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Factual story of psychiatrist, research physician & scientist Wilhelm Reich whose books were burned by the U.S. gov't in 1956 and 1960.
Factual story of psychiatrist, research physician & scientist Wilhelm Reich whose books were burned by the U.S. gov't in 1956 and 1960.
734 backers pledged $187,002 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Austrian born Wilhelm Reich, M.D. (1897-1957) was a brilliant psychoanalytic student of Sigmund Freud and a neuro-psychiatric student of Nobel laureate Julius Wagner-Jauregg. 

Reich's wide-ranging social, medical and scientific work included promoting sexual health, standardizing and advancing therapeutic techniques, analyzing the psychology of fascism as manifested in both Nazism and Communism, conducting cellular research, investigating the origin of cancer and other diseases, developing experimental treatments for terminal cancer patients, and carrying out innovative climate research.

Tragically his books and published research journals were banned and burned by the United States government in 1956 and 1960, and Reich died in a Federal penitentiary in 1957.

How could such a thing have happened in America, the country to which Reich--an outspoken antifascist—had emigrated just four days before the outbreak of World War Two?  What was in Reich's publications that so threatened people in power that they felt they must destroy them to keep people from reading them?

For decades Reich’s ideas and work have been carelessly and dishonestly misrepresented in the academic, medical and scientific communities, as well as in the media and on the Internet—including Wikipedia—by those whose knowledge of Reich is not based on accurate information.

Finally, a factually accurate, full-length documentary film about Reich has been meticulously researched and written, and a serious effort is now underway to fund this film.  This documentary will not only correct the distorted narratives about Reich, but will also educate viewers about the potential benefits of Reich’s work for today's medicine and science.

Please, this film project needs your help!  Your contribution to this Kickstarter fundraising campaign will help ensure that Reich’s pioneering insights into psychological and physical heath, and the health of the planet, will be presented factually and compellingly to a wide variety of audiences.

KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISING IS “ALL OR NOTHING” 

Kickstarter fundraising for all projects works this way: 

  • Project creators establish a financial goal and a specific time-frame to reach that goal.
  • If the financial goal is reached within that time-frame, the creators collect all donor pledges minus 5% which is Kickstarter’s fee. 
  • All donations exceeding the financial goal go to the project creators to add to their project budget (which would be terrific for this film!). 
  • But if the financial goal is not reached within that time-frame, no money is collected and the project receives nothing.

OUR FINANCIAL GOAL:  $168,500 FOR PHASE ONE

$168,500 is our financial goal for "Phase 1:  Pre-production and Production" of this 100-110 minute documentary.  5% of that for Kickstarter is $8,425, which leaves us $160,075 for pre-production, production, and to fulfill rewards for donors.   

We're actually hoping to achieve an amount closer to $200,000 which would provide a substantial financial comfort level for this phase of the project.   And at a later date we’ll seek another $168,500 for "Phase 2:  Post-Production" which will allow us to complete the film.

HOW WE WILL SPEND THIS MONEY

The research and written storyline for this documentary are complete, a process that took nearly four years of “connecting the dots” from over 7000 pages of Reich’s publications, thousands of unpublished pages in Reich’s archives, all U.S. government files on Reich (many obtained through Freedom of Information requests), and numerous other historic primary resources.

We are now fully prepared to turn this factually accurate storyline into a feature-length documentary film: 


PHASE 1:  PRE-PRODUCTION & PRODUCTION - $168,500

Gathering Historic and Archival Materials (United States & Europe):

  • Hiring researchers in the United States and Europe to locate relevant photographs, newsreels, newspaper/magazine articles, etc.
  • Selecting, scanning and filming material from Reich’s archives at the Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard Medical School: photographs and key pages from diaries, laboratory notebooks, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, legal documents, etc.
  • Selecting and scanning key pages from State Department, FBI, FDA, and Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) files. 
  • Selecting and digitizing excerpts of Reich’s personal and scientific films. 
  • Selecting/audio enhancing/digitizing excerpts from Reich’s voice recordings.
  • Translating key newspaper articles, letters, laboratory notebook pages, etc.

Location Filming & On-camera Interviews (United States & Europe):

  • Securing insurance coverage for interviews and location filming.

Filming locations include:

  • Rangeley, Maine: Orgonon (Reich’s laboratory and research center, now the Wilhelm Reich Museum) and other locations in the Rangeley Lakes region.
  • Graham Lake & Hancock, Maine: sites of Reich’s weather experiments to alleviate drought.
  • Portland, Maine: U.S. Federal Courthouse, site of Reich’s 1956 trial.
  • New York City: New School for Social Research in Manhattan where Reich taught for 3 semesters (1940-41) and Forest Hills in Queens   where Reich lived from 1939 to 1950.
  • Tucson, Arizona: Magee Road, Oracle Junction, and Catalina Mountain where Reich carried out weather experiments to alleviate drought. (1954-55).
  • Europe: select locations in Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen, Malmö, and Oslo relevant to Reich’s life and work.
  • Interview locations will vary.  To reduce travel costs of film crews, some interview subjects will be brought to the Wilhelm Reich Museum for filming.
  • Hiring transcribers to prepare transcriptions of all on-camera interviews.

Assembling a “Sample Reel” to Seek Grants:

  • Once filming is complete, we will assemble a 10-15 minute sample reel of the documentary to apply for grants and private funding for the “Post-Production” phase, while also moving ahead with a second Kickstarter effort to help secure the monies needed to finish this film.
PHASE 2:  POST-PRODUCTION - $168,500:
  • Hiring medical illustrators and computer animators for animated sequences, based on Reich’s drawings and diagrams, that will visualize aspects of his work. 
  • Editing the film (the most time consuming, labor-intensive part of   this project): assembling photographs, film footage (old and new), interview clips, scanned materials, animated sequences, and Reich's voice recordings into a coherent film story.
  • Finalizing the script for the film’s voice-over narration.
  • Casting a professional actor/actress or voiceover talent to record the final narration.
  • Creating and recording a music score. 
  • Final color correction and final audio mix for the entire film.

COMPLETION DATE FOR THIS FILM

November 2016 is our targeted date for finishing this film and having its premiere.  But there are so many variables involved—especially funding and production and post-production scheduling—that we cannot promise the film’s completion by this date.

WHY SHOULD YOU DONATE TO THIS FILM PROJECT? 
OF WHAT INTEREST IS WILHELM REICH TO YOU?

Reich’s social, medical and scientific innovations spanned four decades and two continents:  Vienna (1919-30), Berlin (1930-33), Copenhagen (1933-34), Malmö (1934), Oslo (1934-39), New York City (1939-50), Rangeley, Maine (1940-57), Tucson, Arizona (1954-55). 

And whether you’re already familiar with Reich or learning about him for the first time, there is undoubtedly something about his life and work and the issues he confronted that might resonate for you:

  • Revolutionizes psychoanalytic techniques (1920s).
  • Opens clinics which provide access to birth control (1920s-30s).
  • Publishes The Mass Psychology of Fascism after fleeing from Nazi Germany (1933).
  • Develops the first psychosomatic therapeutic techniques (1930s-40s).
  • Conducts laboratory research on the development of cancer cells (1930s-50s).
  • Discovers a biological radiation in specific micro-organisms that can kill bacteria and cancer cells (1939).
  • Discovers this same radiation in the atmosphere (1940).
  • Conducts experimental treatment of patients with terminal cancer, early cancer and other diseases (1941-50s).
  • Fights the investigative abuses of the State Department, the FBI, the FDA, and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (1940-57).
  • Struggles against the collusion of the FDA and the medical profession (1947-50s).
  • Warns of pharmaceutical influence on the medical profession (1950s).
  • Conducts weather experiments in Maine and Arizona to alleviate drought conditions (1953-56).
  • Confronts censorship and First Amendment issues when a Federal court seeks to ban his publications from interstate commerce (1954).
  • Challenges the right of a court of law to judge scientific research (1954).
  • Witnesses the FDA’s burning of his publications at his laboratory in Rangeley, Maine (1956).

A FINAL NOTE IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT

If you wish to donate with the generosity of foregoing any reward so that your contribution goes entirely for the production of the film, that's always an option for which we would be deeply appreciative. 

Wilhelm Reich in the Student Laboratory at Orgonon
Wilhelm Reich in the Student Laboratory at Orgonon
 
 

Risks and challenges

Our greatest challenge will be gaining funding for Phase 2 of this project, an endeavor that focuses on post-production of the film--i.e., hiring medical illustrators and computer animators for animated sequences, editing the film, finalizing the script for the film’s voice-over narration, casting a professional actor/actress or voiceover talent to record the final narration, creating and recording a music score, and final color correction and final audio mix for the entire film. We hope to raise these funds via a follow-up Kickstarter campaign.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our deepest thanks for supporting this project and helping to correct the distorted narratives
    about Wilhelm Reich.

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    Photo of Wilhelm Reich.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PDF download of Reich’s “Bion Experiments on the Cancer Problem”, a rare, hard-to-find
    29-page monograph from 1939 that was Reich’s first publication about his cancer research. Published in English in Oslo shortly before Reich’s emigration to America in August 1939.

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    Two museum tickets for free admission to the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine.

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    PDF download of the “FBI File on Wilhelm Reich” (over 800 pages) which provided valuable
    information for this film.

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    Digital audio download of “Alone” – Reich’s
    10-minute voice-recording of some personal
    thoughts, made in his private cottage on his property in Rangeley, Maine on April 3, 1952.

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    Digital audio download of “The Source of the Human ‘No’” – a 12-minute excerpt
    from Reich’s interview with a representative of the Freud Archives on October 18, 1952.
    Recorded in Reich’s study in Rangeley, Maine (now part of the Wilhelm Reich Museum).

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    Digital video download of “Man’s Right to Know” – the director’s 28-minute biography
    about Reich, produced in 2002 for the Wilhelm Reich Museum.

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    Digital audio download of one of Reich’s 1949 lectures on “Orgone Therapy: Critical
    Issues in the Therapeutic Process”. Recorded in Reich’s home in Forest Hills, New York,
    it includes lively exchanges between Reich and the physicians attending this lecture.

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    Signed DVD of "Man's Right to Know" - the director's 28-minute biography about Reich, produced in 2002 for the Wilhelm Reich Museum.

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    Digital high-definition download of the completed film, several months after its initial
    screenings.

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    A signed DVD of the completed film, several months after its initial screenings.

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    Digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its initial screenings.
    Plus a signed film poster.

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    Digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its initial screenings.
    Plus a limited-edition film T-shirt.

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    Digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its initial screenings.
    Plus a digital audio download of one of Reich’s 1949 lectures on “Orgone Therapy: Critical
    Issues in the Therapeutic Process”. Plus a limited-edition film T-shirt.

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    Two books by Reich: "Reich Speaks of Freud" and "Selected Writings - An Introduction
    to Orgonomy", two excellent primers of Reich’s life and work in his own words, first
    published in the 1960s.

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    Two books by Reich: "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" and "The Sexual Revolution".
    Originally published in Europe in the 1930s, these are classic volumes about the politics
    and sexual climate in Germany, Austria and the Soviet Union. Both books were banned
    and burned in America in 1956 and 1960.

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    Two books by Reich: "The Bio-electrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety" and
    "The Bion Experiments on the Origin of Life", Reich’s documentation of his laboratory
    research in Oslo, Norway. First published in the 1930s in Europe.

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    Two books by Reich: "The Discovery of the Orgone – Volume I: The Function of the Orgasm"
    and "The Discovery of the Orgone – Volume 2: The Cancer Biopathy". First published in
    New York in the 1940s, these volumes recount Reich’s psychoanalytic and psychiatric clinical
    work in Europe, and his biological and cancer research in Europe and America. Both books
    were banned and burned in America in 1956 and 1960.

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    Tote bag with the “Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project” logo on it.
    Plus a digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its
    initial screenings.

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    Digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its initial screenings. Plus 3 digital audio downloads of Reich’s “Alone”, “The Source of the Human ‘No’” and a lecture on “Orgone Therapy: Critical Issues in the Therapeutic Process”. Plus a signed film poster.

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    6 volume set of "Orgonomic Functionalism – A Journal Devoted to the Work of Wilhelm Reich",
    a compilation of unpublished and published writings by Reich, issued by the Wilhelm Reich
    Infant Trust from 1990-96. Plus a digital high-definition download of the completed film several
    months after its initial screenings.

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    2 general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the completed film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Signed 1st edition of the upcoming book from Harvard University Press (Spring 2015):
    "Wilhelm Reich – Biologist" by James E. Strick, Ph.D., a science historian, professor at Franklin
    & Marshall College, and a principal consultant on this film. This book is the first scholarly study
    by a science historian of Reich’s biological and cancer research. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Lecture by the film director at your event, organization or classroom. (Travel/overnight costs outside of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island not included.)

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    Private tour by the film director of the Wilhelm Reich Museum, its 175-acre property and other buildings, as well as key places in the Rangeley Lakes region that were significant to Reich’s life and work. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Signed volume of the director’s original research and storyline for this film, some of which won’t make it into the film because of the time constraints of keeping to a 100-110 minute length. Because of the proprietary nature of this material, this volume will not be available until after the completion and initial screenings of the film. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Signed volume of the director’s original research and storyline (available after the film is completed and screened). Plus a signed 1st edition of "Wilhelm Reich – Biologist" (Harvard University Press, Spring 2015) by James E. Strick, Ph.D., a science historian, professor at Franklin & Marshall College, and a consultant on this film. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Two night stay (depending on availability) in Wilhelm Reich’s smaller cottage (now called Bunchberry) on the property of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. Plus a guided tour of the museum. (Costs of traveling to Rangeley not included). This cottage served first as Reich’s writing quarters, then as his summer living quarters, and then as living quarters for the property’s caretaker and his family. With a private dock on Dodge Pond. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    Two night stay (depending on availability) in Reich’s larger, 3-bedroom cottage (now called Tamarack) on the property of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. Plus a guided tour of the museum. (Costs of traveling to Rangeley not included). This cottage served as living quarters for Reich and his family. With a private dock on Dodge Pond. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    A “Thank-you” credit in the film’s final credits. Plus the complete 6 CD-set of Reich’s 1949
    lectures on “Orgone Therapy: Critical Issues in the Therapeutic Process”. Plus two general admission tickets for the the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    A “Thank-you” credit in the film’s final credits. Plus the 4-volume set of Reich’s published
    diaries and correspondence: "Passion of Youth – An Autobiography (1897-1922)", "Beyond Psychology – Letters and Journals (1934-1939)", "American Odyssey – Letters and Journals (1940-1947)", and "Where’s the Truth?- Letters and Journals (1948-1957)". Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    One week stay (depending on availability) in Wilhelm Reich’s smaller cottage (now called Bunchberry) on the property of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. Plus a guided tour of the museum. (Costs of traveling to Rangeley not included). With a private dock on Dodge Pond. Plus a “Thank-you” credit in the film’s final credits. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    One week stay (depending on availability) in Reich’s larger, 3-bedroom cottage (now called Tamarack) on the property of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. Plus a guided tour of the museum. (Costs of traveling to Rangeley not included). With a private dock on Dodge Pond. Plus a “Thank-you” credit in the film’s final credits. Plus two general admission tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City. Plus a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S "THE CANCER BIOPATHY" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

    Please note: Although the FDA supervised the burning of several tons of Wilhelm Reich’s research journals and books in 1956 and 1960, fortunately none of these publications and their contents were irretrievably lost to history. Some original editions of this literature survived in personal collections and various libraries. And since Reich’s death, some of these items have appeared in rare bookstores, on eBay and as donations to the Wilhelm Reich Museum.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S
    "CHARACTER ANALYSIS" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S "THE FUNCTION OF THE ORGASM" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S "THE MURDER OF CHRIST" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S "PEOPLE IN TROUBLE" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! A RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S "THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION" published by Reich's Orgone Institute Press (copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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  41. Select this reward

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    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! RARE ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF REICH'S "ORGONE ENERGY BULLETIN" (from 1949, all 4 issues). These are Reich's published research journals, copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960. Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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  42. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! RARE ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF REICH'S "ORGONE ENERGY BULLETIN" (from 1950, all 4 issues). These are Reich's published research journals, copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960. Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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  43. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! RARE ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF REICH'S "ORGONE ENERGY BULLETIN" (from 1951, all issues). These are Reich's published research journals, copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960. Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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  44. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    SAVED FROM BEING BURNED! RARE ORIGINAL EDITIONS OF REICH'S "ORGONE ENERGY BULLETIN" (from 1952, all 4 issues). These are Reich's published research journals, copies of which were banned and burned by the U.S. government in 1956 and 1960. Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    "CONTACT WITH SPACE" – RARE ORIGINAL EDITION OF REICH'S LAST BOOK which he published in limited edition in 1957. (Note: This book was not among the books that were banned and burned, but it’s a very rare item.) Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City and a digital high-definition download of the film several months after its initial screenings. Plus a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    Private concert given by the film’s composer, Andy Kahn, who is also an accomplished jazz pianist in Philadelphia (travel expenses not included). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City, a signed DVD of the film, and a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    Private screening of the completed film with the director at your event, home, organization or classroom (travel expenses not included). Plus two VIP tickets for the film premiere in New York City, a signed DVD of the film, and a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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    Vacation Package (one week) at either of Wilhelm Reich’s two cottages on the property of the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangeley, Maine. (travel expenses to Rangeley not included). Dinner for two at the historic Bald Mountain Camps on Mooselookmeguntic Lake and the historic Loon Lodge on Rangeley Lake. Private tour by the film director of the Wilhelm Reich Museum, its 175-acre property and other buildings, as well as key places in the Rangeley Lakes region that were significant to Reich’s life and work. Plus two VIP tickets for the film’s premiere in New York City, a signed DVD of the film, and a “Thank you” credit in the film’s final credits.

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  49. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    An ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit in the film’s final credits. Plus 2 VIP tickets for the film's premiere in New York City, a signed DVD of the film, a signed film poster, a limited edition film T-shirt, and tote bag.

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    4 backers