The Summit and the Pit

This week’s item is a Christian Crusade Publication pamphlet named The Summit and the Pit by Gen C. A. Willoughby. Willoughy was a highly decorated military officer who served in both World War I, World War II and was General Douglas MacArthur’s Chief of Intelligence from 1940-1951.[1]

This particular pamphlet from 1961 covers Willoughby’s concern about the United State’s role in Eastern Europe after WWII. Willoughby believed that the US needed to increase its number of military divisions in the area to compete against Soviet interests. In many ways this pamphlet is a direct response to Senator Mike Mansfield who famously advocated for decreased military action, especially during the Vietnam War. In 1971 Mansfield offered a bill that called for the number of U.S. troops stationed in Europe to be halved[2] but was not passed.

This pamphlet was published by Billy James Hargis’ Christian Crusade, which Hargis founded in 1950 and by the 1960s was one of the best known far right organizations.[3] Hargis was one of the first televangelists and made daily broadcasts on 500 radio stations and 250 TV channels in the 1950s and 1960s. According to Hargis, he preached taught and published on the following issues: “anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-welfare state, anti-Russia, anti-China, a literal interpretation of the Bible and states’ rights.”[4] Hargis went on to found the American Christian College in Tulsa in 1971.[5]

Hargis lost his prominence in 1974 after a sex scandal published by Time magazine that reported that students of both sexes said Mr. Hargis had sexual relations with them.[6] Charges were never brought against Hargis and he never admitted to the allegations but he also never returned to the spotlight.

Christian Crusade: The Summit and the Pit (1961)

Christian Crusade: The Summit and the Pit (1961)




[3] George, John and Laird Wilcox “Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe” Prometheus Books (1992) pp.203