Author Topic: The genius of Wilhelm Reich  (Read 44 times)

truthaboutpois

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Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« on: April 06, 2015, 07:46:32 am »
Purchase of Orgonon
Wilhelm Reich Museum, Orgonon
In November 1942 Reich purchased an old farm on Dodge Pond, Maine, near Rangeley, with 280 acres (1.1 km2) of land, at a cost of $4,000. Calling it Orgonon, he started spending summers there, and had a one-room cabin built in 1943, a laboratory in 1945, a larger cabin in 1946 and an observatory in 1948.

In 1950 he decided to live there year-round, and in May that year moved from New York with Ilse, their son Peter, and Reich's daughter Eva, with the idea of creating a centre for the study of orgone. Several colleagues moved there with him, including two physicians with an interest in orgone, and Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Press Institute. The artist William Moise joined Reich as an assistant at Orgonon, later marrying his daughter Eva. Orgonon still houses the Wilhelm Reich Museum, as well as holiday cottages available to rent, one of which is the cottage Reich lived in with his family.

19471957: Legal problems and controversy
Brady articles and the FDA
newspaper article
Mildred Brady's "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich", The New Republic, 26 May 1947
letter
August 1947 letter from the FDA about Reich, referencing the Brady article
Until 1947 Reich enjoyed a largely uncritical press in the United States. One journal, Psychosomatic Medicine, had called orgone a "surrealist creation," but his psychoanalytic work had been discussed in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Psychiatry, The Nation had given his writing positive reviews, and he was listed in American Men of Science.[114]

His reputation took a sudden downturn in April and May 1947, when articles by journalist Mildred Edie Brady appeared in Harper's and The New Republic, the latter entitled "The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich," with the subhead, "The man who blames both neuroses and cancer on unsatisfactory sexual activities has been repudiated by only one scientific journal." Brady's ultimate target was not Reich but psychoanalysis, which Turner writes she regarded as akin to astrology. Of Reich she wrote: "Orgone, named after the sexual orgasm, is, according to Reich, a cosmic energy. It is, in fact, the cosmic energy. Reich has not only discovered it; he has seen it, demonstrated it and named a town Orgonon, Maine after it. Here he builds accumulators of it, which are rented out to patients, who presumably derive 'orgastic potency' from it."Brady argued that the "growing Reich cult" had to be dealt with.

At the top of his copy of the New Republic article, Reich wrote the words "THE SMEAR." Turner writes that Reich sent out a press release correcting some of Brady's points, but no one published it, though other publications reproduced her story.

In July 1947 Dr. J. J. Durrett, director of the Medical Advisory Division of the Federal Trade Commission, wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to look into Reich's claims about the health benefits of orgone. The FDA assigned an investigator to the case, who learned that Reich had built 250 accumulators. The FDA concluded that they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude." Sharaf writes that the FDA suspected a sexual racket of some kind; questions were asked about the women associated with orgonomy and "what was done with them."From that point on, Reich's work came increasingly to the attention of the authorities.

Orgonomic Infant Research Center
Reich set up the Orgonomic Infant Research Center (OIRC) in 1950, with the aim of preventing muscular "armouring" in children from birth. Meetings were held in the basement of Reich's house in Forest Hills. Christopher Turner writes that several children who were treated by OIRC therapists later said they had been sexually abused by them, though not by Reich. One woman said she was assaulted by one of Reich's associates when she was five years old. Children were asked to stand naked in front of Reich and a group of 30 therapists in his basement, while Reich described the children's "blockages."Reich's daughter, Lore Reich Rubin, told Turner that she believed her father was an abuser, though she did not say she had been abused by him and acknowledged that she had no evidence. She believed that Reich himself had been a victim of it as a child, which is why he developed such a keen interest in sex and childhood sexuality.

The sexual allegations apart, several people discussed how the vegetotherapy sessions had hurt them physically as children, as therapists pressed hard on certain parts of the body to loosen body armour. Reich's son, Peter, wrote in his autobiography, Book of Dreams (1973) about the pain this had caused him. Susanna Steig, the daughter of William Steig, the New Yorker cartoonist, wrote about being pressed so hard during Reichian therapy sessions that she had difficulty breathing, and said that a woman therapist had sexually assaulted her. Turner writes that in 1952 a nurse from New Jersey complained to the New York Medical Society that an OIRC therapist had taught her five-year-old son how to masturbate. The therapist was arrested, but the case was dropped when Reich agreed to close the OIRC.

Cloudbusters
Reich and Ollendorff divorced in September 1951, ostensibly because he thought she had had an affair, though she continued to work with him for another three years. Even after the divorce he continued to suspect her of having affairs, and persuaded her to sign confessions about her feelings of fear and hatred toward him, which he locked away in the archives of his Orgone Institute. He also wrote several documents denouncing her. He was himself having an affair at the time with Lois Wyvell, who ran the Orgone Institute Press.

Also in 1951 Reich said he had discovered another energy that he called Deadly Orgone Radiation (DOR). He wrote that accumulations of DOR played a role in desertification and designed a "cloudbuster," two rows of 15-foot aluminium pipes mounted on a mobile platform, connected to cables that were inserted into water. He believed that it acted to unblock orgone energy in the atmosphere and that it could cause rain. Turner describes it as an "orgone box turned inside out."

He conducted dozens of experiments with the cloudbuster, calling his research "Cosmic Orgone Engineering." During a drought in 1953, two farmers in Maine offered to pay him if he could make it rain to save their blueberry crop. Reich used the cloudbuster on the morning of 6 July, and according to Bangor's Daily News based on an eyewitness account that was probably from Peter Reich rain began to fall that evening. The crop survived, the farmers declared themselves satisfied, and Reich received his fee.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 03:39:20 am by truthaboutpois »