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(word processor parameters LM=8, RM=75, TM=2, BM=2) Taken from KeelyNet BBS (214) 324-3501 Sponsored by Vangard Sciences PO BOX 1031 Mesquite, TX 75150 There are ABSOLUTELY NO RESTRICTIONS on duplicating, publishing or distributing the files on KeelyNet! April 17, 1991 REICH2.ASC -------------------------------------------------------------------- The following item appeared in the _NEW TIMES_ tabloid in Miami, Florida. It was taken from a column called "The Straight Dope". The NEW TIMES ("Miami's News and Arts Weekly") is an artsy, liberal, alternative newspaper. Some of its columns are rather off-beat, including "The Straight Dope", where readers write in and ask various formidable or abstract questions (such as "What is the nature of Light?", or, "Why do we have two eyes and not three?"). The answers given to these question, while techinically correct, are usually written in a cynical or derisive tone. Having said that, here is the item: From the _New Times_ Vol. 5, N0. 46 Miami, Florida March 6-12, 1991 pg 8. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Question: I've always cast a jaundice eye on the shenanigans of scientific fringe groups. But my eye is a little less yellow when I look at Wilhelm Reich. Reich claimed to have discovered a life energy he called "orgone" back in the Thirties. He made a device that supposedly accumulated the energy, the "orgone accumulator" (ORAC), and another that allegedly could manipulate it in the atmosphere called a "cloudbuster". Some MDs who still subscribe to Reich's theories publish the _Journal of Orgonomy_. I remember one article claiming tomato plants grown inside an ORAC produce more and larger tomatoes. There's a meteorologist names James DeMeo who does research on the cloudbuster. Plus (and this is the ultimate evidence) Kate Bush sang a song about the cloudbuster on her Hounds of Love album. Seeing as you're the last word on subjects like this, what's the last word on orgone? Yes, no, or maybe? - S.S. Page 1 The reply: How about "sheesh"? I fail to see what a self-described skeptic could find appealing about the work of Wilhelm Reich, one of the classic scientific screw-balls. Reich claimed that 1) he had done battle with alien spaceships, 2) he could produce clouds and create rain with his cloudbuster, and 3) his orgone boxes could cure (or at least ameliorate) everything from cancer to the common cold. He believed living cells arose spontaneously from inorganic matter; that cancer cells are actually protozoalike critters that have tails and can swim like fish; and that orgone energy is what makes the sky blue and causes heat shimmer. Even his terminology was nutsy. UFOs he called EAs, for Energy Alpha. The alien spaceships gave off DOR, for Deadly ORgone. The aliens themselves he called CORE men, for Cosmic ORgone Engineering. Reich was an intelligent, charismatic man who seems to have had only the most tenous grasp of reality. He was a cherished associate of Freud in his early years and made some useful contributions to psychoanalytic theory. But his ideas became more and more eccentric over time and he was eventually expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association. He wound up in the U.S. and from then on it was orgone morning, noon, and night. Reich convinced a great many people, including a few scientists like the aforementioned DeMeo, who claims he ended a drought with a cloudbuster. To this day there are several orgonomic societies. But the mainstream view has always been that Reich is a quack and that his ideas have no scientific basis. One of his orgone boxes, in fact, is on display in St. Louis's National Museum of Quackery. In 1956 Reich was convicted of shipping orgone boxes across state lines in defiance of a court order obtained by the Food and Drug Administration. He was sent to prison, where he died of a heart attack in 1957. But his ideas, such as they are, live on. A summary of Reich's career by science writer Martin Gardner may be found in the fall 1988 "Skeptical Enquirer"; for a full-length treatment check out _Fury on Earth_ by Martin Sharaf. - Cecil Adams -------------------------------------------------------------------- If you have comments or other information relating to such topics as this paper covers, please upload to KeelyNet or send to the Vangard Sciences address as listed on the first page. Thank you for your consideration, interest and support. Jerry W. Decker.........Ron Barker...........Chuck Henderson Vangard Sciences/KeelyNet -------------------------------------------------------------------- If we can be of service, you may contact Jerry at (214) 324-8741 or Ron at (214) 242-9346 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Page 2

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