Racial Purist Uses Reagan Plug
By Rich Jaroslovsky
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 28, 1984
WASHINGTON -- Roger Pearson, a publisher
of politically conservative academic journals here, has something
other publishers would envy; a glowing letter of praise from Ronald
Plenty of well-known conservatives have written
for Mr. Pearson�s publications, but his kudos from the most famous
conservative of all stands out. Mr. Pearson has used reproductions
of his 1982 letter - praising "your substantial contributions
to promoting and upholding those ideals and principles he (sic!)
values at home and abroad" - in bulk mailings to solicit
sales and subscriptions.
Those who have received copies of the presidential
letter might be surprised to learn that Mr. Pearson, a British-born
anthropologist, has spent much of his career advancing the theory
that the "purity" of the white race is endangered by
"inferior" genetic stock. He has warned that people
of European descent may be "annihilated as a species"
unless they act to reserve their "racial identity,"
and he currently receives funds from a controversial foundation
dedicated to "racial betterment."
The 57-year-old Mr. Pearson even draws harsh attacks
from other elements of the hard right, members of which fear he
may discredit their goals. He resigned from the World Anti-Communist
League, a federation he once headed, after some of its chapters
charged that he encouraged the membership of European and Latin
American groups with Nazi or neo-Nazi ties. Former Maj. John Singlaub,
who now heads the league�s U.S. affiliate, calls Mr. Pearson an
"embarrassment" who is "not at all welcome in any
activity" of the group.
"The White House ought to repudiate this
bird," says Justin Finger, civil-rights director of the Anti-Defamation
League of B�nai B�rith, the Jewish organization. Mr. Finger complained
to the White House when he learned of the letter this summer,
but he says he hasn�t received any response.
Composed by Pearson Associate
Though the letter bore Mr. Reagan�s signature,
it was actually composed by a Pearson associate who had joined
the White House staff. There isn�t any evidence that the president
knows Mr. Pearson, and Mr. Reagan�s public statements on race
don�t bear any resemblance to Mr. Pearson�s writings. But the
incident shows how a highly ideological presidency - conservative
or liberal - can be used by well-connected outside activities
(sic!) to gain respectability.
What�s more, the White House isn�t disavowing
the letter, or repudiating Mr. Pearson, although it wants him
to stop using the letter to sell subscriptions to two journals
he currently publishes, the Mankind Quarterly and The Journal
of Social, Political and Economic Studies. Anson Franklin, an
assistant presidential press secretary, says: "The president
has long-held views opposing racial discrimination in any form,
and he would never condone anything to the contrary. But that�s
a general statement; I�m not addressing Dr. Pearson specifically."
The White House says the letter was written after
Mr. Pearson sent to the president a copy of his journals that
didn�t espouse his controversial racial views. Not all such gifts
are answered so glowingly, but in this case Mr. Pearson had a
champion in Robert Schuettinger, then a mid-level White House
official and currently in the Defense Department.
Mr. Schuettinger says he has known Mr. Pearson
for several years and is on the editorial board of one of Mr.
Pearson�s publications. He concedes he wasn�t aware of all of
Mr. Pearson�s past activities but says "there is absolutely
no valid ... to accuse him of racism," though Mr. Pearson
may have been "a little naive" in his associations.
In two lengthy interviews, the affable Mr. Pearson
largely refuses to comment on the record about his activities,
though he doesn�t dispute the central elements of this account
of them. But he insists, "I�m not ashamed of anything I�ve
said or written."
�Breeding Ideal Types�
Among those writings is an old article calling
for the use of artificial insemination to preserve "pure
healthy stock" and allow "breeding back the �ideal�
types." The 1958 article, in a magazine Mr. Pearson founded
called Northern World, also warned of a "terrible outcome"
should such a program of genetic selection "fall into the
hands of the cosmopolites or one-worlders, or any who wish to
see our race and our heritage destroyed.
Other Pearson writings appeared in Western Destiny,
a magazine published by the far right, anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby.
Mr. Pearson edited Western Destiny briefly in the mid-1960s and
wrote several books on race and eugenics that were issued by Liberty
Lobby�s publishing arm. These pamphlets are still sold by the
National Socialist White People�s Party, the Arlington, Va.-based
American Nazi group; Mr. Pearson says he doesn�t have any connection
After breaking with Liberty Lobby Leader Willis
Carto in a personal dispute, Mr. Pearson began moving more into
the conservative mainstream, holding academic posts at several
small colleges and authorizing (sic! authoring?) an anthropology
textbook. In 1977, he was on the original board of editors of
Policy Review, a journal published by the Heritage Foundation,
a mainstream conservative think tank. Knowledgeable sources say
he was asked to resign when Heritage officials learned of his
Mr. Pearson currently runs a tax-exempt organization
called the Council on Social and Economic Studies out of a three-room
suite in a downtown Washington apartment building. Besides his
publishing income, he acknowledges that he also receives money
from the Pioneer Fund, a controversial New York-based trust fund
dedicated to "racial betterment." The fund also has
supported the work of psychologist William Shockley, who holds
views on race and heredity similar to Mr. Pearson�s.
Mr. Pearson�s current publications, which generally
downplay his racial views, boast contributions from some eminently
respectable conservative political figures. Spokesmen for several
of Mr. Pearson�s contributors say they weren�t aware of his background
when they submitted articles.
"Generally, the conservatives are so concerned
with conspiracies on the left that they don�t realize when they
may be part of a conspiracy on the right," asserts John Rees,
a contributing editor of the John Birch Society�s magazine and
a harsh critic of Mr. Pearson.
Source: Rich Jaroslovsky (1984, September 28). Politics '84 -- Controversial Publisher: Racial Purist Uses Reagan Plug. Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 27121258).