John Taylor Gatto Source Check #11: Congress Investigated the Secret Puppet Masters Part I: The Walsh Commission

Two of the Suspected Puppet Masters

While reading pages 3 and 4 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I wondered if it was true that two congressional investigations, one in 1915 and one in 1959, came to the identical conclusion that school policy… was being deliberately created far from public oversight to be secretly inserted into the school mechanism.

Assumptions Concerning Apparent Discrepancies Relating to the Dates of the Investigations:

1.) The 1915 congressional investigation has been assumed to be the Commission on Industrial Relations (also known as the Walsh Commission) that was authorized by Congress in 1912.  The investigation was concluded in 1915, and the commission published the final report of its findings in 1916.

2.) The 1959 congressional investigation has been assumed to be the Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations (also known as the Cox Committee, and later the Reece Committee) that was authorized by the 82nd Congress.  The committee began its investigations in 1952, and it published the final report of its findings in 1954.

Research Results:

The Walsh Commission (1912-1916):  Randall G. Holcomb’s Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America contains the following account of the Walsh Commission’s role in our history:

In 1916 Congress created a Commission on Industrial Relations which concluded that a handful of wealthy individuals, after gaining control over a large segment of the U.S. economy, and pushing for political control of the nation, were using nonprofit foundations to gain control over the nation’s educational system, over its health care system, over social services, and other facets of American life.  Congress was concerned that despite the use of antitrust laws to control the power of the small group of capitalists that exerted so much control over the economy, they were using foundations as a capitalist tool to further their own interests. [Emphasis Added]

Continue reading John Taylor Gatto Source Check #11: Congress Investigated the Secret Puppet Masters Part I: The Walsh Commission

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #10: Literally Hitler & Stalin?

While reading page 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I wondered if it was true that in 1939 an executive director of the National Education Association claimed that the NEA would “accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force.”

Research Results:

Unverified: The statement was made in 1933 by Louis Alber, a mouthpiece of FDR’s National Recovery Administration. (Wondering if Alber joined the NEA after leaving the NRA, I searched the NEA website for Louis Alber and found no matches for his name.)

Verified:  Louis Alber claimed that the United States government was trying to accomplish certain aims of Hitler and Stalin through public education.

Continue reading John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #10: Literally Hitler & Stalin?

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #9: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize One Year After the Holocaust Ends Part III

While verifying some of the claims made in pages 2 and 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I caught myself wondering why a Nobel Prize winning eugenicist’s August 1939 presentation of a Geneticists’ Manifesto was only vaguely referenced in the most prominent online biographical articles that turned up in my research.  I suspected that there might be something alarming in the text that some might want to leave forgotten.

Fortunately, the full text of the Herman Joseph Muller’s Social Biology and Population Improvement (commonly referred to as the Geneticists’ Manifesto) is available online.

A Quick Historical Background: Hermann Joseph Muller attended the Seventh International Congress of Genetics in late August of 1939.  While enjoying the stimulating company of the leading eugenicists of his day, Muller presented a paper that offered an answer to the question of how the world’s population could be “improved most effectively genetically.”  Muller’s paper was enthusiastically endorsed by his peers, not least among them the ever-meddling Julian Huxley.

Unpacking the Horrors: Below you will find brief summaries of some of Muller’s most poisonous ideas.  The complete text of the Geneticists’ Manifesto follows.  I’ve inserted bracketed numbers in the text that correspond with my summaries so that you may test the accuracy of my interpretations.

1.) The task of genetically improving mankind cannot be attempted without first prepping humanity through worldwide social conditioning.

2.) Humans need a powerful world government that can protect them from themselves.

3.) It will be taken for granted that women’s reproductive duties will complement their role of providing a cheap source of labor in a planned economy. Societal and economic realities will be recast so that it will be easier to keep women away from their homes and children.

4.) It will be necessary to safeguard superior breeding stock through permanent sterilization and abortion.  Fortunately, properly conditioned genetically inferior potential parents will consider it an honor to step aside so that the “best children possible” can breed without fear of setting back the advancement of the human race by letting their passions get the best of them with evolutionary offal.

5.) Citizens of the world must be taught a scientifically correct philosophy concerning eugenics.  (Devotees of Lamarck could threaten everything.)

6.) The idea that an individual can pursue personal “success” should be viewed as a threat to the advancement of the good of peoplekind at large.

7.) Universal genius will become a birthright. (This only sounds good on the surface.)

8.) Eugenics will solve all of the problems of modern civilization. (Science will solve the problems created by science?)

A One Sentence Summary of the Paper: A more perfect humanity is our destiny, but in order to reach it we must first hand over control to a benevolent global leadership that is necessary to guide and protect us on our journey to becoming gods.

Continue reading John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #9: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize One Year After the Holocaust Ends Part III

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #8: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize One Year After the Holocaust Ends Part II

While reading pages 2 and 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I found myself looking to find answers to the following questions:

Question #1:  Did an Eastern European scientist named Max Muller win a Nobel Prize for scheming to use X-rays to override normal genetic laws?

Question #2:  Did the mad scientist’s Geneticists’ Manifesto (that called for state action to separate worthwhile breeding stock from the great mass of evolutionary dead end material) garner signatures of support from leading American and British biologists?

Question #1 Research Results: See my previous blog post.

Question #2 Research Results:

Verified:  The Ethics of Human Gene Therapy (p.108) provides the following historical and biographical background:

The first statement to outline three spheres for possible human genetic enhancement was drafted by classical geneticist Hermann J. Muller during the Seventh International Congress of Genetics held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in August 1939.

At the congress the participants were challenged by Science Service to respond to the following question:  How could the world’s population be improved most effectively genetically?”  The reply to this question, signed by 23 scientists, was popularly known as the “Geneticists’ Manifesto.”  [An odd disclaimer immediately follows.] The manifesto by no means adopted the perspective of biological determinism.  Rather, it accented both social and genetic changes that could enhance human well-being.

Red Flag #1: The verbal sleight of hand in the disclaimer indicates that there is something to hide.  It is nonsensical to claim that Muller was “by no means” advocating biological determinism when this assertion is followed by the claim that Muller wanted to genetically modify human beings.  Noting that Muller desired to complement genetic modification with the imposition of global changes in social order does little to soften the literate reader’s view of the sickness in Muller’s mind.

Continue reading John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #8: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize One Year After the Holocaust Ends Part II

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #7 Part I: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize Only One Short Year After the Holocaust Ends

A Mutant Fruit Fly

While reading pages 2 and 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I found myself searching Google (and even Bing) to answer the following questions:

Question #1:  Did an Eastern European scientist named Max Muller win a Nobel Prize for scheming to use X-rays to override normal genetic laws?

Question #2:  Did the mad scientist’s Geneticists’ Manifesto (that called for state action to separate worthwhile breeding stock from the great mass of evolutionary dead end material) garner signatures of support from leading American and British biologists?

Book Mentions for Source Check: Pages 2 & 3

Question #1 Research Results:

Unverified: The “Max” Muller that Gatto refers to appears to be Hermann Joseph Muller.  My cursory Google/Bing search did not turn up any sources in which Hermann Joseph was referred to as Max.  Considering that Max Mason was named in the sentence that preceded Mr. Muller’s appearance in Gatto’s text, I suspect that a mistake may have slipped past the editor.

Unverified:  Hermann Joseph Muller was reportedly born in New York City.  Wikipedia claims that he was a third-generation American.  However, Muller did move to the USSR during the mid 1930s to conduct eugenics research.  

Verified:  Hermann, a famed eugenicist, was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1946. The Genome News Network’s biographical sketch of Muller offers the following sanitized details:

X rays had been used in clinical medicine and for experimental purposes in physics since their discovery in 1895. But their value to genetics research only became apparent when Hermann Muller, an American geneticist, employed radioactivity to produce point mutations in the fruit fly Drosophila. (from Paragraph 1)

An outspoken, sometimes controversial scientist, Muller hoped that evolutionary principles could be used to improve humanity… He also supported “positive” eugenics through the use of reproductive technologies such as sperm banks and artificial insemination, but wrote that, “Any attempt to accomplish genetic improvement through dictation must be debasing and self-defeating.” (from Paragraph 7)

The  Encyclopædia Britannica adds slightly more detail:

…he made a controversial suggestion that the sperm of gifted men be frozen and preserved as part of a purposeful program of eugenics for future generations.

I’ve Got a Funny Feeling: The fact that both texts mention a controversy surrounding Muller’s views on eugenics seems odd since both sources fail to provide meaningful clarifying details relating to this controversy.  Was the mere suggestion that the future of mankind could benefit from the ethically sourced genetic material of gifted men the greatest of Muller’s alleged sins?

Question #2’s Research Results will be revealed in Part II of this blog entry.

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #6: Rockefeller Plays God

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Did Max Mason, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation (1929-1936), announce that a program was underway that would enable the Rockefellers to control human behavior?

Here’s a published excerpt from Lily E. Kay’s 1993 book, Who Wrote the Book of Life?: A History of the Genetic Code, that says he did:

The quote may also be found in Mark Zuss’ The Practice of Theoretical Curiosity.

Additionally, the quote may be found in Steven Rose’s Lifelines: Life Beyond the Genes.

Disclaimer: I lack the required knowledge to attempt to assign credibility to academics who write about the history of genetics research.

The Big Question: What do you do when you have the power to socially control a mass of people who have no idea that they are being socially controlled?

Source Mention: Page 2

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #5: Subjects of Little Value

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Did Edward L. Thorndike (a founding father of Educational Psychology) really say that academic subjects are of little value?

Here’s his quote from a website of which I’m not familiar:

Despite rapid progress in the right direction, the program of the average elementary school has been primarily devoted to teaching the fundamental subjects, the three R’s, and closely related disciplines… Artificial exercises, like drills on phonetics, multiplication tables, and formal writing movements, are used to a wasteful degree. Subjects such as arithmetic, language, and history include content that is intrinsically of little value. Nearly every subject is enlarged unwisely to satisfy the academic ideal of thoroughness… Elimination of the unessential by scientific study, then, is one step in improving the curriculum.

It Gets Worse: Wikipedia also claims that Thorndike was yet another academic of the early 20th century who held Eugenic views.  Here’s what Thorndike had to say:

…selective breeding can alter man’s capacity to learn, to keep sane, to cherish justice or to be happy. There is no more certain and economical a way to improve man’s environment as to improve his nature.

Source Mention: Page 2

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #4: Rockefeller Conspiracy

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Did a mayor of New York City really say that the Rockefeller Foundation was a giant octopus that had its tentacles wrapped around the schools?

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

[John Francis] Hylan’s most famous statement against “the interests” was the following speech, made in 1922, while he was the sitting Mayor of New York City:

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standar Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. Continue reading John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #4: Rockefeller Conspiracy

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #3: Mating of the Unfit

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Did Professor Arthur W. Calhoun really want agencies of public education to “check the mating of the unfit?”  Here’s some of what he had to say in his  A Social History of the Family from Colonial Times to the Present:

In Case You Missed It: Calhoun wanted Congress to pass laws that would stop the “procreation of undesirable citizens.”  Presumably, the protection of “positively eugenic matings” would be achieved through sterilization.

Calhoun advanced his position just a few short years before  Margaret Sanger voiced her advocacy for the “sterilization of the insane and feebleminded” as one of the aims of The American Birth Control League.  (Eugenics was the height of intellectual fashion at the time.)

Professor Arthur W. Calhoun continues: 

Familism: a social pattern in which the family assumes a position of ascendance over individual interests (Merriam-Webster)

In Case You Missed It: Calhoun envisioned a future in which “notable lines of heredity” would experience family as a luxury granted to them by the privilege of their high standing in society.

My Personal Opinion: Arthur W. Calhoun wasn’t one of the good guys.

Source Mentions: Pages 1 & 2

John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #2: Into the Custody of Community Experts

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.

Could Professor Arthur W. Calhoun really have gotten away with publicly advocating for children to pass from blood families “into the custody of community experts” all the way back in 1919?  Here’s some of what he said in his  A Social History of the Family from Colonial Times to the Present:

The Sinister Summary:

Problem: Modernization in industrial and social life (allowing women to work alongside men in factories) has made it impossible for parents to successfully perform their parental functions.

Not the Solution #1:  Encourage parents to find an independent livelihood outside of the factory/corporate system that would provide them with the time and resources to raise their own children.

Not the Solution #2: Ease restrictions on small businesses.

Solution: Allow qualified community experts to perform the complexer functions of parenthood.

Source Mention: Page 1