Willis Carto and the "Problems"

Published: 1993-05-01

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I know, we should let sleeping dogs lie and not open up old wounds. If I had a chance, I wouldn't publish the following article. But we are in the business of posting the contents of all issues of Smith's Report for historical and archival reasons—all of its contents. So we won't hide this opinion piece either. I couldn't resist inserting a few comments here and there, though, indicating that Bradley's caveats were included wisely, and that today his assessment of the situation looks quite different. It is not necessarily in full support of Willis Carto, who has continued producing valuable revisionist material since his split from the IHR, but most certainly not in support of Mark Weber, who spearheaded the revolt against Carto in 1993 and who has since ruined the IHR, killed its Journal of Historical Review, stopped the production of any revisionist material, and has turned the Institute into his personal sinecure and pension fund. –Webmaster, Sept. 2, 2015

Last year when the Board of Directors of IHR (for those of you who are new, The Institute for Historical Review) decided to fire its founder, I had to make a decision just like everybody else. Despite the absolutely crucial role Willis Carto played in founding IHR, once irreconcilable editorial differences arose between WC and the staff, I chose to go with the staff. More precisely, I chose to go with The Journal of Historical Review.

From the beginning, my association with IHR has been contingent on what is published in The Journal. For me, IHR is The Journal, a dozen or so books published by IHR, and the rallying point it provides for the handful of revisionist scholars and researchers who have contributed to them, and for those who have supported the endeavor financially or in other ways. But my association with the IHR has always pivoted around the contents and editorial policies of The Journal.

I never committed myself to any personality connected with the Institute, but to the Institute as represented by its publications. I didn't commit myself to Tom Marcellus (Marcellus was director in July 1984 when the Institute was burned to the ground in an arson attack, which was the event that propelled me into offering my services to the Institute) or any other director before or after Marcellus, or to Willis Carto. When I decided to associate myself with the Institute, I didn't know Tom well and I didn't know Willis at all. As a matter of fact, I still don't know Willis.

My understanding of my loyalties and responsibilities toward revisionism and the Institute are the same today as they were ten years ago. I'll stand with The Journal so long as it publishes valuable revisionist research on the holocaust controversy, and I'll stop representing it when it becomes a forum for other interests. [Editor's remark: this end of representation came when The Journal's editor Mark Weber ruined this fine publication in the late 1990s/early 2000s.]

While I've never been on staff at the IHR, over the years I have come to know most of those associated with it in any meaningful way. In all those years there has never been a time when staff did not expend much of its energies in resisting WC's editorial influence. There has never been an editor for The Journal who did not have to struggle day by day, month after month all these years against what they have regarded as WC's psychological and intellectual vagaries.

McCalden, Stimely, Hoffman, Berkel, O'Keefe and Weber. Every one of them struggled against WC to maintain the intellectual integrity of The Journal. In the end each quit in disgust, or was fired, with the exception of Weber, who it appears Carto was preparing to try to get fired when he was fired himself.

The vulgarity and carelessness of Carto's intellectual style is represented by his national weekly, The Spotlight. It was always a commonplace at the Institute that, if WC's editorial and intellectual sensibilities were ever to be successful, The Journal would become "another Spotlight," intellectually cheap, untrustworthy, the political tool of a single personality. I'm not saying The Spotlight runs no worthwhile stories, or that it has no place in the newspaper world. It does. But it's "another" world. It isn't mine. And it isn't the world of any revisionist scholar or researcher who wants his work to be taken seriously.

All of us who were privy to the struggle for editorial control of The Journal understood it was a life-and-death struggle for its intellectual integrity—against its founder.

Unlike those few supporters of the IHR whose first loyalty is to Willis Carto, mine is to the Institute represented primarily by The Journal. Revisionist scholarship plays a key role in the struggle for intellectual freedom in America. The Journal is more important to me than Willis, and more important than any individual employed to edit it. If I were to conclude that the editor of The Journal had begun to compromise it, even if he were my friend, I would back the search for a new editor. [Editor's Remark: This point was reached in the late 1990s/early 2000s] I understand I don't have the ability to edit the Journal. I would not think it dishonorable to reach the same conclusion about a friend, if such were the case.

Loyalty to a friend does not imply to me that I should pretend my friend can perform a task he cannot, or that I should stand aside while he contributes to the dissolution of an institution I believe is necessary. I have no obligation to my friend and his ideals that he does not have toward me and mine.

So when it was time to decide between WC and the Journal, I chose The Journal hands down. It was no contest. My only regret is that it took so long for the time to come.

W. Carto vs. Andrew Allen

On 1 March I received a note from Willis stating in part, "I'm not sure if the facts are important to you, but if your mind is not totally closed and perhaps [you] even have some questions, why don't you ask me?"

I responded, admitting that I had failed to ask him for his side of the story, but that I was certainly ready and willing to listen to it. Meanwhile, the IHR had sent out a mailing with quotes from six well-known revisionists along with their photos, each, without mentioning Willis, endorsing the current staff of the IHR. The six included Robert Faurisson, Arthur Butz, David Irving, James J. Martin, Ernst Zuendel and myself. [Editor's remark: Except for David Irving and James J. Martin (deceased), all have since changed their mind.]

In addition to endorsing the staff, I am quoted addressing the charge Willis is making in The Spotlight against my friend, Andrew Allen. Willis is charging that Allen works for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and that, because he is a member of the "new" IHR board of directors, the ADL now controls and runs the IHR. My statement addresses this specific charge only. In it I promise that, if it is ever demonstrated that Andrew Allen is an agent for the ADL, I will fly to Washington, call a press conference, and eat my shorts on the steps of Liberty Lobby (the parent company of The Spotlight).

A couple weeks later I received Willis's reply to my inquiry about his side of the story. It was a little package of canned materials that is sent to anyone who writes The Spotlight asking for it. There was a one-sentence penned note from Willis. "The next time you come to Washington," it read, "I suggest you wear clean shorts."

When I'm drinking beer, I might think a crack like that is uproarious. I might even make a crack like that and slap my leg too. But Willis can do better. One day four or five years ago I got a note from Willis out of the blue. "I have good news for you," it read. "Your friend David McCalden is dying of AIDS." Now there's a funny line. We weren't even having an exchange of correspondence, Willis and I, yet he had taken the time to sit down, write and fold the note, address the envelope, put the note in it, lick it closed, stamp it and see that it got mailed.

At the time, I didn't have it in me to laugh at the news. Sometimes I'm just not at my best. As a matter of fact, when I read the note, I felt something terrible surge through my innards. Now that McCalden's death is well behind me and my too-easily touched sensibilities have relaxed about his demise, I can better appreciate WC's sense of the comic.

I am not amused, however, by WC's charge that my friend Andrew Allen is a mole for the ADL. When I got Willis's package, I looked for what proof he has in it to substantiate the charge. The matter is addressed on page (panel) seven of Vince Ryan's "Regarding the IHR Controversy."

According to Ryan, who is editor of The Spotlight and in this instance WC's mouthpiece, after the Carto/McCalden split in 1980, McCalden began to collaborate with Roy Bullock, an ADL undercover agent. Ryan writes that Bullock was McCalden's "handler," financing and directing him, while Andrew Allen collaborated closely with both McCalden "and Bullock."

Two years ago The San Francisco Chronicle exposed Bullock as a paid informant for the ADL. That much is true. But Ryan/WC present no proof whatever that Bullock was McCalden's "handler," that he financed or directed McCalden, and [my particular interest here] no proof that Andrew Allen "collaborated" with Bullock or that he even knew Bullock. As a matter of fact, Allen says he never met Bullock and doesn't recall ever hearing Bullock's name until Bullock was outed by The Chronicle last year.

That is, either Andrew Allen is not telling me the truth, or WC's charges against him are untrue. How can this difficult impasse be broken? All WC has to do is publish proof that Allen is an ADL agent. It's not complicated. WC should have presented such proof when he published the allegation. That would have been the honorable thing to do. That would have been an act of integrity. Since he didn't, I'm going to speculate that WC has no proof for the allegation. That WC has decided to smear Andrew Allen to further his struggle to regain his authority with the IHR, and that his charges are a mix of speculation and slander, a bucket of Carto spit.

I don't ask Willis to do anything about his accusations against Andrew Allen that revisionists do not ask Jews and others to do with respect to their accusations about Germans using gassing chambers—put up or shut up. Either Willis Carto has proof that Andrew Allen is a mole for the ADL or Willis Carlo is a slanderer. The ball's in his court.

If Willis does publish information that substantiates his charges against Andrew Allen, you will have gotten an interesting insight into my credulity, my misplaced sense of friendship, and my unworthiness of being trusted or respected by those who represent and support The Institute for Historical Review.

If Willis does not publish the facts proving that Andrew is an ADL mole, you will understand something of his intellectual vulgarity, the crudeness of his sensibilities under pressure, and much of what you need to know about why he should have been excised from any relationship with the IHR and The Journal years ago.

Willis Carto vs. Himself

Willis is four or five years older than I, he must be nearing seventy now, and the end of his life is approaching. It's time for him to take stock of how he relates to people, how he treats those who work with him, to ask forgiveness here and there, to get a grip on his real life, to put something before what he is putting first now.

I would urge Willis to come clean about the "Edison" bequest of millions of dollars, which court documents and WC's own sworn statements make clear was left to the IHR, but which has apparently been diverted to private and even secret accounts controlled by Willis. If he doesn't come clean about the money, he's never going to be able to clean up his life. I don't know if he is able to understand an idea like this one, but I wish him well, and I urge him to contemplate the fact that his time is about to come, and that he's only going to have one chance to do it right.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Willis Carto and the "Problems"
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 17, Spring 1994, pp. 2-4
Published: 1993-05-01
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 2, 2015, 9:15 a.m.
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