Primordial cosmic energy, claimed to have been discovered
by Wilhelm Reich between 1936 and 1940. It is believed to be
universally present and demonstrable visually (a blueness in
the atmosphere), thermically, electrosopically, and by means of
a Geiger-Müller counter. It manifest in living organisms as biological
Reich invented what he termed an ‘‘orgone energy accumulator,’’
a device to concentrate orgone energy in a box constructed
from metallic material and covered by organic material.
Reich found a temperature difference between the inside
and outside of the accumulator and believed that the accumulated
energy had a therapeutic effect on individuals. He performed
experiments using the accumulator on cancer patients
and reported substantial improvement in the health of patients.
He authorized use of the accumulator for ‘‘therapeutic’’
purposes provided it was used in conjunction with ‘‘reputable’’
medical advice. As a result, he was the subject of court action
instituted by the Food and Drug Administration in the United
States. The FDA argued the accumulator had no demonstrable
scientific effect on the human body.
As physician and psychotherapist, Reich rejected the
charges against him and the accumulator and denied the right
of federal inspectors to arbitrate in matters of natural science,
an argument not accepted by the court. His attack upon the
court’s authority caused his imprisonment for contempt of
court. The court also ordered the destruction of his apparatus
and the burning of his books. He died in prison. Many of his
writings have been republished.
Currently, the idea of a static device accumulating some
form of energy is being investigated; it has yet to be demonstrated
scientifically. In the 1970s and 1980s, some people experimented
with pyramid forms in an effort to claim this effect
and sharpen old razor blades. Reich also claimed discovery of
a motor force in orgone energy comparable with similar claims
by John Ernst Worrell Keely and John Murray Spear.
Compared to Other Occult Concepts
Some have noticed the similarity of orgone energy to earlier
ideas of ‘‘Od’’ and the occult concepts of vital force. The biological
manifestation of orgone energy in humans as described
by Reich is comparable to the kundalini energy of Hindu yoga
science, but more closely resembles the idea of prana.
An account of the construction of an orgone accumulator
was given in Vol. 2 of The Discovery of the Orgone by Wilhelm
Reich or the booklet The Orgone Energy Accumulator. Observations
on orgone energy were published in the journal Orgonomic
Functionalism edited by Paul and Jean Ritter, published
between 1954 and 1963 from Nottingham, England, and in Energy
and Character; the Journal of Bioenergetic Research published
from 1970 onwards by David Boadella (an associate of Paul Ritter)
from Abbotsbury, Dorset, England. In June 1955, the official
American Association for Medical Orgonomy began publishing
Orgonomic Medicine (co Orgonomic Publications Inc.,
515 E. 88 St., New York, N.Y. 10028).
Boadella, David. Wilhelm Reich the Evolution of His Work.
Chicago Henry Regnery, 1973.
Mann, William Edward. Orgone, Reich and Eros. New York
Simon and Schuster, 1973.
Raknes, Ola. Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy. New York St.
Martin’s Press, 1970.
Reich, Wilhelm. The Discovery of the Orgone. 2 vols. New York
Orgone Institute Press, n.d.
———. The Orgone Energy Accumulator. New York Orgone
Institute Press, n.d.
———. Selected Writings An Introduction to Orgonomy. New
York Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1973.
Schul, Bill, and Ed Pettit. The Secret Power of Pyramids.
Greenwich, Conn. Fawcett, 1975.
Sharaf, Myron. Fury on Earth A Biography of Wilhelm Reich.
New York St. Martin’s Press, 1983.