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This Fascist Racket

July 18, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The following is the ninth 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.

Many are the wiles and allures employed to make Fascism attractive to the country. The rising Fascist star sheds the light of all colors of the spectrum. Any shade of red for the revolutionists, browns for the Nazis, red, white and blue for the hyper-patriots.

George W. Christians, commander-in-chief of the Crusader White Shirts, as he sits in his Chattanooga office with his feet cocked up on the radiator, thinks up many schemes to add to his White Shirt forces. He figures out what all organizations throughout the country want, and he offers to give it to them—along with Economic Liberty.

Economic Liberty, it has been pointed out, is a scheme by which freedom from financial worries would be granted Christians and his small band of racketeers on the occasion of his ascension to dictatorial power over the nation. The rest of the country would be forced to forage through one of the most nonsensical and disastrous economic schemes ever seriously concocted by a sane mind for scraps from the White Shirt table.

To the anti-Jewish, Christians appeals in various ways. He subtly eggs on such Nazis as Fulliam and Pfaus, whose enlightening correspondence has brightened earlier articles of this series. He circulates, somewhat apologetically, copies of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and he stresses the rabid Christian aspects of his plan.


For the reformers Christians has issued a booklet of his constitution and laws; for the revolutionists he has published printed orders mapping out plans for the seizure of the government; for the ritualistic and fraternal-minded he has published a meeting and initiation ceremony; for the actionists, he writes and circulates bombastic letters addressed to every dignitary up to but not including the supernatural forces of creation; for the pacifists he writes of the useless horrors of wars; for the martial he extols bloodshed; for the capitalists he demands control of the masses; the hungry and poor he incites to revolution by frequent reference to the bloated money kings.

The constitution and laws of the order provide for supporting the government; membership (white male or female over 18); collection of initiation fees of not less than $6; order officers (similar in title to national and state governments); manufacture and sale of regalia, (under Christians’ direction); levy of dues and taxes (although Christians refuses to pay government taxes) on members; and the peaceful assumption of government by vote.

Extracts from Crusader White Shirts General Orders: “No unit of the Crusader White Shirts should attempt any positive action until it has been thoroughly drilled and officered and perfect discipline has been obtained, nor should it attempt to move until it is sufficiently strong to accomplish its purpose without chance of failure.


“The first objective should be to take control of the local government in the following manner: March in military formation to and surround the governmental buildings. Then, by sheer numbers and a patriotic appeal, force the officials to accept and act under the direction of an economic adviser appointed by the president of the Crusaders.

“Dishonest officials should immediately be brought to justice…. Preparations should then be made at once for the crusade to Washington…. Generous donations can be obtained from most people for the crusade by merely appealing to their patriotism. However, a patriotic appeal will probably not have much effect on the people who have most of the money nowadays. There will be a great temptation to use a few pineapples to loosen up those fat pocket-books, but this temptation should be righteously resisted…. If anyone uses unlawful means to start a fight, just be sure that YOU finish it.”

Extracts from another circular: “Now that the revolution for Economic Liberty is on, many old timers are shining up the old musket and sharpening up their knives in anticipation of a good old-fashioned slaughter…. All the Gold Standard Racket now has for support are a few fat and bloated utility magnates, a few skinny, miserly bankers, and a flock of crooked, hungry politicians. We don’t know any of them that is worth killing.

“However, there is a very considerable demand for blood on the part of some of our members, and we may just declare an open season for the sport and let them go to it on their own responsibility.”


Another letter, on the Protocols, began, “The accompanying booklet entitled, ‘Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,’ is one of many of a similar nature which are circulating freely in Europe and to a considerable extent in the United States.

“The nature of the booklet is so repulsive that many people refuse to consider or even read it. Nevertheless, no intelligent person can afford to ignore it because it presents the philosophy behind the Fascist Movement in Italy, Germany and elsewhere. It is also the fundamental philosophy responsible for the unjust persecution of the Jews throughout the ages.”

Christians said that he has not circulated more than six copies of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, which he procured from the Briton’s Publishing Society of London. He said that he wishes he could get more copies free of charge, because of the interest this booklet, after having passed through many hands, created in his movement.

In circulating the scurrilous forgery, Christians performed two purposes. He alarmed the Jews, whose financial and moral support he has been striving to obtain through fair or foul means, and he appealed to that legion of American anti-Semites, who interpreted his movement as being in opposition to the “practices” exposed in the Protocols.


While Christians indicated his belief that an American Fascist movement could possibly be made successful without entailing persecution of the Jews, he does show in many of his writings that, if he can gain sufficient support by advocating the lopping off Jewish heads, he is quite ready to do so. Generally, he concedes that anti-Semitism such as that of Pelley’s Silver Shirts is a delicacy attractive to tens of thousands of bigoted Americans.

The secret ritual of the Crusaders, of which Christians has given me a copy, is quite elaborate. I don’t believe the self-styled White Shirt leader has ever got enough men together in one spot to hold a meeting as presented in the manual. The language is stilted and meaningless, and was more than likely stolen from the initiation rite of some college fraternity or an organization of the Ku Klux Klan calibre.

To appeal to the anti-administration forces, Christians writes bold letters to government officials, daring them to play with him, and then scatters them through the ranks of those to whom they would most appeal. There is his letter to the late William H. Woodin, who on March 13, 1933, at the time of the letter’s composition, was Secretary of the Treasury. It follows:

“This is to advise you that I have been hoarding gold coin and currency for the past two years, and I would suggest that you try and get it.” It was signed, “Yours in the Fellowship of Freedom, George W. Christians.”

More “bold” than this is Christians circular issued during the closing days of the Hoover administration, in which the White Shirt chieftain says in part: “Crusaders Bulletin No. 90. I hereby accuse Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, of being a traitor to the American nation. I hereby accuse Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, of being a liar and a cheat,” etc.

This undoubtedly must have stirred up some following among the more bitter anti-Hooverites. Although he flooded the presidential mail with personal communications, never a line came from the White House in reply.


Somewhat similar letters have been sent by Christians to other officials, particularly to those in Congress, and with these he has had better luck. Perhaps the most apt response from official quarters was that of Congressman Charles V. Truax of Ohio, who wrote as follows in a sort of “Now, now, Napoleon” vein:

“Dear Commander: This will acknowledge the receipt of your circular letter of February 22nd. I am in agreement with most of the things you say and hope that you will command me when I can be of service.”

Now that, in the opinion of this reporter, is the proper manner in which to handle Christians and his ilk. Unfortunately, Truax perception and sense of humor are not universal in Congress. There is Louis T. McFadden, that bitter anti-Semite of the legislative chambers who sponsors a number of Fascist and anti-Semitic movements throughout the country. It was McFadden who introduced Christians’ bill for “economic liberty.”

Christians has egged McFadden on in much the same manner as a number of poor dumb beasts who fulfill much more modest positions in life.

About the time McFadden made his famous speech calling for the impeachment of President Hoover, Christians wrote him as follows: “Congratulations on your stand against the administration. It took nerve to do that. You probably do not realize how squarely the American people are in back of you. Our calculations indicate that the MOB will be ready to move in about thirty days. Slap our Bulletin No. 90 on the table and ask why, if Hoover is honest, he doesn’t answer it. You will be greeted with a silence you can cut with a knife.”


On December 24, 1931, McFadden wrote modestly to Christians: “I have your letter of the thirtieth. My suggestion regarding the islands in the Atlantic belonging to Great Britain and France, of course, is a suggestion which I hope will be carried through by the administrative end of our Government before they agree to any cancellation or reduction and I hope may be brought into whatever discussion may take place abroad relative to this matter.”

In March, 1932, McFadden was urging Christians to take up the matter of introducing the bill for Economic Liberty with “McFadden’s sugar daddy” (as Christians put it). Before that, however, McFadden confided as follows to Christians:

“Dec. 24: Dear Mr. Christians: I have received your several letters and enclosures and I want to thank you sincerely for writing me as you have. I have been trying to do my bit to arouse the American people as to the seriousness of the situation in which we are involved and are becoming more deeply involved. I shall not falter but continue to do what I believe to be for the best interests of our country. Your words of encouragement are very much appreciated.”

On May 23, 1932, Chrissy wrote this friendly bit of consolation to McFadden: “I imagine you are having a rather tough time of it for letting our bill slip through. You haven’t seen anything yet. Mass meetings are being set up everywhere. I hope they will be orderly, but tension is high in some places.”


Well, nothing much was done about the bill during that session, but on March 30 the sterling patriot from Pennsylvania wrote in part to his buddy in Chattanooga:

“May I call your attention to the fact that HR11898 died with the last session. Are there any changes in the bill before it is reintroduced? Let me know. I am interested to note what you say the Governor of Georgia is about to do. I shall be glad to know the results.

“So far as I am able to interpret public opinion at the present moment it has been and still is quite back of the ‘new deal.’ I can see some indications, however, of growing unrest as to whether or not the activities are going to help solve the difficulties that the country is in. With Best Regards I am Sincerely Yours.”

On April 21, 1933, Dictator Christians wired McFadden briefly: “Send me that Congressional mailing list quick.” On April 22 he asked about reintroduction of his bill, and three days later McFadden replied:

“Your letter of April 22 is received with enclosures as stated. I may offer the bill on a motion to recommit the farm relief bill, which will contain in all probabilities the Thomas inflationary plan of the President. I can do this, providing some member of the committee, having in charge the bill, who may be opposed to this may not offer a motion to recommit. This is for your confidential ears only. It may work and may not. We’ll see.”


Christians seems to know as much about the implications of the above message as I do—which is nothing. Beside the caution in the body of the message, McFadden marked the note “Confidential” at the top, a notation which did not deter Christians from permitting its publication. Perhaps he felt that some reader would understand its meaning and explain it. It certainly sounds tricky.

Only one other thing should be mentioned here in connection with McFadden. That is Christians letter to him dated June 2, 1934, in which, obviously, he had enclosed Truax’ letter, beginning, “Dear Commander.” Christians wrote: “See enclosed letter from Truax. I would suggest that you get one of your Republican friends to accuse him on the floor of the House of being a White Shirt and offer this as proof.”

Whether or not McFadden heeded his master’s words we can not say.

(To Be Continued Tomorrow)

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