Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was established in Reich's Last Will & Testament,
signed on March 8, 1957, just days before his imprisonment. In the will's opening
paragraphs, Reich says:
"I made the consideration of secure transmission to future generations
of a vast empire of scientific accomplishments the guide in my last
dispositions. To my mind, the foremost task to be fulfilled was to
safeguard the truth about my life and work against distortion and
slander after my death."
To accomplish this, Reich established The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Fund (now known
simply as The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust) as the legal entity charged with administering
Today the Trust is a non-profit corporation in Rangeley, Maine, located on Reich's
property called "Orgonon" which was his home, laboratory and research center.
The Trust's three principal responsibilities are (1) Operating the Wilhelm Reich Museum
at Orgonon, (2) Maintaining and managing Reich's archives--i.e., The Archives of the
Orgone Institute--which are located at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard
University, and (3) Publishing and disseminating Reich's books, research journals and
bulletins, and introducing new titles comprising previously unpublished materials.
The Trust also disseminates and safeguards the truth about Reich's life and legacy--and about the Trustís activities--through its presentations at Orgononís summer conferences, at fundraising events, and at the invitation of other organizations.
The Wilhelm Reich Museum
In his Last Will & Testament, Reich stipulated that the Trust was "To operate and
maintain the property at Orgonon under the name and style of the Wilhelm Reich
Museum." Reich went on to describe the significance of such a museum:
"During the years following 1949 my life was running its course
within and around the walls of the Orgone Energy Observatory.
I supervised the building myself for two summers; I paid upwards of
$35,000 from my privately earned possessions for the construction.
"I have collected here all the pertinent materials such as instruments
which served the discovery of life energy, the documents which were
witnesses to the labors of some 30 years and the library of a few
thousand volumes, collected painstakingly over the same stretch of
time and amply used in my researches and writings, the paintings,
some 25 of them, small items which I loved and cherished during my
lifetime...All of these things and similar things should remain where
they are now in order to preserve some of the atmosphere in which the
discovery of the life energy has taken place over the decades."
The Orgone Energy Observatory, built in 1948-1949, was first opened to the public as the
Wilhelm Reich Museum in 1960. But in a larger sense, the term "museum" refers to the
entire 175-acre property of Orgonon. Its numerous buildings, meadows, forests, woodland
trails and waterfront on Dodge Pond--all well maintained--also fulfill Reich's wish "to
preserve some of the atmosphere in which the discovery of life energy has taken place over
The Archives of the Orgone Institute (Wilhelm Reich Archives)
Another stipulation in Reich's Last Will & Testament referred to his archives. During
Reich's incarceration, his archives remained where he had stored them in the Orgone
Energy Observatory: in a photographic darkroom located on the first floor; and in a
large closet in his study and library on the second floor. Reich charged that:
"Önothing whatsoever must be changed in any of these documents
and that they should be put away and stored for 50 years to secure their
safety from destruction and falsification by anyone interested in the
falsification and destruction of historical truth."
Today the Trust manages The Archives of the Orgone Institute which are located at
the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard University's Countway Library of
Medicine, one of the world's premier medical libraries. These archives are kept in a
temperature-controlled environment and comprise 98 cubic-feet of materials in well over
200 archive boxes. In November 2007--exactly 50 years after Reich's death--these
materials became accessible to scholars and researchers.
In addition to operating the museum and maintaining the archives, the Trust ensures "the
transmission to future generations of a vast empire of scientific accomplishment" through
its publishing activities. Since 1960, the Trust has worked with New York publisher
Farrar, Straus & Giroux to re-publish all of Reich's books which were banned in 1954 by
order of a United States Federal Court injunction, and burned in 1956 and 1960 under the
supervision of Food and Drug Administration agents. The Trust and its publisher have
also brought out several new titles.
The Care of Infants and Children
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was so-named because of Reich's devotion to infants
and children. He wrote eloquently and passionately about the importance of safeguarding
the emotional health of infants and children, often referring to the infants' "unspoiled
protoplasm" and "unarmored life".
And in his Last Will & Testament, Reich charged the Trust with devoting part of its
"the care of infants everywhere, toward legal security of infants,
children and adolescents in emotional, social, parental, medical,
legal, educational, professional or other distress."
Reich went on to stipulate that the "lower cabin" (his living quarters at Orgonon, now
called Tamarack) shall be used "as a summer home for children."
For several weeks every summer since 1988, the Trust has donated this cabin free
of charge to adoptive, foster, and kinship children and their families who could not
otherwise afford a vacation camp experience as a family. Each family spends one week
at Tamarack which offers quiet, seclusion, access to the shores of Dodge Pond with their
own private dock, and the opportunity to be together in the beauty of the Rangeley Lakes
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund
Today, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust is a non-profit Maine corporation responsible
for the protection and preservation of Reich's scientific legacy, and for transmitting this
legacy to future generations. But in 1958, after Reich's Last Will and Testament was
probated and all bills were paid and bequests carried out, $823 was all that remained to
execute the mandates of the Trust that Reich had established.
Since then, the Trust has operated on a shoestring budget, depending on the generosity
of its friends and volunteers, and royalties from the sales of Reich's books. It has been
a constant struggle for decades to carry out the provisions of Reich's final wishes. And
like most non-profits, it is essential that we secure a substantial financial base to survive
and to plan for the future.
In 1991, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust established its Endowment Fund which, at
the time, was managed by a senior officer at UBS Financial Services. The fund now
consists of over $600,000. This sum represents individual contributions, proceeds from
our annual programs at The Williams Club in New York City, and bequests from three
individuals who were profoundly committed to Reich's work and the mission of the
Considering the Fund's 20-year existence, it's a small sum, insufficient to the task. But
in view of the donations that our friends and supporters continually make for many of
our immediate needs, operating costs and projects, it's understandable why the Fund isn't
larger. In addition, the economic crisis of 2008 dramatically impacted the Fund's assets.
Today the Endowment Fund is managed by a financial investment company located in
Connecticut, with whom we are in close contact several times every month. And our
funding needs continue to cover a broad range from individual project support to general
support to capital support. With the Trust's responsibilities and the museum's annual
operating budget of over $150,000, capital support is more crucial than ever.
Among the Trust's current and future expenses are:
- Maintenance and improvement of museum buildings (Orgone Energy
Observatory, Conference & Office Building, rental cottages, bookstore)
- Maintenance and improvement of the grounds
- New museum exhibits
- Summer conference expenses
- Program expansion and outreach efforts
- Archival work
- Publishing activities, including research and translations
- Restoration of paintings and artifacts
- and much more
Please help us provide a solid financial base for the Trust through contributions of assets
during your lifetime or bequests in your will. All gifts, bequests, memorials, securities,
insurance, and other forms of donation are welcome and essential to the Trust's future.
And they are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207)-864-3443.
BECOME A FRIEND OF
THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST
Your financial contribution as a Friend of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust helps support
the development of Orgonon as the scientific-educational center that Reich envisioned.
Friends from all over the world contribute significantly to the Trust and benefit from the
privileges of membership.
- Free admission to the museum during visiting hours.
- Patron and Life members receive guest passes for person accompanying them.
- Ten percent discount on purchases made at the museum bookstore.
- The annual newsletter with original material by Reich and reports on museum
- Advance notice of new publications by Reich.
OPTION 1: Donate a flat amount
Click on the 'Make a Donation' button below and enter an amount of your choice:
Be sure you print of a copy of your receipt for your records.
OPTION 2: Set up a recurring monthly donation
Charge a regular amount to your credit card each month. Simply choose one of the options listed below:
Be sure you print of a copy of your receipt for your records.
Membership contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
For more information, please feel free to contact the Museum:
Telephone: (207) 864-3443