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DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASCISM
Richard Lynn is the University of Ulster’s dirty secret. He is Professor of Psychology at the university’s Coleraine campus. The authorities there hope that he will go away quietly when his tenure ends next year.
Eamonn McCann, 16 Nov 1994
Richard Lynn is the University of Ulster’s dirty secret. He is Professor of Psychology at the university’s Coleraine campus. The authorities there hope that he will go away quietly when his tenure ends next year. But members of the Anti-Nazi League are determined to drag the questions raised by his activities out into the open, and they are right.
Lynn is involved in a network of academics on both sides of the Atlantic who supply racist organisations with “respectable” arguments for campaigns of hate. The network is subsidised by a New York-based foundation, the Pioneer Fund, which was founded in the ’30s to promote “eugenics” – the project for producing a “master race” which reached its highest expression in Germany under Hitler. Lynn has received vast sums from the Pioneer Fund towards his “research” at Coleraine.
Lynn is no closet academic remote from the practical implications of his work. He eagerly seeks mainstream outlets for his views, and appears to have little difficulty finding takers. His most recent broadside appeared in the Irish Independent on November 1st, reprinted from the London Times.
In an extended review of The Bell Curve, a book by two of his US co-thinkers, Lynn declared that “two percent of the population fall in the IQ range of 0-70 and constitute the mentally retarded, while a further two percent fall in the range 130-170 and constitute the intellectual elite.
“Virtually all the readers of this article,” he assured his Indo readers, strangely, “will belong to this intellectual elite, or be close to it.”
He then got down to cases: “The average IQ of mothers of illegitimate children is 88; of chronic welfare recipients, 85; of recidivist criminals, 80; of the long-term unemployed, 77. Collectively, these social problem groups are known as the underclass, and the bottom line is that the underclass has an intelligence deficit.”
Now even if the IQ scores were accurate – which they are not: test results vary far too widely to admit of such exact figures for particular groups – it wouldn’t matter much. Nobody can say for certain what IQ tests measure apart from the ability to do IQ tests. Lynn simply defines intelligence to mean the ability to do IQ tests and then proceeds blithely down his chosen path towards race hatred and totalitarianism.
Moreover, the fact that the ability to do IQ tests might very roughly correlate with the position of different groups in society tells us nothing about how this correlation comes about. The long-term unemployed tend, for example, to have a lower body weight and a shorter life-expectancy than the generality of the population.
Few sensible people would conclude that the unemployed are out of work because of low body weight and short life-expectancy. They would see the relationship the other way round and take it as accentuating the urgency of fighting long-term unemployment. But that’s not how Lynn and his network handle their evidence, such as it is.
“Intelligence is largely under genetic control,” the Coleraine professor proclaims. “This means that the underclass is, to a significant extent, a genetic problem and will not be readily cured by the kinds of solutions advocated by economists and politicians . . .
“With an average IQ of 77, the chronic unemployed are not much above the level of mental retardation and many of them are below it. The brutal truth is that many of the chronic unemployed are mentally incapable of learning the skills increasingly required in advanced economies. All they are capable of is the unskilled work which is less and less in demand.”
Lynn, like the authors of The Bell Curve, Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, moves unerringly from this “perception” towards the conclusion they very likely had in mind from the outset.
The low-IQ underclass, they note, is not evenly distributed among the races. “In the United States,” writes the University of Ulster man, “the average IQ of blacks is 15 points below that of whites, and 16 percent of blacks have an IQ of below 70 and are mentally retarded, as compared with only two percent of whites . . .
“Furthermore, the black underclass is growing in numbers . . . There is one thing the underclass is good at and that is producing children. These children tend to inherit their parents’ poor intelligence and adopt their sociopathic lifestyle.”
It is at this point that Lynn’s activities at the Coleraine campus overlap with the overt racist campaigning of far-Right groups in both Europe and the US and, at the edge, touch on outright Nazism.
Four years ago the Independent On Sunday traced Lynn’s connection with the US-published magazine Mankind Quarterly which also enjoys the financial support of the Pioneer Fund, and has links with former Nazi geneticists. The UU academic confirmed that he was an “honorary associate editor” of the magazine, and that the ancient Baron Otmar von Verschuer was an editorial adviser – although Lynn insisted he didn’t know Verschuer personally. Verschuer had been director of genetics and eugenics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute during World War Two and had recommended his pupil Joseph Mengele for the position of camp doctor at Auschwitz.
Mankind Quarterly is edited by an ex-patriate British academic, Roger Pearson – another Pioneer Fund recipient – whose views on the necessity of racial purity were quoted last month in Rolling Stone: “If a nation with a more advanced, more specialised or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating, an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide.”
Words like “Nazi” are nowadays flung around far too frequently, used as generalised political insults until they have lost all precision. But in Pearson’s case the term can be properly deployed: that is the statement of a Nazi. And Professor Lynn of the University of Ulster openly, readily announces his association with him.
Lower-level Nazis appear to have picked up on the association, too. A few months ago the Anti-Nazi League organised a march in Coleraine protesting against the university providing Lynn with a base for his ‘research’. As the 100 or so marchers, mainly teenagers, walked along the main shopping street, a score or so of extremely angry men burst out from a pub screaming slogans and holding aloft the Ulster flag and copies of the National Front paper, Bulldog, and attacked the march with fists and boots. In the ensuing fracas a number of people on both sides took blows before the attackers withdrew.
It was a minor incident which as far as I know was reported only in the Belfast Telegraph and in the local Coleraine Chronicle. What struck me most at the time was one of the slogans of the attackers, “White Rights! White Rights!”, and the ‘insult’ they chose to direct at their targets: not, as the display of the Ulster flag might have suggested as most ‘natural’ – ‘Fenians’ or ‘Provos’ – but “Red scum”, “nigger-lovers” and so forth.
If the University of Ulster can’t make the political connections, clearly there are others around Coleraine who can.
Members of the university’s academic staff tell me that the college authorities anticipate Lynn retiring next year, and hope that the issue will disappear quietly with him. In the meantime, the official university line is that Lynn’s racist activities and associations are none of their concern, since the work financed by the Pioneer Fund is conducted not by the Psychology Department but by an outfit run independently by Lynn himself.
This organisation is styled “The Ulster Institute For Social Research”. However, no such title is listed in the North’s telephone directory, nor is directory enquiries aware of its existence. Pioneer Fund documents obtained by anti-racist researchers in New York give the “institute’s” address as 276 Drumcroon Road, Coleraine, BT 51 3QT. This is Lynn’s home.
The New York researchers have been able to fax to me details of one Pioneer Fund grant supplied to Lynn, of $50,000 forwarded on February 12th 1992 for a study of “the effect of nutrition on intelligence and male-female differences in ability and motivations.” (Lynn is also on record as believing that women are inherently less intelligent than men.)
This wasn’t Lynn’s first Pioneer Fund bonanza. Rolling Stone says that between 1971 and 1992 he received grants from the fund totalling $325,000 – and RS locates the beneficiary not at Drumcroon Road but in “Univ. of Ulster.”
The Pioneer Fund was set up in 1937 by one Wickliffe Draper, a multi-millionaire who had made his money from the labour of textile workers in New England. Its first president was Harry Laughlin, one of the best-known US promoters of ‘master race’ theory at that time. In the ’20s Laughlin had played a key role in pushing through legislation to keep Jews fleeing from persecution in Europe out of the US, testifying to Congress that IQ scores showed that 83 percent of Jewish immigrants were feeble-minded and likely to dilute the quality of the nation’s gene-pool.
Laughlin had also been the author of the Model Eugenical Sterilisation Law, which he circulated and campaigned for across the US. Adopted in various forms by 30 states, it resulted in the forced sterilisation of tens of thousands of ‘retarded’ people, mainly blacks, the unemployed, ‘immoral’ women etc. It was used as the basis of the Nazi eugenics programme under which at least two million people in Germany were forcibly sterilised.
The Pioneer Fund organised ‘Draper Committees’ which lobbied for restrictions on immigration and, for example, for the segregation of white and black blood in blood-banks. In the ’50s it was heavily involved in court actions to halt integration in schools, restaurants etc.
Rolling Stone lists more recent recipients of Pioneer Fund largesse. These include: University of Northern Iowa educational psychologist and vice-chairman of the pro-Nazi German-American National Congress Ralph Scott, financed to tour the US in the ’70s, arguing that school integration would reduce academic standards; University of Southern Mississippi anthropologist Donald Swan, assisted to continue “research” to show that blacks were of a different, lower species than whites; William Shoekley, a Stanford University mathematical-science professor, financed to develop a plan to offer social welfare recipients of low IQ incentives to be sterilised – $1,000 for every IQ point below 100; John Hopkins University sociology professor Robert Gordon, who has a ‘softer’ scheme for convincing people of low IQ to agree not to have children; Lina Gottfredson, an educational studies professor at the University of Delaware and heroine of leading white supremacist David Dukes, a campaigner against affirmative action to reverse racial discrimination in education and jobs . . . And so on.
The Fund distributes around a million dollars to about 20 recipients every year. The emphasis is very strongly on academic projects located in respectable universities. The pre-determined racist results can then be presnted as obejctive and even ‘authoritative’. This is what Lynn is at.
The fact that drunk thugs flaunting a Fascist party’s paper wade in with boots and fists to defend him is appropriate.
Rolling Stone reckons Lynn is currently the fifth-largest recipient of Pioneer Fund money in the world.
Meanwhile, the university bosses ring-fence their racist with hypocrisy and cant about his ‘independent’ research projects. But it is precisely his position in the university which confers spurious respectability on him. In both the Times and the Irish Independent he was identified as ‘Professor of Psychology at the University of Ulster, Coleraine’.
Rita O’Hare sounds very uncomfortable in that new trouser suit. The flame-haired Sinn Fein press officer was interviewed in the Observer two Sundays ago by John Waters, who appears to have gone as mad as Marty Whelan (which is odd, since I was talking to him at Declan Lynch’s Killiney wake for Athlone Town’s league hopes this season (which the wily Lynch passed off as a wedding celebration) and he seemed sensible enough. But then one of us was arseholes at the time). (Hope you don’t mind the profusion of brackets).
“The ‘s’-word’ is not, it seems, a problem for Sinn Fein,” observed the Castlerea man with the post-modern haircut, and went on: “‘Our socialism is an Irish socialism’, stressed Ms. O’Hare. ‘It is based on the ideas of people like James Connolly and Fintan Lawlor (sic) and was never based on anything outside Ireland’.” The fella that put the cool into culchie was mightily impressed with that.
That’s the way forward into the new Irish millennium, alright. We wouldn’t want a sort of socialism that was contaminated with them dirty, foreign ideas. Sinn Fein’s socialism has the Guaranteed Irish tag dangling from the hand-stitched buttonhole on its lapel. No need for anybody to worry on that score.
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Luxembourg, Kollontai, Gramsci, McClean . . . dirty foreign divils every last one of them, out for some exotic sinful class of socialism:
“In Ireland it is an English importation, in England they are convinced it was made in Germany, in Germany it is a scheme of traitors in alliance with the French, in France it is an accursed conspiracy to discredit the army . . . in Russia it is an English plot to prevent Russian extension towards Asia, in Asia it is known to have been set on foot by American enemies of Chinese and Japanese industrial progress, and in America it is one of the baneful fruits of unrestricted pauper and criminal immigration.”
That’s the opening passage in Connolly’s Workshop Talks. I half-remember that the most glamorous granny ever to come out of Belfast used to know it off by heart. But then, as I say, she doesn’t sound entirely comfortable these times.
It’s probably the trouser suit.