Thursday, November 13, 2014
Full Text Of FBI "Suicide Letter" To King Revealed
It was once thought of as just crazy conspiracy talk. FBI's J. Edgar Hoover nearly fifty years ago mailed a hate-filled anonymous letter to the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a package containing illegally obtained recordings of King's sexual romps with women other than his wife urging him to do the right thing and take his own life. An assistant to FBI Director Hoover typed the one-page letter chocked full of grammatical errors in an effort to make King believe it was a right-wing crackpot determined to destroy him behind the letter rather the nation's top law enforcement agency.
The New York Time's Beverly Gage revealed the full text of the letter in which King is referred to as "evil" six times after referring to him a "colossal fraud, and an evil, vicious one at that." It attacks him for engaging in "sexual orgies," "adulterous acts" and "immoral conduct," and characterizes him as an "evil, abnormal beast." The letter gave him 34 days "before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation." "There is only one thing left for you to do," the letter concludes. "You know what it is."
King shared the letter with his closest associates, who agreed with his assessment the letter had come from Hoover's FBI. Ten years later, the Senate's Church Committee confirmed King's suspicions. Gage uncovered the unredacted version of the letter recently while doing research at the National Archives on a biography of Hoover. The recordings made by the FBI began after Hoover ordered illegal surveillance of him and his associates, which included wiretaps in his home, office and hotel rooms. Hoover sought to link King to communists but instead turned up evidence of his infidelity.
According to Gage, Hoover and his associates were surprised by their discovery and began disseminating derogatory information about him to friendly members of the media in hopes of discrediting him. "To their astonishment, the story went nowhere," Gage writes. In 1964, Hoover denounced King as "the most notorious liar in the country." One of Hoover's deputies, William Sullivan, wrote the anonymous letter and had it sent to the FBI's office in Miami for delivery to King in Atlanta. Friendly associates of Hoover maintain Sullivan acted on his own, not at Hoover's direction.
Sullivan died in a freak hunting accident when a hunter supposedly mistook him for a deer and shot him in the neck, killing him instantly. His shooting occurred during a six-month period in 1977 during which a half dozen current and former FBI officers died before they were scheduled to testify before the House Assassinations Committee investigating the FBI's role in the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination.