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From Libido to Orgone


Contribution to the conference: Wilhelm Reich and the Science of Life Energy: "Orgonomy" November 9, 2019 NYC

Introduction of Dr. Simonian by Dr. Alexander Bingham conference moderator:

Dr. Stephan Simonian is a Board certified general and child psychiatrist he completed medical school in Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. He completed general psychiatric residency training program as well as child psychiatry fellowship at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital Center. Concomitant with his psychiatry training program Dr. Simonian completed New York Medical College psychoanalytic Division didactic courses including his own personal required psychoanalysis. In 1990 Dr. Simonian started his personal psychiatric orgone therapy with Dr. Morton Herskowitz. He later became a member of Institute for Orgonomic Science. Dr. Simonian has been practicing general and child psychiatry since 1984.He was chief of department of psychiatry in Milford -Whitinsville Hospital in Milford ,MA for several years, In 2003 he moved to Los Angeles and has been practicing general and child psychiatry and psychiatric orgon therapy in Glendale CA. Dr. Simonian translated the book “Function of Orgasm” by Dr. Wilhelm Reich to Persian language and it is published both in the US and in the Iran. He is the editor of an on line Journal “Psychiatric Orgone Therapy” and has written several articles in that Journal.

Dr. Stephan Simonian:

Thank you very much, and thank you for generous introduction. My part of this conference is to discusses how Reich developed from Freud, because Reich was a student of Freud and he first was psychoanalyst but then he rather digressed from Freud and psychoanalysis and then developed Orgonomy which is rooted in psychoanalysis. So Orgonomy grew in the womb of psychoanalysis, the founder of psychoanalysis was Sigmund Freud,

Orgonomy grew in the womb of

psychoanalysis.

Reich was the student of Freud, and a psychoanalyst in the Freud’s circle.

A picture of Freud given to Reich as a remembrance with Freud’s inscription
stating to Dr. Wilhelm Reich as a kind remembrance of Sig Freud in March
1925. This picture is posted at the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley,
Maine.

This is the Freud’s picture; this is the picture that Freud gave to Reich ass a remembrance and this picture is hanging on the wall of Wilhelm Reich Museum in the Rangeley Main. Freud himself inscribed under the picture stating “To Wilhelm Reich as a remembrance” and dated and signed the picture.

Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine.

Those who have not visited Wilhelm Reich Museum I encourage them to do it is in the Rangeley Main, it is a serene place very nice, very quiet, with many lakes around it, it is a marvelous vacation place and also a good learning experiment. This is a slide of Wilhelm Reich Museum.

Erwin Stengel, Grete Bibring-Lehner,
Rudolph Lowenstein, and Wilhelm
Reich at the 1934 Lucerne
Psychoanalytic Congress.

Now, this is a picture of Wilhelm Reich, in the Lucerne conference in 1934

This was an international Psychoanalytic Conference. The reason I am showing this slide to you is for you to realize how central figure he is for psychoanalysis at that time, he is an authority in psychoanalysis, he is talking and others around him are listening to him. I want to convey that his knowledge in psychoanalysis is very deep. Someone with deep knowledge in a scientific branch can also further that knowledge. Know that we establish that Freud’s psychoanalysis was the basis of what Reich developed latter on, I will quickly go over some essential principles of psychoanalysis. Freud developed three major theories:

Freud developed 3 major theories

throughout his life

  • Libido theory (economic theory)
  • Topographic theory (theory of Conscious and Unconscious)
  • Structural theory, (theory of Id, Ego and Superego).

First Theory is Libido Theory, or economic theory. The second theory is Topographic Theory, or the theory of Conscious and unconscious, and the third theory is Structural Theory, or the theory of Id, Ego, Superego.

Now, first let’s explain a bit Libido Theory; Freud hypostasized that there must be an innate energy in the child that propagates the life. By observation of the newborns and children he made these assumptions that an innate energy operates in the newborn and goes through different stages of development. Freud made the fallowing conclusion (Slide)

Libido theory

“Economic theory”


  • Hypothetical psychosexual energy operating in
    newborn
  • Is the source of propagation of life
  • Instincts get their power from this energy source
  • Neurosis develops when this energy is blocked.

Topographic Theory, or the Theory of Conscious and unconscious:

Freud assumed that under the human conscious mind there is a larger segment of unconscious, that influences our lives and influences our decisions and pushes us toward directions which we are consciously unaware of it. Psychoneurotic symptoms are manifestations of conflicts that are rooted in the unconscious. Freud postulated that psychoanalytic technique can penetrate into unconscious and bring the unconscious conflict to the consciousness and Freud postulated that when unconscious roots of the conflict becomes conscious than symptoms should improve.

Topographic theory

  • Under the conscious mind there is a larger
    hidden segment of unconscious
  • Psychoneurotic symptoms are manifestations
    of conflict rooted in a person’s unconscious
  • Freud postulated that by psychoanalytic
    technique when the unconscious becomes
    conscious neurotic symptoms should improve.

Structural theory of the Freud or the Theory of ID, EGO and Superego:

Structural theory

  • Freud divided human psychological structure
    to 3 components
  • Id – Which are instinctual strivings
  • Ego – Face and interact with the world
  • Superego – Which is internalized social,
    parental and religious values, causes approval
    & disapproval, creates guilt and demands
    punitive measures.

Freud hypothetically divided human psychosexual structure to three components, Id which is the component of instincts, Ego which is the component that deals, interacts and negotiates with the world, and Superego which is the internalized social, parental and religious values and causes approval or disapproval and creates guilt and demands punitive measures. These three basic theories of Freud overlap in some points with each other.

Freud suggested two types of neurosis, one type of neurosis he called Stasis Neurosis or Actual Neurosis.

Freud suggested 2 types of neurosis

  • Stasis neurosis or actual neurosis, which is caused
    by disturbance of sexual life, damming up of
    libido energy (psychosexual energy) which causes
    toxic reaction in the body such as palpitation,
    hyperventilation and high level of anxiety and can
    be cured by counseling and helping the patient
    not to be abstinent
  • Psychoneurosis, develops because of unconscious
    conflict and can be cured by psychoanalysis.

This neurosis, Freud said, happens when the flow of Libido Energy is blocked because of abstinence which in turn it causes accumulation of the energy and causes toxic reaction and that causes symptoms of neurosis like palpitation, hyperventilation, similar to toxic reaction of elevated thyroid hormone and thyrotoxicosis. Freud suggested that by counselling and helping the patient not to be obstinate, this neurosis will be cured. The second type of Neurosis, was postulated by Freud was called Psychoneurosis, this neurosis was a consequence of unconscious conflict which patient is unaware of it. However, Freud himself agreed that under each psychoneurosis there is a core of stasis neurosis and with each stasis neurosis there is as component of psychoneurosis. So, Reich questioned that since each neurosis contains the other neurotic components as well, and then there is no reason to differentiate between each type of neurosis.

However Freud agreed that underneath of each psychoneurosis there is a core of Stasis neurosis and with each Stasis neurosis there is a component of psychoneurosis. By this consideration no differentiation between neurosis and psychoneurosis seems necessary.

Now to treat psychoneurosis, to penetrate into the unconscious of a patient and make unconscious conscious, we need to have a technique. That technique is Freudian Psychoanalysis. In Psychanalytic technique, Freud suggested that the patient should lay down on a coach and he or she is encouraged to free associate. To talk whatever comes to his mind. By free association, one idea will bring up another idea, like the links of the chain which this eventually will lead us to the unconscious conflict and according to Freud when unconscious conflict gets conscious, the neurotic symptom should improve. Psychoanalyst during the psychoanalysis leads the patient toward discovery of the unconscious conflict.

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Technique

  • Patient lies on couch and is encouraged to say
    whatever comes to his mind
  • By free association ideas like links of chain will
    lead to unconscious conflict
  • Dream interpretation
  • This technique is to make unconscious roots of
    the conflict conscious and according to Freud
    when unconscious becomes conscious patient
    should improve.

Freud also suggested dream interpretation, because dreams contain unconscious elements in a form of symbolic way and dream interpretation helps uncovering some of the unconscious issues.

Picture of psychoanalytic setting

This is a picture of psychoanalytic setting; the psychoanalyst sits on the top of the coach and the patient lays on the coach. Freud postulated that laying position makes easier for the patient to free associate. Also, it was suggested that analyst to be out of the site of the patient.

Psychoanalytic theory and technique does not always work.

However psychoanalytic technique and making unconscious conscious does not always work. Patients often resist the process of psychoanalysis, they do not free associate, or even when they cooperate and eventually reach to the unconscious conflict, often they do not improve. In such cases they only gain an intellectual understanding, they cognitively know why they are feeling miserable or acting in a certain unhealthy way but the still continue to feel miserable and continue to behave in the unhealthy manner and they are helpless to change it. So psychoanalytic theory and technique sometimes work and sometimes doesn’t.

This is the cover picture of Time Magazine in November issue of 1993. The title of the picture says: Is Freud Dead. The author in this article concludes that psychoanalysis and all of its offshoots may in final analysis turn out to be no more reliable then countless other Pseudoscience.

The author of this article states:
“Psychoanalysis and all of its offshoots may in final analysis turn out to be no more reliable than countless other pseudoscience’s”.

Now, keep in mind that this is a major discovery, Freud did a major discovery, and because it is halfway done, because sometimes it does not give results, people have prematurely dismissed it and labeled it “Pseudoscience” Reich, in the book “Reich Speaks of Freud” says : Freud was the Moses who did not reach to promise land! And that is true, he didn’t reach the promise land because the discovery is halfway done and is not complete. Here is where Reich comes to the scene.

Reich was a student of Freud and was analyzing the patients according to Freud’s teachings and instructions, Reich realized that sometimes when unconscious becomes conscious patients improve, sometimes they do not. So, in his mind he was questioning “why”. Reich in the book “Function of Orgasm” gives two examples. First case is a student that Freud referred to Reich, who was suffering from obsessions and was counting a lot. Everything was changing into numbers. Reich analyzed this patient according to Freud’s suggestions and on the ninth month of the analysis an incest fantasy broke through and patient was consequently was able to have satisfying sexual release. The patient had relapse of symptoms and setbacks for few episodes which improved by subsequent satisfying sexual experiences and eventually the symptoms remitted and after he became capable of healthy sexual life, he married and stayed free of symptoms for six years that Reich had contact with him.

In the book of “The Function of Orgasm”, Reich writes about two patients who were treated with psychoanalysis. One of whom had a successful outcome and the other did not.

Concomitantly Reich was analyzing another patient, a waiter whose main symptom was sexual impotence. Reich says” During the third year of the psychoanalysis we arrived at the perfect reconstruction of Primal Scene. He was two years old when this occurred. His mother gave birth to a child and from the adjacent room he had been able to observe every detail of the delivery. The impression of a large bloody hole between mother’s leg became firmly ingrained in his mind. In conscious level he only sensed an emptiness in his own genitals. Based on psychoanalytic knowledge of that time I merely connected his inability to have erection to his severely traumatic impression of seeing the castrated female genital. This analysis was no doubt correct, but at that time I incorrectly assessed the total personality of my patient. He was very quiet, well mannered, well behaved person. He agreed with everything that he was asked to do. In a course of three years of his treatment he never once became angry or exercise criticism, thus according to the prevailing thought of that time he was fully integrated, adjusted character with only one acute symptom, monosymptomatic neurosis.

Reich presented this case to the older analysts at that time and he was praised by them. Reich then thought that if the analysis is fine, then why is that the patient has not improved?

Even when unconscious conflict of neurotic symptoms is discovered the symptoms may persist.

Reich says that he realized that the major problem was this waiter’s unshakable calmness, tranquility and agreeableness that everyone thought that it was an asset, but real sickness was his character. Reich says that after three years of analysis he terminated the analysis and the patient was not improved. The patient accepted the termination as he accepted everything else in his life with politeness calmness. So, Reich realized that the real sickness was this patient’s character and the symptom was sustained on the base of this unhealthy character.

  • From here on Reich moves to character analysis vs. symptom analysis
  • Patient’s whole character resists the treatment
  • It is not important “what the patient says”, It is important “how he says it”.
  • From here on Reich moves into character analysis. He realizes that character is the basis of the illness. The character analysis the takes priority since when character is intact, even when unconscious conflict becomes conscious, the patient dose not improve. Reich moved to character analysis versus symptom analysis, he said it is more important “How patient says” rather than “What he says”. He presented this approach to Freud, but Freud did not approve it and said that whatever patient says should be analyze as it is said. So, Reich, from here on drifted away from Freud and developed two theories, the theory of armoring and the theory of orgasm.

    Hence Reich developed 2 major
    theories

    • A. Theory of Armoring
    • B. Theory of Orgasm

    These are two main psychiatric theories of Wilhelm Reich. Dr. Herskowitz once in one of his lectures said that the discovery of armoring is one of the most important discoveries in psychiatry, which is unknown and unnoticed by conventional psychiatry.

    The theory of armoring

    • The theory of armoring developed in the process of Reich’s work with patient’s resistances to treatment.

    The Theory of armoring developed in the process of Reich’s works with the patient’s resistances. Reich discovered that the patients’ whole character resists to the process of psychoanalysis. It is interesting that in the process of psychoanalysis, when the patient’s’ character is mentioned, patients usually become defensive and deny any negative aspect of their character.

    Reich discovered that the patient’s whole character resists the process of psychoanalysis. It resists the change like aforementioned polite and agreeable waiter.

    Character armor is defined as the sum total of character attitude which an individual develops ass a defense against emotional excitation resulting in rigidities in the body and lack of genuine emotional contact.

    Character armor is defined as the sum total of character attitudes which an individual develops as defense against his emotional excitations resulting in rigidity of the body and lack of genuine emotional contact.

    Character analysis although is in variance with psychoanalytic technique, but still is in the domain of psychoanalysis because it still is in the turf of interacting with the words.

    From 1926 Reich suggested character analysis versus symptoms analysis. Character analysis although in variance with Freud’s technique but still works in the realm of psyche.

    Now character armor has a physical counterpart.

    Character armor has a physical and muscular counterpart which is functionally identical with it but works in the physical realm.

    A patient who is always smiling and nice will develop some muscular contractions and rigidities in his or her face and mouth which as time goes on it becomes permeant feature and turns into muscular armor, now from here on Reich is moving into physical state, into the body. Emotional armor and physical armor are counterpart of each other and functionally identical with each other, one in the realm of psyche and the other in the realm of body (soma).

    Emotional armor and physical armor are counterpart of each other and are functionally identical with each other, one in the realm of psyche and the other in the realm of body.

    Now these things are not known in the conventional psychiatry, they don’t understand the physical component of the psychological features. Reich gives an example of muscular armor in the book “Function of Orgasm”:

    An example of muscular armor from the book “The Function of Orgasm”.
    “A man with stiff neck”.

    Reich says: “I treated a man who offered a considerable resistance to the uncovering of his passive homosexual fantasies. This resistance was overtly expressed in the extreme stiffness in his throat and stiff neck. A concentrated attack on his defense finally caused him to yield though in an alarming way. For three days he was shaken by acute manifestation of vegetative shock the paler of his face changed rapidly from white to yellow to blue, his skin was spotted and mottled, he experienced violent pains in the neck and back of the head, his heartbeat was rapid and pounding and had diarrhea. He felt tired and seemed to have lost control. I was uneasy, true. I had often seen similar symptoms but never in such a violent form. Something had happened here that while somehow a legitimate part of the work was not immediately intelligible. Affects had broken through somatically after the patient had relinquished his attitude of psychic defense. Apparently the stiff neck which emphasized austere masculinity had bond vegetative energies, which now broke loose in an uncontrollable and chaotic manner. A person with an ordered sexual economy is not capable of such reaction. Only continues inhibition and damming up of biological energy can produce it. The musculature has served the function of inhibition. When the neck muscle relaxed powerful impulses as if unleashed from a taught coil broke through”. Reich then describes the technique to dissolve character armor as well as its’ counterpart, muscular and physical armor.

    Dr. Reich developed and describes a technique to dissolve the character armor and its counterpart physical armor in the books of “Character Analysis” & “The Function of Orgasm” and Dr. Herskowitz described it in the book of “Emotional Armoring”.

    The technique of dissolving character armor and physical armor is described by Reich in the book “Character Analysis’ and the book “Function of Orgasm” and also it is described in the book, “Emotional Armoring” written by Dr. Morton Herskowitz. “Pictures of the books”

    Wilhelm Reich
    THE FUNCTION
    OF THE ORGASM

    Volume 1 of the Discovery of the Orgone
    Wilhelm Reich
    CHARACTER ANALYSIS

    THIRD, ENLARGED EDITION

    As we described earlier, character armor and physical armor are counterpart of each other, but in the deeper level they are conjoined with each other.

    This point of view is also unfamiliar to conventional medicine and psychiatry. If you open any psychiatry or medical book and go to the chapter of psych-somatic medicine, in the first couple of pages you will see the declaration of the author stating that psyche and soma are interrelated and interconnected, but when you keep reading a bit more you will reserialize that they talk as if psyche is here and somas is somewhere there, as if they are two separate entities. This is because they do not know the way they are connected with each other. So, chronic contraction of the body tissue that constitutes the muscular and physical armor, is mediated by vegetative or autonomic nervous system therefore the treatment technique to dissolve the physical armor is called “Vegetotherapy”

    Chronic contraction of body tissues is mediated by vegetative (autonomic) nervous system. Treatment technique of physical armoring is called vegetotherapy by Dr. Reich.

    It is called Vegetotherapy because chronic and involuntary muscular contractions are in relation to autonomic nervous system. Vegetotherapy is functionally the same work as character analysis but in a deeper level, in the body and in the muscular realm.

    Vegetotherapy means the same work as character analysis but in a deeper level of biological system.

    As we said earlier Reich has developed two major theories, the theory of armoring and the theory of orgasm, these two theories at the end get integrated with each other and become counterpart of each other. Dissolution of the armor leads to establishment of natural orgiastic potency.

    The theory of armoring and theory of orgasm are interrelated with each other dissolution of armor leads to establishment of natural orgastic potency.

    In the book of “Function of Orgasm” Reich describes the changes in patients in whom the armoring is dissolved and orgiastic potency were restored.

    In the book of “The Function of Orgasm” Reich describes the changes in the patients in whom the armor was dissolved and healthy sexual functioning was restored.

    Reich says: quit spontaneously patients start to experience moralistic attitudes of the world around them something alien and peculiar. No matter how tenaciously they might have defended premarital chastity beforehand, now they experience this demand as grotesque. Such demands no longer had any relevance to them, they became indifferent to them. Their attitude toward the work changed, if they have previously worked mechanically, not demonstrating real interest, they became discriminating. The change in the sexual sphere was just as pronounced, patients’ who felt no qualms about going to prostitutes became incapable for doing so. Wives who had patiently endured living with unloving husband and submitted to sexual act out of marital obligation, they could no longer do so, and they simply refused they had enough. Reich says that when the armoring dissolved and sexual potency is retorted, people developed a character like Jesus Chris character, they became self-regulated, they did not need police to behave.

    I will now mention some of the important points regarding to the Theory of Orgasm:

    The Theory of Orgasm

    • This theory corresponds with Freud’s theory
      of neurosis
    • Reich says: That orgastic impotence is not just
      one of many symptoms of neurosis but it is
      the most important symptom as well as the
      cause of neurosis
    • All neurotic patients are orgastically disturbed.

    Dr. Harry Lewis will be talking about it in more details later today. The theory of orgasm corresponds with Freud’s theory of Neurosis, Reich says that the orgiastic impotence is not just one symptom of neurosis but it is the most important symptom as well as the cause of neurosis. All neurotic patients are orgasticly disturbed. This statement was objected by Reich’s contemporary psychiatrists and psychoanalysts. Many of them stated that they have neurotic patients that are orgastically very potent, that they can have sex several times in one night. However, that sexual potency, when is probed a bit, becomes evident that it is not a genuine potency. They either were unable to reach to orgasm, or they had premature ejaculation, or they had to use strange fantasies to achieve orgasm, or after the orgasm they were experiencing a sense of disgust within themselves, etc.

    In Orgonomy orgastic potency is defined as person’s ability to surrender to the flow of biological energy free of any inhibition or fantasy and its capacity to discharge completely the dammed up sexual excitation through involuntary pleasurable convulsions.

    In Orgonomy, orgasmic potency is defined as person’s ability to surrender to the flow of biological energy, free of any inhibition or fantasy and its capacity to discharge completely the dammed up sexual excitation by involuntary pleasurable convulsions.

    Orgasm theory is rich in encompassing concept of expansion and contraction of the living organism and its psychological expression of pleasure and displeasure as well as it’s relation to autonomic nervous system.

    Orgasm theory is a rich theory and encompasses concepts of expansion and contraction of living protoplasm and its psychological expression of pleasure and displeasure as well as its relation to autonomic nervous system.

    Now you can see the difference of treatment theory and approach based on Reich’s description comparing to conventional psychoanalysis and medicine. Psychoanalysis stopes in the most superficial level of psyche, while in Orgonomy it penetrates to the muscles and even deeper into autonomic nervous system, which is far deeper in the tissues and therefore psychiatric orgone therapy brings changes to the patients which are very basic and fundamental.

    Orgastic potency and the process of armoring in deeper level are connected with each other. These are connected with each other, they also are function of autonomic nervous system, which governs the involuntary process of contraction and expansion of the body by sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous branches.

    Orgastic potency and the process of armoring both in deeper level are connected to function of autonomic nervous system which governs the involuntary process of contraction and expansion of the body by sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous branches.

    Now that we recognize that armoring is related to muscular contractions which are mediated by autonomic nervous system, then it is logical to infer that this chronic contraction of the muscles and tissues should cause some physical problems as well. These pathologic changes of the tissues as a consequence of armoring is called Biopathy by Reich. In the book “Cancer biopathy” Reich used the term biopathy for such a physical condition.

    • Now that we recognize the physical armoring by
      contractions of muscles and body tissues and its
      relation to autonomic nervous system, it is logical
      to conclude that many physical illnesses may also
      arise because of the armoring.
    • Reich in the book of cancer biopathy used the
      term biopathy for such physical conditions.
    • Reich says: “The term biopathy refers to all disease
      processes caused by basic dysfunction in the autonomic or
      vegetative nervous system….”

    Reich says: “The term Biopathy is referred to all disease processes which is caused by basic dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Once this happens it can develop neurosis, or cancer or different types of the physical illnesses ”

    Now if armoring of the organism is detrimental to its health then why does it happen?

    Now if armoring is such a bad thing, if it is detrimental to the health of the humans, that it causes psychological and physical illnesses, then why it happens. Why human animal becomes armored.

    Armoring happens in the process of child’s interaction with his environment. This aspect of the Orgonomy enters to the realm of sociology that Dr. Philip Bennett will be talking about it. The anti-sexual and authoritarian upbringing of the children which is prevalent in the most cultures are the main cause of armoring. Schematically the process of armoring is as follows:

    • Armoring happens in the process of a child’s
      interactions with his environment.
    • The antisexual and authoritarian upbringings
      of children prevalent in most cultures are the
      main cause of armoring.
    • Schematically the process of armoring is as
      follows:

    Child initially resists the inhibition that is imposed by the outer world, through some temper tantrums but eventually submits to it and part of the drive splits and identifies with the oppressing force ,turns against itself and soon the oppression from outside becomes unnecessary because part of the child’s impulse dose the function of oppressing force of outer world. In the interface of these two forces armoring develops.

    This is the process of persistence of the traditions, behavior and sicknesses that goes from one generation to the next generation. I have many patients that they say, ” Doctor I hated when my mother or father was doing this to me, I thought I will never do it to my children, but I find myself doing the same thing to my children” Because it has become ingrained in the armor and operates automatically.

    From here on sociological branch of Orgonomy starts which deals with socio-cultural norms that causes armoring.

    The model of the human psychological structure in psychoanalysis is Id, Ego Superego. However in the Orgonomy the model of human psychological structure is, Core, Middle layer and periphery.

    Orgonomic model for a healthy organism is composed
    of core, middle layer and periphery.

    This is depiction of an unarmored human psychological structure in which the impulses are able to be expressed undistorted.

    Diagram depicting basic function in armored organism.
    The inhibition of primary impulses produces secondary
    impulses and anxiety.

    This is the armored structure.

    Schema of the structure of the armor

    The armor prevents and distorts the primary impulses and makes secondary impulses which are distorted forms of the genuine primary impulses. Secondary drives can manifest themselves as sadistic and destructive drives, greed, distorted sexual impulses lascivitisness. which then has to be covered up by insincere excessive politeness, kindness or harsh moral attitudes. The armor is complicated interlacing forces acting against each other.

    In the book “Mass Psychology of Fascism” Reich says: Extensive and painstaking therapeutic work on the human character has led me to conclude that as a rule we are dealing with three different layers of biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reaction. These three layers of the human character structure are deposits of social development which functions autonomously.

    In the book “Mass Psychology of Fascism” Reich says: Extensive and painstaking
    therapeutic work on the human character has led me to the conclusion that, as a rule, we are dealing with three different layers of the biopsychic structure in the evaluation of the human reactions. These layers of character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously.

    Reich says: On the surface layer of his personality, the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biologic core of one’s selfhood; it is borne by a second, an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lewd, greedy and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian “unconscious” or “what is repressed”; to put it in the language of sex-economy, it represents the sum total of all so-called “secondary drives…

    If one penetrates through this destructive second layer, deeper into the biologic substratum of the human animal, one always discovers the third, deepest, layer, which we call the biologic core. In this core, under favorable social conditions, man is an essentially honest, industrious, cooperative, loving and, if motivated, rationally hating animal.”

    Reich says “Had I known it, I would have packed up and ran, but it is too late now”

    The biological energy that works in the human organism and Freud called it Libido and Reich named it orgone, in the human organism, based on orgonomic assumption originates in the autonomic ganglions, and by pulsating manner propagates in the body by sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous branches. Vegetative centers are abundant in the lower abdominal area which is called solar, hypogastric and lumbosacral plexus. This assumption is supported by a physiology experiment done in Pavlov institute in Leningrad, Russia on 1961 in a paper written by Zamiatine.

    The biological energy that operates in the human organism which Freud called it Libido and Reich named it Orgone, originates in vegetative ganglions and propagates through the body in a pulsating manner by vegetative nervous system. This vegetative centers are most abundant in lower abdominal area solar plexus, hypogastric plexus and lumbosacral plexus.

    In this paper the author verifies that there is pulsation propagating from the ganglion independent of higher centers in a cat.

    This orgonomic concept is supported in paper Zamiatine, N. (1961). Electrophysiological analysis of excitation conduction through ganglia of the solar plexus. Journal of physiology of USSR. 47(6), 1-8.

    Schematic depiction of the ganglion emitting the energy.

    Reich identified same energy that operates inside the living organism, orgone energy, in the environment, in the atmosphere, and tried to harvest it by different devices and used it medically.

    From here on Biophysical aspects of Orgonomy branches off that Dr. Hutstiener will be talking about it.

    • Reich identified the same energy, orgone
      energy in the atmosphere and tried to harvest
      it by different devices and use it medically.
    • From here on the biophysical branch of
      Orgonomy develops.

    Reich identified same energy that operates inside the living organism, orgone energy, in the environment, in the atmosphere, and tried to harvest it by different devices and used it medically.

    Reich says: the basic theory belongs to Freud but I furthered it so much that he himself could not recognize it anymore.

    Thank you.

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    Wilhelm Reich’s Social and Political Insights


    Presented at the Institute for Orgonomic Science Conference, entitled: “Science, Love and Society: an Introduction to Orgonomy, the Work of Wilhelm Reich”
    University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, April 11, 2015

    I’ve been studying Wilhelm Reich’s social and political thought for the last ten years. Here is some of what I’ve learned.

    Wilhelm Reich was a psychoanalyst but also a profound psychoanalytic theorist, an orgone therapist and social activist, a laboratory scientist exploring physiology and biology, a natural scientist making profound observations and experiments in biophysics and meteorology, a cosmologist and philosopher of science, a social theorist and in one sense a theologist–I’m thinking of one of his later books, The Murder of Christ.

    In her Foreword to the compilation Selected Writings, Mary Higgins, the Trustee of Reich’s estate, said: “The vastness of Wilhelm Reich’s scientific accomplishments has always created a problem of too muchness.”

    In her Foreword to the compilation Selected Writings, Mary Higgins, the Trustee of Reich’s estate, said: “The vastness of Wilhelm Reich’s scientific accomplishments has always created a problem of too muchness.”

    The reference to “too muchness” is an allusion to some comments Reich himself made towards the end of his life in his book, Ether, God and Devil, where Reich noted that he was forced by the facts, especially the discovery of orgone energy, to cross boundaries typically viewed as sacrosanct by scientists.

    “As a consequence, I often had to defend myself against the reproach that I did not respect my proper scientific boundaries, that I had undertaken “Too Much At Once.”…No one has felt the TOO-MUCHNESS as painfully as myself.”

    In the face of the “too much” I am going to limit myself (mostly) to a single work, Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism. (Hereafter, MPF.)

    But even here, I will be forced to ignore a wealth of material: we could easily spend an entire conference on just this one work.

    I want to begin by emphasizing the importance of Reich’s social and political thought in his work. Reich first referred to orgone energy in the Spring of 1939. After that his press published twelve titles, including Contact with Space, brought out after his death. At least six belong squarely in the social and political camp.

    Here is a list of the titles; those in BOLD I consider social and political:
    Further Problems of Work Democracy
    The Function of the Orgasm
    Character Analysis
    The Sexual Revolution
    The Mass Psychology of Fascism
    The Cancer Biopathy
    Listen, Little Man!
    Ether, God and Devil
    Cosmic Superimposition
    The Murder of Christ
    People in Trouble
    Contact with Space

    In what follows I’m going to limit myself by following a script and avoiding examples and other asides, thereby providing what I hope will be ample time for interaction with you all.

    Here are the themes I will address:

    • Reich’s understanding of fascism
    • Reich’s answer to fascism: work democracy
    • The determining role of sexuality in all this

    Here are the themes I will address:

    • Reich’s understanding of fascism
    • Reich’s answer to fascism: work democracy
    • The determining role of sexuality in all this

    Reich on fascism:

    Originally, Fascists were members of the Italian political party, The National Fascist Party (Partito Nazionale Fascista; PNF) created by Benito Mussolini in the 1920s.

    But for Reich, and many other progressives, fascism is not the name of a party or necessarily a political government or state. He is obviously using the term in a wider sense as did those on the left during the 1920s and 1930s in Europe and as some progressives now refer to the United States as having “fascistic tendencies.”

    One theme in MPF is the strong connection between the authoritarian patriarchal family structure and fascism. The stronger the role of the authority the more likely the child will become a good follower or mindless rebel, neither of which moves society forward, and both of which contribute to a fascist like society. For Reich it might be best to speak of a fascistic character structure.

    One theme in MPF is the strong connection between the authoritarian patriarchal family structure and fascism. The stronger the role of the authority the more likely the child will become a good follower or mindless rebel, neither of which moves society forward, and both of which contribute to a fascist like society. For Reich it might be best to speak of a fascistic character structure.

    While authoritarian family structure remains a dominant one world wide, there has arisen, in reaction perhaps, the anti-authoritarian family, which often takes the form of parents refusing to set any limits at all for children.

    Reich dealt with this in a way in his correspondence with Neill, the famous progressive educator and then head of Summerhill school in England. Both had children born in the mid 1940s. (Peter Reich was born in 1944; Zoe Neill in 1946.) In their correspondence we see the two elderly parents struggling to foster a climate which would permit their children to self-regulate their behavior but in less than ideal circumstances.

    As for those parents who are fearful of setting limits, I am reminded of the Ancient saying:

    Without a firm bank the stream becomes a swamp.                     

    (Actually, I made this up but it could be an ancient saying, and now, with time, may become one!) Ideally, those limits would be self-imposed, if a person were truly capable of self-regulation.

    Psychoanalysis speaks of transference, where feelings, both positive and negative towards one’s parents, get put on one’s therapist; but there is also transference in real life. From family to school to political affiliation to political engagement: the obedient child becomes the obedient student and later the obedient citizen…or the rebel without a rational cause.

    Children go from authoritarian families into authoritarian educational systems and end up incapable of taking responsibility for their own lives, incapable of critical thinking, unable to live freely and fully, fearful of standing out, driven to mindless conformity.

    Children go from authoritarian families into authoritarian educational systems and end up incapable of taking responsibility for their own lives, incapable of critical thinking, unable to live freely and fully, fearful of standing out, driven to mindless conformity.

    People want to be told what to do.  A brief aside: When I was in therapy with Dr. Sobey, who was trained by Reich (this goes back to the 1960s), Sobey would never give me advice, even when I announced in therapy I was about to do something that was rather silly. (He couldn’t hide his reaction completely: I noticed him flinch slightly, but he didn’t say a word.) Later when it came time to undo that silliness (it had to do with an impulsive marriage), he said, “I wondered how long that compulsive thing would last!”

    I recognize that there all sorts of exceptions to this general characterization, but even among less restrictive, more human families and schools, the big “don’t touch it” of sexuality typically remains and continues to be highly problematic.

    The repression of emotional expression generally and sexual longing in particular produces anxiety, and one way to lessen that anxiety is to follow the leader, to give up one’s individual responsibility in favor of buying into the all knowing ideology of a political party or a church or a new-age guru.

    The repression of emotional expression generally and sexual longing in particular produces anxiety, and one way to lessen that anxiety is to follow the leader, to give up one’s individual responsibility in favor of buying into the all knowing ideology of a political party or a church or a new-age guru.

    Reich: “The individual brought up in the authoritarian way does not know the natural laws of self-regulation; he is afraid of his sexuality because he has never learned to live it naturally; he has no confidence in himself. Therefore, he declines responsibility for his actions and decisions and demands guidance.”

    It is in the Family that the seeds are planted: Think of the role of the family authority in the context of emotional repression and specifically sexual repression.

    At one point Reich refers to the authoritarian family as “the factory of reactionary ideology and structure.”

    At one point Reich refers to the authoritarian family as “the factory of reactionary ideology and structure.”

    Now our natural emotional responses are quite strong, instinctual, and unless a child has endured all kinds of horrible experiences in utero, we can easily see these responses in a healthy baby:

    • They don’t just cry: they wail
    • They yawn and stretch
    • If startled, they shake all over
    • They smile and soon learn to laugh
    • They have a will of their own, and when thwarted they get furious [terrible twos]
    • They are sexual beings

    Think for a moment as to how we repress our natural urges. Take crying for example.  If you are crying, and you are told that big boys don’t cry, or you are told, stop that crying or I’ll give you something to cry about, what do you do? There is only one way: you hold your breath, you stifle the spontaneous movement of your diaphragm, the heaving of your chest.

    So early on armoring forms against emotional expression accompanied by the internalizing of an ideology of repression. Once internalized it is then reinforced by the social structures and later acted out against or to one’s own offspring.

    So early on armoring forms against emotional expression accompanied by the internalizing of an ideology of repression. Once internalized it is then reinforced by the social structures and later acted out against or to one’s own offspring.

    How many of us now yawn freely, not just tear up but wail, get truly furious, long for something, shake when we are terrified? Most of us have learned to keep a tight lid on all such expressions.  

    All of this is gendered as well: in our society women are given more slack to cry (harkens back to the 19th century notion that women are emotional and incapable of rational thought), while men are allowed to express anger…but certainly not sadness.

    Think of the ways in which we pathologize crying. Our language reflects this. We speak of  losing it in public; when I hear this I want to say, “no you were about to gain it, you were about to discharge some of your sadness.” Or we speak of feeling vulnerable. When are knights of old vulnerable? When they take off their armor! Some of us are old enough to remember the brouhaha about Edmund Muskie’s tears and how this undermined his presidential ambitions in 1972.

    Fascism is in the body, so to say. That is, muscular armor, originally developed to repress emotional response and then later sexual urges: we carry fascism within us, in our tight muscles, in our inability to give into the natural, in our inability to take complete responsibility for our lives and our environment. 

    In his book Function of the Orgasm, Reich uses very telling terms: he refers to “the encrustations and rigidifications of human emotional life.”

    With the repression of natural sexuality the organism has to handle the energy in some way. It gets bound up in muscular armor. In some cases it seems bound up completely, leading to lower energy levels and all sorts of biopathies, or patterns of illness. Here Reich refers to the quiet neurotic, homo normalis.

    In others when impulses encounter the armoring the impulse comes through in distorted fashion. Instead of the longing for the loving and respectful embrace of an emotional equal, the now distorted secondary layer impulse becomes a longing to dominate the other, to act sadistically towards the other, etc.

    These are just examples, but for Reich all so-called “perversions” are due to armoring, in the absence of which we wouldn’t need to worry about foot fetishists, masochistic fantasies (think of the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray) rape, pedophilia, and the like.

    but for Reich all so-called “perversions” are due to armoring, in the absence of which we wouldn’t need to worry about foot fetishists, masochistic fantasies (think of the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray) rape, pedophilia, and the like.

    This armoring affects more than our sexual impulses: it also effects our thinking, reinforcing the authoritarian attitudes instilled in us as youths.

    How else to explain the widespread irrationality we see in the world? Either people are inherently foolish, or something has happened to inhibit our natural good common sense and curiosity about the world.

    How else to explain the widespread irrationality we see in the world? Either people are inherently foolish, or something has happened to inhibit our natural good common sense and curiosity about the world.

    Reich assumes the latter: he has a positive view of human nature, unlike the later Freud and others, who felt that human nature must be repressed because of our inherent evil impulses. I’m thinking specifically of Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents, a book which Reich suggests was written in response to Reich’s arguments about preventing neuroses rather than trying to cure it.

    And at times these irrational thoughts collude with others, and give rise to what he called “The Emotional Plague.” This phenomenon seems inseparable from fascistic tendencies, so we should pause and describe it a bit.

    While Reich uses the phrase throughout MPF, he only defines it once and in this way.

    “What philosophers, poets, vacuous politicians, but also great psychologists call “human nature,” is absolutely identical with the sex-economic clinical concept of the “emotional plague.” It is the sum total of all irrational life functions in the animal, man.

    His thinking on the emotion plague evolved and later he used it to refer to a particular social phenomenon.

    From Character Analysis, 3rd edition, 1949:

    “While the emotional plague is indeed a character neurosis or character biopathy in the strict sense of the word, it is also more than that, and this “more” distinguishes it from biopathies and character neuroses. We can define the emotional plague as human behavior that, on the basis of a biopathic character structure, operates in an organized or typical way in interpersonal, i.e., social, relations and in social institutions.

    Here Reich distinguishes between the ordinary neurotic, who goes about his business, the typical little man, not making waves, but also not advancing things, etc, and the social organization of such neurotics acting together in ways that inhibit human freedom, and human growth. The attacks on Reich while he was alive and the continued dismissal of Reich as a crackpot are perfect examples of the emotional plague.

    The source of this irrationality, whether expressed in the individual or in an organized manner is the same:

    Reich:
    “As social and clinical sex-economy has convincingly demonstrated, the mechanism which makes the masses of people incapable of freedom is the social suppression of genital love life in children, adolescents and adults.”

    Reich:
    “As social and clinical sex-economy has convincingly demonstrated, the mechanism which makes the masses of people incapable of freedom is the social suppression of genital love life in children, adolescents and adults.”

    Sexual Repression; the authoritarian family; children and women having no say; education based on “rote” learning: if these are the seeds of fascism, then the seeds of liberation are easy to discern: egalitarian family structures; women (as well as men) as leaders; children having a voice; children educated to think critically; infantile and adolescent sexuality are recognized and supported in appropriate ways.

    To summarize, the more sexuality is taboo, is forbidden or distorted, and when engaged in is rape-like (given the power dynamics between men and women in the authoritarian social setting), the more likely the political structure will be fascistic. And, conversely, the more egalitarian the family, the more sexuality has been allowed its natural expression, the less fascistic the government and society.

    To summarize, the more sexuality is taboo, is forbidden or distorted, and when engaged in is rape-like (given the power dynamics between men and women in the authoritarian social setting), the more likely the political structure will be fascistic. And, conversely, the more egalitarian the family, the more sexuality has been allowed its natural expression, the less fascistic the government and society.

    So, fascism is not so much a party political phenomena: you don’t get rid of it by banning neo-nazi political organizations, though that is not a bad idea. Fascism is in the blood of the average person. It gets expressed personally in the everyday neurotic; and it gets expressed socially in the emotional plague character structure.

    So, fascism is not so much a party political phenomena: you don’t get rid of it by banning neo-nazi political organizations, though that is not a bad idea. Fascism is in the blood of the average person. It gets expressed personally in the everyday neurotic; and it gets expressed socially in the emotional plague character structure.

    For Reich, the most important hallmark–road-sign, indiction–is the unfounded belief that someone else will solve your problems for you. Again and again in MPF he rails against the inability of homo normalis to take responsibility for his lived situation. 

    As for what Reich means by sexual health, I’ve studied with care his various programs for “sexual hygiene” in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and I don’t think his later thought was in any way different on this score.

    A SEXUALLY HEALTHY SOCIETY 

    • Personal control of one’s own sexual life
    • Access to technologies to support personal control
    • End of compulsory marriage [communal child rearing as on Israeli kibbutzes, complete lack of financial dependence of spouses…]
    • Adequate privacy for all
    • Fostering of infantile, childhood and adolescent sexuality [not encouragement nor mere tolerance]
    • Elimination of all forms of sexual exploitation
    • Support for “sexual minorities”

    Reich very early on in the 1920s was a vocal supporter for decriminalization of homosexuality, and he was impressed with the fact that that did happen in the Soviet Union right after the revolution, but sadly, as Stalin solidified his power, laws prohibiting male homosexuality were reintroduced, and now we know that in the current day Russia homophobia is quite extreme.

    Reich very early on in the 1920s was a vocal supporter for decriminalization of homosexuality.

    A sexually healthy society is a prerequisite for a work-democratic one.

    A WORK DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY

    • All work is “vitally necessary work,” as defined by Reich as work which meets human needs. [Reich was a vocal critique of advertising and its ability to create false needs: see People in Trouble and Further Problems of Work Democracy.]
    • No economic exploitation. [No private ownership or state ownership but social ownership: workers own and run their businesses.]
    • No environmental exploitation.
    • Work, not labor

    This one requires some explanation. Labor is something you engage in in order to get something else, like food, shelter, or to meet your other needs. Work is something you engaged in out of your humanness: it is an expression of your being, comes from your heart or your loins, not from external need.

    • All leadership is local and revocable. 

    This one requires some explanation. Labor is something you engage in in order to get something else, like food, shelter, or to meet your other needs. Work is something you engaged in out of your humanness: it is an expression of your being, comes from your heart or your loins, not from external need.

    This too is not self-explanatory. At one point (in an essay entitled “Work Democracy in Action,” Reich discusses his leadership of the Orgone Institute. He there said that if someone came along who understood the functioning of the institute better than Reich did, then that person would be the new director. Leadership of a group is not a matter of garnering votes (indeed, voting has nothing or little to do with the kind of democracy Reich is promoting) but of figuring out the best person for the job. Assuming the workers are free of greed, longing for power, and other neurotic needs, they will easily recognize who is the best person for the leadership role. Whatever anarchist tendencies one finds in Reich’s work, he did not endorse the magical thinking that a group could miraculously function without a leader.

    Finally,

    • Work is in harmony with nature.
    • Every individual worker takes complete responsibility for her or his living and work environment.

    Work democracy can be understood as the natural way people relate in the face of social needs and demands: they naturally organize themselves to take on the task before them. Reich firmly believed that within humans is the natural urge/need to work and to do so cooperatively.

    Work democracy can be understood as the natural way people relate in the face of social needs and demands: they naturally organize themselves to take on the task before them. Reich firmly believed that within humans is the natural urge/need to work and to do so cooperatively.

    Examples abound, but mainly in times of crisis. I was in Dresden when the Elbe last flooded in 2013. I watched as young people came from all over the areas to fill sandbags and place them along the river’s edge. No one appeared to be telling them what to do, or how to do it. They just did it. Immediately after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 “first responders” from all over the country, on their own, drove to NYC, parked their vehicles near the Javits Center on 34th Street, and walked to the site and began searching through the wreckage for survivors. Such examples–and their number can easily be multiplied–give us hints as to how we would behave all the time were we free of armoring. 

    As for next steps: I’m in no better position than any of you to say something insightful here, but it seems to me that we have to use the current legislative structures to guarantee a future that will then permit us to evolve into a people who won’t need those very legislative structures.

    In 1954, reflecting on his 1952 interview with a representative of the Freud Archives, Reich said: “The developments in science and education within the next one hundred years will be decisive in establishing whether this interview will have any meaning whatsoever, or whether the evasion of the issues of babyhood and motherhood will continue to mess up more centuries of human destiny.

    In 1954, reflecting on his 1952 interview with a representative of the Freud Archives, Reich said: “The developments in science and education within the next one hundred years will be decisive in establishing whether this interview will have any meaning whatsoever, or whether the evasion of the issues of babyhood and motherhood will continue to mess up more centuries of human destiny.

    Elsewhere I recall him saying something like it will take hundreds of years for people fully to appreciate his work.

    But it seems painfully obvious to me that we can’t count on some future understanding if we destroy the planet in the meantime. The end of the state and its replacement by some form of self-governing work democracy, is possible, if Reich is right, but we have to evolve into it. In the meantime, we must clean our nest.

    Reich’s discussion of work democracy as I’ve presented it may sound highly utopian. Yet there are many examples worker owned and worker managed businesses, so we know that such a vision is quite practical, at least on a small scale. (See for example the recently published What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk about the next American Revolution, by Gar Alperovitz.) As for the larger ideals, even if they seem darn near impossible, we need a vision of where we are heading:

    “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Old Testament.

    And we can take responsibility now and begin developing work democratic structures in the organizations to which we belong, and in other aspects of our lives.

    We can also strive for sexual health and take on the responsibility for establishing loving, gentle deep natural sexual unions, or seeking therapeutic help that will make such relationships possible.

    In The Mass Psychology of Fascism there is a passage in which Reich references his motto:

    “According to work-democratic thinking, all politics which is not based on love, work and knowledge, and therefore is irrational, belongs in the field of the emotional plague. In this manner, work democracy provides a simple answer to the perennial question as to how to get at human nature: Education, hygiene and medicine, which always have been struggling with human nature without much success, have a powerful ally against the emotional plague: the rational functions of vitally necessary work.”

    Or more succinctly, if you get confused or lost, here is the map that hopefully brings you back to reality of your–of all of ours–task:

    Love, Work and Knowledge are the well-springs of our life. They should also govern it.

    Posted in SociologyComments (1)

    Terrorism at Home: Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy


    On January 26, 2011, we published an article in this journal entitled “Our Teenage Suicide Bombers.” In that article, we contended that teenagers in other parts of the world who commit suicide bombings were raised in traumatic environments that damaged the teens’ normal psychological growth. We contended that these young suicide bombers were already exploding from within and the actual explosive merely enabled them to fulfill their desperate emotional need to explode. We equated such suicide bombings to the mass killings in the United States.

    A year later, we are now facing another heartbreaking mass killing that has shocked the nation. Words are simply inadequate to express the sadness and agony over the loss of young children and their teachers who were massacred on Friday, December 14, 2012 in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

    After the massacre of 26 people-mostly 6- or 7-year-old children-the gunman, a 20 year old male, killed himself. After this devastating incident, President Barak Obama stated:

    “The majority of those who died today were children–beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them–birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among them were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today–for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children at home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.

    As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theatre in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children and we are going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of price. ”

    Immediately following this tragedy, newspapers and media were flooded with facts, opinions and speculation about the massacre. Many expressed outrage over the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons, an availability that would enable a disturbed person to execute such massacres. Some psychologists attempted to analyze the sickness behind such an atrocity.  These analyses, however, lacked insight.

    Television commentators, newspaper reporters and law enforcement officials were baffled and instead of answers, they themselves wondered why such a senseless incident occurred. Why would someone kill innocent, young children who had done no harm to him? Many people repeated the same question: Why?

    In the wake of this confusion and these unanswered questions, we feel the need, as students of Orgonomy and Reich, to explore the psychological, sociological, cultural, and physiological roots of such a crime which, though shocking to many, is nevertheless not surprising to those who are familiar with Reich’s “orgonomic” theories.

    In the book Reich speaks of Freud, Reich says:

    “I assure you that there is no solution to this world’s problems unless this point is cleared up sociologically, politically, economically, psychologically, structurally, characterologically, in every single respect. I do not believe that there will be any solution of any social problem as long as children and adolescent grew up with the 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?”

    Prior to the posting of this article, the information available on the Sandy Hook perpetrator indicated that he was a very bright, but socially awkward 20 year-old male, who avoided eye contact and social interactions in general.. One report indicated that he didn’t feel physical pain and that teachers were worried that he could cut himself without realizing it: “If Adam Lanza cut or hurt himself, he wouldn’t know it or feel it.”

    Like many perpetrators of these types of crime, Lanza was seen as eccentric but showed no evidence of major psychiatric symptoms according to mental health professionals, and he certainly was not seen as a danger to society. In fact, most adolescents with psychological disorders are not a threat to society: the neurotic boy who takes numerous showers a day, the anorexic girl who believes she is fat and refuses food to the detriment of her life, the boy who is tortured by panic attacks, or the autistic child, preoccupied with dinosaurs or train station schedules. None of these children constitute a threat to society any more than the average person. They are already suffering the breakdown of their emotional structure and are living the consequences through their impoverished lives. As baffling as it may seem; calculated, planned, and heinous criminal acts occur before the human psyche breaks into a full-blown neurotic or psychotic state. Although in full blown psychotic state in response to delusions and hallucinations, destructive and violent acting out behavior may happen, but these are rarely planned or calculated acts and there are ample warning signs before such actions. In the following pages, we will try to explain this matter based on orgonomic principles.

    In Orgonomy, in contrast to Freudian psychoanalysis, Reich depicts the human psychological structure with a core and a middle and outer layer.

    Schematic depiction of psychological structure based on orgonomic theories (core, middle layer, and outer layer). From: Selected writings by Wilhelm Reich: An Introduction to Orgonomy

    Human structure, with all its complexities, basically functions like a protozoa, expanding when the environmental conditions are favorable and contracting when conditions are hostile. In a prolonged hostile environment, the psyche begins to armor itself, becoming rigid and limited in its mobility. As a result, the natural bioenergetic impulses that normally flow from the organism’s core, outward, then become inhibited and after lengthy inhibition of these impulses, the process of armoring sets in. The armored organism then becomes a distorted organism.  A distorted human being develops secondary and unnatural impulses and motivations—secondary motives—in orgonomic terms. These secondary motives, although stemming from natural, primary and rational motives, change and become irrational. The organism develops irrational hatred, murderous and sadistic impulses specific to the human race. In the preface of The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Reich states: 

    Extensive and pain staking therapeutic work on the human character has led me to the conclusion that as a rule we are dealing with three different layers of biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. On the surface layer of his personality the average man is polite, compassionate, responsible, and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of human animal if the surface layer were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This unfortunately is not the case. The surface layer of the social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biological core of one’s self. It is born by a second and intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious, and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian “unconscious or what is the repressed”; to put it in the language of sex economy it represents the sum total of all so called “secondary drives”.
    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:

    “Armoring converts free laughter into a chuckle or twitter, it may cause a woman to speak in a little girl’s voice. It does not merely change a function by degree but by a kind. It renders behavior more predictable, more stereotype. Armoring puts life in constraint. Armoring is most often revealed in muscular tension but it also reveals in eyes that are glazed in excessive body fat, etc. it is a dynamic event and it entails consumption of energy. It constrains us physically emotionally and ideationally. It is a cocoon to which we gradually become accustomed.”

    Armoring develops while the child interacts with his or her environment which inhibits sexual and aggressive impulses. Schematically, the process of armoring is as follows:

    III. Antithesis of the dissociated strivings.

    From the book, “Character Analysis” by Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

    The primary and natural drives are prohibited by the outer world. Under prolonged 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.

    Once the organism becomes armored, the natural flow of biophysical energy in the body becomes distorted, causing many physical and psychological symptoms and pathologies. In Reich speaks of Freud Reich says: “I would like to summarize it in few words: if you have a stream, a natural stream, you must let it stream. If you dammed it up somewhere, it goes over the banks. That’s all. Now when the natural streaming of bioenergy is dammed up it also spills over resulting in irrationality, nervousness, neurosis and so on.”

    Manifestations of armoring are both physical and emotional. Armor manifests itself both in physical and emotional realms. In his book Function of Orgasm, Reich states: “The concept of ‘Functional Identity’ which I had to introduce, means nothing more than that muscular attitude and character attitude have same function in the psychic mechanism: they can replace one another and can be influenced by one another, basically they cannot be separated. They are identical in their function.”

    As described earlier, the structure of armor consists of the interplay of numerous forces and includes various layers. During character analysis or psychiatric orgon therapy, different layers are exposed systematically and the armor is resolved, allowing the restoration of the natural flow of bioenergy which in turn restores the patient’s psychological and physical health.

    Based on its structure, the armor’s shape, appearance and characteristics differ. The armor can present as hard as a rock with muscular stiffness or as flaccidity and flabbiness of the musculature. It can be hypersensitive and tender or can be insensitive, cold and pale. It can appear lifeless and dead. In Orgonomy, such death is considered to be a consequence of a contracted bioenergetic field and blocked, plasmatic bioenergetic motility.

    Once I was treating a man who came to me because his wife was complaining of his indifferent, aloof behavior. He was not interested in social activities and his wife stated that if things did not change she would leave him. He was a middle aged man with a solid work history. His face, however, was cold, pale, and unexpressive. His speech was monotonous; his affect and facial expressions rarely changed. During one of the sessions while he was on the couch, he closed his eyes for short period of time. As I watched him, I suddenly felt as if I was looking at a dead man at his wake. His face was pale, motionless and cold. In psychiatric orgon therapy, psychiatrist helps patients to recognize their physical demeanor and attitude. This recognition helps them understand what has caused such attitudes and responses. When a patient recognizes a defensive structure, he can begin to recognize what this defense is protecting him from. To achieve this end, I held a mirror in front of his face. I asked him to describe his own impression of himself and shared nothing of my own impressions. He later stated, “Doctor, while I looked into the mirror I was shocked: I felt as if I had died and was looking at myself as a dead man.”

    We often see psychiatric patients who, among many other symptoms, have begun cutting themselves. I have asked them the purpose of this cutting. How does it help them? Some state that they do it to attract attention; some want their physical pain to distract them from their emotional pain; some say it gives them a sense of relief and some explain that they feel numb and that cutting and its subsequent blood gushing from their skin reassures them that they are alive. According to orgonomic principles, this numbness is a consequence of armoring and withdrawal or —blocking of the flow of bioenergy. However, conventional psychology, psychoanalysis, psychiatry and medicine have no explanation for it. We are still ignorant about the factors that determine which type of biopathy will develop as a consequence of armoring and we are ignorant about the factors that determine the shape of certain types of armor.

    In addition to physical and emotional illnesses that result because of armoring, the distortion of primary motives may manifest themselves in irrational, sadistic, and destructive ways that act in social scenes. Dr. Reich called it “emotional plague”. In this process, the brutal and murderous rage and destructive tendencies that are suppressed, break through the armor manifesting themselves in social scenes in irrational, destructive, murderous, and sadistic ways. These destructive impulses are mostly directed toward the objects that represent life, love, and happiness. Such sadistic actions manifest itself either with some political, religious or social pretext of which history of human kind is full of examples: genocides of any type, annihilation of one race by another with the pretext of racial or religious supremacy etc. or without pretext, sporadically by acting out of an individual by killing or destruction. These destructive and sadistic impulses, however, are directed toward those who are lively, happy, and represent life. Reich in the book “Murder of Christ” says: “Christ became a victim of this human character structure because he had developed the qualities and manner of conduct that act upon the armored character structure like red color upon the emotional system of a wild bull. Thus, we may say that Christ represents the principle of life per se.”

    In revisiting some of the facts leading up to the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, we can see a pattern from a seemingly disparate set of circumstances: A perpetrator who was socially withdrawn and aloof; numb to physical pain; killing young children who were happy and delightful and had done no harm to him; his own suicide; and social and environmental factors that may have caused such distortion in his structure to make him capable of such a heinous crime. A distorted structure which could have been quite different under other circumstances.

    In one of his passages in the Journal of Orgonomic Functionalism, volume 1, Reich describes healthy children and their attitudes toward guns. We think it is relevant to our topic and we would like to bring it to the reader’s attention here:

    “Healthy children are rational. …… if they grew up in an environment in which pistols are admired, they also want to have pistols. The parents of such a child once found themselves in a dilemma. Their child, who was four years old, had gotten the idea from kindergarten that is wanted to be a cowboy with a pistol. At first the parents tried to convince the child that pistols are bad things and that only bad people shoot other people and animals without a reason. The absolute pacifist would have stuck to this point of view. The child would have had to yield to the ‘standpoint of pacifism.’ The child would have been understood from the narrow viewpoint of an ideology and not from the standpoint of its own development. Therefore the parents gave in, despite their convictions. Once their attempts to limit the child’s interest to the cowboy uniform had failed, they bought him a toy pistol. They told the child that it now had to be careful to prevent any other child from using its pistol against a human being or an animal. The child was enthusiastic. For a few days it played the game ‘police protection for children’ with the pistol, then the interest waned until it completely disappeared. Thereafter the child showed no interest in shooting.

    Let us consider this example, taken from real life, from different points of view. If the parents had adhered absolutely to the pacifist standpoint the child would have been refused the pistol. As a result, unfulfilled yearning would have taken root in him. If our biopsychiatric knowledge is correct, this unrequited wish would have become linked with other experiences of a similar kind and been intensified. Over a period of time this wish would have formed the core of a fantasy, namely, that of being a robber or a bad person. In short, the child’s self-regulation would have come to an end.

    From the military-marital standpoint one would have given the child the pistol without any second thoughts; indeed, many fathers who had just been through the horrors of war would have taught the child to shoot Japanese and Germans. Such an attitude is possible only within the framework of an error of thought which requires the armoring of an organism in the father as well as in the son. The pistol would very soon have concentrated all the destructive and sadistic impulses on itself. The path to ‘juvenile delinquent’ or to mass murderer would have been opened if other conditions favorable to it had existed.

    This is what it comes down to” Armored children do not hesitate to pick up and hold on to instruments of death. If the environment forces them to do so, unarmored children also reach out for such instruments, but they have no elements in their structure which can become anchored in murderous weapons. The murderous toy finds no response in the child. Therefore the child soon loses interest in the pistol.

    It is thus not correct that the healthy child is not afraid or that it has no destructive impulses, or that it never becomes defiant or that it never deliberately annoys adults. Like all other children, it has all the potential for ‘good’ or ‘bad’ attitudes. The difference between it and other children who grow up within these erroneous systems of thought is that it does not remain fixed in these reactions or attitudes. It may happen that a healthy child is afraid of wolves during the night. However, a simple discussion is enough to eliminate this fear. It does not develop a phobia lasting all its life. It sometimes happens that a healthy child accidentally or intentionally breaks a glass, but the destruction of things does not develop into a chronic character trait. The child’s structure does not contain any character related destructive rage, of which the child cannot rid itself. A healthy child knows fear, cries, hates, is defiant, ‘misbehaves,’ but none of these things are anchored structurally.”

    Emotional plague manifests itself in different forms, in this case by the killing of young, innocent children and their teachers. This plague has resulted in war and genocide, has reached epidemic proportions and must be seen as an illness of the human race. It must be dealt with sociologically, educationally, culturally, medically, psychologically. Otherwise, we must combat it with police force, an approach that will never be adequate for the enormity of this problem.

    We would like to devote this work to the memory of the children and teachers of Sandy Hook who were killed in this tragic incident. If our contribution has been helpful in any way in eliminating emotional illness and plague, our purpose as Dr. Reich’s students has been fulfilled.

    Posted in SociologyComments (4)

    Homosexuality and The Emotional Plague


    Recently, the American media was barraged with news of the harassment of homosexuals and suicides that followed.  The New York Times on Wednesday, October 27th, 2010, reported the following regarding the suicide of a young promising violinist:

    “Tyler Clemeni was an 18 year old Rutgers University freshman when he jumped from the George Washington Bridge in an apparent suicide in September 2010, days after he had been secretly filmed during an intimate encounter which was then broadcast on the Internet.

    Mr. Clementi’s roommate and another classmate were charged in the case.  Authorities say the students used a camera in Mr. Clementi’s dormitory room to stream an intimate encounter involving Mr. Clementi live on the Internet.

    Three days later, Mr. Clementi, an accomplished violinist, jumped into the Hudson River.  Witnesses told the police they saw a man jump of the bridge just before 9 p.m., said Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman.  Officers discovered a wallet there with Mr. Clementi’s identification, Mr. Browne said.”    – The New York Times, Wednesday October 27th, 2010.

    Another newsletter reported the following;

    “Either way, Clementi’s death marks the fifth suicide by a gay teen in the past month.  Justin Aaberg, openly gay and just 15, committed suicide after being bullied in school.  Billy Lucas, also 15 wasn’t out, but was mercilessly bullied in school.  He hanged himself.  Asher Brown, 13, who told his parents he was gay the morning he shot himself in the head, was also bullied.  Ash Seth Walsh, also just 13, hanged himself after suffering from years of bullying.”  – Julie Gerstein, The Frisky.com, October 1st, 2010.

    An abnormal condition in which a person takes pleasure in hurting another, an unwholesome love of cruelty, excessive cruelty, in the Webster dictionary is defined as sadism.  In psychiatry and psychoanalysis, sadism is attributed to different psychological mechanisms, for example, a sexual impulse which is manifested as a tendency to strike, abuse, or humiliate the object.   It is also defined as a defense against castration, fear, and the fear of ones own sexual excitement.  What might occur within the subject passively, is instead done actively to others-  “identification with aggressor”.  It is also described that the perversion of sadism depends upon the fusion of destructive energy with libidinal energy.  The discharge of aggression is in itself pleasurable, but sadism further implies pleasure in destruction of others.

    There is no satisfactory explanation in general psychiatry and psychoanalysis of how this mechanism occurs, where and why the destructive energy appears, nor how it fuses with sexual energy.

    In orgonomy however, we consider such behavior to be a consequence of the distortions of primary drives, which in orgonomy are called secondary drives.

    We have described the emergence of secondary drives from primary drives in different articles in this journal.  In short, character analytic techniques in orgonomy  lead to the comprehension of  the human psychological structure, which schematically is composed of core, middle layer and outer layer, or periphery.  The  primary impulses which are emitted from the core of the organism, the impulses of love, sexuality, and rational anger, are fiercely blocked by outer prohibitions.  In due time, such environmental and outer inhibitions through the process of armoring, become internalized within the structure of the person. Suppression of primary motives in turn causes distortions and its distorted version in orgonomy is called secondary drives.  Secondary drives may turn inward and cause neurotic symptoms that agonize and torment the person with neurotic symptoms such as obsessional thoughts, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, etc., or it may turn into a destructive force which operates  in the social scene. The latter in  orgonomy is called  “the emotional plague”.  The development of the secondary drives are related to the mechanism of armoring which is described by Dr.Reich in different books, most essentially in Character Analysis and The Function of The Orgasm and also is described in different articles in this journal.  Hence, the orgonomic model of the human psychological structure is the following: On the surface layer, the personality of the average man is polite, compassionate and conscientious.  At the core, he is honest, benevolent and longing for love. However the surface layer and the core are separated from each other by the middle layer, an intermediate layer which is the product of the outcome of forces that are on one hand primary and genuine, and  on the other hand opposing forces from the outer layer, from the armor. As a result of this conflict and stagnation, secondary motives develop in the  intermediate layer, which  consists of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious and envious impulses.  These secondary layers represent the Freudian “unconscious”, or that which is repressed.  In the language of orgonomy and sex economy, it represents the sum total of all secondary drives.

    Dr. Reich, in The Function of the Orgasm, under the topic of destruction, aggression, and sadism, states the following:

    “In psychoanalysis, the term aggression, sadism and destruction and death instincts were used randomly and interchangeably.  Aggression seemed identical with destruction which in turn was “the death instinct directed against the world”.  And sadism remained the primary partial instinct which begins to be active at a certain stage of sexual development.   On the basis of their origin and intentions, I attempted to assess all the human actions that are included under the concept of “hate”.  In my clinical work, I never encountered a death instinct, a will to die, as a primary instinct corresponding to sexuality or hunger.  All psychic manifestations that could be interpreted as “death instincts” proved to be a product of neurosis. Such for instance was the case in suicide, which was either an unconscious revenge on another person with whom one identified, or an action to escape the enormous unpleasure caused by an extremely embroiled life situation.

    The patients fear of death could always be traced back to a fear of catastrophe and this fear, in turn, could be traced back to genital anxiety.  Moreover, analysts who  accepted the theory of the death instinct frequently confused anxiety and instinct.  It was not until 8 years later that the matter became clear to me; fear of death and dying is identical with unconscious orgasm anxiety.  The alleged death instinct, the longing for disintegration, for nothingness, is the unconscious longing for orgastic resolution of tension….

    A living creature develops destructive impulses when it wants to destroy a source of danger. In this case the destruction or killing of the object is a biologically meaningful goal.  The original motive is not pleasure in destruction. Rather the destruction serves the “life instincts”…. In short, the impulse to destroy serves a primary biological will to live. As such it does not have a sexual connotation.  It’s goal is not pleasure, even though liberation from unpleasure is an experience similar to pleasure.  ……. An animal does not kill another animal because it takes pleasure in killing. It would be sadistic murder for the sake of pleasure.  It kills because it is hungry or because it feels that it’s life is threatened. Thus, here too,  the destruction serves the “life instincts”.

    Aggression in the strict sense of the word, has to do neither with sadism nor with destruction, the word means “approach”.  Every positive manifestation of life is aggressive, the act of sexual pleasure as well as the act of destructive hate, the sadistic act as well as the act of producing food. Aggression is the life expression of musculature, of the system of movement.  The reassessment of the aggression is of enormous importance for the rearing of children.  Much of the  inhibition of aggression which our children have to endure to their own detriment, is the result of equating “aggressive” with “wicked” or “sexual”. Aggression is always an attempt to provide the means for the gratification of a vital need.  Aggression is not an instinct in the strict sense of the word; rather it is an indispensable mean of gratifying every instinctual impulse. The latter is inherently aggressive because the tension demands gratification. Hence there is a destructive, a sadistic, a loco-motor and as sexual aggressiveness.

    If aggressive sexuality is denied gratification, the urge to gratify it in spite of denial continues to make itself felt.  Indeed, the impulse arises to experience the desired pleasure at all costs.  The need for aggression begins to drown out  the need for love. If the pleasurable goal is completely eliminated, ie. made unconscious, or imbued with anxiety, then aggression which originally was only a means, becomes a tension releasing action in itself.  It becomes pleasurable as an expression of life, thus giving rise to sadism.  Hate develops as a result of the exclusion of original goal of love. And the hate is most intense when the act of loving or being loved is blocked.  This is what brings the sexually motivated destructive intention into aggressive actions. An example of this would be sexual murder. Its precondition is the complete blocking of the ability to enjoy genital pleasure in a natural way. Thus the perversion of sadism is a mixture of primary  sexual impulse and secondary destructive impulse.  it does not exist anywhere else in the animal kingdom and is exclusively a characteristic of a man acquired late in development, a secondary drive.

    Every seemingly arbitrary destructive action is a reaction of the organism to the frustration of a vital need, especially a sexual need.”

    As we described earlier, these destructive impulses in the social scene, in orgonomy are called the emotional plague .  In character analysis, there is a chapter that Dr. Reich devoted to the description of the emotional plague.  He gives examples of specific reactions of inflicted people with emotional plague. Here is the description of such behaviour in the area of sexuality:

    “The sexuality of the genital character (normal healthy character) is essentially determined by the basic natural laws of biological energy. He is so constituted that naturally takes pleasure in the sexual happiness of other, in the same way, he’s indifferent to perversion and has an aversion to pornography. The genital character is easily recognized by the good contact he has with healthy children. He considers it quite natural that children and adolescents are essentially sexually oriented.  The same way he foresees or at least strives to fulfill the “often socially restricted” demand which result from those biological facts.  This attitude exists spontaneously, whether a corresponding knowledge has been acquired or not….

    In the plague-ridden character, the process is usually as follows;  The secondary drive held in check by the cultural and religious ideals break through.  The sexuality of the character afflicted with emotional plague is usually sadistic and pornographic. It is characterized by parallel existence of sexual lasciviousness (owing to the incapacity to achieve gratification) and sadistic moralism. This dualism is a part of his structure;  The plague afflicted individual could not change it even if he had insight  and knowledge.  In terms of his structure he cannot be anything but pornographically lascivious and sadistically moralistic at the same time.  This is the core of the character structure of the plague afflicted person.   This structure develops viscous hatred against every process which provokes its own orgastic yearning and hence orgasm anxiety…..

    Clinical investigation leaves no room or doubt that sexual gossip or defamation afford these emotionally plagues individual a kind of perverse sexual gratification; they can thus attain sexual pleasure without the natural genital function…..”

    Looking to the problem of homosexual harrasment from this point of view, from the point of view of irrational hatred attributed to the emotional plague, raises the following question; If the distortion and sickness is part of the emotional structure of the perpetrator of the harassment, then why should the victim feel ashamed and guilty and commit suicide?

    One of my patients, who was a lady in her late 70’s, and had chronic depression with many hospitalizations and later committed suicide, once told me that in her youth she had a sexual encounter and was made to feel ashamed of it.  Another middle-eastern patient who had a pregnancy out of wedlock and  later  had a psychotic breakdown, upon admission to the psychiatric ward, in her confused and psychotic state, painted the word “whore” all over her face with lipstick.

    The answers to these questions need individual analysis of the structure of each victim.  However, we can rationally speculate that a significant part of it is the anti-sexual upbringing of children that plants the seed of guilt and shame around sexual activity.  It is however their right and naturally constituted.

    Posted in SociologyComments (0)

    President Clinton Vs. Emotional Plague


    During President Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in 1999, which were triggered by him having an affair with a woman and then denying it when confronted, Mr.  Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler Magazine, put an ad in the newspaper known as the “million dollar ad”.  In this ad, he offered 1 million dollars to anyone who could document any official figure or moral critic of Clinton having similar affairs .  Flynt, as he stated, was not interested in trashing anyone’s sex life just because they were having an affair, but he wanted to expose people who were taking a public position contrary to the way they were living their private life, and who were crucifying Clinton for doing the same thing they were.

    President Bill Clinton

    As a result of this ad, several Congressmen and government officials resigned as a consequence of information that was revealed.  Mr. Flynt named several people including a Congressman from Louisiana who was selected to replace Newt Gingrich as Speaker of The House. He named a Congressman from Illinois who once led the Republican House members in giving Kenneth Star a standing ovation, who was grandstanding in the accusation of Clinton, apparently carried a five year affair with a married mother of three.  A Congressman from Georgia who also committed adultery and then lied about it under oath was named.  House Chairman of Government Reform and Oversight Committee, who called Clinton a “scumbag” and in September of 1998, was also revealed when this moral crusader was forced to admit that he had fathered an illegitimate child during an affair in the 1980’s.  Another official of the Republican National Committee and a moral crusader of Clinton was taped stating, “I don’t have any moral values, I just talk about it on television”.

    The behaviors described above, which are fairly recent in our memories, are perfect examples of what Dr. Reich described in 1945 as the “emotional plague”.  In, Character Analysis, written by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, a crucial and essential book in orgonomy, Dr. Reich has devoted a chapter to describing this phenomenon under the title of Emotional Plague.  This book is very valuable, like any other book written by Dr. Reich, containing condensed information from which the reader can get further insight each time he re-reads this book.

    Reich describes the emotional plague in the following statement.   “The term emotional plague is not a derogatory phrase. It does not connote conscious malevolence, moral or biological degeneracy, immorality, etc.  An organism whose natural mobility has been continuously thwarted from birth, develops artificial forms of movement.  It limps or walks on crutches.  In the same way, a man goes through life on the crutches of the emotional plague, when the natural self regulating life expressions are suppressed from birth on.  The person afflicted with emotional plague limps characterologically.  The emotional plague is the chronic biopathy of an organism.  It made an inroad into human society with the first mass suppression of genital sexuality;  It became an endemic disease which has been tormenting people the world over, for thousands of years.  According to our knowledge, it is implanted in the child from the first days of life.  This is an endemic illness like schizophrenia or cancer, with one notable difference, i.e. it is essentially manifested in social life.”

    Emotional plague is a consequence of armoring.  Armoring is a pathological process, discovered and described by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. This pathogenic phenomenon has also been described in Dr. Herskowitz’s book, Emotional Armoring, and in different articles in this journal. In short,  armoring develops in the process of the struggle of the child to contain his primary drives because of outer prohibitions.  In this process, the primary motives that arise from the core of the organism split, and part of the motive supplies the energy for emotional and physical contractions against the primary impulse.  In time, this process becomes chronic, physical, and emotional armoring becomes permanently established in the organism.  As a consequence of armoring, primary genuine impulses become incapable of expressing themselves in their natural and truthful form.  Secondary drives develop as a consequence, which are distorted manifestations of primary drives.  These secondary drives can become anti-social and sadistic and assume destructive actions in the social scene.  In a simple neurotic person, these secondary drives turn against the individual himself and torment the inflicted person with neurosis, i.e. with symptoms of anxiety, phobias, obsession, etc.  However, in a person inflicted with emotional plague, these secondary drives assume anti–social, sadistic character and act destructively towards others and towards society.  In orgonomy, we are aware that even healthy individuals possess some armoring and manifest some neurotic inhibitions, as well as occasionally some plague reaction, although healthy individuals are capable of recognizing it and acting differently.  Dr. Reich says “Every plague afflicted individual bears in himself the possibilities of normal and healthy character. The plague ridden character manifests it’s destructive behavior in different aspects of life…  Emotional plague is just as wide spread as character biopathy. In other words, wherever there is character biopathy, there is also at least the possibility of the epidemic outbreak of the emotional plague.  An essential and basic characteristic of emotional plague reaction is that actions and motives of the actions never coincide.  The real motive is concealed and the sham motive is given as the reason for the action.  In contrast in a natural and healthy individual, motive, action, and goal form an organic unity.  Nothing is concealed.”

    The emotional plague affects different aspects of an individuals life, it manifests itself in the areas of thinking, acting, sexuality, in work habits, etc.  Here we will describe the difference of sexual behavior in the normal, healthy “genital” character, neurotic character, and in a character afflicted by emotional plague, as Dr. Reich describes in the book Character Analysis.

    “The sexuality of a healthy character, genital character, is essentially determined by the basic natural laws of biological energy. He is so constituted that he naturally takes pleasure in the sexual happiness of others.  In the same way, he is indifferent to perversions and has an aversion to pornography.  The genital character considers it quite natural that children and adolescents are essentially sexually oriented.  In the same way it fulfills or at least strives to fulfill the often socially restricted demands which result from these biological facts… The neurotic character however, leads a sexually resigned life, or engages in secret perverse activities.  His orgastic impotence is accompanied by a yearning for sexual happiness, he is indifferent to the sexual happiness of others.  He’s more likely to be ruled by anxiety than by hate whenever he comes into contact with sexual problems.  His armor relates solely to his own sexuality, and not to the sexuality of others… The sexuality of the character afflicted with emotional plague are characterized by the parallel existence of sexual lasciviousness and sadistic moralism.  This dualism is a part of their structure… under the banner of culture and morality, they persecute to the extreme, every expression of natural sexuality.  Over the years, they have developed a special technique of defamation…”

    Armoring is a pathological process that is widespread throughout the world.  Emotional plague, as one can see in the above examples from President Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, manifests itself in different forms and in different areas of life.  Comprehending orgonomy gains utmost significance in the  wake of such widespread pathology that affects every aspect of our lives.  Such comprehension, from our point of view, is imperative in fighting it.  The leaders and the institutions that are in the position of leadership are responsible for the recognition and alleviation of these pathological reactions and will be held accountable in the future for remaining ignorant in this matter.

    Posted in SociologyComments (3)


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