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History repeats itself when lessons are not learned.

“The whole propaganda weight of the Scherl newspaper and news agency combine, controlled by Ruhr industrialists, was thrown into the political scales in Hitler’s favor.”

“Of all the volumes that have been written on Nazi Germany, I know of but a very few which have properly interpreted that political phenomenon. The best, in my opinion, is Frederic L. Schumann’s The Nazi Dictatorship, published long before the present war. Most of the others have accepted the very name of the present German State, National Socialism, the most ridiculous and devoid of content of all the concepts of Nazi ideology—as a real representation of what Hitlerism is. They have accepted Nazism as a form of Socialism. They have also accepted the Nazi revolution as a bona fide Revolution. In actual fact, Nazism is the most reactionary and vicious form of capitalism that has ever existed, and Hitler has destroyed systematically every element in his state which was, in any degree, revolutionary.

A revolution, as that term has customarily been used in history, is something which, however horrible and destructive in may be in practice, is progressive in idea. Hitlerism has been retrogressive. Hitler has turned back the clock of social history backwards; his ship of state has ridden the wave, not of the future, but of the blackest past.

Revolution means nothing if it does not mean an overthrow of existing rulers of a society by the ruled-over elements of that society. The existence of those two social factors in that particular relation has characterized every revolution to which history has given the name: the French Revolution, the American, Russian, and Mexican Revolutions. Revolution also means a vast, sweeping change of a whole system of society. Nazism possesses neither of those two requisite features.

The rulers of German society not only did not struggle against the Nazi rise to power in the early 1930’s; they suborned, abetted, and aided Hitler to gain power with all their vast resources of money and influence—a strange manner of revolution, indeed! And, contrary to the views of the majority of observers, Nazism was not a vast social change. Superficially, things appeared to be altered: people were put in gay uniforms; there were new salutes and a new flag, and new, but empty ideas—empty baubles on a highly and cheaply decorated Christmas tree meant to hide, by its brightness, the basis of corrupt German society which Hitler left intact. The only actual change that occurred with the rise of Hitlerism consisted in this: the old, corrupt system of acquisition was dying, and Hitler was called upon—and he and his followers were ready to accept their historical assignment—to save that moribund society by reinforcing its most unsalutary features and crushing all opposition to unlimited militarism, by which, alone, his system could be preserved for any period of time. The only new feature the Nazis introduced was a set of measures to make permanent the existing basis of society possessed before 1933. To use a simile applied by one acute observer, Hitler locked himself and the German ruling classes in the top storey of society and threw the key out the window.

Compare the Russian with the so-called Hitler Revolution. The Bolsheviks never called on the Tsarist rulers for aid; and never got anything from them save opposition as ruthless as their own. Hitler not only called on Germany’s wealthiest families, but received generous gifts of millions of marks. The whole propaganda weight of the Scherl newspaper and news agency combine, controlled by Ruhr industrialists, was thrown into the political scales in Hitler’s favor. Dr. Dietrich in his little volume Met Hitler an die Macht, relates how the Fuehrer, addressing a luncheon meeting of Germany’s biggest capitalists in Dusseldorf before the Machtuebernahme, outlined to them the danger to their society, told them what he could do to save it and melted their solid gold hearts into a flow of funds for the Nazi party. Dr. Dietrich tells, with surprise, that these hard-fisted men whose hearts, one would have thought, were in their pocketbooks, mellowed and softened under the Leader’s words, and, at the end, applauded thunderously.

Whether one likes it or not, the Bolsheviks came to power on the shoulders of the working classes of Russia. When foreign nations intervened and occupied Vladivostock and, after arresting all active reds and banning Communists from the polls, held a “free” election to allow the people of that city to choose its own government, the results showed a Communist majority over the combined votes of all the legal parties which participated! Also, whether one likes it or not, the Nazis came to power against the will and violent opposition of the German working class which acted with singular unity at the last, late moment. Too many observers have allowed themselves to be fooled by the fact that, for reasons of expediency, Hitler chose to call his party the National Socialist German Workers Party. In the last partially free elections to the Reichstag in Germany in 1933, the two working class parties presented a solid phalanx and balloted 40 per cent of the votes, against Hitler. One of the two working class parties, the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands achieved the highest representation in the Reichstag it had ever enjoyed—one hundred deputies. And this was after the Brown Terror had begun; when a working man took his own life in his hands by voting against the new dictator! Hitler did not, and—I am convinced of it after living in Germany for two war years—has not yet won the German workers to his cause. In the year 1940, after eight years of Nazi rule, a German S.S. man I knew told me there was but one dull element in National Socialism’s bright, triumphant perspective at that moment (this was just after France had fallen and Nazism was enjoying its happiest period). That, he said, was the German workers. They were following, but reluctantly. They do not believe it can last, he said, and if we ever slip badly they’ve got “their damned red flag hanging over our heads.”

When the Bolsheviks achieved power they did so by the ruthless suppression of every agency supporting the old order. They destroyed all capitalist institutions. They placed all factories in the hands of the state and forbade the issue of dividends to private individuals. They made Trade Unions the almighty dictators over the Russian economic state. When Hitler came to power, he destroyed the Trade Unions and the workers’ political parties; confiscated their funds and shot or imprisoned their leaders. The funds he confiscated were used, indirectly, to buy armaments and to pay profits to his wealthy supporters. The economic history of Nazism ever since has been, in plain language, the systematic confiscation of workers’ incomes to pay profits to the owners of material Germany. As for the principal institutions supporting the old order, the industrialists’ associations, which were formed long ago to keep prices up, he either maintained them as they were or allowed them to reform themselves into more powerful capitalists’ combines—indeed, the most powerful capitalists’ combines that have ever existed in any nation in history. What elements of Socialism existed before Hitler assumed power, he abolished. The few shares of private industry which the former Social Democratic government’s weak attempt at socialization was a monetary gain, good business for the industrialists who had been the target of the Socialist attack.

Many people maintain Hitlerism is a form of Socialism are willing to admit that Hitler came to power with the aid of the wealthy, and favoured them at first; but, they say, digging themselves in the traditional last ditch, Hitler has, since that time duped them. He deceived his wealthy supporters, and instituted something entirely new, neither Capitalism nor Imperialism, but an oppressive form of state which is oppressive to capital and labour alike. In truth, what Hitler has instituted is just as new as the Old Army Game. Hitler’s government is shot through with the representatives of wealth. Goering dictates to the economic state, but Goering, himself, has become an economic royalist in the bountiful Nazi decade and receives his advice as to what measures must be adopted from several dozen boards, representing each big industry, and each board is made up of the men who live on profits from those industries. Walther Funk wears a brown coat and a military cap, rather than the traditional civilian array of the plutocrat, people are inclined to think of him as a party functionary rather than, what he is first and above all, a man born and bred in the atmosphere of profit making ownership.

The only basis on which to judge the relative oppression of the two social classes by National Socialism is the manner in which German national wealth has been, and is, distributed between the two said classes, one of which lives by its labour, and the other by its ownership. The individual incomes of workers have fallen each year of Hitler’s rule, and fallen severely. Nazi statistics on this matter are faked, but even on the grounds of Nazi statistics the real wages of workers have fallen. Money wages have been frozen or lowered, since 1933, and the prices of the goods workers can buy with them have risen without interruption. A better way of determining the same development is simply to ask Germans. In the course of the past two years in Germany I have, inevitably, talked to thousands of German workers in taverns, in tubes, trams, and in offices, and without a single exception, I have never heard of a case in which a worker’s real income has risen. They all agree, even a few workers who claim to be Nazis, that what they get to eat and wear with their wages is less and worse than before 1933. Even the little bureaucrats in Dr. Goebbels’ propaganda ministry testify to the same fact; they are all miserably under-paid. Dr. Froelich, who bears the high sounding title of Referant for the American Press and Radio in the Propaganda Ministry, was paid a salary lower than that of an office-boy in the editorial office of the United Press—an American concern. There cannot be the slightest doubt about it that the wages of German workers have fallen each year of Hitler’s rule, and are nor unbelievably low.

The Nazi indices for the earnings of capital, on the other hand, on the other hand, show a steady rise since 1933. Both, the figures for total net profits for major industries as published in the magazine of Reichmarshal Goering, Der Vierjahreplan, and the index for the average value of all German stocks and shares as published in the industrial periodical Der Deutsche Volkswirt show falling profits and share-values from 1929 until 1933, when Hitler came to power, and from then on an unbroken rise. If Hitler had duped his benefactors, it has been for them, indeed, a pleasant manner of deception. It is a strange form of oppressing wealth which allows the oppressed owners of mills, mines, and factories to earn more and more each year, and even, as in the case of Krupp works, to reach and break records for annual profits, while the standard of living for the other ninety-eight per cent of the population falls precipitately. Of course there is always the argument which admits that German capitalists make egregious profits, but maintains all these profits are taken away in taxes. Since the people who determine the tax scale are the representatives of the fattest, richest banks in Germany, which in turn, are owned body and soul by the arms-makers, this is obviously false on the surface. Did you ever hear of a man granted the power of making out his own tax returns gypping himself? Anyhow, the above facts are based on statistics of Reingwinn: pure profits after taxes have been extracted from profits; and nevertheless the munitions factories break records! Of course, after the pure profits are turned into dividends and made the private funds of individuals they are taxed as private incomes. But a member of the American embassy once worked out a schedule for me to show conclusively that plutocratic American capitalists pay more taxes per unit of income than German capitalists who are supposed to be fighting plutocracy. Furthermore, those funds which are taken from the German industrialists in taxes go to pay the same industrialists for more arms. Germany is good business—for millionaires.

There is no denial of the fact that Nazism was and is a retrogression, not a revolution; it is not socialism, but a form of capitalism that is virtually feudalistic in the safeguards granted to and preserved for the wealthy, as well as in the total servitude it demands of those who possess nothing but their hands and brains to work with. These great “warriors against plutocracy” have established one of the best protected plutocracies any nation or civilization has ever known. I am not, here, exploiting the theory that Hitler is a will-less puppet of the German capitalists. It is not nearly so simple as that. That is an over-simplification and it is untrue. Hitler rules, and there is no doubt about it. But no man can govern alone, for it is humanly impossible for a single man to run a whole state. He governs with the aid of governors and bureaucrats who agree heartily with him, and they are the wealthy families of Germany. Hitler is president of a board of directors which runs Germany, and each member of the board is, by birth, as Krupp and von Borsig, or by party influence, as Goering and Ley, a member of that class of German society which has a stake in the game of Profit-making, and stands to lose by higher wages and labour costs.

If the point can be considered established, then a concession can safely be made: though the net effect of Hitlerism has been retrogressive rather than revolutionary, there was indubitably one revolutionary feature in the rise of National Socialism. That feature was the rise of the German petty bourgeoisie; the irrepressible Kleinbuergertum, the middle classes of the little shopkeepers, white-collar clerks and bureaucrats and a goodly portion of the unprosperous professional classes.

Lodged uncomfortably between the upper and the nether millstones of society, the great middle-classes were being painfully ground in the depressed years from 1929 to 1933. They were crying for organized leadership; they were God’s gift to a clever, unscrupulous demagogue. They were begging for leadership, for a little colour to brighten their dull lives, and for rescue from extinction, and History gave them a Man and a Platform. Hitler promised death to the proletarian left wing with its trade unions which kept wages and labour costs above the head of the pinched independent shopkeeper, and made prices for their goods higher. He promised to bridle the wealthy right-wing privilege, to break the Zinsknecht-schaft, the slavery of interest, and make capital flow more easily to the small shops and stores. And he promised death to the Jew, who was, to the German middle-classes, the symbol of the prosperity they envied.

Nazism was Spiessbuergertum in Revolt, the Timid Soul in shining armor. There had been revolutions for Capitalists, and Revolutions of the Proletariat, but there has never been a Revolution of the middle classes, and the attraction of the idea was overwhelming to Germany’s millions of Little Men. Those were the days when Hitler was still called the Apotheosis of the Little Man. It was their Revolution, and they carried their Leader—who in his very personal appearance was another prosaic, ordinary exemplar of each of them—to power on a wave of middle-class enthusiasm.

The financial basis of the Nazi ascension was the rich privileged class. Its main basis, and its revolutionary impetus, however, came from the middle classes. The little men also furnished it with its Army—proudest element in Hitler’s little state within a state, the colorful, exciting Storm Troops, who beat up the Jews and the Communists and “freed the streets” in Germany cities, in outright armed political warfare. The generals of the Brown Army of the shopkeepers and clerks were Hitler’s war comrades, young men who grew up in World War, whose minds were warped by war, and who were utterly worthless for anything else. They were the neurotic lost generation who suffered torture worse than death when the only element of excitement in their lives, the Army, was taken away from there by Versailles, and the trend of German opinion, after the revolution, turned against militarism. Ernst Roehm, their psychopathic, homosexual commander-in-chief was leader and prototype at once. To this uninformed body flocked the sons of the middle classes, bored, suffering from personal and national inferiority complexes, thirsty for colour and excitement, and they learned well the precepts of their warped generals and idols. It was organized Rowdyism, it was tough and ruthless, but it was truly the vanguard of the middle-class revolution, the Army of the Middle Class state.

When Hitler won, they were content with the world, and sat back to watch the realization of their hopes, the materialization of the first State founded on a Dictatorship of the “small” Buerger. Results were swift in coming, satisfactory beyond expectations. The Fuehrer eliminated the proletarian Left from politics in a series of lightening, dramatic blows, and with incredible ease: the Reichstag fire brought an end of legal Communism, the imprisonment of its leaders and the crippling of the movement for evermore. By next May Day, the Day of Labour, the Socialists too, had been eliminated, and with them their Trade Unions. Wages were henceforth at the mercy of Dr. Robert Ley, of the middle classes, and of the big industrialists, who enjoyed a community of interests with the Little Men on this particular economic question. In the National cabinet, one portfolio after another was given to brown-uniformed Party men, or their present holders were forced to don brown uniforms and administer their offices according to the interests of the Kleinbuergertum.

Now, in every society the two most important elements are Wealth and Force. Those who own much and have great resources can deal out favours and exercise most influence. It is almost proverbial that power goes with ownership, and always has in the history of Society. As for the second element, it is the ultimate authority in every State. A legislature is no good if it has no force to back up its authority. And whosoever controls the Armed Forces of a nation can also control the nation itself on assuming power. Hitler systematically shoved the representatives of the Little Men into almost every phase of government. But precisely these two he did not grant them. The middle classes did not even get a smell of real economic power. His economic state Hitler shaped in the form of twelve Wirtschaftsgruppen, each “corporation” possessing dictatorial powers of life and death over the industry concerned; the fixing of prices, the granting of raw material import licenses, and export subsidies—all decisive factors in the ultimate economic function of a state: the determination of how the nation’s wealth, and the power that goes with wealth, shall be shared. The administrators of each Gruppe were the wealthiest capitalists in the particular industry it wealth with. In short, the wealthy were made supreme judges in their own case. Such change as this signified was not revolutionary change in favour of the rising middle classes, but reactionary change in favour of those who already ruled economic Germany: the top storey and the key out the window.

Nor did the Brown Army achieve its coveted destiny of becoming and controlling the Armed Forces of the nation. The army, which Hitler set about rejuvenating and expanding, remained in the hands of the old Prussian caste, the military counterpart of the wealthy dictators of German economic life.

The Little People enjoyed the spectacle of apparent gains in certain phases of power, but the promised millennium was not immediate. In fact, events took the opposite direction from what they had hoped. The more prosperous shops were taken from Jews in stages, but only to be co-ordinated into the Wirtschaft combines. What the independent shopkeepers really disliked was not that the big stores were run by Jews, but that their competitive strength was so enormous that the little shopkeepers could not vie with them, and this feature was not changed except in so far as it was reinforced to the disadvantage of the little men. Wholesale prices, which the little men paid for the commodities they retailed, did not fall with lowered labour costs, but rose with bigger profits for the big men, and higher government taxes to build up the army. The middle classes were disappointed, and did not hide the fact.

Discontent among the masses usually first overtly expresses itself in the deflection of a section of their leaders. The first overt indication of the disappointment of the small Buerger in Germany was the deflection of Otto Strasser, one of the Nazi Party’s big numbers, and an ardent believer in middle-class socialism. Strasser broke with Hitler and fled the country. A more serious indication was the projected “revolt” of Ernst Roehm, leader of the Storm Troops, in 1934, which called forth the “blood surge” of the Brown Army. Although the “revolt” apparently did not correspond to the lurid accounts in preparation for it which the Nazis issued to the world, it is generally accepted that the elements of a revolt were there. There was certainly no plan to liquidate the beloved Fuehrer, but there is no doubt that disgruntled Storm-troop leaders hoped to eliminate many of Hitler’s direct underlings, on whom they blamed the deception from which they suffered.

The Roehm affair was more than a weather-vane of disappointment; it also marked a milestone in Nazi history. It was the first and last revolt of the middle classes. After the blood surge, which crippled the basis of what Force the Little Men had on their side, the revolutionary element of Nazism, its program for the Little Men, entered on a long decline. The existence of the Kleinbuergertum, as reasonably independent economic elements, grew more precarious each year. The chain-stores increased in power and became ubiquitous; Aryans enjoyed far more rigid monopolies in the retail trade than the hated Jews had ever exercised. Many little businesses were destroyed deliberately by economic decrees issued as part of Hitler’s vast, severe rationalization program. The planning of imports to fit the arms program, banning certain imports in order to spend more of the national income on imports of war-important raw materials, eliminated the raison d’être of many. Others died because, with their own costs rising, they could not compete with the big combines. Not only small shopkeepers, but little industries suffered. According to Nazi statistics, by 1939, just before the outbreak of war, there were only half as many joint stock companies in Germany as there had been in 1933, when many had already been weeded out by depression. In Berlin, hundreds of small retail wine and liquor shops were gobbled up by a large combine which formed by the Kaiserhof Hotel under Nazi paternity.

The war, of course, only hastened this process. While big industry, the arms and chemical industries, grew bigger, wealthier and mightier, little shops and little industries have died like flies. Where death was caused before by rationalization and inability of small concerns to compete with the new large ones, it was now caused, at a swifter rate, by the calling up into the army of their owners and their few employees. Still more powerful a casual force has been the dwindling to zero, or near it, of the imports most of them depended on. The Russian war period hastened the development even more, drawing, as it did, many more men, and older men, into the armed forces, and bringing scarcities and disappearances of all kinds of retail commodities. Coupled with this came the fall in the average production of German laborers, and the need to compensate for this by increasing the quantities of workers available for industry.

The significance of this development I have tried to indicate in another part of this book. It means that the popular basis of Nazism has suffered a diminution. During the Russian period, the development gathered such speed that it assumed the proportions of a wholesale annihilation. The economic basis of the lower middle classes has been systematically carried almost to extirpation. The social strength of the whole Nazi movement was, in the beginning of that movement, the middle strata of German society, and the people of those strata were Nazis because they had roots in a particular way of life, and saw in Nazism an opportunity to preserve that way of life and make it even better for themselves. Each little family owned a little something, and looked on itself as a shareholder in the German state. But for eight years, Nazism has had the effect of gradually uprooting them from the soil of German society, setting them adrift and removing their interest in Nasism’s permanence.

Of course, membership in the middle classes is not purely an economic matter. It is also a psychological one. A little shopkeeper can lose his little shop, but still consider himself higher in the social scale that a mere wage-worker. And though he has descended to the level of a mere wage-earner, he may still act politically and socially according to that pattern of behavior which the middle classes generally follow. In every respect except as regards his economic status, he thus remains what he was before his economic status changed. Middle-Class pride, people call that. In view of this, it is perhaps even more symptomatic of how far the social mutation inside Germany has gone, that the middle-class people are ceasing to behave according to their old standards. The matter of Middle-Class Morality, that factor glorified by Shaw’s Mr. Doolittle, is a case in point already referred to. Morality has lapsed badly in Germany. Sexual license of people once proud of their respectability has virtually run the prostitutes out of business. In the place of a couple bottles of cool wine, they are guzling—the verb is properly descriptive—everything and anything they can get. The aim is not mild titillation in either case, but intense excitement; to get rip-roaring drunk and forget about the unpleasantness of reality. The shock has come too quickly and been too great for them. That is part of what I meant when I said the pretty red apple was getting rotten-ripe.

They are the only section of the German people who can truly claim to have been duped, and sadly disappointed. The nether millstone knew what was in store for it when Hitler won; and the German workers fought tooth and nail to avoid it, but unfortunately they fought in disunity until too late. The upper millstone was not duped. The hermetically sealed top caste has every reason to be satisfied with the results of Hitlerism thus far. (Uneasiness has crept into their ranks as well now, but for different reasons; but more of that in its proper place.) But the little men have been done in, and they have only just begun realizing how completely they have been done in.

The last apparent hold they had on a lever of influence, after their shops were closed and falling salaries robbed them of any economic weight, was the once glorious Brown Army. The Storm Troops were only an apparent lever, and the polish of their glory tarnished badly. The old elements had been promoted long since into the Schutzstaffel, the S.S., the Gestapo, where they could continue being aggressive and brutal to their own people, and later to other peoples. The more clever of the old Storm Troops got in the lift of economic profits and soared to the top. And the sons of the middle classes were left to their own devices in the Brown-shirted legions. The Storm Troops expanded in size, but deflated in meaning. But the Storm Troops at least continued to exist as the last symbol and the last trace of the middle class revolution.

Then, in August, last year, the axe fell. A tipster told me. He brought to me a copy of the official newspaper of the Storm Troops—the S.A. Mann. On its mast-head was the old drawing of a firm-faced, brown capped man, frowning rays of will-power and holding in his hand the great Swastika banner which the Storm Troops had carried to Power. The newspaper was dated August 22, 1941. The tipster told me this was the most remarkable edition of that newspaper that had ever been published. I looked it over, but could find only the usual emptiness, save for loud editorial boasts and one chapter of a serial novel with the words: Fortzetzung folgt—to be continued in the next issue—at the bottom. I asked him what was so sensational about it, and he told me that the serial story was not continued; the story was left hanging in mid-air. I asked him to stop being cryptic and he said what he meant was, the S.A. Mann had been banned!…

In September, I learned the official newspaper of the Storm Troops was banned for some other reason. This, a storm-trooper, a young employee in a shipping office told me, and other Nazis confirmed later. An anonymous authority, not Hitler or Viktor Lutze, the S.A. chief of staff, by name, but just an anonymous authority issued an order labelled streng geheim, strictly secret, to each district group of the Storm Troops. The order stated that the Brown Shirts were to hold no more meetings. There was to be no more drill, no more political lectures, and no future political demonstrations of any kind. The brown uniforms were henceforth to be worn only on specific orders, not at will. The man told me this, dolefully said it amounted to dissolution of the Storm Troops…. Hitler had not just bitten the hand which once fed him; he had devoured it. The middle classes were deprived of every ounce of real influence in the Nazi state, and now they were robbed of even the raiment of power. All that was revolutionary in the Nazi revolution was over for ever….

On last May Day, when rumours of a coming conflict between Germany and Russia were rife, almost every worker in the industrial suburbs of Berlin wore some spot of red in his or her clothing, in hats, in coat-lapels, etc. On the fiftieth birthday of Ernst Thaelmann, the prison farm in Hanover where he is being held, was deluged with thousands of telegrams of congratulations which people had dropped in mailboxes with money attached to pay for transmission; and the German postal authorities transmitted them! Bouquets of red roses and carnations were sent by telegraph from foreign countries, especially from Russia, and one big bouquet bore the name Molotov. Prison authorities, however, withheld all telegrams, flowers, and presents from Thaelmann except a message from Thaelmann’s wife, who lives in Berlin…..

The Little Men who realize they have become workers and nothing better are steadily increasing in number. All over Germany last year this bitter question-answer joke was circulated: what is the difference between Germany and Russia? And the answer: in Russia the weather is colder. Germans who had been told for eight years there was no slavery greater than that of Communist Russia, were telling themselves in this bit of bitter-sweet frankness that they, too, were proletarians….

“Should anyone among us,” Hitler said, “seriously hope to disturb our front—it makes no difference where he comes from or what camp he belongs to—I will keep an eye on him for a certain period. You know my methods. That is always the period of probation. But then there comes a moment when I strike like lightening and eliminate that sort of thing.”

It was then, too, that the Fuehrer declared that the Nazi organization, by which he meant the Gestapo, watches every single house and “zealously keeps watch that there shall never be another November 1918.”
The manner in which this particular speech was handled by the Propaganda Ministry and the German press is still more significant. The Fuehrer’s speech of November 8, alone of all the Leader’s addresses, was not broadcast to the German people. About six hours after the Fuehrer had spoken, the official Nazi news agency issued an expurgated, or better, a slaughtered version of the speech. The version was empty….

Almost every foreign correspondent in Berlin plagued the Propaganda Ministry with inquiries about the unusual handling of the address that evening. I telephoned twice, to beg for the actual text to use in a radio broadcast that night. In the past, the Propaganda Ministry had been all too happy to provide the texts of Hitler’s speeches. In the past, each speech had been broadcast by radio in Germany and all over the world. … But on this occasion, for the first time, the Ministry was reluctant; it had no interest. The occasion, it was said, was purely a party occasion, and the rest of the world could have little interest in what amounted to a routine meeting of party officials. Two hours after the first version was issued, a second, much fuller version was released, doubtless due to the embarrassing solicitation of the foreign correspondents. But it was obvious that there were gaps even in the second version…. it was obvious that the Fuehrer had said much more than the party authorities considered good for the world’s ears. The fact that he was speaking to old Storm-troop comrades, on a Storm-troop red-letter day indicated the theme of his expurgated remarks….

As the Russian war proceeded into winter and the bottom dropped out of the standard of living, the Nazis turned from explanatory propaganda and the fiasco of the Jewish campaign to the propaganda of Fear. Simultaneously, with this alteration in propaganda policy, the Gestapo began carrying out actual measures to meet revolt, to make certain as possible that “another November 1918,” would not happen: Himmler who next to Goebbels is about the only big Nazi leader who concerns himself with German internal affairs any more, began taking up positions for battle. What he did was circulated over Berlin by way of rumour, apparently by the Nazis themselves, with the object of intimidating grousers; but the content of the rumour was real. The Gestapo began confiscating buildings, and setting up headquarters in purely residential districts of Berlin. The first buildings occupied were a Catholic convent in West Berlin…. In all the confiscated properties, the S.S. not only set up information headquarters, but also arsenals, storing away machine guns, small arms and ammunition. It should be noted that the confiscated rooms and buildings were all in purely residential quarters of Berlin; districts with no military importance whatever…. But I have had reports of similar wholesale seizures by the S.S. black guards in Leipzig, Dresden, Kiel, and other towns. In Berlin, it is also worth noting that almost all the confiscations I have been able to confirm occurred in the bourgeois West End, which belongs to the Kleinbuergertum as much as Wedding belongs to the working class. That may be, however, due to the fact that as early as 1933, the Gestapo had already begun building up a network of arsenals in the latter section of Berlin…

Less than a month after Hitler’s singular threat to destroy any menace to his power, his black Army, specially formed to put down civilian revolt, had donate same thing his green coated armies do when they prepare to invade a foreign victim. The confiscations, and the arsenals meant simply the Aufmarsch, the deployment of his forces for battle. Not mainly for combat against Plutocrats, or Jews, or Communists. But for eventual battle against those who called on his to save them from destruction, and whom he destroyed.

– Excerpts from the Chapter:8 The End of The Nazi Revolution.

It’s important to understand how the Council of Gods/IG Farben Directors and the Ruling Class of Germany destroyed journalism throughout Europe. Howard K. Smith explains how they destroyed journalism.

“The rotten inside is the whole fabric of Nazi society.

This is a serious statement to make. I sincerely believe that a journalist who consciously misinforms his people and allies about the state of the enemy in time of war for the sake of sensation is the second lowest type of criminal (the lowest type being anyone who profits out of arms production). I have always sought to avoid underestimating the strength of the Nazis. I refer to the internal strength of the Nazi system, which this book concerns itself with alone, not the military strength. But, with these self-imposed restrictions in mind, I am sure of what I say: Nazi society is rotten from top to bottom and in all its issues, save the strong hermetically closed hull. The people are sick of it…

Another was a crude but clever mimeographed cartoon which was secretly circulated over Berlin, showing a German propaganda soldier standing above a trench across Russian lines and holding up a big placard to the enemy which read: “Russians! You have to cease to exist!” It was signed “Dr. Dietrich.” At the moment of drawing, however, the said propaganda soldier had become involved with a Russian shell and his various members were flying in all directions. Below him in the trench a very Prussian lieutenant, who had been looking through a periscope, had turned to a quizzical general behind him and was saying: “Stupid, these Russians; they apparently don’t understand a word of German!”

Less funny, but more incisive was the little observation which might be called the “Three Climaxes of Hitler,” which circulated at the same time. It has no particular punch-line., but belongs to the same category of expression for, like them, it was always introduced with the traditional preface: “Do you know what the people are saying?…” According to this, the first climax was the climax of Diplomacy—Munich. After that diplomacy never again played an important part in Hitler’s policies; the rest was guns. The second was the military climax: the campaign in France, the perfect application of Blitzkreig with the perfect ending: the total destruction of a great army. The third was the climax of propaganda: the Dietrich speech. After Hitler’s little press chief had raised the spirits of his people to the skies and then let them fall again down into the abyss of despair Germany propaganda could never influence to any important degree the morale of the German people. From now on a wall of distrust separated the Ministry of Dr. Goebbels from his people. The shepherd boy had hollered “Wolf!” too often.

This was more than a cogent little analysis suitable for table talk. The evidence for its truth is overwhelming. The first sign was the decline in newspaper sales. To test word-of-mouth reports that a decline had occurred, I asked my newspaper vendor in a large kiosk on Wittenberg Platz, and was told that the sales of newspapers had fallen off in all the kiosks operated by her particular concession-holder. In her kiosk the drop had been greater than forty per cent. As Berliners will, they invented a joke about the German press after that. It concerns a Berlin paper called the “B.Z.,” meaning Berliner Zeitung. You were supposed to ask, to make the joke click, why it was that the only newspaper people read any more was the “B.Z.” The answer was: because it lies only from B to Z, while all the others lie from A to Z.

More important still, because it was a positive sign people were seeking news elsewhere, rather than the negative one that they were ceasing to look for information from Nazi sources, was the rapid increase in listening to news broadcasts from foreign capitals—especially London and Moscow. An official of the Propaganda Ministry told me arrests for this “crime” in Germany triples after the Dietrich speech. In the newspapers it was announced that two individuals were punished with the extreme penalty, death, for listening to London! One October 30, Dr. Goebbels confirmed the increase by publishing in every newspaper in Germany a list of stations to which people might listen, stations in Germany and occupied countries; and he coupled with it a warning not to overstep these limits, which were clearly drawn exactly for this purpose. In November, every citizen in Germany received, with his ration-tickets for the month, a little red card with a hole punched in the middle of it so that it might be on the station-dial of a radio set, and on the card was the legend: “Racial Comrades! You are Germans! It is your duty not to listen to foreign stations. Those who do so will be mercilessly punished!” A week later in my neighborhood houses were visited by local Nazi chiefs to make sure the cards had been fastened to radios and were still there. People who had no radio sets were told to keep the cards anyhow, and to let them be a reminder not to listen to the conversation of people who did have radios and tuned in on foreign stations. The conclusion to be drawn from this is obvious: there had been a tremendous increase in listening to enemy radio stations; people distrusted their own propaganda and threats against listening was to make those who had been afraid to do so curious, and to convert them into regular listeners of enemy stations. After all, it is almost impossible to catch a person actually listening to foreign stations; it is so easy to switch back to the Deutschland Sender the moment the door-bell rings. Almost all those who have been arrested were apprehended, not while listening but while telling others, in public places, what they had heard….

But all Goebbels’ little propaganda stratagems were not so harmless. A Nazi in embarrassment is a dangerous Nazi, and he will resort to any method to rescue himself. To support his line about the bestiality of the Soviet troops, Goebbels also published in German press dozens of pictures of dead, tortured bodies of Soviet civilians, killed by the retreating Bolsheviks, the captions said. Jean Graffis, the Berlin representative of the American Acme News picture agency, picked several of these out of the files of the Nazi Hoffman picture agency and offered to buy them. But the agent, blushing at the situation he found himself in, told Graffis he was sorry but those were not for sale; they were only for internal consumption. Graffis had wanted to buy them because he read on their backs the date of 1920—they were dead bodies from the Russian Civil War! These photographs were being published in German newspapers as snapshots taken by German troops in the war of 1941! Again, a group of foreign correspondents was taken to Lemberg to see a real Soviet torture chamber, in order to reinforce the same line of propaganda in the outside world. The walls of one of the rooms, the “execution chamber,” was picked with bullet-holes from the rifles of Soviet firing squads. When the conductor of the tour left the room, one of the correspondents searched the room’s contents and found a Russian propaganda poster with Stalin’s photograph reproduced on it; it was shot through with holes. He placed it against the wall, and the punctures tallied exactly, hole for hole! Obviously the Germans themselves were responsible for their “atrocity.”

But the press stuck to its guns…

(America is also rotted from the inside out but America will never be able to see what she’s become because it’s not covered on their TVs nor in their newspapers. )

It happened long before the Russian war. The Foreign Press Association, Der Verein der auslaendischen Presse, was a unique institution inside Nazi Germany. In eight years of power, the Nazis had carried out a Gleichschaltung of all other organizations in Germany; every organization of every kind had been either placed under control of Nazis, or disbanded and then refounded as purely Nazi organization with the exception of the Foreign Press Association. Last year, after almost a dozen nations had been conquered by Germany, the German Foreign Office and the Propaganda Ministry, launched their long delayed campaign to crush the independence of the Foreign Press and bring it under control of the Nazi government to the same extent as the German press was. The method was by dilution; by flooding the ranks of the Foreign Press corps with a sort of Axis fifth column. Each conquered or quislinged nation was invited by the German government to withdraw its former correspondents (if these had not listened to Nazi reason and changed their ways) and replace them with an increased number of carefully chosen hacks who could be depended on to take orders. An amazing, motley crew of fake newspapermen began to show up in press conferences. Old friends, able friends from Holland, Norway, and Belgium disappeared and their places were filled by local Nazis, some of them barely able to write their own names! All, by virtue of being accredited journalists, were allowed to join the Foreign Press Association. It was a considerably increased burden to the expense account of the Propaganda Ministry, but Goebbels was expansive and invited especially the little Balkaneers by the dozen to the big city. They were noisy and exuded odours clearly indicative of their unaccustomedness to soap and water. At first, the Nazis gave them the free run of facilities, but eventually even the Nazi journalists began complaining about the plague, and both press clubs, Goebbels’ and Ribbentrop’s, ultimately forbade most of their invited newcomers entrance, refusing to issue them guest cards! The Propaganda Ministry used to maintain a service whereby all journalists could telephone in at a certain time of evening and be told whether or not there was a likelihood of an air-raid that night. The reason was that all the little quisling newspapermen took advantage of the service by arranging with restaurant owners to tell them when an air-raid was coming, so that the restaurant might warn its patrons; this in exchange for free meals for the informers every evening! The dignity of the new Foreign Press corps in Berlin left considerably much to be desired. The first considerable black market for Balkan currencies in Berlin was instituted by the new employees of Dr. Goebbels. But, like it or not, these individuals were poured in to the Verein, even as German “tourists” were poured into nations marked for conquest.” ……

But while the Propaganda Ministry and the Gestapo were straining their every resource to keep the new developments from ears and eyes of the outside world, unmistakable admissions of their existence were blurted out by none other than—Adolf Hitler himself! Speaking to party comrades on November 8, 1941, Hitler, for the first time mentioned the existence of opposition to him inside Germany. The Fuerhrer said: “Should anyone among us seriously hope to be able to disturb our front—it makes no difference where he comes from or to which camp he belongs—I will keep an eye on him for a certain period of probation. You know my methods. The is always the period of probation. But then there comes a moment when I strike like lightening and eliminate that kind of thing.” The Fuehrer then stated that the Nazi organization “reaches into every house and zealously keeps watch that there shall never be another November, 1918.”
Since 1933, opposition to Hitler inside Germany had been a strict “unmentionable” for party speakers and even the Fuehrer himself. The deviation, at this particular time, was significant.

(Pages – 166, 108 – 110, 100, 236 – 237, 80)

“People in the outside world who know the Nazi system only from photographs and films; from dramatic shots of its fine military machine and the steely, resolute faces of its leaders, would be amazed at what a queer, creaky makeshift it is behind its handsome, uniform exterior. It is not only that the people who support those stoney-faced leaders are timid, frightened and low-spirited. It is also, the government, the administration of those people and their affairs. In “The House that Hitler Built,” Stephen Roberts drew as nearly perfect of picture of that strange complicated mechanism as it was in peace time, as it is possible for a human to draw. But even that capable author would be buffed by a thousand queer, ill-shaped accretions that have been added illogically to it and the contraptions that have been subtracted illogically from it since the beginning of war. It looks roughly like a Rube Goldberg invention, inspired by a nightmare, but it is more complicated and less logical. And there are no A, B, C directions under it to show how it works. The men who work it have no idea how it works, themselves. The old, experienced, semi-intelligent bureaucrats who made the old contraption function wheezingly in peace, have been drained off to the war machine where their experience can be used more valuably. The new screwier contraption is operated haltingly by inexperienced little men who do not like their jobs and know nothing about them. The I.Q. of the personnel in the whole civil administration machine has dropped from an average of a fifteen-year-old to that of a ten-year-old.

For example, it is strictly against the law for any foreigner to remain in Germany more than a month without a stamp on his passport called by the formidable name of Aufenthaltserlaubnis, a residence permit. But nowadays, between the time you apply for one and the time you get it, a year generally passes; you break the law for eleven months because nobody knows what to do with your application once you’ve filled it out. Most foreigners never get one at all. But that is one of the more efficient departments. My charwoman’s sister, who worked in a hospital, disappeared once. Together my charwoman and I tried every police and Gestapo agency in town to find out about her, but nobody knew anything, or what to do to find anything out. Thirteen months later, it was discovered she was killed in a motor car accident in central Berlin, and the record of it had simply got stalled in the bureau of some little official who didn’t know which of eleven different departments he should have passed it on to. He tried three of six possible departments, but they didn’t know what to do with it.

Nobody knows who is zustaendig (responsible) for anything. When I complained to the Propaganda Ministry about being refused trips to the war-front, I was told the Ministry had nothing to do with the matter, that I should see the radio people. I went to the radio people who were not zustaendig for such matters and who sent me to the censors. The Foreign Office censor knew nothing about it and told me to see the High Command censor, who told me to go back to the Propaganda Ministry itself and complain there. Ultimately, Dr. Froelich, in the Ministry, showed an uncommon sense of the state of affairs and shrugged his shoulders and told me neither he, nor anybody else, had the least idea who the responsible official was, or which the responsible department. I was simply banned from trips to the front by nobody for no reason, but no one could do anything about it. When I was finally banned from the air, I went to the American embassy and asked the proper officer to protest to the Nazi authorities. He smiled and said: “It has become hopeless to protest to the Nazis about anything. Not only because of their ill-will towards Americans, but also because they frankly do not know which department any particular protest should be delivered to.” He told me the whole Nazi civil government is in a state of unbelievable chaos. Hitler no longer pays the slightest attention to the civil side of German life, and his underlings have followed the transition of his interests to the purely military side of things. Nobody of any consequence has any interest in the government of the German people, and it has become hopelessly confused and chaotic, and, in its innards, irremediably constipated. It is, in short, going to hell in a hurry…” – (Portions from pages 168 – 170)

Howard K. Smith made many observations.

“The attitude, frozen into the fabric of the “ruling class mind” by years of privilege was one of indifference to the people…

After that my sense sharpened and I guided them to fill out my impressions. I watched propaganda in the newspapers, placards on street-corner billboards, listened to it on the radio, I took closer note of the trends and tone of lectures in Heidelberg, listened more attentively to conversations with university professors, chosen for their ability as propagandists rather than as teachers, at Saturday night social gatherings in the Institute for Foreigners. Everything I saw and heard confirmed my new-born fear. I had now gone through all the stages save one—that is when fear has matured and been converted to political action. In its own way, that came later…. 
First: the object of any government in any state in the world is to maintain and increase the well-being of the people living in it. And on their success or failure at this, governments must be judged. 
Second: Hitler took over a nation in which the well-being of the people was prevented from being well by several serious problems. The Principle problems were:
(a) a low standard of living;
(b) millions of unemployed workers; and
(c) an economic crisis was in course, in which industry, which furnishes the people with the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter was virtually paralyzed.
Third: Hitler’s success of failure must be judged on the extent to which he has solved, or failed to solve, these problems….
Hitler’s solution to the crisis was not by making useful goods but by producing the greatest aggregation of arms, which nobody can eat, or wear, in all history…
Krupp… enjoyed record profits in 1935 and broke the record in each successive year, including 1941!) So, from the outset, Hitler had not solved the problem of economic crisis in our sense, for he has not added to, but subtracted from the quality and quantity of consumers’ goods which existed in 1933.

I asked about a Communist dock-worker I had met before and learned he had been placed in a concentration camp for trying to talk up a dockers’ strike for higher wages.

Once, however, I broke my routine and took a trip to Russia. That land impressed me disgustingly favorably for an individual who was still more Liberal than Socialist. Contrary to the development of my reactions in Germany, Russia looked better the longer I stayed and the more I saw….

You got the impression that each and every little individual was feeling pretty important doing a pretty important job of building up a State, eager and interested as a bunch of little boys turned loose in a locomotive and told to run it as they please. It showed promise like a gifted child’s first scratchings of “a house” on paper. Klein aber mein; a little but mine own, as the proverb goes. What is more the standard of living was definitely rising nor falling… I knew all along the atmosphere reminded me of a word, but I couldn’t think what it was until I got back to Germany. The word was “democracy.” That, I know, is a strange reaction to a country which is well known to be a dictatorship, but the atmosphere simply did not coincide with the newspapers’ verdict.

Schlaf schneller, Genosse had been for a year more than a book to me, it had been a close friend. It was the only Soviet Russian book which the Germans had allowed to be published in Germany after the German-Russian pact… I wrote that the Nazis permitted this book alone because it was obviously unfavorable, and according to their calculations its publication would, at once, show that Germany was not afraid of Communist literature, and it would cast a bad light on Russia. I added that the result was a little alarming to the Propaganda Ministry which an official in that institution confirmed to me, for the little book was sold out three days after the first edition had reached the bookshops, and several more editions had to be printed. Germans were delighted, and one German woman who borrowed my copy, because the edition had been exhausted when she had tried to buy a copy, told me afterwards: “It’s unbelievable. Why no German author could say things like that about Germany. He would lose his head. It raised Russia’s stock far higher than the book censors had calculated.
Well, the volume was missing from the window, for the first time in a year. I wandered on home, but the observation stuck in my mind all day and the next morning. So the following afternoon I went back to the bookshop, went inside, and, working on a hunch, told a salesgirl I wanted something on Russia and what did she have? My hunch was a square hit. She took me to a shelf filled with political books and pointed to…. the screaming titles, “The TRUTH about the Soviet Paradise,” “The Betrayal of Socialism,” “My Life in Russian Hell.” My friend, Sclaf schneller was no where to be seen. I told the salesgirl no and returned home…

Yes, he said, there were rumors: Hitler had presented a list of demands to Stalin. The most important was the lease of the Ukraine to Germany for ninety-nine years…

Being called out of bed at three in the morning, I knew from several past occasions, meant one thing: Germany was going to save the world from somebody again…”

When the war entered its third month, however, a moral depression set in which joined the economic decline. The downward movement was slow; then, from the beginning of autumn, both declines gathered speed, reacting on one another. By the end of October it became obvious that this was no mere “seasonal” drop, but a dangerous, perhaps permanent movement. People began grumbling openly, tempers were perceptibly short. This together with the decay of capital equipment caused a leveling off of war production for the first time in Nazi history, then a steep decline in production. The German propaganda machine adopted new tactics, introduced all kinds of of new “explanatory” propaganda and finally instituted a new anti-Jewish campaign to divert bitterness. The campaign failed entirely of its goal. From appeasing the people to offering them scapegoats, the Government then turned to threats and force. The Storm-troops, the “fighting vanguard of the Kleinbuergertum,” were in effect disbanded because of disaffection in their ranks. The Berlin garrison of the Gestapo was doubled in numbers and the Gestapo took up strategic positions in residential districts, set up arsenals; and the number of arrests tripled.

The Nazis took excessively great pains to keep these things quiet. Probably the most revealing measure they adopted was to muzzle the American press with an open censorship. This is the first time censorship of the foreign press has been resorted to in the nine years of Hitler’s power. For the three radio correspondents, of whom I was one, there had always been a censorship; but when the Great Depression of late 1941 set in, it was converted into a verifiable strait-jacket. I could no longer give a reasonable accurate picture of what was happening in Berlin; pressure was even applied to make me tell blunt falsehoods. I was actually ordered by the Nazis to use their propaganda material! I, of course, promptly reported these incidents to the American Embassy in Berlin. The situation was unbearable, and I sent a telegram to Paul White, director of News Programs for the Columbia Broadcasting System, in New York, telling him so. The Nazi censors informed me they would not send the telegram or any other information containing complaints against them. Then I telephoned White, and and told him the facts. Telephone conversations were still uncensored, but they were listened to by the Gestapo… The following day we were all informed that the German radio refused to allow us the use of facilities any longer, and that we might, thus, no longer work in Germany. They did not forbid our companies from operating from Berlin, and they did not throw us out. Had they done either of these things, we would be able to leave the country and to speak freely, once outside, without the fear of reprisals being taken on our companies in Berlin. But instead, they even refused to let us leave. We stayed in Berlin another month able neither to work nor to leave; until eventually our companies agreed to send substitutes for us who, in Nazi eyes, would serve as hostages against our talking. – (Page 78 – 79)

…dangerous diet of people in any totalitarian country where news is twisted or kept from them.. (Page 90)

But while the Propaganda Ministry and the Gestapo were straining their every resource to keep the new developments from ears and eyes of the outside world, unmistakable admissions of their existence were blurted out by none other than—Adolf Hitler himself! Speaking to party comrades on November 8, 1941, Hitler, for the first time mentioned the existence of opposition to him inside Germany. The Fuehrer said: “Should anyone among us seriously hope to be able to disturb our front—it makes no difference where he comes from or to which camp he belongs—I will keep an eye on him for a certain period of probation. You know my methods. The is always the period of probation. But then there comes a moment when I strike like lightening and eliminate that kind of thing.” The Fuehrer then stated that the Nazi organization “reaches into every house and zealously keeps watch that there shall never be another November, 1918.”
Since 1933, opposition to Hitler inside Germany had been a strict “unmentionable” for party speakers and even the Fuehrer himself. The deviation, at this particular time, was significant. – (Page 80)

When the telephone rang, I was lying in bed with a miserable cold an a skull-splitting headache. It was the secretary of Dr. Froelich, the Propaganda Ministry’s liaison officer for the American press and radio. She was excited, and told me I should come to an important special press conference at noon sharp; something of extremely great importance….

Cameras snapped and flashlight bulbs flashed. On the great stage behind the central figure, Dietrich, the red velvet curtains were drawn apart to reveal a monstrous map of European Russia thrice as high as the speaker. The effect was impressive… With an air of finality, Dietrich announced the very last remnants of the Red Army were locked in two steel German pockets before Moscow and were undergoing swift, merciless annihilation…..

Behind his unrecorded words there arose, in the minds of his listeners, inevitable images. Russia, with her rich resources in Hitler’s hands: an increment of almost 200,000,000 units of slave labour to make implements of war, bringing total man-power at Germany’s disposal to a figure greater than that of England, and North and South America. Hitler’s armies, ten million men, flushed with victory, eager for more of the easy, national sport, were in the main free to return west and flood England, at long last, with blood and Nazis….

The civil population were hanging wreaths of roses on German tanks in joy at being liberated. It would be announced in a special communique tonight or tomorrow. In the days that followed, bookshops got in new sets of Russian grammars and simple readers for beginners in the tongue, and displayed shop windows full of them; the eagerness to get a job in the rich, new colony was everywhere. The economics minister of the Reich, Dr. Walter Funk, at himself down and wrote a fine speech about Germany’s colonial mission in Russia, entitled “The contribution of the East to the New Europe,” and the next day the papers published it under the heading; “Europe’s Economic Future Secured.”

– (Portions from pages 18 – 21, 25, 37, 65-67, 69, 90, 80, 84, 85, 86, 90)

Howard K. Smith also wrote about the health of the working class citizens of Germany.

“The war dragged on beyond schedule and another cut became necessary. But an official reduction was never made. From a source in the Nazi food ministry, whose reliability cannot be doubted, I learned that the food ministry had determined to introduce the cut, lopping off another 50 grammes, leaving the total ration at 350 grammes a week. And, if the campaign lasted much longer, this too, was to be reduced by another 50 grammes…. the squabble that began with meat and then led into other departments of the food problem, eventually cost Walther Darre, the Nazi agricultural minister, his job. He retained the title, for purposes of front, for some time, but Hitler, in anger at the unexpectedly swift drop in all resources, took away from him the administration of one department after another, accusing him of having given false information to the party leadership concerning the abundance of supplies with which Germany began the Russian war.

The solution to the meat problem was eventually settled by compromise—and here we have another typical Nazi “solution” to a given problem. The cut would be made. But it simply would not be announced. Appearances would thus be maintained, and the two parties concerned satisfied; only the people were left out of consideration. So, while there was no official announcement, less meat was delivered to butchers’ shops and to restaurants. In restaurants, for a 100-gramme meat coupon, the chef simply dealt out an 80-gramme piece of meat.

But even this could not be maintained. Food supplies were not, to use a figure, walking down a staircase; they were sliding down a chute, and a very slippery one. More reductions were introduced in the same manner….
For almost two weeks there were no potatoes in Berlin…

Other vegetables came to count as luxuries. Tomatoes were rationed too for a while, then disappeared altogether to canning factories where they could be preserved and sent to the Eastern front. Two-vegetable meals became virtually extinct. Scarcities were made more severe by the prudence of the food ministry which, having its palms slapped once, began to play it safe by preparing more and more canned goods for the troops in the event that the war should last through the winter….

Ersatz foods flourished. Icing for the few remaining pastries tasted like a mixture of saccharine, sand and cheap perfume. White bread was issued after the third month of the campaign only on the ration cards formerly for pastry. A red coloured paste called Lachs Galantine, resembling salmon in color and soggy sawdust in taste, appeared in restaurants on meatless days. Several strange bottled sauces made of incredible combinations of acid-tasting chemicals made their appearance in shops to answer the public’s growing demand for something to put a taste of some kind in their unattractive and scanty meals.
Cigarettes suffered the most rapid decline in quality… My tobacconist told me “Johnnies” were made of the same dry, powdery, inferior tobacco as other cigarettes, but the leaves were sprayed with a chemical to give them a distinctive flavour and kill their original one. The chemical, he said, was severely damaging to the lungs, which I can believe…

It caused visible pain to the old bar-tender to answer an order for a cocktail saying he was dreadfully sorry but today, precisely today, he had run out of all the ingredients. But perhaps tomorrow. Actually, all he had was some raw liquor the management had been able to squeeze out of a farm-house outside Berlin, Himbeergeist, or a fake Vodka that took the roof off your mouth, or wood alcohol with perfume in it which was served under the name of Sclibovitz, two fingers to a customer and no more…

Civilian hospitals are overcrowded and doctors overworked. Environment, which has a great deal to do with mental health and well-being has grown seedy and ugly. Hours are longer and real wages immeasurably lower than they were before the Russian war. Families are losing their youngest and strongest members, or seeing them some home legless and armless. The horizon of the average German is desolate….

Today, also after two years of war, there are only two meat dishes on the menu, one of which is struck through with a pencil mark along the strategy of the Kaiserhof Hotel. The other is generally two little sausages of uncertain contents, each about the size of a cigar butt. Before the meat they give you a chalky, red, warm liquid called tomato soup, but which a good-natured waiter-friend of mine always called: Ee-gay Farben Nummer zwei nulleex! all of which means, “Dye trust formula number 20-X.” With the meat you get four or five yellow potatoes with black blotches on them… (Portions from pages 120 – 149)

Hitler’s solution to the crisis was not by making useful goods but by producing the greatest aggregation of arms, which nobody can eat, or wear, in all history…

Krupp… enjoyed record profits in 1935 and broke the record in each successive year, including 1941!” – (Page 21)

IG Farben united all the German industrialists. NATO united all Western industrialists. They continued their capitalist market expansion plans.

“And so in capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority.” – Vladimir Lenin – State and Revolution (1917)

“Should anyone among us,” Hitler said, “seriously hope to disturb our front—it makes no difference where he comes from or what camp he belongs to—I will keep an eye on him for a certain period. You know my methods. That is always the period of probation. But then there comes a moment when I strike like lightening and eliminate that sort of thing.” It was then, too, that the Fuehrer declared that the Nazi organization, by which he meant the Gestapo, watches every single house and “zealously keeps watch that there shall never be another November 1918.”

The Weird DARPA/Facebook “Coincidence” You Never Heard About by corbettreport https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1_yMGQ5Uv0I

Important history into DARPA.

“DARPA’s mandate, as was instructed to Congress when DARPA was created in 1958, was “to create vast weapon systems of the future” – that was its job.” – Annie Jacobsen

“Many scientists, from rocket pioneer Dr. Wernher von Braun to former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon,” entered the country under the aegis of Operation Paperclip.” – Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington (Fellow in ethics at Harvard)

DARPA’s origin is Operation Paperclip which imported the Nazi war machine to the US and expanded to all NATO nations.

“We stayed in Berlin another month able neither to work nor to leave; until eventually our companies agreed to send substitutes for us who, in Nazi eyes, would serve as hostages against our talking. …dangerous diet of people in any totalitarian country where news is twisted or kept from them..

But while the Propaganda Ministry and the Gestapo were straining their every resource to keep the new developments from ears and eyes of the outside world, unmistakable admissions of their existence were blurted out by none other than—Adolf Hitler himself! Speaking to party comrades on November 8, 1941, Hitler, for the first time mentioned the existence of opposition to him inside Germany. The Fuehrer said: “Should anyone among us seriously hope to be able to disturb our front—it makes no difference where he comes from or to which camp he belongs—I will keep an eye on him for a certain period of probation. You know my methods. The is always the period of probation. But then there comes a moment when I strike like lightening and eliminate that kind of thing.” The Fuehrer then stated that the Nazi organization “reaches into every house and zealously keeps watch that there shall never be another November, 1918.”

Since 1933, opposition to Hitler inside Germany had been a strict “unmentionable” for party speakers and even the Fuehrer himself. The deviation, at this particular time, was significant.” – Last Train From Berlin by Howard K. Smith, 1942.

And FB enables them to reach into every single home and zealously keep watch that there will never be another November, 1918.

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NATO security force assassination methods are documented in the excerpt below. I hope all of my anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-imperialism and communist friends will take the time and read what’s coming. It started a very long time ago and their activities have evolved significantly. This documents how they target and assassinate academics, scientists, journalists, and anti-imperialism group leaders who shine a light on their activities or fight against them. They are the enemy within so it’s important to understand them in their complexity.

“Secrets and Lies: Wouter Basson and South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme by Marlene Burger and Chandre Gould provides important clarity of their organizational structure, technologies they utilize against us all.

Dr. Basson ran the South African Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme for the apartheid government. He grew cholera cultures for use in black townships and against anti-apartheid demonstrators. “I must confirm that the structure of the [Chemical and Biological Warfare] project was based on the U.S. system. That’s where we learnt the most.” – Wouter Basson, M.D., The “Mengele of South Africa.”
I came to learn of this book in reading Harriet Washington’s extraordinary book, “Medical Apartheid.”
“The South African bioterrorism campaign depended upon very close relationships with U.S. scientists. Despite the supposed isolation imposed upon South African scientists by the international embargoes of the 1980s until 1993, Basson and his minions could not have undertaken biological warfare without the support of the U.S. government. From 1981 until 1993, the United States supported Wouter Basson’s weaponization programs by financing close collaborations with U.S. scientists and by sponsoring Basson’s sojourns to the United States for conferences and education. For example, in 1983, Basson attended a closed Department of Defense conference on biological and chemical warfare in San Antonio. During his trial, Basson recounted his participation in a 1981 federal conference in San Antonio with army officers from the United States, West Germany, Japan, Britain, and Canada. He declared, “I must confirm that the structure of the [CBWP] project was based on the U.S. system. That’s where we learnt the most.”
Basson says he was also grateful for expert American consultants, because the CBWP was dependent upon a colorful assortment of American scientists, especially Larry Ford, M.D., of California. Ford and Basson shared strange research proclivities, acerbic racist sensibilities, and a fascination with scientific genocide. Extant medical and legal documents and the testimony of Basson’s former confederates under oath describe their shocking joint-research projects.

According to Ford’s lawyer, he was a chemical-weapons researcher for the U.S. government in the 1980. In 1987, the United States sent him to South Africa to train microbiologists at the military-run Roodeplaat Research Laboratory (RRL), a key component of South Africa’s chemical-weapons program and a front for the apartheid South African Defense Force. Ford returned often to teach RRL scientists how to produce biological agents such as anthrax and botulinum toxin for use as weapons against antiapartheid forces and against blacks in general. He also taught apartheid’s defenders how to transform innocuous objects such as doilies and tea bags into biological weapons. His seminar series, a master class for poisoners, proved popular among South African scientists, who dubbed it “Project Larry.” Lt. Gen. Lothar Neething, head of the apartheid regime’s police forensic laboratory, was in attendance. So was RRL microbiologist Dr. Mike Odendaal, who recalls, “Ford spent an entire day showing us how to contaminate ordinary items and turn them into biological weapons.” He says Ford gave them “ideas about how to infiltrate innocuous objects such as perfume or household items” and place them in close proximity to a potential target.
Ford’s expertise in the toxicology of everyday life was put to use as South African physicians busily set about eliminating the enemies of apartheid. Ford was warmly welcomed within the nation’s top echelon of medical politicians: for example, the home of former surgeon general Dr. Niels Knobel is graced by a prominently placed framed photograph of him and Ford posing with a lion that Ford had shot.”…

Goosen supervised a multitude of biological assaults on black townships, including the release of pathogens and their vectors, such as mosquitoes, to seed disease epidemics there, just as the army and the CIA had released them over Carver Village… Goosen, Basson,and their deputies investigated the use of Mandrax, an amphetamine, and Ecstasy for crowd control, infused township water supplies with treatment-resistant strains of cholera, and deployed napalm and phosphorus against blacks in Namibia and Angola during the 1980s.

Basson also ordered Goosen to suppress black reproduction surreptitiously and suggested the clandestine addition of contraceptives to townships’ drinking water. Basson stressed that this was a direct edict of the South African surgeon general.

Throughout the Cold War, Western newspapers were peppered with sporadic accounts of ethnic and racial bioweapons being developed by South Africa with U.S. assistance. U.S. news media broadly maligned all such reports as “misinformation” disseminated by the Soviet Union to embarrass the United States.

A 1998 London Sunday Times story alleged that Israel already has used South Africa’s research to develop a genetically specific weapon against arabs.” – Medical Apartheid (Portions from pages 373- 378)

“Secrets and Lies: Wouter Basson and South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme” is based largely on contemporaneous reports compiled throughout the Basson trial for the Center for Conflict Resolution. The testimony provided during his trial establishes methods, chemical and biological weapon technologies, its organizational structure, and how they control the program scientists. The truth started coming out in 1989, “Almond Nofomela, a former policeman, sentenced to death for the murder of a farmer, made a shocking confession on the eve of his execution: he had been a member of a Security Police hit squad operating from a farm called Vlakplaas, South-west of Pretoria. When his erstwhile commanding officer, Dick Coetzee, confirmed the claim, the lid was lifted on a can of worms so foetid that no one in apartheid’s corridors of power could escape the stench…” this book provides a clear picture of how imperialism operates to destroy those who fight it. They destroy academics, journalists, and anti-imperialism leaders. US taxpayers are spending billions “in the name of national security” lie.

Chapter 3: Toxins in Little Bottles Excerpt

“During the course of Basson’s marathon trial, 153 witnesses trooped through the Pretoria High Court to testify against the military doctor who was the linchpin of a programme that not only perverted science, but also cost taxpayers millions in rands in the name of national security….

Around the middle of 1983, Basson invited Goosen to become involved in establishing a facility where chemical and biological substances could be tested on animals. It was not long before the initial plan was expanded to include research into the production of biological warfare agents….

While construction was in progress, Goosen began the important task of recruiting scientists to work with him. He sought out former colleagues from the University of Pretoria’s veterinary faculty at Onderstepoort, people he knew and could trust—people who had no problem marrying their patriotism with a desire to practise interesting science and be well paid for it, and who would not question the work being done. Those who fitted the bill had to fill in reams of forms, providing details about every aspect of their lives. Security checks to determine that neither they nor their close friends of family members were secret supporters of any anti-apartheid organizations, the tests to ensure they were ‘emotionally stable.’ Among the first scientists to be recruited and appointed ‘directors’ were veterinarians Dr. Andre Immelman and Dr. Schalk van Rensburg, who was lured away from the Medical Research Council by Basson himself. Once on the payroll, scientists were subject to stringent security in the workplace, barred from discussing their work with colleagues who were not part of their specific research teams. Some scientists believe that their homes might even have been secretly bugged. Returning home one evening after a frustrating day in the labs, one of the Delta G scientists complained to his wife of tensions at work, only to find himself answering to his boss for his indiscretion the following day. Warnings like this kept the scientists in line, made them afraid to challenge the system and powerless to change the course of the program they found themselves involved with.

Goosen testified that he, Basson and Immelmen talked about developing covert chemical and biological weapons such as a substance that could be smeared on a car door handle, which would cause whoever opened the door to be poisoned. They came to the conclusion that the ideal poison for such an application would be an organophosphate, which research had shown was most effectively absorbed through the skin. It was with this kind of application in mind, said Goosen, that paraoxon became the most researched organophosphate at RLL. Paraoxon attacks the involuntary muscle functions, paralysing vital organs and resulting in suffocation within minutes of ingestion. In time, most — perhaps all —of the senior scientists at RLL came to suspect that the substances they were doing research on would be used to eliminate or harm enemies of the state. Goosen said that during one of the informal discussions about how organophosphates could be used, ANC leaders and communists were mentioned as suitable targets for elimination. There was talk, for example, about how hard it would be to murder former South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo, and what could be used if an assassin had only one minute to strike. Nelson Mandela, too, was discussed, and the view was expressed that if he could somehow get cancer while in prison, his release would present no real problem….

While Van Rensburg was nominally in charge of the animal research laboratory and oversaw the project to develop an infertility vaccine, Immelman headed the chemical and pharmacological departments. Microbiologist Dr. Mike Odendaal focused his attention on collecting as many cultures as he could find, including some 45 different strains of anthrax, E. coli (which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea), and Yersina enterocolitica (closely related to the bacteria that causes plague), to name a few. Every organism Odendaal collected was nurtured and grown in sufficient quantities to freeze-dry. The vials of freeze dried anthrax, cholera, Clostridium botulinum and many more were given to Immelman to keep in the walk-in safe he had installed in his office. For security reasons Immelman never told Odendaal what he intended using the pathogens for, but there were times when this information slipped out during casual conversation. So it was that having supplied Immelman with a bowl of sugar contaminated with salmonella, the non-lethal bacteria that induces food poisoning, Odendaal was told that it was destined for Soweto to be used at an ANC meeting. In this instance, unusually, Odendaal received feedback about the results; the salmonella had worked very well, he was told, all the delegates had fallen ill. Testifying in the Basson trial, Immelman said that he had ‘merely been joking’ when he told Odendaal this.

The so-called fertility project of the RLL and Delta G received widespread media attention during the TRC hearings. Van Rensburg and Goosen testified that discussions about the population explosion in South Africa gave rise to the idea of developing a vaccine that would prevent reproduction. Van Rensburg thought that the project, which he believed was in line with the World Health Organization’s attempts to curb rising global birth rates, would bring RRL international acclaim and funding. He was encouraged, he said, by Basson, who told him that the military needed an anti-fertility vaccine that could be administered through food so that female Unita soldiers would not fall pregnant. While skeptical about the reasons given, Van Rensburg committed himself and his colleagues to the development of an anti-fertility vaccine that could be administered orally without the knowledge of recipients. Both Goosen and Van Rensburg believed that the intention was to secretly give the contraceptive to black South African women. Other scientists involved in the project have denied knowing that this was the purpose of their work. Geoff Candy, a scientist at Delta G Scientific, confirmed Goosen and Van Rensburg’s claims, saying that when he was asked to get involved in the project and realised that the intention was to affect the fertility of black women, he knew that he had to ‘get out,’ because he could not morally justify this kind of work. A vaccine of the kind envisaged was never produced.

While all the scientists agree that at first their work centred on understanding how defences against chemical and biological weapons could be developed, the emphasis gradually shifted to the offensive use of biological agents, until Odendaal and some of his colleagues at RRL found themselves making bizarre products such as anthrax-contaminated cigarettes. Immelman was in charge of all military or ‘hard’ projects, as they were known, and for which orders were almost never put in writing. Even soft-centred chocolates were injected with anthrax or botulinum toxin and given to Immelman. Fairly soon after Odendaal joined RRL, he was given a vial of blood by Immelman who told him it came from Basson, had been drawn from a ! Military Hospital patient dying from AIDS and was to be freeze-dried with a view to being used against ‘opponents.’ This is the only record of a virus being kept at RRL and it is not known whether the plan was ever put into practice.

It was James Davies, Special Forces trained veterinarian, who did much of the practical work at RRL. By his own admission a handy man with a toolbox, Davies used a dentist’s drill to make tiny holes in cans and bottles through which Immelman could then inject paraoxon, anthrax, Brodifacoum or any other toxin of choice before Davies soldered the holes shut. Davies admitted — and research files confirmed— that he added Aldicarb to orange juice, botulinum toxin and thallium to beer, Paraquat to whiskey, all deadly mixes. Davies also injected custom-made toxins into chocolates and alcohol, which he then handed back to his boss.

Immelman, now the owner of a game farm in Limpopo province, said he knew from the start that RRL was an SADF front, and explained that paraoxon was synthesised as an active ingredient because it was ‘reasonably easy’ to make and required a lethal dose of only 1 mg per kilogram of body weight, which was quickly absorbed. An added advantage was that if detected post mortem, its presence could always be attributed to parathion, a common agricultural pesticide. In addition, research into paraoxon offered an ideal cover for the establishment of a high-safety laboratory in which research wold be done on the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX (Take special note that all of these were created and brought to industrial scale productions by Nazi IG Farben scientists, Otto Ambros and Fritz Hoffmann.)

Harrowing as the personal testimony of the scientists was, the true horror of the twilight zone explored by some of the country’s finest scientific minds lies in the thousands of documents filed with the Pretoria High Court during Basson’s trial. The Rosetta Stone of the RRL records was a list compiled by Immelman during 1989, titled simply ‘Verkope’ [Sales]. It is a record of the toxins and contaminated items that Immelman handed to people introduced to him by Basson, and provides some insight into the ghastly products dreamed up at RRL.

Clinical toxicologist Professor Gerbus Muller of Stellenbosch University told Judge Willie Hartzengerg that of the 24 items on the ‘Sales List’ covering the period August to October 1989, at least eight are extremely poisonous. One, botulinum, is the most dangerous toxin known to man. It kills by respiratory arrest and is one million times more poisonous than arsenic. Another, Paraquat, is so potent that even with treatment for a low dosage, a 100 per cent mortality rate can be expected. At Roodeplaat, these and other lethal substances were added to cigarettes, chocolates, alcoholic beverages, and toiletries before being supplied to members of the sinister Special Forces hit squad, the Civil Cooperation Bureau, and the Security Police. In some instances, specially adapted screwdrivers, walking sticks and umbrellas were loaded with doses of deadly toxins to be administered to officially approved ‘targets’ in scenarios worthy of a James Bond novel. Basson denied being involved in plans to murder anyone, and said the only reason such research was done was in order to illustrate how easily South African agents or VIPs travelling abroad could be assassinated.

In order to determine how well and how quickly the poisons would work, scientists at RRL tested their potions on primates, pigs and beagle hounds. How many animals met horrible deaths in the process will never be known, but 203 Roodeplaat research files recovered by Basson investigators show a dedicated commitment to the quest. The majority of substances involved cause death by suffocation — an excruciatingly painful process involving paralysis of the central nervous system and collapse of the lungs. An anti-coagulant called Brodifacoum gives rise to massive internal bleeding and fatal brain haemorrhage, while Cantharidine (commonly known as the aphrodisiac, Spanish Fly) causes severe burns in the mouth, throat and vital organs before victims become comatose and die of multiple organ failure.

In RRL’s laboratories, death sometimes came swiftly, within minutes, but it could take hours, even days. Records of clinical tests with cholecalciferol — or vitamin D3 — show that dogs given three consecutive overdoses of the substance took four to seven days to die. Vervet monkeys fed a low dosage over a 30-day period died of heart failure 65 days after first ingesting the substance, suffering nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, itching, disorientation and peripheral nerve damage in the interim. Sodium azide, used industrially in the manufacture of explosives and preservatives, produced symptoms in baboons within three to eight minutes of oral ingestion. Soon after being fed the poison the baboons would have extreme difficulty breathing, their blood pressure would drop and they would lapse into a coma before dying within 30 to 120 minutes. This substance was also tested on pigs and dogs — which, according to the research report, ‘continued to wag their tails, even while in a coma, until their died.’ Tests with Brodifacoum, used commercially in rat poison, caused a monkey to bleed to death from the femoral artery, while organophosphates attacked the central nervous systems of baboons within eight hours of being applied to a small patch of naked skin. The baboons were subjected to protracted torture, being injected with an antidote, atropine, at the first sign of poisoning, only to have the toxin reapplied at 24-hour intervals over a period of up to seven days before succumbing to the inevitable.

Immelman began keeping a record of substances he handed out towards the end of 1988, when Basson introduced him to three men he knew only as Chris, Gert, and Manie. Instructed by Basson to use the codename ‘Willem’ when meeting with the men, Immelman presented himself as a farmer, knowing he had to protect his identity and his link to RRL at all costs. It was these three men who were the recipients of many of the poisons itemized on the Sales List. Immelman claims to have believed they were members of 7 Medical Battalion and felt no compunction when Basson told him to ‘give them anything they want.’ Later, Basson also introduced him to a man he knew only as Koos, with the same instruction. Nothing, says Immelman, left RRL without Basson’s approval.

All Immelman’s meetings — about nine, to his recollection— with Chris, Gert, and Manie were set up by Sarie Jordan, Basson’s secretary at the South African Medical Services (SAMS). The men met in Basson’s office at SAMS headquarters in his absence, or in restaurants, and it didn’t take long for Immelman to realise that the three men were not schooled in pharmacology. He spent a great deal of time talking with them, over coffee at a fast food outlet, about the best ways of administering the poisons, which effects could be expected and how they could be applied to clothing. Before giving Chris a quantity of paraoxon on 4 April 1989, Immelman explained that the most sensitive areas of absorption would be the scrotum and eyelids, and that a shirt collar or waistband of pants would be ideal areas on which to spread the poison. It was not long after this meeting that Immelman read in a newspaper about the poisoning of the Reverend Frank Chikane, a secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches and an outspoken opponent of apartheid. Having made a connection in his own mind, Immelman asked Basson directly if paraoxon had been used. Basson replied that no one knew, ‘not even the Americans.’

Late in 1989, Immelman delivered vials of vibrio cholerae to Koos in Basson’s office. The bacteria were in School laboratory flasks, made of thick glass with screw tops. Former CCB operator Pieter Botes testified during Basson’s trial that he was given two vials of cholera with instructions to use them to contaminate the water supply of a Swapo refugee camp outside Windhoek shortly before Namibia’s pre-independence election in 1989….

Six containers of orange juice, each containing 200 mg of Aldicarb, were delivered to Chris, along with 2 g of vitamin D3, on 7 April 1989, (a fatal dose would be three to four grams). On 15 May 1989, Chris received 70 mg of Catharidine, of which as little as 10 mg — a taste — has been known to be fatal. Koos was given 100 mg of Catharidine in September 1989. Chris also received a number of hypodermic syringes and needles, while 50 sodium cyanide capsules (fatal dose 4 g) were given to Koos and a letter laced with anthrax spores to Basson. All the chocolates and cigarettes laced with anthrax appearing on the Sales List were supplied to Chris.

From photographs shown to Immelman in court, Chris, Gert and Manie were identified as Security Police Officers (whose surnames are protected in terms of a court order). While admitting that he had introduced Immelman to the three men, Basson said this was for the sole purpose of supplying them with sedatives and tranquillisers that could be used during cross-border abductions by the Security Police, and that he had never instructed or authorized Immelman to give them any lethal toxins. Items in the Sales List marked down against his own name, said Basson, had been ‘passed on to scientists’ for further research. Odendaal, the man who laced chocolates and single cigarettes with anthrax, strongly disputed this claim when it was put to him under cross-examination, describing it as ‘ludicrous’. At the time, he said, he was probably the closest thing to an anthrax expert that South Africa had, so who else could have done what further tests? All ‘they’ wanted, said Odendaal, was ‘toxins in little bottles’.

In the broad scheme of things, however, the ubiquitous ‘they’ actually wanted a great deal more — but it was not for the scientists at RRL to know that while they were making toxins, someone in a workshop on the opposite side of Pretoria was designing bizarre instruments that could be used to administer them. Jan Lourens graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University with a degree in metallurgical and mechanical engineering before joining the Air Force, where he worked in the laboratory at Air Logistics Command. It was there that he met up with an old school friend, Philip Mijburgh. It was an encounter that would change the course of Lourens’s life. Mijburgh, a medical doctor and member of Basson’s Special Operations Unit (later 7 Medical Battalion), lost no time recruiting Lourens into the unit or putting his skills to use. Lourens worked closely with scientists at RRL from the start. In 1985, he was introduced by Mijburgh to Goosen, Immelman and Davies, who needed his help for the development of custom-made apparatus to conduct animal experiments with chemical and biological warfare agents. Lourens made a chair that could restrain a primate, with a mechanical arm that could be used to extract blood at a distance. He also constructed a gas chamber large enough for the restraining chair. A baboon strapped into the chair could be placed inside the gas chamber while gases were piped in, to see what effect they would have on the animal. The gas chamber was used on at least one occasion to subject a restrained baboon to the potent CR teargas.

Among the first tasks assigned to Lourens was to set up an independent radio network to link all the vehicles of all Special Operations members. He also modified their Nissan Skylines, souping up the engines and enlarging the fuel tanks to allow a rapid response, in the event of a chemical misshap, by members of the so-called Skyline Squad. Working from Speskop, Lourens came to know some of the staff at EMLC, striking up a friendship with former Selous Scout Philip Morgan, a self-taught armourer with a vivid imagination and the mechanical skills to match. When Lourens became involved in designing a series of ‘special applicators,’ it was Morgan who turned sketches into weapons cunningly disguised as screwdrivers, walking sticks, even a poison-tipped umbrella. Lourens’s friendship with Mijburgh translated into a good relationship with Basson, and by 1987, three years after joining Special Operations, he was firmly ensconced in Basson’s inner circle. His wife, Antoinette, also worked for Project Coast — at the financial and administrative front company, Infladel — and others served as personal assistant to Basson.

Through his position in the Special Operations Unit, Lourens became acquainted with Delta G Scientific, even while the fledging chemical plant still housed in a few offices in the Pretoria suburb of Val de Grace. When construction began on the on the sophisticated research and production planting Midrand, Mijburgh invited him to serve as project manager, a task he willingly accepted. In the heyday of Project Coast, Delta G’s main purpose was production of CR, CR is extremely irritating. It burns the skin, eyes and nasal passages and causes severe flu-like symptoms in anyone who comes into contact with it. Scientists who worked with CR all felt the effects of the agent. The poor safety conditions under which they conducted their experiments left at least two of them chronically ill and unable to continue working in the industry. Delta G staff were also asked to develop defensive measures against chemical warfare agents, such as test kits that could be used by troops in the field.

On completion of the Midrand factory, Lourens was invited to stay on as resident site engineer, but the prospect held little attraction, and instead he discussed with Mijburgh the possibility of removing the defensive arm of the project from Delta G and running it himself. Mijburgh agreed, and at the end of 1986, with funding supplied by Basson, Lourens set up Systems Research & Development in Stardom Park, Randburg. In due course, SRD acquired a number of branches. One of these was Phoenix Service Station, where the super-Skylines were modified and serviced. Another branch concentrated on developing filters and chemical detection appartatus, while SRD Electronics supplied the military with surveillance equipment and debugging devices. A mechanical workshop operating as QB Laboratories became home to Morgan, who left EMLC at Basson’s request, and Bart Hettema’s main task was to pack CR into hand-held aerosol cans for the SA Police, while Morgan concentrated on the custom-made items he and Lourens called ‘applicators’ in English and the generic ‘screwdrivers’ in Afrikaans. These were devices containing secret compartments that could be filled with lethal toxins. Lourens said he received instructions from Basson to make the applicators. Basson, in turn, claims that the orders came from General Kat Liebenberg, who had ‘heard’ that such instruments could be used by covert agents.

Most of the finished products were delivered to Basson by Lourens, though a few were also handed to Immelman or Davies at RRL, where they were tested to check on their efficacy. RRL test reports show that the screwdrivers were tested on pigs, to see if they could operate silently and penetrate the skin in order to deliver their lethal payloads. The first generation screwdrivers were either spring-loaded or contained a low explosive charge that released the chemical substance on impact, while umbrellas were adapted to shoot a poisoned polycarbonate ball into a victim’s body. Polycarbonate was virtually impossible to detect during an autopsy, and Lourens was told that the micro-balls could not be picked up by security X-ray machines. He and Morgan also produced walking sticks that were really injectors and a folding knife-spoon that fitted into a cigarette box. This device was ideally suited for use in prison where spoon stabbings were commonplace. The victim could be stabbed with the spoon, inside which was hidden a container of poison. The intention was for the victim to die, the only visible cause of death being the stab wound. QB also made signet rings with a secret compartment for poison. The unique locking mechanism designed by Morgan allowed Lourens, during the Basson trial, to identify a signet ring used by police agent Leslie Lesia against ANC members in exile in African states.

In March 1988, Lourens quit SRD to focus his attention on the development of personal apparel offering protection against chemical attack. By that time, the defensive side of Project Coast was in a growth phase, with textiles, clothing and filtration systems all being tested against genuine chemicals rather than simulated substances. Leaving SRD in the hands of psychologist Johnny Koortzen, Lourens became managing director of a new company, Protechnik, holding this position until March 1993.

In January 1986, shortly after RRL launched into full swing, Goosen was removed from his position as managing director amid allegations that he was a poor administrator and had taken kickbacks from the building contractors. Goosen was moved to Roodeplaat Breeding Enterprises, a sub-section of RRL that was involved in the supply of guard dogs, and replaced by Special Forces dentist Wynand Swanepoel. The shift in leadership at RRL mirrored by the situation at Delta G Scientific, where Dr. Willie Basson was removed from his post as chief executive on the basis of equally vague accusations of bad management, to be succeeded by Philip Mijburgh. Two years later, Swanepoel asked Goosen to return to RRL to ‘sort out’ problems in the animal research centre, but in February 1989 Goosen found himself out on the street as the result of accusations that he was guilty of a major security breach.

The alleged offense had taken place during a conference in the Kruger National Park. Goosen, whose wife had recently died of cancer, was emotionally fragile at the time, and shortly after the conference suffered a nervous breakdown. To this day, Goosen believes his condition was deliberately induced by the administration of a psychotic drug, and denies he was guilty of a security breach. Nevertheless, he was told by Knobel that the offense was seen in so serious a light that, by rights, he ought to be going to prison. Instead he was told to quit Project Coast and sign a restraint of trade agreement that prevented him from pursuing a research career for 10 years. He also had to sign secrecy agreements, promising not to reveal the nature of the work he did at RLL. In return, he was paid R60 000 — the equivalent of three months’ salary and his contributions to the pension fund. By this time, Basson and Goosen were no longer on speaking terms.

Ironically, scientists who remained at RLL agree that from the moment Swanepoel became managing director, they ceased to be given any clear guidelines from management on what they were expected to do. In the absence of a scientific compass, they simply began working on projects that interested them personally, but did not necessarily have any military value. The microbiologist motivated their research to management by appending the phrase ‘has military application’ to their proposals to ensure they would be approved. This was how one of the junior scientists under Odendaal’s supervision perfected the genetic modification of the E. coli bacterium. Adriaan Botha’s objective was to develop a vaccine that would protect sheep against one of the lethal toxins expressed by Clostridium perfringens bacterium. E. coli can produce far larger quantities of toxin, so the idea was to modify E. coli. While Botha was clear about his intention to develop a harmless vaccine, he was fully conscious that his work could also lead to the development of a dangerous and frightening biological warfare agent.

Portions from pages 28 – 40

The reason they also used alcohol as a delivery agent is because it would assist in poisoning. Alcohol would have been utilized to disarm the liver rendering it useless against the poisoned assault.

https://renchemista.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/liver-functioning-chemical-synergies-an-excerpt-silent-spring-by-rachel-carson/

Sales List

Phencycladine (Returned)
Thallium acetate
Phencycladine
Aldicarb — Orange Juice
Azide — Whiskey
Paraoxon
Vitamin D
Vitamin D
Cantharadine
10ml Injections
Needles
Needles
Thallium acetate
Aluminum phosphide or Phosphine tablets
Spores and Letter
Capsules of Sodium cyanide
Beer can botulinum
Beer can thallium
Beer bottle botulinum
Beer bottle thallium
Sugar and Salmonella
Whiskey and Paraquat
Mercuric oxycyanide
Baboon foetus
Vibrio cholera
Azide
Capsules cyanide
Cigarettes B anthracis (anthrax)
Coffee chocolates B anthracis
Coffee chocolates Botulinum
Peppermint chocolates Aldicarb
Peppermint chocolates Brodifacoum
Peppermint chocolates Cantharadine
Peppermint chocolates Cyanide
Vibrio cholera
Capsules Propan Sodium Cyanide
Formalin and Piridine
Needles
Cantharadine — powder in packet
Methanol
Vibrio cholera — 10 bottles
Snakes
Mamba toxin (Brought back)
Digoxin
Whiskey + colchicine
B. melitensis
Salmonella typhimurium in deodorant
Culture from letters
B. melitensis
Salmonella typhimurium in deodorant

I think of all the vocal US scientists who died of cancer and more. Rachel Carson, Theo Colborn, Carl Sagan, Lynn Margulis, and Steven Jay Gould all spoke out against imperialism and its weapons.
“Shall we concentrate upon unfounded speculation for the violence of some—one that follows the determinist philosophy of blaming the victim—or shall we try to eliminate the oppression that builds ghettoes and saps the spirit of the unemployed in the first place?” – Steven Jay Gould
And of special note. The book, “The Nazi War on Cancer,” by Robert N. Proctor was dedicated “For Stephan Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Ruth Hubbard, Richard Levins, and the rest of the Bio 106 Gang.”
(I will put a picture of its contents in the messages below. Stephan Jay Gould knew it all.)
Stroke, heart attacks, brain hemorrhage, and cancer were preferred methods to eliminate their enemies.

“The anti-coagulant called Brodifacoum gives rise to fatal brain haemorrhage…” – Toxins in Little Bottles page 33

“The family of Lynn Margulis announced that she died at home on Tuesday, November 22, at the age of 73. She had suffered a serious hemorrhagic stroke on Friday, November 18 – so serious that there was no chance of recovery. Having authored dozens of books and scientific papers, Margulis was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1999.
In 2004, she began looking into the evidence against the official account of 9/11. She not only accepted it, but also – always known for her courage – announced her views, writing in 2007:

“Whoever is responsible for bringing to grisly fruition this new false-flag operation, which has been used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as unprecedented assaults on research, education, and civil liberties, must be perversely proud of their efficient handiwork.”

http://www1.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/590-dr-lynn-margulis-1938-2011-a-beacon-of-light-for-911-truth.html

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(11)01375-3

The reason they used alcohol as an assassination delivery agent is because it would assist in poisoning. Alcohol would have been utilized to disarm the liver rendering it useless against the poisoned assault. Rachel Carson even explained it in “Silent Spring.”

https://renchemista.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/liver-functioning-chemical-synergies-an-excerpt-silent-spring-by-rachel-carson/

They brutally slaughtered opponents to send a message to others as well. Frank Olson was a CIA bacteriologist who the CIA murdered after he spoke out against the program he found himself in. He was a true hero. He discovered that they were utilizing his work to develop and implement biological weapons being used against North Korea and was deeply upset at that realization. His wife said he was going to quit but instead he was hit hard in the head and thrown out a window of a hotel. A message to other scientists to get in line. His son never gave up trying to find the truth and when his father was moved to join his mother after she passed, he had another autopsy. That autopsy concluded he was murdered. You can all watch Wormwood on Netflix to learn about what the US does to those who refuse to participate in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Regarding the origins of Sarin and VX. Both were Nazis and Operation Paperclip scientists at the United States.

“Dr. Schrader said that he was not involved in full-scale production. That was the job of his colleague, Dr. Otto Ambros…. From Krauch, Major Tilley learned quite a bit more about Ambros. That he had been in charge of technical development of chemical weapons production at Gendorf and at Dyhernfurth. That Gendorf produced mustard gas on the industrial scale, and that Dyhernfurth produced tabun. Krauch also revealed a new piece of evidence. Dyhernfurth produced a second nerve agent, one that was even more potent than tabun, called sarin. Sarin was an acronym pieced together from the names of four key persons involved in its development: Schrader and Ambros from IG Farben and from the German Army, two officers named Rudiger and Linde…

On July 28, 1945, Dr. Hirschkind met with Ambros and Lieutenant Colonel Tarr in Heidelberg. Ambros brought his wartime deputy with him to the meeting, the Farben chemist Jurgen von Klenck. It was von Klenck who, in the final months of the war, had helped Ambros destroy evidence, hide documents, and disguise the Farben factory in Gendorf so that it appeared to produce soap, not chemical weapons. Jurgen von Klenck was initially detained at Dustbin but later released. The Heidelberg meetings lasted several days. When Dr. Wilhelm Hirschkind left, he had these words for Ambros: “I would look forward after the conclusion of the peace treaty [to] continuing our relations [in my position] as a representative of Dow.”

Only later did FIAT interrogators learn about this meeting. Major Tilley’s suspicions were now confirmed. A group inside the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service, including his former partner, Lieutenant Colonel Tarr, did indeed have an ulterior motive that ran counter to the motives of CIOS, FIAT, and the United Nations War Crimes Commission. Tilley’s superior at Dustbin, Major Wilson, confirmed this dark and disturbing truth in a classified military intelligence report on the Ambros affair. “It is believed that the conflict between FIAT… and LT-Col Tarr was due to the latter’s wish to use Ambros for industrial chemical purposes” back in the United States.” – Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson (portions from pages 146 -149, and 157 – 159)

The Nazi origins of the CIA assassination program

“This nerve agent was code-named VX (the V stood for venomous)–a battlefield killer that was three times more toxic than sarin when inhaled and one thousand times more lethal when it came into contact with the skin. Ten milligrams of VX could kill a man in fifteen minutes. VX would be more effective on the battlefield than sarin ever would be; sarin dissipated within fifteen or so minutes, but when VX was sprayed, it stayed on the ground for up to twenty-one days. Now, in 1957, the Chemical Corps began producing VX by the thousands of tons. Operation Paperclip scientist Fritz Hoffmann moved over from synthesizing tabun at Edgewood to working on VX munitions. But Fritz Hoffmann’s more haunting legacy lies in the work he performed for the CIA’s Special Operations Division and the Chemical Corps’ antiplant division. Antiplant agents include chemical or biological pathogens, as well as insects, that are then used as part of a program to harm crops, foliage, or other plant life.

After the death of Frank Olson, the SO Division continued its LSD mind control schemes, But Sidney Gottlieb, the man who had suggested poisoning Frank Olson at the CIA safe house in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, was assigned to also work on the CIA’s assassination-by-poison program. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the chemists at the locus of the program. “He was our teacher,” Edgewood laboratory director Dr. Seymour Silver told journalist Linda Hunt. “He was the guy who brought to our attention any discoveries that happened around the world and then said, ‘Here’s a new chemical, you better test it.'”…..

“During the Vietnam War, I remember one evening we were at the dinner table and the war was on the news,” Gabriella Hoffmann explains. The family was watching TV. “Dad was usually a quiet man, so when he spoke up you remembered it. He pointed to the news–you could see the jungles of Vietnam, and he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to defoliate the trees so you could see the enemies?’ That’s what he said. I remember it clearly. Years later I learned one of Dad’s projects was the development of Agent Orange.”

The army’s herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War started in August 1961 and lasted until February 1971. More than 11.4 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over approximately 24 percent of South Vietnam, destroying 5 million acres of uplands and forests and 500,000 acres of food crops–an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts. An additional 8 million gallons of other anti-crop agents, code-named Agents White, Blue, Purple, and Green, were also sprayed, mostly from C-123 cargo planes. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the earliest known U.S. Army Chemical Corps scientists to research the toxic effects of dioxin–possibly in the mid-1950s but for certain in 1959–as indicated in what has become known as the Hoffmann Trip Report. This document is used in almost every legal record pertaining to litigation by U.S. military veterans against the U.S. government and chemical manufacturers for its usage of herbicides and defoliants in the Vietnam War.

Fritz Hoffmann’s untimely death came like something out of a Special Operations Division’s Agent Branch playbook. He suffered a serious illness that came on quickly, lasted for a relatively short time, and was followed by death. On Christmas Eve 1966, Fritz Hoffmann was diagnosed with cancer. Racked with pain, he lay in bed watching his favorite television shows–“Cowboy westerns and Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone,” Gabriella Hoffmann recalls. One hundred days later, Fritz Hoffmann was dead. He was fifty-six years old.” Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson (portions from pages 387 – 388)

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Chemical weapons to cures.

“Chasing Molecules” explains the connection between chemotherapy pharmaceuticals and photographic chemicals. “I’ve synthesized over a hundred molecules that never existed before,” Warner tells me. By the time he finished graduate school at Princeton in 1988, with a PhD in organic chemistry, Warner had published seventeen scientific papers–many on compounds related to pharmaceuticals, particularly anticancer drugs–a volume of research publication he immodestly but matter-of-factly says is “perhaps unprecedented.”

One day Warner got a call from Polaroid offering him a job in their exploratory research division. So he went to work synthesizing new materials for the company, inventing compounds for photographic and film processes. Describing his industrial chemistry work in an article for the Royal Chemistry Society, Warner wrote: “I synthesized more and more new compounds. I put methyl groups and ethyl groups in places where they had never been. This was my pathway to success.”7 There was even a series of compounds he invented that, in his honor, became known as “Warner complexes.”

Warner had married in graduate school and while working at Polaroid had three children. His youngest and second son, John–born in 1991–was born with a serious birth defect. It was a liver disease, Warner tells me, caused by the absence of a working billiary system (which creates the secretions necessary for digestion). Despite intensive medical care, surgery, and a liver transplant, John died in 1993 at age two. “You can’t imagine what it was like,” says Warner. “Laying awake at night, I started wondering if there was something I worked with, some chemical that could possibly have caused this birth defect,” Warner recalls. He knows it’s unlikely that this was the case, but contemplating this possibility made him acutely aware of how little attention he and his colleagues devoted to the toxicity or ecological impacts of the materials they were creating.

“I never had a class in toxicology or environmental hazards,” Warner tells me and shows me a slide from a lecture he gives that reads from top to bottom in increasingly large type: “I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have never been taught what makes a chemical toxic! I have no idea what makes a chemical an environmental hazard! I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have no idea what makes a chemical toxic! We’ve been monkeys typing Shakespeare,” he adds.

“The chemical synthesis toolbox is really full, and 90 percent of what’s in that toolbox is really nasty stuff.” It’s a coincidence and reality of history, Warner tells me, but the petroleum industry has been the primary creator of materials for our society. “Most of our materials’ feedstock is petroleum. As petroleum is running out, things will have to change. (That is why the “Merchants of Death” are getting more desperate. ” – Chasing Molecules (page xxii)

The chart below is from The Devils Chemists: 24 Conspirators of the International Farben Cartel Who Manufacture Wars by Nuremberg prosecutor, Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. (Examine the boxes and how they feed into one another. The Legal and Patents Depts. box was the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles were partners at Sullivan and Cromwell. They created the CIA to protect their corporate cartel clients)

IG Farben chart

“As petroleum is running out, things will have to change.” – John Warner (Businesses are changing and trying to find that high grade sulfur rich petroleum needed for production is getting more and more challenging. See article titles below)

General Electric to Sell Plastics Division By Claudia H. Deutsch – 2007… In January, when G.E. confirmed long-standing rumors that it was putting its plastics business on the block, most analysts expected the unit to go for $8 billion to $10 billion, and for the probable buyer to be a private equity firm.

But in recent months, G.E. executives had signaled to analysts that they expected to get $10 billion to $12 billion for the unit, and that it would likely go to a strategic buyer — that is, a company that would utilize the division and its products, rather than groom it for an eventual public offering or resale. Most analysts quickly honed in on Sabic, because of its access to Saudi Arabia’s vast petroleum supplies. After all, it was the ever-rising cost of benzene, a petroleum derivative and a key raw material for G.E.’s plastics products, that had sucked the profitability out of the unit for G.E. A company like Sabic, with an inexpensive and inexhaustible supply of benzene could far more easily turn a profit.”

Dow Chemical Closing 3 Plants In Louisiana By Ernest Scheyder, AP Energy Writer Manufacturing.Net – July 01, 2009

Dow Chemical, Saudi Aramco Agree to Factories in Saudi Arabia by Jack Kaskey

Saudi Arabia Stealing 65% of Yemen’s Oil in Collaboration with Total

Netanyahu: Israel prepares to annex most of Syria to secure the jewish future” (That should say Israel’s chemical weapons, pharmaceutical, industrial agricultural, and rubber and polymers industrial future and not “Jewish” future.) http://www.awdnews.com/…/netanyahu-israel-prepares-to-annex…

From Chemical Weapons to “Cures.”

One of the first effective chemotherapy agents, not surprisingly, was valued not for its curative properties but for its efficacy as a killer chemical. We know this chemical today as a notorious agent of war—mustard gas. Deployed by the German Empire during the First World War on the battlefields of Europe, most infamously in Ypres, Belgium, mustard gas—a relatively simple combination of sulfur, carbon, and chlorine—killed hundreds of thousands of French and colonial troops. Over a million others were sickened or maimed for life.* (Side note – this figure is wrong. There were 15,000 and of those 1/4 were killed that’s according to Joseph Borkin, a Treasury investigator who wrote a book about IG Farben and his figures are aligned with others) Once it made its way into the body, the chemical also affected tissues with larger proportions of dividing cells. Wartime autopsies found the lymph nodes, spleens, and bone marrow of victims depleted of white cells…. Mustard gas may have been “gone” from the battlefield, but it was by no means forgotten—which ostensibly explains why, in 1943, the American Liberty ship John Harvey was carrying a load of mustard gas bombs. The bombs were intended for retaliation, just in case the Germans reneged on the treaty. Docked in the old port city of Bari, Italy, the cargo likely would have slipped through the war and evaded the history books had the Germans not raided the port. On December 2, as German planned bombarded Bari, sinking 28 cargo ships including the John Harvey, nearly 100,000 pounds of mustard gas spilled across the harbor and rose into the night sky. Thousands of soldiers and citizens were exposed. Hundreds were hospitalized with chemical burns and blindness. At least 83 died. The cause was a mystery to all but a few “in the know.” Upon autopsy, it was found that the victims’ white-blood-cell counts were oddly depleted.
By the time of the Bari incident, leukemia was fairly well characterized as a cancer of the white blood cells. And secretive studies into the effects of mustard-gas-derived chemicals on white blood cells were beginning to bear fruit. Experiments by pioneering pharmacologists Alfred Gilman and Louis Goodman revealed astonishing efficacy of one mustard-like chemical that targeted white blood cells in laboratory mice afflicted with lymphoma. Typically, laboratory mice with lymphoma lived about 21 days. The first mouse treated with the mustard agent lived a remarkable 84 days. After two doses its tumor regressed. The chemical agent seemed to target cancerous white blood cells. What Goodman and Gilman couldn’t have known then was how the mustard derivative worked—why it seemed to target white cells and not most others. Years later, studies revealed that the chemical slips into the DNA molecule, rendering it incapable of normal replication. Ultimately, the hobbled cells die. Since it targets cells in the process of replicating—those that reproduce most often, including cancerous white blood cells, are preferentially killed. Unfortunately, the chemical’s efficacy was fleeting. Cancer cells, observed Gilman, were remarkably resilient. When dosing stopped, the cancer bounced back. Worse, it became increasingly tolerant to drug exposure. Yet, even though cancer control was short-lived, the ability to melt away a tumor through chemical treatment was unprecedented. In 1942, the first human subject suffering from as advanced leukemia was injected with nitrogen mustard. The response, writes Gilman, “was as dramatic as that of the first mouse.” Exposure to the mustard-gas derivative had chased the cancer into remission within days. However, as with the mice, disease respite was temporary…. Still, chemotherapy derived from mustard gas and other chemicals granted cancer patients a reprieve from death: a few weeks, months, or years—sometimes long enough for the next drug.” – Unnatural Selection: How We Are Changing Life, Gene by Gene by Emily Monsoon (portions from pages 62 – 64.)

“For twenty-one years, while the Kochs were financing an ideological war aimed at freeing American business from the grip of government, Donald Carlson was cleaning up the dregs their industry left behind. Stitched to the jacket he wore to work at Koch Refining Company, the booming Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, was the name Bull. His colleagues called him this because of his brawn and his willingness to shoulder the tasks no one else wanted to touch…
Its profitability had proven the Koch’s purchase of Pine Bend prophetic. It had become the largest refinery north of Louisiana with the capacity to process 330,000 barrels of crude a day, a quarter of what Canada exported to the United States. It provided over half of the gas used in Minnesota and 40 percent of that used by Wisconsin. Carlson’s job was demanding but he enjoyed it. He cleaned out huge tanks that contained leaded gasoline, scraping them down by hand. He took samples from storage tanks whose vapors escaped with such force they sometimes blew his helmet off. He hoisted heavy loads and vacuumed up fuel spills deep enough to cause burns to his legs. Like many of the thousand employees at the refinery, Carlson was often exposed to toxic substances. “He was practically swimming in those tanks,” his wife recalled. But Carlson never thought twice about the hazards. “I was a young guy,” he explained later. “They didn’t tell me anything, I didn’t know anything.”
In particular, Carlson said, no one warned him about benzene, a colorless liquid chemical compound refined from crude oil. In 1928, two Italian doctors first detected a connection between it and cancer. Afterward, numerous scientific studies linked chronic benzene exposure to greatly increased risks of leukemia. Four federal agencies—the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Disease Control—have all declared benzene a human carcinogen. Asked under oath if he’d been warned about the harm it posed to his hemoglobin, Carlson replied, “I didn’t even know what hemoglobin was.”
In 1995, Carlson was too sick to work any longer at the refinery. When he obtained his company medical records, he and his wife were shocked by what they read. In the late 1970’s, OSHA had issued regulations requiring companies whose workers were exposed to benzene to offer annual blood tests, and to retest, and notify workers if any abnormalities were found. Companies were also required to refer employees with abnormal results to medical specialists. Koch Refining Company had offered the annual blood tests as legally required, and Carlson had dutifully taken advantage of the regular screening. But what he discovered was that even though his tests had shown increasingly serious, abnormal blood cell counts beginning in 1990, as well as in 1992 and 1993, the company had not mentioned it to him until 1994.
Charles Koch had disparaged government regulations as “socialistic.” From his standpoint, the regulatory state that had grown out of the Progressive Era was an illegitimate encroachment on free enterprise and a roadblock to initiative and profitability. But while such theories might appeal to the company’s owners, the reality was quite different for many of their tens of thousands of employees.
Carlson continued working for another year but grew weaker, needing transfusions of three to five pints of blood a week. Finally, in the summer of 1995, he grew too sick to work at all. At that point, his wife recalls, “they let him go. Six-months’ pay was what they gave him. It was basically his accumulated sick pay.” Carlson argued that his illness was job related, but Koch Refining denied his claim, refusing to pay him workers’ compensation, which would have covered his medical bills and continued dependency benefits for his wife and their teenage daughter. “The doctor couldn’t believe he was never put on workmen’s comp,” she added. “We were just naive. We didn’t think people would let you die. We thought, ‘They help you, don’t they?’
In February 1997, twenty-three years after he joined Koch Industries, Donald Carlson died of leukemia. He was fifty-three. He and his wife had been married thirty-one years. “Almost the worst part,” she said, was that “he died thinking he’d let us down financially.” She added, “My husband was the sort of man who truly believed that if you worked hard and did a good job, you would be rewarded.” – Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of The Radical Right by Jane Mayer (portions from pages 120 – 122.)

Prevention has never been a priority because those who profit from causing cancer and disease also profit from treating it.  Pesticides, chemical weapons, and chemotherapy… oh my! The “Merchants of Death” corporate cartel make a killing from all their wars on nations, insects, weeds, microbes, fungi, terror, and even cancer. Profits all around as they destroy our world and our bodies.

“Dr. Schrader had been working at an insecticide lab for IG Farben in Leverkusen, north of Cologne, for several years. By the fall of 1936, he had an important job on his hands. Weevils and leaf lice were destroying grain across Germany, and Schrader was tasked with creating a synthetic pesticide that could eradicate these tiny pests. The government had been spending thirty million reichsmarks a year on pesticides made by Farben as well as other companies. IG Farben wanted to develop an insect killer that could save money for the Reich and earn the company a monopoly on pesticides…. Dr. Schrader sent a sample of this lethal new fumigant to Farben’s director of industrial hygiene, a man named Professor Eberhard Gross (not to be confused with Dr Karl Gross, the Waffen-SS bacteriologist connected with the Geraberg discovery). Gross tested the substance on an ape in inside the inhalation chamber. He watched this healthy ape die in sixteen minutes. Professor Gross told Dr. Schrader that his Preparation 9/91 was being sent to Berlin and that he should wait for further instruction on what action to take next.

At Dustin, Schrader told Major Tilley that when he learned his compound could kill a healthy ape through airborne contact in minutes, he became upset. His discovery was never going to be used as an insecticide, Schrader lamented. It was simply too dangerous for any warm-blooded animal or human to come into contact with. Schrader said his goal was to save money for the Reich….

“Everyone was astounded, ” Schrader told Tilley. This was the most promising chemical killer since the Germans invented mustard gas. Preparation 9/91 was classified as top secret and given a code name: tabun gas. It came from the English word “taboo,” something prohibited or forbidden… At the Dustbin interrogation center, Major Tilley asked Schrader about full-scale production. Based on the Allies’ discovery of thousands of tons of tabun bombs in the forests outside Raubkammer, Farben must have had an enormous secret production facility somewhere. Dr. Schrader said that he was not involved in full-scale production. That was the job of his colleague, Dr. Otto Ambros…. From Krauch, Major Tilley learned quite a bit more about Ambros. That he had been in charge of technical development of chemical weapons production at Gendorf and at Dyhernfurth. That Gendorf produced mustard gas on the industrial scale, and that Dyhernfurth produced tabun. Krauch also revealed a new piece of evidence. Dyhernfurth produced a second nerve agent, one that was even more potent than tabun, called sarin. Sarin was an acronym pieced together from the names of four key persons involved in its development:  Schrader and Ambros from IG Farben and from the German Army, two officers named Rudiger and Linde.” – Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobson

pages 146 -149

The holocaust never ended, it evolved.

Germany’s Master Plan continues.

“Oil is the blood of mechanized armies–the richest prize of battle. No sacrifice in lives or money has been judged too great to pay for its possession….

In 1929 what has been described by both Standard and I.G. as a “full marriage” was consummated. This marriage was witnessed by four documents dated November 9, 1929: (I) the Division of Fields Agreement, (2) the Four-Party Agreement, (3) the Coordination Agreement, and (4) the German Sales Agreement.* The parties to these nuptials dowered each other with exclusive monopolies in their respective holdings, vowing “loyal adherence” to each other’s welfare for such a time as the marriage should endure. In more concrete terms, the effects of this marriage may be summarized as follows: First, under the Division of Fields Agreement, Standard and I.G. agreed to eliminate all competition between themselves. This was done by recognizing the position of Standard in the oil industry and the position of I.G. in the chemical industry. Standard receive carte blanche in the oil industry of the world with the exception of the domestic German market. I.G., in turn, was assured a free hand in the entire chemical industry of the world, including the United States, a differential which was to embarrass Standard at a later date.

To grasp the magnitude not only of the Standard I.G. cartel but, in particular, the potency and proportions of I.G.’s grip on technology, we must understand the nature of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons, compounds containing hydrogen and carbon, are the basis not only of petroleum products and of hydrogenated coal products, but are the fundamental constituents of a whole range of organic substances. A variety of techniques, such as hydrogenation, hydro-forming, hydrocarbon synthesis, polymerization, alkylation, and catalytic cracking, may be applied to carbonaceous matter. From the solid, the liquid, or the gaseous states of primitive materials, coal and oil, it is possible a myriad of petroleum and chemical products.

Thus, whatever is made in either industry, chemical or petroleum, can in large part be created from the raw materials of the other. Moreover, the vast array of synthetics which can be formed by these processes includes those specialized commodities which spell the difference between a vigorous industrial system and an unbalanced second-rate economy. Judged by military potential or by modern peacetime production, no nation which does not have some source of hydrocarbons and the facilities and knowledge necessary to their transformation can be strong.

Coal, oil and air are the triangular arch of the modern chemists’ war. The advances in chemical science have given hydrocarbons the quality and status of the magic philosopher’s stone which can make a poor nation rich. The list of war material which can be brought forth from coal, oil, air and wood reads like the order book of any army’s ordnance command: toll, tetracene, T.N.T., high octane aviation gas, plastics, synthetic rubber, dyestuffs, explosives, medicines, artificial silk, optical lenses, poison gas, food (the high vitamin content oleomargarine fed to German troops comes from this source), paraffin, clothing—what cannot be drawn from this cornucopia of slime and soot? *(Birth control pills, growth hormones, flame retardants, chemotherapy pharmaceuticals, preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic nitrates also come from that slime and soot, by the way, since there are not mentioned and should be)

The patents of I.G. and Standard were pooled so that Standard received not only the benefits of its own research in oil technology, but also received the benefit of any discoveries made by I.G. Moreover, it was intended that this patent consolidation would so fortify Standard that all other oil refiners would be reduced to a subordinate position, thus rendering them susceptible and indeed suppliant to the formation of a gigantic patent pool covering the entire oil industry.

The second agreement in this contractual marriage is the Four-Party Agreement, formed for the purpose of executing the Division of Fields Agreement. It was agreed that I.G. would transfer to a joint corporation, Standard-I.G. Corporation (S-I.G.), any rights upon patents affecting the oil industry. Standard in turn would transfer to this offspring its present and future rights under the hydrogenation process.

With regard to the exchange of experience between Standard and I.G., it was states that:
… The parties agree to work together on the technical development of the hydrocarbon field, to communicate to each other during the life and within the scope of this agreement all technical knowledge and experience, past, present, and future, patented and unpatented, of which the parties are now possessed or which hereafter be possessed in the sense of having the power to disposed of them, and also to help each other in their efforts to obtain adequate patent protection.

The merger of petroleum and chemical technology thus brought about could be held in check, “regulated” in business terms, only by a condominium of such size as the Standard-I.G. combine. Within the hydrocarbon and allied fields, the Standard-I.G. agreements must be considered as the radical hub from which other ancillary accords sweep out to all sectors of the oil and chemical industries.

The architecture of Standard’s relationships with I.G. is constructed on foundations which, when uncovered, advertise the true purposes of the edifice and explain its use. Once past the facade of “cooperation,” the structure is seen to be a fortress to withstand any assault by the forces of competition on the territory of Standard or I.G., and a salient base from which both might conduct sorties into adjunct industries.

This stronghold was built, to adapt a phrase used by Standard, by “piling patent upon patent,” and the analogy is therefore not too remote. In the judgement of the Senate Committee investigating the National Defense Program, “to obtain such a patent structure Standard paid a heavy price which, as in the case of other companies creating such patent structures, had to be borne by the entire nation.”

The Standard-I.G. cartel was in its scope and implications larger, more powerful, and in some respects, at least, of greater significance, than any other economic “junto” with which we have dealt or shall deal. But the characteristics of I.G.’s marriage with Standard are so similar to its agreements with other American and European industrial interests that no doubts can be entertained of I.G.’s purposes.” – Germany’s Master Plan: The Story of Industrial Offensive by Joseph Borkin and Charles A Welsh – 1943

(Portions from pages 177 – 185.)

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Trade Secrets Documentary by Bill Moyers

 

 

Trade Secrets – Transcripts

TRADE SECRETS: A MOYERS REPORT
PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT

TEASE:

NARRATION: They are everywhere in our daily lives – often where we least expect them.

DR. PHILIP LANDRIGAN, CHAIRMAN, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: We are conducting a vast toxicologic experiment, and we are using our children as the experimental animals.

NARRATION: Not a single child today is born free of synthetic chemicals.

AL MEYERHOFF, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: With chemicals, it’s shoot first and ask questions later.

NARRATION: We think we are protected but, in fact, chemicals are presumed safe – innocent – until proven guilty.

SANDY BUCHANAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OHIO CITIZEN ACTION: Years of documents have shown that they knew they were hurting people, much like the tobacco industry.

PROFESSOR GERALD MARKOWITZ Ph.D, JOHN JAY COLLEGE: Historians don’t like to use broad political terms like “cover-up,” but there’s really no other term that you can use for this.

NARRATION: In this special investigation, we will reveal the secrets that a powerful industry has kept hidden for almost fifty years.

TRADE SECRETS: A Moyers Report

PROLOGUE:

NARRATION: There is a three-hundred mile stretch along the coast where Texas and Louisiana meet that boasts the largest collection of petrochemical refineries and factories in the world.

Many who live and work here call it “Cancer Alley.”

RAY REYNOLDS: Many, many nights we were walking through vapor clouds and you could see it. You know how a hot road looks down a long straight? Well, that’s exactly what it looks like – wavy. We would complain about it, and they would pacify us by saying, there’s no long term problem. You might have an immediate reaction like nausea, but that’s only normal. Don’t worry about it.

NARRATION: In the living room of his house a few miles from the chemical plant where he worked for 16 years, Ray Reynolds waits out the last days of his life. He is 43 years old. Toxic neuropathy – poisoning – has spread from his nerve cells to his brain.

MOYERS: What’s the prognosis? How long do they give you?

REYNOLDS: They don’t. There’s too many variables, and there’s too much unknown about it.

NARRATION: Dan Ross had no doubt about what made him sick. Neither does his wife of 25 years, Elaine.

ELAINE ROSS: Went to a dance one night, and he walked in the door, and I had never seen him before, didn’t know what his name was or anything, and he started shooting pool with a bunch of his friends, and the friend that I was with, I told him, I said, “That’s who I’ll spend the rest of my life with.”

MOYERS: Love at first sight?

ROSS: Uh huh.

MOYERS: Did he think that?

ROSS: No.

MOYERS: You had to, had to…

ROSS: I had to persuade him. When we got married, he was still in the Air Force, so he spent eighteen months overseas. When he got back, he had an eighteen-month-old daughter. And so probably the main thing was, he was worried about making a living for everybody, for us.

NARRATION: The plant where Dan Ross made that living produces the raw vinyl chloride that is basic to the manufacture of PVC plastic.

ROSS: Danny worked for them 23 years – and every single day that he worked, he was exposed. Not one day was he not exposed.

As the years went by, you could see it on his face. He started to get this hollow look under his eyes, and he always smelled. I could always smell the chemicals on him. I could even smell it on his breath after a while. But even up until he was diagnosed the first time, he said, “They’ll take care of me. They’re my friends.”

NARRATION: In 1989, Dan Ross was told he had a rare form of brain cancer.

ROSS: He and I never believed in suing anybody. You just don’t sue people. And I was looking for answers. Since I couldn’t find a cure, I wanted to know what caused it.

NARRATION: Looking for an answer, she found something that raised more questions instead.

ROSS: I was just going through some of his papers, and I found this exposure record. It tells you what the amount was that he was exposed to in any given day.

MOYERS: Somebody’s written on here, “Exceeds short-term exposure.” What does that mean?

ROSS: That it was over the acceptable limit that the government allows. So this exceeded what he should have been exposed to that day.

NARRATION: There was also a hand-written instruction.

MOYERS: And then there’s writing that says?

ROSS: “Do not include on wire to Houston.”

MOYERS: Don’t send this to the headquarters?

ROSS: Right.

ROSS: My question was: Why wasn’t it included – why was it held up from going to Houston?

MOYERS: What did you take that to mean?

ROSS: Somebody’s trying to cover something up. Why?

NARRATION: Her discovery led Dan and Elaine Ross to sue.

ROSS: And I promised him that they would never, ever forget who he was, ever.

DOCUMENT WAREHOUSE

NARRATION: And this is the result of that vow.

MOYERS: How long did it take you to gather all this?

WILLIAM BAGGETT, JR, ATTORNEY: Ten years.

NARRATION: Over those ten years, attorney William Baggett, Jr. waged a legal battle for the Rosses that included charges of conspiracy against companies producing vinyl chloride. Dan’s employers – and most of the companies – have now settled. But the long legal discovery led deeper and deeper into the inner chambers of the chemical industry and its Washington trade association. More than a million pages of documents were eventually unearthed.

In these rooms is the legacy of Dan Ross.

We asked to examine the documents buried in these boxes – and discovered a shocking story.

It is a story we were never supposed to know – secrets that go back to the beginning of the chemical revolution.

NARRATION: It was love at first sight. In the decade after World War II, Americans opened their arms to the wonders of chemistry.

Synthetic chemicals were invented to give manufacturers new materials – like plastic.

Pesticides like DDT were advertised as miracle chemicals that would eradicate crop pests – and mosquitoes.

The industry boomed.

Since then, tens of thousands of new chemicals have been created, turned into consumer products or released into the environment. We use them to raise and deliver our food. We clean our carpets and our clothes with them. Plastics carry everything from spring water to cooking oil. They’re in our shower curtains and in our blood bags. They are the material of choice in our children’s toys.

But there are risks that come with the benefits of the chemical revolution.

MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

MOYERS: In this arm?

NURSE: Preferably, if that’s where your vain is good at.

NARRATION: Specialists in public health at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York – led by Dr. Michael McCally – are trying to assess how many synthetic chemicals are in our bodies. For the purpose of this broadcast, I volunteered take part in their study. A much larger project is underway at the US Centers for Disease Control.

MOYERS: And you’re looking for chemicals?

DR. MICHAEL McCALLY, VICE-CHAIRMAN, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Not the body’s normal chemicals. We’re looking for industrial chemicals, things that weren’t around 100 years ago, that your grandfather didn’t have in his blood or fat. We’re looking for those chemicals that have been put into the environment, and through environmental exposures – things we eat, things we breathe, water we drink – are now incorporated in our bodies that just weren’t there.

MOYERS: You really think you will find chemicals in my body?

McCALLY: Oh yes…no question. No question.

DOCUMENTS

NARRATION: These secret documents reveal that the risks were known from the beginning. The chemical industry knew much more about its miracle products than it was telling. And one of the most toxic was vinyl chloride – the chemical Dan Ross was working with.

PROFESSOR GERALD MARKOWITZ Ph.D., JOHN JAY COLLEGE: One of the indications they knew they should have been telling the work force and public about this is that they mark all these documents “secret,” “confidential.” They tell each other in these documents – “Keep this within the company, do not tell anybody else about this problem.” So they know this is dynamite.

NARRATION: Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner are historians of public health in New York. They were retained by two law firms to study the Ross archive.

DAVID ROSNER, Ph.D., COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: They certainly never expected historians to be able to look into the inner workings of their trade association and their vinyl chloride committee meetings and the planning for their attempts to cover up and to basically obscure their role in these workers’ deaths.

NARRATION: The hidden history begins with a document from May, 1959.

To: Director, Department of Industrial Hygiene, The BF Goodrich Company.

“We have been investigating vinyl chloride a bit. … We feel quite confident that 500 parts per million is going to produce rather appreciable injury when inhaled 7 hours a day, five days a week for an extended period.”

NARRATION: It is early correspondence among industry medical officers who were studying the effects of working with vinyl chloride. At the time, workers were regularly exposed to at least 500 parts per million.

November 24, 1959. Inter-company Correspondence, Union Carbide.

“An off-the record phone call from V.K. Rowe gives me incomplete data on their current repeated inhalation study. …Vinyl chloride monomer is more toxic than has been believed.”

NARRATION: BF Goodrich was one of the vinyl chloride producers in on the industry’s private conversations.

BERNARD SKAGGS: I started there in June–it was June the 3rd, 1955.

MOYERS: ’55.

SKAGGS: Uh-huh.

MOYERS: When you began, did you think the work might be dangerous?

SKAGGS: No. They told us it wasn’t. The only thing we had to watch about the vinyl chloride was not getting enough of it pass out.

NARRATION: Fresh out of the Army, Bernard Skaggs went to work at the BF Goodrich plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

There, vinyl chloride gas was turned into a dough-like mixture that was then dried and processed into the raw material for PVC plastic. Bernie Skaggs’ job was to climb into the giant vats that spun and mixed the vinyl chloride – and chip off what was left behind. Workers called it “kettle crud.”

SKAGGS: There was vinyl chloride everywhere. The valve, overhead valves had charging valves over there where the vinyl chloride was pumped into the reactors. All of those leaked and dripped. Most of them dripped on the floor all the time. They said it had to be – I think it was – 1,500 parts per million before you could smell it. Not only could you smell it, you could see it. It would – it would get into a vapor, and through the sunlight it waved, waves, and you see it. It was all the time that way.

My hands began to get sore, and they began to swell some. My fingers got so sore on the ends, I couldn’t button a shirt, couldn’t dial a phone. And I had thick skin like it was burned all over the back of my hand, back of my fingers, all the way up under my arm, almost to my armpit. And after enough time, I got thick places on my face right under my eyes…

MOYERS: Did you think it might be related to your job?

SKAGGS: At the start, no.

NARRATION: BF Goodrich would discover the truth.

From: The BF Goodrich Company To: Union Carbide, Imperial Chemical Industries, and The Monsanto Company.

“Gentlemen: There is no question but that skin lesions, absorption of bone of the terminal joints of the hands, and circulatory changes can occur in workers associated with the polymerization of PVC.”

NARRATION: In other words, they knew vinyl chloride could cause the bones in the hands of their workers to dissolve.

“Of course, the confidentiality of this data is exceedingly important.”

MOYERS: What does this memo tell you? This particular memo?

ROSNER: Oh, it tells me the industry never expected that they would be held accountable to the public about what was happening to the work force. They never even expected their workers to learn of the problems that they were facing and the causes of it.

NARRATION: Bernie Skaggs’ hands were eventually X-rayed.

SKAGGS: I was really shocked.

MOYERS: What did you see?

SKAGGS: Well, on the hands, my fingers were all–you know, showed up–the bones showed up white in the x-ray.

MOYERS: In a normal x-ray.

SKAGGS: Yeah, normal x-ray, yeah. And mine were okay till they got out to this first joint out there. Then from there out, most of it was black. Some of them had a little half moon around the end, and then just a little bit beyond the joint. And I said, “What is that? You’ve really surprised me.” He said, “That–the bone is being destroyed.”

MOYERS: The black showed that there was no bone there.

SKAGGS: Yeah, right. The bone was disappearing, just gone.

MOYERS: Dissolving?

SKAGGS: Yeah.

RICHARD LEMEN Ph.D., FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NIOSH: It was the slowness of action on the industry’s part that was the most striking issue in reviewing these documents.

NARRATION: Dr. Richard Lemen was deputy director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health until he retired five years ago. The Baggett law firm hired him to analyze the secret documents.

LEMEN: The basic tenet of public health is to prevent, once you have found something, immediately stop exposure.

MOYERS: So they should have told the workers right then.

LEMEN: They absolutely should have told the workers. Even if it was only a suspicion, they should have told the workers what they knew and what they could do to prevent their exposure to what they thought was causing the disease.

NARRATION: That is not what happened. BF Goodrich did not tell the workers, even though its own medical consultants were reporting the truth.

October 6, 1966

“The clinical manifestations are such as to suggest the possibility of a disabling disease as a later development.”

NARRATION: What the company’s advisers feared was that the dissolving hand bones could be a warning of something even more serious.

“May be a systemic disease as opposed to a purely localized disease (fingers). …They (Goodrich) are worried about possible long term effect on body tissue especially if it proves to be systemic.”

MOYERS: “…proves to be systemic.” What’s that saying? Interpret that for a layman.

LEMEN: What that’s saying is that this disease may be much beyond just the fingertips, that it could have effects on other organs in the body or other parts of the body.

MARKOWITZ: If all the doctor is looking for is concerns about tops of the fingers and has not been told in the medical literature that this might be a systemic disease, that this information is kept within the chemical industry, then that worker is going to be misdiagnosed. The worker’s condition is going to get worse, and there is no telling what the effects are going to be for that worker.

MOYERS: He could die not knowing what had killed him.

MARKOWITZ: Absolutely.

NARRATION: Goodrich executives did tell other companies what was happening. But they hoped…

“They hope all will use discretion in making the problem public. …They particularly want to avoid exposes like Silent Spring and Unsafe at Any Speed.”

MARKOWITZ: They understand the implications of what is before them and they are faced with a situation that could explode at any minute, and they are…

MOYERS: Politically.

MARKOWITZ: Politically, culturally, economically – this could affect their whole industry if people feel that this plastic could represent a real hazard to the work force, and if it could present a hazard to the work force, people are going to wonder, consumers are going to wonder what is the impact that it could have for me.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

NARRATION: On April 30, 1969 – ten years after Bernie Skaggs first complained to the company doctor about the pain in his hands – members of the industry’s trade association met at their Washington offices. On the agenda was a report from a group of medical researchers they had hired.

Confidential. Recommendations.

“The association between reactor cleaning and the occurrence of acroosteolysis is sufficiently clear cut. The severity of exposure of reactor cleaner to vinyl chloride should be kept at a minimum…”

NARRATION: The advisers recommended that exposure to vinyl chloride be reduced by ninety per cent – from 500 parts per million to 50 parts per million. But the Occupational Health Committee rejected the recommendation.

“A motion to accept the report as submitted was defeated by a vote of 7 to 3.”

NARRATION: Instead, they changed the report.

“Eliminate the last sentence ‘Sufficient ventilation should be provided to reduce the vinyl chloride concentration below 50 parts per million.'”

MOYERS: What’s stunning to me is that at this meeting were, representing the companies, many people with MDs behind their name, MD the chairman, MD the vice chairman, MD, MD, MD. And they were among those voting against the researchers who had said we’ve got a problem here.

LEMEN: I think that that reflects who the medical doctor’s patient really was. Was their patient the workers in the plant – or were they representing their employer? This is a fundamental problem that we’ve had in public health for a long time – and that is, who is more important? Is it the chemical being produced or is it the human being producing the chemical?

NARRATION: For ten years, the bones in his fingers were disappearing. In that time, the industry never told him what it knew. Bernie Skaggs was kept in the dark – until a few months ago, when we handed him one of the secret documents.

MOYERS: There it is, in black and white. Do you want to read it?

SKAGGS: “There is no question but that skin lesions, absorption of bone of the terminal joints of the hands and circulatory changes can occur in workers associated with polymerization of PVC.”

MOYERS: That was describing the condition you had.

SKAGGS: Right, right.

MOYERS: At the same time they were –

SKAGGS: They were resisting anything –

MOYERS: They didn’t say they knew anything –

SKAGGS: And that bothers me, you know. Well, to think that they’d be this dishonest with me. After all of these years – and I put 37-1/2 years in that place – and that they could be dishonest enough not to even ever admit to me that what they did and what they had was what caused my problem.

MOYERS: Then there’s another. Let me read this. The consultants said “This may be a systemic disease, as opposed to a purely localized disease.”

SKAGGS : This is the first I’ve heard of this. I didn’t know that. The company did a good job of I guess I’d call it brain washing. They actually told us, and they told us this, that this vinyl chloride won’t hurt you.

MOYERS: What do you think when you look at all these documents?

SKAGGS: Makes me more bitter than I was.

NARRATION: By the early 1970s, Dustin Hoffman had been famously advised in the movie, “The Graduate,” that “plastics” was the future. But the vinyl chloride industry was hearing something else.

A scientist at an Italian plant, Dr. P.L. Viola, had exposed laboratory rats to vinyl chloride – and discovered cancer. As he steadily lowered the exposure levels in his tests, the cancer persisted. The discovery cast a pall over the promising future of plastic.

NARRATION: On November 16, 1971, the men from twenty vinyl chloride-producing companies gathered at the Hotel Washington to discuss the bad news.

“Publishing of Dr. Viola’s work in the US could lead to serious problems with regard to the vinyl chloride monomer industry.”

MOYERS: How would you characterize the industry discussion?

ROSNER: Close to panic. There is a whole new ball game out there about who is going to regulate industry, how much influence industry will have over these agencies, and the discovery of cancer, of course, is, you know, potentially not only a public relations disaster, but a regulatory disaster for this industry.

NARRATION: At the meeting, one of the European industry’s own scientists presented an even more disturbing report.

“Doctor LeFevre theorizes that vinyl chloride is absorbed in body fats and carried to the brain.”

NARRATION: Despite the startling prospect that vinyl chloride could affect the brain, the companies took no action – and told no one.

“The present political climate in the US is such that a campaign by Mr. R. Nader and others could force an industrial upheaval via new laws or strict interpretation of pollution and occupational health laws.”

NARRATION: A year later, another Italian researcher, Dr. Cesare Maltoni, found evidence of a rare liver cancer – angiosarcoma. In studies sponsored by the European industry, cancer appeared in rats exposed to levels of vinyl chloride common on factory floors in the US. The panicked industry came running.

MARKOWITZ: Two or three American representatives of the chemical industry go over to Bologna and the Europeans tell them that there are cancers now not only at the very high levels, at thousands of parts per million, but down to 250 parts per million. And yet they are determined to keep this secret. And they go so far as to even sign a secrecy agreement between the Europeans and the Americans so that each of their researchers will be secret from everybody outside the industry.

MOYERS: They get together, the American representatives and the European representatives, and they say this is top secret, we are not going to make it public…

MARKOWITZ: Exactly. They…

MOYERS: …to anybody? To the workers?

MARKOWITZ: To the workers.

MOYERS: To the doctors?

MARKOWITZ: To the doctors. No one is going to get this information except the companies who have signed the secrecy agreement.

NARRATION: Conoco, BF Goodrich, Dow, Shell, Ethyl, Union Carbide – some of the founding fathers of the chemical revolution – were among those who signed the secrecy agreement, even as they were admitting to themselves the bad news.

February 13, 1973. Union Carbide. Internal Correspondence. Confidential.

“Dow Chemical Company reviewed the work on the European study. They report the results on rats are probably undeniable.”

Ethyl Corporation. Inter-Office. Subject: Vinyl Chloride.

“All agreed the results certainly indicate a positive carcinogenic effect above or at 250 parts per million.”

NARRATION: The companies knew. Working with vinyl chloride – even at low levels of exposure – could cause cancer.

WASHINGTON, DC

NARRATION: By 1973, the federal government was trying to catch up with the chemical revolution.

A new agency – the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH – published an official request seeking all health and safety information regarding vinyl chloride.

Two months later, a staff member of the industry’s trade association sent a letter to member companies urging that they tell NIOSH about Dr. Maltoni’s findings.

March 26, 1973

“There is the aspect of moral obligation not to withhold from the Government significant information having occupational and environmental relevance… ”

MCA BUILDING

May 21, 1973. Manufacturing Chemists Association. Minutes of meeting.

NARRATION: But meeting in their conference room in Washington, they discussed keeping secret what they knew of the dangers posed by vinyl chloride.

“We should not volunteer reference to the European project, but in response to direct inquiry, we could not deny awareness of the project and knowledge concerning certain preliminary results.”

MARKOWITZ: It is an extraordinary situation where they know they should be telling the Government about this problem. They know that they are wrong not to tell them. And then they admit that their engaging in this kind of activity can be legitimately seen as evidence of an illegal conspiracy.

May 31, 1973. Union Carbide. Internal Correspondence. Confidential.

NARRATION: A Union Carbide executive reported to corporate headquarters that if the March letter admitting knowledge of Maltoni’s work ever became public, it could…

“could be construed as evidence of an illegal conspiracy by industry…if the information were not made public or at least made available to the government.”

ROSNER: You kind of avoid as a historian the idea that there are conspiracies or that there are people planning the world in a certain way. You just try to avoid that because it’s–it seems too–too unreal and too frightening in its implications. Yet, when you look at these documents, you say yes, there are people who understood what was going on, people who thought about the crisis that was engulfing them or about to engulf them and tried in every which way to get out of that crisis and actually to, in some sense, to suppress an issue.

MOYERS: Do you think all of this added up to, to use your word, a conspiracy?

ROSNER: In a moral sense, I think it was a conspiracy.

NARRATION: We have learned from the secret archive that when the industry met with NIOSH, it did not mention Maltoni or angiosarcoma.

Union Carbide. Internal Correspondence. Confidential.

“The presentation was extremely well received and …the chances of precipitous action by NIOSH on vinyl chloride were materially lessened. NIOSH did not appear to want to alienate a cooperative industry.”

MARKOWITZ: Historians don’t like to use broad political terms like “cover-up,” but there is really no other term you can use for this because the industry had the information. They knew the significance of the information they had, and they refused to tell the Government because they were afraid the Government would take action to protect the work force.

MOYERS: And yet, during this time, Dan Ross and others like him, working in vinyl chloride plants, were being told there was nothing to worry about, that there is no danger.

MARKOWITZ: That’s correct. The industry kept assuring the work force that there was not anything that they need to be concerned about and that they were going to protect the work force.

MOYERS: But they didn’t.

MARKOWITZ: No, they certainly did not.

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA

NARRATION: The companies involved were among those producing more than five billion pounds of vinyl chloride every year – and they were expanding. In 1967, one of them – Conoco – was finishing construction of a new complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Dan Ross moved his family into a small house less than a quarter of a mile from the new plant’s back door.

ELAINE ROSS: He went to work there, he started as a pumper loader. And he moved up fast in the first year that he was there.

MOYERS: He was eager for hard work or…

ROSS: Or he was smart, he was smart, and a hard worker.

NARRATION: Another early hire at Conoco was Everett Hoffpauir – who took the job shortly after he returned from serving in Vietnam.

EVERETT HOFFPAUIR: We were in the start-up phase, and early operation phase, and they were getting all the bugs out of it, and we had a lotta releases, and we had a lotta problems. Prevailing attitude with management at the time was “Let’s get it back online; downtime is killing us.” So as long as it wasn’t gonna blow sumpin’ up, go on in there and do what you gotta do.

MOYERS: You were breathing it?

HOFFPAUIR: We were breathing it, get higher than a Georgia pine sucking on it, you know. It’s very intoxicating. It’s a lot like propane or any other light end, it’s aromatic and, like I say, it did give you a buzz if you stayed in it long enough.

Their attitude was, if you don’t wanna do the job, there’s four waitin’ at the gate waiting to take your job. Do it – or else.

Vietnam was winding down, had a lot of people that weren’t working or if they were, were working for a lot less money. And plant jobs were very attractive. So if you didn’t want to do the work, just say so – somebody’s waitin’ to take your place.

MOYERS: So you’d worry more about your job than about your health?

HOFFPAUIR: Well, sure you were. I had a wife and three kids at home that I had to feed, you know. Yeah. But nobody told you it was a real health hazard, so you didn’t worry about it.

NARRATION: But the companies were worried.

December 14, 1971. Ad hoc planning group for Vinyl Chloride Research.

NARRATION: To counter the damaging information from the European animal studies, the industry commissioned a confidential study of its own workers that it planned to use in its defense.

“The need to be able to assure the employees of the industry that management was concerned for, and diligent in seeking the information necessary to protect their health. The need to develop data useful in defense of the industry against invalid claims for injury for alleged occupational or community exposure.”

MARKOWITZ: They are telling the scientists this is what we want. They are giving them the money to do the research, and the scientists know that in the end, they have got to come up with something that is approximate to what their funders are interested in.

MOYERS: In other words, they were saying to the epidemiologists, the researchers, the scientists, here is the end we want. Produce the science to get us there.

ROSNER: That’s right.

MARKOWITZ: When research is conducted in that way where you are trying to protect the industry, rather than give the industry the information it needs to protect the work force and the public, the process of science is absolutely corrupted.

LEMEN: Good science is to design a study that will determine whether or not there is an effect from the exposure to the chemical. And you should design that study with the greatest amount of power, the greatest amount of ability to detect whether or not there is an effect. Therefore, you should study those workers that are most directly exposed and eliminate workers that don’t have exposure. That was not done.

MOYERS: Go to the pool of affected workers, not the pool of workers who might be on the margin of the process.

LEMEN: Absolutely. They didn’t do that. They included workers in their study that were probably not ever exposed to vinyl chloride.

MOYERS: So if you bring in secretaries and managers or people out driving trucks, you’re diluting the impact of your study.

LEMEN: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you can’t get a true result when you do something like that.

NARRATION: The researchers were restricted to studying employment records and death certificates. They did not interview the workers themselves.

MARKOWITZ: They were in, from their perspective, a terrible bind. They wanted the information to know if the workers had suffered any injury as a result of exposure to vinyl chloride, but they didn’t want to tell the workers that they might have been exposed to vinyl chloride and that there was a danger in that exposure. So they didn’t want to even alert the workers in any form through these surveys that they might have had a problem that they should investigate themselves, that they should consult with their doctors about, that they should be worried about.

NARRATION: The confidential documents reveal other efforts that affected the outcome.

October 15, 1973. Vinyl Chloride Epidemiological Study. Progress Report.

“Several companies have indicated that they do not wish their terminated employees to be contacted directly.”

LEMEN: If you have workers that have left employment, they may have left because they were sick. They may have left because they had had some reason to leave. And excluding them from the study gives you a very biased result.

NARRATION: The companies also worried that if researchers contacted the families of workers who had died, someone might get suspicious.

“This becomes even more complicated when one seeks information from relatives of past employees who have subsequently died. …In other words, we need the information, but at what risk.”

ROSNER: I think this is how we, as historians, are looking at it. If you could keep that knowledge secret, keep the causes secret, keep the information secret for long enough, workers will die of other things, they’ll vanish from the work force, they’ll go on to other places, they’ll retire and die of diseases that may or may not be directly linked to the experience in the workplace.

MOYERS: How are lay people like me, citizens, supposed to decide what is good and what is bad science?

LEMEN: That’s hard. It’s real hard. Science is easy to manipulate.

NARRATION: In the end, the industry got a report that said what it wanted.

Lake Charles, Louisiana. PPG/Vista.

“Study after study has confirmed there is no evidence that vinyl affects human health – not for workers in the industry, not for people living near vinyl-related manufacturing facilities, not for those who use the hundreds of vinyl consumer and industrial products.”

NARRATION: So workers like Dan Ross were not told why they were getting sick.

ROSS: He came home from work one day, and he was taking off his boots and socks, and I looked at his feet. The whole top of ’em were burned. Now, he had on safety boots, steel-toed, and the whole top of his feet were red where the chemicals had gone through his boots, through his socks, under his feet, and burned them, both feet.

MOYERS: You knew that chemicals had caused it?

ROSS: Oh, yeah. There was no doubt in his mind, because he had been standing in something. I don’t remember what it was. I said, “My God, what was it that goes through leather, steel-toed boots and your socks to do that?” You know, I said, “Don’t get in it again, whatever it was. Don’t get in it again.”

HOFFPAUIR: I got chlorine gas and I went to the hospital, but, you know, it, it was just part a the – it wasn’t an everyday thing that you got chlorine. It was a everyday thing you got vinyl and EDC. Chlorine’s a bad, “bad news doctor” there. It’ll hurt ya. But you weren’t aware. You knew that instantly. You weren’t aware that this insidious little monster was creeping up on you, vinyl chloride was creeping up on you and eating your brain away. And that’s what it all tended out to prove out that it was doing. Just eating your brain up. Who was to know? No one told us. No one made us aware of it.

MOYERS: We can’t live in a risk-free society, can we?

HOFFPAUIR: No, we can’t live in a risk-free society. But we can live in an honest society.

NARRATION: The chemical industry was not being honest with its workers. And it was not being honest with the public.

In beauty parlors across America, hairdressers and their customers were using new aerosol sprays. No one told them they were inhaling toxic gas at exposure levels much higher than on the factory floor.

ROSNER: Vinyl chloride is a gas, and it is used as a propellant in hairsprays, in deodorants at that time, in a whole slew of pesticides and other cans that are propelling chemicals out into the environment. So, if it turns out that this relatively low threshold limit is poisoning workers, what is the potential danger if it ends up poisoning consumers?

NARRATION: Once again, buried in the documents, is the truth the industry kept hidden.

March 24, 1969. BF Goodrich Chemical Company Subject: Some new information.

“Calculations have been made to show the concentration of propellant in a typical small hair dresser’s room. …All of this suggests that beauty operators may be exposed to concentrations of vinyl chloride monomer equal to or greater than the level in our polys.”

NARRATION: The threat of lawsuits gave the industry second thoughts about marketing aerosols.

Union Carbide. Internal Correspondence. Confidential.

“If vinyl chloride proves to be hazardous to health, a producing company’s liability to its employees is limited by various Workmen’s Compensation laws. A company selling vinyl chloride…”

MOYERS: “A company selling vinyl chloride as an aerosol propellant, however, has essentially unlimited liability to the entire U.S. population.” What does that mean?

ROSNER: The problem that they’re identifying is the giant elephant in the corner. It’s the issue of what happens when worker’s comp isn’t there to shield them from suits in court, what happens if people who are not covered by worker’s comp suddenly get exposed to vinyl chloride and begin to sue them for damages to their health.

MOYERS: Unlimited liability.

ROSNER: Unlimited liability. Millions and millions of women, of workers, of people exposed to monomer in all sorts of forms. This is catastrophic. This is potentially catastrophic.

Interoffice Memo. Ethyl Corporation.

“Dow … is questioning the aspect of making sales of vinyl chloride monomer when the known end use is as an aerosol propellant since market is small but potential liability is great.”

ROSNER: They consciously note that this is a very small portion of the vinyl chloride market. So why expose themselves to liability if this minor part of the industry can be excised and the huge liability that goes with it excised?

Allied Chemical Corporation. Memorandum. Subject: Vinyl Chloride Monomer.

“Concerning use of vinyl chloride monomer as aerosol propellant, serious consideration should be given to withdrawal from this market.”

MARKOWITZ: Here you have the industry saying we are going to give up this part of the industry, the aerosol part of the industry, because the liability is so great. But they are not going to inform the work force. They are not going to do anything about protecting the work force because the liability is limited for them. And so it’s a very cynical way of deciding on how you are going to deal with this dangerous product.

They have put people in danger. They have exposed a variety of people to a dangerous product, and, yet, they are not willing to say this is something we did, we didn’t know it, we, you know, had no way of knowing it, whatever excuses they wanted to make up, but they don’t even do that.

NARRATION: Some companies would give up the aerosol business – but quietly. No public warning was issued. Now, 30 years later, those hairdressers and their customers are unaware of the risks to which they were exposed. And it is impossible to know how many women may have been sick or died – without knowing why.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

NARRATION: 1974. B.F. Goodrich announced that four workers at its Louisville, Kentucky, vinyl chloride plant had died from angiosarcoma – the rare liver cancer uncovered by Dr. Maltoni. A link to their jobs could not be denied.

But neither workers nor the public knew that the companies had kept from them the clear connection between the chemical and the cancer.

WORKER # 1: My test came back bad and I’m only 26 years old, couple of young kids, really scares you.

NARRATION: When news of the four deaths broke, two hundred seventy employees were tested. Blood abnormalities showed up in fifty-five of them.

WORKER # 2: Fifty per cent of the guys I worked with in the late fifties aren’t around now, and that’s a twenty year period. And I’ve been here twenty and a half years.

WORKER #3: It just kindly upsets me and my wife, naturally, and my mother. It’s – I know it’s a problem. It’s, it’s, it’s just – what do you do?

NARRATION: The company provided no answers. But experts like Dr. Irving Selikoff, the country’s leading specialist in occupational disease, rushed to Louisville.

WORKER #4: Have they found anything besides cancer that vinyl chloride might cause? Or have you all looked for anything besides cancer?

DR. IRVING SELIKOFF: The liver can be affected even besides cancer. Scarring can occur in the liver. Fibrosis. The blood vessels can break, the veins can break, and you can get a fatal hemorrhage, even.

WORKER #5: Once you have found that a man has this cancer caused from vinyl chloride, will you be able to cure it?

SELIKOFF: The answer is, no. At this moment, we do not know how to cure angiosarcoma.

BERNARD SKAGGS: My opinion is, if the liver thing had not come to the forefront, I don’t think they would have ever admitted anything.

MOYERS: If those guys hadn’t died.

SKAGGS: If they hadn’t died. I’m thinking about those people that I knew that died needlessly. I’m the fortunate one. I’ve lived through it. I’ve survived it. Some of them were cut off in their youth. I mean, they were young people.

NARRATION: Nine months later – over the objections of industry – the government ordered workplace exposure to vinyl chloride reduced to one part per million.

NARRATION: The aftershocks of the chemical revolution resounded throughout the 1970s. New words began to enter our vocabulary.

In Missouri, oil contaminated with dioxin had been sprayed on the dirt streets of a small working class town. When flood waters spread the poison everywhere, the entire population was evacuated.

In upstate New York, where homes had been built on a long-abandoned chemical dump, children were being born with birth defects. Love Canal was declared a disaster area.

Scientists looking for PCBs found them everywhere – in the mud of lakes and rivers, in birds and fish, and so up into the food chain. They showed up in cow’s milk in Indiana and mother’s milk in New York.

These modern poisons were not only widespread – but long-lasting.

BENZENE

NARRATION: Then came the benzene scare. Although it was known to be toxic, its use in gasoline helped fuel the American economy. But as evidence mounted connecting benzene to leukemia, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA – ordered that workplace exposure be lowered to one part per million – a regulation the industry, then producing 11 billion pounds a year, would challenge.

DR. PHILIP LANDRIGAN, CHAIRMAN, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: It’s almost inevitable that when a chemical becomes part of the political process that its regulation is going to be delayed. A chemical that has no commercial value is easy to regulate.

NARRATION: To counter the proposed regulation with its own science, the industry created and funded a $500,000 “Benzene Program Panel.”

PETER INFANTE, Ph.D., DIRECTOR OF STANDARDS REVIEW, OSHA: The science at the time was that a) benzene caused leukemia. I think there was no question about that.

MOYERS: There was no doubt in your mind that workers were at risk who were using benzene in those plants?

INFANTE: There was no doubt at all in most scientists that I spoke with. I think the only ones that had a contrary view were some scientists that represented the industry.

NARRATION: Again, the documents reveal that, just as with vinyl chloride, the industry’s own medical officers had known of benzene’s toxicity for a very long time.

MOYERS: Here’s an internal memo from 1958, 43 years ago, from Esso Oil’s medical research division. This came out of their own medical center. Quote: “Most authorities agree the only level which can be considered absolutely safe for prolonged exposure is zero.” What does that say to you?

INFANTE: There’s certainly information that the medical department has, and that information, you know, is not being conveyed to the workers, and that information is not being used to modify behavior by the company.

NARRATION: Instead of changing its behavior, the petrochemical industry turned to the courts to stop the regulation. The companies argued that reducing exposure to benzene would be too costly.

October 11, 1977

“We assert that there is no evidence that leukemia has resulted from exposure to benzene at the current concentration limits. The new and lower limitation on exposure would represent an intolerable misallocation of economic resources.”

NARRATION: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans – in America’s petrochemical heartland – ruled that the government had not proved the danger to humans to be great enough to justify the cost to industry. The victory propelled an offensive directed by the now re-named Chemical Manufacturers Association.

September, 1979. A Summary of Progress. Presented to the Board of Directors.

“Gentlemen, this is a campaign that has the dimension and detail of a war. This is war – not a battle. The dollars expended on offense are token compared to future costs.

“The rewards are the court decisions we have won, the regulations that have been modified, made more cost effective or just dropped. The future holds more of the same.”

DBCP

NARRATION: The companies had their battle plan in place when trouble erupted over a little-known pesticide – produced by Dow, Occidental and Shell – called DBCP.

WORKER #1: I worked in the DBCP unit itself manufacturing the chemical. And now after telling me that I shouldn’t worry about anything out there because it can’t hurt me, now to find out that I’m sterile from it, their answer was, don’t worry about that because you can always adopt children.

NARRATION: Talking among themselves, workers had figured out that many of them could not have children. Company officials claimed there was no pattern – and no evidence, even though newly-ordered tests proved disturbing.

WORKER #2: They ran a series of four sperm counts on us over a period of, I guess, two or three months. All my sperm counts came up zero. And I’d never been told in the whole time I’d been working out at Shell that this might happen to me.

NARRATION: What the industry also didn’t tell was that its own scientists had known of the dangers for decades.

Dow Chemical Company Biochemical Research Laboratory. July 23, 1958

“Testicular atrophy may result from prolonged repeated exposure. A tentative hygiene standard of 1 part per million is suggested.”

NARRATION: Dow had treated the report as “internal and confidential,” did not reduce exposure to DBCP – and did not tell the truth.

V.K. ROWE, Dow Chemical Company: It is our regular policy wherever to totally inform people about what the material is that they’re working with and what its potential is. So I can’t say precisely what was said in one situation. It’s generally throughout the company that we try our best to inform people about what are the hazards, how to avoid them and what to do if they have an accident – or what.

WORKER #2: The thing that bothers me, I think, more than anything is the fact that the chemical industry had no interest whatsoever in protecting us through telling us the dangers of what we were working with.

NARRATION: The companies were neither protecting their workers – nor their neighbors. An engineer at Occidental had alerted his plant manager.

April 29, 1975. Inter-office memo.

“We are slowly contaminating all wells in our area and two of our own wells are contaminated to the point of being toxic to animals or humans. THIS IS A TIME BOMB THAT WE MUST DE-FUSE.”

AL MEYERHOFF, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: DBCP was a reproductive toxicant, a very powerful carcinogen. It was found in drinking water wells throughout the country. It stayed on the market because to ban it, you first had to have an administrative process within a Government agency that was under great political pressure from power people on Capitol Hill. If you put enough hurdles up even the best-intentioned Government regulator is hamstrung.

NARRATION: The companies kept DBCP on the market for eight more years. And it would take a decade for the best-intentioned regulators to finally reduce the exposure level to benzene. By then, the evidence was so overwhelming the industry did not challenge the regulation. For some, it came too late.

LANDRIGAN: We knew how many chemical workers there were, how many rubber workers, how many petroleum workers, how many workers in other industries that were exposed to benzene, and on the basis of knowing how many were exposed and knowing the levels at which they were exposed, we were able to calculate how many unnecessary deaths from leukemia resulted from exposures during that 10-year delay.

MOYERS: How many?

LANDRIGAN: And the number was 492 unnecessary deaths from leukemia. Deaths that almost certainly would have been prevented if the standard had been reduced to 1 part per million back in the 1970’s.

MOYERS: What are the lessons that you would have us draw from this case of delay?

LANDRIGAN: Well, I think the most fundamental lesson is that we have to presume chemicals are guilty until they are proven innocent. What’s needed is an unpolluted political structure that is empowered to set regulations that protect the public health.

NARRATION: That’s not the political structure the industry wanted.

September 8, 1980. Report to the Board.

“The cold fact is that the Congress today has more influence over the agencies than the White House does.

“For even our best friends in Congress, there’s a limit to how long they’ll support us if the public’s against us.”

WITNESS IN HEARING: The industry’s gotten away with murder. That’s why they don’t move forward. Because it’s cost them some money and some effort, and if they’re not pushed, they won’t move.

“We need real muscle, the kind none of your lobbyists are likely to have as individuals. One growing source of political strength outside Washington is the Political Action Committees. PAC contributions improve access to Members.”

NARRATION: Through almost two hundred quickly-formed political action committees, the industry would contribute over six million dollars to the 1980 election campaign.

“When the time comes to play hardball, we’ll try to make good use of the political muscle you’ve been helping us develop.”

REAGAN INAUGURATION

NARRATION: Ronald Reagan was petrochemical’s favorite Presidential candidate. And four of the top five Senate recipients of the industry’s largesse were Republican challengers who defeated incumbents.

The industry was ready to play hardball.

September 28, 1981. Government Relations Committee. Pebble Beach.

“The Committee believes that the new climate in Washington is more reasoned and responsive. …The election of the Reagan Administration appears to have produced changes which bode well for our industry.”

NARRATION: The Reagan team asked business for a wish-list of actions that could be completed within the first 100 days. In less than a third that time, the new President signed an executive order that transformed the battle over the safety of chemicals.

CHANGES FOR THE BETTER

“President Reagan directed EPA to delay proposing or finalizing regulations until it could be determined that they were cost-effective and necessary.”

NARRATION: A prime target was the one law intended to give the Environmental Protection Agency broad authority to regulate toxic chemicals – the Toxic Substances Control Act – TSCA.

JACQUELINE WARREN, FORMER ATTORNEY FOR THE NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: The whole theory of TSCA was that we’re not going to keep waiting until we can count the bodies in the street. We’re going to do some preliminary steps early on, catch the problems in the laboratory, get rid of them, identify the really bad actors, take some steps to reduce exposures, to find substitutes for these. That was the theory. It just in practice has never worked.

NARRATION: Case in point: A class of chemicals known as phthalates. In 1980, the National Cancer Institute had determined that one phthalate – DEHP – caused cancer in animals. By the time the Reagan Administration came to town, the Chemical Manufacturers Association was already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on efforts to thwart any regulation.

“We must arm ourselves with cost calculations for alternate environmental control strategies; and we must feed that information to EPA as early as possible.”

NARRATION: Industry representatives and attorneys met three times with the number two man at the EPA. No environmental or consumer organizations were invited – or informed. Jacqueline Warren was one of those closed out.

WARREN: And we weren’t really there to say, “We represent another point of view on this that you should hear before you decide to go along with what the industry might be proposing”, since their interest is much narrower. They’re interested in their bottom line, their stockholders, their product, and they’re not as interested at all in what the potential health or safety or environmental effect of exposure to this might be. In fact, they’d rather keep that quiet if they can.

NARRATION: Although phthalates are widely used in common products from shower curtains to children’s toys, the EPA announced it would take no action to either ban or limit the uses.

MEYERHOFF: We refer to it as the Toxic Substances Conversation Act.

MOYERS: Because?

MEYERHOFF: They built in obstacle after obstacle and process after process where it is virtually impossible to get a known high-risk chemical off the market. There have been very few chemicals that have been actually banned because of their health risks. That’s because chemicals get far more due process than people do.

MOYERS: Chemicals have more rights than people?

MEYERHOFF: Far more rights than people.

NARRATION: The public protested that the Environmental Protection Agency had become a captive agency. What the public protested, the industry celebrated.

January 11, 1982. CMA Board of Directors. Grand Ballroom, Arizona Biltmore.

“Just ten days ago, TSCA celebrated its fifth birthday. The first five years of TSCA have seen numerous rules proposed by the Agency. To date, we have seen none of these types of rules finalized.”

WARREN: In terms of what we thought TSCA was going to mean, we haven’t made a big dent in getting tested the very large number of chemicals that are all over the environment and to which people are exposed to all the time, for which there are some data already available to suggest that they may be harmful. We’re still having to wait until the actual harm appears, and then try to do something about it.

MOYERS: Who’s in charge of the process now? LEMEN: The industry.

MOYERS: Regulating itself?

RICHARD LEMEN Ph.D., FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NIOSH: They’re in charge of doing that. The government is supposed to, but the industry has so much control through the lobbying efforts that they actually indeed do control it themselves.

NARRATION: To this day – almost 25 years after the Toxic Substances Control Act was enacted – only five types of chemicals, out of thousands, have been banned under the law.

INSTITUTE, WEST VIRGINIA

NARRATION: August 11, 1985. The accidental release of a toxic cloud from a Union Carbide plant in Institute, West Virginia sends 134 people to the hospital. It is only eight months after an explosion at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India had killed some 2000 people – and injured 200,000 more.

REPORTER: When they told you it was a leak, what was the first thing that went through your mind?

MAN: India. Because you’re so helpless.

WOMAN: They didn’t know where it came from, they didn’t know what it was till two days later after it happened. You fumble and stumble and cause our lives to be turned upside down over things you misplaced – over 500 gallons of this mixture. Now I can see misplacing one or two gallons of gasoline around your house…

ROBERT KENNEDY, PRESIDENT, UNION CARBIDE: If we don’t make those chemicals, someone will. Someone will make those chemicals, and you know, you can wish the problems on somebody else. I had a dog once who overly aggressive and he bit a mailman once. And he missed a mailman about three times. And I was very upset about it. And I asked a vet finally if she thought that I could find a good home for that dog. And she said, Mr. Kennedy, don’t give your problem to somebody else. And I think I learned something by that. I don’t think we want to quit.

MAN IN AUDIENCE: When will you listen? I don’t want to hear your dog stories. We’re talking about people. And their lives and their homes and their families. You can have my job if you want it. Because by god, I can get another job. I can’t get another life.

NARRATION: Accidents were but one symptom of our co-existence with industrial chemicals.

In the late 1980’s, people began to agitate for the right to know more about the chemicals that they – and their children – were being exposed to.

WOMAN: I don’t think we should be afraid any more about talking about controls on the chemical industry. These are private companies -Carbide, DuPont, FMC, all of them – whose day to day decisions in those corporate board rooms are affecting our lives, our children’s lives, and the future generations.

MAN: What about cleaning up the industry? Stop the leaks, for Christ’ sake. Don’t kill me. Let’s do something.

NARRATION: In California, they did do something. In 1986, citizens themselves rounded up enough signatures to put the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act – Proposition 65 – on the California ballot.

MEYERHOFF: With Prop 65, if you are a manufacturer of a chemical and you’re exposing my family to a health hazard in a consumer product, in the workplace, in the air and the water, you have to warn me, and that makes a big difference because the public then doesn’t buy the product and it shifts the burden to the company.

MOYERS: You were really turning the system of regulation upside-down.

MEYERHOFF: Yes. It turned the entire system on its head, and that’s why the chemical industry and agriculture and others in California fought the law so hard.

NARRATION: Once again, we have learned from the secret documents how industry planned to fight.

June 4, 1986 California Toxics Initiative.

“A campaign fund of $5 million dollars has been targeted, with a broad coalition of industry and agricultural interests having been formed to finance and manage the campaign.”

MOYERS: “A total of $150,000 is needed by June 25th for fund-raising, research, and advertising, an additional $650,000 payable during July, August, or September.”

MEYERHOFF: Well, I always knew there were resources against us. I actually was unaware of the amount. That actually surprises me that there was quite that high level of dollars, and that was a lot of money then, to oppose Prop 65.

NARRATION: But the industry had been caught short; its money came too late. On election day, California’s right-to-know proposition passed – overwhelmingly.

MEYERHOFF: What the voters were saying is that we don’t trust the Government to protect us any longer from chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects or other harm, give us the information, tell us when we are at risk, we’ll protect ourselves. That was the basic message. And if you fail to do that, then you, a chemical company or grower or others, can be fined up to $5,000 per day, per person that isn’t warned. Prop 65 put the fear of God in the chemical companies, and it had never been there before.

NARRATION: Afraid of aroused public opinion, the companies vowed never to be caught short again.

June 3, 1987 Board of Directors Meeting. Chemical Manufacturers Association. State Toxics Initiatives

“Development of a funding plan which would include an industry-wide ‘pledge’…”

MOYERS: …”pledge” of resources company-by-company, pre-authorization to commit the funds to individual state campaigns.” Does that surprise you?

SANDY BUCHANAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OHIO CITIZEN ACTION: Well, it helps me understand why they were able to marshal their forces so quickly in Ohio and from so far across the country, the idea that they were ready for it and committed.

MOYERS: But you didn’t know about this?

BUCHANAN: No. I didn’t know about that until just now.

NARRATION: Sandy Buchanan heads Ohio Citizen Action, the group which took the lead in getting a right-to-know initiative on the Ohio ballot in 1992.

MOYERS: Though you didn’t know it at the time, I assume you were up against a lot of that money?

BUCHANAN: We were up against about at least 4.8 million of it.

MOYERS: 4.8 million.

BUCHANAN: That was the final spending on the actual ballot campaign.

MOYERS: By the industry.

BUCHANAN: By the industry in Ohio. They definitely spent more money than that, though, because at every stage of the process through the legislature and others, they brought us to court and they tried to challenge the legality of our petitions.

MOYERS: So the industry spent 4-point–

BUCHANAN: 4.8 million dollars on the ballot.

MOYERS: And how much did you spend in trying to pass it?

BUCHANAN: Oh, about 150,000.

MOYERS: I would say you were outspent.

BUCHANAN: About 50 to 1 or so, yeah.

NARRATION: For the companies, the dollars spent to defeat the initiative were insurance against the greater loss of being held accountable.

BUCHANAN: If they can’t be held liable, if the tools that citizens or workers can use to try to defend themselves are taken away, then you can protect the bottom line of a corporation.

MOYERS: It would cost them money if people knew.

BUCHANAN: It would absolutely cost them money.

NARRATION: No state right-to-know initiative has passed since 1986. And two years ago, industry persuaded Congress to roll back a major right-to know provision in the Clean Air Act.

TEST RESULTS

NARRATION: Today, an average of twenty new chemicals enter the marketplace every week. We don’t know much about them – and we don’t know what they might be doing to us.

Back at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Michael McCally was ready to tell me if residues of the chemical revolution had been found in my blood.

MOYERS: So what’s the news?

DR. MICHAEL McCALLY, VICE-CHAIRMAN, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: We tested for 150 different industrial chemicals, and you have 84 of those 150.

MOYERS: Wow. Eighty-four.

McCALLY: Eighty-four.

MOYERS: If you had tested me sixty years ago when I was six years old, would you have found those chemicals?

McCALLY: No. No. With one exception.

MOYERS: What’s that?

McCALLY: Lead.

MOYERS: Lead.

McCALLY: Lead. Lead’s been around — we’ve been — we’ve been poisoning ourselves with lead since, you know, practically the cave ages.

MOYERS: So 83 of these 84 chemicals you found in my blood are there because of the chemical revolution –

McCALLY: Yes.

MOYERS: — over the last sixty years.

McCALLY: That’s correct. That’s correct. And we didn’t know this until we looked, but suddenly we find out that the industry has put a bunch of chemicals in our body that, you know, are not good for us, and we didn’t have any say in that. That just happened.

MOYERS: What kind of chemicals?

McCALLY: In the PCB case, you have 31 different PCBs of this whole family of similar chemicals. They are all over the place. And it’s probably a function of where you lived. You lived in some locale where PCBs were in the environment, and you got them into you through the air you breathed. Some of them get down in groundwater. Some of them get coated on food. You didn’t get them sort of in one afternoon because you ate a poisoned apple.

MOYERS: And dioxins?

McCALLY: And dioxins, of all that we measured, you had 13, 13 different dioxins.

MOYERS: You tested for some pesticides.

McCALLY: Yes. The organophosphates — malathion is one we may have heard of because we’re spraying it here in New York because of mosquitoes.

MOYERS: I used to spray malathion on my house in Long — on my yard in Long Island.

McCALLY: We also measured organochlorine pesticides. The best known is DDT. DDT hasn’t been produced in this country for several decades.

MOYERS: Yes. So where would I have gotten that?

McCALLY: Did you ever, you know, watch them spray the trees when you were a little kid?

MOYERS: Young man.

McCALLY: A young man? Yes. Okay.

MOYERS: And I lived around places that had used it.

McCALLY: Well, that’s enough, because again, like PCBs, these are very persistent chemicals. They don’t — the body doesn’t metabolize them, doesn’t break them down into little pieces and get rid of them.

MOYERS: How do the results of my test compare with others around the country?

McCALLY: I wish we had more data. I wish I could give you a clear answer to that. The burdens that you carry are probably biologically less important than if you were, you know, a 21-year-old woman who was in her ninth week of pregnancy. And then the fact that you were circulating some DDT might really be important.

MOYERS: Have these chemicals been tested in terms of what happens when they are combined?

McCALLY: No. No. That is a complexity that we haven’t even looked at.

MOYERS: Have they been tested on vulnerable populations like children?

McCALLY: No. We are just beginning to do that science.

MOYERS: Is it fair to say from all of this that we are, as human beings, being unwittingly exposed to hundreds of toxic chemicals which have been tested enough just to know that they’re toxic, but not tested enough to know the risks?

McCALLY: That’s a fine summary of the current state of affairs. We know enough now to know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to make chemicals that are carcinogenic and add them to our bodies and then argue about how much we are adding. It just isn’t a good idea. Particularly when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives, and if the industry chose, it could change our exposures dramatically by its own actions.

NARRATION: Three years ago – on the eve of Earth Day – the Chemical Manufacturers Association promised that its member companies would begin to voluntarily test one hundred chemicals a year at an estimated cost of 26 million dollars.

FRED WEBBER, PRESIDENT, CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION: Our vision is that we will be highly valued by society for our leadership, for the benefits of our products and for the responsible and ethical way in which we conduct our business. It’s as simple as that.

NARRATION: Today, we are still waiting for the results of even one of those tests.

During those three years, the industry poured more than 33 million dollars into the election campaigns of friendly politicians.

NARRATION: As the secret documents reveal, the promise to test – voluntarily – was part of a strategy hatched almost a decade ago.

September 15, 1992:

“A general CMA policy on voluntary development of health, safety and environmental information will…potentially avert restrictive regulatory actions and legislative initiatives.”

MEYERHOFF: The idea of a chemical company voluntarily testing its product is not unlike efforts to voluntarily regulate their products. It is an attempt to pre-empt effective government. It is an attempt to try to stop the government from doing its job by doing half-baked measures and then claiming that we’re protecting the public.

DR. PHILIP LANDRIGAN, CHAIRMAN, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: There are 80,000 different man-made chemicals that have been registered with the EPA for possible use in commerce. Of those 80,000, there are about 15,000 that are actually produced each year in major quantities, and of those 15,000, only about 43 percent have ever been properly tested to see whether or not they can cause injury to humans.

NARRATION: The industry’s own documents confirm just how little we know.

Meeting of the CMA Board of Directors. Pebble Beach. Report of Health Effects Committee.

“The chemical industry has contended that while a few substances pose a real risk to human health when sufficient exposure occurs, the vast majority of chemicals do not pose any substantial threat to health. However, the problem is, very little data exists to broadly respond to the public’s perception and the charges of our opponents.”

NARRATION: That is worth repeating. “The problem is, very little data exists.”

In other words, the industry itself acknowledged it could not prove the majority of chemicals safe.

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA

NARRATION: Lake Charles, Louisiana. In the spring of 1989, the family of Dan Ross gathered to celebrate their daughter’s graduation from college.

ELAINE ROSS: He was always the kind of man that wore denim. Denim shirts, denim pants. In fact, he got downright indignant if we tried to make him dress up. We thought that was what was wrong with him. He’d complained about having a headache that day, and Robin told him – that’s our daughter. She said, Daddy, you’re not wearing that to my graduation. You’re wearing a suit. We assumed that the look on his face was that he was mad at all of us and was gonna let us remember it forever, you know. And we laughed at him and teased him about it. But afterward, the headache didn’t go away.

NARRATION: Several days later, a CAT scan revealed brain cancer. In the last words he was able to speak, Dan Ross told his wife, “Mama, they killed me.”

ROSS: You start watching him die one piece at a time, you know. It’s like, okay, he’s blind today, but he can still hear, he can still swallow if I put something in his mouth. But he lost the use of one of his arms, and then next day it would be the other arm, the next day it would be one leg. And then he couldn’t hear anymore. The hardest part was when he couldn’t speak anymore.

NARRATION: On October 9, 1990, twenty-three years to the day after he started working at Conoco, Dan Ross died. He was 46 years old.

ROSS: They hurt somebody that meant more to me than my whole life. I would have gladly taken his place to die. Gladly.

NARRATION: Half a century into the chemical revolution, there is a lot we don’t know about the tens of thousands of chemicals all around us.

What we do know is that breast cancer has risen steadily over the last four decades. Forty thousand women will die of it in this year alone.

We do know brain cancer among children is up by 26 per cent. We know testicular cancer among older teenage boys has almost doubled, that infertility among young adults is up, and so are learning disabilities in children.

We don’t know why.

But by the industry’s own admission, very little data exists to prove chemicals safe.

So, we are flying blind. Except the laboratory mice in this vast chemical experiment are the children.

They have no idea what’s happening to them. And neither do we.

PANEL DISCUSSION

MOYERS: Now we want to discuss some of the public policy issues raised by what we’ve seen.

With me are Terry Yosie, Vice-President of the American Chemistry Council; Ted Voorhees, partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling – he represents the Chemical Trade Association in the Ross case; Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working group — as a matter of disclosure, the foundation I serve made a small grant to Mr. Cook’s organization a few years ago, but I didn’t meet him until three weeks ago — and Dr. Phil Landrigan, a pediatrician and chairman of preventative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Mr. Yosie, thank you very much for coming.

TERRY YOSIE: Thank you.

MOYERS: Given what we’ve just seen, how can the public rely on what the chemical industry says about the safety of synthetic chemicals?

YOSIE: Thank you, Mr. Moyers. If I were a member of the viewing audience tonight, I would be very troubled and anguished if I thought that the information presented during the proceeding 90 minutes represented a complete and accurate account of the story. It does not. For nearly two years, this program has been in preparation. At no time during that two year period have representatives of this program contacted our industry, asked us for information, or provided an opportunity for us to appear on the 90-minute segment.

We believe that it is a sad day in American journalism when two sides of the story can’t be told, when accuracy and balance are not featured in the broadcast. It’s our intention in the limited about of time that we have available this evening to correct some of the errors that we found in the broadcast, but also to present a more complete picture of who this industry does and what it represents and the benefit it delivers for the American people.

How can– turning to your question Mr. Moyers– how can the American people be reassured that the products developed are safe for the intended uses? We test our products and we report that information to the government. There are 9,000 chemical products on the marketplace today. They have been researched, they have been tested, and that information has been disclosed. We do not do this information alone. We work with some of the finest universities in the United States: people at Harvard, the University of California system, the University of Massachusetts– independent researchers with world-class reputations.

We have a major partnership with one of this nation’s leading environmental groups, Environmental Defense, and through that partnership we are disclosing information on those test results no matter what they show. So I believe this commitment to openness and transparency, to working together to identify information needs and to disclose this to the public is to pass the greater confidence in the products we make.

MOYERS: Mr. Cook, do you want to talk about that?

KEN COOK: Well, it’s interesting that you raised the question of testing. As I was struck by so many images in this program, one of the images was that of the x-rays of these vinyl workers who you had in your industry, medical doctors examining without telling them why they were examining them. Their fingers dissolving and this new program you’re describing, the symbol of it is two hands holding a globe. I don’t think I will ever be able to look at the logo for your program without thinking of those vinyl workers and their dissolving finger bones.

As for testing, one of the things that was striking about Bill’s results as I was thinking about it, was just how little is known about the products of your industry showing up in people. Do you, for all your testing you’re saying is being done, do you have any idea how many of the products of your industry, all your companies– it’s a good bit more than 9000– do you know how many show up in people? Have you even tested for that?

YOSIE: Let us respond to some of the issues you’re raising.

MOYERS: You don’t want to answer?

COOK: So you’re testing?

YOSIE: I want to respond to the issues that…

MOYERS: Before you do…

YOSIE: I think the viewers deserve our correction of some statements.

MOYERS: Well we’ll turn to it in just one minute, but how thoroughly are these chemicals tested before they come on to the market?

YOSIE: They are tested using the best scientific methods available, and they are tested not only for their potential hazard, but when we test a product, when we submit that information to the government, we are using standards set by our government, but also international standards. We are applying the best laboratory practices that have been defined by the scientific community.

We don’t do this work in isolation, and when we develop a product, we have margins of safety so that whatever potential effects there may be, we develop those products so that they ensure safety many times below where there could ever be an effect. Subsequent legislation has ratified that approach that we have taken for many years.

COOK: But this is legislation that you have opposed. I mean, your own documents show– whether it’s the clean air act, the clean water act, the safe drinking water act– straight on through, you can read the documents now for the first time that you have never made public before, and it’s quite clear that every time there’s an attempt to tighten regulation on your industry to protect citizens, communities from air pollution, water pollution, your own documents show how you have opposed that.

MOYERS: Let me bring Mr. Voorhees in on this.

TED VOORHEES: Thank you, and let me say that I have met Mrs. Ross, and I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for her situation having lost her husband to brain cancer. At a human level I have sympathy, but no amount of sympathy can justify putting on a program that presents an incomplete, slanted, and essentially misleading characterization of what happened with vinyl chloride.

And to take Ken’s example of the hands, as the first of a couple of examples let me give, the show tells the viewer that this hand problem appeared in the mid 1960’s, and that it was treated as confidential and secret by the industry. What the show doesn’t state is that as soon as that problem was found by B.F. Goodrich company, the doctor who found that problem in 1967, published his findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which is probably one of the most widely read professional articles read by doctors, and in that article on the hand problem, Dr. Creech included the very same x-ray images which you showed on your program as if they had been hidden and kept secret from people.

MOYERS: Did that document say that it was linked to the exposure of vinyl chloride?

VOORHEES: It absolutely did, that was the whole subject of the article.

MOYERS: Why didn’t the company tell Bernie Skaggs?

VOORHEES: Bernie Skaggs’ doctor knew about that because he read it in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

MOYERS: But why didn’t the company tell him?

VOORHEES: The company was telling his doctor — the person who would know and who would be able to react to something like that is a professional who would be able to see the relationship.

MOYERS: I believe the documents show that the company did not tell his doctor.

VOORHEES: Well, they published the study of the hand problem in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1967.

MOYERS: So was the doctor expected to just come across that in random reading? Why didn’t the company tell Bernie Skaggs directly? He worked for the company, Mr. Voorhees. Why didn’t they tell him?

VOORHEES: The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, is not random reading. It’s probably the most widely read professional journal…

MOYERS: Sir, you’re not answering the question. Why didn’t the company tell its employees?

VOORHEES: I don’t know that they didn’t tell Bernie Skaggs.

MOYERS: The documents suggest they didn’t.

VOORHEES: The B.F. Goodrich company had a doctor at the plant. He was the author of this article in JAMA and he would have, as workers came into see him, he would have explained to them what their problem was and I would expect that would happen.

MOYERS: Was Bernie Skaggs lying to me when he said the company didn’t tell him?

VOORHEES: I am certainly not going to accuse him of lying, but what I’m saying is that the doctor at his plant published his findings immediately in the Journal of the American Medical Association and my point is, the program has suggested to your viewer that this was an issue that was kept in secret. Far from keeping it in secret, it was published in the most widely read journal, and the x-rays that were supposedly kept secret were a part of that journal article.

YOSIE: 40 years ago is a very long time. 40 years ago there wasn’t an Environmental Protection Agency. 40 years ago there wasn’t a clean air act. I don’t believe the viewers of this program are interested so much in what happened 40 years ago. I believe they are vitally interested in their own personal health and wellbeing today. They want to know that if the products that we develop and market are safe for their intended uses. They want to know if the products that they’re using in their homes are going to benefit them. and I believe the answer is…

MOYERS: Those are the questions that I sent you a month ago and said, “let’s talk about these policy issues.”

YOSIE: Those are the questions I absolutely want to address.

MOYERS: What about that?

LANDRIGAN: I think that’s really the central question, Bill, Terry.

Today there are many thousands of chemicals on the market. There are a number of chemicals that are registered with the EPA for commercial use is not 9,000; it’s over 80,000. There’s about 3,800 which are called “high production volume chemicals.” A couple of years ago, the Environmental Defense Fund, the same organization with which the chemical manufacturers are partnered, did an analysis of those high production volume chemicals to see what fraction has been tested. Now, to be sure, when the EDF were seeking information on how many were tested, they had to go to the open literature. They obviously didn’t have access to company documents.

In the open literature they found that only 43%, less than half of these chemicals had ever been tested for toxicity to humans. When they looked more deeply, when they asked more sophisticated questions, for example, what fraction of these chemicals has been tested for their effects on children’s health?

What fraction have been tested for the effects on the developing brain, the developing immune system, the developing reproductive organs, the endocrine system of babies? You’re down very close to single digits. Around 8% or 10% of chemicals on the market have ever been tested for these effects.

So I think that it has to be said here today that the toxic substances control act is a well-intentioned piece of legislation, but in its execution, it has mostly been a failure. It is just not doing an adequate job of protecting the American public.

YOSIE: There are not 75,000 products on the market today. There are 9,000.

LANDRIGAN: No, there are not 75,000 chemicals on the market, but there are that many chemicals registered with the EPA for commercial use. And of the 38,000 high production volume chemicals, fewer than half, less than half have been tested for their toxicity.

YOSIE: Mr. Moyers, you’ve had your own body tested and this was shown to the viewers. What was not shown to the viewers, that the products that we make probably saved your life. From what I read in the newspapers, you had a very serious heart operation at about 1994. You had a blockage in an artery leading to your heart. When your doctors discovered this problem and advised you and provided the professional counseling and expertise that made it possible for you to recover to the robust man that you are today, they were using our products. They diagnosed…

MOYERS: Are you sorry about that now? I mean, don’t you wish…?

(laughs)

YOSIE: I am delighted that you’re here. You look very healthy. They diagnosed your problem using technologies that we helped develop. When they operated on you, they used surgical instruments that we helped develop. To ensure that you did not contract a subsequent infection post operation, you were given medicines.

In addition, you were probably given medication afterwards to ensure your continuing return to health. I believe that your state of well-being today was directly dependent on the benefits that our industry provided to you and to every American.

MOYERS: I don’t challenge that, and I didn’t challenge that in our reporting. I do not challenge that.

YOSIE: You do not challenge that but you didn’t report it either.

MOYERS: You just said it. I told you a month ago we wanted you to come on and say what you wanted to say and you just did. But here is the issue that I think that Dr. Landrigan is raising, that my own body burden test is raising, Dr. McCally said to me, I said to him, “Should I be worried?”

He said, “At your age, 66, I don’t think so. But if you were a 21-year-old pregnant woman, it might be a different story.” And he said, “We do not know what this combination of chemicals, what effect it’s having on our health.” This is a new phenomenon. He said, “Your grandfather would not have had this.” This is a new phenomenon. And what I think I was asking in the broadcast, and what I hear Dr. Landrigan asking is, how do we find out what this combination of chemicals is doing in our body? Particularly to children. Are children the most vulnerable?

LANDRIGAN: Children…

YOSIE: Dr. McCally erred in what he told you. He said that 60 years ago the only compound that you would have in your body was lead. 60 years ago, American cities looked like an industrial wasteland. They looked like what Russia or China or Eastern Europe looks like today. 60 years ago, there were no pollution controls on industry or any other major products. 60 years ago, the area that I come from, Western Pennsylvania, people had to wear two shirts to go to work. One to wear outside, one to wear inside.

MOYERS: “Better living through chemistry.” I acknowledge that. We all acknowledge that.

COOK: I think as an environmentalist, I’ll defend your industry. But the thing that surprises me…

YOSIE: Thank you, I’ll take that compliment.

COOK: Let’s go back to the vinyl story. Again, for the first time now it are read tens of thousands of pages of documents that you never made public. If they so strongly defend your position, you never made them public. Now that they are public, one of the striking things about me is how you’re hiding your light under a bushel basket when it comes to inventiveness. Those documents clearly show again and again and again that your industry worried that if vinyl chloride standards were tightened, it would be the end of the industry. Companies would go bankrupt. They say this. They could not continue to operate.

None of them did go bankrupt when it went from 500 parts per million down to one. They all did fine. In fact, they made money. And I think what I respond to you when you make that point is, yes, there are many ways which chemicals make a difference in our lives. But there are also ways in which we can find safer alternatives. And in most cases, the fastest was to those alternatives is to put pressure on the industry beyond what you feel now to move you in that direction. You don’t go rapidly on your own, and that’s been shown time and again.

YOSIE: Three months ago…

VOORHEES: Can I respond to that?

MOYERS: Sure.

VOORHEES: Since he referred to the vinyl chloride story in the litigation, and I would say it would be fair for the viewer to think that the program was about concealment and secrecy. And what the viewer was not shown was that in each of the episodes that you portrayed in the program where you would show a document that says confidential or secret, what you failed to do was to show that shortly after that document was prepared, a study was published. For example, I’ll just give you few examples.

The Viola study in 1970, the first Italian researcher who found some signs of carcinogenity in laboratory animal experiments, and you showed a document that said this could potential be problematic and should be confidential. What you didn’t say is that Viola’s study on that subject was published in 1970, the next year after the confidential document. So the point is, that when we research was being done on these very subjects, research on… initially on laboratory animals, that the research was published and there was not one reference in that whole program to the published articles that followed each of these incidents that are referred to in the program. To me that’s a very misleading presentation.

YOSIE: Three months ago…

MOYERS: Let me just answer Mr. Voorhees. For one thing, it was because that Dr. Viola was going to publish his findings that the chemical association meeting took place to discuss what to do about it. And I was really astonished, Mr. Voorhees, in the materials you sent us before the broadcast which we examined thoroughly. You were very selective in what you gave us. You did not include in there the documents that show how the industry did not want to talk about it, Dr. Maltoni’s research, and made plans not to disclose that to NIOSH, even though NIOSH, the government agency, had asked for those… that information to be volunteered, and your industry did not do that. The documents make it clear that they did not talk about Dr. Maltoni’s argument. But that’s the past.

I would love to come back to this issue. Look, the people out there watching this thing, you know, we know our lives are better because of chemistry. But we also know that pediatricians and physicians like Dr. Landrigan are saying, we don’t know what this new combination is doing to us. So what is the question? What are the issues?

LANDRIGAN: I that’s the… excuse me, Terry. I think the issue, Bill, is that this is not something of the past. Many of the chemicals, for example, that were tested last week in that CDC report that was released to the nation on the 21st of March, are chemicals that reside…

MOYERS: That was the center for disease control, right?

LANDRIGAN: The center for disease control in Atlanta, that’s right.

Many of the chemicals which they tested, for example the pesticide products, are relatively short-lived chemicals. Those are chemicals, when they get into the body of a child, only stay there for a matter of weeks or at most a month or two, and then they’re gone.

So the chemicals that were measured by CDC in Americans are chemicals where the exposures are taking place today. And in response to your question, it’s absolutely true that children are the most vulnerable among us to those chemicals, and kids are vulnerable for two reasons. First of all, they take more chemicals into their body. They breathe more air. They drink more water. They eat more food pound for pound. So they take more chemicals into their body that are present in the air, on their food, in their water. And of course, kids play on the floor. They drop a lollipop on the rug. If there’s pesticide on that rug, they pick up the lollipop, they put the lollipop into their mouths and the pesticide gets in.

Then on top of that, besides being more heavily exposed, kids are biologically more vulnerable. I mean, anybody who has seen a little child– I’ve got a grandson who is just a bit over a year old– anybody who’s got a little child knows how precious and how vulnerable they are. Their brains are growing and developing. If a chemical like lead, like a pesticide, like PCB’s, like organic mercury gets into the brain of a baby during those early months of development, the consequences can be life-long.

YOSIE: Three months ago, the Department of Health and Human Services… Please, Bill, please, be fair.

LANDRIGAN: What really troubles me here is we don’t know… we simply do not know the long-term consequences of exposures in early life. As a pediatrician, as a parent, as a grandparent…

MOYERS: But what’s the public’s policy you’d like to see come out of this, and I would like to hear Terry Yosie say why the industry wouldn’t support that public policy?

LANDRIGAN: I think we need four things, four things only.

Number one, we need thorough independent testing of chemicals, including testing that looks at pediatric effects.

YOSIE: That’s underway.

LANDRIGAN: Number two, and it needs to be independent of the industry.

YOSIE: Colleagues… Mr. Cook’s colleagues in the environmental community are working directly with us. We just participated in a process with environmental groups and others to test compounds for their impact on children.

LANDRIGAN: Well, that’s… it just leaves…

YOSIE: There is an agreement in place to do just that.

LANDRIGAN: I’m glad. I noticed in the show itself that of promises were made, the results haven’t yet appeared. But the second thing that needs to be done is that we need to continue the nationwide testing of chemicals in the bloodstream of Americans that CDC has started. CDC, I understand…

YOSIE: We support that objective.

LANDRIGAN: And that’s good, that’s good.

YOSIE: We think the CDC report, which by the way, used technology that we helped develop. Those analytical methods that were used in your body and used on the recent CDC report are an outgrowth of our commitment to science to improve better analytical detection techniques. And so we support CDC’s continued efforts to learn more about the health status of the American people.

LANDRIGAN: Excellent. Number three, I think we need to work together. And this might actually be an area where the chemical industry and the environmental community and the academic community can work together. This is to support a national right-to-know initiative. For this nation, we ought to have the national equivalent of the Proposition 65 law that they have in California. Everybody in this country ought to be able to get good, accurate, unbiased information on every product they buy in the stores.

And fourthly, on the final need that I think we have to have in this country, is we need to have a more efficient, more effective process than we do today to get toxic chemicals off the market and to replace them with safer chemicals.

That’s what America’s kids need.

YOSIE: Two comments: One is, Mr. Landrigan, Dr. Landrigan, does raise the issue of what is the health status of children. Three months ago the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Center for Disease Control, issued a report. Let me read you a sentence in the very first paragraph of that report: “We’ve made life better for our children.” The Department of Health and Human Services, like the CDC, looks at the broad spectrum of issues that could potentially effect children’s health. And there is some very good news to report.

There are record child immunization rates. There’s a decline in youth drug use and smoking. There is a decline in teenaged mothers giving birth. There’s a decline in infant mortality. But even beyond children, cancer rates are down.

LANDRIGAN: Cancer death rates are down, cancer incidence rates are up, Terry.

YOSIE: But that’s an artifact of better reporting.

LANDRIGAN: No, it’s not.

YOSIE: Life expectancy rates in this country. We are living better and healthier, not only but because of the products we make but because people are being more sensible in terms of how they live and how they behave.

LANDRIGAN: The facts don’t support… some of what you’re saying is true, but it’s very selective.

YOSIE: I’m quoting to the CDC, Phil.

LANDRIGAN: You’re quoting part of a 30-page CDC report. Cancer death rates are down, but the number of new cases of cancer in children is up. I don’t know why they’re up, but since 1972, which is when we began to keep national records in this country, we have experienced a 42%… 41% increase in the incidents of brain cancer, the number of cases of brain cancer per thousand children. That is not a reporting artifact. We weren’t missing 40% of brain cancers 30 years ago when I started my pediatric career. We just weren’t. In young men 15-30, there has been a 68% increase in the incidents of testicular cancer.

Now, you’re quite right, American children today live longer. They live longer because we have conquered most of the infectious diseases in this country. But the rates of asthma have doubled.

YOSIE: What are the principal health risks that children today. To some extent they do come from environmental factors, but domestic violence…

LANDRIGAN: Oh, the principal cause of hospitalization of American children is…

YOSIE: …lack of access to healthcare, a number of other factors…

MOYERS: Are those not involuntary, but chemicals in our food and chemicals in our toys are not something that people ask for, they just happen, as you said I think, or McCally said in the interview, suddenly we’ve got all these chemicals in our body.

VOORHEES: These are products that have been very carefully scrutinized by the scientific community, by government agencies, and as a result…

YOSIE: Let me make one point if I may, one point, if I may.

LANDRIGAN: Why is there…

YOSIE: Phil made the point that we need to take the compounds off the market. That has been tried in many countries and disaster has resulted. The nation of Peru stopped chlorinating its water supply. Chlorine is one of our major products. What happened after that event? A cholera epidemic broke out and over 10,000 people in Peru and Latin America lost their life.

LANDRIGAN: And in this country we took tetraethyl lead out of gasoline American’s blood levels have declined 99%.

YOSIE: And proponents of removing chlorine are saying that ought to be done in this country. There are ten to 25 million people perishing because of a lack of a drinking water supply.

LANDRIGAN: In this country, over the vigorous objection of the Ethyl Corporation, we removed tetraethyl lead from gasoline. The average blood lead level in American children has declined by 90%, and the average IQ of American babies has increased by three points.

YOSIE: You and I were on the same side of that debate when I served as the official of the environmental protection agency.

LANDRIGAN: When you were at EPA.

YOSIE: When I was at EPA.

COOK: Yeah, but the companies you represent…

YOSIE: You and I were on the same side of that debate, and we still are.

MOYERS: What was that, Ken?

COOK: The companies you represent weren’t, and that’s the point. If you look at these documents which we now have– and let me just put in a plug, ewg.org, you can read 40,000 pages of them going back to 1945 now.

YOSIE: And we will correct those in abouttradesecrets.org.

MOYERS: What’s your web site?

YOSIE: Everybody’s got a web site. Ours is abouttradesecrets– that’s one word– abouttradesecrets.org.

MOYERS: And yours is…

LANDRIGAN: Childenvironment.org.

MOYERS: Covington & Burling?

VOORHEES: Well, we have a law firm web site, but I’m not sure people…

MOYERS: (laughs) Ours is pbs.org.

It’s only fair that you get a chance to answer this question, because as I’ve said to you, investigative journalism is not a collaboration between the journalist and the subject, and I did lay out there, Sherry Jones and I laid out, the record of the industry and opposing right to no initiative.

Why has, in every case that I can find, why has your industry opposed citizens effort to use the right to know initiative and every right to know efforts?

YOSIE: I think you have your facts wrong.

MOYERS: Tennessee, Hawaii, California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts.

YOSIE: We supported the amendment, the Superfund statute, in 1986, creating the Toxic Release Inventory. We supported in 1990, the amendment of the Clean Air Act so that information would be made available to communities about chemicals that were being used in their neighborhoods. We supported, with Environmental Defense, the complete and total disclosure of any testing results going on with our current agreement with them. We had been a strong supporter of right to know, and here’s why.

We have had over the last dozen years, a program that has instituted over 300 community advisory panels wherever this industry is located in this country. We have learned a great deal from listening to communities where we play a major part. One of the greatest testimonials that you hear about this industry is from people who live near it, because they have seen the very direct health and environmental progress and the emissions reductions that result from our industry. When they have a question about plant safety or noise levels or environmental emissions, they have direct access to the plant manager. They have access to go inside the plant gates and see what’s going on.

COOK: I’ve talked to an awful lot of people…

YOSIE: That is why we have 60% decline in emissions over the last decade, the best of any American industry.

COOK: Well, you almost make it sound as if you volunteered to do that, and you did not.

YOSIE: We supported those measures.

COOK: Listen, what you selectively may have supported, everyone can now read what decisions you made and how you made them to take a stand on clean air and clean water and drinking water, and it’s… I respectfully disagree, it is not as you describe it. No, what these communities are often left with is just asking a plant manager, “Can you tell us?” No authority, no power under law to actually compel that information to come forward. And to get back to the testing point, I just want to, because there would be some confusion…

MOYERS: We have about 45 seconds.

COOK: There will be some confusion out there. If these chemicals are so well tested, then how come you had to come forward with a program just two years ago to voluntarily test the most widely used ones if they were tested? Some of them have been used for decades.

YOSIE: Because we’re a responsible industry. Because we’re always seeking answers to question. We’re a science-based…

COOK: About 40 years late.

YOSIE: We’re a science-based industry, and by nature we are asking these questions. There are a million men and women who work in this industry who apply chemistry to make a variety of products and services. I’m very proud to represent them here tonight, and as we close this broadcast, I want to thank them for the contribution they’ve made to society. They’ve made America a better, healthier and safer society. And to the viewing audience, I want to say that we are committed to continuing to improve our environmental health and safety performance. I think you all know that what happened 40 years ago is no reflection of the kind of industry that we represent today.

MOYERS: We’re going to let you have the last word.

YOSIE: Thank you.

MOYERS: Thank you very much, Terry Yosie, thank you, Mr. Voorhees, thank you Dr. Landrigan, thank you Ken Cook.

I’m Bill Moyers. Thanks for watching. Good night.

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A dozen dirty documents
Twelve documents that stand out from the Center’s new oil and chemical industry archive

By Kristen Lombardi for The Center for Public Integrity

The Center for Public Integrity, along with researchers from Columbia University and the City University of New York, on Thursday posted some 20,000 pages of internal oil and chemical industry documents on the carcinogen benzene.

This archive, which will grow substantially in 2015 and beyond, offers users a chance to see what corporate officials were saying behind the scenes about poisons in the workplace and the environment.

Here are 12 examples of what the petrochemical industry knew about benzene; the impetus behind industry-sponsored science; and the corporate spin that often occurs when damning evidence against a chemical threatens companies’ bottom lines.

What the industry knew:

The industry knew the dangers of benzene exposure at both high and low concentrations, as illustrated by this 1943 report for Shell Development Company by a University of California researcher.

“Inasmuch as the body develops no tolerance to benzene, and as there is a wide variation in individual susceptibility, it is generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero.” That was a conclusion reached in a 1948 toxicological review of benzene prepared for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association.

Benzene’s dangers known in 1943 (pg 2)
This 1943 report, prepared for Shell, is among the earliest to suggest that any prolonged exposure to benzene may be harmful.

No safe exposure level (pg 4) This 1948 review, prepared for the oil industry’s main trade group, the American Petroleum Institute, continues to torment the industry in litigation alleging benzene can cause various types of leukemia and other diseases of the blood-forming organs. In essence, it says the chemical is so potent that there is no safe exposure level.

A 1950 consultant’s memo to Shell lists benzene as having “established carcinogenic qualities.”

Benzene recognized as a well-known carcinogen (pg 1)

This 1950 memorandum from a consultant for Shell Development Company notes that benzol — an obsolete name for benzene — is a well-known carcinogen. As the author states, the memo was prompted by “an increased concern about the incidence of cancer” among Shell workers.

Motivations for industry involvement in research:

In 1995, a benzene study by the National Cancer Institute caught the attention of Exxon scientists, who closely monitored it.

Industry interest in cancer research (pg 1)
An Exxon scientist, B.F. Friedlander, explains that he and industry colleagues are “monitoring” a series of studies by the National Cancer Institute because of their focus on “health risks at low benzene exposures.” The memo shows the petrochemical industry’s early interest in the work of the NCI, which has examined the effects on Chinese workers exposed to benzene at levels below the legal occupational limit in the United States.

While attempting to gain support for a proposed study of benzene toxicity in Shanghai, China, the American Petroleum Institute cites “a tremendous economic benefit” to companies, which could gain data to combat “onerous regulations.” A project overview explains that publications linking benzene to childhood leukemia may cause concerns about the chemical to “resurface.”

‘Tremendous economic benefit’ from the industry study (pg 1)
The six-page overview touts the proposed Shanghai research as a way for the petrochemical industry to gain an “accurate understanding” of benzene’s health effects, which, in turn, would bring “tremendous economic benefit.”

A 2000 summary of the API’s research strategy, drafted by the group’s Benzene Task Force, explains that the research program “is designed to protect member company interests.” The anticipated results could “significantly ameliorate further regulatory initiatives” to curb benzene emissions.

Protecting industry interests (pg 2)

The summary describes the intent of the API’s research program as being “designed to protect member company interests.”

An email exchange explains how “HSE [health, safety and environment] issues surrounding benzene as well as the litigation claims” against the industry compel companies to participate in the industry-sponsored study.

Motivations for research (pg 2)
An email from one Shell executive argues that the “litigation claims we continue to see” are prime reasons for the company to spend millions of dollars on the proposed Shanghai research.

A PowerPoint presentation from 2001 lists “significant issues of concern” to encourage financial support for the API’s research on benzene-exposed workers in China. Among them is “litigation alleging induction of various forms of leukemias and other hematopoietic diseases.” The study, according to the presentation, could provide “strong scientific support for the lack of a risk of leukemia or other hematological diseases at current ambient benzene concentrations to the general population.”

Significant issues of concern (pg 3)
This PowerPoint slide suggests “significant issues of concern” that the proposed Shanghai research might help combat, which would save the petrochemical industry “millions of dollars in expenses.” The issues include more stringent regulations and litigation from benzene exposure.

“Litigation support” and “risk communication” are listed as goals in this 2007 memorandum describing an API risk management program. Further objectives are to establish current regulations as “protective” and avoid additional action.

Oil lobby’s risk management program (pg 1)
The memorandum details the oil lobby’s benzene “risk management” program, intended to “develop scientific data” for it and its member companies to use for “science advocacy” and “litigation support.”

Corporate spin

An undated litigation defense guide written by a senior Shell attorney acknowledges the 1948 report on leukemia and offers a “comprehensive strategy” on how to respond to litigation, including releasing benzene-related documents only on court order.

Acknowledgement of the science showing no safe levels of benzene (pg 4)

Here the author, Richard O. Faulk of Shell Oil’s legal department, references a 1948 Toxicological Review prepared for the American Petroleum Institute. The review found that “the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero.”

After a draft of an API recruitment brief reminds potential study sponsors of “personal injury claims,” an email exchange among members of the Benzene Health Research Consortium urges deletion of “the reference to legal liabilities.”

Don’t mention the legal liabilities (pg 3)

This email from a Shell executive responds to an attached draft of a 2002 recruitment brief that reminds prospective donors about benzene liability costs. In the email, the executive urges colleagues to delete “the reference to legal liabilities” and emphasizes that “the only reason we are doing this is in support of protecting workers.”

A 2001 email from the consortium’s communications committee explains that the perception of the study “needs to be that this is not being done to protect against litigation”

Controlling the message on benzene (pg 1)

The email shows the companies behind the Benzene Health Research Consortium working hard to control their message. It lays out the “scope of public affairs” for the consortium’s communications committee, which includes countering any “perception” that the Shanghai study was “done to protect against litigation.”

Click on the link below to access original article and archival documents.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/05/16361/dozen-dirty-documents

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Internal documents reveal industry ‘pattern of behavior’ on toxic chemicals by David Heath for The Center for Public Integrity

Sixty-six years ago, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health wrote a report linking leukemia to benzene, a common solvent and an ingredient in gasoline. “It is generally considered,” he wrote, “that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero.”

The report is remarkable not only because of its age and candor, but also because it was prepared for and published by the oil industry’s main lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute.

This document and others like it bedevil oil and chemical industry executives and their lawyers, who to this day maintain that benzene causes only rare types of cancer and only at high doses.

Decades after its release, a lawyer for Shell Oil Company flagged the 1948 report as being potentially damaging in lawsuits and gave out instructions to “avoid unnecessary disclosure of sensitive documents or information” and “disclose sensitive benzene documents only on court order.”

Plaintiff’s lawyers like Herschel Hobson, of Beaumont, Texas, wield such documents in worker exposure cases to demonstrate early industry knowledge of benzene’s carcinogenic properties.

“It shows a pattern of behavior,” Hobson said. “It shows how industry didn’t want to share bad news with their employees. None of this information was made available to the average worker … Most of this stuff kind of gets lost in the weeds.”

No more. Today, the Center for Public Integrity; Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and its Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health; and The Graduate Center at the City University of New York are making public some 20,000 pages of benzene documents — the inaugural collection in Exposed, a searchable online archive of previously secret oil and chemical industry memoranda, emails, letters, PowerPoints and meeting minutes that will grow over time.

The aim is to make such materials — most of which were produced during discovery in toxic tort litigation and have been locked away in file cabinets and hard drives — accessible to workers, journalists, academic researchers and others.

Some are decades old, composed on manual typewriters; others are contemporary. Combined with journalism from the Center — such as today’s story on a $36 million benzene research program undertaken by the petrochemical industry — and articles and papers from Columbia and CUNY faculty and students, the archives will shed light on toxic substances that continue to threaten public health.

Exposed: Decades of denial on poisons

The benzene documents are just the start. In coming months, we’ll be posting hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery material from lawsuits involving lead, asbestos, silica, hexavalent chromium and PCBs, among other dangerous substances. And we’ll be on the lookout for other documents.

The inspiration for the project came when we realized that in CPI’s reporting on environmental and workplace issues, we routinely obtained reams of court documents. Often, these documents hold secrets found nowhere else.

Last year we reached out to William Baggett Jr., a lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana, who had acquired more than 400,000 pages of documents from a decade-long case against manufacturers of vinyl chloride, a cancer-causing chemical used in plastics. Baggett agreed to give us all of them.

At the same time, public health historians Merlin Chowkwanyun, David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz were collecting court documents to create a public database and had approached Baggett. We decided to collaborate. Chowkwanyun is currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will be an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia next year. Rosner is Ronald Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and History at Columbia. Markowitz is a professor of history at the City University of New York. Both Rosner and Markowitz have served as expert witnesses in a number of major cases related to these documents and have written Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution and other books and articles based on them.

This is not the first database of its ilk. The University of California, San Francisco, maintains a massive collection of documents from tobacco-related lawsuits called the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, which exceeds 80 million pages.

How to search the documents

Our database allows you to search for a word, combination of words or an exact phrase in any of the documents. You can also:

Do a search that excludes a word by putting a ‘-‘ sign in front of the word.
Do a fuzzy search that includes variations of a word by putting a tilde ‘~’ at the end of a word with the numbers of characters that don’t have to match exactly. For example, ‘planit~2’ will match ‘planet.’
Do a search that optionally contains a word by putting a ‘|’ between the words.
Do a search with a phrase by putting double quotes around the phrase.
Each document will include the court case from which it came, including the case title, case number, court as well as date filed and date terminated. The original complaint for each lawsuit is also part of the database.

Soon, we will make available a robust set of text-mining tools that will allow researchers to construct chronologies of documents; generate lists of common words, phrases and names; and sort documents in a number of ways. Qualified researchers will also have access to an even larger set of documents that will eventually contain millions of pages.

Robert Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, has used the UCSF tobacco archive extensively to do research for several books. He called it “an unparalleled treasure” that gives researchers the ability “to look through the keyhole of the mansion of this hidden world and see [corporate officials’] private thoughts, their intent, their ruminations, their jokes, their plans, how they treat their workers, how they treat the public…”

Proctor said he sees value in a similar archive on toxic chemicals. “The internal records of the chemical industry are known only to a tiny group of lawyers and journalists,” he said. “This is going to create a new kind of democracy of knowledge. It also will set the stage for whistleblowers to come forward with documents.”

That’s our hope. The search interface includes options to send us documents or contact us. The ultimate goal, to borrow Proctor’s phrasing, will be to give users “a strong magnet to pull rhetorical needles out of archival haystacks.”

Click on the link below to access the original article at The Center for Public Integrity

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/04/16330/internal-documents-reveal-industry-pattern-behavior-toxic-chemicals

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Russia Blamed, US Taxpayers on the Hook, as Fracking Boom Collapses

By Ben Ptashnik, Truthout

As Congress removes restrictions on taxpayers bailing out the too-big-to-fail banks, the right is blaming environmentalists and Russia for the demise of the fracking boom. In reality, the banks’ junk bonds and derivatives have flooded Wall Street, and now the fracking bubble threatens another financial crisis.

Collapsing crude oil prices due to oversupply are reaching tsunami proportions, threatening Wall Street banks, investors and a dozen countries, foremost Russia, Iran and Venezuela, where revenue losses have caused severe financial degradation, and economies are about to implode. While Americans are today enjoying $2 per gallon gasoline, Wall Street’s analysts predict that an imminent energy market collapse will bring financial institutions to their knees once again, and taxpayers are being set up for another mandatory bailout.

At the heart of these tectonic shifts in the entire energy sector is the recent expansion of the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry, a boom cycle that began in earnest when Congress and the Bush administration passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted the new horizontal drilling technology from the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. By tapping considerable quantities of new oil and gas resources from shale deposits, the fracking boom promised US energy independence, upending the world’s prevailing paradigms around renewable energy and peak oil expectations. Environmentalists fought against the huge Keystone pipeline infrastructure that would deliver the fossil fuels to foreign markets, fearing that exploiting these resources would undermine the struggle for the curbing of carbon emissions.

Fracking also threatened the dominance of Russia and Saudi Arabia as the fossil fuel suppliers of Europe when it became evident that the United States would soon become a net exporter. In the United States, fracking was hyped on Wall Street as a get-rich-quick opportunity, attracting massive capital input, and creating an investment bubble. Bloomberg reported this year that the number of bonds issued by oil and gas companies has grown by a factor of nine since 2004.

“There’s a lot of Kool-Aid that’s being drunk now by investors,” Tim Gramatovich, chief investment officer and founder of Peritus Asset Management LLC, told Bloomberg in an April 2014 article. “People lose their discipline. They stop doing the math. They stop doing the accounting,” he continued. “They’re just dreaming the dream, and that’s what’s happening with the shale boom.”

When gas fracking first popped onto the scene, grandiose claims were made that the United States had 100 years of gas supply in shale, or 2,560 trillion cubic feet. And Wall Street rode that initial estimate. The only downside (beside the environmental disaster left by this toxic industry) was that, like the housing bubble which depended on ever-growing home values to maintain profitability, shale gas wells had to deliver consistent or growing production and profitability to pay back heavy debt interest loans on well driller companies: $3 to $9 million per well. Fracking wells require not just drilling, but also huge injections of energy, water, sand and chemicals to fracture the rocks that hold the oil and gas deposits.

But in fact, no statistical evidence confirmed the hyped claims of a 100-year shale gas supply. In 2011, a study downsized this estimate from 2,560 trillion cubic feet to 750 trillion cubic feet, and by 2013, the US Geological Survey refined that down to 481 trillion cubic feet – less than a 19-year supply based on 2013 rates of production. Nevertheless, huge amounts of capital poured into increasingly marginal operations, and the fracking market was flooded with junk bonds and derivatives as investors piled in.

Meanwhile oil fracking, which is separate from gas fracking, also needed huge injections of capital, but more importantly, oil frackers needed oil prices to stay at $85 a barrel or higher on average to break even. Many of the shale oil wells that have sucked up a huge amount of investment have also turned out to have short lives and their operators required continued infusions of capital to drill new wells to keep afloat, even as prices tumbled due to the glut they themselves created. The Bakken, one of the largest oil fracking plays, is a typical example. It grew exponentially after environmental protections were removed. But since 2008, Bakken has required increasingly larger numbers of wells just to maintain level production and service debt. The industry, already in trouble in 2013, has now endured plunging revenues through a year of oil selling at $60 to $70 per barrel, on average, instead of $90 to $100.

Everyone had expected that in 2014 the Saudis would move to limit supply and maintain stable oil prices by cutting back production, as OPEC has done for decades. But an unexpected shockwave hit the industry in November 2014: The Saudis laid down the gauntlet and announced their intention to continue full production and let oil prices drop.

For the Saudis, this serves two purposes: First, it undermines the expansion of US shale oil by forcing prices down so low that many of the wells have to be shut down or lose money. Second, it punishes their enemy, Iran, whose oil export-based economy has been savaged by the lower prices. The Saudis are sitting pat, with a trillion-dollar war chest savings account accumulated over a decade of $100 per barrel oil. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has publicly admitted that the Saudis will wait as long as needed to retain market share, even if prices plunge further.

Falling oil prices will place a huge stress on the world’s junk bond market as energy companies now account for 15 percent of the outstanding issuance in the non-investment grade bond market. The plunge in the prices of crude could trigger a “volatility shock large enough to trigger the next wave of defaults,” according to Deutsche Bank.

This explains why the Obama administration – with complicity of both congressional Democrats and Republicans – managed in the wee hours of the morning to slip a loophole into the supposedly “must-pass” cliff-hanger omnibus budget bill. This toxic Trojan horse, passed in December 2014, now includes a minor footnote provision that might cause taxpayers to pick up the tab on more than a trillion dollars (yes, trillion) if the energy market bubble implodes, which it must if oil stays at half the price it fetched just six months ago.

After last minute, heavy lobbying on the budget bill by Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and an army of 3,000 Wall Street lobbyists, it appears that once again sufficient insecurity and fear had been spread among the political class regarding destabilization of the financial markets (or withdrawal of campaign financing). They allowed a last minute amendment that killed Dodd-Frank protections, and allowed US taxpayers to be shaken down to cover Wall Street’s shale gambling debacle.

The heavy-handed move by the financial industry has outraged progressives and libertarians alike. It seems that these Wall Street criminals, like junkies attached to their drugs of choice, just could not resist the high of easy cash from Ponzi scheme market bubbles, and so they have stuck it to the US public once again: Preposterously huge bonuses, Porsches, pricey call girls, and million-dollar Manhattan condos were at stake. So hey, why should they kick the habit? After all, not a single one of those con artists went to jail last time.

Wall Street is now flooded with fracking industry derivatives contracts that protect the profits of oil producers from dramatic swings in the marketplace. Derivatives are essentially insurance policies taken out by the oil industry to guard against fluctuations in the cost of fossil fuel supplies. Dramatic swings rarely happen, but when they do they can be absolutely crippling.

Derivatives taken out to ensure prices don’t go down are now creating billions in losses for those who sold such bets on the market; someone is going to have to absorb massive losses created by the sudden drop in oil on the other end of those insurance contracts. In many cases, it is the big Wall Street banks, and if the price of oil does not rebound substantially they could be facing colossal losses.

The big Wall Street banks did not expect plunging home prices to implode the mortgage-backed securities market in 2008, but their current models also did not have $60 oil prices included in projections. The huge losses may send a shock wave into the entire financial industry. It has been estimated that the six largest “too-big-to-fail” banks control $3.9 trillion in commodity derivatives contracts, those same gambling instruments that brought us the 2008 housing collapse. And a very large chunk of that amount is made up of oil derivatives. Combined with the huge flood of shale junk bonds on the market, the derivatives could initiate a bubble burst that could turn into a financial market implosion.

Meanwhile, the global climate change issue and energy market turbulence have morphed into geopolitical tensions over European fracking. Unsubstantiated allegations in a New York Times report by Andrew Higgins claim that the Russians are funding anti-fracking protests to maintain their hegemony over gas markets.

The allegations have infuriated environmentalists and climate justice activists. The last thing they want is to be made scapegoats for the fracking collapse and be played as the neo-Cold War dupes of the Russian empire. But memories of red-baiting suddenly hang in the air as (by seeming coincidence) dozens of right-wing media sites regularly devoted to anti-Soviet slanders or climate change denial immediatelypicked up Higgins’ Times piece, as if on cue.

There are now dozens more of such published reports. Even as the US fracking industry collapses and tensions over control of Ukraine and other former Soviet satellites re-emerge, there seems to be a concerted right-wing effort to label fracking opponents Russian agents.

Vague innuendos dominate this narrative. In the Times piece, for example, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is quoted: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engage actively with so-called non-government organizations.” Others write, “Some in Sophia believe” or “Those who suspect Russian involvement” or “There’s no smoking gun, yet . . .”

Critics in Romania accused the Times and Higgins of scapegoating environmentalists and acting as partisan players in a renewed Cold War.

“What, exactly, is the grand total of evidence that Russia is financing these anti-fracking protests?” asks American blogger in Romania, Sam C. Roman, in his article, “Pot vs. Kettle,” pointing out that the first anti-Russia allegation came from a politician who owned land that Chevron planned to frack, and is thus losing money from the protests. “Not one allegation against Russia in the entire article is proven by a single document, piece of evidence or other direct proof. All that exists are shadowy insinuations and allegations.” He asserts that accusations by Lithuanian, Romanian and NATO officials against Russia have not yet to be backed up by any proof.

“Add it up,” Roman writes. “You’ve got two former NATO [secretary generals] stumping for Chevron (which competes with Gazprom, a Russian energy company that also conducts fracking operations in Europe) blaming the Russian government for protests. . . . And all of this tied up in a neat little bow by an American journalist who has already been caught publishing anti-Russian propaganda in his newspaper before.”

This all leaves the United States somewhat schizophrenic. On the one hand, the United States and NATO’s foreign policy hawks are delighted by the oil price collapse; it serves to isolate and subdue Russia, expand NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe, and puts pressure on Iran to negotiate on nuclear aspirations. Not to mention that with gasoline at $2 per gallon, consumer spending and economic growth will be enhanced. The US economy grew by a comparatively robust 5 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

According to an article by Larry Elliott in The Guardian, “Stakes Are High as US Plays the Oil Card Against Iran and Russia,” the price drop was an act of geopolitical warfare by the United States, administered by the Saudis. Elliott suggests that US Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly struck a deal with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in September. That might explain how oil prices dropped during the crisis caused by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which would normally have caused prices to rise.

It would also explain why the Obama administration allowed the financial industry the amendment to Dodd-Frank that effectively exempts financial institutions from liability associated with derivatives. Though shale derivatives were not specifically mentioned by the Wall Street lobbyists as they pressured their allies in Congress and the White House, it is becoming increasingly clear that the too-big-to-fail banks were beginning to panic as dark clouds gathered on the horizon in the shale derivatives trade.

Most bank customers and voters don’t know that Congress has already written into finance regulations that, in the case of insolvency, financial institutions could grab the assets of depositors and “bail-in” – which means they can save themselves from their losses in gambling operations at their investment divisions by grabbing cash assets of depositors, even those that are FDIC guaranteed, and legally convert them to bank stocks. That means that in the event of another market crash, Chase and Citi could take their depositors’ cash in savings accounts or CDs, and give the customers back a bank stock certificate (of questionable value) instead.

There are also those who scratch their heads and ask, “Why did the TBTF banks push for a deletion of the Dodd-Frank provision now, instead of waiting for the friendlier Republican-controlled Congress to pass this legislation?” The only answer that seems to make sense, and explain their urgency, is that the collapse is imminent.

In the 1990s dot-com craze, every new Silicon Valley start-up company was advertised as the next Microsoft. What followed was the crash of 2000, when the NASDAQ dropped 4,000 points (80 percent) in months. This chart below is what the crash looked like in 2000 to 2002 after the market had reached 5,000 (almost exactly where it stands today).

Having learned their lesson well from the last bailout, and knowing that they will have a much harder time coming to Congress hat-in-hand after a collapse, the TBTF banks probably decided not to wait, pushing their minions in the Beltway to inoculate them as soon as possible from the potential market explosion.

In the meantime, they were probably dumping their own stocks on unsuspecting investors. Based on year-end reports for March 31, 2014, for 127 major oil companies, cash input for the fracking industry was $677 billion, while revenues from operations only totaled $568 billion – a difference of almost $110 billion. And this was before the price of oil started dropping six months ago.

In three out of seven major fracking fields in North America, companies are already reporting losses, with closures particularly acute in Canada. It’s not clear whether economists fully appreciate what’s about to transpire. This decline in rig count is just the beginning. Perhaps the end will come as early as this winter or spring, as fiscal reports for 2014’s fourth quarter are published, operations shut down, crews are laid off, and many unprofitable oil and gas rigs are mothballed.

So, whom will the banks, brokers and investors scapegoat for this upcoming crash? Some predict that they will likely use every available media outlet to blame community activists, Democrats and Obama for stopping the Keystone pipeline and for opposing the fracking industry. And as in the climate change denier movement, the narrative will probably use “communist” and “socialist” rhetoric, which is why the Russian card is so important to play: Hence the Higgins article.

The pundits on Fox will likely play on the patriotism of the right and use their Big Lie ploy (say something enough times, it becomes the truth) to the hilt. Six months from now, while studiously avoiding mention of our “allies,” the Saudis, or the Wall Street banks, they will likely be vociferously defending those poor “beleaguered US oilmen” who could have made our country strong and independent again in energy, but were broken by the Democrats and those “commie environmentalists” working for Putin. The market crash will be blamed on the “climate hoax.”

BEN PTASHNIK

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28406-russia-blamed-us-taxpayers-on-the-hook-as-fracking-boom-collapses

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