“Dear Phillip Morris” – Heartland’s Love Letter to Big Tobacco
February 21, 2012
Ace researcher John Mashey, whose indispensable investigation into the anti science movement’s leading players and finances has now been posted online, concurrent with release of internal documents from the anti-science “think” tank, Heartland Institute.
Among the gems John has rediscovered, a 1999 love letter (and boot licking appeal for funding) from Heartland chairman Joe Bast to the Phillip Morris Tobacco company. This document is among the trove of materials released thru the tobacco lawsuits of the 90s, and is available in the Tobacco Legacy Library online – so there’s no way for Heartland to run from this further evidence of their dark history. It’s another key bit of evidence showing the tobacco funded roots of the climate denial industry.
The letter is from Bast to Roy Marden, a Phillip Morris executive, and member of the Heartland board. Marden had apparently invited Bast to solicit further funds from the tobacco giant.
Thank you for inviting me to request renewed general operating support for The Heartland Institute for 1999.1 note that Philip Morris contributed $5,000 last August (for a Gold Table at our annual benefit) and $25,000 in October (general operating support). It also has allowed you to serve on our Board of Directors, which has produced many positive results for the entire organization.
The letter goes on to extoll Heartland’s tireless efforts to assist the tobacco industry in their sale of death dealing, addictive substances to children and adults around the planet.
Because Heartland does many things that benefit Philip Morris’ bottom line, things that no other organization does, I hope you will consider boosting your general operating support this year to $30,000 and once again reserve a Gold Table for an additional $5,000.
We genuinely need your financialsupport. Maybe by the end of this letter you’ll agree that we merit even greater support; I certainly hope so!
Bast continues, enumerating various components of their disinformation campaign on behalf of tobacco.
Heartland has devoted considerable attention to defending tobacco (and other industries) from what I view as being an unjust campaign of public demonization and legal harassment. We’re an important voice defending smokers and their freedom to use a still-legal product.
The Heartlander, our monthly newsletter for members, has called attention to the dangerous legal precedents and discriminatory taxes that are part of the campaign against tobacco in cover essays appearing in the October, November, and June issues.
Recent and past Heartland publications on tobacco, including a Heartland Policy Study and several Perspectives, and the 21 documents on the subject available fromPoIicyFax, are all available on Heartland’s Web site. Particularly popular are two of my essays, titled “Five Lies About Tobacco” and “Joe Camel is Innocent.”
Finishing up, Bast waxes on about plans for an online “Smoker’s Lounge”, as a clearinghouse for anti-science disinformation promoting tobacco.
We are also revamping our Web site to bring together into one place all the material on tobacco — the policy study, op-eds, PoIicyFax documents, and Heartlander essays — and identify it as the “Smoker’s Lounge” on the homepage. And we have discussed producing an Instant Expert Guide to Tobacco Litigation and reproducing an analysis done of the effect of a federal lawsuit against the tobacco industry on the level of payments states can expect to receive. Both of these projects are likely to come about in the coming months (though the latter only if it is still timely).