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CREATED 9/23/2012


WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.


Smoking-Gun docs.




John Ettling     [Prof]    

(aka Etling)

— Professor of History, University of Houston and State University of New York. —  

John Ettling was a history professor at the University of Houston who was identified by the lawyers of the tobacco industry as a likely future witness for them in trials. He was recruited and paid to scrutinize bundles of historical documents to familiarize himself with the background to the introducation of the TIRC research program, the use of warning labels on cigarette packets, etc.

However he does not appear to have been used as a witness in any court cases, although he provided behind-the-scenes consulting services. His contactd with the industry were conducted through Shook Hardy & Bacon, the Kansas City lawfirm which acted as a cut-out in such matters. They also laundered payments.

Tobacco Industry recruitment of History Professors
The journal Tobacco Control published a report by Historian Robert N Proctor on the recruitment of historians and history professors by the tobacco industry.

See "Everyone knew but no one had proof": tobacco industry use of medical history expertise in US courts, 1990-2002

Dr. John Ettling became the 10th president of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh on June 15, 2004 after serving as vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of North Dakota for six years.

    President Ettling began his academic career in 1978 as a visiting faculty member in the History Department at Northwestern University. From 1979 to 1995, he served as a faculty member in the Honors College and History Department at the University of Houston and as chair of the History Department for five years during the mid 1980s.

    President Ettling served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Dakota (UND), the oldest and largest institution in the eleven-campus North Dakota University System from 1995 to 1998. He was appointed interim vice president for academic affairs and provost at UND in July 1998 and was selected for the permanent position in March 2000 following a nationwide search. He also has held visiting faculty appointments at Northwestern University, Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Rice University.

    When President Ettling arrived at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2004, the college was struggling with a declining enrollment, a stalled capital campaign, and a slowed accreditation effort for its education program. Since then, the faculty and staff have risen to the challenges under President Ettling's leadership and are confronting these and other issues.

Some key documents

• Born and bred in Houston, Texas,

1966: B.A. summa cum laude in History from the University of Virginia. He joined the Air Force and served a year in Vietnam

1966–71: Served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force as a B-52 crewmember.

1971: Left Air Force and attended Harvard.

1978: AM in History from Harvard University

1978: Visiting faculty member in the Honors College and History Department at the University of Houston.

1985: Ph.D. from Harvard University

1985 /E: became Chair of the History Department at University of Houston and held this position for five years. [Another version of the story says he became Dean of the Honors Department and also taught some freshman-level courses before shifting to North Dakota.]

1985 May 29: The tobacco industry, via the lawfirms Shook Hardy & Bacon and Chadboune Parke. have put together a STIC [ Special Trial Issues Committee] for the Cippolone case. This group of lawyers exists

to identify and develop potential witnesses in a variety of non-medical and non-fact areas which could possibly be utilized in one or more trials across the country. It continues to be the consensus of the group that these witnesses should be developed so that they are available in the event litigating attorneys in a particular 'jurisdiction or a particular casa desire,to rebutt. certain issues

Minutes record that
  • Pat Sirridge [lawyer] of SHB is collecting 'causation' information.
  • Bob Golden of Karch & Associates specialise in cancer causation litigation [Agent Orange]
  • They used to argue that "nobody knew" smoking might be harmful. Now they are considering taking the opposite approach and arguing "everyone knew."
  • Prof [John] Ettling at Uni of Houston is accumulating "free choice" material, but is trouble by the question of the plaintiff being "aware." They are shipping old TMA material to him after removing all identification because of the risk of accidental or legal disclosure.
  • Experts on warning labels - Prof Roger McCarthy of Failure Analysis Associates, et al.
  • [Prof. Robert] Sobel [Hofstra Uni] is a witness. He is being told to alter his presentation, He will be invited to the next STIC meeting for evaluation.
  • Advertising witnesses:
    It is the group's consensus that when more definitive information is learned from plaintiffs as to their advertising theories, they will generally fall in two categories - advertising caused people to begin smoking and advertising created assurances of safety and diluted subsequent warnings which helped people rationalize continuing their smoking habits and, to a lesser extent, resulting in initiation of new smokers.

        In the 1940s the theme was "glamour: with the use of movie stars, primarily by Liggett for Chesterfield. In the early 50s express statements about removing the "fear" of smoking and "safe" smoking appeared. In the late 1950's was the 'tar derby; and thereafter was the age of "young healthy and happy" advertising.

        Tom and I reported to the group on our meeting with Professor Boddewyn and our assessment that he has an extremely limited role to play in showing that foreign advertising bans have had no effect.
Later the note says
Etling is starting work on overall awareness this week. Purvis and I will be meeting with him on Wednesday. We will report on his progress. A recurring problem is how to provide Etling with data without exposing our sources: e.g., TMA and LSI.

    Also, we must consider what time periods are critical. Etling's original mandate was to look only up to 1950. Should the emphasis be more (or at least equally) on 1950 to 1970? This is the other side of the state of the art question. How do we avoid "fault" in the early years. Can we really show cancer awareness? How do we rationalize the early ads?

1985 Dec 30: /E List of legal actions being taken against the tobacco companies says:

While it is now a moot point, R.J. Reynolds named its expert witnesses on December 16. Twenty-five experts were named, but we will not identify all of them here.

    Prominent experts from previous tobacco litigation include Theodore Blau, Arthur Furst, Lawrence Kupper, Victor Rosen, William Seaman, Sheldon Charles Sommers, John Etling, Roger McCarthy, William Ober and Karl Jonas.

1992 Apr: Lecturing in "Spring History Series" which was co-sponsored by Texas Medical Center and the University. His lecture was entitled: "Philanthropy, Religion, and the Origins of American Medical Research" John Ettling, University of Houston.

1995–98: Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of North Dakota

1998: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of North Dakota

2004 June 15: Became the President of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.



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