Posted on March 20, 2020

A Conversation with Raymond Cattell

Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, October 1995

Raymond Cattell has made two important but completely different contributions to the field of psychology. For one, the invention of a standard personality test known as the 16 PF, he is widely respected. For the other, the elaboration of a moral code based on genetic improvement, he is an embarrassment to many of his colleagues but a hero to his admirers. His 1978 book, Beyondism: A New Religion From Science, was one of the first books by a main-stream publisher to break the post-war ban on discussions of eugenics and the biological bases for ethnic separation. Still available from Praeger Publishers, it laid much of the groundwork for recent books like Wilmot Robertson’s The Ethnostate and Richard McCullough’s The Racial Compact.

Raymond B. Cattell's A New Morality from Science- Beyondism

Now 90 years old, Dr. Cattell lives in retirement in Hawaii, with his wife and three Maltese Terriers. On the sun-drenched veranda of his house, overlooking an estuary, he spoke recently about his past and current projects.

“It’s more widely in use than ever,” he says of the 16 PF which, along with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), is one of the standard pencil-and-paper tests of personality. It produces a profile of 16 personality factors (PFs), which show traits as varied as self-control and homosexual tendencies. So much is the 16 PF still in use that Dr. Cattell’s wife, a practicing psychologist in her own right, is under contract to write a book about it.

The 16 PF shows that races differ in “average personality,” just as they do in average intelligence. “Blacks tend to be more emotional and more self-assertive than whites,” explains Dr. Cattell, though subgroups of whites also have different average profiles. Germans, for example, have more demanding consciences than Americans, who show a greater tendency to hysteria than the English.

As for his eugenics work, Dr. Cattell sees the promotion of genetic awareness as one of the crucial struggles of our time. Both a theoretical and practical eugenicist — “I had five children,” he says with a smile — Dr. Cattell does not believe that eugenics requires compulsion. It would be sufficient merely to remove dysgenic incentives, like welfare, and teach the facts about heredity.

Although Dr. Cattell is encouraged by trends in the United States where, he says, “the public is beginning to follow the scientists,” he sees more rapid progress in Europe. “I think the French are more conscious of the eugenic problem and so, I think, are upper-class Germans. Certainly among upper-class English there is an awareness of eugenics.” Unfortunately, as Dr. Cattell concedes, “the Labor Party stifled the eugenic movement in the lower classes.”

Dr. Cattell is, himself, European. Although he has lived in the United States since 1937, he and his wife are both British. From his first contacts with his adopted country he was struck by how relentlessly it enforces equality. “Democracy is a political system in England,” he says, “but in America it is a religion.”

On both sides of the Atlantic, he believes that Christianity has been the source of much mischief. “It gives a moral impetus to the belief in racial equality,” he says; “In fact, it gives an impetus to a belief in all equality.” In his view, Christianity’s great mistake is to ignore the importance of competition, which is what propels evolution. Any religion that preaches against competition must be dysgenic.

Competition, on the other hand, must not be unrestrained. In Dr. Cattell’s view, an earlier generation of Britons got it right with the notion of fair play, “which admits competition but does not admit vaunting by the victor or mistreatment of the loser.” Eugenics should be like a hard-fought contest between English gentlemen: humane competition.

Dr. Cattell concedes that for a man who believes in genetic betterment and the need for ethnic separation, Hawaii, where he has lived for more than 20 years, is a strange habitat. Its mish-mash population and tourist “culture” are the antithesis of his science of Beyondism. “I fell in love with Hawaii years ago when I stopped off here on my way to New Zealand,” he explains. He thrives in year-round summer and says that the way the green Hawaiian hills meet the ocean reminds him of his native Devon.

Dr. Cattell continues to promote his views. He publishes a newsletter called The Beyondist, and recently submitted an article entitled “The Price of Illusion” to the Atlantic. “All illusions have a price,” he explains, and the price of ignoring genetics is mounting ominously.

He has also published a controversial theory about Alzheimer’s disease, which he thinks is normal degeneration rather than a disease. It is well established that intelligence declines from about age 20, along with vision, hearing, strength of hand grip, and even oxygen consumption per unit of body weight. Old age slowly takes its toll on the brain, as it does on every other organ. He theorizes that the rate of decline is about the same in all people, so those with average or below-average intelligence simply drop below minimum competency as they reach old age.

“Folklore has always recognized second childhood,” he says, but those who begin their decline from a sufficient height can be adults all their lives. “If you start out with an IQ of 130 you have nothing to worry about at age eighty,” he explains.

Dr. Cattell appears to have nothing to worry about at age ninety.


From Beyondism

“Any realistic ethical system must regard a man who begets eight children on public welfare as someone as socially dangerous as any criminal.”

“Defective internal morality, failure to control birth rate, unwillingness to sacrifice luxuries to education, adherence to superstitions, and many other deficiencies may cause a group to fail either in the struggle with another group or in the economic tussle with nature. At that point, external ‘charitable’ support from other groups, or even their failure to expand as the defective group retracts, are immoral acts militating against evolution.”

“‘Love,’ as pity, can err like any other emotion, and even create what it needs to feed upon.”