Some may remember that in 2005 a major media controversy engulfed Harvard President Larry Summers over his remarks at an academic conference. Casually speaking off-the-record at the private gathering, Summers had gingerly raised the hypothetical possibility that on average men might be a bit better at mathematics than women, perhaps partially explaining the far larger number of males holding faculty positions in the math, science, and engineering departments.
These controversial speculations were soon leaked to the press, and an enormous firestorm of protest erupted, with MIT professor Nancy Hopkins claiming that merely hearing Summers’ words at the event had left her physically ill, forcing her to quickly exit the room lest she suffer a blackout and collapse.
Harvard students and faculty members soon launched an organized campaign to have Summers removed from the summit of our academic world, with noted evolutionary-psychologist Steven Pinker being one of the very few professors willing to publicly defend him. Eventually, an unprecedented “no confidence” vote by the entire faculty and growing loss of confidence by the Board of Trustees forced Summers to resign, becoming the first Harvard President to suffer that fate in the university’s 350 year history, thus apparently demonstrating the astonishing power of feminist “political correctness” on college campuses.
The true story for those who followed it was actually quite a bit more complex. Summers, a former Clinton Administration Treasury Secretary, had a long record of very doubtful behavior, which had outraged many faculty members for entirely different reasons. As I wrote a few years ago:
Now I am hardly someone willing to defend Summers from a whole host of very serious and legitimate charges. He seems to have played a major role in transmuting Harvard from a renowned university to an aggressive hedge fund, policies that subsequently brought my beloved alma mater to the very brink of bankruptcy during the 2008 financial crisis. Under his presidency, Harvard paid out $26 million dollars to help settle international insider-trading charges against Andrei Shleifer, one of his closest personal friends, who avoided prison as a consequence. And after such stellar financial and ethical achievements, he was naturally appointed as one of President Obama’s top economic advisors, a position from which he strongly supported the massive bailout of Wall Street and the rest of our elite financial services sector, while ignoring Main Street suffering. Perhaps coincidentally, wealthy hedge funds had paid him many millions of dollars for providing a few hours a week of part-time consulting advice during the twelve months prior to his appointment.
Moreover, Summers had previously denounced anti-Israel activism by Harvard students and faculty members as “anti-Semitic,” an accusation that provoked fierce opposition. A few years later, it also came out that Summers may have played a crucial role in favoring Mark Zuckerberg over the Winkelvoss brothers in their early battle for ownership of Facebook, while Summers’ former assistant Sheryl Sandberg later became Facebook president, making her a multi-billionaire.
Although Summers’ impolitic remarks regarding female math ability had certainly sparked his ouster, the underlying cause was probably his many years of extremely unbecoming behavior. Indeed, I think a reasonable case can be made that Summers was the worst and most disreputable president in all of Harvard’s long history.
Still, even a broken or crooked clock is right twice a day, and I doubt that Larry Summers is the only person in the world who suspects that men might be a bit better at math than women. But some strongly disagree with this assessment, and in the wake of the Summers controversy one of his fiercest academic opponents was a certain Janet Mertz, who specializes in cancer research at the University of Wisconsin.
In order to effectively refute Summers’ odious speculations, she and her co-authors decided to carefully examine the total roster of participants in the International Math Olympiads for the years 1988-2007. These 3200-odd individuals represent the world’s highest-performing math students drawn from the secondary schools of dozens of countries, and the gender distribution across so many different cultures and years would surely constitute powerful quantitative evidence of whether males and females significantly differed in their average aptitudes. Since most of these thousands of Math Olympians are drawn from non-Western countries, determining the genders of each and every one is hardly a trivial undertaking, and we should greatly commend the diligent research that Mertz and her colleagues undertook to accomplish this task.
They published their important results in a 10,000 word academic journal article, whose “first and foremost” conclusion, provided in bold-italics, was that “the myth that females cannot excel in mathematics must be put to rest.” And in her subsequent press interviews, she proclaimed that her research had demonstrated that men and women had equal innate ability in mathematics, and that any current differences in performance were due to culture or bias, a result which our media gleefully promoted far and wide.
But strangely enough, when I actually bothered to read the text and tables of her eye-glazingly long and dull academic study, I noticed something quite intriguing, especially in the quantitative results conveniently summarized in Tables 6 and 7 (pp. 1252-53), and mentioned it in a column of my own:
The first of these shows the gender-distribution of the 3200-odd Math Olympians of the leading 34 countries for the years 1988-2007, and a few minutes with a spreadsheet reveals that the skew is 95% male and 5% female. Furthermore, almost every single country, whether in Europe, Asia, or elsewhere, seems to follow this same pattern, with the female share ranging between 0% and 12% but mostly close to 5%; Serbia/Montenegro is the only major outlier at 20% female. Similarly, Table 7 provides a gender distribution of results for just the United States, and we find that just 5 of our 126 Math Olympians—or 4%—have been female. Various other prestigious math competitions seem to follow a roughly similar gender skew.
These remarkable findings are even more easily grasped when we summarize the male percentages of top math students aggregated across 1988-2008 for each individual country:
China, 96% male
India, 97% male
Iran, 98% male
Israel, 98% male
Japan, 98% male
Kazakhstan, 99% male
South Korea, 93% male
Taiwan, 95% male
Turkey, 96% male
Vietnam, 97% male
Belarus, 94% male
Bulgaria, 91% male
Czech Republic, 96% male
Slovakia, 88% male
France 97% male
Germany, 94% male
Hungary, 94% male
Poland, 99% male
Romania, 94% male
Russia/USSR, 88% male
Serbia and Montenegro, 80% male
Ukraine, 93% male
United Kingdom, 93% male
Australia, 94% male
Brazil, 96% male
Canada, 90% male
USA, 96% male
INTERNATIONAL AVERAGE, 94.4% male
These are the empirical results that Mertz and her co-authors touted as conclusively demonstrating that males and females have equal mathematical ability. As near as I can tell, no previous journalist or researcher had noticed the considerable difference between Mertz’s empirical data and her stated conclusions, or perhaps any such individuals were just too intimidated to focus public attention on the discrepancy.
This striking disconnect between a study’s purported findings and its actual results should alert us to similar possibilities elsewhere. Perhaps it is not so totally rare that diligent researchers whose ideological zeal sufficiently exceeds their mental ability may spend enormous time and effort gathering information but then interpreting it in a manner exactly contrary to its obvious meaning.
These thoughts recently came to my mind when I decided to read a remarkable analysis of the American military by Joseph W. Bendersky of Virginia Commonwealth University, a Jewish historian specializing in Holocaust Studies and the history of Nazi Germany. Last year, I had glanced at a few pages of his text for my long article on Holocaust Denial, but I now decided to carefully read the entire work, published in 2000.
Bendersky devoted ten full years of research to his book, exhaustively mining the archives of American Military Intelligence as well as the personal papers and correspondence of more than 100 senior military figures and intelligence officers. The “Jewish Threat” runs over 500 pages, including some 1350 footnotes, with the listed archival sources alone occupying seven full pages. His subtitle is “Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army” and he makes an extremely compelling case that during the first half of the twentieth century and even afterward, the top ranks of the U.S. military and especially Military Intelligence heavily subscribed to notions that today would be universally dismissed as “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
Put simply, U.S. military leaders in those decades widely believed that the world faced a direct threat from organized Jewry, which had seized control of Russia and similarly sought to subvert and gain mastery over America and the rest of Western civilization.
In these military circles, there was an overwhelming belief that powerful Jewish elements had financed and led Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution, and were organizing similar Communist movements elsewhere aimed at destroying all existing Gentile elites and imposing Jewish supremacy throughout America and the rest of the Western world. While some of these Communist leaders were “idealists,” many of the Jewish participants were cynical opportunists, seeking to use their gullible followers to destroy their ethnic rivals and thereby gain wealth and supreme power. Although intelligence officers gradually came to doubt that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was an authentic document, most believed that the notorious work provided a reasonably accurate description of the strategic plans of the Jewish leadership for subverting America and the rest of the world and establishing Jewish rule.
Although Bendersky’s claims are certainly extraordinary ones, he provides an enormous wealth of compelling evidence to support them, quoting or summarizing thousands of declassified Intelligence files, and further supporting his case by drawing from the personal correspondence of many of the officers involved. He conclusively demonstrates that during the very same years that Henry Ford was publishing his controversial series The International Jew, similar ideas, but with a much sharper edge, were ubiquitous within our own Intelligence community. Indeed, whereas Ford mostly focused upon Jewish dishonesty, malfeasance, and corruption, our Military Intelligence professionals viewed organized Jewry as a deadly threat to American society and Western civilization in general. Hence the title of Bendersky’s book.
These widespread beliefs had important political consequences. In recent decades, our leading immigration restrictionists have regularly argued that anti-Semitism played absolutely no role in the 1924 Immigration Act drastically curtailing European immigration; and the debates and speeches found in the Congressional Record have tended to support their claims. However, last year, I speculated that the widespread awareness of the Jewish leadership of the Bolshevik Revolution may have been a large factor behind the legislation, but one that was kept away from the public record. Bendersky’s research fully confirms my suspicions, and he reveals that one of the former military officers most fearful of Jewish immigrant subversion actually played a crucial role in orchestrating the legislation, whose central unstated goal was eliminating any further influx of Eastern European Jews.
The bulk of the fascinating material that Bendersky cites comes from intelligence reports and official letters contained in permanent military archives. Therefore, we must keep in mind that the officers producing such documents would surely have chosen their words carefully and avoided putting all their controversial thoughts down on paper, raising the possibility that their actual beliefs may have been far more extreme. A particular late 1930s case involving one top general provides insight into the likely opinions and private conversations of at least some of those individuals.
Although his name would mean nothing today, Deputy Chief of Staff George Van Horn Moseley spent most of the 1930s as one of America’s most highly-regarded generals, having been considered for the top command of our armed forces and also serving as a personal mentor to Dwight D. Eisenhower, future Secretary of State George C. Marshall, and numerous other leading military figures. He seems to have been well-liked within our military establishment, and had an excellent personal reputation.
Moseley also had very strong opinions on the major public issues of the day, and after his retirement in 1938 freed him from military discipline, he began to aggressively promote these, going on a nationwide speaking tour. He repeatedly denounced Roosevelt’s military buildup and in an early 1939 speech, he declared that “The war now being proposed is for the purpose of establishing Jewish hegemony throughout the world.” He stated that only Jews would profit from the war, claimed that leading Wall Street Jews had financed the Russian Revolution, and warned Americans not to let history repeat itself. Although Moseley’s outspokenness soon earned him a reprimand from the Roosevelt Administration, he also received private letters of support from other top generals and former president Herbert Hoover.
In his Congressional testimony just before the outbreak of World War II, Moseley became even more outspoken. He declared that the “murder squads” of Jewish Communists had killed “millions of Christians,” but that “fortunately, the character of the German people was aroused” against these traitors within their midst and that therefore “We should not blame the Germans for settling the problem of the Jew within their borders for all time.” He even urged our national leaders to “benefit” from the German example in addressing America’s own festering domestic Jewish problem.
As might be expected, Moseley’s 1939 praise of Germany’s Jewish policy in front of Congress provoked a powerful media backlash, with a lead story in The New Republic denouncing him as a Nazi “fifth columnist” and The Nation attacking him in similar fashion; and after war broke out, most public figures gradually distanced themselves. But both Eisenhower and Marshall continued to privately regard him with great admiration and remained in friendly correspondence for many years, strongly suggesting that his harsh appraisal of Jews had hardly been a deep secret within his personal circle.
Bendersky claims that Moseley’s fifty boxes of memoirs, private papers, and correspondence “embody every kind of anti-Semitic argument ever manifested in the history of Western civilization,” and based on the various extreme examples he provides, few would dispute that verdict. But he also notes that Moseley’s statements differed little from the depictions of Jews expressed by General George S. Patton immediately after World War II, and even from some retired generals well into the 1970s.
Although I would not question the accuracy of Bendersky’s exhaustive archival research, he seems considerably less sure-footed regarding American intellectual history and sometimes allows his personal sentiments to lead him into severe error. For example, his first chapter devotes a couple of pages to E.A. Ross, citing some of his unflattering descriptions of Jews and Jewish behavior, and suggesting he was a fanatic anti-Semite, who dreaded “the coming catastrophe of an America overrun by racially inferior people.”
But Ross was actually one of our greatest early sociologists, and his 26 page discussion of Jewish immigrants published in 1913 was scrupulously fair-minded and even-handed, describing both positive and negative characteristics, following similar chapters on Irish, German, Scandinavian, Italian, and Slavic newcomers. And although Bendersky routinely denounces his own ideological villains as “Social Darwinists,” the source he actually cites regarding Ross correctly identified the scholar as one of America’s leading critics of Social Darwinism. Indeed, Ross’s stature in left-wing circles was so great that he was selected as a member of the Dewey Commission, organized to independently adjudicate the angry conflicting accusations of Stalinists and Trotskyites. And in 1936, a Jewish leftist fulsomely praised Ross’s long and distinguished scholarly career in the pages of The New Masses, the weekly periodical of the American Communist Party, only regretting that Ross had never been willing to embrace Marxism.
Similarly, Bendersky is completely out of his depth in discussing scientific issues, especially those involving anthropology and human behavior. He ridicules the “scientific racism” that he noted was widely found among the military officers he studied, claiming that such theories had already been conclusively debunked by Franz Boas and his fellow cultural anthropologists. But modern science has firmly established that the notions he so cavalierly dismisses were substantially if not entirely correct while those of Boas and his disciples were largely fallacious, and the Boasian conquest of the academic world actually imposed a half-century Dark Age upon the anthropological sciences, much like Lysenko had done in Soviet biology. Indeed, the views of Boas, an immigrant Jew, may have been primarily motivated by ideological considerations, and his most famous early work seemed to involve outright fraud: he claimed to have proven that the shape of human heads was determined by diet, and rapidly changed among immigrant groups in America.
But far more serious than Bendersky’s lapses in areas outside of his professional expertise are the massive, glaring omissions found at the very heart of his thesis. His hundreds of pages of text certainly demonstrate that for decades our top military professionals were extremely concerned about the subversive activities of Jewish Communists, but he seems to casually dismiss those fears as nonsensical, almost delusional. Yet the actual facts are quite different. As I briefly noted last year after my cursory examination of his book:
The book runs well over 500 pages, but when I consulted the index I found no mention of the Rosenbergs nor Harry Dexter White nor any of the other very numerous Jewish spies revealed by the Venona Decrypts, and the term “Venona” itself is also missing from the index. Reports of the overwhelmingly Jewish leadership of the Russian Bolsheviks are mostly treated as bigotry and paranoia, as are descriptions of the similar ethnic skew of America’s own Communist Party, let alone the heavy financial support of the Bolsheviks by Jewish international bankers. At one point, he dismisses the link between Jews and Communism in Germany by noting that “less than half” of the Communist Party leadership was Jewish; but since fewer than one in a hundred Germans came from that ethnic background, Jews were obviously over-represented among Communist leaders by as much as 5,000%. This seems to typify the sort of dishonesty and innumeracy I have regularly encountered among Jewish Holocaust experts.
Admittedly, Bendersky’s book was published just 18 months after the seminal first Venona volume of John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr appeared in early 1999. But the Venona Decrypts themselves had been declassified in 1995 and soon begun circulating within the academic community. For Bendersky to stubbornly ignore the undeniable reality that a large and overwhelmingly Jewish network of Stalinist agents was situated near the top of the Roosevelt Administration, while ridiculing the military officers who made such claims at the time, raises severe doubts about his credibility as an objective historian.
As I pointed out earlier this year:
From 1941 to 1944 FDR’s Vice President was Henry Wallace, who would have succeeded to the presidency if Roosevelt had renominated him in that latter year or had died prior to early 1945. And although Wallace himself was not disloyal, his top advisors were mostly Communist agents. Indeed, he later stated that a Wallace Administration would have included Laurence Duggan as Secretary of State and Harry Dexter White as Secretary of the Treasury, thereby installing Stalinist henchmen at the top of the Cabinet, presumably supported by numerous lower-level officials of a similar political ilk. One might jokingly speculate whether the Rosenbergs—later executed for treason—would have been placed in charge of our nuclear weapons development program.
That America’s national government of the early 1940s actually came within a hair’s breadth—or rather a heart-beat—of falling under Communist control is a very uncomfortable truth. And our history books and popular media have maintained such total silence about this remarkable episode that even among today’s well-educated Americans I suspect that fewer than five in one hundred are aware of this grim reality.
The Venona Project constituted the definitive proof of the massive extent of Soviet espionage activities in America, which for many decades had been routinely denied by many mainstream journalists and historians, and it also played a crucial secret role in dismantling that hostile spy network during the late 1940s and 1950s. But Venona was nearly snuffed out just a year after its birth. In 1944 Soviet agents became aware of the crucial code-breaking effort, and soon afterwards arranged for the Roosevelt White House to issue a directive ordering the project shut down and all efforts to uncover Soviet spying abandoned. The only reason that Venona survived, allowing us to later reconstruct the fateful politics of that era, was that the determined Military Intelligence officer in charge of the project risked a court-martial by directly disobeying the explicit Presidential order and continuing his work.
That officer was Col. Carter W. Clarke, but his place in Bendersky’s book is a much less favorable one, being described as a prominent member of the anti-Semitic “clique” who constitute the villains of the narrative. Indeed, Bendersky particularly condemns Clarke for still seeming to believe in the essential reality of the Protocols as late as the 1970s, quoting from a letter he wrote to a brother officer in 1977:
If, and a big—damned big IF, as the Jews claim the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were f—- cooked up by Russian Secret Police, why is it that so much they contain has already come to pass, and the rest so strongly advocated by the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Our historians must surely have a difficult time digesting the remarkable fact that the officer in charge of the vital Venona Project, whose selfless determination saved it from destruction by the Roosevelt Administration, actually remained a lifelong believer in the importance of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Let us take a step back and place Bendersky’s findings in their proper context. We must recognize that during much of the era covered by his research, U.S. Military Intelligence constituted nearly the entirety of America’s national security apparatus—being the equivalent of a combined CIA, NSA, and FBI—and was responsible for both international and domestic security, although the latter portfolio had gradually been assumed by J. Edgar Hoover’s own expanding organization by the end of the 1920s.
Bendersky’s years of diligent research demonstrate that for decades these experienced professionals—and many of their top commanding generals—were firmly convinced that major elements of the organized Jewish community were ruthlessly plotting to seize power in America, destroy all our traditional Constitutional liberties, and ultimately gain mastery over the entire world.
I have never believed in the existence of UFOs as alien spacecraft, always dismissing such notions as ridiculous nonsense. But suppose declassified government documents revealed that for decades nearly all of our top Air Force officers had been absolutely convinced of the reality of UFOs. Could I continue my insouciant refusal to even consider such possibilities? At the very least, those revelations would force me to sharply reassess the likely credibility of other individuals who had made similar claims during that same period.
As I wrote in 2018:
Some years ago, I came across a totally obscure 1951 book entitled The Iron Curtain Over America by John Beaty, a well-regarded university professor. Beaty had spent his wartime years in Military Intelligence, being tasked with preparing the daily briefing reports distributed to all top American officials summarizing available intelligence information acquired during the previous 24 hours, which was obviously a position of considerable responsibility.
As a zealous anti-Communist, he regarded much of America’s Jewish population as deeply implicated in subversive activity, therefore constituting a serious threat to traditional American freedoms. In particular, the growing Jewish stranglehold over publishing and the media was making it increasingly difficult for discordant views to reach the American people, with this regime of censorship constituting the “Iron Curtain” described in his title. He blamed Jewish interests for the totally unnecessary war with Hitler’s Germany, which had long sought good relations with America, but instead had suffered total destruction for its strong opposition to Europe’s Jewish-backed Communist menace.
Beaty also sharply denounced American support for the new state of Israel, which was potentially costing us the goodwill of so many millions of Muslims and Arabs. And as a very minor aside, he also criticized the Israelis for continuing to claim that Hitler had killed six million Jews, a highly implausible accusation that had no apparent basis in reality and seemed to be just a fraud concocted by Jews and Communists, aimed at poisoning our relations with postwar Germany and extracting money for the Jewish State from the long-suffering German people.
He was scathing toward the Nuremberg Trials, which he described as a “major indelible blot” upon America and “a travesty of justice.” According to him, the proceedings were dominated by vengeful German Jews, many of whom engaged in falsification of testimony or even had criminal backgrounds. As a result, this “foul fiasco” merely taught Germans that “our government had no sense of justice.” Sen. Robert Taft, the Republican leader of the immediate postwar era took a very similar position, which later won him the praise of John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. The fact that the chief Soviet prosecutor at Nuremberg had played the same role during the notorious Stalinist show trials of the late 1930s, during which numerous Old Bolsheviks confessed to all sorts of absurd and ridiculous things, hardly enhanced the credibility of the proceedings to many outside observers.
Then as now, a book taking such controversial positions stood little chance of finding a mainstream New York publisher, but it was soon released by a small Dallas firm, and then became enormously successful, going through some seventeen printings over the next few years. According to Scott McConnell, founding editor of The American Conservative, Beaty’s book became the second most popular conservative text of the 1950s, ranking only behind Russell Kirk’s iconic classic, The Conservative Mind.
Bendersky devotes several pages to a discussion of Beaty’s book, which he claims “ranks among the most vicious anti-Semitic diatribes of the postwar era.” He also describes the story of its tremendous national success, which followed an unusual trajectory.
Books by unknown authors that are released by tiny publishers rarely sell many copies, but the work came to the attention of George E. Stratemeyer, a retired general who had been one of Douglas MacArthur’s commanders, and he wrote Beaty a letter of endorsement. Beaty began including that letter in his promotional materials, drawing the ire of the ADL, whose national chairman contacted Stratemeyer, demanding that he repudiate the book, which was described as a “primer for lunatic fringe groups” all across America. Instead, Stratemeyer delivered a blistering reply to the ADL, denouncing it for making “veiled threats” against “free expression and thoughts” and trying to establish Soviet-style repression in the United States. He declared that every “loyal citizen” should read The Iron Curtain Over America, whose pages finally revealed the truth about our national predicament, and he began actively promoting the book around the country while attacking the Jewish attempt to silence him. Numerous other top American generals and admirals soon joined Statemeyer in publicly endorsing the work, as did a couple of influential members of the U.S. Senate, leading to its enormous national sales.
Having now discovered that Beaty’s views were so totally consistent with those of nearly all our Military Intelligence professionals, I decided to reread his short book, and found myself deeply impressed. His erudition and level-headedness were exactly what one would expect from an accomplished academic with a Columbia Ph.D. who had risen to the rank of colonel during his five years of service in Military Intelligence and on the General Staff. Although strongly anti-Communist, by all indications Beaty was very much a moderate conservative, quite judicious in his claims and proposals. Bendersky’s hysterical denunciation reflects rather badly upon the issuer of that fatwa.
Beaty’s book was written nearly 70 years ago, at the very beginning of our long Cold War, and is hardly free from various widely-held errors of that time, nor from deep concerns about various calamities that did not come to pass, such as a Third World War. Moreover, since it was published just a couple of years after Mao’s victory in China and in the midst of our own involvement in the Korean War, its discussion of those large contemporary events is far more lengthy and detailed than would probably be of interest to present-day readers. But leaving aside those minor blemishes, I think the account he provides of the true circumstances behind America’s involvement in both the First and Second World Wars and their immediate aftermath is greatly superior to the heavily slanted and expurgated versions we find in our standard history books. And Beaty’s daily wartime responsibility for collating and summarizing all incoming intelligence information and then producing a digest for distribution to the White House and our other top officials surely provided him a far more accurate picture of the reality than that of the typical third-hand scribe.
At the very least, we should acknowledge that Beaty’s volume provides an excellent summary of the beliefs of American Military Intelligence officers and many of our top generals during the first half of the twentieth century. With copyright having long lapsed, I’m pleased to make it available in convenient HTML format, allowing those so interested to read it and judge for themselves:
Despite Bendersky’s fulminations, Beaty seems to have been someone of quite moderate sentiments, who viewed extremism of any type with great disfavor. After describing the ongoing seizure of power in American society by Jewish immigrants, mostly aligned with international Zionism or international Communism, his suggested responses were strikingly inoffensive. He urged American citizens to demonstrate their disapproval by writing letters to their newspapers and elected officials, signing petitions, and providing their political support to the patriotic elements of both the Democratic and Republican parties. He also argued that the most dangerous aspect of the current situation was the enfolding “Iron Curtain” of Jewish censorship that was preventing ordinary Americans from recognizing the great looming threat to their freedoms, and claimed that combating such media censorship was a task of the highest importance.
Others of similar background and views sometimes moved in far more extreme directions. About a dozen years ago I began noticing scattered references on fringe websites to a certain Revilo P. Oliver, an oddly-named political activist of the mid-twentieth century, apparently of enormous stature in Far Right circles. According to these accounts, after important World War II service at the War Department, he began a long and distinguished career as a Classics professor at the University of Illinois. Then, beginning in the mid-1950s, he became active in politics, establishing himself as a leading figure in the early days of both National Review and the John Birch Society, though he eventually broke with both those organizations when he came to regard them as too politically-compromised and ineffective. Thereafter, he gradually became more angry and extreme in his views, and by 1974 had become friendly with William Pierce of the National Alliance, suggesting the theme for his novel The Turner Diaries which sold hundreds of thousands of copies as a huge underground bestseller and according to federal prosecutors later served as the inspiration for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings.
Although I had never heard of Oliver nor his unusual career, most of the facts I could verify seemed correct. The early years of National Review had carried more than 100 of his articles and reviews and a major feature in The Saturday Evening Post discussed his rancorous break with The John Birch Society. A few years later, I became sufficiently curious that I ordered his 1981 book America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative, containing his personal memoir and many of his writings. So few were available, that by chance the one I received was the author’s own personal copy, with his address label glued to the cover and including a few pages of his personal correspondence and errata notes sent to his publisher. These days, the numerous copies available for sale on Amazon start at an outrageous price of almost $150, but fortunately the book is also freely available for reading or downloading at Archive.org.
When I first read Oliver’s book seven or eight years ago, it constituted one of my earliest exposures to the literature of the Far Right, and I was not at all sure what to make of it. His enormous classical erudition was quite apparent, but his political rhetoric seemed totally outrageous, with the word “conspiracy” used with wild abandon, seemingly on almost every other page. Given his bitter political feuds with so many other right-wingers and the total lack of any mainstream endorsements, I viewed his claims with a great deal of skepticism, though a number of them stuck in my mind. However, after having very recently absorbed the remarkable material presented by Bendersky and reread Beaty, I decided to revisit Oliver’s volume, and see what I thought of it the second time round.
Bendersky makes no mention of Oliver, which is unfortunate since all the spurious accusations he had leveled against Ross and Beaty would have been entirely correct if made against Oliver. Unlike most right-wingers, then or now, Oliver was a militant atheist, holding scathing views towards Christianity, and he instead placed racial conflict at the absolute center of his world-view, making him exactly the sort of outspoken Social Darwinist not uncommon in the early years of the twentieth century, but long since driven into hiding. A good indication of the explicit harshness of Oliver’s sentiments appears on the very first page of his preface, when he ridicules the total ineffectiveness of conservatives in combating “the existing situation, which has resulted from the invasion of their country by hordes of aliens who are, by a biological necessity, their racial enemies.” This sort of statement would have been unimaginable in Beaty, who emphasized Christian charity and goodwill.
More than half of the fairly long text consists of pieces that appeared during 1955-1966 in National Review, American Opinion (the Birch magazine), and Modern Age, generally book reviews. Most of the topics are hardly of great current interest, and discuss the internal conflicts of Ancient Rome, or perhaps provide Oliver’s views on Spengler, Toynbee, John Dewey, or Haitian history; but the material certainly establishes the impressive intellectual breadth of the author. According to the book’s introduction, Oliver was conversant in eleven languages, including Sanskrit, and I can well credit that claim.
As mentioned, Oliver particularly despised Christianity and Christian preachers, and he devoted a substantial portion of the remainder of the book to ridiculing them and their doctrines, often deploying his great scholarship laced with crude invective, and generally writing in an arch, rather droll style. Although not of much interest to me, I’d think that those who share Oliver’s religious disinclinations might find his remarks rather amusing.
However, the remaining one-third or so of the volume is focused on factual and political matters, much of the material being quite significant. According to the back cover, Oliver had spent World War II as director of a secret research group at the War Department, leading a staff that eventually grew to 175, and afterward being cited for his outstanding government service. His statements certainly present himself as extremely knowledgeable about the “hidden history” of that war, and he minced absolutely no words about his views. The combination of his strong academic background, his personal vantage point, and his extreme outspokenness would make him a uniquely valuable source on all those matters.
But that value is tempered by his credibility, cast into serious doubt by his often wild rhetoric. Whereas I would consider Beaty’s book quite reliable, at least relative to the best information available at the time, and might place Henry Ford’s The International Jew in much the same category, I would tend to be far more cautious in accepting Oliver’s claims, especially given the strong emotions he expressed. Aside from his many reprinted articles, the rest of the book was written when he was in his seventies, and he repeatedly expressed his political despair concerning his many years of total failure in various right-wing projects. He declared that he had lost any hope of ever restoring the Aryan-controlled America of 1939, and instead foresaw our country’s inevitable decline, alongside that of the rest of Western civilization. Moreover, many of the events he recounts had occurred three or four decades earlier, and even under the best of circumstances his recollections might have become a little garbled.
That being said, in rereading Oliver I was struck by how much of his description of America’s involvement in the two world wars seemed so entirely consistent with Beaty’s account, or that of numerous other highly-regarded journalists and historians of that era, such as the contributors to Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. I had encountered this material some years after reading Oliver’s book, and it greatly buttressed his credibility.
But unlike those other writers, Oliver often framed the same basic facts in extremely dramatic fashion. For example, he denounced Churchill’s 1940 aerial bombing strategy as the most monstrous sort of war crime:
Great Britain, in violation of all the ethics of civilized warfare that had theretofore been respected by our race, and in treacherous violation of solemnly assumed diplomatic covenants about “open cities”, had secretly carried out intensive bombing of such open cities in Germany for the express purpose of killing enough unarmed and defenceless men and women to force the German government reluctantly to retaliate and bomb British cities and thus kill enough helpless British men, women, and children to generate among Englishmen enthusiasm for the insane war to which their government had committed them.
It is impossible to imagine a governmental act more vile and more depraved than contriving death and suffering for its own people — for the very citizens whom it was exhorting to “loyalty” — and I suspect that an act of such infamous and savage treason would have nauseated even Genghis Khan or Hulagu or Tamerlane, Oriental barbarians universally reprobated for their insane blood-lust. History, so far as I recall, does not record that they ever butchered their own women and children to facilitate lying propaganda….In 1944 members of British Military Intelligence took it for granted that after the war Marshal Sir Arthur Harris would be hanged or shot for high treason against the British people…
At the time I originally read those words, my knowledge of World War II was mostly limited to half-remembered portions of my old History 101 textbooks, and I was naturally quite skeptical at Oliver’s astonishing charges. But during subsequent years, I discovered that the circumstances were exactly as Oliver claimed, with so notable a historian as David Irving having fully documented the evidence. So although we may question Oliver’s exceptionally harsh characterization or his heated rhetoric, the factual case he makes seems not to be under serious dispute.
His discussion of America’s own entrance in the war is equally strident. He emphasizes that his colleagues in the War Department had completely broken the most secure Japanese codes, giving our government complete knowledge of all Japanese plans:
Perhaps the most exhilarating message ever read by American Military Intelligence was one sent by the Japanese government to their Ambassador in Berlin (as I recall), urging him not to hesitate to communicate certain information by telegrams and assuring him that “no human mind” could decipher messages that had been enciphered on the Purple Machine. That assurance justified the merriment it provoked…
However, just as many others have alleged, Oliver claims that Roosevelt then deliberately allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor to proceed and failed to warn the local military commanders, whom he then ordered court-martialed for their negligence:
Everyone now knows, of course, that the message to the Japanese Ambassador in Washington, warning him that Japan was about to attack the United States, was read by Military Intelligence not long after the Ambassador himself received it, and that the frantic cover-up, involving some successful lying about details, was intended, not to preserve that secret, but to protect the traitors in Washington who made certain that the Japanese attack, which they had labored so long to provoke, would be successful and produce the maximum loss of American lives and destruction of American ships.
Numerous historians seem to have thoroughly established that Roosevelt did everything he could to provoke a war with Japan. But Oliver adds a fascinating detail that I have never seen mentioned elsewhere:
In January 1941, almost eleven months before Pearl Harbor, preparation for it began in Washington when Franklin D Roosevelt summoned the Portuguese Ambassador to the United States and, enjoining him to the utmost secrecy, asked him to inform Premier Salazar that Portugal need have no concern for the safety of Timor and her other possessions in Southeast Asia; the United States, he said, had decided to crush Japan forever by waiting until her military forces and lines of communication were stretched to the utmost and then suddenly launching an all-out war with massive attacks that Japan was not, and could not be, prepared to resist. As expected, the Portuguese Ambassador communicated the glad tidings to the head of his government, using his most secure method of communication, an enciphered code which the Portuguese doubtless imagined to be “unbreakable,” but which Roosevelt well knew had been compromised by the Japanese, who were currently reading all messages sent in it by wireless. The statement, ostensibly entrusted in “strict secrecy” to the Portuguese Ambassador, was, of course, intended for the Japanese government, and, as a matter of fact, it became certain that the trick had succeeded when the contents of the Portuguese Ambassador’s message to Salazar promptly appeared in a Japanese message enciphered by the Purple Machine. Roosevelt had only to wait for Japan to act on the “secret” information about American plans thus given her, and to order naval movements and diplomatic negotiations that would appear to the Japanese to confirm American intentions.
The fact that I have just mentioned is really the ultimate secret of Pearl Harbor, and seems to have been unknown to Admiral Theobald when he wrote his well-known book on the subject.
Oliver notes that Roosevelt had long sought to have America participate in the great European war whose outbreak he had previously orchestrated, but had been blocked by overwhelming domestic anti-war sentiment. His decision to provoke a Japanese attack as a “back door” to war only came after all his military provocations against Germany had failed to accomplish a similar result:
His first plan was defeated by the prudence of the German government. While he yammered about the evils of aggression to the white Americans whom he despised and hated, Roosevelt used the United States Navy to commit innumerable acts of stealthy and treacherous aggression against Germany in a secret and undeclared war, hidden from the American people, hoping that such massive piracy would eventually so exasperate the Germans that they would declare war on the United States, whose men and resources could then be squandered to punish the Germans for trying to have a country of their own. These foul acts of the War Criminal were known, of course, to the officers and men of the Navy that carried out the orders of their Commander-in-Chief, and were commonly discussed in informed circles, but, so far as I know, were first and much belatedly chronicled by Patrick Abbazia in Mr. Roosevelt’s Navy: the Private War of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, 1939-1942, published by the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis in 1975.
…Although the U.S. Navy’s acts of outrageous piracy on the high seas were successfully concealed from the majority of the American people before Pearl Harbor, they were, of course, well known to the Japanese, and partly account for Roosevelt’s success in deceiving them with his “confidences” to the Portuguese Ambassador…they assumed that when Roosevelt was ready to attack them, his power over the American press and communications would enable him to simulate an attack they had not in fact made. That the deception was successful was, of course, shown in December 1941, when they made a desperate effort to avert the treacherous blow they feared.
Once America thus entered the war, Oliver then focuses on the horrific way the Allies waged it, using aerial bombardment to deliberately slaughter the civilian population of Germany:
Both British and Americans have always claimed to be humane and have loudly condemned unnecessary bloodshed, mass massacres, and sadistic delight in the infliction of pain…in 1945 their professions could still be credited without doubt, and that meant they would be stricken with remorse for a ferocious act of unmitigated savagery unparalleled in the history of our race and unsurpassed in the record of any race. The bombing of the unfortified city of Dresden, nicely timed to insure an agonizing death to the maximum number of white women and children, has been accurately described by David Irving in The Destruction of Dresden (London, 1963), but the essentials of that sickening atrocity were known soon after it was perpetrated. To be sure, it is true that such an act might have been ordered by Hulagu, the celebrated Mongol who found pleasure in ordering the extermination of the population of all cities that did not open their gates to him — and of some that did — so that the severed heads of the inhabitants could be piled up into pyramids as perishable but impressive monuments to his glory. The Americans and British, however, deem themselves more civilized than Hulagu and less sadistic.
He also harshly condemns the very brutal nature of the American occupation of Germany that followed the end of the war:
…with the American invasion of German territory began the innumerable atrocities against her civilian population — the atrocities against prisoners began even earlier — that have brought on our people the reputation of Attila’s hordes. The outrages were innumerable and no one, so far as I know, has even tried to compile a list of typical incidents of rape and torture and mayhem and murder. Most of the unspeakable atrocities, it is true, were committed by savages and Jews in American uniforms, but many, it must be confessed, were perpetrated by Americans, louts from the dregs of our own society or normal men crazed with hatred. All victorious armies, it is true, contain elements that want to outrage the vanquished, and few commanders in “democratic” wars can maintain the tight discipline that made Wellington’s armies the marvels of Europe or the discipline that generally characterized the German armies in both World Wars; what so brands us with shame is that the atrocities were encouraged by our supreme commander in Europe, whose orders, presumably issued when he was not drunk or occupied with his doxies, made it difficult or hazardous for responsible American generals to observe what had been the rules of civilized warfare. Almost every American soldier in Germany had witnessed the barbarous treatment of the vanquished, the citizens of one of the greatest nations of Western civilization and our own kinsmen, and — despite the efforts to incite them to inhuman hate with Jewish propaganda — many of our soldiers witnessed such outrages with pity and shame. The cumulative effect of their reports when they returned to their own country should have been great. It is needless to multiply examples, some of which may be found in F.J.P. Veale’s Advance to Barbarism (London, 1953).
And he suggests that the Nuremberg Tribunals brought everlasting shame upon his own country:
I was, of course, profoundly shocked by the foul murders at Nuremberg that brought on the American people an indelible shame. Savages and Oriental barbarians normally kill, with or without torture, the enemies whom they have overcome, but even they do not sink so low in the scale of humanity as to perform the obscene farce of holding quasi-judicial trials before they kill, and had the Americans — for, given their absolute power, the responsibility must fall on them, and their guilt cannot be shifted to their supposed allies — had the Americans, I say, merely slaughtered the German generals, they could claim to be morally no worse than Apaches, Balubas, and other primitives. Civilized peoples spare the lives of the vanquished, showing to their leaders a respectful consideration, and the deepest instincts of our race demand a chivalrous courtesy to brave opponents whom the fortunes of war have put in our power.
To punish warriors who, against overwhelming odds, fought for their country with a courage and determination that excited the wonder of the world, and deliberately to kill them because they were not cowards and traitors, because they did not betray their nation — that was an act of vileness of which we long believed our race incapable. And to augment the infamy of our act, we stigmatized them as “War Criminals” which they most certainly were not, for if that phrase has meaning, it applies to traitors who knowingly involve their nations in a war contrived to inflict loss, suffering, and death on their own people, who are thus made to fight for their own effective defeat — traitors such as Churchill, Roosevelt, and their white accomplices. And to add an ultimate obscenity to the sadistic crime, “trials” were held to convict the vanquished according to “laws” invented for the purpose, and on the basis of perjured testimony extorted from prisoners of war by torture…
…The moral responsibility for those fiendish crimes, therefore, falls on our own War Criminals, and, as a practical matter, nations always bear the responsibility for the acts of the individuals whom they, however mistakenly, placed in power. We cannot reasonably blame Dzhugashvili, alias Stalin: he was not a War Criminal, for he acted, logically and ruthlessly, to augment the power and the territory of the Soviet Empire, and he (whatever his personal motives may have been) was the architect of the regime that transformed a degraded and barbarous rabble into what is now the greatest military power on earth.
Oliver’s memoirs were published by a tiny London press in a cheap paper binding, lacked even an index, and were hardly likely to ever reach a substantial audience. That, together with the internal evidence of his text, leads me to believe that he was quite sincere in his statements, at least with regard to all these sorts of historical and political matters. And given those beliefs, we should hardly be surprised at the heated rhetoric he directs against the targets of his wrath, especially Roosevelt, whom he repeatedly references as “the great War Criminal.”
Sincerity is obviously no guarantee of accuracy. But Bendersky’s extensive review of private letters and personal memoirs reveals that a large portion of our Military Intelligence officers and top generals seemed to closely share Oliver’s appraisal of Roosevelt, whose eventual death provoked widespread “exultation” and “fierce delight” in their social circle. Finally, one of them wrote, “The evil man was dead!”
Moreover, although Oliver’s words are as heated as those of Beaty are measured, the factual claims of the two authors are quite similar with regard to World War II, so that all the high-ranking generals who enthusiastically endorsed Beaty’s bestselling 1951 book may be regarded as providing some implicit backing for Oliver.
Consider also the personal diaries and reported conversations of Gen. George S. Patton, one of our most renowned field commanders. These reveal that shortly after the end of fighting he became outraged over how he had been totally deceived regarding the circumstances of the conflict, and he planned to return to the U.S., resign his military commission, and begin a national speaking-tour to provide the American people with the true facts about the war. Instead, he died in a highly-suspicious car accident the day before his scheduled departure, and there is very considerable evidence that he was actually assassinated by the American OSS.
Oliver’s discussion of the Second World War provides remarkably vivid rhetorical flourishes and some intriguing details, but his basic analysis is not so different from that of Beaty or numerous other writers. Moreover, Beaty had a far superior vantage point during the conflict, while his book was published just a few years after the end of fighting and was also far more widely endorsed and distributed. So although Oliver’s extreme candor may add much color to our historical picture, I think his memoirs are probably more useful for their other elements, such as his unique insights into the origins of both National Review and the John Birch Society, two of the leading right-wing organizations established during the 1950s.
Oliver opens his book by describing his departure from DC and wartime government service in the fall of 1945, fully confident that the horrific national treachery he had witnessed at the top of the American government would soon inspire “a reaction of national indignation that would become sheer fury.” As he puts it:
That reaction, I thought, would occur automatically, and my only concern was for the welfare of a few friends who had innocently and ignorantly agitated for war before the unspeakable monster in the White House successfully tricked the Japanese into destroying the American fleet at Pearl Harbor. I wondered whether a plea of ignorance would save them from the reprisals I foresaw!
He spent the next decade entirely engaged in his Classical scholarship and establishing an academic career, while noting some of the hopeful early signs of the political uprising that he fully expected to see:
In 1949 Congressman Rankin introduced a bill that would recognize as subversive and outlaw the “Anti-“Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the formidable organization of Jewish cowboys who ride herd on their American cattle…In both the Houses of Representatives and the Senate committees were beginning investigations of covert treason and alien subversion…Then Senator McCarthy undertook a somewhat more thorough investigation, which seemed to open a visible leak in the vast dike of deceit erected by our enemies, and it was easy to assume that the little jet of water that spurted through that leak would grow hydraulically until the dam broke and released an irresistible flood.
However, by 1954 he recognized that McCarthy’s political destruction was at hand, and the opposing forces he so despised had gained the upper hand. He faced the crucial decision of whether to involve himself in politics, and if so, what form that might take.
One of his friends, a right-wing Yale professor named Wilmoore Kendall, argued that a crucial factor in the Jewish domination of American public life was their control over influential opinion journals such as The Nation and The New Republic, and that launching a competing publication might be the most effective remedy. For this purpose, he had recruited a prize student of his named William F. Buckley, Jr., who could draw upon the financial resources of his wealthy father, long known in certain circles for his discreet sponsorship of various anti-Jewish publications and “his drastic private opinion about the aliens’ perversion of our national life.”
A few years earlier, H.L. Mencken’s famous literary monthly The American Mercury had fallen on hard times and been purchased by one of America’s wealthiest men, Russell Maguire, who hoped to use it partly as a vehicle for his extremely strong anti-Jewish sentiments. Indeed, one of Maguire’s senior staffers for a couple of years was George Lincoln Rockwell, best known for later founding the American Nazi Party. But according to Oliver, enormous concerted pressure by Jewish interests upon both newstands and printers had caused great difficulties for that magazine, which were to eventually force Maguire to abandon the effort and sell the magazine.
Kendall and Oliver hoped that Buckley’s new effort might succeed where Maguire’s was failing, perhaps by avoiding any direct mention of Jewish issues and instead focusing upon threats from Communists, socialists, and liberals, who were far less risky targets to attack. Buckley had previously gained some journalistic experience by working at the Mercury for a couple of years, so he was probably well aware of the challenging political environment he might face.
Although L. Brent Bozell, another one of his young Yale proteges, would also be working with Buckley on the new venture, Kendall told Oliver that he had failed to locate a single university professor willing to risk his name as a contributor. This prompted Oliver to take up the challenge with such determination that more of his pieces appeared in National Review during the 1950s than almost any other writer, even ahead of Kendall himself. Apparently Oliver had already been friendly with Buckley, having been a member of the latter’s 1950 wedding party.
But from Oliver’s perspective, the project proved a dismal failure. Against all advice, Buckley founded his magazine as a profit-making enterprise, circulating a prospectus, selling stock and debentures, and promising his financial backers an excellent financial return. Instead, like every other political magazine, it always lost money and was soon forced to plead for donations, greatly irritating his initial investors.
Another concern was that just before launch, a couple of Jewish former Communists then running an existing conservative magazine caught wind of the new publication and offered to betray their employer and bring over all their existing subscribers if they were given senior roles. Although they were duly brought on board, their planned coup at The Freeman failed, and no promised bounty of subscribers appeared. In later hindsight, Oliver became deeply suspicious of these developments and how the publication had been so quickly diverted from its intended mission, writing:
…it was only long after Professor Kendall had been shouldered out of the organization and I had severed my connections with it that I perceived that whenever a potentially influential journal is founded, it receives the assistance of talented “conservative” Jews, who are charged with the duty of supervising the Aryan children and making certain that they play only approved games.
Oliver also emphasized the severe dilemma faced by the magazine and all other organizations intended to combat the influence of Jews and Communists. For obvious reasons, these almost invariably centered themselves around strong support for Christianity. But Oliver was a militant atheist who detested religious faith and therefore believed that such an approach inevitably alienated “the very large number of educated men who…were repelled by the hypocrisy, obscurantism, and rabid ambitions of the clergy.” Thus, Christian anti-Communist movements often tended to produce a large backlash of sympathy for Communism in elite circles.
Small ideological publications are notorious for their bitter intrigues and angry disputes, and I have made no effort to compare Oliver’s brief sketch of the creation of National Review with other accounts, which would surely provide very different perspectives. But I think his basic facts ring true to me.
By 1958 Oliver had established himself as one of National Review‘s leading contributors, and he was contacted by a wealthy Massachusetts businessman named Robert Welch, who had been an early investor in the magazine but was greatly disappointed by its political ineffectiveness, so the two men corresponded and gradually became quite friendly. Welch said he was concerned that the publication focused largely on frivolity and pseudo-literary endeavors, while it increasingly minimized or ignored the conspiratorial role of the Jewish aliens who had gained such a degree of control over the country. The two men eventually met, and according to Oliver seemed to be entirely in agreement about America’s plight, which they discussed in complete candor.
Late that same year, Welch described his plans for regaining control of the country by the creation of a semi-secret national organization of patriotic individuals, primarily drawn from the upper middle classes and prosperous businessmen, which eventually became known as the John Birch Society. With its structure and strategy inspired by the Communist Party, it was to be tightly organized into individual local cells, whose members would then establish a network of front organizations for particular political projects, all seemingly unconnected but actually under their dominant influence. Secret directives would be passed along to each local chapter by the word of mouth via coordinators dispatched from Welch’s central headquarters, a system also modeled after the strict hierarchical discipline of Communist movements.
Welch privately unveiled his proposal to a small group of prospective co-founders, all of whom with the exception of Oliver were wealthy businessmen. He candidly admitted his own atheism and explained that Christianity would have no role in the project, which cost him a couple of potential supporters; but about a dozen committed themselves, notably including Fred Koch, founding father of Koch Industries. Minimal emphasis was to be placed upon Jewish matters, partly to avoid drawing media fire and partly in hopes that a growing schism between Zionist and non-Zionist Jews might weaken their powerful adversary, or if the former gained the upper hand, perhaps help ensure the removal of all Jews to the Middle East.
As the project moved forward, a monthly magazine called American Opinion was launched and Oliver took responsibility for a large portion of each issue. Given his academic and political prominence, he also became one of the leading speakers for the organization in public venues and also an influential visitor to many of its local chapters.
Although Oliver remained a top figure in the organization until 1966, in later years he concluded that Welch’s serious mistakes had doomed the project to failure within just a couple of years after its establishment. Very early on, a Jewish journalist had obtained a copy of some of Welch’s secret, controversial writings and their public disclosure had panicked one of the most prominent Birch leaders, soon producing a major media scandal. Welch repeatedly vacillated between defending and denying his secret manuscript, forcing his associates to take contradictory positions, and making the entire leadership seem both dishonest and ridiculous, a pattern that was to be repeated in future years.
According to Oliver, nearly eighty thousand men and women enlisted in the organization during the first decade, but he feared that their energetic efforts and commitment were entirely wasted, producing nothing of any value. As the years went by, the organization’s ineffectiveness became more apparent, while Welch’s autocratic control blocked any necessary changes from within since his executive council functioned merely as a powerless fig-leaf. Although Oliver remained convinced that Welch had been sincere when he began the effort, the accumulation of so many unnecessary missteps eventually led him to suspect deliberate sabotage. He claimed that his careful investigation revealed that the organization’s financial problems had forced Welch to turn in desperation to outside Jewish donors, who then became his secret overlords, leading Oliver to rancorously break with the organization in 1966 and denounce it as a fraud. Although I have no easy means of verifying most of Oliver’s claims, his story hardly seems implausible.
Oliver also makes an important point about the severe dilemma produced by Welch’s strategy. One of the central goals of the organization had been to combat organized Jewish influence in America, but any mention of Jews was forbidden, so the officially designed term for their subversive foes was the “International Communist Conspiracy.” Oliver admitted that the usage of that ubiquitous phrase became “forced” and “monotonous,” and indeed it or its variants appear with remarkable regularity in his articles reprinted from the Birch magazine.
According to Oliver, the intent was to allow members to draw their own logical conclusions about who was really behind the “conspiracy” they opposed while allowing the organization itself to maintain plausible deniability. But the result was total failure, with Jewish organizations fully understanding the game being played, while intelligent individuals quickly concluded that the Birch organization was either dishonest or delusional, hardly an unreasonable inference. As an example of this situation, the late investigative journalist Michael Collins Piper in 2005 told the story of how at the age of sixteen he had embraced a ‘One-Minute’ Membership in the John Birch Society. Indeed, by the late 1960s, any public expressions of anti-Semitism by Birch members became grounds for immediate expulsion, a rather ironic situation for an organization originally founded just a decade earlier with avowedly anti-Semitic goals.
Following his 1966 rupture with Welch, Oliver greatly reduced his political writing, which henceforth only appeared in much smaller and more extreme venues than the Birch magazine. His book contains just a couple of such later pieces, but the second of these, published in a right-wing British magazine during 1980, is of some interest.
Just as we might expect, Oliver had always been particularly scathing towards the supposed Jewish Holocaust, and near the very beginning of his book, he states his own views in typically forceful fashion:
The Americans…were howling with indignation over the supposed extermination by the Germans of some millions of Jews, many of whom had taken the opportunity to crawl into the United States, and…one could have supposed in 1945 that when the hoax, devised to pep up the cattle that were being stampeded into Europe, was exposed, even Americans would feel some indignation at having been so completely bamboozled.
The prompt exposure of the bloody swindle seemed inevitable, particularly since the agents of the O.S.S., commonly known in military circles as the Office of Soviet Stooges, who had been dispatched to conquered Germany to set up gas chambers to lend some verisimilitude to the hoax, had been so lazy and feckless that they merely sent back pictures of shower baths, which were so absurd that they had to be suppressed to avoid ridicule. No one could have believed in 1945 that the lie would be used to extort thirty billion dollars from the helpless Germans and would be rammed into the minds of German children by uncouth American “educators” — or that civilized men would have to wait until 1950 for Paul Rassinier, who had been himself a prisoner in a German concentration camp, to challenge the infamous lie, or until 1976 for Professor Arthur Butz’s detailed and exhaustive refutation of the venomous imposture on Aryan credulity.
In his republished article, Oliver discussed this same topic at far greater length and in the context of its broader theoretical implications. After recounting various examples of historical frauds and cover-ups, starting with the possibly forged letter of the younger Pliny, he expressed his amazement at the continuing widespread acceptance of the Holocaust story, despite the existence of hundreds of thousands of direct eyewitnesses to the contrary. He suggested that such an astonishing scholarly situation must force us to reassess our assumptions about the nature of evidentiary methods in historiography.
Oliver’s peremptory dismissal of the standard Holocaust narrative led me to take a closer look at the treatment of the same topic in Bendersky’s book, and I noticed something quite odd. As discussed above, his exhaustive research in official files and personal archives conclusively established that during World War II a very considerable fraction of all our Military Intelligence officers and top generals were vehemently hostile to Jewish organizations and also held beliefs that today would be regarded as utterly delusional. The author’s academic specialty is Holocaust studies, so it is hardly surprising that his longest chapter focused on that particular subject, bearing the title “Officers and the Holocaust, 1940-1945.” But a close examination of the contents raises some troubling questions.
Across more than sixty pages, Bendersky provides hundreds of direct quotes, mostly from the same officers who are the subject of the rest of his book. But after carefully reading the chapter twice, I was unable to find a single one of those statements referring to the massive slaughter of Jews that constitutes what we commonly call the Holocaust, nor to any of its central elements, such as the existence of death camps or gas chambers.
The forty page chapter that follows focuses on the plight of the Jewish “survivors” in post-war Europe, and the same utter silence applies. Bendersky is disgusted by the cruel sentiments expressed by these American military men towards the Jewish former camp inmates, and he frequently quotes them characterizing the latter as thieves, liars, and criminals; but the officers seem strangely unaware that those unfortunate souls had only just barely escaped an organized mass extermination campaign that had so recently claimed the lives of the vast majority of their fellows. Numerous statements and quotes regarding Jewish extermination are provided, but all of these come from various Jewish activists and organizations, while there is nothing but silence from all of the military officers themselves.
Bendersky’s ten years of archival research brought to light personal letters and memoirs of military officers written decades after the end of the war, and in both those chapters he freely quotes from these invaluable materials, sometimes including private remarks from the late 1970s, long after the Holocaust had become a major topic in American public life. Yet not a single statement of sadness, regret, or horror is provided. Thus, a prominent Holocaust historian spends a decade researching a book about the private views of our military officers towards Jews and Jewish topics, but the one hundred pages he devotes to the Holocaust and its immediate aftermath contains not a single directly-relevant quote from those individuals, which is simply astonishing. A yawning chasm seems to exist at the center of his lengthy historical volume, or put another way, a particular barking dog is quite deafening in its silence.
I am not an archival researcher and have no interest in reviewing the many tens of thousands of pages of source material located at dozens of repositories across the country that Bendersky so diligently examined while producing his important book. Perhaps during their entire wartime activity and also the decades of their later lives, not a single one of the hundred-odd important military officers who were the focus of his investigation ever once broached the subject of the Holocaust or the slaughter of Jews during World War II. But I think there is another distinct possibly.
As mentioned earlier, Beaty spent his war years carefully reviewing the sum-total of all incoming intelligence information each day and then producing an official digest for distribution to the White House and our other top leaders. And in his 1951 book, published just a few years after the end of fighting, he dismissed the supposed Holocaust as a ridiculous wartime concoction by dishonest Jewish and Communist propagandists that had no basis in reality. Soon afterward, Beaty’s book was fully endorsed and promoted by many of our leading World War II generals, including those who were subjects of Bendersky’s archival research. And although the ADL and various other Jewish organizations fiercely denounced Beaty, there is no sign that they ever challenged his absolutely explicit “Holocaust denial.”
I suspect that Bendersky gradually discovered that such “Holocaust denial” was remarkably common in the private papers of many of his Military Intelligence officers and top generals, which presented him with a serious dilemma. If only one or two of those individuals had expressed such sentiments, their shocking statements could be cited as further evidence of their delusional anti-Semitism. But what if a substantial majority of those officers—who certainly had possessed the best knowledge of the reality of World War II—held private beliefs that were very similar to those publicly expressed by their former colleagues Beaty and Oliver? In such a situation, Bendersky may have decided that certain closed doors should remain in that state, and entirely skirted the topic.
At the age of 89, Richard Lynn surely ranks as the “grand old man” of IQ research, and in 2002 he and his co-author Tatu Vanhanen published their seminal work IQ and the Wealth of Nations. Their volume strongly argued that mental ability as measured by standardized tests was overwhelmingly determined by hereditary, genetic factors, and for nearly two decades their research findings have constituted a central pillar of the IQ movement that they have long inspired. But as I argued in a major article several years ago, the massive quantity of evidence they presented actually demonstrates the exact opposite conclusion:
We are now faced with a mystery arguably greater than that of IQ itself. Given the powerful ammunition that Lynn and Vanhanen have provided to those opposing their own “Strong IQ Hypothesis,” we must wonder why this has never attracted the attention of either of the warring camps in the endless, bitter IQ dispute, despite their alleged familiarity with the work of these two prominent scholars. In effect, I would suggest that the heralded 300-page work by Lynn and Vanhanen constituted a game-ending own-goal against their IQ-determinist side, but that neither of the competing ideological teams ever noticed.
For ideologically-blinkered scholars to sometimes produce research that constitutes “a game-ending own-goal” may be much more common than most of us would expect. Janet Mertz and her zealously feminist co-authors expended enormous time and effort to conclusively establish that across nearly all nations of the world, regardless of culture, region, language, the group of highest-performing math students has almost always been roughly 95% male and just 5% female, a result that would seem to deeply undercut their hypothesis that men and women have equal mathematical ability.
Similarly, ten years of exhaustive archival research by Joseph Bendersky produced a volume that seems to utterly demolish our conventional narrative of Jewish political activism in both Europe and America between the two world wars. Moreover, when carefully considered I think his text constitutes a dagger aimed with deadly accuracy straight at the heart of our conventional Holocaust narrative, his own lifelong area of study and a central pillar of the West’s current ideological framework.
Over the last year or two, pressure from the ADL and other Jewish activist organizations has induced Amazon to ban all books that challenge the Holocaust or other beliefs deeply held by organized Jewry. Most of these purged works are quite obscure, and many are of indifferent quality. In general, their public impact has been severely diminished by the real or perceived ideological associations of their authors.
Meanwhile, for nearly twenty years a book of absolutely devastating historical importance has sat on the Amazon shelves, freely available for sale and bearing glowing cover-blurbs by mainstream, reputable scholars, but by its Amazon sales-rank, selling almost no copies, a massive, unexploded shell whom nearly no one seems to have properly recognized. I suggest that interested readers purchase their copies of Bendersky’s outstanding opus before steps are taken to permanently flush it down the memory hole.