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Wilhelm Reich was born on this day in 1897

Wilhelm Reich was born on this day in 1897.

Wilhelm Reich was brought up in the Bukovina region of Galicia on a cattle farm where he was home schooled by tutors, but at the age of 13 his mother committed suicide having had an affair with one of those tutors. Reich blamed himself for this for a long time.

Wright joined the Austrian army in 1915 and then medical school in 1918 where he studied the works of Freud at The University of Vienna. He then worked with Freud as a psychoanalyst specialising in sex counselling. He established the Socialist Society of Sexual Advice and Sexual Research in 1928.

He fled to Denmark due to the rise of Hitler and then relocated to Norway and later to New York. His theories were always quite controversial, indeed quite radical. He conducted research into sexuality claiming that the skin developed an electrical charge in response to sexual feelings and feelings of anxiety. He advocated progressive sexual education and sexual liberation. He believed contraception, divorce and abortion were human rights.

Reich developed the idea of the orgone which is a cosmic energy derived from the words organism and orgasm. He built what were known as orgone accumulators and the FDA investigated him for said devices and he was banned from selling them further although he disobeyed that ruling and was charged with contempt and imprisoned.

One of his texts is called the Function of the Orgasm. Apart from other things, that books makes all students grateful to online purchasing rather than having to go into Waterstones and ask for it!

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