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SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1911
THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
One of the most powerful chapters in the Great American Fraud series was that entitled, "The 'Patent-Medicine' Conspiracy Against the Freedom of the Press,"1 by Mr. Mark Sullivan. Therein it was shown that the twenty millions or more dollars spent annually by the "patent-medicine" manufacturers of the United States was expended not merely for what went into the newspapers as advertisements, but for what was kept out of the newspapers as news. Stated more baldly, the advertising contract was the price of silence. Nor was this a mere tacit understanding—a "gentlemen's agreement," so to speak—but a part of the advertising contract. As one contract read in part:"It is agreed that the J. C. Ayer Co.,
THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(1):36-40. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260010038017