HARRY ANSLINGER'S HOLIDAY OF HORROR:
ANSLINGER'S GORE FILE
[ Imagine your worst Nightmare has just come TRUE ]
EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE
As we have already seen, of the five Gore File cases quoted by the pamphlet and attributed to the Bureau of Narcotics:
- One of them (the Eureka Axe Murderer) was a total fabrication on the part of the narc’s.
- Another one (the Tylczak, prison break) turned out to have been a total distortion of an actual incident as well as having nothing to do with Marihuana.
- And in another case (Victor Licata or Florida case), it later on turned out that the young boy (at least by the observations of this museum) was INNOCENT, meaning he was falsely accused, and that Marihuana was not even an issue in the case. --- see
[ http://reefermadnessmuseum.org/VictorLIcata/Chap00_Index.htm ]
- In the Colorado case, here (at least if you are Anslinger) there was some breathing room. At least according to the local narc’s there was some Medical Marihuana use. The problem is that there was also some of just about everything else being used. But still (again if you are Anslinger), if no one looks at the facts too carefully, it did have the makings of a good Gore File case.
- And last of all there is the Georgia Case, in which a boy sells his only pair of shoes to pay for his Medical Marihuana habit. While the museum has not had a chance to examine this case too closely, something about it does smell fishy, and if it helps any, the two snitches in the case were run out of town by members of the local community.
ANSINGER’S QUICK THINKING
It appears that half of Anslinger’s Gore file cases were fakes. --- NOT good if you happen to be a high level governmental official. But Anslinger (the evil genius that he was), was no ordinary man. In his mind [now looking back at it with 20/20 hindsight], he must have understood that even with exact newspaper dates, it would be a Herculean task (remember this was the mid-30’s) for any private individual to obtain copies of these newspaper articles, let alone try to uncover any of the actual facts behind the cases. That in general they would have to rely on what his Bureau of Narcotics was saying about the matters.
Thus Anslinger, quickly whips up the following reply; Note that he has it sent via his “William S. Wood (Acting commissioner), rather than by his own hand.
Dec. 3, 1936
And with this, it seems that ANSLINGER’S HOLIDAY OF HORROR finally came to an end. BUT NOT it’s aftermath. Anslinger was no fool, and he realized that he couldn't get away with faking gore file cases forever. In fact it is [now looking back at it with 20/20 hindsight] possible to subdivide the gore file by its two different ERAS; --- BEFORE AND AFTER the Holiday of Horrors.
Mr. George V. Haliday,
42 West 93rd Street,
New York, New York
Further reference is made to your communication of September 17, 1936, requesting to be informed where certain crimes connected with the use of Marihuana occurred, and on what dates.
This Bureau has now received information on that the incident occurring in Colorado appeared in both “The Denver Post” and “The rocky Mountain News”, on March 21, 1934. Regarding the Michigan incident, it has been learned that the December 4, 1932, issue of the “Detroit Free Press” Carried an article on this episode.
This Bureau has been unable to ascertain the name or date of the periodical carrying a story relating to the California incident.
Very truly yours,
Will S. Wood,
POSTSCRIPT OF ACTION:
HISTORICAL NOTE: Almost all of Anslinger’s most horrendous Gory File cases seemed to have occurred BEFORE 1937, and not without good reason. Before 1937 Anslinger relied on word of mouth rumors to fill his Gore File with cases. AFTER 1937, Anslinger, either out of fear or out of simple desire not to be caught flat footed again, began doing what we now term, “Fact Checking.” The only problem was that as his field agents checked up on the fact, the cases started to fall flat on their faces. Even Anslinger knew that he couldn’t use them. ----- NO accident then that almost ALL of Anslingers, most hideous Gore file cases took place before 1937.
Fortunately for him (Anslinger) that the anti-Medical Marihuana laws would be passed in August of that year. As Mr. Haliday himself wrote to Anslinger:
513 East 85th St.,
In other correspondence with the Bureau, Mr. Haliday would go on to say:
New York, New York
May 4th, 1937.
Comr. Harry J .Anslinger,
Bureau of Narcotics,
Treasury Dept., Wash., D.C.
This morning's N.Y. Times says that a Mrs. Hamilton Wright, “special representative of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics”, addressing 2,000 persons at the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, at Richmond, Va., yesterday, called for a “relentless warfare on marihuana . . . the latest narcotic menace to youth".
Mrs. Wright said it was the “most pernicious” of drugs. That "it produced in smokers of the weed a temporary sense of complete irresponsibility which led to sex crimes and other 'horrible' acts of violence. Comparatively few persons are familiar with it because it was introduced into the country ten years ago as a cigarette by Mexican peddlers . . . . ", and so on, ad nauseum.
I do not approve the general consumption of marihuana or any other of the drugs indiscriminately termed narcotics, but the alleged horrors connected with their use are no more revolting taen the monstrously publicized mouthings of the professional reformers who hysterically condemn them.
As you know, the "facts" cited by Madame Wright are utterly unfounded on fact, sheer tripe. Much worse stuff has been published, of course, but rarely with full governmental approval. An equally appalling incident was the recent radio address of the scholarly Ham Fish concerning a bill which would "prohibit the importation of the drugs used in making marihuana”.
These venerated pundits would do well to consider your word: “There is probably no more absurd fallacy extant than the notion that murders are committed and robberies and holdups carried out by men stimulated by narcotic drugs to make them incapable of fear”.
Marihuana, and other drugs, are used exclusively by the psychopathic type. Madame Wright, et aI, as well as the Parents & Teachers outfit, would be much better occupied with a study of eugenics, rather than narcotics.
(Signed) George Vincent Haliday
“Neither your Bureau, or any other Federal, scholastic or medical institution in this country possesses any literature on the history of hemp which is entirely reliable. The history of Cannabis sativa is one long series of contradictions; I do not know of a single paper on the drug whose authorative(sic) assertions cannot be refuted by equally impressive documentary evidence. It is little wonder that the stuff which has been written about it in recent times is so wretched. For example, I have never seen a single item of anti-marihuana publicity which could survive even a casual scientific analysis. If the so-called marihuana-menace' ever becomes of real importance, it will be necessary to bring into court much sounder testimony than the utterly absurd 'facts' which are at present tossed to an unheeding public. “
It is the intention of this museum to post-up (at least) some of Harry Anslingers FAILED Gore File Case investigations – as conducted by his own field agents with the Bureau of Narcotics. This should prove interesting subject matter for those of you who are interested in the Reefer Madness era. One can almost see poor Harry Anslinger crying over the investigations, -- recalling fondly that era BEFORE THE HOLIDAY OF HORRORS!
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