Also see Myths and FACTS
March 6, 1998
Fellow club members:
Many have been talking recently about the infiltration of the club by
radical pro-mass immigration advocates recently. It has been pointed out
that Cathi Tactaquin and Santos Gomez (National Population Committee members
that were mysteriously appointed to the committee upon joining the Sierra Club a few years
ago) have very strong ties to the Political Ecology Group--(Cathi is on the
Advisory Board and Santos is on the organizing Board) as well as club
members Brian Andreiga (Environmental Justice Task Force Chair), Julie Beezely
(California/Nevada Regional Population Issues Chair, also National Population Committee), Karen
Jones (Baton Rouge and National Popcom), and Rich Hayes (Former recent
Sustainable Planet Strategy Team). These individuals all appear as
supporters on Political Ecology Group's (PEG) web page.
Bold associations with non-club affiliated groups such as The Federation For
Immigration Reform and even the KKK have been used to demonize proponents
of the "A" population ballot initiative (by insinuation of shared motives) in an effort to
move the focus from numbers to social justice issues in this campaign,
though they have no role in this campaign. My concern here is that there
appears to have been a successful effort to infiltrate the club by
open borders groups with an agenda to associate population activists
with Nazi's. I am disheartened by the utter silence of the leadership on
Who is the Political Ecology Group?
This is the group that has an ongoing campaign to "reframe the immigration
debate" (along with Cathi Tactaquin's National Network for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights) and has a track record of accusing NPG, CCN and Population-Environment Balance
of the "greening of hate." The Coordinator of the group, Brad Erickson,
along with Cathi T. appeared on NPR recently in San Francisco to oppose
ballot measure A. The two, along with PEG board member Santos Gomez, have
coordinated and executed a campaign to frame all concerned about US
population growth as racists.
Following are some quotes from materials distributed from this
hysterical PEG group. We'll start with a recent fund raising letter that
was signed by all board members except for Cathi.
"It's no joke
Did you hear the one about a strawberry picker, a Sierra Club member, A
Whole Foods executive and a neo-Nazi?..Okay, it's no joke. But by the time
you finish reading this letter, you'll understand how these disparate
players are connected, and learn how you can double your money to support
The next title reads IS RACISM AN ENVIRONMENTAL VALUE?
"The Sierra Club continues to be a key battleground in the greening of
The next title brags about how PEG joined in the debate and was quoted in
the L.A. Times using this issue.
"PEG members are working closely with progressive members of the Sierra Club
as well as other environmental leaders to resist the takeover by
NOTE: Alan Kuper and the two other co-sponsors have nearly 100 years of
Following are exerpts from a transcript of a gathering put on
late last year by the "Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment."
Cathi gave a speech called "Anti-Immigration and the Dividing of America."
Brad gave a planned response to her speech. All of the materials I have
read by Cathi and Brad's groups closely parallel the arguments of the Sierra Club National
Population Committee and Board of Directors, as well as other proponents.
"Now there's a new kind of scapegoating called the "greening of hate."
Anti-immigrant groups such as the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR),
Negative Population Growth (NPG), and Population-Environment Balance (PEB)
are exploiting the valid fears of the millions of people who consider
themselves environmentalists." "They have wrapped themselves in green robes
but they still can't hide the white sheets they wear underneath."
NOTE: Maria Sepulvuda, Executive director of PEB is the daughter of
Chilian immigrants. Leon Kalenkowitz, Network Cordinator with CCN and a
former club leader, is married to a Latina woman and speaks Spanish at
Later, Erickson reveals that: "Although mainstream environmentalists
aren't our main constituency, we do have a strategy to fight the greening
of hate at a national level. We believe that if environmentalists see the
leaders they respect oppose immigrant scapegoating, they will think twice
before signing up for NPG's witch hunt (NOTE: refers to a call to deport
illegal immigrants). We've asked those leaders to to a position and make
public statements that will help."
Considering the fact that four of the members of our National Population
Committee and members of two key committees are listed as supporters on
PEG's web page and they have managed to get two of their main people on our
board, we can safely assume that the leaders of the club are fully aware of
I complement PEG for getting our leaders to make statements in their favor,
the above stated goal. What I have presented here is not a "red herring"
but factual information about a really sinister plot that happens to be
reality. The red herring is in the accusation that because John Tanton was
a club leader long ago, and that he solicited money for his current group
from a fund that in 30's allegedly funded eugenics (DNA) research, that this
means we are all a bunch of Nazi's infiltrating the club - all a bunch of
It has not even been established that Pioneer Fund has funded the "Nazi"
(the Nazis took eugenics and misused it) eugenics back in the unenlightened
era. PEG defines eugenics as the study of "proving colored people
inferior." I researched this and it appears that eugenics is simply DNA
research to better humankind through genetic research. I felt the
accusations against the Pioneer Fund were serious, so I looked into it a
bit. I found that the group funds medical research at Stanford University
and Tel Aviv University (In Israel). So if we are "racist" because an
unrelated immigration group accepted funds from the Pioneer Fund, then Stanford and
Tel Aviv Universities are both racist.
Garret Hradin has also been attacked by this vile group and their
accusations have been repeated in the media as fact. His opinions about
carrying capacity have been misrepresented as supporting "infanticide" among
other things. This, all in an effort to discreidt environmental population
stabilization group who are affiliated with him.
Initiative proponents are no more associated with the KKK and eugenics than
the club is with the unabomber, though some have tried to make the
association. The term "anti-immigrant" has been used often in an attempt to
personalize this debate and get people off the numbers and on to the
emotion. The initiative has nothing to do with immigrants already here,
but instead asks for a comprehensive policy that factors in mass immigration
levels, as our policy has done that for decades. In short, it is a
re-affirmation of (pre-1996 politics) decades of realization that mass
immigration is a major component of population growth.
The talk about some immigration reform groups' agendas (some are concerned
more about culture and demographics) is all a diversion from the fact that
we have an organized group of individuals with conflicts of interest who
were planted in key positions to fight this sensible initiative. I have
repeatedly seen individuals and experts like Leon Bouvier, the Ehrlich's
and Garrett Hardin attacked by the PEG group that has managed to worm
their way into running this campaign. They have taken to attacking the
concept of numbers as well, as is clearly illustrated in their literature.
The "so-called population explosion" is how they phrase it.
What does the Board think about this?
Well, they have hired a Public Relations firm to run their campaign. They authorized the
use of club funds to do so, which would otherwise be prohibited. But the
bylaws (which I would hope to change) prohibit funds being used for promotion of
one director or referendum "unless authorized by the Board." The Board has
not responded to the many complaints made on this infiltration issue. They
have subverted petition efforts in a number of ways. When the initiative was
obeing circulated, Groups and Chapters received a one-sided lobby letter
(using club funds) from the National Population Committee that was clearly in violation of the bylaws.
There was a complaint lodged and the Election Inspectors ruled that the committee
or the individuals) should
pay the club back for the mailing costs. Apparently, someone on the Board
was deeply involved and the Population Committee refused to take the blame. The Inspectors'
advice was then passed by the Board to the Ex-Com. Ex-Com never acted and
the issue was never resolved. Lately, our Board has been busy rigging the
ballot question as to make this appear as a National vs. global position.
Both should be addressed. But out of fear that the membership may vote for
this initiative, the BOD decided to frame the question as a "choice"
between their "reaffirmation of existing policy" or national stabilization.
This, rather than the bylaw mandated yes/no on each initiative. Again,
the Elections Inspectors ruled that the club should follow the bylaws, which the Board opted
NOT to do. This could cause litigation. This is nearly identical to the
ballot tampering a few years back on the forest ballot. One has to wonder
why it was even necessary to put an "alternative B" on the ballot, as
opponents could have simply written a counterpoint to "alternative A" on the ballot.?
More recently, they have rigged the "objective" mailing that has gone out
around the same time as the ballots. Unfortunately, the foxes (Carl Pope
and Adam Werbach) are in charge of the chicken coop - "fairness" of the mailings. The "A"
supporters were hounded for verification of every piece of information that
sounded objectionable to the B's, while the very proponents of "B" were not
challenged on the content of their statements. The content, we have recently
learned, has a quote from David Duke's web page saying he will do what he
can to reduce overpopulation via immigration reform! This, in a desperate
attempt to link "A" supporters with the KKK. This mailing goes out to all club members!
Also included in their statement are quotes from major newpapers opposed to
"A" with race-baiting content. The statements were attributed to the
respectable newspapers, but no mention of the fact that these were mostly
Mass Immigration is an Environmental Issue
This is a very serious issue for those of us who are struggling to protect
our open space, etc.. Immigrants and their descendents have accounted for
60% of our population growth since 1970. We receive over a million
newcomers each year- most of whom can begin reproducing immediately and
generally have higher birth rates than the native-born. If we had kept
immigration levels at their pre-1970's level of under 200,000 a year, we
would have stabilized at 247 million in 2035. Instead, we liberalized the
law and can now expect nearlt 400 million in 2050.
What is our policy Now?
Club policy still states the goal of ending US population growth as soon as
possible, but new policy says we are neutral on immigration numbers.
Factors in US growth include births minus deaths and immigration minus
emigration. We already have replacement-level fertility, but immigration
is about 6 times higher than emigration. We cannot possibly have a stated
goal of population stabilization in the US without addressing mass immigration
Anonymous Sierra Club member