apart on the vital Reichian issue of character armor, 
>> which Crowley's practices -- with their emphasis on developing a 
>> razor-sharp aura and keeping every muscle tense -- seek to strengthen. 

>This strikes me as a bizarre interpretation of both Crowley's and
>Reich's work. Reich saw character armoring as the unnatural (though
>to some degree universally common, at least in our society) physical
>manifestation of unreleased sexual energy, due to sexual repression in
>society and the inability of most people to have full orgasms. I can't
>personally see any way to imagine Crowley encouraging sexual repression
>or incomplete orgasm.

This is exactly the difference between their interpretations of personal 
armor; Reich considered it a repressive pathology while Crowley 
considered it a mystical accomplishment of self-control. Crowley's system 
is oriented around rigid control, while Reich's "vegetotherapy" is 
oriented towards characteristic relaxation. For Crowley, keeping every 
muscle tense for hours at a time and cultivating a razor-sharp aura were 
spiritual practices, while for Reich such muscular tension was an 
unhealthy manifestation of unreleased biological energy.

One could argue that Crowley's tension was part of a deliberate building 
toward release. The magical force is deliberately controlled so that it 
can be explosively released towards a particular end; or, on a larger 
time scale, the personality is made stronger and more rigid in 
preparation for letting it all go in the ordeal of the Abyss. However, 
this is not compatible with Reich's system, which sees biological 
electricity as building up naturally and requiring periodic release to 
prevent harmful buildup, not something to be cultivated and restrained to 
create a controlled release toward a particular magical end.

To note that both Crowley and Reich deal with the release of tension in 
orgasm is trivial. My Aunt Millie noticed the same thing -- it's like 
saying they both noticed that cars have wheels. Their theories about the 
nature and function of that release are different.

>In fact, they seem to me to share the insight that
>the life force == the sexual force == the spiritual force,

This seems to be a misreading of both men's work. Reich was entirely 
hostile to notions he identified as mystical, and vehemently denied that 
his work was "spiritual" (though he always made claims for biological 
energy and orgone that were just as mystical and metaphysical as the 
ideas he criticized under those terms. These claims became more and more 
grandiose as he grew older, culminating in his insistence that a "cosmic 
orgone field" was the ultimate nature of reality behind space, time, and 
all observed forces.) Biological energy and orgone energy were distinct; 
orgone is not "the life force", and in fact can only be transmitted by 
inorganic matter, while biological energy was electrical and could be 
measured with a galvanic skin response meter. Reich would not have 
endorsed your three-way equation.

Neither would Crowley. He might have been happy enough with "sexual force 
= spiritual force" (though I think he would have lambasted you for not 
using more specific terms derived from the qabala). However, I do not 
recall any particular prominence given to the idea of "life force" in 
Crowley's system. He believed in a hierarchy of worlds, alternately 
described as the four worlds of qabala or the three lights AUB, AUD and 
AUR, with biological life near the bottom of both scales. These systems 
are both much more concerned about a more ethereal focus on mind or 
spirit as underlying reality than with life force. Also, if we look at 
his qabalistic model of psychology, we find functions associated with 
life at the bottom and middle of the scale, while at the top we find 
highly rarefied spiritual concepts that would be difficult to map onto 
any kind of "life force."

The idea of life force as an ultimate principle is popular in general 
Western mysticism today, and Reich's hero status has contributed to that 
popularity. One common error in interpreting Crowley is the application 
of concepts from later pop mysticism to his work. Another common 
manifestation of the same error revolves around the idea of giving up 
one's individuality in union with the universe, which is often 
incorrectly conflated with Crowley's idea of crossing the Abyss. In fact, 
as he states clearly in "One Star in Sight", both false self and universe 
are destroyed together, leaving the true self revealed to create a new 
universe -- a very different mystical concept that has only one surface 
feature in common with the pop mysticism idea of universal union. These 
typical conflations of divergent ideas are part of the leveling tendency 
in occultism, which has always thrived on suppressing differences in 
favor of correlations based on surface resemblances and on single 
attributes divorced from context; it's the same homogenizing tendency 
that leads people to identify Apollo with Ra on the Tree of Life.

>and that
>people can only be truly healthy if they allow this force to be 

Here both Reich and Crowley are just echoing Freud, albeit with some 
personal caveats, and they both credit Freud with the idea. But yes, this 
is a point on which they would generally agree, although their ideas of 
proper expression were divergent.

As for the issue of whether psychoanalysts were scientific or not, again 
I have to reiterate that clinical observation is often considered a 
prescientific method. It's a necessary method, because people are hurting 
and it's better to try to reason from their experiences than to let them 
go hang, but the scope for personal interpretation in clinical 
observation, particularly the methods used earlier in the century, 
renders the whole area too subjective to be called a science. There is 
plenty of scientific psychology going on, in areas like cognitivism, 
behaviorism, and physiological psychology, all of which are rather 
embarrassed by their association in the popular mind with psychoanalysis, 
a speculative prescientific discipline.

Reich's own work offers excellent examples of the fallibility of the 
method of clinical observation. For instance, read his section on the 
"solution of the problem of masochism" in "The Function of the Orgasm". 
His theory revolves around a single incident involving one subject who 
begged to be beaten but actually took no pleasure when Reich finally got 
annoyed enough to swat him on the butt with a ruler. From this Reich 
evolves a grand theory by which he ultimately explains not only every 
masochist who has ever lived but also all painful religious practices 
from scourging to the Inquisition. If this is science then I'm Lord 
Kelvin! Freud, Jung, Adler, Reich, Rogers, and so on all indulge in this 
sort of speculative generalization from small samples, and that is why 
they are not held in high regard in psychology today -- even though in 
the popular mind, they _are_ psychology.

Tim Maroney
~From: Clay Holden 


I don't want to waste any more time with you on this, Tim, and *really*
wasn't looking for a fight with you in the first place, but since you
evidently feel the need to propound falsehoods about me as well as Wilhelm
Reich on-list, I'm responding one more time on-list.

>Clay Holden became extremely upset because I pointed out that there never
>was the general ban against publishing Reich's works that was claimed
>here, only a more limited ban against materials used to support sales of
>the orgone generators by expounding the orgone theory.

Gosh yes, extremely upset! My face turned all red, and my head damn near
popped off the top of my neck! Apopleptic! Berserko!!! Outraged!!!!

I think most of the members of the list are quite as capable as you are (if
not more so) of interpreting my emotional state based on my writings, Tim.

Frankly, I *am* annoyed that you continue to self-righteously propound a
factual inaccuracy to the list, but you flatter yourself if you think your
posts have made me "extremely upset".

Anyway, one more time, the ban included *all* of his available works in

If you need reference to unedited documents in the case, I would recommend
the Public Orgonomic Research Exchange (PORE)'s URL as a starting point:

>     He then went on,
>late in his outraged message and after a few obscenities,

Beg your pardon? I called your characterization of Reich's orgone research
as "quack medical schemes" a "shitty innuendo", and I stand by my
statement. I think it is descriptive and accurate. I don't see any other
"obscenities" anywhere in any of my letters on this subject.

I think you have a pretty silly idea what "outrage" is, and evidently a
pretty low regard for the truth as well, if this statement is any

>      to grudgingly
>admit that I was correct and that there had been no general ban against
>Reich's works.

I did not "grudgingly" or otherwise admit that this was the case. I said
that if you didn't choose to see the actual effect of the injunction as a
general ban on Reich's works, fine. You are entitled to your opinion,
however erroneous.

>   There was a ban against publishing which applied to the
>particular company which had been selling orgone generators, and to its
>agents and proprietors. Others were free to publish Reich, and in fact
>this happened a few years later.

You evidently have a *very* feeble grasp of copyright law. Perhaps someone
in the O.T.O. can clear this up for you, by explaining what a similar
injunction against Crowley and his heirs and assigns would have done to
their right to publish his works as Crowley wanted them published.

What you say here, in effect, is that anyone *but* the owner of the work
and his publishing house was free to publish Reich's works, and therefore
there was no ban on his publications? Because your statement otherwise
makes no sense.

Orgone Institute Press was the sole distributor of Reich's works in
English, and these works had either been translated by Reich himself or by
his associate Theodore P. Wolfe under his direction. Orgone Institute Press
was not the company which had been renting the accumulators (they were
never sold).

None of the earlier works that he added orgonomic materials to were
available in English in any earlier edition. There were no other English
translations. Reich was the copyright holder of these works. Nobody else
had a right to publish them but him without his permission. And by the
terms of the injunction, he could not assign those rights to anyone else.
Thus there *was* a general ban on all of his English works in the USA.

This is really very simple. I am amazed that you cannot comprehend it.

The only way anyone else could have published Reich's works would have been
without his permission, and with no compensation. This is called piracy.

As to others being free to publish Reich, and this happening a few years
later, I have already addressed this once. The copyrights to all of Reich's
works did not dissolve at the time of his death. They were assigned by the
terms of his will to The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Fund, which in 1959 was
put under the direction of Mary Boyd Higgins, a woman who had never met nor
been associated with Reich. Then and only then were authorized versions of
his writings again made available in the USA.

>The only other issue of fact in the message was whether "most" or merely
>"some" of Reich's works had been edited to add references to the orgone
>accumulator, a point of little importance which I would have been glad to
>concede. However, I find that Mr. Holden's statements on this point are
>not correct.

You find *what* statements on this point incorrect?

I note only one error, and that is that I erroneously stated that _People
in Trouble_ was not in print at the time of the injunction. It was. I do my
best to acknowledge my errors myself when I become aware of them.

>  He challenges me as follows:
>>In particular, I invite you to show me any reference to the "orgone
>>accumulator" in _The Mass Psychology of Fascism_, _The Sexual Revolution_
>>or _People in Trouble_
>I do not have the latter two books, but in the first, "The Mass
>Psychology of Fascism", the third edition (Touchstone edition, 1970),
>containing Reich's 1942 preface, contains more than a dozen references to
>orgone, which are listed in the index. The accumulator is specifically
>mentioned on page 379. The book was originally written in 1933, before
>Reich's orgone "discovery." The work _was_ edited to include the orgone

I know the publication history of the book quite well, thanks. Evidently
better than you do.

Inviting you to show me a reference is not making an error as to whether or
not most of the named books were edited later or not. Rereading my
statement, I find it to be substantially correct.

The third edition of _The Mass Psychology of Fascism_ was the *first
English* edition. And I know that Reich added several articles from his
orgonomic publications at the end. They were added not to provide
"labeling" for his orgone accumulators (the rental of which never made him
any profit anyway), but because they represented later thoughts on issues
directly related to the original thesis of the book.

Your finding and providing me with a reference does me a service. For that
I thank you, as I did not have a copy of the Carfagno translation in my
possession yesterday, and my copy of the Wolfe edition is a small paperback
in delicate shape. Having pointed it out, I can quote it, to show it in
context, as it is the only reference in the entire work to an orgone

The reference you cite (on pg. 326 of the 1946 Orgone Institue Press
edition, by the way) reads as follows, in the 10th chapter, titled "Work
Democracy", which, as a footnote (omitted in the Carfagno translation)
clearly notes, is reprinted from the "International Journal of Sex-economy
and Orgone Research 2, 1943".

"...Before I succeeded in discovering the orgone and in concentrating it in
accumulators, before I could make it visible and usable, I had to work for
years, had to master my irrationalism as best I could, had to learn to
understand why biology is mechanistic and mystical at the same time, had to
study books, to dissect mice, to treat diverse substances in hundreds of
different ways, etc. Only after all this had been done could I ask myself -
in the framework of the organic development of the work process - the
practical question whether the orgone had any curative properties. All this
means that every kind of vitally necessary and practical work has a
rational, organic development which proceeds in logical steps which one
cannot jump by any means whatsoever. This is the basic biological law of
'organic development.'..."

A single reference to "discovering the orgone and in concentrating it in
accumulators" in a book well over 300 pages long certainly does not reduce
its value to nothing more than "labeling" for an allegedly "fraudulent
medical device", or does it, Tim? This seems to be your argument, after all.

>Again, I would hate to give the false impression that, as a card-carrying
>ACLU member, I fail to protest the censorship of Reich's works. I have
>condemned this in each of my messages.

You have condemned it and then apologized for it anyway, claiming that it
never really happened, except to those silly books which mentioned orgone
energy, and thus were "labeling" for the orgone accumulator and deserved
it. You have also used each instance as an opportunity to besmirch Reich's

> The sale of fraudulent medical
>devices should have been stopped,

The FDA has never to this day demonstrated that it was a "fraudulent
medical device". In fact, the FDA never even tested the accumulator at the
time. This fact has come out in recent years, as a result of access to FDA
papers in the case released under the Freedom of Information Act.

>  but books and other printed matter have
>and deserve a special status under the law which was not respected.
>However, it is necessary in the interests of history to correct errors
>about the nature of the censorship -- it was not a general ban against
>Reich's work.

Saying it repeatedly does not make it so, Tim. Sorry. Historians of the
matter simply do not agree with your assessment of this issue, and there
are a number of them. I can provide an extensive bibliography if anyone
demands it.

>Since my correction has been confirmed, there does not seem to be a point
>in continuing this conversation, particularly given that my correspondent
>seems unable to control his temper.

I am sufficiently in control of my temper and other aspects of my behavior
that I am welcome at most O.T.O. bodies in the Bay Area. This is the third
time in this post that you have seen fit to characterize my emotional state
and fob it off on the group as a fact. It grows tiresome.

Your "correction" was not confirmed. What I conceded was incorrect in the
original statement was that the works were still technically illegal to
publish, and that was not my statement in the first place. As for the broad
nature of the injunction, *you* are the one in error.

>    That is unfortunate, as there were
>some issues in the original exchange that could have formed the basis for
>an interesting civil discussion.

I doubt it, Tim. You need to be right every time, even if you have to twist
the facts around in the process. That's not a basis for any kind of civil
discussion in my book.

93 93/93


                                 Clay Holden
                                     ( - )
                   ( + )
                        "Super caelestes roretis aquae:  __:__
                         Et terra fructum dabit suum."     |
                                  -John Dee              /^|^\

~From: Tim Maroney 

>>This seems to be a misreading of both men's work. Reich was entirely 
>>hostile to notions he identified as mystical, and vehemently denied that 
>>his work was "spiritual"

>A friend of mine who reads German has suggested
>that the word 'mystical' may be a mistranslation
>of a word that means something more like 'mystification'.
>Anybody care to confirm or deny? If this is
>so, it puts a rather different light on what
>WR was thinking...

He refers to his work as solving the rift between the opposed 
philosophies of materialism and mysticism, insisting that materialists 
erred in not realizing the unique properties of living matter and that 
mystics erred in postulating a spiritual force. This to me seems hard to 
reconcile with your friend's reading -- from context Reich is clearly 
addressing the entirety of belief in a spirit world when he is referring 
to mysticism.

Some of his criticisms of Freud's views as "metaphysical" might make 
sense if the word were translated as "obscurantist", though. I don't read 
German and so I can't say whether this is an appropriate reading, but 
context doesn't seem to exclude it.

Tim Maroney

~From: (John Everall)

>Reich was pretty much specifically referring to religious mysticism, which
>he saw as enslaving mankind in much the same way as political fascism. I
>think he was talking about the idea of a spirit separate from - and
>superior to - the body. Thus the mystical tendency to asceticism, and
>denial of the body, he saw as "biopathic".
>He also saw both as being sex-negative. Clearly, people who have a
>satisfactory sexual life are not ready to march off to war, and cannot be
>brought under control by biological shame and a fear of the afterworld by
>a priesthood.

I have always considered that Reich, like his mentor, overemphasized the
role played by sexual repression in such areas. Clearly, there are sexually
liberated individuals who would go to war for ideological reasons. Spain in
the thirties? The subsequent war against German/Italian fascism? Even Mr.
Crowley revealed a pro-belligerent attitude at times, telling Martha
Kuntzel that "England was going to knock Hitler for six!".
From my limited knowledge of Reich's involvement with German Marxists, they
apparently found his proposal of sexual problems as the etiology of all
social/political evil as too much to take, especially as Reich seemed
stubbornly resistant to the idea that Nazism arose because of economic
factors engendered by the punitive nature of the Versailles Treaty.
In the UK at present Neo-Nazism is most evident amongst the poorest section
of society - a section of society sexually liberated by comparison with the
somewhat inhibited middle classes, but economically disadvantaged and
looking for a convenient scapegoat. Reich's total obsession with all things
sexual is understandable given his training with Freud, but surely we have
to acknowledge that the causes of Hitlerism or Stalinism are manifold,
complex, and not so easily or conveniently explained.

>Reich was also an atheist, trained in psychoanalytic theory by Freud, and
>had also been a very active member of the Communist Party in Germany and
>elsewhere. He had been specifically concerned with sex education, and had
>already faced smear campaigns and interference from organized religion and
>fascists in more than one country. This early training had deep roots, and
>his rational mind could never accept religion or mysticism as anything but
>an enemy of mankind.

But at times he was his own worst enemy. The Institute he set up in Norway
outraged the Norwegian biological community because they considered his
knowledge in such areas to be less than that of an Undergraduate(perhaps
with some justification). Whatever Reich was, he wasn't a disinterested
researcher; he was a man with something of a Messiah complex. Such hubris
doesn't go down well in scientific circles.

>His most developed statement on the matter is in _Ether, God and Devil_.
>In it, Reich posited Orgone energy as being the actuality behind the
>scientific notion of "Ether" and the mystical idea of "God". Thus his
>diagram of Orgonomic Functionalism followed the Hegelian "thesis -
>antithesis - synthesis" model as follows:

Reich may or may not have been onto something of importance with his
theoretical concept of the orgone, but using language redolent of Marx in
claiming to "have discovered the laws of the living" reeks of megalomania.
OK, Reich was 'martyred', the victim of a conspiracy to silence him. Hence
his popularity amongst occultists and the scientifically illiterate. The
story is glamorous, it's sexy, but I would rather spend my time reading
about Crick & Watson's discovery of the DNA double-helix, who probably
weren't arrogant enough to make the sort of claims made by Reich, but would
have been rather more justified in making such claims.
I will add that I think the treatment of Reich and his work was
reprehensible. But surely we now live in a time where his theories can be
re-evaluated by the scientific community; but the best minds in the field
don't seem to be at all interested in doing this.
John Everall.

>Characteristics attributed to
> "God"                   "Ether"
>---------------         -------------------
>  Perception              Energy
>  Soul                    Body
>  Spirit                  Matter
>  Metaphysics             Materialism
>  Mysticism               Mechanistics, technology
>  Religion                Science
>  Quality                 Quantity
>  Subjective              Objective
>he saw resolved in the
> "Cosmic Orgone Energy"
>  Primordial energy
>  Universally existent
>  All-permeating
>  Origin of all energy (motion)
>  Origin of all matter
>  In the living being: biological energy
>  In the universe: origin of the galactic systems
>It was not a denial of the attributes of "God" or "Ether", but a synthesis
>which incorporated all of them into an actuality that he named Orgone, not
>too dissimilar to the Eastern conceptions of "prana", "chi" or "ki".
>Hope this helps.
>93 93/93,
>                                 Clay Holden
>                                     ( - )
>                   ( + )
>                        "Super caelestes roretis aquae:  __:__
>                         Et terra fructum dabit suum."     |
>                                  -John Dee              /^|^\


~From: (John Everall)

>     93.
>At 12:42 PM 7/15/97 +1040, John Everall wrote:
>>The problem is that Reich's 'martyrdom' could almost be said to conform to
>>a script of his own creation; in that he actively courted such a situation.

>     Hardly a disqualification for sainthood.  He's in good company.  ;-)

Perhaps. But in Reich's case, the martyrdom itself is taken as evidence of
the validity of his theories. Something which Reich was well aware of
judging by his writings.(The Murder Of Christ, etc).

>>Identifying himself with Christ, Bruno, etc provides ample evidence of his
>>martyr complex. He appears to have bought into the myth that his own
>>martyrdom would make the world sit up and take notice. It is all rather a
>>sad tale, but he appeared to believe that he was the latest in a line of
>>misunderstood 'prophets' who were destined to be persecuted, defamed, and
>>ultimately destroyed by an uncomprehending world.
>     Well, which was it?  Was he planning to trigger the revolution,
>or to be destroyed by an uncomprehending world?

Probably both. As I pointed out in a previous post he offended the
Norwegian biological community because of his lack of knowledge on the
subject. If you are going to make the sort of claims Reich made, then
surely a familiarity with the field you are working in is an asset? Reich
claimed the sea was blue because of orgone energy; likewise the sky. And
also the stars twinkled because of orgone energy. This is obvious nonsense,
in my opinion.

>> Has the orgone been observed by any disinterested scientists?
>     Difficult question.  Since all of Reich's orgone work has been
>officially labeled "quackery" by Real Science (which, of course, is
>Never Wrong), *any* scientist or researcher experimenting with
>Reich's data is automatically considered to have a pro-orgone bias.
>After all, if one didn't think there might be something to the orgone
>theory, one would hardly be conducting experiments that might lead to
>a different conclusion than that of the "experts" (none of whom ever
>themselves attempted Reich's experiments to see if they were duplicable).

Reich work hasn't been officially labeled anything of the sort. The sad
fact is that scientists generally don't see anything of worth in his
theories. They might be wrong. But the evidence doesn't look good for
Reich. I find it astonishing that no scientist has observed the orgone if
it is -as Reich claimed - the basic unit of 'life energy'. I don't believe
biologists actively avoided Reich's theories; rather they chose to
concentrate on genetic research(post Crick/Watson) with rather spectacular
results. Whatever Reich's method was it wasn't particularly scientific. His
claims were based on a nebulous concept, rather than something directly

>>Reich doesn't appear to be referring to a nebulous concept, but rather a
>>directly observable 'material' concept, which paradoxically doesn't appear
>>to have been observed by any researchers with the obvious exception of the
>     See above.  It also follows that anyone who does the experiments
>and gets similar results to Reich's automatically becomes a
>"partisan," to the degree that they no longer blindly accept the
>official opinion, and are therefore Eternally Damned. (Sorry about
>all this Capitalization for Emphasis...I've been reading Robert
>Anton Wilson again ).

Wilson's theories regarding "Fundamentalist Materialism" seem persuasive,
but I think he is guilty of a serious misreading of the 'facts'. Very few
scientists adopt the position that Wilson claims they do. His
interpretation appears to be as erronenous as his view of Marxism(which he
deliberately misrepresents). Here we have a man who gives too much credence
to Leary's somewhat arbitrary Eight-Circuit Model of psychology, which
seems to me to be unconvincing. Hopefully, Tim will come in on this one, as
I am not qualified to really analyse this in depth.

>>I don't want to sound flippant, but a better case for canonisation could be
>>made for Lenny Bruce, as his attempts to openly discuss sexuality and
>>'words of power' were enormously valid in a cultural context.
>     And of course, Lenny had no self-martyring complex, did he?  ;-)

Perhaps he did eventually, but I think his original intention was to openly
deal with taboo subjects. But unlike Reich, he opened the floodgates.
Bruce's work has validity in that he shattered taboos and left the way open
for non-censored discussion of certain subjects. Reich's contribution to
culture is not quite so concrete.
Best wishes, John Everall.

~From: Tim Maroney 

>>The problem is that Reich's 'martyrdom' could almost be said to conform to
>>a script of his own creation; in that he actively courted such a situation.

>     Hardly a disqualification for sainthood.

Actually, it is. Both Judaism and Christianity, which are among the more 
martyr-positive religions, have longstanding doctrines that forbid people 
with martyrdom complexes from arranging their own executions.

When someone orchestrates their own destruction, it's more than a little 
ridiculous to treat them as a martyr when they succeed.

>     Well, which was it?  Was he planning to trigger the revolution,
>or to be destroyed by an uncomprehending world?  

Both, it would appear.

>After all, if one didn't think there might be something to the orgone
>theory, one would hardly be conducting experiments that might lead to
>a different conclusion than that of the "experts" (none of whom ever 
>themselves attempted Reich's experiments to see if they were duplicable).

The idea that no one ever tested Reich's theory is one of the falsehoods 
about Reich promulgated by Robert Anton Wilson. Actually, if you read 
Jerome Greenfield's pro-Reich biography of Reich you will be able to 
examine in some detail the orgonomists' responses to the tests that were 
done at the time. (They consist of various excuses for why Reich's 
results were not reproduced, everything from the possible presence of 
fluorescent lights to the fact that medical workers are unsuitable test 
subjects because they're too hung-up.) Tests were in fact done, contra 
Wilson, and they are documented in the Journal of Orgonomy, from which 
Greenfield reprinted them.

Einstein was able to reproduce the temperature differential in the 
accumulator, but one of his students was able to explain it in terms of 
conventional physics. According to the Journal, Reich responded 
"masterfully" by rebutting the student's defense, and Einstein terminated 
the relationship. Unfortunately the letters between Einstein and Reich 
were not reprinted in the Journal -- I suppose since the master physicist 
Reich had rebutted it so strongly, there was no need to present the 
explanation favored by that loser Einstein.

>(Sorry about
>all this Capitalization for Emphasis...I've been reading Robert
>Anton Wilson again ).

Don't worry. I could tell. Your account is straight from Wilson.

Pro-Reichians like Greenfield and Higgins have their own account of the 
events, which are much less fanciful than Wilson's. He didn't even get 
the year right for the incinerator episode, and never mind what happened 
there -- Wilson's account is directly contradicted on this point by 
Higgins as well as Baker and Greenfield. Reichians seem never to have 
made the false Wilsonian claim that all Reich's books and papers in 
storage were burned, and they certainly don't try to blame Martin Gardner 
and the AMA for the FDA investigation. They also know better than to say 
it was illegal to publish Reich until 1967. Wilson is just making it up 
as far as I can tell.

Tim Maroney

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