Orgone accumulator

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A modern-day "orgone accumulator," composed of epoxy resin and metal shavings. There is probably a quartz crystal in the middle as well.
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An orgone accumulator (ORAC) was a box developed by Wilhelm Reich to trap and then radiate his magical orgone energy into a concentrated area. Reich constructed the box so that it had organic material lining the outside of its walls and metallic material lining the insides of its walls. To Reich orgone energy would be drawn into the organic material on the outside of the box but then be radiated into the box by the metallic inner lining. Over time this orgone energy would "accumulate" in the interior of the box.

Reich came to the conclusion that orgone energy would be absorbed by organic substances because of his (woefully inadequate) knowledge of "radiation" — by which he meant "nuclear" radiation, e.g. the spooky stuff that comes out of radium. Somewhere along the line he heard that organic matter absorbs radiation,[1] and that was all he needed to convince him that orgone energy "must" behave the same way.

Objects (including people) could then be placed inside such a device and be exposed to well above background levels of orgone energy. Of course there is absolutely no evidence that orgone exists so any device designed to "accumulate" it in one place can be immediately written off. Orgone accumulators were proposed to cure everything from mental disease to cancer. It is the ultimate mix of woo and pseudoscience.

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Wilhelm Reich, The Cancer Biopathy, ch. III, sec. 3 (p. 90, 1973 trans.)
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