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The History of Orgonomy

This is a huge website with a vast amount of information on it. I may be wrong, as C O R E gets no feedback at all from site-visitors, but it occurs to me that newcomers to orgonomy find it overwhelming and confusing and wonder what on earth it is all about, in spite of our Quick Page and introduction to orgonomy on the What is Orgonomy? page. So I am setting out here a brief history of orgonomy with major events and their dates. It is much easier to grasp orgonomy, if you see Reich's discoveries in sequence, as each one develops logically from the one before. So here goes... Please, especially if you are new to orgonomy, give us some feed-back. Let me know if this information helps and if there is anything else that should be added or anything that you think is superfluous. It will be impossible to add every important event in orgonomy since Reich's death, but I will add events that I know about and will be happy to add anything that visitors tell me about. It will be a while before I can add these later items, as they need more research. I do not know about them from memory, except for a few of them.

1897 Wilhelm Reich born in Jujiinetz, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now part of Ukraine.

1914-1918 WR in army in World War I.

1918 WR Returns from war, settles in Vienna, never sees homeland again, loses all family property. (His family had been moderately wealthy, his father a farmer.)

1919-1923 WR studies medicine at Vienna University. As ex-soldier allowed to complete course in 4 instead of 6 years.

1921 WR makes first contact with Freud and psycho-analysis.

1923 WR starts work as a psycho-analyst, marries Annie Pink, medical and psycho-analytic colleague.

1924 Birth of daughter, Eva.

1927 Formation of Vienna psycho-analytical technical seminar, whose aim is to work out a more scientific understanding of psycho-analytic techniques and reasons for therapeutic success or failure. Publication of Die Funktion des Orgasmus. 

1928 Birth of second daughter, Lore.

1930 Separates from Annie Pink and moves to Berlin. Publication of first edition of Character Analysis describing Reich's method of resistance analysis.

1933 Nazis come to power, WR on execution list, escapes to Denmark. Publication of The Mass Psychology of Fascism. Starts relationship with Elsa Lindenberg, German dancer

1934 After brief stays in Denmark and Sweden WR moves to Norway and settles there, practising, teaching, and developing 'vegeto-therapy', later to be called orgone therapy. Discovery of muscular armouring and unity of psycho-somatic functioning as expressed in the autonomic nervous system.

1935-1936 WR's bio-electrical research, as reported on in BEISA.

1936 Start of bion research.

1938 Bio-energetically orientated cancer research starts. Publication of The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety. 

1939 Publication of Die Bione (The Bion Experiments on the Origin of Life) and discovery of the orgone.

1939 August WR Leaves Norway for the USA. Does not see Elsa Lindenberg, his partner during his years in Norway, again.

1939 September WR arrives in New York and quickly re-establishes himself and re-starts orgone research as well as teaching and practising orgone therapy. Meets Ilse Ollendorf who becomes his wife.

1942 Publication of the Function of the Orgasm, volume I of The Discovery of the Orgone, Reich's first fully orgonomic text and his first book to be published in English, translated by Theorore P Wolfe. (This is not a translation of the book published in 1927 with the same title in German.) Reich purchases a derelict farm in Maine, north-west USA, as a future home for orgonomy and orgonomic research.

1943 Construction of students' laboratory at Orgonon, (still in use to this day).

1945 Publication of the second edition of Character Analysis. Birth of Peter Reich.

1948 Publication of The Cancer Biopathy. First international orgonomic conference at Orgonon in Maine.

1948-1949 Construction of orgonomic observatory at Orgonon.

1949 Publication of third edition of Character Analysis, incorporating Reich's most recent discoveries concerning bio-energetic functions in the human organism and muscular armouring.

1949 Publication of Ether, God and Devil.

1951 Publication of Cosmic Superimposition.

1953 Publication of The Murder of Christ and People in Trouble.

1954-1955 Reich active in cloud-busting operation in Arizona.

1956 November Reich sentenced to two years in prison for contempt of court.

1957 WR dies in prison.

1967 Establishment of the American College of Orgonomy. Elsworth Baker, president of the college. Start of Journal of Orgonomy.

1969 Publication of Man in the Trap by Elsworth Baker

1970 Publication of Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy by Ola Raknes, the only surviving orgonomist in Europe at the time.

1973 The Cancer Biopathy republished in the USA.

1974 Publication of Wilhelm Reich versus the USA, exposing the details of Reich's persecution by the FDA.

197? Break-away from the ACO of a group that sets up their own organisation, The Insitute for Orgonomic Science. They publish a journal Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science.

1974 The Cancer Biopathy, Part II of The Discovery of the Orgone, published for first time in the UK by Vision Press. The book is 'remaindered' in the bookshops, ie, sold off at a third of the original selling price for lack of demand.

1989 Publication of The Orgone Accumulator Handbook by James Demeo, director of OBRL, Oregon.

1990? onwards Establishment of orgonomic groups in various countries - France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Austria, Italy, Spain, Brazil, and probably others that I have not heard about.

1995 Foundation of C O R E in the UK.

1998 Publication of Saharasia by James DeMeo, on the origin of muscular armouring and the onset of authoritarian, anti-life, patristic social structures in the deserts of the Middle East and northern Africa.

1999 Publication of second edition of The Orgone Accumulator Handbook.

2005 First New Research in Orgonomy Seminar at OBRL, Oregon. Publication of Heilen mit Orgonenergie  (Healing with Orgone Energy) by Dr Jourgos Kavouras.

2006 Revised edition containing additional evidence, of Saharasia.

2007 Conferences and gatherings to commemmorate the fiftieth anniversary of Reich's death, including a conference at Chipping, Lancashire, UK, incorporating the second New Research in Orgonomy seminar presented by OBRL. (These seminars now run every two years.) Large commemorative conference held in Maine, organised by WRIT. 

2009 New Research in Orgonomy at OBRL

2010 C O R E's first orgonomy school held at Easter, with 10 participants.

2010 Guenter Hebenstreit's PhD research, Vienna University, replicates and confirms Reich's bio-electrical experiments.

2010 Publication of the third edition of Dr James DeMeo's Orgone Accumulator Handbook.

2011 OBRL's bi-annual New Research in Orgonomy seminar at Karavomilos, Greece

2013 Publication by C O R E of Artificers of Fraud, ?first-ever orgonomic publication in the UK.  Important conference in Rome in October, organised by the Italian Association of Orgonomy

2013 Publication of In Defense of Wilhelm Reich: Opposing the 80-Years' War of Mainstream Defamatory Slander Against one Of the  20th Century's Most Brilliant Physicians and Natural Scientists by James DeMeo.

2014 First Balto-Nordic Orgonomic conference in Helsinki, Finland.

2014 Publication of The Motions of Life - Was Einstein modelling brownian movement? by Roberto Maglione. A further important contribution to the debate about Brown's original discovery in 1828 and Reich's bion research and the mathematical investigations and interpretations of Einstein and Perrin.

2014 November: Kickstarter appeal to finance a documentary to be made by Kevin Hinchey, co-director of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. Target $168,500, amount pledged, more than $187,000 from over 700 donors. This will be a full-length, fully-researched film making use of Reich's own archives and interviews with many individuals involved in orgonomy.

2015 Publication of Wilhelm Reich, Biologist, by Dr James Strick, by Harvard University Press, as far as I know the first volume ever devoted purely to Reich's scientific work since his death.

2018 Premiere in New York of Kevin Hinchey's documentary film about the life of Wilhelm Reich, Love,  Work and Knowledge.

Sources: Sharaf M, Fury on Earth and Reich's own works

Greenfield J: Wilhelm Reich versus the USA

Ollendorf I: Wilhelm Reich: a Personal Biography

Posted December, 2012, last revised August 15th, 2018.

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