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Social Contract and John Tanton

John Tanton’s The Social Contract Press is designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC:

“In 1994 The Social Contract Press republished an infamous racist novel ‘The Camp of the Saints’ with his whole hearted endorsement and a special afterword from its author saying ‘the proliferation of other races, dooms our race, my race to extinction’…… Tanton said he was ‘honored’ to republish what he described as an important and ‘prescient’ text. The novel, like the race war
fantasy ‘Turner Diaries’, has become a key screed for American white supremacists” (SPLC)

Tanton’s The Social Contract is the fulcrum of his movement, and he is described as the “puppeteer” with a network of other fellow travellers, front organisations and groups funded, controlled and/or patronised by Tanton and/or U.S. Inc., in both the USA and internationally.

These include Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform FAIR (Dan Stein), Centre for Immigration Studies CIS (Mark Krikorian), Progressives for Immigration Reform PFIR (Philip Cafaro & Kevin Lynn), VDARE (Peter Brimelow), Numbers USA (Roy Beck), American Legislative Exchange Council ALEC etc. and others in Tanton’s network.

More telling have been the pro eugenic, white supremacist, separatist, racist and anti semitic groups whose leaders and members Tanton has corresponded with including KKK (racism), Pioneer Fund (eugenics), Council of Conservative Citizens (white separatism), American Renaissance etc.

The evidence, not merely allegations of relations, was provided by Tanton himself, i.e. his personal letters were given and are publicly available in the Bentley Historical Library at University of Michigan (apparently unable to resist attention, perceived status and plaudits from his fellow travellers, plus need for a legacy).

Further, his adherents in the USA which unlike Australia has freedom of speech enshrined in the constitution, allows racists to quite openly express their views.

Another feature of Tanton supporters is their protective behaviour which can be exemplified by attacking the messenger while ignoring contrary arguments and evidence against Tanton, while they neither provide referenced evidence nor solutions to issues (except their obsession, stop population growth and immigration).

Many online forums, and especially comment sections of news and related articles regarding population, immigration, environment, identity, Asia, Latinos etc., are filled with pro Tantonites, obviously familiar with each other and organised, who behave like ‘trolls’, i.e. seem to think anybody who disagrees must be attacked personally (this media strategy will be explored in more detail later).

“Unfortunately FAIR and other anti immigration groups have used reckless, distorted language and tactics that cloud and inhibit responsible debate” (Baumgarten).

Next we shall start to look at the Australian end of Tanton’s network of influence via high profile Australians and environmental groups with media access, who act as “messengers”, “influencers” and “protectors”.


Baumgarten G, 2000, Is FAIR Unfair?, Anti Defamation League, New York.
Beirich H, 2009, The Nativist Lobby – Three Faces of Intolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center SVLP, Montgomery.
Beirich H, 2010, Don’t Get Played: How Racist Anti Immigration Groups Are Trying to Recruit Environmentalists, SVLP, Montgomery.
Hall, 2005, Aliens on Spaceship Earth: The Controversial Sierra Club Elections, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin
Hartmann B, Conserving Racism: The Greening of Hate at Home and Abroad, Different Takes, Population & Development Program Hampshire College, Amherst
Jakubowicz A, 1985, Racism, Multiculturalism and the Immigration Debate, Institute of Race Relations, London.
Zizek S, 2011, Anti – immigration politics: Barbarism with a human face, ABC Religion & Ethics.

7 Responses to “Social Contract and John Tanton”

  1. Rather than address direct arguments, evidence etc. it attacks the “messenger”, as others fellow travellers do on public forums etc. and often the same language is used…..

    SPLC conducts research and investigations independently, like others do, and one major area of focus is John Tanton and The Social Contract Press, plus network of organisations in US and internationally.

    Much of the evidence used by SPLC, which has not been addressed, was made available by Tanton himself through his personal correspondence given to Bentley Library.

    There will be another blog explaining media and communication strategies used by these networks, similar to that used by other groups, cults etc.

  2. rkeefe57 I have not approved your last comment as this is not about you or SPLC, but Tanton and The Social Contract.

    Your unapproved comment is way too long (where it would dominate comments like happens on forums elsewhere, by protagonists hiding behind anonymity, using circular arguments, etc. etc……), and does nothing to enlighten anybody about the subject….

    What is your name? I still do not know who you are, ie. no anonymous postings, and it still does not address issues of Tanton et al e.g. connected organisations, etc.

    SPLC is not the only organisation or person critical of Tanton etc., there many more which I can name (at my leisure), in addition to politicians of both sides of politics, from liberal through to neo con.

    I may accept short replies, but if you want to write essays criticising SPLC and Potok personally, I would suggest posting on your own blog.

  3. Richard Keefe, here is another organisation saying much the same as the SPLC, The Centre for Community via the Population & Development Program at Hampshire College:

    ” The Center for New Community has released a report on an anti-immigrant network working to co-opt the environmental movement, when people of color, labor and social justice organizations’ engagement with that movement is critical to its survival and relevance.

    Apply the Brakes: A Report on Anti-immigrant Co-optation and the Environmental Movement exposes ongoing efforts to link domestic population growth, and specifically immigration, with environmental degradation; “displacing blame from the negative influence of economic globalization [and overconsumption] onto populations that are the worst impacted.”

    The CNC report investigates the leadership of the relatively new anti-immigrant network Apply the Brakes, which draws its inspiration and direction from white nationalist John Tanton and population “stabilization” activist Bill Elder, both of whom played significant roles in attempting to shift the Sierra Club into a position of extreme immigration restriction in the

    The report is a complex and important story about the struggle against racism in the modern mainstream environmental movement.”

    More info from the Public Eye

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