Der verfettete Wilhelm Reich

Reich war in seinen späten Jahren offensichtlich zu dick, hat von jeher exzessiv geraucht und betrieb, nachdem er das Rauchen aufgegeben hatte, Alkoholmißbrauch. In ihren Erinnerungen an Reich schreibt seine ehemalige Sekretärin und zeitweise Geliebte Lois Wyvell zu seiner angeblichen Fettleibigkeit: „Er hat nicht genug gegessen, um einen Kugelbauch zu haben, und meine Vermutung ist, daß er einen Bauch hatte, weil er so tief atmete“ (Lois Wyvell: „Orgone and You: 3. An Extraordinary Ordinary Man“, Offshoots of Orgonomy, No. 3, Autumn 1981, S. 6). Auch erwähnt Wyvell, daß sie und andere Frauen, die sie kannte, aus eigener intimer Einsicht bezeugen können, daß Reich nicht zu fett war. „Zum Zeitpunkt seines Todes wog Reich 82 kg – was einen Gewichtsverlust von etwa 7 kg seit Beginn seiner Haftzeit zeigt“ (Jerome Greenfield: „Wilhelm Reich in Prison“, International Journal of Life Energy, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 79-80, S. 47). Reich war 178 cm groß (Myron Sharaf: Fury on Earth, 1983, S. 16).

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22 Antworten to “Der verfettete Wilhelm Reich”

  1. Robert (Berlin) Says:

    89 Kg bei 178cm Größe ist schon leichtes Übergewicht vorhanden. Außerdem kommt es darauf an, was man ist und nicht wie viel.

    • Robert (Berlin) Says:

      Alexander Lowen meinte, dass Naturvölker einen Bauch hätten, weil ihre Bauchmuskulatur so entspannt wäre.

  2. Renate Says:

    Das hat wieder mit dem Stoffwechsel zu tun, werde das später nochmal raussuchen.

  3. Tzindaro Says:

    Reich had a serious drinking problem. I was told by Bill Troop, the son of one of the original orgonomists that his father and Reich often went through a full bottle of vodka in an hour or so. Reich’s belief that he was being persecuted by Communists, a belief still shared by many of todays Reichians, came out of those drinking binges.

    Reich was a brillient scientist and made many real and important discoveries, but he had his hang-ups. Excessive drinking was one of them.

  4. Tzindaro Says:

    Here is some correspondence from a few years ago with Bill Troop on the subject of Reich and alcohol:

    01/11/14 at 6:32 PM
    To
    Bill Troop
    Message body
    It is funny to think of Reich and Wolfe sitting down together, getting drunk and thinking up a drunken fantasy that has since become a staple of the Reichian conspiracy theory sub-culture.

    Does his thinking the Air Force was intentionally trying to help him by leaving contrails where they would show him what the atmosphere was doing sound like a drunken fantasy to you? How about his thinking the KGB was out to sabotage his reputation? How about his comparing himself to Christ? Would a drunk do that?

    Here is another question: Is it possible that he wrote The Murder Of Christ while under the influence? That might explain the way that book is written.

    Reich was a brilliant man, and he made many important discoveries and had valuable insights, but he had some major short-comings too, and his tendency to jump to conclusions about whatever seemed right to him without waiting for evidence is one of them.

    From: Bill Troop <billtroop@
    To:
    Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 6:03 PM
    Subject: Re: .

    That is precisely the kind of thing that happens when co-drinkers collaborate. And Wolfe could drink a bottle of Scotch with no apparent ill-effect. We're talking serious addiction problems here, in an era where they were not discussed and not well-understood.

    At 11/01/2014 21:29, you wrote:
    I knew about Reich, but not about Wolfe or your father. And I do not really know much about alcoholism in that way. My own father never drank, and as far as I know, nobody else in my family did either.

    But it does explain some of the paranoia in the orgonomic movement if we can assume there were others in the group who were into drinking too. The whole UFO / communist / journalism / medical / scientific / Air Force conspiracy theory is strong evidence that something besides just ordinary influence by the news media was going on in Reich's mind and the minds of enough of the people around him that it all looked rational to them.

    Wolfe was the one who wrote that pamphlet on the Emotional Plague VS. Orgone Biophysics, and put into print the theory of Brady being a Communist, which otherwise was only a verbal suggestion by Reich. At least I am assuming it was an idea of Reich first, and Wolfe only wrote it for publication, but I could be wrong on that. It is possible Wolfe thought of it first and Reich became convinced of it after hearing it from him.

    Is that possible? Could Reich have been in a symbiotic paranoia relationship with another hard-drinker, Wolfe, and they both re-inforced each other's thinking on such issues?

    From: Bill Troop billtroop@
    To:
    Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 3:08 PM
    Subject: Re:

    Reich drank enough to indulge in domestic violence; Wolfe died of alcoholism; my father had a health crisis in the early 50s when he had to give up addictive substances on doctor's orders and did. I don't really know much about the others. But if you know anything about alcoholism and addiction, especially as it affects the middle aged and elderly, it really does help to explain a lot of what was going on – – paranoia, secrecy, irrationality – – these are all known in every alcoholic family.

    At 11/01/2014 19:11, you wrote:
    No, I had no idea. I knew Reich drank, but I never heard anything about the rest of them.

    Please tell me more.

    And PLEASE someday, write up what you know.

    From: Bill Troop <billtroop@
    To:
    Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 12:58 PM
    Subject: Re:
    There was a lot of additive drinking in the Reich circle. It's the one secret, apparently, you've never penetrated. It is probably the guiltiest secret of the circle, for a variety of reasons.

    At 11/01/2014 18:29, you wrote:
    No. It never occurred to me. And not only alcohol. Jerome Eden was into drinking several cups of coffee an hour! All day long!! He was also very paranoid. No wonder. That much caffine would be as effective as speed.

    From: Bill Troop <billtroop@
    To:
    Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 11:47 AM
    Subject: Re
    Has it ever occurred to you to attempt to discover anything
    about the high levels of alcoholism that existed amongst Reich and
    his circle? That could explain a lot of the baffling irrationality.

  5. Peter Nasselstein Says:

    Es ist bemerkenswert, daß die Kinder der damaligen Orgonomen so einen Scheiß verbreiten. Reichs Sohn wollte die UFO-Beobachtungen allen Ernstes mit den damals hochgeheimen U2-Flügen erklären. Schon auf den ersten Blick völliger Unsinn. Und jetzt das, wo einiges durcheinander gerät. Damals hat man schon einiges getrunken. Beispielsweise als Neill zu Gast war, haben die abends schon mal ne Flasche Whisky entsorgt. Für damaIige Verhältnisse ziemlich normal. Wer heute das Leben auf Campingplätzen kennt… Wolfe ist in die Wüste gegangen, um seine Tuberkulose auszukurieren, an der er dann verreckt ist. Gut möglich, daß er sich doer zu Tode gesoffen hat… Reich hatte im Zusammenhang mit seiner Inhaftierung auf Ellis Island 1941/42 weitaus „paranoider“ reagiert als später. Sein Alkoholkonsum war nur in den 1950er Jahren problematisch aufgrund von Vereinsamung am Arsch der Welt. Und was Eden betrifft: der amerikanische Kaffee ist eine Plörre und die obige Beschreibung ist, nach allem was ich weiß, Unsinn. Genauso wie die Sache mit Brady… Halbwissen, Ignoranz, Bösartigkeit und Arroganz.

  6. Tzindaro Says:

    Off-topic, but also from my correspondence with Bill Troop:

    „I can’t imagine why the ACO would have got so hot under the collar over Baker having an affair with an ex-patient. They all did it! The children of the Reichians are mostly non-entities, as are the children of most people, so I don’t see why either they or their parents should be singled out for special opprobrium. In the end, the Reich system has far less effect than anyone dreamed. Just one more of the Master’s preposterous miscalculations. You are being unknowingly bewitched by Reich if you believe his methods actually had any substantive effect on the kids. The children all had early mid-life crises, of course, when they realized that The System was not going to provide them with the rewards that had been promised. But as every child of religious or cultish parents goes through the same crisis, it is nothing special. The real problem with Reich is that he had no interest in psychology after the mid to late 30s, and practised only because it was necessary to gain income and cult support. He therefore, having no interest in the field, learned nothing about psychological theory and practice as it was evolving substantially in the 1940s and 1950s. Similarly, his followers closed their eyes to those evolutions and to those of the 1960s and onwards. This had unfortunate, one might say tragic results for anyone in therapy with Reichians in later years. They could only help with the neuroses of Freud’s day. They had no idea how to deal with the entirely different class of neuroses that came to prominence in the 2nd half of the 20th century.“

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