Tag Archive | "Dr. Morton Herskowitz"

Love, Work and Knowledge – The Life and Trials of Wilhelm Reich


It was a combination of inspiration and disgust that motivated me to make this film.

The inspiration, of course, came from Wilhelm Reich himself whose books I began reading in 1972 when I was 18 years old.

The disgust came from the continual distortions and false narratives about Reich that persist to this day in books, articles, museum exhibits, art exhibits, academic lectures, television programs and films. Among the more recent examples, which finally moved me to action, were two poorly researched films from Vienna a few years ago that recklessly and irresponsibly played fast and loose with the facts.

 

Which begs the obvious questions that I’ve been asking for decades: Why have all films and TV segments about Reich been so careless with the facts? Why have all previous filmmakers and TV producers squandered their opportunities to create accurate and intellectually honest narratives about Reich, when the facts about his life and work are publicly available in thousands of pages of primary sources and other credible materials?

These are rhetorical questions, of course, for which I can offer no definitive answers in terms of personal motivations. But I feel perfectly justified in describing all of these filmmakers and TV producers as intellectually lazy and guided by reasons and agendas other than simply presenting the truth.

For those of us who are profoundly touched in anyway by Reich’s life and work, the inevitable question arises: "What can each of us do-given our individual skills and talents-to present factually accurate narratives about Reich to new and younger audiences?"

My background and skills are in film, writing and teaching. And so, in 2010 at the age of 56-having spent 38 years studying Reich, plus eight years as a director of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust (from which I would resign six years later in 2016) plus three years helping to manage Reich’s archives at Harvard’s Countway Library of Medicine (which I would also end in 2016)

-I decided that there needed to be at least one factually-accurate documentary film about Reich, a film that could be used as an intellectually-honest learning tool for all kinds of audiences today and in future generations.

And since no one else had ever made such a film, I decided that I would do it. This became a process and a journey that would take seven years, starting in November 2010 and ending in December 2017.

In November 2010, I began to research and write the basic storyline-what was essentially my road map and my "Bible"-for a factually-accurate documentary about the life and work of Wilhelm Reich. And I did this for several years with absolutely no idea of how or where or if I could ever get the money to make this film.

This, I think, is what sets this film apart from all other films about Reich: the extensive research and writing I did prior to raising a single penny, prior to going out with camera crews to shoot a single frame.

This included re-reading over 7,500 pages of Reich’s published books and research journals, studying hundreds of pages of the U.S. government’s files on Reich (State Department, FBI, Immigration & Naturalization Service, and Food & Drug Administration); and reading hundreds of pages of Reich’s archival materials at the Countway Library of Medicine. I also listened to dozens of Reich’s original voice recordings from the 1940s and 1950s, all of this to write out a comprehensive storyline and chronology, a roadmap that would guide me through the production and post-production of this project.

From 2010 to 2014, I stayed motivated by one single thought: If somehow I could get the money to make this film, then I needed to be completely prepared to take that money and start production. During this time I also spoke with many people in the documentary film world, seeking any kind of financial or institutional support for this project. I was turned down by all of them, which really came as no surprise.

The turning point came in early 2013, and quite by accident: During a routine visit to my local library to peruse the shelves of new books that had recently come in, I found a small yellow paperback entitled The Kickstarter Handbook: Real-Life Crowdfunding Success Stories. While I had vaguely heard of Kickstarter, I knew nothing about crowdfunding.

I took the book home and read it. And immediately I thought, "Maybe, just maybe, this is the answer."That summer I put together a group of six or seven people whom I trusted completely. I sent each of them a copy of The Kickstarter Handbook before we actually met. And we subsequently spent a week together analyzing numerous Kickstarter campaigns and discussing the possibility of planning our own campaign to raise the money for the film that I was researching and writing.

Over the next year, what I now called the Kickstarter Group spoke regularly every month in a telephone conference call. And we met again for a week in July 2014 to put our final plans in place. Three months later-in October and November 2014-we ran a successful 31-day Kickstarter campaign that raised $187,000 from over 30 countries for "Phase One – Production" of this film.

And because of my research and writing over the past four years, I was fully prepared to start the film almost immediately. Less than two months later, in January 2015, we filmed our first interview for this documentary with Dr. Morton Herskowitz, who was then 96 years old. Throughout 2015 my co-director Glenn Orkin and I filmed interviews and locations in six states in America-Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania-and in three countries in Europe: Austria, Germany and Norway. After which I ran two more crowdfunding campaigns in 2016 and 2017, which again brought in money from over 30 countries for the editing and final post-production of this documentary.

Also in 2016 and 2017, Glenn and I and our film crew did additional filming in Rangeley, Maine and we spent several days filming materials in Reich’s archives at the Countway Library of Medicine in Boston.

This documentary was officially completed in December 2017, and we screened it for the first time in New York City on January 13, 2018.

Since then, the film has had public screenings in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Israel, South Africa and the United States (in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania).  It’s now being digitally streamed on Vimeo-on-Demand  (https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wr1897) while we try to find a permanent home for it on one of the major digital film platforms.

If you missed the film’s screenings in America, Europe and South Africa, which took place for 1½ years from January 2018 to July 2019, you can now watch the film on Vimeo-on-Demand (https://vimeo.com/ondemand/wr1897). Public screenings of this film, followed by online digital streaming, became our guiding strategy once the film was completed in December 2017. But one final detail of this strategy remains: finding a permanent home for this film on one of the major digital platforms (i.e., Amazon Prime, Hulu, iTunes, Netflix, etc.) or in a reputable academic/educational digital library. In this way the film will be secure and accessible in its entirety, uncut and unaltered, with its content and integrity intact.

We’re now working to find that permanent home for the film. So please share this link with anyone who you think might be interested in watching this film. The more viewers we have in this video-on-demand (VOD) market, the better our chances for finding a permanent home for this film. Thank you.

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The End of an Era, A Reflection on Dr. Morton Herskowitz


 

On Monday, August 6, 2018, members of the Institute of Orgonomic Science received the sad news that Dr. Herskowitz had passed away that morning. "He gave so much and brightened so many lives,". After this news, Dr. Harry Lewis, a member of the IOS, wrote the following:

 

 

Dr. Morton Herskowitz died, it was announced this morning.

While many of us knew it was coming and were expecting it, it is still a great loss of a great person. I was fortunate to know him and share time with him. He will be missed, and this ends an era.

He was smart, funny, a gifted clinician, and a damn good person, which is very rare in this day and age–or maybe at any time.

My condolences to his family and those close to him.

Yes, Lewis’s words are indeed fitting: the end of an era. Dr. Herskowitz’s death meant that all of the second generations of Reich’s students are gone now. Yet the end of an era inevitably means that a new era is beginning, the continuation of Reich’s work by the third generation of his followers.

A few months before Dr. Herskowitz’s death, we celebrated his 100th birthday. During the celebration, Dr. Herskowitz expressed his gratitude for being able to pass the knowledge from Reich to the next generation of students. We thanked him for being the link between Reich and us. We are grateful that we had him for many years and were able to experience Reich’s teachings and therapy techniques through him. He transferred the knowledge through numerous articles, speeches, and a book, all significant contributions to the literature and science of orgonomy. Many of Dr. Herskowitz’s articles, lectures, and teachings have been recorded, transcribed, and published for the first time in this journal. However, there are many other publications which will be introduced to the public in the IOS annals, as promised by its editor, Dr. Grier.

We all mourn the loss of our leader, Dr. Morton Herskowitz. It is the end of an era, but with it comes the start of a new era, the one that obligates us, the students of Reich and Herskowitz, to work tirelessly to preserve, promote, and introduce orgonomy to the world. It is our opinion that the theories of orgonomy are the best and only hope for humanity. We urge you to reacquaint yourself with his work listed and linked below: his lectures, papers, and recordings published in this journal and a touching letter from Dr. Huthsteiner, expressing her feelings about this great man who has indeed ended an era.

My mentor, therapist, friend, father-figure, mother-figure Mort Herskowitz, D.O,  has died  on August 6, 2018.  He was 100 years old.  For those of us who had the gift of his care and his teaching, we often resisted the idea he could be old enough to retire, and have avoided considering that he would depart this world.  What made Mort so special?  So very special?

I read an article he wrote about "The Treatment of an Episode of Catatonic Mutism" for the Journal of Orgonomy, Vol 2, in 1968.  In it he described his own unique style of orgonomy, that for me epitomizes his gift.  "At one point, deep sadness appeared momentarily in the patient’s eyes.  The therapist seized the moment to lay the patient’s head upon his shoulder and give him mother comfort.  At this point, the patient cried briefly, a stifled tearless sob, but breathed a little more freely." "A move to touch the patient’s lips gently with a finger was met with physical withdrawal….An hour passed in this manner, the patient moving away from the therapist whenever an attempt was made to establish body contact.  After a time, however, the patient did not move away when the therapist stroked his forehead and periocular area for several minutes."    "This seemed to quiet the anxiety, and the patient could now be induced to lie down with his head on the pillow.  The therapist lay his cheek upon the patient’s and cuddled the patient to him.  In this manner, the patient fell asleep and slept for five to ten minutes.  He awoke with a start and asked, "Where am I?" The catatonic mutism abated.

Mort’s gift was one of compassion and carefully expressed physical loving affection and care.    This quality is rare to encounter in any setting.   In Mort’s case, he was able to penetrate the patient’s barriers with gentleness and physical affection.  Removing layer after layer of defense, he helped people feel deeply and fully, and embrace what life was giving.

When I heard the news of his passing, I went into a room to grieve.   His kindly penetrating eyes, the serious and concerned look on his face, comes immediately to my mind’s eye.  I am glad I can see him still, helping me to move through a feeling, not holding me back in any way, expressing comfort, approval, support.  He is able to stay with me, in eye contact as I can tolerate it.  He does not look away.  He has a remarkable ability to stay and witness and share my grief, my pain, my horror, my fear.  He has the courage and confidence to move in and make contact, despite resistance, rejection, fear, or even hatred or aggression he might encounter.    He strikes just the right the balance between intervention and quiet observation.

So much more could be said about Mort Herskowitz: a leader in orgonomy, a student of Reich’s and a teacher of many.   I will leave that for others to tell.   But what I will always remember him for is his heart.   Thank you, Mort.

 

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Dr. Morton Herskowitz 100


Morton Herskowitz 100

On May 26, 2018 we celebrated Dr. Herskowitz’s 100th birthday. The celebration was held at his daughter, Robin’s home in the suburbs of Philadelphia. A few weeks before to his 100th birthday Dr. Herskowitz officially stopped his practice of psychiatry and psychiatric orgone therapy and announced his retirement. Family members, friends, students, ex-patients and IOS members were among the attendees. Robin gave a speech about her father, and his grandson spoke about Dr. Herskowitz’s effect on his life. Dr. Herskowitz himself gave a short speech as well. He expressed his gratification of being a bridge between Reich and the next generation of students and physicians and passing on Reich’s teachings to them. Dr. Herskowitz also talked about how he became a student of Reich. He discussed some of his memories with Reich and recalled the way he first got to know Dr. Reich. He learned about Reich through his fiancé’s father who asked him if he had read Reich’s book “Sexual Revolution”. His future father in law told him that he felt Reich was brilliant. To impress his future father in law Dr. Herskowitz read the book and since he was a psychiatry resident he chose Dr. Reich as his analyst. He made an appointment to see him in Forest Hill, New York. He then asked some of his mentors and supervisors in the hospital what they knew about Reich. A few of the doctors that he spoke to told Dr. Herskowitz that Reich had become psychotic and was locked up in some type of chronic psychiatric asylum. Dr. Herskowitz stated that he was surprised, and told them that he had just made an appointment with Dr. Reich in Forest Hills! Dr. Herskowitz concluded that misinformation and gossip affected the profession and distorted the truth.

Dr. Herskowitz blowing out his birthday candle.

Dr. Herskowitz and Stephan Simonian.

Jim Strick can be seen sitting in the middle of the table with IOS members, Dorothy Burlage, Grier Sellers and Hugh Brenner.

IOS member Irmgard Bertelsen talking to guests.

At the end of the celebration, Dr. Herskowitz was presented with a letter from James F. Kenney, the mayor of Philadelphia, congratulating him for his 100th birthday and commending his remarkable achievements.

The following is the letter:

The party was a great success. We socialized with one another, and recognized Dr. Herskowitz’s work and his teachings and expressed our gratitude towards him.

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Bill Cosby and Paraphilia: A Psychological and Orgonomic Analysis


William Henry “Bill” Cosby Jr., the American standup comedian, actor, author and activist, has been an icon in American show business and brought laughter to millions of people during the many years of his television career.

However, beginning in 2013, allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced when several women accused him of drugging and raping them while unconscious.

It has now been 14 years since the first woman publicly accused Cosby of assaulting her. Since then dozens of women have brought allegations against him. In her Vanity Fair article, “Bill Cosby Drugged Me: This is My Story,” Beverly Johnson (2014) wrote about her encounter with the television legend:

 

Imagine my joy in mid-80’s when agent called to say Bill Cosby wanted me to audition for a role on the Cosby Show. Cosby played an obstetrician and he sometimes used models to portray pregnant women sitting in his office waiting room. It was a small part with one or two speaking lines at most, but I wanted in. . . . Cosby’s handlers invited me to a taping of a show so I could get the lay of the land and an idea of what my role required. After the taping, I met all the cast and then met with Cosby in his office to talk a bit about the hell I had been through in my marriage. He appeared concerned and then asked me what I wanted from my career going forward. He seemed genuinely interested in guiding me to the next level. I was on cloud 9.

I brought my daughter to the next taping I attended. Afterward, Cosby asked if I could meet him at his home that weekend and read for the part . . . . Like most kids my daughter loved him . . . . Cosby suggested I come back to his house a few days later to read for the part. I agreed and one late afternoon the following week I returned. His staff served a light dinner and Bill and I talked more about my plans for the future.

After the meal we walked upstairs to a huge living area of his home and featured a massive bar. The huge brass espresso contraption took up half of the counter. At the time, it seemed rare for someone to have such a machine in his home for personal use. Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested I pretend to be a drunk. (When did a pregnant ever appear drunk on the Cosby Show? Probably never but I went with it). As I readied myself to be the best drunk I could be, he offered me a cappuccino from the espresso machine. I told him I didn’t drink tea or coffee that late in the afternoon because it made getting to sleep at night more difficult. He wouldn’t let it go. He insisted that his espresso machine was the best model in the market and promised I would never taste the cappuccino quite like this one.

It’s nuts, I knew but it felt oddly inappropriate arguing with Bill Cosby so I took a few sip of the coffee just to appease him. Now let me explain this: I was a top model during the 70s, a period when drugs float at the parties and photoshoots like bottled water at a health spa. I would had my fun and experiment it with my fair share of mood enhancers. I knew by the second sip of the drink Cosby had given me that I would be drugged—and drugged good. My head became woozy, my speech became slurred and the room began to spin none stop. Cosby mentioned for me to come over to him as though we were really about to act out the scene. He put his hand around my waist and I managed to put my hand on his shoulder in order to steady myself. As I felt my body go completely limb my brain switched into automatic survival mood. That meant making sure Cosby understood that I knew exactly what was happening at that very moment. “You are a mother fucker aren’t you?” that’s the exact question I yelled at him as he stood there holding me, expecting me to bent to his will. I rapidly called him several more “mother fucker’s” by the fifth I could tell that I was really pissing him off. At one point he dropped his hand from my waist and just stood there looking at me like I had lost my mind.

What happened next is somewhat cloudy for me because the drug was in full play by that time. I recall his seething anger at my tirade and then him grabbing me by my left arm hard and yanking all hundred and ten pounds of me down a bunch of stairs as my high heels clicked and clacked on every step. I feared my neck was going to break with the force he was using to pull me down those stairs. It was still late afternoon and the sun hadn’t completely gone down yet. When we reached the front door he pulled me outside of the brownstone and then with his hand still tightly clenched around my arm stood in the middle of the street waving down taxis.

When one stopped, Cosby opened the door, shoved me into it and slammed the door behind me without ever saying a word. I somehow managed to tell the driver my address and before blocking out I looked at the cabbie and asked as if he knew “did I really just call Bill Cosby a mother fucker?”…. the next day I woke up in my own bed after falling into a deep sleep that lasted more than a day. I had no memory of how I got into my apartment or into my bed, though most likely my doorman helped me out. I sat in there still stound by what happened the night before, confused and devastated by the idea that someone I admired so much had tried to take advantage of me and use drugs to do so. Had I done something to encourage his action?…

I wrestled with the idea of telling my story of Bill Cosby’s drug me with the intention of doing God knows what… In part because of what happened to me nearly 30 years ago, I have agreed to serve on the board of Barbara Sinatra, center of abused children. The experience has been as humbling as it has been rewarding. Many of the young children I work with have been sexually abused and I watched in all of their bravery as they work to recover and feel better. How could I be any less brave?

In an interview with CNN, Cosby’s costar, Joseph Phillips (2015), posed a compelling question: “[Cosby] had money, fame and power; he was walking aphrodisiac. Why?”. Why indeed.

What is the psychological mechanism that makes a person with this stature, power and wealth resort to such deviant behavior? From where do these impulses come? The American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual fifth edition (DSM V) identifies these behaviors as paraphilia (sexual deviation), under which eight distinct categories are classified. Some paraphilia involves the derivation of sexual pleasure from objects such as fetishistic disorder, but some certain types of paraphilia involve another person. There is no distinct category for those who drug and rape someone while s/he is unconscious; nevertheless, this behavior is certainly considered a sexual deviation or paraphilia. With the exception of pedophilia, all other paraphilia behaviors involving another person must meet additional DSM V criteria for diagnosis. For example, a diagnosis of sexual sadism requires criteria A, that an individual must exhibit “recurrent and intense sexual arousal from the physical or psychological suffering of another person . . . over a period of six months” (p. 695) as well as criteria B, that “the individual has acted on these sexual urges with a non-consenting person or the sexual urges or fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning” (p. 695)

Although the DSM V is considered the ultimate scientific authority in psychiatry, its definition of paraphilia reflects a disappointingly shallow understanding of sexual deviation, particularly in contrast to the orgonomic understanding of the term. In orgonomy, the sexual functioning of an individual is the most important indicator of his or her psychological health. From an orgonomic point of view, sexual arousal or pleasure derived from the physical or psychological suffering of another person indicates a major psychological disturbance, regardless of the issue of consent or the impact of the behavior on a patient’s social or occupational functioning. Orgonomists understand that sexual disturbances are symptoms of an underlying problem, attributing them to a patient’s distorted structure. Orgonomists do not consider the patient improved unless the sexual disturbance clears and sexual functioning returns to its normal and natural state, free from the abnormal, unnatural fantasies and impulses. The orgastically potent male and female are tender toward each other with no contradictory impulses. Any deviation from this behavior stemming from sadistic or masochistic impulses is considered pathological.

Contemporary professionals in medicine, psychiatry, and psychology have no understanding of these disturbances and their origins, and even the DSM, the most revered and referenced book in the field of psychiatry, distinguishes between consenting and non-consenting individuals engaged in sadistic behavior, referring to the former as “normal.” In contrast, orgonomists consider these disturbed sexual impulses to be a product of emotional illness stemming from armoring, whether the partner is consenting or not and whether these sadistic sexual urges cause social or occupational impairment or not. In his recent lecture in Philadelphia Dr. Morton Herskowitz eloquently stated,“I think that emotional armoring is one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychiatry. Psychiatric orgone therapy reaches places that have never been reached by traditional therapy before. I think it does things to people that has never been done before; I don’t think it’s a cure-all for all psychiatric problems . . . but in the matters that it does deal with it has an effect like no other therapy”.

Thus, understanding the process of armoring and its significance provides the key to understanding many psychiatric illnesses. Without such understanding, psychiatry will continue to label consenting sadistic behavior as normal! According to orgonomy, the body of knowledge developed by Dr.Wilhelm Reich, a normal human structure is one in which the psychosexual energy flows, unimpeded, from the center to the periphery of the organism. When this flow is chronically impeded by outside—usually social—forces, armoring begins to occur as social inhibitions begin to block a child’s healthy impulses. These blocked impulses split and the chronic inhibition subdues the initial natural impulse, causing contraction and encrustations of the tissues and muscle. Once armor is established, even if the outside inhibition is removed, the organism remains distorted and incapable of resuming normal functioning. The following diagrams schematically depict the process of armoring.

From the book, "Character Analysis" by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

The primary and natural drives are prohibited by the outer world. Under prolomged prohibition of these natural drives, the primary drive force dissociates and part of it turns against itself, consequently psychological and physical armoring sets in. Schematically, it is depicted below.

Id = Defense and change of function
C = Armoring

Once the organism becomes armored, the primary impulses that are natural—rational love, natural sexuality, rational anger and rational hate—become distorted.

The structure of the armor, however, is not a simple one consisting of two opposing forces, but a complex consequence of the interplay between many dynamic forces and consists of many layers. The structure of the armor does not consist of one warded off and one warding off impulse but of countless number of strivings. Which are disassociated and partially set off against one another. Schematically the structure of armor is as follows:

From the book “Character Analysis”
By Dr. Wilhelm Reich

Structure of armor resulting from interplay of dynamic forces.

This is the mechanism by which armored adults repeat their parents’ behavior even though they themselves hated it as children. Many of my patients told me “Doctor, I hated when my parents were doing this to me but now I catch myself doing the same thing to my own children and I can’t help it.” Such inhibitions and constraints become embedded in the structure of the person. Most children long to express their natural, healthy impulses; however, as armored adults, they become incapable of expressing these healthy desires and may even become hostile toward anyone else who tries to express them. Unfortunately, once the armoring occurs, the person becomes inhibited from within, incapable of expressing what he or she originally desired. This repression and armoring causes distortion in natural and healthy primary drives and hence a person in the height of fame and wealth may resort to distorted sexual actions that are incomprehensible to many people. This is why a person who has fame, money, and prestige will act on sexually inappropriate impulses: because when he once longed to act on his natural impulses, he was harshly inhibited and suppressed.

Armor, which is established in the body on a physical as well as emotional level, distorts the natural, primary drives that were social, loving and constructive to the secondary drives which are distorted, unnatural, and may become destructive and sadistic. In orgone therapy, psychiatrists and clinicians recognize the armor and try to restore the energetic flow to its undisturbed state by dissolving the armor. Psychiatric orgone therapy provides us the knowledge and technique to dissolve the armor and restore the energy flow to its original, healthy state.

Diagram depicting basic functions in an armored organism.
The inhabitation of primary impulses produces a secondary impulses and anxiety.
From the book Function of Orgasm by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

The surface layer is the façade—the layer of a person that she or he presents to the world. To the psychiatrist and psychologist who is familiar with Reich’s orgonomic theories, a vast majority of people present with physical and emotional armoring evident in the rigidity or flaccidity of their muscles,  their tone of voice, their glazed or piercing eyes their mask-like facial expressions, their rigid neck or their resigned, apathetic attitude. In his lecture in Germany, Dr. Herskowitz explained how armoring manifests itself:

From the book Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich, with illustration by William Steig

Once the armoring process is set into motion in the human organism, it becomes a source for a vast array of pathologies.

For the clinicians familiar with orgonomy and psychiatric orgone therapy, distorted and disturbed sexual fantasies are surface manifestations of much deeper structural illnesses that need to be addressed. Such unnatural fantasies or impulses are considered harbingers of deeper structural distortions, regardless of another’s consent.

In his book, The Function of Orgasm, Reich (1973, Translated by Vincent R. Carfagno, p. 100) states:

The more precisely my patients described their behavior and experiences in the sexual act, the more firm I became in my clinically substantiated conviction that all patients, without exception, are severely disturbed in their genital function. Most disturbed of all were those men who liked to boast and make a big show of their masculinity, men who possessed or conquered as many women as possible, who could “do it” again and again in one night. It became quite clear that, though they were erectively very potent, such men experienced little or no pleasure at the moment of ejaculation, or they experienced the exact opposite, disgust and displeasure. The precise analysis of fantasies during the sexual act revealed that the men usually had sadistic or conceited attitudes and that the women were afraid, inhibited, or imagined themselves to be men. For the ostensibly potent man, sexual intercourse means the piercing, overpowering, or conquering of the woman. He merely wants to prove his potency or to be admired for his erective endurance. This “potency” can be easily undermined by uncovering its motives. Severe disturbances of erection and ejaculation are concealed in it. In none of these cases is there the slightest trace of involuntary behavior or loss of conscious activity in the act. Gradually, groping my way ahead step by step, I acquired a knowledge of the characteristics of orgastic impotence. It took me a decade to gain a full understanding of this disturbance, to describe it and to learn the correct technique for eliminating it. Orgastic impotence has always been in the forefront of sex-economic research, and all of its details are still not known. Its role in sex-economy is similar to the role of the Oedipus complex in psychoanalysis. Whoever does not have a precise understanding of it cannot be considered a sex-economist. He will never really grasp its ramifications. He will not understand the difference between health and sickness, [see definition of sexual sadism disorder in DSM V, American Psychiatric Association 2013, page 695, where this disorder is considered normal if the partner is consenting!!] nor will he comprehend human pleasure anxiety or the pathological nature of the parent-child conflict and the misery of marriage. It is even possible that he will endeavor to bring about sexual reforms, but he will never touch upon the core of sexual misery”.

In late 1990s and early 2000s, I was treating a medical resident suffering from depression. He complained of an inability to develop genuine, deep relationships with others; he described his relationships as superficial, and felt empty and confused. He had passive-aggressive behavior, on the one hand, overtly complying with authorities, yet he covertly distrusted and defied them in various ways. On the surface he was a pleasant man, agreeable and often smiling but underneath he was distrustful, hostile, and antagonistic. His sexual fantasies reflected his anger and sadistic tendencies. He became aroused by the fantasy of physically and verbally abusing and humiliating women. He frequented nude bars and paid prostitutes to consent to his sadistic fantasies of swearing at and humiliating them while he masturbated or had sex with them. Although he had a few occasions to act on these sadistic impulses with a consenting partner, he explained that he did not want to act upon them because he knew they were sick. He did have good insight about the unhealthy nature of these impulses and fantasies and knew that something was wrong with him. His treatment consisted of recognizing his superficial mask that was exposed in therapy. By resolving the superficial layer of the armor, his anger toward authority began to emerge, directly related to his authoritarian, threatening father and his younger brother who was favored by his parents. His repressed rage became more and more exposed. He gradually became capable of standing up to authority when necessary.

Along with these changes as his armor dissolved, his sadistic sexual fantasies gradually disappeared. One day he told me, “Doctor, I don’t know what happened; I don’t have any more of the sadistic desires or fantasies.” Moreover, he developed an aversion to such thoughts not because he had to fight or suppress any of these impulses; they simply evaporated, disappearing altogether.

Everyone knows that not having an antisocial impulse is healthier than having—and suppressing—it. Prior to seeing me, this patient had been in analytic psychotherapy for several years without results. Many patients suffer structural distortions that they had no part in creating and suffer symptoms, including sexual deviations with serious consequences, some individuals rotting in prisons with no prospect of help. I hope that the new generation of psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health professionals recognize their responsibilities and value the immense discoveries of Freud and Reich contributing more effective treatment modalities with the hope that one day we will have healthier society with fewer unhealthy and untreated individuals like Cosby.

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The Future of Orgonomy


The following is a transcription of the lecture given by Dr. Morton Herskowitz at the Institute for Orgonomic Science Conference on April 11, 2015 at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

The essence of life as I have learned is change and one of the first things that struck me as I walked into this room today is that I recalled a time probably 30 or 40 years ago when we used to give speeches and talks about Orgonomy at NYU. Now I forget how frequently we did it whether it was once a week or once a month, I do remember that a room almost as large as this was filled, and I walk into this room and it’s hardly filled, and I think what the hell has happened. Why is this room not more full than they were in NYU? And the fact is that at that time Reich was hot and the village was full of Reich, Greenwich village that is. Intellectuals talked about Reich and that was a hot subject. And today Reich is spoken of by relatively few intellectuals. Very few people are applying to become therapists in the psychiatric orgone therapy and the scene is totally different. It doesn’t worry me particularly because I remember many years ago when the decline was already in progress and I had a speaking engagement in Montevideo and the opening session was held in a room not dissimilar to the academy of music with one balcony after another and on opening night the city hall was filled in Montevideo which was amazing to me, and as I have spoken to many places around the world I know that for example there is immense popularity of Reich in Finland and in Spain, so I think the fact that we are a few is simply a phase. One thing I think is that the praise of Dr. Strick’s book is going to start a little fuss and perhaps our numbers will increase again.

I want to talk about something that I can’t get out of my mind which is a book review written by the head of psychiatry at Columbia University called Shrink, and I had not yet read book I have only read the book review in the New York Times. The thesis of the book is that psychiatry is finally awakening from a time almost of stupor, he thinks that we spend a half a century listening to Freud who he thinks is full of empty talk and finally we have arrived at a time of scientific psychiatry that is medicine. Included in his review is a brief section on Reich who he includes in a section devoted to fakes, magicians, quacks and he describes Reichian therapy thus, “people put tubes around our throats and squeeze into orgone accumulators for various sensations.” Now that’s his description of psychiatric orgone therapy. It’s wild and it’s the fantasy of a sick adolescent and I can’t get it out of my mind. The fact that the head of psychiatry of Columbia University first of all had such a fantastic imagination to think that his description describes psychiatric orgone therapy but secondly to have the chutzpah to put Freud down who has awakened the lives and minds of people all over the world as easily as he does, can’t help but make me think of this guy standing at the judgement of Copernicus, or Galileo or Bruno and yelling “burn them! burn them!” Because that’s essentially the kind of character type who would write such a book. I think that’s all I’m going to say now.

To watch the video, please click on the link below

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Posted in Biopathies & Psychiatric Orgone TherapyComments (2)

Dr. Herskowitz’s Speech in IOS 2015 Spring Conference


I think that the discovery of emotional armoring is one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychiatry. I think that it reaches places that have never been reached by therapy before. I think it does things to people that has never been done before, I don't think it's a cure it all for all psychiatric problems, it doesn't help psychosis unless you work the way Reich did which most of us can't and it doesn't help Alzheimer's and lots of disorders in psychiatry that it doesn't deal with but in the matters that it does deal with it has an affect like no other therapy.

 

Dr. Herskowitz
Dr. Herskowitz

To watch the video, please click on the link below

Posted in Biopathies & Physical Orgone TherapyComments (0)

Report on International Conference on Orgonomy, October 4 – 6, Rome, Italy


The Italian Association of Orgonomy hosted the International Conference on Orgonomy in Rome last month, October 4-6. Several international speakers were invited, including four IOS members: Conny Huthsteiner, M.D. Philip Bennett, PhD. Hugh Brenner, FPNP. and Stephan Simonian, M.D. The conference was launched with Dr. Morton Herskowitz’s videotaped keynote address. Herskowitz, who is now 95 and resides and practices in Philadelphia, is the sole surviving student of Wilhelm Reich. The videotaped address, produced by Huchsteiner, was greeted by a lengthy applause from the audience.

Dr. Morton Herskowitz

Other speakers included James DeMeo, Peter Robbins, Armando Vecchietti, Roberto Maglione, Peter Jones, Tina Lindermann, Wendy Kohli, Jorgos Kavouroas, and Reneta Reich Moise. During one of her presentations, Ms. Reich Moise, Wilhelm Reich’s granddaughter, spoke about her life as well as her family history. Emotionally touching and historically interesting, her talk was well-received as were the presentations by all IOS members.

Organizers of the conference included Francisco Zito as well as Armando Vecchietti, Roberto Maglione, and Bruno Franchi, all members of the Italian Association of Orgonomy.

Mr. Zito and his daughter, Sheila

Mr. Zito is currently assembling a panel of speakers for next year’s conference in Italy. Such conferences are crucial to introducing Orgonomy to the public.

Overall, the conference was a successful, stimulating event. An estimated 120 attendees participated in the international conference, which provided simultaneous translating services between English and Italian via headset. Included below is a list of the wide range of topics and corresponding presenters. For detailed biographies of the speakers as well as abstracts of the topics, please visit the following website: www.orgone.org In addition, DVDs of individual speakers as well as the entire conference are available for purchase by contacting Mr. Zito at zetafrancis@yahoo.it. Finally, we would like to thank the Italian Association of Orgonomy for organizing this conference and look forward to future successful conferences in the coming years.

 

Phillip Bennett, PhD.
What is Orgonomy?
Orgonomic Infant Research Center and Its Historic Content
Work Democracy

Conny Huthsteiner, M.D.
Psychiatric Orgone Therapy
Moving Toward Life Energy, Changing Concept of Energy Since 1955
Love, Sexuality, God and Family Life

Hugh Brenner, FPNP.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Use and the Misuse of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy in the Pediatric Population
Where Do We Go From Here? Discussion on Research Directions in Orgonomy
Opening the Eyes

Roberto Maglione, MSc.
Recovering Natural Atmosphering Pulsation from Reich to Present Days
Methods and Procedures in Biophysical Orgonometry

James DeMeo, PhD.
Field Experiments with Reich DOR Buster for Draught and Desert Greening: Success and Problems
Laboratory Evaluations are the Proof of Reich’s Orgone Energy: Electroscope, Charged Water and Vacuum.
Saharasi: Cross Cultural Proof of Reich’s Sex Economic Theory and Origin of Violence Question

Reneta Reich Moise, CNM.
Gentle Support during Pregnancy and Birth
Birth as Transformative Experience
Self-Regulation within the Real World: Growing up as the Granddaughter of Wilhelm Reich

Jorgos Kavouroas, M.D.
Combination of Psychiatric and Physical Orgone Therapy (orac and DOR buster)
The Use of Physical Orgone Therapy (orac and DOR buster) as a Powerful Medical Device in Everyday Clinic over More than 15 Years
The New Medicine: Reich’s Contribution to Holistic Medicine

Tina Linderman, M.D.
The Use of Orgone Energy Accumulator of the Reich Medical DOR-Buster, in Practical Clinic also with Cancerous Patients
The Emotional Plague Today
My Personal Experience Working with Medical Orgone Therapy

Wendy Kohli, PhD.
Self-Regulation and Education

Peter Robins, BSA
Wilhelm Reich and UFO’s part 1 Claude Busting and the Origin of Reich’s Interest in the Unidentified Flying Objects
Wilhelm Reich and UFO’s part 2 A Concise History of Wilhelm Reich’s Involvement with UFO’s
Final Thoughts on Wilhelm Reich and UFO’s and Account of USAF’s Military Application of Claude Buster Technology

Armando Vecchieti, MSOLSc.
Cancerous Process and Early Cancer Diagnosis:Use of Orgone Accumulator of Reich

Stephan Simonian, M.D.
Schizophrenia: An Orgonomic Perspective
Psychiatry – Reich = Physics – Einstein
Central Importance of Orgasm Theory in Psychiatric Orgone Therapy

Peter Jones, OB.
The Reich Blood Test
The Bions
Orgone Therapeutic Support in Labor

Posted in HistoryComments (1)


NYC Conference

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Wilhelm Reich – Founder of Orgone Therapy

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