Others' Personal Experiences with Orgone Therapy:

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Fury on Earth

Postby Username » Mon Feb 05, 2007 6:09 am

Fury on Earth
A Biography of Wilhelm Reich
by Myron Sharaf

Epilogue (pg 479)

"When Reich died, the future of his work was in peril. His books were banned, the accumulator outlawed. Most of his students felt disheartened and were leaderless. Few had the training or the motivation to continue his scientific momentum...

"...When Eva Reich assumed the trusteeship in late 1957, there were no royalties for anything. Moreover, she was depressed about her father's death and uncertain about her own legitimacy as executrix. In prison Reich had expressed some distrust of her and seemed inclined to want Aurora Karrer to be the trustee. Although Eva made some efforts to involve Karrer in the trusteeship, the latter proved unable or unwilling to fulfill this function. Eva continued to want someone else to assume the role. In 1959 she heard from Dr. Raphael about a former patient of his, Mary Higgins, who had never met Reich but who was intensely interested in his work and, it turned out, in the trusteeship. After speaking with Higgins, Eva offered her the role. She accepted and since 1959 has fullfilled the responsibilities involved....

"...The Higgins trusteeship has not been without dissension. Her most controversial decision concerns the accessibility to scholars of Reich's unpublished papers. Higgins has interpreted Reich's statement in his will that his papers should be "stored" for fifty years after his death (i.e., until 2007) to mean that no one should see them except her. This interpretation has been legally opposed by Eva Reich, but so far the courts have upheld Higgins."

I'd be curious to know the current statis and content of the unpublished papers.

later in the epilogue (pg 481):

"Reich's impact on the professional and intellectual community beyond his close adherents can be clearly seen in a number of fields. The growth of psychoanalytic ego psychology since the 1950's owes much to Character Analysis. Reich's advice to proceed always from the most superficial layer of the personality and to penetrate gradually to the unconscious, his urgings not to overlook a latent negative transference that is masked by a superficial positive transference--these and other aspects of his early contributions are an integral part of the present-day theory of analytically oriented treatment.

"Reich's later work on the muscular armor has been developed by two Neo-Reichians in particular--Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos. Both studied with Reich before collaboration, under Lowen's leadership in the late 1950s, in the development of "bio-energetics," or their amplifications of Reichian techniques. Pierrakos later made independent modifications and started his own school of "core-energetics." They have both made many pioneering contributions, for example, Lowen's use of the standing position ("grounding") in therapy, self-help techniques, and Pierrakos' development of a community setting to facilitate the liberation of the "core" self. Unlike the Baker group, however, Lowen and Pierrakos have altered Reich's therapeutic paradigm by de-emphasizing the concept of orgastic potency and omitting the connections between Reich's therapy and his studies of orgone energy.

"Other popular, body-oriented approaches such as primal therapy and Gestalt therapy borrow considerably from Reich with little acknowledgment of his contribution. We have, then, the phenomenon of Reich's therapeutic work spreading ever more widely but in highly diluted forms and with its source unacknowledged.

"The particular conceptual thrust of Reich's research on infants and children has not entered the social scene. Yet some aspects of his emphases can be found in many medical and educational developments we see today: the Leboyer method of delivery, the growing opposition to circumcision, the stress on mother-infant "bonding," and increased affimation of childhood and adolescent genitality.

"There remains a profound silence about Reich's experimental work, broken every now and then by a call for serious appraisal of scientific orgonomy....

"...The weight of scientific opinion still considers Reich's experimental work unworthy of serious investigation. The FDA still cites the banning of the accumulator as one of the prize feathers in its enforcement cap. Persons studying or working in academic institutions who do orgonomic research on their own often feel they must use a pseudonym when they publish their findings in the Journal of Orgonomy; Needless to say, such an atmosphere has a chilling effect on orgonomic inquiry. It also serves as a self-fulfilling prophecy, for a long-held argument against the validity of orgonomy is that so little research has been conducted since Reich's death twenty-five years ago....

"...Let me conclude by repeating Reich's conviction, and my own, that the main problem in evaluating Reich's work and person lies not with him but with ourselves--above all, in our tendency to "run" from what he studied."
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Postby marykmusic » Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:57 pm

No matter what anyone may say about the horrible things done in the name of Wilhelm Reich, the fact remains that he himself was a progressive, innovative, brilliant man not afraid of going against the status quo.

Horrible things are being done in the name of the American people, too. That doesn't necessarily make us all bad...

The brighter the light, the more moths are attracted. Reich is still my hero. --MaryK

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No more heros...

Postby Username » Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:43 am

...HMW says so.

Besides, I keep bracing myself, waiting for someone to post something along the lines of, "A.S. Neill and Reich molested students at Summerhill." (Although, not much would surprise me anymore.)

I like where Erosoplier said, there must have been some "...advantages to growing up in a family that can't afford therapist bills..."

lol, agreed. I think we may have dodged a bullet there.

Anyway, I would be interested in discussing the body/mind therapies that may have been inspired by Reich, not only the ones mentioned in the article above (bio-energetics, primal screaming, etc) but, also rolfing, feldenkrais and other popular techniques.

Hellerwork is a form of deep-tissue therapy on the new-age market fast track that embraces Reich's work. I went to the website of Joseph Heller, so I would be able to tell you more about it. Well, only you guys could appreciate what I read there:

"Joseph Heller was born in Poland in 1940 and received his early education in Europe...In 1962 he graduated from Cal Tech, and spent ten years as an aerospace engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, where he gained extensive experience of structural stress." [I bet.]

"Heller became involved with humanistic psychology and eventually left engineering. He became the director of Kairos, a Los Angeles center for human development, and participated in year-long training programs in bioenergetics and gestalt, as well as shorter workshops with Buckmister Fuller, John Lilly, and Viginia Satir. He became a Rolfer in 1972 and continued to study through 1978 with Ida Rolf, the originator of structural integration..."


There is an interesting bit in Levenda's "Sinister Forces" about the Eslan Institute I would like to bring up here also, but maybe you all have already "been there, done that"...idk.

Anyway...permission to hijack your thread, Sir.

Or should I start my own?

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Postby marykmusic » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:20 am

Start another one, please. This is a whole 'nother topic and interesting, too. --MaryK

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Postby philipacentaur » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:38 pm

"This is a cautionary tale about true believers and the evil that they do."
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Postby yesferatu » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:09 pm

Nothing surprises me.

Sexual psychosis and sexual neurosis left as a root, while trying to incorporate "free love" philosophy ends up producing sadists like this.
Reich never himself seemed to grasp that. His study of sex, for all his talk of "sex-economy" and the like, always, when I read it, seemed to be the kind of thing that would attract sadists like this. Whether he was like this, i don't know. Perhaps.

It is a strain of fascism he did not seem to take into account.

I'm sure he was around these kinds of people before he died.

Thanks for posting these accounts.

I sometimes think meeting as a group for anything but performing work or art, can only be a bad thing.
That sounds radical. But I think I believe that.

Why did parents then think a screaming kid was getting help?

Postby pepsified thinker » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:02 pm

I'm pondering the question I posed as a title for this comment--and even as I do so, I'm able to imagine situations where a parent, at her/his wits end with a difficult kid, mgith think a doctor was finally 'helping' the kid by being very strict, etc.--and the kid's cries were a sign of, I dunno, somehow getting to the heart of the problem.

It's not too difficult to put myself in that imagined parent's mind-set.

And that's scary.

I'm also thinking of those news stories one hears of a radical therapy that involves regressing a kid to something lilke an in-utero state by wrapping them up tightly and pressing on them, so they can be re-born and properly bond with the parent--or whatever. You hear about these things when the kid dies by being smothered.

How 'bout we make a rule: if someone has a plan to help kids that involves making the kids scream, we look for someone ELSE to help the kids.

(Now, how would that same approach work, in a more general sense, with geopolitics?)
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Postby Joe Hillshoist » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:44 am

Anyway...permission to hijack your thread, Sir.

Or should I start my own?

i'd second that, start another one.
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