Creating an Elite Class of Super Humans
by John P. Thomas
Health Impact News
This is the first part of a two part series exploring the relationship between the controversial eugenics movement of the past and modern genetics. Eugenics was dedicated to cleansing and purifying humanity from “inferior” members with the hope of solving various social problems related to poverty, disability, and illness. To accomplish this, it sought to create a superior race of people and to use forced sterilization and extermination to eliminate future generations of defective human beings. Darwin’s theory of evolution was used to justify the practice of eugenics. Later, when eugenics fell from favor, modern genetics began to grow up from the ashes of the former movement.
When Adolf Hitler applied Darwin’s theory of evolution and the principles of eugenics to the goals of the German state, the result was the murder of eleven million men, women and children. These lives were sacrificed in the name of eugenics. Eugenicists were seeking to improve the conditions of life for humanity by creating a “superior” race of people.
The eugenics movement had a very dark side, which led to social control, loss of reproductive freedom, and the loss of life. Should we be concerned that modern genetic science might have a dark side as well? Will the fruit of genetic research be misused by ill-intentioned people to gain control over others as happened with eugenics in the past? Has modern genetics completely severed itself from its roots? Or, might it become the tool that will be used to try to create a master class of genetically superior human beings in America?
What are the deceptions and dangers of the modern genetics movement? Does true health and true happiness lie in the human genome? Are we really bound to the set of genes that we received from our parents, or can we overcome what we were given? What are the factors that activate or deactivate certain genes, and how can we control the expression of our genetic make-up to promote our health and the health of our children? What are the motivations of certain groups who want us to believe that genes control every aspect of our lives – that we have no other options than to suffer while genetic scientists look for genetic cures for all that ails us? Are we really more than our genes or is our genetic code all there is?
These questions and many more will be examined in these articles. Let’s begin by learning about the development of eugenics.
Eugenics in a Nutshell
The word Eugenics means “good genes.” Eugenicists believe that principles of Darwin’s theory regarding “the survival of the fittest” can be used to support the elimination of weak and undesirable people from society. They believe that human beings are inherently no different than animals, and therefore we can and should be bred like animals. A farmer does not allow deficient cows in his herd to reproduce, and in the same way, eugenicists believe that certain people in our society should control human reproduction.
Simply put, eugenics consists of rational methods for putting evolution on the fast track, so that only the “best” people will reproduce and become superior beings. It is also the fast track for helping inferior families and inferior groups of people to stop their reproduction and to quickly die out.
Eugenicists believe that natural attraction, affection, and love between men and women should not be the basis upon which procreation should be based. Rather, scientists and the medical system should provide scientific and common sense control over the individuals who should be allowed to mate with one another. People with the best traits should be encouraged to reproduce, and those with defective traits should be prevented from producing children by various methods such as sterilization, segregation, and, if necessary, death.
Are We Doomed to a Life of Suffering and Illness, Because of Our Genetics?
A steady stream of information has been distributed in every corner of society for over 150 years telling us that defective germplasm, or “bad genes”, lead to problems of child development, illness, low achievement, alcoholism, and even poverty. We are also told that good genes must be present in order for people to live healthy, prosperous, and happy lives.
The general teaching is that our personal genetic code is the master blueprint that determines nearly everything about us. It determines our intellectual gifts, our artistic gifts, our physical structure, and establishes the parameters through which we will develop certain illnesses and ultimately die. We have been taught that this blueprint is written in stone, and if couples produce children, then their combined genetic material will create a new, unchangeable blueprint for their children. We are also told that the real “cure” for diseases will come from genetic repairs that are just beyond the horizon of modern science.
Scientists are using techniques of genetic engineering to modify plants and animals (GMOs). We are told that human modification is just around the corner. We are promised that the next step in medicine will be a personal one, where our illnesses will be treated with drugs that have been specifically formulated to match the requirements of our genetics. However, until that time comes, we must continue to rely on existing pharmaceutical drugs.
In short, we are being told that in some cases, there isn’t much hope for healing until modern genetics brings us the cure for all that ails us. Thus, some of us and some of our children are doomed to a life of illness and suffering unless we are willing to consider other options.
Aborting “Defective” Children Up to the Age of Five is Another Option
Some people now believe that if parents decide that they wish to have the life of their child brought to an end before age five, because of disability, illness, inconvenience of the parents, or for any other reason, then the parents should have the right to abort the child. So, if you don’t like the color of his hair, the color of her eyes, the developmental delays that you are observing, the illnesses that are making life difficult, or the behaviors that you cannot control, then you should have the right to have your child aborted (legally killed) up to age 5 or 6. [1, 2, 3]
Historically, killing a child after it is born was called infanticide. This is now being given a new name – “post-birth abortion” or “after-birth abortion.”
Central to this way of thinking is the belief that children are only potential human beings until they reach the age of “self-awareness,” which is believed to happen around age five. Proponents of post-birth abortion see children as disposable until the child becomes aware of its existence as a person and can begin to develop goals and ambitions for life.
It is believed that prior to age 5, children live in a pre-aware state, and have an animal-like existence, which is just like a chimpanzee, a dog, a chicken, or a pig. Thus, killing a young child because of bad genetic composition is no different than killing a sick dog or a mature pig that is ready to be processed into sausage.
Those who believe in post-birth abortion are challenging American society to reconsider how we value human life. They are observing the fact that we already permit babies in the womb to be killed, we encourage the termination of the lives of animals when they are seriously ill, and most of us approve of slaughtering animals to supply food. Based on this, they ask, “Why do we extend special privileges to young children who have the same level of consciousness as animals or babies in the womb? Why do we preserve the lives of defective people who are draining society of its resources?”
These groups extend their argument to the elderly as well. If a person with some form of dementia such as Alzheimer’s is no longer aware of his or her own existence as a human being, can no longer understand his or her medical condition, and is so frail and feebleminded that he or she can no longer contribute anything to society, then they would tell us that the termination of that person’s life is no different than euthanizing an animal or aborting a baby in the womb.
“Modern” Thinking is Simply the Old Eugenics Resurfacing as “Science”
The idea that people in authority should have the legal right to terminate the lives of other people in certain circumstances to benefit the greater good of society is not new. These thoughts have a long history, which was part of the original eugenics movement that began in 1859. The human extermination program that was implemented by Adolf Hitler before and during World War II was a prime example of eugenics. He was trying to purify the human race by killing all those who he determined would have an inferior contribution to the human germplasm if they were to reproduce. He and other leaders of the Third Reich believed that only superior human beings should be allowed to reproduce, and the inferior should be eliminated.
The proposal that we legalize the killing of “defective” children is just the reappearance of old style eugenics with a slightly new twist.
What do Eugenicists Believe?
Eugenicists believe that everything about us is determined by genetic composition. Who we are and how we behave is determined almost entirely by our germplasm – our personal genetic code.
If we have bad genes, then there is nothing that can be done about the situation. If our genes are seriously defective, then eugenicists would say that sterilization or termination of life is the best solution to the problem. Both of these options would help preserve future generations from inheriting defective germplasm from defective parents.
What do Eugenicists Desire?
Eugenicists seek to create a class of people who possess superior attributes such as intelligence, physical strength, and physical appearance. They also seek to discourage reproduction by “inferior” people.
When techniques of discouragement fail to reduce the birth of new “defectives,” then forced sterilization of undesirables is pursued under the authority of the state. When sterilization is not practical, then termination of life is used to decrease the surplus population of defectives.
Charles Darwin and the Birth of Modern Eugenics
Eugenics historian Edwin Black carefully described the development of the Eugenics movement from the period of time beginning with the work of Charles Darwin in 1859 to our present time. He described the goals of eugenicists and their influence over social policy. His 566 page book records the history of the eugenics movement and shows how eugenics was transformed into modern genetics. The book is filled with quotations in which eugenicists explain their theories and their beliefs in their own words. Here is a taste of what he reported in his book, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. Mr. Black stated:
On May 2 and May 3, 1911, in Palmer, Massachusetts, the research committees of the ABA’s [American Breeders Association] eugenic section adopted a resolution creating a special new committee. “Resolved: that the chair appoint a committee commissioned to study and report on the best practical means for cutting off the defective germ-plasm of the American population.”
Ten groups were eventually identified [by the American Breeders Association] as “socially unfit” and targeted for ”elimination.” First, the feebleminded; second, the pauper class; third, the inebriate class or alcoholics; fourth, criminals of all descriptions including petty criminals and those jailed for nonpayment of fines; fifth, epileptics; sixth, the insane; seventh, the constitutionally weak class; eighth, those predisposed to specific diseases; ninth, the deformed; tenth, those with defective sense organs, that is, the deaf, blind and mute. In this last category, there was no indication of how severe the defect need be to qualify; no distinction was made between blurry vision or bad hearing and outright blindness or deafness.
Not content to [only] eliminate those deemed unfit by virtue of some malady, transgression, disadvantage or adverse circumstance, the ABA committee targeted their extended families as well. Even if those relatives seemed perfectly normal and were not institutionalized, the breeders considered them equally unfit because they supposedly carried the defective germ-plasm that might crop up in a future generation. The committee carefully weighed the relative value of “sterilizing all persons with defective germ-plasm,” or just “sterilizing only degenerates.” The group agreed that “defective and potential parents of defectives not in institutions” were also unacceptable [to society]. 
The notion that certain elite groups should be in charge of cleansing society of defective persons was popular in the United States during the first 45 years of the 20th century. It was only after the full extent of the eugenics program in Nazi Germany was brought to light that eugenicists in the United States began to take a less public position.
When Charles Darwin’s book The Origin of Species was published in 1859, it provided the perfect theory for those who believed in human breeding. Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton of England, applied The Origin of Species to his concerns about the degenerate state of society. Francis Galton believed social problems were caused by defects in human germplasm (genes). He believed that if “defective” people could be prevented from conceiving and giving birth to children, then problems such as poverty, mental illness, mental retardation, and alcoholism would die out.
Francis Galton – the First Major Leader in the Eugenics Movement
Australian researcher and writer Roger Sandall described how Francis Galton’s life was transformed by the theory of Darwinian evolution. Roger Sandall wrote:
Coming at a critical stage of both his scientific career and his domestic life, Darwin’s book shattered Galton’s religious beliefs and turned him towards biological research. He always had what he called “a hereditary bent of mind”, and from 1859 he proceeded to investigate, he said later, matters “clustered round the central topics of Heredity and the possible improvement of the Human Race.” 
I will summarize a few additional points drawn from Roger Sandall’s discussion of Francis Galton and the early eugenics movement. These points are not just the old and moldy views of a long dead eugenicist, but are beliefs that continue to influence the thinking of many people today.
Francis Galton taught his followers that only the genetically perfect should be allowed to reproduce. In his 1873 essay “Hereditary Improvement” he insists that those of feeble constitution must embrace celibacy “lest they should bring beings into existence whose race is predoomed to destruction by the laws of nature.”
Galton believed that certain races were superior, and the reproduction of inferior races should be tightly controlled so that only the few best specimens of that race would be allowed to become parents, and only a few of their descendants should be allowed to live.
Galton recommended that his country (England) should be scoured for the names and addresses of gifted people who would be urged to intermarry. This intellectual aristocracy would receive special benefits. Defectives would receive nothing at all. Endowments would be used to maintain a privileged class living in healthy circumstances, which would enable it to multiply in comfort.
Galton declared that the gifted class should treat lower classes with all kindness, so long as they maintained celibacy. But if these lower classes continued to procreate children who are morally, intellectually, and physically inferior, then it is easy to believe the time may come when such persons would be considered to be enemies of the state. As such, he believed that they would forfeit all their claims to kindness from the superior class.
Eugenics Replaces Religion
Roger Sandall summarized Galton’s effect on society and its moral underpinnings. Sandall stated:
When Galton wrote, late in life, that the effect of Darwinism was “to demolish a multitude of dogmatic barriers by a single stroke, and to arouse a spirit of rebellion against all ancient authorities whose positive and unauthenticated statements were contradicted by modern science”, a radical antinomian spirit was unleashed; and when he declared that eugenics “must be introduced into the national conscience, like a new religion,” adding that “it has indeed strong claims to become an orthodox religious tenet of the future,” a kind of displaced religious zeal was put at the service of political compulsion: allied to German nationalism, it is unsurprising that it led, step by step, to policies of racial exclusion and finally annihilation. 
Creating an Elite Class of Super Humans
Proponents of eugenics believe that a pure bloodline should be created that contains only the best traits of humanity. They believe that techniques of good breeding should be used to create a race of super humans who are made in the image of the eugenicists. These super humans will all be highly intelligent, strong, healthy, beautiful, talented, prosperous, motivated, and capable of submitting their will to the will and greater good of society.
Physical appearance is also seen as being important. People will need to have a certain skin color, hair color, eye color, and meet high standards for mental acuity and emotional stability. They also must possess “ideal” physical strength and physical form (either male or female) in order to have the right to reproduce.
People with a personal or family history of poverty, chronic illness, addiction, disabilities, lack of motivation, minimal intellectual achievement, and non-conformist thinking would be unwelcome in this new society, and would not be allowed to reproduce.
Why Don’t We Hear the Word “Eugenics” Used Much Today?
Very few people use the word eugenics today when speaking in public, because it is on the list of politically incorrect words. Despite the positive rhetoric of eugenics, it was a highly racist endeavor, which sought to elevate one race above all others. This will be discussed in detail at a later point in this article.
Even though people no longer openly use the word eugenics, the insidious principles of eugenics can still be observed all around us in 21st century America. Eugenics is insidious, because it destroys life, denies reproductive freedom, destroys the functioning of the family structure, and targets certain classes and races of people for destruction. It does all this while seeking to establish a master race which is intended to dominate the world.
The plans of eugenicists closely follow the principles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which tells us that the strongest and fittest should overcome and replace the weak and inferior. Eugenicists have determined that they are the fittest and most able people for managing society and it is their responsibility as the superior beings to actively purge the weak and inferior from society. They believed that defective people need to be prevented from reproducing so that the number of defectives in the world will dwindle and fade away, while they, the fittest group of people, are allowed to survive and flourish.
The Eugenics Enthusiasts in U.S. History
Historically, the goals of the eugenics movement were to eliminate poverty, disability, numerous chronic illnesses, and human suffering. These lofty goals were designed to provide the greatest amount of happiness to society. On the surface, this sounds good to most people. These goals led many prominent Americans to support the eugenics agenda.
People such as Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw, author H. G. Wells, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, among many others, were very involved in promoting eugenics. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was one of the most zealous participants in the American Eugenics Movement. 
College professors were prominent among both the officers and members of various eugenics societies which sprang up in the United States and Europe in the early 20th century. In virtually every college and university, professors were inspired by the new creed of eugenics, and most of the major colleges had credit courses on eugenics. These classes were typically well attended and their content was generally accepted as part of proven science. 
Eugenicists believed that the primary determinant of mankind’s behavioral nature was genetic, and various environmental reforms designed to improve living conditions, for example, were largely useless. Further, the eugenics movement believed that those who were at the bottom of the social ladder in society, such as the Black race, were in this position not because of social injustice or discrimination, but as a result of their own inferiority. 
The Horrors of Eugenics: Forced Sterilization in the U.S. Upheld by the Supreme Court
In the early 1900s, eugenicists began to use persuasion to gain voluntary cooperation with their new way of thinking about human reproduction. In the United States, the strategy of persuasion was eventually replaced by a strategy of coercion and compulsion.
In 1927, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the State of Virginia’s sterilization plan in Buck Versus Bell, which affirmed that it had the right to sterilize mentally deficient residents to prevent them from “producing more of their kind.” This decision opened the door to forced sterilization in many U.S. states.
At that time, eugenicists believed that human character and behavior was almost completely determined by the germplasm. In contemporary language, we would say everything is determined by one’s genes. Eugenicists believed that every “negative” trait they observed in a person could be passed on to their descendants. For example, a person living in poverty is poor because of his genes, and unless sterilization is pursued, that person will create children who are destined for poverty. They admitted that sometimes defective germplasm might not be seen in every child conceived by “defectives,” but if it was present in one generation, then it will be permanently present in all succeeding generations, and will eventually reappear.
In the Buck vs. Bell decision of May 2, 1927, the United States Supreme Court upheld a Virginia statute that provided for the sterilization of people considered to be genetically unfit. The Court’s decision, delivered by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., included the infamous phrase “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Upholding Virginia’s sterilization statute provided the green light for similar laws in 30 states, under which an estimated 65,000 Americans were sterilized without their own consent or that of a family member. 
Eugenics in Nazi Germany: 11 Million “Inferior” People Put to Death
The belief that the state had the right to control human reproduction was taken to the extreme in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Third Reich of Germany extinguished the lives of 6 million Jews, and 5 million other people who were deemed undesirable. Undesirables included Jews (from all levels of society), and people from various other groups. The other groups included outspoken Christians and their pastors who would not submit to Nazi ideology. Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill persons, people with low mental functioning, and people who were deaf, blind, crippled, and epileptics were all targeted for extermination. The list of inferiors included all people of Polish ethnicity, people in interracial marriages, and people with dark/African skin color. 
For the sake of expediency, extermination of defectives and inferior people was the final solution chosen by Hitler. Forced sterilization of eleven million people was not practical, and it would not remove the influence of such people from society. Extermination, however, would immediately stop reproduction of these people and also would allow their personal resources to be confiscated for the German war effort.
Eugenics: Desensitizing People to the Value of Human Life
Of course, eugenic programs of the past and genetic programs of the present do not begin with mass scale slaughter of unwanted people as happened in Germany. They are marketed as benevolent programs that are designed to help people be happy and prosperous. They subtly condition people to believe that the State has a right to control every aspect of their reproduction for the sake of personal happiness.
This belief is then gradually expanded to show that the government has a similar right to control human reproduction for the sake of creating a happy and prosperous society. It progresses from voluntary programs to involuntary programs – from cooperation to mandatory compliance. The techniques of the eugenics movement involve sterilization and death. The objective of preventing reproduction by undesirables was achieved by all means possible.
Each step in the implementation of an eugenics program desensitizes people to the value of human life. It leads people to accept the idea that some people are inferior and others are superior, because of their genetic makeup. It teaches people to give honor to certain people and to submit to a small group of super people who are considered to be the model race. It teaches people to accept sterilization and the killing of the minority to support the needs and goals of the majority. The proposed killing of children up to the age of 5 years old, for example, is an outgrowth of eugenic thinking, because in that mindset there is no hope for the defective children, and the best thing we can do for everyone is to simply eliminate them before they begin to drain society of its precious resources.
First the weakest and most helpless are targeted by eugenicists, and then certain undesirable people, who have “bad genes,” are marked for destruction. This type of population reduction is called systematic depopulation. Depopulation is also called genocide, which is the killing of large groups of people who share a common trait such as ethnic background or religious affiliation.
The Family is not Compatible with the Practice of Eugenics
Eugenicists also will seek to destroy the family structure in order to accomplish their goals. The value and functioning of the family unit consisting of a husband/father, wife/mother and numerous children will be attacked on every front.
This is necessary to break the emotional bonds that tie family members together, and replace it with zealous allegiance to the state. Commitment to the power of the state must be stronger than love and commitment to family members so that defectives in the family can be sterilized or removed without a struggle.
The Existence of God is not Compatible with Eugenics
There must also be a breaking of affection and commitment to God. Eugenics is incompatible with true religion. Eugenics and the power of the state must rule over people and not the God of the Bible.
Eugenicists understand that one can only serve one master, and their master must be the god and religion of Darwinian Evolution. The moral absolutes of conservative biblical Christianity stand in direct opposition to Darwin’s theory of evolution and the full implementation of eugenic techniques.
The belief that life is a gift from God, and should be cherished and preserved, is incompatible with the outworking of eugenics, which seeks to put life under the authority of a superior class of people and under the authority of the state.
Specific Methods of How Eugenics is Forced Upon Society
Specifically, these are some of the methods that have been used to implement eugenics programs over the past hundred years. Please note how they start with encouragement and voluntary participation, and end up with involuntary means to control and reduce the population.
1. Convince superior human beings to produce more children. The fruit of this strategy would result in a rapid increase in the number of “superior” people and strengthen the “superior” bloodline. In Nazi Germany, breeding centers were established to produce large numbers of superior blond blue-eyed children. Most of these children were conceived outside of marriage and fathered by Nazi officers. 
2. Encourage inferior human beings to have fewer children, or discourage them from having children altogether. This would shrink “undesirable” bloodlines and weaken the possible influence on the superior bloodline.
3. Prevent people with certain inferior qualities from marrying superior people. This means to forbid inter-racial marriage, marriage between disabled and non-disabled people, and marriage of superior people with those of undesirable ethnic, religious, or economic position, because they would weaken the bloodline of the superior group.
4. Physically isolate severely deficient people from the greater society by institutionalizing them in the name of providing compassionate care or simply put them into containment camps. This will prevent them from marrying and reproducing.
5. Impose forced sterilization on feebleminded people, criminals, and on other incurable defectives such as alcoholics and paupers, so they cannot pass on their undesirable flaws to another generation.
6. Give people a low cost or no cost opportunity to use contraceptives and/or to choose pre-birth abortion to prevent the birth of disabled children and to prevent babies from being born into poverty.
7. Terminate the lives of defective children and defective elderly adults who are not able to contribute to the greater good of society, or who threaten the economic status of those who have been declared the superior race. Use genetic screening for babies in the womb and abort those who have defective genes.
8. Implement programs that will weaken the reproductive capacity of the population. Vaccines, pesticides, GMO food, highly processed food, antibiotics and other drugs, etc. all are known to have a negative influence on fertility.  (Those who are aware of these influences can avoid exposure and protect their fertility.)
9. Implement economic programs that will decrease the buying power of low-income persons, which will place increasing financial pressure on low-income working families, so that they will choose to limit the number of children they produce. 
10. Contain or exterminate anyone who resists the use of eugenics and who would threaten the development of the superior human bloodline.
Who is Superior and Who is Not?
This question is the key to understanding eugenics. It is also the key for uncovering the deceptions and lies that are used to justify eugenics as a socially advanced way of managing society.
Adolf Hitler and his colleagues decided that it was the Nordic or Aryan bloodlines that were superior to all other bloodlines on the Earth. Thus, Adolf Hitler and others like him were to become the superior bloodline. Those with similar physical characteristics/appearance, emotional functioning, and mental capacities, and those who possessed certain ideological convictions were to become archetypes of humanity. They were to be raised up above all other people and others were to be brought into subjection to them.
Hitler found that the most efficient method of preventing reproduction and discontinuing the negative influence on the Aryan bloodline was to terminate the lives of undesirables. These were the people who threatened the racial superiority of the leaders of the German Third Reich and threatened their economic prosperity and social happiness. Eugenicists always seek to protect their own race, their own ethnic group, their own religion (which is now called Social Darwinism), and their own economic prosperity regardless of the country where they live.
In the view of the German leaders of the Third Reich, even inferiors in their own Aryan race needed to be purged from the bloodline. They saw the Darwinian struggle for survival of the fittest in the context of the German war effort. War was a positive force for bloodline purification, not only because it eliminated the “weaker” races which they were attacking, but also because it weeded out the weaker members of their own Aryan race. Hitler was convinced that the strongest people would survive. Nazi Germany, partly for this reason, openly glorified war because it was an important means of eliminating the less fit of the highest race, a step necessary to upgrade the Aryan race. 
The Japanese Eugenics Program
While Hitler’s eugenic program was in full force, a similar program was underway in Japan. The Japanese were actively involved in building up and maintaining a pure Japanese bloodline. They were influenced by American eugenicists and used many of the same techniques that were being used by Hitler. They were trying to keep the Japanese bloodline pure for the same reasons other eugenicists named. 
Eugenics Goes Hand in Hand with War
The eugenics programs of Germany and Japan shared several similarities. Both believed that there was a superior race (bloodline) and that bloodline must be preserved to strengthen the power of the state and to preserve the prosperity of society.
Of course, the Germans and the Japanese differed on the matter of which race was to be superior. They both believed that their respective race deserved, and was destined, to dominate the world. They were in agreement that active steps must be taken by government to purify the population, and to prevent superior pure-blooded people from intermarrying with inferior people groups. However, they obviously were in disagreement about which bloodline was superior. Should it be Oriental/Japanese blood or Caucasian/German blood?
Eugenicists have Transformed themselves into “Genetic Scientists”
The massive extermination of human life by the Third Reich of Germany cast a dark shadow over eugenics, and people tried to distance themselves from the word eugenics. However, the movement did not die with the death of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Neither did the eugenics movement die when the word eugenics became unfashionable.
There were several decades of transition during which the language of eugenics was transformed into the new language of human genetics.
After the horrors of Hitler’s eugenics program were brought to light, eugenicists realized that they needed to change their tactics. In 1947 the remnant board of directors of the American Eugenics Society (AES) unanimously agreed, “The time was not right for aggressive eugenic propaganda.” Instead, the AES continued quietly soliciting financial grants from such organizations as the Dodge Foundation, the Rockefeller-funded Population Council, and the Draper Fund for the purpose of proliferating genetics as a legitimate study of human heredity. 
In 1959, the leaders of the American Eugenics Society understood that reestablishing eugenics was an uphill battle. A draft address written by the president of the American Eugenics Society, Frederick Osborn, confirmed this when he prepared to speak to his Board of Directors. He outlined the future of eugenics, which included an ambitious campaign of behind-the-scenes genetic counseling, birth control, and university-based medical genetic programs. At the same time, President Osborn conceded that the movement’s history was too scurrilous to gain public support. 
We now know that the eugenic theories of the past, which said that human breeding would solve all problems of poverty and illness, was not supported by science or even empirical observation. The eugenics movement was based on faulty assumptions about inheritance, and used incomplete observations of family trees to make conclusions that often falsely labeled people as imbeciles, deficient, or defective.
The truth about the science of eugenics is that there was no science to eugenics. What passed for scientific method in the former eugenics movement between 1859 and 1959 did not stand the test of time. 
Edwin Black continued with his summary of how eugenics was intentionally transformed into genetics to escape the negative history of the past. He wrote:
In a candid 1965 letter, Osborn wrote, “I started hopefully on this course thirty-five years ago and someday would be glad to tell you all of the steps we took—the work we did, the conferences we held, and the money we put into the then Eugenical News—about $30,000 a year, to propagandize eugenics. It got us nowhere, probably because we did not have the backing of the scientific world.”
Edwin Black wrote:
That same year, after numerous genetic counseling and human heredity programs had been established, Osborn was able to confidently write to Paul Popenoe, “The term medical genetics has taken the place of the term negative eugenics.”
Keeping a low profile had paid off. On April 12, 1965, Osborn wrote a colleague at Duke University somewhat triumphantly, “We have struggled for years to rid the word eugenics of all racial and social connotations and have finally been successful with most scientists, if not with the public.”
Edwin Black describes the completion of the transition:
The face lift of the eugenics movement was completed during the sixties, seventies and eighties. Many entities changed their names. For example, the Human Betterment League of North Carolina changed its name to the Human Genetics League of North Carolina in 1984.
In Britain there were name changes as well. The Annals of Eugenics became the Annals of Human Genetics and is now a distinguished and purely scientific publication. The University College of London’s Galton Chair of Eugenics became the Chair of Genetics. The university’s Galton Eugenics Laboratory became the Galton Laboratory of the Department of Genetics. The Eugenics Society changed its name to the Galton Institute. 
Insensitivity to Death: Accept Killing as “Necessary” for Advancement of Society
The slippery slope of eugenics rapidly taught people to become insensitive to death. How could the people of Germany become able to tolerate millions of innocent people being killed in the death camps? The answer, I believe, is that they were systematically led, step by step, to accept killing as a necessary reality for the advancement of their people.
Are Americans on the same slippery slope today?
Twenty years ago, great numbers of Americans were horrified to hear how Dr. Jack Kevorkian was setting up equipment so that totally disabled or terminally ill people could commit suicide. In 1999 this was a crime and he was convicted of that crime. He served an eight year prison sentence. 
Today, several states have legalized physician-assisted suicide, and in the minds of many, physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia is just another medical procedure that is available for those who desire it.
On New Year’s Day 1973, human abortion was completely illegal in most U.S. states and only available in other states for a very limited number of reasons. Even though some strongly objected to the ban, others were truly horrified over the thought of killing babies in the womb.
Three weeks later that all changed when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the prohibition against abortion in Roe versus Wade. Today, abortion on demand is treated as just another medical procedure by most people, even though a small minority still vigorously object to the practice.
In the 40 years that followed the Roe versus Wade decision, over 55 million babies have been aborted in the United States.  How many people today are horrified by this statistic?
Our society permits people to terminate the lives of unborn children so that women can have control over their bodies. We permit physicians in some states to assist severely ill patients to commit suicide (euthanasia) so that these patients can have control over their bodies. These “freedoms” are seen as progressive steps that are being used for the “good” of individuals and society.
The problem is that when birth control and death are involved, the rights of certain groups seem to be crushed while the rights of other groups are elevated. Before Roe vs. Wade, the rights of the unborn and the rights of the mother were kept in balance. Today, mothers have nearly all the rights, and children in the womb have almost none. Before Roe vs. Wade, the life of an unborn child was considered to be in the hands of God and should not be tampered with by human intervention. This has now changed, and abortion has become a personal matter, which is up to the decision of the mother.
In a similar way, the time for a terminally ill person’s death was considered to be a sacred matter between that person and God. Physicians were legally and ethically bound to do no harm to a patient. Causing the death of a patient was considered to be harm. Today, the killing of a person who wants to die is no longer seen as “doing harm,” and is now permitted.
When it comes to taking life from others, things always seem to move in a less restrictive direction. Those whose life is taken become a kind of underclass and those who take their lives become a superior class. The rights of the underclass continue to shrink while the rights of the superior class continue to grow.
Going back to the topic of post-birth abortion, which was discussed at the beginning of this article, we see that babies and young children are definitely in the underclass position. I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before post-birth abortion during the first week after birth will be accepted and legalized – being seen as the right of parents exercised for the good of society? How long will it be before post-birth abortion up to the age of five will be hailed as a sign of an advanced society that truly cares about the greater good of its members?
Conclusion: Where is Modern Genetics Leading Us?
If our tolerance for the termination of life in the United States continues to increase, then expanded opportunities to take life will follow. Who will be the next group of “defectives” who will be targeted for either repair or extermination? Perhaps it will be people whose only “defect” is that they are poor, are aliens, or are strangers to us and just don’t seem to fit in with social norms.
People may no longer call themselves eugenicists, but the desire to perfect humanity and create a “better” people remains a strong desire in the hearts and minds of many scientists, politicians, and corporations. Many people have never heard the word eugenics, nevertheless, their grumbling words condemn those they do not like. They speak against the existence of certain groups in society and speak about how things would be better if someone would do something about “those people.” Those who refuse vaccines today, for example, are considered a threat to society, and mandatory vaccine laws are being proposed in many states in 2015.
Will modern genetics respond to the grumblers among us, and be the tool that politicians ultimately use to fix the problems in our society? Will its advances be the stimulus that justifies the termination of healthy, but undesirable people in our society? Will modern genetics become the eugenics of our times? What is the dark side of genetics and how is it being used by corporations to create a new class of people in America? These questions and many others regarding modern genetics will be explored in the next article in this series.
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