Wayne Wheeler, raised on an Ohio farm, became the leading force behind America’s prohibition movement — and he was merciless in his crusade. Frightening childhood experiences with drunk farmhands scarred Wheeler’s adolescence, convincing him that only full-scale abolition across America would bring safety and comfort to the collective. For Wheeler, the perfect world required absolute control over the individual.
Perhaps the most powerful force in the nation regarding alcohol, Wheeler led the Anti-Saloon League, coining the term “pressure group” to explain the league’s tactics. By 1903, the Anti-Saloon League forced all 70 of their political targets out of office. In 1915, Wheeler became general counsel for the Anti-Saloon League of America and one of the most effective lobbyists of his time.
Thanks in large part to Wheeler’s efforts, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect in 1920, banning the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors in the United States. Once law-abiding American citizens were now breaking federal law by drinking, blurring the lines between right and wrong. Instead of creating a new perfect world, the law opened the door for bootleggers and organized crime to make millions of dollars from the illegal distribution of liquor.
With the new constitutional amendment, Wheeler believed alcohol consumption to be treasonous, and came up with the sick idea of poisoning whisky and releasing it into the public. Under Wheeler’s poisonous plan, the government identified people drinking illegally when they became sick or died — and it was wildly effective. Up to 50,000 Americans paid the ultimate progressive price, essentially murdered by Wayne Wheeler and the U.S. government.