Open Society Foundations (OSF)

Open Society Foundations (OSF)


* Assets: $10,773,722,106 (2017)
* Grants Received: $0 (2017)
* Grants Awarded: $490,601,115 (2017)

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) were founded as the Open Society Institute in 1993 by the multibillionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros, and took its current name in 2010. When Soros attended the London School of Economics (LSE) beginning in 1947, he was exposed to the works of the Viennese-born philosopher Karl Popper, who taught at LSE, and whom Soros would later call his “spiritual mentor.”[1] Most notably, Popper’s 1945 book The Open Society and Its Enemies introduced Soros to the concept of an “open society,” which affected him greatly.[2]

The term “open society” had been originally coined in 1932 by the French philosopher Henri Louis Bergson, to describe societies whose moral codes were founded upon “universal” principles seeking to enhance the welfare of all mankind—as opposed to “closed” societies that placed self-interest above any concern for other nations and cultures.[3] Popper readily embraced this concept and expanded upon it. In his view, the open society was a place that permitted its citizens the right to criticize and change its institutions as they saw fit; he rejected the imposed intellectual conformity, central planning, and historical determinism of Marxist doctrine.[4] By Popper’s reckoning, a society was “closed”—and thus undesirable—if it assumed that it was in any way superior to other societies. Likewise, any belief system or individual claiming to be in possession of “ultimate truth” was an “enemy” of the open society as well. Popper viewed all knowledge as conjectural rather than certain, as evolving rather than fixed.

Thus, by logical extension, Popper did not share the American founders’ confident assertion that certain truths were “self-evident,” and that certain rights—such as the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as referenced in the Declaration of Independence—were “unalienable” and thus not subject to doubt, because they had been granted to mankind by the ultimate authority, the “Creator.”[5] George Soros, as he grew to maturity, would likewise reject the founders’ premise. To Soros, “Popper’s greatest contribution to philosophy” was his teaching that “the ultimate truth remains permanently beyond our reach.”[6]

It was in 1979 that Soros began testing the proverbial waters of philanthropy. Five years later he launched, in the country of his birth, the first of his many Open Society Foundations to help “build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.”[7] But it was not until 1987, the year he opened his Moscow office, that Soros began to disseminate truly large amounts of money to various groups and causes. “My spending rose from $3 million in 1987 to more than $300 million a year by 1992,” he said.[8] During this period, Soros established a series of foundations throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia.[9] When OSF was established In 1993, it became the flagship of the Soros Foundation Network.

Today Soros’s Open Society Foundations are active in more than 70 countries around the world.[10]  OSF is chiefly devoted to injecting capital into U.S.-based groups and causes. In his book Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism, Soros explains that the “open society” which he has consistently sought to advance by means of philanthropy, “stands for freedom, democracy, rule of law, human rights, social justice, and social responsibility as a universal idea.”[11]

Entrusted with the task of defining the foregoing terms for OSF, and for articulating OSF’s agendas from the outset, was Aryeh Neier, whom Soros appointed to serve as president not only of OSF, but of the entire Soros Foundation Network. Thirty-four years earlier, Neier had created the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), which became the largest and most important radical group of the 1960s. SDS aspired to overthrow America’s democratic institutions, remake its government in a Marxist image, and undermine the nation’s war efforts in Vietnam. (A particularly militant faction of SDS would later break away to form the Weather Underground, a notorious domestic terror organization with a Marxist-Leninist agenda.) Following his stint with SDS, Neier worked fifteen years for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)—including eight years as its national executive director. After that, he spent twelve years as executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), an organization he founded in 1978.[12]

In February 2002, Soros appointed former Bill Clinton administration official Morton Halperin to the post of OSF director. Halperin, whom some State Department officials suspected of being a communist agent,[13] had been instrumental in derailing America’s war effort during the Vietnam era, when President Johnson put him in charge of compiling a classified history of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. Halperin’s labor ultimately bore fruit—in June 1971—with the publication of the notorious “Pentagon Papers.”[14] Thereafter, Halperin went on to serve (from 1975-1992) as director of an ACLU project called the Center for National Security Studies, which sought to slash U.S. defense expenditures and undermine the nation’s intelligence capabilities.[15] In Target AmericaJames L. Tyson’s 1981 exposé of the Soviet Union’s elaborate “propaganda campaign designed to weaken and demoralize America from the inside”—the author stated:

“Halperin … and his organizations have had a constant record of advocating the weakening of U.S. intelligence capabilities. His organizations are also notable for ignoring the activities of the KGB or any other foreign intelligence organization…. A balance sheet analysis of Halperin’s writings and testimonies … gives Halperin a score of 100% on the side of output favorable to the Communist line and 0% on any output opposed to the Communist line.”[16]

Former Key OSF Trustees

PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy president Bill Moyers is a former trustee of the Open Society Foundations. Another noteworthy former OSF trustee is Lani Guinier, who served on the OSF board until the end of 2007. Guinier is best known as President Bill Clinton‘s 1993 nominee for the post of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Derided by some critics as “Clinton’s Quota Queen” because she favored proportional representation (based on race and ethnicity) in local political elections, Guinier ultimately failed to impress the Senate and her nomination was withdrawn by Clinton.

The OSF Agendas and Grantees

Claiming to be “a nonpartisan, nonpolitical entity” whose funding agendas are “wholly separate” from “George Soros’s private political activities,” OSF describes itself as “a private operating and grantmaking foundation [that] “aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform; … implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media; [and] works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.”

OSF’s total assets today exceed $1.9 billion. Each year, OSF awards scores of millions of dollars in grants to organizations that promote worldviews and objectives accordant with those of George Soros.[17]

Following is a sampling of the major agendas advanced by groups that Soros and OSF support financially. Listed under each category heading are a few OSF grantees fitting that description. *

* Organizations that accuse America of violating the civil rights and liberties of many of its residents:

  • The Arab American Institute impugns many of the “sweeping” and “unreasonable” post-9/11 counterterrorism measures that have unfairly “targeted Arab Americans.”
  • The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has persuaded the political leadership in more than 400 American cities and counties to pledge noncompliance with the anti-terrorism measure known as the Patriot Act, on grounds that the legislation tramples on people’s civil liberties.

* Organizations that depict America as a nation whose enduring racism must be counterbalanced by racial and ethnic preferences in favor of nonwhites:

* Organizations that specifically portray the American criminal-justice system as racist and inequitable:

  • The Sentencing Project asserts that prison-sentencing patterns discriminate against nonwhites, and seeks “to reduce the reliance on incarceration.”
  • Critical Resistance contends that crime stems from “inequality and powerlessness,” which can be rectified through wholesale redistribution of wealth.
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights charges that criminal laws “are enforced in a manner that is massively and pervasively biased.”

* Organizations that call for massive social change, and for the recruitment and training of activist leaders to help foment that change:

  • The Center for Community Change is “dedicated to finding the [progressive] stars of tomorrow and preparing them to lead.”
  • The Gamaliel Foundation teaches social-change “techniques and methodologies.”
  • The Ruckus Society promotes “nonviolent direct action against unjust institutions and policies.”
  • The American Institute for Social Justice aims to “transform poor communities” by agitating for increased government spending on social-welfare programs.”
  • The Institute for America’s Futureregularly convenes and educates progressive leaders, organizations, candidates, opinion makers, and activists.”
  • People for the American Way, founded by television producer Norman Lear to oppose the allegedly growing influence of the “religious right,” seeks “to cultivate new generations of leaders and activists” who will promote “progressive values.”
  • Democracy For America operates an academy that has taught more than 10,000 recruits nationwide how to “focus, network, and train grassroots activists in the skills and strategies to take back our country.”
  • The Midwest Academy trains radical activists in the tactics of direct action, confrontation, and intimidation. Author Stanley Kurtz has described this academy as a “crypto-socialist organization” that was “arguably the most influential force in community organizing from the seventies through the nineties.”

* Organizations that disparage capitalism while promoting a dramatic expansion of social-welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes:

  • The Center for Economic and Policy Research asserts that “the welfare state has softened the impact” of “the worst excesses and irrationalities of a market system” and its injustices.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities advocates greater tax expenditures on such assistance programs as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, food stamps, and low-income housing initiatives.
  • The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights was founded by the revolutionary communist Van Jones. This anti-poverty organization claims that “decades of disinvestment in our cities,” coupled with America’s allegedly imperishable racism, have “led to despair and homelessness.”
  • The Emma Lazarus Fund: In 1996 George Soros said he was “appalled” by the recently signed welfare-reform law that empowered states to limit legal immigrants’ access to public assistance. In response to this “mean-spirited attack on immigrants,” he launched an Open Society Foundations project known as the Emma Lazarus Fund and endowed it with $50 million.

* Organizations that support socialized medicine in the United States:

  • Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is a vast network of organizations supporting, ideally, a “single-payer” model where the federal government would be in charge of financing and administering the entire U.S. healthcare system. During the political debate over “Obamacare” in 2009 and 2010, HCAN’s strategy was to try to achieve such a system incrementally, first by implementing a “public option”—i.e., a government insurance agency to “compete” with private insurers, so that Americans would be “no longer at the mercy of the private insurance industry.”
  • Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would inevitably force private insurers out of the industry. In August 2009, Soros pledged to give HCAN $5 million to promote its campaign for reform.

* Organizations that strive to move American politics to the left by promoting the election of progressive political candidates:

  • Project Vote is the voter-mobilization arm of the notoriously corrupt ACORN, whose voter-registration drives and get-out-the-vote initiatives have been marred by massive levels of fraud and corruption.
  • Catalist seeks “to help progressive organizations realize … electoral success by building and operating a robust national voter database.”
  • The Brennan Center for Justice aims to “fully restore voting rights following criminal conviction”—significant because research shows that ex-felons are far likelier to vote for Democratic political candidates than for Republicans.
  • The Progressive States Network seeks to “pass progressive legislation in all fifty states by providing coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to forward-thinking state legislators.”
  • The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, to which George Soros personally donated $8,000 in 2010, works “to elect bold progressive candidates to federal office … more often.”

* Organizations that promote leftist ideals and worldviews in the media and the arts: In May 2011, the Media Research Center reported that from 2003-2001, Soros had spent more than $48 million “funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news — journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations.” Among the beneficiaries of Soros’s money were such entities as: ABC, The American Prospect Inc. (the owner and publisher of The American Prospect magazine), the Columbia School of Journalism, Free Press, the Independent Media Center, the Independent Media Institute, the Media Fund, Media Matters For America, the Nation Institute, National Public Radio, NBC, the New York Times, the Pacifica Foundation, and ProPublica. Below are some brief descriptions of a few more Soros-funded media organizations:

  • The American Prospect, Inc. is the owner and publisher of The American Prospect magazine, which tries to “counteract the growing influence of conservative media.”
  • Free Press is a “media reform” organization co-founded by Robert McChesney, who calls for “a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system” and to “rebuil[d] the entire society on socialist principles.”
  • The Independent Media Institute aims to “change the world” via projects like AlterNet, an online news magazine calling itself “a key player in the echo chamber of progressive ideas and vision.”
  • The Nation Institute operates synergistically with the far-left Nation magazine, which works “to extend the reach of progressive ideas” into the American mainstream.
  • The Pacifica Foundation owns and operates Pacifica Radio, awash from its birth with the socialist-Marxist rhetoric of class warfare and anti-capitalism.
  • Media Matters For America: For a number of years, the Open Society Foundations gave indirect funding—filtering its grants first through other Soros-backed operations—to this “progressive research and information center” which “monitor[s]” and “correct[s] conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” In October 2010, Soros announced that he would soon donate $1 million directly to Media Matters.
  • Sundance Institute: In 1996, Soros launched his Soros Documentary Fund to produce “social justice” films that would “spur awareness, action and social change.” In 2001, this Fund became part of actor-director Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. Between 1996 and 2008, OSF earmarked at least $5.2 million for the production of several hundred documentaries, many of which were highly critical of capitalism, American society, or Western culture generally.
  • In 2009, Soros pledged another $5 million to the Sundance Institute.

* Organizations that seek to inject the American judicial system with leftist values:

  • The Alliance for Justice consistently depicts Republican judicial nominees as “radical right-wing[ers]” and “extremists” whose views range far outside the boundaries of mainstream public opinion.
  • The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy seeks to indoctrinate young law students to view the Constitution as an evolving or “living” document, and to reject “conservative buzzwords such as ‘originalism‘ and ‘strict construction.’”
  • Justice at Stake promotes legislation that would replace judicial elections with a “merit-selection” system where a small committee of legal elites, unaccountable to the public, would pick those most “qualified” to serve as judges. OSF has spent at least $45.4 million on efforts to change the way judges are chosen in many American states.

* Organizations that advance leftist agendas by infiltrating churches and religious congregations:

  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good advocates a brand of “social justice” that would counteract the “greed, materialism, and excessive individualism” that are allegedly inherent in capitalism.
  • Sojourners characterizes wealth redistribution as the fulfillment of a biblical mandate.
  • Jim Wallis, the founder of this evangelical Christian ministry, has expressed his hope that “more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes.”
  • People Improving Communities through Organizing uses “people of faith” as foot soldiers in its crusade for the “transformation” of “people, institutions, and … our larger culture.”
  • Catholics for Choice—formerly known as Catholics for a Free Choice—is a nominally Catholic organization that “believes in a world where everyone has equal access to … safe and legal abortion services.”

* Think tanks that promote leftist policies:

  • The Institute for Policy Studies has long supported Communist and anti-American causes around the world. It seeks to provide a corrective to the “unrestrained greed” of “markets and individualism.”
  • The New America Foundation tries to influence public opinion on such topics as healthcare, environmentalism, energy policy, and global governance.
  • The Urban Institute favors socialized medicine, expansion of the federal welfare bureaucracy, and tax hikes for higher income-earners.

* Organizations that promote open borders, mass immigration, a watering down of current immigration laws, increased rights and benefits for illegal aliens, and ultimately amnesty:

  • The American Immigration Council—formerly known as the the American Immigration Law Foundation—supports “birthright citizenship” for children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S.
  • Casa de Maryland periodically sponsors “know your rights” training sessions to teach illegals how to evade punishment in the event that they are apprehended in an immigration raid.
  • The Immigrant Legal Resource Center belongs to the sanctuary movement that tries to shield illegal aliens from the law.
  • The Migration Policy Institute advocates a more permissive U.S. refugee admissions and resettlement policy, as well as more social-welfare benefits for illegals residing in the U.S.
  • LatinoJustice PRLDF is a legal advocacy group that “protects opportunities for all Latinos … especially the most vulnerable—new immigrants and the poor.”
  • The Immigration Policy Center states that “[r]equiring the 10-11 million unauthorized immigrants residing in the U.S. to register with the government and meet eligibility criteria in order to gain legal status is a key element of comprehensive immigration reform.”
  • The National Immigration Forum opposes the enhancement of the U.S. Border Patrol and the construction of a border fence to prevent illegal immigration.
  • The National Immigration Law Center works to help low-income immigrants gain access to government-funded welfare programs on the same basis as legal American citizens.

* Organizations that oppose virtually all post-9/11 national-security measures enacted by the U.S. government:

  • The Center for Constitutional Rights, founded by four longtime supporters of communist causes, has condemned the “immigration sweeps, ghost detentions, extraordinary rendition, and every other illegal program the government has devised” in response to “the so-called War on Terror.”
  • The National Security Archive Fund collects and publishes declassified documents (obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) to a degree that compromises American national security and the safety of intelligence agents.

* Organizations that defend suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters:

  • The Constitution Project has supported such notorious figures as Salim Ahmed Hamdan (Osama bin Laden‘s bodyguard and chauffeur) and Jose Padilla (an American Islamic convert and terrorist plotter). Moreover, the Project contends that it is illegal for the U.S. government to detain terror suspects if the evidence against them was obtained through “torture.”
  • The Lynne Stewart Defense Committee was established to support Lynne Stewart, who is a criminal-defense attorney and an America-hating Maoist. Stewart was convicted of illegally helping her incarcerated client, the “blind sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman, pass messages to an Egypt-based Islamic terrorist organization. In September 2002, the Open Society Foundations gave $20,000 to this committee; OSF vice president Gara LaMarche characterized Ms. Stewart as a “human rights defender.”

* Organizations that depict virtually all American military actions as unwarranted and immoral:

  • Amnesty International: In 2005, this group’s then-executive director William Schulz alleged that the United States had become “a leading purveyor and practitioner” of torture. Schulz’s remarks were echoed by Amnesty’s then-secretary general Irene Khan, who charged that the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where the U.S. was housing several hundred captured terror suspects, “has become the gulag of our time.”
  • Global Exchange was founded by Medea Benjamin, a pro-Castro radical who helped establish a project known as Iraq Occupation Watch for the purpose of encouraging widespread desertion by “conscientious objectors” in the U.S. military. In December 2004, Benjamin announced that Global Exchange would be sending aid to the families of terrorist insurgents who were fighting American troops in Iraq.

* Organizations that advocate America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending:

  • The American Friends Service Committee, which views America as the world’s chief source of international strife, has long had a friendly relationship with the Communist Party USA. Lamenting that “the United States spends 59% of the discretionary federal budget on military-related expenses,” the Committee seeks to “realig[n] national spending priorities and to increase the portion of the budget that is spent on housing, quality education for all, medical care, and fair wages.” In 2000, George Soros himself was a signatory to a letter titled “Appeal for Responsible Security” that appeared in The New York Times. The letter called upon the U.S. government “to commit itself unequivocally to negotiate the worldwide reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons,” and to participate in “the global de-alerting of nuclear weapons and deep reduction of nuclear stockpiles.”(NOTE: OSF is a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group.)

* Organizations that promote radical environmentalism:

Groups in this category typically oppose mining and logging initiatives, commercial fishing enterprises, development and construction in wilderness areas, the use of coal, the use of pesticides, and oil and gas exploration in “environmentally sensitive” locations. Moreover, they claim that human industrial activity leads to excessive carbon-dioxide emissions which, in turn, cause a potentially cataclysmic phenomenon called “global warming.” Examples of such Soros donees include the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Earth Island Institute, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, Green For All, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Another major recipient of Soros money is the Tides Foundation, which receives cash from all manner of donors—individuals, groups, and other foundations—and then funnels it to designated left-wing recipients. Having given more than $400 million to “progressive nonprofit organizations” since 2000, ides is a heavy backer of environmental organizations, though its philanthropy extends also into many other areas.

* Organizations that oppose the death penalty in all circumstances:

In 2000 George Soros co-signed a letter to President Bill Clinton asking for a moratorium on the death penalty, on grounds that it tended to be implemented disproportionately against black and Hispanic offenders.

Consistent with the billionaire’s opposition to capital punishment, his OSF has given millions of dollars to anti-death penalty organizations such as New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, Witness to Innocence, Equal Justice USA, the Death Penalty Information Center, People of Faith against the Death Penalty, and the Fair Trial Initiative.

* Organizations that promote modern-day feminism’s core tenetthat America is fundamentally a sexist society where discrimination and violence against women have reached epidemic proportions:

  • The Feminist Majority Foundation “focus[es] on advancing the legal, social and political equality of women with men, countering the backlash to women’s advancement, and recruiting and training young feminists…”
  • The Ms. Foundation for Women laments that although “women are more than half the [U.S.] population … they don’t have equal opportunity, voice or power.”
  • The National Partnership for Women and Families asserts that “women today are still paid only $0.77 to a man’s dollar”an assertion that is grossly misleading and substantively untrue.

* Organizations that promote not only women’s right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, but also political candidates who take that same position:

* Organizations that favor global government which would bring American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations or other international bodies:

According to George Soros, “[W]e need some global system of political decision-making. In short, we need a global society to support our global economy.” Consistent with this perspective, the Open Society Foundations in 2008 gave $150,000 to the United Nations Foundation, which “works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.” Moreover, OSF is considered a “major” funder of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court, which aims to subordinate American criminal-justice procedures in certain cases to an international prosecutor who could initiate capricious or politically motivated prosecutions of U.S. officials and military officers.

* Organizations that support drug legalization:

Dismissing the notion of “a drug-free America” as nothing more than “a utopian dream,” George Soros says that “the war on drugs” is “insane” and, “like the Vietnam War,” simply “cannot be won.”  “I’ll tell you what I would do if it were up to me,” says Soros. “I would establish a strictly controlled distribution network through which I would make most drugs, excluding the most dangerous ones like crack, legally available.” In 1998 Soros was a signatory to a public letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, declaring that “the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself.” The letter blamed the war on drugs for impeding such public health efforts as stemming the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases, as well as human rights violations and the perpetration of environmental assaults. Other notable signers included Cornel West, Morton H. Halperin, Peter Lewis, Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr., Tammy Baldwin, and Walter Cronkite.

Soros and his Open Society Foundations have given many millions of dollars to groups supporting drug-legalization and needle-exchange programs. In 1996, former Carter administration official Joseph Califano called Soros “the Daddy Warbucks of drug legalization.” According to a Capital Research Center publication, “It’s no exaggeration to say that without Soros there would be no serious lobby against the drug war.”

A leading recipient of Soros funding is the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which seeks to loosen narcotics laws, promotes “treatment-not-incarceration” policies for non-violent drug offenders, and advocates syringe-access programs “to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.” Soros himself formerly sat on the DPA board of directors. As recently as 2010, Soros contributed $1 million to support a California ballot measure known as Proposition 19, which would have legalized personal marijuana use in the state; the measure, however, was rejected by voters on election day.

Peter Schweizer, author of Do As I Say (Not As I Do), speculates on the possible reasons underlying Soros’s support for drug legalization: “One very possible answer is that he hopes to profit from them [drugs] once they become legal. He has been particularly active in South America, buying up large tracts of land and forging alliances with those in a position to mass-produce narcotics should they become legalized in the United States. He has also helped fund the Andean Council of Coca Leaf producers. Needless to say, this organization would stand to benefit enormously from the legalization of cocaine. He has also taken a 9 percent stake in Banco de Colombia, located in the Colombian drug capital of Cali. The Drug Enforcement Administration has speculated that the bank is being used to launder money and that Soros’s fellow shareholders may be members of a major drug cartel.”

* Organizations that support euthanasia for the terminally ill:

Soros has long promoted the cause of physician-assisted suicide in an effort to change public attitudes about death. Toward that end, in 1994 he began giving money to the (now defunct) Project on Death in America (PDA), whose purpose was to provide “end-of-life” assistance for ailing people and to enact public policy that will “transform the culture and experience of dying and bereavement.” Over a 9-year period, the Open Society Foundations gave $45 million to PDA.

Notably, PDA’s mission was congruent with the goals of those who support government-run health care, which invariably features bureaucracies tasked with allocating scarce resources and thus determining who will, and who will not, be eligible for particular medications and treatments. Such bureaucracies generally make their calculations based upon cost-benefit analyses of a variety of possible treatments. Ultimately these decisions tend to disfavor the very old and the very sick, because whatever benefits they might gain from expensive interventions are likely to be of short duration, and thus are not judged to be worth the costs. Soros himself has suggested that “[a]ggressive, life-prolonging interventions, which may at times go against the patient’s wishes, are much more expensive than proper care for the dying.” Additional pro-euthanasia groups funded by Soros and OSF are the following:

  • The Death with Dignity National Center seeks to allow “terminally ill individuals meeting stringent safeguards to hasten their own deaths” by way of lethal drug prescriptions.
  • The Compassion in Dying Federation of America advocates “aid-in-dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults.”

* Organizations that have pressured mortgage lenders to make loans to undercapitalized borrowers, a practice that helped spark the subprime mortgage crisis and housing-market collapse of 2008:

  • The Greenlining Institute—by threatening to publicly accuse banks of racially discriminatory lending practices—has successfully negotiated loan commitments of more than $2.4 trillion from America’s financial institutions.
  • The Center for Responsible Lending, according to Americans for Prosperity vice president Phil Kerpen, has “shak[en] down and harass[ed] banks into making bad loans to unqualified borrowers.”

* Organizations that exhort the U.S. and Israel to negotiate with, and to make concessions to, Arab terrorist groups and regimes that have pledged to destroy America and Israel alike:

  • The International Crisis Group‘s Mideast director, Robert Malley, has penned numerous articles and op-eds condemning Israel, exonerating Palestinians, urging the U.S. to disengage from Israel to some degree, and recommending that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies such as Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
  • J Street has cautioned Israel not to be too combative against Hamas, on grounds that the latter “has been the government, law and order, and service provider since it won the [Palestinian] elections in January 2006 and especially since June 2007 when it took complete control.” In the final analysis, J Street traces the Mideast conflict chiefly to the notion that “Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories have, for over forty years, been an obstacle to peace.”

OSF and The Shadow Party

Beginning in approximately 2003, OSF became the major conduit through which George Soros funded his newly established “Shadow Party,” a network of non-profit activist groups that seek to gather and mobilize resources aimed at advancing Democratic Party agendas, electing Democratic candidates, and guiding the Democratic Party ever-further towards the left.

Support for Organizations That Helped Lead and Promote the Anti-Police Protests of 2014 (in Ferguson, Missouri, etc.)

In 2014, two separate white-police-vs.-black-suspect altercations that resulted in the deaths of the blacks involved became the focal points of a massive, nationwide protest movement alleging that white officers were routinely targeting African Americans with racial profiling and the unjustified use of force:

(a) On July 17, 2014, a 43-year-old African American named Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York, after having resisted several white police officers’ efforts to arrest him for illegally selling “loosies,” single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps. One of the officers at the scene put his arms around the much taller Garner’s neck and took him down to the ground with a headlock/chokehold. While he was being subdued, Garner reportedly told the officers a number of times, “I can’t breathe.” A black NYPD sergeant supervised the entire altercation and never ordered that officer to release the hold. Garner subsequently suffered cardiac arrest in an ambulance that was taking him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead approximately an hour after the initial altercation. City medical examiners later concluded that he had died as a result of an interplay between the police officer’s hold and Garner’s multiple chronic infirmities, which included bronchial asthma, heart disease, obesity, and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. “I Can’t Breathe” became a popular slogan of demonstrators who later protested Garner’s death in rallies across the United States.

(b) On August 9, 2014, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an 18-year-old black male named Michael Brown in an altercation that occurred just minutes after Brown had perpetrated a strong-armed robbery of a local convenience store. Brown’s death set off a massive wave of protests and riots in Ferguson, and eventually grew into a national movement denouncing an alleged epidemic of police brutality against African Americans. The protesters claimed, falsely: (a) that Brown had been shot in the back while fleeing from the officer, and (b) that Brown at one point had raised his hands in the air submissively in an attempt to surrender but was shot anyway. Thus, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” became a popular slogan of the demonstrators who later protested Brown’s death. When compelling ballistic, eyewitness, and forensic evidence eventually (in late October 2014) indicated that Brown in fact had assaulted the officer and had tried to steal his gun just prior to the fatal shooting, the protesters’ outrage over the incident was undiminished. A grand jury announced on November 24, 2014 that it would not indict the officer who had shot Brown — because of overwhelming evidence indicating that the shooting was done in self-defense. This announcement, too, touched off protests and riots.

Numerous left-wing organizations helped organize and promote the massive protest movement that followed these two deaths. Many of these groups received funding from OSF. As the Washington Times reported in January 2015, George Soros “gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson,” groups that “helped mobilize protests in Ferguson, building grass-roots coalitions on the ground backed by a nationwide online and social media campaign.” (Most of these recipients of Soros’s $33 million were supporters of the Black Lives Matter [BLM] movement, but they used the money for many different purposes, and not just for BLM-related causes. In August 2016, Caroline Glick reported that BLM “has received $650,000 from Soros-controlled groups over the past year.”) “The financial tether from Mr. Soros to the activist groups gave rise to a combustible protest movement that transformed a one-day criminal event in Missouri into a 24-hour-a-day national cause celebre,” said the Timesadding: “Other Soros-funded groups made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive. The plethora of organizations involved not only shared Mr. Soros‘ funding, but they also fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another’s website, referencing each other’s news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds.”

Following is a list of some of the influential players that helped organize and promote the anti-police protest movement of 2014. Those with an asterisk (*) after their names had received direct funding from Soros and his foundations: the Advancement Project*, the ANSWER Coalition, the Center for Community Change*, Colorlines*, the Don’t Shoot Coalition, the Dream Defenders*, the Drug Policy Alliance*, Equal Justice USA*, the Gamaliel Foundation*, the Hands Up Coalition, Make the Road New York*, Millennial Activists United, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment* (the rebranded Missouri branch of ACORN), the NAACP*, the New Black Panther Party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement*, the Organization for Black Struggle*, People Improving Communities Through Organizing*, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America*, the Progressive Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference (where Jeremiah Wright was a trustee), the Service Employees International Union, and Sojourners*. Also supporting the protest movement were a host of national LGBT organizations, climate environmentalists, amnesty groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, and Christian social justice groups. Moreover, OSF has given money to several Black Lives Matter affiliates that have close ties to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

More Groups Funded by the Open Society Foundations

To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Open Society Foundations, click here.

Support for Net Neutrality

OSF has long been a supporter of Net Neutrality — a concept whose objective, as pro-free-market policy analyst Phil Kerpen puts it, is “to empower the federal government to ration and apportion Internet bandwidth as it sees fit, and to thereby control the Internet’s content.” For a more detailed explanation and discussion of Net Neutrality and its implications, click here.

Between 2000 and 2013, OSF and the Ford Foundation spearheaded an alliance of leftist philanthropies that gave more than $196 million to pro-Net Neutrality groups like Free Press and the Center for American Progress. Their investments eventually paid dividends in February 2015, when the FCC ruled in favor of implementing Net Neutrality. (For more details, click here.)

Additional OSF Endeavors

OSF endorsed a 2000 document called the Earth Charter, which blames capitalism for many of the world’s environmental, social, and economic problems. According to the Charter, “the dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species.” “The benefits of development,” adds the Charter, “are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening.”

OSF was a signatory to a November 1, 2001 document characterizing the 9/11 attacks as a legal matter to be addressed by criminal-justice procedures rather than military retribution. Suggesting that the hijackers were motivated chiefly by a desire to point out global injustices perpetrated by the United States, this document explained that similar future calamities could be averted only if America would finally begin to “promote fundamental rights around the world.”

OSF endorsed the Civil Liberties Restoration Act (CLRA) of 2004, which was designed to roll back, in the name of protecting civil liberties, vital national-security policies that had been adopted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

OSF funded the multi-year United Nations Millennium Development Project, a massive redistributive scheme calling for the governments of wealthy countries to commit 0.7% of their GNP to promoting “the economic development and welfare of developing countries.”

On August 16, 2005, OSF (in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, AFSCME, and the United Steelworkers Union) launched a new organization called the Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN). Led by Democratic activists David Sirota and Steve Doherty, PLAN’s mission was to seed state legislatures with prewritten “model” legislation reflecting leftist visions of justice.

In March 2013, George Soros pledged to give, through his Open Society Foundations, $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. This was the largest grant that organization had received from a named donor in recent decades. The purpose of the grant was to help the NAACP fight challenges to the Voting Rights Act and oppose the implementation of Voter ID laws.

In June 2015, the New York Times reported that “a Democratic legal fight against restrictive voting laws enacted in recent years [since 2010] by Republican-controlled state governments is being largely paid for by a single liberal benefactor: the billionaire philanthropist George Soros.” Indeed, Soros had already agreed to contribute as much as $5 million to that litigation effort, whose major objectives were to: (a) discredit and overturn Voter ID laws in as many states as possible; (b) eliminate or loosen time restrictions imposed on early voting (prior to Election Day); and (c) change election rules that could nullify ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The attorney spearheading this initiative was Marc Elias, who also served as a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Describing himself as “proud” to be part of the legal battles, Soros said: “We hope to see these unfair laws, which often disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our society, repealed.” At the time, Soros was supporting a lawsuit that had been filed the previous year in North Carolina, as well as suits that had been filed in Ohio and in Wisconsin in May 2015.

In October 2015—while hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners were flooding into Europe as “refugees”—Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned that this mass influx of foreign Muslims was endangering Europe’s “Christian roots” and creating “parallel societies.” Asserting that Europeans should “stick to our Christian values,” he stated that “Europe can be saved” only if its leaders “take seriously the traditions, the Christian roots and all the values that are the basis of the civilization of Europe.” Moreover, Orban accused Soros—whose charitable foundations support numerous pro-immigration non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—of deliberately encouraging the migrant crisis. “This invasion is driven, on the one hand, by people smugglers, and on the other by those (human rights) activists who support everything that weakens the nation-state,” Orban said. “This Western mindset and this activist network is perhaps best represented by George Soros.”

In response, Soros issued an email statement to Bloomberg Business, claiming that his foundations helped “uphold European values” while Orban (according to Soros) aimed to “undermine those values.” “His [Orban’s] plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle,” said Soros. “Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”

In November 2015, reported that “a group masquerading as conservative but backed by left-wing foundations including billionaire George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS) has launched an online advertising campaign in defense of bringing Syrian refugees” — who were flooding out of their war-torn, terrorism-ravaged country — “to the United States. The banner ads bear tag lines like, ‘Support freedom, not fear,’ and, ‘America is better when we welcome refugees.’ They lead to a microsite located at with Old Glory-clothed, American flag-waving young people, with a light-skinned blonde leading the way for others who appear to be ethnic minorities partially or fully obscured behind her.” Added Breitbart:

The site in turn quotes conservative icon former president Ronald Reagan, saying, “America is better when we embrace President Reagan’s ‘shining city … teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace.’”

The site derides [those] “who would make us react in fear of those different from us.” It continues, “As commander in chief, Reagan kept America safe. At the same time, he was the world’s ‘Great Liberator,’ in the words of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He welcomed refugees from the Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, and elsewhere.”

The site likewise quotes unnamed “security experts” as supporting the screening process. “Refugees are subjected to the highest and most intensive security review of any population coming to the U.S. No group goes through greater scrutiny and vetting than refugees,” the site quotes an expert as stating.

The quote in fact comes from John Sandweg, Former Acting Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a former criminal defense attorney “whose appointment to the post raised eyebrows because of his scant law enforcement experience,” and who resigned after just five months on the job….

The site also shamelessly claims that “we know that refugees are not a burden, but instead represent a valuable, hardworking community of grateful residents who enrich our communities and help our businesses,” in spite of the fact that nearly 70% of refugees were on welfare and over 90% were on food stamps between 2008 and 2013, according to data drawn from the Obama Administration’s own Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Leaked Emails Reveal OSF’s Support for Anti-Israel Groups, Pro-Islamist Groups, Open Borders, and Intervention in Foreign Political Affairs

On August 13, 2016, an anonymously-run website ( released more than 2,500 confidential files from OSF containing evidence of funding which the Foundations had given to anti-Israel and pro-Islamist organizations. Among the leaked files was an OSF internal memo from 2011 titled “Extreme Polarization and Breakdown in Civic Discourse,” which lamented America’s rising “xenophobia and intolerance,” and discussed a $200,000 grant that OSF had awarded to the Center for American Progress (CAP) to “research and track the activities” of groups which contend that radical Islam poses a grave threat to America. Later in 2011, CAP published a 138-page report, Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America, whose stated objective was to “expose—and marginalize—the influence of” the “sinister,” “hateful,” “purposively deceptive,” “bigoted,” and “racist” individuals and groups that, according to CAP, are part of an “Islamophobia network in America.” These include what CAP describes as “misinformation experts,” “anti-Muslim bigots,” “political players,” “right-wing media,” “religious right” zealots, and “radical ideologues” who intentionally “mischaracteriz[e] Islam,” “peddl[e] hate and fear of Muslims,” and “rav[e]” about the “overhyped dangers” of Sharia Law, so as to “fan the flames of Islamophobia.”

Another OSF email which made public (in August 2016) asserted that the refugee crisis that was causing countless thousands of people from war- and terrorism-ravaged nations in the Middle East and North Africa to relocate to Europe and the United States, should be accepted as “the new normal.” Entitled “Migration Governance and Enforcement Portfolio Review,” this memo was written by Anna Crowley, the Program Officer of OSF’s International Migration Initiative, and Kate Rosin, a Program Specialist for the same initiative. These authors wrote how the refugee crisis “is opening new opportunities” for “coordination and collaboration” with other wealthy donors. They also praised efforts to “take advantage of momentum created by the current crisis to shape conversations about rethinking migration governance.” They had in mind “institutional reforms to global migration governance.” To that end, their International Migration Initiative helped fund the work of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative, host of the secretariat for Peter Sutherland, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on International Migration. (Sutherland is an open-borders fundamentalist who, at a reception held on October 22, 2015 to honor the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, claimed that caps on refugees enforced by certain countries in Europe were “directly reminiscent of the type of caps that took place under the Reich [against] the Jewish population.” In an October 2015 interview with UN News CentreSutherland derided the very notion of national sovereignty, saying that governments must “recognize that sovereignty is an illusion … that has to be put behind us,” and that “the days of hiding behind borders and fences are long gone.”) Crowley and Rosin praised the “elite-level behind-the-scenes advocacy through Peter Sutherland,” which they believed would influence the outcome of the September 2016 summits on migrants and refugees at the United Nations, one of which was to be led by President Obama.

Yet another leaked memo made it clear that Soros’s group was considering using journalists to push out the narrative on Ukraine that Soros wanted in support of the Kiev regime. It discussed the pros and cons of offering selected journalists “long stay reporting trips in Ukraine” while retaining “a veto on stories we think are counterproductive.” Other leaked documents revealed that Soros, behind the scenes, was simultaneously pushing for the U.S. to provide more lethal weapons to the Kiev government while offering to use his influence to help prop up the country’s finances.

In one draft memo, which Soros signed “George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015,” Soros advocated that “Ukraine’s allies should treat Ukraine as a defense priority.” He also pushed for a “radical reform program,” offering very specific political and economic prescriptions, backed by “the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations.” This Ukrainian branch, known as the Renaissance Foundation, was reportedly paying headhunters to find suitable individuals to work in the Ukrainian government, even if they came from Ukrainian communities as far away as the U.S. and Canada. Soros’s foundation may also have been helping to pay the salaries of some Ukrainian ministers.

Soros was also looking for the U.S. and the European Union to help bail out Ukraine’s financial system. In a letter dated December 23, 2014 to Ukraine’s president and prime minister, Soros discussed the need to pull together a multibillion dollar commitment from the European Council, which could then be used to persuade the Federal Reserve to extend a three-month swap arrangement with the National Bank of Ukraine. “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement,” Soros wrote.

In the meantime, Soros was making sure that he would be in a position to profit from a more stabilized Ukraine. In November 2015, it was announced that Soros’s Ukrainian Redevelopment Fund would be investing in a fund sponsored by Dragon Capital to invest in Ukraine. Through that vehicle, Soros’s Ukrainian Redevelopment Fund invested in Ukrainian software developer Ciklum Holding Ltd.  It acquired the stake from Horizon Capital, an investment firm founded by Natalie Jaresko, who was serving at the time as Ukraine’s finance minister. Jaresko was a U.S. citizen of Ukrainian descent who had once worked in the U.S. State Department. She became a Ukrainian citizen in December 2014, the same time she became finance minister.

Finally, to bring things around full circle, some leaked emails revealed that Soros saw an opportunity for Ukraine to help the European Union alleviate its refugee crisis by taking in some of the refugees in return for financial aid.

Soros Transfers $18 Billion to OSF

In October 2017, it was reported that over the preceding few years, Soros had quietly transferred $18 billion of his $24.6 billion in personal assets to OSF, thereby making OSF the second-largest U.S.-based philanthropy (behind only the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).

Committing $220 Million to “Racial Justice” Causes

On July 13, 2020, OSF, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and its allies, pledged to donate $220 million into initiatives designed to help “build power in Black communities, promote bold new anti-racist policies in U.S. cities, and help first-time activists stay engaged.” The pledge earmarked $150 million in five-year grants for black-led “racial justice” organizations, and $70 million for a range of initiatives such as helping city governments reform policing and criminal justice by implementing a new approach to public safety that includes “moving beyond the culture of criminalization and incarceration.” “This is the time for urgent and bold action to address racial injustice in America,” said OSF deputy chair Alex Soros, George Soros’s son. “These investments will empower proven leaders in the Black community to reimagine policing, end mass incarceration, and eliminate the barriers to opportunity that have been the source of inequity for too long.” Tom Perriello, executive director of Open Society-U.S., said: “The success of this movement, the largest in U.S. history, will be measured over years, not weeks, and we cannot say that Black lives matter and not make a multi-year commitment to a strategy set by and centering Black leaders and organizations who changed America’s sense of what is possible.”

OSF Fellowships

Each year, OSF sponsors a number of fellowships — among them, the Soros Justice Fellowship which is awarded to “outstanding individuals” who will implement projects aimed at reforming the American criminal-justice system. Most notably, OSF seeks to end “the over-reliance on incarceration and harsh punishment, and the lack of equal justice—especially for people of color and the poor.” One of the more infamous recipients of this fellowship was the radical communist Linda Evans, a former member of the Weather Underground. Her OSF award was intended to aid her efforts to “increase civic participation of former prisoners.”

OSF Public Relations Efforts

In an effort to present itself in the most positive light to the American people, OSF has at times used the services of the public-relations firm Fenton Communications.

Additional Information

For additional information on OSF, click here.

[1] George Soros, Underwriting Democracy (1991), p. 170.
[2] Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945)
[3] David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party
(2006), p. 67
[4] Nicola Chalton, ed., The Philosophers (2008), p. 159.
[5] David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party (2006), pp. 67-69; The Philosophers, pp. 158-159; George Soros, Soros on Soros (1995), p. 33.
[6] George Soros, The Bubble of American Supremacy (2004), p. 193
[7] Open Society Foundations – George Soros
George Soros, The Bubble of American Supremacy (2004), p. 136
[9] Open Society Foundations
[10] George Soros
[11] George Soros, Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), p. 120
[12] About OSI Staff
[13] Maurice Hyman Halperin
[14] These documents were intended to discredit America’s war effort as both immoral and unwinnable.
[15] David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party (2006), p. 24
[16] James L. Tyson, Target America (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, 1981), pp. 2, 200
[17] Open Society Institute – 2008 990-PF

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

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