Talk:Wilhelm Reich/Archive 1

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Quote "(an "energy field", similar to qi or other New Age energy concepts)"

Is Qi a 'new age' concept, I'm not an expert but isn't this to do with tai Chi which actually dates back hundreds if not thousands of year? Can soembody who knows about these things please clarify and if necessary amend accordingly, ta quercus robur 10:36 Mar 19, 2003 (UTC)

Qi is refered to within certain New Age disciplines, the above wording was not intended to outline the history of the Qi concept, and the new wording is just as nice anyway... -- Jörgen Nixdorf
Qi is not a "New Age" concept, though it may be coopted by that movement. Qi finds its origins in Daoism, which has utilized it as an axiomatic principle of theology and cosmology for about 2500 years (via the fangshi). Chinese medicine likewise engages qi as the primary component adjusted by therapies (such as acupuncture and moxabustion, which have measurable, reproducible benefits which are unexplainable solely through placebo). I would be interested to know of Reich's level of familiarity and engagement with Chinese thought. However as described here, orgone seems to bear little resemblance to qi beyond the most broad and superficial.

The orgone stuff is now merged into this article. More is needed about Reich's early career before he diverged from the mainstream. -- Anon.


The Wilhelm Reich page is badly biased.

It seems that the really important part of his work - published early, left to the enlightened Humanity and not controlled by the extremely conservative board in charge of the rest of his work, and even some early work that was re-written later on - simply isn't here and that is as close to tragedy as one can get in cases such as this one...

Mass Psychology of Fascism, his early work on Orgasm and so on, with the original terminology unchanged - that is the crucial contribution to Humanity, opening up the social psychology field...

Pros, get on it, please... ;) :)

I get really disgusted when I read scientists talk about Wilhelm Reich. I do not make my living by science, although I am familiar with the scientific method. And I do not have an opinion on orgone energy and all of that stuff one way or the other, I've read a little bit about it, but have not done the experiments, seen if it is reproducible, read the case against it and so forth. Being as I have not looked into it in great depth, I concede that it is possible that Reich made errors in his scientific work. Which is not devastating - Einstein punched major holes in Isaac Newton's work, and he is still viewed with respect - going down blind alleys is not where the glory is, but it does help science as people can say "we examined this and see little worth to it, so examine the other areas first". To reiterate, I know a lot about Reich's political side and little about his scientific side and how his scientific theories panned out when looked at by the wider scientific establishment, and I have no opinion one way or the other about these scientific theories since I know little about them.

Conceding that it is possible Reich made scientific errors - so what? What should the punishment be? This man was hunted by the Gestapo after writing a book castigating them. Then he came to the United States and he was jailed by the US government and died in jail, and his work was, can you believe it, burned by the US government! Do these scientists think Newton should have been jailed for not mentioning relativity in his laws of motion? I find it disgusting how scientists look down their noses and mock this person who was hunted by the Gestapo, thrown in prison by the US government and died in jail, and his work burned by the US government. And this a man who was an assistant to Freud. What are these people advocating, anyone who is suspected of making a scientific error should be arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the death camps?

I am really disgusted by this mocking tone adopted towards Reich. This man fought the Nazis, and was hunted by the Nazis, and he deserves respect. I can barely believe what happened to him when he came to the US, it's one of American history's more embarassing episodes. Saying that the scientific community has come to conclusions which are not in his scientific work and so forth is fine. But adopting the tone of the Gestapo which hunted him is really sick. -- Lancemurdoch 08:55, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I would also like to add that in terms of religious belief, the US has no equal in industrialized countries. A very large percentage of the US population believe the Bible is literally true; that the Book of Revelations is true and predicts the future; that Jesus was born from a coupling of a virgin and a deity, had magical powers, and came back from the dead and ascended bodily into heaven; that people don't die but live forever and will eventually be resurrected and so on and so forth. "In God We Trust" was put on US currency and the words "under God" were put in the Pledge of Allegiance in the US in the 1950's, and when a court had a quarrel with that, the US Congress censured them by a vote which was over 95% pro-censure. School boards in Kansas and elsewhere fight constant battles against fundamentalist Christians who are trying to eradicate mention of evolution from biology classes. And on and on. In this atmosphere, I find it a little strange how Reich, a student and assistant of Freud, who wrote books castigating the Gestapo, was hunted by the Gestapo and came to the US - and who almost unbelievably was jailed for his scientific studies by the US government and his work burned, how he can be mocked and ridiculed for perceived failings in his science, which some have even called "pseudoscience". I am more aware of his political views than his scientific views, I know little about them and concede there may (or may not) be errors in them. But this is a man who was persecuted by the Gestapo and others in his life and is now being persecuted in his death. Disagree with his science if you want, but do not mock him, do not ridicule him, do not act as the Gestapo, the actual Nazi Gestapo actually DID act towards him. He deserves to be treated with respect, even if, like Isaac Newton, he made errors in his scientific analysis. -- Lancemurdoch 09:21, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)

The reason that Reich is criticized is not that he "made some scientific mistakes", it is that his "orgone" theory is utter and complete nonsense. He discovered a new form of primordial energy that is blue, is responsible for weather, is involved in most disease, and can be concentrated in boxes and used to beneficial effect on humans? Please. The analogy to Newton is absurd. Newton advanced physics immensely. Of course he didn't solve all of physics (I don't know that I'd say he made any mistakes; I don't think of failing to discover relativity and quantum mechanics in the seventeenth century to be mistakes). Reich advanced nothing. Saying so does not make me a Nazi.

No, but it does make you an idiot. You say his theory is utter and complete nonsense. Where is your proof of this? Just because you don't like the idea of something, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is nonsense. And you say that Reich advanced nothing, well, maybe if the word wasn't filled with closed minded blinkered fuckwits like you, he may have done.

The repeated juxtaposition of his persecution by the Gestapo and his being jailed in the U.S. is completely unfair. The Gestapo treatment was typical fascist repression. His trouble in the U.S. was completely different. The U.S. has rules against selling medical devices that have not been approved (approval requires proof of safety and effectiveness). These rules prevent me from coming up with some crazy contraption in my basement and marketing it as a cancer cure, and are intended, among other things, to combat medical fraud. A court determined that Reich was breaking these rules and told him to stop. When he didn't stop, he went to jail. Josh Cherry 21:59, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Reich's work was definitely pseudo-science... but the government definitely engaged in the unsavory practice of book burning. Words should either stand on their own, or fall own their own. No government should be in the business of deciding what people should read.

In any case, there is at least one statement that seems to border on POV:

  • ...many scientists still dispute and call pseudoscience (as of 2004).

Still and as of...? Despite claims to the contrary, modern scientists have examined Reich's work, and found that it does not meet the criteria of science. This isn't an opinion that is ever likely to change. Even if orgone energy were to some day be found to exist, the best one could say is that Reich made a lucky guess, and not a rigorous scientific examination.

I am a scientist (23 years professional experience since my M.Sc, Univ.of Bristol, UK) and I have read Reich's work. I do NOT agree that his work fails to meet the criteria of science. It does require further work in order to prove it, but unfortunately the scientific community are so incredibly closed minded that unless something fits their narrow viewpoint they will not consider it. Therefore, do not make blanket statements about what scientists allegedly think.

AdmN 01:53, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

One cannot clearly understand Reichs formal analysis without reading his books or minding the concepts of Orgone/Chi and natural energies (Higgs boson, anyone?). Reich didn't discover Orgone, or Chi/Qi. He just formalized the concept of Chi in the modern, western world.

To label it "pseudoscience" does not properly represent the nature of Reich's work, as it was suppresed and censored by the US government. How can work that was taken off the shelves, burned & never properly explored within the general scientific community, be viewed as fakery?

"orgone guns" and "weather engineering"

"Reich designed orgone "guns" called cloudbusters to suck DOR from the sky. It has been claimed that they can be used to manipulate the weather and to create rainstorms in a process called weather engineering. According to some accounts, the government of Eritrea financed several such projects in the 1980s and 1990s in order to change the weather in the region." (article as of 2 Nov 04)

According to which accounts? This statement seems somewhat unlikely on the face of it and definitely needs verifying. For a start there was no "government of Eritrea" as such in the 1980s since Eritrea didn't become independent till 1993. Also, scientific methods of producing rain (cloud seeding) had been in use since the 1940s and 50s. - Flapdragon, 2 Nov 04

I agree. I think thart this article shouldnt be categorised under science. Reich may have had a scientific education, however we pirmarily remember him for his countributions outside any standard framework of science. We chiefly associate Reich with orgone research, which was never peer reviewed nor was it conducted in any process resembling science. Salimfadhley 10:35, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Strong Opinions

Clearly there are some strong opinions regarding Reich and his work. While that's okay, these opinions (for or against) shouldn't be inserted into the article. Statements such as:

"His scientific discovery of 'orgone energy',
and various experiments with the orgone energy
accumulator, which have been confirmed by various
scientists in both the USA and Europe, even while
the professional 'skeptics groups' in the USA
have repeatedly misrepresented that evidence,
or tried to deny its existence."

show a strong and argumentive bias without citing sources to support this statement. Sources from skeptics should also be presented if the skeptics are mentioned. A link to articles is required here so that this work can be verified (as reminded in every edit window). 00:04, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)


And now? What they will say?

There is no doubt about his works anymore.

What will you say? 98% Coincidence forever?

com ´on show your criticism now!

DissidenceIsConscience 03:38, 16 May 2006 (UTC) Are you kidding ? Reich was a founding memeber of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association; he is a very historic figure in the history of modern Psychology, borrowed from liberally by his peers. The weird uncle of modern psychology deserves to get his proper due. This isn't a bad article, but could use some more refernces and his early history needs to be filled-out properly.

Reich's Politix

Reich's orgone lunacy aside, I had to alter the article as it stood, because an anonymous editor put in what is essentially a rightwing slur (masquerading as even-handedness on the question of "red/black" fascism).

I haven't read Reich's book on fascism, but I would be willing to bet a small sum that the anonymous editor might even have stretched the boox' message even more than this; but since I don't know, I have altered the sentence to a more accurate "stalinism" from the crudely propagandistic "communism" -- rather than excise it completely, which is really what I'd prefer myself.

Article Supporting Reich's Biophysics is NOT biased.

I have studied Reich's orgone research for over 30 years, and assembled the on-line Bibliography on Orgonomy. I did personal research with the orgone accumulator and cloudbuster, published that work under tha auspices of universities and governments, presented this research subject at all kinds of academic forums and scholarly societies, and conclude that the hostility to Reich's orgone energy theory, and against the scientific evidence supporting it, is purely anti-scientific scientism. The super-critics who always attack Reich's orgone energy research, I say, suffer from total bias and exhibit phoney scholarship of the worst sort. The attacks against Reich's biophysical work is often being pushed along by people who have a vested interest to try and mis-portray Reich as having "deserved" to be imprisoned, to have his books burned, and so on. They often are associated with the organzied "skeptic" groups, who attack all kinds of alternative medicine, and give the appearance they are "in the pockets' of the drug companies. Or, perhaps they don't want to see any kind of alternative medical approach be successful. it does not matter. A genuine scienitst must personally investigate what he or she criticizes, before making the critique. So I ask the critics of Reich's orgone research to moderate their tone until they have investigated! I have read virtually all of Reich's original publications, including the "banned and burned" ones, and now put a good list of these publications on the web page. Will they now just erase them? To make it easier to claim that such work "does not exist", just as they claim the orgone energy "does not exist", in spite of many good experiments?

I have read all the published verifying experiments, from the Journal of Orgonomy, Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science, Pulse of the Planet, Emotion, Lebensenergie, and other journals. I have read the various academic dissertations and theses which further support Reich. It is an excellent, and quite remarkable large body of positive supporting evidence. There are many such published experimental accounts. Hundreds in fact. What do the "skeptics" have to offer in the way of published negative results on orgone experiments? NOTHING. None of the "skeptics" who publish bad words about Reich's biophysical work have ever undertaken even ONE experiment. They are "armchair experts" who do no work, only criticize and censor, and then sit quietly when books are burned.

I challenge anyone to make a citation, to the work of anyone, which presents details of any experiment giving negative results, by which to contrast and undermine the many, many published accounts with positive results. As a practicing scientist and former university professor myself, I can make this challenge because I know the literature, and know what has and has not been done. So I ask everyone, to stop with all the bad words about Reich's biophysical work, calling him a "quack" or claiming orgone research has "no support" or is "psuedoscience" and so on, because these hard criticisms cannot be supported scientifically. In fact, it is the critics of Reich who behave like psuedoscientific quacks, because they do no experiments, do not read the literature, and speak without full knowledge. No genuine scientist acts that way. And in fact, the heavy weight of scientific evidence is on the side of Reich.

James DeMeo, Ph.D.

Here you go:
Will you stop messing up this article now? (BTW and article -supporting- any theory on wikipedia is biased by definition, this article should do nothing more than explicate) Kev 22:12, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Too long, too biased

This article is too long for a minor scientist whose works are controversial, to say the least. It is longer than the articles on, say, Kepler or Freud! Besides that, Mr. DeMeo's misplaced advocacy is a good example of how not to write an article for Wikipedia. I think it should be completely rewritten and drastically reduced.

Ah, so anything contraversial shouldn't be considered? Wasn't Einstein's theory of relativity contraversial when first postulated? Better not mention that either.

Too long? Funny, it's just a wee bit shorter than the article on the albatross...Soft helion 22:02, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


I agree that this article needs a rewrite, so I've started one and have uploaded some pics. I don't agree that it needs to be shorter, but it does need to be more readable. I've taken the NPOV tag off as it was placed on the page by an anon AOL proxy without discussion. Hope that's okay with everyone. SlimVirgin 21:58, Feb 7, 2005 (UTC)

You can't possibly expect anyone to believe that's the best headshot available.

A big thank you to the people who cleaned up this article.

Just the opinion of a regular reader who stumbled on this, but I agree that the length is fine. Freud's entry isn't that long because a lot of his theories are split off onto separate pages. If all of Reich's related topics are going to be under one entry, it seems like a reasonable length. It sounds as though he's had enough impact in psychoanalysis for that to be relevant and even the orgone stuff seems to be drawing interest from various quarters no matter it's legitamacy (or lack thereof). I agree that there's stuff that could still be reworded to be clearer or less biased (and maybe flip the position of the two head shots?), but it doesn't seem all that far off to me at the moment (Dec 13 05).

Change of Picture?

I admit I know very little about this man and whilst he may not be a completely credible member of the scientific community, it seems unneccessary to use a picture of him which makes him resemble a lunatic. If there are any pictures of him taken on a day in which he did not attempt to comb his hair with a combine harvester, I move that they be posted instead. Wencer 03:26, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

LOL!! SlimVirgin (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Changes to intro

I've been asked elsewhere why I reverted to the old intro. There were a few reasons: first, it seemed unnecessary to include details like his joining a psychoanalytic society. Second, calling him one of the most innovative etc is POV if not attributed. Third, it's not clear what's meant by "the basic anthropological view of man" and it's being "covered" by his political activism. Fourth, I don't know what cold exclusion is as opposed to hot. Fifth, did he realize he was in danger on precisely Jan 30, 1933? Sixth, the detail about character analysis is meaningless to most people and therefore inappropriate for the intro. Seventh, "illnesses due to disturbed" etc: sounds like we're endorsing that view, and anyway it's odd English. That's not all but these are some of my reasons. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:11, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

There may be some odd English in it -- it's not my mother tongue. If you had improved upon this...OK. But more important seems to me the errors back now thanks to your revert. Reich was NOT trained by Freud, he just joined the psa. society (should I tell by whom he was trained ?) He did NOT claim to have discovered orgone in the 30s. ... numerous erroneous data... And so on --- see my text.

What's POV ? Reich was in fact one of the most innovative PsA in that time. I told why by key-words in brackets. "what's meant by 'the basic anthropological view of man' -- cannot be cleared in this article, but should be mentioned. Why ? see the following: Cold exclusion - odd English ? Improve it - should point to the process of his expulsion, which was a plot initiated secretly by Freud and has a background too complicated to tell here -- therefore the catch-word "cold exclusion". "Covered" by his political activism -- odd English too ? Improve it -- is important, because to insinuate Reich's activism as the reason for his expulsion covers/camouflages the underlying basic difference between the anthropological views of Freud and Reich. Yes, it was precisely that date of Jan 30, 1933 -- Reich had first to hide and then to flee Germany.

If you'd changed/improved my text, this would be OK. But that you prefer the old text with grave errors, lacunae and redundancy/overstating (e.g. the Einstein episode, the paragraph on "T-bacilli") is not OK.

<> 28th dec 14:15 h


Since it is backed up by reproducable experiments it cannot be considered as pseudoscience. I'll therefore better remove that category. Der Eberswalder 04:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

And in what reputable science journal can we find the results of these supposedly reproducible experiments? Haven't the claims actually been repeatedly falsified (no detectable health benefits, etc.)? Where is the peer review? Where are the functional devices based on these claims? The theory is decades old and we see no progress towards practical application. That seems to fit the definition of pseudoscience to me. Please provide some information about the reproducible experiments you are referring to. -- 21:39, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

"rm disguised link"

What exactly is the objection to the link removed in the edit with this cryptic summary? Surely what matters is the content of the source linked to. What's the URL got to do with it? Flapdragon 23:41, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


Dear Dr Wilhelm Reich, wherever or whatever you are now, please listen to my words: during early 1980s (when i first read about your theories on Larousse Encyclopedia) I tried to discover more about your studies, and after less than a decade, though I was just a University student in Maths and Physics, I got familiar with Psychology and Medicine; this background helped me to understand your works, I studied on my own some of your books and some other scientists' books relevant to your theories. Thank you: I've been able to win the pain in my life and gain a (sort of deistic) faith in the Universe and in the Humankind. Thank you: now I can understand the whole matter behind the "secrets" of Science that Governments want to hide. Thank you: I look almost 20 years younger now, and it seems that I deserve to be offered an opportunity for a new life. skysurfer 17:54, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Michelson-Morley experiment?

I could not figure out the reason why there was such a link, and no mention is in the article. Deleted. --Giocov 19:30, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

"intro restored"

For some time now there seems to be a little edit war between Slim Virgin and me about the intro lines. While I gave some reasons for my restoring (factual errors, missing info) SV keeps silent about the reasons of her doings. I can't understand why she insists that Reich was trained by Freud, talked about orgone already in the 30s or that he died just one day before his release from prison etc. Maybe she can give an explanation here. --Nescio* 15:16, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

The writing you're introducing doesn't read well; you're adding that he was headstrong, which is your POV; he was trained by Freud; he did die one day before he was due to apply for parole; and it's not clear that Character Analysis is still a major textbook. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:48, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Slim Virgin, if you'd improved on my text I'd no objection. But you can't restore the intro by bringing back all the errors of the old version. "Headstrong" may have been not the most fitting word for what I meant - I changed it. There is no evidence for a training of Reich by Freud. But if you want to say that he was trained in the Vienna psa. group led by Freud, this should be expressed in different words - I improved on my former text. As to the status of Character Analysis I chose a more precise description. If you still have some objections, stylistic or factual, please don't "restore" the introducing lines by the old faulty text. Let's discuss it here and find aconsensus. --Nescio* 12:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Similarly, if you had improved mine, I'd have no objection. As you're the one who wants to change a long-standingintro, you're the one who needs to argue your case. I've removed that he was trained by Freud, because you don't like it, and also removed "one day before due to apply for parole," because you think it was longer, but otherwise I've left it as it was. Also, please don't remove valid links. If you have objections to the current intro, please list them here, but don't keep replacing it with a new one. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:38, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't know where your knowledge about Reich comes from. Why are you defending it so stubbornly against facts you can read in Reich's books as well as in any biography of Reich? --

  1. What he did "in the 1930s" is not what you describe and insinuate.
  2. He fled from Germany immediately after Hitler was appointed Reichskanzler at 30th Jan 1933, not because his Massenpsychologie des Faschismus (which appeared later in Danish exile) was banned by the NS.
  3. His MPF was the reason that he was excluded from the KPD (German Communist Party) in 1933 which you deleted as his exclusion from the International Psychoanalytic Association in 1934.
  4. The articles in the New Republic and Harper's were not about orgone, as you write, but on his new edition of Mass Psychology of Fascism, i.e., as I wrote, they were politically motivated.

I can't be thankful to you that you removed one of your errors, because I "don't like it".

I don't only "think" that Reich died more than 1 day before his apply for parole. Look at the sources.

Errors "long standing" or not: I won't stop correct them. --Nescio* 08:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Please stop adding odd writing to the intro. The lead section must be well written and flow properly. Sentences such as: "He was a .. a natural scientist far from mainstream (orgone research)" are not acceptable, and there are other grammatical errors. Also, we can't claim the stories were politically motivated. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:54, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I freely confess that I'm not a native speaker. So please correct my grammatical errors - as I corrected your factual errors. --Nescio* 13:47, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

But I am a native speaker, so if I tell you something is grammatically incorrect, please don't keep on blindly reinserting it. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I can't do better. But why don't you correct my errors? Why do you keep blindly reinserting the grammatically correct but factually erroneous text? --Nescio* 09:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The political motivation of the articles is beyond any doubt. One of them, Frederic Wertham's in the New Republic of Dec 2, 1946, ends as follows: "But could they [the intellectuals] not, each in his special sphere, be it science, literature or journalism, use their technical knowledge to combat the kind of psychofascism which Reich's book [The Mass Psychology of Fascism] exemplifies?" --Nescio* 14:05, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

You are not allowed to say it was politically motivated. You have to find a source that says that. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:02, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Sources are the articles. Did you read them? Did you read my quotation? --Nescio* 09:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

The intro you keep trying to insert contains poor writing, and I'm requesting that you stop putting it on the page. For example:

Wilhelm Reich was ... a psychoanalyst of the circle around Sigmund Freud in Vienna, and author, later a natural scientist far from mainstream (orgone research)."

This is not acceptable English.

You said so - several times. I don't oppose. Why don't you try to improve on it, as I asked you? --Nescio* 09:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC) (But don't replace your old factual errors)

Please write out a list of the factual errors you see in the current intro, and then supply sources for what you want to replace it with. You must supply sources for what you want to say, because otherwise I have no way of judging it. For example, I can find no evidence from a mainstream, reliable source that his book is "regarded as a milestone," or as you were claiming earlier, is still a major textbook. On the contrary, it is entirely neglected so far as I know. I stand to be corrected, but you must show me what source you are using to make that claim. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Did you read my list above? I won't take the trouble to bring by sources for facts you can read in any article on Reich

(recommended: Paul Edwards, Enc. of Philosophy, 1968 ed.) or biography (recommended: Myron Sharaf). Moreover, if you'd only read this very wiki article to the end, you'd find some of the facts you keep trying to delete in the intro.

--Nescio* 09:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
You must supply sources for the edits you want to make, or they will be reverted, and from now on without discussion, because you are editing disruptively. Start with supplying a source for this one: that his book is regarded as a milestone in psychoanalysis.
Write out a list of what you see as the errors in the introduction, and supply a source for the replacements you want to make. And please review our content policies before editing further. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:36, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I did supply sources, you did not, but kept stubbornly reverting to the old erroneous text, now not only of the intro but of the paragraph on t-bacilli too. I really can't understand your motivation. Read under "dispute resolving": Do not simply revert changes in a dispute. When someone makes an edit you consider biased or inaccurate, improve the edit, rather than reverting it. Here it's not even about bias but about simple facts you can read in any text on Reich (see above).

--Nescio* 14:04, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, and that applies to you too. YOU are the one who wants to make changes. I have asked several times for sources and you refuse to supply them. I've asked you to list what you regard as the errors in the current intro and sources for your replacement, but you won't do it. In addition, you're editing grammatical errors into the text. From now, I'll be using rollback to revert your edits without further comment, as I consider this to be disruptive editing. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:57, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Mainly I restored the chronological order. I guess you gave the home page of the Reich museum as source for biographical data only for a temporary standing, and removed it. What I wanted to include in the intro the reader can find in the article: that Character Analysis was a milestone in Psychoanalysis in 1933, and Reich nevertheless was expelled from it in 1934; that the defamatoty articles in The New Republic were written by USSR fellow travellers after the publication of The Mass Psychology of Fascism in the US, i.e. they were clearly politically motivated, and so on. --Nescio* 21:13, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Slim Virgin seems to be determined to smash anything I edit here. S/he even insists on a seriously distorted chronology in the intro passage, inconsistent with the source s/he gave and with what is written in this very article below. From the beginning of our edit war she kept being reluctant to improve on my text and simply reverted with utter stubbornness to her old erroneous story. How to stop this silly activity ? --Nescio* 19:32, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I have told you how to stop this "silly activity" many times. (a) List what you regard as the errors in the intro. (b) Say exactly what you want to replace them with and cite a source. Or if you simply want to add something, say what (here on the talk page) and cite your source.
You are removing properly sourced information AND the sources. Therefore, you're being reverted. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:49, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you to use the source you gave. Read it - and this very article - and please mind the chronology. --Nescio* 07:30, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

With utter patience - because and in spite of Slim Virgin's faible for reverts - I reworked the intro again. Please, don't simply revert it to the old version which is partly erroneous, partly incomplete. There is no need to give explicitly sources for what I wrote since you can find it in any serious account of Reich's life, two of them I noted above (Myron Sharaf, Paul Edwards). As to the nature of the articles in The New Republic and Harper's ("defamatory") you may read the articles or consult Sharaf or, for more and new details of the political background of the protagonists, the book by Jim Martin, Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War.

--Nescio* 15:21, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Slim Virgin again simply reverted to the old deficient version of the intro:

  • s/he still asserts that Reich was a member of Freud's "inner circle" (which is not true, he only "had access" to Freud);
  • s/he still ignores the biographical chronology (orgone period 1940-57 before WR as communist 1927-33);
  • s/he now even presents Reich as a cancer and impotence quack;
  • s/he still asserts that the 1947 articles, which appeared undoubtedly in a political context are "about orgone";
  • s/he's intercepting the most dramatic events of in Reich's career (1933/34);
  • s/he resorts partly to dubious secondary sources (note 2 and 3); and
  • s/he obviously refuses to consult serious sources as the generally esteemed biographies by Sharaf or Boadella, or the excellent and concise article of the noted American philosopher Paul Edwards in Paul Edwards (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, MacMillan, 1968

Now anyone interested in the quality of this article may judge and make suggestions as to what can be done to stop the stubborn and destructive reverting Slim Virgin did over several weeks or even months of my intro texts. Wikipedia should have developped regulations to handle with cases like this.

--Nescio* 20:16, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Topic continued below under Lead --Nescio* 07:52, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Reich in Prison

Is there any good particular reason we need an "illustration" of Reich in Prison? Rrose Selavy 17:51, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

We don't need any illustrations, but I see nothing wrong with this one, and it has a free licence. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:55, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Frankly, it adds nothing and looks like a form of vanity publishing to me. I'm sure I could get my work seen by many people if I inserted it in a few Wiki articles as "illustrations" . Rrose Selavy 18:31, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

One of the stupidist things I've heard in a long time. Isn't wikipedia the "user created encyclopedia"? You're saying that it's better to donate someone else's work than your own? Do you write your own words on wikipedia or just make "fair use" of the words of others?
I agree with Rrose Selavy: the illustration should be removed. It's merely an edited version of Reich's portrait at the top of the article. Apart from the three prison bars and the wallpaper it carries no additional information.Sluzzelin 13:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree. It has no encyclopedic value. It should probably go up for deletion as well. Fagstein 16:53, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I removed the foolish, hand-drawn sketch. This isn't an art class, but a biography. Let's use photographs, let's use things of substance to present information about this man whose work has not been fully explored yet. Terryeo 21:22, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't need to art for my sustenance, and this isn't a my propaganda. I don't make drawings by payment. Thanks.
Io non ho bisogno ad arte per il mio sostentamento, e questo non è una la mia propaganda. Io non costituisco disegni pagamento. Grazie.
Yo no necesito al arte por mi sustento, y esto no es un mi propaganda. Yo no hago los dibujos para el pago. Gracias.

... 17:04, 6 September 2006 (UTC)


Hello Slim Virgin,

I just wanted to write about the fact that WR was educated out of religion tradition. That mean free of religious education. I think that information bring some enlightment to that singular character.

That knowledge is displayed page 905, on "Dictionnaire de la psychanalyse" by Elisabeth Roudinesco, and Michel Plon.

She is historien, docteur ès lettres, directeur de recherche à l'université de Paris-VII, vice-presidente de la Societe internationale d'histoire de la psychiatrie et de la psychanalyse, psychanalyste.

He is directeur de recherche au CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique), membre du Centre de recherche universitaire psychanalyse et pratiques sociales de la Santé, psychanalyste.

It is probably not very well written, english is not my native tongue, I am french. So long ;)Yalla 12:52, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Hi Yalla, I have no problem adding that he was an atheist if that's what you want and if you think it's relevant, but we'd probably need more details of what is said exactly in the Roudinesco/Plon work. Just because someone is Jewish doesn't mean they're necessarily religious, and your edit implied that usually it did. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:54, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


(cont'd from "intro restored")

Nescio, the page has now been protected because of your repeatedly reverting to an intro — since December 2005 as an anon — that couldn't stay on the page because of the English, if for no other reason. Apart from the writing, it is far too detailed and it attempts to minimize that Reich is now principally known for his claim to have discovered orgone. You may think it's unfair that he's remembered for this, but we're here to reflect what mainstream sources say about him, rightly or wrongly.

I've done two things in an effort to get this right: (1) I've ordered a Reich biography; I forget the name, but it's the one you recommended above; (2) I spoke to another editor about this who recommends that we add to the intro that Reich is also remembered for having engaged Freudian theory with politics, especially the struggle against Fascism, which made him a sort of forerunner or fellow traveller of the Frankfurt School. Once I've read the bio, I'm happy to add that to the lead.

What you can do: (1) first you must stop reverting to a version with poor English. This is the English Wikipedia, and articles have to be written in decent English; you can't insist that other people copy edit your work, especially when they don't agree with it; (2) please understand that we edit according to what most published sources say, and that your personal opinion is irrelevant, as is mine; (3) we are going to use the current lead as a base, so please list exactly what is wrong with it, point by point; (4) also list, citing sources, what is missing from the lead, and why it's important enough to be included. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 06:17, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Also, it might help you to read WP:LEAD for a summary of what a lead section should do. It is not a chronology and should not be written as though it is. It is meant to pull out the most important points about the person regarding why he is remembered. You should also read our core content policies: WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:NPOV, and a related guideline, WP:RS. SlimVirgin (talk) 06:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate that now you decided to read a Reich biography. Though, Sharaf's book is quite detailed. So the article by Paul Edwards in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1968 edition, may better for now. Edwards is a born Viennese and a noted American philosopher (the chief editor of the Enc.Phil.).

But actually I think it's not necessary for you to become a Reich expert. Why shouldn't we both work together in a joint effort? I could contribute the expert knowledge on Reich, and you could polish up my English.

Under "intro restored" I already listed many arguments, and I won't repeat them here. In reply to your last posting I'd like to add two points:

  • It may be true that Reich at present is widely known for his orgone theory. Though, this does not justify to underexposure more than two third of his life time in an encyclopedic article. The term orgone cannot be found in his work before 1940. And remember: Reich was rediscovered during the 1960s not as orgonomist, but because of his work before 1940, both in Europe and the US. Cf. Lee Baxandall (ed.): Sexpol. Essays by Wilhelm Reich 1929-1934
  • If the lead/intro is too long it should be shortened not by shunning the most decisive event in his professional life, i.e. the caesura of 1933/34, but by thinning out the end phase, just saying that Reich, claiming some medical effects of his orgone devices, came into conflict with the FDA, resulting in a prison sentence. The role of the Stalinist fellow travellers (see Jim Martin's book, or Sharaf's) of The New Republic can be exposed in the main text.

--Nescio* 08:47, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Nescio, please (a) list here exactly what is wrong with the current lead, point by point; (b) citing sources, list what you believe is missing from the lead, and why it's important enough to be included. Don't refer me to previous posts, because I didn't understand them. Please just make the list so I can see clearly what the issues are, and include your sources for each point, please.
Regarding orgone, we go with what the sources say. They say he is chiefly remembered for that. In fact, very few people remember him for anything else. Our article must reflect that; see WP:NPOV. Ditto with the prison sentence, the FDA, and the articles. That is why they're in the lead section. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:39, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Also, what is your source for the statement that "the most decisive event in his professional life [was] the caesura of 1933/34," and what exactly does the source say i.e. what words does the source use? SlimVirgin (talk) 09:41, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

You did not understand my previous posts? And not my alternative intro text? Because of my awful English? Was it that "odd" that you even were unable to ask for an explanation of indistinct passages? Not to speak of a helpful improving...

"The sources" say that Reich is chiefly remembered for orgone. What sources? Among those used for the article are some quite fishy ones. You easily can find many sources for the opinion that Reich is chiefly remembered as a madman and quack. To rely upon those sources is the opposite of WP:NPOV. As I said, and as you can read up in any serious source, during more than two thirds of Reich's life there was no orgone at all.

I'd suggest we wait a bit, until you'll have made yourself acquainted with the basic facts of Reich's biography and work, especially with the caesura of 1933/34. Then it may be possible to enter into a reasonable discussion.

--Nescio* 13:54, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

In the meantime, I'd like to ask for unprotection so that others can edit the article. Will you undertake not to revert to your version of the lead again?
Also, I genuinely didn't understand your previous points. Please start from fresh and explain them again here, but using sources for any points you want to add.
As for your understanding of NPOV, I'm afraid you have misunderstood it. See my post below. We represent the majority and significant-minority published views. When he died, not a single specialist journal ran an obituary for him. Time magazine did, and they talk about orgone. Time is regarded as a mainstream source. I suspect the publications you are referring to are tiny-minority ones (but so far, you've only mentioned two, one of them an encyclopedia of philosophy entry published in 1968, which we would not regard as authoritative). SlimVirgin (talk) 07:13, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
All this turmoil is so strange to me. As a psychologist for over 35 years, a faculty member and a supervisor of psychiatrists and psychologists for about the same amount of time, I am very puzzled by it all. I tried to edit this article once, and immediately had my changes reversed. Someone wants the Orgone business to be foreground, instead of emphasizing Reich's contributions to the history of psychotherapy and personality theory, which were enormous. Reich's book Character Analysis is really the beginning of so much that we now accept about the relationship between early experience and personality and the body. I wonder how long this note will stay up before it is erased. Most of us in the profession don't worry a lot about the Orgone business. Reich's reputation should not stand or fall based on it alone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I'm afraid you've misunderstood the nature of Wikipedia. We are here to represent the majority and significant-minority published views on any topic. It's your opinion that Reich made an enormous contribution to psychotheraphy, but there are many psychotherapists who would disagree with you. That apart, Reich is widely known outside psychotherapy for his claim to have discovered orgone, for having his books burned, and for dying in jail. He is, in fact, famous because of those things. Had he not discovered orgone, it's unlikely anyone outside a very small circle would ever have heard of him.
We are here to represent the majority and significant-minority published views on any topic. Therefore you should mention the controversy surrounding him, that he's regarded as a quack by the scientific community, that he remains widely read, that he's a major influence on the field of bodywork and on the field of body psychotherapy, and that his theory of character analysis was regarded at the time as a major contribution to the psychoanalytic community. Seriously, this seems like a non-issue. One of you ought to have taken the initiative and edited your versions into one and not just keep reverting the page. I would have been happy to do so but now you've locked it and started an interminable mediation process.
There are numerous contentious subjects on wikipedia, many of them in the same field (e.g. acupuncture) and the pro and con factions manage to keep to their respective corners of the sandbox. The success of the wikipedia project is predicated on people working together to present a fair representations of the facts, not requesting mediation every time they get into an argument.
It's your opinion that Reich made an enormous contribution to psychotheraphy, but there are many psychotherapists who would disagree with you. You'd have a hard time getting psychotherapists to agree on any single individual as being an important and legitimate contributor to psychotherapy. Jung, for instance, is no longer regarded as an important figure in developmental psych or cognitive therapy, but that has no impact on his significance as a historical figure. the fact that there are numerous accredited institutions in Europe and the US that continue to teach both Reich and Jung's theories is enough to legitimate them as influential, 'significant minority' figures in the history of psychotherapy.Soft helion 22:14, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
We are here simply to reflect that, not to reflect the specialist views of psychotherapists. Of course, that doesn't mean those views have no place in the article, and if you feel they're not properly represented, I'd encourage you to create a section on Reich's contributions to the field. SlimVirgin (talk) 07:08, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I am against unprotection, even if the last update shows the old erroneous and incomplete version. Let's better wait some time until some other people will have read this strange discussion and commented on it.

--Nescio* 13:14, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

FYI from a psychology professional

To both members of the conflict re: what to write about Wilhelm Reich in the Wikipedia encyclopedia section on him:

Original author(?) Nescio, and Editor(?) SlimVirgin:

I am a psychotherapist, and professor of Psychology and have been doing this work for more than 20 years. I believe that the conflict that has happened over this page is for two reasons: (1) Never in 20+ years of work in this field have I heard anyone name the most lasting legacy of Wilhelm Reich to have been his work on Orgonomy. No matter how important this work was, in fact, what he is most remembered for by pretty much anyone in the field of psychology/psychiatry/mental health, who does not know his work in great depth, is his seminal (yes, SEMINAL... he is A SIGNIFICANT contributor, albeit controversial, to original Psychoanalytic thought, along with other members of the Vienna Psychoanaylitc Society such as Freud, Jung, Adler, etc) work on body armoring, social psychology and the emphasis of the symptomatology in the body (hence body armoring) of psychological issues (in the vernacular of that time, "neuroses." Virtually all BODY PSYCHOTHERAPIES, which are a significant and growing area of psychotherapy now, owe their original roots to Reich. Like Freud, the fact that there are controversial areas of his theory that people disagree with, and the fact that there is significant conflict and drama about his personal/political and legal life, are secondary to this MAJOR CONTRIBUTION to modern psychotherapy and the history of psychoanalysis. SlimVirgn, for a reference, see: "Current Psychotherapies," by Raymond Corsini and Danny Wedding, plus any other comprehensive psychology text which deals with the early psychoanalytic movement. There was tremendous (and still is) vitriol, for whatever reason, between many of these early theories and theorists, especially contemporaries of Freud and neo-Freudians (the generation of anaylists immediately around and after Freud) and I believe that because of this, along with the other named controversial issues around Reich's life and work, his most important legacy to psychotherapy has been buried and/or tarnished. To focus on the most controversial, least agreed upon and most looked down upon theories of his in this Wikipedia entry, instead of focusing most attention on the contributions he brought to modern psychotherapy and THEN naming the other issues, feels like putting the cart before the horse. His work on orgonomy and his arrest/political beliefs and conflicts are NOT what he is "MOST KNOWN FOR," in ANY psychological/professional/education circle I have ever been in over the span of more than 20 years of practicing psychology and teaching psychology (including teaching about the neo-Freudians).

If it were up to me (and it is not, this is simply a suggestion which might work for both of you)I would BEGIN the section describing his "most significant contribution," and what he is "most remembered for" with the section that is included fairly well down the page, where you name his contributions to Perls and Gestalt psychology/body psychotherapy, etc, and then FOLLOW IT UP with his work on orgonomy and the differing points of view on it. His other MAJOR, MAJOR claim to fame in this field which I would add to the entry, and would include before ever naming the other information is that his STUDENT and ANALYSAND (patient in psychoanalysis) ALEXANDER LOWEN is famous for using Reich's theories to go on to form BIOENERGETIC ANALYSIS. BioEnergetics has its roots in Reich's work, although also diverged from it, and is still very much alive and well and being practiced as a viable therapy around the world today, while the issues of orgonomy are fairly remotely referenced these days, from what I am aware of as a professional, at least here in the US, no matter how central they were to Reich's own focus. I believe the focus of this entry, to be fair to Reich, and to accurately portray what he is actually KNOWN by most for, should be far more weighted toward his VERY, VERY important contributions to psychotherapeutic thought.... he was the first and only of that early circle of thinkers who FOUNDED PSYCHOTHERAPY to say,. "What we do with our BODY physically is actually a mirror of what is happening in our psyche." In this age of more and more focus on the mind/body connection both in therapy and in medicine, it would be one more tragic loss to Reich, no matter WHAT one might think of him, to lose sight of his truly MAJOR contributions to psychoanalysis (body armoring (looking at how and where clients habitually hold their anxieties, freeze their feelings, etc), character analysis (looking at a client's whole character rather than looking at isolated neuroses) the roots of social psychology (society's effect on the individual, which I have also seen credited to Adler and his concept of "social interest"). These contributions were FAR ahead of his time and are still in use in some form today, although Reich was talking about them in the early 1900's. I understand the entry would also need to name the other things he focused on (orgonomy) because they were very important to him, and have largely fallen by the wayside, at least in some part because of differing views of their accuracy, and I am sure also in large part because of the controversy his theories AND his politics and legal entanglements caused. For the record, according to the website of the Reich society, his works were NOT ORDERED DESTROYED, (which would be a pretty unusual order for a US court over something that was simply discredited, given our first amendment rights) they were ordered to stop being PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED. So the government burning of thousands and thousands of documents appears to be some sort of overstep or overreaction, but the only source for that I have is the Reich Society's website. Perhaps you, Nescio, or their website, would have some neutral third party source or record which could verify what the ACTUAL order of the court was regarding his publications, versus what actually happened to them. (It makes sense that the BOXES were ordered destroyed b/c they were seen, erroneously or not, as "false cures," but it does seem over the top that any judge in the US would ORDER EVERY SCHOLARLY WORK THE MAN DID BURNED, which is essentially what happened. That smacks of SOME sort of earlier form of McCarthyism or SOMEthing, I think, but I am way, way out of my element on that one and only speculating...I certainly think if it is going to be mentioned that all of his documents were destroyed, as is currently mentioned in the entry, that there should be some objective clarification of the facts around what the actual court order was, and how history views such an order now. This might be one way of getting at the alleged ulterior motives or foul play behind his bad press and the accusations which ultimately led to his imprisonment. FYI, also, according to his website, he was sentenced to a 2 year term, and died within his first year, so I would double check on what the actual parole situation was, because the current entry says something like, he died "after more than a year in prison," which contradicts the biographical facts listed on the Reich Society's web biography of him (which does not allege any foul play or political motives behind his imprisonment).

So, SLIMVIRGN, I THINK you are getting the heated and ongoing resistance from Nescio, b/c so much of the page focuses on controversial legal, personal and political issues, and focuses almost solely on the most controversial aspect of his practice (orgonomy, which he only discovered here in the USA, AFTER having worked for years, both with Freud and in high positions in psychiatric institutions in Vienna and only after having done seminal research on the body armoring AND character analysis issues). Perhaps if an honest (and backed up by accurate references) discussion of his controversial (and possibly scientifically inaccurate) research on orgonomy FOLLOWED a thorough discussion of his far less controversial and far, FAR more KNOWN, HONORED and remembered contributions to modern psychology, there would be less discomfort about the entry feeling biased against Reich.

NESCIO: In your misunderstading of the English language, and your passion to defend a thinker about whom you clearly know a great deal (and surely more than I do, from what you say you have studied) what you appear to be MISSING, is that SLIMVIRGN is NOT trying to impugn Reich or your knowledge of him by putting out incorrect facts; s/he appears to be TRYING TO MAKE THIS WIKIPEDIA ENTRY AS PROFESSIONAL AND UNBIASED a work as any other published encyclopedia would be. One cannot include statements indicating that he was imprisoned and his work impugned by Freud's followers and/or those who were angry at his politics, UNLESS THERE ARE VERIFIED FACTS and published articles/books which prove this. AT THE VERY LEAST, if you want her to include such thinking, you would need to provide her with references, such as, "Henry Smith in his biography, "Wilhelm Reich, A Man of Our Times" alleges that complaints about Reich's treatment of cancer came from followers of Freud," for example. Just because there are things that you KNOW, does not mean that she can put them in the entry, unless she can back up that "knowledge" with FACTS THAT ANYONE CAN GO LOOK UP FOR THEMSELVES. ANd it is not enough to tell SlimVirgin that s/he "can go look it up," you have to give him/her a CITATION of an article/research paper/published book, etc, that s/he can reference if you want the infomration to be included in the entry. As you must know, if you have studied Reich's resarch extensively, THIS IS HOW ANY SCHOLARLY WORK must proceed, and encyclopedias, even just online, attempt to be as close to objective scholarly works as possible. In your emails to her you keep saying, "I have told you already," or, You can read this in any text on him," but S/HE CANNOT USE THAT as enough evidence to put a "fact" into an encyclopedia entry. ANY OPINION, EVEN IF IT IS 100% CORRECT, has to be backed up by a SOURCE to be included in something like an encyclopedia entry, and THAT is what s/he keeps saying to you: not that s/he knows better than you about Reich, but that you need to provide him/her with the SOURCES for the information you tell him/her is accurate. If she is going to put in a fact, s/he must CITE where it came from.

So for the sake of both of your satisfaction with this entry, and for poor Reich's sake, whose name deserves to have both SLIMVIRGN's objective reporting AND NESCIO's knowledge of the facts, leave SlimVirgn's entry IN, and when you correct him/her on a fact, "He really did leave his country on such and such a date," simply NAME the volume/article/sourcebook, that you got that infomration from, and s/he will CORRECT the entry appropriately. This DOES NOT QUESTION your knowledge, it gives SlimVirgn and anyone else who reads the entry published information that they can go to for further research.

I am sorry to be so long in this post, and I am not a Wikipedia member, so am ACUTELY aware that my own information (re: URL, email address, etc) appears on this post. I DO NOT WISH TO BE SPAMMED re: this post, I just read through the Reich entry and all of your discussions about it, and thought perhaps my input could help. If not, please feel free to disregard anything that is not helpful.

On behalf of psychological professionals who come to this page to learn more about Reich, I hope you both use your knowledge to put together a fair, unbiased and accurate page about Wilhelm Reich, who IS NOT REMOTE at all, SlimVirgin, but who is every bit as important as Freud, Adler, Jung, Harry Stack Sullivan, Margaret Mahler, and many, many other very eminent psychoanalysts, whom those outside of the field may not have heard of, but who were SEMINAL in forming modern psychotherapy.

Why no pictures of Reich in the article? I would like to know what he looked like. Anon.


Why does on top of this discussion page the following link:

To participate, help improve this article or visit the project page for ...

point to Chemistry?

--David Moerike 17:23, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Someone probably copied the chemistry template and forgot to change it to psychology. I've fixed it. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:30, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Einstein episode overstated

In my opinion the episode of the meeting between Reich and Einstein is overstated in the article. Above all, the only source we have on it is the account of Reich, given in the brochure of 1953 The Einstein Affaire, and the letters reproduced therein. No Einstein biographer was able to give additional information on it.

Therefore I'd suggest to reduce the chapter to the solid facts and add it just as a paragraph to the preceding chapter where it belongs.

The text could be as follows (with improvements of English grammar, if necessary):

In 1940, Reich wrote to Albert Einstein saying he had a scientific discovery he wanted to discuss, and on January 13, 1941, he went to visit Einstein in Princeton. Einstein agreed to test the orgone accumulator. Reich supplied the device during their second meeting, and Einstein performed the experiment in his basement, which involved taking the temperature atop, inside, and near the device. He also stripped the device down to its Faraday cage to compare temperatures. Over the course of a week, in both cases, Einstein observed a rise in temperature, and confirmed Reich's finding. However, contrary to Reich who took this as experimentum crucis for the existence of a primordial cosmic energy he had called "orgone", Einstein interpreted the phenomenon simply as resulting from thermal convection currents.

This is the whole story. Reich's later speculations of an influence of Leopold Infeld on Einsteins judgment (because Infeld went to Stalinist Poland after the war) have never been verified.

If there will be no argumentative objection within the next days I'll implant this change.

--Nescio* 08:45, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

It's understated if anything. The source is the Einstein-Reich correspondence and it's a very telling episode in Reich's life. The biography you yourself recommended devotes quite a bit of space to it. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:19, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Sharaf, as you should know, devotes not even 1 chapter out of 32, not even 5 pages out of 500, to this episode. It may be telling biographically, but not as a scientific "Einstein experiment". See Einstein's letter to Reich from 7 Feb 1941 about what really happened in his home, the only and most pertinent source. And there is no need to list the bulk of fringe science literature pertaining to it.
--Nescio* 16:24, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


Why does the article open with a "Hawkwind" redirect? There are many other more prolific artists (writers, musicians etc) who have explored WR's ideas. It seems ultimately unnecessary, irrelevant and selfish to open the Reich article in this manner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I agree. I've removed it. SlimVirgin (talk) 03:51, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Hawkwind was one of, if not, the first popular band to write and preform a song about Reich, that's why.

Revert War

SlimVirgin has reverted MY contributions three times to this article regarding the minor wording over 1 sentence.

As the article states, this man in the prime of his career:

In 1947, following a series of critical articles about orgone in The New Republic and Harper's, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, and won an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich insisted on conducting his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA. [5][1] He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole. [7]

Can someone else review the two wordings? The lead intro is POV, considering all things. Thanks.Kiyosaki 01:25, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

The lead is balanced, and you're here only because you stalked me here, not because you're familiar with the subject.
The lead makes clear that he was a respected analyst, a controversial figure, regarded by some as having gone astray, but admired by others, then subjected to an investigation, book burning and jail. He is a complex figure and the lead reflects that complexity. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Please do not make personal attacks. The lead is far from NPOV and criticism should be mentioned in the lead, especially when he later served time in prison. I think my wording is more clear and neutral.Kiyosaki 19:19, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

A long standing revert war

About a year ago user:Slim Virgin started a revert war against me which is still going on.

For anyone interested this are the links of the discussions:

I'd like to see other users giving their opinions here.

--Nescio* 10:56, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Inappropriate structure of the article (moved from subpage)

There are numerous errors in details of the article; they cannot be listed here. Some of them are already exposed in the talk page.

Still more important is the inappropriateness of the structure of the article:

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 His work
  • 2.1 Early career in Germany
  • 2.2 The bion experiments
  • 2.3 T-bacilli
  • 2.4 Orgone accumulators and cloudbusters
  • 2.5 Orgone experiment with Einstein
  • 3 Controversy
  • 3.1 The Brady article and the FDA
  • 3.2 Imprisonment and death
  • 4 Status of his work
  • 5 Reich in popular culture
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 Reich's work
  • 8 Further reading

Proposal of a new structure of the article

I'd suggest instead a rough structure as follows:

  • 1 Early Life
  • 2 Career as Psychoanalyst
  • 2.1 Orgastic Potency
  • 2.2 Character Analysis
  • 2.3 Expulsion from Psychoanalysis
  • 3 From Politics to Antipolitics
  • 3.1 Prophylaxis of Neuroses
  • 3.2 Freudomarxism
  • 3.3 Sexpol
  • 3.4 Work Democracy
  • 3.5 "The Children of the Future"
  • 4 From Psychoanalysis to Orgonomy
  • 4.1 Vegetotherapy
  • 4.2 Bion Research [incl. t-bacilli]
  • 4.3 The Discovery of the Orgone
  • 5 Orgonomy
  • 5.1 The Orgone Accumulator [incl. "Einstein Affair"]
  • 5.2 Cancer Biopathy
  • 5.3 Orgone Physics and conventional Physics [incl. cloud busting]
  • 6 "Conspiracy" [this is the title of a documentary volume Reich issued about the actions of FDA etc. against him]
  • 6.1 Articles in New Republic
  • 6.2 Injunction
  • 6.3 Trial, imprisonment, death
  • 7 Status of Reich's work today
  • 8 Reich in popular culture
  • 9 Notes
  • 10 Writings
  • 10.1 by Reich
  • 10.2 about Reich
  • 11 External Links

--Nescio* 21:22, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Nescio, do not remove properly referenced, relevant material. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:14, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


There are numerous errors in detail in the article; they cannot be listed here. Some of them are already exposed in the talk page. Still more important is the inappropriate structure of the article. See talk page for a proposal for a new structure.

--Nescio* 21:22, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Anybody around there who cares about the Reich article ?

For several months now user:Slim Virgin carries on an edit war against me.

Its history can be studied here (links to archive):

For some weeks it is in a mediation procedure which does not seem to arrive at a solution.

The trouble is that I have to argue with a person who on the one hand obviously (and admittedly) has only a quite limited familiarity with the topic and on the other hand is determined to write this article alone resp. as the master author. Most of my corrections, beginning at May 30 this year, of even grave errors were answered by a revert. The quality of her replies to my queries you can see at the talk page, continued at the mediation page.

Over nearly six months there was, besides the mediator, only one person who interferred with a long statement.

Is there nobody else who has an interest in the improvement of this IMO utterly poor state of the article ?

--Nescio* 14:11, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I was in the process of improving it, Nescio, but you've put a stop to that work, so we're now in mediation, where you're currently also turning down the suggestion of the mediator. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:30, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Mediation is still going on

--Nescio* 20:33, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Why revert a request for citation for the Frank Zappa reference?

Twice I've added in a request for citation for the declarative sentence: "Frank Zappa was also influenced by Reich's work." Twice it has been reverted. May I inquire what is the basis for this reversion? If a citation is not forthcoming, then this is OR and should be removed. Thoughts? Therefore 13:59, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

  • In the history of the article, I cannot find an edit by you. Could you provide the diff of the request for citation being removed? --דניאל - Danielrocks123 contribs 18:08, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

My two entries:

13:07, 13 June 2006 (hist) (diff) Wilhelm Reich (Requesting citation for statement that Wilhelm Reich influenced Frank Zappa directly.)

20:50, 15 June 2006 (hist) (diff) Wilhelm Reich (Citation needed for Zappa reference)

Thanks -- Therefore 08:44, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Delete Frank Zappa reference as uncited OR

Does anyone object if I delete the Frank Zappa reference: "Frank Zappa was also influenced by Reich's work?" I can find no confirmation. Therefore 15:57, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Go for it. :-) SlimVirgin (talk) 16:05, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a deletion out of sheer laziness and incompetence. It took me all of 5 minutes to find a reference for this. The time you spend deleting could be spent confirming, but hey, why bother, you don't CARE about the subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:20, March 16, 2007 (UTC)
Well, since Wikipedia's editors cannot all be equally consumed by the topic of all articles they contribute to, there is the requirement that when documentation is solicited and not found, any statements that are questioned may be removed. Fortunately, other editors again do have this zest and save important information from becoming lost. __meco 19:13, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Seeing that the information you found has not reached the rest of us, and thus the Frank Zappa information has not yet been restored, perhaps you could provide us with a references to what you found? __meco 19:15, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Picture of Wilhelm Reich

This article contains no picture of the subject. A Google Image Search revealed a lot of photographs of Reich. But I am not able to understand which is copyrighted & which is not. Can anyone help? TathD 14:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I see someone has added one, and also uploaded it to the Commons, where it says it's a free image. I'm wondering how we know this, given that the tag says the author is unknown. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:00, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I uploaded it from a web site that publishes all its material under GFDL. There are URLs on the image page documenting this. __meco 19:07, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
But do you know that they own the copyright? They can't release something they don't own, or that wasn't released elsewhere. Some of these websites don't check their material very carefully, or at all. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I figured this to be their problem. Of course if we investigate this we may find that they make a claim which is untrue. I'm not sure that we need to do this. This is, by the way, a photograph that seems to be rather widely diseminated. __meco 19:19, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it's our problem. We don't have to investigate every claim, but we do need reason to believe an image has been released, and we currently have none. The website doesn't even say explicitly that this image is free. It has already been removed from this article as a fair-use that is easily replaceable. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:21, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I wrote to the Reich musuem a few weeks ago asking for an image, but they didn't respond. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Reich papers to be unsealed in 2007?

In the end of this "re-enactment" video there is a mention that Reich stated in his will that his unpublished papers were to be unsealed in 2007, 50 years after his death. Does anyone else have any information about this? When it has or will happen and the like? Thank you.

Youtube link to video: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:26, 22 April 2007 (UTC).

Corrington stuff should be better presented

I originally entered the following on April 16:

Theologian Robert S. Corrington also emphasizes Reich's unusual thinking power in his 2003 Reich biography. He had an almost unparallelled ability to synthesize knowledge from vastly diverging fields "simultaneously maintaining several seemingly incompatible conceptual horizons in one expanding categorial and phenomenological space, while also making continual reconstruction and reconfigurations that correspond to an expanding phenomenal data field."[1]. Corrington asserts that while Freud at best could work out one or two categorial horizons simultaneously, "Reich [...] could hold a number of horizons in his mind while reshaping each one under the creative pressure of the others, [...]producing a rich skein from the game stragies of (1) transformed psychoanalysis, (2) cultural anthropology, (3) economics, (4) bioenergetics, (5) psychopathology, (6) sociology, and (7) ethics."[2]

This was severely trimmed to the point, I feel, that the significant elements got lost in the process. Perhaps this segment is too long for it to be in the introduction, however, I'd like a version of this that is closer to my original one than the current bland mention to appear somewhere in the article. __meco 23:18, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Einstein and orgone

The following statement in the article appears inaccurate. "Einstein observed a rise in temperature, and confirmed Reich's finding.[32] Reich concluded that the heat was the result of a novel form of energy—orgone energy—that had accumulated inside the Faraday cage. However, one of Einstein's colleagues at Princeton interpreted the phenomenon as resulting from thermal convection currents. Einstein concurred that the experiment could be explained by convection." This text erroneously suggests that Einstein first nodded and then changed his mind after discussing the issue with a colleague. In fact Einstein addresses the issue in his letter to Reich of February 7th, 1941. Describing his attempt to verify Reich's claims, Einstein writes that the "box-thermometer showed regularly a temperature of about 0.3-0.4 higher then the one suspended freely", therefore confirming the raise in temperature observed by Reich. Right after that, however, in the same letter, Einstein writes "One of my assistants now drew my attention to the fact that in the room (...) the temperature on the floor is always lower than the one on the celing". Starting from that, Einstein describes how he modified the experimental setting and, on the basis of what he observed, reached a conclusion:"Through these experiments I regard the matter as completely solved". Hence the current text in the article is misleading and should be modified. First, it was Einstein's assistant (and not "one of Einstein's colleagues at Princeton") who made the first crucial remark, second and most important, it was Einstein himself who, after modifying the experimental procedure, came to the conclusion that settled the problem for him. Einstein's letter is published (both in the original German and in the English translation which I quoted) in "The Einstein Affair", Orgone Institute Press, 1953. Stammer 13:18, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

On this matter, I can't believe that the control thermometer was placed on the ground. Surely it is elementary to place it above a "dummy" non-accumulator such as a plain wooden box? Also, Einstein mentions a thermometer "suspended" which would imply it wasn't on the floor to begin with. How did he "modify" the experiment? MegdalePlace 20:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

// I agree, I also cannot see the logic behind that reasoning. The text says that (control) measurements were taken inside, outside and above the "real" "accumulator", and then inside a "pseudo" one, i.e. mere metal box. So please, what have bottom and top-of-the room temperatures to do with it ? The one thermometer "suspended freely", at which height above ground in that room would it take the measurement, and how would that compare to the height above room floor of the one inside the accumulator ? - And then, another question comes to mind, why didn't they use a LARGE, multi-layered accumulator, to increase any effects (if they should occur), and compare that measurement again with those outside any box and inside a metal-only box with equally thick walls ? If both considered the question so important, at least initially, and if a not jobless famous physics professor would spend his time anyway, why not use such a set-up, for the sake of clarity of results ? Regards, Sophophilos: (talk) 15:25, 18 January 2008 (UTC) All of Reich's experiments can be read about in detail as he carefully repeated them under various different circumstances and wrote extensively about them all. You can read his journals if you want to follow his own personal communications, such as with Einstein, and how that evolved. Reich in fact had no intention of using "The Einstein Affair" or Einstein's name to promote his work; he only made it known after others claimed that Einstein had denied his results, which was untrue. This subject is only a mystery if you debate how it sounds to you without actually reading Reich's writings. SO, why debate something about which you know nothing? Start by reading the Function of the Orgasm and the Cancer Biopathy, both written around 1940. At least then you have a foundation in your acceptance or rejection of Reich's theories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:31, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

To "Stammer": It is nice that the letters have been published. Only it will be difficult to get hold of a copy (I do not assume many liraries in either the USA or Germany or elsewhere will hold a copy), and then you indicated yourself that sentences are missing (at least one, which will raise the question " many more?"). It would be much nicer if from reading this article here one would get an idea of the actual experiment, procedures and how Einstein came to his negative conclusion. This is, so far, not the case. It is not clear; "some modifications" can mean all sorts of things; I want to understand his reasoning. The article section is a disappointment, because it first goes into some detail, so you expect to gain clear insight from reading it, and then it does not provide crucial information.
To the Anonymus of February 1st: If the quotes in the article are correct, then what you wrote is plain wrong; read those and either correct them, in case they are wrong, or learn from them, in case they are correct, that Einstein did clearly state that he considered Reich's theory contradicted by the results of his own experiment. Also you seem not to have noticed that here we do not discuss the validity of Reich's ideas, which you seem to want to defend, but the logic behind Einstein's experimenting and reasoning. I have indeed read a good deal of secondary and also some primary sources on Reich's work, including what some modern experimenters did (the latter in German language mostly). Instead of admonishing us to "first read before debate", which is superfluous, you had better enlighten us about the aspects that have so far remained unclear, if indeed you have such insight.
Sophophilos: (talk) 14:07, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
As I wrote, what is missing is the English translation, not the original sentence in German. In The Einstein Affair (Orgone Institute Press, 1953) the original letters in German are published along with a translation in English. For convenience I provide the original English translation for most sentences which I reference (this is English wikipedia). However in The Einstein Affair the English translation is missing for one sentence by Einstein ("I hope that this will develop your skepsis"). I therefore provide the German original along with my translation in English. I had no difficulty obtaining a copy of The Einstein Affair from my local library through interlibrary lending. Since I live in a small town in Italy, I am confident that the same can be done in most developed countries. Stammer. (talk) 16:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
At the Reich museum in Rangeley, Maine, on the lab table some years ago, one saw a small orgone accumulator with a thermometer inserted; next to it were another, open, free standing thermometer: the inserted thermometer was at that time reading a degree or so higher than the free standing thermometer. Later in the article are mentioned the double-blind experiments in Germany which apparently validate the effects of orgone accumulators upon human subjects, rendering the thermometric readings somewhat moot, and result-obfuscation(s), quibble(s). (talk) 16:04, 15 September 2009 (UTC)


It may be a minor point but I'm not clear from the text - If "designed" - was it built? The photo indicates so of course but was it tested - Did it work in any real sense of the word? Rrose Selavy

Reich used the cloudbuster to conduct dozens of experiments involving what he called “Cosmic Orgone Engineering (C.O.R.E.).” One of the most notable occurred in 1953. During a long drought that threatened the Maine blueberry crop, several farmers offered to pay Reich if he could bring rain to the parched region. The weather bureau had forecast no rain for several days when Reich began his cloudbusting operations. Ten hours later, a light rain began to fall. Over the next few days, close to two inches fell. The blueberry crop was saved, and in local newspaper articles the farmers credited Reich. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:21, August 22, 2007 (UTC) I think throwing dynamite in the air would've worked just as well, and has just as much scientific evidence as a Cloudbuster —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:56, 19 April 2009 (UTC) hmm so it did work then?? Wouldn't a 'cloudbuster' however it works (or doesn't?) be a preferable choice of method?? (from conventional cloud seeding - to cause rain)

Neither Reich, nor the CORE teams that reported on cloudbusting after Reich's death, published comprehensive records of their success rates with cloudbusting. Instead, nearly all successes were reported, but almost none of the failures were reported. Without knowing the success rate of cloudbusting vs. the rate at which such weather changes occur on their own (without cloudbusting), it is impossible to determine whether a cloudbuster works or not. --Rogermw (talk) 15:33, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Keeps occurring to me that maybe it is one of those situation when the point is really about actually 'asking the right Questions', figuring out what they are? before a fuller understanding can be reached. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enquiring (talkcontribs) 01:58, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


Are we quite sure that no other photo of this guy exists? Yes, he is a criminal, but that label alone does not quite convey who he was.--03:29, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Note: I did not remove the mug shot. SlimVirgin did.--SallyForth123 12:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
There is a relatively good photo at that I found, but I am not sure if it can be used under fair use or whatever. Since he is dead, maybe you could just add a rationale and where you got it from? the article needs a photo, just not the mugshot. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:52, August 21, 2007 (UTC)
Hey Babe, this guy like you said, is not a criminal. Read a bit more and you will sound less like an idiot. -- Yalla 17:47, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
He was convicted and put in prison, and this would seem to qualify as a criminal in the eyes of most people. 10:53, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
hmm, conversely, George W. Bush is not (yet) a declared criminal and yet in the eyes of many he is judged to be one. Is the U.S. government and FDA infallible? Try to be more objective and research both sides before you use ad populum arguments. --kimslawson 14:40, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems incredible that there is no quality photo of Reich to insert in this article. If nothing else the mug shot would be all right. As for stating that Reich was a criminal, well, that's absolutely preposterous.Orlando F 22:15, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

The FDA action against Reich is what was criminal, and it was directed by the interests of the medical profession, especially the drug companies. Reich had found a humane, non-invasive method of improving the body's resistance to disease, of strengthening the immune system. And he published the method to build his devices for all to read. Repeat: he gave away the directions to build orgone accumulators, for free. What could possibly have been his "crime"? Read the Reich files at the Freedom of Information Act section of the FBI site to see how badly they hounded him and how desperate they were to find anything against him. It is a very sad and shameful chapter in American history. He was railroaded by collusion between big business and government. All this information is readily available, so learn it before you slander the guy.

How can you say he's not a criminal? Tried, found guilty, jailed... sounds like a criminal to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:04, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, he is a criminal, but that label alone does not quite convey who he was.--03:29, 21 August 2007 (UTC)- think that was the point. The label simply tells us that at the time of a persons conviction they were judged by the ruling authority to have committed a 'crime' •Societies define crime as the breach of one or more rules or laws for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a punishment. There is nothing in the description to define the severity or nature or frequency of the crimes, as we know these can be quite varied. Although the term is correct as the word is defined, may be it is fair to say that if we were to commonly describe someone as 'a criminal' suggests 'someone who commits crimes' plural, rather than a single conviction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enquiring (talkcontribs) 02:25, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Galileo was a criminal according to those in power at the time. Does that really make him a criminal? Please. (talk) 23:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC) anonymous —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Yes, it does. The case of Carl von Ossietzky is interesting. Ossietzky was convicted of espionage by Hitler, and his conviction was upheld in 1992 (see Carl von Ossietzky#1992 court appeal). But regardless of the court's ruling, Ossietzky would have remained a convicted criminal. There's nothing necessarily wrong with being a criminal - Jesus Christ was executed for crimes, and Voltaire, Martin Luther King, Ghandi (I think), etc etc were also convicted of crimes. Herostratus (talk) 03:15, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

No reference to The Wilhelm Reich Foundation

It seems strange that there is no reference in the article about the existence of The Wilhelm Reich Foundation and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and its trustee Mary Boyd Higgins.--Orlando F 18:45, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Just do it. :-) Sincerely. -- Yalla 09:36, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Crowd psychology

Wilhelm Reich was into crowd psychology as you can see in the bibliography of the article. The Mass Psychology of Fascism was one of his most important works. --mms (talk) 10:05, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

That book has nothing to do with crowd psychology. __meco (talk) 10:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
It is listed in the bibliography of the article crowd psychology. See yourself! This topic has bothered Reich in other works, too. For example Listen, Little Man! (1948) and The Murder of Christ (1953). --mms (talk) 10:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Influence of Max Stirner

Wilhelm Reich wrote in his personal journal:

Max Stirner, der Gott, der 1844 sah, was wir 1921 nicht sehen!

— Wilhelm Reich[1]

Reich also listed The Ego and Its Own in the bibliography of The Murder of Christ. Reich also referred to Stirner in a talk at the Wiener Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft in 1920.[2] I think this is enough evidence that Reich was greatly influenced by Stirner. --mms (talk) 10:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Then please provide a reference so the rest of us can evaluate the context of this statement. In the books by and about Reich that I have read I can not remember to have come across his name, at least not in the way that you suggest: as an important influential figure. __meco (talk) 10:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I pushed the button too early. Even so I can only provide three references Reich made to Stirner, I think one can judge that he was strongly influenced by him. Reich must have recognised that Stirner was a name a psychoanalyst should not mention. --mms (talk) 10:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I find the notion that Reich avoided mention of Stirner because of some kind of psychoanalytic stigma to be a bit hard to swallow. Reich was not shy about speaking out in favor of unpopular figures, particularly later in his life. Perhaps by the time he'd thrown caution to the wind, his opinion of Stirner had changed. --Rogermw (talk) 20:01, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
In fact, Reich's entry of March 12, 1921 in his diary is translated such:
"Max Stirner, the god who saw in 1844 what we do not see today in 1921!" (Passion of Youth, Farrar/Straus/Giroux 1988, p. 158)
This statement is difficult to interpret. At first: Who's "we"? In the context he lived in then it seems to be Freud and the psychoanalysts. It is also clear that this statement makes a difference between Reich himself, who of course does see what Stirner saw, and the others. So we can infer from this document that Reich felt a gap, a fundamental discrepance between himself and his psychoanalytic colleagues – what finally led to his expulsion from IPA in 1934 and a subsequent damnatio memoriae of Reich issued by Freud.
This expulsion was never substantiated by Freud.
The obvious incompatibility, even antipodicity, between Freud and Reich may be inferred to from that early diary entry, if we understand what Stirner stands for in Reich's mind. He obviously thought of him as a paramount psychologist, in one decisive respect superior to Freud (and, BTW, to Nietzsche). I know of no scholarly study who recognizes or appreciates Stirner as a psychological thinker. Therefore I can refer only to Stirner's lengthy work The Ego and Its Own, in which polemics with Hegel, Feuerbach, and Bauer, threatens to bury his psychological insights. One citation may signify what it is all about:
"They thought they were finished when in our days they brought to a victorious end the work of the Enlightenment, the vanquishing of God:they did not notice that man has killed God in order to become now – 'sole God on high. The other world outside us is indeed brushed away ... but the other world in us has become a new heaven, and calls us forth to renewed heaven-storming." (Stirner, The Ego..., ed. Leopold, OUP 1995, p. 139)
From other passages of the book you can infer that with the other world in us is meant the same "entity" as Freud's super-ego.
So you can figure out how the "influence" of Stirner on Reich can be seen, and the antagonism between Reich and Freud.
--Nescio* (talk) 22:20, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

German studies

The article claims that "a double-blind, controlled study of the psychological and physical effects of the orgone accumulator was carried out by Stefan Müschenich and Rainer Gebauer at the University of Marburg and appeared to validate some of Reich's claims", and gives references to a paper in German. Are there any German-speaking editors who can comment on the status of the journal in which it was published or, better still, have access to the paper? I ask because one quite often sees papers being cited to support pseudoscientific claims when, on examination, the papers have little or no relevance to the claims being made. LeContexte (talk) 14:05, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

// Hello there,

There seems to be a slight error on your side. There is, as far as I can see, no "paper" - if "journal article" is what you mean by that - in German mentioned in the article. Both, the one by Mr.Müschenich and Mr.Gebauer (done collectively) and the one by Mr Hebenstreit, were doen as THESIS to obtain a University degree, both at psychology departments. One, the former, was then also published in a reworked version in book form by a "Pro-Reich" book publisher (probably a small one - I think they publish/ed some "Reichian" journal as well). I have not seen either of these. I have written further comments on those papers, the Universities, and the availability on the discussion page for the article on Orgone, where you may continue reading (section 15).

Regards, Sophophilos: (talk) 18:32, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

The article misses to mention the research of another German researcher, Bernhard Harrer, published in serveral books and at Because all of his publications are in German, let me briefly summarize what I have read on that website. (I am a German native speaker.) From 1990 to 1994 Harrer, a student of meteorology at the time, performed almost all of Reich’s biophysical experiments in the context of a research project at the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin, Germany – a public mainstream academic institution). The project was partly sponsored by a pro-Reich foundation ("Wilhelm Reich Gesellschaft zur Erforschung lebensenergetischer Prozesse e.V."). Harrer managed to replicate Reich’s findings but offers simple physical explanations for them. Although I am not a physicist, I find his explanations very convincing. Harrer also analyzed Reich’s writings and concludes that “An mehreren Stellen konnte gezeigt werden, daß Reich in seiner Arbeit Meßfehlern und Experimentator-Effekten unterlag“ (quoted from the aforementioned website; translation: “In several places it could be shown that Reich was deceived by measurement errors and experimenter effects“). Harrer also comments on the two German studies cited in the WP article (Gebauer/Müschenich 1987 and Hebenstreit 1995) and states that they replicated Reich’s findings without analyzing the causes ( Harrer concludes that none of Reich’s observations demonstrated the existence of a new energy form. (talk) 22:39, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Redundant section

The first three paragraphs of "Later Career" are borrowed from the beginning of the article. I propose deleting them, as their repetition does not seem to add anything.

spam somewhere?

If I try to edit the page (I'm not adding any link) I get this message

"cannot be saved as it contains a link to a site which is on the spam blacklist -lulu". I can't personally find the link to lulu- can someone spot it and remove it? special, random, Merkinsmum 21:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Confirmed. It's definitely not on the page. I'll ask an admin to fix it. --Karuna8 (talk) 22:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok, it's fixed. --Karuna8 (talk) 23:02, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Corrington stuff should be better presented

I originally entered the following on April 16:

Theologian Robert S. Corrington also emphasizes Reich's unusual thinking power in his 2003 Reich biography. He had an almost unparallelled ability to synthesize knowledge from vastly diverging fields "simultaneously maintaining several seemingly incompatible conceptual horizons in one expanding categorial and phenomenological space, while also making continual reconstruction and reconfigurations that correspond to an expanding phenomenal data field."[3]. Corrington asserts that while Freud at best could work out one or two categorial horizons simultaneously, "Reich [...] could hold a number of horizons in his mind while reshaping each one under the creative pressure of the others, [...]producing a rich skein from the game stragies of (1) transformed psychoanalysis, (2) cultural anthropology, (3) economics, (4) bioenergetics, (5) psychopathology, (6) sociology, and (7) ethics."[4]

This was severely trimmed to the point, I feel, that the significant elements got lost in the process. Perhaps this segment is too long for it to be in the introduction, however, I'd like a version of this that is closer to my original one than the current bland mention to appear somewhere in the article. __meco 23:18, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Again, Robert Corrington's overall assessment of Wilhelm Reich intellectual prowess has been removed without the consideration for the possibility of making this a communal decision. I can agree with SlimVirgin's position that the lead was too long. Her opinion that Corrington is a marginal figure with respect to being a source for this assessment of Reich is something I feel ought to be discussed, as I have previously encouraged. Robert Corrington's psychobiography is not a work to be taken lightly, in my opinion, and I would be intrigued to read the rationale of someone who would assert that. I believe the above should have its place in the article. __meco (talk) 22:25, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Areas of possible improvement in article

The 2nd paragraph of the lead appears to be word for word repetition of 2nd paragraph of Section:later career. Leaving the 2 paragraphs in the lead to summarize the rest of the article.

The phrase “joy of life [was] shattered, torn apart from my inmost being for the rest of my life!” is repeated and attributed to 2 different references each claiming to be WR writing about himslf - one implies the phrase relates to fear of being "gotten rid of" by his mother and her lover, whereas the other reference states that the phrase relates to the effect that the affair had on him. Necessary repetition? Confusing?

"Creme claims his primary contact today with these beings is with one known as Maitreya who is "soon" to appear as a world-wide saviour preparing the way for his master also known as Lucifer" - this is not notable in relation to the topic of this article and is better removed.

I am open to discussionon any of these observations. SmithBlue (talk) 06:46, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

At this occasion I think it's appropiate to remind interested WPns to some earlier efforts of mine to improve this article — which were tenaciously counteracted by Slim Virgin (a „very influential wikipedian“ — as I was told, and as I experienced):
Talk:Wilhelm_Reich/archive1#Changes_to_intro as an IP
Instructive are the corresponding history files of the article from end Dec 2005 and from end June 2006 to Dec 2006.
--Nescio* (talk) 12:44, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Areas of possible improvement in article #2

Hi, I'm a different user than the person above, but I just wanted to mention that the Gansevoort Incinerator (where Reich's books are said to have been burned) is not on East 25th Street or the Lower East Side (and, as a side note, East 25 st. is not in the Lower East Side, it's in Midtown), but there is a Gansevoort incinerator (now defunct) on Gansevoort Peninsula on the West Side of Manhattan just south of 12th street, in Greenwich Village. I didn't change it because I wasn't sure where Reich's materials were destroyed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

One also recalls reading in some Reich Museum materials years ago a story that in prison, Reich were issued some sort of "pink pill" in prison which according to the opinion of a then loved one may not have been medication, yet could have been a "poison pill," given to him just before his release? Considering the burning of his materials and destruction of his devices and livelihood, such a murderous end to his life may well have been possible. (talk) 16:18, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Cloudbusting.jpg

The image Image:Cloudbusting.jpg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --00:55, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Injunction in Reich's will expiring in 2007

Is it correct that there was an injunction in Reich's written will that all his unpublished papers should remain locked down until 2007? I read about such being the case in a text file accompanying a downloaded version of Man's Right to Know. __meco (talk) 18:22, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Link to self-published critique

The link to Roger M. Wilcox' critique of Reich's work as one of the external links seems to me to be a poor choice. Reich was one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century. We shouldn't have to rely on unknown persons' self-published opinions and/or analyses of Wilhelm Reich. I haven't read Mr. Wilcox' work, so for all I know it might be very good. I'm raising this question on principle for the sake of how we generally pick appropriate external links for Wikipedia articles. __meco (talk) 18:28, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

So, why was his critique removed? It was simply an alternate view. I suspect DeMeo or some other lunatic orgonomist. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

I find it rather disconcerting that not a single article critical of Reich appears in the "Further Reading" section. None of Martin Gardner's criticisms of Reich appear there, for example, but DeMeo's rebuttal to Martin Gardner's criticism does. If we were to apply Wikipedia's standard of Notability -- which seems to be the standard that was applied when the link to the self-published critique was removed -- then Martin Gardner's article(s) should merit inclusion more than DeMeo's critique of them. --Rogermw (talk) 16:32, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Terrible Article

This article seems to have been written by people who have not actually read such early Reich works as *The Mass Psychology of Fascism*. Instead, his life work is here interpreted in terms of his late in life nuttiness (and he was indeed nutty toward the end - though not so nutty as to have deserved death in an American prison).

Douglas Barber (talk) 00:11, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I have read several of his major works, including parts of the book you mention. I also read Robert Corrington's biography. What happened as I attempted to insert some acute observations by Corrington into this article you can read above. __meco (talk) 08:08, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I did not only read Reich's Mass Psychology but also most of his other writings in their German originals (which sometimes differ considerably from the US editions), and I can only approve that the article for some years now is in a general deplorable condition. In my opinion this is mainly so due to the activities of Slim Virgin. Under 26 April 2008 above you find nearly a dozen links to the fights a had with him or her as soon as I tried to improve on the text. I guess the obstructive energy of that person caused still some more Reich experts to abandon this article.
--Nescio* (talk) 21:30, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

/* Terrible Article */ my impression was article didn't strike me as balanced and seemed biased to discredit the man and his work. Number of things were noticed which contributed to this. The primary thing which caught my attention was the apparent suggestion that Einstein had discredited his work, but when reading the information is then very vague. This seems to me to be somewhat misleading, especailly as Einstein is likely considered as a respected authority by the 'average'/lay person and the suggestion of him discrediting Reich's work is enough to sway a person(me at least) to dismiss his credibility. Though something did not ring entirely true to me, so intrigued i read the discussion notes, and there someone else had noted the very good point of the vagueness and lack of details in relation to this point regarding Einstein. This is misleading and my opinion is that more information and details regarding this matter ought to be included, ideally explaining either what in particular Einsteins conclusion was - he considered 'the matter solved' but that does not make it clear what he actually concluded? and maybe also information about these modifications and his methodology with his experiments - for those who don't want to simply accept Einstiens conclusion and would like the info available to assess for themselves. There are a few other areas of the article that also seems to me to have this unfavourable biased 'flavour'. I'm not sure how all this works as am new to Wiki but it seems to me that maybe Wiki's credibility is also under scrutiny when it comes to public/historic figures who have aroused controversy. It would be reassuring to see adjustments made to this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enquiring (talkcontribs) 02:35, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately I have to agree that I consider the article very biased in a negative way (especially the tonality). It seems that the defamation towards Reich influenced so much the secondary literature and the opinion of the article authors that it leaked into the article. It seems by the way to be the case in the other language articles about Reich (Spanish one for example)as well. At least if a person is controversial there should be a positive and a negative view .. not just everything merged into one and then tending to be negative. The story about Einstein as the person above me noted is quite misrepresented .. I will try to correct the fact that Einstein noticed and acknowledged the phenomena but could not explain them and considered the problem solved due to an error on Einsteins part (he argued with the environment component without excluding it) and included in that letter the citation shown. He never wrote a second letter although Reich was pleading him to redo the experiment under correct conditions. (Source Book: Wilhelm Reich: The evolution of his work by David Boadella) --Ebricca (talk) 22:26, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Dr. Morton Herskowitz links

"Dr. Morton Herskowitz" appears 3 times in the article. The first is a redlink, the other two are plain text. Better they all red links? (talk) 05:30, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Reich's Dad Killed his Mom's Lover

Didn't Reich's dad shoot his mom's young lover? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:11, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

No. According to the article, Reich's dad discovered his mom having an affair with Reich's tutor, which resulted in the tutor getting sent away and eventually drove Reich's mom to suicide. --Rogermw (talk) 16:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Wilhelm Reich´s signature

i uploaded the Wilhelm Reich´s signature in the infobox, but will find the way to put a better quality version... If someone can help, please, do it. Sorry any inconvenience... Lightwarrior2 (talk) 22:42, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

No Corrington material deemed fit

It is striking that probably the most scholarly of all Reich biographies has so far not been used in the writing of this article. I attempted to introduce some salient opinion on Reich's analytic faculties in earlier edits, but these were removed by SlimVirgin. I cannot request that another editor should read up on any particular potential reference material, however, with the extensive guardianship she has offered this article, I could perhaps suggest, again, to SlimVirgin that Corrington's biography be evaluated again for its potential of being a rich and valuable source for this article. __meco (talk) 10:00, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Meco, thanks. I've ordered Corrington's book. I removed your edits before only because they were taking up a lot of words in the lead, but not adding much information, and the lead is such that every sentence has to say something substantive. That doesn't mean I wouldn't welcome Corrington's material in the body of the article. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 18:35, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I found the book very stimulating, and specifically Corrington's way of analyzing Reich's psychological development, its fortes and shortcomings, was quite interesting. It was higly recommended to me by Erik Grønseth before he died, and I think it would be great to have some of it reflected in the article. Unfortunately I lack sufficient momentum to make me contribute to this article much - or evaluate your efforts. Still it's great that it receives care and attention on the scale that it has lately. __meco (talk) 22:07, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
It's been needing attention for a few years, so I decided to try to get it in shape. Length is a problem already, and this is mostly just his bio, so we may need to create more sub-articles to describe his work properly. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Corrington's bio. Thank you for recommending it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:17, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
You would also want to read Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy written by my great grandfather, Ola Raknes. It has been praised for its eminently available style and Raknes was indeed famous for his ability to popularize scholarly subjects for the lay audience. Also, when it comes to describing Reich's work, we should have an article on sex economy which is the theoretical doctrine upon which both character analysis and subsequent orgonomic therapeutic modalities are based. I developed an exhaustive article for Wikipedia a couple of years ago that was deleted, however, I have maintained a copy at this location if you wish to study it. I definitely consider it required reading for gaining a thorough understanding of the psychological mindset underlying all Reichian and neo-Reichian therapies. __meco (talk) 08:23, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
It's fascinating that you're related to Raknes. Your article is very good, and it's a pity it was deleted. As they said on the AfD, it was because you'd written about the essay, rather than about the topic, using the essay as one of your sources. Would you be willing to do a rewrite? If you're willing, I could post the article on a user page for you to work on, then perhaps others could join in with the editing, if you didn't object. I would just need to check with the deleting admin that he didn't mind, as a matter of courtesy, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 00:02, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I understand and respect the reationale for its previous deletion. I have been considering doing what you propose, however, to me this. just like the present article, is subject matter which I am able to get into only when I feel an extra sense of incitement. For that reason I have not seen myself getting into a process of building a decent Sex economy article for this Wikipedia. __meco (talk) 09:19, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
That's fair enough. If you should change your mind at any point, please let me know and I'll transfer it to a user subpage for you. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 09:41, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Wilhelm Reich was uncircumcised?

Many years ago I read somewhere that Reich said he was uncircumcised and was proud of it. So far I have not been able to track down that source to check properly. Given the fact that his parents were Germanized, assimilated Jews and that he was not given a Jewish religious upbringing (meaning: he didn't go to the yeshiva) it is quite possible that he was spared the trauma of neonatal circumcision, also. As a doctor he was an opponent of genital mutilation.—Ana Bruta (talk) 01:05, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Source request

Would someone who has Passion of Youth please check the veracity of this edit? No disrespect is intended to the editor who added it, but it's a little-used account and an arguably contentious edit, so it's sensible to check it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:43, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for trusting.—Ana Bruta (talk) 03:46, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
In Sharaf's Fury On Earth (p. 49), it is mentioned that one of Reich's early self-analyses describes his first sexual intercourse as occurring at eleven and a half, but Sharaf does not elaborate much further, except to suggest that Reich may have taken literary liberties to push the date back. --Dynaflow babble 05:40, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for trusting 2.—Ana Bruta (talk) 02:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Dynaflow. I've edited the text to make it consistent with Sharaf, p. 49. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 06:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Sharaf's book appeared in 1983, Reich's Passion of Youth in 1988. Reich wrote eleven and a half, Sharaf says this too, and, without source, Reich had told others thirteen.Thus we should not give Sharaf as a source in this place. Reich's explicit statement is sufficient. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nescio* (talkcontribs) 09:18, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Two films on WR

There is two films on WR, where can i put them ?

impressed and disappointed

Given how controversial the man was during his life, this biography is an impressive bit of work. However, I found it disappointing because I was looking for information on Reichian therapy which redirects to the biography. --Stepheng3 (talk) 02:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Hrm, maybe that redirect should be turned into a disambiguation page leading to Bioenergetic analysis, Vegetotherapy, etc. Thoughts? --Dynaflow babble 02:44, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
That sounds to me like an excellent solution. --Stepheng3 (talk) 02:47, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
It shall be done. --Dynaflow babble 03:05, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Alright, Reichian therapy and the newly-created Reichian psychotherapy both now point to Reichian therapy (disambiguation). That page has links for Wilhelm Reich himself, Bioenergetic analysis, Vegetotherapy, Body psychotherapy, and Neo-Reichian massage. Are there any other articles hiding out that might also be useful to include? --Dynaflow babble 03:29, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Not that I've been able to find. However, I did redirect Reichian to the the disambiguation page. --Stepheng3 (talk) 04:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Reich's Signature not authentic

I just deleted Reich's signature in the box, because it is definitely not authentic.
You find an authentic signature e.g. in Reich's book Contact with Space, 1957, p. xxii;
or a copy of exactly this signature in the German book on Reich
Bernd A. Laska, Wilhelm Reich, Reinbek: Rowohlt 1981, 6th ed. 2008, p. 128
--Nescio* (talk) 21:19, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

NPOV problem

What is going on in this article? Reich's "orgone" claims are quintessential pseudoscience, but the reader receives the impression they have validity or, at best, are disputed. The article amounts to an unwarranted promotion of a fringe theory, contrary to WP:FRINGE. LeContexte (talk) 10:24, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree. There are zero scientific studies that back up Reich's claims. Reich wasn't a scientist. The only "validation" comes from Orgonomists and Reichians. There seems to have been a huge amount of edits of anything that refutes the claims here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Roger's citation request

Roger, this request is a little odd. Are you suggesting that perhaps he did believe the effects of his accumulators could be attributed to a placebo effect? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 02:55, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I am saying that thus far, I have never seen any writings of Reich where he so much as mentioned the placebo effect. I would like to see a specific source (a page in The Cancer Biopathy, perhaps?) where Reich explicitly claimed that the effect could not have been placebo. --Rogermw (talk) 03:10, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Work opened after 2007

The article states "study of Reich's work has been hampered by the instruction he left ... even scholars, were not able to access them until 2007". But the article tells nothing that was studied from his work for over three years thereafter nor the reference "Sharaf" is appropriate without clarification because respective Wikipedia article is a disambiguation page without one fitting context. It would be desirable to reveal here. SorkinY (talk) 00:26, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

The reference you're referring to is the one that reads "Sharaf 1994, p. 6.". There is no Wiki link in that reference at all, let alone a Wiki link to a disambiguation page. There doesn't need to be one. It's standard citation practice to use the last name of the author by itself, when referring to the same work cited in an earlier citation. In this case, the earlier citation is to Fury on Earth by Myron Sharaf. --Rogermw (talk) 02:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Corps of Cosmic Engineers

Peter Reich, Wilhelm Reich's son, in his "Book of Dreams," wrote about the "Corps of Cosmic Engineers," a group Reich started that would go out and do battle with UFO's (which Reich called 'Ea's,' or, 'Energy Alphas') using Cloudbusters. He thought UFO's used Orgone energy to power their ships. Wilhelm Reich wrote that he believed that UFO's had been observing him since 1951, and he wrote about dozens of battles with them using his cloudbuster in Arizona in 1955. Reich wrote extensively about this in his book "Contact With Space."

How come none of this is mentioned in this article?

--PurityOfEssence (talk) 06:31, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


Chemical analysis about the death of Wilhelm Reich by FBI. Read it here: Results of examination: presence of Formaldehyde (a colourless, odourless and flavourless poison) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ste92k (talkcontribs) 21:25, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone know how valid this is?--Gulpen (talk) 18:35, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


Famousdog, tagging is intended to be a last resort, not a first one, and this level of tagging isn't inappropriate even as a last resort. If there are particular issues you have concerns about, please outline them here. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 17:42, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Oh, sorry. Please point me toward the WP policy that says that tagging is a "last resort." As far as I can see, this page is rapidly becoming a pov-fork for Orgone. Famousdog 08:31, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I have made some WP:BOLD edits in order to rid the article of some of the issues I raised. If I have deleted anything vitally important. Please replace it. Famousdog 08:47, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Is this a joke Famousdog? You should be treading carefully from here onwards.
  1. As regards your deletion of reproductions of Reich's work [3], I do not think it shows character to remove material based on an argument about which we are having an ongoing discussion. You seem to apriori assume you are right. Moreover, I do not understand your qualification (SPS and unreliable sources) for the non-DeMeo references you deleted: "Müschenich, Stefan & Gebauer, Rainer: Der Reichische Orgonakkumulator. Naturwissenschaftliche Diskussion, praktische Anwendung, experimentelle Untersuchung. Frankfurt/Main: Nexus-Verlag 1987; The study was later reproduced by Günter Hebenstreit at the University of Vienna. Hebenstreit, Günter. "Der Orgonakkumulator nach Wilhelm Reich. Eine experimentelle Untersuchung zur Spannungs-Ladungs-Formel," Univ. Wien, Dipl.-Arbeit, 1995" You implied above that this article is becoming "a pov-fork for Orgone"; if that is your argument for removing the above-mentioned, then be clear about that. I think there is some validity in arguing that this material could be moved to the orgone page instead. However, there is certainly room also here to include some qualification of the status of Reich's work.
  2. Regarding your "bold" deletion of the 'chronology of Reich's work' [4], you may read that there is an existing discussion about the problematic structure of the current article: its nature as a biography does not accurately reflect the breadth of Reich's work and, rather, reflects the public side of Reich's work only. As you can see, some of Reich's work as mentioned in the 'chronology' is not even mentioned in the article. Moreover, there is another argument in favour of providing that overview: Reich's publication history is quite confusing due to the fact that many of Reich's books were translated into English at a later date and because some of Reich's work was banned and burned by the US government. Therefore, publication dates are very confusing in relation to the development of Reich's work and the chronology helps to provide a structure.
  3. You "boldly" removed all the entries of Reich's books [5] ?????? What you have committed now is simply censorship, which, in light of Reich's life, is very inappropriate. I, for one, do not see any problems with such a bibliography and it seems not to be a huge divergence from the norm on wikipedia. The reason you give is that it is an "indiscriminate collection of facts". This is, in fact, a very 'discriminate' collection of facts with a specific purpose and, also, in the light of the hitory of censorship of Reich's work is very appropriate to provide. You also say it is "too comprehensive and detailed": alternative solutions to this are intelligently merging the german-language editions with the english-edition publications, for example.
  4. Again, you have "boldly" removed all references to secondary literature and to institutions related to Reich's work? [6] How do you qualify this yourself? If there are specific entries that are inappropriate please intelligently remove those or move those to appropriate other pages.
  5. Regarding your self-qualification of your "bold" clean-up [7]. I do not understand why the article (as a whole!) relied on "self-published" and "unreliable sources" before your "clean-up" which, (1) required tagging beforehand and (2) was solved with your "bold" deletions.
You have some valid points in that some of the content here could be moved to other pages. However, not all such pages exist and, thus, at present this is the appropriate place. Moreover, I suggest that we approach this with some discrimination. If there is anyone supporting this view, I suggest to revert all of Famousdog's edits and then we start removing / moving / deleting intelligently. I'm sorry Famousdog, but you have provided a poor example as regards editorial skills.--Gulpen (talk) 10:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Moreover, can you please provide details as to why you include the remaining tags?
  1. lead. The length of this lead is not uncommon on WP. (e.g. Sigmund Freud).
  2. very long The same, in fact I'd say this article has a very healthy size.
  3. original Can you specify which passages you consider original research?
  4. primary Can you specify which passages rely on primary sources (material you consider likely to be contested)?
  5. refimprove Can you specify where references are missing for verification? (except the 'in popular culture part', which, indeed, lacks this)
  6. trivia Can you specify which passages you consider trivial?
If you can please do this, then we can also start working on improving the article. Thanks. --Gulpen (talk) 11:46, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Finally, in response to your question vis-a-vis SlimVirgin, Wikipedia:Templates reads: "Before placing templates on a page, it is worthwhile to cast a critical eye over the page to determine whether or not the improvements could be made easily, thus eliminating the need for a tag." Moreover,Wikipedia:Template_messages/Disputes reads: "Many editors consider use of any banner template in an article a serious measure of last resort, and would prefer other measures be exhausted before such detractions from the project be used. If one must be used, please make a thorough note listing deficiencies or items being disputed in bulleted or numbered paragraph format under a clear notice section heading on the article's talk page." Hence, I propose the following plan. (1) we remove all tags. (2) you provide a detailed list of deficiencies. (3) we see whether they are valid and if there are editors interested in fixing these (4) if no editors commit themselves to fixing these we re-enter the appropriate tags.--Gulpen (talk) 11:56, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Famous dog, I don't know what you're aiming to do here, but please stop removing references and adding tags. If you think there's OR in the article, please give examples here on talk. Removing the references section makes no sense. As for length, it's a normal length for a topic like this (currently 7,447 words), and the lead is just the right length (see WP:LEAD).

I've been bit concerned about the focus on DeMeo, so I've removed that material (except for one sentence referring to him), at least for now. Gulpen, I made your chronology invisible until the language is tidied a little; that is, you can still see it in edit mode, but not in read mode. Using words like "discovered X" implies that X is a fact about the world, whereas most scientists would say orgone was a wrong-headed idea. So any description of Reich's work has to use disinterested language -- Reich said he had found, Reich argued that, etc. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:22, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Ok, I'll work on that. Also I agree that the weight on DeMeo's work was not WP:DUE.--Gulpen (talk) 17:27, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. Also, reliable primary or secondary sources after each entry in the chronology would help -- or one at the top, if there's just one source. But relying on websites is problematic. The best sources would be Reich himself, or perhaps Sharaf, his biographer. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:29, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
(counts to ten) Ahem. Tread carefully? Whoever has been kitchen-sinking this article clearly hasn't been careful. Read WP:INDISCRIMINATE and then explain to me how laundry-listing pretty much everything Reich wrote (and quite a lot of what has been written about him) and providing a complete chronology of his career to boot AND an excessive number of WP:ELs AND a Further Reading section IN ADDITION to all the inline citations is editing in a discriminate fashion! The relevant sentence is: "merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." WP is, first and foremost, an encyclopedia - not a repository for every titbit of trivia associated with Reich. Starting tomorrow, I will try a different tack and add inline tags within the text where I see a particular problem. How's about that? Famousdog 19:49, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
Instead of tagging the article, can't you list here examples of your concern? Just a few to begin with, then we can start to work on them. As things stand, we still don't know exactly what the issue is. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:53, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
The listing of his (I believe) entire bibliography is simply too extensive. Most of these works are not WP:NOTABLE. His notable works are already discussed, and (if they have their own article) linked to in the text. There are two sections for his works in German! This portion of WP is in English and this will be incomprehensible to most readers. I also think the Further reading section contains material that is not topical, reliable or balanced. There are several ELs to WP:FRINGE websites. You are right to be concerned about DeMeo. Tired now. See you tomorrow. Famousdog 20:12, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
It's standard to list books and notable papers in bios, and this one isn't that extensive. Can you say which links in the current FR section should be removed?
Those sections apart, is there anything specific about the text that you object to? SlimVirgin (talk) 20:22, 21 June 2012 (UTC)
I will clean-up the bibliography also. Moreover, I moved the orgone-related organisations to the orgone page, and the Reichian therapy reference to the vegetotherapy page. I kept a copy of the reference to the American College of Orgonomy, however, because it was founded directly due to Wilhelm Reich. Famousdog: I was not implying a threat or anything. I'm really happy to get some useful feedback on how to improve this page! It's just that your "boldness" was a bit too much on the extreme side. Please do keep up the good feedback part.--Gulpen (talk) 02:01, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Citation templates

This article doesn't use citation templates, and I'd appreciate if that could be respected, per WP:CITEVAR. Using templates in an article of this size would eventually slow down load time. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:44, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

New structure

Although the article in its present form is quite an enjoyable read, its presentation of everything Reich in the form of a Biography has several disadvantages. Firstly, it is not easy to find what Reich (claimed to have) discovered. Secondly, The status of Reich's work is too intermingled with his status as a person. The diversity of his (claimed) discoveries does not allow for discussion in one section 'status', but requires separate mention for each of his theories/experiments. Thus, I propose to

  1. Use the main part of the present article as a future biography section, from which will be extracted
  2. Details, explanations and reproductions of Reich's theories/experiments that will be merged into a (just newly created) section providing an overview of Reich's discoveries.

Or, an alternative to this proposal is to create a new article on Reich's discoveries/theories and their status.--Gulpen (talk) 10:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

This is probably a very good idea. __meco (talk) 13:36, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Hi Gulpen, I'd love to see this article improve, but of the two options you present, I think I'd prefer the second (i.e. a separate article describing his work). Reich's personal and professional life are so interwoven, we wouldn't be able to write a biography without including details of the work. Look at Oslo as just one example: his work was so controversial there that the scientific community was agitating for the government to expel him. And so it is with most of the rest of the biography. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:22, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
On the other hand, I should add that I don't want to be discouraging if you have good ideas for how to move the article forward. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:41, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I had some similar doubts as SlimVirgin and think they are very valid. I took a look at Sigmund Freud's page and from what I see there I think we can have the two co-exist next to each other on the same page. So once the work/discoveries section is expanded somewhat the (presently) main content can be merged under a Biography heading without necessarily having to remove content from it.--Gulpen (talk) 18:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
In fact, there is no separate Biography heading on Freud's page - that's possible too.--Gulpen (talk) 18:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The article is nearly 8,000 words, which is verging on the long side. Anything over 10,000 starts to be problematic. Bearing that in mind, you have these options:
  1. Create a new article, Ideas of Wilhelm Reich (or similar title), and we can later summarize it in this article, per WP:SUMMARY.
  2. Start a new Ideas section in this article; I would suggest locating it between "Imprisonment and death" and "Legacy". Then when that's written, we can go back and remove any unnecessary repetition from the earlier sections.
  3. Be bold and start changing the existing text as you see fit, bearing in mind that you might be reverted if there are major changes that don't look like improvements (I would not revert you frivolously, though I can't speak for anyone else).
  4. Open a user subpage (e.g. User:Gulpen/Reich) and work on a draft text there.
A word of caution: many sources do not think highly of Reich's later research, so be wary of using words that those sources would see as non-neutral. I'm thinking of your subhead: "Chronology of Reich's scientific development." Most science sources would say his work was not scientific, so it's safer to choose neutral language for anything contentious. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I finally made up my mind: I think option 1 (prepared in 4) is the best way to go. Do you think this is a good choice? Moreover, I have some more questions you might help me with:
  1. What name to use. I think Ideas of Wilhelm Reich would be fine, were it not that the latter half of his work was mainly experiment-based. Work of Wilhelm Reich or so would better cover this. But I'm not a native English speaker and do not know whether 'work' can be used in this context. To make it easier to find (when typing in Wilhelm Reich in the Wikipedia search-box), it is also possible to do something like Wilhelm Reich's work.
  2. In this form Reich's work is presented in the chronology that it developed. There is, however, an alternative of presenting it as end-products, integrating all aspects of his work. An example of this would be the orgastic potency article (where I attempted to do this to some extent). Something like that could also be applied to the orgone page (i.e. inclusively list all the experiments / final ideas / aspects about orgone integrated on one page). I would like to do this, but think that the present proposal is more useful. Any ideas on this matter?
  3. As a practical matter, to what extent can Reich's own writing and publications be used as a source. Naturally, his own research bears no weight in judging the worth of his work, but it does provide a useful source regarding the description of his experiments and line of reasoning. Can this be taken from Reich's work, or must those alto be taken from secondary sources?
About my wording, SlimVirgin, that was naturally a mistake. I took the wording (too literally) from the source. --Gulpen (talk) 22:18, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
That's okay, I understand. As for your first question, Work of Wilhelm Reich would be fine, and we can create a redirect from Wilhelm Reich's work to make it easier to find. Regarding your third question, you can use Reich as a source for his own work, so long as you're using it descriptively, and not to draw conclusions that Reich himself didn't reach. But you would also want to pepper your text with some secondary sources along the way, so that it doesn't look as though you're relying entirely on Reich. As for your second question, I'm not sure I understood it. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:26, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Regarding my second question, the distinction is between, on the one hand, providing in a chronological order Reich's theories and claims (e.g. first 'orgasm theory' then, 'bions' then 'orgone', etc.) or to taking each topic and describe all Reich's work that has implications to that topic (e.g. in the case of 'orgastic potency', relevant discoveries are 'orgasm theory', 'character analysis', bioelectric nature of pleasure and anxiety', 'orgone energy', etc.)
Also, I have a more urgent question namely regarding the sources. Your comment that I can use Reich's work as a source is very confusing for me, because I thought wikipedia always prefers the use of third-party sources. If I am going to seriously contribute about Reich's work I want to do it right and use the most accurate and reliable sources. (1) Can you please explain to me specifically what I can/t use Reich's own work for? Because for me it would be the preferred source regarding the description his work. (2) in which cases independent sources would be preferred? and (3) can you (or anyone else) recommend authoritative and independent books specifically about Reich's work?
I have to note, by the way, that I am not completely happy with the Work of Wilhelm Reich solution, because it does not solve the initial reason I had for proposing this: namely that Reich's work and life are too much intermingled. I understand that his work should not be completely extracted from his biography, but extensive descriptions of his theories there, such as is the case now, is not necessary to understand his life and the public reaction to his work. So if the Work of Wilhelm Reich page is created, I consider it as an intermediate step towards the initial proposal (where Work on Wilhelm Reich can be summarised on the Wilhelm Reich page). OR from the start I may go with option 3 "Be bold and start changing the existing text as you see fit, bearing in mind that you might be reverted...". --Gulpen (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Much of Reich's work was soundly refuted, and would fall into the category of 'fehlerhafte Pseudo-Wissenschaft'. Occam's razor, when applied to Reich's experiments invariably provided a simpler explanation. Even the cloudbusting experiment, that saved the blueberry crop, could better be explained as a one-off fluke. Science is confoundingly rigorous! If perchance I built a working 'anti-gravity' bicycle? and even demonstrated it to Wikipedia editors. The rules would prevent me publishing my results on Wikipedia's main page on 'Gravity', before the full peer review and recognised publication protocols had been followed. Stage magicians can simulate anti-gravity. Was Reich a 'Weaver of Invisible Cloth?' only fit for an Emperor's clothes? or did he actually believe in his own fallacies? If I am selling my anti-gravity bicycles at a huge cost, and my customers are complaining that they have not yet levitated! ... Then if my response to them is "You are not pedalling hard enough!" or "You have lost weight! so sue me if you can!"...Then that would make me a confidence trickster! as charged! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alastair Carnegie (talkcontribs) 15:31, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Please note that I'm still planning to execute my original plan, but that it will take very much time to go through all this. However, SlimVirgin, could you please explain to me why your following remark is not a violation of Wikipedia's policy to have to use Wikipedia:Third-party sources? "you can use Reich as a source for his own work, so long as you're using it descriptively, and not to draw conclusions that Reich himself didn't reach. But you would also want to pepper your text with some secondary sources along the way, so that it doesn't look as though you're relying entirely on Reich." --Gulpen (talk) 15:47, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Gulpen, I'm not sure I understand your question. We can use Reich as a source of information about himself and his own ideas, but ideally we rely on secondary sources then use Reich to expand on the summaries the secondary sources offer. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:07, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Invisible comment

Hi BR, I'm going to remove the comment you added here. It serves no purpose for other editors, and it's acting almost as a badge of shame for that source, though the host and the source material are separate issues. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:03, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Corrington needs to be introduced

I remain perturbed that nothing from Robert S. Corrington's psychobiography about Wilhelm Reich has been found significant enough for inclusion into the article. In paricular I have argued repeatedly for the inclusion of the following passage which more lucidly than any other Reich observer gives an educated assessment of his intellectual capacity:

Theologian Robert S. Corrington also emphasizes Reich's unusual thinking power in his 2003 Reich biography. He had an almost unparallelled ability to synthesize knowledge from vastly diverging fields "simultaneously maintaining several seemingly incompatible conceptual horizons in one expanding categorial and phenomenological space, while also making continual reconstruction and reconfigurations that correspond to an expanding phenomenal data field."[5]. Corrington asserts that while Freud at best could work out one or two categorial horizons simultaneously, "Reich [...] could hold a number of horizons in his mind while reshaping each one under the creative pressure of the others, [...]producing a rich skein from the game stragies of (1) transformed psychoanalysis, (2) cultural anthropology, (3) economics, (4) bioenergetics, (5) psychopathology, (6) sociology, and (7) ethics."[6]

There are thirteen to the dozen of casual and dedicated critics of Reich who offer sweeping characteristics about his shortcomings bursting with hyperbole and based on poor understanding or even interest in understanding who he was and what he did and taught. Yet this acute observation is repeatedly prevented from becoming part of the article. I've argued this matter since 2007 (here, here and here). I would like a fresh discussion about this again now. __meco (talk) 11:58, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Corrington, Robert S., Wilhelm Reich: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY, 2003, p. 98
  2. ^ ibid. p. 106
  3. ^ Corrington, Robert S., Wilhelm Reich: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY, 2003, p. 98
  4. ^ ibid. p. 106
  5. ^ Corrington, Robert S., Wilhelm Reich: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY, 2003, p. 98
  6. ^ ibid. p. 106
Feel free to add material from Corrington. The problem before was that it wasn't appropriate for the lead, and also that it's not clear what Corrington is saying in that particular quote: "... maintaining several seemingly incompatible conceptual horizons in one expanding categorial and phenomenological space, while also making continual reconstruction and reconfigurations that correspond to an expanding phenomenal data field." He is saying that Reich had, as we say, an "almost unparallelled ability to synthesize knowledge from vastly diverging fields," so does that quote add anything?
But I agree that we should use him as a source. For example, he could be used to expand the legacy section. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:45, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
On a similar note, perhaps it is an interesting tidbit to add that Reich's private library consisted of several thousand volumes.[8]--Gulpen (talk) 17:07, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
No way! Who doesn't have a private library of several thousand volumes? __meco (talk) 16:39, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps the above (original) can be worked into a new (sub)section concerning Reich's mental health, which also takes away the health qualification of Reich from the current "in psychoanalysis" subsection under "reception and legacy".--Gulpen (talk) 18:32, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Character armor and body armor

I'm having some difficulty writing the section on the book, Character Analysis, and the idea of character armor (Charakterpanzer) and body/muscular armor. Can anyone explain what the difference is, and if there is a difference, when the latter idea emerged from the former? The secondary sources are not consistent, and because Reich went back and revised his work, the development of his thinking is not clear from the primary source material either (or, at least, it's not clear to me). Any help would be much appreciated. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:14, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

I got this from comparing Chapter 2 and Chapter 4 in Boadella. The basic idea of character (armor) is that patients resisted treatment through characteristic resistance patterns, e.g. 'over-friendlieness', emphasis on 'formalities', excessively 'calm' and 'unemotional', or ungenuine expression of 'everything is ok'. That is, character resistances are present-day latent hostilities towards the analyst and you need to break through them before analysis/interpretation of historical dreams, etc. (classical psychoanalysis) can become effective. Thus, Reich firstly attempted to alter the character, the typical mode of behaviour of people! [In other words, rigid character formation binds anxiety]. The concept 'character armour' was introduced in 1927 at the 10th psychoanalytic congress, Innsbruck, though Reich was developing and presenting his ideas already for several years. This and further elaboration formed the main content of the 1933 Character Analysis. (Again, Reich thought he was elaborating on Freud's ideas of repression, resistance, transference).
Muscular armor really is a much later innovation, starting after 1933. Boadella: "During his stay in Copenhagen Reich had his attention focussed once again on the physiological expression of anxiety..." In a specific patient, once Reich broke through the character resistance, the patient suddenly showed all kinds of physiological changes. Boadella: "Clinical observation revealed that the inhibition of aggression, anxiety, pleasure, or any other strong emotion, was regularly associated with a disturbance of the body musculature..." Reich wrote the 1934 papers "Der Orgasmus als Elektro-physiologische Entladung" and "Der Urgegensatz des Vegetatives Lebens" to ground his work in physiology. The same year, Reich presented his idea that bodily expression corresponded with mental attitude (i.e. that muscular armour corresponds to character armour) at the 1934 Lacurne Congress. Reich had already seen that release of character armour resulted in the release of vegetative energy, but now he saw that when focussing on muscular defences, such releases were much more regular and stronger. That is: the birth of vegetotherapy. Boadella: "Vegetotherapy was developed gradually over a period of about fifteen years, from 1933 to 1948."
Confusion about this chronology is probably because Reich incorporated all these somatic additions in later editions of Character Analysis.--Gulpen (talk) 15:52, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thank you, this is very helpful. So Charakterpanzer and muscular armour are two separate phenomena, though they will be found together. That is the point I was confused about -- whether he was arguing that body armour partly constitutes character armour, or whether the former merely often (or always) accompanies the latter. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:50, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, as Reich would put it: 'they are functionally identical'.--Gulpen (talk) 19:38, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a wonderful and lucid summation! The contradistinction between the two would be difficult to apprehend without your firm grasp on the chronologies and of the sources. __meco (talk) 11:44, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Date formats

Minor style issue, but we're meant to ask on talk pages before changing these things. I'd like to start writing the date formats as day-month-year, because it means fewer commas. If anyone objects, please let me know. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:32, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes, by all means, feel free.--Gulpen (talk) 15:09, 10 October 2012 (UTC)


Part of the lead reads, "He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived and how they made love, and took to the streets in a mobile clinic, promoting adolescent sexuality and the availability of contraceptives, abortion and divorce, a provocative message in Catholic Austria." The first part of that sentence should read, "He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived and how they had sex", per WP:EUPHEMISM. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 00:35, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Anyway, I don't know where the idea comes from that Reich visited patients in there home to "see ... how they had sex". Grossinger, one of the sources quoted, states: "He visited homes in slums in order to view the patient's living conditions. . . . His accounts of visits to the homes of his patients recall those of Hahnemann [referring to the massive slums of the 18th century]. Reich mentions one particularly dramatic case in which a woman lived on the verge of starvation with three children, deserted by their father. . . . He went to her apartment. There he was overcome by her survival in a world of such misery. . . . [Reich:] 'I had to grapple not with the exalted question of the etiology of neuroses but with the question of how a human organism could put up with such conditions year in and year out' . . . Reich put this case before the collective psychiatric profession . . . He felt they were blinded by fake intellectualism and could not see the social conditions ..."" (emphasis mine). I would not at all be surprised if Turner translated this into "he watched his patients having sex at home", but if Turner is the only source for this it should not be included, at any rate not in the lead. Grossinger at any rate voices an opposing opinion here. Do correct me if I'm wrong.--Gulpen (talk) 14:53, 10 October 2012 (UTC).
PoC, "made love" is there for the writing (consonance: lived and made love), and also because for Reich it was more a matter of making love than having sex. Gulpen, the source is Turner 2011, p. 82, and he cites Reich's Early Writings, p. 214, though the footnote in which he cites that applies to the whole paragraph. We would have to look there to see exactly what Reich wrote. Turner writes that Reich would visit his patients' homes and ask to see the spouses "to enlighten him or her as to the partner's needs", where the "needs" in question relate to orgastic potency. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:11, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
WP:EUPHEMISM is pretty definite that we don't use euphemisms such as "made love" where having sex is concerned. If Reich wasn't really concerned with people's sexual behavior per se but with their relationships, the article needs to clarify that - it won't be clear to readers precisely what "made love" is supposed to mean. I've no intention of changing the article myself at the moment, but I will go on record as saying this. Polisher of Cobwebs (talk) 21:49, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
EUPHEMISM (part of the MoS) is a guideline; there's nothing wrong with the expression, and "having sex" is arguably a euphemism too. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:01, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
How does "Reich would visit his patients' homes and ask to see the spouses 'to enlighten him or her as to the partner's needs', where the 'needs' in question relate to orgastic potency", translate into "see ... how they had sex" (which even implies he was watching the act in progress..)?
I looked at Early Writings (1975, first [and only?] ed.). The only relevant reference seems this: "Ferenczi justly termed genitality the 'perception of the reality of erotic feeling.' I now feel that the goal of every analysis must be to 'educate' the individual to perceive this reality" (213-4). The rest deals with the possible objection that psychoanalysis should not educate this or that, but only illuminate the patients' unconscious. Nothing about visiting patients' homes or how this education should take place. The paper referred to is the 1924/5 essay "Further Remarks on The Therapeutic Significance of the Genital Libido". Is the reference correct? What publication year is Turner's reference to?--Gulpen (talk) 12:33, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
That sentence – "He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived and how they made love ..." – doesn't imply (to me) that he watched them have sex. If I call you to "see how you are," it doesn't mean I can see through the telephone. It's just an expression.
If you go to Amazon you might be able to find what Turner says exactly; search for "as if he were a sex educator," p. 82. There is a footnote after the paragraph citing Early Writings, but there is also a quote from Reich at the end of that paragraph (about no analysis being complete without a guarantee of genital orgastic potency), so the footnote may refer only to that quote. In other words, Turner's point about the sex education may be unsourced. In the bibliography he lists the 1975 edition of Early Writings.
I can remove "and how they made love" from that sentence if people want. I only included it because it's interesting and part of what made Reich different from other analysts. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:05, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
I read the full paragraph (you also described it above). What I quoted from Early Writings supports the "sex educator" idea, but not that he would enlighten spouses to give him/her advice.
The point Reich makes on that page is that even making patients aware of their unconscious (as does classical psychonalysis) is already a form of "eduation" because the analyst makes decisions here. In other words, Reich is arguing that he is not breaking with traditional Psa! (This is very different indeed from how Turner summarises that paragraph.. I have yet to come across one accurate reference by Turner to Reich's work.)
But anyway, I still have no idea how you could translate Turner's paragraph into "to see how they made love" - even when this does not imply he was watching the act in progress. Reich went out to see miserable social-economic living conditions, and argued that their poverty was the social cause of neurosis - that is what set him apart from the other psychoanalysts who were only treating well-off patients! Reich accused them of "intellectualism" while he himself went to face the social reality of the masses. (That this sets him apart from other Psa is clear from Grossinger).Gulpen (talk) 22:57, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I will remove "how they made love," but I think Danto is to some extent backing up Turner, where she talks about his sex-counselling sessions at the Ambulatorium, combined with his home visits. But she hasn't explicitly said he was offering sex counselling inside people's homes, so I'll leave it out unless or until a supporting source is found. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:02, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

ENGVAR issues

It seems this article was written in American English, with mdy dates. How did it get switched over to its current state? --John (talk) 21:34, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

I changed the dates after checking above that no one minded, and the spelling wasn't consistent so I plumped for the one I'm most comfortable with. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:40, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
I see the conversation about dates; where was the spelling discussed? --John (talk) 11:00, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't particularly care which spelling variant this article is in, but it needs to be internally consistent (it isn't at the moment) and we do have a protocol for dealing with this sort of issue, and I am curious to see whether it has been followed. --John (talk) 11:55, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Protection tag

Just noting here about this edit, where I added the semi-protection tag, that it was a slip of the hand. I had the article open in edit mode, when I dropped something into the keyboard, and in digging it out I must have hit one of the protection tags in the toolbox at the side of the edit window. I only noticed it when I made the next edit. I didn't actually protect the page. Apologies for any confusion. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:37, 14 October 2012 (UTC)


Hi Gulpen, was it not better to have the full bibliography here? It's standard to do this for major figures. I'm open to persuasion, but I'm not sure I see the point of cutting it down. [9] SlimVirgin (talk) 23:47, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Ok, well, the main intent was actually not necessarily to cut it down - although that is what I did now. A few important steps (I think) that I have taken are: specifying Reich's major published books (which helps readers understand what is important); merging double German-language entries with English entries (wasted space); and chronological order following the original publication date (to understand Reich's intellectual development). I am open towards including more information, sub-sections, etc. I have now added the remaining bibliography material I had gathered (and added column-breaks). We can continue discussing what to keep with this as a starting point.--Gulpen (talk) 00:41, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I see now. It's looking better and easier to follow. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:13, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
1. Should we include Reich's early German language work? Most of his German work has been translated into English and published posthumously. However, I do not know whether that includes the German books mentioned now in the bibliography. Another reason for exclusion - perhaps most important - is the relative big weight it presently takes in the overall picture of Reich's work. To the extent that those works are still relveant, are those topics not already covered in Reich's 'Major works'?
2. Also, I'd like to include ISBN references to the republished Farrar Straus and Giroux editions. Is that agreeable?
3. I wasn't sure whether to include the full titles of the German works (in the "Major works" section). Some are really pretty long (they can mostly be found here) I added two dots now where I cut them off.--Gulpen (talk) 14:51, 26 June 2012 (UTC)--Gulpen (talk) 13:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I'd include it all in the order of first publication, using the original title (then in brackets the English title and date of first English publication if it differs from the original) so that people can trace the development of his thought. But I'm happy to defer to what you think is best, and I have no objection to your adding the ISBNs. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:11, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Ok its just that the separately listed German works have not been published in English as books. Perhaps they are included in Sexpol Essays or Early Writings but I'm speculating and wouldn't know which titles are used in English. --Gulpen (talk) 20:26, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think it matters if something wasn't published in English. If I were writing a bibliography for this article, I would write it chronologically, using the original title and first year of publication (in whatever language and format it first apppeared in), so that people can see how his thinking developed. And I would add the date of first English publication, if any (and where known). So I would write something like this:

  • (1922). "Name of essay," Name of publisher. First published in English as "Name of essay in English," in John Smith (ed.). Name of Book in English. Name of publisher, 1961.
  • (1923). "Name of essay," Name of publisher.
  • (1925). Name of Book. Name of publisher. First published in English as Name of book in English. Name of publisher, 1961.

This is just a suggestion. I'm happy to leave it up to you as you're more familiar with the literature. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:56, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The only hesitation I have with this format is that 3/4 of Reich's major works were first published in German, making it a confusing read. Don't you think so?--Gulpen (talk) 16:18, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I finally got my hands on a full bibliography. The number of books published by Reich is 33. Please take a look here for a preliminary version. Suggestions as what to do from here on?--Gulpen (talk) 22:15, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I mean as regards whether this whole list should be integrated in the article, or whether we should perhaps write a separate article Bibliography of Wilhelm Reich - there is quite an interesting story actually surrounding the non-publishing of his work, his own publishing houses, banning, book burning, his habit of completely rewriting books for newer editions, etc. - if that is of relevance.--Gulpen (talk) 15:52, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Good news that you now have the full bio. I'm having some difficulty understanding the style, e.g.
  • "Genitality in the Theory and Therapy of Neurosis (1980)ISBN 0374516413 1981 FSG ed."
Some of the others seem to have several dates, but it's not clear what they refer to. As for creating another article, you could certainly do that if the bibliography is very long (e.g. see Bibliography of The Holocaust), or if there's an interesting story to tell and there are sources to support it. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:07, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Would it make sense to write the bio like this? [10] Original title first, then indented underneath the English title, publisher, and date of first publication in English, unless that was the original title. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:05, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes I really did mean it was a preliminary bibliography! I was also thinking of the direction you suggested.
I'm not sure whether Reich produced as much literature as was written about the Holocaust.. but overview of his journal articles could be included (lists one now, is probably closer to 100). Also there is much literature of others writing about his work, see here. But I'm not quite sure what that would achieve nor whether that would be warranted. Anyway, is it better to start a new article, or could the 33 (further elaborated) titles be part of this article?--Gulpen (talk) 18:17, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I think the list could be part of this article if it's written up clearly. I'm a bit concerned that this version is hard to understand, and I was wondering whether we should return to the previous version until the new one is ready. And if the new one ends up looking too big for this page, it can easily be moved to a dedicated page. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:15, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Just noting that I removed the footnote about which books had been burned or destroyed; not that it's not a good idea, it's just that it wasn't clear. Might be best to make a note after each one. I also wondered why some of the book titles have been truncated. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:20, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes I made a slight mess :). Feel free. --Gulpen (talk) 23:26, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'd like to help fix it, but I don't know what some of it refers to (the multiple dates, and what is meant by "ed" when no editor's name is present). For example, what would this mean?

The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1946) [1933, Die Massenpsychologie des Faschismus], banned by the Nazis and the Communists ISBN 0374508844 1980 FSG ed.

I derive from it that the book was first published in German in 1933 by an unknown publisher; first published in English in 1946 by an unknown publisher, then published under the same English title in 1980 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. I don't know what "ed" means in this context. And to which version does the ISBN refer? SlimVirgin (talk) 00:37, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

I looked up the ISBN and it leads to several FSG editions from 1970, 1971, 1973, and 2000. I think maybe we should restore the old bibliography for now and work on the new one on a subpage, and perhaps leave out ISBNs unless you definitely want them. My experience of using them on WP is that they introduce a fair bit of confusion, though if you find them helpful I don't mind if we leave them in. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:51, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes your interpretation is quite correct, except that "ed." here refers to "edition" rather than editor. The details after the ISBN concern details about that particular ISBN - I got the 1980 date here. Perhaps you can remove all those years and the FSG reference (and perhaps, but lastly, even the ISBN) if you find it confusing, because I do think the chronological order I put it into has many advantages. I aimed to include ISBNs to the first-every truly available editions of Reich's work: the FSG publications starting in 1960; ISBN references to earlier editions are useless in the sense that those editions are simply inaccessible, even in most libraries.--Gulpen (talk) 17:03, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. The 1980 edition is the third FSG edition, so I take it you want to provide the ISBNs to the editions currently available on Amazon? I've removed them and restored an earlier bibliography structure for now (until we decide what the best structure is), but I'm happy that we should restore the ISBNs so long as it's clear what they refer to. Also, I removed the PhD thesis, [11] because we'd need a secondary source. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:15, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes only those ISBNs would have additional value. The publication history of Reich's books up-until the FSG editions is truly a complete mess, as I'm finding out now. I think it is most useful to include the following in the biblio I'm composing now: 1. Original year/title/publisher/etc, 2. Year of first English translation (often in a journal), 3. Title/publisher/ISBN(most recent)/etc. of FSG English publication (in which essays are sometimes included). Does that sound like a good idea? This exlcudes, though, information about the revision (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., eds.) By the way, perhaps you could list the English titles in chronological order, in the meantime. References to primary material is permitted when used with caution. I think it is fair to at least mention the study in that section.--Gulpen (talk) 00:36, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Re the PhD thesis first: we have to move away from primary sources in this article. They are fine when they are augmenting secondary sources. If you look at the paragraph on DeMeo, I reference two secondary sources that mention him (Sharaf and Cordon), then I link directly to DeMeo's work in the footnote. But I only include the secondary summaries in the text itself. Sometimes it would be okay to expand the text using primary sources, so long as secondary sources have mentioned both the issue and those primary sources. But to start using primary sources without that safeguard, and then to extend that to unpublished primary sources (or sources not independently published, such as a PhD thesis) would mean the article would become a mass of original research.
Re the bibliography: I agree that his publication history is a mess. The best thing, in my view, is to list it according to the order in which he first published it, no matter which language, then as you say title of translation, year etc. Then the latest FSG edition if you want that. The aim should be to make it easy to read, so the more details you include the clearer the structure needs to be. SlimVirgin (talk) 02:43, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Re Re Bibliography: I've been distracted a bit. Re re PhD thesis: I really have to disagree with you on this point. There is a major difference between DeMeo's thesis and Hebenstreit's, in that the former is not publicly available while the latter is. Accessible PhD theses are recognised by Wikipedia as reliable sources (WP:RS#Scholarship). Moreover, this research is absolutely crucial, because it shows that Reich's bio-electric experiments are not only reproducible but even verifiable, most certainly placing doubt on the idea that Reich became "crazy" and started "pseudoscience" at this time. Thus, I propose it being included in a careful way, not interpreting the results in any way other than Hebenstreit himself has. In the orgastic potency article I summarised their findings with quotes from the thesis, which could be one method:

[Reich's bio-electric investigations] were reproduced in 2010 at the University of Vienna. The study affirmed the validity of Reich's "sex-economic model of excitation-regulation" by confirming the "interconnection between the subjective experience of erogenous stimuli and skin potential deflections."

Do you find that agreeable?--Gulpen (talk) 18:50, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
The PhD thesis has not been published, and it's asserting something that might be contentious (I don't know whether it is contentious). It would be better to have a secondary source so that we know the PhD thesis was deemed worthy of mention by someone other than Wikipedia. Also, a note about writing: we couldn't say, in WP's voice, that the study affirmed the validity of anything. We could only say that the writer said this. Perhaps you could put a brief note about the PhD in one of the section's footnotes for now. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:00, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
True it is not published, but WP:RS#Scholarship reads "theses written as part of the requirements for a PhD, and which are publicly available, are considered publications by scholars". (I said "publicly available" and "accessible").--Gulpen (talk) 19:31, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I think that part of RS is very wrong-headed and that we should not be using PhD theses as sources, unless they've been published somewhere (other than being made available in the university library) or cover interesting but entirely uncontentious material. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:25, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what to think of that last statement. On the one hand, I'm not sure whether you are voicing WP policy or a criticism thereof. On the other hand, we use dozens of quasi-self-published sources (basically all the books), but you voice criticism to including a well-vetted PhD dissertation. To me this distinction is very vague.
To go back to the Bibliography. I have done some more work, perhaps you can take a look and give some suggestions. Please note both the simplified and the detailed bibliographies (between which there is a minor version differences, by the way).Gulpen (talk) 22:38, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
What I mean is that RS is a guideline, not policy, and that I disagree with that part of it, don't know who added it or when, and that I keep meaning to try to change it but haven't found the time or energy. If you want to use the PhD thesis for anything, the first step is to find a secondary source that mentions it, so that we know it's notable enough to be mentioned by Wikipedia.
By the quasi-self-published books, do you mean Reich? We're allowed to use an author's self-published works in the article about that author, but you'll note that I source it to a secondary source, then add the Reich reference to the footnote as an additional reference.
Thanks for letting me know about the bibliography. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:46, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
No, with "quasi-self-published books" I am referring to basically all the secondary literature. None of that went through academic vetting. Even Sharaf's biography, probably the most authoritative work out there concerning Reich, was published simply under his own name, and perhaps was not vetted by a (not qualified) publisher. In contrast, a PhD dissertation face years of academic scrutiny and criticism, with the final requirement of having to defend its status against a panel of authorities in the field. This standard is arguably higher than that of a peer-reviewed journal publication. Moreover, there are a number of names (supervisors, etc.) that have agreed to (risking) putting their name on the final publication, i.e. personally vouching for its status.Gulpen (talk) 23:30, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Purpose of Wikipedia

The above exchange (and similar exchanges at the orgastic potency article) might be based on a misunderstanding of the purpose of WP. WP is a tertiary source, and our articles summarize the best secondary source material on any given topic. We can use primary sources to fill in the gaps, to clarify, and to correct the secondary material where it's clearly wrong. But overall we are answering the question: "What do independent secondary sources say about Wilhelm Reich?" Not -- "what did Reich say about himself," or "was he right?", or "what do his followers say?" We might add bits and pieces that answer those questions, but only as dessert, never as the main course. Even though we know the secondary sources are often relying on Reich's words, we still want to summarize how they viewed the material, because we want Wikipedia to remain at arm's length from it.

David Boadella isn't a scientist and he seems to be a Reichian, so his book isn't an independent secondary source for the points in question. I don't object to it being used for anything uncontentious, but for something as contentious as Reich's views about the origins of life being confirmed, we would need a high-quality, entirely independent, and appropriate secondary source with lots of in-text attribution. See WP:REDFLAG. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:42, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Neither is it the purpose of Wikipedia to in every possible (minor) way misrepresent or unduly discredit Wilhelm Reich's work. Yet that is the trend thus far.--Gulpen (talk) 23:00, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Bio-electric experiments

Just noting that I removed this new section as it seemed too detailed for the bio, and was based on too many primary sources. Would most of that not belong (with secondary sources) on the orgastic potency page, with a brief summary here? SlimVirgin (talk) 00:31, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

I partially agree and partially disagree. Regarding the sources: Do I understand correctly that you consider Baker and Raknes' articles as primary sources? Or are you primarily referring to the references directly to Reich? Anyway, its inclusion is most certainly warranted, because it formed Reich's first step into the natural sciences, linking all his later work to his earlier work. It is not only relevant to orgastic potency (though I framed it as such) but is also of relevance to vegetotherapy, bion research, orgone energy, etc. This period of his research work was often ignored, and this 'gap' was often used to justify the claim that Reich became "crazy" when he suddenly jumped from (psycho)therapy to 'creating life' under microscopes, etc. Whether this should be explained in this article brings us back to the "new structure" discussion, perhaps. Anyway, I do not see much harm in explaining a bit more in the present article. I find it very difficult to accept that we should not elaborate on such aspects in the main article because it would be too "detailed". At any rate I do think that explaining the place of these experiments in the context of Reich's other work is more important than mentioning e.g. the details about Willy Brandt.--Gulpen (talk) 16:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, fair points -- I've restored it with a few tweaks. [12] Please feel free to re-tweak. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't address your point about Baker. Yes, I would regard Baker's work as primary source material on Reich. Not so sure about Raknes. Probably yes. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:53, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Gulpen, a question about this section. You wrote: "Through clinical observations in his sex-counseling centers, he concluded that conceiving of the orgasm as only mechanical tension and relaxation could not explain why some experience gratification and others do not."

What kind of clinical observations were you (or was he) referring to? SlimVirgin (talk) 16:10, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

I summarised with that sentence the following arguments, with which he prepares his argument that mechanical aspects are not sufficient to explain the orgasm/gratification (Reich Bio-El, pp. 4-9):
  • Healthy women experience the same orgastic phenomena as men (i.e. concentration of excitation and it ebbing away). Thus, opposing (the then prevalent) view that orgasm is an exclusively masculine phenomenon, and is the outcome of mechanical tension (erection) and relaxation. Why?
  • In coitus interruptus, mechanical discharge takes place, but sensation of satisfaction is less or lacking. Why?
  • In coitus condomatus (w. condom), mechanical discharge occurs, but gratification diminishes (which is not simply caused by less sensation/friction). Why?
  • Clinical investigations: two types of female secretions with different tactile sensations of excitation during sex. One is watery/squishy (serous secretions), the other oily/thick/abundant (colloidal secretions); the latter giving a more intense sensation. Why?
  • Detailed inquiries in sex-counselling centres, borne out of clinical experience: two kinds of frictional movement: one thrusting/strenuous/entire torso, the other spontaneous/undulating/limited to pelvic region. , As the movement of the former is the armored person's compensation for a lack of spontaneous movement, this corresponds to the difference between the orgastically impotent (without gratification) and the potent (with gratification). Why this difference?
  • Following orgastic release, genitals cannot be stimulated by an image of the sexual act. Why?
  • Mechanical relaxation seems to follow the drop in excitation, not precede. Why?
(After this follows a section where he theoretically supports his hypothesis that the orgasm is indeed a bio-electric discharge, e.g. postulating the genitals as an electrolytic system).
Boadella on page 103 summarises the above as follows: "For a long time Reich had pondered over the dynamic of the orgastically impotent person. It will be remembered that there were many cases of men with erective potency who showed all manner of psychic and somatic disturbances. Specifically, they had a reduced and limited sense of fulfilment and a characteristic defective feeling of 'after-glow'. What was it, Reich asked, that was associated with the mechanical tension and relaxation and accounted for the sensation of pleasure or of anxiety? Kraus's fluid theory of the body as an electrolytic system suggested an answer. Reich's revised theories about the orgasm were now presented in terms of the following four-beat formula: . . . "--Gulpen (talk) 13:43, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, another question: do you have any independent sources for this?

He proposed that the genitals in coitus constitute an electrolytic system.[1] He proposed a functional psychosomatic antithesis between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, captured respectively as pleasure or movement "towards the world," and anxiety or movement "away from the world."[2]

  1. ^ Baker, Elsworth (1986), "Sexual Theories of Wilhelm Reich", Journal of Orgonomy, 20 (2), pp. 175–194 (archived from the original on 6 June 2012, p. 6).
  2. ^ Reich, The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety, pp. 68-69; Boadella 1985, p. 109.
SlimVirgin (talk) 18:02, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't have another source regarding the electrolytic system of the genitals in coitus. It is an extra theoretical basis (not experiment as far as I know) to support his hypothesis that the orgasm is a bio-electric discharge (the four-beat "orgasm formula"). It is half-supported by what I quote above from Boadella on p. 103. Now, the functional antithesis of the nervous system is explained by Boadella in detail on pages 104-109. He captures the "psychosomatic identity and antithesis" as between the "pleasurable" and the "anxiety" response, and as "libidinal expansion, of reaching out toward the world; the sympathetic was essentially the system of libidinal retreat, of drawing back from the world into oneself". The reference I made to Reich there seems to be an extra.--Gulpen (talk) 13:43, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Question above that you may have missed. You wrote: "Through clinical observations in his sex-counseling centers, he concluded that conceiving of the orgasm as only mechanical tension and relaxation could not explain why some experience gratification and others do not." What kind of clinical observations were you (or was he) referring to, and what is the source? SlimVirgin (talk) 22:55, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorry I had not explicitly answered your question, but did so implicitly. The above quoted information is all I used for that sentence - thus I based it on Reich & Boadella. The clinical observations (it should be clear from the above) does not concern any types of experiments or very special observations, but largely interviews with people and experiences related to him by his patients, apart from literature on sexology (and his own sexual experience, I presume). The main argument I extracted is that among those who orgasm one can distinguish the extent they experience gratification, thus he proposed X.--Gulpen (talk) 00:14, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

In the sciences

Hi Gulpen, I removed this from the science section:

According to Corrington, Reich has established at least the pragmatic truth of the following: the function of the orgasm, the sociology of sexual repression, the dynamics of fascism, character armouring, the electrical function of sexuality and the processes involved in schizophrenia (including the organic causes of neuroses). Moreover, Corrington argues that there is some phenomenological and perhaps inductive evidence for Reich's life formula and orgone radiation. However, he argues that Reich's work on the bions, processes involved in cancer formation, processes involved in rheumatism and the spinning-wave theory require more justification though adds that they need not necessarily be false. For instance, Corrington notes, qualified researchers have insisted that Reich's bion experiments are fully replicable and, if true, further investigation of Reich's cancer theory might also be warranted.[1]

  1. ^ Corrington 2003, pp. 187-8.
    • Regarding Bion replication, Corrington adds in a footnote: "In particular, I mention the work of James Strick at Fanklin and Marshall College; Bernard Grad at McGill Unviersity; Joseph Heckman at Rutgers University; James DeMeo at the Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory in Ashland, Orgeon; and Bernd Senf at the Fachhosschule für Wirtschaft in Berlin, Germany" (Corrington 2003, footnote 10, p. 280).

It's problematic as written, and Corrington can't be used as a source for the claim that the "processes involved in cancer formation ... need not necessarily be false." It's also not clear what that would mean. Also, we don't say who the qualified researchers are (there are names in the footnote, with no indication as to who they are). And it's not clear what the first or second sentence means. And again, Corrington can't be used as a source on schizophrenia or the orgasm. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:37, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

"need not necessarily be false" means that though there is no reliable source confirming e.g. Reich's cancer experiments there is also no reliable source rejecting Reich's cancer experiments. Thus Corrington sees no reason to accept their validity, but neither to reject it necessarily. I've been almost literal in paraphrasing Corrington here. I don't see the problem with the first sentence, though I can understand your objection to the second. I would have to read the rest of the book to see what he bases this conclusion on. Again, you are better at writing for Wikipedia. Perhaps you can give it a try to incorporate (some of) this.--Gulpen (talk) 19:27, 5 October 2012 (UTC)


Same problem with this section:

Two laboratories reproduced and confirmed Reich's findings. The Académie des Sciences, Paris passed Reich's reports to Dr. Louis Lapique, Laboratoire de Physiologie Générale. Lapique confirmed the lifelike movements in the bion preparation and proposed to publish a shortened version of Reich's report in the bulletin of the Académie with a footnote confirming the facts, but on the condition that no references were made to the culturability of the lifelike forms. Reich declined to consent to publish on these terms. In 1937, Prof. Roger du Teil, and his team at Nice University wrote an elaborate account confirming Reich's findings to the Natural Philosophy Society, Nice. They wrote that Reich's preparations showed "immediately and with incontestable exactness the appearances described in Dr. Reich's communication". The Philosophical Society elected four members to assist du Teil to do further control research and expressed the wish that the work would be carried out at a big French laboratory such as Lumière Laboratory, Lyon.[1] This was not carried out due to the outbreak of World War II.[citation needed]

  1. ^ Boadella 1985, pp 145-6.

Boadella isn't in a position to say that the experiments confirmed Reich's findings, so this would have to be written differently. Also, is there another source that says anything similar, and do we have access to anything written about this by Louis Lapique? Finally, according to Turner, Roger du Teil was a poet and a philosopher, not a scientist. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:49, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

I don't have access to Louis Lapique words, though quotations/references to Lapique might be included in Reich's 1942 "The natural organisation of protozoa", which Boadella cites. Neither do I have another secondary source, at present. Those are fair objections. But please explain this: Boadella cannot say anything about du Teil because Boadella is not a science historian/biologist, but Turner can say du Teil is not a scientist/biologist because Turner is...? Anyway, I see now that my first sentence "Two laboratories reproduced and confirmed Reich's findings" is an overstatement, because the two reproductions concerned preliminary confirmation reproducing what Reich saw, but this does not concern a confirmation of Reich's bion theory. That is, the reason for mentioning them is that they show replication is possible - something contested by others. That needs to be clarified when re-included. Either way do you have a suggestion for including this in an agreeable way? (I read that about the outbreak of WWII somewhere, but cannot remember where).--Gulpen (talk) 19:17, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
It's a question of using appropriate sources. If a source who is a psychotherapist says: "The results of this scientific experiment were later confirmed by Dr John Smith," and you discover that Dr John Smith was a philosopher, then you learn that your source is not the best one to use, because neither a philosopher nor a psychotherapist can confirm the results of scientific experiments, and the source should know that. (I'm assuming here that you faithfully reported what Boadella wrote.) Christopher Turner's book, however, is an appropriate source from which to learn that Du Teil was not a scientist, because no specialist knowledge is required to make that point.
Bear in mind that we're not here to promote Reich's ideas, but simply to tell readers what he said, and what reliable sources have said about him. SlimVirgin (talk) 19:43, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I usually can follow and agree with your line of reasoning SlimVirgin, but this argument regarding Du Teil and Turner is absurd. So if Turner writes that Einstein is a philosopher and poet - not a scientist - is it reasonable he is to be trusted on that point? Or perhaps could we say that it requires "specialist knowledge" to qualify the vocation of the person who comes up with something like general relativity? Either you throw out both Turner and Boadella with that argument or neither, but you really cannot argue for keeping just one. At any rate, du Teil's work in biology was recognised by the Natural Philosophy Society who on the basis of his report elected four scientists to help du Teil with his research... so what does Turner base his ad hominem qualification of du Teil on? Boadella did by no means attempt to reproduce Reich's bion experiments, but it does not require specialist knowledge to relate very simple history.
Bear in mind that I'm really trying to relate the facts here. I'm not good at neutral writing, though it is by all means what I attempt to do. These developments are of interest 1) because it shows Reich was involved with academia and universities showed positive interest in his work in biology 2) independent scientists were able to reproduce Reich's experiments (while others said they couldn't - regardless of Reich's interpretation), however 3) they do not validate Reich's Bion experiments, as the results were not published in journals. That is what I would like to see clarified.-Gulpen (talk) 20:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Du Teil was not in a position to conduct scientific experiments into the origins of life. Anyone who says he was is, in my view, a questionable source. (If Turner wrote that Einstein was not a scientist, then Turner would not be a good source either, so I'm not sure I understand your point there.) Turner adds, by the way, that du Teil was suspended from his university position because of that work.
Turner has one sentence about du Teil and Corrington doesn't mention him that I can find. Sharaf mentions him but calls him as "associate" of Reich's who had no experience of experimental work. So Boadella's view that du Teil confirmed anything would seem to be a tiny-minority one. In addition, you wrote in Wikipedia's voice that du Teil had confirmed Reich's results, as though there was no doubt about it. So the edit was problematic all round. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:25, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes I already noted I made a mistake summarising that paragraph as "Two laboratories reproduced and confirmed Reich's findings". Let me clarify what I should have written there and why the content of this paragraph should not be considered as controversial - and I also address the question of the status of du Teil's work. Basically, the crucial point around which this section revolves is whether Reich saw things subjectively, in his mind, or whether he saw things objectively, through the microscope, i.e. things that could also be seen by others. You see, one of the attacks made against Reich is that his experiments were "impossible" because they demanded higher than normal magnification. Thus, Boadella notes, "Some laboratories which might otherwise have tried to repeat his work became hostile when it demanded a magnification higher than they possessed as 1,500x was often the upper power thought necessary.)". The reason for this upper limit is that due to simple optical laws the definition of structure becomes vague above this limit. However, Reich focussed on observing movement, not details of structure - a new idea! His two (at that time very advanced) microscopes had magnification of up to 3,750 and 5,625x.

To understand the relevance of Roger du Teil and Louis Lapique's work, let me first give an overview of the nature of the (public) opposition to Reich's bion work, according to Boadella:

  • Albert Fischer - denounced Reich's observations as "fantasies", but the highest magnification his laboratory could provide was 1500x.
  • Thjötta - denounced experiments as "airborne infection" (in article). Boadella: Reich send the samples of his cultures to Thjötta to ask him simply to identify the micro organisms. But "Thjötta interpreted Reich's request as a pretext to issue a public statement to the effect that he had controlled Reich's experiments and found only well-known microbes" (italics mine). [Boadella implies here that Reich had not sent Thjötta any instructions and details regarding how to reproduce his experiments nor regarding control procedures]
  • Gabriel Langfeldt - Reich's venture is "unbelievable and impossible"
  • Mohr - ibid.
  • Hansen - ibid.

Only now (1938?) Die Bione (with the details of the experimental procedures etc) was published. This was followed by three more attacks:

  • Ingjald Nissen - implying Reich practised "quasi-medicinal relaxation analysis [leading to] sexual excitation"
  • Johann Scharffenberg - questioning Reich's sanity (e.g. summarised the bio-electric experiments as concerning sexual intercourse between psychopaths).
  • Quisling - "God Reich" has 'created' life.
  • Kreyberg - denounced experiments as "airborne infection" (in article). Boadella: he was approached by Reich for cancer tissues for his research with T-Bacilli. In return, "Kreyberg had expressed a wish to see cancer tissue under Reich's magnifcation of 4,000, which he could not supply. Kreyberg was shown mobile cancer cells from a living preparation moving across the microscopic field. Believing that he was looking at an infected solution, he asked to see Reich's bouillon under the same magnification. No such forms appeared in it. Mystified, Kreyberg returned home, taking with him one of Reich's inoculations from the cancer tissue, on agar medium, for further study. In an article to the press shortly afterwards on 'Wilhelm Reich's bion research', Kreyberg referred to Reich as 'Mr. Reich', said that he had 'controlled' Reich's bion experiments, and that they consisted of 'only staphylococci'. [But] He had killed the bions, [because he] dried them and stained them, whereupon all the qualities that differentiated the vesicles promptly disappeared".

In other words, what Boadella writes is that none of the above actually (could have) repeated Reich's bion experiments and most certainly not including all the controls (detailing those here requires another long explanation). On the contrary, Boadella states that everyone who repeated the experiments and the controls made the same observations as Reich did. This is where Roger du Teil and Louis Lapique enter in. What did they say they observed? According to Boadella "Lapique confirmed that the lifelike movements were still active in the bion preparation one year later and that this was surprising in view of the long lapse of time. He proposed publishing a shortened form of Reich's raport in the bulletin of the Académie, to which he would add a footnote confirming the facts". And, as I noted, Boadella quotes du Teil as saying "Observation of Reich's preparations showed immediately and with incontestable exactness the appearances described in Dr. Reich's communication," and Boadella adds that "Du Teil was also able to confirm that the preparations grew and developed in a culture medium."

I do not know how Reich initially came into contact with du Teil, but at any rate it seems clear Reich did not directly know Lapique. Boadella writes this: "On the 8 January 1937 [before publication of Die Bione] Reich sent the following report to Professor Roger du Teil, of the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéan at Nice, who had shown great interest in the experiments. . . . At the same time a copy of the report, together with samples of the bion preparations, were sent to the Académie des Sciences in Paris" and, as I wrote, "The Académie des Sciences, Paris passed Reich's reports to Dr. Louis Lapique". Now Boadella does not state that du Teil was a biologist - I'm looking into different sources now to find out about du Teil's qualifications - but Boadella states that there was "a team of researchers who worked under Professor du Teil . . . He had the assistance of Drs. Ronchese and Saraille and of Mr. Deel, bacteriologist from Cannes, and the facilities of an analytical laboratory [as possessed by Dr. Ronchese and Dr. Saraille] which possessed binocular microscopes capable of a magnification up to 3,000x." Thus, even if he was a philosopher rather than a scientist, he worked with a team that most certainly had the right qualifications. Of interest may also be that "the Philosophical Society elected Dr. Chartier, Dr. Perisson, Mlle Fermand (a Professor of Natural Sciences) and Claude Saulnier, a pharmacist, to assist du Teil in his bion research", i.e. four scientists with relevant qualifications who, it is likely, must have volunteered (after listening to du Teil's presentation at the Society).

Now, to return to the purpose of the paragraph concerned, of interest here is whether it is possible to reproduce Reich's experiments and whether others can reproduce his observations - in other words, whether the 'life-like movements' were not just in Reich's mind. This point seems to be confirmed by Roger du Teil, Lapique, and here also comes in Corrington's statement in 2003 that "some serious and qualified researchers have (in their lights) replicated Reich's bion experiments and have insisted that most of these data are fully replicatable by others whould they take the trouble" [which is at least regarding some of the names he lists].

So why should this not be controversial? Well, because the truly controversial aspect of these experiments is not whether you can reproduce them and get the same observations [that is a question regarding Reich's sanity], but the controversial aspect concerns the interpretation of these observations! Thus, the reason for Lapique's suggestion to omit that the lifelike forms were culturable is because Lapique favoured an exclusively physico-chemical interpretation, according to Boadella. This was also voiced, according to Roger du Teil (whose communication to the Natural Philosophical Society is included as an appendix by Boadella), by one of his assistants named above. I quote du Teil here: "I must add to this report that [bacteriologist] Dr. Ronchese, who examined the cell-formations in question with me - in fact, before me - after reading Dr. Reich's report very carefully, did not for a moment doubt the correctness of the experiments which produced the bions, though he reserved judgement on the possible interpretation of the phenomena observed." and likewise, du Teil notes that "M. Deel, the bacteriologist from Cannes, who has also read the various reports and handled the cultures, though he too made reservations respecting the interpretation - incidentally, different ones to Dr. Ronchese's - also had not a moment of doubt regarding the concrete facts".

Reich was fully aware that his interpretation was the most controversial aspect of his Bion work and accordingly carefully divided Die Bione into two parts: the first dealing with the experiments and observations, the second dealing with the interpretation and his theory. Thus, the message the paragraph should convey to the reader is that Reich's experiments and observations were not "fantasies" in his mind, but could be repeated by others with the same faculties - not that Reich's bion theory/interpretation was fully supported and confirmed by others. In other words, the status of this paragraph should be seen as roughly equal to (though strongly opposing) the Norwegian media campaigns against Reich's sanity. He may, of course, still turn out to have been a "failed scientist", but, I argue in that paragraph, not a "failed madman"!

One final point regarding the Turner/du Teil argument. It seemed to me you argued the following, which is a very unbalanced position:

  • in order to authoritatively support a statement of specialist knowledge one needs to be in a position of specialist knowledge.
  • in order to authoritatively undermine a statement of specialist knowledge one might only require general knowledge.

Thus, following your logic, Turner can undermine du Teil's claims by pointing out that he was a philosopher and poet, but the inverse is not true: Boadella could not support du Teil's claims by pointing out he was a biologist. That doesn't sound fair to me! (But this point may now be irrelevant).--Gulpen (talk) 22:22, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

But Boadella doesn't say that du Teil was a biologist. And Turner doesn't make the astonishing claim that Reich's experimental results were confirmed. Boadella does make that claim, perhaps without knowing who du Teil was.
I can find no sign anywhere of a scientist by the name of Roger du Teil. But even if he were a scientist, we would still need a high-quality, appropriate (scientific) secondary source to tell us that du Teil was able to confirm the results of Reich's experiments, per WP:REDFLAG. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:18, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
I think you missed the three major points I tried to make here, which are: 1) even if Roger du Teil was a manager, his team had sufficient qualifications (at least two bacteriologists). 2) reproducing Reich's observations is not that controversial - this is merely stating that Reich had not lost his sanity regarding what he saw; controversial is the interpretation - that really requires WP:REDFLAG, but as I explained above, Lapique, Ronchese and Deel all suggested alternative explanations, i.e. they did not favour Reich's interpretation. (As I noted, I had not adequately clarified this in that paragraph). Finally, 3): the seeming imbalance in requirements of sources between opposing and confirming Reich's views. We have now two paragraphs dedicated to views opposing Reich's bion work. However, none of those objections were based on authoritative, academic publications. Still the two paragraphs are presented to the reader as if they are authoritative disqualifications of Reich's bion work. If you object to including the opinions of du Teil and Lapique, then you should similarly object to including the views of Kreyberg and Thjötta. On the other hand, if you consider Kreyberg and Thjötta worthy of inclusion simply for historical reasons, then the same applies in my view to the inclusion of the views of du Teil and Lapique.--Gulpen (talk) 12:57, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Kreyberg and Thjötta were professors of pathological anatomy and bacteriology respectively, at the University of Oslo, according to Turner (p. 193). Their views were reported at the time in the local press, and have since been discussed by Sharaf and Turner, who are both reliable and appropriate sources for this article. Myron Sharaf was an associate of Reich who became a lecturer in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School – although he was a Reichian, he managed to maintain some critical distance, and his biography of Reich was very well received. Christopher Turner has a PhD in cultural history from the University of London (and an MA in anthropology from Cambridge), and his biography of Reich is a cultural history of attitudes toward sex in the United States during the 1950s, and the effects of Reich's ideas during that period.
Against this, we have Roger du Teil, who might have been a philosopher and poet, but we're not sure. And Lapique, Ronchese and Deel, whose background has not been explained. The sole source you have used for their conclusions -- that they reproduced Reich's experimental results -- is David Boadella, a psychotherapist and a Reichian, writing in 1971.
So, per REDFLAG, you need to find some appropriate sources to tell us (a) who Roger du Teil and Lapique were (and Ronchese and Deel if it's relevant); (b) that du Teil had at least two bacteriologists on his team, and preferably who they were; (c) that they reproduced Reich's observations; and (d) what happened to their research. Without at least some of these details, it's all hearsay. Also, please read WP:UNDUE. SlimVirgin (talk) 17:08, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Roger du Teil

Gulpen, if you want to include du Teil, the first thing to establish is who he was (and in particular who conducted his experiments, and why they matter).

  • Turner (2011, p. 192) writes: "Despite Reich's supporters' willingness to see what he saw, Reich's most preeminent collaborator on the bion experiments were Roger du Teil from the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen in Nice, who was a poet and professor of philosophy, not a scientist (du Teil was suspended from his university post in June 1938 because of his controversial extracurricular work for Reich).
  • Sharaf (1983, 1994, pp. 225–227) writes: "One supporter of Reich during this period not at all involved in therapy was Roger du Teil, whom Reich had met on a visit to France in February 1936. At the time, du Teil was a professor of philosophy at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen in Nice. A man of broad interests and great personal charm, he had published a book of poetry as well as psychological and philosophical works. Du Teil had a theoretical interest in problems of biogenesis but apparently had done no experimental work prior to his association with Reich."

    Reich sent him some bion specimens, and du Teil conducted some experiments. (Sharaf does not give details.) Reich included du Teil's report in his self-published book Die Bione (1938). Du Teil also put Reich in touch with the Académie des Sciences in Paris, and Reich sent Louis Lapicque of the Academy a sample of bions. Lapicque said he saw life-life movements, and asked Reich's permission to publish a brief report that would make no mention of Reich's bioelectricity theory. Reich refused permission, and so nothing appeared.

What do your sources say? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:46, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

I have stated everything I have from Boadella above. No other of my secondary sources deal with it in detail. Will look further though. Am I correct in concluding that we now have two sources confirming Lapicque's involvement and opinion?--Gulpen (talk) 15:03, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
  • You wrote above that Boadella wrote (year, page numbers?): "On the 8 January 1937 [before publication of Die Bione] Reich sent the following report to Professor Roger du Teil, of the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéan at Nice, who had shown great interest in the experiments. . . . At the same time a copy of the report, together with samples of the bion preparations, were sent to the Académie des Sciences in Paris." And there was "a team of researchers who worked under Professor du Teil . . . He had the assistance of Drs. Ronchese and Saraille and of Mr. Deel, bacteriologist from Cannes, and the facilities of an analytical laboratory [as possessed by Dr. Ronchese and Dr. Saraille] which possessed binocular microscopes capable of a magnification up to 3,000x." And "the Philosophical Society elected Dr. Chartier, Dr. Perisson, Mlle Fermand (a Professor of Natural Sciences) and Claude Saulnier, a pharmacist, to assist du Teil in his bion research."

    Does it not concern you that Boadella declined to mention that du Teil was a philosopher and not a scientist? Also, does Boadella cite his source? Regarding Lapicque, we have Sharaf saying he offered to become involved by writing a report on what he had seen, but he didn't do it. Sharaf (pp. 226–227) reproduces a January 1938 letter from Lapicque to Reich, but his source is Reich's self-published Cancer Biopathy. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:02, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

What if it was not published? Sharaf seems to have found this story authentic. Boadella seems to have too. Why could it not be included that Lapique "said that he also saw life-like movements in the samples sent to him by Reich"? About Lapique, Boadella seems to refer to a paper published by Reich - but I get the impression that he got this information elsewhere. Boadella often omits references to biographical details (he focusses on the content of the work).
You stated that according to Sharaf, "Reich sent him some bion specimens, and du Teil conducted some experiments. (Sharaf does not give details.)". Does Sharaf add anything about du Teil opinion?
Yes it worries me that Boadella did not mention du Teil's profession. Would you want me to list what worries me about Turner? or Sharaf for that matter? Boadella is not perfect, but his work belongs to the best out there. I'm referring to the 1985 (2nd ed.) of Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of His Work. I combined information from sections 147-149; 151-153 and Appendix II.Gulpen (talk) 23:12, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh just to clarify: yes it worries me that Boadella didn't explicitly state du Teil's profession. But du Teil's profession does not necissarily worry me a big deal. History is filled with scientists crossing many boundaries (a classic example being Isaac Newton - bear in mind also that emphasis on "specialisation of knowledge" is historically only a very recent outcome of Neoliberalism). I do not mind at all explicitly including du Teil's profession in the article.
Anyway, I still get the impression from the way you are fencing against the inclusion of the above information (in appropriate form) is that you see it as if I want to use it to prove the present-day validity of Reich's bion theory... You may note that I very consciously did not include it in the "Reception and Legacy" section but in the section where the historical development of Reich's work is described. If all of the above is stated (incorrectly) as "according to Reich Lapicque and du Teil reproduced some of his observations of the Bion experiments" would you even then be against including it (having both Boadella and Sharaf corroborating this story)? I say incorrectly because du Teil co-published the original Bion report, so it is also according to du Teil himself. Du Teil wrote an article reflecting on the whole affair (du Teil, Roger (1973) "The Bion Experiment: An Afterword", Energy & Character, 4(3):38) which may be an interesting source, but I haven't been able to access the article as of yet. In the meantime I can quote the full text of Lapicque's letter (French original also included, if you prefer that), which may clarify his position:

"University of Paris,
Faculty of Sciences,
Laboratories for General Physiology,
1, rue Victor-Cousin (5ème).
Sorbonne, January 25, 1938.
My dear Doctor,
Requested by the Academy to study your communication of January 8 of last year, I first waited for the arrival of the film you were to send. Then since I did not receive it, I examined microscopicallly the samples you included with you rinitial communication. I have in fact verified the life-like movements that you describe. That fact itself is remarkable considering the length of time that has elapsed since the preparations were made.
I should like to propose to the Academy the publication of your findings in brief, together with a short annotation by myself confirming the fact and offering a physical-chemical interpretation representing my own personal viewpoint. Would you agree to the publication of your contribution in the excerpted form attahced, which is actually a résumé of the important part, while leaving out your electrical theory, which has nothing to do with the experiment? It seems to me that this arrangement would be in accord with your wish to have your research recorded in our bulletin.
Permit me to convey to you my sincerest respects.
Dr. Louis Lapique
Honorary Professor, University of Paris
Member, Academy of Sciences."

Reich adds to this: "I withdrew my consent for publication in the bulletin of the French Academy of Sciences on the following grounds: 1. The physical-chemical interpretation would have obscured the biological [living, -Gulpen] character of the experiment. 2. During 1937, I produced bion cultures that were confirmed experimentally by Prof. DuTeil in Nice. This decisively important fact would not be published. 3. The résumé proposed for publication in no way represented the detailed report I had submitted to the Academy. Its publication could only have led to misunderstandings, and unsuccessful control experiments would have been the result." (pages 24-25 in the 1973 ed. of The Cancer Biopathy).--Gulpen (talk) 23:28, 25 October 2012 (UTC)


I thought it might be a nice idea to include in the margin some of Reich's quotes in the course of the article. A quote I found that would nicely complement the sex-pol section:

"Sex politics must therefore proceed from the question: Why is human love life suppressed?" (Reich, W. 1986 [1936] The Sexual Revolution, New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux: "Preface to the Second Edition (1936)", xxiii).--Gulpen (talk) 00:02, 26 October 2012 (UTC)


SlimVirgin, can you please stop removing my insertion of Daniels' count of Reich's books and articles? He is a professor of psychology and published about Reich before (see Being and Caring: A Psychology for Living). Certainly for such uncontentious material this passes WP:SPS: "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." I'm not citing a blog but academic lecture notes.--Gulpen (talk) 14:28, 18 November 2012 (UTC)


Just noting that I've restored the previous works section, because the one that recently replaced it seemed less clear, it wasn't obvious how "major works" were being defined, and the formatting was inconsistent (e.g. dates with and without brackets and in different positions). SlimVirgin (talk) 16:17, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Link to Norwegian WP

Hi Geschichte, I've restored this link -- Theodor Thjøtta. Can you say what the issue with it is? SlimVirgin (talk) 17:49, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

  • Inline links to foreign WPs are frowned upon. With good reason! If you see more, remove them. Redlinks are extremely nice for us, and look - the link is not even red anymore. Geschichte (talk) 17:58, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
  • I use interlanguage links all the time; see Wikipedia:Interlanguage_links#Purpose. It would be better to have info on him than a red link, either a stub here or the interlanguage link. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:03, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
  • You've reverted again. [13] I've never encountered anyone objecting to these before. SlimVirgin (talk) 18:34, 20 December 2012 (UTC)
  • Sorry, after I wrote the above, I saw you had created an article about him here. Thanks for doing that. SlimVirgin (talk) 20:14, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Reliable sources, Turner

Several months ago I committed myself to improving the quality of the Wilhelm Reich page but I've been appalled to see how the quality of this page has significantly deterioated since then. It has reached such a low point now that I feel no longer any joy in a challenge to fix this page. One of the main contributing problems is the way in which Cristopher Turner's Adventures in the Orgasmatron has been used as one of the main sources giving this page its framework, content and taste. If Integrity is the absolutely most important attribute of a scholar, then Turner cannot be considered a scholarPlease let me give a few examples.

The following is a quote regarding one of many errors in Turner's book, as identified by Philip Bennett, who published, among others, The persecution of Dr. Wilhelm Reich by the government of the United State and Wilhelm Reich's Early Writings on Work Democracy:

As some of you know, the Wikipedia entry on Reich has been “updated” and what was previously pretty decent is now a travesty, thanks in part to Turner’s book, which is sited as a legitimate source. From the entry on Reich:

“The book [1927 Funktion] won him professional recognition, including from Freud, who in 1927 arranged for his appointment to the executive committee of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. The appointment was made over the objection of Paul Federn (1871–1950), who had been Reich's second analyst in 1922, and who declared him schizophrenic and a psychopath who slept with all his female patients. Reich found the society dull and wrote that he behaved "like a shark in a pond of carps."[35]”

When you look at footnote 35, you find: “Sharaf 1994, pp. 67–71; for the quote, p. 73; for his appointment to the executive, p. 84. For Federn's view of Reich, see Turner 2011, p. 167.”

The footnote would lead one to believe that in Turner’s book we will find the source of the claims about schizophrenia, psychopathology, sleeping with all patients, etc.

Turner, p. 167: The only reference to Federn on this page is the remark that “Federn also later maintained he had detected “incipient schizophrenia” during his analysis of Reich.” Nothing about Reich being a psychopath who slept with all his patients, etc.

And now the kicker: Turner’s source for this claim? Sharaf, p. 194. There is nothing on page 194 about schizophrenia; the phrase “incipient schizophrenia” does not occur. Sharaf does note Rado’s attacks on Reich’s reputation and Rado’s diagnosis of Reich as having gone into psychosis–nothing new here. But as for Federn, all Sharaf says is that “Prior to the 1930s, some analysts, especially Federn, had called Reich a ‘psychopath’.” Sharaf gives no source for this.

So from an unsourced comment of Sharaf’s comes a fabricated distortion by Turner which turns into the source for an even more fabricated charge against Reich on what for many is their main source of information about just about anything, Wikipedia!

Another example from Bennett:

I’m fresh back from the Archives where, among other things, I was trying to determine how many books by Reich were sold in the States while he was still alive: i.e., the books published by the Orgone Institute Press and its other iterations like, Core Pilot Press, etc. I think I now have the raw data and will write up my summary before long.

When I mentioned this to a colleague in Berlin he said that Turner discussed book sales on p. 248 of his book. Turner:

By 1947 the Orgone Institute Press was selling four to five hundred books a week, allowing Reich to boast that “‘everyone’ in New York is talking about my work” and that his writings were selling “like warm bread.”12

The citation for this passage, endnote 12, reads:

Beverley A. Placzek...[full citation], Reich to Neill, 178. Four of Reich’s books had been translated and updated to include his latest discoveries, and four issues of the International Journal of Orgonomy had been published (p. 473).

Every time I look carefully at Turner’s text I find further examples of his incredible sloppiness or willful misrepresentations.

Of course, the journal’s name was not the International Journal of Orgonomy but rather the International Journal of Sex-Economy and Orgone Research. (Elsewhere in his book Turner correctly cites the journal.) But what about Reich’s claim that the Press was selling four to five hundred books a week? From Reich’s letter to Neill: “Our literature here still sells like warm bread. About 4-500 copies a month.”

First: literature, not books–i.e., journals and books.

Second: a month, not a week.

Third: nowhere in this letter does Reich say that “‘everyone’ in New York is talking about my work.” This phrase does not occur in any letter to A. S. Neill. Rather, it is from a journal entry dated 19 November 1946: “I have been told that ‘everyone’ in New York is talking about my work” (American Odyssey, p. 355). He is not boasting to Neill but recording privately, to himself, in his journal, what someone has told him.

Finally, the letter to Neill cited by Turner was written in 1946, not 1947.

I have read through about two dozen such factual inaccuracies - rather, distortions observed by Bennett in Turner's book, some of which are really sad and unworthy of even a High School essay. If one is interested in seeing this list I advice him/her to contact Bennett directly. Apart from this I received lists from two other scholars. Moreover, I myself also encountered developed serious objections to Turner's book.

I have noted elsewhere my believe that even though Turner supposedly studied Reich's work for some seven years, he did not grasp one iota of the basics of Reich's theories. This is apparent from the way that Turner includes two major factual inaccuracies regarding the basics of Reich's work: orgastic potency and cancer biopathy. The first concerns, I quote Turner, "Reich considered his orgone energy accumulator an almost magical device that could improve its users' 'orgastic potency'" and, secondly, "He clamed that it [orgone energy accumulator] could charge up the body with the life force . . . that in concentrated form could not only help dissolve repressions but also treat cancer . . ." (Turner [2011] Adventures in the Orgasmatron, from Introduction).

Both these allegations are factually false. Reich did not claim the orgone energy accumulator could provide orgastic potency, and Reich did not claim the orgone energy accumulator could cure cancer. The invalidity and motivation of these inaccurate portrayals of Reich's work have been readily addressed by other scholars (See: Wolf [1948] Emotional Plague Versus Orgone Biophysics: The 1947 Campaign; Baker [1972-3] An Analysis of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Scientific Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich; Blasband [1972] An Analysis of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Scientific Evidence Against Wilhelm Reich; Boadella [1985] WR: The Evolution of His Work; Greenfield [1974] Wilhelm Reich Vs. The USA; Sharaf [1983] Fury on Earth; Corrington [2003] WR: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist, p. 237-8;). Did Turner never read any of these sources?

But perhaps more importantly, did Turner never read Reich's work himself? Because apart from that it is impossible to support this portrayal of Reich's work with direct quotes, it is even possible to find passages where Reich directly opposes this interpretation. As I included on the Orgastic potency page:

"Reich maintained the opposite: "The orgone accumulator, as has been clearly stated in the relevant publications (The Cancer Biopathy, etc.), cannot provide orgastic potency."(Reich, W. [1950, April] Orgone Energy Bulletin 2(2), quoted in November 2011 Update From The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum) Likewise, in The Orgone Energy Accumulator, its Scientific and Medical Use, Reich wrote: ”Neuroses cannot be cured with physical orgone energy." (quoted in Gardner, Martin [1957] Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, Courier Dover Publications: 256.)"

And regarding cancer, if Turner would have bothered to read even the preface to The Cancer Biopathy he would have encountered the following:

"I do not publish this book without serious concern, mainly that many readers of our literature will now assume that a cure for cancer has been found. This it not at all the case." (Reich, W. The Cancer Biopathy, xxv [from the original preface].)

Why is this so important? Well the vast majority of Reich's life work is summarised in (the scientific autobiography) The Discovery of the Orgone, and the titles of the two volumes of this work accurately reflect the significance of these two topics in the totality of Reich's life work. Vol. 1 is called The Function of the Orgasm and Vol. 2 The Cancer Biopathy. If you do not understand the concept orgastic potency, you basically missed the whole point of the first volume and, thus, out of necessity misunderstand all Reich's related developments that have the concept orgastic potency at their core (i.e. Character Analysis, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Sexual Revolution, Invasion of Compulsary Sex-Morality, Work Democracy and the Emotional Plague). If you do not understand the concept of cancer biopathy, you out of necessity misunderstand Reich's theory of orgone energy and his work after 1940. With such fundamental errors about the basics of Reich's work Turner is unlikely to have been able to judge the validity of anything anyone (including himself) ever claimed about Reich's work.

Those doing sincere research into Reich's work have been disgusted with the many basic errors present in Turner's book. This is not to deny that Turner also did some good and new research for which he may be congratulated. Only we are now at a stage that overall Turner's work must be considered as lacking "a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" (WP:SOURCES).

As a kind of closing statement, I hope therefore to encourage whoever will work on this page in the future to remove all references to Turner's book where it concerns Reich's life or work, with the only exception being where Turner writes about the social and cultural impact after Reich's death, thus drawing a clear line between the facts of Reich's life and work, and what has become part of popular culture, what Turner's work deals with.

It is on the measure of integrity that sources such as Boadella's or Corrington's are superior to Turner's work.


Moreover, several times on these talk pages related to Reich's work, the word "Reichian" has been used to imply that a source is not reliable, such as in the case of Boadella. However, languange is power, and I increasingly get the impression that this word is used in an inappropriate fashion.

What does being a 'reichian' mean? If someone studies Reich's work for 20 years, does that make him/her a Reichian and, therefore, an unreliable source regarding Reich's life and work (orgonomy)? If so, it would inversely mean that Richard Dawkins, having studied biology for, say, 50 years, is not a reliable source regarding biology? Please, wikipedians, use this word with great care. Rather, don't use it at all, for it is meaningless (Following this logic, one could go as far as argue that non-Reichians cannot be considered reliable sources.)--Gulpen (talk) 19:52, 26 January 2013 (UTC)


Though I have spent months preparing a renewed bibliography of Reich's work (See: Talk:Bibliography and User:Gulpen/Bib) and humbly submitted a somewhat final version last November, it has been reverted without any reason just a month later.

SlimVirgin reverted back to this old version before, giving as reasons that formatting was inconsistent and that it was unclear how major works was defined. Even if the formatting was inconsistent and it was unclear how major works was defined, SlimVirgin reverts back to a version where matters are worse in both apects. The old selection of works is completely random. Why do twelve early articles make up a quarter of the total works section? Why is Die Entdeckung des Orgons Erster Teil: Die Funktion des Orgasmus listed as a 1942 publication in German while, though the manuscript was finished in 1940 in German, it was first published in English in 1942? Etc. etc.

I fixed all of this with my new submission and adopted a uniform and format I.e.:

(Original publication year) Original title [translation]

  • English title (First English publication year)

Moreover, I provided full information regarding original publication years, publishers, revised titles, later publication years on User:Gulpen/Bib, and have noted this in the Talk:Bibliography discussion page. Yet, instead of using all this information to make further improvements, SlimVirgin again reverts the whole section back to the old version (By the way, this reminds me of similar behaviour displayed regarding Daniels).

Let me clarify the selection criteria. Of all secondary literature that I have read about Reich, there is one book only that deals with the totality of Reich's work and does so in a more than satisfactory manner: David Boadella's (1985) Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution of His Work. At the end of his book (p. 384-387, Boadella includes a selection of about 30 works that are most important to the evolution of Reich's thinking and experimental research and this list has been used by me in return. By now I'm completely fed up with working on this bibliography and I hope someone else has the decency of putting all my efforts to use. I have shortly pasted all my work on the bibliography here, so that it doesn't get lost.--Gulpen (talk) 20:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)