In the 1960’s, I watched a television show on Sunday nights called “The FBI”. This show, every episode of which was approved to the smallest detail by actual FBI agents, showed how these clever FBI agents tracked down and arrested inter-state kidnappers, smugglers, murderers, and bank robbers. We were supposed to be thrilled to see these re-enactments of cases from “actual” FBI files.
The producers of this program did a great disservice to the American public when they left out some of the more colorful and exciting episodes of FBI astuteness. Like when they tapped Martin Luther King Jr.’s phones. Or when they tried to harass John Lennon into leaving the country. And how come we didn’t get to spend an evening with J. Edgar Hoover and his life-long male “companion”? And what about an episode on how Burt Lancaster single-handedly threatened the stability and integrity of the U.S. government?
Burt Lancaster? Well, yes. It seems that FBI kept a close eye on this reputed saboteur and Soviet plant. Seems that Mr. Lancaster was a tad on the liberal side, you see. The FBI, ever vigilant, ensured that Burt never got the chance to undermine the U.S. government, by, say, spying on conservative citizens or harassing pro-war activists.
Mr. Hoover felt that Mr. Lancaster’s passionate embrace of Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity-- the famous scene in the rolling surf-- was obscene and lewd. He watched it hundreds of times just be sure he didn’t miss any part of the alleged lewdness. He had FBI agents demand out-takes from the movie studio to study the issue in greater detail. [Added 2011-03: I am not making this up.]
Yes, this man was paid with your tax dollars.
Incidentally, the FBI claimed, in a report, that Lancaster had taken part in a homosexual orgy with Rock Hudson and 250 U.S. marines. I am not making this up. It is in the Toronto Star, March 12, 2000.
What I’m curious about is how they-- Burt and Rock, I mean-- found 250 marines. I mean I know it’s almost unbelievable, but this is a report from the FBI, the most renowned police organization in the world! So, if they say it’s true, it must be. But how did Burt and Rock find that many marines who were gay? Did they put an ad in Stars and Stripes’ personals: “Famous movie stars would like to meet large numbers of open-minded marines for weekend frolic at exclusive L.A. mansion…”
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ever so relieved that at a time when our culture was extremely vulnerable to communist influence, those staunch allies of freedom and liberty at the FBI were standing firm, devoted to their cause and standing resolutely on guard against the perils of godless atheism and socialism!