Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Bush Family, Skull and Bones, Nazis and Eugenics: Parts 1-4
“When George [H.W.] Bush was elected Vice President in 1980, Texas mystery man William (‘Will’) Stamps Farish III took over management of all of George Bush’s personal wealth in a ‘blind trust’. Known as one of the richest men in Texas, Will Farish keeps his business affairs under the most intense secrecy. Only the source of his immense wealth is known, not its employment.
Will Farish has long been Bush’s closest friend and confidante. He is also the unique private host to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II: Farish owns and boards the studs which mate with the Queen’s mares. That is her public rationale when she comes to America and stays in Farish’s house. It is a vital link in the mind of our Anglophile President.
President Bush can count on Will Farish not to betray the violent secrets surrounding the Bush family money. For Farish’s own family fortune was made in the same Hitler project, in a nightmarish partnership with George [H.W.] Bush’s father.
On March 25, 1942, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold announced that William Stamps Farish (grandfather of the President’s money manager) had pled ‘no contest’ to charges of criminal conspiracy with the Nazis. Farish was the principal manager of a worldwide cartel between Standard Oil of New Jersey and the I.G. Farben concern. The merged enterprise had opened the Auschwitz labor camp on June 14, 1940, to produce artificial rubber and gasoline from coal. The Hitler government supplied political opponents and Jews as the slaves, who were worked to near death and then murdered. Arnold disclosed that Standard Oil of N.J. (later known as Exxon), of which Farish was president and chief executive, had agreed to stop hiding from the United States’ patents for artificial rubber which the company had provided to the Nazis.
A Senate investigating committee under Senator (later U.S. President) Harry Truman of Missouri had called Arnold to testify at hearings on U.S. corporations’ collaboration with the Nazis. The Senators expressed outrage at the cynical way Farish was continuing an alliance with the Hitler regime that had begin back in 1933, when Farish became chief of Jersey Standard. Didn’t he know that there was a war on?
The Justice department laid before the committee a letter, written to Standard president Farish by his vice-president, shortly after the beginning of World War II (Sept. 1, 1939) in Europe. The letter concerned a renewal of their earlier agreement with the Nazis:
Report on European Trip
Oct. 12, 1939
Mr. W.S. Farish
30 Rockefeller Plaza
Dear Mr. Farish…I stayed in France until Sep. 17th…In England I met by appointment the Royal Dutch[Shell Oil Co.] gentlemen from Holland, and…a general agreement was reached on the necessary changes in our relations with the I.G.[Farben], in view of the state of war…[T]he Royal Dutch Shell group is essentially British…I also had several meetings with…the [British] Air Ministry…
I required help to obtain the necessary permission to go to Holland…After discussions with the [American] Ambassador [Joseph Kennedy]…the situation was cleared completely…The gentlemen in the Air Ministry very kindly offered to assist me [later] in reentering England…
Pursuant to these arrangements, I was able to keep my appointments in Holland [having flown there on a British Royal Air Force bomber], where I had three days of discussions with the representatives of I.G. They delivered to me assignments of some 2,000 foreign patents and we did our best to work out complete plans for a modus vivendi which could operate through the term of the war, whether or not the U.S. came in…
Very truly yours,
F[rank] A. Howard
Here are some cold realities behind the tragedy of World War II, which help to explain the Bush-Farish family alliance–and their particular closeness to the Queen of England:
Shell Oil is principally owned by the British royal family. Shell’s chairman, Sir Henry Deterding, helped to sponsor Hitler’s rise to power, by arrangement with the royal family’s Bank of England Governor, Montagu Norman. Their ally Standard Oil would take part in the Hitler project right up to the bloody, gruesome end.
When grandfather Farish signed the Justice Department’s consent decree in March 1942, the government had already started picking its way through the tangled web of world monopoly oil and agreements between Standard Oil and the Nazis. Many patents and other Nazi-owned aspects of the partnership had been seized by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian. Uncle Sam would not seize Prescott Bush’s Union Banking Corporation for another seven months.” (From: Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: Investigations Into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society” Ed. by Kris Milligan, TrineDay Press, Walterville, Oregon, 2003, pp. 282-283)
To be continued… Sidenote:
The racist eugenics (to be discussed later) connected with Skull and Bones and the Bush family continue to this day through the Russell Sage Foundation and Russell Sage Books (subsidiaries of the Russell Trust Association the official or incorporated name of Skull and Bones) as they are big on conferences and books featuring “bioeconomics”, “experimental economics”, population control, outright eugenics and other related topics (trying to “prove” the so-called model of “Homo Oeconomicus”, biological bases of “race”, “intellect” and “behavior”.) George H.W. Bush was instrumental in getting the U.S. Congress to listen to a special speech by William Shockley the physicist turned racist eugenicist.
“The Bush-Farish axis had begun back in 1929. In that year, Harriman bank bought Dresser Industries, supplier of oil-pipeline couplers to Standard and other companies. Prescott Bush became a director and financial czar of Dresser, installing his Yale classmate Neil Mahlon as chairman. George Bush would later name one of his sons after the Dresser executive. William S. Farish was the main organizer of the Humble Oil Co. of Texas, which Farish merged into the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Farish built up the Humble-Standard empire of pipelines and refineries in Texas.
The stock market crashed just after the Bush family got into the oil business. The world financial crisis led to the merger of the Walker-Harriman bank with Brown Brothers in 1931. Former Brown partner Montagu Norman and his protégé Hjalmar Schacht paid frantic visits to New York that year and the next, preparing the new Hitler regime for Germany.
The most important political event in those preparations for Hitler was the infamous “Third International Conference on Eugenics”, held in New York’s American Museum of Natural History August 21-23, 1932, supervised by the International Federation of Eugenics Societies. This meeting took up the stubborn persistence of African-Americans and other allegedly ‘inferior’ and ‘socially inadequate’ groups in reproducing, expanding their numbers, and amalgamating with others. It was recommended that these ‘dangers’ to the ‘better’ ethnic groups and to the ‘well-born’, could be dealt with by sterilization or ‘cutting off the bad stock’ of the ‘unfit’.
Italy’s fascist government sent an official representative. Averell Harriman’s sister Mary, director of ‘Entertainment’ for the Congress, lived down in Virginia fox-hunting country; her state supplied the speaker on ‘racial purity’, W.A. Plecker, Virginia commissioner of vital statistics. Plecker reportedly held the delegates spellbound with his account of the struggle to stop race-mixing and inter-racial sex in Virginia.
The Congress proceedings were dedicated to Averell Harriman’s mother; she had paid for the founding of the race-science movement in America back in 1910, building the Eugenics Record Office as a branch of the Galton National Laboratory in London. She and other Harrimans were usually escorted to the horse races by old George Herbert Walker–they shared with the Bushes and the Farishes a fascination with ‘breeding thoroughbreds’ among horses and humans.
Averell Harriman personally arranged with the Walker/Bush Hamburg-Amerika Line to transport Nazi ideologues from Germany to New York for this meeting. The most famous among those transported was Dr. Ernst Rudin, psychiatrist at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Genealogy and Demography in Berlin where the Rockefeller family paid for Dr. Rudin to occupy an entire floor for his eugenics ‘research’. Dr. Rudin had addressed the International Federation’s 1928 meeting, speaking on ‘Mental Aberration and Race Hygiene’, while others (Germans and Americans) spoke on race-mixing and sterilization of the unfit. Rudin has also led the German delegation to the 1930 Mental Hygiene Congress in Washington, D.C.
At the Harriman’s 1932 New York Eugenics Congress, Ernst Rudin was unanimously elected president of the International Federation of Eugenics Societies. This was recognition of Rudin as founder of the German Society for Race Hygiene, with his co-founder, Eugenics Foundation vice-president Alfred Plotz.
As depression-maddened financiers schemed in Berlin and New York, Rudin was now official leader of the world eugenics movement. Components of this movement included groups with overlapping leadership dedicated to: *sterilization of mental patients (‘mental hygiene societies’); *execution of the insane, criminals and the terminally ill (‘euthanasia societies’);
and *eugenical race purification by prevention of births to parents from ‘inferior’ blood stocks (‘birth control societies’)
Before the Auschwitz death camp became a household word, these British-American-European groups called openly for the elimination of the ‘unfit’ by means including force and violence.
Ten months later, in June 1933, Hitler’s interior minister Wilhelm Frick spoke to a eugenics meeting in the new Third Reich. Frick called the Germans a ‘degenerate’ race, denouncing one-fifth of Germany’s parents for producing ‘feeble-minded’ and ‘defective’ children. The following month, on a commission by Frick, Dr. Ernst Rudin wrote ‘The Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseases in Posterity’, the sterilization law modeled on previous U.S. statutes in Virginia and other states.
Special courts were soon established for the sterilization of German mental patients, the blind, the deaf, and alcoholics. A quarter million people in these categories were sterilized. Rudin, Plotz and their colleagues trained a whole generation of physicians and psychiatrists–as sterilizers and killers.” (Ibid. pp. 283-284)
To be continued…
The [government] must put the most modern medical means in the service of this knowledge…. Those who are physically and mentally unhealthy and unworthy must not perpetuate their suffering in the body of their children…. The prevention of the faculty and opportunity to procreate on the part of the physically degenerate and mentally sick, over a period of only 600 years, would … free humanity from an immeasurable misfortune.”
“The per capita income gap between the developed and the developing countries is increasing, in large part the result of higher birth rates in the poorer countries…. Famine in India, unwanted babies in the United States, poverty that seemed to form an unbreakable chain for millions of people–how should we tackle these problems?…. It is quite clear that one of the major challenges of the 1970s … will be to curb the world’s fertility.” (George H.W. Bush)
Twenty years before he was U.S. President, George Bush brought two ` race-science ‘ professors in front of the Republican Task Force on Earth Resources and Population. As chairman of the Task Force, then-Congressman Bush invited Professors William Shockley and Arthur Jensen to explain to the committee how allegedly runaway birth-rates for African-Americans were “ down-breeding ” the American population.
Afterwards Bush personally summed up for the Congress the testimony his black-inferiority advocates had given to the Task Force. George Bush held his hearings on the threat posed by black babies on August 5, 1969, while much of the world was in a better frame of mind–celebrating mankind’s progress from the first moon landing 16 days earlier. Bush’s obsessive thinking on this subject was guided by his family’s friend, Gen. William H. Draper, Jr., the founder and chairman of the Population Crisis Committee, and vice chairman of the Planned Parenthood Federation. Draper had long been steering U.S. public discussion about the so-called ” population bomb ” in the non-white areas of the world.
If Congressman Bush had explained to his colleagues how his family had come to know General Draper, they would perhaps have felt some alarm, or even panic, and paid more healthy attention to Bush’s presentation. Unfortunately, the Draper-Bush population doctrine is now official U.S. foreign policy.
William H. Draper, Jr. had joined the Bush team in 1927, when he was hired by Dillon Read & Co., New York investment bankers. Draper was put into a new job slot at the firm: handling the Thyssen account.
We recall that in 1924, Fritz Thyssen set up his Union Banking Corporation in George Herbert Walker’s bank at 39 Broadway, Manhattan. Dillon Read & Co.’s boss, Clarence Dillon, had begun working with Fritz Thyssen sometime after Averell Harriman first met with Thyssen–at about the time Thyssen began financing Adolf Hitler’s political career.
In January 1926, Dillon Read created the German Credit and Investment Corporation in Newark, New Jersey and Berlin, Germany, as Thyssen’s short-term banker. That same year Dillon Read created the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (German Steel Trust), incorporating the Thyssen family interests under the direction of New York and London finance.
William H. Draper, Jr. was made director, vice president and assistant treasurer of the German Credit and Investment Corp. His business was short-term loans and financial management tricks for Thyssen and the German Steel Trust. Draper’s clients sponsored Hitler’s terroristic takeover; his clients led the buildup of the Nazi war industry; his clients made war against the United States. The Nazis were Draper’s direct partners in Berlin and New Jersey: Alexander Kreuter, residing in Berlin, was president; Frederic Brandi, whose father was a top coal executive in the German Steel Trust, moved to the U.S. in 1926 and served as Draper’s co-director in Newark.
Draper’s role was crucial for Dillon Read & Co., for whom Draper was a partner and eventually vice president. The German Credit and Investment Corp. (GCI) was a ` front ‘ for Dillon Read: It had the same New Jersey address as U.S. & International Securities Corp. (USIS), and the same man served as treasurer of both firms.
Clarence Dillon and his son C. Douglas Dillon were directors of USIS, which was spotlighted when Clarence Dillon was hauled before the Senate Banking Committee’s famous “ Pecora ” hearings in 1933. USIS was shown to be one of the great speculative pyramid schemes which had swindled stockholders of hundreds of millions of dollars. These investment policies had rotted the U.S. economy to the core, and led to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
But William H. Draper, Jr.’s GCI ` front ‘ was not apparently affiliated with the USIS “ front ” or with Dillon, and the GCI escaped the Congressmen’s limited scrutiny. This oversight was to prove most unfortunate, particularly to the 50 million people who subsequently died in World War II.
Dillon Read hired public relations man Ivy Lee to prepare their executives for their testimony and to confuse and further baffle the Congressmen. Lee apparently took enough time out from his duties as image-maker for William S. Farish and the Nazi I.G. Farben Co.; he managed the congressional thinking so that the Congressmen did not disturb the Draper operation in Germany–and did not meddle with Thyssen, or interfere with Hitler’s U.S. moneymen.
Thus in 1932, William H. Draper, Jr. was free to finance the International Eugenics Congress as a ` Supporting Member ‘. Was he using his own income as a Thyssen trust banker? Or did the funds come from Dillon Read corporate accounts, perhaps to be written off income tax as “ expenses for German project: race purification ”? Draper helped select Ernst Ru@audin as chief of the world eugenics movement, who used his office to promote what he called Adolf Hitler’s “ holy, national and international racial hygienic mission. ‘
W.S. Farish, as we have seen, was publicly exposed in 1942, humiliated and destroyed. Just before Farish died, Prescott Bush’s Nazi banking office was quietly seized and shut down. But Prescott’s close friend and partner in the Thyssen-Hitler business, William H. Draper, Jr., neither died nor moved out of German affairs. Draper listed himself as a director of the German Credit and Investment Corp. through 1942, and the firm was not liquidated until November 1943.@s2@s8 But a war was on; Draper, a colonel from previous military service, went off to the Pacific theater and became a general.
General Draper apparently had a hobby: magic–illusions, sleight of hand, etc.–and he was a member of the Society of American Magicians. This is not irrelevant to his subsequent career.
The Nazi regime surrendered in May 1945. In July 1945, General Draper was called to Europe by the American military government authorities in Germany. Draper was appointed head of the Economics Division of the U.S. Control Commission. He was assigned to take apart the Nazi corporate cartels. There is an astonishing but perfectly logical rationale to this–Draper knew a lot about the subject! General Draper, who had spent about 15 years financing and managing the dirtiest of the Nazi enterprises, was now authorized to decide who was exposed, who lost and who kept his business, and in practical effect, who was prosecuted for war crimes.
(Draper was not unique within the postwar occupation government.)
Consider the case of John J. McCloy, U.S. Military Governor and High Commissioner of Germany, 1949-1952. Under instructions from his Wall Street law firm, McCloy had lived for a year in Italy, serving as an advisor to the fascist government of Benito Mussolini. An intimate collaborator of the Harriman/Bush bank, McCloy had sat in Adolf Hitler’s box at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, at the invitation of Nazi chieftains Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering.
William H. Draper, Jr., as a “ conservative, ” was paired with the “ liberal ” U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau in a vicious game. Morgenthau demanded that Germany be utterly destroyed as a nation, that its industry be dismantled and it be reduced to a purely rural country. As the economic boss in 1945 and 1946, Draper “protected ” Germany from the Morgenthau Plan … but at a price. Draper and his colleagues demanded that Germany and the world accept the collective guilt of the German people as the explanation for the rise of Hitler’s New Order, and the Nazi war crimes. This, of course, was rather convenient for General Draper himself, as it was for the Bush family. It is still convenient decades later, allowing Prescott’s son, President Bush, to lecture Germany on the danger of Hitlerism…
This friendly environment emboldened General Draper to pull off a stunt with his military aid advisory committee. He changed the subject under study. The following year the Draper committee recommended that the U.S. government react to the supposed threat of the “population explosion ” by formulating plans to depopulate the poorer countries. The growth of the world’s non-white population, he proposed, should be regarded as dangerous to the national security of the United States.
President Eisenhower rejected the recommendation. But in the next decade, General Draper founded the “ Population Crisis Committee ” and the “ Draper Fund, ” joining with the Rockefeller and Du Pont families to promote eugenics as “ population control. ” The administration of President Lyndon Johnson, advised by General Draper on the subject, began financing birth control in the tropical countries through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
General Draper was George Bush’s guru on the population question. But there was also Draper’s money–from that uniquely horrible source–and Draper’s connections on Wall Street and abroad. Draper’s son and heir, William H. Draper III, was co-chairman for finance (chief of fundraising) of the Bush-for-President national campaign organization in 1980. With George Bush in the White House, the younger Draper heads up the depopulation activities of the United Nations throughout the world…
The U.S. Agency for International Development says that surgical sterilization is the Bush administration’s “ first choice ” method of population reduction in the Third World. The United Nations Population Fund claims that 37 percent of contraception users in Ibero-America and the Caribbean have already been surgically sterilized. In a 1991 report, William H. Draper III’s agency asserts that 254 million couples will be surgically sterilized over the course of the 1990s; and that if present trends continue, 80 percent of the women in Puerto Rico and Panama will be surgically sterilized. The U.S. government pays directly for these sterilizations.
Mexico is first among targeted nations, on a list which was drawn up in July 1991, at a USAID strategy session. India and Brazil are second and third priorities, respectively.
On contract with the Bush administration, U.S. personnel are working from bases in Mexico to perform surgery on millions of Mexican men and women. The acknowledged strategy in this program is to sterilize those young adults who have not already completed their families…
The spending for birth control in the non-white countries is one of the few items that is headed upwards in the Bush administration budget. As its 1992 budget was being set, USAID said its Population Account would receive $300 million, a 20 percent increase over the previous year. Within this project, a significant sum is spent on political and psychological manipulations of target nations, and rather blatant subversion of their religions and governments.
These activities might be expected to cause serious objections from the victimized nationalities, or from U.S. taxpayers, especially if the program is somehow given widespread publicity.
Quite aside from moral considerations, legal questions would naturally arise, which could be summed up: How does George Bush think he can get away with this?
In this matter the President has expert advice. Mr. (Clayland) Boyden Gray has been counsel to George Bush since the 1980 election. As chief legal officer in the White House, Boyden Gray can walk the President through the dangers and complexities of waging such unusual warfare against Third World populations. Gray knows how these things are done.
When Boyden Gray was four and five years old, his father organized the pilot project for the present worldwide sterilization program, from the Gray family household in North Carolina. It started in 1946. The eugenics movement was looking for a way to begin again in America. Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz had just then seared the conscience of the world.
It started in 1946. The eugenics movement was looking for a way to begin again in America.
Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz had just then seared the conscience of the world. The Sterilization League of America, which had changed its name during the war to “Birthright, Inc.”, wanted to start up again. First they had to overcome public nervousness about crackpots proposing to eliminate “ inferior ” and “ defective ” people. The League tried to surface in Iowa, but had to back off because of negative publicity: A little boy had recently been sterilized there and had died from the operation.
They decided on North Carolina, where the Gray family could play the perfect host. Through British imperial contacts, Boyden Gray’s grandfather, Bowman Gray, had become principal owner of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Boyden’s father, Gordon Gray, had recently founded the Bowman Gray (memorial) Medical School in Winston-Salem, using his inherited cigarette stock shares. The medical school was already a eugenics center.
As the experiment began, Gordon Gray’s great aunt, Alice Shelton Gray, who had raised him from childhood, was living in his household. Aunt Alice had founded the “ Human Betterment League, ” the North Carolina branch of the national eugenical sterilization movement. Aunt Alice was the official supervisor of the 1946-47 experiment. Working under Miss Gray was Dr. Claude Nash Herndon, whom Gordon Gray had made assistant professor of “medical genetics ” at Bowman Gray Medical School.
Dr. Clarence Gamble, heir to the Proctor and Gamble soap fortune, was the sterilizers’ national field operations chief. The experiment worked as follows. All children enrolled in the school district of Winston-Salem, N.C., were given a special “intelligence test. ” Those children who scored below a certain arbitrary low mark were then cut open and surgically sterilized.
We quote now from the official story of the project:
In Winston-Salem and in [nearby] Orange County, North Carolina, the [Sterilization League’s] field committee had participated in testing projects to identify school age children who should be considered for sterilization. The project in Orange County was conducted by the University of North Carolina and was financed by a `Mr. Hanes,’ a friend of Clarence Gamble and supporter of the field work project in North Carolina. The Winston-Salem project was also financed by Hanes. ” [“ Hanes ” was underwear mogul James Gordon Hanes, a trustee of Bowman Gray Medical School and treasurer of Alice Gray’s group]….
The medical school had a long history of interest in eugenics and had compiled extensive histories of families carrying inheritable disease. In 1946, Dr. C. Nash Herndon … made a statement to the press on the use of sterilization to prevent the spread of inheritable diseases….
The first step after giving the mental tests to grade school children was to interpret and make public the results. In Orange County the results indicated that three percent of the school age children were either insane or feebleminded…. [Then] the field committee hired a social worker to review each case … and to present any cases in which sterilization was indicated to the State Eugenics Board, which under North Carolina law had the authority to order sterilization….
Race science experimenter Dr. Claude Nash Herndon provided more details in an interview in 1990.
Alice Gray was the general supervisor of the project. She and Hanes sent out letters promoting the program to the commissioners of all 100 counties in North Carolina…. What did I do? Nothing besides riding herd on the whole thing! The social workers operated out of my office. I was at the time also director of outpatient services at North Carolina Baptist Hospital. We would see the [targeted] parents and children there…. I.Q. tests were run on all the children in the Winston-Salem public school system. Only the ones who scored really low [were targeted for sterilization], the real bottom of the barrel, like below 70.
Did we do sterilizations on young children? Yes. This was a relatively minor operation…. It was usually not until the child was eight or ten years old. For the boys, you just make an incision and tie the tube…. We more often performed the operation on girls than with boys. Of course, you have to cut open the abdomen, but again, it is relatively minor.
Dr. Herndon remarked coolly that “we had a very good relationship with the press ” for the project. This is not surprising, since Gordon Gray owned the Winston-Salem Journal, the Twin City Sentinel and radio station WSJS.
In 1950 and 1951, John Foster Dulles, then chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, led John D. Rockefeller III on a series of world tours, focusing on the need to stop the expansion of the non-white populations. In November 1952, Dulles and Rockefeller set up the Population Council, with tens of millions of dollars from the Rockefeller family.
At that point, the American Eugenics Society, still cautious from the recent bad publicity vis-a-vis Hitler, left its old headquarters at Yale University. The Society moved its headquarters into the office of the Population Council, and the two groups melded together. The long-time secretary of the American Eugenics Society, Frederick Osborne, became the first president of the Population Council. The Gray family’s child-sterilizer, Dr. Claude Nash Herndon, became president of the American Eugenics Society in 1953, as its work expanded under Rockefeller patronage. Meanwhile, the International Planned Parenthood Federation was founded in London, in the offices of the British Eugenics Society.
The undead enemy from World War II, renamed “Population Control, ” had now been revived. George Bush was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1972, when with prodding from Bush and his friends, the U.S. Agency for International Development first made an official contract with the old Sterilization League of America. The League had changed its name twice again, and was now called the “Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception. ” The U.S. government began paying the old fascist group to sterilize non-whites in foreign countries.
The Gray family experiment had succeeded.
In 1988, the U.S. Agency for International Development signed its latest contract with the old Sterilization League (a.k.a. Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception), committing the U.S. government to spend $80 million over five years. Having gotten away with sterilizing several hundred North Carolina school children, “ not usually less than eight to ten years old, ” the identical group is now authorized by President Bush to do it to 58 countries in Asia, Africa and Ibero-America. The group modestly claims it has directly sterilized “ only ” two million people, with 87 percent of the bill paid by U.S. taxpayers.
Meanwhile, Dr. Clarence Gamble, Boyden Gray’s favorite soap manufacturer, formed his own “Pathfinder Fund ” as a split-off from the Sterilization League. Gamble’s Pathfinder Fund, with additional millions from USAID, concentrates on penetration of local social groups in the non-white countries, to break down psychological resistance to the surgical sterilization teams.
[ibid. pp. 289-292]
Eugenics victims are heard at last Outrage voiced over state sterilization
By Ellen Barry, Globe Correspondent, 08/15/99
State-sanctioned sterilization, which has sparked new outrage in the wake of advance publicity for a book on Vermont’s eugenics program,was never a secret in the middle decades of the century, when states from California to Maine allowed the sterilization of people whose genetic material was considered inferior.
But while historians have established that at least 60,000 Americans were sterilized some who had been coerced, and others who had not given their consent – the voices of people who fell victim to these programs have not been heard.
In the last week, however, three people have contacted the Vermont historian Nancy Gallagher, the author of ”Breeding Better Vermonters: The Eugenics Project in the Green Mountain State,” saying that they were sterilized and that they never expected to read about what happened to them in the newspaper.
The new witnesses could add to historians’understanding of the scope of sterilization efforts this century in the United States, in Vermont and beyond. Moreover, the publicity surrounding Gallagher’s book has shed new light on the largely forgotten story of Vermont’s sterilization program. Some in the state are calling for an official inquiry; others, especially those from Abenaki Indian families singled out by the eugenicists, are asking questions about their family histories.
‘Vermont is abuzz” over the long-dormant issue of sterilization policy, said Fred Wiseman, a professor of humanities at Johnson State College and the director of the Abenaki Tribal Museum. ”People in the governor’s office are thinking about it. I’ve gotten all kinds of calls about it. Just about everybody in the [Abenaki] Nation that has ever had this happen is thinking about it.”
The idea of a government response may not be farfetched. In other countries that have had sterilization programs, victims have demanded reparations. Canada and Sweden, which had their own race-purifying programs at work through the 1970s, have both recently paid millions of dollars in compensation to people who were sterilized by government order.
But there have never been cash settlements in the United States, where even the process of gathering information on what happened – mostly behind the closed doors of state institutions – has been tortuous. Now, as the majority of those sterilized move into their late 70s and 80s, it may be too late. They do not have much longer to live, and, as researchers on the topic point out, they leave no descendants to demand historical vindication.
”I can tell you this – the clock is ticking,” said Dr. Philip R. Reilly, who is director of the Shriver Center for Mental Retardation and author of ”The Surgical Solution,” a 1991 history of involuntary sterilization. ”It won’t be long before you won’t be able to find anyone alive who was sterilized.” But the response to Gallagher’s Vermont research has raised the possibility of a breakthrough, and shows that information about eugenic history still has the power to shock. After her series of telephone conversations, Gallagher is increasingly certain that sterilization is a topic worth addressing – if not by her, then by the victims themselves.
”I think they ought to redress that type of thing. I mean, what kind of country are we if we can’t do that?,” said Gallagher, who began her research for a master’s thesis. ”Sometimes I think I’ve opened Pandora’s Box. And other times I think, there are stories out there … That’s a pain that we need to look at.”
Vermont’s sterilization law came within the context of an international push for eugenics – the idea that traits such as poor health and bad character could be bred out of the race by preventing ”inferior” genetic material from being passed on.
Starting with the passage of a series of laws, beginning in Indiana in 1907 and continuing until mid-1970s, some states provided for the sterilization of upwards of 60,000 epileptics, alcoholics, those considered discipline problems, and retarded people. Some subjects consented, and others were coerced or had no knowledge of what was being done to them.
In 1931, Vermont became the 24th state to pass a sterilization law, according to Gallagher, and the number of sterilizations performed there was a fraction of those performed nationwide. The only official data on sterilization – a report by the eugenics survey mastermind, Henry Perkins, in the late 1940s -put the number of procedures at around 200. John Moody, an independent ethnohistorian from Sharon, Vt., says the real number is much higher, perhaps in the thousands.
In the United States, unlike Sweden and Canada, the policy was upheld by the Supreme Court, Reilly said. The court sided with Virginia state law in the 1927 case of Buck v. Bell, which permitted the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and the Feebleminded to sterilize 18-year-old inmate Carrie Buck. In his written opinion on the case, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, ”It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or letting them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” Since then, there has been only one attempt in this country to secure compensation for forced sterilization.
In 1980, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in Lynchburg, V a., on behalf of 7,200 state mental patients who were sterilized without their knowledge until the practice was ended in 1973. The suit sought damages and notification of people who had been sterilized, as well as a ruling that the sterilizations were unconstitutional. The ACLU and the state settled the case.
But the settlements in Canada and Sweden suggest that the public mood may have changed. Moody, who has worked extensively with the Abenaki, has pressed the state to open up records from the eugenics survey and from two ”training schools” that frequently sterilized young inmates. He would like to see the state begin to contact families and inform them what occurred. Referring to Vermont Governor Howard Dean, he said, ”I’d love to see the Dean administration take a proactive stance.” Failing that, Moody said, he could imagine filing a class-action lawsuit. Informing those who have been sterilized is an initiative that has never been undertaken on a national scale, said Reilly, and probably never will be. ”Now many of them are very old people, and there is the ethical issue of letting sleeping dogs lie,” Reilly said. And among the more angry of the Abenaki, sterilization simply seems like another aspect of a multi-faceted campaign to destroy them. Homer St. Francis, a longtime chief of the Abenaki, reels off the names of childless family members who he assumes were sterilized. He sees sterilization as part of a larger government conspiracy to eliminate his family – a campaign that he said includes generations of abduction and outright murder. When historians in Vermont first discovered crates of Henry Perkins’s eugenic surveys, St. Francis said he found names of people he knew on the list of research subjects, people who had been singled out as ”degenerate” by Perkins’s researchers.
It confirmed everything he had already believed about the state and the Abenaki.”It made me sick,” he said.”How would you feel if people were trying to kill you?” And while there was some talk about seeking a legal remedy, it faded among the tribe’s long list of grievances. ”We don’t have any money for attorneys, so we just grit our teeth and bear it,” he said.
This story ran on page B01 of the Boston Globe on 08/15/99.
© Copyright 1999 Globe Newspaper Company.
From “Hitler and His Secret Partners: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945” by James Pool, Pocket Books, N.Y. 1997:
“Always contemptuous of the Russians, Hitler said: ‘ For them the word ‘liberty’ means the right to wash only on feast-days. If we arrive bringing soft soap, we’ll obtain no sympathy…There’s only one duty: To Germanize this country by the immigration of Germans, and to look upon the natives as Redskins.’ [Hitler, “Secret Conversations p. 57] Having been a devoted reader of Karl May’s books on the American West as a youth, Hitler frequently referred to the Russians as ‘Redskins’. He saw a parallel between his effort to conquer and colonize land in Russia with the conquest of the American West by the white man and the subjugation of the Indians or ‘Redskins.’ ‘I don’t see why’, he said, ‘a German who easts a piece of bread should torment himself with the idea that the soil that produces this bread has been won by the sword. When we eat wheat from Canada, we don’t think about the despoiled Indians.’ [Ibid. p. 57] ” (Pool, pp 254-55)
“Set the blood-quantum at one-quarter, hold to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed, and eventually Indians will be defined out of existence. When that happens, the federal government will be finally freed from its persistent Indian problem.”