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Help us maintain the legacy of Wilhelm Reich by making a tax-deductible donation.

March 2006 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.

2006 Summer Conference
Support the Museum
Museum Staff
Museum, Archives, and Publishing: Financial Realities
Wilbur Rippy (1923-2006)
Winter Carnival 

JULY 17 21, 2006


As The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust moves forward into the next half-century of safeguarding Reich's legacy, this year's Summer Conference will focus on current work and works-in-progress here in America and in Europe. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting week of discussion and good company as we look ahead to the future.


Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Social Policy at the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City. Internationally acclaimed author of Freud's Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice, 1918 - 1938, published in 2005 by Columbia University Press.

Mary Boyd Higgins
Director of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and Wilhelm Reich Museum.

Conny Huthsteiner, M.D.
Psychiatrist and orgone therapist in private practice in Boston. Vice President of the Institute for Orgonomic Science. Staff & Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

Birgit Johler
Assistant Curator - Freud Museum, Vienna

Jorgos Kavouras, M.D.
Physician in private practice in Greece and Germany who has used the orgone energy accumulator and DOR-buster as his principal therapeutic tools for over 25 years. His book Heilen Mit Orgonenergie
[Healing with Orgone Energy] was published in 2005.

Ronald Maio, D.O.
Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Director of the University's Injury Research Center, and Assistant Dean for Research Regulatory Affairs for the Medical School.

Stephan Simonian, M.D.
Psychiatrist and orgone therapist in private practice in California. Member of the Institute for Orgonomic Science.

James Strick, Ph.D.
Science historian, specializing in the history of ideas about the origin of life. He is the author of Sparks of Life: Darwinism and the Victorian Debates Over Spontaneous Generation, and co-author of The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology.



8:30 a.m. Full, homemade breakfast buffet

9:00 a.m.: James Strick, Ph.D
"Reich's Bion Experiments: Their Historic Context and Significance in the Development & Diagnosis of Cancer"

Dr. Strick will discuss his paper on the bion experiments which he delivered at a recent conference of the History of Science Society. Plus an overview of his current research for a book about the bions.

10:30 a.m.: Birgit Johler
"2007 Reich Exhibit in Vienna"

Ms. Johler will outline ongoing plans for a major exhibit on Reich, organized by the Jewish Museum Vienna.

12:00 noon Lunch on your own

2:00-4:00 p.m.: Conny Huthsteiner, M.D. & Stephan Simonian, M.D.
"The Challenges of Practicing Orgone Therapy in America"

Dr. Huthsteiner and Dr. Simonian discuss the difficulties, concerns, and rewards of practicing a still revolutionary holistic form of psychiatric care in America.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Reception at the Orgone Energy Observatory


8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet

9:00 a.m.: Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D
"Wilhelm Reich and Social Thought"

Dr. Danto discusses her research for her second book, which focuses on the context of Reich's social thought within the tradition of revolutionary cultural theories of Max Stirner, Gustav Landauer, Walter Benjamin, Siegfried Bernfeld, Ernest Simmel, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, and Frank Wedekind.

10:30 a.m.: Mary Boyd Higgins
"Publishing Reich's Books - Past, Present and Future"

Ms. Higgins will review The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust's history of publishing Reich's books, and identify some of the Trust's future challenges in the changing publishing world.

12:00 noon: Lunch on your own

2:00 p.m.: Hike up Bald Mountain (optional)

A moderate 2-3 hour hike provides stunning views of all of the Rangeley Lakes. Including Mooselookmeguntic Lake, where Reich first observed atmospheric orgone energy in 1940.


8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet

9:00 a.m.: Conny Huthsteiner, M.D. & Ron Maio, D.O., M.S.
"A Proposed Clinical Study To Test the Effectiveness of Orgone Blankets in the Treatment of Burns - Part 2"

In a follow-up to their 2005 presentation, Dr. Huthsteiner and Dr. Maio identify the next steps in developing a proposal, including funding for human resources and establishing specific goals and procedures.

11:00 a.m.: James Strick, Ph.D
"Experiencing The Orgone Room"

An opportunity to observe the visual phenomena of the Orgone Room. Since this requires sitting in the room for approximately an hour and the room cannot accommodate everyone, priority will be given to those who have never experienced the Orgone Room. With additional one-hour sessions today and throughout the week to accommodate everyone.

12:00 noon: Lunch on your own

7:00 - 8:00 p.m.: James Strick, Ph.D.
"Darwin's Ideas About the Origins of Life"

A survey of Darwin's concepts, and their comparison with Reich's bion experiments on the origin of life.


8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet

9:00 a.m.: Mary Boyd Higgins
"The Reich Archives - Approaching 2007"

An update on the major questions, issues, and procedures regarding access to the Archives starting in November 2007.

10:30 a.m. (optional): Orgone Room is available for participants to use throughout the day.

Lunch on your own and free afternoon.

7:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.: Jorgos Kavouras, M.D.
"Effects of the Orgone Accumulator and DOR-buster on Burns, Sports Injuries, Skeletal System & Cancer Patients"

Dr. Kavouras will discuss case studies from his 2005 book Heilen Mit Orgonenergie [Healing With Orgone Energy].


8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet, including fresh blueberry pancakes.

9:00 a.m.: Dr. Huthsteiner, Dr. Kavouras, Dr. Maio
"A Proposed Clinical Study To Test the Effectiveness of Orgone Blankets in the Treatment of Burns - Part 3"

Dr. Kavouras will share his practical experience in a discussion with Drs. Huthsteiner and Maio to pinpoint goals and procedures.

11:00 a.m.: Roundtable Discussion - All Presenters


MEETING PLACE: Conference Building - Wilhelm Reich Museum, Orgonon, Dodge Pond Rd. - Rangeley, Maine. With a full, homemade breakfast buffet served each morning at 8:30. Programs begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.

REGISTRATION FEE: $375.00. Includes tuition, information packet, daily homemade breakfast, refreshments, reception. A 25% discount is available for full-time college students who can document their status.

TAX DEDUCTION: IRS regulations permit an income tax deduction for educational expenses to maintain or improve professional skills.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, lakefront cottages, and campgrounds are available in and around Rangeley. We encourage you to make reservations early, as this is the busy season. For information, contact the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce: Tel. 1-800-685-2537. Or e-mail at: mtlakes@rangeley.org

DINNER (optional - additional fee): Steak or lobster dinner on Friday - July 21, 6:00 p.m. Reservations taken during conference week.

TWO SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: To apply for the Thomas E. Ross and Chester M. Raphael Scholarships, please contact us at: wreich@rangeley.org. All applications must be received by June 15, 2006.

TRANSPORTATION: For an additional fee of $100, we'll provide transportation on Sunday, July 16 from Portland Jetport at 3:00 p.m. And a return trip to Portland Jetport on Saturday, July 23, leaving here at 9:00 a.m.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please call us at (207) 864-3443. Or e-mail us at: wreich@rangeley.org


We always set aside sufficient free time so that attendees can enjoy the Rangeley Lakes Region. We also encourage people to make a short vacation out of their visit--if possible--by arriving the weekend before the Conference or staying the weekend after it ends.

If you have children, there is a local daily summer camp program that provides exciting and educational outdoor activities: EcoVenture, sponsored by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust (RLHT) and now in its ninth year. Enrollment is limited and fills up fast, and requires pre-registration by the first week of May. For more information about EcoVenture, contact Rebecca Kurtz at (207) 864-7311 - Ext. 5. Or e-mail at: rkurtz@rlht.org. Or P.O. Box 249, Oquossoc, ME. 04964.


Reich fell in love with this area when he first visited in the summer of 1940. And so will you. Rangeley has so much to offer. The lakes themselves--Rangeley, Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Upper Richardson & Lower Richardson, Umbagog, Aziscoos, Parmachenee, Kennebago & Little Kennebago.

Canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing. Traditional campsites. And wilderness camping on the shores and islands of the Stephen Phillips Preserve. Hiking and backpacking (the Appalachian Trail is just a few miles from town).

Local accommodations include hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and lakefront rentals. For individuals or groups looking to economize, think about sharing a rental. Even lakefront cottages are reasonable when you're splitting expenses. We hope to see you this summer. 


This is a valid question. And a key question to ponder as we try to broaden our financial support base for all of our activities, obligations, and initiatives. And as we try to tell Reich's story to individuals and newer audiences who are unfamiliar with his life and work.

"Why should any individual, who is understandably too busy to seriously study Reich's work, want to support our efforts on behalf of Reich's legacy?" To be blunt, "What's in it for them?" And from a storytelling perspective, the question might be, "What's the hook?"

While we don't believe there's a single answer that would adequately address the breadth and significance of Reich's work, we think there is a succinct response that might well resonate with any individual.

It's a response that addresses our commitment to practical applications of Reich's medical work in America...a response that evolves from considering the magnitude of Reich's scientific and medical achievements over approximately two decades, from the 1930s to the 1950s...and then wondering, "What new advances and discoveries might have been made in medical orgone research in America in the past fifty years, if not for the chilling effect of the Injunction, the destruction of his literature, and his imprisonment and death?".

And so to anyone who might justifiably ask, "Why should I support you? What's in it for me?" we hope to address that individual's pragmatism and sense of moral outrage when we say:

"Reich's medical research has potential benefits for you, your family, and for people you know, specifically for the early diagnosis of diseases--including cancer--and for effective, less intrusive treatments of various diseases and other medical problems. Reich books and publications, which documented this research, were banned and burned by the United States government in the 1950s." 


We always appreciate new ideas and suggestions from all of our friends and supporters. But we must always weigh them pragmatically against the realities of limited financial and human resources, and prioritize accordingly. Day-to-day responsibilities of The Wilhelm Reich Museum are carried out largely by four individuals, two of whom receive no salary:

Mary Boyd Higgins is Director of The Wilhelm Reich Museum and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. Mary moved permanently to Orgonon five years ago from New York City. She receives no salary or compensation for her services which began on March 24, 1959.

Mary Henderson of Stratton, Maine--25 miles from Orgonon-- is the Administrative Assistant, a full-time salaried position. She also serves as a Board Member for The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, for which she receives no salary or compensation.

Pete Henderson--Mary's husband--is the caretaker for Orgonon, also a full-time salaried position. Pete is in charge of maintaining the fields, forests, trails, and waterfront of our 175-acre property, as well as our buildings: the Orgone Energy Observatory, the Conference Building, the Bookstore & Ticket Office, and our two cottages on Dodge Pond.

Kevin Hinchey, Associate Director of the Museum and Board Member of the Trust, lives and works in Connecticut, six hours from Orgonon. He spends one week a month at Orgonon, is not currently compensated for his services and travel, and at some indeterminate point in the future will relocate to Rangeley, Maine. 


More and more we'll be emphasizing the role and presence of the Trust which was created by Reich in his Last Will & Testament to safeguard his legacy. It is this Trust which operates the Museum, manages the Archives, and publishes Reich's books. Please see our online Organizational Chart.

No other organization or entity has this unique set of responsibilities regarding Reich's legacy. No other institution has the formidable financial and legal obligations of maintaining the historic infrastructure of Reich's home and laboratory, overseeing his Archives, and publishing his writings.


Despite the astonishing breadth of Reich's life and work, and interest in Reich from around the world, the reality is that Orgonon--his home, laboratory and research center-- is a "rural museum." And as such, is subject to many of the same challenges as other rural museums.

Located in the remote mountains of western Maine. Two hours from any significant population center, i.e. Portland, Maine and Quebec City, Canada. Four hours from Boston. Six hours from Hartford. And eight hours from New York City.

With exposure to severe New England weather and all that that entails: maintenance and heating for five major buildings, snowplowing costs for over a quarter mile of dirt driveways throughout the winter, and tree cutting and forest management during all four seasons.

While our grounds are open to the public every day, the Orgone Energy Observatory is open for tours approximately 50 days out of the year, in July, August and September. Plus special pre-arranged tours year-round. In a good year a little over a thousand people will pay the $6.00 admission for the Observatory tour. But as a rural museum, we don't ever foresee a time when multitudes of people will trek annually to Orgonon to tour the Observatory.

Our various programs and activities generate several thousand dollars more. While rentals of our two cottages--a significant source of income--are always dependent on the vagaries of weather, gas prices, and the economy.

The point being, whatever money the Museum brings in each year barely scratches the surface in terms of our annual budget of $150,000. Like all museums--no matter their size--we depend on personal contributions, memberships, and bequests. And except for a couple of significant bequests in years past, Museum income and contributions have never equaled our annual budget.

If you haven't become a Member, we hope you'll consider becoming a friend of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. If you haven't renewed your Membership, we encourage you to do so. And please consider us for bequests or other contributions. We need your support.


The Archives of the Orgone Institute is the official name of what is commonly referred to as the "The Reich Archives." And we're fortunate that these materials are part of 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.

However many people mistakenly assume that Harvard University itself has taken a significant interest in Reich's work. And that the library has a staff of archivists and researchers working diligently in the Reich Archives, organizing, copying, and preparing materials. We wish this were so.

The reality is The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust has a professional, rather formal, but cordial working relationship with the Countway Library, which provides outstanding facilities for these archives at no cost to the Trust. However all of our archival research and work--which are labor-intensive endeavors--plus any expenses involved in such work are the sole responsibility of the Trust.

All archival work to date has been carried out entirely by Mary Higgins, which translates into hundreds of hours over several decades. With the Trust paying the costs of copying thousands of documents and countless photographs and slides, of transferring wire voice-recordings to audiotapes, and deteriorating 16mm films to video. And so much more.

Significant funds are now needed--and in the future will always be needed--to hire archivists for specific tasks, and to pay the expenses of preserving and migrating archival materials using state-of-the-art media technologies.


It's unlikely that many people have given much thought to the financial costs inherent in preparing a book for publication. For example, previously unpublished manuscripts such as Passion of Youth, Beyond Psychology, American Odyssey, and the six volumes of Orgonomic Functionalism required hiring translators to translate Reich's writing from German to English. Followed by considerable time reading, editing, and shaping the material, all of which has been done by Mary Higgins.

We hope that everyone who has been touched in some way by Reich's publications will appreciate the exhaustive expenditures of human, intellectual and financial capital that make these books and Journals possible. 

WILBUR RIPPY (1923 2006)

With the death of Wilbur Rippy on February 14, 2006, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust lost a valued and valuable friend who contributed actively to its development and was a member of its Board of Directors.

Wilbur was an educator in the truest sense of the word-- not tests and measurements and the instilling of prescribed information--but the exploration and use of ways to encourage and stimulate the child's innate curiosity and love of learning.

His interest in Reich's work began in the 1940s when, after serving in World War II, he moved to New York City to attend the New School for Social Research. He later obtained a graduate degree at the Bank Street College of Education, worked as an early childhood classroom teacher at independent schools, and joined Bank Street's faculty.

In 1963, he was appointed Educational Director of the Fifteenth Street School in New York City where his experience in early childhood education and understanding of Reich's concept of self-regulation became practical tools in a continuing effort to make children's living qualities the basis of our educational system.

In 1989, Wilbur and his wife Rachel, also an experienced teacher, created a Discovery Program for children and families at The Wilhelm Reich Museum to promote exploration of and respect for the natural environment that Reich had loved and studied so assiduously. The Rippys created materials, collected objects and books, designed a special Discovery Room in the Museum, wrote grants for funding, and participated in every aspect of the program as it developed into a Natural Science Program for all ages.

Throughout those years, Wilbur lectured at Summer Conferences on Reich's work and, together with Rachel, scoured the countryside to find treats and treasures for the Museum's flea markets.

Wilbur Rippy was a serious student of Reich's work, a devoted friend of the Trust, and a lovely man who could think "outside the box." We will all miss him. 


Orgonon's "Annual Family Winter Carnival" was held on Saturday, March 11th in the Conference Building. Spearheaded by our neighbor, friend, and volunteer coordinator Bill Roy. With able assistance from our friend and neighbor David Rossi and other volunteers.

Activities included sliding and demonstrations of dog-sledding, making bird feeders and snowshoeing on Orgonon's hiking trails to hang the feeders in the trees. Plus numerous indoor activities and refreshments in front a blazing fire in the large hearth of the Conference Building. We'd like to thank Bill, David, and the other volunteers for all of their help.


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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Contact : 207.864.3443 | wreich@rangeley.org