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June 2011 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. Our previous Update (from May 2011) as well as 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 (52 of them) provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.

Our New Website
Excerpts From Reich's Publications
This Summer at Orgonon
Designing a College Course on Reich
Evening of Music at Orgonon
Natural Science Program - 2011 Schedule
Article in the Rangeley Highlander
Banned Books Week Lecture
Scientific Texts of Wilhelm Reich
Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality & Anxiety
Cottages at Orgonon


The following is an exchange between Wilhelm Reich, M.D. and student Michael Rothenberg at Orgonon during the summer of 1950. Rothenberg worked as a laboratory assistant at Orgonon during the summers of 1948, 1949 and 1950. He went on to become a physician and a colleague of famed pediatrician Benjamin Spock, M.D.

REICH: The work has grown, yes?
ROTHENBERG: Some leave, more come to take their places.
REICH: Yes, it is like a passenger train. People get on and people get off, but always the train is moving in the same direction. 


Please update your Favorites/Bookmarks/Links so that they direct you to this new website. Our old address is no longer being updated. Visitors to the old site will be redirected to the new site for the rest of the year.

Among the website's new features are fuller explanations of Reich's books, research journals and bulletins, plus substantial PDF-file excerpts from these publications.

Because the Internet is rampant with inaccuracies, distortions and intellectual ineptitude about Reich's life and work--from detractors and so-called admirers--we wanted the Trust website to be a reliable resource for factual information through primary resources. 


We also hope that these excerpts will enhance serious readership and Bookstore purchases. Readership of Reich's publications has dwindled over the years as people turn to Internet sources, rather than to information about Reich's life and legacy in his own words.

Shrinking book sales mean lower royalties for the Trust, royalties that historically have been critical for the Trust's survival. Hopefully website visitors who sample some of the available PDF excerpts will be sufficiently intrigued and inspired to purchase Reich's books, research journals and bulletins. 


We regret that, for the second year in a row, we will not be holding our regular Summer Conference in July. After considerable discussion in late fall and early winter of 2010, and again in January 2011, we felt the best use of our resources would be to focus on some long-range issues rather than a conference for which we didn't feel adequately prepared.

Therefore, during the week of July 11th, a small working group--including several college educators--will convene at Orgonon for several days to:

  • Design a one-semester college/university course about Wilhelm Reich

  • Begin planning a Summer Conference for 2012 that will focus on the historic development and applications of the orgone energy accumulator

  • Discuss new exhibits for the Wilhelm Reich Museum that will focus on Reich's cancer research and his development of the orgone energy accumulator

Orgonon will also be the venue for a fundraising Evening of Music (July 13) and our summer Natural Science Programs (more on the music and science programs further in this Update). 


The Trust's goal is to create an educational "product" or "prototype" that might, at some point in the future, bring Reich's legacy into a college or university curriculum--and in a way that addresses Reich's entire scientific and medical legacy, and not simply his psychiatric, political and social work which has been dealt with sporadically in a handful of courses over the years.

This summer, our working group will begin designing a 14-week college course that would meet once a week for two hours and forty-five minutes.

This design process will involve identifying (a) basic content and lecture points for each session, (b) learning materials for each session, i.e., readings, visual and audio resources, archival materials, other learning aids, (c) topics for projects and written assignments.

Some immediate questions, of course, are: "What are the chances of any university or college wanting such a course? And who would or could teach it?" Excellent questions, for which we have no answers just now.

But since the survivability of Reich's legacy for future generations depends on reaching new and younger people, then we need to create an intellectually honest model for teaching Reich in a college or university curriculum. 


A musical performance by pianist

Pianist Andy Kahn of Philadelphia--who performed at Orgonon's Evenings of Music series in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010--returns for a solo performance to benefit the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.

Andy's repertoire features tunes written by Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Harry Warren, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin and other American standard songwriters. With Be-Bop and Jazz taking their cues from their songs, Andy also plays some of his favorite jazz selections, lending his own improvisations.

Offering anecdotes about the composers and pointing out special elements of songs woven into our country's musical history, Andy lends a personal touch as he takes his audiences on a guided tour of America's unique musical contribution to the arts, "Jazz and the Standard Song."

Time: 7:00 p.m. – Wednesday, July 13th
Place: Office & Conference Building at Orgonon – Dodge Pond       Road, Rangeley
Contribution: $10.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 12 and under.

Refreshments will be served. Tickets are available at the Museum Office and Bookstore at Orgonon, and at the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce in town. For more information, call (207) 864-3443 or e-mail: wreich@rangeley.org.

Andy Kahn has been a longtime friend and supporter of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, and we are always appreciative of his generous donation of time and talents over the years for the Trust's many needs and activities. Thank you again, Andy. 


Inspired by Wilhelm Reich's interest in the natural environment, the Wilhelm Reich Museum began its Natural Science Program in 1989. Today this program provides year-round environmental educational and recreational activities for all ages, available free of charge to the general public.

Throughout the summer, naturalists and environmental educators use Orgonon's 175 acre property of fields, forests, trails, wetlands and shore frontage on Dodge Pond--plus our sheltered Outdoor Classroom and Conference Building--to share their knowledge of the Rangeley Lakes habitat. During the other seasons, the museum sponsors family-oriented workshops, community events, and outreach programs to local schools.

Here are the 2011 summer programs:

July 10
Soil Erosion and Sediment Control – with Rosetta White

July 17
Making Pressed Wildlife Cards – with Sally May

July 24
Invasive Insects & Plants in Maine – with Patty Cormier

July 31
Nature Journaling – To Be Announced

August 7
Maine Amphibians and Reptiles – with Warren Balgooyen

August 14
The Maine Moose – with Matt Tinker

August 21
Mushrooming – with Michaeline Mulvey

August 28
Lichen Walk – with Christine Blais

Program Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Sundays in July & August, rain or shine. Free of charge.

Meeting Place: Meet at the Outdoor Classroom of the Wilhelm Reich Museum. Drive past the white Office & Conference Building, take the right fork up the hill to museum parking.

Dress Appropriately: These nature programs include some hiking on Orgonon's trails. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and clothes appropriate for weather and bug conditions. 


Over the years, it became apparent to us at Orgonon that many people in the local community think of us strictly as the seasonal Wilhelm Reich Museum, open five days a week in July and August, and one day a week in September. That's about 50 days a year, plus special tours by arrangement, which means a few extra days here and there.

But there's been little local awareness of the existence and far-ranging activities and duties of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, which has its offices at Orgonon and maintains the museum and its 175-acre property. So we knew that a lot of people just had to be thinking, "What do they do for the rest of the year out at Orgonon?"

A fair question, we thought, which prompted us to write an article about the Trust and send it to the Rangeley Highlander newspaper. In addition to reaching hundreds of people who live locally or are visiting the area, the Highlander's readership includes hundreds of subscribers who are from "away" and have vacation homes in the Rangeley Lakes region.

The Highlander published our article in May, in time for Memorial Day weekend which is Rangeley's first major vacation time of the year. 


"The True Story of a Court-Ordered Book Burning in America:
The Publications of Research Physician-Scientist Wilhelm Reich, M.D."

Monroe Township Public Library
4 Municipal Plaza
Monroe Township, N.J.

Saturday – September 24, 2011 – 1:00 p.m.

Kevin Hinchey
Co-Director, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
Rangeley, Maine

On August 23, 1956, six tons of books and published research journals were removed from a private publishing house in Manhattan, taken to a municipal garbage incinerator, and burned by order of a Federal Court injunction. On March 17, 1960, additional copies of these materials were burned in Manhattan by order of this same injunction. These books and research journals documented over two decades of the medical, scientific and socio-political legacy of Wilhelm Reich, M.D., a prominent Austrian research physician and scientist who had emigrated to America four days before the start of World War Two.

This lecture will trace the dramatic events that culminated in what is one of the most heinous examples of censorship in American history. 


The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust struggles persistently to draw more attention to Reich's practical scientific and medical research.

It is this area of his work--starting in a laboratory at the University of Oslo in 1935 and continuing in Reich's laboratories in America--that is consistently distorted, ridiculed and dismissed by people who have never taken the time to actually read the essential texts that document this work.

Even among many favorably disposed to Reich, his crucial research publications are neglected by the average reader. And perhaps understandably so: these are demanding and highly compressed texts, imbued with the language of biology, chemistry, medicine, neuropsychiatry and physiology. But they are essential reading if one wishes to understand Reich's work as a scientist. 


One of these seldom read and underappreciated scientific texts is The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety, comprising two scientific papers from 1934 and Reich's report of a series of laboratory experiments he conducted in 1935 in Oslo.

These experiments marked Reich's first return to the laboratory since medical school 13 years earlier. And his subsequent laboratory work would continue for over two decades until 1956.

After moving to Copenhagen in 1933, Reich began formulating these experiments to investigate the possible electrical nature of sexuality. He discussed them with a London physiologist in December, and provided the theoretical framework for these experiments the following year in his two scientific papers: "Der Orgasmus als elekrophysiologische Entladung" ("The Orgasm as an Electrophysiological Discharge") and "Der Urgegensatz des vegetativen Lebens" ("The Basic Antithesis of Vegetative Life Functions").

In these two papers, Reich drew upon his 14 years of psychoanalytic and psychiatric clinical work, plus his study of leading biological and physiological research, i.e., the work of Berthold, Bütschli, Davenport, Dressel, Engelmann, Greeley, Gruber, Harrington, Hartmann, Hofer, Kraus, Walter & Käthe Mische, Müller, Quincke, Rhumbler and Zondek.

From November 1934 to April 1935, Reich worked with a physiologist from the University of Oslo to identify the equipment and protocols needed for his first experiments.

In them, Reich hoped to expand upon the experiments of those who had previously verified and measured the electric potential of skin surfaces, i.e., pioneering 19th century physiologists Emil Dubois-Reymond, Carl Ludwig and Ivan Tarchanoff; neurologist Otto Veraguth in the early 20th century; and physiologists C.P. Richter and Hermann Rein in the 1920s. 


With summer upon us, are you looking for a peaceful, reasonably priced get-away? And did you know that it can be found right here at Orgonon?

Our two furnished housekeeping cottages offer quiet, seclusion and access to the shores of Dodge Pond, with a private dock for each cottage. And because these cottage rentals have become a substantial source of income for the Trust, what a perfect way to express your support in a practical way for all that we do. Please have a look at our cottages.

The smaller cottage that we call "Bunchberry"--after the prolific, indigenous bunchberry plant--was originally built by Wilhelm Reich as a study in the 1940s. At that time, while in the Rangeley area, he resided at his cabin on Mooselookmeguntic Lake several miles to the west, and would retreat to this study at the abandoned farm property he bought in 1942 and which he named "Orgonon." Later, this study was expanded to become the home of Orgonon's first caretaker, Tom Ross.

The other cottage, which we call "Tamarack"--after one of our native trees--was built a few years after Bunchberry, is substantially larger, and provided living quarters for Reich and his family. In his writings and voice recordings, Reich refers to it as the "Lower Cabin" because of its location near Orgonon's south property line.

For more information, call (207) 864-3443 or e-mail: wreich@rangeley.org.


Both cottages are located on the west shore of Dodge Pond with convenient access to all that the Rangeley Lakes Region has to offer:

  • Easy access to the six Rangeley Lakes--Rangeley, Mooselookmeguntic, Cupsuptic, Upper Richardson, Lower Richardson, Umbagog--plus the Cupsuptic River, Kennebago River and Kennebago Lake.

  • 3.5 miles to Rangeley Village, where there is ample dining and shopping.

  • Less than 10 miles to the Appalachian Trail.

  • 10 miles to the Saddleback Mountain Ski & Recreation Area.

  • Deer, moose and many small animals frequent the area.

  • The voices of the loons on Dodge Pond!


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.

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

Copyright © 2004- Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust

Contact : 207.864.3443 | wreich@rangeley.org