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Dehumanization and a Deadly Medical Experiment on the Yanomami People

Editor’s Note: Reprints of advance reviews of Darkness in El Dorado by Patrick Tierney are currently circulating on online, and a recent post from Newpower was cited as the lead-in to the columnist Steve Newcomb’s dissection of the dehumanizing effects of anthropologists studying indigenous peoples, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. Unfortunately, Tierney’s book was actually published in 2000, and the information originally appeared in The Guardian at the time. Upon publication the book met with great fanfare, principally because of its damning accusations regarding a measles outbreak among the Yanomami. However, its major claims have been effectively discredited over time. While the main import of Newcomb’s argument still holds true, he and the editors have determined it is better to remove the piece rather than to try to revise and untangle the opening paragraphs to present the book in its proper context. When the piece is reposted, we will indicate the sections that have been revised and the facts that have been corrected.