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The Jaffe Memo and separation of church and state, part 9

This series is, believe it or not, winding down.

In part 8, I highlighted how some of the population control proposals of the 60s and 70s- as illustrated in the Jaffe memo- have been put forward, almost word for word, in our modern times, especially visible in the area of ‘climate change.’  Actually, these proposals go back into the 1800s, past Darwin, and come to rest more or less, as far as modern ‘population control’ thinking goes, on Thomas Malthus.   The proposals and the thinking has remained the same, only the pretext, justifications, and rationales have changed.

Under Malthus, it was a concern about poverty and warfare and the clash for ‘finite resources.’  Darwinism led many people to view the world in genetic terms, and the notion of ‘population control’ was given its scientific guise, known ultimately as ‘eugenics.’  The end of the Civil War, and the huge influx of freed slaves released into larger society, led the eugenicists to view their population control programs in racial terms.  It was a simple exercise of logic to recognize that if everything reduces to evolutionary principles, it is in humanity’s interest to weed out the ‘dysgenic,’ and who better to know what are good and bad genes than scientists?  The freed slaves, kept deliberately illiterate and with no skill set beyond picking cotton, had all of the marks of the ‘dysgenic,’ but in the eugenicists’ defense, any unskilled illiterate qualified;  the black people were just easier to spot.

The scientific program to take command of our own evolution was going swimmingly until the Nazis and communists took the logic to its obvious rational conclusions.  Up to this point, eugenics was taught as ‘science’ in classrooms both within and without the United States.  The Scopes Monkey trial put the nail in the coffin of public opinion… the text book under dispute for teaching evolution taught eugenics right along with it.  Almost every one of the American scientists who testified to the irrefutable nature of the evidence for evolution… and of course, most of them were eugenicists.  They also rested much of their conviction on the ‘evidence’ provided by the ‘Piltdown Man.’

The ‘Piltdown Man’ is a good example of the kind of phenomena discussed in the first two parts of this series, where a proposal is put forward on one basis, but when the basis is removed, the proposal continues forward as if the original basis was never offered.  The example I gave then was the minimum wage, and how it was originally proposed by liberal progressives of the 1900s, specifically to deny jobs to black people (and other dysgenics).  The thinking was that no one would be willing to pay a ‘prevailing wage’ to people who were utterly incompetent- the result being that the utterly dysgenic would be removed from the population through starvation and deprivation.  The Holocaust made such overtly racist and eugenic type arguments unpalatable, but the minimum wage still remains as an issue to be argued about;  and of course, there is a minimum wage.  Whether or not it has the ‘desired effect’ is another question.  Similarly, evolutionists hung their hat on the Piltdown Man, incessantly mocking those who challenged evolution as bumbling idiots, but when the Piltdown Man was exposed as a deliberate fraud, the evolutionists merely found a new place to hang their hat, and continue to mock those who challenge it.

As I will show shortly, evolutionary thinking is a driving force in ‘population control’ agendas, but what I’m calling attention to is the fact that some things stay the same, even as the basis changes- suggesting an underlying basis that does not change.  Evolutionary thinking is a common denominator.

After the Holocaust and the climb of communism throughout the world, the racial component of eugenics had to be tossed.  It did not, however, go away.  More importantly, the ‘population control’ thinking remained, but was put forth on a different basis.  The 60s and 70s saw people like John Holdren (see part 8) and Paul Ehrlich and others argue that a calamity was coming because of ‘over population.’  The defining document was Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb.”  The crisis that served as the basis for the population control measures was back to ‘pure’ Malthusian elements such as poverty and competition for resources.

The typical Malthusian response, when there is only so much of the pie to go around, is to eliminate the number of people competing for the pie.  The sane and healthy response is to make a bigger pie.   Ehrlich’s dire predictions did not come to pass for any number of reasons, including the fact that he was just out of touch with reality.  But insofar as there were real tensions derived from how many people there were, the thought that the pie could be made bigger didn’t cross his mind as a serious possibility.  Hence, he failed to take into account people like Norman Borlaug, who by himself found a way to increase the food supply.  Imagine what bright people would accomplish if they did likewise, devoting their mental energy to the question of how to make bigger pies, rather than devoting mental energy to finding new ways to reduce the number of eaters.

As an aside, Borlaug’s innovations fed a billion people, completely undercutting the basis of concern expressed by those like Ehrlich, and it will come as a great amazement, but Borlaug worked for the Dupont company- that is, one of those evil, evil, evil corporations.  How dare they feed a billion people more than anyone expected!  Those were the people that Holdren and his ilk were going to have sterilized and have the number of children they were allowed be dictated to them.  A missed opportunity, if ever there was one.  In yet another irony, Borlaug made use of genetic innovations to pull off his feat… which just goes to show you that when real science is promoted, lives are generally improved… when darwinian science is promoted, nothing good comes of it (and how could it?  at best, it is an explanation applied to historical data… not like anyone can predict when the next appendage is going to appear on an organism or anything) and lives are eliminated.  For the good of the species, state, or world, of course.

When innovation undercut the population control freak’s basis for their proposals, there was a brief lull.  But then there was a winter with a little less snow than normal, and the populationists had a new agenda:  global warming… climate change… saving the earth.  As shown in the previous part, population control as currently expressed is not advocated so much as to deal with poverty (and certainly not to get rid of the dysgenic!  No one would admit that now!) or other human concerns but… TO SAVE THE EARTH.  From journalists to government officials to UN agencies, the argument is seriously put forward that if we don’t get a grip on the size of our population, the EARTH MAY DIE.  AND DON”T YOU WANT TO SAVE THE EARTH?!?!?!?

Naturally, these folks plan on doing the ‘gripping,’ and the rest of us are supposed to regard their policies as serious minded scientific necessities;  they aren’t doing what they’re doing because they have particular morals, or values, or ethics… they have purely secular motivations, pure as the wind driven snow… and their agenda simply scientific in its nature.  The eugenicists of the 1920s said and believed the same thing.  We are to suppose that this is a coincidence.  Today’s populationists are sincere and secular and scientific, and so unassailable.

The purpose of this particular part is to show that there are some underlying philosophical similarities that undergird the population control people, whether it is in the 1800s, 1900s, or the 2000s.  But I must take a moment and make a clarification about my use of the word ‘agenda’ and other words that might imply that I am arguing their is a conspiracy afoot.

To put it bluntly, what I am contending is that the culture of death, which is most visible in matters concerning ‘population control,’ is in fact driven by an ideology.  This ideology bears all the marks of a religion.   If they are allowed to express their ‘religion’ in public affairs, then so are we.  But the nature of their ideology absolutely requires that we are active in public affairs.  The primary target of this series are Christians, and ‘moderate’ Christians in particular, or those Christians who think we shouldn’t be involved in ‘politics.’  I definitely resonate with that, and to tell the truth, if I could just mind my own business and leave government to the nonbelievers, I absolutely would.  The controlling passage would be Romans 12:18, although Hebrews 12:14 would apply as well.

However, the stakes are exceedingly high.  The history of the 20th century illustrates what can happen if Christians do not assert themselves and advocate fiercely for the value of each individual human life.  But the nature of secular humanism, and the prevailing notion that a ‘separation of church and state’ entails that secularists can do whatever they want in public affairs but Christians should just shut up (being bigots, after all), means that whatever ‘good’ thing a secularist can imagine for society is put forward by some secularist, somewhere, to be seriously considered and implemented.  Thus, no part of our lives are left alone when the secularists are on a tear… they’re taking the fat out of the food, going to war against sugar, putting bureaucrats in charge of our health care, counting up how many beans each procedure or service costs and doing serious thinking about how to equitably distribute those beans.  They’re controlling what kind of light bulb you can own and pushing ‘green cars’ that almost no one wants- all to save the earth, of course.  And then there are the population control folks who wish to go further than the incessantly growing number of government intrusions and impose- for the sake of the earth- policies that directly affect our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Ok, so you know who my target is, and why I believe Christians should understand that those active in public policy are not value neutral.  You also hear me saying that the we are observing trends that are natural implications of a secular world view.  But I would not be surprised in the slightest if there really were ongoing conspiracies of various sorts.

Having said as much, if I wasn’t already likely going to be dismissed, I will be now.  But there are solid reasons for my suspicion in some cases and I believe that much harm has been done, historically, by dismissing real dangers because we can’t imagine someone would actually behave a certain way.  I reviewed Elizabeth Bettina’s It Happened in Italy a while back and was struck by how the Jewish people during World War 2 could be divided into two basic groups:  those who heard Hitler and the Nazis and believed them, and those that didn’t.  Those that didn’t, stayed in place, and died.  Even some of those who did were swept up.   Still, just because we cannot believe that someone would REALLY want to implement something unfathomably evil, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there, trying to do just that.

I feel it is important to support this a little bit more.

As already mentioned, the period between 1850-1945 saw a great deal of attempts by scientists, politicians, progressives, etc, to deal with the ‘problem’ that the ‘unfit’ posed to the human gene pool.  Policies like the minimum wage, which we would never dream of having a nefarious intent, were actually designed to fight this ‘problem.’  After WW2, did the people who proposed and advocated for such things simply disappear?  Did they simply renounce their views as unsound?  Did they change their minds?  Is it possible that they continued on their work?

There is evidence that they did in fact continue their work.  The documentary Maafa 21 does a fantastic job in thoroughly showing how the eugenicists consistently targeted the black population.  The movie starts around the time of the Civil War and then documents how the movement developed, and persisted after World War 2.  Democrat and Republicans alike are implemented.   If you’re looking for a single narrative backed up by loads of sources, then pick up Maafa 21 today.

What I’d like to call attention to right now is the actions of the American Eugenicists Society and the American Birth Control League after World War 2.   The Wiki entry on the AES seems to make my point pretty well:

It was the result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics (New York, 1921). The founders included Madison Grant, Harry H. Laughlin, Irving Fisher, Henry Fairfield Osborn, and Henry Crampton. The organization started by promoting racial betterment, eugenic health, and genetic education through public lectures, exhibits at county fairs etc. Under the direction of Frederick Osborn however, the society started to place greater focus on issues of population control, genetics, and, later, medical genetics. Directly after Roe v. Wade was released (1972), the AES was reorganized and renamed “The Society for the Study of Social Biology.” Osborn said, “The name was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time.”

You see in this selection from Wiki that America’s eugenicists transitioned to a platform explicitly related to population control and also that they recognized that the previous basis usually put forward for eugenics had been withdrawn, and that future eugenic ‘advances’ would be accomplished on different rationales.  Same stuff, different reasons.  Birth control and abortion are explicitly cited by Frederick Osborn as ‘eugenic advances.’

And you thought birth control and abortion was about privacy, choice, and the right of a woman to do as she pleases with her own body!   The original advocates for these things had other motives, and you are just being a dupe if you think you can evaluate these issues without taking their motivations into account.  You should surely wonder if the modern day access to birth control and abortion (and the minimum wage?) is actually, at present, fulfilling the motives and agendas of the eugenicists.  In order to know that, you’d have to actually read their pre-WW2 writings, and then see if any particular groups of people in the world exercise those ‘rights’ more than others.  I for one am not much comforted if I support a policy that specifically targets black people, even if I have other ‘reasons’ for it.  Certainly, I should take it into account.

The explicit change of name of the AES and its methods of carrying out ‘eugenic advances’ transpired in the 1970s.  The American Birth Control League pulled their fast one much earlier.  Margaret Sanger, an eventual member of the AES, was the founder of the ABCL in 1921.  Sanger’s magazine, The Birth Control Review, was loaded with stuff about how to deal with the ‘dysgenic.’  Her book, The Pivot of Civilization (foreword by HG Wells!), sets out her case for the great ‘crisis’ that allegedly exists and calls for brave implementation of ‘scientific’ principles to resolve it.  Black people were prime examples of ‘dysgenic’ forces on society.

In 1939, Sanger moved to take the ‘black people’ problem by the horns with the help of a certain Dr. Clarence J. Gamble (of Proctor and Gamble), who wrote a memo titled “Suggestions for the Negro Project.”

This page is a good summary of the entire agenda to deal with blacks, and includes this account:

Gamble wrote a memorandum in November 1939 entitled “Suggestions for the Negro Project,” in which he recognized that “black leaders might regard birth control as an extermination plot.” He suggested black leaders be placed in positions where it would appear they were in charge.36 Yet Sanger’s reply reflects Gamble’s ambivalence about having blacks in authoritative positions:

 I note that you doubt it worthwhile to employ a full-time Negro physician. It seems to me from my experience … that, while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors, they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table, which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts. They do not do this with white people and if we can train the Negro doctor at the clinic, he can go among them with enthusiasm and … knowledge, which … will have far-reaching results among the colored people.37

 Another project director lamented:

 I wonder if Southern Darkies can ever be entrusted with … a clinic. Our experience causes us to doubt their ability to work except under white supervision.38

 Sanger knew blacks were a religious people—and how useful ministers would be to her project. She wrote in the same letter:

 The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members [emphasis added].39

 Sanger’s cohorts within the BCFA sought to attract black leadership. They succeeded. The list of black leaders who made up BCFA’s National Advisory Council reads like a “who’s who” among black Americans.

I loved the bit there about bringing in black ministers, employing the religious to counter the religious.  Dupes!  The atheist Saul Alinsky had the same idea.  He founded the Industrial Areas Foundation to implement his atheistic, liberal and leftist notions and discovered he never would succeed if he didn’t get the religious people of America to ‘go along with it.’  Easier if they think its their idea!  The IAF then founded the Gamaliel Foundation, which is a ‘religious’ organization that works exclusively through America’s churches.  There is a Gamaliel Foundation group operating in my area, in fact.  One of my favorite pictures of Obama is the one to the left here where he is teaching the principles set out by Saul Alinsky.  For my fellow Christian reading this, you really do need to know that not every ‘social issue’ that comes down the pike is worthy of our consideration.  Many of them are promoted by atheists who con religionists into going along with it- or they fake being religionists at all.

But that’s another ‘conspiracy’ to probe another day.  🙂  Obama, after all, is a no name liberal without much influence.   What’s the point in looking into his own beliefs and influences?

Back to Margaret Sanger and the Negro Project.  Note again that the above correspondence was in 1939.  The timing turned out to be poor.  The Holocaust was about to unfold.  Hitler got many of his ideas from American eugenicists, including the notion of the ‘concentration camp,’ which Sanger herself had advocated for.  American eugenicists were dispatched to Germany throughout the 30s to observe the ‘success’ that Hitler was having but then, understandably, grew nervous, and then horrified.  Ooops!  They didn’t mean that!  Dupes.

Realizing that they had a publicity problem in the making, the American Birth Control League changed their name in 1942 to Planned Parenthood.

Some of my readers may have heard of this organization, ‘Planned Parenthood.’  It is a very obscure organization, that can sometimes be found today carrying out great humanitarian work, furthering the noble goal of empowering women.  Oh, wait a minute.  It’s not obscure at all, is it?  It is the darling of liberals and outfits such as the AES, and for whatever it ever said about liberating women, it was working its tail off to get rid of black people.  Surely you noticed the quote above from one of the implementers of ABCL/Planned Parenthood’s ‘Negro Project’:  We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.”

Gee, where would we get the idea that Sanger and her pro-abortion agenda was targeting black people?  This isn’t conspiracy mongering;  this is just being aware of the facts.  And then we ask the question:  if that was one of the big goals of the eugenicists of the 1900s and Planned Parenthood was to eliminate the ‘dysgenic,’ and ‘negros’ in particular, what reason do we have in thinking this has changed?

Most supporters of abortion today view their support merely in terms of a ‘woman’s choice.’  Margaret Sanger and Dr. Gamble would no doubt be pleased.  But don’t let that color your approach to the topic!

To remove any doubt that there is a continuing agenda to implement the eugenicist vision, consider this quote by Carlos Blacker, the chair of the the Eugenics Society in 1960:

“The Society’s activities in crypto-eugenics should be pursued vigorously, and specifically that the Society should increase its monetary support of the FPA [Family Planning Association, the English branch of Planned Parenthood] and the IPPF [International Planned Parenthood Federation] and should make contact with the Society for the Study of Human Biology, which already has a strong and active membership, to find out if any relevant projects are contemplated with which the Eugenics Society could assist.”

You can find more cool stuff like that at this page here.

Let us put to bed this notion that raising these issues puts us into the realm of the whacko conspiracy-mongerers.  There are good reasons for wondering if there are hidden agendas behind many of the policies under discussion for the last 160 years.  But, as I said quite clearly, I don’t believe this reflects the agenda of a secret society.  This type of thinking is the natural consequence of the secular humanist worldview- no conspiracy necessary.  One other quote on the page I just gave you:

The dominant figure in the eugenics movement in the United States, considered by the English to be a model of crypto-eugenics, was Major General Frederick Osborn, a master propagandist. In 1956, he said people “won’t accept the idea that they are in general, second rate. We must rely on other motivation.” He called the new motivation “a system of voluntary unconscious selection.” The way to persuade people to exercise this voluntary unconscious selection was to appeal to the idea of “wanted” children. Osborn said, “Let’s base our proposals on the desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate and responsible care.” In this way, the eugenics movement “will move at last towards the high goal which Galton set for it.”

Osborn stated the public relations problem bluntly: “Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under a name other than eugenics.” He pointed to genetic counseling as a prime example: “Heredity clinics are the first eugenic proposals that have been adopted in a practical form and accepted by the public. … The word eugenics is not associated with them.” [Emphasis Mine]

Once again, the Darwinian notion of ‘selection’ surfaces.

If you can’t throw people into concentration camps yourself, or sterilize them by state law, then maybe you can get them to voluntarily- albeit, without even their own knowledge- remove themselves from the population.  Clever, clever, clever.  But best not to let people know what purpose ‘Every child a wanted child’ was supposed to REALLY serve…



  1. I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading this series on the Jaffe Memo.

    I’ve felt for a while that politics and religion must go together, but this really highlights some of the reasons why it is imperative that they go together, and to not bring our view of the world to bear on politics is a failure on the Christian’s part.

    • Anthony on February 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Thanks Jeff.

    I’ve been working on part 10. Keep an eye out. Kudos to you for reading the whole thing!

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