A Freudian analyst born in Austria in 1897 Wilhelm Reich was trying to prove the energetic reality of the "Libido" which Sigmund Freud had coined. Reich worked on his own version of biophysics for many years but by 1933 he had to leave Germany as Hitler's Nazi regime and the threat to his own well-being increased. Eventually after moving to Oslo he moved to the United States in 1939.
Using a high quality microscope for its time Reich observed that under high magnification it could be observed that luminous blue/green globules are released by decaying food. He described these as some form of biological ether. He likened these globules to Bions which were named and researched by H. Charlton Bastian, a contemporary of Louis Pasteur.
Reich, pleased with the rediscovery of bions found that a side effect of observing occurred. His eyes started to burn and caused a form of Conjunctivitis along with tanning of the skin. He tried numerous methods to shield, protect and contain the bions and by 1940 Reich had constructed his first 'accumulator'. This consisted of a six-sided box which was then insulated alternately with organic and inorganic substances (glass wool, steel wool, upson board and galvanised sheet iron). Reich claimed that the particles he could see in the microscope were actually an unidentified energy or radiation form which in turn caused the conjunctivitis and tanning.
Reich named this energy 'Orgone'
Amongst his findings Reich found that unlike most energy forms where potentials flow from higher-to-lower, with Orgone it was the reverse. He argued that the greatest concentrations of Orgone was to be found in water. Eventually, Reich built accumulators big enough to sit in and it was claimed to have noticeable healing results in the cure of mental disorders and cancer. These became known as 'Orgone accumalators' and were later advertised and sold to the public. This is when the USA goverment started to investigate Reich's claims believing the claims that were made about its ability to cure the ill were unfounded.
During 1941, Reich met with Albert Einstein. They talked for five hours. Reich was excited to have a chance to discuss his theories with Einstein but shattered when Einstein was too wrapped up in his own theories to get involved in Reich's.
In 1948 Reich founded the 'Orgone Institute' at Rangeley, Maine, USA. It was here that the experiments with orgone energy and electromagnetism were carried out and discussed in the 1951 publication, 'The Oranur Experiment' (first report 1947-1951).
As experiments were being carried out, it is reputed that menacing clouds formed above the institute, lab workers and visitors became sick and it was said that the general area felt oppressive, with an impending sense of doom. Even trees and shrubs were reported to have blackened and died. It was then that Reich maintained that he had started to produce what he called 'DOR'. (Deadly Orgone Radiation). 'OR' (Orgone Radiation) was believed by Reich to be a life giving process, DOR was the reverse which is why people fell ill and plants died. Reich then decided that he needed to clear the air of DOR by producing OR to cancel out the effects.
It was at this point Reich invented what would be known as a 'Cloud Buster'. This was a series of aluminium pipes/tubes of different lengths which sat on a revolving platform. From the tubes came an earthing cable which led to water. When pointed at the sky, it is claimed that clouds could be dispersed or formed.
Many of Reich's published materials were burned by the United States F.D.A. that were named in an Injunction against Reich by default. This was done on two ocassions between 1957-1960 by the FDA in NYC. (It is for this reason that the interest into Reich's work has for many people a lot of unanswered questions!)
Reich died in jail of a heart attack while serving a criminal contempt of court charge for disobeying the above mentioned injuction. He was known to have had heart trouble. He died on Nov 3, 1957.