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Comments on Artificers
Artificers of Fraud has been out for nine months now and one or two people have asked how it is getting on, that is, how many copies have been sold, and how is it being received in a world almost entirely hostile to orgonomy? So here's a page that you can follow, if the topic interests you. I shall post all comments, positive and negative, so this won't be a SPAM page. If some reader says the book is crap and a pack of lies, I shall post the comment, just as I will post favourable comments. I will also post my reactions to comments. I am well aware of many shortcomings in the book and may possibly agree with some criticisms. I have no illusions that the book is perfect. As it crept towards printing and publication I had a strong temptation to stop and re-write the whole thing from start to finish. The trouble with a subject like orgonomy is that one is all the time finding out new facts that should go into the book, but at some point, as an author, you just have to say, enough is enough. let's publish it now as it stands. There is never a point at which you feel the writing is complete. Even if you begin to feel that for a few days, you can read something in a newspaper or hear something on the radio and you are off again, following a further link that allows you to give a much better picture of what you have been trying to present.
Almost everyone to whom I sent a free copy, friends of orgonomy, personal friends, and a small number of people who have contributed to the book in one way or another, has commented very positively on the appearance of the book and its production and finish. (Thanks once again to Dan Clement, who designed the cover for C O R E.) Before the printing I had been rather anxious about its eventual appearance, concerned that it would scream 'self-published' from its cover the minute you looked at it and was really happily surprised by the good job that C O R E's printers, T Snape Ltd of Preston, had done with it. They had even managed to improve the appearance of my rather sub-standard illustrations. (The pictures have been a nightmare right through the preparation of the book.) I was almost becoming fed-up with kind comments about the book's appearance. I wanted to know what readers thought of the contents.
I quote all these comments verbatim except for one or two minor alterations to the foreign English of friends from abroad. I make these alterations only when the meaning is not quite clear. Otherwise, I leave their English as it is, hoping that native speakers will excuse their minor inaccuracies. Remember these supporters of orgonomy have a whole extra layer of work, having to read almost everything on orgonomy in a foreign language and having to talk and write about it in a foreign language. I am very grateful to them for their interest in and support of my work. If only there were half a dozen Brits with the level of committment and interest that some of my young foreign colleagues show!
This will definitely not be a mutual admiration page. I will print the negative comments as well as the positive ones. Obviously the first comments are those of friends of orgonomy. Once the book gets read by newcomers to the field it will doubtless attract criticism and if any mainstream scientists get to see it, it will be shredded totally. They will feel threatened by it and will, doubtless, react very negatively. I will still quote them. As far as I know so far no copies have been sold to customers in bookshops and so, so far, all comments have come from people already familiar with orgonomy. This is a great difficulty that we are having with the book. So far we have not been able to persuade any bookshop to stock it on their shelves, even though a few have listed it, without ordering any copies, on their on-line catalogues.
The paragraph above is now out of date. A firm that buys books for libraries has recently ordered and been sent 14 copies of Artificers. I do not know who has requested these copies from them, but it is good news and means that sooner or later library-readers somewhere (in the UK?) will be reading the book. Let's hope some of them, at least, contact C O R E and tell me what they think of it. (27. 7. 13.) (Library orders now total 16 at 13. 9. 13. No contact with any readers.)
Thanks to anyone whose comments I have cited here. You are all helping to further the debate about orgonomy and Reich's place in the history of science, not to mention that of Rober Brown's, of course. Negative comments, as long as they are rational and not abusive and dismissive, are also part of this debate and I welcome them.
Recently, Jones did a wonderful analysis in his book Artificers of Fraud of the historical period in which both Brown and reich operated and above all about their works: this is a book that is useful when trying to understand how the experiments and observations were made at the microscope by the two scientists with all the technicalities involved. Jones duplicated the experiments performed by them and obtained the same original results. He found a strict similarity between active molecules and bions and concluded that the very small particles Brown and Reich observed were the same. (Extract, page 192, of Roberto Maglione's recent publication, The Motions of life - Was Einstein really modelling brownian movement?)
... skipped to some of the pages dealing with your own experiments. ... brilliantly inspirational. (PH)
It certainly makes for compelling reading, with a refreshing absence of academicese. I find it really easy to understand. (JJ)
I like the look and layout and look forward to reading it. (MS, orgonomic microscopist.)
I like the paper and the whole design and printing. It is a really professional work! (Christos Pechlivanis, C O R E's inveterate friend and supporter in Cyprus.)
Congratulations to you for publishing about this important basic research of Robert Brown and Wilhelm Reich and your own research in this field. It is amazing and shocking how mainstream science and medicine consistently exclude basic research about living functions from the dominant paradigm. (Professor Bernd Senf, Berlin, author of Die Wiederkehr des Lebendigen, The Return of the Living, and long-time campaigner on behalf of orgonomy in Germany.)
A masterpiece. (OG, orgonomic microscopist.)
I really admire the work you have crafted here - most of all how it speaks to young science students (and young at heart ones with a conscience, no matter their age) and can get them excited and empowered to pick up this work and get involved. (Dr James Strick, historian of science, author of Sparks of Life, the story of H C Bastian and his part in the debate on spontaneous generation in late Victorian England, and of a forthcoming book on Reich's bion research, to be published by Harvard University Press.)
I think it is quite wonderful. I like your "voice," the way you write like you speak ... that you speak directly to the reader. I think it is clear and you make your key points well. (Dr Philip Bennett, retired professor of the philosophy of education, orgonomic scholar and researcher, author of many articles on Wilhelm Reich and of a forthcoming book on work democracy.)
I almost am at the end of your book. Certainly, even if I were not a friend of yours or your student I would have the same opinion: fantastic. I fully agree with Oliver about his statement (“a masterpiece”). The book shows a very harmonic rhythm, like a classical well written novel, and simultaneously goes deep into the history of science and orgonomic matters. Really enjoyable reading. (Yuri Coutinho Vilarinho, psycho-therapist in Brazil, psychology graduate, master's degree in history of medicine, now following a degree course in nano-technology with a view to applying this field to orgonomic research, grammar and spelling slightly corrected by me.)
A five-star review on amazon. de
Peter Jones shows in his book Artificers of Fraud how during the course of biological research over the last two hundred years again and again clear evidence for a physical life energy has been ignored. Jones’s fresh and uncomplicated style is also easy to understand for readers unused to reading English texts. Robert Brown’s original interpretation of his experiments with pollen infusions and the reasons for his later rejection of his original conclusions are laid out in detail. Wilhelm Reich’s research on the bions, which takes up and further develops Brown’s ‘active molecules’ and his original interpretation of them as transitional forms from the inorganic to the organic is discussed. The book also contains precise instructions which enable the interested reader to replicate these experiments independently themselves and to form their own opinion about them. Jones’s Artificers of Fraud puts forward an experimentally verifiable concept of life energy which has nothing to do with the metaphysical, the mystical, or the esoteric, but which has got both feet firmly on the ground. An unusual book for all those who prefers to think for themselves! (Oliver Gerlach, Germany, translated by me, PJ.)
Just got Artificers today in the post and am 2/3rds through it. Really impressive! Never knew about Brown before - other than BM. (Larry Gambone)
I have finished the book and learned a lot. It really is first rate. Also inspired me to do more work. (Larry Gambone, Canada, who does his bion experiments on a microscope that he fished out of a waste bin at the hospital where he used to work. This is truly heroic and if there were a medal for services to orgonomic microscopy, he would surely deserve it!)
To counter the item below I must record one reaction to Artificers, which is in effect a review of sorts. After reading the complimentary copy that I sent him, Dr Gerrald Pollack, professor of bio-engineering at Washington University, invited me to speak on the theme of the book at the annual conference on The Biology, Chemistry and Physics of Water that he runs every year. If you think we are back-scratching cronies, I have never met Dr Pollack. I sent him the copy because he has been open minded enough to publish an article by Dr James DeMeo on water and orgone energy. I have placed this paragraph above the one below as the invitation came before the FT review. If you want to find out more about Dr Pollack, there is plenty by and about him on YouTube.
In a dismissive and abusive review in next month's (October's) Fortean Times the writer tells the public that I am describing the white blood cells in my eyes as bions! When the magazine comes out, I'll post a link to the review on their website, so people can read it themselves. How come one can film them or make them look bigger by changing the magnification on the microscope? Ah! The joys of orgonomy in the UK! (The review has still not been posted on their website.)
I have just finished reading your book on Robert Brown and I found it very interesting, and important not only to understand Reich's work on the bions but also the history of science in general. (Roberto Maglione, Italian orgonomist, author of several books on orgonomy and a frequent speaker at orgonomic conferences.)
Thanks, Roberto, for mentioning these wider issues. They are just a little bit important, aren't they? But the Fortean Times review failed to mention any of them at all!
Thanks to everyone whose comments are posted above, with their premission.
Posted April 2013. Last revised October 11th, 2014.
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