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February 2014 Update
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust
& The Wilhelm Reich Museum
A belated Happy New Year.
We thank you for your sustaining interest and support, and we hope you'll continue
to assist us in our ongoing efforts to protect Reich's legacy and make it available to all.
Safeguarding Reich's Legacy
Income, Infrastructure, and Costs
False Narratives and Fundraising
Distortions in the Media
Writing a Documentary on Reich
Kickstarter for Reich Documentary
Timetable for Kickstarter Campaign
A Quote From Reich
SAFEGUARDING REICH'S LEGACY AGAINST DISTORTION AND SLANDER
Since 1959 the Trust has faithfully discharged its duties, as stipulated by Reich himself in his Last Will & Testament, to "secure transmission to future generations of a vast empire of scientific accomplishments" and to "safeguard the truth about my life and work against distortion and slander after my death."
We apologize for going so long without any Updates--our last was in May 2013--and we appreciate those of you who've contacted us, asking when there'd be another one.
As we'll explain, in 2013 we were exceedingly busy preparing for this year, during which we will undertake one of our most ambitious and far-reaching efforts on behalf of Reich's legacy: raising funds for a full-length, factually accurate documentary film about Reich.
And as always, we are involved in the daunting challenges and costs of maintaining Reich's property at Orgonon with its 175 acres and its significant infrastructure.
INCOME, INFRASTRUCTURE AND COSTS
- The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust's major sources of income are: 1) Personal Contributions, 2) Bookstore Sales, 3) Cottage Rentals
- Orgonon's infrastructure comprises seven buildings, five of which require year-round maintenance and heating in the colder months, plus
two docks on Dodge Pond and over a quarter-mile of dirt driveways.
- These buildings are the Orgone Energy Observatory (now the Museum), the Office & Conference Building, two rental cottages (Bunchberry and Tamarack), the Director's House (built in 1999 at no cost to the Trust), the caretaker's work shed, and a barn.
- In 2013, fuel costs for the Observatory, Office & Conference Building, two rental cottages, and Director's House totaled $20,679, an increase of over $6,000 from 2011.
- In 2013, repairs to the Observatory roof, built in 1948, cost $5,384.
- In 2013, cumulative sales at the Museum Bookstore at Orgonon and our website bookstore (via PayPal and phone orders) were approximately $21,000, about the same as in 2012.
- In 2013, cottage rentals brought in $20,698, an increase of $3,200 from 2012.
- We continue to receive your donations via personal checks, credit cards, and PayPal. Credit cards are accepted by calling us at (207) 864-3443, and PayPal is available on our website.
Becoming a "Friend of the Trust" or renewing your membership as a Friend is a great way to support us. And please think of remembering the Trust in either a "Bequest" or an "In Memoriam Donation". All contributions to the Trust are tax-deductible.
TODAY'S FALSE NARRATIVES OF REICH PREVENT SERIOUS FINANCIAL SUPPORT
We're grateful to all of you whose financial generosity has helped us meet the needs of Orgonon's physical well-being. In fact, the Trust's survivability depends on you, since today's widespread distortions about Reich in print, film, TV, art exhibits and the Internet mean that traditional funding sources--which routinely provide support for non-profits, educational entities, historical preservation, research and capital efforts--are closed to us.
Consequently, we're always trying to identify credible funding sources--either individual or organizational--that might be amenable to helping an unconventional scientific and medical legacy and the Trust that is tasked with preserving and advancing that legacy.
But until such time as this kind of financial support can be secured, we rely--as we always have--on your generosity.
INUNDATED WITH DISTORTIONS AND TRIVIALIZATIONS OF REICH
In 2013 and 2014--56 years after Reich's death--the Trust continues to be contacted by artists, filmmakers and writers of "erotic fiction" who expect us to assist them in their factually distorted projects about Reich.
By the time they contact us, their narratives, exhibits and themes are already worked out, revealing that they've read little or nothing by Reich himself and are merely regurgitating what they've read or heard about Reich, most of which is false. And they never come to us for our knowledge or to fact-check their depictions of Reich.
Most of them profess to be admirers of Reich--but with little actual knowledge of Reich --who contact us wanting photographs or permissions or, in a recent request from some artists in California, seeking an orgone accumulator for an upcoming exhibit. Sadly for historical accuracy, artist exhibits in which the accumulator is depicted as a sexual device or "celebrated" as an object of art are nothing new.
But as Reich documents in his writings, the accumulator is a modified Faraday cage--a proven scientific tool since 1836--which became Reich's principal medical and scientific research tool. Thus, to artistically depict the accumulator as a sexual device is pointless distortion; and to "celebrate" the accumulator as an object of art completely trivializes it.
Moreover, for decades Reich has been the subject of poorly researched films and TV segments in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, the Russian Federation, South America, and the United States.
All of these depictions of Reich--whether unfavorable or supposedly favorable--are filled with factual distortions, so-called expert opinions and interpretations, self-proclaimed and self-aggrandizing "heirs to Reich", and unnecessary and often reckless artistic license.
Regrettably, not a single filmmaker or TV producer has ever produced a factually accurate narrative of Reich. At long last, that is about to change.
RESEARCHING & WRITING A FACTUALLY ACCURATE DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT WILHELM REICH
For the past 3 years, Trust co-director Kevin Hinchey has been researching and writing the storyline for a full-length (100-110 minute) documentary film about Reich's life and work.
In 2002, Mr. Hinchey wrote and produced Man's Right to Know, the Museum's 28-minute video/DVD biography of Reich. This current project-in-progress is far more complex and comprehensive.
In structuring his film storyline, Mr. Hinchey--a graduate of the New York University Graduate Film School, a member of the Writers Guild of America (West) in Los Angeles,
and a film professor in Connecticut--has studied and "connected the dots" from more primary resources about Reich than any previous filmmaker. These include:
- Nearly 7,500 pages of Reich's publications, i.e., 23 book titles and all of Reich's American research journals and bulletins
- Hundreds of pages of Reich's archives at the Countway Library of Medicine, i.e., laboratory notebooks, correspondence, diaries, private papers, etc.
- Hundreds of Reich's photographs
- Hours of Reich's voice recordings
- Hours of Reich's personal and scientific films
- All U.S. government files on Reich, i.e., State Department, FBI, Immigration & Naturalization Service, Food & Drug Administration
- All legal documents pertaining to the FDA's case against Reich
- References to Reich in the publications of the American Medical Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychiatric Association
Mr. Hinchey is now writing the segments about the last decade of Reich's life. And unlike previous filmmakers, he has not relied on other people's opinions, theories, judgments, interpretations, speculations or personal agendas to create a film narrative about Reich.
Although the film itself will include on-camera interviews and opinions, the presentation of basic facts of Reich's life and work in Mr. Hinchey's storyline comes directly from verifiable documentation in historic primary materials.
COMING THIS YEAR: A "KICKSTARTER" CAMPAIGN TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE REICH DOCUMENTARY FILM
In July 2012, instead of a summer conference, we felt that a better use of our time would be a small gathering of academics to create a syllabus for a college course on Reich, an example of our commitment to correcting the widespread distortions about Reich and promulgating factually accurate narratives.
Six months later, in the 2013 spring semester, that course was taught for the first time
as an upper-level science elective at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.
In July 2013, in lieu of a conference, we convened a working group to lay the groundwork for this year's Kickstarter "crowd-sourcing" campaign to finance the actual production of the Reich documentary film. Kickstarter has proven to be one of the most effective online crowd-sourcing platforms for a myriad of projects, including films.
And this fundraising campaign is an effort that we will pursue with the same tenacity with which we brought the Wilhelm Reich College Course to fruition.
PREPARATIONS AND TIMETABLE FOR THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
In July 2013, this working group--i.e., the Documentary Film Group--designated this project quite simply as "The Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project". And since then, the group has had monthly conference calls to attend to the many details involved
in this crowd-sourcing campaign which we hope to launch in late September 2014.
Here are some of the major considerations and preparations for the Kickstarter launch:
- All Kickstarter.com online project proposals must follow a specific template with specific guidelines and requirements.
- One of these requirements is a brief video synopsis of the project.
- In October 2013, Mr. Hinchey wrote the script for a 5-minute video synopsis of The Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project which,
after discussions with the Documentary Film Group, underwent several revisions.
- In June 2014, Mr. Hinchey and a professional crew will shoot this video at Orgonon and the Countway Library of Medicine in Boston.
- During the summer of 2014: (1) This video will be edited into a final 5-minute presentation; (2) The online project proposal of The Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project will be built according to Kickstarter's guidelines.
- For the past 3 years, Mr. Hinchey has purposely refrained from any fundraising for The Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project until all research and writing of the film story is complete. Consequently, the Kickstarter launch is now planned for late September 2014.
- This Kickstarter launch will coincide with the completion of the written film story and with the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week, which this year is September 21-27
A QUOTE FROM REICH
Finally, we think the following quote from Reich's diary provides a fitting standard by which all of us should evaluate any projects about Reich, including those of the Trust:
"If a goal cannot be reached through truth, it had better remain unreached. The path, from one point to the next, determines the character of the goal."
(March 14, 1945 – in American Odyssey)
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
Help us maintain the legacy of Wilhelm Reich by making a tax-deductible donation.