Willis Allison Carto
July 17, 1926
Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||October 26, 2015 89) (aged|
|Known for||Holocaust denial, antisemitism, right-wing populism|
|Title||Head of Liberty Lobby (defunct), founder of the Institute for Historical Review|
Willis Allison Carto (July 17, 1926 – October 26, 2015) was an American political activist on the American far right. He described himself as Jeffersonian and populist, but was primarily known for his promotion of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.
Carto was known as a political racial theorist through the Liberty Lobby and successor organizations which he helped create. Carto ran a group supporting segregationist George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign which formed the basis for the National Youth Alliance which promoted Francis Parker Yockey's political philosophy. Carto helped found the Populist Party, which served as an electoral vehicle for white supremacist group and Ku Klux Klan members, such as David Duke in 1988 and Christian Identity supporter Bo Gritz in 1992. Carto ran the American Free Press newspaper which publishes anti-semitic and racist books and features columns by Joe Sobran, James Traficant, Paul Craig Roberts, and others. The organization promotes 9/11 conspiracy theories.Carto's many other projects included the Institute for Historical Review, which promotes Holocaust denial.
Willis Carto was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served in the Philippines during World War II and earned the Purple Heart. [ citation needed ] He later worked for Procter & Gamble and moved west to San Francisco, California where he worked for the Household Finance Company.After leaving the military, he lived with his parents in Mansfield, Ohio. He took at least some classes at the University of Cincinnati Law School.
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Willis Carto was a devotee of the writings of Francis Parker Yockey. [ citation needed ] Yockey's book, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics , was adopted by Carto as his own guiding ideology.Yockey promoted Adolf Hitler's German National Socialism movement, harsh criticism of the influence of Jews, and other Fascist causes and worked with the Nazi aligned German-American Bund and the National German-American Alliance. Yockey was visited by Carto while in prison for possessing falsified passports.
Later, Carto would define his ideology as Jeffersonian and populist rather than National Socialist, particularly in Carto's 1982 book, Profiles in Populism.That book presented sympathetic profiles of several United States political figures including Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, Henry Ford, as well as Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin who used radio to issue commentary in support of the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
In 1955, Carto founded an organization called Liberty Lobby, which remained in operation under his control until 2001, when the organization was forced into bankruptcy as a result of a lawsuit.Liberty Lobby published The Spotlight newspaper between 1975 and 2001.
Cartoand several Spotlight staff members and writers subsequently founded a new newspaper called the American Free Press . The paper includes articles from syndicated columnists who have no direct ties to Carto or his organizations.
In 1966, Carto acquired control of The American Mercury via the Legion for the Survival of Freedom organization. It was published until 1980.
Carto ran a group called "Youth for George Wallace" to aid the third party presidential campaign of George Wallace in 1968.When the campaign failed, he converted what remained of the Youth for George Wallace organization into the National Youth Alliance. As National Chairman for this group, Carto was successful in recruiting William Luther Pierce, who later became known for writing The Turner Diaries . Carto eventually lost control of the National Youth Alliance to Pierce who transformed it into the National Alliance, a white nationalist and white separatist political organization.
On September 10, 1971, the conservative magazine National Review published a detailed critique of Carto's activities up to that point. It was titled "Liberty Lobby - Willis Carto and his Fronts."
The Institute for Historical Review was founded by Willis Carto in 1979.Carto was also the founder of a publishing company called Noontide Press, which published books on white racialism, including Yockey's Imperium and David Hoggan's The Myth of the Six Million, one of the first books to deny the Holocaust. Noontide Press later became closely associated with the IHR, and fell out of Carto's hands at the same time as the IHR did.
The IHR and Carto were sued in 1981 by public interest attorney William John Cox on behalf of Auschwitz survivor Mel Mermelstein. In that case, which was to eventually last eleven years, the court took "judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland during the summer of 1944."The court went on to state, "It is simply a fact." The law firm of Robert Von Esch, Jr., representing the defendants, settled with the plaintiff to remove themselves from the case by agreeing to pay $100,000 and an explicit apology for having filed an August 1986 libel suit by the IHR against Mermelstein. The Von Esches also formally acknowledged that Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and that millions of Jews had perished in German wartime camps. On September 19, 1991, the plaintiffs withdrew complaints of libel, conspiracy to inflict emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress, following Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Lachs' dismissal of the malicious prosecution portion of the case.
After losing control of Noontide Press and the IHR in a hostile takeover by former associates, Carto started another publication, The Barnes Review , with the focus also on Holocaust denial.
In 1984, Carto was involved in starting a new political party called the Populist Party.It quickly fell out of his hands in a hostile takeover by disgruntled former associates. Critics asserted that this Populist Party (not to be confused with the 19th-century People's Party, commonly known as "Populists") was little more than an electoral vehicle for current and former Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity members. Olympic athlete Bob Richards (1984), David Duke (a founder of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a future Louisiana state representative, 1988) and former Green Beret Bo Gritz (1992) were the Populist Party's only three presidential candidates. It folded before it could nominate a candidate for the 1996 elections.
Carto's Liberty Lobby acquired the Sun Radio Network in December 1989, and attempted to use talk radio as a vehicle for espousing his views. It was eventually a financial failure.[ citation needed ] Liberty Lobby and American Free Press also sponsored the Radio Free America talk show. Carto also formed the Foundation to Defend the First Amendment, one of several nonprofits Carto used to spread money to like-minded individuals and groups. Carto also published Barnes Review from 1994.
In 2004, Carto joined in signing the New Orleans Protocol on behalf of American Free Press. The New Orleans Protocol seeks to "mainstream our cause" by reducing internecine warfare. It was written by David Duke.
Carto has also been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool , which, according to its statement of principles, represents "a philosophy that is pro-White." He has spoken at meetings conducted by "Pastor" Thomas Robb, a prominent Ku Klux Klan leader and Christian Identity advocate and in 2015 participated in the ground breaking ceremony for the Christian Revival Research and Development Center being built on Robb's compound in Arkansas, along with Edward Fields and Canadian white supremacist Paul Fromm.
In 2007, Carto condemned the "genocidal maniacs like Vice President Cheney and commentator Bill O'Reilly" in their support of the Bush administration's attack on Iraq.Carto defended Iraq as a "highly civilized, independent, stable country with 6,000 years of proud history" where over "800,000 innocent men, women and children have been killed, and at least one million wounded, an untold number of homes have been demolished, roads blown up, buildings destroyed." Carto warned that "now the crooks are prodding America to attack Iran" and condemned "the war cries of cowardly 'neo-con' Israel-firsters who literally demand war against Iran". He expressed the fear that American bombs might kill enough Iranians so that Israel will "establish control over the entire theatre and those who presently live there will become Jewish serfs—like the Palestinians." His media outlets have supported presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul.
Carto died on October 26, 2015 at the age of 89, reportedly from cardiac arrest.In February 2016, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery (which the family had the right to request because he had earned a Purple Heart.) Far-right and white nationalist Pastor Thomas A. Robb presided at the funeral.
The Ku Klux Klan, commonly called the KKK or the Klan, is an American white supremacist hate group, whose primary target is African Americans. The Klan has existed in three distinct eras at different points in time during the history of the United States. Each has advocated extremist reactionary positions such as white nationalism, anti-immigration and—especially in later iterations—Nordicism and anti-Catholicism. Historically, the first Klan used terrorism – both physical assault and murder – against politically active blacks and their allies in the South in the late 1860s, until it was suppressed around 1872. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society and all are considered "right-wing extremist" organizations. In each era, membership was secret and estimates of the total were highly exaggerated by both friends and enemies.
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements:
The Institute for Historical Review (IHR), founded in 1978, is an organization based in California, United States, best known for publishing articles and books promoting Holocaust denial. It is considered by many scholars to be central to the international Holocaust denial movement. IHR promotes antisemitic viewpoints, and has links to neo-Nazi organizations. The Institute published the Journal of Historical Review until 2002, but now disseminates its materials through its website and via email. The Institute is affiliated with the Legion for the Survival of Freedom and Noontide Press.
Francis Parker Yockey was an American attorney, political philosopher, and Metaphysician best known for his neo-Spenglerian book Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, published under the pen name Ulick Varange in 1948. This book, described in its introduction as a "sequel" to Spengler's The Decline of the West, argues for a culture-based, totalitarian path for the preservation of Western culture.
Mel Mermelstein is a Hungarian-born Jew, sole-survivor of his family's extermination at Auschwitz concentration camp who defeated the Institute for Historical Review in an American court and in 1981 had the occurrence of gassings in Auschwitz during the Holocaust declared a legally incontestable fact.
The Knights of the White Camelia was an American political terrorist organization that operated in the southern United States in the 19th century, similar to and associated with the Ku Klux Klan, supporting white supremacy and opposing freedmen's rights.
Liberty Lobby was a United States political advocacy organization founded in 1958. It was created by Willis Carto and described itself as "a pressure group for patriotism; the only lobby in Washington, D.C., registered with Congress which is wholly dedicated to the advancement of government policies based on our Constitution and conservative principles." Carto is noted for his promotion of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.
The Spotlight was a weekly newspaper in the United States, published in Washington, D.C. from September 1975 to July 2001 by the now-defunct antisemitic Liberty Lobby. The Spotlight ran articles and editorials professing a "populist and nationalist" political orientation. Some observers have described the publication as promoting a right-wing, or conservative, politics.
The American Free Press is a weekly newspaper published in the United States.
The Barnes Review is a bi-monthly magazine founded in 1994 by Willis Carto's Liberty Lobby and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Southern Poverty Law Center notes it to be one of the most virulent anti-Semitic organizations around, whose journal and website were "dedicated to historical revisionism and Holocaust denial."
Following the collapse of Reconstruction, African Americans created a broad-based independent political movement in the South: Black Populism.
The National Youth Alliance (NYA) was an American right-wing political organization founded on November 15, 1968, at the Army and Navy Club by Willis Carto, head of the right-wing Liberty Lobby. The aim of the group was to recruit students to counter liberal and Marxist groups on college campuses like Students for a Democratic Society. The NYA emerged from an earlier group connected to Willis Carto known as the Youth for Wallace, which had supported segregationist Governor George Wallace's bid for president as American Independent Party candidate in 1968.
William David McCalden was a figure in the British political far right. As co-founder of the Institute for Historical Review in 1978, he is notable for his advocacy of Holocaust denial.
Austin Joseph App was a German-American professor of medieval English literature who taught at the University of Scranton and La Salle University. App defended Germans and Nazi Germany during World War II. He is known for his work denying the Holocaust, and he has been called the first major American Holocaust denier.
Michael Collins Piper was an American political writer, conspiracy theorist and talk radio host.
Noontide Press is an American publishing entity which describes itself as a publisher of "hard-to-find books and recordings from a dissident, 'politically incorrect' perspective." It publishes numerous antisemitic pseudohistorical titles, including The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and The International Jew. The Anti-Defamation League describes its founding and early years:
The Institute for Historical Review and its publishing arm, Noontide Press, were founded in 1978 by the leading organizer of modern American anti-Semitism, Willis Carto, and his wife Elisabeth. Based near Los Angeles in Torrance, California, the group pioneered organizing efforts among Holocaust deniers, who had heretofore labored mostly in isolation and obscurity. The group's first "Revisionist Convention" in September 1979 featured speakers from the U.S., France, Germany, England and Sweden, many of whom subsequently contributed articles to the inaugural issue of IHR's Journal of Historical Review the following spring. With the Noontide Press offering a means for the sale and distribution of their writings, professional deniers had found something of a rainmaker in Carto.
The Holocaust had a deep effect on society both in Europe and the rest of the world, and today its consequences are still being felt both by children and adults whose ancestors were victims of this genocide.
William John "Billy Jack" Cox is an American public interest lawyer and author.
The Populist Party was a political party in the United States between 1984 and 1996. It was conservative and often white nationalist in its ideology. The party was unrelated to the original American Populist Party or other American parties that have used the same name. Willis Carto helped found the Populist Party, which eventually served as an electoral vehicle for Ku Klux Klan member David Duke.