The Laboratory Of The Controversial And Bizarre Doctor Wilhelm Reich Is Right Here In Maine
Dr. Reich, whose controversial writings were burned by the federal government, left his laboratory behind at his home compound in Rangeley, Maine.
When you speak of Maine's master of fiction, the first name that comes up is always Stephen King. But if you dig a little deeper, you may stumble across the name of Wilhelm Reich, a once esteem psychoanalyst from Austria who spent his last few years in Maine studying something the federal government deemed to be fiction. According to Atlas Obscura, you can visit the very laboratory where Reich conducted his bizarre experiments.
Reich believed that he had found the basis of all human energy in the 1940's, something he called "orgone" which was a mix or orgasm and organism. He believed if orgone could be harnessed, humans could control weather patterns, basic health and perhaps even influence gravity. Predictably, the idea of orgone was met with substantial skepticism.
Reich continued his research nonetheless, building a sprawling laboratory in Rangeley, Maine and inventing something he called "orgone accumulators" which were later nicknamed sex boxes. Reich believed people could sit in these boxes naked and absorb orgone from the atmosphere to achieve supreme health.
Reich also developed something he called "cloudbusters". Machines that were shaped like large machine guns that Reich believed could absorb natural orgone from the atmosphere. Reich believed that aliens were dumping radiation on Earth in hopes of destroying natural orgone, hence his development of the cloudbusters.
The federal government had finally had enough of Wilhelm Reich when they caught wind that he was marketing his "orgone accumulators" as actual medical devices. He was arrested and would die in prison a short time after his incarceration. Documents detailing his experiments and findings were burned by the government.
Perhaps Reich got the last laugh. He left behind a trust, the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust, that enabled his home, which he called "Orgonon" to stay intact. Today, it is a functioning museum where patrons can visit the old Reich laboratory, sift through some of Reich's findings that weren't burned by the government and see one of his infamous cloudbusters up close and personal.
Mad scientist of fiction and fantasy or a doctor ahead of his time? We'll let you decide.