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Originally published November 26 2014

FBI letter urging MLK to commit suicide finally revealed in its entirety

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) A once-heavily redacted letter sent by the FBI to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., before his death reveals that the nation's premier federal law enforcement agency once urged the civil rights leader to commit suicide.

As reported by Beverly Gage, a professor in American history at Yale, in The New York Times:

When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received this letter, nearly 50 years ago, he quietly informed friends that someone wanted him to kill himself - and he thought he knew who that someone was. Despite its half-baked prose, self-conscious amateurism and other attempts at misdirection, King was certain the letter had come from the F.B.I. Its infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, made no secret of his desire to see King discredited. A little more than a decade later, the Senate's Church Committee on intelligence overreach confirmed King's suspicion.

'You are done'

Gage said that King received the letter - which was headed simply and disrespectfully "KING" - may have been sent with an audiotape, which the letter described as "immoral conduct" in action.

"Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure," the letter demanded, concluding with the issuance of a deadline of 34 days "before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

"There is only one thing left for you to do," the letter's author warns rather subtly in the final paragraph. "You know what it is."

"You are done," it says. "There is but one way out you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

As Gage notes, the letter is a classic example of how Hoover's FBI had gotten completely out of control.

Until recently, the only versions of the letter - so-called the "suicide letter" - available in public were all heavily redacted. But Gage ran across a full copy of it while researching a biography of Hoover among a set of reprocessed official and confidential files of his at the National Archives.

She writes:

The uncovered passages contain explicit allegations about King's sex life, rendered in the racially charged language of the Jim Crow era. Looking past the viciousness of the accusations, the letter offers a potent warning for readers today about the danger of domestic surveillance in an age with less reserved mass media.

King got in Hoover's sights in 1961 - and in the sights of then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy - because the civil rights leader's most trusted white advisor, Stanley Levison, was once a Community Party insider. Levison's background led Kennedy to approve wiretaps on his home and office in 1962, and the Kennedy White House advised King to let loose of Levison, who served King as a ghostwriter and fundraiser.

But as surveillance would confirm, King did not take the White House's advice; about the same time, King had begun to criticize FBI practices in the South, and specifically accused Hoover of a failure to enforce civil rights law and indulging racist practices of Southern police officers.

'Ability to do the wrong thing'

After King's 1963 march on Washington, D.C., the FBI extended its surveillance to him as well, wiretapping his office and hotel rooms. Hoover did not learn anything much about Communist influences, but he found out quite a bit about King's extramarital sex life, though it was an open secret in his inner circle.

Gage further reported:

Hoover and the Feds seem to have been genuinely shocked by King's behavior. Here was a minister, the leader of a moral movement, acting like "a tom cat with obsessive degenerate sexual urges," Hoover wrote on one memo. In response, F.B.I. officials began to peddle information about King's hotel-room activities to friendly members of the press, hoping to discredit the civil rights leader. To their astonishment, the story went nowhere.

King's stature only continued to elevate. The Civil Rights Act passed Congress in 1964, and just months later, King became the youngest man ever to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. The notoriety only led Hoover to publicly denounce King as "the most notorious liar in the country," and to step up his intimidation campaign against him.

Gage says current FBI Director James Comey keeps a copy of the King wiretap request on his desk as a reminder of his agency's ability to do the wrong thing.


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