Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Alice Bailey
by Theosophy Wiki
Accessed: 10/19/19



Alice Bailey

Alice Ann Latrobe Batemen Bailey (June 16, 1880 – December 15, 1949) was a teacher and writer and the founder, together with husband Foster Bailey, of a spiritual movement growing out of the theosophical tradition. She was one of the first writers to use the term New Age.

Early Years

Alice Bailey

Alice Bailey was born to well-to-do parents in Manchester, England. Her upper middle class background was religious and also service oriented. Although she showed mystical tendencies, her childhood was generally unhappy: “They were for me the years of greatest physical comfort and of luxury; they were years of freedom from all material anxiety but they were, at the same time, years of miserable questioning, of disillusionment, of unhappy discovery and of loneliness.” [1]She began already at a young age to search for the world of meaning and believed that progress was rooted in mystical consciousness. [2]

Both parents (Frederic Foster La Trobe-Batemen and Alice Hollinshead) died of tuberculosis by the time Alice was eight, so she and her sister lived from then on with their grandparents in Surrey. They were educated by governesses and later attended a finishing school in London. [3][4]Their young life was completely disciplined by people or the social conventions of the time; but she and her sister were also taught to care about the poor and sick and to realize that fortunate circumstances entailed responsibility. [5]

After finishing school at the age of eighteen, following a family trend, she did religious work in the Young Women’s’ Christian Association and the Y.W.C.A. sent her to India, where she delivered strongly evangelic sermons to British troops. It was during that time that she gained experience in leadership and management. In India she met Walter Evans, an American studying for the Episcopal priesthood. They were married in 1907, and she returned with him to the U.S. where he was ordained in the Episcopal Church. The couple settled in California and had three daughters. She was a busy minister’s wife, and Bible class teacher but the marriage failed “due to his appalling temper” [6] and the couple separated in 1915 and was divorced in 1919. [7][8]

Theosophical Society involvement

In order to support her daughters, Alice worked in a sardine cannery in Pacific Grove, California and discovered Theosophy during that time at the age of 35. As Mrs. Alice Anne Evans she was admitted to the American Theosophical Society as a member on September 1, 1915. She is listed as one of fifteen founding members of the Pacific Grove Lodge (formerly Monterey Lodge) in California according to the charter dated September 17, 1915.[9] In 1918, she was admitted to the Esoteric Section.She spent the next several years working while studying the new Theosophical ideas – attending meetings, poring over The Secret Doctrine, and attempting to integrate these ideas with the strict Christianity of her upbringing. Her mystical side found certain ideas, such as the law of karma and the existence of the Masters, appealing and helpful to her during this difficult time.[10] She moved to Hollywood, California, where she at first worked in the vegetarian cafeteria of the Krotona colony. In Krotona she met Foster Bailey, national secretary of the Theosophical Society, whom she subsequently married.[11] Foster Bailey and Alice Anne Evans reached high positions within the Society - she became editor of the Society's periodical, The Messenger, and member of the committee administering Krotona.[12] They were both dismissed in 1920, when L. W. Rogers was elected President of the Society, [13] which was disappointing to both of them: “Thus, ended our time at Krotona and our very real effort to be of service to the Theosophical Society.” [14]

Foster Bailey

Mrs. Evans and Foster Bailey moved to New York, where they became members of the Central Lodge and were active for several years. On March 17, 1921, for example, Alice and Foster both sponsored Marie M. Montreuil for membership in that lodge. The Baileys participated in a panel discussion at the 1921 annual convention of the Society in Seattle. She spoke on the topic "Theosophy and the Public," and Mr. Bailey was a featured speaker at the final banquet of the event.[15] Mrs. Bailey's membership in the Society continued, with short lapses, until June 30, 1939.[16]

In Alice Bailey view “the movement initiated by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was an integral part of a Hierarchical plan. There have always been theosophical societies down the ages. The name of the movement is not new but H. P. B. gave it a light and a publicity that set a new note and that brought a neglected and hitherto somewhat secret group out into the open and made it possible for the public everywhere to respond to this very ancient teaching. The indebtedness of the world to Mrs. Besant for the work that she did in making the basic tenets of the T.S. teaching available to the masses of men in every country, is something that can never be repaid. There is absolutely no reason why we should overlook the stupendous, magnificent work she did for the Masters and for humanity.” [17]

Master Khoot Humi and Master Djual Khul

When Alice was a teenager in England she had been under the supervision of a mysterious man who had visited her in person twice. She described the first encounter with Master Koot Hoomi in her unfinished autobiography:

He told me there was some work that it was planned that I could do in the world but that it would entail my changing my disposition very considerably; I would have to give up being such an unpleasant little girl and must try and get some measure of self-control. My future usefulness to Him and to the world was dependent upon how I handled myself and the changes I could manage to make.[18]

Many years later, after she had joined the Theosophical Society and lived in Krotona and the first time she went into the Shrine room of the Theosophical Lodge, she saw a portrait of this man on the wall and only then learned that his name was Master Koot Hoomi and that he was a member of the Spiritual Hierarchy.[19][20]Her spontaneous recognition was viewed by some member of the Lodge as an effort to claim special status. [21] Bailey’s relationship to the Theosophical Society suffered more strains when she claimed reception of new communications from Masters in the theosophical tradition.

In November 1919, as she was walking in the Hollywood Hills near Krotona, she said she was contacted by Djual Khul, known popularly as “The Tibetan”, who wanted her to serve as his amanuensis. He began dictating to her by means of telepathy and the first book produced in this manner, Initiation: Human and Solar, appeared in 1922; it was followed by others over the next thirty years. Uniformly bound in blue they are the basic texts of the Bailey work.[22]

Life after Krotona

After leaving Krotona, Alice and Foster Bailey went to New York, where they were married the following year. In 1922, they established the Lucis Trust to publish her books. According to the Lucis Trust website, it is still today dedicated to the establishment of a new and better way of life for everyone in the world based on the fulfillment of the divine plan for humanity.

They founded the Arcane School in 1923, a training institution for students of the Tibetan’s teaching. The school has a website and trains people in meditation and service to develop their spiritual potential. The purpose of their training is to help students understand and accept discipleship responsibility and to recognize the part that they can play in the evolution of consciousness by serving humanity.

The remainder of her life was spent in writing and the administration of the School and other activities which the work of the Tibetan inspired. Alice Bailey died on December 15, 1949.

The Great Invocation

In 1937 Bailey published the prayer called The Great Invocation. Widely used in occult and New Age circles, it is very well known and associated with her name:

The Great Invocation

From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the center which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

Followers of Alice Bailey’s philosophy see The Great Invocation as a world prayer. It was translated into over 80 languages and dialects. It is said that it was given to Alice Bailey in April 1945 in a message for all people of goodwill. [23]

Perhaps as well as anything could, the tone and thrust of these simple lines suggest the distinctive ethos of the Bailey work. It clearly shares basic theosophical teaching concerning human nature. Karma, and the claimed existence of a hierarchy of a generally invisible but transcendent Masters guiding individual spiritual development and the evolution of the planet. [24]

In Hidden Foundations of the Great Invocation author John Berges details cryptographic evidence that Master Rakoczi may have authored or influenced the composing of this invocation[25].

Groups in the Bailey Tradition

Groups in the Bailey tradition have had several names, among them World Goodwill, Triangles, Meditation Groups for the New Age. World Goodwill was founded in 1932 with the purpose of helping establish right relationships among the peoples of the world; it is an “accredited non-government organization” at United Nations centers in New York and Geneva. The Triangles group was established in 1937 to create teams of three people each of whom would unite daily in a mental chain to send energy into the world. The Meditation Group for the New Age, the Group for Creative Meditation and other such works are sponsored by Meditation Groups, Inc. and are headquartered on a mountainside near Ojai, California. [26]

Alice Bailey's basic texts



The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists numerous articles by or about Alice Bailey: 12 under the name Alice Evans and over 300 under Alice Bailey. Most of the latter were published in The Beacon, the journal of the Lucis Trust. During her early years as editor of the American Theosophical Society's periodical, The Messenger, she would have written many other articles anonymously for that journal.


All of Alice Bailey's books were published by Lucis Publishing Company, New York and London. Some of her most important titles are listed below.

Written with Djwhal Khul

These books are among those that begin with a two page Extract from a statement by the Tibetan, indicating that Bailey took mental dictation and collaborated with the distant author who wished to avoid the emotional aspects of master worship.

Among other assertions the extract states that the books 'may or may not be correct, true and useful,' and begs the reader to use the intuition and right practice to evaluate the ideas presented.

• Initiation, Human and Solar. 1922, 1951.
• A Treatise on Cosmic Fire . 1962, 1925, 1973, 1982.
• The Light of the Soul. 1955, 1927, 1972, 1983. (commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)
• A Treatise on White Magic. 1934, 1951, 1984. (more readable, a good overview)
• Glamour - A World Problem. 1950 (recommended for group and individual study)
• The Reappearance of the Christ. 1947.
• Discipleship in the New Age. 1955, 1968, 1972.
• The Externalization of the Hierarchy. 1957. (Ends on page 701 with humanity's two goals)
• A Treatise on the Seven Rays:
• Volume 1: Esoteric Psychology I. 1936.
• Volume 2: Esoteric Psychology II. 1942.
• Volume 3: Esoteric Astrology. 1951.
• Volume 4: Esoteric Healing. 1953.
• Volume 5: The Rays and the Initiations. 1960. (The last DK book, his name revealed on page 738)

Credited to Alice Bailey writing alone

• The Unfinished Autobiography. 1951.
• Consciousness of the Atom. 1922, 1961.

Additional resources

• Ellwood, Robert. "Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman" in Theosopedia.
• Alice Bailey Natal Horoscope.


1. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 6, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
2. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 12, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
3. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
4. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
5. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 14ff, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
6. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 50, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
7. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
8. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
9. Charter of Pacific Grove Lodge. September 17, 1915. Records Series 11.10. Records of Dissolved Groups. Theosophical Society in America Archives, Wheaton, Illinois.
10. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies website. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
11. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006.
12. Campbell, Bruce, F., Ancient Wisdom Revived, a History of the Theosophical Movement, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1980, p. 151
13. Sørensen, K. Alice Bailey and Theosophy. website. Accessed 18 August 2017
14. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 79, Web. Accessed 19 Aug. 2017
15. "Program," The Messenger 9.2 (July 1921), 47.
16. Membership records. Theosophical Society in America Archives.
17. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. Available at website. Page 80. Accessed 19 August 2017,
18. Alice Bailey, An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 18, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
19. "Biography of Alice Bailey." School of Esoteric Studies. Web. Accessed 17 Aug. 2017
20. Bailey, A. An Unfinished Autobiography. ... graphy.pdf. Page 71, Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
21. Biography of Alice Bailey. School of Esoteric Studies. Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
22. "Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman." Theosophical Encyclopedia. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006. Also available in Theosopedia.
23. The Great Invocation. Lucis Trust in Social Media. Web. Accessed 18 Aug. 2017
24. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
25. John Berges. Hidden Foundations of the Great Invocation. Print. Northfield, New Jersey. Planetwork Press, 2000
26. Bailey, Alice Ann Latrobe Bateman. Theosophical Encyclopedia. Print. Quezon City, Philippines. Theosophical Publishing House, 2006
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:26 am

15. CONVERT TO COMPASSION: Allan Bennett, Excerpt from Theravada Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, Missionary and Colonial Experience in Nineteenth Century Sri Lanka
by Elizabeth J. Harris
© 2006 Elizabeth J. Harris



Behind all this thrilling, hoping life, reigns Death...Nature is a battle-field....all this life is a cheat, a snare, – so long as you look at it from this standpoint of the individual.....

Buddhahood consists not in His humanity, but rather in the fact that, through lives of incredible effort and endurance, He has attained to a spiritual evolution which renders Him as different from a human being as the Sun is different from one of its servient planets; which makes of Him, His personality whilst it endures; His teaching, after that personality has passed away; a focal centre of spiritual power no less mighty in its sphere than that of the Sun in the material realm....

Crowds ... turn their faces to bathe them in the splendour of His very presence...

A follower of The Buddha, rightly will he merit the name of Buddhist, who walks the Way The Buddha found...

Life, so far as it is individualised, enselfed, ensouled is – even as the Reason teaches – evil, coterminous with Pain . . . Give up all hope, all faith in Self . . . Dream no more ‘I am’ or ‘I shall be’ but realise, Life suffers; and only by destruction of life’s cause in Selfhood can that suffering be relieved, and Life pass nearer to the Other Shore....

Just as all the waters of the ocean are one water, and one body of water, so it is with this universal teeming life; and just as, in the great ocean, there is, and can be by the very nature of it, no individual body of water separate from the rest, so in life’s ocean there is – and can be by the very nature of it – no single separate unit or body of life, whether it be the highest or the lowest, most subtle or most gross . . . Each satta – each living being that our Nescience makes us regard as an individual, a real and separate entity, a self or soul or Atma – is in truth only one such wave, whether a billow or a ripple only, upon the surface of life’s ocean....

Pity is the highest Law of Life, – this is in Buddhism accounted the true beginning of all righteousness, – unselfishness that gives all...

Seeing . . . how Life is One . . . let us live no more for self’s fell phantasy, but for the All . . . let us live so that the All, the One, may be the nobler and the greater for our life..... the observation and classification of thought, speech and action and ‘the constant application to each and all of them of the Doctrine of Selflessness’ with the thought, ‘This is not I, this is not Mine, there is no Self herein’....

Samadhi... ‘ecstacy’... non-dual insight into the ‘One Life’....

Suddenly the lightning flashes, and for an instant the unseen world gleams forth in instantaneous light, light penetrating every darkest corner, flushing the clouded sky with momentary glory.... No words, no similes, no highest thought of ours can adequately convey that mighty realisation... we shall realise that all our life has changed of a sudden... the utmost attainment that the mind or the life of man can compass – that is ours at last; we have won, achieved, and entered into the Path of which mere words can never tell....

Annihilation of the threefold fatal fire of Passion, Wrath and Ignorance... the annihilation of conditioned being, of all that has bound and fettered us; the Cessation of the dire delusion of life that has veiled from us the splendour of the Light Beyond... the End of All – the end of the long tortuous pilgrimage through worlds of interminable illusion; the End of Sorrow, of Impermanence, of Self-deceit.... from the torture of selfhood an eternal Liberation......

A Way that all might follow to the Light Beyond all Life....

That force whereby we are ever, so to speak, drawn upwards out of this life in which we live, towards the State Beyond – Nirvana.

-- Convert to Compassion: Allan Bennett, by Elizabeth J. Harris


His face was the most significant that I have ever seen. Twenty years of physical suffering had twisted and scored it: a lifetime of meditation upon universal love had imparted to it an expression that was unmistakable. His colour was almost dusky, and his eyes had the soft glow of dark amber . . . Above all, at the moment of meeting and always thereafter, I was conscious of a tender and far-shining emanation, an unvarying psychic sunlight, that environed his personality.

(Bax 1968: 23)

This was Clifford Bax’s impression of Allan Bennett (1872–1923) in 1918. Bennett was then a lay person, and he was sick, incapacitated by asthma for weeks at a time. But ten years earlier, as the venerable Ananda Metteyya, he had led the first Buddhist mission to England, from Myanmar. The Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland had been formed in preparation.

Allan Bennett’s life, after his discovery of Buddhism, was inspired by the conviction that the West needed Buddhism and had only to understand its message to embrace it. He laid down a threefold agenda in the first edition of the journal he edited from Myanmar. First, he imagined a West that was losing both religious and moral awareness:

Apart altogether from the misery that that civilization has spread in lands beyond its pale, can it be claimed that in its internal polity, that for its own peoples, it has brought with it any diminution of the world’s suffering, any diminution of its degradation, its misery, its crime; above all, has it brought about any general increase of its native contentment, the extension of any such knowledge as promotes the spirit of mutual helpfulness rather than the curse of competition?

(Bennett 1903a: 12)

‘No’, was his answer and he backed this up with reference to the West’s ‘crowded taverns’, ‘overflowing gaols’, ‘sad asylums’ and its neglect of mental culture (Bennett 1903a: 13). Second, he rejected three ‘misconceptions’ about Buddhism: that it was heathen and idolatrous; that it was connected with ‘miracle-mongering and esotericism’; that it was ‘a backboneless, apathetic, pessimistic manner of philosophy’ (Bennett 1903a: 25). Third, he put across what he believed Buddhism to be: rational and optimistic. Later he would contest, in addition, two ‘onlys’: that Buddhism was only a rational philosophy; and that the Buddha was only a remarkable and enlightened teacher.

To this apologetic task, Allan Bennett brought a poetic imagination, a scientific mind and a deep concern for justice and peace. And in Allan Bennett, compassion moves centre stage as Buddhism’s sine qua non.

Bennett’s life

In piecing together the biography of Allan Bennett, I am heavily indebted to the writings of two of his closest friends, Aleister Crowley and Dr Cassius Pereira.1 Bennett was born in London. His father, a civil and electrical engineer, died when he was young. Pereira claimed he was adopted by a Mr McGregor and kept this name until McGregor died, a fact repeated to me by the venerable Balangoda Ananda Metteyya (Harris 1998: 4). Yet, it is possible that his mother was still in contact, since Crowley refers to him being brought up by his mother as a strict Catholic (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180). This might explain his later opposition to any form of religion that placed more importance on ‘sin’ than love. After an education in Bath, he trained as an analytical chemist and was eventually employed by a Dr Bernard Dyer, a public analyst and consulting chemist then based in London (Grant 1972: 82).

The limited information available suggests that Bennett was a sensitive and serious young man, who became alienated from Christianity both because it seemed incompatible with science, and because he could not reconcile the concept of a God of love with the suffering he saw and experienced. The asthma that plagued his life seems to have begun in childhood. It prevented him from holding down a permanent job, meaning that he was at times desperately poor and ill. ‘Allan never knew joy,’ Crowley wrote, ‘he disdained and distrusted pleasure from the womb’ (Symonds and Grant 1989: 234).

Bennett did not, however, distrust the search for truth and goodness. And his two keys to this were science and religion. His religious quest was experimental, even daring. After rejecting Roman Catholicism, he turned first to Asia. At the age of 18, The Light of Asia influenced him, but it was part of a larger exploration that embraced Hindu literature, yogic forms of breath control and meditation (Grant 1972: 85; Symonds and Grant 1989: 246–7) and eventually Western esoteric mysticism.

In 1894, Bennett joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1889 by William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, taking the name Iehi Aour, Hebrew for ‘let there be light’. He rose to the top rapidly, known for his psychic powers.2 Most of the available information about Bennett at this point comes through Crowley, who joined the Order in 1898. He speaks of Bennett as tall but stooped because of illness, with ‘a shock of wild, black hair’ and a noble head, adding, ‘I did not fully realize the colossal stature of that sacred spirit; but I was instantly aware that this man could teach me more in a month than anyone else in five years’ (Symonds and Grant 1989: 181).

The next stage in Bennett’s life began when he travelled to Sri Lanka in 1900 for health reasons, Crowley paying his passage in the hope that this would save his life and spread Western esotericism in the East. But Bennett was more interested in exploring the local, learning yoga, for instance, from P. Ramanathan, the Solicitor-General.3 According to Pereira, he also went to Kamburugamuwa and studied Pali under an elder Sinhala monk. By the end of six months, Pereira claimed, he could converse in it fluently, adding, ‘Such was the brilliance of his intellect’ (Pereira 1923: 6).

Sri Lanka was a turning point for Bennett. His asthma improved. He gave up the cycle of drugs he had found necessary in England.4 Most of all, he found the answer to his religious quest in Theravada Buddhism, rejecting his former eclectic experimentation with psychic and esoteric power (Symonds and Grant 1989: 237, 249). By the time he addressed the Hope Lodge of the Theosophical Society, Colombo, in July 1901, he had probably decided that he would become a Buddhist monk.

Bennett was ordained a novice in Akyab, Arakan, Myanmar on 12 December 1901, taking the name Ananda Maitreya, which he later changed to the Pali, Metteyya. Higher ordination followed on 21 May 1902, under the venerable Sheve Bya Sayadaw. When Crowley next visited Myanmar, he was in a monastery just outside Rangoon. From there, on 13 March 1903, he inaugurated the Buddhasasana Samagama, an international Buddhist society that aimed at the global networking of Buddhists.5 It soon had official representatives in Austria, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, China, Germany, Italy, America and England. In the same year, he launched Buddhism – An Illustrated Quarterly Review, which, by 1904, was being sent free to between 500 and 600 libraries in Europe.6

The first Buddhist mission to England

Ananda Metteyya arrived in England on 23 April 1908 to an eager welcome from the Buddhist Society of Great Britain and Ireland, formed the previous November. He remained until 2 October, ‘the time allotted to the Mission,’ according to Christmas Humphreys (Humphreys 1968: 7). Although Ananda Metteyya told a Rangoon paper that he was highly gratified with the visit, it was a qualified success. On the positive side there was his grace and dignity, his ‘pleasing voice and beautiful enunciation’ (Humphreys 1968: 6), his knowledge of Buddhism, the scholars he gathered around him through ‘correspondence and constant interviews’ (Humphreys 1968: 6) and his engaging manner in private conversation (Humphreys 1972: 133). Yet, ensuring he could follow his monastic discipline stretched his supporters to the limit (Bell 2000). His orange robes in the streets caused laughter, and his public speaking style was uncharismatic, since he would avoid eye contact, keeping his eye on a prepared script. Nevertheless, the Buddhist Society’s journal, The Buddhist Review (BR), could say in 1909 that he left behind him, ‘golden opinions and the friendship and respect of all who had the privilege of meeting him’.7

Ananda Metteyya hoped he would return to England within three years to establish a permanent Buddhist community in the West. The hope died. One reason for this was his health, which failed rapidly on his return to Myanmar. Pereira records that he underwent two operations and reluctantly agreed to leave the Order on medical advice (Pereira 1923: 6).8 In 1914, Burmese friends sent him to England where he intended to sail from Liverpool to America to stay with his sister, but the ship’s doctor refused him passage.

From this point onwards, Allan Bennett’s story was a sad one. A doctor who was a member of the Liverpool Branch of the Buddhist Society took him in, but the financial and emotional burden of this proved too great. In 1916, an anonymous group of well-wishers appealed for money through the Buddhist Society to save Bennett from being placed ‘in some institution supported by public charity’.9

Help came, from overseas as well as Britain, and Bennett’s health rallied. In the winter of 1917–1918, he gave a series of papers to a private audience in Clifford Bax’s studio. Then, on Vesak Day (May) 1918, Bennett gave to the Buddhist Society what Christmas Humphreys called ‘a “fighting speech” which aroused the listening members to fresh enthusiasm’ (Humphreys 1968: 14).

According to one account, Bennett moved to London in 1920 (Mullen 1989: 92). Although he was incapacitated for weeks at a time, he took over the editorship of the BR from the Sri Lankan scholar, D.B. Jayatileka. The January 1922 edition was the last he edited and indeed the last that was published. He died on 9 March 1923. A Buddhist funeral service was prepared by Francis Payne, a prominent Buddhist convert from the 1908 mission.10

I will use three main sources to explore Ananda Metteyya/Allan Bennett’s representation of Buddhism. The Religion of Burma and other Papers published by the Theosophical Publishing House of India in 1929 contains talks given in Myanmar, belonging to the first decade of the twentieth century. The Wisdom of the Aryas, published in London in 1923, the year of his death, consists of the lectures delivered in 1917–1918 plus one additional paper on rebirth. Finally, his writing in the journal Buddhism is most important.

A suffering world

Ananda Metteyya’s understanding of Buddhism began with awareness of suffering (dukkha). Speaking of the progression of thought in one who attempted to look at the world with ‘the cold, clear light of Reason’, he wrote:

Firstly, he sees Life, – the interminable waves of Life’s great Ocean all around him; the pulsing, breathing, gleaming waters of the Sea of Being; and, at first thought and sight of this, he thinks: this Life is Joy.

He lives. Living, he learns. Learning, he presently comes to know – for Learning is Suffering, and Suffering is Life. He sees beneath this so fair-seeming face of Nature lies everywhere corruption. Behind all this thrilling, hoping life, reigns Death; certain, inevitable, and by all life abhorred . . . He looks deeper into life, hoping that thus he may find the secret of happiness . . . Learning more, he sees that this Nature is a battle-field.

He sees each living creature fighting for its life, Self against the Universe . . . He sees at last how all this life is a cheat, a snare
, – so long as you look at it from this standpoint of the individual. If he had had faith in God, – in some great Being who had devised the Universe, he can no longer hold it; for any being, now he clearly sees, who could have devised a Universe wherein which was all this wanton war, this piteous mass of pain coterminous with life, must have been a Demon, not a God.

(Bennett 1908a: 183–4)

Ananda Metteyya’s conclusion was that it was sacrifice that pervaded existence, not joy. His phrases were vivid: ‘Life ever offered up to Life on its own altar’ (Bennett 1923: 3); nature as ‘a slaughter-house wherein no thought of pity ever enters’ (Bennett 1929: 156); ‘Life alone can feed life’ (Bennett 1929: 170). And in ‘the Vast Emptiness’ of the cosmos there was a, ‘a horror of living past conceiving, full of the Pain of Being, darkened by Not-Understanding; thrilling with Hope in youth, and ever aging in Despair!’ (Bennett 1929: 142–3).

Part of Buddhism’s attraction for Ananda Metteyya was that it looked the truth of suffering in the eye (Bennett 1923: xiv). ‘To dare to look on life as it really is’ was the first step along the religious path (Bennett 1929: 221). It was into this suffering world that the Buddha came as liberator.

The Buddha

At a time when most Westerners were stressing the humanity and historicity of the Buddha, Ananda Metteyya was pointing out that no comparison with ordinary humanity was possible:

but his Buddhahood consists not in His humanity, but rather in the fact that, through lives of incredible effort and endurance, He has attained to a spiritual evolution which renders Him as different from a human being as the Sun is different from one of its servient planets; which makes of Him, His personality whilst it endures; His teaching, after that personality has passed away; a focal centre of spiritual power no less mighty in its sphere than that of the Sun in the material realm.

(Bennett 1923: 111)

It was compassionate self-sacrifice in innumerable lives preceding Buddhahood that qualified the Buddha for this, according to Ananda Metteyya, a sacrifice, ‘so great, so utterly beyond our ken, that we can only try to dimly represent it in terms of human life and thought and action’ (Bennett 1923: 16–17).

Acts of devotion to the Buddha, therefore, did not seem unnatural or irrational to Ananda Metteyya, and in this he knew he differed from some Western Buddhists (Bennett 1929: 341–2). When, in Myanmar, he came across an atmosphere of worship so intense that the air seemed to vibrate with a ‘palpable’ potency, an ‘immediate’ presence (Bennett 1923: 7), his reaction was not disdain but wonder. His disdain was for those who denied that the Buddha could be present in the lives of the people:

There, into the daily lives, the very speech and household customs of the common folk, this ever-present sun-light of the Teaching penetrated; there, hearing at a fiesta the gathered crowds take refuge in the Buddha, you could all but see them turn their faces to bathe them in the splendour of His very presence – till one could understand how, instead of getting angry when they hear the Christian missionaries tell them they are taking refuge in a Being whom their own religion tells them has passed utterly away, they always answer, as they do answer, only with a wise and a compassionate smile.

(Bennett 1923: 6)

The devotion of dependence and blind faith, however, he did criticize, as something akin to childhood. It could lead to heavenly rebirth but not to the ultimate goal (Bennett 1929: 370). There was a higher devotion connected with questioning, investigation and recognition: ‘the devotion that comes in the train of Understanding’ . . . ‘when we attain some glimpse of the tremendous meaning of the Love that has for us resulted in the knowledge of the Law we have’ (Bennett 1929: 320). Yet, ultimately:

The true worship of the Buddhas is not even in divinest-seeming outer offering or praise; rightly that one shall be called a follower of The Buddha, rightly will he merit the name of Buddhist, who walks the Way The Buddha found; that is, the Way, that He, the Master of Compassion, walked first Himself, twenty-five centuries ago in India.

(Bennett 1929: 320)

What the Buddha taught

Ananda Metteyya would have agreed with the theosophists that the key to the Buddhist view of the world, as taught by the Buddha, was Law, as shown in the Law of cause and effect (paticcasamuppada). But he did not see this as the exoteric component of an esoteric vision, but as making the need for the esoteric, obsolete. With the Law of Cause and Effect as shown in the Four Noble Truths (Bennett 1929: 320, 356), the need for esoteric knowledge, the goal of his youthful experimentation, was wiped out.

Ananda Metteyya could graphically describe dukkha, the First Noble Truth. His representation of the cause of dukkha varied. Sometimes he stressed tajha, craving, and appealed to science. Take the amoebae, he suggested, and dukkha can be seen. Amoebae move only when irritated, when feeling aversion. When still, they are at peace. From this, he continued, all other animal reactions have developed. By the time human aversion is reached, a thousand complex suffering-creating cravings have arisen. Yet, he preferred to cite avijja, ‘ignorance’, rather than tajha, most particularly ignorance of anatta, non-self.

Without knowledge of Buddhist ideas, he wrote, it is almost impossible to become aware ‘how much every mode of expression of western thought involves the assumption of the existence of a Self’ (Bennett 1908b: 279). The would-be Buddhist, therefore, had to learn:

Life, so far as it is individualised, enselfed, ensouled is – even as the Reason teaches – evil, coterminous with Pain . . . Give up all hope, all faith in Self . . . Dream no more ‘I am’ or ‘I shall be’ but realise, Life suffers; and only by destruction of life’s cause in Selfhood can that suffering be relieved, and Life pass nearer to the Other Shore.

(Bennett 1908a: 186–7)

There are echoes of Arnold and Rhys Davids here, but Ananda Metteyya went further. The message of the Buddha, he believed, was that dukkha was inseparably linked with belief in self. The realization of the falsity of the soul concept was, ‘the darkest hour in all the evolution of a man’. But it was ‘the darkest hour which goes before the dawn’ (Bennett 1904a: 369–70).

Undergirding this in Ananda Metteyya’s vision was cosmic interconnectedness, raised to the status of scientific truth. All life was one. There was ‘One Life’. The simile he most frequently used was of a wave:

Just as all the waters of the ocean are one water, and one body of water, so it is with this universal teeming life; and just as, in the great ocean, there is, and can be by the very nature of it, no individual body of water separate from the rest, so in life’s ocean there is – and can be by the very nature of it – no single separate unit or body of life, whether it be the highest or the lowest, most subtle or most gross . . . Each satta – each living being that our Nescience makes us regard as an individual, a real and separate entity, a self or soul or Atma – is in truth only one such wave, whether a billow or a ripple only, upon the surface of life’s ocean.

(Bennett 1904a: 165–7)

Arnold had stressed the interdependence of all. Ananda Metteyya again took the imagery further. All animal and plant life was so fused together that every action, movement or thought affected the whole, rendering meaningless any distinction between good for self and good for others. Non-recognition of this was the main cause of suffering.

When the sense of self was blown out, when the ‘One Life’ was recognized, according to Ananda Metteyya’s reading of the Buddha’s teaching, something ‘immeasurable and indescribable’ was released, taking the place of self (Bax 1968: 26–7). Ananda Metteyya sought continually to define this ‘something’. He sometimes appealed to non-possessive love, but more often to compassion or pity, rooted in the realization:

that we ourselves are but as transitory waves upon the Ocean of existence, – that all the good we do, the love we have, the wisdom that we garner and the help we give is wrought but for the reaping of the Universe, wrought because Pity is the highest Law of Life, – this is in Buddhism accounted the true beginning of all righteousness, – unselfishness that gives all, whilst knowing yet that it shall never reap the gain.

(Bennett 1904a: 363)

Compassion was the highest point in human evolution for Ananda Metteyya and it led to a missionary commitment to spread a more humane ethic:

Understanding how all of it is doomed to sorrow – wrought of the very warp and woof of Pain and Suffering and Despair – let the divine emotion of Compassion that wakes in us at the thought of it kill out all Hatred from our hearts and ways. Seeing . . . how Life is One . . . let us live no more for self’s fell phantasy, but for the All . . . let us live so that the All, the One, may be the nobler and the greater for our life.

(Bennett 1929: 177)

Within the writers I have covered, Ananda Metteyya was the first, as far as I know, to use the phrase, ‘One Life’. But he was not the first Westerner in Myanmar to do so. A civil servant with an empathic understanding of Buddhism similar to Dickson’s, H. Fielding Hall, had used the term in 1898, claiming he had drawn from oral data (Fielding Hall 1906: 250). And Frank Woodward would use it after him, from Sri Lanka (Woodward 1914: 48).

Morality and meditation

Two distinct lines of teaching are present in Ananda Metteyya’s work about how to begin the Buddhist path: act with generosity and it will affect your mind; work on your mind through meditation and it will affect both your mind and your action. He was aware that many Buddhists in Myanmar were generous simply to gain a better rebirth. He did not condemn this, but claimed that the action itself could modify the motivation, by widening, ‘the petty limits of man’s selfhood’ (Bennett 1929: 65). In other words, the Dhamma could teach that, ‘like a flame of fire, Love kindles Love, grows by the mere act of loving’ (Bennett 1929: 66).

If action could be mind-changing, Ananda Metteyya insisted that meditation could be action-changing and that it was essential, even at the beginning of the path. Sila (morality) and dana (generosity)11 were not enough alone (Bennett 1929: 327). Only meditation could give insight into the how and why of the mind and heart, enabling a person to change the constitution of his being through the power of the ‘mental element’ (Bennett 1908b: 284).

Ananda Metteyya’s response to Westerners who branded meditation as selfish was simply that ‘from the Buddhist view-point, all reformation, all attempt to help on life, can best be effected by first reforming the immediate life-kingdom of the “self"’ (Bennett 1929: 232). In other words, if you wanted to help the whole world, there was no better place to start than with the self: ‘Each thought of love, each effort after purity man makes or thinks is gain to all’ (Bennett 1903a: 22). But it had to be the right kind of meditation. If it served only to magnify the ‘I’, it could be worse than the absence of meditation (Bennett 1929: 407–8).

One practice that Ananda Metteyya recommended as action-changing at the beginning of the path was meditation on a brahmavihara (divine abiding) or an attribute of existence. Meditation on compassion, the second brahmavihara, for instance, could, he believed, open up a path with ‘power to help relieve the sorrow of the world’ (Bennett 1929: 329–30).

Right ‘watchfulness’ or ‘recollectedness’, the translation he gave of sati, more frequently translated as mindfulness, was a further practice Ananda Metteyya recommended to all, including beginners. He defined it as the observation and classification of thought, speech and action and ‘the constant application to each and all of them of the Doctrine of Selflessness’ with the thought, ‘This is not I, this is not Mine, there is no Self herein’ (Bennett 1929: 87).12 This meticulous discipline, Ananda Metteyya taught, could lead to samadhi, which he judged a higher form of meditation that could bring sudden insight.

Ananda Metteyya could find no adequate English translation for the word samadhi, usually defined as concentration, preferring the word ‘ecstacy’. He linked it with non-dual insight into the ‘One Life’. Usually the mind is like a flickering flame, he explained, oscillating continually between consciousness and unconsciousness. In samadhi the flame burns steadily and, ‘the true understanding of the Oneness of Life that makes for Peace, can be won’ (Bennett 1929: 393).

Ananda Metteyya rarely mentioned the jhana, meditative absorptions. But his writings contain one intense description of an experience that he links with entering the first, although its quality speaks more of the attainment of stream-entry (sotapatti), the first of four traditional supermundane paths in Theravada Buddhism. Meditation on compassion came first and then, a burst of liberating consciousness:

As from the heart of a dark thundercloud at night time when nought or but a little of earth or heaven can be seen, suddenly the lightning flashes, and for an instant the unseen world gleams forth in instantaneous light, light penetrating every darkest corner, flushing the clouded sky with momentary glory – so then, at that great moment, will come the realisation of all our toil. No words, no similes, no highest thought of ours can adequately convey that mighty realisation; but then, at that time, we shall know and see; we shall realise that all our life has changed of a sudden, and what of yore we deemed Compassion – what of old we deemed the utmost attainment that the mind or the life of man can compass – that is ours at last; we have won, achieved, and entered into the Path of which mere words can never tell.

(Bennett 1929: 333–4)

Ananda Metteyya did not stress upekkha, equanimity, the quality normally linked with the third and fourth jhana. Yet, there is one interesting definition of it, possibly directed at those who linked the term with apathy: ‘Discrimination or Aloofness from the worldly life’ (Bennett 1923: 104).

Nibbana – inalienable peace

Lying in creative tension within Ananda Metteyya’s work were two images: nibbana as near and attainable; nibbana as distant and indescribable. When new to monastic life, in Myanmar, it was as though he could turn the page of anicca, dukkha, anatta and find nibbana lying on the other side (Bennett 1929: 174). He wrote down his thoughts on it in the first issue of Buddhism (Bennett 1903b). ‘Peace’ was the word he used most frequently at this point to describe it, a peace linked with the death of the ‘I’. ‘It grows but from the ashes of the self outburnt’ (Bennett 1929: 48) he graphically wrote. And those who would equate it with the nihilistic he vehemently challenged:

If I am asked, ‘Is the Nibbana Annihilation? Is it Cessation? Is it the End of All?’ I reply, thus even have we learned. It is Annihilation – the annihilation of the threefold fatal fire of Passion, Wrath and Ignorance. It is Annihilation – the annihilation of conditioned being, of all that has bound and fettered us; the Cessation of the dire delusion of life that has veiled from us the splendour of the Light Beyond. It is the End of All – the end of the long tortuous pilgrimage through worlds of interminable illusion; the End of Sorrow, of Impermanence, of Self-deceit. From the torment of the sad Dream of Life an everlasting Awakening, – from the torture of selfhood an eternal Liberation; – a Being, an Existence, that to name Life were sacrilege, and to name Death a lie: – unnameable, unthinkable, yet even in this life to be realised and entered into.

(Bennett 1903b: 133)

In 1917, as war raged, however, he was less euphoric:

Nirvana stands for the Ultimate, the Beyond, and the Goal of Life – a State so utterly different from this conditioned ever-changing being of the Self-dream that we know as to lie not only quite Beyond all naming and describing; but far past even Thought itself.

(Bennett 1923: 124)

Yet, in the same talk, he could add that it lay ‘nearer to us than our nearest consciousness; even as, to him who rightly understands, it is dearer than the dearest hope that we can frame’ (Bennett 1923: 125). Struggling to explain it to Clifford Bax, though, he drew on atomic science: what happened at arahantship could be similar to atomic disintegration. Forces that had been bound together were separated and transformed into something completely different (Bax 1968: 28).

The danger of science and rationalism

As a young monk, Ananda Metteyya saw Buddhism and science walking hand in hand to bring hope to the West. Before 1914, he could claim that the knowledge science fostered would pave the way to ‘a grander and more stable civilization than ever the world has known’ through ‘the true comprehension of the nature of life and thought and hence of the universe in which we live’ (Bennett 1904b: 533). It would be a ‘New Civilisation’ in which ‘unerring Reason’ would be substituted for ‘the transitory dreams of the emotions’ (Bennett 1904b: 540).

Reason, he believed, could lead to an appreciation of Truth that would humanize society and break war-generating hatred. He was also convinced that only time was needed for science to uncover the material and psychic secrets of the universe.

Lying behind this hope was an evolutionary theory, not the kind favoured by the theosophists, but a corporate form. He imagined it as a movement from childhood to adulthood with two trajectories: one connected with compassion and the other with wisdom. Within the first, the stage of ‘childhood’ was when good was done from fear of punishment. Adolescence came when the motivation changed to the selfishness that saw the fruit of good deeds. The stage of adulthood was when good was done with no expectation of reward (Bennett 1905: 3). Within the second, childhood was when moral imperatives were accepted without question as the dictates of a hypothetical supreme being. Adolescence was the age of investigation and questioning, and adulthood the age of understanding.

When Ananda Metteyya looked at the West from Myanmar before 1908, he saw the age of investigation. He saw reason beginning to triumph over an ontology based on unquestioning faith, the mark of childhood. He was willing to praise the Western mind for its ‘incomparable achievements’ in science (Bennett 1929: 253) and looked forward to an age of understanding, as science and Buddhism joined hands. Never did he slip into the ‘trope of the child’, as identified by postcolonial writers such as Sugirtharajah: the tendency of orientalists to locate the East in a pre-enlightenment, innocent state of childhood (Sugirtharajah 2003: 31–2, 67–9). It was the West that was emerging from a state of childhood.

The First World War changed this. Ananda Metteya’s belief that the West could be reaching adolescence through severing itself from blind faith was destroyed. So, in 1920, as Allan Bennett, he lamented that scientific advance had not been accompanied by ‘improvement in matters of morality and self-restraint’ and added,

For stability, it is essential that every advance in the conquest over nature should be accompanied by an equal advance in the conquest over self; – over the spirits of greed and passion and ambition, which have brought this late calamity upon our Western world.

(Bennett 1920b: 3)

In spite of this, the final writings of Allan Bennett were optimistic. He stood before the Buddhist Society on Vesak Day, 1918, while the war still raged, and admitted that force seemed to be triumphing over reason, hate over truth and love, and heartless greed over charity (Bennett 1920a: 141–2). He recounted the Buddhist narrative of the Sakyans’ willingness to be destroyed rather than fight, and suggested that Britain should have followed that path in 1914 (Bennett 1920a: 142) in stark contrast to words uttered in 1904.13 Yet, he also exhorted everyone to have faith that ‘the Good’ would conquer in the end, and to hold fast to cultivating the ‘Heart’s Kingdom’ where truth and compassion lay. He concluded:

When, then, the dark clouds of the sad world’s dreaming gather thick around us . . . when the vast agony of life about us grips our hearts well-nigh to suffocation; even when death itself draws near; in each and every bitter circumstance of life we can find solace and new inspiration in the Law our Master left . . . And so, remembering, remembering how that great hope came to us; how He that won it was no God, but one just like ourselves, who suffered through life after life, yet ever strove to find a Way that all might follow to the Light Beyond all Life.

(Bennett 1920a: 147–8)

After the war, he urged Buddhists in Britain to move outwards. One thing the war had done, he believed, was to shake people out of apathy and materialism. Therefore, in 1920, he could write, ‘no period could possibly be more propitious to the fulfilment of our aims than that upon which we have entered’ – the aim of building Buddhism up in Britain (Bennett 1920b: 181).14

Concluding thoughts

A progression can be seen in Allan Bennett/Ananda Metteyya’s thought. In his early years as a monk, science, reason and the Dhamma seemed to offer joint hope to the world. In his later years, he realised that it was not scientific advance that would pave the way for Buddhism’s success in the West but the experience of dukkha, suffering. So, eventually, it was the religious life of Myanmar, not the scientific laboratory, that gave Ananda Metteyya his primary inspiration. In his 1917 lectures, the contrasts he wove between the brightness and intensity of Buddhist faith in Myanmar, and the greyness of wartime England were aimed at the heart rather than the intellect, at experience rather than rational argument. ‘Till I went out to the East’, he declared, ‘I did not know what it was to experience the awakening to the Buddhist light of day’ (Bennett 1923: 5). In the West, he added, one cannot find religion as such ‘a vivid, potent, living force’ as in the East (Bennett 1923: ix):

For you must understand that this is no mere cut-and-dried philosophy – as it may seem to one who reads of it out here in books – but a living, breathing Truth; a mighty power able to sweep whomsoever casts himself wholeheartedly into its great streams, far and beyond the life we know and live.

(Bennett 1923: 7)

The intensity of this awareness sometimes made the Dhamma appear to him as a bright, almost tangible, external force leading human effort onwards. There is a remarkable passage from his 1917 talks in which the Buddha and the Dhamma are seen as the source of regenerating power. Echoing Edwin Arnold, Allan Bennett stressed that there was a power ‘whereby we may enfranchise that droplet of Life’s ocean which we term ourselves’, a power that moved to good and manifested itself as sympathy and compassion. He located it in the Buddha and the Dhamma, and claimed that it ‘constitutes that force whereby we are ever, so to speak, drawn upwards out of this life in which we live, towards the State Beyond – Nirvana, the Goal towards which all Life is slowly but surely moving’ (Bennett 1923: 119).



1 Crowley’s relationship with Bennett began when both were interested in occult mysticism, and petered out when Bennett became a convinced Buddhist. Pereira met Bennett in 1900 and the friendship lasted a lifetime. Together with the Venerable Narada, DrW.A. de Silva and Hema Basnayake, Pereira founded the Servants of the Buddha in 1921 to provide a discussion forum for English-speaking Buddhists. At 65 years he was ordained as the Venerable Kassapa. His father built Maithriya Hall, Bambalapitiya (Colombo) named after Ananda Metteyya.

2 Crowley claimed that he was known all over London ‘as the one Magician who could really do big-time stuff ’ (Grant 1972: 85), which included using a wand to render motionless a sceptic who doubted its power (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180).

3 Pereira later wrote that he had thought all Bennett had taught him about meditation at that time was Buddhist but later realized that it also contained, ‘mystic Christian, Western “occult” and Hindu sources’ (Pereira 1947: 67).

4 In the late 1880s, the remedies prescribed by doctors for asthma included cocaine, opium and morphine. Bennett was heavily dependent on them (Symonds and Grant 1989: 180). See James Adam 1913, which advises the use of cocaine and, with restrictions, morphine; A.C. Wootton 1910, which affirms the beneficial effects of laudanum, an opium-based drug; Thorowgood 1894, which recommends arsenical cigarettes, cocaine, cannabis, and morphine together with less toxic drugs.

5 Ananda Metteyya became General Secretary, with Dr E.R. Rost, a Western convert to Buddhism and member of the Indian Medical Service, the Honorary Secretary. For further information about Rost see Humphreys 1968: 3–5.

6 Editorial comment, Buddhism 1, 3 March 1904: 473.

7 BR, I, 1909: 3.

8 Pereira gives no date for this. See Harris 1998: 14.

9 BR, 8, 1916: 217–9.

10 No gravestone has ever been placed on Allan Bennett’s grave, perhaps because suspicions concerning his link with esotericism continued. See Harris 1998: 17.

11 In Sri Lanka, the traditional threefold classification is: dana, sila, bhavana (giving, morality, meditation). Ananda Metteyya describes his classification, sila, dana, bhavana, as: avoiding evil, charity, meditation.

12 See also Bennett 1923: 94.

13 A 1904 editorial by Ananda Metteyya had commended the war between Japan and Russia as the fight of Japan, a Buddhist power, against ‘the most ruthless of the Christian powers’ (Buddhism, I, 4: 649).

14 He added at the end:

These facts, we consider, justify us in our conclusion that in the extension of this great Teaching lies not only the solution of the ever-growing religious problems of the West; but even, perhaps, the only possible deliverance of the western civilization from that condition of fundamental instability which now so obviously and increasingly prevails.

(Bennett 1920b: 187)
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New Ideals in Education
by https://newidealsineducation.blogspot.c ... dmond.html
Saturday, September 8, 2018



The Beginning of New Ideals and Edmond Holmes

There were three key male figures behind New Ideals in Education, who helped create the first conference and supported the organisation and later conferences.

As already mentioned, in the last blog, there was Rev Bertram Hawker, who went on to work with Save the Children, the international student union movement and helped Kurt Hahn to establish (1934) Gordonstoun School. Edmond Holmes and Earl Lytton were the other two.

Edmond Holmes

Edmond Holmes had been Chief Inspector of Schools and like Bertram Hawker, was interested in Montessori, visiting her in Rome (late 1910) whilst using an interpreter, and writing a report for the Government (published 1912). Though he had originally been inspired before 1911 by a different woman, the headteacher of Sompting School, Harriet Finlay Johnson. This lead to him promoting her and her school to local authorities and assisting her engagement with other teachers and educationalists.

He was determined to seek out innovative practice, to observe it and share it with others, this was how to define and bring about the modern school. He argued that all inspectors, who knew of innovatory methods should do the same, and that there should be a Clearing House for such experiments. This would later be set-up for the world as the International Bureau of Education, now part of UNESCO, partly from people involved in the New Education (International) Fellowship and New Ideals. Though the history, as usual, was dominated by the Fellowship's founder, Beatrice Ensor, who wrote out the influence of New Ideals, though this history was contested publicly at the time.

In New Ideals of Education Holmes initiated 'experiment days' in which teachers shared their successful innovative methods.

“Ladies and Gentlemen – Experiment Days is for me the fulfilment of a long cherished dream. For five years I was what is called Chief Inspector of Elementary Schools in England, in which capacity I visited every district in the country and got to know every inspector. My colleagues showed me sport, in the form of interesting schools; and it did not take me long to discover that in many of our elementary schools experimental work of an original type was being done, and remarkable results – not of the conventional order – were being produced. But what distressed me… Apart from HM Inspectors, the local inspector, or director, a few neighbouring teachers, and the parents of the children, no-one knew what was being done… I felt then what an urgent need there was for the establishment of what I may call a clearing-house for educational ideas and experiences…” Edmond Holmes, August 18th 1917, New Ideals Conference, Bedford College, p85

Sompting children on nature walk interview each other as flowers.

He wrote What Is and What Might Be (1911), which was based on his views of Sompting School being the model school of the future, what all schools should be like. His hero was Harriet Finlay Johnson, who had started using nature in all her lessons, to teach maths, English, history... and then realised that drama was the key creative element in her teaching method. She later wrote one of the first books on the use of drama as a teaching method, The dramatic Method of Teaching, (review in New Statesmen 1911).

Harriet Finlay Johnson was invited as a key speaker at the Montessori Conference in East Runton. Edmond Holmes gave several presentations about her work.

Holmes was very influential in effecting the views of powerful people, he visited Sir William Mather, the industrialist, who subsequently became an enthusiastic member of the New Ideals community, funding such things as 6,000 free pamphlets for teachers describing five case models of successful practice in 'liberating the child'. Published in 1917 they were distributed free to teachers requesting them, and were all distributed by 1918.

More regional and national conferences followed the one at Elsinore, including a Commonwealth Conference organized by Nunn in London to further his plan for an Institute of Education to rival Teachers College, Columbia University and the Institut J. J. Rousseau.114 In France, a new group emerged to take over Pour l’ère Nouvelle. Included in this group was the Marxist psychologist Henri Wallon, founder in 1921 of Le Groupe Français d’Education Nouvelle, who held the chair of Education and Psychology of Children at Collège de France and the Communist educator Célestin Freinet, who had been much impressed by meeting Ferrière at Montreux115.

Wallon spoke at the next international conference held at Nice in 1932. The chair of the conference was the physicist Paul Langevin, who was an honorary president of Groupe Français d’Education Nouvelle. The attendance was lower than at the previous conference but there were significant numbers from England, the USA, Germany and France. Delegates attended the conference from fifty-three different countries. Around 27% of those who spoke could be said to be from the academy.116 The conference theme was “Education in a changing society”. Harold Rugg wrote, after the conference, that it marked a turning point in the history of the NEF. A reconstructionist, Rugg was opposed to the position held by the NEF throughout the 1920s. His claim that the very theme of the conference “was indicative of a change in the vision and drive of the fellowship” was more in the nature of a wish than a reality, and he added that his was a “personal interpretation” as the conference would not adopt a “clear pronouncement”.117 This was a reference to the new principles that had already appeared in The New Era and which were discussed at the conference. These shifted the emphasis from the individual’s to social needs. Hemmings interpreted this “retreat from freedom”, as he termed it, as a response to hopes dashed by the coming to power of Stalin in the USSR on the one hand and the “infiltration” and “virtual takeover” of the NEF by a number of professors on the other. He singled out Fred Clarke, Nunn’s successor as Director of the Institute of Education in London, as initiating the turn from educational radicalism.118 This judgement individualizes what was much more a collective reorientation. It also assumes, unjustifiably, that disciplinary fields have absolute autonomy. Boyd wrote of the 1930s that, “with the growth of fascism there was a shift of interest from child to society among new educators, and gradually the concern about methods dwindled”.119

-- A new education for a new era: the contribution of the conferences of the New Education[al] Fellowship to the disciplinary field of education 1921–1938, by Kevin J. Brehony

Other people included Sir Robert Morant, Holmes' previous boss, Permanent Secretary to the Department for Education, who attended and chaired presentations at several New Ideals Conferences.

Holmes is also recognised as influencing many people in supporting the work and values of Maria Montessori.

He was on the organising committee of New Ideals, attended all the conferences that he could, and spoke at numerous events, including on comparing the educations systems of Germany and England, linking their outcomes with the war.

“The pressure of autocratic authority tends to externalise life. The verdict of authority – external, visible, embodied authority – takes the place of the verdict of experience, of life, of Nature. An officer’s or a teacher’s estimate of worth is accepted as final and decisive. An examiner’s certificate determines a man’s ‘station and degree’. Class lists, orders of merit, prizes, medals, titles, grades, and the like interpose themselves between the soul and the ultimate realities of existence. Under such a regime the sense of intrinsic reality is gradually lost. What is reported to be is a man’s chief concern, not what he really is.” Mr Edmond Holmes, New Ideals in Education Conference 1915, 'Ideals of Life and Education – German and English', P14.

Like many other activists in the movement Holmes was interested in religions from the East, Buddhism, pantheism, mysticism and theosophy, in the free development of the spirit or soul.

His publications include (as listed in Wikipedia):

• Poems (1876)
• Poems (1879)
• A Confession of Faith. By an Unorthodox Believer (1895)
• The Silence of Love (1901)
Walt Whitman's Poetry: A Study & A Selection (1902)
• The Triumph of Love (1903)
• The Creed of Christ (1905)
The Creed of Buddha (1908)
What Is and What Might Be (1911)
• The Creed of My Heart (1912)
• In Defence of What Might Be (1914)
• Sonnets to the Universe (1918)
• Sonnets and Poems
• Experience of Reality. A Study of Mysticism (1928)
• Philosophy Without Metaphysics (1930)
• The Headquarters of Reality. A Challenge to Western Thought (1933).

The Creed of Buddha, by Edmond Holmes

A brilliant set of essays were published by Personalised Education Now in their journal Spr/Sum 2010-11 Issue No 14, ISSN1756-803X, Special Issue celebrating Edmond Holmes.


The Beginning of New Ideals & Bertram Hawker
by ... rtram.html
August 21, 2018



The New Ideals in Education community started in 1914 as the first national conference of the Montessori Society held at East Runton, Norfolk, just along the coast from Cromer. Dr Maria Montessori sent them a supporting telegram, “I associate myself cordially with the Conference in favour of the liberation of the child. Grateful for the recognition of my work.” read out by the Chairman of the opening presentation, Mr B.V. Melville. 50 of the delegates were members of the Society, their names, as for later years, printed in italics in the participant list published in each conference report.

Child in Montessori School run by Bertram Hawker at E. Runton.

There were 250 delegates, many camping, and the conference was held in the grounds, buildings and barn of Rev Bertram Hawker's house, Runton Old Hall. There were the children and teachers from Hawker's Montessori School exhibiting the method. It had been created with support from the local elementary school teachers and local Board in November 1912. This was the first Montessori School in England, and reflected Hawker's enthusiasm for the method and ideas. Photographs of the school illustrated the first Montessori Handbook published in England. Hawker had given talks on Montessori around the country.

Picture from Dr Montessori's Own Handbook 1914

Hawker had been impressed by visiting Montessori's Casa dei Bambini in Rome in 1911, he funded Lillian de Lissa travelling in Europe to research methods of schooling and to be trained by Montessori. She also wrote a report for South Australian government, 'Education in certain European countries' (1915). He also helped fund and support the creation of the Kindergarten Union of South Australia, chairing their foundation meeting, as a result of being impressed by the work he saw at a special school for young children of families living at Woolloomooloo. It is interesting that the Union, founded and managed by women had to later fight the male dominated power structures of the University to maintain its autonomy over the training of Kindergarten teachers. Lillian de Lissa was opening speaker at the Montessori Conference in 1914.

Hawker earlier had worked in East London, was inspired by the settlement communities, and their work with poor children. He attended nearly all the New Ideals in Education Conferences, only speaking to replace a key speaker, like Edmond Holmes. Holmes had been chief inspector of schools in England. He saw the need for models of excellent practice to be supported, celebrated and shared. This community was inspired by the method and philosophy of Dr Maria Montessori, who believed in observing learning and teaching and basing methods on science. The founders, men and women, were practitioners and others, who saw innovative methods in practice. They would go on to create a growing community founded on innovation, observation and sharing. The common value to all this, as proposed by Percy Nunn, was 'liberating the child in the school'.

The Rev. Bertram Hawker

Despite the change in name before the next conference in 1915, and the acceptance of the value statement 'liberating the child', the conferences continued to discuss and share Montessori examples of practice; the New Ideals organising committee and delegates included members of the Montessori Society; and in the published delegates list members of the Montessori Society were continued to be highlighted in italics. This despite the anger of Dr Maria Montessori, who did not want to lose control of her methods and materials, and who ensured the new Montessori Society in England would protect her property rights.

This history shows there was no animosity towards her ideas, though healthy criticism and promotion of the idea of the ongoing development of methods, and an acceptance that they should contribute to the future of the English school. All the conferences and their reports start with a brief history of the community, always referencing the Montessori Conference at East Runton, as its birth. This does seem to contradict the history as retold by people who are from the modern international Montessori community.

One interesting thought about the relationship with Montessori was the importance of innovation and the practitioner, the scientist, the professor, was not to be elevated above the teacher. Each was to be judged by witnesses and reports of their practice.


The Most Remarkable Teacher You’ve Never Heard Of – Harriet Finlay Johnson
by Alan Parr
January 5, 2018



I recently wrote about how silly it is for critics to claim that “The Blob” introduced innovative teaching and learning methods and perverted schools in the 1960s. In fact such ideas can be traced back to a century earlier, and perhaps the most remarkable school of all could be found in a Sussex village between 1897 and 1910. Under Harriet Finlay Johnson Sompting School became famous across England and as far away as the USA and Japan.

One of the better times to be a teacher in an English elementary school was the first decade of the twentieth century. No longer did a single teacher have to cater for dozens of children in several different classes in one large room. Public attitudes had changed; large-scale absenteeism and illiteracy had been replaced by ever-increasing numbers of pupils voluntarily staying on, studying a curriculum that covered work we’d now see as largely of secondary school levels. Government and local authorities now were making it clear teachers and schools had the autonomy to teach as they themselves saw best and to take into account the needs of the school and the child.

Furthermore, the inspector’s role was completely different to before. No longer might the annual inspection humiliate children and teachers alike; he (I haven’t yet come across a female HMI, though the local authorities were now appointing women to inspect particular subjects) could now act as the friend and supporter of the school, recognising good practice and disseminating it to others.

So the climate was more friendly to experimentation and innovation than ever before. And something quite remarkable emerged in a Sussex village called Sompting. There were thousands of schools in such villages – I’ve studied half a dozen of them. A population of a few hundred, with between 100 and 150 children, many of them walking several miles a day to get to a school with just a couple of teachers. Between them, the church and the school were the focus of a way of life that was beginning to disappear as a more mechanised and urban lifestyle developed.

Harriet Finlay Johnson came to Sompting as the Head of the school in 1897. Over the next dozen years there were three features of her work that contributed to the school, and herself, becoming known across the country and far beyond. The first was a belief that children needed to be happy – “Childhood should be our happiest time” and “We do our best when we are happy.” Part of her philosophy was a strong belief that children had a personal contribution to make to the learning of themselves and their classmates – “Children have a wonderful faculty for teaching other children and learning from them.” This became the culture, not just in the main school but in the infant section as well.


Creating a positive approach to learning was more important to her “than the mere ability to spell a large number of extraordinary words, to work a certain number of sums on set rules, or to be able to read whole pages of printed matter without being able to comprehend a single idea, or to originate any new train of thought”. She went much further than this, and – in words that still seem pretty revolutionary more than a century later – worked towards the teacher being an equal partner with the child in the decision-making process “… the teacher, being a companion to and fellow worker with the pupils, … shared in the citizen’s right of holding an opinion, being heard, therefore, not as “absolute monarch,” but on the same grounds as the children themselves”.

The second reason for her becoming widely known was the emphasis she placed upon making the study of nature a main focus of the curriculum. Not as a sedentary classroom subject, but with frequent rambles and nature walks, and gardening. She was able to use the interest in nature as a basis for lessons across almost the whole curriculum – in singing, reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, composition, grammar, geography. Children without gardens of their own would adopt neglected areas in the village, and by 1903 her work in Nature Study had brought her recognition and she was invited to become a member of the Education Advisory Committee for West Sussex. In the following year she spoke on “The Teaching Of Nature Study in Public Elementary Schools” to managers and teachers.


The third aspect perhaps brought her most recognition of all. By her own account, it developed almost by accident as the result of a remark by a pupil. She’d always been keen to make use of role play, whether in geography, arithmetic, or most other subjects, and one day in a history lesson, a boy asked “Couldn’t we play Ivanhoe?” According to her, the effect was literally dramatic, eventually culminating in her book “The Dramatic Method of Teaching”.

Following the Ivanhoe suggestion the children threw themselves into the book ever more deeply. They needed to decide which episodes to dramatise, they researched costumes, dialogue, and the selection of props. With some satisfaction Harriet Finlay Johnson said “we had put the text book in its proper place, not as the principal means, but merely as a reference, and for assistance“.


Before long the “dramatic method” became the central feature of her school’s curriculum, so effectively that many children chose the works of Shakespeare as their leaving present. Indeed, in 1908 the young men of the village (many of them, of course, Harriet Finlay Johnson’s ex-pupils) asked her to help them form an evening drama club. Their version of Julius Caesar was performed at Worthing and received local and national praise.

I can best put her work into perspective by mentioning another school I’ve studied in some depth. I recently gave a talk to the local history group at Ayhno. The similarities could hardly be greater – Sompting and Aynho were both rural villages with about 120 children in the school. Both had heads with previous experience, who were both supported by close family members – Harriet Finlay Johnson had her sister to teach the infants, Allen R Hill at Aynho had his daughter Edith. Their careers were exactly contemporaneous – Harriet Finlay Johnson was at Sompting from 1897 to 1910, Allen Hill at Aynho from 1897 to at least 1908.

Yet their achievements and the atmosphere of their schools were completely different. On one occasion at Sompting an emergency meant there were no adults in the school. When Harriet Finlay Johnson finally arrived halfway through the session she found everyone hard at work. The oldest children had organised a programme, selected teachers and topics, and implemented lessons across both the main school and the infants as well.

But even after ten years at Aynho Allen R Hill had a school where commitment and discipline were a daily challenge. Not a week goes by without his recording bad behaviour and the use of physical punishment; on occasion he even calls the police. And Sompting pupils weren’t naturally angelic – they didn’t come out well in inspection reports before Harriet arrived, and when she left she was replaced by a strict disciplinarian who had to be dismissed when his severe beatings of pupils caused uproar.

Allen Hill accepted a ferocious workload and worked with total commitment, but even in Aynho he’s forgotten, while in Sompting the village community centre bears Harriet Finlay Johnson’s name and a blue plaque commemorates her life.


For several years visitors flocked to Sompting School. Four members of HMI came in a single year; the Chief Inspector made visit after visit. Cumberland – just about as far away from Sussex as a county can be – sent its inspector. Colleges sent tutors and their students, and reporters came from the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.

She wrote a book called “The Dramatic Method of Teaching”, which received an enthusiastic review in The Spectator. Both the full text of the book and the review are easily available online: ... f-teaching

Interviewed many years later, ex-pupils remembered her ability to put her ideas into action and carry children with her. She gave children responsibility, and expected them to think for themselves. (“I began to see how it might be possible to throw more of the actual lessons, including their preparation and arrangement, onto the scholars themselves. Besides, in my opinion, more than half the benefit of the lesson lies in the act of preparing it, in hunting its materials out of hidden sources and collecting them into shape”).

This wasn’t necessarily popular – at a school entertainment evening a lady visitor said “This is all very fine, but if this sort of thing goes on, where are we going to find our servants?”

The Vicar had a similar complaint. In the same year (1907) he grumbled that too many of the village’s 13-yearolds were staying on at school rather than going out to work. He accused them of being “unenterprising”, but in fact their willingness to learn, commitment, and all-round knowledge meant Sompting pupils were highly sought-after by potential employers.

By the end of the decade important people in the education world were saying that Sompting was not just a wonderfully effective school, but the best school in the land. If, like me, you’ve never heard of Harriet Finlay Johnson, you may be wondering two things. Exactly how did she become so well known that her work influenced thinking as far away as Japan and the USA? And why did her classroom career come to an end in 1910, when she was still only in her thirties and had years more to offer?

I guess I’d better write part (ii) and tell you what happened.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:48 am

Montessori and the Theosophical Society
by Winifred Wylie
The Theosophical Society in America
Originally printed in the MARCH-APRIL 2008 issue of Quest magazine.
Citation: Wylie, Winifred . "Montessori and the Theosophical Society." Quest 96.2 (MARCH-APRIL 2008): 53-55.



MARIA MONTESSORI had her first acquaintance with Theosophy, early in the twentieth century, when she went to hear Annie Besant speak in London in 1907 after Montessori had established her first Casa dei Bambini (i.e., Children's House). Annie Besant spoke in praise of Montessori's work in education which pleased Montessori, and thus sealed their friendship.

There are many parallels between the lives of Montessori and Besant: both broke through barriers against women; both were interested in modern exact science and mysticism; and both were charismatic speakers who lectured throughout the world. But perhaps the most important parallel was their common vision of the evolution and the oneness of life.

Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, and died on May 6, 1952, just before her eighty-second birthday. By the time of her death, her schools were established all over the world. Her innovative ideas of having furniture designed to fit the size of children and providing climbing apparatus for them to exercise on, are both common in schools of today. Other teaching initiatives introduced by Montessori came after careful scientific observation of children and include the recognition that there are sensitive periods when children are ready to learn things, such as language, more easily than at other times in their development; the provision of mixed age classrooms where children help each other to learn; and also, a learning environment where children have the freedom to select their own materials to work with.

As a woman living in the Italy of 1870, Montessori was expected to marry and have children. But, over her father's objections, she insisted on going to technical school and then being trained as a doctor even though this was unheard of for a woman at that time. Maria Montessori would be surprised and encouraged to see how the role of women has expanded since her time, but unfortunately, she would also find the need for a new education that promotes world peace just as necessary today as when she wrote Education for a New World.

Montessori specialized in work with mentally challenged children, using ideas and apparatus inspired by early educators Itard, Seguin, and Froebel. She then designed new materials of her own to help the children learn. She was so successful in teaching these mentally challenged children that they passed the exam for normal children of their own age. Montessori felt that if these children could do so well, then normal children should be able to do much better, and she wanted the opportunity to work with them.

When the officials of Rome did a tenement clearance project in a very poor area called San Lorenzo, they were afraid that the children age five and under would mark up the walls because they were often left home alone. The officials invited Montessori to start a school for them. She agreed, and after careful observation of public school classrooms, she redesigned the San Lorenzo classroom with furniture made for the size of the children and also cabinets proportioned to their height to hold materials for them. She used the same materials she had used with the mentally challenged children and also designed new materials as the children learned quickly and needed them. The environment of the first Montessori classroom transformed the behavior of the children. They became independent, confident, orderly, and loving three, four, and five year-olds. This attracted the world's attention and began Montessori's life work of training new teachers and establishing new schools.

Montessori was sixty-nine years old when she first went to India. She was invited to give a Montessori Training Course at Adyar by the then international president of the Theosophical Society, George Arundale. He had made the invitation to Montessori while he and his wife, Rukmini Devi, were visiting her in Holland. It was fortunate that Montessori accepted the invitation and left Europe at that time. Later that year the Second World War broke out. All of the centers where Montessori had worked: Spain, Italy, and Holland, had become very dangerous places.

The Arundales went to the airport in Madras to meet Maria and her son, Mario. Despite her age, Maria was full of energy and eager to plan her training course. She felt very much at home at Adyar. It was a place where her mysticism was understood and could be shared with others. Theosophical workers arranged palm leaf huts and a palm leaf lecture hall at Olcott Gardens. Three hundred teachers and student teachers came from all over India to attend the training course.
This was a much larger group than had been expected! They were eager to hear Montessori and put her ideas into action. Maria spoke in Italian, and Mario translated into English.

When World War II began in the fall of 1939, Italy entered the war on the side of the Germans and England interned all Italians in the British territories. Mario was interned in a camp for civilians in Amednagar and Maria was confined to the compound at Adyar. (She was allowed to spend the hot summer months at the hill stations of Ooty and Kodaikanal.) But Maria was very unhappy that she and her son were being treated like prisoners. After all, Montessori had already left Italy in protest of Mussolini's treatment of her schools. Many of Montessori's supporters protested to the authorities.

Finally, on August 31, 1940, she received a telegram from the Viceroy of India that read,"We have long thought what to give you for your seventieth birthday. We thought that the best present we could give you was to send you back your son." Mario and Maria spent the remainder of the war years working together in India and the Theosophical Society sponsored it.

My own acquaintance with Montessori began through the Theosophical Society and reading her writings. In 1940, when I was seven years old, my family moved to a farm northeast of Ann Arbor, Michigan. My father's dream was to make it a Theosophical community and, for a while, it was. In 1956 my former sister-in-law, Barbara Bailey, and I started the first Montessori school in Michigan. In 1970, I took the Montessori Elementary training course for teachers in Bergamo, Italy and while there learned that some of the Montessori Elementary educational materials had been designed while Montessori was in India.

Many features designed for the elementary children reflect Montessori's deep thought and mystical perceptions about the work of humans and the environment of planet Earth. The elementary curriculum, called "Cosmic Education" was designed around the history of the earth. Everything that was taught was traced back to when it had been discovered in history: the roots of history, language, mathematics, and geometry were all traced back. Montessori felt it was very important to have the children know and have great respect for all the humans from the past who had contributed to making their life easier.

When Montessori looked at children, she saw what others did not. People had preconceived ideas of what children were like and they often saw what they expected instead of what was truly there. Montessori told her teachers to look for the hidden child and that it would reveal itself through creative work. The job of the teacher, she taught, was to find the right work for each child and when he or she was quiet and deeply absorbed in the work to walk on tiptoe, not to disturb this magical stage of the child finding him or herself. She said creative work by one child created an atmosphere that attracted other children to make their own search for creative work, and eventually, the whole classroom would become quiet as if in a state of meditation.

Montessori's formal training had been in the field of medicine and science and these influences were important in the development of the Montessori Curriculum. For example, the Curriculum included time lines of human history paralleling the time line of planet Earth, showing four and one half billion years of development from the Pre-Cambrian to the modern era. Everything on the earth contributes to the whole as well as to its own interests. During the training course I took, Seeora Honegar told a story about one child in the Montessori classroom who said that he did not want to contribute to the whole so he was just going to sit and do nothing. Another child said to him that even if he just sat there he was still part of the oxygen cycle. Then the child said he would die. The other child replied that even if he died his body would become part of the earth and would be used by the plants that would then be eaten by the animals.

Montessori said that evolution is not marked so much by the power of tooth and claw, but by the development of the power of love. The earliest creatures, such as the spawning fish, gave birth to their young and did not recognize them. But evolutionary time went on and birds developed. They kept their babies warm and fed them, and even would give up their lives to defend their chicks. Then there are mammals who carry their young safely inside the mother. Humans have the longest childhood of any of the mammals. They go through wonderful sensitive periods when they learn the unique qualities which make them human, such as the ability to speak the language of their parents; which they learn to do perfectly, beginning at the remarkably early age of about two. They learn so perfectly because there is a sensitivity to what they hear which is unique to them, and, for the rest of their lives, this is called their mother tongue.

Among the elementary materials, there is a chart showing water evaporating off the ocean like children climbing a high hill, and then, the children are blown over the land, sliding down again as water droplets, as if in an endless joyous game. Likewise, the rivers of earth are compared to the rivers of blood in our bodies, carrying nutrients everywhere and cleaning the planet. These images make one think of earth as a giant being, just as some scientists have come to the concept of Gaia.

Our modern world is poised between what can be observed by our five senses, that is, the realm of science, and that which we sense by intuition and our heart, the realm of mysticism. Maria Montessori and Annie Besant were both pioneers in the exploration of the areas where these two realms intersect. Their work combined the vision of exact measurement and comparison with the deep empathy of intuition. It is no wonder they became good friends. They left a legacy of awareness and understanding of the wholeness of life, which the world is sorely in need of today.

Winifred Wylie is a second generation Theosophist with a very rich history. She first visited the Olcott campus at the age of five where she met George Arundale and Rukmini Devi. She was also fortunate to hear L. W. Rogers speak on being a Theosophical lecturer. As a young woman, she was president of the Young Theosophists when Jim Perkins supervised the organizing of the youth circle at Olcott. After earning degrees in Classical Studies (she was interested in archaeology) and Education, she received her Montessori Elementary Diploma in Bergamo, Italy and started the first Montessori school in the state of Michigan. Winnie is actively involved in the Ann Arbor Lodge in Michigan.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:46 am

Part 1 of 3

Wilhelm Reich
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/22/19



Wilhelm Reich
Reich in his mid-20s
Born 24 March 1897
Dobzau, Austria-Hungary (present day Ukraine)
Died 3 November 1957 (aged 60)
United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Cause of death Heart failure
Resting place Orgonon, Rangeley, Maine, United States
44.991027°N 70.713902°W
Nationality Austrian
Medical career
Education M.D. (1922), University of Vienna
Speciality Psychoanalysis
Institutions Vienna City Hospital; Vienna Ambulatorium; University of Oslo; The New School, New York
Known for
Character analysis muscular armour orgastic potency vegetotherapy Freudo-Marxism orgone
Notable work
Character Analysis (1933)
The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933)
The Sexual Revolution (1936)
Annie Reich, née Pink (m. 1922–1933)
Elsa Lindenberg (1932–1939)
Ilse Ollendorf (m. 1946–1951)
Aurora Karrer (1955–1957)
Eva Reich [de] (1924–2008)
Lore Reich Rubin (b. 1928)
Peter Reich (b. 1944)
Leon Reich, Cecilia Roniger
Relatives Robert Reich (brother)

Wilhelm Reich (/raɪx/; German: [ʁaɪç]; 24 March 1897 – 3 November 1957) was an Austrian doctor of medicine and psychoanalyst, a member of the second generation of analysts after Sigmund Freud.[1] The author of several influential books, most notably Character Analysis (1933), The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), and The Sexual Revolution (1936), Reich became known as one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry.[2][n 1]

Reich's work on character contributed to the development of Anna Freud's The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936), and his idea of muscular armour—the expression of the personality in the way the body moves—shaped innovations such as body psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, bioenergetic analysis and primal therapy.[6] His writing influenced generations of intellectuals; he coined the phrase "the sexual revolution" and according to one historian acted as its midwife.
[7] During the 1968 student uprisings in Paris and Berlin, students scrawled his name on walls and threw copies of The Mass Psychology of Fascism at police.[8]

After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1922, Reich became deputy director of Freud's outpatient clinic, the Vienna Ambulatorium.[9] Described by Elizabeth Danto as a large man with a cantankerous style who managed to look scruffy and elegant at the same time, he tried to reconcile psychoanalysis with Marxism, arguing that neurosis is rooted in sexual and socio-economic conditions, and in particular in a lack of what he called "orgastic potency". He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived, and took to the streets in a mobile clinic, promoting adolescent sexuality and the availability of contraceptives, abortion and divorce, a provocative message in Catholic Austria.[10] He said he wanted to "attack the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment".[11]

From the 1930s he became an increasingly controversial figure, and from 1932 until his death in 1957 all his work was self-published.[12] His message of sexual liberation disturbed the psychoanalytic community and his political associates, and his vegetotherapy, in which he massaged his disrobed patients to dissolve their "muscular armour", violated the key taboos of psychoanalysis.[13] He moved to New York in 1939, in part to escape the Nazis, and shortly after arriving coined the term "orgone"—from "orgasm" and "organism"—for a biological energy he said he had discovered, which he said others called God. In 1940 he started building orgone accumulators, devices that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.[14]

Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper's in 1947, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude".[15] Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years imprisonment, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court.[n 2] He died in prison of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.[18]

Early life


Reich in 1900

Reich was born the first of two sons to Leon Reich, a farmer, and his wife Cäcilie (née Roniger) in Dobzau, Galicia, then part of Austria-Hungary, now in Ukraine. There was a sister too, born one year after Reich, but she died in infancy. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Jujinetz, a village in Bukovina, where his father ran a cattle farm leased by his mother's uncle, Josef Blum.[19]

His father was described as a jealous man.[20] Both parents were Jewish, but decided against raising the boys as Jews. Reich and his brother, Robert, were brought up to speak only German, were punished for using Yiddish expressions and forbidden from playing with the local Yiddish-speaking children.[21]

As an adult Reich wrote extensively, in his diary, about his sexual precocity. He maintained that his first sexual experience was at the age of four when he tried to have sex with the family maid (with whom he shared a bed), that he would regularly watch the farm animals have sex, that he used a whip handle sexually on the horses while masturbating, and that he had almost daily sexual intercourse from the age of 11 with another of the servants. He wrote of regular visits to brothels, the first when he was 15, and said he was visiting them daily from the age of around 17. He also developed sexual fantasies about his mother, writing when he was 22 that he masturbated while thinking about her.[22]

It is impossible to judge the truth of these diary entries, but Reich's second daughter, the psychiatrist Lore Reich Rubin, told Christopher Turner that she believed Reich had been a victim of child sexual abuse, and that this explained his lifelong interest in sex and childhood sexuality.[23]

Death of parents

Reich was taught at home until he was 12, when his mother was discovered having an affair with his live-in tutor. Reich wrote about the affair in 1920 in his first published paper, "Über einen Fall von Durchbruch der Inzestschranke" ("About a Case of Breaching the Incest Taboo"), presented in the third person as though about a patient.[24] He wrote that he would follow his mother when she went to the tutor's bedroom at night, feeling ashamed and jealous, and wondering if they would kill him if they found out that he knew. He briefly thought of forcing her to have sex with him, on pain of threatening to tell his father. In the end, he did tell his father, and after a protracted period of beatings, his mother committed suicide in 1910, for which Reich blamed himself.[24]

With the tutor ordered out of the house, Reich was sent to an all-male gymnasium in Czernowitz. It was during this period that a skin condition appeared, diagnosed as psoriasis, that plagued him for the rest of his life, leading several commentators to remark on his ruddy complexion. He visited brothels every day and wrote in his diary of his disgust for the women.[25] His father died of tuberculosis in 1914, and because of rampant inflation the father's insurance was worthless, so no money was forthcoming for the brothers.[26] Reich managed the farm and continued with his studies, graduating in 1915 with Stimmeneinhelligkeit (unanimous approval). The Russians invaded Bukovina that summer and the Reich brothers fled, losing everything. Reich wrote in his diary: "I never saw either my homeland or my possessions again. Of a well-to-do past, nothing was left."[27]

1919–1930: Vienna

Undergraduate studies

Reich joined the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War, serving from 1915 to 1918, for the last two years as a lieutenant at the Italian front with 40 men under his command. When the war ended he headed for Vienna, enrolling in law at the University of Vienna, but found it dull and switched to medicine after the first semester. He arrived with nothing in a city with little to offer; the overthrow of the Austria-Hungarian empire a few weeks earlier had left the newly formed Republic of German-Austria in the grip of famine. Reich lived on soup, oats and dried fruit from the university canteen, and shared an unheated room with his brother and another undergraduate, wearing his coat and gloves indoors to stave off the cold. He fell in love with another medical student, Lia Laszky, with whom he was dissecting a corpse, but it was largely unrequited.[28]

Myron Sharaf, his biographer, wrote that Reich loved medicine but was caught between a reductionist/ mechanistic and vitalist view of the world.[29] Reich wrote later of this period:

The question, "What is Life?" lay behind everything I learned. ... It became clear that the mechanistic concept of life, which dominated our study of medicine at the time, was unsatisfactory ... There was no denying the principle of creative power governing life; only it was not satisfactory as long as it was not tangible, as long as it could not be described or practically handled. For, rightly, this was considered the supreme goal of natural science.[29]

Introduction to Freud

Sigmund Freud

Reich first met Sigmund Freud in 1919 when he asked Freud for a reading list for a seminar concerning sexology. It seems they left a strong impression on each other. Freud allowed him to start meeting with analytic patients in September that year, although Reich was just 22 years old and still an undergraduate, which gave him a small income. He was accepted as a guest member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association, becoming a regular member in October 1920, and began his own analysis with Isidor Sadger. He lived and worked out of an apartment on Berggasse 7, the street on which Freud lived at no. 19, in the Alsergrund area of Vienna.[30]

One of Reich's first patients was Lore Kahn, a 19-year-old woman with whom he had an affair.
Freud had warned analysts not to involve themselves with their patients, but in the early days of psychoanalysis the warnings went unheeded. According to Reich's diaries, Kahn became ill in November 1920 and died of sepsis after sleeping in a bitterly cold room she had rented as a place for her and Reich to meet (both his landlady and her parents had forbidden their meetings). Kahn's mother suspected that her daughter had died after a botched illegal abortion, possibly performed by Reich himself. According to Christopher Turner, she found some of her daughter's bloodied underwear in a cupboard.[31]

It was a serious allegation to make against a physician. Reich wrote in his diary that the mother had been attracted to him and had made the allegation to damage him. She later committed suicide and Reich blamed himself.[31] If Kahn did have an abortion, Turner wrote, she was the first of four of Reich's partners to do so: Annie, his first wife, had several, and his long-term partners Elsa Lindenberg and Ilse Ollendorf (his second wife) each had one (supposedly) at Reich's insistence.[32]

First marriage, graduation

Two months after Kahn's death, Reich accepted her friend, Annie Pink (1902–1971), as an analysand. Pink was Reich's fourth female patient, a medical student three months shy of her 19th birthday. He had an affair with her too, and married her in March 1922 at her father's insistence, with psychoanalysts Otto Fenichel and Edith Buxbaum as witnesses.[33] Annie Reich became a well-known psychoanalyst herself. The marriage produced two daughters, Eva (1924–2008) and Lore (b. 1928), both of whom became physicians; Lore Reich Rubin also became a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.[34]

Because he was a war veteran, Reich was allowed to complete a combined bachelor's and M.D. in four years, instead of six, and graduated in July 1922.[35] After graduating, he worked in internal medicine at the city's University Hospital, and studied neuropsychiatry from 1922 to 1924 at the hospital's neurological and psychiatric clinic under Professor Julius Wagner von Jauregg, who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1927.[36]

Vienna Ambulatorium

Staff of the Vienna Ambulatorium, 1922. Eduard Hitschmann is seated fourth from the left, Reich fifth, and Annie Reich first on the right.

In 1922 Reich began working in Freud's psychoanalytic outpatient clinic, known as the Vienna Ambulatorium, which was opened on 22 May that year at Pelikangasse 18 by Eduard Hitschmann. Reich became the assistant director under Hitschmann in 1924 and worked there until his move to Berlin in 1930.[37]

Between 1922 and 1932 the clinic offered free or reduced-cost psychoanalysis to 1,445 men and 800 women, many suffering from shell shock after World War I. It was the second such clinic to open under Freud's direction; the first was the Poliklinik in Berlin, set up in 1920 by Max Eitingon and Ernst Simmel.[38]

Sharaf writes that working with labourers, farmers and students allowed Reich to move away from treating neurotic symptoms to observing chaotic lifestyles and anti-social personalities.[36] Reich argued that neurotic symptoms such as obsessive–compulsive disorder were an unconscious attempt to gain control of a hostile environment, including poverty or childhood abuse. They were examples of what he called "character armour" (Charakterpanzer), repetitive patterns of behaviour, speech and body posture that served as defence mechanisms. According to Danto, Reich sought out patients at the Ambulatorium who had been diagnosed as psychopaths, believing that psychoanalysis could free them of their rage.[39]

Reich joined the faculty of the Psychoanalytic Institute in Vienna in 1924 and became its director of training.[40] According to Danto, he was well-regarded for the weekly technical seminars he chaired at the Ambulatorium, where he gave papers on his theory of character structure, arguing that psychoanalysis should be based on the examination of unconscious character traits, later known as ego defences.[41] The seminars were attended, from 1927, by Fritz Perls, who went on to develop Gestalt therapy with his wife, Laura Perls.[42] Several commentators remarked on how captivating the seminars were and how eloquently Reich spoke. According to a Danish newspaper in 1934:

The moment he starts to speak, not at the lectern, but walking around it on cat's paws, he is simply enchanting. In the Middle Ages, this man would have been sent into exile. He is not only eloquent, he also keeps his listeners spellbound by his sparking personality, reflected in his small, dark eyes.[43]

Der triebhafte Charakter

Reich's first book, Der triebhafte Charakter: eine psychoanalytische Studie zur Pathologie des Ich ("The Impulsive Character: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Pathology of the Self"), was published in 1925.[44] It was a study of the anti-social personalities he had encountered in the Ambulatorium, and argued the need for a systematic theory of character.[45] The book won him professional recognition, including from Freud, who in 1927 arranged for his appointment to the executive committee of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.[46] The appointment was made over the objection of Paul Federn, who had been Reich's second analyst in 1922 and who, according to Sharaf, regarded Reich as a psychopath.[n 3] Reich found the society dull and wrote that he behaved "like a shark in a pond of carps".[49]

Orgastic potency

Further information: Orgastic potency

Reich lived for a time on Berggasse in Vienna (seen here in 2010), where Freud lived at number 19

Beginning in 1924 Reich published a series of papers on the idea of "orgastic potency", the ability to release the emotions from the muscles and lose the self in an uninhibited orgasm, an idea that Freud came to call Reich's "Steckenpferd" (hobby horse).[50] Reich argued that psychic health and the ability to love depended on orgastic potency, the full discharge of the libido: "Sexual release in the sex act must correspond to the excitement which leads up to it."[51] He wrote: "It is not just to fuck ... not the embrace in itself, not the intercourse. It is the real emotional experience of the loss of your ego, of your whole spiritual self."[52] He argued that orgastic potency was the goal of character analysis.[53]

Whereas Reich's work on character was well received by the psychoanalytic community, Sharaf writes, his work on orgastic potency was unpopular from the start and later ridiculed. He came to be known as the "prophet of the better orgasm" and the "founder of a genital utopia".[54]

Rest cure in Switzerland

Reich's brother died of tuberculosis (TB) in 1926, the same disease that had killed their father. Turner writes that a quarter of deaths in Vienna were caused by TB in the 1920s. Reich himself contracted it in 1927 and spent several weeks in the winter of that year in a sanitorium in Davos, Switzerland, where TB patients went for rest cures and fresh air before antibiotics became widely available around 1945. Turner writes that Reich underwent a political and existential crisis in Davos; he returned home in the spring angry and paranoid, according to Annie Reich. Some months later he and Annie were on the streets during the July Revolt of 1927 in Vienna, when 84 workers were shot and killed by police and another 600 were injured. It seems that the experience changed Reich; he wrote that it was his first encounter with human irrationality.[55] He began to doubt everything, and in 1928 joined the Communist Party of Austria:

As if struck by a blow, one suddenly recognizes the scientific futility, the biological senselessness, and the social noxiousness of views and institutions, which until that moment had seemed altogether natural and self-evident. It is a kind of eschatological experience so frequently encountered in a pathological form in schizophrenics. I might even voice the belief that the schizophrenic form of psychic illness is regularly accompanied by illuminating insight into the irrationalism of social and political mores.[56]

Sex-pol movement

Partly in response to the shooting he had witnessed in Vienna, Reich, then 30, opened six free sex-counselling clinics in the city in 1927 for working-class patients. Each clinic was overseen by a physician, with three obstetricians and a lawyer on call, and offered what Reich called Sex-Pol counselling. Sex-Pol stood for the German Society of Proletarian Sexual Politics. Reich offered a mixture of "psychoanalytic counseling, Marxist advice and contraceptives", Danto writes, and argued for a sexual permissiveness, including for young people and the unmarried, that unsettled other psychoanalysts and the political left. The clinics were immediately overcrowded by people seeking help.[57]

He also took to the streets in a mobile clinic, driving to parks and out to the suburbs with other psychoanalysts and physicians. Reich would talk to the teenagers and men, while a gynaecologist fitted the women with contraceptive devices, and Lia Laszky, the woman Reich fell in love with at medical school, spoke to the children. They also distributed sex-education pamphlets door to door.[58]

Die Funktion des Orgasmus

Further information: Die Funktion des Orgasmus

Reich published Die Funktion des Orgasmus ("The Function of the Orgasm") in 1927, dedicating it to Freud. He had presented a copy of the manuscript to Freud on the latter's 70th birthday on 6 May 1926.[59] Freud had not appeared impressed. He replied, "That thick?" when Reich handed it to him, and took two months to write a brief but positive letter in response, which Reich interpreted as a rejection.[60][n 4] Freud's view was that the matter was more complicated than Reich suggested, and that there was no single cause of neurosis.[61] He wrote in 1928 to another psychoanalyst, Dr. Lou Andreas-Salomé:

We have here a Dr. Reich, a worthy but impetuous young man, passionately devoted to his hobby-horse, who now salutes in the genital orgasm the antidote to every neurosis. Perhaps he might learn from your analysis of K. to feel some respect for the complicated nature of the psyche.[62]

Visit to Soviet Union

In 1929 Reich and his wife visited the Soviet Union on a lecture tour, leaving the two children in the care of the psychoanalyst Berta Bornstein. Sharaf writes that he returned even more convinced of the link between sexual and economic oppression, and of the need to integrate Marx and Freud.[63] In 1929 his article "Dialectical Materialism and Psychoanalysis" was published in Unter dem Banner des Marxismus, the German Communist Party journal. The article explored whether psychoanalysis was compatible with historical materialism, class struggle and proletarian revolution. Reich concluded that they were compatible if dialectical materialism was applied to psychology.[64] This was one of the central theoretical statements of his Marxist period, which included The Imposition of Sexual Morality (1932), The Sexual Struggle of Youth (1932), The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), "What is Class Consciousness?" (1934) and The Sexual Revolution (1936).

1930–1934: Germany, Denmark, Sweden

Verlag für Sexualpolitik

Plaque on Schlangenbader Straße 87, Berlin-Wilmersdorf, the house in which Reich lived, 1931–1933.

Reich and his wife moved to Berlin in November 1930, where he set up clinics in working-class areas, taught sex education and published pamphlets. He joined the Communist Party of Germany, but grew impatient over their delay in publishing one of his pamphlets, Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend (1932), published in English as The Sexual Struggle of Youth (1972). He set up his own publishing house, Verlag für Sexualpolitik, and published the pamphlet himself.[65]

His subsequent involvement in a conference promoting adolescent sexuality caused the party to announce that it would no longer publish his material. On March 24, 1933 Freud told him that his contract with the International Psychoanalytic Publishers to publish Character Analysis had been cancelled. Sharaf writes that this was almost certainly because of Reich's stance on teenage sex.[65]

Character Analysis

Further information: Character Analysis

Reich published what Robert Corrington called his masterpiece, Charakteranalyse: Technik und Grundlagen für studierende und praktizierende Analytiker, in 1933. It was revised and published in English in 1946 and 1949 as Character Analysis. The book sought to move psychoanalysis toward a reconfiguration of character structure.[66]

For Reich, character structure was the result of social processes, in particular a reflection of castration and Oedipal anxieties playing themselves out within the nuclear family.[66] Les Greenberg and Jeremy Safran write that Reich proposed a functional identity between the character, emotional blocks, and tension in the body, or what he called character (or muscular/body) armour (Charakterpanzer).[67]

Reich proposed that muscular armour was a defence that contained the history of the patient's traumas.[68] For example, he blamed Freud's jaw cancer on his muscular armour, rather than his smoking: Freud's Judaism meant he was "biting down" impulses, rather than expressing them.[69] Dissolving the armour would bring back the memory of the childhood repression that had caused the blockage in the first place.[67]

End of first marriage

Reich had several affairs during his marriage to Annie Reich, which ended in 1933 after he began a serious relationship in May 1932 with Elsa Lindenberg, a dancer and pupil of Elsa Gindler.[70] He was living with Lindenberg in Germany when Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933. On March 2 that year the Nazi newspaper Völkischer Beobachter published an attack on Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend.[71] Reich and Lindenberg left for Vienna the next day. They moved from there to Denmark, where Reich was excluded from the Danish Communist Party in November 1933 (without ever having joined it) because of his promotion of teenage sex and the publication that year of The Mass Psychology of Fascism, which they regarded as "counterrevolutionary". There were multiple complaints about his promotion of abortion, sex education, and the attempted suicide of a teenage patient. According to Turner, when Reich's visa expired, it was not renewed.[72]

He tried to find support among psychoanalysts in the UK so that he could settle there, and was interviewed in London by Ernest Jones, Melanie Klein, Joan Riviere and James Strachey. They decided that he had been "insufficiently analysed" and had an unresolved hostility toward Freud.[73] Anna Freud, Freud's daughter—whom Jones had contacted about Reich's desire to relocate to England—wrote in 1938: "There is a wall somewhere where he stops to understand the other person's point of view and flies off into a world of his own ... He is an unhappy person ... and I am afraid this will end in sickness."[74]

Reich and Lindenberg moved instead to Malmö in Sweden, which Reich described as "better than a concentration camp", but he was placed under surveillance when police suspected that the hourly visits of patients to his hotel room meant he was running a brothel, with Lindenberg as the prostitute.[75] The government declined to extend his visa, and the couple had to move briefly back to Denmark, Reich under an assumed name.[76]


Further information: Vegetotherapy

From 1930 onwards, Reich began to treat patients outside the limits of psychoanalysis's restrictions. He would sit opposite them, rather than behind them as they lay on a couch (the traditional psychoanalyst's position), and begin talking to them and answering their questions, instead of offering the stock, "Why do you ask?" analyst's response. He had noticed that after a successful course of psychoanalysis his patients would hold their bodies differently, so he began to try to communicate with the body using touch. He asked his male patients to undress down to their shorts, and sometimes entirely, and his female patients down to their underclothes, and began to massage them to loosen their body armour. He would also ask them to simulate physically the effects of certain emotions in the hope of triggering them.[77]

He first presented the principles of what he called character-analytic vegetotherapy in August 1934, in a paper entitled "Psychischer Kontakt und vegetative Strömung" ("Psychological Contact and Vegetative Current") at the 13th International Congress of Psychoanalysis at Lucerne, Switzerland.[78] His second wife, Ilse Ollendorf, said vegetotherapy replaced the psychoanalytic method of never touching a patient with "a physical attack by the therapist".[79]

The method eliminated the psychoanalytic doctrine of neutrality. Reich argued that the psychoanalytic taboos reinforced the neurotic taboos of the patient, and that he wanted his patients to see him as human.[78] He would press his thumb or the palm of his hand hard (and painfully) on their jaws, necks, chests, backs, or thighs, aiming to dissolve their muscular, and thereby characterological, rigidity.[80] He wrote that the purpose of the massage was to retrieve the repressed memory of the childhood situation that had caused the repression. If the session worked, he would see waves of pleasure move through their bodies, which he called the "orgasm reflex". According to Sharaf, the twin goals of Reichian therapy were the attainment of this orgasm reflex during sessions and orgastic potency during intercourse. Reich briefly considered calling it "orgasmotherapy", but thought better of it.[81]

Just before the Lucerne conference, Reich was asked to resign from the International Psychoanalytical Association, where Anna Freud was the "acknowledged leader" at the time, for prioritizing his revolutionary agenda over Freud's ideas. According to Lore Reich Rubin, Reich's daughter, Anna Freud was responsible for destroying her father's career, "she got rid of him". [82] [83] He arrived at the conference furious about his treatment. Turner writes that he cemented his reputation as a madman, camping in a tent outside the conference hall and reportedly carrying a large knife in his belt.[84] According to the psychiatrist Grete L. Bibring, Paul Federn declared, "Either Reich goes or I go."[85]

1934–1939: Norway


Willy Brandt

In October 1934 Reich and Lindenberg moved to Oslo, Norway, where Harald K. Schjelderup, professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, had invited Reich to lecture on character analysis and vegetotherapy. They ended up staying for five years.[86] During his time in Norway, Reich attempted to ground his orgasm theory in biology, exploring whether Freud's metaphor of the libido was in fact electricity or a chemical substance, an argument Freud had proposed in the 1890s but had abandoned.[87] Reich argued that conceiving of the orgasm as nothing but mechanical tension and relaxation could not explain why some experience pleasure and others do not. He wanted to know what additional element had to be present for pleasure to be felt.[88]

Reich was influenced by the work of the Austrian internist Friedrich Kraus, who argued in his paper Allgemeine und Spezielle Pathologie der Person (1926) that the biosystem was a relay-like switch mechanism of electrical charge and discharge. Reich wrote in an essay, "Der Orgasmus als Elektro-physiologische Entladung" ("The Orgasm as an Electrophysiological Discharge", 1934), that the orgasm is just such a bioelectrical discharge and proposed his "orgasm formula": mechanical tension (filling of the organs with fluid; tumescence) → bioelectrical charge → bioelectrical discharge → mechanical relaxation (detumescence).[89]

In 1935 Reich bought an oscillograph and attached it to friends and students, who volunteered to touch and kiss each other while Reich read the tracings. One of the volunteers was a young Willy Brandt, the future chancellor of Germany. At the time, he was married to Reich's secretary, Gertrude Gaasland, and was living in Norway to organize protests against the Nazis. Reich also took measurements from the patients of a psychiatric hospital near Oslo, including catatonic patients, with the permission of the hospital's director.[90] Reich described the oscillograph experiments in 1937 in Experimentelle Ergebnisse über die elektrische Funktion von Sexualität und Angst (The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety).[91]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 3

Bion experiments

Further information: Spontaneous generation and Abiogenesis

Cancer specialist Leiv Kreyberg (third from right; picture circa 1937) dismissed Reich's work.[92]

From 1934 to 1939 Reich conducted what he called the bion experiments, which he published as Die Bione: zur Entstehung des vegetativen Lebens in Oslo in February 1938 (published in English in 1979 and later called The Bion Experiments on the Origin of Life).[93] He examined protozoa and grew cultured vesicles using grass, sand, iron and animal tissue, boiling them and adding potassium and gelatin. Having heated the materials to incandescence with a heat-torch, he wrote that he had seen bright, glowing, blue vesicles. His photographs and films of his experiments were taken by Kari Berggrav. He called them "bions" and believed they were a rudimentary form of life, halfway between life and non-life. He wrote that when he poured the cooled mixture onto growth media, bacteria were born, dismissing the idea that the bacteria were already present in the air or on other materials.[94]

In what Sharaf writes was the origins of the orgone theory, Reich said he could see two kinds of bions, the blue vesicles and smaller red ones shaped like lancets. He called the former PA-bions and the latter T-bacilli, the T standing for Tod, German for death.[95] He wrote in his book The Cancer Biopathy (1948) that he had found T-bacilli in rotting cancerous tissue obtained from a local hospital, and when injected into mice they caused inflammation and cancer. He concluded that, when orgone energy diminishes in cells through aging or injury, the cells undergo "bionous degeneration". At some point the deadly T-bacilli start to form in the cells. Death from cancer, he believed, was caused by an overwhelming growth of the T-bacilli.[96]

Opposition to his ideas

Bronisław Malinowski wrote to newspapers in Norway in support of Reich.[97]

Scientists in Oslo reacted strongly to Reich's work on bions, deriding it as nonsense. Tidens Tegn, a leading liberal newspaper, launched a campaign against him in 1937, supported by scientists and other newspapers.[98] Between March and December 1938, more than 165 articles or letters appeared in 13 Norwegian newspapers denouncing him.[99][100]

In 1937 the Norwegian pathologist Leiv Kreyberg was allowed to examine one of Reich's bion preparations under a microscope. Kreyberg wrote that the broth Reich had used as his culture medium was indeed sterile, but that the bacteria were ordinary staphylococci. He concluded that Reich's control measures to prevent infection from airborne bacteria were not as foolproof as Reich believed. Kreyberg accused Reich of being ignorant of basic bacteriological and anatomical facts, while Reich accused Kreyberg of having failed to recognize living cancer cells under magnification.[101]

Reich sent a sample of the bacteria to a Norwegian biologist, Theodor Thjøtta of the Oslo Bacteriological Institute, who also blamed airborne infection. Kreyberg and Thjøtta's views were published in the country's largest newspaper, Aftenposten, on 19 and 21 April 1938. Kreyberg alleged that "Mr. Reich" knew less about bacteria and anatomy than a first-year medical student. When Reich requested a detailed control study, Kreyberg responded that his work did not merit it.[101]

By February 1938 Reich's visa had expired. Several Norwegian scientists argued against an extension, Kreyberg saying, "If it is a question of handing Dr. Reich over to the Gestapo, then I will fight that, but if one could get rid of him in a decent manner, that would be the best."[102] The writer Sigurd Hoel asked: "When did it become a reason for deportation that one looked in a microscope when one was not a trained biologist?" Reich received support from overseas, first from the anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, who in March wrote to the press in Norway that Reich's sociological works were "a distinct and valuable contribution toward science", and from A. S. Neill, founder of Summerhill, a progressive school in England, who argued that "the campaign against Reich seems largely ignorant and uncivilized, more like fascism than democracy".[97]

Norway was proud of its intellectual tolerance, so the "Reich affair", especially following the country's 1936 expulsion of Leon Trotsky, put Nygaardsvold's government on the spot. A compromise was found. Reich was given his visa, but a royal decree was issued stipulating that anyone wanting to practice psychoanalysis needed a licence, and it was understood that Reich would not be given one. Throughout the affair Reich issued just one public statement, when he asked for a commission to replicate his bion experiments. Sharaf writes that the opposition to his work affected his personality and relationships. He was left humiliated, no longer comfortable in public, and seething with bitterness against the researchers who had denounced him.[103]

Personal life

Reich's home in Frogner, Oslo. A blue plaque, in Norwegian, reads: "The physician and psychoanalyst WILHELM REICH (1897–1957) lived and worked here 1935–39. Developed character analysis and the body-oriented therapy."

According to Sharaf, 1934–1937 was the happiest period of Reich's personal life, despite the professional problems. His relationship with Elsa Lindenberg was good and he considered marrying her. When she became pregnant in 1935, they were initially overjoyed, buying clothes and furniture for the child, but doubts developed for Reich, who saw the future as too unsettled. To Lindenberg's great distress, Sharaf writes, Reich insisted on an abortion, at that time illegal. They went to Berlin, where the psychoanalyst Edith Jacobson helped to arrange it.[104]

In 1937 Reich began an affair with a female patient, an actress who had been married to a colleague of his. According to Sigurd Hoel, the analysis would stop because of the relationship, then the relationship would end and the analysis would start up again. The patient eventually threatened to go to the press, but was persuaded that it would harm her as much as it would Reich. Around the same time, Reich also had an affair with Gerd Bergersen, a 25-year-old Norwegian textile designer.[105]

Despite the affairs, Sharaf writes that, as the newspaper campaign against Reich gained pace, he developed an intense jealousy toward Lindenberg, demanding that she not have a separate life of any kind. He even physically assaulted a composer with whom she was working. Lindenberg considered calling the police but decided Reich could not afford another scandal. His behaviour took its toll on their relationship, and when Reich asked her to accompany him to the United States, she said no.[105]

1939–1957: United States

Teaching, second marriage

When Hitler annexed Austria in March 1938, Reich's ex-wife and daughters had already left for the United States. Later that year, Theodore P. Wolfe, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, traveled to Norway to study under Reich. Wolfe offered to help Reich settle in the States, and managed to arrange an invitation from The New School in New York for Reich to teach a course on "Biological Aspects of Character Formation". Wolfe and Walter Briehl, a former student of Reich's, put up $5,000 to guarantee his visa.[106] Wolfe also pulled strings with Adolph Berle, an official in the State Department.[107] Reich wrote in his diary in May 1939:

I am sitting in a completely empty apartment waiting for my American visa. I have misgivings as to how it will go. ... I am utterly and horribly alone!

It will be quite an undertaking to carry on all the work in America. Essentially, I am a great man, a rarity, as it were. I can't quite believe it myself, however, and that is why I struggle against playing the role of a great man.[108]

He received the visa in August 1939 and sailed out of Norway on 19 August on the SS Stavangerfjord, the last ship to leave for the United States before the war began on 3 September.[107] He began teaching at The New School, where he remained until May 1941, living first at 7502 Kessel Street, Forest Hills, Queens, where he conducted experiments on mice with cancer, injecting them with bions. He built a small Faraday cage to examine the vapors and lights he said the bions were producing.[109] In October 1939 his secretary Gertrud Gaasland introduced him to Ilse Ollendorf, 29 years old at the time. Reich was still in love with Lindenberg, but Ollendorf started organizing his life for him, becoming his bookkeeper and laboratory assistant.[110] They began living together in the Kessel Street house on Christmas Day 1939. She was eight weeks pregnant, but according to Turner he insisted that she have an abortion.[109] Five years later, in 1944, they had a son, Peter, and were married in 1946.[110]

Sharaf writes that Reich's personality changed after his experience in Oslo.[100] He became socially isolated and kept his distance even from old friends and his ex-wife. His students in the United States came to know him as a man that no colleague, no matter how close, called by his first name. In January 1940 he wrote to Lindenberg to end their relationship once and for all, telling her that he was in despair and that he believed he would end up dying like a dog.[111]


Further information: Orgone

Orgone accumulator

It was shortly after he arrived in New York in 1939 that Reich first said he had discovered a biological or cosmic energy, an extension of Freud's idea of the libido. He called it "orgone energy" or "orgone radiation", and the study of it "orgonomy". Reich said he had seen orgone when he injected his mice with bions and in the sky at night through an "organoscope", a special telescope. He argued that it is in the soil and air (indeed, is omnipresent), is blue or blue-grey, and that humanity had divided its knowledge of it in two: aether for the physical aspect and God for the spiritual. The colour of the sky, the northern lights, St Elmo's Fire, and the blue of sexually excited frogs are manifestations of orgone, he wrote. He also argued that protozoa, red corpuscles, cancer cells and the chlorophyll of plants are charged with it.[109][112]

In 1940 he began to build insulated Faraday cages, "orgone accumulators", that he said would concentrate the orgone. The earliest boxes were for laboratory animals. The first human-sized, five-foot-tall box was built in December 1940, and set up in the basement of his house. Turner writes that it was made of plywood lined with rock wool and sheet iron, and had a chair inside and a small window. The boxes had multiple layers of these materials, which caused the orgone concentration inside the box to be three to five times stronger than in the air, Reich said. Patients were expected to sit inside them naked.[113]

The accumulators were tested on plant growth and mice with cancer.[114] Reich wrote to his supporters in July 1941 that orgone is "definitely able to destroy cancerous growth. This is proved by the fact that tumors in all parts of the body are disappearing or diminishing. No other remedy in the world can claim such a thing."[115] Although not licensed to practise medicine in the United States, he began testing the boxes on human beings diagnosed with cancer and schizophrenia. In one case the test had to be stopped prematurely because the subject heard a rumour that Reich was insane; there were stories, which were false, that he had been hospitalized in the Utica State Mental Hospital. In another case the father of an eight-year-old girl with cancer approached him for help, then complained to the American Medical Association that he was practising without a licence.[116] He asked his supporters to stick with him through the criticism, believing that he had developed a grand unified theory of physical and mental health.[117][118]

Experiment with Einstein

Reich discussed orgone accumulators with Albert Einstein during 1941.

In December 1940 Reich wrote to Albert Einstein saying he had a scientific discovery he wanted to discuss, and, in January 1941, visited Einstein at his home in Princeton, where they talked for nearly five hours. He told Einstein that he had discovered a "specific biologically effective energy which behaves in many respects differently to all that is known about electromagnetic energy". He said it could be used against disease, and as a weapon "in the fight against the Fascist pestilence". (Einstein had signed a letter to President Roosevelt in August 1939 to warn of the danger of Nazi Germany building an atom bomb, and had urged the United States to establish its own research project.) Einstein agreed that if an object's temperature could be raised without an apparent heating source, as Reich was suggesting, it would be "a bomb".[119]

Reich was much encouraged by the meeting and hoped he would be invited to join Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study.[119] During their next meeting, he gave Einstein a small accumulator, and over the next 10 days Einstein performed experiments with it in his basement, which involved taking the temperature above, inside and near the device, and stripping it down to its Faraday cage to compare temperatures. He observed an increase of temperature, which Reich argued was caused by orgone.[n 5] One of Einstein's assistants pointed out that the temperature was lower on the floor than on the ceiling.[n 6] Einstein concluded that the effect was simply due to the temperature gradient inside the room. "Through these experiments I regard the matter as completely solved", he wrote to Reich on 7 February 1941.[120]

Reich responded with a 25-page letter in which he tried to change Einstein's mind.[121] To rule out the influence of convection he told Einstein that he had taken certain measures, including introducing a horizontal plate above the accumulator, wrapping it in a blanket, hanging it from the ceiling, burying it underground and placing it outside. He wrote that in all these circumstances the temperature difference remained, and was in fact more marked in the open air.[122][n 7] Einstein did not respond to this or to Reich's future correspondence—Reich would write regularly reporting the results of his experiments—until Reich threatened three years later to publish their previous exchange. Einstein replied that he could not devote any further time to the matter and asked that his name not be misused for advertising purposes. Reich believed that Einstein's change of heart was part of a conspiracy of some kind, perhaps related to the communists or prompted by the rumours that Reich was ill. Reich published the correspondence in 1953 as The Einstein Affair.[124]

Arrested by the FBI

Reich lost his position at the New School in May 1941 after writing to its director, Alvin Johnson, to say he had saved several lives in secret experiments with the accumulator. Johnson was aware of Reich's claims that he could cure cancer, and told him the New School was not an appropriate institution for the work. Reich was also evicted from Kessel Street after his neighbours complained about the animal experiments. His supporters, including Walter Briehl, gave him $14,000 to buy a house, and he settled into 9906 69th Avenue.[125]

Dr. Walter Briehl, a Los Angeles psychiatrist who helped to develop group psychotherapy, died of congestive heart failure Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 85 years old.

Dr. Briehl, who lived in Los Angeles, was a founding member of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He also was past president of the Southern California Psychoanalytic Society.

In earlier years, he had been associated with the staff of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and of Mount Sinai Hospital.

In World War II, Dr. Briehl was a lieutenant colonel in the Army Medical Corps. After the war, he went into private practice and started a number of groups on the West Coast that were the forerunners of today's group psychotherapy.

Key Figure in Passport Case

In 1956 the State Department refused to issue passports to Dr. Briehl, Rockwell Kent, the artist, and Weldon Bruce Dayton, a physicist. Dr. Briehl and Mr. Kent had refused to sign affidavits as to past or present membership in the Communist Party, contending that the State Department regulations deprived them of due process of law.

Mr. Dayton denied under oath that he had associated with Communist espionage agents, but Secretary of State John Foster Dulles refused him a passport on the basis of confidential information.

The case went to the Supreme Court, which overturned the State Department regulations in 1958. The Court ruled, by a vote of 5 to 4, that passports could not be witheld because of ''beliefs and associations,'' but did not address the ultimate constitutional question of whether Congress had the power to do so.

Dr. Briehl, who was born in Paterson, N.J., was a graduate of the University of Vienna and trained at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute from 1924 to 1930.

He is survived by his wife, the former Marie Hurwitz; a son, Dr. Robin of Mamaroneck, N.Y.; a sister, Lillian Eimer of Media, Pa., and a granddaughter.

-- Dr. Walter Briehl, A Pioneer of Group Therapy Methods, by Joan Cook, Dec. 24, 1982, New York Times

On 12 December 1941, five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and a day after Germany declared it was at war with the United States, Reich was arrested in his home at 2 a.m. by the FBI and taken to Ellis Island, where he was held for over three weeks.[126] He identified himself at the time as the Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Orgone Institute.[127] He was at first left to sleep on the floor in a large hall, surrounded by members of the fascist German American Bund, who Reich feared might kill him, but when his psoriasis returned he was transferred to the hospital ward.[128] He was questioned about several books the FBI found when they searched his home, including Hitler's Mein Kampf, Trotsky's My Life, a biography of Lenin and a Russian alphabet book for children. After threatening to go on hunger strike he was released, on 5 January, but his name remained on the "key figures list" of the Enemy Alien Control Unit, which meant he was placed under surveillance.[126]

Turner writes that it seems Reich was the victim of mistaken identity; there was a William Reich who ran a bookstore in New Jersey, which was used to distribute Communist material. The FBI acknowledged the mistake in November 1943 and closed Reich's file.
[129] In 2000 it released 789 pages of the file:

This German immigrant described himself as the Associate Professor of Medical Psychology, Director of the Orgone Institute, President and research physician of the Wilhelm Reich Foundation and discoverer of biological or life energy. A 1940 security investigation was begun to determine the extent of Reich's communist commitments. A board of Alien Enemy Hearing judged that Dr. Reich was not a threat to the security of the U.S. In 1947, a security investigation concluded that neither the Orgone Project nor any of its staff were engaged in subversive activities or were in violation of any statute within the jurisdiction of the FBI.[127]

Purchase of Orgonon

Wilhelm Reich Museum, Orgonon

Further information: Orgonon

In November 1942 Reich purchased an old farm for $4,000 on Dodge Pond, Maine, near Rangeley, with 280 acres (1.1 km2) of land. Calling it Orgonon, he started spending summers there, and had a one-room cabin built in 1943, a laboratory in 1945, a larger cabin in 1946 and an observatory in 1948.[130]

In 1950 he decided to live there year-round, and in May that year moved from New York with Ilse, their son, Peter, and Reich's daughter Eva, with the idea of creating a centre for the study of orgone. Several colleagues moved there with him, including two physicians with an interest in orgone, and Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Press Institute.[131] The artist William Moise joined Reich as an assistant at Orgonon, later marrying Eva Reich.[132] Orgonon still houses the Wilhelm Reich Museum, as well as holiday cottages available to rent, one of which is the cottage in which the Reichs lived.[133]

1947–1957: Legal problems

Brady articles, FDA

Until 1947 Reich enjoyed a largely uncritical press in the United States. One journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, had called orgone a "surrealist creation", but his psychoanalytic work had been discussed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry, The Nation had given his writing positive reviews, and he was listed in American Men of Science.[134]

August 1947 letter from the FDA about Reich, referencing the Brady article

His reputation took a sudden downturn in April and May 1947, when articles by Mildred Edie Brady were published in Harper's and The New Republic, the latter entitled "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich", with the subhead, "The man who blames both neuroses and cancer on unsatisfactory sexual activities has been repudiated by only one scientific journal."[98] Brady's ultimate target was not Reich but psychoanalysis, which according to Turner she saw as akin to astrology.[135]

Of Reich she wrote: "Orgone, named after the sexual orgasm, is, according to Reich, a cosmic energy. It is, in fact, the cosmic energy. Reich has not only discovered it; he has seen it, demonstrated it and named a town—Orgonon, Maine—after it. Here he builds accumulators of it, which are rented out to patients, who presumably derive 'orgastic potency' from it."[98][n 8] She claimed, falsely, that he had said the accumulators could cure not only impotence but cancer.[7] Brady argued that the "growing Reich cult" had to be dealt with.[137] On his copy of the New Republic article, Reich wrote "THE SMEAR". He issued a press release, but no one published it.[138]

In July 1947 Dr. J. J. Durrett, director of the Medical Advisory Division of the Federal Trade Commission, wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to investigate Reich's claims about the health benefits of orgone. The FDA assigned an investigator to the case, who learned that Reich had built 250 accumulators. The FDA concluded that they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude". According to Sharaf, the FDA suspected a sexual racket of some kind; questions were asked about the women associated with orgonomy and "what was done with them".[139] From that point on, Reich's work came increasingly to the attention of the authorities.[140]

Orgonomic Infant Research Center

Reich established the Orgonomic Infant Research Center (OIRC) in 1950, with the aim of preventing muscular armouring in children from birth. Meetings were held in the basement of his house in Forest Hills. Turner wrote that several children who were treated by OIRC therapists later said they had been sexually abused by the therapists, although not by Reich. One woman said she was assaulted by one of Reich's associates when she was five years old. Children were asked to stand naked in front of Reich and a group of 30 therapists in his basement, while Reich described the children's "blockages".[141] Reich's daughter, Lore Reich Rubin, told Turner that she believed her father was an abuser, although she did not say she had been abused by him, and she acknowledged that she had no evidence. She believed that Reich himself had been abused as a child, which is why he developed such an interest in sex and childhood sexuality.[23]

The sexual allegations apart, several people discussed how the vegetotherapy had hurt them physically as children, as therapists pressed hard on the body to loosen muscular armour. Reich's son, Peter, wrote in his autobiography, Book of Dreams (1973) about the pain this had caused him.[142] Susanna Steig, the daughter of William Steig, the New Yorker cartoonist, wrote about being pressed so hard during Reichian therapy that she had difficulty breathing, and said that a woman therapist had sexually assaulted her. According to Turner, a nurse complained in 1952 to the New York Medical Society that an OIRC therapist had taught her five-year-old son how to masturbate. The therapist was arrested, but the case was dropped when Reich agreed to close the OIRC.[143]

Divorce, cloudbusters

Further information: Cloudbuster

Reich with one of his cloudbusters

Reich and Ilse Ollendorff divorced in September 1951, ostensibly because he thought she had had an affair. She continued working with him for another three years. Even after the divorce, he suspected her of having affairs, and persuaded her to sign confessions about her feelings of fear and hatred toward him, which he locked away in the archives of his Orgone Institute. He wrote several documents denouncing her, while having an affair himself with Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Institute Press.[144]

In 1951, Reich said he had discovered another energy that he called deadly orgone radiation (DOR), accumulations of which played a role in desertification. He designed a "cloudbuster", rows of 15-foot aluminium pipes mounted on a mobile platform, connected to cables that were inserted into water. He believed that it could unblock orgone energy in the atmosphere and cause rain.
Turner described it as an "orgone box turned inside out".[145]

He conducted dozens of experiments with the cloudbuster, calling his research "Cosmic Orgone Engineering". During a drought in 1953, two farmers in Maine offered to pay him if he could make it rain to save their blueberry crop. Reich used the cloudbuster on the morning of 6 July, and according to Bangor's Daily News—based on an account from an anonymous eyewitness who was probably Peter Reich—rain began to fall that evening. The crop survived, the farmers declared themselves satisfied, and Reich received his fee.[146][n 9]


Over the years the FDA interviewed physicians, Reich's students and his patients, asking about the orgone accumulators.[140] A professor at the University of Oregon who bought an accumulator told an FDA inspector that he knew the device was phoney, but found it helpful because his wife sat quietly in it for four hours every day.[148]

The attention of the FDA triggered belligerent responses from Reich, who called them "HiGS" (hoodlums in government) and the tools of red fascists. He developed a delusion that he had powerful friends in government, including President Eisenhower, who he believed would protect him, and that the U.S. Air Force was flying over Orgonon to make sure that he was all right.[140] On 29 July 1952 three inspectors arrived at Orgonon unannounced. Sharaf writes that Reich detested unannounced visitors; he had once chased some people away with a gun just for looking at an adjacent property. He told the inspectors they had to read his work before he would interact with them, and ordered them to leave.[140]

In February 1954 the United States Attorney for the District of Maine filed a 27-page complaint seeking a permanent injunction under Sections 301 and 302 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prevent interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and to ban promotional literature.[149] Reich refused to appear in court, arguing that no court was in a position to evaluate his work. In a letter to Judge John D. Clifford, Jr. in February, he wrote:

My factual position in the case as well as in the world of science of today does not permit me to enter the case against the Food and Drug Administration, since such action would, in my mind, imply admission of the authority of this special branch of the government to pass judgment on primordial, pre-atomic cosmic orgone energy. I, therefore, rest the case in full confidence in your hands.[150]

The injunction was granted by default on 19 March 1954. The judge ordered that all accumulators, parts and instructions be destroyed, and that several of Reich's books that mentioned orgone be withheld.[151]

Chasing UFOs

Reich argued that orgone was responsible for the colour of the northern lights.

According to Turner, the injunction triggered a further deterioration in Reich's mental health. From at least early 1954, he came to believe that the planet was under attack by UFOs, or "energy alphas", as he called them. He said he often saw them flying over Orgonon—shaped like thin cigars with windows—leaving streams of black Deadly Orgone Radiation in their wake, which he believed the aliens were scattering to destroy the Earth.[152]

He and his son would spend their nights searching for UFOs through telescopes and binoculars, and when they believed they had found one would roll out the cloudbuster to suck the energy out of it. Reich claimed he had shot several of them down. Armed with two cloudbusters, they fought what Reich called a "full-scale interplanetary battle" in Arizona, where he had rented a house as a base station.[153] In Contact with Space (1956), he wrote of the "very remote possibility" that his own father had been from outer space.[154]

In late 1954 Reich began an affair with Grethe Hoff, a former patient. Hoff was married to another former student and patient of his, the psychologist Myron Sharaf, who decades later, with his Fury on Earth (1983), became Reich's main biographer. Hoff and Sharaf had had their first child the year before Hoff left him for Reich; the marriage was never repaired although the affair had ended by June 1955.[155] Two months later Reich began another relationship, this time with Aurora Karrer, a medical researcher, and, in November, he moved out of Orgonon to an apartment in Alban Towers, Washington, D.C., to live with her, using the pseudonym Dr. Walter Roner.[156]

Contempt of court

While Reich was in Arizona in May 1956, one of his associates sent an accumulator part through the mail to another state, in violation of the injunction, after an FDA inspector posing as a customer requested it.[157] Reich and another associate, Dr. Michael Silvert, were charged with contempt of court; Silvert had been looking after the inventory in Reich's absence. Reich at first refused to attend court, and was arrested and held for two days until a supporter posted bail of $30,000.[158]

Representing himself during the hearing, he admitted the violation but pleaded not guilty and hinted at conspiracies. During a recess the judge apparently suggested a psychiatric evaluation to Reich's ex-wife, Ilse Ollendorff, but this was not communicated to Reich. The jury found him guilty on 7 May 1956, and he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Silvert was sentenced to a year and a day, the Wilhelm Reich Foundation was fined $10,000, and the accumulators and associated literature were to be destroyed.[158]

Book burning

A.S. Neill

On 5 June 1956 two FDA officials arrived at Orgonon to supervise the destruction of the accumulators. Most of them had been sold by that time and another 50 were with Silvert in New York. Only three were at Orgonon. The FDA agents were not allowed to destroy them, only to supervise the destruction, so Reich's friends and his son, Peter, chopped them up with axes as the agents watched.[159] Once they were destroyed, Reich placed an American flag on top of them.[160]

On 26 June the agents returned to supervise the destruction of the promotional material, including 251 copies of Reich's books.[160] The American Civil Liberties Union issued a press release criticizing the book burning, although coverage of the release was poor, and Reich ended up asking them not to help because he was annoyed that they had failed to criticize the destruction of the accumulators. In England A.S. Neill and the poet Herbert Read signed a letter of protest, but it was never published. On 23 July the remaining accumulators in New York were destroyed by S. A. Collins and Sons, who had built them.[161]

On 23 August six tons of Reich's books, journals and papers were burned in New York, in the Gansevoort incinerator, the public incinerator on 25th Street. The material included copies of several of his books, including The Sexual Revolution, Character Analysis and The Mass Psychology of Fascism. Although these had been published in German before Reich ever discussed orgone, he had added mention of it to the English editions, so they were caught by the injunction.[162] It has been cited as one of the worst examples of censorship in U.S. history.[n 2] As with the accumulators, the FDA was supposed only to observe the destruction. The psychiatrist Victor Sobey (d. 1995), an associate of Reich's, wrote:

All the expenses and labor had to be provided by the [Orgone Institute] Press. A huge truck with three to help was hired. I felt like people who, when they are to be executed, are made to dig their own graves first and are then shot and thrown in. We carried box after box of the literature.[163]


Reich's record card from the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary.

Reich appealed the lower court's decision in October 1956, but the Court of Appeals upheld it on 11 December.[164] He wrote several times to J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, requesting a meeting,[165] and appealed to the Supreme Court, which decided on 25 February 1957 not to review the case.[166] On 12 March 1957 Reich and Silvert were sent to Danbury Federal Prison. (Silvert committed suicide in May 1958, five months after his release.)[167] Richard C. Hubbard, a psychiatrist who admired Reich, examined him on admission, recording paranoia manifested by delusions of grandiosity, persecution, and ideas of reference:

The patient feels that he has made outstanding discoveries. Gradually over a period of many years he has explained the failure of his ideas in becoming universally accepted by the elaboration of psychotic thinking. "The Rockerfellows [sic] are against me." (Delusion of grandiosity.) "The airplanes flying over prison are sent by the Air Force to encourage me." (Ideas of reference and grandiosity.)[168]

On 19 March Reich was transferred to the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary and examined again. This time it was decided that he was mentally competent and that his personality seemed intact, though he might become psychotic when stressed.[168] A few days later, on his 60th birthday, he wrote to his son, Peter, then 13:

I am in Lewisburg. I am calm, certain in my thoughts, and doing mathematics most of the time. I am kind of "above things", fully aware of what is up. Do not worry too much about me, though anything might happen. I know, Pete, that you are strong and decent. At first I thought that you should not visit me here. I do not know. With the world in turmoil I now feel that a boy your age should experience what is coming his way—fully digest it without getting a "belly ache", so to speak, nor getting off the right track of truth, fact, honesty, fair play, and being above board—never a sneak ... .[169]

He applied for a presidential pardon in May, to no avail. Peter visited him in jail several times, where one prisoner said Reich was known as the "flying saucer guy" and the "Sex Box man".[170] Reich told Peter that he cried a lot, and wanted Peter to let himself cry too, believing that tears are the "great softener". His last letter to his son was on 22 October 1957, when he said he was looking forward to being released on 10 November, having served one third of his sentence. A parole hearing had been scheduled for a few days before that date. He wrote that he and Peter had a date for a meal at the Howard Johnson restaurant near Peter's school.[18]


Reich failed to appear for roll call on 3 November 1957 and was found at 7 a.m. in his bed, fully clothed but for his shoes. The prison doctor said he had died during the night of "myocardial insufficiency with sudden heart failure".[18] He was buried in a vault at Orgonon that he had asked his caretaker to dig in 1955. He had left instructions that there was to be no religious ceremony, but that a record should be played of Schubert's "Ave Maria" sung by Marian Anderson, and that his granite headstone should read simply: "Wilhelm Reich, Born March 24, 1897, Died ... "[171] None of the academic journals carried an obituary. Time magazine wrote on 18 November 1957:

Died. Wilhelm Reich, 60, once-famed psychoanalyst, associate and follower of Sigmund Freud, founder of the Wilhelm Reich Foundation, lately better known for unorthodox sex and energy theories; of a heart attack; in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, Pa; where he was serving a two-year term for distributing his invention, the "orgone energy accumulator" (in violation of the Food and Drug Act), a telephone-booth-size device that supposedly gathered energy from the atmosphere, and could cure, while the patient sat inside, common colds, cancer, and impotence.[172]

Reception and legacy


The psychoanalyst Richard Sterba wrote in 1982 that Reich had been a brilliant clinician and teacher in the 1920s; even the older analysts had wanted to attend his technical seminars in Vienna.[173] But according to Sharaf, they came to consider Reich as paranoid and belligerent.[174] Psychologist Luis Cordon wrote that Reich's slide from respectability concluded with the consensus inside and outside the psychoanalytic community that he was at best a crackpot and perhaps seriously ill.[175]

There were inaccurate rumours from the late 1920s that he had been hospitalized.[176] Paul Federn became Reich's second analyst in 1922; he later said he had detected "incipient schizophrenia" and called Reich a psychopath. Similarly, Sandor Rado had Reich as an analyst and in 1931 and declared him schizophrenic "in the most serious way". Reich's daughter, Lore Reich Rubin, a psychiatrist, believed that he had bipolar and had been sexually abused as a child.[177]

Sharaf argued that psychoanalysts tended to dismiss as ill anyone from within the fold who had transgressed, and this was never done so relentlessly as with Reich. His work was split into the pre-psychotic "good" and the post-psychotic "bad", the date of the illness's onset depending on which parts of his work a speaker disliked. Psychoanalysts preferred to see him as sane in the 1920s because of his work on character, while political radicals regarded him as sane in the 1930s because of his Marxist-oriented research.[174] - Despite Reich's precarious mental health, his work on character and the idea of muscular armouring contributed to the development of what is now known as ego psychology, gave rise to body psychotherapy, and helped shape the Gestalt therapy of Fritz Perls, the bioenergetic analysis of Reich's student Alexander Lowen, and the primal therapy of Arthur Janov.[178]


Norman Mailer owned several orgone accumulators.[179]

Reich's work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including Saul Bellow, William Burroughs and Norman Mailer, and the founder of Summerhill School in England, A. S. Neill.[180] The French philosopher Michel Foucault wrote in The History of Sexuality (1976) that the impact of Reich's critique of sexual repression had been substantial.[181]

The Austrian-American philosopher Paul Edwards said that the FDA's pursuit of Reich had intensified Edwards' attachment to him. He wrote in 1977 that for years he and his friends regarded Reich as "something akin to a messiah".
[182] Paul Mathews and John M. Bell started teaching a course on Reich in 1968 at New York University through its Division of Continuing Study, and it was still being taught at the time Sharaf was writing Reich's biography in 1983, making it the longest-running course ever taught in that division.[183]

Several well-known figures used orgone accumulators, including Orson Bean, Sean Connery, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Goodman, Jack Kerouac, Isaac Rosenfeld, J. D. Salinger, William Steig and Robert Anton Wilson.[180] Mailer—who owned several orgone accumulators, including some in the shape of eggs—wrote about Reich enthusiastically in The Village Voice, as a result of which Orgonon became a place of pilgrimage and the orgasm a symbol of liberation.[179]

Popular culture

"Cloudbusting" (1985) by Kate Bush

Reich continued to influence popular culture after his death. Turner writes that the evil Dr. Durand Durand in the feature film Barbarella (1968) seems to be based on Reich; he places Barbarella (Jane Fonda) in his Excessive Machine so that she would die of pleasure, but rather than killing her the machine burns out.[184] A film about Reich and the implications of his ideas, W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (1971), was directed by Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev. An orgone accumulator made an appearance as the Orgasmatron in Woody Allen's comedy feature film Sleeper (1973). The use of orgone accumulators, a cloudbuster and representations of Reich's orgone therapy with patients, together with a snapshot of the FDA's hostile actions against Reich were dramatised in a short film called 'It Can Be Done', which was made by British director Jon East in 1999.[185] The film screened at the 56th Venice Film Festival on 11 September 1999.[186]

Patti Smith's "Birdland" on her album Horses (1975) is based on Reich's life.[187] Hawkwind's song "Orgone Accumulator", on their album Space Ritual (1973) is named for his invention.[188] In Bob Dylan's "Joey" from Desire (1975), the eponymous gangster spends his time in prison reading Nietzsche and Reich. Reich is also a character in the opera Marilyn (1980) by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero.[189]

Orgone chair, by Marc Newson (1993)

Kate Bush's single "Cloudbusting" (1985) described Reich's arrest through the eyes of his son, Peter, who wrote his father's story in A Book of Dreams (1973). The video for the song features Donald Sutherland as Reich and Bush as Peter.[190] Robert Anton Wilson's play, Wilhelm Reich in Hell (1987), is about Reich's confrontation with the American government.[191] Four-beat Rhythm: The Writings of Wilhelm Reich (2013) is a compilation album on which Reich's writings are adapted to music.[192] The Australian designer Marc Newson has produced a range of orgone furniture, most famously his Orgone Chair (1993).[193] In James Reich's novel Soft Invasions (2017), a fictionalized Wilhelm Reich is treating a Hollywood mogul using an orgone accumulator.[194]
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The mainstream scientific community dismissed Reich's orgone theory as pseudoscience.[n 10] James Strick, a historian of science at Franklin and Marshall College, wrote in 2015 that the dominant narrative since Reich's death has been that "there is no point in looking more closely at Reich's science because there was no legitimate science from Reich".[198]

From 1960, apparently in response to the book burning, the New York publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux began republishing his major works.[199] Reichian physicians organized study groups. In 1967 one of his associates, Dr. Elsworth Baker, established the bi-annual Journal of Orgonomy, still published as of 2015, and in 1968 founded the American College of Orgonomy in Princeton, New Jersey.[200] According to Sharaf, contributors to the Journal of Orgonomy who worked in academia often used pseudonyms.[201] The Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory was founded in 1978 by James DeMeo and the Institute for Orgonomic Science in 1982 by Morton Herskowitz.[202]

There was renewed interest in November 2007, when the Reich archives at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University were unsealed; Reich had left instructions that his unpublished papers be stored for 50 years after his death.[203] James Strick began studying Reich's laboratory notebooks from the 1935–1939 bion experiments in Norway.[204] In 2015 Harvard University Press published Strick's Wilhelm Reich, Biologist, in which he writes that Reich's work in Oslo "represented the cutting edge of light microscopy and time-lapse micro-cinematography".[205] He argues that the dominant narrative of Reich as a pseudoscientist is incorrect and that Reich's story is "much more complex and interesting".[198]

Speaking to Christopher Turner in 2011, Reich's son, Peter, said of his father, "He was a nineteenth-century scientist; he wasn't a twentieth-century scientist. He didn't practice science the way scientists do today. He was a nineteenth-century mind who came crashing into twentieth-century America. And boom!"[206]



Selected early papers

• "Über einen Fall von Durchbruch der Inzestschranke" ("About a Case of Breaching the Incest Taboo"), Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, VII, 1920
• "Triebbegriffe von Forel bis Jung" ("Forel's Argument Against Jung"), "Der Koitus und die Geschlechter" ("Sexual Intercourse and Gender"), Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, 1921
• "Über Spezifität der Onanieformen" ("Concerning Specific Forms of Masturbation"), Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, VIII, 1922
• "Zur Triebenergetik" ("The Drive for Power"), Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, 1923
• "Kindliche Tagträume einer späteren Zwangsneurose" ("Childhood Daydreams of a Later Neurosis"), Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1923
• "Über Genitalität" ("About Genitality"), Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, IX, 1923
• "Die Rolle der Genitalität in der Neurosentherapie" ("The Role of Genitality in the Treatment of Neurosis"), Zeitschrif für Ärztliche Psychotherapie (Journal for Medical Psychotherapy), IX, 1923
• "Der Tic als Onanieequivalent" ("The Tic as a Masturbation Equivalent"), Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, 1924
• "Die therapeutische Bedeutung der Genitallibido" ("The Therapeutic Importance of Genital Libido"), and "Über Genitalität vom Standpunkt der psa. Prognose und Libidotheorie". ("On Genitality from the Standpoint of PENSA. Prognosis and Libido Theory") Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, X, 1924
• "Eine hysterische Psychose in statu nascendi" ("Hysterical Psychosis in Statu Nascendi"), Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, XI, 1925
• Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend, Sexpol Verlag, 1932 (pamphlet)
• "Dialektischer Materialismus und Psychoanalyse", Kopenhagen: Verlag für Sexualpolitik, 1934 (pamphlet)


• Der triebhafte Charakter: Eine psychoanalytische Studie zur Pathologie des Ich, Wien: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1925
• Die Funktion des Orgasmus: Zur Psychopathologie und zur Soziologie des Geschlechtslebens, Wien: Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1927
• Sexualerregung und Sexualbefriedigung, Münster Verlag, 1929
• Geschlechtsreife, Enthaltsamkeit, Ehemoral: Eine Kritik der bürgerlichen Sexualreform, 1930
• Der Einbruch der Sexualmoral: Zur Geschichte der sexuellen Ökonomie, Kopenhagen: Verlag für Sexualpolitik, 1932, 2nd edition 1935
• Charakteranalyse: Technik und Grundlagen für studierende und praktizierende Analytiker, Berlin, 1933
• Massenpsychologie des Faschismus, 1933
• Was ist Klassenbewußtsein?: Über die Neuformierung der Arbeiterbewegung, 1934
• Psychischer Kontakt und vegetative Strömung, 1935
• Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf: Zur sozialistischen Umstrukturierung des Menschen, 1936
• Experimentelle Ergebniße Über Die Elektrische Funktion von Sexualität und Angst, 1937
• Menschen im Staat, 1937
• Die Bione: Zur Entstehung des vegetativen Lebens, Sexpol Verlag, 1938
• Die Entdeckung des Orgons Erster Teil: Die Funktion des Orgasmus, 1942
• Rede an den kleinen Mann, 1945


• (ed.) Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie und Sexualökonomie (Journal for Political Psychology and Sex-Economy), using pseudonym Ernst Parell, 1934–1938
• (ed.) Klinische und Experimentelle Berichte (Clinical and Experimental Report), c. 1937–1939 English
• The Discovery of Orgone, Volume 1: The Function of the Orgasm, 1942 (Die Entdeckung des Orgons Erster Teil: Die Funktion des Orgasmus, translated by Theodore P. Wolfe)
• Character Analysis, 1945 (Charakteranalyse, translated by Theodore P. Wolfe)
• The Sexual Revolution, 1945 (Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf, translated by Theodore P. Wolfe)
• The Mass Psychology of Fascism, 1946 (Massenpsychologie des Faschismus, translated by Theodore P. Wolfe)
• The Discovery of Orgone, Volume 2: The Cancer Biopathy, 1948
• Listen, Little Man!, 1948 (Rede an den kleinen Mann, translated by Theodore P. Wolfe)
• The Orgone Energy Accumulator, Its Scientific and Medical Use, 1948
• Ether, God and Devil, 1949
• Cosmic Superimposition: Man's Orgonotic Roots in Nature, 1951
• The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality, 1951
• The Oranur Experiment: First Report (1947–1951), 1951
• The Murder of Christ (The Emotional Plague of Mankind), 1953
• People in Trouble (The Emotional Plague of Mankind), 1953 (Menschen im Staat)
• The Einstein Affair, 1953
• Contact with Space: Oranur Second Report, 1951–1956, 1957


• (ed.) International Journal of Sex-Economy & Orgone Research, 1942–1945
• (ed.) Annals of the Orgone Institute, 1947–1949
• (ed.) Orgone Energy Bulletin, 1949–1953
• (ed.) CORE – Cosmic Orgone Engineering, 1954–1955


• Selected Writings: An Introduction to Orgonomy, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1960
• Reich Speaks of Freud, Souvenir Press, 1967
• Sexpol. Essays 1929–1934, Random House, 1972
• The Sexual Struggle of Youth, Socialist Reproduction, 1972 (Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend)
• Early Writings: Volume One, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1975
• The Bion Experiments: On the Origin of Life, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1979 (Die Bione: Zur Entstehung des vegetativen Lebens)
• Genitality in the Theory and Therapy of Neurosis, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980
• Record of a Friendship: The Correspondence of Wilhelm Reich and A.S. Neill (1936–1957), 1981
• The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety, 1982
• Children of the Future: On the Prevention of Sexual Pathology, 1983 (the chapter entitled "The Sexual Rights of Youth" is a revision of Der Sexuelle Kampf der Jugend)
• Reich's autobiographical writings in four volumes:
o Mary Boyd Higgins and Chester M. Raphael (eds.), Passion of Youth: An Autobiography, 1897–1922. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1988
o Mary Boyd Higgins (ed.), Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals 1934–1939, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994
o Mary Boyd Higgins (ed.), American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940–1947, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999
o Mary Boyd Higgins (ed.), Where's the Truth?: Letters and Journals, 1948–1957, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012

See also

• Media related to Wilhelm Reich at Wikimedia Commons
• Quotations related to Wilhelm Reich at Wikiquote
• Aether (classical element)
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1. Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, 2008: "Reich, a year and a half younger than Anna Freud, was the youngest instructor at the Training Institute, where his classes on psychoanalytic technique, later presented in a book called Character Analysis, were crucial to his whole group of contemporaries."[3]
Richard Sterba (psychoanalyst), 1982: "This book [Character Analysis] serves even today as an excellent introduction to psychoanalytic technique. In my opinion, Reich's understanding of and technical approach to resistance prepared the way for Anna Freud's Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936)."[4]
Harry Guntrip, 1961: " ... the two important books of the middle 1930s, Character Analysis (1935) by Wilhelm Reich and The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence (1936) by Anna Freud."[5]
2. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015: "From 1956 to 1960 many of his writings and his equipment were seized and destroyed by FDA officials. In the 21st century some considered this wholesale destruction to be one of the most blatant examples of censorship in U.S. history."[16]
James Strick (historian of science), 2015: "In 1956 and again in 1960, officers of the U.S. government supervised the public burning of the books and scientific instruments of Austrian-born scientist Wilhelm Reich. This was one of the most heinous acts of censorship in U.S. history, as New York publisher Roger Straus was heard to remark many times over decades afterward, explaining why his firm, Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, steadfastly brought all of Reich's published works back into print beginning in 1960."[17]
3. Myron Sharaf, 1994: Sharaf writes about Sandor Rado's diagnosis of an "insidious psychotic process" that Reich's personality and views were seen as "dangerous", that Federn regarded Reich as a "psychopath", and that Annie Reich and Otto Fenichel concurred.[47]
Christopher Turner, 2011: "Paul Federn, who had lobbied to exclude Reich from the executive committee since the late twenties, now went so far as to label him a psychopath who slept with all his female patients. 'Either Reich goes or I go,' he said. [Sandor] Rado, who in 1930 had described Reich as suffering from a 'mild paranoid tendency', now claimed to have observed signs of an 'insidious psychotic process' at that time, and Federn also later maintained he had detected 'incipient schizophrenia' during his analysis of Reich."[48]
4. Freud's letter read: "Dear Dr. Reich, I took plenty of time, but finally I did read the manuscript which you dedicated to me for my anniversary. I find the book valuable, rich in observation and thought. As you know, I am in no way opposed to your attempt to solve the problem of neurasthenia by explaining it on the basis of the absence of genital primacy."[60]
5. Einstein to Reich, 7 February 1941: "I have now investigated your apparatus ... In the beginning I made enough readings without any changes in your arrangements. The box-thermometer showed regularly a temperature of about 0.3-0.4 higher than the one suspended freely."[120]
6. Einstein to Reich, 7 February 1941: "One of my assistants now drew my attention to the fact that in the room ... the temperature on the floor is always lower than the one on the ceiling."[120]
7. Reich to Einstein: "The original arrangement of the apparatus results, under all circumstances, in a temperature difference between the thermometer in the box and the control thermometer, in the absence of any known kind of constant heat source."[123]
8. According to his estate, Reich rejected the idea that the accumulator could provide orgastic potency. He wrote in 1950: "The orgone accumulator, as has been clearly stated in the relevant publications (The Cancer Biopathy, etc.), cannot provide orgastic potency."[136]
9. Bangor's Daily News reported on 24 July 1953: "Dr. Reich and three assistants set up their 'rain-making device off the shore of Grand Lake, near the Bangor hydro-electric dam ... The device, a set of hollow tubes, suspended over a small cylinder, connected by a cable, conducted a 'drawing' operation for about an hour and ten minutes ...
"According to a reliable source in Ellsworth, the following climactic changes took place in that city on the night of July 6 and the early morning of July 7: 'Rain began to fall shortly after ten o'clock Monday evening, first as a drizzle and then by midnight as a gentle, steady rain. Rain continued throughout the night, and a rainfall of 0.24 inches was recorded in Ellsworth the following morning.'
"A puzzled witness to the 'rain-making' process said: 'The queerest looking clouds you ever saw began to form soon after they got the thing rolling.' And later the same witness said the scientists were able to change the course of the wind by manipulation of the device."[147]
10. Kenneth S. Isaacs (psychoanalyst), 1999: "Orgone—a useless fiction with faulty basic premises, thin partial theory, and unsubstantiated application results. It was quickly discredited and cast away."[195]
Henry H. Bauer, 2000: "Reich's personal charisma seems to have misled some number of people into taking his 'science' seriously. His outward behavior was not inconsistent with that of a mainstream scientific investigator. In the light of everyday common sense rather than of deep technical knowledge, his ideas could seem highly defensible. For those who lack familiarity with the real science of matters Reich dealt with, why would orgone be less believable than black holes, a bounded yet infinite universe, or "dark matter" ... ?"[196]
Jon E. Roeckelein (psychologist), 2006: "The current consensus of scientific opinion is that Reich's orgone theory is basically a psychoanalytic system gone awry, and is an approach that represents something most ludicrous and totally dismissible."[197]


1. Danto 2007, p. 43.
2. For radicalism, Sheppard (Time magazine) 1973; Danto 2007, p. 43; Turner 2011, p. 114.
For The Mass Psychology of Fascism and Character Analysis, Sharaf 1994, pp. 163–164, 168; for The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Turner 2011, p. 152; for The Sexual Revolution, Stick 2015, p. 1.
3. Young-Bruehl 2008, p. 157.
4. Sterba 1982, p. 35.
5. Guntrip 1961, p. 105.
6. For Anna Freud: Bugental, Schneider and Pierson 2001, p. 14, and Sterba 1982, p. 35.
For Perls, Lowen and Janov: Sharaf 1994, p. 4
7. Strick 2015, p. 2.
8. Elkind (New York Times) 18 April 1971; Turner 2011, pp. 13–14; Strick 2015, p. 2.
9. Sharaf 1994, p. 66; Danto 2007, p. 83.
10. For Danto's description of Reich, Danto 2007, p. 118.
That he visited patients in their homes, Grossinger 1982, p. 278, and Turner 2011, p. 82.
For the issues he promoted, Turner 2011, p. 114, and Sharaf 1994, pp. 4–5, 347, 481–482.
For orgastic potency and neurosis, Corrington 2003, p. 75; and Turner (New York Times), 23 September 2011.
11. Turner 2011, p. 114.
12. Sharaf 1994, p. 169.
13. Sharaf 1994, pp. 234–235; Danto 2007, p. 120.
14. Sharaf 1994, pp. 301–306; that Reich said God was the spiritual aspect of orgone and the ether the physical, p. 472; Reich, Ether, God and Devil, 1949, pp. 39ff, 50.
15. For the articles, Brady, April 1947; Brady, 26 May 1947. For "fraud of the first magnitude", Sharaf 1994, p. 364.
16. "Wilhelm Reich", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015; Sharaf 1994, pp. 460–461.
17. Strick 2015, p. 1.
18. Sharaf 1994, p. 477.
19. Sharaf 1994, p. 36.
20. Sharaf 1994, pp. 37.
21. Sharaf 1994, pp. 39, 463; Corrington 2003, pp. 90–91; Reich, Passion of Youth, p. 3.
22. Corrington 2003, pp. 5, 22; Reich, Passion of Youth, pp. 6, 22, 25, 42, 46.
23. Turner 2011, p. 323.
24. Turner 2011, pp. 42–43; Corrington 2003, pp. 6–10; Sharaf 1994, pp. 42–46; Reich, Passion of Youth, pp. 31–38; Reich, "Über einen Fall von Durchbruch der Inzestschranke", Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, VII, 1920.
25. Sharaf 1994, pp. 47–48; Reich, Passion of Youth, pp. 46–47.
26. Sharaf 1994, pp. 47–48; Turner 2011, pp. 47–48; Reich, Passion of Youth, p. 50.
27. Turner 2011, p. 50; Reich, Passion of Youth, p. 58.
28. Turner 2011, pp. 23–26, 31–32, 34–35.
29. Sharaf 1994, pp. 54–55.
30. Turner 2011, pp. 18–19, 39.
31. Turner 2011, pp. 55–57; Corrington 2003, pp. 23–25; Reich, Passion of Youth, pp. 125–126.
32. Turner 2011, p. 56.
33. Turner 2011, pp. 57–59.
34. Sharaf 1994, pp. 108–109.
35. Strick 2015, p. 1; Turner 2011, p. 59.
36. Sharaf 1994, p. 67.
37. Danto 2007, p. 138.
38. Danto 2007, pp. 2, 90–93, 241; Turner (London Review of Books), 6 October 2005; Danto 1998.
39. Danto 2007, p. 137. For character armour, Yontef and Jacobs 2010, p. 348.
40. Blumenfeld 2006, p. 135.
41. Danto 2007, p. 137.
42. Bocian 2010, p. 205ff.
43. Sharaf 1994, p. 131.
44. Reich, Der triebhafte Charakter, 1925.
45. Danto 2007, p. 125.
46. Sharaf 1994, p. 84.
47. Sharaf 1994, p. 194.
48. Turner 2011, p. 167.
49. Sharaf 1994, p. 73.
50. Sharaf 1994, p. 91; for "Steckenpferd", Danto 2007, p. 138.
51. Strick 2015, p. 11.
52. Reich, Reich Speaks of Freud, p. 24, quoted in Turner 2011, p. 80.
53. Sharaf 1994, pp. 178–179. For Reich's view that psychic health depends on orgastic potency, Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, p. 6.
54. Sharaf 1994, p. 86.
55. Turner 2011, pp. 87–88, 103–108; Corrington 2003, pp. 96–97.
56. Turner 2011, p. 108, quoting Reich, People in Trouble, p. 7.
57. Danto 2007, pp. 118–120, 137, 198, 208; Sharaf 1994, p. 129ff; Turner (Guardian) 2013.
58. Danto 2007, pp. 115–116.
59. Sharaf 1994, pp. 91–92, 100.
60. Sharaf 1994, pp. 100–101.
61. Sharaf 1994, p. 154.
62. "Freud to Lou Andreas-Salomé, May 9, 1928", The International Psycho-analytical Library.
63. Sharaf 1994, pp. 142–143, 249.
64. Lee Baxandall (ed.), Sex-Pol: Essays, 1929-1934, London: Verso.
65. Sharaf 1994, pp. 169–171.
66. Corrington 2003, pp. 133–134.
67. Greenberg and Safran 1990, pp. 20–21.
68. Strick 2015, p. 18.
69. Corrington 2003, p. 90.
70. For Lindenberg, see Karina and Kant 2004, pp. 54–55.
71. Sharaf 1994, p. 170.
72. Turner 2011, pp. 150–154.
73. Turner 2011, pp. 154–155.
74. Danto 2007, p. 270.
75. Turner 2011, p. 158.
76. Corrington 2003, p. 181.
77. Sharaf 1994, pp. 234–235, 241–242.
78. Sharaf 1994, p. 242.
79. Turner 2011, p. 9.
80. Sharaf 1994, pp. 234–235.
81. Sharaf 1994, pp. 238–241, 243; Reich, Function of the Orgasm, p. 5.
82. "she got rid of him"- BBC | The Century of the Self, 2002| There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed | Season 1 Episode 3 - (06m31s)
83. Anna Freud "acknowledged leader" of IPA in 1934 - BBC | The Century of the Self, 2002| There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads: He Must Be Destroyed | Season 1 Episode 3 - (06m15s)
84. Turner 2011, pp. 166–167.
85. Sharaf 1994, p. 187, citing his own interview with Grete Bibring, 30 May 1971; Turner 2011, p. 167.
86. Turner 2011, p. 172; Søbye 1995, p. 213.
87. Søbye 1995, p. 194; Turner 2011, p. 173.
88. Sharaf 1994, pp. 209–210.
89. Strick 2015, pp. 57–59; Sharaf 1994, pp. 209–210.
90. Strick 2015 p. 65; Turner 2011, pp. 173–175.
91. Turner 2011, pp. 173–175.
92. Sharaf 1994, pp. 228, 230.
93. Strick 2015, p. 10.
94. Sharaf 1994, p. 220ff.
95. Sharaf 1995, p. 223; Reich, Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals 1934–1939, p. 66.
96. Cordon 2012, p. 412; Reich, The Cancer Biopathy, chapter 2, section 3.
97. Sharaf 1994, pp. 231–232.
98. Brady, April 1947; Brady, 26 May 1947; Turner 2011, p. 272ff.
99. Strick 2015, p. 230.
100. Sharaf 1994, p. 233.
101. Sharaf 1994, p. 228.
102. Sharaf 1994, p. 230.
103. Sharaf 1994, pp. 232–233.
104. Sharaf 1994, pp. 245–246.
105. Sharaf 1994, p. 253–255.
106. Turner 2011, p. 206.
107. Sharaf 1994, pp. 257–259.
108. Corrington 2003, p. 187.
109. Turner 2011, pp. 220–2212.
110. Sharaf 1944, pp. 263–265; Elkind, 18 April 1971.
111. Sharaf 1994, pp. 273–274.
112. Sharaf 1994, pp. 17, 352; Reich, The Function of the Orgasm, pp. 384–385.
113. Turner 2011, pp. 222–223.
114. Sharaf 1994, pp. 302–303.
115. Turner 2011, p. 231.
116. Turner 2011, pp. 230–233.
117. Turner 2011, p. 232; Grossinger 1982, pp. 268ff, 293.
118. Janet L. Cummings and Nicholas A. Cummings (2008). "Holistic and Alternative Medicine as Adjunctive to Psychotherapy". In O'Donohue, William; Cummings, Nicholas A. (eds.). Evidence-Based Adjunctive Treatments. New York: Elsevier. p. 245. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
119. Brian 1996, pp. 325–327.
120. Einstein's letter to Reich, 7 February 1941, in Reich, The Einstein Affair, 1953. For Reich's argument, Sharaf 1994, p. 286.
121. Sharaf 1994, pp. 286–287.
122. Corrington 2003, pp. 188–189.
123. Corrington 2003, p. 189.
124. Turner 2011, pp. 226–230.
125. Turner 2011, pp. 230–231.
126. Sharaf 1994, pp. 271–272; Turner 2011, p. 241.
127. "FBI adds new subjects to electronic reading room", U.S. State Department, 2 March 2000.
128. Turner 2011, p. 240.
129. Turner 2011, pp. 242–243.
130. Sharaf 1994, p. 340.
131. Sharaf 1994, p. 356.
132. Obituary: Eva Renate Reich, MD", Bangor Daily News, 25 September 2008.
133. "Rental cottages", Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
134. Brady, 26 May 1947.
135. Turner 2011, p. 274.
136. Reich, Orgone Energy Bulletin, April 1950, 2(2), cited by Kevin Hinchley, letter to the editor, New York Times Book Review, 16 October 2011 (Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust).
137. Sharaf 1994, pp. 360–361.
138. Turner 2011, pp. 281–282.
139. Sharaf 1994, pp. 363–364.
140. Sharaf 1994, pp. 410–413.
141. Turner 2011, pp. 314, 317–319, 321.
142. Turner 2011, pp. 315–316.
143. Turner 2011, pp. 325–326.
144. Turner 2011, pp. 338–339.
145. Turner 2011, pp. 11, 333, 365–367.
146. Sharaf 1994, pp. 379–380; Turner 2011, p. 367.
147. Sharaf, p. 379.
148. Interview of Arthur Dickerman, 28 January 1981, Food and Drug Administration, p. 39.
149. Sharaf 1994, p. 418; "Complaint for injunction", 10 February 1954, USA v. Wilhelm Reich, 1954–1957.
150. "Wilhelm Reich's Response to FDA's Complaint for Injunction", 25 February 1954, USA v. Wilhelm Reich, 1954–1957.
151. Sharaf 1994, p. 458ff; "Decree of Injunction Order", 19 March 1954, USA v. Wilhelm Reich, 1954–1957.
152. Turner 2011, pp. 370–374; for "thin cigar shape with the little windows", p. 376; Reich, Contact with Space: Oranur Second Report, 1951–1956, p. 199.
153. Turner 2011, pp. 370–376.
154. Turner 2011, p. 406.
155. Sharaf 1994, p. 30; Turner 2011, p. 397.
156. Turner 2011, pp. 398–400.
157. Turner 2011, p. 380–381.
158. Turner 2011, pp. 401–408.
159. Sharaf 1994, pp. 458–461.
160. Turner 2011, p. 410.
161. Sharaf 1994, p. 460; "Book Order Appealed; Liberties Unit Asks U.S. Not to Destroy Reich's Writings", The New York Times, 13 July 1956.
162. Sharaf 1994, pp. 419, 460–461.
163. Sharaf 1994, p. 461.
164. Sharaf 1994, p. 458.
165. Turner 2011, p. 417.
166. Sharaf 1994, pp. 465–466.
167. Sharaf 1994, p. 480; Turner 2011, p. 421; "Two Scientists Jailed; Pair Sentenced in Maine in Sale of 'Accumulators'", The New York Times, March 12, 1957.
168. Sharaf 1994, pp. 469–470; Turner 2011, pp. 419–421.
169. Sharaf 1994, p. 476.
170. Turner 2011, pp. 425–426.
171. Sharaf 1994, p. 5; Turner 2011, pp. 398, 427–428.
172. "Milestones, Nov. 18, 1957", Time Magazine, 18 November 1957.
173. Sterba 1982, pp. 34–36.
174. Sharaf 1994, p. 8.
175. Cordon 2012, p. 405.
176. Sharaf 1994, p. 78.
177. Turner 2011, pp. 11, 60, 167–169.
178. Sharaf 1994, pp. 4–5, 347, 481–482.
179. Turner 2011, pp. 430–431.
180. Turner 2011, introduction; also see Turner (Guardian), 8 July 2011; Murphy (Times Literary Supplement), 4 January 2012.
181. Foucault 1978, p. 131.
182. Edwards 1977, p. 43
183. Sharaf 1994, p. 481.
184. Turner 2011, p. 445; Turner (The New York Times), 23 September 2011.
185. "IMDB".
186. "Venicedream".
187. Cooper, Kim (September 26, 2011). "Very Different Tonight: The Contagious Nightmares of Wilhelm Reich". Post45. Yale University. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
188. Abrahams, Ian (2004), Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins, SAF Publishing Ltd, p. 257, ISBN 9780946719693, retrieved September 11, 2016
189. "Marilyn as Opera", High Fidelity, 33(1-6), 1983.
190. Moy 2007, p. 99.
191. DeMarco and Wiker 2004, p. 231.
192. "Four-Beat Rhythm: The Writings Of Wilhelm Reich", AllMusic.
193. "Orgone chair",
195. Isaacs 1999, p. 240.
196. Bauer 2000, p. 159.
197. Roeckelein 2006, pp. 517–518.
198. Strick 2015, p. 3.
199. Lehmann-Haupt, 4 January 1971; MacBean 1972; Sharaf 1994, p. 480; Strick 2015, p. 1.
200. Sharaf 1994, pp. 479–482; "The College", American College of Orgonomy; The Journal of Orgonomy, The American College of Orgonomy.
201. Sharaf 1994, p. 482.
202. For DeMeo: Sharaf 1994, pp. 380–381; Cordon 2011, p. 422; and Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, Ashland, Oregon. For Morton Herskowitz: "Institute for Orgonomic Science".
203. Turner 2011, pp. 519–520.
204. Strick 2015, p. 10.
205. Wilhelm Reich, Biologist, Harvard University Press.
206. Turner 2011, p. 376.

Works cited

Abrahams, Ian. Hawkwind: Sonic Assassins, SAF Publishing Ltd, 2004.
Bauer, Henry H. (2000). "Wilhelm Reich", in Science or Pseudoscience?, University of Illinois Press.
Blumenfeld, Robert (2006). "Wilhelm Reich and Character Analysis", Tools and Techniques for Character Interpretation. Limelight Editions.
Bocian, Bernd. Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893–1933, Peter Hammer Verlag GmbH, 2010.
Brady, Mildred Edie (April 1947). "The New Cult of Sex and Anarchy", Harper's.
Brady, Mildred Edie (26 May 1947). "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich", The New Republic.
Brian, Denis (1996). Einstein: A Life, John Wiley & Sons.
Bugental, James F. T., Schneider, Kirk J. and Pierson, J. Fraser (2001). The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, Sage.
Cooper, Kim (26 September 2011). "Very Different Tonight: The Contagious Nightmares of Wilhelm Reich", Post45.
Cordon, Luis A. (2012). "Reich, Wilhelm" in Freud's World: An Encyclopedia of His Life and Times, Greenwood, pp. 405–424.
Corrington, Robert S. (2003). Wilhelm Reich: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Danto, Elizabeth Ann (2007). Freud's Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis & Social Justice, 1918–1938, Columbia University Press, first published 2005.
DeMarco, Donald and Wiker, Benjamin D. (2004). "Wilhelm Reich", Architects of the Culture of Death, Ignatius Press.
Edwards, Paul (1977). "The Greatness of Wilhelm Reich", The Humanist, March/April 1974, reprinted in Charles A. Garfield (ed.) (1977). Rediscovery of the Body. A Psychosomatic View of Life and Death, Dell, pp. 41–50.
Elkind, David (18 April 1971). "Wilhelm Reich -- The Psychoanalyst as Revolutionary; Wilhelm Reich", The New York Times.
Encyclopædia Britannica (2012). "Wilhelm Reich".
Foucault, Michel (1978). The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, Vintage Books.
Freud, Sigmund (1928). "Letter from Freud to Lou Andreas-Salomé, May 9, 1928" in Ernest Jones (ed.), The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 89, pp. 174–175.
Greenberg, Leslie S. and Safran, Jeremy D. (1990). Emotion in Psychotherapy, Guilford Press.
Grossinger, Richard (1982). "Wilhelm Reich: From Character Analysis to Cosmic Eros", Planet Medicine: From Stone Age Shamanism to Post-industrial Healing, Taylor & Francis.
Guntrip, Harry (1961). Personality Structure and Human Interaction, Hogarth Press.
Isaacs, Kenneth S. (1999). "Searching for Science in Psychoanalysis", Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 29(3), pp. 235–252.
Karina, Lilina and Kant, Marion (2004). Hitler's Dancers: German Modern Dance And The Third Reich, Berghahn Books.
Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (4 January 1971). "Back Into the Old Orgone Box", The New York Times.
MacBean, James Roy (1972). "Sex and Politics: Wilhelm Reich, World Revolution, and Makavejev's WR", Film Quarterly, 25(3), Spring, pp. 2–13.
Moy, Ron (2007). Kate Bush and Hounds of Love, Ashgate Publishing.
Murphy, James M. (4 January 2012). "The man who started the sexual revolution", The Times Literary Supplement.
Reich, Peter (1973). A Book Of Dreams, Harper & Row.
Reich, Wilhelm (1920). "Über einen Fall von Durchbruch der Inzestschranke", Zeitschrift für Sexualwissenschaft, VII.
Reich, Wilhelm (1942). The Function of the Orgasm.
Reich, Wilhelm (1953). People in Trouble.
Reich, Wilhelm (1957). Contact with Space: Oranur Second Report, 1951–1956.
Reich, Wilhelm (1973). Ether, God and Devil. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Reich, Wilhelm (1974). The Cancer Biopathy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1948).
Reich, Wilhelm (1982). The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety.
Reich, Wilhelm (1988). Leidenschaft der Jugend/Passion of Youth. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Reich, Wilhelm (1994). Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals 1934–1939. Farrar Straus & Giroux.
Reich, Wilhelm (1967). Reich Speaks of Freud. Souvenir Press.
Roeckelein, Jon E. (2006). "Reich's Orgone/Orgonomy Theory", Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories. Elsevier.
Rubin, Lore Reich (2003). "Wilhelm Reich and Anna Freud: His Expulsion from Psychoanalysis", Int. Forum Psychoanal, 12, pp. 109–117.
Sharaf, Myron (1994). Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich, Da Capo Press; first published by St. Martin's Press, 1983.
Sheppard, R. Z. (14 May 1973) "A family affair", Time magazine.
Sterba, Richard F. (1982). Reminiscences of a Viennese Psychoanalyst, Wayne State University Press.
Søbye, Espen (1995). Rolf Stenersen. En biografi, Forlaget Oktober (in Norwegian).
Strick, James E. (2015). Wilhelm Reich, Biologist, Harvard University Press.
Time magazine (18 November 1957). "Milestones, Nov. 18, 1957" (obituary).
Turner, Christopher (6 October 2005). "Naughty Children", London Review of Books, 27(19).
Turner, Christopher (2011). Adventures in the Orgasmatron, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Turner, Christopher (8 July 2011). "Wilhelm Reich: the man who invented free love", The Guardian.
Turner, Christopher (23 September 2011). "Adventures in the Orgasmatron", The New York Times.
Yontef, Gary and Jacobs, Lynn (2010). "Gestalt Therapy" in Raymond J. Corsini and Danny Wedding (eds.), Current Psychotherapies, Cengage Learning.
Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth (2008). Anna Freud: A Biography, Yale University Press, first published 1988.

Further reading

External links

• "Biography of Wilhelm Reich" and "Last Will & Testament of Wilhelm Reich", Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
• "Mikrofilm-Bestand der Staatsbibliotheken in Berlin, München und Bremen aus dem Nachlaß Wilhelm Reichs", Wilhelm Reich archive on microfilm, from Dr. Eva Reich.
• "Man's Right to Know", documentary on Reich, Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
• Recording of Reich speaking, Orgonon, 3 April 1952.
• Dabelstein, Nicolas, and Svoboda, Antonin (2009). Wer Hat Angst vor Wilhelm Reich?("Who's Afraid of Wilhelm Reich?"), documentary, Coop99, Austrian television (IMDb entry).
• Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Dr. Wilhelm Reich" (also see here [1]).
• FBI files about Wilhelm Reich

Einstein experiments

• Brian, Denis (1996). Einstein: A Life, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 326–327.
• Clark, Ronald W. (1971). Einstein: The Life and Times, Avon, pp. 689–690.
• Correa, Paul N.; Correa, Alexandra N. (October 2010). "The Reproducible Thermal Anomaly of the Reich-Einstein Experiment under Limit Conditions", Journal of Aetherometric Research, 2(6), pp. 25–31.
• Reich, Wilhelm (ed.) (1953). The Einstein Affair, Orgone Institute Press.

Books about Reich

• Baker, Elsworth F. (1967). Man In The Trap. Macmillan.
• Bean, Orson (1971). Me and the Orgone. St. Martin's Press.
• Boadella, David (1971). Wilhelm Reich: The Evolution Of His Work. Henry Regnery.
• Boadella, David (ed.) (1976). In The Wake Of Reich. Coventure.
• Cattier, Michael (1970). The Life and Work of Wilhelm Reich. Horizon Press, 1970.
• Cohen, Ira H. (1982). Ideology and Unconsciousness : Reich, Freud, and Marx. New York University Press.
• Corrington, Robert S. (2003). Wilhelm Reich: Psychoanalyst and Radical Naturalist. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
• Chesser, Eustice (1972). Reich and Sexual Freedom. Vision Press.
• Chesser, Eustice (1973). Salvation Through Sex: The Life and Work of Wilhelm Reich. W. Morrow.
• Dadoun, Roger (1975). Cent Fleurs pour Wilhelm Reich. Payot.
• De Marchi, Luigi (1973). Wilhelm Reich, biographie d'une idée. Fayard.
• Gebauer, Rainer and Müschenich, Stefan (1987). Der Reichische Orgonakkumulator. Frankfurt/Main: Nexus Verlag.
• Greenfield, Jerome (1974). Wilhelm Reich Vs. the U.S.A.. W.W. Norton.
• Herskowitz, Morton (1998). Emotional Armoring: An Introduction to Psychiatric Orgone Therapy. Transactions Press.
• Johler, Birgit (2008). Wilhelm Reich Revisited. Turia & Kant.
• Kavouras, Jorgos (2005). Heilen mit Orgonenergie: Die Medizinische Orgonomie. Turm Verlag.
• Kornbichler, Thomas (2006). Flucht nach Amerika: Emigration der Psychotherapeuten: Richard Huelsenbeck, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm. Kreuz.
• Lassek, Heiko (1997). Orgon-Therapie: Heilen mit der reinen Lebensenergie. Scherz Verlag.
• Mairowitz, D. & Gonzales, G. (1986). Reich For Beginners. Writers & Readers.
• Makavejev, Dusan (1972). WR Mysteries of the Organism. Avon Publishers.
• Mann, Edward (1973). Orgone. Reich And Eros: Wilhelm Reich's Theory Of The Life Energy. Simon & Schuster.
• Mann, Edward & Hoffman, Edward (ed.) (1980). The Man Who Dreamed Of Tomorrow: A Conceptual Biography Of Wilhelm Reich. J.P. Tarcher.
• Martin, Jim (2000). Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War. Flatland Books.
• Meyerowitz, Jacob (1994). Before the Beginning of Time. Rrp Publishers.
• Mulisch, Harry (1973). Het seksuele bolwerk. De Bezige Bij.
• Ollendorff, Ilse. (1969). Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography. St. Martin's Press.
• Raknes, Ola (1970). Wilhelm Reich And Orgonomy. St. Martin's Press.
• Reich, Peter (1973). A Book Of Dreams. Harper & Row.
• Ritter, Paul (ed.) (1958). Wilhelm Reich Memorial Volume. Ritter Press.
• Robinson, Paul (1990). The Freudian Left: Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert Marcuse. Cornell University Press, first published 1969.
• Rycroft, Charles (1971). Reich. Fontana Modern Masters.
• Seelow, David (2005). Radical Modernism and Sexuality : Freud, Reich, D.H. Lawrence and Beyond. Palgrave Macmillan.
• Senf, Bernd (1996). Die Wiederentdeckung des Lebendigen (The Rediscovery of the Living). Zweitausendeins Verlag.
• Sharaf, Myron (1994). Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich. Da Capo Press; first published by St. Martin's Press, 1983.
• Sinelnikoff, Constantin (1970). L'Oeuvre de Wilhelm Reich. François Maspero.
• Strick, James E. (2015). Wilhelm Reich, Biologist, Harvard University Press.
• Turner, Christopher (2011). Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex. HarperCollins.
• Wilson, Robert Anton (1998). Wilhelm Reich in Hell. Aires Press.
• Wilson, Colin (1981). The Quest for Wilhelm Reich. Doubleday.
• Wright, Paki (2002). The All Souls' Waiting Room. 1st Book Library (novel).
• Wyckoff, James (1973). Wilhelm Reich: Life Force Explorer. Fawcett.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:52 am

"The Know-Nothing Bohemians"
by Norman Podhoretz (b. 1930)
from Doings and Undoings: The Fifties and After in American Writing (New York: Farrar, Straus & Co., 1964)
Spring 1958



Allen Ginsberg's little volume of poems, Howl, which got the San Francisco renaissance off to a screaming start, was dedicated to Jack Kerouac ("new Buddha of American prose, who spit forth intelligence in to eleven books written in half the number of years .... Creating a spontaneous bop prosody and original classic literature"), William Seward Burroughs ("author of Naked Lunch, an endless novel which will drive everybody mad"), and Neal Cassady ("author of The First Third, an autobiography .. . which enlightened Buddha"). So far, everybody's sanity has been spared by the inability of Naked Lunch to find a publisher,* and we may never get the chance to discover what Buddha learned from Neal Cassady's autobiography, but thanks to the Viking and Grove Presses, two of Kerouac's original classics, On the Road and The Subterraneans, have now been revealed to the world. When all tile Road appeared last year, Gilbert Millstein commemorated the event in the New York Times by declaring it to be "a historic occasion" comparable to the publication of The Sun Also Rises in the 1920's. But even before the novel was actually published, the word got around that Kerouac was the spokesman of a new group of rebels and Bohemians who called themselves the Beat Generation, and soon his photogenic countenance (unshaven, of course, and topped by an unruly crop of rich black hair falling over his forehead) was showing up in various mass-circulation magazines, he was being interviewed earnestly on television, and he was being featured in a Greenwich Village nightclub where, in San Francisco fashion, he read specimens of his spontaneous bop prosody against a background of jazz music.

Though the nightclub act reportedly flopped, On the Road sold well enough to hit the best-seller lists for several weeks, and it isn't hard to understand why. Americans love nothing so much as representative documents, and what could be more interesting in this Age of Sociology than a novel that speaks for the "young generation"? (The fact that Kerouac is thirty-five or thereabouts, was generously not held against him.) Beyond that, however, I think that the unveiling of the Beat Generation was greeted with a certain relief by many people who had been disturbed by the notorious respectability and "maturity" of post-war writing. This was more like it-restless, rebellious, confused youth living it up, instead of thin, balding, button-down instructors of English composing ironic verses with one hand while changing the baby's diapers with the other. Bohemianism is not particularly fashionable nowadays, but the image of Bohemia still exerts a powerful fascination- nowhere more so than in the suburbs, which are filled to overflowing with men and women who uneasily think of themselves as conformists and of Bohemian ism as the heroic road. The whole point of Marjorie Morningstar was to assure the young marrieds of Manaroneck that they were better off than the apparently glamorous luftmenschen [“luftmensch: to disregard the practical matters of life”, literally “to live on air and love”, German Luftikus: “impractical, quixotic, or careless person] of Greenwich Village, and the fact that Wouk had to work so hard at making this idea seem convincing is a good indication of the strength of prevailing doubt on the matter.

On the surface, at least, the Bohemianism of On the Road is very attractive. Here is a group of high-spirited young men running back and forth across the country (mostly hitchhiking, sometimes in their own second-hand cars), going to "wild" parties in New York and Denver and San Francisco, living on a shoe-string (GI educational benefits, an occasional fifty bucks from a kindly aunt, an odd job as a typist, a fruit-picker, a parking lot ,attendant), talking intensely about love and God and salvation, getting high on marijuana (but never heroin or cocaine), listening feverishly to jazz in crowded little joints, and sleeping freely with beautiful girls. Now and again there is a reference to gloom and melancholy, but the characteristic note struck by Kerouac is exuberance:

We stopped along the road for a bite to eat. The cowboy went off to have a spare tire patched, and Eddie and I sat down in a kind of homemade diner. I heard a great laugh, the greatest laugh in the world, and here came this rawhide old times Nebraska farmer with a bunch of other boys into the diner; you could hear his raspy cries clear across the plains, across the whole gray world of them that day. Everybody else laughed with him. He didn't have a ca re in the world and had the hugest regard for everybody. I said to myself, Wham, listen to that man laugh. That's the West, here I am in the West. He came booming into the diner, calling Maw's name, and she made the sweetest cherry pie in Nebraska, and I had some with a mountainous scoop of ice cream on top. "Maw, rustle me up some grub afore I have to start eatin myself or some damn silly idee like that" And he threw himself on a stool and went hyaw hyaw hyaw hyaw. "And throw some beans on it." It was the spirit of the West sitting right next to me. I wished I knew his whole raw life and what the hell he'd been doing all these years besides laughing and yelling like that. Whooee, 1 told my soul, and the cowboy came back and off we went to Grand Island.

Kerouac's enthusiasm for the Nebraska farmer is part of his general readiness to find the source of all vitality and virtue in simple rural types and in the dispossessed urban groups (Negroes, bums, whores). His idea of life in New York is "millions and millions hustling forever for a buck among themselves ... grabbing, taking, giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities beyond Long Island City," whereas the rest of America is populated almost exclusively by the true of heart. There are intimations here of a kind of know-nothing populist sentiment, but in other ways this attitude resembles Nelson Algren's belief that bums and whores and junkies are more interesting than white-collar workers or civil servants. The difference is that Algren hates middle-class respectability for moral and political reasons-the middle class exploits and persecutes-while Kerouac, who is thoroughly unpolitical, seems to feel that respectability is a sign not of moral corruption but of spiritual death. "The only people for me," says Sal Paradise, the narrator of On the Road, "are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars .... " This tremendous emphasis on emotional intensity, this notion that to be hopped-up is the most desirable of all human conditions, lies at the heart of the Beat Generation ethos and distinguishes it radically from the Bohemianism of the past.

The Bohemianism of the 1920's represented a repudiation of the provinciality, philistinism, and moral hypocrisy of American life -- a life, incidentally, which was still essentially small-town and rural in tone. Bohemia, in other words, was a movement created in the name of civilization: its ideals were intelligence, cultivation, spiritual refinement. The typical literary figure of the 1920's was a midwesterner (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Eliot, Pound) who had fled from his home town to New York or Paris in search of a freer, more expansive, more enlightened way of life than was possible in Ohio or Minnesota or Michigan. The political radicalism that supplied the characteristic coloring of Bohemianism of the 1930's did nothing to alter the urban, cosmopolitan bias of the 1920's. At its best, the radicalism of the 1930's was marked by deep intellectual seriousness and aimed at a state of society in which the fruits of civilization would be more widely available -- and ultimately available to all.

The Bohemianism of the 1950's is another kettle of fish altogether. It is hostile to civilization; it worships primitivism, instinct, energy, "blood." To the extent that it has intellectual interests at all, they run to mystical doctrines, irrationalist philosophies, and left-wing Reichianism. The only art the new Bohemians have any use for is jazz, mainly of the cool variety. Their predilection for bop language is a way of demonstrating solidarity with the primitive vitality and spontaneity they find in jazz and of expressing contempt for coherent, rational discourse which, being a product of the mind, is in their view a form of death. To be articulate is to admit that you have no feelings (for how can real feelings be expressed in syntactical language?), that you can't respond to anything (Kerouac responds to everything by saying "Wow!"), and that you are probably impotent.

At the end of the spectrum, this ethos shades off into violence and criminality, mainline drug addiction and madness. Allen Ginsberg's poetry, with its lurid apocalyptic celebration of "angel-headed hipsters," speaks for the darker side of the new Bohemianism, Kerouac is milder. He shows little taste for violence and the criminality he admires is the harmless kind. The hero of 0" the Road, Dean Moriarty, has a record: "From the age of eleven to seventeen he was usually in reform school. His specialty was stealing cars, gunning for girls coming out of high school in the afternoon, driving them out to the mountains, making them, and coming back to sleep in any available hotel bathtub in town." But Dean's criminality, we are told, "was not something that sulked and sneered; it was a wild yea-saying overburst of American joy; it was Western, the west wind, an ode from the Plains, something new, long prophesied, long a-coming (he only stole cars for joy rides)." And, in fact, the species of Bohemian that Kerouac writes about is on the whole rather law-abiding. In The Subterraneans, a bunch of drunken boys steal a pushcart in the middle of the night, and when they leave it in front of a friend's apartment building, he denounces them angrily for "screwing up the security of my pad." When Sal Paradise (in On the Road) steals some groceries from the canteen of an itinerant workers' camp in which he has taken a temporary job as a barracks guard, he comments, "I suddenly began to realize that everybody in America is a natural-born thief" -- which, of course, is a way of turning his own stealing into a bit of boyish prankishness. Nevertheless, Kerouac is attracted to criminality, and that in itself is more Significant than the fact that he personally feels constrained to put the brakes on his own destructive impulses.

Sex has always played a very important role in Bohemianism: sleeping around was the Bohemian's most dramatic demonstration of his freedom from conventional moral standards, and a defiant denial of the idea that sex was permissible only in marriage and then only for the sake of a family. At the same time, to be "promiscuous" was to assert the validity of sexual experience in and for itself. The "meaning" of Bohemian sex, then, was at once social and personal, a crucial element in the Bohemian's ideal of civilization. Here again the contrast with Beat Generation Bohemianism is sharp. On the one hand, there is a fair amount of sexual activity in On the Road and The Subterraneans. Dean Moriarty is a "new kind of American saint" at least partly because of his amazing sexual powers: he can keep three women satisfied Simultaneously and he can make love any time, anywhere (once he mounts a girl in the back seat of a car while poor Sal Paradise is trying to sleep in front). Sal, too, is always on the make, and though he isn't as successful as the great Dean, he does pretty well: offhand I can remember a girl in Denver, one on a bus, and another in New York, but a little research would certainly unearth a few more. The heroine of The Subterraneans, a Negro girl named Mardou Fox, seems to have switched from one to another member of the same gang and back again ("This has been an incestuous group in its time"), and we are given to understand that the re is nothing unusual about such an arrangement. But the point of all this hustle and bustle is not freedom from ordinary social restrictions or defiance of convention (except in relation to homosexuality, which is Ginsberg's preserve: among " the best minds" of Ginsberg's generation who were destroyed by America are those "who let themselves be _____ in the _____ by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy, / who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love"). The sex in Kerouac's books goes hand in hand with a great deal of talk about forming permanent relationships ("although) have a hot feeling sexually and all that for her," says the poet Adam Moorad in The Subterraneans, "I really don't want to get any· further into her not only for these reasons but finally, the big one, if I'm going to get involved with a girl now I want to be permanent like permanent and serious and long termed and I can't do that with her"), and a habit of getting married and then duly divorced and re-married when another girl comes along. In fact, there are as many marriages and divorces in On tile Road as in the Hollywood movie colony (must be that California climate): "All those years I was looking for the woman I wanted to marry," Sal Paradise tells us. "I couldn't meet a girl without saying to myself, What kind of wife would she make?" Even more revealing is Kerouac's refusal to admit that any of his characters ever makes love wantonly or lecherously -- no matter how casual the encounter it must always entail sweet feelings toward the girl. Sal, for example, is fixed up with Rita Bettencourt in Denver, whom he has never met before. ") got her in my bedroom after a long talk in the dark of the front room. She was a nice little girl, simple and true (naturally), and tremendously frightened of sex. I told her it was beautiful. I wanted to prove this to her. She let me prove it, but I was too impatient and proved nothing. She sighed in the dark. 'What do you want out of life?' I asked, and I used to ask that all the time of girls." This is rather touching, but only because the narrator is really just as frightened of sex as that nice little girl was. He is frightened of failure and he worries about his performance. For performance is the point -- performance and "good orgasms," which are the first duty of man and the only duty of woman. What seems to be involved here, in short, is sexual anxiety of enormous proportions -- an anxiety that comes out very clearly in The Subterraneans, which is about a love affair between the young writer, Leo Percepied, and the Negro girl, Mardou Fox. Despite its protestations, the book is one long agony of fear and trembling over sex:

I spend long nights and many hours making her, finally I have her, I pray for it to come, I can hear her breathing harder, I hope against hope it's time, a noise in the hall (or whoop of drunkards next door) takes her mind off and she can't make it and laughs -- but when she does make it I hear her crying, whimpering, the shuddering electrical female orgasm makes her sound like a little girl crying, moaning in the night, it lasts a good twenty seconds and "O when will I when you do?" -- "Soon now I bet," I say, "you're getting closer and closer"--

Very primitive, very spontaneous, very elemental, very beat.

For the new Bohemians interracial friendships and love affairs apparently play the same role of social defiance that sex used to play in older Bohemian circles. Negroes and whites associate freely on a basis of complete equality and without a trace of racial hostility. But putting it that way understates the case, for not only is there no racial hostility, there is positive adulation for the "happy, truehearted, ecstatic Negroes of America."

At lilac evening I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night ... I wished I was a Denver Mexican, or even a poor overworked Jap, anything but what I was so drearily, a "white man" disillusioned. All my life I'd had white ambitions .... I passed the dark porches of Mexican and Negro homes; soft voices were there, occasionally the dusky knee of some mysterious sensuous gal; and dark faces of the men behind rose arbors. Little children sat like sages in ancient rocking chairs.

It will be news to the Negroes to learn that they a re so happy and ecstatic; I doubt if a more idyllic picture of Negro life has been painted since certain Southern ideologues tried to convince the world that things were just as fine as fine could be for the slaves on the old plantation. Be that as it may, Kerouac's love for Negroes and other dark-skinned groups is tied up with his worship of primitivism, not with any radical social attitudes. Ironically enough, in fact, to see the Negro as more elemental than the white man, as Ned Polsky has acutely remarked , is "an inverted form of keeping the nigger in his place." But even if it were true that American Negroes, by virtue of their position in our culture, have been able to retain a degree of primitive spontaneity, the last place you would expect to find evidence of this is among Bohemian Negroes. Bohemianism, after all, is for the Negro a means of entry into the world of the whites, and no Negro Bohemian is going to cooperate in the attempt to identify him with Harlem or Dixieland. The only major Negro character in either of Kerouac's two novels is Mardou Fox, and she is about as primitive as Wilhelm Reich himself.

The plain truth is that the primitivism of the Beat Generation serves first of all as a cover for an anti-intellectualism so bitter that it makes the ordinary American's hatred of eggheads seem positively benign. Kerouac and his friends like to thin k of themselves as intellectuals ("they are intellectual as hell and know all about Pound without being pretentious or talking too much about it"), but this is only a form of newspeak. Here is an example of what Kerouac considers intelligent discourse--"formal and shining and complete, without the tedious intellectualness":

We passed a little kid who was throwing s tones at the cars in the road. "Think of it," said Dean, "One day he'll put a stone through a man's wind shield and the man will crash and die -- all on account of that little kid. You see what I mean? God exists without qualms. As we roll along this way I am positive beyond doubt that everything will be taken care of for us-that even you, as you drive, fearful of the wheel ... the thing will go a long of itself and you won't go off the road and I can sleep. Furthermore we know America, we're at home; I can go anywhere in America and get what I want because it's the same in every corner, I know the people, I know what they do. We give and take and go in the incredibly complicated sweetness zigzagging every side."

You see what I mean? Formal and shining and complete. No tedious intellectualness. Completely unpretentious. "There was nothing clear about the things he said but what he meant to say was somehow made pure and clear." Somehow. Of course. If what he wanted to say had been carefully thought out and precisely articulated, that would have been tedious and pretentious and, no doubt, somehow unclear and clearly impure. But so long as he utters these banalities with his tonguetied and with no comprehension of their meaning, so long as he makes noises that come out of his soul (since they couldn't possibly have come out of his mind), he passes the test of true intellectuality.

Which brings us to Kerouac's spontaneous bop prosody. This "prosody" is not be confused with bop language itself, which has such a limited vocabulary (Basic English is a verbal treasure-house by comparison) that you couldn't write a note to the milkman in it, much less a novel. Kerouac, however, manages to remain true to the spirit of hipster slang while making forays into enemy territory (i.e. the English language) by his simple inability to express anything in words. The only method he has of describing an object is to summon up the same half dozen adjectives over and over again: "greatest, "tremendous," "crazy," "mad," "wild," and perhaps one or two others. When it's more than just mad or crazy or wild, it becomes " really mad" or "really crazy" or "really wild." (All quantities in excess of three, incidentally, are subsumed under the rubric "innumerable," a word used innumerable times in On tile Road but not so innumerably in The Subterraneans.). The same poverty of resources is apparent in those passages where Kerouac tries to handle a situation involving even slightly complicated feelings. His usual tactic is to run for cover behind cliche and vague signals to the reader. For instance: "I looked at him; my eyes were watering with embarrassment and tears. Still he stared at me. Now his eyes were blank and looking through me .... Something clicked in both of us. In me it was suddenly concern for a man who was years younger than I, five years, and whose fate was wound with mine across the passage of recent years; in him it was a matter that I can ascertain only from what he did afterward." If you can ascertain what this is all about, either beforehand, during, or afterward, you are surely no square.

In keeping with its populistic bias, the style of On the Road is folksy and lyrical. The prose of The Subterraneans, on the other hand, sounds like an inept parody of Faulkner at his worst, the main difference being that Faulkner usually produces bad writing out of an impulse to inflate the commonplace while Kerouac gets into trouble by pursuing "spontaneity." Strictly speaking, spontaneity is a quality of feeling, not of writing: when we call a piece of writing spontaneous, we are registering our impression that the author hit upon the right words without sweating, that no "art" and no calculation entered into the picture, that his feelings seem to have spoken themselves, seem to have sprouted a tongue at the moment of composition. Kerouac apparently thinks that spontaneity is a matter of saying whatever comes into your head, in any order you happen to feel like saying it. It isn't the right words he wants (even if he knows what they might be), but the first words, or at any rate the words that most obviously announce themselves as deriving from emotion rather than celebration, as coming from "life" rather than "literature," from the guts rather than the brain. (The brain, remember, is the angel of death.) But writing that springs easily and "spontaneously" out of strong feelings is never vague; it always has a quality of sharpness and precision because it is in the nature of strong feelings to be aroused by specific objects. The notion that a diffuse, generalized, and unrelenting enthusiasm is the mark of great sensitivity and responsiveness is utterly fantastic, an idea that comes from taking drunkenness or drug-addiction as the state of perfect emotional vigor. The effect of such enthusiasm is actually to wipe out the world altogether, for if a filling station will serve as well as the Rocky Mountains to arouse a sense of awe and wonder, then both the filling station and the mountains are robbed of their reality. Kerouac's conception of feeling is one that only a solipsist could believe in-and a solipsist, be it noted, is a man who does not relate easily to anything outside himself.

Solipsism is precisely what characterizes Kerouac's fiction. On The Road and The Subterraneans are so patently autobiographical in content that they become almost impossible to discuss as novels; if spontaneity were indeed a matter of destroying the distinction between life and literature, these books would unquestionably be It. "As we were going out to the car Babe slipped and fell flat on her face. Poor girl was overwrought. Her brother Tim and I helped her up. We got in the car; Major and Betty joined us. The sad ride back to Denver began." Babe is a girl who is mentioned a few times in the course of On the Road; we don't know why she is overwrought on this occasion, and even if we did it wouldn't matter, since there is no reason for her presence in the book at all. But Kerouac tells us that she fell flat on her face while walking toward a car. It is impossible to believe that Kerouac made this detail up, that his imagination was creating a world real enough to include wholly gratuitous elements; if that were the case, Babe would have come alive as a human being. But she is only a name; Kerouac never even describes her. She is in the book because the sister of one of Kerouac's friends was there when he took a trip to Central City, Colorado, and she slips in On the Road because she slipped that day on the way to the car. What is true of Babe who fell flat on her face is true of virtually every incident in On the Road and The Subterraneans. Nothing that happens has any dramatic reason for happening. Sal Paradise meets such-and-such people on the road whom he likes or (rarely) dislikes; they exchange a few words, they have a few beers together, they part. It is all very unremarkable and commonplace, but for Kerouac it is always the greatest, the wildest, the most. What you get in these two books is a man proclaiming that he is alive and offering every trivial experience he has ever had in evidence. Once I did this, once I did that (he is saying) and by God, it meant something! Because I responded! But if it meant something, and you responded so powerfully, why can't you explain what it meant, and why do you have to insist to?

I think it is legitimate to say, then, that the Beat Generation's worship of primitivism and spontaneity is more than a cover for hostility to intelligence; it arises from a pathetic poverty of feeling as well. The hipsters and hipster-lovers of the Beat Generation are rebels, a right, but not against anything so sociological and historical as the middle class or capitalism or even respectability. This is the revolt of the spiritually underprivileged and the crippled of soul-young men who can't think straight and so hate anyone who can; young men who can't get outside the morass of self and so construct definitions of feeling that exclude all human beings who manage to live, even miserably, in a world of objects; young men who are burdened unto death with the specially poignant sexual anxiety that America-in its eternal promise of erotic glory and its spiteful withholding of actual erotic possibility-seems bent on breeding, and who therefore dream of the unattainable perfect orgasm, which excuses all sexual failures in the real world. Not long ago, Norman Mailer suggested that the rise of the hipster may represent "the first wind of a second revolution in this century, moving not forward toward action and more rational equitable distribution, but backward toward being and the secrets of human energy." To tell the truth, whenever I hear anyone talking about instinct and being the secrets of human energy, I get nervous; next thing you know he'll be saying that violence is just fine, and then I begin wondering whether he really thinks that kicking someone in the teeth or sticking a knife between his ribs are deeds to be admired. History, after all-and especially the history of modern times-teaches that there is a close connection between ideologies of primitivistic vitalism and a willingness to look upon cruelty and blood-letting with complacency, if not downright enthusiasm. The reason I bring this up is that the spirit of hipsterism and the Beat Generation strikes me as the same spirit which animates the young savages in leather jackets who have been running amok in the last few years with their switchblades and zip guns. What does Mailer think of those wretched kids, I wonder? What does he think of the gang that stoned a nine-year old boy to death in Central Park in broad daylight a few months ago, or the one that set fire to an old man drowsing on a bench near the Brooklyn waterfront one summer 's day, or the one that pounced on a crippled child and orgiastically stabbed him over and over and Over again even after he was good and dead? Is that what he means by the liberation of instinct and the mysteries of being? Maybe so. At least he says somewhere in his article that two eighteen-yea r-old hoodlums who bash in the brains of a candy-store keeper are murdering an institution, committing an act that "violates private property" -- which is one of the most morally gruesome ideas I have ever come across, and which indicates where the ideology of hipsterism can lead. I happen to believe that there is a direct connection between the flabbiness of American middle-class life and the spread of juvenile crime in the 1950's, but I also believe that juvenile crime can be explained partly in terms of the same resentment against normal feeling and the attempt to cope with the world through intelligence that lies behind Kerouac and Ginsberg. Even the relatively mild ethos of Kerouac's books can spill over easily into brutality, for there is a suppressed cry in those books: Kill the intellectuals who can talk coherently, kill the people who can sit still for five minutes at a time, kill those incomprehensible characters who are capable of getting seriously involved with a woman, a job, a cause. How can anyone in his right mind pretend that this has anything to do with private property or the middle class? No. Being against what the Beat Generation stands for has to do with denying that incoherence is superior to precision; that ignorance is superior to knowledge; that the exercise of mind and discrimination is a form of death. It has to do with fighting the notion that sordid acts of violence are justifiable so long as they are committed in the name of "instinct." It even has to do with fighting the poisonous glorification of the adolescent in American popular culture. It has to do, in other words, with one's attitude toward intelligence itself.  



* It did, of course, find one a few years after this piece was written.  
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:27 am

Part 1 of 4

Tibet: A Political History [Excerpt]
by Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa
©  Tsepon W.D. Shakabpa
Cover Copyright ©  1984 Potala Publications



Table of Contents:

• Foreword
• Preface
• List of Abbreviations
• 1. An Introduction to Tibet
• 2. The Empire of the Early Kings of Tibet
• 3. The Struggle for Religious Survival
• 4. Lamas and Patrons
• 5. The Phamo Drupa, Rinpung, and Tsangpa Hegemonies
• 6. The Emergence of the Dalai Lamas
• 7. The Fifth Dalai Lama Assumes Power
• 8. Rival Powers in Tibet
• 9. The Seventh Dalai Lama and the Beginning of Manchu Influence in Tibet
• 10. War with the Gurkhas and the Dogras
• 11. Desi Shatra and Palden Dondup: Strong Men of the Nineteenth Century
• 12. The Thirteenth Dalai Lama and Britain's Border Policy
• 13. The Younghusband Military Expedition and Its Aftermath
• 14. The 1910 Chinese Invasion of Lhasa and Tibet's Struggle to Maintain Her Independence
• 15. Further Evidence of Tibetan Independence
• 16. Clashes Between Tibetans and Chinese in Kham
• 17. The Whirlwind of Political Strife
• 18. The Communist Chinese Invasion
• 19. The Revolt
• 20. Conclusion
• Appendix:
• 1. Ladakhi Letter of Agreement, 1842
• 2. Tibetan Letter of Agreement, 1842
• 3. Tibet-Ladakh Trade Agreement, 1853
• 4. Speech by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, at the Symposium on Buddhism's Contribution to Art, Letters, and Philosophy on November 29, 1956, New Delhi, India
• Glossary of Tibetan Terms
• Bibliography
• Index


Tsepon W. D. Shakabpa was born January 7, 1907, in Lhasa. He entered government service at the age of twenty-three and in nine years became Head of the Finance Department, serving concurrently as one of the eight influential spokesmen who presided over the Tibetan National Assembly. In addition to his extensive experience in government, Mr. Shakabpa has traveled abroad. In 1948 he headed the Tibetan Trade Delegation, which traveled around the world.

Following the Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1951, Mr. Shakabpa took up residence in India, where he began work on a study of Tibet's political history. A number of books on Tibet have been published in recent years; most of them are devoted chiefly to religion or to contemporary events. Mr. Shakabpa's study, by contrast, is a balanced presentation of Tibetan political history from earliest times down to the present.

In preparing his book, Mr. Shakabpa has used some fifty-seven original Tibetan sources. Some are rare Tibetan government records; others represent materials not previously cited in English works. It will be noted that when a Tibetan source is cited in a footnote, no page number is given. Although contrary to Western academic methods, this practice is traditional in Tibetan historiography. Beginning with the earliest known Tibetan histories, only the title of a cited work was given -- apparently on the assumption that a literate person would be able to locate the page concerned, once he knew which book to read. It was only after working on his history for some time that Mr. Shakabpa came to know the Western method of giving page numbers and publishing data in citations; therefore, his book incorporates the traditional practice for Tibetan sources and the academic method for Western sources. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, for him to rewrite all the citations of Tibetan materials, since some of them were unique government records he copied in Tibet and are no longer available. Moreover, those who read Tibetan will have little difficulty in locating the cited passages; those who do not would find page numbers valueless.

For the convenience of the general reader, Mr. Shakabpa has rendered the Tibetan names phonetically; but aware of their inconsistencies and of the confusion caused by numerous homophones in the Tibetan language, he has wisely included the correct Tibetan orthography for each entry in the Index, as well as in the Bibliography, which will greatly increase the value of his book to the serious student of Tibetan history. The system of orthographic transcription used is that described in T. Wylie, "A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 22 (December 1959), 261-67.

Mr. Shakabpa's book is a unique contribution to our understanding of Tibet, because his work marks the first time that a Tibetan lay official of high rank has written a study of his own country's political history. He sheds new light on certain significant factors in the evolution of that form of religious government unique in Tibet. In addition, he offers new and interesting evidence, which should help clarify the political status of Tibet in modern times.

I first met Tsepon Shakabpa in India in 1960, at which time we discussed at length his work on Tibetan political history. Since then, I have had a continuing interest in his progress, and it is, therefore, with pleasure and a sense of fulfillment that I now have the privilege of writing the foreword to this book, which is the fruition of Mr. Shakabpa's years of work.

Associate Professor of Tibetan Language and Civilization
University of Washington


In 1931 I was summoned to the house of my uncle, Norbu Wangyal Trimon, who was then the senior Minister of Tibet. He spoke to me at length and gave me a thorough briefing on the Chinese war with Tibet and how the Chinese were driven out of the country some years earlier. He further acquainted me with the Simla Convention of 1914, which had been concluded between the British, Tibetan, and Chinese plenipotentiaries, attending under equal powers. My uncle participated in that Convention as the assistant to Lonchen Shatra, then Prime Minister of Tibet and the Tibetan plenipotentiary at the Simla conference. My uncle handed me the drafts and documents of the Convention, together with the traditional ceremonial scarf, and said, "It will help Tibet if you write a political history after studying these documents." As I was quite young at the time, I was not fully aware of the significance of his advice or of the documents.

Early in 1946 my family and I made a pilgrimage to India, where I witnessed extensive movements for independence by the Indian people. While in Bombay, I heard speeches given before large crowds of people by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardu Vallabhai Patel. Those speeches moved me to realize the true value of independence. It was then that I really began to prize the documents given to me years before by my uncle. On my return to Lhasa, I pressured responsible officials to safeguard Tibet's independence and to develop diplomatic relations with foreign countries.

Toward the end of 1947, the government of Tibet assigned me to head a Trade Delegation of five men. We were instructed to visit major countries around the world to discuss commercial and political matters. While in India, we had a memorable audience with the late Mahatma Gandhi. Meeting that great man, who led India to independence by means of nonviolence, and hearing his fruitful advice was a truly great inspiration to me. In all the countries we visited, I and the other members of the Trade Delegation endeavored to further knowledge and understanding of Tibet. Owing to the results of this and other missions I have undertaken on behalf of my government and people, I realized that the world stood in need of information on Tibet's historical and political status.

When the Communist Chinese invaded eastern Tibet in 1950, government officials accompanied the Dalai Lama to Yatung, near the Indian-Sikkimese border. When an agreement was signed in the spring of 1951 between Tibet and China in Peking, I crossed over to India, rather than return to Lhasa and be forced to collaborate with the Red Chinese.

In India, I began to work on this book, knowing that there was no comprehensive and accurate political history in Tibetan, much Jess in English. I was able to secure numerous volumes of ancient manuscripts from Tibet, as well as through the kind assistance of my good friend, T. D. Densapa of Sikkim. I began an extensive study, using my uncle's documents as a background. When His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, visited India in 1956 to participate in the Buddha Jayanti celebration, he encouraged me to complete this book.

After the Tibetan revolt in 1959 and the flight of the Dalai Lama along with thousands of Tibetan refugees, I was appointed the Representative of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, with the responsibility of looking after the relief and rehabilitation of some 80,000 Tibetans seeking refuge in India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan. In 1959 Mr. Gyalo Thondup and I appeared before the United Nations General Assembly, when the "Question of Tibet" was presented through the Sponsorship of Ireland and Malaya. Being thus occupied, I had no time to work on my manuscript. Finally, on May 15, 1963, I obtained official leave from my duties to complete this book.

First of all, I wish to express my sincere thanks and deepest gratitude to the Asia Foundation, under whose sponsorship I was able to come to the United States, and without whose help the publication of this book would have been indefinitely delayed.

"The Asia Foundation (TAF), a Central Intelligence Agency proprietary, was established in 1954 to undertake cultural and educational activities on behalf of the United States Government in ways not open to official U.S. agencies."[18]

The Asia Foundation is an outgrowth of the Committee for a Free Asia, which was founded by the U.S. government in 1951.[19] CIA funding and support of the Committee for a Free Asia and the Asia Foundation were assigned the CIA code name "Project DTPILLAR".[20]

In 1954, the Committee for a Free Asia was renamed the Asia Foundation (TAF) and incorporated in California[21] as a private, nominally non-governmental organization devoted to promoting democracy, rule of law, and market-based development in post-war Asia.

Among the original founding officers of the board, there were several presidents/chairmen of large companies including T.S. Peterson, CEO of Standard Oil of California (now Chevron), Brayton Wilbur, president of Wilbur-Ellis Co., and J.D. Zellerbach, chairman of the Crown Zellerbach Corporation; four university presidents including Grayson Kirk from Columbia, J.E. Wallace Sterling of Stanford, and Raymond Allen from UCLA; prominent attorneys including Turner McBaine and A. Crawford Greene; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James Michener; Paul Hoffman, the first administrator of the Marshall Plan in Europe; and several major figures in foreign affairs.

In 1966, Ramparts revealed that the CIA was covertly funding a number of organizations, including the Asia Foundation.[18] A commission authorized by President Johnson and led by Secretary of State Rusk determined that the Asia Foundation should be preserved and overtly funded by the US government. Following this change, the US government described the Asia Foundation as a "quasi-nongovernmental organizations" and said that "the core of its budget" was still provided by the US government.[22] The Foundation began to restructure its programming, shifting away from its earlier goals of "building democratic institutions and encouraging the development of democratic leadership" toward an emphasis on Asian development as a whole (CRS 1983).

-- The Asia Foundation, by Wikipedia

I wish to thank the staff of the Yale University Press for its kind assistance and patience, and the staff of the Yale Library, which has an extensive collection of materials On Tibet.

I must equally thank my sons and Ruskin Bond for the help given in the translation of my manuscript into English. I wish to express my appreciation to Professor Turrell Wylie, University of Washington (Seattle), who was kind enough to edit my manuscript and offer valuable suggestions. Finally, I wish to acknowledge the unfailing encouragement given me by my wife, Pema Yudon, who contributed significantly to the completion of this book.


List of Abbreviations

All original Tibetan sources cited in this volume have been assigned abbreviated titles, which are listed alphabetically in the bibliography, where the full title and author’s name are given. Frequently cited Western sources have been assigned abbreviated titles as given below. Complete citations are given in the bibliography.

Bell: Tibet: Past and Present

Bogle: Markham, Narratives of the Mission of George Bogle

Boundary: Report of the Officials of the Governments of India

Bushell: “The Early History of Tibet from Chinese Sources”

Chronicles: Petech, A Study of the Chronicles of Ladakh

Dalai: My Land and My People

Documents: (See Bibliography, Tibetan Sources) [DOCUMENTS Miscellaneous Documents of the Government of Tibet.]

Howorth: History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century

JASB: Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal

JRAS: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

Li: Tibet: Today and Yesterday

Pelliot: Histoire Ancienne du Tibet

Petech: China and Tibet in the 18th Century

Phagdu: “A Short History of the House of Phagdu:

Portrait: Bell, Portrait of the Dalai Lama

Richardson: A Short History of Tibet

Rockhill: The Dalai Lamas of Lhasa and Their Relations with the Manchu Emperors of China

Simla: (See Bibliography, Tibetan Sources) [SIMLA: Tibetan Documents of the Simla Convention of 1914, (preserved by Bka'-blon Khri-smon).]

Smith: The Early History of India

Teichman: Travels of a Consular Officer in Eastern Tibet

Tombs: Tucci, “The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings”

TPS: Tucci, Tibetan Painted Scrolls

Tun-Huang: Bacot, Thomas, and Toussaint, Documents de Touenhouang

Younghusband: India and Tibet




1. BCU-GNYlS Kun-dga' rgyal-mtshan, Ngo-mtshar mdzad-pa bcu-gnyis (A biography of the first Dalai Lama, Dge-'dun grub-pal.

2. BEE-DUR Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho. Bee-durya ser-po (An account of the Dge-lugs-pa sect).

3. BKA'-CHEMS Bka'-chems ka-khol-ma (The last testament of Srongbtsan sgam-po). A gter-ma (cached-treasure book) discovered by Jo-bo Rje Atisha.

4. BKA-SHAG Bka'-shag Documents (A collection of treaties and agreements).

5. BKA-THANG Pad-ma bka'-thang (An account of Padma Sambhava and the monastery of Bsam-yas).

6. BSE-RU Byang-chub rgyal-mtshan. Rlangs pu-sti bse-ru (An autobiography).

7. BSHAD-SGRA Documents of Bshad-sgra (preserved at the Gong-dkar gnas-gsar estate).

8. 'BRAS-LJONGS 'Bras-ljongs rgyal-rabs (Chronicles of Sikkim).

9. 'BRUG-GI 'Brug-gi rgyal-rabs (Chronicles of Bhutan).

10. BU-STON Bu-ston rin-chen grub, Bsung-rab rin-po-che'i mdzod (A history of Buddhism and its sects in Tibet).

11. CHENPO HORGYI 'Jam-dbyangs dge-pa'i bshes-gnyen, Chen-po Hor-gyi bstan-bcos Gser-gyi deb-ther (early Mongol history).

12. CHOS-KYI-SPRIN Man-dzu shri mi-tra, Chos-kyi sprin-chen-po'i dbyangs (A biography of 'Brug-pa Ngag-dbang rnam-rgyal).

13. CHU-RTA Chu-rta Bka'-shag mgron-deb dangs-shel me-long (The Kashag Diary of the Water-Horse year, 1822).

14. 'DAB-BRGYA Pan-chen Blo-bzang ye-shes, Dad-pa'i 'dab-brgya bzhad-par byed-pa'i nyi-ma (A biography of Phur-lcog ngag-dbang byams-pa).

15. DANGS-SHEL Sgo-mang mtshan-zhabs ngag-dbang blo-bzang, Dangs-shel me-long (A biography of the twelfth Dalai Lama, 'Phrin-las rgya-mtsho).

16. DAR-HAN Dar-han mkhan-sprul. Blo-bzang 'phrin-las rnam-rgyal, Njo-mtshar nor-bu'i 'phreng-ba (A biography of the tenth Dalai Lama, Tshul-Khrims rgya-mtsho).

17. DEB-DKAR Dge-'dun chos-'phel, Deb-ther dkar-po (A short history of the reigns of Srong-btsan sgam-po and Khri-srong-lde-btsan)

18. DEB-DMAR Tshal-pa Kun-dga' rdo-rje, Deb-ther dmar-po (A history of the early kings of Tibet).

19. DEB-SNGON 'Gos Lo-tsa-wa Gzhon-nu-dpal, Deb-ther sngon-po (A history of Buddhism in Tibet).

20. DGA'-STON Dpa'-bo gtsug-Lag 'phreng-ba, Mkhas-pa'i Dga'-ston (A history of Buddhism in Tibet).

21. DMIGS-BU Bka'-drung Nor-nang, Deb-ther long-ba'i dmigs-bu (An account of the Dalai Lamas and Regents and their Seals).

22. DOCUMENTS Miscellaneous Documents of the Government of Tibet.

23. DPAG-BSAM Sum-pa mkhan-po Ye-shes dpal-'byor, Dpag-bsam ljon-bzang (A religious history of Tibet).

24. GDUNG-RABS Bsod-nams grags-pa rgyal-mtshan, SA-skya'i gdung-rabs rin-chen bang-mdzod (A history of Sa-skya).

25. GLING-BU Thub-bstan chos-'phel rgya-mtsho, Ngo-mtshar gtam -gyi gling-bu (An index to the 'Bum).

26. GOS-BZANG Du-ku-la'i gos-bzang (Volumes 1-3, An autobiography by the fifth Dalai Lama, Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho; Volumes 4-6, a biography of the fifth Dalai Lama by Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho).

27. GRUB-MTHA' Thu-kwan chos-kyi nyi-ma, Grub-mtha' shel-gyi me-long (A comparative study of Buddhist sects in Tibet).

28. GSER-SDONG Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, Gser-sdong 'dzam-gling rgyan-gcig dkar-chag (A list of the contents of the fifth Dalai Lama's golden mausoleum).

29. 'JAM-DBYANGS Pan-chen Bsod-nams grags-pa, 'Jam-dbyangs chos-rje bkra-shis dpal-ldan-gyi rnam-thar (A biography of 'Jam-dbyangs Chos-rje bkra-shis dpal-ldan).

30. 'JUG-NGOGS Mkhas-grub dge-legs dpal-bzang, Dad-pa'i 'jug-ngogs (A biography of Tsong-kha-pa).

31. KA-BSHAD Ser-khang Nang-pa'i phyag-drung, Ka-bshad (A versified account of the Younghusband expedition to Lhasa in 1904).

32. KHANG-GSAR Notes of the Bka'-blon, Bkra-shis khang-gsar.

33. LA-DAGS La-dags rgyal-rabs (Chronicles of Ladakh).

34. LAM-YIG Nag-mtsho Lo-tsa-ba, Rnam-thar rgyas-pa, also called Lam-yig (An account of Atisha's visit to Tibet).

35. LCANG-SKYA Lcang-skya ho-thog-thu, Dad-pa'i snye-ma (A biography of the seventh Dalai Lama, Bskal-bzang rgya-mtsho).

36. LNGA-PA Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, Lnga-pa drug-par 'phos pa'i gtam (An account relating to the sixth Dalai Lama, Tshangs-dbyangs rgya-mtsho).

37. LO-TSHIG 'Jam-dbyangs bshad-pa, Lo-tshig gser-gyi nyi-ma (A chronicle of famous lamas and monasteries).

38. MA-NI Ma-ni Bka-'bum (An account of the reign of Srong-btsan sgam-po). A gter-ma discovered by Grub-thob dngos-grub.

39. MDO-MKHAR Mdo-mkhar zhabs-drung Tshe-ring dbang-rgyal, Rtog-brjod (An autobiography).

40. MDZES-RGYAN Dge-slong sbyin-pa, 'Dzam-gling mdzes-rgyan (A biography of the fourth Panchen Lama).

41. ME-LONG Sa-skya Bsod-nams rgyal-mtshan, Rgyal-rabs gsal-ba'i me-long (A history of Tibet).

42. MI-DBANG Mdo-mkhar zhabs-brung Tshe-ring-dbang-rgyal, Mi-dbang rtog-brjod (A biography of Mi-dbang Bsod-nams stobs-rgyas).

43. MTSHO-SNGON Sum-pa mkhan-po Ye-shes dpal-'byor, Mtsho-sngon lo- rgyus tshangs-glu gsar-snyan (A history of the Kokonor region).

44. NOR-BU Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho, Nor-bu'i 'phreng-ba (A biography of the fourth Dalai Lama, Yon-tan rgya-mtsho).

45. NYIN-'BYED Kun-mkhyen pad-ma dkar-po, Thub-bstan pad-ma rgyas- pa'i nyin-'byed (A religious history of Tibet).

46. 'OD-ZER Nyi-ma'i 'od-zer (An anonymous biography of the third Panchen Lama Dpal-ldan ye-shes).

47. PAD-DKAR Phur-lcog Ngag-dbang byams-pa, Pad-dkar 'phreng-ba (A history of the great monasteries of Tibet).

48. PAD-TSHA Yongs-'dzin Lho-pa Blo-bzang bstan-'dzin, Dad-pa'i pad-tshal bzhad-pa'i nyin-'byed (A biography of the fifth Panchen Lama, Bstan-pa'i dbang-phyug).

49. PAN-CHEN Pan-chen Blo-bzang ye-shes, 'Od-dkar can-gyi 'phreng-ba (An autobiography).

50. 'PHRENG-BA Pan-chen Ye-shes rtse-mo, Ngo-mtshar nor-bu'i 'phreng-ba (A biography of the first Dalai Lama).

51. PHUR-LCOG Phur-lcog yongs-'dzin Byams-pa tshul-khrims, Rin-po-che'i 'phreng-ba (A Biography of the thirteenth Dalai Lama, Thub-bstan rgya-mtsho).

52. RAB-GSAL Sde-srid Sangs-rgyas rgya-mtsho, Rab-gsal gser-gyi snye-ma (A biography of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tshangs-dbyangs rgya-mtsho).

53. RDO-RING Bka'-blon Bstan-'dzin dpal-'byor rdo-ring (or) Dga'-bzhi, Zol-med Gtam-gyi Rol-mo (An autobiography).

54. RDZOGS-LDAN Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho, Rdzogs-Idan gzhon-nu'i dga'-ston (A history of Tibet).

55. RNAM-THAR Dka'-chen ye-shes rgyal-mtshan, Lam-rim bla-ma rgyud- pa'i rnam-thar thub-bstan mdzes-rgyan (A collection of short biographies of famous Lam-rim lamas).

56. ROL-MO Dar-han mkhan-sprul Blo-bzang 'phrin-las rnam-rgyal, Ngo-mtshar lha'i-rol-mo (A biography of the eleventh Dalai Lama, Mkhas-grub rgya-mtsho).

57. SA-'BRUG Sa-'brug Bka'-shag mgron-deb (The Kashag Diary of the Earth-Dragon year, 1808).

58. SBA-BZHED Sba Gsal-snang, Sba-bzhed (A religious history of the reign of Khri-srong lde-btsan).

59. SHEL-BRAG Bka'-thang shel-brag (An account of Padma Sambhava and the monastery of Bsam-yas).

60. SHING-'BRUG Shing-'brug Bka'-shag mgron-deb (The Kashag Diary of the Wood-Dragon year, 1844).

61. SHING-RTA Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho, Dngos-grub shing-rta (A biography of the third Dalai Lama, Bsod-nams rgya-mtsho).

62. SIMLA Tibetan Documents of the Simla Convention of 1914 (preserved by Bka'-blon Khri-smon).

63. SLE-LUNG Sle-lung rje-drung blo-bzang 'phrin-las (An autobiography by Sle-lung rje-drung).

64. SPYOD-TSHUL Pan-chen Blo-bzang chos-rgyan, Rang-gi spyod-tshul gsal-ba ston-pa (An autobiography by the first Panchen lama).

65. THANG-STONG 'Gyur-med bde-chen, Nor-bu'i me-long (A biography of the great saint, Thang-stong rgyal-po).

66. THUGS-RJE Kun-mkhyen pad-ma dkar-po, Thugs-rje chen-po'i zlos-gar (An autobiography).

67. YANGS-RGYAN Nag-shod bla-ma Bstan-'dzin shes-rab, 'Dzam -gling tha-gru yangs-pa'i rgyan (A biography of the eighth Dalai Lama, 'Jam-dpal rgya-mtsho).

68. YID-'PHROG Rgyud-smad dbu-mdzad 'Jam-dpal tshul-khrims and Bde-yangs rab-'byams Skal-bzang chos-'phel, Dad- pa'i yid-'phrog (A biography of the ninth Dalai Lama, Lung-rtog rgya-mtsho).

69. YIG-TSHANG Stag-sna'i yig-tshang mkhas-pa dga'-byed (An anonymous short history of Sa-skya).

70. ZLA-BA Fifth Dalai Lama Ngag-dbang blo-bzang rgya-mtsho, Zla-ba 'bum-phrag 'char-ba'i rdzing-bu (The teachings and counsels of the fifth Dalai Lama).


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2. Aitchison, Sir Charles, A Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sanads relating to India and Neighbouring Countries, Vols. 12 and 14, Calcutta, 1929-31.

3. Aoki, Bunkyo, Study on Eaarly Tibetan Chronicles, Tokyo, 1955.

4. J. Bacot, F. W. Thomas, and Ch. Toussaint, Documents de Touen-houang, relatifs a l'Histoire du Tibet, Paris, 1946.

5. Barthold, W., Encylopedia of Islam, 4 (S-Z) Leiden, 1913-36.

6. Bell, Charles, Portrait of the Dalai Lama, London, 1946.

7. ---, Tibet: Past and Present, Oxford, 1914.

8. Bretschneider. E., On the Knowledge possessed by the Ancient Chinese of the Arabs, London, 1871.

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10. Cutting, Suydam, The Fire Ox and Other Years, New York, 1940.

11. Dalai Lama (14th]. My Land and My People, New York. 1962.

12. Dalai Lama and India, A. V. Rau, ed., New Delhi, 1959.

13. Das, Sarat Chandra. "Contributions on the Religion, History, etc., of Tibet," JASB, 51-1 (1882),1-75.

14. ---, Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet, London, 1902.

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28. Howorth, Henry H., History of the Mongols from the 9th to the 19th Century, London, 1876.

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38. Martin, Desmond, The Rise of Chingis Khan and His Conquest of North China, Baltimore, 1950.

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48. ___ , Trails to Inmost Asia, New Haven, 1931.

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 4

Chapter 14. The 1910 Chinese Invasion of Lhasa and Tibet's Struggle to Maintain Her Independence

In 1896 some of the territories of the Nyarong governor were taken from him by the Chakla chieftain in eastern Tibet. The governor demanded the return of the territories, but the Chakla chieftain was backed by the Chinese from Szechuan, who sent him troops under an officer named Tang-li. The Chinese captured a considerable amount of Tibetan territory in eastern Tibet, and the chieftain of Derge and his entire, family were taken prisoner and sent to Szechuan. The Derge chieftain's father and mother died in prison; but intervention by the Tibetan government resulted in the release of two of his sons. Authority over Derge was conferred on the eldest son by the Tibetans and after negotiations with the Chinese had been concluded, T'ang-li's troops were withdrawn.1

Similar local clashes occurred during the next few years. In 1903 the Chinese began to establish themselves with troops in the territories of Garthar (where the seventh Dalai Lama had lived for several years), Jun Dondupling, and other places.2 Meanwhile, the new deputy Amban, Feng-chien, on his way to Lhasa, stopped over at Bah. He commented on the large number of monks in the local monastery and suggested that some of them would be more useful if they returned to agricultural pursuits. The monks took offense at the Amban's remarks and murdered him and his escort.3 Chinese troops were dispatched from Szechuan, under General Ma Ti-t'ai,4 to deal with the Bah monks, who, having no nearby Tibetan troops to support them, were outnumbered and forced to surrender. The Chinese general arrested 312 monks whom he suspected of having had a hand in the Amban's murder. The monks were executed, their property confiscated, and some of the monastery buildings put to the torch. Ma Ti-t'ai then returned to Szechuan.

On the pretext of continuing investigations into the affair. Chinese troops again come to Bah in 1905 under the command of Chao Erh-feng. Four monks were killed and the monastery heavily fined.5 The monks of the neighboring Lithang monastery protested against the unfair treatment of the Bah monks, who had already been punished. Chao Erh-feng summoned the two Tibetan government representatives from Lithang and asked them if it was true that the Lithang monks were objecting to his methods. When the two Tibetans confirmed the report, Chao had them executed on the spot. This quelled the aggressiveness of the Lithang monks, but the people of nearby Chating began making preparations to assist Bah. When he learned of this, Chao sent his troops to Chating and 1,210 monks and laymen were killed.

In June of 1906, Chao Erh-feng's troops descended on the Gongkar Namling monastery.6 Four monks went out to offer the monastery's surrender, but they were executed on the spot. The others fled into the forest, leaving behind two aged monks and three kitchen attendants, all of whom were slaughtered. Similar attacks were perpetrated on the Yangteng monastery, where forty-eight monks were killed; the rest escaped into the forests. Both monasteries were looted of their gold shrines, silver ornaments, and stocks of grain. The Buddhist scriptures were burned. Most of the loot was sent to Szechuan, where the brass and copper objects were melted down to make coins. A deputy commander of Chao's raided the Lagang monastery, where twenty-five monks were killed in the fighting and nine of their leaders later executed. The Chinese general soon became known among the Tibetans as "Chao the Butcher."

It was proposed by Chao Erh-feng that the area from Tachienlu westward to Kongpo Gyamda be made into a new province of China. Kongpo Gyamda is a village about 120 miles east of Lhasa. Although never subjugated and integrated into the Chinese provincial system, the area proposed by Chao appears on twentieth-century Chinese maps as the province of Hsi~k'ang.7 In 1907 Chao sent troops to Tsa Menkhung in southern Kham, where thousands of loads of grain were taken from the inhabitants without payment being made. In 1908 Chao, reinforced with troops from Szechuan, declared that since the Tibetans were in contact with the British, he would establish a local government at Chamdo and then march to Lhasa.8

In Lhasa, a letter written by the Regent and the Kashag to the Manchu Emperor protesting Chao Erh-feng's depredations was handed over to the Amban, Lien-yu, who refused to forward it to Peking. Because the Amban persisted in refusing to forward the letter, the Regent, Ganden Tri Rimpoche, assumed that the Amban and Chao Erh-feng were acting in agreement, probably without the Emperor's knowledge; therefore, the Kashag sent a representative to Calcutta to telegraph the Chinese Foreign Office and Military Department (Chun-chi-pu ) at Peking, asking them to order Chao to withdraw from Kham. An appeal was also made to the British to use their good offices on this matter with China.9

There was no reply from Peking. Meanwhile, the Chinese garrison at Lhasa was reinforced with six thousand troops and the Amban wrote to the Kashag, informing it that all troops in Tibet were now to be under the command of Chung-yin, a Manchu who had been appointed commander-in -chief. The Kashag refused to acknowledge the Amban's order. Tibetan troops outnumbered the Amban's garrison in Lhasa; but because the Dalai Lama was still in Chinese territory, the Tibetan government had to tolerate numerous acts of aggression in Kham out of concern for the Dalai Lama's personal safety. The Manchu Emperor was weak and could no longer control his provinces, whose governors began making their own decisions and policies. In 1909 the Tibetan government learned that a large Chinese force was being sent to Tibet to police the trade marts, as provided under the Trade Regulations signed at Calcutta in April 1908. The Tibetans objected to the Chinese policing of the trade marts and offered to provide troops themselves, if any were needed. The Kashag made several protests to the Amban, demanding the withdrawal of Chinese troops from Tibetan territory; the Amban's reply was to bring in the troops sooner than planned.

Anxious that the Dalai Lama should arrive in Lhasa before the Chinese troops, the Tibetans sent a representative, Khenchung Chamba Choszang, to Kham with orders to halt the Chinese troops, until Peking should reply to the telegram sent from Calcutta. The Chinese troops had advanced four days' march from Chamdo. Khenchung met them at Tar Dzong and delivered his instructions for them to halt; but the Chinese ignored his orders and placed him under arrest. The Chinese were well equipped with modern arms; however, they carried no food supplies, preferring to halt every fifteen miles or so and help themselves to whatever the local inhabitants could be forced to provide. When they arrived at Kongpo Gyamda, Khenchung Chamba Choszang and eight of his escort were executed on the orders of the Amban.

The Dalai Lama arrived back in Lhasa in December of 1909. Representatives of the Tsongdu were asked to meet the Chinese army and attempt to detain it. Fearing execution, they took with them a deputy of the Nepalese representative in Lhasa and a leader of the Kashmiri Muslims. The deputy Amban, accompanied by the Nepalese representative went to the Dalai Lama and assured him that the Chinese army was intended merely to police the trade marts. It would be dispersed as soon as it reached Lhasa and would not interfere in the internal affairs of Tibet. As security, he offered to give the Dalai Lama a letter to this effect. The letter arrived the next day. It contained the general assurances already given by the Amban; but reference to the "internal affairs of Tibet" was omitted and instead, it guaranteed that there would be no interference in the "religious affairs of the Dalai Lama."

On the third day of the first Tibetan month of the Iron-Dog year (1910), the Chinese army, under the command of Chung-yin, reached the banks of the Kyichu river, where it was met by the Amban's bodyguard. At three o'clock in the afternoon, the Chinese marched through Lhasa, firing on members of the Lhasa police, killing or wounding a number of them. They also fired on the Jokhang temple, and then, passing through the streets, attacked Teji Phunkhang, the head of the Foreign Bureau and organizer of the Monlam festival who was on his way to the temple with his colleagues. Phunkhang's horse was killed under him. He himself was arrested, beaten, stripped of his ornaments, and taken to the Amban's residence. His colleague, Tsedron Jamyang Gyaltsen, and Phunkhang's personal servant were killed.

The Chinese then made their presence further known by firing at the Potala. The Dalai Lama immediately appointed a new Regent, Tri Rimpoche Ngawang Lozang Tsemonling, and provided him with an assistant named Khenche Khenrab Phumsok Neushag. He told them he would have to leave for Yatung, near the Sikkimese border and instructed them to take over his responsibilities. As soon as it grew dark, the Dalal Lama, accompanied by his three Prime Ministers, the council minister, Kalon Serchung, two deputy ministers, Kalon Tenzin Wangpo and Kalon Samdrup Phodrang, and the Medical Adviser, Chamba Thubwang Ngoshi, crossed the Ramagang river and journeyed westward in the direction of Chaksam. (When the present Dalai Lama fled during the Tibetan revolt in 1959, he crossed the same river but then traveled southward.)

The next day, the Amban learned of the Dalai Lama's flight and asked his troops for volunteers to bring back the head of the Dalai Lama. Wu, a Chinese officer,10 and a Chinese-Tibetan named Gyalgodong, volunteered. They were given three hundred cavalrymen, with whom they pursued the Dalai Lama's party.

On the evening of his arrival at Chaksam, the Dalai Lama received a message that his pursuers were only ten miles away. He immediately left for the monastery Yardok Samding, the seat of the abbess Dorje Phagmo, who is one of the few Tibetan Buddhist nuns considered to be an incarnation. (Reincarnations of Dorje Phagmo are selected in much the same manner as those of incarnate lamas.) A few Tibetan troops remained behind with the attendant, Dazang Dadul, to delay the Chinese. At sunrise of the next day, the Chinese cavalry arrived at Chaksam, where they were attacked by Dazang Dadul's small force. The Chinese were held up for two days and suffered a number of casualties. Dadul was rewarded in later years for his heroism at Chaksam.

From the Samding monastery, the Dalai Lama sent a message to Basil Gould, then British Trade Agent at Gyantse, asking for asylum in India if necessary. The Dalai Lama then journeyed on to Phari, where he was visited by the commander of a small contingent of twenty-five Chinese troops stationed at Yatung, one day's journey south of Phari. The commander asked the Dalai Lama not to cross over into India and offered to write a full report to the Manchu Emperor and the Amban at Lhasa. The Dalai Lama said that he would consider the request when he arrived in Yatung.

The Dalai Lama was receiving daily reports that the Chinese were still in pursuit from the north. As he continued his trip, almost the entire population of Dromo (Chumbi Valley) and Phari turned out to accompany him to Yatung as bodyguards. The Chinese were warned not to appear on the streets of Yatung on the day the Dalai Lama passed through. Meanwhile, a military officer and the British Trade Agent arrived at Phari from Gyantse to accompany the huge party to Yatung. The party traveled without further interference from the Chinese troops. After passing through the gates, the Dalai Lama was welcomed by David Macdonald, the British Trade Agent at Yatung, and spent the night at his residence. Macdonald had been to Lhasa with the Younghusband Mission in 1904. He spoke and wrote Tibetan very well, and gained the friendship and goodwill of many Tibetans.11

The Dalai Lama's original plan had been to remain at Yatung and from there conduct negotiations with Peking, but when he heard that Chinese troops had arrived at Phari, only one day away, he finally decided to cross over into India. Before leaving Yatung, the Dalal Lama left a letter with Macdonald to be forwarded to the British officials in India. In view of the fact that the British had invaded Lhasa a few short years earlier, causing the Dalai Lama to flee to Mongolia, the contents of the letter he now sent the British are interesting enough to warrant reproducing it in full. It read:

The Chinese have been greatly oppressing the Tibetan people at Lhasa. Mounted infantry arrived there. They fired on the inhabitants, killing and wounding them. I was obliged, together with my six ministers, to make good my escape. My intention now is to go to India for the purpose of consulting the British government. Since my departure from Lhasa I have been greatly harassed on the road by Chinese troops. A force of two hundred Chinese Mongol infantry were behind me at Chak-sam. and I left a party of my soldiers to hold them back. A small fight took place there, in the course of which two Tibetans and seventy Chinese were killed. I have left the Regent and acting ministers at Lhasa, but I and the ministers who accompany me have brought our seals with us. I have been receiving every courtesy from the British government, for which I am grateful. I now look to you for protection, and I trust that the relations between the British government and Tibet will be that of a father to his children. Wishing to be guided by you, I hope to give full information on my arrival in India.12

Traveling via the Dzalep-la pass, the Dalai Lama arrived in Kalimpong, where he was the guest of Raja Kazi Ugyen of Bhutan. The house in which the Dalai Lama lived is known today as Bhutan House, and to the Tibetans, it is still called Migyur Ngonga Phodrang, meaning "Palace of Unchanging Delight," because of its association with the thirteenth Dalai Lama.

After a week at Kalimpong, the Dalai Lama went to Darjeeling, where he stayed in a house called Padabuk. There he was visited by Charles Bell, the Political Officer of Sikkim, who acted as his liaison with the government of India. The Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling looked after all aspects of the Dalai Lama's security.

Several telegrams were sent to Peking to request the withdrawal of Chinese troops from Tibet; but these were studiously ignored. Moreover, reports appeared in Indian newspapers that the Manchus had deposed the Dalai Lama and were choosing his successor by a lottery. The Manchu Amban circulated similar reports in Lhasa. The Dalai Lama then decided never to have direct negotiations with the Manchus or the Chinese; instead, he invoked one of the articles of the 1904 Lhasa Convention and appealed to the British to intercede on his behalf. The Dalai Lama, on his arrival in Calcutta, received a seventeen-gun salute in his honor and was escorted in a regal carriage to Hastings House.

The Dalai Lama met the Viceroy, Lord Minto, on March 14, 1910, and gave him an account of Chinese deceit and aggrandizement in Tibet. The following are extracts from the private interview as recorded by Butler, who began his account thus: "His Excellency, the Viceroy, received the Dalai Lama in private audience at Government House, Calcutta, this afternoon at five p.m. There were also present Mr. Bell, Political Officer, Sikkim, who acted as interpreter, and myself." The account went on to say that after compliments, in the course of which the Dalai Lama expressed his cordial thanks for the hospitality extended to him and the kindness of his reception, His Holiness said that he had had a trying time in his journey from Lhasa and was in danger from the Chinese soldiers who pursued him. At the time that he left Lhasa, there were 500 of the old Chinese troops and 40 newly-arrived ones, who were the advance guard of a force of 2,000 men then only two days' march from Lhasa. In all, some 1,700 troops had come into Lhasa and its neighborhood lately, according to the information he had received. That total number of Chinese troops in Tibet was not required for Tibet alone. The Chinese had designs on Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, which they intended to subdue, and that would destroy the last vestiges of the Lamaist religion. The Chinese had more than once interposed to prevent amicable direct relations between the Tibetan and British governments. The Sikkim dispute of 1888 and the Younghusband mission of 1904 were due entirely to the actions of the Chinese. While in Peking, His Holiness had asked the British Minister to eliminate the harmful intervention of the Chinese.

The Dalai Lama went on to tell the Viceroy that under the Trade Regulations of 1908, direct relations between the British and Tibetan governments had been assured, and he was appealing that the rights of the Tibetans in this regard should be observed. He asked that he might be restored to the position of the fifth Dalai Lama, who had negotiated with the Emperor of China as the ruler of a friendly state, and he asked that the Chinese troops be withdrawn.

When questioned by the Viceroy as to whether he knew the terms of the treaties, in which the British government had entered with China and Russia, His Holiness replied that he was studying them.

The Tibetan government claimed the right of direct dealing with the British government, and it did not recognize the 1890 and 1906 Conventions, in which it had played no part. Moreover, the Dalai Lama said he had had no communications from the Chinese at Lhasa since he had left Phari. He would not return to Lhasa under the present political conditions there, as the promises made to him had been disregarded: He would not trust the written word of the Peking government as it had violated the promises given him by the late Empress Dowager.

When questioned by the Viceroy as to what he intended to do if he did not return to Lhasa, the Dalai Lama replied that he could not say at the moment, but that unless the matter was satisfactorily settled, he would not return to Lhasa. He denied that he had intrigued against China. He had only been two months in Lhasa before he fled. The Amban was altogether hostile. The Dalai Lama had come away with his ministers and the seals of office. With the Regent, whom he had appointed, he had left the seal that was used in the signing of the 1904 Convention, but his own seal he had with him. Moreover, he had had no contact with the Regent since he left. The Chinese intercepted all official letters and he had no official communication with Tibet. Some private letters had come through, but any communication had to be secret.

During the interview, the Dalai Lama sought to clarify the issue of Dorjieff, the Buriat Mongol, who had visited the Czar of Russia. His Holiness stated that Dorjieff was now in his own country. He had been one of seven assistants to his chief spiritual adviser and had never had anything to say except about spiritual matters.

At the end of the interview, the Dalai Lama said that he had made his appeal and asked what would be the answer. His Excellency, the Viceroy, said that he was very glad to have the opportunity of entertaining His Holiness and of meeting him. He had given instructions that every consideration should be shown to him, but he said that political questions of importance required due consideration and that he could not say more than that he would communicate His Holiness' remarks to His Majesty's government. The Dalai Lama then repeated his expressions of gratitude to the Viceroy and took his leave.

The Viceroy suggested that in the meantime the Dalai Lama enjoy the sights of Calcutta. While showing the Dalai Lama every consideration, the Viceroy was careful not to commit himself to any promises of help, perhaps because he was not very clear as to Britain's own treaty obligations with China and Russia. After spending a few days in Calcutta, the Dalai Lama returned to Darjeeling.

Only two of the original council ministers, Kalon Lozang Trinley and Kalon Tsarong, were still in Lhasa. The Dalai Lama, at the time of his departure, had instructed the Regent Tri Rimpoche to appoint Dekyi Lingpa and Khenchung Gyaltsen Phuntsok as deputy Kalon. The Chinese deposed Lozang Trinley and disqualified Dekyi Lingpa and Gyaltsen Phuntsok, forbidding them to enter the Kashag. Tsarong was the only one kept in office. His new colleagues, appointed by the Chinese, were Tenzin Chosdrak, Rampa, and Lanthongpa. The Regent's assistant, Khenrab Phuntsok Neushag, was arrested by the Chinese and condemned to death; but on the appeal of the Regent, his life was spared and he was dispatched in chains to Tachienlu.

In Lhasa, Tibetan police were replaced by Chinese. The Dalai Lama's personal effects, which were still on their way back from China, were confiscated at Nagchukha. His property in the Potala and Norbulingka (the summer palace), as well as the vast treasury of the Tibetan government, were removed by the Chinese. The Lhasa armory and magazines were emptied, the mint and ammunition factory seized, and the houses of those ministers who had fled with the Dalai Lami systematically pillaged. The property of the ex-Regent Demo, who had been found guilty of plotting against the Dalai Lama in 1899, was restored to his family.

Many districts that had formerly sent their revenue direct to Lhasa began to send it to the Dalai Lama at Darjeeling through merchants and travelers. To put a stop to this, the Chinese set up check-posts along the border and searched all travelers to India. Before long, Tibetans in Lhasa began defacing and removing posters put up by the Chinese. Monastic representatives and Tibetan officials protested to the Manchu Amban against the deposition of the Dalai Lama. Neither the Tibetan people nor their government would cooperate with the Chinese dictatorship at Lhasa. In eastern and southern Tibet, Chinese nationals were frequently attacked.

The Chinese, now realizing that they had made a mistake in declaring the Dalai Lama deposed, instructed the Amban to send Lo Ti-t'ai to Darjeeling to offer the Dalai Lama the restoration of his titles and to request him to return to Tibet. The Chinese official arrived in India in September 1910.

In reply to Lo Ti-t'ai, the Dalai Lama wrote the following letter:

To Lo Ti- t'ai from the Dalai Lama: On the tenth day of the ninth month of the Iron-Dog year [1910], I received through you an urgent message from the Peking political and military departments asking me to return to Lhasa. In reply, I have the following to say: The Manchu Emperors have always shown great care for the welfare of the successive Dalai Lamas, and the Dalai Lamas have reciprocated these feelings of friendship. We have always had each other's best interests at heart. The Tibetan people have never had any evil designs on the Chinese.

In the Wood-Dragon year [1904], when the British expedition arrived in Tibet, I did not consider taking any assistance except from Peking. When at Peking, I met the Emperor and his aunt, and they showed me great sympathy. The Emperor committed himself to taking care of the welfare of Tibet. On the strength of the Emperor's word, I returned to Tibet, only to find that on our eastern borders, large bodies of Chinese troops had massed and many of our subjects had been killed. Monasteries were destroyed and the people's rights suppressed. I am sure that you are fully aware of this.

Furthermore, the Amban at Lhasa, Lien-yu, had been reinforcing his troops with the object of occupying Lhasa. On several occasions, I objected to this; but he turned a deaf ear to my appeals. When the troops were on their way to Lhasa, I sent my representative, Khenchung, to meet them and explain my position; but the military officers executed Khenchung and seized his possessions.

While on their march, Chinese troops had exploited the people and the monasteries to such an extent that my subjects and the monastery monks requested permission to retaliate. Had they done so, it would not have been impossible for us to defeat your army, owing to our knowledge of the terrain. However, a fight by my subjects against your troops might have been construed as against the Manchu Emperor. I, therefore, asked my ministers to negotiate with your officers and to protect your representatives in Lhasa. I also wrote to the Emperor asking him to withdraw these troops. All this is clear in the records held by both the Chinese and the Tibetans. I have several times explained this by wire to the Peking Political Department; but I have received no reply.

At Nagchukha, on my way from China to Lhasa, I wrote several notes to the Amban, informing him that China and Tibet must continue their long-standing friendship; but, instead of listening to my appeal, he insisted on bringing more troops to Lhasa. The advance of the Chinese troops coincided with the Monlam festival being held at Lhasa, at which thousands of monks from different monasteries had come together. In order to avoid a clash the Nepalese representative at Lhasa called on the Manchu Amban to prevent any trouble from arising. The Amban refused to do anything about it; instead, he sent his bodyguard out to meet the advancing troops. On the way, they fired on the Lhasa police, killing some of them. They also fired on the Jokhang temple and the Potala palace.

The eleventh Dalai Lama's nephew, Teji Phunkhang, and Tsedron Jamyang Gyaltsen, were Tibetan government officials assigned to administer the Monlam festival. On their way to the Jokhang temple, they were met by the troops, who fired on them. Tsedron Jamyang and Teji Phunkhang's servant and horse were killed. Teji Phunkhang was then beaten and taken away to the military camp. The people of Lhasa were so outraged that they wanted to take revenge; but I restrained, them from doing so. I still hoped we could negotiate with China and avoid unnecessary bloodshed, Not knowing what would happen if I were captured, I appointed a representative in Lhasa to continue negotiations and I then came to the border of Tibet and India in order to personally conduct negotiations with China.

My ministers had appealed to me to m to remain in Lhasa; but had I done so, a situation similar to the Muslim invasion of India might well have taken place, which resulted in many religious institutions being destroyed. As I did not want this to happen in Tibet, I came here especially to negotiate for my country, not caring what hardships I might have to endure. When I arrived at Phari, I was asked by the Chinese official of Yatung to remain at the Phari monastery and negotiate with Peking and with the Manchu Amban in Lhasa by wire. I thought this arrangement would be ideal; but when troops arrived to take me alive or dead, I had no choice but to cross the Indian border.

At Kalimpong, I came to know that the Manchu Emperor had already issued orders that I had been deposed from office. This was published in Indian newspapers, and even in Lhasa, posters were put up announcing that I was now an ordinary person and that a new Dalai Lama would soon be chosen. Since the Emperor has done everything on the recommendation of the Manchu Amban in Lhasa, without considering the independence of Tibet and the religious relationship between our two countries, I feel there is no further use in my negotiating directly with China. I have lost confidence in China and in finding any solution in consultation with the Chinese.

I have contacted the British, because the 1904 Convention permits us to deal directly with them. The Chinese are responsible for this action of mine.

During my stay in India, Amban Lien-yu has moved Chinese troops all over Tibet and has exploited Tibetan subjects to extremes. They have stopped my supplies and censored my letters from Tibet. They have sealed the treasury in Lhasa, emptied our armory, and seized our mint factories. Khenche Khenrab Phuntsok, assistant to my representative at Lhasa, aged seventy years, who was completely innocent, was imprisoned without cause and sent to Tachienlu. Judicial cases that had already been decided were reopened. Tibetan government property and the property of Tibetan officials and monasteries have been illegally seized.

You are fully aware of this inexcusable illegal action taken by your troops; yet, you inform me and my ministers that the situation in Tibet is peaceful and that status quo is being maintained. I know that this has been said to persuade me to return and I also know that it is false.

Because of the above, it is not possible for China and Tibet to have the same relationship as before. In order for us to negotiate, a third party, is necessary; therefore, we should both request the British government to act as an intermediary. Our future policy will be based on the outcome of discussions between ourselves, the Chinese, and the British. Are you able to agree to the participation of the British in these discussions? If so, please let me know.

In case you are not agreeable to this, I am handing you a letter containing the above facts, written in both the Manchu and Tibetan languages, which I would like you to forward to the Emperor. Please explain carefully to the Emperor the contents of my letter. (Dated) Thirteenth day of the ninth month of the Iron-Dog year [1910].


That winter, the Dalai Lama made a tour of the Buddhist pilgrimage places. He visited Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagara, where the Lord Buddha was born, became enlightened, delivered his first sermon, and died.

Meanwhile the officials of the Panchen Lama in Tibet, hoping to use the Panchen for their own purposes, invited him to Lhasa in January 1911. He stayed first in the Jokhang temple and then moved to the Norbulingka (summer palace of the Dalai Lama). This annoyed the Tibetan people, who became even more outraged when the Panchen Lama began to fraternize with the Manchu Amban in public, accompanying him to parties and the theatre.

During the Butter-lamp festival, the Panchen Lama and the Amban placed themselves in sedan chairs and were taken in procession around Lhasa in the same manner in which the Dalai Lama was normally escorted. The Lhasa populace participated in the ceremony, but only to the extent of dropping mud and old socks on to the heads of the Panchen and the Amban as they passed. It was also the occasion for a new Lhasa street-song:

The slovenly attired monk
On the roof of the Jokhang,
Would have been a thief
If it were not for the arrival of the dawn.

"Dawn" in the song refers to the Tibetan resistance movement, which prevented the Panchen Lama from accepting the Dalai Lama's administrative duties, which the people suspected the Chinese were preparing to offer him. From the private correspondence that passed between the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, it is evident that the Panchen held the Dalai Lama in high regard; he was involved in this unpleasantness only because of the collaboration of his officials with the Chinese. Since that time, ill feeling has continued to exist between the Lhasa officials and the Panchen's Tashilhunpo officials.

Meanwhile, back in Lhasa, things were not going well for the Chinese. They could get no cooperation from the people, the Tibetan parliament was proving obstructive, while in parts of the country a resistance movement calling itself "The Dawn" had begun to harass them. When the Chinese invited the Panchen Lama to Lhasa, hoping to use his authority, angry Tibetans expressed their disapproval by dropping old socks and mud on his head as he and the Chinese amban rode through the streets together. Taxes soon began to find their way to Darjeeling, where the Dalai Lamas was now living, instead of to Lhasa, and the Chinese had to search Tibetans leaving for India to prevent this. Finally, the Chinese became so desperate that they were forced to approach the Dalai Lama and plead with him to return, but in vain.

-- Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa, by Peter Hopkirk

The Dawn Society

Founder-editor of the Dawn magazine (1897–1913), an organ of Indian Nationalism, in 1902 he organised the "Dawn Society" of culture, to protest against the Report of the Indian Universities Commission, representing the inadequate university education imposed by the Government to fabricate clerks for the merchant offices. "The cry for thorough overhauling of the whole system of University education was in the air."[4]. In 1889, he formulated the scheme for national education.[5]

Dawn occupied an apartment on the first floor of the present Vidyasagar College (formerly known as the Metropolitan Institution: its Principal, Nagendranath Ghosh was the President, and Satish its general secretary). The Dawn Society was "functioning (…) as a training ground of youths and a nursery of patriotism, became in 1905 one of the most active centres for the propagation of Boycott-Swadeshi ideologies..."[6]

In tune with the programme of a new pedagogy introduced by Sri Aurobindo, the Society's object was to draw the attention of the students to the needs of the country, to love Mother India, to cultivate their moral character, to inspire original thinking. It had a weekly session for a "general training course". One of the members, Benoy Kumar Sarkar, considering having lived significantly thanks to Satish Chandra's influence, would remember his ardent message of patriotism and philanthropy rousing the youth to dedicated service; he would also write about the method of Pandit Nilakantha Goswami's explaining the Bhagavad Gita, impressing on the listeners' mind the futility of life and death, the insignificance of the body: the sole thing that counts is Duty, the right Action.[7]

Among active members of the "Dawn" were Sister Nivedita, Bagha Jatin (Jatin Mukherjee), Rajendra Prasad (first President of India), Haran Chakladar, Radha Kumud Mukherjee, Kishorimohan Gupta (principal, Daulatpur College), Atulya Chatterjee, Rabindra Narayan Ghosh, Benoykumar Sarkar, all future celebrities. One day, Satish Chandra heard an inner voice uttering firmly: "God exists."[8]

-- Satish Chandra Mukherjee, by Wikipedia

Among the Chinese troops in Lhasa, there were many who had been enlisted in Szechuan. Some were ordinary soldiers, while others belonged to the Ko-lao-hui, a secret society of revolutionists. Because of rivalry among the soldiers and the insufficiency of their pay in Tibet, clashes took place within the Chinese army. The Amban had the local leader of the Ko-lao-hui executed; but this only led to recriminations and murder among the Chinese officers. Political dissensions and personal feuds resulted in the defection of a Chinese colonel, Hsieh Kuo-liang, and three other officers to the Tibetan side. They joined the Sera monastery as monks.

In October 1911, the revolution led by Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Manchus in China. When this news reached Lhasa, the members of the Ko-lao-hui mutinied. They attacked the Amban's residence and looted his house. The Amban fled from Lhasa and took refuge near the Drepung monastery; but the mutineers caught up with him and carried him off to Shigatse as a hostage. Chung-yin, the Manchu commander-in-chief, intervened on behalf of the Amban and secured his release. Afterwards, the mutineers called for the other army units stationed at outlying points to join them for the march back to China and home. This brought additional Chinese troops to Lhasa "whose plunder on the way and in the capital aroused widespread ill-feeling among the Tibetans."14

The combination of increasing imperialist demands (from both Japan and the West), frustration with the foreign Manchu Government embodied by the Qing court, and the desire to see a unified China less parochial in outlook fed a growing nationalism that spurred on revolutionary ideas....

[M]illions of Chinese living overseas, especially in Southeast Asia and the Americas, began pressing for either widespread reform or outright revolution.
Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao emerged as leaders of those proposing the creation of a constitutional monarchy. Sun Yat-sen led the amalgam of groups that together formed the Revolutionary Alliance or Tongmenghui. The Revolutionary Alliance advocated replacing Qing rule with a republican government; Sun himself was a nationalist with some socialist tendencies.

Both the revolutionary leaders and the overseas Chinese bankrolling their efforts had their roots in southern China....

Finally, in the autumn of 1911, the right set of conditions turned an uprising in Wuchang into a nationalist revolt. As its losses mounted, the Qing court responded positively to a set of demands intended to transform authoritarian imperial rule into a Constitutional monarchy. They named Yuan Shikai the new premier of China, but before he was able to retake the captured areas from the revolutionaries, the provinces started to declare their allegiance to the Revolutionary Alliance. Dr. Sun was in the United States on a fundraising tour at the time of the initial revolt; he hastened first to London and Paris to ensure that neither country would give financial or military support to the Qing government in its struggle. By the time he returned to China, the revolutionaries had taken Nanjing, a former capital under the Ming Dynasty, and representatives from the provinces began to arrive for the first national assembly. Together, they elected Dr. Sun the provisional president of the newly declared Republic of China....

[T]he emperor and the royal family abdicated the throne in February of 1912.

The 1911 revolution was only the first steps in a process that would require the 1949 revolution to complete. Though the new government created the Republic of China and established the seat of government in Nanjing, it failed to unify the country under its control. The Qing withdrawal led to a power vacuum in certain regions, resulting in the rise of warlords. These warlords often controlled their territories without acknowledging the nationalist government. Additionally, the reforms set in place by the new government were not nearly as sweeping as the revolutionary rhetoric had intended; unifying the country took precedent over fundamental changes....

[T]he United States was largely supportive of the republican project, and in 1913, the United States was among the first countries to establish full diplomatic relations with the new Republic.

-- The Chinese Revolution of 1911, by Office of the Historian, Department of State

Chao Erh-feng had maintained his headquarters at Chamdo; but on receiving news of the revolution in China, he returned to his capital in Szechuan, leaving his deputy in command of the troops in Kham.15 In the following year, Chao was executed.16

News spread throughout Tibet that the Dalai Lama was about to return from exile. This caused the Chinese troops and civilians in U- Tsang to be constantly harassed. Kanam Depa of Poyul in southeastern Tibet openly revolted against the Chinese. Imperial troops, under Lo Chang-chi, were sent from Lhasa towards Poyul; but, because of the steep, rocky roads leading to that remote area, the Chinese lost many men on the way and had to return without being able to suppress the uprising.

A number of the Dalai Lama's junior officials in Darjeeling volunteered to return to Tibet and fight. They arrived in Tsang and organized uprisings. They attacked the Chinese at Shigatse and Gyantse; but they suffered severe losses and had to return in disgrace to Darjeeling, where for a time they were ridiculed by the senior Tibetan officials. They were summoned into the presence of the Prime Minister, Lonchen Shatra, expecting to be reprimanded; but the shrewd Lonchen praised their efforts. He declared them to be heroes, saying that he was sure they would be more successful in their next venture. Inspired by his confidence in them, the young officials returned again to Tibet, where they did an excellent job of organizing guerrilla resistance. Eventually, they succeeded in driving the Chinese out of Shigatse and Gyantse. Later on, these young officials were all made generals.

The Dalai Lama then moved from Darjeeling to Kalimpong, where he again stayed at Bhutan House. From there he sent his sealed orders to Lhasa, addressed to Tsepon Norbu Wangyal Trimon and the Secretary-General, Chamba Tendar, who was later to become a Kalon and governor of eastern Tibet. Tsepon Trimon was later to become an assistant to Lonchen Shatra at the Simla Convention, with the rank of commander-in-chief. (Eventually he rose to the position of a Kalon and succeeded Chamba Tendar as governor in eastern Tibet.)

The Dalai Lama instructed these two officials to organize in secret a War Department and to prepare for military action. They were told that if they wished to consult him, they should get into direct contact with him at Kalimpong. This statement implied that the Kashag was to be kept ignorant of their plans; nevertheless, Chamba Tendar and Trimon did at least contact prominent monks in the Sera monastery. By that time, the Chinese military dictatorship in Lhasa was weak and inefficient. Chinese soldiers were selling their guns and ammunition to Tibetan merchants. Chamba Tendar and Trimon sponsored their own merchants to buy Chinese firearms, while they secretly organized the recruitment of Tibetan soldiers.

The proud and patriotic Sera monks, aware of the preparations that were being made, became bold enough to provoke the Chinese openly. This roused the suspicions of the Chinese leaders, who held a meeting in Lhasa to discuss the situation. They complained that they were getting no help from Peking and that it was becoming increasingly difficult to live off the Tibetans and their land. Loans were no longer forthcoming from the Tibetan government. The Chinese assumed that if they put pressure on the government, it might provoke an attack by the Sera monks; therefore, they decided to risk an attack on Sera itself, even though they were uncertain as to the extent of opposition they would have to cope with in so doing.

When Trimon and Chamba Tendar learned of the Chinese decision to attack Sera, they contacted the Banagshol tribe of the Kham region, and deployed them to defend Sera. On November 2, 1911, the Chinese attacked the monastery. They captured and burned the surrounding hermitages and laid siege to the monastery itself. The three Chinese officers who had earlier defected to become monks now made themselves very useful to the Tibetan defenders. One of them, Hsieh Kuo~liang, emerged from the monastery at night and penetrated the Chinese lines. He spread the fiction that the monks were approaching from behind and thus diverted the attention of the Chinese so that the Sera monks were able to take the offensive. The Kham tribesmen fought so fiercely that the Chinese were unable to make any headway, even though the fighting lasted ninety-six hours.

Meanwhile, in Lhasa, Trimon and Chamba Tendar had openly declared war, and when this news reached Sera, the Chinese troops abruptly stopped fighting and immediately marched on Lhasa. Lhasa itself was then divided into two zones; the northern being occupied by Tibetans, the southern by Chinese. The front doors and windows of every house in town were blocked with sandbags. Communicating passages were made from one house to another by breaking through the walls. A stockaded street separated the two zones.

Both the Tibetans and the Chinese dug underground tunnels into each other's zone and laid fuses to explode kegs of powder placed under important outposts and houses. These tunnels were made in zigzag fashion to lessen the shock waves from the explosion. To draw the Chinese to the site of a planned explosion, the Tibetans would launch a brief attack on that area. Because the Tibetans repeatedly used the same tactic, the Chinese finally ignored this ruse and the explosion would take place in an area already evacuated. In order to detect underground digging, earthen jars were buried at floor-level and their rims smeared with mud. The slightest vibration would cause the mud to trickle into the jars.

There were very few large scale engagements. Insults were hurled from windows, and, because random sniping took place in streets dividing the two zones, it was dangerous to stand near an open window. By the end of almost a year's fighting, one third of Lhasa had been subjected to devastation and ruin. Tsepon Trimon himself was wounded in the arm; but he concealed his injury and continued to perform his duties. The Sera monks and the Banagshol Khampa joined in the fighting at Lhasa and made frequent raids on the Chinese cantonment at Drapchi, just outside the city. Many men were lost in their attacks on that well-fortified garrison.

Chinese outposts in Tsang and near the Indian border were being consistently attacked and captured by the Tibetans, who had returned from Darjeeling. The roads to Kham and the Indian border were blocked and the fleeing Chinese headed for Lhasa, where they felt there would be safety in numbers.

In Kalimpong, Dazang Dadul, the hero of the Chaksam battle, was made a commander-in-chief of the Tibetan forces and in January 1912 was sent to Lhasa to work in close cooperation with the War Department set up by Trimon and Chamba Tendar. The Chinese troops were facing a grave food shortage. They might have capitulated sooner; but they were able to hold out longer by moving into the friendly Tengyeling monastery in Lhasa, which belonged to the followers of the late Regent Demo. There they found supplies sufficient for another six months. This resulted in another Lhasa street-song, which described the prolongation of the war even after the arrival of the new commander-in-chief.

Dazang Dadul, Tsepon Trimon, and Chamba Tendar called a secret meeting of the Tsongdu, at which it was decided to arrest all pro-Chinese Tibetan officials, before there were any more defections like that of the Tengyeling monastery. As a result of this decision, the members of the Kashag were all arrested. Kalon Tsarong, his son, and Kadrung Tsashagpa, the secretary of the Kashag, were shot for having close relations with the Chinese. The other three Kalons, who had been appointed by the Chinese, namely, Tensing Chosdrak, Rampa, and Langchongpa, were imprisoned. Phunrabpa, a secretary-general, Mondrong, a treasurer, and Lozang Dorje, a monk official, were executed for being on friendly terms with the monks from the Tengyeling monastery. At the outbreak of the fighting in Lhasa, this monastery had declined the offer of government troops for its protection and the three executed officials had guaranteed its defense. There was no longer a Kashag and all important matters were now deliberated by the War Department and the Tsongdu, sometimes in consultation with the Dalai Lama in India.

During his stay in India, the Dalai Lama was very well treated by the British and relations between India and Tibet consequently improved considerably. Since preparations were being made for his return to Tibet, the Dalai Lama wrote to the Viceroy, through Charles Bell, thanking him for the hospitality shown by the British government during his two-year stay in India. He made known his intention to return to Lhasa. He likened the situation in Tibet to a reservoir which requires constant replenishing if it is not to dry up. Due to the revolution in China, the Chinese troops in Tibet were not being reinforced and the level of the Chinese reservoir was falling fast. As the Tibetans were fighting with very high morale, the Dalai Lama hoped that they would soon drive out the Chinese. Even more important to him at that point was the future of Tibet itself. He reminded the Viceroy of his request for British participation in settling future problems between China and Tibet. Charles Bell, who was given the letter, was also apprised of its contents.

While at Kalimpong, the Dalai Lama had been shown great consideration by Raja Kazi Ugyen, whose house he had occupied. The Dalai Lama expressed his appreciation for the Raja's hospitality by conferring on him and all his descendants the Tibetan rank of Rimshi (Fourth Rank).

On the tenth day of the fifth Tibetan month of the Water-Mouse year (1912), the Dalai Lama left Kalimpong for Tibet, via the Dzalep-la pass. At Yatung, he remained a week at the residence of the British Trade Agent, David Macdonald. From there, he wrote to various monasteries and chieftains in eastern Tibet, encouraging them in their opposition to the Chinese and promising them early liberation. He also wrote to the Banagshol Khampa tribesmen, complimenting them on their brave action at Sera and Lhasa.

Shekar Lingpa, who had been a secretary in the Dalai Lama's service at Darjeeling, was appointed a Kalon to fill the place of the late Tsarong minister. Shekar Lingpa was a straightforward, elderly man, known as an accomplished poet. While in Darjeeling, he had written a number of moving poems in remembrance of Lhasa. Not long after returning to Tibet, Shekar Lingpa died.

Two hundred monks from the monasteries of Sera, Ganden, and Drepung volunteered to escort the Dalai Lama back to Lhasa. They were led by Ragashar. At the same time, two well-known Khampas, Nyima Gyalpo Pandatshang of Markham and Chopatshang of Gojo, voluntarily brought an armed escort of Khampas to join the Dalai Lama. They were to protect him day and night until Lhasa was reached.

The Panchen Lama, who seemingly regretted his fraternization with the Chinese, journeyed with his officials from Tashilhunpo to welcome the Dalai Lama at Ralung. Continuing on his journey, the Dalai Lama spent some time at the Samding monastery near lake Yardok Yutso.
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