Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 9 Num. 30

("Quid coniuratio est?")


[CN transcript of remarks by west coast researcher Dave Emory.]


"I was never asked to report on other Americans or assess foreign nationals I had met." -- Gloria Steinem


The Red Stockings charge that this statement is an alarming lie. In a "Report on the Vienna Youth Festival" printed with Steinem's name on it as director of the Independent Research Service, there are 13 pages devoted exclusively to biographies, political affiliations, and even some superficial analyses of persons from all countries participating in the festival. Youths were monitored in much the same way at the 1962 World Youth Festival in Helsinki. In addition to the news and cultural events put on by the Independent Research Service, the Helsinki festival was marked by four nights of "spontaneous" rioting against the festival during which 40 people were arrested. It was reported by Newsweek in August 1962 that "Pravda, of course, blamed the disturbances on well-financed CIA and FBI agents."

(Interrupting briefly. Of course remember that Newsweek is published by Katherine Graham. We're going to be coming to her role in setting up Ms. [magazine] in just a minute.)

This is Gloria Steinem's background from the late 1950s and early 1960s. She functioned as a secret representative of the American government abroad. At least, she was representing certain American interests, and her activities in the Independent Research Service involved her inextricably with the U.S. domestic political intelligence network.

Another fact exhumed by the Red Stockings is the group's [Independent Research Service's] publication of a pamphlet in 1959 called, "A Review of Negro Segregation in the United States." Steinem's name is listed on the inside cover, this time as co-director of the Independent Research Service. The pamphlet focusses on the supposed advances made by black people in the U.S. For example: "Beyond the noisy clamor of those who would obstruct justice and fair play, no alert observer can be unaware of the concerted effort to rule out segregation from every aspect of American life." The reason some discrimination does still occur, according to the research group, is because "it is also self-perpetuating, in that the rejected group, through continued deprivation, is hardened in the very shortcomings, real or imaginary, that are given as the reasons for the discrimination in the first place."

In other words, the oppression of blacks continues not because of white, ruling-class interests, but because black people actually have become inferior. [CN: Here Red Stocking is paraphrasing how they see the Independent Research Service pamphlet's argument.]

(I'd interrupt to say that that phrase ["...the rejected group, through continued deprivation, is hardened in the very shortcomings, real or imaginary, that are given as the reasons for the discrimination in the first place."] could be interpreted in different ways, but that could be one inference of that phrase. I don't necessarily think that that phrase would have to be interpreted in this way. That's one area where I disagree a little bit with the Red Stocking's analysis. However the reportage here on the Helsinki Youth Festival and so forth is bedrock, and I think it's worth noting again Steinem's role as co-founder and co-director of the Independent Research Service.)

The Red Stocking's analysis equates this denial of black oppression with Ms. magazine's rationalization to explain the prolonged subjugation of women: both blacks and women have supposedly become apathetic and deficient.

By 1967, the Independent Research Service was declared "largely inactive" by the New York Times. Steinem, however, was still a director in 1968 when Ramparts [magazine] broke another story. This time they disclosed that the CIA had plans of their own for another World Youth Festival to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria. A scandal involving some confidential letters implicating the CIA, which found their way into print before the festival, had the effect of curtailing the CIA's plans for youths in Sofia.

It was during the following year, 1969-70, that Gloria Steinem first began publicly identifying herself with the Women's Movement. Around this same time, Red Stocking researchers noted there was a change in the biographical information listed about Steinem in Who's Who. Reportedly, Who's Who sends data sheets to their subjects requesting them to furnish the details. The 1968 and '69 edition was the first issue ever mentioning Steinem, and at the time she was listed as "Director, educational foundation, Independent Research Service, Cambridge, Massachusetts/New York City, 1959-62. Now member Board of Directors, Washington." By the 1970 edition of Who's Who, this entry was shortened to "Director, educational foundation, 1959-60." No mention of her position in Washington on the Board of Directors appears, and she abbreviated her term of employment with the Independent Research Service to one year. The censored version appears in each successive edition of Who's Who.

There does seem to be an attempt on Steinem's part to mislead Ms. readers and conceal parts of her past. For instance, her bio-blurb in June 1973 Ms. is even vaguer: "Gloria Steinem has been a free-lance writer all her professional life. Ms. magazine is her first full-time, salaried job."

(Obviously, that is not the case.)

Then there is Gloria Steinem's mysteriously swift rise to national prominence so soon after the 1967 exposures. It is a common complaint among ex-CIA agents that past involvement with the Agency often impedes their ability to find other forms of employment. This was not the case for Steinem. According to Red Stocking, "her career skyrocketed after the 1967 exposures. Much of the credit for this must go to Clay Felker, publisher of New York Magazine. Recently in the news for his acquisition of the Village Voice, Felker immediately fired its two remaining founders from their jobs as publisher and editor. Felker was Steinem's editor at Esquire [magazine] where her first free-lance pieces were published. He hired her as contributing editor to New York Magazine in 1968 and booked publicity spots for her on radio and tv talk shows. Felker put up the money for the preview issue of Ms. in January of 1972, a large part of which appeared as a supplement in the 1971 year-end issue of New York Magazine. In effect, it was Felker who made Steinem famous by giving her a platform from which to establish her Women's Liberation credentials.

These facts are all part of the public record. What has not been widely known up to this time are the earlier political roots of the Steinem/Felker collaboration. Felker was with Steinem at the Helsinki Youth Festival editing the English language newspaper put out by the CIA-financed delegation.

In addition to Steinem's initial boost from Clay Felker, the Red Stockings were able to determine two other major sources of funds for the then fledgling Ms. magazine. One resource was Katherine Graham, owner and publisher of the Washington Post and Newsweek. She bought $20,000 worth of stock before the first issue of Ms. was ever published. According to "perfect Ms. ideology," Graham was recently featured on the magazine's cover, depicted by the headline as "The Most Powerful Woman in America."

(That, by the way, from the Ms. issue of October 1974.)

It should be noted in conjunction to this fact that Newsweek became the most enthusiastic, mass-circulation magazine promoting the Independent Research Service and later, Gloria Steinem as an individual. (See early articles of 5/10/65 and cover story of 8/16/71.)

The second major money source for Ms. was Warner Communications, Inc. They purchased $1 million worth of Ms. stock after the preview issue appeared. Warners allegedly put up nearly all the money and only took 25 percent of the actual stock holdings. Even the Ms. editors admitted that this was a trifle odd: "We are especially impressed that they took the unusual position of becoming a major investor but minority stockholder, thus providing all the money without demanding the decision vote in return."

(That from the Ms. Reader, page 226.)

(Skipping down in the article.....)

The ad policies of Ms. are an equally important indicator of the magazine's financial and political backing, especially in view of the frequently stated Ms. claims of extreme selectivity regarding which ads they will accept. This stance makes any ad they choose tantamount to an endorsement. Blatantly sexist ads are most often rejected, along with ads for cosmetic and fashion products. However Ms. seems to have no moral problem accepting public relations and job recruitment ads for large corporations. IT&T is one of the most regular advertisers in Ms., along with non-product ads from Ortho Pharmaceuticals, Exxon Oil, Chemical Bank, Bell Telephone, Singer Aerospace, Shearson-Hammel stockbrokers, Gulf & Western, and Merrill-Lynch stockbrokers.

In their special "Human Developments" section each month, Ms. runs a series of advertisements for careers in companies like these.

A letter in September of 1973 from Amy Sverdlow(sp?) of Women's Strike for Peace questioned what the recruiting of women for IT&T had in common with human development: "Let's have a Ms. story on all IT&T activities around the world. Then, let the reader decide what talented women will find at IT&T headquarters," she submitted. Ms. editors replied that in light of all the unemployed women and women on welfare that they could not be too selective about their job ads. As if welfare mothers are all headed toward IT&T careers! There is much controversy over whether Ms. magazine is a commercial or a political enterprise. Elements of both seem to exist as ingredients of the Ms. ideological package.

[ be continued...]

       Views expressed do not necessarily  reflect  those
       of Conspiracy Nation, nor of its Editor in Chief.
        I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."

If you would like "Conspiracy Nation" sent to your e-mail address, send a message in the form "subscribe cn-l My Name" to (Note: that is "CN-L" not "CN-1")

For information on how to receive the improved Conspiracy Nation Newsletter, send an e-mail message to

Want to know more about Whitewater, Oklahoma City bombing, etc? (1) telnet (2) logon as "visitor" (3) go citcom

See also:

See also: ftp pub/users/bigred

Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9