How Historical and Investigative Research (HIR) came to be...
Historical and Investigative Research was created to make important documentation available to the general public, because the academic system is rife with politically biased censorship when it comes to examining the foreign policy of the United States.
Francisco Gil-White found out about this censorship the hard way, when, as a result of his discovery of the vastly important research done by Jared Israel and other journalists at Emperor's Clothes, he began investigating the official and media representation of the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, and the relationship of the US government to terrorist forces in that country. Without ever complaining that Gil-White had made a single error of documentation, Gil-White's employer, the University of Pennsylvania psychology department, began harassing the young assistant professor, making it clear that it didn't want him doing this kind of research. But Gil-White ignored this and continued his work, casting his eye now also on the Arab-Israeli conflict, for there appeared to be some interesting similarities in the demonization of Serbs and Jews. In time, he published a documentation of PLO origins, showing that this organization traced its roots to the German Nazi Final Solution (the most complete documentation on this is here), which explained why it was chartered to exterminate the Israeli Jews.
After this, Gil-White was threatened with the loss of his job unless he ceased doing this kind of investigative work. Francisco Gil-White has now been fired from the University of Pennsylvania despite having an impressive record as both scientist and educator. Is this willful censorship? Well, the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects every American citizen's free speech, and the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Handbook explicitly stipulates that its professors have a right to free speech as US citizens. Moreover, this Faculty Handbook also explicitly stipulates that professors are protected in their academic freedom; in other words, a professor's freedom to investigate and publish anything he or she likes is protected by University of Pennsylvania statute. In addition, there is the fact that nobody has yet accused Francisco Gil-White of making even one error in his documentation, so there can hardly be scientific grounds for his dismissal.
So that the
general public may see what the University of Pennsylvania, and the US
Establishment more broadly, does not want people to know, Historical and
Investigative Research will make this information available to the public.
Below is the story and documentation of how Francisco Gil-White's struggle
with the University of Pennsylvania made this website necessary.
Table of Contents
Francisco Gil-White wished to understand why there is racism and ethnic conflict. Why is human psychology relatively susceptible to racist and xenophobic appeals? To try and answer this question, after finishing his degree in music composition from New England Conservatory in Boston, Gil-White decided to abandon a life in art for a life in social science. At the University of Chicago he obtained a master’s degree in social sciences that was flexible enough for him to also get training in evolutionary theory. His master’s thesis, which defended that social science should be integrated with biology but not swallowed by it, won the 1996 Earl S. and Esther Johnson Prize, awarded for “combin[ing] high scholarly achievement with concern for humanistic aspirations and the practical applications of the Social Sciences.”
Gil-White then pursued a Ph.D. at UCLA in cultural and biological anthropology, which took him to Western Mongolia, where he did a total of 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork studying neighboring nomadic Kazakh and Mongol populations in order to probe the question: How do humans reason about ethnic others, and why? His Ph.D. thesis work on the evolution of ethnicity-relevant human psychological biases won him the New Investigator Prize from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society in 1999. His main results and the theory were published in the leading journal Current Anthropology in 2001, and important anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists were invited to comment in print. It would be the beginning of a vigorous debate in the scientific community: this article alone produces an average of seven citations a year in the standard ISI index (which undercounts). The article is cited simultaneously in the fields of philosophy, social, child, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology, cultural and evolutionary anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and political science.
Gil-White’s Current Anthropology article presented evidence to suggest that humans are prey to the illusion that socially transmitted traits result from an inherited inner essence rather than from enculturation -- in other words, humans reason incorrectly as if ethnies were species. This illusion, Gil-White explained, is importantly responsible for the susceptibility of humans to racist ideologies, and it is such a widespread illusion, he reasoned, that perhaps the human brain is designed to misrepresent the world in this manner. The same paper advanced Gil-White’s theory for why the human perceptual and cognitive system is biased to deny what should be the obvious reality of the social transmission of culture, perceiving it instead as biologically inherited. The title of his article was Are Ethnic Groups Biological Species to the Human Brain?
The University of Pennsylvania’s psychology department took a strong interest in Gil-White’s work long before it was published in Current Anthropology, and asked Gil-White to apply for a job. He was not yet looking for work, as he had yet to turn in his doctoral thesis, but the University of Pennsylvania wanted him so badly they decided not to take a chance on what might happen a year later. So they paid for Gil-White to spend one year finishing his thesis at the brand new Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, housed in UPENN’s psychology department. After that, he would become Assistant Professor of Psychology, and would continue as a fellow at the Asch Center.
It is rare these days for a young scholar in any field to be offered a job before finishing his PhD; to be offered a job in this manner without even seeking it, and moreover in a different academic department, is exceedingly rare. Gil-White was not merely on the tenure track -- he was on the fast lane.
The Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict has people who work, as a special focus, on the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and on the Sri Lankan Civil War. Not coincidentally, once at Penn, Francisco Gil-White began developing a strong interest in all three. Late in 2001, Gil-White came across the investigative work of journalist Jared Israel and others, published on Jared Israel’s internet journal, Emperor’s Clothes. This website has a special focus on the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, and it has long maintained that the official story about those wars is false, and that the truth is close to a perfect inversion of what the Western media and NATO officials have told the public. Gil-White was shocked by these claims but impressed by the careful reasoning and documentation of the Emperor’s Clothes authors. Anonymous sources that cannot be confirmed by interested readers are commonplace, for example, at The New York Times, but Emperor’s Clothes researchers never allowed themselves this, and moreover provided a footnote with source documentation for every single claim. This was journalism as it should be.
An initially surprised Gil-White spent a few months chasing after the original documents, trying hard to see if there were any important errors in the footnotes. He found no errors: large or small. Now truly impressed, he began doing further research of his own concerning accusations against the Serbs that had not yet been refuted on Emperor’s Clothes, and began publishing his results on that website. Over time he found that, no matter what accusation against the Serbs he looked into, it was the same as with those already refuted on Emperor’s Clothes: they evaporated into thin air the minute he tried to document them. There was no evidence of Serbian atrocities that he could find. Instead, there was plenty of evidence concerning massacres committed against the Serbs by a faction of Bosnian Muslims led by Alija Izetbegovic, by the Croat forces led or supported by Franjo Tudjman, and by the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (or KLA). Yet the media, and the NATO governments that had bombed the Serbs, kept representing the conflict in precisely the opposite manner. And this they did knowingly, something that Gil-White, like Jared Israel before him, was able to demonstrate.
Gil-White initially made a special focus of the conflict in Kosovo. His articles on the topic claim that, contrary to the official and media representation of what happened there, it was the majority Kosovo Albanians who had been oppressing the minority Kosovo Serbs, including with terrorist violence carried out mainly by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). According to Gil-White, the Serbian government was doing its best to protect Serbian civilians in Kosovo from the KLA, but also Albanian civilians, because the KLA -- which terrorist group the US backed -- killed any Albanians who did not cooperate with their anti-Serb program. The record of KLA violence against both Serbs and Albanian civilians, as Gil-White shows, is well documented because the KLA publicly took credit for these murders every time, as terrorists groups typically do. By contrast, NATO has been unable to document even one murder of an Albanian civilian in Kosovo by the Serbian forces. Gil-White is supported by the official figures submitted by both NATO and the Hague Tribunal, which are not widely known, but which he cites.
Now, when a good scientist claims to show that something is false, and which most other scientists and the general public believe to be true, one expects that the reaction from other scientists will be interest. Why? Because scientists are supposed to want to know the truth. And yet instead of showing interest in Gil-White’s documentation, the Asch Center directors and others at the Asch Center explained to Gil-White that this was a waste of his time, that nobody was interested, that nobody agreed with him, and that this kind of work could harm his career. Better not to do it. Puzzled, Gil-White asked whether anything was wrong with his documentation. No, he was told, the documentation was very good, the problem was with Gil-White’s “interpretation,” they said. But if nobody was disputing his documentation, then could someone please point out how Gil-White’s interpretation did not follow from his facts? This request was always denied.
At first Gil-White chalked this up to conformity -- the natural resistance people have to be the first to change their ideas about anything, before others do it first. If so, then this resistance would be defeated by producing more and more documentation, he reasoned, because the people at the Asch Center were supposed to be scientists. But as Gil-White’s mountain of documentation grew and grew, what it produced at the Asch Center was greater and greater resistance. Instead of a chorus of agreement that more basic research should be done on the Yugoslav conflict, and that the official story should be challenged, Gil-White was being told ever more urgently to stop. Things got especially nasty at an Asch Center talk that Gil-White gave on the Kosovo conflict. Professor Douglas Massey, former chairman of the sociology department at UPENN, now at Princeton, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, was at that talk. In a letter that Gil-White requested for publication, Professor Massey shared his recollection of that event as follows:
“I do remember the talk you gave at the Asch Center on the situation in Kosovo. You argued that in the period before and immediately after the break-up of Yugoslavia the Albanians were not really an oppressed minority, but had been in fact subsidized and granted considerable political leeway by successive regimes in Belgrade, in order to keep the union together. The initial impetus toward divisive ethnic politics, you argued, came from the Albanians who launched a secessionist movement long before the disintegration of the Yugoslav state. You also pointed out that the famous "provocative" speech given by Milosevic in Kosovo, which was widely reported in the west to be full of anti-Albanian and pro-Serb ethnic appeals, was actually quite conciliatory in its content. You provided quotes from several independent translations to back up your assertions and demonstrated the usage of incorrect translations and misleading extractions in western outlets.
“These assertions were, of course, counter to the story line generally accepted by elite and public opinion in the United States, so I was not surprised that members of the audience expressed skepticism and asked questions. But I was truly shocked at how the hostility toward you escalated as you were able to rebut counter-assertions and document your statements with concrete references to what seemed to me like credible sources. During the last portion of the lecture period, people were shouting at you and questioning both your veracity and integrity as a scholar without presenting any evidence for their accusations. The audience wouldn’t let you finish your presentation and lay out your argument, and in the end because of the audience’s behavior the talk disintegrated into something of a shouting match.
“I personally was appalled at the way you were treated and recall that I attempted to intervene to bring some order and let you finish, but to little effect. I was especially put off by the reception you were accorded because you had obviously done considerable work on the topic, had a clear if provocative argument, and knew your sources well. In terms of its clarity, preparation, logic, and documentation, your presentation was among the best I had seen in a series that all too frequently offered truly dismal presentations unsullied by novel ideas, information, or analysis. I remember thinking that the comportment of the attendees was wildly at variance with the usual norms of scholarly courtesy and exchange. I don't know if your troubles started from this day, but I was certainly witness to behavior that made me doubt the value of my continued participation and I began to scale back my attendance at the Asch Seminar accordingly. To this day, the events of that day leave a bad taste in my mouth.”
The clamor against Gil-White grew when he began sending documentation to his Asch Center colleagues exposing that the Tamil Tiger terrorists in Sri Lanka -- contrary to what they said in public -- had no real interest in a ‘peace’ process except as a way of improving their military position, and were preparing for more terrorist violence. But criticisms of the Tamil Tigers were received with considerable hostility at the Asch Center.
Then there were the false accusations by the international media that the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) had supposedly committed a massacre of Arab civilians in the West Bank town of Jenin, which sparked both Jared Israel and Gil-White to take an interest in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This new interest eventually produced Gil-White’s historical analysis of the origins of the PLO, a piece that would have been impossible without Jared Israel’s insights, research, and direct involvement. When still in draft form, Gil-White circulated to the Asch Center an early version of this article, which documents that Al Fatah, the controlling organ in the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, was created by a leader of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution. This explains, Gil-White argues, why the founding charter of the PLO calls for the extermination of the Jewish people: the PLO is simply an extension of the German Nazis into the Arab world. But no such argument, apparently, could be tolerated, because Gil-White was right away told to stop writing like that or else he would be “committing academic suicide.”
That thinly veiled threat about “committing academic suicide” came in an email that Paul Rozin sent to Gil-White. Paul Rozin is who created the Asch Center, and also who recruited Gil-White for the Asch Center and for the University of Pennsylvania psychology department. He had now been assigned to shepherd the young assistant professor through his upcoming reappointment to a second contract. In the aforementioned email -- sent after Gil-White circulated the draft of his documentation of the PLO’s history to the Asch Center scholars -- Rozin made it clear that Professor Ian Lustick was especially upset with Gil-White’s work on the PLO.
Ian Lustick is one of the Asch Center directors, and the Asch Center’s resident expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Over the years, Ian Lustick, who is frequently described in the press as a harsh critic of Israel, has been a prominent defender of the idea that a PLO state must be created in the West Bank and Gaza.
Gil-White did not think that the truth about the PLO or anything else could be mediated, so he declined on the proposed meeting. But he asked Lustick to read the piece and point out anything that he believed to be in error, or else anything that required more work. In an email, Lustick replied:
“Science is not a free for all where anyone with an opinion gets to have it refuted… . It’s a bit more like boxing, where a few boxing lessons might have led me to publicly challenge Muhammad Ali, but would not have allowed me to claim that since he did not respond, I could rightfully say that my belief that I could defeat him stands in some convincing way.”
Lustick appears to think that in science the biggest name should always win, rather than the best documentation. What he says above reveals that, when appraising his own reflection in the mirror, Ian Lustick perceives a scholar of such great stature that a mere junior professor such as Dr. Gil-White cannot have the standing to attempt a criticism. And yet Gil-White was somehow significant enough to deserve a special meeting where Lustick would explain to Gil-White what not to say about the PLO. So Gil-White was not so contemptible that he could be ignored altogether.
Despite such treatment, Francisco Gil-White went ahead and read the material that Ian Lustick suggested he read on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but none of it refuted what he had documented. Most of it was not even relevant.
Later, Brendan O’Leary, also a director at the Asch Center, and a recruit of Ian Lustick’s to the UPENN political science department, went out of his way to make sure that Gil-White would attend a gathering at his apartment. Once there, O’Leary upbraided Gil-White in front of the other guests for having written his piece documenting the history of the PLO. Gil-White demanded that O’Leary identify anything in the PLO documentation that was in error. No, the documentation was impeccable, O’Leary agreed, the problem was with the “interpretation.” Gil-White was puzzled. He had documented that the controlling core of the PLO, Al Fatah, had been created by a leader of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution, and that, consistent with these origins, the founding charters of both Al Fatah and the PLO call for the extermination of the Jewish people. Since to this day the PLO is murdering innocent Jews, Gil-White’s interpretation became that the PLO is an antisemitic fascist organization, with genocidal goals, not the leader of a national liberation movement. If Gil-White’s documentation was impeccable, why should O’Leary be so exercised over this interpretation? But even if Gil-White’s interpretation had been outrageous, why can’t two scientists politely disagree?
But the disagreement was not polite. O’Leary was red in the face, and voices were rising as Gil-White and O’Leary ‘exchanged views.’ The other guests worriedly asked them to change the subject, which they finally did.
When it became obvious that Gil-White would not yield to the pressure that he stop documenting facts embarrassing to the terrorist KLA, the terrorist Tamil Tigers, and the terrorist PLO, he was threatened even more clearly by Paul Rozin in an email that ended with:
“If you really feel that compelled by [your political convictions], you should resign your academic position, and move on to journalism.”
It was not clear to Gil-White why journalists should be allowed to have political convictions but not professors. In any case, however, he was merely documenting facts -- that’s all. Aren’t social scientists supposed to document facts? Why should Gil-White stop doing this merely because Asch Center directors apparently preferred that certain facts about certain terrorist forces not be known? And, come to think of it, why were these professors so worried that Gil-White was documenting facts embarrassing to these terrorist forces? Gil-White wasn’t sure, but the Asch Center was looking less and less like a scientific think tank.
Since Paul Rozin’s email looked to Gil-White like a clear threat that he would lose his job if he didn’t get in line, he wrote a letter to the psychology department chairman Robert DeRubeis, where he explained the pressure he had been subjected to, and documented the thinly veiled threats to his continued employment that he had received by email. Subsequently, DeRubeis met with Gil-White, who explained that although the strongest pressure had been coming from Paul Rozin, there was general opposition to Gil-White’s work at the Asch Center, and that Ian Lustick was especially bothered by Gil-White’s research on the PLO. DeRubeis agreed that this should not have taken place and that Paul Rozin should not serve on the reappointment committee then considering Gil-White for a second contract. Gil-White requested that DeRubeis put this in writing, and he received a letter from the chairman stating the following:
In late January, 2004, Robert DeRubeis met with Francisco Gil-White in the latter’s office to explain the results of the departmental vote. According to DeRubeis, the psychology department senior faculty had voted to reappoint Gil-White, but just barely. The reason for the controversy, DeRubeis explained, was that some senior faculty had “serious problems” with Gil-White’s performance as both a teacher and a researcher.
This was strange, to say the least. It was simply not in doubt that Gil-White was a star scholar -- this was the very reason that the University of Pennsylvania had taken the extraordinary step of offering him a job, moreover paying him to finish his thesis, before Gil-White had earned his PhD. And if a local comparison were necessary, a year earlier the same psychology department had promoted with zero controversy a colleague of Gil-White’s, in his very subdiscipline of social psychology, whose publication rate was inferior to Gil-White’s.
But the most surprising piece of information related by DeRubeis was that the main problem with Gil-White’s performance was supposedly his teaching.
At the end of each course, students are asked by the university to fill out standard evaluation forms presenting a five-point scale with the following meanings: 0 = “poor,” 1 = “fair,” 2 = “good,” 3 = “very good,” and 4 = “excellent.”
It would be an understatement to say that Francisco Gil-White has consistently performed well as a teacher. The lowest average evaluation of Gil-White as an instructor, in any course, is 2.72, which means that, rounding off, according to the standard evaluation forms, the worst Gil-White has ever done is “very good.” Not bad, in other words.
Gil-White’s main course is called Biocultural Psychology, in which he teaches an integrated approach that combines cultural, evolutionary, and cognitive psychology, with heavy doses of cultural anthropology. This is the course he was specifically hired to teach. The first time Gil-White taught Biocultural Psychology it was rated as a 2.8 by the average student, which is to say, rounding off, “very good.” As a teacher in that same semester, he was rated a 2.9, which means that the average student again considered him “very good.” He is getting even better, because the latest evaluations show that last time around, Biocultural Psychology was rated a 3.6 by the average student, which means that, except for a small minority, every student gave it the highest possible mark: “excellent” (the disagreeing minority thought it was “very good”). As a teacher, he was judged a 3.4, which means that there was a controversy over whether he was “very good” or “excellent.”
Aside from these numbers, the students often add testimonials on the evaluation forms. Here follows a sampling of what students have had to say about Biocultural Psychology:
“This class is one of the best I’ve taken at Penn. It is extremely interesting and can be applied to all aspects of life.”
“I’m still mildly surprised that I have found every minute of every class to be worthwhile.”
“This class is very interesting and I feel like I am at the frontier of social science and psychology. The teacher is very engaging although a bit arrogant. This is what I dreamed a real college class would be.”
“Francisco’s passion for the material made this class exceptional.”
“Francisco is the most influential professor I’ve had at this university. It was a pleasure to be in his class!!”
“Really enjoyed this class and learned a lot. Francisco is great. He is very interested in the subject matter and the success of his students.”
“Very accessible and knowledgeable professor. I look forward to attending. I have come away with a lot.”
“One of the most stimulating classes I’ve ever taken.”
Perhaps there is still room for improvement, but if these were grounds for denying an assistant professor the reappointment to his second contract, the University of Pennsylvania would have no professors.
It should be pointed out that universities are aware that assistant professors are just getting their legs as teachers and researchers and therefore are not expected to perform as well as the more seasoned professors. As professor Robert Seyfarth -- then psychology chairman -- explained to Gil-White when he notified him that the department was offering him a job,
“…reappointment is not automatic, but is very likely assuming that that your research program and teaching are proceeding well.”
In fact, the bar for teaching is famously very low when it comes to reappointment, and consequently reappointment is denied only for dismal performance. And yet here was chairman Robert DeRubeis telling Francisco Gil-White that his reappointment had barely been approved in a controversial departmental vote because the senior faculty had supposedly identified “serious” problems with his teaching. How could this be an honest assessment of Gil-White’s performance as a teacher when he was praised by the great majority of his students, some of whom thought he outclassed all other professors they had encountered at the University of Pennsylvania?
The absurdity of chairman Robert DeRubeis’ claim that Gil-White was a problem teacher was enough for the latter to conclude that the chairman had not kept his word, and that the reappointment process in fact had not been fair. However, since the departmental vote had technically been in his favor, Gil-White speculated that the intention here was to give the university’s upper echelons -- which still had to approve the psychology department’s vote -- an appearance of extreme controversy, the better to assure that everybody would be covered when the department’s supposed ‘recommendation’ to re-hire Gil-White was turned down. Without waiting for this to happen, Gil-White published an editorial in the Daily Pennsylvanian, the college newspaper, explaining what had happened and directing interested readers to a page on his website where the threats against him and other documentation had now been posted for everybody to see and evaluate.
Following Gil-White’s publication of the evidence, the story was picked up by Israel National News, and some alternative media, but the Western mass media ignored it completely. However, the INN story was enough for Ian Lustick to issue a public denial, to the same Israel National News, that he had had anything to do with getting Gil-White fired:
The only problem with the above denial is that, only a few days later, somebody with access to the secret reappointment documents that were used by the senior faculty in its deliberations, made a full copy and anonymously placed it in Gil-White’s psychology department mailbox. These documents expose that Ian Lustick was in fact the main player behind Gil-White's firing. This easily explains the seeming desperation with which psychology department Robert DeRubeis reacted, calling Gil-White to intimidate him when he found that the embattled professor had obtained a copy of the reappointment documents, as was also reported in Israel National News.
As it turns out, psychology chairman Robert DeRubeis had requested only two letters of evaluation from faculty members to evaluate Gil-White’s teaching and research. Both of these requests went to Asch Center directors, even though Gil-White had explicitly told Robert DeRubeis that the pressure to silence him had been coming from the Asch Center, and especially from Ian Lustick. It was therefore precisely from the Asch Center, and especially from Ian Lustick, that such letters should not have been requested (unless, of course, there was a desire to fire Gil-White for his work investigating the activities and history of certain terrorist groups, and their relationship to US Intelligence).
Despite all this, one of the two letters that DeRubeis obtained spoke in the highest terms of Gil-White’s teaching and research. The other letter was from Ian Lustick.
Somewhat comically, Professor Lustick began his letter by explaining what he was officially supposed to do:
“You have asked for my impressions of Professor Francisco Gil-White’s teaching and research in connection with your consideration of his reappointment.”
And yet the very thing Lustick didn’t do was comment on Gil-White’s teaching and research. What he did instead was complain that Gil-White’s investigative research contradicted the official claims of the US government, and Lustick’s own. Ian Lustick concludes his letter by ‘recommending’ that Gil-White be sacked if he cannot be silenced.
Though the content of Lustick’s letter answered the question of how the reappointment process had been subverted, and who the central player was (Lustick), still it did not fully explain whence Lustick’s passion for illegally silencing Gil-White. It is true that Lustick had made a career of defending the PLO against Israel, and that his position was radically undermined by Gil-White’s research, but why couldn’t a scientist change his mind? For you see, Ian Lustick merely complained that Gil-White’s views were not the standard and official story; he did not accuse, anywhere in his letter, that Gil-White had made even one error of documentation. Thus, implicitly according to Lustick himself, Gil-White had a sound basis for -- at the very least -- a legitimate scholarly disagreement with Lustick. But scholarly disagreements are a dime a dozen; there is nothing outrageous in them and they are in fact professionally required in academics -- so why the inordinate passion to get Gil-White fired?
Francisco Gil-White believes the answer to that question may be found in Ian Lustick’s Curriculum Vitae, where Lustick explains that he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a well-known grooming and stomping ground for the US foreign policy and intelligence elite. But that’s nothing. After getting his PhD in 1976, Lustick immediately became Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, and while there, in 1979, he simultaneously became an analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research inside the US Department of State, something that his CV also explains.
What is this Bureau of Intelligence and Research? The Department of State website explains that
“The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)…drawing on all-source intelligence, provides value-added independent analysis of events to Department [of State] policymakers, ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy and national security purposes; and serves as the focal point in the Department for ensuring policy review of sensitive counterintelligence and law enforcement activities. INR’s primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy. The bureau also analyzes geographical and international boundary issues. INR is a member of the U.S. intelligence community.”
The people at INR specialize in law enforcement, counter-intelligence, national security, and international boundary issues. Obviously, this is not an ordinary intelligence job because INR “ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy.” In other words, this is a brain. Stating the obvious, the Department of State’s blurb says that “INR is a member of the US intelligence community.” Equally obviously, so are its analysts members of the US intelligence community.
Such as, for example, analyst Ian Lustick.
Ian Lustick is a good fit to the INR. His main academic interest is an INR specialty: “international boundary issues.” One of Lustick's publications is called Right-sizing the state: The politics of moving borders, and his main focus as a regional expert has been the Arab-Israeli conflict which, in diplomatic terms, has been all about "right-sizing" the Israeli state, with many arguing that the right size can be attained by collapsing the borders westwards onto the sea. In addition, there is the fact that Ian Lustick has always loudly proposed a PLO state in the West Bank and Gaza. In this he resembles current ‘Seeds of Peace’ director Aaron Miller, who brought about a de facto PLO state by “help[ing] formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process” when he was the “Senior Member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, in the same Bureau of Intelligence and Research” (INR) that first hired Ian Lustick.
Over the years, according to his CV, Ian Lustick has continued to involve himself with US foreign policy and intelligence work: he has been a
“Consultant for the Department of State; consultant/invited lecturer for the National Security Council, National Security Agency, [and the] Central Intelligence Agency.”
That Ian Lustick should be a “consultant” for US Intelligence is important, because it means that he is counseling US Intelligence on how to do its job, so he does not appear to be a minor figure.
So, in trying to silence Gil-White, was Ian Lustick acting for US Intelligence?
But this would require that US Intelligence has a covert pro-terrorist policy, because Gil-White’s work was embarrassing to the terrorist groups known as the KLA, the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), and the PLO, and it is precisely this work that Ian Lustick was complaining about. In a book that Gil-White subsequently produced, tracing US foreign policy towards the Jewish people and state since the 1930s to the present, he has documented that, indeed, contrary to the repeated public statements of US government officials, this policy has been radically anti-Israel and pro-PLO, year after numbing year. This would explain why Ian Lustick, who by his own admission has always worked for US Intelligence, is a specialist in attacking Israel and defending the PLO.
Assistant Professors are fired by denying them reappointment to a second three-year contract, but they don’t immediately leave the building. First they must finish the contract they are currently on, which typically will carry them through one more year of teaching. In Gil-White’s case this became two years because, following angry phone calls and emails to the dean’s office about his firing, the university decided to extend his contract by an additional year, the better to pretend that he wasn’t being fired. But the university did its best to prevent Gil-White from teaching.
Gil-White’s course Psychology of Ethnicity explores many topics related to how people reason about ethnic categories -- the very topic in which Gil-White is a well-known authority. The point of Gil-White’s course is to learn what the various disciplines that study ethnicity have contributed to our understanding of why there is ethnic and racial prejudice and conflict. After Gil-White taught this course for the first time, the students pronounced themselves highly satisfied, giving him a 2.7 for the course, and a 2.9 for Gil-White as a teacher. In other words, both the course Psychology of Ethnicity, and its instructor, were “very good” in the eyes of the average student.
The department of psychology, on the other hand, didn’t like this course so much, and asked Gil-White to make changes to it if he wanted to teach it a second time. Professor Robert Rescorla’s letter to Gil-White, which requested these changes, stated that the “most difficult” objection to the course (also the one on which Rescorla spilled the most ink) had to do with Rescorla’s allegation that Gil-White’s teaching style, which invites students to question everything, even the teacher, and to debate vigorously, might intimidate them.
But that’s not what the students said in the standard evaluations. These contain a category with the following title: “Instructor’s accessibility and willingness to discuss course content and any problems,” which is therefore the very category where Gil-White would have gotten a bad evaluation if he had managed to intimidate his students. But this is in fact the category in which Gil-White obtained his highest evaluation: 3.5, which is exactly between “very good” and “excellent.”
As if this were not clear enough, quite a few students went out of their way to say how much they enjoyed Gil-White’s teaching style. Here follows a sampling that Gil-White included in his reply to Rescorla:
“It was very interesting to have a professor that doesn’t require that you believe the lessons, and accepts criticism.”
“I found Francisco’s teaching style very exciting. I love how he encouraged us to question everything we read and everything he [himself] said.”
“Although Francisco may seem controversial, I feel that his teaching is something rarely found and much needed. He has taught this class to question ideas that have been taken for granted.”
“I think that Francisco is a great professor -- he is not only an extremely articulate speaker but he also is always willing to hear an argument against his own. His honesty and the way that he pushes students to really think through their arguments instead of just congratulating students for saying anything at all in class is something I haven’t experienced with many professors. The class was really interesting and changed the way I think about a lot of things in the world.”
“I thought that Francisco’s ability to stimulate student interest and encourage student participation was excellent.”
“Very informative class about the evolution of race and ethnicity concepts, and the establishment of social/educational/political/economic forces that shape human decisions…”
“I found the course stimulating and refreshing. Best course I’ve taken at Penn. Gil-White is definitely a top teacher and asset to Penn.”
“Most interesting class I’ve taken.”
“This is the best class I’ve taken at Penn.”
“Perhaps one of my most inspiring classes at Penn. Learned to think critically and not just accept information because it has been given to us. Very valuable.”
Obviously, though professor Robert Rescorla claimed to be representing the students, the students had pronounced themselves satisfied customers. Could there be a different reason for the psychology department’s opposition to this course?
Francisco Gil-White's course Psychology of Ethnicity spends considerable time on the topics of the historical origins of antisemitism in the West, and also on the historical origins of racism against black people in the United States. The latter topic especially might inconvenience the senior faculty in the psychology department. Why? Because IQ research is taught in the UPENN psychology department as if it were a legitimate science, but Gil-White documents for his students that the entire IQ literature was built on a series of frauds by psychologists who were also major propagandists for the American eugenics movement.
The eugenics movement advocated forced sterilization and/or incarceration for multitudes of workers in the United States on the basis of the claim that they were genetically stupid and should therefore not be allowed to reproduce, as they would supposedly pollute the genetic quality of the species. What 'established' the alleged stupidity of these workers was the IQ test, developed by the same eugenicists, and fraudulently designed to have a cultural bias against the working classes. It was not the only fraud: the eugenic psychologists also faked their math and their statistics, and even published phantom studies that had never been conducted under the phony names of research assistants who did not exist.
The eugenics movement was backed by the wealthiest Americans -- the Carnegies, the Rockefellers, the Harrimans, etc. -- with contributions in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and it was backed also by the US government. As a result of this backing, the eugenicists succeeded in forcibly sterilizing and/or incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans in the first half of the twentieth century, as documented in detail by Edwin Black in his book War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race. As Black also documents, the same people backing the eugenics movement in the United States were funding the rise of the German Nazi party. After the World War, the IQ ‘research’ has been used especially to attack black people in particular as supposedly less intelligent, but this IQ ‘research’ hasn’t been less fraudulent than before. And yet it is still being taught at the UPENN psychology department as if it were real science.
From what professor Robert Rescorla wrote to professor Francisco Gil-White, it was more than obvious that Gil-White’s documentation of the series of frauds that created the IQ literature was the biggest problem:
“…the committee expressed concern that your description of how you will approach the last several topics of the course seems to have little to do with the psychological issues involved and instead to hinge on political interpretation of historical facts. The committee feels that this focus may not be appropriate for a course in psychology.”
What the department objected to, calling it “a political interpretation of historical facts,” Gil-White believes, was his tracing of the history of frauds that psychologists had committed throughout the length of the twentieth century in order to sell the racist snake oil of IQ tests as if it were real science. But this objection is absurd. There is no such thing as an interpretation of historical facts that is not in some sense political. The only objection that might be raised is that Gil-White’s interpretation did not do justice to the documented facts, but Rescorla’s letter nowhere makes that charge. And Gil-White’s refutation of the IQ literature was precisely about “psychological issues” because IQ testing is a subdiscipline of psychology, so Rescorla’s claim that “psychological issues” had been neglected was also untenable.
Gil-White was hired by the University of Pennsylvania for his groundbreaking research on ethnic cognition in particular, and for his ability generally to teach evolutionary and cultural psychology, which the psychology department needed taught. Gil-White's course Psychology of Ethnicity brought everything together. First, he covered the explanations that have been proposed to account for why evolved human psychology may be particularly susceptible to racist propaganda, which corresponds to the evolutionary psychology component of the course. Then, he covered the history of IQ frauds and their promotion by the US Establishment as part of a racist eugenic ideology meant to exploit these susceptibilities with various cultural mechanisms, which corresponds to the cultural psychology component of the course. So this course, and its subject matter, could hardly be objected to on the grounds that it departed from what the University of Pennsylvania had explicitly hired Francisco Gil-White to do. The objection to this course must therefore be sought elsewhere.
But one will not have to look far. The UPENN psychology department to this day teaches IQ research as if it were science, so Gil-White was effectively a whistleblower in his own department. The hypothesis that the UPENN psychology department did not wish its teaching of racist snake oil as science exposed is therefore the most obvious hypothesis for why Gil-White's course Psychology of Ethnicity was banned when he explained that he would not remove his discussion of anti-black racism, his discussion of IQ, or his discussion of antisemitism.
The university did not dare to cancel Gil-White’s course outright. It pretended that the course was being offered, but then made it impossible for students to register, by slapping all sorts of arbitrary and absurd pre-requisites. In fact, not one student was allowed to register for the course (this includes students who obtained written permission from Gil-White), so the course was effectively cancelled.
Michelle Rajunov, who had taken Gil-White’s Biocultural Psychology, circulated a petition that garnered 88 signatures and which was sent to the Provost, demanding that the absurd restrictions be removed so that students such as herself, who wanted to take Psychology of Ethnicity, could register. Obviously, the students felt that the university was doing them a disservice. The university could certainly not claim that it was serving the students by banning Gil-White’s course. In addition, Michelle Rajunov, with Katrina Jurn, who had also taken Gil-White’s Biocultural Psychology, authored an editorial in the Daily Pennsylvanian questioning the banning of the course.
Meanwhile, Gil-White chose to teach Psychology of Ethnicity for no credit, and he found about ten students willing to show up late at night, against their busy schedules, and stick it out for no other benefit than the pleasure of learning. They loved it.
The mainstream mass media had been ignoring completely the case of an Ivy League university professor being fired for documenting facts. But now the commotion on campus finally made this impossible, apparently, and the mass media finally decided to address the issue. Why did it take so long? Perhaps because Gil-White’s research is an indictment of the mass media, given that he documents how the major print, radio, and TV outlets have deliberately misinformed the public on the civil wars in Yugoslavia, the civil war in Sri Lanka, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. That interpretation certainly receives support from the fact that the Philadelphia Inquirer, on 11 February 2005, and then FOX-NEWS, on 17 February 2005, chose to attack Gil-White rather than defend him, even though he was an embattled fellow journalist.
And thus matters stand. Gil-White plans to sue the University of Pennsylvania for illegally denying his reappointment to a second three-year contract, which he richly deserved due to his superior research and training. Meanwhile he is now producing so much research concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, the civil wars in Yugoslavia, racism against blacks, the history of antisemitism, and other such topics, that he has launched his own website.
And this is how www.hirhome.com came to be.