"I gave up my room on 34th St. because I had too
many young callers who were unwelcome. For this reason please don't tell them
where I am." - Horatio Alger Jr.
"From the time
kids are old enough to turn
on the television, public airwaves encourage teens watching television to
drink alcohol." - Gary Cifra
1784 Inquiry into
the Effects of Ardent Spirits on the Human Mind and Body catalogues the
consequence of chronic drunkenness.
Benjamin Rush argues this condition
is a disease physicians should be treating.
Rushs writing marks
the beginning of the American Temperance Movement.
describes one of the earliest pharmacological treatments for chronic
drunkenness - the use of an emetic to create a conditioned aversion to
1826 Lyman Beecher publishes six sermons
"No sin has fewer apologies than intemperance." - Lyman
Lyman Beecher, father of 13 children, wore out Roxana, Harriet
1857 Home for the Fallen is
opened in Boston marking the foundation of the 19th century inebriate
1864 New York State Inebriate Asylum
begins admitting patients.
Institute, known for its Keeley Cure or Gold Cure, is a
commercial medical operation that offered treatment to alcoholics.
1898 Prince Edward Island bans the importation of
1906 "Denaturing" process is required
for manufacturers that want to avoid taxes levied on potable spirits.
1914 War Measures Act limits the freedom
1915 Saskatchewan bans the
importation of alcohol.
1916 Alberta, Manitoba
and Ontario ban the importation of alcohol.
British Columbia and New Brunswick ban the importation of alcohol.
April 1, 1918
Any alcohol of more than 2.5 per cent is banned from importation into Canada.
In addition, there was no inter-provincial
fair trade of
The ban, lasting two years, was the first and last time
national prohibition would be instituted in Canada.
Sam Bronfman, with
his brothers Abe, Harry and Alan ('Bronfman' is liquor-man in Yiddish) have a
modest hotel and prostitution chain.
Bronfmans immediately enter the
pharmacy business, selling via mail order, whiskey, labeling on bottles such as
"Rock-A-Bye Cough Cure" and "Dandy BracerLiver and Kidney
Their "health tonics" contained sugar, molasses, bluestone(?), 36
percent alcohol, and tobacco.
October 28, 1919 Congress passed the Volstead
Sam and Harry opened export houses along the Saskatchewan-North
They reduced 65-over proof white alcohol, mixing it with
water, a little real whiskey and a touch of burnt sugar.
A shot of sulfuric acid
simulated the aging process.
They charged $24 per barrel - it sold
for up to $140.
"Sam and his brothers cut distribution deals with a fine
cast of businessmen such as Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Charles "Lucky"
Luciano, and Arthur Dutch Schultz, Flegenheimer.
the "little Jewish Navy" under Morris Dalit ferried the Bronfman liquor into
In Chicago, James "Big Jim" Colosimo annoyed Sam Bronfman by
showing no interest in buying his liquor, preferring to focus on his already
profitable businesses of drugs, prostitution, and loan-sharking.
Big Jim passed away suddenly. His nephew, John Torrio, took over, and wisely
chose to help Bronfman usher his liquor into Chicago.
Torrios lieutenant, a gent by the name of Al Capone,
led the operations of bringing Bronfmans liquor from Saskatchewan to
Minneapolis, then to Chicago, using cars, trucks and the Soo line.
Another gent by the name of Benjamin "Bugs" Siegel and Meyer
Lansky were in charge of protecting Bronfman liquor shipments across the
border against hijackers.
To meet the growing
demand, Sam bought up farmland along the border and built an underground
pipeline to pump his liquor nicknamed, "Seagram Chickencock," a mixture
of pure alcohol, sulfuric
acid, caramel, water and aged rye whiskey into the USA. Between 1920
and 1930, 34,000 Americans died from alcohol poisoning." - Frank
am troubled by evidence suggesting that
Ms. Bronfman repeatedly and
consistently leveraged her wealth and social status as a means of intimidating,
controlling and punishing Nxivms enemies." - Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis,
Federal District Court in Brooklyn
Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um), which
was headquartered near Albany, became known as a "sex cult" after trial
testimony showed that Mr. Raniere had groomed a group of women in the group to
be his sexual partners.
a secret ritual,
the women were branded with his initials near their pelvis while saying,
"Master, please brand me, it would be an honor."
Clare Bronfman Is Sentenced to 81 Months in Nxivm Sex
Transformative Program for Intellectually Curious Jewish
Department estimates 60 million gallons of industrial ethanol are being
"The Prohibition Era in the United States is often
used as an example of how banning recreational substances not only increases
their popularity but also causes a boom
in criminal activity. Indeed, it was Prohibition that greatly increased the
strength of the American
Mafia, as the top crime lords of the day grew rich through the clandestine
trade and sale of alcohol in addition to gambling and other activities." -
Hidden in Plain Sight
Calvin Coolidge turns to
chemistry as an enforcement tool.
Some 70 denaturing formulas exist.
denature: de·na·ture [dee-ney-cher] verb (used with
object), de·na·tured, de·na·tur·ing.
1. to deprive (something) of its natural character, properties, etc.
2. to render (any of various alcohols) unfit for drinking by adding an
unwholesome substance that does not alter usefulness for other purposes.
3. Biochemistry - to treat (a
protein or the
like) by chemical or physical means so as to alter its original state.
4. to make (fissionable material) unsuitable for use in an atomic
weapon by mixing it with unfissionable material.
Most simply add methyl
alcohol into the mix.
that were less lethal, designed to make the alcohol taste so awful that it
To sell the stolen industrial alcohol, the liquor
syndicates employed alchemists to "renature" the
products, returning them to a drinkable state.
alcohol becomes the primary source of liquor.
officials demand 10%
methanol be added to all ethanol
Christmas Eve 1926
Streets aglitter with snow and
lights a man afraid of Santa Claus
stumbles into the emergency room at New York City's Bellevue Hospital. He is
flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he tells the nurses, is chasing him
with a baseball bat.
- a paroxysm of death -
tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill from
methanol poisoning - eight
Within the next two days, another 23 people died.
York City, 1,200 are sickened by
methanol toxicity regularly during
The bootlegged whiskies and so-called gins often made
The liquor produced in hidden stills frequently came
tainted with methanol.
This outbreak was bizarrely
The deaths came courtesy of the
government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol." -
New York City medical examiner Charles Norris
1927 Deaths in New York City climb to 700.
time denaturing formulas included notable poisons -
kerosene and brucine (a plant
alkaloid closely related to strychnine),
zinc, mercury salts,
government would engage in such business. It is only in the curious fanaticism
of Prohibition that any
means, however barbarous, are considered justified." - Chicago Tribune
"Must Uncle Sam guarantee safety first for souses?" -
1928 "Practically all the liquor that
is sold in New York today is toxic!" - Charles Norris
assigns his toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, to
whiskey for poisons and publicized every death by alcohol
Charles Norris points out that most of those sickened and
dying are those "who cannot afford expensive protection and deal in low grade
Anti-Prohibition legislation pushes for a halt in the use of
"Only one possessing the
instincts of a wild beast would desire to kill or
make blind the man who takes a drink of
liquor, even if he purchased it from one violating the Prohibition
statutes." - Sen. James Reed of Missouri
End of Prohibition: Estimates of at least 10,000 people from "denaturing".
"Our national experiment in
extermination." - Charles
Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the
Denaturing program ends only once the 18th Amendment is repealed
in December 1933.
1935 Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of John
F. Kennedy, has multiplied his fortune 25x from 4 million dollars to over 100
million dollars smuggling scotch whiskey during
1970s DEA sprays cannabis fields in
Mexico with Paraquat, a herbicide, primarily intended to destroy
Government officials insist awareness of the toxin will deter
A half century later they echo the official mantra of the 1920s - if
some citizens ended up poisoned, well, they'd brought it upon
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