Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

Carto’s Business Dealings — from a former business associate

  • The following is from a July 27, 1999, letter from Chris Temple to a family that subscribes to both The SPOTLIGHT and Temple’s publication, The National Investor. The family was inquiring as to a letter they'd received from Liberty Lobby “treasurer” Willis Carto informing them that Temple no longer was associated with Liberty Lobby.

As for your question about Carto, I have already seen that letter. Frankly, you can take some of the things we all talked about last time and simply extrapolate them from there. In general, Willis is frantically trying to keep his ruinous hold on Liberty Lobby — even though he’s the same man who once stressed that Liberty Lobby is an INSTITUTION and is not — and should not — be tied to any one man or personality. The fact, of course, is that he has run Liberty Lobby virtually single-handedly for pretty much its entire life, and quite clearly behaves as if LL, its finances, its members, and everything it owns is HIS OWN personal possession. It’s my observation that — in case he is ultimately unsuccessful over the next several days in staying in control — he has decided to step up a sort of “scorched earth” policy to bad mouth anybody who he feels is out to get him or somehow part of his imaginary plot to “destroy Liberty Lobby.” After five years of an association with Willis and Liberty Lobby, including my observation of the place’s finances, policies, and Willis' own many foibles, I can safely say that if Liberty Lobby DOES go out of business, the only man on Earth who should be blamed is Willis Carto.

Make no mistake — as I think I mentioned to you when I last spoke with you, your brother and your Mom, I have absolutely no interest in the current activities of the IHR, nor do I have any sympathy for the initial fight that caused the rift between them and Willis. Even the Anti-Defamation League, in one of its reports on myself and the Jubilee newspaper, reprints an unsolicited letter that I sent Willis a good five years ago, praising him for creating the Barnes Review and standing up for him in his editorial battle with the guys still at the IHR. I sincerely believed then — and now — that Willis was correct in wanting to change the editorial direction of the IHR’s Journal for Historical Review.

In the matter of the Jean Farrell estate, however, I no longer can support the position that Willis has taken, as represented by his (I'll be charitable here) regular embellishments of the story in The SPOTLIGHT. I could talk to you for hours on end of the things even recently that have come to light that convince me beyond ANY doubt that the judgment against Willis and, unfortunately, Liberty Lobby is legitimate, and should have been settled for a mere pittance when Willis was given the chance 2 + years ago.

Rather than give you any of my own commentary, I suggest you go to the IHR’s web site at www.ihr.org. Once there, click on “Links to other sites of interest” and then scroll down to the “Willis A. Carto Information Site” and click on that. While there is a fair amount of commentary from the IHR and its friends which give their side of the whole sordid story (and not in the same hysterical and defaming way that Willis has attacked them) what’s more important is that you'll actually get to read transcripts of the various court proceedings that Willis has embroiled himself, Liberty Lobby and its related entities in.

From my standpoint, I'll as briefly as possible relate my own reasons for leaving any association with Liberty Lobby back in mid-May. For starters, I have been a SPOTLIGHT reader for virtually all of my adult life, and have actively supported the paper, Liberty Lobby and Willis — personally, generously and often (in fact, I think I hold the record for the numbers of copies I've bought and distributed of the reprint “Billions for the Bankers and Debts for the People” that the SPOTLIGHT has reprinted over the years.)

Until about 1995, I had only sporadic contact with Willis personally. In the mid-to-late 1980's, I was quite active with the Populist Party, serving as ballot access coordinator for David Duke’s campaign in New York, and working closely with Party officials in New York and elsewhere. Like most, I was rather chagrined that the Populist Party disintegrated, due to what Willis, of course, attributed to other parties' attacks and “conspiracies.” At the time, I had no reason to doubt Willis' “party line” as to why this briefly vibrant third party was no more.

Just after moving to Montana in 1990, I received a couple phone calls from Willis. Prior to that (as well as subsequently), he had on occasion used articles or newsletter excerpts of mine in The SPOTLIGHT, which was to me a great honor. He was calling to attempt to sell me on the idea of finding some investors for the Kayla Corporation in Florida, the broadcasting entity he got into which eventually went belly up. Either he or the broker he'd hired in Florida to handle the stock sales sent me a prospectus; upon reviewing it and talking more with Willis, however, I decided not to become involved for several reasons — though I was happy to have had the opportunity to have met — even by phone — the man behind The SPOTLIGHT.

Willis was on the mailing list for my newsletter Your Money Today (the predecessor to The National Investor) and continued on occasion to print excerpts from it in the paper, as well as articles I would occasionally submit. After Dr. Martin Larson passed away — and a few would-be replacements for him as the financial writer for The SPOTLIGHT evidently didn't turn most people on — a mutual friend put Willis and me together. To make a long story short, we formed a relationship whereby I would turn my then-quarterly financial newsletter into a monthly one, which would get a marketing boost by being somewhat “tied” to The SPOTLIGHT/Liberty Lobby. Willis (on behalf of Liberty Lobby) and I entered into a contract to effect this, which included most of the marketing, subscription services and financial dealings being done in Washington at the Liberty Lobby headquarters.

A year later — when Willis' accountant Blayne Hutzel sent me the tax returns to sign as trustee for the entity we operate under — I almost instantly went into shock when I realized that The National Investor (which I was half owner of, and from which I was supposed to receive half of any profits) had been milked of some $70,000 above and beyond what Willis and I had agreed to. These “expenses” went not only to Liberty Lobby, but to others of the entities he controls, and largely without my knowledge or consent.

I confronted Willis about this, whereupon he agreed to reduce his future percentage of any profits and make some other advertising and related concessions, in return for me forgetting about his — and his accountant’s — theft of money earned primarily by ME. Needless to say, I felt hurt and betrayed — and also felt as though I'd made a terrible business and financial decision to ever get involved with Willis. But I was still loyal to the movement, and even to him — believing at the time that the man who put in often even longer days than I did and seemed so brilliant, dedicated to populism, etc. was not doing what he did malevolently (I still wonder about that.) I was convinced by him at the time that he was under tremendous pressure from the judgment against Liberty Lobby and all its attendant pressure and such — so, believing him, and discarding the advice of many a good patriot who told me I was nuts to have anything further to do with the man — I stayed loyal to Liberty Lobby, and to Willis. (Had I known then what I know now, however, I'd not have been so “understanding.")

I stayed so loyal, in fact, that ON MY OWN INITIATIVE I just a few months later spent almost the entire month of September (1997) in Washington, lobbying against fast track legislation on behalf of Liberty Lobby — something which, you'll remember, The SPOTLIGHT covered at great length and, thankfully, praised me for in the following year’s Liberty Lobby annual report. I also attempted to — and somewhat succeeded — in building bridges to a number of other organizations. As I told Willis as recently as the last time we met in Washington for dinner in early May, I'm a team player.

During the last few years, I defended both Liberty Lobby and Willis vigorously and often. Particularly with my fairly regular attendance at Preparedness Expos and similar such gatherings around the country — and given the fact that I was usually representing both The SPOTLIGHT and The National Investor at these functions — I had occasion to talk with literally hundreds of both past and present SPOTLIGHT readers. I regularly (though without any independent verification of my own) repeated Willis' defenses of himself and Liberty Lobby when challenged by someone, and also generally suggested that those who were wondering what all the “patriotic infighting” was all about hang in there and stay faithful. Hearing more and more of this over time, though — and seeing the readership of The SPOTLIGHT declining ever more in part due to people’s tiring of hearing about the Mossad, ADL, Scientology, etc. ad nauseum, I would regularly talk with Willis and pass on to him my observation that these things and other editorial shortcomings were costing him a LOT of readers. But nothing changed.

The last few months brought an accumulation of factors together and caused my decision to turn my back on Willis (but not on Liberty Lobby.) Though not in order of importance, they are:

  • A close friend of mine, Louis Beam (one of America’s greatest living patriots) has been doing some Internet work for yet another of Willis' business entities, but — also being led to believe that Willis and Liberty Lobby were destitute and hanging on by their finger nails — is working for considerably less than he typically charges business customers, wanting to help out a movement-related entity in this fashion. Upon learning, however, that Liberty Lobby spends roughly $8,000 per month on the ruinous “advice” of Mark Lane JUST FOR HIS RETAINER, I was incensed. This, also, since Willis pays the few good employees he has there in Washington much less than their talents deserve. This offended me in many ways, particularly since Liberty Lobby was so hard up in 1996-1997 that Willis and his accountant had to pilfer money from The National Investor and, by extension, myself, my wife, and eight children. Learning more and more in recent months that Willis DOES find plenty of money to pay Jewish lawyers and attack a variety of figures in the patriot movement has not been a happy time for me. Many have asked me why this particular lawyer — whose own political views apparently do not remotely mesh with those of the average Liberty Lobby member — is nevertheless able to count on the money from Carto (actually, from good people like you) as his big gravy train. My best analogy (which is not original, but which a few friends of mine and I arrived at while visiting this past weekend) is to compare Willis with Wurtemberg’s Karl Alexander in the movie “Judd Suss” — and Lane with the Jew Suss Oppenheimer.
  • I have finally taken the time to get much better acquainted with the various legal entanglements that Liberty Lobby has been in, primarily, that of the judgment that the Legion for the Survival of Freedom has against it. Again — I'd encourage you to read for yourself the transcripts of the case, related matters and especially the judge's’s ruling and opinion in the case. No reasonable person in my opinion can read these things and seriously accept Willis' ravings that his regular misfortunes in court are due to some insidious “Liberty Lobby Exception.” Rather, he lost the case — and had his absurd RICO suit dismissed — because the FACTS and EVIDENCE were so overwhelmingly against him.
  • While Willis has recently taken to vaguely question my own integrity (as a way to save face relative to my sudden disappearance from The SPOTLIGHT), it is his own that — to me — has increasingly become suspect. In addition to the foregoing, consider the following:
    • After last summer’s American Heritage Festival in Carthage, Missouri hosted by Terry and Janis Reed, we were all attacked by the media, law enforcement, and (ultimately) the Southern Poverty Law Center as terrorists, right-wing extremist, etc. The Reed’s have an excellent case for libel, and brought suit against a variety of parties. At MY initiative — and still feeling even back late last summer and early fall that this would be worthwhile — I put Willis and Terry together, suggesting that not only should The SPOTLIGHT cover this story widely, but that the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment (FDFA) should commence an effort to raise money for Terry’s case. I could go into great detail here but — in summation — out of some $60,000 or so the FDFA received SPECIFICALLY for Terry’s case, he has received only $7,000. What’s worse, this has made it difficult for Terry himself to raise funds, as many people who already “gave” to his effort — they thought — instead had their donations kept by the FDFA (or squirreled to Mark Lane or some other “Suss Oppenheimer".) Terry’s case is still critically important for the First Amendment and America’s future — but you don't hear about it any more, do you? It was good for its cash infusion to Willis — and now The SPOTLIGHT is back to covering more important stories of these sinister conspiracies against Liberty Lobby (Who knows — maybe next week’s paper will reveal that SPACE ALIENS also have a hand in the terrible scheme!)
    • Together with this effort, I was “appointed” by Willis to be Vice President of FDFA (though Willis isn't even on the board, it turns out.) The purpose was for me to raise funds for the FDFA from donors through a professional “planned giving” effort; this was something which, in fact, I had been urging Willis to do for some time as a means of better and more professionally financing our efforts, and at the same time helping supporters of Liberty Lobby and FDFA with their estate planning and investment needs. Though he only got around to having FDFA’s President Jim Tucker (whom I dearly love personally, but who by his own admission probably knows less about what goes on at FDFA than a street person there on Pennsylvania Avenue) sign an agreement with me in the beginning of May, Willis asked me from time to time if I had any money for him yet — and a couple times seemed impatient that I wasn't just blindly having people send portions of their nest eggs to FDFA for, it turns out, God knows what (though I can't prove it, I believe he’s been trying to scrounge up all the money he can to come up with enough to settle his and Liberty Lobby’s judgements so he can simply stay in control himself.)
    • While I was in Washington there in early May, Willis attempted to turn me into a collection agent of sorts to try to collect a debt of nearly $250,000 he claims is owed to Liberty Lobby by a guy named Todd Blodgett, who up until last fall was working for Willis in advertising, marketing, list rentals and such. I pooh-poohed Willis claim that Todd owes the money, especially after I asked him to provide me with the evidence of it. He did not do so. This whole dispute is a story in itself — suffice it to say, I do NOT believe that Todd owes Liberty Lobby anything like this, and I did NOT agree to try to collect this from either Todd or his father.
    • I have also been in touch at about the same time with Daniel New, the father of Michael New, the brave service man who was court-martialed for refusing to wear United nations insignia. Even in a recent FDFA pitch letter that I signed on to, the mailing claimed that FDFA has previously supported Michael; according to his Dad, though (who, to be fair, is nevertheless grateful for the coverage The SPOTLIGHT has given Michael’s case) the New effort has never received ONE NICKEL from FDFA!
    • Finally, two things happened concurrently in mid May; one was, that Willis had AGAIN screwed up an opportunity to settle the judgment with the IHR (though, I must admit, I am now happy he did, and sincerely hope that a trustee will be appointed for Liberty Lobby and Willis removed. That may seem harsh; but, as should be obvious to anyone, Willis' activities of late have done NOBODY any good except, of course, for various members of the legal profession.) Secondly, for the THIRD time in a few months' period, Willis reneged on an agreement whereby The National Investor would have a 4-page promotional spread in The SPOTLIGHT, which I have long since earned pursuant to our prior agreement. His excuse was that my “integrity” was in question after a subscriber wrote him complaining that he had been an investor in The National Investor right after I rescued what was left from Carto in mid-1997, and sought a few investors to help bolster the newsletter. The trouble was that Willis and I talked about this matter while I was there in Washington, and Willis seemed to understand my defense (the investor has since been paid off; the four others involved have thus far chosen to maintain their interest in the newsletter, which I am very proud of.) I no sooner arrived back here in Wisconsin, though — and was preparing to send the copy for my advertising in — that I received a fax from Willis informing me that he was refusing to run the piece as we'd agreed. I was dumbfounded — but, also, I was betrayed for the last time. (Though I'm sure he'll deny it, my refusal to be his collection agent, his blind fundraiser, and his apparently growing belief over the past few months that I'm not “loyal” are what caused Willis to again treat me dishonorably. Perhaps MY name should be Oppenheimer — or Lane.)

Charlie, I didn't mean to get quite this long-winded — and I should go now, and keep my own promise to Stephen (my 10-year-old) to take him to the batting cage before dark — his Little League all-star team goes to the state finals near Milwaukee in about a week. I've probably gone into a mere fraction of the things I could cover, but I hope the foregoing — together with your own observations, your own investigation of the web site I suggested and our last conversation — gives you the picture. I continue to have a great love for Liberty Lobby, what it stands for as an institution, as well as for The SPOTLIGHT — and am saddened that for now, I can make no contribution to those efforts. With you, I can only hope that somehow the patriot movement — and Liberty Lobby itself, if possible — can move on in the years to come from this sad episode which, I believe, was entirely preventable. If I can expand on anything or answer any questions for you, let me know.

Best to all of you,

Chris