“Reformed Communist” Kenneth Goff’s Red Betrayal of Youth from 1948 is a 32-page detour into the loopiest kind of paranoia. The booklet—one of many written during the Cold War by Mr. Goff—is essentially a Red scare warning cry against every entertainment medium favored by young people in post-war America.
Indeed, Mr. Goff sees an insidious, creeping Communist influence everywhere: from comic books (“Teen Life Comics and Adventure”) to Frank Sinatra.
The author seems especially perturbed by the Red menace’s use of music, sex and alcohol in luring the young to their destruction. In a remarkable section in the booklet entitled “Drawn by Be-Bop” Mr. Goff reaches mightily to connect race mixing and jazz music with Communism:
A police investigation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has uncovered wide-spread sex orgies between white girls and Negro youth in what is termed the worst sex problem in the city’s history. Many of the girls involved, most of them sixteen and seventeen years old, came from the city’s best families.Another offender singled out for scorn in Red Betrayal of Youth is that old reliable “Red Nest” of Hollywood. Conservative attacks on the movie industry have since become cliché, but Mr. Goff’s vintage hyperbole is so over the top it warrants inclusion here:
The details obtained revealed that the girls, mostly junior high school students, met Negro boy friends at the Lapham Park Social Center and other social gatherings in the sixth ward.
Some of the girls traveled miles to the district, lured by the desire to hear be-bop music, an extreme form of jazz.
After meeting the Negroes at dances, they went off to orgies in cars and empty trucks parked in vacant lots and into the homes of some of the men.
The girls drank wine and beer, and consorted unlimitedly with male companions.
One 17-year-old girl said she had relations with a dozen men and boys during a weekend spree. Another white girl reportedly spent two nights with a 38-year-old Negro man.
These are just a few examples—multiply these two stories by hundreds of thousands of similar cases and we can begin to seethe awful low state to which the drinking habit has plunged America.
Papers daily tell of broken homes and lives because of drinking: Stories of abandoned infants on park benches, bus depots and church door steps, stories of gruesome murders and violent deaths on the highways, stories of faithless wives and two-timing husbands, stories of young women doomed to lives of prostitution and shame all because of this playful helper of Communism—Demon Rum.
One of the greatest breeders of juvenile delinquency in America is the movies. More crime, adultery, drinking, and filth is poured into the minds of American youth from Hollywood than any other source.Mr. Goff’s general broadside against Tinsel Town is sharpened by his harsh remarks regarding two of its biggest stars. First he rips into the notorious pot enthusiast and film noir stalwart Robert Mitchum:
This scheme fits well into the plans of the Communist Party to demoralize American youth for it is hoped by the Communists that there will be a breakdown of our economic and moral structure, which will make it easy for them to step in and take over our Republic and establish in its place the United States of Soviet America.
During the last fifteen years the Communist Party has been busy getting a firm foothold in Hollywood, and today we find them well established with more than one-third of all the actors and actresses holding membership in the Communist Party. Many of those who haven’t joined as yet are aiding in their program by following the line of the fellow-traveler.
During the past few years there has been close ties between this Sodom and Gomorrah of America and the White House. Because of the Roosevelt approval of these sex-perverts and morons many of our young people have begun to idolize them as Gods.
At the present time these social degenerates are setting the mode of dress, talk and even political thinking. Fifty years ago it would have defeated a candidate to have some burlesque star endorse him; today it’s the popular thing.
Have our people grown so weak that they must turn to these half-baked nitwits in Hollywood for our political thought, or have become suckers to the Communist intrigue of using Hollywood as a means of destroying our way of life.
…in the fall of 1948, the Los Angeles Narcotics Squad broke into a small home on the outskirts of Hollywood and disturbed a quiet marihuana smoking party in the living room. There were four people in the party—two slender, good looking blondes, a salesman and Robert Mitchum. The next morning when the dreamy effect of the ‘reefers’ began to wear off and Mitchum found that he was in the jail-house, he cried out, ‘my career is over, I’m ruined.’ Instead of losing his career, this filthy, sex craved marijuana smoker is being made the hero of youth throughout the nation.Mr. Goff’s disdain of Robert Mitchum is nothing compared to his hatred of Frank Sinatra. Indeed, Goff reserves his greatest contempt in this booklet for Old Blue Eyes whom he labels a “Commie Playboy”:
One of the outstanding young Reds in Hollywood is Frankie Sinatra, the young man who expects every young maiden to swoon at the sound of his rasping voice. Yet behind that Dr. Jekyl voice is the voice of Bloody Joe enticing our youth into his deadly Marxian philosophy… Had Kenneth Goff ended his pamphleteering career with Red Betrayal of Youth he would probably still be considered one of the foremost extremist gadflies of the Cold War. Not one to rest on his dubious laurels, however, Mr. Goff cranked out many other alarmist booklets including Red Shadows; Red Tide and Will Russia Invade America to name but a few.
His (Sinatra’s) bold promotion of ‘bobby soxism’ has added to the great waves of juvenile delinquency in America…
Of late this young Red punk has been touring the country swooning bobby soxers with his baritone voice while he tells their parents how to vote. He appeared before 16,000 left-wingers in Madison Square Garden last year at the opening of a nationwide campaign by the Communist Party and the New Deal’s ‘Russian Firsters’ to capture the veterans’ votes.
Frank Sinatra, defiant in bow tie, demanded freedom for the Chinese; a campaign against the Spanish Government; and public recognition of the political possibilities of radio crooners. While Sinatra and others demanded the overthrowing of Franco, Red Fascists passed out handbills in the crowd which read, ‘Veterans—Join the Communist Party… Our party stands for the ownership and control of the nation’s economy by the workers and farmers.’
Through this one performance alone any intelligent person ought to be able to see how ‘Red Frankie,’ with his gentle purring voice is swooning the youth of America into the arms of atheistic Communism.
Based on various press accounts that cite his age, Oliver Kenneth Goff was born in 1914 or 1915. He was raised in Delavan, Wisconsin and, by his own account, joined the Communist Party on May 2, 1936. According to the October 15, 1939 edition of the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Tribune and Leader-Press, Goff’s father was a respected physician and longtime member of the state legislature. The elder Goff was also a trusted adviser to Senator Robert M. La Follettee, a Republican from Wisconsin who ran for the presidency on the Progressive Party Ticket in 1924.
On October 9, 1939 Kenneth Goff made a name for himself in his own right by testifying before the Dies Committee, a special investigative branch of the House Un-American Activities Committee, about his three year membership in the Communist Party (Goff was a national committee member of the Young Communist League at the time of his testimony). Goff testified about all the scandalous activities of the Reds such as the alleged practice of using attractive white female party members to recruit “negro” men into the organization. He also named names including two members of the YWCA national board (who denied Goff’s accusation that they were members of the Young Communist League). This seemingly innocuous organization would be attacked again in the 1948 pamphlet “Behind the Lace Curtains of the YWCA” by Joseph P. Kamp. As a concluding flourish to Goff’s testimony, he read his resignation announcement from the Communist Party into the official record.
According to the Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Right by Jeffrey Kaplan (pages 120-122; Rowman Altamira, 2000):
The self-described “reformed Communist” Goff claimed that his congressional testimony “aided in removing 169 Communists from the federal payrolls.” Goff also claimed that he was a “marked man, and had received many bodily injuries.”According to a November 16, 1951 Associated Press story, Goff was arrested on October 24, 1951 for slashing a Soviet flag that was part of a United Nations display at the Denver, Colorado Civic Center. Goff was quoted as saying that the public display of the flag was a “slap in the face of every boy fighting in Korea.”
Goff has spoken out against Communism in every state of the union during his long career.
Goff claimed to have authored 28 books, innumerable tracts, a periodical called the Pilgrim Torch (1962-1967), the Christian Battle Cry (1966-1971) and a series of newsletters pitched to a particular theme including hippies as a communist plot.
In the 1954 book “Hitler and the Twentieth Century Hoax” Goff asserted Hitler was a communist agent hinting both that Hitler was of Jewish ancestry and may not have been a real anti-Semite after all and that he might not be dead and that he might reappear when the time is right to advance communist plans.
In his pamphlet “Reds Promote Racial War,” he makes a biblically based plea for segregation and claims that integration is a communist plot.
In 1943 Goff became chairman of the newly formed National Youth Organization (NYO). The group grew out of a loose coalition of conservative Protestant Churches. The NYO had three primary aims in Goff’s own words:
1. All out effort to win the war.
2. We hold that the regenerating power of the Lord Jesus Christ is the cure for Juvenile Delinquency.
3. To combat communistic plots among our Youth.
By 1950, those who launched the NYO organization were no longer “youth,” and therefore a new group called “Soldiers of the Cross” was formed with Christian Youth for America as their youth auxiliary.
It is the Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute for which Kenneth Goff is best remembered in Christian Identity circles today. Christian Identity is a white supremacist movement.
The Institute was located in Evergreen, Colorado and offered courses such as:
“The Bible’s Answer to Communism”
“The Christian History and Concept of the U.S. Constitution”
“Psychopolitics—the Conquest of the Mind”
“Survival Judo and Karate”
And the survivalist class called “Storehouse and Christian Survival”
Several Internet sources examine a controversy over Goff’s 1955 book Brain-Washing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook of Psychopolitics. The book is a compilation of brain-washing manual summaries reputedly written by the head of the KGB, Lavrenti Beria (1899-1953). The controversy arises over who was originally responsible for the American version of the compilation. Some claim L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, was the writer/editor and other claim it was Goff. Massimo Introvigne has a comprehensive study of the controversy here.
According to his obituary published in the April 13, 1972 edition of the Greely (CO.) Tribune (via Associated Press), Kenneth Goff died on April 11, 1972 at the age of 57 after collapsing on a street corner in Chicago, apparently from a heart attack. He was on a speaking tour at the time of his death.
The obituary notes that Goff, a Baptist minister, had “tangled” with people such as entertainer Steve Allen and U.S. Senator John A. Carroll during his long anti-Communist career. According to the obituary, Goff also waged a war against the fluoridation of water in Cortez, Colorado in 1960. Goff was a widower who later divorced from his second wife. The obituary states that Goff is “survived by three small children of the Denver area, two brothers and a sister all of Wisconsin.”
RED BETRAYAL OF YOUTH
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