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At Last? Running C O R E's Life-Energy Day in Preston?
Much of the paragraph below has already been posted on this page. This is an update on our long-cherished and long-postponed plans for a local Life-Energy Day in Preston. But...could this be it? At last, could we just manage it?
Thanks to my efforts at the West Lancs Green Fayre last weekend, July 20th-21st, there are now maybe a dozen, possibly even two dozen people in possesion of C O R E's basic hand-put information and a few who bought copies of various booklets. I have encouraged all these people to visit our website for more information and to get in touch if they want anything clarifying. If any of these people get involved in orgonomy even superficially, we may be able to run our long-postponed life-energy day in Preston or somewhere in Lancashire. Please don't think ignorance of orgonomy disqualifies you from supporting C O R E. As much as anything we need pairs of hands to set up an event, people willing to do simple, dogsbody jobs such as helping us transport equipment and publications to the venue, make cups of tea or coffee, (we would be serving light refreshments for people visiting the event), taking money for publications, and generally keeping an eye on delicate or expensive equipment such as microscopes or binoculars. This could be a wonderfully interesting and enjoyable community event for local people if we could just get it off the ground. If you helped on the day, you would certainly learn a great deal about orgonomy. It could be the first step in getting orgonomy established and visible in the local community. But we can't lift a finger to do it until we have a minimum number of helping hands. I estimate we need at least four people to run this event safely and comfortably, and if possible six. Not many! If you would like to help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (23. 7. 13.)
C O R E still urgently needs help with our website. The reason why the site is so limited and carries so few pictures and no videos is that we just can't manage to upload them! We have many positive ideas for the site which we can't realise for lack of technical expertise. If you live in the UK and have time to help, even by phone, (C O R E will pay for the calls), please get in touch. This is our most urgent problem at the moment.
Becoming a Community Interest Company
See below for details of C O R E's attempt to become a registered charity. At the time I had two volunteers willing to serve as trustees. (You need a minimum of three trustees to become a registered charity.) It seems that a half-way house to becoming a charity is to be registered as a community interest company. This seems to be quite easy to do. As far as I can ascertain, all one needs to do is to register formally as a company, for which one needs a secretary as well as a founder, and then to register as a community interest company. There are no high hurdles to jump over, as there are to become a registered charity. The recent laws introduced to encourage these organisations mean that the company's 'profits' and financial assets are locked into the company and cannot be paid out in shareholders dividends. At present C O R E has next to no financial assets anyway, but obviously we fit the bill here. No-one extracts any income from C O R E's activities and all income (absolutely tiny at the moment) is used to support C O R E's activities. So, all we need now is someone committed enough to orgonomy to serve as our company secretary. For practical purposes this person will need to live in the northwest of England. If you are interested in this unpaid job, please contact PJ at C O R E (email@example.com).
HELP needed to run our Spring Life Energy Day in Preston.
We thought we had a definite offer of help to run this event, but the helper concerned is in financial trouble and can't make it. So... yet another local event postponed, probably cancelled, as god alone knows when we will have found more helpers to make this event possible. This event is the first step towards building up local interest, which needs to be extensive, if we are ever to realise our project of an orgonomic teaching and research centre in Lancashire. The cancellation of the LED is a major setback, to put it mildly. I have left the paragraph below in situ, so site-visitors can see what help we needed for this event. One day...maybe...(11. 12. 11.)
If you live in the north west and can get to Preston for a whole day on a Saturday during next spring half-term week we need your help as a volunteer with the running of this event. No knowledge of orgonomy is needed. The help is the typical help needed to run any community event that is open to the public - making drinks, washing dishes, keeping an eye on valuable and delicate equipment, recording orders for books and booklets, and so on. We hope to recruit at least 4 helpers, so you should have plenty of time for breaks in which you can enjoy the day's activities for yourself. If you want to help, please contact C O R E at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some years ago C O R E applied for charitable status. This involved a huge amount of really dull work, filling in forms and tailoring the language of orgonomy so that it became understandable to people who had never heard of it. Our application fell at the first hurdle. To obtain charitable status in a scientific or medical field one has to establish the genuineness and efficacy of the science or medicine you are trying to spread information about. And who can provide evidence of this? The priests of orthodox medicine or science, apparently! So, needless to say, we could at the time go no further. At the time there was no-one in this country with any scientific or medical status who would have spoken up for C O RE and our aims. The official in the Charity Commissioners had clearly not heard of orgonomy at all. So what does he do to find out about it? Talk to C O R E? Ask us some searching questions? Ask to look at our literature to see how genuine we are? No, of course, he looks orgonomy up on the internet, and comes across lots of ill-informed mystical rubbish. How does someone new to orgonomy discriminate between the rubbish, the phoney, the greedily deceiving, and the genuine that are on the internet?
The only benefit stemming from this experience was that we had to sit down and think through our aims. You have to state clearly your aims in an application and these aims must be 'charitable', which is defined fairly precisely in legal terms. Apart from a few extreme items at the edge of the field, it is quite easy to decide whether any given activity is charitable or not.
The trustees of a charity may not benefit financially in any way from the activities of the charity. Broadly speaking, the benefits of any given charity must be available to anyone within the group that you are aiming to help or support. This group can be as large as the general public or as small as, say, unemployed teenagers between the ages of 16 and 20. But once you earmark a group you cannot discriminate between those you like and those you don't like.
And if you are a medical or a scientific charity your 'medicine' or 'science' must be shown to be effective and 'scientific'. This proviso is most outrageously oppressive and prejudiced and makes it all but impossible to run a charity to support alternative medicine or dissident science of any sort, however scientifically one conducts one activities. The practice of the Charity Commissioners is grotesquely biassed in favour of conventional medicine, which is automatically considered to be a 'goodie' and gets its applications nodded through with no difficulty at all.
I am not sure how a body like C O R E can find a way through this apparent dilemma. Presumably someone with legal expertise in the field of charity law could find a way through the regulations that would make it possible to acquire charitable status. Why bother to acquire it, if it is so difficult? C O R E has survived a good 10 years without it.
Charitable status would in fact benefit C O R E greatly and orgonomy itself, too. There are two main benefits of this status, which may be unknown to our foreign visitors to this site. The first one is purely financial. A legal charity can reclaim any income tax paid on donations. The base-rate of UK income tax is 25%, so if a supporter gave us £100, C O R E, if it were a charity, would receive an extra £25 from the government. Thus to buy something costing £125, we would need to collect only £100 in donations to cover the cost. Add a nought to those sums, say to cover the cost of a new microscope or a similarly priced piece of laboratory equipment, £1000 against £1250 and you begin to see the huge benefits of charitable status. Charities are also exempt from paying business rates on any building they use and paying VAT. In practice this means, very roughly, that £100 donated to C O R E is actually worth about £150. (Not that we receive any donations at all at the moment, but, if we were a legal charity, we might get a few.)
The main benefit of charitable status is, however, much more subtle and further-reaching than any financial one and it is the positive cultural and social influence that one acquires with this legal status. In this country 'charities' are automatically seen as 'good guys' and people are much more willing to donate funds and things to sell than they would be without the status. They are also much more likely to do little favours for the organisation and to generally look upoon its activities as benign. You only have to say the word charity and people are kinder to you.
Reasonably enough, one has to work within certain limits to maintain the status. The Commissioners take their responsibilites seriously and vet the finances and activities of charities regularly. This should present no problems for C O R E. In practice we have been a nominal charity for years, ever since we started, in fact.
So, what were our aims as laid out in our application?
a) To disseminiate information about and to pursue research into orgonomy, the science of the life energy, orgone, as discovered and studied by Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), and other knowledge and discoveries relevant to orgonomy;
b) To disseminate this research as widely as possible in appropriate form - an orgonomic journal, books, booklets, and leaflets, and to offer the public and professionals in relevant fields teaching in orgonomy in the form of courses, workshops, summer schools, etc;
c) To provide students of orgonomy with information, advice, literature, and facilities to pursue their own orgonomic studies and research;
d) To collect funds to support the study by British professionals of orgonomy in countries where orgonomy is better established;
e) To build up a library of orgonomic publications;
f) In the longer term to establish a school of orgonomy in the UK.
And I would add to these aims, the establishment of a physical centre, bricks and mortar, for orgonomic teaching and research.
We are already actively realising most of these aims. Those that we have not even begun to achieve are all those for which a larger number of helpers and/or sums of money are needed. In fact, all C O R E's difficulties boil down to the problems caused by lack of support. If we had, say, 2,000 members or supporters who paid us a subscription every year for the privilege of supporting orgonomy, and of those 50 were serious and active contributors, we would be home and dry. Almost any event we ran would find enough participants to make it financially viable. Almost any technical skill we need to realise a project would exist amongst such a larger membership. If we were a national organisation promoting some minority interest such as a particular form of dance or the breeding of a special type of cat, we would have our 2000 members in a month. But no, not orgonomy. No orgonomy, please. We are British!
How You Can Help Us Realise These Aims
I have made frequent reference on this website to C O R E's lack of support in the UK and it occurs to me that possible volunteer helpers might be encouraged if you knew exactly what sort of help we need with our activities. So...here is a list of jobs and activities that we need help with. The first group of jobs all need skills of one sort or another. The second group are all simpler things that anyone with a little spare time and goodwill can do, the typical jobs that any charity or voluntary organisation needs help with.
As you can see, some of these jobs are things anyone can do. In fact a huge improvement in our microscopy facilities has been effected recently with the help of a 12-year old assistant! A very effective helper he was, too. So, please don't hold back from false modesty. Almost anyone who feels sympathetic to orgonomy will be able to assist C O R E in some way or other.
If you are interested in orgonomy and feel you do not yet know enough to contribute to our activities, you would learn a lot if you volunteered for one of these assistant's jobs during an event and just observed and listened as you went about your work. Now that C O R E is attracting interest from within the UK again, we hope to organise our life energy day in Preston, a plan that we had to shelve for the time being last year, when a volunteer from abroad returned home earlier than originally planned. Helping out with basic jobs at such an event would give you the chance to see various orgonomic experiments carried out and to hear the explanations several times. You would soon become quite knowledgeable.
Posted April 2011, last edited January 31st, 2013.
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