Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reichian Activism

Most of the orgonomists are more armored than most people. They are attracted to orgone therapy in the first place because they hope it can solve their own hang-ups. Then they discover they can make a living at it. Then they are in too deep to back out and cannot bear to think that maybe it is not really helping. So they resist any fair trial to see if it is working or not. And they get angry at me for saying they do not have evidence that it works. 

Nobody has ever really tested any of the main points of orgonomy. And it would be a lot easier to pass out questionaires than to do temperature measurements in an accumulator. So, why havn't they tried it? Are they afraid of what they might find out? 

The following was sent to two Reichian mailing lists and got zero response. It seems the people who claim to think Reich was on the right track are afraid to put their theories to the test.
                                         Reichian Activism
> >
>   Reich was throughout his career an activist. He cared first and foremost for the
> > practical results of his work, in sexuality as much as in biophysics. Yet
> > today, with adolescent sexual abstinence raised to the level of official
> > govt. policy, and tax money being spent to promote what to a Reichian looks
> > like intentionally inculcating Fascism in a new generation, nobody is doing
> > anything to counter what from a Reichian perspective is a travesty. 
 I have a suggestion. Unlike projects in cloudbusting or laboratory experiments in
> > physics, it will not cost anything. It could easily be done by any
> > high-school student as a social science project. Some grad student could get  a masters thesis out of it.
The proposal is to do an actual scientific study
> > of Reich's claims in the field of political psychology. Here is how it would
> > work: Reich claimed in Mass Psychology of Fascism and other works, that
> > postponing sex until adulhood or beyond would result in more or less
> > permanent change in personality, to favor nationalistic and militaristic
> > ideologies and authortarian solutions to social problems. This seems
> > instinctively right to many people, including myself, but NO EVIDENCE FOR
> > THIS PROPOSITION EXISTS! Reich just drew his conclusions from his clinical
> > observations, without testing them by any actual statistical study. In those
> > days, the social sciences were in their infancy, and it was not customary as
> > it is now, to demand actuall statistical studies to back up an hypothesis.
> > And nowadays, without such backup, any hypothesis is unlikely to win much accepence.

> > So I propose that the members of this list develop a questionaire. It would
> > have two parts: (1) questions about the early sex life of respondants, at
> > what age first sexual experience, at what age first regular, steady sexual
> > relationship, and for those still in their twenties, frequency of sex at the
> > present time. (2) questions designed to reveal attitudes toward nationalism,
> > militarism, and authoritarianism.
 Reich would predict a very strong
> > correlation between late-starting and/or irregular sex-life and authoriarian
> > and nationalistic/militaristic tendencies. If such a strong correlation can
> > indeed be found, it could then be widely publicized and would help to
> > counter some of the anti-sex propaganda of the Christian Right.
What about
> > it, Reichians? Ready to test out the central idea of orgonomic sociology and
> > see if it actually is valid? It can't cost much to print up a few hundred
> > copies of a questionaire and get people to anonymously fill it in. And if,
> > as I fully expect, the results vindicate Reich, the potential social
> > benefits are likely to be greater than those from any other kind of
> > activism. At the very least, a study of that kind would get people talking
> > and thinking about this issue.

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