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Merton's Correspondence with:

Central Intelligence Agency; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Robert G. Grip; Robert Grip; Bob Grip

FBI Materials and CIA Materials  printer

 
 

Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1958, 1964-1968, 1985-1986
Volume: 24 item(s); 35 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This file contains correspondence and information retrieved and surrounding a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Robert G. Grip of WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama. The United States federal agencies queried were the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) main headquarters and Louisville office, and the U.S. State Department's offices of Passport Services and the Central Foreign Policy Records. The request yielded a letter intercepted by the CIA from Merton to Boris Pasternak in 1958 while covertly monitoring letters between the United States and the Soviet Union. The State Department released Merton's passport application which lists some details of interest to scholars. The FBI offices revealed information kept on Merton in regards to his involvement with the peace movement (mainly the Catholic Peace Fellowship) and in helping conscientious objector Joseph T. Mulloy. Some documents regarding Merton were release with expurgated portions or not declassified due to the privacy of other individuals or that the documents were deemed to be outside the scope of the request. All documents are photocopies except a letter from Robert Grip.

Biography

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See published letters from Merton to Pasternak in The Courage for Truth, pp. 87-93; see also the "Mulloy, Joseph T.", "Forest, James", and "Gorman, James C., Fr." files.

Series List

Series NumberSeries NameTotal Records
1 CIA FOIA Request 3
2 FBI Headquaters FOIA Request 12
3 FBI Louisville Office FOIA Request 3
4 US Department of State FOIA Request 6

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPubNotes
1. Series 1: 1958/12/15 TLS[x]  from Merton to Boris Pasternak For a long time I have been holding my breath in the midst of the turmoil of incomparable nonsense Series 1: CIA FOIA Request... [copy intercepted by the CIA on route to the Soviet Union - includes copy of envelope with date seized - it was thence sent on to Pasternak] «detailed view»
2. Series 1: 1985/01/25 TLS[x]  from Wright, John H. / to Robert Grip This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act request for CIA records concerning the Series 1: CIA FOIA Request... [from John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator for the CIA to Robert G. Grip of WALA TV, Mobile, Alabama] «detailed view»
3. Series 1: 1985/07/23 TLS[x]  from Wright, John H. / to Robert Grip This is a final response to your 27 December 1984 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Series 1: CIA FOIA Request... [from John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator for the CIA to Robert G. Grip of WALA TV, Mobile, Alabama] «detailed view»
4. Series 2: 1965/07/08 TALS[x]  from Forest, Jim / to Friends Enclosed are several items related to the Catholic Peace Fellowship--our Bulletin, the descriptive Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [sent with FBI memo from 1965/09/14[1] - includes markup by FBI, lines through the names of sponsors and file number references - lists co-chairs and sponsors, including Merton] «detailed view»
5. Series 2: 1965/09/14 (#01) TAL[x]  from SAC, New York / to Director, FBI The title is marked "Changed" to reflect the additional name of subject organization as The Roman Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [from the Special Agent in Charge in New York to the FBI director regarding the activities of the Roman Catholic Peace Fellowship, Philip Berrigan, the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), and others deleted and not declassified with this FOIA request] «detailed view»
6. Series 2: 1965/09/14 (#02) other  from Catholic Peace Fellowship / to Pope Paul VI PETITION of American Citizens to Pope Paul VI for Further Leadership on the Work for World Peace Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [sent with FBI memo from 1965/09/14[1] - no date - other organizations sending delegations to the Pope include the American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Worker, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy] «detailed view»
7. Series 2: 1965/09/14 (#03) other  from Capell, Frank A. / to Editor [NY Times?] Catholic Peace Group Has Strange Program [-] Dear Sir: A newly organized group that has as its Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [sent with FBI memo from 1965/09/14[1] - no date - from Frank A. Capell from Staten Island, NY, editor of The Herald of Freedom - letter to the editor criticizing the work of the Catholic Peace Fellowship] «detailed view»
8. Series 2: 1965/09/14 (#04) other  from Forest, Jim / to Editor [NY Times?] Catholic Peace Group Defends Its Program [-] Dear Sir: Frank A. Capell's letter (Nov. Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [sent with FBI memo from 1965/09/14[1] - no date - from James Forest, Co-Chairman of the Catholic Peace Fellowship - letter to the editor defending the work of the Catholic Peace Fellowship] «detailed view»
9. Series 2: 1968/02/23 (#01) TAL[x]  from SAC, Louisville / to Director, FBI Re Louisville teletype, 2/21/68, captioned "JOSEPH T. MULLOY; SSA, 1948;" and Louisville teletype Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [from the Special Agent in Charge in Louisville to the FBI director regarding "Louisville Peace Council Support of Draft Resistance by Joseph T. Mulloy, Louisville, Kentucky, 2/23/68" - other information on this memo deleted and not declassified with this FOIA request] «detailed view»
10. Series 2: 1968/02/23 (#02) TL[x]  from SAC, Louisville / to Director, FBI Louisville, Kentucky, has not been concealed, inasmuch as possible Selective Service violation Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [enclosed with 1968/02/23[1] letter to FBI headquarters] «detailed view»
11. Series 2: 1968/02/23 (#03) TAL[x]  from SAC, Louisville / to Director, FBI Mulloy left with Local Board 47 a letter to the draft board from Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [enclosed with 1968/02/23[1] letter to FBI headquarters - transcript of Merton's 1968/02/19 letter delivered by Joseph T. Mulloy to the Louisville Local Draft Board 47 - concerns Merton's support of Mulloy as a conscientious objector - also includes the signatures of 48 other individuals from the Louisville area in agreement] «detailed view»
12. Series 2: 1985/06/21 TLS  from Grip, Robert / to Patrick Hart After returning from vacation, I found that the FBI had finally responded to my request for Merton Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [second page is a key to FBI and military intelligence abbreviations: SAC, LHM, ONI, OSI and G-2] «detailed view»
13. Series 2: 1985/06/26 TLS to Center from Hart, Patrick The enclosed from the FBI may be of interest to you in view of what Bob Grip has sent previously. Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... «detailed view»
14. Series 2: 1985/no/no? (#01) other  from FBI / to Robert Grip FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FOIA DELETED PAGE INFORMATION SHEET Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [notes that 9 pages were withheld from Freedom of Information Act request because they were "outside the scope of request"] «detailed view»
15. Series 2: 1985/no/no? (#02) other  from FBI / to Robert Grip FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FOIA DELETED PAGE INFORMATION SHEET Series 2: FBI Headquaters FOIA Request... [notes that 10 pages were withheld from Freedom of Information Act request because they were "outside the scope of request"] «detailed view»
16. Series 3: 1968/05/12 TAL[x]  from Catholic Concerned Citizens / to KY UAC Listed below are a few of the main reasons why a closer look should be taken at questionable Series 3: FBI Louisville Office FOIA Request... [letter to FBI and Kentucky State Un-American Activities Committee, Frankfort, KY, concerning "questionable activity within the Roman Catholic Church of Louisville and Kentucky" - lists Merton, the rest is blotted out - calls on committee to "take a good hard look at this unholy alliance and give them transportation elsewhere"] «detailed view»
17. Series 3: 1985/06/27 (#01) TLS[x]  from Ford, Ivan M. / to Robert Grip This letter is in response to your Freedom of Information Act request for information identifiable Series 3: FBI Louisville Office FOIA Request... [from Ivan M. Ford, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Louisville office of the FBI, to Robert G. Grip of WALA TV, Mobile, Alabama - states two pages withheld from documents to protect the privacy of another individual] «detailed view»
18. Series 3: 1985/06/27 (#02) TAL[x] to SAC, Louisville Mulloy left with Local Board 47 a letter to the draft board from Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, Series 3: FBI Louisville Office FOIA Request... [same as the first page of 1968/02/23[3], but with Fr. James C. Gorman's name removed by Louisville office of the FBI] «detailed view»
19. Series 4: 1964/11/12? TLS[x]  from Smiley, Glenn / to Nicholas Katzenbach We, the national staff of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, must call into question the wisdom, Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [from Glenn E. Smiley of the Fellowship of Reconciliation to Nicholas de Bellville Katzenbach, United States Undersecretary of State under President Lyndon B. Johnson - correspondence retrieved from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by journalist Robert G. Grip of Mobile, Alabama during the mid-1980's] «detailed view»
20. Series 4: 1967/03/07 (#01) TL[c]  from Merton to Nicholas Katzenbach I address this letter to you with diffidence and yet with some hope that you will accept it as Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [copied from "Katzenbach" file] «detailed view»
21. Series 4: 1967/03/07 (#02) TL[x]  from Merton to Nicholas Katzenbach I address this letter to you with diffidence and yet with some hope you will accept it as Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [correspondence retrieved from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by journalist Robert G. Grip of WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama during the mid-1980's] «detailed view»
22. Series 4: 1968/07/12 other   DEPARTMENT OF STATE PASSPORT APPLICATION Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [lists Merton's name as "Thomas James Merton"] «detailed view»
23. Series 4: 1968/07/26 TLS[x]  from Gannon, Lawrence, Br. / to Passport Office Thomas Merton has requested me to obtain his passport for him. I believe that it is a custom or law Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [asks that Merton's trip remain confidential] «detailed view»
24. Series 4: 1986/10/23 TLS[x]  from Albrecht, Julia S. / to Robert Grip Pursuant to your request, this office initiated searches of the Central Foreign Policy Records (the Series 4: US Department of State FOIA Request... [from Julia S. Albrect, Information and Privacy Staff of the US State Department, to Robert G. Grip of WALA TV, Mobile, Alabama - all documents from the Central Foreign Policy Records and the Passport Services offices were released in their entirety] «detailed view»

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