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Monday, May 2, 2011

AMERICAN EUGENICS SOCIETY 1922-1994 Out In The Open



AMERICAN EUGENICS SOCIETY 1922-1994
Copyright Feb. 3, 1993 Katharine O'Keefe
(rev. December 8, 1993 ver. 6.8)


CONTENTS OF AMERICAN EUGENICS- The Book

1.  Introduction
2.  American Eugenics Society Goals
3.  Background Information Tables
4.  Members' Activities
    A. Key to Abbreviations
    B. Officers
    C. Directors
    D. Members
5.  Index

Why this book?

This book documents the means by which eugenic goals have been introduced
into the mainstream of American intellectual and political life, and the
extent to which this mainstreaming has occurred.

Eugenics is a concept familiar to Americans as an overarching policy
consideration of the Third Reich.  "Eugenics" subsumes such notions as
racial purity, racial superiority, and the heritability of intelligence,
virtue, or vice.  Although Hitler is its most notorious proponent, eugenic
thinking has been a prominent strand in Western intellectual history since
the 1860's, when Darwin's disciple, Francis Galton, began to put about the
idea that the governing classes of England ought to take it upon themselves
to guide the development of the human genetic heritage.  A good history of
these early days of eugenic thinking can be found in The Legacy of Malthus
by Allen Chase.  A good short discussion of the early days of eugenics can
be found in Aristotle to Zoos by Peter Medawar, a member of the English
Eugenics Society.  He quotes Galton, as follows:

"I do not see why any insolence of caste should prevent the gifted
class,  when they had the power, from treating their compatriots
with all kindness, so long as they maintained celibacy.  But if
these continued to procreate children inferior in moral, intellectual
and physical qualities, it is easy to believe the time may come
when such persons would be considered as enemies to the State, and
to have forfeited all claims to kindness." (Fraser's Magazine 7
[1873] quoted in Aristotle to Zoos., Peter and Jean Medawar, 1983 p.
87)

By the turn of the 20th century, such ideas were commonplace.  Margaret
Sanger, a member of both the American Eugenics Society and the English
Eugenics Society, is a famous proponent of eugenics from that time; we may
recall any one of numerous examples from her writings.  For example,

 "Those least fit to carry on the race are increasing most rapidly
 ... Funds that should be used to raise the standard of our
 civilization are diverted to maintenance of those who should never
 have been born." (from The Pivot of Civilization quoted in Margaret
 Sanger. by Elsah Droghin.)

The eugenic ideas of Margaret Sanger and others have been the philosophy of
the major birth control groups from the beginning until now.  For example,
"Race Building in a Democracy" was the topic at the 1940 joint meeting of
the Birth Control Federation of America and the Citizens Committee for
Planned Parenthood.  The Federation then said: "We, too, [like Hitler's
regime] recognize the problem of race building, but our concern is with
the quality of our people, not with their quantity alone ... "It is
entirely fitting that 'Race Building in a Democracy' should have been
chosen as the theme of the ANNUAL MEETING of the Birth Control Federation
of America ..." (Birth Control Review, vol. XXIV, January 1940.  See also
the entry in this book under Henry P. Fairchild)

One of the most influential opponents of eugenic thinking was G.K.
Chesterton, who wrote Eugenics and Other Evils.  The rise of the
eugenicists to power in the mid-20th century in Nazi Germany is an oft-told
tale.  Unfortunately, the moral generally drawn from this tale is that
flaws in the German character explain the Third Reich.  It "all" happened
because Germans are too much in love with their own national heritage, or
too sentimental, or too docile before authority.  These traits, combined
with antisemitism, "explain" the rise of Hitler.  In other words, eugenical
thinking is supposedly a menace particular to German culture; the rest of
us need not examine our consciences except for German personality traits.

In truth, however, eugenical thinking has been spreading steadily in Western
culture throughout this century.  Even after the German embarrassment,
the eugenicists kept right on pursuing the same goals they had always
pursued, the same goals that Hitler pursued.  But the spread of eugenicism
after World War II in the United States is not well studied or documented;
hence this book.

The research presented in this book aims to further the study of post-World
War II eugenic influence in America.  Earlier eugenicists, and foreign
eugenicists, are studied for the sake of the light they shed on the post-War
American context.

Eugenics in America

The conclusions drawn by the author from the data she has gathered are as
follows:

 (1)Eugenical currents in England, America, and Germany were more similar
 than different in the period 1922-1939.  Thinkers in the three countries
 were allied by friendship, by organizational ties, and by mutual reference
 to each other's works.

 (2)The American Eugenics Society is an important network of American
 eugenicists connected with the English Eugenics Society (Galton Institute),
 an important English/Commonwealth/ European eugenic network.  The Society
 survives and flourishes to the present day.  Following a name change in
 1973, it is now known as the Society for the Study of Social Biology.
 The name change does not correspond to any alteration in the goals of the
 Society.

 (3)Eugenical thinkers in democracies presently use different tactics for
 the implementation of eugenic goals than did the dictator Hitler.  However,
 democracy was and is, for eugenicists, merely a political obstacle course.
 Eugenicists do not subscribe to the political culture of mutual respect
 which corresponds to faith in democracy.  This is shown by the employment
 of systematic deceit as they pursue their goals in the political arena of
 democracy.

 (4)Eugenicists were embarrassed by Hitler.  After the war, they instituted
 various strategies to cover up the continued joint development of the
 German, American, and English eugenic agendas.  For example, they adopted
 of the policy of "cryptoeugenics" or secret eugenics; and founded various
 cover organizations such as the Population Council and the International
 Planned Parenthood Federation.  There is little evidence, however, that
 American and English eugenicists learned any lesson from the German
 debacle - except a lesson about public relations.

 (5)The International Planned Parenthood Federation is one of a number of
 organizations which (a) were wholly sympathetic with eugenic goals at the
 time of their founding by eugenicists; (b) have carried out effective
 eugenic programs since their founding; (c) present to the world a nominal
 purpose which does not acknowledge a eugenic agenda.  Shakespeare defined
 the hypocrite as "the smiler with the knife" and "the smiler with the knife" is
 wholly appropriate as a description of the hypocritical, eugenical
 International Planned Parenthood Federation.

 (6)The eugenic agenda is wicked and murderous, besides being presumptuous
 and scientifically flawed.  In pursuit of the illusion that they know how
 to control and elevate human destiny by steering development of the gene
 pool, eugenicists entertain methods of dealing with their fellows which
 include murdering the weak, denying marriage to the "imperfect,"
 discouraging the lonely and fragile from clinging to life, denigrating
 romance and family life, and encouraging the denial of all human bonds of
 mutual responsibility, care, and unselfish love.

 (7)Eugenic leaders wish for secrecy with respect to their real agenda and
 goals.  This desire is probably based on a realistic estimate of their
 support among their fellow men.  It points up a weakness which can be
 exploited by a eugenic watch.  Nearly everyone revolts from eugenic ideas
 once they hear the ideas clearly and accurately explained, and nearly
 everyone objects to supporting the eugenic agenda, once they understand it.

The author's goal in writing this book is to lay out the institutions,
societies, and intellectual disciplines which have been founded by, governed
by or intellectually controlled by, members of the America Eugenics Society.
The object of this exercise is to encourage a healthy skepticism about the
likely purpose and effect of proposals put forth by these groups.  For
example, Planned Parenthood is famous for its "efforts" to reduce teen
pregnancy, V.D.,  and the spread of AIDS.  It is famous for its success,
however, only in reducing the number of live births to black and brown
parents.  To know that Planned Parenthood was founded by eugenicists, such
as Margaret Sanger and Medora Bass of Philadelphia, is to receive some
enlightenment as to why PP continues, year after year, to fail so
spectacularly at its stated goals, while succeeding equally spectacularly
at fostering a supposed side effect.

The author believes it will be helpful to the development of a deeper
understanding of the current American context to document in this way, the
strands of influence traceable to individuals who belong to the complex
network of the American Eugenics Society.

Organization

Chapter Two sets out the pre and post Hitler goals  of the Society.  Chapter
Three presents background information such as Society name changes,
Society journals and Society presidents, and an alphabetical list of
members.  Known members of the American Eugenics Society (past and present)
and their known accomplishments are listed in Chapter Four.  The next
chapter is  an Index.  Finally, there is an epilogue.

Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

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2.  AMERICAN EUGENICS SOCIETY: GOALS

Pre Hitler Goal:  Race building by conscious selection backed by force

                           -=1926=-

[sterilization could] "be applied to an ever widening circle of social
discards, beginning always with the criminal, the diseased and the insane,
and extending gradually to types which may be called weaklings rather than
defectives, and perhaps ultimately to worthless race types" (from The Passing
of the Great Race by Madison Grant, co-founder American Eugenics Society)

Post Hitler Goal: Race building by "voluntary unconscious selection",
deception  and manipulation

                           -=1956=-

"The very word eugenics is in disrepute in some quarters ... We must ask
ourselves, what have we done wrong?

"I think we have failed to take into account a trait which is almost
universal and is very deep in human nature.  People simply are not willing
to accept the idea that the genetic base on which their character was formed
is inferior and should not be repeated in the next generation.  We have
asked whole groups of people to accept this idea and we have asked
individuals to accept it.  They have constantly refused and we have all but
killed the eugenic movement ... they won't accept the idea that they are in
general second rate.  We must rely on other motivation. ... it is surely
possible to build a system of voluntary unconscious selection.  But the
reasons advanced must be generally acceptable reasons.  Let's stop telling
anyone that they have a generally inferior genetic quality, for they will
never agree.  Let's base our proposals on the desirability of having
children born in homes where they will get affectionate and responsible
care, and perhaps our proposals will be accepted." (from "Galton and Mid
Century Eugenics" by Frederick Osborn, Galton Lecture 1956, in Eugenics
Review, vol. 48, 1, 1956)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

3.  Background Information Tables

Names of the Society 1922-1993:

Society for the Study of Social Biology 1973-
American Eugenics Society Inc. 1926-1973
American Eugenics Society 1925-1926
Eugenics Society of the United States of America 1922-1925
*Eugenics Committee of the United States of America 1922-1926
International Commission on Eugenics Ad Interim Committee of the United
States of America or "American Ad Interim Committee" 1921

*Formally, the Eugenics Committee of the United States of America was
distinct from the Eugenics Society of the United States because the
Committee was appointed by the Second International Congress.  The only
action we know the Committee to have taken is the organization of the
Eugenics Society of the United States, which became the American Eugenics
Society.  The Committee was dissolved when the American Eugenics Society
was incorporated; and the Committee funds were then transferred to the
Society.

Addresses of the Society 1922-1991:

515 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 1991
Social Sciences Research Council 1989
230 Park Ave., Rm. 1522, New York, NY 1969-73
245 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 1967-68
230 Park Ave., New York, NY 1951-1967
1790 Broadway, New York 19, NY 1943-50
RKO Building, Rockefeller Center 1940-41
50 West 50th St., New York, NY 1939
4 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven Connecticut 1935-39
185 Church St., New Haven, Connecticut 1922-35
Penn Terminal 1922

Notes on the addresses:
Yale University is in New Haven, Connecticut; 1790 Broadway was also the
address of the American Social Hygiene Association and the National
Committee for Mental Hygiene (1948); 230 Park Avenue is the Helmsley Hotel;
in the 80's and 90's the Society address given in the journal, Social
Biology, is the workplace address of the secretary.  For example, when
Lonnie Sherrod was secretary, the address was the Social Sciences Research
Council where Sherrod worked.


Presidents:
Irving Fisher 1922-26 (Political Economy, Yale University)
Roswell H. Johnson 1926-27 (Cold Spring Harbor, Univ. of Pittsburgh
Harry Laughlin 1927-29 (Eugenics Record Office)
C. C. Little 1929 (Pres., Michigan University)
Henry Pratt Fairchild 1929-31 (Sociology, New York University)
Henry F. Perkins 1931-34 (Zoology, University of Vermont)
Ellsworth Huntington 1934-38 (Geography, Yale University)
Samuel Holmes 1938-40 (Zoology, University of California)
Maurice Bigelow 1940-45 (sex education, Columbia University)
Frederick Osborn 1946-52 (Osborn-Dodge-Harriman RR connection)
Harry L. Shapiro 1956-63 (American Museum of Natural History)
Clyde V. Kiser 1964-68 (differential fertility, Milbank Memorial Fund)
Dudley Kirk 1969-72 (Demographer, Stanford University)
Bruce K. Eckland 1972-75  (Sociology, University of North Carolina)
L. Erlenmeyer-Kimling 1976-78 (Genetic Psychiatry)
Lindzey Gardner 1979-81 (Center for Advanced Study, Behavioral Sciences)
John L. Fuller 1982-83 (Behavioral genetics)
Michael S. Teitelbaum 1985-1990 (US Congress staff; US population policy)
Robert Retherford 1991-1994 (East-West Institute, Hawaii;  funded by AID)

Journals of the Society 1926-1993:
1969-    Social Biology
1953-68  Eugenics Quarterly
1939-53  Eugenical News (published by American Eugenics Society)
1931-38  Eugenical News (published by Eugenical Research Association)
1931     People
1928-31  Eugenics
1922-28  Eugenical News (published by the Eugenical Research Association
and the Eugenics Committee/Eugenics Society)

Current Journal Editor:
The 1993 editor of Social Biology, was Richard H. Osborne q.v. of the
University of Wisconsin at Madison (Emeritus).  He was editor 1960-77,
retired, then returned as editor by 1981.  The managing editor in 1991 was
Barbara Teachman Harvey Osborne, wife of the editor.

Source: Eugenical News (EN), Eugenics Quarterly (EQ) and Social Biology
(SB) for years from 1939-1993; Eugenics for the year 1929; "Brief History
of the American Eugenics Society" EN December 1946, vol. 31 #4, p. 49 ff
for years from 1922-1940; Minutes of the American Eugenics Society 1925-56
on deposit in American Philosophical Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
for years from 1925-36; "The Progress of American Eugenics"
Eugenics, v. 2, no. 2, 1929 p. 3 ff for years from 1921-29; A History of
the American Eugenics Society, 1921-1940, Barry Mehler, PhD Thesis,
available from UMI Dissertation Services, 300 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI,
48106



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4.  MEMBERS ACTIVITIES


A.  Key to abbreviations found in list of members:

AESA      = American Eugenics Society Accounts, in the American Eugenics
Society collection deposited in the American Philosophical
Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AESC      = American Eugenics Society Correspondence, in the American
Eugenics Society collection deposited in the American
Philosophical Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AESM      = American Eugenics Society Minutes, in the American Eugenics
Society collection deposited in the American Philosophical
Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AJHG      = American Journal of Human Genetics

ARTW      = Around the World News of Population and Birth Control (IPPF
newsletter)

AMWS      = American Men and Women of Science

BCR       = Birth Control Review

cttee(s)  = committee(s)

Chase     = The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of the New Scientific
Racism. Allen Chase, New York, 1977

EN        = Eugenical News

EQ        = Eugenics Quarterly

ES        = member, Eugenics Society, Great Britain

FOC       = Frederick Osborn collection, deposited in the American
Philosophical Library, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

FO Hist   = "History of the American Eugenics Society", Frederick Osborn,
Eugenics Quarterly, 1973

JBS       = Journal of Biosocial Science

Kevles    = In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human
Heredity, D. Kevles, New York, 1985, Alfred Knopf

Mehler    = Barry Alan Mehler, A History of the American Eugenics Society,
1921-1940, 1988, UMI Dissertation Services

Pres.     = President

SB        = Social Biology

SCI       = Science Citation Index

v.p.      = Vice President

WSW       = Who's Who (Great Britain)

WWW       = Who Was Who (Great Britain)

WSWIA     = Who's Who in America

WWWIA     = Who Was Who in America

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