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So they eat babies?

Another common meme to dehumanize and defame the Chinese people is that they are cannibals and specifically eat babies. The Nazi analogy meme, the cruelty to animals meme and this meme have been very successfully employed in getting people to see the Chinese people as less than human. After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies? What’s more worthy of condemnation and foam-at-the-mouth vitriol than any perceived harm done to those most venerable groups of innocent beings? The latest epidemic in this last infestation of hate-mongering is from South Korean customs officials that claim that pills made of ground up baby powder was manufactured in China to be distributed in South Korea as medicine and “stamina enhancement” supplements.

What evidence did they have to offer for this claim? Apparently nothing. So these Koreans claim that the reason they have not given any evidence that these pills are from China is that they feared “diplomatic problems” with Beijing (doesn’t the allegation already accomplish that?). How convenient. How cowardly. Make groundless disgust-inducing accusation at another group which diverts negative attention away from own’s own group to another without any evidence then claim that the refusal to provide evidence for that claim is to avoid “diplomatic problems”! Right. Korean officials, knowing full well the PR disaster this might cause to their country, now seems to wage a campaign war to divert negative attention to another country and people who are commonly marked for such allegations. The western press of course, being composed of mostly mindless, functionally illiterate sheep, have drooled over this story. It contains everything they want in a China-story. Demonic Chinese grounding up babies for consumption. So the South Korean ploy seem to have worked. They took advantage of the west’s racism for their own benefit.

Koreans find pills made from human flesh in their country that other Koreans are using for their own weird purposes and are now blaming it (apparently without evidence) on the Chinese all by exploiting the myth in the west that Chinese are so subhuman that they would ground up their babies for medicine.

However, it is not clear that the powder is even really from ground up babies. A Korean documentary claimed that the powder was tested and results suggests that it is from human tissue but they may be from fetuses or even other sources (such as corpses or human tissue from medical waste, etc). The Chinese government have said that their previous investigations have found no support for the claim that these pills are manufactured inside China. So is this another case of the Chinese being defamed by racist propagandists?

The evidence, like I’ve said, is non existent as the Korean officials have refused to offer any proof that the pills are from China and I find the accusations highly suspicious with possible nefarious  motives. Apparently this is not the first time these Korean officials have alleged the same accusations at China without evidence.

The baby eating claim  has a notorious history. It is a wonderfully effective instrument to manufacture hate for any group to accuse them of eating children. This is most clearly seen during the Middle Ages when a similar defamation was used against Jews (Blood Libel). Indeed, many persecuted groups may have experienced such defamatory accusations.

The Chinese are the latest group commonly suspected of Blood Libel. These accusations almost always turn out to be false such as the claim that a famous Chinese performance artist once ate aborted fetus corpses as a performance. Pics are found all over the internet of him dinning fork and knife in hand at a plate of dead babies (or fetuses depending on who you ask). Some rumors speculated that the pics were from a restaurant in Taiwan where babies are routinely served as a delicacy. Notice that in all cases, the word “babies” are used even when the accusations are originally of aborted fetuses. One wonders why the western press don’t called abortions in the western world “aborting babies”.

When Hong Kong authorities in conjunction with the help of Scotland Yard investigated the allegations of the artist, they found that this is likely an urban legend where the “baby” he was “eating’ was likely made of doll parts (he is an artist after all, and they create things out of scratch and perform scenes that are fabrications of reality).

The problem is that often these accusations are made then when no further evidence substantiating the claims subsequently appear, no effort is made to follow up and show that they were baseless so many people go on accepting them.

Furthermore, no context is given and innuendos are used to suggest that these practices are part of Chinese culture or even Chinese peoples’ nature and only pertain to them (and not normal humans). For example, in the latest episodes of these allegations, articles often point out (with the most loaded and sordid language they can manage) that placentas are sometimes made into traditional Chinese medicine. This conveniently shields the fact that placentas are used as medicine and eaten in almost all cultures including that of the west even today (see here and here for example).

Furthermore, European culture have long history of eating human flesh used as medecine. Mummy powder was popular till relatively recently in Europe for treating all sorts of illnesses. Many people in Europe also once gathered for public executions to collect the blood and bones of those executed to make things like soup.

Cosmetic companies in the west also use fetal tissue in cosmetics such as face creams. But the virulently racist denunciations are not forthcoming for all these other verified instances of human cannibalism and medicinal fetal tissue use which are directed at white people.

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  1. May 8th, 2012 at 22:22 | #1

    I just searched “ground baby pills” and the first result showed the same article regurgitated by Catholic Online, in which a reader predictably responds as the propagandists intended:

    Another eye opening article. This news is appalling and an outrage to the faithful BUT to the Obamabots who are for abortion, this might give them an appetite. ‘Soylent Green’, the futuristic science fiction movie 1971, has finally arrived. The movie was about masses of people eating dry green chips that were provided by government. Actor Charllton Heston finds out that the green chips are people. This is the Godless macabre of a Godless Communist Society. The Communist here are the same Communist there. You don’t think it could happen here?? Think again.

    Crusade 2.0?

    China is making progress despite all these nonsense stacked against her people.

    Looking at this defamation, I am struck by the fact that the Chinese are so lucky to at least be strong enough to not be invaded today. If she is as weak as Libya, it’s very possible her 1.3 billion would be bombed. That’s what this all means.

  2. Zack
    May 8th, 2012 at 22:32 | #2

    excellent post, Melekautus; just need to clarify one point: placenta (zi he che) is used as a medicinal in traditional chinese medicine, and is usually for the mother to consume (so as to restore to her body, all those hormones and jing). Now any educated person can tell you that a placenta is not a foetus, nor is it a human being. Anyone unable to distinguish the two would rightfully be labelled an idiot. saying that consuming ‘zi he che’ is cannibalism is like saying eating your own fingernails or say, a woman ingesting semen would be considered ‘cannibalism, yet it is not. Now of course, any doctor or practitioner versed in TCM would tell you that zi he che prepared accordingly to industry standards

    Finally, of course the Catholic Church would take on their usual predictable stance; their stances on abortion/childbirth approach and even exceed santorum ridiculousness. Appararently, every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good and if one drop is wasted, then their deity gets quite irate.

  3. Wayne
    May 8th, 2012 at 23:22 | #3

    Firstly the story is simply so ridiculously unbelievable that the fact that the Western press is jumping on to it shows their ulterior motives.

    Ground up ‘babies’? Even if there was actually some human cellular material in the pills, how could they tell for fucks sake that it came from babies rather than adults or whatever????? After a huge amount of processing also? Come on. The story simply has bullshit all over it.

    And has anyone here ever heard that eating dead babies improves sexual vigour??? Of course they fucking have not.

    My guess is the pills are placenta pills; something that Westerners also indulge in.

    And even if it was the case that some very rare Chinese sickos were actually making baby flesh pills, the white press will use this to smear the whole Chinese race as baby eaters.

    Whereas the misdeeds of white pyschopaths and sickos, are of course never used to smear all Westerners.

    If whites could have their way, they would exterminate chinese (although they would perhaps retain a few of our women as their playthings).

  4. Wayne
    May 8th, 2012 at 23:24 | #4


    Of course you are right YinYang. If China was weak, she would be going through the same shit as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and perhaps soon to be Syria and Iran.

    It would be back to the early 1900s, where white soldiers are swarming all over China.

  5. May 9th, 2012 at 00:32 | #5


    It would be back to the early 1900s, where white soldiers are swarming all over China.

    Not to mitigate what the Western Europeans (America included) did in China, Asian (specifically Japanese) soldiers were also swarming all over China…


  6. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 05:16 | #6

    Thank you for another thought-provoking topic. I just have a few questions:

    1. ‘This mime have been very successful employed in getting people to see the Chinese people as less than human.’

    I clicked on the click. It is for an ‘urban legends’ site. The poster states ‘I am sure this must be a hoax,’ and the reply states ‘we must proceed under the assumption that the Chinese as a people, whether in Taiwan or on the mainland, are no more inclined to eat human babies than folks who live anywhere else in the world.’

    2. ‘After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies?’

    I feel I must question how you get from a story reported in South Korea to ‘white folks.’ Yes, the story has been reported on in the Western media. Not all Westerners, however, are white. Furthermore, the story has also been reported on outside of the West:

    Taiwan: 恐怖嬰屍膠囊 由中國走私入南韓
    Japan: S Korea cracks down on human flesh capsules from China
    Russia: 『Take this, baby’: S. Korea makes macabre tablet bust
    Iran: S. Korea seizes capsules filled with human flesh powder
    Kenya: S. Korea stamps down on 『human-flesh’ pills
    Argentina: Pills stuffed with flesh of dead babies are confiscated in South Korea

    The above list is not exhaustive, but it represents a broad range. I hope that you can see from the evidence I give above that this is not a case of ‘white folks’ versus the Chinese.

    3. The Chinese government investigated similar claims before and found no evidence of such pills in China. They are looking into the case again in light of recent reports. See: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-05/08/content_15241260.htm


    Don’t forget Russia.

  7. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 10:07 | #7


    Race, Law and ‘The Chinese Puzzle’ in Imperial Britain

    “Sascha Auerbach’s Race, Law and ‘The Chinese Puzzle’ in Imperial Britain is a truly unsettling account of how in the 19th and early 20th centuries media, politicians, trade unionists, writers, thespians, film makers, and not least police and court officials across the British realm stolidly and uncompromisingly articulated and executed racist, Sinophobic judgements, deliberately whipped up anti-Chinese sentiments in the population, and elaborated on lurid, racist narratives about Chinese people. Auerbach’s book is from cover to cover packed with detailed evidence of the ‘yellow peril’ and other infamous myths about ‘John Chinaman,’ extracted with great care from rich archival and media sources from the time. His effort proves that the odd dog-eared copy of a Fu Manchu novel encountered in a car boot sale is not an outrageous anomaly, but represented mainstream beliefs of its time.

    The book is a welcome addition to the growing literature of the ethnic Chinese in Britain, because it gives substance, social and political context and depth of vision to some of the racist themes that today are only vaguely known as a handful of jaded slogans, names and topics of another age. The great effort that has gone into collecting the evidence and creating this excellent volume allows us to gain an unprecedented and extraordinarily detailed understanding of the protagonists and outlets of multi-layered racist hate-campaigns waged against Chinese in Britain and its colonies.

    The evidence is rich and clear and presented eloquently, providing excellent pointers to the historical context of how these ideas about the Chinese emerged across the British empire, serving the diverse ‘needs’ of colonial administrators and politicians in Transvaal, Hong Kong and Australia, of trade union leaders in Britain, and of shipping magnates. The rich material of racism is skilfully narrated into the social and moral discourses of wider society, leaving the reader with a vivid impression of how common and normal anti-Chinese bigotry once was. The sources from press, pulp literature and official archives, which the author has consulted and cited from, reveal the wide range of diverse prejudices held by different groups of people. Their voices, in verbatim quotations, give life to Auerbach’s account, showing the personal foibles and individual modulations of what ultimately could be a pretty boring and repetitious affair: the articulation of racist stereotypes.

    Auerbach must be commended for his systematic exploration of a huge collection of scattered sources, the basic integrity and thoroughness of his account, and his subtle analysis of racism as a cultural phenomenon. The book is easy to read, attractively written with an unassuming, somewhat underplayed style that allows the content to stand out in its grotesque, hyperbolic and self-important absurdity. This enables the reader to be drawn into a sound and reflecting engagement with the issues. I was made to wonder whether the protagonists were cynical manipulators of race for their own purposes or buffoons believing what they said and wrote in spite of the glaring evidence of its falseness. The human cost of the deliberate invention of allegations, the manipulation and falsification of facts and the malicious recycling of slander was too great to be ignored: people died, went to jail, were deported, and were exploited in the most horrendous ways due to what in retrospect seem ridiculous and absurd charges. Just because we, with the hindsight of a few decades, find the racism of the past scurrilous and laughable, it cannot, and should not be, a laughing matter.”


    Those of us who do feel that, in spite of race equality policies, political correctness, and strong public displays of ethnic unity, there are in Britain today still discernible echoes of the prejudices so pervasive just a couple of generations ago will find little in the book that confirms it. I am probably not alone in thinking that an analysis today of statements on Chinese and China by media, politicians, police, court officials and various activists will reveal a similar realm of racial bigotry, malevolence and ignorance, albeit often articulated in less overtly offensive ways. We need not go far, looking at media reports on the Morecambe Bay disaster, the tragedy in Dover Docks and the political debates, policy making, police and court practices relating to immigration of Chinese people, snakeheads and gangland crimes, seemingly calibrated with assertions about China as a repressive and totalitarian state, the exploitation of labour in sweatshops, and China’s aspirations to be a great power. The racial themes and prejudices have found a new life.

    Sascha Auerbach delivers the raw materials on which we will be able to build our analyses of how racist discourse works. In that sense, it is a timely and highly accomplished contribution to the literature about both anti-Chinese racism and to race relations in the colonial period.”

  8. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 10:17 | #8


    “Sly Indoctrination: British and American Propaganda in World War I and It’s Effects on America’s German Element”
    by Elizabeth Ortel

    “The night before his 1917 war message to Congress, Woodrow Wilson said that, “Once led into war, our people will forget that there ever was such a thing as tolerance…” This comment from the pacifist president who “kept us out of war” marked a huge shift in American popular opinion that was caused by the British propaganda machine. Throughout World War I, British anti-German sentiment was communicated through atrocity-based propaganda that was understood and embraced by Americans, who began to believe that Germans, whether United States citizens or Europeans, were the enemy.

    When the major powers of Europe entered WWI in 1914, the United States pledged neutrality, resisting involvement in a distant conflict. However, despite this “neutrality”, there was an extreme growth of pro-Ally, anti-German sentiment. Much of this shift in American public opinion can be attributed to the British propaganda machine, run by the British War Propaganda Bureau (WPB).

    Established in 1914 by Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George, the WPB was based at Wellington House in London and placed under the control of Charles Masterman, a successful writer and Liberal Parliament member. The WPB became the major British propaganda distributor, both at home and abroad, especially to the United States. Popular British authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling were hired to write pamphlets and books promoting Britain’s war interests, while major companies such as the Oxford University Press and Macmillan published WPB anti-German materials, including 1160 pamphlets with titles like The Barbarism in Berlin. The WPB appointed Canadian novelist and poet Sir Gilbert Parker to make sure that books by “extreme German nationalists, militarists, and exponents of Machtpolitik such as von Treitschke, Nietzche, and Bernhardi” were published in the United States to skew perception of German authors.

    In addition, the WPB kept in close contact with American newspapers, received weekly reports on the state of American public opinion, and arranged interviews with prominent Englishmen to increase Britain’s likeability in the United States. In 1917, Charles Alfred Harmsworth (Lord Northcliffe) initiated the establishment of the British Bureau of Information in New York City, a symbol of the WPB’s influence in the United States.

    With a propaganda machine intact, the British implemented various measures to ensure worldwide dominance of their war views. In August 1914, a British ship, the Teleconia, deliberately cut Germany’s underwater communication cables, eliminating Berlin’s principal means of contacting the outside world. Now, with only Marconi’s wireless to send messages, British cryptanalysts could easily intercept and decipher German messages. Subsequently, the consul general of Germany’s ally Austria-Hungary told the New York Times: “The cutting of that cable may do us great injury. If only one side of the case is given…prejudice will be created against us here.”

    He was not mistaken. Soon after the cable cutting, Parliament passed the Defense of the Realm Act, which gave British censors the ability to dissect all information traveling from England to the world, and Britain was thus able to modify news and opinions traveling to the United States. With an effective propaganda machine, and tight control over news from Europe to the United States, Britain was able to influence American public and governmental opinion, thus nurturing a pro-Ally and anti-German stance in the United States.

    The British depended heavily on atrocity propaganda to sway American opinion. By popularizing and exaggerating German actions, Britain was easily able to arouse anti-German sentiment in Americans. Luckily for the British, Germany gave them many scandalous stories on which to build their propaganda.

    Britain’s first opportunity to spread anti-German sentiment arrived with Germany’s invasion of Belgium in August 1914. When the conflict began, Germany asked the Belgian government permission for safe passage for the German army, agreeing to pay for food obtained en route and damages to property. Although Belgian neighbor Luxembourg found these terms acceptable, Belgium did not, and maintained their terms of “neutrality.” In reality, Belgium had secret agreements with Britain and France, and therefore maintained a covert pro-Ally stance.

    Nevertheless, when the German army crossed into “neutral” Belgium in August of 1914, Germany, a “militaristic, imperialist giant” was harshly condemned for invading “poor little Belgium,” a small, neutral, democratic country. Consequently, British propagandists had a field day. Atrocity stories flooded into Allied nations, especially the United States, via Britain: there were eye-witness accounts of infantrymen spearing Belgian babies with their bayonets, boys with amputated hands and women with amputated breasts. Atrocity propaganda proliferated. Cartoons such as “Babes on Bayonets” showing German soldiers with babies hanging from their bayonets appeared in popular American magazines such as Life, and posters commanded Brits and Americans to “Remember Belgium” while they gazed on an image of a woman being dragged away by a German soldier. A group of Belgians was later sent at the expense of the British government to tour the United States recounting these stories of German atrocities. Strangely enough, in September 1914 when a group of American news reporters was permitted to follow the German army through Belgium, they sent a telegram to the Associated Press saying that the reports of atrocities were “groundless as far as [they were] able to observe.”10
    To retain American sympathy for Belgium, the British had to add much needed legitimacy to the German atrocity claims in Belgium. To do so, the British government organized a royal commission to investigate the validity of the reports. They asked Viscount James Bryce, an admired and well-known scholar of the era, to head the commission, which analyzed 1,200 testimonies of anonymous eyewitnesses.11 The resulting Bryce Report was released in May 1915, and was immediately sent to American newspapers by Wellington House. The New York Times reported:

    “GERMAN ATROCITIES ARE PROVED, FINDS BRYCE COMMITTEE Not Only Individual Crimes, but Premeditated Slaughter in Belgium”12

    The Bryce Report, essentially a piece of anti-German propaganda legitimized the idea that the Germans were a cruel “race” to be feared and garnered American sympathy for the Allied cause. Accordingly, America’s anti-German sentiment grew.


    The posters, pamphlets, and other forms of propaganda released by the WPB directly stemming from the invasion of Belgium, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the execution of Edith Cavell, filtered a sharp anti-German outlook into the United States. Although the United States was officially neutral during this time, most historians believe the impact of British war propaganda was substantial to change the opinions of many about Germans and German culture, including President Woodrow Wilson.”

  9. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 10:28 | #9

    “German Corpse Factory” was a famous WWI British propaganda exercise. There, British propagandists placed a story in a Shanghai newspaper, where it was picked up and reported by newspapers in Britain and America.

    Schoolchidren in Britain apparently learn this story as part of their general education:


    “Corpse Factories in Germany

    During the First World War rumours began to spread that Germany was building corpse factories. For example, Cynthia Asquith wrote in her diary on 16th June, 1915: “Quite a pleasant dinner. We discussed the rumour that the Germans utilise even their corpses by converting them into glycerine with the by-product of soap. I suggested that Haldane should offer his vast body as raw material to Lloyd George.”

    These rumours died out until the story reappeared in the North China Herald in Shanghai. On the 10th April 1917, it appeared in the Independence Belge. A week later a report of corpse factories was published in The Times: “We have known for long that the Germans stripped their dead behind the firing line, fastened them into bundles of three or four bodies with iron wire, and then dispatched these grisly bundles to the rear… the chief factory of which has been constructed 1,000 yards from the railway connecting St Vith, near the Belgian frontier, with Gerolstein, in the lonely, little-frequented Eifel district, south-west of Coblenz. The factory deals specially with the dead from the West Front. If the results are as good as the company hopes, another will be established to deal with corpses on the East Front… The trains arrive full of bare bodies, which are unloaded by the workers who live at the works. The men wear oilskin overalls and masks with mica eyepieces. They are equipped with long hooked poles, and push the bundles of bodies to an endless chain, which picks them with big hooks, attached at intervals of two feet. The bodies are transported on this endless chain into a long, narrow compartment, where they pass through a bath which disinfects them. They then go through a drying chamber, and finally are automatically carried into a digester or great cauldron, in which they are dropped by an apparatus which detaches them from the chain. In the digester they remain for six to eight hours, and are treated by steam, which breaks them up while they are slowly stirred by machinery.”

    It was later discovered that the story was planted in the newspapers by Brigadier-General John Charteris, the Chief Intelligence Officer at GHQ. According to the New York Times he later admitted: “One day there came to the desk of General Charteris a mass of material taken from German prisoners and dead soldiers. In it were two pictures, one showing a train taking dead horses to the rear so that fat and other things needed for fertiliser and munitions might be obtained from them, and the other showing a train taking dead Germans to the rear for burial. On the picture showing the horses was the word cadaver… General Charteris had the caption telling of cadaver being sent back to the fat factory transposed to the picture showing the German dead, and had the photograph sent to a Chinese newspaper in Shanghai.”

  10. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 10:39 | #10

    According to Wikipedia:

    “The Kadaververwertungsanstalten (“corpse utilization factories”), also sometimes called the “German Corpse-Rendering Works” or “Tallow Factory” was one of the most notorious British anti-German propaganda efforts of World War I.

    The first accounts of the Kadaververwertungsanstalt appeared in the 17 April 1917 editions of The Times and The Daily Mail (both owned by Lord Northcliffe at the time), The Times running it under the title Germans and their Dead. The editorial introduction said that it came from the Belgian newspaper l’Indépendance Belge published in England, which in turn had received it from La Belgique, another Belgian newspaper published in Leyden, The Netherlands, and that it had originally appeared in the 10 April 1917 edition of the German newspaper Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger.

    The German newspaper story made no clear reference to the corpses as human, however the Belgian newspaper did. Additionally, the German newspaper account was a very brief story by reporter Karl Rosner of only 59 words in length, whereas the Belgian account had been extended to over 500 words.

    The story described how corpses arrived by rail at the factory, which was placed “deep in forest country” and surrounded by an electrified fence, and how they were rendered for their fats which were then further processed into stearin (a form of tallow). It went on to claim that this was then used to make soap, or refined into an oil “of yellowish brown colour”:

    ‘We pass through Evergnicourt. There is a dull smell in the air, as if lime were being burnt. We are passing the great Corpse Utilization Establishment (Kadaververwertungsanstalt) of this Army Group. The fat that is won here is turned into lubricating oils, and everything else is ground down in the bones mill into a powder, which is used for mixing with pigs’ food and as manure.’

    A debate followed in the pages of The Times and other papers. The Times stated that it had received a number of letters “questioning the translation of the German word Kadaver, and suggesting that it is not used of human bodies. As to this, the best authorities are agreed that it is also used of the bodies of animals.” Letters were also received confirming the story from Belgian and Dutch sources and later from Romania.

    The New York Times reported on 20 April that the article was being credited by all the French newspapers with the exception of the Paris-Midi, which preferred to believe that the corpses in question were those of animals rather than humans. The Times itself did not credit the story, pointing out that it appeared in early April and that German newspapers traditionally indulged in April Fools’ Day pranks, and also that the expression “Kadaver” was not employed in current German usage to mean a human corpse, the word “Leichnam” being used instead. The only exception was corpses used for dissection—cadavers.

    On 25 April the weekly British humorous magazine Punch printed a cartoon entitled “Cannon-Fodder—and After,” which showed the Kaiser and a German recruit. Pointing out a window at a factory with smoking chimneys and the sign “Kadaververwertungs[anstalt],” the Kaiser tells the young man: “And don’t forget that your Kaiser will find a use for you—alive or dead.”

    On 30 April the story was raised in the House of Commons, and the government declined to endorse it. Lord Robert Cecil declared that he had no information beyond newspaper reports. He added that, “in view of other actions by German military authorities, there is nothing incredible in the present charge against them.” However, the government, he said, had neither the responsibility nor the resources to investigate the allegations. In the months that followed, the account of the Kadaververwertungsanstalt circulated worldwide, but never expanded beyond the account printed in The Times; no eyewitnesses ever appeared, and the story was never enlarged or amplified.

    Some individuals within the government nonetheless hoped to exploit the story, and Charles Masterman, director of the War Propaganda Bureau at Wellington House, was asked to prepare a short pamphlet. This was never published, however. Masterman and his mentor, Prime Minister David Lloyd George, never took the story seriously.[citation needed]

    A month later, The Times revived the rumor by publishing a captured German Army order that made reference to a Kadaver factory. It was issued by the VsdOK, which The Times interpreted as Verordnungs-Stelle (“instructions department”). The Frankfurter Zeitung, however, insisted that it stood for Veterinar-Station (veterinary station). The Foreign Office agreed that order could only be referring to “the carcasses of horses.”

    Paul Fussell has also suggested that this may have been a deliberate British mistranslation of the phrase Kadaver Anstalt on a captured German order that all available animal remains be sent to an installation to be reduced to tallow.

    The story had a worldwide circulation and had considerable propaganda value in the East. [clarification needed]”


    In his 1931 book Spreading Germs of Hate, George Sylvester Viereck pictured the origin of the story, adding that Charteris’ aim was to sway the opinion of the Chinese against the Germans:

    ‘Charteris, his face one broad grin, was comparing two pictures captured from Germans. The first was a vivid reproduction of a harrowing scene, showing the dead bodies of German soldiers being hauled away for burial behind the lines. The second picture depicted dead horses on their way to the factory where German ingenuity extracted soap and oil from the carcasses. The inspiration to change the caption of the two pictures came to General Charteris like a flash.

    When the orderly arrived, the General dexterously used the shears and pasted the inscription “German cadavers on Their Way to the Soap Factory” under the picture of the dead German soldiers. Within twenty-four hours the picture was in the mail pouch for Shanghai.’

    The explanation was vouchsafed by General Charteris himself in 1926, at a dinner at the National Arts Club, New York City. It met with diplomatic denial later on, but is generally accepted.”


    Interesting how in 1917, it was the Germans who were targeted by the British propaganda machine, and the Chinese were (in part, along with the Americans) the unwitting audience.

  11. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 11:01 | #11

    The role of the British newspapers, particularly those owned by Lord Northcliffe, and the German Corpse Factory hoax, is detailed in this fascinating research article published in 2010 in the Global Media Journal:


    Media and Propaganda: The Northcliffe Press and the Corpse Factory Story of World War I
    Joachim Neander, University of Bremen, Germany
    Randal Marlin, Carleton University, Canada

    Media and Propaganda: The Northcliffe Press and the Corpse Factory Story of World War I
    Joachim Neander
    University of Bremen, Germany
    Randal Marlin
    Carleton University, Canada

    “Demonization of Germans was an early feature of British propaganda in World War I, with numerous atrocities reported in the Bryce Report, 1915. But in April, 1917, a particularly gripping, gruesome, and odium-inducing tale was given credence by the press of Lord Northcliffe, notably The Times and The Daily Mail. These papers seemed to provide convincing proof that the Germans boiled down corpses of their own soldiers for the purpose of producing useful products such as fats, bone meal, pig food and the like. The story is well known, but significant details have been obscured or misrepresented with regard to the way in which it came to be so widely believed. Our purpose here is to straighten out key elements of the record, based on archival findings, and to draw attention to the techniques employed to ensure widespread credence in this false tale. These techniques, and the principles behind their use, have recent and contemporary parallels, some of which are drawn in this paper. The Corpse Factory story succeeded in its goal, but may have made a lasting peace more difficult. Also, official repudiation of the story in 1925 encouraged later disbelief when early reports circulated about the Holocaust under Hitler, thus contributing to the early lack of response by nations asked to accept Jewish refugees.”


    Atrocity stories, as a way of inciting people to war, have been successfully employed from at least the time of the crusades of the Middle Ages to the present. Incitement of hatred paves the way to war and in combat lowers the inhibition level to kill. The soldier who kills an enemy feels good about ridding the world of some evil monster, not a human being. World War I arrived at a time when nationalistic pride and patriotic fervour were at a peak, and imperialistic ambitions clashed. Devotion to country, Fatherland, “La Patrie” was such that many had no compunctions about subordinating ordinary ethical rules to the overriding needs of that object of devotion.

    Target audiences must believe that the stories are true, and in that respect it helps if the stories are in fact true. But believability of the stories, and the extent to which they reverberate in the imagination and stimulate horror and revulsion, are what matter for influencing targets.

    Exposing the truth about invented stories after a propaganda campaign has served its purpose and war is over is not as easy as it might seem. Media that “fell for” the stories are understandably reluctant to advertise their incompetence or connivance beyond what is necessary to restore credibility in cases where their role has been exposed.1 Story fabricators may not want to reveal themselves to be liars, especially if the war has not gone well. A government or its successor may also worry about preserving its credibility for future propaganda operations. Admitting to past deceptions, even of a previous administration, could impair this credibility.
    For sheer magnitude, impact and durability one atrocity story from World War I stands out above others in the history of such stories. We refer to the so-called Corpse Utilization Plant story, used to demonise the Germans. (For brevity, we will call it the “Corpse Factory” story2 henceforth.) According to the story, used to sustain and intensify a war already underway, the Germans were boiling down their own dead soldiers to make useful products—pig’s food, fertilizer, glycerine, lubricants, and last but not least, soap.

    Our purpose in revisiting this story is primarily to highlight the media role in getting this story implanted so thoroughly in public consciousness. The Northcliffe press role in this has been in some cases ignored, and in others under-appreciated, or insufficiently understood. We propose to rectify this deficiency. The techniques used then have counterparts in recent and current propaganda methods, as we intend to show. New techniques have certainly come into play since then, but in some cases these are simply adaptations of older principles applied in the case we examine.

    In the background here, but not to be forgotten, are ethical concerns related to the postwar history of this falsehood. As an important contributor to the demonization of Germans, the story shares responsibility in some measure for the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and reparations payments, sowing seeds for future war.”


    One of the great and tragic ironies of these propaganda stories, is that the British, by demonizing Germans to the extent that they did in these phony stories, created an atmosphere for Britain’s inhumane treatment of Germans in the post WWI peace, leading to the conditions for the rise of Nazism; the Germans responded like the demons they were made out to be to the harsh and unfair Treaty of Versailles.

  12. Zack
    May 9th, 2012 at 11:09 | #12

    the thing with painting the Chinese as inhuman monsters is that it deflects domestic criticism at home towards a foreign entity-and given the incredile xenophobia displayed by almost every western country, this is like oil polluting waters. It’s going to be incredibly difficult to enlighten western audiences to the bullshit their governments and Elites have propagated to them.

    btw, funny how the media in the west downplayed OWS, ISAF atrocities in afghanistan and yet strangely, keeps this non story about alleged Chinese cannibalism on the presses for an extended period of time.

  13. perspectivehere
    May 9th, 2012 at 11:32 | #13

    Maggie O’Kane of the Guardian calls dead babies a “propaganda classic” in this essay:


    And here, it refers to O’Kane’s observation that “there is always a dead baby story”.

  14. May 9th, 2012 at 15:12 | #14

    @Robert Thomas

    No, the propaganda is primarily originating from the west. It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices. Those other links you gave (actually several are from western countries) are really just copies of western media articles. many non western media simply report what the western media reports. Even many western media outlets simply report what the AP reports or other mainstream outlets. that’s how the media works. Most journalist do not have the time nor the resources to investigate every single story that is reported in the mainstream media (and most are also very lazy) so they simply report what other people report.

    Think of it like the stupid man that bought two copies of the same paper in order to “verify” the truth of the first paper. That’s stupid. Likewise, checking many sources when they all have the same source or sources (from mainstream western sources) does not show that each is anymore independently researched.

  15. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:32 | #15

    No, this story originates in South Korea. South Korea is not the West.

  16. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:33 | #16

    Which of the countries that I posted links from do you consider Western?

  17. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:44 | #17

    @Robert Thomas
    ‘It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices.’

    That is such a ridiculously sweeping statement. By grouping millions of people into one group, with one set of sensibilities and prejudices, you are no better than the ‘propagandists’ that you are supposedly battling against.

  18. May 9th, 2012 at 15:47 | #18

    lol. Robert Thomas, most of the links you provided derive their stories in part or whole from the AFP or the AP. While at it, you mind as well now supply a list of Western press articles regurgitating the same. 😉

  19. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:48 | #19

    @Robert Thomas

    I would like to remind you that you have not commented on this part of my post:

    ‘I feel I must question how you get from a story reported in South Korea to 『white folks.』 Yes, the story has been reported on in the Western media. Not all Westerners, however, are white.’

  20. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 15:51 | #20

    Well done, Sherlock. Do you think I didn’t notice? Do you expect Iran to send a couple of journalists to Seoul to cover the story?
    If this is all part of some propaganda war, and it’s all about Western prejudices and sensibilities, how do you explain the presence of this story in all those media sites around the world?

  21. May 9th, 2012 at 16:02 | #21

    It is part of a Western media propaganda to defame ‘China’ and the ‘Chinese.’ I’ll remind our readers of our Featured Posts section to the right, and for convenience, I’ll point out a number of articles we have published which exposes this phenomenon:

    “Collective Defamation”

    “Pew Research Report, “THE U.S. MEDIA ON CHINA” ”

    “Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!”

    “Opinion: Dear Mr. Dalai Lama … please tear down this wall!”

    The Western press is one gigantic propaganda machine.

  22. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:10 | #22

    @Robert Thomas
    Are Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Iran, Kenya and Argentina all involved in this scheme to defame China and the Chinese?

  23. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:20 | #23

    @Robert Thomas
    Collective defamation. I read that one. Do you think the following statements qualify as examples of collective defamation?

    ‘It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices.’

    ‘After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies?’

  24. May 9th, 2012 at 16:35 | #24

    @Robert Thomas
    Your logic doesn’t make sense. In the ‘ground baby pills,’ the issue is with Western media as in AFP running with something so outrageous, they don’t care about fact checking. They simply would ‘report’ rumours as if they are truth. The Daily Mail in fact try to add smear on top of smear.

    Of course, this is part of the collective defamation.

  25. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:45 | #25

    If you read the articles, they all say words to the effect of ‘according to the South Korean authorities.’ It’s not simply a rumour, it’s something that a government agency is reporting. If it’s so outrageous, why did the Chinese authorities investigate it before and are re-investigating it now?

    Do you think the Daily Mail is representative of the whole Western media?

    How do you explain the presence of the story on sites around the world? Are Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Iran, Kenya and Argentina all involved in this scheme to defame China and the Chinese?

  26. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:54 | #26

    This charge of ‘collective defamation’ can also be levelled at phrases such as:

    『It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices.』

    『After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies?』

    Surely, we would not welcome such sweeping generalisations about people from any ethnicity, region or culture?

  27. May 9th, 2012 at 16:54 | #27

    I will try a different way to put this to you. This is the intended response that the Daily Mail and other propagandists want from Westerners:

    Not surprising is the Chinese again….
    – Cherry M., Los Angeles, CA USA, 09/5/2012 06:26

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140702/South-Korea-customs-officials-thousands-pills-filled-powdered-human-baby-flesh.html#ixzz1uQ5ghEkG

  28. lolz
    May 9th, 2012 at 16:56 | #28

    I am not sure if the fetus pills are real or not, but even if story is true it doesn’t say anything about Chinese culture as most of us don’t eat babies or even take “stamina boosters” for that matter. Western media on the other hand tries to paint the story as if cannibalism is somewhat accepted in China.

    If we have story about a cannibal in Germany, the Western media will not put the emphasis on Germany as the nation of cannibals, but paint only the individual as cannibals. In the case of negative news about China, the Western media tend to focus on China the nation and paint the negative news as the norm as opposed to the exception. This is not the first time of course. When a US company produced tainted Peanut Butter which resulted in death of over a dozen people and hundreds hospitalized, America as a whole was not pelted by the Western media. When a Chinese company is discovered to put their customer’s lives at risk, the Western media portrayed the event as if all Chinese products are poisonous.

    Now I don’t blame journalists for their bias, after all a lot of it only reflects their upbringing. However it’s a bit sad to see so many folks pretend as if Western journalists are somehow more objective than Chinese journalists when that is clearly not the case.

  29. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:06 | #29

    Can you take the Daily Mail as representative of the Western media, or even just the British Press?
    Can you take one comment as representative of all the readers?
    Do Wayne’s comments show the intended response of HH? Do Robert Thomas’s comments?

    You still cannot explain why this story has been run in media sites around the world.

  30. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:10 | #30

    It’s not just the Western media, this story was run around the world.

    I agree with your point, that individual cases should not be portrayed as representative of a whole nation, ethnicity or culture. But isn’t this what users are doing here with phrases such as:

    『It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices.』

    『After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies?』

  31. lolz
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:11 | #31

    Robert Thomas :
    Do Wayne’s comments show the intended response of HH? Do Robert Thomas’s comments?

    Hasn’t it been explained that “Wayne” is a socket puppet of “Raj”? I would also be shocked if “Robert Thomas” is not a socket puppet of someone from the same group.

  32. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:19 | #32

    Wayne states above:

    ‘If whites could have their way, they would exterminate chinese (although they would perhaps retain a few of our women as their playthings).’

    Do Wayne’s comments show the intended response of HH?

  33. my-mother
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:28 | #33

    @lolz, DW, and Everybody else,

    Look! Robert Thomas is obviously a troll (probably Raj), who doesn’t or hasn’t make any useful contribution to the content of this blog.

    All his rejoinders to other people’s posts are essentially Red Herrings that detract from the real issue or discussion at hand.

    I suggest we just ignore him until he has something of more substance to add to the discussion.


    While we are at it, I think it might be worth while to write a bit about how not to get sucked in by red herring arguments or at the very least highlight the Wikipedia link.


  34. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:39 | #34

    I’ve been accused of being a troll before and it didn’t stick.

    If you feel that you have a case for labelling me as a troll, I advise you to take it up with one of the moderators.

    ‘Recently, the term forum troll has developed into an excuse for using Master Suppression Techniques on opponents in forum disputes. By calling someone a forum troll, you give yourself and others a reason to ignore, mock, blame and withhold information from your opponent, despite the fact that the person has done nothing wrong.

    Many people have been forced into exile from the a forum Community simply because they have been falsely accused of forum trolling.

    Before jumping to conclusions, and accusing someone of being a forum troll, be sure to check your facts!’


  35. May 9th, 2012 at 17:43 | #35


    I am not sure if the fetus pills are real or not, but even if story is true it doesn’t say anything about Chinese culture as most of us don’t eat babies or even take “stamina boosters” for that matter. Western media on the other hand tries to paint the story as if cannibalism is somewhat accepted in China.

    If we have story about a cannibal in Germany, the Western media will not put the emphasis on Germany as the nation of cannibals, but paint only the individual as cannibals.

    Very good point.

    I know for a fact that most Chinese people don’t eat placenta – much less fetuses. I know of no family, friends, or relatives who have done that or who know people who do that…

    So even if it does turn out that some of these pills were made in China, most people in China would probably be sickened by it, not applaud it. If it turns out to be a fact that these pills were made from fetuses, it would be an illegal operation under Chinese laws. To ascribe the morality of a few criminals involved in such operations to the Chinese gov’t, nation, or people as a whole is absurd. It’s in line with what we wrote earlier about imputing the characteristic of a depraved few to the whole.

    See, e.g.,




    The funny thing about this story is that if we must moralize (and I actually don’t want to), imagine if we have a story that have Chinese consumers ordering pills containing placenta or fetus tissues from abroad. We’d get a fury of outcries about how degenerative Chinese people and culture are!

    When it is found that these fetuses come from some poor regions in other parts of the world – say some areas in Africa or India – I don’t know if the Western press will do much moral posturing directed at those people there. They would be reported as victims – poor people responding to distorted economics driven by “morally depraved” people in a faraway place.

    But now the story is flipped around. The attention seem to be focused on China – not South Korea – as the source of moral depravity.

  36. May 9th, 2012 at 17:43 | #36

    You are absolutely right. I’ll take up on your suggestions.

  37. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:52 | #37

    Sigh. I give up on you?

  38. Robert Thomas
    May 9th, 2012 at 17:57 | #38

    I agree with a lot of what you say. However, ‘imputing the characteristic of a depraved few to the whole’ is exactly what some users are doing in this discussion, but they are targeting Westerners or white people. Which doesn’t make any sense because the story comes from South Korea and has been run in media sites around the world.

  39. May 9th, 2012 at 18:48 | #39

    @Robert Thomas

    “It’s not just the Western media, this story was run around the world.
    I agree with your point, that individual cases should not be portrayed as representative of a whole nation, ethnicity or culture. But isn’t this what users are doing here with phrases such as:
    『It appeals to western sensibilities and prejudices.』
    『After all, what’s more worthy of white folk’s’ sympathies than Tibetans, cute furry animals and babies?』”

    Obviously not. Such statements are speculations into the motives of the individuals who ran the story in the media. Afterall, such statements are not speculating into the effectiveness of the motives of the individuals.

    Though I do not approve of speculations into personal motives as an argument, I do not see these speculative statements as directed at any one but the individuals who ran the story in the media, hardly painting any group with a generalization.

    (Unless you think it’s an entire ethnic group who would be responsible for running the story?! But that would be your error and your problem, I don’t see anyone here sharing such a collective blame view. So, by your implication, you are race-baiting.)

  40. May 9th, 2012 at 18:55 | #40

    @Robert Thomas

    Are you purposely trying to be stupid or does it come naturally? Did you go to any of the sites I linked? All of the sites I linked to were from western news sources. If you learned how to read, you’d know that the South Korea officials first alleged the allegation that the pills were from China without evidence and this was reported as fact by the western press.

  41. May 9th, 2012 at 18:58 | #41

    Basic geography lesson for Robert Thomas


    “In the contemporary cultural meaning, the Western World includes many countries of Europe as well as many countries of European colonial origin in the Americas and Oceania, such as the United States of America, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Argentina, etc. [2][3][4]”

    This is 3rd grade information. 3rd graders should know this. This is an example of a product of the western education system…

  42. May 9th, 2012 at 19:12 | #42

    How stupid does one have to be to think that CNN, CBS, the dailymail, the guardian and the telegraph are South Korean news organizations? Not even the average product of the US education system is dumb enough to believe that. perhaps the best explanation is that Robert Thomas is simply just a troll.

  43. amaryllis
    May 9th, 2012 at 22:19 | #43

    According to Robert Thomas, “ It doesn’t make sense because the story comes from South Korea and has been run in media sites around the world”.

    I ass-ume he didn’t read perspectivehere #9 that leads off: German Corpse Factory” was a famous WWI British propaganda exercise. There, British propagandists placed a story in a Shanghai newspaper, where it was picked up and reported by newspapers in Britain and America.
    A newspaper in a Western-friendly country runs a story, on unfounded allegations, and the rest of the world picks it up.

  44. Xiaoxiao
    May 9th, 2012 at 23:41 | #44

    I think people should read Henry Kissinger leaked report. It explained the phenomena of a sudden rise of anti-China propaganda in the West. After blind activist, now this pill and I don’t know what will next.

  45. perspectivehere
    May 10th, 2012 at 12:22 | #45

    The research article mentioned above, Media and Propaganda: The Northcliffe Press and the Corpse Factory Story of World War I – (2010, Global Media Journal) is a very worthwhile read to learn how propaganda is “propagated” through privately-owned but friendly media channels.

    It details how an unprobable story mixing fact and fiction, together with cobbling reportage from international media sources (which are inherently difficult to substantiate in a pre-internet / pre-human flesh search engine) era enabled the newspapers owned by Lord Northcliffe (The Times and The Daily Mail) to propagate the Corpse Factory story in a believable (and widely believed) but unprovable way.

    The article states: “Demonization of Germans was an early feature of British propaganda in World War I, with numerous atrocities reported in the Bryce Report, 1915. But in April, 1917, a particularly gripping, gruesome, and odium-inducing tale was given credence by the press of Lord Northcliffe, notably The Times and The Daily Mail. These papers seemed to provide convincing proof that the Germans boiled down corpses of their own soldiers for the purpose of producing useful products such as fats, bone meal, pig food and the like.”

    Lord Northcliffe is no longer around, but it would be interesting to take a look at the reporting done by The Daily Mail of the “Dead Baby Pills” story, to see how they covered it.

    The Daily Mail (UK) reported this story in lurid detail.

    It reads to me like a faked article. It contains a mix of new unsubstantiated allegations, relying mainly on reports from other (foreign) news outlets, together with statements of general facts, opinions, comment, and hearsay. The allegations are hard to substantiate because there is little that can be independently confirmed. Factual claims are made, but when you try to pin anything down, it leads to a pat dead end.

    For example, “‘Ethnic Koreans from north-east China who now live in South Korea are those who were mostly intending to use the capsules or share them with other Korean-Chinese’ said a customs official. ‘They are normally brought into South Korea in luggage or posted by international mail.’ The capsules were all confiscated but no one has been punished because the amount was deemed small and they were not intended for sale, a customs official added.”

    The article even inserts a staged video purportedly dramatizing the discovery of the pills during an airport security check.

    There is a photo captioned “Crackdown: Chinese officials, pictured confiscating thousands of illegal tablets, say they will clampdown on the massive herbal medicine industry which has seen dangerous bacteria an human remains added to seized pills.”

    The caption wording slyly suggests that the pills being seized by officials in the picture are the same as those in the story. But they are not.

    This photo is supplied by Corbis, and appears to have been used in an article titled “China selling fake ‘Made in India’ drugs” June 18, 2009 with the image captioned ‘Police check confiscated fake drugs after they smashed a counterfeit gang in Xuchang, Henan province’ and attributed to China Daily/Reuters (click through the slide show to find it)

    It was also used in December 2, 2009 to illustrate an article entitled, “What ails India’s healthcare system” with the same caption. (again, click through the slide show to find it)

    So I re-read The Daily Mail caption again, and parse it carefully. It is an oddly constructed sentence. Is it inaccurate? Well, strictly speaking no, it does show officials seizing illegal tablets. But it also implies that human remains were in the seized pills in the photos, and that is not true.

    This kind of approach seems fishy to me. It seems calculated to mislead the casual reader.


    In the research article mentioned above, Bertrand Russell, noted philosopher, is quoted as follows:

    “After America’s entry into the war, British propaganda, under the direction of Lord Northcliffe, was able to adopt more direct and ambitious methods. . . . The [Corpse Factory] story was set going cynically, by one of the employees in the British propaganda department, a man with a good knowledge of German, perfectly aware that “Kadaver” means “carcase”, not “corpse”, but aware also that, with the Allied command of the means of publicity, the misrepresentation could be made to “go down”.
    (Russell, 1924: 381)”

    Besides the Northcliffe newspapers, other media organizations were also involved – Reuters, and United Press:

    “Other news media also played a role in spreading the Corpse factory story worldwide. Already in 1911, Reuters news agency had made a secret agreement with the British government to spread “official news” through its Imperial News Service, a daily service distributed to all British colonies and dominions. During the war, Reuters’ General Manager Roderick Jones, headed the News Section of the Department of Information (Putnis & McCallum, 2005). In the French language community, Agence Havas, and in the USA, United Press can be identified as the main purveyors of the Corpse factory story to the press. The story made its way also to the Eastern front (Poland, Romania) by ways not yet known.”

    “Reuters news agency had made a secret agreement with the British government to spread ‘official news'” – did I read that correctly?

    Googling “Reuters secret agreement British government” brings up this source. Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser…

  46. May 10th, 2012 at 13:40 | #46

    Yep, I saw that photo and realized it was likely from another story which the dailymail used to mislead people into thinking that that was from this story of the baby pills.

  47. aeiou
    May 11th, 2012 at 00:21 | #47

    Not strictly related to this story but here is another example of the kind of damage that western narrative has done to the people of china..

    A foreign (British) man was caught trying to rape a girls in China and subsequently got a beating. see here > http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=59e_1336575348

    More interestingly; along the lines of discussion here; is the reaction of the people to the incident. (e.g http://www.reddit.com/r/China/comments/tfha1/a_lao_wai_attempts_to_rape_a_girl_gets_his_ass/)

    The western media has done such a thorough job at bashing China that people are willing to defend rape, or believe just about anything bad in order to perpetuate that image of a totalitarian, evil, China. Chinese can no longer be victims of crime, it’s just part of some other devious plot. This is why it always amuses me when westerners ramble on about living in their “post-racial” utopia’s when it’s quite evident even liberals readily engage in a us vs them, east vs west or china vs west dichotomies.

  48. Xiaoxiao
    May 11th, 2012 at 05:16 | #48

    @Robert Thomas
    Are you completely blind on how the world media work? If you recheck again and see another news, most of the news are copy paste or translated directly from Western media. You won’t see news directly came from Russia, China nor India. All must thru the West filter and narrative.

    If Western media wrote “baby pills” instead of placenta, all will wrote “baby” pills too. If Western media didn’t report the news, all will not report the news as well.

    This is a legacy of Cold War, an ideology war against communism thru media. If US said communist is evil Godless, everyone will said so. There are some media trying to be different, like Al Jazeera, but look him now, just another CNN.

  49. denk
    May 11th, 2012 at 18:10 | #49

    just wondering
    is this *robert thomas* character worth the time ?
    he trolls every thread n insist on interogating every poster on anything china
    yet he never answer our questions

    n now coz of that creep raj from the xxxx duck
    we have to login

  50. May 11th, 2012 at 22:43 | #50

    Not worth the time. Best is what my-mother said above.

    @lolz, DW, and Everybody else,
    Look! Robert Thomas is obviously a troll (probably Raj), who doesn’t or hasn’t make any useful contribution to the content of this blog.
    All his rejoinders to other people’s posts are essentially Red Herrings that detract from the real issue or discussion at hand.
    I suggest we just ignore him until he has something of more substance to add to the discussion.
    While we are at it, I think it might be worth while to write a bit about how not to get sucked in by red herring arguments or at the very least highlight the Wikipedia link.

  51. perspectivehere
    May 12th, 2012 at 01:14 | #51

    Alice Goldfarb Marquis wrote an extremely illuminating essay analyzing the differences between British propaganda and German propaganda during WW1. Although published in 1978, the article still has much to teach us about why and how the British were far more successful with their propaganda efforts (which often did not appear to be propaganda) than the Germans.

    The article is available here:

    Words as Weapons: Propaganda in Britain and Germany During the First World War
    Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 13, No. 3. (Jul., 1978), pp. 467-498

    One of the reasons why it continues to be useful to study British propaganda in WWI is that many of the communication techniques of the modern world (telecommunications, mass media) first came to full use during that time, and the propaganda techniques that worked then continue to be used today. It is also interesting to consider reasons why the German effort to refute the phony British propaganda failed to be convincing. The way British censorship was carried out was far less obstrusive than German censorship, and so was less obvious that it was happening.

    For example:

    “The wartirne propaganda effort in both Britain and Germany diverged into two streams: censorship and news management. In both countries the dark depths of censorship eventually swallowed most ‘bad news’ – information considered to be damaging to home morale, encouraging to the enemy or detrimental to relationships with neutrals. On both sides interpretation was broad.

    In Germany, suppression ranged from food shortages, casualty lists, notices of death, and mention of peace demonstrations, to advertisements for quack venereal disease cures (since they might prevent sufferers from consulting a qualified physician).” Real Military news was well under control in Germany, anyway, through pre-censorship of all WTB dispatches and a requirement that any military news gathered by individual newspapers from correspondents, letters from the front or hearsay, had to be cleared with the local military command.

    In Britain, the interpretation of what constituted sensitive military news and should therefore be suppressed was equally broad, but censorship was handled far less obtrusively. Essentially, the British system consisted of a close control of news at the source by military authorities, combined with a tight-knit group of ‘press lords’ who (over lunch or dinner with Lloyd George) decided what was ‘good for the country to know’.”

    So essentially, the elites who controlled the press in Britain simply “self-censored”:

    “But while official censorship floundered, the press willingly censored itself. For example, no casualty lists were issued at all before 19 May 1915. After that date, Riddell regularly circulated the official lists ‘for private information of editors’ and reported that, throughout the war, ‘the secrecy imposed upon the press was in no case violated.'”


    “Why did British journalists cooperate so willingly in suppressing important news? The obvious answer is that they all belonged to the same club, whose membership also included the most powerful politicians. Publishing a casualty list (or a letter from a wounded corporal about military bungling) would have meant expulsion from the club; social ostracism apparently meant more to the newsmen than their professional duty to inform the public.

    The government also possessed positive incentives. In addition to breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and golf weekends in the company of the powerful, knighthoods and lordships were generously distributed among the press and, finally, prestigious posts in government itself. However, the ties between politicians and the press were so multifarious and so intimate that it is difficult to sort out who influenced (or corrupted) whom. “

  52. Robert Thomas
    May 12th, 2012 at 06:08 | #52

    My apologies for not replying sooner to any of the above comments. In reference to allegations of trolling, please refer to my post in the open forum.

    Now, back to this topic. The South Korean authorities make the allegations. The Western press report on this and the story gets picked up by news agencies around the world.

    Some users see this as part of a conspiracy to portray the Chinese as less than human. What evidence? None.

    My conclusion:

    I am currently living in the UK. The story mentioned above was a minor story here. If there is a conspiracy in the Western press to portray the Chinese people as less than human, it’s not succeeding. Why do I say this? Read on…

    I speak to Kindergarten teachers who run weeklong Chinese New Year festivals for their kids. They make lanterns, do calligraphy, learn the Chinese zodiac. Universities and schools are full of students studying everything from Chinese language to Chinese economics. How many Western students are studying in China now? More and more every year.

    If there is a conspiracy, it hasn’t convinced the people I mention above.

    The example from the First World War is true. Propaganda was used, on both sides, to dehumanise the enemy in the eyes of the people. If you think that’s what the Western press is conspiring to do today, they’re not having much success.
    Look at propaganda from the First and Second World Wars. It permeated every aspect of people’s lives. It was present in newspapers, posters, music, film, radio, education. Why? Propaganda is all about convincing people to believe something that they wouldn’t normally believe, and you need a lot of propaganda to succeed in that.

    Has this conspiracy to convince the Western world that Chinese people are less than human created as much propaganda as there was during the First and Second World wars? No.

    This could be because those responsible for organising this propaganda are particularly useless and inefficient. Or it could just be that there is no conspiracy.

  53. perspectivehere
    May 13th, 2012 at 06:44 | #53

    The Mirror New UK site posted a report dated 7 May 18:05 titled

    “Sickening foetus trade: South Korea orders crackdown on human flesh capsules ‘made from dead babies’ smuggled in from China
    Customs officials have encountered 35 attempts to sneak over 17,000 pills into the country in eight months”

    “A sickening trade in Chinese-made capsules filled with powdered human flesh has pushed South Korea into upping its custom inspections efforts.

    The state-run Korea Customs Service has reported that it has encountered 35 attempts to sneak around 17,450 capsules into the country since last August, with the pills disguised as stamina boosters.

    The grim deliveries are said to have been carried in luggage or sent by international mail.

    Customs officials said the tablets were made from dead babies and infants in north eastern China and that ethnic Koreans living there were responsible for the smuggling attempts.

    It has been reported by the KCS that the horrific process involves the bodies being chopped into small pieces and then dried on stoves or in medical drying microwaves before being turned into powder.

    According to a report by the San Francisco Times, tests carried out on the pills confirmed the capsules were found to be 99.7% made up of human remains.”


    Okay – here is a source-check opportunity: San Francisco Times.

    Google “San Francisco Times”, and what do you get?


    This appears to be an online news aggregation site. Hardly a legitimate “source” of reporting for a major newspaper.

    Can anyone independently locate a report on by San Francisco Times matching the report in the Mirror?

    Is this made-up facts by the Mirror?

  54. perspectivehere
    May 13th, 2012 at 07:11 | #54


    It gets worse.

    Google “San Francisco Times” and “Dead Baby Pills”, what do you get? It seems hundreds of sites are reporting the “San Francisco Times” as the source of these test results.

    Has a phony news source entered into the public consciousness as a real source of fact?

    Is the Mirror the creator of this misinformation?

    Can anyone find an earlier reference to “San Francisco Times”?


    If the Mirror is the first one to refer to the San Francisco Times, then it seems quite similar to how the “german corpse factory” story was reported:

    “The story appears in the Belgian paper l’Indépendance Belge as a reprint from another daily newspaper, La Belgique, but no date is give for the appearance in the latter newspaper. (I found copies of a paper title La Belgique but they were edited in Brussels, not Leiden, and they carried no reference to the corpse factory story in the three months preceding April 10, 1917).”

    News reports claimed that they were citing a report from “La Belgique” but no such report has ever been located.

    Is the same thing going on here with the “San Francisco Times”?

  55. perspectivehere
    May 13th, 2012 at 07:24 | #55

    This site attempts to make sense of the reports as originating perhaps from “miscommunication”, that the reporter may have mistaken placenta pills for dead baby pills. The writer Kane Gao notes that DNA tests on placenta pills would likely appear to be the same as human DNA. He wonders how you can claim powdered remains came from placenta, dead babies or dead adults.


    But note the comments by “Cassandra” seeks to dissuade the writer from his views by citing….The San Francisco Times and the Daily Mail.

  56. May 13th, 2012 at 12:49 | #56

    @Robert Thomas

    Some users see this as part of a conspiracy to portray the Chinese as less than human. What evidence? None.

    Dear moronic troll,

    Where did anyone say that this was a “conspiracy”? Are you the type that thinks that when vipers behave like vipers there is a “conspiracy” among vipers to behave that way?

    There is no conspiracy. That doesn’t mean that the western media isn’t responsible for misleading the world into thinking things without evidence.

    Where your idiotic, fuzzy-thinking brain got the idea that this is about conspiracies is odd, bizarre, but also not that surprising because of your poor critical thinking skills which tend to make wild associations without any logical connection.

  57. Robert Thomas
    May 13th, 2012 at 15:33 | #57

    ‘Where did anyone say that this was a “conspiracy”?’

    Read Perspective’s comments.

    You could also read my recent comment in the open forum.

    Hidden Harmonies ‘is about fostering a community of intellectual and influential citizens from around the world interested in China to comment, discuss, praise or critique (as the case may be) a world that is fast-changing.’

    And this is the way that you go about it:

    ‘Where your idiotic, fuzzy-thinking brain got the idea that this is about conspiracies is odd, bizarre, but also not that surprising because of your poor critical thinking skills which tend to make wild associations without any logical connection.’ (Melektaus)


  58. May 13th, 2012 at 15:47 | #58

    @Robert Thomas

    Read Perspective’s comments.

    I did. where did he say anything about conspiracies with regard to this story or any story? The first time ‘conspiracy” was mentioned was in your post in 52. Again, where did anyone say anything about a conspiracy? Are you off your meds? Have you been hallucinating? What is your education level?

  59. Rob Thomas
    May 14th, 2012 at 02:32 | #59

    Thank you for your prompt reply.

    At least you, Melektaus, agree with me that there is no conspiracy. In light of this, I would like to alter my above post and change ‘conspiracy’ to ‘mislead the world into thinking things without evidence.’

    I am currently living in the UK. The story mentioned above was a minor story here. If the Western press is trying to ‘mislead the world into thinking things without evidence’, they are not succeeding. Why do I say this? Read on…

    I speak to Kindergarten teachers who run weeklong Chinese New Year festivals for their kids. They make lanterns, do calligraphy, learn the Chinese zodiac. Universities and schools are full of students studying everything from Chinese language to Chinese economics. How many Western students are studying in China now? More and more every year.

    If the Western press is trying to ‘mislead the world into thinking things without evidence,’ they haven’t convinced the people I mention above.

    The two paragraphs above were meant to be the focus of my post. I don’t know what the situation is like now in the States, but in the UK and Europe, people are very eager to learn about and engage with China. Students are flocking there to study and masses of people are learning Mandarin. People I talk to over here generally think very highly of the Chinese, especially in areas such as education. Orchestras here often perform classical Chinese music and the likes of Lang Lang and Yo-yo Ma have appeared in sell-out concerts around the world. I could go on…

    If you are still interested in why I referred to conspiracies, please read on:

    ‘Where did he say anything about conspiracies with regard to this story or any story?’ (Melektaus)

    Perspective refers to propaganda and misinformation conspiracies from the First World War, noting cases where news articles were planted in the media (see the ‘German corpse factory’ posts). I believe that by doing so, Perspective is making a direct comparison with the recent South Korean story.

    If Perspective is not making a comparison, then I would suggest placing further comments relating to First World War propaganda conspiracies in the open forum, so as to avoid accusations of thread-jacking, spamming and red-herrings.

    What effect do Perspective’s comments have on other users? As an example, please see Amaryllis’ post number 42:

    ‘I ass-ume he [Robert Thomas] didn’t read perspectivehere #9 that leads off: German Corpse Factory」 was a famous WWI British propaganda exercise. There, British propagandists placed a story in a Shanghai newspaper, where it was picked up and reported by newspapers in Britain and America.

    A newspaper in a Western-friendly country runs a story, on unfounded allegations, and the rest of the world picks it up.’

    Perspective has apparently convinced at least one user that there is some kind of conspiracy.

    My apologies to Perspective and Amaryllis if I have misinterpreted your posts and if neither of you do in fact believe that there is some kind of conspiracy.

  60. May 14th, 2012 at 07:16 | #60

    @Rob Thomas
    I think you are either being delusional or naive here. Anti-semitism was never a main thing in Europe throughout the ages either. But look what happened to Jewish people after a little bit and tiny bit of anti-semitism add up.

    So please quit whining that racism and Sinophobia is a minor thing in Europe. Obviously you have a serious issue of double standard. Widely read western press published outright lies and slanders and you try to downplay it. When a few trolls or outside posters made rude comments here and you are all over it.

    Please stop doing that, it showed your true colour. If you are even remotely concerned about the untruthfulness, racism, double standard being displayed in mainstream western press you would be welcomed here.

  61. Charles Liu
    May 14th, 2012 at 10:28 | #61

    Just want to point out placentophagy is a natural behavior common in mammals. Google placenta encapsulation you’ll notice placenta pills are legal to produce in US as a form of alternative treatment.

    As others have mentioned it is a Traditional Chinese Medicine, thou somewhat esoteric treatment (I’ve had it as a child for allergy.) It is human tissue, unless you match the DNA with someone, how do you know it’s not placenta, but ground up adult/teenager/toddler/infant/fetus?

    I agree with OP this is yet another grossly sensationalized, Mike Daisey-esq media narrative that seems to serve no purpose other than to re-enforce the Official Narrative on China and promote anti-Chinese sentiment.

  62. May 14th, 2012 at 14:13 | #62

    @Rob Thomas

    Here’s the extent of your faulty logic. You think that the UK represents the west. That’s stupid. There’s no more to be said. Even more stupid is thinking that a small sample of UK school teachers who teach Chinese new year festivals represent the whole of the west. Even dumber than that is thinking or assuming that because they make lanterns they must be unaffected by anti-sinitic propaganda.

    Also it doesn’t matter if this was a “minor story” because small stories have cumulative affects. And no, even small stories can have large effects because they affect the people who read them in many ways both consciously and subconsciously. That is why propaganda works. So to see for example, a single case of anti-semitic propaganda and think “that’s just one case” is to miss the forest by focusing on an individual tree.

    You still have not answered my question. Where exactly has anyone mentioned conspiracies? Who and where exactly have they done so? What post number? You are the only one that mentioned conspiracies. propaganda does not need conspiracies to be produced and to spread. Educate yourself on the history of propaganda.

  63. Charles Liu
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:34 | #63

    On a related note, this kind of propaganda was also employed by GHW Bush regime during the first gulf war, where a Kuwaiti princess and daughter of the ambassador of Kuwait pretended to be a nurse and falsified testimony about Iraqi soldiers tossing premature infants out of incubators, in order to manufacture support for the invasion in US public opinion realm:


    What’s truly exceptional is back then such news was orchestrated war time propaganda, while the baby pill story is a regularly occurring them in indoctrinating the public at time of peace.

    Seems the “blue team” anti-China forces in and out of US government will not be satisfied until there’s WWIII.

  64. Zack
    May 16th, 2012 at 10:48 | #64

    somehow, the US thinks it’s ok for fabricate propaganda demonising other cultures and ethnicities for war, so long as they issue a ‘whoops, my bad’ at the end of it all. This is the sort of moral hypocrisy that permeates western society, a society that is infected by the disease of proselytisation and moral hubris.

    If there’s anything that can be learnt from the conduct of America and Europe and all countries identifying themselves as Western these past 2 centuries, it is that power trumps everything. The only thing the Westerner respects is power, and thusly like a beast, he must be trained to understand that he does not have a monopoly on power.

  65. May 16th, 2012 at 11:12 | #65

    I once asked Chomsky when he thinks us humans will become truly fair versus letting might dominate its way, and what is the biggest threat to us all, in response he said:

    It’s the present world order and its past world orders too. Thucydides pointed out centuries ago that the powerful do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must.

    When will it change? There have been some changes for the better, and more can come. Depends on the actions that the public is willing to take.

    The world has been becoming more complex and diverse for some time.

    Wasteful consumption, US-style, is likely to destroy the possibility for decent survival.

    When I first started reading his work many years ago, I thought he was far fetched. Now that I am paying so much attention to the Western press, it’s much more clear.

    Western media simply blocks him out. His detractors will argue there is no conspiracy. To me, conspiracy or not is really irrelevant.

    If rapists are allowed to rape women in public unrestrained, well, we will see more such acts. The public display emboldens them. They need not conspire for there to be a big problem.

    So, public defamation of ‘China’ in the Western press emboldens more defamation.

    Anyways, you will find Chomsky’s work interesting.

  66. Charles Liu
    May 16th, 2012 at 11:49 | #66

    There need not be a conspiracy to substantiate a convergence. The preponderance of anti-Chinese propaganda in our media is a demonstratable fact.

  67. Zack
    May 16th, 2012 at 12:20 | #67

    public defamation of China by the West is, i feel, more an expression of the racism that still resonates within the Western subconscious. Racism and fear and sexual jealousy engender a media that promulgates the myth that whites are inherently more relatable, superior, sexier than their coloured counterparts. It’s gotten so ridiculous that citizens in Australia and America honestly believe they’re fighting for democracy and human rights when they turn down Chinese investment. Investment money that could be used to benefit everyone.

    sinophobic propaganda is now the norm because the powers that be, the Elites in the West want to condition the public for a potential war against china. It’s no accident that China has been selected as The Enemy by the media and their respective militaries. The only problem is that these Elites actually believe it’s a war they’ll ‘win’, even if it means a pyrrhic victory.

  68. perspectivehere
    May 17th, 2012 at 09:05 | #68

    The sequence of news reports about the “Dead Baby Pills” raises a lot of questions. There could be simple explanations to them or they might be obscuring some mixture of fact and fiction in the story.

    Googling [“dead baby pills” 2011], you find there are a number of reports turn up dated around August 5, 2011. For example:

    San Francisco International Business Times:China’s New Lucrative Business: Dead Babies Turn into Stamina Booster Pills

    Weird Asia News: Dead Baby Pills: China’s New Stamina Enhancer (linking to NewDaily: 죽은 아기로 만든 ‘인육캡슐’, 한국에서 팔린다? 태아가루 혹은 아기캡슐? SBS ‘그것이 알고 싶다’ 충격고발! 최종편집 2011.08.04 19:46:38)

    Other reports, such as this one, cite the earlier reports mentioned above.
    http://www.geekosystem.com/china-dead-baby-pills/ (Citing Weird Asia News)

    None of these are what I would call mainstream media sites.

    The IBTimes according to Wikipedia is “privately-owned”, but does not say by whom. Does anyone know anything about this media outlet?

    According to these articles, a documentary would be broadcast on Korea’s SBS TV on August 6, 2011. So it seems likely that these August 5 reports were reported as part of the usual PR by the documentary’s promoters to attract viewers to tune in to the TV broadcast the next day. I suppose these online news outlets would have been sent some kind of media release for them to insert or adapt into their reports; otherwise, how would they know what would be the content of the documentary if it had not yet been broadcast? So the August 5, 2011 reports are presumably “stenographer” pieces – they simply reprint what the media release contains, without any additional independent reporting.

  69. perspectivehere
    May 17th, 2012 at 09:08 | #69


    Following the Aug 6, 2011 broadcast of the documentary on Korean TV, the Chinese government predictably responds with the announcement of an investigation, which is dutifully reported in the China Daily on August 10, 2011.

    This is the report here. In my view, the reporting of the China Daily seems more sober and factual in tone and substance than the earlier reports.

    “Ministry investigates pills made of ‘baby flesh’
    Updated: 2011-08-10 07:55
    By Zhou Wenting and Liu Mingtai (China Daily)
    BEIJING / CHANGCHUN – The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that it has launched an investigation in the wake of a media report in South Korea about capsules from China – made from the flesh of dead babies – being used as stamina boosters.

    Deng Haihua, spokesman of the ministry, said on Tuesday that the ministry has instructed its provincial agency in Jilin to look into the case.

    Deng said China has strict management of disposal of infant and fetal remains as well as placentas.
    “Any practice that handles the remains as medical waste is strictly prohibited,” Deng said.

    According to the country’s regulations, medical institutions and their staff are prohibited from trading corpses.

    The Global Times reported on Monday that SBS, one of the three major national television networks in South Korea, broadcast a documentary on Aug 6 about the appearance of capsules from China containing dead baby flesh.

    According to the report, the TV program warned that some of the capsules were taken by Koreans.

    The television team claimed to have been to China, found the hospital that sold the materials, and taken video of the manufacturing process.

    It quoted insiders saying the “tonic” capsules are mainly sent to South Korea through members of the Korean ethnic group in China.

    The ethnic group mainly inhabits Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang provinces.

    A test from the national customs office and institute of scientific investigation in South Korea showed the content of the pills received by the television team was 99.7 percent identical with humans, the program said.

    It was not reported which hospital or city in China the team visited.

    Phone calls to Customs in Jilin went unanswered on Tuesday.

    A professor at the Third Hospital of Jilin University said he has never heard of such cases in his two-decade career. “It’s hard to comment, because it looks like a rumor,” said the professor, surnamed Zhang. “This is impossible from my professional judgment.”

    Three traditional Chinese medicine experts and obstetrics doctors in Beijing and Shanghai contacted by China Daily said they have never heard of such cases and it seemed senseless.

    It has long been a folk tradition to eat placentas in China. Placentas are believed to make up sperm and support the sufficiency of blood in traditional Chinese medicine.

    In China, placentas belong to mothers of newborns. Medical institutions will handle a placenta if a mother gives it up or donates it. Nobody is allowed to sell or buy placentas according to the regulation from the Ministry of Health.”


    The story seems to bounce around a bit on the web and is picked up by various news, health, pregnancy, and religious sites, but the total number of ghits is relatively small: Searching [“Dead Baby Pills” August 2011] turns up 35,600 ghits.

    The investigation by the Chinese Ministry of Health does not appear to have turned up any confirmation of the allegations.

  70. perspectivehere
    May 17th, 2012 at 09:16 | #70


    The story appears to fade away, but all of a sudden eight months later on May 7, 2012, several mainstream media sites simultaneously report on this. First the British press:

    The Daily Mail: “Thousands of pills filled with powdered human baby flesh discovered by customs officials in South Korea”

    The Telegraph: “Pills filled with powdered human baby flesh found by customs officials”

    Mirror: Sickening foetus trade: South Korea orders crackdown on human flesh capsules ‘made from dead babies’ smuggled in from China

    BBC News Asia: S Korea ‘to target powdered human flesh capsules’

    And the American Press:

    Associated Press: SKorea finds smuggled capsules contain human flesh

    NBC Washington: Dead Baby Pills Spark Customs Crackdown in Korea

    Not all the major American press picked up this story. I did not find any references to “Dead Baby Pills” in
    the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor – none of these have picked up the story (at least when I searched. If anyone else turns up anything, please let everyone know).

    The NBC Washington Site linked back to the August 4, 2011 article in the Korean NewDaily, but did not point to any more recent Korean source.

    Can anyone who reads Korean help out with this? Running it through google translate gives a pretty decent sense of what it says. But does the story in Korean match what is being reported in English?

    Each of the May 7, 2012 reports states that the Korean Customs Service made various statements about confiscating 17,000 pills since last August and warning of bacteria. But it’s unclear whether the statements were made via a press conference or in a written statement (in English), or whether the English outlets are translating and reporting on pieces published in the Korean media. BBC refers to reports from Yonhap news agency and The Dong-a Ilbo and the Korea Times.

    It would be more convincing if we could be pointed to either a press conference that the Korea Customs Service hosted, or a written statement in Korean that is released publicly. As it is, we don’t have the original source for the purported statements by the Korea Customs Service made on May 7, 2012 claiming to have confiscated over 17,000 pills since August 2011.

    So the question I have is, does this exist?

    Clearly, there was a Korean SBS TV documentary broadcast on August 6, 2011, but where is the statement by the Korean Customs Service on May 7, 2012?


    The point of doing this kind of inquiry is to examine where the factual news ends and the fake news (including innuendo, false reporting, opinion, commentary and aspersions) begin.

    Can anyone help with more details on the Korean sources of the news reports?

    Why did the May 7, 2012 British news outlets and some of the US news outlets blitz a report on May 7? This is the same day as the purported statement made by the Korean Customs Service. Did the KCS report it in English? Are the articles written by people who understand Korean? Was the KCS statement translated into English, and the news outlets simply reported what was on the statements? None of this is very clear.

    Also, why did the AP, NBC Washington, BBC, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Mirror report it together in a seemingly coordinated way, but the NY Times, Washington Post and LA Times basically ignored the story? Did the NY Times, WP and LA Times smell something fishy about the story and pass on it?

  71. perspectivehere
    May 17th, 2012 at 09:49 | #71


    One of the oddest reports of May 7, 2012 is this one on IB Times TV:

    “Dead Baby Pills Put Korean Customs on High Alert
    Isha Soni | May 7, 2012 3:52pm EDT

    According to recent findings by an SBS TV documentary, South Korean custom officials are on a high alert. They are checking on a certain pill being smuggled into the country from China.

    This hot commodity pill, claiming to be a stamina booster is actually made from powdered human baby flesh.

    Reports claimed that the manufacturing company secretly purchased baby corpses from hospitals and abortion clinics and store them in regular refrigerators. Later this human flesh is put in a medical drying microwave before being ground into a powder and filled into pill capsules.

    Believed to increase human stamina and enhance sexual performance, these pills are in high demand in South Korea and china where they are believed to be a “tonic for disease”.

    According to reports by the Associated Press, since last august, the customs have discovered 35 attempts of smuggling attempts from China in South Korea. Reports indicated that there was an established business network between the 2 countries to fulfill this high demand.

    A Korean investigating team acquired these capsules and ran DNA tests on it. The test results reportedly indicated that the pills were 99.7 percent human. Tests also found hair and nail remnants in the pills.

    Currently, customs have narrowed down the origins of the pills to 4 cities in China. Those who were in possession of these pills, denied knowing the ingredients.”

    It seems not so much “news” as it is restating the key points from the August 6, 2011 TV documentary. Why was this video report issued on May 7, 2012 as well? It seems an odd coincidence?

  72. May 17th, 2012 at 11:26 | #72

    Thanks for chasing the source of this ‘news.’

    Also, why did the AP, NBC Washington, BBC, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Mirror report it together in a seemingly coordinated way, but the NY Times, Washington Post and LA Times basically ignored the story? Did the NY Times, WP and LA Times smell something fishy about the story and pass on it?

    Here is a worthwhile read by a blogger, David S. Wills on May 8, 2012

    “Media Revels in Reporting “Chinese” Dead Baby Pills”

  73. May 17th, 2012 at 11:35 | #73

    According to this forum, it started with Korea Times (which this reader suggest is trash) and then translated into English by the BBC.

    I tried to back track on this, to see where it came from. The original reports were from the Korea Times, which BBC had translated. Then it ended up on a CNN Blog, then finally on CNN and the Atlantic Wire as well as others.

    But it is the original source that is so suspect. The Korea Times is about as trustworthy as Tom. Fun to listen to, but if you take either seriously, you’re doing it wrong!

    China has real issues, such as melamine poisoning and bribe taking Construction Inspectors, but making up stuff actually slows fixing the real problems.

    But then . . . that Tom character thinks it’s the other way around generally – Western media making Asians look bad:

    MTB Rider, you want to talk about bull sh*t reports made by Western media on Asian countries? How about this one that came out two hours ago?


    Remember supposed no name beauty contest that was held in Korea last year, where the British contestants said they were sexually harassed, starved, then confined to a single room with no beds? They also said they saw the Korean police taking bribes to look the other way. It turns out the gals have admitted they were lieing and the BBC report was proved to be fabricated.
    This is just one example how Western media tries to demonize Asia, a quickly rising continent that’s surpassing the hapless Europe and Americas.

    A perfect example. When it comes to mastery of using the media to shape negative public opinions on countries you don’t like due to jealousy, have been perfected by you white people.

  74. Zack
    May 17th, 2012 at 13:28 | #74

    so what i want to know is what punishments will be meted out to journalists who misreport events, or who outright fabricate stories like that Daisy story about Apple factories in China?

  75. colin
    May 17th, 2012 at 13:41 | #75


    Nothing, because even if factually wrong, those reporters are supporting the overall agenda and reality according to the twisted worldviews of the western editors, politicians, pundits, celebs, etc. To paraphrase Rumsfeld, “reality is what they make it” or something along those lines.

  76. colin
    May 17th, 2012 at 13:54 | #76


    In fact, there is a dividend for those who demonize China, which is why it’s so pervasive.

  77. Charles Liu
    May 17th, 2012 at 14:06 | #77

    Another reason for this pervasiveness is anti-China propaganda can be done with impunity. There are many stories out there, over the years, stand uncorrected.

  78. perspectivehere
    May 18th, 2012 at 08:11 | #78

    “According to this forum, it started with Korea Times (which this reader suggest is trash) and then translated into English by the BBC.”

    I went to the forum, and found these links to CNN.

    ‘South Korea clamps down on traffickers of ‘human-flesh capsules’


    The CNN Article gave two links to Korean news, a Korea Times link (Dated May 6, 2012 18:39) and a Dong-a Ilbo link (Dated May 07, 2012 04:59).

    The Korea Times is the earliest article in May 2012 I have seen. It states:

    “Traffickers of ‘human-flesh capsules‘ arrested
    By Kim Rahn

    Health authorities have launched an intensive crackdown on traffickers of Chinese-made capsules made from dead human babies.

    Such “human-flesh capsules” are consumed by some people in the belief that they boost stamina. However, the material can contain harmful substances that are infected with super bacteria, health officials warned.

    The Korea Customs Service (KCS) said it apprehended 29 smugglers, who disguising themselves as tourists and attempted to bring some 11,000 capsules into Korea in their luggage.

    Six people used international parcels to smuggle in the material, and some 6,000 capsules were confiscated.

    The KCS first found out about the smuggling in August 2011.

    The capsules are made of powdered dried fetuses or dead babies. Believed to help in rejuvenation, they are used by terminal cancer patients or Chinese laborers working here, according to the customs office.

    The main production centers are Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, China; and one capsule is sold for 40,000 won in Korea.

    The customs service said smugglers are using more varied methods to avoid crackdowns.

    “Some put herbs together in the capsules so that customs agents cannot distinguish the unique smell and color of the human-flesh capsules. Others put the capsules in medicine containers to deceive inspectors,” a KCS official said.

    “It was confirmed those capsules contain materials harmful to the human body, such as super bacteria. We need to take tougher measures to protect public health,” the official said.

    The customs office plans to examine all drugs or powders brought into the country from China by tourists or via parcels.

    “For those buying tonic-like products in China or Southeast Asia, we advise them to check what ingredients they contain and whether they are allowed to bring them into Korea,” the official said.”


    The Dong-a Ilbo article has more details:

    “Customs announces crackdown on human flesh capsules

    MAY 07, 2012 04:59
    The Korea Customs Service said Sunday that it will strengthen its crackdown on smuggling human flesh capsules made from dead fetuses and babies who died soon after birth.

    The measure came after the program “Lee Yeong-don’s Food X File” was aired on Channel A on April 27 about the smuggling into Korea of human flesh capsules made in China and the results of a study that found harmful effect of the substance.

    Customs authorities found 35 cases involving 17,451 of the capsules from August last year to March this year. After the existence of the capsules was first made public through a report by the monthly magazine Shin Dong-A in August last year, just seven cases were discovered through September last year, but the number of smuggling incidents jumped five-fold for six months thereafter.

    Human flesh capsules are being smuggled into Korea from northeastern China at the request of Korean buyers.

    The customs agency will significantly beef up customs clearance management of international travelers’ belongings and global mail. Customs agents will open packages and check all capsules and powder made from unknown substances among travelers’ belongings and mail from China, and inspect items labeled as pharmaceutical products.

    To dodge the crackdown, smugglers have mixed the capsules with vegetable extract to make it impossible to discern the color and smell of the capsules, or open packages and replace the contents of ordinary pharmaceutical products with the capsules in a process dubbed “box switching.”

    The Channel A program carried footage of the process and introduced examples in which the capsules were delivered to offices in Korea.

    A customs official said, “Since human flesh capsules are confirmed to contain ingredients lethal to humans, including super bacteria, we will preemptively curb their smuggling at borders to protect public health.””


    Do these articles seem to read a little differently from the articles appearing in the British and American press? I think they sound less anti-China / anti-Chinese than the British and American articles. Can anyone see why?

  79. May 18th, 2012 at 10:47 | #79

    “Can anyone see why?” That Tom character I quoted above is right. But then, the broader trend about the wicked Western press is already spelled out by our melektaus in his article, “Collective Defamation.”

  80. perspectivehere
    May 20th, 2012 at 07:38 | #80

    Could there be an economic motivation to the stories in the Korean media? South Korea and Japan dominate the global Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) market, controlling about 90 percent of the international market for herbal medicines.


    “The development of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) industry in China faces a huge challenge as 90 percept of the international herbal medicine market is dominated by Japan and South Korea, forcing the issue to be raised during the annual session of China’s top advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), according to qq.com, a leading portal website in China.

    Wu Yiling, member of CPPCC, calls to enhance research and development of TCM and promote its industrialization in his proposal to the CPPCC. Wu is also an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and head of a pharmaceutical company.

    The annul CPPCC session officially kicks off on Wednesday.

    Japan and South Korea import herbal materials from China at low prices and process the materials with well-developed technologies.

    The international herbal medicine market is developing very fast, but China, the birth place of TCM, only accounts for three to five percent of the market.”

  81. perspectivehere
    May 20th, 2012 at 08:50 | #81

    Another aspect to keep in mind about Korea is the anti-communist stance of some of its media. For example, the global media empire owned by the Korean Rev. Moon’s Unification Church, News World Communications, has a strong anti-communist orientation.

    Here is a pretty straightforward statement of aims from the former head of the Washington Times, Bo Hi Pak, quoted in the Washington Post in 1984:


    “The premise behind these and other church-sponsored activities is an apocalyptic world view in which followers of Moon are instruments of God locked in a “third world war” against international communism, according to church literature and statements by church officials.

    [Bo Hi] Pak, a former South Korean military attache who oversees the church’s political activities, declined to talk to a reporter for this article. But Pak did offer a rare public glimpse of his view of the church’s mission in an interview with Ken Ellis, a producer for KQED-TV in San Francisco, during the media trip to Asia.

    “We want to awaken the world,” said Pak, according to a transcript of the interview. “We want to turn the tide so that this totalitarian, godless system must go . . . .

    “It is a total war,” Pak added. “Basically a war of ideas. War of minds. The battlefield of the human mind. This is where the battle is fought. So in this war, the entire things will be mobilized: political means, social means, economical means and propagandistic means . . . . The media organization that we are setting up wants to be utilized as an instrument, an instrument of our cause, instrument of our purpose . . . the instrument to be used by God.””

  82. zhongziqi
    May 25th, 2012 at 19:39 | #82

    I read the blog article but not the replies (so many). I am convinced that Chinese are no worse than other people.

    But I feel the blogger ignored the more important question: are we Chinese people good in this regard (babies)? not so much IMHO. Of course selective abortion, infanticide, forced abortion, unethical discardment of bodies, and POSSIBLY cannibalism (as mentioned in the article) are extremely rare. But it’s probably rare in other culture as well. But then again, it’s probably easier for us average guy to write something to defend the image of the Chinese people than to do something to make the situation better (by, say, demand the government do their job, kind of like CGC did?).

  83. May 25th, 2012 at 23:13 | #83

    Actually, there are tons of Chinese who are working to help correct the various problems in China today. This is a rare piece by NPR’s Marketplace program which profiles Sun Anmin, who has actually won an award from the Chinese Consumer’s Association, for helping to expose fake products:

    “Chinese retiree leads crusade against fake products”

    CGC was also featured on CCTV for helping to fight for handicapped persons rights as granted by Chinese law.

    He got into trouble after becoming political. There is absolutely no problem for being a legal activist. But once a Chinese national colludes with anti-Chinese government organizations, he will get into trouble with Chinese law.

    You need to look at the NGO’s and sincere activists; lawyers, reporters, doctors, and you name it – who are genuinely working constructively in China. It’s an army of people.

    You can list the anti-government ‘activists’ Those are the types of people the Western press love to help prop up and use to defame the Chinese government.

  84. weixuan
    May 26th, 2012 at 01:52 | #84

    YinYang, you say that:

    ‘He [CGC] got into trouble after becoming political. There is absolutely no problem for being a legal activist. But once a Chinese national colludes with anti-Chinese government organizations, he will get into trouble with Chinese law.’

    I thought that CGC first came into conflict with the local authorities over the provision of clean drinking water for villagers. He recieved UK funding for a well. When you talk of anti-government forces and colluding with foreign powers, it makes me think of things like the ‘Bay of Pigs’ not the building of wells.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but, as I understand it, he has never been charged with colluding with ‘anti-China government organizations.’

  85. Black Pheonix
    May 26th, 2012 at 07:24 | #85


    1st, citation for your facts.

    2nd, just because he hasn’t been, doesn’t mean he won’t be in the future. Another possible charge in the future for CGC: Fleeing jurisdiction to avoid prosecution.

  86. weixuan
    May 26th, 2012 at 08:03 | #86

    @Black Pheonix
    If you doubt anything I’ve said, go find your own citations and prove it to be false. Id be more than happy to be corrected.

  87. Black Pheonix
    May 26th, 2012 at 08:12 | #87


    Well, fine, say what you want, CGC is still a ex-con.

    I don’t know what your facts have any relevance to that.

  88. May 26th, 2012 at 12:44 | #88

    If you’d like to discuss CGC, please head over to my prior article. And, btw, the connection with NED is here:

  89. May 26th, 2012 at 13:06 | #89

    @Black Pheonix
    weixuan is that same troll – Rob Thomas/Raj.

  90. Black Pheonix
    May 26th, 2012 at 14:42 | #90

    Troll it is, then.

  91. June 17th, 2012 at 22:33 | #91

    is anti-China can be done with impunity. There are many stories out there, over the years stand uncorrected.

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