Fellowship of Reconciliation

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In 1955, California's Senate Investigating Committee on Education investigated the Fellowship of Reconciliation(FOR). The Committee's Chairman received a letter from John M. Swomley, Jr., FOR's Secretary, in which Swomley said: "This letter is to point out that our fellowship has had a long and consistent record of not collaborating with Communist or Communist front groups. We are a non-partisan religious pacifist organization." (When the Committee found evidence contrary to Swomley's assertion, the Fellowship distributed Alfred Hassler's "The Anatomy of a Smear", an alleged expose, according to FOR, of "A California legislative committee's attempt to link pacifism with subversion."

On November 24, 1915 at Garden City, Long Island sixty-eight persons established an American Fellowship of Reconciliation. Early Fellowship members included Harry F. Ward, Norman Thomas, Abraham J. Muste, Jane Addams, and Emily Greene Balch. Ward, if he never joined the Communist Party, at least became one of the Party's most active and influential fellow travelers. Thomas, who became the six-time presidential candidate on the Socialist Party ticket, spent a lifetime collaborating with the Communists. Muste spent more than thirty years supporting Communist fronts and causes and, at one time, he was national chairman of the now-defunct Workers Party, a Communist party.

When the Fellowship was founded in 1915, its initial activity was directed toward opposing the entry of the United States into World War I. Out of the Fellowship's conscientious objectors program, there developed, in 1916, the National Civil Liberties Bureau which was reorganized in 1920 as the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU). At one time or another, nearly every leading radical in America was an official of the ACLU including: Harry Ward, Roger Baldwin, Louis Budenz, Eugene V. Debs, Felix Frankfurter, Alexander Meiklejohn, Elmer Davis, Roy Wilkins, Norman Cousins, Freda Kirchway, Archibald MacLeish, Henry S. Commager, Corliss Lamont, Francis Biddle, John Dewey, Max Lerner, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and William Z. Foster.

In 1918, the Fellowship established its second enterprise: Brookwood Labor College of Katonah, New York. Brookwood was Communistic and was heavily subsidized by the Garland Fund which was a major source for the financing of Communist Party enterprises.

In its literature, the Fellowship of Reconciliation also takes credit for the creation of the Workers Defense League(WDL). The House Special Committee on Un-American Activities(75th Congress) reported: "Just as the Communist Party has its defense movement, the International Labor defense, so also has the Socialist Party, the Workers Defense League. The latter organization was formed in May, 1936, by leading members of the Socialist Party.....The national committee of the Workers Defense League is composed of...Socialists and extreme left-wingers...The executive committee of the league is likewise composed of Socialists and extreme left-wingers...Norman Thomas, Socialist Party candidate for the President of the United States, is the real head of the league...". The Workers Defense League describes itself as an "anti-Communist and pro-democratic" legal aid society, concerned with political cases and the protection of minority rights. It is true that periodically the WDL has gone through futile motions by protesting against well-publicized and undeniable acts of barbarism perpetrated by Communist regimes. But the real energies of the WDL have been expended on the protection of labor agitators working among sharecroppers, migratory agricultural workers, and merchant seamen. The defense of political undesirables, subject to deportation proceedings, and individuals charged with security/loyalty violations have been a major concern of the WDL.

In 1948, the California Senate's Un-American Activities Committee devoted its entire annual report to an analysis and enumeration of Communist front organizations. Of the National Council against Conscription(a FOR appendage), the report said:

"Pamphlets of this Communist front are being distributed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Los Angeles.

The current Communist Party line is presently directed against military preparedness, and the Communist Party of the United States(CPUSA) is doing everything within its power to keep the United States militarily weak, while it demands that American armed forces abroad be returned to the United States....

The committee points out that this type of Communist front is organized for the purpose of attracting many good American citizens, who, because of religious convictions, are against war at any time. There are many pacifists and members of religious groups who are not disloyal in any sense of the word. This same statement applies with equal validity to many good citizens who were attracted to the American Peace Mobilization and other Communist fronts organized for the purpose of assisting Hitler during his partnership with Stalin for the conquest of Europe. Undoubtedly many of these good people will be innocently attracted to a Communist front such as the National Council against Conscription.

The distinction the committee wishes to make is that the record of a substantial number of the members of the National Council against Conscription have indicated in the past their close affiliation with Communist-front organizations operating for Communist purposes and causes.

There are no humane or religious purposes being served by Communist organizations in the field. Soviet Russia and its imperialist expansionist policies alone are served while the United States is kept weak and impotent, and, of course, that is the purpose behind the National Council against Conscription."

Then, in 1962, the Fellowship established Turn Toward Peace, an "umbrella organizationof national peace, labor, public affairs and religious groups." Through TTP, scores of leftist organizations were coordinated on a national level, ostensibly to promote "peaceful non-violence", but in reality their activities agitated and propagandized for world communism.

In 1963, Turn Toward Peace listed fifty "initial steps to provide for the establishment of a world government controlled by the United nations." Among the "initial steps" suggested by TTP were: Recognition of Red China and repeal of the McCarran Immigration Act to allow up to one million people from Red China to move to America each year; placement of all U.S. long-range missiles under UN control by 1964; amend the United States Constitution to allow the UN to levy a direct tax on the American people; establish a national security police force under UN control to harass all anti-UN American citizens; and, repeal of the Connally Amendment to permit the World Court to try American citizens if they engage in anti-United Nations activities.

The Fellowship's pro-Communist position on foreign policy became very much in evidence, about a year after Fidel Castro had seized Cuba and placed it under his tyrannical, Communist regime. The Fellowship urged that the United States display a generous and sympathetic attitude toward Cuba by:

The Fellowship also distributes publications of the American Friends Service Committee and the World Council of Churches. Under such headings as The Bomb - Civil Defense - Disarmament - and, War and Militarism, the classified catalog recommends the extremely leftward slanted writings of a wide assortment of communists, socialists and fellow travelers.

It must be remarked that despite the Fellowship's flowery protestations of idealism and assumed mantle of religiosity, its entire history since 1915 to the present has demonstrated a remarkable consistency in its repeated sympathizing with tyrannical and anti-religious regimes. The Fellowship has worked for the identical goals of international Socialism: a radical reorganization of society and the replacement - wherever it exists - of individual capitalism by collective worship. The United Nations, commensurate with a world "peace tax" on American citizens are the conduits by which the Fellowship can best realize their vision for a better world.

The shibboleth of "nonviolence" flaunted so ubiquitously by the Fellowship is belied by the violence engendered by Fellowship-sponsored demonstrations against war and defense preparations and in labor and "civil rights" disputes. And the Fellowship makes a mockery of "nonviolence" by its persistent advocacy of disarmament programs for the Unites States which is precisely what the ever-arming, violence-ridden Communist regimes and United Nations have been promoting through diplomatic channels and especially through private pacifist groups such as the Fellowship.

Extracted from The Biographical Dictionary of the Left , by Francis X. Gannon

Submitted by the Freedom From Fiats Foundation

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