Harry Emerson Fosdick; AA; Eugenics

Harry Emerson Fosdick; AA; Eugenics

Posted in the Ferndale Forum

Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#1 May 14, 2011
Harry Emerson Fosdick was very influential to Alcoholics Anonymous. He is mentioned often in AA literature. Google his name with "eugenics". Fosdick was involved with the Eugenics Society of America, advocated sterilization of the unfit, etc., etc.

AA also quotes Herbert Spencer, considered the grandfather of "Darwinism". It was Spencer who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest", not Darwin.

This reason all this is brought to mind is due to my reading a book Harry Emerson Fosdick called "Dear Mr. Brown". It's about religion/Christianity, yet includes a Charles Darwin quote on the very first page; first paragraph. Darwin is spoken of very highly later on in the book, which made me wonder what Fosdick was about. Fascinating stuff comes up on the google search. Very thought provoking, especially when remembering the Christian Century article consisting of Reinhold Niebuhr's castigation of Oxford Group Founder Frank Buchman' praising Hitler (Oxford Group AA's origin).
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#2 May 14, 2011
Reinhold Niebuhr's article, "Hitler and Buchman", also contained in his book 'Christianity and Power Politics' Capter 29. It first appeared in The Christian Century magazine, October 7, 1936, pages 1315 and 1316.(found this info on "A. Orange" website.

This is even more interesting when considering AA being court ordered, even though it is clearly religious (if even quasi/pseudo religious), and there being a 3-5 year wait for housing for homeless in this country. What is behind that but eugenics? Particlularly when considering Jesus: "If it's this way in the green wood, how will it be in the dry?". Meaning housing for the "unfit" is very deliberately denied within this the wealthiest country on the planet. To provide housing would propagate the unfit.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#3 May 14, 2011
Oops..that was American Eugenics Society (not Eugenics Society of America misstated above). See this link:

Eugenics Research Association 16th Annual Meeting (2):: Dolan DNA ...Program for the joint annual meeting with the American Eugenics Society,... Elmer S. Forbes, Harry Emerson Fosdick, C.K. Fretz, Charles W. Gilkey,...

And others below it clearly explaining Fosdick's supporting eugenics.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#4 May 14, 2011
Fosdick was a liberal theologian, and there are links that tie leftist politics with eugenics. Interesting. I was taken aback at a WWU meeting featuring a NY Times environmentalist writer (around the time of the Gulf oil spill), when U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee (Democrat) opened up by praisng the local college here in Bellingham dedicated to Darwinism (little foggy on details right now). But how that the majority of the audience, consisting of elite liberals there for an environmentalist talk, applauded that. I almost boo'd but contained myself, and took note.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#5 May 14, 2011
Had to revise my YouTube page because of this latest discovery. I had simply put that we need to elect a leftist to solve the homeless problem, so revised it this way:

The New York Times described how the white oligarchy in Venezuela comprised only 5% of its population, yet owned and controlled 80% of its land while indigenous poor were left to live as squatters for four centuries. Until the poor realized they held a majority, organized, and democratically elected Christian socialist Hugo Chavez....Consequently, Pat Robertson (U.S.) all but called for Chavez' head on a platter (called for his assassination). There's been too much burning of incense to Ayn Rand and Herbert Spencer in the U.S.; homelessness here remains the same (and may worsen--internment camps; for-profit prisons). MLK, Jr. was the last to organize poor; assassinated for Christian socialism. Evo Morales is not a Christian, however, he's a leftist helping indigenous poor in Bolivia. The problem is it's not just conservatives here, but leftist Darwinists too that keep the poor down; suppressing propagation of the "unfit" (eugenics) through denial of housing, etc.(3-5 year wait for housing in most U.S. cities). "If it's this way in the green wood, how will it be in the dry?" (Jesus)


Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#6 May 15, 2011
I'm still reading 'Dear Mr. Brown' and 'Adventures in Religion'. Fosdick is helpful in explaining away religious extremist fundamentalism, but it's very unfortunate when his writing includes glowing references to Charles Darwin, etc.

It comes across as sensible Christianity, something that's hard to find (I wonder why?); sabotaged with the Darwin references. Makes you wonder if his "Christian" writing is facetious; tongue-in-cheek.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#7 May 15, 2011
John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Fosdick, Eugenics--searching those brings up interesting links, mainly involving the American Eugenics Society...
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

#8 Dec 27, 2011
This is all the more interesting having recently read that Dr. Bob worked with a judge who would issue an alcoholic a summons to attend AA (court ordered), when that was during the time Dr. Bob and the early membesr were requiring newcomers to get on their knees and surrender their lives and their will over to God.
Bruce Deile

Cortez, CO

#10 Feb 1, 2013
Yes...there it is. The last post here explains how Dr. Bob was requiring court ordered alcoholics to get on their knees and surrender their lives and will over to God. Ties in with new thread about AA cult dynamics.

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