The Fiftieth Anniversary of Reich’s Death

Charles Konia, M.D.
Reprinted from the Journal of Orgonomy, Vol. 41 No. 2
The American College of Orgonomy

There are few days in one’s life that are remembered with particular vividness. Sunday, December 7, 1941, the day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the day that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked are two of those days.

Sunday, November 3, 1957 was another such day for me. Late that afternoon I had returned home from a swim at a nearby quarry and I remember thinking, because it was getting late in the fall, it would be the last time I went there that year. The phone rang. It was a friend. Wilhelm Reich had died in prison.

Although I was in emotional shock, my mind remained unusually clear. I knew that the course of my life had changed forever. I would never have the opportunity to know Reich or to learn from him. I remember feeling regret at not having made an attempt to meet him the previous year when he was residing in Washington, D.C. Even though I had been a second-year medical student living in that city, I had no reason to meet with Reich. It would have been premature and also a bother to him during that stressful time when he was engaged in a court battle. My only course of action was to continue my medical studies, become a physician and study medical orgonomy with Elsworth Baker, M.D. Baker was the one person that Reich had thought most highly of, and he had appointed him to be in charge of training medical orgonomists.

That was 50 years ago. When I began seeing Baker upon my graduation, I understood what Reich must have known all along: That of all practicing medical orgonomists, and I had been in contact with many, Baker was the one individual most qualified to carry the knowledge of the science of orgonomy into the future. Because of Baker’s tireless dedication to transmitting Reich’s knowledge to the next generation of therapists, the orgonomic sciences have survived intact.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Reich’s death and we are observing it with this commemorative issue of the Journal. Also, the College’s Annual Conference on Sunday, November 4th will be largely devoted to presentations on Reich’s remarkable therapy.

I am certain that Reich and Baker would have been both proud of, and grateful to, the many individuals who have not only carried the science of orgonomy forward into the future without distortion, but who have also advanced orgonomic knowledge and understanding.

The last 50 years have been devoted to continuing Reich’s struggle to secure a beachhead of sanity in this troubled, emotional plague- ridden world. The American College of Orgonomy has always been at the forefront in keeping the science of orgonomy alive and well. What will happen in the future remains to be seen.

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