On Cancer, Orgone Energy, Orgone Therapy and Dr. Wilhelm Reich

Introduction by Healing Cancer Naturally copyright © May 2009

If you are unfamiliar with Austrian physician and psychiatrist Dr Reich’s fascinating and very extensive work (which includes his book devoted to “The Cancer Biopathy”), you may wish to watch this Brief Introduction to Wilhelm Reich and the Orgone Energy which provides authentic information on subjects which frequently have been grossly misrepresented (incl. on Wikipedia when I last checked).

Additionally, you may wish to read this Concise History of Wilhelm Reich's Discoveries and the Developing Science of Orgonomy, also by eminent scholar and researcher James DeMeo, Ph.D., and visit www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org which among other pertinent information contains a detailed Reich biography including Reich’s path in his cancer research and the invention of a special device he called the orgone accumulator (ORAC). Dr Reich had developed the ORAC, together with other radically novel devices, based on his discovery of what he termed “orgone energy”, an energy he postulated to form the basis of all life phenomena.

As you will also learn, Dr. Reich (as many other original-thinking researchers who came up with theories or treatments which threatened the status quo [and thus the livelihood of its proponents]), was subject to serious persecution the larger part of his life. In fact (typically a sight only seen in very repressive regimes such as fascist or mediaeval feudal states etc.), on August 23, 1956, the FDA supervised the autodafé (burning) of several tons of Reich’s publications in New York City, amounting to some 25,000 copies of his books, magazines and other writings going up in flames. Wilhelm Reich himself was forced to spend his 60th birthday in the Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where he died some months later of heart failure on November 3, 1957.

The following article “Orgone Accumulator Therapy of Severely Diseased People”, originally published in German (1987) and then republished in English by Dr James DeMeo, USA, in his magazine “Pulse of the Planet” in 1991, reports on the impressive and thought-provoking results German physician Dr Heiko Lassek achieved with 19 “terminal” cancer patients when using the orgone accumulator.

While Dr. Lassek’s first group of cancer patients all eventually died, the cause seems to have been something that could have been easily addressed using dietary and similar measures: overload of the excretory organs with waste material from cancer cell dieoff (auto-intoxication). We know for instance that Dr. Max Gerson resolved this issue with coffee enemas etc. and that Dr. Johanna Budwig’s patients appear to have easily dealt with this issue on their own “steam”.

Please note that in Dr. Lassek’s later article (1994) “Orgone therapy (vegetotherapy): Experiences with the therapy according to Wilhelm Reich in the treatment of diseased people” which describes more experiences with cancer patients since 1988 with whom he had started to use both the ORAC and Reich's vegetative-energetic pulsation work (orgone therapy), all patients receiving a combination of these treatment modalities were alive at the time of his writing (1994).

Dr. Lassek’s 1987 article starts with a general introduction to the subject and later discusses his specific experiences with terminal cancer patients (starting at “III. Experience with the Biophysical Intensive Therapy”).

Note: Before rushing out to get an orgone accumulator for yourself or a loved one, make sure to also read Dr. Lassek’s “Epilogue, and a Note of Caution” which contains what could be important caveats regarding the use of the ORAC. (If you wish to acquaint yourself more thoroughly with the orgone accumulator, The Orgone Accumulator Handbook [available in several world languages] gives details on how to build and safely use such a device.)

Orgone Accumulator Therapy of Severely Diseased People

A Personal Report of Experiences (Part 1)

by Heiko Lassek, M.D., Director, Wilhelm Reich Institute, Delbrückstr. 4-C, 1000 Berlin 33, Germany

Republished by Healing Cancer Naturally with special permission © May 2009
First published in PULSE OF THE PLANET #3 Summer 1991


The scientific work of Dr. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), who put the main emphasis of his research on the proof and scientific description of biophysical processes in the human organism, has not yet reached a wide public recognition, even by the late 1980s. In the 1920s, as a medical doctor and psychoanalyst, Reich was one of the closest collaborators of Sigmund Freud; he was the head of the Technical Department and Psychoanalytical Clinic of this social movement. His further development of psychoanalytic technique in the field of resistance and character analysis, presented at the beginning of the 1930s, was followed by his later suspension from psychoanalysis; yet only 20 years later his contributions were appreciated and integrated as fundamental to the theory of psychoanalysis.

In the following period, his experimental psychosomatic research led Reich to the development of a somatically-oriented psychotherapy, which in time made him the target of discriminating attacks by former co-workers. The entire field of physicallyoriented psychotherapy, which during the last three decades has been spreading through all Western countries, explicitly refers to Reich's findings; and the founders of the most influential branches of somatically-oriented psychotherapy, almost without exception, were collaborators or former patients of Wilhelm Reich.

Up to this point in his work, the formerly disputed doctor and natural scientist is today granted general acceptance.

However, Reich’s work was not restricted to the discoveries mentioned above, but also includes experimental research which provided a natural scientific foundation for the psychosomatic phenomena he had observed. In the 1930s, at the Universities of Copenhagen and Oslo, together with numerous collaborators, Reich carried out extensive biophysical experiments on the connection between basic functions of living substance and the existence of a specific biological, vegetative energy, as expressed in the emotions and drives.(1)

This experimental investigation extended from the recording of changes of the electrical potential of the skin and mucous membrane of human organisms, to the measurement of bioelectrical potentials of monocellular organisms. Reich was led to the discovery of a type of energy postulated by him and so far to a large extent not much investigated, which he called orgone (derived specifically from organism, as he first assumed it only existed in living systems). The scientific recording and description of this type of energy and its interaction with human organisms became the main focus of Reich’s work over the following two decades.(2)

During the course of his biophysical investigation, at the end of the 1930s, he repeatedly found phenomena of radiation in biological cultures, which only in single aspects could be explained by the types of energy known up to that time. In the 1940s, after moving to the United States, and while working as a professor of medical psychology in New York, Reich and his numerous colleagues and collaborators examined the basic physical laws and biological effects of orgone energy.

Reich succeeded in constructing a special chamber which acted as a screen against external electromagnetic radiation, but which at the same time selectively concentrated the orgone radiation: the orgone energy accumulator. Years of self-experiments by Reich and his co-workers proved distinctively positive effects of the orgone radiation and orgone energy accumulator on humans and other animals. According to Reich’s research, the accumulator device charges the organisms situated inside with orgone energy. He and his co-workers began an experimental program of treatment of seriously diseased people, mainly free of charge to the patients.†

Dramatic changes in general condition, and positive influences were objectively documented in many patients, for such different disease processes as anemia, diabetes mellitus, various kinds of carcinoma and the acceleration of wound healing processes. Experiments with humans as well as laboratory mice proved the orgone accumulator’s value for support of organic mechanisms of regulation and healing.

At the beginning of 1980, in West Berlin, a group of interested doctors and medical students began a private initiative to critically examine and experimentally evaluate the central experiments of Reich in the fields of cytoscopy and cancer diagnosis. After three years of research the results of this work were presented at numerous lectures in German and Scandinavian Universities. It was revealed that Reich had discovered and explained several phenomena that are still unknown today, and which can be demonstrated and documented by most modern methods such as post-contrasting video microscopy.

In 1982, the first self-experiments with equipment based upon the principle of orgone accumulation were set up; a mixed group consisting of doctors and university professors (of diverse subject areas such as mathematics, physics, and social science) began to investigate the effects of orgone radiation upon their own organism. It was made evident that subjective and objective influences of the accumulator were most clearly experienced in those individuals suffering from acute conditions of pain and disease. Many healthy test persons without disease symptoms needed longer and more frequent times of exposure in order to feel strong vegetative reactions in the body.

In the meantime, by letter and in lectures, hundreds of people have reported on their predominantly positive experiences with the orgone accumulator, which in most cases they constructed by themselves according to various instructions which became available since the mid-1980s.(3)

As an established doctor, who within the framework of my practice is including the application of the techniques developed by Wilhelm Reich for influencing the vegetative nervous system, I was consulted again and again by people suffering from cancer in the last stage of the disease, i.e. with an existing metastatic spread which by medical means could not be influenced any further, and mostly with a terrible condition of pain. My work consulting and caring for 17 so-called “terminal” cancer patients during the last 2 1/2 years has included both orgone energetic treatment and psychosomatically oriented vegetotherapy offered free of charge without exception. This work has demonstrated the wide range of possibilities, but also the clear limits of influencing cancer in such an advanced stage by use of the orgone energy accumulator.

With 2/3 of the patients, after instructions in the use of the accumulator and test sessions, a clear reduction of the consumption of analgesics, and in some cases even freedom from pain, was achieved on average after 20 exposures to orgone radiation. Almost without exception, their vitality was markedly increased, which was to be seen by the resumption of activities completely inconceivable before the beginning of the radiation therapy. Furthermore, the remaining expectation of life prognosticated by specialists was prolonged with most of the patients.

The following article is based on a lecture I gave on this part of my work at the end of 1989, on the occasion of the Wilhelm Reich Conference in Berlin. In its content, it gives a summary on the experience with orgone accumulator therapy on the most severely diseased patients. I have decided to publish this report because, after detailed consultation and personal care during the first two weeks of treatment, the patients afterwards continued to use the orgone accumulator on their own responsibility. Therefore, the often discussed influence of the clinician was playing a very minor role.

Furthermore, since the first public presentation of these results I have received new reports previously unknown to me of similar experiences of cancer patients with orgone energy treatment. As a doctor, to me, it is the most important and most dignified aim of human medicine to decrease and, if possible, to prevent human suffering to the largest extent. If part of this aim can be achieved by the use of equipment that is constructed in such a simple way as the orgone accumulator developed by Wilhelm Reich, this possibility must not any longer be excluded from either broader public or medically specialized discussions.

Medical Experience with the Therapy Developed by Wilhelm Reich: Vegeto/Orgone Therapy

After several terminological changes, from the 1940s onward, Wilhelm Reich called his method of treatment ORGONE THERAPY. This kind of therapy can be divided into two subgroups which, however, in the practical work with the diseased person intersect or complement one another:

1) Psychiatric Orgone Therapy (character analytic vegeto therapy)

2) Biophysical Orgone Therapy (use of the orgone accumulator and medical DOR-buster)

The way I applied these types of therapy can be subdivided into three fields which also partly overlap:

I) Long-Term Therapy, i.e. character analytic vegeto therapy on patients suffering from diseases and somatic symptoms diagnosed by means of traditional medicine, and previously treated by conventional means without beneficial result. In this field, I work with the patient once a week, and with persons coming from outside Berlin, on average every three weeks for several hours on successive days. This therapy lasts 1 1/2 years on average.

II) Intervention Therapy, i.e. consultation and demonstration of self-aid techniques harmless to the patient, which they can continue independently after instruction and supervision. Later, if necessary, personal consultations and guidance is given.

III) Biophysical Intensive Therapy, i.e. consultation and guidance of most seriously ill patients mainly in the last stage of the cancer process; use of the orgone accumulator and of the diagnostic instrumentation developed by Wilhelm Reich for the follow-up observation.

I. Experience with Long-Term Therapy

Up to now, I have been able to treat the following diseases and symptom complexes with vegetotherapy, supported for a short time by use of the orgone accumulator, with very satisfactory results. By this I mean a great alleviation or even complete disappearance of pain, often followed by the complete discontinuation of all pain-reduction medications in patients with the following problems:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Chronic condition of pain of the locomotor system, especially of the spine
  • Chronic glaucoma
  • Relapsing gallbladder colic, also in cases of emergency
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Respiratory dysfunction with presence of a pulmonary emphysema
  • Patients with symptoms of relapsing angina pectoris
  • Meniere’s syndrome (rotary vertigo)
  • Chronic lymphatic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia
    (The vegetotherapeutic treatment of these diseases will be described in another article. Use of the accumulator in this particular case is contraindicated.)
  • Schizophrenia, paranoid-hallucinative type
  • Chronic depression
  • Anxiety neuroses
  • Persons suffering from cancer (to the treatment of whom I give more details below).

II. Experience with Intervention Therapy

With this method I have been treating 41 patients during the last 2 1/2 years. With 17 patients, a complete disappearance of the main symptoms was achieved. With 8 patients, the present condition of pain could be reduced. From the remaining 16 patients I have not received any feedback for a significant time, or problems with practice of the recommended techniques were reported.

III. Experience with the Biophysical Intensive Therapy

Under this point, in the following, I want to concentrate on the treatment of most seriously ill people in the state of multiple metastatic spread, in order to demonstrate the wide range of possibilities, but also the clear limits of influencing the process of cancer in the last stage of the disease.

The patients coming to me in this terminal state had for years been trying all conventional methods of treatment, to include chemotherapy, surgical removal of the primary tumor, and radiation therapy. Also, in most of the cases, nature cures such as macrobiotics, homeopathy, fasting cures and treatments in private clinics had been tried without any evidence of even delaying the progress of the disease. From the end of 1987 until spring 1990, I was treating altogether 17 of such severely ill patients. As seen from a medical point of view, these patients had been completely “treated out” at the beginning of their orgone therapy; almost without exception, they had been given survival times of from one to three months by their treating medical specialists. To give an impression of the severity of the cases, I want to give an exemplary description of the condition of two patients before the beginning of the orgone accumulator therapy:

Patient A: My first patient at this time was a professor of economics and businessman, age 53. In 1984, he had been operated on for a malignant renal cell carcinoma (hypernephroma) without any signs of metastases, and he remained free of symptoms for 2-1/2 years. At the beginning of 1987, after six months of radiation treatments, seven pulmonary metastases were detected, bioptically identified as belonging to the primary tumor and diagnosed inoperable, since all lobes of the lung were affected. In September of the same year, two more cerebral metastases were discovered, growing from 0 to 4 cm. on the right hand side within two months and from 0 to 3 cm. on the left-hand side in the same time. Neither the pulmonary nor the cerebral metastases reacted on large-dose chemotherapy; further radiotherapy of the rapidly growing cerebral metastases could not be undertaken, given the involvement of neighboring motor centers. An implantation of radioactive cobalt into both temporal lobes was considered, but the patient refrained after consulting several specialists among others in the USA and USSR. He came to me in the middle of November 1987, rather being carried by two men, and showing a paralysis of the entire left half of his body. His paralysis, caused by the pressure exerted by the cerebral metastases on motor areas, had developed in the time of two weeks. Specialists had prognosticated him a maximum survival time of three to six weeks, and all medication had been discontinued at this time because of ineffectiveness, except for morphine sulfate and Temgesic (a precursor of opiate) for alleviation of pain.

Patient B: The second patient I want to introduce as an example was a 58 year old administrative employee who had an operation for a cancer of the gallbladder at the end of 1986. During 1987, he developed six constantly growing metastases of the liver. Another two vertebral metastases were detected via CT scan, after the patient had been suffering from increasing pain in that area for months. Altogether, five cycles of chemotherapy were undertaken without influence upon the continuous growth of the metastases. According to the patient’s own report, he had been declining for several months, and his treating doctor had told him that very probably he would not live to see Christmas 1987. Our first meeting took place at the beginning of December 1987, and he was only able to come to me with physical support by his wife. I was shocked by his overall appearance, which made the opinion of his treating doctor appear to be a realistic prognosis.

The above two patients are held up as examples for all the other people I have treated: after all the conflicts they had gone through and the desperation on the first establishing of the diagnosis, the hope after the operation and their first freedom from metastases, then the terribly quick recrudescence of the spread of the cancer process These individuals had put up with their fate and were thankful to their doctors for frankly telling them about the short duration of life remaining to them. To us apparently healthy people, this attitude is probably hard to comprehend.

For their pain, both the above two patients received Temgesic and morphine sulfate, the last and strongest stage of analgesics that can be regularly prescribed to cancer patients in the so-called terminal stage. To them, as well as to all other patients in a similarly advanced stage of the disease, I had to tell them, in all clarity, that the process was far too advanced to be stopped. Nevertheless, the two patients wanted to try the orgone energy therapy, at least hoping for a slight reduction of their pain.

The Reich Blood Test of the two showed disastrous results: Immediately after the blood was applied to the slide, more than 90% of the erythrocytic membranes were in the process of disintegration; almost all red blood cells had become clumped aggregations; the preparations were full of t-bacilli.

Note by Healing Cancer Naturally: T bacillus is the name Wilhelm Reich gave to a form of bacillus he discovered in the course of his experiments.

This kind of result was to be found repeatedly with almost every patient in the final stages of cancer.

Eleven of the patients and also their family members were present at the first blood test, which were observed simultaneously by physician, patients, and family members through a video system attached to the microscope. They had explained to them the easily understandable main criteria of the Reich Blood Test, and they were able to follow their own native blood picture on the video display during the entire period of examination. Thus, during the following weeks and months, most of the persons affected, apart from the subjective changes in their condition, could see the correlation with the objective picture of the blood diagnosis, and they could even partly evaluate it on their own. Without exception, they all appreciated this possibility very much.

The Course of Orgone Therapy

During the first two or three sessions in the orgone accumulator, most of the cancer patients have uncomfortable somatic sensations. In spite of taking morphine they often feel dragging or pulling pains at the locations of the metastases.

However, this pain is described in their own words as “strange”, “new”, “being of a different, but somehow not alarming quality”, compared to the well-known intense pains.

In several cases, one or two more areas of pain were felt and described, each time sharply localized by the patient, which later on were proved to be additional metastases not yet diagnosed at the time of the first sessions in the accumulator.

Several patients also reported having a very detailed visual perception of their tumors or metastases while being in the accumulator.

Another less frequent observation was the reduction of pain during the first two accumulator sessions. Thirteen patients described a different sensation of pain, described by the patients as being “somehow beneficial” or “something moving in the body in the area concerned”,which intensified while being treated in the orgone accumulator.

This first reaction of the organism to the accumulator disappears after 3 to 6 one-hour sessions, and will not reappear unless the daily orgone accumulator therapy is interrupted for several days. After one week of treatment, sometimes even during the second or third treatment session, more and more reactions of the entire body are experienced: sensations of warmth or even heat, dilation of the cutaneous vessels, increase of the peristaltic sounds clearly audible without stethoscope, and delicate tingling sensation especially in the limbs but also in the scapular and cervical region. Without exception, after a short initial astonishment, these perceptions were described by the patients as being very agreeable.

From this point on, the intensity of the continuous pain experienced by the patients decreased. This is the time when the patients began to use the orgone accumulator twice per day, for one hour duration at both noon and early evening. After three weeks of such large-dose accumulator therapy, the extreme pains of 9 of the 17 patients were reduced to such an extent that, to the astonishment of their treating medical advisors, they no longer desired the daily medication of analgesics. With 5 other patients, before the therapy the pain had been latently present even under strong long-term medication. However, under the influence of the orgone accumulator, the attacks of pain developed a certain rhythm: periods of complete freedom from pain alternated with periods of the old condition of pain. At their own request, these patients also carefully reduced the long-term medication.

In only 3 of the 17 cases did the accumulator therapy fail to achieve a reduction of pain: A 72 year old patient with a primary hepatocellular carcinoma with formation of pulmonary metastases could only use the accumulator for 30 minutes per day, due to the development of distinct hot flushes; A 47 year old woman with severely dedifferentiated mammary carcinoma was only feeling a slight reduction of pain during her stay in the accumulator, but she discontinued orgone accumulator therapy anyhow;

A 61 years old patient with bladder carcinoma discontinued accumulator treatment after 6 sessions, even though it had given him a slight reduction of pain; he experienced anxiety attacks and complained of a strong feeling of restriction, as if being “locked up” while in the accumulator. From him, I did not get any further information.

From 6 patients it was reported that they could manage with only aspirin in case of attacks of pain. The supposition expressed by the patients was that the accumulator and aspirin were mutually intensifying with regard to their pain-relieving effect, and this was later confirmed by many other patients.

It was especially impressive how the changes concerning the quality of life were described by the associated persons, the wives, children, and friends who could observe the patients: After a time of three to four weeks, normal appetite, joint walks, the resumption of old hobbies and independent car driving had become possible again. The general appearance of the patients had changed. Many of them reported a feeling of vitality which they had not felt for many years, as before the time when their disease symptoms first appeared.

1. Reich, W.: The Function of the Orgasm, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NY, 1973; Reich, W.: Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NY, 1982.

2. Reich, W.: The Cancer Biopathy, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NY, 1973; Raphael, C. & MacDonald, H.: Orgonomic Diagnosis of Cancer Biopathy, Wilhelm Reich Foundation, Maine, 1952.

3. Freihold, J.F.: Der Orgonakkumulator nach Wilhelm Reich, Verlag Konstanze Freihold, Mullerstr.145, 1000 Berlin 65; Gebauer, R. & Muschenich, S.: Der Reichsche Orgonakkumulator, Nexus Verlag, Fichardstr.38, 6000 Frankfurt 1.

† Editor's Note: From 1940 to 1957, Reich and his associates published dozens of experimental and clinical reports on the bioenergetics of cancer and other diseases, and on the therapeutic use of the orgone accumulator. These papers are cited in the Bibliography on Orgonomy at www.orgonelab.org/bibliog.htm.

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