August 2012 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum
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Our previous Update (from June 2012) 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 (58 of them) provide the best contemporaneous accounts of the Trust's ongoing activities over the past six years.
New in the Bookstore: Where's the Truth?
College Course Syllabus
Catalog of Reich's Personal Library
A QUOTE FROM REICH
Reich wrote this journal entry on January 7, 1948, five months after the first FDA agent appeared unannounced at Orgonon to question him about his work, thus launching the FDA's campaign against Reich that would continue even after his death.
(The FDA supervised the court-ordered burning of Reich's publications in 1956 while Reich was alive, and again in 1960, three years after his death.)
"In the beginning of one’s task, one is enthusiastic about helping mankind. At the end of the same task, one is worn out and has
lost most or all of the enthusiasm. Humanity, for whose benefit one believed to fight, has put too many dangerous obstacles in one’s path. One had to risk breaking one’s neck in overcoming these obstacles. Disillusionment has overcome the searcher and helper. Humanity itself, through its pestilent sergeants, has obstructed its own benefits. Therefore, the inventor or searcher acquires that definite expression of suffering and sorrow in his face (Beethoven, Galileo, Freud) which indicates that the enthusiasm to help has been replaced by ardent adherence to truth beyond any immediate practical interests."
This entry begins our new book: Where's the Truth? – Letters and Journals (1948-1957).
NEW BOOK NOW AVAILABLE IN OUR BOOKSTORE
WHERE'S THE TRUTH?
Letters and Journals (1948–1957)
Wilhelm Reich, M.D.
Edited by Mary Boyd Higgins
Introduction by James E. Strick, Ph.D.
Where's the Truth? is the fourth and final volume of Wilhelm Reich's autobiographical writings, an account of the last years of his life and scientific career drawn from his diaries, letters and laboratory notebooks. These writings reveal the details of the outrider scientist's life--his joys and sorrows, his hopes and insecurities--and chronicle his experiments with what he called "orgone energy".
A student of Freud's and a prominent research physician in the early psychoanalytic movement in Vienna and Berlin, Reich emigrated from Oslo to America in 1939 in flight from Naziism, arriving in New York four days before the outbreak of World War Two.
In New York, and later in Maine and Arizona, he pursued his research about orgone energy functions in the living organism and in the atmosphere.
Where's the Truth? begins in January 1948, several months after Reich became a target
of the Federal Food and Drug Administration. Starting in December 1939, he’d already faced possible persecution by the U.S. government, having been mistaken by the State Department and FBI for both a Communist and a Nazi.
Beginning in the summer of 1947, Reich was hounded by the FDA which, in 1954, obtained an injunction by default against him that enabled it to burn six tons of his published books and research journals, and to ban the use of one of his most important experimental research tools: the orgone energy accumulator.
Challenging the right of a court to judge basic scientific research, Reich was imprisoned
in March 1957 and died in the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania eight months later at the age of 60.
The text gathered in this volume shows Reich’s steadfast determination to protect his work. "Where's the truth?" Reich asked a lawyer. And that question animates this volume and rounds out our understanding of a unique, irrepressible modern figure.
SYLLABUS FOR A COLLEGE COURSE ABOUT REICH
During the week of July 11th, a small working group of college academics met at Orgonon and completed the syllabus for a one-semester college course about Reich's life and work. This class was designed as a Level 300 course, which means that students will know from its designation that this is a serious upper-level class, and not some easy "gut" course.
We consider the current syllabus to be a fluid document that can accommodate changes, improvements and variations as needed. But it represents an important first step in fulfilling our goal to introduce a comprehensive, factually accurate scholastic narrative about Reich into college and university curricula.
And the good news is a serious effort is already underway to offer this course during the spring semester at an American college. We'll let you know more as the situation unfolds.
We'll be posting the syllabus on our website in the next few months.
NEW IN OUR BOOKSTORE: CATALOG OF REICH’S PERSONAL LIBRARY
For years, visitors to the Wilhelm Reich Museum have commented on Reich's impressive personal library which is located in the bookshelves of his study on the second floor of
the Orgone Energy Observatory. Serious scholars, particularly, often remark on Reich's intellectual breadth and curiosity as evident by this eclectic collection.
A bound 143-page Catalog of Wilhelm Reich's Personal Library is now available in
our bookstore for $26.95. To anyone interested in Reich's life and work, especially
the serious scholar, this catalog provides a deeper understanding of Reich's intellectual pursuits and the evolution of his work.
And Reich himself recognized the value of his personal library to future generations.
In his Last Will & Testament--in stipulating that Orgonon, his property in Rangeley, Maine, should be operated in the future as the Wilhelm Reich Museum--he wrote:
"During the years following 1949 my life was running its course
within and around the walls of the Orgone Energy Observatory.
I supervised the building myself for two summers; I paid out
upwards of $35,000 from my privately earned possessions for the
construction. I have collected all of the pertinent materials such
as instruments which served the Discovery of the Life Energy,
the documents which were witnesses to labors of some 30 years
and the library of a few thousand volumes, collected painstakingly
over the same stretch of time and amply used in my researches
and writing..." (March 1957)
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
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Infant Trust and The Wilhelm Reich Museum. Thank you again for your friendship