August 22, 2013

Conspiracy Theory: Fact or Fiction

August 23, 2013

The role Frederick Wertham and Mildred Edie Brady played in the FDA’s investigation that led to Wilhelm Reich’s imprisonment (see previous post) has more than historical interest. Reich claimed the communists were behind the New Republic’s attack on him and that both Brady and Henry Wallace, the magazine’s editor, were communists. Reich said she was a “communist sniper” and wrote “Wallace-Stalinist” in his diary. These assertions of a plot against him by Soviet intelligence have been repeatedly cited as evidence Reich was paranoid.

Branding Reich as crazy has, to no small extent, prevented further investigation of his findings. No one in the established scientific community considers examining the work of the deranged. The result is that many of Reich’s scientific claims, which could be proved valid, remain dismissed as nonsense.

But what if Reich wasn’t paranoid regarding Brady and Wallace? What if this often repeated “fact” isn’t true and there was a communist conspiracy within the New Republic? If this was the case, at least this piece of “proof” that Reich was delusional could be called into question.

1. Biographers with an Agenda

Is there no end to self-appointed experts on Reich? There have been more than a dozen biographies of the man and all but two have asserted he was mentally ill.¹ The authors of two relatively recent supposedly “authoritative” biographies have variously diagnosed Reich as having: a severe clinical depression; having borderline traits; a decentered ego; of suffering from psychic inflation; hypomania; megalomania; delusions of grandeur; and paranoid schizophrenia.²

Both of these accounts of Reich and his work are written with a patronizing tone and unconcealed contempt. Again Reich has been portrayed as a delusional crackpot scientist, someone to be ridiculed.³ However this perception of the man and his work might change, at least in the minds of some, with an examination of some well established facts and new information that has come to light since Reich’s death.

2. Connections with Communism

Frederick Wertham and Mildred Edie Brady were recruited by the New Republic to write about Reich. Wertham’s connection to the Soviet-American friendship league, his defense of the Rosenberg communist spies, and his plans to write a book that would make Freud’s findings compatible with Marxism leave little doubt about his feelings toward Stalin’s Russia. His scathing review of Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism in the magazine was followed just a few months later by Brady’s article, The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich.

It has been established Brady and her husband were known to be well connected in communist circles, but now there is information linking her to the Soviet intelligence and the FDA. The executive officers of the New Republic also had connections to the communist party. Henry Wallace, the magazine’s editor, was clearly sympathetic toward communism and was even believed to be a KGB agent. As to Michael Straight, the publisher of the magazine, he had been recruited by Soviet intelligence in the 1930‘s. All of this does not prove there was a communist conspiracy whose aim was to destroy Reich. But as Thoreau said, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”

3. Was Reich That Important?

Was Reich really so important that communists would see him as a significant threat to their goal of world dominance? We probably will never know but they might have been, given the considerable impression Reich was having on highly influential individuals here and abroad. Wikipedia states: “His early psychoanalytic work, his writing about fascism, and his later writings about orgonomy influenced several generations of intellectuals, including the writers Saul Bellow (1915–2005), William Burroughs (1914–1997), Norman Mailer (1923–2007), and the founder of Summerhill School in England, A. S. Neill.” Wikipedia also says that Reich influenced, among others, Orson Bean, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, as well as Alexander Lowen (Bioenergetics) and Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy). Both of Lowen and Perls were patients of Reich.

4. Involvement with Communism

Reich had joined the Party in 1928 for two principal reasons: the belief it would counteract German fascism and to further self-determination for its people. When in the Party he was the spokesman for free contraceptives, birth control, abortion on demand, and sex education in schools. He believed with these in place sexual self-regulation could gain ground and help relieve the people’s misery. But as Reich was soon to see these programs were not implemented when they came to power, and neither were other reforms pledged by its leaders. Quite the opposite was true. A dictatorial regime took absolute control of the lives of its people.

The direction they had taken brought Reich into sharp conflict with its leaders and he was expelled from the communist party in 1933. The Sexual Revolution appeared in 1935. In it he denounced red fascism, showing it for what it was--a betrayal of all that was promised by the Russian revolutionists when they came to power in 1917.

Reich’s book had a large readership in Europe and, in 1945 after he had emigrated to America, it was translated into English. It was enormously popular here and widely read by the intelligensia, many of whom were then sympathetic to Soviet communism. It was just two years later, in 1947, that Brady’s article appeared in the New Republic.

Taking into account what is now known about Wertham, Brady, Wallace and Straight and the wide influence Reich’s book was having, as well as the impressive results orgone therapy was producing for so many influential people, it’s not so far-fetched that Soviet intelligence could have indeed targeted Reich.

5. Conclusion

No claim is made here there definitely was a Soviet conspiracy to discredit Reich. Only an opening of the records still held in Russia could confirm this speculation. As to Reich’s mental state, here too it would be presumptuous for me to pass any judgement. However, standing in contrast to those who never met the man, there are the opinions of psychiatrists Elsworth F. Baker, M.D. and Morton Herskowitz, D.O. Both were treated and trained by Reich and they have said they thought him perfectly sane. They are two of the most rational, clearheaded individuals I have had the good fortune to know and, given their long and intimate association with Reich, I value their thinking.

6. References

  1. These two are: Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy by Ola Raknes and Wilhelm Reich: Life force Explorer by James Wyckoff.

  2. Wilhelm Reich by Robert Corrington and Adventures in the Orgasmatron by Christopher Turner.

  3. The assertion Reich was schizophrenic began in Europe and when he came to the United States, in 1939, a rumor was circulated he had been institutionalized at the Utica State Mental Hospital.

  4. In 1999 there appeared “New evidence Brady was a Stalinist agent with deep influence within the FDA.” This information is presented in John Wilder’s valuable report on “CSICOP, Time Magazine, and Wilhelm Reich” ( where he referenced as his source Jim Martin’s treatise, Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War, published by Flatland Books in Mendocino, California

  5. It was Wallace’s pro-Soviet speech at the Madison Square Garden in 1946 that led President Truman to remove him as a cabinet member.

  6. “Michael Straight, the last of five Cold War spies recruited by the Soviets...” by Richard K. Brunner, as it appeared in February 2004 (

  7. Reich had a growing reputation as a remarkably effective therapist by 1947 when Brady’s article appeared. He and the psychiatrists he was training here in the United States were seeing large numbers of patients.

May 6, 2013

Bonfires of the Humanities

Fredric Wertham, M.D., Wilhelm Reich, M.D., and American Book Burnings

By Stephen Wahrhaftig

May, 6, 2013

On an August day in 1956 the US Food and Drug Administration sent a dump truck to a warehouse in Greenwich Village. It picked up six tons of literature comprised of thousands of books and scientific journals. Proceeding to the Gansevoort Street incinerator, decades of Wilhelm Reich's printed work were burned to ashes.

Students of Reich are familiar with the popular articles of the late 1940's written by Mildred Edie Brady for Harper’s Magazine and The New Republic. Brady, a model-turned-leftist journalist, wrote The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy for Harper’s, discrediting the West Coast intellectuals who were extolling literary and sexual freedom, and said Reich was influencing a generation of hedonists. The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich appeared a month later in the NR, and both articles contained fabricated tales about Reich. In this piece she portrayed him as a crackpot scientist with crazy theories about sexuality. She ended her article saying appropriate laws were needed to protect the public, and if this was done people like Reich could be stopped from practicing any therapy not approved by the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Mildred Brady was a sensationalist writer and her work, by itself, might have been largely disregarded--if it did not have the support of someone not so easy to dismiss. This was Dr. Fredric Wertham, a New York psychiatrist. Born Fredric Wertheimer in Munich, he came to the USA and taught at John Hopkins, and eventually headed a psychiatric clinic that treated criminals.

Crime Explained

In the late 40's and early 50's one of America's two unique art forms, comics books (the other being jazz), was at its peak of popularity. The monthly titles of the comics often sold millions of copies and Dr. Wertham’s criminal patients sometimes read comic books. Looking over the panels of flying superheroes, machine gun-toting mobsters, and bikini-clad jungle princesses shocked his Bavarian sensibilities. Since his patients read comic books, he put two and two together and a saw tremendous career opportunity opening before him. Criminals read comics. Comics caused criminal behavior.

Wertham wrote articles promoting this idea. But here is where his line of work took a strange turn. He had built his reputation upon protecting young, innocent readers from stories of imaginary ghosts and monsters. Yet Wertham now was paying his bills by writing books like Show of Violence. Based on his experience of working with the mentally ill, he wrote lurid accounts of people who murdered their children, each story more terrible than the last. Every chapter of Show of Violence is told in graphic, prurient detail. Wertham saw no conflict between what he was writng and what he condemned in comic books. This ability to rationalize his thinking and do what best served his own interests--combined with his skill in presenting pseudo-scientific evidence--came in handy when building a case against Wilhelm Reich.

Wertham first wrote about Reich via a paid commission from (no coincidence) The New Republic. This influential magazine was far to the political left and, because Reich had become increasingly critical of communism, his position was at odds with its editor, Henry Wallace. NR wanted to bash Reich and needed a prominent figure to do their bidding. They chose Paul Goodman, a best-selling writer and critic, to review Reich’s The Sexual Revolution and The Mass Psychology of Fascism. They had expected a hatchet job, but to NR's tremendous disappointment Goodman enthusiastically endorsed both of Reich’s books. Now NR was in a bit of a fix. Infuriated, they refused to publish Goodman’s positive review and were in need of someone sympathetic to their agenda. Wertham, as a member of the American-Soviet Friendship League, and as a qualified psychiatrist with suppressive theories, was made for the job.

Wertham’s Influence

Reich’s ideas of promoting freedom, personal accountability, and work democracy as presented in The Mass Psychology of Fascism agitated Wertham in the same way Rulah of the Jungle did, her bare legs and long hair exposed seductively as she swung on jungle vines. In his 1946 New Republic review of the book he viciously attacked Reich's theories, saying Reich had “utter contempt for the masses” and was a “neo-fascist.” He ended his scathing write-up by urging all progressive intellectuals to take action against Reich and his “psycho-fascism.” This set the stage for Brady's destructive follow-ups.

It was only six months after Wertham’s review that Brady’s first attack, titled The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy, appeared in Harper's magazine. And a month after that, in May 1947, The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich was published in the New Republic.

Wertham’s influence on the media continued unabated for, in a 1948 Collier’s Magazine article, there appeared a piece, Horrors in the Nursery, written by a Judith Crist. She sited Wertham's “findings about the evils of comic books.” Her wide assertions about how crime and horror comics led directly to juvenile delinquency and worse, fully supported Wertham’s ideas. However, throughout the article no actual science or studies were cited, and Wertham’s conclusions were accepted as fact even though they were baseless. He simply felt comics were bad for people and the media believed him. Regarding the inconvenient question of press freedom, Crist quotes Wertham, "...the publishers will raise a howl about Freedom of Speech and of the Press...nonsense. The time has come to legislate these books off the news stands and out of the candy stores."

In 1954, Wertham’s book, Seduction of the Innocent was published. He claimed it to be the result of “seven years of scientific investigation.” Yet, like his other publications, the book contains no scientific investigations. Instead, it is full of assertions based on what he believed to be true, and little else. Research done in 2010 by Carol Tilley on Seducing the Innocent: Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications That Helped Condemn Comics has confirmed that, “Wertham manipulated, overstated, compromised, and fabricated evidence—especially that evidence he attributed to personal clinical research with young people—for rhetorical gain.”

Comic Books and Bonfires

Wertham's 1940's articles, and his 1954 book, led to a massive witch-hunt by the government and other authorities, culminating in a senate subcommittee hearing to investigate the terrible scourge of American comic books. Even more disturbing was the action taken around the country by local activist groups.

As early as 1950, the mayor of Rumson, NJ, along with a local cub master and others herded forty Cub Scouts (not Boy Scouts) into a commandeered fire truck. For two days, they drove the engine through the borough with the siren blaring, collecting comic books for destruction.

In Missouri, a Girl Scout troop and St. Mary's Church created a massive bonfire of comics. Children were seen crying among the gathered crowds. One child of a poor rural family recalled being made to participate in the book burnings, even though he had never read a comic book. "The thing about it is that I didn't give the comic books much thought until that time, and when we started that bonfire, I started to think something really just wasn't right about it. I thought they were trying to use us, and I didn't think that was right. It got me pretty mad. I never did think about teachers in the same way after that."

In the end, the government concluded that they had no legal reason for banning comics. It was a simple matter of free speech. But the damage had already been done. In just two years, half of the comic books published in the US disappeared. Hundreds of artists and writers lost their jobs. Stan Lee, of the Timely/Marvel group, had to fire his staff in a day, one at a time. People who had created memorable stories in a uniquely American art form found jobs bagging groceries and as security guards. The most creative company, EC comics survived by changing one of their comic book publications to something called Mad Magazine. Every other title was canceled.

In 1953, Ray Bradbury wrote his classic, Fahrenheit 451, a cautionary tale of an authoritarian future where government “firemen” sought books hidden in citizen's homes, and torched them in bonfires. It was only a few years since the Nazis had consigned thousands of books to the flames (including Reich’s), and not many years before we here in the United States burned comics and then Wilhelm Reich's books.

The part Dr. Fredric Wertham played was not directly involved in the court’s decision to burn Dr. Reich's books, and there Is no evidence he intended for schoolyards across America to host bonfires of comics. But his attempt to protect the public led, inexorably, to these acts of extreme censorship. The urge Wertham had to clamp down and extinguish ideas and expression of freedom not consistent with his thinking took possesion of him. It drove him, as it did religious leaders, and authoritarian parents and teachers, to use the power they had to enforce their beliefs.

As we reflect on Dr. Wertham's legacy, we can console ourselves with the fact that these book burnings took place in a different America, one that disappeared more than half a century ago. Except that this is not entirely true. In 2001 book burnings in New Mexico and Pennsylvania reduced Harry Potter novels to ashes. Reverend George Bender, of The Harvest Assembly of God Church commented, "We got some people mad at us, but it's good to have publicity.”

It is generally believed that Mildred Edie Brady, who was granted an interview by Reich by posing as one enthusiastic about his work, was the single person responsible for the US government’s campaign against Reich. It is true her article in the NR did lead, just two months later, to the FDA investigation. But Wertham’s book review in the same publication, six months earlier, may well have set the stage for Brady.

There is no hard evidence that Brady decided to visit Reich because of Wertham’s review of The Mass Psychology of Fascism. However, it’s not a far reach to question if she would have, or could have, written The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich had it not been for Dr. Frederick Wertham. If this is so, Reich’s books might not have been burned and he sent to prison where he died.


Stephen Wahrhaftig writes from West Chester Pa. His site,, covers design and marketing.

April 5, 2013

Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science

The latest issue of this important journal is now available. It is an engaging and eminently readable publication dedicated to the science of orgonomy and the work of Wilhelm Reich, M.D.

Since 1984 the Annals of the Institute for Orgonomic Science has been providing information to the public on a wide range of topics. They include: orgonomic therapy; childrearing; education; social orgonomy; studies of biogenesis; and evidence for the biological and physical effects of Reich’s orgone energy accumulator and DOR-buster.

This issue [Volume 11, Number 1 (2011)] contains the following articles:

In “Malinowski Revisited and Reich’s Children of the Future,” Morton Herskowitz, D.O., discusses Reich’s insights concerning childhood in the light of Bronislaw Malinowski’s findings in his classic anthropological
studies of the Trobriand islanders.

In “Double-Blind Controlled Experiments in the Orgone Energy Accumulator,” Philip Bennett, Ph.D., reviews the history of double-blind methods in biomedical research, noting the paucity of their use in orgonomic research. He then describes recent double-blind studies demonstrating biological effects of a device that resembles the orgone energy accumulator.

In “Onion Plant Responses to Orgone Accumulator Treatment,” Joseph Heckman, Ph.D., presents data from two field experiments on the effects of different durations of accumulator treatment of onion bulbs before planting. Although no significant differences in plant growth parameters were noted, the results suggest that orgone accumulator treatment may retard leaf senescence.

In “Politics, Religion and Human Nature,” Peter Robbins illustrates how irrationalism in politics and society  have obstructed scientific research on unidentified flying objects.

In “Children as Teachers,” Dorothea Fuckert, M.D., describes her experiences of parenting that were based on self-regulation. She describes what she and her husband learned from their two sons through their infancy, the time they spent at Summerhill School, and as they matured into adulthood.

In “Foundations for a Functional Analysis of Economics,” Dean Davidson describes Reich’s use of Karl Marx’s analysis of living working power and its role in the production of surplus value. He contrasts Reich’s approach with more recent attempts to understand human economic relations that have ignored these findings.

In “Orgone Therapy – A Patient’s Perspective,” a patient movingly describes the impact of orgone therapy on her life.

The “Communications and Notes” section includes memorial tributes to Bernard R. Grad, Ph.D., Eva Renate Reich, M.D. and Ilse Ollendorff Reich; a listing of recent lectures and publications by members of the Institute; and an announcement of the Training Program in Orgonomic Therapy offered by the Institute.

The Annals is reasonably priced and, starting with this issue, can now be obtained online:

Print-on-demand hardcopy: $25 plus postage

PDF download: $15

It may be ordered at:

I also recommend to my readers the website It provides an excellent introduction to Reich’s discoveries. Stephan Simonian, M.D., a psychiatric orgone therapist practicing in California, is its founder and editor. He, along with many other contributors, present articles (and YouTubes) on a wide range of topics related to the science of orgonomy. The article written by Dr. Morton Herskowitz in this edition of the Annals has now been reprinted in its entirety on his website.

March 18, 2013

Adding My Voice to the Circumcision Debate

In 1952 Wilhelm Reich said, “Take that poor penis. Take a knife--right? And start cutting. And everybody says, “It doesn't hurt.” Everybody says, “No, it doesn't hurt.” Get it? Thatʼs an excuse, of course, a subterfuge. They say that the sheaths of the nerve are not yet developed. Therefore, the sensation in the nerves is not yet developed. Therefore, the child doesn't feel a thing. Now, thatʼs murder! Circumcision is one of the worst treatments of children. And what happens to them? You just look at them. They canʼt talk to you. They just cry. What they do is shrink. They contract, get away into the inside, away from that ugly world.” This quote appeared in the book “Reich Speaks of Freud” (1967).

Now, more than sixty years later, there are organizations in countries around the world that educate people about circumcision. Their message is that the procedure is cruel, medically unnecessary, and has lifelong consequences.

There are hundreds of websites speaking out against circumcision. Beyond the Bris: Questioning Jewish Circumcision is an intactivist site with Jewish contributors:

An article I wrote for Beyond the Bris in February led Intact America, in March, to ask me to be their intactivist of the month:

I am honored to now be a member of their Board of Health Professionals.

January 10, 2013

Introductory Seminar of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy and Character Analysis

The Greek Society of Psychiatric Orgone Τherapy and Character Αnalysis is pleased to announce a new course on the theory and general principles of Wilhelm Reich’s method of treating emotional disorders. It will be the first of its kind in Europe, where Reich’s discoveries are widely studied and continue to be put to practical use.

The program will consist of monthly seminars beginning on January 27th in Thessaloniki and on February 3rd in Athens, and they will continue through June 2015.

The three members of the Society’s training committee are psychiatric orgone therapists. In Thessaloniki the seminars will be conducted by psychiatrist Nassos Teopoulos, M.D., and in Athens by child psychiatrist George Argyreas, M.D. Both trained with the American College of Orgonomy where they were clinical associates for more than ten years. 

Psychiatrist Richard Schwartzman, D.O., will participate by way of regularly scheduled webinars. He trained with Morton Herskowitz, D.O and Elsworth F. Baker, M.D. who were students of Reich. He was director of The Advanced Technical Training Seminar at the American College of Orgonomy for more than twenty years and is now an honorary member of the Institute for Orgonomic Science in Philadelphia, PA.

The completion of this program is a prerequisite for physicians and psychologists who wish to be accepted for future clinical training in the practice of psychiatric orgone therapy and character analysis. For further information and an application individuals interested in applying for this initial course of study can contact the Society at: 

1ο Session:       Introduction. General principles of orgonomy and orgonetherapy.
2ο Session:      Erogenous zones, libidinal stages and psychic structure, and the concept of character in psychiatric orgonetherapy.
3ο Session:      Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on erogenous zones, libidinal stages, psychic structure and character.
4ο Session:      The concept of armoring. Origin and segmental structure of somatic and psychic armoring. (Part A)
5ο Session:      The concept of armoring. Origin and segmental structure of somatic and psychic armoring. (Part B)
6ο Session:      Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on armoring.
7ο Session:      The concept of contact. Problems of contact, genitality.
8ο Session:      Adolescence: treatment of problems and therapeutic interventions.
9ο Session:      Genital character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles. (Part A)
10ο Session:    Genital character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles. (Part B)
11ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on genital character types.
12ο Session:    Phallic character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part A)
13ο Session:    Phallic character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part B)
14ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on phallic character types.
15ο Session:    Anal character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part A)
16ο Session:    Anal character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part B)
17ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on anal character types.
18ο Session:    Oral character types and Ocular character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part A)
19ο Session:    Oral character types and Ocular character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.  (Part B)
20ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on oral and ocular character types.
21ο Session:    Socio-Political character types: Genesis, character traits and symptoms, biophysical structure and general therapeutic principles.
22ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on socio-political character types.
23ο Session:    The orgonomic concept of biopathy.
24ο Session:    Initial examination of a patient, history and its importance, general therapeutic principles of psychiatric orgonetherapy.
25ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on the importance of history and the general therapeutic principles.
26ο Session:    Armoring prevention, management and therapeutic intervention on newborns, babies and infants.
27ο Session:    Webinar with Richard Schwartzman: Discussion on armoring prevention and the treatment of early armoring in newborns, babies and infants.

Examinations are mandatory for those interested in continuing into the Clinical Seminar and optional for all others.

Psychiatric Orgone Therapy

One of Wilhelm Reich’s most important and lasting contributions is a unique treatment for emotional disorders called psychiatric orgone therapy. Reich began as a psychoanalyst and was a member of Freud’s inner circle, but moved away from Freud’s method of free association when he developed a more effective verbal approach he called character analysis. Later he came to recognize the existence of a specific biologic energy in living organisms that he called “orgone,” which was coined from the word “organism.” With this discovery Reich was able to combine his verbal method with a technique that could normalize a person’s energy. The result was an entirely new approach to treating emotional disorders that he named orgone therapy.

Reich’s work with patients convinced him the disturbance in an individual’s energy state is caused by contractions in the body, especially in the musculature. He called these contractions “armor,” and established that they begin to develop in infancy as a way to block out emotionally painful events.

Past traumatic experiences are locked in the body--and they remain throughout life. How this happens is not fully understood, but there is no question that anxiety, anger and sadness, as well as the other upsetting feelings and emotions from childhood are not forgotten. Armor not only holds the disturbing past, causing it to remain alive but out of consciousness awareness, but it also affects how one feels and functions. Because living a natural healthy life depends upon whether a person’s energy flows freely or is blocked, the aim of psychiatric orgone therapy is to free up energy by breaking down armor. As these areas of holding dissolve, patients release their long buried feelings and emotions in the safety of the therapist’s office. They most usually surface spontaneously with the specific method Reich innovated, without the need of urging or any intervention on the part of the treating psychiatrist. However, occasionally, pressure needs to be applied to spastic muscles, or other techniques used to normalize the body. Because this treatment combines a verbal approach with a physical technique, it addresses both the mind and the body to bring about profound changes in how one thinks, feels and functions.

Today almost all people seeking treatment from a psychiatrist are given medications to reduce their symptoms. However, with psychiatric orgone therapy it is usual that patients, over time, find themselves able to wean themselves off medication and function without pharmacologic treatment. Reich’s therapy is unique in that it not only relieves distressing symptoms, but also does much more. It enables individuals to expand and feel pleasure, and better enjoy the many satisfactions life has to offer.

There are people who claim to practice some form of “Reichian” or “orgone” therapy, even though they have had no formal training in medicine or psychology. Often the techniques used by these self-proclaimed therapists have little or nothing to do with the very specific methods Reich developed and taught. The value of such therapies is questionable and may even harm those who get involved in them.

Qualified psychiatric orgone therapists have extensive training. They are physicians who have gone on to specialize in psychiatry and then in the very unique subspecialty of orgone therapy. They practice in much the same way as Reich did more than a half century ago. Ph.D. Psychologists who have had proper training can practice a form of orgone therapy safely and effectively. However, it is crucial they have supervision by a qualified psychiatric orgone therapist.