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Guide to the Ernie Lazar FBI FOIA Files on Anti-Communism and Right Wing Movements TAM.576

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
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Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment Staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 09, 2019
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Nicole Greenhouse to reflect additional administrative information and added archived websites  , November 2019

Container List

Series IV: Disc 04

Container 1 Container 2 Container 3 Title Date
Box: 1 Cd : 4 Track : 1 CPUSA: Communist Influence in Racial Matters: Los Angeles



Los Angeles 100-66078 -- Sections 4-7 (1368pp) -- #318 - #894 -- 7/2/65 - 7/20/66

100-66078 -- Sections 8-11 (1574pp) -- #885 - #1614 -- 7/20/66 - 8/9/68

File has considerable material pertaining to Watts Riot – i.e. indicating that CPUSA was not responsible for the riot and, in fact, told its members to stay out of the Watts area.

Watts Riot was Wednesday August 11 – Saturday August 15, 1965

Pages released: 1574 + 1368 = 2942

Equivalent files:

HQ 100-442529 (approximately 41,000pp)

NYC 100-153735 (approximately 5406pp)

Box: 1 Cd : 4 Track : 2 National Knights of the KKK (Atlanta, GA)


Files Released: 157-0168 -- #1 - #1375 -- 12/11/59 - 10/1/82

National Knights of the KKK (Atlanta GA)

Principal leaders = James R. Venable / Herbert Butterworth

Pages released: 5992

Equivalent field file – Atlanta 157-60

Box: 1 Cd : 4 Track : 3 Sullivan, William Cornelius


Sullivan, William Cornelius

(1937 – 4/41 = Harvard Road – Bolton MA)

215-44-8138; b: 05-25-12 (Bolton MA); d: 11-09-77 (Sugar Hill NH)

Documents released to me total 2449pp but I chose not to receive HQ 63-16062 which pertains to Sullivan's connection to controversy over FBI wiretapping of Morton Halperin v. Henry Kissinger

Files released:

HQ 67E-205182 -- Sections 1-4 (1066pp) -- #1 - #85 -- 4/16/41 - 9/15/59

HQ 67E-205182 -- Sections 5-6 (467pp) -- #unrecorded - #566 -- 1/27/61 - 10/24/67

HQ 67E-205182 -- Sections 7-8 (386pp) -- #585 - #unrecorded -- 3/27/69 - 5/18/73

HQ 67E-205182 -- Section 9 (288pp) -- #687 - #702 -- 5/28/73 - 1/29/81

HQ 67-E-205182 -- Section 10 (57pp) -- #567 - #584 -- 11/2/67 - 12/19/68

HQ 77-126838 (8pp) -- Section 1 -- #1 - #6 -- 9/20/72 - 4/8/76

HQ 62-19253, #3080 (2pp) -- 1/7/55 - 1/12/55

HQ 52-25601-2, #187 (3pp) -- 7/5/44

HQ 65-75085 (177pp) -- #x - #14 -- 10/20/71 - 5/12/73

HQ 116-472014 (5pp) -- Re AEC employment -- 2/11/74 - 2/14/74

8/23/10 -- est 5000pp

8/26/10 -- email changed scope to years 1941-1944 and 1954-end of file

8/24/10 -- release on CDROM (they never even waited for my reply to their initial letter re Sullivan on 8/23!)

8/24/10 -- cover letter states that some records were destroyed 9/1 and 9/10 1992 and 9/26/06

2/28/11 -- release consisted of Sections 7-8, 10 of HQ 67E-205182 plus HQ 75-75085 and HQ 116-472014

HQ 67E-205182 Sections 1-4 (1066pp) #1 - #85 4/16/41  9/15/59

HQ 67E-205182 Sections 5-6 (467pp) #unrecorded - #566 1/27/61  10/24/67

HQ 67E-205182 Sections 7-8 (386pp) #585 - #unrecorded 3/27/69  5/18/73

HQ 67E-205182 Section 9 (288pp) #687 - #702 5/28/73  1/29/81

HQ 67-E-205182 Section 10 (57pp) #567 - #584 11/2/67  12/19/68

HQ 77-126838 (8pp) Section 1 #1 - #6 9/20/72  4/8/76

HQ 62-19253, #3080 (2pp) 1/7/55  1/12/55

HQ 52-25601-2, #187 (3pp) 7/5/44

HQ 65-75085 (177pp) #x - #14 10/20/71  5/12/73

HQ 116-472014 (5pp) Re AEC employment 2/11/74  2/14/74

8/23/10 est 5000pp

8/26/10 email changed scope to years 1941-1944 and 1954-end of file

8/24/10 release on CDROM (they never even waited for my reply to their initial letter re Sullivan on 8/23!)

8/24/10 cover letter states that some records were destroyed 9/1 and 9/10 1992 and 9/26/06

2/28/11 release consisted of Sections 7-8, 10 of HQ 67E-205182 plus HQ 75-75085 and HQ 116-472014

Contents re Sullivan, William Cornelius

9/31 - 6/33 and 1936 = Attended American University; recd AB degree in June 1936 -- 6/7/37 = Deputy Collector, IRS -- 1937-1941 = Took 4 year course in accounting with IRS -- 1939 = Attended MA State Teachers College in Fitchburg in pursuit of Master's degree but did not complete thesis until 6/47 at George Washington University — WDC and received Masters of Education 6/47 -- 08/04/41 = EOD FBI = Special Agent -- 8/4/41 - 10/25/41 = Special Agent training -- 10/29/41 = Milwaukee -- 01/13/42 = El Paso -- 5/24/42 = Philadelphia -- 8/12/42 = Baltimore -- 12/1/42 - 4/26/43 = Confidential assignment in Madrid Spain for Special Intelligence Service (identifying Axis spies) -- 5/14/43 = San Antonio -- 11/30/43 = Brownsville (Resident Agent) -- 06/25/44 = Transferred to Domestic Intelligence Division at HQ -- 7/29/44 = Supervisor, Domestic Intelligence Division in Special Intelligence Section (SIS) -- 04/46 = Took courses at George Washington University graduate school in pursuit of PhD in social science but not completed

01/26/47 = Transferred to Atomic Energy Section of DID as Supervisor for applicant cases -- 5/47 = Designated to become Supervisor of new Central Research Desk (aka Communist Research Desk) in Internal Security Section. This Desk was established to monitor Communist publications and prepare monthly summaries for field offices and distribution outside FBI to senior government officials

7/28/47 = Assigned to WFO for 2 weeks of investigative assignments -- 4/7/48 = Performance evaluation describes Sullivan as "sole Supervisor assigned to Central Research Desk" where he provides "concrete assistance to the Supervisors here at the Seat of Government and the Agents in the field concerned with the conduct of investigations relating to the Communist movement." [HQ 67-205182, #150; 4/7/48]

3/7/49 = Memo by F.J. Baumgardner to "All Supervisors, Internal Security Section/Espionage Section" discusses division of workload which is being assigned to each of 4 supervisors. Each Supervisor is assigned certain geographical areas, along with analyzing all publications pertaining to those locations. Each supervisor answers questions which other supervisors have relative to those publications. Sullivan is identified as responsible for: parts of U.S., Canada, Philippines, Japan, China, Korea and for dozens of publications such as: ACLU Weekly Bulletin, American Mercury, Department of State Bulletin, Chinese News Service, Counterattack, Current Biography, Daily Worker, Facts on File, Far Eastern Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, Human Events, In Fact, Intelligence Digest, Masses and Mainstream, The Nation, National Guardian, National Republic, The New Leader, The New Republic, Pacific Affairs, Plain Talk, Political Affairs, People's World, The Progressive, Science and Society, USN&WR.

4/1/51 - 3/31/53 annual performance evaluation on Sullivan describes him as "expert in field of research" and "our principal expert in this field". The unit which he supervised is described as doing "extensive and voluminous research of Bureau files and all other possible sources and prepares monographs which are utilized in the Bureau's work, as well as being disseminated to the highest officials in the U.S. government."

03/52 = Supervisor in Charge of the Central Research Desk in Correlation-Liaison Unit of DID; Prepared monographs utilized by Bureau for in-house training and disseminated to other government officials

8/14/53 = Sullivan about to be transferred to Arizona for health reasons. HQ 67-205182, #263 dated 8/14/53, discusses work which will be assigned to Sullivan while he is assigned to Tucson. Among his projects were research and summaries/monographs regarding:

(1) Foreign sanctuaries for American Communists fleeing from the U.S.

(2) Communist interpretation of the role of the CP in American and Western Hemisphere history

(3) "An exhaustive analysis of interviews held between Bureau agents and members of the Communist Party" considering "all successful and unsuccessful and varied steps, approaches, techniques, devices, conversational elements, etc…to extract from the tremendous collective experiences of our men a pattern of action which may be useful in developing informants within the CP."

(4) A digest of the propaganda line of the CP from 1919 to date

(5) Analysis of all devices, techniques, security measures, propaganda, subversive acts, etc. utilized by CPUSA to make FBI investigations more difficult, to escape detection and to undermine FBI in eyes of public

(6) An exhaustive case study of reasons why people have accepted and rejected Communism in the U.S.

(7) A study of Army interrogation of returned American POW's to detect Communist indoctrination methods

(8) Analysis of NATO summaries regarding Communist Parties in foreign nations to contrast and compare tactics of foreign parties to U.S.

08/27/53 = Transferred to Phoenix/Tucson for health reasons but was assigned to work on Central Research Desk projects -- 03/11/54 = letter from CIA Director Allen W. Dulles to Hoover: "Mr. Sullivan's unique accomplishments in the field of research on Communism have long been appreciated in CIA…" -- 06/04/54 = Returned to Domestic Intelligence Division as Supervisor-in-Charge of the Central Research Unit, Liaison Section. Per HQ 67-205182, #unrecorded, which is copy of Inspection Report of Liaison Section of DID by Inspector H.C. Van Pelt: "Sullivan is the top-notch man in the field of Communist Research not only in the Bureau, but also in the entire United States." [HQ 67-205182, #275] -- 07/18/54 = Inspector, Domestic Intelligence Division -- 11/54 = Granted authority to classify, declassify, upgrade and downgrade defense information

11/19/54 = Central Research Section removed from Liaison Unit of DID and created as a separate section with Sullivan as Section Chief. Richard W. Smith was his #1 man. Besides Sullivan, unit consisted of 18 employees (5 Special Agents, 4 Intelligence Analysts, 1 Research Analyst, 1 Research Clerk, 7 Clerk/Typists)

12/16/58 = memo discusses lectures by Sullivan – i.e. approx 20 during past 2-3 months which were given to diverse groups including Army, Navy, and Air Force conferences, students at military schools and colleges, American Legion chaplains, and scientists. "Materials used for a number of different types of lectures given ranged all the way from nonclassified to 'Top Secret'." The scheduled speeches during first part of 1959 include: Social Science Forum—NY, U.S. Military Academy, West Point-NY, U.S. Strategic Intelligence School of U.S. Army –WDC and Political Association of Vassar College—NY.

06/03/60 = Sullivan as Chief Inspector was ghost writer of Hoover's 1962 book, A Study of Communism. Associate Director W. Mark Felt described the Chief Inspector's duties in his 1979 autobiographical memoir, The FBI Pyramid From the Inside as follows: "The Chief Inspector occupied a unique position in the FBI hierarchy. Operating under the direct supervision of the Director and with authority to inquire at any time and any place on any matter."

1/27/61 = Sullivan to Belmont (serial unrecorded) is captioned "Lectures on Communism". Sullivan reports that "During 1960 I gave 68 lectures on communism throughout the United States. For the first six months of 1961 I have 53 lectures scheduled. Therefore, in a year and half, 121 lectures will have been given."

3/16/61 = Memo (no serial #) in Sullivan personnel file from C.D. DeLoach to Mr. Mohr discusses conversation DeLoach had with Cong. Gordon Scherer (Republican OH, on HCUA) concerning Sullivan's speeches in Cincinnati during February 1961—including one at University of Cincinnati: "In the outset, Scherer told me that he fully understood that some of our 'friends' on the extreme right wing do much more harm than good…Scherer stated that he, of course, fully understood Mr. Sullivan's approach and felt that it was a scholarly one. He mentioned that some of his 'fanatical constituents' aren't very well educated and undoubtedly misunderstood Sullivan's comments."

4/1/61 – 3/31/62 = His annual performance report for this period (he was rated "outstanding") states:

"During the first sixty days of this rating period Mr. Sullivan occupied the position of Chief Inspector and had direct supervision over the activities of the Central Research Section. He was designated Assistant Director of the DID on June 2, 1961, wherein he is responsible for direction of the Bureau's investigation of all matters relating to Internal Security, Subversive Control, Nationalities Intelligence, Espionage and Counterespionage, as well as supervision of Domestic and Foreign Liaison activities." Also describes him as "a recognized authority on all facets of communism. In his appearances before public and classified audiences, Mr. Sullivan has shown a detailed and intimate knowledge of communism from a theoretical and practical standpoint. His audiences have shown great admiration and respect for his factual and objective presentations which clearly show the menace of communism without resorting to half-truths and hysteria characteristic of many 'professional anti-communists'."

4/12/61 = Memo from Sullivan to Belmont in Sullivan's personnel file (unrecorded) concerns Sullivan appearance/speech at Seventh Annual National Military, Industrial and Educational Conference in Chicago. Memo also refers to a column in Chicago Daily News by Norman Ross who also hosted TV program in Chicago which Sullivan appeared on. Ross's column was based upon Sullivan's speech during which Sullivan discussed seven reasons for why communists in the U.S. had high morale.

Sullivan commented that his appearances in Chicago and Ross's column came "at a time when extremists of the both the left and the right are embroiled in controversies, when wild charges are being made about the nature of communist activities, when groups such as the John Birch Society and the like have received much attention, Ross' article can and should do the Bureau much good…Contrasted with the wild, irrational statements of fanatics, the seven reasons representing the Bureau's position on communism present the Bureau as one of the few remaining calm, rational voices on the national scene today."

06/02/61 = Became Assistant Director, Domestic Intelligence Division with 113 Special Agents and 150 clerical personnel in the Division as of 10/31/62. According to 12/11/62 DID Inspection Report, Inspector Joseph A. Sizoo was Sullivan's #1 man and Branch Chief of Internal Security—Liaison Branch since 9/15/53; and Inspector Donald E. Moore, Branch Chief, Espionage-Central Research Branch since 10/14/56.

10/27/61 = Sullivan memo to Alan Belmont discusses meeting he had with two faculty members (not named) from some university in which criticisms were made of Sullivan's remarks in speeches around the country. Pages 3-4 begins a discussion about former Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen. Sullivan was told that Skousen "was doing the FBI considerable harm by his utterances. He said that Skousen tries to create the impression that he is an outstanding authority of communism, precisely because he was in the FBI and for that reason should be accepted and supported in his positions, because of the FBI connections in the past. I assured (names deleted) that Mr. Skousen had absolutely no connection with us whatsoever at this time, and that neither he or any other former Agent should be regarded as an authority on communism merely because at one time he had worked for the FBI." [HQ 67-205182, no serial #, 10/27/61 memo from Sullivan to Belmont in Sullivan's personnel file, pages 3-4.]

4/10/63 = Hoover wrote letter to Admissions Committee, Cosmos Club, WDC, recommending Sullivan for membership: "As Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Domestic Intelligence Division, Mr. Sullivan is one of the top ranking officials of this Bureau. He entered on duty with the FBI as a Special Agent on August 4, 1941 and rose to his present responsible position because of his superior abilities and qualities of leadership. Mr. Sullivan holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees, and is a Research Association in the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace of Stanford University. Through study and experience, he is one of this country's outstanding authorities on communism and internal security and has served as a guest lecturer throughout the United States." [HQ 67-205182, 4/10/63 Hoover letter to Cosmos Club Admissions Committee, WDC, no serial number]

4/63 = Research Associate, Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace – Stanford University

1970 = Sullivan approved "Huston Plan" which called for bugging, break-ins, and mail cover operations against "radicals". Plan named for former White House aide Tom Charles Huston.

06/10/70 = Sullivan promoted to Assistant to Director--Investigative (#3 position in Bureau) succeeding Cartha DeLoach who retired. In this position, Sullivan was responsible for Domestic Intelligence Division, General Investigative Division, Special Investigative Division and the FBI Laboratory.

The other Assistant to the Director was John P. Mohr. Charles D. Brennan succeeded Sullivan as Assistant Director, Domestic Intelligence Division.

The 6/70 Sullivan bio circulated by FBI stated:

"Mr. Sullivan has served as Guest Lecturer at the Army War College, Command and General Staff College, Naval War College, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, various intelligence conferences and schools of the armed services, Department of State and other governmental agencies, and numerous colleges and universities throughout the Nation such as Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Southern Methodist University, Notre Dame University, William and Mary College, University of Oregon, University of Georgia, University of Colorado, Ohio University, and the University of California. He is a Research Associate of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University."

10/12/70 = Sullivan speech to UPI editors at Williamsburg VA precipitated feud with Hoover because Sullivan stated that CPUSA was not particularly effective or a problem whereas New Left was (such as SDS). According to UPI report (see NYT, 10/13/70, p27, "FBI Aide Doubts That Teds Cause Unrest in U.S.")

"A high FBI official said today the Communist Party 'is not in any way causing or directing or controlling the unrest we suffer today in the racial field and in the academic community.' William C. Sullivan, top assistant to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, said Communists 'do attempt to exploit troubled situations' wherever they can but he said 'The Communist Party today is not nearly as extensive or effective as it was a number of years ago.' Addressing the 1970 UPI Editors and Publishers Conference, Sullivan said the United States would be having problems 'to a greater or lesser extent if the Communist Party in this country didn't exist at all. Now, on the other side of the coin, we do have many of these students – some of their professors support them – espousing their own particular interpretation of Marx. And they openly proclaim their Marxism. Some go so far as to add Leninism. There are others who embrace Trotskyite interpretation of Communist ideology generally and Marxism particularly. There are those who accept the Chinese version.' But the FBI official said there is no evidence that any one group of people or any single nationwide conspiracy is behind disorders on the campus or in the ghettos."

9/30/71 = Hoover letter to Sullivan relieved him of his duties and placed him on annual leave pending receipt of retirement papers. -- 10/21/71 = retired from FBI -- 1/72 = Assistant Director, Insurance Crime Prevention -- Institute -- 8/7/72 = Director, Office of National Narcotics Intelligence—Office of the Attorney General -- 06/30/73 = retired from Justice Department

His two top subordinates in the Division:

Joseph A. Sizoo = Inspector in Charge, Internal Security Liaison Branch (in DID since 9/15/53) -- Donald E. Moore = Inspector in Charge, Espionage-Central Research Branch (in DID since 10/14/56)

William C. Sullivan Speeches/Articles/Monographs:

1/11/49 = memo states he was responsible for monographs on "Glossary of Marxist Terms", "Definitions of Socialism", "The Communist Party's Position on Fascism", "Eight Points of Communist Philosophy" [HQ 67-205182, #163; D.M. Ladd to Mr. Tolson 1/11/49]

11/14-14/50 = "Communism" to FBI Law Enforcement conferences in Newark NJ district. SAC Newark sent JEH a memo dated 11/16/50 stating that there were "120 persons in attendance representative of 87 different law enforcement agencies. With rare exceptions, those in attendance were Chiefs of Police or executive officers." {HQ 67-205182, #200]

6/7/54 = "Communism" – Internal Security Quarterly Conference, Albuquerque NM [Alb 80-100 = relations w/ ONI, G-2, OSI re: Internal Security Quarterly Conferences for Albq and El Paso Divisions)

9/20/54 = "Communism in the U.S." – Sullivan speech to U.S. Military Academy at West Point (and repeated frequently to many other groups through 1958)

HQ 67-205182, #294 (Sullivan personnel file) is 9/24/54 detailed memo regarding Sullivan's West Point speech and separate Q&A sessions for both students and faculty. According to memo, a faculty member asked: "If Communism did not exist in the world outside of the United States, would the American Communists and their Party as it exists today be of any danger to our nation?" Sullivan replied: "…it can be said that if the only Communists in the world were those in the United States and the only Communist Party in the world was the one now existing in the United States, then, we would have to be more ashamed of the situation than afraid of it. The Party would not, under such conditions, constitute a security danger to our country."

7/11/56 = "History and Activities of Communism in the United States" – to Air Intelligence Section of U.S. Naval Intelligence School

9/14/56 = speech to Army War College

10/56 = "Communism in the United States" = speech to Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth KS

12/5/56 = speech to Army Security Agency School, Ft. Devens, MA

12/13/56 = speech to U.S. Naval Intelligence School

4/29/59 = "The Role of the FBI in Internal Security" – to Vassar Political Association (94-1-14405)

10/60 = "Communism, Education, and the FBI" – Yale University

10/61 = "The Menace of Communism" – to International Association of Police Chiefs, Montreal Canada

1/15/61 = Tucson AZ Sunday Evening Forum

4/61 = "Communism and Education in the United States" to Seventh Annual National Military, Industrial, Educational Conference – Chicago IL

9/23/63 = "Communism: The Greatest Challenge of Our Time" to New England Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. – Bretton Woods NH

Pages Released: 625 + 467 + 1357 = 2449

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