Newstalgia Reference Room - a lecture on The Naked Communist by Willard Cleon Skousen - noted, Bircher, right-wing conspiracy theorist and icon of Glenn Beck. Recorded in the early 1960's.
If the name Willard Cleon Skousen doesn't ring any bells with you, you may not be a follower of Glenn Beck, or the Tea Party, or know much about the John Birch Society, extreme Mormons or right-wing conspiracy theories or the Red Scare of the 1950's.
But if you are, then here's your chance to listen to a lecture given by Cleon Skousen, recorded around the early 1960s when Skousen was a professor at Brigham Young University and promoting his book, The Naked Communist.
Skousen was a rather colorful figure. An FBI employee, former Police Chief of Salt Lake City, confidant of Ezra Taft Benson and true believer that if you were even remotely associated with the Democratic Party, you were a died-in-the-wool Stalinist.
Skousen pretty much hit his peak of Communist paranoia in the 1970's when he published an article saying the Communist party had mounted an attack on the Mormon church in answer to a proposed change in Mormon policy by allowing Blacks to be ordained as Mormon ministers. Get the picture? Even publications like the National Review labeled Skousen a nut job.
The Beck connection? Well, it seems Beck is a huge admirer of Skousen and has recommended The Naked Communist as required reading. It's interesting to see what influence Skousen has had even to this day, some four years after Skousen's death.
Even more ironic, of course, is the fact that Skousen -- like his friend and anti-communist cohort Ezra Taft Benson -- regularly demonized as a Communist another one of Beck's iconic heroes: Martin Luther King.
So here he is - a rather long-winded lecture that initially clocked in at around 90 minutes, but which I had to edit down to 45. I made sure I didn't "slant" anything. It speaks for itself:
Cleon Skousen: “And the next commandment ‘thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. This is a common Communist practice to discredit, to destroy by lying and deceit and character assassination and we should not indulge in it. We should have a society of trust and confidence and when someone has offended us it’s all right to go to him and say ‘this is a problem to me because it’s not justified’. This is the Christian approach to obtain reconciliation if possible and it’s his Christian duty to . . as well as Judeo-Christian, duty to respond and to beg forgiveness where he is in error.”
Probably not one of the more inflammatory passages, but enough to give you the flavor of irony, hypocrisy and lunacy all masked as authority.