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The Boston Marathon Bombing: An Orgonomic Analysis


On Monday, April 15, 2013, on a beautiful spring day when the Boston Marathon is traditionally held, two bombs exploded at the finish line, killing 3 people and injuring an estimated 260 spectators. Among the deceased were an 8 year old boy, Martin Richard, who was cheering his father as he approached the finish line; a Chinese student, Lu Lingzi, the only daughter of her parents; and Krystle Campbell, a young woman who died later in the hospital. A number of other spectators and runners lost limbs from the explosions, including the younger sister of the deceased Martin Richard, and several survivors required amputations upon receiving medical attention. This event was another heartbreaking, heinous crime.

Boston Marathon Victims: Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, Lingzi Lu
Boston Marathon Victims

Shortly after this incident, President Obama responded: “Good morning, everybody. I have just been briefed by my national security team, including FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Napolitano and my Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security Advisor, Lisa Monaco, on the attack in Boston. We continue to mobilize and deploy all appropriate law enforcement resources to protect our citizens and to investigate and respond to this attack.

Boston Marathon: President Barack Obama Issues Statement

Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston. We know that two explosions gravely wounded thousands of Americans and took the lives of others, including an 8 year-old boy. This was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we know now about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror. What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was an act of a malevolent individual. That’s what we don’t yet know and clearly, we are in the beginning of our investigation.

It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened, but we will find out. We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice. We also know this–the American people refused to be terrorized because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness . . . .”

Shortly after this terrorist act, the perpetrators were identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 years old. They had come to the United States approximately a decade ago as ethnic Chechen refugees and were granted asylum. Tamerlan, who was killed in a gun battle with police on April 19, 2013, was a permanent U.S. resident and Dzhokhar, his younger brother, who had become a U.S. citizen on September 11, 2012, was captured Friday night in a shootout with police and remains hospitalized.
The Los Angeles Times reported that family members and acquaintances have painted sharply contrasting portraits of the suspects. Classmates and others have described the younger brother as pleasant but the older brother as intense and given to occasional outbursts.

In his first speech after this attack, President Obama stressed that officials would discover the identities of the perpetrators and the reasons for their attack. Fortunately, because of the vigilance of law enforcement agencies, including the police force, the perpetrators were soon identified. President Obama later lauded their persistence.

The second part of the President’s inquiry—the reasons for the attack—remain unclear for many. As students of Reich and Orgonomy, we may be able to offer our help. Chechnya, a country from which the perpetrators of this crime and their parents requested asylum, is located in southeastern Europe in the North Caucasus Mountains.

President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyro

On March 10, 2011, Human Rights Watch reported that since Chechenization, the government has advocated for an enforced Islamic dress code and other practices that violently oppress women. Wikipedia reports that the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is quoted as saying, “I have the right to criticize my wife. She doesn’t. With us [in Chechen society], a wife is a housewife. A woman should know her place. A woman should give her love to us [men] . . . . She would be [man’s] property and the man is the owner. Here if a woman does not behave properly, her husband, her father, and brother are responsible. According to our tradition, if a woman fools around, her family members kill her . . . that’s how it happens, a brother kills his sister or husband kills his wife . . . . As president, I cannot allow for them to kill. So let women not wear shorts.” He has also openly defended honor killings on several occasions.

These are the actual words of the president of Chechnya in 2011, words that reveal a culture that is extremist, authoritarian, patriarchal, anti-woman and anti-sexual. In his book, Function of Orgasm, Reich states, “Society molds human character and in turn human character reproduces social ideology en masse. Thus, in reproducing the negation of life inherent in social ideology, people reproduce their own suppression”. The consequence of this suppression is the development of hatred and violence toward everything vibrant and beautiful—the murder of happy, lively children and adults–the ultimate destruction of anything that represents life. “It is my belief,” Reich continues, “that our earth will never find lasting peace and it will seek in vain to fulfill the function of social organization as long as naïve politicians and dictators of whatever persuasion continue to contaminate and lead sexually sick masses of people”.

In my previous articles from this journal (“Sex Politics, Emotional Plague, Sadism, and Fascism,” “Terrorism at Home: Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy,” “On Sexual Rights of Youth,” , “Our Teenage Suicide Bombers” and many others), I have stated that democracy and sexual freedom go hand in hand and develop simultaneously. Likewise, dictatorships, fascism and sexual suppression go hand in hand. Thus, a sexually oppressive culture is also authoritarian and dictatorial. Families that typify this culture will raise children who are psychologically distorted and sick. Their naturally affectionate impulses are prohibited by their family and culture and these children become frustrated, often resorting to hatred and violence. These repressed individuals become bombs ready to explode from within and become fertile soil for any extreme, violent ideologies.

Reich refers to this phenomenon as a neurotic plague, stating, “The most important source of neurotic plague is the authoritarian, sexually repressive upbringing of children with its unavoidable sexual child-parent conflict and genital anxiety”. Once this cycle is in place, children from repressed, authoritarian cultures develop secondary sadistic and destructive drives as a consequence of repression of primary loving and sexual impulses. This notion can be illustrated by the following depiction:

Diagram depicting the antithetical functional unity between instinct and defense and illustrating specific impulses.

From Function of Orgasm by Wilhelm Reich

Reich describes, people inflicted by emotional plague often express a façade of exaggerated politeness while just beneath the façade, they are ready to explode with hatred. Not surprisingly, the brothers who committed this heinous crime were described as exceedingly polite, consistent with Reich’s description of this surface behavior and its underlying rage.

From the book Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich, Illustrated by William Steig.

In orgonomy, the expression of this repressed hatred in a social scene is referred to as emotional plague. This emotional hatred is always directed toward anything that represents qualities of happiness and vibrancy, the very qualities that a person inflicted by emotional plague longs for, but because of his inner structural distortion, he is unable to attain. As a result, he becomes envious of and destroys that for which he longs from the depths of his soul. In his book, Character Analysis, Reich states, “The person afflicted with emotional plague always develops as a part of his structure an envy coupled with deadly hatred of everything healthy”.

Based on our understanding of human psychological structure and its development under certain social and cultural upbringing, there is reason to believe that nothing will change, and such atrocities will continue as long as children grow up under Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov’s proudly proclaimed authoritarian, fascistic, anti-sexual and anti-woman social structure. (One can substitute any religious denomination or any society in which families repress the natural growth of their children and the natural flow of biological and sexual energy in the youth and adolescents.)

In Reich Speaks of Freud, Reich states, “I don’t believe that there will be any solutions of any social problem as long as children and adolescents grow up with a stasis of biological energy—haywire, irrational, with neurotic symptoms, and so on, and so on. That is why I offered my help. Do you understand? Is it quite clear why I’m interested? I have a great interest in getting this point of view into the psychoanalytic movement, in opposition to such schools as the English school, which denies all these things, sees nothing of it, and still thrives on a culture which just falls apart, or is in the process of falling apart, right now, under the very feet of those who proclaim it”.

Therefore, if President Obama and U.S. officials are serious about discovering the causes of this crime, they must also address the human rights in these cultures, particularly the rights of women and the sexual rights of youth and adolescents, male and female alike. Countries without these rights should be considered as inevitable risks for similar terrorist actions. These leaders, government officials, and the masses must be educated, as well. Such an education will sever the roots from which such evil grows.

This tragedy claimed several people’s lives, traumatized many, and caused deep sadness to innumerable others. Our hearts go out to them. We hope that this contribution will bring some awareness about the roots of this evil and ideally mitigate such hateful, destructive crimes in the future.

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Wilhelm Reich – Founder of Orgone Therapy

Annals of The Institute for Orgonomic Science (December, 2015)

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