A new book by Roberto Maglione on "Biophysical Orgonometry"
A new book on Orgonomy, the science conceived by the Austrian scientist Wilhelm Reich in the last century, has been recently published with the title:
Methods and Procedures in Biophysical Orgonometry
by Roberto Maglione
Foreword by Richard Blasband (Center for Functional Research, Sausalito, California, USA); and Afterword by Vincenzo Valenzi (Lium University, Bellinzona, Switzerland), and Fulvio Bongiorno (RomaTre University, Rome, Italy).
"Methods and Procedures in Biophysical Orgonometry" consists of five chapters summarizing the orgone energy experiments of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich, branching off into more recent findings and verification studies by his many students and other serious scientific investigators. The work covers the thermal, electroscopical, atomic, hygrometric, and gravimetric aspects and properties of the energetic medium which Reich discovered, and which today is being identified and decisively confirmed by astrophysics in the context of various spatial mediums such as "dark matter", "neutrino sea", "cosmic ether", "intergalactic medium", "cosmic plasma" and so on. The work presents the basics of orgonometry, concerning characteristics and peculiarities of the orgone energy and orgone energy accumulator. A closing chapter on the quantitative evaluation of orgone energy potentials completes the book.
This is a scientific work addressed to all who want a good detailed introduction to the theoretical and experimental foundations of biophysical orgonometry, as developed by the author from the works of Reich, from his own experiments, and from other contemporary scientific investigators. It is sufficiently detailed also for those already acquainted with Reich and Orgonomy, who want to deepen their knowledge in the field. It is an excellent addition to the scientific literature, and one of a very few texts in the post-Reich era which details and advances the empirical natural science Reich brought into the world, but which was -- similar to other great discoveries in the history of science -- destroyed by media and academic attacks, ridicule, book-burning and "official" murder.
The book can be purchased by several methods.
1. Directly from the author Roberto Maglione, in Italy.
(contact by email: robert_jumper at yahoo dot it)
2. From the following Italian website:
3. From the USA Natural Energy Works website:
4. From Amazon.com (for USA or international):
Please support Orgonomic Research by purchasing this and other books on the subject. Consider a purchase also as a gift for friends, for young students, and to place in your local public or university library.
Also kindly send or post a copy of this announcement to your social networks.
Fighting Defamatory Slanders from UK Channel 4/Wag-TV
"The Sex Researchers" Program
A Report from James DeMeo, PhD
7 June 2012.
The opening years of the 2010 decade mark the onset of series of public defamatory slanders against the biography and research legacy of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich. I've already written a critique of the most polished of these attacks, here:
Critical Review of Christopher Turner's Adventures in the Orgasmatron
A Defense of Dr. Wilhelm Reich and his Orgonomic Science
Against Renewed Sexual Slander and Defamation.
By James DeMeo, PhD
That item will serve as background to understanding the subsequent one described below.
Early in January 2011, I was approached by representatives of Wag-TV and Channel 4 in the UK, for production of a new TV series they were developing entitled "The Sex Researchers". It was represented to me as a serious documentary on the lives and work of various scientific investigators into human sexuality, such as Freud, Kinsey, Masters & Johnson, Magnus Hirschfeld, Havlock Ellis, Marie Bonaparte, and of course, Wilhelm Reich. They asked me for an interview contribution to the Wilhelm Reich segment of their planned program, and stressed how seriously they viewed their undertaking. They claimed to know how badly Reich had been smeared and subjected to defamatory slander in the American press, and in the years after his death, and wanted to help set things straight. They asked to take video shots of me in an interview, along with my laboratory and the orgone accumulator, for production of their movie.
The short report to follow gives some preliminary information on what developed thereafter, one of many "behind the scenes" attacks by emotional plague characters which aimed to create a total destruction of Wilhelm Reich's research legacy, as well as my own name and work, and which are now almost a yearly occurrence. These are only sometimes brought to public attention, and in this case, for reasons detailed below, it was impossible to speak about it publicly until most recently.
The principals involved were Director and Producer Stephen Kemp, and Assistant Producers Vicky Booth and Ruth Mayer, of Wag-TV. Oversight of the full program was made by Executive Producer Martin Durkin of Channel 4. It is impossible for me to know if all these people planned to deceive and create a malicious slander from the very start, or if the original impulse for their project was honest, and only later was steered into a cesspool by the clever manipulations of key persons. But we know from Reich how one concealed emotional plague character can worm their way into formerly productive and effective organizations, and wreak havoc even while cloaking themselves as "innocent" or "helpful". All I know is, they made a persuasive appeal via emails and telephone calls which sounded fully sincere.
For example I had known some of the prior work at Channel 4, which made a top-notch set of programs exposing the large scientific flaws in the HIV hypothesis of AIDS. They made several broadcast programs supporting a group of scientists led by Dr. Peter Duesberg of U.C. Berkeley, in their criticisms of the HIV hypothesis of AIDS: "The AIDS Catch" and "AIDS and Africa". Both of those programs exposed malfeasance within one of the world's largest pharmaceutical firms, and de-bunked much of the confused mainstream claims about what was causing AIDS. They are still available for on-line review, here:
Channel 4 had also produced "The Great Global Warming Swindle" program, which likewise criticized establishment views and political conniving in the promotion of the CO2 theory of global warming.
In both of those cases, Channel 4 took on very controversial subjects which establishment Big Science and Big Medicine have tried to cover up and sequester, treating them seriously and exposing their weaknesses. This gave some badly-needed support to the often-maligned scientific dissenters, who suffered professionally at the hands of establishment censorship and repression. So I had good reason to believe Channel 4 would do a similar strong and serious expose to defend Wilhelm Reich against 80 years of slander, defamation and censorship by the mainstream of science and media. This was in addition to the fact that the representatives of Channel 4 and Wag-TV had personally told me exactly how they knew about the on-going defamatory slander of Reich, knew about life-energy from different contexts (such as acupuncture and subtle-energy research), and wanted to set the record straight. In this, they solicited my help as a former university professor who had validated Reich's findings in a number of ways, and also to get video images of the orgone accumulator and cloudbuster devices.
My usual procedure in such cases, when dealing with independent film-makers, is to demand full disclosure of the final production prior to giving any approvals or legal release to the production company for use of my interview materials. In that way, if the film directors make a terrible mess of things or stick a knife into my back, I could legally demand they remove my filmed contributions before their production went public. But in this case, I dropped my guard. Not once in 40 years of doing orgonomic research had such an opportunity developed to "set the record straight" through such a major production company. While I had some remaining unsettled feeling (which in retrospect, I should have listened to) I decided to proceed with helping them to produce, as they had expressed, something good and decent.
So I agreed and, over several months leading up to the interview, and afterwards also, presented to them several educational emails which gave internet links to research papers and other published materials supporting Reich's orgone energy research, including many from within peer-reviewed scientific forums. Many of these are available for free download on my own website:
I also provided them with hard copies of additional research papers and books, detailing good scientific verifications of Reich's original findings, on human sexuality and on the orgone energy. These included my large work Saharasia, the largest-ever cross-cultural study on human behavior, analyzing the sexual and family life in 1170 different world cultures, and tracking global evidence for the first-origins of social violence in prehistory down into its modern expressions. Saharasia provided solid systematic and objective proof of the validity of Wilhlem Reich's sexual-behavioral theories, as well as clear evidence and a time-line detailing the first-origins of human social violence and warfare at the time of a major climate-shift towards massive desert formation across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia ("Sahar-asia") at c.4000-3500 BCE.
I also sent them copies of my books detailing new evidence supporting Wilhelm Reich's orgone energy discoveries, such as the Orgone Accumulator Handbook, and Heretic's Notebook: Emotions, Protocells, Ether-Drift and Cosmic Life Energy:
They were given weblinks to my YouTube videos on Reich, as well as to several private PowerPoint presentations I had given to scientific conferences in recent years.
In my communications, as well as in the subsequent interviews, I emphasized the slanderous and defamatory nature of Reich's critics on the issues of human sexuality, that Reich was not any kind of "pornographic character", and was in fact quite modest and had even been contemptuously ridiculed as "a prude" by the modern promoters of the compulsively promiscuous "anything goes" sexual bath-house and "swinger" scene. Reich described such sexual hyperactivity as neurotic and pathological, the opposite side and consequence of equally neurotic and pathological sex-repressive elements within a given society. Reich also emphasized the deeply pathological nature of the opportunistic sexual predator and pedophiles, from whom children had to be protected. I made efforts to summarize Reich's view of genitality and his sex-economic theory, and how that is so different from every other theory on human sexuality, including the "raw discharge" ideas of Kinsey, for whom any and every kind of sexual stimulation was "equally good". Reich's concepts of the full genital orgasm, versus the lesser "sexual climax", was also mentioned, not just in the printed materials I provided, but later during the actual interviews which were made. Our correspondence leading up to the actual interview was professional and courteous, and I anticipated they would do an excellent job, sticking with the facts.
I was wrong.
The Wag-TV crew spent a full day with me at OBRL in mid-February 2011, where all the above matters were discussed, and put on videotape. They also got video shots of my accumulators and cloudbuster. When Director Kemp brought up the 1950s slanders against Reich as having "masturbated patients" in therapy or in the accumulator, I emphasized the fabricated nature of those accusations, which were spread by Reich's enemies in the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the Communist Party. Reich had once been an active member of both, but when he began to openly question their central precepts in the early 1930s, both threw him out of their organizations. Afterwards, they began spreading nasty rumors and newspaper smear attacks began (the Communists actually put him on their death lists); both groups also played central roles in the later spread of defamatory slander against Reich in the USA. http://www.orgonelab.org/ReichPersecution.htm
At the time of his departure to the USA in 1939, Reich was being publicly attacked in both the Nazi and Communist-controlled newspapers in Germany and Scandinavia, his books being denounced, impounded or burned, and his name was on both Gestapo and NKVD death-lists. The psychoanalysts were, meanwhile, spreading vicious sexual slander about him, merely for his straightforward addressing of issues they had systematically avoided, and for his introduction of innovative body-oriented psychotherapeutic methods. All of this was discussed with the Channel 4/Wag-TV representatives and film-crew before and during the interviews.
I also emphasized the scientific legitimacy of Reich's findings on the orgone energy, the studies proving the orgone accumulator's therapeutic benefits, and that it was never promoted by Reich as a "sex box". That, I emphasized, was a slander by Reich's unethical attackers, something which later stimulated the FDA to "investigate Reich". The FDA cobbled together the most exceedingly unscientific evidence against Reich, I explained to the Channel 4/Wag-TV representatives, and they won their case by sophistry and technicalities in a legal case also contaminated by a clear anti-Constitutional criminal malpractice and biased arrogance (derived from malicious public slanders in the American press) on the part of both the prosecutors and judges. I covered all the essential points with the Wag-TV and Channel 4 representatives, who were provided with more than enough evidence by which to judge the matter and make an honest presentation of the facts.
After the interviews were finished, I was informed a copy of their film segment on Wilhelm Reich, which included my interviews, would be sent to me in the mails on a DVD disk, sometime before or around the time it was released to the public. In fact, I never got anything from them.
Months passed and I heard nothing more from Wag-TV or Channel 4. However, by early July friends in the UK informed me that the "Sex Researchers" series had recently been broadcast on UK television, and that it was a first-class slander and hatchet-job, making Reich out to be an insane quack and pornographic charlatan. The sequence on Reich lasted only 6 minutes, of a 45 minute program, but was a testament to the worst kind of defamatory slander one could imagine.
Other than showing a few parts of my interview, their Reich segment used actors making fictional "re-enactments" with a snide-sounding voice-over by a well-known British actor and comedian, Robert Webb.
The Channel 4/Wag-TV production showed the Reich-actor masturbating himself while hooked up to a primitive voltmeter, while standing with his back to the camera in a darkened bedroom with drawn shades. This scene utterly misrepresented Reich's professional and sensitive bioelectrical experiments on pleasure versus anxiety, as conducted with volunteer test subjects in laboratory rooms at the University of Oslo Psychology Department. Those experiments had been supported by Dr. Harald Schjelderup, founder of that Department who knew of Reich's flight from Nazi Germany and had welcomed his arrival in Scandinavia, inviting him to continue his research at the University.
Reich's bioelectrical experiments were conducted professionally with much sensitivity, entirely opposite of the "isolated darkened-room" mischaracterization appearing in the "Sex Researchers" program. The program narrative also falsely and sarcastically ridiculed Reich's discovery of the orgone energy as "orgasm energy", falsely implied the orgone accumulator was used for masturbation, and invented scenes which never happened in real life. These included the Reich-actor slumping down to the floor, where he rubs his hands over his head and messes his hair, rolling his eyes around in feigned drooling insanity, and where the Reich-actor masturbated a naked woman to climax while on the therapy couch. It openly misrepresented his vegeto-therapy, or orgone therapy, as some kind of "masturbation therapy", which it most certainly never was. The film thereby repeated the worst of the defamatory slanders hurled at Reich since the 1930s by various malicious psychoanalysts and communist journalists, that he had "gone mad" and was "masturbating patients". Those old malicious rumors were started by psychoanalysts of a "Freudo-Marxist" ideology who at one time had been very close to Reich, including his ex-wife Annie Pink, and his former close friend Otto Fenichel. They later turned against Reich and hated his guts, for his divergence from traditional psychoanalysis as well as for his open criticisms of "crude Marxism" and Stalinism. But no matter... the Channel 4/Wag-TV segment on Wilhelm Reich managed to include those slanders, interspersed with my interview segments, carefully edited so as to give the false impression that I approved of their pornographic distortions of Reich. In so doing, the program was as much of a slander against myself as against Reich.
Fortunately, the UK has strict laws against slander, defamation and character assassination. While Reich was dead and could not sue, I am alive and could do so. And the outrageous nature of the slanders, their complete falsity, and the way the film crew had lied to me repeatedly about their desire to do an honest documentary in order to get my help and consent, left both Channel 4 and Wag-TV open to this possibility. They were gambling that the smears were factual material, or that they would go unnoticed in the USA, or that I would not do anything in response to them.
I consulted with friends and lawyers in both the USA and UK, and steeled myself for what would be an expensive and lengthy legal battle. However, there were some preliminary steps to be taken, and which might make legal action unnecessary. The UK has an oversight association in government called Ofcom, which is empowered to hear complaints from the public about unfair treatment by broadcast media. When a complaint is made to Ofcom about a specific program, they investigate the matter and render informed judgements. I therefore made a formal complaint against Channel 4 and Wag-TV, for their slanderous, defamatory and unfactual distortions of Wilhelm Reich, and about the way their program similarly constituted a defamatory slander against myself. I also detailed the numerous lies they had committed, in spoken word and emails, about how they had wanted to do a serious and fact-based documentary, in order to persuade me to grant an interview and open my laboratory to their cameras.
My formal complaint to Ofcom put an immediate halt to Channel 4/Wag-TV plans to make a wider distribution of their "Sex Researchers" program, in re-broadcasts and possibly as a DVD production. By the Ofcom rules, they were forced to stop further distribution of the materials until Ofcom had made an investigation and ruling. The Ofcom procedures also required that neither of us could speak publicly about the matter until Ofcom had reviewed the exact details of my complaint, heard a rebuttal from Channel 4/Wag-TV, and come to a decision about it. This took another 6 months, of back and forth across the Atlantic. I produced one initial complaint letter on "Sexual Slander, Character Assassination and Defamation on Channel 4" on 11 July 2011. This was followed by a "rebuttal" from Channel 4/Wag-TV, which was illuminating on some important points about how and wherefrom they got their distorted ideas about Reich, as I will mention below. But it also carried a tacit admission on some parts of my Complaint. I thereafter provided a more detailed "Response to ...the Channel 4 Response."
In the end, Ofcom Upheld my complaint, at least on the narrow grounds of "informed consent" and "fairness". Ofcom ruled I had been deceived into believing they were going to make an authentic and fact-based documentary, whereas the final program was something entirely different. But this ruling also carried a tacit understanding that the final documentary was not honest in its presentation, as otherwise the issue of "fairness" (and ergo, "informed consent") had no merit. It was unfair because it was a defamatory slander against Reich, against myself, and against historical fact and truth. If my objections had been frivolous, they would have ruled against my Complaint.
The Ofcom ruling is now a matter of public record, and can be downloaded as a PDF document from this website:
"Complaint by Dr James DeMeo, The Sex Researchers, Channel 4", Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, #201, 5 March 2012, p.15-30.
I have been informed, Channel 4 and Wag-TV will now remove all of my interview sequences from their "Sex Researchers" program. However, it remains unclear if they will remove the offensive slander and defamation against Wilhelm Reich.
At some point, I may publish the full documentation I sent to Ofcom, which details more exactly the actions of Channel 4 and Wag-TV in this matter, providing detailed rebuttals to each point in their finished program. One hopes they will do the right thing, and remove all of the malicious things they said about Wilhelm Reich, but there are no guarantees, as it is still permissible for "journalists" to lie about and slander the dead.
I should also mention, Channel 4 and Wag-TV admitted, in their Ofcom Rebuttal, they had relied heavily upon the smear-artist and faux-historian Christopher Turner, who published the book Adventures in the Orgasmatron in the UK around the same time the "Sex Researchers" filming began. That book subjected Wilhelm Reich and American orgonomy to multiple defamatory slanders, including the same ones repeated by Channel 4/Wag-TV in their program. I've already written a detailed critique of the Turner book, here:
Critical Review of Christopher Turner's Adventures in the Orgasmatron
A Defense of Dr. Wilhelm Reich and his Orgonomic Science
Against Renewed Sexual Slander and Defamation.
By James DeMeo, PhD
In large measure, my critique and rebuttal of the Turner book also serves as a corrective against the defamatory slanders made by Channel 4/Wag-TV in their "Sex Researchers" program.
Taken together, these materials mark a new phase in the on-going misrepresentations and attacks against Wilhelm Reich's research legacy, and the science of orgonomy, by a new breed of contemptuous and enraged fanatics, for whom truth and fact mean nothing.
More will be said on this subject in the future.
James DeMeo, PhD
Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab (OBRL)
Ashland, Oregon, USA
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get its pants on."
The work undertaken at the OBRL includes investigative reports as detailed above, but is more centrally focused upon natural scientific issues. These include the new confirmations of my Saharasia findings as previously reported via OBRL-News, plus new experimental studies testing and evaluating (and confirming) Reich's central-most orgone energy discoveries, as contained in my various publications:
These activities are only possible due to the generous donations of our friends and supporters. Please consider making a donation today:
Alternatively, purchase of our books, which can also be gifted to friends and students, as well as to public libraries, is of much benefit to us, as well as towards a greater positive appreciation of orgonomic science:
Please consider what you can do to help in the way of making a generous donation, or getting our publications into the hands of serious people and libraries.
More Confirmation on Saharasia
Evidence for the c.4000-3500 BCE "drying up" of North Africa, to form the Sahara Desert, has been known to climatologists for a long time, buried mostly in the academic literature before the modern times when "climate change" has grabbed the headlines. My Saharasia work was one of the first to publicly discuss the matter in detail, and in fact, the Great Drying-Up of Saharasia was the very largest climatological shift to affect planet Earth since the end of the last Ice Age. It created vast global climate effects, far greater than the much-later Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, both of which were even more extreme and dramatic climate shifts than anything which is happening today. The book gives the exacting details.
Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child-Abuse, Sex-Repression, Social Violence and War, In the Deserts of the Old World.
I just posted out an email discussing some of the newer evidence:
New Evidence Supporting Saharasia
Following posting of that discussion, I learned about the following verifications, reliant upon some of the same new evidence, but some additional things as well:
End of the African Humid Period
This above link provides additional resource material all in agreement with my Saharasia findings, particularly this next one:
Drought and the Akkadian empire
This last item details ocean sediment cores from the Gulf of Oman, indicating an influx of desert aerosols at around 4025 BP (before the present), or 2000 BCE (with an error margin of around 125 years). While there is other good evidence contained in my Saharasia book which indicates the Tigris-Euphrates region began to collapse into drought and social violence well before this date of c.2000 BCE, the general theme is in good agreement with my discussions on how different parts of Saharasia began to dry out at slightly different time periods, and often with climatic pulsations as they collectively degenerated towards the hyperaridity which is observed today.
The earliest hints of dryness began across the Eastern Mediterranean region generally around 5000 BCE, but really got going only after c.4000 BCE notably in Arabia and parts of Central Asia. North Africa and other parts of Saharasia experienced accelerating aridity which geographically expanded after c.3500 BCE, with the far Western and Eastern parts of Saharasia drying out last. A few sub-regions survived under semi-arid conditions for the next several thousand years, as with an expanded moist coastal strip across the Mediterranean North Africa. This moist strip temporarily persisted and extended into the Eastern Mediterranean, providing sustenance to the cities of the Decapolis, even into the Roman era. Growing aridity eventually claimed nearly all of these sub-regions, forming a nearly contiguous belt of harsh and arid, frequently vegetation-barren conditions across the entire expanse of Saharasia -- from the Atlantic Western North Africa, across the Middle East and into Central Asia as far as the Pacific Coast. Various city-states and empires collapsed as their agricultural regions and irrigation systems were wiped out due to these shifting patterns of aridity, prompting mass-migrations and long epochs of famine and starvation. This is what prompted the early peaceful human societies towards massive destruction, creating the first armored human character structures, the first violent human tribal groups, the first epochs of warfare. Nomadic tribal warrior cults took over, creating their little and big empires, and they have remained in power ever since, wreaking havoc also by military invasions far out into the moist regions of the world where deserts do not exist. 6000 years of warfare and social violence followed, which can be traced down into the patterns of behavior in the various tribal societies as studied by the anthropologists, and being dated to c.1900. It is the foundation for what we are faced with today, in terms of struggling and warring nation-states, which show similar Saharasian patterns in their behaviors.
The world of classical science is slowly closing in on the issues firstly raised nearly 30 years ago in my Saharasia findings and book. At some point, they will also re-discover how social violence and warfare was at low levels, or non-existent, before the Great Drying-Up. And rediscover how the modern tribal-nomad desert cultures of Saharasia still are carriers of the most extreme characteristics of social violence, which began 6000 years ago in the same regions.
A hat-tip to John Wilder for the alert on those last weblinks.
PS. If you wish to support my research, along the lines of the Saharasia findings, or the other materials testing and verifying Reich's orgone energy discoveries, as contained in my various publications...
... then please consider to make a donation to OBRL:
Or, if you haven't already, purchase the Saharasia book for yourself, family and friends, or for your local library. It is now available through most brick-and-mortar bookstores by special order, or from on-line bookstores, including Amazon.com and its various international outlets:
Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child-Abuse, Sex-Repression, Social Violence and War, In the Deserts of the Old World.
We also sell it more directly, from here:
New Evidence Supporting Saharasia
A Note from James DeMeo, PhD
New findings on the ancient history of the Sahara Desert both clarifies and confirms various aspects of my 1980s work on the origins of violence and human armoring, as summarized in the book Saharasia.
The new findings come from the field of oceanography, notably from Dr. Peter deMonocal of Columbia University, regarding sediment core samples from the deep Atlantic Ocean. Sahara Desert dusts and aerosols typically blow to other world regions, including out over the open oceans, where they become incorporated into ocean sediments far out into the Atlantic Ocean. This is not itself a new finding, but deMonocal identifies repeating and episodic changes in the abundance of these same Saharan dusts going back over millions of years. This indicates repeated oscillatory or pulsating climate changes from wet to dry and then wet again. There were many "Sahara Deserts" in the past, punctuated by similar long episodes when the Sahara would vanish and be replaced by very wet conditions across North Africa.
Today we can directly observe large clouds of Saharan dust being blown westward out across the open Atlantic Ocean, and know very well how the desert dust materials could be deposited into the ocean, and then drift down to become a constituent of the ocean sediment layers. The Sahara Desert dusts actually give the ocean sediments a slight yellow-orange color, setting them off from the normally grey-green ocean sediment layers characteristic of a wet North Africa. The ocean sediment cores thereby reveal periods of a dry North Africa creating the Sahara Desert, oscillating between other periods of a wet North Africa, when the Sahara was replaced by a natural greening with trees, grasslands, and abundant wildlife. The periodicity of these strata are further documented in rock art, lake levels, wildlife abundances and species, and so forth, as given in my Saharasia book
This set of findings solves the larger question of "what made the Sahara Desert", and by extension the entire Saharasian Desert Belt which is identified in my writings, and which had its most recent origins in Arabia and Central Asia between 5000-4000 BCE. After 4000 BCE, desert conditions more definitively expanded west from Arabia and the Nile River Valley, across North Africa, which thereafter dried out over most of its territory by around 3000 BCE. The far Western part of North Africa were the last to succumb to the vast expansion of Saharasian desert conditions.
The document "Update on Saharasia: Ambiguities and Uncertainties about 'War Before Civilization',"
published originally in the 2002 publication Heretic's Notebook
and also contained in the 2006 revised 2nd edition of Saharasia,
discusses these same repeating climate changes, as the solution to understanding how the Sahara Desert -- and all of Saharasia -- was formed.
Cyclical climate changes, or pulsations in climate, was the driving force, and this was affirmed in many lines of evidence beyond merely the new findings from ocean sediment core samples. The very last change from wet to dry conditions, at c.4000-3500 BCE, occurred at the time of the first emerging human societies, which had grown in size within early villages and cities, in the earliest agricultural settlements with animal domestication, and being highly dependent upon good rains. Earlier episodes of change from wet to dry conditions also had smaller influences upon human behavior, but never to such an extent as recorded within that most recent epoch of major climatic shifts.
Another aspect of these new findings is quite important for my larger Saharasian findings, notably the necessity for the c.4000-3500 BCE climate change to have occurred in a quick and rapid manner, over only a few generations at most, and not something drawn out over many thousands of years. A rapid climate-change was necessary. Otherwise, the early human societies could have migrated out towards wetter regions, and thereby avoided the repeated episodes of famine and starvation, as well as mass-migrations which were recorded in their archaeology.
As deMonocal noted, the ocean core sediments indicate a rapid climate change. The last epoch of a wet North Africa ended rather sharply around 3500 BCE, converting into dry Sahara Desert conditions within a period of only a few hundred years at most.
Here's a graphic detailing the changes, identifying a major increase in dust-aerosol transport West from North Africa into the nearby Atlantic Ocean, which also indicates a severe reduction in rainfall, dated centrally at c.5500 BP years (before the present) or c.3500 BCE. The very last graphic in the sequence reflects the actual measurements from the ocean sediment core samples.
(Graphic from: W. Steffen, et al: "Abrupt Changes: The Achilles Heel of the Earth System", Environment, April 2004, p.16.)
My original 1980s research into the problems of world deserts indicated there was no mainstream consensus on what had created the Sahara Desert, or the related and connecting deserts of the Middle East and Central Asia which together formed the Saharasian Desert Belt. It was only known, that the changes occurred. Earlier climatic epochs were not so well documented as the last one recording the changes from wet to dry conditions at c.4000-3500 BCE.
By the 1990s, however, newer methods of analysis and dating allowed a more definitive picture to be assembled. As noted above, and in addition to the wealth of documentation presented in the original Saharasia book
, I addressed these new findings in the article "Update on Saharasia". I cited and reproduced the climate maps of Jonathan Adams, reconstructing ancient climate conditions over the last 18,000 years, and depicting the most recent epochs of this dry-wet-dry pulsation of conditions across North Africa. http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html
There were in fact many Sahara Deserts (plural) which came and went over a very long period of time.
The new data therefore suggests, the 4000-3500 BCE climate transition which swept across Saharasia was indeed rather abrupt and quick within any given region. For North Africa, the transition into harsh aridity required no more than one or a few hundred years, and probably was characterized by great swings in weather during that period. These swings would have included decades-long periods of intense high temperature and drought-dryness, punctuated by shorter periods of ever-diminishing rainfalls. It had to "catch people by surprise", destroying their sustenance by subjecting them to recurring hard drought and devastating all vegetation and animal life. They would have been reduced to starvation-death conditions, repeatedly, recovering when the scant rains returned, and slowly developing specialized methods (ie, nomadism) by which to survive under the increasingly desertified conditions. The conditions suggest something similar to what was observed in the starving Sahel regions of Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, and which prompted action by international aid organizations. But in those early times, there was no international aid forthcoming, and so people simply starved or migrated, and died in large numbers. The emotional and physical devastation of starvation and famine, as I showed, was a severe emotional blow against the early peaceful human societies of the once-wet Saharasian regions, driving their emotional-behavioral structure, and character structure, towards a highly armored and violent condition. The newer edition of the work Saharasia
gives a full detail of the findings.
I argued for such abrupt climate changes back in the early 1980s. The discussion by deMonocal, as given in the publications and documentary film cited above, validates my expectation, and indicates the transition from a wet to a dry North Africa occurred over a period of 100-200 years, being dated off the coast of West Africa at c.3500 BCE. This provides a rather exact confirmation of the rapidity of the climate transition outlined in my Saharasia work. It also falls within the generalized dates for the onset of aridity across different sub-regions of Saharasia as given in my writings.
"The transition from a very well watered, wet Sahara that was completely vegetated to one that was much, much drier, that climate transition in this [ocean] core occurred within one or two centuries." P. deMonocal 2009 (33:20 min. in the DVD documentary How the Earth Was Made, Season Two, Disk 1, Segment on "Sahara". History Channel DVD, 2009-2010.
"The Sahara rapidly depopulated with increased desiccation. Peoples either migrated to the moister regions of the south, or wherever secure waters remained available: along the Nile, Niger, Senegal, and Gambia rivers, around Lake Chad, on the coastal side of the Atlas mountains, and along the narrow coastal zone adjacent to the Mediterranean. The regions south of the Sahara were consequently subject to increasing influence from the north..." J. DeMeo, Saharasia, 2006, p.244. Also see: "Table 9: Summary of Dates for Ecological and Cultural Change", p.365.
Newer findings from archaeology and climatology continue to support the findings in my Saharasia work, which remains the most robust and firmly established proof for the origins of human armoring, as for the origins of human social violence and warfare. From this, I can make additional predictions. We should expect that as new ocean core samples are made across the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and even in the China Sea just east of Beijing, similar desert dusts and aerosols will be found indicating a similar relatively abrupt and rapid transition from wet to dry conditions, and dated to periods as I have given them in Saharasia, as taken from the literature of archaeological and earlier paleoclimate studies.
For more information on the Saharasia book, with related "Update" articles, visit these webpages:
P. B. DeMonocal et al., "Abrupt Onset and Termination of the African
Humid Period: Rapid Climate Response to Gradual Insolation Forcing,"
Quaternary Science Review 19 (2000): 347-61.
M. Claussen, et al., "Simulation of an abrupt change in Saharan vegetation
in the mid-Holocene", Geophysical Research Letters, V.26, No.14, pp.2037-2040, July 15, 1999