Willis Carto archive

Including information about his associates

Willis Carto’s Campaign Against the Institute for Historical Review

These documents explain the origin and development of the campaign by Willis Carto — a secretive man who controls the “Liberty Lobby” organization of Washington, DC, and its weekly paper The Spotlight — against the Institute for Historical Review, its staff, and several of its most prominent supporters.

The documents and letters reprinted here explain why the IHR staff, after lengthy consideration, resolved to take action to terminate Carto’s harmful relationship with the IHR. This decision was not taken lightly or quickly, but only after carefully weighing all the relevant factors, and on advice of the IHR’s attorney.

Carto had come to regard the IHR as his personal possession and plaything. He harmfully interfered in IHR Journal policy, involved the IHR in needless and costly lawsuits, and misdirected IHR assets.

Entirely on his own, and against the objections of the IHR’s editors and most prominent supporters, Carto sought to drastically transform the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review. As part of his scheme, he secretively sought to fire the Journal’s editor, Mark Weber.

Carto robbed the IHR’s parent corporation of many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars, a good portion of which he illicitly transferred to “Liberty Lobby,” an unrelated enterprise from which he draws a salary. Carto’s large-scale theft is an intolerable betrayal of the IHR’s mission, and of its numerous faithful supporters around the world.

Carto’s increasingly irrational interference in IHR business had become such a serious liability that he threatened the IHR’s very existence as an effective enterprise.

As soon as he learned that his relationship with the LSF/IHR had been terminated, Carto strongly and repeatedly emphasized that to make public this dispute would greatly endanger the cause of historical revisionism. Naturally, we very much wished to avoid any public airing of this regrettable matter.

True to form, though, it was Carto who ignored his own warning and launched a prolonged and mendacious public attack against the IHR. It was only after he had made several dishonest attacks against the IHR (in the pages of The Spotlight), and IHR supporters began asking us about these claims, that we reluctantly decided to respond with a mailing to Journal subscribers.

Notwithstanding Carto’s relentless propaganda barrage, every prominent friend of the IHR, including several noted historians, has continued to support the leadership of the (Carto-free) Institute.

As these documents establish, Willis Carto’s relationship with the IHR was based on subterfuge and deceit. To protect himself from the legal consequences of his harmful interference in IHR operations, Carto hid behind others, insisting that they be made publicly and legally accountable for his actions. This adamant refusal to be accountable to anyone but himself is the essence of cowardice and irresponsibility.

Since the termination of his relationship with the IHR, Carto has put out fantastic lies about the IHR, its staff, and several prominent supporters. Most absurd, perhaps, is his claim that the Zionist ADL now “controls” the IHR. If Carto believes this, he is a fool. If he does not, he is a liar. In either case, he is clearly unfit to hold any position of authority in any responsible organization — particularly one dedicated to facts and truth.

It is a mark of his character that Carto’s relationship with every single IHR Director and IHR Journal editor eventually ended in acrimony. Carto has a well-established habit of denouncing erstwhile colleagues as “traitors,” “Zionist agents” or deluded fools. Even the very first IHR Director, Carto insists (naturally without providing a scrap of evidence), was a secret “ADL agent.” Thus, Carto would have us believe that he has been associated with one ADL agent after another, that he has innocently trusted them and worked alongside them, but yet somehow he is uniquely qualified to determine at some later date that the only one who is not an ADL agent is himself.

The termination of Carto’s illicit relationship with the LSF/IHR removes a major organizational and public relations liability. We firmly believe that, liberated from this man’s high-handed, irresponsible and harmful interference, the IHR can build on a firm legal and ethical foundation, enabling us — with your continued vital support — to carry on our important work with even greater impact in the months and years to come.