33 Disturbing But True Facts About Eugenics
What do the SAT, the Kellogg Company, Woodrow Wilson and Adolf Hitler all have in common? They are all connected by the practice of eugenics in the first half of the 20th century.
From 1904 until shortly after the close of WWII, the United States aggressively engaged in a scientific quest to create a master race. This radical new science, dubbed “eugenics” by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, called for selective breeding between those deemed “fit” for existence (i.e. generally those of Nordic descent), with sterilization, marriage prohibition and even euthanasia aimed at those deemed “unfit.”
Based on an extreme view of social Darwinism, eugenics permeated the scientific and academic elite, securing funding through such notable organizations as the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Supreme Court eventually came to sanction eugenic practices, and 27 U.S. states enacted incredibly racist laws enforcing its doctrines. Overseeing these laws and heinous practices presided a virtual army of scientists and doctors steeped in the desire to eradicate anyone seen as a threat to society. These included immigrants flooding in from Europe, Native Americans, epileptics, alcoholics, Jews, Mexicans, Blacks, small-time crooks, the mentally ill, and even those unfortunate enough to be caught unemployed and homeless at the wrong time.
Spreading from Long Island to across the whole United States, from the Liberty Bell to the Golden Gate Bridge, eugenics wormed its way overseas to England and the whole of Europe before it ultimately landed, like a kind of lamp containing an evil genie, into the lap of Adolf Hitler.
Here are 33 disturbing but true facts about eugenics, a pseudoscientific belief that began in the cradle of the land of liberty and ended in the clutches of a genocidal regime:
1. Even with concentration camps, euthanasia campaigns and sterilization wards public knowledge in both Germany and America, early eugenic founders looked on with approval as Nazi Germany enacted brutal racial campaigns against its own citizens. Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia’s Western State Hospital even complained in 1934, “Hitler is beating us at our own game.”
2. The term “social Darwinism” never came from Darwin himself. It was a term distilled around the notion that in the struggle for survival, some humans were not only less worthy but were actually more or less supposed to die away. Merely acting to help the weak and needy within society became itself an unnatural act. This thinking helped propel the eugenic movement forward during its embryonic stages at the start of the 20th century.
3. On July 15, 1911, the American Breeders Association, or ABA, an organization comprised of eugenic-minded scientists and doctors, met in Manhattan to identify ten groups classified as “socially unfit” and deserving of elimination. These included, in order of priority: the feebleminded, the pauper class, alcoholics, criminals of varying degrees such as petty thieves and those imprisoned for not paying fines, epileptics, the insane, the constitutionally weak class, those genetically predisposed to specific diseases, the deformed, and finally, the deaf, blind and mute.
4. In 1907 Indiana became the first state to legalize forced sterilization on its mentally impaired patients and poorhouse residents. Known as Sharp’s Bill (named after a Dr. Harry Clay Sharp who was already sterilizing and castrating men and women in Indiana’s prisons well before it became legal) it passed the Indiana House 59 in favor, 22 opposed, and passed in the Senate with 28 ayes and 16 nays.
I commend the author for writing such a straightforward and effective compilation. I highly recommend you read the entire article.
I had quite the archive of “Eugenics mentioned in the News” from 2004-8. Since the new design, I have been re-directing all the old news updates pages to this blog. That was an oversight. Some time in the next week I’ll set up a standalone page for visitors who would like to query the entire database of news links - 7,637 entries in all.
Further reading (research):
- The American Eugenics Society - Members, Officers And Directors Activities Database
- Engineering Evolution: The Alchemy of Eugenics | Phillip D. Collins
- The Depopulation Bomb by Jim Keith
The oligarchs, the nobility and aristocrats, liken themselves as superior in every respect. “Blue blood” is considered pure or free from inferior lines. The very origin of the word eugenics itself stems from the Greek words “good” and “generation” or “wellborn”. Francis Galton coined it himself, to denote controlled breeding for the purification of the human race. As you mentioned, Galton was a cousin of Darwin’s; they shared the same grandparent: Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), a Freemason and one of the founding members of the elite-scientific Lunar Society. Erasmus was the author of Temple of Nature and Zoönomia, or, the Organic Laws of Life, in which the basic outline of the theory of evolution can be discerned.
It is important to remember that evolutionary theory was originally couched in white race/Anglo-Saxon terms and gained acceptance through a western literate audience. The dominance and intelligence of the white race over the whole circumference of the earth, to them, was the single greatest sociological proof by which western man had demonstrated to the world its superiority and god-given right to rule. Combined with Malthusian population control, the power elite utilize evolution and eugenics as a weapon against the undesirables: the morons, imbeciles and lesser races.
Eugenics became a well-funded industry. As you know, seed money for research was heavily supplied by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, prominent Skull and Bones families such as the Harrimans and Kelloggs, and most of the eastern WASP establishment. In England, those who would advance the study of eugenics were family names such as Darwin, Huxley, Dodge, Osborn, Keynes and Downs. Charles Darwin’s own son, Major Leonard Darwin (1850-1943), was the Eugenics Society President from 1911-1928, an Honorary President from 1928-43, and an attendee of the 1921 Second International Congress of Eugenics in New York. In turn, Major Leonard Darwin’s niece, Ruth Darwin, was on the 1931 Brock Committee, which came to the conclusion that compulsory sterilization was the right course of action for “undesirables”.
Nothing has changed today. Frederick Osborn - founding member of the American Eugenics Society and co-founder with John D. Rockefeller III of the Population Council in 1953 - famously said: “Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under a name other than eugenics.” (The Future of Human Heredity, 1968, p. 104) Thus, the names of the various organizations have dispensed with the eugenic moniker in favor of more palatable titles. The American Eugenics Society (1926-1973) changed its name to the Society for the Study of Social Biology (1973-present). The American Eugenics Society had also published the journals Eugenical News (1939-53) and Eugenics Quarterly (1953-68); afterwards, the publication was conveniently renamed as Social Biology (1969-95). Ostensible “family planning” organizations, such as the Rockefeller-funded Population Council, still operate in much the same manner as originally intended – though, the “undesirables” are now represented by the over-populated poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Birth control, abortion, and sterilization are still the tools of the eugenical trade. It’s used strategically to reduce population, along with war, disease and famine.