Categorized | Sociology

Contraception, Wilhelm Reich, Ms. Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh.

Article by Stephan Simonian M.D.

Contraception, Wilhelm Reich, Ms. Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh.

In his book The Function of the Orgasm, written in 1940, Wilhelm Reich addresses the concept of Fascist Irrationalism with the following: “In our sexual education, we are not faced with the alternative of sexual activity versus abstinence, but with alternative of natural and healthy sexuality versus perverse and neurotic sexuality.”

Healthy sexuality is reflection and measure of healthy psychological structure. Those who may be familiar with orgonomic theories know that sexual health and orgastic potency are the standard for measuring emotional health, in general. The distortion of normal sexuality, especially among the young, also distorts his or her character structure and leads to armoring. This relationship of health and sexuality is foundational in Reich’s writing.

In our sexual education, we are not faced with the alternative of sexual activity versus abstinence, but with alternative of natural and healthy sexuality versus perverse and neurotic sexuality.

One of the earliest of his writings on the topic may be found in “The Sexual Rights Of Youth," published first in 1932. Reich was integral to the German social scene and the development of the SexPol. In his biography of Wilhelm Reich, Dr. Myron Sharaf writes that during the spring and summer of both 1928 and 1929, Reich engaged in a kind of “community psychiatry.” Along with a pediatrician, gynecologist, and his friend Lia Lasky (who was, at the time, a nursery school teacher)representatives from Sex-Pol would travel out into the suburbs and rural areas around Vienna many times a week. They announced their visits in advance and arrive in a van. Those who were interested or intrigued would gather at a local park; Reich’s group addressed topics related to sex. Reich addressed the adolescents and men; the gynecologist met with the women; Lia talked with the children. Upon request, the gynecologist prescribed, supplied, or fit contraceptive devices.

During the spring and summer of both 1928 and 1929, Reich engaged in a kind of “community psychiatry.” Reich’s group addressed topics related to sex. Reich addressed the adolescents and men; the gynecologist met with the women; Lia talked with the children. Upon request, the gynecologist prescribed, supplied, or fit contraceptive devices.

Lia Lasky

Other times the group went door-to-door, distributing pamphlets filled with information about sexual health. Most of these activities, were, of course at the time illegal, and more than once the group was chased away by the police. On a few occasions the team were arrested on a spurious charges. One such arrest followed a report that children had boarded the van, and had thus been “corrupted” by contact with pamphlets containing information about sexual health, and also contraceptive devices.

Charges against the group were usually dismissed, more of a nuisance than a grievous situation. Sharaf, in his biography of Reich, writes, “the problem of unwanted pregnancies could only be met by progressive sex legislation, in other words, the legislation of birth control and abortion, the kind of legislation the Christian socialist always opposed. In their turn, the social democratic leaders avoided these issues.”

Unfortunately, the social and cultural values endemic to most contemporary cultures still favor sexual oppression of their youth. The same prevailing mindset discourages sexual embrace and satisfaction, which leads later in life to a characterological distortion that manifests itself in different ways, including but not limited to, sadism and destructive behavior. Because of the constructs of armoring, those who are prevented from achieving sexual happiness and satisfaction eventually turn against those concepts and become enemy of any ideals of sexual happiness and satisfaction. It becomes the typical reaction of sexually frustrated people to fight healthy people over their attempts toward sexual health and happiness.

Reich writes, “This reaction is unparalleled in hate and bitterness. There is nothing in the world which, in a mute and murderous way, is capable of causing so much human suffering.” In applied psychiatric orgone therapy, we eyewitness the decrease of rage and anger in patients at the time when they acquire the ability to obtain natural sexual pleasure. The people who had experienced natural sexual pleasure manifest mildness and kindness, a striking contrast with those who have not had such a genital satisfaction and consequently had developed sadistic character traits.

Those who are prevented from achieving sexual happiness and satisfaction eventually turn against those concepts and become enemy of any ideals of sexual happiness and satisfaction.

Such people, both consciously or unconsciously, suffer from the results of their abstinence or lack of gratification and as Reich writes are “motivated by hatred and envy" to the point where "they become the bitterest enemies of any progress. The sadistic destructiveness of our times is the result of the prevalent inhibition of natural love life.”

At the root, such characterologically distorted and armored people become incapable of giving. They always ask something back for their deeds. Happiness of others are never enough reward for them, let alone their sexual happiness, which in fact irritates and angers them. Behind the superficial strict moralistic attitude, they developed pornographic fantasies and become eager to watch the sexual embraces of others.

The sadistic destructiveness of our times is the result of the prevalent inhibition of natural love life.

In February, a 30 year-old law student of Georgetown University named Ms. Sandra Fluke appeared before congress and advocated for insurance companies to reimburse birth control pills. Ms. Fluke argued this should be not only the right for university students, but generally for women who statistically are in disadvantaged conditions, including those with a statistically higher pregnancy rate.

In one of her interviews, she stated she was not speaking about her own sex life, but for women in general, especially those who are disadvantaged and were having unwanted pregnancies. Whether or not she had had known Wilhelm Reich and his work or not, Ms. Fluke was actually advocating for better sexual health in the same way Dr. Reich did 85 years ago, in 1927. She perhaps knew that when there is even the thought of unwanted pregnancy in a woman’s mind, she will never be fully able to enjoy intimacy, and as such, the sexual health of the woman and her partner will suffer.

Ms. Sandra Fluke appeared before congress and advocated for insurance companies to reimburse birth control pills.

Like Reich, Fluke encountered immediate hostility the following month when she was attacked verbally by Rush Limbaugh, a right wing talk show host, for three consecutive days. Limbaugh asked, “What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes in front of a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex. What does that make her? It makes her slut, right? It makes her prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.”

The next day, Mr. Limbaugh said, “She’s having so much sex, she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and tax payers to pay her to have sex. What does it make us? We are the pimps.” Then on Thursday, “If we are going to pay for this, do we want something in return, Ms. Fluke? That would be the videos of all these sex put online so we can see what we are getting for our money.”

Like Reich, Fluke encountered immediate hostility the following month when she was attacked verbally by Rush Limbaugh, a right wing talk show host, for three consecutive days.

Mr. Limbaugh’s response, with its sharp tongue, sadistic, anti-sexual but pornographic flavor, is blatantly anti-sexual and is characteristic of the kind of surface moralist. This is 1927 all over again, in 2012.

It becomes the typical reaction of sexually frustrated people to fight healthy people over their attempts toward sexual health and happiness.

We do not held Mr. Rush Limbaugh responsible for these attacks, which are nonetheless harmful to the psychological health of masses, because he and others like him function by the limitations of the character they are entrapped in. We do, however, regret the dereliction of medical and psychiatric profession in general, for neglecting to address the significance of sexuality for human physical and psychological health.

If medical disciplines assumed responsibility to comprehend and describe the significance of sexuality in human organism to its fullest, today we wouldn’t have the déjà vu of 1927.

The criticism should not go to Mr. Limbaugh, but to the medical profession. Although they had the means, they have not acted responsibly. If these disciplines allowed and promoted the exposure of medical profession and medical students, psychiatric residents and psychology students alike to the theories and discoveries of Dr. Wilhelm Reich; if these disciplines assumed responsibility to comprehend and describe the significance of sexuality in human organism to its fullest; and if these disciplines were not influenced and intimidated by cultural and religious organization in their scientific work in the matters of sexuality, today we wouldn’t have the deja vu of 1927. We believe that Wilhelm Reich’s orgonomic theories are indispensable to human physical and psychological health. As such, Ms. Fluke’s appearance before congress raises admiration and support. We thank Ms. Sandra Fluke for following Dr. Reich’s footsteps, even though she may not know of him.

This post was written by:

- who has written 51 posts on Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy.

Dr. Simonian is a general and child and adolescent psychiatrist. He completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz Iran. He completed his general psychiatric residency training and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry and child psychiatry training, Dr. Simonian completed the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic School Didactic Courses, including his own required personal psychoanalysis. In 1990, Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy, Reichian therapy, with Dr. Morton Herskowitz and in 1991 became a member of the Institute of Orgonomic Sciences (IOS), an Institute which is dedicated to promote and preserve Dr. Wilhelm Reich's work. Dr. Simonian started his private psychiatric practice in Milford, Massachusetts in 1984 and he was a chief of psychiatry department of Milford Regional Hospital for several years. He started his practice in Glendale, California since 2003. Dr. Simonian is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

2 Responses to “Contraception, Wilhelm Reich, Ms. Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh.”

  1. lorcan kilroy says:

    Brings to mind this recent Los Angeles Times article describing someone’s efforts to provide contraception free to impoverished teens who statistically are in a disadvantaged condition,also including those with a statistically higher pregnancy rate….interestingly some readers posted feedback to this effort which also erxpressed similar irrational negativity …….
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-planned-parenthood-20120605%2C0%2C3265428.story

  2. Lloyd Bagwell says:

    Great article.

    Advocating for free contraceptives for people that need them is such an obviously rational and sensible thing to do. The emotional plague is unable to offer any rational argument against such things so it resorts to childish abuse and tries to evoke other people’s secondary drives to back itself up with supporters. In the case of the talk show host he tries to provoke spitefulness, sadism, moral superiority, and neurotic sexuality in the listener to get them on his side. The closest he gets to a rational argument is about the cost to taxpayers – but it’s not hard to figure out that preventing unwanted pregnancies would save taxpayers way more money than the contraception would cost.

    If Sandra Fluke hasn’t heard of Reich, she might welcome a deeper understanding of the spiteful and childish response she has got off people; hopefully she has also got a lot of support off people too. How do people understand responses like that without any idea of armoring and the emotional plague?..

    Most people seem to use the default ideology; to think that all the nastiness of our species is “Just Human Nature” i.e. Genetics. It’s a catastrophic theory/ideology; if we were hardwired to be destructive and unpleasant then there’d be no hope for humanity at all. Mechanistic science usually explains abusive/destructive behaviour as being either somehow in our genes, or the result of faulty (“imbalanced”) brain chemistry. Actually genetics is an explanation for the abusive/destructiveness of humans and chemical imbalance theory seems to be more aimed at explaining the results of that abuse, the resulting mental/emotional disorders. Either way the blame is pointed as far away from oneself as possible – as far away from society as possible –– always it must be something or someone else who is at fault and should have to change; not them.

    Both these theories together make up one humongous excuse for abuse and apathy; they allow people to avoid facing up to the fact and responsibility that most human suffering is completely avoidable (because it’s the direct or indirect result of armoring). And I don’t think that’s an accidental function of these theories. I believe that in some way they were created specifically for the purpose of abdicating responsibility for state of humanity; they serve that function so very well. The creators or advocates of them didn’t sit down and decide that they wanted to excuse people for abuse and lead people away from the truth; it was simply in their armored character structures to avoid facing up to their true feeling and experiences, and to prevent anyone else finding any truth that could expose or provoke what is held back by their armor.

    The total dominance of chemical imbalance theory in psychiatry and psychology is a text-book example of the emotional plague in action. It’s a form of emotional defence (armoring) that is played out on the social scene. It has devastating consequences; not just for the people on the sharp end of it, but for the whole society in which it is widely supported.

    I knew you could get condoms for free in the UK but I just looked it up and most forms of contraception are available for free, even for people under 16. Things are very different when it comes to heath care in the UK and US. Mechanists still run the show here, but it’s all free; bless whoever set up the NHS.

    Contraception is a very important subject. Other aspects of maintaining a sex positive environment aside, a modern day genitally healthy society would of course provide safe contraception for free to any age person who needs it. It would also make it a priority to find a sex-economically sound alternative to condoms for preventing sexually transmitted diseases. The energetic dynamics of the sexual act are still very unclear but presumably condoms block the free flow of orgonotic charge between the genitals, which can lead to disturbances of sexual functioning. This is why so many people find them distasteful (which leads to people not using them when they probably should do), and why from an orgonomic perspective they are far from ideal. Even if it’s impossible to find an alternative to them surely it must be possible to create a better type of condom; one that doesn’t affect the energetic flow between the genitals so much. A Life Energy Meter would come in very handy for engineering one. I doubt energetic flow or discharge has ever been in the minds of the people who make them. My guess is we’d find a better way to deal with it than better condoms though. How did the Trobrianders or any sex positive societies we know of deal with sexually transmitted diseases?..

    Cheerz,
    Lloyd.

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