Wed, 19 Oct 1994 19:29:19 -0600

Dear J Philippe Rushton,

Actually, in an odd way, I welcome your sudden appearance on the ANTRO-L
and the discussion it has provoked. It was personally timely. A few
months ago I embarked on a private research study, in part in preparation
for a new course looking at what I have come to understand as biological
responses to what are essentially cultural crises in 20th Century America.
I am especially interested in how, at different moments Anthropologists
responded to these crises, what role the field played in the public debate
both in the past and at present. As an offshoot, I decided it would be
interesting and actually fun to compare the earlier eugenics movement
in this country with its pseudoscientific, racist biases with the new
extraordinary breakthroughs in genetic technology - the genome project
in particular with something of an eye on what lessons - moral and scientific
might be drawn from that earlier history. I am still in the midst of
collecting and reflecting upon this material.

It was in this vein that I first came across your name a mere three weeks
ago when Adam Miller's article in Rolling Stone (October 20, 1994) ini
which you and a number of other scholars with a pro-eugenicist bent were
featured. While your ideas were striking, actually I was more interested
in and curious about the Pioneer Fund and its role in subsidizing racist
researches and causes. A few days later, I opened Stefan Kuhl's pithy
The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism and German National
Socialism (Oxford University Press) and once again your name in association
with the Pioneer Fund lept out from its pages. I must admit having an
additional interest and soft spot for Canada and Canadians and had just
began to explore the Canadian eugenics movement of the early 20th Century,
a movement whose traditions you certainly carry forward in a manner of

In any case, I thought of how useful it would be to raise a number of
questions with you directly. I prefer it to intermediaries where possible
and secondary sources. And just like magic, there you were again with
your little intro `Rushton here.' Too much. I admit having to shift
intellectual gears since I was fascinated by the discussion unfolding on
placenta eating and was beginning to raise some of the issues of this
passage rite with my one of my classes when you and your book hit the

As this debate unfolded a number of questions came to my mind. Many
point made already to contest your views I will not elaborate upon.
As the discussion of your book and others like it unfolds it will
undergo a kind of scientific scrutiny which I expect with discredit much
of your case (at least that part of it that you have presented to us).
What I am concerned about is the publicity your book might get outside
of academic circles (and this list). I remember a generation ago when
such pseudoscientific works as Audrey's African Genesis, Lorenz's On
Aggression and Morris' The Naked Ape were published. All were scientifically
trounced...but went on to sell millions of copies while the refutations,
with few exceptions, barely made it out of anthropological circles. A
disturbing pattern.

I have a number of questions to ask you that come from my reading of
Miller's article and Kuhl's book; mostly I would like you to verify
the veracity of a number of statements attributed to you or about the
Pioneer Fund to whom you appear rather intimately linked. As I thought
these questions might be of broader interest, I have written this as
an open letter.

1. Is it true, as Miller claims, that you consider Blacks `less evolved
organisms' who `fight for survival by coupling promiscuously, flooding
the environment with offspring for whom they provide little care, many
of whom die?' Is this in contrast with `whites' or `Asians' according
to your thinking.

2. Is it possible that you seriously consider not just brain size, but
also breast, buttock and genital size as having some clearly correlated
racial patterns and that penis size in particular is an evolutionary
adaptation to Blacks' `indiscriminate sexuality' or that Blacks are
`genetically programmed for sexual behavior that `spreads AIDs' (again
from the Miller piece). Extraordinary to give such importance to
cocks and boobs. How does one organize, investigate the research in
this area.

3, Did Miller quote you accurately as having said `even if you take
things like athletic ability or sexuality - not to reinforce stereotypes-
but its a trade off- more brain power for more penis. You can't have
everything.' This is an extraordinary statement. The only thing I can
compare it to at present was the claim by an early 20th century doctor
that people with tatoos represented a threat to 100% Americanism and
should be sterilized. This is pretty surrealistic stuff you're putting
forth it quoted accurately.

4. What do you suggest be done with those at the bottom of your scale
of human potentials - or do you leave that one for the politicans?

5. Concerning the Pioneer Fund, Miller and Kuhl both claim you
received sizeable sums from them ($770,738 from 1971-1992) making
you the third largest recipient after Arthur Jensen ($1,096,094 during
the same period) and Roger Pearson - one of the few contemporary
anthros who follows in the eugenic traditions of Hrdlicka and Hooten
(at least openly) in claiming inherited differences in intelligence
according to race. Kuhl cites the Pioneer Fund's original mission
and stated purpose as `to improve the character of the American
people by encouraging the procreation of descendants of "white persons
who settled in the original 13 colonies prior to the adoption of
the constitution and/or related stocks." More than a touch of Madison
Grant and `the Birth of A Nation' there. Do you share the values of
this generous financial source is it more a marriage of convenience?

6. Barry Mehler (U. of Illinois last time I could trace it) claims
that among the Pioneer Fund's `achievements' are:
* fighting the Brown versus Education Supreme Court decision of
* that one the Fund's main backers, textile magnate Wickliffe Draper
worked with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee for the
purpose of demonstrating Blacks as genetically inferior (I didn't
know the committee's mandate extended into eugenic realms)
* funding the work of Robert Gordon and Arthur Jensen both of whom
allege Black intellectual inferiority to whites on the basis of
IQ tests whose cultural biases have long been proven.

Are these claims true? Do you agree with the Fund's philosophical
orientation if one can call it that. If so, that is quite a legacy to
be a part of, don't you think?

I should like to know if these statements reflect your thinking, the
results of your research.

Yours Sincerely,

Rob Prince/Metro State College - Denver