Full Citation

  • Title Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) analysis of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s role in the drive for equal rights for Blacks in the U.S
  • Classification Level Secret
  • Imprint [United States: Federal Bureau Of Investigation, 1968]
  • Declassified Date November 29, 2001
  • Sanitization Sanitized
  • Completeness Complete
  • Collection Declassified Document Reference System
  • Pages 22
  • Language English
  • Document Type Report
  • Source Library Federal Bureau of Investigation
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION .zt 2 SUBJECT: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., - A CURRENT ANALYSIS DATE: March 12, 1968 W NtlA. LD T lk- qL T-i ( nuECrT- cm uiu tmm --SECRET. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION ............................................. 1 Washington Spring Project0o00000000 ooo1oo0oooo.oo.0o00000 I Black Nationalist Terror o000000000000000 000000000000000 2 Strong Communist Influence0 000 000000 00000000000.. 0o, 0000. 3 Explosive Situationo.0000000.0000000000000000000000000000o o 3 II. FORMATION OF SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE04006060 4 Background of Founderooooooooooooooooooo00o...0oo0000. oo. 4 Subversives Attracted..o00000000o00o000000000O0o0000000.o0 4 Communist Exposed0o0o 0o00o0000000 .. O. 000 000ooo00o. 5 King Speaks at Rally Honoring Communist.o.o000000o000000000 6 Former Communist Advisor0o00000.0o0000o00.ooo0ooooo.o 6 Advisory Committee Established for King.00ooo.000... o.oo 6 King Wins Nobel Peace Prize00o. 000oooooo.oo.ooo00 0 o0 7 King's Attraction for Communist Advisorsoo00000000o000000000 8 III, COMMUNIST OBJECTIVES 00 8 The Peace Issue Appearso0000000000000000000ooooooooo°oo°o 9 IV, THE EMERGENCE OF THE PEACE ISSUE IN KING'S GROUP ..... ..... 10 Role as a Peacemaker0o0oo o o .*ooo0o0o0o0000*o00 000000 o 0 Admiration Lost0.o000o0000000o o000000000oooooooo0000 0 1 Continued Pressure by Press0.° oooo0000000000000 o... 00 .0 11 Ahti-Vietnam War Resolution0 I000. 0 000000 000 000 11 "Face the Nation"0 .......0 00000000000°000000000.00000 12 "FY UU MRY1 Senate Hearings.. ...00000.0 00.0. 000.......0.......0..0..00 12 "The Nation" Symposium00000000000080080000000 000o000000 12 Riverside Church Speech..........0.000...0.00000000 .., 13 Spring Mobilization0..0°..0..0....0000 °°08000 ...00.0.0000 .00. 13 King for President.. 0..... .0°..00..°0.°0..000.0 .°°..800 15 The Birth of Washington Spring Project.o**ooao.*..o.9o..9.o 16 V. SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FINANCES0oooooooooo 16 A Tax Dodgeo0.0.0.000.00.00000.0.00000000.0000°0000000000 17 Funds from Firms and Foundationso..°..0.0.°.o. o.0.°.°.°°°..0 17 Funds from Individuals0o000000o0o00°000000000000000.000000000 17 Funds from Government Agencies.o00000000000.°0000°..ooo ..00 18 Funds for Washington Spring Project ........00.0000*0000.000.. 18 VI0 KING'S PERSONAL CONDUCT0... oo oo..oooo oo00°o0000 ooa 19 Previous Sexual Experiences00...000..°00 0000000000000000. 19 King's Mistress...00 . ooo0°00°000 °0.0oo°00000000000°°00.° 20 King's Historical Aspect.........°.o0..00.o°0 ...000..... 20 ii I. INTRODUCTION Since 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr., has occupied a prominent role in the drive for equal rights for Negroes in the United States. During this critical period in our Nation's history, much has depended on him as the individual Negroes in great numbers have looked to for leadership in their drive to achieve equality. Much depends on him still in these times when racial tensions have created an atmosphere of fear and foreboding among many Negroes and whites alike. The course King chooses to follow at this critical time could have momentous impact on the future of race relations in the United States, and for that reason this paper has been prepared to give some insight into the nature of the man himself as well as the nature of his views, goals, objectives, tactics and'the reasons therefor. Washington Spring Project Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), has stated publicly that he and 3,000 of his followers will march on Washington, D. C., this spring. He has announced that he will lead a massive civil disobedience campaign that will disrupt the normal course of business and, in fact, close down the Nation's Capital. He originally announced this project on August 15, 1967, in Atlanta, Georgia, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the SCLC. King predicted that this massive civil disobedience will be more effective than riots. Concerning civil disobedience, King declared, "To dislocate the function of a city without destroying it can be more effective than a riot, because it can be longer lasting, costly to society, but not wantonly destructive.' - SEC*EL WY UU MM- King has referred to this campaign as the "Washington Spring Project" and the "Poor People's March," which is reportedly being staged to pressure Congress into passing legislation favorable to the Negro. It is King's contention that the Government of the United States does not move until it is confronted dramatically. To add to the dramatic confrontation, King has boasted he and his entourage are coming to Washington to stay; that his followers will conduct sit-ins, camp-ins, and sleep-ins at every Government facility available including the lawn of the White House. He has bragged that he will fill up the jails of Washington and surrounding towns. Black Nationalist Terror One serious danger in the confrontation lies in the proposed action of the black nationalist groups which plan to attempt to seize the initiative and escalate the nonviolent demonstrations into violence. King has met with black nationalists and attempted to solicit their support0 Stokely Carmichael of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an extremist Black Nationalist organization, has conferred with King. Carmichael endorses the objectives of King and advises he will not oppose or interfere with the "Washington Spring Project's" plans for nonviolence. However, he also states his role will be governed by what SNCC decides. King is aware of the possibility of violence because one of his aides proclaimed recently to the press,"Jail will be the safest place in Washington this spring." However, in spite of this potentially explosive situation, King continues his plans. He adroitly uses this possibility as a lever to attempt to pressure Congress into action by warning that the "Washington Spring Project" may be the last chance in this country for peaceful change with respect to civil rights needs. -2- coW UU BRARY -SECRET- Strong Communist Influence Another complicating factor in the picture is the degree of communist influence on King. One of King's principal advisors is Stanley David Levison. Ostensibly only a New York City attorney and businessman, Levison is, in fact, a shrewd, dedicated communist. Levison has spent the major part of his life advancing communist interests. Levison gravitated to Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1956. He has been as dedicated in his support of King as he has been in advancing communist goals. He has actively involved himself in fund-raising drives for King, served as his legal counsel in certain matters, suggested speech material for him, discussed with King demonstrations in which King was involved, guided him in regard to acceptance or rejection of various public appearances and speaking commitments, and helped him with matters related to articles and books King has prepared. Levison edited most of the chapters of King's new book entitled "Where Do We Go From Here; Chaos Or Community?" Levison wrote one chapter of this book and the publisher's representative complained to King and Levison that it was obvious certain sections of the book were written by different individuals. Stanley Levison has told Clarence Jones, another advisor to King, that under no circumstances should King be permitted to say anything without their approving it. Levison also informed Jones that King is such a slow thinker he is usually not prepared to make statements without help from someone. Levison is actively participating in the planning for King's "Washington Spring Project." Explosive Situation The combined forces of the communist influence and the black nationalists advocating violence give the "Washington Spring Project" a potential for an extremely explosive situation. -3- W"~ UU8 UERARY II. FORMATION OF SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Background of Founder Martin Luther King, Jr., was born January 15, 1929, at Atlanta, Georgia. His name at birth was Michael Luther King, Jr. In 1935, his first name was changed to Martin. King received an AB. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia. He then entered Crozer Theological Seminary, Chester, Pennsylvania, where he was one of six Negroes among 100 students0 He won the Plafker Award as the most outstanding student, was President of the Senior Class, and received the J. Lewis Crozer Fellowship for graduate study at the university of his choice0 King graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951 and did graduate work at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, where he secured a Ph.Do degree in 1955o Upon graduation, he was offered the pastorate of two Baptist churches in the East and teaching posts in three colleges. King chose the pastorate at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama0 After becoming established in his church, he founded the Montgomery Improvement Association and led local Negroes in the Montgomery Bus Boycott that attracted national attention0 In March of 1957, he founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) with himself as President. He still holds that position today0 He is also co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia0 Subversives Attracted Stanley Levison was attracted to King and SCLC when King gained national attention. Levison soon developed a close relationship with King and was known in King's group as "Assistant Chief." In 1961, he was assistant treasurer of SCLC. Prior to joining forces with King, Levison led a double life for the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA)o Outwardly -4- SE4RAX MY~ UII MRAZY -SECRET he was a successful businessman but he was also the clandestine fund-raiser for the CPUSA. He was entrusted with raising and handling secret funds for the Party and used some of these funds to finance his own activities, Through Levison's influence, other subversives were attracted to SCLCo Hunter Pitts O'Dell, former National Committee member of the CPUSA, was employed by SCLC. In 1962, when King mentioned to Levison that he was thinking of adding an administrative assistant to his staff, Levison recommended O'Dell, who was then head of SCLC's New York Office. King said he liked the idea. At the time, King was well aware of Levison's and O'Dell's communist affiliations. The reason King enjoyed this close relationship with communists is best explained by the fact that Levison, in February, 1962, passed the word to Gus Hall, General Secretary, CPUSA, "King is a whole-hearted Marxist who has studied it (Marxism), believes in it and agrees with it, but because of his being a minister of religion, does not dare to espouse it publicly," Further, in March, 1962, Levison told a CPUSA functionary that King was concerned about a "communist label" being "pinned on us" but that, at the same time, he wanted to do everything possible to evidence friendship toward the Soviet Union. In addition, King has been described within the CPUSA as a true, genuine Marxist-Leninist "from the top of his head to the tips of his toes." The feeling within the CPUSA at that time was, and still is, that King definitely follows a Marxist-Leninist line. Communist Exosed King was forced to get rid of Hunter Pitts O'Dell in October, 1962, when several newspaper articles exposed O'Dell's connection with SCLC and his communist affiliations, King still tried to hide O'Dell in his organization until July, 1963, when he accepted O'Dell's "resignation." As King put it, O'Dell's release was not because of connections betePQ+Dell and the CPUSA but because of the emotional public response, -5- SE-C Rf+- MOY LUBRR O'Dell has continued his efforts to make his presence felt in the civil rights movement in behalf of the CPUSA. The Winter, 1967, issue of "Freedomways," self- described as a review of the Negro freedom movement, lists O'Dell as Associate Managing Editor. Actually, "Freedomways" is a CPUSA-initiated and CPUSA-supported publication espousing the communist viewpoint of Negro problems. King Speaks at Rally Honoring Communist On February 23, 1968, King was the guest speaker at a rally of more than one thousand people at Carnegie Hall, New York City, sponsored by "Freedomways," celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of W.E.B. DuBois, famous Negro civil rights crusader who joined the Communist Party at age 93. Jack O'Dell, the popular name used by Hunter Pitts O'Dell, was also listed as one of the speakers at this affair. On the following day, Stanley Levison confided to Clarence Jones that King performed very badly at the "Freedomways" rally. He commented: "King has never read anything as badly," and, "as though he did not understand what he was reading." Former Communist Advisors Bayard Rustin is a former advisor to King and a one- time assistant secretary of the SCLC. Rustin has publicly admitted affiliation with the communist movement in the late 1930's. He was also one of a selected number of observers permitted to attend the CPUSA's National Convention in 1957. King said he had to let Rustin go because of problems arising from his homosexual activities. Rustin has long been so inclined, having been arrested in New York City in 1946 for offering to commit a lewd or indecent act. Rustin was arrested again in Pasadena, California, in 1953, for offering to engage in an act of sex perversion of a homosexual nature, which he admitted and for which he was sentenced to serve 60 days. Advisory Committee Established for King On June 22, 1964, an advisory and research committee w4s,: rmed, with King's approval, for the purpose of writing -6- SECRET- cm WRARY -SECRET King's speeches and guiding his actions. Among the members of the group were Lawrence Reddick, Bayard Rustin, Clarence Jones and Harry Wachtel. Reddick is a former member of the CPUSA. On March 5, 1944, Wachtel's name was on a list of names, whose significance is not known, maintained at the headquarters of the Kings County Communist Party, New York. On the same date, records at this headquarters contained the name of Wachtel's wife, Leonora, on a list of newly elected officers of the Bath Beach Club of the Kings County Communist Party, New York. In addition to being on the Advisory Committee, Clarence Jones, a Negro attorney, is also General Counselor for the Gandhi Society for Human Rights, a fund-raising adjunct of the SCLCo Prior to October, 1966, King attempted to hide his association with Stanley Levison and used Jones as the intermediary0 During the mid-1950's, Jones held a position of leadership in the Labor Youth League, an organization which has been designated as subversive pursuant to Executive Order 10450. Clarence Jones married Anne Aston Warder Norton on June 3, 1956. She is the daughter of deceased publisher William H0 Norton. Between 1947 and 1950 she was identified as a Communist Party club member at Sarah Lawrence College. In the early 1950's she was also active in the Labor Youth League. On April 5, 1955, she was observed as the driver of a station wagon which was used to transport Communist Party underground leaders in connection with an official Communist Party meeting0 In 1956, she was described by a self-admitted communist as a "hard-core communist0" King Wins Nobel Peace Prize In October, 1964, it was announced that King, a 35-year-old Baptist minister, was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize0 On November 24, 1964, King contacted Jones and -7- cm UULBUW asked that Jones and Levison, among others, submit five-minute speeches which King could use in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. King would select the best material from these speeches. King,'s Atjraction for Communist Advisors Two previous aides of King were Cordy T. Vivian, who formerly served as Director of Affiliates of the SCLC, and Randolph Blackwell, who at one time acted as SCLC Program Coordinator. Both of these individuals are former members of the CPUSA. During the early stages of development and formation of the SCLC, the following eight individuals helped shape and mold the policies of this organization, and, as noted, all have had communist affiliations: Stanley David Levison "Assistant Chief" Clarence Jones Advisory Committee Harry Wachtel Advisory Committee Cordy T. Vivian Director of Affiliates Randolph Blackwell Program Coordinator Hunter Pitts O'Dell Administrative Assistant Lawrence Reddick Advisory Committee Bayard Rustin Advisory Committee Of these, Levison, Jones, and Wachtel continued to exert strong influence on King and the SCLC. In addition, at the tenth anniversary convention of SCLC at Atlanta, Georgia, on August 14, 1967, a brochure listed L. D. Reddick as historian of SCLC. II. COMMUNIST OBJECTIVES During the early 1960's, the CPUSA was striving to obtain a Negro-labor coalition to achieve its goals in Ithfs,'country. At that time, the CPUSA "Party Line" was: "Big. business attacks on the rights of labor are continuing. In order to defeat this offensive, organized labor, assisted by communists, must launch a countercrusade, which can succeed only if it is based on the united action of the entire trade-union movement." -8- MYUU' LWR Also, communists had recognized the error of their ways by proclaiming that the communist program for "self-determination" of the Negro in the "Black Belt" area of the South had been discarded. The new policy was to seek complete economic, political, and social equality for the Negro with all other American citizens. In a May, 1961, issue, the communist newspaper, "The Worker' stated, "Communists will do their utmost to strengthen and unite the Negro movement and bring to it the backing of the working people." Martin Luther King, Jr., and his organization were made to order to achieve these objectives. King and his group were demonstrating and conducting voter-registration campaigns to align the Negro movement solidly behind King. The Peace Issue Appears This activity continued with much fanfare until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by the Congress. This was the most far-reaching civil rights act passed since the reconstruction era. Now it was no longer newsworthy to demonstrate for Negro rights. The passage of this Act was one factor that took King off the front pages of the daily newspapers. The second factor that had a bearing on King's lack of publicity and change of policy was the Gulf of Tonkin incident on August 2, 1964. Because of this, the United States took a more active role in the Vietnam War. The CPUSA then started to demand through its propaganda machine that the escalation of the war in Vietnam be stopped. The activities in Vietnam were now more important news than was the Negro freedom movement. The CPUSA also realized that even though the peace issue was of primary importance, a secondary issue not to be forgotten was the freedom movement. Abandoning its previous efforts to form a Negro-labor coalition, the, CPUSA now started touting a Negro-peace coalition that w6uldlform a massive movement to force the United States Government to change its foreign and domestic policies. -9- "The Worker," in April, 1965, claimed that this coalition was starting to form when it stated, "The civil rights movement was coming to see the identity of interests of the Negro people's freedom movement with the anti- imperialist objective of ending the neo-colonialist war of the United States against the people of Vietnam." IV. THE EMERGENCE OF THE PEACE ISSUE IN KING'S GROUP Role as a Peacemaker King and his aides helped form this coalition of "peace" and "freedom" groups. They saw an opportunity to again propel King into the international spotlight by proposing he make peace in Vietnam, On August 12, 1965, King announced publicly that he would appeal personally to President Ho Chi Minh of North Vietnam to join a conference to end the Vietnam war. He said he would also send letters to leaders of South Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and the United States in this regard. This move on the part of King was engineered by Bayard Rustin and Harry Wachtel. In early August they met and discussed how to inject King into the Vietnam issue. It was decided to have King write these world leaders utilizing King's prestige as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize0 This action, they felt, would cast an image of King as a great moral leader and extend his influence beyond the civil rights movement0 Subsequently, a leading newspaper sent King 12 questions to answer which would clarify his position on Vietnam Upon receipt of these questions, King referred them to Stanley Levison to answer0 Because of the unfavorable public reaction to King's announcement, a conference with his top advisors was held in early September, 1965, at which time it was decided - 0 - ECRE that King would avoid the Vietnam issue. Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, Harry Wachtel, and Clarence Jones were in attendance at this conference. Admiration Lost In early 1966, King was lamenting to Harry Wachtel about a nationally known figure, who at one time was a heavy contributor to and admirer of King but was displeased because of King's stand on Vietnam. Wachtel reminded King, "When we went into this Vietnam thing, we decided that he who controls the purse strings doesn't control our philosophy." Continued Pressure by Press After the resumption of bombing of North Vietnam in February, 1966, King conferred with Stanley Levison and Bayard Rustin concerning a statement for the press. King informed them that the press had been bothering him for a statement, but he dared not take any action until he discussed the matter with them. It was agreed that King would say he was deeply impressed by the large number of Senators who called for a cessation of the bombings. Levison reiterated that King should point out how much opposition there is to the bombings. Anti-Vietnam War Resolution Miami was the scene of the Southern Christian Leader- ship Conference executive board meeting in the Spring, 1966. During this two-day conference, the sessions ran into the early morning hours attempting to draft a resolution on the Vietnam war. While there appeared to be general agreement, Stanley Levison and Harry Wachtel continued to argue for a stronger resolution than was presented. They wanted a resolution that would condemn participation by United States troops in Vietnam. The conference finally adopted a resolution calling on the Government to desist aiding the military junta in Vietnam and to seriously consider a prompt withdrawal. - 11 - "Face the Nation" In May, 1966, King was extended an invitation to appear on the Columbia Broadcasting System's program "Face the Nation." Prior to this appearance, King sought the advice of Stanley Levison and Clarence Jones. King wanted their thinking on the more important questions he might be asked. Levison noted the possibility that King might be questioned on the Vietnam war. Jones advised King to use the Southern Christian Leadership Conference resolution on Vietnam as his text. Levison suggested that King should also point out how unfair it was that Negroes were shouldering a heavier burden in the war and that more Negroes were in combat than other Americans. When King appeared on the program, he suggested the United States stop bombing North Vietnam, negotiate with the Viet Cong, and recognize Red China. Senate Hearings Prior to his appearance before a Senate Sub-Committee hearing on urban affairs in December, 1966, King contacted Levison for counsel concerning his testimony. During this discussion, it was agreed that King must reiterate during his testimony that the war in Vietnam is standing in the way of the implementation of any of his civil rights projects and is an open invitation to confusion, chaos, disruptions, and riots. During his subsequent testimony before this committee, he spoke critically of the war in Vietnam along these lines. "The Nation" Symposium In late February, 1967, King spoke before a symposium sponsored by "The Nation" magazine concerning the problems of redirecting "American Power." After this speech in which King was highly critical of the United States involvement in -12- SEC*ET iBAR -SEERE- Vietnam, Levison congratulated him. Levison was pleased with the publicity King's speech received, commenting that King's appearance on a panel with four United States Senators was the appropriate occasion for him to express his antiwar sentiments. Over the years a number of individuals who have been employed at one time or another by "The Nation" in editorial and writing capacities have been identified with the communist movement. Riverside Church Speech In early April, 1967, King accepted an invitation to speak before the group, "Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam." This is an interdenominational committee formed to mobilize religious opinion against the war. Prior to this speech, King and Andrew Young, Executive Director of SCLC, spent approximately eight hours in conference with King's top advisors in New York, New York. Stanley Levison and Harry Wachtel were present at this conference. Later that same day, King spoke at the Riverside Church, New York, New York, before this group, at which time he was highly critical of the United States involvement in the Vietnam war. He referred to the United States Government as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today." He proposed a five-step process to extricate the United States from this conflict. Comments in the news media coverage of King's remarks pointed out that the five points are similar in concept to the conditions imposed by North Vietnam as a prerequisite to negotiations. It is interesting to note that King's proposals parallel the propaganda line which the Communist Party, USA, has been projecting regarding the war in Vietnam. Spring Mobilization At a conference in the Fall of 1966, of the Peace ",Mobitization Committee, it was tentatively decided to hold massive peace demonstratiorson April 15, 1967, in New York City and San Francisco, California. Of the one, hundred seventeen individuals in attendance, seventy-five were members of the - 13 - Socialist Workers Party or its youth group, the Young Socialist Alliance. The Communist Party was represented by Arnold Johnson and James West, both of whom are members of the Communist Party, USA, National Committee. This group subsequently changed its name to Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Reverend James Bevel, on leave from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was appointed Executive Director of this Committee. On April 13, 1967, Levison and King were in contact to discuss the progress Levison was making in the writing of the speech King was to deliver on April 15, 1967, to a rally of the Spring Mobilization Committee at the United Nations. Levison discussed part of the speech which King enthusiastically accepted. King particularly liked the part indicating that the United States should unilaterally withdraw from Vietnam. He also enjoyed the part where he would appeal to the country to "demand insistently that our Government honor Hanoi's promise to negotiate if the bombings cease." The CPUSA was delighted with King's actions in this regard. The recognized leader of 22 million Negroes had openly attacked his country's policy in Vietnam. He participated in the largest rally ever staged against the Vietnam war by being the keynote speaker. In his speech King again called for the withdrawal of United States troops from Vietnam. King was helping the CPUSA achieve its goal of uniting the Negro movement with the peace issue. "The Worker" expressed the CPUSA's pleasure in the May 7, 1967, issue where it stated in part, "When Dr. King insists upon the connection between aggressive foreign policy and regressive domestic policy he insists upon what is true and consequential. When Dr. King points to the racism common in colonialism and Jim crow he points to that which is historically demonstrable. When Dr. King affirms that the present war in Vietnam threatens all democratic and progressive advance in the United States and does so for economic, political, ethical and psychological -14- -SEURE"T- reasons, again he is saying what every fact and every day's events confirm. Hence Dr. King, precisely as a leader in the struggle against Jim crow, must be--and is--a leader in the struggle against war." Being the astute advisor he is, and to keep King from being openly aligned with the CPUSA, Levison advised King to align himself with those individuals who have power rather than be aligned with a fringe antiwar element. He was to make the new alignment after his April 15, 1967, speech. King for President The fringe element Levison referred to was attempting to persuade King to run for President on a peace ticket. On April 19, 1967, Levison and Wachtel conferred concerning King's political possibilities. According to Wachtel, a pacifist group was meeting that day in an effort to get King to agree to run for President with Dr. Benjamin Spock, the antiwar agitator, as his Vice Presidential candidate. Both Levison and Wachtel agreed that it was too early and that King should not agree to run at this time. The CPUSA again seized the opportunity to cause dissension and unrest in the country by announcing they would support King and Spock on a peace ticket. At a May Day, 1967, program in Berkeley, California, Gus Hall stated, "The Party forces should begin work right now to elect these two men because they are for peace in Vietnam." Early in May, 1967, Levison was still concerned with King's being identified with the peace movement rather than civil rights. When approached by peace groups attempting to get King to continue to run for President, Levison informed those representatives that King would talk on Vietnam on occasion to various groups, but that would be the extent of his involvement. -15- SEER In an effort to evaluate his position, King and the SCLC held a retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina, on May 21, 1967, to determine the relationship of the SCLC to the peace movement. King and other top functionaries concluded that the SCLC would give no overt or covert support to anti-Vietnam war demonstrations. The Birth of Washington Spring Project On July 19, 1967, Levison was in conference with King concerning the Newark, New Jersey, riot. Levison indicated he was concerned about King's failure to make any public statement concerning the racial disturbances. King informed Levison that he had been considering making a statement but did not merely want to condemn the riots but also to condemn the conditions which lead to riots. Levison suggested that King advocate a program with dramatic qualities similar to the Works Project Administration of the 1930s. This new program would be implemented by the Federal Government to employ the jobless youth. Levison continued that this program worked in a period when the United States was almost bankrupt and should work even better now that the country is almost sick with money. King agreed that Leviscn's idea had merit and he would publicly call upon the Federal Government to do something along this line. King waited until the Tenth Annual Convention of the SCLC before he made these plans public. On August 15, 1967, he delivered an address at the convention urging new massive civil disobedience which would include general strikes, school boycotts, and a camp-in at Washington, D. C. All this would be to force Congress to take action to improve the lot of the Negro. V. SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE FINANCES The foremost problem in conducting such a campaign is making financial arrangements to handle the costs. As he -16- COPY LIJ URR has in the past, King turned to Levison to help him handle this problem as well as all financing of the SCLC. At a retreat in September, 1967, it was decided that SCLC would attempt to raise $1,500,000 during the coming year. It was contemplated that this money would be realized through the mail-appeal program of SCLC under the general supervision of Levison. During the fiscal year July 1, 1966, to June 30, 1967, SCLC realized income in the amount of $901,021.52. The total expenses of SCLC for this period were $859,933.34. This indicated income exceeded expenses by $41,088.18. A Tax Dodge The SCLC set up Foundations to serve as tax exempt organizations that would solicit funds for SCLC. To this end the American Foundation on Nonviolence of New York City, and the Southern Christian Leadership Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, were established. As money is needed by SCLC, Harry Wachtel reportedly funnels the money from the American Foundation on Nonviolence to SCLC. Funds from Firms and Foundations In February, 1967, the firm of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith, a stock brokerage firm, contributed $15,000 to SCLC. In August, 1967, Edward Lamb of the Edward Lamb Foundation, Toledo, Ohio, donated some stock to SCLC which had a market value of $6,000. Edward Lamb is a well-known successful businessman in Toledo, Ohio. It was learned in November, 1967,that the Ford Foundation was about to give SCLC $230,000. This money was to train Negro ministers in 25 cities throughout the Nation to become qualified leaders in the ghetto areas. Funds from Individuals In October, 1965, Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller matched the $25,000 donation which King made to the Gandhi Society for Human Rights, another fund-raising adjunct of SCLC. 17- W"F URR * *. ,. 7-7 SECREFT In February, 1967, it was learned that Harry Belafonte, well-known entertainer, performed on a television program in Paris, France, for the benefit of SCLC. As a result, SCLC was to receive $10,000. During the year 1967, Anne Labouisse Farnsworth, also known as Mrs. Peter Farnsworth and heiress to the Clark Thread Fortune, donated $50,000 to SCLC. In January, 1968, it was learned she was in the process of donating $100,000 to King's group. Funds from Government Agencies In early December, 1966, it was determined that King's organization was about to participate in a four-million- dollar loan from the Federal Housing Administration because of SCLC's involvement in a slum clearance program in Chicago, Illinois. Under existing Government regulations SCLC would share in the ten per cent profit allowed, or $400,000. Levison made available $12,500 of his own money so that SCLC could participate in this program and share in the profits. It was also determined that in November, 1967, the Department of Labor negotiated a contract with SCLC to train Negroes for employment in Atlanta, Georgia. Of the $61,000 involved in the contract, $13,000 went to SCLC and $48,000 went to the grocers in Atlanta for providing on-the-job training to the previously unemployed Negroes. Funds for Washington Spring Project In February, 1968, Levison was in conference with one of King's aides concerning methods of raising funds for the "Washington Spring Project." Levison suggested that a meeting be held in the home of Harry Belafonte of approximately 60 individuals who have contributed $1,000 or more to SCLC in. the past. Levison advised that some of the people to be invited to this meeting would be Governor and Mrs. Nelson '+Rockefeller, Mary and Stephen Rockefeller, and Franklin D. Roosevelt III. - 18 - -SECRET- W"~ LBW UMRY PAGES 19 AND 20 ARE WITHHELD PER U.S. DISTRICT COURT, WASHINGTON, D.C. CIVIL ACTION NUMBERS 76-1185 AND 76-1186 cm uull