|PHANTOM THINK-TANKS -- The Independent Institute|
|The temptation is to treat all think-tanks as if they were real policy/advocate organisations with staff and participating members holding similar political and social ideas. This is probably true for some -- but for others, these organisations are ephemeral: they don't even have enough substance to be classed as an 'astroturf'.|
David Theroux, the founder and 'President' of the Independent Institute in Oakland CA reveals this in his explanatory note to the Tobacco Institute, explaining how his phantom organisation was able to churn out "six to ten major books per year".
The chapters in the books were still sent to the Tobacco Institute for "improvements", checking and legal clearance, then returned for peer review by their fellow network associates.   In fact the Independent Institute was linked to the Cato Institute, and they shared staff and 'fellows'.
Two of the Cash for Comment Economists Network who used the Independent Institute to construct a veneer of status and veracity to support their fabricated op-eds were:
In late 1993 Theroux's phantom Independent Institute received $56,750 from RJ Reynolds and $21,000 from Philip Morris.