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This Fascist Racket

July 26, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The following is the fifteenth 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.


Whether or not George W. Christians is “nuts” is a moot question with many who know him. I am inclined to believe that he is sounder than the policies of the Crusader White Shirts, of which he is commander-in-chief; than the Crusaders for Economic Liberty, of which he is president; than the American Fascists, of which he has designated himself Fuehrer; or the American Reds, of which he claims to be leader.

In the preceding articles I have given what I consider a fair picture of the man and his movement. He is a little man in a medium-sized city hatching big conspiracies. That he is without effect except in certain pathological social circles and in unimportant political groups may be said with accuracy.

Because such catastrophies as the economic depression, which appears to be on the wane, attracts into the field of false prophets the irresponsible people of a nation, prolonged discontent would drive into his ranks legions of unemployed and otherwise discouraged persons who feel that any circumstance is better than that endured. The danger Christians and his kind present to the nation lies solely in the possibility that they will be taken seriously.

It was mentioned in passing that Christians was once held under observation as a candidate for a padded cell at St. Elizabeth’s psychopathic ward near Washington, D. C. He was released after two days’ grilling at the hands of federal agents. The quizzing came about after Christians had successfully demanded an interview with President-elect Roosevelt at Warm Springs.


Christians has since corresponded with H. S. Lill, a former chief pharmacist mate in the United States Navy, who is a convalescent there. Lill is under the impression that certain naval officers bear him prejudice because he married in Managua, Nicaragua, a native woman of some local social standing. He is under the impression that at the birth of their first child in Pensacola, the attendant naval doctor maliciously caused a hernia and that later, upon the arrival of the second baby in a Brooklyn hospital, the attendant doctor “killed” his wife after having refused to allow the husband to be present and after having removed other patients from the ward.

I believe that Lill’s correspondence is more sane in tone than Christians. He appears to suffer from a persecution complex (taking for granted, of course, that his incarceration has been just), while Christians considers the affairs of the country the results of a never-ending conspiracy by certain groups.


Christians admits that to his knowledge he hasn’t a paid-up member of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty. He says that throughout the country there are possibly 10,000 members, the financial end of whose {SPAN}###tion{/SPAN} has been attended to by petty officers. This I doubt. I have gone through the more important files of the Crusaders, and I have found not a single mention of a meeting. I don’t believe the Crusader White Shirts have ever held a bona fide meeting. Christians claims that “the seed of Economic Liberty has been sown in 20,000,000 people throughout the country.” This constituted about one-sixth of the national population. From my inquiries I would judge that not one-sixth of the population in Chattanooga, Christians’ home town, are familiar with the gentleman’s name.

Despite this, Christians writes to his lieutenants as one who is at the bottom of all major occurrences. His letter of July 17, 1934, to T. O. Busbee, Crusader “Provisional Governor of Florida,” for instance: “I know that you are watching the strike situation in the West and in Alabama. Economic Liberty hasn’t broken through yet for various reasons. . . . Georgia will come out next very likely, with a general strike of all unions. I am afraid it will be too big for Reese to handle and I doubt very much whether he and his strong Crusader following can put it publicly and officially on an Economic Liberty basis. That leaves it up to you and me. When the wave reaches Florida. I feel sure that you can handle it and when it reaches Tennessee, I know damn well that I can. Colorado is in fine shape for us and they will break through the West.


“Once we get the South and West definitely for Economic Liberty, we will be ready to tackle the Industrial East. That is where the real battle will be fought. While the battle is raging in the East, we in the South and West will mop up the local governments and newspapers so that when the East whips itself down, it will be easy pickings for us.”

He added a postscript for the benefit of editors to whom he circulated copies of the letter: “For newspapers. There is only one thing that can stop this plan of action and that is the power of the press. Lift your censorship and we will be glad to fight it out with paper and ink instead of bricks and bullets.”

Placed side by side with Lill’s communications, Christians’ letters might readily have been addressed from Saint Elizabeth’s and Lill’s from “the outside.”

Lill’s first letter to Christians begins:

“Dear Mr. Christians:

“I do not know your street address so must take a chance on your getting this communication by your being known in your city. I am a Chief Pharmacist’s Mate in the Naval Service. At present I am held as a patient in this institution. The Naval Medical officers have given a diagnosis of my supposed case, but I have not been informed of the nature of this diagnosis. But while I am in perfect health mentally and physically I am held a prisoner with a room full of gibbering maniacs and treated as one. When I ask what my diagnosis is they say, ‘You think your wife was murdered,’ and grin. That is all the answer I get, and I have been informed that when I am willing to sign a release on the hospital where my wife was murdered that they will discharge me as cured.”

There follow several hundred words of detailed information on events leading up to Lill’s incarceration, and they are quite as calmly written as the above. Compare that paragraph with part of Christians’ reply:


“Dear Mr. Lill:

“I am sending your letter to the United States Secret Service who have intimated that St. Elizabeth’s might be a good place for me. I wish you would write me again and tell me some more about the place. How is the grub, etc. I may be your buddy soon.”

Christians did not sign this note in the customary manner, which goes, “Yours in the Fellowship of Freedom.” He signed himself, “Yours for Personal and Economic Liberty.”

Further, I would draw a comparison of Lill’s note to one recently written by the Nazi, C. F. Fulliam, Christians’ “Minister of Propaganda and Director of Propaganda and Intelligence Service” at Muscatine, Iowa. This letter was written on June 27, 1934, to Herbert A. Suman of Chicago and is obviously an effort to convert the gentleman to Economic Liberty. It follows:

“I have read with great interest your letter of June 9th to our leader. I am in hearty accord and in complete agreement with all that you have to say in your letter. You certainly express my sentiments. What we want is action—not talk. Deeds, not dreams or visions.

“In the Crusader Movement you have the nucleus for what is needed to save America that can be used as a basis to help organize a disciplined movement of great masses of people in one united organization.


“In George W. Christians you have a great leader and a great man. He is the American Messiah sent by Almighty God to do for us what Mussolini did for Italy and what Hitler did for Germany. Hail to Christians the leader of American Fascism. He has all the qualities of great leadership but he absolutely must do the things you say and I cannot but feel he is thinking the same way. This is a historical movement and this man Christians is to be a historical figure in American history. Help me to make him see his destiny.

“I enclose a copy of a circular that I issued in reply to a Jewish attack. . . .

“Hail Christians! Hail the Dawn of a New America!”

Ever so many words in this series have been devoted to Christians and his correspondents in the movement for “Economic Liberty.” They have, I believe, shown the true texture of his movement. After perusing much of his correspondence, it would appear that the imprisoned Lill is the soundest of all who writes to the Chattanooga sage. Because Lill’s correspondence contains names, the use of which might prove to be libelous, his testimony cannot be quoted at length without further investigation into the facts of his case. From such facts that have come before the writer, however (regardless of the justice of his committment to an asylum). I am certain that his interest is in “personal” rather than “economic” liberty.

There have been significant developments in the Nazi and Fascist movements in the United States during recent weeks. These will be discussed in concluding articles of this series.

(To be continued tomorrow)

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