55 years ago today - Apr 19, 1966

BYU's Ernest Wilkinson asked his administrative assistant to organize a group of "conservative" students to "monitor" professors who were regarded as Communist sympathizers. Nearly all of these BYU professors had publicly condemned the John Birch Society. ... For a year Stephen Hays Stephen Hays Russell, student-leader of this "spy ring," had already been reporting to the local Birch Society chapter and to Wilkinson about some of these professors.

[Whittaker and McClellan, "The Collection: Description," 1-2, register of the Hillam Papers; Stephen Hays Russell to Ernest L. Wilkinson, 26 Apr. 1965; Richard D. Poll to Wilkinson, 24 June 1965, defending himself against the complaints by Russell and E. Eugene Bryce, Wilkinson Papers, photocopy in my possession; Morrell, Bernhard, Hillam, Wimmer, Midgley, and Wirthlin, "Events Related To the Covert Surveillance of Faculty Members," 1-2; "Birch Society Reviewed By Prof. Louis Midgley," Brigham Young University Daily Universe, 22 May 1964, 2; "Faculty Members Deplore 'Fanaticism' of Booklet," Provo Daily Herald, 23 July 1964,14; "None Dare Call It Treason Causes Sincere Concern," Brigham Young University Daily Universe, 23 July 1964, 2; also Bergera and Priddis, Brigham Young University, 207-208. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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