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Conscious Flow Radio


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ronald Reagan: B Film Actor, Ladies’ Man and FBI Snitch

If you are a Hollywood film buff and a political junkie, too, as I am, you will just love Marc Eliot's latest book, "Reagan: The Hollywood Years." The author touches on Ronald Reagan's early days in Dixon, Illinois, but mainly focuses on his film career in which he was cast in one bad B movie after another. The main expose in this absorbing tome is that during the days of the "Red Scare," late 40s through the 50s, Reagan was a snitch for the FBI! The author writes that Reagan became a "secret informant, code name 'T-10,' for J. Edgar Hoover's red-baiting FBI." He regularly met with them in LaLaLand and "handed over names of Screen Actor Guild (SAG) members who 'might' be Communist sympathizers." Reagan would also contact his brother, Neil, "from a pay phone on Sunset Boulevard to pass along information" to the FBI. (2)
What brought Reagan, who served as President of SAG, (1947-52), and again in 1959, to do such a terrible thing? I think he was mostly a hollow type of man, vain, insecure and highly self- righteous. The record shows that to protect his rear end, he had become "a commie hunter;" he also carried a gun. The exact number of colleagues on whom Reagan ratted, will probably never be known. Once tagged as a Red "sympathizer," no matter how scanty the evidence, an individual was subjected to being "blacklisted" and barred from working in the Hollywood Industry. The fact that one's political beliefs were protected by the First Amendment didn't stop the witch hunts. Some victims of the blacklisting process were so scarred, that they committed suicide. Mr. Eliot mentions two: Philip Loeb and Barry Crum. (3)