The following is the fourteenth of a series of articles, “This Fascist Racket,” by Mr. McGrady, exposing, from the inside, the workings of a typical Fascist organization here, and revealing, through publication of the Fascist “chieftain’s” correspondence, how and in what manner these racial rackets are operated. The series appears daily in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
While George W. Christians, leader of the Crusader White Shirts, is a practical man, he is not without a strong vein of meta-psychic balderash.
As a common engineer, cognizant of laws of causation as they affect inanimate substances, he is prone to ridicule the performance of rival supernatural Fascist leaders, such as William Dudley Pelley whose franchise on communication lines to the Great Beyond is claimed to be a monopoly.
As a man of moods, however, Christians is not without his supernatural powers. He has been endowed, so he asserts, with an inhuman abiilty to “read between the lines.” He attributes this faculty to some inner sense which lies undeveloped in others. By virtue of this he has gained some reputation among those people of no great consequence in Chattanooga who regard him as a modern oracle.
“I don’t know what it is,” he confided to me one day. “I can take up a newspaper and tell just what’s going to happen. I can read more between the lines than I can in the lines themselves. I predicted so many things that have happened and will happen that a lot of the people around here come up to me and ask how I do it. I don’t know how I do it, but I certainly do.”
THINGS GOING TO HAPPEN
Christians has been predicting, as readers of the earlier articles of this series will remember, that his organization “is ready to move now,” “that things will be popping any day now,” “that White Shirts can’t be held in restraint much longer,” etc. He has been prophesying this for over two years, and he prophesies again in almost every letter he sends out.
I tried to pin him down to an approximate date as to when the organization would move or things would pop, but this, he said, he could not accurately foretell. From the looks of things, it will not be in the immediate future, and I believe it is safe to advise his henchman to relax for the nonce.
Meanwhile the White Shirtissimo has been fairly active sending out fabricated reports to his lieutenants in all parts of the country describing White Shirt activities in remote parts of the United States. Locales now disturbed by labor troubles Christians describes as sites for the operations of his forces. He claims to be at the bottom of the San Francisco labor dispute; and he is distributing stickers thoughout the country calling for a general strike for enactment of the Christians McFadden Bill HR 4747 and a march to Washington.
It was impossible for me not to express incredulity at the tall stories he tells of the White Shirt peril to Democracy. He protested against my attitude and invited me to write the Georgia National Guard to learn whether or not White Shirts had not stolen rifles from armories. With a great measure of satisfaction he took credit for strikes in Columbus, Georgia, and other parts of the country. Press accounts of disturbances give him no credit, however, for these magnificent pieces of work.
Other accomplishments of a less violent nature, however, may be attributed to Christians. During the course of this series a number of tie-ups between the White Shirts and reactionary and radical groups have been dealt with. One or two others should be mentioned to indicate further the bond of anti-Semitism that serves to unite many insurgent forces in the country.
There is, for instance, the White Shirt connection with the American National Union, with its grand chapter’s headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
On May 5, 1934, Harry Francis, supreme secretary, wrote Christians as follows: “I can not conceive of what would be a more constructive economic program than the organizing of the consumers, regardless of race, creed or color for the purpose of pooling their purchasing power as individuals and trading with the home-owned stores on a basis that is mutually profitable.
“We most certainly have no objection to your program for Economic Liberty and do most heartily endorse your efforts to put over HR 4747. We shall cooperate with your organization on this bill whether you are for us or not.”
Four days later Christians replied in part: “While our own official program is strictly Economic Liberty, HR 4747 and nothing else, we realize that there are many other issues that need attention. At the same time I hope you will consider organizing Crusader White Shirts inside your present organization.”
The deal was consummated on May 14 when Francis wrote: “We shall get busy at once and get the boys to rolling in the necessary request.” Christians’ letter had included pamphlets showing how money could be made by an enterprising organizer through the sale of regalia and collection of initiation fees and dues.
Francis’ second letter contained pamphlets which now are being distributed by the World Association Against Jewish Aggressiveness, a world wide organization in which a New York anti-Semite, Col. E. N. Sanctuary, is a prominent figure.
Christians did not tell Francis that Arthur Haynes had already begun a White Shirt Crusade in Denver. He reckoned that two organizers could work twice as quickly as one.
That even Shirtissimos are not entirely lacking in a sense of humor is evidenced by correspondence between the White and Silver Shirts. On January 4, 1934, Christians wrote as follows to his Birmingham lieutenant, whom Christians describes as “a good worker but queer.” “He’d blow up the national capital if I told him to,” he explained. The note follows:
“Wish you would do a little double-crossing for me. Want to get the Silver Shirts mad and propagating against us. Address a letter to William Dudley Pelley and ask him what he knows about me and if he thinks I’m honest. Tell him that you understand that I’m working with some New York Jews and that you noticed in the Protocols that after the Jews had withdrawn the gold from circulation that they were going to issue money of paper and wood based upon the working power of the people, and that this seems so close to the Human Effort Monetary System which I am promoting that it looks like part of the Jewish conspiracy.”
Stooge Horne wrote accordingly: “Dear Mr. Pelley:
“I have written your organization for some literature concerning your movement and received it okay. It was very instructive.
“At present I am a member of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty but after reading your literature and also a copy of the Protocols I am suspicious of the good intentions of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty.”
WHITE SHIRTS DANGEROUS
To this Harry F. Sieber, adjutant of Pelley responded in part: “As Mr. Pelley is at present absent from headquarters I shall endeavor to attend to your correspondence.
“We tell you positively that we are in a position to confirm your suspicions in regard to this organization and its leader. Mr. Pelley is in possession of facts which link this body with the core of subversive activities. We need workers in Alabama. May we count on you? Yours in True Christian Service.”
Some little time elapsed between communications, because Horne had to send the Silver Shirt letter to Christians and await his cue. On Feb. 2 Christians wrote Horne:
“Write the Silver Shirts again and tell them that you always suspected something crooked about the Crusaders and you believe that you can take over their following in Birmingham but that you must have arguments against HR 4747.”
On February 5 Horne replied to Christians: “I am writing the Silver Shirts again and enclose herewith a copy of the letter. You asked me to close my letter with, ‘I would appreciate a personal reply from your great leader, Mr. Pelley.’ I have done this and it sounds sarcastic to me but it will not sound that way to them. Personally I think Pelley is a lot of hot air and I think you do too. I have read all the literature of the Silver Shirts and cannot make any sense out of it. Pelley must have gone into a trance to write his program.
“A lot of organizations are springing up now because some wise guy thinks he can make a living out of them. An organization called the White Legion has opened up an office in a store in the business section of Birmingham. Birmingham is singularly honored by being the national headquarters of this organization.”
The Silver Shirt reply enclosed by Horne said:
“We do not believe you would get far with arguments with which we might provide you. Our advice to you is that you join with us in the Silver Legion and it may be that when the proper time comes, we can furnish you with the details you desire.”
To this Horne replied under instructions by Christians:
“Thank you for your letter giving me more information concerning your organization and the Crusaders for Economic Liberty, and its leader, George W. Christians. I wrote Mr. Christians and asked him what he thought about the Silver Legion and I am enclosing herewith his reply. What have you to say about the letter Mr. Christians wrote me?”
OLD WOMEN MEMBERS
The enclosed letter from Christians to Horne read: “Replying to your request for information in regard to William Dudley Pelley: From my information it appears that he has been running a religious racket for a number of years and has a few silly women of both sexes following him.”
From this point the letters grew in length, the Silver Shirts withdrawing to a defensive position. The play of the Fascist gods ended, when Horner, following Christions’s instructions to the word, wrote on March 8:
“After thinking the matter over very carefully I have decided not to affiliate myself with your organization. You do not seem at all concerned with what Mr. Christians wrote about you, and if his charges are true you should have said so in no uncertain terms. Conditions in our country are not going to be remedied by any organization consisting of parlor lizards, but rather by men of courage.”
To be continued tomorrow