One of the reasons why people fail to understand how much of what the are dealing with today is actually derived from eugenics principles (if not from eugenics organizations, directly!) is because the eugenicists that got things started changed the names of their organizations in a deliberate attempt to distance themselves from the atrocities of the Nazis–and perpetuate the deception that they were somehow different than the Nazis. (Deception or self-deception? We’ll never know.) In the quote below, Lawrence Lader, someone who was thoroughly sympathetic to the eugenics cause, admits all of this, up to and including the part where he acknowledges that advocates of ‘voluntary sterilization’ believed the comparison to the Nazis was ‘valid enough.’
This organization exists to this day… only now their name is EngenderHealth.
Source: Breeding Ourselves to Death by Lawrence Lader, Special edition Printing, 2002. Originally published in 1971. Pages 37-39. The heading ‘Mentioning the Unmentionable’ is in the original.
A significant detail in Hugh Moore’s campaign to lure prestigious businessmen to positions on these [population control] boards was his decisive grip on all meetings. “He promised me that every luncheon meeting would begin ag 12:15 and end on the dot of 2:15,” Frederick Osborn recalled. “He has not yet broken this promise.”
Mentioning the Unmentionable
His friends were somewhat appalled, however, when he became president of the Association for Voluntary Sterilization in 1964. Sterilization was the abandoned stepchild of the population movement. In the popular mind, it was still connected with surgery on imbeciles, with castration, and even with the horrors of Nazi concentration camps.
The early advocates of voluntary sterilization considered such criticism valid enough to believe they must hide their identity under the vague title of “The Human Betterment Association.” One of Moore’s first objectives was to insist the organization state its purpose boldly and change its name to the Association for Voluntary Sterilization.