Friday, November 16, 2012

"... he apparently looked on pregnancy as a disease, to be eradicated in the same way one eliminates smallpox or yellow fever..."

Dr. Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt 

Robert Zubrin at The New Atlantis tells the story of Dr. Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt, the first director of the Office of Population in the United States Agency for International Development:

During the Cold War, anything from the Apollo program to public-education funding could be sold to the federal government if it could be justified as part of the global struggle against communism. Accordingly, ideologues at some of the highest levels of power and influence formulated a party line that the population of the world’s poor nations needed to be drastically cut in order to reduce the potential recruitment pool available to the communist cause. President Lyndon Johnson was provided a fraudulent study by a RAND Corporation economist that used cooked calculations to “prove” that Third World children actually had negative economic value. Thus, by allowing excessive numbers of children to be born, Asian, African, and Latin American governments were deepening the poverty of their populations, while multiplying the masses of angry proletarians ready to be led against America by the organizers of the coming World Revolution.
President Johnson bought the claptrap, including the phony math. Two months later, he declared to the United Nations that “five dollars invested in population control is worth a hundred dollars invested in economic growth.” With the Johnson administration now backing population control, Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act in 1966, including a provision earmarking funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for population control programs to be implemented abroad. The legislation further directed that all U.S. economic aid to foreign nations be made contingent upon their governments’ willingness to cooperate with State Department desires for the establishment of such initiatives within their own borders. In other words, for those Third World rulers willing to help sterilize their poorer subjects, there would be carrots. For the uncooperative types, there would be the stick. Given the nature of most Third World governments, such elegant simplicity of approach practically guaranteed success. The population control establishment was delighted.
An Office of Population was set up within USAID, and Dr. Reimert Thorolf Ravenholt was appointed its first director in 1966. He would hold the post until 1979, using it to create a global empire of interlocking population control organizations operating with billion-dollar budgets to suppress the existence of people considered undesirable by the U.S. Department of State.
In his devastating 2008 book Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits, author Steven Mosher provides a colorful description of Ravenholt:
Who was Dr. Ravenholt? An epidemiologist by training, he apparently looked on pregnancy as a disease, to be eradicated in the same way one eliminates smallpox or yellow fever. He was also, as it happened, a bellicose misanthrope.
He took to his work of contracepting, sterilizing, and aborting the women of the world with an aggressiveness that caused his younger colleagues to shrink back in disgust. His business cards were printed on condoms, and he delighted in handing them out to all comers. He talked incessantly about how to distribute greater quantities of birth control pills, and ensure that they were used. He advocated mass sterilization campaigns, once telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that one-quarter of all the fertile women in the world must be sterilized in order to meet the U.S. goals of population control and to maintain “the normal operation of U.S. commercial interests around the world.” Such rigorous measures were required, Ravenholt explained, to contain the “population explosion” which would, if left unchecked, so reduce living standards abroad that revolutions would break out “against the strong U.S. commercial presence.”...
Charming he was not. To commemorate the bicentennial of the United States in 1976, he came up with the idea of producing “stars and stripes” condoms in red, white, and blue colors for distribution around the world.... Another time, at a dinner for population researchers, Ravenholt strolled around the room making pumping motions with his fist as if he were operating a manual vacuum aspirator — a hand-held vacuum pump for performing abortions — to the horror of the other guests.

Ravenholt’s view of nonwhite people is expressed well enough in a comment he made in 2000 about slavery: “American blacks should thank their lucky stars that the institution of slavery did exist in earlier centuries; if not, these American blacks would not exist: their ancestors would have been killed by their black enemies, instead of being sold as slaves.
As his method of operation, Ravenholt adopted the practice of distributing his funds aggressively to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, and numerous other privately run organizations of the population control movement, enabling them to implement mass sterilization and abortion campaigns worldwide without U.S. government regulatory interference, and allowing their budgets to balloon — first tenfold, then a hundredfold, then even more. This delighted the leaders and staff of the population control establishment, who were able to embrace a luxurious lifestyle, staying in the best hotels, eating the best food, and flying first class as they jetted around the world to set up programs to eliminate the poor.

Ravenholt also had no compunction about buying up huge quantities of unproven, unapproved, defective, or banned contraceptive drugs and intrauterine devices (IUDs) and distributing them for use by his population control movement subcontractors on millions of unsuspecting Third World women, many of whom suffered or died in consequence. These included drugs and devices which had been declared unsafe by the FDA for use in America, and had faced successful lawsuits in the U.S. for their damaging results. These practices delighted the manufacturers of such equipment.
Having thus secured the unqualified support of both the population control establishment and several major pharmaceutical companies, Ravenholt was able to lobby Congress to secure ever-increasing appropriations to further expand his growing empire.
His success was remarkable. Before Ravenholt took over, USAID expenditures on population control amounted to less than 3 percent of what the agency spent on health programs in Third World nations. By 1968, Ravenholt had a budget of $36 million, compared to the USAID health programs budget of $130 million. By 1972, Ravenholt’s population control funding had grown to $120 million per year, with funds taken directly at the expense of USAID’s disease prevention and other health care initiatives, which shrank to $38 million in consequence. In just five short years, the U.S. non-military foreign aid program was transformed from a mission of mercy to an agency for human elimination. 
In 1968, Robert McNamara, a staunch believer in population control, resigned his post as Secretary of Defense to assume the presidency of the World Bank. From this position he was able to dictate a new policy, making World Bank loans to Third World countries contingent upon their governments’ submission to population control, with yearly sterilization quotas set by World Bank experts. Cash-short and heavily in debt, many poor nations found this pressure very difficult to withstand. This strengthened Ravenholt’s hand immeasurably.

Ravenholt was a monster, and the Office of Population in the USAID was engaged in frankly genocidal policy-- using coercive birth control with the specific aim of depopulating the Third World. Aside from the fact that population control aimed at the poor is a crime against humanity, is manifestly junk science. Population control predictions have been astonishingly wrong-- 'tens of millions will starve in the US in the 1980's', 'England will cease to exist by 2000 due to starvation', yada yada.

As you know there were massive programs instituted based on this crap-- totalitarian population control schemes in China and India and Peru-- with hundreds of millions of lives destroyed. It is still going on, most prominently in China.

So what's become of Ravenholt, you ask? Did he live his life in seclusion, evading accountability for rather overt crimes against humanity?

Hardly. He is currently president of Population Health Imperatives in Seattle. He is described as "USAID's Population Program Stalwart." He has a website of his own, in which he extols his achievements.

There needs to be a Simon Wiesenthal Center for these bastards. They should be called out. There should be accountability-- if not legal, then moral and rhetorical. They instituted programs that killed hundreds of millions by forced abortions and female infanticide. And they obviously knew what they were doing-- they explicitly funded and partnered with organizations like Planned Parenthood to fund totalitarian population control programs in poor nations, with the explicit intention of radically culling the population of poor non-white people.

Why is it that the ideologues who push this monstrous stuff aren't treated as we treated Nazi's after WWII, who did similar things, on a considerably smaller scale?


  1. Why is it that the ideologues who push this monstrous stuff aren't treated as we treated Nazi's after WWII, who did similar things, on a considerably smaller scale?

    My guess is that plenty of people don't buy your lies and those of your fellow ideologues.

    1. History doesn't become a lie just because you don't like the implications.

    2. History doesn't become a lie just because you don't like the implications.

      Coming from you that is the most self-unaware statement of the day.

  2. The New Atlantis? They're top-of-the-line crazies over there. Zubrin is an engineer with no expertise in medicine or history, and clearly unqualified to present the case - if there is one - against Ravenholt.

    Egnor looks on truth as a disease, to be eradicated just like smallpox or yellow fever.

    1. @troy and anon:

      So you support the work of Ravenholt?

    2. Michael,

      Well, if it was a conspiracy to cause a genocide by means of population control, it was remarkably unsuccessful. Global population has roughly doubled since the '60s.

    3. Troy, Anon, & Bach,
      Do you support the work of Ravenholt?

    4. I love all the tapdancing going on here. Let me be the third to ask the same question, which I suspect will go unanswered. Do you support the work of Ravenholt?


  3. Here's why I don't worry to much about Progressives in the long run...

    Despite their spirited defenses of evolution (which I share, by the way, sans the Darwinist ideological component), they insist on killing their own offspring.

    Despite the moral repugnancy of murdering the innocent and helpless, I suppose if it must go on it couldn't be better targeted.

    1. (which I share, by the way, sans the Darwinist ideological component)

      What exactly is the "Darwinist ideological component"?

    2. The ideological stance on a philosophical issue, teleology.

    3. So you are worried about the "by natural selection part", and think that is somehow an "ideological component"?

  4. (which I share, by the way, sans the Darwinist ideological component)

    What exactly is the "Darwinist ideological component'?

    1. Are you suggesting that Darwinian theory is the only or even first concept of evolution?
      The Darwinian component is what makes Darwinism different from all the others. If you're a Darwinist, why don't you tell US?

    2. Are you suggesting that Darwinian theory is the only or even first concept of evolution?

      "Darwinism" is the only expression of evolution by natural selection, which is, by the way, the only "theory of evolution" in biology that is out there.

    3. LOL
      You have answered your own questions!
      A) Natural selection as the only (or directing) force in adaptive evolution and the answer to the second question (below) is B) ideological dogma (ie non scientific stance).
      If there is NO other theories - something is VERY wrong with the field.
      Dissent is what drives inquiry.
      Of course there are other theories on this specific historical study of adaptation and evolution.
      You rail and rant against them on this blog frequently. You may not like them, but they are there for open minded people to consider.

  5. What a strangely inconsistent position this fellow had. He thinks Asia and Africa are out-breeding us in order to have some sort of war against us, so he concludes we should cull our own population? Surely, if one follows this man's logic down the rabbit hole we should be breeding MORE babies in order to win that war and the 'population control' measure at work would be the war itself?
    Not only evil but ass backwards to boot!

  6. "Who was Dr. Ravenholt? An epidemiologist by training, he apparently looked on pregnancy as a disease, to be eradicated in the same way one eliminates smallpox or yellow fever. He was also, as it happened, a bellicose misanthrope."

    So he's your garden variety liberal.


  7. So you support the work of Ravenholt?

    It depends. If what you wrote is true, then no. But based on your writings in the past, I strongly suspect that this hatchet job on Ravenholt is a thoroughly dishonest defamation, typical of Egnor and his cronies.

    If, as I suspect, Ravenholt is actually an ethical man who wants contraception available easily to women throughout the world, then of course I support that.

    1. If you do not support Ravenholt, are you willing to speak out against the things he has done?

      By analogy, claiming not to support Nazi eugenics doesn't mean much if you tactitly endorse it by excusing it, defaming people who speak out about it, etc.

      If Ravenholt really did what he is accused of doing, he is a monster, and the people and organizations who collaborated with him are evil.

      Where do you stand?

    2. If you do not support Ravenholt, are you willing to speak out against the things he has done?

      Given your lack of familiarity with the truth, no one should be willing to speak out against Ravenholt based upon anything you have written or linked to.

      In fact, based upon your track record of being an unrepentant liar at all times, anyone you try to attack and smear is probably an ethical, intelligent person, and hence, your attack would count in their favor, and not against them.

    3. Egnor, where's the evidence Ravenholt supported coercive rather than voluntary birth control? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

      You're a lowlife - no better than those hysterically screaming Nazi judges in show trials against alleged enemies of ze Reich.

    4. Jesus hates liberalsNovember 17, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      Are you serious, troy? You're asking Egnor for evidence? Really?

  8. This is the second thread dealing with the same 'New Atlantis' article. The original one was published on October 18 under the title 'the Popullation Control Holocaust', which apparently sank like a stone, receiving just one comment from George Boggs.

    The article is by Robert Zubrin, based on a book by Robert Zubrin with the catchy title 'Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism'.

    I downloaded the sample Amazon provides at the time, and I found it unconvincing. It was of course one author's account. It might be true. It might not. I don't agree with coercion as a means of population (growth) control. So I don't feel obliged to support China's One Child Policy, or compulsory sterilization, or whatever.

    Countries tend to go through three stages; high birth rate/high death rate (and the population is low but stable), high birth rate/low death rate-due to falling infant mortality(and the population increases) and finally low birth rate/low death rate (and the population stabilizes at a higher level).

    Developed countries have generally reached stage 3 and developing countries are passing through stage 2.

    Effectively, the best ways of restraining population growth is 1. Education of girls. 2. Economic development. 3. Making birth control cheap and easily available if desired.

    A burgeoning population in a developing country isn't desirable in lifting its population out of poverty. The country has to have a high economic growth rate just to avoid worsening poverty. Cheap easily accessible birth control is vital. The Philippines, for example, with the strong influence of the Catholic Church, doesn't make OCs affordable available to poor women, who continue to have 6, 7, 8 children. Given the choice, many if not most poor women would chose to have fewer children, ones they can adequately provide for.