Tuesday, 4 October 2011



The Mythology Surrounding His FBI Career … rev. 09/18/09

Back in March 2007, I wrote a preliminary article concerning former FBI Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen after I had received the first 400 pages of his personnel file from the FBI. I have now received the remainder of Skousen’s personnel file [FBI HQ file 67-69602] along with a separate file consisting of public source material and correspondence received by the Bureau concerning Skousen’s activities [HQ 94-47468]. Altogether, these files total 1928 pages.

I will be quoting extensively from documents in his personnel file pertaining to his career, but first some general biographical information which appears on two of his employment applications. [The following details are from HQ 67-69602, #65; 5/29/40 Skousen Application For Appointment as Special Agent, and HQ 67-69602, #1; 7/22/35 Skousen Application for Appointment as Typist or Messenger.] For additional biographical information, see:


Willard Cleon Skousen was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada on January 20, 1913. His mother and father (Roy and Rita Bentley Skousen) were born in the United States. Cleon lived in the United States starting in 1923. He had 7 brothers and sisters and after marrying his wife, Jewel Pitcher in August 1936, they had 8 children. [Incidentally, one of his brothers, Leroy B. Skousen, was also an FBI Agent from 1941-1954.]

Educational Background:

From 1919 to 1925 he attended elementary schools in Canada and in Torrance, California. From 1925 to 1926 he attended Sturgess Junior High School in San Bernardino CA and, subsequently, he attended Juarez Stake Academy in Chihuahua, Mexico from 1926 to 1928. For his junior and senior years, he attended San Bernardino High School in San Bernardino CA from 9/17/28 to 6/22/30 and he graduated in 1930. From 1933 to 1935, Cleon attended San Bernardino Junior College and he received his Associate of Arts degree. He then attended George Washington University in Washington DC from 1935 to 1940, majoring in political science, with a minor in history, and he received his law degree in June 1940.

Employment History – Prior to the FBI

Skousen entered on his employment application that he worked for 2 years (1930-1932) as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints (Mormon) in England (18 months) and Ireland (6 months). At 17 years of age, he was appointed District Secretary, LDS, at Sheffield, British Isles, and he also was sent to Northern Ireland as President of Ulster District.

Starting in October of 1932, he worked for his father's road construction business, the Skousen Brothers Construction Company, as a lineman, and later as a steamshovel and truck foreman as well as project timekeeper in Cottonwood AZ. There is some discrepancy about the time period of this employment in his FBI files. On his employment application Skousen indicated that this work was for a period of 3 years but other documents indicate that this employment was only from October 1932 to September 1933. His employment application also indicates that he worked for 3 years as a teletype operator and 2 years as a switchboard operator.

From 07/02/35 to 10/23/1935, Skousen was employed as a temporary Assistant Clerk in the Rental and Benefit Audit Section of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in Washington DC.

FBI Employment

He entered on duty October 24, 1935 as a messenger. At the beginning of December of that year he became a Clerk. In August 1937 he became Night Supervisor in the Communications Section and on February 16, 1939 he became Chief of the Communications Section.

During this entire period, his annual efficiency ratings were “excellent”. His salary during this time started at $1260 annually and progressed to $2100 by July 1939.

Cleon became a FBI Special Agent on June 17, 1940 at an annual salary of $3200. His Special Agent training began June 17th and was completed August 3, 1940 at which time he was assigned to the FBI’s Omaha field office. After a short period in Omaha, he was assigned as shown below. By the time of his retirement from the FBI in October 1951 he was earning $7600 annually. His last performance rating was “satisfactory”.

12/15/40 = Kansas City field office

04/04/41 = Administrative Division, FBI HQ

06/25/41 = Records and Communications Division, FBI HQ

06/05/45 = Los Angeles field office

10/05/51 = retired

As details below will demonstrate, during his FBI career Skousen had very modest investigative experience. His FBI assignments were primarily administrative in nature. I will be quoting extensively below from a 14-page summary of his performance evaluations which cover his assignments from 1940 thru retirement.

Even more significantly, he had no special exposure to investigations concerning communism in the United States.

Skousen’s Post-FBI Employment and Activities

After retiring from the Bureau in October 1951, Skousen became an Executive Assistant to the President of Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City. During this time (10/51 – 06/56) he served as Director of Public Services and as an Assistant Professor of Speech.

In June 1956, he became Chief of Police in Salt Lake City, but he was fired by Mayor J. Bracken Lee in March 1960. Mayor Lee shared Cleon’s political philosophy. They both were ultra-conservative and they both endorsed the John Birch Society. [J. Bracken Lee also served 6 two-year terms as Mayor of Price, Utah and then 8 years as Governor of Utah.]

Mayor Lee’s firing of Skousen caused a major shock within conservative political circles – both in Utah and nationally. [For a detailed discussion of the Lee-Skousen feud, see “Political Feud in Salt Lake City: J. Bracken Lee and the Firing of W. Cleon Skousen”, by Dennis L. Lythgoe, Utah Historical Quarterly, Fall 1974, or see Lythgoe’s subsequent book, Let 'Em Holler: A Political Biography of J. Bracken Lee - Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1982.]

In August 1960, Mayor Lee wrote a letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Laine of Arcadia, CA in which he made the following comments:

“To further explain my position, let me say this, that while Mr. Skousen has written a book and talks against Communism, actually he conducted his office as Chief of Police in exactly the same manner in which the Communists operate their government. The man is also a master of half-truths. In at least three instances I have proved him to be a liar before the City Commissioners and the newspaper reporters. To me, he is a very dangerous man because he preaches one thing, practices another, does not tell the truth, and cannot be relied upon. He also was one of the greatest spenders of public funds of anyone who ever served in any capacity in Salt Lake City government.” [HQ 67-69602, #286; 8/8/60 letter from J. Bracken Lee to Mrs. Elizabeth Laine, Arcadia CA]

When the Educational News Service of Fullerton, CA ran a favorable article about Skousen in its March 31, 1960 issue, Mayor Lee sent them a blistering 3-page response (with copies to 13 other individuals who served on the Board of Directors of the News Service). Among the accusations made by Lee are the following comments concerning Skousen’s 1958 book, The Naked Communist:

“Your article further states that my charge that Mr. Skousen had been using City Police secretarial assistance in the writing of this book was without foundation. The records will show to the satisfaction of anyone that he did use City Policemen and secretaries both to compile, typewrite, and assemble his notes on this book. While I certainly do not object to the writing of a book in opposition to Communism, I do not think it is right that City funds and personnel be used to write a book which resulted in personal gain to that writer.” [HQ 67-69602, #290; 8/16/60 letter by J. Bracken Lee to Mr. Edward T. Price, President, Education Information Inc of Fullerton CA.]

After termination as Police Chief, Skousen then ran for the Republican nomination for Governor of Utah and his campaign literature included the phrase, “Served his country in the FBI 16 years, 4 of them as Administrative Assistant to J. Edgar Hoover during World War II, a top assignment.” [HQ 67-69602, #287; Bureau file copy notation on outgoing 1/12/61 letter to Mrs. Norman Hartnett, Bakersfield CA mentions his campaign literature.]

J. Edgar Hoover received numerous inquiries about Skousen’s description of himself. His replies declared that: “For your information, Mr. Skousen did not have the title ‘Administrative Assistant’ while in the FBI” and “In response to your inquiry, I wish to advise that there is no such position in the FBI entitled Administrative Assistant to the Director”. [See for example, Hoover’s 4/19/61 reply to Rev. Harry C. Carlson of La Habra CA which is HQ file 94-47468, serial #28 and his 11/1/61 reply to David A. Moynan Jr., Chairman of Operation Americanism, Jefferson Parish Junior Chamber of Commerce, which is HQ file 94-47468, serial #37 and his April 10, 1962 reply to inquiry by Mrs. A.M. Donaldson of Cardiff CA which is HQ file 94-47468, serial #46.]

Utah Republican Congressman Henry A. Nixon contacted the Bureau about Skousen’s description of himself and Nixon’s administrative assistant (Mark Cannon) received a telephone call from a senior Bureau official (Robert E. Wick) who pointed out that:

“Wick impressed upon Cannon the fact that the FBI has no control over former Agents; they are not connected with the FBI; and it would appear here that frankly Mr. Skousen is attempting to trade on his former Bureau connection. Wick told him that again very frankly Mr. Hoover and the entire FBI does not appreciate this sort of thing and it is simply unfair to inject the FBI into a political matter of this nature.”… [HQ 94-47468, serial number illegible; 7/28/60 memo from C.D. DeLoach to Mr. Mohr re “Administrative Assistant”]

The John Birch Society inflated Skousen’s credentials even further. The January 1968 issue of the John Birch Society Bulletin, page 1, described Skousen as “for many years a top aide to J. Edgar Hoover”.

During my debates with JBS members and sympathizers, some have even claimed that Skousen was “third in command” inside the FBI or that he was an “Assistant Director” – both of which are falsehoods.

Nor is there one particle of evidence in his FBI records to suggest that he was a “top aide” to Hoover. He had a supervisory position within the Communications Section but he had no direct contact with Hoover. The names of Bureau employees who actually were “top aides” to Hoover, appeared on Bureau route slips and they also were stamped on internal memos and correspondence so that important material could be routed to them for review and comment. Skousen’s name does NOT appear on either the route slips or the stamped list of names.

In August 1968, the Bureau received an inquiry concerning the description of Skousen which appeared in the aforementioned JBS Bulletin. A Bureau memo discussing the matter declares: “He has been making numerous speeches around the country in which he describes himself as a former ‘top aide’ to the Director. He did not hold such a position and it is felt we should set the record straight to those inquiring that he was not a ‘top aide’ “ [HQ 94-47468, #88; 8/22/68 memo from G.E. Malmfeldt to Mr. Bishop, captioned Former Special Agent Now Representing Himself As Former ‘Top Aide’ to the Director.]

See this memo here:

Subsequent to his campaign for the Republican nomination for Utah Governor, Skousen became the Editorial Director of the police journal “Law and Order”, and he also associated himself with Fred Schwarz’s Christian Anti-Communism Crusade (CACC) as a frequent speaker at “anti-communism schools” around the country.

The Bureau was not impressed by Schwarz or his anti-communism “schools”. The Bureau’s Chief Inspector (their expert on communist matters), made the following observations about Schwarz:

“As we know, Dr. Schwarz is an opportunist and we are not having anything to do with him and his activities. It might be added that such people as Dr. Schwarz are largely responsible for misinforming people and stirring them up emotionally to the point that when FBI lecturers present the truth, it becomes very difficult for the misinformed to accept it. In my opinion, Schwarz and others like him can only do the country and the anticommunist work of the Bureau harm.” [HQ 62-69602, #297; 3/13/61 memo from FBI Chief Inspector W.C. Sullivan to A.H. Belmont]. The Bureau frequently described Schwarz with the epithet “professional anticommunist” – and they also included Billy James Hargis (Christian Crusade), former FBI Special Agent Dan Smoot and Edgar C. Bundy (Church League of America) in this category.

In October 1961 Skousen participated as a speaker in an “anti-communism school” in New Orleans under the auspices of the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. Ed Palmer, a local television station (WDSU-TV) commentator contacted the Bureau concerning “a number of startling and unbelievable charges” made by Skousen during his speech. One of Skousen’s assertions was that “Harry Hopkins in 1943 had turned over to the Russians 50 suitcases of information concerning the Manhattan Project.” Palmer asked for confirmation that Skousen actually had been an FBI Special Agent. A Bureau memo discussing this controversy states “Apparently Skousen, Schwarz, et al are becoming more and more irresponsible and have apparently succumbed to the philosophy that the ends justify the means.” [HQ file 94-47468, no serial #; 10/26/61 memo from C.D. DeLoach to Mr. Mohr regarding W. Cleon Skousen Statements on Communism, New Orleans Louisiana 10-24-61.]

The Bureau received another inquiry concerning Skousen’s assertions regarding Harry Hopkins. An official of the Jefferson Parish (LA) Chamber of Commerce asked Hoover “Is The Naked Communist based entirely on fact? Is the information concerning Harry Hopkins true, especially the part that he obtained and gave to the Russian Communists Top Secret information on the Atomic Bomb and almost half of our supply of refined uranium?”

The file copy of Hoover’s reply contains the following notation: “It is noted that on page 167 of his book…Skousen states that Harry Hopkins, former aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, supplied Russia with a large quantity of uranium during the early 1940’s. Bufiles contain no information to support this charge or to indicate that Hopkins was engaged in subversive activity.” [HQ 94-47468, #37; 11/1/61 Hoover reply to David A. Moynan Jr., Chairman, Operation Americanism of Jefferson Parish Junior Chamber of Commerce, Metairie LA.]

In January 1962, an official of the Florida State Department of Education contacted the Bureau about Skousen’s 1958 book, The Naked Communist. This official expressed misgivings about use of Skousen’s book in Florida schools and he said he would prefer a textbook written by J. Edgar Hoover. A Bureau memo discussing this matter closes with the following comment: “It is noted that during the past year or so, Skousen has affiliated himself with the extreme right-wing ‘professional anti-communists’ such as Fred Schwarz, who are promoting their own anticommunism for obvious financial purposes.” [HQ 67-69602, no serial #; 1/16/62 memo from W.C. Sullivan to A.H. Belmont regarding inquiry by Fred W. Turner, State of Florida Department of Education.]

Skousen was described by Schwarz’s CACC as a “faculty member”. One such school was named “Project Alert” and it featured Skousen speeches from October thru December 1961 in Wisconsin. The promotional brochure for the school described “faculty member” Skousen as follows:

“Skousen entered the FBI in 1935 and served in various parts of the U.S. for a period of 16 years. During World War II he served as an administrative supervisor under J. Edgar Hoover in Washington D.C…Mr. Skousen was recently appointed the Field Director for the American Security Council. The most outstanding speaker to graduate from the FBI, he averages 350 speeches a year.”

Not surprisingly, the FBI received hundreds of inquiries concerning Skousen’s background and, in particular, his claims to expertise regarding communism.

By October 1961, the Bureau received so many inquiries that Associate Director Clyde Tolson (the #2 official in the Bureau hierarchy) asked subordinates to check Skousen’s personnel file “in an effort to determine what contact he may have had with the subject of communism in connection with his assignments while working for the FBI.”

The resulting 3-page summary memo contained the following observations:

“Skousen entered on duty 10-24-35 in a clerical position and as an Agent on 6-17-40. He resigned while assigned to the Los Angeles Office on 10-5-51…When he first came to the Bureau as a clerical employee in 1935, he was a messenger. On 8-1-37 he became a night supervisor in the Communications Section and on 2-16-39 he became chief of the Communications Section, his work for the most part being connected with the Teletype Unit.“

“He entered Agents’ Training School on 6-17-40. There is no definite indication in his personnel file that he had any contact with the subject of communism other than the fact that in his first office, which was Omaha, an efficiency report indicated that he handled all types of cases except bank robbery and antitrust. He was assigned to the Omaha Office from August 1940, to December 1940, when he transferred to the Kansas City Office.”

“On 4-4-41, he reported to the Chief Clerk’s Office here at the Bureau and was transferred to the Records and Communications Division on 6-25-41. On 6-5-45 he was transferred to the Los Angeles Office. Efficiency reports indicate that he was primarily concerned with criminal, selective service, and applicant work in his field office assignments. During the period he was in the Los Angeles Office, in addition to some criminal work, he was primarily assigned to police training schools and spoke on the subjects of juvenile delinquency, police administration and public relations. Files indicate that he was a notable speaker and was used extensively on speeches beginning in his first office of assignment as an Agent. In the early 1940s Skousen spoke several times on the subjects of sabotage, national defense and subversive groups; however, due to the fact that this was the period leading up to and beginning World War II, the subversive groups to which he had referred were undoubtedly German or Axis powers.”

“During his tenure at the Seat of Government [Washington DC] as an Agent, he was a supervisor in the Chief Clerk’s Office in the Communications Section and later was assigned to what is now known as the Crime Research Section. A review of articles and statements on which Agents of the Crime Research Section conducted research at that time has been checked and there is nothing to indicate that he did any research on the subject of communism; however, he did research for several articles on sabotage.” …

“A brief check of abstracts under Skousen’s name revealed that between 1941 and 1946 he handled a limited number of investigations or wrote reports or memoranda on internal security and espionage classifications, and from 1947 until he resigned there were no abstracts under his name for either the internal security or espionage classifications. Inasmuch as there was no mention in his personnel file of his having anything to do with communist matters, the fact that abstracts indicate he did some internal security and espionage work back in the early 1940s is undoubtedly insignificant, but rather every indication is that he was primarily associated with criminal work.” [HQ 67-69602, #214; 10/12/61 memo from M.A. Jones to Mr. DeLoach].

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have obtained the personnel files of many former FBI Special Agents---including several whose service was during the same time period as Skousen’s. Typically, when an Agent had specific experience with “communist matters”, or the Agent was considered to have developed any expertise in that area, their annual efficiency reports routinely mentioned such accomplishments during the discussion of their overall performance rating. Significantly, Skousen’s performance evaluations DO NOT mention such experience or expertise --- as will be seen below.

In March 1960 Skousen was added to the FBI’s “Special Correspondents List” [SCL]. Persons considered friendly toward Bureau interests were added to the SCL and they were sent FBI publications such as the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, or FBI Uniform Crime Reports, or general data to present the Bureau point of view. Often, correspondence and inquiries from persons on the SCL received expedited attention.

Skousen was added to the SCL because of his previous position as Police Chief in Salt Lake City, as well as him becoming editor of a national law enforcement journal, plus his work as a field representative of the American Security Council (ASC) in Chicago.

Several senior officials of the ASC were former FBI employees, including former Inspector Lee Pennington. Pennington also served on the Americanism Commission of the American Legion. (See below for additional information regarding Skousen and ASC).

However, in September 1961 as the Bureau grew more concerned about “right-wing extremists” around the country, FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson inquired if Cleon Skousen, or former Special Agent Dan Smoot, or Fred Schwarz (Christian Anti-Communism Crusade) were on any Bureau mailing lists.

The answer for Smoot and Schwarz was “no”, but when Tolson learned that Skousen was on the Bureau’s SCL, he instructed that he be removed immediately. J. Edgar Hoover handwrote “Right” on the bottom of the memo discussing the matter. [HQ 94-47468, no serial number; 9/8/61 memo from C.D. DeLoach to Mr. Tolson.]

In April 1962, former FBI Inspector Lee Pennington called the Bureau and spoke to Special Agent Joseph Sizoo. The Bureau memo on this call reports:

“Former Inspector Lee Pennington who is now associated with the American Security Council called Monday in connection with another matter and advised that Skousen had been dropped by the ASC. He had previously represented them in connection with certain speaking commitments, but Pennington said ASC people thought he had ‘gone off the deep end’ and his services had been discontinued.” [HQ 67-69602, #329; 4/11/62 memo from J.A. Sizoo to W.C. Sullivan.]

Retired Admiral Chester Ward was a member of the National Strategy Committee of the American Security Council and his concerns about Skousen were transmitted to the Bureau in January 1963, after Norman H. McCabe (a former FBI Special-Agent-In-Charge), contacted the Bureau.

McCabe brought the attention of the Bureau to Skousen’s proposed participation in a course on communism being sponsored by the ASC. The course was to consist of 65 one-half-hour TV programs featuring Skousen and other alleged authorities on communism.

The Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy (Rear Admiral William C. Mott) contacted FBI Chief Inspector William Sullivan to report his concerns about Skousen’s participation. Sullivan then observed:

“Mott stated that he recently had talked with Admiral Chester Ward, the retired former Judge Advocate General, who told him that he, Ward, had been contacted by Skousen to see if he would be a participating member in the program. Ward told Mott that Skousen impressed him as an ‘unprincipled racketeer in anticommunism’ who is ‘money mad’ and who is doing anything and everything to exploit the subject. Ward told Mott that he intended to have absolutely nothing to do with Skousen in this or any other of his money-making ventures in this field since he feels that Skousen is totally unqualified and is interested solely in furthering his own personal ends.”

“As you know, we frequently receive inquiries from the public regarding Skousen’s qualifications to speak with authority on the subject of communism. In view of his obvious efforts to capitalize on his former Bureau association, I feel that it would be well for us to take positive measures to clarify the Bureau’s position in regard to Skousen whenever we receive public inquiries concerning him. I feel, for example, that in addition to stating that his views are his own, that we should also add in correspondence concerning him that he was not regarded as any authority on communism while employed with the FBI. That is certainly a true statement and it might serve in some measure to prevent Skousen from using the FBI’s name for his own personal gain.” [HQ 67-69602, #338; 1/2/63 memo from W.C. Sullivan to A.H. Belmont.]

See this two-page memo here:

Interesting footnote: the writings of both Admiral Chester Ward and Cleon Skousen were recommended and sold by the John Birch Society. Skousen spoke under the auspices of the JBS Speakers Bureau and he authored a 1963 pamphlet entitled, “The Communist Attack On The John Birch Society” which may be seen here: http://www.zeios.com/OurRepublic/Article/27 [See discussion of this article at end of this report.]

Sometimes, other former FBI Special Agents contacted the Bureau to report adverse evaluations of Skousen’s appearances around the country. For example, in April 1962, former FBI Special Agent Robert Dellwo sent a letter to FBI Chief Inspector W.C. Sullivan. As Sullivan reports:

“Reference is made to the enclosed letter to me from the above-captioned person, a former FBI Agent who remains a very intelligent and staunch supporter of the Bureau. In this letter, he asks if I could lecture on communism to a gathering of some 7500 people whom he thinks it is possible to organize in Spokane, Washington…Further, it is to be noted that this event would be held as a counter to a similar affair held just recently in Spokane where the principal speakers were extreme right-wingers such as Cleon Skousen.” …

“I think it is of interest to the Bureau to note what Mr. Dellwo has to say about Skousen:

‘Skousen generally keeping the people scared and then at the end of his talk enunciated what he termed an extremely simple solution to the whole problem…His general approach was that on the left was totalitarianism. On the right was anarchy. Along side totalitarianism was international communism, next to it was fascism, next to it were the socialists, then the social democrats, and in the middle were wings one and two of the conservatives and liberals of the United States.’ [HQ 94-47468, #52; 4/24/62 memo from W.C. Sullivan to A.H. Belmont].

Skousen’s speeches around the country were often heard by many thousands of persons who attended Fred Schwarz’s “anti communism schools”. His comments were often so inflammatory that J. Edgar Hoover received numerous letters asking for details concerning Skousen’s FBI employment.

One of the standard Hoover replies was sent to Sister Mary Shaun of Notre Dame Convent. Hoover stated:

“I welcome the opportunity to make it perfectly clear that former Special Agents of the FBI are not necessarily experts on communism. Some of them have sought to capitalize on their former employment with this Bureau for the purpose of establishing themselves as such authorities. I am firmly convinced there are too many self-styled experts on communism, without valid credentials and without any access whatsoever to classified, factual data, who are engaging in rumor mongering and hurling false and wholly unsubstantiated allegations against people whose views differ from their own. This makes more difficult the task of the professional investigator.”

“Mr. W. Cleon Skousen entered on duty with the FBI as a clerk on October 24, 1935, in which capacity he served until June 17, 1940, when he became a Special Agent. He voluntarily resigned the latter position on October 5, 1951. Mr. Skousen is no longer associated with the FBI and his opinions are strictly his own and do not represent this Bureau in any way.” [HQ 94-47468, #49; 4/17/62 J. Edgar Hoover reply to Sister Mary Shaun, Notre Dame Convent, Trenton, NJ.]

In 1962, Skousen responded to a 15-page review of his book, The Naked Communist, which was prepared by Dr. Richard Poll, a Political Science professor at Brigham Young University, Provo UT.

In answer to a question concerning when he performed the research for his book, Skousen replied that “most of my research on the theory and early history of Communism was done while I was in the FBI from 1935 to 1951.” [W. Cleon Skousen, My Reply To Dr. Richard D. Poll and His Critique of The Naked Communist, Ensign Publishing Co., Salt Lake City, page 2].

There are several problems with this Skousen answer.

•First, from October 1935 to June 1940, Skousen was not yet a Special Agent. He was busy with training classes and he served in administrative capacities such as writing training manuals, conducting applicant interviews, conducting tours, supervising Mail Room and Communication Section employees, etc.
•Second, as seen in the summary for Associate Director Tolson, when the Bureau checked, it could find no records to indicate that he did any research on communism.
•Third, when the Bureau checked its records, it found that between 1941 and 1946 Skousen had limited exposure to internal security matters and from 1947 until his retirement in 1951 there were no abstracts under his name for internal security or espionage classifications.
•Last, none of his performance evaluations state that he did any research into communism or that he participated in investigations pertaining to communist matters

The November 3, 2006 issue of the Birch Society magazine, The New American, contains an article about Skousen by Warren Mass entitled “He Definitely Made A Difference”.

That article includes this outrageous falsehood:

“Given that during his tenure as an FBI Agent Skousen was closely associated with J. Edgar Hoover [Skousen was one of two FBI agents authorized to speak about communism if Hoover could not address the topic himself], it is not surprising that Skousen became knowledgeable about the subversive communist threat, knowledge that led him to publish The Naked Communist in 1958.”

As the data above (and below) reveals:

I. Skousen was never “closely associated with J. Edgar Hoover”.

II. Skousen was NOT “one of two FBI agents authorized to speak about communism”. On sensitive subjects such as communism or internal security matters, the Bureau almost always authorized as a speaker either the FBI Chief Inspector (their expert on communist matters) OR somebody who worked within their Domestic Intelligence Division (DID) – usually a Supervisor or Section Chief. Skousen never worked in DID and he never had significant exposure to data concerning communist matters --- as his performance review comments below demonstrate. His expertise was primarily administrative (which is why you will see so many references below to his participation in FBI Field Office inspections).

III. And, as the summary prepared for Associate Director Tolson (quoted above) points out, the Bureau’s records do not reveal that Skousen performed any research on communism and “from 1947 until he resigned there were no abstracts under his name for either the internal security or espionage classifications.”

A July 1961 memo from the FBI’s Chief Inspector, W.C. Sullivan, to A.H. Belmont discusses a report in a San Antonio TX newspaper which mentioned that Skousen was planning to write a textbook on communism. Sullivan confirms yet again that Skousen developed no particular expertise regarding communist matters while in the Bureau:

“As we know, Skousen, when he was in the FBI, did not concentrate in the field of communism. However, he has been giving lectures on the subject around the country, and during the past year has affiliated himself with the extreme right-wing groups under the leadership of Frederick Schwartz [sic] of Texas. The above, to me, is another example of why a sound, scholarly textbook on communism by the Director is urgently and badly needed.” [HQ 67-69602, #311; 7/29/61 memo from Sullivan to Belmont.]

In September 1964, the John Birch Society magazine, American Opinion, published a summary about J. Edgar Hoover’s career which was written by Skousen and the magazine’s front cover featured a painting of Hoover by Daniel Michael Canavan. Senior FBI officials debated whether or not to acknowledge Skousen’s favorable article about Hoover. The Bureau memo on the matter observes:

“The activities of Skousen are well known to the Bureau…In recent years he has been aligned closely with the extreme right-wing such as the John Birch Society and has been characterized as an ‘unprincipled racketeer in anticommunism’ who is ‘money mad’ and who is doing everything and anything to exploit the subject of anticommunism. Bureau files reveal Skousen has always been a strong supporter of the Bureau and the Director; however, he has not hesitated to trade on his former association with the Bureau in order to achieve stature as a writer and lecturer on anticommunism. In view of this, it is not felt we should acknowledge his favorable comments about Mr. Hoover. Bufiles reflect that in 1951 the Bureau conducted a Departmental applicant investigation on a Daniel Michael Canavan of New York City. This investigation revealed that Canavan had been discharged from the Army in 1946 because of ‘schizophrenic reaction, paranoid type’. A later name check form on Canavan reflected that he was self-employed as a commercial artist.” HQ 62-104401, #2280; 10/8/64 memo from M.A. Jones to Mr. DeLoach.]


At this point I will quote extensively from a detailed 14-page summary of Skousen’s performance reports which was prepared in 1961. As will be seen below, there are repeated references to his assignments being primarily administrative. And when commendations are discussed, it usually pertains to matters concerning Skousen’s research, speeches, and activities concerning juvenile delinquency and police school instruction.

The references below to “SAC” refer to the Special-Agent-in-Charge who wrote Skousen’s performance evaluations:

OMAHA FIELD OFFICE (August to December 1940)

“SAC Stein reported he [Skousen] was very promising material, was mature beyond his years and exercised very good judgment, was well acquainted with Bureau policy and was above average in intelligence, industry and comprehension of the Bureau’s work, had handled all types of cases in that office except bankruptcy and antitrust with very good results…had made numerous speeches and several persons had informed he made a very good talk and was a fine representative of the Bureau, it was believed he possessed both administrative and executive ability…”

KANSAS CITY FIELD OFFICE (December 1940 to April 1941)

“SAC Brantley reported he had a rather comprehensive knowledge of the duties of a Special Agent for one so new in the service…the U.S. Attorney had commented favorably upon his work, got along well with peace officers and his work among confidential informants had been satisfactory as well as his participation in the American Legion program.”


“On 4-4-41 he was transferred to the Seat of Government where he was assigned to the Chief Clerk’s Office as a supervisor. By memorandum dated 4-14-41, Mr. Clegg said from interviewing re-trainees he had learned that this Agent had done some remarkably fine work as an instructor and that repeated statements had been made concerning his recent delivery of lectures before police groups…Mr. Glavin reported this Agent had been assigned to the duties of interviewing clerical applicants and the manner in which he had been performing his duties was particularly pleasing, his memoranda had been very concise and yet complete…in connection with his interview, had briefed a number of files during his assignment and he had handled miscellaneous Congressional inquiries.

FBI HQ – COMMUNICATIONS SECTION (June 1941 – August 1944)

“On 6-25-41 he was placed in charge of the Communications Section. Mr. Nichols reported he had done excellent work in the training of new Messengers and new employees, had imagination, could think problems through, followed details thoroughly…his work had been very satisfactory…By letter dated 10-14-41, the Director advised he was pleased to note the fine compliment which had been paid to this Agent as a Bureau representative when he addressed the Missouri Press Association. By memorandum dated 11-28-41 Mr. Nichols expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner in which this Agent handled a telephone call with Howard Hiatt. As a result of the mishandling of two radiograms, this Agent was censured by letter dated 1-30-42 for not properly instructing all employees in the Communication Section. On the 1942 annual efficiency rating he was rated as excellent by Mr. Nichols…In January 1943, Mr. Nichols reported this Agent had developed considerably during the past year, definitely had administrative ability, handled personnel very well and the morale in his section was among the highest in the Bureau…On 6-7-43 he was designated Personnel Assistant of the Communications and Records Division. In a memorandum to the Director dated 9-2-43, Mr. Laughlin said this Agent was made available to the Staff of the House Appropriations Committee to conduct a survey and inquiry into the central switchboard and teletype facilities operated by the Central Administrative Services of the Office for Emergency Management for the use of the various war agencies…On 1-11-44, Mr. Hicks said based on observations made by representatives of the Training Division during the past year, this Agent was considered a better than average lecturer…By letter dated 3-31-44, this Agent was advised the failure of one of the employees of the Mail Review and Dispatch Unit to carry out specific instructions in connection with the mailing of a letter which was to receive special handling in the Washington Field Office reflected upon the administration of his office. On the 1944 annual efficiency rating, he was rated excellent by Mr. Nichols. Beginning March 27, 1944 this Agent was assigned to the Washington Field Office for a period of two weeks. SAC Hottel reported that during the first week he was assigned to general investigations…During the second week he was engaged in security matter investigations, spending one day of the week in the operation of a technical surveillance. On 6-22-44, SAC Abbaticchio commended the talk that Agent Skousen gave at the Rotary Club, Birmingham AL on 6-21-44. On 8-1-44 he was assigned to Crime Records Section.

FBI HQ – CRIME RECORDS SECTION (August 1944 to June 1945)

“On 10-19-44 Mr. Nichols rated him excellent…Since his assignment in Crime Records he had general supervision over the preparation of ‘FBI This Week’ and ‘The Investigator’ and had done a very good job on each. At the present time he was being quite successful in improving each publication and in creating additional interest in the magazines on the part of Bureau personnel. He had handled several assignments involving original writing and had done a uniformly good job on each. He had also handled a number of very special tours in a very creditable manner. He had likewise filled several speaking engagements and the response from each had been uniformly good…By letter dated 3-3-45 he was commended for the fine comments received concerning his recent address at a Parent Teachers Association meeting. On 3-31-45 Mr. Nichols rated him excellent and said he had an excellent appearance, a winning personality, and an abundance of enthusiasm. He had had general supervision over The Investigator and FBI This Week since his assignment in the section and had done an outstanding job on each…He had developed two of the girls of the section to the point where they could handle much of the work on these two publications. He was one of the best speakers in the Bureau and had given a number of speeches in Washington and vicinity during the past year…In addition he had taken quite a number of special visitors through the Bureau on tours and his work in this regard was outstanding…On 5-24-45 Mr. H.H. Clegg advised that Skousen was afforded training as an Inspector’s assistant on 5-21 and 22, 1945 and it was believed he was qualified to assist in the course of field office inspections…On 6-5-45 he was transferred to the Los Angeles Office due to his ill health and his headquarters was also at San Bernardino.”

LOS ANGELES FIELD OFFICE (June 1945 – thru retirement 10/5/51)

On 8-13-45 SAC Hood rated him excellent and said since arriving in the Los Angeles Office he had been assigned to Selective Service investigation and recently was assigned to a special squad investigating black market activities…On 11-28-45, Mr. Gurnea advised the Bureau that Agent Skousen assisted him during the inspection of the Portland office…He had an excellent knowledge of the Bureau’s rules and regulations and required a minimum amount of supervision after his assignments were made…In January 1946 he was recommended for possible development as an SAC…On 3-31-46 SAC Hood rated him excellent and said he made a splendid personal appearance…He organized his work well, proceeded on his own responsibility and by application of initiative and good judgment was successful in bringing cases to a logical conclusion…He had been assigned to Selective Service matters where he had performed an average volume of work. He had also worked on Black Market activities in the field office and did a commendable job. He had made numerous speeches during his assignment here for which he had received letters of commendation…It was believed he definitely possessed supervisory or administrative ability…On 4-3-46 his SAC was advised that Skousen recently completed a specialized course in juvenile control at the Seat of Government and was now qualified as an instructor in Juvenile control. He was also qualified as a general police instructor. On 5-23-46 the SAC of the Portland Office advised that Skousen handled the subjects of ‘Public Relations’ and ‘Juvenile Delinquency’ at the statewide school of Police Administration held in Portland March 6th to 9th…By letter dated 8-28-46 he was commended for the excellent manner in which he conducted an interview with Mr. John M. Zook, Los Angeles County Probation officer…On 3-31-47 SAC Hood rated him excellent…He was an outstanding representative of the Bureau before law enforcement officers…His SAC had occasion to commend him on numerous occasions for speeches made before local groups…He had a good knowledge of the techniques involved in physical and technical surveillances…It is to be noted during an inspection of the Los Angeles Office in February 1947, Inspector Gurnea advised he was attached to the general criminal squad. In addition, he assisted in police school work…In April 1947 Mr. O.C. Smith, Chief of Police of Whittier CA commended this Agent and others for the training the officers of his department received in gunnery and various phases of police investigation from these Agents…On 1-29-48 Mr. Gurnea advised Agent Skousen assisted him during the inspection of the Phoenix office and he was particularly familiar with office administrative devices when compared with other Agents…On 3-31-48 SAC Hood rated him excellent…He was assigned to the general criminal investigative squad and had the responsibility of writing the Crime Survey and also Interesting Case Write-Ups. During this period the majority of his time had been used as a police instructor. He also was used as an Inspector’s Aide and gave numerous Bureau speeches…He was outstanding in research matters, he spent considerable time doing research on police administration and supervision, juvenile matters, crime conditions and allied matters…On 12-21-48 Inspector Gurnea advised that Agent Skousen assisted him during the Butte and Salt Lake City inspections.”

All the subsequent remarks repeat the same type observations as reported above. The comments praise all the work Skousen did with respect to writing manuscripts pertaining to juvenile delinquency and his participation at police school training classes. In May 1950, for example: “It is to be noted on 5-3-50 the SAC of the San Diego Office stated that Agent Skousen was primarily responsible for the organization and handling of a Juvenile Crime Control School at San Diego California, April 25-27th…On 7-11-50…he had been most outstanding as a police instructor during the past year in the office, having devoted considerable personal time to the preparation of material for his lectures…On 9-15-51, SAC Hood rated him satisfactory and stated he had served exclusively in handling police schools, making speeches, and instructing moot court procedure.”

The last entry on this summary concerns his speeches after leaving the FBI:

“Memorandum to Mr. Belmont dated 3-1-61, reflected that Mr. Skousen had spoken on Communism and his recent speeches in this field were beginning to border on the verge of rabble rousing.” [HQ 62-69602, #334; 5/23/61 summary memo by C.R. Davidson to Mr. Callahan, captioned “W. Cleon Skousen – Former Special Agent”.]


By W. Cleon Skousen

During his FBI career, Mr. Skousen’s performance evaluations frequently praised his excellent research skills, attention to detail and mastery of the subject matters he had occasion to write about.

Given that background, it is difficult to explain the factual errors and analytic shallowness revealed in his pamphlet entitled The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society [Ensign Publishing Company, Salt Lake City, 1963, 12pp]. It almost appears as though he just contacted the Public Relations department of the Birch Society and asked them for copies of their press releases which he then reprinted as though he had done independent research on this subject matter.

What follows is a brief analysis of some of Skousen’s key points. First I will present Skousen’s comment (as a numbered item) and then appropriate commentary.

Page 1:

(1) “The strange thing about the John Birch Society is that practically nobody paid any attention to it until the Communist Party officially ordered its annihilation.”

According to JBS founder Robert Welch, he deliberately avoided publicity in the Society’s formative period. Membership was by invitation only. The Communist Party never “officially ordered its annihilation.” More details about this matter below.

(2) “I first heard of the JBS in 1958. Several prominent businessmen in Los Angeles told me they were organizing a study group program to see if they could work more closely with the members of Congress through both political parties.”

The founding meeting of the JBS was held on December 8-9, 1958 in Indianapolis. The first chapters of the JBS were not organized until late in February 1959 and they weren’t in Los Angeles, they were in the Boston area, so it would appear Skousen has not recollected his dates correctly.

Page 2

(3) “It was not difficult to find out about the John Birch Society.”

As mentioned above, it was deliberate policy by Robert Welch to avoid publicity and membership was by invitation only.

In a 1959 pamphlet entitled "To A Good American", Welch commented:

"You have probably heard nothing about the Society, because we avoid publicity as well as we can."

Even as late as April 1960, Robert Welch told the JBS National Council that:

“Despite our wish to avoid publicity all we can, there have been items or brief articles about the JBS breaking out in the press recently in various papers all over the country and elsewhere. So far all that we have seen have been favorable….But we know that as soon as the major media of communications in America learn enough about us and our activities, their treatment of the JBS will – in all but a very few cases anyway – be anything but favorable. So, for this and many other reasons, we should like to have the help of our Council members in keeping general publicity about us to a minimum.” [“A Confidential Report to Members of the Council of the John Birch Society”, undated but identified as reflecting the minutes of the meeting held Saturday, April 2, 1960 at the Harvard Club of New York, page 4.]

Welch then told his Council about an attack upon him and the Society which was launched not by any “Communist” – but, instead, by Elizabeth Dilling in her monthly newsletter, The Dilling Bulletin of October 1959 – which he also had discussed in an editorial which he wrote for the December 1959 issue of the JBS magazine American Opinion. In that editorial, Welch described the “monthly bulletin of one of the best-known ‘extremists’ on the anti-Communist side of the current ideological wars. That bulletin took your editor to pieces, mercilessly, on the grounds that his Committee Against Summit Entanglements consisted of ‘nothing but Jews and Jew-kissers’.” [Ibid, page 5]

Page 3

(4) “The first trickle of open publicity came from an article by Jack Mabley with the Chicago American. He wrote a column on July 26, 1960 in which he attacked Robert Welch and the John Birch movement. However, I did not see any further public criticism of the group until the Communist Party ordered the annihilation of the John Birchers six months later.”

The articles by Chicago newspaperman, Jack Mabley, were not the "first" publicity on the JBS, nor were Mabley’s articles published in the “Chicago American” as Skousen claimed.

But Mabley's articles were front page news reports in Chicago’s third largest circulation newspaper {Chicago Daily News – commencing July 25th 1960 – not the 26th as Skousen claimed) and they were published at the exact time that the GOP National Convention convened in Chicago to select their 1960 Presidential nominee. It was, to put it mildly, sensational news which ignited a firestorm within GOP circles.

Nor were Mabley’s articles an “attack” upon either Welch or the JBS as Skousen claims.

It was an accurate report, with direct quotations of what Welch wrote, from his then-unpublished “private letter” manuscript, entitled The Politician, concerning President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Here are two excerpts from Welch’s book-length “private letter” which produced the firestorm.

Page 266: "For the sake of honesty, however, I want to confess here my own conviction that Eisenhower's motivation is more ideological than opportunistic. Or, to put it bluntly, I personally think that he has been sympathetic to ultimate Communist aims, realistically willing to use Communist means to help them achieve their goals, knowingly accepting and abiding by Communist orders, and consciously serving the Communist conspiracy, for all of his adult life."

Page 267: "And it seems to me that the explanation of sheer political opportunism, to account for Eisenhower's Communist-aiding career, stems merely from a deep-rooted aversion of any American to recognizing the horrible truth. Most of the doubters, who go all the way with me except to the final logical conclusion, appear to have no trouble whatever in suspecting that Milton Eisenhower is an outright Communist. Yet they draw back from attaching the same suspicion to his brother, for no other real reason than that one is a professor and the other a president. While I too think that Milton Eisenhower is a Communist, and has been for thirty years, this opinion is based largely on general circumstances of his conduct. But my firm belief that Dwight Eisenhower is a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy is based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to me to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt."

Even Welch (and his friends) were acutely aware of the damage that his comments about Eisenhower would have if publicly known. For example, in a letter to J.W. Clise of Seattle, Welch wrote:

“Our rather extreme precautions with regard to this document are not due to any worry on my part as to what might happen to myself…But many of my best informed friends feel that having the manuscript get into the wrong hands at the present time might do far more damage than good to the whole anti-Communist cause; whereas, by distributing it very carefully and quietly to quite a limited number of strongly patriotic leaders, so that the information in this document becomes a background to their own thinking on which their own actions are determined it can do considerable good.” [2/25/59 letter to J.W. Clise, Seattle WA].

Jack Mabley acquired his copy of the unpublished Welch manuscript from a functionary of Fred Schwarz (Christian Anti Communism Crusade). Welch was furious with Schwarz for his role in releasing the manuscript. In a blistering 9-page letter to Schwarz, Welch made the comments quoted below.

At the beginning of his letter, Welch falsifies Cleon Skousen’s premise about the origins of critical commentaries about the JBS. He reports several instances where anti-Communists bad-mouthed and “knifed” both Welch and the JBS.

Welch then pointed out that he and the JBS had “given specific instructions to our men in the field…to praise and support Fred Schwarz’s activities at every turn” and “I believe that this policy and these instructions have been universally observed.”

"During the last few months, however, we now know that you personally have repeatedly been making extremely derogatory remarks about myself and The John Birch Society, to various groups and audiences; and that you have been reading from my private manuscript, called The Politician to support your disparaging remarks. We know that you have privately said things about me and the Society, to important conservative leaders, which -- in some cases anyway --- has caused those leaders to discontinue strong support which was already being given us by their organizations.

"But most important of all it was one of your men in Chicago, a close associate of yours and a life member of your organization, who deliberately set off the publicity about The Politician which has caused such furore in several Midwestern papers and at some other points in the country. This man had 'dropped in' on the meetings of some of our chapters in Greater Chicago--even though doing so required a two-hour trip, both ways, to and from his home --- for the ostensible reason that he was going to join whatever chapter was the most convenient for himself...Then, after our films had been shown, and at the psychological time to do the most possible damage, this man got up and read at length from The Politician, exhibited the copy he had with him, and otherwise tosses as harmful a bombshell as he possibly could into the proceedings. Apparently, Jack Mabley, the Chicago Daily News columnist, was in that audience by previous arrangement. At any rate, there is little doubt that the copy of The Politician which your man displayed at that meeting was turned over to Mabley as the basis of the vicious part of his two articles – and then sent by Mabley to Alexander Dobish of the Milwaukee Journal for the articles that followed..."[Welch letter dated 9/6/60, to Dr. Fred Schwarz, Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, pages 3-4, copy in my possession.]

Welch then spends considerable space discussing what could be the reasons behind what he considered Schwarz’s betrayal. Welch reveals the degree to which the unfavorable publicity hurt him:

“Disagreement is one thing, outside of the Communist world itself, or in relation to the Communists, [but] vindictive destructiveness towards those with whom we disagree – especially if they have the same ultimate purposes as ourselves – is quite another.” [Ibid, page 8]

Let’s recap the time-line which Skousen asks us to believe.

July 1960 – the first negative “attack” by Jack Mabley – then –

December 1960 – the subsequent “further public criticism” commenced as a consequence of CPUSA “orders”

However, no less an authority than Robert Welch himself falsifies this time-line. In a November 16, 1960 memo to his National Council, he announced that one item on the agenda for the next Council meeting would be:

“A brief report of the various smears of, and attacks on, the Society during the past few months.” [11/16/60 memo captioned “To All Members of the Council”, page 1 -- bold type is my emphasis.]

Two months BEFORE even this 11/60 memo, Welch sent a memo to his Council which refers to what he discussed during a September 10, 1960 meeting of the Council at JBS headquarters in Belmont MA. Referring to that meeting, Welch wrote:

“Later in the morning I also read to those present the nine-page letter we had written to Dr. Fred Schwarz, which is self-explanatory, and which will give you information concerning the origin of the recent unfavorable newspaper publicity about us, which will undoubtedly surprise many members of the Council.” [9/14/60 Welch memo, “To All Members of the Council”, page 1.]

Thus, in summary, as can be seen, the initial criticisms of both Welch and the Birch Society originated not from “Communists” but from persons and organizations on his side of the political spectrum---particularly as a result of newspaper publicity about the content of Welch’s “private letter”, The Politician.


There were numerous controversies around the country in which JBS members were the primary actors – and those controversies also triggered critical articles in local media about the JBS and its ideas. For example, in Amarillo TX there was a huge controversy over comments made by the JBS Coordinator, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. William L. Lee, against the National Council of Churches of Christ.

But perhaps most significant was Birch Society involvement in promoting the showing of the filmstrip, “Communism on the Map” (hereafter COTM).

COTM was a one hour filmstrip produced by National Education Program (at Harding College of Searcy Arkansas). The narrative was written by NEP Executive Director Glenn A. Green. Green was a JBS member. He contacted Robert Welch in November 1959 to offer his services as a Volunteer Coordinator for the JBS in the state of Arkansas. [12/28/59 Welch letter to Thomas J. Anderson, Nashville TN – includes Welch comments about Glenn Green.]

Robert Welch recommended showing COTM in the November 1960 JBS Bulletin (page 9) and he claimed “that the smear campaign against us” was designed in part “to put a stop to, or handicap, our own very extensive showings of Operation Abolition and COTM…” [JBS Bulletin, September 1961, p 16.]

Welch took credit for numerous showings of COTM around the country. For example, in the August 1961JBS Bulletin, page 16, Welch wrote:

“In one of our Bulletins earlier this year…we mentioned the huge part our members had played in showing the filmstrip, COTM, all over the country. We said then, and believe now, that our members had been responsible for more presentations of COTM, and also of the film Operation Abolition, than all other groups and individuals put together.”


In view of Welch’s attempt to link what he considered “the smear campaign” against the JBS to the JBS “extensive showings” of COTM, this would be an opportune moment to reveal the FBI evaluation of the filmstrip.

“In recent months we have received a number of inquiries concerning a lecture and film strip entitled Communism on the Map….This lecture and film strip was reviewed on December 22, 1960 by Section Chief G.H. Scatterday and Special Agents C.D. Brennan, (name deleted), V.E. Ruehl, and (names deleted). The lecture and film strip was prepared by the National Education Program, Searcy Arkansas of which George S. Benson is on the Bureau’s special correspondents list and we have no derogatory information concerning him or his organization.”

“The film stressed the rise of international communism from its beginning in Russia to its current alleged encirclement of the United States. It covered Soviet infiltration and control of various European, African and Asian countries and indicated substantial Soviet infiltration into South America, Latin America, and Canada, which is gradually encircling the United States. The principal theme of the lecture is based upon an alleged statement by Lenin, ‘First we will take Eastern Europe. Next, the masses of Asia. Then we shall encircle the last bastion of capitalism, the United States of America. We shall not have to attack. It will fall like an overripe fruit into our hands.’

In this connection, it should be noted that this alleged statement has previously come to the Bureau’s attention and extensive research by the Central Research Section has failed to establish that this or a similar statement was ever attributed to Lenin.”

“Through such statements and the use of pictures, newspaper headlines and maps, the lecture and film strip frequently deal in half truths, distortion of truth and innuendos to establish its point, that international communism is encircling America. Through references to activities in the 1940’s, it infers that the United States Government is heavily infiltrated by communists at the present time. These references refer to the days of Coplon, Hiss, and others; however, through the distorted presentation of this material, the average person may believe there are currently many communists in Government service. Although the FBI is not mentioned by name, the lecture and film strip could well be interpreted as indirectly implying that the FBI has been most derelict in its duties in not eliminating spies and communists from Government service.”

“It was the consensus of opinion of the Agents reviewing the lecture and film strip that it is not the type of material which should be used or endorsed by the FBI.”

The “Recommendations” section of memo includes following notation: “Suggest we tell Williams for the Admiral’s information, that we agree with Admiral Smedberg that the film is biased.” Hoover wrote “OK” and he initialed the suggestion – which was “handled 1/3/61”. [HQ 62-33413, #4287; 12/23/60 review memo by F.J. Baumgardner to A.H. Belmont after they obtained a copy of COTM from the U.S. Navy.]

Given this evaluation by the FBI, it should be self-evident that JBS promotion of, and participation in, showing such a film “extensively” around the country could (and did) produce very critical comments about the type of “anti-communism” which the JBS offered – and this had nothing whatsoever to do with any “Communist” “smear campaign” against the JBS.

With respect to Skousen’s claim that he “did not see any further public criticism” of the JBS “until the Communist Party ordered the annihilation of the JBS six months later”, (which translates to end of December 1960) see the list of newspaper articles below.

According to Skousen,

“On February 25, 1961, the official Communist newspaper on the West Coast called the Daily People's World, fired the opening broadside. The article was entitled, ‘Enter (from Stage Right) THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY.’ The article depicted the John Birchers as a secret, Fascist society and said that it was setting up ‘cells’ all across the country.”

Date................................................Publication or Source

04/15/60……………………………..........Phoenix AZ Republic

07/25/60.............................................Chicago Daily News

07/30/60.............................................Racine WI Journal-Times

07/31/60.............................................Milwaukee WI Journal

08/01/60…………………………….........Oshkosh WI Daily Northwestern

08/01/60.............................................Appleton WI Post-Crescent

08/03/60…………………………….........Milwaukee WI Journal

08/04/60.............................................Appleton WI Post-Crescent

08/07/60.............................................Amarillo TX News-Globe

08/10/60.............................................Appleton WI Post-Crescent

08/11/60…………………………….........Vilas WI News-Review

08/14/60..............................................Amarillo TX News-Globe

[Note: Extensive News-Globe coverage of local controversies involving Birchers was responsible for correspondence received by the FBI inquiring about the JBS. Also, several FBI memos between top FBI officials concerning the JBS referred to letters received from Texas residents who were concerned about inflammatory comments made by Birchers – including JBS National Council members.]

08/26/60………………………………........Appleton WI Post-Crescent

08/30/60...............................................Chicago IL Daily News

08/28-30/60..........................................Boston MA Herald

09/60...................................................NAM resolution

In September 1960, the National Association of Manufacturers released the following statement:

NAM believes completely in the loyalty and integrity of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and further believes he courageously and forthrightly has guided the foreign and domestic policies of the United States in the direction in which in his judgment the best interests of this country lie. NAM as an organization does not and will not knowingly be associated with any individual or be a party to any organization that questions the loyalty or integrity of President Eisenhower or attempts to degrade the fundamental respect due him and his high office.”

09/13/60..........................................….Chicago IL Daily News

09/25/60………………………………........Milwaukee WI Journal

09/29/60...............................................San Marino CA Tribune

09/30/60...............................................The Tidings (Boston MA Catholic publication)

11/15/60...............................................The Sunflower (Univ of Wichita KS student paper)

11/28/60...............................................Stamford CT Advocate column by W.D. Workman

12/16/60...............................................Phoenix AZ Republic

12/16/60………………………………........Phoenix AZ Republic

01/12/61………………………………........Cody WY Enterprise

01/13/61………………………………........Butte MT Standard

01/14/61………………………………........Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express

01/22/61.......................................... ….St. Louis MO Post-Dispatch

01/22-23/61...........................................Santa Barbara CA News-Press

In addition, many newspapers published critical articles about the JBS a few days prior to, or several days after, when the Communist Party’s People's World article about the Birch Society was published on February 25, 1961 but it is worth noting that reporters began their research for those articles weeks before their publication, which again, falsifies Skousen's time-line innuendo regarding "Communist" directed smears.

02/10/61................................................Pasadena CA Independent Star-News

02/13/61................................................Pasadena CA Independent Star-News

02/16/61……………………………….........Montrose CA Ledger

02/19/61……………………………….........Louisville KY Courier-Journal

02/21/61...............................................Pasadena CA Independent Star-News

03/05/61………………………………........Los Angeles Times

Pages 4-5:

(5) Skousen cites testimony by Edward Hunter before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in July 1961 in support of his [Skousen’s] assertion that “Moscow Orders An Attack on All Anti-Communists”. The Moscow “manifesto” supposedly was produced in December 1960 as a result of a “conference of 81 Communist parties of the world.” Then Skousen states that:

“A short time later the opening blast against all anti-Communists in the United States was initiated by a concentrated attack on the John Birch Society. Because the Birch Society was practically unknown to the general American public, I wondered how the Communist Party would launch its campaign. I had no idea that the legitimate American press would fall for the line which the Communists were about to broadcast. On February 25, 1961, the official Communist newspaper on the west coast called the Daily People’s World, fired the opening broadside. The article was entitled ‘ENTER (from Stage Right) THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY.”

As demonstrated by my listing of newspaper articles above, this is entirely fantasy by Skousen. As even Robert Welch acknowledged to his National Council members in November 1960, there had already been “various smears of, and attacks on, the Society during the past few months.” [my emphasis].

And the first paragraph of the September 1960 JBS Bulletin opened with the following lament by Robert Welch:

“For the past five weeks – it seems like five months – the John Birch Society has lived through one massive smear campaign on a national scale, and several regional attacks with varying degrees of plausibility, reach, and impact.”

Furthermore, as the JBS grew and its members started acting upon the recommended activities in JBS Bulletins (prior to the February 1961 article in People’s World), they provoked heated controversies in communities around the nation.

The controversies included the aforementioned showings of COTM, the effort by the JBS to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court, JBS-initiated attacks on the patriotism of prominent authors such as Harry A. Overstreet (and claims that his 1958 book, What We Must Know About Communism was “pro-Communist”), attacks on the League of Women Voters, attacks on the National Council of Churches of Christ and sensational charges about purported “Communist infiltration” of our clergy and religious institutions, the outrage over comments made by Robert Welch in his “private letter”, The Politician, an anti-UNICEF campaign, attacks on the ACLU and anyone working for elimination of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, attacks on the Great Decisions discussion group program, JBS infiltration of PTA’s, anti-fluoridation activities, and many many more local controversies too numerous to list.

The FBI prepared a summary report on the JBS in April 1961 and a section of the report was captioned "The Present Controversy". The summary does not mention "Communist" direction of any "smear" campaign against the JBS.

Instead, the Bureau presented a different interpretation about the reasons for the controversy regarding the JBS:

"The JBS is probably one of the most controversial organizations in the country today. This controversy stems mainly from the allegations made by Welch and the Society alluding to President Eisenhower being procommunist; the allegations that there are communists in other high Government positions; and calling for the impeachment of Chief Justice Warren. This controversy has led to many attacks on Welch and the Society through the newspapers and in some congressional circles." [FBI HQ file 62-104401, #1746; 8/29/62 J. Edgar Hoover memo to Deputy Attorney General]

The Testimony by Edward Hunter

During his testimony Hunter told the Subcommittee that the growth of a grass-roots anticommunist movement across the United States resulted in a Moscow-initiated campaign to squelch the movement. The new communist campaign was set in motion and “openly initiated under orders issued to the Communist forces of the world, especially to those in the United States, through the Red manifesto of December 5, 1960.” [Hunter testimony before Senate Subcommittee To Investigate The Administration of the Internal Security Act And Other Internal Security Laws: “The New Drive Against The Anti-Communist Program”, 7/11/61, page 3]

The FBI’s evaluation of Hunter’s observations was as follows:

“This tactic by the Party – an anti-anti-communist movement – is not new. It has been part of communist strategy for years and will continue to be used as a weapon by Communist Parties throughout the world as long as individuals and groups remain free to expose the sinister aims of communism. We are not aware of any specific instructions sent out by Moscow to the CPUSA for the Party to engage in an ‘anti-anticommunist’ campaign. Hunter apparently does not have such information but relies on the published Moscow Manifesto for his conclusions.” [HQ 118-4047, #28 which is 8/30/61 memo from F.J. Baumgardner to W.C. Sullivan.]

Page 6:

Skousen discusses some of the statements made in a Time magazine article about the JBS which he thinks reveals their acceptance of Communist-initiated propaganda about the JBS. For example, the Time article reported that the Society intended to set up “Communist-style front organizations that do not use the John Birch name” which Skousen objected to with the following observations:

(6) “Why the non-specific charge that the Birchers promote ‘Communist-style front organizations’? What front organizations? I had heard of none.”

At the beginning of my analysis, I referred to Skousen’s “analytic shallowness”. This is an excellent example. In the JBS Blue Book, which is the transcript of Welch’s remarks to the founding meeting of the JBS in December 1958, Welch explicitly mentions in the chapter “And So Let’s Act” that:

“We would organize fronts – little fronts, big fronts, temporary fronts, permanent fronts, all kinds of fronts…The most effective fronts, on either side, are ad hoc committees, aimed to accomplish, or at least publicize, one particular purpose.” [JBS Blue Book, page 86].

Nor was this just a theoretical discussion because from the outset, in 1959, the JBS operated its front group, “Committee Against Summit Entanglements” aka CASE, to protest the proposed visit of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to the U.S.

And in December 1959, Welch announced:

“We are in the process of setting up another one of our comparatively small fronts…It is called College Graduates Against Educating Traitors At Government Expense.” [JBS Bulletin, December 1959, page 9]

The JBS also initiated the Movement to Impeach Earl Warren (aka Committee to Impeach Earl Warren) and, in later years, a slew of other front groups such as: Support Your Local Police, Truth About Civil Turmoil (TACT), To Restore American Independence Now (TRAIN), Movement to Restore Decency (MOTOREDE) – to name just a few.

It strains credulity that Skousen was not aware, in 1963, of this JBS interest, from its inception, in creation and use of front organizations.

Furthermore, during the 1960’s the JBS operated one of the largest Speakers Bureaus in our nation. Literally dozens of individuals were available to speak on topics which presented the JBS point of view. The sponsoring local group was often a JBS-front (such as Truth About Civil Turmoil or Support Your Local Police) but the publicity releases on the speakers rarely mentioned any connection to the JBS and newspaper articles which reported the speeches often did not mention the link either.

As I think I have demonstrated by what is presented above, Cleon Skousen functioned as a shill for the JBS – and he performed no independent research before writing his “Communist Attack…” pamphlet.

In future editions of this report, I will analyze other writings by Skousen, including the liberties he took with respect to critiquing Carroll Quigley’s 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope which resulted in Skousen’s book, “The Naked Capitalist”.

For a review of Skousen's 1981 book, The Five Thousand Year Leap: Twenty-Eight Great Ideas That Are Changing The World -- see: 5000 YEAR LEAP

For additional information concerning the FBI's evaluation of Robert Welch, the Birch Society, and the assertions they made, see my 91-page report FBI FILES ON BIRCH SOCIETY


by W. Cleon Skousen

Law and Order magazine, March 1971

In March 1971, J. Edgar Hoover saw a copy of Skousen’s article in Law and Order magazine and he asked staff in the FBI’s Crime Research Section: “Can we authenticate statements made in this article?”

The resulting 4/19/71 memo in reply to Hoover’s inquiry is 11-pages and is FBI HQ file 94-47468, serial #98. I copy major excerpts from the review memo below.

See "Synopsis" portion of FBI memo here:

NOTE: See text of my 5 footnotes [red numbers inserted into text] at bottom of this report which provide additional pertinent data.

Page 1:


Purpose of memorandum is to answer Director’s inquiry regarding article captioned as above in March 1971 issue of Law and Order magazine…We are circumspect with Skousen because of his efforts to capitalize on Bureau career to benefit his anticommunist activities. Article claims ‘dynastic rich’(inheritors of wealth) subsidizing ‘force of violent revolution’ to help rich take over country for ‘good’ of humanity. Skousen’s claim that Karl Marx turned to ‘democratic socialism’ as means to seize power not substantiated. Marx never renounced violence of class struggle or proletarian revolution. Skousen claim that wealthy class financed Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 not supported by research and his charge that Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb and Company gave $20 million for ‘final triumph of Bolshevism’ not validated. Skousen’s allegations that tax exempt foundations have given money to civil rights groups and functionaries, including several militant black nationalists are generally valid but include inaccuracies. Several grants verified, as listed by Skousen, from Ford Foundation to organizations he alleges carry out ‘policies and propaganda favoring a globalist strategy.’ Skousen’s reference to ‘left-wing collectivists’ seeking Federal constitutional convention is unsubstantiated. Only such effort known was made by late Senator Everett Dirksen who wanted amendment negating U.S. Supreme Court 1964‘one man, one vote’ ruling which calls for equal population in voting districts.”

Page 2:

“Thrust of Skousen’s article is that a certain segment of the wealthy people in this country—the so-called ‘dynastic rich’, those who have inherited great wealth—are subsidizing ‘forces of violent revolution’. The purpose of this subsidy, according to Skousen, is to help the ‘dynastic rich’ in their efforts to take over and control the United States for what the rich believe in ‘good’ for humanity. They are realizing success at this game, Skousen believes, because ‘the people’ have become tired ‘of working out their destiny’ and are willing to ‘sacrifice their independence for the luxury of having others take care of them.’ The attempt of the ‘dynastic rich’ to control others runs counter to the American Revolution, which Skousen asserts created an independent nation and spread political power, financial power, and religious self-determination among the people.”

Page 3:

“Skousen is accurate in claiming that several writers, including historian Dr. Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University, have produced studies purporting to document a network of wealthy persons which wields considerable influence in business and financial circles, government, and the mass communications media.”

“Skousen Unsupported

Skousen asserts that when Karl Marx’s ‘dream’ of violent revolution was largely rejected after 1848, Marx turned to support of ‘democratic socialism’ as a means of taking political and economic power. Research, however, fails to show that Marx ever renounced the violence of the class struggle and the proletarian revolution. Skousen also claims that Marx considered reformist tactics the best method to take over the United States and England. But he fails to specify a source in Marx’s writings, and research fails to verify Skousen’s statement. Furthermore, Marx was highly critical of ‘reformist’ tactics, such as seeking improvements through legislation and strongly held that society could only be improved by violent destruction of the capitalist state.”

“Claims Regarding Financing The Russian Revolution

One especially dubious claim by Skousen is that scholars are beginning to discover that, wherever Communist revolutions have succeeded, it has been due to financial aid by some of the wealthiest people in the world. As evidence for this claim, Skousen maintains that several ‘dynastic banking families’ financed the Communist revolution in Russia.

According to Skousen, Leon Trotsky, in his biography, refers to some of the ‘loans’ coming from British financiers as far back as 1907. Trotsky’s book, ‘My Life’ (page 202) mentions only one such loan, that of 3,000 pounds by an ‘English liberal’ to help cover some expenses of the 1907 Bolshevik Party Congress in London. Trotsky states that years later the Soviet Government paid back the loan for which all Congress delegates had been cosigners.”

Page 4:

“British Subsidies”

“By 1917, Skousen asserts, the major subsidies for ‘the revolution’ were being arranged by Sir George Buchanan, then British Ambassador to Russia and Lord Alfred Milner [1] who was in Russia as a special representative. One source suggested by Skousen refers merely to ‘private interviews’ not further identified, as documentation for the above claim. A second source, citing hearsay, refers only to British aid to the March 1917 revolution that overthrew Czar Nicholas II but not to any aid of the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917.”

“Jacob Schiff”

“Skousen charges that Jacob Schiff (1847-1920) of the New York investment banking firm, Kuhn, Loeb and Company, furnished the Communist leaders around $20 million for the ‘final triumph of Bolshevism’ in Russia. This figure is reportedly cited in the February 3, 1949 edition of the now defunct ‘New York Journal American’ by Jacob Schiff’s grandson. According to his biographer, C.A. Adler, Jacob Schiff in his letters and speeches blamed the Russian Imperial government of Czar Nicholas II for anti-Jewish policies and practices and personally gave about $500,000 for relief of Jews in Russia prior to 1917. Schiff later was reportedly sympathetic to the Provisional Government, providing one million rubles for its ‘liberty loan’ in April 1917, but was strongly opposed to the Communists in Russia. Review of microfilm records of the February 3, 1949 New York Journal American failed to locate any article about Jacob Schiff and possible financing of the Bolsheviks as Skousen alleges. [2] No evidence was found to substantiate Skousen’s claim that between 1918 and 1922, Levin paid back 600 million rubles to Kuhn, Loeb and Company. It is noted that notorious anti-FBI critic, Dorothy Schiff of the New York Post, is a granddaughter of Jacob Schiff.”

Page 5:

“Hearings Regarding Schiff, 1918

Allegations that Jacob Schiff and other Jewish investment bankers helped to finance the Communist revolution in Russia have appeared in the past. In 1959, at the Director’s instructions, such an allegation against Jacob Schiff was checked out in a review of the hearings conducted in December 1918 by a Subcommittee of the Committee of the Judiciary, United States Senate. Entitled ‘Brewing and Liquor Interests and German Propaganda’ the hearings also covered Russian and Bolshevik activities in this country and Europe prior to that time. The hearings absolved Kuhn, Loeb and Company of alleged pro-German sympathies and failed to bring out any information indicating that Jacob Schiff helped to finance the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. [3] [FBI HQ file 100-407194-6].

Skousen’s claim that other international bankers were involved in financing the Communist takeover apparently comes from a book, ‘Czarism and Revolution’ by Arsene de Goulevitch, a former Czarist Army officer who fled Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. [4] Goulevitch in turn attributes the information to a document published in Rostov, Russia, in 1919 which reportedly attributed the information to the archives of a high French Government office (not identified).

From the same sources Skousen notes that Trotsky later (after 1917) married the daughter of one wealthy contributing banker named Jivotovsky. Trotsky’s book, My Life, and all available biographies on Trotsky contain no references to the name Jivotovsky and indicate that Trotsky’s second marriage, about 1904, lasted until his assassination in 1940 in Mexico City.

Current Events

Skousen points out that the ‘secret network’ of British wealth combined with the ‘dynastic rich’ of the United States as far back as World War I to form the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR). The purpose of these groups, according to Skousen, has been to guide U.S. foreign policy toward the establishment of a world-wide collectivist society’. "

Page 6:

“He also alleges that Congressional investigations have shown CFR and IPR responsible for establishing policies that led to the loss of China to the communists, to the ‘mismanagement’ of the Korean War, and to the so-called ‘no-win’ approach to the conflict in Vietnam…

Skousen claims that through tax-exempt foundations the ‘dynastic rich’ align their forces with the violent revolutionary left to create such havoc that Americans will call on the Government in Washington DC to take over. In connection with this approach, Skousen referred properly to testimony of ‘Jerry Kirk’ in Congressional hearings. This individual is [about 6 words excised] who was a Bureau informant from 1966-1969 and furnished information on the Communist Party and Students For A Democratic Society in Chicago. Kirk is now speaking throughout the country on communist and other extremist activities.” [5]

[1] This assertion concerning Lord Alfred Milner was also included in Gary Allen’s 1971 book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy. In fact, the remarkable textual similarities between the narratives by Skousen and Allen in their article and book respectively make it appear that one of them copied from the other. On page 75 of his book, Gary Allen inserts this text underneath a picture of Lord Alfred Milner “Lord Alfred Milner, wealthy Englishman and front man for the Rothschilds, served as paymaster for the international bankers in Petrograd during the Bolshevik Revolution.”

This claim regarding Milner was addressed by Dr. Carroll Quigley when he objected to what he considered the intellectual dishonesty of both Gary Allen and W. Cleon Skousen. "For example, they constantly misquote me to this effect: that Lord Milner (the dominant trustee of the Cecil Rhodes Trust and a heavy in the Round Table Group) helped finance the Bolsheviks. I have been through the greater part of Milner's private papers and have found no evidence to support that.”[Quigley interview quoted in Rudy Maxa: The Professor Who Knew Too Much, Washington Post, 3/23/75, p26]


“Allen’s statements about Milner are almost all wrong. He was not a rich man at all, but grew up a poor boy who won a scholarship to Oxford and became a government administrator in public finance and eventually chief of the Rhodes trustees. He never was a millionaire. His income in 1907, when he was 53 years old, was about 2,600 pound sterling (according to his diary for 1st January 1908). It is nonsense to say, as Allen does, that he wanted a revolution in Russia in 1917 and gave 21 million rubles to finance it (p 72). He was in Russia as a member of the British War Cabinet, from 25 January to 21 February, trying to strengthen the Russian war effort against the Germans in order to relieve the German pressure along the Western front…I have been through the greater part of Milner’s private papers and have found no evidence to support Allen’s statements about his connections with the revolution in Russia. Allen is also totally wrong about Milner’s political ideals. He was not at all a One-World supporter but an extreme British nationalist who believed that Great Britain and the United States, acting together, could hold off the world. He was not linked in any way with the Rothschilds, as Allen says, but was a banker as a director of the London Joint Stock Bank. Allen’s book is full of factual errors such as these, and is flatly wrong in his statements that my book supports his version of history. For example, he insists that international bankers were a single bloc, were all powerful, and remain so today. I, on the contrary, stated in my book that they were much divided, often fought among themselves, had great influence but not control of political life, and were sharply reduced in power about 1931-1940 when they became less influential than monopolized industry.” [Quigley statement to Institute For American Democracy, Inc. (Washington DC) reprinted in IAD memo dated 3/72 captioned “None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen” – page 3]

[2] The reason why the FBI could not “locate any article about Jacob Schiff” in the New York newspaper which Skousen cited (Gary Allen cites the exact same paper and the same alleged quotation on page 69 of his book) is because the “quote” does not appear in a news article. Instead, it appears in the newspaper’s society gossip column captioned “Smart Set” which was written by several unknown persons who wrote under the pseudonym “Cholly Knickerbocker”. This is the quality of evidence which Gary Allen and Cleon Skousen think is compelling for their assertions!

[3] Oddly, both Cleon Skousen and Gary Allen cite Dr. Antony Sutton, former Research Fellow with the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, as an authoritative historian without, apparently, being aware of his primary source research concerning Jacob Schiff. Significantly, Dr. Sutton concluded from his review of State Department cables that Jacob Schiff OPPOSED the Bolsheviks. See Appendix II of Dr. Sutton’s 1974 book, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, which Dr. Sutton aptly captions: “The Jewish-Conspiracy Theory of the Bolshevik Revolution”:

Appendix II


"It is significant that documents in the State Department files confirm that the investment banker Jacob Schiff, often cited as a source of funds for the Bolshevik Revolution, was in fact against support of the Bolshevik regime This position, as we shall see, was in direct contrast to the Morgan-Rockefeller promotion of the Bolsheviks."

"The persistence with which the Jewish-conspiracy myth has been pushed suggests that it may well be a deliberate device to divert attention from the real issues and the real causes. The evidence provided in this book suggests that the New York bankers who were also Jewish had relatively minor roles in supporting the Bolsheviks, while the New York bankers who were also Gentiles (Morgan, Rockefeller, Thompson) had major roles. What better way to divert attention from the real operators than by the medieval bogeyman of anti-Semitism?"

The FBI frequently received inquiries about the alleged role of Jacob Schiff and his firm, Kuhn, Loeb and Company, in “financing” the Bolshevik Revolution. Various accusations regarding Schiff’s financial support are omnipresent in extreme right and anti-semitic literature and they cite different dollar amounts. Consequently, I think it would be useful to copy below one entire FBI internal memo on this matter which was written by Milton A. Jones, the head of the Bureau’s Crime Records Section – which was the Bureau’s research unit.

“The Director has instructed that we should check further into an allegation made by the captioned individual [J. Andrew Moriarty] to the effect that Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb and Company of New York furnished $5 million to Trotsky to finance the Russian Red Revolution in 1917. Moriarty related that this fact was brought out in a committee hearing of the late Senator Overman in its investigation of communism in 1918 or 1919.”

“We have reviewed the hearings of the Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate for the 65th Congress held in December 1918, entitled Brewing and Liquor Interests and German Propaganda. These hearings were not limited to the subject matter indicated by their titles but also delved into Russian and Bolshevik activities in this country and in Europe. These hearings do bear out Moriarty’s statement that Trotsky was at one time affiliated with a newspaper in New York until 1917 when he returned to Russia. He also stated that Trotsky was interned in Halifax for a short period of time en route to Russia and this fact is also brought out in the testimony.”

“Kuhn, Loeb, and Company, Jacob Schiff, and Mortimer Schiff are frequently mentioned in these hearings in the testimony of Alfred L. Becker who at that time was Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York and [he] had made investigations of German propaganda activities in this country at the direction of the Governor of that state. Becker produced documents which proved that Kuhn, Loeb and Company was one of the investment companies in the United States used by the Germans as a depository for their funds in 1914 and 1915, which funds were channeled into publicity fields carrying German propaganda. It should be noted that Kuhn, Loeb and Company was only one of many well-known investment and banking organizations which served the Germans in this manner during the period immediately preceding our entry into the armed conflict. There was some suspicion that Kuhn, Loeb and Company and the other investment companies were pro-German as a result of their activities in this regard.”

“The hearings did not bring out any information indicating that Jacob Schiff or Mortimer Schiff financed activities of the Russian Red Revolution. On the contrary, documented evidence was presented to prove that Jacob Schiff was definitely unsympathetic toward Russia. This fact was brought out when Anglo-French bonds were issued in this country to assist the Allied war cause and Jacob Schiff refused to purchase any of the bonds as he stated that Russia has persecuted the Jews in that country. Evidence was presented that Otto H. Kahn [a Kuhn Loeb partner] personally subscribed to $5 million worth of the Anglo-French bonds and Mortimer Schiff subscribed to $1 million but the firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company did not purchase any.”

“These hearings completely absolved Kuhn, Loeb and Company from alleged pro-German sympathies and pointed out the firm’s activities which had materially assisted the Allies in World War I.” [FBI HQ file 100-407194, #6; 10/28/59 memo from M.A. Jones to Mr. DeLoach]

An earlier memo by M.A. Jones concerning the accusations made by G. Andrews Moriarty declares:

“We have received information from many different sources to the effect that Schiff did send money to Russia but there is no substantial evidence to support such a statement. Most of the sources alleging this fact are in publications which we know to be anti-semitic and none of them seriously attempt to determine the facts by independent investigation…It should be noted that Moriarty has been described as being violently anti-semitic..” [FBI HQ file 100-407194, #8; 10/23/59 M.A. Jones to Mr. DeLoach]

[4] Significantly, both Gary Allen and Cleon Skousen both cite this 1931 book for their statements regarding financing of the Bolshevik Revolution. Gary Allen states on page 69: “One of the best sources of information on the financing of the Bolshevik Revolution is Czarism and the Revolution by an important White Russian General named Arsene de Goulevich who was founder in France on the Union of Oppressed Peoples.” Gary does not explain how he determined that DeGoulevich was “one of the best sources of information” on this matter. In Skousen’s article he also recommends this book (page 11).

The original edition of the DeGoulevich book was published in Paris in 1931. The only English-language edition was published in 1962 by Omni Publications of Hawthorne CA which now operates as Omni Christian Book Club. Readers may be asking themselves why it would take 31 years for a book to be published in English? The answer is apparent when reviewing the type of books which Omni Publications sold. Omni was a one-man book-selling operation by Thomas Serpico that featured radical traditionalist Catholic materials including numerous rabidly anti-semitic conspiratorial writings which refer to malevolent Jewish bankers and their allies.

In the preface to his book, DeGoulevich defends Czarist Russia by pointing out that “she was faced by the Polish and Jewish problems”. Among the authorities he cites in his book are Boris Brasol and General Alexander Nechvolodov.

(1) Brasol served as a Prosecuting Attorney in the city of St. Petersburg Russia. In August 1916 he was sent to the U.S. to work as a lawyer for the Anglo-Russian Purchasing Committee. After the Bolshevik Revolution, Brasol stayed in the U.S. as an emigrant and he was naturalized in April 1926. In a 1921 letter to Maj. Gen. Count Sherep-Spiridovich, Brasol wrote: “Within the last year I have written three books, two of which have done the Jews more injury than would have been done to them by ten pogroms.”

Brasol produced the first English translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion which he brought to the attention of Henry Ford’s Dearborn MI Independent newspaper and which they used in their series of anti-semitic articles under the title The International Jew which were subsequently published in book form. See "Preface" of each section here:

INTERNATIONAL JEW -- Dearborn MI Independent

Brasol also arranged for the publication of several anti-semitic books including, The Protocols and World Revolution and The World at the Crossroads. In the 1930’s, Brasol collaborated with pro-nazi White Russians who sought restoration of the Czarist regime. A 1942 New York City FBI field office memo contains a report by a Brasol acquaintance who had a 2-hour conversation with Brasol in October 1941. This informant told the FBI: “Mr. Brasol told me bluntly that he has not changed his previous ideas and that only the Jews are responsible for the Bolshevism and Communism in Russia and that to liberate Russia from the yoke of the Jews, all Russians must wish the defeat of Russia at the hands of the German. ‘I prefer Hitler to Stalin’ Brasol told me, ‘no matter what happens afterward’. [FBI HQ file 100-22487, #18 -- 2/19/42 NYC field report, pg 9-10.]

(2) Gen. Nechvolodov is another pro-Czar Russian expatriate who fled to France after the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1924 he published L’Empereur Nicholas II et les Juifs (The Emperor Nicholas II and the Jews) which incorporated the complete text of the Protocols of the Elders Zion with approving commentaries.

[5] Gerald Wayne Kirk was an FBI informant who subsequently became a paid speaker for the John Birch Society. Kirk’s standard JBS-sponsored speech was entitled “Inside the Spider’s Web” in which he claimed substantial penetration of New Left organizations such as Students For A Democratic Society (SDS) by the Communist Party USA. However, the FBI’s derogatory evaluation of Kirk matched the FBI’s negative evaluations of both Cleon Skousen’s and Gary Allen’s writings.

According to one FBI HQ memo: “Kirk is now drawing on this limited knowledge to promote himself as an authority during his speaking engagements. Contacts with knowledgeable sources and confidential informants have failed to substantiate claims by the Communist Party of substantial influence within the New Left movement and specifically SDS.” [HQ file 134-14771, serial #68]


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Zoompad said...

Well well well, look at this video, Cleon Skousen is demonstrating the same symptoms of being a nutter that I have, he's actually claiming God is real!

So he must also be a nutter then, surely? After all, only nutters still believe in God in these modern times, don't they? Nutters who haven't got the brain capacity for the new modern way of thinking. Pathetic nutters who need something to cling on to.

All the smart people don't need this Jesus rubbish. They can sort out their own lives without bowing down to this invisible God.

Well, I feel vindicated by Cleon Skousen, I am really really glad I found out about him. No-one can accuse him of being feeble minded, or weak, yet he clings to the same Jesus Christ as I do! So the next time anyone calls me a nutter for my faith in Jesus Christ I am going to point them to this blog post. Praise the Lord!

Zoompad said...

Smart people DO need the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus showed all of us how to live, and how to overcome evil. Without Jesus we just cannot get through this life. We need his guidance, his friendship, his love. We're not all strangers on desert islands. How can people cut themselves off from their Creator? How can you block yourself from where you have come from, and where you are going?

There are psychopaths running world government, how else can you explain the souls of people who can order the mass execution of thousands of people? Some people can not even bring themselves to swat a fly, others can give an order to open fire on civilians living a peacable life. There has got to be something wrong with the brains of people who can do such a wicked thing. Never mind people like me, Christians, being bonkers, look at these murderers, because if I am bonkers then they must be completly insane!

ernie1241 said...

I am the author of the report on Cleon Skousen which you posted on your blog. I have made some revisions to it since you posted it.

The URL link to my report is:


Links to my other online reports may be found here:


More info: ernie1241@aol.com

Zoompad said...

Thank you, I will go and have a look now