Bloody Utopian Dreams, Part 3
The Politics and Religion of Population Control
By Carl Teichrib - July 2005
Author's Note: While population agenda themes interlink with a myriad of issues, the purpose of this article isn't to independently examine each area of impact. Instead, it follows an interlocking theme: a combination of environmentalism (and it's politics) and Earth-based spirituality - the utopian ideal of politics, religion, and a lot less people.
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"Clearly, it is time for a global effort to create everywhere on earth the conditions conducive to stabilizing population."
- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance. 
"Halting population growth is an urgent task. But what means are justifiable?"
- The Gaia Peace Atlas. 
"There have been 'triage' proposals that would condemn whole nations to death through some species of global 'benign neglect.' There have been schemes for coercing people to curtail their fertility, by physical and legal means that are ominously left unspecified. Now we are told that we must curtail rather than extend our efforts to feed the hungry peoples of the world. Where will it end."
- Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planet. 
The first time I ever laid eyes on America's Stonehenge was late one spring evening. Caught in the shadow-play of the car's headlights, this remarkable monument appeared even more surreal then I expected. The following morning, after lodging in Elberton Georgia, I returned to this complex modern-day megalith for a closer look.
The Georgia Guidestones, a massive granite edifice planted in the Georgia countryside, contains a list of ten new commandments for Earth's citizens. The first commandment, and the one which concerns this article, simply states; "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature."
This population control commandment reminded me of what I had witnessed back in 1997 while attending the Global Citizenship 2000 Youth Congress. Held in Vancouver, BC, the purpose of this event was to incite national changes to the Canadian educational system; specifically, to instill Earth-centric values through the adoption of Robert Muller's World Core Curriculum - a philosophy of education that incorporates global citizenship and pantheistic concepts. 
Muller, a grandfatherly figure with decades of United Nations experience, gave an emotionally charged speech which strongly emphasized a global population control agenda. In a dialogue between himself and Mother Earth (played by himself!), Muller, as the Earth, challenged the participants towards a new way of thinking,
"What are you doing to me? You have multiplied the number of beings on this planet from 2.5 billion in 1952 to 5.8 billion today. How could you do this to me? This big population explosion all around the world, and I, the Earth, am supposed to feed them. Why did you do this to me?...You are killing me!" 
To the attending youth and educators, Muller boasted that the United Nations had, as a result of warnings to the world, "prevented the birth of 2 billion, 200 million people." Furthermore, he encouraged the Congress to "Try to convince your people to reduce the number of children. This is one of the biggest problems we have on this planet."
Clearly, the heart-and-soul of Muller's population agenda revolved around a dual theme of environmental degradation and a greater spiritual Earth-connection,
"...behave correctly towards the Earth...You are not children of Canada, you are really living units of the cosmos because the Earth is a cosmic phenomena... we are all cosmic units. This is why religions tell you, you are divine. We are divine energy... it is in your hands whether evolution on this planet continues or not." 
Not surprisingly, this interlocking three-way theme -- population, environment, and spirituality -- can be found in the literature of one of the most influential environmental policy organizations in the world, the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
In a 1995 text published by the IISD titled Empowerment For Sustainable Development, we find that population management, sustainable development, and religious values are drawn together in a common theme,
"The concept [of sustainable development] is also generally viewed as requiring major societal changes through radical or incremental restructuring of institutions and management approaches. For example, a paradigm shift is envisaged towards a decentralized society characterized by small-scale, labour-intensive enterprises, local autonomy, diversity of cultures and thinning out of population over landscape. A more forceful and dynamic role for religious and cultural groups to advocate principles of environmental protection has been urged." 
Management: this is the operational point of planned population shifts ("thinning out of population" certainly demonstrates this concept). And a major component of this management process towards environmental/population mind-change is education. After all, by altering the minds of the next generation, long-term target goals are advanced pupil-by-pupil.
Empowerment For Sustainable Development notes,
"Education has been advanced as significant in bringing about changes in attitudes, behaviour, beliefs, and values...In order to redirect behaviour and values towards institutional change for sustainable development there is a need to investigate strategic options in relation to educational philosophies, scope for propagation and adoption, and groups most likely to be susceptible to change."
Consider the First National Environmental Teach-In, which was held on April 22, 1970, and was the event that sparked today's annual Earth Day celebrations. As an aid to this American-wide transformative event, a special book was prepared to equip teachers and students in their quest to live peacefully with the Earth. The follow quotes, some quite lengthy, illustrates this hoped-for managed change in "attitudes, behaviour, beliefs, and values" - and their anticipated impact on population issues. Remember, this text, titled The Environmental Handbook, was geared towards high school students [my own high school used this as a textbook for many years].
"What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecologic crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one." 
"Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecologic crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. We must rethink and refeel our nature and destiny." 
"In a welfare state, how shall we deal with the family, the religion, the race, or the class (or indeed any distinguishable and cohesive group) that adopts overbreeding as a policy to secure its own aggrandizement? To couple the concept of freedom to breed with the belief that everyone born has an equal right to the commons is to lock the world into a tragic course of action." 
"No technical solution can rescue us from the misery of overpopulation. Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all...The only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed, and that very soon...it is the role of education to reveal to all the necessity of abandoning the freedom to breed." 
"A prerequisite to any lasting solution to environmental pollution is a zero growth rate - the birth rate equalling the death rate...The essential cause of environmental pollution is over-population, combined with an excessive population growth rate; other antipollution measures can be used temporarily, but so long as the central problem is not solved, on can expect no lasting success." 
In order to hammer home these population concerns and affect lasting world change, The Environmental Handbook proposed that educators should embed population issues into core subject areas,
"Biology - Compare elimination of predation and consequent overpopulation of animal species (e.g. deer) with health advances followed by overpopulation of human species...Discuss methods of contraception.
Economics - Investigate key to affluence...Compare rates of population growth. Growth of various countries with rate of GNP growth; were former exceeds latter, living standards declines.
English - Read (perhaps as outside reading, with book reviews given in class) Malthus [author's note: Robert T. Malthus is the father of the science of population control, he lived from 1766 to 1834], Ehrlich's Population Bomb... any of the Sierra Club's Wilderness Conference books.
History (U.S.) - Consider changing attitudes toward birth control...
History (World) - Trace population growth in various areas of the world...
Mathematics - ...Calculate some of the horrors that will take place if breeding isn't slowed...
Psychology - Study (perhaps experiment with) effects of overcrowding..." [15, underlining added]
So how do we deal with the "pollution" problem of too many people? On page 291 of The Environmental Handbook, it suggests that instead of giving gifts at Christmas, you could send money to population control organizations such as Zero Population Growth and Planned Parenthood/World Population.
Other options were given in a section titled "Suggestions Toward an Ecological Platform,"
"Stabilizing the U.S. population should be declared a national policy. Immediate steps should be taken to:
1. Legalize voluntary abortion and sterilization and provide these services free.
2. Remove all restrictions on the provisions of birth control information and devices; provide these services free to all, including minors.
3. Make sex education available to all appropriate levels, stressing birth control practices and the need to stabilize the population.
4. Launch a government-sponsored campaign for population control in the media...
5. Offer annual bonuses for couples remaining childless and eliminate tax deductions for more than two children.
Control of world population growth is simply a matter of survival of the human race. Federal priorities must be made to reflect this fact. We propose:
1. Massive federal aid to supply birth control information, planning and materials to all countries that will accept it.
2. Foreign aid only to countries with major programs to curb population growth.
3. Increased research on birth control methods and on attitudes toward limiting births." 
Traditional family life, too, was targeted as a population concern. "Explore other social structures and marriage forms, such as group marriage and polyandrous marriage...Share the pleasure of raising children widely, so that all need not directly reproduce..." 
This is societal management at its highest, and religion comes directly into play. According to The Environmental Handbook, "...nothing short of total transformation will do much good." So with that in mind, a list was given of appropriate religions, spiritual traditions, and philosophies,
"Let these be encouraged: Gnostics, hip Marxists, Teilhard de Chardin, Catholics, Druids, Taoists, Biologist [author's note: biologists may have been listed because of the evolutionary principles underpinning much of modern day biological science], Witches, Shamans, Bushmen, American Indians, Polynesians, Anarchists, Alchemists...the list is long. All primitive cultures, all communal and ashram movements." 
As the foundation for today's Earth Day events, the 1970 Environmental Handbook provided a virtual roadmap for societal transformation. Since then, our educational system, sciences, and political circles have been inundated with population change agendas - be they in the guise of environmentalism, alleviating world poverty, or ensuring food security. 
Climate change, too, is linked into population issues. Noted environmental science writer Jonathan Weiner explains,
"If our numbers continue to spiral upward, so will greenhouse gases, and so will the temperature of the planet...If we cannot manage our impact on the planet now, how would we do so if there were many more of us? Can we defuse the Change Bomb while human numbers explode? Can we cut our carbon production in half while doubling the size of the human sphere?
"Think of the U.S., which has already seen the most fantastic population explosion in human history, from 18 million in 1750 to 250 million today, an increase of 3,500 percent. The U.S. population will reach almost 300 million in the next one hundred years. And at present rates, of course, each citizen is shoveling about five tons of carbon into the air...300 million people consuming resources as fast as Americans do today would produce about 1.5 billion tons of carbon per annum. That is to say, in one hundred years, the United States alone would be producing more than half of the whole world's annual quota of greenhouse gas. Something has to give; the planet cannot afford that many American consumers." 
And herein lies an ironic dialectic rub: Historically, the loudest and most powerful voices in favor of population control have been Western oriented. Typically under this scenario, population control promoters have cited poverty alleviation, disease eradication, and even the safeguarding of America's economy and national security  as reasons to restrict Third World population growth. Now, however, as the above quote by Jonathan Weiner illustrates, much of the global population debate has shifted towards lessening populations in the advanced countries.
The reason for this turn around is that Western developed countries (also known as the "global north") are viewed as the major consumer of natural resources. According to the Treaty on Consumption and Lifestyle, an alternative document penned by non-governmental organizations at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit, the global north shoulders the brunt of the responsibility when it comes to the population agenda.
"While overall population growth is a danger to the health of the planet, it must be recognized that population growth in the North, due to extremely high levels of per capita consumption, is a far greater immediate environmental threat than population growth in the South. Meeting basic needs is a prerequisite for stabilizing population growth." 
Certainly Western and developed nations use the largest percentage of the world's resources, but they are also the chief extractor and refiner of natural commodities - and subsequently a significant supplier of food sources and raw energy the world over. 
But the Treaty on Consumption and Lifestyle points to something more; blaming the global north, this NGO treaty demands that the north make reparations to the global south through the redistribution of wealth and land, and by creating an international environmental management regime flanked with a radically altered global-socialist economic structure. Of course, this alternative treaty makes the point that central to these societal changes is the revamping of humanity's values, particularly as it relates to spirituality and nature. 
Regardless of what the reason is for reducing the world's population, the formation of a new global spirituality and the re-forging of the world's political/economic system occupies a central place in the agenda.  And we've been witnessing this political-religious blend take shape for decades - from the First National Environmental Teach-In to the scores of agendas and documents from the United Nations,  from the reports of the Club of Rome  to the incessant call of the neo-pagan Green/Gaia movement.  Sometimes, however, while elaborating on the reasons for global control, proselytizers present ideas that can only be described as "apocalyptic."
Obviously, the ability to manage the world's population requires the development of an integrated world system. Whether you call it "planetary management," world federalism, or global governance, it all points to the same end: world government. Noting this necessary interconnection, Bertrand Russell, one of last century's most recognized philosophers, wholeheartedly embraced mass depopulation as an indispensable component for securing a more unified world.
"I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer. War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. There would be nothing in this to offend the consciences of the devout or to restrain the ambitions of nationalists. The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of this? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people's.
"...unless there is a world government which secures universal birth control, there must from time to time be great wars, in which the penalty of defeat is widespread death by starvation...
"...The need for a world government, if the population problem is to be solved in any humane manner, is completely evident on Darwinian principles." 
As menacing as Russell's model appears, it resonates with a certain segment of the population control community. In 1968, Paul Ehrlich wrote that "We must rapidly bring the world population under control, reducing the growth rate to zero or making it go negative."  His suggestions seem tame by comparison to Russell's ideas, but "making" a population "go negative" carries with it some stark connotations.
Garrett Hardin, a campaigner of lifeboat-styled population management,  had this to say; "How can we help a foreign country to escape overpopulation? Clearly the worst thing we can do is send food.... Atomic bombs would be kinder..." 
Garrett too, admits that a global sovereign which oversees human reproduction is the only real solution.  However, Garrett attests that the current practical answer is that individual nations, each lifeboats of sorts, experiment with and actively pursue various population management programs at the local level.  In this system of planetary trial and error, nations that succeed in controlling their populations can be emulated by other countries.
Maybe Bertrand Russell was right; "Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people's."
And the ultimate number of people? Garrett suggests that "we might be able to settle on a world population of up to 100 million."  The Environmental Handbook makes this suggestion,
"Situation. There are now too many human beings, and the problem is growing rapidly worse. It is potentially disastrous not only for the human race but for most other life forms. Goal. The goal would be half of the present world population, or less."  [italics in original]
Cutting the world's numbers in half, or dropping the optimal level to 100 million - or 500 million as in the case of the Georgia Guidestones - is not "population control," it's genocide.
In 1998 I was a subscriber to the Progressive Population Network listserver, an online community of environmentalists and population control advocates. One posting, a short note written by a lady named Joan,  offered a glimpse into this "exterminationist" version of population control,
"Humans had to thin a heard of deer by shooting them because the natural mechanisms (probably wolves) for keeping the deer population in check had been disrupted. So instead of shooting humans to 'thin' us, lets find the natural mechanisms for keeping human populations in check. Otherwise people will just keep breeding and we'll just have to keep shooting them. And that's just too icky for me.
Since there is no equivalent to wolves for humans, one idea would be to just stop providing food and medicine to people who out-breed their habitat. Let them make the choice between starving or limiting their procreation. People need to see more clearly the connection between their reproductive habits and the destruction of the environment." 
From the Georgia Guidestones to the roots of our Earth Day celebrations, from the nation's classrooms to the pundits of global religious change, it is evident that many of our society's "people shapers"  wish to re-forge the world in the image of their bloody utopian dreams.
1. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (New York: Plume, 1992/93), p.317.
2. The Gaia Peace Atlas: Survival into the Third Millennium (New York: Doubleday, 1988), p.171.
3. Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planet (New York: The New Press, 1992 edition), p.167.
4. A copy of Muller's A World Core Curriculum, distributed during the Global Citizenship 2000 Youth Congress, is on file in the author's archives.
5. An audio recording of this event, including Muller's speech, is in the author's file/audio archives. This section of his speech is also included in the facilitator's guide, When the Earth Still Had 1000 Days, a post-event handbook published by Creative Learning International (May, 1999).
6. For more information on this event, see Carl Teichrib's article "Global Citizenship 2000: Educating for the New Age," Hope For The World Update, Fall 1997. Copies of this issue can be obtained by writing: Hope For The World, P.O. Box 899, Noblesville, Indiana, 46061-0899, USA.
8. David VanderZwaag, "Law Reform for Sustainable Development: Legalizing Empowerment," Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Toward Operational Strategies (published for the International Institute for Sustainable Development by Fernwood Publishing, 1995), p.70.
9. Naresh Singh and Vangile Titi, "Empowerment for Sustainable Development: An Overview," Empowerment for Sustainable Development: Toward Operational Strategies (Fernwood Publishing, 1995), p.27.
10. Lynn White Jr., "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis," The Environmental Handbook: Prepared for the First National Environmental Teach-In (Ballantine/Friends of the Earth, 1970), p.24.
11. Ibid., p.26.
12. Garrett Hardin, "The Tragedy of the Commons," The Environmental Handbook, pp.41-42.
13. Ibid., p.49.
14. Jon Breslaw, "Economics and Ecosystems," The Environmental Handbook, pp.111-112.
15. Gary C. Smith, "Suggestions for the Schools," The Environmental Handbook, pp.295-296.
16. Keith Murray, "Suggestions Toward an Ecological Platform," The Environmental Handbook, pp.317-318.
17. Ibid., p.324.
18. Ibid., p.331.
19. See Shin Sakurai's article "Food Security & Population," Population 2005, Vol.2, No.1, March 2000.
20. Jonathan Weiner, The Next One Hundred Years: Shaping the Fate of Our Living Earth (New York: Bantam, 1990), pp.221-222.
21. See Why Population Matters, by Population Action International, 1996. See also, US National Security Study Memorandum 200, published in April, 1974.
22. Treaty on Consumption and Lifestyle, NGO Alternative Treaties from the 1992 UN Earth Summit, paragraph 8 under the "Principles" section.
23. Further to the argument of western resource usage in light of population control issues: Critics of the "global north" often cite that western nations strip the "global south" of their natural resources. And yes, some horrid things have been done by Western nations in the quest for Third World resources. But while it's true that western companies are involved in resource extraction in diverse corners of the world - which is not necessarily wrong in itself, as some critics automatically assume - a massive percentage of the world's resources are extracted from first world countries. My home country, Canada, is arguably one of the world's most important commodity "battery bank" nations, providing essential raw energy and resources to a host of first and third world countries. In fact, the United States, which is viewed as the largest user of the globe's resources, relies on and is dependent upon a first world country - Canada - for the majority of its imported energy needs.
24. Treaty on Consumption and Lifestyle, NGO Alternative Treaties from the 1992 UN Earth Summit, paragraph 1 under the "Principles" section.
25. In many respects, The Earth Charter is the latest and most fulfilled embodiment of this spiritual, political, social, and economic macro-agenda.
26. See Agenda 21, Programme of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, Global Biodiversity Assessment (UNEP), Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity (UNEP), Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living (UNEP, IUCN, WWF), and Ethics and Agenda 21: Moral Implications of a Global Consensus (UNEP).
27. See Goals in a Global Community: The Original Background Papers for Goals for Mankind, Volumes 1-2, RIO: Reshaping the International Order, The Limits to Growth, Mankind at the Turning Point, etc.
28. See James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth; Lawrence E. Joseph, Gaia: The Growth of an Idea; Edward Goldsmith, The Way: An Ecological World-View; Robert Muller, New Genesis, etc.
29. Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society (Simon and Schuster, 1953), pp.103-105.
30. Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (Sierra Club-Ballantine, 1968), p.131.
31. Lifeboat population management essentially states that poor nations should be cut off from food aid.
32. Garrett Hardin, "The Immorality of Being Soft-hearted," Stanford Alumni Almanac, January, 1969. As quoted in Barry Commoner's book, Making Peace with the Planet (New York: The New Press, 1992 edition), p.167.
33. Garrett Hardin, "Living on a Lifeboat," article originally printed in the October, 1974 issue of BioScience. The article can also be read on the Garrett Hardin Society website: www.garretthardinsociety.org
34. Garrett Hardin, "There is no Global Population Problem," The Social Contract, Fall 2001. This article can also be found at the Garrett Hardin Society website.
35. An interview between Frank Meile and Garrett Hardin in Skeptic, Vol. 4., No. 2, 1996, pp.42-46. This interview can also be found at Stalking the Wild Taboo, located at www.lrainc.com/swtaboo/stalkers/fm_hardn.html
36. The Environmental Handbook, p.323.
37. I have intentionally left off Joan's last name and contact information.
38. Copy of email listserver message on file. Progressive Population Network listserver, November 29, 1998 posting.
39. An older but still very relevant work on mass societal manipulation - "people shaping" - is Vance Packard's book, The People Shapers (Little, Brown and Company, 1977)
Carl Teichrib is a highly respected freelance researcher and a wise and authoritative writer on issues pertaining to globalization. Please visit his website at www.forcingchange.org
His earlier articles include: Bloody Utopian Dreams, Part I: Hammer and Sickle
Part 2: The Enigma of the Third Reich | Flattery and the Big Lie | Global Citizenship 2000
Lucifer Rising - 1, 2, 3 | The Millennium Messiah and World Change
Esoteric Christianity | Re-Creating Eden | A Short Guide to Occult Symbols
Re-zoning the World: The Merging of the Americas in a New Global Order
A New World Agenda - Canada's Role In Sustainable Development