Strange Death of Franklin Roosevelt - Emanuel Josephson

Infantile Paralysis
'My Georgia Warm Springs Business'

In August 1921, Franklin Delano Roosevelt yachted to his summer home at Campobello, New Brunswick, with his employer Van Lear Black. There he succumbed to a paralyzing illness which had only recently begun to appear on an extensive scale in this country. The disease was called poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis by an orthopedic specialist who was not a specialist on acute infectious diseases.

Many rumors have circulated about the true character of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's illness. The rumors relate that he was delirious for an extended period in the acute stage of the illness. They point out that it left him with mental stigmata that are not characteristic of true poliomyelitis; that his judgement became impaired and he became so highly suggestible that he would agree with everyone and act on the counsel of the last person who advised him; and that he suffered from prolonged and uncontrollable attacks, or fits, of excitement and laughing alternating with depression and crying, that often were brought on by displeasure and stress at being thwarted, and sometimes by pleasure; and were publicly witnessed on a number of occasions.

So persistent were these rumors that Dr. Lindley Rudd Williams, son-in-law of Kidder of the Morgan affiliate, Kidder, Peabody and Company, and director of the Rockefeller subsidized New York Academy of Medicine, was called upon, just prior to the Presidential nomination, in 1932, to write for Collier's Magazine an article vouching for the state of Roosevelt's physical and mental health.

Roosevelt's condition can be very simply explained. There are two types of "infantile paralysis". There is the type that involves the spinal cord and only the lower, respiratory areas of the brain. That is known as poliomyelitis. This condition had become fairly well-known to the American medical profession after the severe epidemic of 1916.

There is a second type of "infantile paralysis" that was very little known and rarely recognized in 1921. Prior to that time it had begun to appear extensively among animals, especially horses; and to the veterinarians it was known as equine encephalomyelitis. In 1932, the first extensive human epidemic of the disease occurred in St. Louis.

The encephalomyelitic form of "infantile paralysis" also causes paralysis involving the spine and the lower centers of the brain. But in addition it involves the upper centers of the brain and generally damages them severely. Sometimes the disease assumes the form of "sleeping sickness". But almost always it leaves mental stigmata in addition to paralysis.

It is reasonably certain that Franklin Delano Roosevelt suffered from an attack of encephalomyelitis that was unrecognized because his was among the earliest group of human cases in this country. The diagnosis serves to explain the stigmata above mentioned. Eleanor Roosevelt and shrewd and loyal Louis Howe, carefully withheld the facts regarding F.D.R.'s true condition for fear that it would interfere with his career, if he recovered.

On his recovery and his return to business, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became involved in a series of malodorous, messy stock flotations that the S.E.C. would now label highly fraudulent. There was absolutely no need for him to become entangled in such deals because of the many friends, relatives and business associates indebted to him anent war activities. It is obvious that his judgement was far from what it might be and that it was so seriously impaired that he was excessively suggestible and too easily talked into things.

George Foster Peabody, New York confederate of Rockefeller, approached F.D.R. during his recovery, in 1924, with a story of a Georgian, helpless victim of infantile paralysis who had recovered from the paralysis sufficiently to walk, by swimming in a pool at Warm Springs, Georgia. Peabody had bought the Springs and wanted to turn them over to him. Roosevelt visited the Springs and Louis Howe was on the job to see that he got a good press. A syndicated article entitled "Swimming Back to Health" brought Warm Springs into the limelight and kept the spot on F.D.R. The article brought a number of victims of infantile paralysis to the Springs. Roosevelt accepted Warm Springs from Peabody, attracted the attention of the Orthopedic Society, at its convention in Atlanta in 1926, by the device of asking for an investigation; and organized it as a hydrotherapeutic institute under the supervision of Dr. Le Roy W. Hubbard of the New York State Department of Health. In July 1926, at about the time that he invited investigation by the Orthopedic Society, F.D.R. organized in Delaware a business corporation that has been carefully shielded from the public eye, the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation Inc. of Delaware. Title to the property was placed in this holding company. Not even Lindley, Roosevelt's biographer knew about it.

According to Ernest K. Lindley, in his "Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Career in Progressive Democracy, Georgia Warm Springs Foundation was incorporated in the State of New York in January, 1927, to be given title to the Warm Springs property obtained from George Foster Peabody. Lindley does not relate the accurate data contained in the following letter, which has entirely escaped his notice:

"State of Delaware
Office of Secretary of State

"Walter Dent Smith
Secretary of State
Dover, Del.
March 6, 1936

"Dr. Emanuel M. Josephson
108 East 81st Street
New York City

"Dear Sir:

"Replying to your communication of February 1, kindly be advised the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, Inc., incorporated under the laws of this State June 29, 1926, changed its name to Meriwether Reserve Inc. by Amendment filed in this Department August 1, 1927.

"The annual report filed for the year 1934 shows office at 120 Broadway, New York City, together with the following named officers and directors:

  1. President, Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt, The White House, Washington, D. C.
  2. Vice President and Assistant Secretary, Raymond H. Taylor, 120 Broadway, New York City.
  3. Secretary-Treasurer, Basil O'Connor, 120 Broadway, New York City.
  4. Assistant Treasurer, Arthur Carpenter, Warm Springs, Ga.
  5. Directors, Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Basil O'Connor, Raymond H. Taylor.

"Delaware corporations are not required to file a list of stockholders in this Department; therefore, we regret to be unable to furnish you with same."

"Yours truly,
"(Signed) Walter Dent Smith,
Secretary of State."

[Josephson Letter] from The Strange Death of FDR by Emanuel Josephson


Mr. Walter Dent Smith, Secretary of State of Delaware, gives facts regarding Meriwether Reserve, Inc. listed with his office. The "representative citizens" later classed as "malefactors of great wealth", whose names are found on the board of Georgia Warm Sitings Foundation, Inc. and who contributed heavily to its support, are strangely missing in Meriwether Reserve. Inc.

The existence of a holding company, obscure and hidden from public gaze, in the President's widely publicized philanthropy, strikes one with justifiable surprise. For President Roosevelt fought holding corporations of this type with the utmost venom and vigor. If Georgia Warm Springs is a private commercial activity of the President, one would have expected his own pronouncements in the case of Mayor James Walker to impel him to take the public into the secret, rather than to hide it in an obscure Delaware corporation. The generous gifts of the nation, amounting to millions of dollars in the past two decades, should have compelled a frank publication of the accounts of this "holding company." But an inquiry directed to the Treasurer of the Foundation, Basil O'Connor, law partner of the President, elicited the following reply:

"Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, Inc.
120 Broadway, New York
July 1st, 1935

"President : Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Treasurer : Basil O'Connor

"Dear Sir:

No annual reports have been issued by Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, Inc.


Very truly yours,
(Signed) Basil O'Connor


This letter from the treasurer of the Foundation, Mr. Basil O'Conner, Prrudent Roosevelt's law partner, leaves no doubt as to the ownership of Georgia Warm Springs.

[Josephson Letter] from The Strange Death of FDR by Emanuel Josephson

The source of the half million dollars required for purchasing the surrounding property and the initial development of the Springs was kept a secret even from Lindley. He stated that "where this money came from has always been a mystery." (ibid p. 211). The names of only two of the donors were released, because they had no political implications. Henry Pope of Chicago gave twenty thousand dollars, and Frank C. Root of Greenwich. Connecticut, an unspecified sum. It may be reasonably inferred that the Rockefeller-Morgan-Ryan-Dodge group were as generous in their donations to Roosevelt's venture as they were to his campaign funds. They had spent considerable time and funds in grooming the heir-apparent of the Dynasty as their tool. His illness made him potentially even more valuable for the role for which he was being groomed. But his identification with their interests by publishing their names and contributions would be politically bad.

Mr. and Mrs. Edsel Ford, Lindley relates, contributed the money to build a glass-enclosed pool; and other gifts were received for specific purposes. The literature of the Foundation states vaguely:

"The funds required by the initial capital investments were subscribed by the Governor and a group of his friends".

By 1927 Roosevelt and the Dynasty felt that his build-up had been sufficient to insure victory at the polls; and the Rockefeller-Morgan crowd felt that their plans would soon call for a change in political party on the national scene, just as had been done in 1920 to appease popular clamor, and decided to take their synthetic "statesman" out of mothballs. That he was directed no longer to refuse political office is indicated by the sudden change of name of the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, Inc. of Delaware, the business corporation, on August 1, 1927, to Meriwether Reserve Inc.

To be sure, in the following year, Smith, Lehman Raskob, and others at Albany, made a great show of extending the nomination to F.D.R. across the country at Georgia Warm Springs. Roosevelt made the grand-stand Caesarian play of thrice rejecting it with truly royal disdain. Louis Howe saw to it that the press was at hand and ate it up. The entire country was being held in suspense.

" . . . he put it by thrice, every time gentler than the other; and at every putting-by mine honest neighbors shouted." (Julius Caesar, Act 1, Sc. II.)

Julius Caesar and his "falling sickness" were child's play as compared with this scene for rousing public sympathy. Far indeed has the art of perverting public opinion progressed.

Finally Roosevelt who never missed a chance to turn an easy penny, interposed what he pretended was his main "objection" to accepting the nomination:

" . . . my Georgia Warm Springs business."

Raskob is reported to have shouted impatiently, "Damn Georgia Warm Springs, we'll take care of it." Undeniably this enterprise was well taken care of. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was magnificently bribed to run for office. By the end of 1930 some seven hundred thousand dollars had been poured into the coffers of the Foundation. It is reported that Raskob contributed a quarter of a million dollars with a proviso regarding the nomination of A1 Smith in 1932. A Board of Trustees was set up which read much like the board of directors of the enterprises identified with the Morgan, Rockefeller, Chase National and National City Bank groups. They were:

  1. James A. Moffett, Vice President of the Standard Oil of New Jersey. He was rewarded among others with an appointment as housing czar under the New Deal; and was able to secure for his Rockefeller-Standard Oil employers from the Government, a thirty million dollar appropriation of American taxpayers' money to be paid by the British Government to the King of Saudi Arabia to avoid the cancellation of the concession, in Saudi Arabia, of the Standard Oil of California and Texas Companies, and hundreds of millions more to maintain the Rockefeller-Standard Oil crowd in the good graces of the King, Ibn Saud. Recently Moffett sued the companies for $8,000,000, the price he alleges they agreed to pay him for his influence with Roosevelt and the New Deal in the successful raid on the U.S. Treasury. If he collects the eight million dollars he will be amply repaid for his donation to Georgia Warm Springs. He was also instrumental, on behalf of the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests, in bringing Roosevelt's innate duplicity into play in promising Palestine to both the Jews and the Arabs, to hold the loyalty and cooperation of both.
  2. Jeremiah Milbank, Director of the Rockefeller-controlled Chase National Bank and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. His family are heavily interested in the Borden Company and operate it for the controlling Chase National Bank-Rockefeller interests. A. G. Milbank is President and Chairman of the Board of Borden. His $55,000 gift, or bribe, to Roosevelt through Georgia Warm Springs-Meriwether Reserve brought magnificent returns. Shortly after its receipt, Governor Roosevelt secured the passage by the New York State Legislation of favorable milk laws that increased the price of milk from to a minimum of twenty-two cents a quart and put billions of dollars into the coffers of the Rockefeller-controlled Milk Trust.

But that was only the beginning of the story of what Jeremiah Milbank got for his $55,000 "contribution". He is the familiar brand of philanthropist" who insists upon having his odds very long. For example in 1928 he contributed $10,000 to the Republican Campaign fund. Vice President Gamer revealed that this was followed by the following tax refunds:

  • Jeremiah Milbank, New York, Director Chase National Bank, refunded $41,239 in 1928; Director Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, $32,102 in 1929, and $77,848 in 1930; son of Joseph Milbank whose estate was granted a refund of $46,344 in 1929."
  • Eugene F. Wilson, Vice President of the Rockefeller-Morgan controlled American Telephone and Telegraph Company. His company was munificently rewarded by the New Deal. Despite the attack on utilities and holding companies by Roosevelt and the New Deal, the A.T.T., the greatest utility monopoly, was never molested. The sham investigation, launched against it to quiet public outcry against its outrageous staggering of rates even during the depression, was conducted by the Telephone Company's own loyal employees. And when unfavorable evidence got into the records, they were destroyed by a mysterious fire and the investigation was hurriedly dropped. Under the New Deal the monopoly of the A.T.T., instead of being broken down, had been greatly intensified. Even the use of radio-telephone that served so well in the war, is, by absurd licensing requirements, barred to the public except through payment of exorbitant tribute to the Telephone Company.
  • William II. Woodin, President of the American Car and Foundry Company; Director of General Motors; Member of the Executive Committee and Director of the American Ship and Commerce Company; and Director of Remington Arms Company. He was a J. P. Morgan and Co. henchman who stood high on their preferred list. He received the appointment of Secretary of the Treasury.
  • Leighton McCarthy, President of Canadian Life Insurance Company, Vice President and Director of Union Carbide Co. and of the Bank of Nova Scotia; and Director of Aluminum Ltd.
  • George Foster Peabody, President of Broadway Realty Co. and close associate of John D. Rockefeller, who participated with them in the foundation of the General Education Fund and other purposeful "philanthropies", of which this is a sam pie.
  • Frank C. Root.

There can be no question that Roosevelt paid his debts handsomely,—with the taxpayers' money and when required, with their lives and the security of the nation. This makes it hard to draw the line as in so many other similar situations involving the Roosevelt-Delano Dynasty, between "contribution" and plain bribery and corruption.

It is interesting to note that none of these generous trustees are to be found on the Board of Directors of Meriwether Reserve Inc. So far as has been determined, Meriwether Reserve is owned outright by FDR and his family. The land adjacent to the Springs, which normally sold at ten to twenty dollars an acre, was sold to families of the victims who wished to live near them at $500 a lot, in the name of Sara Delano Roosevelt, the supposed owner and mortgagor.

In 1931 and 1932 Governor Roosevelt engineered important changes in the milk industry, that were highly profitable to Milhank's Borden Company. The sale of synthetic milk, labelled "homogenized", and sold at higher prices, previously had been barred, as adulterated and inferior. It was now permitted. Likewise adulteration of milk with alkalinizers, in violation of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the misrepresentation of pasteurized milk, as absolutely safe, was given the official stamp of approval.

By curious coincidence, in the self-same year which witnessed the momentous changes in the milk industry which added billions of dollars to the milk bill of the public and by the same amount enlarged the take of what Wallace termed the "Milk Trust", Governor Roosevelt's Warm Springs Foundation, received an additional grant of $5,000 from the Milbank Memorial Fund, the income of which is derived from the stock of one of the components of the "Milk Trust", Milhank's Borden Company.

To collect funds for President Roosevelt's "philanthropy", there were organized the "President's Birthday Balls". The moving spirit behind their origin was the notorious Cities Service utility magnate, Henry L. Doherty, whose dishonest manipulations cost the investing public hundreds of millions of dollars. He shuddered at the fate of Insull and the rest of the utility crowd who were not in Roosevelt's favor. Shying at attempting direct bribery, he turned for advice to his publicity man, Carl Byoir, who enjoyed the strategic position of also representing Roosevelt's Georgia Warm Springs. The outcome was the Birthday Balls which netted Roosevelt's "philanthropy" millions. Doherty calculated well. He was never harassed or prosecuted by Roosevelt's New Deal in spite of the flagrant character of his activities. The Birthday Balls had worked as a "pay-off".

For years, physicians throughout the nation bombarded the Foundation with applications to secure free admission of poor victims of infantile paralysis to Georgia Warm Springs. Though millions of dollars had been contributed by the nation for this purpose, applications for free services were made without success, except in rare cases. In the years 1933 to 1935, the physicians were flatly told by the Foundation that it did not welcome charity patients, except under very special circumstances.

Such special circumstances appear to have been primarily publicity value. A paralyzed newspaperman sponsored by the Hearst newspaper chain closely identified at the time with the President was one such case accepted gratis. Poor patients for whom communities gathered funds and paid the charges were accepted. To be sure, amid clicking cameras and nation-wide publicity, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, with great ostentation, turned over to a poor victim of the disease the thousand dollar prize awarded her by Gimbel & Company for the specific purpose that it be spent at Georgia Warm Springs. It looked much like taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another.

When favorable publicity was not involved, however, the physician was informed that the basic rate for stay at Warm Springs was about forty-five dollars a week, with various charges for extras. This charge is made in a section of the country where the cost of living is so low that the average Relief allowance a week for a family of six was two to three dollars. If the physician made so bold as to inquire what was being done with the millions gathered for the treatment of poor folks at the Springs, he was belatedly informed that in very special cases the basic charge would be reduced fifty percent.

With election in sight, and with an eye to an under-current of unfavorable comment on the activities of the Foundation and due to quiet but persistent investigation by interested parties, the tactics of the Foundation were changed. After the "Birthday Balls", a pretense of an accounting was made in the press. It related that part of the fund gathered from the parties was left with the local committee to pay expenses and to provide for local infantile paralysis work; and that a small fraction of the sum turned over to the President's Foundation had been paid out to specific institutions and investigators for research work on the disease.

A written request was made by me to the Foundation in April 1936, asking that two poor patients, who could manage to raise only enough money to pay their train fares to the Springs, be admitted for treatment of paralysis. It elicited the following reply:

"The Georgia Warm Springs Foundation
50 East 42nd Street
New York City

Franklin D. Roosevelt, President
Keith Morgan, Vice-President
Basil O'Connor, Treasurer

April 29, 1936
Emanuel M. Josephaon, M. D.
108 East 81st Street, New York, N. Y.

"My dear Dr. Josephson:

"Your letter of April 28th has been received during the absence of Doctor LeRoy W. Hubbard, who is Director of Extension. Immediately upon his return, in about ten days, it shall be brought to his attention."

"Very truly yours,
(Signed) Katherine Woods

On the specified date Dr. Hubbard communicated with me by telephone and explained that the capacity of Warm Springs is limited, and that only a few charity patients are taken. He offered the suggestion that the Springs therapy is not recommended for all victims of the disease. After inquiring the age of the patients, he definitely eliminated the school child, because he said the Springs were not advisable for younger children unless accompanied by nurse and governess.

He suggested that they might consider the admission of the adolescent victim, provided that after an examination by himself he felt that the patient might be benefited by the Springs. There was a change of tone and attitude as compared with previous communications; straightforward rejection of the charity patient was replaced by qualified evasion, which offers less startling contrast with the objects for which the public have been led to contribute to the institution.

My curiosity in the matter was aroused by my experience and information. I addressed the following letter to President Roosevelt:

"May 27, 1936.
Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt, President
Meriwether Reserve, Inc.,
White House,
Washington, D. D.

"Dear Sir:

"In the course of a study of various types of social service and philanthropic organizations, and of their financial structure, for a volume which I am writing on the subject, I have come across the data relating to Georgia Warm Springs Foundation of New York and the Meriwether Reserve Inc. of Delaware, concerning which I ask your help and explanation.

"In reply to an inquiry, Mr. Basil O'Connor, Treasurer of the Foundation, has informed me that the Foundation has issued no financial reports, and that its property is held by the Meriwether Reserve Inc. of Delaware, a business corporation.

"The Secretary of State of Delaware informs me, on the other hand, that the Meriwether Reserve Inc. files no financial reports or list of stockholders.

  • Where may I secure financial statements, lists of contributions, and stockholders' lists of the Meriwether Reserve, Inc. for the years since 1926, when it was organized as the Georgia Warm Springs Inc., Delaware, until the end of the last fiscal year?
  • What is the exact relation between the Meriwether Reserve Inc. and Georgia Warm Springs Foundation of New York, and what is the objective and function of the two different organizations incorporated in different states?
  • As a business organization so incorporated, does the Meriwether Reserve Inc. pay dividends on its stock?
  • If so, what have the dividend rates been since the date of organization?
  • In what manner does this dual structure affect the handling of charitable cases, and what percentage of the cases are free and charitable, part pay, and full pay?

"I would highly appreciate an early reply to these questions, for the survey must go to press in the near future.

"Very truly yours,
(Signed) Emanuel M. Josephson

This letter elicited several telephone inquiries from agents of the Meriwether Reserve Inc. about the source of my information. The inquiring agent assured me that I would receive a prompt reply. No reply has ever been received before or since the publication of the study.

Before the Birthday Balls of January 1938, there was announced a "reorganization of the philanthropy." There was formed a new foundation, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The public was high-pressured by such a foundation propagandist as the avowed left-winger, Paul de Kruif, into contributing to this new Foundation. Keith Morgan, vice-president of the Foundation, took over the publicity and management of the campaign, and even larger sums of money were mulcted from the public. Dr. Joseph S. Wall, professor of diseases of children of Georgetown University Medical School, stated before the Subcommittee on Public Health, Hospitals and Charities of D. C. on January 7, 1938, that the money for the Foundation derived from the Birthday Balls would be devoted to animal research. "Not a penny of that fund will go to buying a crutch for a crippled child. The majority of the dollars in that fund will go for the purchase of monkeys," he testified.

About one month after the January 1938 Birthday Balls of the reorganized Foundation, a naive, pathetic letter by Mrs. Martha Hickok appeared in the Miami Daily News. She related the experience of her mother in her persistent attempts for six years to gain free admission of her child, a victim of infantile paralysis, to Georgia Warm Springs.

The application was repeatedly rejected by the "board of advisers" though Dr. Hoke considerately assured the mother that the child's dependence on crutches could be eliminated in two years at the Foundation. He offered as an explanation for the child's rejection the information that the Foundation limited its charity cases to a ratio of ten charity cases for every ninety full pay cases, the writer stated.

Mrs. Hickok related that not even the intercession of her postmaster or of Postmaster General Farley helped. She stated that she had a large collection of correspondence from the Foundation extending over a period of six years which showed she believed, that unless one had loads of money Georgia Warm Springs is just a crippled child's dream of paradise. She stated that her motive in writing was to correct the false impression that the Warm Springs Foundation is open and available to any infantile paralysis sufferer who admittedly might be helped.

A million or more dollars was raised by the 1938 Birthday Ball and by subscriptions for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The active principals of that Foundation nevertheless participated in introducing legislation at Albany in March 1938 which provided free medical care by the State or City of New York for the victims of infantile paralysis.

Accounts of some of the money collected for the Foundation were published in December 1939. But they were very loose and failed to account for much of the money that has been taken in. They showed, however, that at least some of the money collected for the relief of infantile paralysis victims may be used for that purpose.

There is much additional evidence on hand that Roosevelt cared as little for the victims of infantile paralysis as he cared for the interests of the nation at large, except where political and financial advantages accrued. Most flagrant was the death of scores of humans resulting from the administration of the so-called "immune serum" in the treatment of the cases suspected of having infantile paralysis during the epidemic of 1931. This was a case of deliberate risk and sacrifice of human life by experimentation, engaged in by a Committee of the New York Academy of Medicine which was headed by the late Dr. Linsley R. Williams, whose position interlocked Organized Medicine and Social Service. Dr. Williams also was mentioned as the prospective incumbent of the post of Secretary of Health which it was reported was to be created for him on the Cabinet of President Roosevelt, after he had written an article, published in Collier's magazine, certifying that Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt was physically and mentally fit for the Presidency of the United States.

The sale of the fake cure and the attendant publicity were designed to build up Dr. Linsley Williams as a national figure and to publicize the Medical-Social-Service Trust which he dominated, as a prelude to his expected political advancement and as a prelude to turning over the control of medicine, under national legislation, to the Trust. The infantile paralysis epidemic was used also as a pretext for raising the price of milk to the poor of New York City in the midst of the depression to a higher figure than prevailed in time of prosperity, by the elimination of loose milk. The Milbank Memorial Fund and the Rockefeller Institute played dominant roles in both campaigns.

In this exploit, the Medical-Social-Service Trust, under Dr. Williams, was up to one of its old tricks—stealing the stale thunder of medical experimenters as a pretext for a wild burst of quackish publicity. The "immune serum" was known to be worthless and dangerous long before the human experiment was started. Within two weeks before the date when it was advertised and publicized as a "cure" for infantile paralysis, the National Health Institute of the United States Health Public Service reported on a series of cautious experiments and studies made with it on monkeys over a period of three years. The Institute reported that the serum was both worthless and dangerous when used in many of the manners suggested.

The serum goes back to the days of the French investigator, Levaditi, who discovered in 1911 that the virus contained in nasal drippings of victims of the disease, which would cause infantile paralysis when injected into the nervous system of monkeys, could be neutralized and made harmless by the blood of adults or of persons who had had infantile paralysis, when the two were mixed in a test tube. In the New York City epidemic of 1916, Dr. Herman Schwartz had tried out such a scrum on a group of his patients. He reported that he found it not only worthless but actually injurious and deadly when used in certain manners.

The best informed authorities on the subject including Dr. Josephine Neal and Dr. William Parks of the New York City Health Department Research Laboratories, both of whom were members of the Committee, constituting a minority, had unequivocally condemned the serum on the basis of accumulated data. They pronounced it to be of questionable value and actually injurious when used in certain manners. As early as 1929, Dr. Josephine Neal had pointed out in her publications the danger of the use of the serum in poliomyelitis, and had condemned it in no uncertain terms. All the cumulative evidence pointed to the fact that this supposed "cure" exploited by the Academy was both worthless and injurious.

Dr. Williams, himself, characterized the use of this serum at a hearing, of the Board of Censors of the New York County Medical Society of March 11, 1932, as a "clinical study," or experiment on humans, undertaken by the Committee to prove or disprove tin value, or lack of value of the serum. Dr Williams stated at the hearing,

"This study was made, really, upon the recommendation of Dr. Simon Flexner and Dr. George Draper. Dr. Flexner and Dr. Draper were particularly interested and also was Dr. Amoss and Dr. Aycock. Dr. Neal did a great deal of work on this subject some eight or nine years ago in the 1918 epidemic, and I think she has always had the feeling that this serum was of very doubtful value."

In other words. Dr. Williams placed the responsibility for this disastrous experiment squarely on the Rockefeller Institute, of which he was a director, and on its staff.

At a discussion before the Society of Medical Jurisprudence on October 12, 1931, Dr. Josephine Neal said:

"I have always opposed the use of serum intraspinally on account of the consequent meningeal irritation that so often follows . . . sometimes with disastrous results."

Dr. Sobel, an eminent pediatrician, confirmed Dr. Neal's statement in the following words:

"If the truth were told about the use of the serum intraspinally I am afraid that some sad stories would come out. I have some good reason to believe that several deaths have occurred as a result of its use in this way, and while names such as status thymolymphaticus have been used for the cause of death, it has been more directly attributable to meningeal irritation than anything else."

The concurring statement of Dr. Neal and Sobel make it clear that it is widely known in the medical profession that it is a common expedient of the Medical-Service Trust in its exploitation of public health to falsify records to make them show results desired by them. In this manner they often hide from the public the sacrifice of human life that results from their activities.

In spite of its worthlessness and its known danger, the Committee on Poliomyelitis of the New York Academy of Medicine undertook to experiment on humans with this "cure" in manners that were known to be most dangerous, including injection into the spine. It solicited the serum from former victims of the disease among the public, most of whom contributed their blood free of charge. Governor Roosevelt contributed 500 c.c. of serum. In the role of an "authority" on the subject, he wrongly informed the public that doctors who would not use the "cure" were ignorant and not to be trusted. This statement proved as true and reliable as have many of his other statements on the subject of health, medicine and other topics.

The Academy then sold this serum to the public through its agents, young and inexperienced physicians, for as much as the traffic would bear, usually twenty-five dollars a dose. In violation of the municipal law of New York City, even charity patients in municipal hospitals were compelled to pay a minimum price of twenty-five dollars for this supposed cure; and were led to believe that failure to use it meant death or worse.

The outcome of this experiment was exactly what might have been expected on the basis of accumulated data, highly disastrous. The published report of the Committee stated that the serum had been used only in cases which had developed no paralysis. This meant that many of those cases did not have infantile paralysis to begin with; for there is no positive method of diagnosis of the disease until paralysis develops. The death rate, however, among the group treated with the serum was considerably higher than among the proved victims of infantile paralysis. The incidence of paralysis among the former was also higher than among those not treated with the "cure."

The case of Marvin Zanger illustrates the danger of the serum. The story is best told in a letter which his mother wrote me.

"November 28, 1931.
Dr. E. M. Josephson

"Dear Sir:

"I Read your statement in the papers of a week ago pertaining to the serum which was used during the epidemic. May I state my case, please.

"On August 19, my boy, nine and a half years old. became ill . . . We took him to the Morrisania Hospital at 168th Street and Walton Avenue, The Bronx. While admitting my child who was so, so very ill, I was told that it was necessary to use serum and it would cost twenty-five dollars. I'm an American woman, and had been reading the paper, but had never noticed a fee for serum mentioned. I spoke of this to one of the doctors and he informed me there was a charge for it at all times. Of course, being a mother and so frightened. I borrowed the twenty-five dollars to pay for it. I sat with my dear child for three hours before Dr. . . . [an agent of the New York Academy of Medicine] came . . .

"My child died anyway. I have not been able to write you before this, as my heart is broken. But in order to help others who may not be able to borrow aa I did, and to help you who are brave and big enough to come forward [I write].

"Mrs. Diana Zanger
1925 Gerard Avenue "

The circumstances and the records of the case left little room for doubt that the death was directly due to the irritation of the serum and its mode of administration.

Another equally tragic case was related by another mother who wrote to Mrs. Zanger:

"Several weeks ago, I read in the New York American about your suit against the New York Academy of Medicine for the loss of your child from infantile paralysis.

"Your sufferings find an echo in my heart, for I am also an unfortunate mother who lost a four-year-old son. I have a daughter aged twenty, in the hospital, who is a sufferer from the same dreadful scourge.

"My boy was running around well in the hospital until the serum was administered. He died within five days.

"My daughter was paralyzed following the serum. She is in the hospital for the past seven months. God, if I could only lose my memory completely!"

The suit brought by Mrs. Zanger for the death of her child was settled by the parties out of court.

To stop the sale of this quack cure, I filed charges with Governor F. D. Roosevelt against the Academy and its Committee, accusing them of sacrificing human lives in what they chose to call an "experiment." The Academy pleaded "charity" in defense and extenuation of its acts but stopped the sale of the serum. The fate of these charges reveals in its full extent the sincerity of Roosevelt's "humanitarianism."

My indictment of Dr. Williams, and of the Academy Committee and their serum was embarrassing to Governor Roosevelt for several reasons. First, Dr. Williams was a personal friend and an important political ally. Second, his Georgia Warm Springs enterprise had been widely publicized as supplying some of the serum used for the "cure." Third, Roosevelt and his campaign managers had used the serum as the basis of large number of "human interest" press releases, and his campaign had played up his "humanitarianism" thus manifested.

[Josephson Letter] from The Strange Death of FDR by Emanuel Josephson

"State of New York
Executive Chambers, Albany
February 15, 1932

"CC: Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Dr. E. M. Josephson,
993 Park Avenue, New York City.

"My dear Dr. Josephson:

"I have read very carefully the latest charges which you have submitted to me under date of January 30, 1932. I have also read the several previous communications you addressed to me and to the State Health Commissioner, Dr. Thomas Parra, Jr.

"I have been fully informed concerning the activities of the State Department of Health and in its splendid efforts to minimize the effects of the poliomyelitis epidemic and to limit the spread of this disease, for which I requested a special appropriation from the Legislature and received their support.

"The charges you make are not substantiated by facts, and are therefore dismissed.

"Very Sincerely yours.
Governor of New York

This letter was received in reply to my protest against State Commissioner of Health, Thomas Parran's dismissal of my charges branding the infantile paralysis "curative" serum a worthless and dangerous quack remedy, the use of which resulted in many deaths. This letter constituted in substance an affirmation of the value of the serum. It is dated months later than the report of the Poliomyelitis Committee which fully supported my charges. Dr. Parran has risen to greater heights of authority and power since this incident, on appointment by President Roosevelt. The use of the serum has been abandoned.

For obvious political reasons, the Governor failed to act on the charges himself. He passed the buck to New York State Commissioner of Health, Thomas Parran, later Surgeon General of U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Parran owed his appointment as Commissioner to Dr. Linsley R. Williams and had himself actively advocated the use of this infantile paralysis "cure."

As might have been expected. Dr. Parran refused to hold hearings on the charges. Several months after they had been filed with him, Parran brushed aside my charges in a letter released to the press, in which he stated that he himself was involved in the charges, consequently they could not be true. Dr. Parran's denial of the truth of the charges followed closely upon the tacit acknowledgment of the Committee in its own report that my charges were absolutely true.

Commissioner Parran recommended, furthermore, that my zeal in protecting the health of the public and in preventing human sacrifice should be rebuked. He recommended that I be censured for my efforts.

I protested in vain to Governor Roosevelt against this formerly un-American procedure of permitting a man accused of a crime, and confessedly guilty, to be his own judge. The Governor replied affirming, in substance, the value of the "cure," directly contradicting the report already rendered by the Committee.

The trail of deaths arising from human experiments with infantile paralysis did not terminate with the tragedies of the "curative" serum. On the contrary, the protection offered to human experimenters by government authorities and the powers of State Medicine, constituted by the Health Departments and their Commissioners, seconded by the great influence of the interested social service rackets, encouraged further human experimentation.

Financed in part by a small grant from the moneys collected through the "President's Birthday Balls," Dr. John A. Kolmer of Temple University, Philadelphia, undertook to infect a group of children with infantile paralysis virus that was supposedly attenuated by treatment with sodium ricinoleate, a soap made from castor oil. On October 8, 1935, Dr. T. M. Rivers of the Rockefeller Institute, reported the results at a meeting of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Rivers' announcement read as follows:

"Only eight out of twelve thousand children who were injected (with the infective material) developed the disease."

In defense of this situation. Dr. Rivers offered the "In the case of the eight children, it is probable that they had incurred the malady before they had been injected."

It is also possible, nay probable, that the infections and deaths were caused by the injected virus.

These deaths illustrate the menace of authoritarian, irresponsible State Medicine to the health and life ol the public. They should be a warning to repudiate the various compulsory health insurance schemes which the self-same group as were responsible for these killings arc now seeking to foist upon the public.

In 1943, in response to the pressure of an aroused public opinion which demanded a truthful statement of the uses made of the moneys raised for Georgia Warm Springs, a report was issued by the Foundation. No mention was made in the report of the huge individual donations that had been subscribed initially by the Moffetts, the Milbanks and others; or of Meriwether Reserve Inc. of Delaware, its resources or its connection with the Foundation or the uses that it made of the moneys that had been diverted to it; or of how much of the funds raised by the public goes to help the 63% of the victims which it classes as "aid", in contrast to the fully and exorbitantly charged "pay" victims; or if any of the victims are really full charity cases or if a large income is required to supplement the help given the "aid" cases; or if discrimination against colored victims despite acceptance of contributions from colored folks, will ever be eliminated in the institution controlled by a family who have given so much lip service to the colored cause.

There is no record that any colored victim of infantile paralysis has ever been admitted to Georgia Warm Springs. It is a case of "Do as I say, not as I do."

Dr. Haven Emerson, Emeritus Professor of Public Health Administration at Columbia University condemned the racket that has been built up about Georgia Warm Springs in no uncertain terms, in giving the annual Cutter Lecture at the Harvard University Medical School November 28, 1947. He stated:

"There is no more pitiful picture of the importance and ineptitude of popular enthusiasm about widely publicized disease than the fantastic promotion of unprofitable measures financed with reckless extravagance for the control of poliomyelitis.

"These manifestations of newspaper or public relations experts concerned with dime collections on a percentage basis makes monkeys of honest health officers while hysterical warnings and inflated news items inflame local fears of a disease which no health officer has yet said with honesty that he has modified as to prevalence or fatality."

The last statement is of exceptional interest because Dr. Emerson was himself a member of the New York Academy of Medicine Poliomyelitis Committee that sold the phony serum "cure" in 1931. He confirms the charges which I made against the Committee to Governor F. D. Roosevelt and which quack "Dr." Roosevelt denied, in company with his distinguished Commissioner of Health, later Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, and Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Thomas Parran.

"Voluntary agencies". Dr. Emerson continued, "rising high on the emotional appeal of the dramatic deformities and sudden deaths from infantile paralysis so mask the truth and exploit the seasonally recurrent prevalence of this disease that rational education of the public as to the state of our ignorance of effective measures is almost unheard amid the din of personalities.

"The health officer is humiliated and his prestige is lowered before the public when daily bulletins come to the press from the hirelings of philanthropy instead of from the responsible officers of the United States Public Health Services, which is the only trustworthy source of reliable information of any of such epidemic disease and its national aspect." (Ed. Note: this unfortunately is not true because of the calibre and allegiance of some of its Surgeon Generals.)

Though there appears an element of professional jealousy in Dr. Emerson's statements, there emerges a picture of the enormous commercial and political pressure that was brought to bear on him, and other honest health officers, to have compelled him before his retirement to support such frauds as the New York Academy of Medicine's "immune serum", Georgia Warm Springs, and other equally creditable "philanthropies" that have been wrought by Bismarck's imitators as political devices.

The use of foundations and other pseudo-philanthropies for commercial and political purposes is quite commonplace. The "non-profit" corporation is the only type that can be readily chartered in New York State for medical and social service purposes, and have the advantage of being tax exempt. Many of them have proved extraordinarily profitable to their operators. No clear statements have ever been issued by Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, and no statements have been issued by Meriwether Reserve to indicate what profit, if any accrued to Franklin Delano Roosevelt or his family from them, in addition to the publicity and political advantage. But the Dynasty members are far too practical to go into any venture solely for their health or for principle.

The picture presented by Roosevelt's infantile paralysis activities does not bespeak integrity or even humanitarianism. It confirms the picture presented by so many of his activities, cupidity, corruption, low cunning and duplicity.