Dr. Roger Pearson, a lifelong hardworking white advocate who gave us nearly a century of service, passed away on February 23 at the age of 95. Dr. Pearson lived an extraordinary life that included volunteering in the British Indian Army, serving as Chairman of the World Anti-Communist League and as President of University Professors for Academic Order, and publishing the groundbreaking racialist journal Mankind Quarterly. You can read more about his life and work here.
In June of last year, Counter-Currents collaborated with the Free Expression Foundation to recognize Dr. Pearson for his lifetime of achievement. The following is a transcript of remarks Dr. Pearson made at the event, summarizing his life and work.
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I’m very flattered to be invited here today. I don’t really deserve it. But it’s wonderful, makes me very happy. I am unfortunately getting towards the end of what’s been a very happy and interesting life. A month after next in August, I’ll be 95. And that, unfortunately, carries a number of medical problems with it, but it reminds me of being taken to meet my great-grandmother, when she was 99. She didn’t make 100. But I intend to beat her if I can. I had to go forward to kiss her, which I was happy to do. But I was a little frightened at four years’ age, because her face was so wrinkled. Otherwise, she sat dead upright in her chair.
I’m English, I believe descended from Danish invaders, in areas which were part of what’s called the Danelaw in history, settled by Danes. I grew up in England before World War II. My father had survived World War I. He’d been an officer and got so ill living in mud and dirt trenches, in and near British artillery, that he nearly died. When he recovered, he was sent back in Rouen, in the reserves, doing just desk work, and so he came through World War I.
But in World War II — I was a boy when it broke out — I was actually machine-gunned by a German plane. I was cycling home from school, but they missed the road by about 20 yards. So that was nothing at all. We had a bit of bombing and things, but I came through it okay.
I volunteered while the war was still on to go into the British Indian Army. The Empire was still intact then, and I was interested in history and was romantically inspired by history. The British had been in India since the sixteenth century. And of course, they were very important there from the eighteenth century. So I technically joined the British Army before the war ended, though it ended soon after that. I shipped out to India on a British troopship arriving in Bombay, and went off to the British Army training school for officers in the south, and then later was moved up to Abbottabad in the northwest province, adjacent to Kashmir.
There we had some Afghan officers training. They had trained in Germany before that, but they couldn’t get to Germany, and also they were training with the British Indian Army in this place called Abbottabad in the Northwest Frontier Province. The AGC, the commander-in-chief, was there during a course, and I got to know him, and he said, “You must go to Afghanistan.” There was still a King there in those days, and he arranged the whole thing. So, I actually had an invitation just after I was commissioned in ’46. I had an invitation to the Allah Hisar Chi center of the Afghan Army as their guest, and found it very interesting. Amongst other things, I saw Baba Shah’s tomb, who was a very famous conqueror of much of India from Pakistan. The interesting there is this beautiful marble tomb, beautifully carved and decorated. People had carved their Afghan or Iranian names on it to be remembered. The same thing happens in so many places around the world. They certainly spoiled the tomb by doing that. And it was interesting, brought me down to the reality of life.
Anyhow, from there I was posted to India for a while, in the Indian Army as a young Lieutenant. There are some fine people in India, and one of the people in India I had underneath me as a young 18-year-old Second Lieutenant was an experienced senior — not a King’s commissioned officer as I was, but a Viceroy’s commissioned officer, which was an Indian officer’s rank below King’s commissioned officers. And he was very experienced, and had rows of ribbons, and he had actually fought in the war in Europe. And he actually said to me — and I remember that to this day, and was proud of it — when I left there to go to Japan, he said to me, “You will make a good officer,” which was a real tribute coming from him. And there are some very, very fine people in India and Pakistan, as they became later.
With Indian independence, all British officers in the Indian army that were present were transferred back to the British Army. And in my case, I was shipped off to the occupation of Japan. The Japanese would be brutal to our people who had resisted in any way. Absolutely brutal, and part of that was due to the fact that they believed in doing what they were supposed to do. If you were a prisoner of war, you were supposed to behave and obey the rules, and our people who were prisoners had resisted them. And when they did that, they were badly treated again. That was just a different culture altogether. I was there for a year in Japan, and the Japanese ran the occupation for us. They behave very correctly indeed.
And then the British Army was cutting back from the war. They didn’t want to keep a big army, and so I decided to leave and take a grant and go to university instead. I’d always been interested in history. Consequently, I went to Exeter University, in the southwest of England, and I signed up for Social Sciences, which is basically Left-wing controlled. I got my Bachelor’s degree and then decided I would go back to India for a living, because I liked India.
I took a job in Lloyds Bank in Calcutta. Lloyds Bank is a British bank. And I found it so boring, after a year and a half or so, I just walked in to the manager’s office and said wanted I to resign. I had nothing to go to at that time. But if you were British in India in those days, there were still plenty of positions for you. And I got a position in Octavia Steel and Company of Pakistan, a hundred-year-old firm, managing tea gardens from Calcutta, not far from the tea gardens. But it was very nice, because we would go out to inspect them periodically, and I enjoyed it. And I learned to fly out in India at the Bengal Flying Club and bought myself a light aircraft. Later on, I had a different one. And I could fly up to the tea gardens in India, occasionally.
I did some writing then already, and got published in the newspapers, and began to get interested in race. This was because India is a very complex place with plenty of intelligent people, but also ones not quite so intelligent, and often handicapped by their culture as well. So, I next found myself promoted to be in charge of Octavia Steel and Company in Pakistan, in East Pakistan. They grew quite a lot of tea in tea gardens in East Pakistan, and somebody had to be the man in their office at Chittagong, on the coast. I was actually the only white there on the staff. Octavia Steel and Company in Calcutta had seven or eight, because it was a much bigger operation. But it was fun being your own boss, running your own place. And that’s when I started writing things.
I established a small journal, basically about race, because the East is all about race — so many different branches and types, and all so different. I was actually printing it in Chittagong, East Pakistan, and distributing it from there, and I began to make contacts.
Well, the next thing that happened was that Octavia Steel, which had been established 100 years before, was now owned by people who lived in England — descendants of the original founders. The Pakistani government started restricting the amount of profits that could be mailed out of the country. Consequently, the people who now owned the shares decided in time that they would sell the company. And of course, there was big money available from India to buy them — rich Indians, actually, who already owned a lot of property and businesses. They bought it over, and I decided to leave. And also I found that printing the sort of articles that I was printing in my journal wouldn’t be too popular in India and Pakistan.
So I left, and I went to South Africa. I was in South Africa for a year, up in the Transvaal. It’s a lovely country. It was a tragedy we lost that, and it was the American and British governments who caused this and pushed us out. Also, there was one very active Jewish woman who had a wealthy Jewish family there [Helen Suzman]. They were constantly against the British wanting to preserve their rule, and even their identity, as is too often the case.
At that time, things were developing badly in Rhodesia. Again, the British and American governments were heavily against Rhodesian independence under British rule. That was another lovely country, just north of the Transvaal. I knew white people there who were also trying to persuade the government to retain hold, but eventually, the British government had a meeting with the President of Rhodesia, and forcibly explained to him how the situation was going, and that they were also going to make it difficult to sell exports from Rhodesia.
British people were leaving, and I nearly bought a 16,000-acre farm for 15,000 British pounds by somebody needing to try to get out from what he had worked and done for years. It was one of the wealthiest people in Rhodesia, who had a very large farm holding and who had been the main non-government supporter of the desire of white Rhodesians to hang together and fight the British government. He was murdered in his bungalow shortly after the blacks took over. And my wife wouldn’t let me buy the farm, understandably. We had three young children, and she was more sensible than me. To me, it would have been such an adventure. And this was a time when it wasn’t absolutely certain that Rhodesia would be handed over as it was. But I understood my responsibilities.
So we got out, and went back to our home in Transvaal, which was a place called Kosmos. It was on a hillside overlooking a little lake, and was beautiful. One of the prime ministers had a cottage there as well. It was just north of Johannesburg.
So that’s when we had the privilege of following our other English relatives and ancestors to North America. I arrived in the United States with a little money, and I joined somebody I’d already been in touch with politically, a person called Willis Carto. I joined him in San Francisco, and we bought a house. It was a very lovely position, immediately overlooking the Bay, near the entrance to Golden Gate Park.
I was editor of Western Destiny for a while, from the very first issue. I had agreed to take it over. But I was coming a bit late, and he wanted to get it out. And so he actually wrote under my name without asking me anything. He wrote the editorial to the first issue. When you read that today, I did not write it. It isn’t particularly bad, but I was a little put off. He hadn’t even sent it to me to read it first. But he was like that. He really meant well, and he got things done. And so I was editor for some time.
I already had two journals of my own. One was called Northern World, and the other was a newsletter, not really a journal, called Northlander, to give you an idea of what they were about. And as I said, I’d been writing little tracts for some time, indeed.
Then something told me that I ought to have a real income. My money was obviously going to run out in time. That’s when I got into the academic world in America, and I made contact with a very fine man called Elmore Graves. He was Mississippian, from an old Mississippi family, and had a few suggestions of his own. He suggested to me that there was a vacancy at the University of Southern Mississippi, just a hundred miles north of New Orleans, and that I should apply for it. I had no difficulty. I had only an actual Master’s degree at the time, but I had registered for a PhD with the University of London many years earlier, and all I had to do when I got the job, while I was teaching, was that I had to write a doctoral thesis, submit it, and I was awarded a Ph.D. They got a surprise: They had to pay me more. They asked me to establish a separate department. I was in the social sciences, which even in Mississippi wasn’t too bad. But I was asked to establish a Department of Anthropology, since my doctorate had been in anthropology. I did that, and for several years took on four assistant professors who really were good people.
And then, being human, I decided I wanted to go up the scale a bit. I went to the University of South Carolina for a while. I was there just for one year, and then I applied to and got the job of Academic Dean at Montana Tech, a mining and engineering college a hundred miles high in Butte, Montana.
I’d been continuing my political interests and promotion, and I was helped for a while by a very kind person called Harry Weyher of the Pioneer Fund. They made it possible for me to do much more in printing and publishing.
Montana was really lovely. I couldn’t learn to ski; the rest of the family did. But I had just had a heart attack, and knew high altitude did me good, but I was advised against trying to do anything too strenuous. But I thoroughly enjoyed Montana. The people were very nice, and even the people at the university were. There were no real Left-wingers, and I can’t remember any colored people on the faculty. It was amazing. It was a very happy time there.
But I got ambitious again. My journals were getting around a bit more, and when Harry Weyher of the Pioneer Fund gave me a grant or two, I decided that I would come to Washington and be in the center of things here in Washington. I got immediately in touch with conservatives in the administration — Helms, especially he and his staff.
I’m certainly proud of what I’ve tried to do for the sake of my family and race. I’ve tried. I’ve devoted my life to that, and not really to anything else.
I was Chairman for some years of the World Anti-Communist League, which was very interesting, and got me around to different countries. That was actually not so wonderful a thing as it sounds because it was basically created and funded by the governments of Taiwan and South Korea, both of them being threatened by possible Communist invasion. But as is so often the case, things weren’t quite what they looked like. The real reason they had founded and financed the World Anti-Communist League was because they wanted their people to feel safe. And so they wanted to have demonstrations each year with people from around the world who were supporting them in an organization called the World Anti-Communist League so that their own people would feel that “we’ve got friends, we’ve even put on a show for all these people from different nations,” and they paid for it. That was the basic reason they founded it, I’m sure. But it was good. It was okay. It did bring people together from all around the world who were anti-Communist, and they would find new allies and friends to communicate with.
QUESTION: What do you think of the situation in Britain today?
Two world wars lowered the intelligence of Britain, of British people. I reckon I’m reasonably intelligent, and I lost my only brother, who was a fighter pilot. He was wounded in what they call the Battle of Britain, and he was killed just after his 21st birthday in Egypt. And I also lost four cousins who never had any children. They were all competent people. Three were pilots in the military. One of them was actually not from Britain. He was from Canada. He was a cousin. He was one of the three pilots. And the fourth one was an officer in the British Army whose ship was torpedoed while it was carrying a shipload of British soldiers to help defend Malaya against the Japanese invasion. They had already taken Singapore before they arrived there. So I believe that the overall average in Britain is being seriously affected by huge numbers of immigrants from around what was the Empire.
QUESTION: Which of your books are you most proud of?
The book I’m most proud of is my Race, Intelligence and Bias in Academe, which was actually not unfavorably reviewed. But it’s very, very sad. For these people, it’s their livelihoods, so they can’t be too obviously different. I haven’t taught now for quite a long time — since Reagan’s time, anyhow. But it was bad enough then, and very often worse in elite universities than in minor ones, I would say.
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