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Who Began the Eugenics Movement?

This article will show the following facts:

Indiana became the first state to enforce forced sterilization in 1907.  This was then followed by California and Washington in 1909.  The law then quickly spread to 27 U.S. states.

Forced Sterilization in the United States ended after World War 2 when the Death Camps were brought to attention.

An investigation in California conducted in 2013 uncovered that female inmates were being coercively sterilized

As of 2016, California parents will be forced to give their children more than 40 doses of 10 federally recommended vaccines. 

Where did Eugenics first originate? 

During 1907 Indiana adopted the first laws of forced sterilization, followed by 33 states. California became the third state to enact sterilization laws. As of 1921, California accounted for 80% of the sterilizations nationwide. After World War II the number of sterilizations began decreasing, after the acknowledgment of concentration camps and gas chambers in Germany. Between 1909 and 1963 there were approximately 20,000 forced sterilizations in California alone. 

Before 1925 many eugenicists were respected members of the scientific community. The acknowledged leader of American eugenics, Charles Davenport, received his Ph.D. from Harvard, taught at the University of Chicago, and then established a research lab. In Britain, Karl Pearson (1857–1936) was director of the Eugenics Record Office and Galton Professor of Eugenics at University College, London. In Germany, Eugen Fischer (1874–1967), the academic leader of Rassenhygiene (racial hygiene), was director of the newly built Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics (KWIA) in Berlin-Dahlem. Along with other educated colleagues, they laid the early foundation of Eugenics.  Studies such as human inheritance, feeblemindedness, mental capacity and social traits were taught at schools. Eugenicists were also instrumental in the 1924 Immigration Restriction Act. During this time, Eugenics became a core theme of National Socialism and found considerable support in Germany just after 1933. Because these facts are not taught in school today, it is a common misconception that Hitler invented eugenics.

Mass Support for Eugenics Begins to Take Form 

Widespread support for Eugenics gathered momentum after Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, published a book titled: Hereditary Genius. After reaching a critical mass of readers, Eugenic departments began springing up at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and Stanford. Stanford president David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle Blood of a Nation," in which he declared that human qualities and conditions such as poverty and talent were hereditary. Momentum of eugenics gathered further momentum with the mid 1930's report, Eugenical Sterilization: A Reorientation of the Problem, published in 1936 by the Committee for the Investigation of Eugenical Sterilization of the American Neurological Association. During 1936, Laughlin was invited to attended an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler's 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), and received an honorary doctorate for his work on "racial cleansing". Due to financial limitations, Laughlin couldn't attend the ceremony and instead had it mailed to him.

The 1930’s was a peak period for interest in at The Eugenics Record Office (ERO), which was part of the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Station for Experimental Evolution.  It’s Department of Genetics was an important hub located in Cold Spring Harbor, New York and was active from 1910 to 1939. The Eugenics Record Office founder, Charles Benedict Davenport, and director, Harry H. Laughlin, were major contributors to eugenics in the United States.  Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws were used in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws. Further momentum led directly to women having the right to abortions and the genesis of the birth control movement. Margaret Sanger, founder of planned parenthood, was a member of the American Eugenics Society and editor of the Birth Control Review. 

The total number of states during the height of eugenics in the United States was 27 states. They included: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  The Board of Social Protection in Oregon ordered its last forced eugenic sterilization in 1981.

Efforts to Conceal the Truth still persist today 

Margaret Sanger, founder of planned parenthood, was a member of the American Eugenics Society and editor of the Birth Control Review. The efforts to conceal the truth about Margaret Sanger, have been documented. An Ohio couple donated copies of George Grant's Sanger biography, Killer Angel, to their Toledo library.  The books were accepted then quickly banned after an administrative computer records search. The library failed to respond to requests asking for more info about why they banned the book. Television station WND then picked up the story (Reference WND, “Library censors Planned Parenthood exposé,”, Jun 6, 2000).

Where did Hitler find early support for his Eugenic ideas? 

Eugenic Scientists from Germany began writing articles for Sanger’s Birth Control Review. Many members of Sanger’s American Birth Control League went to Nazi Germany and sat in on sessions of the Supreme Eugenics Court. Upon returning they praised reports of how the new laws of “Sterilization” were “weeding out the worst strains in the Germanic stock in a scientific and truly humanitarian way.”

It wasn’t only until after World War II, when the Holocaust and death camps were acknowledged that the term Eugenics was suddenly a dirty word. Only after this did Margaret Sanger quickly distanced herself from those preaching Eugenics and began a public relations campaign to see Birth Control as a feminist rights issue. It was during this time the term Eugenics in academic circles died. Eugenics, like abortion, bases its benefits on denying entire classes of vulnerable groups their sole right to humanity.

The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation was a main proponent of funding German eugenics programs, including research programs conducted by Josef Mengele (a German Schutzstaffel officer and physician in Auschwitz concentration camp) before he went to Auschwitz. After returning from Germany in 1934,(at which time over 5,000 people per month were being sterilized), California eugenics leader C. M. Goethe bragged:
"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." (Reference for quote:  Black, 2003: p. 4).

Some people think if they had a time machine that they would back in time and kill Hitler. If World War 2 never happened, then would forced sterilizations still be occurring in the United States?  Is this process slowly creeping back into American Culture today.  China already harvests organs of Falun Gong practitioners without their permission. 

References to Sterilizations as of 2013

In 2013, an Ohio judge ordered a man owing nearly $100,000 in unpaid child support to "make all reasonable efforts to avoid impregnating a woman" as a condition of his probation.

In 2015, the Court of Protection of the United Kingdom ruled that a woman with six children with an IQ of 70 should be sterilized. Reference:  James Gallagher (February 4, 2015). "Mother of six 'can be sterilized' - court ruling". BBC. Retrieved February 12, 2015.

As of 2013 forced sterilization of women is indeed taking place in Uzbekistan

On September 26th, 2014 California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill prohibiting forced sterilization in prisons. An investigation conducted in 2013 year uncovered that female inmates were being coercively sterilized. The report revealed that almost 150 female inmates were sterilized between 2006 and 2010 by contracted doctors according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. According to Justice Now, an advocacy group, some of the sterilizations were done illegally without informed consent.

SB 277 Signed Into Law. Effective July 1, 2016. Governor Brown Signed Sb 277 The Most Stringent Vaccine Mandate In the United States on June 30, 2015.  California parents will be forced to give their children more than 40 doses of 10 federally recommended vaccines. This open-ended vaccine mandate allows the State of California to add any additional vaccines they deem necessary at anytime. The only exemption available is a medical exemption that doctors deny to 99.99 percent of children under federal guidelines (

Families that do not comply will lose their State Constitutional right for free  education in public and private K-12 schools. The use of licensed daycare facilities, in-home daycare, public or private preschools and even after school care programs are also included in SB 277. School aged children, not up-to-date on every mandated vaccine, will be required to home school without options for classroom learning. SB 277 eliminates a parent’s right to exempt their children from one, some, or all vaccines, a risk-laden medical procedure including death. 

RFID Chips in Driver's Licenses

California Gov. Jerry Brown has a bill awaiting his veto or signature that would allow for RFID chips to be included in driver's licenses.  Washington, New York, Michigan, and Vermont already have adopted the spy-friendly, voluntary program that links your license with the Department of Homeland Security. For the moment, the cards are designed to be used instead of passports at US land borders in a bid to speed up the entrance lines from Mexico and Canada.


If we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it

References and Citations

Records of eugenics practices in California are held at the following agencies and institutions. The records are still protected for confidentiality reasons.

California State Archives, Sacramento

Sonoma State Hospital Records

Mendocino State Hospital Records

Modesto State Hospital Records

California Youth Authority/Whittier State Home Records

Department of Mental Hygiene Records (incomplete)

Legislative Histories (microfilm)

Patton State Hospital

Patton State Hospital Records

Napa State Hospital

Napa (Fairview) State Hospital Records Stockton State Hospital Records

Dewitt State Hospital Record

Modesto State Hospital Records Camarillo State Hospital Records

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