The Naked Communist

By Mark Roland

Too many dismissed the warnings Christian author W. Cleon Skousen offered in his 1958 book. Now his predictions have become reality before our very eyes. 

The Marxist monstrosity that W. Cleon Skousen laid bare 63 years ago in his book The Naked Communist is more dangerous today than it was when he wrote about it in 1958. Just last year, organized mobs of far-left Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” rioters burned and looted major American cities, reducing business districts and urban areas to war zones more resembling a Third World hot spot than the United States. These latter-day Bolsheviks are direct descendants of their far-more-subtle predecessors exposed by Skousen, decades ago.

For example, Skousen tells of the famous movie actress Olivia de Havilland, still remembered for her performance in 1939’s Gone With the Wind. Less well known was her role as a financial bankroller of something called “the Independent Citizens’ Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions.” There was, however, nothing “independent” about this bogus “committee,” because it was a front for the Communist Party. Like many Hollywood leftists then and since, De Havilland lived in a gaudy mansion and enjoyed the high life, while paying hypocritical lip-service to people impoverished by the Depression from which her great wealth isolated her. She was fanatically dedicated to the Red revolution in America, and its local leaders knew how to inflate the famous actress’s ego with flattery as a means of winning her not insubstantial financial support.

But unknown to her or her unsavory comrades, their meetings had been recorded from beginning to end by federal agents. Skousen obtained an edited version made of the local Communist leaders speaking when she was absent. “He discovered that behind her back, these so-called ‘friends’ mocked and ridiculed her naïveté, referring to her with profane names, etc.”1 After arranging for her to privately hear the audio tape, she was livid and vowed never to go back to the Stalinist Independent Citizens’ Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions.

Skousen’s son, Paul, told how “he asked her to divulge everything she knew about the party’s plans to infiltrate the Hollywood unions and he would make sure that some of the information was leaked to the press. Then she would return to the next meeting pretending to be incensed that somebody was talking to the FBI, and declare that she refused to donate another penny until the dirty spy, whoever he was, is rooted out and dealt with. The star did just that and was able to separate from the group without creating suspicion. Her subsequent suspicions about the Citizens’ Committee led Ms. de Havilland and other Hollywood supporters to resign from that group as well.”2

Skousen in the FBI

Skousen’s career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation spanned 16 years. “He started out on the lowest rung, as a messenger,” according to Paul. “Soon, he became a trainer, an administrator over various groups of agents, firearms instructor, police instructor, inspector’s aide and supervisor over the 25-man communications section.”3

Born in 1913, in Raymond, Alberta, Canada, Skousen moved with his U.S.-citizen parents to California when he was a child. In the late 1930s, he went to work for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a “New Deal” program surreptitiously copied after Benito Mussolini’s subsidization of farmers.In 1940, Skousen graduated from George Washington University Law School (Washington, D.C.), allowing him to practice law in the District of Columbia before the District Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1956, after leaving the FBI, he was hired to serve as Salt Lake City’s police chief in the wake of a serious scandal. Skousen was universally praised for his successful efforts in restoring the department’s public confidence. In 1960, he raided an illegal poker club, where newly elected mayor J. Bracken Lee was in attendance. Lee fired the effective reformer, condemning Skousen’s enforcement of anti-gambling laws as “Gestapo-like,” adding that Skou­sen “ran the police department in exactly the same manner as the Communists in Russia operated their government.”5 But the National Center for Constitutional Studies in Washington, D.C. demonstrated that Skousen had eliminated all sources of illegal activity in the city within three years. After he was fired for doing his job, Skousen’s model police programs were dismantled and crime increased, on the average, by 22%.6

He then founded the All-American Society, which Time magazine condemned in 1961 as an “exemplar of the far-right ultras.”7 Among its proposals the magazine editors found particularly loathsome was elimination of the federal income tax, dissolving the Federal Reserve System and suspending diplomatic relations with Communist China. In 1987, the California government was about to make Skousen’s latest release, The Making of America, a textbook for state schools, when it was suddenly withdrawn at the loud behest of news media liberals. They fumed that its pages contained the words, “the emancipation of human beings from slavery is an ongoing struggle. Slavery is not a racial problem. It is a human problem.”8

The crusading equalitarians were mightily offended, because such statements deflected sympathy from Blacks, whose former slavery alone was significant, and tended to excuse slaveholders, who were invariably White. In other words, non-Negro slaves never existed, at least in the liberal mind. Worse, other lines from The Making of America were excoriated as “border-line anti-Semitism,” even though the word “Jew” was never mentioned: “Power from any source tends to create an appetite for additional power. It was almost inevitable that the super-rich would one day aspire to control not only their own wealth, but the wealth of the whole world. Human beings are treated en masse as helpless puppets on an international chess board, where giants of economic and political power subject them to wars, revolution, civil strife, confiscation, subversion, indoctrination, manipulation and outright deception as it suits their fancy and their concocted schemes for world domination.”9

Skousen passed away on January 9, 2006, just 11 days short of his 93rd birthday, but not before The Naked Communist, his magnum opus “became a national bestseller, with copies appearing on the shelves of more than a million homes across America.”10 The first printing quickly sold out in just a few months. Shortly after, the second was on its way, and the third was almost sold out before it even came off the presses. Within two years, the press runs grew from 10,000 copies to 20,000, and, at one point, the book was printed in lots of 50,000. Three years after its first publication, W. Cleon Skousen’s book was selling an average of 1,000 copies per day and had already entered its 11th printing.

Praise for The Naked Communist poured in from all corners. The Chinese ambassador to the U.S. wrote: “In stripping Communism of its aura of ‘rationalism’ and ‘inevitability’, and exposing it in all its naked ugliness, you have charted a course of action for the free world in this crucial period of human history.” The American Bar Association recommended it in its 1958 Annual Report. The U.S. Army Intelligence School listed it as recommended reading.

In July 2014, Dr. Ben Carson, candidate two years later for U.S. president in the Republican primaries, told Fox News audiences, “The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive agenda. You would think that by reading it that it was written last year. It shows what the progressives are trying to do to the American family.”11

Exposing Communist Goals

In his book, Skousen posited 45 Communist goals for the internal conquest of the United States. Prophetically and ominously, most of them—such as seizure of all forms of public information and capture of the Democrat Party— have already come to pass. Others are in the final phases of completion: “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the Party line in textbooks. Gain control of all student newspapers. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations, which are under Communist attack. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats, who had no concern for the common man. An American Communist cell was told to ‘eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms’.”12

Although privately printed, because mainstream publishers refused to touch it, the book was an instant success, so much so the author was in popular demand. “Skousen usually gave 100 to 200 speeches a year all across the country.” One of his immediate supervisors said of him, “He is one of the best speakers in the Bureau. He is thoroughly loyal and thoroughly enthusiastic.”13

To date, The Naked Communist has sold almost 2 million copies, thereby affirming its 21st-century relevance and permanent place in the American library. And, if you want to figure out what the radical wing of the Democrat Party has in store for us, a thorough reading of The Naked Communist will let you know—if you have the stomach for it.                                                       v


1 Skousen, W. Cleon. The Naked Communist: Exposing Communism and Restoring Freedom. UT: Izzard Ink Publishing Company.  2017 reprint of the 1958 original. The book (softcover, 452 pages, #878, $27 plus $5 S&H inside the U.S.) is available from The Barnes Review, P.O. Box 550, White Plains, MD 20695. Call 1-877-773-9077 toll free to  charge, Mon.-Thu. 9-5 ET or visit TBR subscribers may take 10% off the retail price of the book.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Joseph, Frank. Mussolini’s War, Years of Triumph, Volume I. Washington, D.C.: The Barnes Review, 2018. Softcover, 275 pages, #808, $27 minus 10% for TBR subscribers plus $5 S&H inside the U.S. from TBR, P.O. Box 550, White Plains, MD 20695. Call 1-877-773-9077 toll free to  charge, Mon.-Thu. 9-5 ET or visit

5 “Romney’s Radical Roots.” August 6, 2007.


7 “In Memoriam of W. Cleon Skousen.” Newsletter. National Center for Constitutional Studies. February 2006.

8 Skousen, W. Cleon. The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Constitutional Studies; 2nd edition, 1985.

9 Ibid.

10 The Naked Communist, op. cit.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.


This article appeared in the January/February edition of The Barnes Review magazine. Click here for more information.

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