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COINTELPRO -- White Hate Groups (1964-1968)
INTRODUCTIONIntelligence Cover OrganizationANONYMOUS MAILINGSLetters to Black Churches and Anti-Segregation GroupsMASS MEDIA PROGRAM
ALetters to Mayors
Post Card Mailings to Klansmen
The Black Klan
Effective immediately, the Bureau is instituting a coordinated Counterintelligence Program (Cointelpro) directed against Klan-type and hate organizations. The purpose of this program is to expose, disrupt, and otherwise neutralize the activities of the various Klans and hate organizations, their leadership and adherents. The activities of these groups must be followed on a continuous basis so we may take advantage of all opportunities for counterintelligence and also inspire action in instances where circumstances warrant. The devious maneuvers and duplicity of these groups must be exposed to public scrutiny through the cooperation of reliable news media sources, both locally and at the Seat of Government. We must frustrate any effort of the groups to consolidate their forces or to recruit new or youthful adherents. In every instance, consideration should be given to disrupting the organized activity of these groups and no opportunity should be missed to capitalize upon organizational and personal conflicts of their leadership. If an enthusiastic approach is made to this new endeavor, there is no reason why the results achieved under this program will not equal or surpass our achievements in similar-type programs directed against subversives. Director to 17 Field Offices, Sept. 2, 1964
Intelligence Cover Organization
You are in receipt of a prior communication regarding the establishment of the National Committee for Domestic Tranquility (NCDT), a Bureau-approved vehicle for attacking Klan policies, and disputes from a low-key, common sense, and patriotic position. You should regard this development as a highly confidential counterintelligence technique. Information concerning the NCDT should not be set forth in the details of any communication prepared for dissemination. In the event inquiries are made concerning the NCDT by interested intelligence agencies, you are not to divulge any information conerning the NCDT. Such inquiries should be promptly furnished the Bureau. Director to 20 Field Offices, May 12, 1966
Letters to Black Churches and Anti-Segregation Groups
ReBulet authorized the sending of an anonymous letter to Negro groups or active anti-segregation groups (including Negro churches in Birmingham) in an effort to expose the fact that [ ] is a member of the National Executive Committee of the National States Rights Party (NSRP). Copies of the above-mentioned anonymous letter were prepared. On 1/27/65, copies were sent to 15 Negro churches and/or anti-segregation groups in Birmingham. Information has been received in early February, 1965 and the information verified to the effect that [ ] has be [ ] Both offices reportedly have the same ownership. In view of the above, Bureau authority is requested for Birmingham to prepare a follow-up anonymous communication to the same Negro groups (15) to whom the original letter was sent. A suggested letter is as follows:SAC, Birmingham to Director, Feb. 19, 1965
It sure tickled me when I found out that [ ] asn't [ ] Birmingham, Ala., any longer. [ ] You are to be thanked if you helped get [ ] transferred and maybe you can use your influence concerning his present job. It hurts to know he can manage a company which is dependent on Negro patronage for a very substantial portion of its business and also serve as [ ] of the National Executive Committee of the National States Rights Party. Hope you can spread the word. -- J.D.
The June 19, 1965 edition of "The Saturday Evening Post" contains, beginning on page 86, a story entitled
"Murder: The Klan on Trial." This is the story of the murder of Lieutenant Colonel LEMUEL PENN near
Athens, Georgia, on 7/11/64, and the story rather graphically shows what can happen to a town which has
a unit of the Klan.
We propose to anonymously mail the story to the Mayors of 13 towns in the Atlanta Division who have Klan
groups operating in or just outside their towns.
I saw the enclosed story in "The Saturday Evening Post" and wanted to call it to your attention. You know
this could happen in our town as we have a Klan here. They meet (here insert local meeting place). I
understand the local leader is (here insert name of local leader).
-- A concerned citizen.
The 13 Mayors to whom we propose to send this material are Mayors of the following towns:
Buford, Canton, Cleveland, Winder, Monroe, Lawrenceville, Jonesboro, Covington, Doraville,
Lithonia, Jackson, Barnesville, and College Park.
Dear Mayor: I saw the enclosed story in "The Saturday Evening Post" and wanted to call it to your attention. You know this could happen in our town as we have a Klan here. They meet (here insert local meeting place). I understand the local leader is (here insert name of local leader). -- A concerned citizen.
The 13 Mayors to whom we propose to send this material are Mayors of the following towns: Buford, Canton, Cleveland, Winder, Monroe, Lawrenceville, Jonesboro, Covington, Doraville, Lithonia, Jackson, Barnesville, and College Park.SAC, Atlanta to Director , June 9, 1965
Racial informants have advised in April, 1965, that a meeting of the United Klans of America, Inc.,
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (UKA), was held in Bessemer, Alabama, and this was a state meeting.
[ ] advised that [ ], one of the
three defendants to be tried on the murder charge in Hayneville, Alabama, was present at this meeting.
It was announced that [ ]
had received a letter addressed to him at Bessemer, Alabama (USA?), from Chicago, Illinois, and this letter
was signed "Mafia." There was a black glove cut out of construction paper, with the words "Mafia," and
"Vendetta," on it. Reportedly, this letter stated that all the Klan was marked for death, and if anything happened
to the Negro boy who was riding with Mrs. LIUZZO when she was shot, then the Mafia would cut up
[ ] family, piece by
piece, before killing them. Reportedly, the letter had been postmarked aty Chicago, Illinois. It was also
reported by Birmingham informants that the receipt of the above described letter by
[ ] not only placed him
in a state of fear and great concern, concerning the situation, but caused quite a number of the other Klansmen
to be similarly concerned and in somewhat of a fearful state of mind.
The Bureau is herewith requested to prepare an anonymous communication to
[ ] and other
known Klansmen and/or officials of the UKA, in an attempt to exploit the situation. The Bureau is
herewith requested to give consideration to preparing an original cartoon or drawing setting out a
black glove with the wording "Mafia" and "Vendetta," appropriately arranged in or on the drawing of
the black glove.
A suggested letter is as follows:
You know what happened to Mrs. Viola Liuzzo. The Mafia knows what you have been doing and what
you are doing now. Your so-called 'non-violence' will receive proper action soon.
Klansman ________: You know what happened to Mrs. Viola Liuzzo. The Mafia knows what you have been doing and what you are doing now. Your so-called 'non-violence' will receive proper action soon.
Our experience has indicated that klansmen are not intellectuals, that their activities are prompted by their emotions,
and that a lengthy article, no matter how well written, fails to impress those who are members.
The proposed messages are intentionally short and to the point. Perhaps the die-hard redneck will not be impressed,
but possibly some of the members, particularly those in the more middle class occupations who give the Klan an aura
of respectability, will be caused to doubt the validity of the Klan and the integrity of its leaders. Using postal cards of
this nature would serve several purposes along the following lines:
(1) Since these messages are not in sealed envelopes, a number of persons could read them before delivery, thus
exposing klansmen and removing one of the Klan's most potent weapons -- its veil of secrecy.
(2) Widespread mailing would undoubtedly be reported to the leadership and since the source will not be identified,
apprehension regading the Klan's security could cause them a major problem.
(3) The wives and families of klansmen will probably feel uneasy about these messages and may influence
members to disassociate themselves.
(4) Some of the messages could be sent to business addresses rather than residences further spreading the word
as to Klan membership.
(1) Since these messages are not in sealed envelopes, a number of persons could read them before delivery, thus exposing klansmen and removing one of the Klan's most potent weapons -- its veil of secrecy.
(2) Widespread mailing would undoubtedly be reported to the leadership and since the source will not be identified, apprehension regading the Klan's security could cause them a major problem.
(3) The wives and families of klansmen will probably feel uneasy about these messages and may influence members to disassociate themselves.
(4) Some of the messages could be sent to business addresses rather than residences further spreading the word as to Klan membership.
Enclosed is a Xerox copy of a cartoon which reportedly appeared in some issue of the Afro-American newspaper. This cartoon appears satirical of Klan and hate groups. Referenced Bulet advised that the Bureau was considering preparing an original cartoon depicting the same theme for anonymous mailing by all pertinent offices to Klan members in areas presenting the most potential for disruption. It is requested that the enclosed cartoon be given the same consideration as the cartoon mentioned in referenced communications and that appropriate wording be placed in the cartoon. SAC, Birmingham to Director, Mar. 25, 1965
Authority is granted you to anonymously mail Xerox copies of the cartoon submitted with relet to various National States Rights Party and United Klans of America, Inc., leaders and other individuals as a disruptive technique. It is suggested that for added impact the titles of both men be typed along with their names i.e. [ ] National States Rights Party [ ] United Klans of America, Inc. The original cartoon depicts two individuals, one dressed as a beatnik carrying a sign which reads "Peace! Brotherhood! Ban the Bomb!" the other dressed in Klan hood and robe carrying a fiery cross, unexpectedly meeting each other and one exclaiming to the other as they exhibit their credentials "Well, I'll be damned! I'm With the FBI Myself!" Director to SAC, Birmingham, June 24, 1965
Three of these postal cards are now ready for use and we have additional sketches which can be made up if
more are needed in the future. Copies of the three cards are attached. ... It is noted that the various offices
have furnished the number of positively identified klansmen whose addresses they have readily available.
The total mailing would be less than 6,000 spread over 21 field divisions.
F.J. Baumgardner to W.C. Sullivan, April 20, 1966
Who, me? Worried about FBI informers?
One thing is sure! They can't make idiots out of us!
I am an informant. Color me Fed!
We seem to have sprung a leak!
Invisible Govt: Someone is peeking under your sheet
Klansmen: Which Klan leaders are spending your money tonight?
You are being forwarded under separate cover a supply of three different postal cards to be mailed by your office anonymously to a selected number of known Klan members. ... You must be certain that this mailing is limited to those individuals who have been positively identified as Klan members. ... Informants are not to be advised regarding the mailing of these cards but you should be alert to any information volunteered by informants regarding the cards and advise of any positive results achieved. Director to 21 Field Offices, April 28, 1966
We have received word from some of our offices that the first of these cards have been mailed and the results have been most impressive. The Cincinnati Office forwarded a clipping from the 5/24/66 edition of the "Cincinnati Inquirer" which revealed that a number of alleged klansmen had been receiving postal cards indicating that their identity as klansmen was known. An unidentified Klan leader is quoted as saying that these cards have been "very embarrassing" to many prominent businessmen and public officials who are secret sympathizers. The Miami Office has advised that klansmen [ ] revealed at a Klan meeting that Klan members were receiving these cards and that Jacksonville [ ] had reproduced an exact replica in large numbers to be mailed anonymously to high state and Federal officials. At a meeting of the United Florida Ku Klux Klan in Orlando, Florida, a vote was taken to reprint similar cards and mail them to persons who are known to be unfavorable to the Klan. The purpose of reproducing the cards and mailing them to non-Klan members is to confuse people concerning the actual number of klansmen and also to spark an official investigation to learn the identities of the originators of this mailing program. Miami has already instituted a discreet inquiry to determine if we can turn this development to our advantage by identifying these cards with Massey or other Klan members, leaving the inference that these individuals are responsible for the cards, thus causing further Klan disruption. F.J. Baumgardner to W.C. Sullivan, May 31, 1966
In view of the information developed that klansmen are reproducing postal cards which have been received by certain klansmen, you should discreetly endeavor to develop information which could be used to identify one or more klansmen as being responsible for the mailing of these cards. It is possible that some situation will arise leading to an arrest by local authorities, at which time a supply of these cards would be found in the possession of a klansman. Each office should consider requesting a handwriting examination if cards of this type are received by prominent individuals and brought to your attention. Comparison of handwriting should be requested with known specimens of [ ] which are in possession of the Miami Office and with any other suspected klansman who might participate in addressing such cards. Director to Florida SACs, June 2, 1966
As indicated in my memorandum of 5/31/66, klansmen in Florida were considering reproducing this card
exactly and sending it to non-Klan members to help remove the stigma placed on klansmen by receipt of
the card. The Florida offices were given instructions by airtel dated 6/2/66 as to how they should take
advantage of any effort to reproduce the card. We have subsequently received word that
[ ] is planning to
duplicate 4,000 of these cards for mailing to non-Klan members, and that
[ ] is planning to
reproduce 10,000 of the cards for the same purpose. This is further indication of the effectiveness
of these cards.
F.J. Baumgardner to W.C. Sullivan, June 7, 1966
In the past several months we have disseminated various public source items to
[ ]. Those
items pertain to the National States Rights Party (NSRP) which is a notorious anti-Semitic,
anti-Negro, right-wing hate group which continuously attacks the Director and the Bureau through
its publications. This counterintelligence project resulted in a 30-minute television special which
turned into an "expose" of the NSRP which completely closed three Florida chapters of this group.
[ ] is now working
on a follow-up show which will expose the UKA. We have already furnished him with some public source
information concerning the UKA.
G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, Oct. 12, 1967
This is to recommend the attached treatise entitled "The Black Klan" be approved and forwarded to the Crime
Records Division for referral to appropriate news media representatives. The caption "The Black Klan" is
descriptive of the contents and compares the white Ku Klux Klan with the Black Panther Party. The article
compares the militancy of both groups and their penchant for weapons. It is pointed out that both the Black
Panthers and the white Klan use uniformed guards to harass and frighten. The article points out that the one
big difference between the two is the fact that the Black Panthers look to the communists for at least moral
support while the Klan looks to local citizenry.
G.C. Moore to W.C. Sullivan, Dec. 17, 1968