Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Intimacy with the Elite

Arthur E. Carpenter, 
"Social Origins of Anticommunism: 
The Information Council of the Americas,"  
Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Spring, 1989), pp. 117-143 
Patrick J. Frawley, Jr.

Continued from Part 1

Morrison complied, advising citizens to "support INCA with vigor." Similarly, Hale Boggs, U. S.  congressman from the New Orleans area, helped INCA win tax-exempt status and praised it as "a prime example of making constructive use of our private citizens in the ideological and psychological struggle against communism."32

Although reliant on this local elite during its early years, INCA tried to expand beyond the city. It met with mixed results. Occasionally its appeals brought forth contributions. In 1964 Ochsner reported a $2,000 donation from the chairman of Standard Oil of New Jersey, [in 1964 the chairman was M. Jackson Rathbone, but note footnote 63 below; R.L. Blaffer was one of the founders of Humble Oil in Texas, partner of W.S. Farish, charged with trading with the enemy during World War II through Standard Oil of New Jersey, which had been a hidden shareholder in Humble Oil.] and in 1966 American & Foreign Power Company, most of whose Latin American subsidiaries had been nationalized, gave $1,000. INCA also hoped to attract funds from H.L. Hunt, the Texas oilman who was a generous patron of the ultra-right. In 1966 board member H. Eustis Reily traveled to Texas to tell Hunt about INCA. Afterwards Ochsner thanked the Texan for meeting with Reily, stressing the urgency of INCA's mission "because of the recent race riots and communistic infiltration." Apparently, though, Hunt did not assist INCA.33

California proved more lucrative. Dudley Swim, a California resident and chairman of National Airlines, was a major benefactor. As noted, Swim was Ochsner's friend, and he was familiar with New Orleans's Latin American program. Back in 1960, after visiting Guatemala on an International  House trade mission, he declared he was "acquiring about 6,000 acres of land in Guatemala for agricultural development."

The most important Californian was Patrick J. Frawley, Jr. [photo above courtesy of Ghost of Mansion Past] Frawley joined Butler and Ochsner as INCA's most influential members. Beginning in the mid-1960s INCA depended increasingly upon the largesse of this Los Angeles businessman who was then an executive of Eversharp, Schick Electric, and Technicolor. Frawley was partial to rightist groups and causes. Among others he lavished large sums upon the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation, the American Security Council, and the Young Americans for Freedom. He was a generous supporter of Ronald Reagan's early political career. And he often added prominent conservatives to his corporate boards; Ochsner was an Eversharp director, for example.34

These elite patrons were drawn to INCA, at least initially, because it offered a way to strike at the Cuban Revolution. INCA vowed to use its propagandistic skills to help prevent that revolution's spread elsewhere in Latin America. It devoted its first couple of years to producing and distributing Truth Tapes--anti-Castro recordings designed to be broadcast on Latin American radio stations and to sway the Latin American masses. To convey strong emotion on the tapes, INCA often enlisted Cuban refugees who, in Butler's words, spoke "in the unmistakable argot of their occupation, with the unimpeachable dialect of their class, and with the sincerity bred of bitter experience." By mid-1964, it claimed over 120 cooperating stations in sixteen Latin American nations. According to INCA, the tapes worked. Ochsner boasted, for instance, that one featuring Juanita Castro, Fidel's sister, helped Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei defeat socialist Salvador Allende in Chile's 1964 presidential election.35

Then an apparently fortuitous event encouraged INCA to take up other forms of anti-Cuban propaganda. On August 21, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, then a New Orleans resident, appeared on a local radio program with Butler and several others. Their discussion narrowed quickly to Oswald's professed Marxism, his sympathy for Cuba, and his defection to the Soviet Union. Several months later when President Kennedy was assassinated, the hunger for information about Oswald magnified the radio program's importance. Realizing this, INCA issued two records based on a recording of that program.36 In these records and in its literature, INCA described the assassination as tragic confirmation of its analysis and methods. Communist propaganda, argued Butler, had conditioned Oswald and then had incited him to violence. Communist "hate-conveyed always by words from communists to their sympathizers--finally moved the mind, that actuated the trigger, that killed the President of the United States. The links of guilt are visible and obvious." Claiming to have exposed and driven Oswald from New Orleans, Butler believed an INCA branch in Dallas might "have professionally neutralized Oswald there and perhaps saved the President's life."37

The Oswald episode provided raw material for another mode of propaganda: film. In 1965 INCA produced the lurid "Hitler in Havana," which equated Castro with Hitler and which blamed the Cuban leader for Kennedy's death. In the fall and winter of 1966 Frawley underwrote television showings of the film in several large cities. These showings elicited favorable comment. "This is the first time I have seen a TV documentary accurately depicting the tragic situation of post-Castro [sic] Cuba," the executive vice president of American and Foreign Power wrote Butler. And in December 1966 at New Orleans City Hall a rally of several hundred Cuban exiles and their supporters, including the mayor, saluted INCA's film. But "Hitler" appealed only to the convinced. New York Times reviewer Jack Gould ridiculed it as "the crudest form of propaganda," as a "tasteless affront to minimum journalistic standards."38

Angered, Ochsner complained to his friend Turner Catledge, executive editor of the New York Times, that Gould had slurred INCA and anti-communism. Catledge tried to soothe Ochsner, assuring him that his newspaper's editorial page was "unequivocally anti-Communist," and that Gould had only suggested that "politically motivated programs such as 'Hitler in Havana' should be advertised as such and not presented simply as documentaries with disinterested commercial sponsorship." Ochsner was not pacified. Forwarding a copy of Catledge's letter to Butler, he commented that "it just goes to show we are up against real problems when it comes to fighting the leftist press."39

Besides funding this film, Frawley helped INCA establish a presence in Los Angeles. In 1966 Schick and Technicolor, both headed by Frawley, invited Butler to counsel their "top management on the significance of current revolutionary conflict and their probable effects on the corporate future." Together the two firms would require one-third of his working time. In return, they would pay him a monthly retainer of $2,000, provide him a furnished home in Los Angeles, and allow him to continue his INCA duties. Butler accepted. Given his fascination with media and his ambitions for INCA, the chance to operate in Los Angeles under such generous patronage must have been irresistible. This decision, he explained, would benefit INCA. His new position would help the organization spread beyond New Orleans and would put him "on the ground floor in the midst of the communications center of America." And he pledged that INCA's headquarters and his own primary residence would remain in New Orleans.40

But changing circumstances were drawing INCA away from its Latin American orientation and from its New Orleans birthplace. While INCA was refining its propaganda capabilities and was expanding to the West Coast, a second threat was disturbing its elite social base. Gradually, opposition to the Vietnam war, student radicalism, and black rebellion were supplanting the Cuban Revolution as sources of elite alarm. Again addressing its patrons' anxieties, INCA devoted itself more and more to combating domestic radicalism, an insurgency whose flames burned brightest far from the Crescent City. INCA explained this shift as a mere tactical adjustment of its founding strategy. Because Cuba supposedly directed a concealed hierarchy of subversion that instigated and then manipulated domestic disorder, INCA's original purpose remained valid. Having earlier parried a Soviet-Cuban thrust into Latin America, INCA now engaged the same enemy within the U. S. The war had come home, thanks to the Cubans, when Oswald [sic] assassinated Kennedy and then, as the 1960s unfolded, when black and student radicalism raged. "Castro switched the major emphasis of his campaign from a Latin American encircling movement to a strike at the heart of the U. S.," wrote Butler.41

An especially disturbing expression of this external subversion was student radicalism. As Ochsner argued, "the drive to seize college campuses and convert them into staging grounds for urban revolt, is the current manifestation of Castro's campaign. The campuses are decisive." In 1966 Ochsner reported that Butler had "investigated the TEACH-IN at U.C.L.A. last week. Vicious material advocating everything from perversion to treason is being circulated to the youngsters there. He says that the situation is similar but worse than the Tulane SPEAK-IN." Similarly, Butler warned Frawley about "the present plans to capture the campuses and
convert them into staging grounds to attack white neighborhoods."42

INCA set out to douse these flames flickering across U. S. campuses. In the fall of 1967 Ochsner and another INCA member obtained a list of former Junior Achievers then attending colleges in New Orleans. From this list INCA hoped to assemble a nucleus of conservative students on each campus. INCA's executive committee recommended starting a "fight against communism on the campuses and in the colleges of New Orleans and gradually spread this out." Local high schools also concerned INCA. In October 1968 Richard E. Warren, an INCA staff member, offered assistance to the principal of John McDonogh High School. "For some time now," Warren wrote, "Dr. Joseph Schwertz (Fortier High School) and I have been communicating in order to prevent disruptions by radical students in his high school." Recently some McDonogh students had asked Warren for help at their school against similar disturbances and against organizing efforts by the leftist Students for a Democratic Society.43

Meanwhile on the West Coast, Butler was trying to intervene among rebellious youths. He faced imposing cultural, generational, and political obstacles. Whereas he represented an organization of white, conservative, older businessmen, radicals drew upon generational solidarity, upon revulsion with racism and intervention in Vietnam, and upon a common counter-cultural idiom manifested in the underground press, music, and other media. Butler thus confronted a tough problem: How to make INCA's stale anti-communism palatable to young Americans? INCA could not serve this purpose. It was, in Butler's mind, a conflict corporation, not a mass youth movement. Seeking an imaginative organizational form, Butler created the SQUARE Movement. Adapting Maoist ideas, he explained to Ochsner that every revolution walked on two legs: education and action. INCA handled the former, but its nonprofit status forbade it straying from "educational purposes."

Consequently, he was trying "to attract rank and file 'Activists' who will set up SQUARE Circles to practice what INCA teaches." Armed with INCA's ideas, SQUARE activists would battle the left for the minds of young Americans. Borrowing counter-cultural forms, Butler produced SQUARE posters, bumper stickers, buttons, and other artifacts. In the spring of 1968 he launched a magazine, the Westwood Village SQUARE, as an antidote to the underground press. Further heeding Mao's advice, Butler tried to swim as a fish in this youthful sea. Although well past thirty years old, he tailored his appearance to countercultural norms. "I have been working right in the middle of the mess," he wrote an INCA member back in New Orleans, "and so my hair is longer and my suits sharper. But the same old super-patriotic, American revolutionary heart beats beneath the bright threads." INCA had a national presence as well: In the late 1960s and early 1970s it organized annual conferences to train young Americans in conflict management; it intervened in the antiwar movement; it established a campus news service to help students print "freedom newspapers"; and its monthly information service reported on leftist activity.44

Notwithstanding its own boasts, INCA accomplished little on campuses. Its old-style anticommunism, even when dressed in hip fashions, was unable to deflect youthful discontent over U. S. foreign policy and domestic problems. The SQUARE Movement, admitted Butler early in 1971, "has been a generalized force, with little or no organization."45 This failure contributed to a larger pattern of decline. By the late 1960s INCA's earlier promise and confidence were fading. Its troubles stemmed partially from anticommunism's loosening grip upon American thought. The very issues that aroused INCA's supporters-revolutionary nationalism abroad and strife at home-caused many other Americans to question anticommunism's crudely reductionist assumptions. INCA's facile politics offered little historical grounding or analytical insight for those then trying to understand the war in Vietnam or the problems faced by U. S. blacks. Nonetheless INCA clung stubbornly to its ideas and thereby found itself increasingly at odds with prevailing political discourse.

Indicative of INCA's vulnerability was the trial of Clay Shaw. Ironically that trial occurred in INCA's New Orleans stronghold and centered on the Kennedy assasination, the source of INCA's major propaganda success. On March 1, 1967, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison arrested Shaw, the former general manager of the International Trade Mart and a key figure in the city's Latin American program. Garrison charged that in September 1963 Shaw, David William Ferrie, Lee Harvey Oswald, and others met in New Orleans and conspired to kill President Kennedy. Whereas INCA had blamed the assassination on communism, Garrison pointed to a conspiracy from the right.46

Garrison's investigation disturbed INCA's leaders. Apparently in May 1967 INCA's general counsel, Gibbons Burke, advised Butler to secure the organization's files. Subsequently, Butler reported the records had been "air expressed out here to Los Angeles.... They arrived in good order two weeks ago, and I have put them under lock and key."47

Ochsner even feared his own arrest. In the summer of 1967, William Gurvich, who had just resigned as one of Garrison's investigators, claimed the district attorney was preparing a number of arrests, including that of a doctor. "I wondered whether he might mean me," Ochsner wrote Butler, "but did not think he did until Bill Helis, a good friend of mine, who knows Gurvich very well, called me [said Gurvich] and told him it was I and he was going to have me arrested as an accessory to the fact." 

Rumor had Ochsner treating Jack Ruby, discovering a hopeless cancer that convinced Ruby "he had nothing to lose by killing Oswald," and then destroying Ruby's record, thereby withholding evidence. Two weeks later he wrote Butler that Garrison "is still going wild." Gurvich had told the press that the district attorney was about to arrest "a number of people in New Orleans, including a doctor, a coffee man, and a hotel owner." Allegedly those to be arrested were Ochsner, a member of the Reily family, and Seymour Weiss, formerly managing director of the city's Roosevelt Hotel. "I have heard nothing about it, but I would not be surprised if he would attempt to do it," wrote Ochsner.48

Doctors had been known to inject healthy people with viruses.

Garrison's probe therefore challenged INCA's version of the assassination and threatened to implicate Ochsner in a sensational trial. Predictably, Ochsner and Butler responded by trying to make communism the issue. Bearing the brunt of the attack was Mark Lane--whose book Rush to Judgment had placed him among the leading critics of the Warren Commission and who was then conferring with Garrison. In a public statement the two INCA leaders branded Lane an unscrupulous communist, "a professional propagandist of the lunatic left who has been inferring Oswald was innocent and Kennedy was the victim of a right wing plot, since four weeks after the assassination." Communists were manipulating the issue to create distrust of the government and to cause the U. S. to "crumble from within."49
They turned to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) for more information. Ochsner asked F. Edward Hebert, a U. S. representative from the New Orleans area, to "get whatever information you can from Congressman Willis about Mark Lane." Edwin E. Willis, also a U. S. representative from Louisiana, was HUAC chairman. Hebert sent Ochsner a report culled from HUAC files, which cited "Communist Fronts" with which Lane had been associated between 1952 and 1967.50

Ochsner also obtained a five-page intelligence report about Lane. Although its sources were unspecified, this report was preceded by an unsigned memorandum attributing the report's information to "the files of the New York City Police, the FBI, and other security agencies." The memorandum charged that Lane "is and has been a dedicated Communist; is and has been a sadist and masochist, charged on numerous occasions with sodomy." This suggestive prelude was followed by the familiar listing of membership in "front" organizations, civil-rights arrests, and involvement in the assassinationi nvestigation. The "numerous "sodomy charges shrank to mention of a 1962 inquiry by the Queens County District Attorney, without detailing its outcome.51

Armed with such material, INCA tried to discredit and isolate Lane. In December 1967 Ochsner scolded the presidents of both Tulane University and the Young Men's Business Club for allowing Lane to speak at their respective institutions. Later that month he appealed to an executive of Time, Inc., to expose Lane and other alleged subversives. New Orleans had been invaded, complained Ochsner, by a "legion of lunatic left-wing extremists,"w ho were "launching the most outrageous innuendoes, all aimed at undermining public confidence in the FBI, the CIA, the Office of the Presidency, stigmatizing Cuban refugees, and anti-communists and obtaining classified  information." Yet, he lamented, "not one national news medium has had the courage to expose their deep-seated political bias, despite the fact that they have track records which read like the indexes to the WORKER."52

Unable credibly to denounce Garrison as a communist, Ochsner and Butler instead whispered that mental instability left the district attorney prey to communist manipulation. "As you know," Butler wrote Ochsner", Garrison is a sick, sick person mentally but clever enough to manipulate public opinion." Ochsner agreed: "People generally in New Orleans are losing complete faith in the man and most people think he is completely nuts, which I believe he is, and before long he will crack up." At least once, Ochsner spread apparent evidence of Garrison's problems. During an election campaign for district attorney, an opponent had obtained Garrison's military medical records, which documented treatment for psychological disorders from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s. Ochsner possessed a transcript of these records and sent a copy to a friend who was the publisher of the Nashville Banner. "It shows why he is doing what he is," Ochsner observed. "Of course, it is a shame that he is playing into the hands of the Communists because he is being advised by Mark Lane and [Harold] Weisberg."53

Eventually in 1969 the jury rejected Garrison's case and acquitted Clay Shaw. Although INCA and its  leaders avoided implication, the episode was revealing. Unlike the nurturing circumstances of the early 1960s, INCA felt beleaguered by the decade's end. In addition to these external pressures, it was weakened also by internal conflicts that eroded its most valuable asset, elite support. Although its members never abandoned INCA's principles, they grew dissatisfied with its ineffectiveness. Much of their discontent stemmed from Butler's alleged managerial shortcomings, especially in financial matters.

INCA had been plagued by a chronic shortage of funds--an anomaly for an organization blessed with such wealthy patrons. Payments to staff, landlords, and creditors often were delayed or missed altogether. In 1966, for instance, Butler advised INCA's landlord that only $200 of its $380 office rent would be forthcoming, while at the same time he pleaded with the previous landlord to delay collection of unpaid rent.54 Blaming INCA's shortcomings on the staff's amateurish methods, some members suggested adopting business-like procedures of accounting and office routine. Such measures, they argued, would generate regular income from supporters and thereby end the worrisome deficits. Emerging as their spokesman was
INCA treasurer Maurice W. Grundy, the president of two lumber companies.

More the publicist and promoter than the manager, Butler resisted these seemingly innocent and sensible suggestions. His argument hinged on the related assumptions that INCA was a combative propaganda organization and that the conflict manager must possess financial control. Business norms, he said, would deprive a conflict organization of its flexibility, disarm it before communists, and transform it into a social club spinning harmless platitudes. Defeating communists required innovation and daring, not the predictable routine of an accountant. In revealing words he summarized his differences with Grundy: "Suffice it to say that it was based on a Military Management, rather than the Business Management approach."55 This tension between professional anticommunist and businessmen patrons threatened to tear INCA apart.

Continuing financial embarrassment sharpened this conflict. In June 1966 a frustrated Butler told Ochsner that electricity at INCA's office had been shut off due to delinquent bills. For this and other ills he blamed Grundy for "tieing strings" to the thousands of dollars in INCA's bank account. Blinded by business orthodoxy, Grundy tried "to reduce the financial foundation to the cut and dried concepts of the lumber industry." The conflict, insisted Butler, was irreconcilable. But Ochsner rejected this implied ultimatum, defending the need for revised office procedures and advising Butler to "get over your persecution complex as far as Mr. Grundy is concerned."'56 

This particular crisis subsided, probably because a chastened Butler dared not antagonize Ochsner further. But the underlying problem still chafed Butler, and his factional opponents still demanded changes. By the fall of 1967 Butler's position seemed precarious. Ben C. Toledano, an attorney and prominent local  conservative, wrote his fellow INCA directors that he had been" considering simply resigning from the INCA Board for this would be the easiest way to remedy my displeasure with the way things have been going." The executive committee, which included Grundy, began using T. Sterling Dunn--formerly the area manager for Sears, Roebuck--as a consultant. Dunn reported that membership confidence was eroding due to sloppy operational methods. At one executive committee meeting Ochsner stressed that INCA must function in a businesslike fashion, and at another the executive committee decided "we must have a businessman in the INCA offices to constantly supervise the business end of the organization and to see that the members were properly billed and followed up." A defensive Butler believed Grundy was using Dunn "to interfere in the INCA office by remote control."57

Yet Butler somehow reversed this momentum and drove Grundy from the organization. Their final confrontation occurred at a board meeting in April 1968 when Butler suggested INCA cosponsor a conference of conservative youths that summer. Grundy countered that INCA should instead plan an alternative program for September, that money should be conserved for office management, and that a fund drive should be prepared. Butler exploded: Delay would be disastrous and, besides, Grundy was unqualified to decide the issue. His patience exhausted, a weary Grundy gave up. Reminding everyone that he had tried to quit two weeks earlier, he now insisted t he board accept his resignation. It did, whereupon h  and Dunn quit the meeting and INCA.58

Butler's victory did not, however, slow INCA's decline. Especially damaging were Frawley's business misfortunes. In May 1970, for example, dissident Technicolor shareholders charged him with investing more than $ 9 million of Technicolor funds in other companies he headed. In a proxy battle a month later the dissidents ousted him and arranged purchase of his Technicolor stock. "Pat's ability to help is going to be severely curtailed for awhile," Butler observed. Indeed, the rich vein that had been opened so generously by Frawley now contracted. Butler noted that his own "income from Frawley Enterprises has been curtailed."59 In this dispirited setting INCA, in November 1970, finally formed an area council in Los Angeles. But the council either lost or failed to recruit its indispensable patrons: Dudley Swim died and Frawley declined to serve as cochairman. With a grim show of determination, Butler resolved to reestablish the council "promptly and begin methodically recruiting  Anti-Communists as we did in New Orleans, gradually building up the Big Names." Instead, financial deficits widened and the council died.60

Late in 1972, cut off from Frawley's patronage, Butler resumed permanent New Orleans residence.  Prospects were no better in the Crescent City. As always, financial pressures harried and demoralized the staff. Richard Warren, a key staff member, complained to Ochsner that his four years with INCA had left him with "a destroyed marriage, a ruined credit rating, and drastic change in my personality." He would stay with INCA only "until I can find something else that is not as demanding."61

INCA weakened further as the 1970s unfolded. Its ineffectiveness continued to alienate its remaining elite members. Years later Captain John W. Clark recalled that the Delta Line, of which he had been president, had given "substantial sums in the way of contributions . . . and I personally underwrote some notes when they needed it." Yet, INCA "never really got off the ground." It was "more of a fundraising organization to pay for the expenses. And they constantly have been from one crisis to another." Similarly, one of Ochsner's sons said supporters "dropped off because they just didn't see INCA doing what it used to do." "I don't know how effective INCA was," he said. "I've talked to a lot of people in Central America particularly, and I can't find anybody that's heard... Truth Tapes."62

Perhaps INCA also suffered from its devotion to a single issue. In its early years that focus had been an advantage. Bruised by Castro's revolution and alarmed about its spread, New Orleans's elite had gathered under INCA's apocalyptic banners. The immediacy of the Cuban spectre had encouraged a heterogeneous elite to unify around a single issue. But as the Cuban threat receded, it probably became increasingly difficult to sustain such cohesion. Then perhaps the dependence on one issue became a liability, robbing INCA of whatever vitality and clarity might have been gained from a broader conservative program. As resonant and powerful as it remained, anticommunism could not fit every situation. Over-reliance on it forced INCA into increasingly cranky positions. Thus Ochsner and Butler perceived the Watergate imbroglio through the reducing spectacles of communist conspiracy. Ochsner informed a Houston supporter that INCA had uncovered proof of "a definite link between the communists and the people who are trying to impeach the President." And Butler explained to a friend that "the disinformation campaign on Nixon may go down in history as even more decisive than the Kennedy assassination enterprise. It is much more easily laid at the CPUSA's [Communist Party, USA] door, although the mass media has neglected to probe for the underlying facts."63

By the late 1970s, only a handful of loyalists held INCA together. In 1978 a subdued Butler told Ochsner that the directors had "unanimously decided to try to keep INCA alive." "I've had to devote most of my time just to keeping doors open at INCA for the past six months," he complained. When Ochsner, pleading the debilities of age, tried to reduce his commitment to INCA, Butler begged him to remain at the helm as his "departure would be a disaster." Ochsner relented, though he gave up the presidency for the titular position of chairman. "Unless we can get the support of more people," Ochsner wrote, "it is difficult to see how we can keep it viable." On September 24, 1981, he died at the age of eighty-five.64 INCA was then a palsied twenty years old.

INCA declined, but its brand of anticommunism remained potent. In 1982 several influential New Orleanians helped form the Caribbean Commission, an organization that resembled INCA. Dr. Alton Ochsner, Jr., a son of the late INCA leader, served as the commission's chairman; Samuel G. Robinson as president; and, until his death, Ernest Burguieres, Jr., as executive vice president. Ochsner and Robinson had been INCA members. As INCA had fixed on Cuba, the commission dedicated itself to discrediting the Nicaraguan Revolution. It portrayed itself and the Nicaraguan contras as defenders of democracy and of a revolution betrayed, as opponents equally of the Somozas and of the Sandinistas. Arguing that communists had usurped the democratic revolution against Somoza and had installed an oppressive regime that served Soviet and Cuban masters, it demanded the U. S. government "give enough aid to the Nicaraguan freedom fighters to permit them to complete their revolution and eliminate Sandinista oppression." Besides propaganda, the commission provided the Contras with food, clothing, and medicine, and Ochsner treated wounded Contra soldiers without cost in New Orleans.65

Much like INCA, though, the commission's democratic rhetoric and its judicious criticism of both Somocistas and Sandinistas obscured the amicable relations that the commission's leaders or their families had enjoyed with the Somozas. As noted previously, this had been true of Ochsner's father. And the son rallied to the Contras before they acquired the trappings of a democratic insurgency. Just weeks after the 1980 U. S. presidential election, he appeared before Reagan advisers on behalf of Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries, whom a UPI dispatch described as "pro-Somoza Nicaraguan exiles." Robinson and Burguieres had similar connections. The former was an executive of the family company, Robinson Lumber, that had possessed extensive interests on Nicaragua's east coast. He admitted he "personally knew all three Somozas, and they were well educated and thoughtful people." Burguieres, a New Orleanian of elite background, had lived in Nicaragua as a businessman for several years after World War II and had maintained friendly ties with the Somozas.66

Complicit with a social structure that invited revolution, the commission's leaders tried to bury their past by appropriating a democratic idiom and by defaming revolution as the work of a global conspiracy. In short, the history of INCA and the emergence of the Caribbean Commission suggest a persisting intimacy between anticommunism and elite citizens.

32 Butler to Morrison, June 21, 1961, Morrison Collection; Morrison to Members of
the Information Council of the Americas, June 24, 1961, carton S61-11, Morrison
Collection; Hale Boggs, "Congressman Warns of Apathy in Wake of Nuclear Test
Treaty," Clarion Herald, October 10, 1963.

33 Ochsner to Clayton Nairne, February 25, 1964, folder 3, box 51, Ochsner Papers;
Information Council of the Americas, INCA Cash Receipts, December 14, 1966, folder 1,
box 53, Ochsner Papers; H. Eustis Reily to H. L. Hunt, January 5, 1967, folder 6, box 105,
Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Hunt, December 31, 1966, folder 1, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

34 Dudley Swim to Ochsner, December 24, 1970, folder 6, box 144, Ochsner Papers;
Swim to Neville Levy, November 28, 1960, International House Papers; Moody's
Industrial Manual, 1969, p. 1224; William W. Turner, Power on the Right (Berkeley,
1971), pp. 172-184, 191-194.

35 House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on International Organizations
and Movements, Winning the Cold War: The U. S. Ideological Offensive, Part V, 88th
Congress, 1st session, 581; Ochsner to Joyce Hall, July 7, 1964, folder 2, box 51,
Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to George St. John, December 28, 1964, folder 1, box 51,
OchsnerP apers.

36 These records were titled Oswald: Self-Portrait in Red and Oswald Speaks. On
Oswald's New Orleans sojourn, see Michael L. Kurtz, "Lee Harvey Oswald in New
Orleans: A Reappraisal," Louisiana History, X XI (1980), 7-22.

37 Edward Scannell Butler, "INCA vs. Oswald: The Motivation of an Assassin,"
Victory, (December 11, 1963), n.p.

38 Butler to INCA Membership, December 7 , 1966, folder 1, box 53, OchsnerP apers;
H. W. Balgooyen to Butler, November 2, 1966, folder 2, box 53, Ochsner Papers;
Times-Picayune, December 19, 1966; New York Times, October 28, 1966.

39 Ochsner to Turner Catledge, November 15, 1966, Ochsner Papers; Catledge to
Ochsner, November 22, 1966; Ochsner to Butler, November 26, 1966, folder 2, box 53,
Ochsner Papers.

40 John F. Seyer to Butler, March 3, 1966, Ochsner Papers; Patrick J. Frawley, Jr., to
Butler, March 1, 1966, folder 4, box 53, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Ochsner, March 9,
1966, folder 4, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

41 Butler to Friend of INCA, August 22, 1967, Information Council of the Americas,
Political Ephemera Collection, Tulane University; Butler to Wallace M. Davis, January
15, 1966, folder 4, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

42 Ochsner to INCA Supporter, n . d., Information Council of the Americas, Political
Ephemera Collection; Ochsner to Percival Stem, March 31, 1966, folder 4, box 53,
Ochsner Papers; Butler to Patrick J. Frawley, Jr., November 4, 1968, folder 1, box 121,
Ochsner Papers.

43 INCA Executive Committee, minutes of October 17, October 31, November 28,
1967, meetings, folders 1 and 3, box 105, Ochsner Papers; Richard E. Warren to Joseph
Abraham, Jr., October2 8, 1968, folder 1, box 121, Ochsner Papers.

44 Butler to Ochsner, December 18, 1970, folder 6, box 144, Ochsner Papers; Butler,
Revolution, p. 115; Butler to Dudley Swim, May 9, 1968, folder 4, box 121; Butler to
James Richards, January1 6, 1970, folder 4, box 145, Ochsner Papers;" INCA Fact Sheet:
Ten Years, 1961-1971," Information Council of the Americas, Political Ephemera
Collection; Ochsner to INCA Member, January 12, 1970, folder 4, box 145, Ochsner

45 Butler to Richard E. Warren, February 20, 1971, folder 7, box 165, Ochsner Papers.

46 Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw, Plot or Politics? The Garrison Case and Its
(New Orleans, 1967), p. 58.

47 Butler to Gibbons Burke, June 12, 1967, folder 4, box 105, Ochsner Papers.
48 Ochsner to Butler, June 29, 1967, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Butler, July 12,
1967, folder 4, box 105, Ochsner Papers.

49 "An Unrushed Judgment of Mark Lane: Statement by Alton Ochsner and Ed Butler
of INCA," April 5, 1967, folder 3, box 105, Ochsner Papers.

50 Ochsner to F. Edward Hebert, April 10, 1967, folder 2, box 105; Hebert to Ochsner,
April 19, 1967, folder 6, box 105, Ochsner Papers. This report was titled "Information
from the Files of the Committee on Un-American Activities, U. S. House of
Representatives, April 14, 1967, For: Honorable F. Edward Hebert, Subject: Mark Lane."

51 This report is located in folder 1, box 134, Ochsner Papers.

52 Ochsner to Herbert Longenecker, December 12, 1967, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to
Milton L. Fletchinger, December 12, 1967, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to James Linen,
December 28, 1967, folder 1, box 105, Ochsner Papers.

53 Butler to Ochsner, July 15, 1967, folder 4, box 105, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to
Butler, July 19, 1967, folder 4, box 105, Ochsner Papers; James and Wardlaw, Plot or
pp. 102-103; Ochsner to James G. Stahlman, January 17, 1968, folder 7, box
121, Ochsner Papers.

54 Butler to Paul Dastugue, November 19, 1966, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Barney
Maloney, November 19, 1966, folder 2, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

55 Butler to Bruce Baird, Jr., May 5, 1968, folder 4, box 121, Ochsner Papers.

56 Butler to Ochsner, June 17, 1966, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Butler, June 21,
1966, folder 4, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

57 Ben C. Toledano to Board Member of INCA, September 27,1967, folder 4, Ochsner
Papers; INCA Executive Committee, minutes of October 17 and of December 5, 1967,
meetings, folders 1 and 3, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Ochsner, November 17, 1967, folder
3, box 105, Ochsner Papers.

58 INCA Board of Directors, minutes of April 8, 1968, folder 5, box 121, Ochsner

59 Wall Street Journal, May 20, 1970; June 18, 1970; Butler to Ochsner, August 31,
1970, folder 7, box 144, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Ochsner, February2 9, 1972, folder
3, box 172, Ochsner Papers.

60 INCA Board of Directors, minutes of December 21, 1970, meeting, folder 6, box
144, Ochsner Papers; Richard E. Warren to Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Frawley, Jr.,
November2 4, 1970, folder 6, box 146, OchsnerP apers;B utlert o OchsnerF, ebruary2 9,
1972, folder 3, box 172, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Ochsner, August 5, 1972, folder 2,
box 172, Ochsner Papers.

61 Ochsner to Butler, March 14, 1974, folder 4, box 194, Ochsner Papers; Warren to
Ochsner, December 16, 1971, folder 5, box 165, Ochsner Papers.

62 John W. Clark, interview with author, Gulfport, Miss., May 29, 1984; Alton
Ochsner, Jr., interview with author, New Orleans, June 10, 1984.

63 Ochsner to Mrs. R. L. Blaffer, April 4, 1974, folder 2, box 194, Ochsner Papers;
Butler to Eugene H. Methvin, September 11, 1974, folder 3, box 194, Ochsner Papers.

64 Butler to Ochsner, November 27, 1978, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Butler,
December 1, 1978, folder 5, box 235, Ochsner Papers.

65 Caribbean Commission Newsletter, November 1, 1982; Times-Picayune/States-Item,
January 16, 1984; August 6, 1983; April 20, 1985; Times-Picayune, September 30,
1984; Alton Ochsner, Jr., letter to the editor, Times-Picayune/States-Item, April 13,

66 Times-Picayune/States-Item, November 19, 1980; S. G. Robinson, letter to the
editor, Times-Picayune/States-Item, July 27, 1983; Virginea Burguibres, interview with
author, New Orleans, May 15, 1984; Erest Burguieres, Jr., to Victor H. Schiro,
November 1, 1967, carton S67-2, Schiro Collection.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Clint Murchison's Condition in April 1961

We can only wonder whether he was in any condition to host a party on November 21, 1963 in Dallas at a mansion on Turtle Creek. The biggest question we need to ask, if we're following the money, is "What was the Alleghany Corporation?"

Drew Pearson Column 

Texans Raid Wall Street

WASHINGTON — It won't make the headlines of the recent invasion of Cuba, but a Texas invasion of Wall Street is now taking place. It's a proxy fight, the biggest in history, to take over the management of the giant Allegheny holding corporation. At stake are the New York Central Railroad, the Missouri Pacific, and Investors Diversified Services, a $2 billion mutual funds empire, all controlled by Alleghany. The cast of characters in this battle of financial titans is:

  • Allan P. Kirby, parsimonious Scotsman who eats crackers and milk at his desk in Wall Street and commutes nightly to New Jersey.

Clint Sr.
The fight for the Alleghany Corporation climaxes one of the most amazing in a series of Texas Raids on the north—political and otherwise—ever seen In a state famous for its old-time border raids. Clint Murchison Sr., has been raiding the north ever since he sent $10,000 into  Maryland (with his wife) to help the late Joe McCarthy defeat the late Sen. Millard Tydings; also sent money into Connecticut lo help McCarthy defeat Sen. Bill Benton. Murchison's Maryland contribution, which was not reported to "appropriate authorities," was also found by a Senate committee to have been used to pay for a tabloid featuring a faked picture of Tydings posing with Communist leader Earl Browder. This the committee described as part of a "despicable back - street" campaign which "disregarded simple decency and common honesty." The Murchison money which raided Connecticut, helped McCarthy defeat the one senator—Bill Benton—who had the courage to demand McCarthy's senate censure.

 Murchison  also sent money north to help finance McCarthy's 1953 Chicago telecast in which he charged that Adlai Stevenson would continue "the suicidal Kremlin- dictated policies of this nation." Murchison's far-flung operations were made possible by the 27 ½ per cent oil depletion allowance which puts him and other oilmen in a more favored position than other taxpayers. They can use their money to influence political thought and dominate Industry as most taxpayers can't. This oil depletion allowance, incidentally, is one of the major loopholes In the tax structure which President Kennedy did not recommend plugging when he sent his recent tax message to Congress.
* * *
By taking advantage of it, Clint Murchison has amassed not only on oil empire valued at some $300 million, but an insurance company in Richmond, Va., Atlantic Life; a bus company,  Transcontinental Bus System, second only to Greyhound in size; a publishing company, Henry Holt; a candy company, Martha Washington; a sportsmen's magazine, Field and Stream,  West Coast steamship company; The Royal Gorge Bridge and Amusement Company in Colorado; various motels, and at one time two race tracks at Charlestown, W. Va., and San Diego, California.  At the latter, Del Mar race track, Murchison also owns a motel at which he lavishly entertained J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI chief, and Joe McCarthy. In the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico, Murchison also owns a 75,000-acre ranch valued at $1 million, where he takes guests on hunting junkets. Clint Murchison Sr., once described as a "bold and rugged Texas Democrat," is now not as rugged as he used to be. Confined to a wheel chair, Murchison, according to his family physician, is now "able to speak only a few words at a time and these words are frequently difficult to understand and to interpret."

* * *
The family physician. Dr. John L. Jenkins of Dallas, filed a sworn affidavit Feb. 20 of this year in
the U.S. District Court of Southern New York on another legal battle involving the Murchisons.
The affidavit states:

"The stroke Mr. Murchison suffered in April 1960, caused partial paralysis of the right side of Mr. Murchison's body and caused an impairment of the nerves of the speech center, making it very difficult for him to speak. As a result of the stroke Mr. Murchison's memory has failed to the extent that even as to recent events he sometimes has no recollection at all and when he has some recollection of events it is often faulty. Mr. Murchison has been for some time and is now unable to walk unaided. "It is impossible to predict or give an opinion as to whether Mr. Murchison's condition will change in the foreseeable future."

 Perhaps because Clint Murchison Sr., is ailing, and because his two sons are not the rugged individualists their father is, the Murchison financial empire has been searching frantically for funds. The Murchisons owe several millions to Mrs. Robert Young, widow of the late New York Central executive, and, according to SEC records, have borrowed $3,000,000 from Arnold S. Kirkeby, who owns the Kirkeby hotel chain and who once borrowed indirectly from "Longy" Zwillman, the New Jersey gangster, to acquire the Sherry-Netherland in New York. It's a frantic battle between the new Texas oil millionaires and the old Scotch Wall Street millionaire. Whoever wins out on May 1 will control two major railroads and the biggest mutual funds empire in the world. The battle will be worth watching.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Truth Be Told

I met Justin Crann in Toronto this year at a press conference at the Women's Bookstore on Harbord near the University. He was one of several intrepid reporters who had turned up there to talk to Judyth Vary Baker about her book, Me and Lee, which had been selling in hardback for a year and was being released in soft cover on October 20, 2011, the day Lee Oswald would have been 72 years old.

Judyth knew Lee from April until November in 1963 and has never forgotten who he really was, though she has had to fight hard to stay alive once she began telling her story in 1999. She has been either castigated or ignored by many in the "research community," people with no sense of what community really means.

Justin Crann's story in the Gleaner Community Press, however, was a refreshing change. Open, eager, and enthusiastic, Justin reported what he saw and heard without bias. In fact, all the reporters in Toronto met Judyth with open arms, and minds, questioned her objectively as a witness to events leading up to JFK's assassination and that of Lee Oswald two days later. Researchers who seek the truth are not afraid of listening with open minds and hearts. Thanks to Justin Crann for this accurate report:

Lee Harvey Oswald’s lover visits Toronto Women’s Bookstore

October 20th, 2011

Judyth Vary Baker, 68, made a rare North American appearance at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord St.) to promote the paperback release of her memoir and celebrate what would have been her lover’s 72nd birthday. Justin Crann/Gleaner News

Lee Harvey Oswald was a patriotic American, a government agent fiercely loyal to his President, and a patsy framed by the conspirators who really killed John F. Kennedy.
That’s the truth according to Judyth Vary Baker, author of Me and Lee, a 600-page memoir recounting her teenage years and brief romance with Oswald. Baker was at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord St.) on Oct. 18 to promote the paperback release of her book and celebrate Oswald’s 72nd birthday.

“I love my country, and I love the truth, and I want the truth to come out that Lee Oswald did not kill Kennedy,” Baker, 68, said to a small crowd of reporters, JFK enthusiasts, and devotees.

During what was billed as a “rare media appearance,” Baker spoke extensively about her involvement in a secret government program attempting to create an injectable form of cancer and a short-lived tryst with the alleged presidential assassin.

Baker also talked about her passion for her country, which she said she hasn’t been able to visit in years for fear of her own life and the wellbeing of her family.

But Baker’s self-imposed exile hasn’t prevented her from making friends in the United States, and some of those friends were in attendance at the paperback release.

Linda Minor, a Texan who said she has researched Judyth’s story and a friend of her publisher, traveled from Tennessee to see them and attend the release.

“When I heard that they were coming, I had just known them through email and various Internet facilities, and I thought, ‘This is my great opportunity to meet them both at one time,’” said Minor, “and I just couldn’t pass it up.”

Jeff Worcester, a political science student from Rochester, New York, said he has been talking with Judyth for over four years.“I’d been familiar with her story ever since she was featured of the Men Who Killed Kennedy series, and I had been put in touch with her and we’ve corresponded since.

“I always look at things and try and follow-up as much as I can no matter how much I believe and I just came out saying, ‘Yeah, this lady is the real deal.’”

Jerry Lasky, a resident of Toronto and JFK enthusiast, took the day off of work to attend the release. “I’m glad that I came here, I guess because my hero [JFK] led me here,” said Lasky. “I didn’t realize it was Oswald’s birthday today.”

Me and Lee is available for purchase at the Toronto Women’s Bookstore and other select retailers. For more information about Judyth Vary Baker and her memoir, visit


Friday, November 11, 2011

An unbending anti-communism

It was not the Communist propaganda that convinced people in Latin America that American capitalism was bad. It was the heavy-handed power wielded by the United States' Department of State, long prior to the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947. But the capitalists and businessmen who had long operated in Latin America were convinced that the best way to counter the threat to American capitalism was through their own propaganda machine. This article explores how that machine was developed as a social network through The Information Council of the Americas, set up and operated by Edward S. Butler of New Orleans.

The article has been broken down into two parts.

Edward Scannell Butler

Social Origins of Anti-communism: 
The Information Council of the Americas
By Arthur E. Carpenter, Archivist, Loyola University
 Published by Louisiana Historical Association in Louisiana History: 
The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association
Vol. 30, No. 2 (Spring, 1989), pp. 117-143
Dr. Alton Ochsner

Whereas previously when you first went to Latin America and when I started going down there, we were looked up to and respected, now everyone is against us and it has been because of the propaganda that has been so cleverly done by the Communists. 1 
Dr. Alton Ochsner to Matilda Grey, 1962.

An unbending anti-communism has been among the defining characteristics of American political culture since 1945. Scholars have offered two major interpretations of that postwar anti-communism, especially of those most heated years, the late 1940s and early 1950s. One interpretation attributes anticommunism to a  mass-based movement of the radical right. It describes a popular movement that emerged outside traditional political institutions, that challenged established elites, and that was driven by paranoid fears of conspiracy and by apocalyptic anxieties.

The other interpretation portrays a rightist politics that developed within leading institutions, that enjoyed the complicity of respected elites, and that pursued its agenda rationally.2 The interpretative difference is of some importance: Was anti-communism a manifestation of popular, democratic sentiment? Or was it an expression of elite interests?

Sustaining the latter interpretation is the history of the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), founded in 1961 in New Orleans. This history suggests that anti-communism originated with and served the elite. It suggests further that in a democratic political culture that frowned upon naked assertions of racial or class privilege, anti-communism offered the elite a respectable way to discredit challenges to its power. And it suggests that anti-communism waxed strongest when the elite felt most vulnerable.

INCA was not an organization of the rough, provincial, unlettered masses. Its members were wealthy, educated, and cosmopolitan. Most of its support came from prominent New Orleanians, though it also drew members from elsewhere, especially from California. Neither was INCA irrational, even though its analysis was simplistic and its rhetoric overwrought. Instead, it acted soberly, if disingenuously, to legitimize and defend class interests. Twice in the 1960s its elite social base was threatened: first by the Cuban Revolution and then by radicalism within the United States. Rather than openly defending the social structure that
benefitted its members, INCA blamed rebellion abroad and at home on a Soviet-inspired global conspiracy. By identifying social radicalism with an alien totalitarianism, it tried to shield a wealthy, conservative elite from fundamental change.

INCA's origins demonstrated this correlation between elite interests and anti-communism. INCA was born in a city that derived much and expected even more from business with Latin America. For much of the twentieth century, New Orleans business and political leaders tried to make their city the nation's center for Latin American business. The path to the city's modernization, they argued, traveled through Latin America. After World War II, local business organizations such as International House and International Trade Mart joined with city and state agencies to push the city along that path.3

By the 1950s New Orleans rested comfortably and profitably at one of the crossroads where North America exchanged its manufactured goods for Latin America's raw materials and foodstuffs. Latin American goods accounted for approximately 75 percent of the city's imports. Coffee, sugar, bananas, sisal, mahogany--almost all of which came from Latin America--flowed across its wharves in great abundance to be processed locally or shipped into the nation's domestic hinterland. Profiting from this trade were many of the city's leading firms and many of its prominent citizens.4

Eager to perpetuate and extend this lucrative hemispheric business, the New Orleans elite cultivated and drew close to Latin American rulers. Thus in 1952, looking back over his more than five decades of business dealings with Latin America as president of Pan-American Life Insurance and as an executive of United Fruit, Crawford H. Ellis boasted that he had known many Central American rulers, including such dictators as Guatemala's Manuel Estrada Cabrera and Nicaragua's Anastasio Somoza. "These were great men and strong men," said Ellis, "who did not allow a socialist nor communist to cross their borders." When revolutionary or nationalist oppositions challenged those strongmen, official and wealthy New Orleans felt threatened as well. Leading New Orleanians then used a fierce anti-communism to transmute those Latin American oligarchs into guardians of freedom and hemispheric security. Thus in 1954 the Crescent City's elite applauded the overthrow of Guatemala's reformist democracy and rallied behind the counter revolution led by Enrique Castillo Armas.5

These amicable and profitable Latin American relations, seemingly so durable, received an unsettling shock from the Cuban Revolution. New Orleans watched with growing anxiety as Cuba edged leftward. That nation was one of the city's chief trading partners-typically ranking alongside Brazil as its leading source of imports. Cuba supplied, for instance, 19.8
percent of its imports in 1955 and 18.1 percent in 1959. Almost all of its considerable sugar imports came from that Caribbean island: 92.8 percent in 1955 and 93.6 percent in 1959. Because much of this Cuban sugar was refined locally, this trade also encouraged the city's hopes of industrializing by processing Latin American commodities. A new Cuban project further encouraged such hopes. New York-based Freeport Sulphur Company planned to mine nickel and cobalt in Cuba and then ship those minerals to Port Nickel in Plaquemines Parish, about twenty miles downriver from New Orleans. There the company was constructing a refinery where an estimated 600 workers were to process the nickel and cobalt concentrates into metals. Production was scheduled to begin late in 1959.6

The revolution abruptly ended all of this trade and business. When the leftist government expropriated U. S. properties in 1960, New Orleans lost its economic stake on the island: after Cuba seized Freeport's properties, the refinery in Plaquemines Parish closed; New Orleans-based Pan-American Life Insurance lost its investment; New Orleans-based Standard Fruit lost its wharf and terminal; at least six shipping lines ended their routes between Cuba and New Orleans; and trade between the city and Cuba dwindled and then stopped altogether.7

Thus wounded by the revolution and fearful of its spread, the New Orleans elite grew especially susceptible to an anti-communist appeal. An astute young New Orleanian, eager to carve out a career as a professional anticommunist, drew upon that elite's choleric temper, its loathing for Castro, and its anxiety to guard its hemispheric interests from the revolutionary contagion. Even before Cuba's trajectory leftward frightened the wealthy and prominent of the Crescent City, Edward S. Butler had sketched the outlines of a new type of anti-communist organization. Conveniently, the Cuban Revolution handed him a searing issue and an alarmed constituency.

Ed Butler was born in 1934 of a New Orleans family with some elite antecedents. Both of his grandfathers had been members of the city's exclusive Boston Club, and his paternal grandfather also had been president of the Cotton Exchange, president of the state agency that administered the port, and a director of a local bank. Butler himself attended Loyola University in New Orleans and the National Art Academy in Washington, D. C., and spent most of his military service between 1957 and 1959 at the U. S. Army Management School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He then returned home to a position as an account executive with an advertising firm.8 He seemed, at first glance, an unlikely organizer of elite anti-communists, burdened as he was by youth, by ignorance of Latin America, and by a lackluster background. But he more than compensated for those shortcomings with self-confidence, promotional talents, and ideological fervor.9

Before Castro swept down from the Sierra Maestra into Havana, Butler had already immersed himself in what were to be his abiding concerns: anti-communism and psychological warfare. He had been influenced by the right-wing anti-communism of the 1950s. Years afterward he wrote Willard Edwards, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a former confidant of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, that his "first exposure to anti-communism came from Buckley and Bozell's 'McCarthy and his Enemies,' which crystallized all the vague impressions of the late 40's and 50's for me, and set the course of my life. I still believe Senator Joe McCarthy was a great American." This right-wing anti-communism was wedded to a keen interest in psychology and public relations. Butler later described how in about 1957 he became interested "in psycho-politics and particularly Soviet applications." After his discharge from the army, he published an article warning that communists were winning psychological warfare by default.

To counter this threat, the "forgotten army" of public relations professionals should be enlisted to contest the communist advantage in "Brainwar." This war, he suggested, should be waged by a privately funded non-profit institution made up of public-relations professionals: an Information Council of America.10

Soon, thanks to the Cuban Revolution, Butler had the chance to implement these ideas. In New Orleans sometime in 1960, probably late in the year, he helped form the Free Voice of Latin America. This organization's advisory committee included such leading local citizens as Joseph D'Antoni, president of Standard Fruit and Steamship Company; Victor H. Schiro, president of the city council; and A. E. Papale, dean of Loyola's law school. To combat Cuba's revolutionary message, Free Voice planned to beam anti-communist radio broadcasts to Latin America. Instead, it quickly fell apart. In February 1961 Butler resigned, blaming a faction for "an immature, passive approach."11

Butler turned immediately to building a new organization. On May 15, 1961, he and a handful of others founded INCA. From its birth INCA was an anticommunist united front composed of members of the elite and directed by ardent conservatives. Yet it masked its elite social base and softened its conservative convictions with a democratic and moderate appearance. Worried that INCA might be ostracized as an ultra-right fringe sect, Butler insisted upon concentrating on the single issue of communism, upon appropriating a democratic idiom, and upon recruiting those with diverse views. "The member's realize," he wrote, "that they must agree to disagree, and avoid anything but the central subject of defeating tyranny."

Many organizations, he pointed out, had "been discredited as 'ultraconservative', 'rightist', etc. Not only has this effectively isolated them from the people who most need to be reached, but it is costing them their tax-exempt status." Despite his own political sympathies, he tried to balance conservatives with liberals. In 1963, for example, when a supporter offered, on behalf of another group, to sponsor a conservative speaker such as Barry Goldwater for an INCA benefit, Butler proposed instead a liberal anti-communist such as Florida Senator George Smathers.12 INCA never defended segregation, accused the federal government of socialist designs, or otherwise indulged itself in that period's ultra-right shibboleths. Such studied moderation was nonetheless largely ornamental. Although founded after the 1950s anti-communist crusade had ebbed, INCA's alliances, style and ideas bore the imprint of those years. Its organizational alliances and associations situated it firmly in a right-wing anti-communist milieu.

Butler reported that in 1966 he had "attended meetings, established close liaison with, or become an officer or member of' conservative groups such as the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) and the American Security Council. And in the fall of 1968 Richard Warren, an INCA staff member, tried to organize a YAF chapter at Loyola University, where he was an evening division student.13

Also characteristic of the anti-communist right was INCA's political style. It delivered its ideas in alarmist and shrill tones that were designed to create a sense of impending catastrophe. That disaster was to be averted only if generous support strengthened INCA and thereby allowed it to grapple hand-to-hand with communists atop freedom's barricades. "I will have to go where the communists are," wrote Butler, "and hit them where it hurts. They will retaliate in kind. Sooner or later they may kill me."14

Typical as well of the anti-communist right were INCA's reductionist ideas. It viewed major foreign and domestic conflicts as surface expressions of an underlying Manichean struggle between democracy and communism. Its primary enemy was Soviet-dominated communism, a monolithic international conspiracy that deftly manipulated struggles across the globe and that deftly handled conventional weapons-diplomatic, military, and economic. Particularly dangerous was Cuba, communism's hemispheric beachhead. Cuba was, for Butler, "the controlling force behind virtually all revolutionary violence in the Americas, including the United States."'15

These guiding ideas, a pastiche of overworked cold war formulas, lacked originality. To prosper, INCA needed to distinguish itself from the plethora of anti-communist groups. It managed to set itself apart by insisting that communists wielded unconventional weapons with uncommon ability. Propaganda and psychology now formed the Cold War's decisive battleground, said INCA, and a new type of organization was needed to defeat communists on that unfamiliar terrain. According to Butler, Lenin had first grasped the primacy of communications, that "words are weapons," and communists had since used that understanding to great advantage.

Making themselves even more formidable, Marxists took on an indigenous look by establishing communist parties in each nation. Revolutionary conflict was ignited, said INCA, when a society was "both saturated by propaganda launched from without, and by the relay of propaganda by sympathizers within the target society." Such was the case in Latin America where lumbering U. S. propaganda agencies were easily outmaneuvered. There the communist parties' persistent "iYanqjui No!" chant had identified the U. S. with Latin America's economic misery and its sense of regional grievance.16

Believing this mismatch between the free world's bumbling amateurs  and communism's crafty professionals demanded an innovative response, INCA proposed a conservative analogue to the revolutionary party: the conflict corporation. By mastering the arts of propaganda and psychological warfare, this type of private institution could contend with the communists for popular loyalties; intervening among the masses, it could expose and defeat subversives. The conflict corporation would require an effective division of labor between  the conflict manager and patrons, roughly the conservative equivalents of Lenin's professional revolutionary and leftist sympathizers.

The former would be a professional "trained to meet, compete with, and defeat any tyrannical form of organization, through revolutionary means, in order to allow the development of systems which guarantee Liberty Under Law." Drawn from the elite, patrons would support the conflict manager with money, advice, and prestige.17

An appreciative audience embraced these ideas. Butler concentrated on recruiting the wealthy and the notable and, to an impressive degree, he succeeded. INCA drew most of its support from the New Orleans elite from business executives, civic leaders, cultural figures, and leading politicians. It flattered that elite as a champion of democracy while portraying Latin American radicalism as a Soviet-Cuban stalking horse. Bleached from INCA's hemispheric tableau was that familiar figure, the New Orleanian with one hand stroking a Latin American oligarch and the other pocketing considerable sums won in hemispheric  business.

Logically, INCA's most faithful supporters should have come from those local businessmen  with direct interests in Latin America, from those most threatened by spread of the Cuban Revolution. But a few of those business men were skittish, wary perhaps of the taint of extremism. One such was Harry X . Kelly, an executive of the Delta Steamship Lines and an early INCA member. For decades the New Orleans- based Delta Line, which carried much Brazilian coffee to the Crescent City, had actively promoted the city's Latin American trade. Yet in August 1961 Kelly expressed misgivings about INCA's proposed anti-communist radio broadcasts: " If  New Orleans businessmen are to be directors [of INCA], then I think they must set up some supervision over broadcasts which originate in New Orleans. Someone could prepare something very appropriate and yet you, as a business man, would not be in a position to endorse it." Until this and other matters were clarified, he preferred" not to be active in INCA."

Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, another local firm with extensive Latin American business, also held INCA at a polite distance. In 1963 INCA's treasurer asked Joseph S. D'Antoni, Standard's president, for a contribution. Although D'Antoni was sympathetic to INCA, explained the treasurer, he declined to  contribute since "it may be that he is afraid any help from this country would react unfavorably in Latin America." Undeterred, Butler assured D'Antoni that INCA could "show you how to protect your investment by helping to prevent a communist takeover." Apparently D'Antoni was not persuaded by Butler's arguments either.19

But such frosty responses were rare. INCA found its warmest support among those New Orleanians who possessed the closest ties with Latin America. By far the most important of these was Dr. Alton Ochsner. A celebrated surgeon, wealthy, socially prominent, and an old hand in Latin America, Ochsner helped legitimize the new organization. Pared to its essentials, INCA was a partnership between Ochsner and Butler, between elder patron and young activist, between president and leading staff member. Political kinship strengthened their partnership.

Even more clearly than was the case with Butler, Ochsner's outlook was that of the radical right. He equated liberalism with socialism, thought the federal government infiltrated by leftists, and opposed the civil-rights movement. An avid supporter of Goldwater's 1964 presidential quest, he savored the humiliation dealt moderates at the Republican presidential convention. "I thoroughly agree with you," he wrote a Mississippi friend, "that the radical people in the United States, the extremists, are not the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society but some of the people like Rockefeller, Javits and Keating. They got just what they deserved at the Republican Convention." He recommended the ultra-right tract None Dare Call It Treason, which, he claimed, "shows our Government, our schools, our press, and our churches have become infiltrated with Communism." At a friend's request, he urged President Kennedy to quarantine Cuba from Soviet shipments of troops and military equipment. Yet he doubted the plea would matter "because I think his [Kennedy's] advisors are pretty much leftists." He wrote Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender about pending civil rights legislation: "I sincerely hope that the Civil Rights Bill can also be defeated, because if it were passed, it would certainly mean virtual dictatorship by the President and the Attorney General, a thing I am sure they both want."20

Further evidence of Ochsner's extremist views came when he endorsed The Dispossessed Majority by Wilmot Robertson. "One of the greatest books I have ever read," wrote Ochsner in a blurb for this volume. What he admired was a frankly racist work. Robertson called upon citizens of Northern European extraction, the "dispossessed majority," to wrest control of the U.S. from usurping racial minorities. The majority's genetic superiority, he argued, justified such a course. "Separation is obviously part of the solution," he suggested for the "Jewish envelopment of America." Similarly, he proposed "independent or semi-independent Negro communities tangential to white communities," that is an American version of apartheid.21

These views did not make Ochsner a pariah. Indeed, he was one of New Orleans's most esteemed citizens. In the 1960s he was elected to the leadership of both International House and International Trade Mart, the city's chief trade-promotion organizations. For years he was president of the New Orleans-based Cordell Hull Foundation, which administered a program of Inter-American university study. He received social accolades as well: He had been crowned Rex, king of Carnival, perhaps New Orleans's highest social honor, and was a member of the city's select Boston Club. His prestige and connections extended beyond the Crescent City. Thus he was a director of National Airlines and a friend of Dudley Swim, chairman of that corporation. In the summer of 1965, as Swim's guest, he gamboled in the northern California woods at the exclusive Bohemian Grove--a retreat that attracted many of the nation's corporate and political leaders.22

Ochsner's civic and social attainments as well as his Latin American ties began with his professional accomplishments. Born in South Dakota in 1896, he graduated from the University of South Dakota and received his medical degree from Washington University. Postgraduate study in Europe and teaching in the U.S. followed. In 1927 he became chairman of the surgery department at Tulane University's School of Medicine.23

Tulane nourished Ochsner's internationalist inclinations. Study in Europe and acquaintance with foreign medical authorities had convinced him that medicine transcended national boundaries. Practically, internationalism in New Orleans meant a hemispheric awareness-an awareness shared by Tulane, which by 1927 had begun academic and medical programs focusing on Latin America. Ochsner embraced the city's and the university's perspective. "I was attracted to them," he later said of Latin Americans enrolled at the medical school, "and because I thought it important to cement the contacts, I cultivated them." Some outstanding Latin American doctors either trained under him or attended his Tulane postgraduate seminars, and often he consulted or operated in Latin America.24

In 1941 Ochsner and a handful of colleagues formed the Ochsner Clinic. As the clinic's business grew, the partners realized they needed their own hospital. In 1947 abandoned military barracks became the makeshift site for the Ochsner Foundation Hospital until a new hospital was opened in 1954.25 Thereafter his career and his Latin American activities centered on the Ochsner medical institutions. Alton Ochsner and his colleagues expanded the Latin American contacts they had acquired at Tulane. Ochsner won a devoted following in parts of Latin America, especially in the Caribbean Basin. One New Orleanian who lived in Nicaragua in the mid-1950s recalled that Nicaraguans "thought of him [Alton Ochsner] almost as a god as far as medicine was concerned."

When they spoke of going to the "clinic," it was understood to be Ochsner's. Part of this following came from Latin America's ruling caudillos. Among others Ochsner treated Argentina's Juan Peron and Guatemala's Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes. He also developed close relations with some of these rulers, including the Somozas of Nicaragua. Henri DeBayle, a Nicaraguan physician and member of the Somoza family, was a close friend. In 1967 Ochsner consoled DeBayle on Luis Somoza's sudden death and praised Anastasio (Tacho) Somoza, who had just visited New Orleans. "I want you and the family to know how distressed we are," he wrote. "We enjoyed having Tacho here about ten days ago. He made a great hit and everyone was tremendously impressed with him. I think you are very fortunate to have him as your new President. He is a smart boy and certainly has the right ideals."26

But the Ochsner Clinic attracted more than the handful of ruling caudillos. Its Latin American patient count climbed impressively, from 317 in 1950 to 2,478 in 1975. Alton Ochsner reported that in 1961 the clinic treated 1,781 Latin Americans, "and since accompanying each patient there are very conservatively two other people, the total number of people brought to New Orleans from Latin America last year by the Clinic is 5,343." Of those Latin Americans treated in 1961, 86.5 percent came from Central America, Panama, Mexico, or Venezuela.27

Joining Ochsner in support of INCA were other New Orleanians and local institutions with similarly strong Latin American interests. The following New Orleans business executives were INCA members: coffee importer Sam Israel, Jr.; United Fruit's Joseph W. Montgomery; Robinson Lumber's Samuel G. Robinson; and Pan-American Life Insurance's G. Frank Purvis, Jr. Under Captain John W. Clark's leadership, the Delta Line reversed Kelly's position and embraced INCA; the company gave money and Clark served as a director. Among INCA's nine charter members was William G. Zetzmann, president of International Trade Mart (ITM) and one of the city's outstanding business and civic leaders. ITM also donated funds--$2,000 in
1968, for example.28

Also aiding INCA was the Reily family, owner of William B. Reily and Co., one of the city's largest coffee roasters. H. Eustis Reily was an INCA officer and director. In 1965 William B. Reily, an INCA member, gave $250. In 1971 he informed Ochsner that his company had decided to donate $5,000 through the Reily Foundation and that he had enclosed a personal check for $1,000, "with the understanding that both these checks are to be used for sending radio information to Latin America. As I explained to you, I am interested in that work and would like to see this money applied to the work of speaking in Spanish to the masses in these countries."29

INCA also won backing from local businessmen and businesses that apparently lacked a direct stake in Latin America. Among these were some of New Orleans's most respected citizens and firms. In 1967 Ochsner thanked Mr. and Mrs. Darwin S. Fenner for their $500 donation. Darwin Fenner, an INCA director, was a vice president of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane and a board member of the Ochsner Foundation and of Tulane University's governing body. At least during the mid-1960s, New Orleans Public Service (NOPSI), the city's privately owned utility company, gave $1,000 each year. NOPSI President George S. Dinwiddie was an INCA member; his successor, Clayton L. Naire, was an INCA director. Louisiana Coca-Cola President Richard W. Freeman was an INCA member. So was Ashton Phelps, partner of a leading New Orleans law firm and, beginning in 1967, the president and publisher of the Times-Picayune Publishing Corporation.30

INCA's social base spread beyond businessmen to include the broader New Orleans elite. The Catholic hierarchy gave INCA its blessing. Archbishop Philip M. Hannan was a director, and Monsignor Henry C. Bezou, superintendent of archdiocesan schools, was a member. Also joining INCA were academic and cultural figures such as A. E. Papale, dean of Loyola University's law school; Herbert Longenecker, president of Tulane University; and Walker Percy, the novelist. Prominent Jewish philanthropists and businessmen Percival Stern and Edgar B. Ster, Jr., joined INCA as well.31

Respected local politicians of moderate views approved of INCA. Since first elected New Orleans mayor in 1946, deLesseps S. Morrison had stood in the forefront of the city's Latin American program. Soon after INCA was founded, Butler asked Morrison for an endorsement to attract members.


1 Alton Ochsner to Matilda Grey, April 30, 1962, folder 4, box 49, Alton Ochsner Papers, The Historic New Orleans Collection.

2 The standard source for the first interpretation is the collection of essays edited by Daniel Bell, The Radical Right: The New American Right Expanded and Updated (Garden City, N.Y., 1964). For the second interpretation, see Michael Paul Rogin, The Intellectuals and McCarthy: The Radical Specter (Cambridge, Mass., 1967). Also see the following historiographical essays: Robert Griffith, "The Politics of Anti-Communism: A Review Article," Wisconsin Magazine of History, LIV (1971), 299-308; Reg Whitaker,
"Fighting the Cold War on the Home Front: America, Britain, Australia and Canada," in Ralph Miliband, et al., eds., Socialist Register, 1984: The Uses of Anti-Communism (London, 1984), pp. 23-67.

3 Business relations between New Orleans and Latin America are explored in my dissertation: "Gateway to the Americas: New Orleans's Quest for Latin American Trade, 1900-1970" (Ph. D. dissertation, Tulane University, 1987).

4 Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, Statistics Covering Import-
Export Commerce of the Port of New Orleans, 1952-1955 (New Orleans, n.d.); see also
Carpenter, "Gateway to the Americas," chs. II, VI.

5 Crawford H. Ellis, "Address on the Occasion of the Thomas F. Cunningham Award of
1951," September 24, 1952, International House Papers, Special Collections Division,
Tulane University Library. For coverage of the homage rendered to Castillo Armas by
the New Orleans elite, see the New Orleans Times-Picayune, November 12, 13, 1955.

6 Board of Commissioners, Statistics Covering Import-Export Commerce, 1955-1959; Moody's Industrial Manual, 1959 (New York, 1959), pp. 1868-1869; Times-Picayune, September 21, 1958, Dixie Roto Magazine, 10-11.

7 New Orleans States-Item, February 8, 1962; Thomas L. Kames, Tropical Enterprise: The Standard Fruit and Steamship Company in Latin America (Baton Rouge, 1978), p. 287; Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, Port of New Orleans Statistics Covering Import-Export Commerce, 1961 (New Orleans, n.d.).

8 Ed Butler to Patrick J. Frawley, Jr., September 29, 1972, folder 2, box 172, Ochsner Papers; Stuart O. Landry, History of the Boston Club, Organized in 1841 (New Orleans, 1938), p. 223; "Butler, Edward Scannell," Who's Who in America, 1976-1977.

9 Several years later Garry Wills observed that Butler had "an extraordinary gift for self-promotion." Garry Wills, The Second Civil War: Arming for Armageddon (New York, 1968), p. 147.

10 Butler to Willard Edwards, July 11, 1977, folder 1, box 228, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Harry X. Kelly, September 11, 1961, folder 3, box 49, Ochsner Papers; Scannell Butler, "The Forgotten Army," Public Relations Journal, (June, 1960), 10, 12-13.

11 Free Voice of Latin America, "What Is the Free Voice of Latin America?," carton S60-2, Victor Hugo Schiro Collection, Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library; States-Item, January 10, 1961; Butler to deLesseps S. Morrison, February 19, 1961, carton S61-10, deLesseps S. Morrison Collection, Louisiana Division, New Orleans Public Library; Butler to Admiral Whittaker Riggs, June 3, 1961, folder 11, box 437,
Chamber of Commerce of the New Orleans Area Collection, Archives and Manuscripts Department, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.

12 Ed Butler, Revolution Is My Profession (n.p., 1968), p. 101; Butler to Edgar A. G. Bright, December 29, 1964, folder 1, box 51, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Mrs. B. C. Toledano, May 6, 1963, folder 3, box 50, Ochsner Papers.

13 Butler to INCA Member, January 23, 1967, folder 2, box 105, Ochsner Papers; Loyola Maroon, November 8, 1968.

14 Butler to Alton Ochsner, February 1, 1966, folder 4, box 53, Ochsner Papers.

15 Butler, Revolution, p. 80.

16 Ibid., pp. 121, 225; INCA, "INCA and Latin America," n.d., Information Council of the Americas, Political Ephemera Collection, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Library.

17 "INCA and Latin America;" Butler, Revolution, pp. 49, 50, 86, 99.

18 Kelly to Ochsner, August 22, 1961, folder 3, box 49, Ochsner Papers.

19 Joseph S. D'Antoni to Maurice W. Grundy, May 22, 1963, folder 3, box 50, Ochsner Papers; Grundy to Ochsner, May 23, 1963, folder 3, box 50, Ochsner Papers; Butler to D'Antoni, October 7, 1963, folder 2, box 50, Ochsner Papers.

20 Ochsner to R. H. Crosby, July 22, 1964, folder 1, box 73, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Marlan E. Bourns, August 12, 1964, folder 2, box 51, Ochsner Papers;Ochsner to William A. Powe, March 1, 1963, folder 7, box 70, Ochsner Papers; Ochsnerto Allen Ellender, July 30, 1963, folder 3, box 67, Ochsner Papers.

21 Wilmot Robertson, The Dispossessed Majority (Cape Canaveral, Fla., 1976), pp. 193, 222. Ochsner's endorsement is contained in the first inside pages of the 1981 paperback edition. I learned of this book and of Ochsner's encomium from Lance Hill.

22 "Ochsner, Alton," Who's Who in America, 1964-1965; Ochsner to Turner Catledge, July 1, 1965, folder 4, box 82, Ochsner Papers. On the Bohemian Grove, see G. William Domhoff, The Bohemian Grove and Other Retreats (New York, 1974).

23 "Ochsner, Alton," Who's Who in America, 1964-1965; Edwin Adams Davis, The Story of Louisiana (New Orleans, 1960), pp. 1-2.

24 Alton Ochsner, Jr., interview with author, New Orleans, June 10, 1984; John Wilds, Ochsner's: An Informal History of the South's Largest Private Medical Center (Baton Rouge, 1985), pp. 14-15.

25 Wilds, Ochsner's, pp. 4, 33; Guy A.Caldwell, Early History of the Ochsner Medical
Center: The First Twenty-Two Years (Springfield, Ill., 1965), pp. 27, 53, 70, 113.

26 Wilds, Ochsner's, pp. 12-15; Virginea Burguieres, interview with author, New Orleans, May 15, 1984; Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes to Ochsner, March 7, 1962, folder 16, box 59, Ochsner Papers; Ochsner to Henri DeBayle, April 14, 1967, folder 11, box 102, Ochsner Papers.

27 Figures provided by Luis Iglesias, Department of Latin American Affairs, Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation; Ochsner to W. F. Riggs, Jr., October 13, 1962, folder 11, box 36, Ochsner Papers.

28 Correspondence, INCA's letterhead for different years, a membership list, and other sources provide evidence of an individual having been a member, director, or officer of INCA,w hile correspondence and other sources document financial contributions to INCA: "INCA Membership List," f older 1, box 105, Ochsner Papers; J. W. Clark to Ochsner, June 14, 1968, folder 3, box 121, Ochsner Papers; Butler to Morrison, May 19, 1961, carton S61-11, Morrison Collection; International Trade Mart Executive Committee, minutes of August 15, 1968, meeting, International Trade Mart Papers, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Library.

29 M. W. Grundy to William B. Reily, June 16, 1965, folder 3, box 52, Ochsner Papers; William B. Reily to Ochsner, March 10, 1971, folder 5, box 165, Ochsner Papers.

30 Ochsner to Mr. and Mrs. Darwin S. Fenner, January 19, 1967, folder 6, box 105, Ochsner Papers; J. Mason Guillory to Ochsner, June 8, 1967, folder 6, box 105, Ochsner Papers; "INCA Membership List," folder 1, box 105, Ochsner Papers.

31 Butler to Morrison, June 21, 1961, carton S61-11, Morrison Collection; "INCA Membership List," folder 1, box 105, Ochsner Papers.