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Bennett, P.W. (2014). Wilhelm Reich's Self-Censorship after His Arrest as an Enemy Alien: The Chilling Effect of an Illegal Imprisonment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(2):341-364.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(2):341-364

History of Psychoanalysis

Wilhelm Reich's Self-Censorship after His Arrest as an Enemy Alien: The Chilling Effect of an Illegal Imprisonment

Philip W. Bennett

(Accepted for publication 7 May 2013)

After discussing Wilhelm Reich's place in psychoanalysis, the article explores his arrest as an ‘enemy alien’ in December 1941. Reich's emotional responses to his imprisonment (which was illegal and which lasted nearly a month) are explored. A number of scholars have suggested that many European radical psychoanalysts refrained from sharing their former political ideas once they emigrated to the United States. Following a brief discussion of this pattern of ‘silencing,’ it is argued that Reich's withholding certain documents from publication was due to a self-imposed censorship, motivated in part by the fear of further governmental interference with his life and work. This fear, however, did not extend to his discussion of his newly developed theory of orgone energy.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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