By Henry Fowler, Stevensville
Included among the hundreds of previously-sealed documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that were released by the National Archives in November 2017 was an FBI file entitled “Martin Luther King, Jr., an Analysis,” dated March 12, 1968, just three weeks before King’s assassination. The file is available at https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/104-10125-10133.pdf. The release of this file provides a good opportunity to reconsider the propriety of celebrating the life of the only American honored with his own national holiday.
The FBI’s 20-page analysis of King reveals that he was closely linked to the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA), and that he frequently engaged in extramarital sex. One of King’s principal advisors (known as “Assistant Chief”), Stanley Levison, was a “shrewd, dedicated communist” and the clandestine fund-raiser for the CPUSA while he advised King. The FBI claims that King often looked to Levison for instruction and approval before acting, and that Levison used King to advance the communist agenda, including opposition to the Vietnam War. Levison told Gus Hall, General Secretary, CPUSA, that “King is a whole-hearted Marxist who has studied it (Marxism), believes in it and agrees with it, but because of his being a minister of religion, does not dare to espouse it publicly.”
Although King’s sexual indiscretions are well-known (see the “Adultery” section of the Wikipedia article on King), the FBI’s analysis shows that he not only had extramarital affairs (including with folk singer Joan Baez), but engaged in “group sexual orgies” that included prostitutes, binge drinking, and group sex acts (“natural as well as unnatural”) for the entertainment of onlookers. The FBI describes one party that King attended in 1964 as a “two-day, drunken sex orgy.” More on King’s “sexual aberrations” will be revealed to the public in 2027 (after the court order expires) when the National Archives releases the audiotapes and transcripts resulting from the FBI’s electronic surveillance of King between 1963 and 1968.
In addition to being a communist stooge and a sex fiend, King was a plagiarist. He plagiarized his doctoral thesis in systematic theology at Boston University. See Theodore Pappas, Plagiarism and the Culture War: The Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Other Prominent Americans (1998).
Considering all of the above facts, King is hardly the saint-like icon that many people think he is.