Psychology Department

Health Psychology Home Page

Papers written by students providing scientific reviews of topics related to health and well being

Search HomeWeight LossAlternative Therapy | Supplements | Eating Disorders | Fitness | Links | Self-Assessment | About this Page |

The Orgone Accumulator

 Zach Legan

Date:11/14/2005

 Introduction:

 The theory of orgonomy and orgone energy was first developed by Wilhelm Reich.  Reich was trained in medicine, and he was particularly interested in psychoanalysis.  During the course of treating his patients, Reich developed his initial theories regarding the existence of orgone energy.  From the intuition that there was indeed a bio-energy present within all people, Reich tested his theory using a millivolt meter.  He discovered that patients experienced changes in bioelectric charge as a result of shifts in emotional and psychological condition, and that the direction of the flow of energy was an empirical means by which to judge the actual physiological and psychological state of the patient.  The flow of energy from within the body to the surface, “expansion”, was generally accompanied with feelings of pleasure and a subsequent parasympathetic response in the body, i.e. pain relief, increased blood flow, and better circulation.  Periods of “contraction”, the flow of energy from the surface of the body to the interior, resulting from fear and displeasure are characterized by a sympathetic response, i.e. constriction of blood vessels and pain. 

Reich sought to further illuminate his discoveries regarding bio-energy with his investigations and experiment with biogenesis, the creation of living things from matter.  In one such experiment, Reich believed that he witnessed the spontaneous generation of protozoa from a “grass infusion”, soaking dry grass in water.  It is from this apparent observation of biogenesis that Reich bases his belief in the existence of “bions”.  Reich believed that bions were evidence of a primordial life force.  These globules, tiny pockets of energy contained within a membrane, seemed to be an intermediate stage between the living and the non-living, and furthermore, they could be created from anything that can be made to swell and break down (i.e. sand, coal, earth, and living tissue. Surrounding the bions was a “life force” which could be observed as a blue light radiating from the cultures.  Reich named this “life force” orgone energy.  http://www.orgonomy.org/article_134.html

 

Bions budding from grass.

The Orgone Accumulator:

            Reich discovered that orgone energy is attracted and retained by organic materials.  Metal, on the other hand, behaves in a different fashion: first attracting energy and then rapidly repelling it.  Reich took advantage of these apparent phenomena in his creation of the orgone accumulator.  By building the accumulator with alternating layers of organic and inorganic material, orgone energy is forced to oscillate back and forth throughout the box-like enclosure.  Atmospheric orgone energy is accumulated inside the box resulting in a relatively high concentration of orgone energy inside.  Orgone energy is negatively entropic, meaning that more highly charged systems attract energy from less highly charged systems, so a person inside the accumulator is able to absorb orgone energy into their body by means of their skin and respiratory system.  The process in which the interaction of the two systems causes the charge to become even greater is known as “lumination”.  http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500

 

Flow of energy within an orgone accumulator.

 

Orgone Energy in the Body

            Reich believed that erythrocytes served a dual purpose in the body.  Not only were the cells capable of distributing oxygen to the cells of the body, but orgone energy as well.  Erythrocytes were capable of disintegrating into bions, just as the grass had in water, and there was a visible radiation which surrounded the blood cell itself.  When people became ill, this energy field became distinctly smaller, and the cells broke down more quickly into bions or “T-bacilli”.  The presence of T-bacilli is indicative of a toxic condition within the body, and if these T-bacilli are allowed to further propagate themselves, they begin to actually cause sickness.  http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500

 

What Can the Orgone Accumulator Do for You?

The orgone accumulator helps the body to help itself by supplying concentrated orgone energy.  The orgone accumulator combats sickness and heals injuries by increasing the amount of orgone contained within your body.  A contractive state causes the body’s orgone to be depleted, which in turn causes “biopathy”.  Biopathy is the “underlying crippling of the energy functions and the weakening of the body” (http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500).  Orgone is necessary in order to prevent the rapid formation of T-bacilli, and the accumulator augments the energy field surrounding the body’s red blood cells.  Also, many of the effects of the orgone accumulator involve the restoration of the parasympathetic response, which includes:

Ø      improved blood flow to tissues and organs which allows them to function better, resist damage and recover easier from injury

Ø      promotes cellular growth

Ø      eases tension and pain

Ø      assists digestion and peristalsis

Ø      improves appetite to optimal levels

Ø      increases core body temperature

Ø      imparts an emotional sense of well-being

Ø      increased germination, budding, flowering and fruiting of plants

 

Some Testimonials from the Internet

“Circulation in my ankles and legs is not the best, so if I go to bed with cold feet, they remain cold for about 1-1/2 hours. The 3 ply blanket makes them feel warm in 2 to 4 minutes.”

“I have spinal stenosis which causes pain in my lower back, right hip and right leg. I use the blanket occasionally, when I am uncomfortable and need the comfort and warmth it supplies. The use of the blanket at the time of discomfort produces warmth and a general feeling of relaxation.”

“One woman had swollen ankles and in 3 minutes the swelling diminished and the pain stopped.”

http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500

Woman using orgone accumulator.

 

 

Who Is in the Orgone Accumulator Business?

            There are many people who are truly passionate about orgonomy, but still there are others who are simply trying to profit by exploiting those willing to buy their ridiculous products.  Karl Hans Welz claims to have invented an orgone generator and an organic material known as “Orgonite” which he markets on the internet.  He sells an assortment of generators specifically designed to give you an “edge” in just about every arena of life.  Some of the generators are designed for gaming and others are designed for the purpose of preventing lawsuits.  Welz is generous enough to sell these devices at prices ranging from $150 to $6,000. (http://www.hscti.com/c_karlwelz.html)

 

James DeMeo has been studying orgonomy since 1970 and is the director of the Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory.  His research includes many aspects of Reich’s theories, and he supposedly does some experimentation.  The data was difficult to find, however, and that which I did find was horribly inadequate.  His lab accepts donations and has a great deal of merchandise available, including orgone accumulators. (http://www.orgonelab.org/)

 

Proof of the Healing Capacity of the Orgone Accumulator 

            Dr. Heckman, an agronomist with a Ph.D., has performed many experiments in an attempt to establish the fecundity of the orgone accumulator.  In his most impressive study, Heckman was able to achieve a 50% increase in yield from seeds exposed to orgone energy for an hour.  The control group, to which the exposed seeds were compared, did not receive any explicit exposure to orgone.  Orgone energy seemed to have a definite effect on the yield, but overexposure diminished the useful effects of the accumulator.  Seeds exposed to the energy for 10 hours only experienced a 23% increase in yield. (http://www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org/2000_conference.html)

 

The effects of the orgone accumulator on plants. Some “data” offered on one of the advertisements.

 

Canadian biologist Bernard Grad, Ph.D., was a student of Reich, and has continued experimenting with orgone energy  throughout his career.  In one of his studies involving mice with a genetic predisposition to leukemia, Grad tested the orgone accumulator’s ability to prolong life and ward off disease.  For the first experiment, healthy mice were divided into two groups, one which received treatments in the orgone accumulator five days a week and another which did not receive any treatment.  The second experiment involved a group of mice comprised solely of mice that were predisposed to developing leukemia.  This group was subsequently divided into two groups, and the experiment proceeded in the same way as the first.  Sample size for the experiments was 140 mice in the control group and 119 mice treated.  Results for each of the experiments showed that there was no significant difference in the longevity of mice exposed to the accumulator as opposed to those that were not.  However, for the mice in the second experiment that were subjected to the treatments, autopsy showed that the mice did not die of leukemia.  Bernard speculates that the genetic frailty of these mice simply could not be overcome by the treatments, so there life span was seemingly unaffected. (http://www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org/2000_conference.html )

            Other possible effects of orgone radiation could be those that are purely psychological.  Treatments in the orgone accumulator could simply influence your outlook.  If you believe that you are experiencing positive results due to use of the orgone accumulator, then you probably are.  Perceptions regarding the fruitfulness of a particular treatment play a large role in its effectiveness.  This concept has been used to demonstrate the effects of acupuncture.  In a study of the efficacy of acupuncture in treating migraines, it was found that the treatment had a mere placebo effect.  When acupuncture treatments were compared to the results of placebo needles, there was no statistical difference (Hay et.al. 2004). http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=520743

 

Orgonomy Today

            Due to a renewed societal interest in natural healing, orgonomy and many of its outgrowths are being considered a legitimate form of natural healing.  James M. Gordon, MD has been at the forefront of this renewed interest that has earned the backing of the federal government.  Dr. Gordon, the Director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC, has been charged with overseeing a “task force”, appointed by President Bill Clinton, in the hopes of finding a viable means by which to integrate modern medicine with “complementary” medicine.  Dr. Gordon, a user of the orgone accumulator since 1971, claims to have benefited greatly from Reich’s work.  He suggests that comprehensive, double-blind experimentation be performed in order to prove the fecundity of the accumulator and other similar devices based on the theories of Reich.  Dr. Gordon has requested that the Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine make research proposals regarding the orgone accumulator that would provide enough data as to make the accumulator a recognized medical device.  Dr. Gordon points out that many other alternative medical practices have made their way into the medical field providing acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapeutic touch, herbal therapy as examples.

            The lack of conclusive findings regarding the effectiveness of the orgone accumulator in treating sickness most likely stems from the stigma that is often associated with such research.  Although there may be many currently working on such experiments, their research is often kept private due to the ostracism they would most likely encounter from the medical community.  Reich himself was investigated throughout his life and was accused of fraud when he attempted to market the accumulators.  Since Dr. Gordon’s proclamation in 1997, there has been renewed interest in research into orgonomy, but conclusive data have yet to be published.  Dr. Gordon stated in his speech that it was necessary for conclusive, double-blind studies to be conducted.  This emphasis on double-blind design is most undoubtedly an attempt to counteract the biased results which orgonists often obtain.  However, the experiments I found did show some promise.  It seemed as if both Dr. Heckman and Dr. Grad were willing to admit the failures of their experiments.  Neither of them is in the sales end of orgonics, they are researchers.  However, I could not, in good conscience, take their research at face value.  Their data is nowhere to be found, nor are their findings accredited by anyone other than themselves.  Orgonics needs to be investigated by a reputable organization that is capable of tight experimental controls.  Orgonists feel that the science is too convoluted for simple experimental testing, but this needs to be put to rest so that if the device has any medical value, it can be utilized.  I feel that the orgone accumulator does have some potential, but more studies need to be conducted before I would recommend it as a medical device. http://www.naturaltherapycenter.com/Orgone%20Accumulator/index.htm

 

 

 

 

References

http://www.naturaltherapycenter.com/Orgone%20Accumulator/index.htm

http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=520743

http://www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org/2000_conference.html

http://www.orgonelab.org/

http://www.hscti.com/c_karlwelz.html

http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500 http://www.orgonomy.org/article_134.html

Graphics provided by http://www.orgonics.com/whatisor.htm#anchor116500

 

 

Psychology Department

The Health Psychology Home Page is produced and maintained by David Schlundt, PhD.
  


Vanderbilt Homepage | Introduction to Vanderbilt | Admissions | Colleges & Schools | Research Centers | News & Media Information | People at Vanderbilt | Libraries |Vanderbilt Register | Medical Center 

  Return to the Health Psychology Home Page
  Send E-mail comments or questions to Dr. Schlundt