o\\ ire .04 oce 90s +6s d THE TEXAS OBSERVER Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. MAY 6, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor Published once a week from Austi : Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5 pc annum. Advertising rates available on r. quest. Extra copies 15c each. Quantil prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phor GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Rat dolph, 41914 Lovett Blvd., Houston Texas. Secret Files Talk with Big Man Discovery Fifth Amendment.” Had not the doctor been to a meeting of Cell 772 at the teacher’s place? “No, we don’t attend other meetings,” he said. “Has he ever attended other meetings? “Yes,” he said. Where ? “I can’t tell you where. I could, but I won’t.” Does he know about the projected tape recordings of University lectures? He did not. “If somebody is doing that, that’s an activity they’re doing on their own,” he said. “Even if they are, I don’t see anything wrong with it. The communists make a great to do about the citizen going out and bringing in information on other citizens working against the state. Do you see anything wrong with it?” By this time we had walked to the front door and were, standing in the sunlight. Did he think secret recordings might be hitting a little under the belt? “I certainly don’t. Look, my son is going to be at the University next year, and I think it’d be a good thing for him to do something like that. If they are brainwashing those young people like that, I think as a parent I have a right to know.” I bade goodbye to the doctor. ‘Powerful Research’ Stopping long enough in my investigation to get Bob Sherrill, whom I briefed hurriedly on recent events, I sped once more to a rendezvous with Young Mr. X in the apartment near the campus. He suggested I contact the president once more to inquire if he knew some of the other members of Cell 772, two of whom the trusty Sherrill and I were about to seek out. The president answered the phone. I listed the other cell members Young Mr. X had mentioned and asked if he knew them. In each instance, except for one member who lived down the hall from him, he said he did not know them. Having told Young Mr. X of the afternoon’s activities, and that the Big Man was not far down the list, I left with my lieutenant to see E He invited us into his dorm room. He, also, was nervous and swallowed hard. I asked if he knew the president. “Everybody around here does,” he replied. “He lives right down the hall here.” How long has he been a Birch member? “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not going to commit myself one way or the other on whether I am or not.” Did he take a tape recorder, hidden in a book satchel, into a lecture of his economics professor? “No, I sure didn’t.” Does he know the teacher, at whose place meetings were held? No. What about the Big Man? “I’ve heard of him. I’ve only met him.” What about the Birch campaign to gather material for an investigation? “I’ve heard rumors,” he said, no more. What does he think of the Mr. X Notarized AUSTIN Young Mr. X, just before he joined the Birch Society, had a personal statement notarized saying he would join the Society if accepted. “The concepts and practices of this organization are offensive to my personal beliefs. My intentions in joining this organization are expressly to subvert and ultimately expose the John Birch Society.” Although the Observer had carefully and critically checked all the points in this story, Young Mr. X also consented to sign on May 4 another notarized oath in which he swore to the veracity of his information. Birch Society? “As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t say.” We drove across campus to another dormitory to see L He said he knew the president. He said he was not a Birch member. Does he know the Big Man? “It’s not my purpose here to comment on these people you’re talking about,” he replied. Did he know that pictures had been taken of the stand-in demonstrators by Birch people ? “I’m not aware they’ve been taken,” he said. Then, shaking his head, he added, “You all have a powerful research organization.” Then he IS a member of the Birch Society? “I’m not a member, I’m certainly not,” he said. Had he ever been to a Birch meeting? “No comment,” he responded. En route to our final interview, with the Big Man himself, I again phoned Young Mr. X. “He told you that? Oh me, he’s the one who suggested the tape recorders.” My lieutenant and I stopped at our office long enough to prepare a detailed list of questions to ask the Big Man. The moment had arrived: we were about to come face to face with that illustrious leader of youth and authority in the subtle art of judo. Young Mr. X had told us the Big Man was hosting another Birch meeting that very night. Sherrill and I parked in the shadow of a pecan tree near his house, just off Lamar, and waited several minutes, until the last car had driven away. Rain began to fall softly as we approached a large, prosperous house with a bright yellow light on the porch. We knocked on the door. A tall, dark, heavily-built man, perhaps in his 40’s, came to the door. It was the Big Man. After we had introduced ourselves, he invited us out to a roofed patio in the wide yard. Sherrill patted the Big Man’s dog, a grizzly terrier. Then we all sat down. Here is a text of the exchange, punctuated only by the Big Man’s increasing belligerence. “How long have you been in the Birch Society?” “That’s nobody’s business but mine.” “Then you are a member?” “This has nothing to do with what you print or say. This has absolutely no bearing on anything you print or say. What do you want? What are you doing here?” “We have some information we’d like to check with you. We need to ask you some questions. Do you know a young man named D M ?,, “That has nothing to do with your being here. If you have some important information to give me, give it to me.” “Are you going to answer my questions or aren’t you? I’m not here to harrass you. If you don’t want to answer my questions, say so and I’ll leave.” “Well, I’m not going to answer any questions from anybody who shows up here at 10:30 at night.” “Would you like for us to come back at 9:30 in the morning? Or what time could you see us tomorrow?” “I’m busy all day.” “Well, just say when you can see me.” “I don’t think I ever will have time.” “In other words, you aren’t going to answer my questions. Just say so and I’ll leave.” “You can leave, then.” That was the Big Man. The Secret Files At our final rendezvous, Young Mr. X was totally disillusioned by the un-cooperative spirit of his colleagues. There was no one else to see, nowhere else to go. The investigation was over, except for the secret files of Cell 772, which had been entrusted to him. Young Mr. X took me to his dormitory room and there gave me the files. At any moment other members of Cell 772, even the Big Man himself, might come to get them. But the world had to know. In my study at home I browsed , through the prized packet, a collection of evidence on subversion that might leave the entire nation reeling. Here are a few of the documents: “April 21, 1961 “On April 20, 1961, Thursday, during Speech . . . class, during which members of the class were giving speeches, a girl from Longspeech regarding the subject that the modern male is less useful than in the past. The subject was a critical analysis of the modern male. The girl concluded the speech by saying that even if the modern male was useless, she was glad he was around. At that time . . . the class instructor, asked her if she was glad the male was around because of the CANYON Troy Martin, publisher of the Canyon News, tried to interview Robert Welch, leader of the John Birch Society, when Welch passed through Amarillo on his speaking tour. Martin reported that several people around Welch, including J. C. Phillips, editor of the Borger News-Herald, and General Jerry Lee, refused to let him talk to Welch. In his news story, Martin continued: “Welch read his speech from a prepared statement which he warned his listeners was copyrighted. He forbade newsmen to use any portions except those handed to them in a prepared text following the speech. “The Canyon News did not ask for the canned text. ‘To use such a prepared statement would put The Canyon News in the position of being little more than a propaganda media for this man Welch,’ Martin declared. “Welch received several rounds of applause but the number of people in the auditorium who did not join was conspicuous.” Although the Canyon News is a generally conservative newspaper circulated in a conservative area of Randall County, Martin also editorialized against the Birch Society. The editorial, “So the People May Know,” said: Even some of the staunchest members of the John Birch Society have expressed doubt in the leadership of the Society since Bob Welch, its top man, made an appearance at Amarillo Saturday. We cannot approve of this man who believes that he is the only man alive ready, willing and able to lead the fight against Communism. reproduction act. Shortly later in the discussion of her speech by members of the class and \(the instructor, asked her if the male was useless how did she plan on continuing the race \(huthat she could use artificial insemination. “Throughout the semester \(the portunities to make obscene remarks in the presence of two female members of the class. “I Intend to obtain the name of the girl involved in the above incident and include her name on this sheet . . . Another document: lish instructor . .. said to his English . . . class: ‘The New Testament has some basic inconsistencies. I hope you won’t report me to the Board of Regent, but . . . to reconcile.’ “These statements were made to show that the Bible should not cesions regarding morality. The subject arose out of discussion of the lead characters of Huckleberry Finn. “I would like to complain about this attempted discrediting of the Bible. W .” Another sheet contained a list of 14 “subversives” on the faculty, including one department head noted across the campus for his conciliatory roles and his Christian activities. A cryptic note was attached to the list: “Check committee who are selecting president of University.” Another document noted : “In the summer session of 1959 \(a ing in essence at the beginning Welch sneers at democracy and in his blue book labels it a “perennial fraud.” He says a republican form of government has “many attractions” under certain favorable conditions. Welch looks with suspicion upon labor, management, religion, government, newspapers and in fact about everyone except Bob Welch. We are reminded of the story of a Quaker husband talking to his wife. “Wife,” he said. “I can trust no one , in the world except me and thee and sometimes I have reason to doubt thee.” We do not wish to destroy the John Birch Society. We would like to see it purged of men who avowedly see nothing wrong with dictatorship, if it is not a Cornmunist dictatorship. The Birch Society has in its ranks many sincere men and women who are grabbing at a straw in an effort to find a vehicle for their fight on Communism. of the semester . . . ‘Does anybody in here really believe that the main reason we’re here on earth is connected with the hereafter? I don’t think so.’ \(Show of hands, about four or five raised course will be that the hereafter is not the question of importance, but to establish a world that is best for man’s life here.’ made fun of belief in God, and said he doubted the existence of sod, and that it was stupid to consider Him in organizing the world. “P.S. This upset me enough at the time to write a letter to the American Mercury Magazine which I may have a copy of at home.” The file also contained diverse scribbled reports on other lectures: “Trial by jury is feudal”; “federal aid to education is nothing new”; “segregation is not local custom but was forced by legislation” and -more. Discovery, Conclusion That very night, Young Mr. X said the next day, Cell 772 found its spy. When he returned to his dorm room later that night, Young Mr. X said, four cell members were waiting. They demanded the secret files. He said he did not have them. They invited him outside, and the president reached into his pocket and pulled out $2, the monthly dues. Handing him the money, Young Mr. X said, the president told him, “We ought to smash your face in.” They then left.