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About C O R E and Peter Jones
It seems people surfing the web expect an individual active publicly to have a website with their name, photos, and persona all over it. I see things quite differently and would be happy for the site to have no connection with me as an individual at all. The point of the site is not to promote me, but to promote orgonomy, to present information on orgonomy to the public who wants to know about it. I have hesitated for a long time to post this page and still wonder whether it's the right thing to do. Please feel free to comment to firstname.lastname@example.org .
This is a very long page. As well as brief information about myself and my history, it also includes the story, such as it is, of:
C O R E and our activities,
My vision for C O R E and its future,
The project realised, a fictional account of a visit to C O R E in 2020.
My Orgonomic Background
This is me speaking at the orgonomy seminar in Nicosia, Cyprus, In December,
Just to prove that I really exist and to encourage personal contact, here’s some basic biographical information about me, Peter Jones, the founder of C O R E, and the history of C O R E. I was born in 1939, in the northwest of the UK and have lived in England most of my life, but also spent periods working in Germany and Norway. I have had three main employments in my working life – language teaching, mainly to foreign learners of English, (I am a languages graduate myself), working as an orgone therapist and counsellor, and finally, after training, work in the NHS as a midwife. (I always felt midwifery was pure orgonomy.) I am now retired and working full-time in orgonomy. At various times in my life I have also done all sorts of odd jobs to earn enough to live on - building, woodwork, gardening, factory work, tutoring, and probably some that I have forgotten now. I have had a very wide experience of the world of work.
I first found out about the existence of Wilhelm Reich and orgonomy in the early sixties and have been a serious student of orgonomy ever since, though as happens in life, my level of involvement has varied over the years according to circumstances. At some low points in my life and at one in particular my involvement almost stopped, but somehow or other, at the last minute, I have always managed to come back. My committment to orgonomy has often cost me dearly personally and I have had to break out of dead relationships to maintain my contact with it. In my experience contactless, dead relationships are a major obstacle to people's committment to orgonomy. And often, unbelievably, people will escape into a contactless relationship rather than open themselves up to the emotional challenges and risks that involvement in orgonomy brings. Orgonomy in the UK has lost several supporters in that way.
Much of my orgonomic knowledge and skills stems from my experience of a year or so’s orgone therapy with Dr Ola Raknes, the well-known Norwegian orgone therapist, one of Reich’s earliest students, in 1969-1970. I built my first orgone accumulator in 1976 and have built several since. That same year I also built a small accumulator for experiments and conducted my first seed-germination experiment with it, obtaining spectacular results, which demonstrated a strongly positive effect on seedlings germinating in an accumulator. (The summer that year was exceptionally hot and dry for the UK and provided unusually positive conditions for research with the accumulator.) That small experimental accumulator is still in use and you can see photos of it on various pages on this site. Here's a picture of it taken from above with the top panel removed. It is now more than forty years old! It can be dismantled in seconds and assembled equally quickly as the panels just sit on each other, held together by gravity.
In about 1978 I ran an orgone therapy group to see if the basic principles could be taught to a group rather than via one-to-one therapy. I found they could. This was the first step in my research into the use of orgone therapy in childbirth. These groups became popular for a while, even though there was no interest in the use of orgone therapy in childbirth. A participant brought her very young baby to one of these workshops and asked me if I could do anything to help him. (He had been born very prematurely and had had a very traumatic first few weeks of life.) I worked with him, improvising as I went along, and this was the start of my orgone therapy with babies, work which has developed over the years into a consistent practice and solid body of knowledge. As usual, there is no interest in this work in the UK and my extensive knowledge and skill in this wonderfully fertile area look like going to the grave with me, as do my extensive experience and skills in the use of orgone therapy in labour. This is not easy to live with. I have written books and booklets on both these crucial areas of orgonomic work. My book Orgonomic Midwifery and Baby-Care has been translated into Greek and I hope to get it published eventually. It has now also been translated into Italian by C O R E's active helper in Italy, Francesco D'Ingiullo, and is about to be published there. (Many thanks, Francesco!) Two of my many booklets have also been published in Greek and people are working on translations of others. A colleague in Brazil is translating my midwifery book into Portuguese. Francesco D'Ingiullo has also translated three of my booklets into Italian. Another colleague is translating my booklet on Orgonomic Functionalism into German, too. It seems very significant and symbolic that my writings have to be translated into other languages before there is much interest in them. The language of orgonomy seems incomprehensible to citizens of the UK! The booklets appear to be one of my great successes, perhaps the only one. I started writing them with beginners in mind, but they sell like hot cakes at orgonomic gatherings, where most participants already know something about orgonomy. Whatever the reason, they are very popular, relatively speaking, that is, and amongst students of orgonomy. I have just completed writing a textbook on orgonomic midwifery. (I wrote this book for the one definite student who planned to visit C O R E last spring to learn about orgonomic midwifery from me. The event attracted the huge crowd of three students.) The midwifery textbook is now available.
I had always wanted to found an orgonomic organisation and put orgonomy on the map in the UK. It never occurred to me when I started out that this country shows less interest in Reich and orgonomy than any western country and that I had set myself an impossible task. I’m still trying, though. I have a wide network of orgonomic contacts in many different countries on every continent, except for Asia, but still hardly any in the UK. (PS 2017: Amazingly, I now have a single contact in Iran of all places! What courage. An interest in orgonomy could cost you your life in that country. So I can now say that I have contacts in every continent.)
I set up C O R E in about 1996, (there was no official opening ceremony!), when I published my first A5 booklets on orgonomy, self-regulation, baby-therapy, and orgonomic medicine. Thanks to a generous gift from my niece and a regular NHS salary I was able to buy a simple word processor and various items to bind, trim, and publish my new booklets. My purchase of a microscope in 1997 was the realisation of a long-buried dream that I had cherished since reading The Cancer Biopathy in about 1964. (Often impatient, I can be very patient when it comes to really important things.) That was the start of my scientific research in orgonomy. By then I was working in the NHS as a midwife. I had decided to do that training, in the hope of researching the use of orgone therapy in childbirth and getting the world interested in using it. I had also developed orgone therapy with babies and done a great deal of work in that field by then. A regular salary, paid holidays, and generous extra payments for working at night and weekends allowed me to gradually build up an excellent collection of scientific equipment and to buy books for C O R E’s orgonomic library. These two collections, C O R E’s scientific equipment and library are, I think, my greatest successes, realised entirely on my own. That’s the point in this country. I am out on my own and cannot advance any orgonomic project that needs collaboration with others, a rather limiting difficulty. After a few years in the NHS I discovered that no-one wanted to know about the part played by muscular armouring in difficult births or mitigating its effects with simple orgone-therapeutic techniques. I had two articles published in midwifery/nursing journals and neither produced a single enquiry. That is a relentless and baffling realisation, that in the UK no-one wants to know about orgonomy. Even now at my late stage in life, I was at one point seriously thinking of moving to a country where there is some active interest in orgonomy.
A typical, but emotionally shattering experience and an indicator of how little interest there was in orgonomy occured in 1999 soon after I had resettled myself in Lancashire. I wanted to take up contacts again with the many people in the area who I had known while living in Manchester and Lancaster and decided to have an open day in my new home. I invited everyone I knew of who had ever expressed any interest in orgonomy, offered refreshments and a chance to look at some bions down my excellent Olympus microscope. I circulated the invitation to about 30 people and not a single one replied! Remember these were self-chosen people who had all expressed an interest in Reich's work over the previous, say, ten years. It seems that their interest was entirely limited to the therapeutic side of Reich's work. This was a very sobering experience indeed. It has been repeated several times, as I have tried to set up events to give people the opportunity to meet others interested in orgonomy and to learn more about it, especially the practical, scientific side of it.
I have strong, positive orgonomic links with people in Greece, Cyprus, and Italy. The invitations to help teach students of orgonomy there and the thought of living in a country where there is serious, active interest in orgonomy are very tempting indeed. In the UK I have to do everything myself and feel I am continually trying to push heavy boulders uphill on my own. In Greece, Cyprus, and Italy people set up events and ask me to contribute. They do all the hard work and are grateful for my contribution. In the UK I do all the hard work and no-one wants my contribution in the end anyway! C O R E has lost large sums of money as the result of trying to run events for which there was no demand. As you may have noticed, we no longer attempt to run events, as I cannot afford to bear the financial risks any longer, now that I am retired. (We now run occasional, very modest events trying to make our financial risks as small as possible.)
I did not realise just how good my Olympus microscope was. It gave me beautifully clear images and was very easy to use. I started my work by repeating the basic bion experiments as pioneered by Reich and the Reich blood test. My interest in the bions has developed in several directions, mainly in making connections between Reich’s bion research and earlier pioneers in the field. To my great amazement I discovered that Robert Brown, after whom ‘Brownian motion’ is named, had actually seen and described the bions in the eighteen twenties, but that his unexplained discovery had got lost and buried under the sands of history. (Or perhaps it had been deliberately buried by those who didn’t want the world to know of his discovery?) I have written a short book on this deception, Artificers of Fraud and this was published in March 2013. (Please go to Artificers page for purchasing details and for more information about the book.)
(This paragraph has been added on March 15th, 2013.) Artificers has now been out for about 10 days and it has been a major experience having a book out in the world, knowing my name is on it and that years of orgonomic work and research are now reaching out into the world at large. So far I have sent out quite a number of complimentary copies to friends, supporters, and people who helped me with the work involved in getting the book ready to print. Another dozen people have bought it already or ordered it, but all these people are known to me and known 'friends of orgonomy' who have bought the book on the strength of their contact with me. Many of them have visited C O R E to do some bion experiments themselves or been participants in our various schools over recent years. One has gone to someone new to orgonomy, who happend by sheer chance to contact me via our website just after publication and ordered a copy. The real test is, of course, whether the book makes any impact with the general book-reading public, the sort of readers who buy books on the history of science or 'popular science' as they call it in the book-trade. I am not at all sure how the book will become known to such readers, or if it will interest them at all, if it does become known. A review or two would help, of course, but I can't see it getting a review in any mainstream papers or magazines. It may start to sell well by word of mouth. It is a well known phenomenon in the book trade that very occasionally a book will 'take off' and sell in huge numbers without even being reviewed once. This happens by word of mouth, as we say in English, one person after another simply telling someone else that they have just read such and such a book and it really is wonderful and that they must absolutely read it. I am a great reader and keep an eye on the book trade and its habits. I know that the history of science is a popular topic amongst readers of non-fiction books. Another theme that is popular with British readers is that of the underdog taking on powerful vested interests. You can't get a much more powerful vested interest than mechanistic science, can you? So, (I thought to myself, when I decided to choose that title out of the half dozen books waiting unpublished on my hard-drive), there are two appeals to the public that may just have an effect. Something against the book having any popular appeal is that it is a hybrid, a mixture of history of science and how-to-do-it science and that may mean it will fall between two stools. I shall just have to wait and see. Several orgonomic colleagues and friends are already doing a lot to give it publicity, which is very cheering. Getting the book out has got rid of that feeling that I am a voice in the wilderness. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who is helping to tell the world about the book.
(Further news about Artificers, added March 29th/ April 6th, 2013.) Things are going moderately well for Artificers so far. Without exception, everyone who has reeived a copy of the book has commented very positively on the book's appearance. Thanks to Dan Clement, the artist who designed the cover for me. Quite a lot of the recipients have just sent a thank-you e-mail and added comments before they have even started to read it. Three people active in orgonomy have read it and handed on comments on the actual contents, potted reviews, so to speak, and these have all been very positive. One of them, by a professional scholar and historian of science active in orgonomy, is very positive indeed. Another, from a very knowledgeable orgonomic scholar and researcher with a meticulous eye for sources and references says the book is 'quite wonderful.' Needless to say, such warm appreciation makes my heart glow, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the book will sell in thousands. Still, it is a very heartening beginning, very heartening indeed. Trying to spread information about orgonomy in the UK is a stony, lonely slog up a huge mountain, so it is a great joy to receive some positive feedback about my activities. Alas, as usual, this appreciation comes mainly, with one exception, from outside the UK.
The real challenge for Artificers will be its reception, if there is one at all, by casual browsers and readers in the bookshops, those who have never heard of Reich or Brown and who happen on the book by accident. There are already a few copies out in one or two London bookshops, thanks to the efforts of a London friend with an interest in orgonomy. He is acting as an unofficial and unpaid salesman, taking the book round to likely shops that my be interested. (So far none have shown any interest.) Here's hoping. Doubtless, before long, someone will ask me if they can translate it into their own language. My midwifery book has already been translated into Italian, Portuguese, and Greek, and is about to be published in Italian. Who is going to get there first with Artificers? An orgonomist in Spain has already suggested translating it. (I have now posted a page of comments on Artificers, both favourable and unfavourable. There is now a link to it from this page and other pages.) PS end of 2013: There have been no casual readers and Artificers has not been on sale in any bookshops at all, not even our local Waterstones, even though they deigned to include it in their on-line catalogue.
Well... now the book is out and people have read it in many different places, the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Germany, Canada, South Africa, Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, and so on, but it has not got into the general UK bookshops and so is not being seen by accident by the average book-shop browser. So far, not a single sale outside orgonomy! As usual, it is up against that glass wall of indifference towards orgonomy that prevails in this country. (15. 5. 13.) And this complete lack of interest is continuing. Isn't it unbelievable how the book is out in the world, has been sent to several individuals and organisations who 'ought' to respond in some way or other to it and...? Not a word, not a whisper. The conditioning that makes people unable to respond is 100% effective. No-one lifts a finger. The pond of complacency shows not a ripple. What do we have to do to get even three or four people to respond to orgonomy in the UK? It seems that even writing a controversial, well-researched book with reams of carefully collected, well-argued evidence is not enough. The answer seems to be that nothing will get through the relentless British indifference. There is nothing one can do. I have run out of answers. The book was my last throw. I now have to admit defeat. I cannot think of anything else that we can do to break through the British resistance to new, unsettling information. (11. 6. 13.)
(PS 13. 9. 13.) See what I mean? Artificers has had its first review in the October issue of Fortean Times. I have got it in advance as the magazine sends publishers a copy of the review in advance. The review is abusive and dismissive and so moronically stupid that it is past believing that a responsible magazine can dare publish such unfounded criticism wihout running a few checks first. (But then, maybe FT is not a responsible magazine?) If FT were widely known, they would get a lot of stick and abuse themselves for this review as it is so blatantly inaccurate, ill-informed, and malicious, that at least a few of the wider, informed public would see throught it. But FT is not widely known and the review will attract little attention. It certainly won't help to sell any copies of Aritificers, alas. To summarise - the reviewer accuses me of thinking that I am seeing bions when in fact I am seeing and describing the white blood cells in my eyes! In other words, reach for the first excuse you can think of to rubbish someone's serious work and while you are at it ridicule the researcher and make him look like someone who doesn't know his arse from his elbow.
It is strange that I have been able to film these white blood cells and that they appear larger when I increase the magnification levels of the microscope. Strange that white blood cells are white blobby things that move like amoebae and bions are dark dancing dots, but apparently I have still been confusing the two. Funny how malicious critics of orgonomy always accuse us of the very crime they are committing themselves, of being unable to distinguish between two different life-forms! Does this reviewer even know what a white blood cell looks like? Has he ever taken the trouble to observe a bion culture down a microscope? A neutral response would have been to get in touch with me and to come and have a look at the preparations that I describe in the book and which I have filmed and shown on YouTube, including links to these videos in the book itself. But of course these malicious reviewers are not interested in ascertaining the truth. They only wish to blast orgonomy off the stage. Whatever else happens, however ridiculous they look doing it, the must not let this knowledge gain a foothold. As a sympathetic website puts it, this is the unforgivable discovery. The reaction is emotionally the same as that of Reich's critics, some of whom refused to look down his microscopes for fear of what they might see.
In the meantime, I have entered Artificers for the Orwell Prize, though I have no illusions that it wil be listed or considered at all favourably. After all, the Orwell Prize is part of the London literary world, the same world that spat hate, ridicule, and contempt at Reich in their reviews of the dreadful Orgasmatron book a couple of years ago. But it will give Artificers some free publicity, as all entrants are, apparently, listed on the website of the Orwell Prize before judging and listing takes place. There is a long list of twelve titles and a short list of six. So the book will at least come to the notice of a handful of readers who have not heard of it before. PS It turns out that Artificers is ineligible because it is 'self-published', so that's the end of that little idea! (Added 6. 1. 14.)
Since I wrote the above I have attended and contributed to two important conferences, one on orgonomy in Rome in October, 2013, and later the same month, one in Bulgaria on The Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Water. My contributions were well received and many participants bought copies of Artificers. Several people from both conferences have expressed a serious interest in getting a microscope and starting active study of the bions. A young couple from the Italian conference visited on November to do some bion experiments with me! I sold about 30 copies of Artificers at these two meetings. The way things are going it does not seem too unrealistic to think that in a year or two we might be able to run a small conference or teaching seminar devoted solely to bion research. This growth in interest and activity is really gratifying and cheers me no end. It is a wonderful feeing to know that one is not a voice in the wilderness and that a few people are at last listening. The only negative thing about all this interest is that without exception it comes from outside the UK and the future of orgonomy in this country is as precarious as it ever was.
I read out my offer of training to any midwife or student midwife who is thinking of training in the UK at the Rome meeting. (See the Birth Page for more information if this interests you.) There was in fact a German student midwife in the audience. We have exchanged contact details and she is planning to come to the UK to learn with me. These tiny little blossoms in the snow are the best news I could have. If you know of anyone who might be interested in this training offer, please draw their attention to it. (3. 11. 13.) Since I first posted this paragraph someone else, a midwife from Greece, has expressed serious interest in this learning project. (Since I first wrote that she has disappeared without explanation. This happens all the time. It seems that once they get close to orgonomy, most people just can't take it and run away again.)
Inspired by the intention of a single student to come and study with me, I have now written and published under C O R E's banner an introductory textbook on orgonomic midwifery. After many problems, including a first print run without the crucially important illustrations, that book is now available and going out into the world in tiny numbers, ie, free copies to the three students who participated in our recent Easter study week, a few to our faithful supporters abroad, and two to actual buyers. This book may do better than Artificers, as there is a real public for it. There is, of course, a midwifery community in the UK and women are having babies all the time, so...here's hoping. But the British apathy towards orgonomy is relentless and deep and in spite of its huge relevance to the lives of expectant mothers and babies, the book may still, like Artificers, vanish without trace. I shall keep readers posted on the news page. (For those interested, title Orgonomic Midwifery - an Introductory Textbook, cost, £10 a copy plus £1:50 postage, ISBN 9 780957 485013.) C O R E's third title, Bions for Beginners, was published in the summer of 2016. ISBN is 978-09574850-2-0.
I have done research into the relative orgonotic vitality of mothers’ milk and bottle-milk, submitting them both to the Reich blood test, with very interesting and important results. I have also tested their relative orgonotic vitality using the experimental life energy meter developed by Dave Marrett in Canada. I have tested an enormous number of materials, both previously living and non-living, for bionous growth, and made some provisional discoveries that seem very significant for organic farming and an understanding of the orgonotic vitality of soil. (This very afternoon, as I write, I have tested pure sulphur powder and discovered that it produces a lively bion culture, as well as some hydrogen sulphide, when the suphur is added to hot water.) C O R E owns PIP software, which allows us to see the biological energy field and to film it. If we had more space and some physical assistance, there are many important projects that we could undertake and film. These would be extremely convincing demonstrations of the existence of the orgone, orgone energy fields, and orgonotic contact between organisms. As usual, we cannot advance these projects for lack of space and help. PIP needs a clear, uncluttered environment, in effect a photographic studio, to produce usable results. We cannot get much out of the software without our own premises.
(Latest news re Orgonomic Midwifery, November 2015.) The fate of this book has been even worse than that of Artificers, believe it or not! I have attempted to send review or complimentary copies to various organisations or individuals connected with the natural/better birth movement. The NCT have not responded to a review copy that I sent to a named recipient. Neither has Positive Birth Movement. Three other individuals or organisations connected with birth or breast-feeding have not replied to my request for a postal address to which I could send a copy of the book to. This is orgonomy in the UK in 2015. A deliberate refusal to engage with us at any cost. It is utterly beyond belief, isn't it? But, alas, all too true. No orgonomy, thanks. We're Brits.
I have attended and contributed to orgonomic conferences in Germany (1991), America (2004 and 2005), in Greece (2011), and Cyprus (2011), and run one myself here (2007), as well as a very well-received Easter school in 2010 and recently, a summer school in 2012, and a further Easter school at Easter, 2013. I contributed to a further conference on self-regulation and the continuum concept in Italy at Easter, 2012, and to recent orgonomic conferences in Rome in October, 2013, and in Helsinki, Finland, in June, 2014. It is a wonderful experience to be in an environment where everyone knows about orgonomy and understands its basic concepts. The 2007 conference here attracted only two participants from the UK and a few who attended for part of the week, though it was well supported by people from abroad. C O R E’s Easter school in 2010, had one UK student out of ten. Two of the ten came all the way from Brazil! Others came from Cyprus, Greece, Austria, and Norway. Whatever it is that the government puts in the water here to prevent people from being interested in orgonomy, it is obviously extremely effective. (C O R E's Easter school this year, 2013, attracted three students, all from outside the UK.) I contributed to a non-orgonomic conference in Bulgaria later the same month on The Biology, Chemistry, and Physics of Water. This was a great advance, as it is rare for anyone to be invited to give an orgonomic presentation at a mainstream scientific event. The organiser, Professor Gerald Pollack, asked me to give a talk on the theme of Artificers. How typical that in the UK I am ridiculed and abused and outside it, I am invited to participate in an important scientific conference with a string of heavy-weight, well-known researchers, many of them university professors, and one of them even a Nobel prize-winner!
I am not sure what to do in this predicament. I keep this website going, carry on doing my own orgonomic research and writing, in the hope that if I keep on going, C O R E will attract active supporters and students, though at the present rate of progress I will need to live to be about 200 before we have a flourishing orgonomic community in this country. This situation drives me to despair. C O R E has an excellent orgonomic library and enough scientific equipment to run a small teaching and research centre. In practice it is already such a centre, though it lacks proper facilities and physical space. Five students visited C O R E at different times in 2011. Four people came to our summer school last August (in 2012). Three people have already visited this year, 2014. When we run one of these events I see C O R E functioning on a small scale in exactly the way I have imagined and hoped for for years. People pull out books to check things, ask questions, locate quotations and evidence in Reich's works, suggest research projects and the days pass in minutes almost in a buzz of interest and excitation. We use most of C O R E's scientific equipment and people pick my brain in most areas of orgonomy. Within a couple of days we will run through the whole gamut of orgonomy from orgone therapy to the vacor tube flashing in the dark. If we run a substantial event, such as our Easter school in 2010, we have to rent premises and move equipment out, a laborious, risky, and expensive job. All these items have no proper accommodation and after my death nowhere to go. As things are now, all this, collected at great emotional and financial expense, will be dispersed and lost to orgonomy. No-one seems to care about this except me. I keep mentioning C O R E’s plight to people, but no-one reacts or offers help or even suggestions. (See frequent mentions of this predicament on this website.) The only people who could appreciate this predicament are Brits, who understand the local culture and the extreme scepticism, not to mention hostility, towards anything like orgonomy in this country. It is uncanny and peculiar how we meet this all the time at every turning in our efforts to present orgonomy to the public in this country. It really is an orgonomic desert. I do not know what we can do about it and feel quite powerless in this plight.
As my great interest is in presenting orgonomy to the wider public at the moment (2015-2016) while I am still competent, I am concentrating my energies on getting further publications out into the world. I hope to publish small print-on-demand editions of three more titles in the coming year - Life Energy for Young Learners, Orgonomic Midwifery and Baby-Care, (though I will find a better title for it before I get it printed), and a collection of my booklets, provisionally to be called Collected Orgonomic Essays. The idea for this last book came from our friend in Cyprus, Christos Pechlivanis, who is always having positive orgonomic ideas. The last item is proving a monumental typing job and on top of that there are the usual difficulties with the illustrations. Note that these difficulties are relentless and persistent. I have faced them for ten years or longer now and still they go on. They are all down to the complete lack of active help from anyone else in this desert of a country. It is a preposterous thing for someone as handicapped as I am in computing to be doing these massive jobs. It would take a competent computer person a fraction, probably a tenth of the time it takes me to do them. But... oh, why go on, no-one's listening...
At this time of writing (9. 3. 14.) I am becoming increasingly busy, in fact, am run off my feet, and really need an assistant. I have had an order for an orgone shooter, which is half built, and after that a request to collaborate in the building and testing of an orgone seed-germination device, more or less another orgone accumulator, tailor-made for a special purpose. I have suspended work on my Collected Orgonomic Essays, as the shooter is urgently needed. There are two microscopes to pack up and send off to buyers, and after those jobs I plan to publish my book on Orgonomic Midwifery and Life Energy for Young Learners. There is the conference in Helsinki coming up in June, for which I will need to print a big pile of booklets. It's great to be in demand, but all this demand only underlines my lack of help and how overworked I am becoming. The construction of the seed-germination device will be difficult, if not impossible, single-handed. As any woodworker knows, once a job gets above a certain size, you need someone to hold things while you assemble them. All this interest is coming from within the UK, which is very encouraging. (It has now died down again and interest is as limited as ever.)
At the moment I am conducting research into the bions and soil fertility and related questions. (Orgonomy and organic farming are fields of knowledge that should link up, but, yet again, no-one wants to know.) Yet again, in Greece, on Crete, to be exact, there is interest in orgonomy amongst organic farmers. There was an orgonomic contribution to a recent organic food festival in Crete. I met the farmer involved at the Karavomilos research conference in August, 2011. Such an event is unthinkable in Britain, absolutely unthinkable, as unthinkable as the attendance here at an orgonomic conference by an organic farmer. I have been trying for some time to get the organic farming community interested in orgonomy and had no response at all. I answer enquiries from website-visitors, send out booklets occasionally to those who want them, and keep our site up to date. I am also working on a simple ‘how to’ book for young readers interested in Reich’s bion experiments, Bions for Beginners. (This is quite irrational, as no-one wants to read about the bions in this country!) My book on orgonomic midwifery and baby-care is being translated into Greek and is to be published in Greece. It is also being translated into Portuguese by a colleague in Brazil and has already been translated into Italian. It is to be published shortly. (Added, March 5th, 2013. My book Artificers of Fraud is now printed and I am sending copies out into the world, at the moment, all gratis copies to friends, supporters, and those who have helped with the work.) As I had a single student midwife planning to visit me this year (2015), I thought she deserved a textbook on orgonomic midwifery, so I wrote that over the last few months and it is about to be printed shortly. It would be available already, if the printers hadn't made a big mistake and printed the first batch of 100 copies without including the all-important illustrations. C O R E's midwifery week at Easter was planned round the structure of that book. We had three students! (PS, summer, 2016; Bions for Beginners is now available, too.)
I have written several books in the last ten years, all, except for Artificers, so far, unpublished. Three of my booklets, all on topics connected with babies and children, have also been translated into Italian and Greek and another one is being translated into German. Maybe they are all doomed to appear in foreign languages. How symbolic that no-one in this country ‘speaks my language’ and that my writings have to be translated to find an audience. Only this very morning, I have, yet again, received a further invitation to contribute to a serious orgonomic study group in Greece. The more acknowledgement I receive from outside this country, the worse things seem in the UK and the harder it is to tolerate the isolation and lack of interest in orgonomy here. It seems crazy to think of moving to another country at my age, a country where I don’t speak a word of the language, but I am seriously thinking of moving to Greece. There I can have orgonomic conversations without explaining every concept word by word and people contribute to events that I take part in. How nice it must be not to be alone and to have meaningful, informed orgonomic conversations with colleagues. (The desire to move to Greece or Italy has subsided, but that I could even feel it at my age shows how bad things are here.)
In the meantime, thank you for visiting C O R E’s website and your interest in our orgonomic work. If you are from the UK and live near enough to visit and see some of C O R E’s equipment, library, and projects, please drop us an e-mail and come and visit. I don’t bite! See the Visiting C O R E page for travel information.
My Vision for C O R E and Its Future
If you go to the website of the Henry Doubleday organisation, www.gardenorganic.org.uk , which I have just visited, to find out about their history, and you read their story, you will see almost exactly what I envisaged for orgonomy as realised by a small number of people in the organic movement. Lawrence Hills had a bee in his bonnet about organic growing at a time when it was quite unfashionable. Eventually he was able to afford to rent a few acres of ground to start his project and advertised the job of running the practical side of it. He was looking for a couple able and willing to work for nothing and he found them! A married couple, both qualified scientists, were motivated enough to want to support this project for nothing. In the end they worked for a weekly pay of £5:00, presumably in those days just about enough to live on. This project prospered, attracted more workers, and after about 10 years they needed more space and after looking carefully for land they found a 22-acre neglected, ex-nursery, then in use as horse-pasture. They managed to buy it and the the land is now the centre of Garden Organic, a thriving charity and educational centre which attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is on the tourist track, as we say in England, and people visit it from all over the world. They have conference and teaching facilities, a research and seed library and lab and a restaurant on site.
I have just watched a similar story told on the website of The Barn Owl Trust (www.barnowltrust.org.uk ), who work to improve conditions for barn owls, an important and beautiful ‘indicator’ species, whose population has been seriously reduced in the last few decades, and on the website of the Hilbre Bird Observatory, (www.hilbrebirdobs.blogspot.co.uk ), coincidentally, a childhood paradise of mine, where I knew happiness and freedom from adult oppression, a freedom that I strongly connect with my interest in orgonomy and my strong feeling for life. This pattern, the development from a private passion to an established and flourishing public organisation is common enough in many spheres, almost in every sphere, except orgonomy. The founder of the Barn Owl Trust said, telling his story, ‘….and it grew and grew and grew, until now we have this..’ and he turned towards a beautiful field of wild grass waving behind him, stretched out his hand, as if to gesture at its size and richness, and smiled in delight. This field, now managed actively to provide an environment suitable for barn owls, is a 22 acre field bought with a legacy left to the trust by a sympathiser. The field is now home to two pairs of barn owls. Even the owls have joined in!
Both these organisations were given really significant items that got their projects off the ground, in one case a legacy large enough to buy land, in the other, a small shed that served as a basic observatory, and later a holiday cottage on the island, which is now an established bird observatory. C O R E has not received a single significant donation of that sort from anyone, apart from those made by some of our Easter visitors last year. We were once offered an old mobile home, a really excellent one, very large, big enough to sleep 6 people. We had to decline this generous offer, as we could not find a site for it. It would have made an excellent field station and orgonomic observatory. When it was offered to C O R E for nothing, I had visions of an orgonomic field station up in the Lancashire hills, and, maybe, just maybe, the start of C O R E as a going concern that was visible on the ground. It was not to be for lack of ground to accommodate it. A rural orgonomic field station is not as outlandish an idea as it sounds Old, large caravans are available quite cheaply, as they are a liability, if you rent a site and want to get replace an old one with a new one. Many small landowners must have a corner of a field or farmyard that they could spare to a small organisation like C O R E. We only need to meet the right person to get off the ground. If you know anyone who fits the bill, please tell them about us and our projects.
Why, why, oh, why can orgonomy not do what these other groups have been able to do? Where is orgonomy’s equivalent of that committed couple, both trained scientists, or the woman who bequeathed that generous legacy or the elderly people who donated the holiday cottage? Whatever I do, write, or say, I do not seem able to attract other active collaborators who can help with my orgonomic project. Sometimes I think it must be because I’m a horrible old bastard and am putting people off with something I do or say. But when I contribute to an orgonomic event, people are very appreciative. People tell me how well-written C O R E’s booklets are and how open and straightforward I am and thank me for making things comprehensible to them, even if they have listened to me speaking in a, to them, foreign language. And I used to get a lot of very positive feed-back from women who I looked after in the UK health service. So, that can’t be the reason. Obviously it must be something that the government puts in the drinking water.
Orgonomy is not the same as organic horticulture and farming or the preservation of the barn owl, though there are, (you may be surprised to read), important connections between all these. What would an orgonomic version of this story look like? Well…the first step would be for a small number of committed workers to join me in my work, thus forming the critical mass that any venture needs before it can really take root. This is the step that we just do not seem able to make here. I just cannot get the crucial second, third, and fourth people to commit themselves to active work in orgonomy. (Once you have got to that stage, things just grow of their own accord.) We would slowly attract wider interest and bring in students and colleagues. We would start running events and courses on an improvised, temporary basis, using rented accommodation. (I have done all these without the support of a single active colleague, so C O R E has already taken a good few first steps.) The students tell other people about our activities. We start to receive requests for talks and demonstrations and one-off local courses and workshops. These bring in yet more people. We start a building fund to start saving for the purchase of a teaching and research centre in Lancashire. I and other colleagues start giving talks about this plan and interested people start giving donations. Grateful students, even children still at school, give us £5 here and £10 there and occasionally someone gives us £500 or even £1000. We need around £250,000 to get started. A local benefactor, anonymous, hears of our plans and gives us £50,000 and before long we are nudging towards £100,000. (An alternative chain of events is that my book, Artificers of Fraud, starts to become known and readers buy it in large numbers. Before long it has generated £50,000 worth of income.) We start a membership organisation, based on the clear understanding that all subscriptions will be donated to the building fund. Set at £25 per annum, we get 100 or more subs for the first year, that’s £2,500, just like that. It is all earning interest. We appeal publicly for someone in a position to do it to donate a building and land for our purposes, offering half the payment immediately and committing ourselves to paying off the rest in a fairly limited time, say, 5 years. Even as we publish these appeals more people join us and the sum collected creeps up. We appeal every now and again for extra donations as interest grows and orgonomy becomes better known. By the time a sympathetic owner has come forward, we have £150,000 available and he offers us a rather battered building, battered but suitable, for that amount, waiving the payment of the other half. (It’s market-price would be about £400,000. We are there. It is a dilapidated detached residence, oldish, with a large garden of over an acre, exactly what we need. Another appeal goes out, not for money but for physical help to make the place usable, so we can get started and earn some money to keep the project going.
A gang of volunteers, some days two or three, others, especially at weekends, twenty or thirty, does a quick first-aid job to bring the building back to life. It is made water-proof and secure and the wiring and plumbing are made safe and adequate for our basic purposes, though we know it will need much further work. And we OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!, telling our first visitors to bring their own broom or paintbrush or spades, rakes and forks for work in the garden. The first drop-in baby-therapy session takes place one summer afternoon in the only clean and dust-free room in the building. As I work with the babies I can hear people around us and overhead banging, hammering, drilling, sweeping, and moving things about. We don’t need to apologise for the minor disruption. Everyone is beaming with delight. We feel we are making history. WE ARE MAKING HISTORY! The UK’s first orgonomic teaching and research centre has opened its doors to the public and this drop-in baby-therapy session is our first event. It's been plugged on local radio and there are so many takers that we have had to ask some mums and babies to come back later today or tomorrow. One woman is so motivated that she helps us paint the walls in the hallway with her baby in one arm and a paint brush in her other hand.
But…dream on, Peter. I still haven’t got a single active collaborator. The one I had is having major money problems and is not in a position to help for the time being, cannot even afford to come up to Preston to help me run the Life Energy Day for the public, which I have long had planned. So… I am back on square one, or even square zero. How long, oh, Lord, how long? I must have postponed that life-energy day six times already. (I have now cancelled it.)
How on earth can one run an event with only one other helper? You can’t, the cover is so thin that the tiniest mishap torpedoes the whole venture. If we have 6 helpers and one rings up on the day to say that her child has had an accident and that she must spend the day with him in hospital we could cope. Five instead of six is not a disaster. Even four instead of six is manageable, but one instead of two? No, hopeless. It won't even cover visits to the toilet. And that is without even thinking about transporting all the exhibits and setting everything up. So the event will not run, yet again. And so it goes on. I can do nothing until I have a handful of reliable helpers and collaborators who are committed enough to orgonomy to put themselves out a little to come and help with public events. And so far, after 40 years I still have not got a single helper! I can’t believe it and you won't believe it, but it’s true. This is orgonomy in the UK. There is just no interest at all.
Clearly, it is very unlikely that an army of local volunteers will appear in or close to Preston. So for the time being how might those of us actively interested in orgonomy in this country find an answer to this problem? We need a largish army, maybe 30-40 supporters, all over the country who are committed enough to come to Preston to help run local events, so that on any given day, or at any given weekend, there are at least four or five of these people free to come and help out. Before long we would then develop a local network of helpers and could start collecting money for our much needed centre and serious research projects. If we became a visible, physical presence on the ground in the shape of a building with our name on it, orgonomy could only attract greater interest. Note the phrase above, ‘those of us actively interested in orgonomy in this country’! There aren’t any such people, apart from myself, are there?
The Centre Realised (This section is unfinished and fictional.)
Let us imagine the centre in action. What would we be doing there? As imagined above, C O R E has acquired a large, crumbling Victorian house on very generous terms from the owner who had heard about their project and was sympathetic to their aims. We have heard of orgonomy through a radio program about the newly opened centre. We want to go and see what they do there. We phoned the centre and were immediately invited to visit, that very day, if it suited us. ‘Come for coffee!’ Well, there’s no time like the present, so off we go, arriving there in the middle of the morning.
The house is clearly well-worn, but it is also clear that lots of energy is going into renovating it. A ladder leans against the front and a man is at the top cleaning and sanding a window frame. Paint pots and brushes sit on the grass at the bottom of the ladder. By the end of the day it is going to get at least one coat of paint. Scaffolding leans out below the roof all round the house. We take another look and see that all the ground-floor windows have already been restored and painted beautifully. We go up to the front door on which a notice says, ‘Please come in.’ So we go in. Within seconds a woman appears out of a small side-room and welcomes us to the centre. It was her we had talked to earlier on the phone. Across the other side of the hall a door is open and we can hear the sounds of a baby gurgling and squealing. Someone laughs out loud and then a gail of laughter pours out through the door. Our eyes follow the sound. The eyes of our guide light up into a delighted smile. ‘That’s one of our drop-in baby-therapy sessions in action. They are always very happy times. The babies just love it. If the mums are happy with your presence, you’ll be able to drop in yourselves for a few minutes. All our visitors want to watch it and the mums are usually quite happy with that. But we do always ask.’ We nod understandingly. Apart from that, what else would you like to see?’ We don’t really know what they do there so we invite our guide to lead the way. As we start, I notice a blissful smell of cooking cakes or bakery in the hallway.
‘Well…’ she says, unsure where to start. ‘You don’t know much about orgonomy then?’ ‘Not a thing, we heard about you on the radio the other day, Radio Lancashire.’ ‘Oh, yes, they came round and talked to us about our work. I haven’t been able to listen to it. Was it OK?’ ‘Well, they were very positive about you, that’s why we are here.’
‘Plenty of the place is ordinary facilities that any organisation would have. That room where I was working when you arrived is a little office and reception room with the phones and computers and things. The room where the babies are is a big meeting room for public groups, gatherings, lectures, parties etc, anything that needs plenty of space. There are enough stacking chairs to run events with a sitting audience, though all the baby things go on at floor level. Sometimes it’s set up as a classroom. And there is a smaller room opposite the office, which is a quiet work room for students or for small meetings or teaching sessions.’ As she speaks she takes us along the hallway and round a corner where we see a doorway into another large room. There are several closed doors along the walls. ‘Of course we’ve got the usual amenities, kitchens, toilets, washrooms, etc but the most interesting room for visitors is this one in here, another big one which contains our standing orgonomic exhibition. It also serves as a cafe and canteen for the staff.’ She shepherds us into this lovely light room which looks out onto a largish rather tangled overgrown garden. But one corner is already clear with tidy rows of plants and saplings in the soil. Our guide notices our interest and offers to show us the garden when we have seen the house. There is an array of items along the walls of this large room. A strange looking cupboard, big enough to sit in. ‘Yes,’ says our guide, ‘you’re meant to sit in it. That’s the whole point.’ And she explains. This is our first encounter with an orgone accumulator. You’re welcome to try it, she says, opening the door. A chair is inside. Next to it on a small table is a similar device, only much smaller. In front of it are two seed-trays, holding rows of seedlings. One box is labelled C, the other O and the ones in the O tray are noticeably taller and stronger-looking than the others. Our guide explains about the seed-germination experiment. I remember it from the radio program. Across the room against another wall is a small bench with a microscope sitting on it. A big notice says BIONS. PLEASE LOOK! My friend is already in the accumulator and I move towards the microscope. ‘I’m sorry about that, there aren’t any bions there yet today. We put a new culture in every morning and we are a bit behind today. I’ll go and get one for you, if you would like to see them’, and she moves towards the door, but as she speaks an old man with a gnarled look and a frizzy white beard comes in with something small in his hand. ‘Here you are Mary’, he says and hands her the bion slide, which is what it is. ‘The lads upstairs have done that one for us, much to their delight,’ he says smiling and introducing himself. This is Peter Jones, the founder of C O R E and this building is the realisation of a lifelong dream of his, he tells us. Mary places the slide on the microscope and invites me to take a look. ‘Oh, can I have a look, too, please’, says a voice from the accumulator and my friend re-appears, her face full of curiosity and expectation. Peter starts to explain about the bions and shows me how to adjust the microscope. I have never used one before. So those jumping, dancing little dots are bions? ‘Yes, exactly. They mentioned them briefly on the radio the other day, though I think they were a bit too much for them and they wanted to move on to simpler things. Actually they couldn’t be simpler.’ I watch transfixed. As I look I hear the voices of older children approaching and two boys come into the room. I look up and they beam at me. ‘Yes, you’ve got some customers already,’ Peter says as the boys approach, busily talking about bions and microscopes. He introduces them to us. They are two home-schooled boys from Preston and they come here regularly to work with the microscopes, they explain. ‘Come up and see us,’ one says. ‘We’re in the lab upstairs.’ I promise to drop in on them. We want to see everything anyway.
Can I leave you with Peter? I’m going to do coffee for the mums, says Mary and disappears into the kitchen. We can hear water running and trays and jugs and pots clanking, all the sounds of happy domestic trivia. Are they OK, these? asks Peter. ‘Of course they are,’ says one of the boys, Jack. We know how to make a bion culture by now, don’t we? ‘Yes, you do,’ smiles Peter at them. ‘What did you use this time?’ he asks, the question being quite meaningless to me. ‘Rock-dust’. Says Tim, ‘We were feeling lazy.’ He explains that getting bions from this rock-dust is really easy, a beginner’s exercise. ‘But if you come upstairs you can see our grass culture and we’ve also got some bran on a well-slide all ready to start. If you’re interested we’ll wait until you come upstairs. The start is the crucial bit. If you blink you’ll miss it.’ We don’t really understand what they are talking about, but we promise to come up and look. They drift away and sit down at a table in the corner by the window while we look further at the bions. I have a short sit in the accumulator. It is lovely in there, quite indescribable, but welcoming and cosy somehow. As I emerge while my friend is still immersed in the bions I notice a sheet of disposable thermometers on the table near the orac as people seem to call them here and an information sheet on how you can take your temperature before and after and contribute to C O R E’s research. It’s too late. I have already been in there for ten minutes. Peter explains how the slight temperature rise is a basic orgonotic effect. He explains the difference between orgonomic and orgonotic, noticing my furrowed brow when he says orgonotic.
He offers us coffee, as promised on the phone. We sit down by the window, enjoying the view. The boys are busy drawing and writing at the next table and ignore us. They are obviously completely at ease here. Peter disappears into the kitchen and returns with mugs of coffee and home-made cakes, what we must have smelt earlier. He hands two mugs out to the boys, who carry on quietly, and spreads things out before us with the air of an experienced waiter. As if reading my thoughs he says, everyone does everything here, so I do as much café-waiting and kitchen work as anything else, especially on a quiet morning like today. Quiet? Oh, yes, we have one formal event on at the moment. Some days we have four or five at the same time and, maybe, 50-60 people in the building, even more. Events? Like what? I ask, wondering exactly what they do here. Well…he pauses and thinks, ‘At the weekend when there is a training weekend that’s about 12 students in the big room for both days. There are usually on any weekend day a handful of volunteer research workers working on projects of one sort or another, so we can count that as another ‘event’. Some times we have an open day for parents and children, a learning day, and occasionally those coincide with the therapy course. Then it’s really busy. At the weekend there will be orgone therapy sessions going on as that is the only time many people are free. Winter evenings we have astronomy sessions on Saturday nights and in the summer atmospheric observation groups. There may be a one-off special event or just a social group here, too. The exhibition and café are open all the time we are open and at the weekend there is in effect an informal event in the café, too, as people meet and discuss and plot and just talk. If you don’t believe me, come and see. We also have volunteers gardening, helping with our horticultural projects and also helping to slowly tidy up the garden. We are organising it so that we have research space and some wildlife space left over to encourage birds and insects and weeds and things. We hope to build a greenhouse and dig a pond out next year. There are also people building accumulators in the basement or out in the garden in good weather.’ It’s endless. We had no idea there was so much going on here. He adds, ‘A volunteer may turn up at any time and just quietly get on with some necessary job, building accumulators is the most probable one, or individual microscope research. We have also got a handful of offical university students doing MAs and PhDs on orgonomy and they do much of their research here. We have a very well-equipped library. We’ll show it you if you like. It’s upstairs.’ We have two regular drop-in baby sessions every week, one of which is on at the moment. And we also have two birth preparation sessions a week. Many of the pregnancies graduate to the baby class and probably hardly notice the difference. His eyes twinkle as he says this and I sense it is some sort of orgonomic joke that I don’t really get. Never mind.
As he tells us all this there is suddenly a bang and a shout at the front door. The boys jump up and shout in excitement. ‘That’ll be them. Come on, let’s get them up there’ and they run off to do something that obviously excites them greatly. Peter explains. ‘That’s probably the carrier with a couple of new microscopes that we have been given to test. The boys have offered to set them up and write a report for us.’ I express surprise that such young children can manage such an important job. ‘oh, yes, they’ll do it very well. Kids who don’t go to school are more than capable of doing a job like that.’ Can we go and watch them do it? Of course we can. We gather our plates and things, return them to the kitchen and go back into the hallway. There are two large parcels on the floor and the woman from the carrier is getting the boys to sign for them. I can see the boys just can’t wait to get their hands on them. The parcels look too big for them, but they seem determined to manage them. I offer to help. ‘No thanks, we can manage.’ Between them they hoist the first parcel up and stagger awkwardly and sideways up the stairs to the lab. As we chat to Peter they return, jumping down two and three stairs at a time and repeat the job with the second parcel. The boys seem to know exactly where everything is and what they will need to do the job. No questions or murmurings, they just get on with it. As they disappear into the lab, the front door opens again and a woman and young teenage girl walk in, obviously familiar with the place. They smile and nod at us and the girl says something to her mother. Immediately a loud voice from upstairs shouts, hey, it’s Rosie. ROSIE! We’re up here in the lab. The new microscopes have just arrived. Come up and have a look! Rosie immediately starts to twinkle with excitement and sprints up the stairs, leaving her mother standing alone and slightly confused. Peter reappears and explains. Ah, yes, the new microscopes, yes, Rosie told me about those. Well, that’s her busy for the day. When shall I come back for her? Peter raises his eyebrows in amused perplexity and says, oh, about midnight, maybe 2am? Maybe they won’t even need sleep, says her mum, now introduced to us as Madeleine. Well, I have known her stay up all night before, so it won’t be the first time, will it? I’ll come back around five for a cup of tea and see how they are getting on. She turns and is off, unconcerned, unhurried. She shouts up the stairs, G’bye Rosie, see you around five. OK, Bye, Mum. And she is off. We can hear the sounds of knives whizzing along packing tape, the boxes being turned over and shuffled about, a few grunts and puffs as the children wrestle with the packaging.
We stroll back to the café and out into the garden area. I notice a wooden frame backed with a shining sheet of metal laid out over a couple of Workmate benches. A door is open to a basement and we can hear the sound of someone moving about down in the cellar, banging and shuffling. A pair of feet sound on the stairs and a tousled untidy head of hair appears, a man of thirty or so holding an array of tools, including some even tucked under both arms. He staggers awkwardly towards the frame and drops some of them down onto it with a metallic clang. Hello, Peter! He says cheerfully and they exchange greetings. He is the man we saw up the ladder earlier. Peter introduces us to yet anther volunteer, Michael. What’s that you’re making? we ask. This? Oh, haven’t you seen one before, he says, surprised. It’s an orgone accumulator. ‘ah, yes,’‘They mentioned them in the radio program.’ So I hear, he says. Someone else who hasn’t heard the program. He starts telling us about building orgone accumulators, or boxes as he calls them and while we are listening Peter strolls away over to the tidy corner where the plants and saplings are growing in orderly rows. Michael offers to show us a shooter and a small experimental accumulator and we go down the stairs into his basement. ‘This is the workshop’, he explains, ‘but it’s gloomy and I like to work out of doors if I can, so I bring the work out when it’s fine.’ I soon know a lot more about the basics of orgone boxes than I did yesterday. He points out a small ‘box’, similar to the one we saw on the café room, only this one has a tube coming out of it with a funnel on the end and the tube and funnel are all wrapped up in what looks like endless wrappings of some sort of insulating tape. This is a shooter, he explains. You hold the funnel over a sore, a wound, or a burn and it helps the natural healing processes. You can try it now, if you like, if you happen to have a sore or minor injury somewhere.
We wander back indoors, intending to have a look at the lab upstairs and, if we can, have a look at the baby-group. Mary promises to ask the midwife running the group and we climb the stairs. As we go up we can hear the boys and Rosie talking excitedly about the microscopes. Peter knocks and enters. May we come in, he asks, politely. Yes, of course, says Jack. Rosie is glued to a microscope and doesn’t seem to even notice our arrival, while Tim is busy collecting all the packing materials that have come out of the boxes. Two apparently brand new microscopes are sitting on the table, already in use. Rosie and Jack are having a conversation while looking down their microscopes, telling each other what they can see. Are they OK? asks Peter. Yes, absolutely fine, really good. Have a look yourself, he says and moves away to allow Peter room at the bench. We are in another large, well-lit room with windows overlooking the garden outside. There are work benches all round the outside of the room and a smaller bench in the centre. Several microscopes under plastic covers sit on the benches. There are a couple of sink-units in opposite corners and shelves above the benches. We can see straight away that this is a well-equipped facility. Rows of test-tubes stand in racks and jars and flasks of all sorts stand neatly against the walls. There are some photographs taken down microscopes on the walls between the shelves. Although the contents mean little to me, they are visually very impressive and beautiful. As I look round Peter is busy observing whatever it is that Jack was looking at. ‘Mm, a very nice little culture you’ve got there. How old is that one?’ ‘Oh, we’ve just made it. It’s oat bran on its own,’ he says. I can see Peter switching things round on the microscope. ‘I’m trying phase contrast,’ he says, whatever that means. ‘Hey, look at this, a beautiful radiating bridge’ he says with glee. Let’s get this up on screen, show it to the visitors. You don’t see one like that every day.’
I can’t keep up with all this. ‘What’s a radiating bridge,’ I wonder. as Timothy moves over towards another microscope across the room and starts unplugging a camera that is attached to the top of it and unplugging leads. ‘Let’s set the camera up on it,’ he says, ‘and then we‘ll have tested that. too.’ He walks over holding it all carefully and starts setting it up on the new microscope. These kids obviously know all about microscopes and things. Rosie raises her head, looks at us, says, ‘Oh, hi, I hadn’t noticed you. I’m busy with this thing’ and she immediately settles back to observing. I can hear Tim and Jack clicking various switches and connecting plugs and sockets and suddenly a large screen on the wall above them lights up. Jack, back at the microscope again, juggles with the controls, well, it seems that is what he is doing, and something starts to appear on the screen, vague and unclear. ‘Ah, there it comes,’ he says, as it gets clearer and clearer, though I have no idea what it is. We see two spheres joined by a shimmering golden chain. The two spheres are rotating slowly in space, or so it seems. That’s a beauty, says Peter, and starts to explain. He goes over to a bookshelf, pulls out a book, opens it and shows it to us. There is a picture in the book that looks very like what we are looking at. The book is The Cancer Biopathy by Reich and the picture Peter has shown us is of a similar item, as drawn by Reich in the nineteen thirties or forties. Wonderful, looking history in the face.
Can I have a look? Of course! Jack moves away again and explains how to get the microscope to fit my eyes. At first I can’t make a thing out and then suddenly everything forms a clear picture and there they are, these pulsating things with this shimmering chain of energy between them. I want to learn about all this. Do you run a course on the bions? Yes, we do. When does it start? Oh, in about two minutes, Jack says grinning. Or if you are hungry you can wait till after lunch! Just then Mary comes back up the stairs and says we can attend the last 15 minutes of the baby session, if we like. And when’s that? Now, really. They finish, or should finish at one o’clock and its twelve forty five now. We make our excuses and promise to return after lunch and troop downstairs with Peter and Mary.
Mary knocks on the door, several voices say Come in! and we enter. This is even more startling and unusual than what we have seen so far. The room is also light and airy with windows opening onto the garden. Everyone in the room is sitting on the floor. A large, well padded carpet is laid out in the middle and almost everyone is sitting on that, though a few babies are crawling round away from it. There is a ring of women sitting on the carpet and a baby lying on some cushions in the centre of the ring. Several of the mothers have their baby on the breast. The baby on the cushions is kicking gently and cooing into space. A woman of about thirty is kneeling at the baby’s feet and leans over him, taking hold of his knees and pulling them up and pressing them gently against his tummy. Can you see what I mean? she asks. Look from the side and see how the pelvis lifts easily with no resistance. I can sense the ease here, she says, repeating the movement. One or two women move themselves into a position from which to get a better view from the side. I find myself bending down to see as well. Mary introduces us and leaves the room. The woman in the middle introduces herself, Lyndsey, and explains that these women are all members of the drop-in baby-therapy group. 'I won’t bother with twelve names, it’s too many.' Most of the women nod smilingly at us as we approach. Lyndsey carries on with what she was doing and a quiet murmer of chat takes off again. One woman says how she had discovered this movement herself. She was doing it one day while changing her baby’s nappy and he made as if to ask her to do it again, so she did, and it has now become part of their ritual during any change or bath. Excellent, says, Lyndsey. See what I mean? This isn’t text-book stuff, it’s out here, everyday, just waiting for us to notice it and do it. I notice that there are lots of photos of babies having this therapy on the walls of the room. We can tell that the group is nearing its natural end. Some of the women are standing up now and pulling their things together. The funny thing is that there are so many babies in the room and yet not one is crying. That’s it for today, I’ll see you all next week or Thursday evening, if you want to come. Already one or two of the women are leaving the room. Others are sitting calmly, still feeding. The mother of the baby on the floor picks him up, and starts dressing him.
Hello, says, Lyndsey. Is there anything you want to ask? Not really, except for everything, I say smiling, while my friend is talking to a mum and baby who are standing by the window. We heard about the centre on the radio the other day, didn’t know anything about orgonomy, hadn’t even heard of it, and rang up and got invited over. So we’ve come. Well… this is one of two weekly drop-in sessions for mums and babies and I do orgone therapy with any baby who wants it, talk to the mums about their lives as mothers and any difficulties they think they are having or not. It’s not all problems, far from it in fact. People often come in full of themselves to tell the group about a happy event, a parenting triumph. Peter used to do them all, but I recently completed the training to do this and this is the first group I have taken over. It’s not really a group as the membership chops and changes. People just turn up, they don’t have to book or anything, and we just work with any baby who is available. Some of the mums are also training to do this sort of work with babies. They joined as mothers and have got seriously involved and want to take it further. That’s how things work here. So watch out. It’s infectious and incurable, she says, twinkling at me. People visit like yourselves, are impressed, start learning a bit in one of our many study groups, and before you know where you are you are a serious student. I notice how everyone here twinkles with delight and joy when they talk about their work and the activities here.
I look round the room. There are piles of literature and a ‘begging bowl’ on a chair. The bowl is full of money, everything from 10p coins to five-pound notes. A book on show is called Children of the Future and there are lots of C O R E’s booklets on orgone therapy with babies and birth and self-regulation, whatever that means. Are you staying for lunch, Lyndsey asks across the room. There’s always a basic simple lunch for staff and there’s usually some extra for visitors, if you want to talk further. My friend ambles over as the woman she was talking to says goodbye and leaves. Is everyone OK? Can I go for lunch? Lyndsey asks and everyone says, yes, please do. We leave the room and stroll round to the café and exhibition room. As we enter I notice a mum settling into the big accumulator with a baby on her knee. A younger child, about seven or eight, I guess, has appeared from somewhere and is looking at the bion slide on the exhibition microscope. I am amazed at how alive this place feels. Something new, someone new, keeps appearing all the time. It’s like a stream in the country. Absently I look out through the window and Michael is straightening up after doing something to the box frame that we saw earlier. He puts his tools down and is obviously preparing for a lunch break, too.
Michael lumbers in, slightly wearily, I think, and drops down on a chair. Peter and Mary stroll in, talking seriously about something. Shall we table up, someone says. Oh, yes, that’s a good idea. Then our visitors can get a real feel for the place and before I realise what ‘table up’ means they are all standing and shuffling the tables round into a long refectory table so that we will all be sitting together at the same big table. Apparently ‘tabling up’ is a common custom, a word that just appeared out of the ground. Spontaneous generation, Peter says and everyone laughs except us. Peter explains the joke. As we speak, someone appears from the kitchen with a huge bowl of soup. Someone else walks in with a tray holding piles of cutlery and bowls. Within seconds, it seems, the table is laid with a generous, simple meal, steaming soup, fresh rolls and drinks if we want them. The lady with the baby emerges from the accumulator, holding her baby, who is on the breast. She is immediately offered a seat and people shunt things up for her, as her hands are full. I notice that women with babies are privileged here and get special treatment. I comment on this, and people nod in acknowledgement, but seem to want to avoid the subject. The woman with the baby introduces herself as Rosemary and says, you’re not meant to make a point of it, but it’s true. The boys appear, full of their earlier success with the new microscopes. What’s happening this afternoon, someone asks. Anything special?
There’s a brief silence and Jack and Timothy strike up, almost in unison. Well…there’s a new bion course starting at about 1400, senior tutor, er..me, supporting tutor, er..me, says Jack, his eyes twinkling impishly at me. I hadn’t taken them seriously, but here they are planning to teach me all about the bions. I join in the joke. Any fees? Er..no, not this week. We’ll be practising on you. Next week, though… A hundred pounds a session, says Jack. No, it’s a hundred and fifty over the age of twenty one, Peter chips in. Babies free, and free for over eighties, says Mary. Lots of the conversation seems to be like this, taking the piss out of the conventional world with its mania for prices and profits and price and age barriers. In fact, as we have already seen at the baby drop-in session, most things here are nominally free and people put what they want into a begging bowl or collecting box. I wonder how the finances are going and ask Peter. He in turn asks Mary, who seems to be involved in that side of the work.
Well…she says slowly, we have got the building outright, thanks to a generous benefactor and the profits from Peter’s book. What’s that, then. Oh, Artificers of Fraud, haven’t you read it? Er..no, not actually. Well, you better go off home and not come back until you have then… Jack says in his best school-teacher’s voice. Only joking he says, shlurping his soup noisily. The banter continues. Someone spoons out some soup for Rosemary and butters a roll for her. She manages it all easily with one hand. Someone else puts a glass of water in front of her and she takes a thirsty swig and sighs with relief. Peter asks the boys about the new microscopes. Any snags? They turn out to work very well, according to the boys. While they are talking about them Rosie appears. Oh, where have you been all this time? Jack asks. Looking down our new microscope. It’s great isn’t it? I think I’ll go for one of those, only it will take me longer to save up for than the SP 100. Yes, it’s nearly £500 more, Jack says. What’s the difference, I ask them, and a little lecture on the ins and outs of microscopes starts. I am amazed at how much these children know. Darkfield, phase contrast, Koehler illumination, achromatic objectives, plan achromats, and condensers, roll off their tongues. Other conversations are getting started up and down the table. Michael gets up, as if to leave. ‘Pudding anyone?’ he asks. There’s requests for fruit and cake and bananas, if there are any, and so on. He disappears into the kitchen and returns in a minute with a trayful of items. Any hot drinks, while I’m on my feet, anyone? Another list of items, strong tea, week tea, coffee no sugar, coffee no milk, one with milk, and so on. He seems able to remember them all. I can hear him filling a kettle and clanking mugs and jugs about. Everything seems to get done so easily here. Mary answers my query about money. We are beginning to have an income, but as yet nowhere near enough to pay for the expenses of running the centre, but we’re coping. The income is on the way up and we have only just begun. We get regular small donations from participants in events and variable fees for courses and we also get a few much larger donations, anything from £5, £50, £100, to the odd thousand pounds, so it’s all going fairly well so far.
That reminds me, says Peter. There are still a few things for you to see, you realise? No, we didn’t actually. There’s the library-cum-work room and the physics lab and the PIP studio. PIP, as in pip? Yes, only it’s written with capitals and stands for Polycontrast Interference Photography. What does that do? It shows up the human bio-energy field and you can connect it to any video system, cameras, microscopes, anything you like. It’s a great research tool for orgonomy. We have hardly got started with it, as it needs proper studio facilities and lighting and we are only just getting the room for it ready now. Yes, Please, I am sure we would like to see everything you are doing, wouldn’t we? My friend nods vigorously. We don’t get days like this very often.
There is further chat as people finish their puddings and drinks. Rosemary’s baby has fallen asleep. Peter smiles down at him, puts his hands out and Rosemary hands the baby to him. The baby’s eyes open a little as he notices the transfer, but he settles again immediately. Peter gazes down at him warmly and strokes his head gently. The babies here all seem so amenable. Does he know Peter, I ask. Does he know you, Rosemary asks, and I guess this is another private joke. Just a bit, yes, Peter smiles. I was there when he was born and I daresay he knew my voice before he was born. Rosemary starts to explain. 'I came to one of the birth groups in a complete state, absolutely terrified of birth. I was one of those women who wanted a Caesarean. I heard about the groups and thought I’d give it a go. I was a gibbering wreck when I started and was so nervous that I insisted that Peter come and attend my birth, which he agreed to do. We managed to wangle it with the hospital, probably because he used to work there and they knew him.' 'She’s doing herself down,' Peter chips in. 'She was terrified, but came to the group and did a lot of work and faced up to a lot of horrible things and fears and was magnificent in labour, I can tell you. Facing up to that experience and striding into it with your eyes open is real courage. She is one of our star students.' Rosemary can hardly wait to get in again. 'I am now a student,' she says. 'I’m helping Peter to run the group that meets this afternoon.' 'Oh, there’s another event this afternoon?' 'Yes, It starts at two, not long now.' As if to prove the point, a heavily pregnant woman walks in and sits down. Someone offers her a drink. 'Yes, please. I think this is it folks,' she says. 'I have been contracting gently since this morning, about 9 am. She rubs her stomach and smiles.' Rosemary goes over, sits down by her, and starts talking to her. I notice her hand resting on the woman's stomach as if to feel for a contraction.
'Let’s just pop up and show you the physics lab before we start,' says Peter. 'Yes, please!' Someone is already clearing the tables away, well, two or three someones. We climb the stairs, the baby still asleep in Peter's arms, and turn in the other direction. I can hear sounds of someone moving about and quietly talking to themselves. We go in and a woman of about 40 in a blue boiler-suit is assembling something on a bench, which stetches along the long side-wall of the room. 'Oh, hello, Millie,' Peter says. 'I didn’t know you were here.' ‘Yes, I’ve only just arrived. I thought I’d come and have a go at setting up the control demonstration with the tubes, now we’ve got the lab more or less sorted.’ There are several accumulators on the bench and on window sills and another large one in a corner. ‘Have you got the vacor tube out yet then?’ ‘No, as conditions are so good, I’m leaving it until the last minute.’ ‘Look, I’m showing these two visitors, Alex and Sandra, round and I’ve got the birth group starting in a minute or two. Would you mind taking over? We have seen everything downstairs and outside and the biology lab, but not this room or the PIP room. They seem quite interested in PIP, yes?’ ‘Yes, indeed, we are,’ says Sandra. We would love to see it in action.’ ‘OK,’ Millie responds. ‘I’ll get this set up and explain it to you as I go along. This is really interesting, if it works.’ ‘OK. I’ll say goodbye and see you later,’ Peter says and disappears downstairs. It seems unbelievable to have such disparate things going on in the same building and all connected.
We remain in the physics lab and Millie explains what a vacor tube is, apparently a high-vacuum tube charged with orgone energy. What’s that? We have heard about it on the radio, but don’t really get it. 'Let me finish setting this up,' Millie says, 'and then maybe I can help you feel your own orgone energy moving. That’s the best way of explaining it. It’s far simpler and quicker and clearer than any amount of reading, though you can read about it, if you want. We’ve got a booklet on the topic. We have booklets on almost every question you might want to ask. Peter wrote dozens of them when he was slogging away alone and it was the only active thing he could do.’ ‘So he’s behind all this project?’ ‘Well, he was, but now we have all joined in and we are taking it on and he is doing much less than he was, though he’s here every day, encouraging and teaching. Yes, you can say, it’s his baby.’ She has two little wooden cradles, one already holding a vacuum tube. This one’s the control tube, she says. It’s not been in an orac at all, ever, in its life, whereas this one lives inside one all the time, except when it’s being used in an experiment. According to theory and in fact, if you pass an electric current though both tubes at the same time, the orgone-charged one glows nicely and the uncharged one won’t. We have done it dozens of times before, it’s nothing new, but this will be the first time we have had it set up here available for the public to see it easily. We are only just getting the building organised and sorted out. We have put blinds up so that we can make a dark-room, if we want. They were installed last week. And outside in that shed out there we have also got an orgone-room. That’s also part of what we jokingly call the physics faculty.' She goes over to the window and points out what looks exactly like a large garden shed. I hadn’t noticed that when I was outside. She explains. 'It’s just like a large orgone accumulator, with the walls lined with metal and insulating material. You go and sit in it until your eyes have quietened down and then you can see, on a good day, the atmospheric orgone energy whirling about and the tube glows brighter in there, as it is totally dark, really, really dark, whereas up here it’s just darkish, as you will see in a minute.' ‘Do you get lots of people wanting to look at these demonstrations?’ I ask, wondering. ‘Oh, yes. The way things are going we may have to ration time, unless of course it’s all because we have just opened. We had the local radio last week, which has brought you here. National TV were here the week we opened. We get a trickle of private people like yourselves, which seems to be building up, so far, to maybe 7-8 a week. And we have had a couple of reporters from different papers and magazines coming round. The articles haven’t appeared yet, so we have no idea what they are going to say. In the past the press have always been very abusive and dismissive of Reich’s work, but it’s much harder to dismiss us now with a place like this actually contributing to local well-being, helping women give birth well and babies to thrive. We notice a ripple effect already, that people are changing their tune. And there must be a good few dozen children who have already been through courses or who are still attending courses, taking orgonomic knowledge out into the community, telling their teachers about it and so on. I can see that soon we will be getting visits from sceptical science-teachers. We have a weekly orgonomic club for kids after school. They just drop in and do what they want, always something serious. Some of them have continuing research projects, projects that wouldn’t disgrace a university science department.'
'Like what?' I enquire. Well, there ‘s one girl, Jessica, doing physics for A level, and she has cottoned on to the idea that there has been very little co-ordinated work done on the many physics experiments and demonstrations that Reich did in his working life, especially not in this country, so she is working through the literature, summarising them all, one by one, and repeating them as she goes along. She has just started and is working on the T°- T accumulator findings and the electroscope experiments. See all those electroscopes over there?’ she asks, pointing to a corner of the bench, 'they are part of her project. We’re providing the equipment and she is doing the work. It’s a massive project, but could really put us on the map, if she finishes it and gets something published about it.’ ‘Hell, that sounds like a PhD!’ yes, it’s as good as a PhD and she’s only 17.’ ‘How on earth did she get involved in such a project?’ ‘It’s a lovely, romantic story, actually. Her dad was killed in a freak walking accident out in the Lakes and she was very close to him and utterly devastated by his death, as you can imagine. She slid downhill into proper depression, from all accounts. Her mum too was, needless to say, completely floored by it. But, life will out, and she met another chap and had a new baby with him, much, much younger than Jessica. I think he’s only about one now. And her mum came to one of our birth groups. She was one of the first to enrol ever, actually, before we had the building. She listened to a talk about our activities and she must have gone home and told Jessica about us, because after the centre had been opened she came and had a good look round, and asked if we did anything in physics, at which Peter laughed out loud and said, ''well, we would if we had a physicist, are you a physicist?'' And she said, ''yes, I am. Could I do some physics here?’' ‘Yes, of course, when would you like to start?’ ‘How about now?’ And there and then Peter sat down with her and filled her in on the basics of orgonomic physics and how much work there was to do in the field and she was hooked. She started straight away, the same evening, doing electroscope experiments with little accumulators and went home at midnight! In the holidays she sometimes does a hundred hour week here, like some workaholic genius, here from morning till late at night. She doesn’t just do physics, she’s got completely involved, does the baking, building work, all sorts, it’s become a second home for her. Her work is very good though, I can tell you. I’m her unofficial mentor here and I can’t fault her. She is really good. She pays great attention to detail, realises that orgonomic research, if it is to get anywhere, must be completely watertight and solid, no short-cuts, no fudging. She could be the country’s first orgonomic professor!’ 'So you’re a physicist yourself?' 'Yes, you could say that. I did a degree in it years ago. Jessica came in before me, so I haven’t been here long. She was chuffed to bits to hear that there was another physicist in the wings.'
I am speechless with amazement at the incredible expertise and energy at work in this place. My friend has disappeared, probably caught up in something else that was equally interesting. Millie brings me back to earth. 'Do you want to see the tubes switched on? Yes, please. She goes over to the windows and pulls the blinds down. It seems very dark, but as my eyes adapt, I realise it’s not pitch-dark. Millie says it’s dark enough. 'OK? Ready? Please stay where you are. We are using high voltages on this demonstration.' She walks over to the bench, switches something on. I can see a tiny red light showing and can hear her turning a switch. 'Watch the orac tube,' she says. The current makes a funny hissing, sparky noise and suddenly I can see it. ‘There it goes, can you see it?’ A shimmering, blue light spreads along the tube. Still nothing on the control tube and it’s getting the same voltage. She raises it still further and the blue shimmer gets brighter still. She slowly turns it down and the blue light fades to nothing. ‘You can get the same effect intermittently just by rubbing a charged tube with your hands if you are charged enough yourself.’ ‘What do you mean, charged enough?’ ‘Well, some very armoured people are so dead that their energy level isn’t enough to make it luminate. It’s lumination that your seeing there. It’s a basic orgonotic law and function that bio-energy systems excite each other. Hence mutual sexual excitation. In good circumstances without too much armouring in the partners, you get lumination then, too. We have filmed it using PIP. All this used to be metaphor and imagery and supposition, but with PIP you can actually see it and record it.’ ‘So how did you get involved, if you arrived after Jessica?’ ‘It’s a funny story, really. It happened through Jessica. I’d been teaching physics for years, liking it less and less, feeling that I didn’t really believe what I was telling the students and getting quite depressed myself. So I dropped out of teaching and got a very ordinary job with that project for children with emotional difficulties. She’d been referred there by her GP after her dad died and she had got very down indeed, clinically depressed. And we got chatting and found out that we were both interested in physics and then one week, she suddenly arrived and I could tell straight away that something enormous had happened in her life. She was a different girl. She told me all about the centre, this place where you could do physics, as you wanted to! We had often talked about the sort of physics we would really like to do and we realised that we still really loved the subject, we just didn’t like the way it was done at school. She told me about the open evenings here and said that she was in charge of the physics lab and showed people round it and demonstrated things to them. So I turned up one evening and I’m still here. I still do the care-work, but I'm trying to come and work here permanently, full time. Now I just come when I can, usually several times a week.'
'So when are these open days?' 'I think it’s the first Friday in every month from 6-10 and we have occasional open days on a weekend, and there is a social open evening, that’s the last Friday of every month. That’s just informal. Turn up, bring something to eat or drink, or both, and people meet and chat and occasionally when someone asks for it, there is a little talk or demonstration, but it’s all just what people ask for or not. Nothing’s planned. It’s all taking shape quite naturally. We have only been going for a few months and people have ideas for new events and the public ring up and suggest things, so we are just feeling our way really, seeing what happens. The social open-house emerged as a tradition after our first celebration party to mark our opening to the public. We had this party one Friday evening and invited everyone who had been involved with the work to get the centre up and working and someone said as they were leaving, ''I’ve enjoyed tonight. Let’s do it again,'' and someone else said, ''yes, let’s! How about next month?'' and that was it, we’ve gone on, having one every month and everyone seems to want to keep it going.'
Millie shows me the PIP room, as she calls it, and a quick clip of me and my energy field through a camera set up on a tripod, which she switches on. The monitor shows me with waving lines of various colours all round my body. She stands in the viewfinder to show me what someone else looks like. I don’t know what to say, it is so unusual and strange. Fancy all this going on under our noses and only a handful of people know about it. I stroll downstairs to find my friend, Sandra, who has got interested in something, I guess. She’s nowhere to be seen and then I look outside from the café room and see her emerging from the orgone room with Michael. ‘You simply must go and have a look in there, John. It’s unbelievable, I just don’t know what to say.’ ‘That’s exactly how I felt after Millie had shown me my energy field and then hers in the camera. I’m still reeling. No wonder people have trouble accepting orgonomy. It is just so out on the horizon is the only thing I can say to describe it, and yet it’s all so ordinary and normal. We have seen it and experienced it ourselves, haven’t we. There’s no denying it, is there? No, there isn’t, definitely isn’t. Hell! What am I going to do with all this information?
Millie takes us out out of the physics lab, across the landing, and into a small, cosy-looking room that is the library and quiet work-room. It is a miniature version of any public reference library. The walls are lined with book-shelves and there are a couple of computer stations in the corners. There are photos of various people and places hanging above the shelves, presumably well-known figures and places in the history of orgonomy, though as I am new to the subject I do not recognise any of them. A young man is sitting at one of the computers surrounded by a pile of books and papers. He is busily thumbing through some volume, as if intent on finding something hidden in there. There is a large table in the middle of the room and another pile of books and papers there, tidily laid out, as if someone in the middle of a job has left the room and is about to return.
Millie puts a finger to her lips, as if to command silence and ushers me out again. Once out on the landing, she explains that there is a sacred tradition that that room is always really quiet, as the centre is so busy and active everyehere else. People soon found, she says, that it was noisy and difficult to concentrate on important work, so the solution was found - keep this one room, the obvious one, the library, absolutely quiet - on pain of death, she says, smiling. I can't imagine any executions occurring here, but know what she means.
Right. Is that it, she asks. Have you seen everything now? The garden? Oh, yes! Very important. I'll just go and check the lab, she says, disappears, returns quickly, and off we go down the stairs and out into the garden via the cafe and exhibition room. This is empty now, though we can tell from noises off that there is lots going on in the building.
Millie returns shortly and we walk round to the cafe room. She pops into another room on the way and emerges wearing a pair of wellies. We enter the garden through the large French windows in the cafe and she leads the way. She shows us the dark-room first. This looks exactly like any ordinary garden shed, but, according to Millie, it is built in the same way as the sit-in accumulator that we have tried in the cafe. She unlocks it and shows us the inside. There are a few simple chairs and we can see the walls are lined with shining metal sheets. She explains that to do anything in there we have to sit for about 30 minutes to make sure that all automatic activity in the optic nerves has died down. She explains that even in total darkness, you still see a few flashes and streaks because of involuntary bio-electrical stimulation of the nerve. Apparently there is one simple demonstration that she can repeat for us and offers to do that when she has shown us round the garden. We move towards the tidy corner that we had noticed before. There are rows of small plants, seedlings of various sorts in the soil and lots of cards carefully wrapped up in polythene to keep them dry, attached to little sticks like flags. There are two much larger rows with what look like small fruit bushes or trees. These are marked individually with colour round the trunks or stems and numbers on them. There are also cards fluttering in the breeze. She explains that this is an important experimental project. They are testing the effects of the orgone accumulator on larger, slower-growing plants such as apple trees, tomatoes and potatoes. She says that the seed-germination experiment, as she calls it, has been repeated by many people all over the world, confirming the positive effect of the accumulator on seed-germination, but that no-one, as far as she knows, has tried it on larger plants that take much longer to germinate and grow. So they have let these larger plants germinate inside an accumulator with control groups outside it and are now planting them out and waiting to see if the better conditions in their 'youth' have any lasting effect on their vitality, rate of growth, resistance to adverse conditions, and their crop yield. What a project! How exciting. And if it works, shows positive effects? What next? Suddenly Millie looks sad and frustrated. Probably nothing! In spite of our local popularity, mainly generated by the parents of the babies who attend, the wider scientific world is still hostile, still refuses to take any notice of our work, she says.
And what about the organic gardening community, people like the Soil Association? No, they ignore our work, too, she says. We've got university students doing PhDs on orgonomic topics, but still no 'official' interest. Crazy isn't it? But that's the scientific world for you, very closed, very rigid, and very dogmatic. A note of weary desperation enters her voice. Her voice and face brighten as she points out the foundations of a greenhouse that are taking shape beyond the planted rows that we have been looking at. We stroll out into the overgrown part of the garden that has not been turned to use yet. She explains that they hope to retain lots of the cover and wild flowers growing there. Out of sight towards the far end is a pond she explains. They hope to enlarge it and open up a sitting and play area round it for public use. Another project is an outdoor class-room, built of rough wood with a roof, but no walls, for outdoor sessions in the summer.
What a place this is going to be when all these ideas are realised. Is the money for them already available? Millie smiles, almost laughs. No, not yet, but we just get the wheels turning and the money or the people needed to do the jobs seem to appear somehow. Mind you, she says, smiling, as you have had such a wonderful day here today, seeing everything, you could always dig into your pockets and give us a donation, if you think our efforts deserve one. We are quite shameless about nudging people into donating. We know it will all go on the work here. No-one earns a penny from any activity here, she explains. Everything is done for the love of it. And you can also come and do a few hours work for us, if you have got some free time to spare. She explains that volunteers need no orgonomic expertise. There are lots of simple jobs to do, such as waiting in the cafe, cleaning, decorating, gardening, helping with making the accumulators, and so on. And if we get interested in things demanding some expertise, she says, the centre will train us as we go along.
As we chat we are walking back towards the dark-room shed. Do we still want to try it? Yes, please. She ushers us in, leaving the door ajar while she removes a glass tube, like the ones we have seen upstairs indoors, and closes the door. We sit down and complete darkness embraces us. She says, watch my hands or where you think they will be roughly. I am rubbing the tube. See? It's flashing already! And we see the outline of the glass in the dark as something inside it flashes with a greyish light. Wow! this is exciting, isn't it? Too exciting for some people, Millie says, laughing. That's about it, until you have got more time. And anyway, I haven't got time at the moment, but if you want to try out some serious things in the dark- room, just arrange it in advance so we can have someone free to do it all with you. It will probably be me, anyway. It's part of orgone physics, so it's my baby at the moment.
To be continued.
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First posted, January 24th, 2012, last added to/revised October April 24th, 2018 .