Wilhelm Reich

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Wilhelm Reich
Born (1897-03-24)March 24, 1897
Dobrzanica, Galicia, Austria-Hungary
Died November 3, 1957(1957-11-03) (aged 60)
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Residence Orgonon in Rangeley, Maine, United States
Citizenship Austria, United States
Fields Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis
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-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. 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.[1]

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".[2] 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.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Rental Cabins". Wilhelm Reich Infants Trust. http://www.wilhelmreichtrust.org/cottages.html. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  2. Brady, April 1947; Brady, 26 May 1947; Turner 2011, p. 272ff.
  3. Rycroft, Charles 1971. Reich. London: Fontana Modern Masters. ISBN 0006326188