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Friday, July 13, 2007

CIA directs our culture - Still

The CIA is laughing, because they are got their way, and no consequences were taken apart
from the movie and some kaffafel in the media.

We need to check into our recent history for the subversive cultural influence of big money and secret clubs.

In France and Germany they did... on public TV in the best broadcasting slot.

Heinrich Boell: "State Directed"



(Own report) - The German writer Heinrich Boell had worked for several front organizations of the US secret service. This is alleged in a TV documentation of the French-German television channel ARTE, which was introduced to the press in Berlin. "We all worked for the CIA", admitted the former business administrator of the base of cultural operations in Cologne, that enlisted Boell's services for CIA actions all over Europe. But this background was unknown. It was believed that the Ford Foundation (USA) was doing the financing. Also Boell's colleague, Guenter Grass, who was interviewed in the film, considers improbable that Boell was deliberately engaged in CIA activity. As proven by documents in the film, the CIA paid Boell's travel expenses. It also subsidized appearances in the international cultural scene of various other writers. Boell "was a diamond in the CIA's collection", says the author of the film in a discussion with
A reconstruction of the relationship to the CIA, that the future Nobel laureate and eponym of the Green Party's foundation [1], can be traced back to the beginning of the 50s. At that time, the little known Boell was invited to West Berlin for readings where he became involved with the milieu of the (West) "German front organizations (...) in the Battle of the Cultures".[2] They are said to have been directed by the CIA.
It was further reported, that these contacts congealed into Boell's becoming a regular member of a CIA front organization. Their couriers contacted intellectuals in Poland, the Soviet Union and in the GDR and supplied them with material from the west. This is how dissidents were recruited and presented to the international public during Boell's subsequent trips to the eastern bloc countries. Boell is said to have made reports about his trips, that landed on the desk of the CIA's base of cultural operations in Cologne - in the publishing house of the former Kiepenheuer and Witsch, a reputable address for German and international literature.
Given this secret service background, the film says, the expulsion of the Soviet writer and dissident, Alexander Solschenizyn, appears in a new light. Solschenizyn was briefly arrested in Moscow in 1974, and expelled to Cologne, where he was cared for by Heinrich Boell. This arrangement was reached through intervention of the German foreign ministry. Boell likewise was active on behalf of Yugoslav dissidents, using his position in the international PEN Club. He was considered to be an incorruptible democrat and an author, independent of the state. But, according to the documentation, Boell was in fact active for the objectives of the US government, and its West German partners. Boell was regarded as so important, in the milieu of the CIA's base of cultural operations in Cologne, that he was offered the chairmanship.
According to a program information of ARTE [3], the "most important representatives of West German journalism and publishing world" convened in the Cologne circle. An internal objective was to restrain, above all, leftist intellectuals from "yielding to Marxist temptations" [4] and neutralize their journalistic influence. "(H)ighranking (...) contacts (...) to editors of all major TV stations" was to avail a public of a million viewers to the German influence agents of the CIA.[5] The CIA's undercover agents succeeded "superbly" in "obtaining access to the microphones and cameras of the public radio and TV broadcast institutions and dominating the social-democratic educational press."[6]
As the documentation demonstrates, the CIA's bases of cultural operations in Cologne, (West) Berlin, Munich and Hamburg were directed by US agents, camouflaged as associates of the "Congress for Cultural Freedom" in Paris. This uncontested assertion has already been published by the London author, Frances Stonor Saunders, in her book, "Who Paid the Piper?"[7] She presented corresponding documents from US archives, showing that, among the personnel of this organization, were internationally famous writers, artists and intellectuals. The organization's network included Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In these countries cultural magazines were published with CIA financing, whose true origins remained unknown to the public. Also in the Arab world as well as in Africa, the CIA extended its subsidiaries, in search of perspective agents among the intellectuals. Promising candidates were led to the CIA center in Paris with scholarships and other privileges.
"The German, European and international public have all been deceived for decades. What had seemed to be a non-state dispute over politics and culture, was in fact being directed by the state", the film's author stated at the press conference in Berlin. "Writers such as Boell were systematically deployed by the CIA."


From Momus we find discussion of a documentary by Hans-Rüdiger Minow regarding the CIA sponsorship of the Avante-garde in Post-war Europe as a stand against the Soviets. Blame the CIA for Abstract Expressionism. As Gunter Grass put it "The ideology of the CIA was that the West had to be the most modern of the modern". Interesting to say the least. I'm hoping we can see an English language version sometime.


The CIA calls the tune and the tune is called freedom

On November 29th Arte television aired When the CIA Infiltrated Culture, a documentary based on three years of research into a secret, highly ambitious "Marshall Plan of culture": the CIA's efforts to promote "the freedom of individual choice" in postwar Europe by... subsidizing the arts.

Using front organizations like the Farfield Foundation and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, the CIA channelled millions of dollars into the European cultural scene during the 1950s and 60s in an attempt to alter the intellectual DNA of the continent. If you wanted the CIA on your side, paradoxes abounded: [Image]"no ideology" had to become your ideology. You had to banish politics from your work for entirely political reasons. You were free to be anything except critical of "freedom", and you could pick any individual stance except a pro-collective individual stance. What's more, your anti-government, pro-market position had to be bankrolled by the government and protected from the market.

Since the aesthetic favoured by pro-Soviets in Europe tended to include stuff like political commitment, realism, melody, and representation -- the communists deplored "decadent formalism" above all -- the CIA (somewhat incredibly, to our eyes) threw its weight behind atonal music and Abstract Expressionism. Concerts and exhibitions of the most inaccessible, anti-populist, non-commercial avant garde artists flourished. "The ideology of the CIA was that the West had to be the most modern of the modern," says Gunter Grass, interviewed for the documentary. "The result was a sort of Kandinsky kitsch."

[Image]One direct result of the CIA's efforts was a series of literary journals which attacked European intellectuals who aligned themselves with communism. There was, it seems, one in each major European country. There was Preuves in France, Encounter in the UK, Tempo Presente in Italy and Der Monat in Germany. Presided over by impressive intellectuals like Heinrich Boll, Arthur Koestler, Solzenitsyn, Raymond Aron, Isiah Berlin, Ignazione Silone and Steven Spender, these journals regularly attacked even more impressive intellectuals who also happened to be leftists -- Jean-Paul Sartre, Charlie Chaplin, Arthur Miller, Pablo Neruda and even Thomas Mann. In the campaign against Neruda's writing, the CIA stressed that the magazine shouldn't attack him on political grounds, but "on the quality of his writing". The mud didn't stick; Neruda won the Nobel Prize in 1971.

Meanwhile, in France Preuves competed head-to-head with Sartre's journal Les Temps Modernes. Raymond Aron, the editor of Preuves, had clashed with Sartre at the Ecole Normale Superieure, so it was very much a personal as well as an ideological battle for him. But Aron had American taxpayer's money giving his magazine immunity to market imperatives (ironically enough) and allowing him to pay his writers better. CIA money was also secretly buoying up -- and altering -- such venerable cultural institutions as the ICA in London and the Musee Nationale D'Art Moderne in Paris.

[Image]"We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, artists, composers, to demonstrate that the West and the USA would give opportunities for intellectual achievement without anyone dictating to them what they had to say and think, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union," says Tom Braden, the patrician CIA officer who was chief of the International Organizations Division of the Directorate of Plans, the office that ran the Congress for Cultural Freedom and Encounter magazine. The CIA did, however, dictate what the recipients of its money could say and think. A negative article on America by Dwight Macdonald for Encounter was vetoed by the bosses in Paris. "The Congress for Cultural Freedom believed in all freedoms except the freedom to criticize the United States," remarked one cynic.

The CIA renounced its role as a patron of the arts only when the Vietnam war polarized politics, breaking up the middle ground and shattering the illusion that something as indirect as art could foment gentle, benign political swings. As Michael Rogin wrote in The Nation:

"With the exposure of CIA secret influence and with the divisions over the war in Vietnam, the utility of the non-Communist left in the cultural cold war had come to an end. When some of the same faces resurfaced a decade later, first in the Committee on the Present Danger (the group of intellectuals and politicians instrumental in heating up the cold war) and then in the Reagan regime, they would speak as neoconservatives."


Regarding the CIA/culture tampering connection,
coincidentally, I've been reading James Campbell's
Exiled in Paris about the expat literary scene there
in the 50s and 60s and there's mention of a possible CIA
connection to George Plimpton's and Peter Matthiessen's
own journal The Paris Review in the 50s. What next?
Mother Jones' secret editor-at-large revealed to be
Donald Rumsfeld?


I always suspected old George Whitman at Shakespeare and Co. in Paris was an agent! Sniff around his store and you can smell the CIA money.


"In later probes he [Lutz Dammbeck]takes up alliances between European postwar intellectuals from Norbert Wiener to Heinz von Foerster and their anti-fascist beliefs; delving momentarily into a document published by the Frankfurt School on the “totalitarian personality” and its curious influences on a secret history of research known as the Macy Conferences. Designed to study the workings of the human mind and its authoritarian social psychology, these Conferences invited Margaret Mead, Norbert Wiener and psychologist Kurt Lewin, among others and later, avant-garde artists such as John Brockmann, Stuart Brand, John Cage, and Buckminster Fuller to exchange views on hippy generation concepts such as “mind expansion”, open systems and human consciousness. These Macy undertakings wound up influencing a period of psyop testings most notably performed by Dr. Henry A. Murray at Harvard University on Ted Kaczynski – elsewise known as “the Unabomber” – as well as the CIA’s MK Ultra project."


There was an Australian equivalent as well, Quadrant, funded by the CIA via the Congress For Cultural Freedom. Full story here:

CIA as Culture Vultures

‘In spite of all that can be said against our age, what a moment it is to be alive in! What an epoch for a magazine to emerge in!’

THESE are unexpected sentiments from poet James McAuley in 1956. No-one in Australia had done more to deplore the monstrous condition of the age, yet he offered this exultant assessment in his new role as the editor of the quarterly cultural journal, Quadrant. It was a role which gave him the opportunity to combine his two greats passions: poetry and anti-communism.

The Devil and James McAuley, cover, detail
Quadrant was the brainchild of Richard Krygier, the founding secretary of the Australian branch of the Congress for Cultural Freedom which was established by the CIA in 1950 as a key element in their strategy to combat Soviet propaganda. Michael Josselson, chief of the Agency’s Berlin Office for Covert Action, was the executive director of the Paris Secretariat. He was later joined by another agent, John Hunt, and by the late fifties there were five CIA operatives working in the Secretariat. In its first year the CIA outlay on the Congress for Cultural Freedom was $200,000, close to 2 million dollars in 1999 [Australian dollar] terms. Later they set up the Fairfield Foundation as a front; one of any number of private foundations used to launder CIA money, of which the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation were especially prominent.
Richard Krygier had approached Josselson in 1951 and offered his services as Cultural Freedom’s antipodean representative. Josselson asked Krygier to distribute Congress publications in Australia, for which he would receive a retainer. Josselson later agreed, without enthusiasm, that Krygier set up an Australian committee and publish a bulletin.
Krygier chose the retired Chief Justice of the High Court, Sir John Latham, as the president of the Australian committee and together they invited like-minded individuals to join the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom. There was no membership fee. Financial support from Paris enabled them to publish a newsletter and run an office with Richard Krygier as administrative secretary. The initial grant from the Paris office was $84,000 in 1998/99 dollars.*

*All the amounts have been converted into 1998/99 Australian dollars according to the Consumer Price Index following the ABS catalogue 6401.0. The funding information comes from the Quadrant papers ML MSS 3570

Josselson was not happy with the make-up of the Australian committee since the CIA strategy was to court intellectuals of the non-communist left, not fund a bunch of zealous anti-communists. Alarmed by Josselson’s dissatisfaction, Krygier sought the advice of the editor of Encounter, Irving Kristol, who suggested that Krygier ask Josselson for money for an Australian literary quarterly, along the lines of Encounter. Kristol gave Krygier to understand that Encounter was an independent magazine subsidised by the Congress, though in reality Encounter was set up and funded as a joint operation by British Intelligence and the CIA.
Just as Encounter had been established in England as a counter to The New Statesman, so Krygier sought funding from Josselson for a magazine to challenge [the Australian] Meanjin, which he insisted was pro-communist. On advice from Bob Santamaria, Australia’s most virulent anti-communist campaigner, Krygier chose James McAuley as editor. He was not an obvious choice for editor of a literary journal, since he was viewed by many in the literary world as a mediocre poet and a Catholic fanatic. This chorus of concern did not bother Krygier. He had no interest in poetry or religion: it was McAuley’s passionate anti-communism which really impressed him.

The Devil and James McAuley cover

Clem Christesen, the editor of Meanjin, was well aware of the hostility toward him from the new journal and deeply suspicious of its financial backing. In 1954 he claimed in a Meanjin editorial that the Congress for Cultural Freedom was funded by the CIA, a view he had privately expressed in concerned letters to Sir John Latham. Outraged Krygier intensified his determination to destroy Meanjin. On Krygier’s behalf Bill Wentworth made persistent requests of ASIO [the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation] for the file on Christesen during 1955, and demanded that ASIO do an analysis of Meanjin’s contributors to assess their left-wing connections. In Krygier’s report to Josselson in July 1956, he passed on documents which Colonel Spry from ASIO had pushed under his door one night, naming communists and fellow-travellers at Melbourne University, notably Christesen and his wife, Nina.
In 1956 Josselson agreed to additional funding of $16,100 for an Australian magazine (that is $310 a week) which brought the grant for that year to $94,000. The anticommunist thrust in Quadrant was seen as its selling point, but the magazine did not fare well. By the end of the second year it was $27,000 in debt and in May 1959 Josselson agreed to cover this debt and henceforth he raised the annual subsidy to $33,000. ($635 a week) In 1960, in addition to the increased grant for Quadrant, the Paris office provided $150,000 in grants which included $67,000 for a seminar on Constitutionalism in Asia and the publication of book by the same name, ostensibly by ANU [the Australian National University] Press. Nearly $10,000 was provided to underwrite covert activity against the 1959 Peace Congress in Melbourne.
Quadrant was one of twenty magazines the Congress for Cultural Freedom established in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Within the Secretariat there was an editorial committee to articulate the policy for the magazines. The key players were two CIA agents: John Hunt and Robbie Macauley, editor of the prestigious US literary journal Keynon Review. In correspondence with Hunt and Macauley in 1962, Donald Horne floated the idea of a seminar in Sydney for the editors of all the Congress magazines outside Europe, hosted by Quadrant. Hunt agreed to provide $25,000 in addition to the annual grant of $98,000 for this purpose. Robbie Macauley and William Phillips of Partisan Review (also subsidised by the CIA) came from America, as well as editors from Indonesia, Nigeria, India, Korea and Japan to mingle with an assortment of Australian intellectuals and magazine editors. Clem Christesen declined his invitation.
The Devil and James McAuley, cover, detail
In 1965 Josselson was persuaded to increase the Quadrant grant to $52,000 per annum ($1000 a week) so that the magazine could become bi-monthly. He agreed to the increase in the hope that McAuley’s anti-communism could be dampened down by the more liberal influence of Donald Horne as co-editor. As Krygier reported to McAuley, Josselson thought Quadrant was ‘too right wing’ and wanted to distance the magazine from regular contributors, such as Bob Santamaria. ‘I intend to ignore all of this’, he wrote from Paris. Donald Horne lasted barely two years before he quit in frustration and was replaced by Peter Coleman.
Seminars on New Guinea, funded to the tune of $76,500, and a Sunday Seminars series organised by Quadrant co-editor Donald Horne, were among several other initiatives that the Paris Secretariat agreed to fund in addition to salaries, office rental, overseas trips and visits from international heavyweights. They also agreed to underwrite a book on the Communist Party of Australia, once again ostensibly published by ANU Press, and they provided a small grant to the magazine Dissent.
By the mid 1960s the CIA was alive to fostering an anti-communism in Asia and so too was Quadrant. In 1964 the magazine began publishing ‘Reports from Vietnam’ which were strongly supportive of the American puppet regime in South Vietnam which was installed by and advised by the CIA. In 1965 McAuley reprinted an article ‘The Real Revolution in South Vietnam’ written by CIA agent, George Carver. At this time McAuley began to work on plans to expand into South East Asia, with Josselson’s support. The Congress for Cultural Freedom provided over $200,000 to its Australian affiliate for various South East Asian projects in 1966: a trip to Vietnam in February for Jim McAuley and half a dozen others. Donald Horne was funded for a trip the following year. A conference on ‘Democracy and Development in South East Asia’, held at the University of Kuala Lumpur and funded by the Congress for Cultural Freedom, followed immediately on the heels of the first Vietnamese visit. Josselson wrote to McAuley to say that he wanted to consolidate the conference by establishing some kind of South East Asian Institute, along the lines of the international institute the Congress funded in Latin America. With less enthusiasm he also agreed to fund a seminar in support of American intervention in Vietnam at Melbourne University and underwrote the publishing cost of the book Vietnam: Seen From East and West nominally published by Thomas Nelson.

James McAuley (left) and Cardinal Freeman

James McAuley (left) and Roman Catholic Cardinal James Freeman

Even as they continued to shell out the money, the CIA paymasters remained unhappy with the Quadrant’s refusal to court left-liberal intellectuals. The whole point of the covert operation was subtlety; to win over the left-leaning intellectuals to the American position, not further alienate them. The fierce prosecution of the US position in Vietnam was disturbing to both Josselson and Hunt. Like many in the CIA, they were appalled by the US engagement in Vietnam and wished to keep the Congress for Cultural Freedom clear of this political minefield. A difference of opinion between the Paris office and the Krygier about Vietnam was a complication in getting the funding to establish a South East Asian Institute. The greater complication was an exposé in the New York Times in April 1966 which pinpointed a funding link between the CIA and the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
After a series of exposes and repudiations of the CIA connection, in 1967 McAuley published a careful response in Quadrant admitting the funding from the CIA was ‘deplorable’, but no more than ‘a well-intentioned blunder’. His defence that he had been an unwitting recipient of CIA largesse has been restated by the new editor of Quadrant and by its previous editors. Yet how was McAuley so unaware when Clem Christesen knew the money came from the CIA as far back as 1956? How was it that the editor of Quadrant had shown so little curiosity as to the source of money being so liberally handed out? A quick perusal of McAuley’s editorials give the flavour of the invective he would employ should the editor of a left-wing magazine discover he had ‘unwittingly’ been receiving 40% of his income from the KGB.
As an observer at the General Assembly of the Congress of Cultural Freedom where Josselson and Hunt offered their resignations in May 1967, McAuley wrote to Krygier that he found the stance of ‘outraged innocence’ among Congress members was totally hypocritical, since ‘none of them had been really much deceived’. Himself included, it would seem. He knew all along that Quadrant was on the American government payroll in the service of American foreign policy. It didn’t really matter to him where the money came from. ‘I had assumed it was probably State Department funds and that didn’t give me any worries’, he admitted in an interview with Catherine Santamaria. ‘None of it caused me any internal distress’.

Cassandra Pybus

HistorianCassandra Pybus is the author of seven books of non fiction. Her highly controversial book The Devil and James McAuley was awarded the Adelaide Festival Award for Non-fiction in 2000. Her website is


The magazine itself still exists (and is still a playground for right-wing intellectuals):


It all began with a recommendation to watch a movie called Das Netz by Lutz Dammbeck about the Unabomber..“What is it that hippies, LSD, and computers have in common?”
papers were found warning: lyndon larouche alert relating to the Josiah Macy Jr Foundation and their attempts to socially engineer phases of cybernetic change which would erode resistance to centralised domination -
what is sometimes called the "culture of invisible censorship" we have today

As I browsed an article from Westminster's Hypermedia Studies about the "Californian Ideology" of Wired magazine, a response from Mark Stahlman of new Media Associates challenged the West Coast aspect and laid the blame on a particularly English/British infiltration of the mediatech elite his riposte he confirms the cybernetic lineage of the Macy papers...

So..I ordered a copy of "Acid Dreams : The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, The Sixties and Beyond" by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain


Farfield Foundation

From SourceWatch

The Farfield Foundation, a now defunct CIA front, acted as a philanthropic foundation. The CIA used it as a vehicle for their covert funding of groups and persons that were believed to be effective weapons in a culture war against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

CIA's Direction of Cultural Warfare

CIA employee Tom Braden, who had been the MoMA's managing director from 1947 to 1949 before he began working for the CIA, was initially in charge of the CIA section that oversaw the culure cold war. The section was called the International Organisations Division (IOD). The IOD indirectly, via their fronts and agreeable Foundations, funded prestigous journals, organized conferences, music competitions and art exhibitions.

The rationale behind this covert philanthropy was that American avant-garde culture that was both leftist and anti-communist could be an effective foil against Stalinist Communism's rise in Western Europe, post World War II. It was not just the CIA that directed the flow of money, it was also some very influential and wealthy Americans with names that included Rockefeller, Ford, and Dodge. Although they were not CIA fronts, many other foundations have been implicated as having received CIA monies.

The primary beneficiary of the Farfield Foundation's philanthropy was another CIA front, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and its US Chapter, the American Committee for Cultural Freedom, which in turn funded groups and individuals through themselves. Even early neoconservative thinkers received funding from covert CIA sources for journals and freelance authorship.

The need for secrecy was as much for domestic reasons as foreign. The McCarthy-era federal politicians distrusted modern culture and viewed it as destructive of American Ideals; it is highly unlikely that Norman Rockwell paintings and evangelical-styled Christian missionaries would have been successful in holding Communism's cultural allure at bay in Post-WWII Western Europe.

What's wrong with the CIA covertly funding the export of American Expressionism? It is a true art form. It is a product of America that many have felt an affinity to. Artists have usually required patrons supporting both their physical sustenance, and their psychological well being in a positive recognition of their creative worth. Historically, artists' sponsorship has often been government or religious officials. Communism's spread was viewed as a positive force, or in muted fatalism, an inevitability, amongst many of Western Europe's Post WWII cultural elite. The unbridled individualism of expressionism offered an effective contrast, as well as viable alternative to the stark bleakness of Soviet Realism's portrayal of grayscaled existence within the Stalinist sphere of influence. The Soviet Government had their own arsenal of covert actions too. It would be a great stretch of logic to view the funding of musicians who were virtuosi of Jazz's improvisional spontaneity in the 50's on working trips to Europe as the acts of an evil empire. There is an aura of comical irony swirling about an effective usage of the frequently apolitical lords of American Abstract Art and the drop out Icons of the Beat Generation as the USA's secret Cold War arsenal in cultural warfare. Both American politicians and their Soviet analogs viewed them as part of an American degeneracy that was infecting their country, and causing a decline in domestic morality. Soviet politicians perceived it as an effect of capitalism's excesses, while American politicians viewed it as a creeping red menace.

What is condemnable isn't the act of funding artists in an ideological cultural war, it is the unseen hands of manipulative elitists, who believe they are acting for the greater common good, secretly affecting the World's societies. The overuse of and dependence upon a methodology of opaque actions, and an unyielding faith in the propriety of the use of stealth within an open democratic society is where the malevolence lies. The same mechanisms used for covertly funding and secretly manipulating culture to fight communism were also used to covertly aid undemocratic-but-anti-communist regimes around the world. Instead of just listening to Coltrane, Byrd, Gillespie or Brubeck, while contemplating the artworks of Motherwell, Pollock, Rothko or Kline; reflect also upon "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier of Haiti, Anastasios Somoza of Nicuragua, Augusto Pinochet of Chile, General Suharto of Indonesia, Hugo Banzer of Bolivia, Jonas Savimbi of South Africa, Lon Nol of Cambodia, Manuel Noriega of Panama, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Raoul Cedras of the Raboteau massacre, Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran, Roberto D'Aubuisson of El Salvador, and do not forget Saddam Hussein. Secrecy surrounding government's foreign policy is all too often used to obfuscate foreign policy that is a destructive force on the receiving end. The target country's citizenry ends up taking the brunt of the force, and the seeds of their democratic will are sown into the wind. Covert action is also used to hide governmental practices that would be viewed negatively by the majority of American citizens if it were not kept secret. It ends up being an antidemocratic government action, ostensibly engaged upon for protecting and expanding liberty and democracy world-wide. This hypocrisy causes the onset of anti-Americanism, leads to blowback, as well as being a primary cause for the disbelieving naiveté Americans often express when confronted with the storm of antagonism resultant from the hidden actions, having awakened just in time to reap its whirlwind.

CIA Funded Foundations

(abridged list alphabetized by first letter in name)

  • Aaron E. Norman Fund, Inc.
  • American Society of African Culture
  • Appalachian Fund
  • Asia Foundation
  • Beacon Fund
  • Borden Trust
  • Catherwood Foundation
  • Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation
  • Committee of Correspondence
  • Congress for Cultural Freedom
  • David, Josephine and Winfield Baird Foundation, Inc.
  • Edsel Fund
  • Edward John Noble Foundation
  • Farfield Foundation
  • Ford Foundation
  • Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs of New York City
  • Free Europe Committee
  • Independence Foundation
  • Independent Research Service
  • International Development Foundation
  • J. Frederick Brown Foundation
  • J.M. Kaplan Fund, Inc.
  • Kentfield Fund
  • Lucius N. Littauer Foundation
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Operations and Policy Research Incorporated
  • Price Fund
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • Rubicon Foundation
  • San Jacinto Foundation
  • Sidney and Esther Rabb Charitable Foundation of Boston
  • Tower Fund
  • W. Alton Jones Foundation
  • William Benton Foundation

Related SourceWatch Resources

External Sources


Journals and Organization Studies

Articles & Commentary

60's Periodicals

  • Richard Dudman, “The Mongers Return”, The Nation, January 23,1967
  • Sol Stern, “NSA and the CIA”, Ramparts, March 1967
  • Todd Gitlin and Bob Ross, “The CIA at College: Into Twilight and Back”, The Village Voice, July 6, 1967
  • Michael Holcomb, "Student Exchanges Serve U.S. Policy", The Guardian, January 20, 1968
  • Michael Holcomb, "The Pass-Through: How the CIA Bankrolled Private Projects", Newsweek, March 6, 1967
  • Thomas Braden, "I'm Glad the CIA Is 'Immoral'" Saturday Evening Post, May 20, 1967
  • Jason Epstein, "The CIA and the Intellectuals", The New York Review of Books, April 30, 1967
  • Stuart H. Loory, "How CIA Became Involved in NSA", San Francisco Chronicle, February 28, 1967

Intelligence Bibliographical Database

CIA on Campus

The online reference: The CIA on Campus, a project of Public Information Research, Inc., offers a wealth of information. The following links are from a data-scrape (7-2005) of the site arranged semi-chronologically:


Slow IN THE PAST? Yow...

Hi all... I chanced on this blog while googling the Paris Review CIA thing. I'm Jeff Potter, with the ULA (Underground Literary Alliance). We pushed the news about Matthiessen over a year ago, courtesy of the ignored R. Cummings. Our report was ignored just like this story still is being rather well ignored.

Anyway, what's this about people being slow *IN THE PAST* about unread literary efforts being surprisingly well funded. Good grief: no one reads or buys any novels, chaps or journals produced by the hundreds of well-funded MFA departments in the USA today. It's all *STILLLLLL* a scam! Funded by whom for what? It might as well be the CIA! What's the point of lit today: atmosphere, style, detail... Ah yes.

The parallel of today's lit to the BBC music/orchestra situation is hilarious. (People producing bad work that a boss figure will like.) Maybe this is how the "fancy" arts have always worked? Posing foisted from on high. When has it been different? ---Except in the underground.

The ULA first broke the CIA/PR/PM story. Check us out at We're the only literary activist group out there, banding together to get our voices some impact. We promote nonacademized writers from the nonNYC hinterlands who have actual fans and followings and who think relevance is still relevant. We expose the hidden workings of the MFA machine. We dare establishment flacks to debate both ideas and real-world projects.

What fun!


Re: Slow IN THE PAST? Yow...

Politics is too particular for these issues. But I don't mind the larger sense of populism.

A certain amount of unpop should be funded, sure. But so should some indy lit. That's what's being denied today, not the unpop stuff.

It's interesting seeing the notion above that the CIA impact on art ended with Vietnam. Maybe the overt support is over (but why should we think that?). But it seems like their mission of turning art away from everyday life (social issues, relevancy...even politics) has succeeded and is still in place. Especially in literature. It maybe doesn't even need overt funding. The style is the rule. No, it needs funding: people wouldn't write that crap if they didn't want the money.

The indy music and film scenes seem to be thriving. Not so indy lit...yet.

The solution is easy: go to the true indy writers who've been getting the job done all along, if in obscure populist penury of the sort that funding was intended to relieve. Funny stuff.

It's amazing how both the Soviet and CIA systems resulted in credentialism. Both included with upperclass elites, too. And it's amazing the impact of their lameness. Their actual operations are always botched, but enough money does the trick.

We in the ULA have been exposing the inevitable disasters of elitist/credentialism. We gave a strong hint that it related to the CIA (by breaking that story first), but the dynamic duo of elitist/credentialism gives plenty of rope.

The CIA revelation is great because it's a shocker. We can use it to break the issue thru to the public awareness. It's rare that art gets such a hook, as you've mentioned. OK, maybe using it for clarity will be a bit tricky: showing how "freedom" works to prevent freedom... Our public has some catching up to do on what's being done in its name. Basically, it's just dropped lit entirely as something not of interest except to some sub-group of Fresh Air fans. What a win for the CIA...or credentialists...or nichifiers. OK, we know who the enemy is: it's us. To fix this we have to get lit back in the game.

The Net is a factor here. The lit establishment hasn't responded to that NYT story. And won't unless FORCED. Blogs are vital. But here's something else: Wiki is vital, too! We in the ULA are relishing this opportunity to add history/facts to subjects that we're normally censored from. Paris Review finally gets some light shed on its history whether it likes it or not. Proven (linked!) corruption can now be included in the bio's of all these players. We've greatly enjoyed watching them finally respond: with lawyers, of course---who add terms like "alleged" to our Wiki contributions. Now, who are we to worry about outlawry---the corruption we protest is the kind that prevents art and cultural evaluation. The airbrushers on both sides must hate Wiki! (Unless they can get the Net marginalized...segregated...nichified... Ah, it's already happened! Maybe what's really needed is a revival of high-impact literature as hip-pocket pulp. For those who aren't wired, if you see.)

One of our ULA oft-repeated stories is how the ex-editor of Publisher's Weekly said there were no undiscovered genius writers toiling away in the hinterlands. He'd rejected O'Toole's "Confederacy" and said he'd do it again, said the system works. (O'Toole killed himself after dozens of rejections of the book that went on to become a classic.) It's a tale that reminds us of what we're up against.


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