Remembering Reich

In case you missed it, Saturday (Nov 3) marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Reich, who passed away in federal prison. He was serving out a two year sentence for ignoring an injunction obtained by the Food and Drug Administration that outlawed his device that accumulated "orgone energy," which he described as a "universal life energy." (Saturday was also the 50th anniversary of the day when the linkurl:first living being;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika entered o

Alison McCook
Nov 4, 2007
In case you missed it, Saturday (Nov 3) marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Reich, who passed away in federal prison. He was serving out a two year sentence for ignoring an injunction obtained by the Food and Drug Administration that outlawed his device that accumulated "orgone energy," which he described as a "universal life energy." (Saturday was also the 50th anniversary of the day when the linkurl:first living being;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika entered orbit, a dog named Laika aboard a Soviet mission. Sadly, she died a few hours into the trip.) This month, archives of Reich's unpublished papers in storage at a Harvard Medical School library were made available for the first time, following Reich's will that his data remain sealed until 50 years after his death. Reich suggested that neurotic disorders may stem from blockages of linkurl:orgone;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone energy, particularly if people are unable to expel sexual energy. More...
ut a two year sentence for ignoring an injunction obtained by the Food and Drug Administration that outlawed his device that accumulated "orgone energy," which he described as a "universal life energy." (Saturday was also the 50th anniversary of the day when the linkurl:first living being;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laika entered orbit, a dog named Laika aboard a Soviet mission. Sadly, she died a few hours into the trip.) This month, archives of Reich's unpublished papers in storage at a Harvard Medical School library were made available for the first time, following Reich's will that his data remain sealed until 50 years after his death. Reich suggested that neurotic disorders may stem from blockages of linkurl:orgone;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone energy, particularly if people are unable to expel sexual energy. More controversially, Reich linkurl:claimed;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53699/ to have discovered basic life forms that expelled orgone energy, which he called bions. The FDA investigated his orgone accumulators (which he said would fill users with healthy life energy, countering disease) and accused him of fraud, sentencing him to jail when he didn't appear in court. Eight months into a two year sentence, he died of a heart attack. According to the American College of Orgonomy, Reich was the linkurl:first;http://www.prlog.org/10036225-american-college-of-orgonomy-to-commemorate-50th-anniversary-of-the-death-of-wilhelm-reich.html psychoanalyst to sit where his patients could see him, not stay behind the couch, a controversial move that is more common today. He was an early advocate for contraception, and his best-known book is the Sexual Revolution.

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