STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.
Did scientists prove in 2024 that "orgone energy" exists in the form of orgonite? No, that's not true: A Princeton physics professor interviewed by Lead Stories described the claim as unscientific. The post in which the claim was made is an apparent attempt to promote a website selling hand-made decorative crystals branded as "orgonite", said to have properties rooted in the ideas of psychologist Wilhelm Reich.
What Reich found was that the same orgasmic electrical magnetic energy that permeates our biology was the very life force that permeates all of existence. He referred to it as Orgone.
Orgone has been known by many names such as prana, life force, chi, ka or what I've found to be ......dielectricity.
Reich figured out how to harness it.
6 decades later his discoveries re-emerge in the form known today as Orgonite.
ORGONITE works on the same principles and most notably is used as a EMF protection tool as it produces what is known as wave coherency helping to bring uniformity and charge balance to otherwise chaotic non-biocompatible electric fields.
For some of the best Orgonite on the market hand made by yours truly - hit the link in my bio⚡️🧲
This is what the post looked like at the time of the writing of this fact check:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Feb 2 19:24:21 2024 UTC)
The post referred to a concept developed by Austrian-American psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, a student of Sigmund Freud who later parted ways with his teacher. Reich thought of "orgone energy" as a primal, sexual energy in the universe that could be potentially accumulated.
The claim on Instagram implied that "orgone energy" has been proven to exist. Yet it never addressed who reached that conclusion and when or why "orgone energy" became "orgonite."
The "orgonite" discussed in the post on Instagram does not derive from Reich's "orgone energy" experiments -- it's a crystal.
Robert H. Austin, a professor of physics at Princeton University and the principal investigator in a biophysics research group that "probes the biophysical limits of cells, organisms, and robots under stress," told Lead Stories via email on February 1, 2024, that the claim that "orgone energy" exists in the form of "orgonite" is false:
It's pseudoscience but this stuff never dies. He even fooled Einstein for awhile.
Einstein tested Reich's device, named the Orgone Energy Accumulator, an insulated metal box, which, in its original form, was big enough for a human to sit inside.
Einstein noticed that the box's thermometer showed a slightly higher temperature than in the room but did not confirm that the temperature difference was a sign proving the existence of a previously unknown energy. While some critics suggest omissions in the part describing the experiments, the key events don't appear to be disputed.
Reich conducted other experiments and described them in his writings (for example, here). The writings that Lead Stories found contain no mention of "orgonite" or of a crystal's healing powers.
James E. Strick, a science historian and professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, previously told Lead Stories that while Reich indeed looked at whether what he thought was orgone energy could be used to treat cancer, he did not make an unsubstantiated claim that it could.
In a phone conversation on February 7, 2024, Strick told Lead Stories that "This organite is just something somebody made up somewhere. I think it's nonsense, and it has nothing to do with Reich's work. He wasn't around to say, 'Hey, this has nothing to do with my work.'"
A search for the term "orgonite" and Reich's name on Google News did not show any credible news coverage of the purported scientific discovery supposedly confirming the crystal's ability to either "harness" some energy or produce "wave coherency" or affect what the post described as "biocompatible electric fields."
The account that posted the claim on Instagram was not affiliated with any credible scientific organization. It was selling "hand-made" crystals described as "orgonite" through a website to which it linked in the account bio.
Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about science can be found here.
2024-02-07T22:48:44Z 2024-02-07T22:48:44ZAdds quote from James E. Strick.