March 24, 1897|
Dobrzanica, Galicia, Austria-Hungary
|Died||November 3, 1957
|Residence||Orgonon in Rangeley, Maine, United States|
|Alma mater||University of Vienna|
|Known for||The Sexual Revolution|
|Influences||Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx|
|Influenced||Alexander Lowen, Fritz Perls, Ronald Laing|
Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was an Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst of Jewish descent. He made important contributions to psychotherapy. His work also contributed to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.
Orgonon was his 175-acre (71 ha) home, laboratory and research center. It is in Rangeley, Maine. This is Reich's burial place. It is now open to the public as the Wilhelm Reich Museum, with rental cottages.
The other side of Reich's story is that he invented a pseudoscience method for treating cancer. This he started in Germany. continued in Norway, and finally marketed in the United States just before the war.
He continued after the war until he was exposed as a fraud in April and May 1947. Articles by journalist Mildred Edie Brady were published in the magazines 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". The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that they were dealing with a "fraud of the first magnitude".
Finally, in 1956 Reich violated an injunction got by the FDA, and was arrested. All his work was destroyed, and he died in prison a year later. Reich died on 3 November 1957 (aged 60) in the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Opinions about him remain very divided.