Did Brock Chisolm, first Director General of the United Nations World Health Organization, say this quote?

To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism, and religious dogmas.

This quote is alleged in the book "Why So Many Christians Are Going Home to School", by Llewellyn B. Davis (1990; on Amazon.com).

Llewellyn is the only cited reference Chisolm's Wikipedia page, which says:

After the war, Chisholm pursued his lifelong passion of medicine, earning his MD from the University of Toronto by 1924 before interning in England, where he specialized in psychiatry. After six years in general practice in his native Oakville, he attended Yale University where he specialized in the mental health of children. During this time, Chisholm developed his strong Marxist view that children should be raised in an "as intellectually free environment" as possible, independent of the prejudices and biases (political, moral and religious) of their parents.


[In 1946], Chisholm took his views to the international scene, becoming the Executive Secretary of the Interim Commission of the World Health Organization, based in Geneva, Switzerland. He was one of 16 international experts consulted in drafting the agency's first constitution. The WHO became a permanent UN fixture in April 1948, and Chisholm became the agency's first Director-General on a 46–2 vote. Chisholm was now in the unique position of being able to bring his views on the importance of international mental and physical health to the world."

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    Related: Thread on Metabunk.org about this same quote.
    – Nat
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 5:39
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    @Nat- Thank you. The answer is in post #17.
    – John Dee
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 1:36
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    @JohnDee That would make a good answer; you should write it up (that's how the site works).
    – matt_black
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 10:10
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    Just curious - how is raising children independent of biases and prejudices "Marxist?" Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 18:51
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    I'd agree that it's idealistic, but idealistic is not necessarily Marxist. I'm questioning why it would be characterized as "Marxist," and I realize that you are not making that characterization. You don't see the term "Marxist" anywhere? It's right there in your cited quotation from the Wikipedia page - "During this time, Chisholm developed his strong Marxist view that children should be raised in an 'as intellectually free environment' as possible, independent of the prejudices and biases (political, moral and religious) of their parents." Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


Researching this quote has led me down the predictable spiral of conspiracy theory bloggers. They generally don't cite their sources, and when they do their sources are either just more conspiracy theorists or complete fabrications.

This conspiracy theorist blogger sources the quote to the 1946 issue of Psychiatry. That issue is mirrored here, in a format that is text searchable. I searched for the whole quote, the word "achieve", the phrase "world government," and "traditions." None of those searches found the quote. I do not believe that the text contains your quote.

(I must tip my hat to this metabunk thread who found this source, and @Nat and @JohnDee who helped find it.)

The book, America in Prophecy repeats a longer version of the quote. His source is, "as quoted by Dr. J. R. Church, "The New World Order," Prophecy in the News vol 24 no 4 April 2004, 28." The date, title, and author match this conspiracy theory article. The article does not mention Chisholm at all, but has a similar uncited quote:

Author Ralph Epperson commented: “In Addition to destroying man’s basic loyalties to family, nation and religion, the nation must be conditioned to the belief that less is better than more.”

  • I believe the quote is a paraphrase of the text mentioned in post #17, of the metabunk thread, linked by Nat in the comments. It doesn't include "loss of individuality", though, and I haven't had time to read the essay to look for it. If it is included in there, then the paraphrase is not wholly wrong.
    – John Dee
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 23:37

It's not a quote, but a liberal interpretation of Chisolm's Essay: The Reestablishment of Peacetime Society: The Role of Psychology. Chisolm is arguing, on the heels of World War 2, future wars must be avoided at all costs. The only viable option is a world government. He says, what prevents peace from occurring, is an insufficient number of mature adults at any given time. The prevailing immaturity is caused by insecurity, fear and greed. All violence stems from this immaturity. Conversely, maturity is primarily an adaptability and willingness to compromise. The root of insecurity is fear and greed, and is passed through elders, religious authorities; any type of "local certanties", aka conservatism. To clear oneself of prejudices, in order to build a stable world government -which is the only way to end inevitable, constant wars- one must rid themselves of these corrupting influences of local, conservative forces.

...Man's freedom to observe and to think freely is as essential to his survival as are the specific methods of survival of the other species to them. Birds must fly, fish must swim, herbivorous animals must eat grasses and cereals, and man must observe and think freely. That freedom, present in all children and known as innocence, has been destroyed or crippled by local certainties, by gods of local moralities, of local loyalty, of personal salvation, of prejudice and hate and intolerance -frequently masquerading as love - gods of everything that would destroy freedom to observe and to think and would keep each generation under the control of the old people, the elders, the shamans, and the priests.


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    Your answer provides context for the quote and elaborates on how this seems like some Chisolm could have said, but I think your answer could be improved if you make clear that the quote is a twisting of his ideals. Saying it is a "liberal interpretation" is a massive understatement. Chisolm believes (and I largely agree) that wars are often caused by in group prejudice; nationalism, a subset of religious beliefs, a subset of individualistic views. The quote makes it sound like Chisolm believed religion and individualism are always bad. Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 15:53
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    I believe the quotation has some basis.
    – John Dee
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 23:30
  • @BobTheAverage I encourage you to update your answer with the actual source, explaining how he didn't mean it.
    – John Dee
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 18:58

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