|Reich died on November 3, 1957, in the Federal Penitentiary at Lewisburg,
Pennsylvania, where he was sent for criminal contempt. The criminal charge
was levied because Reich refused to obey an injunction against selling
quack medical devices such as the Orgone Accumulator and orgone "shooters," devices
which allegedly could collect and distribute orgone energy, thereby making
possible the cure for just about any medical disorder except, perhaps,
megalomania and self-delusion.
The Food and Drug Administration not only declared that there is no
such thing as orgone energy, they had some of Reich's books burned—a
sure-fire way to ignite interest in somebody.
Despite having little status in the scientific community, Reich's ideas
have been passed on by a number of devoted followers led by Elsworth
F. Baker, M.D., founder of The American College of Orgonomy, and Dr.
James DeMeo of The Orgone Biophysical Research Laboratory, Inc., located
in Ashland, Oregon. Baker's successors (he died in 1985) and DeMeo continue
to defend both Reich the scientist and orgonomy. Reich saw himself as
a persecuted genius and considered the critics who ridiculed him to be