November 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.
Next Year's Summer Conference
We Have Speakers Available
Distortions and Inaccuracies on the Internet
Cancer Cures, Mind Control, and the C.I.A.
Coming in December: Our New Website
Rangeley, Maine Reminisces About Reich
Other Items in the Reading Room
American Odyssey: Letters and Journals 1940-47
Rangeley Winters and Rental Cabins
NEXT YEAR'S SUMMER CONFERENCE (July 18-22, 2005)
THE ORGONE ENERGY ACCUMULATOR
AND "ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE" TRIALS
We are currently putting together next year's summer conference. It will be a logical and useful follow-up to our 2004 Conference, "The Orgone Energy Accumulator:
Its Scientific and Medical Use," which was a significant step forward in presenting
over sixty years of scientific and medical data involving the use of the accumulator.
This included a presentation by Jorgos Kavouras, M.D., who has used the orgone accumulator for twenty-five years as the principal therapeutic tool in his general practice in Germany and Greece. His book, Healing With Orgone Energy, which documents over forty case studies with the accumulator, will be published soon in Germany.
The 2004 Conference culminated in a focused Roundtable Discussion that specifically addressed questions and concerns about how we might pursue opportunities for medical trials of the accumulator herein America. The need to explore these issues in greater detail so that we might craft a practical course of action for the future compels us
to expand and deepen this discussion in our 2005 Conference.
For example, today more than ever before there are numerous well-financed alternative medical trials involving a plethora of promising new treatments. It is imperative that these trials provide a context in which the American medical community will seriously and honestly study the orgone energy accumulator and the extensive medical data documented by Reich, his colleagues, and others.
While the particulars of our 2005 Conference are still in the formative stages,
general themes and goals will include:
- Establishing the credibility of the orgone energy accumulator as an
alternative medical tool by providing an overview of the most compelling
medical data from its invention in 1940 until today.
- Providing a credible context for the accumulator within the tradition of
existing alternative medicines (particularly those that are the subject of
medical trials) by presenting an overview of current alternative medicines
that bear some similarities to medical orgone therapy.
- A presentation by a physician(s) with extensive experience, success, and
expertise in alternative medicine to address the procedures, obstacles,
regulations, etc. that must be considered when pursuing opportunities for
- A Roundtable Discussion that begins to identify the basic steps for
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust's course of action for the immediate future.
We'll provide more details about the 2005 Summer Conference as we finalize them.
WE HAVE SPEAKERS AVAILABLE
Are you planning an event or are you part of an organization where you'd like to hear more about the life and legacy of Wilhelm Reich? Or more about the Museum or
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust? Mary Higgins and Kevin Hinchey are each
available to speak to your group. For more details, please contact us.
DISTORTIONS & INACCURACIES ON THE INTERNET
Most technologies are essentially neutral; how we use them determines their value.
And so it is with the Internet which has provided both a technological and virtual platform for all manner of self-proclaimed writers, journalists, scholars, researchers
and "experts." While we acknowledge the positive aspects of the Internet as an educational and communications tool, as a virtual forum for online discussions,
and as a transformational force for commerce, sadly we cannot ignore its more
We refer specifically to websites that, for whatever reason, contain articles, essays, opinion pieces, and histories of Reich's life and work which demonstrate carelessness and ignorance of basic facts. And frequently when these website authors include
a bibliography (which most don't), their lists of references contain little or nothing actually written by Reich.
While no one should deny the value of secondary sources in broadening one's understanding of any subject, they are seldom, if ever, a suitable substitute for primary materials. And we confidently assert that no one can achieve an honest and accurate appreciation of Reich and his work without reading a reasonable number of his books. Furthermore, we question whether anyone can be qualified to offer a credible opinion about Reich's life and work without having read a number of his books.
It's understandable why those biased against Reich--or simply uninterested in him-- would play fast and loose with the facts. What is more perplexing and disheartening
is the litany of misstatements, inaccuracies, and distortions being perpetuated by those professing to be admirers and advocates of Reich.
While no one would argue with anyone's fundamental right to debate, argue, and offer opinions about the merits of Reich's life and legacy, ensuring the correctness of basic facts about Reich requires a more objective, stringent criteria. To disseminate misstatements of easily verifiable facts about Reich is either intellectually dishonest
or intellectually lazy--two qualities that historically have always undermined truth
and genuine knowledge.
CANCER CURES, MIND CONTROL, AND THE C.I.A.
Although we'd like to think that simply ignoring distortions and inaccuracies on the Internet might be the wisest response, experience teaches us otherwise. So addressing
a few examples is in order:
To be blunt, there is no excuse for anyone declaring that Wilhelm Reich claimed the orgone energy accumulator could cure cancer, when in his published writings--available
at the Museum and in libraries and bookstores--Reich repeatedly stated otherwise. Furthermore, Reich wrote that the only cure for cancer was prevention, and that tumors themselves were not the disease, but merely local manifestations of a deeper, systemic
Assertions that cloudbusting is a technique that Reich developed for "mind control" are disturbingly prevalent on the Internet. Nowhere in any of Reich's literature, including the CORE bulletins, the Orgone Energy Bulletins, and Contact With Space--which are available at the Museum Bookstore and in select libraries--does Reich ever mention cloudbusting as having anything to do with "mind control."
Finally, although Reich did notify numerous government agencies about his work-- including the A.E.C., the Patent Office, the Committee on Medical Research, the
U.S. Weather Bureau, and, on a few occasions, the C.I.A.--there is no justification
for the following website declarations: that starting in 1947 Reich was secretly working under contract for the C.I.A., and that some of his "technologies" ultimately were used for the so-called "Philadelphia Experiment."
While all of these outlandish assertions may satisfy a need for drama, mysticism,
and conspiracy theories, they are factually incorrect, irresponsible, and destructive. Considering how the truth about Reich was distorted during his lifetime, there
is no defense for the intellectual laziness and dishonesty which too often passes for genuine knowledge and understanding on some Internet websites.
COMING IN DECEMBER: OUR NEW WEBSITE
Establishing a significant Internet presence has been one of our strategic goals for some time. And since budget and staffing constraints determine how we prioritize our projects, a new website has been a long time in coming. We apologize for not having been a more useful online resource for information about Reich's life and legacy, and for perhaps being little more than an online catalogue.
Our new website will be launched the first week of December, and, like most of us,
it will be a work-in-progress. Which means we'll be adding more content and visuals
Over a period of three years, our current website received over 57,000 hits, meaning that there is a world-wide audience that, at the very least, is curious about Reich and willing to invest time to find out something about him. Our goal, then, is to provide a re-designed, higher-functionality site where visitors could linger and browse through a wide-range
At the time of its launch, our new website's features will include:
- new architecture and formatting
- biographical information, with more to come
- reports from past Conferences, with more to come
- archive of our monthly e-mail Updates
- improved Museum Bookstore page
- online purchasing from the Museum Bookstore
Future additions will include:
- more scientific information
- historic photos of Reich and Orgonon
- photos of Orgonon today and its activities
- up-to-date information about the Wilhelm Reich Archives
- and much more
Because our website serves as our arm into the world and is often a visitor's first point
of contact with Reich's life and legacy, we're committed to making this site a premier resource for concise, accurate, and reliable information about Reich, his work, the
Reich Archives, the Museum, and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust.
We're grateful to Phil Eskew of Bloomington, Indiana, for his services and expertise as
our new webmaster. A graduate of the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, Phil is an archivist and an experienced webmaster whose experience
includes assistance with the design and maintenance of the website for Indiana University's Main Library.
Please visit our new site the first week of December and tell us what you think.
RANGELEY, MAINE REMINISCES ABOUT REICH
In the late 1970s, Museum consultant Barbara Bruce conducted a series of taped interviews with local residents to collect and preserve their memories of Reich. These audiotapes are part of the research materials available for study in our new Reading Room, located in the Conference Building (formerly Reich's Student Laboratory). Those who were interviewed include:
- Elden Collins, construction supervisor of the Orgone Energy Observatory (1948-49)
- Wanda Ellis Ferguson, secretary of the Orgone Institute Press (1950-51)
- Lila Ellis, housekeeper at Orgonon (1949-50)
- Phyllis Philbrick, housekeeper at Orgonon (early 1950s)
- Vance Oakes, local businessman, proprietor of the Main St. Market
- Mondell Boutilier, plumbing & heating contractor at Orgonon (1948)
- Charles Herrien, woodcutter at Orgonon (1940s - 50s)
- Kathy Searles, daughter of Orgonon caretaker Tom Ross (and currently a
Museum tour guide)
- Mr. & Mrs. Frank Badger, owners of Badger's Camps adjacent to Orgonon
OTHER ITEMS IN THE READING ROOM
The Chester M. Raphael Reading Room is the official title of this latest improvement in
the Conference Building, named after one of Reich's students. Dr. Raphael studied and
worked with Reich from 1946 until 1957, and was a staunch supporter of the Museum and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. Dr. Raphael passed away in March, 2001.
The Reading Room provides access to the largest selection of Reich's published work anywhere, as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine clippings about Reich from
the 1950s until today. This compilation of articles, book reviews, letters to the editor, advertisements and announcements is a rare and valuable resource for tracking the
widely divergent opinions and interest about Reich since his death. Most revealing
and regrettable in these materials is how the rumors and distortions about Reich have stubbornly endured for decades. A second collection contains equally intriguing newspaper and magazine clippings about Reich from Europe.
The Reading Room is open during regular Museum Office hours, Monday - Friday,
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., or by special appointment.
AMERICAN ODYSSEY - LETTERS & JOURNALS (1940-1947)
Since we've mentioned the importance of primary materials, ensuring the correctness
of basic facts, and our commitment to accurate, reliable information, we'd like to call attention to American Odyssey (published in 1999) as one of the most valuable biographical resources about Reich. Surprisingly this book never sold well, and even
in Europe--where Reich's titles are far more popular than in America--it never found
a wide audience. And yet it remains the best extemporaneous account of some of the
most significant and dramatic events in Reich's life:
- Invents the orgone energy accumulator (1940)
- Discovers atmospheric orgone energy in Maine (1940)
- Meets with Einstein (1941)
- Treats terminal cancer patients with accumulator (1941)
- Detained as an enemy alien at Ellis Island (1941)
- Purchases a farm in Maine, calls it Orgonon (1942)
- Develops orgone biophysics
- The Mildred Brady articles are published (1947)
- Discovers a motor force in orgone energy (1947)
- FDA begins investigating Reich (1947)
If you haven't yet read American Odyssey, we highly recommend it.
RANGELEY WINTERS AND RENTAL COTTAGES
If you enjoy downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing,
or simply the beauty of a secluded winter landscape, our two cottages on Orgonon's
175-acre property may be just what you're looking for. 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.
Saddleback Mountain--now under new ownership and in the midst of a multi-million dollar improvement--is less than 10 miles away. Orgonon's system of woodland trails
is perfect for snowshoeing and winter hiking. And snowmobile trails skirt the edges
of our property. We still have availabilities, so contact us at (207) 864-3443 or at: email@example.com
And don't forget that Special Tours of the Orgone Energy Observatory can be arranged throughout the year.
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.