March 2010 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.
Invitation to Speak in Greece
Submission of New Reich Manuscript
Article on Reich Published
Documentary Film Proposal
Reich's Books at Annual APA Meeting
This Summer at Orgonon
Lecture and Benefit in NYC
Renting Our Cottages
History of Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
We Have Speakers Available
INVITATION TO SPEAK IN GREECE
The Hellenic Association of Orgonomy (HAO) in Greece has invited the Trust to deliver two public talks this March, which are entitled "Wilhelm Reich, M.D. – Safeguarding His Legacy From Distortion and Slander."
Saturday – March 13 – 6.00 p.m.
Lecture Hall of the Society for Macedonian Studies
Ethnikis Aminis Str.
54621 Thessaloniki, Greece
Sunday – March 14 – 7:00 p.m.
Auditorium of the Eugenides Foundation
387 Syngrou Avenue
17564 Athens, Greece
Representing the Trust will be Kevin Hinchey, Board Member of the Trust and Associate Director of The Wilhelm Reich Museum.
Prior to each talk, Man's Right to Know--the Trust's 28-minute DVD about Reich--
will be screened with Greek subtitles.
This invitation came from two attendees at our 2009 Summer Conference at Orgonon: Theodota Chasapi, M.D. and Tania Anastasia Zotou, M.D. who are psychiatrists, medical orgonomists and clinical associates of the American College of Orgonomy. Dr. Chasapi was a founding member of the HAO in 1988, and Dr. Zotou is currently its president.
Since its founding to promote Reich's work in public health, the HAO has hosted many well-attended lectures and workshops featuring HAO members, as well as speakers from around the world. The HAO also publishes a newsletter entitled Orgonoma.
In what will be essentially a new narrative for a new audience, Mr. Hinchey will discuss:
- the history and principal activities of the Trust
- the importance of primary materials--Reich's books, research journals and bulletins, and archives--for intellectually honest scholarship and narratives about Reich
- today's challenges in publishing and archival management
- the importance of new and factually accurate narratives for broader audiences
- the critical need for new research in orgonomic medicine and science
The promotional brochure (in Greek) for these two talks is available online.
SUBMISSION OF NEW REICH MANUSCRIPT
On Friday, January 22nd, we mailed our new manuscript to Farrar, Straus and Giroux,
our publisher in New York City. 2010 marks the fiftieth year that the Trust has been working with FSG to publish Reich's books. Since 1960, starting with the anthology Selected Writings – An Introduction to Orgonomy, FSG has published twenty-two titles by Wilhelm Reich. To date, Reich's books have been translated into over twenty languages.
This new manuscript was submitted under the working title: Where's the Truth – Letters and Journals (1948-1957). In Mary Higgins' "Editor's Note" prefacing the manuscript, she wrote:
This is the final work in a set of four autobiographical volumes by physician-scientist Wilhelm Reich: Passion of Youth, Beyond Psychology and American Odyssey. It begins in 1948, soon after the appearance of an article by left-wing journalist Mildred Edie Brady in New Republic magazine incited an "investigation" of Reich's work by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. It ends with his death in an American prison cell in 1957.
Readers will share Reich's journey through these turbulent years, so stark in tragedy, so rich in hope and flow of new knowledge.
ARTICLE ON REICH PUBLISHED IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL
"The Persecution of Dr. Wilhelm Reich by the Government of the United States," an article by Philip W. Bennett, Ph.D., has been published in the March 2010 issue of International Forum of Psychoanalysis (IFP).
IFP is a quarterly which describes itself as "a peer-reviewed journal published under the auspices of the International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies (IFPS). In accordance with the objectives of this organisation, International Forum of Psychoanalysis is open to all new and creative contributions to the development of psychoanalysis."
At our 2009 Summer Conference, From the Archives of the Orgone Institute, Dr. Bennett discussed his research for some of the content of this article in a presentation entitled: "Sex Education, Albert Crombie, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Attempt to Remove Reich's Citizenship." Below is the abstract for his published article:
Most people who recognize his name are aware that Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) was considered to be one of Freud's most brilliant students and an important contributor to psychoanalytic theory. But it is also widely known that this innovative thinker, who is still read with interest over 50 years after his death, died in a federal penitentiary in the USA. The case against Wilhelm Reich, brought by the Food and Drug Administration, has been admirably detailed in Wilhelm Reich vs. the U.S.A. by Jerome Greenfield. Less well known are two other intertwined investigations of Reich, the first by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which led to his imprisonment for nearly a month after the USA declared war on Germany in 1941; and the second by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in an attempt to remove his naturalized citizenship and deport him. This paper examines in detail these two assaults on Reich, placing them within the historical context of a lifetime of marginalization and denunciation by authorities, from the Communist Party in Germany to the International Psychoanalytic Association to academic biologists in Norway to right-wing Christian moralists in the USA and finally to agencies of the United States government. [link]
DOCUMENTARY FILM PROPOSAL
The Trust is aggressively seeking professional funding for a much-needed and long overdue project: an American documentary film about Wilhelm Reich, M.D. geared toward a broad mainstream audience. The major challenge to this project is the fact that Reich does not have the same "name recognition" in America as he does in Europe.
Consequently, our Documentary Film Proposal necessitated a significant amount of background information about Reich to "sell" the story and "entice" potential funders and producers. And thus far, the responses to our proposal have been quite positive.
Please take a moment to read our Documentary Film Proposal.
For years, filmmakers and "alleged" filmmakers have periodically contacted us, wanting to bring cameras to Orgonon to shoot endless footage, to conduct on-camera interviews, and to use our films, photographs and other resources for their projects. Usually these people contact us without any outline or script, usually having read little or nothing written by Reich himself--their research consisting largely of Internet browsing and hearsay-- and with little or no idea about the actual story they wish to tell.
Some of these filmmakers wanted to document "their personal interest in Reich," others were eager to conflate Reich's story with particular fascinations or journeys in their own lives, and still others were obviously promoting specific individuals, organizations and agendas with some real or imagined link to Reich.
As evident in our proposal, we can only invest our time and efforts in a dramatic, accessible and factually-accurate account of Reich's life and work--and not anyone else's--with a storyline, narration and visual design drawn as much as possible from primary materials.
REICH'S BOOKS TO BE DISPLAYED AT ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION (A.P.A.)
Early this year, psychiatrist and orgone therapist Stephan Simonian, M.D. contacted us for our thoughts about his idea to display some of Reich's books at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New Orleans (May 22-26).
We thought it was a wonderful idea. And the consensus among us was that the following six books would be the most appropriate ones for this audience, that these six titles--more than any others--might be of potential interest to APA members:
Dr. Simonian subsequently contacted the APA, requested that a table be designated for the Wilhelm Reich Museum, and listed the items to be displayed on this table. The APA representative responded favorably and approved Dr. Simonian's request. The table will be for display only and not for selling books. And we think all of this is a tremendous opportunity and a great step forward.
As Dr. Simonian explained to us, annual APA meetings are attended by thousands of psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, psychologists and social workers from all over the world. And that Reich's books will be displayed for this vast and disparate membership--at a table that will be manned by Dr. Simonian and perhaps some of his colleagues from the Institute of Orgonomic Science (IOS)--is a practical and strategic way of bringing Reich's work to the attention of newer and wider audiences. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Simonian for his pro-active efforts.
THIS SUMMER AT ORGONON
After much discussion at the end of last year and earlier this year, we've decided--with considerable regret--that we will not be having our usual Annual Summer Conference this year. The Trust is facing many issues and tasks that require our attention and focus:
- Archive management
- New website
- Publishing projects
- Strategic planning
- Upgrading office technology
--as well as numerous other "housekeeping" items. Many of these issues and tasks are regularly attended to by a handful of loyal supporters--none of whom live in Rangeley--who generously donate their time, skills and talents from afar.
We felt that this year, instead of devoting our efforts to organizing another summer conference, the best use of our time would be using that same week (July 12th) to work with this small group of supporters on the pressing issues that need our attention.
Summer conferences have and always will be a significant part of Orgonon's activities. In fact, only once in the past 30+ years have we not had a summer conference: that was in the summer of 2008 when we held a small Archive Workshop to look, for the first time, at some of the more sensitive materials in The Archives of the Orgone Institute.
In terms of the broader interests of the Trust and Reich's work, we felt it was far more important that year to devote our time, energy and resources to looking at these archival materials, rather than organizing another summer conference simply because that's what we've always done. Similarly, this year--in terms of the broader interests of the Trust and Reich's work--we feel we need to invest our collective time, skills and resources in more pressing issues.
LECTURE AND BENEFIT IN NEW YORK CITY
Every autumn from 2002 to 2006, and again in 2008, we hosted an evening benefit for The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Endowment Fund at the Williams Club in New York City.
These benefits featured presentations by different speakers that were often about current, ongoing projects addressing Reich's life and legacy. And they helped raise much-needed income for our Endowment Fund, which is more critical today than ever.
This June, we will host another benefit for the Endowment Fund at the Williams Club.
Our speaker will be science historian and author James Strick, Ph.D., a professor at Franklin & Marshall College, who will discuss his current book-in-progress about Reich's bion experiments and their historic and scientific context. We'll have more information about this Endowment Fund benefit in future Updates.
COTTAGES FOR RENT AT ORGONON
If you're looking for a secluded getaway at any time of the year, check out our two cottages at Orgonon: Bunchberry and Tamarack.
Bunchberry was originally built by Wilhelm Reich as a study, and it later became the home of Orgonon's first caretaker and his family. Tamarack, the larger of the two cottages, provided living quarters for Reich and his family. Both cottages offer complete privacy and each has its own dock on beautiful Dodge Pond.
HISTORY OF THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST
People often ask us if there is a formal printed history of the Trust, to which we have to answer "no." As we reiterate at every opportunity, the Trust's major responsibilities are:
- operating The Wilhelm Reich Museum
- working with New York publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux since 1960 to publish Reich's books
- managing the Archives of the Orgone Institute
While there is no printed volume about the Trust, a brief overview of its history can be found on our website.
And these Updates (47 of them), which we began in March 2004, are the best source of regular contemporaneous documentation about the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.
Also, the Trust's Organizational Chart provides a succinct visual look at our major responsibilities.
WE HAVE SPEAKERS AVAILABLE
Are you planning an event or are you part of an organization that would like to hear more about the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich? Or more about The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust or The Wilhelm Reich Museum? The Trust has available speakers to address your group. For more details, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.