CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE FRIGHT PEDDLERS
On January 21, 1962, the Communist Worker ran an article entitled "Birchers Take Warpath Against UN Peace Hopes." The following excerpts are taken from this article:
Throughout the following year, more and more people began to wake up to the terrible menace that our continued participation in the United Nations represented. As the volume of mail to Washington demanding withdrawal from the United Nations began to reach sizable proportions, those politicians who have long had no opposition to their internationalist policies became irate and alarmed. Perhaps the most outspoken among these was Senator Thomas Kuchel of California. In a much publicized speech before the Senate, Kuchel lashed out at what he called a hate campaign against the United Nations conducted by ultra-rightists, lunatics and extremists. Since many of his constituents had cited cases of United Nations atrocities in the Congo, Senator Kuchel called them fright peddlers.
Gus Hall, present head of the U.S. Communist party was delighted with Senator Kuchel's speech. Writing in the Communist Worker of June 23, 1963, be said that the Republican party was in danger of being taken over by what he called "fanatical ultra-right-wingers." But he made a special point to single out Kuchel's speech as hopeful evidence that "moderates" within the Republican ranks have not lost out altogether.
A few months later, CBS produced an hour-long TV documentary entitled Case History of a Rumor. The hero of the program was none other than Senator Thomas Kuchel who was presented as the all-American champion of restraint and common sense against all the irresponsible fright peddlers who think that the United Nations poses any kind of a threat to this country. The villain in the documentary was Congressman James Utt, also of California. Congressman Utt has been outspoken in his criticism of the United Nations and was the man who introduced legislation to get us out of the organization altogether. CBS, as has been the case in many of its other TV documentaries, did a masterful job of appearing to be objective while creating a lasting impression that definitely favors the anti-anti-Communist point of view.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans have allowed their attitudes to be affected by such professional presentations, never investigating the facts for themselves. Even more tragic is the fact that they seldom suspect their opinions have been manipulated. They have had very little cause to challenge those opinions since, as mentioned in the Foreword of this book, the other side has not yet had a chance to speak up. Pro-UN forces have easy access to our television networks, our large metropolitan newspapers, and our mass circulation magazines. Forces critical of the United Nations are shouted down, labeled extremist, and relegated to the futile circulation of mimeographed pamphlets and newsletters. As the forty-six civilian doctors of Elisabethville explained: "What could we do against an organization having the most powerful means of broadcasting false news, lies, denials? We had the weak voice of Radio-Katanga, the official telegraph service, one or two teleprinters, and the small amateur radio stations."2
Thoughtful Americans should ask themselves why it is that one seldom runs into strong opposition to the United Nations that is not made to appear ridiculous by most of our mass communications media. Is it because all such opposition is ridiculous? Is there not one person or organization worth listening to? Why is it that we all know that Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson have lavishly praised the United Nations but we have not been told that former President Hoover, as long ago as 1950, said that "unless the United Nations is completely reorganized without the Communists in it, we should get out of it"? Why is it that we are familiar with Senator Kuchel's views but no one mentions Senator Taft's position: "The United Nations has become a trap. Let's go it alone"; or Senator Langer's position: "I feel from the bottom of my heart that the adoption of the Charter . . . will mean perpetuating war"; or Senator McCarran's position: "Until my dying day, I will regret signing the United Nations Charter"? We have all heard Adlai Stevenson refer to the United Nations as the "moral conscience of the world," but how many of us have heard that J. B. Matthews, former chief investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities said: "I challenge the illusion that the UN is an instrument of peace. . . . It could not be less of a cruel hoax if it had been organized in Hell for the sole purpose of aiding and abetting the destruction of the United States"?
In a speech before the United Nations Correspondents Association in 1961, UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson reviewed the rules which most of our newsmen have apparently been following for twenty years. Referring to UN delegates and personnel, Stevenson said:
On October 23, 1963, the Committee for United States Day held a meeting in the Dallas Memorial Auditorium at which Major General Edwin A. Walker spoke critically of the United Nations before an audience of approximately 1,200. In spite of efforts on the part of the committee, none of the news reporting media gave the meeting advance publicity nor did any of the local stations broadcast the speech. The next evening, however, Adlai Stevenson made a UN Day speech in the same auditorium to an audience of about 1,700 people. This program was sponsored by the Dallas United Nations Association and the Dallas League of Women Voters. Whereas the United States Day committee paid all of its own bills, we can be sure that Mr. Stevenson traveled from New York and stayed in Dallas at taxpayers expense. His visit was given an enormous amount of advance publicity by local news media, and the CBS station in Dallas even donated a full hour of prime time (preempting the Perry Mason show) to broadcast Stevenson's speech.
The bias of our mass news communication media and the resultant devastating effect that this bias has had on American public opinion is, of course, a vast subject too large to be adequately dealt with here. But one need only reflect for a moment on the following episode to grasp the full significance of how far this process has gone. Mr. George Todt, a well-known West Coast columnist and news commentator, tells this story:
The process of squelching opposition to the United Nations is far from limited to just the mass communications media. In 1955, for instance, Ron Ramsey, a sixteen-year-old high school student in Compton, California, began writing letters to the editors of local newspapers and magazines. His letters were well written, factual, and strongly critical of the United Nations. As a result, he soon became the target of a vicious smear campaign conducted by a Communist-front group calling itself an "anti-Nazi league." This group sent out thousands of postcards calling Ramsey a "Hitlerite" and urging his neighbors and fellow students to mobilize against him "before he acquires any more power." Joseph L. Causey, a member of the board of trustees of the Compton Union High School district, charged Ramsey with the unforgivable crime. In a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, Causey exclaimed: "This lad is opposed to the United Nations and preaches anti-UNESCO propaganda." Ramsey was subsequently committed to a county institution as a "mental case" with no formal charges ever brought against him. He was finally released on probation after thirty-four days of confinement, but only on the condition that he stop writing letters to the papers.5
The extent of radio and TV coverage favorable to the United Nations is a matter of daily record. From the very beginning, it has been an avalanche. For instance, on the occasion of the United Nations' tenth anniversary, in 1955, the Communist Daily Worker reported:
As a result of this kind of pro-UN programming, it is no wonder that we have come to accept unchallenged the premise that the United Nations is the epitome of good. We have been brought to the point where the mere mention of the name strikes within us a conditioned response of devout reverence.
As important as radio and TV are in reaching and molding public opinion, however, the United Nations and those who promote it do not stop there. The American Association for the United Nations (AAUN) spends millions of tax exempt dollars to distribute free literature, provide speakers and promote tours of United Nations headquarters. In 1962 a U.S. Air Force recruiting poster appeared which depicted a young man and woman in Air Force uniforms walking down a street in a foreign country. It was the usual appeal to youth's desire for travel and adventure. But there was something significantly different about this poster. Aside from the happy faces of the figures, the only other conspicuous item in the picture was a huge UN flag. U.S. recruiting posters used to display the American flag.7
Speaking of the UN flag, this, too, has played a part in creating the desired attitude in the minds of Americans. Designing the flag was actually made the subject of a school project for children in California. As early as May 1944 the California State Department of Education issued a bulletin entitled A Study in World Friendship--Designing a Symbol for the United Nations. Needless to say, no one ever intended that these children would design the United Nations flag; the whole object, even then, was to begin to have all the kiddies thinking favorably toward the coming world government. What better way than to create the impression that they had a part in designing its flag? The UN flag was actually created in the presentation branch of the United States Office of Strategic Services in April of 1945. The man who headed this department at the time and who supervised the flag design was Carl Aldo Marzani. It was later revealed that Marzani was a member of the Communist party and operated under the party name of Tony Whales.8 Considering this, it is possible that the striking similarity between the symbols of the United Nations and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is more than a mere coincidence.
Using children to promote UN projects has, by now, become standard operational procedure. It has the double advantage of appealing to the parental and protective instincts of adults while, at the same time, it has a profound influence on the attitudes of the children themselves who participate. For instance, in 1960 the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) distributed a promotional folder designed for children entitled How Children Help Children Through UNICEF. The back page, illustrated with crude drawings of a cow, a truck and a child, reads:
This is the kind of calculated tug on the heart strings that loosens the purse strings. Tattered and starving children peer at us from billboards, baseball stars and movie celebrities urge us over radio and TV to give generously, and professional organizers appear in each community to excite an uncritical emotion of compassion. Community leaders are maneuvered into endorsing a project they do not understand and an organization whose budget they are never permitted to see. And then ordinary housewives, enthusiastic because they are sincere, march from home to home ringing doorbells. But if the person who is being solicited questions the noble cause in any way, those volunteers are apt to be miffed and feel insulted. After all, they know that their own motives are beyond reproach and, since they have already identified themselves emotionally with the cause, they cannot help but react with horror when they find someone so cruel and selfish as to ask questions when tiny children are starving.
In 1962 UNICEF sent out another folder entitled How Halloween Fun Can Help Needy Children All Over the World Through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. The back page reads:
The amount of concern that UNICEF really has about the money it spends was best illustrated by Miss Florence Fowler Lyons who revealed that in one case when UNICEF received one dollar for two teacher's manuals advertised in one of its trick-or-treat promotional pamphlets, it sent not only the manuals, but a large box containing hundreds of expensively printed brochures glorifying the purposes and accomplishments of UNICEF. This unrequested and unwanted material was shipped first class airmail at a total postage cost of $10.40.9 According to UN statistics this could have purchased 5200 glasses of milk. That's an awful lot of milk!
Each year, over two million dollars are raised for UNICEF by American children on Halloween night. But much of this money is consumed in administrative costs before it ever reaches the point where it is available for needy children. Even though two million dollars is a considerable amount, it is a drop in the bucket compared with UNICEF's total budget. As a matter of fact, less than two percent of UNICEF's total funds come from this trick-or-treat drive. The rest comes from tax money that has been given directly to UNICEF by the government. The real importance to UNICEF of this Halloween drive was inadvertently disclosed by the U.S. Committee for UNICEF in a defense bulletin which had been prepared to expose what it called unfounded charges against UNICEF. The committee said:
On October 31, 1963, Arthur Godfrey said on his CBS network program:
An article in the May 1959 issue of the National Education Association Journal stated that the children were drawn into a lot of preliminary activity in many schools "from drawing maps and posters to writing and performing an original television play." Some schools administered "study units on the interdependency of nations." At least one school followed up the Halloween stunt with a program lasting all year and culminated in a miniature UN assembly with each student representing the country of his choice."
The examples are endless. In 1951 the U.S. National Citizens Committee of UN Day distributed over 30,000 copies of A Useful Teacher's Guide: Planning for United Nations Day, and over 1,300,000 other pieces of literature were mailed out. Over 50,000 kits containing materials and instructions to make hand-sewn UN flags were distributed, and over half a million women and girls across the nation participated in the project.
United Nations propaganda is even in the comic books. For instance, the inside cover of a recent issue of Superman contains an illustrated tale of how the United Nations World Health Organization came to the rescue and saved a small Burmese village from the bubonic plague. At the end of the story, we find: "This is your United Nations at work! When yon celebrate UN Day on October 24th, be proud your country is a member nation. Through the UN, our nation is working with other nations for better health and happiness for people the world over."
What this all adds up to was clearly stated by Mr. George D. Stoddard, president of the University of Illinois and a member of UNESCO's executive board. Speaking before a UNESCO gathering in 1949, he said:
In spite of this continuous bombardment on the subconscious thinking of Americans for almost two decades, the number of people who are beginning to question the UN continues to grow. So much so, in fact, that by June of 1963 the master planners were beginning to worry. The National Advertising Council publicly announced on June 24 that it had been called in to help resell the UN to the American people because, as it put it, "The United Nations is considered by close observers . . . to have lost some of its grip on public opinion."12 With the help of a Madison Avenue advertising firm, the National Advertising Council launched a gigantic campaign in the press, radio and TV valued at over five million dollars! As you may recall, the gimmick that was used as the main theme for this campaign was a picture of a huge and frightening mushroom cloud of an H-bomb explosion. And after thus sending a calculated chill down our spines at the thought of nuclear holocaust, the advertising experts then flashed the words: "This Is One Alternative To The United Nations!"
Now really, who are the "fright peddlers"?
1. Mike Newberry, "Birchers Take Warpath Against UN Peace Hopes," the Worker (January 21, 1962), p. 6.
2. 46 Angry Men, p. 84.
3. United Nations Guardian of Peace, Department of State publication #7225 (September 1961), p. 36.
4. Speech by George Todt before the Congress of Freedom, Veterans War Memorial Auditorium (San Francisco, April 1955).
5. "Anti-UNESCO," Los Angeles Times (March 2, 1955). Also, "Boy Supported," Los Angeles Times (March 7, 1955). Also, "Speech Freedom," Los Angeles Times (March 11, 1955).
6. Daily Worker (October 28, 1953), P. 6.
7. Congressman James Utt, "Power Shift in the United Nations," Congressional Record (April 11, 1962).
8. United Nations General Assembly Yearbook, 1946-1947, annex 12, general records, 6th commission, p. 226. Also, Eleanor Roosevelt and William DeWitt, The United Nations Today and Tomorrow (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1953), p. 153. Also, The Strange Origin of the UN Flag (Box 2037, Fullerton, Calif., Education Information, Inc.), p. 2.
9. Florence Fowler Lyons, Reports on UNESCO, syndicated column (October 28, 1962).
10. U.S. Committee for UNICEF bulletin (November 5, 1959).
11. UNESCO Leaders Speak, Department of State publication #841574 (1949), p. 4.
12. "Campaign Will Sell UN
by Advertising," Chicago Tribune (June 25,1963).