In Defense of Wilhelm Reich: An Open Response to Nature and the Scientific /Medical Community
DeMeo J1*, Albini A2, Aronstein WS3, Bingham A4, Del Giudice E5, Haralick RM6, Herskowitz M7, Heimann M8, Hillman H9, Kavouras J10, Koblenzer J11, Maluf N12, Maglione R13, Mazzocchi A14, Müschenich S15, Odent M16, Okouma PM17, Pollack G18, Pryatel W19, Reyes A20, Salat A21, Taylor R22, Tosi M23, and Vecchietti A24
1 Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, PO Box 1148, Ashland, Oregon 97520 USA
2 Physician, Rome, Italy
3 Physician, Glendale OH, USA
4 Psychologist, New York, NY, USA
5 Physicist (Retired), National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Milan, Italy
6 Distinguished Professor, Computer Science, Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
7 Physician, former President, Institute for Orgonomic Science, Philadelphia, PA, USA
8 Doctoral Candidate, Psychology, Toulouse University, France
9 Director, Unity Laboratory of Applied Neurobiology, Sussex, UK
10 Physician, Podeldorf, Germany
11 Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, USA.
12 Doctoral Candidate, History of Science, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
13 Engineering Scientist, Moncrivello, Italy
14 Physician, Bergamo, Italy
15 Physician, Munster, Germany
16 Physician, Primal Health Research Centre, London, UK
17 Doctoral Candidate, Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town, South Africa
18 Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
19 Physician, North Dakota State Hospital, Jamestown, ND, USA
20 Physician, Reading, PA, USA
21 Physician, Bonndorf, Germany
22 Immunologist (Retired), University of Bristol, UK.
23 Psychotherapist, Centro Studi Eva Reich, Milano, Italy.
24 Biologist, Orgonomic Consulting and Research, Corridonia, Italy
* Correspondence E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Words: Wilhelm Reich, Albert Einstein, psychoanalysis, bioenergy, orgone energy, orgone accumulator, interstellar medium, history of science, book burning, censorship
Received November 15th, 2012; Accepted November 16th, 2012; Published November 22nd, 2012; Available online November 30th, 2012
A recent technology-comment article in Nature magazine (Glausiusz 2012) exemplifies a growing problem in the sciences, in the reliance upon unfactual material sourced only to popular literature or to the “skeptic” press and generally written by prejudiced journalists, for evaluations of controversial scientific findings. There is no greater example of this than how the biography and work of the late Wilhelm Reich continues to be maliciously distorted and attacked. Reich’s writings and research on emotions, human sexuality, bioelectricity and biogenesis originally triggered a massive attack with sexual slander, in the German and Norwegian press in the 1930s lead-up to Hitlerism. These slanders were repeated and amplified in the American press after 1947, after his findings on bioenergetics and claims of a specific life-energy, the orgone energy, were publicly announced. A terribly biased US Food and Drug Administration investigation and alarming judicial reaction was triggered by the media assault, resulting in Reich’s death in prison, and the most outrageous episode of government-ordered book burning in American history. Reich’s life and research findings thereafter became a target for repeated slander and defamations. (Wolfe 1948, Baker 1972, 1973, Blasband 1972, Greenfield 1974, DeMeo 2012a, 2012b, Web Reference 1)
Nature and journalist Glausiusz (2012) repeated some of these same discredited pop-media slanders against Reich, along with inaccurate history. A rebuttal article was submitted to Nature in response, but was refused within 24 hours, the on-line submission also deleted, making appeals impossible. A subsequent short Letter to the Editor was submitted, and was also refused. While Nature did eventually print their own minimalist correction of a few of the errors in the Glausiusz article (anon. 2012), the very fact that sexual slander and falsehood could appear in Nature in the first place demonstrates how widely-believed popular fictions can undermine authentic peer review. Here, we have updated the original article submitted to Nature, and wish to sound an alarm on the dangers of combined popular media distortions, government censorship and book burning, and academic/medical scientism.