The Sassoon Family Fortune Originated From Selling Opium To The Chinese

The greatest drug kingpin in history was an Orthodox Jew who attributed his business success to his careful observance of Jewish law.

According to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia entry on David Sassoon: “his business, which included a monopoly of the opium-trade, extended as far as Yokohama, Nagasaki, and other cities in Japan. Sassoon attributed his great success to the employment of his sons as his agents and to his strict observance of the law of tithe.”

A member of the Sassoon family emails me: “Luke, I read your article on the SASSOON’s. Your words are trouble and lead to nothing except rousing Antisemitism especially in the Arab world. You can look at any of the great moguls from past centuries and point a finger at the way they earned their fortunes. That goes for Ford and Edison and Vanderbilt and the rest. Why do you focus on the SASSOON’s. Is it only because of their Jewish roots?”

I would say that exempting Jews from the public criticism that others get is a bad idea for Jews (people behave badly when they are exempt from criticism) and for non-Jews (who will resent this Jewish exemption from criticism). Everybody behaves better when they are open to accurate criticism.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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