Saturday, January 22, 2011

On the Murder of George Lincoln Rockwell

Shortly before noon on Friday, 25 August 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell left his home, and headquarters of his National-Socialist White People's Party, at 6150 Wilson Boulevard1 to do his laundry at the Econ-o-wash laundromat in the Dominion Hills Centre at 6013 to 6035 Wilson Boulevard. The location was described by the Associated Press as "across the busy highway from the old frame house that served as Rockwell's home -- and the barracks of his 'troopers'" (AP, 26 August 1967).

At the laundromat a witness, 60-year-old Ruby Pierce, said that Rockwell, "a tall, charming man," came in and talked about which washing machine to use. "He put his clothes in the washer and put his detergent in, and then he said, 'I forgot something,' or maybe he said, 'I forgot my bleach.'"


Rockwell exited the laundromat, got into his 1958 Chevrolet, and began to back out. Two loud shots pierced the windshield of Rockwell's car, one of them striking him in the chest. Rockwell made a brief and futile attempt to seek cover. His  backward-moving car struck another car and stalled. Rockwell either lurched out or fell out of the passenger-side door, landing face-up on the pavement with feet still in the car; in one report he pointed to the rooftop before dying. Witnesses said that he had been shot in the head and chest, but the medical examiner, Dr. John Judson, found only a chest wound (AP, 26 August 1967). Here is a photo of the crime scene that appeared in the Washington Post:




Here are the bullet-holes in the windshield of Rockwell's car:



When the shots were fired2 17-year-old laundry attendant Robert Hancock looked up and saw the gunman on the 15-foot roof of the beauty salon (UPI, 25 August 1967). A barber named James Cummings saw a man later identified as John Patler, a.k.a. John Christ Patsalos, an expelled former member of Rockwell's organization, leap from the south end of the shopping center and gave chase but lost him. 

Somewhere in the range of 30 to 45 minutes after the killing Patsalos was spotted by police standing at a corner bus stop at the edge of a park about one-half mile from the shooting.  He tried to run away but was caught and placed under arrest by Inspector Raymond S. Cole (UPI, 25 August 1967).


Patsalos' Character

John Christ Patsalos was born in Bronx, New York.  His family history is quite troubling. His father, an immigrant, served a term at Sing Sing for murdering John Patsalos' mother in 1943 when he was five years old. (AP, 26 August 1967) He fought for custody of John and his brother on being released. (AP 26 August 1967) (In 1996 the brother, Christ George Patsalos, was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida for having murdered his girlfriend in 1982.)

John Patsalos had a criminal history prior to adopting the name Patler and becoming a "Nazi." He spent time in a New York youth-detention house where Patsalos boasted that another assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had once been held. One report says that he murdered a childhood friend.

Patsalos  enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1958. In July 1960 he was given an honorable discharge on grounds of "unsuitability." One report says that the discharge was due to his being arrested at an American Nazi Party event (AP 26 August 1967). He joined Rockwell's organization in 1960 and around that time he started calling himself by the German-sounding surname Patler. 

In 1961 Patsalos, now "Patler," was put in charge of the American Nazi Party's "Hate Bus," which toured the South with a dozen stormtroopers. Patsalos made speeches in various Southern cities where there was notable conflict over "Civil Rights." (AP 22 May 1961)

Patsalos edited and illustrated the NSWPP's publication for members, The Stormtrooper, and drew cartoons found in Rockwell's book White Power.

In 1962 Patsalos left the American Nazi Party and in collaboration with crypto-Jew Dan Burros3 formed the American National Party. This ANP, based in Manhattan, claimed ten members and was able to muster six for public demonstrations, all clad in white shirts and black trousers. They managed to call some attention to themselves by extreme and aggressive posturing, e.g. calling for war against Russia, which provoked a public complaint from a Russian diplomat.  In their magazine Kill! Patsalos accused Rockwell of being a liberal (UPI, 25 August 1967). Patsalos rejoined Rockwell's organization in 1964. Rockwell commented on the episode as follows:

"A political guerrilla band is what we are. And under such conditions, the struggle for power is almost cannibalistic. What happened is Patler rebelled against the leadership-- he thought he could do it better. He went up to New York and tried and he fell on his face. He's ashamed of what he did. He's apologized for it publicly. And he's worked his head off. He's a fine member right now."

Having tried and failed to build his own organization, Patsalos sought and received readmission into Rockwell's organization, but the incompatibility that had led to his resignation was still there.

Patsalos, in his and Dan Burros' short-lived "American National Party," had done away with all things "nazi." Patsalos objected to this aspect of Rockwell's organization even after rejoining, and had conflicts with other members because of it. As a swarthy Greek, Patsalos seems to have objected particularly to the Nordic ideal associated with National-Socialism. Blond members he called "blue-eyed devils" (NY Times, 26 August 1967).

Matt Koehl told reporters that Patsalos had exhibited "Bolshevik leanings," and, "Communist thought kept creeping up in his work." (UPI, 25 August 1967)

According to testimony given during his appeal before the Virginia Supreme Court in 1970, Patsalos said to another NSWPP member, "Rockwell is an evil genius and must be stopped." (UPI, 1 December 1970)

Police Inspector Walter E. Bell is cited for the claim that Patsalos had left the NSWPP in January 1967 (AP, 26 August 1967). A UPI story of 1 December 1970 specifies that Patsalos had been fired as editor of the party's newspaper on 30 March 1967 and expelled from the organization on 4 April.

Early in the summer of 1967, there was an attempt to kill Rockwell in the driveway of his house.
One of the two men hidden in the bushes by the entrance-way fired a pistol shot at him, narrowly missing his head, he said. (George Brimmel, Calgary Herald, 25 August 1967)

The perpetrators got away. Patsalos may or may not have been one of them.5 From the information available in contemporary news-reporting it does not seem a foregone conclusion that he was, since attempts to harm Rockwell had been a common occurrence for years. Rockwell's Icelandic wife had left him several years earlier because of the danger.

Rockwell's father, former vaudeville and radio6 performer George "Doc" Rockwell, age 78 at the time, said after learning of his son's fate: "I'm not surprised at all." (AP 26 August 1967) And, "He was more afraid of his own men than people were of him."


Patsalos on Trial

At the time of the arrest, Patsalos was drenched in sweat, had roofing tar on the bottom of one shoe, and both shoes were wet, as were his pants up to six inches above the knee. A teenage girl had witnessed Patsalos hurrying away from the shopping center. (The Free Lance-Herald, 3o September 1967)


The day after the murder a C-96 Mauser "Broomhandle" was found "just below" a wooden foot-bridge under six to eight inches of water in a creek that runs through Bon Air Park, midway between the shopping center and where Patsalos was apprehended. (AP, 27 August 1967) Apparently it had rocks placed over it, since Four Mile Run is full of rocks and the prosecutor contended that Patsalos had knelt in the water while concealing the weapon.

The Arlington Police submitted it to the FBI's crime lab for testing. (AP, 27 August 1967) Ballistics showed that this was the murder weapon.  Patsalos had borrowed the unusual firearm from a party member in 1964 and never returned it. Patsalos had been seen target-practicing on his father-in-law's farm, and slugs taken from a tree there confirmed that the gun found in the creek was the one that had been in Patsalos' possession.

Based on this evidence Arlington County judge L. Jackson Embrey sent the case to a grand jury.

Patsalos loudly protested his innocence and never confessed anything. A conspiracy theory was propagated that Patsalos had been the victim of a frame-up by the ADL. Rockwell's former deputy Karl Allen was a proponent of this theory.4 Karl Allen also raised money for Patsalos' defense.

When the trial began on 27 November 1967, Patsalos was very well defended, with three attorneys. His attorneys' strategy all along was to draw attention to flaws in the prosecution's case or to try to create flaws by challenging the admissibility of crucial pieces of evidence, specifically the Mauser Broomhandle slugs found on his father-in-law's farm, the admissibility of which was challenged on the first day of the original trial (Free Lance-Star, 28 November 1967) and in the final appeal before the Virginia Supreme Court in 1970.

One of the defense attorneys, Thomas J. Harrigan, tried but failed to have the case dismissed, alleging that the prosecutor, William J. Hassan, had piled inference upon inference and had failed to connect Patsalos with the crime. (AP 12 December 1967)

Defense attorney Harrigan also mentioned a conflict between Patsalos and Koehl over the party's image and trappings. (AP 12 December 1967) Was this to imply that Koehl had a motive to frame Patsalos?

Patsalos claimed that he had left home just before noon and could not have been at the shopping center when Rockwell was killed.  Patsalos' father-in-law Sam Ervin and wife Alice contradicted him, testifying that he had left the house at 11:10AM. (AP, 15 December 1967)  The trial ended with a guilty verdict on 15 December 1967. 


The Arguments of Conspiracy Theorists

As Patsalos was led in manacles into the police station on the day of the murder he shouted dramatically, "I haven't done anything!This is a nightmare!" Patsalos never admitted guilt. He and his supporters like Karl Allen claimed that he had been framed by some conspiracy, obviously because a conspiracy was the only alternative explanation for such overwhelming evidence (much like the "racist cop" argument in the O.J. Simpson case).

Oddly, some people (Covington) who have accepted that Patsalos was guilty have nonetheless retained the notion of conspiracy that was cooked up to defend him, thus creating a new version of events. It is on its face a problematic synthesis, given the supposition that the trigger-man for a vast conspiracy was left to wait on a street-corner with wet pants and wet shoes to make his getaway on the next public bus. Would a vast conspiracy not have arranged for a proper getaway and disposal of the murder weapon?

This boneheaded conspiracy allegedly included top officers of the NSWPP, and officials of the Commonwealth of Virginia (jurors too, apparently), and (sometimes) the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

I do not know the arguments for ADL involvement in the killing because Harold Covington, although he mentions a possibility of ADL involvement, so far as I know never really argues for it. Covington argues for a conspiracy involving Matt Koehl, and therewith William Pierce and Robert Lloyd, ostensibly with the connivance of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I shall address those arguments.


How did Patsalos know where Rockwell would be?

One of the arguments advanced by Harold Covington is that some accomplice within the NSWPP headquarters must have telephoned Patsalos revealing where Rockwell would be for Patsalos to ambush him there shortly after his arrival. There were only four people, Matt Koehl and three others (AP, 12 December 1967), inside the headquarters when Rockwell left. Covington particularly wants to accuse Matt Koehl.

Covington made this accusation under his own name on 25 August 2005 (the anniversary of Rockwell's death), and reposted it annually for several years after that, and also recycled it in his Radio Free Northwest podcast in 2010:

On August 25th, 1967 this authentic American hero was murdered in Arlington, Virginia, under circumstances which have never been satisfactorily cleared up but which point very heavily towards the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, and also to at least some involvement on the part of the man who seized control of the Nazi headquarters and "succeeded" Rockwell. The trigger man was later convicted and received a short prison term; his accomplices in the corridors of power and the traitor within the headquarters who made the phone call telling the gunman where Rockwell would be were never charged or punished. [Harold Covington, "Who is George Lincoln Rockwell?" (2005)]

The accusation was also repeated in A Brief History of the White Nationalist Movement, which Covington has denied writing, but was certainly very active in promoting and distributing (2007):

... what has never been satisfactorily explained was precisely how Patler knew where Rockwell would be and when, in order to intercept and ambush his victim. It is clear from any objective examination of the evidence that Patler had at least one accomplice inside the old Party headquarters....

A piece attributed to the late Robert Frenz makes the same argument.7

This agument depends for its credibility on the reader's being unfamiliar with the physical circumstances of the killing. There really was no need for Patsalos to be advised of Rockwell's whereabouts, because the laundromat where the killing occurred was only across the street from Rockwell's home and headquarters.

Here is how the Washington Post mapped the area where the killing occurred, and the sequence of events. You can see that if Patsalos had been spying on the entrance to Rockwell's property, he would have been practically in the shopping center already. It may even have been possible to use the rooftop as a point of surveillance over Rockwell's property; certainly it was possible to keep track of comings and goings from there, at least.

LOCALE -- George Lincoln Rockwell drove from American Nazi Party headquarters (A) across Wilson Boulevard to shopping center (B). The sniper on the rooftop (C) in inset) fired two shots as Rockwell backed his car from parking lot (D). Car coasted to stop (E). (Washington Post illustration and caption.)


Did the government go easy on Rockwell's assassin?

Harold Covington's A Brief History of the White Nationalist Movement implies that the legal system of the Commonwealth of Virginia showed leniency and favoritism toward the assassin:

Patler [...] received the lightest possible prison sentence allowable under Virginia law, and was released after spending only a few years in comfortable, minimum-security facilities.

Patsalos was convicted in December 1967 of first-degree murder. The prosecutor had urged the death penalty. The all-White jury of ten men and two women (Free Lance-Star, 28 November 1967) recommended a sentence of 20 years' imprisonment, which was indeed the minimum sentence for First-Degree Murder in Virginia.

Under Virginia Law, the judge could not give a sentence greater than what the jury had recommended (AP, 19 December 1967). Judge Charles Russell postponed sentencing until 29 January 1968, at which time he pronounced the only sentence that he could.

Since there is an element of randomness in the selection of juries, Patsalos' lenient sentencing cannot be attributed, as Harold Covington insinuates, to some conspiracy and favoritism by government officials. The prosecutor had asked for death, and the judge gave the most severe penalty that he could give under the circumstances. Evidently Patsalos had a very good defense team who found a way to make the jury take pity on the killer.

On 31 November 1970 Patsalos' conviction and sentence were upheld by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

A piece on Patsalos attributed to Robert Frenz claims that he was released from prison after only three years. This is inaccurate.
As of 1975 Patsalos was still in prison, but he was allowed to participate in a "study release program" that enabled him to take art classes at Radford College. In August 1975, Patsalos was approved for parole.

John Patler, ambush killer of American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell, Friday became the first major political slayer of the 1960s -- America's "Decade of Assassination" -- to be freed. [...] He had served eight years of a 20-year sentence....

[...]

"He was a model inmate who never caused any problems... that's why he was paroled...." said Alan Brittle, of the state parole office. (UPI, 23 August 1975)

What confuses people is not really that Patsalos was treated leniently, but that they are sure that anybody who assassinated a prominent enemy of the White race would be treated with utmost harshness, which casts Patsalos' treatment in relief.

James Earl Ray is probably the most famous case of a racially motivated assassin. He died in prison after he chose, by pleading guilty and foregoing a jury trial, to avoid the risk of a death sentence. A judge sentenced Ray to 99 years.

If it was true, though, that James Earl Ray's prospects for getting a sympathetic jury after killing MLK really were not nearly as good as Patsalos' after killing Rockwell, that is certainly a bias that affects the legal process, but it is not a matter of conspiracy by government officials in that specific case: it is a matter of popular attitudes shaped by mass-media, schools, and churches.

Another important consideration is the role of the Federal Government in piling on "civil rights charges" against offenders whose crime conflicts with the Federal Government's domestic agenda. In effect, White people have no civil rights so far as enforcement of Federal civil rights laws is concerned. There was no chance that anyone would be charged by the Federal Government with violating Rockwell's civil rights; by contrast, David Lane, who was not present at the murder of Alan Berg and was not charged with murder, was sentenced to 150 years for "violating the civil rights" of the Jewish victim, in addition to 20 years for racketeering and 20 years for conspiracy.  If Patsalos had murdered the leader of a some Black Power group he could still be in prison, but not because the Commonwealth of Virginia would have treated him any differently: rather because the Federal Government would have piled on so-called civil rights charges.

To determine whether Patsalos was treated leniently by the Commonwealth of Virginia after his conviction, one would have to compare to other similar cases in the same state. In 1993 it was reported that the average prison inmate in Virginia serves less than a third of his sentence. (Virginian-Pilot, 2 October 1993) At that rate, Patsalos was not given any special leniency except initially by the jury that had recommended only a 20-year sentence. That was where Patsalos got lucky.


The Succession

UPI reports that Matt Koehl announced that he had taken command of the NSWPP a few hours after the murder: 

The 32-year-old Milwaukee native assumed command on his own, but nobody questioned his right.

What was Koehl's position in the NSWPP that enabled him to succeed Rockwell without being challenged?

In the 1966 Playboy interview, Koehl was identified by Rockwell as his "research chief,"  who had determined that some photos of alleged Holocaust victims really showed victims of the bombing of Dresden.

More to the point, Koehl was publicly known as the deputy commander. As part of his conspiracy theory, Harold Covington claims that there was no reference to Matt Koehl as the Deputy-Commander of the NSWPP prior to Rockwell's death. This is not true.  On 14 April 1967, just a few months before Rockwell's death, the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia reported:

The Spotsylvania County American Nazi Party chapter is making plans to celebrate the birthday of Adolph Hitler next Thursday, April 20. [...] Principal speaker will be Maj. Matt Koehl, deputy commander of the American Nazi Party and second in command to George Lincoln Rockwell.

It was also Matthias Koehl whom Rockwell named as executor of his will (J. Goolrick, The Free Lance-Star, 8 September 1967) and to whom he willed "my mortal remains, in the event of my death for whatever disposal he may care to make of such body." (UPI, 28 August 1967) (UPI, 9 September 1967)

On the day of Rockwell's death, Koehl said, "I don't know of anyone who can fill his shoes. We cannot talk in terms of a successor to Commander Rockwell. But we'll all do everything we can to carry on." (AP 26 August 1967)
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Notes

1. The house at 3150 Wilson Boulevard has since been razed and the property incorporated into Upton Hill Regional Park. The street address that was once Rockwell's is now farther northwest.

2. There is a great discrepancy in the reporting about what time Rockwell was shot.  Robert Hancock, the 17-year-old laundry attendant says 12:20. Other reports say slightly before noon (AP, 26 August 1967). As close as the laundromat was to Rockwell's home, if Rockwell left at about 11:50 as Koehl later testified (AP 12 December 1967), the time of the killing seems unlikely to have been significantly later than noon unless Rockwell spent 20 minutes or so in the laundromat chatting before leaving.

3. Dan Burros was later exposed as a Jew and allegedly shot himself in the apartment of Roy Frankhouser on 31 October 1965 after reading an article about himself in the New York Times. (Reading Eagle, 10 October 1967)

4. Too little interest is paid to the fact that Karl Allen shared some interests with Patsalos. Allen was another disgruntled former  member of the NSWPP who had quit and become a critic of Rockwell and tried to start his own group. See my article on the question of Karl Allen's perspective.

5. This account from Dr. William Pierce, appearing in Robert Griffin's The Fame of a Dead Man's Deeds, somewhat confirms the reasonable inference that Patsalos/Patler was the gunman:

"About June of the next year, 1967, Rockwell drove out of the headquarters to  run an errand.  As usual he  was  accompanied by somebody when he went  out.  That  wasn't always the  case,  though--he could be  very careless about  his  personal safety.  There  was a long  drive, maybe one  hundred  yards, from the house down to the street, with  forest on both sides.  When Rockwell  got back  from his  errands, there  was some brush piled in the  driveway.   Rockwell was driving and had to  stop, and the other guy got out of the car to clear the brush off the driveway so they could continue. It turned out that Patler had put the brush  there  and was hiding in bushes alongside  the  driveway.  While  the other  guy was out of the car clearing the brush, Patler  took a shot at Rockwell sitting in the car.  It missed and ricocheted off the car just above the door  where  Rockwell was sitting.  Rockwell, who was  unarmed, jumped  out of the car and  began running toward where Patler was. Patler panicked  and took  off running through the woods with Rockwell at his heels.  Patler was  armed,  Rockwell wasn't, and  Rockwell was chasing him.  Patler was about  twenty years younger  and a faster  runner  and  got away.  Later I asked  Rockwell who did it, and he said, 'I couldn't get a clear look at the guy, all I could see was his  back--but I  would swear it  was John  Patler.'"
Dr. Pierce's account of the driveway-ambush differs from the Calgary Herald's  account, in that Dr. Pierce mentions a passenger in Rockwell's car who got out to remove the obstacle for him,  and does not say that the gunman had a companion. Dr. Pierce's account makes much more sense; it seems likely that the newspaper's account is confused, changing Rockwell's passenger who cleared brush into a gunman's companion who did nothing. The facts of the incident may have been established later in court.


6. Doc Rockwell had been an occasional performer on Fred Allen's radio show. (AP, 26 August 1967) Here is a recording of a Fred Allen Show from February 1949 that features "Doctor Rockwell."

7. The late Robert Frenz is credited with this statement dated January-February 2002. It is suspect because while it appears on Heretical.com and VNN Forum, it does not appear on Frenz' own FAEM.com (now being maintained by somebody else):  

Patler was convicted of Rockwell's murder in rather short order. This prompted someone hiring a private detective to look into the matter. The killer was on top of a tarred roof at the Laundromat. Tar-stained sneakers were found in the yard of a fellow named Niles whom Rockwell kicked out of the party. Rockwell broke his schedule to take an unplanned trip to the Laundromat. The only people who knew he was doing this were at the Arlington house: Pierce, Koehl and Lloyd. It was surmised that one of them called the killer. It looked like Niles and the fact that Patler was released after only 3 years lends more doubt as to what really happened. Patler has since vanished.

This piece attributed to Frenz  agrees with Covington in using the same faulty argument to accuse Koehl, Pierce, and Lloyd of being accomplices. It differs from Covington's version in that it argues that somebody other than "Patler" was the lone gunman (which is quite a stretch given the evidence), and it is more specific and thus more clearly erroneous in its statement about Virginia's supposedly lenient treatment of Patsalos. (He served 8 years of his 20-year sentence before being paroled, not 3, and that's roughly typical for Virginia.)

15 comments:

  1. Long live the memory of Commander Rockwell,who in my youth,was one of my greatest heros.Never ever believed that Commander Koehl was involved in anyway with that traitor patler....Heil Rockwell.....Party supporter(too young to be a member at the time)....Ken Snyder

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    1. I'm the same as you to young to join but loved rockwell

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    2. I'm the same as you to young to join but loved rockwell

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  2. Yes: Commander Rockwell was a true hero. Thanks for this important piece of vital info.

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  5. Anyone with a serious interest in this subject should definitely check out three articles by H. Michael Barrett:

    * 'The Origins of Pseudo-National Socialism

    * 'Pierce, Lloyd, Koehl and the NSWPP Internal Split of 1970

    * 'Inside the American Nazi Party'

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  6. I DID NOT KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT HIM TELL I FOUND A BOOK THAT HE HAD WRITTEN CALLED, WHITE POWER. ITS A INTERESTING BOOK I MUST SAY. BUT ONE THĪNG THAT I NOTICED WAS ON THE FIRST PAGE THERE ÎS A STICKER THAT BASICALLY SAYS THÄT PRIOR TO THE FIRST EDITION COMING OUT, ROCKWELL WAS TO BE IN DALLAS OVER THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND SEPT 1967 FOR A BOOK SIGNING FOR THE FIRST BOOKS OFF THE PRESS. BUT NEVER MADE, HE WAS SHOT
    IN AUGUST 1967. SO IN MEMORY OF ROCKWELL , MAJOR MATT KOEHL THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AMERICAN NAZI PARTY, WENT TO THE BOOK SIGNING IN HIS PLACE AND SIGNED ALL OF THEM IN MEMORY OF HIM. SO YES I HAVE A FIRST PRINT FIRST EDITION SIGNED BY THE MAJOR HIMSELF.

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  7. Very good overview of the assassination of Mr Rockwell. Clearly stated that gives more weight to a correct historical point of view than many of the conspiracies floating around .

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  8. Very good overview of the assassination of Mr Rockwell. Clearly stated that gives more weight to a correct historical point of view than many of the conspiracies floating around .

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  9. Isn't the more likely and probable reason for the assassination of George Lincoln Rockwell the fact that Rockwell had sympathetic pro-white-supremacy moles inside the FBI who were successful at getting their hands on the controversial MLK bugging and phone recordings of his activity with prostitutes on the road while campaigning for civil rights? This was the MAIN trump-card J Edgar Hoover used to keep MLK in line. Sexual blackmail of important and influential figures was modus-operandi for J Edgar (ironically a closeted homosexual man for 40+ years as head of the FBI) to CONTROL controversial information being leaked to the American public.

    The FBI and J Edgar Hoover wanting to maintain TIGHT control on this explosive information so they could keep MLK on a very tight leash (i.e. allow civil rights protesting but constantly threatening to expose MLK IF he started supporting or advocating hard-left pro-socialist or pro-communist causes?) Remember that the FBI had overwhelming evidence that MLK was frequently financed by Communist organizations or disguised aid from Moscow.

    I am NOT SUGGESTING that MLK HIMSELF WAS 'communist'.

    He was likely more conservative considering his Southern Baptist religious background BUT NEEDED the capital and financing communist sympathizers were willing to give him in exchange for possible favors or their own inroads in the future. Frank Marshal Wright (later an influential mentor for Barack Obama) was a key middle man in this funding. MLK wasn't a communist per se but NEEDED money to fund civil rights activities.

    The pressure came from BOTH the extreme left and right during the late 60s. Both the American Nazi Party and the Communist party threatened to leak the FBI files on MLK's controversial sexual activities on the road which tragically led to his assassination. The Soviets had spies and agents who also had gotten hold of the MLK buggings. After successfully winning the hearts and minds of a majority of white and black Americans Civil Rights was successful, but NOW the communists who had earlier funded him could pressure his organizations to support or protest pro-socialist or pro-communist positions to make them more palatable to a Cold-War paranoid American mainstream audience.

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