Reenactment of the scientific experiments of Wilhelm Reich from 1953–54 to influence the atmosphere by the means of Orgone-energy.

The reenactments of Cloudbuster experiments took place on the roof of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City and on the top of the Clocktower in lower Manhattan, New York. These actions were based on the invention of Wilhelm Reich, the Austrian born psychologist and early scholar of Freud who developed a political theory of sexuality in the 1920s. Reich began initial experimentation with making changes to the atmosphere in 1952, shortly after the ORANUR-experiments, which focus on the reaction of Orgone with nuclear energy. The reenactments had the aim of making rain over New York in the spring and summer of 2003. Out of the roof of the Clocktower, the empty space of the missing World Trade Center Towers makes a distinct visual gap. The vacancy of these buildings dominated the general atmosphere in New York and had some influence on the Cloudbuster reenactments as well. It rained through the entire period of Cloudbuster operations in New York.
The Cloudbuster has an uncomplicated mechanical structure, consisting of few rows of conductive metal pipes that are connected with hoses to a source of flowing water. A spacer made of organic material insulates each one of these metal conductors. According to Orgone theory, flowing water has a positive Orgone charge that can be channeled with the Cloudbuster into the sky. With activation, the apparatus attracts the Orgone present in the atmosphere, from zones of higher or lower Orgone potential. The pipes then function in channeling the relatively small attracting force of the water streaming through the base of the Cloudbuster, and direct it to a small area in the sky where it can be effective in initiating rain by conflating the unstable Orgone-potentials of negative or positive Orgone charge.
There are many reports and detailed descriptions of successful Cloudbuster-operations from 1953–54, yet Reich hasn’t left a detailed construction plan behind, as he did in the case of the Orgone-boxes, the devices designed to attract and accumulate Orgone energy for healing purposes. The mystery around the Cloudbuster is a subject for speculation with many Post- and Neo-Reichians, who believe he worried about developments in atomic energy and was afraid of the possible negative use of Orgone energy in relation to it. Assembling excerpts from the Reichian literature does leave a clear picture as to its construction. In addition there are specific instructions and precautions as to how it should be operated.
Theories about the atmosphere belong to the late period of Reich’s work, and they can be seen as the extension of his early findings about the human psyche and soma to the scale of the universe. “Orgone is the manifestation of the enthalpic tendency of the universe,” makes a case for this analogy to “the bioenergetic function of excitability and motility of living substance.”
1951 marked a new phase in the ability of Reich and his team to observe atmospheric phenomenon. The ORANUR-experiments were designed to investigate the influence of nuclear energy on the Orgone. The experiment created atmospheric pollution in the area around Reich’s laboratory in Maine, and his reports from the time have to do with the team’s illness, reports on the black hue of the atmosphere, a sky without sparkle, and birds devoid of the will to sing. These were symptoms of Deadly/Destructive Orgone Energy (DOR), and the Cloudbuster was utilized to reverse its effects.
Operation OROP occurred in the Arizona desert near Tucson, one of the driest areas in the U.S., where there was reportedly a five-year drought. Deserts contain the stagnating DOR energy, to “be replaced by the self-regulatory, self-sustaining laws that governed the behavior of cloud formation, rain cycles, cosmic energy metabolism in the atmosphere, etc. as they do in the living organism.” “It has great significance for the mastery of our future, that DOR surplus causes deserts in the landscape as it does in the organism.” The Cloudbuster therefore could be used as an instrument for the sake of humanity: to end draughts, to prevent natural catastrophes like hurricanes or to dissolve dammed up atmospheric DOR situations that made people suffer in some regions. The first experiments were conducted in the vicinity of his laboratory compound near Rangeley, Maine. His books and notes show evidence of success quoting local newspaper articles of a saved blueberry-harvest with an operation ending a two-month draught. On another occasion an operation saved the day for a local children’s parade by preventing the forecasted heavy rainfalls.
During his work in Vienna as a physician and psychologist in the early 1920s, Reich developed an approach emphasizing sexual unhappiness as the main cause of neurotic diseases, deviating from the Freudian paradigm. He went on to finding that what was arrested by sexual repression was a factual energy, seeking release in a satisfactory sex-life and turning against the health of the individual, if it didn’t. The term Orgone therefore connotes both the words Orgasm and Organism. From 1930 on, he spearheaded sex-political (Sex-Pol) activities in Berlin and engaged in the communist party. The year of 1933 became a turning point in his life and career, when he was expelled by the World Psychoanalytic Society, because of his opposition to the Freudian idea of the death instinct, and the communist party, because his sexual-liberation concept didn’t fit the reactionary backlash of early Stalinism. Fleeing Berlin in 1933, when the Nazis took over, and settling in Norway for some years, he further developed his bion-research, trying to prove the attracting force of all living matter as physical evidence, that had been overlooked by science from the definition of the Newton axioms on. Still in Berlin in 1933 he managed to write the book The Mass-Psychology of Fascism relating Fascism to the individual’s economy of fear and sexual repression and naming the sexually and economically repressed situation in a totalitarian society as “the emotional plague.”
Reich’s immigration to the U.S. in 1939 did not protect him from the persecution that dominated his life in Europe. He had already been under investigation by the FBI on suspicion of communist activities during the ’40s. Starting in 1941 and containing hundreds of pages, the investigation concluded without any implicating findings in 1947, but served as an engine to the growing sense of paranoia in and around his work in the U.S. The potential of his theories to attract the masses was not overlooked by the American conservatism of the 1950s. It was the authority of the Food and Drug Administration that finally managed to cause his arrest for contempt of court, by filing a law suit against him, declaring Orgone energy did not exist, and forbidding any of its use in therapy. The resulting court injunction banned the transport and sale of his Orgone related instruments and publications, and ordered a mass burning of his books. Reich died in jail a few months after his arrest in 1957.
Since then there had been a revival to the theories of Reich in the U.S., the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and in environmental movements in the 1970s. The climate issues he had been alerted to in the 1950s such as global warming and growing desertification are now of general concern. Today one can find Internet sources for many contradicting post-Reichian theories and esoteric products. Recent studies found on the net try to explain the effect of the Cloudbuster as purely acoustic. According to them, the streaming water at the ends of the pipes, which in the Orgonic explanation have an extremely high potential to carry Orgone-energy, actually produce a low-frequency sound that has the ability to effectively destabilize atmospheric layers.
The Cloudbusting reenactments were designed to follow rule number 9 in Rules for Cloud Engineering: “Never ‘drill’ a hole into the sky unless you aim for long drawn rain.” The daily Cloudbuster operations resumed whenever the rain would get lighter, or stop for an hour or two. It rained through the entire duration of the reenactments, setting a hundred year rainfall record for the season.