Two Face
This webpage was originally written as an addendum to a book dealing with Anslinger’s Gore File.
Two Face

Benito Musilini TWO FACE Harry Anslinger

A subject ignored by most historians, yet (due to the nature of this book) of great concern to us, revolves around two basic questions:
    (1)- Was Harry Anslinger a liar?   And if so;

    (2)- Did he know the truth all along?   That is Before, During and After his role in the hysteria campaign?
The evidence clearly shows that the answer is YES to both.   And here we will let that evidence speak for itself.

(* Yeah, we know, the guy on the left is acutely Benito Mussolini . . . but what’s the difference?)


Anslinger Speaks

It’s very easy to quote someone’s words out of context, making them sound like they said “Y” when all along (when their words were taken in context) they were actually saying “X”.   Thus, to avoid that argument, I’ve tried to quote Anslinger in full context as much as possible.   Granted, it does make for boring (overly worded) reading, but it also shuts the door on debate.   Anslinger said this on this date, etc.   So in his own words:

In March of 1933, Harry Anslinger wrote the following:
There is probably no more absurd fallacy extant than the notion that murders are committed and robberies and holdups carried out by men stimulated by narcotic drugs to make them incapable of fear.   This may occasionally happen, but the immediate effect of a narcotic drug is usually to soothe the abnormal impulses, and the ultimate effect is to create a state of idleness and dependency which naturally enhances the desire to live at the expense of others by anti-social means.   The police record of the average addict almost invariably shows convictions for burglary, housebreaking, sneakthieving, petty larceny and other minor offenses.   It is not because of the present influence of the drug that the addict commits crime, but because, in addition to the destruction of the moral sensibilities brought about by its abuse, the insatiable burning desire for the narcotic makes him ready and willing to violate the law to obtain the necessary money with which to purchase it.” ---- “Peddling of Narcotic Drugs” [1]
Essentially, Anslinger is stating that narcotics (marijuana included by implication) DOES NOT make its users go out and commit violent crimes.   This in-effect means that Anslinger is rejecting all notions of bestial crimes being committed while under the influence of marijuana, etc.   However, note the date “1933”; it is important to us for two reasons:
  •   First, by most accounts, Anslinger’s role in the hysteria campaign did not begin until the middle of 1934, thus his statements were being made a year or so before his hysteria had begun.

  •   Additionally, his statements must be viewed in context of the then widespread use of the so-called “Marihuana Defense,” which was becoming widespread as well as controversial at the time.   To quote a well know District Attorney at the time: [2]
  • “Many prosecuting attorneys in the South and Southwest have been confronted with the defense that, at the time of the commission of the Criminal act, the defendant was irresponsible, because of being under the influence of Marihuana to such a degree he was unable to appreciate the difference between right and wrong, and was therefore legally insane.   A great deal of difficulty has been experienced in rebutting this defense with the testimony of psychiatrists, for, while some of these experts are conversant with the nature and effect of this drug, it has been the experience of the author that many of them are without any information on the subject.   This is probably due to the fact that this drug has come into wide use in certain parts of the South only within the last ten years.” --- American Journal of Police Science 1931
    Thus the logic/context behind Anslinger’s words, were in-effect what the Muslims term, ‘Words of Convenience.’ To be used when they suited a purpose and then disregarded when no longer needed.   Which in our case would be a year or so later.   Example: In a document dated Nov. 1934, sent to the ‘League of Nations’ Anslinger states the following: [3]
    ". . While the recording; by the Federal Government of specific cases of violence as the result of the abuse of cannabis is of comparatively recent date, the records of the Bureau of Narcotics make reference to four cases of a particularly frightful nature:
      (1) From California there came a report from the Chief of the Narcotic Enforcement Bureau of that State which is quoted in part” . . . “Marihuana has a worse effect than heroin.   It gives men the lust to kill, unreasonably, without motive – for the sheer sake of murder itself.   In Eureka, California, a man under the influence of marihuana actually decapitated his best friend; and then coming out of the effects of the drug, was as horrified as anyone else over what he had done.

      (2) In Denver, Colorado, agents of the Federal Narcotic Bureau had made arrangements with one Halloway for a purchase from a “plant” of stolen cocaine.   It was generally known that Halloway was addicted to marihuana and that a short time before in a restaurant, he had made an unprovoked assault upon a policeman in full uniform who had entered to get a cup of coffee and who had to club Halloway into unconsciousness.   Nevertheless, the night before a purchase of cocaine was to be completed, Halloway again resorted to marihuana, ran amok attempted to shoot his wife, but mortally wounded her grandmother, and after shooting it out with the police officers, finally killed himself.

      (3) A short time ago the silence of the State prison at Marqnette, Michigan, was shattered by the sound of a fusillade of pistol shots.   An hour later a kindly prison doctor lay dead and.   beside him lay the trusty who had given his life trying to save his friend the doctor.   An investigation developed that arms and ammunition had been smuggled into the prison in the false bottoms of herring containers and that the marihuana from which Tylczak, the murderer of the doctor and trusty, had derived his demoniac courage, had also been smuggled into the prison.

      (4) Within a month after the passage of the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act in the state of Florida, twenty-two arrests were made in the city of Tampa for the sale of cannabis in the form of marihuana cigarettes and in bulk.   A short time later, a young boy who had become addicted to smoking marihuana cigarettes, in a fit of frenzy, because as he stated while still under the marihuana influence, a number of people were trying to cut off his arms and legs, seized an axe and killed his father, mother, two brothers and a sister, wiping out the entire family except himself.
A document which by the way for you trivia buffs out there and at least to the best of our knowledge constitutes the first ever public mention of Anslinger’s Gore File.   --- BUT WAIT, didn’t Anslinger state the very opposite just the year before?   Where were his words now about the “ABSURD FALLACY” of linking Marihuana to violent crimes?   --- So what happened?   Granted, it’s possible for people to change their minds, but are we to believe that he did so in such a short period of time?

A point to keep pondering as we look at some of this other statements.

According the ‘Bureau of Narcotics’ own year-end report/journal: [4]
A great deal of public interest has been aroused by newspaper articles appearing from time to time on the evils of the abuse of marihuana, or Indian hemp, and more attention has been focused upon specific cases reported of the abuse of the drug than would otherwise have been the case.   This publicity tends to magnify the extent of the evil and lends color to an inference that there is an alarming spread of the improper use of the drug, whereas the actual increase in such use may not have been inordinately large.“ ---Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs 1931
Now to be fair to Anslinger, the wording goes on to state:
“However, there can be no doubt of the definite existence of the evil in greater or less degree in certain localities, and the Federal Narcotic Bureau has been soliciting the enactment of suitable laws in all of the States to control the growth, sale, and use of the drug.” ---Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs 1931
So it appears (by his own words before 1934) that he thought of Cannabis/Hemp as being nothing more than a public nuisance, but little more.   Yet by a few years thereafter he is quoted as saying: [5]

“If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster
Marihuana, he would drop dead of fright”

So again, there seems to be a disconnect between what Anslinger said BEFORE and then AFTER his involvement with the hysteria campaign.   Almost as if words of convenience were being spoken as needed and disregarded as no longer needed.

Today (at least here in Oklahoma) there are two major issues surrounding any discussion of Cannabis and/or Industrial Hemp growth etc.
  •   One, is Medical Cannabis addictive?
  •   Two, is it a starter Drug that will lead to hard drug use?
Thus it might interest us to see what Anslinger had to say about this subject – During the hysteria Campaign.
Mr. McLEOD.   Is marihuana ever substituted for cocaine or heroin or morphine?
Mr. ANSLINGER.   No, sir.
Mr. McLEOD:   It is a different type of drug; it must be smoked?
Mr. ANSLINGER.   That is correct.
Mr. McLEOD.   What drugs are comprehended when we use the general term, narcotics?
Mr. ANSLINGER.   Morphine, heroin, cocaine, and opium.
Mr. LUDDOW.   Are those the drugs that cause drug addiction?
Mr. ANSLINGER.   Yes, sir.
Mr. McLEOD   Marihuana does not cause drug addiction?
Mr. ANSLINGER.   I do not think so.
Then again he said essentially the same thing during the Marihuana Tax Act hearings of 1937 [6]
MR. DINGELL:   I am just wondering whether the marihuana addict graduates into a heroin, an opium, or a cocaine user.
Mr. ANSLINGER.  No, sir; I have not heard of a case of that kind.   I think it is an entirely different class.   The marihuana addict does not go in that direction.
So it appears that Anslinger (the drug czar at the time) did not think that Cannabis was either addictive or served as a ‘Starter Drug’.   His arguments being that Marijuana of-and-by itself had to be outlawed because its use led to violent acts on the part of its users.   -- Yet (later on) in other congressional hearings, old tow-face Harry went on to state the exact opposite.   For example, during the Congressional hearings that created the Boggs Act (a get tough on crime Bill), Anslinger stated: [7]

[Referencing a question asked about barbiturates or sleeping pills]
“Mr. Anslinger.   The danger is this; Over 50 percent of those young addicts started on marihuana smoking.   They started there and graduated to heroin; they took the needle when the thrill of marihuana was gone.   You do not find those young people taking barbiturates (sleeping pills) and graduating to heroin.
And then again (as a second example) in 1959 testifying before Congress at an appropriations hearing [8] he once again repeated himself, stating:
“(Marihuana) is a habit-forming drug, but not an addiction-forming drug, although it is a steppingstone to an addiction-forming drug, but (referencing violent crimes) it is a very dangerous drug and is so regarded all over the world” --- Treasury-Post Office Department Appropriations for 1960, p133.
Or the total opposite of what he had said earlier.

Anslinger Comics
So far we’ve seen that by all outward appearances (using his own words), it appears that Harry Anslinger either changed his mind a lot, or just plain wasn’t the most honest man on earth.   Yet there is one factor that proves without a shadow of a doubt the true nature of Anslinger’s character – That being NOT what he said, but in effect, WHAT HE DIDN’T SAY.   Perhaps the following incident (occurring during the Congressional Hearings that passed the original Marihuana Tax Act into law) provides the best example of the man.   During those hearings he introduced the following written statements: [9]
(referencing the infamous Eureka Axe Murderer) “. . .As a representative case, note the tragic predicament of this Californian.   "A man under the influence of marihuana actually decapitated his best friend; and then, coming out of the effects of the drug, was as horrified as anyone over what he had done" . . .“
And while true, Anslinger did not personally write down those statements, he personally DID however, introduce them as evidence during the hearings.   Statements that he knew for a fact were false; -- There simply WAS NO Eureka Axe Murderer.   The whole thing had been totally fabricated by a California narc and Anslinger was well aware of it.
As the reader (assuming you went to that website) can surmise; There are enough smoking guns to establish for a fact that (a) the whole thing had been totally fabricated AND (b) that Anslinger himself was well aware of that fact. Yet it appears he had no problem introducing such words during the hearings, and thus into the Congressional Records.   With no attempt to either remove such statements, nor inform anyone of their total inaccuracy.

SO HERE WE have a good case of not so much what Anslinger said, but instead of what he didn’t say.   A situation which (assuming Anslinger was under oath at the time) could have landed him in jail, specifically as the oath he would have taken reads in part: “To Tell the Truth, The whole Truth, and Nothing but the Whole Truth,” something which Mr. Anslinger obviously did not do.   And while probably the most infamous such case, it was certainly NOT the only such case.* Thus it could be said that, at least in a court of law, Harry Anslinger was, well, a liar.

* The main part of this book details several other such cases

So far I believe we can safely state that Harry Anslinger was far from the worlds must truthful individual.   Yet there is more; it turns out that we can learn a lot about Anslinger by looking at his background, BEFORE he became Commissioner of Narcotics.
  •   There is the fact that Anslinger’s first (two-year) college degree, from ‘Pennsylvania State University’ was from its “School of Agriculture.” [10] --- Note again, in Agriculture!

  •   Then there is the fact that from a historical perspective, Pennsylvania was at one time a heavy hitter state in terms of Industrial Hemp growth.   And granted, while it had long before been in great decline, still Anslinger (who was born in 1897) must surely have been aware of just how important such growth once was.

  •   Then the fact that Anslinger spent his childhood in Altoona, Pa., - meaning he was exposed to farmers early on and granted, Hemp production had long ago been reduced to insignificance, still the stories of the old days must have been there.

  •   Next, the fact that Anslinger himself (as his father before him) worked in his youth for the railroad, whose rail lands (if the stereotype he himself created was true), were chuck full of hemp growths from discarded seeds.

It would appear that Harry Anslinger (unlike many of his co-workers) had, by both training and experience, enough of an agricultural background to understand the subject matter.   In other words, there is no way he could not have known the truth.   Yet as history has shown, with the sole exception of WW2’s ‘Hemp For Victory’ period, he deliberately went out of his way to totally stop its production.   Next, while Anslinger himself had no medical training, the following would have been obvious to him.
  •   That Anslinger (who was born in 1897) would have been exposed to literally thousands of Medical Cannabis medicines [11] which at the time were sold legally and could be found on just about any drugstore shelf.  

  •   That doctors were/had been writing prescriptions for Medical Cannabis medicines throughout our nation. [12]

  •   The fact that in the decades after decades that Cannabis had been in medical use here in this country, there seems to have been extremely few cases of any ill effects.   – This point is self-evident, were such cases to have happened, we can all rest assure that Anslinger would have dug them up and muckraked them publicly.
All factors which he deliberately ignored.

  Anslinger as per his article “Peddling of Narcotic Drugs” (PennState U ;Anslinger collection Box 8, File 4) or
[2]-   The American Journal of Police Science - Vol. 2 --1931 p252 “Marihuana as a Developer of Criminals” – By Eugene Stanley District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, La.
[3]-   Memorandum forwarded by the representative of the United States of America. LEAGUE OF NATIONS O.C. 1542(c) Addendum – Nov. 10th 1934, “Advisory Committee on Traffic in Opium and other Dangerous Drugs (Situation As Regards Indian Hemp)
[4]-   The Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs For the year ending Dec. 31, 1931
[5]-   Quotation is found in various places, here I am quoting the “Washington Herald” April 12, 1937 - Article quoting H. Anslinger saying - “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster Marihuana, he would drop dead of fright”
[6]- The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 – Statement of H.J. Anslinger
[7]-   U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means Hearings on H.R. 3490, 82nd Congress, 1st Session, 1951, p.206.
[8]-   Treasury-Post Office Department Appropriations for 1960, p133. - Jan 27, 1959 Treasury-Post Office Departments Appropriations for 1960: Treasury Department, the Tax Court of the United States.   Hearings Before the Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, Eighty-sixth Congress, First Session: [NOTE: Museum has not been able to obtain an actual copy for viewing]
[9]-   Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 - Additional Statement of H.J. Anslinger, COMMISSIONER OF NARCOTICS MARIHUANA - A More Alarming Menace to Society Than All Other Habit-Forming Drugs - (By Dr. Frank R. Gomila, commissioner of public safety, and Miss Madeline C. Gomila, assistant city chemist)
[10]-   Information taken from the book, “Federal Drug Control” by Jonathon Erlen and Joseph Spillan and reads as follows: “From Sep. 16, 1913, to August 3, 1915, Anslinger attended Pennsylvania State College, now the Pennsylvania State University receiving a certificate of completion for a two-year program in the School of Agriculture.”
[11]-   Visit for proof
[12]-   Ibid
[13]-   Federal Drug Control by Erlen and Spillan p131
[14]-   “The Book of the Seth”, (a fictional book)


Due to space / download time considerations, only selected materials are displayed.   If you would like to obtain more information, feel free to contact the museum.   All our material is available (at cost) on CD-Rom format.

Klan Anslinger