Ron Paul has recently suggested there was only a “total of about eight or ten sentences” of “bad stuff” in the newsletters that he regularly used to publish under his name. This assertion was patently false: As TNR has shown, the newsletters contained dozens of statements marked by bigotry and conspiratorial thinking. In light of Paul’s continuing evasions about the newsletters, and with hopes of clarifying the matter definitively, TNR is now making more of them available.
Paul and his supporters have repeatedly claimed that, even though the newsletters had “Ron Paul” in the title, were sometimes written in the first person, and often carried his signature and photo, the general lack of bylines proves he didn’t author them. Others have claimed that Lew Rockwell, Paul’s former chief of staff, was the author. However, the most infamous of Paul’s publications, the June 1992 issue of his Political Report entitled “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” (which I reported on in my original 2008 investigation for TNR), was later published as a monograph entitled “Race Terrorism in America,” and was bylined by Paul.
In the December 1996 Survival Report, the last issue before he re-entered Congress, Paul wrote that subscribers would receive a free subscription to The Triple R, or Rothbard-Rockwell Report, published by Lew Rockwell and libertarian activist Murray Rothbard. Paul, who has repeatedly claimed over the past month that he “didn’t read” his own newsletters, wrote, “I don’t agree with it 100% either, but I still grab it from the mailbox and read it, front to back, the minute I get it.” This issue also referred to Rockwell in the third person: “The editor, my old friend Lew Rockwell, was my chief of staff in the House, and he’s worked with me for 12 years on this newsletter.” The June 1991 Political Report invited readers to “Join Me” at a conference, mentioning that Rockwell and Rothbard would be speaking alongside Paul.
The newsletters repeatedly defended and expressed support for a variety of prominent racists. The May 1990 Political Report cited Jared Taylor, a prominent eugenics advocate. The July 1994 Survival Report again cited the “criminologist Jared Taylor.”
The newsletters warned repeatedly of “race war.” The June 1990 Political Report carried an item entitled, “Race War?” which claimed that said war was on the horizon because of “the victimization mentality created by the civil rights movement, where every black failure is a white crime. If there is indeed this sort of trouble ahead, it is just another reason why every honest American should be armed.” The August 1990 Political Report claimed that “we’ve got a potential race war.” The December 1990 Investment Letter reported that “Abortion is rampant, race war is heating up, AIDS is spreading, and inflation is wiping out the middle class.”
The September 1992 edition of the Political Report wrote of a supposed spate of bank robberies this way: “Today, gangs of young blacks bust into a bank lobby firing rounds at the ceiling.” It also said that “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.”
A January 1993 Survival Report item headlined “Poor Marge Schott!” defended the former Cincinnati Reds owner, who was “being crucified” after she referred to her own players as “million dollar niggers,” said that “sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike” and “only fruits wear earrings,” and claimed that Hitler was an initially positive force for Germany.
The March 1994 Survival Report warned of a “South African Holocaust.” It said, “Quite frankly, I cannot see how South Africa is going to escape a blood bath.” In June 1994—two months after South Africa’s first democratic election—an item headlined, “There Goes South Africa,” claimed that “Mandela is trying to appear as a moderate, and indeed he may be as the Red ANC goes.” The newsletter advocated a separate state for whites in South Africa, writing, “If everyone accepts the notion that a homeland can be created for the Palestinians, I wonder why no consideration is given by world opinion leaders to a similar situation for the whites in South Africa, as they have requested.”
A 1992 issue of the Political Report featured an article headlined, “What Blacks Think,” which concluded that “they have some odd political opinions.”
Long before anyone had heard of Glenn Beck, Ron Paul’s newsletters touted the conspiracy theory that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was preparing to impose martial law on Americans. The November 1987 Political Report claimed that “FEMA is now an integral part of Washington’s bureaucratic maze, and it stands ready to take full control of the country at the president’s request.” It also asserted that FEMA can “scrap the constitution and install military men in place of elected officials at all levels,” as well as “rule the economy by decree,” and that “FEMA intends to wipe out state jurisdictions by setting up the ten federal regions so beloved of the Council on Foreign Relations.”
The newsletters were obsessed with the Trilateral Commission, the Rockefeller family, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Skull & Bones, hallmarks of far-right paranoia. An article in the December 1986 issue of The Ron Paul Investment Letter headlined, “‘Conservatives’ Join Trilateral Commission,” attacked the group as “a central organ of the Establishment,” alleged that columnist George Will “supports federal tyranny against the American people,” and listed newly inducted members of the group ranging from former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to former Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt.
The March 1988 Political Report alleged that David Rockefeller’s “ultimate objective” is “a one-world government run by the power elite.” The September 1992 Political Report called Bill Clinton “a member of the conspiratorial Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and Bilderberger Group.” The August 1991 issue of the Political Report claimed that George H.W. “Bush wanted a war, for Rockefeller oil and New World Order purposes, and snookered [Saddam] Hussein into it.”
The May 1989 Investment Letter featured a picture of a Treasury Bureau of Printing and Engraving plant as an “appropriately evil-looking New Money plant” and said that a pyramid attached to the building “copies the Illuminatist symbol that also, unfortunately, made it on the back of our one dollar bill.”
The March 1994 Survival Report advertisement for a memoir by conspiracy theorist Dan Smoot, “a real hero of the Old Right,” claimed that there had never been “such a devastating attack on the 14th Amendment and other betrayals of the original republic.”
The February 1994 Survival Report addressed “the supposed suicide of Vince Foster,” and in an item entitled “Murderous Clintonians” from the August 1994 issue, the newsletter claimed, “But let’s just say [Independent Counsel Robert Fiske] had discovered evidence of a White House conspiracy to kill [Deputy White House Counsel Vince] Foster and cover it up. Would he have revealed it?” It also wrote of “the decade-long adulterous affair between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster.”
The September 15, 1995 issue of The Ron Paul Survival Report speculated about the Oklahoma City bombing: “Were there, as some people now say, two bombs that went off in the building? And might the government have the wrong man? Who doubts the possibility that the government – which lied about Waco and Ruby Ridge – may also be covering up true information and planting false information about the Oklahoma bombing?” The newsletter then cited “a courageous cover story” from The New American, the official magazine of the John Birch Society, as evidence.
A November 2007 fundraising letter sent by Paul’s presidential campaign, describing him as “the only Republican who can beat Hillary,” invoked the Branch Davidians and “the mysterious death of Hillary’s pal Vince Foster.”
Militias, Cults, and Anti-Government Militancy
In June 1991, the Political Report defended the Church of Scientology, which had long been the target of IRS investigations for tax fraud and which had, in retaliation, spied on the agency. “Any organization hated by the IRS and the Trilaterialist Time magazine has got to have something going for it!”
The July 1993 issue of the Survival Report cited the tape recording of a 911 call made by Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. “Far from revealing a crazy madman, the tapes show him to be a reasonable person, despite his alleged religious views, with a traditional American request: to be left alone.” The newsletter also asserted that “What happened at Waco was a human rights violation as serious as any that occurred in the waning days of the Soviet Union.” It further referred to “the martyrs at Waco” and said, “Lesser crimes in the past have led to the overthrow of whole governments.” In the November 1995 issue of the Survival Report, Waco was referred to as a “holocaust.”
The August 1994 Survival Report called the U.S. government a “tyranny.” It warned about a provision of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which encouraged the recruitment of police officers from Hong Kong, saying that it “reminds me of King George’s Hessian mercenaries used against our Founding Fathers.”
The November 1994 issue of the Survival Report celebrated anti-government militias in an item entitled, “Why Militias Scare the Striped Pants Off Big Government.” Evoking the American Revolution, the newsletter declared, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” and concluded that the rising militia movement “is an encouraging sign that the end of government as we know it may be near.” That issue also sold something called the “Ron Paul Privacy Card.”
The August 1995 Survival Report praised the rising militia movement as “the biggest anti-government movement this country has seen since the Whiskey Rebellion.”
Israel and Jews
A letter on congressional letterhead, dated August 30, 1979, from Paul thanked a Mr. Amos W. Bruce for “the copy of the article in The American Mercury and the copies of your essays. I found them all very interesting.” The American Mercury was an anti-Semitic magazine owned by Willis Carto, one of America's most notorious holocaust deniers and the founder of The Liberty Lobby. The issue of The American Mercury Paul praised included essays entitled, “You Can't Escape the Kosher Food Tax,” “Are You Ready for the White Man's Doomsday,” and “Racism - Black African Style.”
The February 1988 Political Report alleged that a female terrorist who bombed a disco in Berlin frequented by American servicemen (an operation backed by the Libyan government) “was in cahoots with Syria, or Israel’s Mossad, which always seeks to stir up anti-Arab feeling here.”
The November 1989 issue of the Political Report revived conspiracy theories about the U.S.S. Liberty, namely that Israel deliberately attacked an American warship in the Mediterranean (investigations by both the U.S. and Israeli governments concluded that the attack was a mistake).
The June 1990 Political Report Paul complained, in the context of deported war criminals, of “the anti-German bigotry that the Nazi spectre is used to stir up” and suggested the creation of “a German Anti-Defamation League.”
The February 1991 Political Report alleged that Israel’s “supporters in this country were the most bloodthirsty for war” against Iraq. “And why, would someone please explain to me, are we supposed to be so grateful to Israel because it lets us fight its war?” it asked. Saddam Hussein’s Iraq “was Israel’s enemy. This poor country of 17 million with a GNP less than 1% of ours, was no threat to us, despite the hysteria of the Israel First Lobby.”
The February 1993 issue of the Survival Report claimed that “major Jewish organizations are complaining that Zionists did not get enough jobs in the Clinton administration. Plenty of Jews were appointed but just being Jewish doesn’t count. These lobbyists want people 100% dedicated to Israel.”
Gays and AIDS
Paul's newsletters were particularly obsessed with the casual transmission of AIDS, a hallmark of right-wing fear-mongering at the time. A Survival Report item referred to the Americans With Disabilities Act as a “totalitarian law” because “dentists can no longer refuse to work on the bloody mouths of AIDS carriers.” The piece referred to then-Assistant Attorney General and future Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (inaccurately called “Patrick Deval”) as “evil.”
The main story of the March 1987 Investment Letter is headlined, “AIDS – the Government Lies Again.” It attributes to a mysterious “Dr. Arnold” the claim that “AIDS can be transmitted through means other than sexual intercourse and blood transfusion, specifically saliva, tears, sweat, feces and urine.” The newsletter also advocated that “federal laws which force schools to accept students known to carry a fatal, communicable disease, and businesses to employ adult victims as ‘handicapped’” should be repealed. The November 1987 Political Report said that “we must also allow local school boards to ban AIDS carriers from the public schools.”
A March 1988 Political Report entitled “AIDS by Mail?” approvingly cited speculation that AIDS was being transmitted via the U.S Postal Service. The allegations were sourced to Robert Mendelsohn, a self-proclaimed “medical heretic,” who also opposed water fluoridation and immunizations.
The March 1990 issue of the Political Report cited Dr. Lorraine Day, who claimed that “aerosol transmission” of AIDS was “possible,” that is, “through sneezes, breath, etc. through the air.” (Day says she cured herself of cancer by drinking vegetable juice and eliminating refined sugar from her diet.)
The August 1991 issue of the Political Report advertised a book, AIDS: The Unnecessary Epidemic, by Stanley Monteith, an orthopedic surgeon. A former leader of the Santa Cruz branch of the John Birch Society, Monteith is a conspiracy theorist who has also authored Hidden Agenda: The Fluoride Deception.
The December 1991 Political Report asserted that “[Magic] Johnson may be a sports star, but he is dying because he violated moral laws.”
A January 1993 item in the Survival Report on gays in the military asserted that “Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”
The June 1993 Survival Report, on claims that David Koresh had molested a young girl, said, “How dare the Clinton administration talk about sexual deviance? Its officials could have had their own float in the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Parade.”
The November 1993 Survival Report referred to people with AIDS who visit dentists as “deadly customers” and complained that “the criminal ‘Justice’ Department wants to force dentists to treat these Darth Vader types under the vicious Americans With Disabilities Act.” The newsletter goes on to claim, “we all have the right to discriminate, which is what freedom of association is all about, especially against killers.”
The February 1994 Survival Report alleged that “Condoms do not protect against AIDS. Even if they did, there's not a person in this country that hasn't gotten the message that they should be used during sex. And it's not just any kind of sex, but the homosexual sort practiced by AIDS carriers.” It also advertised a book, Big Sister is Watching You, which “tells the true and horrifying story of the witch-lesbo-feminists who are running America.”
The March 1994 Survival Report alleged that “the purpose of ‘AIDS education’” is “to keep the truth about AIDS from getting out. And this goes way back. Scientists originally named it GRIDS – Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome – until the homosexual lobby succeeded in getting the origins of this disease disguised.”
The January 1978 Freedom Report claimed, “If our basic rights are lost in the agony of economic upheaval, the future is lost also. The social hysteria that might occur, could drive us into the classic dilemma of anarchistic chaos followed by military dictatorship quelling the tumultuous riot.”
The July 1983 Freedom Report warned readers that new Federal Reserve regulations “should prompt us not only to protect ourselves from the coming inflation, but to guard against the approaching tyranny.” The August 1983 issue said, “The final tragic consequences of the abuse of government power and currency destruction is war.”
The December 1989 issue of the Investment Letter, in a section entitled, “What to Expect for the 1990’s,” predicted that “Japan Will Ally With the USSR” and “The American Republic Will Be Replaced With Democratic Fascism.”
The January 1996 Survival Report claimed that Bosnian Serbs were “emigrating as fast as possible, and with the bones of their family members in tow,” so as “to keep the graves from being desecrated by the Muslims who are now ruling over Sarajevo and its suburbs.” America, the newsletter said, “is imposing a plan to create a Muslim government in the heart of Europe that will be ruling over a Christian population, or what’s left of it after this peace agreement. How or why this happened is the subject of a great deal of revisionism right now.”
The November 1987 Political Report praised then-Congressman Jim Traficant, who was found guilty of owing more than $100,000 in back taxes. “I don’t know anything about the details of his case,” it conceded, “but I’m sure the IRS is abusing him (like everyone else).”
The March 1988 Political Report called “my old friend, investment advisor Vern Myers,” a “hero” for refusing to pay $1.4 million in taxes to the Canadian government.
A September 1989 Political Report item entitled “Poor Leona” asked, “Am I the only one to sympathize with real estate tycoons Leona and Harry Helmsley?” The June 1990 Political Report referred to “The martyred Leona Helmsley,” who was sentenced to jail for evading $1.2 million in federal taxes.
The May 1994 Survival Report praised a book by former Republican congressman George Hansen who had been convicted of failing to fill out financial disclosure forms. “The new book is even better than the original, and right up to date on our KBG.”
James Kirchick is a contributing editor for The New Republic.