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Pioneer Fund

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Pioneer Fund is an American non-profit foundation established in 1937 "to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences" The organization has been described as racist and "white supremacist" in nature,123 and as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center4

From 2002 until his death in October 2012, the fund was headed by psychology professor J Philippe Rushton The fund states that it focuses on projects it perceives will not be easily funded due to controversial subject matter As of October 2013, Richard Lynn is the primary contact for Pioneer Fund5

Two of the most notable studies funded by Pioneer Fund are the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart6 and the Texas Adoption Project, which studied the similarities and differences of identical twins and other children adopted into non-biological families Pioneer Fund has also been an important source of funding for research on the partly genetic hypothesis of IQ variation among races

The fund's grantees and publications have generated controversy including the 1994 publication of The Bell Curve, which drew heavily from Pioneer-funded research The fund has also been criticized for its ties to eugenics7


  • 1 Early history
  • 2 Recipients of funding
    • 21 Research
    • 22 Political and legal funding
  • 3 Criticism
  • 4 Responses to criticisms
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 Further reading
  • 9 External links

Early historyedit

See also: History of the race and intelligence controversy

Pioneer Fund was incorporated on March 11, 1937 The first five directors were:

  • Wickliffe Preston Draper, the fund's de facto final authority, served on the Board of Directors from 1937 until 1972 He founded Pioneer Fund after having acquired an interest in the Eugenics movement, which was strengthened by his 1935 visit to Nazi Germany, where he met with the leading eugenicists of the Third Reich who used the inspiration from the American movement as a basis for the Nuremberg Laws He served in the British army at the beginning of World War I, transferring to the US Army as the Americans entered the war During World War II he was stationed as an intelligence officer in India8 Psychology professor and Pioneer Fund critic William H Tucker, however, describes Draper as someone who "aside from his brief periods of military service  never pursued a profession or held a job of any kind"2 According to a 1960 article in The Nation, an unnamed geneticist said Draper told him he "wished to prove simply that Negroes were inferior"9 Draper funded advocacy of repatriation of blacks to Africa1011 Draper also made large financial contributions to efforts to oppose the American Civil Rights Movement and the racial desegregation mandated by Brown v Board of Education, such as $215,000 to the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission in 19632
  • Harry Laughlin was the director of the Eugenics Record Office at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York, funded by the Carnegie Institute of Washington He served as the president of Pioneer Fund from its inception until 1941 He was one of the eugenics movement's most energetic legislative activists He worried about miscegenation and had proposed a research agenda to assist in the enforcement of Southern "race integrity laws" by developing techniques for identifying the "pass-for-white" person who might "successfully hide all of his black blood" He singled out Jews as a group "slow to assimilate," a problem related to his doubts that their loyalty was directed primarily to "American institutions and people" rather than to "Jews scattered through other nations" Eleven months after the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws, Laughlin wrote an official at the University of Heidelberg which had awarded him an honorary doctorate that the United States and the Third Reich shared "a common understanding of  the practical application" of eugenic principles to "racial endowments and  racial health"2
  • Frederick Osborn wrote in 1937 that the Nazi Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring was "the most exciting experiment that had ever been tried"1213 Osborn was the secretary of the American Eugenics Society, which was part of an accepted and active field at the time, the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Selective Service during World War II and later the Deputy US Representative to the UN Atomic Energy Commission
  • Malcolm Donald was the Draper family lawyer, trustee of the Draper estate He was a former editor of the Harvard Law Review and a brigadier general during World War II
  • John Marshall Harlan II Harlan's firm had done legal work for the Pioneer Fund He was the only director whose name did not appear on the incorporation papers He was director of operational analysis for the Eighth Air Force in World War II, and was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Dwight D Eisenhower During his confirmation process, he voiced support for the decision in Brown v Board of Education, but on the bench limited civil rights in Swain v Alabama and dissented on Miranda v Arizona

The 1937 incorporation documents of the Pioneer Fund list two purposes The first, modeled on the Nazi Lebensborn breeding program,14 was aimed at encouraging the propagation of those "descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States and/or from related stocks, or to classes of children, the majority of whom are deemed to be so descended" Its second purpose was to support academic research and the "dissemination of information, into the 'problem of heredity and eugenics'" and "the problems of race betterment"13 The Pioneer Fund argues the "race betterment" has always referred to the "human race" referred to earlier in the sentence, and critics argue it referred to racial groups The document was amended in 1985 and the phrase changed to "human race betterment"

The Pioneer Fund supported the distribution of a eugenics film titled Erbkrank "Hereditary Defective" or "Hereditary Illness" which was published by the pre-war 1930s Nazi Party William Draper obtained the film from the predecessor to the Nazi Office of Racial Policy Rassenpolitisches Amt prior to the founding of the Pioneer Fund2 According to the Pioneer Fund site, all founders capable of doing so participated in the war against the Nazis15

Draper secretly met C Nash Herndon of Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in 1949 Little is known about their meetings, but Herndon was playing a major role in the expansion of the compulsory sterilization program in North Carolina16

In the 1950s and 1960s Draper supported two government committees that gave grants for both anti-immigration and genetics research The committee members included Representative Francis E Walter chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee and head of the Draper Immigration Committee, Henry E Garrett an educator known for his belief in the genetic inferiority of blacks, and Senator James O Eastland of Mississippi, head of the Draper Genetics Committee17

Later directors include Marion A Parrott, 1973-200018

Recipients of fundingedit

Pioneer Fund's figures are from 1971 to 1996 and are adjusted to 1997 USD19


Many of the researchers whose findings support the hereditarian hypothesis of racial IQ disparity have received grants of varying sizes from the Pioneer Fund20 Large grantees, in order of amount received, are:

  • Thomas J Bouchard at the University of Minnesota21
  • Arthur Jensen at the University of California, Berkeley $1,096,094 as of 199422
  • J Philippe Rushton at the University of Western Ontario was head of the fund from 2002 to his death in 2012 In 1999, Rushton used some of his grant money from the Pioneer fund to send out tens of thousands of copies of an abridged version of his book Race, Evolution and Behavior to social scientists in anthropology, psychology, and sociology, causing a controversy23 Tax records from 2000 show that his Charles Darwin Institute received $473,835—73% of that year's grants24
  • Roger Pearson at the Institute for the Study of Man Eugenicist and anthropologist, founder of the Journal of Indo-European Studies,25 received over a million dollars in grants in the 'eighties and the 'nineties220 Using the pseudonym of Stephan Langton, Pearson was the editor of The New Patriot, a short-lived magazine published in 1966–67 to conduct "a responsible but penetrating inquiry into every aspect of the Jewish Question," which included articles such as "Zionists and the Plot Against South Africa," "Early Jews and the Rise of Jewish Money Power," and "Swindlers of the Crematoria"20 The Northern League, an organization founded in England in 1958 by Pearson, supported Nazi ideologies and included former members of the Nazi Party2
  • Michael Levin of the City College of New York $124,500 as of 199422
  • Richard Lynn at Ulster Institute for Social Research $325,000 as of 199422
  • Linda Gottfredson at the University of Delaware $267,000 as of 199422

Other notable recipients of funding include:

  • Hans Eysenck, the most-cited living psychologist at the time of his death 1997
  • Lloyd Humphreys
  • Joseph M Horn
  • Robert A Gordon $214,000 as of 199422
  • Garrett Hardin, author of the phrase the "tragedy of the commons" $29,000 as of 199422
  • R Travis Osborne $386,900 as of 199422
  • Audrey M Shuey, author of "The Testing of Negro Intelligence" 1958
  • Philip A Vernon
  • William Shockley, winner of the Nobel prize in physics in 1956, received a series of grants in the 1970s Shockley became famous in his later career for supporting the controversial genetic hypothesis of race and intelligence research and for being a proponent of eugenics $188,900 as of 199422

Political and legal fundingedit

The Fund gave the Federation for American Immigration Reform FAIR a total of $13 million between 1985 and 199426 Among the grants was $150,000 for 'studies in connection with immigration policies'27 Funding was dropped after negative publicity during the campaign for California's Proposition 187 linked the Pioneer Fund to ads purchased by FAIR2829 Other immigration reduction groups that have received donations from the Pioneer Fund include ProjectUSA,30 and American Immigration Control Foundation31

One of the grantees is the paleoconservative and white nationalist journalist Jared Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance and a member the advisory board of the white nationalist publication the Occidental Quarterly Another is Roger Pearson's Institute for the Study of Man4 Many of the key academic white nationalists in both Right Now! and American Renaissance have been funded by the Pioneer Fund, which was also directly involved in funding the parent organization of American Renaissance, the New Century Foundation20


The Pioneer Fund was described by the Sunday Telegraph March 12, 1989 as a "neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics"32 It has also been criticized by some scientists and journalists, and in various peer-reviewed academic articles Critics of the fund include the Southern Poverty Law Center, professor of psychology William H Tucker, and historian Barry Mehler and his Institute for the Study of Academic Racism

In an in-depth review of the controversial takeover battle of CBS by Fairness in Media, published in The Washington Post on March 31, 1985, journalists Thomas B Edsall and David A Vise reported that the two people organizing the takeover battle, Senator Jesse Helms and Thomas F Ellis, were linked to the Pioneer Fund, which has "financed research into "racial betterment" by scientists seeking to prove that blacks are genetically inferior to whites"33:A16 1

In 2003, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed the Pioneer Fund as a hate group, citing the fund's history, its funding of race and intelligence research, and its connections with racist individuals434

The Center for New Community, a human rights advocacy organization, mentioned the Pioneer Fund in an article on their website They characterize the Pioneer Fund as "a white supremacist foundation that specializes in funding 'science' dedicated to demonstrating white intellectual and moral superiority" They draw particular attention to Rushton's theories about differences between races as evidence of the racial slant which they claim accompanies much of the research which is backed by the Fund35

In accord with the tax regulations governing nonprofit corporations, Pioneer does not fund individuals; under the law only other nonprofit organizations are appropriate grantees As a consequence, many of the fund's awards go not to the researchers themselves but to the universities that employ them, a standard procedure for supporting work by academically based scientists In addition to these awards to the universities where its grantees are based, Pioneer has made a number of grants to other nonprofit organizations and corporations Tucker feels have been created to channel resources to a particular academic recipient while circumventing the institution where the researcher is employed236

In 2002, William H Tucker criticized the Pioneer's grant-funding techniques:

Pioneer's administrative procedures are as unusual as its charter Although the fund typically gives away more than half a million dollars per year, there is no application form or set of guidelines Instead, according to Weyher, an applicant merely submits "a letter containing a brief description of the nature of the research and the amount of the grant requested" There is no requirement for peer review of any kind; Pioneer's board of directors—two attorneys, two engineers, and an investment broker—decides, sometimes within a day, whether a particular research proposal merits funding Once the grant has been made, there is no requirement for an interim or final report or even for an acknowledgment by a grantee that Pioneer has been the source of support, all atypical practices in comparison to other organizations that support scientific research2

Rushton, who headed Pioneer until 2012, spoke at conferences of the American Renaissance AR magazine, in which he has also published articles37 Anti-racist Searchlight Magazine described one such AR conference as a "veritable 'who's who' of American white supremacy"38

Hampton University sociology professor Steven J Rosenthal described the fund in 1995 as a "Nazi endowment specializing in production of justifications for eugenics since 1937, the Pioneer Fund is embedded in a network of right-wing foundations, think tanks, religious fundamentalists, and global anti-Communist coalitions"39

Responses to criticismsedit

The lawyer Harry F Weyher Jr wrote a general defense of the Pioneer Fund in 199840

Behavioral geneticist David T Lykken has defended his acceptance of money from the fund, writing "If you can find me some rich villains that want to contribute to my research—Qaddafi, the Mafia, whoever—the worse they are, the better I'll like it I'm doing a social good by taking their money Any money of theirs that I spend in a legitimate and honorable way, they can't spend in a dishonorable way"41

Science writer Morton Hunt received Pioneer funding for his book and wrote: "One could spend hundreds of pages on the pros and cons of the case of the Pioneer Fund, but what matters to me—and should matter to my readers—is that I have been totally free to research and write as I chose I alerted Pioneer to my political views when making the grant proposal for this book but its directors never blinked"42

In a review of Richard Lynn's book on the Pioneer Fund, psychologist Ulrich Neisser, a prominent critic of race-based research, writes: "All things considered, I doubt that the Pioneer Fund's political activities have made much difference one way or the other The world would have been much the same without them On the other hand, Lynn reminds us that Pioneer has sometimes sponsored useful research – research that otherwise might not have been done at all By that reckoning, I would give it a weak plus"43

Charles Murray defended the use of studies supported by the fund in his book The Bell Curve by saying: "Never mind that the relationship between the founder of the Pioneer Fund and today's Pioneer Fund is roughly analogous to the relationship between Henry Ford's antisemitism and today's Ford Foundation The charges have been made, they have wide currency, and some people will always believe that The Bell Curve rests on data concocted by neo-Nazi eugenicists"44

Researchers who have been criticized for accepting grants from the fund have argued that the public debates have been disconnected from the expert debates Robert A Gordon, for example, replied to media criticisms of grant-recipients: "Politically correct disinformation about science appears to spread like wildfire among literary intellectuals and other nonspecialists, who have few disciplinary constraints on what they say about science and about particular scientists and on what they allow themselves to believe"45

See alsoedit

  • History of the race and intelligence controversy
  • Nature versus nurture


  1. ^ Avner Falk Anti-semitism: a history and psychoanalysis of contemporary hatred Abc-Clio, 2008, pg 18
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tucker, William H 2007 The funding of scientific racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund University of Illinois Press ISBN 978-0-252-07463-9 Lay summary 26 July 2013 
  3. ^ Andrew Wroe The Republican party and immigration politics: from Proposition 187 to George W Bush University of Illinois Press, 2008, pg 81
  4. ^ a b c Southern Poverty Law Center Into the Mainstream; An array of right-wing foundations and think tanks support efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable Retrieved March 7, 2017
  5. ^ Beirich, Heidi "Pioneer Fund Assets Divided; New Leadership Appointed" Hatewatch Southern Poverty Law Center Retrieved 9 February 2014 
  6. ^ Segal, Nancy L 2012 Born Together—Reared Apart Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-05546-9 Lay summary 16 May 2013 
  7. ^ Lombardo, Paul A 2002 ""The American Breed": Nazi eugenics and the origins of the Pioneer Fund" Albany Law Rev 65 3: 743–830 PMID 11998853 
    Rushton, J Philippe 2002 "The Pioneer Fund and the Scientific Study of Human Differences" PDF Albany Law Rev 66: 209 
    Lombardo, Paul A 2002 "Pioneer's Big Lie" Albany Law Rev 66: 1125 
    Tucker, William H 2002 "A Closer Look at the Pioneer Fund: Response to Rushton" Albany Law Rev 66: 1145 
  8. ^ Lombardo, Paul A 2002 ""The American Breed": Nazi Eugenics and the Origins of the Pioneer Fund" Albany Law Review 65 3: 743–830 
  9. ^ May, RW May 14, 1960 "Genetics and Subversion" The Nation 190: 421 
  10. ^ JP, Jackson, 2005 Science for segregation: race, law, and the case against Brown v Board of Education City: New York University Press p 34 ISBN 0-8147-4271-8 
  11. ^ T, Hashaw, 2007 Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America City: Mercer University Press p 158 ISBN 0-88146-074-5 
  12. ^ Osborn, Frederick 24 February 1937 'Summary of the proceedings' of the Conference on Eugenics in Relation to Nursing American Eugenics Society Archives
  13. ^ a b Mehler, Barry 1989 "Foundation for Fascism: the New Eugenics Movement in the United States" Patterns of Prejudice 23
  14. ^ Crawford, James 1993 Hold Your Tongue: Bilingualism and the Politics of "English Only" Addison Wesley ISBN 978-0-201-62479-3 
  15. ^ Pioneer Fund Founders and Former Directors Archived 2012-11-30 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved July 16, 2006
  16. ^ Begos, Kevin December 11, 2002 Benefactor With a Racist Bent: Wealthy recluse apparently liked the looks and potential of Bowman Gray's new medical-genetics department Winston-Salem Journal
  17. ^ Lichtenstein, Grace December 11, 1977 Fund Backs Controversial Study of "Racial Betterment" New York Times
  18. ^ Pioneer Fund Founders and Former Directors Archived 2012-11-30 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Mehler, Barry Pioneer Fund Grant Totals, 1971-1996 Retrieved July 16, 2006
  20. ^ a b c d Mehler, Barry July 7, 1998 Race Science and the Pioneer Fund Originally published as "The Funding of the Science" in Searchlight, No 277
  21. ^ Segal, Nancy L 2012-06-18 Born Together—Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study Harvard University Press pp 315–7 ISBN 9780674065154 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Miller, Adam 1994 "The Pioneer Fund: Bankrolling the Professors of Hate" The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 6: 60 doi:102307/2962466 
  23. ^ Tucker, William H Conclusion: Pioneer or Pamphleteer The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund
  24. ^ "Academic Racism" Intelligence Report Winter 2002 Archived from the original on 2010-02-02 
  25. ^ The Journal of Indo-European Studies Archived 2005-10-25 at the Wayback Machine via A Richard Diebold Center for Indo-European Language and Culture
  26. ^ "The Anti-Immigration Movement: From Shovels to Suits" Solana Larsen NACLA Report on the Americas New York: May/Jun 2007 Vol 40, Iss 3; p 14, 5 pgs
  27. ^ Lombardo, P "THE AMERICAN BREED: NAZI EUGENICS AND THE ORIGINS OF THE PIONEER FUND" Retrieved May 21, 2008 Albany Law Review
  28. ^ "Pro-Prop 187 group admits it bought ads POLITICS: FAIR says it only attempted to clear its name" MARILYN KALFUS: The Orange County Register Orange County Register Santa Ana, Calif: Oct 26, 1994 p A12
  29. ^ "White Supremacist Link Trips Prop 187" Pamela Burdman, Chronicle Staff Writer San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco, Calif: Oct 13, 1994 p A4
  30. ^ "Cannon critics sidestep FEC lists" Deborah Bulkeley Deseret Morning News Deseret News Salt Lake City, Utah: Jul 17, 2004 pg B01
  31. ^ "'Workers, go home!'" David L Ostendorf The Christian Century Chicago: Dec 19-Dec 26, 2001 Vol 118, Iss 35; pg 8, 2 pgs
  32. ^ MacIntyre, B 13 March 1989 "The new eugenics" London Sunday Telegraph  |access-date= requires |url= help, cited in EM, Kramer, 2003 The emerging monoculture: assimilation and the "model minority" City: Praeger pp 118, 302 ISBN 0-275-97312-3 
  33. ^ Thomas B Edsall and David A Vise March 31, 1985, "CBS Fight a Litmus Test for Conservatives: Helms Group Faces Legal Hurdles in Ideological Takeover Bid Helms-Connected Money Machine Bankrolling Fairness in Media", Washington Post CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter link
  34. ^ Southern Poverty Law Center Race and 'Reason'; Academic ideas a pillar of racist thought Retrieved March 7, 2017
  35. ^ Defend Colorado Now: Lamm & FAIR
  36. ^ Pioneer Fund Grants, 1971-1996
  37. ^ http://wwwsplcenterorg/intel/intelreport/articlejsppid=214#27 Archived 2006-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 2007-02-09 Retrieved 2007-02-13 
  39. ^ Rosenthal, Steven J "The Pioneer Fund: Financier of Fascist Research" American Behavioral Scientist 39 no 1 September 1995: 44–61 
  40. ^ Weyher, Harry F 1998 "The Pioneer Fund, the Behavioral Sciences, and the Media's False Stories" Intelligence 26 4: 319–336 doi:101016/s0160-28969900003-3 
  41. ^ Patricia Ohman 7 March 1984 "Do they get what they Pay for", Minneapolis City Pages, p 8
  42. ^ Hunt, Morton 1998 The New Know-Nothings: The Political Foes of the Scientific Study of Human Nature Transaction Publishers ISBN 0-7658-0497-2 
  43. ^ Neisser 2004
  44. ^ Spring, Joel 1997 Political Agendas for Education Hillsdale: L Erlbaum Associates p 41 ISBN 0-8058-2766-8 
  45. ^ Gordon, Robert June 17, 1997 "How Smart We are About What We Broadcast: An Open Letter to ABC News" PDF Retrieved March 7, 2017 


  • Lynn, Richard 2001 "Preface: My Years with the Pioneer Fund" PDF The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund Harry F Weyher Preface Lanham MD: University Press of America ISBN 0-7618-2040-X 
  • Bouchard TJ, Lykken DT, McGue M, Segal NL, Tellegen A October 1990 "Sources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart" Science 250 4978: 223–8 doi:101126/science2218526 PMID 2218526 
  • ^ Graves, Joseph L 2002 "What a tangled web he weaves: Race, reproductive strategies and Rushton's life history theory" Anthropological Theory 2 2: 131–54 doi:101177/1469962002002002627 
    Lieberman, Leonard 2001 "How 'Caucasoids' Got Such Big Crania and Why They Shrank" Current Anthropology 42 1: 69–95 doi:101086/318434 PMID 14992214 
    Cernovsky, Zack 1995 "On the similarities of American blacks and whites: A reply to JP Rushton" Journal of Black Studies 25 6: 672 doi:101177/002193479502500602 
  • Neisser, Ulric 2004 "Serious Scientists or Disgusting Racists" Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books 49 1: 5–7 doi:101037/004224 
  • "Pioneer Fund, Inc - Form 990" ERI Economic Research Institute, Inc 2011 Retrieved 9 January 2010 

Further readingedit

  • Kuhl, Stefan 1994 The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-514978-5 

External linksedit

  • The Pioneer Fund Official website offline as of September 4, 2017
  • Historic website

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