Harvard’s 1920 Homosexual Purge

Back in 2002, Amit Paley wrote a lengthy article about a previously secret witch hunt carried out to rid Harvard of homosexual students in 1920. A secret 5-man disciplinary committee interviewed dozens of people and ended up in the expelling of 8 students and the forced resignation of an assistant professor.

The trial was over. The purge had already begun a week earlier. On June 4, Greenough, at the direction of President Lowell, advised Roberts to withdraw from Harvard at once. Over the next two weeks, The Court handed down and recorded a verdict of “guilty” for a total of 14 men: seven college students; Cummings, the Dental School student; Clark, the Assistant in Philosophy; Saxton, the alumnus; and four men not connected with Harvard.

The college students were not just asked to leave campus, they were told to get out of Cambridge—immediately.

Cummings — the dental student — committed suicide shortly after his expulsion, and several of the student had their future academic careers ruined when other colleges inquired why they had withdrawn and were told of the “immoral” dealings the young men had been involved with.

Unsurprisingly, the same Harvard president who authorized the special disciplinary committee — A. Lawrence Lowell — would in 1922 propose a quota to limit Jewish admissions to Harvard. Lowell argued that capping Jewish admissions at 15 percent of the student body was the best way to fight anti-Semitism among the student body. The quota was never instituted explicitly, but instead enacted with the euphemism of “geographic diversity” — admitting more students from rural communities regardless of merit, thereby reducing the number of urban Jews who could gain entrance.

A Better Way to Apologize for Holocaust Denial

This Reuters story describing a Catholic group apologizing for some Holocaust denial remarks is a bit odd,

The leader of a traditionalist Catholic movement apologized to Pope Benedict on Tuesday for remarks denying the Holocaust made by one of his members whom the pope recently rehabilitated.

Bishop Bernard Fellay also said that he had disciplined the bishop who made the statement, British-born Richard Williamson, and ordered him not to speak out again on any political or historical issues.

Williamson’s remarks on the Holocaust, most recently on Swedish TV last week, provoked widespread criticism by Jews who said he had wiped out nearly half a century of dialogue with Catholics.

Now maybe I’m missing something here, but shouldn’t Fellay be apologizing to — oh, I don’t know, maybe the Jews and other racial minorities who were the main victims of the Holocaust?

And this is not just a case of Reuters leaving something out. This is the entire text of Fellay’s statement,

Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X

We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

It’s clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on questions that regard faith and morals. Our Fraternity does not claim any authority on other matters. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, expressed in the dogmas of the faith. It’s for this reason that we are known, accepted and respected in the entire world.

It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.

We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.

This is something we cannot accept, and we declare that we will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to administer the sacraments of grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is not a “we’re sorry we tolerate such ignorance in our midsts” apology; rather this is a “we’re sorry we embarrassed the Pope so soon after he un-excommunicated us.”

Not surprising. Fellay’s Society of St. Pius X has long been riddled with antisemitism, but, of course, that is not why it was excommunicated. That action was taken because in 1988 Fellay was ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (then head of the Society) against the wishes and permission of Pope John Paul II.

Obviously it wasn’t the anti-semitism that bothered the Church, or else they would never have rehabilitated the organization in the first place.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Anti-Semitism

Alexander Solzhenitsyn died yesterday at the age of 89. Much of the press coverage, obviously, focuses on Solzhenitsyn’s dissection of the Soviet Union. As Cathy Young once put it, “he probably deserves more credit than any other person for stripping away communism’s moral prestige among Western intellectuals.” On a personal note, reading The Gulag Archipelago was like a religious experience to me, and it may indeed be the best work of non-fiction of the 20th century as Time magazine once argued.

But as Young noted in the article I swiped that quote from above, there was a darker side to Solzhenitsyn that is being ignored by all the glowing obituaries and commentary, and that was his anti-Semitism,

Accusations of anti-Semitism are not new for Solzhenitsyn. Critics have long pointed to passages in The Gulag Archipelago that selectively list the Jewish last names of labor camp commandants. And Solzhenitsyn’s historical novel August 1914, published in English in 1972, emphasizes the Jewishness of Dmitry Bogrov, assassin of Russia’s reformist prime minister Pyotr Stolypin.

Solzhenitsyn has claimed that he was merely telling it like it was, but August 1914 embellishes history considerably: While Bogrov was a thoroughly assimilated revolutionary from a family of third-generation converts, Solzhenitsyn saddles him with a Jewish first name, Mordko (a diminutive of Mordecai), and the fictitious motive of trying to undermine the Russian state to help the Jews.

Then came the news that Solzhenitsyn was writing a major history of the Jews in Russia. The first volume of Dvesti let vmeste (Two Hundred Years Together), covering the period from 1795 to 1916, appeared in 2001; the second volume followed in 2003. According to Solzhenitsyn, the work was intended to give an objective and balanced account of Russian-Jewish relations: “I appeal to both sides — the Russians and the Jews — for patient mutual understanding and admission of their own share of sin.” This comment seems suspicious in itself, given that, for most of their history in Russia, Jews were victims of systematic oppression and violence. To talk about mutual guilt is a bit like asking blacks to accept their share of blame for Jim Crow.

Young describes how Western intellectuals tended to ignore or downplay Solzhenitsyn’s anti-Jewish statements, and Christopher Hitchens follows form in his obituary for Solzhenitsyn in Slate. But I think Young was on to something when she concluded her 2004 article thusly,

How to explain this leniency? Perhaps it is simply too painful to consider that the great moral beacon of the communist days might be tainted with bigotry. But while the writer’s role in Soviet-era history undoubtedly deserves respect, that does not require blindness to his flaws.

Solzhenitsyn’s anti-communism, it is increasingly clear, was never a defense of individual freedom. It was a defense of a different kind of collectivism: ethnic, religious, and traditionalist. This is far from the only time that such a mind-set — anti-secular, anti-modern, anti-individualist — has been linked to prejudice against those who don’t fit into the collective.

Canada Pulls Out of UN Racism Conference

The Associated Press reports that Canada has withdrawn from next year’s planned United Nations Conference on Racism planned for South Africa. Like the previous UN Conference on Racism in 2001, this one is slated to be yet another UN Conference on Israeli Bashing.

As Salon noted in its coverage of the 2001 Conference, the Conference in fact featured incidents of anti-Semitism,

Inside the U.N. conference grounds and within its tents, the rhetoric and agitprop were also white hot. Fliers were found with Hitler’s photo above the question: “What if I had won? There would be no Israel, and no Palestinian bloodshed.” A press conference held by the Jewish caucus was cut short by a rowdy group of Iranian women, one of whom screamed, “Six million dead and you’re holding the world hostage!”

This time around, the UN has ensured that a similar debacle with Libya elected to chair the event, Cuba as vice-chair, and Iran on the organizing committee. Presumably, the Sudanese government may be offered the keynote this time around.

Gay Groups Should Adopt Anti-Israeli Positions

Reuters notes that gay and lesbian NGOs have a rather difficult time being credentialed by the United Nations which usually has almost no standards at all for such determinations (based on some of the odd groups that do have NGO status).

For example, Canada’s Coalition of Gays and Lesbians of Quebec was rejected as an NGO by an 8-6 vote. The vote in this case is extremely revealing.

Voting yes to credential the group — Colombia, Israel, Peru, Romania, Britain and the United States (hmm…and here I thought the U.S. was run by a fascist theocracy?)

Voting no — Burundi, China, Egypt, Guinea, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia and Sudan.

Given the tenor of the United Nations, the best bet for gay and lesbian groups would probably be to adopt anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic planks. Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar may not be thrilled by a gay and lesbian group, but if that group, say, argued that Jews were behind a worldwide plot against gays and lesbians, they’d probably win immediate approval.


Canadian and Swedish gay groups frowned on at UN. Evelyn Leopold, Reuters, February 2, 2007.

Gary Busey Anti-Semite?

Gary Busey’s pretty washed up as an actor so it is understandable that he’s appearing in low-budget foreign fare of late, but there’s no excuse for appearing in blatantly anti-Semitic films such as the just-released Turkish film, Valley of the Wolves Iraq.

According to the Associated Press the film is very loosely based on an actual event at the start of the Iraq war. American soldiers came across a group of Turkish soldiers and mistook them for insurgents. The Americans detained the Turks for a couple days before the mistaken identity was cleared up and they were released.

In the movie, a group of rogue American soldiers led by Billy Zane are committing atrocities and a group of Turkish special forces intervene to stop Zane and his crew.

In one of the atrocity scenes, the American soldiers are depicted as bursting into an Iraqi wedding, killing dozens of attendees, and then dragging the rest back to Abu Ghraib.

At which point Gary Busey’s character enters the picture. Busey’s character, according to The Washington Post, is “a Jewish doctor [who] cuts out their [the captured civilians] organs, which he sells to rich people in New York, London and Tel Aviv.”

WTF? Was Busey forced to do this because the lead in the film version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was already cast? Is he going to follow this up by playing a rapist in black face?


In Turkish Movie, Americans Kill Innocents. Benjamin Harvey, Associated Press, February 3, 2006.