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Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 06, 2015, 07:46:32 am »
Purchase of Orgonon
Wilhelm Reich Museum, Orgonon
In November 1942 Reich purchased an old farm on Dodge Pond, Maine, near Rangeley, with 280 acres (1.1 km2) of land, at a cost of $4,000. Calling it Orgonon, he started spending summers there, and had a one-room cabin built in 1943, a laboratory in 1945, a larger cabin in 1946 and an observatory in 1948.

In 1950 he decided to live there year-round, and in May that year moved from New York with Ilse, their son Peter, and Reich's daughter Eva, with the idea of creating a centre for the study of orgone. Several colleagues moved there with him, including two physicians with an interest in orgone, and Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Press Institute. The artist William Moise joined Reich as an assistant at Orgonon, later marrying his daughter Eva. Orgonon still houses the Wilhelm Reich Museum, as well as holiday cottages available to rent, one of which is the cottage Reich lived in with his family.

1947–1957: Legal problems and controversy
Brady articles and the FDA
newspaper article
Mildred Brady's "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich", The New Republic, 26 May 1947
August 1947 letter from the FDA about Reich, referencing the Brady article
Until 1947 Reich enjoyed a largely uncritical press in the United States. One journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, had called orgone a "surrealist creation," but his psychoanalytic work had been discussed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry, The Nation had given his writing positive reviews, and he was listed in American Men of Science.[114]

His reputation took a sudden downturn in April and May 1947, when articles by journalist Mildred Edie Brady appeared in Harper's and The New Republic, the latter entitled "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich," with the subhead, "The man who blames both neuroses and cancer on unsatisfactory sexual activities has been repudiated by only one scientific journal." Brady's ultimate target was not Reich but psychoanalysis, which Turner writes she regarded as akin to astrology. Of Reich she wrote: "Orgone, named after the sexual orgasm, is, according to Reich, a cosmic energy. It is, in fact, the cosmic energy. Reich has not only discovered it; he has seen it, demonstrated it and named a town – Orgonon, Maine – after it. Here he builds accumulators of it, which are rented out to patients, who presumably derive 'orgastic potency' from it."Brady argued that the "growing Reich cult" had to be dealt with.

At the top of his copy of the New Republic article, Reich wrote the words "THE SMEAR." Turner writes that Reich sent out a press release correcting some of Brady's points, but no one published it, though other publications reproduced her story.

In July 1947 Dr. J. J. Durrett, director of the Medical Advisory Division of the Federal Trade Commission, wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to look into Reich's claims about the health benefits of orgone. The FDA assigned an investigator to the case, who learned that Reich had built 250 accumulators. The FDA concluded that they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude." Sharaf writes that the FDA suspected a sexual racket of some kind; questions were asked about the women associated with orgonomy and "what was done with them."From that point on, Reich's work came increasingly to the attention of the authorities.

Orgonomic Infant Research Center
Reich set up the Orgonomic Infant Research Center (OIRC) in 1950, with the aim of preventing muscular "armouring" in children from birth. Meetings were held in the basement of Reich's house in Forest Hills. Christopher Turner writes that several children who were treated by OIRC therapists later said they had been sexually abused by them, though not by Reich. One woman said she was assaulted by one of Reich's associates when she was five years old. Children were asked to stand naked in front of Reich and a group of 30 therapists in his basement, while Reich described the children's "blockages."Reich's daughter, Lore Reich Rubin, told Turner that she believed her father was an abuser, though she did not say she had been abused by him and acknowledged that she had no evidence. She believed that Reich himself had been a victim of it as a child, which is why he developed such a keen interest in sex and childhood sexuality.

The sexual allegations apart, several people discussed how the vegetotherapy sessions had hurt them physically as children, as therapists pressed hard on certain parts of the body to loosen body armour. Reich's son, Peter, wrote in his autobiography, Book of Dreams (1973) about the pain this had caused him. Susanna Steig, the daughter of William Steig, the New Yorker cartoonist, wrote about being pressed so hard during Reichian therapy sessions that she had difficulty breathing, and said that a woman therapist had sexually assaulted her. Turner writes that in 1952 a nurse from New Jersey complained to the New York Medical Society that an OIRC therapist had taught her five-year-old son how to masturbate. The therapist was arrested, but the case was dropped when Reich agreed to close the OIRC.

Reich and Ollendorff divorced in September 1951, ostensibly because he thought she had had an affair, though she continued to work with him for another three years. Even after the divorce he continued to suspect her of having affairs, and persuaded her to sign confessions about her feelings of fear and hatred toward him, which he locked away in the archives of his Orgone Institute. He also wrote several documents denouncing her. He was himself having an affair at the time with Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Institute Press.

Also in 1951 Reich said he had discovered another energy that he called Deadly Orgone Radiation (DOR). He wrote that accumulations of DOR played a role in desertification and designed a "cloudbuster," two rows of 15-foot aluminium pipes mounted on a mobile platform, connected to cables that were inserted into water. He believed that it acted to unblock orgone energy in the atmosphere and that it could cause rain. Turner describes it as an "orgone box turned inside out."

He conducted dozens of experiments with the cloudbuster, calling his research "Cosmic Orgone Engineering." During a drought in 1953, two farmers in Maine offered to pay him if he could make it rain to save their blueberry crop. Reich used the cloudbuster on the morning of 6 July, and according to Bangor's Daily News – based on an eyewitness account that was probably from Peter Reich – rain began to fall that evening. The crop survived, the farmers declared themselves satisfied, and Reich received his fee.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 06, 2015, 07:44:41 am »
Experiment with Einstein
Reich discussed orgone accumulators with Albert Einstein in 1941.
In December 1940 Reich wrote to Albert Einstein saying he had a scientific discovery he wanted to discuss, and in January 1941 visited Einstein at his home in Princeton, where they talked for nearly five hours. He told Einstein that he had discovered a "specific biologically effective energy which behaves in many respects differently to all that is known about electromagnetic energy." He said it could be used against disease, and as a weapon "in the fight against the Fascist pestilence." (Einstein had signed a letter to President Roosevelt in August 1939 to warn of the danger of Nazi Germany building an atom bomb, and had urged the United States to set up its own research project.) Einstein agreed that if an object's temperature could be raised without an apparent heating source, as Reich was suggesting, it would be "a bomb in physics."

Reich was much encouraged by the meeting and hoped he would be invited to join Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. During their next meeting he gave Einstein a small accumulator, and over the next 10 days Einstein performed experiments with it in his basement, which involved taking the temperature above, inside and near the device, and stripping it down to its Faraday cage to compare temperatures. He observed a rise in temperature, which Reich argued was caused by orgone. One of Einstein's assistants pointed out that the temperature was lower on the floor than on the ceiling. Einstein concluded that the effect was simply due to the temperature gradient inside the room. "Through these experiments I regard the matter as completely solved," he wrote to Reich on 7 February 1941.

Reich responded with a 25-page letter in which he tried to change Einstein's mind. To rule out the influence of convection he told Einstein he had introduced a horizontal plate above the accumulator, wrapped it in a blanket, suspended it freely in the room, buried it underground and placed it outside. He wrote that in all these circumstances the temperature difference remained, and was in fact more marked in the open air. Einstein did not respond to this or to Reich's future correspondence – Reich would write regularly reporting the results of his experiments – until Reich threatened three years later to publish their previous exchange. Einstein replied that he could not devote any further time to the matter and asked that his name not be misused for advertising purposes. Reich believed that Einstein's change of heart was part of a conspiracy of some kind, perhaps related to the communists, or prompted by the rumours that Reich was ill. Reich published the correspondence in 1953 as The Einstein Affair.

Arrested by the FBI
Reich lost his position at the New School in May 1941 after writing to its director, Alvin Johnson, to say he had saved several lives in secret experiments with the accumulator. Johnson was aware of Reich's claims that he could cure cancer, and told him the New School was not an appropriate institution for the work. Reich was also evicted from Kessel Street after his neighbours complained about the animal experiments. His supporters, including Walter Briehl, gave him $14,000 to buy a house, and he settled into 9906 69th Avenue.

On 12 December 1941, five days after Pearl Harbor and the day after Germany declared it was at war with the United States, Reich was arrested in his home at 2 a.m. by the FBI and taken to Ellis Island, where he was held for over three weeks. He identified himself at the time as the Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Orgone Institute. He was at first left to sleep on the floor in a large hall, surrounded by members of the fascist German American Bund, who Reich feared might kill him, but when his psoriasis returned he was transferred to the hospital ward. He was questioned about several books the FBI found when they searched his home, including Hitler's Mein Kampf, Trotsky's My Life, a biography of Lenin and a Russian alphabet book for children. After threatening to go on hunger strike he was released, on 5 January, but his name remained on the "key figures list" of the Enemy Alien Control Unit, which meant he was placed under surveillance.

Turner writes that it seems Reich was the victim of mistaken identity; there was a William Reich who ran a bookstore in New Jersey, which was used to distribute Communist material. The FBI acknowledged the mistake in November 1943 and closed Reich's file. In 2000 it released 789 pages of the file, which said:

This German immigrant described himself as the Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Orgone Institute, President and research physician of the Wilhelm Reich Foundation and discoverer of biological or life energy. A 1940 security investigation was begun to determine the extent of Reich's communist commitments. A board of Alien Enemy Hearing judged that Dr. Reich was not a threat to the security of the U.S. In 1947, a security investigation concluded that neither the Orgone Project nor any of its staff were engaged in subversive activities or were in violation of any statute within the jurisdiction of the FBI.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 06, 2015, 07:40:58 am »
1939: Move to the United States
Teaching, second marriage
When Hitler annexed Austria in March 1938, Reich's ex-wife and daughters had already left for the United States. Later that year Theodore P. Wolfe, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, traveled to Norway to study under Reich. Wolfe offered to help Reich settle in the States, and managed to arrange an invitation from The New School in New York for Reich to teach a course on "Biological Aspects of Character Formation." Wolfe and Walter Briehl, a former student of Reich's, put up $5,000 to guarantee his visa. Wolfe also pulled strings with Adolph Berle, an official in the State Department. Reich wrote in his diary in May 1939:

I am sitting in a completely empty apartment waiting for my American visa. I have misgivings as to how it will go. ..... I am utterly and horribly alone!

It will be quite an undertaking to carry on all the work in America. Essentially, I am a great man, a rarity, as it were. I can't quite believe it myself, however, and that is why I struggle against playing the role of a great man."
He received the visa in August 1939, and sailed out of Norway on 19 August on the SS Stavangerfjord, the last boat to leave for the States before the war began on 3 September. He began teaching at The New School, where he remained until May 1941, living first at 7502 Kessel Street, Forest Hills, Queens, where he conducted experiments on mice with cancer, injecting them with bions. He built a small Faraday cage to examine the vapors and lights he said the bions were producing. In October 1939 his secretary Gertrud Gaasland introduced him to Ilse Ollendorf, 29 years old at the time. Reich was still in love with Lindenberg, but Ollendorf started organizing his life for him, becoming his bookkeeper and laboratory assistant. They began living together in the Kessel Street house on Christmas Day 1939. She was eight weeks pregnant, but according to Turner he insisted that she have an abortion. Five years later, in 1944, they had a son, Peter, and were married in 1946.

Sharaf writes that Reich's personality changed after his experience in Oslo. He became socially isolated and kept his distance even from old friends and his ex-wife. His students in the United States came to know him as a man that no colleague, no matter how close, called by his first name. In January 1940 he wrote to Lindenberg to break off their relationship once and for all, telling her that he was in despair and that he believed he would end up dying like a dog.

Orgonomy and The Orgone Energy Accumulator
Reich first said he had discovered a life force or cosmic energy, an extension of Freud's idea of the libido, in New York in 1939. He said he had seen traces of it when he injected his mice with bions and in the sky at night through an "organoscope," a special telescope. He called it "orgone energy" or "orgone radiation," and the study of it "orgonomy." He argued that it is in the soil and in the air (indeed is omnipresent), is blue or blue-grey, and that humankind had split its knowledge of it in two: "ether" for the physical aspect and "God" for the spiritual. The colour of the sky, the northern lights, St Elmo's Fire, and the blue of sexually excited frogs are manifestations of orgone, he wrote. He also argued that protozoa, red corpuscles, cancer cells and the chlorophyll of plants are charged with it.

In 1940 he began to build insulated Faraday cages that he said would concentrate the orgone, and called them "orgone accumulators." The earliest boxes were for lab animals. He built his first human-sized, five-foot-tall box in December 1940, and set it up in the basement of his house. Turner writes that it was made of plywood lined with rock wool and sheet iron, and had a chair inside and a small window. The boxes had multiple layers of these materials so that they were, in effect, boxes within boxes; this caused the orgone concentration inside the box to be three to five times stronger than in the air, Reich said.

The accumulators were tested on mice with cancer, and on plant growth. He wrote to his supporters in July 1941 that orgone is "definitely able to destroy cancerous growth. This is proved by the fact that tumors in all parts of the body are disappearing or diminishing. No other remedy in the world can claim such a thing." Although not licensed to practise medicine in the United States, he began testing the boxes on human beings suffering from cancer and schizophrenia. In one case the test had to be stopped prematurely because the subject heard a rumour that Reich was insane; there were stories, which were false, that he had been hospitalized in the Utica State Mental Hospital. In another case the father of an eight-year-old girl with cancer approached him for help, then complained to the American Medical Association that he was practising without a licence. He asked his supporters to stick with him through the criticism, believing that he had developed a grand unified theory of physical and mental health.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 06, 2015, 07:32:00 am »
1934–1939: Norway
Willy Brandt
In October 1934 Reich and Lindenberg moved to Norway, where Harald K. Schjelderup, professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, had invited Reich to lecture on character analysis and on vegetotherapy. They ended up staying for five years.

During his time in Norway Reich attempted to ground his orgasm theory in biology, exploring whether Freud's metaphor of the libido in fact represented electricity or a chemical substance, an argument Freud had proposed in the 1890s but had abandoned. Reich argued that conceiving of the orgasm as nothing but mechanical tension and relaxation could not explain why some experience pleasure and others do not. He wanted to know what additional element had to be present for pleasure to be felt.

According to Sharaf, the work of the Austrian internist Friedrich Kraus influenced Reich. Kraus had argued in his Allgemeine und Spezielle Pathologie der Person [General and special pathology of the individual] (1926) that the biosystem was a relay-like switch mechanism of electrical charge and discharge. Reich wrote in 1934 that the orgasm is just such a bioelectrical discharge and proposed his "orgasm formula": mechanical tension (filling of the organs with fluid; tumescence) → bioelectrical charge → bioelectrical discharge → mechanical relaxation (detumescence).

Turner wrote that in 1935 Reich bought an oscillograph and attached it to friends and students, who volunteered to masturbate, while Reich read the tracings. (One volunteer, the young Willy Brandt, the future chancellor of Germany, was at the time Reich's secretary's boyfriend, living in Norway to organize protests against the Nazis.) Reich described the oscillograph experiments in 1937 in Experimentelle Ergebniße Über Die Elektrische Funktion von Sexualität und Angst (The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety).

Bion experiments and T-bacilli
Further information: Spontaneous generation and Abiogenesis
From 1934 to 1939 Reich conducted what he called the bion experiments, which he published as Die Bione: Zur Entstehung des vegetativen Lebens in Oslo in 1938 (published in English in 1979 as The Bions: The Origins of Life). He examined protozoa and grew cultured vesicles using grass, sand, iron and animal tissue, boiling them and adding potassium and gelatin. Having heated the materials to incandescence with a heat-torch, he wrote that he had seen bright, glowing, blue vesicles. He called them "bions" and believed they were a rudimentary form of life, halfway between life and non-life. He wrote that when he poured the cooled mixture onto growth media, bacteria were born, dismissing the idea that the bacteria were already present in the air or on other materials.

In what Sharaf writes was the origins of the orgone theory, Reich said he could see two kinds of bions, the blue vesicles and smaller red ones shaped like lancets. He called the former PA-bions and the latter T-bacilli, the T standing for Tod, German for death. He wrote in The Cancer Biopathy (1948) that he had found T-bacilli in rotting cancerous tissue obtained from a local hospital, and when injected into mice they caused inflammation and cancer. He concluded that, when orgone energy diminishes in cells through aging or injury, the cells undergo "bionous degeneration." At some point the deadly T-bacilli start to form in the cells. Death from cancer, he believed, was caused by an overwhelming growth of the T-bacilli.
General POIS Discussion / What is POIS? (from Wikipedia)
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 05, 2015, 10:43:16 am »
Post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) is a rare condition characterized by debilitating symptoms following orgasm that last for a few hours to several days. The phenomenon was first described in 2002.

Symptoms usually appear within half an hour of orgasm and resolve after a few days. The person experiences mental symptoms, physical symptoms, or both. Common mental symptoms include cognitive dysfunction, intense discomfort, irritability, anxiety, craving for relief, susceptibility to nervous system stresses (e.g. common cold), depressed mood, and difficulty communicating, remembering words, reading and retaining information, concentrating, and socialising. Physical symptoms include severe fatigue, mild to severe headache, and flu-like and allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal irritation, and muscle pain. Affected individuals may also experience intense warmth or cold.

Waldinger says this condition is prone to being erroneously ascribed to psychological factors or hypochondria. In a 2010 British Medical Journal case study, Dexter links a form of coital headache with POIS, and references a science forum in which thousands of sufferers (a number which is rapidly growing) have detailed their condition. Dexter's patient was found to have low progesterone.

Affected individuals typically avoid sexual activity, especially orgasm, or schedule it for times when they can rest and recover for several days afterwards.

Two people have been treated using hyposensitation techniques for semen allergies. One person, who had been symptomatic for 27 years, was treated norethisterone, half an hour before, and in the minutes just after orgasm.

Most recently, in early 2011, Professor Waldinger and collaborators further characterized POIS, proposed a specific immunological mechanism, and empirically supported their hypothesis on 45 Dutch Caucasian males. This study concluded that both Type-1 and Type-4 allergy to male's own semen contribute to symptoms of the illness.

Dexter speculates that POIS could be caused by a lack of progesterone, a powerful neurosteroid, or a defect in neurosteroid precursor synthesis. In the latter case, the same treatment may not be effective for different sufferers. Different sufferers may have different missing precursors, ultimately leading to a deficiency of the same particular neurosteroid, causing similar symptoms.

An array of more subtle, lingering symptoms after orgasm, which would not constitute POIS, may contribute to habituation between mates. They may show up as restlessness, irritability, increased sexual frustration, apathy, sluggishness, neediness, dissatisfaction with a mate, or weepiness over the days or weeks after intense sexual stimulation. Such phenomena may be part of human mating physiology itself. Habituation to a mate can drive the search for novel mates (the Coolidge effect).

One researcher suggests that the symptoms may be produced by an autoimmune reaction against any of various hormones or other substances secreted during and after sex. Another suggests that chemical imbalances in the brain may cause the symptoms.

It is difficult to demonstrate a causal relationship based on patient reports.

Sexual activity for the first time may set the stage for an associated asthmatic attack or may aggravate pre-existing asthma. Intense emotional stimuli during sexual intercourse can lead to autonomic imbalance with parasympathetic over reactivity, thereby causing release of mast cell mediators that can provoke postcoital asthma and/or rhinitis in these patients’.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 05, 2015, 10:16:54 am »
Reich became the assistant director of the Vienna clinic under Hitschmann in 1924 and worked there until his move to Berlin in 1930. He was only in his twenties when he began at the Ambulatorium, but Danto writes:

When Reich entered the [Ambulatorium's] conference room after a full day at the clinic, his relative youth vanished. He spread an electrifying energy all his own; his deep-set eyes, wavy hair and high forehead of the rebellious German intellectual barely tempered by the military mannerisms of a Prussian army official. Under his leadership the analysts developed not only path-breaking clinical protocols but also attended to the more mundane aspects of running a clinic.
Sharaf writes that working with labourers, farmers and students allowed Reich to move away from treating neurotic symptoms to observing chaotic lifestyles and anti-social personalities. Reich argued that neurotic symptoms such as obsessive-compulsive disorder were an unconscious attempt to gain control of a hostile environment, including poverty or childhood abuse. They were examples of what he called "character armour" (Charakterpanzer), repetitive patterns of behaviour, speech and body posture that served as defence mechanisms. Danto writes that Reich sought out patients at the Ambulatorium who had been diagnosed as psychopaths, believing that psychoanalysis could free them of their rage.

He opened six free sex-counselling clinics in Vienna, each one overseen by a physician, with three obstetricians and a lawyer on call, offering what he called Sex-Pol counselling for working-class patients. Sex-Pol stood for the German Society of Proletarian Sexual Politics. Danto writes that Reich offered a mixture of "psychoanalytic counseling, Marxist advice and contraceptives," and argued for a sexual permissiveness, including for young people and the unmarried, that unsettled other psychoanalysts and the political left. The clinics were immediately overcrowded by people seeking help. He also took to the streets in a mobile clinic, driving to local parks and out to the suburbs with other psychoanalysts and physicians. Reich would talk to the teenagers and men, while a gynaecologist would fit the women with contraceptive devices, and Lia Laszky, the woman Reich fell in love with at medical school, would speak to the children. They also distributed sex-education pamphlets door to door.

Reich joined the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Vienna in 1924, and became its director of training. According to Danto, he was well-regarded during this period for the weekly technical seminars he chaired at the Ambulatorium, where he gave papers on his emerging theory of character structure, arguing that psychoanalysis should be based on the examination of unconscious character traits, later known as ego defences. The seminars were attended, from 1927, by Fritz Perls, who went on to develop Gestalt therapy with his wife, Laura Perls.

Reich's first book, Der triebhafte Charakter: Eine psychoanalytische Studie zur Pathologie des Ich ("The Impulsive Character: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Pathology of the Self"), was published in 1925. It was a study of the anti-social personalities he had encountered in the Ambulatorium, and argued the need for a systematic theory of character. The book won him professional recognition, including from Freud, who in 1927 arranged for his appointment to the executive committee of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. The appointment was made over the objection of Paul Federn, who had been Reich's second analyst in 1922 and who, according to Sharaf, regarded Reich as a psychopath. Reich found the society dull and wrote that he behaved "like a shark in a pond of carps."

In 1929, Reich’s article “Dialectical Materialism and Psychoanalysis“ was published in Unter dem Banner des Marxismus. Reich was one of the first writers to consider the connections between psychoanalysis and Marxism. In this text, he explores whether psychoanalysis is compatible with historical materialism, class struggle and proletarian revolution. He concludes that it is if dialectical materialism is applied to psychology. This was one of the central theoretical statements of his Marxist period that included the texts The Imposition of Sexual Morality (1932), The Sexual Struggle of Youth (1932), The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), “What is Class Consciousness?” (1934) and The Sexual Revolution (1936).

Orgastic potency
Further information: Orgastic potency and The Function of The Orgasm

Reich lived for a time on Berggasse in Vienna, where Freud lived at no. 19.
Beginning in 1924 Reich published a series of papers on the idea of "orgastic potency," the ability to release the emotions from the muscles and lose the self in an uninhibited orgasm, an idea that Freud came to call Reich's "Steckenpferd" (hobby horse). Reich argued that psychic health and the ability to love depended on orgastic potency.He wrote: "It is not just to **** ... not the embrace in itself, not the intercourse. It is the real emotional experience of the loss of your ego, of your whole spiritual self." He argued that orgastic potency was the goal of character analysis.

Sharaf writes that, whereas Reich's work on character was well received by the psychoanalytic community, his work on orgastic potency was unpopular within psychoanalysis from the start and was later met with ridicule; he came to be known as the "prophet of the better orgasm," and the "founder of a genital utopia."

He published Die Funktion des Orgasmus (Function of the Orgasm) in 1927 and presented a copy of the manuscript to Freud on the latter's 70th birthday on 6 May 1926. Freud did not appear impressed. He replied "that thick?" when Reich handed it to him, and took two months to write a brief but positive letter in response, which Reich interpreted as a rejection. Freud's view was that the matter was more complicated than Reich suggested, and that there was no single cause of neurosis. He wrote in 1928 to another psychoanalyst, Dr. Lou Andreas-Salomé: "We have here a Dr. Reich, a worthy but impetuous young man, passionately devoted to his hobby-horse, who now salutes in the genital orgasm the antidote to every neurosis. Perhaps he might learn from your analysis of K. to feel some respect for the complicated nature of the psyche."

In 1929, he and his wife visited the Soviet Union on a lecture tour, leaving the two children in the care of the psychoanalyst Berta Bornstein. Sharaf writes that he returned even more convinced of the link between sexual and economic oppression, and of the need to integrate Marx and Freud.

From 1925 to 1933, Reich worked on the ideas that he published as Charakteranalyse: Technik und Grundlagen für studierende und praktizierende Analytiker (1933), revised and published in English in 1946 and 1949 as Character Analysis. Robert Corrington writes that the book, regarded as Reich's masterpiece, sought to move psychoanalysis away from the treatment of symptoms toward a reconfiguration of character structure.

For Reich, character structure was the result of social processes, in particular a reflection of castration and Oedipal anxieties playing themselves out within the nuclear family. Les Greenberg and Jeremy Safran write that Reich proposed a functional identity between the character, emotional blocks, and tension in the body, or what he called muscular or body armour. (He blamed Freud's jaw cancer on his character armouring (Charakterpanzer), rather than on his smoking: Freud's Judaism meant he was "biting down" impulses, rather than expressing them.) He argued that dissolving the muscular armour would bring back the memory of the childhood repression that had caused the blockage in the first place.

Verlag für Sexualpolitik
Reich and his wife moved to Berlin in 1930, where he set up clinics in working-class areas, taught sex education and published pamphlets. He joined the Communist Party of Germany, but grew impatient with them over their delay in publishing one of his pamphlets, Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend (published in English in 1972 as The Sexual Struggle of Youth). He set up his own publishing house in 1932, calling it Verlag für Sexualpolitik, and published the pamphlet himself. His subsequent involvement in a conference promoting adolescent sexuality caused the party to announce that it would no longer publish his material. In March 1933, Freud advised him that Reich's contract with the International Psychoanalytic Publishers to publish Character Analysis was cancelled; Sharaf writes that this was almost certainly because of Reich's stance on teenage sex.

A plaque on the house Reich lived in (1931–1933) at Schlangenbader Straße 87, Berlin-Wilmersdorf
He had several affairs during his marriage; the marriage ended in 1933 after he began a serious relationship in May 1932 with Elsa Lindenberg, a dancer and pupil of Elsa Gindler. He was living with Lindenberg in Germany when Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933. On March 2 that year, the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter published an attack on Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend; Reich left with Lindenberg for Vienna the next day. They moved to Denmark, where Reich was excluded from the Danish Communist Party in November 1933, without ever having joined it, over his promotion of teenage sex and the publication that year of The Mass Psychology of Fascism, which they regarded as "counterrevolutionary." There were multiple complaints about his promotion of abortion, sex education and the attempted suicide of a teenage patient; Turner writes that when his visa expired, it was not renewed.

He tried to find support among psychoanalysts in the UK so that he could settle there, and was interviewed in London by Ernest Jones, Melanie Klein, Joan Riviere and James Strachey. They decided that he had been "insufficiently analysed" and had an unresolved hostility toward Freud. Anna Freud, Freud's daughter, whom Jones had contacted about Reich's desire to move to England, wrote in 1938: "There is a wall somewhere where he stops to understand the other person's point of view and flies off into a world of his own ... He is an unhappy person ... and I am afraid this will end in sickness."

He and Lindenberg moved instead to Malmö in Sweden, which Reich described as "better than a concentration camp," but he was placed under surveillance when police suspected that the hourly visits of patients to his hotel room meant he was running a brothel, with Lindenberg as the prostitute. The government declined to extend his visa, and the couple had to move briefly back to Denmark, Reich under an assumed name.

Further information: Vegetotherapy, Body psychotherapy and Neo-Reichian massage
From 1930 onwards, Reich began to treat patients outside the limits of psychoanalysis's restrictions. Because Reich felt that the movement of the diaphragm was critical to psychic health, he would sit opposite patients, rather than behind them as they lay on a couch (the traditional psychoanalyst's position), and began talking to them and answering their questions, instead of offering the stock, "Why do you ask?" analyst's response while he was strictly observing their breathing. He had noticed that after a successful course of psychoanalysis his patients would become more relaxed and hold their bodies differently, so he began to try to bring about that relaxation of the body using massage and other physical touches. He asked his male patients to undress down to their shorts, and sometimes entirely, and his female patients down to their underclothes, so he could see their breathing all the way to the pelvis, and began to massage chronically tense areas to loosen their 'body armor'. He would also ask them to simulate physically the effects of certain emotions in the hope of triggering them. He would exploit autonomic reactions such as the gag reflex, to stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body and overcome chronic tightness of specific muscle groups.

He first presented the principles of what he called character-analytic vegetotherapy in a paper called "Psychischer Kontakt und vegetative Strömung" (Psychological Contact and Vegetative Current") in August 1934 at the 13th International Congress of Psychoanalysis at Lucerne, Switzerland, and went on to develop the technique between 1935 and 1940. His second wife, Ilse Ollendorf, said it replaced the psychoanalytic approach of never touching a patient with "a physical attack by the therapist."

The approach undermined the psychoanalytic position of neutrality. Reich argued that the psychoanalytic taboos reinforced the neurotic taboos of the patient, and that he wanted his patients to see him as human. Reich believed that science and not culture should determine the methods of psychoanalysis, and that the goal was to make the patient better, not to win acclaim for having good manners. He would press his thumb or the palm of his hand hard (and painfully) on their jaws, necks, chests, backs, or thighs, aiming to dissolve their muscular, and thereby characterological, rigidity. He wrote that the massage aimed to retrieve the repressed memory of the childhood situation that had caused the repression; if the session worked, he would see waves of pleasure move through their bodies, which he called the "orgasm reflex." According to Sharaf, the twin goals of Reichian therapy were the attainment of this orgasm reflex during sessions and orgastic potency during intercourse. Reich briefly considered calling it "orgasmotherapy," but thought better of it.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 05, 2015, 10:16:10 am »
Reich in 1900
Reich was born the first of two sons to Leon Reich, a farmer, and his wife Cäcilie (née Roniger) in Dobzau, Galicia, then part of Austria-Hungary, now in Ukraine. There was a sister too, born one year after Reich, but she died in infancy. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Jujinetz, a village in Bukovina, where his father took control of a cattle farm leased by his mother's uncle, Josef Blum.

His father was by all accounts a cold and jealous man. Both parents were Jewish, but decided against raising the boys as Jews. Reich and his brother, Robert, were brought up to speak only German, were punished for using Yiddish expressions and forbidden from playing with the local Yiddish-speaking children.

As an adult, Reich wrote extensively in his diary of his sexual precocity. He maintained that his first sexual experience was at the age of four when he tried to have sex with the family maid (with whom he shared a bed), that he would regularly watch the animals have sex, that he used a whip handle sexually on the horses while masturbating, and that he had almost daily sexual intercourse from the age of 11 with another of the servants. He wrote of regular visits to brothels, the first of which took place when he was 15, and said he was visiting them daily from the age of around 17. He also developed sexual fantasies about his mother, writing when he was 22 that he masturbated while thinking about her.

It is impossible to judge the truth of these diary entries, but Reich's second daughter, psychiatrist Lore Reich Rubin, told Christopher Turner that she believed Reich had been a victim of child sexual abuse, and that this explained his lifelong interest in sex and childhood sexuality.

1919–1930: Vienna, medicine and psychoanalysis
Undergraduate studies
Reich joined the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War, serving from 1915 to 1918, for the last two years as a lieutenant with 40 men under his command at the Italian front. When the war ended he headed for Vienna, enrolling in law at the University of Vienna, but found it dull and switched to medicine after the first semester. He arrived with nothing in a city with little to offer; the overthrow of the Austria-Hungarian empire a few weeks earlier had left the newly formed Republic of German-Austria in the grip of famine. Reich lived on soup, oats and dried fruit from the university canteen, and shared an unheated room with his brother and another undergraduate, wearing his coat and gloves indoors to stave off the cold. He fell in love with another medical student, Lia Laszky, with whom he was dissecting a corpse, but it was largely unrequited.

Myron Sharaf writes that Reich loved medicine, but was caught in the conflict between a reductionist/mechanistic and vitalist view of the world. Reich wrote later of this period:

The question, "What is Life?" lay behind everything I learned. ... It became clear that the mechanistic concept of life, which dominated our study of medicine at the time, was unsatisfactory ... There was no denying the principle of creative power governing life; only it was not satisfactory as long as it was not tangible, as long as it could not be described or practically handled. For, rightly, this was considered the supreme goal of natural science."

Introduction to Freud
Sigmund Freud
Reich first met Sigmund Freud in 1919 when he asked Freud for a reading list for a seminar on sexology. It seems they left a strong impression on each other. Freud allowed him to start seeing analytic patients in September that year, though he was just 22 and still an undergraduate, which gave him a small income. He was accepted as a guest member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association, becoming a regular member in October 1920, and began his own analysis with Isidor Sadger. He lived and worked out of an apartment on Berggasse 7, the street where Freud lived at no. 19, in the Alsergrund area of Vienna.

One of Reich's first patients was Lore Kahn, a 19-year-old woman with whom he had an affair. Freud had warned analysts not to involve themselves with their patients, but in the early days of psychoanalysis the warnings went unheeded. According to Reich's diaries, Kahn became ill in November 1920 and died of sepsis after sleeping in a bitterly cold room she had rented as a place for her and Reich to meet (both his landlady and her parents had forbidden their meetings). Kahn's mother suspected that her daughter had died after a botched illegal abortion, possibly carried out by Reich himself; Christopher Turner writes that she apparently found some of her daughter's bloodied underwear in a cupboard.

It was a serious allegation to make against a physician. Reich wrote in his diary that the mother had been attracted to him and had made the allegation to damage him. She went on to commit suicide and Reich blamed himself.[23] According to Turner, if Kahn did have an abortion, she was the first of four of Reich's partners to do so: his first wife had several, and his long-term partners Elsa Lindenberg and Ilse Ollendorf (his second wife) each had one at Reich's insistence.

Because he was a war veteran Reich was allowed to complete his six-year medical degree in four years, and received his M.D. in July 1922. After graduating he worked in internal medicine at the city's University Hospital, and studied neuropsychiatry from 1922 to 1924 at the hospital's neurological and psychiatric clinic under Professor Julius Wagner von Jauregg, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1927.

Vienna Ambulatorium, Sex-Pol clinics
Staff of the Vienna Ambulatorium, 1922. Eduard Hitschmann is seated fourth from the left, Reich fifth, and Annie Reich first on the right.
In 1922 Reich began working in Freud's psychoanalytic outpatient clinic, known as the Vienna Ambulatorium, which was opened on 22 May that year at Pelikangasse 18 by Eduard Hitschmann. Between 1922 and 1932 it offered free or reduced-cost psychoanalysis to 1,445 men and 800 women who could otherwise not afford to pay for it, many of them shell-shocked because of their experiences during the war. It was the second such clinic that had opened under Freud's direction; the first was the Poliklinik in Berlin, opened in 1920 by Max Eitingon and Ernst Simmel.
Energy Devices and POIS Discussion / The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 05, 2015, 09:19:52 am »
Wilhelm Reich (24 March 1897 – 3 November 1957) was an Austrian psychoanalyst, a member of the second generation of psychoanalysts after Sigmund Freud, and one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry. He was the author of several influential books, most notably Character Analysis (1933) and The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933). His work on character contributed to the development of Anna Freud's The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936), and his idea of muscular armour – the expression of the personality in the way the body moves – shaped innovations such as body psychotherapy, Fritz Perls's Gestalt therapy, Alexander Lowen's bioenergetic analysis, and Arthur Janov's primal therapy. His writing influenced generations of intellectuals: during the 1968 student uprisings in Paris and Berlin, students scrawled his name on walls and threw copies of The Mass Psychology of Fascism at the police.

After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1922, Reich studied neuropsychiatry under Julius Wagner-Jauregg and became deputy director of the Vienna Ambulatorium, Freud's psychoanalytic outpatient clinic. Described by Elizabeth Danto as a large man with a cantankerous style who managed to look scruffy and elegant at the same time, he tried to reconcile psychoanalysis with Marxism, arguing that neurosis is rooted in physical, sexual and socio-economic conditions, and in particular in a lack of what he called "orgastic potency." He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived, and took to the streets in a mobile clinic, promoting adolescent sexuality and the availability of contraceptives, abortion and divorce, a provocative message in Catholic Austria. He said he wanted to "attack the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment."

From the 1930s, he became an increasingly controversial figure; from 1932 until his death all his work was self-published. His promotion of sexual permissiveness disturbed the psychoanalytic community and his associates on the political left, and his vegetotherapy, in which he massaged his disrobed patients to dissolve their muscular armour, violated the key taboos of psychoanalysis. He moved to New York in 1939, in part to escape the Nazis, and shortly after arriving there coined the term "orgone" – derived from "orgasm" and "organism" – for a cosmic energy he said he had discovered, which he said others referred to as God. In 1940, he started building orgone accumulators, devices that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper's, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude." Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years in prison, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court. He died in jail of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.
Bodywork Therapies & Techniques and POIS / "Muscular Armor" Essay
« Last post by truthaboutpois on April 05, 2015, 09:11:31 am »
Working with the Body in Psychotherapy from a Reichian Viewpoint

By Dr. Richard Blasband M.D.
The body has assumed greater importance theoretically and practically in the understanding of the individual as a unity and in the conduct of therapy. By therapy I mean here interventions into the cognitive and emotional structure of the individual to provide relief, amelioration, or “cure“ of emotional and/or behavioral malfunctions. Most often this takes the form of psychotherapy with or without explicit attention to the body. In psychoanalysis, attention to the body was first significantly noted by Ferenczi (T. Braatoy, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique, John Wiley, 1954), then practiced by Groddeck (G. Groddeck, The Book of the It, Vintage Books, 1961), but an understanding of the greater depth of the relationship between the mind and the body did not come until the work of Wilhelm Reich and his formulation of characterological and muscular “armoring“ (W. Reich, Character Analysis, Orgone Institute Press, 1949). Self-taught students of Reich’s work, such as Alexander Lowen (The Physical Dynamics of Character Structure, Collier, 1971, Bioenergetics, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1957) and Charles Kelley (Editor, Radix Journal, 1978-1980), and others totally independent of Reich, such as F. M. Alexander (E. Maisel, The Alexander Technique, Corel Publishing, 1995) made their own contributions to the field. Today, while these disciplines remain independent in organization and training institutions, they are all pioneers under the umbrella known today as “somatics” or “body-oriented psychotherapy.“

Alexander practitioners do not identify themselves as therapists, per se, but as educators, as do many other body workers. The Alexander process, however, provides the client with increased contact with himself and the capacity to move energy in healthful ways through the body by self-attention. It is highly integrative and functional in that it informs the client about the “self,“ stressing the total organismic changes that are important for health, and providing integrative support in the hands of the right practitioner.

My training was with Elsworth F. Baker, Reich’s chosen successor to train psychiatrists in his “psychiatric orgone therapy.“ In the final evolution of his work, Reich had discovered “orgone energy,“ a life energy existing in all living things, the atmosphere, and the cosmos. Accordingly he named his therapeutic discipline “ psychiatric orgone therapy “ in view of his finding that, at the end of therapy, when the patient was capable of surrendering to his deepest feelings, it was the free flow of orgone energy through his body that defined this state.

While I know something about the other forms of therapy that attend to the body (R. Blasband, “Alexander Lowen’s Physical Dynamics of Character Structure & The Language of the Body,“ Journal of Orgonomy 9(2): 252-63, 1975, and R. Blasband, “Three ‘NeoReichian’ Journals,“ Journal of Orgonomy 14(2), 1980), I can only write with authority on psychiatric orgone therapy and somewhat on its significance for other disciplines.

Reich’s discovery of muscular armoring in the body came directly out of his explorations into the character structure of his patients. “Character analysis“ was Reich’s seminal contribution to psychoanalytic technique. In essence, Reich found that by attending strictly and consistently to the “negative transference“ of the patient and the form of the patient’s verbal productions rather than their content, he was able to deal more effectively with the patient’s defensive structure and thus penetrate more deeply and surely into the structure of the neurosis. Each patient had a characteristic way in which he expressed himself. By focusing on this way, be it a form of repeated or chronic facial expression, of speaking, of holding oneself, of walking, etc., and by repetitively describing to the patient this way, mimicking the patient, and eventually analysis of the behavior regarding its present-day and past functions, Reich found that patients, often after initial anger at Reich for “attacking them,“ eventually gave in to the softer, yielding emotions against which their defenses protected them. By systematically working on the character of the patient, Reich found that layer after layer of impulse/defense gave way until, as Reich empirically found, at the “core“ of each individual was a naturally healthfully aggressive, responsible, independent, freely loving, sexual creature.

With the establishment of the core of the patient and his commensurate capacity for full discharge of excessive energetic excitations in the sexual embrace (orgastic potency), the neurotic structure would spontaneously dissolve. Reich went to great pains to differentiate orgastic potency, the complete surrender to a loved partner in sex, from the usual sexual behavior in neurotics, which is most often devoid of love and characterized by either forceful pushing or passivity by either sex. In neurosis, one cannot surrender to one’s partner, and energetic discharge is unsatisfactory at best (W. Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, Orgone Institute Press, 1942).

Reich’s “character analytic treatment“ underwent a significant transformation when he discovered that the character armor was “anchored“ in patterns of chronic muscular contraction in the body. He discovered the muscular armoring when working with a patient who had a strong stubborn defense. By constantly calling the patient’s attention to his “stiff-necked stubbornness,“ the patient finally let go of the defense, letting his neck relax. He was then flooded with alternating sympathetic and parasympathetic excitations and feelings. It was obvious to Reich that, in addition to the patient’s ideation, behavior, and postural attitude, that the patient’s stiff-necked stubbornness was simultaneously manifested literally in a rigidity of the muscles of his neck. Reich went on to observe such physical and physiological patterns in other patients, finally concluding that the muscular armoring was laid down in definite patterns that corresponded to emotionally expressive segments of the body: ocular, oral, cervical or throat, chest (including the back and arms), diaphragm, abdomen, and pelvis (including the legs). Because the muscular armor is a functionally identical facet of the character armoring, it serves the same purposes as the latter: simultaneously a means of sustaining contact with the outer world, and a defense against blocked impulses.

Two segments, the oral and pelvic segments, contain erogenous zones. In the natural course of development in childhood, the yearnings for contact in these zones, plus the eyes, are “satisfied“ and life energy (“orgone energy“) remains free to spontaneously pulsate within the segments and within the body as a whole. The person is “alive.“ The unarmored eyes will be bright, mobile, and sustain good contact with others and the world, freely capable of expressing flirtatiousness, love, anxiety, or anger. The lips of the mouth will be full, pink, warm, the mouth appearing soft, capable of expressing love, fear, sorrow, and anger, the voice pleasing and resonant. The pelvis will be mobile, warm, and capable of fully tolerating and expressing sexual feelings. In the genital embrace the organism-as-a-whole will pulsate, yielding at orgasm to the full swing of energy surging through the body. The pelvis will tilt forward in rhythmic pulsations as the rest of the body yields to the energy movement. Reich called this the “orgasm reflex.“ Its presence signals a capacity for full surrender. It is of more than a little interest that the pelvic (orgasm) reflex is unmentioned in medical and biological texts. The reason is that it is rarely felt or seen. Armoring in the vast majority of people prevents the appearance of the reflex, or when it does appear it is distorted and not fully expressed. Reich described a “4-beat“ formula for orgasm involving mechanical tumescence with tension of the tissues, leading to bioenergetic charging, then bioenergetic discharge, and mechanical relaxation. This sequence is always disrupted at some point when the individual is armored. Reich documented his findings about muscular armoring in German in 1935 (Psychischer Kontakt ud Vegetative Stromung. Beitrag zur Affecktlehre und charakteranalytischen Technik. Sex-Pol-Verlag) and 1937 (Orgasmreflex, Muskelhaltung und Korperausdruck. Zur Technik der charackteranalytisched Vegetotherapie. Sex-Pol-Verlag), and in English in 1942 (The Function of the Orgasm) and 1949 (Character Analysis), Orgone Institute Press.

Armoring in a segment includes all of the organs circumscribed by the segment from anterior to posterior in the body. It serves to block the free longitudinal flow of bioenergy in the body. In the oral segment, for example, armoring will include all the muscles of the jaw, the tissue lining the mouth, and extend to the suboccipital muscles of the back of the head. The tongue is not included in this segment because it inserts into the throat. Also included in the oral segment are all the neural connections and glands that function about the mouth. The function of the oral segment in armoring is to hold back emotions that would be expressed by the mouth. This includes crying, anger, and fear. Armoring in the mouth most often begins in infancy with thwarting of the urge to suck on the mother’s breast. Armoring can take two forms according to Elsworth Baker (Man in the Trap, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1967). These are “inhibited,“ where no or almost no satisfaction was obtained at the breast, and “unsatisfied,“ where partial satisfaction was obtained-most often due to premature interruption of breast feeding.

It is important to understand that satisfaction is a function of bioenergetic (emotional) contact of the seeking mouth of the infant with the nipple of the breast. Of course there has to be mechanical contact for this to take place, but mechanical contact alone does not provide satisfaction. The infant’s mouth has to be energetically alive and seeking, the nipple must be energetically alive and capable of making and sustaining contact. The mother must also love the infant and hold the infant with love so that the infant feels this love and security. Satisfaction in breastfeeding lays the foundation in the infant for a lifetime of security. Barring severe emotional trauma, the infant will reach adulthood with the capacity for free movement of life energy into the oral segment and full energetic pulsation of all cells and tissues there. He/she will feel pleasure in all oral endeavors, be readily “satisfied“ orally and capable of fully expressing themselves through the mouth.

If the mother feels pain on nursing, or the breasts are emotionally “dead,“ or the mother feels genital sensations with fear or embarrassment, contact at the breast will be compromised or absent. Without satisfaction, there is insecurity. Where there is complete inhibition, the infant will have difficulties in eating and often gastrointestinal problems, sometimes for life. Such children grow into adults with thin lips, inhibited speaking, with a sarcastic bent, and are often depressed, with a low energy level. Where there is partial satisfaction at the breast, the infant may have full or excessively full lips, constantly seeking for completion of satisfaction. They may overeat, tend to obesity, speak too much, and may show oral excesses of many kinds including smoking, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Oral traits based on armoring in this segment most often add to and “color“ the fundamental character type of a person. Therefore the common phallic narcissistic type character but who has an oral “block,“ will have the strong inner drive and “push“ of the basic phallic character and may accomplish much despite the low energy level attributable to the oral block.

Life Energy
At about the same time that Reich discovered muscular armoring, his earlier, psychoanalytically based concepts of an energetic basis for neurosis were maturing through experiments on the origin of life (the “bions“), experimental studies on the bioelectrical basis of the emotions, and ultimately, the discovery of orgone energy in living things, the atmosphere, and the cosmos (The Cancer Biopathy, 1948, Orgone Institute Press). With the discovery of orgone energy, Reich recast his understanding of neurosis and its treatment. What he had called “vegetotherapy,“ from his focus on the role of the “vegetative“ autonomic nervous system, in life and the treatment of neurosis, became “psychiatric orgone therapy,“ as the goal of therapy became the softening of the armor and the establishment of the free flow of life energy through the body.

Having found the biophysical basis for Freud’s concept of libido, Reich understood health to be the capacity to discharge undischarged quantities of excessive energy through orgasm. If chronically undischarged, the excessive quantities of energy, he suggested, would concentrate in previously established foci of vegetative (autonomic nervous system) blocking (“fixations“) and reactivate the neurosis. “Genitality,“ the mature stage of psychosexual development that permits “orgastic potency“ (defined earlier), is originally established in childhood with the unobstructed (unarmored) flow of energy through the body via satisfaction at the natural erogenous zones. It is sustained in adulthood by periodic orgastic discharge in a loving genital embrace with a heterosexual partner. (At lectures, I am often asked about whether or not homosexuals can have orgastic potency. The answer is “no“ for a simple reason. Orgastic potency, as differentiated from genital “climax,“ requires a high level of total organismic excitation prior to discharge. This can only be obtained by the mutual excitation of the whole body. The highest excitation is in the **** and ****. Oral and anal intercourse may provide exquisite sensation but do not involve the involuntary, pulsatory movements and tremblings of the entire organism that permit full energetic discharge. This does not mean that other modes of sexuality are not of value in energetic discharge; they are, but over time, energy may build up to levels that cannot be satisfactorily discharged, and irritability and neurosis may ensue.)

The neurotic character is created when energy moves into the pelvis in childhood but because of inhibitions from the outer world (parents, institutions) genitality is not established. Thus, we have the creation of the early basis for hysterical characters in women (and some men), which can be more firmly established during adolescence, and phallic-narcissistic characters in men and women if genital display in childhood is forbidden. Life energy gets frozen in pelvic armoring. The result is a chronic “pushing“ to get “through“ with a phallic aggressiveness, with concomitant fear of castration. Underlying it all is a fear of spontaneous movement and sensation, which Reich named “orgasm anxiety.“
Well thats the question. Discuss...
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