Manhattan (Doc Index)

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This stub is a work-in-progress by the journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to

The Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research was established as a political front by the head of Ronald Reagan's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William J. Casey. It appears to have been established at the request of Sir Antony Fisher who had established the ultra-libertarian think-tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs in London (with Ralph Harris (Lord Harris of High Cross) and Sir Keith Joseph -- all advisors to Margaret Thatcher who were knighted for their services in the destruction of the UK welfare state.

Antony Fisher was the UK equivalent of the fictional Col. Sanders and his Kentucky Roast Chickens. He was the multi-millionairre owner of Busted Chickens -- the first UK factory farm --which fed a chain of roasted chicken shops. Fisher and his second wife migrated to North America and began setting up a network of libertarian lobby-shops camouflaged as think-tanks and policy groups.

He initially established the Frazer Institute himself in Canada, but he then began convincing CEOS and other industry moguls to help. Over a very few years many wealthy political players helped fund other institutes in his chain. The Manhattan Institute arose as the central US component in the network -- Ronald Reagan's equivalent to Margaret Thatcher's Institute of Economic Affairs. It was probably funded initially by Casey and a few of his associates, but later it also probably benefitted from CIA funds.

Eventually the central position in the US part of the network devolved to the Institute for Humane Studies which was funded by the Koch family and run out of George Mason University (along with Science & Environment Policy Project (SEPP), the Atlas Group, the John Locke Institute and the Koch Foundation.)

Before Fisher died they had about 200 think-tanks/policy shops in their Atlas Group network worldwide.

Richard Mellon Scaife and other conservative philanthropists become major funders of the Manhattan Institute and the Sarah Scaife Foundationfor many years was the Manhattan Institute's single largest contributor. Tobacco industry archived documents reveal the close relationship that developed between the Manhattan Institute and tobacco companies. The Institute constantly sought fundsfrom tobacco companies.

Documents & Timeline

1986 Aug Funds from Brown & Williamson,[1]

1987-88Aug RJ Reynolds was now giving them $10,000 as an ANNUAL contribution [2]

1990 Oct Lorillard, Inc. budgeted a $4,000 contribution to the Manhattan Institute[2]

1990 Dec 10 A Corporate contributions memo in RJ Reynolds recommends... "we continue our corporate sponsorship at the same $10,000 annual contribution as we have given in the past.

"Attached is a copy of some of the materials about the judicial studies program and the work being done by the Manhattan Institute ." [3]

1991 Peter W Huber one of two Senior Fellows (with Walter Olson) at the Manhattan Institute wrote "Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom" which was part of Philip Morris's on-going program to attack some aspects of health and environmental science in general. This was in support of their program centered on two of APCO]'s creations, The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) now run by Steve Milloy and Science & Environmental Policy Project run by S. Fred Singer and his wife Candace Crandall

The review says:

A scathing indictment of the growing role of junk science in our courtrooms. Peter W. Huber shows how time and again lawyers have used—and the courts have accepted—spurious claims by so-called expert witnesses to win astronomical judgments that have bankrupted companies, driven doctors out of practice, and deprived us all of superior technologies and effective, life-saving therapies.

And about Peter Huber:

Peter Huber is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he writes on drug development, energy, technology, and the law. He is the author of The Cure in the Code: How 20th Century Law Is Undermining 21st Century Medicine (2013); The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy (2005), coauthored with Mark P. Mills. [4]

1991 Feb 8 Walter Olson's book, The Litigation Explosion, is published. [5]

1991 May 21The Manhattan Institute and the British Social Affairs Unit (run by Digby Anderson and virtually the UK equivalent of the Manhattan Institute) are running a joint symposium on "The Politics of Health" at the Harvard Club in New York. Every name on the speakers list (with possible exception of Mark Mills, an IT consultnt) is a well-documented well-paid UK or US scientific/medical lobbyist - with three additional ones from the Institute for Public Affairs in Australia.

  • Myron Magnet -- Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute and Board of Editors, Fortune
  • Peter Berger -- sociologist at Boston Uni who worked extensively for the tobacco, also PM's Libertad
  • James LaFanu, a UK Sunday Telegraph 'curmudgeon' columnist, who took writing and speaking commissions from the tobacco industry.
  • Leonard B Sagan, of the Electric Power Research Institute (climate denial)
  • Aaron Wildavsky - tobacco lobbyist and Uni of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Skrabanek, Trinity College Dublin
  • Mark Mills, Center for Science Technology and Media, Washington DC. (IT expert)
  • Irving Kristol, Editor "The Public Interest"
  • Walter E Williams, economist, George Mason Uni, and tobacco cash-for-comments network
  • Digby Anderson, Director Social Affairs Unit, London

The three Australians were

1992 AugThe Manhattan Institute ran a conference on "The Litigation Explosion" in support of the book produced by their Senior Fellow, Walter K Olson. [7] for the tobacco industry. [8] They have already held a workshop on product liability in Chicago. [9]

1995 June The Manhattan Institute has run a 'junk science' conference "Junk Science & The Courts" in Washington DC with Steve Milloy, Peter Huber, Walter Olson and other junk-science promoters. The Institute sends an invoice (presumably for $90,000 see below) to RJ Reynolds which is the representative of the tobacco companies. [10]

1995 April 11 RJ Reynolds has suggested to Brown & Williamson and Philip Morris that they each kick in $30,000 as separate checks to the Manhattan Institute for the recent conference so that the Institute knows that all of the tobacco companies are behind their efforts to promote the idea of junk-science. [11] [12]

[The Institute must have been paid $90,000 at least for this conference. More if the smaller companies were included.]

1995 June This Manhattan Institute Conference held in Washington DC in June 1995 brought together many of the tobacco industry lobbyists who were promoting the junk-science message. [13] [14]

1995 Jun 13 Peggy Carter at RJ Reynolds is writing to the top misinformation team in the company, Tom Griscom, Chuck Blixt and Dan Donahue about her observations at a recent Manhattan Institute seminar on "Junk Science and the Law".

Walter Olson and Peter Huber at the Manhattan Institute were both in the pay of Philip Morris and promoting their junk-science propaganda.

She comments on some in attendance:

  • Michael Fumento: Mike authored the Investor's Business Daily piece on the EPA's ETS risk assessment that we've been sending out for some time. He told me that piece generated more reaction than anything he's ever done. He's clearly keeping his distance from the industry to preserve his neutral position. Matt Swetonic advises on the QT that work is in progress to nationally syndicate Mike as a science columnist.
  • Steve Milloy: Milloy included in his remarks a recap of the problems with the EPA's ETS risk assessment, and told me privately that we're really getting "screwed" on this issue. He asked me if I knew CRS was working on an evaluation of the EPA's assessment; seems he and Steve Redhead (the CRS official who contacted us) are good friends. He characterized Redhead as an "anti." Dr. Redhead told Milloy last week that their report was going to require "significant rewrite."
    In response to my question about why, he indicated Redhead felt the only issue was in homes with high exposures over long periods of time. He clearly did not want to be more precise, and apparently felt that was clue enough. Perhaps Chris Coggins can tea-leaf read if - that means CRS was convinced to reevaluate their position on high exposures.
C. Stephen Redhead was a physiologist who worked for the Congressional Research Center who became embroiled in controversy over the Gravelle CRS report which attacked the EPA's anti-tobacco stance (she was actually an Economics Policy analyst). [16] Redhead had already, reported on Mortality and Economic Costs Attributable to Smoking and Alcohol Abuse in April 1993. [17]

1995 Oct 18 Philip Morris budgeted $25,000 for the Institute in 1995.[3]

1996 Oct 25 Lorillard gave them $4,000, the same amount as in 1996.[4]

1995 (Dec) Summing up its activities, the Manhattan Institute booklet says about this year.

1995: The Judicial Studies Program took an enormous step forward when lawsuit reform finally vaulted onto the national agenda with the Republicans' Contract with America and with key advances in states like Texas and Illinois. Our Senior Fellows (Peter Huber and Walter Olson) took an active role in this debate, with Walter Olson testifying as the lead witness in the first Congressional hearing on general litigation reform and advising staff members in both Houses.

Thanks in no small part to Peter Huber's work, control of "junk science" was another key item on the Congressional agenda. The Institute also published a widely noted monograph on contingency fee reform by our former Senior Fellow Michael Horowitz in

collaboration with law professors Jeffrey O'Connell and Lester Brickman. Peter Passell hailed the idea's boldness in a front-page New York Times article, and it has already influenced the Congressional debate on legal reform. We intend to follow up these studies with a steady stream of articles and reports that keep the focus on principled long-term reform of the system.[18]

1997 JanA 1997 R.J. Reynolds memo reveals RJR's intent to use the Manhattan Institute as a third party to help the company reduce the public's perception of danger from exposure to secondhand smoke:

"Devise ways to educate the public about epidemiology and put risk in perspective. For example, work with Steven J. Milloy, Michael Fumento, CEI Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute and others to put together a 1/2-hour or 1-hour TV show explaining epi[demiology] and risk. Create an epi/risk website to educate the general public, maybe working with the Harvard School of Public Health. Do the same for journalists."[5]

1998 Aug R.J. Reynolds donation.[6]


  1. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: Hammett W., Manhattan Institute, Letter to Prichard R., B&W, August 20, 1986.
  2. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: Stevens AJ, Lorillard, "Budget", October 19, 1990.
  3. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: Phillip Morris, "Public Policy Grants", October 18, 2001.
  4. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: Stevens AJ, Lorillard, "Budget - Dues and Donations", October 25, 1995.
  5. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: Moskowitz SW, "Here's a summary of the ideas we discussed yesterday at the first legal/legislative/science brainstorming session", January 15, 1997.
  6. Legacy Tobacco Documents Library: RJ Reynolds, "Corporate Contribution to the Manhattan Institute", Letter to Haver DG, August 19, 1998.