The Mysterious Life and Death of Dr. Wilhelm Reich
of the most maligned scientists of the 20th century was psychiatrist
Dr. Wilhelm Reich. He was born on March 24th, 1897 in the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, grew up on a farm, and then entered medical school. By
the 1920s, Dr. Reich was being hailed as the heir apparent to
Sigmund Freud because of his contributions to psychoanalysis.
the 1930s, Dr. Reich's studies of biogenesis the origin
of life were thought by some to be worthy of a Nobel Prize.
Then in the 1940s in the United States, Dr. Reich claimed to discover
a new form of energy that he said pervaded all space and life,
including vacuums. He began to write about a new paradigm in physics,
one in which energy not matter is primary. And Dr.
Reich began to experiment with weather modification. Those experiments
seemed to attract glowing lights of unknown origin and Reich speculated
the lights were advanced machines operated by non-human intelligences.
All of this apparently threatened people of power and financial
influence in America and Europe.
U. S. government bore down on him with a series of investigations
that led to his incarceration. Dr. Wilhelm Reich died on November
3rd, 1957 in a U.S. Federal penitentiary where he had been sentenced
for two years on a charge of violating interstate commerce laws
connected to the transport of an invention Dr. Reich called Orgone
Energy Accumulators. The year before his death, the Federal Food
and Drug Administration had destroyed Dr. Reich's accumulators
at his Rangeley, Maine lab on June 5th and July 23rd, 1956. The
FDA also burned his scientific literature and books.
amazing life and death of Dr. Wilhelm Reich is featured in a chapter
of a recent book entitled Project Mindshift, The Re-Education
of the American Public Concerning Extraterrestrial Life, 1947
to the Present, by Michael Mannion. Mr. Mannion is a professional
medical and health writer who has also investigated the subject
of other life in the cosmos and man's changing conception of his
place in the universe.
following is an excerpt from an interview with Mr. Mannion at his
New York City home on April 20th, 1999:
called the energy 'orgone' energy. And he did that because it came
from his study of human sexual energy and the word also derived
from the fact that it (orgone energy) charged organic material.
If this energy were proven to be true, it would not only have implications
for the use of fossil fuels or space travel or automotive travel
or planes or that type of thing. It would also have health implications
where the life energy could be used directly to prevent illness
and promote health, instead of synthetic pharmaceuticals. So there
were many applications of this energy that struck at the roots of
very powerful economic institutions and society.
DID WILHELM REICH HIMSELF WRITE ABOUT OR SAY TO PEOPLE BEFORE HE
DIED AS HIS UNDERSTANDING OF WHY HIS WORK THREATENED THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT AND THAT THE FDA WOULD ACTUALLY BE IN AN AGGRESSIVE POSTURE
Well, he amplified what I just said. He felt that well, my
understanding of what he said is you could look at three
levels of it. The first one is the surface level of our social life.
So the reality of the energy definitely threatened very powerful
financial and social institutions in our society. For instance,
if we had chosen to develop Reich's orgone energy technology instead
of atomic technology, that would have affected all the moneyed people
behind the nuclear industry. If we had developed an orgone medical
approach instead of pharmaceutical approach, there's billions and
billions involved in that.
YOU GO BACK TO AND GIVE THE YEAR WHEN THE FEDERAL DRUG ADMINISTRATION
ACTUALLY MOVED LEGALLY AGAINST WILHELM REICH THAT ENDED UP IN THE
DESTRUCTION OF SOME OF HIS BOOKS?
I think the first forthright action in terms of going to court I
think was 1954. However, the actual FDA investigation of Reich began
about 7 years before that in 1946-1947.
WAS HAPPENING AT THAT TIME IN 1946 TO 1947 THAT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT
THE ATTENTION AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL TO THE POINT THAT THEY WOULD
ACTUALLY BEGIN AN INVESTIGATION?
of the things was an article by a freelance journalist, Mildred
Eady Brady. She published an article in The New Republic (entitled)
The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich. And in that article, she completely
misrepresented Reich and did a hatchet job on him. And at the end
of the article, she called for the state to intervene against this
man as a health quack was her basic thing. That actually began the
FDA campaign against Reich. And in most of that first 7 year period,
they didn't acknowledge publicly that they were investigating him.
But it was well known. People were being contacted and asked questions,
It was in 1954 that they (FDA) made the first injunction, a sweeping
injunction forbidding anyone anywhere in America to write about
orgone energy, communicate about orgone energy, practice the type
of medicine that involved the use of the orgone devices Reich made.
It was an amazing it is one of the most amazing documents
in U. S. legal history. And that was the first phase of it.
a 10 year period, the FDA spent 4-6% of its entire budget to get
this man. That's an astounding amount of money to go after one physician
scientist. And I think at the height of his career, I think 125
or 150 patients were working with him.
WAS WILHELM REICH ACTUALLY IN THE PROCESS OF ADMINISTERING VARIOUS
OF KINDS OF HEALTH TREATMENTS THAT INVOLVED THOSE ORGONE ENERGIES
created a device he called the Orgone Energy Accumulator. He felt
that like right now in the room that you and I are speaking we're
in an energy field and that by a certain arrangement of materials,
alternating layers of organic and metallic materials you
could create an artificially higher level of energy within the enclosure
than in the rest of the room. And you could measure this with an
electroscope, you could measure temperature differences with a thermometer.
I have now pictures taken with an infra red thermo-imaging camera
in 1996 in a state of the art physics lab that demonstrates the
existence of this energy. And he was working on an experimental
basis with patients with this device. And there were a number of
student physicians who were using orgone energy accumulators with
their patients. At this period, Reich himself wasn't practicing
medicine. He was engaged in his research. I think he was still doing
some work as a therapist. And then there were patients who had rented
or bought his orgone accumulators from the Reich foundation and
using them on their own in their homes. And this is what the FDA
THE PATIENT ACTUALLY GET INTO THESE ORGONE BOXES? WAS IT A TOTAL
BODY IMMERSION IN THIS ACCUMULATING ENERGY?
It was large enough for a person to sit in. And you would use it,
depending, 20 or 30 minutes at a time, once or twice a day. And
the way it would work is that your energy field would come into
contact with the heightened level of energy that was within the
enclosure. There would be excitation of the two energy fields. And
in a general overall way specifically through energy charging of
the red blood cells, you would become healthier and more able to
resist illness and disease and things like that. It wasn't a specific
COULD SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT GOING TO A CHURCH, OR INSIDE A SACRED
SITE . . . THAT THERE IS SOME KIND OF AN ENERGY SHIFT INSIDE OF
A BUILDING MADE OF STONE THAT WE WOULD CALL A CHURCH. WHY WOULD
THE FEDERAL DRUG ADMINISTRATION FIND THERE WAS ANYTHING TO COMPLAIN
ABOUT IF ALL PEOPLE WERE DOING WERE SITTING INSIDE A CHAMBER? THERE
WERE NO WIRES. THERE WAS NO APPARATUS. THERE WAS NOTHING ENTERING
ANYBODY. HOW COULD THIS FOUND TO BE SO TROUBLESOME AT A LEGAL LEVEL?
a good question. If the FDA thought of Reich's work and the accumulator
as you've just described, nothing they did makes any sense. However,
if they knew that he had discovered the physical life energy that
had only been postulated about either religiously in religious thought
systems as God or in scientific thought systems as prana
or ether or various metaphysical concepts, that they understood
that he really had discovered the physical life energy, then we
go back to what we were discussing earlier that the status
quo of our society was really going to be rocked.
WHEN THIS LEGAL SANCTION AGAINST THE ORGONE BOX AND THE ORGONE ENERGY
AND THAT IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR ANYBODY TO BE USING THIS IN THE
UNITED STATES, WHAT WAS WILHELM REICH'S REACTION TO THIS LEGAL STEP?
is where it gets really interesting and there is a book for those
who might want to get into the details of it the author is
Jerome Greenfield and the book is called The U.S.A. Versus Wilhelm
Reich. I think it's out of print, but you can find it pretty easily.
Published in 1974. What Reich did was that he didn't go to answer
the subpoena. He didn't go into court and instead he wrote a letter
of response to the judge in which he said that matters of basic
science, of bona fide scientific research, cannot be judged in a
court of law. That stunned them. And it temporarily brought a halt
to the legal action. Reich was found to be in violation of the subpoena
and found in contempt of court, but they didn't know what to do.
IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY, THE FDA ACTUALLY CAUSED THE PHYSICAL
BURNING OF REICH'S BOOKS ONE TIME, AND THEN UPON HIS DEATH. WHY
WOULD THERE HAVE BEEN THIS DRAMATIC BURNING OF THE BOOKS?
know, that's what really got me into it when I was a teenager. I
couldn't believe they went so far as to burn the books. You can
get everybody's books. We can go into a bookstore and buy Mein Kampf
by Hitler. I wanted to know what could have been in these books
that drove them to such an extreme action. And over the last 30
years, I have been studying this work and some of the things that
we talked about namely, a new science and a new technology
and a new form of medicine that would completely undermine mechanistic
drug-oriented medicine, that would completely undermine the fossil
fuel-based economy that we have that would have been a powerful
alternative to the nuclear industry as it developed. I think all
of these things were in there that lead to this drastic action.
And also there was a connection to the covert government activities
involving extraterrestrial activity and energy and extraterrestrial
technology that may have been uncovered in incidents such as the
Roswell Incident and others.
THE UNITED STATES AT SOME LEVEL INSIDE MAY HAVE KNOWN THAT WE WERE
DEALING WITH A NON-HUMAN INTELLIGENCE INTERACTING WITH THE PLANET
AND THAT WE HAD RETRIEVED MACHINES AND TECHNOLOGY. AND THEY RECOGNIZED
THAT THERE WAS SOMETHING IN REICH'S WORK THAT MAY HAVE TIED INTO
WHAT THEY WERE WORKING ON A WHOLE OTHER LEVEL HAVING TO DO WITH
THE PRESENCE OF WHAT THEY CALLED EXTRATERRESTRIAL BIOLOGICAL ENTITIES.
AND SOMEONE IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WAS USING THE FEDERAL
DRUG ADMINISTRATION AS THE PERSECUTION TOOL AGAINST WILHELM REICH.
CERTAINLY THE FDA IN AND OF ITSELF WOULDN'T HAVE HAD ANY PROPRIETARY
INTEREST IN THIS. AND THEY MANAGED TO GET HIM SENTENCED TO PRISON.
WHAT WAS IT THAT REICH HIMSELF WAS SAYING AS HE KNEW WAS GOING TO
PRISON IN THOSE LAST MONTHS?
the beginning of Contact With Space and you have to imagine
here is a man who knows he is going to prison. His reputation
has been sullied. He is a man of great integrity and international
renown. But he has been following his truth which is the pursuit
of this energy principle he calls orgone energy. And he is going
to follow that truth wherever it leads him, whatever it costs. And
this is how he opens up Contact With Space.
March 20th, 1956 at 10 PM, a thought of a very remote possibility
entered my mind which I fear will never leave me again: Am I a spaceman?
Do I belong to a new race on earth, bred by men from outer space
in embraces with earth women? Are my children offspring of the first
interplanetary race? Has the melting pot of interplanetary society
already been created on our planet, as the melting pot of all earth
nations was established in the U.S.A.190 years ago? Or, is this
thought related to things to come in the future? I request my right
and privilege to have such thoughts and to ask such questions without
being threatened to be jailed by any administrative agency of society.
he thought that is that he had been engaged in a series of atmospheric
research projects that brought him into direct visual contact and
perhaps energetic contact through one of his devices with spaceships.
MEAN SILVER DISCS IN THE SKY? OR DID HE DESCRIBE EXACTLY WHAT HE
described exactly what he encountered. They weren't daylight discs.
They were more lights in the night sky. The one that's very dramatic
and relates here is when Reich was in Arizona about eight miles
north of Tucson in the winter of 1954-1955. And he was doing atmospheric
energy research. And they were regularly sighting over the six month
period UFOs. And they were also regularly under observation by the
American Air Force. So, what you have is this outsider scientist
doing completely leading edge research under the observation of
both the American Air Force and whoever these extraterrestrial entities
are. And he did fabulous work applying the scientific method to
the observation of the night sky that lead him to take some extremely
interesting and significant photographs of things in the night sky
that are definitely not stars and are some sort of space machines
under some sort of intelligent operation.
IS IT THAT WILHELM REICH'S NAME IS PROBABLY ASSOCIATED MORE WITH
CLOUD BUSTERS THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
Reich felt about the orgone energy was that there was an inter-relationship
between water and energy and between metal and energy. The way a
lightning rod just randomly attracts huge bursts of energy from
the atmosphere, the cloud buster could attract smaller amounts of
energy in a controlled fashion from the atmosphere. And so what
you had were these telescoping tubes they kind of stretched
out and looked like a military thing like on a battleship in a way
the way cannons stretch out and telescope out. There were
12 or 16 of them and mounted on a structure. And then coming from
the end of each tube was hollow metal cable. And then the cable
would be run into running water or deep lake water or river or deep
well because the water would attract the atmospheric energy as would
the metal and the energy would be drawn that way. And also, Reich
felt there was a negative form of natural orgone energy which he
called deadly orgone energy in the air and that the water would
absorb that. And this was involved in shifting the energy field
around the planet locally. Reich felt it was the energy shifts that
had to do with the creation of dissolution of clouds.
EXACTLY DID WILHELM REICH DO IN TUCSON WITH THESE MILITARY LOOKING
THINGS THAT WERE GATHERING ENERGY FROM THE RUNNING WATER AIMED UP
AT THE SKY? WHAT WAS HIS GOAL?
Well, his original goal going there was weather modification work
which was actually quite successful. It was on television in Phoenix,
WAS ON TELEVISION?
one example they showed was that Reich went to one part of the desert
where no grass had grown in the memory of the oldest person living
there for 50 years or more. And over a period of months people
mistakenly think that making rain means that you create lightning
and thunder and clouds and downpours. But what he did was through
work with the cloud buster, he was able to gradually raise the relative
humidity of the area around Tucson. Grass began to grow in areas
where grass had never grown, knee high grass. That was one thing
that was on television. Another thing was that the water table rose.
Homes had been built along stream beds that had been dry for who
knows how long? But the water table rose.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH CLOUD BUSTING? THE IMPRESSION THAT
THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAS IS THAT WHAT WILHELM REICH WAS DOING WAS
FOCUSING AN ENERGY BEAM AT CLOUDS TO DISPERSE THEM, NOT CREATE THEM.
that's not what it is at all. You could withdraw energy from an
area which would lead to the dissolution of clouds. Or you could
draw more energy in, say from the east to the west, and a higher
concentration of energy is an integral part of the creation of clouds.
So, by shifting the energy field locally, you can assist nature
in what it does naturally which is forming the dissolution or creation
of clouds and rain. And prolong periods in which clouds are not
able to form. Then you begin to get the process of desert development.
Reich initially went down there to do that. But there is no energy
beams going out or that kind of thing. It's the slow gradual shifting
of the energy field in the atmosphere.
WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS THAT WILHELM REICH HAD THE GOAL OF USING
THE ORGONE ENERGY, DRAWING IT FROM RUNNING WATER, AND AIMING IT
AT WHAT HE CONSIDERED TO BE STAGNANT ENERGY AREAS NOT SPECIFICALLY
WHITE PUFFY CLOUDS?
What he was trying to do was to move the energy.
HE EVER DEMONSTRATE THE CREATION OF RAIN IN A PLACE THAT WAS DRY?
he did, and he writes about it in the journal CORE. It might have
been 1951 or 1952. There was a group of blueberry farmers in Maine.
There was a drought the whole summer and they heard about this scientist
doing rain making research. And they hired him. And it rained. And
they paid him.
HE HAVE HIS ORGONE MAKING EQUIPMENT AT THESE BLUEBERRY FARMS?
He brought them from Rangeley which is in the mountains of west
central Maine to the coast. And they did a number of rain-making
operations which he describes and is written up in his reports.
And they were satisfied. The weather report was not predicting anything
remotely like rain. It wasn't going to be overcast in any way and
had been that way most of the summer.
YOU THINK THE FACT THAT HE HAD POSITIVELY DEMONSTRATED THAT HE COULD
EFFECT WEATHER WOULD HAVE BEEN THREATENING TO THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE
THEY WOULD HAVE WORRIED THAT IF ENEMIES GOT HOLD OF WHAT REICH WAS
WORKING ON, THEY MIGHT USE WEATHER TO HURT US?
I think based on their mind set, they could see many things he was
working on as potential weapons of war. I remember in the 1980s
that Soviet Premiere Breshnev suddenly announced that the USSR renounced
Weather War and called on President Reagan to do the same. And I
remember thinking, WHAT weather war?! What are they talking about,
Even in 1941, Reich visited Einstein and he took one of his first
orgone experiments to Einstein. This is detailed in a booklet that
you can get from the Wilhelm Reich Museum called The Einstein Affair
about their correspondence. And Einstein initially confirmed Reich's
finding that there was this unusual energy phenomenon present. And
he gave the experimental set up to an assistant who came up with
an alternate explanation. And then Einstein dropped the whole thing.
Einstein's comment when he saw there was an energy phenomenon heretofore
unknown showing up in this experiment, he said to Reich: This would
be a bomb in physics. Does he mean this would be so mind blowing?
Or does he mean that we, the mechanistic scientists, would turn
this into a bomb? Or both?
DID WILHELM REICH DIE?
he died on November 3rd, 1957 of a heart attack in his prison cell
in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania.
HAD BEEN THERE HOW LONG?
think he had been there nine months. He had a trial in Portland,
Maine. The jury deliberated 15 minutes and he was given the maximum
sentence 2 year sentence and this is for an internationally
renowned scientist of position. I often think people should compare
the sentences of some of the organized crime figures who got off
with a slap on the wrist at that time with what happened to him.
His small institute was bankrupted. The FDA burned his books. They
probably illegally burned them because they began the destruction
of his literature before the appeals process was complete. They
actually created a bon fire on his property in Maine. They chopped
up the wooden parts of the orgone energy accumulators and threw
books on them. And Reich was there and he said to one of the agents,
They did this in Nazi Germany. I never thought they would do this
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. AND WHAT WAS THE ACTUAL LITERAL CHARGE
THAT PUT HIM IN PRISON FOR TWO YEARS?
literal charge was - it had nothing to do with his work or science
or medicine. It was a violation of the court injunction against
shipping orgone energy accumulators and his books in interstate
commerce. And what happened was, while Reich was in Arizona doing
the weather modification work which also had the UFO aspect to it,
Dr. Michael Silvert who was one of the officers of this small Wilhelm
Reich Foundation, shipped his own accumulators and literature from
Maine to himself in New York City. And that was a violation of the
court order. So it didn't matter that Reich was 2800 miles away.
And it didn't matter that this man did it completely on his own.
It tripped the legal trap and then the legal machine just ground
Reich to a pulp.
often wonder if what's known as MJ-12 was part of what happened
to Wilhelm Reich? The Air Force was watching him do his UFO things.
He filed his own reports. Certainly, discovering in 1947 that space
is not a vacuum and even saying that we were on the verge of developing
the technology that is now used only by beings from outer space
that would allow us to travel into outer space. What would that
mean to those men back in 1947 who were so desperately trying to
cover up everything about this phenomenon? And here was a man who
was completely outside their control. He didn't belong to any of
their organizations. Never worked for them. Stood forthrightly against
all attempts to squelch human freedom and freedom of inquiry. Funded
his own work. What could they do? They would have to go to extreme
lengths to stop him.
information about the work and publications of Dr. Wilhelm Reich
is available from: The Wilhelm Reich Museum Rangeley, Maine PH:
(207) 864-3443, M-F 9 am-2 pm EST
© 2001 Linda Moulton Howe All Rights Reserved. Republication and
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