September 2009 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
Accurate Narratives of Reich's Life & Work
Article in Boston Globe
Primary Materials on New Website
Next Step for New Manuscript
Bion Experiments Laboratory Manual
Banned Books Week
Lecture at Rangeley Historical Society
SEPTEMBER AT ORGONON
It's officially autumn and the warm, sunny days are slowly cooling. At times it still feels
like July and August, a welcome extension of summer but without the vacation crowds
and all the attendant activity. At night from our two rental cabins, Bunchberry and
Tamarack, we still hear the loons calling to each other on Dodge Pond. And Maine's
legendary fall foliage is gradually nearing its peak colors. Perhaps best of all, a friend
brought us a pie the other day made from blueberries that she had picked in August from
our wild blueberry fields here at Orgonon.
Sunday, September 27th, was the last day this year that the Orgone Energy Observatory
was open to the public during our regular seasonal schedule. However, private tours are
available off-season by special arrangement, except during the extreme winter months.
And our 175-acre property is open to the public every day from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
September has always been a time for us to take a deep breath after a busy summer and
reflect upon all manner of issues and challenges facing the Trust. And it becomes clearer
every day--at the risk of repeating ourselves--that our overarching responsibility now is
to craft new strategies and models for counteracting the distorted, widespread public
narratives about Wilhelm Reich and orgone energy.
ACCURATE NARRATIVES OF REICH'S LIFE AND WORK
Anyone committed to Reich's legacy needs to constantly ask this question: "Unless the
official, public, widespread narrative of Reich as a medical and scientific fraud is
successfully and factually corrected and overcome, what will be the status of Reich's
legacy in the next 25 years?"
Accurate facts and narratives about Reich's life and work need to be disseminated from
platforms as formidable as those from which these corrosive distortions are being endlessly promulgated and replicated. This means creating opportunities with major
media providers; academic, medical and scientific institutions, organizations and
publications; and responsible Internet platforms. In a discussion about this the other day,
a friend described it as a need to "re-paint" Reich's image. We like that term.
In a practical sense, this is a challenge of "storytelling": imparting factual, intellectually
honest and compelling information about Reich's life and work to newer, broader
audiences. And it is to this challenge that the Trust is focusing most of its efforts in a
variety of ways.
ARTICLE ABOUT ORGONON IN THE BOSTON GLOBE
In early June we were contacted by a freelance travel writer from The Boston Globe
interested in writing a piece about Orgonon that would hopefully run in early summer.
From the offset, in a phone call to the writer, we explained that we'd cooperated
countless times with authors, journalists and artists only to see their finished products
riddled with unnecessary and damaging distortions and inaccuracies. We also explained
that over the years our requests to writers to fact-check their work for accuracy were
routinely refused, with perhaps one or two exceptions.
The Rangeley Lakes Region attracts many people from the Boston area, which is a little
over four hours away by car. And The Boston Globe's daily circulation is just under
400,000, while its Sunday readership is well over 500,000. So the idea of a quality
article in New England's largest urban newspaper, running at the beginning of the
summer season, was appealing for many reasons. But an article replicating the same
distortions and inaccuracies would only perpetuate the damage to Reich's reputation.
The writer was sympathetic to our concerns, and agreed to our request to fact-check her
work. Consequently, we scheduled a private tour with her and her husband, a
professional photographer who would be providing the visuals for this travel piece.
The tour last two-and-a half hours, at which time we watched our biographical DVD
Man's Right to Know, took them through the Observatory and up to the roof, and walked
around the property, all the while answering their questions. We furnished them with
printed materials about Reich, the Museum and the Trust, as well as a complimentary
copy of Man's Right to Know to take home. We invited the writer to use any content
from the DVD script itself (which we e-mailed to her the next day), as well as any
information on our website. We also showed her examples of damaging distortions
about Reich in various newspaper and magazines articles written by people with whom
we had cooperated with the greatest of hopes. Our emphasis, again and again, was the
need for factual accuracy about Reich. And our interaction during our time together was
positive, encouraging and quite enjoyable.
True to her word, the writer e-mailed us a draft of her article a couple of weeks later for
fact checking. To our delight, her draft had none of the usual distortions or snideness to
which we've become accustomed. And its style and tone were refreshing and upbeat.
However, there were a number of factual inaccuracies and a few spots where we felt the
nuances of Reich's work required some rewording. We submitted our factual corrections
and rewording suggestions, for which the writer was appreciative and completely
The article ended up running in September, instead of July, an editorial decision beyond
the control of any writer. But we couldn't have been happier with the results. This has
been one of the most intellectually honest experiences we've had with any writer. And
the response from readers has been uniformly positive: the writer received numerous
letters--which she kindly passed on to us--applauding her for the accuracy of her work.
And in her responses to these letters, the writer has generously credited us for our
We are currently in the process of revamping our website which receives hundreds of hits
every day. Because this website is our arm out into the world and, for some people, their
first point-of-contact with Reich's work, we need to constantly anticipate and respond to
the changing needs of our web visitors.
Our new site will be under the umbrella of THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST,
which was conceived by Wilhelm Reich, M.D. in his Last Will and Testament in March
of 1957. We have developed a Trust banner or "brand" for the new website, under
which the principal responsibilities and activities of the Trust will be organized and
COMING: PRIMARY MATERIALS ON OUR NEW WEBSITE
Our current website contains no content from Reich's published books, research journals
or bulletins. The reason for this is because the Trust relies on the sales of these materials
for much-needed income. But there is now considerable evidence and literature from
authors and publishers that posting excerpts from published books on the Internet can
actually generate increased book sales. It's something we'd like to try.
Consequently, our new website will include:
- From Reich's books – Reich's Introductions or Prefaces, plus Chapter One
- From Reich's books – other chapters from select books
- From Reich's research journals and bulletins – selected articles
We have no intention in the future of posting entire books on our website, despite the
occasional clamor from certain circles that all of Reich's published materials and
everything in his Archives should be posted on the Internet for free. (E-mails to this
effect to us usually have a breathless hysterical quality, a lot of misspellings, and poor
punctuation. Draw your own conclusions.)
We are reminded of a quote from Thomas Paine: "That which we obtain too easily, we
esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value."
We hope that by offering substantial content of Reich's writings--introductions,
prefaces, opening chapters and selected articles--that a significant amount of our
hundreds of daily website visitors will read these excerpts and will be inspired to
purchase these books, journals and bulletins.
THE NEXT STEP FOR OUR NEW MANUSCRIPT
The first stage of the Trust's new manuscript, Letters and Journals: 1948 – 1957 (the
sequel to American Odyssey), is complete. It exists now as a compilation of hundreds of
Xeroxed pages of selections from Reich's letters, personal journals and work journals.
Which means that a large percentage of these pages are in Reich's handwriting. There is
also a small collection of pages, from 1948, that are written in German. (After 1948,
Reich wrote almost exclusively in English in his diaries and journals.)
The task before us now is to type all of these pages into a readable manuscript and submit
this manuscript to our editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux in New York City. This is an
arduous undertaking which will consume much of our time over the next month or so, as
our goal is to submit the manuscript by the end of November.
NEW FROM REICH'S ARCHIVES – NOW FOR SALE
"A LABORATORY MANUAL FOR BION EXPERIMENTS"
Notes by Laboratory Worker – Norway, February 1938
(Handwritten & Typed Pages in German only – 105 pages)
$20.00 + postage
In his 2009 Summer Conference lecture, "Reich's Unpublished Laboratory Notebooks
and Correspondence," Professor James Strick--author and academic historian of
science--showed excerpts from this 1938 laboratory manual which he discovered during
a visit to Reich's Archives at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University.
Professor Strick strongly suggested that the Trust quickly make this manual available in
our bookstore for those seriously interested in bion research, despite the fact that we
currently have neither the time nor resources to translate this document into English and
issue it as a regular book. We agreed immediately, realizing that this primary resource
has tremendous value for the serious scientific researcher.
We want to caution everyone that this document will have limited interest and
accessibility to the average reader. It is a bound-Xerox edition of the manual's original
pages: all of the content is in German, some of it is typed and some of it is handwritten.
It also has an Introduction in English by Professor Strick, which was included in our
August 2009 Update.
This publication is available in our Bookstore.
BANNED BOOKS WEEK: September 26 – October 3
Every year the American Library Association (ALA) designates the last week in
September as Banned Books Week which "highlights the benefits of free and open access
to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual
or attempted bannings of books across the United States."
But to our knowledge, the banning and burning of Wilhelm Reich's books in the 1950s,
and again in 1960, is never mentioned in any of the week's publicity materials or library
events. The censorship of more well-known titles such as The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men, Lolita, Ulysses, and countless other books are
always given considerable attention, and deservedly so.
It's probably too late to do anything about it this year. But a long-time supporter
contacted us a few days ago to suggest that perhaps a concerted and coordinated effort is
made for next year's Banned Books Week to bring attention to the banning and burning
of Reich's literature. This can be done by contacting local, college and university
libraries with information about this infamous, but little-known, example of censorship in
the United States.
LECTURE AT THE RANGELEY LAKES HISTORICAL SOCIETY
On July 20th a phone call came into our office from a local friend and historian. The
caller told our office manager Mary Henderson that the scheduled speaker at the July 22nd
meeting of the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society had to cancel due to illness. And he
wondered if Mary, who also serves as president of the Dead River Historical Society in
the town of Stratton, knew of anyone who could deliver a presentation about some aspect
of local history. Mary immediately volunteered Kevin Hinchey, Associate Director of
The Wilhelm Reich Museum and Board Member of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
The following is the text of Mr. Hinchey's presentation two days later.
LECTURE - "WILHELM REICH IN RANGELEY"
July 22, 2009 – Rangeley Lakes Historical Society
In July 1940, a renowned Austrian psychoanalyst, research physician and scientist named
Wilhelm Reich arrived completely by accident in the Rangeley Lakes Region for the first
time. He and his wife Ilse Ollendorff drove into Oquossoc during a rainstorm that had
essentially drowned out their camping trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire
where they had traveled several days earlier from Reich's home and laboratory in New
Seeking shelter from the storm, they found a small cabin for rent far down on the Bald
Mountain Road on the shoreline of Mooselookmeguntic Lake. The rains ended a short
time later. And there, over the next few days, in the dry and unhumid atmosphere of the
area Dr. Reich made several significant observations regarding his particular field of
research. These observations convinced him that the Rangeley Lakes Region would be
an ideal location for his research during the summer months, as opposed to the heat and
humidity of his home and laboratory in New York City.
Reich's unintended arrival here in the summer of 1940 was the beginning of what would
be a nearly seventeen-year presence in this community, first as one of the summer folks,
and later--starting in 1950--as a year-round resident. Seventeen years marked by
pioneering discoveries in medicine and science, great personal drama, and ultimately
In 1956, Wilhelm Reich's published books, research journals and bulletins--comprising
thousands of pages--were banned and burned by order of a United States Federal Court,
with the burning of this literature taking place both here in Rangeley and in New York
City. This destruction of several tons of Reich's publications about psychiatry,
medicine, biophysics and sociology constitutes one of the most heinous examples of
censorship in this country.
And all of this is a part of Rangeley history.
Unfortunately, although perhaps understandably, this is not a part of Rangeley history
that many people are comfortable with, or aware of, or even interested in. The story of
Wilhelm Reich as a part of local lore is plagued by widespread misunderstandings,
blatant distortions, sheer indifference and outright gossip. And at first glance Reich's
life and legacy certainly doesn't seem to be a natural fit with the more commonplace
traditions of Rangeley history that are preserved and celebrated by all of you in the
Historical Society, and by the Logging Museum, the public library and other community
And it's certainly not my goal this evening to belabor these points. But rather I will try to
illustrate what I believe is a commonality between Reich's reasons for being in Rangeley
and our reasons for being here. And our reasons, after all, are what inspire each of us to
preserve and honor and celebrate the diverse history of the Rangeley Lakes Region.
I've been coming to Rangeley since I was an infant in the 1950s. My family used to stay
at Rangeley Manor when Curt and Alice Mercer owned it, prior to Paul and Phyllis
Johnson's purchase in late 1972. And later, I owned my own small camp for thirteen
years. And like all of you, I was always fascinated by everything about Rangeley history:
its two railroads, its old hotels and sporting camps, its legacy of trout fishing, its logging
heritage and all of the colorful personalities who have been a part of this rich past.
I was an eighteen year-old college student camping out at the old Cold Spring
Campground north of town when I first visited the Wilhelm Reich Museum at Orgonon
in the early 1970s. I knew absolutely nothing about Wilhelm Reich, his name meant
nothing to me. The only reason I visited Orgonon was because it was a museum located
in Rangeley and so it was obviously some part of the community's history. And since
I've always been an avid student of all kinds of history, at the Museum I quickly became
intrigued by the chronology and the muscular storyline of Wilhelm Reich's life:
- Born in 1897, he was raised on a farm in the easternmost reaches of the Austro-
Hungarian Empire--now the Ukraine--where he grew up hunting, fishing, hiking
and becoming familiar with the rhythms of the natural world around him.
- He served as a lieutenant in the Austrian Army during World War I, where he saw
action on the Italian Front.
- After the war, he graduated from medical school at the University of Vienna,
studied psychoanalysis under Sigmund Freud and quickly became one of Freud's
most promising students.
- As with any psychoanalyst, the study of human neuroses and sexuality became a
focal point of his clinical work. And it's precisely the misunderstandings and
distortions of some of his work and theories in this area that would form the basis
of later rumors, slanders and inaccuracies, many of which we still hear to this day.
- First in Vienna, and later in Berlin, Reich was a renowned and widely published
physician, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst…and a very controversial one. Much
of the controversy surrounding him was due to his pioneering theories about
neuroses, health and human sexuality. Equally controversial was his political
activism which openly challenged the repressive authoritarian regimes of Austria
and Germany in the 1920s and 30s.
- When Hitler came to power in February 1933, Reich had to immediately flee from
Germany to avoid arrest by the Gestapo.
- Reich relocated to Norway and taught at the University of Oslo. There he set up a
scientific laboratory for the study of energy functions in the human body and in
other living substances, such as protozoa, blood, foodstuffs, soil and sand, and
living cancer cells. In fact, Reich was one of the early proponents of the use of time-lapse filming of microscopic cultures to capture the development of
biological processes in living substances over long periods of time.
- It was during these laboratory experiments in the 1930s that Reich discovered a
powerful, new biological energy in specific micro-organisms, a biological energy
that exhibited visible radiation phenomena, that immobilized and destroyed
cancer cells, and invigorated blood and tissue. Reich called this biological energy
"orgone energy," and he would devote the next two decades of his life to the
investigation of its laws, properties and uses, starting with experimental medical
research and later moving into other applications.
- In August 1939, Reich emigrated to America, disembarking from a ship in New
York City on August 26th, five days before the outbreak of World War II. Had he
remained in Norway, it is unlikely that Reich would have survived the imminent
Nazi occupation of that country.
Now from an intellectual standpoint--as an eighteen year-old college student touring the
Museum--I found all of this quite compelling, especially Reich's laboratory research and
his discovery of a physical, biological energy in microscopic cultures with all kinds of
medical and scientific applications. But I kept asking myself--as I'm sure all of you are
doing now--"What does a man's discovery of an energy radiation in a test-tube culture
have to do with Rangeley, Maine?" And the answer was not long in coming--nor will it
be for you this evening.
Reich settled down in the Forest Hills section of New York City, and for three semesters
he taught at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan. The New School faculty
at the time included many intellectual and political refugees from foreign countries.
Reich also set up his own private press to publish his numerous European books in
English. He trained physicians in his innovative psychiatric techniques. And perhaps
most important, he re-established his laboratory in his home to continue his orgone
In early 1940, in order to contain, observe and study orgone radiation from test-tube
cultures, Reich constructed small containers of alternating layers of metallic and organic
material which would hold in this energy. These were the first orgone energy
accumulators. Initially they were used to observe visual manifestations of orgone
emanating from test-tube cultures within the enclosure, and to test the effects of orgone
radiation on cancer mice…results that, in fact, were very promising in terms of dissolving
Which brings us up to July 1940, with Wilhelm Reich in that rental cabin down on the
Bald Mountain Road. Reich's observations of the clear, dry atmosphere over
Mooselookmeguntic revealed similar visual phenomena to that which he was observing
in those small orgone energy accumulators, leading him to conclude that the same energy
he had discovered in specific micro-organisms also exists in the atmosphere all around
us, everywhere. And that, in fact, the orgone energy that exists in living matter--including the human body--originates in the atmosphere as a primordial cosmic energy.
Furthermore, these small orgone accumulators--built of alternating layers of metallic and
organic materials--could attract, accumulate and contain atmospheric orgone energy for
a variety of applications.
Now to anyone unfamiliar with Reich's scientific and medical publications, all of this
obviously sounds fantastical. But in his published research journals, bulletins and books,
Reich and his co-workers would painstakingly document all of their medical and
The significance, then, of Reich's first visit to the Rangeley region in July 1940 is this:
With Reich's discovery of atmospheric orgone energy, he realized he could no longer
confine his research to the study of this energy in micro-organisms in his New York
laboratory. To observe and study and harness atmospheric orgone energy in its most
natural and pristine state required a clean, dry, unhumid atmosphere, together with an
unspoiled natural landscape that could provide large and uninterrupted vistas of
mountains, lakes and big skies.
And so, like all of us drawn to the natural beauty of the Rangeley region, like all of us
who are continually nourished and inspired by these unspoiled natural surroundings, so
too was Reich drawn to Rangeley's natural environment, and deeply inspired by it for the
profound opportunities it afforded him to scientifically investigate orgone energy in the
atmosphere and in living matter.
As Gary Priest documents in his wonderful new book, The Gilded Age of Rangeley,
Maine, in the fall of 1940 Reich purchased a nearby cabin on the Bald Mountain Road
built by Herman Templeton who became Reich's friend and his first caretaker. And
during the next few summers, Reich spent several weeks at this cabin, combining family
vacation time with his scientific research.
Back in New York, his research was taking him into new areas of experimental medicine
involving newer applications of the orgone energy accumulator. Because his results
using small accumulators on cancer mice were so promising, in 1941 Reich began using
large accumulators for the experimental treatment of terminal cancer patients. In many
cases the patient's pain was alleviated and cancer tumors dissolved, yet the patients still
died, leading Reich to conclude that the tumor itself was not the cancer, but merely a
local manifestation of a deeper systemic disorder in one's body.
And contrary to widespread rumors that persist to this day, Wilhelm Reich never
promoted the orgone accumulator as a cancer cure. In patient affidavits and in his
publications Reich clearly states that despite many promising results, orgone radiation via
the accumulator is not a cure. The other common misconception about the orgone
accumulator is that it is some sort of sexual device for enhancing one's performance, a
salacious allegation first printed by a journalist in 1947 and repeated ad nauseum ever
since. Similarly, Reich clearly refutes this in print, emphasizing that the orgone
accumulator is an experimental scientific and medical tool.
In November 1942, Reich purchased a 160-acre farm on Dodge Pond Road from a Mrs.
Love for what he felt was the inflated price of $4000. This was Reich's first step toward
fulfilling his dream of establishing a permanent home for his work: a laboratory and
research center devoted to scientific and medical applications of orgone energy. And on
a personal note, Reich had grown up on a farm in eastern Europe and always said he
wanted to return to a farm some day. Now he was a step closer to realizing that dream as
In his diary, he wrote this about the property on the Dodge Pond Road:
"A hundred and sixty acres of soft land on a soft incline
facing south and east, six hundred meters above sea level,
covered with a young pine forest, a lake in front, and
mountains on the horizon. Here truth shall be sought
and protected from the plague, here sickness and misery
shall be understood and ways discovered for conquering
them. The name of the home of life research shall be Orgonon."
The design and location of the buildings at Orgonon are one of the most visible
manifestations of the integration of Reich's research with the surrounding natural
environment. For example, in 1945 the Student Laboratory was built, using original
timbers from the barn that stood on the property when Reich purchased it. Today this is
our Conference & Office Building, and is clearly visible from Dodge Pond Road.
It was purposely built with oversized windows--one after the other--facing east,
southeast and south to take advantage of the panorama of open skies, open fields, distant
mountains and what was then an unobstructed view of Dodge Pond. Here in this
laboratory Reich's students and co-workers conducted orgone energy research using
microscopes, telescopes, orgone accumulators of varying sizes and strengths,
electroscopes, Geiger counters, oscilloscopes and other equipment. This building was
the venue of numerous seminars, classes and conferences. In 1949, the first course in
orgone biophysics--with an emphasis on cancer research--was given to a group of
The other major building on the property is the Orgone Energy Observatory, high on a
hill and not visible from the road. This building now houses the The Wilhelm Reich
Museum. It's listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and some say its
architecture resembles a design by Frank Lloyd Wright. In one of his research bulletins
in 1950, Reich wrote this about the building:
"The layout for the Orgone Energy Observatory was planned
in March 1948. In the beginning of May 1948, plans had been
finished by architect James. J. Bell of New York City. In the
beginning of June 1948, S.A. Collins & Sons of Rangeley, Maine
began the construction.
The construction went on from June 10th until October 15, 1948.
And from May 12th until September 19, 1949, altogether approximately
eight months. The outer walls were constructed of fieldstones,
24 inches at the foundation and 20 inches at the walls proper.
The fieldstones were gathered from the property of the Institute
at Orgonon. The Observatory includes a hall on the first floor,
approximately 54 x 34 feet, mainly for physical experimentation.
A library and conference room on the second floor with an
observation deck. An observatory tower on the third floor with
a cement base arranged for the future installment of an eight or
ten-inch refractor telescope. It will serve mainly for the observation
of the rotating orgone envelope of the earth.
The western wing has a flat roof suitable as a deck for observation
of the western sky. The roof of the main building is flat and also
usable for observation. The deck overlooks the whole region
above the surrounding hills. The White Mountains 100 miles away
to the south, Saddleback Mountain to the east, and Mount Bigelow
to the northeast form important points of observation. Two lakes,
Dodge Pond to the east and Rangeley Lake to the south, provide
excellent areas for observations of the pulsatory movement of
the atmospheric orgone energy."
Reich also planned to build a hospital at Orgonon, going so far as to explore the State of
Maine's legal and licensing requirements, and having an architect draw up a rendition of
the building. Over the years Reich's research center at Orgonon became the site for
numerous pioneering experiments including:
- Applications of the Reich Blood Test, as a diagnostic tool for the early detection
- Testing the effects of orgone energy on radium needles in 1951, in search of a
possible antidote to nuclear radiation sickness
- Using an invention called a "cloudbuster" to alter orgone energy movements in
the atmosphere for weather experimentation
- Successfully operating a small motor propelled by atmospheric orgone energy
Regrettably, Reich's medical and scientific research was disrupted because of the Food
and Drug Administration's determination to put an end to his work. The FDA's seven
year campaign against Reich was ignited by an inaccurate article about him in New
Republic magazine in 1947, claiming that the orgone accumulators were being rented and
sold as sexual devices and cure-alls, and casting aspersions on Reich's cancer research
and other aspects of his work.
In fact, in the mid-1940s, Reich had begun to rent and sell orgone accumulators to those
who wanted to use them experimentally at home. Reich's reason for this was to allow
more people to experience and experiment with the potential benefits of orgone energy
and to provide Reich and his co-workers with more feedback and more data regarding the
effects of orgone radiation on the human organism. Herman Templeton's daughter,
Clista, down on the Bald Mountain Road, was in charge of building and shipping these
accumulators. Later, S.A. Collins & Sons in Rangeley would assume these
The FDA was convinced, despite Reich's extensive published research, that orgone
energy does not exist and consequently that the orgone accumulators were fraudulent
devices. This opinion was shared by the American Medical, Psychiatric, and
Psychoanalytic Associations, all of whom supported and cooperated with the FDA's
efforts. The complexities of this legal case would require an entirely separate
presentation. Suffice it to say that in 1954, a Federal court issued an Injunction
forbidding the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators as well as Reich's books,
research journals and bulletins, which the FDA considered labeling for fraudulent
The Injunction also ordered the destruction of these accumulators and much of Reich's
literature. These orders were carried out both here in Rangeley and in New York City.
Reich was eventually convicted of contempt of court and he died in the Federal
Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on November 3, 1957. He was 60 years old.
Several days prior to his incarceration, Reich created a Trust in his name--called the
Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust--to protect his legacy from distortion and falsification, to
preserve his property at Orgonon, and to safeguard his Archives. Today, The Wilhelm
Reich Infant Trust--of which I am one of the Directors--operates The Wilhelm Reich
Museum. The Museum itself and our annual conferences attract visitors from across the
country and across the world to the Rangeley region.
The Trust also manages Reich's Archives which are located at the Countway Library of
Medicine at Harvard University, one of the world's premier medical libraries. And since
1959, the Trust has worked with New York publisher Farrar Straus and Giroux to bring
all of Reich's books back into print, in addition to publishing eight new titles, for a total
of twenty-one books.
My background is in film and writing, and we now have two film projects in various
stages of development: a completed screenplay about Reich that I've written which
covers 25 years of his life from 1933 to 1957, and a documentary film project. These
two projects, like everything we do, are consistent with the Trust's mission to preserve
and protect Reich's scientific legacy from distortion and falsification.
And so if anything I've said this evening has piqued your curiosity, we hope you'll come
visit us at Orgonon as just another way of deepening your appreciation of the richness
and diversity of Rangeley history. Thank you for listening, and thank you for this
opportunity to be here."
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
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.