6 Beloved Organizations (Started For Terrifying Reasons)

This article is not intended to portray any of these organizations as they exist now as evil, corrupt or even a little bit shady. That's not the point. If anything, it's remarkable how some of these groups have changed with the times to become pillars of the community. Especially when you consider that their origin stories would make COBRA Commander mutter "Jeee-sus."

Groups like ...

#6. Planned Parenthood

Cracked.com has about as much interest in debating women's reproductive rights as we have in pooping in a hat and calling it a Frisbee. That said, whether you consider Planned Parenthood the bee's knees or Lucifer's handmaidens put on this earth to entice virgins into wanton banging, you can't deny that the organization is both very influential and huge. It has more than 800 clinics in the U.S. alone and receives in the neighborhood of $335 million a year in government grants and contracts.

Also, they're the number one source for condoms you will never use.

International Planned Parenthood coordinates with the World Health Oorganization, the U.N. Development Program, UNICEF and a host of other global agencies to bring down the rate of AIDS and bring up the number of people with access to Trojans.

Its Sinister Origins

Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, was certainly interested in more reproductive choices for women, if those women weren't morons. Or idiots. Or feeble-minded, imbecilic spazzes. Because in that case, all choice-related bets were off. From Sanger's book The Pivot of Civilization:

The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period.

She was remarkably uptight, for a girl wearing Mardi Gras beads.

And by "reproductive period," she didn't just mean when mentally disabled homegirls were ovulating (which would have been pretty hard to figure out without a First Response ovulating test kit) or even during the three decades they were capable of baby-making. She wanted the nonsterilized feeble-minded segregated onto special farms for their entire lives.

Friends of Sanger were 70 percent less likely to make their "goofy face" in photographs.

Like a lot of people at the time, Sanger was a fan of negative eugenics, which was the practice of lowering the fertility rate among people with less-desirable genetics. And don't think the mentally disabled were the only ones on her baby-ban radar, either. In 1932, Sanger proposed a Population Congress, whose objectives included:

  • Keeping foreign mentally disabled people from immigrating to the U.S.

  • Aaaaaand epileptics.

  • Taking inventory of native-born illiterates, paupers, unemployables, prostitutes and dope-fiends and shipping them to funny farms as well.

That would gut our comments section.

All in the name of preventing a "harvest of imbecility." Her words, not ours. Margaret Sanger talked so much trash about the mentally disabled that Planned Parenthood itself felt compelled to go on the defensive about its founder.

And speaking of eugenics ...

#5. Mensa

See if you can answer this question: Two men get on a train at 8:17 a.m. One of the men weighs 456 pounds and tips the train off its track. The other has a wonky eye and a baby arm. If another train is traveling in a completely different part of the world at 735 miles per hour, which man is most likely to get laid that night?

Pencils down.

If you answered "the engineer," congratulations, you're Mensa smart. You should totally join the 100,000 or so other smart people around the world who claim to be in the top two percent of the population in smarts. For only $63 a year, you can enjoy the company of other dorkbombs, nerdlingers and even a brainiac NYT bestseller (just like us, btw).

Its Sinister Origins

If Mensa was a baby, its daddy would be Eugene the Eugenicist, and its momma would be Tiffany the Elitist Bitch.

Kevin Bacon could be godfather.

Back in 1946, a British psychologist named Cyril Burt suggested on the radio that there should be a club for people with high IQs. Like a social club, but where people who were at the tippity-top of society in the brains department could get together and chat without interference from dummies.

Apparently, forming a club for eggheads sounded like a great idea, because a few years later Mensa was founded, and Burt was named honorary president for his contributions to IQ testing. The only problem? Like Maggie Sanger, Burt was a eugenicist, meaning he believed intelligence was hereditary and that societies should keep the human race moving forward by encouraging the brightest of the bunch to breed.

"Hello, ladies."

This was in 1946, mind you, after the world had had its fill of another exclusive club called the Nazis.

Even after Burt was largely discredited for falsifying his research and eugenics as a movement fell out of favor, the whole "let's isolate the smarties" vibe still lingers in the Mensa air. For example, in 1980, known eugenicist Robert Klark Graham started his own genius sperm bank so that ladies could pick out certified genius baby-daddies. Where did Graham advertise his services for mommas? Mensa publications. Between 1980 and 1999, 217 babies were born under Graham's watch in what technically is one of the biggest eugenics projects since Nazi days.

Take that, Mengele.

So, 1999 wasn't that long ago, but still ... water under the bridge, right? Not quite. To this day, American Mensa has a special interest group devoted to eugenics. Presumably just in case anyone wants to get that "sterilizing the morons" ball rolling again.

#4. The Pew Charitable Trusts

If, like us, you spend your Saturdays cruising for street vendor tacos while jamming out to NPR and your Sundays lovemaking to the steady drone of PBS, you're probably familiar with the phrase, "Funding for this program is provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts."

No. Don't be stupid.

And you probably already know that Pew is one of the country's most respected nonpartisan, nongovernmental organizations, operating with over $5 billion worth of assets in its pot. The Pew Charitable Trusts is so invested in public policy that reading its list of causes is like reading a list of every cause there ever was ever.

Its Sinister Origins

The Pew was once like the Tea Party of charities, if the Tea Party was endowed with millions more dollars and was a bazillion times more conservative. The trust started with millionaire conservative Joseph N. Pew Jr., who was to the Republican Party as white is to rice.

And he hated FDR something fierce, because Roosevelt was all about bigger government and Pew was all about educating the public about the evils of bureaucracy, to the point where he said the following about the New Deal:

... a gigantic scheme to raze U.S. businesses to a dead level and debase the citizenry into a mass of ballot-casting serfs.

In other words, a conspiracy. He thought the New Deal was a governmentwide conspiracy to destroy capitalism and turn the American masses into a servant class. And the government itself was "the wickedest racket the world has ever seen."

So Pew used his millions to fund the campaigns of Republican presidential candidates for more than 20 years. Which is why it's hilarious that the Pew Charitable Trusts of today supports such liberal houses of ill repute as NPR and PBS and funds research on death penalty reform, clean energy and protecting sensitive marine areas. It's like finding out that 100 years, from now the Tea Party is the #1 contributor to a school for Muslim abortion doctors. Or that the Palins of 2111 are those Muslim abortion doctors.

"Great-grandma married up."

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