Willis Allison Carto|
July 17, 1926
Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
|Known for||far right advocate|
|Title||Head of Liberty Lobby (defunct)|
Willis Allison Carto (July 17, 1926) is a longtime figure on the American far right. He describes himself as Jeffersonian and populist, but is primarily known for his promotion of antisemitic conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial.
Influences on Carto
Willis Carto was known to be a devotee of the writings of Francis Parker Yockey. Yockey's best known book, Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics, was adopted by Carto as his own guiding ideology. Later, Carto would define his ideology as Jeffersonian and populist rather than National Socialist, particularly in Carto's 1982 book, Profiles in Populism. That book presented sympathetic profiles of several United States political figures including Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, as well as the controversial Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin and Henry Ford.
Liberty Lobby and newspapers
In 1955, Carto founded an organization called Liberty Lobby, which remained in operation under his control until 2001, when the organization was forced into bankruptcy as a result of a lawsuit. Liberty Lobby was perhaps best known for publishing the newspaper The Spotlight between 1975 and 2001.
Carto and several Spotlight staff members and writers have since founded a new newspaper called the American Free Press. The paper includes articles from syndicated columnists who have no direct ties to Carto or his organizations. Like its predecessor, it takes a populist tone and focuses on conspiracy theory, nationalist economics, and Israel. One of its writers, Michael Collins Piper, hosts a weekday talk program on shortwave radio that is pointedly anti-Zionist.
Other activities in the 1950s and 1960s
In 1966, Carto acquired control of The American Mercury via the Legion for the Survival of Freedom organization. The magazine was once a highly respected periodical associated with H.L. Mencken, but was failing by the time Carto acquired it. It was published until 1980.
Carto ran a group called Youth for George Wallace to aid the third party presidential campaign of George Wallace in 1968. When the campaign failed, he converted what remained of the Youth for George Wallace organization into the National Youth Alliance. As National Chairman for this group, Carto was successful in recruiting William Luther Pierce, who later became famous for his authorship of The Turner Diaries. Eventually Carto lost control of the National Youth Alliance to Pierce, who transformed it into the National Alliance, which is today a white nationalist and white separatist political organization.
Carto, revisionism, and Holocaust denial
Carto was also the founder of a publishing company called Noontide Press, which published a number of books on white racialism, including Yockey's Imperium and David Hoggan's The Myth of the Six Million, one of the first books to deny the Holocaust. Noontide Press later became closely associated with the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), and fell out of Carto's hands at the same time as the IHR did. The IHR was founded by Willis Carto in 1979, with the intent of promoting the proposition that the Nazi Holocaust never happened—a view known as Holocaust denial. After losing control of Noontide Press and the IHR in a hostile takeover by former associates, Carto started another publication, The Barnes Review, which also focuses on Holocaust denial.
Populist Party (1984–1996)
In 1984, Willis Carto was involved in starting a new political party called the Populist Party. It quickly fell out of his hands in a hostile takeover by disgruntled former associates. Critics asserted that this Populist Party (not to be confused with the Populist Party of 1889) was little more than an electoral vehicle for current and former Ku Klux Klan and Christian Identity members. Olympic athlete Bob Richards (1984), David Duke (a founder of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and a future Louisiana state representative, 1988) and former Green Beret Bo Gritz (1992) were the Populist Party's only three presidential candidates. It folded before it could nominate a candidate for the 1996 elections.
Carto's Liberty Lobby acquired the Sun Radio Network in December 1989, and attempted to use talk radio as a vehicle for espousing his views. It was eventually a financial failure. Liberty Lobby and American Free Press also sponsored the Radio Free America talk show.
In 2004, Carto joined in signing the New Orleans Protocol on behalf of American Free Press. The New Orleans Protocol seeks to "mainstream our cause" by reducing internecine warfare. It was written by David Duke.
Carto has also been featured as a guest on The Political Cesspool.
- "Willis Carto". Anti-Defamation League. 2009. http://www.adl.org/Learn/Ext_US/carto.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Willis Carto and the IHR
- Lyons, Matthew N. and Berlet, Chip. Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort. 2000, page 188.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. 2000, page 43.
- "Willis A. Carto: Fabricating History". Anti-Defamation League. 2009. http://www.adl.org/holocaust/carto.asp. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Carto, Willis A. (1982) Profiles in Populism. Washington: Flag Press.
- Coogan, Kevin. (1999) Dreamer of the Day: Francis Parker Yockey and the Postwar Fascist International. Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia.
- Michael, George. (2008) Willis Carto and the American Far Right. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.
- Mintz, Frank P. (1985) The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
- Piper, Michael C. (1994) Best Witness: The Mermelstein Affair Washington: Center for Historical Review. (Afterword by Carto.)