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September 2005 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.

September at Orgonon
Milestone Celebration in New York City
A New Manuscript in Progress
2006 Summer Conference
New Furnace Is Coming!
Thanks to Maine Community Foundation
Applying for Grants 


It's officially autumn, and the unseasonable warmth this month makes it feel like a welcome extension of summer. But without the summer crowds and all the attendant activity. Here in the Rangeley Lakes Region the last week of September is usually characterized by peak autumn foliage, but as of today the color has barely begun. Which means foliage season in Maine's western mountains will undoubtedly stretch into the first week of October, and perhaps even beyond.

This Sunday marks the final day of the year that the Orgone Energy Observatory is open to the public on a regular schedule, although private tours are available year-round by special appointment and our 175-acre property is open to the public every day from 9:00 to 5:00.

September has always been a time for us to take a breath after a busy summer, and then forge ahead to the next series of projects and activities. Which will bring us to The Williams Club in New York City on the evening of October 21st: 




      on the occasion of her 80th Birthday

As we move optimistically forward into the future--pursuing opportunities in America involving Reich's medical and scientific work, and preparing the Reich Archives for access to scholars and researchers--friends and supporters would like to pause for an evening of reflection and gratitude.

From 1959 until 1994, Mary served as the sole Trustee of the Trust. (In 1994 the Trust became a non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors, of which Mary is one.) In 1960 she founded the Wilhelm Reich Museum in accordance with instructions in Reich's Last Will and Testament, and continues to serve as the Museum Director.

It was through Mary's steadfast devotion to Reich's Last Will and Testament that the Reich Archives--stolen from the Orgone Energy Observatory in 1958--were recovered, and are now at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University; and that Orgonon--abandoned and vandalized following Reich's death--now survives as The Wilhelm Reich Museum; and that starting in 1960, one of the top publishing companies in New York-- Farrar Straus & Giroux--began re-publishing Reich's books which had been banned and burned by the United States government.

Chances are that you have benefited in some way from the goods works of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and the Wilhelm Reich Museum, that the efforts of Mary Boyd Higgins on behalf of the Trust and Museum have touched you in some way.

We hope you'll join us in New York City to celebrate Mary's 80th birthday, and express your appreciation for a lifetime of dedication to Reich's legacy.

We ask that you R.S.V.P. by Friday, October 14th so we can plan accordingly, at (207) 864-3443 or wreich@rangeley.org

If you're unable to attend, please think about making a donation to The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust as your personal gesture of gratitude.

The evening will include a champagne fete and refreshments, with music provided by jazz pianist Andy Kahn.

When: Friday - October 21, 2005 - 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Williams Club, 24 East 39th St., New York City
Contribution Requested: $75.00 per person to benefit The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund.

For more information, please contact the Wilhelm Reich Museum at (207) 864-3443 or email: wreich@rangeley.org 


Mary Higgins is currently working on a manuscript for a sequel to American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940 1947 (published in 1999 by Farrar Straus & Giroux). This new autobiographical book will pick up where American Odyssey left off, with a presentation of Reich's letters and journals from 1948 into the 1950s. No publication date has been announced yet. 


We are putting together next summer's conference, and hope to have an announcement in our October Update. It's scheduled for July 17 21, and we've already contacted a list of prospective presenters to confirm their commitment and topics. In keeping with our emphasis on moving forward, the Conference will focus on current research, scholarship, projects, and practical applications involving different aspects of Reich's work. 


We are deeply grateful and genuinely touched by your generous response to our Furnace Fund. Thanks to your outpouring of financial support, a new furnace for the Orgone Energy Observatory will be installed next month in time for winter. The original furnace-- installed during construction of the Observatory in 1948--was removed earlier this year. This procedure also required the removal of all asbestos from the furnace room, a costly painstaking task involving considerable health and safety precautions.

We are also deeply grateful for the kind words and expressions of support for the Trust and the Museum which many of you sent with your financial contributions. That the efforts of the Trust and the Museum have affected so many of you means a lot to us.

We'd also like to cite our friend and supporter Andy Kahn who galvanized our Summer Conference with his significant contribution for the furnace, and infused the participants with renewed enthusiasm for what was, at the time, our most pressing need. But whatever the amount of your contribution, please be assured that any donation to any of our needs is truly a donation to everything that we do. 


A major contributor to the Furnace Fund was the Maine Community Foundation, a statewide organization with offices in Ellsworth and Portland. MCF works in partnership with donors and community groups to support worthwhile causes.

Earlier this year, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust applied for a Foundation grant to replace the Observatory furnace. And in July we received a letter informing us that our application had been approved. What was intriguing was the fact that a generous but anonymous donor was involved.

In the letter, grants manager Marcie Bowden wrote: "I am pleased to report that the Directors of the Maine Community Foundation have approved a grant of $7,500 to the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust to replace the museum's original heating system (circa 1948), and to remove and dispose of asbestos-containing material surrounding the steam furnace, boiler room and crawl spaces. This grant is made from a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation. MCF staff referred your proposal to a donor we thought might be interested in providing support for your project, and this grant is the result of that referral."

We have forwarded our thanks to MCF and this unidentified benefactor. And we hope that at some point this anonymous contributor will identify himself or herself so that we can express our gratitude in person. 


Grantwriting consumes a substantial amount of our time. Grants for infrastructure improvements, for our popular summer Nature Programs, public lectures, and other community and cultural events. (We look forward to some day in the future when we might apply for grants for projects specifically focused on Reich's work.)

But back to more mundane matters, i.e. applying for a grant to build a second restroom in our Conference Building (formerly Reich's Student Laboratory). Each year this building is the venue for numerous events, which can attract as many as a hundred people at one time. Our Evenings of Music, which we began in 2004, have sold out both times. In August, the lecture "Flagstaff: The Drowning of a Village" brought in a capacity crowd. Our Nature Programs, as well as our annual "Breakfast With Santa" are always well attended by adults and children. And our Summer Conferences, devoted specifically to Reich's work, attract dozens of participants.

Our plan is to build a second restroom in what is now the utility room, adjacent to the restroom we now have which is currently accessed through the kitchen. The door to the utility room in the northwest corner of the conference hall will provide entry to both restrooms.


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