Elmer Holmes Bobst

Elmer Bobst's Early Years in the ACS

According to his autobiography (Bobst: autobiography of a pharmaceutical pioneer, 1973), Bobst was doing war bond work in 1945 "when Governor Walte Edge, of New Jersey, and Eric Johnson, the czar of the motion picture industry, came to see me on behalf of the American Cancer society... It had been run like a small mom and pop business, content to putter along with limited results... My first step was to enlist the support of the strong team that had volunteered to help with the bond sales, because I knew them and I knew their capabilities. [Besides, with the war ending, he could hijack them to serve his purposes - cast] Without letting them know the reason, I invited all of my county bond chairmen and some other people of importance -- about thirty in all -- to join me for cocktails and dinner at a club. We enjoyed a convivial evening and a good dinner before I got up to reveal the purpose of the meeting. I explained, then, that I was about to undertake a mission -- a spiritual crusade to save human lives, and I wanted them to go on the crusade with me. Then I introduced a distinguished guest, Dr. Clarence Cook Little, a top biologist and geneticist [actually, CC Little was far from the top and was primarily a mouse-breeder - cast] and director of the Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Detroit, had been scientific director and the leading force in the Cancer Society since 1929... At the end of the evening, all but two of my bond volunteers, including nineteen of the county chairmen, agreed to join the crusade."

His fund-raising attracted the attention of Albert and Mary Lasker: "Within a few weeks -- I think it was in June, 1945, while I was still running the New Jersey fund-raising effort -- I was elected chairman of the executive committee, succeeding Emerson Foote, another great advertising leader, in the top administrative policy position... The society was being run by the scientists and physicians with a kind of polite sufferance of its lay leaders... I decided that the first priority was to move aside the scientists and physicians who were in administrative control of the organization. They were good men, but they were not experienced leaders, and they were not getting results. I wanted majority control to be in the hands of qualified lay leaders. The physician members could form a scientific committee to make recommendations about scientific matters and advise the executive committee." [In short, science would be secondary to manipulation of the masses, a priority which the ACS retains to this day - cast.]

"Naturally I had informed Dr. Little of my intention to call for a total change in the structure and leadership of the society. His first order of business at the meeting therefore was to defend the record of his administration and throw cold water on my plans for the future." Bobst took offense at Little's remark, "We must remember, gentlemen, that the chairman of the executive committee is just a pharmacist, and that the extent of his medical experience and knowledge is limited." Bobst blustered in return that "I'll match my knowledge in materia medica and therapeutics with any one in this room who is willing to meet me. I've read a great deal. I have a library of 300 medical books. I've been writing on medical subjects for twenty-four years, and I've gone through most of the disciplines of medicine. To be perfectly frank, I think I know nearly as much about cancer as any of you here." [But there is no evidence that he cared anything about medical ideas, except if they could be used as an angle to peddle his products - cast.]

Bobst attributes his victory to having made his case privately to each committee member before the meeting, which Little hadn't done. And, laughably in the light of Helicobacter pylori, including evidence that a bacterial cause had been suspected in ulcers as far back as 1946, he whines: "My legacy, which perhaps I could blame more one my four-year battle with Barrell than on the fight for control of the Cancer Society, was a duodenal ulcer which I had to begin nursing back to health after the executive committee meeting struggle. The conflict had been even harder on Albert Lasker, who was so exhausted from the squabbling of the society's doctors that he had to bow out of active participation in order to conserve strength for his other volunteer activities." [Lasker died seven years later in 1952 from stomach cancer. So much for the medical science of ad agency types -cast.]

"My first step was to get Jim Adams of Standard Brands on the executive committee. Jim was a cool leader, a diplomat, and, as former executive of the Benton and Bowles Advertising Agency, a promotion expert. He also understood medical research not only from his involvement with pharmaceuticals at Standard Brands, but as a leader in President Roosevelt's Warm Springs polio foundation, as a member of the Tom Spies nutrition committee, and as committee member of the War Production Board team that spurred the development of atabrine as a substitute for quinine. I also drew other top people for the committee, among them General William J. (Wild Bill) Donovan, head of the wartime O.S.S., General John Reed Kilpatrick, the president of the Madison Square Garden corporation, Henry Von Elm, chairman of Manufacturers Trust, Howard Pew, the Philadelphia oil man, and Ralph Reed, president of American Express."

"We moved rapidly to tighten and improve our paid staff organization and enhanced their career opportunities with a generous pension and insurance plan. We disbanded the cumbersome and expensive 'Women's Army' and trained our best people in more sophisticated fund-raising techniques: special gift solicitations among wealthy potential donors; high-intensity community-wide fund campaigns; letter and card campaigns; arresting public service advertisements; fund-raising contests; special appeals to civic organizations, and so forth." To remedy the "ignorance" of the public on the subject of cancer, the ACS commenced its "education" campaign with the "Seven Danger Signals," originating from Bobst's scribbled notes on the back of a restaurant menu.

"...My involvement with the Cancer Society brought me into contact with a small group of active people -- someone called them 'benevolent plotters -- who set out during and after World War II to revolutionize American medical education, research and health care." [Sic -- they usurped the taxpayers' money to push their health fascist agenda, a mess of pseudo-moralistic 19th century tripe owing more to John Harvey Kellogg than anyone else, and paint it with a veneer of science - cast] "They included Albert and Mary Lasker, Dr. Alton Ochsner, Dr. Michael DeBakey, Emerson Foote, Dr. Frank Adair, Anna Rosenberg, my old friend Jim Adams, and a number of other well-known and not-so-well-known people who were willing to devote time and energy [he forgot MONEY -cast] to this noble cause. All of them did not agree all of the time, but all of them were united in one purpose: to stimulate federal support of medical research and education [FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES - cast]. To accomplish this required the ear of Congress, and to gain that ear required enormous voluntary expenditures of time and energy [and MONEY - cast], cultivating senators and congressmen, educating them and creating forceful advocates for medical progress. Each of us willingly testified before congressional committees whenever the chance arose, or called on members of Congress, to proselytize for greatly expanded appropriations and responsibilities for the National Institutes of Health." [The better to stack them with Syndicate cronies, who in turn handed out funding to other syndicate cronies - cast.]

Elmer Bobst credits himself with bringing the 1950 study by Wynder and Graham to the attention of the American Cancer Society, and instigating its first epidemiologic study. He bombastically portrays himself as a noble truth-seeker overcoming self-interested naysayers: "I want to tell you and everyone here that I have been traveling up and down the country and collecting money for one purpose: To find out through research the causative factors and possible cures of cancer in any form. The disease has been increasing just as much here as in England. There may or may not be a relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, but there certainly are grounds for investigation. As chairman of this meeting, I intend to take action and appoint a committee that will develop ways and means of finding out. The American public has been generous to this society and has the right to know the truth."

Actually, by his own admission of ACS fund-raising techniques, it was not "the American public" which was so generous to them, as it was a certain little clique of health fascist ideologues. And the American people would not get the truth from the American Cancer Society's studies, because as far as Bobst was concerned, statistical correlation did equal causation, with equal validity for heart disease or emphysema or any other disease smoking was accused of causing. Thoughts such as confounding by infection, or initiation versus promotion of carcinogenesis, never crossed Elmer Bobst's simple mind, and were not welcome in his determination to silence dissenters.

"We released the first results of our study in June, 1954. Although the reactions of the tobacco industry, much of the public, and even many medical people ranged from outraged disbelief to quiet skepticism, we stuck by our guns and continued the study. As more reports came in and were evaluated, we refined the results to show that a person smoking one pack a day ran at least fourteen times more risk of lung cancer than the nonsmoker, and that as the number of cigarettes consumed increased, so did the risk. Within a few years, we noted a statistical correlation between smoking and heart disease, and a positive cause and effect relationship between smoking and emphysema. The denials and skepticism that our reports first raised have long been conclusively put to rest by further studies, all based on that first statistical research project that Dr. Cameron and I insisted the Cancer Society undertake in 1950."

Actually, the "denials and skepticism" were put to rest by the sheer intellectual lameness of C.C. Little, the Society's own former scientific director, in his ill-fitting role as a supposed defender of the tobacco industry, thanks to the disbelief he shared that infections cause cancer. As if acting in collaboration with the ACS, he helped condition the media to a totalitarian mentality of ridiculing skepticism and suppressing dissent. They conspired to literally make a thought-crime out of considering the possibility of alternative explanations: It is one of the formal accusations of the state tobacco lawsuits. To this day, despite the mounting evidence that infections are the real cause of a very substantial proportion of supposed smoking-related diseases, neither the ACS nor its puppet, the National Cancer Institute, have made a good-faith effort to investigate this possibility in regard to lung cancer. They refuse to consider any mechanism other than chemical carcinogenesis, although they have failed to identify such a mechanism despite fifty years of dedicating vast resources, mostly those of the taxpayers, to this effort.

The Elmer Holmes Bobst Collection / New York University

"As head of the U.S. arm of the international Hoffman-La Roche drug company during the 1930s, Bobst also 'worked to make the nation vitamin conscious.' In 1938, Bobst scored a 'coup' by suggesting that thiamine (vitamin B1), manufactured by his company, be added to refined flour... 'With Charles "Boss" Kettering of General Motors and other business and professional people,' Bobst set up the Tom Spies Committee for Clinical Research, with an unprecedented annual budget of $150,000, to study vitamins.' 'Soon,' wrote Bobst, there was no doubt about the need for the mass consumption of vitamins.' General Mills Chairman Donald Davis was an ally in lobbying for state laws requiring fortification. (From The Cancer Charity Ripoff, by Peter Barry Chowka. East West Journal, July 1978.)

Chowka, East West Journal 1978 / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

Elmer H. Bobst was a trustee of the National Fund for Medical Education in 1954. Fellow trustees included B. Brewster Jennings, Devereux C. Josephs, Winthrop Rockefeller, Anna M. Rosenberg, and Thomas J. Ross (Letter, Howard Corning Jr. to Dr. C.C. Little, Aug. 16, 1954). Thomas J. Ross was later a trustee of Ernst Wynder's American Health Foundation.

Corning to Little, Aug. 16, 1954 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

The American Cancer Society, 1946: Dr. Frank E. Adair, President; Elmer H. Bobst, president of William R. Warner & Co., was chairman of the executive committee; Eric A. Johnston, chairman; Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads, director of Memorial Hospital, was chairman of the Committee on Growth. Dr. Clarence C. Little told of the society's educational program, at the ACS's annual dinner for the National Association of Sciences Writers at the Biltmore Hotel. (War Data Sought in Cancer Studies. New York Times, Jan. 9, 1946.)

The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society's puppet, the International Union for the Control of Cancer (UICC), grew out of a trip to Europe that Bobst made in 1954.

The UICC: ACS's Foreign Puppet

Honorary Life Members of the American Cancer Society include Gen. William J. Donovan, Eric A. Johnston, Mrs. Anna M. Rosenberg, and Alfred P. Sloan Jr.; directors include James S. Adams, Lane W. Adams, Elmer H. Bobst, William U. Gardner, Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, and Alton Ochsner.

Letter, July 27, 1956 / UCSF (pdf, 2 pp)
Letter, April 3, 1958 / UCSF (pdf, 1 p)

In 1956-57, Bobst was a director-at-large of the American Cancer Society. He was a member of the ACS Executive Committee in 1945, and Vice Chairman from 1946-50; ACS National Campaign Chairman 1947-48 and its chairman from 1949-56; and Honorary Board Chairman of the ACS from 1951-55. He was Chairman of the Board of Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Co., a member of the National Advisory Cancer Council of the National Cancer Institute; Director of the Spies Committee for Clinical Research; the University of Pennsylvania Medical Research Council; a Trustee of Rutgers College of Pharmacy, and of Franklin and Marshall College; and President of the Gustavus and Louise Pfeiffer Foundation. He was also a founding member of the World Medical Association and National Fund for Medical Education.

Know Your Board of Directors, ACS 1957 / UCSF (pdf, 13 pp)

Elmer Bobst was an Honorary Life Member of the American Cancer Society in 1963, along with James S. Adams (Lazard Freres), Eric Johnston, Alton Ochsner, Mrs. Anna M. Rosenberg, and Alfred P. Sloan Jr. Mrs. Albert D. Lasker was honorary Chairman of the Board and a director; Lane Adams was executive vice president; and former Wisconsin Governor (1951-57) Walter J. Kohler Jr., who was chairman of the board in 1958, was also a director.

Ravdin to Riggleman, 1963 (p. 5) / UCSF (pdf, 6 pp)

National Officers of the American Cancer Society, 1974- Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors; R. Lee Clark of MD Anderson. Honorary Life Members - Elmer H. Bobst; Emerson Foote; Mrs. Anna Rosenberg Hoffman; Alton Ochsner; Ann Landers. Council for Research and Clinical Investigation Awards - Joseph L. Melnick (longtime supporter of ASH who helped conceal the role of CMV in heart disease); Henry C. Pitot (who redeemed himself with his paper stating that HPV was "sufficient" to cause cancer). Council for Analysis and Projection - Frank J. Rauscher Jr. of the NCI. Advisory Committee on Institutional Research Grants: Roswell K. Boutwell of the CTR. Advisory Committee on Personnel for Research - Lasker Foundation Director Purnell W. Choppin and CTR member Wolfgang Joklik. Advisory Committee on Virology and Cell Biology - CTR member Peter K. Vogt. Advisory Committee on Nucleic Acids - Washington Advisory Group principal C. Thomas Caskey.

American Cancer Society audit report, 1974 / UCSF (pdf, 9 pp)

Did Nazi Money Help Fund the American Cancer Society?

According to Mae Brussell, "This is a story of how key Nazis, even as the Wehrmacht was still on the offensive, anticipated military disaster and laid plans to transplant nazism, intact but disguised, in havens in the West." Brussell implicates OSS chief William Donovan, along with the Vatican, in the "safe diaspora" of key Nazis, including their intelligence operations, the Gehlen Organization. Gehlen's agent-in-place in the US is said to have been Otto Albrecht von Bolschwing, "who had been a captain in Heinrich Himmler's dreaded SS and Adolph Eichmann's superior in Europe and Palestine... When he entered the U.S. in 1954, he cleverly concealed his Nazi past... He became closely associated with the late Elmer Bobst of Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical, a godfather of Richard Nixon's political career, which brought him inside Nixon's 1960 campaign for the presidency." ("The Nazi connection to the John F. Kennedy Assassination," by Mae Brussell. The Rebel, 1983 Nov 22.)

Mae Brussell / Prouty

Elmer Bobst in Nixon's "Kitchen Cabinet"

"Arrayed around the President is a small, exclusive fraternity of friends outside the government who are privy to Mr. Nixon's personal life and who exercise an indirect, though vital influence on his official life... Prominent in that elite coterie are Elmer H. Bobst, honorary chairman of the Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Co.; Donald M. Kendall, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo Inc.; Hobart D. Lewis, editor-in-chief of Reader's Digest; W. Clement Stone, Chicago insurance magnate; Robert H. Abplanalp, inventor of the aerosol valve; evangelist Billy Graham; Jack Drown, Los Angeles newspaper and magazine distributor; and C.G. (Bebe) Rebozo, Florida realtor and banker." (White House Report/ President's inner circle of friends serves as influential 'kitchen cabinet.' By Dom Bonafede. National Journal 1972 Jan. 22.) Naturally, they are big campaign contributors and ideologically compatible. In 1970, Bobst lobbied the President on behalf of Mary Lasker and Benno C. Schmidt, managing director of JH Witney & Co., who had been named chairman of the National Panel of Consultants on the Conquest of Cancer to create a special cancer authority that would not be under the control of the National Institutes of Health.

The selection of Vice President Agnew

The Communist Party USA implicates Elmer Bobst in Richard Nixon's selection of Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew as his vice-presidential running mate: "The CEO of the New Jersey pharmaceutical giant Warner Chilcott was Elmer Bobst, a heavyweight contributor to the Republican Party and the Richard Nixon comeback campaign in 1968. As the Nixon-Humphrey battle was running tight, Bobst propositioned Nixon with an offer he couldn't refuse. For an extra handout to the GOP coffer, Bobst could name Nixon's vice-presidential running mate. The two shook hands in secret. Bobst then approached an obscure governor of Maryland with the second half of the deal - veto the pending legislation and the Veep slot was his. The rest is history. Spiro Agnew did indeed exercise his veto, the narrow passage margin did not allow for an override, and generics were delayed in the country for several years. The cost of the Bobst contribution was overwhelmed by the profits reaped in the 'arrangement.'"

"Uncle Elmer"

To the Nixon family, Elmer Bobst was much more than just a wealthy campaign contributor. At the dedication of The Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom (housed in the Elmer and Mamdouha Bobst Building), March 1, 1995 -- at which President william Jefferson Clinton was the featured speaker -- Tricia Nixon Cox described Bobst as "An extraordinary person whose life personified the idea of being dedicated to worthy causes was Elmer Holmes Bobst. He was a self-made man whose intelligence, character, loyalty, patriotism, courage and generosity in many areas, including education and cancer research, made him an embodiment of the American dream. A mentor and father-figure to my father in all seasons since 1953, Elmer Bobst, or Uncle Elmer as Julie and I called him, was also a singular friend, who with his wife Mamdouha shared my father's vision of a more just and peaceful world..."

And Nixon's old foreign policy advisor Henry Kissinger said: "Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, in the last year of his life no relationship meant more to President Nixon than the relationship he established with President Clinton. It was unexpected. It would not have been thought possible 20 years earlier when they were on opposite sides of a deep American division."

Bobst / "The Nixon Center for Peace and Freedom"

(Nixon and Jews, by Garry Wills. UExpress Online, 1997). In a letter to Nixon in 1972, Bobst wrote: "Not any of these people (anti-war protesters) have a true love for our country, and unfortunately, most of them are Jews, and Jews have troubled the world from the very beginning. If this beloved country of ours ever falls apart, the blame rightly should be attributed to the malicious action of Jews in complete control of our communications." Never mind that this same media adored the American Cancer Society, and slavishly parroted its propaganda. Also, it was a Jew in the media, Ann Landers, who played a key role in mobilizing public support for Mary Lasker's National Cancer Act of 1971.

Warner-Lambert and the Nicotine Patch

Front group FORCES blames "Big Pharma" for the anti-smoking movement and ignores the controlling role of the Lasker lobby. The patent for nicotine chewing gum was held by Warner-Lambert, Elmer Bobst's pharmaceutical company. Its first use in commerce was June 22, 1973. Jed Rose, a co-inventor of the nicotine patch with Dr. Murray Jarvik, said that when they tried to find a company willing to market their product, none were interested, until the Swiss firm Ciba-Geigy AG (which merged with Sandoz AG to form Novartis AG in 1996) began marketing it in 1991. This was 40 years after the anti-smoking persecution began, and only after much whining by anti-smoking activists about the lack of collaboration with their goals by the pharmaceutical companies.

Inventors / About.com

At the Third World Conference on Smoking and Health, held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in 1975, Jane Francis Emele, PhD, Director of Biological Research, American Chicle Division of Warner Lambert Co., was the only representative of "Big Pharma." She participated in the Workshop on Pharmacologic Intervention. However, there were representatives of Kimberly-Clark Corp., Celanese Fibers Corp., AMF Inc., and Cummins Engine Company present. Theodore Cooper was there, too, and gave the opening address. (Pages 23-32)

Participants, 3rd World Conference on Smoking & Health, 1975 / UCSF (pdf, 33 pp)
Blaming "Big Drugs" to Protect the Lasker Syndicate

In 1996, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Warner-Lambert entered into a co-marketing agreement with Pfizer on Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering statin, and in 2000, Pfizer acquired Warner-Lambert. Pfizer introduced Chantix, a quit-smoking drug that blocks dopamine receptors.

National Cancer Advisory Board Appointments, 1972

The appointees include Laurance S. Rockefeller; Elmer Bobst; Donald E. Johnson, an Upjohn heir who is an honorary life member of the American Cancer Society; and Mary Lasker. Continuing members included James E. Gilmore Jr. of Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation, and entertainer Danny Thomas.

White House NCAB Appointments, March 7, 1972 / UCSF (pdf, 5 pp)
National Cancer Advisory Board, 1974 [p. 8] / UCSF (pdf, 9 pp)

The Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, 1978

The Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer was co-founded by Mary Lasker's crony, Sidney Farber, and co-chaired by Emerson Foote of the American Cancer Society, and Solomon Garb, a correspondent of Mary Lasker between 1969 and 1981. Garb sent a bullying letter to Curtis H. Judge, President of Lorillard Inc., claiming that three unnamed "friends who know a great deal about the tobacco industry warned me of an ongoing plan by some PR representatives of the industry... to attack the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the entire concept of a national effort to fight cancer," and demanding that "the tobacco industry" lobby for "higher total appropriations to NCI" and that "the Tobacco Research Institute [sic] should allocate substantial sums to finding anticancer drugs in plants." (Garb to Judge, Sep. 20, 1978.)

Sponsoring members of this slimy group included William McC. Blair Jr., Mrs. William McC. Blair Jr., now vice president of the Lasker Foundation; Elmer H. Bobst; R. Lee Clark; Mrs. Alice Fordyce, Mary's sister; James W. Fordyce, Mary's nephew; Mary's old friend, Leonard Goldenson of ABC-TV; Mrs. Paul G. Hoffman, aka Anna Rosenberg; Robert W. Holley of the Salk Institute; Mathilde Krim; Hollywood producer Norman Lear; William Regelson, founder of FIBER, on whose board Mary later served; and Bernard J. Reis, Treasurer of the Lasker Foundation.

Citizens' Committee for the Conquest of Cancer, 1978 / UCSF (pdf, 4 pp)

Mamdouha Bobst

Mamdouha Bobst Bio / American University of Beirut

Mrs. Elmer H. Bobst was a Trustee of New York University. Fellow trustees include John L. Vogelstein of E.M. Warburg Pincus & Co., and Laurence Tisch, a Trustee since 1966 and Chairman from 1978 to 1998. Directors of Tisch's Loews Corp. who were also trustees of NYU include John Brademas, president emeritus of NYU and a director of Loews since 1982; Paul J. Fribourg, Laurence A. Tisch and his brother, Preston Robert Tisch.

Board of Trustees / New York University

Mamdouha Bobst was a Trustee of the New York University School of Medicine Foundation. Other Trustees included Alice M. Tisch and Thomas J. Tisch; David Baltimore, and Edgar Bronfman Jr. Thomas S. Murphy, former Chairman and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC, is a Life Trustee.

NYU School of Medicine Foundation / New York University (pdf, 168pp)

Mrs. Bobst was an Honorary Life Member of the ACS in 2001, along with Mary Lasker's nephew James W. Fordyce, AHF Trustee LaSalle D. Leffall, and Charles A. LeMaistre. Former Rep. Paul G. Rogers was on the Board of Directors.

2001 ACS Form 990 / American Cancer Society (pdf, 114pp)

Mrs. Elmer Holmes Bobst was still on the Board of Overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2002, along with Mrs. Joseph A. Califano Jr., Ann Dibble Jordan, Richard Gelb, and Sanford I. Weill. Laurance S. Rockefeller and James D. Robinson III were honorary co-chairmen. Louis V. Gerstner Jr. was Vice Chairman of Boards, and Chairman of the Board of Managers of the Sloan-Kettering Institute. Former National Institutes of Health Director Harold Varmus, in whose administration some research on the role of infection in chronic diseases proceeded at last, was President and Chief Executive Officer. Mrs. Charles A. Dana Jr., Mrs. Thomas L. Kempner, Mrs. Milton Petrie, and Linda Gosden Robinson were on the 10-woman Advisory Council of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (MSKCC 2002 Annual Report).

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cast 01-19-08