When FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover exposed Martin Luther King Jr. as surrounded by communist aides and allies, King responded as follows.
[I am] sick and tired of people saying this movement has been infiltrated by Communists and Communist sympathizers.Hoover responded, “In my opinion, “Dr. Martin Luther King is the most notorious liar in the country.”
There are as many Communists in this freedom movement as there are Eskimos in Florida.1 — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York World-Telegram (July 23, 1964), p. 2.
The next year, in his work, It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, muckraking journalist Alan Stang responded by sardonically calling King, “the king of the Eskimos.”
King’s Communist Associates (A List in Progress)
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
Hunter Pitts Jack O’Dell
James A. Dombrowski
Abner W. Berry
Ahmed Ben Bella
From It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, by Alan Stang (1965)
Chapter Ten: The King of the Eskimos
Based on all available information from the FBI and other sources, we have no evidence that any of the top leaders of the major civil rights groups are Communists or Communist controlled. This is true as to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., about whom particular accusations were made, as well as other leaders.1 Former Attorney General of the United States Robert F. Kennedy
Okay. Fine. We've proved our point: This is quite a nasty crowd of people. but you are probably already asking: So what? What's it prove?
What's all this got to do with the Rev. Dr. King?
You will recall that on December 1, 1955, a nonviolent lady named Mrs. Rosa Parks, who is a Negro, refused to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and thereby made the first move in what soon came to be the Montgomery bus boycott.2 Mrs. Parks had no doubt been prepared for the adventure by a recent educational experience that included a course at an institution by the name of Highlander Folk School, then located in the town of Monteagle, in the state of Tennessee.3
It was of course the Montgomery bus boycott, conducted by Dr. King, which thrust him suddenly from the shadows of obscurity into the
dangerous glare of fame. Dr. King did his work at the head of an organization by the name of the Montgomery Improvement Association
(MIA). The Montgomery Improvement Association had been formed by the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.4
". . . Where possible we should build shop units and everywhere else units in the church youth organizations. Why? Because in the South, especially for the Negro youth, the church is the center of all cultural and social activity. It is here that we must work. By building our units in the church organizations, we can also improve our work under the illegal conditions, as it will be easier to work in the church organizations. In Alabama there are certain places in which we can in a short while take over the church organizations of youth, under our leadership, and these can become legal covers for our work in the South."5 Communist official Gil Green, 1935
So the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and the Rev. Dr. King went about improving Montgomery. And in this they were joined by Bayard Rustin. For it happened that in this same year, 1955, Mr. Rustin had somehow managed to find employment as Dr. King's "secretary," and "advisor."6
Dr. King thinks very highly of Mr. Rustin. He describes him as "a brilliant, efficient and dedicated organizer and one of the best and most persuasive interpreters of nonviolence."7 Indeed, he was even allowed to accompany Dr. King to Oslo, where Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Prize--for Peace.8
"In the first place the communists, applying the tactics of the ultra-left period (1928-34), made the fatal error of alienating Negro ministers by such techniques as attacking religion and calling them 'social-fascist misleaders of the masses.' James Ford later admitted that this line proved to be a disastrous mistake. Time and again, the writer has been told in interviews that the leading force among the Negro lower class and part of the middle class is the ministers, and that no movement will succeed among the 'masses' which has not the approval of the Negro clergy . . ."9
So the three of them went ahead and improved Montgomery.
After they had improved Montgomery for more than a year, they held a meeting in Atlanta, in March of 1957, at which they formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
The meeting probably couldn't have been called in February because Mr. Rustin, Dr. King's "secretary," was then attending the sixteenth national convention of the Communist party.
The president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is the Rev. Dr. King.
The vice-president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. 10 And the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth is the new president of the Southern Conference Education Fund11 (also known as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare--they are the same organization), which is a Communist front, and whose field director, Carl Braden, is a national sponsor of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which is also a Communist front.
The program director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is the Rev. Andrew Young,12 who is also administrator of the Dorchester Center near Savannah, Georgia, which is part of SCLC, and which uses the offices, rent free, of the Communist infiltrated Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. The Rev. Andrew Young was trained at the Highlander Folk School, then located in the town of Monteagle, in the state of Tennessee.
On the Labor Day weekend of this same year, 1957, at this same Highlander Folk School of Monteagle, Tennessee, many humanitarians gathered to discuss civil rights. A photograph of the events records the presence of Mrs. Rosa Parks. Charles Gomillion, dean of students at Tuskegee Institute was there. Still another picture shows Fred Routh, an official of the Southern Regional Council, 63 Auburn AVe., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia, conducting a "workshop."
"In addition to serving as a founder, vice president and principal organizer of the Southern Negro Youth Congress, he [James E. Jackson, Jr., national committee of the Communist party; editor of the Worker] participated in the formation and building of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, the Southern Regional Council, and many other movements which in any way challenged the status quo of Negro oppression and Southern social backwardness."13
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was there, of course, with his close friend and associate, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy. A photograph records Abernathy's presence. Another photograph shows the Rev. Dr. King addressing the assemblage--perhaps at the very moment when he piled praise on School Director Myles Horton, whose "noble purpose and creative work," he says he has long admired, possibly because it has included some cash to Dr. King.
Dr. King also mentioned Aubrey Williams, whom he termed "one of the noble personalities of our times."14
Still another photograph shows the following individuals enjoying a lecture: the Rev. Dr. King, who is of course a nonviolent; Aubrey Williams, who is an identified Communist, was then president of the SCEF-HW, and is a probable violent; Myles Horton, who is a friend of Communists, and a teacher of Communists, is director of this Communist school, and is another probable violent; and Abner W. Berry of the central committee of the Communist party, a definite violent.
Comrade Berry looks [?] but the others seem to be enjoying the lecture very much. On the form letter of May 15, 1963, in which Director Horton explains that the Highlander idea has been "born again," the Rev. Dr. King is listed as a Highlander sponsor.
"Need for this program became clear," the letter explained,
"as we developed the Citizenship Schools now being spread throughout the South by Dr. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership
Conference and student civil rights organization."
On October 7, 1959, the Rev. Dr. King wrote a letter to Anne Braden--a definite violent--who, as you will recall, had been indicted for sedition by the American state of Kentucky and is the editor of the Southern Patriot, which is published by the SCEF-HW, which also employs her husband Carl, an ex-convict and also a violent, as field director. Louisiana Committee on Un-American Activities Counsel Jack Rogers explains at a hearing that:
in this [letter] King urges Anne Braden and her husband, Carl, both Communist party members to become permanently associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference . . . Of course, the Bradens were well identified publicly as Communists long before the date of this letter. We offer the letter.
The next document is a letter from Martin Luther King to James A. Dombrowski, dated August 16, 1960. It shows the friendly personal relationship that had developed between these two men by that time.
It is very brief, I will read it to the Committee. It says: "Dear Jim: This is just a note to acknowlege receipt of your letters of recent date. We, too, wer more than happy to have you in our home, the fellowship was very rewarding. I will expect to hear from you when Bishop Love returns to the country. At that time we can set the date for an Atlanta meeting. Very sincerely yours, Martin."15 (italics added)
Dr. Dombrowski is executive director of SCEF-HW and an identified Communist.
King has cooperated closely with the Southern Conference Educational Fund since our last report [testifies committee counsel Jack Rogers]. He filed a lengthy affidavit in the Federal Court in New Orleans strongly supporting James A. Dombrowski and the Southern Conference Educational Fund as "integrationists" of good character. When I saw this affidavit, I sent King three copies of our first report on the Southern Conference Educational Fund by air-mail, special delivery; and I sent him word through his attorney, Wiley A. Branton, Atlanta, Georgia, that he, King, could appear in Court in New Orleans and repudiate the affidavit if he so desired, on the basis of having been given evidence of the Communist connections and leadership of the Southern Conference Educational Fund . . . If King were ever inclined to cleanse himself of the taint of Communism, this would have been a very excellent opportunity, well justified under the circumstances. I regret to inform the Committee that no answer, whatsoever, was received from Martin Luther King, and his affidavit still stands in the court record in New Orleans, in spite of his certain knowledge of the true character of the Communist leadership of the Southern Conference Educational Fund.16
Indeed, a photograph exists which shows the Rev. Dr. King along with Anne Braden, Carl Braden and James Dombrowski, the last three all
identified Reds, the back of which reads as follows in Dombrowski's handwriting: "The 6th Annual Conference of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, Birmingham, Alabama, September 25 to 28, 1962."17
In part 2, page 99 of the Louisiana report we read also of:
a check issued by the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc., signed by Benjamin E. Smith, and James A. Dombrowski, dated March 7, 1963, to the order of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., $167.74, with a notation on it, "New York expenses," and the endorsement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the back . . .
You will recall Robert F. Williams, who is a Communist and a violent. It seems that he, too, is on excellent terms with Carl Braden:
"Dear Carl, We hope you and Anne are doing fine. We are all well. We were glad to see the review of NEGROES WITH GUNS in the Southern Patriot . . ."18 And so on.
Not long after, Dr. King travelled to Danville, Virginia, in the company of the Bradens.19
In 1960, "secretary" Rustin decided to quit. But Dr. King did not lose stride. Late in the year he hired a man named Hunter Pitts O'Dell.
You will recall that Mr. O'Dell was known in 1956 to be an important Communist official, and since 1961 to be a member of the national committee of the Communist party.
Newspapers pointed this out:
A Communist has infiltrated to the top administrative post in the Rev. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
He is Jack H. O'Dell, acting executive director of conference activities in southeastern states, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.20
So Dr. King fired O'Dell. He explains that O'Dell "may have had some connections in the past, but we were convinced that he had renounced them and had become committed to the Christian philosophy of non-violence in dealing with America's social injustices."21
". . . Although as a Communist one is inwardly not religious--the statement continues--it is nevertheless of importance, and even vital for the expansion of Communism that one should pretend to believe in the purity and sublimity of religion."22
So O'Dell did some work at the Dorchester Center, which is run by the Rev. Young, and then as administrator of the New York office of SCLC, until pressure from the press forced Dr. King to fire him again.
"King said the Negro, Jack H. O'Dell of New York, left the SCLC, the second time June 26  by 'mutual agreement' because of concern that his affiliation with the integration movement would be used against it by 'segregationists and race baiters.'"23
That ended it.
". . . the Party is today engaged in a systematic program to infiltrate American religious groups. 'The Communist Party,' said the National Committee in 1954, 'declares that it seeks no conflict with any church or any American's religious belief. On the contrary, we stretch out our hand in the fellowship of common struggle for our mutual goal of peace, democracy and security to all regardless of religious belief.' Members were being told: 'Join churches and become involved in church work.'"24 J. Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI
In fact, Dr. King:
denied repeatedly a recently published report [in the Atlanta Constitution] that O'Dell was currently [July 1963] employed by the SCLC in any capacity.
The newspaper said he was director of the SCLC New York office. A staff employee who answered the telephone Thursday morning told United Press International O'Dell was still with the office as administrator of the New York operation. Later in the day the same office said he was not connected with the agency and had no knowledge of his whereabouts.
King told reporters he could not understand why anyone in his office would say O'Dell worked there when he doesn't. . .
King said the O'Dell issue was being used in another attempt to forestall and hamper the true essence of today's civil rights struggle.
"It is another McCarthy-like tactic to destroy the movement," King said.25 (italics added)
Dr. King becomes almost nauseated at even the thought of "McCarthy-like tactics," you see. If there's one thing he insists on, its fair play:
". . . I think nothing threatens the health, the survival and the morality of our nation more than the possibility of Mr. Goldwater being elected President. . . We see danger signs of Hitlerism in the candidacy of Mr. Goldwater."26 (italics added)
". . . the increasing frequency with which communist terminology was being adopted to describe Negro events and problems in the Negro newspapers and other literature. For instance, it became commonplace to write about 'fascist police brutality,' 'fascist slave labor,' etc. . ."27
In fact, there are danger signs everywhere:
The subject of the real head-shaking is Rev. Martin Luther King. His influence is very great. His original dedication to non-violence can hardly be doubted. Yet, he has accepted and is almost certainly still accepting Communist-collaboration and even Communist advice.
. . .
Official warnings have again been given to King about another, even
more important associate who is known to be a key figure in the covert apparatus of the Communist Party. After the warnings, King broke off his open connection with this man, but a second-hand connection none the less continues. . .28 (italics added)
So when Communist official Benjamin J. Davis--a violent--describes Dr. King as "a brilliant and great practical leader who articulates the
philosophy of the Negro people, for direct non-violent mass action"29--it should not be surprising.
When a Worker editorial praises him for giving "great inspirational leadership to the struggle of his people to bring down the wall of segregation and discrimination in the United States"; and describes him as "the foremost advocate of the solution of social problems through non-violent methods of mass action"30--that should not be surprising.
And it is not at all puzzling when the Rev. Dr. King says in a telegram to Jesse Gray, who is very violent and an associate of Malcolm X: "You have my absolute support in your righteous and courageous effort to expose the outrageous conditions that Negroes confront as a result of substandard housing conditions."31 (italics added)
You see, Dr. King feels that:
This determination of Negro Americans to win freedom from all forms of oppression springs from the same deep longing that motivates oppressed peoples all over the world. The rumblings of discontent in Asia and Africa are expressions of a quest for freedom and human dignity by people who have long been the victims of colonialism and imperialism. So in a real sense the racial crisis in America is a part of the larger world crisis.:32 (italics added)
That's why Dr. King's American Committee for Africa sponsored and financed the American tour of Communist Holden Roberto—a violent--leader of the Angolan "war of national liberation," which he began on the morning of March 15, 1961, with the killing and dismembering not only of a thousand whites but also of about eight thousand Africans.33
And that's probably also why, in October 1962, King turned up in a Harlem hotel suite with Communist bank bandit Ahmed Ben Bella--another violent--after which they joined in a statement that the two injustices of colonialism and American segregation were "linked."34
Dr. King does it, you see, because: "The Negro is shedding himself of fear, and my real worry is how we will keep this fearlessness from rising to violent proportions."35
1. United Press International story carried by the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger (July 26, 1963), as inserted by Representative John Bell Williams (D., Miss.) in the Congressional Record, appendix (July 31, 1963), p. A4881.
2. For a study of the boycott, see Uriah J. Fields, The Montgomery Story (New York, The Exposition Press, Inc., 1959).
3. J. B. Matthews, testimony before the Florida Legislation Investigation Committee, vol. 1, p. 24. See footnote 35, chapter 9.
4. Activities of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, part 1 (November 19, 1963), p. 13. See footnote 14, chapter 6.
5. Gilbert Green, International of Youth (Moscow, Young Communist International, March 1935), pp. 25-26. As quoted by Zygmund Dobbs, Red Intrigue and Race Turmoil (New York, The Alliance, 1958), pp. 52-53.
6. New York Times (August 10, 1964), p. 16.
7. Washington Post (August 11, 1963), as inserted by Senator Strom Thurmond (R., S.C.) in the Congressional Record (August 13, 1963), pp. 14033.
8. New York Times (December 10, 1964), p. 16.
9. William A. Nolan, Communism versus the Negro (Chicago, Henry Regnery Company, 1951), p. 80.
10. Activities of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, part 1, p. 13.
12. Atlanta Constitution (July 24, 1963), pp. 1, 7.
13. Daily Worker (December 1, 1954), p. 6.
14. FACTS (Pasadena, Calif., September-October 1964), p. 8.
15. Activities of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc. in Louisiana, part 2, p. 84.
16. Ibid., p. 85 ff.
17. Ibid part 1, pp. 99-100.
18. Letter dated April 23, 1963, as reproduced in Activities of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, in Louisiana, , part 2, p. 30.
19. Richmond News-Leader (September 27, 1963), editorial.
20. St. Louis Globe-Democrat (October 26, 1962).
21. Richmond News-Leader (September 27, 1963), editorial.
22. Harry J. Benda and Ruth T. McVey, editors, The Communist Uprisings of 1926-1927 in Indonesia: Key Documents (Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University, 1960), p. 17.
23. United Press International story carried by the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger (July 26, 1963), as inserted by Representative John Bell Williams (D., Miss.) in the Congressional Record, appendix (July 31, 1963), p. A4881.
24. J. Edgar Hoover, Masters of Deceit (New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1958), p. 324.
25. United Press International story carried by the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger (July 26, 1963), as inserted by Representative John Bell Williams (D., Miss.) in the Congressional Record, appendix (July 31, 1963), p. A4881-A4882.
26. Boston Globe (September 13, 1964).
27. Nolan, p. 235, footnote 51.
28. Boston Globe (April 15, 1964), p. 11.
29. Worker (November 10, 1963), p. 3.
30. Ibid. (September 16, 1964), p. 2.
31. Ibid. (June 2, 1964).
32. Martin Luther King, Stride Toward Freedom (New York, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1958), p. 191.
33. New York Times (March 20, 1961), p. 3. Intercepted instructions said "women and children should be singled out for attack to sow the greatest confusion and panic . . ." Roberto was indoctrinated into Communism at an early age by Belgian Communists in the Congo, where in 1958 he formed the Angola People's Union, which absorbed the Angola Communist party. In 1960 Roberto was sent by the Russians to Moscow, and then to Prague and Leipzig where he was trained in guerrilla warfare. Of Roberto's "national liberation" activities, Brigadier General Frank L. Howley writes as follows in the Reader's Digest for November 1961: "It all adds up to a picture of primitive, hideous terror reminiscent of the Mau Mau outrages in Kenya at their worst; a picture replete with gruesome episodes of fetishist body-chopping, ritual cannibalism and tribal hatred . . . Though its primary targets are whites and mulattoes, the vast majority of the murdered and maimed have been black Africans."
General Howley speaks of "a black girl on nine who had only just begun to open her eyes, after keeping them tightly shut since the horror struck her village. She had been forced to join in eating the flesh of her murdered mother. The shock had deprived her of speech and the ability to open her eyes."
34. New York Times (October 14, 1962), p. 20.
35. Newsweek, vol. 61 (May 6, 1963), p. 28.