The winners of the "medium family class" of a "fitter families contest" pose at the 1927 Kansas Free Fair. The American Eugenics Society was founded as a direct result of the Second International Conference on Eugenics, held in New York in 1921.

Eugenics, or the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics, has been around since the mid-1800’s.

Social engineering some call it.

Genocide. Sterilization of the mentally ill, blacks, homosexuals and other undesirables. Euthenasia. Forced pregnancies and birth control. Racial segregation. Compulsory abortions. Genetic screening. These are examples of eugenics practices and policies adopted to varying degrees by various countries until commonsense prevailed and most countries banned such practices.

Although we don’t specifically tackle eugenics or racial issues in our thriller series The Orphan Trilogy, we use these early eugenics experiments as inspiration for the cold and ruthless way our fictional orphans are genetically engineered. Products of the Genius Sperm Bank, a real-world eugenics experiment, the orphans all have the genes of carefully selected white male donors.

 

Supervising the eerie experiment was Omega’s own Doctor Frankenstein – better known as Doctor Pedemont, the brilliant biomedical scientist responsible for the radical science behind it. Over the past few years, with the help of his team of geneticists, Doctor Pedemont had painstakingly selected the fetus’ genes from thousands of sperm donations combined with the genes of his female subjects. The donations had come from another medical experiment referred to as the Genius Sperm Bank. The Orphan Factory

 

In all three books in the trilogy, we also mention eugenics and cover very similar issues. Numerous book critics have referenced this wretched history of eugenics in their reviews for our series.

What’s scary is that some independent researchers believe eugenics is not just a thing of the past.

 

The motivation behind the Genius Sperm Bank, which had been initiated over a decade earlier, was to advance the breeding of super-intelligent people. The bank was stocked full of semen donations solicited from many of the world’s most intelligent men. The Orphan Factory

 

A short history of eugenics

Early eugenicists blamed genetics on polluting Mankind’s gene pool. They cited everything from alcoholism and prostitution to homosexuality and feeble-mindedness as examples of defective genes, and favored elimination ahead of treatment.

Eugenics’ original proponents were active throughout much of Europe, but it was in the US that eugenics really struck a chord – before the rise of Nazi Germany that is.

In the early days, the American eugenics movement received the financial backing of the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution as well as many high profile individuals such as Winston Churchill, H.G. Wells and Theodore Roosevelt. Eugenics was taught at many learning institutions and by the early 1900’s eugenic policies were introduced into legislation.

The Carnegie Institution in Washington D.C…prominent in America’s eugenics movement.

The Carnegie name crops up an awful lot in the shameful history of eugenics.

As Edwin Black states in his book War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, in 1904, the Carnegie Institution established a laboratory complex on Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples.

And in 1911, a Carnegie-sponsored study explored solutions to ridding the population of people with defective genes. While euthanasia was shelved as one possible solution, marriage restrictions, racial segregation and forced abortions were deemed most acceptable.

Incidentally, euthanasia was only temporarily shelved as a possible solution. Proponents considered the timing wasn’t yet right to suggest so drastic a measure.“Fitter Families Contest” run by the American Eugenics Society in the 1920’s.

Fitter Families contestants at Georgia State Fair, Savannah

Flashback to “Fitter Families” contestants in Georgia.

 

Compulsory sterilizations

Indiana passed the world’s first eugenics-motivated sterilization law in the early 20th Century. Thirty US states soon followed Indiana’s lead by making it legal to sterilize those deemed genetically inferior, especially psychiatric patients.

Those with certain types of mental illness weren’t the only ones sterilized en masse, however. Promiscuous women, prostitutes and females with perceived negative sexual orientations like bisexuality or lesbianism were often sterilized by authorities, while for men sterilizations were regularly done to curb excessive aggression in certain types of criminals.

View of a "Eugenic and Health Exhibit" with crowd, Kansas Free Fair, 1929. More an advocacy group than a scientific organization, the American Eugenics Society promoted general ideas to the public.

A pro eugenics exhibit draws a crowd at a Kansas fair in 1929.

Outside the US, various countries including Brazil, Belgium, Sweden and Canada implemented the policy of sterilizing citizens ruled not worthy of reproduction.

During the years that eugenics legislation was in effect in the US, around 65,000 American citizens were forcibly sterilized. Although compulsory sterilization has been considered a human rights violation in most parts of America since WW2, the laws were not overturned in many states until decades later. Virginia, for example, did not overturn its sterilization law until 1974.

Exhibits like this one, seen at an exposition in Philadelphia in 1926, were popular. Based in New Haven, Conn., the American Eugenics Society attracted the support of nearly every major American eugenicist.

An American Eugenics Society exhibit in Philadelphia in 1926.

 

Final Solution

To quote author Edwin Black again, he says 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 27 states (of America)…The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior.”

Apparently, gas chambers were suggested, on the record, as the final solution for dealing with the unfit!

Do the words gas chambers and final solution sound familiar?

 

Links between American and Nazi eugenics

Although eugenics flourished in Nazi Germany, the ideal of a blond-haired, blue-eyed master race wasn’t Adolf Hitler’s. It may surprise many to know that, in Mein Kampf, Hitler credited America with helping formulate his ideas on eugenics, and he admitted he’d studied the laws of US states to familiarize himself with selective reproduction and other eugenics issues.

Our research indicates it’s no exaggeration to say American eugenics policies inspired eugenics programs in Nazi Germany.

If that’s not disturbing enough, during the early days of the Third Reich, American eugenicists publicly praised Hitler’s plans to introduce and enforce sterilization (of unsuitable people) and other such eugenics policies!

File:Ebensee concentration camp prisoners 1945.jpgHitler’s “Final Solution” eugenics policy part-funded by America!

Funding also flowed from the US to Nazi Germany for eugenics programs. For example, The Rockefeller Foundation financed numerous German eugenics experiments, including one that Josef Mengele worked on before he carried out his notorious human experimentations in Auschwitz.

The website for Crichton University provides a succinct summary of the history of eugenics in the US and the links between American eugenics and Nazi Germany. It points out that, “Eugenicists across America welcomed Hitler’s plans as the logical implementation of their own research” and “10 years after Virginia passed its 1924 Sterilization Act…the Superintendent of Virginia’s Western State Hospital complained…the Germans are beating us at our own game.”

America’s influence on the Nazi government was also confirmed by senior eugenics leader C. M. Goethe who, after visiting Germany in 1934, wrote the following to a fellow eugenicist: “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.”

Crash Course in Jewish History Part 61: The Final Solution

Of course Hitler took eugenics to a whole new level in a way probably no American envisaged. He hijacked the term Final Solution and decided genocide was the best method of permanently eradicating his long list of ‘undesirables’ from the European gene pool.

It’s not known whether this America-Germany eugenics connection went full circle when Nazi scientists were brought into the US post-WW2 during the CIA’s Project Paperclip operation.

 

Benefiting from the efforts of some of Omega’s elite operatives, Doctor Pedemont had unlawfully obtained hundreds of samples from the Genius Sperm Bank. Then, taking the best ofthe sperm donations, he’d artificially inseminated the very women who were now in the process of giving birth. This meant each child that was about to be born effectively had one mother and numerous fathers. The Orphan Factory

 

Eugenics conspiracies

Since its beginnings, opponents of Eugenics have linked it to racial hatred. And rightly so, most would argue.

In America alone, eugenics often targeted minority ethnicities.

For example, Nobel-prize winning electronics pioneer, eugenics advocate and notorious racist, Dr. William Shockley (1910-1989), once proposed to pay black persons with IQ’s lower than 100 a cash incentive of $1000 to have themselves sterilized. There was no mention of sterilizing white persons with IQ’s lower than 100, of course.

However that is tame compared to the dark rumors swirling around modern eugenics. These rumors say the practice is not in decline but actually being used to eradicate genetic degenerates by the millions.

Such ideas stem from conspiracy theories floating around which suggest certain viruses – like SARS, Ebola and Swine Flu – were created by pharmaceutical technicians in labs.

Some conspiracy theorists even claim HIV/AIDS is a man-made disease rather than a freak of nature. These theories suggest HIV was originally eithera biological warfare virus that escaped from a laboratory by accident, or was released on purpose, as a tool for population control and eugenics implementation. The culprits are said to be shadowy, elitist organizations with New World Order ambitions.

Extreme accusations indeed, but perhaps not without some form of precedence.

From 1932 until 1972, the US Public Health Service deceptively conducted a clinical study known as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. The notorious study was designed to monitor the progression of syphilis in African-American men who were led to believe they were receiving free treatment from the Government for the sexually transmitted disease. The infamous 40-year experiment involved medical professionals surreptitiously refusing treatment to black patients infected with syphilis.

Revelations by whistleblowers of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment led to US law changes concerning patient protection and informed consent for medical studies.

Several prominent African-American celebrities have made comments in public about the Tuskegee experiments, including comedian and film star Dave Chappelle whose grandfather was a Tuskegee survivor who was permanently blinded as a result of the experimentation. Shortly after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, leading film director Spike Lee mentioned the Tuskegee experiment on an episode of the TV series Real Time with Bill Maher. Lee alluded to a racial conspiracy in the Katrina aftermath by comparing the Government’s apparent lack of response to African-American communities with the ill treatment of patients in the syphilis experiment.

Various groups, including the Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers, believe the CIA purposefully infected African-Americans with HIV. Reminiscent of Tuskegee, this is said to have been carried out under the guise of hepatitis vaccinations. Those who subscribe to this theory have suggested HIV was spread by some pro-eugenics splinter group to decimate the black race, both in the US and in Africa.

The concept of AIDS being a sinister experiment seems to be reasonably accepted in the African-American community at least. In 2005, The Washington Post did a survey on the subject, questioning 500 African-Americans. The newspaper reported over 50% of those surveyed believed HIV was man-made and over 25% believed it was created in a US Government laboratory.

In Nigeria, there have been theories amongst locals that the World Health Organization (WHO) was spreading HIV via polio vaccines. As a result, there has been a decrease in the amount of Nigerians vaccinated against polio in recent years as many parents choose to keep their children away from WHO needles.

In 1986, American Physician Doctor Robert Strecker stated that HIV was not only a man-made bio-weapon created by the US military, but that it was disseminated by the WHO in Africa in the 1970’s by inserting the killer virus into smallpox vaccines. Strecker’s theory went on to suggest the distribution of HIV did not stop with Africa, but continued in the US. According to the doctor, the outbreak of AIDS in America was caused by government-sponsored hepatitis B vaccine experiments in San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The vaccines were said to be contaminated with HIV and were apparently only given to gay men and African-American men.

                                                                                                                               Dr. Robert Strecker.

 Although TIME magazine and most other mainstream media outlets condemned Strecker’s theory, it has since been supported by several prominent doctors and scientists. One of the supporters included Doctor Alan Cantwell who authored the 1988 book AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic.

South Africa’s former president, Thabo Mbeki, has claimed HIV/AIDS is a grand conspiracy involving the CIA and Big Pharma.

But probably the most famous supporter of the theory that AIDS is some kind of Unit 731-style biological weapon is the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai (1940-2011).

The Kenyan was quoted by Nairobi-based newspaper The Standard in 2004 as saying AIDS was “deliberately created by Western scientists to decimate the African population”. This lead to a flurry of world headlines including this one by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty on December 10, 2004, ‘Africa’s First Female Nobel Peace Laureate Accepts Award Amid Controversy Over AIDS Remarks’ and this one on the same day in The New York Times, ‘Nobel Laureate Seeks to Explain AIDS Remarks’.

Maathai was also reported in a December, 2004 edition of TIME magazine as saying, “I do know things like that don’t come from the moon. I have always thought that it is important to tell people the truth, but I guess there is some truth that must not be too exposed … I’m referring to AIDS. I am sure people know where it came from. And I’m quite sure it did not come from the monkeys”.

As UNICEF has called AIDS “the worst catastrophe ever to hit the world” the idea that certain governments or agencies created the virus to attack minority groups is hard to even consider, let alone believe. Personally, we feel this theory is veering into the sort of crackpot conspiracy ideas promoted by the Tinfoil Hat Network. Then again, as Spike Lee was alluding to in his TV interview, history is riddled with malicious, eugenics-style medical experiments like Tuskegee, so you never know.

Here’s hoping this HIV/AIDS conspiracy theory ain’t true!

 

North Korean eugenics

As far as governments go in the modern world, North Korea is known to practice eugenics. The neo-Stalanist regime is committed to protecting racial purity and sees eugenics as the way to breed a stronger population and eradicate degenerates who carry supposedlyweak genes.

An October 21, 2006 article in UK newspaper The Telegraph reported the UN had uncovered “subhuman gulags” in North Korea where the disabled and mentally ill were locked up.

The rogue state operates a “rigorous system of eugenics” according to the article, for those “deemed subnormal, ranging from the disabled to dwarves.”

The Telegraph also reported the gulags were designed so that “those who do not conform to the state’s designation of normal do not pass on their genes by having children.”

Satellite images show gulags still operational in North Korea

An April 2014 satellite image of a gulag in North Korea.

Apparently, in North Korea those deemed abnormal are locked up for life. Marriages are allowed at segregation camps, but reproducing is not.There have also been reports of turning these ‘abnormals’ into laboratory guinea pigs for testing chemicals and germ agents.

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In the Western World, the disturbing trend toward designer babies, the unofficial use of euthanasia by some medical professionals and the treatment of elderly people in some rest homes are just a few examples of present-day eugenics in operation – albeit tame examples compared to the genocide and forced relocation of many thousands of people occurring in some Third World countries.

American Christopher Langan, who claims to have an IQ between 195 and 210 and is also known as the world’s smartest man, has often been reported as being a eugenics supporter. The RationalWiki website describes a YouTube video in which “Langan talks about how he wishes he could implement a benign form of eugenics involving mandatory birth control and health screenings, and how breeding as much as we like isn’t necessarily a free right, and that people have to be trained to not abuse their freedoms, especially at the expense of future generations.”

Hopefully the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca does not prove to be an accurate prophecy for eugenics implementations to come. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, the film presents a future society where nearly all children are conceived by genetic engineering technologies to ensure they do not inherit bad genes from their parents. Any persons born outside this society’s eugenics program are labeled faith births, degenerates or invalids, and are heavily discriminated against.

Primary image for Gattaca

And then there’s the whole issue of human cloning. We considered that too out there, and too far beyond our level of knowledge or understanding, to include in this book. However, we must at least acknowledge human cloning as it is a major theme of The Orphan Trilogy – in particular book three in the series which reveals the powerful Omega Agency’s cloning plans have come to fruition, allowing the organization to conduct medical experimentation on live humans.

Given the well-documented history of eugenics, and the persistence of its known adherents into the 21st Century, it is possible the controversial science continues underground. The secret use of eugenics could include classified experiments similar to the programs described and shown in The Orphan Trilogy and Gattaca where humans are genetically engineered for perfection.

Then again, maybe (hopefully) we’ve been writing conspiracy thriller novels so long our fears regarding eugenics are closer to the fiction we write than reality! If our concerns have no basis then it’s quite possible our critics are right and we really do see conspiracies everywhere in the real world.

 

Read more in The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy – available now via Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Orphan-Conspiracies-Conspiracy-Theories-ebook/dp/B00J4MPFT6/

A book that’s for the common people.

 

Not all is what it seems! –James & Lance

 

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