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Exploring Human Potential

The Real Arthur Sackler. Part 1: The Official Narrative

Posted on | September 23, 2019 | No Comments

Mike Magee

Series Note: This 5-Part Series will run from September 23rd to September 27, and then be available as a single document under Hcom Resources. It is based on original research in CODE BLUE: Inside the Medical-Industrial Complex.

The official narrative, as it exists today, oft repeated by premier medical and cultural organizations, who maintain schools, exhibit halls, and colloquia that bear his name, features:

1. A remarkably industrious boy who, from an early age, supported his parents (who lost everything in the Depression), put himself through college and medical school at NYU, doing the same for two younger brothers who sought medical school overseas to escape prejudice.

2. A boy who grew up in “hard times”, whose parents were grocers in Brooklyn, chose medicine as a vocation at the age of four, but whose passion drew him more than equally to Art, pursuing art and sculpture lessons as a teen, and taking courses at New York’s famed Coopers Union while attending college and funding the family besides.

3. A committed physician and researcher who generated 140 science related papers, dealing primarily with exploring biologic approaches to psychiatric illness in the 1950’s.

4. A remarkably prolific philanthropist focused on brand name institutions in Medicine and the Arts.

5. A very successful business man, whose extended family fortune was pegged in 2015, at $14 billion, 18 years after his untimely death at age 73 from a heart attack.

Yet, the details that tie Arthur M. Sackler to the Man-made Opioid Epidemic, and the well established tactics that helped consummate the Medical Industrial Complex in the second half of the 20th century are largely hidden from public view. What is the full picture?

The answer tomorrow in The Real Arthur Sackler. Part II: MIC Poster Boy.

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