Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

MisterX55547

2 NATO soldiers killed in attack in Afghanistan – CNN.com

 NATO  Comments Off on 2 NATO soldiers killed in attack in Afghanistan – CNN.com
Aug 272015
 

Story highlights

NATO service members fired back, killing the attackers, the organization’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.

It didn’t disclose the identities of the service members who were killed, saying that would be left to the relevant national authorities.

Afghan and NATO officials are still looking into the circumstances of the firefight, which took place early Wednesday at an Afghan security forces compound in the southern province of Helmand, the Resolute Support statement said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the attackers were members of the Afghan security forces or had obtained the uniforms by other means.

The Resolute Support Mission, which focuses on training and support of Afghan forces, replaced NATO’s formal combat mission at the end of last year.

As of the end of May, it consisted of more than 13,000 troops from 40 different nations. The United States is the largest single contributor, with more than 6,000 service members.

Attacks against NATO’s presence in the country are frequent.

Three American contractors with the mission were among at least a dozen people killed in a suicide bombing of a convoy in Kabul, the capital, on Saturday.

Earlier this month, an attack on a NATO coalition base in Kabul killed at least one American, a defense official told CNN.

CNN’s Masoud Popalzai reported from Kabul, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.

The rest is here:
2 NATO soldiers killed in attack in Afghanistan – CNN.com

Moz Blog – SEO and Inbound Marketing Blog – Moz

 SEO  Comments Off on Moz Blog – SEO and Inbound Marketing Blog – Moz
Aug 262015
 

Learn SEO Broaden your SEO with marketing resources for all skill levels: best practices, beginner guides, industry survey results, videos, webinars and more.

Get started with: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO

The industry’s top wizards, doctors, and other experts offer their best advice, research, how-tos, and insightsall in the name of helping you level-up your SEO and online marketing skills.

A waterfall diagram, such as those produced by WebPageTest, is a powerful indicator of optimization opportunities. Do you know how to read them?

Are you a local business owner? Explore the hows and whys of submitting your business to local business directories in order to boost your local search visibility on Google.

Do search engines collect and utilise user behaviour data for ranking purposes? We’ve got a deep-dive into the data and theories behind user behaviour, search visibility, and more.

If you’re targeting a certain keyword, knowing where and how often to use that keyword in the various elements of your page is essential. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand offers his recommendation.

There’s a compelling indicator of how our industry is evolving in an area that helps us become better marketers: gender equality. What’s changed over time and what are we doing to improve gender diversity in the workplace?

Have you seen the new Snack Pack? Explore Casey Meraz’s click test results on Google’s new local 3-pack, seeing what’s changed, what works, and what the future holds.

Those of you who have logged into your Moz Local dashboard recently may have noticed a few updates this week! I thought I’d post a quick announcement to highlight them.

Google recently shook up the local results in its SERPs, killing the local 7-packs in favor of a 3-pack that resembles the mobile experience. This post tells you everything you need to know about the change and what it means for your local marketing.

Brand fatigue is a real threat to your marketing strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand highlights some common causes of brand fatigue and how to combat it.

It’s here! We’re excited to announce the results of Moz’s biennial Search Engine Ranking Correlation Study and Expert Survey, aka Ranking Factors. Moz’s Ranking Factors study helps identify which attributes of pages and sites have the strongest association with ranking highly in Google. The study consists of t…

Today we’re excited to announce the results of Moz’s famous Ranking Factors study. The study helps to identify which attributes of webpages and sites have the strongest association with higher rankings in Google. Ready to dive in?

How do commercial and informational queries differ? Does one type of SERP show more or fewer results that are mobile-friendly or using HTTPS? Find those answers in this examination of more than 345,000 search results.

While SEO is a different field than it once was, technical chops are still required to do things really well. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand pushes back against the idea that those skills are no longer necessary.

Buy your MozCon 2015 Video Bundle and access 27 sessions (over 15 hours) from top industry speakers on topics ranging from SEO and content strategy to email marketing and CRO.

Join the Moz Community to add a comment, give something a thumbs up/down, and get enhanced access to free tools!

View post:
Moz Blog – SEO and Inbound Marketing Blog – Moz

The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …

 Illuminati  Comments Off on The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …
Aug 232015
 

The Order of the Illuminati is often at the center of debates about the impact of secret societies on human history. Is the Illuminati a myth or does it truly secretly rule the world? As the number of people asking that question has grown, facts about the Order have become diluted with misconceptions and disinformation, making objective research on the subject difficult. This article attempts to shed some factual light on the Order of the Illuminati by reviewing some of the most important documents on the subject.

The world Illuminati is thrown around rather freely to describe the elite group that is secretly running the world. Most have a general idea of the meaning of the term, but are confused about the concepts and the ideas relating to it. Is the Illuminati the same thing as Freemasonry? What are their goals? What are their beliefs? Why do they act in secret? Do they practice occultism? Attempting to objectively research the subject can become an arduous task as most sources end up being either dismissive disinformation pieces that deny (and even ridicule) anything related to the Illuminati or, at the other end of the spectrum, espouse ill-informed fear mongering based on rumors and misconceptions. In both cases, the researcher ends up with the same result: a distorted version of the truth.

Considering that Secret Societies are supposed to be, by definition, secret, and that history is often rewritten by those in power, obtaining the unbiased truth about the Illuminati is a challenge. This article does not claim to reveal or expose everything that is to be known about the Illuminati; it rather attempts draw a more precise picture of the Order by citing authors who have extensively studied the subject. Whether they are, at the end of the day, critics or apologists of the Illuminati, these authors base their thoughts on credible facts. Some of the most interesting documents on the Illuminati were written by initiates of Secret Societies as they understood the philosophical and spiritual undercurrent driving the movement forward. Using these works, we will look at the origins, the methods and the impacts of the Illuminati on world history.

Although several groups called themselves Illuminati in the past, the most influential and memorable of them was the Bavarian Illuminati. Founded on May 1, 1776, the organization created by Adam Weishaupt blurred the line between spiritual and political Secret Societies. By mixing the occult sciences of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism while conspiring to achieve precise political goals, the Illuminati became an actor on the world stage. While most Secret Societies of the time catered to rich people and their fascination with occultism, the Bavarian Illuminati actively sought to profoundly change the world.

Secret Societies have existed throughout the course of history, each of them with different aims and with different roles in society. While the Egyptian mystery schools were part of the Egyptian institution, other groups were secret due to their subversive and conspiratorial aims. These two next quotes, written by two famous political figures, describe these opposing views on Secret Societies:

A mystical Fraternity, who, in an earlier age, boasted of secrets of which the Philosophers Stone was but the least; who considered themselves the heirs of all that the Chaldeans, the Magi, the Gymnosophists, and the Platonists had taught; and who differed from all the darker Sons of Magic in the virtue of their lives, the purity of their doctrines, and their insisting, as the foundation of all wisdom, on the subjugation of the sense, and the intensity of Religious Faith? Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, 1884 [1. Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Zanoni]

The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments plans. British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1876

These quotes describe different realms of influence of Secret Societies. The first one refers to the spiritual side while the second describes the political side. Not all Secret Societies dwell in the spiritual and not all of them get involved in political machinations. The Bavarian Illuminati operated in both realms.

Spiritual brotherhoods are pledged to Wisdom and guiding humanity towards the realm of the Infinite; Political brotherhoods [are comprised]of power-seekers who cloak their manipulative agenda in darkness. ()

All secret societies share certain fundamental themes. Membership is restricted to those who have an abiding interest in the subject. Thus, a spiritual group will attract people seeking more knowledge of a particular teacher or type of practice. The student is aware of the subject matter in advance and will approach the group for further instruction. More rarely, an individual may be tapped by the group because of a perceived affinity to its purpose.

In a political secret society, membership is restricted to those who share an ideological affinity with the goals the group represents. At the furthest end of the political spectrum, the mission will be revolution. Such a society will go to great lengths to defend itself. ()

The Illuminati are perceived by many as spanning the chasm between the spiritual and the political secret society. Often credited (or blamed) for influencing the French Revolution in 1787, the Illuminati taught a doctrine of social and political liberation that hinged on the equality of man, the embrace of rationalism, and the denial of crown and church as the legitimate institutions for the regulation of social and moral values. () While the views of the Illuminati may sound quite advanced for the time, the European revolutions they are believed to have encouraged degenerated into brutal bloodbaths whose singular lack of moral compass was appalling. [2. James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions]

While some believe that Adam Weishaupt was the sole mastermind of the Illuminati and that his organization rose to glory and died in less than twelve years, most researchers initiated in occultism believe that the Bavarian Illuminati was the rare appearance of an ancient Brotherhood that could be traced back to the Knight Templars of the Middle-Ages.

Manly P. Hall, a 33rd Degree Freemason and prolific author, described in his pamphlet Masonic Orders of Fraternity an Invisible Empire that has been silently working for centuries towards social change. It periodically became visible throughout History, through different organizations who bore different names. According to him, these groups have a great yet silent impact on society, even transforming the educational system to form future generations.

The direct descent of the essential program of the Esoteric Schools was entrusted to groups already well-conditioned for the work. The guilds, trade unions, and similar protective and benevolent Societies had been internally strengthened by the introduction of a new learning. The advancement of the plan required the enlargement of the boundaries of the philosophic overstate. A World Fraternity was needed, sustained by a deep and broad program of education according to the method. Such a Fraternity could not immediately include all men, but it could unite the activities of certain kinds of men, regardless of their racial or religious beliefs or the nations in which they dwelt. These were the men of towardness, those sons of tomorrow, whose symbol was a blazing sun rising over the mountains of the east. ()

It was inevitable that the Orders of Fraternity should sponsor world education. () The program included a systematic expansion of existing institutions and the enlargement of their spheres of influence.

Slowly, the Orders of Universal Reformation faded from public attention, and in their places appeared the Orders of World Brotherhood. Everything possible was done to prevent the transitions from being obvious. Even history was falsified to make certain sequences of activity unrecognizable. The shift of emphasis never gave the impression of abruptness, and the motion appeared as a dawning of social consciousness. The most obvious clues to the secret activity have been the prevailing silence about the origin and the impossibility of filing the lacunae in the records of seventeenth- and eighteenth- century fraternal Orders. ()

The Orders of Fraternity were attached by slender and almost invisible threads to the parent project. Like earlier Schools of the Mysteries, these Fraternities were not in themselves actual embodiments of the esoteric associations, but rather instruments to advance certain objectives of the divine plan. [3. Manly P. Hall, Masonic Orders of Fraternity]

Here, Hall mentions a silence and lack of information regarding the workings of Secret Societies during the 17th and 18th century, the epoch during which the Bavarian Illuminati was active. It is during this time period that Secret Societies took action, causing revolutions, overthrowing Monarchical and Papal powers and taking hold of the banking system. Was the Bavarian Illuminati part of the Invisible Empire described by Hall? Is it still active today? Lets first look at Adam Weishaupt and his infamous Secret Society.

Adam Weishaupt was born in Ingolstadt, Bavaria on February 6, 1748. His father died when he was seven and his godfather, Baron Ickstatt, entrusted his early education to the most powerful group of the time: the Jesuits. Known for its subversive methods and conspiratorial tendencies, the Society of Jesus had a stronghold on Bavarias politics and educational system.

The degree of power to which the representatives of the Society of Jesus had been able to attain in Bavaria was all but absolute. Members of the order were the confessors and preceptors of the electors; hence they had a direct influence upon the policies of government. The censorship of religion had fallen into their eager hands, to the extent that some of the parishes even were compelled to recognize their authority and power. To exterminate all Protestant influence and to render the Catholic establishment complete, they had taken possession of the instruments of public education. It was by Jesuits that the majority of the Bavarian colleges were founded, and by them they were controlled. By them also the secondary schools of the country were conducted. [4. Vernon L. Stauffer, The European Illuminati]

The inner-workings of the Society of Jesus was quite similar to the occult Brotherhoods it was apparently working against. It functioned with degrees, initiation rites, elaborate rituals and esoteric symbols and had been suppressed countless times in several countries due to its subversive tendencies.

In 1773, Weishaupts godfather used his great influence at the University of Ingolstadt to place his godson as chair of canon law. At that time, the institution was under heavy Jesuitical dominance and that particular position was traditionally held by influential Jesuits. Weishaupts growing embrace of Age of Enlightenment philosophies placed him at odds with the Jesuits and all kinds of political drama ensued. Despite this fact, Weishaupt learned a lot from the Jesuits organization and their subversive methods to obtain power. It is during this time that the idea of a Secret Soceity began to enter Weishaupts thoughts.

Brilliant, and well trained in the conspiratorial methods of access to power, young Weishaupt decided to organize a body of conspirators, determined to free the world from the Jesuitical rule of Rome. [5. Peter Tomkins, The Magic of Obelisks]

While some authors believe that the Jesuits (who were suppressed by papal bull in 1773) used Weishaupt to perpetuate their rule, others state that he was seeking to overthrow their powerful hold on Bavarian. On a wider scale, he was convinced that the world would profit from the overthrow of all governmental and religious institutions in the world to replace them by a world-wide, yet secretive, committee of initiates. To acheive his aims, he would use Jesuit methods against the Jesuits.

As Weishaupt pursued his studies, he also became knowledgeable in occult mysteries and Hermetism. He recognized the attractive power of this mysterious knowledge and understood that Masonic lodges would be the ideal venue to propagate his views. He therefore sought to become a Freemason, but was quickly disenchanted with the idea.

His imagination having taken heat from his reflections upon the attractive power of the Eleusinian mysteries and the influence exerted by the secret cult of the Pythagoreans, it was first in Weishaupts thought to seek in the Masonic institutions of the day the opportunity he coveted for the propagation of his views. From this, original intention, however, he was soon diverted, in part because of the difficulty he experienced in commanding sufficient funds to gain admission to a lodge of Masons, in part because his study of such Masonic books as came into his hands persuaded him that the mysteries of Freemasonry were too puerile and too readily accessible to the general public to make them worthwhile. [6. Stauffer, Op. Cit.]

Weishaupt soon realized that, to achieve his aims, it would be necessary for him to create his own secretive group, composed of powerful individuals who would embrace his views and help him propagate them.

He deemed it necessary, therefore, to launch out on independent lines. He would form a model secret organization, comprising schools of wisdom, concealed from the gaze of the world behind walls of seclusion and mystery, wherein those truths which the folly and egotism of the priests banned from the public chairs of education might be taught with perfect freedom to susceptible youths. [7. Ibid.]

The goal of Weishaupts organization was simple yet monumental: to overthrow all political and religious institutions in order to replace it with a group of Illuminati initiates. According to him universal happiness complete and rapid could be achieved by disposing of hierarchy, rank and riches. Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth; the human race will become one family; the world will be the abode of reasonable men. On May 1, 1776, the Order of the Illuminati was founded.

Weishaupts Illuminati began humbly with only five members, but after a few years and with powerful connections, the Order became a major political force across the world. Influential deciders, rich industrials, powerful noblemen and mysterious occultists joined the Order and participated in its conspiratorial objectives. Some historians claim that the Orders quick rise to success was due to a secret meeting between Weishaupt and a mysterious figure named Cagliostro, the most powerful occultist of the time.

In Ingolsstadt, Cagliostro is believed to have met Adam Weishaupt, professor of philosophy and canon law at the university, who in 1776, had founded the sect of Illuminati. Calling themselves heirs to the Knights Templar, they declared their interest in using celestial intervention as achieved by Cagliostro for the furtherance of a program of worldwide religious reform, but one more radical than Cagliostros, committed to avenging the death of the Templars Grand Master Molay by reducing to dust the triple crown of the popes and disposing of the last of the Capet Kings.

Cagliostro obliged, and described in prophetic detail the decapitation of Louis XVI, an event hardly to be envisaged at that time as anything but improbable. [8. Tompkins, op. cit.]

The Bavarian Illuminati was originally comprised of three primary grades: Novice, Minerval and Illuminated Minerval. Each grade was designed to achieve particular objectives while assuring complete control and dominance to the apex of the pyramid. Heres a brief look at each grade.

Entry-level members of the Bavarian Illuminati were attracted and introduced to the Order using attractive vocabulary (the quest for wisdom and betterment) and occult lore. They were however introduced to a highly monitored and controlling hierarchy, one that resembles the system of the Jesuits. There was no mention of the Orders political aims.

Once enrolled, the instruction of each Novice was to be in the hands of his enroller, who kept well hidden from his pupil the identity of the rest of his superiors. Such statutes of the order as he was permitted to read impressed upon the mind of the Novice that the particular ends sought in his novitiate were to ameliorate and perfect his moral character, expand his principles of humanity and sociability, and solicit his interest in the laudable objects of thwarting the schemes of evil men, assisting oppressed virtue, and helping men of merit to find suitable places in the world. Having had impressed upon him the necessity of maintaining inviolable secrecy respecting the affairs of the order, the further duties of subordinating his egoistic views and interests and of according respectful and complete obedience to his superiors were next enjoined. An important part of the responsibility of the Novice consisted in the drawing-up of a detailed report (for the archives of the order), containing complete, information concerning his family and his personal career, covering such remote items as the titles of the books he possessed, the names of his personal enemies and the occasion of their enmity, his own strong and weak points of character, the dominant passions of his parents, the names of their parents and intimates, etc. Monthly reports were also required, covering the benefits the recruit had received from and the services he had rendered to the order. For the building-up of the order the Novice must undertake his share in the work of recruitment, his personal advancement to the higher grades being conditioned upon the success of such efforts. To those whom he enrolled he became in turn a superior; and thus after a novitiate presumably two years in length, the way was open for his promotion to the next higher grade. [9. Stauffer, op. cit.]

When a Novice proved to his superiors to be worthy of advancement, he was initiated to the grade of Minerval.

Minerval seals of the Bavarian Illuminati. These pendants, worn around the necks of Minerval initiates, featured the Owl of Minerva . Also known as the Owl of Wisdom, this symbol is still found today in powerful places: around the White House, hidden on the dollar bill or on the insignia of the Bohemian Club.

The term Minerval is derived from Minerva who was the Roman goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic, and the music. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom. An ancient symbol of the mysteries, Minerva is prominently featured in places such as the Library of Congress and the Great Seal of California.

The second grade of the Illuminati was one of indoctrination. The initiates were lectured on the spiritual principles of the Order but had little information regarding the true aims of Weishaupt and his close circle of administrators.

The ceremony of initiation through which the Novice passed into the grade Minerval was expected to disabuse the mind of the candidate of any lingering suspicion that the order had as its supreme object the subjugation of the rich and powerful, or the, overthrow of civil and ecclesiastical government. It also pledged the candidate to be useful to humanity; to maintain a silence eternal, a fidelity inviolable, and an obedience implicit with respect to all the superiors and rules of the order; and to sacrifice all personal interests to those of the society. [10. Ibid.]

Minervals were permitted to meet some of their superiors (Illuminated Minervals) and to engage in discussions with them. This privilege alone was a great source of motivation for the new initiates.

Selected from among the Minerval, the Illuminated Minerval were given specific tasks to accomplish in order to prepare them to take action in the real world. Most of their work consisted in the study of mankind and the perfection of methods to direct it. Each Illuminated Minerval was entrusted with a small group of Minervals who were scrutinized, analyzed and lead towards specific directions. Lower-grade members of the Order therefore became test subjects for techniques that might be applied to the masses in general.

To the grade Illuminated Minerval were admitted those Minervals who in the judgment of their superiors were worthy of advancement. Elaborate initiatory ceremonies fixed in the candidates mind the notions that the progressive purification of his life was to be expected as he worked his way upward in the order, and that the mastery of the art of directing men was to be his special pursuit as long as he remained in the new grade. To accomplish the latter, i.e., to become an expert psychologist and director of mens consciences, he must observe and study constantly the actions, purposes, desires, faults, and virtues of the little group of Minervals who were placed under his personal direction and care. For his guidance in this difficult task a complicated mass of instructions was furnished him.

In addition to their continued presence in the assemblies of the Minervals, the members of this grade came together once a month by themselves, to hear reports concerning their disciples, to discuss methods of accomplishing the best results in their work of direction and to solicit each others counsel in difficult and embarrassing cases. In these meetings the records of the assemblies of the Minervals were reviewed and rectified and afterwards transmitted to the superior officers of the order. [11. Ibid.]

From this basic structure, the Illuminati began its expansion. Everything was in place for Weishaupt to achieve an important goal: the infiltration of Freemasonry.

In 1777, the year following the creation of the Illuminati, Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge of Theodore of Good Counsel in Munich. Not only did he successfully propagate his views into the lodge, he also managed to get the lodge to bevirtually absorbed into the Illuminist order almost immediately. [12. Hall, op. cit.]

A definite alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry became possible in 1780 when a prominent figure by the name of Baron Adolf Franz Friederich Knigge was initiated into Weishaupts Order. The German diplomats Masonic connections and organizational skills were promptly put to use by the Order. Knigge would go on to accomplish two important tasks for the Illuminati: He revised the hierarchy of the Order, created new higher grades and allowed the full integration of Masonic lodges into the system.

Two weighty consequences promptly followed as the result of Kinigges advent into the order. The long-sought higher grades were worked out, and an alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry was effected. [13. Ibid.]

Knigge, an influential North German diplomat and occultist joined the Illuminati in 1780. He is here shown displaying the sign of the Hidden Hand (see the article entitled The Hidden Hand that Shaped the World on the Vigilant Citizen).

Knigges influence upon the Order was profound and immediate. The new system he devised attracted Freemasons and other powerful figures, which gave the movement great momentum. Heres the system devised by Knigge:

Knigges kept the Orders original grades untouched but added new grades above them. The second level of the Illuminati incorporated the grades of Freemasonry making therefore the Brotherhood simply a part of the wider Illuminist superstructure.

The grade Novice (a part of the system only in a preparatory sense) was left unchanged by Knigge, save for the addition of a printed communication to be put into the hands of all new recruits, advising them that the Order of the Illuminati stands over against all other forms of contemporary Freemasonry as the one type not degenerate, and as such alone able to restore the craft to its ancient splendor. ()

The three symbolic grades of the second class seem to have been devised solely for the purpose of supplying an avenue whereby members of the various branches of the great Masonic family could pass to the higher grades of the new order. [14. Ibid.]

The highest grades of the Order were restricted to a select few and included powerful individuals and influential figures. The grade of Prince held within its ranks National Inspectors, Provincials, Prefects and Deans of the Priests. At the top of the pyramid were the Magus (also known as Areopagites), which comprised the supreme heads of the Order. Their identities were safely guarded and are still difficult to confirm today.

Knigges strategy gave impressive results and allowed the Illuminati to become an extremely powerful movement.

The new method of spreading Illuminism by means of its affiliation with Masonic lodges promptly demonstrated its worth. Largely because of the fine strategy of seeking its recruits among the officers and other influential personages in the lodges of Freemasonry, one after another of the latter in quick succession went over to the new system. New prefectures were established, new provinces organized, and Provincials began to report a steady and copious stream of new recruits. () Students, merchants, doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, judges, professors in gymnasia and universities, preceptors, civil officers, pastors, priests all were generously represented among the new recruits. Distinguished names soon appeared upon the rosters of the lodges of the new system. Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, Duke Ernst of Gotha, Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, Prince August of Saxe-Gotha, Prince Carl of Hesse, Baron Dalberg, the philosopher Herder, the poet Goethe, the educationist Pestalozzi, were among the number enrolled, By the end of 1784 the leaders boasted of a total enrollment of between two and three thousand members 106. and the establishment of the order upon a solid foundation seemed to be fully assured. [15. Ibid.]

Weishaup, however, did not enjoy his Orders success for long. Suspicions of Illuminati conspiracy against governments and religious arose across Europe. Seeing a credible threat against its power, the Bavarian government launched an edict outlawing all communities, societies and brotherhoods that existed without due authorization of the law. Furthermore, internal disagreements between Weishaupt and the higher ups of his Order lead to disputes and dissension. In the midst of it all, some members went directly to the authorities and testified against the Order, an opportunity that was not missed by the Bavarian government.

Out of the mouths of its friends, the accusations which its enemies made against the order were to be substantiated. By the admissions of its leaders, the system of the Illuminati had the appearance of an organization devoted to the overthrow of religion and the state, a band of poisoners and forgers, an association of men of disgusting morals and depraved tastes. [16. Ibid.]

By 1788, through the use of aggressive legislation and criminal charges, the Bavarian Illuminati was apparently dissipated and destroyed by the government. While some see here the conclusion of the story of the Illuminati, one must not forget that the tentacles of Illuminism had the time to spread way beyond to confines of Bavaria to reach Masonic lodges across Europe. In other words, the Illuminati was never destroyed, it simply went underground. A year later, an important event would prove that Illuminism was more alive and potent then ever: the French Revolution.

The violent overthrow of the French Monarchy in 1789 symbolizes to many the victory of Jacobinism and Illuminism over the traditional institutions of the time. The adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights officially recorded Masonic and Illuminist values into the core of the French government. The countrys new motto Libert, galit et Fraternit (Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood) was said to be a famous Masonic saying that was used in French lodges for centuries.

The official document of the Declaration of Human Rights contains several occult symbols referring to Secret Societies. First, the symbol of the All Seeing Eye within a triangle, surrounded by the light of the blazing star Sirius, is found above everything else (this symbol is also found on the Great Seal of the United States). Underneath the title is depicted an Ouroboros (a serpent eating its own tail), an esoteric symbol associated with Alchemy, Gnosticism and Hermetism, the core teachings of Masonry. Right underneath the Ouroboros is a red phrygian cap, a symbol representing Illuminist revolutions across the world. The entire Declaration is guarded by Masonic pillars.

If though Bavarian Illuminati was said to be dead, the ideas it promoted still became a reality. The Freemasons and Rosicrucians were still thriving, and the Illuminati appeared to be living through them. Europe was undergoing profound turmoil as a new class of people took the helms of power. Critics began to emerge, revealing to the masses the secret forces behind the changes they were witnessing.

Leopold Hoffman, a Freemason who was convinced that the Illuminati corrupted his Brotherhood, published a series of articles in his journal entitled Wiener Zeitschrift. He claimed that the lower grades of the Illuminati had been dissolved, but the highest degrees were still active. He also added that Freemasonry was being subjugated by Illuminism and transformed to serve its ends. He also stated that the French Revolution was the result of years of Illuminist propaganda.

In 1797, John Robinson, a Scottish physician, mathematician and inventor (he invented the siren) published a book entitled Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Free Masons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies. This devout Freemason became disenchanted when he realized that his brotherhood had been infiltrated by the Illuminati. Heres an excerpt of his book:

I have found that the covert of a Mason Lodge had been employed in every country for venting and propagating sentiments in religion and politics, that could not have circulated in public without exposing the author to great danger. I found, that this impunity had gradually encouraged men of licentious principles to become more bold, and to teach doctrines subversive of all our notions of moralityof all our confidence in the moral government of the universeof all our hopes of improvement in a future state of existenceand of all satisfaction and contentment with our present life, so long as we live in a state of civil subordination. I have been able to trace these attempts, made, through a course of fifty years, under the specious pretext of enlightening the world by the torch of philosophy, and of dispelling the clouds of civil and religious superstition which keep the nations of Europe in darkness and slavery.

I have observed these doctrines gradually diffusing and mixing with all the different systems of Free Masonry; till, at last, AN ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN FORMED for the express purpose of ROOTING OUT ALL THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS, AND OVERTURNING ALL THE EXISTING GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE. I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, formally requested and obtained: And, lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavouring to propagate their detestable doctrines, but that the Association has Lodges in Britain corresponding with the mother Lodge at Munich ever since 1784. . . The Association of which I have been- speaking is the order of ILLUMINATI, founded, in 1775 [sic], by Dr. Adam Weishaupt, professor of Canon-law in the University of Ingolstadt, and abolished in 1786 by the Elector of Bavaria, but revived immediately after, under another name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It was again detected, and seemingly broken up; but it had by this time taken so deep root that it still subsists without being detected, and has spread into all the countries of Europe [17. John Robinson, Proofs of a Conspiracy]

Augustin Barrel, a French Jesuit priest also published in 1797 a book linking the French Revolution to the Bavarian Illuminati. In Mmoires pour servir lhistoire du Jacobisime, he traced back the slogan Liberty and Equality back to the early Templars and claimed that, in the higher degrees of the order, liberty and equality is explained not only by war against kings and thrones but by war against Christ and his altars. He also provided details pertaining to the Illuminist take-over of Freemasonry.

Barruel charged that not only the lower order of Masonry were duped by Weishaupt, but also those of Weishaupts own Illuminati, for whom he had provided another top-secret level of direction known as the Aeopagus, a withdrawn circle of directors of the whole order, who alone knew its secret aims. To Barruel, such revolutionary leaders as La Rochefoucauld, Lafayette, and the duc dOrlans, had become Illuminati agents and dupes of more extreme radicals such as Danton, provocateurs who sparked the Illuminati-directed rebellion. Barruel further charged that the entire French Masonic establishment had been converted to Weishaupts revolutionary ideas, its lodges turned into secret committees which planned bloodshed. [18. Tompkins, op. cit.]

Most of Americas Founding Fathers were part of Secret Societies, whether the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians or others. Some of them travelled to Europe and were well versed in the doctrines of the Illuminati.

From 1776 to 1785 when the Bavarian Illuminati was openly active Benjamin Franklin was in Paris serving as the ambassador of the United States to France. During his stay, he became Grand Master of the lodge Les Neufs Soeurs which was attached with the Grand Orient of France. This Masonic organization was said to have become the French headquarters of the Bavarian Illuminati. It was particularly influential in organizing of the French support for the American Revolution and was later part of the process towards the French Revolution.

In 1799, when German minister G.W. Snyder warned George Washington of the Illuminati plan to overthrow all governments and religion, Washington replied that he had heard much of the nefarious and dangerous plan and doctrines of the Illuminati. He however concluded his letter by stating: I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the society of Illuminati.

In another letter to Snyder, written a month later, Washington continued on the topic:

It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of separation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a separation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.

Part of the original letter written by George Washington regarding the Illuminati

Judging by this letter, George Washington was obviously well aware of the doctrines of the Illuminati And even if he did not believe that the Masonic institutions of the United States propagated its doctrines, he concedes that individuals might have undertaken that endeavour. After the Bavarian Illuminati

Today, the term Illuminati is used to loosely describe the small group of powerful individuals who are working towards the creation of a World Government, with the issue of a single world currency and a single world religion. Although it is difficult to determine if this group descends directly from the original Bavarian Illuminati or that it even uses the term Illuminati, its tenets and methods are in perfect continuation of it. As stated above, the name that is used to describe the occult elite can change. And, ultimately, the name is irrelevant; what needs to be recognized is the underlying current that has existed for centuries.

According the Manly. P Hall, the Bavarian Illuminati was part of what he calls the Universal Brotherhood, an invisible Order at the source of most Hermetic Secret Societies of the past. It has worked for centuries towards the transformation of mankind, guiding it through a worldwide alchemical process. The same way the alchemical Great Work seeks to turn crude metals into gold, it claims to work towards a similar metamorphosis of the world. According to Hall, the Universal Brotherhood sometimes makes itself visible, but under the guise of different names and symbols. This would mean that the Knights Templars, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and Illuminati are temporary visible manifestations of an underlying force that is infinitely more profound and more powerful. However, human beings being what they are weak toward greed and power-lust these movements often become corrupted and end up conspiring against the masses for more power and material gain.

Certainly there was an undercurrent of things esoteric, in the most mystical sense of the word, beneath the surface of Illuminism. In this respect, the Order followed exactly in the footsteps of the Knights Templars. The Templars returned to Europe after the Crusades, bringing with them a number of choice fragments of Oriental occult lore, some of which they had gathered from the Druses of Lebanon, and some from the disciples of Hasan Ibn-al-Sabbah, the old wizard of Mount Alamut.

If there was a deep mystical current flowing beneath the surface of Illuminism, it is certain that Weishaupt was not the Castalian Spring. Perhaps the lilies of the Illuminati and the roses of the Rosicrucians were, by a miracle of Nature, flowing from the same stem. The old symbolism would suggest this, and it is not always wise to ignore ancient landmarks. There is only one explanation that meets the obvious and natural requirements of the known facts. The Illuminati were part of an esoteric tradition which had descended from remote antiquity and had revealed itself for a short time among the Humanists of Ingolstadt. One of the blossoms of the sky plant was there, but the roots were afar in better ground. [19. Hall, op. cit.]

Hall concludes that the Illuminati existed long before the advent of Weishaupts Order and that it still exists today. It was under the guise of defeat and destruction that the Illuminati realized its greatest victories.

Weishaupt emerged as a faithful servant of a higher cause. Behind him moved the intricate machinery of the Secret School. As usual, they did not trust their full weight to any perishable institution. The physical history of the Bavarian Illuminati extended over a period of only twelve years. It is difficult to understand, therefore, the profound stir which this movement caused in the political life of Europe. We are forced to the realization that this Bavarian group was only one fragment of a large and composite design.

All efforts to discover the members of the higher grades of the Illuminist Order have been unsuccessful. It has been customary, therefore, to assume that these higher grades did not exist except in the minds of Weishaupt and von Knigge. Is it not equally possible that a powerful group of men, resolved to remain entirely unknown, moved behind Weishaupt and pushed him forward as a screen for its own activities?

The ideals of Illuminism, as they are found in the pagan Mysteries of antiquity, were old when Weishaupt was born, and it is unlikely that these long-cherished convictions perished with his Bavarian experiment. The work that was unfinished in 1785 remains unfinished in 1950. Esoteric Orders will not become extinct until the purpose which brought them into being has been fulfilled. Organizations may perish, but the Great School is indestructible. [20. Ibid.]

The Great Seal of the United States features the unfinished Great Pyramid of Giza, a symbol of the unfinished work of the Esoteric Orders: a New World Order. The Seal was adopted on the American dollar by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a 32nd Degree Freemason and a Knight of Pythias with ties Manly P. Hall.

If the Illuminist Agenda is still alive today, what form does it take? From the esoteric and spiritual point of view, some modern Secret Societies such as the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) have claimed to be the heirs of Illuminism. Other researchers stated that there exists hidden Orders above the 33 visible degrees of Freemasonry that form the Illuminati. As they are, by definition, secret, obtaining details about these Orders is quite difficult.

The political side of modern Illluminism is a lot more visible and its plans are obvious. An increasingly restrictive and concentrated group is being entrusted with the creation of important decisions and policies. International committees and organizations, acting above elected officials are today creating social and economic policies that are applied on a global level. This phenomenon is rather new in world history as a rather than kingdoms or nation-states, a non-elected shadow government, composed of the worlds elite, is gradually becoming the center of world power.

On another political plane are ideological groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, or participants in the World Economic Forum. Here we find leaders in politics, business, finance, education, and the media who share a belief in the value of global solutions; are in position of high authority and influence; and represent different levels of involvement with the inner circle of the group. Most members simply welcome the opportunity to associate with other well-known luminaries and are honored by being offered membership or attendance privileges. Yet, the ideology at the highest levels of such groups supports a world government to be administered by a class of experts and planners, entrusted with running centrally organized social and political institutions. Although members may be persuaded to add their considerable voices to certain transnational political and economic policies, they may bot be as supportive (or even aware) of the long-range ambitions of the inner circle. While these groups quite often hold their meetings in secret, their membership lists are a matter of public record. It is the central agenda that is disguised. [21. Wasserman, op. cit.]

The main elite groups and councils are: the International Crisis Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum, the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. The Bohemian Club is known to hold informal gatherings of the world elite punctuated with strange ceremonies and rituals. The Clubs insignia is an Owl similar to the one found on the Bavarian Illuminatis Minerval seal.

Insignia of the Bohemian Club

If one would carefully study the members and attendees of these exclusive clubs, one would notice that they combine the most powerful politicians, CEOs and intellectuals of the time with lesser known individuals with famous names. They are descendants of powerful dynasties that rose to power by taking over vital aspects of modern economies, such as the banking system, the oil industry or mass media. They have been associated with game changing events, such as the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. This act completely modified the banking system of the United States, placing it in the hands of a few elite corporations. A proof of this is the court decision of 1982 stating that The Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of the FTCA [the Federal Tort Claims Act], but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.

In his book Bloodlines of the Illuminati, controversial author Fritz Springmeier claims that todays Illuminati is formed from the descendants of thirteen powerful families whose ancestors had close or distant ties to the original Bavarian Illuminati. According to Springmeier, the 13 bloodlines are: the Astors, the Bundys, the Collins, the DuPonts, the Freemans, the Kennedys, the Li, the Onassis, the Reynolds, the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Russells and the Van Duyns. [22. Fritz Springmeier, The Bloodlines of the Illuminati]

There is no doubt that by virtue of the material and political resources they own, some of these families have a great deal of power in todays world. They appear to form the core of what we call today the Illuminati. However, are they conspiring to create a New World Order? Heres a quote from David Rockefellers memoirs that might answer some questions:

For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. [23. David Rockefeller, Memoirs]

The story of the Illuminati has been repressed or revealed, debunked or exposed, ridiculed or exaggerated countless times all depending on the point of the authors and whether they are apologists or critics. To obtain the absolute truth about a group that was always meant to be secret is quite a challenge and one must use a great deal of judgment and discernment to differentiate the facts from the fabrications. As it is not possible to answer all of the questions relating to the Illuminati, this article simply attempted to draw a more precise picture of the Order and to present important facts relating to it.

Follow this link:
The Order of the Illuminati: Its Origins, Its Methods and Its …

Illuminati – RationalWiki

 Illuminati  Comments Off on Illuminati – RationalWiki
Aug 232015
 

The Illuminati, originally called The Order of Perfectibilists, was a small freethinker society founded in 1776 in Bavaria by a man named Adam Weishaupt. Among the group’s goals were the opposition of prejudice, superstition, and abuse of political power. In the universe that rational people agree to recognize as reality, the Illuminati ceased to exist in 1787, when Karl Theodor, Prince-Elector of Bavaria, had the group banned for conduct inciting people to rebel against state authority after some of the organization’s writings were intercepted.

In the parallel universe where the likes of Henry Makow and David Icke hang their hats (and the snakes living therein), they not only have continued to exist, but have developed such enormous capacity for secrecy, power, and control that the complete absence of evidence for their existence, power, and control …proves their existence, power, and control.

The spread of the Illuminati legend and continued belief in them today can be traced back to the book Proofs of a Conspiracy by John Robinson, a 1798 anti-Freemasonry book (the Freemasons and Illuminati are often regarded as one and the same by conspiracy theorists). Proofs of a Conspiracy has become a source of inspiration to many conspiracy theorists since its initial publication and has been reprinted by, among others, the John Birch Society. Many modern variations of the Illuminati conspiracy have them being a controlling influence in the New World Order. Another influential series was Mmoires pour Servir a l’Histoire du Jacobinisme by Abb Augustin de Barruel (1799).

The alleged continued existence of the “Illuminati” looms large in many conspiracy theories, tall tales by evangelical Satanic Panic-fakers like Mike Warnke and John Todd, crank anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic writings, pseudolaw theories, etc. Depending on which version of the “Illuminati” story one believes, they are either a Satanic, Masonic, Zionist, atheist, reptilian,[2] or secular financial conspiracy. Despite the many different versions of the conspiracy, each version claims to have evidence that they are correct. They secretly control world events and their symbol, the all-seeing eye, is on the back of the U.S. $1 bill. This belief, in whatever version, is patently ridiculous but it persists. When the Founding Fathers designed the Great Seal, the all-seeing eye was proposed by members of design committees who were not Freemasons (since conspiracy theorists regard Freemasons and the Illuminati to be practically the same). It was also not named the “all-seeing eye,” as the cranks believe, but rather the “eye of providence,”[3][4] a symbol for God[5].

Several 20th century conspiracy theory books such as those by William Guy Carr and Des Griffin combined John Robinson’s allegations about the Illuminati and Freemasonry with those of the hoax book, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, to come up with an explicitly anti-Semitic version of the Illuminati theory. Jack Chick and Alberto Rivera on the other hand promoted an anti-Roman Catholic variant of the theory, alleging the Illuminati was a creation of the Vatican.

Pat Robertson’s version, on the other hand, is just plain weird since it somehow touches on both the French Revolution and gay marriage.[6]

Robertson, it seems, has company among other theocratic media weirdos personalities. Rick Wiles is under the impression that the Illuminati is not only linked to the 9/11 attacks but that the new One World Trade Center is actually a tribute to what he terms the “Free Mason/Illuminati New World Order.”[7]

Mike Warnke and John Todd, mentioned above, are two fake “ex-Satanist” Protestant evangelists. They have both described the Illuminati as the highest level of Satanism. Warnke claimed he learned of the Illuminati when attending a high-level conference of Satanists and Witches, shortly before he dropped out of Satanism to join the Navy and convert to Christianity. Todd claimed to have been a member of the Illuminati himself, which he said was a high council of druids secretly working to destroy Christianity and make witchcraft the official religion of the United States. Belief in the Illuminati as a Satanic conspiracy continues to be held by many evangelical Christians, despite both Warnke and Todd being exposed as frauds.

To the true believer, exposing them as frauds only goes to show how far the Illuminati are willing to go to malign opponents.

To this day there are many Youtube videos of people claiming to be “ex-Illuminati” members, whistleblowers, etc. The only problem is why there are so many. Why doesn’t the Illuminati take these videos down? Oh, something as simple as an auto correct of “NWO” to “NOW” in the comments section will make people say the Illuminati doesn’t want people to know about the NWO, but they refuse to take down people who are blatantly saying they exist! Another problem is that all the stories have contradictions with each other. You would think these guys would be telling the same story, but no two stories are the same!

The Illuminati plays a role in books like Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! trilogy, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, and the joke religion of Discordianism.

It is also a kick-ass card game put out by Steve Jackson Games.

Not to mention video games that flat out depict the Illuminati as either an actual faction or even a playable one, such as Funcom’s “The Secret World”.

The Illuminati are “well-known” to be behind Hollywood[8] and the fnord Ford Motor Company.[9] It would seem that just about any organization you can name has been accused of being an Illuminati front.

They also have a “tendency” to put hidden symbols and clues to their existence around the world, and on money, for no apparent reason.[10] Nearly every popular culture icon, including television shows, politicians, musicians and any celebrity, are said to be somehow connected to the Illuminati in some way, from something as normal as a triangle[11] to a hand sign.[12][13] Maybe it’s because they want you to know their evil plans, or maybe it’s because they’re bored at their broadcasting job.[14]

Probably the best example of this would be Tupac Shakur, whose last album issued before his death, entitled The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory, led to many theories.[15] The word “killuminati” (a portmanteau of the words “kill” and “Illuminati”) is interpreted as Pac saying that he is speaking out against them and killing Illuminati. The truth being that he heard about them in prison and used logic the majority of these conspiracy nuts lack, that is: “If this organisation is so secret, how the fuck does everyone know about it?”[16] There is also the claim that Tupac faked his death and will be coming back (since 2003[17])[18]. This is mainly because a while before he died, Tupac was planning on permanently changing his rap name to Makaveli after the 15-16th century writer Niccol Machiavelli.

An equally good example would be rapper Jay-Z, who is supposedly very high in the Illuminati’s hierarchy of celebrities. The hand gesture that he flashes has been cited as “proof” (in a very, very loose sense of the word) even though it’s meant to represent the diamond of Roc-a-fella Records and is thrown up as frequently as the “East” or “West” hand signs. Some has compared it to that Temple of Astarte logo.[19] He is also accused of selling his soul, amongst other things.[20] As with Tupac, theorists just turn to bullshit to prove their points, interpreting that the name of his newborn daughter, Blue Ivy, backwards (Yvi Eulb) is Latin for “Lucifer’s daughter,” even though there is nothing to imply this.[21] (Even the Church of Satan debunks this! [22] Jay Z has denied all these claims; his response to the conspiracy theorists can be heard in Rick Ross’s song “Free Mason.”[23]

It can be very difficult to find anyone who isn’t actually connected with the Illuminati. All of the claimed affiliations involve an occult symbol in a music video or photo (usually the “all-seeing eye,” the Star of David, or a Pentagram). This is most likely to get people talking and get publicity. For example, if Rihanna has a newspaper cutout that says “Princess of the Illuminati” in a music video, millions of people will go watch the video. In fact, there are even whole websites like this that are dedicated to finding pop stars who are part of the Illuminati. Basically, everyone.

Michael Jackson is a very interesting case. One faction of the conspiracy community considers him a member of the Illuminati, employed to brainwash the public. Another faction, however, says that Jackson was not a member, but actually was fighting to expose their control of the music industry and media. Jackson was supposedly killed for this very reason. Either way the theorists have all the bases covered.

Spelling Illuminati in reverse and entering it as an URL leads to the NSA website.[24] This is merely someone purchasing that domain and redirecting it to a government website as “inconclusive proof” even though anyone can do so.[25]

And finally, there is the trend of blaming the Illuminati for the death of apparently anybody with any degree of fame. This is usually explained as the assassination of those who were just about to expose the conspiracy, or as one of the Illuminati’s ritualistic, demonic “sacrifice.”[26]

Whenever so-called symbolism is refuted, the Conspiracy theorist usually says that the Illuminati “created” that refutation as a cover-up to make the symbolism less blatant.[27]

One has to wonder… If the Illuminati controlled all the media, why won’t they censor websites like PrisonPlanet and Vigilant Citizen? There are whole websites dedicated to “exposing” the Illuminati, but those are generally left alone!

There are many Youtube videos claiming that a popular singer like has “sold their soul” to the Devil. However, there are four major problems with this:

And the most obvious and common:

One popular type of Youtube video is to cherrypick what celebrities say in speeches, and shoehorn the Illuminati into it, even when the Illuminati have nothing to do with what they’re saying.[29]

If the UN even ACKNOWLEDGES a music video, then, that video is Illuminati.[30]

Celebrities are getting a lot of attention from this, so they’re getting less and less subtle with the imagery. Rihanna went as far as to have a music video with the words “Illuminati Princess”, and of course Mark Dice caught on to this before anyone else.[31] Lady Gaga is taking advantage of it to the point where she is starting to claim she’s having dreams about the Illuminati: though what she is exactly dreaming about varies.[32][33] Celebs are even going so far as to use terms such as “I swear to Lucifer” instead of “I swear to God”[34] and Katy Perry jokes about selling her soul to the Devil.[35]

When Amy Winehouse was killed, CTs made a big deal of how she made joke of refusing to “be molded into a triangle” in her last interview.[36] Of course, coincidences happen all the time, so this isn’t exactly proof on its own.

Often, theories will be made of symbolism over speculation. For example when Kim Kardashian was undecided on what to name her baby, everyone decided to throw in their shoehorning.[37] Only, they were blatantly wrong and didn’t even get the name right.

The Deus Ex series of games feature the Illuminati, though they are constantly fighting other shadowy organizations at the same time like the UN New World Order, or the Knights Templar, or a Corporate Takeover of Earth or something, or FEMA death camps (or were those run by the Illuminati?).

Unsurprisingly, whenever anyone tries to show evidence against the Illuminati, or refute bogus evidence for the Illuminati, said person is called a shill to spread disinformation,[citationneeded] or that the evidence against them was created by the Illuminati to keep people from believing they exist. This makes the theory unfalsifiable.

Youtube is the only website where you can blow the whistle and expose The Powers That Be without worrying about being assassinated. Due to this, it is advised that you only use Youtube[38] as a source, as you don’t have to worry about misinfo.

Seriously, though… Youtube is a horrible place to get evidence for… well, anything. It’s probably THE largest repository of crank videos, despite the fact that Google is often accused of being in the cahoots with the Illuminati. It’s a great place to find Conspiracy Documentaries and even lower-quality homemade ones. Some are as little as two-minute long montages of Mainstream Media[39], most stretch across about three hours of content, and a select few can be tens of hours long!

The bad thing about Youtube is that it actually gives nutjobs a way to get to otherwise sane, yet weak-minded skeptics. The type of “evidence” can range from a celebrity almost as crazy as them claiming the Illuminati Exist[40], those celebrities siblings claiming the same[41], and pretty much everything else. Expect every interview by the POTUS/Google/UN to be quote-mined, and expect a shitton of Illuminati whistleblowers too (And every other Conspiracy Theory too, actually).

Yes, these people can be fun to watch sometimes, but dear god, please tread lightly, don’t stay for too long, and make sure you aren’t logged in if you absolutely must watch these videos. And you’ll probably be better off if you steer clear from the comments, but that generally applies to any Youtube video that has comments anyway.

Continue reading here:
Illuminati – RationalWiki

Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software

 SEO  Comments Off on Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software
Aug 202015
 

SEO Tools

Tools to help you build and market your website.

Overview

Overview of site contents. Includes site map, glossary, and quick start checklist.

SEO

Contains information about keywords, on page SEO, link building, and social interaction.

PPC

Tips on how to buy traffic from search engines.

Tracking

Learn how to track your success with organic SEO and PPC ads. Includes information about web analytics.

Credibility

Creating a credible website is core to being linkworthy and selling to customers.

Monetization

Learn how to make money from your websites.

Audio & Video

Links to useful audio and video information. We will create new SEO videos every month.

Interviews

Exclusive member only interviews.

Discounts

Coupons and offers to help you save money promoting your websites.

Site Map

View all our training modules linked to on one page.

We offer a wide array of free and paid SEO tools to SEO professionals and DIY webmasters. Below you will find some of our most popular SEO tools sorted by category:

This section links off to the 6 tool categories you need to use to become a highly-profitable SEO expert. At the end of each category description is a link to more in depth information from our training modules.

Does search sound confusing? Don’t know where to start?

Want more great SEO insights? Read our SEO blog to keep up with the latest search engine news, and subscribe to our SEO training program to get cutting edge tips we do not share with the general public. Our training program also offers exclusive SEO videos.

We love our customers, but more importantly

See the rest here:
Free SEO Tools & Search Engine Optimization Software

Human Genetic Engineering Cons: Why This Branch of Science …

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetic Engineering Cons: Why This Branch of Science …
Aug 192015
 

A Slippery Slope? Ethics of Human Genetic Engineering

To say that genetic engineering has attracted some controversy would be an understatement. There are many cries that scientists are ‘playing God’ and that it will lead to a two-tier society – the genetically haves and the have-nots. But is this any different to the cries of horror and fears of Frankenstein’s monster that greeted Louise Brown, the first child to be born by IVF treatment? There was great uproar in the late 1970’s but IVF is now a common, if expensive, fertility treatment. And there aren’t any monsters stalking the Earth.

Having said that, genetic engineering does hold the potential that parents could (if the technology worked) assemble their kids genetically, to be smarter, to be more athletic or have a particular hair or eye colour. Though it’s rather fanciful to suggest that intelligence could be improved by the substitution of a gene, it may be found that there are several genes that are more commonly expressed in the genomes of intelligent people than those with more limited intellectual capacity. And parents might want to engineer an embryo to house a greater number of these genes. It is this genetic engineering of humans that so frightens people, that we could somehow design the human race. Though some people point out other potential benefits. What if it turned out that there were sets of genes that were commonly expressed in criminals – could we tackle crime by weeding out those genes?

The technology is nowhere near there yet, but a tiny number of parents undergoing IVF have selected their embryos to be free from genetic mutations that have blighted generations of their family. In the UK in January 2009 a mother gave birth to a girl whose embryo had been selected to be free from a genetic form of breast cancer. Some see this as a slippery slope towards a eugenic future, others view it as a valuable use of genetic engineering to prevent disease from striking someone down.

Society will decide how it uses this technology, and it is for governments to weigh up the pros and cons of genetic engineering in humans to see what may be carried out and what should be illegal. They will be prompted by public understanding, desire and concern. It therefore behoves all of us to understand what scientists are trying to accomplish and what they are not trying to do. We must all become better informed, to equip ourselves with more information and to know the difference between science fiction and science fact.

Read this article:

Human Genetic Engineering Cons: Why This Branch of Science …

Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources
Aug 192015
 

1. Is human genetic engineering safe and effective?

With present techniques it is clearly unsafe: the techniques of inserting genes can disrupt other genes, with harmful consequences for the person and all his/her descendants. We do not know enough about how gene work to ensure that an inserted gene will work as desired. Future generations cannot consent to such risks. The chance that interventions will be effective is unknown. However, the technologies are improving constantly and may make human genetic engineering (HGE) feasible within five years.

No, it is not. Advocates argue that it is a general solution to the problem of genetic diseases and is superior to somatic gene therapy, since it could permanently eliminate the risk of inherited disease within a family. However, there are only a few very rare cases where HGE is the only option for producing a healthy child. Couples can choose not to have children, to adopt a child, or to use donor eggs or sperm. If it is consistent with their values, they can also use prenatal and pre-implantation genetic testing to avoid genetic disease and have a child that is 100% genetically related. Given this, it is clear that the real market for HGE is in ‘enhancement’ of appearance, height, athletic ability, intelligence, etc.

No, it is not, although Lee Silver and others like him very much want you to believe that it is. In a democratic society people agree on what rules they wish to live under. By 1998 twenty-seven industrial democracies had agreed to ban human cloning and germ line manipulation. In the U.S., the state of Michigan has made all forms of human cloning illegal. There is no reason we cannot choose to forgo these technologies, both domestically and as part of a global compact. It is often said that banning the use of a technology will not prevent someone from developing it elsewhere. This may be true, although the number of people competent to develop cloning and human genetic engineering is small. But even though the technology may be developed, we do not have to permit its use to become respectable and widespread.

No, we have the right to choose the science that we want and to define our own vision of progress. We should reject science which is not in the public interest. Proscribing the most dangerous techno-eugenic applications will allow us to proceed with greater confidence in developing the many potentially beneficial uses of genetic research for human society.

People do have the right to have children if they are biologically capable, but they do not have any ‘right’ to use cloning, or genetic engineering. Rights don’t exist in a vacuum; they are socially negotiated within a context of fundamental values. The question of access to particular technologies is a matter of public policy and depends on the social consequences of allowing that access. For example, people are not allowed access to nuclear technology, or dangerous pathogens and drugs, simply because they have the money to pay for them.

Traditionally, we see human beings as inviolable, and as endowed with rights: they must be accepted as they are. Human genetic engineering overthrows that basic conception, degrading human subjects into objects, to be designed according parents’ whim. Accepting such a change would have consequences both for individual humans and for society at large which we can barely imagine. Obvious consequences would be a disruption of parents’ unconditional love for children. Cloning and HGE represent an unprecedented intent to determine and control a child’s life trajectory: for the child, it would undermine their sense of free will and of their achievements. These concerns are what many people mean when they say that we should not play God with our children.

The social consequences of the use of cloning and HGE in our society would be disastrous. Parents would tend to engineer children to conform to social norms, with regard to physical ability, appearance and aptitudes, even though many of those social norms are inherently oppressive. For example, disabled people have often expressed fears that free-market eugenics would reduce society’s tolerance for those genetic impairments. If genes pre-disposing people to homosexuality are discovered, it is certain that many people would attempt to engineer these out of their offspring. A free-market techno-eugenics could also easily have the disastrous consequences spelled out in Lee Silver’s Re-making Eden. Since access to such expensive technology would be on the basis of ability to pay, we could see the emergence of biologically as well as financially advantaged ruling elites.

The environmental movement has recognised how, in Western societies over the last few hundred years, humans have tried to control and dominate nature, with the resultant environmental crisis which we currently face. Genetic engineering of plants and animals gives us the power to dominate nature in a new and more powerful way than ever before, which is why it has caused so much concern in environmental movements. Techno-eugenics extends the drive to control nature to the nature of human beings, threatening ultimately to make the human species, like other species, the object of the manipulative control of technocratic elites. It is obvious that if we cannot prevent this, we have little chance of winning the struggle to protect the environment. The environmental movement is the main guardian of the non-exploitative vision of the relation between humans and the rest of nature. Realising that such a relationship may soon be imposed upon ourselves, and our children, the environmental movement must take the lead in alerting society to the danger that it faces.

Original post:

Human Genetics Alert – Human Genetic Engineering resources

Kenan Malik’s review of Our Posthuman Future by Francis …

 Posthuman  Comments Off on Kenan Malik’s review of Our Posthuman Future by Francis …
Aug 192015
 

Capitalism, Francis Fukuyama announced more than a decade ago, is the promised land at the End of History. The collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed that there was neither an alternative to the market, nor a possibility of transcending capitalism.

Not even the events of September 11, which have led many critics to mock the ‘End of History’ thesis, have given Fukuyama cause to change his mind. The end of history, Fukuyama argues, means not the termination of conflict, simply the recognition that nothing can improve upon capitalism. Why? Because, as he puts it in Our Posthuman Future, capitalist institutions ‘are grounded in assumptions about human nature that are far more realistic than those of their competitors’.

Yet even Fukuyama has come to worry that the reports of History’s death might have been a mite exaggerated. Capitalism, he fears, is undermining its own foundations. Not, as Marx thought, through the agency of the working class, but as a result of the unrestricted advance of science and technology. Science, and in particular biotechnology, has, Fukuyama believes, the potential to change the kinds of beings we are, and in so doing to ‘recommence history’, propelling us from a human to a posthuman world. From the end of history to the end of human nature as we know it.

Fukuyama’s argument runs something like this. Human values are rooted in human nature. Human nature is rooted in our biological being, in particular in our genes. Messing around with human biology could alter human nature, transform our values and undermine capitalism. ‘What is ultimately at stake with biotechnology’, Fukuyama declares, ‘is… the very grounding of the human moral sense.’ We therefore need international regulation to obstruct any technological advance that might ‘disrupt either the unity or the continuity of human nature, and thereby the human rights that are based upon it.’

While most worried about genetic engineering, other technologies also concern Fukuyama. Cloning is an ‘unnatural form’ of reproduction that might create ‘unnatural urges’ in a parent whose spouse has been cloned. Prozac is giving women ‘more of the alpha-male feeling that comes with high serotonin levels’, while Ritalin is making ‘young boys… sit still’ even though ‘nature never designed them to behave that way.’

Even attempt to slow down the ageing process is ‘unnatural’ and fraught with danger. The world, Fukuyama believes, may soon be divided ‘between a North whose political tone is set by elderly women’ (since women tend to live longer than men) and ‘a South driven by… super-empowered angry young men’. The consequence will not simply be more days like September 11, but also a disinclination on the part of the West to use force in response, since women are apparently naturally less aggressive than men.

Such fears may seem to carry all the scholarly weight of a Hollywood dystopian fantasy (Gataca meets The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, perhaps). If capitalism is as natural as Fukuyama claims, how is it that for virtually the whole of human history people abided by entirely different sets of values and beliefs? And what exactly worries Fukuyama about genetic engineering? That we will be turned into a race of beings who believe that the market may not be the best way to promote human flourishing? Or (God forbid) that we will lose our attachment to the sanctity of property?

As for the dangers of longevity, life expectancy has doubled in the past two centuries – without any evidence of social breakdown. Nor is there any evidence that the extension of the franchise to women at the beginning of the twentieth century made that century any less violent than the nineteenth.

Absurd though such arguments may seem to be, at the heart of Fukuyama’s book is a discussion, not of biotechnology, but of what it is to be human. To understand his alarmism about biotechnology, we have to understand his confusions over human nature.

For Fukuyama, humans as a species possess an inner essence or nature, which he defines as ‘the sum total of the behaviour and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetic rather than environmental factors.’ From this perspective, humans seem little more than sophisticated animals. ‘Many of the attributes that were once held to be unique to human beings – including language, culture, reason, consciousness, and the like – are’, Fukuyama believes, ‘characteristic of a wide variety of nonhuman animals’.

At the same time, though, Fukuyama presents humans as exceptional beings. While all animals have a nature, only humans possess ‘dignity’. Dignity gives humans a ‘superior… moral status that raises us all above the rest of animal creation and yet makes us equals of one another qua human beings.’ Such dignity, Fukuyama believes, resides in a mysterious ‘Factor X’ which is the ‘essential human quality’ that remains after ‘all of a person’s contingent and accidental characteristics’ have been stripped away. It is Factor X that Fukuyama wants to preserve from the clutches of biotechnologists.

And therein lies the problem. ‘Factor X’ appears to be both the same as human nature the ‘essence’ of our humanity – and also that which makes humans entirely distinct from the rest of nature. Indeed, Fukuyama suggests that somewhere along the human evolutionary journey there occurred ‘a very important qualitative, if not ontological, leap’, that came to separate Man and Beast.

Fukuyama is right, I think, to assert the ‘dual character’ of human existence, of humans as both animal and yet more-than-animal. But he seems not to recognise what this means for the concept of human nature. If humans are qualitatively distinct from the rest of the natural world, then the human ‘essence’ cannot be simply rooted in nature.

What sets humans apart is not some mysterious Factor X hidden somewhere in our biology but rather our ability to act as conscious agents. Uniquely among organisms, humans are both objects of nature and subjects that can, to some extent at least, shape our own fate. We are biological beings, and under the purview of biological and physical laws. But we are also conscious beings with purpose and agency, traits the possession of which allow us to design ways of breaking the constraints of biological and physical laws.

It is only because humans are conscious agents that we possess moral values. As Fukuyama himself observes, ‘Only human beings can formulate, debate, and modify abstract rules of justice’. This is why we should not ‘confuse human politics with the social behaviour of any other species’.

Human values, in other words, are not fixed in our nature, but emerge from our capacity to transcend that nature. To a certain degree, Fukuyama recognises this. Violence, he suggests, ‘may be natural to human beings’. But so, too, is ‘the propensity to control and channel violence’. Humans are capable of ‘reasoning about their situation’ and of ‘understanding the need to create rules and institutions that constrain violence’. Humans, therefore, possess the capacity to rise above their natural inclinations and, through the use of reason, to shape their values.

But if this is so, then no amount of biotechnological intervention will transform our fundamental values. What may transform them, however, is the kind of pessimism that Fukuyama expresses in his End of Human Nature thesis.

Fukuyama rightly worries about the ‘medicalisation of society’ – the inclination tendency to view personal, social and political problems in biological or medical terms. In part, at least, this arises from the growing tendency of our age to view humans as weak-willed, sick or damaged, as victims lacking the capacity to transcend their situation, either individually or collectively. Biotechnology, Fukuyama believes, can only entrench such perceptions, making it easier for individuals who ‘would like to absolve themselves of responsibility for their actions.’

But Fukuyama’s own belief that values are embedded in our biology, and should be ring-fenced for protection, can only exacerbate this problem. If our values were simply evolved adaptations, then the notion of moral responsibility would indeed appear to be fragile. And what would then be wrong with popping a pill or performing a bit of genetic surgery to improve our moral condition?

The real debate is not about whether biotechnology will undermine our values, but about the kind of values to which we aspire. Do we want a human-centred morality rooted in concrete human needs (such as for solutions to brain disorders and genetic illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cystic fibrosis)? Or are we happy with a moral code that undermines the promise of medical advance in the name of a mythical human nature?

For Fukuyama ‘There are good prudential reasons to defer to the natural order of things and not to think that human beings can easily improve upon it through casual intervention’. But why should the ‘natural order of things’ be better than human creation? After all, we only need medicine because nature has left us with jerry-built bodies that tend constantly to break down with headaches and backaches, cancers and coronaries, schizophrenia and depression.

‘If the artificial is not better than that natural’, John Stuart Mill once asked, ‘to what end are all the arts of life?’ ‘It’s unnatural’ has always been the cry of those who seek to obstruct progress and restrain ‘the arts of life’. It’s an argument no more valid in response to biotechnology than it was in response to vaccination, heart transplants or IVF treatment. The ‘duty of man’, as Mill put it, ‘is the same in respect to his own nature as in respect to the nature of other things, namely not to follow but to amend it.’

More here:

Kenan Malik’s review of Our Posthuman Future by Francis …

How the Bitcoin protocol actually works | DDI

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on How the Bitcoin protocol actually works | DDI
Aug 182015
 

Many thousands of articles have been written purporting to explain Bitcoin, the online, peer-to-peer currency. Most of those articles give a hand-wavy account of the underlying cryptographic protocol, omitting many details. Even those articles which delve deeper often gloss over crucial points. My aim in this post is to explain the major ideas behind the Bitcoin protocol in a clear, easily comprehensible way. Well start from first principles, build up to a broad theoretical understanding of how the protocol works, and then dig down into the nitty-gritty, examining the raw data in a Bitcoin transaction.

Understanding the protocol in this detailed way is hard work. It is tempting instead to take Bitcoin as given, and to engage in speculation about how to get rich with Bitcoin, whether Bitcoin is a bubble, whether Bitcoin might one day mean the end of taxation, and so on. Thats fun, but severely limits your understanding. Understanding the details of the Bitcoin protocol opens up otherwise inaccessible vistas. In particular, its the basis for understanding Bitcoins built-in scripting language, which makes it possible to use Bitcoin to create new types of financial instruments, such as smart contracts. New financial instruments can, in turn, be used to create new markets and to enable new forms of collective human behaviour. Talk about fun!

Ill describe Bitcoin scripting and concepts such as smart contracts in future posts. This post concentrates on explaining the nuts-and-bolts of the Bitcoin protocol. To understand the post, you need to be comfortable with public key cryptography, and with the closely related idea of digital signatures. Ill also assume youre familiar with cryptographic hashing. None of this is especially difficult. The basic ideas can be taught in freshman university mathematics or computer science classes. The ideas are beautiful, so if youre not familiar with them, I recommend taking a few hours to get familiar.

It may seem surprising that Bitcoins basis is cryptography. Isnt Bitcoin a currency, not a way of sending secret messages? In fact, the problems Bitcoin needs to solve are largely about securing transactions making sure people cant steal from one another, or impersonate one another, and so on. In the world of atoms we achieve security with devices such as locks, safes, signatures, and bank vaults. In the world of bits we achieve this kind of security with cryptography. And thats why Bitcoin is at heart a cryptographic protocol.

My strategy in the post is to build Bitcoin up in stages. Ill begin by explaining a very simple digital currency, based on ideas that are almost obvious. Well call that currency Infocoin, to distinguish it from Bitcoin. Of course, our first version of Infocoin will have many deficiencies, and so well go through several iterations of Infocoin, with each iteration introducing just one or two simple new ideas. After several such iterations, well arrive at the full Bitcoin protocol. We will have reinvented Bitcoin!

This strategy is slower than if I explained the entire Bitcoin protocol in one shot. But while you can understand the mechanics of Bitcoin through such a one-shot explanation, it would be difficult to understand why Bitcoin is designed the way it is. The advantage of the slower iterative explanation is that it gives us a much sharper understanding of each element of Bitcoin.

Finally, I should mention that Im a relative newcomer to Bitcoin. Ive been following it loosely since 2011 (and cryptocurrencies since the late 1990s), but only got seriously into the details of the Bitcoin protocol earlier this year. So Id certainly appreciate corrections of any misapprehensions on my part. Also in the post Ive included a number of problems for the author notes to myself about questions that came up during the writing. You may find these interesting, but you can also skip them entirely without losing track of the main text.

So how can we design a digital currency?

On the face of it, a digital currency sounds impossible. Suppose some person lets call her Alice has some digital money which she wants to spend. If Alice can use a string of bits as money, how can we prevent her from using the same bit string over and over, thus minting an infinite supply of money? Or, if we can somehow solve that problem, how can we prevent someone else forging such a string of bits, and using that to steal from Alice?

These are just two of the many problems that must be overcome in order to use information as money.

As a first version of Infocoin, lets find a way that Alice can use a string of bits as a (very primitive and incomplete) form of money, in a way that gives her at least some protection against forgery. Suppose Alice wants to give another person, Bob, an infocoin. To do this, Alice writes down the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin. She then digitally signs the message using a private cryptographic key, and announces the signed string of bits to the entire world.

(By the way, Im using capitalized Infocoin to refer to the protocol and general concept, and lowercase infocoin to refer to specific denominations of the currency. A similar useage is common, though not universal, in the Bitcoin world.)

This isnt terribly impressive as a prototype digital currency! But it does have some virtues. Anyone in the world (including Bob) can use Alices public key to verify that Alice really was the person who signed the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin. No-one else could have created that bit string, and so Alice cant turn around and say No, I didnt mean to give Bob an infocoin. So the protocol establishes that Alice truly intends to give Bob one infocoin. The same fact no-one else could compose such a signed message also gives Alice some limited protection from forgery. Of course, after Alice has published her message its possible for other people to duplicate the message, so in that sense forgery is possible. But its not possible from scratch. These two properties establishment of intent on Alices part, and the limited protection from forgery are genuinely notable features of this protocol.

I havent (quite) said exactly what digital money is in this protocol. To make this explicit: its just the message itself, i.e., the string of bits representing the digitally signed message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin. Later protocols will be similar, in that all our forms of digital money will be just more and more elaborate messages [1].

A problem with the first version of Infocoin is that Alice could keep sending Bob the same signed message over and over. Suppose Bob receives ten copies of the signed message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin. Does that mean Alice sent Bob ten different infocoins? Was her message accidentally duplicated? Perhaps she was trying to trick Bob into believing that she had given him ten different infocoins, when the message only proves to the world that she intends to transfer one infocoin.

What wed like is a way of making infocoins unique. They need a label or serial number. Alice would sign the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 8740348. Then, later, Alice could sign the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 8770431, and Bob (and everyone else) would know that a different infocoin was being transferred.

To make this scheme work we need a trusted source of serial numbers for the infocoins. One way to create such a source is to introduce a bank. This bank would provide serial numbers for infocoins, keep track of who has which infocoins, and verify that transactions really are legitimate,

In more detail, lets suppose Alice goes into the bank, and says I want to withdraw one infocoin from my account. The bank reduces her account balance by one infocoin, and assigns her a new, never-before used serial number, lets say 1234567. Then, when Alice wants to transfer her infocoin to Bob, she signs the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567. But Bob doesnt just accept the infocoin. Instead, he contacts the bank, and verifies that: (a) the infocoin with that serial number belongs to Alice; and (b) Alice hasnt already spent the infocoin. If both those things are true, then Bob tells the bank he wants to accept the infocoin, and the bank updates their records to show that the infocoin with that serial number is now in Bobs possession, and no longer belongs to Alice.

This last solution looks pretty promising. However, it turns out that we can do something much more ambitious. We can eliminate the bank entirely from the protocol. This changes the nature of the currency considerably. It means that there is no longer any single organization in charge of the currency. And when you think about the enormous power a central bank has control over the money supply thats a pretty huge change.

The idea is to make it so everyone (collectively) is the bank. In particular, well assume that everyone using Infocoin keeps a complete record of which infocoins belong to which person. You can think of this as a shared public ledger showing all Infocoin transactions. Well call this ledger the block chain, since thats what the complete record will be called in Bitcoin, once we get to it.

Now, suppose Alice wants to transfer an infocoin to Bob. She signs the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567, and gives the signed message to Bob. Bob can use his copy of the block chain to check that, indeed, the infocoin is Alices to give. If that checks out then he broadcasts both Alices message and his acceptance of the transaction to the entire network, and everyone updates their copy of the block chain.

We still have the where do serial number come from problem, but that turns out to be pretty easy to solve, and so I will defer it to later, in the discussion of Bitcoin. A more challenging problem is that this protocol allows Alice to cheat by double spending her infocoin. She sends the signed message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567 to Bob, and the messageI, Alice, am giving Charlie one infocoin, with [the same] serial number 1234567 to Charlie. Both Bob and Charlie use their copy of the block chain to verify that the infocoin is Alices to spend. Provided they do this verification at nearly the same time (before theyve had a chance to hear from one another), both will find that, yes, the block chain shows the coin belongs to Alice. And so they will both accept the transaction, and also broadcast their acceptance of the transaction. Now theres a problem. How should other people update their block chains? There may be no easy way to achieve a consistent shared ledger of transactions. And even if everyone can agree on a consistent way to update their block chains, there is still the problem that either Bob or Charlie will be cheated.

At first glance double spending seems difficult for Alice to pull off. After all, if Alice sends the message first to Bob, then Bob can verify the message, and tell everyone else in the network (including Charlie) to update their block chain. Once that has happened, Charlie would no longer be fooled by Alice. So there is most likely only a brief period of time in which Alice can double spend. However, its obviously undesirable to have any such a period of time. Worse, there are techniques Alice could use to make that period longer. She could, for example, use network traffic analysis to find times when Bob and Charlie are likely to have a lot of latency in communication. Or perhaps she could do something to deliberately disrupt their communications. If she can slow communication even a little that makes her task of double spending much easier.

How can we address the problem of double spending? The obvious solution is that when Alice sends Bob an infocoin, Bob shouldnt try to verify the transaction alone. Rather, he should broadcast the possible transaction to the entire network of Infocoin users, and ask them to help determine whether the transaction is legitimate. If they collectively decide that the transaction is okay, then Bob can accept the infocoin, and everyone will update their block chain. This type of protocol can help prevent double spending, since if Alice tries to spend her infocoin with both Bob and Charlie, other people on the network will notice, and network users will tell both Bob and Charlie that there is a problem with the transaction, and the transaction shouldnt go through.

In more detail, lets suppose Alice wants to give Bob an infocoin. As before, she signs the message I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567, and gives the signed message to Bob. Also as before, Bob does a sanity check, using his copy of the block chain to check that, indeed, the coin currently belongs to Alice. But at that point the protocol is modified. Bob doesnt just go ahead and accept the transaction. Instead, he broadcasts Alices message to the entire network. Other members of the network check to see whether Alice owns that infocoin. If so, they broadcast the message Yes, Alice owns infocoin 1234567, it can now be transferred to Bob. Once enough people have broadcast that message, everyone updates their block chain to show that infocoin 1234567 now belongs to Bob, and the transaction is complete.

This protocol has many imprecise elements at present. For instance, what does it mean to say once enough people have broadcast that message? What exactly does enough mean here? It cant mean everyone in the network, since we dont a priori know who is on the Infocoin network. For the same reason, it cant mean some fixed fraction of users in the network. We wont try to make these ideas precise right now. Instead, in the next section Ill point out a serious problem with the approach as described. Fixing that problem will at the same time have the pleasant side effect of making the ideas above much more precise.

Suppose Alice wants to double spend in the network-based protocol I just described. She could do this by taking over the Infocoin network. Lets suppose she uses an automated system to set up a large number of separate identities, lets say a billion, on the Infocoin network. As before, she tries to double spend the same infocoin with both Bob and Charlie. But when Bob and Charlie ask the network to validate their respective transactions, Alices sock puppet identities swamp the network, announcing to Bob that theyve validated his transaction, and to Charlie that theyve validated his transaction, possibly fooling one or both into accepting the transaction.

Theres a clever way of avoiding this problem, using an idea known as proof-of-work. The idea is counterintuitive and involves a combination of two ideas: (1) to (artificially) make it computationally costly for network users to validate transactions; and (2) to reward them for trying to help validate transactions. The reward is used so that people on the network will try to help validate transactions, even though thats now been made a computationally costly process. The benefit of making it costly to validate transactions is that validation can no longer be influenced by the number of network identities someone controls, but only by the total computational power they can bring to bear on validation. As well see, with some clever design we can make it so a cheater would need enormous computational resources to cheat, making it impractical.

Thats the gist of proof-of-work. But to really understand proof-of-work, we need to go through the details.

Suppose Alice broadcasts to the network the news that I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567.

As other people on the network hear that message, each adds it to a queue of pending transactions that theyve been told about, but which havent yet been approved by the network. For instance, another network user named David might have the following queue of pending transactions:

I, Tom, am giving Sue one infocoin, with serial number 1201174.

I, Sydney, am giving Cynthia one infocoin, with serial number 1295618.

I, Alice, am giving Bob one infocoin, with serial number 1234567.

David checks his copy of the block chain, and can see that each transaction is valid. He would like to help out by broadcasting news of that validity to the entire network.

However, before doing that, as part of the validation protocol David is required to solve a hard computational puzzle the proof-of-work. Without the solution to that puzzle, the rest of the network wont accept his validation of the transaction.

What puzzle does David need to solve? To explain that, let be a fixed hash function known by everyone in the network its built into the protocol. Bitcoin uses the well-known SHA-256 hash function, but any cryptographically secure hash function will do. Lets give Davids queue of pending transactions a label, , just so its got a name we can refer to. Suppose David appends a number (called the nonce) to and hashes the combination. For example, if we use Hello, world! (obviously this is not a list of transactions, just a string used for illustrative purposes) and the nonce then (output is in hexadecimal)

The puzzle David has to solve the proof-of-work is to find a nonce such that when we append to and hash the combination the output hash begins with a long run of zeroes. The puzzle can be made more or less difficult by varying the number of zeroes required to solve the puzzle. A relatively simple proof-of-work puzzle might require just three or four zeroes at the start of the hash, while a more difficult proof-of-work puzzle might require a much longer run of zeros, say 15 consecutive zeroes. In either case, the above attempt to find a suitable nonce, with , is a failure, since the output doesnt begin with any zeroes at all. Trying doesnt work either:

We can keep trying different values for the nonce, . Finally, at we obtain:

This nonce gives us a string of four zeroes at the beginning of the output of the hash. This will be enough to solve a simple proof-of-work puzzle, but not enough to solve a more difficult proof-of-work puzzle.

What makes this puzzle hard to solve is the fact that the output from a cryptographic hash function behaves like a random number: change the input even a tiny bit and the output from the hash function changes completely, in a way thats hard to predict. So if we want the output hash value to begin with 10 zeroes, say, then David will need, on average, to try different values for before he finds a suitable nonce. Thats a pretty challenging task, requiring lots of computational power.

Obviously, its possible to make this puzzle more or less difficult to solve by requiring more or fewer zeroes in the output from the hash function. In fact, the Bitcoin protocol gets quite a fine level of control over the difficulty of the puzzle, by using a slight variation on the proof-of-work puzzle described above. Instead of requiring leading zeroes, the Bitcoin proof-of-work puzzle requires the hash of a blocks header to be lower than or equal to a number known as the target. This target is automatically adjusted to ensure that a Bitcoin block takes, on average, about ten minutes to validate.

(In practice there is a sizeable randomness in how long it takes to validate a block sometimes a new block is validated in just a minute or two, other times it may take 20 minutes or even longer. Its straightforward to modify the Bitcoin protocol so that the time to validation is much more sharply peaked around ten minutes. Instead of solving a single puzzle, we can require that multiple puzzles be solved; with some careful design it is possible to considerably reduce the variance in the time to validate a block of transactions.)

Alright, lets suppose David is lucky and finds a suitable nonce, . Celebration! (Hell be rewarded for finding the nonce, as described below). He broadcasts the block of transactions hes approving to the network, together with the value for . Other participants in the Infocoin network can verify that is a valid solution to the proof-of-work puzzle. And they then update their block chains to include the new block of transactions.

For the proof-of-work idea to have any chance of succeeding, network users need an incentive to help validate transactions. Without such an incentive, they have no reason to expend valuable computational power, merely to help validate other peoples transactions. And if network users are not willing to expend that power, then the whole system wont work. The solution to this problem is to reward people who help validate transactions. In particular, suppose we reward whoever successfully validates a block of transactions by crediting them with some infocoins. Provided the infocoin reward is large enough that will give them an incentive to participate in validation.

In the Bitcoin protocol, this validation process is called mining. For each block of transactions validated, the successful miner receives a bitcoin reward. Initially, this was set to be a 50 bitcoin reward. But for every 210,000 validated blocks (roughly, once every four years) the reward halves. This has happened just once, to date, and so the current reward for mining a block is 25 bitcoins. This halving in the rate will continue every four years until the year 2140 CE. At that point, the reward for mining will drop below bitcoins per block. bitcoins is actually the minimal unit of Bitcoin, and is known as a satoshi. So in 2140 CE the total supply of bitcoins will cease to increase. However, that wont eliminate the incentive to help validate transactions. Bitcoin also makes it possible to set aside some currency in a transaction as a transaction fee, which goes to the miner who helps validate it. In the early days of Bitcoin transaction fees were mostly set to zero, but as Bitcoin has gained in popularity, transaction fees have gradually risen, and are now a substantial additional incentive on top of the 25 bitcoin reward for mining a block.

You can think of proof-of-work as a competition to approve transactions. Each entry in the competition costs a little bit of computing power. A miners chance of winning the competition is (roughly, and with some caveats) equal to the proportion of the total computing power that they control. So, for instance, if a miner controls one percent of the computing power being used to validate Bitcoin transactions, then they have roughly a one percent chance of winning the competition. So provided a lot of computing power is being brought to bear on the competition, a dishonest miner is likely to have only a relatively small chance to corrupt the validation process, unless they expend a huge amount of computing resources.

Of course, while its encouraging that a dishonest party has only a relatively small chance to corrupt the block chain, thats not enough to give us confidence in the currency. In particular, we havent yet conclusively addressed the issue of double spending.

Ill analyse double spending shortly. Before doing that, I want to fill in an important detail in the description of Infocoin. Wed ideally like the Infocoin network to agree upon the order in which transactions have occurred. If we dont have such an ordering then at any given moment it may not be clear who owns which infocoins. To help do this well require that new blocks always include a pointer to the last block validated in the chain, in addition to the list of transactions in the block. (The pointer is actually just a hash of the previous block). So typically the block chain is just a linear chain of blocks of transactions, one after the other, with later blocks each containing a pointer to the immediately prior block:

Occasionally, a fork will appear in the block chain. This can happen, for instance, if by chance two miners happen to validate a block of transactions near-simultaneously both broadcast their newly-validated block out to the network, and some people update their block chain one way, and others update their block chain the other way:

This causes exactly the problem were trying to avoid its no longer clear in what order transactions have occurred, and it may not be clear who owns which infocoins. Fortunately, theres a simple idea that can be used to remove any forks. The rule is this: if a fork occurs, people on the network keep track of both forks. But at any given time, miners only work to extend whichever fork is longest in their copy of the block chain.

Suppose, for example, that we have a fork in which some miners receive block A first, and some miners receive block B first. Those miners who receive block A first will continue mining along that fork, while the others will mine along fork B. Lets suppose that the miners working on fork B are the next to successfully mine a block:

After they receive news that this has happened, the miners working on fork A will notice that fork B is now longer, and will switch to working on that fork. Presto, in short order work on fork A will cease, and everyone will be working on the same linear chain, and block A can be ignored. Of course, any still-pending transactions in A will still be pending in the queues of the miners working on fork B, and so all transactions will eventually be validated.

Likewise, it may be that the miners working on fork A are the first to extend their fork. In that case work on fork B will quickly cease, and again we have a single linear chain.

No matter what the outcome, this process ensures that the block chain has an agreed-upon time ordering of the blocks. In Bitcoin proper, a transaction is not considered confirmed until: (1) it is part of a block in the longest fork, and (2) at least 5 blocks follow it in the longest fork. In this case we say that the transaction has 6 confirmations. This gives the network time to come to an agreed-upon the ordering of the blocks. Well also use this strategy for Infocoin.

With the time-ordering now understood, lets return to think about what happens if a dishonest party tries to double spend. Suppose Alice tries to double spend with Bob and Charlie. One possible approach is for her to try to validate a block that includes both transactions. Assuming she has one percent of the computing power, she will occasionally get lucky and validate the block by solving the proof-of-work. Unfortunately for Alice, the double spending will be immediately spotted by other people in the Infocoin network and rejected, despite solving the proof-of-work problem. So thats not something we need to worry about.

A more serious problem occurs if she broadcasts two separate transactions in which she spends the same infocoin with Bob and Charlie, respectively. She might, for example, broadcast one transaction to a subset of the miners, and the other transaction to another set of miners, hoping to get both transactions validated in this way. Fortunately, in this case, as weve seen, the network will eventually confirm one of these transactions, but not both. So, for instance, Bobs transaction might ultimately be confirmed, in which case Bob can go ahead confidently. Meanwhile, Charlie will see that his transaction has not been confirmed, and so will decline Alices offer. So this isnt a problem either. In fact, knowing that this will be the case, there is little reason for Alice to try this in the first place.

An important variant on double spending is if Alice = Bob, i.e., Alice tries to spend a coin with Charlie which she is also spending with herself (i.e., giving back to herself). This sounds like it ought to be easy to detect and deal with, but, of course, its easy on a network to set up multiple identities associated with the same person or organization, so this possibility needs to be considered. In this case, Alices strategy is to wait until Charlie accepts the infocoin, which happens after the transaction has been confirmed 6 times in the longest chain. She will then attempt to fork the chain before the transaction with Charlie, adding a block which includes a transaction in which she pays herself:

Unfortunately for Alice, its now very difficult for her to catch up with the longer fork. Other miners wont want to help her out, since theyll be working on the longer fork. And unless Alice is able to solve the proof-of-work at least as fast as everyone else in the network combined roughly, that means controlling more than fifty percent of the computing power then she will just keep falling further and further behind. Of course, she might get lucky. We can, for example, imagine a scenario in which Alice controls one percent of the computing power, but happens to get lucky and finds six extra blocks in a row, before the rest of the network has found any extra blocks. In this case, she might be able to get ahead, and get control of the block chain. But this particular event will occur with probability . A more general analysis along these lines shows that Alices probability of ever catching up is infinitesimal, unless she is able to solve proof-of-work puzzles at a rate approaching all other miners combined.

Of course, this is not a rigorous security analysis showing that Alice cannot double spend. Its merely an informal plausibility argument. The original paper introducing Bitcoin did not, in fact, contain a rigorous security analysis, only informal arguments along the lines Ive presented here. The security community is still analysing Bitcoin, and trying to understand possible vulnerabilities. You can see some of this research listed here, and I mention a few related problems in the Problems for the author below. At this point I think its fair to say that the jury is still out on how secure Bitcoin is.

The proof-of-work and mining ideas give rise to many questions. How much reward is enough to persuade people to mine? How does the change in supply of infocoins affect the Infocoin economy? Will Infocoin mining end up concentrated in the hands of a few, or many? If its just a few, doesnt that endanger the security of the system? Presumably transaction fees will eventually equilibriate wont this introduce an unwanted source of friction, and make small transactions less desirable? These are all great questions, but beyond the scope of this post. I may come back to the questions (in the context of Bitcoin) in a future post. For now, well stick to our focus on understanding how the Bitcoin protocol works.

Lets move away from Infocoin, and describe the actual Bitcoin protocol. There are a few new ideas here, but with one exception (discussed below) theyre mostly obvious modifications to Infocoin.

To use Bitcoin in practice, you first install a wallet program on your computer. To give you a sense of what that means, heres a screenshot of a wallet called Multbit. You can see the Bitcoin balance on the left 0.06555555 Bitcoins, or about 70 dollars at the exchange rate on the day I took this screenshot and on the right two recent transactions, which deposited those 0.06555555 Bitcoins:

Suppose youre a merchant who has set up an online store, and youve decided to allow people to pay using Bitcoin. What you do is tell your wallet program to generate a Bitcoin address. In response, it will generate a public / private key pair, and then hash the public key to form your Bitcoin address:

You then send your Bitcoin address to the person who wants to buy from you. You could do this in email, or even put the address up publicly on a webpage. This is safe, since the address is merely a hash of your public key, which can safely be known by the world anyway. (Ill return later to the question of why the Bitcoin address is a hash, and not just the public key.)

The person who is going to pay you then generates a transaction. Lets take a look at the data from an actual transaction transferring bitcoins. Whats shown below is very nearly the raw data. Its changed in three ways: (1) the data has been deserialized; (2) line numbers have been added, for ease of reference; and (3) Ive abbreviated various hashes and public keys, just putting in the first six hexadecimal digits of each, when in reality they are much longer. Heres the data:

Lets go through this, line by line.

Line 1 contains the hash of the remainder of the transaction, 7c4025…, expressed in hexadecimal. This is used as an identifier for the transaction.

Line 2 tells us that this is a transaction in version 1 of the Bitcoin protocol.

Lines 3 and 4 tell us that the transaction has one input and one output, respectively. Ill talk below about transactions with more inputs and outputs, and why thats useful.

Line 5 contains the value for lock_time, which can be used to control when a transaction is finalized. For most Bitcoin transactions being carried out today the lock_time is set to 0, which means the transaction is finalized immediately.

Line 6 tells us the size (in bytes) of the transaction. Note that its not the monetary amount being transferred! That comes later.

Lines 7 through 11 define the input to the transaction. In particular, lines 8 through 10 tell us that the input is to be taken from the output from an earlier transaction, with the given hash, which is expressed in hexadecimal as 2007ae…. The n=0 tells us its to be the first output from that transaction; well see soon how multiple outputs (and inputs) from a transaction work, so dont worry too much about this for now. Line 11 contains the signature of the person sending the money, 304502…, followed by a space, and then the corresponding public key, 04b2d…. Again, these are both in hexadecimal.

One thing to note about the input is that theres nothing explicitly specifying how many bitcoins from the previous transaction should be spent in this transaction. In fact, all the bitcoins from the n=0th output of the previous transaction are spent. So, for example, if the n=0th output of the earlier transaction was 2 bitcoins, then 2 bitcoins will be spent in this transaction. This seems like an inconvenient restriction like trying to buy bread with a 20 dollar note, and not being able to break the note down. The solution, of course, is to have a mechanism for providing change. This can be done using transactions with multiple inputs and outputs, which well discuss in the next section.

Lines 12 through 14 define the output from the transaction. In particular, line 13 tells us the value of the output, 0.319 bitcoins. Line 14 is somewhat complicated. The main thing to note is that the string a7db6f… is the Bitcoin address of the intended recipient of the funds (written in hexadecimal). In fact, Line 14 is actually an expression in Bitcoins scripting language. Im not going to describe that language in detail in this post, the important thing to take away now is just that a7db6f… is the Bitcoin address.

You can now see, by the way, how Bitcoin addresses the question I swept under the rug in the last section: where do Bitcoin serial numbers come from? In fact, the role of the serial number is played by transaction hashes. In the transaction above, for example, the recipient is receiving 0.319 Bitcoins, which come out of the first output of an earlier transaction with hash 2007ae… (line 9). If you go and look in the block chain for that transaction, youd see that its output comes from a still earlier transaction. And so on.

There are two clever things about using transaction hashes instead of serial numbers. First, in Bitcoin theres not really any separate, persistent coins at all, just a long series of transactions in the block chain. Its a clever idea to realize that you dont need persistent coins, and can just get by with a ledger of transactions. Second, by operating in this way we remove the need for any central authority issuing serial numbers. Instead, the serial numbers can be self-generated, merely by hashing the transaction.

In fact, its possible to keep following the chain of transactions further back in history. Ultimately, this process must terminate. This can happen in one of two ways. The first possibilitty is that youll arrive at the very first Bitcoin transaction, contained in the so-called Genesis block. This is a special transaction, having no inputs, but a 50 Bitcoin output. In other words, this transaction establishes an initial money supply. The Genesis block is treated separately by Bitcoin clients, and I wont get into the details here, although its along similar lines to the transaction above. You can see the deserialized raw data here, and read about the Genesis block here.

The second possibility when you follow a chain of transactions back in time is that eventually youll arrive at a so-called coinbase transaction. With the exception of the Genesis block, every block of transactions in the block chain starts with a special coinbase transaction. This is the transaction rewarding the miner who validated that block of transactions. It uses a similar but not identical format to the transaction above. I wont go through the format in detail, but if you want to see an example, see here. You can read a little more about coinbase transactions here.

Something I havent been precise about above is what exactly is being signed by the digital signature in line 11. The obvious thing to do is for the payer to sign the whole transaction (apart from the transaction hash, which, of course, must be generated later). Currently, this is not what is done some pieces of the transaction are omitted. This makes some pieces of the transaction malleable, i.e., they can be changed later. However, this malleability does not include the amounts being paid out, senders and recipients, which cant be changed later. I must admit I havent dug down into the details here. I gather that this malleability is under discussion in the Bitcoin developer community, and there are efforts afoot to reduce or eliminate this malleability.

In the last section I described how a transaction with a single input and a single output works. In practice, its often extremely convenient to create Bitcoin transactions with multiple inputs or multiple outputs. Ill talk below about why this can be useful. But first lets take a look at the data from an actual transaction:

Lets go through the data, line by line. Its very similar to the single-input-single-output transaction, so Ill do this pretty quickly.

Line 1 contains the hash of the remainder of the transaction. This is used as an identifier for the transaction.

Line 2 tells us that this is a transaction in version 1 of the Bitcoin protocol.

Lines 3 and 4 tell us that the transaction has three inputs and two outputs, respectively.

Line 5 contains the lock_time. As in the single-input-single-output case this is set to 0, which means the transaction is finalized immediately.

Line 6 tells us the size of the transaction in bytes.

Lines 7 through 19 define a list of the inputs to the transaction. Each corresponds to an output from a previous Bitcoin transaction.

The first input is defined in lines 8 through 11.

In particular, lines 8 through 10 tell us that the input is to be taken from the n=0th output from the transaction with hash 3beabc…. Line 11 contains the signature, followed by a space, and then the public key of the person sending the bitcoins.

Lines 12 through 15 define the second input, with a similar format to lines 8 through 11. And lines 16 through 19 define the third input.

Lines 20 through 24 define a list containing the two outputs from the transaction.

The first output is defined in lines 21 and 22. Line 21 tells us the value of the output, 0.01068000 bitcoins. As before, line 22 is an expression in Bitcoins scripting language. The main thing to take away here is that the string e8c30622… is the Bitcoin address of the intended recipient of the funds.

The second output is defined lines 23 and 24, with a similar format to the first output.

More here:
How the Bitcoin protocol actually works | DDI

USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Liberty  Comments Off on USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aug 182015
 

The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USSLiberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War.[3] The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship.[4] At the time, the ship was in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, about 25.5nmi (29.3mi; 47.2km) northwest from the Egyptian city of Arish.[1][5]

Israel apologized for the attack, saying that the USS Liberty had been attacked in error after being mistaken for an Egyptian ship.[6] Both the Israeli and U.S. governments conducted inquiries and issued reports that concluded the attack was a mistake due to Israeli confusion about the ship’s identity,[2] though others, including survivors of the attack, have rejected these conclusions and maintain that the attack was deliberate.[7]

In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3,323,500 (US$22.5 million 2015) in compensation to the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. In March 1969, Israel paid a further $3,566,457 to the men who had been wounded. On 18 December 1980, it agreed to pay $6 million as settlement for the final U.S. bill of $17,132,709 for material damage to Liberty herself plus 13 years’ interest.[8]

USSLiberty was originally the 7,725 long tons (7,849t) (light) civilian cargo vessel Simmons Victory, a mass-produced, standard-design Victory Ship, the follow-on series to the famous Liberty Ships, which supplied the United Kingdom and Allied troops with cargo. it was acquired by the United States Navy, converted to an Auxiliary Technical Research Ship (AGTR),[9] and began her first deployment in 1965, to waters off the west coast of Africa. it carried out several more operations during the next two years.

During the Six-Day War between Israel and several Arab nations, the United States of America maintained a neutral country status.[10] Several days before the war began, the USS Liberty was ordered to proceed to the eastern Mediterranean area to perform a signals intelligence collection mission in international waters near the north coast of Sinai, Egypt.[11] After the war erupted, due to concerns about her safety as she approached her patrol area, several messages were sent to Liberty to increase her allowable closest point of approach (CPA) to Egypt’s and Israel’s coasts from 12.5 and 6.5nmi (14.4 and 7.5mi; 23.2 and 12.0km), respectively, to 20 and 15nmi (23 and 17mi; 37 and 28km), and then later to 100nmi (120mi; 190km) for both countries.[12] Unfortunately, due to ineffective message handling and routing, the CPA change messages were not received until after the attack.[12]

According to Israeli sources, at the start of the war on 5 June, General Yitzhak Rabin (then IDF Chief of Staff) informed Commander Ernest Carl Castle, the American Naval Attach in Tel Aviv, that Israel would defend its coast with every means at its disposal, including sinking unidentified ships. Also, he asked the U.S. to keep its ships away from Israel’s shore or at least inform Israel of their exact position.[13][14]

American sources said that no inquiry about ships in the area was made until after the Liberty attack ended. In a message sent from U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk to U.S. Ambassador Walworth Barbour, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Rusk asked for “urgent confirmation” of Israel’s statement. Barbour responded: “No request for info on U.S. ships operating off Sinai was made until after Liberty incident.” Further, Barbour stated: “Had Israelis made such an inquiry it would have been forwarded immediately to the chief of naval operations and other high naval commands and repeated to dept [Department of State].”[15]

With the outbreak of war, Captain William L. McGonagle of Liberty immediately asked Vice Admiral William I. Martin at the United States Sixth Fleet headquarters to send a destroyer to accompany Liberty and serve as its armed escort and as an auxiliary communications center. The following day, 6 June, Admiral Martin replied: “Liberty is a clearly marked United States ship in international waters, not a participant in the conflict and not a reasonable subject for attack by any nation. Request denied.”[16] He promised, however, that in the unlikely event of an inadvertent attack, jet fighters from the Sixth Fleet would be overhead in ten minutes.

Meanwhile, on 6 June, at the United Nations, in response to United Arab Republic complaints that the United States was supporting Israel in the conflict, U.S. Ambassador Arthur Goldberg said to the Security Council that aircraft of the Sixth Fleet were several hundred miles from the conflict,[12] indicating that elements of the Sixth Fleet itself were far from the conflict. When the statement was made this was the case, since Liberty, now assigned to the Sixth Fleet, was in the central Mediterranean Sea, passing between Libya and Crete;[17] but she would ultimately steam to about 13nmi (15mi; 24km) north of the Sinai Peninsula.[18]

On the night of 7 June Washington time, early morning on 8 June, 01:10Z or 3:10am local time, the Pentagon issued an order to Sixth Fleet headquarters to tell Liberty to come no closer than 100nmi (120mi; 190km) to Israel, Syria, or the Sinai coast (Oren, p.263).[19]:5, 58 (Exhibit N)

According to the Naval Court of Inquiry[20]:23 ff, 111 ff and National Security Agency official history,[21] the order to withdraw was not sent on the radio frequency that Liberty monitored for her orders until 15:25 Zulu, several hours after the attack, due to a long series of administrative and message routing problems. The Navy said a large volume of unrelated high-precedence traffic, including intelligence intercepts related to the conflict, were being handled at the time; and that this combined with a shortage of qualified Radiomen contributed to delayed sending of the withdrawal message.[20]:111 ff

Official testimony combined with Liberty’s deck log say that throughout the morning of the attack, 8 June, the ship was overflown, at various times and locations, by Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft.[18] The primary aircraft type was the Nord Noratlas; there were also two unidentified delta-wing jets at about 9:00am Sinai time (GMT+2).[18]Liberty crewmembers say that one of the Noratlas aircraft flew so close to Liberty that noise from its propellers rattled the ship’s deck plating, and that the pilots and crewmembers waved to each other.[22] It was later reported, based on information from Israel Defense Forces sources, that the over-flights were coincidental, and that the aircraft were hunting for Egyptian submarines that had been spotted near the coast.[23]

At about 5:45am Sinai time, a ship-sighting report was received at Israeli Central Coastal Command (CCC) about Liberty, identified by an aerial naval observer as “apparently a destroyer, sailing 70 miles [110km] west of Gaza.”[24] The vessel’s location was marked on a CCC Control Table, using a red marker, indicating an unidentified vessel.[25] At about 6:00am, the aerial naval observer reported that the ship appeared like a U.S. Navy supply ship; the red marker was replaced with a green marker to indicate a neutral vessel, at about 9:00am.[25] At that same time, an Israeli jet fighter pilot reported that a ship 20 miles (32km) north of Arish had fired at his aircraft after he tried to identify the vessel.[25] Israeli naval command dispatched two destroyers to investigate, but they were returned to their previous positions at 9:40am after doubts emerged during the pilot’s debriefing.[25] After the naval observer’s Noratlas landed and he was debriefed, the ship he saw was further identified as the USS Liberty, based on its “GTR-5″ hull markings.[26] USS Liberty’s marker was removed from CCC’s Control Table at 11:00am, due to its positional information being considered stale.[27]

At 11:24am, Israeli Chief of Naval Operations received a report that Arish was being shelled from the sea.[27] An inquiry into the source of the report was ordered to determine its validity.[27] The report came from an Air Support Officer in Arish.[28] Additionally, at 11:27am Israeli Supreme Command Head of Operations received a report stating that a ship had been shelling Arish, but the shells had fallen short.[28] (Investigative journalist James Bamford points out that Liberty had only four .50 caliber machine guns mounted on her decks and, thus, could not have shelled the coast.[29] ) The Head of Operations ordered that the report be verified, and determine whether or not Israeli Navy vessels were off the coast of Arish.[28] At 11:45am, another report arrived at Supreme Command saying two ships were approaching the Arish coast.[28]

The shelling and ships reports were passed from Supreme Command to Fleet Operations Control Center.[28] The Chief of Naval Operations took them seriously, and at 12:05pm torpedo boat Division 914 was ordered to patrol in the direction of Arish.[28]

Division 914, codenamed “Pagoda”, was under the command of Commander Moshe Oren.[28] It consisted of three torpedo boats numbered: T-203, T-204 and T-206.[28] At 12:15pm, Division 914 received orders to patrol a position 20 miles (32km) north of Arish.[28] As Commander Oren headed toward Arish, he was informed by Naval Operations of the reported shelling of Arish and told that IAF aircraft would be dispatched to the area after the target had been detected.[28]

Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin was concerned that the supposed Egyptian shelling was the prelude to an amphibious landing that could outflank Israeli forces. Rabin reiterated the standing order to sink any unidentified ships in the area, but advised caution, as Soviet vessels were reportedly operating nearby.[23]

At 1:41pm, the torpedo boats detected an unknown vessel 20 miles northwest of Arish and 14 miles (23km) off the coast of Bardawil.[1][30] The ship’s speed was estimated on their radars.[30] The Combat Information Center officer on T-204, Ensign Aharon Yifrah, reported to the boat’s captain, Commander Moshe Oren, that the target had been detected at a range of 22 miles (35km), that her speed had been tracked for a few minutes, after which he had determined that the target was moving westward at a speed of 30 knots (56km/h; 35mph). These data were forwarded to the Fleet Operations Control Center.[30]

The speed of the target was significant because it indicated that the target was a combat vessel.[30] Moreover, Israeli forces had standing orders to fire on any unknown vessels sailing in the area at over 20 knots (37km/h; 23mph), a speed which, at the time, could only be attained by warships. The Chief of Naval Operations asked the torpedo boats to double-check their calculations. Yifrah twice recalculated and confirmed his assessment.[23][30] A few minutes later, Commander Oren reported that the target, now 17 miles (27km) from his position, was moving at a speed of 28 knots (52km/h; 32mph) on a different heading.[31] Bamford, however, points out that Liberty’s top speed was far below 28 knots. His sources say that at the time of the attack Liberty was following her signal-intercept mission course along the northern Sinai coast, at about 5 knots (9.3km/h; 5.8mph) speed.[29]

The data on the ship’s speed, together with its direction, indicated that it was an Egyptian destroyer fleeing toward port after shelling Arish. The torpedo boats gave chase, but did not expect to overtake their target before it reached Egypt. Commander Oren requested that the Israeli Air Force dispatch aircraft to intercept.[23][30] At 1:48pm, the Chief of Naval Operations requested dispatch of fighter aircraft to the ship’s location.[32]

The IAF dispatched two Mirage III fighter jets that arrived at Liberty at about 2:00 pm.[33] The formation leader, Captain Iftach Spector, attempted to identify the ship.[33] He communicated via radio to one of the torpedo boats his observation that the ship appeared like a military ship with one smokestack and one mast.[34] Also, he communicated, in effect, that the ship appeared to him like a destroyer or another type of small ship.[34] In a post-attack statement, the pilots said they saw no distinguishable markings or flag on the ship.[34]

At this point, a recorded exchange took place between a command headquarters weapons systems officer, one of the air controllers, and the chief air controller questioning a possible American presence. Immediately after the exchange, at 1:57pm, the chief air controller, Lieutenant-Colonel Shmuel Kislev, cleared the Mirages to attack.[23][35]

After being cleared to attack, the Mirages dived on the ship and attacked with 30-mm cannons and rockets.[36] The attack came a few minutes after the crew completed a chemical attack drill, with Captain McGonagle on the command bridge.[37] The crew was in “stand-down mode”, with their helmets and life jackets removed,[23] except battle readiness “modified condition three” was set which meant that the ship’s four .50 caliber machine guns were manned and ammunition ready for loading and firing.[38][39] Eight crewmen were either killed immediately or died later, and 75 were wounded.[40] Among the wounded was McGonagle, who was hit in the right thigh and arm.[41] During the attack, antennas were severed, gas drums caught fire, and the ship’s flag was knocked down. McGonagle sent an urgent request for help to the Sixth Fleet, “Under attack by unidentified jet aircraft, require immediate assistance.”

The Mirages left after expending their ammunition, and were replaced by two Dassault Mysteres armed with napalm bombs. The Mysteres released their payloads over the ship and strafed it with their cannons. Much of the ship’s superstructure caught fire.[23][33] The Mysteres were readying to attack again when the Israeli Navy, alerted by the absence of return fire, warned Kislev that the target could be Israeli. Kislev told the pilots not to attack if there was any doubt about identification, and the Israeli Navy quickly contacted all of its vessels in the area. The Israeli Navy found that none of its vessels were under fire, and the aircraft were cleared to attack. However, Kislev was still disturbed by a lack of return fire, and requested one last attempt to identify the ship. Captain Yossi Zuk, leader of the Mystere formation, made an attempt at identification while strafing the ship. He reported seeing no flag, but saw the ship’s GTR-5 marking. Kislev immediately ordered the attack stopped. Kislev guessed that the ship was American.[23]

The fact that the ship had Latin alphabet markings led Chief of Staff Rabin to fear that the ship was Soviet. Though Egyptian warships were known to disguise their identities with Western markings, they usually displayed Arabic letters and numbers only. Rabin ordered the torpedo boats to remain at a safe distance from the ship, and sent in two Hornet (Arospatiale Super Frelon) helicopters to search for survivors. These radio communications were recorded by Israel. The order also was recorded in the torpedo boat’s log, although Commander Oren alleged not to have received it. The order to cease fire was given at 2:20pm, twenty-four minutes before the torpedo boats arrived at the Liberty’s position.[42] At 2:35pm, Liberty was hit by a torpedo launched from one of the torpedo boats.[43]

During the interval, crewmen aboard Liberty hoisted a large American flag. During the early part of the air attack and before the torpedo boats were sighted, Liberty sent a distress message that was received by Sixth Fleet aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.[40] Aircraft carrier USS America dispatched eight aircraft. The carrier had been in the middle of strategic exercises. Vice-Admiral William I. Martin recalled the aircraft minutes later.[23]

McGonagle testified at the naval court of inquiry that during “the latter moments of the air attack, it was noted that three high speed boats were approaching the ship from the northeast on a relative bearing of approximately 135 [degrees] at a distance of about 15 [nautical] miles. The ship at the time was still on [westward] course 283 [degrees] true, speed unknown, but believed to be in excess of five knots.”[20]:38 McGonagle testified that he “believed that the time of initial sighting of the torpedo boats … was about 14:20 [2:20 pm]”, and that the “boats appeared to be in a wedge type formation with the center boat the lead point of the wedge. Estimated speed of the boats was about 27 to 30 knots [50 to 56km/h],” and that it “appeared that they were approaching the ship in a torpedo launch attitude.”[20]:38

When the torpedo boats arrived, Commander Oren could see that the ship could not be the destroyer that had supposedly shelled Arish or any ship capable of 30 knots (56km/h) speed. Oren believed it was a slower-moving vessel that had either serviced the destroyer or evacuated enemy soldiers from the beach.[citation needed] He ordered the squadron not to attack pending better identification “although this was difficult due to the billowing clouds of smoke that enveloped the vessel; only her bow, part of her bridge and the tip of her mast could be discerned.”[citation needed] At 6,000 meters (20,000ft), T-204 paused and signalled “AA” “identify yourself.”[citation needed] Due to damaged equipment, McGonagle could only reply with “AA” using a handheld Aldis lamp.[citation needed] Oren recalled receiving a similar response from the Ibrahim el Awal, an Egyptian destroyer captured by Israel during the Suez Crisis, and was convinced that he was facing an enemy ship.[citation needed]

He consulted an Israeli identification guide to Arab fleets and concluded the ship was the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir, based on observing its deckline, midship bridge and smokestack. The captain of boat T203 reached the same conclusion independently. The boats organized into battle formation, but did not attack.[42][44]

As the torpedo boats rapidly approached, Captain McGonagle ordered a sailor to proceed to machine gun Mount 51 and open fire.[20]:38 However, he noticed that the boats appeared to be flying an Israeli flag, and “realized that there was a possibility of the aircraft having been Israeli and the attack had been conducted in error.”[20]:39 Captain McGonagle ordered the man at gun mount 51 to hold fire, but a short burst was fired at the torpedo boats before the man was able to understand the order.[20]:39 McGonagle observed that machine gun Mount 53 began firing at the center torpedo boat at about the same time gun mount 51 fired, and that its fire was “extremely effective and blanketed the area and the center torpedo boat.”[20]:39 Machine gun mount 53 was located on the starboard amidships side, behind the pilot house.[20]:16 McGonagle could not see or “get to mount 53 from the starboard wing of the bridge.”[20]:39 So, he “sent Mr. Lucas around the port side of the bridge, around to the skylights, to see if he could tell [Seaman] Quintero, whom [he] believed to be the gunner on Machine gun 53, to hold fire.”[20]:39

Ensign Lucas “reported back in a few minutes in effect that he saw no one at mount 53.”[20]:39 Lucas, who had left the command bridge during the air attack and returned to assist Captain McGonagle immediately before a torpedo hit the ship,[20]:14 believed that the gunfire sound was likely from ammunition cooking off, due to a nearby fire.[20]:16 Prior to this time, after a torpedo hit the ship, Lucas had granted a request from Quintero to fire at the torpedo boats before heat from a nearby fire chased him from gun mount 53.[20]:26,27 (McGonagle later testified, at the Court of Inquiry, that this was likely the “extremely effective” firing event he had observed.[20]:49)

After coming under fire, Commander Oren repeatedly requested permission from naval headquarters to return fire, and chief naval controller Izzy Rahav finally approved.[citation needed] Shelling by the torpedo boats killed Liberty’s helmsman.[43] The torpedo boats then launched five torpedoes at the Liberty.[45] At 1235Z (2:35 local time)[43] a torpedo hit Liberty on the starboard side forward of the superstructure, creating a 40ft (12m) wide hole in what had been a former cargo hold converted to the ship’s research spaces and killing 25 servicemen, almost all of them from the intelligence section, and wounding dozens.[23][46] It has been said the torpedo hit a major hull frame that absorbed much of the energy; crew members reported that if the torpedo had missed the frame the Liberty would have split in two. Russian linguist and U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Bryce Lockwood later commented: “I would never deny that it was God that kept the Liberty afloat!”.[7] The other four torpedoes missed the ship.

The torpedo boats then closed in and strafed the ship’s hull with their cannons and machine guns.[citation needed] According to some crewmen, the torpedo boats fired at damage control parties and sailors preparing life rafts for launch. (See disputed details below.) A life raft which floated from the ship was picked up by T-203 and found to bear US Navy markings. T-204 then circled Liberty, and Oren spotted the designation GTR-5, but saw no flag.[citation needed] It took until 3:30pm to establish the ship’s identity. Shortly before the Liberty’s identity was confirmed, the Saratoga launched eight aircraft armed with conventional weapons towards Liberty. After the ship’s identity was confirmed, the General Staff was notified and an apology was sent to naval attach Castle. The aircraft approaching Liberty were recalled to the Saratoga.[23]

According to transcripts of intercepted radio communications, published by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), at about 2:30pm, near the beginning of the torpedo boat attack, two IAF helicopters were dispatched to Liberty’s location. The helicopters arrived at about 3:10pm, about 35 minutes after a torpedo hit the ship. After arriving, one of the helicopter pilots was asked, by his ground-based controller, to verify that the ship was flying an American flag. The helicopters conducted a brief search for crew members of the ship who may have fallen overboard during the air attack. No one was found. The helicopters left the ship at about 3:20pm.

At about 4pm, two hours after the attack began, Israel informed the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv that its military forces had mistakenly attacked a U.S. Navy ship. When the ship was “confirmed to be American” the torpedo boats returned at about 4:40pm to offer help;[47] it was refused by the Liberty. Later, Israel provided a helicopter to fly U.S. naval attach Commander Castle to the ship.[48] (pp.32,34)

In Washington, President Lyndon B. Johnson had received word from the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Liberty had been torpedoed by an unknown vessel at 9:50am eastern time. Johnson assumed that the Soviets were involved, and hotlined Moscow with news of the attack and the dispatch of jets from Saratoga. He chose not to make any public statements and delegated this task to Phil G. Goulding, who was an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at a time.[49]

Soon afterward, the Israelis said that they had mistakenly attacked the ship. The Johnson administration conveyed “strong dismay” to Israeli ambassador Avraham Harman. Meanwhile, apologies were soon sent by Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Foreign Minister Abba Eban, and charg d’affaires Efraim Evron. Within 48 hours, Israel offered to compensate the victims and their families.[42]

Though Liberty was severely damaged, with a 39ft wide by 24ft high (12 m x 7.3 m) hole and a twisted keel, her crew kept her afloat, and she was able to leave the area under her own power. Liberty was later met by the destroyers USS Davis and USS Massey, and the cruiser USS Little Rock. Medical personnel were transferred to Liberty, and she was escorted to Malta, where she was given interim repairs. After these were completed in July 1967, Liberty returned to the U.S. She was decommissioned in June 1968 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register. Liberty was transferred to United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) in December 1970 and sold for scrap in 1973.

From the start, the response to Israeli statements of mistaken identity ranged between frank disbelief and unquestioning acceptance within the administration in Washington. A communication to the Israeli Ambassador on 10 June, by Secretary Rusk stated, among other things: “At the time of the attack, the USS Liberty was flying the American flag and its identification was clearly indicated in large white letters and numerals on its hull. … Experience demonstrates that both the flag and the identification number of the vessel were readily visible from the air…. Accordingly, there is every reason to believe that the USS Liberty was identified, or at least her nationality determined, by Israeli aircraft approximately one hour before the attack. … The subsequent attack by the torpedo boats, substantially after the vessel was or should have been identified by Israeli military forces, manifests the same reckless disregard for human life.”[50]

George Lenczowski notes: “It was significant that, in contrast to his secretary of state, President Johnson fully accepted the Israeli version of the tragic incident.” He notes that Johnson himself only included one small paragraph about the Liberty in his autobiography,[51] in which he accepted the Israeli explanation of “error”, but also minimized the whole affair and distorted the actual number of dead and wounded, by lowering them from 34 to 10 and 171 to 100, respectively. Lenczowski further states: It seems Johnson was more interested in avoiding a possible confrontation with the Soviet Union, …than in restraining Israel.[52]

McGonagle received the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. medal, for his actions.[53][54] The Medal of Honor is generally presented by the President of the United States in the White House,[54][55] but this time it was awarded at the Washington Navy Yard by the Secretary of the Navy in an unpublicized ceremony, breaking with established tradition.[54]

Other Liberty sailors received decorations for their actions during and after the attack, but most of the award citations omitted mention of Israel as the perpetrator. In 2009, however, a Silver Star awarded to crewmember Terry Halbardier, who braved machine-gun and cannon fire to repair a damaged antenna that restored the ship’s communications, in the award citation named Israel as the attacker.[56]

American inquiries, memoranda, records of testimony, and various reports involving or mentioning the Liberty attack include, but are not limited to, the following:

The U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry record contains testimony by fourteen Liberty crew members and five subject matter experts; exhibits of attack damage photographs, various messages and memoranda; and findings of fact. The testimony record reveals “a shallow investigation, plagued by myriad disagreements between the captain and his crew.”[57] As to culpability, “It was not the responsibility of the court to rule on the culpability of the attackers, and no evidence was heard from the attacking nation”, the court concluded that “available evidence combines to indicate … (that the attack was) a case of mistaken identity.” Additionally, the Court found that “heroism displayed by the Commanding Officer, officers and men of the Liberty was exceptional.”

The Joint Chief of Staff’s Report contains findings of fact related only to communication system failures associated with the Liberty attack. It was not concerned with matters of culpability, nor does it contain statements thereof.

The CIA Memoranda consist of two documents: one dated June 13, 1967, and the other dated June 21, 1967. The June 13 memorandum is an “account of circumstances of the attack … compiled from all available sources.” The June 21 memorandum is a point-by-point analysis of Israeli inquiry findings of fact. It concludes: “The attack was not made in malice toward the U.S. and was by mistake, but the failure of the IDF Headquarters and the attacking aircraft to identify the Liberty and the subsequent attack by torpedo boats were both incongruous and indicative of gross negligence.”

The Clark Clifford Report consists of a review of “all available information on the subject” and “deals with the question of Israeli culpability”, according to its transmittal memorandum. The report concludes: “The unprovoked attack on the Liberty constitutes a flagrant act of gross negligence for which the Israeli Government should be held completely responsible, and the Israeli military personnel involved should be punished.”

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony contains, as an aside matter during hearings concerning a foreign aid authorization bill, questions and statements from several senators and responses from then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, about the Liberty attack. For the most part, the senators were dismayed about the attack, as expressed by Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper: “From what I have read I can’t tolerate for one minute that this [attack] was an accident.” Also, there was concern about obtaining more information about the attack, as expressed by Committee chairman J. William Fulbright: “We asked for [the attack investigation report] about two weeks ago and have not received it yet from Secretary Rusk. … By the time we get to it we will be on some other subject.” Secretary McNamara promised fast delivery of the investigation report (“…you will have it in four hours.”), and concluded his remarks by saying: “I simply want to emphasize that the investigative report does not show any evidence of a conscious intent to attack a U.S. vessel.”[58]

The House Armed Services Committee investigation report is titled, “Review of Department of Defense Worldwide Communications”. It was not an investigation focused on the Liberty attack; although, the committee’s report contains a section that describes communications flow involved with the Liberty incident.

The NSA History Report is, as its name connotes, a historical report that cited the U.S. Naval Court of Inquiry record, various military and government messages and memorandum, and personal interviews for its content. The report ends with a section entitled, “Unanswered Questions”, and provides no conclusion regarding culpability.

The Liberty Veterans Association (composed of veterans from the ship) states that U.S. congressional investigations and other U.S. investigations were not actually investigations into the attack, but rather reports using evidence only from the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry, or investigations unrelated to culpability that involved issues such as communications. In their view, the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry is the only actual investigation on the incident to date. They say it was hastily conducted, in only 10 days, even though the court’s president, Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd, said that it would take six months to conduct properly. The inquiry’s terms of reference were limited to whether any shortcomings on the part of the Liberty’s crew had contributed to the injuries and deaths that resulted from the attack.[59] According to the Navy Court of Inquiry’s record of proceedings, four days were spent hearing testimony: two days for fourteen survivors of the attack and several U.S. Navy expert witnesses, and two partial days for two expert U.S. Navy witnesses. No testimony was heard from Israeli personnel involved.

The National Archives in College Park, Maryland includes in its files on casualties from the Liberty copies of the original telegrams the Navy sent out to family members. The telegrams called the attack accidental. The telegrams were sent out June 9, the day before the Navy Court of Inquiry convened.

Two subsequent Israeli inquiry reports and an historical report concluded the attack was conducted because Liberty was confused with an Egyptian vessel and because of failures in communications between Israel and the U.S. The three Israeli reports were:

In the historical report, it was acknowledged that IDF naval headquarters knew at least three hours before the attack that the ship was “an electromagnetic audio-surveillance ship of the U.S. Navy” but concluded that this information had simply “gotten lost, never passed along to the ground controllers who directed the air attack nor to the crews of the three Israeli torpedo boats.”

The Israeli government said that three crucial errors were made: the refreshing of the status board (removing the ship’s classification as American, so that the later shift did not see it identified), the erroneous identification of the ship as an Egyptian vessel, and the lack of notification from the returning aircraft informing Israeli headquarters of markings on the front of the hull (markings that would not be found on an Egyptian ship). As a common root of these problems, Israel blamed the combination of alarm and fatigue experienced by the Israeli forces at that point of the war when pilots were severely overworked.

After conducting his own fact-finding inquiry and reviewing evidence, Judge Yerushalmi’s decision was: “I have not discovered any deviation from the standard of reasonable conduct which would justify committal of anyone for trial.” In other words, he found no negligence by any IDF member associated with the attack.

Some intelligence and military officials dispute Israel’s explanation.[63]

Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote:

I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.[64]

Retired naval Lieutenant Commander James Ennes, a junior officer (and off-going Officer of the Deck) on Liberty’s bridge at the time of the attack, authored a book titled Assault on the Liberty describing the incident during the Six Day War in June 1967 and saying, among other things, that the attack was deliberate.[65] Ennes and Joe Meadors, also survivors of the attack, run a website about the incident.[66] Meadors states that the classification of the attack as deliberate is the official policy of the USS Liberty Veterans Association,[67] to which survivors and other former crew members belong. Other survivors run several additional websites. Citing Ennes’s book, Lenczowski notes: Liberty’s personnel received firm orders not to say anything to anybody about the attack, and the naval inquiry was conducted in such a way as to earn it the name of “coverup”.[52]

In 2002, Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, U.S. Navy, senior counsel for the Court of Inquiry, said that the Court of Inquiry’s findings were intended to cover up what was a deliberate attack by Israel on a ship that the Israelis knew to be American. In 2004, in response to the publication of A. Jay Cristol’s book The Liberty Incident, which Boston said was an “insidious attempt to whitewash the facts”, Boston prepared and signed an affidavit in which he said that Admiral Kidd had told him that the government ordered Kidd to falsely report that the attack was a mistake, and that Boston and Kidd both believed the attack was deliberate.[68] On the issue Boston wrote, in part:

The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as ‘murderous bastards.’ It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident.

Cristol wrote about Boston’s professional qualifications and integrity, on page 149 of his book:

Boston brought two special assets in addition to his skill as a Navy lawyer. He had been a naval aviator in World War II and therefore had insight beyond that of one qualified only in the law. Also, Kidd knew him as a man of integrity. On an earlier matter Boston had been willing to bump heads with Kidd when Boston felt it was more important to do the right thing than to curry favor with the senior who would write his fitness report.

Cristol believes that Boston is not telling the truth about Kidd’s views and any pressure from the U.S. government.[69] Cristol, who also served as an officer of the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General, suggests that Boston was responsible in part for the original conclusions of the Court of Inquiry and, that by later declaring that they were false, Boston has admitted to “lying under oath.” Cristol also notes that Boston’s statements about pressure on Kidd were hearsay, and that Kidd was not alive to confirm or deny them. He also notes that Boston did not maintain, prior to his affidavit and comments related to it, that Kidd spoke of such instructions to Boston or to others. Finally, Cristol provides a handwritten 1991 letter from Admiral Kidd[70] that, according to Cristol, “suggest that Ward Boston has either a faulty memory or a vivid imagination”.

The Anti-Defamation League supports Cristol’s opinion:

… according to his own account, Boston’s evidence of a cover-up derives not from his own part in the investigation but solely on alleged conversations with Admiral Kidd, who purportedly told him he was forced to find that the attack was unintentional. Kidd died in 1999 and there is no way to verify Boston’s statements. However, Cristol argues that the ‘documentary record’ strongly indicated that Kidd ‘supported the validity of the findings of the Court of Inquiry to his dying day.'[71]

According to James Ennes, however, Admiral Kidd urged Ennes and his group to keep pressing for an open congressional probe.[72]

The following arguments, found in official reports or other sources, were published to support that the attack was due to mistaken identity:

Several books and the BBC documentary USS Liberty: Dead in the Water argued that Liberty was attacked in order to prevent the U.S. from knowing about the forthcoming attack in the Golan Heights, which would violate a cease-fire to which Israel’s government had agreed.[75] However, Syria did not accept the cease fire until 9 June, after the attack on Liberty.[76] Russian author Joseph Daichman, in his book History of the Mossad, states Israel was justified in attacking the Liberty.[77] Israel knew that American radio signals were intercepted by the Soviet Union and that the Soviets would certainly inform Egypt of the fact that, by moving troops to the Golan Heights, Israel had left the Egyptian border undefended.[78]

Lenczowski notes that while the Israeli decision to “attack and destroy” the ship “may appear puzzling”, the explanation seems to be found in Liberty’s nature and its task to monitor communications on both sides in the war zone. He writes, “Israel clearly did not want the U.S. government to know too much about its dispositions for attacking Syria, initially planned for 8 June, but postponed for 24 hours. It should be pointed out that the attack on Liberty occurred on 8 June, whereas on 9 June at 3am, Syria announced its acceptance of the cease-fire. Despite this, at 7am, that is, four hours later, Israel’s minister of defense, Moshe Dayan, “gave the order to go into action against Syria.”[79] He further writes that timely knowledge of this decision and preparatory moves toward it “might have frustrated Israeli designs for the conquest of Syria’s Golan Heights” and, in the sense of Ennes’s accusations, provides “a plausible thesis that Israel deliberately decided to incapacitate the signals-collecting American ship and leave no one alive to tell the story of the attack.”[80]

U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Barbour, had reported on the day of the Liberty attack that he “would not be surprised” by an Israeli attack on Syria, and the IDF Intelligence chief told a White House aide then in Israel that “there still remained the Syria problem and perhaps it would be necessary to give Syria a blow.”[81]

The 1981 book Weapons by Russell Warren Howe says that Liberty was accompanied by the Polaris ballistic missile-armed Lafayette-class submarine USSAndrew Jackson, which filmed the entire episode through its periscope but was unable to provide assistance. According to Howe: “Two hundred feet below the ship, on a parallel course, was its ‘shadow’the Polaris strategic submarine Andrew Jackson, whose job was to take out all the Israeli long-range missile sites in the Negev if Tel Aviv decided to attack Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad. This was in order that Moscow would not have to perform this task itself and thus trigger World War Three.”[82]

James Bamford, a former ABC News producer, in his 2001 book Body of Secrets,[83] says Israel deliberately attacked Liberty to prevent the discovery of what he described as war crimes, including the killing of Egyptian prisoners of war by the IDF that he alleges was taking place around the same time in the nearby town of El-Arish.[84] However according to CAMERA his claim that 400 were executed has been cast into doubt since reporters present in the town claimed that there had in fact been a large battle and this was the main cause of casualties.[85] Bamford also claimed that eyewitness Gabi Bron had claimed he saw 150 people executed by Israeli troops at El-Arish.[83] However Gabi Bron claimed to have only seen 5 people executed by Israeli troops.[86][87]

The press release for the BBC documentary film Dead in the Water states that new recorded and other evidence suggests the attack was a “daring ploy by Israel to fake an Egyptian attack” to give America a reason to enter the war against Egypt. Convinced that the attack was real, President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson launched allegedly nuclear-armed aircraft targeted against Cairo from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. The aircraft were recalled only just in time, when it was clear the Liberty had not sunk and that Israel had carried out the attack. An information source for the aircraft being nuclear-armed, James Ennes, later stated:

Although America could not send conventionally armed jets, reports still come in that four jet bombers were catapulted from the carrier America with nuclear bombs aboard. Even today there is no official confirmation of that launch and much high-level denial. A nuclear launch has been strongly denied by Secretary McNamara, Admiral Martin (now deceased), Admiral Geis (deceased), Admiral Moorer, and Americas skipper, Admiral David Engen (deceased) and others. Yet eyewitness reports persist. Clearly no such launch could have been intended for offensive purposes. Surely nuclear weapons would not have been used in defense of the USS Liberty.

It is clear that I was mistaken about the aircraft involved, as F4s do not carry nuclear weapons. Others tell me that the aircraft that were launched carried Bullpup missiles, which might easily be mistaken for nuclear bombs. And we learned much later that the USS America was involved in a nuclear weapons loading drill at the very time the ship learned of the attack on the Liberty and that this drill is one factor that delayed America’s response to our call for help. It is also possible that those were the weapons seen by our sources.

Also confusing this issue is an oral history report from the American Embassy in Cairo, now in the LBJ Library, which notes that the Embassy received an urgent message from Washington warning that Cairo was about to be bombed by US forces, presumably in mistaken retaliation for the USS Liberty attack. That strange message was never explained or cancelled.[88]

The video also provides hearsay evidence of a covert alliance of U.S. and Israel intelligence agencies.[89]

Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a critic of the official United States Government version of events, chaired a non-governmental investigation into the attack on the USS Liberty in 2003. The committee, which included former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia James E. Akins, held Israel to be culpable and suggested several theories for Israel’s possible motives, including the desire to blame Egypt and bring the U.S. into the Six Day War.[90]

According to John Loftus and Mark Aarons in their book, The Secret War Against the Jews, USS Liberty was attacked because the Israelis knew that Liberty’s mission was to monitor radio signals from Israeli troops and pass troop movement information to the Egyptians.[91][unreliable source?]

Within an hour of learning that the Liberty had been torpedoed, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, LTG Marshall S. Carter, sent a message to all intercept sites requesting a special search of all communications that might reflect the attack or reaction. No communications were available. However, one of the airborne platforms, a U.S. Navy EC-121 aircraft that flew near the attacks from 2:30pm to 3:27pm, Sinai time (1230 to 1327 Z), had collected voice conversations between two Israeli helicopter pilots and the control tower at Hatzor Airfield following the attack on the Liberty.[92]

On 2 July 2003, the NSA released copies of the recordings made by the EC-121 and the resultant translations and summaries.[93] These revelations were elicited as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Florida bankruptcy judge and retired naval aviator Jay Cristol. Two linguists who were aboard the EC-121 when the recordings were made, however, said separately that at least two additional tapes were made that have been excluded from the NSA releases up to and including a 8 June 2007, release.[7]

English transcripts of the released tapes indicate that Israel still spoke of hitting an Egyptian supply ship even after the attack had stopped.[94][95] After the attack, the rescue helicopters are heard relaying several urgent requests that the rescuers ask the first survivor pulled out of the water what his nationality is, and discussing whether the survivors from the attacked ship will speak Arabic.[96]

A summary report of the NSA-translated tapes[97] indicates that at 1234Z Hatzor air control began directing two Israeli Air Force helicopters to an Egyptian warship, to rescue its crew: “This ship has now been identified as Egyptian.” The helicopters arrived near the ship at about 1303Z: “I see a big vessel, near it are three small vessels…” At 1308Z, Hatzor air control indicated concern about the nationality of the ship’s crew: “The first matter to clarify is to find out what their nationality is.” At 1310Z, one of the helicopter pilots asked the nearby torpedo boats’ Division Commander about the meaning of the ship’s hull number: “GTR5 is written on it. Does this mean something?” The response was: “Negative, it doesn’t mean anything.” At 1312Z, one of the helicopter pilots was asked by air control: “Did you clearly identify an American flag?” No answer appears in the transcript, but the air controller then says: “We request that you make another pass and check once more if this is really an American flag.” Again, no response appears in the transcript. At about 1314Z, the helicopters were directed to return home.

The NSA reported that there had been no radio intercepts of the attack made by the Liberty herself, nor had there been any radio intercepts made by the U.S. submarine USSAmberjack.

On 10 October 2003, The Jerusalem Post ran an interview with Yiftah Spector, one of the pilots who participated in the attack,[98] and thought to be the lead pilot of the first wave of aircraft. Spector said the ship was assumed to be Egyptian, stating that: “I circled it twice and it did not fire on me. My assumption was that it was likely to open fire at me and nevertheless I slowed down and I looked and there was positively no flag.” The interview also contains the transcripts of the Israeli communications about the Liberty. The journalist who transcribed the tapes for that article, Arieh O’Sullivan, later confirmed that “the Israeli Air Force tapes he listened to contained blank spaces.”[7]

The Liberty’s survivors contradict Spector. According to subsequently declassified NSA documents: “Every official interview of numerous Liberty crewmen gave consistent evidence that indeed the Liberty was flying an American flagand, further, the weather conditions were ideal to ensure its easy observance and identification.”[99]

On 8 June 2005, the USS Liberty Veterans Association filed a “Report of War Crimes Committed Against the U.S. Military, June 8, 1967″ with the Department of Defense (DoD). They say Department of Defense Directive 2311.01E requires the Department of Defense to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations contained in their report. DoD has responded that a new investigation will not be conducted since a Navy Court of Inquiry already investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack.

As of 2006, the NSA has yet to declassify “boxes and boxes” of Liberty documents. Numerous requests under both declassification directives and the Freedom of Information Act are pending in various agencies including the NSA, Central Intelligence Agency, and Defense Intelligence Agency. “On 8 June 2007, the National Security Agency released hundreds of additional declassified documents on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, a communications interception vessel, on 8 June 1967.”[100]

On 2 October 2007, The Chicago Tribune published a special report[7] into the attack, containing numerous previously unreported quotes from former military personnel with first-hand knowledge of the incident. Many of these quotes directly contradict the NSA’s position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots, saying that not only did transcripts of those communications exist, but also that it showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.

Two diplomatic cables written by Avraham Harman, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, to Abba Eban Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, have been declassified by Israel and obtained from the Israel State Archive. The first cable, sent five days after the attack, informs Eban that a U.S. informant told him (Harman) that there was “clear proof that from a certain stage the pilot discovered the identity of the ship and continued the attack anyway.”[15] The second cable, sent three days later, added that the White House is “very angry” because “the Americans probably have findings showing that our pilots indeed knew that the ship was American.”[7]

Documents of the Israeli General Staff meetings, declassified in October 2008, show no discussion of a planned attack on an American ship.[101]

On 30 October 2014, Al Jazeera English broadcast a documentary film containing recent first-hand accounts by several survivors of the incident.[102]

Many of the events surrounding the attack are the subject of controversy:

We learned that the ship had been attacked in error by Israeli gunboats and aircraft. Ten men of the Liberty crew were killed and a hundred were wounded. This heartbreaking episode grieved the Israelis deeply, as it did us.

Survivors of the attack

Sources other than survivors

Coordinates: 312324N 332248E / 31.3900N 33.3800E / 31.3900; 33.3800

Go here to see the original:
USS Liberty incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman, prologue

 Posthuman  Comments Off on Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman, prologue
Aug 152015
 

“Too often the pressing implications of tomorrow’s technologically enhanced human beings have been buried beneath an impenetrable haze of theory-babble and leather-clad posturing. Thankfully, N. Katherine Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman provides a rigorous and historical framework for grappling with the cyborg, which Hayles replaces with the more all-purpose ‘posthuman.'[Hayles] has written a deeply insightful and significant investigation of how cybernetics gradually reshaped the boundaries of the human.”Erik Davis, Village Voice

“Could it be possible someday for your mind, including your memories and your consciousness, to be downloaded into a computer?In her important new bookHayles examines how it became possible in the late 20th Century to formulate a question such as the one above, and she makes a case for why it’s the wrong question to ask.[She] traces the evolution over the last half-century of a radical reconception of what it means to be human and, indeed, even of what it means to be alive, a reconception unleashed by the interplay of humans and intelligent machines.”Susan Duhig, Chicago Tribune Books

“This is an incisive meditation on a major, often misunderstood aspect of the avant-garde in science fiction: the machine/human interface in all its unsettling, technicolor glories. The author is well positioned to bring informed critical engines to bear on a subject that will increasingly permeate our media and our minds. I recommend it highly.”Gregory Benford, author of Timescape and Cosm

“At a time when fallout from the ‘science wars’ continues to cast a pall over the American intellectual landscape, Hayles is a rare and welcome voice. She is a literary theorist at the University of California at Los Angeles who also holds an advanced degree in chemistry. Bridging the chasm between C. P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ with effortless grace, she has been for the past decade a leading writer on the interplay between science and literature.The basis of this scrupulously researched work is a history of the cybernetic and informatic sciences, and the evolution of the concept of ‘information’ as something ontologically separate from any material substrate. Hayles traces the development of this vision through three distinct stages, beginning with the famous Macy conferences of the 1940s and 1950s (with participants such as Claude Shannon and Norbert Weiner), through the ideas of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela about ‘autopoietic’ self-organising systems, and on to more recent conceptions of virtual (or purely informatic) ‘creatures,’ ‘agents’ and human beings.”Margaret Wertheim, New Scientist

“Hayles’s book continues to be widely praised and frequently cited. In academic discourse about the shift to the posthuman, it is likely to be influential for some time to come.”Barbara Warnick, Argumentation and Advocacy

Read an interview/dialogue with N. Katherine Hayles and Albert Borgmann, author of Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium.

An excerpt from How We Became Posthuman Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics by N. Katherine Hayles

Prologue

You are alone in the room, except for two computer terminals flickering in the dim light. You use the terminals to communicate with two entities in another room, whom you cannot see. Relying solely on their responses to your questions, you must decide which is the man, which the woman. Or, in another version of the famous “imitation game” proposed by Alan Turing in his classic 1950 paper “Computer Machinery and Intelligence,” you use the responses to decide which is the human, which the machine.1 One of the entities wants to help you guess correctly. His/her/its best strategy, Turing suggested, may be to answer your questions truthfully. The other entity wants to mislead you. He/she/it will try to reproduce through the words that appear on your terminal the characteristics of the other entity. Your job is to pose questions that can distinguish verbal performance from embodied reality. If you cannot tell the intelligent machine from the intelligent human, your failure proves, Turing argued, that machines can think.

Here, at the inaugural moment of the computer age, the erasure of embodiment is performed so that “intelligence” becomes a property of the formal manipulation of symbols rather than enaction in the human lifeworld. The Turing test was to set the agenda for artificial intelligence for the next three decades. In the push to achieve machines that can think, researchers performed again and again the erasure of embodiment at the heart of the Turing test. All that mattered was the formal generation and manipulation of informational patterns. Aiding this process was a definition of information, formalized by Claude Shannon and Norbert Wiener, that conceptualized information as an entity distinct from the substrates carrying it. From this formulation, it was a small step to think of information as a kind of bodiless fluid that could flow between different substrates without loss of meaning or form. Writing nearly four decades after Turing, Hans Moravec proposed that human identity is essentially an informational pattern rather than an embodied enaction. The proposition can be demonstrated, he suggested, by downloading human consciousness into a computer, and he imagined a scenario designed to show that this was in principle possible. The Moravec test, if I may call it that, is the logical successor to the Turing test. Whereas the Turing test was designed to show that machines can perform the thinking previously considered to be an exclusive capacity of the human mind, the Moravec test was designed to show that machines can become the repository of human consciousnessthat machines can, for all practical purposes, become human beings. You are the cyborg, and the cyborg is you.

In the progression from Turing to Moravec, the part of the Turing test that historically has been foregrounded is the distinction between thinking human and thinking machine. Often forgotten is the first example Turing offered of distinguishing between a man and a woman. If your failure to distinguish correctly between human and machine proves that machines can think, what does it prove if you fail to distinguish woman from man? Why does gender appear in this primal scene of humans meeting their evolutionary successors, intelligent machines? What do gendered bodies have to do with the erasure of embodiment and the subsequent merging of machine and human intelligence in the figure of the cyborg?

In his thoughtful and perceptive intellectual biography of Turing, Andrew Hodges suggests that Turing’s predilection was always to deal with the world as if it were a formal puzzle.2 To a remarkable extent, Hodges says, Turing was blind to the distinction between saying and doing. Turing fundamentally did not understand that “questions involving sex, society, politics or secrets would demonstrate how what it was possible for people to say might be limited not by puzzle-solving intelligence but by the restrictions on what might be done” (pp. 423-24). In a fine insight, Hodges suggests that “the discrete state machine, communicating by teleprinter alone, was like an ideal for [Turing’s] own life, in which he would be left alone in a room of his own, to deal with the outside world solely by rational argument. It was the embodiment of a perfect J. S. Mill liberal, concentrating upon the free will and free speech of the individual” (p. 425). Turing’s later embroilment with the police and court system over the question of his homosexuality played out, in a different key, the assumptions embodied in the Turing test. His conviction and the court-ordered hormone treatments for his homosexuality tragically demonstrated the importance of doing over saying in the coercive order of a homophobic society with the power to enforce its will upon the bodies of its citizens.

The perceptiveness of Hodges’s biography notwithstanding, he gives a strange interpretation of Turing’s inclusion of gender in the imitation game. Gender, according to Hodges, “was in fact a red herring, and one of the few passages of the paper that was not expressed with perfect lucidity. The whole point of this game was that a successful imitation of a woman’s responses by a man would not prove anything. Gender depended on facts which were not reducible to sequences of symbols” (p. 415). In the paper itself, however, nowhere does Turing suggest that gender is meant as a counterexample; instead, he makes the two cases rhetorically parallel, indicating through symmetry, if nothing else, that the gender and the human/machine examples are meant to prove the same thing. Is this simply bad writing, as Hodges argues, an inability to express an intended opposition between the construction of gender and the construction of thought? Or, on the contrary, does the writing express a parallelism too explosive and subversive for Hodges to acknowledge?

If so, now we have two mysteries instead of one. Why does Turing include gender, and why does Hodges want to read this inclusion as indicating that, so far as gender is concerned, verbal performance cannot be equated with embodied reality? One way to frame these mysteries is to see them as attempts to transgress and reinforce the boundaries of the subject, respectively. By including gender, Turing implied that renegotiating the boundary between human and machine would involve more than transforming the question of “who can think” into “what can think.” It would also necessarily bring into question other characteristics of the liberal subject, for it made the crucial move of distinguishing between the enacted body, present in the flesh on one side of the computer screen, and the represented body, produced through the verbal and semiotic markers constituting it in an electronic environment. This construction necessarily makes the subject into a cyborg, for the enacted and represented bodies are brought into conjunction through the technology that connects them. If you distinguish correctly which is the man and which the woman, you in effect reunite the enacted and the represented bodies into a single gender identity. The very existence of the test, however, implies that you may also make the wrong choice. Thus the test functions to create the possibility of a disjunction between the enacted and the represented bodies, regardless which choice you make. What the Turing test “proves” is that the overlay between the enacted and the represented bodies is no longer a natural inevitability but a contingent production, mediated by a technology that has become so entwined with the production of identity that it can no longer meaningfully be separated from the human subject. To pose the question of “what can think” inevitably also changes, in a reverse feedback loop, the terms of “who can think.”

On this view, Hodges’s reading of the gender test as nonsignifying with respect to identity can be seen as an attempt to safeguard the boundaries of the subject from precisely this kind of transformation, to insist that the existence of thinking machines will not necessarily affect what being human means. That Hodges’s reading is a misreading indicates he is willing to practice violence upon the text to wrench meaning away from the direction toward which the Turing test points, back to safer ground where embodiment secures the univocality of gender. I think he is wrong about embodiment’s securing the univocality of gender and wrong about its securing human identity, but right about the importance of putting embodiment back into the picture. What embodiment secures is not the distinction between male and female or between humans who can think and machines which cannot. Rather, embodiment makes clear that thought is a much broader cognitive function depending for its specificities on the embodied form enacting it. This realization, with all its exfoliating implications, is so broad in its effects and so deep in its consequences that it is transforming the liberal subject, regarded as the model of the human since the Enlightenment, into the posthuman.

Think of the Turing test as a magic trick. Like all good magic tricks, the test relies on getting you to accept at an early stage assumptions that will determine how you interpret what you see later. The important intervention comes not when you try to determine which is the man, the woman, or the machine. Rather, the important intervention comes much earlier, when the test puts you into a cybernetic circuit that splices your will, desire, and perception into a distributed cognitive system in which represented bodies are joined with enacted bodies through mutating and flexible machine interfaces. As you gaze at the flickering signifiers scrolling down the computer screens, no matter what identifications you assign to the embodied entities that you cannot see, you have already become posthuman.

Footnotes: 1. Alan M. Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Mind 54 (1950): 433-57. 2. Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence (London: Unwin, 1985), pp. 415-25. I am indebted to Carol Wald for her insights into the relation between gender and artificial intelligence, the subject of her dissertation, and to her other writings on this question. I also owe her thanks for pointing out to me that Andrew Hodges dismisses Turing’s use of gender as a logical flaw in his analysis of the Turing text.

See the article here:

Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman, prologue

The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger

 Eugenics  Comments Off on The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger
Aug 152015
 

The Negro Project Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans By Tanya L. Green posted at Concerned Women of America

May 10, 2001

‘Civil rights’ doesn’t mean anything without a right to life! declared Hunter. He and the other marchers were protesting the disproportionately high number of abortions in the black community. The high number is no accident. Many Americansblack and whiteare unaware of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s Negro Project. Sanger created this program in 1939, after the organization changed its name from the American Birth Control League (ABCL) to the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA).1

The aim of the program was to restrictmany believe exterminatethe black population. Under the pretense of better health and family planning, Sanger cleverly implemented her plan. What’s more shocking is Sanger’s beguilement of black America’s crme de la crmethose prominent, well educated and well-to-dointo executing her scheme. Some within the black elite saw birth control as a means to attain economic empowerment, elevate the race and garner the respect of whites.

The Negro Project has had lasting repercussions in the black community: We have become victims of genocide by our own hands, cried Hunter at the Say So march.

Margaret Sanger aligned herself with the eugenicists whose ideology prevailed in the early 20th century. Eugenicists strongly espoused racial supremacy and purity, particularly of the Aryan race. Eugenicists hoped to purify the bloodlines and improve the race by encouraging the fit to reproduce and the unfit to restrict their reproduction. They sought to contain the inferior races through segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion.

Sanger embraced Malthusian eugenics. Thomas Robert Malthus, a 19th-century cleric and professor of political economy, believed a population time bomb threatened the existence of the human race.2 He viewed social problems such as poverty, deprivation and hunger as evidence of this population crisis. According to writer George Grant, Malthus condemned charities and other forms of benevolence, because he believed they only exacerbated the problems. His answer was to restrict population growth of certain groups of people.3 His theories of population growth and economic stability became the basis for national and international social policy. Grant quotes from Malthus’ magnum opus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in six editions from 1798 to 1826:

Malthus’ disciples believed if Western civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be suppressed and isolatedor even, perhaps, eliminated. His disciples felt the subtler and more scientific approaches of education, contraception, sterilization and abortion were more practical and acceptable ways to ease the pressures of the alleged overpopulation.5

Critics of Malthusianism said the group produced a new vocabulary of mumbo-jumbo. It was all hard-headed, scientific and relentless. Further, historical facts have proved the Malthusian mathematical scheme regarding overpopulation to be inaccurate, though many still believe them.6

Despite the falsehoods of Malthus’ overpopulation claims, Sanger nonetheless immersed herself in Malthusian eugenics. Grant wrote she argued for birth control using the scientifically verified threat of poverty, sickness, racial tension and overpopulation as its background. Sanger’s publication, The Birth Control Review (founded in 1917) regularly published pro-eugenic articles from eugenicists, such as Ernst Rudin.7 Although Sanger ceased editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the ABCL continued to use it as a platform for eugenic ideas.

Sanger built the work of the ABCL, and, ultimately, Planned Parenthood, on the ideas and resources of the eugenics movement. Grant reported that virtually all of the organization’s board members were eugenicists. Eugenicists financed the early projects, from the opening of birth control clinics to the publishing of revolutionary literature. Eugenicists comprised the speakers at conferences, authors of literature and the providers of services almost without exception. And Planned Parenthood’s international work was originally housed in the offices of the Eugenics Society. The two organizations were intertwined for years.8

The ABCL became a legal entity on April 22, 1922, in New York. Before that, Sanger illegally operated a birth control clinic in October 1916, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, which eventually closed. The clinic serviced the poor immigrants who heavily populated the areathose deemed unfit to reproduce.9

Sanger’s early writings clearly reflected Malthus’ influence. She writes:

In another passage, she decries the burden of human waste on society:

She concluded,

The Review printed an excerpt of an address Sanger gave in 1926. In it she said:

Sanger said a bonus would be wise and profitable and the salvation of American civilization.14 She presented her ideas to Mr. C. Harold Smith (of the New York Evening World) on the welfare committee in New York City. She said, people must be helped to help themselves. Any plan or program that would make them dependent upon doles and charities is paternalistic and would not be of any permanent value. She included an essay (what she called a program of public welfare,) entitled We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds.15

In it she argued that birth control clinics, or bureaus, should be established in which men and women will be taught the science of parenthood and the science of breeding. For this was the way to breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, crime … since these classes would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds [emphasis added].16

Her program called for women to receive birth control advice in various situations, including where:

Sanger said such a plan would … reduce the birthrate among the diseased, the sickly, the poverty stricken and anti-social classes, elements unable to provide for themselves, and the burden of which we are all forced to carry.17

Sanger had openly embraced Malthusian eugenics, and it shaped her actions in the ensuing years.

In 1929, 10 years before Sanger created the Negro Project, the ABCL laid the groundwork for a clinic in Harlem, a largely black section of New York City. It was the dawn of the Great Depression, and for blacks that meant double the misery. Blacks faced harsher conditions of desperation and privation because of widespread racial prejudice and discrimination. From the ABCL’s perspective, Harlem was the ideal place for this experimental clinic, which officially opened on November 21, 1930. Many blacks looked to escape their adverse circumstances and therefore did not recognize the eugenic undercurrent of the clinic. The clinic relied on the generosity of private foundations to remain in business.18 In addition to being thought of as inferior and disproportionately represented in the underclass, according to the clinic’s own files used to justify its work, blacks in Harlem:

Although the clinic served whites as well as blacks, it was established for the benefit of the colored people. Sanger wrote this in a letter to Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois,20 one of the day’s most influential blacks. A sociologist and author, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 to improve the living conditions of black Americans.

That blacks endured extreme prejudice and discrimination, which contributed greatly to their plight, seemed to further justify restricting their numbers. Many believed the solution lay in reducing reproduction. Sanger suggested the answer to poverty and degradation lay in smaller numbers of blacks. She convinced black civic groups in Harlem of the benefits of birth control, under the cloak of better health (i.e., reduction of maternal and infant death; child spacing) and family planning. So with their cooperation, and the endorsement of The Amsterdam News (a prominent black newspaper), Sanger established the Harlem branch of the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.21 The ABCL told the community birth control was the answer to their predicament.

Sanger shrewdly used the influence of prominent blacks to reach the masses with this message. She invited DuBois and a host of Harlem’s leading blacks, including physicians, social workers, ministers and journalists, to form an advisory council to help direct the clinic so that our work in birth control will be a constructive force in the community.22 She knew the importance of having black professionals on the advisory board and in the clinic; she knew blacks would instinctively suspect whites of wanting to decrease their numbers. She would later use this knowledge to implement the Negro Project.

Sanger convinced the community so well that Harlem’s largest black church, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, held a mass meeting featuring Sanger as the speaker.23 But that event received criticism. At least one very prominent minister of a denomination other than Baptist spoke out against Sanger. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of Abyssinian Baptist, received adverse criticism from the (unnamed) minister who was surprised that he’d allow that awful woman in his church.24

Grace Congregational Church hosted a debate on birth control. Proponents argued birth control was necessary to regulate births in proportion to the family’s income; spacing births would help mothers recover physically and fathers financially; physically strong and mentally sound babies would result; and incidences of communicable diseases would decrease.

Opponents contended that as a minority group blacks needed to increase rather than decrease and that they needed an equal distribution of wealth to improve their status. In the end, the debate judges decided the proponents were more persuasive: Birth control would improve the status of blacks.25 Still, there were others who equated birth control with abortion and therefore considered it immoral.

Eventually, the Urban League took control of the clinic,26 an indication the black community had become ensnared in Sanger’s labyrinth.

The Harlem clinic and ensuing birth control debate opened dialogue among blacks about how best to improve their disadvantageous position. Some viewed birth control as a viable solution: High reproduction, they believed, meant prolonged poverty and degradation. Desperate for change, others began to accept the rationale of birth control. A few embraced eugenics. The June 1932 edition of The Birth Control Review, called The Negro Number, featured a series of articles written by blacks on the virtues of birth control.

The editorial posed this question: Shall they go in for quantity or quality in children? Shall they bring children into the world to enrich the undertakers, the physicians and furnish work for social workers and jailers, or shall they produce children who are going to be an asset to the group and American society? The answer: Most [blacks], especially women, would choose quality … if they only knew how.27

DuBois, in his article Black Folk and Birth Control, noted the inevitable clash of ideals between those Negroes who were striving to improve their economic position and those whose religious faith made the limitation of children a sin.28 He criticized the mass of ignorant Negroes who bred carelessly and disastrously so that the increase among [them] … is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.29

DuBois called for a more liberal attitude among black churches. He said they were open to intelligent propaganda of any sort, and the American Birth Control League and other agencies ought to get their speakers before church congregations and their arguments in the Negro newspapers [emphasis added].30

Charles S. Johnson, Fisk University’s first black president, wrote eugenic discrimination was necessary for blacks.31 He said the high maternal and infant mortality rates, along with diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria and venereal infection, made it difficult for large families to adequately sustain themselves.

Further, the status of Negroes as marginal workers, their confinement to the lowest paid branches of industry, the necessity for the labors of mothers, as well as children, to balance meager budgets, are factors [that] emphasize the need for lessening the burden not only for themselves, but of society, which must provide the supplementary support in the form of relief.32 Johnson later served on the National Advisory Council to the BCFA, becoming integral to the Negro Project.

Writer Walter A. Terpenning described bringing a black child into a hostile world as pathetic. In his article God’s Chillun, he wrote:

Terpenning considered birth control for blacks as the more humane provision and more eugenic than among whites. He felt birth control information should have first been disseminated among blacks rather than the white upper crust.34 He failed to look at the problematic attitudes and behavior of society and how they suppressed blacks. He offered no solutions to the injustice and vile racism that blacks endured.

Sadly, DuBois’ words of black churches being open to intelligent propaganda proved prophetic. Black pastors invited Sanger to speak to their congregations. Black publications, like The Afro-American and The Chicago Defender, featured her writings. Rather than attacking the root causes of maternal and infant deaths, diseases, poverty, unemployment and a host of other social illsnot the least of which was racismSanger pushed birth control. To many, it was better for blacks not to be born rather than endure such a harsh existence.

Against this setting, Sanger charmed the black community’s most distinguished leaders into accepting her plan, which was designed to their own detriment. She peddled her wares wrapped in pretty packages labeled better health and family planning. No one could deny the benefits of better health, being financially ready to raise children, or spacing one’s children. However, the solution to the real issues affecting blacks did not lay in reducing their numbers. It lay in attacking the forces in society that hindered their progress. Most importantly, one had to discern Sanger’s motive behind her push for birth control in the community. It was not an altruistic one.

Prior to 1939, Sanger’s outreach to the black community was largely limited to her Harlem clinic and speaking at black churches.35 Her vision for the reproductive practices of black Americans expanded after the January 1939 merger of the Clinical Research Bureau and the American Birth Control League to form the Birth Control Federation of America. She selected Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, of the soap-manufacturing company Procter and Gamble, to be the BCFA regional director of the South.

Gamble wrote a memorandum in November 1939 entitled Suggestions for the Negro Project, in which he recognized that black leaders might regard birth control as an extermination plot. He suggested black leaders be placed in positions where it would appear they were in charge.36 Yet Sanger’s reply reflects Gamble’s ambivalence about having blacks in authoritative positions:

Another project director lamented:

Sanger knew blacks were a religious peopleand how useful ministers would be to her project. She wrote in the same letter:

Sanger’s cohorts within the BCFA sought to attract black leadership. They succeeded. The list of black leaders who made up BCFA’s National Advisory Council reads like a who’s who among black Americans. To name a few:40

Even with this impressive list, Sanger ran into resistance when she tried to present a birth control exhibit at the 1940 American Negro Exposition, a fair that traces the progress blacks have made since the Emancipation Proclamation, in Chicago. After inviting the BCFA to display its exhibit, the Exposition’s board later cancelled, citing last minute changes in floor space.41

Sanger did not buy this and issued a statement urging public protest. This has come as a complete surprise, said Sanger, since the Federation undertook preparation of the exhibit upon an express invitation from a member of the Exposition board.42 She said the cancellation resulted from concerted action on the part of representatives of the Roman Catholic Church. She even accused the church of threatening officials with the withholding of promised federal and state funds needed to hold the Exposition.43

Her statement mentioned BCFA prepared the exhibit in consultation with its National (Negro) Advisory Council, and it illustrated the need for birth control as a public health measure.44 She said the objective was to demonstrate how birth control would improve the welfare of the Negro population, noting the maternal death rate among black mothers was nearly 50 percent higher, and the child death rate was more than one-third greater than the white community.45

At Sanger’s urging, protesters of the cancellation sent letters to Attorney Wendall E. Green, vice chairman of the Afra-Merican Emancipation Exposition Commission (sponsor of the Exposition), requesting he investigate. Green denied there was any threat or pressure to withhold funds needed to finance the Exposition. Further, he said the Exposition commission (of Illinois) unanimously passed a resolution, which read in part: That in the promotion, conduct and accomplishment of the objectives (of the Exposition) there must be an abiding spirit to create goodwill toward all people.46 He added that since the funds for the Exposition came from citizens of all races and creeds, any exhibit in conflict with the known convictions of any religious group contravenes the spirit of the resolution,47 which seemed to support Catholic opposition. The commission upheld the ban on the exhibit.

The propaganda of the Negro Project was that birth control meant better health. So on this premise, the BCFA designed two southern Negro Project demonstration programs to show how medically-supervised birth control integrated into existing public health services could improve the general welfare of Negroes, and to initiate a nationwide educational program.48

The BCFA opened the first clinic at the Bethlehem Center in urban Nashville, Tennessee (where blacks constituted only 25 percent of the population), on February 13, 1940. They extended the work to the Social Services Center of Fisk University (a historically black college) on July 23, 1940. This location was especially significant because of its proximity to Meharry Medical School, which trained more than 50 percent of black physicians in the United States.49

An analysis of the income of the Nashville group revealed that no family, regardless of size, had an income over $15 a week. The service obviously reached the income group for which it was designed,50 indicating the project’s target. The report claimed to have brought to light serious diseases and making possible their treatment, … [and] that 55 percent [354 of the 638] of the patients prescribed birth control methods used it consistently and successfully.51 However, the report presented no definite figures … to demonstrate the extent of community improvement.52

The BCFA opened the second clinic on May 1, 1940, in rural Berkeley County, South Carolina, under the supervision of Dr. Robert E. Seibels, chairman of the Committee on Maternal Welfare of the South Carolina Medical Association.53 BCFA chose this site in part because leaders in the state were particularly receptive to the experiment. South Carolina had been the second state to make child spacing a part of its state public health program after a survey of the state’s maternal deaths showed that 25 percent occurred among mothers known to be physically unfit for pregnancy.54 Again, the message went out: Birth controlnot better prenatal carereduced maternal and infant mortality.

Although Berkeley County’s population was 70 percent black, the clinic received criticism that members of this group were overwhelmingly in the majority.55 Seibels assured Claude Barnett that this was not the case. We have … simply given our help to those who were willing to receive it, and these usually are Negroes, he said.56

While religious convictions significantly influenced the Nashville patients’ view of birth control, people in Berkeley County had no religious prejudice against birth control. But the attitude that treatment of any disease was ‘against nature’ was in the air.57 Comparing the results of the two sites, it is seen that the immediate receptivity to the demonstration was at the outset higher in the rural area.58 However, the final total success was lower [in the rural area]. However, in Berkeley, stark poverty was even more in evidence, and bad roads, bad weather and ignorance proved powerful counter forces [to the contraceptive programs]. After 18 months, the Berkeley program closed.59

The report indicated that, contrary to expectations, the lives of black patients serviced by the clinics did not improve dramatically from birth control. Two beliefs stood in the way: Some blacks likened birth control to abortion and others regarded it as inherently immoral.60 However, when thrown against the total pictures of the awareness on the part of Negro leaders of the improved conditions, … and their opportunities to even better conditions under Planned Parenthood, … the obstacles to the program are greatly outweighed, said Dr. Dorothy Ferebee.61

A hint of eugenic flavor seasoned Ferebee’s speech: The future program [of Planned Parenthood] should center around more education in the field through the work of a professional Negro worker, because those of us who believe that the benefits of Planned Parenthood as a vital key to the elimination of human waste must reach the entire population [emphasis added].62 She peppered her speech with the importance of Negro professionals, fully integrated into the staff, … who could interpret the program and objectives to [other blacks] in the normal course of day-to-day contacts; could break down fallacious attitudes and beliefs and elements of distrust; could inspire the confidence of the group; and would not be suspect of the intent to eliminate the race [emphasis added].63

Sanger even managed to lure the prominentbut hesitantblack minister J. T. Braun, editor in chief of the National Baptist Convention’s Sunday School Publishing Board in Nashville, Tennessee, into her deceptive web. Braun confessed to Sanger that the very idea of such a thing [birth control] has always held the greatest hatred and contempt in my mind. … I am hesitant to give my full endorsement of this idea, until you send me, perhaps, some more convincing literature on the subject.64 Sanger happily complied. She sent Braun the Federal Council of Churches’ Marriage and Home Committee pamphlet praised by Bishop Sims (another member of the National Advisory Council), assuring him that: There are some people who believe that birth control is an attempt to dictate to families how many children to have. Nothing could be further from the truth.65

Sanger’s assistants gave Braun more pro-birth control literature and a copy of her autobiography, which he gave to his wife to read. Sanger’s message of preventing maternal and infant mortality stirred Braun’s wife. Now convinced of this need, Braun permitted a group of women to use his chapel for a birth-control talk.66 [I was] moved by the number of prominent [black] Christians backing the proposition, Braun wrote in a letter to Sanger.67 At first glance I had a horrible shock to the proposition because it seemed to me to be allied to abortion, but after thought and prayer, I have concluded that especially among many women, it is necessary both to save the lives of mothers and children [emphasis added].68

By 1949, Sanger had hoodwinked black America’s best and brightest into believing birth control’s life-saving benefits. In a monumental feat, she bewitched virtually an entire network of black social, professional and academic organizations69 into endorsing Planned Parenthood’s eugenic program.70

Sanger’s successful duplicity does not in any way suggest blacks were gullible. They certainly wanted to decrease maternal and infant mortality and improve the community’s overall health. They wholly accepted her message because it seemed to promise prosperity and social acceptance. Sanger used their vulnerabilities and their ignorance (of her deliberately hidden agenda) to her advantage. Aside from birth control, she offered no other medical or social solutions to their adversity. Surely, blacks would not have been such willing accomplices had they perceived her true intentions. Considering the role eugenics played in the early birth control movementand Sanger’s embracing of that ideologythe notion of birth control as seemingly the only solution to the problems that plagued blacks should have been much more closely scrutinized.

Planned Parenthood has gone to great lengths to repudiate the organization’s eugenic origins.71 It adamantly denies Sanger was a eugenicist or racist, despite evidence to the contrary. Because Sanger stopped editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the organization tries to disassociate her from the eugenic and racist-oriented articles published after that date. However, a summary of an address Sanger gave in 1932, which appeared in the Review that year, revealed her continuing bent toward eugenics.

In A Plan for Peace, Sanger suggested Congress set up a special department to study population problems and appoint a Parliament of Population. One of the main objectives of the Population Congress would be to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population. This would be accomplished by applying a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation [in addition to tightening immigration laws] to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.72

It’s reasonable to conclude that as the leader of Planned Parenthoodeven after 1929Sanger would not allow publication of ideas she didn’t support.

Sanger’s defenders argue she only wanted to educate blacks about birth control’s health benefits. However, she counted the very people she wanted to educate among the unfit, whose numbers needed to be restricted.

Grant presents other arguments Sanger’s supporters use to refute her racist roots:73

These justifications also fail because of what Grant calls scientific racism. This form of racism is based on genes, rather than skin color or language. The issue is not ‘color of skin’ or ‘dialect of tongue,’ Grant writes, but ‘quality of genes [emphasis added].’74 Therefore, as long as blacks, Jews and Hispanics demonstrate ‘a good quality gene pool’as long as they ‘act white and think white’then they are esteemed equally with Aryans. As long as they are, as Margaret Sanger said, ‘the best of their race,’ then they can be [counted] as valuable citizens [emphasis added]. By the same token, individual whites who show dysgenic traits must also have their fertility curbed right along with the other ‘inferiors and undesirables.’75

In short, writes Grant, Scientific racism is an equal opportunity discriminator [emphasis added]. Anyone with a ‘defective gene pool’ is suspect. And anyone who shows promise may be admitted to the ranks of the elite.76

The eugenic undertone is hard to miss. As Grant rightly comments, The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood was self-consciously organized, in part, to promote and enforce White Supremacy. … It has been from its inception implicitly and explicitly racist.77

There is no way to escape the implications, argues William L. Davis, a black financial analyst Grant quotes. When an organization has a history of racism, when its literature is openly racist, when its goals are self-consciously racial, and when its programs invariably revolve around race, it doesn’t take an expert to realize that the organization is indeed racist.78

It is impossible to sever Planned Parenthood’s past from its present. Its legacy of lies and propaganda continues to infiltrate the black community. The poison is even more venomous because, in addition to birth control, Planned Parenthood touts abortion as a solution to the economic and social problems that plague the community. In its wake is the loss of more than 12 million lives within the black community alone. Planned Parenthood’s own records reflect this. For example, a 1992 report revealed that 23.2 percent of women who obtained abortions at its affiliates were black79although blacks represent no more than 13 percent of the total population. In 1996, Planned Parenthood’s research arm reported: Blacks, who make up 14 percent of all childbearing women, have 31 percent of all abortions and whites, who account for 81 percent of women of childbearing age, have 61 percent.80

Abortion is the number-one killer of blacks in America, says Rev. Hunter of LEARN. We’re losing our people at the rate of 1,452 a day. That’s just pure genocide. There’s no other word for it. [Sanger’s] influence and the whole mindset that Planned Parenthood has brought into the black community … say it’s okay to destroy your people. We bought into the lie; we bought into the propaganda.81

Some blacks have even made abortion rights synonymous with civil rights.

We’re destroying the destiny and purpose of others who should be here, Hunter laments. Who knows the musicians we’ve lost? Who knows the great leaders the black community has really lost? Who knows what great minds of economic power people have lost? What great teachers? He recites an old African proverb: No one knows whose womb holds the chief.82

Hunter has personally observed the vestiges of Planned Parenthood’s eugenic past in the black community today. When I travel around the country … I can only think of one abortion clinic [I’ve seen] in a predominantly white neighborhood. The majority of clinics are in black neighborhoods.83

Hunter noted the controversy that occurred two years ago in Louisiana involving school-based health clinics. The racist undertone could not have been more evident. In the Baton Rouge district, officials were debating placing clinics in the high schools. Black state representative Sharon Weston Broome initially supported the idea. She later expressed concern about clinics providing contraceptives and abortion counseling. Clinics should promote abstinence, she said.84 Upon learning officials wanted to put the clinics in black schools only, Hunter urged her to suggest they be placed in white schools as well. At Broome’s suggestion, however, proposals for the school clinics were dropped immediately, reported Hunter.

Grant observed the same game plan 20 years ago. During the 1980s when Planned Parenthood shifted its focus from community-based clinics to school-based clinics, it again targeted inner-city minority neighborhoods, he writes.85 Of the more than 100 school-based clinics that have opened nationwide in the last decade [1980s], none has been at substantially all-white schools, he adds. None has been at suburban middle-class schools. All have been at black, minority or ethnic schools.86

In 1987, a group of black ministers, parents and educators filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education. They charged the city’s school-based clinics with not only violating the state’s fornication laws, but also with discrimination against blacks. The clinics were a calculated, pernicious effort to destroy the very fabric of family life [between] black parents and their children, the suit alleged.87

One of the parents in the group was shocked when her daughter came home from school with Planned Parenthood material. I never realized how racist those people were until I read the [information my daughter received] at the school clinic, she said. [They are worse than] the Klan … because they’re so slick and sophisticated. Their bigotry is all dolled up with statistics and surveys, but just beneath the surface it’s as ugly as apartheid.88

A more recent account uncovered a Planned Parenthood affiliate giving condoms to residents of a poor black neighborhood in Akron, Ohio.89 The residents received a promotional bag containing, among other things: literature on sexually transmitted disease prevention, gynecology exams and contraception, a condom-case key chain containing a bright-green condom, and a coupon. The coupon was redeemable at three Ohio county clinics for a dozen condoms and a $5 McDonald’s gift certificate. All the items were printed with Planned Parenthood phone numbers.

The affiliate might say they’re targeting high-pregnancy areas, but their response presumes destructive behavior on the part of the targeted group. Planned Parenthood has always been reluctant to promote, or encourage, abstinence as the only safeguard against teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, calling it unrealistic.

Rev. Richard Welch, president of Human Life International in Front Royal, Virginia, blasted the affiliate for targeting low-income, minority neighborhoods with the bags. He said the incident revealed the racism inherent in promoting abortion and contraception in primarily minority neighborhoods.90

He then criticized Planned Parenthood: Having sprung from the racist dreams of a woman determined to apply abortion and contraception to eugenics and ethnic cleansing, Planned Parenthood remains true to the same strategy today.91

Black leaders have been silent about Margaret Sanger’s evil machination against their community far too long. They’ve been silent about abortion’s devastating effects in their communitydespite their pro-life inclination. The majority of [blacks] are more pro-life than anything else, said Hunter.92 Blacks were never taught to destroy their children; even in slavery they tried to hold onto their children.

Blacks are not quiet about the issue because they do not care, but rather because the truth has been kept from them. The issue is … to educate our people, said former Planned Parenthood board member LaVerne Tolbert.93

Today, a growing number of black pro-lifers are untangling the deceptive web spun by Sanger. They are using truth to shed light on the lies. The Say So march is just one example of their burgeoning pro-life activism. As the marchers laid 1,452 roses at the courthouse stepsto commemorate the number of black babies aborted dailyspokesman Damon Owens said, This calls national attention to the problem [of abortion]. This is an opportunity for blacks to speak to other blacks. This doesn’t solve all of our problems. But we will not solve our other problems with abortion.

Black pro-lifers are also linking arms with their white pro-life brethren. Black Americans for Life (BAL) is an outreach group of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization. NRLC encourages networking between black and white pro-lifers. Our goal is to bring people togetherfrom all races, colors, and religionsto work on pro-life issues, said NRLC Director of Outreach Ernest Ohlhoff.94 Black Americans for Life is not a parallel group; we want to help African-Americans integrate communicational and functionally into the pro-life movement.

Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, echoes the sentiment. Our mission is to protect the right to life of all members of the human race. CWA welcomes like-minded women and men, from all walks of life, to join us in this fight.

Concerned Women for America has a long history of fighting Planned Parenthood’s evil agenda. The Negro Project is an obscure angle, but one that must come to light. Margaret Sanger sold black Americans an illusion. Now with the veil of deception removed, they can choose life … that [their] descendants may live.

Read more here:

The Negro Project and Margaret Sanger

Bitcoin Wiki

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin Wiki
Aug 102015
 

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: transaction management and money issuance are carried out collectively by the network.

The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license. Most client software, derived or “from scratch”, also use open source licensing.

Bitcoin is the first successful implementation of a distributed crypto-currency, described in part in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.

Languages needing translation work: AR ID MS BG CA CS DA ET EL EO EU FA GL KO HE HR KA LV LT HU NL JA NO NN PT SK SL SR SH FI SV TH VI TR UK

Originally posted here:
Bitcoin Wiki

Transhuman Superpowers & Longevity | KurzweilAI

 Transhuman  Comments Off on Transhuman Superpowers & Longevity | KurzweilAI
Aug 082015
 

Source: Event organizer

Brighter Brains Institute will be presenting a conference at Humanist Hall in Oakland, on July 12, 2015. The theme is Transhuman Superpowers and Longevity.

Elizabeth Parrishis a leading voice for the advancement of biotechnology. She is the CEO ofBioViva USA Inc.which is committed to building gene therapies to eradicate disease and extend healthy life. She is a board member ofRadish Medical Solutionsand founder ofBiotrove Investmentsand media. She is actively involved in international educational media via theInternational Longevity Alliance, of which she is a board member and the American Longevity Alliance, on which she serves as Secretary. Her lecture presentation topic is A Historical Perspective of the Normal Way to Die and What BioViva is Doing to Change that Paradigm Today

Gabriel Licinais onetime co-founder of Science for the Masses, a biotech grinding think-tank aimed towards altering the human condition in the pursuit of new abilities and leveraging pre-existing technologies for accessibility. Gabriel has a degree in Molecular Biology from University of Washington and was the principle testing consultant for SfM. He develops projects to expand the human condition andtests the ideas put forth by the Grinding community for functionality and feasibility. He is currently working on various projects within the fields of material sciences, microbiology, and mammalian cell biology. Prior projects include mammalian near infra-red vision, next generation functional implant coating technologies and techniques, as well as bacterial modifications for the human and environmental micro biome.

Brian Hanleyis the founder of Butterfly Sciences, a company developing gene therapies for aging. He has a range of papers in biosciences, economics, policy and terrorism, in addition to a recent text on radiation treatment. He obtained his PhD in microbiology with honors from UC Davis, has a bachelors degree in computer science, is a multiple entrepreneur and guest lectured for years to the MBA program at Santa Clara University. Brian brings a unique vision of the future woven from multiple disciplines tempered in decades of practical implementation.

Mallory E. McLaren, J.D. is one of only a handful of persons, globally, who simultaneously hold a law degree and have made regenerative medicine their area of expertise. In the past Mallory has served an aide for a U.S. senator and served in a role at the U.S. State Department. She is an avid animal welfare advocate, a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle advocate, a cultivated meat, milk, and leather industry specialist, and an unapologetic transhumanist. Currently, she is in the process of establishing a financial vehicle aimed at accelerating rejuvenation biotechnology development globally. Mallory holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts from the Evergreen State College, and a J.D. concentrated in Life Sciences Law from Seton Hall University School of Law. Her presentation is titled: Here and Now: Mainstreaming Longevity/Resilience Biotechnology R&D in the Mid-2010shttp://www.linkedin.com/in/malloryemclaren/

See the original post:
Transhuman Superpowers & Longevity | KurzweilAI

Astronomy Online

 Astronomy  Comments Off on Astronomy Online
Aug 062015
 

Welcome to Astronomy Online A legally blind photographer/astronomer on disability so I use this site to contribute to society.

Last Updated: October 24, 2012 added graphics for the 88 constellations under Observation/The Night Sky.

This site is a testament that even though I have a physical disability – legally blind – I can still do things that helps other people. I even have a new project: Astro-Drummer, a site dedicated to my other hobby.

I also have a new image gallery. I call it Second Site Image Gallery.

This is an educational website. It’s never too late to learn astronomy, even for those who have not completed their primary (High School) education. A GED can get you in the door to college level courses.

InboxAstronomy:Telescopes Team Up to Find Distant Uranus-Sized Planet Through Microlensing The majority of planets discovered outside our solar system orbit close to their parent stars because these planets are the easiest to find. But to fully understand how distant planetary systems are put together, astronomers must conduct a census of all the planets around a star. So they need to look farther away from the star-from about the distance of Jupiter is from our sun, and beyond.

APOD:Stereo Pluto Image Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins University/APL,

Southwest Research Institute – Stereo Assembly: Brian May Explanation: These two detailed, true color images of Pluto were captured during the historic New Horizons flyby last month. With slightly different perspectives on the now recognizeable surface features they are presented in this first high quality stereo pair intended for viewing by denizens of planet Earth. The left hand image (left eye) is a mosaic recorded when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto. The right single image was acquired earlier, a last full look before the spacecraft’s closest approach. Despite a difference in resolution, the pair combine for a stunning 3D perception of the distant, underworldly terrain.

APOD:X-ray Echoes from Circinus X-1 Image Credit: X-ray – NASA/CXC/Univ. Wisconsin-Madison/S.Heinz et al, Optical – DSS

Explanation: Circinus X-1 is an X-ray binary star known for its erratic variability. In the bizarre Circinus X-1 system, a dense neutron star, the collapsed remnant of a supernova explosion, orbits with a more ordinary stellar companion. Observations of the X-ray binary in months following an intense X-ray flare from the source in 2013 progressively revealed striking concentric rings – bright X-ray light echoes from four intervening clouds of interstellar dust. In this X-ray/optical composite, the swaths of Chandra Observatory X-ray image data showing partial outlines of the rings are in false colors. Remarkably, timing the X-ray echoes, along with known distances to the interstellar dust clouds, determines the formerly highly uncertain distance to Circinus X-1 itself to be 30,700 light-years.

See original here:

Astronomy Online

Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …
Aug 062015
 

With the problems and corruption in Pakistan going uncontrolled. The govt is trying to tax each and every banktransaction.There are alot of problems with current tax laws in Pakistan of which I am not going to get into much details. But bear in mind that each and every Pakistaniis taxed through Cellphone home phones, electric bills, tv bills, gas bills etc. Most of this sector which is below the poverty line doesnt even know that they are the ones that are suppose to receive a refunds. This in return causes the richer to get richer and divert taxes while the poor get poorer. With recommendations of the new tax law if implemented every banking transaction in Pakistan will be taxed hence causing more burden to existing taxpayers and causing double taxation. While this could be avoided if our systems worked properly then this wouldnt be a problem but the returns are hardly paid and have to go through alot of problems before you actually receive the payments. This may even propel the use of Bitcoin In Pakistan.

As mentioned before btc or bitcoinis a peer to peer system that works like utorrent and hence is equivalent to digital cash. While the leading world countries are now starting to accept this crypto currency and realize its existence (now evident by the acceptance of big players such as Paypal, Microsoft, Expedia, Namescheap, Goldman Sachs and entities such as NYSE) Pakistanstill remains far behind. But with the law as proposed by Mr Isaq Daar it may cause people to look for alternate ways to transact with one another in order to avoid this hefty tax. Bitcoin/btc/xbt maybe the answer here and propel people to actually start storing money in bitcoin. It is now clear that Pakistan is a growing economy in the bitcoin era as Urdubit trade volumes have reached 3 btc avg daily. Paybillwhich is still very new and still building has seen an increase in mobile topups. Paybill has been designed for payment of bills in Pakistan.

I do hope that this tax is not implemented, but at the same time this does show us how important a true p2p currency is. The fact that all the funds of any person in any country can be blocked or controlled by any sort of external force at will can just call shivers. I leave the readers of this blog to comment and share your thoughts on this.

.

I figured it was time to update and give some information on what excatly is bitcoin and blockchain to my fellow country men. This is my view of what it is and why it is. Please realize that bitcoin in my opinon was created to make money truly yours. Currently all financial systems work through centralized banking, anyone living in Pakistan already know the problem with the control the banks have right now on our accounts. The idea is what I believe was in the head of satoshi that led to the creation of the first true peer to peer (similary to torrent) type currency known as btc or bitcoin. He laid the foundationg of an opensource ledger(database) for the general public where every entry was single entry and could not be removed. But all the ledger was synced with the other users running the software on the network. This software was known as a wallet which can be considered like a bank account of sort for the comman man. While you can have many wallat addresses in a single wallet it resides in public ledger. This is also why it is important to backup the wallet.dat file of your wallet if you have the full software running. There are now online wallets and paper wallets you can also store your bitcoins on online exchanges or bitcoin trading platforms. Do remember if you lose your wallet on your pc or paper wallet for any reason its gone forever. I believe that bitcoin is still in its infancey and has a long way to go, think about how internet came about: There was Fax> Bullitin Board Service or BBS> email >internet It took it a long time, it wasent an overnight revolution. Similarly bitcoin is very new. While it has captured a huge market it still has a long way to go. There are benifits of the blockchain and bitcoin as both are being innovated upon. Some companies are working on blockchain(ledger, or database) such as voip (p2p) coins such as korecoin and viorcoin then there rare coins such as bay, blk etc that support smart contrants and p2p markets. Then there is the ripple gateway that is trying to replace the current swift system.

Then there are services that belive in bitcoin itself and are using its financial power to change the way we bank or use money today. Think about the fact that you own one currency that works throughout the world you dont have to worry about Pakistani ruppee price fluctuating aganist the USD (this is an example) as PKR is not accepted everywhere in the world. It is a true boarderless curreny that I believe is brining people closer together. The launch of https://www.coinpip.com is one such gateway which lets companies pay their developers anywhere in the world. Its a singaporian startup that is doing alot of work in this feild. They take the bitcoin out of picture but use bitcoin in the backend. Then there are exchanges and atms and user acceptance poping up everywhere around the world, such as microsoft, dell, paypal, namescheap, overstock etc. There are physicall vendors in Pakistan too. There is a shop in Gunjarawallla, a petrol pump/ gas station in Karachi, then http://www.paybill.io where you can pay your bills for Malaysia and Pakistan and also do mobile topups, or easy loadshttp://www.a2zlawn.com that are accepting bitcoins for payment, you can also check http://www.coinmap.org for a few other locations that accept bitcoins.

I have also witnessed the power of bitcoin recently and how user to user interaction increases adoption. I was contacted by a person who wanted to buy stuff from a vendor in another country wanted to learn about bitcoin and how it could benifit him. After consultations with us he wanted to give it a go. But his vendor was also fearfull of the price fluctions and how bitcoin could be risky as he believed it cant be real. The user here after consultation convinced his vendor that he would be taking this risk so there was no worries at his end. The first transation they did took all in all 15 mins and the cash was transfered in the vendors bank account while saving the payee money as compared to if he had used a credit card or wiretransfer. When the vendor saw this his response was: This is really very easy, will you make more payments like this? This is what I believe money should be, a truely boarderless medium with worldwide acceptance. The bad policies of some countries have left them in poverty, this doesnt mean that that the citizen of that country should not even have control over their funds/money and acceptablity etc. If the currency is truely boaderless he doesnt have to worry about local exchangers even.

I do believe this is only the begining of the future what the future holds, can only be witnessed in time. I do believe there is a need for one global international currency even the world powers such as china, russia and UN want this. There is an interesting article that was put out back in 2009 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/6152204/UN-wants-new-global-currency-to-replace-dollar.html and I think bitcoin is the answer for that.

.

Its been a great week with urdubit picking up trade volume. And now a new website a2zlawn opening its door to welcome bitcoin acceptance in Pakistan for designer and Replica stores. While the awareness about bitcoin is not up to par in Pakistan, we are seeing new users come onboard.

See the original post here:
Bitcoin.com.pk | No. 1 Bitcoin Resource for News and …

Eugenics in Virginia: Buck v. Bell and Forced …

 Eugenics  Comments Off on Eugenics in Virginia: Buck v. Bell and Forced …
Aug 042015
 

Photograph of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. [1.1] Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in Buck v. Bell

It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind Three generations of imbeciles are enough. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Writing for the majority in the Supreme Courts affirmative decision of the Buck v. Bell landmark case, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. described Charlottesville native Carrie Buck as the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted stating that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization.

Current scholarship shows that Carrie Bucks sterilization relied on a false diagnosis premised on the now discredited science of eugenics. It is likely that Carries mother, Emma Buck, was committed to a state institution because she was considered sexually promiscuous, that the same diagnosis was made about Carrie when she became an unwed mother at the age of 17 due to being raped, and that her daughter Vivian was diagnosed as not quite normal at the age of six months largely in support of the legal effort to sterilize Carrie.

2004 Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Read the original post:

Eugenics in Virginia: Buck v. Bell and Forced …

The First Amendment, as others see it

 Misc  Comments Off on The First Amendment, as others see it
Aug 042015
 

5:48 p.m. CDT July 30, 2015

Gene Policinski Gene Policinski writes the First Amendment column distributed by Gannett News Service. (Gannett News Service, Sam Kittner/First Amendment Center/File)(Photo: SAM KITTNER / GNS)

Theres no doubt that a huge number of Americans are unable to name the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment national survey results each year since 1997 sadly leave little doubt about that circumstance.

On a more positive note, when reminded of the core freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition, our fellow citizens line up behind them in large numbers.

But when it comes to how those freedoms apply in everyday life? Well, its not that theres less support. Rather, less agreement.

About a month ago, the Newseum Institutes First Amendment Center published the results of its annual State of the First Amendment survey and the findings of a follow-up survey that focused on issues around display of the Confederate battle flag. The former was taken before a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows Texas officials to ban display of the flag on state license plates, and before the killings in Charleston, South Carolina, by an apparent racist who had posed for a photo displaying the flag. The latter survey was taken after both had occurred.

In sum, the two survey results showed a shift in how the public viewed the Texas auto tag ban swinging from opposed to support. And the second survey found that while a majority of white and Hispanic respondents did not attach the same racist meaning to the flag as did black respondents, all three groups favored taking down the battle flag from public monuments and government buildings and approved of private companies removing flag-related items from store offerings.

Some interesting reactions to the reporting of those results have come via email.

In one , noted as a Letter to the Editor, in which the writer complained that the reporting, citing this column, seems to be saying that as long as a majority believes then the First Amendment does not apply. Well, thats hardly the case. Freedom of speech means that you and I and others get to say what we will regardless of majority opinion including, if we wish, public and vigorous display of the Confederate battle flag.

The First Amendment protects our right to speak, but doesnt silence others who are just as free to disagree, criticize and oppose.

See original here:
The First Amendment, as others see it

Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons
Jul 312015
 

Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons 3.78/5 (75.54%) 1970 votes

Many human genetic engineering pros and cons are there that have stayed the same since its introduction to humanity. When the humans started harnessing the atomic powers, then just few years later they also start recognizing the effects of human genetic engineering on mankind. Many scientists have a belief that gene therapy can be a mainstream for saving lives of many people. A lot of human genetic engineering pros and cons have been involved since the evolution of genetic engineering. Mentioned below are some important advantages or pros of genetic engineering:

Other human genetic engineering pros and cons include the desirable characteristics in different plants and animals at the same time convenient. One can also do the manipulation of genes in trees or big plants. This will enable the trees to absorb increased amount of carbon dioxide, and it will reduce the effects of global warming. However, there is a question from critics that whether man has the right to do such manipulations or alterations in the genes of natural things.

With human genetic engineering, there is always a chance for altering the wheat plants genetics, which will then enable it to grow insulin. Human genetic engineering pros and cons have been among the concern of a lot of people involved in genetic engineering. Likewise the pros, certain cons are there of using the genetic engineering. Mentioned below are the cons of human genetic engineering:

The evolution of genetic engineering gets the consideration of being the biggest breakthroughs in the history of mankind after the evolution of atomic energy, and few other scientific discoveries. However, human genetic engineering pros and cons together have contributed a lot in creating a controversial image of it among the people.

All these eventualities have forced the government of many countries to make strict legislation laws to put restrictions on different experiment being made on human genetic engineering. They have made this decision by considering different human genetic engineering pros and cons.

Continue reading here:

Human Genetic Engineering Pros And Cons

Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering

 Human Genetic Engineering  Comments Off on Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering
Jul 282015
 

David King

The main debate around human genetics currently centres on the ethics of genetic testing, and possibilities for genetic discrimination and selective eugenics. But while ethicists and the media constantly re-hash these issues, a small group of scientists and publicists are working towards an even more frightening prospect: the intentional genetic engineering of human beings. Just as Ian Wilmut presented us with the first clone of an adult mammal, Dolly, as a fait accompli, so these scientists aim to set in place the tools of a new techno-eugenics, before the public has ever had a chance to decide whether this is the direction we want to go in. The publicists, meanwhile are trying to convince us that these developments are inevitable. The Campaign Against Human Genetic Engineering, has been set up in response to this threat.

Currently, genetic engineering is only applied to non-reproductive cells (this is known as ‘gene therapy’) in order to treat diseases in a single patient, rather than in all their descendants. Gene therapy is still very unsuccessful, and we are often told that the prospect of reproductive genetic engineering is remote. In fact, the basic technologies for human genetic engineering (HGE) have been available for some time and at present are being refined and improved in a number of ways. We should not make the same mistake that was made with cloning, and assume that the issue is one for the far future.

In the first instance, the likely justifications of HGE will be medical. One major step towards reproductive genetic engineering is the proposal by US gene therapy pioneer, French Anderson, to begin doing gene therapy on foetuses, to treat certain genetic diseases. Although not directly targeted at reproductive cells, Anderson’s proposed technique poses a relatively high risk that genes will be ‘inadvertently’ altered in the reproductive cells of the foetus, as well as in the blood cells which he wants to fix. Thus, if he is allowed to go ahead, the descendants of the foetus will be genetically engineered in every cell of their body. Another scientist, James Grifo of New York University is transferring cell nuclei from the eggs of older to younger women, using similar techniques to those used in cloning. He aims to overcome certain fertility problems, but the result would be babies with three genetic parents, arguably a form of HGE. In addition to the two normal parents, these babies will have mitochondria (gene-containing subcellular bodies which control energy production in cells) from the younger woman.

Anderson is a declared advocate of HGE for medical purposes, and was a speaker at a symposium last year at UCLA, at which advocates of HGE set out their stall. At the symposium, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people, James Watson, of DNA discovery fame, advocated the use of HGE not merely for medical purposes, but for ‘enhancement': ‘And the other thing, because no one really has the guts to say it, I mean, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we do it?’

In his recent book, Re-Making Eden (1998), Princeton biologist, Lee Silver celebrates the coming future of human ‘enhancement’, in which the health, appearance, personality, cognitive ability, sensory capacity, and life-span of our children all become artifacts of genetic engineering, literally selected from a catalog. Silver acknowledges that the costs of these technologies will limit their full use to only a small ‘elite’, so that over time society will segregate into the “GenRich” and the “Naturals”:

“The GenRich – who account for 10 percent of the American population – all carry synthetic genes… that were created in the laboratory …All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry are controlled by members of the GenRich class…Naturals work as low-paid service providers or as labourers, and their children go to public schools… If the accumulation of genetic knowledge and advances in genetic enhancement technology continue … the GenRich class and the Natural class will become…entirely separate species with no ability to cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee.”

Silver, another speaker at the UCLA symposium, believes that these trends should not and cannot be stopped, because to do so would infringe on liberty.

Most scientists say that what is preventing them from embarking on HGE is the risk that the process will itself generate new mutations, which will be passed on to future generations. Official scientific and ethical bodies tend to rely on this as the basis for forbidding attempts at HGE, rather than any principled opposition to the idea.

In my view, we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security by this argument. Experience with genetically engineered crops, for example, shows that we are unlikely ever to arrive at a situation when we can be sure that the risks are zero. Instead, when scientists are ready to proceed, we will be told that the risks are ‘acceptable’, compared to the benefits. Meanwhile, there will be people telling us loudly that since they are taking the risks with their children, we have no right to interfere.

See the original post here:

Human Genetics Alert – The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism