The uncensored contents of a letter sent from the FBI to Martin Luther King in which he is called an “evil, abnormal beast” and apparently encouraged to kill himself have been made public for the first time.
In what appears to be a heavy-handed attempt to unsettle the civil rights leader, the anonymous letter was written by a deputy of the bureau’s director J Edgar Hoover, posing as a disappointed activist, and sent to King in the weeks before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
While the existence of the document, dubbed the “suicide letter”, has been known for some time, only heavily redacted versions had previously been available.
It has now been published in full in The New York Times Magazine after an unredacted version was discovered in the National Archive by Yale University historian Beverly Gage, as she researched a book on Hoover.
It shows the FBI director was apparently willing to use King’s extra-marital affairs in an attempt to disconcert the pastor.
Writing in The New York Times, Ms Gage describes how: “The largest unredacted section focuses on King’s sex life, recounting in graphic language what the bureau believed it knew.”
Littered with apparently deliberate typos and mistakes, the letter warns King: “There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudalant [sic] self is bared to the nation.”
At the time King and his associates suspected the letter had come from the FBI, a belief that was confirmed a decade later by the Senate’s Church Committee on intelligence overreach… see more
source: independent UK