“After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” – 18th Amendment, Section 1
Yes, you read the title correctly – Prohibition was a success! The conventional wisdom is that Prohibition, or the national ban on alcohol enacted by the 18th Amendment on January 16, 1920, was a massive failure. This, my dear friends, is sheer propaganda. The reality that is concealed and distorted by mainstream voices is that Prohibition was a huge success, that it made America a better place, and that it was only overturned through the machinations of some very powerful anti-American groups.
In a 1989 piece titled “Actually, Prohibition Was a Success,” Professor Mark H. Moore stated some basic truths of Prohibition. He noted that “the conventional view of Prohibition is not supported by the facts.” He then proceeded to list several reasons why Prohibition, contrary to “conventional” myths, was actually a success. First, Professor Moore reminded us that “alcohol consumption declined dramatically during Prohibition.” In fact, consumption declined at least “by one-third.” He wrote:
“Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928. Arrests for pubic drunkenness and disorderly conduct declined 50 percent between 1916 and 1922. For the population as a whole, the best estimates are that consumption of alcohol declined by 30 to 50 percent.”
Professor Moore also debunked the prevalent idea that violent crime skyrocketed during Prohibition. Homicide rates actually remained consistent from the pre-Prohibition period through the end of Prohibition. “Organized crime may have become more visible and lurid during Prohibition, but it existed before and after,” Moore stated.
I call forward another witness. In the abstract to his 2006 essay “Did Prohibition Really Work? Alcohol Prohibition as a Public Health Innovation” Professor Jack S. Blocker, Jr. opened with this declaration: “The conventional view that National Prohibition failed rests upon an historically flimsy base.” The author went on to write in his essay of some of Prohibition’s benefits:
“In 1916, there were 1300 breweries producing full-strength beer in the United States; 10 years later there were none. Over the same period, the number of distilleries was cut by 85%, and most of the survivors produced little but industrial alcohol. Legal production of near beer used less than one tenth the amount of malt, one twelfth the rice and hops, and one thirtieth the corn used to make full-strength beer before National Prohibition. The 318 wineries of 1914 became the 27 of 1925. The number of liquor wholesalers was cut by 96% and the number of legal retailers by 90%. From 1919 to 1929, federal tax revenues from distilled spirits dropped from $365 million to less than $13 million, and revenue from fermented liquors from $117 million to virtually nothing. . . .
“. . . The closing of so many large commercial operations left liquor production, if it were to continue, in the hands of small-scale domestic producers. . . .
“. . . once Prohibition became the law of the land, many citizens decided to obey it. Referendum results in the immediate post-Volstead period showed widespread support, and the Supreme Court quickly fended off challenges to the new law. Death rates from cirrhosis and alcoholism, alcoholic psychosis hospital admissions, and drunkenness arrests all declined steeply during the latter years of the 1910s, when both the cultural and the legal climate were increasingly inhospitable to drink, and in the early years after National Prohibition went into effect. They rose after that, but generally did not reach the peaks recorded during the period 1900 to 1915. After Repeal, when tax data permit better-founded consumption estimates than we have for the Prohibition Era, per capita annual consumption stood at 1.2 US gallons (4.5 liters), less than half the level of the pre-Prohibition period. . . .
“. . . it is important to list the ways in which National Prohibition did fulfill prohibitionists’ expectations. The liquor industry was virtually destroyed, and this created an historic opportunity to socialize rising generations in a lifestyle in which alcohol had no place. To some degree, such socialization did take place, and the lessened consumption of the Prohibition Era reflects that. . . .
“. . . Prohibition did work in lowering per capita consumption. The lowered level of consumption during the quarter century following Repeal, together with the large minority of abstainers, suggests that Prohibition did socialize or maintain a significant portion of the population in temperate or abstemious habits. That is, it was partly successful as a public health innovation. Its political failure is attributable more to a changing context than to characteristics of the innovation itself.”
To recap Professor Blocker’s analysis, Prohibition did essentially what it promised to do – lower alcohol consumption throughout the nation. It wiped out the alcohol industry – an industry that profits by getting Americans addicted to a harmful substance and destroying their health and the morality of the community. As noted, the average American was a law-abiding citizen and followed the law. Because of the general compliance with the law, deaths and diseases related to alcohol consumption plummeted. Drunkenness ceased to be an issue in many communities. Order, health, and overall sobriety was on the rise during the Prohibition era.
On January 29, 1922, The Ogden Standard-Examiner, a Utah-based newspaper, ran a report titled, “Two Years of Prohibition – An Unbiased Report.” The subheading of the article heralded, “Drinking Cut 60% Since Law Went Into Effect.” It referred to a few of the effects of the law thus:
“[T]wo years of prohibition have brought these results:
“The smuggling of a vast quantity of liquor into the United States and the illegal manufacture of perhaps as much again.
“The decrease in in the consumption of intoxicating liquor by approximately 70 per cent. . . .
“The cutting off of more than $350,000,000 a year of the revenue of United States Government and a great unknown loss of revenue to the State and municipal governments.
“The increasing of the revenue of the Government from the sale of theater and other amusement tickets and from the sale of soft drinks.
“The substantial and general decrease in crime and in insanity cases.”
In other words, Prohibition successfully cut down heavily on alcohol consumption, decreased crime, lessened alcohol-related illness, and deprived the federal government of more funds. All positive effects.
A well-sourced website gives us this a host of quotations on our subject and provides this commentary on the success on Prohibition:
“Bottom line, notwithstanding the mismanagement and politicization, Prohibition was a success, despite the many efforts to sabotage it. And it was repealed BECAUSE it was succeeding, thus resented by moneyed “special interests.”
“[Ernest B.] Gordon cites evidence including from Thomas Edison. Edison reported that, prior to Prohibition, women would seek his help on Mondays after their husbands had “drank up” the week’s pay received the previous Friday, over the weekend. During Prohibition, said Edison, such incidents ceased. Gordon cites many other examples, including a substantially increased rate of savings. . . .
“Gordon shows that Prohibition succeeded, that is why corrupt interests (called “special interests” nowadays) had it repealed, by means/methods including:
“– getting rid of honest enforcement agents, and
“– bribery of officials and legislators. . . .
“And note rebuttal of the myth that “you cannot legislate morality.” “The example often given to support that position is the [alleged] failure of [Prohibition]. It is even maintained that people consumed more alcohol during the Prohibition era of the 1920’s because liquor was made more exciting by being taboo. One writer went so far as to argue that prohibitions have caused most of our addictions. In fact, for all the speakeasy nightclubs and bathtub gin, consumption was actually less during the Prohibition era than before or afterwards because alcohol was less available—and availability remains the first condition for consumption, albeit not the only one. When something becomes illegal and thereby less accessible, consumption may not cease altogether but it drops—if the law is enforced,” says Prof. Michael Parenti, Ph.D., Land of Idols: Political Mythology in America (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1993), Chapter 1, “Myths of Political Quietism,” p 8.
“And: “If it were true that legal prohibition introduces the enticement of taboo, than we would expect consumption to decline when a substance is legalized and becomes less of a forbidden fruit. In fact, after Prohibition was repealed, consumption increased as did the incidence of alcohol-related diseases. So with narcotics. As the supply becomes more abundant, in part because of the corrupt cooperation of law enforcement agencies, consumption increased. . . . In short, when the law or the market makes something more available, consumption tends to increase; when less available, consumption tends to decrease,” Parenti, Myths, supra, pp 8-9.”
It seems common sense that a lower supply of a product leads to lower usage, yet there are some people who deny it. These people are victims of the mind manipulation perpetrated by those “special interests” noted. They use false arguments like “you cannot legislate morality” to guilt trip people into allowing harmful substances to proliferate in our communities. Dallin H. Oaks, a highly respected former judge, had this to say to those who argue you cannot legislate morality:
“I suppose persons who mouth that familiar slogan think they are saying something profound. In fact, if that is an argument at all, it is so superficial that an educated person should be ashamed to use it. As should be evident to every thinking person, a high proportion of all legislation has a moral base. That is true of the criminal law, most of the laws regulating family relations, businesses, and commercial transactions, many of the laws governing property, and a host of others” (Dallin H. Oaks, quoted by President James E. Faust, “Will I Be Happy?” General Conference, April, 1987).
Our entire Constitution is based on moral law. More specifically, it is based on Biblical law. It is based on the revealed commands in the Ten Commandments such as “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” and so forth. Prohibition was only an extension of Biblical law. But Prohibition not only attacked the immorality of alcohol consumption, but was calculated to better America, make us wealthier and healthier, and reduce crime. I draw three choice quotations from the previous website mentioned about the effects of Prohibition:
“Evidence has accumulated on every hand that prohibition has promoted public health, public happiness, and industrial efficiency” (Charles W. Eliot, Pres., Harvard U., in a letter to the Massachusetts Legislature, 2-17-1922).
“I have no hesitation in saying with emphasis that the Volstead Act . . . have been very beneficial to the industry of this country, and to the workmen connected with it, and their families” (Judge Elbert Gary, Chairman of the Board, U. S. Steel Corp., New York Times, 7-21-1923).
“I am not a prohibitionist myself, but look upon this matter purely from a scientific and commonsense standpoint. In my own business, conditions have been greatly improved….I am convinced that the theory that the country in general would be benefited by Prohibition has been proven a fact” (Edward Freschi, President, Holeproof Hosiery, Milwaukee, in the Manufacturer’s Record, 1922).
Despite the benefits widely acknowledged at the time, Prohibition was eventually repealed. We will discuss the culprits later, but I borrow one final quote from our source to give you a preliminary idea of the duplicity of Prohibition’s repeal.
“[I]n 1834 a third of the population . . . was of Puritan descent. . . . ministers . . . developed and shaped the higher education of the nation, who gave the country its peculiar idealist quality. . . . They played their part in the fight against slavery, the Parkers and Beechers. They would have lifted the burden of alcoholism from America if they had not been checkmated and cheated by Wall Street” (Ernest B. Gordon, The Wrecking of the Eighteenth Amendment, 141).
Perhaps I’m overloading the reader with information. Yet, it seems necessary in light of the realization that it is difficult to break through generations of conditioning and propagandizing. It’s risky business telling people that what they thought they knew all their life is actually myth and fable. Yet, that’s the business of truth-telling. That’s what a reformer of error does, the consequences be what they may.
In a recently updated Vox article titled “Prohibition worked better than you think,” German Lopez gave us this helpful insight:
“Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the evidence also suggests Prohibition really did reduce drinking. Despite all the other problems associated with Prohibition, newer research even indicates banning the sale of alcohol may not have, on balance, led to an increase in violence and crime.
“It’s time to reconsider whether America’s “noble experiment” was really such a failure after all. . . .
“Prohibition meant to address these problems by reducing drinking. On that metric alone, it succeeded.
“This is not controversial among experts. When I asked [David T.] Courtwright, a drug historian at the University of North Florida, whether Prohibition led to more drinking, he responded, “No well-informed historian has believed that for 50 years.”
“Courtwright’s The Age of Addiction has the statistics: “Per capita consumption initially fell to 30 percent of pre-Prohibition levels, before gradually increasing to 60 or 70 percent by 1933.” That suggests a 30 percent reduction, at a minimum, in consumption. . . .
“Even if Prohibition did lead to less drinking, what about Al Capone and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre? Surely the big increase in these types of crime wasn’t worth the benefits.
“But it’s not clear Prohibition really did cause, on net, more violence. . . .
“Alcohol is known to induce violence. In modern times, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimated alcohol is a factor in 40 percent of violent crimes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that alcohol contributed to 47 percent of homicides. . . .
“So what were Prohibition’s overall effects on crime? Emily Owens, an economist at the University of California Irvine, analyzed the effects of national Prohibition and state-level prohibitions in studies published in 2011 and 2014.
“She found, contrary to popular perceptions about Prohibition and crime, that prohibitions were associated with lower murder rates — as much as 29 percent lower in some cases. Where crime did increase, it wasn’t always prohibition but other factors, like the swift urbanization that was occurring in the era, that were mostly to blame.”
Lopez’s article contains a lot of straightforward information that needs no commentary. However, I want to draw attention to the comment by Dr. Courtwright. He said that “No well-informed historian has believed that [Prohibition increased alcohol consumption] for 50 years.” Isn’t it interesting that historians know the reality, but the mainstream propaganda mechanisms work overtime to keep the general public misinformed? Think of how many times you’ve heard from media personalities, Libertarian pundits, Hollywood types, and loudmouths on the internet that “Prohibition failed,” “Prohibition increased alcohol consumption,” or “Prohibition is responsible for an uptick in organized crime.” No “well-informed” individual actually believes those myths, yet because of a well-funded misinformation campaign, the average person believes them.
You need to understand that the powers-that-be have a vested interest in keeping us in the dark about Prohibition’s success. They want us to continue to believe their poppycock about Prohibition’s supposed “failure” so that we will never act in our own best interest and ban harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and pornography. It truly is in our best interest to abolish, prohibit, and ban soul-destroying, morals-eroding, nation-degrading substances, yet people are too afraid to make that step because they’ve been propagandized into thinking it can never work. The truth is that it not only can work, but that it has worked – and it can work again.
Let’s now talk a little about how Prohibition came to be. For generations, the anti-alcohol temperance movement had been gaining steam all across the country. Prior to the 18th Amendment, a handful of states had already abolished alcohol consumption. Indeed, for years after the repeal of the 18th Amendment, a number of states retained their anti-alcohol laws. This was not a sudden movement that came about on a whim. Prohibition grew out of the wisdom of generations of experience dealing with drunkenness and its damning consequences to marriages, families, community order, health, and national morality. It was essentially a Christian movement, though women tired of seeing drunkenness in their families and communities played a prominent role as well.
In 1914, Representative Richmond P. Hobson of Alabama stood on the floor of Congress and voiced his support for a bill that would prohibit alcohol. He touched upon the purpose of the then current proposal, took to task some of the common objections, and eloquently excoriated the evils of alcohol:
“What is the object of this resolution? It is to destroy the agency that debauches the youth of the land and thereby perpetuates its hold upon the Nation. How does the resolution propose to destroy this agent? In the simplest manner…. It does not coerce any drinker. It simply says that barter and sale, matters that have been a public function from the semicivilized days of society, shall not continue the debauching of the youth. Now, the Liquor Trust are wise enough to know that they can not perpetuate their sway by depending on debauching grown people, so they go to an organic method of teaching the young to drink. Now we apply exactly the same method to destroy them. We do not try to force old drinkers to stop drinking, but we do effectively put an end to the systematic, organized debauching of our youth through thousands and tens of thousands of agencies throughout the land . . . Science comes in now and says that all alcohol does harm; that the malt and fermented liquors produce vastly more harm than distilled liquors, and that it is the general public use of such drinks that has entailed the gradual decline and degeneracy of the nations of the past. . . .
“Their [alcohol supporters] favorite contention is that we can not reach the evil because of our institutions. This assumes that here is something very harmful and injurious to the public health and morals, that imperils our very institutions themselves and the perpetuity of the Nation, but the Nation has not within itself, because of its peculiar organization, the power to bring about the public good and end a great public wrong. They invoke the principle of State rights. As a matter of fact, we are fighting more consistently for State rights than they ever dreamed of. We know the States have the right to settle this question, and furthermore our confidence in three-quarters of all the States to act wisely does not lead us to fear that if we submit the proposition to them they might establish an imperialistic empire. We believe that three-quarters of all the States have the wisdom as well as the right to settle the national prohibition question for this country.
“Neither can they take refuge about any assumed question of individual liberty. We do not say that a man shall not drink. We ask for no sumptuary action. We do not say that a man shall not have or make liquor in his own home for his own use. Nothing of that sort is involved in this resolution. We only touch the sale. A man may feel he has a right to drink, but he certainly has no inherent right to sell liquor. A man’s liberties are absolutely secure in this resolution. The liberties and sanctity of the home are protected. The liberties of the community are secure, the liberties of the county are secure, and the liberties of the State are secure. . . .
“I say now, as I said before, I will meet this foe on a hundred battlefields. . . .
“The poisoning attack of alcohol is specially severe in the cortex cerebrum-the top part of the brain-where resides the center of inhibition, or of will power, causing partial paralysis, which liberates lower activities otherwise held in control, causing a man to be more of a brute, but to imagine that he has been stimulated, when he is really partially paralyzed. This center of inhibition is the seat of the will power, which of necessity declines a little in strength every time partial paralysis takes place.
“Thus a man is little less of a man after each drink he takes. In this way continued drinking causes a progressive weakening of the will and a progressive growing of the craving, so that after a time, if persisted in, there must come a point where the will power can not control the craving and the victim is in the grip of the habit.
“When the drinking begins young the power of the habit becomes overwhelming, and the victim might as well have shackles. It is estimated that there are 5,000,000 heavy drinkers and drunkards in America, and these men might as well have a ball and chain on their ankles, for they are more abject slaves than those black men who were driven by slave drivers.
“These victims are driven imperatively to procure their liquor, no matter at what cost. A few thousand brewers and distillers, making up the organizations composing the great Liquor Trust, have a monopoly of the supply, and they therefore own these 5,000,000 slaves and through them they are able to collect two and one-half billions of dollars cash from the American people every year. . . .
“To cure this organic disease we must have recourse to the organic law. The people themselves must act upon this question. A generation must be prevailed upon to place prohibition in their own constitutional law, and such a generation could be counted upon to keep it in the Constitution during its lifetime. The Liquor Trust of necessity would disintegrate. The youth would grow up sober. The final, scientific conclusion is that we must have constitutional prohibition, prohibiting only the sale, the manufacture for sale, and everything that pertains to the sale, and invoke the power of both Federal and State Governments for enforcement. The resolution is drawn to fill these requirements.”
Congressman Hobson was exactly correct. Alcoholics are modern slaves and those who manufacture and sell alcohol are their masters. There is nothing in the consumption of alcohol that benefits individuals or society. Instead, it has a retarding, degrading, corroding effect upon civilization and makes men mere brutes. And banning the sell of alcohol, as noted, does not infringe upon an individual’s rights as the Libertarians would claim. Instead, it protects the community and sends the message to youth that soberness pays dividends. Though the proposal ultimately failed in 1916, it continued to gain steam and by 1920 the Prohibitionists had obtained the requisite state and Congressional support to make the 18th Amendment the law of the land.
Shortly after the 18th Amendment was passed, Congress passed the Volstead Act. The Volstead Act gave teeth to the 18th Amendment by defining the “intoxicating liquors” banned by the 18th Amendment as those containing 0.5% alcohol (in other words, nearly all alcoholic beverages). It is highly interesting that President Woodrow Wilson opposed and even vetoed the Volstead Act. Wilson’s Administration was one of the most hostile to American Liberty. In fact, as a rabid socialist who led us unnecessarily in to the First World War, among other affronts, he ranks #2 on my list of worst presidents. It therefore fits Wilson’s M.O. to oppose something as beneficial for America as Prohibition. Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives had more sense and overruled the president’s veto, thus passing the Volstead Act and giving real enforcement power to the 18th Amendment.
W.H. Anderson, a leader in the Anti-Saloon League, applauded the 18th Amendment. He said:
“An enemy of mankind, that has killed more men and broken more mothers’ hearts than all the wars of recorded history since the days of Julius Caesar, has been dethroned from a position of respectability and made a fugitive from justice. The level of thinking and acting of a great free people has been so lifted that instead of considering the sale of liquor the accepted and expected thing and drunkenness as an unavoidable incident of governmental complicity and iniquity, they look upon the sale of liquor as ‘news’ and the sight of a drunken man, now exceedingly rare, is accepted as proof of dereliction in official life” (W.H. Anderson, State Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League, in The Ogden Standard-Examiner, January 29, 1922).
After reaping Prohibition’s benefits of fewer deaths, less alcohol consumption, and more public order, health, and wellness, the newly-elected Democratic Congress went to work chipping away at Prohibition. The new Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was in reality a communist whose chief advisers were later outed as Soviet moles and who did the bidding of Wall Street moguls, campaigned on raising revenue by bringing back alcohol. On March 13, 1933, FDR petitioned Congress for “the immediate modification of the Volstead act, in order to legalize the manufacture and sale of beer and other beverages of . . . alcoholic content.” He added: “I deem action at this time to be of the highest importance.” Curious, is it not, that getting America drunk was of such high importance?
It should be no surprise to my readers that the man who single-handedly thrust America into the Second World War, foisted his New Deal communist legislation on the nation, prolonged the Great Depression with failed policies, attempted to alter the entire structure of our Constitution, saved the Soviet Union with his Lend-Lease program, played buddy-buddy with mass-murderer Joseph Stalin, gave away Poland and China to the communists at Yalta, and pushed the repeal of Prohibition, occupies the #1 spot on my worst presidents list. Were it not for FDR and the Democrats ascending to power because of their false promises of economic recovery at the time Americans were suffering through the Great Depression, there might never have been a 21st Amendment.
Less than a year after FDR and his Democratic cohorts in Congress pushed for a repeal of Prohibition, the American People in the states decided the matter with their votes. Ironically, Utah was the deciding vote. Since this aspect of our saga is germane to me, I’ll mention a word about it.
It is sad that Utah was the deciding vote because Salt Lake City is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member. In 1933, members of the Church made up the majority of Utah’s population. For those who do not know, our Church has a strict health code called the Word of Wisdom. It was revealed to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith by the Lord in 1833. The Word of Wisdom prohibits the use of alcohol, tobacco, and strong drinks like coffee and tea. It also encourages people to eat healthy foods like wheat, fruit, and herbs, says to eat meat “sparingly,” and tells us to keep the commandments. Those who do these things are promised a host of blessings, including health, wisdom, and divine protection. This, mind you, was given in 1833 and proved to be generations ahead of its time. Science has vindicated each and every point.
The 1833 revelation also gives a warning that applied in 1920 and 1933 and which is timely today. The Lord said that He was giving the Word of Wisdom “In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days” (Doctrine and Covenants 89:4). Those familiar with the machinations of the medial establishment, Big Pharma, alcohol and tobacco manufacturers, and drug cartels realize the wisdom of this warning. Truly the Apostle John’s warning about pharmakeia were accurate.
Bringing the story back to Prohibition, the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1933, President Heber J. Grant, had urged the members to vote against repeal. When they disobeyed his inspired counsel and cast the deciding vote on December 5, 1933, President Grant was devastated. I cite two quotes from this man of God, found in the book Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader by Bryant S. Hinckley:
“I have never felt so humiliated in my life over anything as the state of Utah voting for the repeal of prohibition.”
“I have been requested time and time again, principally by anonymous letters, ‘For heaven’s sake, find a new subject, quit preaching so much on the Word of Wisdom.’ Never in all my life have I fought and pleaded and been convinced that the Latter-day Saints need the Word of Wisdom so much as they need it today. Why? Because the whole United States has discarded prohibition. They have gone back to liquor. This they have done because the cry went up ‘There is more drunkenness — there is more drinking of whiskey under prohibition than there was before.’ Pardon me, but all of the advertisements of that kind were pure unadulterated falsehoods.”
Truly, it is humiliating and saddening to think that Christians would rebel against the Gospel of Jesus Christ and prize alcohol over salvation, drunkenness over public order, and suffering over health. But that’s what happened. Americans voted against their own best interests when they voted, under pressure of propaganda, to repeal the 18th Amendment. The entire campaign to repeal Prohibition was based on lies and propaganda – most which are still, tragically, believed today. And the perpetrators of this massive deception got away with it.
We finish this article by turning the spotlight on those hostile forces who opposed Prohibition and resurrected the scourge of drunkenness in America. As unpopular as it might be to say, organized Jewry was probably the biggest culprit in the drive to drown America in booze. In an article for the Jewish outlet Forward, Jenny Hendrix noted that 2 million Eastern European Jews had flooded into the United States between 1880 and 1920. Hendrix added:
“These opposed Prohibition from the start, not least because alcohol was central to their culture. Also by the late 1800s, acculturated Jews were widely represented in the liquor industry. “At first,” said Marni Davis, author of the forthcoming “Jews and Booze: Becoming American in the Age of Prohibition”, “alcohol offered a way for American Jews to present themselves as the best sorts of Americans, as the ones who consume alcohol regularly but are not drunkards, who participate in the economy in ways that benefit communities and society at large.”
“As Prohibitionists touted the evils of drink, it was the Jewish distillers, wholesalers and saloonkeepers who found themselves cast as outsiders. Attacking the liquor industry, “dry” politician John Newton Tillman said: “I am not attacking an American institution. I am attacking mainly a foreign enterprise.” To prove it, he listed distillers’ names: Steinberg, Hirschbaum, Shaumberg.
“The 18th Amendment, ratified in 1920, declared the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” illegal, but did little to stop the actual flow of alcohol in the United States. Canadian and British whiskey, and rum from the Caribbean, flooded across the borders; homemade beer, wine and moonshine were produced in quantity; speakeasies proliferated, and exceptions for religious, medicinal and industrial alcohol left soggy loopholes in the law. Jews participated in this shadow trade as both buyers and sellers. Sam Bronfman, a Canadian Jew (whose surname comes strangely close to bronfn, the Yiddish word for “liquor”), became the proprietor of a vast smuggling empire along the border between the United States and Canada, buying up Joseph Seagram’s distillery and taking on the company name. Because Bronfman ferried his product across it so successfully, Lake Erie became locally known as “the Jewish Lake.”
“Jews were also prevalent in the criminal networks that Prohibition helped install. Their number included Philadelphia’s Max “Boo Boo” Hoff; Dutch Schultz and Meyer Lansky in New York; Newark, N.J.’s Longy Zwillman; Solly Weisman in Kansas; Moe Dalitz in Cleveland, and the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit. It’s troubling, Davis suggests, that these Jewish gangsters are now portrayed as strong Diaspora Jews: heroic warriors against anti-Semitism, their illegal, often murderous actions a form of protest. “I think,” she said, “there is something sort of exciting about the possibility that Jews resisted a law that today is regarded as a failure.” But at the same time, these were violent, murderous gangsters, in it for the money.
“Section 6 of the Volstead Act, which allowed Jewish families 10 gallons of kosher wine a year for religious use, left an especially large loophole. For unlike the Catholic Church, which got a similar dispensation, the rabbinate had no fixed hierarchy to oversee distribution. Infractions were rampant. In 1924, the Bureau of Prohibition distributed 2,944,764 gallons of wine; the American Hebrew marveled at the “rapid growth of Judaism.” Prohibition agent Izzy Einstein — himself a Jew from New York City’s Lower East Side and able to spot a ruse — arrested numerous rabbis for dispensing “sacramental” brandy, crème de menthe, vermouth and champagne. The scam was as common among actual rabbis as among those only claiming to be such: Einstein also arrested rabbis of convenience, named Houlihan and Maguire, as well as African Americans who claimed, according to Okrent, to have recently “got religion in the Hebraic persuasion.”
“. . . Henry Ford’s Dearborn Independent claimed that Jewish transgressions against Prohibition represented widespread conspiracy against American morals. “The Jew is on the side of liquor,” Ford wrote, “and always has been.” . . . [Daniel] Okrent estimates that half the bootleggers were Eastern European Jews; as a result, Jews were seen as delinquents who neither understood nor respected American culture.”
These admissions, recall, were made in the popular Jewish-owned media organization Forward. They were not made by so-called “anti-Semites.” Yet, to shield themselves from legitimate criticism – such as pointing out that the biggest force behind the anti-Prohibition movement was Jewry – these criminal Jews raise the specter of “anti-Semitism.” Real Americans are sick of being told we’re “anti-Semitic” because we oppose destructive ideologies and practices that are corrupting the soul of our nation.
In an article unironically titled “How Jewish Bootleggers Saved the Day During Prohibition,” Nick Hines wrote:
“An Italian accent, a suit, and a Tommy gun — it’s the classic stereotype of the classic Prohibition bootlegger that’s been glorified in popular culture for decades. But there was actually another, larger group of people who had more influence on where people got their illegal drinks: the Jews.
“It’s impossible to know the exact number of criminals involved in bootlegging during Prohibition, but historians believe that fully 60 percent were Jewish. Just 30 percent were Italian, and only around 10 percent were Irish, Daniel Okrent, the author of “Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition,” tells VinePair. The bootlegger stereotypes, it turns out, are more than a little misleading. . . .
“. . . Jews for the most part were staunch opponents of Prohibition. First off, wine is an important component of religious practice; it’s blessed and consumed in Jewish homes on Friday night and Saturday morning as part of the Sabbath meal. Second, alcohol was big business. Finally, and importantly, Prohibition was part of a Christian and xenophobic movement in America that wanted to keep immigrants and other religions like Judaism and Catholicism out of the mainstream, according to historians. The American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith, and other Jewish organizations opposed Prohibition. . . .
“In 1926, a federal grand jury investigated 600 rabbis in New York City for greatly exaggerating the number of people in their congregations. The rabbis had a huge amount of wine in distribution centers, where Jews could pick up their wine without forcing their rabbis to act as distributors. During the investigation, the amount of wine pulled from the sacramental wine storage locations went from one million gallons in 1925 to just over 6,000 gallons in 1926. Clearly, devout Jews weren’t the only ones taking wine out of storage. . . .
“It wasn’t all rabbis and rabbi pretenders. Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel, one of the most notorious mobsters of the 1900s, ran the Bugs and Meyer Mob, which later became a part of Murder Incorporated, the enforcement arm of the Italian Mafia. Murder Inc. was a crucial component of organized crime’s bootlegging activities.
“Pushing gallons of sacramental wine to people who weren’t Jewish never reached the cultural cool of hard liquor bootlegging. The demand for a drink knows no bounds, though. Rabbis, people pretending to be rabbis, and Jewish bootleggers worked the system to help keep religious wine in people’s hands.”
Yes, rabbis by the hundreds worked overtime to procure alcohol for people illegally. They were backed by the most powerful Jewish groups, such as the intimidating Masonic sect B’nai B’rith. Jewish mobsters – among which ranked the top mobsters of the era – also helped drive this largely Jewish bootlegging enterprise. The fact is that it was Jewish immigrants, by and large, who backed and ran the underground alcohol industry during Prohibition, thus undermining the will of the American People and the health and well-being of the United States. And again, I underscore the truth that facts are not “anti-Semitic” or “xenophobic,” yet that’s what Jews claim in order to deflect legitimate criticism about them and their illicit, subversive activities.
I now point your mind to the fact noted earlier that Wall Street was involved in “checkmating” the Prohibitionists. But just who were these Wall Street manipulators? Many of them were the Jews mentioned in the above quotation. From the top down, and from the bottom up, Jews – mostly foreign-born immigrants – pushed bootlegging and the move to repeal the 18th Amendment. But in a more generic sense, we can say Wall Street was behind the repeal of Prohibition. And it is interesting that New York City was the epicenter of this anti-Prohibition campaign, inasmuch as it was the home of American Jewry, Wall Street, early communist activity, and FDR.
I share this insight about Wall Street from Ernest Gordon’s book The Wrecking of the Eighteenth Amendment:
“[T]he fight for Repeal has been the affair of Wall Street in collusion with the press controlled by Wall Street, a power without equal. Its major organization, the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, came from the innermost circles of high finance. The parallel Women’s Organization for (anti) Prohibition Reform was captained by the wife of the president of the Guaranty Trust, a great Morgan Bank. The Crusaders were cubs of the Du Pont, Sabin, Wadsworth, Mather, and other rich families of the A.A.P.A.” (Ernest Gordon, The Wrecking of the Eighteenth Amendment, 79).
It should come as no surprise that communists (who, it is an undisputed historical fact, were largely Jewish and had deep connections to Wall Street) also opposed Prohibition. On page 323 of his damnable book Toward Soviet America, Communist Party USA head William Z. Foster wrote that the communists would appeal Prohibition. Instead, he proposed that the government take control of the alcohol industry: “The American Soviet government will deal with this question by eliminating prohibition, by establishing government control of the manufacture and sale of alcoholic liquors.” As always for collectivists, the answer to all problems is “more government.” Communists are the ultimate monopolists. They want a monopoly over your life by centralizing all power – political, social, economic, military, religious – in the hands of the government.
In short, it was radical Jews, (Jewish) communists, (Jewish) mobsters, and their fellow drunken Americans who worked like termites to undermine and destroy Prohibition until 1933 when a Democratic Congress and a communist-loving president prodded the states into voting against their best interests. It was this subversive element that did all they could to overthrow sobriety in America and drown us in booze. And they did it for two major reasons: 1) To profit from American debauchery; and 2) to destroy American morals even further, thus weakening our Republic.
Before I close, I feel I should add a word about counter arguments. Libertarians and others often allege that Prohibition was unconstitutional. There is no bigger lover of the Constitution in this country than I. However, Prohibition was completely constitutional and just. First, Prohibition came about through the constitutionally appointed process of amendment ratification. The American People chose Prohibition. Second, it is my interpretation that we each have a right to health. This should not be interpreted to mean we have a right to health care. But we do have a right to have our health protected from the infringements of others. And it is an undeniable fact that alcohol causes vast damage to innocent people and is a real threat to families and communities everywhere. Third, regardless of one’s constitutional interpretation, the laws of necessity trump and supersede all written laws – and it is a necessity that we stamp out the harmful substances that are eroding the morals, wealth, and strength of our People. The wise Thomas Jefferson affirmed:
“The question you propose, whether circumstances do not sometimes occur, which make it a duty in officers of high trust, to assume authorities beyond the law, is easy of solution in principle, but sometimes embarrassing in practice. A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means” (Thomas Jefferson to James B. Colvin, September 20, 1810).
When you consult the facts, you must conclude that Prohibition was not only legal and valid, but that it was a success. Yes, Prohibition was a success! It is a travesty that Americans were persuaded, through a constant propaganda bombardment of lies and the highly-publicized actions of an anti-American element infecting society which cast the 18th Amendment in a bad light, that Prohibition was not in their interest. Prohibition is in everyone’s best interest. If we follow the laws of necessity, we will unite to purge our society of soul-destroying alcohol.
I pray for the day that the American People will wake up, see sense, and once and for all outlaw harmful substances like pornography, cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol. They have no place in our Republic. You have no Liberty to be licentious or to harm innocent people through your “private” actions. While we wait for the American People to awaken to this reality, we lose 88,000 of our countrymen every year to alcohol. So the next time you see a story about about a drunk driver killing someone, or a spouse being beaten by an intoxicated partner, and an inebriated thug robbing a gas station, remember that it could have been avoided had we not foolishly repealed Prohibition.
December 4, 2019