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Wilhelm Reich: Viva Little Man DVD/Video






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Scroll Down for information about the people and places
appearing in the documentary video:


Wilhelm Reich
Viva Little Man

A Documentary by
Digne Meller-Marcovicz



   Wilhelm Reich: Viva Little Man - DVD An intimate time-capsule of people and places recalling the controversial natural scientist, Wilhelm Reich, M.D., his trial, imprisonment and the court-ordered burning of his books in America.

Viva Little Man includes interviews with many of Dr. Wilhelm Reich's former associates, friends, family members and scholars who have personally investigated the facts surrounding his life and work, to include: Dr. Richard Blasband, Willy Brandt (former German Chancellor), Prof. Bernard Grad, Prof. Jerome Greenfield (author of Wilhelm Reich Versus the USA), Mary Higgins (Trustee of the Wilhelm Reich Museum), Grete Hoff, Jo Jenks, Heiko Lassek, Elsa Lindenberg, Thomas Mangravite, Renate Moise (Reich's granddaughter), Ilse Ollendorff (Reich's wife), Dr. Eva Reich (daughter and co-worker), Tom Ross, Prof. Bernd Senf, and Dr. Myron Sharaf (author of Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich).

With visits to the Freud Museum in Vienna, to the Wilhelm Reich Museum and town of Rangeley, Maine, to Food and Drug Administration Headquarters near Washington, DC where the plot was hatched to "get Reich", to the courtroom in Portland, Maine where Reich was tried, to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary where he was imprisoned and died, to the New York City incinerators where his books were burned, and briefly, a search for Dobrenicza, Bukovina, Ukraine, where Reich grew up. With side-trips to Princeton, New York, Montreal, Berlin and Vienna.

Plus a small collection of Reich-detractors in mainstream psychoanalysis and the FDA, including prosecuting attorney Peter Mills and FDA "historian" Wallace Jansen (who coldly defends US government bookburning).

Viva Little Man is not a documentary in the usual sense. For those who know nothing about Dr. Wilhelm Reich, it will leave them craving for more information. However, it does carry historical footage of key supporters, and detractors, of Reich's work, as they appeared on camera in 1986. This video documentary was rescued from an older u-matic PAL videotape version, for this all-new digital presentation. For historians of science, it is a keen look at the controversy surrounding Reich's life and work. It also highlights the court-ordered banning and burning of Reich's books in America, something which remains of greater historical and Constitutional significance than the better-known "Scopes Monkey Trial", where nobody went to prison, and no books were burned.

1 hour 30 min. Some interviews in German with English subtitles.

Ordering Information

$24.95 DVD in hardshell case, Multi-Region (will play worldwide)* LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE - WILL SOON BE DISCONTINUED

NOTE TO INTERNATIONAL BUYERS: You may get a better deal on international postage from Amazon.com which also sells this DVD (they get it from us). We cannot compete with their international shipping rates, though we are generally faster to ship.

*NOTE: Some American DVD Players refused to recognize "region-free" or "multi-region" DVDs -- an effort by the entertainment industry to prevent cross-region selling of popular movies on DVD -- in which case you will have to play this on a computer or try another DVD player. Or, use your DVD player remote-control and one of the various "DVD-Hacks" to turn your DVD player into a region-free player. See here: http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks

On this web page, below, we will give some additional background information on the various individuals, including something about how to obtain more information about their own published works. Firstly and more emphatically, however, you are invited to read the original published works of Dr. Wilhelm Reich. Click here for bibliographical information on Dr. Reich's works, and here for a short biographical sketch. (Use the "back" command on your internet browser to return to this web page).





Individuals Appearing in Wilhelm Reich, Viva Little Man (listed alphabetically):

Richard Blasband, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist with a private practice in Tiburon, California. He is a graduate of the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania with residency and teaching in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University. He trained in orgonomic medicine with Dr. Elsworth F. Baker, and was one of the founders and a former editor of the Journal of Orgonomy, and former president of the American College of Orgonomy (ACO). He was a member of the ACO training and research committees, and founder of Oranur Research Laboratory, conducting research and training in orgone biophysics. Dr. Blasband has published numerous papers addressing the subjects of medical orgonomy, the orgone energy accumulator, bions and the Reich blood test. The interview with Dr. Blasband took place at the Princeton, New Jersey offices of the American College of Orgonomy.

Peter Bolen, therapist, Austria (additional information to be added in the near future)

Ernst Borneman is a sexologist in Austria who apparently studied psychoanalysis at the time of Reich's sex-pol activities in Vienna and Berlin.
(also see: http://www.lsr-projekt.de/wrb/wrb3.html#borneman)

Willy Brandt was an associate of Reich during the years leading up to World War II, and fled with Reich to Denmark to escape Nazi execution, working on the side of the anti-Hitler forces. After the war, he returned to Germany and became mayor of Berlin, and Chancellor of Germany. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Bernard Grad, Ph.D., received his BSC in Biochemistry in 1944, and Ph.D. in Experimental Morphology (a branch of biology) in 1949 at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He commenced his studies on aging and cancer in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill, and after 36 years retired as Associate Professor in 1985. "Intent in life energy research received special impetus when I first encountered Wilhelm Reich's writings in 1948, and Reich himself in 1949. Thereafter I began investigations on leukemic mice with the orgone accumulator (orac), on the temperature differences between an orac and non-orac, and on the origins of life (bions). The experiences gained from these studies paved the way for subsequent investigations on the healing effect of touch on laboratory animals, plants and inanimate materials. These studies demonstrate scientifically that such healing was not due to suggestion, but was basically dependent on an energy interaction between the healer and healee. Over the years I continued studying various aspects of this phenomenon with different healers, and in almost all cases, their attitude was consistent with the idea that their work was bioenergetic in nature. The continued application of the Reichian approach would greatly contribute to our understanding of healing by touch." Dr. Grad has published 145 papers and abstracts up through 1997, of which 45 deal with various aspects of life energy. The interview with him took place at McGill University in Montreal.

Jerome Greenfield, Ph.D., is a retired professor of English from the State University of New York, and author of the book Wilhelm Reich Versus The USA (additional information to be added in the near future)

Mary Higgins is the Trustee of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Fund, and director of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. The Museum, called "Orgonon", was founded to preserve the work and laboratory of Dr. Reich following his death in prison and as stipulated in his will. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Grete Hoff was a friend of Reich. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Wallace Jansen is currently the official Food and Drug Administration "historical revisionist", and a former disinformation officer for the FDA during the time of Reich's trial and incarceration, and during the bookburning. Mr. Jansen unapologetically defends US government bookburning, which might be explained by his active work and membership in CSCIOP, the organization which publishes Skeptical Inquirer magazine, which has attacked and smeared Reich's name and work repeatedly. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Jo Jenks sculpted a marvelous bust of Reich which currently is found on his tomb at Orgonon, Rangeley, Maine. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Heiko Lassek, Artz., participated in the 1980s with a group of medical students and physicians in Berlin who undertook replication of Dr. Reich's bion experiments, and applications of the orgone accumulator for treatment of various diseases. He is former President of the Wilhelm Reich Gesellschaft (Germany) and currently Director of the Wilhelm Reich Institute in Berlin. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Elsa Lindenberg was Reich's wife between 1932-39, during the years leading up to World War II, and prior to his flight from Europe to the USA. She was a ballet dancer and dance instructor active in the anti-Hitler underground. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Thomas Mangravite was a chemist who worked as Reich's assistant in 1955. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Peter Mills was Reich's personal attorney during his years in Rangeley, Maine, and was appointed District Attorney for Portland Maine,. He later became the prosecuting attorney who organized the legal case against Reich, pushing for the banning and burning of his books, and later for the jailing of Reich on technicalities. His statements in the video, of "best wishes" to Reich's surviving wife and son are incredible for their contempt and contactlessness. His statements about Reich studying the leaves on trees refers to the after-effects of the Oranur Experiment, which was one of the first studies to detail the hazardous effects of low-level nuclear radiation. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Renata Moise, C.N.M., Reich's granddaughter (shown with her son), is a nurse and midwife currently practicing in Midwifery/OBGYN in Elsworth, Maine. She teaches Butterfly Baby Massage to pregnant women and their partners, along with prenatal, labor and delivery services. She is also an accomplished painter, with works held in private collections world-wide, living in Maine with her husband and son.

Ilse Ollendorff was Reich's wife in the USA, and served as his laboratory assistant for many years. She has written Wilhelm Reich: A Personal Biography. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Eva Reich, M.D., has been practicing orgonomic medicine in private practice since the 1940s, with a focus upon the prevention of armor in mothers, infants and children. She is daughter and former co-worker of Wilhelm Reich, and participated directly in most of her father's experimental projects, including the Oranur Experiment and Orop Desert. In the last decades, Dr. Reich has contributed to the establishment of birth control and midwifery, gentle-birth clinics, and has traveled the world, lecturing and spreading her considerable knowledge on methods for prevention of armor, and for dis-armoring babies and children. She has developed her own method of gentle bio-energetics (founded upon the discoveries of her father, Wilhelm Reich) is author of numerous articles on the "Struggle for a New Humanity", and authored a book on Gentle Bio-Energetics for the European market. Several books and video interviews with Dr. Eva Reich are also available in English. The interviews with her took place close to her home in rural Maine.

Reimut Reiche is a psychoanalyst practicing in Frankfurt, Germany, and has been described as an arch-enemy of Reich. His description of Reich as having gone mad during the period of his work in Denmark is illustrative of the psychoanalytic establishment's ongoing contempt for Reich, and willingness to use slander to try and defeat his findings. Reich had been expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association at the time Reiche refers to, as mainstream psychoanalysis was trying very hard to "get along with Hitler", and so discharged the "troublemaker" Reich, along with Jewish members as well -- even Freud went along with this policy of appeasement. Reich was one of the very few in psychoanalysis who openly opposed appeasement with the Nazis, and was slandered and smeared by many of his analytical associates for his anti-fascist writings. See the note below about the Freud Museum. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Tom Ross was caretaker at Orgonon and a friend of Reich. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Prof. Dr. Bernd Senf works at the Fachhochschule fuer Wirtschaft in Berlin, Germany, and has since 1984 given a comprehensive lecture course on Wilhelm Reich's Discoveries. He has written many articles and several books, to include Die Wiederentdeckung des lebendigen. He is also co-editor of the compendium Nach Reich: Neue Forschungen zur Orgonomie. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Myron Sharaf, Ph.D. is author of Fury on Earth, A Biography of Wilhelm Reich. He worked with Reich as assistant in the 1940s, and undertook orgone therapy with him. He subsequently authored a series of articles recalling quotations from Reich which appeared in the Journal of Orgonomy. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Dr. Volkmar Sigusch is a professor of sexology at the University of Frankfurt, and additionally the Director of the Institute for Sexology in Frankfurt. He is considered one of Germany's best-known sexologists, but also a harsh critic of many of Reich's ideas. All of his writings are in German language, to our knowledge, and a critique of his views about Reich has already been prepared (also in German) by Bernd Laska. These materials appeared in a 1979 issue of Wilhelm-Reich-Blaetter and also in an article "Wilhelm Reich als Sexuologe" in the Dec. 1996 issue of the scientific journal Sexuologie. Let's review what Dr. Sigusch said during the Viva Little Man interview:

"An experimental physicist from the Max Planck Institute... one of the most highly respected research institutes in the country... repeated these orgone experiments with me in the laboratory. The result was as we anticipated. Following these exact measurements, no part of Reich's assertions could be upheld. All differences, especially differences in temperature, which he had discovered with his incorrect measuring methods, could be explained by the long-accepted laws of natural science. So the existence of orgone is experimentally disproved."     What is the evidence standing behind such a strong claim, to have repeated "Reich's experiments" (some of them? all of them?) with negative results? The statement sounds both authoritative and sweeping, placing the weight of the Max Planck Institute behind it -- but in fact, only one of Reich's experiments was actually attempted by Sigusch and his physicist associate, and then with an extreme bias which might explain its negative results.
    According to Laska, there is only one published report standing behind Dr. Sigusch's statement discrediting Reich's biophysics, and this appeared in a chapter at the very end of a book edited by Sigusch, Sexualitaet und Medizin (Koeln, 1979, p.343-349). The 6-page chapter (much smaller than other chapters in the book), titled "Was ist von der 'Orgon'-Hypothese Wilhelm Reichs zu halten? (How should we judge the orgone hypothesis of Wilhelm Reich?)", was written by Hans-Ullrich Demisch, and covers only the orgone accumulator temperature-differential experiment, or To-T as Reich called it. The chapter appeared to have been written by Demisch on special request from Sigusch, as all other chapters in the book had previously been published in journals -- but not those 6 pages.
    Demisch's words suggested a strong negative bias against Reich, and includes sentences such as: "Obsessed with idea of the existence of a new energy form, Reich came to wrongly-interpret his own measurements, with results that have to be called unbelievably fantastic." (p.345) Demisch then described the function of the orgone accumulator by drawing from Reich's published accounts, stating "after these sentences by Reich, every physicist would put the book aside", suggesting the entire matter was nonsense, even before presenting the results of his own experimental tests. Interestingly, Demisch apparently got some small positive results during his To-T experiment, showing that the temperature differential was potentially a real phenomenon, but they were smaller than the results observed by Reich. Consequently, Demisch concluded "...it can be said that the temperature differential found by Wilhelm Reich could not be verified. It is therefore absurd to accept the conclusion of a new energy form based upon Reich's measurements." (p.349). Laska wrote of his feeling, that the entire chapter was written with the deliberate goal to discredit Reich, but in any case what appeared in the book certainly could not be used to support Dr. Sigusch's statements as made in the film-video Viva Little Man. There is quite an extensive literature on the temperature differential experiment, and it is only one of many different independent experimental proofs for orgone energy. The existence of orgone does not rise or fall on the basis of this one experiment alone -- but it has been positively replicated in the past by experimenters who paid careful attention to environmental factors which affect local orgone energy conditions. Where negative results have been obtained, it is often the produce of hastily-constructed undertakings which -- due to a bias against the existence of orgone energy -- ignore such environmental questions. For a discussion on a similar difficulty encountered by another amateur experimenter (or claimant to experiment) who made similar public negative conclusions, see the following item by Dr. James DeMeo: * Open Critique of B. Harrer's Experiments in English. and also in German.
    In conclusion, James DeMeo wrote a letter and email to Dr. Sigusch asking for more details or a protocol of their experiments, but no answer was ever received in return. Attempts to locate Hans-Ullrich Demisch through the Max Planck Institute have also failed, and it is possible that this is a psuedonym. This is an unfortunate pattern among Reich's detractors, to make large public claims about what they have done to "disprove" his biophysical work, but then to go silent and hide when asked in a friendly way to provide details and evidence to back up their negative conclusions.

Dr. Richard Sterba is a classical psychoanalyst who worked with Freud around the same time Reich did, now living in the USA. He is one of several of the German analysts who are accused of spreading malicious rumors against Reich, in a whispering campaign that followed Reich from Germany to Scandinavia, and from there to the USA. (additional information to be added in the near future)


Additional Information on the places featured in the video:

Freud Museum in Vienna, Austria. Wilhelm Reich's role in the early Freudian efforts in both Vienna and Berlin have been censored and expunged by Freud's "official" historians, and today no photo or record of him is to be found in the Freud Museum.

Wilhelm Reich Museum, former home and laboratory of Wilhelm Reich in Rangeley, Maine, USA. Called "Orgonon" by Reich. Today the Museum is open to the public during summer months, and hosts seminars and sells Reich's books and out-of-print materials.

Food and Drug Administration headquarters near Washington, DC, are shown in the video. This is where Wallace Jansen (above) re-writes history to validate book-burning.

Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, where Reich was incarcerated following conviction for technical violation of an obscure cosmetic law ("interstate transportation of mislabeled merchandise")

New York City incinerators, where Reich's books and research journals were carted off and incinerated by the truck-load. For eye-witness descriptions of these book-burning episodes, which took place in the late 1950s and early 1960s, see the accounts of Dr. Victor Sobey and Lois Wyvell as given in Pulse of the Planet #4. (additional information to be added in the near future)

Dobrenicza, Bukovina, Ukraine -- a brief car trip at the end of the video, with Digne Marcovicz and a Polish friend who sought out Reich's birth home.


Director's Biography:
Digne Meller-Marcovicz
is an independent filmmaker residing in Berlin, Germany and Italy. In addition to Viva Little Man, she has directed various features, to include: Stalinallee Berlin (Spiegel TV, Hamburg), Rigoccioli - Una strada per il ritorno (Cooperativea Humanitas, Carmignano Italy), Ferdi Gegen Hamburg (Hessischer Rundfunk), and Praktisch Bildbar: Ein Wolfsjunge in Frankfurt (Zweites Duetsches Fernsehen). She has also authored several books, to include Die Lebendigen und die Toten (Ritter-Klagenfurt-Verlag), 2000 Spiegel-Photos der Jahre 1965 bis 1985 (Greno-Verlag) and Martin Heidegger Photos (Fey-Verlag), and a book version also of Viva Little Man (Wilhelm Reich: Viva Kleiner Mann) (Stoemfeld Verlag). Viva Little Man was originally produced in association with Channel 4 Television UK and Hessischer Rundfunk, FRG, broadcast in 1987.


Personal Note from James DeMeo, Ph.D., Director of the . Orgone Biophysical Research Lab:
    It is clear that, since 1987 when this video-movie was first released to the public, some people liked it while others did not. My own feelings have changed over the years, but I do believe it is an excellent historical documentary of both Reich's supporters and detractors, as recorded near to the end of the 20th Century. Reich's supporters give us much to consider as they recall their own first-hand observations of that exciting period, filling in details and defending Reich's discoveries. Regarding the Reich-detractors in the video, it is my opinion that Reich's work is sufficiently robust and strong enough to withstand the petty snipes which are directed against him. In any case, his detractors clearly reveal quite a lot of their own smoldering emotional motivations in this video, being charged with stiff anxiety and cold immobilized rage in the facial expressions, and this stands in stark contrast to those of his supporters, who are both animated and open-eyed by any estimation. On the question of Reich's "going paranoid" as raised by several of the detractors in the video, history has shown there is virtually no defensible evidence to support this slander, with much new evidence to support many of his later "crazy" ideas. One major new body of evidence supporting Reich's clarity of mind -- even at the end of his life when some have claimed he lost contact with reality -- is found in Jim Martin's new book "Wilhelm Reich and the Cold War". Reich's biophysics, meanwhile, has already received a great deal of experimental corroboration. Instead of attacking or "analyzing" Reich's private life, or a few speculative sentences he wrote here or there, genuine scientists should instead be engaged in the task of evaluating his clinical and experimental findings, which constitute a major hope for our sick and war-torn planet.



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