RED REGIMENTATION OF SCREEN WRITERS
By Myron Fagan
(Excerpt by henrymakow.com)
The famous California banker, A. H. Gianinni, who financed many of the pioneer movie enterprises, declared when the film industry was just getting started, "They who control the cinema can control the thought of the world."
Apparently, the Communists were the first to act upon this recognition and move boldly to establish "world thought-control through monopolistic movie control.' Back in 1919, when both the cinema and the Comintern (World Communist Organization) were in their infancy, Bolshevik Dictator Lenin declared, in a conversation with his commissar of education, Lunacharski, "You must always consider that of all the arts, the motion picture is for its the most important."
It was Lunacharski who formulated the Soviet system of education on this basis, "Away with Christianity and the Gospel of love. We must teach Soviet children to hate. We must have hatred and still more hatred. Only by hating can we destroy our enemies and conquer the world."
In 1925, Willi Muenzenberg, General Secretary of the so-called International Workers Relief, which was a transparent "front" for the Moscow-controlled worldwide Communist propaganda bureau of the Comintern, reported that Communist agents throughout the world had been instructed to "concern themselves more than formerly in turning this weapon (the movies) to their service.'
To utilize the silver screen as a "weapon' in advancing world revolution, Moscow Reds founded the so-called "cinema bureau' of the International union of the Revolutionary Theater. This was in 1925, the same year that Comrade Willi Muenzenberg issued this "call to action' in the Communist Daily Worker published in New York City: "We must develop the tremendous cultural possibilities of the motion picture in a revolutionary sense. One of the most pressing tasks confronting Communist parties in the field of agitation and propaganda is the conquest of this supremely important propaganda weapon, until now the monopoly of the ruling class. We must wrest it from them and turn it against them.'
In 1934, what is described as "a considerable sum of money' was sent from the Soviet high command for propaganda in Moscow to a Communist in Hollywood. "This sum was to be used for the purpose of creating an entering wedge into the motion picture industry," according to the report of the Joint Fact-Finding Committee to the 55th California Legislature, 1943.
To gain control of the movie industry, the international Communist conspirators enlisted "revolutionary' writers throughout the world to write for the film studios. One of the radical writers to be brought into alignment with Communist designs was "John Howard Lawson."
(left, "Lawson" nee Levy, ran Hollywood screenwriters for Moscow)
Lawson is listed 50 times in the records of the House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities, for affiliation with Red-front organizations. The Joint Fact-Finding Committee of the California legislature termed him "one of the most important Marxist strategists in Southern California."
John Leech, former Communist Party official in Los Angeles County, told a county grand jury that John Howard Lawson had been sent from New York City to Hollywood by the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
According to Mr. Hughes, "The California legislative investigating committee reported that V. J. Jerome "brought John Howard Lawson to Hollywood. He helped organize study clubs and coordinated Communist Party work between Hollywood groups and downtown Los Angeles sections. He was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the United States, as well as being chairman of the cultural commission of the Communist Party in the United States'."
The Committee described Jerome, whose true name is Isaac Romaine, as "the American Communist bellwether of the fellow traveling cultural clique' which acknowledges Lawson as an outstanding leader.
(HUAC HEARING. Hollywood's biggest stars pulled in big bucks while selling out their country and their craft)
With characteristic Communist intolerance, Lawson lays down the rule that no movie personality has a "right" to call himself "an artist' unless he is thoroughly committed to serving the Communist cause on and off the screen.
Thunders Lawson, "Unless you portray any role given you in a manner to further the revolution and the class case, you have no right to call yourself an actor. You must do this regardless of what the script says or what the director tells you. Even if you are nothing more than an extra you can portray a society woman in a manner to make her appear a villainess and a snob. And you can portray a working girl in such a way so as to make her seem a sympathetic victim of the capitalist system."
Lawson delivered himself of these remarks before a class of student actors in Hollywood. This goes far to explain why many young actors and actresses, who obviously do not have "Marxian convictions,' pose as "dyed-in-the-wool Reds." They have been sold on the idea that this is the way to get ahead in Hollywood.
Even more important than the stars, so far as the Red purpose of using the movies to establish "thought control' over the people of the world is concerned, are the scenario writers. The actors may be able to insinuate a few Communist, "class-conscious' touches and flourishes into their acting, but the stronger elements of Soviet propaganda must be subtly inserted by the screen writers.
"Writing for the movies' is a highly profitable business-much more so than any other kind of writing in America today. Top screen writers received $5,000 a week-which amounts to more than a quarter of a million dollars a year. The average is, perhaps, around $3,000 a week. The minimum a scenario scribbler may receive is $187.50 per week, plus a bonus of from $1,500 to $2,250 for each picture upon which he works.
This amounts to well over a thousand dollars a month, on the average, but, in Hollywood, this is a mere "pittance."
We have already seen how the scheme of the Moscow conspirators was to "plant' their so-called "revolutionary writers' in the film colony-to spread Stalinist propaganda. However, the lure of $5,000 a week attracted to Hollywood the masters of English prose from the four corners of the English-speaking world. After all, the Reds have never been able to stake out a monopolistic claim on either brains or literary ability. A great many of the world's greatest writers are strongly anti-Communist; some are single-taxers, vegetarians, spiritualists, Republicans, Christian Scientists, and-for that matter-isolationists and advocates of "white supremacy.'
(Today, Communist dupes resort to intimidation and violence)
Consequently, the problem of the Reds was not just to get their own literary shining lights established in Hollywood, but to banish from the film industry all talented writers who refused to conform to the Communist propaganda line.
The veteran left-wing crusader, John Howard Lawson, had a leading part in contriving a clever scheme for making screen writing a virtual Communist-controlled monopoly. Together with less than a dozen other fellow-travelers of Sovietism, Lawson succeeded in setting up, and establishing control over, a tightly organized scenario writers' "Brain Trust' which goes under the name of the Screen Writers' Guild.
In order to operate on a "closed shop' basis (closed against writers unfriendly to Sovietism), it represents itself as a legitimate labor union-claiming all rights and immunities under the Wagner Act and other pro-union statutes. Of course, this is the sheerest of shams. Individuals getting thousands of dollars a week in salary are really top-bracket capitalists. In reality, the studios deal with them as individuals--some scenario writers are paid $5,000 a week, others receive the minimum of $187.50 a week, according to their individual abilities. In such a profession, "collective bargaining" is a myth and a fraud. But probably no one understands this better than the architects of the Screen Writers' Guild.
The Guild's purpose in enforcing a rigidly-controlled "closed shop' is not to facilitate dealings with the film companies, but rather to keep the door securely closed in the face of all non-Communist writers who might entertain ambitions of "crashing' the gates of Hollywood to fame and fortune.
"The Screen Writers' Guild is completely Communist dominated," declares Rupert Hughes, world-famed author who was established in Hollywood as a famous screen writer, before the fellow-travelLers were able to set up the machinery for the creation of a Red-run monopoly.
Mr. Hughes gives examples of how the Screen Writers' Guild has refused to permit production to go forward on pictures which failed to conform to Soviet "ideological' standards. Members of the Guild, he avers, lose their "literary rights' if they fail to read the things they are told to read, as well as write what they are told to write.
(Herbert Biberman and Sam Ornitz, two Communist screenwriters on the Blacklist)
He states, "Of course they put Communist propaganda in the movies ! "They paint a rich man as a fiend. They make every rich man in a play look like the fat boy in a museum, and every poor boy is made out as a skeleton. Actually, the only millionaires I've known were skinny dyspeptics-look at Rockefeller.'
Labor leaders, in the movies, are always portrayed as lean, muscled, bronzed athletic types-such as John Garfield. While the movies claim to portray "life' truthfully and realistically, the fact remains that the best-known labor leader in America is one of the soggiest, most bloated fat men in the national limelight-John L. Lewis. Ernest Bevin, Britain's most famous labor organizer, is of similar proportions. He and Lewis together would tip the beams at well in excess of a quarter of a ton-which is approximately twice the weight of Henry Ford, America's first billionaire....
Actual membership in the Communist Party, of course, is a much more serious charge than mere "fellow-traveling' with Reds. Since the alleged fellow-travellers "answered' the charges, the silence of the accused Communist Party members can only mean that they are either unable or unwilling to deny that they are Reds. The probable truth of the matter is that they are proud of it!
On the basis of the evidence, it would appear that the Screen Writers' Guild is one of the most completely Communist-controlled "unions' in the nation. As one of the editors of the Hollywood Reporter has put it, "If you have 11 out of 12 men who direct a union lined up with the Communists, and can prove it, it's pretty to say that union is Communist dominated, isn't it???
Even if we were to accept the rather lame disavowals of the alleged "fellow-travellers," it still leaves the Guild's 12 directing posts in the possession of a controlling 9 who offer no denial of the published statement that they are registered members of the Communist Party.