John Tanton

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from John H. Tanton)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
John Tanton200px.jpg

John Tanton M.D. is an anti-immigrant activist "known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[1] He is the publisher of The Social Contract (designated as a "hate group" by the SPLC)[2] and served as editor for its first eight years. His white supremacist ideology apparently had its roots in his 1970s environmental advocacy. According to his biography at The Social Contact Press, "He is a retired eye surgeon whose boyhood on a farm made him into an ardent conservationist and advocate for the environment. His conviction that continued human population growth was a large part of the conservation problem led him to chair the National Sierra Club Population Committee (1971-74), and to the national board of Zero Population Growth (1973-78, including a term as president, 1975-77)."[3]

Anti-Immigration Efforts

In 1979, Tanton shifted his focus towards fighting immigration to reduce the U.S. population, and organized the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), based in Washington, D.C. Since then, Tanton has formed, funded, or otherwise been affiliated with many prominent anti-immigration organizations, in what has been termed the John Tanton Network.[4]

In 2013, John Tanton's anti-immigration ideals and networks have re-emerged in the mainstream media in heavy opposition to an immigration reform framework introduced by a bipartisan group of senators in January.[5] These anti-immigration groups in the John Tanton Network have received millions of dollars from the Scaife Foundations -- this report describes the close relationship Tanton holds with Cordelia Scaife May.[5] The Tanton-founded and funded organizations have released numerous statements about the negative implication of this reform bill, including the hyperbolic claim that it "has the potential to change everything that makes America a great place to be."[6]

Ties to Racist Ideas and White Supremacists

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Tanton has long been linked to racist ideas -- "fretting about the 'educability' of Latinos, warning of whites being out-bred by others, and publishing a number of white nationalist authors" -- and is also closely affiliated with a number of white supremacist organizations such as the Pioneer Fund.[7]


"He is co-author with Wayne Lutton of The Immigration Invasion, and has written numerous editorials and opinion pieces, including 'End of the Migration Epoch.'"[3]

Institutional Affiliations

Tanton has been affiliated with the following organizations as of 2008 (according to the Institute for Policy Studies, unless otherwise noted):[8]:

  • NumbersUSA: Founder, 1996
  • ProEnglish: Founder, Former Chairman, and Board, 1993-[2008]
  • Social Contract Press: Founder, Former Editor, and Publisher, 1990-[2008]
  • Garrett Hardin Society: Founding Member[9]
  • E Pluribus Unum: Co-organizer, 1992
  • Emergency Committee on Puerto Rican Statehood and the Status of English in the United States: Co-organizer, 1990
  • American Alliance for Rights and Responsibilities: Co-founder, 1989
  • Center for Immigration Studies: Founder, 1985
  • U.S. English: Co-founder and Chairman, 1982-1988
  • U.S. Inc.]]: Founder and Chairman, 1982-[2008]
  • Population-Environment Balance: Former board member, 1980-1990
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform: Co-founder, Former Chairman and board member, 1979-[2008]
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission: Member, 1978-1980
  • Zero Population Growth: National President, 1975-1977
  • Zero Population Growth Immigration Study Committee: Chairman, 1973-1975
  • Zero Population Growth National Executive Committee: Member, 1973-1978
  • Little Traverse Group: Co-organizer, Executive Committee Member, and Former President, 1972-1988
  • 11th Congressional District League of Conservation Voters: Organizer, 1970-1974
  • National Long-range Planning Committee of Sierra Club: Member, 1970-1973
  • Mackinac Chapter Population Committee of Sierra Club: Organizer and Chairman, 1969-1971
  • Petoskey Regional Group of Sierra Club: Organizer and Chairman, 1970-1972
  • Hartwick Pines Natural History Association: Organizer and President, 1969-1972
  • Petoskey Regional Audubon Society: Co-organizer and President, 1967, 1969
  • Great Lakes Public Affairs Committee of Planned Parenthood: Chairman, 1970-1971
  • Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood Association: Organizer and President, 1965-1971
  • Bear River Development Commission: Organizer and Chairman, 1965-1972
  • Michigan Natural Areas Council: Secretary, 1962-1963

Note: [2008] = until at least 2008.

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch Articles

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Links


  1. Souther Poverty Law Center, CIS: The "Independent" Think Tank, organizational publication, February 2009.
  2. Southern Poverty Law Center, John Tanton's Network, organizational Intelligence Report, Summer 2002, Issue Number 106.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Social Contract Press, "About", organizational website, accessed June 2013.
  4. Center for New Community, The John Tanton Network and the Anti-Immigrant Movement in America, organizational report, accessed February 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Katie Lorenze, "Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform,", May 31, 2013.
  6. Dan Stein, "No need for speed on immigration bill", The Washington Times, May 20, 2013.
  7. Southern Poverty Law Center, "The Tanton Files: Nativist Leader's Racist Past Exposed", organizational Intelligence Report, Winter 2008, Issue Number 132.
  8. Institute for Policy Studies, "John Tanton" Profile, Right Web organizational website, archived by the WayBack Machine September 2, 2009.
  9. Garrett Hardin Society, About, organizational website, accessed September 14, 2008.