Eugenics and the Age of the Demon

‘Everything is done to encourage the mad increase in number and that constant loss in quality. Everything is done to keep the sickly, the cripple, the freaks of nature, the unfit to work and unfit to live, from dying.’
        Savitri Devi, The Lightning and the Sun

There are many glaring ways in which degeneracy is embraced in this slow unfolding of the Kali Yuga.  The ancient Hindus, closely related to us by blood, believed that prior to an age of rebirth, the last stage in the cyclical existence of the world would be a time of great strife and hardship for the righteous. The Kali Yuga (Age of the Demon) would be typified by lying governments, the mass migration of peoples to the wealthier portions of the globe, increased addiction to drugs and alcohol, and rampant sexual permissiveness. Perhaps one of the most momentous signs of the coming end was also to be the widespread abandonment and ignorance of dharma, a word with multiple meanings but which can be best conceived as referring to behaviours and attitudes conducive to the laws and order of the universe. Most simply, dharma is all that contributes to the ‘right way of living,’ to the natural order, and to life itself. Dharma holds back chaos, and acts for the cohesiveness and health of the individual, the family, and the community.

Conceived as such, it is clear that dharma is a rare commodity in today’s world. The profane has been declared natural, and all that is healthy and natural has been pathologized and degraded. Dharma, thus conceived, commands ‘right behavior,’ as well as the existence of clear delineations in gender, sexuality, and race. All of these delineations are being gleefully abandoned or assaulted by the hedonists, the gullible, and the insidious architects of decay. The cutting edge of the sexual revolution has taken its most recent form in the popular celebration and endorsement of homosexual marriage, a literal paradox and an affront to nature. The recent craze over the mental, and now physical, deformity of former athlete Bruce Jenner, merely confirms the frenzied addiction the modern West has to the dysfunctional, the freakish, and the maladaptive.

It’s difficult indeed, in this age of decay, to imagine that less than a century ago the world seemed on the cusp of a very different reality. Rather than collapsing into a macabre abyss of the abnormal and the misshapen, the Faustian science of the White man seemed destined to open the door to his further genetic and racial ascension. The path to this ascension was to be paved by eugenics, the science of human improvement. And the United States stood at the forefront of this science. It was Indiana that passed the world’s first involuntary sterilization law in 1907, a legal measure that was soon emulated in more than 30 states and several foreign countries.[1] European and American scientists and physicians had considered similar steps decades before the development in the ‘Hoosier’ state, but Indiana’s place at the epicenter owed a great deal to the personality of Indianapolis pastor, Oscar McCulloch. McCulloch’s church was known locally for its charitable outreach, which included a free library, a soup kitchen, housing assistance, jobs, child-care and literacy programs. Unusually for his occupation, McCulloch was also very interested in science. He was comfortable with the findings of science, seeing it as a revelation of God’s laws rather than as something in conflict with religious dogma. This openness attracted a number of intellectuals to his congregation.

Oscar McCulloch

Oscar McCulloch

McCulloch was proud of his charitable successes among the ‘deserving poor’ of the city, but remained troubled by one population that seemed impervious to his efforts at improvement. He had attempted to assist a ‘tribe of degenerates’ that had been living along the White River since the days before Indiana was a state. The group called themselves ‘The Tribe of Ishmael,’ and like, Jews and Gypsies, carried on a nomadic and transient lifestyle. They shunned fixed property and permanent work. Racially, they were heavily mongrelized, and claimed to be the descendants of English settlers, escaped African slaves, and stray Shawnee Native Americans. McCulloch viewed the Tribe of Ishmael as essentially parasitic, growing numerically not on its own merits but on the charity of others. In a diary entry for January 20 1878 he wrote:

They are a wandering lot of beings, marrying, inter-marrying, co-habiting etc. They live mostly out of doors, in the river bottoms, in old houses etc. They are largely illegitimate, subject to fits. There have been in all one hundred and thirteen who have seeked aid at different times from the county — of this family and its connections. Five years ago they lived out of doors all winter. Most of the children die. They are hardly human beings.

Initially McCulloch felt that the children of the Tribe should be taken and raised by healthier foster parents. This view changed, however, after he discussed the matter with a member of his congregation, biologist David Starr Jordan. Jordan had been educated at Cornell and Harvard, and was both talented and ambitious. Heavily influenced by Galton’s theories on human variation, he would later chair the American Breeder’s Association (later the American Genetics Association) in 1909. Many of his books promoted a eugenic view of society, and he argued that it was an evolutionary obligation to ensure that the least productive members of humanity should be prevented from reproducing. He was also an ardent pacifist, stating that war demanded that the best and ablest young men were recruited to fight and die while the dull and the weak were kept safely at home where they could proliferate. Jordan’s writings became popular among educated elites and, with McCulloch, he soon began disseminating the story of the Tribe of Ishmael as a rallying cry for the move from theory into action. Their specific contributions significantly assisted the passing of Indiana’s sterilization laws in 1907. But these laws were only part of a larger societal move in a eugenicist direction, which also involved the tightening of marriage laws to exclude the unhealthy, the unfit, and the defective. Eugenics, in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia, was riding a wave of momentum.

Contrast this with our present age of decay, and with the recent trend for states to offer apologies and compensation to those sterilized under lawful programs. North Carolina set the pace in 2003 when then Governor Easley officially put an end to compulsory sterilizations in the state.  Soon after, on April 17, Easley issued a public apology, stating, “To the victims and families of this regrettable episode in North Carolina’s past, I extend my sincere apologies and want to assure them that we will not forget what they have endured.” This was followed in 2013 when NC lawmakers approved a budget that allocated $10 million to sterilized individuals.

Like so much of our society’s contemporary hand-wringing, the heart-strings of the masses have been plucked by a media-disseminated false narrative. In this case it’s the narrative that sterilization was widespread, ‘racist,’ and harmed the lives of perfectly normal people. The reality is very different. Eugenic sterilizations throughout the United States were in fact carried out sparingly and under the strictest of circumstances. Even in his anti-eugenics diatribe Breeding Contempt: The History of Coerced Sterilization in the United States (2008), Mark Largent concedes that:

Despite the large number of states that passed compulsory sterilization laws, the total number of American men and women coercively sterilized as a punishment for crime, as therapy for any number of social disorders, or to better the nation’s gene pool was very low, just a tiny percentage of the nation’s overall population. For example, in California, which had by far the largest number of sterilizations, less than 0.2% of the population was coercively sterilized in the twentieth century. Even in Delaware, which had the highest per capita sterilizations, the percentage of sterilized citizens was less than 0.3%.[2]

One of the poster girls of the North Carolina compensation drive was Elaine Riddick, an African-American who claims to have been sterilized aged 13. The standard media narrative is that the apparently healthy Riddick was raped, and sterilized following the resultant birth of her son. Riddick fits the criteria for an emotive icon against eugenics because she is black, female, and ostensibly healthy. She can be construed as the victim of an aggressive white, patriarchal state which forcibly sterilized her on the ‘racist’ assumption that she was sexually precocious and destined to reproduce prolifically and dysfunctionally. The reality is somewhat different. She was the daughter of alcoholic parents who already required heavy involvement from social services, and the family was generally perceived as likely to foster further social malfunction. The broader circumstances and pregnancy of the young Riddick were noted by social workers, who referred the case to the state Eugenics Board. Rather than being an arbitrary decision, the move to sterilize Riddick was undertaken after a lengthy investigation and discussion by five experts, among them the state health director and a lawyer from the attorney general’s office. Board members concluded that the girl was doomed to ‘promiscuity.’ Crucially, to proceed they required the consent of a close relative. Riddick’s grandmother apparently agreed with the Board’s assessment of her grand-daighter and gave her consent. At time of writing there is no indication that granny is going to be paying any compensation. Meanwhile Riddick has described NC’s offer of $50,000 dollars as insufficient “shut up money.”

Despite the fact that the majority of ‘victims’ of state eugenics programs were severely handicapped, sexually predatory, or socially harmful, Virginia is now jumping on the hand-wringing bandwagon. A few months ago Virginia lawmakers passed a law awarding $25,000 to every individual sterilized under state laws. This again followed a formal 2002 apology by then governor Mark Warner. The media has on this occasion seized upon an exception in order to prove the rule by highlighting the case of 85 year old Lewis Reynolds. Reynolds, a white former electrician, apparently began having fits following a head injury when he was twelve. He was sterilized aged 13 because he and his parents failed to contextualize his symptoms to medical professionals who assumed he had severe and permanent epilepsy. His symptoms eventually subsided enough for him to engage in a successful 30 year military career. While Reynolds’ case is deeply unfortunate, the presentation of his experience as somehow normative by the media is utterly devious. Even if I support Reynold’s individual claim for some kind of restitution, his very singular circumstances place his case only on the fringes of the issue of eugenic sterilization. The media is essentially using deception to encourage social and legal moves in favor of granting compensation to a group of people which in large part consists of prison-dwelling rapists and the criminally insane.

Watching the world turn its back so vigorously against eugenics made me recall a very poignant piece of writing sent to me by a friend a few months ago. The piece was written by Frederick ‘Hotwheels’ Brennan, and first appeared in December 2014 at the Daily Stormer — according to Brennan because “I could find no other publication which would publish this article.” Brennan, the computer programmer behind the 8chan website, suffers from osteogenesis imperfect – the genetic disease more commonly known as brittle bone syndrome. The disease has stunted the 20 year old’s growth and confined him to a motorized wheelchair. He estimates he had broken bones 120 times in his first 19 years, causing him considerable agony. His short arms prevent him from picking items off the floor or out of cupboards, forcing him to use a mechanical reacher arms to reach into cabinets, or to turn on water faucets. Crucially, Brennan comes from a multigenerational family with osteogenesis imperfecta. His mother, who has the same condition, gave birth to him via caesarian section when she was 38, and to his brother, who also shares it, when she was 40. His parents divorced when Brennan was 5 years old; the children were in the father’s sole custody until Brennan was 14, when they were placed into the New York State foster care system.

Brennan is an unashamed supporter of eugenics, and to my mind he possesses great moral authority on the subject than the trend-followers or the compensation-chasers. As Brennan writes:

I am a disabled supporter of eugenics, and I’m not the only one. Allowing more cripples like myself to be born when society at large knows it can be stopped is a great crime. Osteogenesis imperfect is a genetic disease that normally appears as a de novo mutation. However, once it manifests itself, it is the dominant gene. People affected with the condition have a 50% chance of spreading it to their offspring. It is one of the few severely crippling conditions that does not kill the afflicted person by the age of 18, while also not causing infertility. However, it is one of the most painful conditions in the world.

Brennan says that he does not blame his parents for his condition, but rather “the society that taught them that their actions were ethical.” Indeed, Brennan highlights how our society incentivizes the procreation of the malformed: “Due to my mother’s disability my father got sole custody. Thanks to state-sponsored welfare, he hardly had to do anything and got $1200 per month for the privilege of having crippled kids, plus a state sponsored nanny that he would later start sleeping with…Upon seeing that his crippled children would never take out the garbage or even play a game of catch without breaking a bone, he promptly checked his children into the state foster care system when I was 14.” He writes with disbelief that our society is “willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars directly to the parents of disabled children who knew for a fact their children would be crippled.”

‘Hotwheels’ is now a successful programmer, but cautions against the saccharine narratives that feel-good liberals may wish to exact from his story. He writes that “people who would use my relative success to argue against eugenics are very short-sighted. Other programmers who are probably much better than I were not born cripples, so preventing the birth of cripples will not cause there to be less programmers.” He also cautions against perceiving his account as an example of self-hate, remarking that such a perception would only arise among the “simply uneducated” who don’t know the real meaning of ‘eugenics,’ and instead allow propaganda about German ‘camps’ to dictate their understanding of the science.

The solutions proposed by Brennan are marked by clarity and common sense. Emotions play no role in his formulations — he has suffered too much for that.

Simply offering people with debilitating, genetically dominant genetic diseases $100,000 cash each to undergo voluntary sterilization would be a libertarian, humane way to encourage genetic purity. Couples who both carry a recessive gene could be offered a smaller sum, like say $10,000, by genetic counsellors…The specific gene mutations that qualify could be enumerated now that we have the knowledge and technology to do so. I suggest we start with the ones that cause osteogenesis imperfect: COL1A1 and COL1A2…I am simply asking for compassion from an ignorant society that falsely believes it is unethical to give genetically defective people incentives not to reproduce. I am simply arguing for a world full of healthy, happy children who can play outside with their friends without breaking their legs.

Unfortunately, Brennan’s assessment of our society as ignorant and beholden to false beliefs is all too true. The sad fact is that our sick society craves more of the crippled and the malformed, in order that it may feel better about itself and convince itself (perversely) of its position at the pinnacle of human morality. We crave the spectacle of men marrying one another, of male athletes mutilating their genitals and giving themselves female names, and of ‘Special Olympics’ where we can feel good ourselves for patronizingly applauding some unfortunate person who can lift an arm or take a step. Many more Frederick Brennans will be birthed and patted patronizingly on the head by sick do-gooders, and they will be forced to endure great suffering in silence, condemned to never fully experiencing all that it is to be human. Our governments and societies will continue to observe our declining birth-rates while handing tens of thousands of dollars to producers of the handicapped and disabled. And we have now even reached the stage where we are paying even more money in compensation for past efforts to save society from a dysgenic nightmare.

Verily, the Age of the Demon yawns before us.


[1] P. A. Lombardo (ed), A Century of Eugenics in America: From the Indiana Experiment to the Human Genome Project (Indiana University Press, 2011), ix.

[2] M. Largent, Breeding Contempt: The History of Coerced Sterilization in the United States (Rutgers University Press, 2008), 66.

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