Alice Springs Violence: Who Has the Answers?

We are living in an era where social breakdown and moral decay are drawing heavily on the state’s resources and collective wisdom. The elucidative bankruptcy of the state’s ‘wise men’ is being exposed, as surely as it was in the ancient empires of Egypt and Babylon.

The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant. ~ Genesis 41:8 

The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean.” ~ Daniel 2:10

Take the very broken town of Alice Springs, for example. Overnight reports of an axe attack on a teenager by three indigenous youth is just one violent incident among countless attacks occurring every day in Alice Springs. Our governments appear at a complete loss as to what to do. The ‘wise men’ have no answers.

Generational Trauma

Years ago, I closely followed the violence that erupted in Aurukun, Queensland when teachers were twice evacuated after children threatened the principal with knives and machetes. Seven years on, Aurukun still resembles a war zone. Recent reports reveal dwindling attendance at the school, the closure of essential services, a council without a CEO, and residents walking the streets with metal fence pickets and crossbows. Many locals are reluctant to leave their homes.

Many of the insights I gained, as I studied Aurukun’s widely discussed demise in 2016, apply to the collapse into chaos of Alice Springs. There is talk of rugby league identities coming to Alice Springs to help in some way. This reminds me of the goodwill demonstrated in 2016 by Australian rugby league player, Johnathan Thurston, when he used a post-State-of-Origin interview to encourage children in the embattled community of Aurukun. “There’s obviously been a lot of trouble up there,” he said, “so to all the students there, I just want you to believe in yourselves and keep turning up to school.” The following day, an Aurukun teacher reported that the children cheered when they heard Thurston reaching out to them.

And yet for all such gestures of goodwill by celebrities like Thurston, and for all the strategising by government agencies, I don’t think all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can put Alice Spring back together again, anymore than they could put Aurukun back together again. A certain wisdom is needed that transcends the most brilliant intellect of fallen men.

Exploitation and Alcoholism

Common to both the demise of Aurukun and the ruin of Alice Springs is the sidelining of the church and the introduction of alcohol. For Aurukun, the decade following the introduction of alcohol was the darkest decade in the history of the community. Herbert Yunkaporta, a pastor born and raised in Aurukun, laments, “I’ll tell you this: the community is asleep. When did they go to sleep? In the mid-eighties. This is a deep crisis. Aurukun needs help.” There must have been a cry of lament in Alice Springs by many Aboriginal elders when alcohol restrictions were removed six months ago.

Insights from the demise of Aurukun can help in understanding the lawlessness on display in Alice Springs. Aurukun’s history is a tragic story that begins with broken promises and broken dreams. It is a story of Goliath-like state and corporate interests outmuscling local and cultural leadership in a greedy grab for Aurukun’s vast bauxite reserves. It was Aurukun’s buried treasure that attracted mining leases and state administrators in the 1970s, followed by the imposition of a wet canteen in the 1980s. In the face of vehement objection by community elders, trucks laden with beer rolled into the town in 1985 and Aurukun took a nosedive.

Faith and Prosperity

It’s hard to imagine that, as recently as 1970, there was no hint of the misery that would engulf Aurukun. Professor Sutton describes his experience of Aurukun in the early 1970s:

Suicide was unknown. People who survived the rigours of infancy and early childhood had a good chance of living to their seventies…

Local men mustered cattle and ran the local butcher shop, logged and sawed the timber for house building, built the housing and other constructions, welded and fixed vehicles in the workshop, and worked in the vegetable gardens, under a minimal set of mission supervisors.

Women not wholly engaged in child-rearing worked in the general store, clothing store, school, hospital and post office.

(The Politics of Suffering, Melbourne University Press, 2010, p. 40)

This somewhat idyllic life, as described by Sutton, was the peaceful and industrious heritage left by the Presbyterian Church and the Archer River Mission Station. Despite being poorly funded, and notwithstanding its shortcomings, the mission station founded in 1904 is remembered for being supportive of Aboriginal rights and self-determination.

Aurukun sawmill circa 1950

Aurukun sawmill, circa 1950. State Library of Queensland.

Natasha Robinson reports that in 1975, the “progressive [Presbyterian] church was advocating land rights, bilingual education and a return to outstation life.” A Queensland Government report describes the mission superintendents from 1924 to 1965, Rev. Bill Mackenzie and his wife, as being “unusually liberal in their support for their continuation of Bora traditions, traditional hunting and the use of Wik languages.”

Without a doubt, the church played an essential role in laying the platform for the 1970s optimism and social cohesion that existed in Aurukun. There was hope and resourcefulness in the community, a healthy work ethic, a trustworthy moral compass, and emerging cultural leadership.

Secularism and Moral Decay

While it’s not popular to say these days, the church led the Aboriginal community well and was the chief supporter of Aurukun’s journey to self-determination. Tragically, the church would be sidelined as the lucre and liquor interests exploited Aurukun and sabotaged its promising future. This tragedy in Aurukun is not dissimilar to that facing Alice Springs.

There is a direct correlation between social breakdown and moral decay and the sidelining of the church. This is evident in Aurukun, Alice Springs, and indeed in towns and cities across Australia. The church is irreplaceable as both preserving agent and physician. Where the church is maligned and neutralised (as in the case of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon), the state finds itself ill-equipped to halt moral decay or heal society’s wounds.

Both ancient and modern history teach us that the silencing and imprisoning of the church is never in the interest of society. Hitler scorched Germany’s soul with his murderous agenda — something he could only achieve with the church rendered dormant. With the exception of lone prophetic voices, like Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, there was little moral resistance to Hitler. The removal of the church and its prophetic voice left Germany in great darkness.

Greg Sheridan describes the rise of a “new religion of aggressive secularism” that is filling a void in Australia that used to be occupied by the church. While this aggressive secularism is “more self-confident and fundamentalist than ever,” he astutely observes that the western church is nowhere to be seen or heard because, “widespread, prolonged affluence has been more effective than oppression ever was in killing religious belief and practice.”

I know where Sheridan is coming from. While we have not really known tribulation and persecution, the cares of life and the deceitfulness of riches have been effective in choking out the potent Word of God and rendering the western church unfruitful.

Losing Our Savour

Jesus warned about the church losing relevance. He warned that if the salt loses its saltiness, and its preservation qualities are squandered; it is good for nothing except road base (Matthew 5:13). He taught that lamps that no longer provide light must be removed (Revelation 2:5). The western church would do well to heed these warnings and strengthen the things that remain.

In many ways, we have failed in our responsibility to be salt and light in the world. Many young people in the western church have been short-changed. Rather than energising them and capturing their hearts with a truly noble cause to die for, church leaders have fed them entertainment and the merits of upward social mobility.

The church always thrives when it believes and embraces its true mission statement, as taught by Christ himself. “If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Self-denial, humility, and servanthood may have never been attractive, worldly ideals but these qualities underpin a satisfying and meaningful life and they give the church relevance.

The church, when true to form, has the power to provide young people with vision and intrinsic motivation for living a purposeful and selfless life. This is what Aurukun had, I believe. And this is what Aurukun and Alice Springs and Australia need today. This is what worked for David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, when he spent himself for New York’s bloodthirsty gangs in the late 1950s.

The church is the remedy to society’s ills. It is the preserving agent against moral decay and social breakdown. It is the steward of the Balm of Gilead that alone can heal the most broken lives. I remain a believer in the power of the Gospel message and what it can achieve when lived out. However, the western church has dropped the ball and we have work to do. And it is in our current, seemingly ‘irrelevant’ condition that we must once again prove our worth.

Ironically, the church is facing a fight for its existence at a time when our nation needs us the most. As a pastor and man of God, Herbert Yunkaporta knows the answer for Aurukun and troubled communities like Alice Springs.

“Aurukun needs to be awakened. When we throw a rock in the water, where does the ripple effect begin? From the inside out. We want to make a ripple effect in each and every individual man and young man, by helping them to restore what was lost.”

The hope for mankind and for our communities truly is a change in the human heart; a transformation of the human condition. And only the living organism, that is the church, can offer that miraculous remedy.

It is through the power of the Gospel that broken men and women receive true cleansing, a new heart, and the energising presence of the Creator Himself. It is in the God-breathed Scriptures that we find the blueprint for peaceful and productive societies. Australia boasts natural resources and underground treasure that are the envy of the world.

And yet it will be the rediscovery of the treasure in our people that will lead to the freedom and triumph of troubled towns like Aurukun and Alice Springs. Exploration companies and mining interests cannot help here. The state must ask for the church’s help. The church alone is the steward of the Gospel, wherein is the power to transform men and women “from the inside out.”

Reginald Arthur, Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dream (1893-1894)

Reginald Arthur, Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream (1893-1894)

And Pharaoh said to his servants,
“Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph,
“Since God has shown you all this,
there is none so discerning and wise as you are.”
~ Genesis 41:38-39


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto.

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National Socialism The Hitler Elixir

12 years not a slave – January 25th, 2023

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SourceSouth Australian Gov Criminal Organisation

Nazi Roots of the Phrase ‘Pure Blood’

Did you know the term ‘pure blood’ is completely demonic?

It comes directly from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter witchcraft books and movies.

The phrase was picked up by some extreme anti-vaxxers and has gone viral. Sadly Christians are using this phrase without grace or humility or concern for the Body of Christ.

Roots of the Phrase ‘Pure Blood’

In the Harry Potter series, wizards and warlocks with the most magical progeny are termed ‘pure-bloods’ or ‘half-bloods’, as opposed to ‘muggles’ who are mere humans who practise magic.

The character of Lord Voldemort in the book series was inspired by the same ideologies that gave rise to Adolf Hitler’s crusade during World War II.

Lord Voldemort’s ideology is centred around the superiority of ‘pure blood’ wizards, and his desire to rid the world of Muggle-born wizards and half-bloods; like Hitler who wanted to rid the world of Jews and non-Aryan ‘lesser races’.

According to Hitler, ‘blood purity’ would ensure the survival of the Aryan race and the ‘1000 Year Reich’. Laws were introduced to ensure blood purity within Nazi Germany and anyone who acted outside of these laws was deemed to have committed the crime of rassenschande, which translates roughly as ‘racial pollution’ or ‘racial crime’.

Refer to this article for more information.

Inspect the Fruit (Judge Rightly)

The fruit of this language is, sadly again, division in the Ekklesia, the Body of Christ.

Many Christians have very strong views either way; debates on this issue are fruitless and bring deep division in the body. Please read Romans 14 and understand the division issue.

By using such language, Christians are opening up curses and attacks on themselves and their brothers and sisters in Christ. This grieves me, and more importantly grieves the Lord.

God Hates Division!

These bible verses need to be prayed with a humble heart if needed.

Romans 16:17 ~ Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ~ These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him … And one who sows discord among brethren.

This division, is again, from the pit of hell and has no part in the Body of Christ. If you are using this phrase I humbly ask that you repent for the damage you are causing and potential curses upon yourself.

Jude shows us how to deal with these sorts of words. In verses 20 and 21, Jude calls us to pray in the Holy Spirit, keeping love central, and recognising the Lord’s mercy.

Jude 1:16-21 ~ These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual (fleshly) persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.


We stand for freedom of choice, recognising that many Christians in good faith and good conscience before God have had vaccinations and others are against them. Each person must be able to choose for themselves and their children.

Please don’t conflate the two issues and have abundant grace for others’ point of view and convictions.


Originally published at Ruach haKodesh Ministries. Image: Wikimedia Commons

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45 Top Quotes on Statism

Some wise words about the ever-present threat of statism.

‘The state is my shepherd; I shall not want.’ As worship of the living God shrinks, worship of the state grows. It used to be Communist societies and Muslim-majority ones where we witnessed tyranny on a large scale. But now all over the West, we are seeing the rise and rise of government tyranny.

Many have warned about such things, and I have often written about this. Here are some great quotes about the matter that I have collected over the years. Since I have already done articles with quotes about statism by Chesterton, Lewis and Sheen, I will not quote them here.

This is just a small sampling. I have included a few quotes from American Founding Fathers, but since there are so many, I will have to do a separate piece featuring them.

Resist State Control

Here then are 45 quotes by 29 authors:

“There are two principles between which there can be no compromise — liberty and coercion.”
~ Frederic Bastiat

“The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.”
~ William F. Buckley Jr.

“There is nothing government can give you that it hasn’t taken from you in the first place.”
~ Winston Churchill

“Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
~ Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

“Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”
~ Milton Friedman

“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.”
~ Barry Goldwater

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.”
~ Barry Goldwater

“Unjust authority confers no obligation of obedience.”
~ Alexander Hamilton

“God is the leftists’ chief rival. Christian belief, by subjecting all men to divine authority and by asserting in the words ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ that the ideal society does not exist in this life, is the most coherent and potent obstacle to secular utopianism. … the Bible angers and frustrates those who believe that the pursuit of a perfect society justifies the quest for absolute power.”
~ Peter Hitchens, The Rage Against God

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

“The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”
~ Paul Johnson, Modern Times

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-front for the urge to rule it.”
~ H. L. Menken

“An atheist who is a statist is just another theist.”
~ Stefan Molyneux

“You can imprison me and you can torture me and you can kill me, but Herr Hitler, one day you will give an account to One Who is King of kings and the Lord of lords.”
~ Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller to Adolf Hitler

“It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the ‘right’ to education, the ‘right’ to health care, the ‘right’ to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.”
~ P. J. O’Rourke

“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.
Power is not a means; it is an end.”
~ George Orwell

“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.”
~ George Orwell

“All that gain power… fear to lose it.”
~ Senator Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars Episode III, Revenge of the Sith

“The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. This is one of the most important realisations about society you will ever have. In fact, this understanding is the primary reason for America’s unique success as both a free and affluent society. Everything gets smaller as the government gets bigger. Freedom gets smaller, individuality gets smaller, goodness gets smaller, and human character gets smaller. This is not a political point on behalf of a political party. It is simply an observable fact. And it’s just common sense.”
~ Dennis Prager

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”
~ Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

“Either you will control your government, or government will control you.”
~ Ronald Reagan

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”
~ Ronald Reagan

“I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
~ Ronald Reagan

“Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”
~ Ronald Reagan

“You know what the fastest-growing religion in America is?
Statism. The growing reliance on government.”
~ Marco Rubio

Faith and Freedom

“Authority is inescapable. The basic question is which authority, the authority of God or of man? If we choose man, we have no right to complain against the rise of totalitarianism, the rise of tyranny — we have asked for it. If we choose God’s authority, then we must submit to it without reservation; we must accept His infallible word and must in all things acknowledge His sovereignty. On this foundation, we are ‘founded upon the rock,’ Jesus Christ, and we shall not fall. (Matt. 7:24-27)”
~ R. J. Rushdoony, Law & Liberty

“The churches represent the great area of freedom from statist controls in many countries. This is a condition which the modern state finds intolerable and is determined to alter. The state’s great ally in this struggle is all too often the church itself. The humanism of so many churchmen makes them dedicated allies of statist objectives.”
~ R. J. Rushdoony, Christianity and the State

“The colonists were afraid of ‘big government.’ They were even more afraid of the combination of a powerful civil government and a state church. The independence of the church was to help ensure the protection of the people from a power-hungry state. In fact, both in colonial and early constitutional America, an important aspect of church life was the preaching of election sermons, to spell out the moral and religious issues at stake in civil and political affairs. It would be a disaster if that moral voice were silenced.”
~ R. J. Rushdoony, Our Threatened Freedom

oppose statism“No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions. The Christians had that absolute in God’s revelation. Because the Christians had an absolute, universal standard by which to judge not only personal morals but the state, they were counted as enemies of totalitarian Rome and were thrown to the beasts.”
~ Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?

“If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be the enemy of society and the state. No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have a real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon the absolute. This was the issue with the early church in regard to the Roman Empire, and though the specific issue will in all probability take a different form than Caesar-worship, the basic issue of having an absolute by which to judge the state and society will be the same.”
~ Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?

“The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. ‘Our whole lives are their business.’ The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.”
~ Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction

Dependency on Bureaucracy

“Top-down government breeds irresponsible individuals, and the confiscation of civil society by the state leads to a widespread refusal among the citizens to act for themselves.”
~ Roger Scruton, How to Be a Conservative

“Mystical references to ‘society’ and its programs to ‘help’ may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.”
~ Thomas Sowell

“You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”
~ Thomas Sowell

“The last person to trust with power is someone who is dying to have it. The best person to wield power is someone who is reluctant to do so, but who will do it for a while as a civic duty. That is why term limits should make it impossible to have a whole career in politics.”
~ Thomas Sowell

“In politics, the great non sequitur of our time is that (1) things are not right and that (2) the government should make them right.”
~ Thomas Sowell, The Quest for Cosmic Justice

“A number of years ago I shared a taxi with Francis Schaeffer in St. Louis. During our cab ride I asked Dr. Schaeffer: ‘What is your greatest concern for the future of America?’ Without hesitation or interval given to ponder the question, Schaeffer replied simply, ‘Statism’.”
~ R. C. Sproul in Welfare Reformed: A Compassionate Approach

“Statism involves a philosophy of government by which the state, or government, is viewed not only as the final ruling authority but the ultimate agency of redemption. In this sense, the state does not simply coexist with the church. It supplants the church. Statism can never function under God. If the state is deemed to be under God in the sense of being under God’s authority and accountable to God for its actions, then the state cannot be the ultimate authority. In the philosophy of statism, the government is conceived of as autonomous. It may take shape in an autonomous king, an autonomous dictator, an autonomous committee, or an autonomous democratic populous.”
~ R. C. Sproul in Welfare Reformed: A Compassionate Approach

“When the state has the capacity to know everything except the difference between right and wrong, it won’t end well.”
~ Mark Steyn

“If a candidate is not publically committed to fewer government programs from fewer government agencies enforcing fewer government regulations with fewer government bureaucrats on less lavish taxpayer-funded pay, he’s not serious. He’s not only killing your grandchildren’s and children’s future, he’s killing yours — and you will live to see it.”
~ Mark Steyn

“When the state does everything for you, it will soon take everything from you. You will then have no basis for personal freedom, political freedom, or economic freedom.”
~ Margaret Thatcher

Socialists cry ‘Power to the people’, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean — power over people, power to the State.”
~ Margaret Thatcher

“He who is unfit to serve his fellow citizens wants to rule them.”
~ Ludwig Von Mises

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force.
Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
~ George Washington


Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova.

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Statist Religions: Communism and Nazism

Statism and its war on God — a closer look at twentieth-century atheistic political ideologies which sought to make the state supreme at the grievous cost of human freedom and lives.

This is a follow-up piece to the earlier article I wrote on political religion. In that essay, I spoke of how the modern state increasingly began to see itself as saviour and lord back in the time of the Enlightenment, with the French Revolution being a primary example of this. The attempt to de-Christianise France and deify the state was brutal and bloody, with the guillotine one major aspect of this.

I mentioned that Communism and Nazism are also key examples of this, so here I want to examine those two political systems a bit further. Both have sought to replace God with the state, and both took on the form of religion to do so. To examine these issues in more detail, I will for the most part make use of some of the same commentators that I did in my earlier piece.

Stately Idols

First, some general introductory remarks. We do well to recall the words of Chesterton: “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.” Or as Fulton J. Sheen put it in his 1948 work, Communism and the Conscience of the West:

“The basic struggle today is not between individualism and collectivism, free enterprise and socialism, democracy and dictatorship. These are only the superficial manifestations of a deeper struggle which is moral and spiritual and involves above all else whether man shall exist for the state, or the state for man, and whether freedom is of the spirit or a concession of a materialized society.”

R. J. Rushdoony, looking at the scene in the US, said this in Our Threatened Freedom:

“The plain fact is that we have two rival plans of salvation at war today. Humanism seeks to discredit and destroy Christianity and capture America for itself. We have thus a religious war under way in the United States: humanism versus Christianity. Your future will be determined by the outcome of that battle.”

In his 1952 volume The New Science of Politics, Eric Voegelin discusses Modern Gnosticism. He says that it can “assume the form of activist redemption of man and society, as in the instance of revolutionary activists like Comte, Marx, or Hitler. These Gnostic experiences, in the amplitude of their variety, are the core of the redivinization of society, for the men who fall into these experiences divinize themselves by substituting more massive modes of participation in divinity for faith in the Christian sense.”

As to Marxism, there are hundreds of books that examine its anti-Christian emphasis and how that played out when Communists came to power. Having featured two volumes by historian Michael Burleigh that discuss political religion, let me again appeal to him.

Historical Roots

He looks at how both the earlier utopian socialists and the later Communists could trace back their views to Enlightenment thought and its expression in the French Revolution. He writes:

Communists emphasised equality and identified with the most drastic, Jacobin phase of the French Revolution. On these grounds Communism was distinct from utopian socialism, which had little time for equality, rejected violent revolution and was more concerned with how to achieve harmony than with how to capitalise upon human strife. What it could not ignore in socialism was that it had got there first in providing workers with rudimentary organisation. In a zoomorphic sense, Communists resembled those aggressive African bees that colonise and transform more placid hives.

He notes how Communism became a secularised version of Christianity:

It is relatively easy to transpose some of the key terms from the Judaeo-Christian heritage to Marxism: ‘consciousness’ (soul), ‘comrades’ (faithful), ‘capitalist’ (sinner), ‘devil’ (counter-revolutionary), ‘proletariat’ (chosen people) and ‘classless society’ (paradise). The ruling classes were also going to face a revolutionary form of ‘Last Judgement’ (Weltgericht).

But there were far deeper unacknowledged correspondences, including nostalgia for a lost oneness and the beliefs that time was linear (the ancients thought it was cyclical), that the achievement of higher consciousness brought salvation, and that history was progressing with its meaning and purpose evident to the discerning, knowledgeable vanguard.

Although Marxists dispensed with a God capable of intervening in this world, their scheme of history replicated Judaeo-Christian eschatology, with what was good and perfect evident only at the beginning and at the end of the story. If the religious account of time concerned what occurred between the Fall of Adam and the Apocalypse, so for Marxists time began with the Great Expropriation, when primitive communism was replaced by class society and man’s alienation commenced, and it would end with a global revolution, which would restore man to an even higher version of his unalienated humanity.

He also looks at the Gnostic connection:

Marxism managed to incorporate what Christianity since St Augustine has managed to push to the heterodox margins with the certainty of the orthodox version. Marxism combined the assurance that everything was operating according to the dispositions of secularised versions of higher powers with Gnostic sectarian belief that the messianic elect that had grasped these laws was morally entitled to destroy existing society (which was entirely without virtue) in order to achieve earthly paradise. …

Communists took it upon themselves to realise heaven on earth through transforming violence: that exercise in regrettable but necessary killing which would murder eighty or a hundred million people in the twentieth century. Like Marxists, medieval millenarians believed they would be able to extricate man from a ‘darkened level of being’, successfully reintegrating him into the light. Perhaps appropriately enough, when Marx came to explain how the proletariat became the saviour class, he had recourse to the Gnostic concept of ‘pneumatics’ and talked mysteriously of ‘that breath of spirit’. For it was otherwise hard to explain how, if the proletariat was history’s creator-subject, it had emerged only in Marx’s own century.

The number of Communism’s victims may well be more than one hundred million. Whatever the exact number, this is the result of this diabolical political religion. Killing or enslaving the masses is always the outcome. As Vincent Miceli rightly stated:

Freedom is rooted in the spiritual, in the divine; servitude is rooted in the material, in the creaturely. Communism immerses man in matter, in the creaturely, in man himself. And there is no greater tyrant over man than man himself. For when man becomes his own God, as in communist humanism he inevitably does, this self-idolatry becomes so arrogantly irrational that it demands the life of every human being as its victim.

Denying God

A brief word about Hitler and the Nazis. They too were pushing a coercive utopianism, one based on the all-powerful state and the subservient masses. Once again, plenty of experts could be appealed to here, but let me again run with some choice words from Stephen Strehle:Dark Side French Revolution Nazism book

At the beginning of 1934, Nazi leaders like Goebbels, Rosenberg, Goering, and Schirach began a public campaign expressing open hostility toward the church. Many ministers were arrested, and important theologians and  philosophers were dismissed from their professorships, including Paul Tillich, Martin Buber, K. L. Schmidt, and Karl Barth.

Theological faculties were placed under constant surveillance, since they served as mentors for the future leaders of the church, and enrollment among their student bodies plummeted accordingly. Christian literature was suppressed everywhere and anti-Christian material circulated freely and widely among the masses. …

Hitler let others handle the specific anti-Christian measures, while trying to distance his public persona from all those groups who would “destroy the church,” but his general policy of Gleichschaltung was designed to align everything in Germany with the aspirations of National Socialism and could lead in no other direction or result than the complete elimination of all opposing forces, including the church.

To effect this policy, Hitler and the Nazis followed and emphasized the clandestine approach of the French Enlightenment, calling for a separation between church and state as if creating a secret boundary, hoping to limit the church to a private sphere, which will recede before the increasing power of the state. To destroy the church, the Nazis only needed to emphasize the separation of the two spheres, just like Luther and the Reformers, and then use the godless power of the state to reeducate the people into a different system of belief. Wilhelm Frick, the Minister of the Interior, said, “We do not want Protestant or Catholic civil servants, we want German civil servants.”

Hmm, why does so much of this sound so very familiar today? This hatred of Christianity makes perfect sense, since the political state must at all costs eliminate all opposition. And since the totalist state wants to take upon itself godlike status and powers, then all rival Gods must be destroyed.

With Christianity being the one true faith, and the one that is most opposed to all other claimants to the divine throne, the totalitarians reserve their real animus and rage for it. A closing quote from Rushdoony discussing the scene in America is worth featuring here:

The colonists were afraid of ‘big government.’ They were even more afraid of the combination of a powerful civil government and a state church. The independence of the church was to help ensure the protection of the people from a power-hungry state. In fact, both in colonial and early constitutional America, an important aspect of church life was the preaching of election sermons, to spell out the moral and religious issues at stake in civil and political affairs. It would be a disaster if that moral voice were silenced.

We certainly could use sermons like that again today — if it is not already too late.


  • Burleigh, Michael, Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe, From the French Revolution to the Great War. HarperCollins, 2005.
  • Miceli, Vincent, The Gods of Atheism. Arlington House, 1971.
  • Rushdoony, Rousas John, Our Threatened Freedom. Ross House Books, 2014.
  • Sheen, Fulton J., Communism and the Conscience of the West. Cluny, 1948, 2021.
  • Strehle, Stephen. The Dark Side of Church/State Separation: The French Revolution, Nazi Germany, and International Communism. Routledge, 2014, 2017.
  • Voegelin, Eric, The New Science of Politics. University of Chicago Press, 1952.


Originally published at CultureWatch. Photo by Nico Becker.

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Nazis And Eugenics Brought Us Chemical Abortion: Here’s Proof

Nazis And Eugenics Brought Us Chemical Abortion: Here’s Proof

Chemical abortion is the backup plan of the abortion industry post-Roe, but it shields a ghastly history. The demand for this dangerous drug is rising in the U.S. despite its four times higher complication rate than surgical abortion and a jaw-dropping reality: the chemical abortion drug is connected to Nazi Germany. The affiliates of those who killed innocent children in the Holocaust introduced to our county the drug that is today killing innocent preborn children and numerous mothers.

Pro-life activists often argue that the dehumanization of Jews by the Nazis and the dehumanization of the preborn by the abortion industry are philosophically similar phenomena. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a relentless racist. However, few know the true historical relationship between the Nazi genocide during World War II and today’s chemical abortion industry, now responsible for 54 percent of abortions nationwide.

In the early to mid-20th century, the pharmaceutical holding company I.G. Farben Chemical Company controlled much of the German chemical industry. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the infamous Auschwitz was one of I.G. Farben’s very own chemical plants, responsible for the slavery and deaths of more than a million people in World War II.

Several of Farben’s directors were also found guilty in the U.S’s Nuernberg War Crimes Trials for slavery and mass murder. Georg von Schnitzler, a member of the managing board of directors of Farben, was even a captain in a violent division of the Nazi party that helped facilitate Hitler’s rise before WWII. I.G. Farben Chemical Company was the archetype of an industrial demon.

After the war, Western countries attempted to utterly splinter I.G. Farben industrial power, but divided the holding company into three of its own industrial members, Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF.

In 1974, the first of these three entities, Hoechst, gained a majority share of the holding company Chimio that controlled a French pharmaceutical company called Roussel Uclaf. By 1982, Roussel Uclaf had developed the RU-486 chemical abortion drug mifepristone.

Abortion Drug’s Ties to Population Council, Planned Parenthood

During the mid-1990s, Roussel Uclaf allied with the nonprofit Population Council, which led the charge for FDA approval of the abortion pill in the U.S., officially granted in 2000. During that time Hoechst acquired the remaining shares of Roussel Uclaf.

Like Hoechst, the Population Council had deeply eugenic roots. Aided by the director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the organization was founded by John D. Rockefeller III, son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Rockefeller Jr. sponsored German eugenic research leading up to the late-1930s that influenced later Nazi policy. Through the Rockefeller Foundation, he funded multiple institutions at which Ernst Rüdin, who spearheaded Hitler’s gruesome medical research during the Holocaust, held leading roles. One such organization was the Institute for Brain Research. According to The History News Network:

Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the Institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The Institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the Institute, once again, was Hitler’s medical henchman Ernst Rüdin. Rüdin’s organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Following in the footsteps of the organization his father founded, in the 1950s Rockefeller III’s Population Council supported the American Eugenics Society, eugenics-motivated sterilization of women, and the use of sex-selective abortion. It also tested, along with International Planned Parenthood Federation, population controlling IUD contraceptives in Pakistan, Taiwan, South Korea, and India in the ’60s despite knowing their dangerous side effects on women. The council itself was led for years by openly eugenicist presidents Frederick Osborn and Frank Notestein, both of whom were members of the American Eugenics Society.

Aborting Minorities

Rockefeller III acted as chairman of President Nixon’s 1969 Population and the American Future Commission just two years after receiving Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award. The commission staff was headed by Dr. Charles F. Westoff of the American Eugenics Society and advised by eugenicist Daniel Callahan. The final report endorsed decreasing population growth through supporting the option for women to obtain contraception and/or abortion. No wonder the Population Council was such a willing candidate to spearhead FDA approval for the Hoechst/Roussel Uclaf chemical abortion drug.

Certain mid-19th century eugenicist figures such as Gunnar Myrdal in his 1944 book “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy” schemed that “the most effective way they could advance their agenda would be to concentrate population control facilities within the targeted communities,” according to Life Dynamic’s Racial Targeting Report. Today, abortion is the leading cause of death among African Americans, having taken an estimated 19 million black lives. According to Students for Life of America, “Almost 80% of Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities are located in minority neighborhoods. 88% of its new ‘mega facilities’ are located within walking distance of minority neighborhoods.”

Today’s abortion industry today is continuing Sanger’s racist legacy. As filmmaker Jason Jones bluntly put it, even though today’s abortion supporters generally reject eugenics, by still endorsing policies (namely abortion) that disproportionately kill black babies, they are “watering an apple tree hoping they get peaches.”

A disproportionate number of black babies are being killed by the abortion industry. This is the effect Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Sanger hoped for. It is no surprise that organizations like Hoechst and Population Council, who have eugenic roots too, were inclined to join the abortion bandwagon considering its ability to control populations.

Eugenic leaders laid the groundwork for today’s abortion industry. Similar to the 1969 Commission using the language of women’s choice to propagate what was possibly the eugenic dispositions of its leaders, today’s abortion industry touts the language of bodily autonomy to bolster their abortion business. Considering that nearly half of black babies are aborted in the U.S. today, abortion supporters don’t seem to care that their policies, in effect, carry on the eugenic tendencies of the Population Council, both J.D. Rockefellers, I.G. Farben Chemical Company, and Margaret Sanger.

The sad irony is that while the language of the abortion industry changed, its policies did not. Planned Parenthood still propagates a eugenic legacy through killing innocent children by chemical abortion.

Rachel Schroder is a history major at Hillsdale College. She wrote this article during her internship at the Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women.

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Heroes of the siege

Heroes of the siege

Sometimes the struggle for a single small strongpoint can tip the whole balance of a greater battle. One thinks of the closing of the gates of Hougoumont farm at Waterloo, or the bloodless German seizure of Fort Douaumont at Verdun – an error it took an estimated 100,000 French lives to reverse. According to Iain MacGregor, this role at Stalingrad was played by a non-descript four-storey building in the city’s central district, codenamed ‘the Lighthouse’, but subsequently known as ‘Pavlov’s House’, after one of its garrison’s leaders, Sergeant Yakov Pavlov.

MacGregor’s meticulously researched narrative of the titanic battle that was the turning point of the second world war focuses on the epic two-month struggle for possession of this single structure between its Russian defenders and German attackers.

The dogged siege of the building – with much help from Soviet propaganda after it was eulogised in the army newspaper Stalin’s Banner – became emblematic of the wider battle that would represent the shattering of Hitler’s hopes of triumphal conquest and the beginning of his downfall.

So many of the features of the fighting at Stalingrad – the rattenkrieg hand-to-hand tussle waged for cellars that repeatedly changed hands, or for mounds of shell-pounded rubble that had been tenement blocks – were reproduced in miniature in the ding-dong struggle for the Lighthouse. Surrounded by the Germans on three sides, the house’s beleaguered defenders – stranded women civilians as well as soldiers – hung on grimly, knowing that if they lost it, the whole of Stalingrad could fall with it, allowing Hitler to claim a famous victory in the city that bore his rival dictator’s name.

The Lighthouse owed its importance to its strategic position. Sited on the 9th January Square on the banks of the Volga, it was one of the last toeholds in the city retained by the Red Army on the vast river’s western bank. While the Wehrmacht wasted precious time and resources trying to take it and other stubborn redoubts, Marshal Vasily Chuikov built up his forces around the city until he was ready to snap the jaws of his encirclement shut, trapping General Paulus’s Sixth Army in the Kessel (cauldron) that would become their tomb.

MacGregor is fair to both sides, and gives a starring role to General Friedrich Roske, an officer barely mentioned by Antony Beevor in his celebrated study of the battle. MacGregor credits him with having negotiated Paulus’s surrender when the newly promoted field marshal was holed up in his HQ in the Univermag department store in a state of nervous collapse. After the capitulation, Roske spent years in the gulag and only returned to Germany in 1955, committing suicide a few months later.

The book is very much a worm’s-eye view of this brutal battle. In contrast to Beevor, who is good on the higher strategy, MacGregor takes us right into the war on and below the ground, devoting comparatively little space, for example, to the squabbles Hitler and Stalin had with their generals, and none at all to what became of the German commanders captured after the battle, when some, like Paulus himself, turned traitor and became Stalinist puppets while others stayed loyal to the Führer and suffered the consequences.

But the author does go over the top in praising Chuikov, seeing him in almost Soviet terms as the stainless architect of victory and the very model of a modern comrade general: ‘He was beloved… a man who knew his place in the Great Patriotic War… he ensured that he would be chief among equals when it came to celebrate his country’s greatest victory.’

Indeed my main quibble is with the starry-eyed way in which MacGregor writes of the heroism of the Red Army and of those responsible for the hard-fought victory over Hitler. They were ‘unsung heroes… who had performed superhuman heroics’. No doubt there were many such men who fought at Stalingrad, but the book makes no mention of Lavrenti Beria, Stalin’s sinister secret police chief, waiting behind the lines with his NKVD killers to shoot anyone who flinched and fled.

This is a gripping and knowledgeable account, but some of the Russophile purple passages might have been lifted straight from Pravda in 1942. It’s not the author’s fault, of course, but at a time when Russian soldiers are better known for rape, torture and unprovoked aggression than for the uncomplicated heroics recounted here, the book’s publication could hardly have been worse timed.


The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics

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This was originally published on San Francisco Chronicle in September 2003.


Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called “Master Race.”

But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. California eugenicists played an important, although little known, role in the American eugenics movement’s campaign for ethnic cleansing.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

California was considered an epicenter of the American eugenics movement. During the Twentieth Century’s first decades, California’s eugenicists included potent but little known race scientists, such as Army venereal disease specialist Dr. Paul Popenoe, citrus magnate and Polytechnic benefactor Paul Gosney, Sacramento banker Charles M. Goethe, as well as members of the California State Board of Charities and Corrections and the University of California Board of Regents.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.

Stanford president David Starr Jordan originated the notion of “race and blood” in his 1902 racial epistle “Blood of a Nation,” in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood.

In 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations.

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization.

The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

Much of the spiritual guidance and political agitation for the American eugenics movement came from California’s quasi-autonomous eugenic societies, such as the Pasadena-based Human Betterment Foundation and the California branch of the American Eugenics Society, which coordinated much of their activity with the Eugenics Research Society in Long Island. These organizations–which functioned as part of a closely-knit network–published racist eugenic newsletters and pseudoscientific journals, such as Eugenical News and Eugenics, and propagandized for the Nazis.

Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people only married other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton’s ideas were imported into the United States just as Gregor Mendel’s principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenic advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

In an America demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early twentieth century. Elitists, utopians and so-called “progressives” fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton’s eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: populate the earth with vastly more of their own socio-economic and biological kind–and less or none of everyone else.

The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated African Americans, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark-haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and really anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

How? By identifying so-called “defective” family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior–the so-called “unfit.” The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 “Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.” Point eight was euthanasia.

The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in America was a “lethal chamber” or public locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, Applied Eugenics, which argued, “From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.” Applied Eugenics also devoted a chapter to “Lethal Selection,” which operated “through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency.”

Eugenic breeders believed American society was not ready to implement an organized lethal solution. But many mental institutions and doctors practiced improvised medical lethality and passive euthanasia on their own. One institution in Lincoln, Illinois fed its incoming patients milk from tubercular cows believing a eugenically strong individual would be immune. Thirty to forty percent annual death rates resulted at Lincoln. Some doctors practiced passive eugenicide one newborn infant at a time. Others doctors at mental institutions engaged in lethal neglect.

Nonetheless, with eugenicide marginalized, the main solution for eugenicists was the rapid expansion of forced segregation and sterilization, as well as more marriage restrictions. California led the nation, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process. In its first twenty-five years of eugenic legislation, California sterilized 9,782 individuals, mostly women. Many were classified as “bad girls,” diagnosed as “passionate,” “oversexed” or “sexually wayward.” At Sonoma, some women were sterilized because of what was deemed an abnormally large clitoris or labia.

In 1933 alone, at least 1,278 coercive sterilizations were performed, 700 of which were on women. The state’s two leading sterilization mills in 1933 were Sonoma State Home with 388 operations and Patton State Hospital with 363 operations. Other sterilization centers included Agnews, Mendocino, Napa, Norwalk, Stockton and Pacific Colony state hospitals.

Even the United States Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes’s words in their own defense.

Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.

Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler’s race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.

During the ’20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany’s fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. “There is today one state,” wrote Hitler, “in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.”

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. “I have studied with great interest,” he told a fellow Nazi, “the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.”

Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his “bible.”

Hitler’s struggle for a superior race would be a mad crusade for a Master Race. Now, the American term “Nordic” was freely exchanged with “Germanic” or “Aryan.” Race science, racial purity and racial dominance became the driving force behind Hitler’s Nazism. Nazi eugenics would ultimately dictate who would be persecuted in a Reich-dominated Europe, how people would live, and how they would die. Nazi doctors would become the unseen generals in Hitler’s war against the Jews and other Europeans deemed inferior. Doctors would create the science, devise the eugenic formulas, and even hand-select the victims for sterilization, euthanasia and mass extermination.

During the Reich’s early years, eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler’s plans as the logical fulfillment of their own decades of research and effort. California eugenicists republished Nazi propaganda for American consumption. They also arranged for Nazi scientific exhibits, such as an August 1934 display at the L.A. County Museum, for the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

In 1934, as Germany’s sterilizations were accelerating beyond 5,000 per month, the California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe upon returning from Germany ebulliently bragged to a key colleague, “You will be interested to know, that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the group of intellectuals who are behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought.…I want you, my dear friend, to carry this thought with you for the rest of your life, that you have really jolted into action a great government of 60 million people.”

That same year, ten years after Virginia passed its sterilization act, Joseph DeJarnette, superintendent of Virginia’s Western State Hospital, observed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The Germans are beating us at our own game.”

More than just providing the scientific roadmap, America funded Germany’s eugenic institutions. By 1926, Rockefeller had donated some $410,000 — almost $4 million in 21st-Century money — to hundreds of German researchers. In May 1926, Rockefeller awarded $250,000 to the German Psychiatric Institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, later to become the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry. Among the leading psychiatrists at the German Psychiatric Institute was Ernst Rüdin, who became director and eventually an architect of Hitler’s systematic medical repression.

Another in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute’s eugenic complex of institutions was the Institute for Brain Research. Since 1915, it had operated out of a single room. Everything changed when Rockefeller money arrived in 1929. A grant of $317,000 allowed the Institute to construct a major building and take center stage in German race biology. The Institute received additional grants from the Rockefeller Foundation during the next several years. Leading the Institute, once again, was Hitler’s medical henchman Ernst Rüdin. Rüdin’s organization became a prime director and recipient of the murderous experimentation and research conducted on Jews, Gypsies and others.

Beginning in 1940, thousands of Germans taken from old age homes, mental institutions and other custodial facilities were systematically gassed. Between 50,000 and 100,000 were eventually killed.

Leon Whitney, executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society declared of Nazism, “While we were pussy-footing around…the Germans were calling a spade a spade.”

A special recipient of Rockefeller funding was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics in Berlin. For decades, American eugenicists had craved twins to advance their research into heredity. The Institute was now prepared to undertake such research on an unprecedented level. On May 13, 1932, the Rockefeller Foundation in New York dispatched a radiogram to its Paris office:


At the time of Rockefeller’s endowment, Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a hero in American eugenics circles, functioned as a head of the Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics. Rockefeller funding of that Institute continued both directly and through other research conduits during Verschuer’s early tenure. In 1935, Verschuer left the Institute to form a rival eugenics facility in Frankfurt that was much heralded in the American eugenic press. Research on twins in the Third Reich exploded, backed up by government decrees. Verschuer wrote in Der Erbarzt, a eugenic doctor’s journal he edited, that Germany’s war would yield a “total solution to the Jewish problem.”

Verschuer had a long-time assistant. His name was Josef Mengele. On May 30, 1943, Mengele arrived at Auschwitz. Verschuer notified the German Research Society, “My assistant, Dr. Josef Mengele (M.D., Ph.D.) joined me in this branch of research. He is presently employed as Hauptsturmführer [captain] and camp physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Anthropological testing of the most diverse racial groups in this concentration camp is being carried out with permission of the SS Reichsführer [Himmler].”

Mengele began searching the boxcar arrivals for twins. When he found them, he performed beastly experiments, scrupulously wrote up the reports and sent the paperwork back to Verschuer’s institute for evaluation. Often, cadavers, eyes and other body parts were also dispatched to Berlin’s eugenic institutes.

Rockefeller executives never knew of Mengele. With few exceptions, the foundation had ceased all eugenic studies in Nazi-occupied Europe before the war erupted in 1939. But by that time the die had been cast. The talented men Rockefeller and Carnegie financed, the institutions they helped found, and the science it helped create took on a scientific momentum of their own.

After the war, eugenics was declared a crime against humanity–an act of genocide. Germans were tried and they cited the California statutes in their defense. To no avail. They were found guilty.

However, Mengele’s boss Verschuer escaped prosecution. Verschuer re-established his connections with California eugenicists who had gone underground and renamed their crusade “human genetics.” Typical was an exchange July 25, 1946 when Popenoe wrote Verschuer, “It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you again. I have been very anxious about my colleagues in Germany…. I suppose sterilization has been discontinued in Germany?” Popenoe offered tidbits about various American eugenic luminaries and then sent various eugenic publications. In a separate package, Popenoe sent some cocoa, coffee and other goodies.

Verschuer wrote back, “Your very friendly letter of 7/25 gave me a great deal of pleasure and you have my heartfelt thanks for it. The letter builds another bridge between your and my scientific work; I hope that this bridge will never again collapse but rather make possible valuable mutual enrichment and stimulation.”

Soon, Verschuer once again became a respected scientist in Germany and around the world. In 1949, he became a corresponding member of the newly formed American Society of Human Genetics, organized by American eugenicists and geneticists.

In the fall of 1950, the University of Münster offered Verschuer a position at its new Institute of Human Genetics, where he later became a dean. In the early and mid-1950s, Verschuer became an honorary member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Italian Society of Genetics, the Anthropological Society of Vienna, and the Japanese Society for Human Genetics.

Human genetics’ genocidal roots in eugenics were ignored by a victorious generation that refused to link itself to the crimes of Nazism and by succeeding generations that never knew the truth of the years leading up to war. Now governors of five states, including California have issued public apologies to their citizens, past and present, for sterilization and other abuses spawned by the eugenics movement.

Human genetics became an enlightened endeavor in the late twentieth century. Hard-working, devoted scientists finally cracked the human code through the Human Genome Project. Now, every individual can be biologically identified and classified by trait and ancestry. Yet even now, some leading voices in the genetic world are calling for a cleansing of the unwanted among us, and even a master human species.

There is understandable wariness about more ordinary forms of abuse, for example, in denying insurance or employment based on genetic tests. On October 14, America’s first genetic anti-discrimination legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote. Yet because genetics research is global, no single nation’s law can stop the threats.


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Edwin Black is the author of “IBM and the Holocaust” and “War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race,”  from which the following article is drawn.

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