Dr. Stephen D. Mumford is among the most fanatical devotees of the population control lobby that has had its hands in the federal government's trough. As the blurb on his most recent (1994) book – "The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy" (Center for Research on Population and Security, P.O. Box 13067, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709) – observes:

"For more than two decades, he has been a lead scientist in the evolution of sterilization methods, including the quinacrine pellet non-surgical method of female sterilization, collaborating with scientists in more than 20 countries."

Now the president of the Center for Population and Security, Dr. Mumford is known as the author of various books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning and such works as:

  • "Population Control, the Next Move" (Philosophical Library, 1977);
  • "American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security" (Humanist Press, 1984); and
  • "The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning" (Research Triangle Park, N.C., 1986)

Our author is clearly obsessed with the Catholic Church. He is engaged in his own holy war against the Catholic Church and the papacy. In his rage against "Humanae Vitae" and the failure of liberal Catholics to finish off the papacy, Dr. Mumford repeats ad nauseam his favorite themes:

"The Catholic Church is the enemy of American democracy; it is the enemy of the American people."

His book, "The Life and Death of NSSM 200", is revealing for its blatant anti-Catholicism and hatred of the papacy for standing in the way of the "Brave New World of Population Control" heralded by such propagandists as Paul Ehrlich, Garrett Hardin, the billionaire Warren Buffett, Lester Brown, and similar other luminaries. Dr. Mumford is Margaret Sanger updated for the 1990's.

"The Life and Death of NSSM 200" is one long lament at the failure of the federal government to fully implement the population policy recommendation of NSSM 200 (National Security Study Memorandum 200) signed by Henry Kissinger on behalf of President Nixon and later endorsed by President Ford whose own position on abortion was made clear in a letter to Nixon's former ambassador to Canada, Adolph W. Schmidt (another zealot for population control):

"Mrs. Ford and I have constantly supported the pro-choice point of view and will not change. I was very disappointed with the 1992 GOP platform on this issue [of abortion]."
(letter of president Ford appearing at the beginning of Mumford's book)

Unfortunately, for both Ambassador Schmidt and Dr. Mumford, the NSSM 200 directive and the consequent detailed "National Security Decision Memo 314" (approving all the NSSM 200 recommendations) were halted due to both Ford and Nixon shying away from implementing them – the result, Mumford declares, of the political influence of "that foreign controlled special interest group – the Vatican!"

Thus, according to Mumford, the United States was left without any "comprehensive, realistic population policy." Similarly, he was outraged that the more than 70 recommendations of John D. Rockefeller III's "Population and the American Future Report" suffered rejection by President Nixon capitulating to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in order to be re-elected in 1972. Mumford writes:

"These recommendations were a bold but sane response to the [overpopulation] challenges we faced in 1973. For example, they called for passage of a Population Education Act to help school systems establish well-planned population education programs; sex education to be widely available, especially through the schools; passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA); contraception to be available for, including minors, at government expense, if need be; abortion for all who want it, at government expense if necessary; vastly expanded research in many areas related to population growth control; and the elimination of all employment of illegal aliens."
(p. 7)

For Mumford, the recommendations of the Rockefeller Commission on Population Control and the American Future "represented the conclusions of the nation's most capable people."

That the United States has spent more than $1 billion since 1990 as the world's largest provider of contraception and abortion and helping to fund a cluster of quasi-governmental organizations engaged in popularizing and carrying out population control measures will give pause to Mumford's exaggerated claim that his favorite family planning and sex education programs have been "crippled."

Hundreds of millions of dollars continue to be channeled by liberal Republicans and liberal Democrats in Congress and by President Clinton through executive orders for consolidation of the "Contraception-Abortion-Population Control Society" designed by Mumford's fellow scientists and humanist ideologists who are all too eager to curb world population growth. Mumford rightly declares the NSSM 200 Study to be:

"one of the most important ever on population policy; only a handful of people have seen it because it remained classified for 14 years and has not been covered in the press."

"NSSM 200" is certainly an eye-opener if only for its candid admission that "no country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion" (p.177). Intended to be "the foundation of population policy for our government," NSSM 200 ran afoul – in Mumford's words – of the only significant opponent of population control – the Vatican. Thus he excoriates the papacy and the 28 "right-wing" Catholic organizations that, he believes, are lackeys of the Vatican. The evil "religious right" which he even claims to be a "Catholic-designed movement, created and controlled by Catholics!" He also reproaches those liberal Catholics who have been too timid to leave the Church. Taking his cue from Andrew Greeley's statistics that "liberal Catholics account for 93% of all American Catholics," Mumford gives the following encouragement to his timid allies in the struggle against "Humanae Vitae":

"Liberal Catholics can best serve humanity by bolting from the Church and encouraging others to do the same. Since "Humanae Vitae", millions already have"

It is with horror, incidentally, that Mumford views the ultimate goal of the Vatican's anti-population efforts in the U.S. – passage of "The Human Life Amendment" (p. 11).

It is interesting to see how Mumford envisages the Catholic Church as an essentially political institution struggling for survival with the papacy "threatened with annihilation as civil authorities make contraception and abortion legally available to other constituents" (p. 272).

Indebted to Hans Kung, "the world's leading Catholic theologian," and to August Bernhard Hasler's calumnious book, "How the Pope Became Infallible" (filled with historical falsehoods and distortions), Mumford combines the roles of population controller and "theologian," committing some real whoppers in his tunnel-vision view of the Church and its doctrines. Thus he can write:

  • "The underlying cause of the world population problem is the dogma of papal infallibility (1870), the foundation of the Catholic Church" (p.11).
  • "As a result of the Catholic principle of infallibility and the challenges it faces because of overpopulation, the Church is self-destructing as predicted by thoughtful bishops in 1870" (p.11).
  • "In 1324 Pope John XXII condemned this idea [of papal infallibility] as the work of the devil" (p. 273).
  • "Pope Gregory XVI (1831-46) was the first pope to claim that popes were infallible" (p. 273).
  • "St John Bosco referred to the pope as 'God on earth' and asserted: 'Jesus has put the pope on the same level as God' "(p.281).
  • "[In defining the Assumption]...the Church has lost touch with reality. There was no serious opposition to this infallible proclamation by Pope Pius XII. The story is quite simply preposterous. It is frightening to think that such a thing could happen in 1950. After reading the complete sixth-century myth which was accepted by the entire leadership of the Church as truth (in my lifetime), I better understand how the Church can continue to ignore the growing mountain of evidence that the planet and humanity are gravely threatened by overpopulation" (p. 288).

In another place, Mumford pontificates that the dogma of the Assumption is "nonsense". He showers the Church with his invectives:

  • "About 25 years ago, after such observation and thought, I concluded that the Pope's system of morals was immoral" (p.296).
  • "John Paul II does not 'interest himself in the truth'...We acknowledge that this sinister man is the moral leader of the world. We permit him to make the rules in spite of his outrageous views and claims" (p.297).
  • "[For Americans]...the papacy is the enemy" (p.304).
  • "From Cardinal Ratzinger: screw American democracy" (p.312)
  • "The Church is radically anti-democratic and anti-American. After 200 years, nothing has changed" (p.313)
  • "As syndicated columnist Georgia Anne Geyer points out, the Pope is a threat to everyone on the planet. He is our enemy" (p.329)
  • "Many of the tears in America's social fabric are the result of Vatican attempts to advance its power, control, influence, wealth, or security – at the expense of Americans and American institutions" (p.361)
  • "The honest position for an [American] patriot is a position opposed to the Pope's teachings and policies on population control" (p. 361)
  • "What the Pope refers to as 'modernism' includes the liberties of American democracy" (p.367)
  • "Given that the U.S. growth rate has actually increased since 1974, we must pursue a one-child family norm as quickly as possible...All relevant U.S. policy should promote a goal of a one-child family everywhere. We must achieve this goal as quickly as possible" (p.371)
  • "I cannot emphasize strongly enough that the Vatican is a political power whose security interests are in conflict with U.S. security interests...Americans must decide democratically whether representation at the Vatican should continue in the U.S. and, if so, under what conditions. It is unpatriotic to permit the present arrangement to continue."

Mumford's virtual paranoia concerning the Vatican's "takeover" of the Republican Party, its "despotism," and its alleged threats to American democracy is fueled by the writings of those (past and present) who have distinguished themselves in betraying Catholic teachings: Ignaz von Dollinger, George Tyrrel, Hans Kung, A.B. Hasler, the Dutch Bishop Francis Simons, Andrew Greeley, and also Fr. Arthur McCormack who was a population control mole working as a Vatican consultant to the UN for 23 years (until replaced in 1979 by Bishop James T. McHugh of New Jersey).

Our author rejoices in the loss of faith characterizing millions of Catholics. "The Catholic Church in America is in serious decline", he agrees, and is pleased to observe that "the Church is self-destructing as a result of exposure to American culture" (pp. 314 and 320). The inroads of liberalism and modernism in American Catholicism are summarized:

  • "The vast majority of Catholics want to be and are Americans first and Catholics second – JFK Catholics" (p.320).
  • He echoes Conor Cruise O'Brien's quip: "An American Catholic is a Protestant who goes to Mass" (p.316).

The quality of our author's observations concerning the Church, its teachings, and the meaning of papal infallibility may be gauged by the accuracy of his claim concerning the entire question of "overpopulation": "None of the predictions made nearly two decades ago has proved to be inaccurate." (p. 3) This is laughable in view of past studies by reliable economists and statisticians. Witness, moreover, a recent report by the United Nations Population Fund admitting errors in assessing population growth. Furthermore, as the important document "Ethical and Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends" (released by the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1994 – the result of five years of study and scholarly consulation) took occasion to note:

"There is no present population explosion and no world overpopulation crisis. What there has been is a constant hammering by the media, which is used by many movements to favor coercive population control."

Dr. Mumford's book provides ample proof, if there still be need, of the truth expressed in various documents of the Pontifical Council for the Family (including its superb "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality", see nn. 136-138) and that there is a vast international network of wealthy organizations intent on coercive population control measures and which find in the Catholic Church their most resolute opponent. In his June 7th, 1984 address to a Conference on Population attended by Rafael Salas, executive Director of the UN Population Fund, Pope John Paul II once again made clear the Church's profound antipathy toward the schemes and plans of population controllers:

"The Church condemns as a grave offense against human dignity and justice all those activities of governments or other public authorities which attempt to limit in any way the freedom of couples in deciding about children. Consequently, any violence applied by such authorities in favor of contraception or, still worse, of sterilization or procured abortion, must be altogether condemned... Also to be denounced as gravely unjust are cases where, in international relations, economic help given to the advancement of peoples is made conditional on programs of contraception, sterilization, and procured abortion."

Dr. Mumford is quite aware of the import of the Pope's various addresses on moral issues. He has read them, but his own views must be seen in the context of his own warped understanding of American democracy that is grounded in an idolatrous commitment to the civil religion of American secularism. In that perspective, Christian morality is no longer considered relevant, and the Catholic Church thus becomes the enemy of human freedom. His book gives strident expression to the anti-Catholic bigotry that has long characterized certain antireligious elites occupying key positions in our national media, universities, federal bureaucracy, and free-thinking "scientific" circles.

Catholics may well take note of the following pillars of the population control "intelligentsia" who have written approvingly (and admiringly) of Mumford's exposé of Vatican "machinations":

  • Tim Black, chief executive, Marie Stopes International.
  • Gene R. LaRoque, rear admiral (ret.), president, Center for Defense Information.
  • Edgar Wayburn, M.D., former president, Sierra Club.
  • Edmund O. Wilson, Pellegrino University professor, Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Agassiz Museum.
  • James H. Scheuer, U.S. congressman 1965-1994.
  • Warner Fornos, president, the Population Institute.
  • Dr. T. T. Ravenholt, president, Population Health Imperatives, Seattle, former director, 1966-1979, Office of Population, USAID, Department of State.
  • Philander P. Claxton, Jr., World Population Society; first special assistant to the Secretary of State for population matters.
  • Dr. Virginia Abernethy, editor, "Population and Environment", Vanderbilt University.
  • Ruth Roemer, J.D. adjunct professor emerita, UCLA School of Public Health, and past president, American Public Health Association.
  • Fran P. Hosken, editor and publisher "WIN News" (Women's International Network), Lexington, Mass.

Giving his theological endorsement to Mumford's Brave New World of Coercive Population Control is, not surprisingly, Dr. Hans Kung, professor of ecumenical theology and director of the Institute for Ecumenical Research, University of Tubingen, Germany.

About James Likoudis
James Likoudis is an expert in Catholic apologetics. He is the author of several books dealing with Catholic-Eastern Orthodox relations, including his most recent "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church." He has written many articles published by various religious papers and magazines.
He can be reached at:, or visit  Mr. James Likoudis' Homepage