Charles Lee Smith (1887 – October 26, 1964) was the editor and publisher of the atheist publication The Truthseeker from 1937 until 1964. Shortly before his death he sold the publication to James Hervey Johnson and moved the paper from New York to San Diego.
In 1925 Smith helped to organize the American Association of the Advancement of Atheism (A.A.A.A., 4A). The group is said to have had over 3,000 members and chapters on 20 campuses. In 1928 Smith was arrested for blasphemy while distributing atheist pamphlets in Arkansas. The charges were eventually dropped after a series of appeals and a hunger strike by Smith.
As editor of The Truthseeker Smith subtitled the paper as The Journal for Reasoners and Racists and created his own version of Darwinism mixing atheism with racism. Smith promoted the ideas of Vacher de Lapouge who started a science called anthroposociology. The new discipline was totally materialistic and rejected any mystical premise of a “race-soul“. Smith was a Nordicist and articulated his ideology in a six-hundred-page tome Sensism: The Philosophy of the West first published in 1956 in two volumes.
Smith was a harsh critic of any notion of racial equality. He saw the doctrines of Christianity and Communism with the same goal of leveling man by removing all racial instincts leading him to a mongrel existence. “If universal amalgamation occurs, if the White race disappears, it may never reappear….The Jew-led equalists are marching to world-wide conquest.”
Smith rejected segregation a solution to the race problem in America. He predicted “the seepage of blood through social barriers is inevitable….The final remedy is not segregation but reduction, leading to virtual elimination, which Christians, from fear of everlasting pain, dare not practice.” In Sensism he advocated “legalizing and subsidizing abortion to prevent the birth of a mulatto or a Negro.”
Smith saw the Jews as playing a leading role in imposing an interracial insanity over White America. “Jew-led Love mongers simply cannot discriminate; having lost their senses in judging others, they obey words absolutely…They are Jewized.”
The American Association for the Advancement of Atheism attempted to organize student affiliates at universities and high schools, creating at least 30 student chapters. The Los Angeles branch, “The Devil’s Angels” included among its members Queen Silver, whose activities with the 4A’s inspired the fictionalized movie The Godless Girl. The Rochester Chapter was known as “The Damned Souls”, at Philadelphia “God’s Black Sheep”, at the University of Wisconsin “The Circle of the Godless”, and “The Legion of the Damned” at the University of North Dakata. However, the organization declined over time.
Between 1926 and 1928, Smith came into conflict with John Roach Straton, which resulted in Straton suing Smith for harassment via the mails.
In 1928, Smith undertook a course that ended with him the last documented person to be convicted of blasphemy in the United States. That year, Smith rented a store-front in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he gave out free anti-religious atheist literature. The sign in the window read: “Evolution Is True. The Bible’s a Lie. God’s a Ghost.” For this, he was charged with violating the city ordinance against blasphemy. Because he was an atheist, and therefore, wouldn’t swear the court’s religious oath to tell the truth, he wasn’t permitted to testify in his own defense. The judge then dismissed the original charge, replacing it with one of distributing obscene, slanderous, or scurrilous literature. Smith was convicted, fined $25, and served most of a twenty-six-day jail sentence. His high-profile fast while behind bars drew national media attention. Upon his release, he immediately resumed his atheistic activities, was again charged with blasphemy, and this time convicted. In his trial, he was once more denied the right to testify and was sentenced to ninety days in jail and a fine of $100. Released on $1,000 bail, Smith appealed the verdict. The case then dragged on for several years, until it was finally dismissed.
On March 20, 1934, Smith debated Aimee Semple McPherson over evolution.
In 1935, Smith published The Bible in the Balance, which criticizes the Bible as unworthy of belief, and became a popular pamphlet for the A.A.A.A.
In 1937, he took over as an editor of The Truth Seeker, a free-thought magazine in New York City, where he continued as editor until his 1964 death. During his editorship, he subtitled The Truth Seeker as “The Journal for Reasoners and Racists”.
In 1956, Smith published the two-volume tome Sensism: The Philosophy of the West, promoting a pure atheistic philosophy, viewing all supernatural religions and thought patterns as rubbish.
During the 1959–1963 proceedings of Murray v. Curlett, Smith provided financial assistance to Madalyn Murray O’Hair to cover part of the case’s legal expenses; he said that he had also provided assistance to Vashti McCollum in her 1945–1947 case.
In Flanders fields, and in all the cemeteries behind the long battle lines of the First World War, the crosses, row on row, each bore the letters R.I.P., followed by the name of the dead man (if known). The letters stood, of course, for the pious wish, *Requiescat in pace*. But in a war fought with high explosives the corpses were often so mutilated or even fragmentary that soldiers at the front sardonically said that the abbreviation on the cross indicated the burial of the dead man’s Remains In Pieces.
I was reminded of that cynical quip by the death of the once excellent periodical, *The Truth Seeker*, of which the corpse has been ripped into two pieces, which have not yet been buried.
I became aware of that small monthly publication in 1958 or 1959, when I read the monumental work by its editor and proprietor, the late Charles Smith, *Sensism, the Philosophy of the West*, (2 vol., New York, Truth Seeker, 1956). Despite some superficial defects, awkward neologisms, such as ‘sensism’ and ‘immechanism,’ and an excessively diffuse style, the two handsome volumes, written with both keen perception of the parlous plight of our endangered civilization and the optimism that thoughtful men could still feel in 1956, are a fundamental analysis of our culture and its chances of survival. It is a book that will never become obsolete, and, if I am not mistaken, it remained in print so long as the *Truth Seeker* was published.
I soon became acquainted with Charles Smith, for whom I had a high regard, although my public expression of it was limited by my position in the John Birch Society, which had adopted a policy of conciliating Christians who were willing to subordinate their private emotions to the urgent task of recovering control of our subverted nation. He was a thorough-going atheist, and, of course, did not recognize the special sanctity of Yahweh’s Peculiar People or of the enervating religion they had foisted on the hated *goyim*.
For legal and tax purposes, Truth Seeker Publications was a corporation, which Smith had founded and of which he owned almost all of the stock. He sometimes gave a share of stock to persons of whom he approved, much as some organizations make “awards of merit” which have no monetary value. I probably still have somewhere in a mass of unsorted papers the share he gave me.
I inferred that the corporation had always operated at a loss and with deficits that were absorbed by Smith or his friends. And I surmised that the losses were becoming greater each year as the number of subscribers who preferred cold realism to verbal narcotics declined and the cost of printing increased. The last book published by Smith, so far as I know, was the handsomely printed and bound reprinting of Francis Parker Yockey’s *Imperium* (New York, Truth Seeker, 1962; a paperback reprint is available from Liberty Bell Publications, $10.00 + postage).
Smith’s enterprise was naturally the target of harassment and privileged crime, including arson, in New Jerusalem-on-the-Hudson, and after some heavy losses, he decided to move the entire operation to San Diego, California, then a more civilized community, where he had an ally in James Hervey Johnson, the author of a booklet that was sold through the Truth Seeker Co. and is a frontal attack on superstition, *Superior Men* (San Diego, the author, 1949; kept in print as long as the *Truth Seeker* was published).
The booklet consists of 120 pages of trenchant text followed by seventy pages of letters and short articles by men and women who cured themselves of superstition by their own study and reflection. I have been told that Johnson had a brief political career: elected Assessor of Taxes for the county, he proposed that churches should be taxed on the same basis as private clubs or theaters, race tracks, dance halls, and other places of amusement. He thus excited frenzy among the salvation-mongers and panic among corrupt politicians, who found some way to remove him from office.
Shortly before his death in 1964, Charles Smith gave his publishing company to Johnson, who became its proprietor and the editor of the periodical.
I never met James Hervey Johnson, but I had some correspondence with him and spoke with him over the telephone two or three times. When I wrote *Christianity and the Survival of the West* in 1969, I knew from the annual statements that subscriptions to the *Truth Seeker* had constantly declined, and, drawing a not unnatural inference from the use of a typewriter to replace linotype composition, I wrote that the periodical was being forced to the wall. I was mistaken. Johnson had refused to pay exorbitant charges for printing a comparatively small number of copies, and he assured me, as he several times assured his readers in print, that the Truth Seeker was eminently solvent and would continue publication so long as he lived.
Unlike almost all other “right-wing” publishers, Johnson never solicited subventions from any source, for reasons which did not become apparent until shortly before his death. He seems to have made no effort to promote the *Truth Seeker* through any of the few channels open to a publication that offended Yahweh’s Master Race. He apparently took the attitude that he would publish the periodical; let those who wanted it come and get it without being urged.
So far as I know, he did all of the work himself, from book-keeping and typing copy to mailing issues and wrapping books, except the actual printing by photo-offset. He repeatedly advertised for one or more assistants who were convinced atheists, fully literate, and addicted to neither tobacco nor alcohol, but evidently had no applicants whom he was willing to employ. He asked subscribers to renew their subscriptions on a certain date each year, but I doubt that he kept a list of those who did. As the quality of the periodical declined, some sent in their annual renewals for old time’s sake, but I know that those who did not continued to receive it. It seems clear that Johnson soon began to publish the journal at his own expense and to neglect book-keeping that thus became irrelevant.
The *Truth Seeker’s* impious treatment of the Kikes and their superstition, and its rational perception of race, naturally aroused resentment, and arsonists, probably the same holy crew that burned down the offices of the Institute for Historical Review in Torrance, set fire to the building that was the periodical’s office and warehouse. Mr. Johnson had an apartment on an upper floor of the building and it was doubtless intended to cremate him, but he escaped the flames. Shortly thereafter he was run down by an automobile while he was crossing a street. He again escaped death, but was severely injured and immobilized in a cast for months. An old man’s broken bones knit slowly and often imperfectly.
He never entirely recovered from his injuries; he remained partly crippled during the brief remainder of his life, and, I am told, irascible, particularly resenting well-meaning inquiries about his health. His typing became even more erratic, and issues of the *Truth Seeker* became a grotesque hotchpotch.
As I recall, it was after his partial recovery that he began to extol the dietary system to which he attributed his longevity, and to advertise a booklet of financial advice, by which, he said, anyone could gradually accumulate a fortune by following certain rules of prudent investment. I have not seen the booklet, but a man who has tells me that the recommendations were more suited to 1930-1950 than to the present.
It soon transpired, perhaps through Johnson’s indiscretion, that he was going to leave an estate estimated at $17,000,000. (The estimate was conservative; according to latest reports, the net worth is $22,000,000.) That news was electrifying.
Several persons, who, between them, possessed ten or twelve shares of the stock that Charles Smith had distributed as compliments, held a “stockholders’ meeting” of The Truth Seeker, Inc., and simultaneously resurrected two other defunct corporations of which I know nothing. They proceeded *incredible dictu!* to fire James Hervey Johnson as editor of the *Truth Seeker*, and began legal proceedings to recover the $17,000,000 which he must have embezzled from the vast profits that the little publication must have made.
This wondrous litigation is still in the courts, but its net effect was that Mr. Johnson, shortly before his death, added to the will by which he left his entire estate for the promotion of atheism a holographic codicil in which he specifically excluded from benefit the organization which he, rightly or wrongly, regarded as instigators of the lawsuit.
James Hervey Johnson died in his eight-eighth year shortly before his body was found in his apartment on 6 August 1988, having appointed as executor of his will a banker who is said to be one of Jesus’s lambs or rams. As soon as Johnson was dead, a woman who claimed to have been “like a daughter to him” suddenly appeared and became the executor’s favorite as successor to Johnson and new “President of the Truth Seeker, Inc.”
There are now two *Truth Seekers*, each of which purports to be the legitimate continuation of the periodical James Hervey Johnson edited for so many years, and is principally devoted to denouncing the other.
What is strange is that the two reciprocally hostile publications are in almost complete agreement about all other matters. That is significant, and that is why I have devoted so much space to my reminiscence about the antecedents of what would otherwise be a commonplace and sordid affair.
The antagonists agree that Charles Smith was a very wicked man. He did not believe in a god, and professed atheists cannot object to that, but he actually disbelieved in God’s Chosen People! And he must have been bribed to become so vile as to speak irreverently of God’s Own. He believed in biological evolution, and that is permissible to atheists, provided, of course, they add the proviso that God stopped the evolution of anthropoids a hundred thousand years ago to make sure that all anthropoids are equal (except God’s Race, which is infinitely more equal than the others). Smith, *horrible dictu*, was a “racist” and he impiously and in defiance of God’s Will claimed that Aryans were somehow superior to Congoids and Australoids, instead of recognizing that Providence appointed Aryans humbly to work for the savages.
There is a slight difference in the rivals’ attitude toward James Hervey Johnson. The group which denounces him as a thief and embezzler regards his “racism” and disrespect towards God’s Own as only natural in so depraved a criminal. That would be an embarrassing position for a woman who has discovered she was “like a daughter” to Johnson, so her group claims that the old duffer was only misguided and stupid. Sale of the famous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which describe with damnable accuracy the techniques employed by God’s People for the destruction of our race and civilization, was immediately stopped, so if you want a copy of that unspeakable document, you must now order it from Liberty Bell Publications ($8.00 + postage).
Both groups have plastered on the title of their *Truth Seeker* the slogan of the French Revolution, *Libert‚, Egalit‚, Fraternit‚*.
It is a disagreeable fact that some atheists seem to have derived little intellectual benefit from their atheism. In one of the northern states, Minnesota perhaps, a band of atheists has appealed to the courts to prohibit hotels from keeping copes of the Gideon Bible in their rooms. In their missionary zeal they overlooked two facts.
Hotels are the property of their owners, so far as property still exists in the United States under crypto-Communist rule. The serfs who won them are no longer permitted to decide whom they will admit to their hotel or whom they will employ in it, since Americans seem resolved that all hotels must be slums and must promote equality by providing equal opportunity for disseminating diseases, but the owner is still allowed to decide with what color the walls of his rooms are to be painted and what furniture he will put in them. If he chooses to place copies of the Bible or *Penthouse* in the rooms, he is still permitted to do so without permission from the commissars who now herd the American boobs.
Whether the Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms are ever opened is another matter. The only use of them that I recall was by a man of scientific attainments with whom I was acquainted many years ago. He would smoke only the black, almost powdery tobacco that was used in good Russian cigarettes in the time of the Czars. He had, of course, to roll his own cigarettes, using a special kind of paper, and one night, when he returned from a bibulous party to his hotel in the early hours, he found that he had lost his packet of papers, Being a resourceful man, he tore pages from the Gideon Bible and found them an acceptable substitute.
An important consideration overlooked by the crusading atheists was pointed out by David McCalden, who has written for *Liberty Bell*. In a letter to *Christian News*, he observed that the Bible had probably produced as many atheists as any book ever published. He may have been right.
Several persons have told me that their rejection of all superstition about supernatural beings began with a reading of some part of the Christians’ holy book. I do not recall a specific mention of a Gideon Bible in that connection, but some may have opened one in an idle hour.
A gentleman once told me that he, like most Christians, had accepted the religion because it was generally supposed to be a Good Thing and so many people attended churches and professed to believe what they were told by their dervish. Once, having nothing better to do–possibly in a hotel room–he opened at random a Bible that was at hand and read an account of how the tough old Jew god had beaten up a Semitic god named Dagon. Unwilling to believe in the existence of Dagon, the gentleman found that the existence of many rival gods, including Satan, was affirmed in both parts of the “inerrant” collection of tales, and, on investigation, he found that the Fathers of the Church, including Augustine, required belief in the existence of “pagan” gods, and that in the Middle Ages disbelief in the existence and power of those gods was deemed a pernicious heresy. His rational powers having been thus stimulated by a chance look at the Bible, he quickly came to the inevitable conclusion that stories abut Jack and the Bean Stalk, Jesus and Lazarus, Aladdin and his lamp, Mahomet and Allah, and innumerable similar tales were merely childish fictions that should not impose on a mature and educated man or woman.