The Penetration of the Emotional Plague Through the Social Surface

The source of the emotional Plague originates from the destructiveness contained in human armor (the destructive secondary layer) and, therefore, it has a separate life of its own. Every now and then, because of the economic and social sickness of armored people, the disease is able to rear its ugly head and appear undisguised on the social surface in full view of everyone.

This happened during the Great Depression of the 1930s when, because of the economic chaos of the times, leftist movements successfully entered the social mainstream pandering their socialistic nostrums and cure-alls to the American people.

It is again breaking through the social surface as a result of the anti-authoritarian transformation of society. With its inevitable breakdown of the authoritarian family and the appearance of large numbers of the younger generation on the streets unable to be independent and take care of themselves there was a rise of the shift to the political left in the social mainstream and the appearance of a new breed of “experts” on the political far-left ” who “know” the answer to the social problem – the good old-fashioned socialistic solutions that had failed over and over again in the past.

The Republican Party’s platform for the upcoming 2020 election largely depends on showing how good things are economically in America. The Democratic Party’s platform depends on showing how terrible things are socially today. Neither group is able to look at the transformation of society into anti-authoritarianism and the resultant breakdown of the authoritarian family which is the underlying reason for this social problem in the first place. Without this social problem the freedom peddlers on the left would have no socialist wares at all to peddle.


  1. Hi Dr. Konia, thanks for another great post.

    In your 2008 book, The Emotional Plague, you define antiauthoritarianism this way:

    “The social system that is opposed to both neurotic (irrational) and rational authority at every level of social organization.” (Page 453)

    In today’s post, as in your books and other posts, I believe it would be easy for people to misunderstand you in some ways. For example, I know for a fact that you do not think of authoritarian culture as “the good old days,” to which it would ever be possible or even desirable for us to return (it’s interesting in this light to notice how often we have been discussing Hitler’s authoritarian movement lately). And yet, I also know for a fact that many people around the world who are interested in orgonomy shun the ACO because of a belief that it is “conservative.“

    Now, it seems quite clear to me that those who shun the ACO for it’s supposed conservatism are themselves either pseudo-liberals or liberals who have been infected with pseudo-liberalism; so, much of their reaction to the ACO is, I believe, irrational and based on their own misperceptions due to their ocular armor. Because of their ocular armor, they are afraid of the ACO and orgonomy.

    Also, it’s probably true that the ACO culture is conservative, at least in certain ways. However, although orgonomy might be conceptualized as “conservative“ in the sense that it attempts to conserve or preserve the core, in other ways it is a radical revolutionary movement that is not conservative; for example it is not attempting to preserve a societal status quo, and orgonomic functionalism inherently moves forward and develops, rather than standing still and pulsating (or pulsing) on one spot and preserving a status quo.

    One could paraphrase your definition of anti-authoritarianism in this way: it is a sort of throwing out of the “baby” with the “bathwater”: the opposition to authoritarianism (irrational authority, the “bathwater“) is rational; but in the process of opposing irrational authority, antiauthoritarian people are also throwing out the contactful elements (the “baby”) partially preserved within authoritarian doctrine. For example, the authoritarian Catholic Church preserves a deep understanding of the secondary layer and the core, without explicitly defining it in those terms. We say that all religious and philosophical systems (before Reich’s discovery of functionalism) mistook the secondary layer for the core. This is true, however at least these authoritarian social systems recognized evil! And recognizing actual (not imagined) evil is something that the antiauthoritarians are totally incapable of! They don’t know who the real enemy is. They are completely confused about the layering of individual and societal structure—unlike authoritarian systems such as Catholicism which actually were able to paint quite a good, though indirect, picture of the nature of evil and of the three layers of individual and societal structure: the superficial layer, the middle layer, and the core (again, without defining them clearly as such).

    Forgive me for the length of this comment (apparently my middle name is “too much“!), but my questions for you are the following:

    1) How do we make sure that we are not perceived as some kind of reactionary right wing movement which longs for the glory days of authoritarianism, when in fact we are not (or should not be) advocating such, but instead are offering a model for gradual (“conservative”) change?

    Orgonomy and functional thinking encompass the best elements of both conservatism and classical (true) liberalism. How can we help people to understand that what we represent is not reactionary at all, but rather is a form of revolution/evolution which can point the way towards healthy change (and what we advocate is certainly a colossal change in human living!) and the pursuit of truth (a bioenergetic understanding of the truth, as Reich would say), while at the same time recognizing the countertruth, which is that change needs to happen slowly in order to avoid phenomena like the anti-authoritarian era that we are currently attempting to live through?

    2) Orgonomy is infinitely exciting!!! It is so deep, and it is such a wealth of truth and useful knowledge that runs the gamut from solid advice for every day living to an understanding of the cosmos! How do we help people to establish a relationship of attractive opposition to the ACO and orgonomy, instead of a relationship of antagonistic opposition where the ACO and orgonomy are either ignored or attacked?

    3) How do we communicate this excitement without getting people overexcited by freedom peddling? How do we communicate the great potential for healthy, positive change that could occur as a result of the spread of orgonomic knowledge; deep, not superficial change; neither authoritarian nor antiauthoritarian; neither left nor right, but forward! How do we convey excitement that is not destructive? How do we convey the kind of excitement that opens one up to the depths, rather then makes people flee or attack? How do we avoid looking like people who are simply angry and frightened and bitter or pessimistic; rather than people who are excited and optimistic about what could happen as a result of the gradual change that an understanding of truth and countertruth together can bring? How can we talk about evil without eclipsing The conversation that needs to be had about the core of living functioning?

    Reich wrote about how the secondary layer has a great attraction to us because it is between us and the core; the evil, secondary layer (the Devil, the Emotional Plague, politics) fascinates us and draws us in because we are drawn by the energy of the core from which the secondary layer safe and siphons of its energy: we are both repelled by it and drawn to it, afraid of it and wanting to fight it. We get wrapped up in it. Is it possible that by doing so, we can sometimes forget about the core? We talk about evil all the time. Where is the discussion of the core? We know that the core will win out in the end, don’t we? I believe it will. So why don’t we talk about the core more? Is it possible that focusing almost all the time on the plague somehow keeps us stuck?

    I feel this very deeply and it moves me quite a bit to express this.

    Dr. Konia, there is no other forum on Earth for this sort of thing to be discussed. There is no seminar about this. These sort of things are not discussed in any seminar. Your blog is the only place on earth where we might be able to discuss these things.

    • I wrote another book,”Neither Left Nor Right” to address this problem.

    • There are probably fewer than 2,000 people on this planet who take Wilhelm Reich seriously. And those are divided about evenly between Left and Right. There are two factions in orgonomy: I have met extreme left-wing Reichians and extreme right-wing Reichians. But I have never met a moderate, middle-of-the-road Reichian. Orgoinomy seems to nurture fanatics.

      Instead of following the divisive and ultimately doomed route of calling each other names, it would be better for the future of orgonomy to call a truce and focus on the things all Reichians have in common. The small number of people who wish to promote orgonomy need to stop feuding over politics and work together. Orgonomy has much to offer, but it will not accomplish anything until it becomes more inclusive. It should be possible for people of good intentions to co-operate regardless of their political views.

      • Hi, Victor.
        Individual character structure expresses itself on the political stage, so I don’t see how politics could fail to come up in any discussion of social orgonomy.
        I’m not sure who you are describing as “calling each other names.”
        I don’t know you and I haven’t followed all of the comments on all the blogs on Dr. Konia’s website, so I have no idea what your level of familiarity with orgonomy is, but Dr. Konia has also written about the biophysical basis of political orientation, for example in this article available on this website:
        It has even been said that there are liberal and conservative amoebas! The proposed explanation for such a statement is that individual organisms vary in the type of movement that they display. It appears that there may be typically liberal and typically conservative ways of functioning biophysically.
        Conventional sociological research has also turned up a lot of evidence that political orientation has a correlation with temperament, which is believed to be about 40-50% biological.
        So again, I think that the biological aspects of political orientation are inescapable, and I think some degree of conflict between the left and right is probably inevitable more so in the presence of armor.
        For the small minority of people on Earth who actually get excited by orgonomy when they encounter it, it is therefore inevitable, it seems to me, that politics is going to come into play; especially because Reich always had a sociological bent, from the beginning until the end. When people are excited by orgonomy, it’s inevitable that their core natures and also their secondary layer character will also get excited and express itself.
        Since the emotional plague is the expression of a secondary layer, and attempts to destroy the core, again I think it’s inevitable that some kind of discussion of politics and political orientation is going to occur. I agree that we should all try to get along. I think we are doing that pretty well in this website, at least in my opinion. I don’t see any way around calling a spade a spade as we see it. These are such vital matters and they need to be discussed. What I was writing about in my comment (your comment was posted as a reply to mine) was a contemplation on the nature of political discussion and a wish that we might more often place the discussion of the plague in a wider context beyond the purely political; and that perhaps there could be reasons for optimism if we focus on how the core functions, not just on how the secondary layer functions. In this sense, I agree with you.

      • looked up the etymology of the word, “fanatic.“ It comes from two Latin words: “fanum”, which means temple; and “fanaticus”, which means inspired by a god. I think that basically anything that strongly excites the core and/or the secondary layer can result in fanaticism. Both orgonomy and politics excite the core and the secondary layer (as does love)! It seems to me that anything that is deeply felt or that inspires us is going to result in some fanaticism, at least to the degree that we are all armored. I think the fanaticism mostly comes from the secondary layer not being able to tolerate the excitation from the core. Politics also involves how we attempt to survive as a society and as individuals, so naturally it is going to stir up a lot of intense fear and disagreement. That partly relates, again, to how there are probably different biopolitical character types; some types might flourish better in a liberal environment, some types might flourish better in a conservative environment. So naturally there is going to be conflict.
        Politics is very, very deep in some ways and in other ways more superficial. I see this in my patients when they bring up political themes. I almost always say nothing. I feel sympathy for their emotions even if I don’t agree with their politics. People often use politics in order to avoid the core. For example, when people in therapy start talking about politics, it’s clearly a somewhat more superficial matter than talking about themselves.
        The observation that politics is characterological is supported by phenomena such as how in a personal argument between friends or family or lovers, the topic can very easily switch back-and-forth between interpersonal conflict and politics. For example, someone might burst out with: “You’re just like Trump!” Or something like that. People also seem to fundamentally respond to political personalities more than to the actual content of the politics. Politics is profoundly personal.

      • Very good explanation, Dr.Holbrook,
        especially the following of yours
        “I think the fanaticism mostly comes from the secondary layer not being able to tolerate the excitation from the core.”

        There are also people who are interested in orgonomy and just can not stand the excitation of the core.
        I did not know that there are existing right-wing orgonomists?
        In my perception, there is only a misuse of Wilhelm Reich’s work by Marxists, from their extreme left point of view the orgonomy seems to be just on the right, seen just from their geographic perspective.
        If your point of view might be one of a black fascist, a neonazi, or a muslim, orgonomy seems to be quite left.

        So from which neurosis you are suffering decides, as you might see orgonomy, orgonomy is objectively neither right nor left.

  2. Dr.Konia, here is a good example of the emotional pest, which you described as the consequences of the left-wing politics:

    In Frankfurt in Germany, a mother and her son were pushed by a man from Africa sontan in front of the train track, the son was killed.
    Of course, it’s not about indicting or accusing all people coming from Africa, but in Germany we have the great lie of the so called refugees, who are mostly nothing more thananti-Semitic criminal, violent asylum fraudsters.

    Please read these comments on the murder in German newspapers this morning:

    Reinhard Müller in the FAZ:

    “Two murderous isolated cases, which resulted in many people having to be cared for, do not fundamentally change the general security situation”.

    Matthias Alexander in the FAZ:

    Citizens are also called upon to be more vigilant and to show moral courage – a murder is almost always announced. ”

    Stephan Hebel in the Frankfurt runway show:

    “A person commits a violent act, that is the terrible, but also the whole story”

    It is logically absolute idiocy, what they are writing, murder and violence and their causes are relativized, their comments are completely emotionally contactless, as in the National Socialism.

    It is the banality of evil, as the German-Jewish intellectual Hannah Arendt had called it.

    The average neurotic, as noted by Wilhelm Reich, becomes suddenly a murderer.

    With analysing this comments you can take a look behinnd the mask and surface of the “good” people, who want to save the world with social welfare, and suddenly comes the ugly face of the murderous emotional lague to the surface.

    • Thank you Alexander.

  3. I am sorry for the tyos in my comment above, it is the keyboard on my smarthone.

  4. Thanks, Alexander, for your comment on my most recent comment. And you make some good additional points. Because of the red shift, a lot of what is seen as “conservative“ these days would’ve been viewed as some form of liberalism 50 or 60 years ago!

    • yes, thank you, but the important point is that collaboration with Marxists who abuse the work of Wilhelm Reichs is not possible because it is an expression of emotional plague.
      It has nothing to do with politics, but with biology.
      Take the new edition of the Journal orgonomic functionalism, I have seen the content and do not need to read it at all, Reich is functionally misused for Marxism – thank you, I do not need that.
      There are masochists who are upset about it all day and analyze it word for word.
      Anyone who feels a lives a healthy sexual life, that means, has biological core contact, is not interested in sharing this everyday masochism, and has no interest to deal with it for hours and criticize it.

      • Yes, I agree.

      • You raise an interesting issue. I don’t know if I think “masochism“ is the best word to describe what we are talking about here, but maybe a simpler way to express it would be to simply talk about the nature of contact.

        If we send out a pseudopod and get a negative reaction or no reaction at all, that means we are not making contact, so it makes no sense to keep sending out a pseudopod in that direction. It makes more sense to pull that particular pseudopod in, and send out another pseudopod in some other direction. Maybe that’s the simplest way we can express all of this. To keep sending out pseudopods in a useless direction makes no sense, and yes, that would be masochistic.

        Often that kind of “masochism” is based on some kind of transference, where we are unconsciously attempting to repeat past disappointments in an effort to get a different result this time around. But in that case, we are blind to who we are dealing with.

        When it should be clear that no such gratifying contact is going to occur as a result of our efforts, it makes sense to withdraw rather than to argue and make a nuisance of ourselves. Look before you leap!

      • Thank you, Dr.Holbrook,

        I agree with you.

        You had written:

        “Often that kind of “masochism” is based on some kind of transference, where we are unconsciously attempting to repeat past disappointments in an effort to get a different result this time around.”

        “When it should be clear that no such gratifying contact is going to occur as a result of our efforts, it makes sense to withdraw rather than to argue and make a nuisance of ourselves. ”

        Concerning my example:

        What do you expect from the Journal Orgonomic Functionallism ?
        Also, the next issue will functionally be a misuse of the work of Wilhelm Reich by Marxists again.
        So why getting upset every time. It’s a waste of time, it does not make it any better, the Journal will be as worse as before..
        I once wrote to a leftist Reichian in Berlin an email, I like to directly contact people – i told him without rage my opinion, i did not get any answer back from him, the communication ended until it had been even started, as we had nothig IN COMMON, i do not hate this person, it is meaningless to me, I do not want to fight him, that would be irrational.
        You know, that masochists feel stronger energetically, as they are unable to discharge energy naturally, by being fought.
        I am not a friend of psychogames and psycho-ping-pong at all.
        So, why should I feel upset and why should I search for contact ?
        The (unsatisfactory) result will be mostly the same, you are right, Dr.Holbrook.

      • Reich, W. (1953/1956). The Murder of Christ. New York: Pocket Books: “Just as rotted meat brought together with fresh meat will make the fresh meat rot, and never will fresh meat make rotted meat fresh, so also will knowledge of the ways of healthy Life in the hands of rotted life, always poison good Living, never the other way around. Healthy Life will never make good living out of rotted life, pestilent life. The pestilent, rotted life knows well that this is so and therefore hates good living worse than anything else. You cannot ever make a crooked tree grow straight again….THE ENEMY IS THE INFECTIOUS ROT ITSELF, NO MATTER WHERE YOU FIND IT, AND NOT A SPECIAL GROUP OR STATE OR NATION OR RACE OR CLASS. The remedy is not fighting-contact with the plague. This will always cause infection by the plague of the healthy life….happy children will easily pick up the ways and expressions of sick children. But sick children will never pick up the ways and expressions of healthy children. A single messed-up, pestilent person can upset a whole group of well-functioning men and women.” Page 240-241, emphasis in original.

      • Thank you, Dr.Holbrook.

        This is a very valuabke quote by Wilhelm Reich, but one has to be very careful, not to use it like template in everyday life.

        I give you an example:

        Who was pestilent in the psychoanalytic society in Vienna in the 1920s – Wilhelm Reich or Paul federn ?
        Federn hated Reich for his aliveness, and were did the “diagnosis” come from that Reich was a schizophrenic ?

        I remember from emotional, psychiatric ill ,pestilent people.
        Reich mixed up, without wanting, almost the whole psychoanalytic society , with his aliveness, the obsessive-compulsives felt very insecure, and wanted mostly to get rid of Reich.

        Reich had written, that he is the pike in the carp pond.

        Reich was the emotional healthy person, but he was slandered as schizophrenic and thrown out of almost all Associations he was a member of, except the ones he founded himself.

        Reich was the victim of the emotional plague and not vice versa.

  5. Alexander: of course!

    As to the specific question of why it might’ve been that Reich was thought by some in Vienna to be schizophrenic, I have heard it said that it may have been because he described plasmatic currents, which in conventional psychiatric circles would be considered to be something that only schizophrenics would experience (because of their very light muscular armor) and talk about. In Reich’s case, he was simply healthy enough to objectively perceive the currents.

    • Yes this is true, but the neurotics have been sexually excited by Reichs work and his very direct non-neurotically behaviour, some of them have been biologically attracted and repelled by his work at the same time, they coul not stand the excitation, the emotional-sexual excitation, I do not see this from the brain – it is about the emotions they felt, naturally the plasma pulsation is the basis of life – this all meets the emotional armor of these people, it drove them mad – today there are some people, that pathologically feel attracted by orgonomy , by the sexual excitation.
      Naturally they THINK, that they are rationally, but this is only on the surface you can FEEL the irrational emotioins behind the nice words-

      Remember some of Reichs co-workers slandered against him behind his back, even his lawyer did.
      It is all about the emotions in the depth, words are often part of the resistance structure – or are covering the irrational emotions behind.
      I have so many clever analyzes, with irrational emotions behind – so mostly the author has to believe that this was clever, objectively it is mostly the biggest nonsense. and an expression of his neurotic resistance structure

      • It has to be called:

        I have read so many clever analyzes…

        in my comment above

      • Agreed. Well stated about The difference between thinking and feeling.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s