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March 2006 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.
2006 Summer Conference
Support the Museum
Museum, Archives, and Publishing: Financial Realities
Wilbur Rippy (1923-2006)
2006 SUMMER CONFERENCE - ORGONON
JULY 17 – 21, 2006
THE LEGACY OF WILHELM REICH:
NEW SCHOLARSHIP, PROJECTS, AND DIRECTIONS
As The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust moves forward into the next half-century of safeguarding Reich's legacy, this year's Summer Conference will focus on current work and works-in-progress here in America and in Europe. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting week of discussion and good company as we look ahead to the future.
Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Social Policy at the Hunter College
School of Social Work in New York City. Internationally acclaimed author of Freud's Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice, 1918 - 1938, published in 2005 by Columbia University Press.
Mary Boyd Higgins
Director of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust and Wilhelm Reich Museum.
Conny Huthsteiner, M.D.
Psychiatrist and orgone therapist in private practice in Boston. Vice President of the Institute for Orgonomic Science. Staff & Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel
Assistant Curator - Freud Museum, Vienna
Jorgos Kavouras, M.D.
Physician in private practice in Greece and Germany who has used the orgone energy accumulator and DOR-buster as his principal therapeutic tools for over 25 years. His book Heilen Mit Orgonenergie
[Healing with Orgone Energy] was published in 2005.
Ronald Maio, D.O.
Professor and Associate Chair of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Director of the University's Injury Research Center,
and Assistant Dean for Research Regulatory Affairs for the Medical School.
Stephan Simonian, M.D.
Psychiatrist and orgone therapist in private practice in California. Member of the Institute for Orgonomic Science.
James Strick, Ph.D.
Science historian, specializing in the history of ideas about the
origin of life. He is the author of Sparks of Life: Darwinism and
the Victorian Debates Over Spontaneous Generation, and co-author
of The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology.
MONDAY - JULY 17
8:30 a.m. Full, homemade breakfast buffet
9:00 a.m.: James Strick, Ph.D
"Reich's Bion Experiments: Their Historic Context and Significance in the Development & Diagnosis of Cancer"
Dr. Strick will discuss his paper on the bion experiments which he delivered at a recent conference of the History of Science Society. Plus an overview of his current research for a book about the bions.
10:30 a.m.: Birgit Johler
"2007 Reich Exhibit in Vienna"
Ms. Johler will outline ongoing plans for a major exhibit on Reich,
organized by the Jewish Museum Vienna.
12:00 noon – Lunch on your own
2:00-4:00 p.m.: Conny Huthsteiner, M.D. & Stephan Simonian, M.D.
"The Challenges of Practicing Orgone Therapy in America"
Dr. Huthsteiner and Dr. Simonian discuss the difficulties, concerns,
and rewards of practicing a still revolutionary holistic form of
psychiatric care in America.
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.: Reception at the Orgone Energy Observatory
TUESDAY – JULY 18
8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet
9:00 a.m.: Elizabeth Ann Danto, Ph.D
"Wilhelm Reich and Social Thought"
Dr. Danto discusses her research for her second book,
which focuses on the context of Reich's social thought
within the tradition of revolutionary cultural theories
of Max Stirner, Gustav Landauer, Walter Benjamin,
Siegfried Bernfeld, Ernest Simmel, Thomas Mann,
Sigmund Freud, and Frank Wedekind.
10:30 a.m.: Mary Boyd Higgins
"Publishing Reich's Books - Past, Present and Future"
Ms. Higgins will review The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust's
history of publishing Reich's books, and identify some of
the Trust's future challenges in the changing publishing world.
12:00 noon: Lunch on your own
2:00 p.m.: Hike up Bald Mountain (optional)
A moderate 2-3 hour hike provides stunning views of all of
the Rangeley Lakes. Including Mooselookmeguntic Lake,
where Reich first observed atmospheric orgone energy in 1940.
WEDNESDAY - JULY 19
8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet
9:00 a.m.: Conny Huthsteiner, M.D. & Ron Maio, D.O., M.S.
"A Proposed Clinical Study To Test the Effectiveness
of Orgone Blankets in the Treatment of Burns - Part 2"
In a follow-up to their 2005 presentation, Dr. Huthsteiner and
Dr. Maio identify the next steps in developing a proposal,
including funding for human resources and establishing
specific goals and procedures.
11:00 a.m.: James Strick, Ph.D
"Experiencing The Orgone Room"
An opportunity to observe the visual phenomena of the
Orgone Room. Since this requires sitting in the room for
approximately an hour and the room cannot accommodate
everyone, priority will be given to those who have never
experienced the Orgone Room. With additional one-hour
sessions today and throughout the week to accommodate
12:00 noon: Lunch on your own
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.: James Strick, Ph.D.
"Darwin's Ideas About the Origins of Life"
A survey of Darwin's concepts, and their comparison with
Reich's bion experiments on the origin of life.
THURSDAY - JULY 20
8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet
9:00 a.m.: Mary Boyd Higgins
"The Reich Archives - Approaching 2007"
An update on the major questions, issues, and procedures
regarding access to the Archives starting in November 2007.
10:30 a.m. (optional): Orgone Room is available
for participants to use throughout the day.
Lunch on your own and free afternoon.
7:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.: Jorgos Kavouras, M.D.
"Effects of the Orgone Accumulator and DOR-buster on
Burns, Sports Injuries, Skeletal System & Cancer Patients"
Dr. Kavouras will discuss case studies from his 2005 book
Heilen Mit Orgonenergie [Healing With Orgone Energy].
FRIDAY - JULY 21
8:30 a.m.: Full, homemade breakfast buffet, including
fresh blueberry pancakes.
9:00 a.m.: Dr. Huthsteiner, Dr. Kavouras, Dr. Maio
"A Proposed Clinical Study To Test the Effectiveness
of Orgone Blankets in the Treatment of Burns - Part 3"
Dr. Kavouras will share his practical experience in a discussion
with Drs. Huthsteiner and Maio to pinpoint goals and procedures.
11:00 a.m.: Roundtable Discussion - All Presenters
COMBINE CONFERENCE WITH LEISURE TIME
MEETING PLACE: Conference Building - Wilhelm Reich
Museum, Orgonon, Dodge Pond Rd. - Rangeley, Maine.
With a full, homemade breakfast buffet served each morning
at 8:30. Programs begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.
REGISTRATION FEE: $375.00. Includes tuition,
information packet, daily homemade breakfast, refreshments,
reception. A 25% discount is available for full-time college
students who can document their status.
TAX DEDUCTION: IRS regulations permit an income tax
deduction for educational expenses to maintain or improve
ACCOMMODATIONS: Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts,
lakefront cottages, and campgrounds are available in and
around Rangeley. We encourage you to make reservations early,
as this is the busy season. For information, contact the Rangeley
Chamber of Commerce: Tel. 1-800-685-2537. Or e-mail at:
DINNER (optional - additional fee): Steak or lobster dinner
on Friday - July 21, 6:00 p.m. Reservations taken during
TWO SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE: To apply for
the Thomas E. Ross and Chester M. Raphael Scholarships,
please contact us at: email@example.com. All applications
must be received by June 15, 2006.
TRANSPORTATION: For an additional fee of $100, we'll
provide transportation on Sunday, July 16 from Portland Jetport
at 3:00 p.m. And a return trip to Portland Jetport on Saturday,
July 23, leaving here at 9:00 a.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please call us at
(207) 864-3443. Or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE RANGELEY LAKES REGION
We always set aside sufficient free time so that attendees can enjoy the Rangeley Lakes Region. We also encourage people to make a short vacation out of their visit--if possible--by arriving the weekend before the Conference or staying the weekend after it ends.
If you have children, there is a local daily summer camp program that provides exciting and educational outdoor activities: EcoVenture, sponsored by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust (RLHT) and now in its ninth year. Enrollment is limited and fills up fast, and requires pre-registration by the first week of May. For more information about EcoVenture, contact Rebecca Kurtz at (207) 864-7311 - Ext. 5. Or e-mail at: email@example.com. Or P.O. Box 249, Oquossoc, ME. 04964.
Reich fell in love with this area when he first visited in the summer of 1940. And so will you. Rangeley has so much to offer. The lakes themselves--Rangeley, Cupsuptic, Mooselookmeguntic, Upper Richardson & Lower Richardson, Umbagog, Aziscoos, Parmachenee, Kennebago & Little Kennebago.
Canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing. Traditional campsites. And wilderness camping on the shores and islands of the Stephen Phillips Preserve. Hiking and backpacking (the Appalachian Trail is just a few miles from town).
Local accommodations include hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and lakefront rentals. For individuals or groups looking to economize, think about sharing a rental. Even lakefront cottages are reasonable when you're splitting expenses. We hope to see you this summer.
WHY SHOULD ANYONE UNFAMILIAR WITH REICH WANT TO SUPPORT US?
This is a valid question. And a key question to ponder as we
try to broaden our financial support base for all of our activities,
obligations, and initiatives. And as we try to tell Reich's story
to individuals and newer audiences who are unfamiliar with
his life and work.
"Why should any individual, who is understandably too busy
to seriously study Reich's work, want to support our efforts
on behalf of Reich's legacy?" To be blunt, "What's in it
for them?" And from a storytelling perspective, the question
might be, "What's the hook?"
While we don't believe there's a single answer that would
adequately address the breadth and significance of Reich's work,
we think there is a succinct response that might well resonate
with any individual.
It's a response that addresses our commitment to practical
applications of Reich's medical work in America...a response
that evolves from considering the magnitude of Reich's scientific
and medical achievements over approximately two decades,
from the 1930s to the 1950s...and then wondering,
"What new advances and discoveries might have been made
in medical orgone research in America in the past fifty years,
if not for the chilling effect of the Injunction, the destruction
of his literature, and his imprisonment and death?".
And so to anyone who might justifiably ask, "Why should I
support you? What's in it for me?" we hope to address that
individual's pragmatism and sense of moral outrage when we say:
"Reich's medical research has potential benefits for you,
your family, and for people you know, specifically for the
early diagnosis of diseases--including cancer--and for effective,
less intrusive treatments of various diseases and other medical
problems. Reich books and publications, which documented
this research, were banned and burned by the United States
government in the 1950s."
THE MUSEUM STAFF
We always appreciate new ideas and suggestions from all of
our friends and supporters. But we must always weigh them
pragmatically against the realities of limited financial and
human resources, and prioritize accordingly. Day-to-day
responsibilities of The Wilhelm Reich Museum are carried out
largely by four individuals, two of whom receive no salary:
Mary Boyd Higgins is Director of The Wilhelm Reich Museum
and The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. Mary moved permanently
to Orgonon five years ago from New York City. She receives
no salary or compensation for her services which began on
March 24, 1959.
Mary Henderson of Stratton, Maine--25 miles from Orgonon--
is the Administrative Assistant, a full-time salaried position.
She also serves as a Board Member for The Wilhelm Reich
Infant Trust, for which she receives no salary or compensation.
Pete Henderson--Mary's husband--is the caretaker for Orgonon,
also a full-time salaried position. Pete is in charge of maintaining
the fields, forests, trails, and waterfront of our 175-acre property,
as well as our buildings: the Orgone Energy Observatory,
the Conference Building, the Bookstore & Ticket Office,
and our two cottages on Dodge Pond.
Kevin Hinchey, Associate Director of the Museum and
Board Member of the Trust, lives and works in Connecticut,
six hours from Orgonon. He spends one week a month
at Orgonon, is not currently compensated for his services
and travel, and at some indeterminate point in the future
will relocate to Rangeley, Maine.
THE WILHELM REICH INFANT TRUST: MUSEUM, ARCHIVES, AND PUBLISHING
More and more we'll be emphasizing the role and presence
of the Trust which was created by Reich in his Last Will
& Testament to safeguard his legacy. It is this Trust which
operates the Museum, manages the Archives, and publishes
Reich's books. Please see our online Organizational Chart.
No other organization or entity has this unique set of
responsibilities regarding Reich's legacy. No other institution
has the formidable financial and legal obligations of maintaining
the historic infrastructure of Reich's home and laboratory,
overseeing his Archives, and publishing his writings.
WILHELM REICH MUSEUM: FINANCIAL REALITIES
Despite the astonishing breadth of Reich's life and work,
and interest in Reich from around the world, the reality is
that Orgonon--his home, laboratory and research center--
is a "rural museum." And as such, is subject to many of
the same challenges as other rural museums.
Located in the remote mountains of western Maine. Two hours
from any significant population center, i.e. Portland, Maine
and Quebec City, Canada. Four hours from Boston. Six hours
from Hartford. And eight hours from New York City.
With exposure to severe New England weather and all that
that entails: maintenance and heating for five major buildings,
snowplowing costs for over a quarter mile of dirt driveways
throughout the winter, and tree cutting and forest management
during all four seasons.
While our grounds are open to the public every day, the
Orgone Energy Observatory is open for tours approximately
50 days out of the year, in July, August and September.
Plus special pre-arranged tours year-round. In a good year
a little over a thousand people will pay the $6.00 admission for
the Observatory tour. But as a rural museum, we don't ever
foresee a time when multitudes of people will trek annually
to Orgonon to tour the Observatory.
Our various programs and activities generate several thousand
dollars more. While rentals of our two cottages--a significant
source of income--are always dependent on the vagaries of
weather, gas prices, and the economy.
The point being, whatever money the Museum brings in
each year barely scratches the surface in terms of our
annual budget of $150,000. Like all museums--no matter
their size--we depend on personal contributions, memberships,
and bequests. And except for a couple of significant bequests
in years past, Museum income and contributions have never
equaled our annual budget.
If you haven't become a Member, we hope you'll consider becoming a friend of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. If you
haven't renewed your Membership, we encourage you to do so.
And please consider us for bequests or other contributions.
We need your support.
WILHELM REICH ARCHIVES: FINANCIAL REALITIES
The Archives of the Orgone Institute is the official name of
what is commonly referred to as the "The Reich Archives."
And we're fortunate that these materials are part of the Rare Books
and Special Collections at the Countway Library of Medicine
at Harvard University in Boston, one of the world's premier
However many people mistakenly assume that Harvard University
itself has taken a significant interest in Reich's work. And that
the library has a staff of archivists and researchers working
diligently in the Reich Archives, organizing, copying, and
preparing materials. We wish this were so.
The reality is The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust has a professional,
rather formal, but cordial working relationship with the Countway
Library, which provides outstanding facilities for these archives
at no cost to the Trust. However all of our archival research
and work--which are labor-intensive endeavors--plus any
expenses involved in such work are the sole responsibility
of the Trust.
All archival work to date has been carried out entirely by
Mary Higgins, which translates into hundreds of hours
over several decades. With the Trust paying the costs of
copying thousands of documents and countless photographs
and slides, of transferring wire voice-recordings to audiotapes,
and deteriorating 16mm films to video. And so much more.
Significant funds are now needed--and in the future will always
be needed--to hire archivists for specific tasks, and to pay the
expenses of preserving and migrating archival materials using
state-of-the-art media technologies.
PUBLISHING REICH'S BOOKS: FINANCIAL REALITIES
It's unlikely that many people have given much thought to the
financial costs inherent in preparing a book for publication.
For example, previously unpublished manuscripts such as
Passion of Youth, Beyond Psychology, American Odyssey,
and the six volumes of Orgonomic Functionalism required
hiring translators to translate Reich's writing from German to
English. Followed by considerable time reading, editing, and
shaping the material, all of which has been done by Mary Higgins.
We hope that everyone who has been touched in some way
by Reich's publications will appreciate the exhaustive expenditures
of human, intellectual and financial capital that make these books
and Journals possible.
WILBUR RIPPY (1923 – 2006)
A REMEMBRANCE FROM MARY HIGGINS
With the death of Wilbur Rippy on February 14, 2006,
The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust lost a valued and valuable friend
who contributed actively to its development and was a member
of its Board of Directors.
Wilbur was an educator in the truest sense of the word--
not tests and measurements and the instilling of prescribed
information--but the exploration and use of ways to encourage
and stimulate the child's innate curiosity and love of learning.
His interest in Reich's work began in the 1940s when, after
serving in World War II, he moved to New York City to
attend the New School for Social Research. He later obtained
a graduate degree at the Bank Street College of Education,
worked as an early childhood classroom teacher at independent
schools, and joined Bank Street's faculty.
In 1963, he was appointed Educational Director of the
Fifteenth Street School in New York City where his experience
in early childhood education and understanding of Reich's
concept of self-regulation became practical tools in a continuing
effort to make children's living qualities the basis of our
In 1989, Wilbur and his wife Rachel, also an experienced teacher,
created a Discovery Program for children and families at
The Wilhelm Reich Museum to promote exploration of and respect
for the natural environment that Reich had loved and studied
so assiduously. The Rippys created materials, collected objects
and books, designed a special Discovery Room in the Museum,
wrote grants for funding, and participated in every aspect of
the program as it developed into a Natural Science Program
for all ages.
Throughout those years, Wilbur lectured at Summer Conferences
on Reich's work and, together with Rachel, scoured the countryside
to find treats and treasures for the Museum's flea markets.
Wilbur Rippy was a serious student of Reich's work,
a devoted friend of the Trust, and a lovely man who could
think "outside the box." We will all miss him.
WINTER CARNIVAL AT ORGONON
Orgonon's "Annual Family Winter Carnival" was held
on Saturday, March 11th in the Conference Building.
Spearheaded by our neighbor, friend, and volunteer coordinator
Bill Roy. With able assistance from our friend and neighbor
David Rossi and other volunteers.
Activities included sliding and demonstrations of dog-sledding,
making bird feeders and snowshoeing on Orgonon's hiking
trails to hang the feeders in the trees. Plus numerous
indoor activities and refreshments in front a blazing fire in
the large hearth of the Conference Building. We'd like to thank
Bill, David, and the other volunteers for all of their help.
UNTIL NEXT MONTH
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