Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 9 Num. 29

("Quid coniuratio est?")


[CN transcript of remarks by west coast researcher Dave Emory.]


As far as the Independent Research Service itself, there's quite a few sources that document the connections of the Independent Research Service to the Central Intelligence Agency. I'm going to read one of them, very briefly, right now.

The book is called (and it's published in hardcover), it's called The Espionage Establishment, by David Wise and Thomas Ross. Published in hardcover by Random House and copyrighted 1974. In the [book] there's a footnote, in which a number of CIA domestic funding conduits and organizations funded by the CIA are listed. The organizations range from some which are obviously not CIA fronts but have simply received money from CIA (such as the National Council of Churches), to organizations like Radio Free Europe which were not only begun, basically, by the CIA but for all intents and purposes are CIA fronts and always have been. And in the list (which is in alphabetical order -- this, by the way, on page 155 of The Espionage Establishment), the Independent Research Service is listed right there.

Still more information about the Independent Research Service and just exactly what sorts of functions it performs on behalf of CIA is carried in an excellent article that appeared in the Berkeley Barb. (Now again, as I indicated, neither Nip [co-host] nor myself endorses the ideological underpinnings of a publication like the Berkeley Barb.)

The reportage here is excellent and essential, and it represents the deepest investigation into the background of Gloria Steinem we've been able to come up with.

The following article from the Berkeley Barb is from the issue of May 30th thru June 5th of 1975. The article is by Gabriel Schang and it's titled, "Radical Women Won't Be Ms.-led." And it concerns Steinem and her whole relation with Independent Research Service.

Gloria Steinem, founder and editor of Ms. magazine and president of the Ms. Corporation, has an association spanning ten years with the CIA which she has misrepresented and covered up. To some people, particularly feminists, the relationship seemed obvious, if nebulous and difficult to verify. Others will probably remain incredulous until Time magazine finally acknowledges it. And then, there will be people who don't perceive the implications of such a liaison, and still more who will simply shrug it off.

A group of women tied-in with the origins of the modern Women's Liberation Movement and concerned about its future, who call themselves "Red Stockings," have been able to piece together enough documentation to convincingly expose and describe the Ms./Steinem/CIA connection. Moreover, the Red Stockings have closely examined the financial backing and contents of Ms. magazine and have arrived at the conclusion that the ideology put forth by Ms. has been positively harmful to the Women's Movement.

The first revelations of Gloria Steinem's relationship to the CIA appeared in the New York Times in 1967, in an article that stated that Steinem had a part in launching a CIA front group which was called the "Independent Research Service." Just prior to this exposure, Ramparts magazine had disclosed that the organization was CIA-funded.

The purpose of the Independent Research Service seems to have been to subvert communist-minded youths on an international basis. The supposedly "Independent" Research Service was, in fact, totally dependent on the CIA. It is believed to have been formed in response to the Communist World Youth festivals occurring throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These festivals were held in communist countries until 1959, when the festival for that year was scheduled to take place in Vienna -- neutral territory during the Cold War. The State Department did its best to discourage American youths from attending. Some did go, though, and in the meantime the CIA covertly arranged for the Independent Research Service to organize an anti-communist delegation to attend and disrupt the festivals.

In 1967, Ramparts exposed the intricate laundering and funneling process by which the Independent Research Service obtained money from the CIA. The funds passed through five different foundations: the Borden Trust, the Price Fund, the Beacon Fund, the Edsel Fund, and the Kentfield Fund, on its way to the Independent Research Service as well as to the National Students Association and other groups.

The final channeling was accomplished through the well-known Boston law firm of Hale & Dorr(sp?). This same law firm produced Joseph Welch as attorney for the Army and in its confrontations with Joseph McCarthy and, more recently, James St. Claire as Nixon's chief counsel during the Watergate scandals.

(Excuse me. I was a little confused at first. The law firm representing Gloria Steinem in her media pressure efforts was not the same one which was involved... [i.e., Greenbaum, Wolf & Ernst are apparently not Nixon-related.] I was confusing that with the law firm involved with setting up the Independent Research Service in the first place.)

(Of course, it's still intriguing that this organization would be so very much involved with Gloria Steinem and connecting her to people like James St. Claire -- Nixon's counsel during the Watergate crisis. The Watergate crisis and its connections with Katherine Graham we're going to be looking at, as I had indicated, a little later.)

No one claims to know why Gloria Steinem was chosen to found and direct this group. But two early organizers of the Independent Research Service stated, in a New Republic article of May 11th, 1959, that "most of the sponsors have had considerable experience in domestic and international youth and student affairs."

What in Steinem's past prepared her for this sort of work? It is a matter of public record that Gloria M. Steinem graduated from Smith College and then received the Chester Bowles Asian Fellowship to the Universities of New Delhi and Calcutta, in India, in 1956 thru 1958. All the Red Stockings could glean of her activities in India is the alleged publication of a book in 1957 called, The Thousand Indias. Although the recent edition of Who's Who in America lists the title of the book, all attempts by Red Stocking to find it in past or current listings of the Cumulative Book Index listings of the New York Public Library Books in Print and the Library of Congress were unsuccessful. The very existence of Steinem's book cannot be determined, let alone its contents or the identity of the publisher.

According to the recent Red Stocking press release, and a February 21st, 1967 interview in the New York Times, Steinem was described as "a full-time Independent Research Service employee in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1959 until after the Helsinki Youth Festival in 1962." Under media pressure, Steinem could not disavow her CIA association. But she gave a distorted view of her activities at the festivals. Steinem claims all the group did at the two festivals was establish a newspaper, a news bureau, cultural exhibits, and jazz clubs. The groups most important work, she said, was convincing youths from Asia, Africa, and Latin America that there were some Americans who understood and cared about their situation. Steinem emphasized, "I was never asked to report on other Americans or assess foreign nationals I had met."

[ be continued...]

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