Grand Strategy in the Age of Mass Destruction

A Brief History of the Deep State, Part 1

By J.R. Nyquist



What is the Deep State and how did it begin? In her 16 September 2017 blog, Diana West wrote about clues to the “beginnings” of the Deep State “which are surely to be found in the exponential expansion of the federal government under FDR.” This expansion, noted West, “included hundreds if not thousands of Soviet agents, Communists and their supporters, working all over the government, from the White House to the … wartime agencies that would soon be reconstituted as the CIA.”[i]

The following is a brief history of the Deep State. This history is built on facts and sources used in Diana West’s book, American Betrayal. Material has been added from other sources as well. 



According to R.M. Whitney, writing in 1924, “The most colossal conspiracy against the United States … was unearthed at Bridgman, Michigan, on August 22, 1922, when the secret convention of the Communist Party of America was raided by the Michigan Constabulary….” What was discovered back then has been entirely forgotten today. The Michigan Constabulary found two barrels “full of documentary proof of the [communist] conspiracy….” The discovery also included the names of prominent people who were giving money to the communist cause. There were instructions from Moscow on methods of underground organization, subversion and infiltration – for the purpose of overthrowing the United States Government. [ii]  

The documents recovered by the Michigan Constabulary proved that the Communist Party in the United States was directed by Lenin and Trotsky in Moscow. In those days the Communist Party hid itself behind the Workers Party of America, including many pro-socialist affiliates like the African Blood Brotherhood, the Jewish Socialist Federation and the Workers’ Council of the United States. Eventually, the Workers Party changed its name to the Communist Party, USA. According to Whitney, all legal socialist activity of the Workers Party was then “supported by the illegal branches of the Communist Party.” He added that “the agents of the Communists are working secretly, through ‘legal’ bodies, in labor circles, in society, in professional groups, in the Army and Navy, in Congress, in the schools and colleges of the country, in banks and business concerns, among the farmers, in the motion picture industry – in fact, in nearly every walk of life.”[iii]

The people involved in this conspiracy were not uneducated or stupid. According to Whitney, they were “keen, clever, intelligent, educated men and women.” These included many people with expert qualifications. Their agenda has remained the same for nearly a century. The communist conspiracy uncovered at Bridgman in 1922 included “plans for inciting the Negroes, the farmers, the clerks, the workmen of industry, members of Congress, employees in government departments everywhere, to violence against constituted authorities….”[iv]

The names of those associated with this conspiracy, noted Whitney, ranged from “bricklayers to bishops, and include many prominent official and society people.”[v] Many of these erstwhile supporters did not fully understand what they were supporting at the time; that is to say, the communist conspiracy was so artfully disguised behind “front organizations” that Moscow’s underlying control was not always known. In fact, the communists made “sucker lists” of useful idiot contributors.

According to Whitney, communists thrive on disorder. “Trouble is a rallying cry for them,” he noted. “Their creed is to make capital out of strikes, riots, and every other form of popular unrest.” Yet they are also engaged in many peaceful activities as well. “Their sympathizers attend church meetings for the purpose of presenting arguments to weaken the faith of members of the church. They preach free love, the nationalization of women and children, and openly proclaim that the breaking up of home ties is an advance of civilization.”[vi]

Those who seek to explain the current decline in religious belief, or the breakup of the family, in purely sociological terms, have failed to properly understand the unique contribution made by a secretive political sect which has steadily advanced its revolutionary agenda by corrupting the very fabric of society. This sect became the nucleus of the Deep State when it successfully infiltrated the United States Government. Whitney’s book presents many of the documents discovered in the Bridgman raid. The fact that almost nobody today remembers this raid, or what it uncovered, is testimony to the subsequent success of the new political religion of the Marxists. Here is the true origin of the Deep State.

As defined by the Google Dictionary, The Deep State is a “body of people” involved in the “secret manipulation or control of government policy….” This is exactly what the Marxists were doing in the 1920s. It is what they continue to do. The denial of this work and the denial of its continuance after 1991 is a central problem which plagues free society. The evidence lies all around us, in libraries, in old newspapers, in memoirs and books. But few historians have bothered to focus on this evidence. As a society we have failed to recognize, identify, and properly confront a longstanding internal enemy. Our institutions, in fact, pretend there is no internal enemy. From first to last we have facilitated our own subversion.

In 1934 the communist conspiracy was threatened with exposure by a Gary Indiana school superintendent named William Wirt. During a dinner party in Virginia, near Washington D.C., held on September 1, 1933, a small band of Marxist subversives told Superintendent Wirt that they had infiltrated the government and were taking over the country. As Wirt later explained, their objective was to destroy “the America of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln” and build a new socialist America “on the ruins.” According to Wirt:

…. they believed that by thwarting our then-evident [economic] recovery [from the Great Depression] they would be able to prolong the country’s destitution until they had demonstrated to the American people that the Government must operate industry and commerce. I was told … they would be able to destroy, by propaganda, the other institutions that had been making our capital loans. Then we can push Uncle Sam into the position where he must make those capital loans. And, of course, when Uncle Sam becomes our financier he must also follow his money with control and management.[vii]

These same Marxist subversives explained to Wirt that President Franklin Roosevelt was their “Kerensky.” They told Wirt, “We believe that we have Mr. Roosevelt in the middle of a swift stream and that the current is so strong that he cannot turn back or escape from it. We believe that we can keep Mr. Roosevelt there until we are ready to supplant him with a Stalin.”

When Wirt asked “why the President would not see through this scheme,” they answered: “We are on the inside. We can control the avenues of influence. We can make the President believe that he is making decisions for himself.” These decisions would inevitably damage the country and discredit Roosevelt. “Eventually he can be displaced because of his bad decisions.”

Wirt was naturally skeptical. How would they “explain to the American people why their plans … were not restoring the economy?” They answered, “Oh! That would be easy.” All they had to do was blame their political opponents as “traitors.” In time they would be able to “use the police power of the Government and ‘crack down’ on the opposition with a big stick.”

Wirt Still found this plan unrealistic. But his Marxist dinner companions insisted that he had “underestimated the power of propaganda,” which had become a “science.” Using political weapons fashioned by Big Government, they would intimidate businessmen, accusing them of being “crooks.” They would launch investigations and prosecutions against those who did not fall into line. They would frighten the rich and powerful into obedience. At the same time, they would attempt to seduce the business community with government contracts.

On April 10, 1934, Wirt testified before a House Select Committee of the Seventy-Third Congress, chaired by Alfred L. Bulwinkle – a Democrat who wanted to destroy Wirt’s reputation. Throughout the hearing, Chairman Bulwinkle badgered Wirt, interrupted, browbeat, and prevented him from giving a full statement. In effect, William Wirt was smeared (and his loyalty was questioned) on account of his testimony.

On April 17, 1934, Rep. Harold McGugin (R-Kansas), pointed to evidence in support of Wirt’s testimony. When challenged by Chairman Bulwinkle, Rep. McGugin said that Harry Hopkins (of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration) and Harold Ickes (Secretary of the Interior) were using “Public Works funds for the purpose of buying stock.” Thus, as Wirt had suggested in his testimony, New Deal officials were already setting up unprecedented mechanisms for intervening in the economy. The following exchange then took place between Chairman Bulwinkle and Representative Lehlbach (R-New Jersey):

MR. LEHLBACH. I now move, that Dr. Wirt be permitted to be recalled to the chair and be given opportunity to be questioned by his counsel in order that he may clear his fair name of the charge of disloyalty which has been made against him…. I think Dr. Wirt is entitled to make a statement to clear himself of those charges.

THE CHAIRMAN. The chairman will state to the gentleman from New Jersey that the matter was taken care of yesterday. The first witness will be Miss Barrows.

MR. LEHLBACH. Yes; but I move that Dr. Wirt be given that opportunity.

THE CHAIRMAN. All right; I will put the motion.

The three democrats voted no, the two Republicans voted yes. Wirt was prevented from giving further testimony. Chairman Bulwinkle then called the next witness, Miss Barrows.

MR. LEHLBACH. Then Dr. Wirt is denied simple justice?

THE CHAIRMAN. No; he is not.

MR. McGugin. Mr. Chairman, I now move that Hon. James A. Reed, as counsel for Dr. Wirt, have the privilege of cross-examining any witness upon any question wherein that witness has denied a statement made by Dr. Wirt.

THE CHAIRMAN. The Chair states to the gentleman from Kansas that on last Tuesday, April 10, this question came before the committee, and the committee did not recognize Senator Reed as counsel for Dr. Wirt…. The whole precedent in this House bears out the ruling of the chairman on this question.

Mr. McGUGIN. You cannot site a single precedent.

Representative O’Connor (D-New York) offered a precedent, which was not a precedent of the House at all, but of the U.S. Senate. Chairman Bulwinkle then plowed forward and Miss Barrows testified thus: That she was Miss Alice Barrows, a resident of Washington, D.C. since 1919 employed in the Office of Education of the Department of the Interior. She confessed that Dr. and Mrs. Wirt were “among my most devoted, sincere, and loyal friends.” She had also worked as Dr. Wirt’s secretary from 1914 to 1917, in New York.

The CHAIRMAN. Will you please state the conversation that you engaged in at the dinner table?

Miss BARROWS. Mr. Chairman, as a dinner, it was not a success, because Dr. Wirt talked practically all the time. I have known Dr. Wirt for 20 years and I think that everyone who knows him knows that he does have a capacity for talking 3 and 4 hours at a time.

The CHAIRMAN. Miss Barrows, if you will pardon me, I asked you a question; what was the conversation at the dinner table?

Miss BARROWS. At the diner table he talked about education. After dinner, at about, I think, 8 o’clock, he began talking on the devaluation of the dollar and talked continuously on that subject until, I should say, about 11 o’clock. I was considerably embarrassed and tried to bring in, for example, Mr. Coyle, but Mr. Coyle refused to say anything.

Miss Barrows did not acknowledge the fact that she was, in those days, a secret member of the Communist Party and a KGB agent codenamed “Young Woman.” Neither did she mention her love affair with Soviet Ambassador Aleksandr Troyanovsky, or with another high-ranking Soviet diplomatic official.[viii] Instead of sticking up for her “most devoted, sincere and loyal friend,” William Wirt, she covered for another dinner guest, Miss Hildegarde Kneeland, who, she said, “made absolutely none of the statements attributed to her by Dr. Wirt, except once I remember that ... she objected to his theory that we should go back to conditions of 1926.”

Hildegarde Kneeland was a senior economist at the Agriculture Department, later identified in KGB archives as an “intelligence informant” of the Soviet special services.[ix] In the process of covering for Miss Kneeland, Miss Barrows ran afoul of Rep. Lehlbach (R- New Jersey):

Mr. LEHLBACH. When Dr. Wirt suggested a return to conditions of 1926, he was discussing the present depression, was he not?

Miss BARROWS. Honestly, I do not know what he was discussing. I was so exhausted by that time. I know that he was talking about deflating the dollar.

Mr. LEHLBACH. That is rather amusing, but it is not responsive to the question.

Miss BARROWS. Pardon me, sir.

Mr. LEHLBACH. Of course it is a matter of common knowledge … that the country was in a very prosperous condition in 1926, was it not?

Miss BARROWS. I do not know just what you mean by prosperous condition.

Mr. LEHLBACH. Well, there was no substantial unemployment and wages were as high as they have ever been in the history of the country?

Miss BARROWS. I do not have those facts with me.

Mr. LEHLBACH. Were you living in the United States in 1926?

Miss BARROWS. Yes; I understand that there was unemployment at that time.

Mr. LEHLBACH. Of course, there is always unemployment. There are a lot of people who won’t work. Now, when Miss Kneeland objected to Dr. Wirt’s advocacy of a return to a condition of prosperity, what reason did she allege for her objection?

Miss BARROWS. Miss Kneeland got out exactly one sentence, and that is, she objected to his theory that we should go back to the conditions of 1926, and she was not able to say more….

Mr. LEHLBACH. Then Miss Kneeland objected to a return to prosperity?

Miss BARROWS. I did not say that.

[Note: Only a communist would have opposed a return to the prosperity of 1926.]

Mr. LEHLBACH. When Miss Kneeland objected to a return to a state of prosperity in this country, was there any dissension by anyone except Dr. Wirt?

The CHAIRMAN. The Chair –

Mr. LEHLBACH. I do not admit the right of the Chair to advise me what is pertinent or not pertinent. I am as much a member of this committee as the chairman is, and I propose to ask my questions without censorship by the Chair.

And who were the other dinner guests? Congressman McGugin explored this question as Miss Barrows avoided straightforward answers. 

Mr. McGUGIN. In your direct statement, I understand you to say that you invited the guests to this party.

Miss BARROWS. Yes.

Mr. McGUGIN. You invited Laurence Todd?

Miss BARROWS. Yes.

Mr McGUGIN. That is the Laurence Todd who is a correspondent for Communist newspapers, is now and has been for many years; is that right?

Miss BARROWS. No; pardon me. He was at that time the correspondent for the Federated Press. Since that time he has been made correspondent for the Tass Agency.

Mr. McGUGIN. Is not that a Communist agency?

Miss BARROWS. The Tass Agency …  would correspond to our A.P., for the Soviet Government.

Mr. McGUGIN. You are a good enough student of communism and Russian communism to know that such an agency is … financed by the Communist government, are you not?

Miss BARROWS. I do not know anything about it.

Mr. McGUGIN. You invited Robert Bruere?

Miss BARROWS. I did.

Mr. McGUGIN. This is the same Robert Bruere who, in 1918, was a defender of the I.W.W.’s [a Marxist labor union] and a severe critic of the Department of Justice under the Wilson administration for his conduct pertaining to the I.W.W.’s; is that right?

Miss BARROWS. I simply do not know. I am sorry. I did not have all the past history of my guests. I really do not know.

Mr. McGUGIN. Would you have invited him if you knew that he had been a defender of the I.W.W.’s and a severe critic of the Department of Justice in the Wilson Administration, which Department of Justice was trying to defend this country during the war from the I.W.W. enemies at home?

Miss BARROWS. I would invite Mr. Robert Bruere to any party of mine.

Mr. McGUGIN. Even if you knew that that was his record. Mary Taylor – you invited her, did you?

Miss BARROWS. She is in the triple A of the Department of Agriculture, editing some bulletin there.

Mr. McGUGIN. Who is her immediately supervisor, do you know?

Miss BARROWS. I think it is Dr. Frederick C. Howe.

Mr. McGUGIN. That is the same Frederick C. Howe who was commissioner of immigration at Ellis Island during the Wilson administration, is it not?

Miss BARROWS. I believe he was; yes.

Mr. McGUGIN. That is the same one who was forced to resign because he defended anarchists instead of deporting them, as was his duty?

Miss BARROWS. I never heard of that.

Representative McGUGIN named several subversives on Miss Borrows’s guest list, but she pled ignorance again and again. It seems that Barrows was no friend of Wirt. Instead, she was the Soviet Ambassador’s lover. Whatever she pretended, she knew that 1926 was a prosperous year. She knew that TASS was a communist “news” agency. Despite her evasions and lies, the matter was concluded in favor of the communist side.

According to the final “REPORT” on the “INVESTIGATION OF CERTAIN STATEMENTS MADE BY ONE DR. WILLIAM A. WIRT …. The committee decided” that Dr. Wirt’s statements “were not true, and that the five persons in the employ of the United States Government and the newspaper correspondent [Tass], who were present at the dinner in Virginia on September 1, 1933, did not make any such statements as were alleged to have been made by them to Dr. Wirt.”

At the sixth anniversary of Wirt’s testimony, on April 10, 1940, one of the three Democratic congressmen recanted and confessed his part in the injustice. Former Representative O’Connor (D-New York) said he was sorry for “turning the thumbscrews” on Wirt. According to O’Connor six of the witnesses at the Wirt hearing “met and rehearsed their denials of what they had told Dr. Wirt” beforehand. In essence, Wirt had told the truth and O’Connor was sorry for his part in discrediting a good man. [x]

Diana West discovered O’Connor’s confession in an obscure New York newspaper. Having begun her book with Wirt’s story, she could not have known that a campaign would also be waged to discredit her. This is because the witness against communism – whether a school superintendent or a journalist – inevitably becomes a target of the communists. After the publication of American Betrayal, West was attacked for spinning “a vast conspiracy theory without the evidence to back it up.”[xi] This was Ron Radosh’s opening salvo, echoed by others.

 To understand the history of the Deep State, we must first acknowledge the means by which this history has been suppressed. Here are the essential methods of communist subversion. Once we understand these methods, and grasp their inner workings, we can advance an important truth; namely, communists long ago infiltrated the government, and they will attempt to destroy anyone who threatens to expose the extent of their influence. 

[i] “Truman’s ‘Deep State’ Lament,” http://dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/3616/Trumans-Deep-State-Lament.aspx
[ii] R.M. Whitney, Reds in America (1924, Beckwith Press), p. 15.
[iii] Ibid.
[iv] Ibid.
[v] Ibid, p. 16.
[vi] Ibid.
[vii] Investigation of Statements Made by Dr. William A. Wirt, House Select Committee of the Seventy-Third Congress, Second Session on H.Res.317, United States Government Printing Office, 1934, p. 8.
[viii] As Diana West states in her “INTRODUCTION” footnote 11, “Barrows is noted in KGB archives … for helping Laurence Duggan, a State Department official close to Assistant Secretary of State Sumner Welles, into espionage service to Stalin. The KGB record also chides her for serial affairs with Soviet representatives in Washington, first Boris Skvirsky, the USSR’s unofficial representative, and then Ambassador Aleksandr Troyanovsky, the first Soviet Ambassador. Almost unbelievably, Troyanovsky would host the first Soviet gala in Washington on the night of Wirt’s testimony.” West cites John Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 220, 528.
[ix] John Earl Haynes, comp., Vassiliev Notebooks Concordance: Cover Names, Real Names, Abbreviations, Acronyms, Organizational Titles, Tradecraft Terminology (2008), 88, available at www.wilsoncenter.org/publication.vassilie-notebook-concordance-file.
[x] “O’Connor Admits Helping To Discredit Dr. Wirt,” The Observer Dispatch (Utica), April 10, 1940.
[xi] https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/199666/mccarthy-steroids-ronald-radosh