An Eruption of the Emotional Plague

Charles Konia, M.D.
Reprinted from the Journal of Orgonomy, Vol. 38 No. 2
The American College of Orgonomy

The following case illustrates the effectiveness of functional thinking and the limits of conventional wisdom in dealing with emotion-related social problems.

Case Presentation
Bono, the famous rock-music performer, speaking at the televised broadcast of the Golden Globe Movie Awards to a worldwide audience of millions of people, described one of the winners as “F—ing brilliant.” The furor sparked by this incident led many in the television industry to petition the Federal Communications Commission to affirm that Bono had a right—protected by the United States Constitution and the needs of the “artistic community”—to say “F— ing” on prime time television.

The long list of petitioners included the ACLU, the Director’s Guild, The Actor’s Guild, The Writer’s Guild, Viacom, and the Recording Industry Association. The petition stated: “The commission’s aggressive crackdown on coarse speech has sent shock waves through the industry.”1

At the heart of the petitioners’ claim is the belief that they will suffer great economic loss if performers are not free to express themselves using vulgar and objectionable language.

Failing to make a distinction between the three layers of the human bioemotional structure, the façade, the secondary destructive layer and the biological core, one cannot arrive at a satisfactory understanding and solution to this and other current social problems.

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights states in part: “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise… to petition the government for redress of grievances.”

The destructiveness of the petitioners’ claim and the feature that identifies it as an expression of the emotional plague is that the economic self-interest of a minority of individuals constituting the entertainment industry, itself largely based on secondary-layer activity, is placed over the health and well-being of society.

Permitting vulgarity and obscenity serves to promote and normalize it, deadening to an even greater extent the sensibilities of the public. People become perceptually more armored than they already are and more insensitive to the world around them. By interfering with people’s capacity to perceive and to feel, the entertainment industry successfully creates an audience that is increasingly susceptible to the harsh and ugly images and sounds that are passed off as art. The masses, for their part, with senses dulled, demand more and more mechanical, degraded stimuli.

The underlying emotional basis for this particular problem is that characterological liberals make up most of the entertainment industry. This character type has little or no core contact. Functioning mostly from the superficial layer, the liberal can reach only to the depth of the secondary destructive layer in his work. This is a major reason why he must confuse vulgarity and obscenity for genuine art. The liberal’s limited sensibility mirrors that of the masses who financially support them in degree and kind:

Armored Consumer –><–Armored Entertainment Industry

The alleged reason given in the petition to the FCC (“economic loss”) is not the real reason, which is that they have to obtain gratification (relief of tension) by expressing and promoting the expression of their secondary layer drives in social life and do so by calling it “art”.2  Since this expression can provide only partial and temporary relief, the emotional intensity behind it continues to intensify, requiring ever more violent forms of destructive expression.

In our armored society the superficial and secondary layers are represented socially, but not the biological core. The social problem exhibited by this case is the expression of the secondary layer in social life. It must therefore be recognized as a manifestation of the emotional plague. The plague was activated when individual’s work function, which originated in the secondary layer, was threatened.

Work originating from the superficial and secondary layers do not strengthen social life. They are not capable of productive growth and they do not need governmental protection. In contrast, work originating from the biological core is life affirmative and in this world demands governmental protection.

1 See”F—word Fight Isn’t Over Fei, Fi, Fo, Fum” by Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2004.

2 Editor’s Note: The stated reason for the petition, fear of economic loss, makes no sense. This can be readily seen from the fact that vulgarity and other expressions of the secondary layer have been financially damaging to the recording industry. Indeed, the most important factor in recording industry losses is the degradation of art and the progressive decline in the quality and marketability of its product. Even dedicated fans of harsh music complain that, in contrast to a decade ago, most of the CDs being released today “only contain one or two good songs.” In essence, the recording industry and its consumers, via the Internet, have been reduced to cheating (short-changing) each other. The result has been a downward spiral in sales and profits. The recording industry has been compelled, at great loss, to address their own inability to produce marketable CDs by selling songs one at a time on the Internet, while simultaneously mounting expensive lobbying and enforcement efforts against illegal music file sharing. [Robert A. Harman, M.D.]

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