The Destruction of Wilhelm Reich

Genius or lunatic? This play is based on the true story of the controversial psychoanalyst, Dr. Wilhelm Reich, who claimed he discovered orgone energy—the basic life force. In the 1920s he was Freud’s protégé; in the 1930s, he was considered for a Nobel Prize. Yet, in America in the 1950s, he was hounded by the press, persecuted by multiple organizations, had his laboratory shut down and his books burned, and...
Genius or lunatic? This play is based on the true story of the controversial psychoanalyst, Dr. Wilhelm Reich, who claimed he discovered orgone energy—the basic life force. In the 1920s he was Freud’s protégé; in the 1930s, he was considered for a Nobel Prize. Yet, in America in the 1950s, he was hounded by the press, persecuted by multiple organizations, had his laboratory shut down and his books burned, and he died in prison.
Reich clearly had enemies, but was he also paranoid? Was he a genius, or simply grandiose? And why does society crush those who call for radical change? The script portrays Reich’s life in the 1950s, including the campaign against him, his troubled marriage, his relationship with his son, and his evaluation by a prison psychiatrist to determine if he was sane or not.
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The Destruction of Wilhelm Reich