The Billionaire Boys Club

Steve Mosher
President, Population Research Institute
Reprint with permission

The World's Plutocrats at Work to Decrease Population

Who is the biggest funder of anti–people population control programs in the world? If you answered “the U.S. government,” you would be wrong. A small group of the world's wealthiest individuals and their foundations collectively fronts more money for the abortion, sterilization and contraception of the human race than Washington.

This billionaire boys club includes such plutocrats as Bill Gates (No. 1 at $63 billion), Warren Buffet (No. 4 at $28 billion), and Ted Turner (No. 25 at $9 billion).

These men all have billions on their minds, and not just in their bank accounts. They believe that overpopulation is the greatest threat to the planet, “the single most important issue facing mankind today,” brays Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network (CNN).

Apparently Turner doesn't read the New York Times, which in its Millennium Edition of 1 January 2000, listed “overpopulation” among the “Myths of the Twentieth Century.”1

Not only is Thomas Malthus long dead, his “dismal theorem” that growth in human numbers would eventually outrun food supply lies mouldering in the grave alongside him. Two hundred years and five billion people later, human beings are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. The “gigantic inevitable famine” that would, Malthus predicted, “with one mighty blow, level . . . the population,” continues to recede on the horizon. Every other year humanity sets new records in grain production. Caloric intake continues to climb. Incomes continue to rise, and now average $5,000 a year for every man, woman and child on the planet, up from $100 a year at the time of Malthus.

At the same time, because of longer schooling and other demands of modern life — along with the anti–natal programs of the population controllers — birthrates continue to fall. The bottom line is this: The world's population will never double again. Rather, population will peak around 2040 at 9 billion or so, and then begin to decline. Our long–term problem, in other words, is not going to be too many children, but too few children.

Yet the billionaire boys club continues to pour billions of dollars into population control programs to hasten this day. Why?

The answer is as varied as the club members themselves.

Ted Turner: Anti–People Zealot

Some may be tempted to dismiss the founder of CNN as a buffoon because of his wild–eyed comments against Christians and babies (he once branded Christianity a religion “for losers” and has advocated a “one–child policy” for the world), but his money and his media influence make him dangerous to ignore. The “Mouth of the South,” as he is sometimes called, is currently Vice Chairman of one of the world's largest multimedia conglomerates: AOL Time Warner.

In 1997, for example, the “Mouth” grandiosely announced that he was bestowing $1 billion dollars on the United Nations, making it clear that much of this money would go to population control. To put this figure in perspective, one billion dollars is three times as much as the federal government spends on population control annually.

Turner's cash has gone for such programs as “improv[ing] the reproductive health of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh” ($1,063,705); Social licensing of reproductive health clinics in Honduras ($2,513,338); and “voluntary confidential counseling and testing for HIV⁄AIDS, distribution of condoms, treatment of sexually–transmitted diseases, family planning and HIV⁄AIDS and sexual education” in Mozambique ($2,751,000)

Translated into plain English, this means that Bangladeshi girls as young as ten years old will be given very explicit information about sex, that Honduran girls, both married and unmarried, will be encouraged to contracept and (in case of contraceptive failure) to abort, and young men and women in Mozambique will have their cultural and religious traditions trashed by the blatant promotion of both homosexuality and unmarried sexual activity. All of which in turn drives down the birth rate.

The closest Turner has come to his dream of a mandatory population control policy is bankrolling efforts to reduce the number of children born to refugees. His UN Foundation recently gave $5.9 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “to develop and distribute emergency reproductive health information and services to refugees in emergency situations” in Central Asia and several regions in Africa.

Our investigations at PRI have revealed that the “emergency reproductive health information and services” include so–called morning after pills and manual vacuum aspirators, both of which are used to perform early–term abortions.

During the recent crisis in the Balkans, Turner's UN Foundation was even more explicit about its anti–natal aims. One award given to the UNFPA was for, in the foundation's words, “emergency work in the Kosovo region, where about 10 percent of the 743,000 refugees are either pregnant women or newborns, and 1000–1500 births a month are expected among the refugees.” In the view of the Ted Turners of the world, refugees shouldn't have any babies.

Not surprisingly, Turner's misanthropic views have found their way into CNN's programming. “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” was an environmentally correct cartoon character who did battle with notorious polluters around the world, including ... families with more than two children. One early assault was entitled “Population Bomb.” But the series reached an all–time low with “Numbers Game,” in which two of Captain Planet's “planeteers” get married and begin “irresponsibly” having children. Soon they “feel like the old woman in the shoe, with a dozen hungry children, and another one in the oven.” The earth itself (called “Gala” in the New Age parlance of the series) whispers to the repentant couple that the ideal family has only one or two children. Larger families only lead to hunger, poverty, and pollution.

Turner recently made his most chilling proposal yet. Speaking to the pro–abortion group, Zero Population Growth, he called for the forceful implementation of a worldwide policy of limiting every couple to one child.

The idea for a “one–couple, one–child” policy is not original with Turner, of course. For the past twenty years the Chinese Communist Party has been busily pursuing their own version. The Chinese people, who have been aborted and sterilized by the tens of millions, might be able to tell Turner a thing or two about how “forceful implementation” of a one–child policy works in practice.

But it is unlikely that Turner would listen. For he believes, right down to his secular humanistic core (he was once honored as “Humanist of the Year” by the American Humanist Association), that he is saving humanity from itself by preventing it from reproducing. The banner quote on the Turner Foundation website reads “I see the whole field of environmentalism and population as nothing more than the survival of the human species.”

Turner is a strange, unpredictable man in many ways, but on the issue of population he is an open book. The world's troubles, he typically remarked at a recent speech at the University of Idaho, stem from the too–rapid growth of the human race. When he was born in 1938, the world population was about 2 billion. It recently reached 6 billion, he said, while the white rhino population has dropped by 99 percent over the same period. “The more of us there are, and the more stuff we use, the more impact we have,” he said.

And the more people there are to watch CNN, and read TIME magazine, and watch Warner Brothers movies, one might add, activities that white rhinos rarely engage in.

Warren Buffet: No Project Too Controversial

Warren Buffet's business accomplishments are impressive enough. Beginning with an antiquated New England textile mill, the billionaire septuagenarian has built Berkshire–Hathaway, Inc., into a publicly traded monolith that is the majority shareholder in Coca–Cola, Dairy Queen and numerous other companies ranging from newspapers to candies. And Buffet, both Chairman of the Board and majority shareholder of Berkshire–Hathaway, has been careful to maintain absolute control as his investment vehicle picked up speed. It is no wonder that “the Oracle of Omaha” is idolized by Wall Street as a financial genius.

Unlike Turner, who throws around money and opinions like a pinwheel, Warren Buffet is notoriously tight–lipped and tight–fisted. Reportedly, he once denied a loan to his own daughter. And he has never said much about his philanthropy. His foundation, meager compared to that of other billionaires at $22 million, must be judged on what it does. And what it does, mostly, is hard–edged, even fanatical, population control.

The Buffet Foundation is known for funding projects that other foundations, even those similarly inclined to limit human numbers, keep well clear of, such as the deadly abortion drug, RU–486. Back in 1994 Buffet provided $2 million to the chief US promoter of the drug, the Population Council, key funding that was used to fund the clinical trials of RU–486 that led to its later legalization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).2

Another $2 million went to North Carolina's Family Health International (FHI) for an equally questionable drug, quinacrine hydrochloride. Originally developed as an anti–malarial drug, quinacrine has in recent years been used to perform chemical sterilizations on women. Inserted into the upper part of the uterus, the quinacrine hydrochloride tablets dissolve to form a powerful acid which burns away the lining of the upper uterus and fallopian tubes. The resulting scarring usually renders a woman sterile. If her fallopian tubes are not completely blocked, any babies she subsequently conceives cannot implant.

Family Health International (FHI) initiated testing of quinacrine as a sterilization agent as early as 1976. But its 1981 application to the FDA to approve the drug for sterilizations (it had previously been approved to treat malaria) was rejected on the grounds that, as FHI later explained, “rigorous studies are needed to ensure the safety and efficacy of quinacrine.”3 Buffet's fresh infusion of cash will apparently jump start this process by enabling the testing to go forward.

In the meantime, ignoring the FDA's ban on the use of the drug in the United States, quinacrine's proponents are doing a brisk business overseas. The Vietnamese government has sterilized tens of thousands of poor women using this method, many without their foreknowledge or consent. Recent reports suggest that ethic minorities, such as the Hmong and Montagnard, are being specifically targeted. Although quinacrine sterilizations have been banned in India, New Delhi newspapers report that more than 30,000 impoverished, illiterate women have been subjected to the painful procedure. Informed consent is often lacking, and follow up care is nonexistent.

Buffet's favorite charity, at least to judge by his giving, is an obscure entity with the studiously neutral name of International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS). According to a Business Week report, the foundation's “1999 contribution of $2.5 million is part of a five–year, $20 million commitment, which will enable IPAS to double its capacity.”

Double its capacity in what? Aborting very small babies up to twelve weeks of age by means of a hand–held suction pump, that's what.

As it turns out, IPAS is the principal manufacturer and distributor of the manual vacuum aspirators, or MVAs, used by the UN Population Fund, and other groups. This deadly device is actually a manually operated suction pump that can be used perform, in IPAS words, “elective abortion through the first trimester.” When the tip is inserted into the uterus, and the operator pulls the plunger on the 50 cc syringe, enough vacuum is created at the tip to suck a tiny baby right out of her mother's womb.4

Nor is IPAS's abortion advocacy an anomaly. A list of Buffet's charitable contributions read like a veritable rogue's gallery of abortion promoters and providers. Such groups as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and Pathfinder International figure prominently. And in a particularly nasty twist, his funding to Planned Parenthood is specifically earmarked to enable particular clinics around the country to perform abortions.5

What would possess a man of obvious intelligence and untold wealth to spend tens of millions of dollars to finance aggressive programs of sterilization and abortion? To put it even more bluntly, why is Warren Buffet obsessed with ridding the globe of “excess” baby humans?

Unlike Turner, Buffet doesn't bare his soul every time he opens his mouth. Yet the two may have more in common than it appears. His biographer, Roger Lowenstein, reports that Buffet has “a Malthusian dread that overpopulation (will) aggravate problems in all other areas — such as food, housing, even human survival.” And like Turner, Buffet not only rejected, but developed a strong antipathy to, his parent's Christianity.

So Buffet lounges in his office in Omaha, sipping Cherry Cokes and plotting billion–dollar investment strategies, while thousands of poor Indian women are being scarred for life with quinacrine, or having their babies sucked out of their wombs by manual vacuum aspirators that he has helped provide.

It is sad that this Midas–like character, so blessed with material goods, should take so misanthropic a view of the people with whom he shares the planet, and from whose existence he profits. Even if he doesn't recognize the Indian as a fellow creature of God, surely he knows that they are tremendous consumers of Coke.

Bill Gates: Billionaire in Conflict?

The youngest member of the Billionaire Boys Club at 44 — and also by far the wealthiest — Bill Gates would not appear to have much in common with the other two, either personally or professionally.

Unlike Ted Turner, who was diagnosed a manic–depressive in the eighties and is separated from Jane Fonda, his second wife, Bill Gates seems pretty normal for the world's most famous computer nerd. He is, by all accounts, happily married to Melinda French Gates, who is a practicing Catholic. And the pre–nuptial agreement that Melinda had Bill sign calls for their children (they presently have two) to be raised in the Faith.

Unlike Warren Buffet, a stock market speculator who has parlayed price–earnings ratios into vast wealth, Gates is a world–class entrepreneur who has built a multinational company from the ground up. Not the kind of person, one would imagine, to become fixated on numbers, human or otherwise, or to fall back on simplistic Malthusian arguments. And he has poured billions (to Buffet's millions) into his foundation.

But Gates appears to be of two minds when it comes to population growth. Gates the Entrepreneur believes, as he said in a 1996 interview with Forbes magazine, that “Julian Simon [population growth advocate] is right and Paul Ehrlich [population doomsayer] is wrong... I think the world is progressing... Resources are becoming more abundant. I'd rather go into a grocery store today than to a king's banquet a hundred years ago.”6

Just three years after this ringing endorsement of human progress, however, the associate director of William P. Gates Foundation was claiming that her Chairman held much more pessimistic views: “Bill Gates ... has a very legitimate concern over the burgeoning population of the world. Within the month the population of the world will reach 6,000,000,000 people, with nearly two–thirds of them malnourished, uneducated, and lacking the skills and training necessary to cope with their lives.”7

Will the real Bill Gates please stand up?

It is hard to believe that Gates the Entrepreneur would lose any sleep over the prospect of six billion customers. Nor would he casually dismiss four billion Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans — two-thirds of humanity — as “malnourished, uneducated, and lacking the skills and training necessary to cope with their lives.” That would be as disrespectful as it is dishonest:

The same kind of doom and gloom that Gates the Entrepreneur once sought to dispel is now, in a strange twist of fortune, being advocated — and funded — by the Gates Foundation.

Still, Gates the Entrepreneur may be making a comeback.

He and his wife have recently announced that the Gates Foundation will put up $750 million to establish the Global Fund for Children's Vaccines. Their goal is to immunize every child in the world against diphtheria, measles, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis and whooping cough. If they are successful, they will save one and a half million children each year from these deadly but vaccine–preventable diseases. And in years to come these diseases, like smallpox, will exist only in memory.

Which Bill Gates will ultimately prevail? Will it be Gates the Entrepreneur who sees man, with his God–given intelligence, as the ultimate resource? Or will it be Gates the Doomsayer who sees further growth in human numbers producing only misery?

There is a lot riding on his decision. About 70 billion dollars, in fact.


1 New York Times, 1 January 2000. [Back]

2 “The Buffett Foundation has helped finance research on the abortion pill, RU–486,” [Back]

3 Report in Celebrate Life, originally from the Omaha World Herald. [Back]

4 [Back]

5 Buffett mone has enabled dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics to add abortion services. [Back]

6 bill%5Fgates.htm, Forbesmagazine, 12⁄2⁄96, see also [Back]

7 September 13, 1999 1etter from Gates Foundation to American Life League, [Back]

8 The Ultimate Resource, Julian L. Simon, 1996, p. 93–94. [Back]

9 Associated Press news story, 10⁄11⁄99. [Back]

10 World Statistics Pocketbook,, United Nations. [Back]

11, German Foundation web site. [Back]

12, Gates Foundation web site; [Back]