Category Archives: Book Articles

Eugenics in America

In my novel Julianna’s Secret, the evil Julian DeSantis is a member of the Race Improvement Society. What exactly does that mean?

Julianna and Nils

Julianna and Nils

Well, every country has its good and bad history. America has more good than bad, though some people believe it has all bad. That’s nonsense.

One stain on American history is the eugenics movement, which has its origin in Great Britain. Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, a liberal scientist of many fields, believed that moral traits and intelligence was passed on through genes. He was so influential his policies influenced America and many other nations. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was one of his early supporters.

So why was eugenics popular in the early 1900s?

One answer: fear. Eastern Europeans flooded into America. They had large families, and they were largely uneducated, unskilled workers; whereas, other waves of European immigrants were educated and from Anglo cultures. This put fear in the American ruling classes. White Anglo-Americans wanted to keep their position of power. They first responded by closing America’s borders to the mentally ill and to people with diseases. The same holds true today: Close America’s borders to unskilled workers and to the disease-ridden. However, these European immigrants came to America legally.

The next step, I’m sorry to say, was America practiced sterilization on “lowlifes,” that being white trash, blacks, idiots, rapists, the mentally ill, alcoholics, perverts, and so on. Eugenics can be found in numerous periodicals. Don’t take my word for it. Research it yourself. Margaret Sanger, as well as many prominent doctors and scientists supported bans on immigration and forced sterilization of people. Some physicians even killed defective newborns without the consent of their parents. Race Improvement Societies were formed to promote “good breeding.” They held beautiful baby contests.

The next step in the eugenics movement was to “euthanize” patients with poison gas. By this time, eugenics started to fall out of favor in most of America, but forced sterilization was still practiced in California, North Carolina, and Virginia into the 1960s and 1970s.

Are you shocked? I certainly was.

Unfortunately, Hitler and the Nazis practiced these horrible policies. If Hitler sterilized and euthanized his own people—mainly the mentally retarded and children with birth defects—is it any wonder that he murdered Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so on? The Nazis practiced eugenics, which North America and other European nations had also practiced.

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Crucifixion in Ancient and Modern Times

Painted WEBI always assumed that the Roman state put people to death in matters of capital punishment. This simply isn’t true. A slave owner had the power of life and death over his slaves. If slaves committed an offense, the master could have them crucified. He simply hired a crucifixion contractor, who would supply the wood, the nails, and the torturer. Before a person was crucified, he was usually tortured. Scourging was one method, but there were others. Crucifixion was reserved for slaves and non-Roman citizens. A Roman citizen could be beheaded, which was a quick death; whereas, a crucified person could suffer for days.

The Romans considered crucifixion a “necessary evil.” They placed crucified people on the outskirts of town as a warning to evildoers. Sadly, crucifixion hasn’t stopped in the world today. The Penitentes, a cult of Catholicism, practiced crucifixion in the American Southwest in the late 1880s. Radical Muslims have also crucified African Christians in recent times.

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Inspiration Behind Julianna’s Secret

When I worked at an ad agency in Chicago, I read a strange story posted in Newsweek, written between 1980 to 1982. It was about a Victorian mansion in New England that had an old trunk in the basement left behind by the original owners. The new owners moved in and couldn’t wait to open the trunk. What valuables did it contain? Old antiques? Old coins? Old photographs?

After the new owner broke the locks and greedily ripped open the yellowed newspaper, she discovered …a dead baby complete with hair on the skull. In fact, the trunk contained at least four to six full-term babies, all wrapped in old newspaper, so they weren’t recent killings.

Julianna and Nils

Julianna and Nils

The owners turned the corpses over to the coroner, and that was the end of the gruesome article, except to say that the original owners were an elderly couple, now dead, so with them went the secret of the old Victorian house.

Obviously, the babies weren’t meant to be born, or they would have been given decent burials. So who killed these babies? How were they conceived? Why not an abortion? Why turn to infanticide?

Those questions will never be answered, but it gave me the inspiration for a story about a mysterious house and a beautiful young woman, no one in town can figure out, but everyone knows something is wrong. Unfortunately, instead of befriending the girl, they judge and condemn her.

No, my book doesn’t contain a trunk full of dead babies. So I won’t write anymore because I want to surprise you. Julianna’s Secret is my favorite novel, and I’m glad for the Newsweek article that inspired it. My book is now available at online bookstores.

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About Blood, Innocence and Glory

Civil War Roundtables. Civil War Reenactments. Civil War books and Civil War movies. The American Civil War is immensely popular. Sadly, it was America’s bloodiest war. Three-hundred thousand men died in battle or from wounds, and 300,000 died from disease and accidents. Gone With The Wind ranks among the most popular movies of all time. It came out during the Great Depression when Americans struggled to make a living and hold their families together. Scarlet O’Hara, love her or hate her, vowed never to be hungry again. Later, John Jakes’ Civil War Trilogy glamorized the South: the antebellum homes, the hooped shirts, slavery, dueling, even military uniforms. We sat back in awe, watching the series, but the American Civil War was anything but glamorous. It divided our nation and had Americans killing each other.

Blood, Innocence and Glory is based on true Civil Wars stories of famous people and ordinary people that are knit together in a wonderful novel. Here are some examples:

  • Caroline Spencer, inspired by the heroic abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy, who gave his life for opposing slavery.
  • Lucinda Rutherford, the beautiful slave in St. Louis who shocked people because she had gold hair and blue eyes, and one hell of a figure.
  • David Webb, a soldier paralyzed from the neck, who developed amnesia after a blast on cannon threw him.

It was fun putting these stories together and a lot of hard work. My research took years, and finally, my book is done and presented to you. It comes this October.

Enjoy!

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Why The Dred Scott Case Was Important

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Oak Alley Plantation

The states of Illinois and Missouri are rife with Civil War history and American slave history. One such case that impacted the United States was the Dred Scott decision of 1857. Before then, slavery was supposedly confined to the South, but as we’ve seen in my previous posts, slavery wasn’t confined to the South.

Before Dred Scott, slaves who lived in Free States sued their masters and obtained their freedom. Irene Emerson “owned” Dred Scott while her first husband was stationed in Wisconsin, a Free State. Scott sued to gain his freedom and won, but Mrs. Emerson would have none of this, so the case went to the Supreme Court. The verdict was easily predictable because most of the justices were proslavery.

The questions remains: Why did slavery last so long in the United States?

The answer is simple. The Three-Fifths Clause in the Constitution allowed slaves to be counted as part of the population. Therefore, the South packed the Supreme Court with proslavery justices. Indeed, most of the American Presidents came from the South until Lincoln got elected.

Anyway, Mrs. Emerson won her case. Not only could slaves no longer sue their masters to obtain their freedom in Free States, but they were deemed as property, not individuals. As a result, slavery was no longer confined to the South. Slaveholders could bring their “property” into the North, as well as into the new states and territories. This directly led to the Civil War.

Was there any justice in this? Oh yes. After Mrs. Emerson’s first husband died, she fell in love with an abolitionist and was forced to manumit Dred Scott. In the end, Mr. Scott obtained his freedom, as would the rest of the American slaves.

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The Old Slave House

Years ago when I was at the hairdresser’s, I read a magazine article about an old slave house in southern Illinois. The house, called Hickory Hill, is supposedly haunted. The article described the house and the purpose of the house. It also said nobody would spend the night in the third floor attic because of the paranormal activity.

Interior of a slave cabin

Interior of a slave cabin

Years later I met a man who said the Old Slave House was fascinating; that I should definitely visit there. The last owner’s wife disliked the house and never felt comfortable living there.

With good reason, there are slave shackles, a whipping post, and other remnants of slavery. Unfortunately, the house is closed to visitors because the state of Illinois owns it, and the state is in financial ruins. My best friend, who is black, scoffed, “Illinois is in a financial mess, and they go buy something like that.” However, the fact remains, the Old Slave House is part of Illinois history, and the people who suffered there should be remembered.

John Crenshaw owned Hickory Hill and used his slaves to mine salt on his property. Instead of housing the slaves in cabins, he incarcerated them on the third floor of his mansion, which resembles a jail. Not only did Crenshaw use his slaves to mine salt, but he impregnated the females with a stud slave so they would be worth more money. When I visited the Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, this was common practice. The mistress of the plantation ordered impregnated female slaves. To make matters worse, Crenshaw also kidnapped free blacks and sold them into slavery.

There is justice to this story, however. When a slave saw Crenshaw beating another slave, he took an ax and struck Crenshaw’s leg.

Since the Old Slave House is closed to the public, you can still view it on YouTube. A young man filmed the inside as well as the grounds. It’s a bit preachy, but it’s worth viewing if you’re interested in American slavery and Illinois history.

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Slavery In Illinois

Illinois was a Free State, right? Well, yes. And no.

Laura Plantation

Laura Plantation

The first people to settle Illinois were Native Americans. Then the French moved in and brought slavery with them. The first lieutenant governor of Illinois, Pierre Menard, owned slaves. You can visit his home in Ellis Grove, Illinois. Unfortunately, the slave cabins no longer exist. The French Colonial architecture is similar to the Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. But yes, the French brought slaves into Illinois. In fact, the oldest towns in Illinois are French towns like Cahokia (1699), Kaskaskia (1703), and Prairie de Rocher (1722). It’s worth pointing out that many people in southern Illinois have their roots in Kentucky and Virginia, so they were sympathetic toward slavery.

Fast forward to the 1800s. Slaves were auctioned off in Market Square in Galena, Illinois, now a historic town in northwestern Illinois known for romantic getaways. It’s also home to several Civil War generals; the best known is Ulysses Grant. Rich Southerners owned mansions in Galena and brought their “servants” with them. Galena thrived from the 1840s until after the Civil War. It was a lead mining town, but many miners left once gold was discovered in California.

Illinois also allowed slaves to perform hard labor. John Crenshaw, a Southerner, in Equality, Illinois had slaves work his salt mines. He also captured free blacks and sold them into slavery. His house, known as Hickory Hill, will be the subject of another post.

Finally, the Dred Scott case of 1857 opened the door to slavery in all states. So slavery did exist in Illinois from French Colonial times onward. Southerners also brought their “servants” with them when they visited the North or lived up North.

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Christian Persecution in Ancient Rome

The first persecution of record occurred under Nero. He accused Christians of burning Rome and ordered a witch hunt to track them down. Historians argue over why Christians were hated, but it’s not too hard to figure out. Throughout history, dictators killed or imprisoned their enemies. Caligula, Nero, and other Roman emperors were serial killers. Needless to say, they had a lot of enemies. People, who are hated, tend to be paranoid. With the Church growing by leaps and bounds, this tight network of believers frightened emperors. Later in history, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, sent gangs of thugs to beat or stab their opposition, often in the middle of the night. When the opposition increased, they sent their enemies to concentration camps and to gulags, or they simply executed them. Why? They were terrified of being overthrown. The Communist hatred of religion stems from this fear. Hitler, on the other hand, minimized the Church by making Nazi orators preach Socialist propaganda in the pulpit. When priests and pastors objected, they were thrown into concentration camps. Truly, the first inmates were political dissidents. On a lesser scale, but just as harmful, American Presidents have used the IRS and the FBI to harass their political opposition.

Wall mosaic, Herculaneum

Wall mosaic, Herculaneum

Back to Rome….Nero was paranoid. To stop this tight network of believers from meeting in secret, he devised terrible tortures to kill Christians, which had the opposite effect. The Church grew, as it always does under persecution. Modern-day China has a huge underground Church, despite Communist efforts to subdue it.

After Nero was killed, Christians weren’t persecuted for a century. The persecution resumed after barbarians invaded Rome and the Roman Army suffered defeats. As with any crisis, when politicians are desperate, they want citizens to pray. In 250 AD, Emperor Decius wanted Christians to offer respect to Roman gods. Most complied rather than face torture and death. Who could blame them?

Emperor Valerian persecuted Christians around 258 AD. Emperor Diocletian had the most brutal of persecutions between 304 to 311 AD. Any Christian refusing to sacrifice to the gods was put to death. It’s worthy to note that some Christians still worshiped pagan gods along with Jesus, and people of other religions also died for their faith. The Church continued to grow, however, until it took over the Roman Empire.

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Slavery in Ancient Rome to Modern Times

Prostitutes of Ancient Rome belonged to a guild. They were called lupenare because they howled to lure their victims. Many prostitutes were slaves and had no choice in the matter. Far worse, child prostitution was accepted in Rome, for both boys and girls. Sadly, Roman emperors engaged in this perversion. Preaching the Gospel changed this, but this is a constant battle even today.

Slave Cabin, Laura Plantation

Slave Cabin, Laura Plantation

American history points out the horror of Black Slavery. However, slavery is nothing new. In Ancient Times, slaves were the spoils of war. Whenever a new shipment of exotic slaves came to Rome, people rushed to buy them. Later, pirates of the Barberry Coast in North Africa captured white women off ships to sell them into harems and brothels. White men were sold as galley slaves in ships. A monastic order in Rome worked hard to ransom people back from White Slavery. The North Africans raided coastal towns as far away as Ireland and Iceland. This practice went on for 600 years; whereas, American slavery lasted less than 250 years. One line in the Marine Hymn reads, “to the shores of Tripoli.” This refers to President Jefferson sending  American Marines to Tripoli to stop pirates from taking sailors off American ships.

Fast forward….If you study Chinese history, you’ll know Chinese women were treated with disdain. Some were sold for pennies in China. Where did they go? To American brothels on the West Coast. This was called Yellow Slavery. Chinese women worked in cribs and brothels until they dropped dead from disease. This started in the 1850s and lasted into the 1920s. Enter: Donaldina Cameron, a street evangelist in the 1870s, who raided cribs and brothels wielding her ax. She and her helpers rescued 3,000 Chinese slaves, bringing them back to her mission to rehabilitate them.

Forward to recent times. During the George W. Bush administration, brothels were raided in California, where women from Central America had been chained to beds to service 10 to 15 men a day. Their Hispanic madams lured them to the United States with the promise of great jobs. These young women were recruited from villages in Central America. As a result, Congress passed a law to protect these women, giving them legal rights and protection. This law is now being abused as thousands of illegals flood America’s borders, who are not victims of sex trafficking.

Sadly, slavery/sex trafficking exists all over the world and must constantly be fought against. Widows, orphans, and the poor are usually exploited. Women At Risk helps women escape sex trafficking and exploitation, as does Reclaim13. Unfortunately, slavery is nothing new, and it has affected people from every racial spectrum.

 

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Lady Zan’s Sickness

In my novel, Lady Zan has a sickness that “turns her world upside down.” A breathing disease. She can’t eat, she can’t sleep. She struggles for her next breath. Death awaits her.

Did I contrive Lady Zan’s sickness?

Heck no. Her sickness is based on my personal testimony. When I was a girl, people called me Bones. Walking Stick. Skinny. Overweight women sneered at me, thinking I was anorexic.

I wasn’t. I suffered from asthma and allergies. My nose was clogged year-round. After Christ found me, my symptoms got DRAMATICALLY worse. I was on 5 different medications and one thousand milligrams of aspirin a day to combat the pain. Doctors and specialists couldn’t help me.

Each night I awoke with an asthma attack at exactly two o’clock in the morning. In the past, an attack usually built up in me, especially in August with ragweed season. But clocking an asthma attack is like predicting a heart attack: you can’t do it.

Let me say I believe in doctors, therapists, science and technology. Since I was desperate, I turned to Jesus. As I studied the healing Scriptures, I began to put on weight. I’m five-feet-six. My weight was one hundred and two pounds. I gradually went up to one hundred thirty pounds. People didn’t recognize me, but I still got asthma attacks almost every night for 7 months. This left me physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.Mom in Garden for WEB

When did this begin? After I started telling people about Jesus. My friends and family were getting saved, but the pain I endured was horrible. I knew I couldn’t go on like this. That’s when I realized God’s Word has power behind it. The Bible is no ordinary book.

God saved me from suffocating more than once. When I was about to call it quits, the power of God went through me and stopped the attacks for good. The exact details are recounted in Painted Children.

Years later, a doctor flippantly remarked, “Oh, you just outgrew it.” To this I retorted, “You weren’t there to see what I went through. I was getting worse, not better. Now I’m completely well, and I owe it all to Jesus.”

This picture was taken before my healing. If you’re interested in learning more, please watch my video Another Healing Testimony.

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