Letter from Larry Andrews about Fred Myers, to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee, 1958

This is a four-page letter, with attachments, from HSUS co-founder Larry Andrews to a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, concerning testimony given by another HSUS co-founder, Fred Myers, in March 1956. The letter was among documents obtained via a 2009 Freedom of Information Act request made of the FBI.

Andrews left HSUS in 1956 to lead the Arizona Humane Society, but remained on HSUS’s Board of Directors until April 1958. This letter dates from the month after Andrews became fully detached from HSUS.

In his letter and its attachments, Andrews outlines a half-dozen instances in which Fred Myers allegedly perjured himself during his testimony, writing:

I feel that I have a moral obligation to bring these facts, and my conclusions, to the attention of Senator [James] Eastland’s committee and perhaps to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Two reasons motivate me. First, my conviction that Myers is a communist and hence an enemy of our country. Second, that unless he is exposed and dismissed from his position, he will continue to dupe sincere, but gullible persons of wealth in the humane movement. I have a feeling of guilt for being the means of permitting the communists to infiltrate the humane movement. I alone am responsible for Myers being placed where he could create dissention and perhaps provide the communists with another “front.”

In his Protecting All Animals: A fifty-year history of the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS’s Bernard Unti dismisses concerns about Fred Myers’ communist ties as a conspiracy of enemies:

The rift between The HSUS and AHA [the American Humane Association] created considerable ill will and even sparked rumors linking Fred Myers to the Communist Party … Myers appeared before the Senate Internal Security Committee to refute the accusation that he had been a member of the Communist Party while active in a newspaper writers’ union during the 1930s. The charge followed Myers, as antagonists both within and outside the movement resurrected it to tarnish both his reputation and that of The HSUS. [p. 4]

On the contrary, this letter shows clearly that one of the men who knew Myers best—one of his HSUS co-founders—believed that he was a communist, and that he may have started HSUS as part of a larger plan to provide 1950s communists in America with a “front” group to offer them legitimacy and much-needed money.