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The Atteberry Case Searcy, Ark. The academic climate at Harding College became more clouded than usual during 1969, when the Atteberry case arose. The central figure was Texas-educated Dr. James L. Atteberry, a soft-spoken teacher of English who for 16 years had been a member of the Harding faculty. Atteberry was rather unceremoniously pressured into resigning, culminating a tenure here during which gossip regarding his gentle malaise about the quality of academic life at Harding fueled conversations at faculty teas. His friends often wondered what kept Atteberry at Harding, given his deep-seated doubts about the school and the fact that he could teach nearly anywhere. He on occasion would explain that he had chosen to teach, and no school anywhere needed teachers any more than Harding. Given the school’s hopelessly rigid philosophies, he believed, someone had to challenge the rote minds of these sheltered innocents off the unlearned, back-route farms and barber-poled Main Streets of the South. Otherwise, they’d opt for the hard-grained prejudices of their parents, falling short of their humanitarian potentials. For years he stood accused as the college’s only faculty liberal. But partly because of his accommodating nature and his popularity with the students, Atteberry had become a Harding fixture. But, for some reason, that changed. Atteberry was called before the Harding board last spring and held to account for a speech he had made the previous fall, in which he had said that since man is finite and could never know anything absolutely, the proper attitude of the true scholar is one of intellectual humility. This wouldn’t do for the board, most of whose members believe that any God-fearing man who has literacy, two seeing eyes, and a copy of the King James version of. the Scriptures could in short order know, and KNOW that he knew, absolute truth. The board members also questioned Atteberry about his views on social drinking and intrumental music in the worship service. But these were merely mop-up sorties. While explaining his views of what the institution ought to be, Atteberry called Harding a “liberal arts” college. “It is not,” snapped board chairman Monroe, La., “it is a conservative college.” Atteberry considered making a stand against the trend towards periodic purges at Harding but decided finally to resign, foi his family’s sake, for his health’s sake, but also for the school’s, for which, its politics aside, he had some genuine affection. He now teaches at Pepperdine College in California. 44,44 4,1110, can fall privy to the “shocking facts” in NEP’s new film “Revolution Underway,” which tells how international communism, after “30 years of preparatory work,” is going to use “America’s 22,000,000 Negro citizens” to destroy our system, our hopes, and our dreams. The 28-minute documentary “dramatically presents the dimensions and the nature of this expanding internal danger, out of the mouths of the messiahs of ‘Black Power’ and the self-styled ‘Afro-American’ Marxists speaking from Havana, Peking, Moscow, Prague, Watts, Washington, New York, and other citadels of power.” Persons shopping for home movies will also want to consider Gov. Ronald Reagan’s four-reel 16-mm. black and white narration of “The Truth About Communism” \(remember TV’s melodramatic “I Led documented,” recounting of his days as a Boston commie, from which he emerged, he says, with one cardinal lesson which he now passes on to Mr. Average American: “Know your enemy” \(three 13-minute THOUSANDS of this country’s brighter Farm and Bible Belt high school students are learning to know their enemies in NEP-operated Youth Forums, now annual events in 12 Southwestern and Midwest states. For four days, Benson and the NEP staff parade a slate of speakers liberally sprinkled with names of Eastern Europelh derivation before several hundred callow innocent youths decked out in dresses made as 4-H Club projects or blue Future Farmer jackets and sponsored, more likely than not, by the local Farm Bureau chapter, Civitan Club, or chamber of commerce. The youth forums are one of NEP’s brightest stories. The format grew out of a 1953 request from Civitan Clubs in North Florida and Southern Alabama, who needed a week-long “sweepstakes” program for winners of their “American oratory” contests. It must have been a severe letdown for winners to learn that it was to Searcy, Ark., and not Miami Beach or Vegas that their talents had led them. But the idea caught on rapidly, and Harding soon summoned two of its “sister” Church of Christ schools to its assistance, Lubbock Christian College in Texas and Oklahoma Christian College at Oklahoma City, and now all three aid local groups throughout the country in staging rafter-rattling “hoedowns for freedom” for American teen-agers. Benson seldom appears any more, but Harding is usually represented. Having turned the operational aspects of Harding over to a hand-picked successor, Clifton Ganus, a red-haired ex-Harding history student, Benson divides his time these twilight days between church politics and NEP. He has Glenn A. Green, the gaunt mustachioed scriptwriter of “Communism on the Map” back as his executive vice president, employs a retired naval commander as associate director, and depends on a long-time Harding faculty member, Dr. James D. Bales, to do the laborious research for NEP’s films, pamphlets, books, and lectures. Between the members of this small staff, operating on a budget that the fact-finding Group Research, Inc., says has ranged as high as $300,000 a year, NEP manages, among other projects, to oversee a $2 million film library; prepare the monthly “National Program Letter,” which goes to 40,000 subscribers and NEP donors of $5 or more per year; dispatch Benson’s weekly “Looking Ahead” column to 2,250 American weekly, daily, trade, and fraternal publications; write and deliver a freshet of speeches; plan at least one major annual project so NEP can preserve its Freedom Foundation medal awards string; and operate the immensely successful Freedom Forums \(although for $400 anyone can purchase an NEP “Do It THE MOST heartening factor in the Harding picture is its students. They come with a strike against them having been raised by small-town, rural, militantly fundamental parents. Taught fear in the name of faith from the time they were Sunday School toddlers, they view the world through lenses of suspicion, a natural outgrowth of their peculiar religious belief that members of their faith and them only in all Christendom comprise “the redeemed.” The reason they are at Harding to begin with is because their parents view the sheltered campus as an innocuous, sin-free conduit to a “respectable” adulthood. For many students, the experience turns out to be just that. But for others the machinations of the furtive deans and administrators that often inhabit church schools goad them to resistance, along with the added stimulus of the college’s Simple Simon politics. To express themselves, they sometimes have to resort to devious and diverse ways. “Harding is a pretty tricky place,” says a student editor who, in his shortened term of office, chided Harding’s Freedom Forum speakers for their January 23, 1970 5