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:
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,