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August 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.
Thank You to 2006 Presenters
Post-Conference Thoughts from Reich
2007 International Conference
Man's Right to Know Now on DVD
Sparks of Life Announcement in NYC
Sparks of Life, the Screenplay
Sparks of Life and Public Perception of Reich's Work
Sparks of Life and Benefit to the Trust Fund
THANK-YOU TO ALL PRESENTERS & ATTENDEES AT OUR 2006 SUMMER CONFERENCE
Our deepest thanks to all of the presenters who made this summer's Conference such a success:
- Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.
- Mary Boyd Higgins
- Conny Huthsteiner, M.D.
- Birgit Johler
- Jorgos Kavouras, M.D.
- Ronald Maio, D.O., M.S.
- Stephan Simonian, M.D.
- James Strick, Ph.D.
We'd also like to thank all of this year's attendees. In addition to a lot of familiar faces, we were happy to see many new people, some of whom came from considerable distances. We're always encouraged and appreciative when new people participate in our activities and lend support to our projects and initiatives. Once again, thank you to everyone!
POST-CONFERENCE THOUGHTS FROM REICH
The following are Wilhelm Reich's concluding statements from his talk on "Man's Roots in Nature" at the Second Orgonomic International Convention at Orgonon on August 26, 1950. (The full transcript of Reich's talk can be found in Orgonomic Functionalism - Volume 2 - Fall 1990, published by The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.)
"Now you will go home to your offices, as educators and physicians, and I hope you got one thing from here. And that is a bit of courage and conviction. We are not alone. We have a good thing in our hands.
We can do a lot of good. What we need is a bit more fist, hardness, rational hardness in our approach to our problems. A bit less fear of what someone says. The best thing you have got is your conviction that you are right. That's the best thing you have got. And as you go out, then try to maintain it.
"I can assure you that if you stop evading issues, if you go in a very prudent manner right through the stuff you have to penetrate, people will respect you, very highly. They're afraid of you somewhere, but if you show courage, if you maintain your position, if you are a learning human being, and modest, very modest, then you'll gain respect, very much, among the people, and every single one of you will be a center. And this is not a very pleasant position to have. The responsibilities are tremendous, quite tremendous. But it can be done!
"Every one of you can acquire the abilities to administer, not to govern, to administer. To administer education, to administer medicine, to administer natural science, to administer honesty, decency, truth, and maintain it against whatever might happen there. I wish to thank you very, very much."
WILHELM REICH IN THE 21st CENTURY:
2007 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ORGONOMY
Saddleback Mountain Lodge – Rangeley, Maine
July 29 – August 1, 2007
Now that our 2006 Summer Conference is over, we are focusing on our 2007 Conference. We are in the process of contacting individuals and organizations for their participation, and on further developing the specifics of this Conference. We'll be updating you in the next couple of months as our plans progress. Please feel free to contact us with
any questions or suggestions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary information regarding the 2007 Conference is available in our January 2006 Update.
"MAN'S RIGHT TO KNOW" NOW ON DVD
In the spring of this year we decided to make Man's Right To Know--our 28-minute biographical video about Reich--available on DVD. But because we've been so busy with our summer programs, we've just gotten around to it. So it's official: Man's Right To Know is now on DVD for $24.95 from our Online Bookstore (and will still be available on video in VHS and PAL formats).
JOIN US ON OCTOBER 20, 2006 IN NEW YORK CITY
FOR A PRESENTATION OF OUR LATEST PROJECT:
"SPARKS OF LIFE" – A FEATURE-LENGTH SCREENPLAY ABOUT WILHELM REICH
Our annual benefit for The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund will feature a presentation by Kevin Hinchey--Associate Director of the Wilhelm Reich Museum--on a screenplay he has written for which he is now seeking a "development deal." Mr. Hinchey will discuss the research and writing of Sparks of Life and will read excerpts from the screenplay. Mr. Hinchey will also discuss his earlier efforts in the 1980s and early 90s--as a working screenwriter in Los Angeles--to solicit interest in a major motion picture about Wilhelm Reich.
This evening will also include a champagne fete with hors d'oeuvres.
When: Friday - October 20, 2006 - 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: The Williams Club, 24 East 39th St., New York City
Contribution: $75.00 per person to benefit The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund. $35.00 for students with valid college or university I.D.
Checks can be made out to Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund, and mailed to The Wilhelm Reich Museum, P.O. Box 687, Rangeley, ME 04970. For more information--or to R.S.V.P. if you're planning to attend--please contact us at (207) 864-3443 or email: email@example.com.
MORE ON THE WILHELM REICH SCREENPLAY:
"SPARKS OF LIFE" by KEVIN HINCHEY
We preface this announcement with a cautionary note that what you're about to read falls under the heading of "Pie-in-the-Sky." While it's easy, fun, and exhilarating to talk about a Hollywood film of Reich's life, getting
any screenplay into "development" (let alone seeing a finished film up on the big screen) is an arduous task. The odds of most film projects actually making it from script to screen are negligible, and this one is certainly no exception. Still, as the saying goes, "Stranger things have happened," and we can only hope that this project will be one of them. And so for the past few months, the Trust has been aggressively "shopping" this screenplay to a select list of directors and production companies.
The script was completed earlier this year by Kevin Hinchey, a writer, filmmaker, screenwriter, film professor, and a member of the Writers Guild of America West in Los Angeles. Mr. Hinchey also wrote and produced Man's Right to Know.
Sparks of Life was conceived as a two-and-a-half hour feature film that covers Reich's life from his escape from Nazi Germany in 1933, to the banning and burning of his books in America in 1956, to his imprisonment and death in 1957. The screenplay adheres closely to the facts of Reich's personal and professional life, while making the evolution of his work dramatic and easy to understand. Although the constraints and necessities of the screenplay format require that certain liberties be taken with any true story, in Sparks of Life this is never done in a way that misrepresents or distorts the significant facts and basic truths of Reich's life and work.
For an appropriate screenplay title--with relevance and allusions to Reich's personality and work--Mr. Hinchey borrowed, with the author's permission, from the title of the book Sparks of Life: Darwinism & The Victorian Debates Over Spontaneous Generation by Professor James E. Strick, Ph.D (Harvard University Press, 2000.)
"SPARKS OF LIFE" - POTENTIAL BENEFITS TO THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF REICH'S WORK
Motion pictures and television are clearly the most pervasive and persuasive media for introducing large audiences of all ages to new stories, new people, and new issues to which they might not otherwise be exposed. A dramatic,
accessible, and intellectually honest film about Reich could entertain, educate, and excite a wide audience far more than any single book ever could. And could possibly interest people from the traditional medical and scientific communities to seriously consider and study Reich's work.
However, one of the Trust's biggest concerns is that a group of filmmakers with significant clout, connections, and credits in Hollywood, might come along and produce a major motion picture about Reich that significantly
misrepresents and distorts his life and work. Under the twin banners of "creative freedom" and "artistic license"--together with that frequent Hollywood disclaimer that "This film is suggested [or inspired] by events in the life of..." someone could conceivably and legally produce a film in which Reich claims he can cure cancer, promotes and purveys the orgone energy accumulator as a sexual device, conducts secret work for the C.I.A., uses the cloudbuster for mind control experiments, and
has clandestine meetings with President Eisenhower. All of which are stated as fact in various irresponsible websites, Internet chat rooms and mailing lists, as well as in articles and books.
Should distortions such as these and others ever find their way into a major motion picture, a powerful but factually inaccurate and false depiction of Reich would be solidified in the minds of literally millions of people for generations to come, supplanting the factual truths documented in Reich's own writings.
Sparks of Life is the culmination of years of meticulous reading and research, with a focus on primary resources. This includes:
"SPARKS OF LIFE" - POTENTIAL BENEFITS TO THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST & MUSEUM
Sparks of Life also has the potential to infuse significant monies directly to The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust which owns and operates the Museum, manages the Archives, and oversees the publishing of Reich's books. Should this screenplay be produced, Mr. Hinchey will donate the lion's share of writing fees, screenplay purchase price, and Associate Producer fees directly to the Trust. Plus we would welcome location shooting here at Orgonon's 175 acre property, but for exterior filming only. Interiors of the Orgone Energy Observatory, the Student Laboratory, and Reich's living quarters in what he called "The Lower Cabin" (now Tamarack) would have to be replicated on motion picture sound stages.
Based on commonplace Hollywood contracts for writing fees, for purchasing screenplays, for producing and consulting services, and for location shooting, the Trust stands to share in monies ranging from six to seven figures. Over the years we have heard about or been contacted by numerous people expressing interest in film projects about Reich. From a pragmatic
standpoint, none of these other projects--even if they were ever written and produced--would provide the Trust and Museum with any direct, significant financial benefits. Other than the inevitable trickle-down effect of a temporary spike in Museum visitorship (at $6.00 per person) and an increase in book sales (which would undoubtedly total in the thousands of dollars.)
But considering that the annual Museum budget alone is around $160,000 and rising, not to mention the future costs of Archival and publishing work, we think Sparks of Life is the most financially promising project for us. Again, this is all "Pie-in-the-Sky." But at least it's our Pie-in-the-Sky.
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
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