Gateway to Financial Freedom

Tape 12

Hidden Agenda - Congressional Research


This program, The Hidden Agenda, Merging America into World Government, was originally released on video in 1982. This story is told by Norman Dodd, former Congressional investigator of tax exempt foundations. The program begins with an introduction of Mr. Dodd by the interviewer, Ed Griffin.

The story you are about to hear represents a missing piece in the puzzle of modern history. Without this knowledge, many contemporary events are simply beyond understanding. You are about to hear a man tell you that the major tax exempt foundations of this land since at least 1945 have been operating to promote a hidden agenda. And that agenda has nothing to do with the surface appearance of charity, good works, or philanthropy. This man will tell you that the real objectives include the creation of a world-wide collective estate including the Soviet Union which is to be ruled from the behind the scenes by those same interests which now control the tax exempt foundations.

The man who tells this story is none other than Mr. Norman Dodd who in 1954 was the staff director of the Congressional Special Committee to Investigate Tax Exempt Foundations, sometimes referred to as the Reese Committee in recognition of its chairman, Congressman Carol Reese. The interview you are about to see was conducted by me in 1982. I had no immediate use for the material at that time but I realized that Mr. Dodd’s story was of extreme importance, and since he was advanced n age and not in good health, I simply want to capture his recollections on video tape while he was still with us. It was a wise decision because Mr. Dodd did pass away just a short time afterward.

In recent months there has been a resurgence of interest in the substance of Mr. Dodd’s story, and we have decided to make it available to the general public. And so what now follows is the full unedited interview broken occasionally only for a tape change or to omit the sound of a passing airplane. It stands on its own as an important piece of puzzle of modern history.

Mr. Dodd, let’s begin this interview by a brief statement for the record telling us who you are, what your background is and your qualifications to speak on this subject.

Well, Mr. Griffin, as to who I am, I am just as the name implies an individual born in New Jersey and educated in private schools, eventually in a school called Andover, Massachusetts, and then a year in university and running through my whole period of being brought up and growing up I have been an imfaticable reader and I have had one major interest and that was this country. As I was led to believe it was originally founded and I entered the world of business knowing absolutely nothing how that world operated. And realized that the only way to find out what that world consisted of would be to become part of it. And I then acquired some experience in the manufacturing world and then in the world of international communication and finally chose banking as the field of wish to devote my life to. And I was fortunate enough to secure a position in one of the important banks in New York and live there. I lived through the conditions which led up to what is known as the crash of 1929 and I witnessed what was tantamount to a collapse of the structure of the United States as a whole. And much to my surprise I was confronted by my superiors in the middle of the panic in which they were immersed. I was confronted with the question, Norm, what do we do now? I was 30 at the time and I had no more right to have an answer to that question than the man in the moon. However, I did manage to say to my superiors gentlemen, you take this experience as proof that something you do not know about banking. And you better go find out what that something is and act accordingly. Four days later I was confronted by the same superiors with a statement to the effect that Norm, you go find out. And I really was fool enough to accept that assignment because in meant that you were going out to search for something and nobody could tell you what you were looking for. But I was, I felt so strongly on the subject that I consented to it. I was relieved of all normal duties inside the bank and two and half years later I felt that it was possible to report back to those who had given me this assignment. And so I rendered such a report and as a result of the report I rendered, I was told the following. Norm, what you’re saying is we should return to sound banking. Yes, in essence, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Whereupon I got my first shock which was a statement from them to this effect. We will never see sound banking in the United States again. And they cited chapter and verse to support that statement. And what they cited was as follows, since the end of World War I we have been responsible for the, what they call the institutionalizing of conflicting interests and they are so prevalent inside this country that they can never be resolved. This came to me as an extraordinary shock because the men who made this statement were men who were deemed as the most prominent bankers in the country. The bank of which I was a part was spoken of as a morgan?? bank and coming from men of that caliber a statement of that kind made a tremendous impression on me. And the type of impression that it made on me was I wondered if I as an individual, what they call a junior officer of the bank, could with the same enthusiasm foster the progress and the policies of the bank. I spent about a year trying to think this out and came to the conclusion that I would have to resign. I did resign and as a consequence of that had this experience. When my letter of resignation reached the desk of the president of bank, he sent for me. And I came to visit with him and he stated to me, Norm, I have your letter but I don’t believe you understand what’s happened in the last 10 days. I said, no, Mr. Cochran, I have no idea what’s happened. Well, he said the directors have never been able to get your report to them out of their mind and as a result they have decided that you as an individual must begin at once and you must reorganize this bank in keeping with your own ideas. And he then said now can I tear up your letter. And inasmuch as what had been said to me was offering me at the age of by then 33 about as fine an opportunity for service to the country as I could imagine, I said yes. And they said they wished me to begin at once. And I did, and suddenly in the span of about six weeks I was not permitted to do another piece of work. And every time I brought the subject up I was kind of patted on the back and told stop worrying about it Norm. Pretty soon you’ll be a vice president and you’ll have quite a handsome salary and ultimately be able to retire on a very worthwhile pension. In the meantime, you can play golf and tennis to your hearts content on weekends. Well, Mr. Griffin, I found I couldn’t do it. I spent a year with my, figuratively, my feet on the desk doing nothing and I just couldn’t adjust to it, so I did resign. And this time my resignation stuck and then I got my second shock which was the discovery that the doors of every bank in the United States were closed to me and I never could get a job as it were in a bank. So I found myself for the first time since I graduated from college out of a job. And from there on I followed various branches of the financial world ranging from investment counsel to membership of the stock exchange, and finally ended up as a advisor to a few individuals who had capital funds to look after. In the meantime my major interests became very specific which was to endeavor by some means of getting the educational world to actually you might say teach the subject of economics realistically and move it away from the support of various speculative activities that characterize our country. And I have had that interest and you know how as you generate a specific interest you find yourself gravitating toward persons with similar interests and ultimately I found myself kind of the center of the world of dissatisfaction with the direction that this country was headed and that’s on one direction and it’s the same I’ve found myself in contact with many individuals who on their own had done a vast amount of studying and research in areas which were part of the problem and

Mr. Dodd, if I may interrupt here for a second, at what point in your career did you become connected with the Reese Committee?


1953. And what was that capacity sir?

That was the capacity of what they called director of research for the Reese Committee.

Can you tell us what the Reese Committee was attempting to do?

Yes, I can tell you that it was operating and carrying out instructions embodied in a resolution passed by the House of Representatives which was to investigate the activities of foundations as to whether or not these activities could justifiably be labeled un-American without I might say defining what they meant by un-American. That was the resolution and the committee had then the task of selecting a council and the council in turn had the task of selecting its staff. And he had to have somebody who would direct the work of that staff. And that was what they meant by the director of research.

What were some of the details, the specifics that you told the committee at that time?

Well, Mr. Griffin, in that report I specifically, number one, defined what was to us, what was meant by the phrase un-American. And we defined that in our way as being a determination to effect changes in the country by unconstitutional means. We have plenty of constitutional procedures assuming that we wish to effect a change in the form of government or that sort of thing. And therefore, any effort in that direction which did not reveal itself of the procedures which were authorized by the Constitution could be justifiably called un-American. That was the start of educating them up to that particular point. The next thing was to educate them as to the effect on the country as a whole of the activities of at-large endowed foundations over the then past 40 years.

What was that effect, sir?

That effect was to orient our educational system over away from support of the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence and implemented in the Constitution and educating them over to the idea that the task now was as a result of the orientation of education to, away from these briefly stated principles and self-evident truths and that’s what had been the effect of the wealth which was, which constituted the endowments of those foundations that had been in existence over the largest portion of the span of 50 years and holding them responsible for this change. And what we were able to bring forward was that what we had uncovered was the determination of these large endowed foundations through their trustees to actually get control over the content of American education.

There’s quite a bit of publicity given to your conversation with Rowan Gaither. Would you please tell us who he was and what was that conversation you had with him?

Rowan Gaither was at that time President of the Ford Foundation. And Mr. Gaither had sent for me when I found it convenient to be in New York, asked me to call upon him at his office, which I did, and on arrival after a few amenities Mr. Gaither said, Mr. Dodd, we’ve asked you to come up here today because we thought that possibly off the record you would tell us why the Congress is interested in the activities of foundations such as ourselves. And before I could think of how I would reply to that statement, Mr. Gaither then went on voluntarily stated. He said, Mr. Dodd, all of us that have a hand in the making of policies here have had experience either with the OSS during the war or European economic administration after the war. We’ve had experience operating under directives and these directives emanate and did emanate from the White House. Now we still operate under just such directives. Would you like to know what the substance of these directives is? And I said, yes, Mr. Gaither, I’d like very much to know, whereupon he made this statement to me, namely, Mr. Dodd, we here operate on similar, in response to similar directives the substance of which is that we shall use our grant making power, show the older life in the United States that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union. Well, parenthetically, Mr. Griffin, I nearly fell off the chair. I, of course, didn’t but my response to Mr. Gaither then was, oh, Mr. Gaither, I can now answer your first question. You’ve forced the Congress of the United States to spend 150 thousand dollars to find out what you’ve just told me. So why don’t you, I said, of course, legally you’re entitled to make grants for this purpose, but I don’t think you’re entitled to withhold that information from the people of the country to whom you’re indebted for your tax exemption. So why don’t you tell the people of the country just what you’ve told me. And his answer was we would not think of doing any such thing. So then I said well, Mr. Gaither, obviously you’ve forced the Congress to spend this money in order to find out what you’ve just told me.

Mr. Dodd, you have spoken before about some interesting things that were discovered by Katherine Casey at the Carnegie Endowment. Can you tell us that story please?

Yes, I’d be glad to, Mr. Griffin. This experience that you have just referred to came about in response to a letter which I had written to the Carnegie Endowment for the National Peace asking certain questions and gathering certain information. On the arrival of that letter Dr. Johnson who was then president of the Carnegie Endowment telephoned me and said did I ever come up to New York, and I said, yes I did, more or less each weekend. And he said, when you’re next here will you stop in and see us, which I did. And again, on arrival at the office of the Endowment, I found myself in the presence of Dr. Joseph Johnson, the president, was the successor to Alger Hiss, two vice presidents and their own counsel, a partner in the firm Sullivan and Cromwell. And Dr. Johnson said after again amenities, Mr. Dodd, we have your letter. We can answer all those questions but it’d be a great deal of trouble. And we have a counter suggestion. And our counter suggestion is that if you can spare a member of your staff for two weeks and send that member up to New York, we will give to that member a room in the library and the minute books of this foundation since its inception. And we think that whatever you want to find out or the Congress wants to find out will be obvious from those minutes. Well my first reaction was they’d lost their mind. I had a pretty good idea of what those minutes would contain but I realized that Dr. Johnson had only been in office two years and the other, the vice presidents were relatively young men, and counsel seemed to be also a young man, and I guessed probably they’d never read the minutes themselves. And so I said I had somebody, I would accept their offer, and then I went back to Washington and I select the member of my staff who was on my staff having been a practicing attorney in Washington but she was on my staff to see to it that I didn’t break any congressional procedures or rules, in addition to which she was unsympathetic to the purpose of the investigation. Oh, she was level headed and very reasonably brilliant, capable lady, and her attitude toward the investigation was what could possibly be wrong with foundations. They do so much good. Well, in the face of that sincere conviction of Katherine’s, I went out of my way not to prejudice her in any way but I did explain to her that she couldn’t possibly cover 50 years of handwritten minutes in two weeks, so she would have to do what we call spot reading and I blocked out certain periods of time to concentrate on. And off she went to New York. She came back at the end of two weeks with the following in the way, on Dictaphone belts.

We are now at the year 1908 which was the year that the Carnegie began operations. And in that year the trustees meeting for the first time raise a specific question which they discuss throughout the balance of the year in a very learned fashion, and the question is, is there any means known more effective than war assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people? And they conclude that no more effective means than war to that end is known to humanity. So then in 1909 they raise the second question and discuss it, namely, how do we involve the United States in a war? Well I doubt at that time if there was any subject more removed from the thinking of most of the people of this country that it’s involvement in a war. There were intermittent shows in the Balkans but I doubt very much if many people even knew where the Balkans were. Then finally they answer that question as follows: We must control the State Department. And then that very naturally raises the question how do we do that? And they answer it by saying we must take over and control the diplomatic machinery of this country and finally resolve to aim at that as an objective. Then time passes and we are eventually in a war which would have been World War I and at that time they record on their minutes a shocking report in which they dispatch to President Wilson a telegram cautioning him to see that the war does not end too quickly. And finally, of course, we are, the war is over. At that time their interest shifts over to preventing what they call a reversion of life in the United States to what it was prior to 1914 when World War broke out. And they arrive at that point, they come to the conclusion that to prevent a reversion we must control education in the United States. And they realize that that’s a pretty big task. So it’s, to them, it is too big for them alone so they approach the Rockefeller Foundation with the suggestion that that portion of education which could be considered domestic be handled by the Rockefeller Foundation and that portion which is international should be handled by the Endowment. And they then decide that the key to the success of these two operations lay in alteration of the teaching of American history. So they approach four of the then most prominent teachers of American history in the country, people like Charles and Mary Bird and their suggestion to them is will they alter the manner in which they present this subject and they get turned down flat. So they then decide that it is necessary for them to do as they say, build our own stable of historians. And then they approach the Guggenheim?? Foundation which specialized in fellowships and say, when we find young men in the process of studying for doctorates in the field of American history and we feel that they are the right caliber, will you grant them fellowships on our say so. And the answer is yes. So under that condition eventually they assembled 20 and they take this 20 potential teachers of American history to London and there they’re briefed into what is expected of them when as and if they secure appointments in keeping with the doctorates they will have earned. And that group of 20 historians ultimately becomes the nucleus of the American Historical Association. And then toward the end of the 1920’s the Endowment grants to the American Historical Association $400,000 for a study of our history in a manner which points to what can this country look forward to in the future. And that culminates in a seven-volume book study, the last volume of which is of course in essence a summary of the contents of the other six and the essence of the last volume is the future of this country belongs to collectivism administered with characteristic American efficiency. That’s the story that ultimately grew out of and of course was what could have been presented by the members of this congressional committee to the Congress as a whole for just exactly what it said. It never got to that point.

This is the story that emerged from the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment Fund?

That’s right.

And so

It was official to that extent.

And Katherine Casey brought all of these back in the form of dictated notes or verbatim readings of the minutes.

On Dictaphone belts.

Are those in existence today?

I don’t know. If they are, they are somewhere in the archives under the control of the Congress, House of Representatives.

How many people actually heard those or were they typed up, transcripts made of them?


How many people actually heard those recordings?

Oh three maybe. Myself, my top assistants, and Katherine. Yeah, I might tell you this experience’s as far as its impact on Katherine Casey was concerned was she never was able to return to her law practice. If it hadn’t been for Carol Reese’s ability to tuck her away in a job with the Federal Trade Commission, I don’t know what would have happened to Katherine, but ultimately she lost her mind as a result of it. Terrible shock. It’s a very rough experience to encounter, proof of these kinds.

Mr. Dodd, what kind, can you summarize the opposition to the committee, the Reese Committee, and particular the efforts to sabotage the committee.

Well, it began right at the start of the work of an operating staff, Mr. Griffin. and it began on the day in which the committee met for the purpose of consenting to confirming my appointment to the position of Director of Research. Thanks to the abstention of the minority members of the committee, that is the two democratic members, from voting, why technically I was unanimously appointed and

Well, wasn’t the White House involved in opposition

No, not at this particular point, sir. Mr. Reese ordered counsel and myself to visit Wayne Hayes. Wayne Hayes was the ranking minority member of the committee as a Democrat. So we, counsel and I had to go down to Mr. Hayes office, which we did. Mr. Hayes greeted us with the flat statement directed primarily to me which is that I am opposed to this investigation. I regard it as nothing but an effort on the part of Carol Reese to gain a little prominence and so I’ll do everything I can to see that it fails. Well, I am kind of a strange personality in the sense that a challenge of that nature interests me. Our counsel withdrew, he went over and sat on the couch in Reese’s office and pouted. But I sort of took up the statement of Hayes as a challenge and set myself the goal of winning him over to our point of view. And I started by noticing on his desk that there was a book. And the book was of the type that there are many these days that would be complaining about the spread of Communism in Hungary, that type of book. And this meant to me at least Hayes read a book. And so I brought up the subject of the spread of the influence of the Soviet world and for two hours discussed this with Hayes and finally ended up with his rising from his desk and saying, Norm, if you can, if you will carry this investigation toward the goal as you’ve outlined to me, I’ll be your biggest supporter. I said, Mr. Hayes, I can assure you that I will not double cross you. Subsequently, Mr. Hayes sent word to me that he was in the Bethesda Hospital with an attack of ulcers but would I come and see him, which I did. He then said, Norm, the only reason I’ve asked you to come out here is I just want to hear you say again you will not double cross. I gave him that assurance and that was the basis of our relationship. Meantime, counsel took the attitude expressed in these words, Norm, if you want to waste your time with this guy, as he called him, you can go ahead and do it but don’t ever ask me to say anything to him under any conditions on any subject. So in a sense, that cleared the decks for me to operate in relation to Hayes on my own and as time passed Hayes offered friendship which I hesitated to accept because of his vulgarity. And I didn’t want to get mixed up with him socially under any conditions. Well, that was our relationship for about three months and then eventually I had occasion to add to my staff and as a result of adding to my staff a top flight intelligence officer, both the Republican National Committee and the White House were resorted to to stop me from continuing this investigation in the direction Carol Reese had personally asked me to do which was to utilize this investigation, Mr. Griffin, to uncover the fact that this country had been the victim of a conspiracy. That was Mr. Reese’s conviction. I eventually agreed to carry it out. I explained to Mr. Reese that his own counsel wouldn’t go in that direction. He gave me permission to disregard our own counsel and I had then to set up an aspect of the investigation outside of our office, more or less secret. And the Republican National Committee got wind of what I was doing and they did everything they could to stop me. They appealed to counsel to stop me and finally they resorted to the White House.

Is there objection because of what you were doing or because of the fact that you were doing it outside of the official auspices.

No, their objection was as they put it my devotion to what they called anti-Semitism. That was a cooked up idea but, and in other words, it wasn’t true at all, but anyway, that’s the way he expressed it. And they made it stick.

Excuse me, why did they do that. How could they say that?

Well they could say it, Mr. Griffin, but they had to have something in the way of a rationalization of their decision to do everything they could to stop the completion of this investigation in the direction that it was moving, which would have been an exposure of this Carnegie Endowment story and the Ford Foundation and the Guggenheim and the Rockefeller Foundation, all working in harmony toward the control of education in the United States. Well, in any event, to secure the help of the White House in the picture, they assigned, they got the White House to cause the liaison personality between the White House and the Hill, a Major Person??, to go up to Hayes and try to get him to, as it were, actively oppose what the investigation was engaged in. And Hayes very kindly then would listen to this visit from Major Person?? then he would call me and say, Norm, come up to my office. I have a good deal to tell you. I would go up. He would tell me I’ve just had a visit from Major Person?? and he wants me to break up this investigation. So then I’d say, well Wayne, what did you do? What did you say to him? He said I just told him to get the hell out and he did that three times and I got pretty proud of him in the sense that he was as it were backing me up. And we finally embarked upon hearings at his request because he wanted to get them out of the way before he went abroad in the summer and

But why were the hearings finally terminated? What happened to the committee?

What happened to the committee or the hearings?

The hearings?

Well the hearings were terminated. Carol Reese was up against a furor as Hayes through the activity of her own counsel Hayes became convinced that he was being double-crossed and he put on a show in the public hearing room, Mr. Griffin, that was an absolute disgrace. And he called Carol Reese publicly every name in the book and Mr. Reese took this as proof that he couldn’t continue the hearings? He actually invited me to accompany him when he went down to Hayes’ office and in my presence with the tears rolling down his face Hayes apologized to Carroll Reese for what he done and his conduct and apologized to me and I thought that would be enough and Carroll would resume but he never did.

The charge of anti-Semitism is kind of intriguing to me. What was the basis of that charge? Was there any basis for it at all?

No the basis the Republican National Committee used was that the intelligence officer I had taken on my staff when I oriented this investigation to the exposure of and proof of a conspiracy was known to have a book and the book was deemed to be anti-Semitic. This was childish but this was the second in the command of the Republican National Committee and he told me I’d have to, I would have to dismiss this person from my staff.

Who was that person, sir?

The person? A Colonel Lee Lorraine.

And what was his book, do you recall?

The book they referred to was called Waters Flowing Eastward which was a very castigation of the Jewish influence in the world.

What were some of the other charges made by Mr. Hayes against Mr. Reese?

Oh just that Mr. Reese was utilizing this investigation for his own prominence inside the House of Representatives, that was the only charge Hayes could think of.

How would you describe the motivation of the people who created the foundations, the big foundations in the very beginning? What was their motivation?

Their motivation, well, let’s take Mr. Carnegie as an example. His publicly declared, steadfast interest was to counteract the departure of the colonies from Great Britain. He was devoted to just putting the pieces back together again.

Would that have required the collectivism that they were dedicated to?

No, no, no. These policy of the, or the foundation’s allegiance to these un-American concepts are all traceable to the transfer of the funds over and into the hands of trustees, Mr. Griffin, not to men that had a hand in the creation of the wealth that led to the endowment as a use of that wealth for what we would call public purposes.

It was a subversion of the original intent then.

Oh yeah. Completely so. And that we got into the world traditionally of bankers and lawyers.

How do see that the purpose and the direction of the major foundations has changed over the years to the present? What is it today?

Oh, 100 percent behind meeting the cost of education such as it is presented through the schools and colleges of the United States on the subject of our history as proven already are original ideas to be no longer practical. The future belongs to a collectivist concept and there’s just no disagreement on it.

Why do the foundations generously support Communist causes in the United States?

Well, because to them Communism represents a means of developing what we call a monopoly, that is the organization we’ll say of large scale industry into an administrable unit.

Do they think that they will be one day a little bigger?

They will be the beneficiaries of it, yes.