55 years ago today - May 1, 1968

I]n his talk to BYU's devotional in May 1968 Benson accused the U.S. Supreme Court of treason. He added that "a prerequisite for appointment to high government office today is one's past affiliations with communist fronts or one's ability to follow the communist line." Benson's address to BYU students also quoted three times from the Birch Society's official magazine, including references to "black Marxists" and "the Communists and their Black Power fanatics."

In response, the father of one BYU student complained to the First Presidency that Benson had turned BYU's devotionals "into a sounding board for vicious, political interests."

First counselor Brown [wrote regarding Benson's 1 May BYU Devotional talk] "We have had many such letters protesting the speech made at the B.Y.U. recently and we are trying to offset and curtail such expressions."

[Benson, "The Book of Mormon Warns America," address at Brigham Young University devotional, 21 May 1968, transcript, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, Vertical File, Special Collections, Marriott Library, and transcript in Moss Papers also "Road to Anarchy: Benson Blisters Supreme Court," Ogden Standard-Examiner, 22 May 1968, A-ll; "Benson Warns on Commies in Talk at BYU Assembly," Provo Daily Herald, 22 May 1968, 24.; Robert O. Trottier to David O. McKay, 22 May 1968, with copies to Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner, and Ezra Taft Benson, photocopy in Vertical File for Ezra Taft Benson, Special Collections, Marriott Library. ; Brown to Trottier, 24 May 1968, photocopy in Vertical File for Ezra Taft Benson, Special Collections, Marriott Library. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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