The American College of Orgonomy (ACO) on its website, in its link regarding Orgonomy in Europe, states that it recognizes—obviously as qualified—only certain doctors as practicing medical orgonomy in Europe. These doctors, because they are experienced and characterologically restructured to a satisfying degree and also because they take part in the ACO’s continuing training program—which includes active participation in the clinical seminar, patient supervision by more experienced orgone therapists and, the most important, uninterrupted personal therapy—are guaranteed to provide safe and effective application of psychiatric orgone therapy. So the College recognizes ONLY those as medical orgone therapists. This statement by the College leads obviously to the conclusion that if one does not take part in its training program, this person cannot be considered—by the College and only by it—as qualified medical orgonomist. Consequently, people who will trust these doctors will bear the responsibility of their choice because—again according to the unmentioned but clearly suggested reasoning of the College—it is very probable they risk damaging their psychic health.

Also, always according to this reasoning, doctors who left the ACO[1] and those who, even though they were Reich’s students and colleagues, chose not to join the College (Drs. Raphael, Sobey, Cott, Trop, Levine, Lowen etc.) and/or to function independently and not always within the boundaries of Orgonomy, are not recognized or were never recognized publicly by the ACO as qualified orgone therapists. Indeed of these, some gradually distanced themselves from Orgonomy and some adapted it to their own standards and so the ACO’s position of not recognizing them as medical orgonomists was justified. It is ACO’s inalienable right to determine its own criteria for qualification and recognition regarding the training of orgone therapists. Besides, how can one guarantee the qualification of self-proclaimed orgone therapists when one doesn’t know of their person or their development and work? Same of course goes the other way round. Who can determine if ACO’s training program produces qualified or not qualified orgone therapists, when one has no knowledge of it and therefore how can one guarantee the qualifications of ACO’s orgone therapists? So the College’s position, i.e. the fact that it recognizes as qualified orgone therapists only those who participate in its training program, even though it is logical and consistent, it is partial and cannot be used as the sole criterion of evaluating the qualification of orgone therapists whether they belong to the College or not. Let’s look at this reasoning from a somewhat different perspective and view it with a critical eye.

The thinking behind ACO’s statement is based on its certainty that it constitutes the trustee, correct interpreter and guarantor of Oronomy’s “orthodoxy” and the only authoritative institution that trains qualified orgone therapists. So all the doctors that Reich was working with and participated in his clinical seminars or wrote articles in the journals he published, were never automatically, obviously and publicly recognized by the ACO as qualified orgone therapists (e.g. Dr. Raphael), if chose not to join its ranks. The holds true for doctors who were trained in medical orgone therapy by different organizations (e.g. IOS), they are not recognized as qualified orgone therapists. Lastly, doctors who participated in ACO’s training program and therefore were automatically recognized as qualified orgone therapists were no more considered “recognized orgone therapists”, in the same automatic way, as soon as they stopped their collaboration with the College, irrespective of the reasons they stopped.

Due acknowledgement should be given to the important services ACO has offered and continues to offer to the cause of spreading and promoting Orgonomy and Reich’s multifaceted work. I believe and hope it will continue to do the same in the future. It is a sign of pettiness and hatred but it also shows lack of insight for one not to recognize Dr. Baker’s unique contribution to the uphill and rugged road for the preservation of orgonomic knowledge in general and psychiatric orgone therapy in particular. It also shows ulterior motives when one fires malicious polemics against the ACO which, at times under particularly adverse conditions, produced work and functioned with the appropriate earnestness and responsibility demanded of its place in the field of Orgonomy. Others did the same thing, however, from their perspective, in their own way and naturally within the context of their abilities and characterological limitations: The WR Infant Trust Fund, directed by Mary Boyd Higgins with Dr. Chester Raphael’s support, who chose for “personal reasons” not to cooperate with the ACO; the Institute for Orgonomic Science directed by Dr. Morton Herskowitz, who after initially working within the ACO, withdrew from it in the process and founded his own institute, as well as other independent researchers and students of Reich or certain orgone therapists who at some point and for “their personal reasons” withdrew from the College.

To my opinion, the problem here is that the ACO insists on behaving like the highest training institution in the field of Orgonomy and recognizes only itself as the valid representative and sole continuation of Reich’s legacy. It seems unable to realize or admit that in some instances what mainly distinguishes it from other descendants of Reich—not all—is innate personality incompatibilities existing even in reasonably healthy therapists, leading all too often in differences that do not necessarily distort Orgonomy but, on the contrary, enrich Reich’s legacy and open new perspectives. These incompatibilities, however, in connection with the incomplete destructuring of orgone therapists’ character armor render EVERYONE, with no exceptions, even the “great leaders”, susceptible to MISTAKES. It would be to our benefit, therefore, to realize and admit that the DANGER OF MISTAKE exists in ALL fields, ALL organizations and ALL people. A danger that can affect not only neurotics but, under certain circumstances, even relatively unarmored characters, in any field they function.

I want to emphasize that I also consider necessary to establish guidelines for the genuine orgonomic knowledge and its application, using real criteria, in order to guard it from various distortions and its frequently adulterated versions that result from limitations due to armor. Also, to avoid misunderstanding, I would like to clear out that I believe there should indeed be criteria to determine the qualification of orgone therapists. These criteria should help to distinguish the qualified orgone therapist from many other self-taught therapists or partly trained therapists that might actually harm their patients. The question, on the one hand, is WHO gets to determine these criteria; who is impartial and knowledgeable enough to accomplish something like that, without prejudice and ulterior motives; and on the other hand, WHAT rules should these criteria obey.

Until such a thing is done, because obviously for the moment this dream remains crushed by selfishness, I personally choose to keep the best that has been offered by ALL those who tried and kept Reich’s work alive. Disregarding the mistakes they might have committed, I can only feel respect for them, for the weight they carried on their shoulders for the benefit of those who came after. I therefore feel gratitude for my therapists and supervisors as well as some friends and colleagues, even though they are now “ex”, who supported me in many ways through my apprenticeship at the College and contributed decisively to my progress. I want to set aside all pettiness, “clumsy” or “unfortunate” actions, neurotic expressions and MISTAKES, wherever they come from, because we are ALL WHITHOUT EXCEPTION susceptible to them.

[1] Some of those who left did that after 10, 15 or 25 years of active participation in ACO’s activities and some of them actually held high position in its hierarchy: they became presidents (Drs. Blasband, Carpf), treasurers or even members of the training committee (Dr. Schwartzman).