THEORIES OF RELATIVITY

DESPERATE TO KNOW WHERE HE CAME FROM, GREG WIATT PERFORMS ANCESTRAL MANEUVERS IN THE DARK.PIECES OF ME GREG WIATT SUSPECTED HERB WIATT WASN'T HIS REAL FATHER. HE WAS HORRIFIED WHEN HE FOUND OUT WHY.

Jerke says his motive is one of compassion: "Compassion for the children of inmates who are at risk; compassion for inmates who know that they can't care for more children; and compassion for the taxpayers who have to support both."

Delaney, however, sees the legislation as a moral, not an economic, issue. Because prison populations and welfare parents are drawn disproportionately from the ranks of minorities, the poor and the uneducated, efforts to offer them even voluntary sterilization send an ugly message, he says.

"We're saying we don't want the children of these people to be part of our society, whether or not there is any validity to the argument that a criminal's child will also be a criminal," Delaney says. "Or that a child whose mother has to resort to welfare will also automatically end up on welfare. Disguise it any way you want, but it's another attempt to selectively pick who we want in our society. The problem is: Where would we stop?"
On February 8 the inmate sterilization bill passed out of the House State Affairs Committee by an 8-2 vote (one of the nay votes was cast by Representative Charles Duke, a Republican from Monument who wanted the bill to include castration for sex offenders). It is currently in the House Appropriations Committee for funding. From there it should go to the Senate for approval before the full legislature votes on it.

The morning following the committee vote, Delaney, who had been quoted in opposition to the bill, received a call from Greg Wiatt, who told him, "I want to help."

Wiatt says he made the call even though seven months earlier, he thought he had finally put his past behind him. He had poured all his pills into a bowl and flushed them down the toilet, he says.

But in January Wiatt read newspaper articles about the government's use of radiation during experiments on mentally retarded persons. Though unrelated to his own experience, he says, the reports sparked his interest in government attempts at social engineeering.

Wiatt haunted libraries and bookstores, reading up on America's sterilization programs and their connection to what was once known as the eugenics movement. He looked up the meaning of eugenics--"the movement devoted to improving the human species through the control of hereditary factors in mating"--and of its cousin eutelegenesis, the seemingly innocent attempt to create gifted individuals through artificial insemination.

And he became convinced, he says, that "it's all linked--what happened to my father, the human experimentation that is still going on." That, he says, is why he contacted Doug Delaney. He thought Herb Wiatt deserved at least that much from his son.

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