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David E Morse
Paul G Dietrich
Laura Jordan Dietrich
Andrew Whist
McGill Conference


Institute for International Health & Development


— A fake institute dealing with the WHO which was set up, funded and operated by David Morse and Paul Dietrich on behalf of Philip Morris. —

Andrew Whist (VP of PMI Corporate Affairs) and contract lawyer David Morse set up the IIHD as a vehicle to attack the anti-smoking activities of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Later Paul and Laura Jordan Dietrich were bought in to run the operation.

The close Vatican/Catholic connections of this group saw the IIHD shifted onto the grounds of the Catholic University in Washington, and largely through these links it gained UN recognition as a NGO — specialising in helping Africa and Latin America.

Elizabeth Kristol came on board at a later date as editor of the organization's magazine.

The first use of the IIHD by the tobacco industry was to have it act as a front for a conference on the health consequences of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS — aka 'passive smoking') which was held at the McGill University in Montreal during November 1989. This sham seminar is generally known as the McGill ETS Conference.

It was, in fact, a quasi-conference where every participant was either:

  • an employed executive of a tobacco company,
  • an employed scientist of a tobacco company,
  • a professional scientific lobbyist for a tobacco company,
  • a long-term scientific consultant (or perpetual grant receiver)
  • a newly recruited 'WhiteCoat' (paid scientist who pretended to be independent).
It is not entirely clear whether anyone other than Andrew Whist at Philip Morris International Corporate Affairs (which did the actual selection and organisation) were aware that all participants at this conference were tobacco touts.

Initially this was to have been a Philip Morris-only affair, but later they widened it out to include Tobacco Institute consultants and executives, and in the last few weeks Whist also added a few from the RJ Reynolds and Brown & Williamson's stables.

It was therefore the precursor of later collaborative scientific scam operations that were established between the tobacco companies on an international scale. However it was not useless from the viewpoint of Philip Morris. It had a number of valuable functions:

  • It brought together many of their tame scientists, who never would normally have met each other, and so allowed cross-fertilization of ideas and helped develop new arguments to support primary smoking and defend against the emerging new secondary (ETS) problem.
  • It comforted those prone to self-delusion and paranoia that they were not alone in making public statements about the lack of proof that smoking and ETS were harmful.
  • It allowed many scientists with no credentials whatsoever in the field of smoking research or passive-smoking to get published on the subject (via the ghost-written lectures recorded in the proceedings) and so establish some scientific credibility for later pronouncements.
  • It provided the companies with excellent feedback in terms of their points-of-vulnerability in many of the scientific disciplines.
  • It was a good international paid holiday for faithful lackeys, entirely funded by the companies. It was money well spent.
Many of the 'lectures' were ghost-written, or part-written by Philip Morris staff (many contracters had virtually no knowledge of the subject). And, after the conference, the proceedings of this conference were highly selected and deliberately manipulated by the PR and scientific staff of Philip Morris to present the best possible case for environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

These proceedings they were published (supposedly) by the IIHD, which also appears on the flyleaf as the chief 'sponsor' of the conference along with McGill University itself. It was all pure fiction.

The McGill ETS Conference proceedings, however, were compiled into a pseudo-textbook, and translated into many different languages. It was distributed free (or at low cost) around the world, and in the absence of any other compilation, it became the 'authoratative text' for many years on the health consequences of passive smoking.

The Dietrichs kept the IIHD operating as their private, well-funded think-tank for many years. Elizebeth Kristol (of the famous neo-con family) and Susan Raymond (science writer) joined the operation and helped to produce the Health & Development magazine (free circulation).

But no one ever seems to have asked the obvious question:"Where was the money coming from?"

At some stage the Dietrich's managed to persuade the Catholic University of Washington(Paul was on the Board) to take the operation in-house as a private foundations . So it began to carry the Catholic University logo, while still focusing on producing anti-World Health Organisation (WHO) propaganda.

A few years earlier, Paul Dietrich also became the administrative director of the Knights of Malta operations in Washington DC, which numbered among its membership about half the top ranks of covert operatives and executives involved in both official (CIA) and unofficial anti-communist and counter-revolutionary activities in Middle and South America. [It is likely that there are many connection here which are missing from the tobacco archives.]

The main thrust of the print output from the Institute was directed at the WHO and its Latin American offshoot PAHO (Pan American Health Organisation), The publications constantly battered away at the WHO and PAHO, saying they were wasting their budgeta on anti-smoking activities when they should be focussing on diseases that matter (such as smallpox, malaria, and AIDS). They also regularly pointed out that tobacco was a key cash-crop in many developing countries, and so the WHOs attempts to limit smoking was destructive to these economies. This second line of attack created allies in the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the World Bank.

Through some means, not entirely clear but certainly connected with the Vatican and the Catholic University, Dietrich became associated both with a Harvard University AIDS operation (which he flourished as proof of his public service) and also on an advisory board of PAHO. At the same time he was travelling to South America on tobacco money, trying to undermine PAHO's anti-smoking activities. [Guatemala later included him in a health-cost-recover law case because of these activities.]

The activities of the IIHD petered out slowly, and eventually Dietrich became embroiled in a battle over payments with Sharon Boyse, the Issues Manager at British American Tobacco over the charges he had made for translating and publishing new versions of the McGill ETS Conference booklet. She cut him adrift and the role of the IIHD supporting tobacco sank with him.

The Dietrich's then bought a large country mansion in Marylands. Laura went back to work (part-time) for the State Department (training the CIA) and Paul moved into funds-management (Foxhall Investments and others) full-time.

There is, however, still an Institute for International Health & Development functioning in Scotland, which claims not to know of, or have any connection with, the Dietrichs.

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