Wilhelm Reich was born in Austria in 1897 as the son of a rather wealthy farmer and, as was common at that time, he was home schooled, first by his mother and later by a number of tutors. He excelled in his studies because of his intelligence and also, in part, out of fear of his father's horrible temper that would erupt over something as trivial as an incorrect answer in his studies.
Reich's family was tragically dysfunctional and, at age 13, his mother poisoned herself to flee the abuse of Reich's violently-tempered father. Four years later, Reich's father died of pneumonia—a financially destitute and lonely man. Reich, at 17, ran the farm himself for a short time after his father's death, but the property was destroyed by World War I in 1915.
After serving in the Austrian army on the Italian front, Reich began attending classes at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1922 as a doctor of medicine. While studying for his doctorate, Reich became a protégé of Dr. Sigmund Freud, and soon after graduating became the clinical assistant at Freud's Psychoanalytical Clinic where he, himself, became a pioneer in psychoanalysis.
In his book Character Analysis (1933), Dr. Reich detailed a biological basis for neurosis and provided a step toward the discovery of the cosmic orgone energy. During the years 1936-1939, Dr. Reich conducted experiments concerning the idea of airborne infection. He showed that microorganisms form themselves from inorganic material and disintegrating organic substances. He proved where airborne germs came from and demonstrated the absurdity of the commonly held "air germ" theory. It was during these experiments in 1939 that Dr. Reich accidentally discovered radiation particles which he later named orgone.
An assistant had mistakenly taken the wrong container from the sterilizer and heated the substance within it to incandescence. The substance was common ocean sand and, when cultured and inoculated on an egg and agar medium, yielded a yellow growth. When viewed under high magnification this growth was seen as vesicles (he called them SAPA bions) that glimmered an intense blue color that, in time, would grow and then move about.
As he continued to experiment with these "bions" he noticed that, when he placed live cancer cells next to them, the cells would die. It was during days of observing these phenomena that Dr. Reich came down with an extreme case of conjunctivitis, and his eyes became very sensitive to light. He noticed that it affected his eyes the most when he was looking at these vesicles through his microscope.
During the course of this work, in the winter of 1939, Dr. Reich also noticed that he had developed a suntan under his clothing. He reasoned he was being exposed to some type of radiation, and it greatly worried him. He used a radium electroscope to test the culture tubes, and it gave no reaction. It took a few weeks for him to realize that this newly noticed radiation (that he had named "orgone") was present everywhere.
Taking his SAPA bions into the darkness of his basement and waiting for two hours, he noticed that his hair and clothing emitted a blue glimmer, and the room was filled with a hazy, slow-moving, gray-blue vapor.
Over time, Dr. Reich demonstrated that the orgone radiation was the same energy that the Sun gave off and that the incandescing and swelling of the sand had released this energy once again from its material state. He was forced to this conclusion by the facts before him, but he admitted having to overcome great emotional reluctance in doing so.
Further experiments showed that this ever-present orgone would be repelled by metal objects and absorbed by organic material. By making a box with alternate layers of organic material (wool) and metal, Reich found that he could accumulate a more concentrated field of orgone. He called these boxes "orgone accumulators" and they played a major role in his experimentation with orgone.
Nearly 15 years later, the American government made an attempt to wipe the very word "orgone" from the English vocabulary, by banning the accumulator and destroying Dr. Reich's books and journals.
Dr. Reich was able to watch orgone in the various forms it would take on within an accumulator. The forms were:
bluish-gray fog-like formation,
deeply blue-violet luminous dots
whitish rapid rays
He was also able to demonstrate and measure orgone with a thermometer and an electroscope, as well as with a Geiger counter.
Dr. Reich under arrest
What astounded Dr. Reich was the fact that, for over two thousand years, the presence of this orgone energy was overlooked or argued away whenever a scholar attempted to describe what he saw. What Dr. Reich discovered is nothing short of the energy responsible for the biological pulsation of life on Earth (and possibly the universe).
Rather than embracing Dr. Reich's discoveries, the collective (politically motivated) scientific community responded with levels of anger and derision that bordered on hatred; rather than conducting investigations of their own and furthering the knowledge of orgone energy for the betterment of mankind, the (politically motivated) scientific community led the charge to destroy any documents that even mention the word "orgone".
And then the (politically motivated) scientific community destroyed Dr. Reich.