September 1, 2015
Dear Friend of the ACO:
Children such as these from different cultures can interact and have fun together without speaking the same language. Regardless of the particular culture or spoken language we may use, the universal human language is the language of human emotional connection. Every child is born with the capacity to communicate in this global language. Most adults, however, have acquired serious deficits in “speaking” it.
Fostering Natural Human Communication
The foundation for all of the ACO activities—training, public education, publishing and research—our core function is furthering the knowledge of this functional language in children and reviving it in adults who have lost their abilities to communicate with it. As we discussed last year, we must also find those people among conventional thinkers with whom we can develop a common language in order to work together to perpetuate functional knowledge for the future of mankind . Our core function is to keep this knowledge, as expressed through the language of functionalism, alive and growing.
We Need to Establish a Foothold for Functionalism
Every language needs a people to keep it alive. For years our Annual Reports and Summer Updates have emphasized the importance of making contact with new people who will understand our functional approach to life and grasp the importance of functional thinking—what we call “functionalism.” We therefore must grow the number of people for whom functionalism is the native language.
In our Annual Report last year we outlined the importance of establishing a foothold for functional thinking as a thriving colony in the vast world of conventional thinkers . By “conventional thinkers” I mean those in traditional disciplines and academia with whom we can communicate. We need to listen to them, translate their concepts into functional language and find those who will listen to us as we translate our functional language into language that is understandable to them.
A Homeland for the Language of Functionalism
Every people also needs a homeland to keep their culture alive. In 2011, I introduced our Property Improvement Project (PIP) as an expression of our need for a “home for orgonomy.” The ACO property forms the base that will help us accomplish the monumental tasks of keeping these natural human capacities viable while developing a common language with which to communicate them with others . Additional details about the rationale, descriptions and evolution of the plans for our property development have been spelled out in subsequent Summer Updates and Annual Reports. All of these can be accessed online from the “Support the ACO” page of our website. Additional detailed updates are also available on our PIP page.
Keys to Ensuring our Future
Essential aspects of ensuring our future include:
1. Continuing to teach and train people in the knowledge and principles of functionalism as applied to medicine, sociology, biology and physics.
2. Establishing a foothold among conventional thinkers by developing and communicating with them in a common language of functionalism.
3. Continuing to develop our physical home as an invaluable base for maintaining and developing all of our activities.
Our summer letter has traditionally been the time to focus on the ACO PIP. We’ve accomplished a great deal this year.
From its inception, our property improvement project has been managed at great savings to us by the volunteer efforts of Jim Wittes. We were fortunate for several years to have had almost unlimited access to his time and energy. Positive changes for him in his personal work situation have meant that over the past year he has not been as available to us. The results he has accomplished this year are all the more remarkable given this fact. The change in Jim’s availability has actually given time for our larger property development plans to gestate and evolve as we further hone them and sort out additional details of our land use and approvals.
As you know, we originally envisioned our Property Improvement Project in two stages:
1. Removal of detractors and
2. Addition of attractors.
For the past few years we have reported on our tremendous progress in clearing the property of “detractors” and consistently identified our driveway as the last remaining one. This year our major PIP activity was to resurface the existing driveway.
Since the comprehensive plan that we developed in 2013 includes a new enlarged entrance and driveway that will be moved to the other side of our main building, we had hoped to temporize and save much-needed funds rather than repair our current driveway.
The brutal winter we experienced on the east coast this last year, however, so seriously deteriorated the condition of the driveway that we had no choice but to resurface it. Rather than spending $14,375 on new asphalt we spent $9,250 to replace the asphalt with gravel topped with quarry dust. At a result we have converted our last detractor to an attractive surface that actually suits our property better than the previous asphalt. (See photo on the PIP page) Also, in the next few years when we implement our plans to move the driveway to the other side of the main building, our new driveway will give us additional savings on several counts. We will not have to pay a disposal fee to remove asphalt. The construction of the new driveway will also allow us to reuse much of the material—not possible with asphalt. The new surface is also much more suitable than asphalt if we want to leave some of it in place in the area between the main building and the lab that we envision as a future patio seating area.
Upgrades for Our Building
This year we made important upgrades to our plumbing and installed a water treatment system. In addition to these essential less visible improvements, we also upgraded the public spaces to improve their uses for our increased activities this year. We replaced our old TV with a state of the art 75” flat screen TV funded by the generosity of regular attendees of ACO Movie Night, members of the Sociopolitical Orgonomy Course and didactic course. We also installed blackout curtains to facilitate its use during daytime hours. This space has already seen use for movie showings as well as PowerPoint presentations and video clips as parts of our courses. We purchased new comfortable chairs for all of our spaces including 14 padded stackable event chairs for the presentation room and 20 matching meeting chairs with arms for the seminar and board rooms all for a total of $1,933.
Raising Our Flag
Every colony has a flag to identify itself to the world. The next time you come to the ACO take notice of the new sign at the entrance to the property. This public declaration of our physical presence forms another element of the ACO’s introducing itself more fully to the world. A long time in the works, the design, implementation and installation of the sign is also the result of ongoing efforts by Jim Wittes. We welcome your reactions to it.
The Effect of Our Physical Home on Our Work
We mentioned previously that the PIP has sparked the development of new events and programs as well as supported the success of many of our ongoing activities. The continued revitalization of our organization in the past year saw more events on our campus. Our ACO Movie Night has continued since 2011 with three or four showings and discussions a year. We also held a highly touted Sociopolitical Orgonomy course that met on campus for six Saturday meetings between September and March.
Our current three-year didactic course that forms the initial stage for the medical and social orgonomy training programs will be completed at the end of August. Some of those students will move on to the next stages of their training by attending our case presentation seminars. The next didactic course will be scheduled when we have a sufficient number of potential students for the medical and social orgonomy training programs. Anyone interested can contact the ACO office and request an interest survey to submit to us. We are also developing plans for a number of new activities to be announced in the future.
Communicating with Conventional Thinkers
We have taken steps to improve our communication with those outside the group of people already familiar with orgonomy. This spring we hired an intern to work in the ACO office. Beyond being a hard working recent college graduate particularly talented in graphic design, she has also provided fresh perspectives as a young person and someone entirely unfamiliar with the ACO and orgonomy.
What Wilhelm Reich called the “too muchness” of orgonomy has often presented problems for us as an organization. When people come to the ACO website, the vast array of subjects on the continent of orgonomy may be disorienting and interfere with our making contact with some people. For example, someone looking for a referral to a therapist may be confused by how that relates to sociopolitics. Or someone who sees a flyer in town about ACO Movie Night may be interested in the movie and a discussion about it but not interested in information about therapy, orgonomic biology or sociopolitics that they may see on the website. As an experiment to address that problem, we assigned our intern the task of designing a separate ACO Movie Night website which we launched in May. We see this as a model for creating custom-made, individual websites to focus on specific aspects of what we have to offer currently on our general website.
In addition to these attempts to establish more of a foothold in the world, we’ve also had several useful interactions with conventional thinkers new to the ACO. I hope to report more details once these contacts have played out further and their implications are clearer.
We Will Bring More of Our Public Presentations Home
Our focus on how to communicate better with the world of conventional thinkers has also informed and changed some aspects of our public outreach. For example, since October 2009, we have held four social orgonomy presentation series events per year off-site in downtown Princeton. Some of those have brought new people but we continually struggle with the problem of giving presentations that will appeal to new people as well as interest our core group of attendees already familiar with our subjects.
We now plan to address these disparate groups more specifically. We will hold two social orgonomy presentations off-site in Princeton in October and February. Our other time slots of April and June will be available for presentations that may run the gamut from additional social orgonomic topics or ones related to any of the other major areas of orgonomy: medicine, biology and physics. These presentations will be geared more toward those who already have some familiarity with our body of knowledge. This change in our schedule will accomplish two things, clarity about how we present our material and a reduction in our costs for those events we can conduct at our campus.
We are also evaluating the topics that appeal to new people. Historically several of the presentations on work-related questions have drawn some of the largest numbers of new attendees. We have decided to offer public presentations on the two most important functions in everyone’s lives: love and work. In line with that decision, it is interesting to note that Google reported that their most commonly searched question last year was, “What is Love?” Our next presentation off-site in Princeton will be on October 3, 2015, with Dr. David Holbrook presenting, “What About Love?” We will follow that on February 6, 2016, with my presentation, “Balancing Work and Love.”
It is too early to identify them specifically but some creative ideas for presentations at the ACO campus have also come to the fore. Such potential new presentations and new presenters bubbling to the surface show signs of growth for our organization. Stay tuned for announcements about our offerings in 2016.
We Need Your Help
Such activity evidences intangible aspects of developing our property. Its value cannot be measured. But you should know that the ACO Executive Committee remains committed to our major plans for improving the property. We need your help to raise the funds still needed to move forward with them.
The Financial Status of PIP
This letter represents our first specific PIP appeal since the summer of 2013.
|Our 2013 Summer Appeal raised:||
|PIP funds spent since August 2013 on items budgeted in the original proposal:|
|Engineering surveys and studies||
|Plumbing repairs (small portion of total bill of $5,425 charged to PIP for upgrades):||
|Furnishings (chairs as described above):||
|Picnic tables (three):||
|Total PIP Funds spent Aug. 2013 to Aug. 2015 on budgeted items:||
|PIP funds spent on non-budgeted items:|
|*The total bill was $9,250 with 50% charged to the ACO General Fund for property maintenance and 50% charged to PIP for Phase II property improvements.|
|2013 Estimate of funds needed for our comprehensive PIP:||
|Deduction of budgeted PIP expenses for items that have been completed:||
|The current estimate of funds needed to complete PIP plans:||
|Current balance in ACO PIP designated fund:||
|Storm Preparedness funds to be used for the PIP:||
|Donation for "public outreach" that could be served by PIP:||
|Total currently available to PIP:||
|To reach our goal of:||
|We need your help to raise the remaining:||
An Invaluable Investment In the Future
Return to the image of the children at the beginning of this letter and take a few moments to recognize that your contribution to the American College of Orgonomy supports efforts to create a home for orgonomic knowledge to be used to keep such natural communication between people alive and well.
We need a home from which to reach out to new people, a home that is commensurate with the importance of the work we do, a home to which we can proudly bring conventional thinkers to share what we’ve learned.
I hope you will join with us to make this possible by continuing your financial support to insure our success in this monumental task. The American College of Orgonomy has so much to offer. With the enclosed card or on-line at www.orgonomy.org, please send your donation or sign up as a member donor so we can count on a steady income to sustain us in the coming months and years ahead. And if you are not already on our e-mail list, please help us make contact with you more quickly by joining our mailing list online.
From all of us at the ACO, I wish you and yours an enjoyable and productive remainder of your summer and I hope to see you in the near future at one of the many events at our home.
Peter A. Crist, M.D.,
President Please support the ACO today