Add Jack Roberts and Florida tv interview from post dis and bh file section 3 The fbi, cointelpro-white hate, and the Ku Klux Klan in Florida 1964-1971

COINTELPRO Operations Against the United Klans of America


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COINTELPRO Operations Against the United Klans of America

The Alabama-based United Klans of America (UKA), began recruiting in Florida in late 1964, and was led by UKA headquarters appointee Donald Cochran of Jacksonville. UKA activity was initially limited to the Jacksonville area, with organizing relatively unsuccessful in other parts of the state. The UFKKK New Smyrna Beach unit for example, affiliated with the UKA in 1965. As late as summer 1965, only about 100 Florida Klansmen had affiliated with the group. As of June, when four hundred people turned out for a UKA rally and parade in Wildwood, six klaverns existed in Fort Lauderdale. By September, Cothran organized three Broward County Klaverns as well as a fifteen-member unit in Miami. Small units were added in Ocala and other central Florida areas. HUAC counted twenty-seven UKA Klaverns operating at one time or another during the period 1964-1966. As of 1967, the Florida UKA had approximately 400 members.194

The first COINTELPRO operations against the Florida UKA was launched when the Golden Eagle Klavern left the UFKKK for the UKA in late 1964. Agents mailed an anonymous letter to Robert Shelton citing rumors that [7] was embezzling funds.195

Agents provided information on the criminal background of [7], who had been investigated by the San Diego and Long Beach police departments.196 Agents provided info on an initiation ceremony Miami klavern to police and the DCSO so that police might show up and obtain license tag numbers and deter people from joining the Klan. Police set up roadblocks, and six individuals were identified and a Miami Klan member was issued a ticket for driving without a license. Combined with a newspaper report identifying Joe Siddons as the owner of the house where the meeting was to take place, this raised suspicions among Miami Klansmen that here was an informer in their midst.197

Suspicion about informers aggravated existing political tensions between Grand Dragon Donald Cochran and a Klansman named Charles Riddle Hoover. Ridlehoover had joined the UKA in April 1965, and became a Grand Titan. Riddlehoover complained that Cochran had mismanaged Klan funds and used dictatorial methods to maintain power, as exemplified by the staging of a mock election to hand pick his Klan Officers. In an October 1965 meeting at Ft. Pierce, the Melbourne, Miami, Ft Lauderdale and Jacksonville units voted to replace Cochran as Grand Dragon with Riddlehoover and elected a slate of new officers. In response, Cochran suspended Riddlehoover, Albert T. Massey, Joe Bedford, and Roy Peacock. Political and financial disputes came to a head after Shelton supported Cochran. Riddlehoover, Miami Exalted Cyclops Jack Grantham, Klan officer Albert T. Massey, Grand Klabee Leon Aspinwell, and one hundred Miami Klansmen, broke from the UKA and formed a new group in Melbourne called United Knights of the KKK Inc. (UKKKK).198

The fallout from this controversy caused internal problems for the UKA.199 Robert Shelton made several trips to Ft. Lauderdale and Central Florida to speak at Klan rallies in summer and fall 1965. On December 12, he cancelled UKA State elections in Florida and appointed North Carolina Klan organizers Boyd Hamby and George Dorsett to administer Klan affairs in the state. The two organizers set up a new UKA Headquarters in Titusville.200

COINTELPRO targeted the UKKKK because Riddlehoover had a “propensity for violence.” Riddlehoover was a militant who had discussed "commission of acts of violence such as burnings of automobiles and cross burnings." The FBI also targeted Riddlehoover however, in order to discredit Klan activity in general:
The UKKKK is not a powerful Klan organization, however, the general public does not make the distinctions we do. Therefore, and in the event [Riddlehoover] is convicted, mass media coverage of same would mitigate against all Klan organizations.201
FBI officials alerted the Dade County Sheriff’s Office that Riddlehoover had a prior felony conviction in Georgia and that he carried a firearm while traveling. The Sheriff’s Office instituted an intensive investigation of the Dade County Klan and Riddlehoover was caught when his car was pulled over by deputies. He was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.202

Police charged the driver, Miami Exalted Cyclops Harold "Jack" Grantham, with careless driving and seized a box of UKKKK material. Riddlehoover protested police tactics, whereas Grantham became extremely upset, contemplated abandoning Klan activities, and shot himself. The Sheriff issued a press release that exposed the names of all 15 of the organization's officers. The arrest and expose was widely publicized, and the Klan records were reprinted in the HUAC Hearings Report.203 Before October 1965, it had seemed that Riddlehoover might well take the whole Florida UKA membership, except for a few Cochran loyalists, into his United Knights. The publicity surrounding his arrest, however, restricted his organizing activities, and Riddlehoover only ever managed to organize one klavern. Located in the Broward County community of Davie, the Broward Fellowship Club held about fifty active members in Broward and Dade counties.204 Riddlehoover subsequently devoted his time to the NSRP.205

Nevertheless, FBI executives planned to mail newspaper articles regarding the arrest to Riddlehoover, if he managed to gain employment.206 When a black man who had bought his home from Riddlehoover advised that the neighborhood had been pre-dominantly Jewish at the time of the purchase, agents undertook an investigation into Riddlehoover's ethnicity. The Atlanta, Los Angeles and Phoenix field offices were enlisted to research family birth and death records, INS records and marriage records to ascertain whether Riddlehoover's parents had been married in a synagogue.207 In August, the UKKKK held a joint rally with the National States Rights Party at Vero Beach near Winter Park Florida. Media sources were alerted that Riddlehoover was slated to be the principal speaker.208 Agents then furnished copies of press reports about the rally to Dade County authorities, in order to "be of assistance in affirming the court's decision regarding [Riddlehoover's] conviction on a firearms violation."209 Riddlehoover was almost fired from his job after his picture appeared in newspapers, and fear of further publicity curtailed subsequent UKKKK activity.210

In 1967, an appellate court ruled that "It is evident that the pretext of a minor traffic violation was used to stop and search . . . without a search warrant," and reversed Riddlehoover's firearm possession conviction. "When the primary purpose of an arrest appears to have been a pretext for making an unrelated exploratory search of the defendant or his car, the search is not justified," the court ruled.211 This decision had some effect on COINTELPRO tactics, as three weeks later FBI executives denied a proposal to have UKA Eau Gallie Klavern members arrested for weapons violations through routine traffic stops.212

Nevertheless, by September 1966, despite renewed recruiting efforts, the UKKKK was inert. Two rallies featuring evangelical Christian Identity preacher Connie Lynch that month attracted 35 and 37 people respectively. An October 15 rally featuring Lynch, NSRP Director Edward Fields, and Albert T Massey in Jacksonville, drew 125-150 people, but two days later, only 50-75 people attended a rally led by Massey and Wilson.213

Miami agents also targeted Riddlehoover's associate Leon Stephen Flynn, a militant who had been involved in demonstrations, cross burnings and vandalism. Flynn had registered to vote despite the fact that he was a convicted felon. Agents alerted the State's Attorney's office though a trusted source so that it might open an investigation.214 Flynn was arrested in February 1967 and resulting newspaper publicity exposed his record. Although the charge was eventually dropped, the arrest allowed New Jersey authorities to locate Flynn and force him to him pay delinquent child support for his three illegitimate children. This scandal was, of course, also publicized and by March 1967, Flynn was no longer active.215

From the records seized from Grantham and Riddlehoover, Miami agents had discovered that one active Klansman was also the senior vice commandant of a veteran’s organization called the National Marine Corps League.216 A charter member of the Fort Lauderdale UKA klavern #4, Edward Twist III had been "instrumental in organizing local Klaverns in Broward County.” His father, Edward Twist Jr., was a UKA security guard and an "agitator for the Klan."217 Agents also mailed a copy of a photograph of Twist in Klan robes to the Marine Corps League, along with a letter from a “disgusted Marine.” The “Marine” opinioned that " it is a disgrace that a despicable man like [Bureau deletion], extremely active in Ku Klux Klan” should represent their organization.218 After Miami and Ft. Lauderdale newspapers published a number of articles exposing the Klan affiliation and criminal records of Twist, his father, and his brothers, a bar owned by Edward Twist received a number of telephone bomb threats. Twist was reprimanded by the NMCL and, calling the Klan subversive, resigned from the UKA. and encouraged other Klansmen to follow his lead. Please with these results, Bureau executive directed their agents in Miami to attempt to remove Twist’s father from his employment.219 All four klaverns in Dade and Broward counties decided to discontinue meetings for an indefinite period.220

In January 1966, outside HUAC hearings, Robert Shelton announced that the UKA would soon launch a recruiting drive in Florida.221 Within two weeks, North Carolina Klansmen Rev. George Dorsett and Boyd Hamby, a member of the UKA Imperial Board, held four rallies in Cocoa Beach. Sheriff’s deputies had issued fifty-two citations for faulty license tag lights at a rally in West Melbourne a few months before. Declaring that “We don’t want their breed in our county,” and that he would let the Klan “know who the sheriff is,” Brevard County Sheriff Leigh Wilson again set up roadblocks around the Cocoa Beach site, to conduct “drivers license and safety checks.” Only fifty people turned up at the first rally, and attendance figures were between 40 and 80 over the next two nights. Boyd Hamby was cited for faulty brake equipment. Dorsett was refused the following night, when he asked a FBI agent to intervene with the sheriff. Visibly upset, Dorsett fifty-five minutes of his hour-long speech complaining about the “intimidation and harassment.” He warned Wilson to “Get off his back,” insulted the sheriff’s mother, and threatened to beat him. Hamby and Melbourne Klavern Exalted Cyclops George Canada also spoke out against the sheriff.222

About 80 people attended a January 30 rally in Scottsmoor.223 Mid-February rallies in Winter Beach, where Virginia Grand Dragon Marshall Kornegay introduced the theme that the Jews were financing the United States Government, attracted about 100 people.224 Rallies held in Scottsmoor between February 18 and 20 brought more citations and denunciations. Someone kicked out a parking light on a police car. Dorsett, who continued to insult the sheriff personally, also now felt compelled to warn the 75 people in attendance to check their automobile lights before leaving the rally. He announced that much as he would like to continue campaigning in Florida, he would have to leave on other business.225

According to FBI surveillance reports, a March 5 rally in Largo brought in 250 people, but raised little enthusiasm among locals for contributions membership applications.226 Only 60 attended a rally in Malabar on March 19 and 75-100 on March 20, and Hamby announced that he would be returning home to North Carolina. 227 Bureau reports also indicate increasing frustration among UKA recruiters. In March 1966, as Klan rally attendance in Miami also declined precipitously, Boyd Hamby blamed sheriff Leigh Wilson for intimidating people by checking cars in the vicinity.228 In May, he also criticized the HUAC.229 Tension was evident at an informal rally that June in Summerfield, where all 75 Klansmen and women carried guns. Reportedly, “a deputy sheriff asked Klansmen to help to flush Negroes from the surrounding woods.”230

In June, as rally attendance increased dramatically, Klan spokesmen began lambasting the FBI.231 Boyd Hamby mentioned Special Agent John R. Palmer by name and claimed (falsely according to the Special Agent in charge) that a UKA security guard had caught an FBI agent audio-taping a rally.232 At a June 3, 1966 rally in Titusville, Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton professed respect for FBI as “fine department,” reserving his venom for Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. North Carolina-Virginia Klan organizer Marshall Kornegay however, criticized the FBI and FBI agents.233

When Broward County klaverns resumed meeting once again in early 1966, Miami FBI agents provided information regarding the date of a joint klavern meeting of the three remaining klaverns in the county, to the Chief of Police in Ft. Lauderdale. The police alerted the media to arrive shortly after the arrests, so as not to make it appear that it had all been coordinated.234 On April 18, police set up a roadblock of "all possible exits" from the Seaway Engineering Company in Ft. Lauderdale, where the meeting took place. Fourteen automobiles were examined for "safe operation" and two citations were issued.235 Police alerted the media, which set up cameras near each of the four roadblocks, allowing them to photograph and publicly identified twenty UKA members, including Assistant Grand Dragon Daniel J. Zbin.236

Bureau agents alerted the Ft. Lauderdale News to check on the criminal backgrounds of these men, and the newspaper published the fact that Quarterman had spent 18 months in federal prison for tax evasion in 1950.237 According to FBI executive F. J. Baumgardner, the operation caused "utter chaos and confusion."238 Some Klansmen “indicated that they would never return to the building for fear of police checks,” and the “bad publicity made it extremely difficult for the Klan to raise money to meet the mortgage payment on the Klan building.”239 Dissention and mistrust grew among Broward County Klansmen, as those who had failed to attend the meeting were accused of having tipped off the police.240

That spring, a FBI informant helped to instigate a UKA investigation of Assistant Grand Dragon Daniel J. Zbin, who had shown a Ft. Lauderdale klavern building to an alien (non-Klansman) without permission. Klavern #6 locked Zbin out of the klavern and refused to allow him to attend meetings. Zbin turned over his membership card and wrote a letter of resignation to the Imperial Wizard and Grand Dragon. On April 1, the State Grand Dragon and 5 UKA state officials tried Zbin on charges that he was a Castro Communist and/or FBI informant. In his defense, Zbin stated that he had made several trips to Cuba during Fidel Castro's early stages of power, and admitted that he had been invited to dinner in the Cuban leader’s honor on occasion, but he denied that he had ever been a communist. The Grand Dragon dismissed the charges against Zbin, prompting the resignations of one of the Klansmen who had made the allegation. His own klavern and one recently elected Grand 5 however, was not satisfied with the verdict and prepared to try him again.241

In order to capitalize on developing factionalism, the FBI Exhibits section prepared a "Commies Take Over Klan" cartoon which depicted Castro holding a "Down with America" sign and Zbin holding a "Down with Niggers" sign. The cartoon was captioned, "Commie Castroite to be Appointed Top Aid of Florida United Klan of America by Grand Dragon [Bureau Deletion]."242 After the “dismal failure” of a Klan rally at Oakland park on June 5, klavern #4 EC and a State officer residing in Hollywood, blamed fellow Klansmen, including [9], for the poor turnout. Members of another ft. Lauderdale klavern announced that they would no longer meet with members of klavern #6. [9], a member of klavern 4 then switched to klavern #6, stating that he could no longer work with his former associates. Agents mailed most of the cartoons to members of Klavern #6, and did not mail any to Zbin or his associates. The cartoon caused consternation among Zbin’s supporters.243

At any rate, around June 1966, Broward County Klansmen received the first of the FBI produced Pink Postcards. They speculated that the ADL was behind the nationwide effort.244 Shelton and at least one other UKA Klansman [7] are reported to have laughed, but another Klansmen’s wife “flipped her lid” when a card arrived in the mail.245 Perhaps Klansmen were to busy with their own internal difficulties, since there is no evidence that the UKA or the UFKKK responded when hundreds of blacks rioted in Pensacola Beach, Pompano Beach, Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale? that month.246

Agents sent out 15 #2 postcards captioned “Klansmen, Which Klan Leaders are Spending Your Money Tonight?” in July.247 Twenty more varied cards were sent to Titusville, Scottsmoor and Clearwater Klansmen in August.248

Miami agents also sent leaflets entitled "Al Paredón" from Hollywood Florida in August, to thirty-five Ft. Lauderdale Klansmen, along with a photograph of Zbin arriving in Cuba.249 The leaflet read,

What does Al Paredón mean? Ask [Daniel Zbin]. He shouted this phrase many times as anti-communist Cubans went before the firing squad. Ask him about [Bureau Deletion] his Nigger roommate in Castro’s espionage school. Ask [Zbin] about his strange trips away from home. [Zbin] hopes someday to shout 'Al Paredón' at his fellow Americans.250
Zbin became convinced that a member of Klavern #4 had mailed the leaflet, and a feud developed between Zbin and his opponents, forcing Robert Shelton to request a Klan investigation. Robert Shelton criticized the management of the Florida realm at a UKA rally that August. The Grand Dragon revoked Klavern #4’s charter. Zbin resigned from his position in September, and Zbin’s klavern subsequently withdrew from the UKA.251

In October, GOP Congressional write-in candidate William Partin called upon Klavern #6 for political support, and met with Pahokee and Pompano klavern members at the Seaway Engineering building. Miami agents alerted the Ft. Lauderdale News, to expose the meeting and decrease Klan influence in County politics. 252 Although he denied that he knew that the people he’d met with were Klansmen, protesting that “I’m certainly not seeking the KKK support . . . I need it like a hole in the head,” Partin was forced to admit that he had been present at the hall. Due to the negative publicity, Klavern members began to discuss selling the building.253

In June, Miami agents had also given information to [deletion] that [5] a UKA officer and resident of [11] illegally carried a firearm and although married, was in contact with a divorcee during his travels around the state.254 Tampa agents informed a trusted police contact that [6], a Klavern officer who had previously served prison time for cattle theft, was poaching alligators in the swamps east of Melbourne, a felony crime in the state. That same night, [7] resigned from the UKA. More than a year later, Brevard County authorities arrested two Melbourne Klansmen on poaching charges, resulting in arguments over donations to defense funds.255

In the South Florida community of Vero Beach, most UKA Klansmen were employed at the Piper Aircraft Co., Inc. Although the firm's management was "completely in disagreement with any Klan activities, and has been most cooperative in furnishing personnel files for review," it "had not placed pressure on employees to drop out of Klan, possibly due to recent unionization efforts at the plant." The management evidently believed that dismissing employees on the basis of Klan affiliation "would possibly create new grounds for union activity." The FBI thus endeavored to expose the fact that most local Klansmen were Piper employees in order to "cause pressure of public sentiment for Piper to take action."256 The Klavern's meeting place as well as the identities and criminal records of officers and members were provided to a source at the Ft. Pierce Tribune.257

The criminal activity to be exposed, included "drunkenness, assault, neglect of minor children, fondling" and child molestation. Such information "will have embarrassing effect," the Miami Special Agent in Charge reasoned, because the "alleged purpose of KKK is to castigate men of the community who are involved in such offenses and do not properly care for their families."258 Six members resigned after FBI agents interviewed them and another quit after an anonymous letter was directed to his employer. Members came to believe that the FBI was bugging their meeting place, their houses and their phones, and following them constantly. The Klavern Exalted Cyclops was soon suspected of being an informant and weekly meetings ceased.259 Other members became suspicious of each other and regular meetings were ”drastically curtailed.260

By September 1966, the dropout rate in Ft Lauderdale was outpacing recruitment of new members. UKA activity had been "reduced from actions of violence and vandalism to such acts as letter writing and anonymous mailings." COINTELPRO had "practically eliminated the potentially dangerous Klansmen who could be considered as troublemakers" by utilizing Klan informants to "blackball, or otherwise eliminate individual Klansmen who are prone to instigate acts of violence."261

After four young Pahokee Klavern members beat a young man in Bell Glade in September, agents contacted the Palm Beach Post-Times.262 One Klansman lost his job and his wife separated from him because of the publicity, causing several of his cohorts to fear that similar problems would beset them.263 This recently formed group was of particular concern, because it was the fastest growing klavern in the Miami division, and several people with criminal records had joined.264 After seven men, two of them Klansmen, were arrested for gambling at the Klavern meeting hall, agents leaked material to the press that the building was a UKA meeting hall. One member was fired from his job, and his wife separated from him due to his Klan membership, raising concerns among others.265 Several Klan leaders became “extremely upset” about the adverse publicity.266

In December, the Miami office focused on this "tough Klan unit,” which must be exposed in order to prevent violence."267 Eleven of the members of this unit had prior criminal records. In the run-up to Klavern elections, Miami circulated 50 copies following handbill to selected Klan members268:

Not Wanted By No One
Yu ain't seen nothing till you seed [Bureau Deletion] Pahokee Klavern 29. [Bureau Deletion] is borned and raized in Glades and hes got plenty going for him. We calls him sweet charity because of his bad conduct fighting, gamblin, thievin. As the town drunk hes the greatest. Wes think that [Bureau Deletion] is sop outstanding that hes got all the making for bigger doings, but not in our klavern.269

The target of this leaflet, [6] had "been having trouble with [7,4]" a Klan officer, blamed him for the leaflets, and declared that he was going to "get even with [4] for preparing and sending the leaflets."270 Two Klansmen quit, and Klavern activity declined.271 By April 1967, there were not enough members left to hold regular meetings.272

By the end of 1966, the State organization was in financial straights, necessitating a fund-raising effort, the securing of loans. Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton was forced to intercede and demand proper accounting. Klan rally attendance in the Miami division was small, so donations were failing to cover rally expenses. Recruitment of new members in the Ft. Lauderdale area was nil.273 In response to the deteriorating situation in Florida and indeed, nationwide, Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton removed Florida Grand Dragon Boyd Hamby and the entire Florida UKA State officer corps on January 24, 1967. They were replaced by elections of four district Titans.274

COINTELPRO operatives had played a direct role in Shelton's removal move. Boyd Hamby was stripped of the office after he was charged with embezzling $300 in Klan funds. Under the so-called HORIP program, the Miami field office had directed "[deleted] to move for the removal of the UKA Florida Grand Dragon at the National Rally meeting" as part of a plan to "encourage the UKA Imperial Wizard to remove the UKA Florida Grand Dragon."275 A February 1 follow up report asserted, "Florida offices have sufficiently infiltrated the UKA so that the state organization can be completely captured and controlled by this Bureau."276 The Cocoa Today reported that Klan members had become “disenchanted with Hamby when they discovered he was driving a new Thunderbird auto while the Klan treasury was at a low ebb.277 J Edgar Hoover was proud of this accomplishment, and alerted Attorney General Clark about Zbin’s and Hamby’s removal.278

As high UKA officials continued to “bicker and fight over internal politics,” Robert Shelton declared that the Realm had become the nation’s worst.279 He complained that the Florida UKA was “bad business” because he had spent $800 to help pay Realm debts. Recruiting continued to falter, and income continued to fall short of expenses.280 Moreover, [8], an informant in Florida, seems to have played a role in an anti-Shelton smear campaign, by agitating over Shelton’s procrastination in removing an incompetent leader in Florida, leading to a drop in membership there.281

Meanwhile, Tampa agents took immediate steps to discredit [Richardson], a violence prone Klansman who had engaged in vandalism, as a candidate before the April elections. Richardson had circulated the charges leading to Hamby's ouster. Agents endeavored to promote other candidates from South Florida, to hasten the loss of UKA membership in the north due to previous neglect by Hamby and his kleagles.282 Richardson however, won a subsequent election Grand Titan of Province #3 in Titusville. Bob Roache, who lost to Richardson by one vote, became Vice Titan.283 The Bureau now worked to remove Richardson.284

By March, Eau Gallie Klavern membership was reduced to between five and seven, Titusville-Scottsmoor to eleven, Orlando to between nine and ten and Tampa to five.285 In April, police arrested seven Plant City Klansmen, based on information furnished by Tampa informants concerning UKA efforts to establish themselves in the Plant City area.286 In May, Melbourne police arrested four members of the Vero Beach Klavern #14, caught in the act of burning a cross in front of the interracial Tiki Club. Since it was readily apparent that a member of the Eau Gallie Klavern had tipped off police, the Klansmen became "furious.” Some Eau Gallie Klavern members indirectly accused of informing were "visibly shaken" over the indignation that was aroused.287 Charges and countercharges as well as threats, were exchanged between the Eau Gallie, Vero Beach, and Melbourne klaverns.288 FBI agents conducted interviews of two Eau Gallie Klansmen involved in the incident, facilitating their resignation from the group.289 Most Eau Gallie members quit soon afterward, prompting the UKA to revoke the Klavern’s charter in June.290 Another Klansman resigned after he received a threatening phone call from “goons.”291 Bond and court costs bankrupted the Vero Beach Klavern that month as well, placing it on the verge of dissolution.292 In May, agents alerted local law enforcement that [deletion] a fugitive Klansman charged with cross-burning in Virginia, would appear at a Fort Lauderdale Klan meeting.293

Bureau informants nurtured the growing antagonism toward [5], an Orlando Klansman who had poorly planned for a disappointing UKA rally that month.294 The NIC letter stating Shelton was removed was assumed to be factual among some Florida Klavern. In Orlando, a Klan officer produced R.I. T. letter and read a letter from Shelton that it is not to be heeded. When [10] said that all reports and monies would be sent to him until the matter was resolved, “all hell broke loose” and bitter arguments ensued.295 Similar arguments over fines and bail money beset the Orlando Klavern in July.296 In August fire destroyed an outbuilding near the Klavern, slightly damaging it. Several incidents had occurred between Klansmen and teenagers the previous evening, prompting one UKA Province official to urge violent retribution.297

Brevard County deputies endeavoring to secure a photograph of [Davis], a member of the Titusville klavern and an associate of [11] noticed that he was carrying a concealed weapon and arrested him.298 More importantly, John Davis and William Richardson, who had terrorized members of the Eau Gallie Klavern, were charged for the blackjack beating of two teenagers in St. Cloud Florida in July. The publicity caused consternation among Klansmen, allowing the Bureau to pursue a counterintelligence effort to oust him.299 The FBI provided five photographs to police so that the victims could identify their attackers.300 Agents alerted same/Tampa? police that Klansmen who had been involved in a beating and shooting two months earlier were planning more violence, resulting in arrests.301

At a July 16 Unit 12, Orlando meeting, the Exalted Cyclops, advised that recruitment was being stalled due to Richardson's reputation. An argument ensued and "[Carter?] told members of this unit that they were to make no donations to [Richardson], pay his fines or bail moneys or attorney's fees."302 A petition calling for Richardson's ouster circulated in all twenty-seven counties. It accused him of destroying Klan prestige with his arrests, improper accounting for Klan funds, illegally disbanding the Eau Gallie klavern, recklessly carrying and displaying guns, and causing young Klansmen to commit offenses. Norman Carter, former Klaliff of Brevard County and leader of the Eau Gallie klavern, maintained that Richardson's Titusville followers had threatened his life, and that the current leadership "has everybody disgusted."303 After Richardson’s wife received a letter accusing him of committing adultery, and Richardson declared that Carter was banished for having violated the Klan bylaws and broken the Klan oath.304 [In response, Carter quit the UKA in March 1968, claiming to the FBI that he would do all possible to encourage young men to get out of the UKA.].305 One informant now described Richardson as "one of the most hated members of the Klan in the state. . . . They feel that all that has been accomplished since he took office was that several Klan members had been beaten and several others injured." Members of the Orlando unit would not let him enter town.306

The Brevard County Klan, which had boasted 100 members at the height of Hamby’s organizing drive one year earlier, was now down to 15 members.307 The Plant City Klavern picked up members, but dissention was reported among them and Lake Wales Klavern members. By October, the Brevard County unit, which had once been the UKA state Headquarters, had less than twenty members.308 In November, there were only three UKA Klaverns left in the Tampa division with a total membership of forty-five.309 UKA membership had dropped thirty-three percent between October and year's end.310

UFKKK membership was dropping by twenty-five percent during this period, prompting a UFKKK, Orlando officer to write to the newspapers that August and explain that Richardson was not affiliated with the UFKKK, but with the UKA. A fire had meanwhile destroyed an outbuilding and slightly damaged the main building at the UKA's Orlando property. The “Florida Pioneer Club,” the Klavern’s front name while still affiliated with the UFKKK, officially owned the buildings but the UKA paid the utilities and property taxes.311 In order to exploit the differences between the UFKKK and UKA and undermine Richardson the FBI divulged "crude and obscene” content of the UKA leader's rally speech to Orlando station WFTV.312 Editorials appeared that condemned the Klan and Bureau agents conducted more interviews, creating uproar and confusion among now demoralized Orlando Klansmen.313

In October, a bank foreclosed on Richardson's house, his former wife filed non-support charges and his driver's license was seized after a speeding ticket pushed his point total beyond the twelve-month limit. Liens on his equipment disabled operation of his contracting business, his automobile was repossessed and he was arrested for disturbing the peace and forced to post a $350 bond after refusing to lower the volume on a loudspeaker at a UKA rally. On the way home from the rally, Richardson, Tony Caudell and Fred Caudell of the Orlando Klavern were arrested for carrying concealed weapons and discharging a shotgun without a permit. Richardson had shot at a group of teenagers in another car who had been chasing his wife and daughters. By December, Richardson was incarcerated and being held without bond on charges of contempt and non-support. All of these incidents received extensive publicity.314 The three existing Klaverns in Brevard County, at Titusville, Cocoa and Melbourne now possessed a combined membership of 45. Since the Melbourne Klavern had never been a source of vigilante violence and the “fragile” Cocoa Klavern had not yet been chartered, agents now planned to interview Titusville klavern members and encourage them to drop out.315

On December 6, agents sent a letter charging the UKA with tactical mistakes, to cause divisiveness.316 By mid-December, due to the actions of informers the Lake Wales Klavern had disbanded and UKA membership had been reduced by one-third. A Plant City Klavern member resigned, citing FBI questioning.317 By the end of January 1968, due to the efforts of an informant, the Cocoa Klavern had disbanded and the Titusville Klavern had been reduced to four active members.318 One member was soon arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear on an aggravated traffic charge, after agents provided his whereabouts to the Brevard County police.319

After the UFKKK’s Plant City Klavern broke up over allegations of sexual misconduct by one member with the wife of another, some of the members moved over to a newly organized UKA Klavern in Tampa. The leader of this new group, called a new group he called the Citizens of the Invisible Empire (COIE), was a militant racist who had organized for the NSRP. Since he had been previously arrested on numerous criminal charges, agents sent letter to someone advising him to “check up on the fondler and past burglar.”320 A second letter was sent to his employer.321 Within a month, [7] had stepped down and meetings were no longer being held in his home.322

Through the use of mass media, local law enforcement officials and informants in the counterintelligence program against Richardson, "a new awareness to the potential dangers of the Klan's activities [had come] to the public and law enforcement," according to the Tampa Special Agent in Charge:
No longer is it difficult to obtain cooperation from local law enforcement officials in taking preventative action against the Klan and the various mass media now willingly take material regarding Klan activities, due to the fact that the public is now interested in reading and hearing about the Klan.323
The Orlando Inter-racial Advisory Board condemned the Klan and urged “that every effort be taken to dissuade, discourage and oppose the KKK in is activities in this area.” It called upon all law enforcement authorities to maintain surveillance over the organization and to “prevent and punish severely violations of existing laws.”324 In late 1966 for example, when a Klansman was convicted of running a red light, details of his arrest and his photograph and appeared in a local paper.325

Thus, an article in the Tampa Tribune exposed ties between Klansmen and the NSRP.326 FBI agents had launched an ambitious campaign to expose and discredit the NSRP, a vehemently anti-Jewish organization that excoriated the FBI in its publications.327 Local FBI field office agents provided Miami television station WKCT with NSRP literature, information about the identity, residence, and employment of a local NSRP activist, and the name of a knowledgeable policeman who was available for interview. The Baltimore field office sent along information on recent race riots that ensued after NSRP agitators held rallies in that city. WKCT utilized this material to compile a thirty-minute documentary on what the program narrator termed “professional haters.” Photographs of local activists, their places of employment, and their criminal records were broadcast, and allegations about involvement in bombings were discussed.328 Broward County NSRP officer Joe Carrol was interviewed, and violent rhetoric from speeches by Connie Lynch and California State NSRP Director Neuman Britain, was quoted and broadcast. Jesse B. Stoner was quoted as having called “Federal Bureau of Integration” agents “dirty mangy dogs,” and J. Edgar Hoover a homosexual and “Jew-dominated communist.” Hitler,” he said, had been “too moderate” with regard to the Jews. University of Miami psychiatry professor Grnaville Fuisher provided his analysis of the group’s motives, arguing that “hate, violence and a destructive attitude” against “scapegoats” constituted the “venting” of an emotional response to “frustration” over social status.329

The chairman of the State Committee of the Republican Party requested a special screening of the documentary for his staff and officials of the Anti-Defamation League. School districts requested copies for use in the classroom.330 Newspaper editorials celebrated the program and censured the NSRP.331 One writer declared that such “extremists” should be silenced:

[They are] insane radicals . . . you and I had to fight a war because of them. . . Hitler only had 20% of the German people. It can happen here. . . .most have prison records. . . .These men are just as great a danger to our way of life as are the Rap Browns who holler for death and violence against white people. . . .[They are] a definite threat to our national security and our families.332

In the months after the program aired, the featured activist stopped attending NSRP meetings, and the three NSRP chapters that had existed in Broward County all folded. 333

WKCT-TV has also emphasized links between the NSRP and the South Florida Klan, and the station also asked the Bureau for material for it’s interview of Robert Shelton. Delighted with the NSRP exposé, FBI executives were happy to oblige.334 While this program was being prepared, Miami Herald editorialist Mike Morgan condemned Klansmen as “un-American” for taking the Fifth Amendment before HUAC.335 In January 1967, agents provided material to the Ft. Pierce Tribune, resulting in an editorial that ridiculed Klan ideology and warned against the danger of bigotry and vigilante justice.336 In October 1967, WKCT prepared another program entitled "KKK -- A Change of Linen."337 The FBI provided information on UKA-related violence in North Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi. 338 The exposé was "prepared on a confidential basis primarily from Bureau approved and supplied public source information." The Miami Special Agent in Charge (SAC) described the program as "a refutation of the UKA claim to respectability and law abidingness."339 “Sensitive to its public image,” according to the narrator, the UKA had erected a “fascade of respect” by “disclaiming violence and emphasizing patriotism.”340

When confronted by the fact that UKA members had been arrested and convicted of crimes, Shelton discounted Justice Department statistics. FBI informants, maintaining that prosecutors “buy off pimps,” who “sold their souls for thirty pieces of silver.” He complained about harassment and intimidation by Civil Rights Division attorneys. The narrator described Robert Shelton as a "convicted criminal currently released on bond arising from his Contempt of Congress conviction," exposed the fact that he was paid a $20,000 annual salary by the UKA, and presented HUAC’s accusation that Shelton duped Klan members by opening bank accounts under ficticious names.341

In response to Shelton’s protest that “we are not hatemongers and bigots,” the program quoted patently racist and anti-Semitic statements made by Klan officials and photographs of race-baiting materials printed on UKA presses and distributed at Klan rallies. Shelton maintained that the United Klans of America was unrelated to the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which the Attorney General had placed on his list of subversive organizations in 1946, but the narrator pointed out that UKA reprinted and distributed KKKK materials. The program emphasized a UKA-NSRP tie-in, highlighting the fact that while three Klansmen had recently left the UKA to join the “more militant, hate spewing” NSRP, convicted felon Robert Quarterman “now prints NSRP material on a printing press that he shares” with Broward County EC Fred Kiefer.342

The "cleverly designed" program also exposed sixteen Florida Klansmen, providing photographs and film, as well as information about their backgrounds, places of employment and "social standing in their communities."343 It identified sixteen people, including Don Stevens, Klaliff of Klavern #6 Ft Lauderdale and general manager of a firm owned by the city’ s former Mayor, Cy Young. The program exposed two Klansmen’s arrest and conviction records, as well as Walter Karlstead’s attempts to recruit Boy Scouts into the Klan and Don Knight’s work for his employer’s unsuccessful County Commission campaign.344

The narrator pointed out that no engineers worked for Seaway Engineering and that all of the organization’s officers and directors were active Broward County UKA klavern members, and described the Klan altar inside the Headquarters. Caught on film while exiting a Klan meeting at the Seaway building, Exaulted Cyclops Fred Kiefer was forced to admit that the UKA used the building. While all the other attended endeavored to avoid the camera while exiting the meeting, Daniel Zbin admitted that he and “another Klansman” had gone to Cuba on business shortly after Castro assumed power. The narrator closed with the comment that “We cant confirm” whether there was “more to the trip than meets the eye.”345

The program closed with an admonition that “actions, not image is what counts” and editorialized that “if the linen of Klansmen has changed, it is still dirty.” While “federal authorities will hurt these men, our neighbors, by stripping the veil of secrecy,” the narrator entreated, it is up to local citizens to prevent “hate organizations from functioning as legitimate representatives of the community.” He advised that citizens make Klansmen’s employers aware of their dissaproval of “those who through violence and bigotry would destroy the ideals on which our nation is founded.”346 The Miami Herald commended WKCT the program and condemned the Klan’s “same tired, shabby, bigoted line.”347

After program aired, a local carpenter's union brought charges against one Jesse Taylor to have him expelled "inasmuch as Klan membership is inconsistent with union membership." One Walter Carsted, who was also identified in the documentary, fell under investigation by the Boy Scouts for having "attempted to furnish Klan propaganda without parental consent." The exposé also prompted State Attorney General Earl Faircloth to call a press conference and order an investigation of "Seaway Consultants, Inc." the KKK front organization led by Daniel Zbin in South Florida.348

The exposé had also indicated that Seaway had engaged in "sale or transfer of securities within the firm."349 Under Florida securities law, sale of more than five shares required registration with the Secretary of State as a public corporation with the right to offer stock for sale to the public. The Attorney General instructed the Florida State Securities Commission to seek out irregularities under State incorporation laws.350 The Bureau alerted media outlets about the hearings. Klavern #6 member John Gettinger threatened to strike a Channel 7 cameraman for taking his photograph outside the Committee hearings, an incident which received extensive coverage on the evening news. Klansmen who had cooperated with WKCT in preparing the program came under severe criticism from their brethren, and infighting resulted.351

FBI agents then worked with allies in WKCT and the Ft. Lauderdale News, to notify the Florida Securities Commission about the impending sale of a Klan building to the Broward Elevator Company.352 They also made an anonymous call to the company alleging "complications in the impending sale" due to the fact that "clear title to the property may not be obtained inasmuch as the corporation is under investigation for irregularities in its corporate contract."353 The Miami SAC anticipated "that Seaway Engineering, Inc. will be placed under severe financial strain if they do not sell this property which has been operating at a loss and will thus adversely affect the UKA."354

Robert Shelton accused the Florida Attorney General of "persecuting" the KKK at a December 1967 rally in Fort Lauderdale.355 Internal dissension arose over "what dispositions should be made of moneys belonging to Seaway and in what manner persons purchasing stock will be reimbursed," and "considerable animosity" arose among the leaders of Ft. Lauderdale Klavern #6.356 Disruption was thus engendered despite the fact that County Solicitor James Balsigar ultimately concluded that insufficient evidence existed for a prosecution.357 A general decline in Klan activities had taken place, including the complete disbandment of Vero Beach and Pahokee and the failure of a Klavern in Moore Haven.358 On the other hand, some disenchanted members of Klavern #6 began to turn toward the militant Minutemen paramilitary organization.359

In November 1967 an individual named Roderick George Hunsinger shot an enlisted soldier in the back and killed him after a fistfight over a barroom pool game. Hunsinger was not a Klan member at the time, but FBI agents ensured that newspapers exposed the fact that a local Klan leader had gone to the police station to ask if he could do anything on Hunsinger's behalf.360 Informants advised that media publicity "totally demolished the image of the UKA in South Florida"361 By November 1967 the South Florida UKA retained only three Klaverns with a total membership of forty-five. By December UKA membership had decreased 33 percent.362

In January 1968, NSRP organizer named Fowler began working with the remnants of the UFKKKK in Jacksonville to set up a “White Man’s Church.”363 Fowler trial scheduled for Jan 69 for assaulting a federal officer, so keep counterintelligence in abeyance of send letter to creditors.364 To disrupt the June 1969 NSRP Convention in Jacksonville, Bureau agents sent a letter from a concerned white citizen of Jacksonville to the manager of the Holiday Inn, warning him that “negro hoodlums” might hear that his inn planned to host the convention.365 A representative contacted the FBI to express “considerable concern” and stated that he was referring the matter to the Sheriff’s office.366

In March, agents sent a long letter to Klansmen in Georgia and Alabama, as well as about 53 Klansmen residing in North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Virginia. Sent to Klan officers, Klansmen who had expressed dissatisfaction with Shelton’s leadership, Klansmen who could be expected to inform Shelton about the letter, and poor Klansmen, the letter attacked Robert Shelton and other Imperial Officers for misusing UKA income. The letter alleged that they were using UKA money to support four families, providing them with “fine homes, automobiles, a private airplane, and paid vacations to Florida.”367 The letter pointed out that Shelton’s home klavern at Tuscaloosa Alabama, “is almost inactive,” and asked, “Did you know that many of the klaverns in Alabama have folded up and are inactive?” “Many of [the UKA’s] most valuable leaders,” it declared, “have resigned in disgust.”368

By July, the Vero Beach and Pahokee Klaverns had disbanded and an attempt to form a Moore Haven Klavern had failed.369

In October 1967, the FBI had also alerted a Probation officer so that he could demand that [8], one of his assignees, immediately cease his efforts to join the Okeechobee # 29 Klavern, and thereby create friction within the Klavern. In November, the Klavern rejected [8]’s application.370 Agents also 1967 contacted [Bureau deletion] and provided information that this person’s son [7], a prospective Klan, who was planning to make false testimony. The son resigned and Klavern #32 Sebring, which was holding meetings at Okeechobee, had to find new location.371 The FBI also sent two letters to Governor Kirk informing him that [5] an employee of a school, was an active officer in the Okeechobe Klavern.372

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