The Life and Death of NSSM 200 The Life and Death of NSSM 200 - Index to Contents The Life and Death of NSSM 200 - Index of Contents Stephen Mumford Bio Index of Issues Comments from Reviewers



"Dr. Mumford's meticulous research gives us highly readable insight into an overwhelming crisis of our time. He arouses our hope and admiration for our federal government's analysis of world population issues -- including the ways in which U.S. consumption patterns relate to this; but this is frustrated by the political opportunism of leaders who must contend with the well-organized and insistently countervailing doctrines of willful old men. While demonstrating the reasons why U.S. leadership on population growth has been abysmal, Mumford also helps us see the dreadful effects of antiquated theology combined with institutional self-interest and hierarchical efficiency. The consequences particularly for children and women in many parts of the world have been devastating, and they increasingly predispose ominous choices that may eventually have to be made by more privileged others. This is a hideous business, and Mumford's book should be read by all who regard themselves as thoughtful, informed, caring people."


President and Dean
Episcopal Divinity School
Cambridge, Massachusetts

"As seen by many leaders across the Atlantic, the demise of NSSM 200 is one of the bleakest episodes in the whole history of family planning. Whereas the world long acclaimed Uncle Sam for being way out ahead in financial support for population efforts in developing countries, he now seems to have dropped the ball in super-spectacular fashion, ostensibly with some prompting from the Vatican. There would be some merit to the Vatican's position on birth control if the world were peopled with saints and angels. That's not going to happen by next Friday afternoon, and meanwhile we must live with folks as they fallibly are. I applaud Stephen Mumford's book. Right on, write on."


Consultant in Environment and Development
Fellow of Oxford University

"_The Life and Death of NSSM 200_ offers powerful revelations of the actions of the Catholic Church. I consider this book one of the most impelling works of art (in the truest sense) I have ever read. It is a masterpiece."


Professor Emeritus of Medical Science
Brown University - Rhode Island Hospital
Women & Infants Hospital

"Stephen Mumford has done a great service to all United States citizens and their progeny by explaining the threat that over-population has to national security, the economy, and our environment -- indeed to all the aspects of our life that we treasure."


Professor, Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University

"For 28 years I was an AID Population Officer, beginning my career at the end of 1969 in Chile. There, I witnessed two very serious interventions by the Catholic Church that negatively affected family planning. The Church was instrumental in convincing the Government to terminate the Rockefeller Foundation's pioneering and successful family planning services project in the National Health Service. The number of women served immediately plummeted.

"After a year of academic training in population/family planning at the University of Chicago, Professor Donald J. Bogue told me about an AID-funded population project in Chile that had consumed millions of dollars with no apparent output. AID had given a $5 million grant to Father Roger Vekemans (a Belgian Jesuit priest) to persuade the Catholic Church in Latin America not to oppose family planning initiatives. Upon my arrival, I found that not only had this four-year old project never been audited, but no such review was planned. The requested audit was finally scheduled after many months of delay in Washington. Toward the end of the examination of the financial records, when the audit team could document legitimate expenditures of only $1.3 million out of the $5 million, a fire at Father Vekemans's office destroyed all the records. These were but the first two of scores of examples of Catholic interference in family planning programs during my tenure in AID, of which I have personal knowledge.

"I have dealt with opposition to family planning by the Vatican and the local Church in every country where I have been posted except Egypt. I have often been told by my host country counterparts about periodic private meetings of their Presidents with the Papal Nuncio or their Archbishop at the behest of these clergymen to pressure the governments to either stop or de-emphasize family planning.

"When Ronald Reagan became President in 1980, I was told that a political deal had been made before the election that would have a negative impact on AID's Population Program. An accelerated and sustained decline in the AID program began. By then, most of Dr. Ravenholt's original team had been forced into retirement or transferred out of the Office of Population. I was in the Africa Bureau from 1980-1983. The Reagan Administration appointed Francis Ruddy (a Catholic) as head of all of Africa. From the minute Ruddy arrived he aggressively tried to stop all family planning projects. He had been a lawyer for the Texas Right to Life Committee before receiving his political appointment to AID. He wrought havoc on family planning in Africa.

"Since 1977, the program has sharply deteriorated every year so that today it is judged to be inconsequential by many who know its history. We believe that were the program terminated today, it would have no appreciable effect on birth rates around the world. I would be very surprised if AID is getting even 25 cents' worth of family planning services for each dollar earmarked for population programs. More than 75 cents of every dollar is spent on non-family planning services activities.

"The Church has successfully savaged what was the most effective program in AID's history and all who have stood like a `rock,' as one reviewer referred to Steve Mumford, have been mercilessly liquidated from the family planning program.

Following are just a few who have fought for the survival of the program and who have been purged: Dr. Ravenholt, Dr. Willard Boynton, Dr. Benjamin Viel, Dr. Mario Jaramillo, Dr. Juan B. Londono, Dr. Elton Kessel, and Dr. Stephen Mumford."


Population Officer, USAID, 1969-1997 with tours of duty in six countries in Latin America, the Middle East and in Africa, plus three tours in Washington: the central Office of Population, the Africa Bureau, and the Europe and Newly Independent States Bureau.

(No other person has had more experience in the AID Population Program.)

"_The Life and Death of NSSM 200_: What a revelation to me. I thought I was in touch and up to date but this documented work is an eye opener. I am so captivated by it that we have urged our Mainstream Coalition membership of 2000 persons to get a copy in any way possible!

"Thank God someone who has researched the facts of the stifling of the National Security Study Memorandum has the nerve and the courage to let it all hang out. Only an informed citizenry can act responsibly. Citizens nationally and globally must be confronted with the threats posed by suppressing the truth about population concerns, even the very destiny of our civilization. We must keep religion from controlling government and government from controlling religion for the sake of civility and the mission of both."


Chairman, The Mainstream Coalition
Prairie Village, Kansas

"Stephen Mumford's impressive work is in the highest tradition of investigative journalism. He has succeeded, through careful documentation, to demonstrate how the Catholic Church, through the offices of its Pope, has undermined over 200 years of democratic process in the United States by suppressing meaningful dialogue at the highest levels of government on the most vital issue of our age -- world population control. This book would make great fiction if it were not true. The sad conclusion is the Vatican's own internal acknowledgment that its interest in preserving the myth of Papal infallibility overrides whatever humanitarian values it may seek to promote.

"Dr. Mumford's book should serve as a Rosetta Stone for present and future scholars in explaining why the most pressing issue of our time has been virtually banished from public debate. The world is far better for people like Mumford. The dream that I hold is that this courageous and scholarly effort will help to kindle a public reawakening led by people who can understand and share his vision. To me, that is the only hope for humanity and all other living things.


Attorney and Social Activist
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

"When an individual or group negates, tampers with or destroys a National Security Decision Memorandum signed by the President of the United States, it is similar to changing a document classified Top Secret in war time. Stephen Mumford was successful in rescuing such a document from the National Archives where it had languished for 14 years because of deliberate faulty classification by Vatican operatives working in Departments of the U.S. Government. He deserves the gratitude of all citizens, Catholic and Protestant alike, for this act of statesmanship."


U.S. Ambassador to Canada, 1969-1974
Former Director, Population Crisis Committee
Former Chairman, Population-Environment Balance

"Population pressure is our most complicated, controversial and seemingly intractable issue, but we must fully engage it with all the strength, courage and factual information at our disposal. Regarding `factual information,' Mumford's work is without equal. It is so monumental that if citizens were as cognizant of NSSM 200 as they are of the Watergate Scandal, it would make the latter appear as only a sleepy bedtime story."


National Optimal Population Commission

"Thirty years ago, nations, their leaders, and the scientists of the world were conscious of and seriously preoccupied with the excessive growth of population, the imminent danger of destruction of the environment, and the frustration of hopes of development for most countries. Today, this awareness and concern no longer exist because the policymakers allowed themselves to be intimidated by conservative extremists guided by the Roman Catholic Church, and the scientists were supplanted by groups of merchants and charlatans - advisors and trainers - masquerading as researchers, who have arrogated to themselves the international funds destined for birth control.

"The universities and genuine scholars have given up, disgusted by the corruption and mockery of foreign aid programs, which have been and continue to be systematically torpedoed by WHO, UNFPA and AID.

"Steve Mumford is one of the few survivors of the dying breed who were the international apostles of birth control. His books on the historic culpability of the Vatican in the world's demographic and economic catastrophes constitute the solitary and courageous voice of those who dare to identify the number one enemy. Thanks to his writing, many people now know about the great injury that this small theocracy inflicts on the world. But it is time to point out how the Vatican contrives to destroy, from within, international aid programs for family planning. For this reason, I invite him to unmask the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Agency for International Development, which in the last two decades have systematically sabotaged all of the efforts of free nations to avoid a major overpopulation of the planet."


Pioneer of birth control in Latin America
Founder of the first family planning clinic in Medell?n, Colombia in 1958. During the period from 1969-1992, employed by USAID population/family planning contractors, including the University of Chicago, Columbia University, John Snow and POPTECH and by several local AID missions. Consultant to UNFPA 1972-1978 and to IPPF 1974-1975.

"This book is the work of a whistle blower. A citizen of the United States, Stephen Mumford, has blown the whistle on the government of the United States at its highest level. Several recent presidents have been manipulated, if not corrupted, by a foreign religious organization (the Vatican), to control U.S. policy in the area of family planning and population assistance. The documentation is superb. The United States and many other countries have suffered greatly as a result of this interference in our affairs. Read it and weep; then do something about this miscarriage of the American will for a better world."


Rationalist Society of St. Louis

"_The Life and Death of NSSM 200_ pulls no punches and exposes very clearly the Vatican's role in obstructing efforts to slow an extremely dangerous population explosion. One of the most damning indictments was its quotation from Federal Judge Dooling, a practicing Catholic, in his decision striking down the Hyde Amendment. He says, `The amendment was a ploy by anti-abortion congressmen frustrated in their attempt to pass a Constitutional amendment that would override the Supreme Court's 1973 pro-abortion decision; its purpose was quite simply to circumvent the Court's ruling and prevent as many abortions as possible.' These zealots go to great lengths in this effort and almost invariably hurt the most vulnerable and weakest members of our society, poor women.

"The serious repercussions of this misguided policy will affect us for decades to come as the effects of the rapid growth in population take their toll. Mumford is to be commended for his scholarly work and for his courage in exposing the Vatican effort to control our government and laws."


Medical Corporation
Redwood City, California

"Too few of us are able and even fewer courageous enough to speak out in the face of power as cogently as Dr. Mumford in _The Life and Death of NSSM 200_. It is not his purpose to attack any religious group, including the Roman Catholic Church. But rather, his book is an assertion of the proud American traditions of democratic decision-making and separation of church and state. Using their own words, Dr. Mumford shows how Vatican loyalists seek to undermine both these dearly held beliefs on which our country is based.

"Contrary to the proscription of the Church hierarchy, American Catholics have overwhelmingly rejected the 1968 Encyclical `Humanae Vitae' forbidding the use of contraception. However, Presidents and Congressmen have been influenced by the Vatican on this issue."


Founder, Zero Population Growth, Inc.
Director, Globally Responsible Birthing

"Stephen Mumford shows very clearly how the Vatican has influenced American population policy, in a land in which Church and State are supposed to be separate. Does the Pope want Catholics all to be think-alikes in questions such as this one?"


Professor Emeritus of Economics
University of Colorado

"_The Life and Death of NSSM 200_ is an immensely important book. It is probably the most significant recently-published book about overpopulation and its control. Because it is also well-documented about the Vatican's campaign to prevent population control, it may seem anti-Catholic to those who believe the Church is identical with Vatican policy. However, this book's valid criticism of papal infallibility and its opposition to birth control would, if implemented, do more to maintain confidence in the church in these days of dissent and defection than any other step the Vatican could take.

"If the United States would also pursue the proposals of National Security Study Memorandum 200, it would in time decrease the number of `population wars' and the massive economic migrations into the United States and other parts of the world."


President of Americans for Religious Liberty and Professor Emeritus of Theology,
Kansas City

"Mumford's analysis of the primary impediment to progress on the population problem is startling. If it were not for the actual documents which he reproduces and analyzes, one could suspect paranoia. As one who has urged at every opportunity that the U.S. develop a national population policy, it is disconcerting to realize that we actually had such a policy in our grasp over 20 years ago. Now, in addition to neutralizing the influence of the main impediment, it is urgent that this policy be adopted. When the existence of NSSM 200 becomes known, one can then refer to it as the policy which would be adopted -- with possible updating from the experience of over 20 years during which many of its predictions have come to pass."


Human Ecologist
Duluth, Minnesota

"Stephen Mumford courageously exposes the papal plot against population control. The Vatican and the far Right are not alone, however, in promoting the unlimited migration -- the ultimate consequence of overpopulation. By rigidly adhering to `tradition,' rabbis, ministers and so-called human-rights advocates of every ilk are sacrificing future life on Earth by their misguided compassion . . ."


Foundation for Optimal Planetary Survival

"I read _The Life and Death of NSSM 200_ with passion because I experienced the negative force described many times. For 30 years, I provided professional services to about 20 family planning programs, located in more than 10 countries in Central and South America and Africa. Reading this book was like reliving the anguish, distress, grief and excitement that the struggle in family planning generates. The retrospective view Mumford gives is a thorough compilation and analysis of facts related to one of the most unfortunate campaigns undertaken by a great world power. Precious time and effort have been lost along the way and now the price has to be paid. The future must be devoted to repairing the damage it has caused.

"Among my many experiences in the field over the past 30 years, two are memorable. One of the most aggressive programs to which I contributed at the beginning of the family planning movement was developed in the schools of medicine in Colombia. Due to strong opposition of the Catholic Church, the program was dismantled by the government, forcing me and my colleagues to abandon the institution carrying it out.

"In 1987, Kenya and Zimbabwe had the only two effective programs in Sub-Saharan Africa when I was contracted by The Pathfinder Fund, under an AID grant, to serve as Resident Advisor for Research and Evaluation. Two years after I arrived, a Zimbabwean doctor, educated by the Jesuits, was appointed head of the Family Planning Council. I did not fit his agenda. He refused to authorize the renewal of my contract. The program immediately entered a period of stagnation from which it has not recovered."


Pioneer of family planning in Latin America. Helped establish the national program in Colombia in 1964. From then to 1993, employed by University of Chicago, Columbia University, Pathfinder Fund, and AID, served as Resident Advisor of family planning programs in El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, and Zimbabwe. With IPPF-London, evaluated Latin America affiliated family planning associations. Consultant to UNFPA, WHO, IPPF, POPTECH, and AID

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