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Summer Conference at the Wilhelm Reich Museum

Summer Conference at the Wilhelm Reich Museum

July 8-12 2019, Orgonon, Rangeley, Maine


Between the years 1938 and 1945, Wilhelm Reich wrote six important texts on work democracy:

1939: The Natural Organization of Work
in Work Democracy
1941: Further Problems of Work Democracy
1942: "The Biological Miscalculation in the Human
Struggle for Freedom"
1943: "Give Responsibility to Vitally Necessary Work!" and "Work Democracy versus Politics: The Natural
Forces for the Mastery of the Emotional Pest."
1944: "Work Democracy in Action"

Attendees are encouraged to read these ahead of time. When you register prior to the conference, three will be sent to you. The others are included as the final three chapters of The Mass Psychology of Fascism. We will explore the development of Reich’s ideas but also how we can put them to use in our own lives, to get practical benefit and to help others.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (subject to change):

Monday 8 July
9:00 am -10:30 am – Welcome, introduction to the topic: James
Strick, PhD
10:45 am – 1:00 pm – Reich’s articles on work democracy, part 1:
Philip Bennett, PhD
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Sit in closed Orgone Room for visual
observations (weather permitting–we will do it on the first
sunny, low humidity day)
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Lakeside Theatre, Rangeley, screening of
Love, Work and Knowledge: the Life and Trials of Wilhelm Reich

Tuesday 9 July
9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Reich’s writings on work democracy, part 2:
Philip Bennett, PhD
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Lakeside Theatre, Rangeley, screening of Love, Work and Knowledge…

Wednesday 10 July
9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Reich writings on work democracy, part 3:
David Brahinsky, PhD
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – International panel discussion from a variety
of different perspectives about Reich’s ideas on work democracy
(various participants from the US, Mexico, Germany, Norway)

Thursday 11 July
9:00 am – 10:30 am – Patricia Estrada, MA, Using Reich’s Principles
in a Current Organization
10:45 am – 12 noon – Thomas Riepenhausen, MA, Work Democracy
in Practice Today
12 noon – 1:00 pm – Open discussion
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Hike to Cascade Gorge (bring a bathing suit if
you want to swim)
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – 2009 video interview with Mary Boyd Higgins,
Trustee of WRITF 1959-2019

Friday 12 July
9:00 am – 10:30 am – Audio tape from the Reich archives on
Reich’s use of work democratic ideas in his own organizations
10:45 am – 12 noon – Discussion of tape
12 noon – 1:00 pm – Panel discussion with all speakers

Spanish translation will be provided.

Saturday 13 July (optional)
For those who can stay through Saturday night, a concert of standards from the great American songbook will be performed by renowned jazz pianist Andy Kahn on Saturday evening July 13th.


EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FEE (good though 20 May 2019) – $275.00
After 20 May, fee will be $325.00
Includes tuition, information packet, daily homemade breakfast and refreshments. A 25% discount is available for full-time college students who can document their status and for those traveling from outside the US and Canada. Registration may be made using check Mastercard, Visa, or American Express. Call 207-864-3443, send check to Orgonon, PO Box 687, Rangeley, Maine 04970 USA, or e-mail info@wilhelmreichtrust.org

Conference Building at Orgonon (Wilhelm Reich Museum) located on Dodge Pond Road in Rangeley, Maine

IRS regulations permit an income tax deduction for educational expenses to maintain or improve professional skills.

Hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, lakefront cottages and other rentals, and campgrounds are available in and around Rangeley. We encourage you to make reservations early as this is the busy season. Try vrbo.com or AirBNB, or for information on the region, contact the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce: 800-685-2537 or email: mtlakes@rangeley.org

To apply for the Mary Boyd Higgins and Chester M. Raphael Scholarships, please contact us at: info@wilhelmreichtrust.org. All applications must be received by May 15, 2019.

Call us at 207-864-3443, or e-mail: info@wilhelmreichtrust.org

Passages from selected articles by Wilhelm Reich:

Work democracy implies the triumph of rational thinking, work, knowledge, and natural love over mysticism, serfdom, political chicanery, pornography, deception, disenfranchisement, and exploitation of the masses.

Whoever tells the people, "I can’t promise you anything, I can’t help you, you and you alone must bear the responsibility for your lives"–this is the one who doesn’t release them from their responsibility but rather enlightens them and charges them with it; this is the one who will have understood the true meaning of work democracy.

Work democracy is not an ideological system. Nor is it a "political" system, which could be imposed upon human society by the propaganda of a party, individual politicians, or any group sharing a common ideology. Natural work democracy is the sum total of all functions of life governed by the rational interpersonal relations that have come into being, grown and developed in a natural and organic way. What is new in work democracy is that for the first time in the history of sociology, a possible future regulation of human society is derived not from ideologies or conditions that must be created, but from natural processes that have been present and have been developing from the very beginning.

Work democracy consciously develops formal democracy, which is expressed in the mere election of political representatives and does not entail any further responsibility on the part of the electorate, into a genuine, factual, and practical democracy on an international scale. This democracy is borne by the functions of love, work and knowledge and is developed organically. It fights mysticism and the idea of the totalitarian state not through political attitudes but through practical functions of life, which obey their own laws. In short, natural work democracy is a newly discovered bio-sociologic, natural and basic function of society.

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