Orffyreus was self-directed and independent person
who required few close relationships. Though Orffyreus was inner-directed and followed his own hearts and minds, he
was a keen observer of others, particularly sensitive to how other people reacted to him. He was open to anything; he was
interested in the occult, the extrasensory, and the supernatural. He was drawn to abstract and speculative thinking. Orffyreus
was tuned in to and sustained by his own feelings and belief systems, he did not bother whether or not others accepted or
understood his particular worldview or approach to life. He did not believe in tradition. He was unable to defeat psychological
pressures of perpetual motion; because of this he created an interesting, unusual and somewhat eccentric lifestyle.
Orffyreus was an idiosyncratic personality type.
Orffyreus had many sides to his character.
He had his particular strengths, weaknesses, and problems.1 Orffyreus was not one of those simpleminded
people who could be read in a short time or easily understood. Orffyreus was never free and easy in his relationship to people;
but his social manners were a mixture of the habits of a powerful aristocrat of a previous generation and those of an artisan.
He was a sensitive person and his invention largely governed his behavior. He was sensitive to criticism. Orffyreus
did I hear a word of praise, though I was criticized from all directions. But I never changed, never once wavered, because
a single word could have betrayed my wondrous achievement.' – (Bessler, 1715.)
Inquisitor ,Warfalcon of Utima says: “..it may have been simply that Orffyreus was a singularly irritating person, self-assertive,
boastful and dogmatic. At all events, he made far more enemies than friends, and soon had to move on.”
He further remarks:
“It must also be admitted that Orffyreus’
character makes it seem unlikely that he was a straightforward swindler. Charm and smoothness are an essential part
of the equipment of a confidence man; and while there is no guarantee that paranoia and bad temper are a sign of genius, there
is no denying that we find it hard to associate such characteristics with a deliberate confidence trickster. They are
more likely to be accompanied by a certain obsessive quality, a conviction of one`s own remarkable talents. It is easier to
believe that Orffyreus was a self-deceiver than that he was a crook. But could a self-deceiver construct a wheel that
would run for three months in a locked room?"
Deva Ramananda also mentions
that Orffyreus’ personality was not easy to understand. His nature seemed to consist of pairs of opposites. Every
character of his personality seemed to have its contradictory trait equally present. These dualistic dispositions in
his personality made his fellowmen difficult to understand him..
Broad-minded in judging, and yet intolerant, stubborn
and yielding, tactful and blunt, sympathetic and indifferent, affectionate and detached, while he took his big fortunes lightly,
the small ones affected him seriously, while accommodating in important matters, he was stubborn on smaller ones, He had faith
and confidence in himself but would not intentionally push to the front; though very unsociable, he was inclined to make intimate
friends. With a good gift for conversation, he would not for days, open his mouth. Not anxious to be a leader, he hated to
be a camp fellow. Desirous to be useful and helpful, he hated being exploited.
To sum up he was essentially energetic, active,
restless, sincere, reliable, faithful, outspoken, independent, unafraid of criticism, impartial having a good sense of justice,
possessing a keen sense of harmony and beauty, neat and tidy, affectionate though not over-demonstrative, unconventional,
with sense of high ethical values, self-confident, strong –witted, intolerant, methodical, punctilious, sensitive, impatient,
irritable, a disciplinarian, a good executive, a god organizer, and a hard task master.
A typical approach is to discredit the Orffyreus and his invention by
focusing on the hazy and irrelevant events of his personal life and characteristics of his personality, which were often circumstantial
in most of the cases. Moreover, such traits are also common in personality of inventors.
For example, look into a few extracts from the Edward Frank’s article: Bessler’s Wonderful Wheel (Article, 1956)
Edward Frank remarks, "He was
either a genius without peer or was a mountebank without equal. Johann was one or other - but which? Scientist
of his time were sharply divided on the question- but then they had to deal not only with his invention but with Johann himself,
and that was no easy task " Frank Edward further states:
" ...When learned man came to observe
his invention, Besseler took the position that they were enemies per se and he treated them as such. Opiniated, contentious
and belligerent, Besseler did not help his cause by his relations with the visitors. It is small wonder that most of
them went away with their questions unanswered, mumbling that inventor was fraud and his wheel a fake...”
"...Badgered by such character, the
difficult side of Orffyreus' character became worse, if such a thing was possible exception of the Count, he became so disagreeable
that the guards at the room where the device was stored accepted duty there as a form of punishment..."
At the castle of Weissenstein, in the beginning guards took interest in his invention and they were also amused by
the gathering of the public and drama around the invention but after some time it became boring and depressing for them, largely
on account off Orffyreus character. Frank Edward wrote: "...he became so disagreeable that guards at the room where
device was stored accepted duty as a form of punishment.”
John Phin, author of the book " Seven Follies of Science” consider
his invention as a fraud and malign his character by saying that contemporaries of the Orffyreus found him fickle, tricky,
and irascible in the character.
Deva Ramananda has remarked:
ironical statements--especially proceeding from men of exalted rank, dignified professors and learned authors seems not only
in bad taste but rather overdrawn, and it makes one wonder as to whether at this period the authors when they wrote book used
their own brain to understand Orffyreus and his wonderful machine or did they instead blindly follow authorities in ignorance
on such vital and important matter?"
to some extent, it seems, Orffyreus himself was responsible for this plight. Orffyreus lacked art of inducing the cooperation
of people. Under the burden of his invention, he lacked skills in social relationships. He inflated his ego even before achieving
his goal. He offended those people who approached him with a desire to find out working of his invention, but how could we
expect Orffyreus to explain each man every detail of working mechanism of machine? How could he satisfy all of them without
giving his secret? If he was going to explain each man, everything about his invention, he was running a risk
of losing the great secret to those people for nothing, to those layman as well as learned man who were in front of him with
prying eyes and who rose unending questions to him. Moreover, if he was not going to answer any thing to them, then
naturally he was offending the people for no fault of his own. Thus, Orffyreus remained in a dilemma forever about what
to tell and what not to tell about working of his invention. When people were not satisfied, they took no time to ridicule
his invention as a fraud. Under such circumstances, it was not possible for him to shut every loud mouth so he was simply
helpless to stop enemies mushrooming around him like the heads of a monstrous Hydra.