Strategic Vision

American College of Orgonomy to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Death of Wilhelm Reich

Conference Will Feature Keynote On “The Decline and Fall of Modern Psychiatry”


Atlanta, GA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/05/2007 -- The American College of Orgonomy will be commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Reich, whose influence and impact on the world and on psychiatry is still being felt today on November 4, 2007. The conference will be held at the Lakeside Conference Center & Hotel at the Princeton Forrestal Center at 900 Scudders Mill Road in Plainsboro, New Jersey from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Registration will take place from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Dr. Charles Konia will deliver the conference’s keynote speech entitled, “The Decline and Fall of Modern Psychiatry”. In addition, the conference will mark the launch of Dr. Konia’s critically acclaimed book, The Emotional Plague.

“Wilhelm Reich was a visionary whose impact is still being felt,” said Dr. Peter A. Crist, President, American College of Orgonomy. “He was a colleague of Sigmund Freud and expelled from the psychoanalytic movement for his revolutionary ideas. He fled Nazi Germany but later became a victim of the U.S. government that felt threatened by new ideas in an age of complacency. Yet his work continues to thrive and be developed today..”

Reich was the first psychoanalyst to move from behind the couch to sit beside patients, a practice that is commonplace today. But in 1924 this was considered revolutionary and forever changed the dynamic between therapists and their patients. Reich was a forerunner in other ways as well, founding the Socialist Association for Sex Hygiene and Sexological Research that distributed practical information and advice on sexual health and contraception, considered by many to be dangerous in the late 1920’s but now is common throughout the world in sex clinics, and public school sex education. Long before the start of World War II, and at a time when even Winston Churchill saw positive benefits in Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, Reich warned of the dangers of Hitler and the Nazis in his book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (one of the first books to expose how a dictator can control the minds and emotions of an entire nation). Forced to flee from Germany, Reich moved to Denmark and later Sweden, where he published his well known book, The Sexual Revolution. This book advocated contraception, sex education, the sexual rights of youth as well as Reich’s belief that no one should be forced to remain in an unhappy marriage, views that were considered truly revolutionary by some, abhorrent by others, but again are currently part of modern society.

Departing Europe, just as World War II started, Reich settled in the United States, where he pursued his most important work in the fields of sociology, biology, physics, and atmospheric science. Ironically, today’s liberal magazine, The New Republic led to Reich’s persecution in the United States during the height of the Red Scare and the career of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Freelance writer Mildred Edie Brady wrote a devastating article in the magazine filled with half-truths and lies about Reich motivated in part because of his revolutionary ideas and the fact that early in his life he had once flirted with communism. Brady implied that Reich was running a “sexual racket” which led to an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and a federal court complaint against Reich. Reich responded by stating that courts should support the rights of scientists (a position today advocated by The New Republic and its staff).

In May 1956, after an assistant, unbeknownst to Reich, sent orgonomic devices across state lines, Reich was arrested and brought in handcuffs to the U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Maine where he was charged with contempt of court. Found guilty, Reich received a two-year sentence. He died on November 3, 1957, in the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania federal penitentiary, one week before the date of his first parole hearing. Ironically, Reich was a victim of the practices that today’s liberal and progressive movement abhors against terror suspects.

Reich’s influence continues to be felt today in many ways:
• Modern psychoanalysis and psychotherapy have incorporated many of Reich’s innovative concepts -- that patient and therapist should interact face to face; “that character is the soil in which neurotic symptoms grow;” and that a patient’s social environment is integral to his or her emotional well being.
• His work is the basis of contemporary mind-body therapies such as Gestalt, Rolfing and Primal Scream.
• His advocacy of universal access to contraception, sex education and no-fault divorce led to changes in the laws of countries around the world.
• He emphasized the importance of good emotional contact between mother and child right from the moment of birth and pioneered the view that newborns should not be separated from their mothers and put into hospital nurseries.

Today, Reich is honored throughout much of the world, particularly in the new democracies of Eastern Europe. His views of the rights of scientists to pursue their work are considered cornerstones in democratic debate.

This year’s Conference will explore and honor Reich’s life and the impact that he and orgonomy have on society. Orgonomy is the term Reich used to describe the science of the orgone energy, the cosmic life energy, he discovered and studied in great detail. Keynote speaker Charles Konia, M.D. will examine current mental health treatment and contrast it to medical orgone therapy, the mind-body treatment developed by Wilhelm Reich, M.D. In addition to Dr. Konia's keynote address presentations by medical orgonomists will include case studies illustrating the effectiveness of this revolutionary method of therapy.

Additionally, Dr. Konia’s book, The Emotional Plague will be released at the conference. The Emotional Plague explores a disease of destructive human behavior involving people’s emotional lives that can be spread from person to person with all the characteristics of infectious diseases known to medicine. From Hitler to Osama bin Laden to school shooters to politicians, the emotional plague is a pervasive illness. Konia’s book shows people how it existed throughout history, how to recognize it, treat it, prevent it, and understand it. Recognition is an essential first step in eradicating its destructiveness. The Emotional Plague has earned critical praise from experts in the field and leading publications.

Additional information on the conference and the American College of Orgonomy may be obtained at