Leon Southgate MSc




There may be some further possibilities with the meaning of Reich’s secret Y Factor.

Reich says the following in the paper, The Geiger Muller Effect of Cosmic Orgone Energy pp208, The Oranur Experiment,

“Another important point is this: one fails in OR physical experimentation if one works with the electrical theory of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ charges. One succeeds if one adheres to the specific interaction of ‘two orgonotic systems’: they are not charged in opposite directions, but with one and the same type of nonpolar charge. But there must be two orgonotic systems if any reaction is to occur.’

Reich appears to state that it is essential to have two orgonotic systems in order to obtain an orgone-electrical reaction, although, perhaps Reich is referring just to orgonotic reactions such as the orgonotic potential from a lower to a higher energy system. He does go on to outline both of these principles as being essential to the orgone motor function alongside a third principle (that orgone is not itself electromagnetic). Reich outlines three principles behind the motor function:

1. Interaction of two orgonotic systems.

2. Orgonotic potential from low to high.

3. OR energy is different to electromagnetic energy.

(Geiger Effect pp208)

He also stated that the key to the orgone motor function was the practical solution of the relationship between the orgonotic potential (from low to high) and the opposite discharge process, or the mechanical potential (from high to low), (ibid pp210).

So movement from lower to higher potential must take place, two orgonotic systems need to interact and there must be a conversion process taking place as orgone is not itself electrical.

Reich discovered the orgone to electrical effect by using an orgone-charged, gas-filled tube. Essentially, a glass, gas and metal cylindrical orgone accumulator (ORAC). The antique detector tubes of the pre-1950s style Geiger Muller radiation counters were like an ORAC made of glass. A glass outer layer and two inner metal layers (the plates or electrodes). Reich’s Geiger counter – a large gas filled ORAC with a metal cylinder covering, was charged in the first case for about 9 weeks in the highly orgonotic main hall about 15 foot from the large, metal-lined orgone dark-room at Reich’s Orgonon laboratory in 1947 in Maine, USA. Reich had reluctantly acquired the expensive counter device to see if it would react to orgone as a possible additional measuring device. He certainly was not expecting it to react strongly to orgone fields. The second Geiger counter Reich acquired was purposefully charged inside an ORAC, near the orgone room for just a few days before showing the posited motor reaction, which was seen in the first counter completely unintentionally.

Late 1940’s Geiger Counter



Reich was using a glass and metal ORAC (the Geiger counter tube) which had an electric current running through it when the device was switched on to make readings. This glass and metal ORAC counter tube had been previously charged by a second strong ORAC or by the metal cylinder casing and orgone room nearby.

The first Geiger counter was battery-fed, the second used a line voltage. As discussed, the Geiger tube was first soaked in orgone by being placed near to or inside a bigger accumulator (an ORAC or orgone room) for some time. Then the counter tube had an electric current passed through it once it had previously reached a high orgone charge. Thus the Reich orgone motor (which was developed from the Geiger counter effect) may also need two orgonotic systems, the orgonotic tube and the surrounding orgone field. It also perhaps needs an initiating electrical current, for example, the ½ volt battery Reich may have used to initiate the orgone motor effect (which he then disconnected whilst the motor still ran according to the witnesses at the orgone conference of 1948). This battery and perhaps the motor itself could also be considered separate orgonotic systems. Reich went on to develop his own glass and metal ORACs which were vacuum rather than gas filled (Vacor tubes). They were used with the orgone motor.


Reich Vacuum Tube



Glass Geiger Tube



I believe glass based ORACs might be an essential aspect of gaining a high level of conversion from orgonotic to electrical energy due to the possibly stronger compression of the orgone energy inside them compared to traditional ORACs.

Electric Charge in ORACs

Although Maglione and Ferrari ( have shown that ORACs may precipitate a small amount of electricity continuously, this is currently in the region of mV. It nonetheless appears to be present and not the result of static charge. My initial work with orgone and capacitance in batteries and electronic capacitors also indicates that strong ORACs may possibly have a continual passive electrical conversion, though small. My work is at a tentative stage presently. There does however appear to be a small, continual orgonotic to electric conversion in ORACs. But this is probably not how Reich’s orgone motor worked. It appears to me now that the arrangement Reich employed (that led to a motor force arising from the orgone units) could be considered more an ‘amplifier’ of electricity. My visualisation for this is that once the primordial aether/orgone envelope reaches a certain energetic threshold (via electrical or radioactive stimulation) the orgone continues to convert into new charged particles continuously. This also depends on a strong orgonotic field being ‘squeezed’ sufficiently. In the case that the orgonotic excitation is not confined adequately the potential motor force could manifest as heat or light instead as Reich describes in his last book, Contact with Space. Much orgonotic phenomena relies on passing energy thresholds, for example the bions (tiny living vesicles created from non-living matter) only appear when an energy threshold has been passed with super-heated matter in water.

Multiple Meanings of Y

I believe Reich may have used three layers of meaning for the Y Factor. Firstly, as he loved acronyms, an opposite initial as I have described in my first article on the Y Factor – radio/electro-activitY (the activating factor for the orgonotic to electricity conversion). Secondly, when I noted on rereading the Geiger Muller paper that Reich underscored the existence of two orgonotic systems, I thought how would that look on a graph. Then it further occurred to me that a Cartesian graph system usually uses two axes, Y and X. So this is an additional reference to the two orgonotic systems. Y is also the second to last letter of the alphabet. So Y can mean two. If the X horizontal axis refers to the independent variable as is usual then this would be the orgone charge or orgonotic potential. The Y axis would refer to the changing vertical line, the so-called dependent variable. So as the Y axis (the electrical or radioactive stimulation) increases so the X axis goes higher (the orgonotic potential or orgone charge) until an orgone to electrical particle threshold is passed and electric currents become evident.

Radiation Counter Research Since Reich

Demeo describes his work with orgone charging Geiger Muller radiation counters ( Demeo obtained a number of Geiger tubes which, unlike Reich’s, did not appear to react to orgone charging. Reich charged his large 1940s antique style, metal covered counter tubes either near to or within the strong orgone room at Orgonon. Reich tried a number of locations for the counter tubes but they were mostly close to the highly charged extended field of the orgone room, or within the orgone room itself or close by and within an additional ORAC. This is presumably stronger than the ORAC Demeo first used to charge the small RadAlert counter (which also had no metal casing to its internal tube). Demeo’s RadAlert was at first only turned on electrically outside the ORAC periodically. Reich used his Geiger counters with their electric current running both outside and within the orgone room (thus causing the electrical-orgonotic excitation effect Reich noted in the orgone room). Reich noticed that the operation of the Geiger counter device within the orgone room caused high levels of orgonotic excitation. He also received an electric shock from the device at a time when it was not switched on to its electrical supply. Demeo did report on a later period of a few days when the RadAlert was switched on and continuously monitored inside Demeo’s orgone room but again it showed no reaction in the days reported. Demeo does note however that his original RadAlert counter tube may have been insufficient to take up an orgone charge (due to its small size and internal placement of the counter tube within the device). Reich’s counter tubes were larger than the RadAlert’s and were covered by a metal casing (which Reich had found to greatly increase the motor effect).

Demeo obtained some further Geiger tubes. The other unspecified Geiger tubes Demeo subsequently used were charged using orgone blanket materials for an unstated period of some months. Demeo did not obtain an effect similar to Reich’s with this method. It should be noted that Demeo’s treatment of his Geiger tubes appears different to Reich’s. It seems there was a lesser orgone charge involved. Also, it was not stated whether the tubes were of a similar size to Reich’s or had a metal casing around them like the antique tubes Reich used (Reich found this casing were important as it acts like an extra accumulator, naked counter tubes did not have the same qualities). It does not appear Demeo’s counter tubes were generally connected to an electrical current inside the orgone room as Reich did with his Geiger sets (though Demeo did do this with one set of experiments, partially reported).

Demeo did get two effects which could be considered to be related to the preliminary orgone motor effects Reich found. Demeo, after some years of orgone charging obtained an anomalous reaction in the Ludlum Neutron detector of up to 4000 CPM, an ‘hysterically’ fast reaction, he notes. The neutron detector is like a Geiger Muller counter but much less reactive to radiation. It has a large globe detection unit surrounded by thick plastic (this is perhaps why it took years to orgone charge). Its normal count is 1 CPM or less. Demeo also confirmed Reich’s finding that orgone charged vacuum tubes glow when rubbed (Pulse of the Planet Num5 pp255). These two experiments can be taken, I believe, as confirmation of the preliminary conditions for the Reich orgone motor effect, although Demeo does not discuss them as such. However I now believe personally that glowing in tubes or anomalous very high neutron or Geiger counts to be evidence of orgone spontaneously converting into charged particles. Charged particles can be made to perform work. Performing work is a motor function. Reich obtained counts as high as 10,000 CPM with his Geiger set up (Geiger Effect, Oranur Report).


Neutron Counter



Particles and Orgone Units

One could argue that the glow in the orgone charged vacuum and gas tubes is not particle based, that the non-differentiated orgone simply glows when condensed, though I believe it probably is an orgone-to-particle reaction, at least partly. Reich thought the orgone had quantized properties (Contact with Space and elsewhere) and there is no reason not to consider orgone to be capable of becoming particle-like. It displays properties normally associated with particles (experiment XX, glowing anomalies, electrical effects). Those orgone charged gas/vacuum tubes usually only glow when a strong electric current is passed through them. Perhaps the orgone itself is converting into charged particles within the tube. When the charged tubes are rubbed causing a spontaneous glow to occur, the motion may be acting as the Y Factor – the activity factor initiating changes in the highly charged ‘X Factor’ of the condensed and contained orgone field.

The counts at the neutron detector appear to be only explicable as some sort of particle or orgonotic unit effect (the same thing perhaps). Moving particles or units performing work (glows or anomalous high counts) could constitute a basis for a motor effect. Demeo has never argued that he has found evidence for the motor effect - in fact he doesn’t usually connect the Geiger or neutron counter effects to the Reich motor function at all despite the historical connection. The glowing vacuum tube effect has been established by Reich, Demeo and others and Reich also of course first demonstrated the radiation counter reaction. I believe both these effects possibly evidence newly created particles, or orgonotic units, doing work. Particles or orgonotic units doing work could be argued to be a forerunner to an orgonotic motor function. Certainly, it was the Geiger Muller effect that led Reich directly to the orgone motor function (it was a ten month period between the two discoveries). The motor force, for Reich, started there. If one strongly excites the orgone units in a highly charged ORAC like the Geiger counter tube or vacuum tube (a very confined environment) a motor force may be obtained when an electric current is applied through it and the condensed and stimulated orgonotic electrical energy converts into mechanical work.


I've noted that the very strong multiple system, activated ORAC set up I have currently appears to have a magnetic field around it with different rings extending up to about 6'. Movement within magnetic fields can create electric currents of course. Reich doesn't appear to have investigated ORACs and magnetism or commented on there being magnetic fields around ORACs.

Cosmic Joke

Could the Y Factor just be a cosmic joke? Something so simple no one might even see it? Just, ElectricitY? (Using my reversed initialisation). Reich was thought to have used a small 1/2V electric battery to activate the orgone charged vacuum tubes which may have powered his 16V electric motor as demonstrated in 1948 to various doctors at the 1948 conference at Orgonon. This would still be in keeping with an activitY factor as I have outlined previously.

Electronic Circuit for Transformation of Orgone into Electricity

Reich did actually specify the exact part of the electronic circuit of the Geiger Muller Counter in which the orgone transforms into electricity. He only mentions it once as the transforming circuit in the Vacor Tubes section of Oranur First Report so it is easy to overlook:

“Question: Could organismic OR energy activate the impulse recorder?

Experiment: We attach a dry cell battery, for the purpose of isolation only, to the grid of the extension amplifier, and touch the battery with our hand.

Answer: Yes: The recorder needle starts rotating as soon as we touch the battery or the grid wire directly.... We have obtained for the first time....transformation of OR energy into electromagnetic energy.”  Pp260 Oranur First Report.

Reich also unknowingly repeats a Henry Moray type of energy device set up on pp262 when he uses an aerial attached to the electronic grid amplifier system of the GM counter and thus acquires high counts without an orgone accumulator.

So in other words, if body orgone (via touch) or atmospheric orgone (via an aerial) is injected into the grid circuit of the amplifier tube within the circuitry of the Herbach and Rademan 1940s Geiger Counter, or if an atmospheric aerial (like a Moray aerial) is attached to the grid electronic wire then about 3000 CPM was obtained, or an equivalence of 10-70 Volts in Reich’s experimentation.

Other Notes

Reich used the steel casing that the Geiger tubes came with or even lead casing. He found these were an essential component.

He also measured the atmospheric pulsation of orgone with an oscillograph and found it to be around 900-1100 ppm, humans were around 160-200 ppm. There is a riddle of why some tubes charged up and not others (pp243), and also the dead non-charging period of 1948. 1947 was a severe sunspot year, the vacor luminance effect stopped after the great snowstorm of 1947. Line and Battery voltage also react differently to orgone charge and only the negative cathode Reich noted to have an orgonotic effect (pp255).

Seven Principles of the Reich Orgone Motor

The first three are principles directly from Reich but paraphrased in my words (see Reich's Geiger paper). The last four are my own interpretations of Reich's working processes.

1. Duality.

(Two or more Orgonotic Systems interacting).

2. Potential.

(Low to high - Orgonotic)

3. Transformation.

(Orgone is not electrical).

4. Containment.

(Glass ORACs).

5. Exchange.

OR potential (low to high) exchanges with mechanical potential (high to low).

6. Y Factor.

(The activitY Factor) electro-activitY, radioactivitY or simply electricitY - all as stimulus for the orgone to charged particle process.

7. Electrification.

(The charged, contained orgone field has an electric current passed through it to initiate the process of orgonotic to electrical conversion).


Multiple Meanings of Y

I believe there may be at least three meanings to the Y in Reich’s Y Factor.

1. Radio/electro-activitY or the excitatorY Factor using a reversed initial (Reich liked acronyms).

2. Two orgonotic systems interacting (X axis is orgone energy. Y axis is the excitatory factor).

3. Y being the second from last letter of the alphabet again underscores the importance of two orgonotic systems.

Multiple Methods of Orgone to Electrical Conversion

There are possibly at least four methods of obtaining electrical activity from orgone.

1. Passive – a continual conversion from ‘foggy’ to ‘pointed’ state (Reich’s terms). This charge has been measured by Maglione and Ferrari (see link below). It might be possible to capacitate this charge (Maglione, Ferarri, Southgate). Currently further sets of experiments are underway.

2. Mechanical – rubbing of charged tubes producing glows.

3. Active Electrical – an outside source of electricity stimulates further charged particles to manifest (amplification) (Reich).

4. Active Radioactive – an outside source of radioactivity stimulates charged particles to coalesce from the orgone field (Reich/Ark and Shamir – see Maglione link below).

Initial Experimental Evidence

As well as the recent work of Maglione and Ferrari ( which appears to evidence the passive and artificially increased conversion effects of orgone to electricity in mV in ORACs, Maglione’s description of the Ark and Shamir double system ( illustrates the active radioactive effects of orgone to electricity conversion in a historical context. In addition the work with orgone charged vacuum/gas filled tubes which glow with rubbing or with small electrical charge could evidence the coalescence of charged particles from the orgone field. The anomalously high Geiger and neutron counts may also evidence charged particle initiation and an active electrical amplification principle of the Reich orgone motor.

Thanks to Roberto Maglione for his criticial appraisal of this article.