Thursday, April 12, 2007

Orgone Summer Camp

Here's something very odd. It is a sort of summer camp at Orgonon, home of the Wilhelm Reich Museum and Orgone Energy Observatory in Rangeley, Maine. In addition to rental cabins and the occassional conference on orgonomy and the ongoing influence of Wilhelm Reich, it also hosts Sunday afternoon summer workshops on "mushrooming" and "small woodland animals." Along with orgone accumulators, cloudbusters, and hiking and swimming too, it's like a strange little rustic Disney World for slightly kinky academics.

I confess a morbid fascination with Reich. He's an odd combination of radical social theorist, heterodox psychoanalyst, and scientific crank -- all things I adore. Reading Reich can be a little like reading Freud, Schreber and Lyndon LaRouche all rolled into one. And reading about Reich gives an added thrill of conspiracy theory and political intrigue thrown in for good measure with his unlikely death in a federal prison, the FBI investigation into his communist ties, and the bizarre FDA decision to burn his books.

I lived in Maine for a short time and I fear I missed my chance to visit this wonderfully strange and off-the-beaten track cultural shrine. I think I would have enjoyed Reich's beautiful woodland home and laboratory far, far too much.

1 comment:

  1. Quite a character! I must admit that I find some of his theories very interesting (particularly the concept of "character armor"), but even though cloudbusters and orgone radiation seem pretty cool, the guy was a crackpot (no offense, English is not my mother tongue)