October 2004 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.
The Wilhelm Reich Archives
Wilhelm Reich Museum Website
Special Tours at Orgonon
The Freud-Reich Letters
Tamarack: A Summer Home for Children
Friends of the Wilhelm Reich Museum
THE WILHELM REICH ARCHIVES
The Archives of the Orgone Institute is the official name of what
we commonly refer to as "The Wilhelm Reich Archives." And in
late 2007 or early 2008, these Archives will become accessible to
scholars and researchers. Therefore we will periodically provide
information about the Archives in these monthly Updates and on
The Archives are located in the Rare Books and Special Collections
at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard University
in Boston, one of the world's premier medical libraries.
Among the Countway's other collections are rare European medical
texts from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries; the libraries
of American physicians Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Collins
Warren; the anatomical library of Friedrich Tiedemann; the Hyams
Collection of Hebraic Medical Literature; and the William Norton
Bullard Collection of medical incunabula, to name just a few.
The Countway Library prides itself on what it calls "collections that
are rich in the diverse subjects of anatomy, gynecology and obstetrics,
radiology, medical jurisprudence, surgery, psychology, phrenology,
medical botany, pharmacy and pharmacology, and internal medicine."
Reich's Archives are kept in a temperature-controlled environment,
and comprise well over 200 archive boxes of materials. Each box
measures 15" x 12" x 4". These are the major categories of materials:
- Conspiracy documents
- Films [microscopic, scientific, personal, etc.]
- Microscope slides
- Personal files [diaries, journals, etc.]
- Published materials
- Organizations [Orgone Institute Press, Wilhelm Reich Foundation, etc.]
- Unpublished manuscripts
- Work development papers and protocols
William Steig's original drawings for Listen, Little Man are also
part of the Archives. (Steig is best known today, of course,
as the author of the children's book Shrek, upon which the
two hit movies were based.)
In his Last Will and Testament--signed on March 8, 1957,
three days before his imprisonment--Reich established
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust as the legal entity charged
with the responsibility of protecting, preserving and transmitting
his scientific legacy. The Will's principal stipulation was to
safeguard Reich's Archives.
During Reich's incarceration, his Archives remained where he
had stored them in the Orgone Energy Observatory: in a
photographic darkroom located on the first floor; and in a
large closet in his study and library on the second floor.
Reich died in Lewisburg Penitentiary on November 3, 1957.
Today the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust manages the Reich Archives,
operates The Wilhelm Reich Museum, and has worked with
New York publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux to publish over
WILHELM REICH MUSEUM WEBSITE
We're running a little behind on the launch of our new web site
which we mentioned in our first Update back in March. It's still
under construction and will be online soon. As with other previous
projects (i.e. our documentary video Man's Right to Know in 2002,
and our new Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Organizational Chart)
it's taking longer than we first anticipated.
Our new website will have a revamped architecture for easier use
and navigation. It will feature more content about Reich's life and
work, easier access to Bookstore materials, and more information
about the history, current activities and future plans of the Museum
and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. We'll keep you posted.
And thank you for your patience.
SPECIAL TOURS AT ORGONON
Regular visitation hours for the Orgone Energy Observatory
ended for the year in September (when tours are given on
Sundays only) and will resume again in July 2005. But
special tours can be arranged throughout the year by calling
the Museum office at (207) 864-3443 or by e-mailing us at:
Because of Maine's beautiful fall foliage, September and October
have become popular months for these tours. But winter at
Orgonon is equally stunning--our woods, meadows and trails
are available for snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and hiking--
while the spring landscape is no less inspiring. In other words,
each season in Maine and at Orgonon has its own unique character
and pleasures. And don't forget that we have two rental cottages
on the property.
Admission is $100 for groups of up to ten, with $10 for each
additional person. Special rates are available for large groups
and for bus tours. And our 175-acre property, with its trails
and nature paths, is open to the public year-round from 9 -5.
THE FREUD-REICH LETTERS
On October 8th, a lecture and fundraiser for The Wilhelm Reich
Infant Trust Endowment Fund was held at The Williams Club
in New York City. Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.--Associate Professor
of Social Policy at the Hunter College School of Social Work--spoke
on "Sex, Class and Social Work: Wilhelm Reich's Free Clinics and
the Activist History of Psychoanalysis."
Dr. Danto has written and lectured extensively about the social
activism of pioneering European psychoanalysts in the early
20th century, including an article on Reich's free clinics published in
Psychoanalytic Social Work (Spring 2000). She is the author of an
upcoming book entitled Freud's Free Clinics, available in Spring 2005
from Columbia University Press. (Dr. Danto told us that the book's
original title Oedipus Red - Psychoanalysis in Europe, 1918-1938
had recently been changed.)
Dr. Danto supplemented her lecture with a power-point presentation
that included a rare find: ten letters from Freud to Reich that she
discovered in the Freud Archives at the Library of Congress.
Written in German, Dr. Danto had translated them into English and
provided copies of the letters in both languages for those in
In these letters Freud expresses his early support for Reich's social
work and free clinics, and provides a glimpse into some of the
intellectual and personal conflicts in the psychoanalytic movement.
We'd like to thank Dr. Danto for this new information and for making
the evening such a success. Most gratifying was that Dr. Danto's
presentation brought over a dozen "new faces" to this annual
fundraiser, including college students, university faculty members,
and social workers from the New York City area. We're always
pleased to meet new people interested in some aspect of Reich's work.
And having younger people and students in attendance is especially
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this event.
And a special thanks to our friend David Silver for his invaluable
technical expertise and guidance.
TAMARACK: "A SUMMER HOME FOR CHILDREN"
Reich wrote eloquently and passionately about the importance
of safeguarding the emotional health of infants and children, often
referring to their "unspoiled protoplasm" and "unarmored life."
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was so named because of this.
In his Last Will and Testament, Reich charged the Trust with
devoting part of its income to "the care of infants everywhere,
toward legal security of infants, children and adolescents in
emotional, social, parental, medical, legal, educational,
professional or other distress." Reich goes on to stipulate that
the "lower cabin" (his former living quarters, now called Tamarack)
shall be used "as a summer home for children."
This past summer marked the 16th year that the Trust has been
donating Tamarack free of charge to adoptive, foster, and kinship
children and their families who could not otherwise afford a
summer camp experience as a family.
The organization that the Trust works with is Adoptive and
Foster Families of Maine (AFFM) which, in its own words,
"provides support services for adoptive, foster family and
kinship providers. AFFM provides the training, guidance,
knowledge and resources needed to handle complex issues as
families open their hearts and homes to children. The services
are for all adoptive and foster families who are licensed by the
Department of Human Services (DHS) or have DHS approval
AFFM selects eight families by random drawing; each family
spends a week at Tamarack which offers quiet, seclusion, access
to the shores of Dodge Pond with their own private dock,
and the opportunity to be together in the beauty of the
Rangeley Lakes region.
FRIENDS OF THE WILHELM REICH MUSEUM
Reich's Last Will and Testament also included the stipulation
that The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust was "To operate and
maintain the property at Orgonon under the name and style
of the Wilhelm Reich Museum."
And today the easiest and most popular way to express your
support for the Museum is to become a Friend. If you
haven't renewed your membership, we ask you to please do so.
And if you're not yet a member, we hope you'll become one.
Friends of the Wilhelm Reich Museum was begun in 1977 to support the
development of the Museum as the scientific and educational center that Reich
Today the Friends organization is indispensable in helping
us meet our annual budgetary needs and for funding specific
projects. In the past 27 years, hundreds of people from around
the world have joined the Friends, providing significant support
while benefiting from the privileges of membership:
- 10% discount on all bookstore and catalogue purchases
- advance notice of new publications and bookstore items
- receive the Friends' annual Newsletter
- free admission to the Observatory during visiting hours
- Patron and Life members receive free admission for themselves
and persons accompanying them
Among the projects that the Friends have financially supported are:
- repairs to the Orgone Energy Observatory
- 40 new chairs for the Conference Building
- preservation of Reich's oil paintings
- museum staffing during the summer
- the Natural Science Program
- video production costs of Man's Right to Know
- college scholarship awards for two Rangeley High School students
Here are the various membership categories:
Please become a Friend and be assured that your contribution is helping to
preserve Reich's property, home and laboratory as The Wilhelm Reich Museum.
Checks can be made out to the Wilhelm Reich Museum and mailed to: P.O. Box 687, Rangeley, Maine, 04970
Looking to get away in the next couple of months? We still have
availabilities at our two rental cottages. The smaller cottage we
call Bunchberry was originally built by Reich as a study, while
the larger cottage known as Tamarack provided living quarters
for him and his family.
Both cottages offer quiet, seclusion, and access to the shores
of Dodge Pond. For more details, please visit our web site
or call us at (207) 864-3443.
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.