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Pioneer's big lie.

In this they proceeded on the sound principle that the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of ties that were too big.

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1)

In the spring of 2002, I published an article entitled "The American Breed": Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund as part of a symposium edition of the Albany Law Review. (2) My objective was to present "a detailed analysis of the ... origins of the Pioneer Fund" (3) and to show the connections between Nazi eugenics and one branch of the American eugenics movement that I described as purveying "a malevolent brand of biological determinism." (4) I collected published evidence on the Pioneer Fund's history and supplemented it with material from several archival collections--focusing particularly on letters and other documents that explained the relationship between Pioneer's first President, Harry Laughlin, and Pioneer's founder, Wickliffe Draper. The evidence thus assembled convinced me that both Laughlin and Draper were sympathetic to the eugenic agenda being crafted in the mid-1930s by the Nazis. As they launched their private eugenic foundation, they hoped to emulate the German model. (5) To support my conclusions I pointed to factors such as Laughlin's arrangement for Draper's attendance at a Nazi population conference in Berlin, (6) as well as Laughlin's excitement on receiving his own Nazi-conferred honorary degree. (7) I noted parallels between projects funded by Draper before Pioneer was incorporated and similar projects in its early years as well as more recently. (8)

The unyielding position of present day Pioneer Fund spokesmen--that the foundation's past contains no links to Nazi eugenics (9)--demonstrates to me the unwillingness of the Pioneer Fund to confront its troubling history. Rather than admitting to the obvious implications of its founders' actions and motives as revealed in their unguarded personal commentary, the Pioneer Fund today continues to declare that Laughlin was a "life-long scientist" (10) and Draper, merely a "gentleman scholar". (11) Pioneer supporters claim that rather than being part of the darkest chapter of the multifaceted story of American eugenics, Laughlin and Draper--and the Fund itself--are victims of a recent rash of political correctness and "Pioneer bashing". (12)

Why does Pioneer refuse to face its history? Perhaps it is simply continuing a practice honed by Pioneer leaders like the late Harry Weyher. (13) As I explained in my first Albany Law Review article, past Pioneer spokesmen made few public statements, but more recently the Fund has been "particularly aggressive in leveling the accusation of 'McCarthyism' at anyone who connects its founding to the American eugenicists who celebrated Hitler's ascendancy." (14) This strategy--denying the obvious, feigning shock at any challenge to the sanitized, official history of Pioneer as compiled by Fund beneficiaries and apologists--resembles a well known tactic. It is called the "Big Lie" and it was made famous by Adolf Hitler, whose articulation of the scheme of deceit is quoted above from Mein Kampf. (15) The technique was used to justify his agenda against the Jews. (16) Pioneer leader Weyher resorted to the same technique as a counter to the invariably bad publicity generated by news commentary on the activities of Pioneer grantees (17) in addition to the growing historical documentation of the Fund's own dark beginnings. (18)

Apparently, University of Western Ontario psychologist J. Philippe Rushton agrees with Weyher's strategy and has embraced his methods. For the last eighteen years, Rushton has been a regular recipient of Pioneer favors; his own books, such as Race, Evolution, and Behavior, were supported by Pioneer funding. (19) Having graduated to a new level in the Pioneer hierarchy, Rushton now defends the honor of Weyher's legacy, serving as current Pioneer President; (20) in that role he wrote a lengthy response to my article. (21) Fairly frothing with real (or contrived?) indignation, Rushton managed to fill fifty-five journal pages in an attempt "to refute a series of false charges" (22) that he claimed to find in my article. Unfortunately, the majority of Rushton's diatribe is just another puff piece on what he calls the "frontier-style, path-breaking, scientific research" (23) supported by Pioneer over the six decades of its existence. (24) He failed to challenge substantively the documentary evidence that I presented, settling instead to rail against me in terms that rarely rose above the level of personal attack. Rushton attempted to distort the analysis that I provided of the history of eugenics and the people about whom I wrote, describing with patent inaccuracy both the content and tone of my article.

It would not be fruitful--nor is it necessary--to restate everything I said in my original Albany Law Review article on Pioneer to address Rushton's fulmination. Thoughtful readers can compare his version of Pioneer's history with my own and reach their own conclusions on whose case is convincing. A few pages in the Rushton screed do, however, call for a response.

First, in the Rushton view of history, what qualifies as proper evidence to set the historical context of Pioneer's founding? Second, what was the real reputation of Laughlin and Draper among their contemporaries? Third, is "playing the Nazi Race Card" ever justified?


My article was based on a review of primary sources, such as documents in the Harry Laughlin Papers at Truman State University, the John Harlan papers at Princeton University, the Edwin Alderman and John Newcomb presidential papers at the University of Virginia, the Earnest Sevier Cox papers at Duke University, the archives of the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the various historical collections on eugenics at the American Philosophical Society. (25) I also referred to most major books on the history of the American eugenics movement written in the past forty years. (26) In contrast, what Rushton describes as a "detailed refutation" (27) cites few primary documents, and reveals nothing from the Pioneer archive over which he now presides. Instead, he relies principally on comments in the primary and secondary literature made by past or current Pioneer directors, and people who have received Pioneer grant support. (28)

Rushton's favorite sources for his supposedly historical perspective are the Pioneer web site and the in-house hagiography of the Pioneer Fund written by Pioneer stalwart Richard Lynn, The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund. (29) Rushton calls Lynn's book an "invaluable insider's guide to the Pioneer Fund's history." (30) Lynn, who has been supported by Pioneer funding for years, (31) is preferred over the dozen historians who published recent books on eugenics, all of whom were catalogued in my article. (32) One need read no further than Lynn's glowing (curiously written in the third person) account of his own activities as a Pioneer beneficiary to see evidence of his supposed objectivity in reporting the Pioneer saga. (33)

It is difficult to take anyone seriously who proposes to provide the "historical context" (34) for an episode in the past and who then refuses to confront the substance of the documents that provide contemporaneous, unfiltered evidence of that episode. Rushton is a Pioneer-funded advocate (35) and hardly qualifies as an unbiased reviewer of his organization's past. Rather than investigate the actual documentary record, he takes one glowing account of his organization--the Richard Lynn book--as the best historical source of Pioneer history. The book was not only bought and paid for by the Pioneer Fund itself but was written by an individual who has regularly benefited from the organization's subsidies. (36) Placed in this light, Rushton's credibility is strained beyond the vanishing point. But, as Rushton knows, the Big Lie does not depend upon credibility, but gullibility.


Was Harry Laughlin the famed scientist that Rushton wishes to portray, or merely a propagandist, as I assert? Rushton claims that Laughlin's 1924 testimony before a Congressional committee in favor of immigration restriction (37) was much more "nuanced" (38) than my analysis indicated, and that it proves he was not an anti-Semite. (39) True to form, Rushton was not convinced by the unadulterated evidence I set forth in my first Albany Law Review article. He is unfazed by my assertion that in private Laughlin played an enthusiastic second chair to Madison Grant, the maestro of scientific racism and author of the book Hitler hailed as "'his Bible.'" (40) Forget that Laughlin complained to Grant that "'[t]he Jew is doubtless here to stay and the Nordics' job is to prevent more of them from coming.'" (41) By Rushton's logic, we should disregard Laughlin's candid private remarks in favor of those he prepared for a public political presentation.

I argued that Laughlin was a bigot, not that he was a complete fool. There were two Jews on the committee to which Laughlin read his testimony. (42) His public presentations were vetted by friends like Draper, Grant and the other immigration restrictionists who knew well how to avoid inflaming opposition to their legislative agenda. (43)

Those who wish to read Laughlin's testimony can decide for themselves whether I did it justice; meanwhile, it is instructive to read what contemporaries of Laughlin said about it. In a critique of testimony before Congress in support of immigration restriction, Joseph Gillman described Laughlin's statistical samples, methods of computation and interpretation of findings as "all statistically and logically unsound." (44) He mocked a suggestion in Laughlin's testimony that being an orphan was hereditary. (45) He scored Laughlin's selective list of "facts" as fodder for "preconceived conclusions." (46) He summarized Laughlin's counterfeit "impartiality" as an attempt to "conceal his preconception in the elusiveness of technical statistical inaccuracies." (47)

Johns Hopkins University geneticist H.S. Jennings also argued against the Laughlin position. (48) He scornfully described some of Laughlin's "deduction[s]" as "illegitimate and incorrect." (49) He supported Gillman's evaluation, saying that the critics had demolished both Laughlin's data and conclusions. (50)

Jennings was one of the premier geneticists in the world, and he thought Laughlin's assertions were nonsense. (51) Jennings was also supportive of many of the eugenicists' goals and was hardly a racial egalitarian. (52) Was Jennings' attack on the first Pioneer President also infected with "political correctness?" (53) Can Rushton claim that Jennings was just another unsophisticated "hermeneuticist?" (54)

At several points, Rushton invokes the name of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and he would like us to believe that Laughlin was just another of the great scientists who populated that historic center of genetic research. (55) In an attempt to validate Laughlin's brand of eugenics at the Eugenics Record Office, Rushton asserts that "the orientation at Cold Spring Harbor was then, as it is today, scientific" (56) and that "the basic research on human heredity carried out at Cold Spring Harbor has withstood the test of time." (57)

But how was Laughlin regarded by the famed scientists at Cold Spring Harbor? Rushton's favorite historian, Richard Lynn, describes the end of Harry Laughlin's career in these terms: "Laughlin's health begin (sic) to decline after 1940. He retired from the Eugenics Records Office in that year, and the office closed shortly afterward." (58)

Contrary to Lynn's brief, sanitized version of Laughlin's twilight years, what really happened to Laughlin is well known to anyone who has studied the history of eugenics. An evaluation done by Laughlin's employer, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, sealed his fate and prompted his dismissal. (59) Laughlin's Eugenics Record Office (ERO) was audited by a team of Carnegie consultants in 1935. (60) They described the records collected at the ERO as a "vast and inert accumulation", (61) "unsatisfactory for the scientific study of human genetics" (62) and judged the "system of recording ... unsound." (63) The auditors recommended a new direction for Laughlin's program to insure that it was "divorced from all forms of propaganda and the urging or sponsoring of programs for social reform or race betterment such as sterilization, birth-control, inculcation of race (sic) or national consciousness, restriction of immigration, etc." (64) A change to the name of the Eugenical News was recommended to avoid the negative connotations of the word "eugenics," which the auditors suggested was "not a science." (65)

A.V. Kidder, who chaired the Carnegie evaluation committee, described Laughlin as having "a messiah attitude toward [e]ugenics." (66) Kidder wrote to Johns Hopkins University embryologist George Streeter, saying that Laughlin "would be happier as the organizing and propaganda agent of a group devoted to the promotion of race betterment. In a scientific institution he is really out of place." (67) John C. Merriam, who headed the Carnegie Institution, (68) accepted the committee's report and agreed with the plan to limit Laughlin's ERO work to "matters which can clearly be handled on a scientific basis" and to "distinguish between fundamental research and propaganda." (69)

L.C. Dunn, another advisor to Carnegie (70) who critiqued the work of the ERO, noted concerns among geneticists that "eugenical research was not always activated by purely disinterested scientific motives." (71) "Eugenics' has come to mean an effort to foster a program of social improvement rather than an effort to discover facts," Dunn said. (72) His comments concerning eugenics in Germany and the danger of a similar program at the ERO were prescient.
 I have just observed in Germany some of the
 consequences of reversing the order as between [social]
 program and discovery. The incomplete knowledge of
 today, much of it based on a theory of the state which has
 been influenced by the racial, class and religious
 prejudices of the group in power, has been embalmed in
 law.... The geneological [sic] record offices have
 become powerful agencies of the state, and medical
 judgments even when possible, appear to be subservient
 to political purposes. (73)

According to Dunn, much of the problem in Germany was "due to the dictatorship" of Hitler. (74) But Dunn's concern about Laughlin and the ERO was informed by the Nazi example, which only showed the "dangers which all programs run which are not continually responsive to new knowledge." (75) Dunn, who later ran the Cold Spring Harbor Department of Genetics, made his comments as a supplement to the Carnegie evaluation committee, and echoed similar concerns about the propensities of Laughlin and the ERO. (76) As early as 1935, Dunn was willing to draw parallels between the most virulent American eugenics propaganda and Nazi abuses in the name of science.

When Vannevar Bush took over as the Carnegie executive, he also noted Laughlin's deficiencies and concluded that he was a person not accepted among geneticists. (77) Bush later used information in the auditor's report to force Laughlin into premature retirement. (78)

In his fervor to bolster his hero's reputation, Rushton ignores documentation provided in my article of the ill opinion in which Laughlin was held by Frederick Osborn, Laughlin's fellow Pioneer director. (79) At this late date, Rushton still praises the "scientific information" (80) published in Eugenical News, even though as early as 1940 Frederick Osborn rejected back issues of the journal that Laughlin had edited, considering them an embarrassing relic of the worst parts of America's early infatuation with eugenics. (81) Rushton also omits historian Mark Haller's comment quoting Osborn's assessment of Laughlin's work as "'thoroughly unscientific.'" (82) Nor does Rushton allude to Osborn's challenge to the legitimacy of Laughlin's "scientific" (83) pretensions and hording of very questionable data--a challenge that ultimately led to Laughlin's dismissal. (84) Rushton ignores the assessment of the current residents of Cold Spring Harbor, who condemn the "self-righteously bigoted" members of the early-American eugenics movement. (85)

Rushton concedes that even if everything I assert about Laughlin's links to the Nazis were accurate (which he, of course, disputes), "it would be immaterial to matters of scientific fact." (86) This defense sounds curiously similar to the response Laughlin made to his critics in 1935, cloaking his bigotry under the mantle of science, though an expert committee had labeled it propaganda and judged it unworthy of further support. (87)


Rushton describes me as one of his critics who are "daubing swastikas" (88) and substituting inflammatory language for what he calls scientific analysis. (89) He believes that critiques of the Pioneer Fund should limit themselves to scientific debate, and that it is "unscientific and counterproductive" (90) to use terms like "Nazi" or "racist" to describe any research program, even apparently the one favored by Harry Laughlin. (91) Ethnic pride, "ethnocentrism, and even admiration for the 'Nordic' founders of America, are a long way from supporting Nazi exterminations," writes Rushton. (92)

I obviously disagree that the terms "Nazi" and "racist" have no place in discussions of the Pioneer founders. As other scholars of the eugenics movement have stated and as my earlier article made clear, Harry Laughlin "enthusiastically endorsed the Nazi eugenic program." (93) In contrast, Rushton apparently believes that the work of Laughlin colleagues Bauer, Fisher and Lenz of the German "racial hygiene" movement--with their racial biology, racial typology, and racial psychology--were other innocent exercises in science. (94) Perhaps he also believes that the Nuremberg laws that found their ideological basis in such science and that mandated the investigation of familial ethnicity--leading to job loss, deportation, and eventual confinement in death camps for millions--were also valid uses of science. (95) The history of the twentieth century has made it clear that the Holocaust was not defined solely by the parade of victims who filled gas chambers, but by the hundreds of small steps that led to the death camp gates. (96) Those steps included the systematic degradation of whole populations and the denial of their humanity through means claimed at the time to be science.

Hiding behind the facade of science does not obscure the motives of the Pioneer Fund's founders. It is not crucial for Laughlin and Draper to have executed people in concentration camps to accurately charge, as I did, that the program they embraced was "nurtured in hopes of duplicating Nazi legal and social policy." (97) While Rushton may believe that everything the Nazis did except murder was acceptable, I do not. Nor is it necessary to "daub[] swastikas" (98) when you can read letters from the Nazi colleagues of Laughlin (99) or view the symbol itself on letters in the files of Earnest Cox, (100) from people anxious to distribute racial propaganda that was secretly subsidized by Wickliffe Draper. (101)

Far from being a "detailed refutation" (102) of the points made in my article, Rushton clearly avoided the most damning evidence of the Pioneer/Nazi connections. Here are ten points--among many others--that remain unanswered by the Pioneer President. Any serious refutation would have confronted them directly.

1) At Laughlin's behest, Clarence Campbell accompanied Wickliffe Draper to Berlin for the Nazi population conference in 1935. (103) Campbell's extraordinary popularity in the Nazi press was well known. (104) Wilhelm Frick, Hitler's Reichminister of the Interior spoke as the Honorary President of the meeting; following the Nuremberg Trials he was hanged for his role in war crimes. (105) Though Campbell's speech praising Hitler and Frick and ending with the "Hell Hitler" salute was reported in both Time magazine and the New York Times, Draper never criticized, condemned, or otherwise distanced himself from Campbell for his pro-Nazi rant--neither has Rushton. (106)

2) When Wickliffe Draper stood beside Clarence Campbell as he declared that "'[t]he difference between the Jew and the Aryan is as unsurmountable [sic] as that between black and white.... Germany has set a pattern which other nations must follow.'" (107) Would anyone who read them have doubted these words were both racist and anti-Semitic?

3) During that same visit to Germany, Campbell arranged to receive copies of a film entitled "The Hereditarily Defective" (Erbkrank) to deliver to Laughlin, after which Laughlin wrote Draper several times reporting how he had publicized the film nationally and showed it to various groups. (108) He also proposed at the first meeting of the Pioneer Fund that a similar film be made about American eugenics. (109) If, as Rushton argues, (110) Draper was anti-Nazi and Laughlin was not an anti-Semite, how can Rushton explain their approval of the Erbkrank message, designed as it was to inflame German anti-Semitism? (111)

4) Laughlin arranged the Draper/Campbell trip to Berlin; he chose his "'distinguished colleague'" (112) Campbell as his proxy to deliver a paper on eugenic sterilization to the Nazi conference. He had earlier described Campbell as one with whom he was in "'perfect agreement as to plans and policies.'" (113)

5) Harry Laughlin gushed with praise of Nazi leaders like Frick, whom he described fawningly as "'a powerful Reichsminister in a dictatorial government which is getting things done in a nation of sixty million people.'" (114) Madison Grant, Laughlin's colleague in the eugenics cause, echoed Laughlin's enthusiasm for the Nazi program and described how "'most people of our type are in sympathy with the German eugenical measures.'" (115) Yet, in his fifty-five-page defense of Laughlin, Draper and the Pioneer Fund, Rushton avoided any explanation of the relationship between Madison Grant, the "notorious New York racist," (116) and Laughlin; he also never mentioned Clarence Campbell.

6) The year after the Pioneer Fund was chartered, Earnest Cox sent a copy of his book White America, printed with a secret Draper subsidy, to Nazi Reichsminister Frick. (117) Cox's role in distributing hate literature paid for by Wickliffe Draper to Nazi officials never appears in the official Pioneer history.

7) Mississippi Senator Theodore G. Bilbo, known as the "Archangel of White Supremacy," (118) read Cox's book White America into the Congressional Record during the filibuster against a law that would have made lynching a federal crime. (119) Cox then happily wrote to Draper that Bilbo would provide them "'representation in Congress.'" (120) Bilbo is never mentioned in Rushton's official account.

8) At the time my first Albany Law Review article was published, the Pioneer Fund web page falsely declared that "as to all 20 Pioneer directors serving since 1937, Pioneer does not know of one who 'advocated' or 'urged' repatriation or has taken a public position on the subject." (121) The page has been amended recently, but it is no less false for the editing. It now declares that "Draper's interest, such as it was in the Repatriation Movement was quite separate from the Pioneer Fund." (122) I documented Draper's interest, such as it was, in my first article. It included Draper's subsidies to infamous racists like Earnest Cox, who managed Draper's repatriation campaign in concert with Senator Theodore Bilbo. (123) The evidence also included Draper's near paranoia in wanting to erase his fingerprints from any connection to this secret plan. (124) Despite this documentation, the Pioneer web page continues to quote former Pioneer front man, Harry Weyher, and long-deceased Pioneer director, Henry Garrett. (125) Both of them falsely denied the Draper "back to Africa" campaign.

Draper was the moving force and sole financial support for the Pioneer Fund. Why does Rushton persist in repetition of third-hand hearsay denials from Draper's dead lieutenants rather than facing the undisputed documentary record?

9) The Pioneer web page now states that "it is wrong" to equate support for sterilization of those deemed to be "'unfit,'" prohibition of racial intermarriage, and severe restrictions on immigration with "'Nazism.'" (126) But Adolf Hitler applauded such programs in other countries before he came to power and made them the cornerstone of his own agenda as a prelude to the Holocaust. (127) Why is it wrong to remind readers that the same political agenda Laughlin pursued in America was celebrated, then replicated by the Nazis?

10) By 1936, Laughlin had become an object of derision by the American genetics community, and he was put on notice by his employer that his work was inappropriate propaganda. (128) In less than three years he would be forced into premature retirement. (129) The Nazis who ran the University of Heidelberg chose this discredited scientist and gave him an honorary degree in 1936 as the "'successful pioneer ... of practical Eugenics and the farseeing representative of racial policy in America.'" (130)

Why, in his self-styled "refutation," did Rushton neglect to confront these documented examples of Laughlin and Draper applauding, emulating, corresponding, and meeting with Nazis? Rushton repeats the trite formulation that condemnation of Laughlin because of the company he kept is merely "guilt by remote association." (131) I would not describe Draper, standing beside Clarence Campbell as he salutes Hitler at a Nazi-sponsored meeting, presided over by Nazi officials in Berlin as remote. How much more intimate can contact with the Nazis get? Would Rushton require Draper to have been a prison guard at Auschwitz before he could be connected to Hitler's agenda?

Readers can decide for themselves whether the examples I provided above--matched by many others in the text of my earlier article--provide substantial linkage between Pioneer founders and Nazi eugenics. It will take more obfuscation than Rushton has generated so far to hide these obvious connections.

Rushton is, of course, free to speculate, as a latter day member of the Laughlin school of eugenic thinking, that in recent years "North European populations" (132) might have "adopted an ideology of secular humanism which discourages racist attitudes," (133) and he may, of course, continue to warn that such dangerous developments may lead to cultural extinction--"the same fate as the ruling classes of ancient Greece and Rome." (134) Similarly, he is free to applaud the value of "genetic homogeneity" (135) and to propose that it "partially explain[s] the military tenacity of the German army in World War II." (136) Nor is anyone questioning Rushton's right to believe, as his colleague Richard Lynn does, that the Nazi's did not target the Jews for eugenic reasons. (137) Rushton is free to practice whatever kind of historical denial fits his purposes, but the evidence Laughlin left of pro-Nazi alliances, activities, and sympathies speaks for itself. Rushton has thus far failed to seriously challenge that evidence.


Despite the attempt to purvey the Pioneer Fund creation myth, with Laughlin as lofty scientist and Draper as the politically disinterested "[s]cholar, [s]oldier, and [p]hilanthropist," (138) the records left by those men tell a very different story.

No serious scientists counted Laughlin among their number and Draper was no accomplished hero but merely a serendipitous beneficiary of family wealth. (139) He always spoke secretly from behind a mask of privilege and employed a stable of sycophants like Harry Laughlin and toadies like Earnest Cox to do his public bidding. (140) Draper left a bigot's legacy; he had every opportunity to be a leader, but decided instead to hide in the shadows of moral cowardice.

As for the predictable Pioneer defense strategy of labeling all Pioneer criticism as "McCarthyism"--a brief look at American history will show that Rushton has it exactly backward. It was Joseph McCarthy who waved virtually blank sheets of paper in front of the Senate, claiming that they identified dozens of government-employed Communists. (141) McCarthy's critics forced the demagogue to back off such claims when he failed to produce the names he supposedly held. (142) Now, Rushton, in response to documentation, waves his own blank pages. So where is Rushton's evidence? He is the keeper of the Pioneer archive, yet all he relies on are the recycled press releases of his Pioneer-fed colleague Richard Lynn. As the critics of Joseph McCarthy would have said: at long last, Mr. Rushton, have you no sense of decency? Have you no shame?

Rushton describes me as a "hermeneuticist" in contrast to the self-congratulatory label he applies to himself and other Pioneer researchers--"race-realists." (143) The label "hermeneuticist" is as inaccurate as it is clumsy, as it attempts to brand Pioneer critics as scientific Luddites and to shoe-horn a textured debate into a simpleminded dichotomy. It fails to take into account the various ways one might try to understand the complex interplay of ethnicity, skin color, and cultural background, as well as our psychological and political reactions to these variables. It implies that race has, and always has had, a static meaning across cultures and over time. (144) From Rushton's essay, a naive reader would think that the major premise of my article on the Pioneer Fund was that race does not exist. As with other arguments he made, Rushton failed to produce a single line from my own scholarship (with which he implies he is familiar) to support this interpretation. (145)

While the definition of race is certainly worthy of discussion, it was not a focal point of my article. Instead, I took the positions held by Laughlin, Draper, Grant, Bilbo, Cox, Baur, Fischer, Lenz, Frick, and their like-minded colleagues at face value and showed how they employed similar language about race as a vehicle of propaganda. They tried, and succeeded, in having their understanding of race imbedded in the law and the social policy of America and Germany. Rushton's claim--that by examining the very words they used one joins the ranks of "muddled, heated, and ideologically committed" (146) hermeneuticists--denies that history can give us any insight into contemporary controversies. Labels like "race-realist" and "hermeneuticist" provide a convenient smokescreen behind which to hide the internal contradictions in Rushton's argument, such as his position that the "race-realist" position is neutral as to social policy, (147) while simultaneously asserting that conclusions about race clearly "do require scientific explanation and do have implications for social policy." (148)

Rushton's attack ends with a quotation from British psychologist and Pioneer Fund grantee, Hans Eysenck. (149) Decrying what he considered a modern trend--to abandon controversial research--Eysenck harkened back to what he portrayed as an earlier ethos when he wrote: "Secrecy, the withholding of information, and the refusal to communicate knowledge were rightly regarded as cardinal sins against the scientific ethos." (150) Rushton claims that "the Pioneer Fund continues to act on the belief that it is a cardinal sin for scientists to suppress scientific knowledge." (151)

Perhaps it is true, as Rushton declared, that the full historical record would shed a different light on Laughlin, Draper, and the founding of the Pioneer Fund. (152) Yet, given the number of unanswered questions, it is likely that such an inquiry would only worsen the picture of his organization's founders, providing a perspective that is even more bleak than the one I described. Addressing that possibility properly requires sources beyond my control. I have looked through many of the most relevant archives to reconstruct an accurate early history of the Pioneer Fund. Rushton falsely declares that I did not communicate with Pioneer before publishing my article on its history. (153) In fact, I did send a letter to Harry Weyher before my article appeared, (154) asking for access to the Pioneer archives citing the uses to which it was supposedly put in Richard Lynn's book, The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund. (155) Weyher, however, never acknowledged the request. Rushton can correct his predecessor's oversight and make good on his claim that like Eysenck--he is interested in complete disclosure and a full airing of the facts. (156) If he wishes to repair the legacy of secrecy nurtured by Pioneer's founder Draper, and wants the public to have the whole context of Pioneer's sixty-plus years of existence, he should open the Pioneer archives. Complete, unfettered access to the entire unsanitized Pioneer collection for independent scholars who wish to study its history would either validate Pioneer apologists like Lynn, or clearly reveal his biases. If Rushton does not open the archive, we would have to assume he will continue to deny Pioneer's true beginnings and to hide behind Pioneer's big lie.

(1) ADOLF HITLER, MEIN KAMPF 231 (Ralph Manheim trans., Houghton Mifflin Co. 1971) (1925).

(2) Paul A. Lombardo, "The American Breed": Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund, 65 ALB. L. REV. 743 (2002).

(3) Id. at 748.

(4) Id. at 755.

(5) See id. at 78-90 (describing one such early Pioneer fund project, a loan program to military officers, based on a German fertility-increasing scheme).

(6) See id. at 771.

(7) See id. at 764.

(8) See id. at 816-17 (describing how the Pioneer Fund recently funded the distribution of books which support arguments for white superiority, just as Draper had done prior to the Fund's incorporation).

(9) See J. Philippe Rushton, The Pioneer Fund and the Scientific Study of Human Differences, 66 ALB. L. REV. 207, 223-24 (2002) (describing this author's argument as "demonstrably false").

(10) Id. at 236.


(12) See, e.g., Rushton, supra note 9, at 248-49 (describing attacks on scientists who investigated race differences in general and an attack on the Pioneer Fund in particular) (emphasis in the original).

(13) See Pamela Burdman, White Supremacist Link Trips Prop. 187, S.F. CHRON., Oct. 13, 1994, at A4 (noting that Pioneer Fund President Weyher claims "[Pioneer has] no Nazi connections" despite Pioneer's funding of anthropologist Roger Pearson, the editor of a journal known as "mouthpiece for neo-Nazism") available at 1994 WL 4090601.

(14) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 753.

(15) See supra note 1 and accompanying text.

(16) See JOSEPH W. BENDERSKY, A HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY 67-48 (1985) (describing Nazi propagandist Josef Goebbles' disdain of the German masses and wholesale use of lies and slander in the German campaign against the Jews); State, Economy and Society 1933-39, in NAZISM 1919-1945, 521 (J. Noakes & G. Pidham eds., 1984) (articulating the Nazi party's creation of a mythical Jew which constituted the antithesis of all things German).

(17) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 750-53 (describing various instances of bad press that Pioneer received, such as the response to the late Glayde Whitney's laudatory contribution to the autobiography of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke).

(18) See id. at 747 & nn.15-19, 750 & nn.29-47.

(19) See THE PIONEER FUND, INC., BIBLIOGRAPHY (listing nine different works by Rushton as a Pioneer Grantee and Director) at (last visited Mar. 15, 2003); see also THE PIONEER FUND, INC., GRANTEES (celebrating Rushton's work as a Pioneer grantee in behavioral genetics) at (last visited Mar. 15, 2003).

(20) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 209 n.1.

(21) See id. at 209.

(22) Id.

(23) Id. at 258.

(24) See id. at 260 (reprinting Pioneer's amended certificate of incorporation which was filed originally Mar. 17, 1937).

(25) See, e.g., Lombardo, supra note 2, at 746 & n.9, 750 & nn.26-28, 759 & n.75, 777 & n.202.

(26) See id. at 747-48 & nn.15-16.

(27) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 211.

(28) See e.g., id. at 214-16, 219-22 (citing books written by Pioneer's then-president Frederick H. Osborn, Harry Laughlin's testimony before Congress, and the Pioneer-supported research of Arthur R. Jensen).

(29) See LYNN, supra note 11; see also Rushton, supra note 9 (citing to the works of Richard Lynn over thirty times).

(30) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 218.

(31) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 819-23.

(32) See id. at 747-48 & nn.15-17. Rushton does selectively cite the work of two noteworthy historians of eugenics for some details of American eugenic history. See Rushton, supra note 9, at 216 n.37, 238 n.1; see also MARK H. HALLER, EUGENICS: HEREDITARIAN ATTITUDES IN AMERICAN THOUGHT (1963); DANIEL J. KEVLES, IN THE NAME OF EUGENICS: GENETICS AND THE USES OF HUMAN HEREDITY (1985). However, Rushton assiduously avoids the comments that they make about people like Laughlin, such as Haller's assessment that Laughlin was "[a] man little liked by others; with no sense of humor, more than his share of dogmatism, and no tolerance of criticism from others, he allowed his prejudices so to dominate his conclusions that his fellow scientists could not take him seriously." MARK H. HALLER, EUGENICS: HEREDITARIAN ATTITUDES IN AMERICAN THOUGHT 132 (1963).

(33) LYNN, supra note 11, at 476-89 (describing Lynn's work to establish a connection between intelligence and race).

(34) Rushton, supra note 9, at 242-43.

(35) See id. at 207 (listing his position as President of the Pioneer Fund within the article's dedication); see also THE PIONEER FUND, INC., THE BOARD (referring to Rushton as "a long-time Pioneer grant recipient") at (last visited Apr. 12, 2003).

(36) See THE PIONEER FUND, INC., GRANTEES (listing Lynn as a recipient of a Pioneer grant to fund his research) at (last visited Apr. 12, 2003); see also Rushton, supra note 9, at 217-18 & n.44 (describing a financial connection to the Pioneer Fund) and GuideStar, Advanced Search (using the search term "The Pioneer Fund, New York", one can review the Fund's 990-PF tax form, which indicates that the Fund spent over $120,000 in publishing Lynn's compilation of the Fund's history) available at (last visited March 26, 2003).

(37) Rushton, supra note 9, at 215-16.

(38) Id. at 216, 231.

(39) See id. at 232-33 (arguing that Laughlin's inclusion of Jews as part of the new American nation in his 1924 Congressional testimony reveals that he could not have been an anti-Semite).

(40) Lombardo, supra note 2, at 758-59.

(41) See id. at 793 (quoting Letter from H.H. Laughlin to Madison Grant, Esq. (Nov. 19, 1932) (on file with Harry Hamilton Laughlin Papers, Pickler Memorial Library, Truman State University)).

(42) Frances Hassencahl, Harry H. Laughlin, 'Expert Eugenics Agent' for the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, 1921 to 1931 343 (1970) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Case Western Reserve University) (on file with Case Western University). Hassencahl stated:
 [E]ugenists tended to mask their feelings about specific racial
 groups behind euphemisms like inferior and superior races or
 northern and western Europeans as opposed to southern and eastern
 Europeans. Laughlin could hardly be specific when the two minority
 members of his Congressional audience, Adolph Sabath, from Chicago,
 and Samuel Dickstein, from New York City, were Jewish.


(43) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 792-93 (referring to Laughlin and Grant's collaboration "on immigration restriction laws, which would prevent mixing of American Nordics and 'inferior' Europeans").

(44) Joseph M. Gillman, Statistics and the Immigration Problem 30 AM. J. SOC. 29, 42 (1924).

(45) Id. at 30.

(46) Id. at 38.

(47) Id. at 48.

(48) See Hassencahl, supra note 42, at 288-89; see also THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY, A GUIDE TO THE GENETICS COLLECTIONS: JENNINGS [hereinafter American Philosophical Society] (describing the life and work of H.S. Jennings, and, in particular, his work to rebut Laughlin's claims) available at, (last visited Mar. 26, 2003).

(49) See H.S. Jennings, Discussion and Correspondence: Proportions of Defectives from the Northwest and from the Southeast of Europe, 59 SCIENCE 256 (1924).

(50) See id. at 256 n.1 (noting that "Laughlin's data and conclusions have been subjected to destructive criticism by R. R. Lutz and John M. Gillman" (internal citations omitted)).

(51) See American Philosophical Society, supra note 48 (recounting Jennings' refutation of Laughlin's proposition of western and northern European genetic superiority over their eastern and southern counterparts, and Jennings' utter surprise at what he considered "Laughlin's poor statistical calculations").

(52) See H.S. JENNINGS, THE BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF HUMAN NATURE 286 (1930) (noting that "there are many differences in efficiency that all will agree signify superiority.... And indisputably, differences in all these respects are found among human beings; they may therefore be found, on the average, as between races").

(53) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 244 (claiming that "in the world of 'political correctness' ... it is difficult to enforce rules against unethical and misleading practices, such as playing the 'Nazi race-card").

(54) See id. at 253-54 (describing the difference between "race-realists", who purportedly view race as a "biological concept," and hermeneuticists, who according to Rushton consider race a social construct).

(55) See id. at 212 (describing Laughlin as the "long-time director of the Eugenics Record Office, located at the famed Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory on Long Island").

(56) Id. at 237.

(57) Id. at 238.

(58) LYNN, supra note 11, at 27.

(59) See A. V. Kidder, Report of the Advisory Committee on the Eugenics Record Office 6 (June 28, 1935) [hereinafter Carnegie Papers] (on file with the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives, Johns Hopkins University).

(60) See id. at 1 (identifying the four members of the advisory committee that met at Laughlin's house and in the record office to perform the evaluation).

(61) Id. at 6.

(62) Id. at 2.

(63) Id. at 3.

(64) Id. at 6.

(65) Id.

(66) Letter from A. V. Kidder, to Dr. George L. Streeter 2 (June 27, 1935) [hereinafter Hooton Papers] (on file with Earnest Hooton Papers, Peabody Museum Harvard University).

(67) Id.

(68) See Letter from L.C. Dunn, to President Merriam (July 3, 1935) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59) (addressing Mr. Merriam as President).

(69) Letter from John C. Merriam, to Dr. A.V. Kidder (June 27, 1935) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59).

(70) A. V. Kidder, Report of the Advisory Committee on the Eugenics Record Office 1-2 (June 28, 1935) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59).

(71) See Letter from L.C. Dunn, to President Merriam 1 (July 3, 1935) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59).

(72) Id. at 4.

(73) Id. at 5.

(74) Id.

(75) Id.

(76) See id.

(77) Letter from V. Bush, to Dr. A.F. Blakeslee, Director, Department of Genetics (Apr. 28, 1939) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59).

(78) Letter from V. Bush, to Dr. A. F. Blakeslee, Director, Department of Genetics 1 (June 8, 1939) (on file with Carnegie Papers, supra note 59) ("I am inclined at the present time to believe that it would be for the best interests of the Institution and Dr. Laughlin himself if he would retire next January first, and I have taken this up with him definitely.").

(79) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 810-11.

(80) Rushton, supra note 9, at 237.

(81) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 811.

(82) See id. at 811 & nn.455-56.

(83) Id. at 811; see also HALLER, supra note 32, at 180 (highlighting Osborn's disapproval of the direction the ERO had moved under Laughlin, arguing that "the [Eugenical] News contained a good deal of material on race as well as a good deal of material on social-class differences which today would be considered thoroughly unscientific).

(84) See Hassencahl, supra note 42, at 362-63 ("Dr. Laughlin never knew that the investigation of his work and forced retirement by the Carnegie Institution of Washington was probably partly because of Osborne's suggestion that they check upon the nature of his work.").


(86) Rushton, supra note 9, at 254.

(87) See Hassencahl, supra note 42, at 336. Laughlin responded to the Kidder report, stating:
 [t]he forces which determine migration, mate selection, size of
 family are to be studied objectively by eugenics as a science, and
 when such studies are completed it is the privilege of any nation,
 state, race or family to secure the studies and to make use of them
 in any manner which they please.


(88) Rushton, supra note 9, at 251.

(89) See id.

(90) Id. at 222.

(91) See id. (lauding the scientific motives of all of Pioneer's researchers and directors).

(92) Id. at 243.


(94) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 759-60; see also ERWIN BAUER, EUGEN FISCHER & FRITZ LENZ, HUMAN HEREDITY 166, 175, 192, 623 (Eden & Cedar Paul trans., MacMillan Co. 1931).

(95) See EUGENE DAVIDSON, THE TRIAL OF THE GERMANS: AN ACCOUNT OF THE TWENTY-TWO DEFENDANTS BEFORE THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL AT NUREMBERG 271 (1997) (describing the purposes and effects of the Nuremberg Laws); see also Lombardo, supra note 2, at 771-73 (noting Wilhelm Frick's use of extensive scientific research in his review supporting the Nazi's eugenic laws before the International Congress for the Scientific Investigation of Population Problems).

(96) See HENRY FRIEDLANDER, THE ORIGINS OF NAZI GENOCIDE: FROM EUTHANASIA TO THE FINAL SOLUTION 17-22 (1995) (recognizing that a policy of exclusion--including emigration, incarceration and sterilization based on the teachings of "race scientists"--epitomized the "Nazi utopia," with the final mass killings of the Holocaust "only the most radical, final stage of exclusion").

(97) Lombardo, supra note 2, at 824.

(98) Rushton, supra note 9, at 251.

(99) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 760-63 (identifying and describing the connection between Laughlin and his Nazi colleagues, Eugen Fischer, Wilhelm Frick, and Ernst Rudin).

(100) Letter from Karl R. Allen, Captain, American Nazi Party, to Mr. Earnest S. Cox (Sept. 22, 1962) (writing on American Nazi Party letterhead that displays a large swastika at the top and the words "Sieg Heil!" at the bottom above the signature) (on file with Earnest Sevier Cox Papers, Duke University Archives).

(101) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 786 (describing the American Nazi party's interest in distributing a Draper-subsidized Cox pamphlet).

(102) Rushton, supra note 9, at 211.

(103) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 770-71.

(104) See id. at 774 (highlighting the fact that Dr. Campbell, a non-German, had become one of the most frequently cited scientists in the German press).

(105) Id. at 771-72.

(106) See id. at 773-74; see also Praise for Nazis, TIME, Sept. 9, 1935, at 20-21 (describing the World Population Congress, which Clarence Campbell attended, as ending with a celebratory toast "to that great leader, Adolf Hitler!"); U.S. Eugenist Hails Nazi Racial Policy, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 29, 1935, at 5 (identifying that Clarence G. Campbell appeared "before the World Population Congress here as a champion of Nazi racial principles").

(107) Praise for Nazis, supra note 106, at 21.

(108) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 789; see also PERNICK, supra note 93, at 165 (describing the blatantly racist content of the film).

(109) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 788-89.

(110) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 214-17, 232-33.

(111) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 788-89; see also PERNICK, supra note 93, at 165 (describing how Erbkrank propagated Nazi related ideas, such as how "'Jewish liberal thinking forced millions of healthy volk-nationals into need and squalor--while the unfit were overly coddled.'").

(112) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 770.

(113) Id. at 774.

(114) Id. at 762.

(115) Id.


(117) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 784.

(118) See id. at 749 & n.25 (noting that Bilbo's biographer, A. Wigfall Green, used this epithet in his book, The Man Bilbo).

(119) Id. at 784.

(120) Id. at 783 & n.254.

(121) See id. at 786 n.273.


(123) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 780-86.

(124) Id.


(126) Id.

(127) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 756 & nn.60-61.

(128) See supra notes 58-68, 76 and accompanying text.

(129) See supra note 84 and accompanying text.

(130) See Hassencahl, supra note 42, at 353-54.

(131) Rushton, supra note 9, at 223.

(132) J. Philippe Rushton, Gene-Culture Coevolution and Genetic Similarity Theory: Implications for Ideology, Ethnic Nepotism, and Geopolitics, 4 POL. & LIFE SCI. 144, 148 (1986).

(133) Id.

(134) Id.

(135) Id. at 146.

(136) Id.

(137) RICHARD LYNN, EUGENICS: A REASSESSMENT 239 (2001) ("[E]ugenic considerations did not play any significant role in the Nazi program for the extermination of the Jews. Hitler did not regard the Jews as genetically inferior").

(138) LYNN, supra note 11, at Dedication Page.

(139) See Michael G. Kenny, Toward a Racial Abyss: Eugenics, Wickliffe Draper, and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund, 38 J. HIST. BEHAV. SCI. 259, 262 (2002) (noting that in 1923, when Draper's father died, Draper inherited half of his father's estate, which was valued at approximately $11 million).

(140) See Lombardo, supra note 2, at 749.


(142) See id. at 114-15.

(143) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 254.

(144) See, e.g., MATTHEW FRYE JACOBSON, WHITENESS OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS AND THE ALCHEMY OF RACE 13-14 (1998) (asserting that race, including "whiteness", is not so much a neutral and static characteristic, but rather a trait with an evolving definition that largely depends on the social and political forces of a given era).

(145) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 212 (identifying Lombardo as an "otherwise serious scholar[]").

(146) Id. at 254.

(147) See id. at 253 ("The race-realist viewpoint is descriptive, explanatory, and typically avoids prescribing policy.").

(148) Id. at 257.

(149) Id. at 259.

(150) Id.

(151) Id.

(152) Id. at 214.

(153) See id. at 211 n.16.

(154) Letter from Paul A. Lombardo, Director, Program in Law and Medicine, University of Virginia Center for Biomedical Ethics, to Harry F. Weyher, President, The Pioneer Fund (Feb. 4, 2002) (on file with author).

(155) See LYNN, supra note 11.

(156) See Rushton, supra note 9, at 212, 215.

Paul A. Lombardo *

* Paul A. Lombardo, Ph.D., J.D., Director, Program in Law and Medicine, University of Virginia Center for Bioethics.
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Title Annotation:response to article by J. Philippe Rushton, Albany Law Review, vol. 66, p. 207, 2002; Pioneer Fund, Nazi eugenics
Author:Lombardo, Paul A.
Publication:Albany Law Review
Date:Jun 22, 2003
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