Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reich, Little Rock and UFOs

Reich, Little Rock and UFOs
by Kenn Thomas

The Little Rock Nine, a group that integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in September 1957, observed its anniversary Tuesday even as the protests in Jena, Louisiana underscored continued racial strife in the US. But the plight of the Nine was not the only social oppression that America suffered in 1957--the UFO cover up was in full flower and UFO believers were handily marginalized and even prosecuted. The scientist Wilhelm Reich was thrown in jail in part for exploring human energy potential and therapeutic techniques not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but also in part because he was using the consequent cloudbuster technology to battle UFOs in the Tucson desert.

Reich had been condemned as a medical quack, his books had been burned and his "life energy" boxes, precursors to a type cannon called a cloudbuster that harnessed atmospheric energy, were destroyed. Reich had harmed no one and, indeed, had helped many with his understanding and manipulation of what he called the orgone. He witnessed several UFOs on his estate in Maine and used the orgone cloudbuster guns to cause them to go away. He did the same on a famous trip to the desert southwest that he documented in his last book, Contact With Space. By his own estimation, he fought the first battle against space intruders, and won. The FDA, of course, never truly followed Reich's scientific protocols on either orgone boxes or cloudbuster guns, and convicted Reich only on technical violation of its injunction to stop distributing orgone boxes.

Authorities threw Reich in a prison cell in Lewisberg, PA from which he did not emerge alive. In memos to the prison chaplain before his death, however, Reich continued to write passionately about the social situation in the US. His note from September 1957 even includes reference to the disturbance at Little Rock Central High School. He emphasized the very psychological and emotional undercurrents he felt were being ignored in the broader social arena of conspiratorial 1950s America, what prevented many from seeing the space ships he saw in abundance:

"I am merely fulfilling my public duties as a U. S. citizen and worker in planetary affairs if I continue to point out where the true danger to our social and personal existence is placed: its is Emotional Poisoning: disruption through sowing distrust throughout our society, doping and drugging of our population, espec. our YOUTH; draining us financially through areas [...]race, a camouflage of the true menace, the Emotional Poisoning a la Little Rock racial upheavals; keeping our high placed officials at bay through fear of sexual scandals [Clinton!--kt], railroading efficient men and women into prisons or lunatic asylums through [?] up there environments; subverting justice by whispered little lies & frightening or using judges. Doing all this destruction unnoticed as it were by all those responsible. It was clear from the very beginning that [?] and now lyrics were subverted by such use of stupidities & evasions on our part [rock'n'roll!--kt], especially by the staid reluctance to talk bluntly and take the bull by the horns. The bull is really no more tan a few slimy tape worms eating away at our emotional guts. It is high time to start giving social power to the established functions of Love, Work & Learning as bastions against the tapeworms."

The prison memo form includes this banal and perhaps prescient statement: "Your failure to specifically state your problem may result in no action being taken." Reich's imprisonment was in part the end result of mis-reporting on him that appeared in the New Republic under the editorial leadership of a now-confessed communist spy named Michael Straight in a book entitled, After Long Silence. New Republic made its own pronouncement about Little Rock in its July 7, 1958 edition, complaining about the Supreme Court's failure to stop legal challenges that were slowing down the integration process. The Supreme Court, opined New Republic, "must stand the ground they themselves have assumed, or the grand experiment they inaugurated will end in bitter farce, with consequences for the state of the union that stagger the mind."

Clearly the magazine had a better view of the possible consequences of Supreme Court actions than it did on its own. The consequences of Reich's work with UFOs and otherwise, on the other hand, and the implications of the study of character structure on the understanding of race issues has continued over the years. Writing in a chapter called "Racism and Slavery" in The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972), my old friend historian George Rawick notes the impact of "that great underground classic of modern thought, Wilhelm Reich, Character Analysis, 3d ed. rev., first published in German in 1933, and its less well-known but significant companion, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, first published in German in 1933. While I cannot subscribe to all of Reich's system, this chapter could not have been written without his monumental attempt to relate Marx and Freud which loosened the ideological armoring of Western rationalism for me and many others." Although Reich never stated it explicitly, clearly he saw that same armoring as the block that keeps so many from accepting the realities of the UFO issue.

Kenn Thomas' new book, The Conspiracy Files, as well as the new issue of Steamshovel Press, is available through his website,

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Charles Fort: Dogma be Damned by Skylaire Alfvegren; Southern California, Cult Mecca, by Adam Gorightly; Parapolitics in Popular Culture: The Prisoner by Kenn Thomas; Notes on Conspiracy Theories, by Jim Keith; Correspondence with Jim Keith; Freeplay Excerpted by Len Bracken; Short Shrift: Beatnix and Comix by Kenn Thomas; Caries, Cabals & Correspondence with X. Sharks DeSpot; Robert Anton Wilson RIP; The O’Reilly Factor In The JFK Assassination by Bill Kelly; Dark Matters by James Romberger.

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The Conspiracy Files: Evidence Behind the World’s Most Notorious Theories reviews current and historical mysteries, clearly setting out the main players involved in each story and providing detailed background information. This unique gathering of the hard facts works to spell out the sometimes preposterous, yet always fascinating, connections between the different theories. PDF only, $20 (via disk, or supply e-mail address)


Join Steamshovel Press editor Kenn Thomas as he tracks parapolitics—aka conspiracy theory—in the 21st Century. Thomas has traveled and lectured about conspiracies throughout America for the past decade, appearing in the major media as the sharpest critic of the consensus view of current affairs. From the Kennedy assassination to 9/11, Thomas examines the underlying parapolitics that animate the secret elites and the war ravaged planet they manipulate. Parapolitics collects Thomas' lecture remarks, interviews, correspondence and articles printed in the underground press from around the world. PDF only, $20 (via disk or supply e-mail address)

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Kenn Thomas at Conspiracy Con, San Jose, CA, May 2007

Moving beyond the confines of 9/11, Thomas reviews the current parapolitics around the globe, starting with the assassination-by-polonium-poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, through the Valerie Plame spy scandal, to the remaining mysteries of the Trade Towers' destruction. "Parapolitics is activity that happens alongside the normal politics people read in the papers and see on TV, not instead of it," explains Thomas. "It's not just a matter of saying that the media just lies and that the Bush baddies are responsible--although gawd (sic) knows that's true. But, we ignore the conspiracies that exist in the wider world, such as global jihad and the assassination that culminated with Litvinenko, at our peril." This lecture will put these other global conspiracies in the context of what's happening in America. Part of the lecture will also include a tribute to his friend, the late author of Illuminatus!, Robert Anton Wilson, including rare video. 1 hour DVD, $10

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