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Theory of Fielding - Set W - The Progressive Organization

From: H. B. Laes
Date: 07 Aug 2000


Theory of Fielding - Set W - The Progressive Organization

Phenomena Vladimir Chikov wrote: [A] "Leslie had more to report on Perseus, whom she saw shortly before leaving for Paris [June 1947]. He told her that he had joined a peace movement and wanted to ban the bomb." [B] "As his chief contact, answered Semyonov, you should persuade him not to take part in highly visible progressive organizations and to avoid people who might fall within the FBI's range of vision. He should get out of that anti-bomb movement as quickly as possible." [C] "Luis did have one success, however. Claude reported to the Soviet Embassy in Washington which sent out the message to Moscow [2 August 1948]: Luis had a meeting with Perseus. He persuaded him to leave the progressive organization and restrict himself to science."

Discussion Interestingly, the Albrights do not attempt to link Ted Hall with the Perseus of these phenomena even though the Chikov/Kern work is a major reference for Bombshell. However, Christopher Andrew in the recent The Sword and The Shield (page 148) does identify Ted Hall as the 'progressive' Perseus described by Chikov - but not based on new material from Mitrokhin. Because Ted and Joan Hall worked for Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party in 1948 (Bombshell, page 176), and because the French edition of Chikov/Kern states, "Luis has met Mlad," Mr. Andrew concludes that Ted Hall and the Progressive Party are the facts behind this bit of the Perseus legend. We are not so sure for the following reasons:

First. It is worth noting that the Russian edition of Chikov/Kern (The Illegals), arguably the more authoritative, states "Luis had a meeting with Perseus" - not Mlad.

Second. Bombshell informs us that at the end of 1947 or beginning of 1948 Ted and Joan Hall joined the Communist Party, underwent communist indoctrination, etc. We are further told that, "sometime in the middle months of 1948 Ted wrote that Savy must tell our friends in NY that he and Joan had joined the Communist Party and suggest they might not want to have anything more to do with us." Logic only dictates that Luis' meeting with Perseus occurred in 1948 and, therefore, if it had been with Hall, Cohen would have heard first hand about the Communist Party. Logic also says that Savy in NY would have passed on, as requested, this important news to one of the Cohens. The Halls' joining the CP would be the absolute antithesis of what the Soviets wanted Perseus to do. So contrary to what Chikov wrote, Cohen clearly would not have been able to report "success" regarding Mlad, Ted Hall.

Third. Perseus joined the so-called progressive organization sometime before June 1947, an organization described by Chikov as a "peace movement" (twice) and a "ban the bomb" organization (twice). In the first half of 1947 the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), the precursor organization to the 1948 Progressive Party, was a multi-issue, broad-based political organization. Notwithstanding it's non-aggressive stance toward the Soviet Union, characterization of the PCA as a peace movement, per se, would not be accurate. Citations for Progressive Citizens in the New York Times Index for 1947 reflect such issues as rent/price controls, Federal Employees Loyal Order, federal anti-lynching legislation, opposition to federal income tax reduction, etc. None of the citations reflect a 'ban the bomb' position. Were there any organizations in 1947 for which the labels "peace movement" and "ban the bomb" would be definitively applicable? Yes. There is one, perhaps only one, and moreover, one that you would expect a Los Alamos physicist, sympathetic to Soviet socialism, to have joined: the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Although initially organized in 1945, the FAS of 1947 was essentially a new organization, having recently officially merged with the Federation of Atomic Scientists and formalized its leadership relationship with its constituent chapters and sub-groups. So, for example, if one had been a member of the Association of Los Alamos Scientists (ALAS) in 1945, but left Los Alamos after the war to return to academia, was of a mind to continue to support the "scientist's movement," then re-affiliation in 1947 would have meant joining FAS. The Federation's agenda in 1947 was largely restricted to influencing the development of US domestic and international policy on atomic energy. In a nutshell the organization vigorously championed international control of the new science, especially with respect to atomic weapons. The definitive history of FAS (1945 - 1947) is a book written by Alice Kimball Smith, A Peril and A Hope. Here are a couple of quotes that fairly represent FAS sentiment of this period: "Science should henceforth be primarily an instrument of peace." "The Cornell executive committee [Association of Scientists of Cornell University, a constituent of FAS] recommended agreement on the early abolition of atomic weapons from national armaments, halting our own preparations for warfare, making available to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission all necessary basic scientific data, and developing a more consistent foreign policy." Knowledgeable readers might point out, however, that Ted Hall was a member of FAS in 1947 (Bombshell). True, but we would counter with our belief that Ted Hall did not leave FAS in 1948/9 as Perseus had agreed to do. And again, with respect to the issue worrying the Soviets, belonging to FAS would not compare to being a card carrying member of the CP. It just makes no sense for Hall, new Communist Party member, to be the subject of the 2 August 1948 "success" message to Washington.

Four. There exists another Los Alamos physicist, a liberally minded "first-teamer," who in 1947 belonged to FAS but who later appears to have uncharacteristically dropped his membership - consistent with Perseus legend.

Conclusion We are not in agreement with the idea that Ted Hall was the Perseus who had joined a progressive organization by mid 1947.

Sources Comment Staline A Vole La Bombe Atomique Aux Americains: Dossier KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov and Gary Kern, 1996 Nelegaly: dos'e KGB No. 13676, Vladimir Chikov, 1997 The Sword and the Shield, Christopher Andrew and Gordievsky, 1999 A Peril and a Hope, Alice Kimball Smith, 1965 New York Times Index, 1947 Bombshell, Joseph Albright and Marcia Kunstel, 1997

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