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October 2004 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum

We thank you for your continual interest and support. For newcomers to our e-mail Update list, none of the names on this list--nor the names of any Museum visitors, conference attendees or bookstore customers--are shared with any other individuals or organizations. If at any time you wish to be removed from this list, please let us know. All previous Updates, dating from March 2004, available online.

You can access them through the Updates option at the top of this page or via the Quick Links along the left side of the page. These Updates provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.

The Wilhelm Reich Archives
Wilhelm Reich Museum Website
Special Tours at Orgonon
The Freud-Reich Letters
Tamarack: A Summer Home for Children
Friends of the Wilhelm Reich Museum
Rental Cottages 


The Archives of the Orgone Institute is the official name of what we commonly refer to as "The Wilhelm Reich Archives." And in late 2007 or early 2008, these Archives will become accessible to scholars and researchers. Therefore we will periodically provide information about the Archives in these monthly Updates and on our Website.

The Archives are located in the Rare Books and Special Collections at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University in Boston, one of the world's premier medical libraries.

Among the Countway's other collections are rare European medical texts from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; the libraries of American physicians Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Collins Warren; the anatomical library of Friedrich Tiedemann; the Hyams Collection of Hebraic Medical Literature; and the William Norton Bullard Collection of medical incunabula, to name just a few. The Countway Library prides itself on what it calls "collections that are rich in the diverse subjects of anatomy, gynecology and obstetrics, radiology, medical jurisprudence, surgery, psychology, phrenology, medical botany, pharmacy and pharmacology, and internal medicine."

Reich's Archives are kept in a temperature-controlled environment, and comprise well over 200 archive boxes of materials. Each box measures 15" x 12" x 4". These are the major categories of materials:

  • Conspiracy documents
  • Correspondence
  • Films [microscopic, scientific, personal, etc.]
  • Manuscripts
  • Microscope slides
  • Personal files [diaries, journals, etc.]
  • Photographs
  • Published materials
  • Organizations [Orgone Institute Press, Wilhelm Reich Foundation, etc.]
  • Unpublished manuscripts
  • Work development papers and protocols

William Steig's original drawings for Listen, Little Man are also part of the Archives. (Steig is best known today, of course, as the author of the children's book Shrek, upon which the two hit movies were based.)

In his Last Will and Testament--signed on March 8, 1957, three days before his imprisonment--Reich established The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust as the legal entity charged with the responsibility of protecting, preserving and transmitting his scientific legacy. The Will's principal stipulation was to safeguard Reich's 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 died in Lewisburg Penitentiary on November 3, 1957. Today the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust manages the Reich Archives, operates The Wilhelm Reich Museum, and has worked with New York publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux to publish over twenty books. 


We're running a little behind on the launch of our new web site which we mentioned in our first Update back in March. It's still under construction and will be online soon. As with other previous projects (i.e. our documentary video Man's Right to Know in 2002, and our new Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Organizational Chart) it's taking longer than we first anticipated.

Our new website will have a revamped architecture for easier use and navigation. It will feature more content about Reich's life and work, easier access to Bookstore materials, and more information about the history, current activities and future plans of the Museum and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. We'll keep you posted. And thank you for your patience. 


Regular visitation hours for the Orgone Energy Observatory ended for the year in September (when tours are given on Sundays only) and will resume again in July 2005. But special tours can be arranged throughout the year by calling the Museum office at (207) 864-3443 or by e-mailing us at: wreich@rangeley.org

Because of Maine's beautiful fall foliage, September and October have become popular months for these tours. But winter at Orgonon is equally stunning--our woods, meadows and trails are available for snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and hiking-- while the spring landscape is no less inspiring. In other words, each season in Maine and at Orgonon has its own unique character and pleasures. And don't forget that we have two rental cottages on the property.

Admission is $100 for groups of up to ten, with $10 for each additional person. Special rates are available for large groups and for bus tours. And our 175-acre property, with its trails and nature paths, is open to the public year-round from 9 -5. 


On October 8th, a lecture and fundraiser for The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund was held at The Williams Club in New York City. Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.--Associate Professor of Social Policy at the Hunter College School of Social Work--spoke on "Sex, Class and Social Work: Wilhelm Reich's Free Clinics and the Activist History of Psychoanalysis."

Dr. Danto has written and lectured extensively about the social activism of pioneering European psychoanalysts in the early 20th century, including an article on Reich's free clinics published in Psychoanalytic Social Work (Spring 2000). She is the author of an upcoming book entitled Freud's Free Clinics, available in Spring 2005 from Columbia University Press. (Dr. Danto told us that the book's original title Oedipus Red - Psychoanalysis in Europe, 1918-1938 had recently been changed.)

Dr. Danto supplemented her lecture with a power-point presentation that included a rare find: ten letters from Freud to Reich that she discovered in the Freud Archives at the Library of Congress. Written in German, Dr. Danto had translated them into English and provided copies of the letters in both languages for those in attendance.

In these letters Freud expresses his early support for Reich's social work and free clinics, and provides a glimpse into some of the intellectual and personal conflicts in the psychoanalytic movement.

We'd like to thank Dr. Danto for this new information and for making the evening such a success. Most gratifying was that Dr. Danto's presentation brought over a dozen "new faces" to this annual fundraiser, including college students, university faculty members, and social workers from the New York City area. We're always pleased to meet new people interested in some aspect of Reich's work. And having younger people and students in attendance is especially encouraging.

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this event. And a special thanks to our friend David Silver for his invaluable technical expertise and guidance. 


Reich wrote eloquently and passionately about the importance of safeguarding the emotional health of infants and children, often referring to their "unspoiled protoplasm" and "unarmored life." The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was so named because of this.

In his Last Will and Testament, Reich charged the Trust with devoting part of its income to "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 goes on to stipulate that the "lower cabin" (his former living quarters, now called Tamarack) shall be used "as a summer home for children."

This past summer marked the 16th year that the Trust has been donating Tamarack free of charge to adoptive, foster, and kinship children and their families who could not otherwise afford a summer camp experience as a family.

The organization that the Trust works with is Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine (AFFM) which, in its own words, "provides support services for adoptive, foster family and kinship providers. AFFM provides the training, guidance, knowledge and resources needed to handle complex issues as families open their hearts and homes to children. The services are for all adoptive and foster families who are licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or have DHS approval to adopt."

AFFM selects eight families by random drawing; each family spends a 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 region. 


Reich's Last Will and Testament also included the stipulation that The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was "To operate and maintain the property at Orgonon under the name and style of the Wilhelm Reich Museum."

And today the easiest and most popular way to express your support for the Museum is to become a Friend. If you haven't renewed your membership, we ask you to please do so. And if you're not yet a member, we hope you'll become one.

Friends of the Wilhelm Reich Museum was begun in 1977 to support the development of the Museum as the scientific and educational center that Reich envisioned.

Today the Friends organization is indispensable in helping us meet our annual budgetary needs and for funding specific projects. In the past 27 years, hundreds of people from around the world have joined the Friends, providing significant support while benefiting from the privileges of membership:

  • 10% discount on all bookstore and catalogue purchases
  • advance notice of new publications and bookstore items
  • receive the Friends' annual Newsletter
  • free admission to the Observatory during visiting hours
  • Patron and Life members receive free admission for themselves and persons accompanying them

Among the projects that the Friends have financially supported are:

  • repairs to the Orgone Energy Observatory
  • 40 new chairs for the Conference Building
  • preservation of Reich's oil paintings
  • museum staffing during the summer
  • the Natural Science Program
  • video production costs of Man's Right to Know
  • college scholarship awards for two Rangeley High School students

Here are the various membership categories:

Individual: $25
Family: $35
Business: $40
Contributing: $50
Sustaining: $125
Donor: $250
Patron: $500
Life: $1000

Please become a Friend and be assured that your contribution is helping to preserve Reich's property, home and laboratory as The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Checks can be made out to the Wilhelm Reich Museum and mailed to: P.O. Box 687, Rangeley, Maine, 04970 


Looking to get away in the next couple of months? We still have availabilities at our two rental cottages. The smaller cottage we call Bunchberry was originally built by Reich as a study, while the larger cottage known as Tamarack provided living quarters for him and his family.

Both cottages offer quiet, seclusion, and access to the shores of Dodge Pond. For more details, please visit our web site or call us at (207) 864-3443.


Please share this Update with colleagues, friends, and family who may be interested in the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich and the good works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Thank you again for your friendship and support.

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Copyright © 2004- Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust

Contact : 207.864.3443 | wreich@rangeley.org