Reich founded the idea of orgone upon arriving to America in the 1930s. He was a student of Sigmund Freud, and his theory expanded on Freud’s concept of libido.
His theory claims that there exists a bio-electrical force that animated the environment and could be harnessed to cure illnesses. He believed that our orgone is being suppressed by our society and experiences, and this is what leads to physical and mental diseases. The key to mental and physical health, in his theory, was through orgasm because it releases constricts in your energy.
He further added that this energy can be divided into two kinds. The Positive Orgone (POR) and Deadly Orgone (DOR). The former is what keeps organisms healthy while the latter is energy that is ‘blocked’ or stagnant, which is what causes decay and degradation of the body. DOR can be caused by anything from technology, EMF radiation, negative environment to emotions, but it can be transformed into POR.
This is what lead to the creation of devices made to convert POR into DOR to facilitate healing. Reich created the controversial device called the ‘orgone accumulator’. It’s basically this large box wherein a person sits inside and absorb orgone.
While there were claims that it resulted in healing much of his findings and knowledge has been covered up and hidden since the 1930’s when his books were ordered by the Nazis to be burned in Europe and then again in the USA by the American Government in the 1950’s. The Nazis and Communist parties in Europe also actively persecuted him in the press.
In 1986, The University of Malburg in Germany did a blind study in which the results showed evidence supporting Reich’s assumption that the orgone accumulator has a psychophysiological efficacy on human organisms.
DOR was also believed to be the cause of the decay of the environment in the form of desertification. Reich discovered that orgone can also affect weather patterns, so he made the ‘cloudbuster’. It is a device that can gather orgone in order to produce rain.
All these esoteric inventions and talk about orgone did not sit well with the American Food and Drug Administration. They charged him with false, misleading claims and misbranding in 1957. He was jailed, and all his works that even remotely mentioned orgone were destroyed. Everything related to his works were also banned. He died in prison, just days before his parole hearing.