Orgone is an alleged
type of "Primordial Cosmic Energy
" discovered by Wilhelm Reich
in the late 1930s. Reich claimed that orgone energy
and accounts for such things as the color of the sky, the failure of most political revolution
s, and a good orgasm
. In living being
s, orgone is called bio-energy
or Life Energy
Reich believed that orgone energy is "demonstrable visually, thermically, electroscopically and by means of Geiger-Mueller counters." However, only true believers in orgone energy (i.e., orgonomists practicing the science of orgonomy) have been able to find success with the demonstrations.
Reich claimed to have created a new science (orgonomy) and to have discovered other entities, such as bions, which to this day only orgonomists can detect. Bions are alleged vehicles of orgone energy which are neither living nor inert, but transitional beings.
Reich died on November 3, 1957, in the Federal Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was sent for criminal contempt. The criminal charge was levied because Reich refused to obey an injunction against selling quack medical devices such as the Orgone Accumulator and orgone "shooters," devices which allegedly could collect and distribute orgone energy, thereby making possible the cure for just about any medical disorder with the possible exception of megalomania.
The Food and Drug Administration not only declared that there is no such thing as orgone energy, they had some of Reich's books burned - a sure way to ignite interest in somebody. If the government burned his books, Reich must have been on to something BIG! Or so one theory goes. There is another theory which says that some government decisions look stupid because they are made by incompetents.
Despite having no status in the scientific community, Reich's ideas have been passed on by a number of devoted followers led by Elsworth F. Baker, M.D., founder of The American College of Orgonomy, and Dr. James DeMeo of The Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory, Inc., located in Ashland, Oregon. Baker's successors (he died in 1985) and DeMeo continue to defend both Reich the scientist and orgonomy. Reich saw himself as a persecuted genius and considered the critics who ridiculed him to be ignorant fools. DeMeo and Baker agreed.