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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 V: Disc 05

Container 1 Container 2 Container 3 Title Date
Box: 1 Cd : 5 Track : 1 American Security Council aka Midwest Research Library (Chicago)


American Security Council aka Midwest Research Library

(7/61 = 205 W. Monroe Street – Chicago and 808 17th St NW – WDC)

Files Released: HQ 100-425828 -- #1 - #190 -- 4/1/57 - 9/14/79

Former FBI Special Agents associated with ASC include:

Kenneth M. Piper (formerly in FBI HQ = VP of ASC in 1958; William F. Carroll (ASC founder); John M. Fisher (FBI 1947-1953, formerly in FBI NY field office); President in 1958; in 1960 he was Chairman of Board and Executive Committee); William K. Lambie Jr. (Administrative and Research Director); Lee R. Pennington (Washington Bureau Director); W. Cleon Skousen (ASC Field Director); D. Milton Ladd (Former FBI Asst Director—Security Division; on ASC Planning Committee); Jack E. Ison (formerly FBI NYC—Espionage Section). Ison = Fisher's brother-in-law and brought into ASC in 1959 as "Operating Director" after retiring from FBI; he supposedly would assist Fisher in placing informants within CP.

Planning Committee included Frank R. Barnett (Director of Research at The Richardson Foundation; John M Fisher of Sears Roebuck, Henry Regnery of the publishing company and Robert J. Wilson, Director of Security at Argonne National Laboratory (formerly FBI-Chicago Security Supervisor and also associated with Illinois branch of Fidelifax) and D. Milton Ladd (former FBI Assistant to Director). Wilson left ASC in January 1959 because of conflict with Fisher over Fisher's plan to put informants inside CP.

Original incorporators included:

Gen. Robert E. Wood (Chairman, Sears Roebuck); William H. Regnery; Harry A. Jung; John Trevor

Others: Cyril W. Hooper = Secretary-Treasurer 1958

HQ 100-425828, #3 is 4/22/57 letter to J. Edgar Hoover from Robert E. Wood of ASC Senior Advisory Board which states that: "As you know, the Mid-American Research Library was organized by patriotic businessmen to preserve and to expand the Harry A. Jung files. The name of the organization has now been changed to the American Security Council."

7/60 letterhead reflects 900 member companies and Senior Advisory Board:

Bennett Archambault, John T. Beatty (JBS), Robert Donner (JBS), Robert W. Galvin, Hughston M. McBanin, Gen. Robert E. Wood.

Executive Committee:

John M. Fisher, Chairman of Board and Executive Committee; Kenneth M. Piper, President; Stephen L. Donchess, VP; John G. Sevick, VP; Russell E. White, VP; C.W. Hooper, Secretary-Treasurer; Jack E. Ison, Operating Director William K. Lambie Jr, Research Director; Lee R. Pennington, Washington Representative

HQ 100-425828, #15 (7/31/58 F. J. Baumgardner to A.H. Belmont re ASC) has Hoover handwritten comment on page two of memo: "Just another instance of ex-agts trading on their former FBI connections."

7/61 issue of American Legion Firing Line newsletter, pages 30-31 contained summary regarding ASC:

"Responding to the need in the business community for reliable and extensive information on Communism and other totalitarian systems, William F. Carroll, a former FBI agent, started a new organization in 1955 called the Midwest Research Library. The following year its name was changed to American Security Council. The President is John M. Fisher, national security coordinator for Sears, Roebuck & Company. The Council is bipartisan, non-profit association, with over 2,700 member institutions throughout the country, including business firms, newspapers, foundations and universities. Its primary mission is the gathering, correlation, and dissemination of factual information on Communist strategy and tactics to its members. It also provides these fine services to government agencies, congressional committees, educational institutions, and 'carefully selected writers and scholars'…ASC membership dues depend upon the size of the member institution, varying from $30 to $900 a year."

"The Council has the largest and most complete private files on Communism in the country at its main office in Chicago, located at 205 W. Monroe Street. These files, containing the names of over 1,000,000 individuals and organizations, provide information which the FBI cannot supply, since its files are secret. All Communist Party publications, 1800 daily newspapers, 6,000 weekly newspapers, and 200 magazines are clipped for the files. ASC also maintains a Washington Bureau, located at 808 17th Street NW under the direction of Lee R. Pennington, a former FBI Inspector and former Director of the National Americanism Commission of the American Legion. The ASC Washington Bureau maintains close liaison with the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as the Armed Forces. During 1960, for example, eight government agencies and two congressional committees regularly obtained information from the Council's Research and Information Center in Chicago."

"The Washington Bureau publishes the biweekly ASC Washington Report, which is devoted to national and international developments affecting national security. The Washington Report recently began publishing special issues on major world problems. Special Issue No. 1, dated May 1961, dealt with the security aspects of the nuclear test ban negotiations. Special Issue No. 2 was the aforementioned report on the admission of Red China to the UN. A third special report, devoted to the Cuban problem will be released in July. Editor-in-Chief of the Washington Report is Admiral Chester Ward, retired Judge Advocate General of the Navy and former professor of international law at George Washington University. The Council also publishes the ASC Newsletter, a monthly confidential service to ASC members, providing internal security information and a summary of the activities of the Communist Party USA."

"The ASC Research and Information Center in Chicago has developed a very extensive educational program. W. Cleon Skousen, ASC Field Director and author of The Naked Communist (considered by many to be the most outstanding textbook on Communism today), has been addressing on an average of two high school student bodies a week. Several of his talks have been recorded and are frequently played at school and public meetings. Admiral Ward is also in great demand as a speaker…Moreover, the Council maintains a film library consisting of films, slides, and tapes which are available to a large number of groups. In 1960, for example, the Film Library distributed over 100 copies of the film Operation Abolition to its members."

1962 = ASC created Freedom University of the Air = series of 65 one-half hour TV progams hosted by W. Cleon Skousen. However, in April 1962, former FBI Inspector Lee Pennington called the Bureau and spoke to Special Agent Joseph Sizoo. The Bureau memo on this call reports:

"Former Inspector Lee Pennington who is now associated with the American Security Council called Monday in connection with another matter and advised that Skousen had been dropped by the ASC. He had previously represented them in connection with certain speaking commitments, but Pennington said ASC people thought he had 'gone off the deep end' and his services had been discontinued." [HQ 67-69602, #329; 4/11/62 memo from J.A. Sizoo to W.C. Sullivan.]

Pages Released: 1112

Box: 1 Cd : 5 Track : 2 Citizens Council Movement and States Rights Organizations


Citizens Council Movement and States Rights Organizations

HQ 105-34237 (2085pp) -- Sections 1-10 -- #x - #490 -- 12/2/54 - 11/7/67

And EBF 5, 220, 325 (184pp) -- copies of The Southerner (Ace Carter), text of sermon by Pastor Carey Daniel, and copies of The Virginian, White Sentinel, The Citizens Council

Equivalent files: Atlanta 105-321; Destroyed 5/20/88

Birmingham 105-241 -- Section 1 (133pp) -- #1 - #86 -- 3/22/55 - 7/25/58

New Orleans 105-587; Destroyed 11/6/77

Mobile 105-167

HQ 105-34237-A -- Sections 1-4 (449pp) -- No serial numbers -- 1/13/55 - 4/23/70 (all serials (newspaper articles) appear in reverse order)

3/22/11 release consists of:

HQ 105-34237, sections 1-10 (2085pp) -- #x - #unrecorded (after #490 which is 11/7/67) -- 12/2/54 - 8/29/74

HQ 105-34237, EBF's (184pp)

HQ 105-34237, EBF 5 (46pp – includes copy of 11/54 Political Reporter by Harry W. Pyle)

HQ 105-34237, EBF 220 (74pp—includes copy of Pastor Carey Daniel's 5/23/54 sermon entitled "God The Original Segregationist" which was published in pamphlet form in 1955; also includes copies of "The Citizens Council" newspaper, "The White Sentinel", and "The Virginian".

HQ 105-34237, EBF 325 (64pp – includes copies of The Southerner – Ace Carter)

HQ 105-34237-61, section 1 (69pp) -- #1 - #15 -- 12/13/56 - 11/7/63

Birmingham 105-241, Section 1 (133pp) -- #1 - #86 -- 3/22/55 - 7/25/58

HQ 105-34237 originally processed for PVO in April 2010

Pages Released: 449 + 2471 = 2920

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