In 1961, the Kennedy Foundation, under the auspices of Eunice and Sargent Shriver, gave $225,000 to the University of Wisconsin—$75,000 to the hospital and $150,000 to vivisector, Harry Waisman. Waisman was also Rosemary Kennedy’s doctor at the St. Colleta School for Exceptional Children. This is where Rosemary was confined for twenty years after the botched lobotomy that had been performed on her at the insistence of her father Joseph Kennedy that rendered her mentally and physically incapacitated. 

F. Rick Heber, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin, was also the director of the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation, that the Shrivers had helped establish. Heber had much to do with directing the Kennedy money to the University of Wisconsin by glorifying Waisman’s work as deserving of Kennedy support. Following Waisman’s death, Heber was appointed to the directorship of the Kennedy Foundation-supported lab named in Waisman’s honor, the Waisman Institute. Heber was later convicted for misappropriating research funds and sentenced to prison by both a federal and a state court. His research was exposed as grossly fraudulent but by that time he had opened the floodgates of Kennedy money flowing into the UW vivisection labs and eventually into other Kennedy Foundation and Eunice Shriver vivisection labs around the country.

In 1962, Eunice founded, with the help of her brother, President John Kennedy, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the NIH. A tragic result is that huge sums of taxpayer dollars have been given to vivisectors to perpetuate the experiments of Harry Waisman and his colleague Harry Harlow in NICHD-funded labs around the country. (The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development was renamed the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 2007.)

Waisman’s colleague Harry Harlow at the University of Wisconsin is one of the most infamous vivisectors in history. His brutal experiments on baby monkeys are known far and wide as some of the most sadistic experiments ever invented. None of those experiments could be extrapolated to humans but, nevertheless, he managed to garner acclaim for himself with the help of false claims made by the University of Wisconsin regarding the worth of these experiments. Harlow’s animal experiments have been largely ignored by clinicians because of their obvious failure to have any application to human babies whatsoever and everything to do with pure unadulterated sadism.

Harlow and Waisman coauthored papers up until Waisman’s death in 1971. They claimed to have created animal models of babies with phenylketonuria, or PKU, a cause of severe mental impairment. They claimed that by inducing symptoms of PKU in infant monkeys and rats, subjecting the animals to unspeakable suffering, that somehow this would benefit human babies. But as early as the 1930s, PKU had already been identified as being a cause of mental retardation and clinicians knew that reducing the amino acid phenylalanine in the baby’s diet could protect the child. Even though Waisman had absolutely nothing to do with the development of PKU screening, treatment and prevention, the UW marketing department worked overtime to give him credit for just that. Dr. Asbjörn Følling, a Norwegian biochemist and physician, published the first description of PKU and invented the first laboratory test of the disease. PKU is sometimes referred to as Følling’s disease. Robert Guthrie invented the assay test in the early 1960s that is still in use today (the Guthrie Test).

Følling’s and Guthrie’s work led directly to doctors around the country screening newborns for PKU. Waisman was one of those doctors, but the UW’s propaganda falsely painted Waisman as the inventor of the urine test, a specialized diet, and a pioneer in research on PKU. Waisman’s PKU experiments on monkeys and rats has since been discredited by researchers and doctors and there is no evidence that he developed any screening methods or developed a specialized diet. He published no clinical work related to PKU.

Undoubtedly, Heber was able to use the many falsehoods invented by the University of Wisconsin to convince the Shrivers, eager to support any research regarding mental retardation, that Waisman was the man deserving of their money. Eunice strongly believed in what she called “lab work” (vivisection). She failed to understand that everything that was known about PKU came about through research with children suffering from the disease, not torturing animals in laboratories. She was probably convinced by Heber that the opposite was true. Post hoc analysis by PKU researchers has been highly critical of purported animal models of the condition.

In 1962, Democrat Harry F. Byrd who represented Virginia in the U.S. Senate from 1933 until 1965 deplored what he saw as the waste of millions of tax dollars going to fraudulent research. One of his targets was Harry Harlow who was offered $1,201,925 in NIH grants to continue his abhorrent experiments on baby monkeys and their mothers. Harlow, the UW and the local papers defended these and Harlow’s other grisly experiments on monkeys even though most clinicians ignored Harlow’s “work” and continue to do so. Senator Byrd’s good intentions were overwhelmed by the lies and propaganda of the University of Wisconsin and the Shrivers’ determination to spread vivisection on baby monkeys and their mothers beyond the vivariums of the University of Wisconsin.

In 1962, Sargent Shriver became concerned that Waisman was failing to come up with anything conclusive from his animal experiments and wrote a letter to the UW saying so. The UW sent a letter to Sargent reassuring him that they were making “spectacular” progress, repeating a refrain that would become very familiar; that Waisman had accomplished a lot but is so modest he won’t blow his own horn. Shriver’s concern led the university to generate more publicity to impress him; press releases with more falsehoods came pouring out. The Shrivers were successfully duped; on March 9, 1962, $1.1 million was donated to Stanford by the Kennedy Foundation for the same kind of experiments on monkeys that Waisman was doing and in 1963 the Shrivers and Ted Kennedy dedicated the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin where vivisectors could continue to experiment on baby monkeys. Their minimal clinical work with children was merely a repetition of what clinical researchers had already been doing for many years.

For decades Waisman starved monkeys to death to show the effects of malnutrition. The descriptions of the effects these experiments had on the monkeys are nightmarish and heartbreaking beyond what most people can bear to read. He continued these experiments for decades. It is ironic that both he and Harlow who relentlessly tortured animals their entire working lives were given credit for “discovering” that babies need nurturing from birth and all through childhood. Clinicians had been pointing this out many years before Harlow started perpetrating his vile separation experiments on babies and their mothers.

In spite of Waisman’s complete failure to find anything of value regarding PKU or mental retardation in children through his experiments on animals, in 1972, a year after his death, the NIH donated to the UW, $7.1 million for the new Harry A. Waisman Center. His experiments may have been useless as far as human babies go but the UW financial department found them to be very useful indeed.  

Decades after the death of Harlow and Waisman the fraudulent, brutal experiments on baby monkeys continue in labs funded by the Kennedy Foundation and the NIH. Besides the labs at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford, the Shrivers funded labs at Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts General Hospital. Eunice Shriver Labs were set up in Poolesville, Maryland and the University of Washington. In 2016 the Eunice Shriver Lab in Poolesville was shut down due to videos coming out that exposed the monstrous sadism being conducted there for decades by Harry Harlow’s protégé Stephen Suomi. (Laboratory of Comparative Ethology and the Section on Comparative Behavioral Genetics)

Besides Suomi, another Harlow protégé was Gene Sackett who established the Infant Primate Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle. Sackett has perpetrated countless brutal animal experiments including separating thousands of baby monkeys from their mothers, tormenting them and killing them when he can find no more use for them. His fellow vivisectors at the University of Washington asphyxiate babies in the womb; drill holes in their skulls; disfigure their eyes; infect them with terminal diseases; induce epilepsy; inundate them with drugs, toxic chemicals, viruses, vaccines and ethanol; starve them to death and harm them in many more ways. Convincing the vivisectors who hold the purse strings at the NIH to give them millions of dollars every year for committing these atrocities is no problem.

The presumed guilt felt by Eunice Shriver over her father having caused her sister such profound harm, set in motion this massive holocaust of torture. She enlisted her brother John and her husband Sargent to help her in spreading fraudulent animal experimentation from one coast to the other. Eunice’s fervent belief in vivisection has resulted in the waste of billions of tax dollars that could have been spent on helping children who are physically and mentally challenged instead being diverted to vivisectors and the various labs and universities who shelter them.

The main concern of universities is obtaining money. Their animal labs are a key element in procuring public funding. The Shrivers enabled and encouraged this situation and in return they have been lauded as heroes by the recipients of NIH funding.  But they were not heroes. They were duped by slick university public relations departments and vivisectors who convinced them that “lab work” would lead to progress on mental retardation.  The ironic thing is, the Kennedys, including Eunice, already knew that Rosemary was hopelessly impaired because their father had her lobotomized.

The children and grandchildren of the Shrivers and Kennedys have an obligation to help put a stop to what Eunice, Sargent, John, Ted and other Kennedys supported and have perpetuated for over fifty years. They should consider it their duty not only as Shriver/Kennedy family members but as compassionate, caring human beings to get involved and speak out. Unfortunately, they have turned a blind eye to the animals who continue to suffer as well as to the children who are not receiving the millions of tax dollars from the NIH that should be going to them instead of being thrown into the black holes of university labs. No one likes to admit that they have been hoodwinked, especially when you consider the irreparable harm that their ignorance and misplaced zeal have caused children and animals. But it’s time for the Kennedys and Shrivers to open their eyes, face the facts and do something constructive.

Because of the financial and political power of universities, the Kennedy/Shriver family is our best hope for closing the labs Eunice and Sargent funded. Using their money and influence with lawmakers and the press they could speak out and make a real difference; after all, they are the children and grandchildren of the people who are responsible for the existence of the labs. Is there one Kennedy or Shriver who has the courage? is there one Kennedy or Shriver who will break out of the safe cocoon of money and privilege created by their forbearers and end the atrocities?  It seems they are all content to hide behind the Kennedy legacy and never acknowledge the horrors that Joe Kennedy set in motion when he decided that his beautiful, outgoing daughter Rosemary was a detriment to his political ambitions for his sons because of her intellectual failings and irrepressible personality.

Suggested Reading—We All Operate in the Same Way by Rick Bogle (Amazon) Slaughter of the Innocent by Hans Ruesch

“Those who do not hesitate to vivisect, will not hesitate to lie about it.”

– George Bernard Shaw                                                                                                                  

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