FOIA request for SftP domestic surveillance documents – FBI

About these documents

fbi_file_pageThe following 638 pages of documents were released under FOIA request FBI FOVPA #1071371-000 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in January 2007.

FBI FILE OPENED. The FBI file was opened on SESPA or Science for the People on 28-April-1970 with the advance notice of the demonstration at the Pentagon the next day. The file is generally classified as “RA” or “NL,” meaning revolutionary activity or New Left organizations. It is clear that at least one inside informant was continually providing conversations, minutes, plans, and internal documents to the FBI in both Boston and Chicago SftP collectives.

NUMBERING. The files are serialized by handwritten classification-case-serial number such as “100-459865-39” on documents. “100” is the classification for Domestic Security matters or DOMINTEL, “459865” is the Individual Case Number assigned to the SftP file. The number after that “39” is the serial number order of the document in the file. Sometimes attachments will be given “-A” and then attached in order behind the main serial number.

REDACTION and DECLASSIFICATION. The files as received were heavily redacted, eliminating most personally identifiable information (PII) and especially the redacting names of informants inside SftP and other organizations. Exemption codes are noted in the margin near the FOIA redaction site, ex: b2, b6, b7C, b7D. The FBI file shows declassification markings for 24-Sept-1977, 27-Jan-1986, and the entire file on 4-March-1996.

COMPLETENESS. Scanning and posting online continues as of this date. Please observe the spreadsheet revision date. Serial number 104 is the last document received. Expected completion date is 104 is May 2016.

PROCESSING.  The FBI file documents on SftP were received as paper copies with added redactions per exemptions allowed by 5 USC Sec.552 and listed in the conveyance cover letter 22-Jan-2008. No alterations were made to the received copies from the FBI. The documents were OCR scanned as delivered to the researcher, deskewed, and searchable properties added to the PDF file. The researcher’s home address and phone in the original 2007 FOIA correspondence has been removed. To inquire about these files, or to view the hardcopies received, please search for Melanie McCalmont and contact me.

COMPILATIONS AND INDEX FILES. Several files in the set are large compilations of investigation text. See files -41, -63, and especially -71 with extensive index for such compilations which provide a glimpse into the scope of surveillance and informants on Science for the People as an organization. File serial -88 has a compiled 54 page investigation on the China trip in 1973.

serial date person title
100-459865-00 3/2/2007 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 4/10/2007 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 4/14/2007 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 5/31/2007 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 9/5/2007 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 1/22/2008 SftP FOIA correspondence for Science for the People files
100-459865-00 1/1/1988 SftP Dispute notice as cover for FOIA documents
100-459865-01 4/28/1970 Freidhein, Jerry W. Possible demonstration by physics teachers and students at the Pentagon, April 29
100-459865-03 9/29/1970 Melman, Seymour; Riverside Research Institute RRI FBI interview on 1967-Dec-12 with Seymour Melman re: war resistance and SESPA New York chapter; description of SESPA; narrative of picket line infiltration by FBI at the Riverside Research Institute on 1970-Dec-06.
100-459865-04 11/14/1970 SESPA NY; Riverside Research Institute RRI FBI telex on Riverside Research Institute demonstration
100-459865-05 11/30/1970 SESPA NY; Riverside Research Institute RRI FBI airtel on Riverside Research Institute demonstration
100-459865-06 1/8/1971 Fox, Herb; Seaborg, Glen; Coates, Joeseph; Kunnes, Rick; Rosenthal, Frank; Hardin, Mrs.; Teller, Edward; Pickering, William; Eisner, Thomas; Zimmerman, William; Surveillance of MIT leaflet handout “Moral Irresponsibility at MIT” by NY chapter of SESPA, with non-participation pledge, Newspaper clippings (several) in FBI file related to Chicago AAAS meeting and protests; photo on document page 6.
100-459865-07 1/7/1971 SESPA NY; Melman, Seymour Telex describing advance knowledge of MIT demonstration 1971-Jan-08 from Columbia University contact
100-459865-08 1/7/1971 SESPA Boston Memo describing questioning MIT “New Left sources” on whether a Boston chapter existed
100-459865-09 2/17/1971 SESPA NY; Riverside Research Institute RRI Report of lone female handing out leaflets at RRI
100-459865-10 2/19/1971 SESPA NY; Riverside Research Institute RRI Report of demonstration at RRI
100-459865-11 2/16/1971 SESPA NY; Riverside Research Institute RRI Report of RRI planned activity, attached article on Berkeley free speech ban
100-459865-12 6/1/1971 Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Telephone request for any FBI information on SESPA by Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
100-459865-13 6/24/1971 SESPA Philadelphia Series of memos and request for information from FBI Philadelphia office on SESPA, dates from June-September 1971
100-459865-14 5/9/1971 SESPA Chicago; Science for Vietnam; Lewontin, Richard; Levins, Richard; Cannon, William Newspaper clipping, Lewontin and Levins ask for Science for Vietnam funding
100-459865-15 6/24/1971 SESPA NY; Hiroshima Memo re: Hiroshima memorial demonstration by SESPA NY
100-459865-16 8/4/1971 SESPA University of Pennsylvania Memo to continue investigation in Pennsylvania
100-459865-17 8/16/1971 SESPA University of Pennsylvania Memo of May 9 article mention SESPA in Pennsylvania
100-459865-18 9/28/1971 SESPA NY; Melman, Seymour Memo of 6 pages summarizing 1971 activites of SESPA NY
100-459865-19 10/14/1971 SESPA Chicago; Radinsky, Len; Rothenburg, Mel; Zimmerman, Bill Memo of 8 pages summarizing 1971 activites of SESPA Chicago
100-459865-20 11/5/1971 SESPA NY; McGill, William Telex describing advance information on demonstration at Columbia University
100-459865-21 11/5/1971 SESPA Chicago; NUC Newsletter Memo on Chicago chapter and NUC Newsletter
100-459865-22 12/30/1971 SftP Magazine Advice from FBI DC to Boston office to subscribe to ‘Science for the People’ magazine
100-459865-23 12/28/1971 AAAS; Guerilla theater; Humphrey, Hubert Report of guerilla theater at AAAS convention 1971
100-459865-24 12/23/1971 AAAS; Communist Party; Massachusetts Committee for the Bill of Rights; Science for Vietnam; Memo of SESPA at AAAS and planned disruptions by source
100-459865-25 12/28/1971 AAAS; Humphrey, Hubert; Michigan members Report of Humphrey disuption by Michigan SftP members, tomato, airplane
100-459865-26 12/30/1971 AAAS; Bundy, William; Vietnam Veterans Against War VVAW Report of Bundy disuption by SftP members
100-459865-27 12/28/1971 AAAS; Vietnam Veterans Against War VVAW; Valley Forge II; McIntire, Carl Report of VVAW Valley Forge II demonstration, arrests, Lincoln Memorial rally
100-459865-28 1/14/1972 Source, redacted; Riverside Research Institute RRI NY source discusses 22-Dec-1971 demonstration and graduate student SftP member
100-459865-29 1/13/1972 Science for Vietnam Notice of Science for Vietnam meeting at University of Minneapolis
100-459865-30 12/27/1971 AAAS; Philadelphia Late notice of disruptions from Philadelphia office
100-459865-31 12/22/1971 SftP Boston Large Boston FBI master file, 49 pages, detailing Science for the People intelligence and surveillance
100-459865-32 1/31/1972 SftP Boston New jersey confidential sources quizzed about SESPA
100-459865-33 1/21/1972 SftP; People’s Information Center; Humphrey, Hubert; Vietnam Veterans Against the War; Gelb, Leslie; Bundy, William; Halperin, Morton Report of Sftp at the AAAS Philadelphia meeting surveillance
100-459865-33X 1/26/1972 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) Summarization of Students for a Democratic Society, original date August 7, 1969
100-459865-34 2/3/1972 SftP Correspondence with Kansas City FBI agents
100-459865-35 2/2/1972 SftP; AAAS Suggestion AAAS guest and membership list be mined to calculate SftP members
100-459865-36 2/10/1972 SftP; LASESPA Request for information on Los Angeles SESPA
100-459865-37 2/7/1972 SftP; New University Conference Correspondence with Detroit FBI agents
100-459865-38 2/9/1972 Lawrence Radiation Laboratory; UC Berkeley; Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam Compilation of Lawrence Radiation Lab protest avtivity, suspension of physicist, draft board protests, informants speak to San Francisco FBI agents
100-459865-39 2/24/1972 University of New Mexico Albuquerque FBI reports on graduate student member of SESPA at Univ of New Mexico
100-459865-39P 2/10/1972 New University Conference Chicago report on SESPA member attending New University Conference June 1971
100-459865-40 2/29/1972 George Washington University; Washington Area Peace Action Coalition WAPAC; Science for Vietnam Washington Field Office report on SESPA at GWU, report on SESPA member asking another group for its mailing list
100-459865-41 2/29/1972 AAAS; Zimmerman, Bill; Rosenthal, Frank; Radinsky, Len; Open Up The Schools OUTS; Rothenburg, Mel; New University Conference; Science for Vietnam; Levins, Richard; Butler, John; Science Students Union; Chicago FBI comprehensive report on SftP, members, Cuba trip, networking with other groups, Science for Vietnam organizing
100-459865-42 3/24/1972 SDS; UConn; SESPA; SftP; Robert F. Williams Connecticut FBI summaries of SftP members or informant notes, University of Connecticut
100-459865-43 3/28/1972 SftP; AAAS; Sheraton Memo of Sheraton hotel refusal to release guest list to FBI
100-459865-44 4/8/1972 SESPA; American Chemical Society Memo of planned action at ACS convention April 1972, magazine mention
100-459865-45 4/19/1972 SESPA; Science for Vietnam; Katz, Gordon; Radinksy, Leonard; SANE; NUC; Cuba; Honeywell Report of activity in Chicago, professor at DePaul University, newspaper quotes
100-459865-46 4/29/1972 AAAS; Univ Michigan; Northeastern; Hardvard; Univ Pennsylvania; Columbia; Univ Cincinnati; Cincinnati Peace Coalition; Cincinnati Action for Peace Memo of AAAS member listing members of SESPA known to him, request for permission to investigate professor at Univ Cincinnati per Manual procedures
100-459865-47 5/1/1972 Council on Foreign Relations CFR; Abzug, Bella; Ellsberg, Daniel; Columbia; Notice of upcoming demonstration at Council on Foreign Relations CFR with speakers and guerilla theater
100-459865-48 5/3/1972 Council on Foreign Relations CFR; Social Scientists for Peace Now SSFPN; Columbia Correction to -47 that SESPA was not involved
100-459865-49 5/2/1972 Medical Aid Committee for Indochina; American Psychoanalytic Association; American Medical Association Leads and investigation of Medical Aid Committee to Indochina, article and members
100-459865-50 5/19/1972 George Washington Univ; Socialist Workers Party SWP; Washington Area Peace Action Coalition WAPAC; American Univ; Univ Colorado; U.S. Army; more Detailed investigation report of a GWU SESPA member, Army service, parents, school records, police file
100-459865-51 5/20/1972 Riverside Research Institute RRI; Abzug, Bella Observation of picketing at Riverside Research Institute RRI
100-459865-52 5/25/1972 SESPA Los Angeles Results of background check on female SESPA member in LA
100-459865-53 6/19/1972 SESPA Philadelphia Results of background check on Univ Pennsylvania professor in anatomy-chemistry SESPA member and chapter
100-459865-54 6/13/1972 Science for Vietnam; SftP Madison; SftP Chicago; SftP Boston; World Federation of Scientific Workers; Levins, Richard; more Detailed contents of lost luggage containing complete set of Science for Vietnam materials, 19 pages; Letters, pamphlets, handwritten notes, journals, more
100-459865-55 6/21/1972 Science for Vietnam; Doctors Club Illinois District Communist Party CPUSA; Davis, Angela; Northeastern Univ Report of SftP Chicago member claiming luggage, physical description, past CP membership, employment; attached memo re Northeastern economics professor investigated
100-459865-56 7/18/1972 Belcher, Carl; Engineering Foundation, The TEF; Berwick Academy; Santarelli, Donald; National Science Foundation; March, Robert; Science for Vietnam Informant provides notice of planned disruption of The Engineering Foundation, Berwick Academy, with attached article citing Robert March, UW-Madison
100-459865-57 7/19/1972 National Science Foundation; Engineering Foundation, The TEF; Berwick Academy Letter to NSF warning of SESPA activity planned for TEF event July 16-21, 1972, see note at end
100-459865-58 7/17/1972 Science for Vietnam; SftP Chicago; Ha, Van Lu; War Crimes Commission Background check on female author of Preliminary Report on Geophysical Warfare in U.S.
100-459865-59 7/20/1972 Washington Area Free University WAFU; End The War Ad Hoc Committee; Council on Economic Priorities Inside source describes meeting of WAFU, provides materials; background check on member
100-459865-60 7/11/1972 Engineering Foundation, The TEF; Berwick Academy; Rosenbaum, David; Mitre Corp; other TEF panelists Leaked internal letter from SESPA NY member with personal notes on TEF conference plans and TEF agenda
100-459865-61 7/17/1972 Jason Study Group; Wallace, Deborah; Ruderman, Malvin; Wallace, Rod; Institute for Defense Analysis IDA Flyers and internal info furnished re: Jason Study Group literature by SESPA members, Deb Wallace
100-459865-62 7/27/1972 Riverside Research Institute RRI; Jason Study Group; New University Conference NUC; Columbia Univ; many other subjects, colleges, and organizations mentioned Compendium 22 pages of news and inside informant statements from Oct 1971 to July 1972
100-459865-63 7/28/1972 Jason Study Group; many subjects, colleges, and organizations authoring contents of compendium Compendium 17 letters, pamphlets, flyers on Jason Study Group, calls to action, inside informant claims
100-459865-64 8/21/1972 SftP Chicago List of sources, redacted; status of Chicago collective
100-459865-65 9/26/1972 SftP Storrs; Univ Connecticut Uconn Report of a UConn group forming in fall 1972
100-459865-66 9/18/1972 Air Force; Singapore Request for Singapore legation and US Air Force to determine if a member had traveled to North Vietnam
100-459865-67 10/16/1972 California; Computer People for Peace CPP; Systems Development Corp SDC; Peace Action Council PAC; Ellsberg, Daniel; Pentagon Papers Informant descriptions of leaflet, protest activity against security clearance system in southern California by SftP members
100-459865-68 9/30/1972 Air Force; Singapore Reply redacted from Singapore legation and US Air Force to determine if a member had traveled to North Vietnam
100-459865-69 10/24/1972 Jason Study Group; Davidon, William C.; Haverford College; Institute for Defense Analysis IDA Informant advised that SftP newsletter published Davidon’s request for activity at 11th Eastern Theoretical Physics Conference
100-459865-70 10/31/1972 SftP Chicago; University of Chicago Memo on status and inactivity of Chicago SftP collective and decision to close file.
100-459865-71 12/6/1972 INDEX; SftP; not possible to list all events and names Index and compiled information on collectives, members, events, finances, travel, publications. Some material from informants, other from observation and reports.
100-459865-72 12/18/1972 SftP Boston; AAAS; Science for Vietnam Boston FBI office directed to investigate plans to disrupt 1972 AAAS
100-459865-73 12/28/1972 SftP; AAAS 1972; Reports of AAAS activity, demonstration, arrests at leaflet table
100-459865-74 12/22/1972 AAAS; Westman, David; Pollack, Rich Informer statements on newsletter on plans for SftP activity at AAAS
100-459865-75 1/9/1973 SftP; Institute for Defense Analysis IDA Sources at IDA; presidential briefing on AAAS activism
100-459865-76 1/9/1973 SftP Savannah; Armstrong State College; AAAS Inquiry about SftP in Savannah; set of articles on AAAS activity
100-459865-77 1/3/1973 AAAS; Weinrub, Allen; Moss, Lenny; Rosenthal, Frank; Appel, Douglas; Carrington, Walter; Blustein, Bonnie; John, Esther; Horan, Jean Report of arrest after table at AAAS, list of names and positions
100-459865-78 1/11/1973 AAAS; Sftp Savannah; American Association of University Professors AAUP Correction to -76 re Savannah
100-459865-79 1/16/1973 Univ of Pennsylvania Update on SftP status on Univ of Pennsylvanis campus
100-459865-80 1/17/1973 Rutgers University Response that SftP was not active on Rutgers campus
100-459865-81 1/22/1973 Northern Illinois University Request for investigation on female SftP member at NIU
100-459865-82 1/23/1973 Science for Vietnam; Chicago SftP; Boston SftP Decision not to investigate Science for Vietnam as a separate subversive organization apart from SftP
100-459865-83 1/29/1973 Los Angeles SftP No further information from source on Los Angeles SftP
100-459865-84 1/31/1973 University of New Mexico Report that Sftp member of interest still a grad student at Univ of New Mexico
100-459865-85 2/15/1973 Washington Area Peace Action Coalition WAPAC; National Peace Action Coalition NPAC; Socialist Workers party; George Washington University; WTTG Televison Update on Sftp leader in Washington, DC
100-459865-86 2/21/1973 China, People’s Republic of; Japan Airlines JAL; US-China Friendship Association USCFA; Brotsky, Ellen; Maher, Julia; Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries; China Books and Periodicals CBP; San Francisco Journal; Chinese Voice Investigation and internal informant statements, 9 pages, on SftP group stopover in San Francisco, meeting with USCFA, and departure at SFI airport for China.
100-459865-87 5/28/1974 Univ of New York-Buffalo; Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; Mathematics Research Center MRC Mixed file. Report by academic of SftP Madison letter received to avoid attending MRC conference Madison October 1974. Notice to SF FO on 8-Mar-1973 to obtain names of China trip attendees.
100-459865-88 2/28/1973 China, People’s Rupublic of; China Collective SftP; Special Guardian Group Five; Lao Hsin; MIT; Japan Airlines JAL; New University Conference NUC; Massachustetts Committee for the Bill of Rights; Progressive Labor Party; St. Louis Intercommunal Survival Committee; Compiled 54 page investigation with informant material on SftP China trip March 1973; letter to Chinese ambassador in Canada; agenda in country from informant
100-459865-89 3/14/1973 SftP Madison; Univ of Wisconsin-Madison Background check into SftP Madison, leadership, and school records

Download table as spreadsheet with document links


  • 11-Dec-2015, corrected serial numbers, split some PDF to match
  • 13-Dec-2015, added serial no -43 to -89

Common terms and abbreviations on the SftP FBI files

  • “100-459865-39” on documents. “100” is the classification for Domestic Security matters or DOMINTEL, “459865” is the Individual Case Number assigned to the SftP file. The number after that “39” is the serial number order of the document in the file.
  • (c), (s), (u)  Confidential, Secret, and Unclassified material markings
  • “ADEX” Administrative index with Category I through IV. For details on categories, see the paragraph further down this page.
  • “BS” Bureau Symbol
  • “CP” or “CPUSA” Communist Party in the USA
  • “EO 10450” this is Executive Order 10450 re: Security Requirements for Government Employment
  • “EXP PROC” Expedited Processing
  • “FO” Field Office, example: WFO Washington Field Office
  • “IS-NEW LEFT” Internal Security-New Left organizations (IS-C is communist organization, IS-REVACT or IS-RA is revolutionary activities, IS-SUBV is subversive activities)
  • “LHM” letterhead memo
  • “NITEL” Night teletype, a routine FBI teletype communication transmitted overnight at cheaper rates
  • “OO” Office of Origin
  • “RM” registered mail
  • “REHONCAB” Regarding ____ cable, in this case Hong Kong. Also in files with other cities and U.S. legations.
  • “RENYTEL” is “reletype New York telephone”, other cities may be inserted for NY. A point-to-point printing using system of radioteletype (RTTY) before teletype
  • “REVACT” Revolutionary activity
  • “RUC” Referred upon completion
  • “SA” or “SAS” Special agent(s) and “SAC” special agent in-charge, ex.: SAC, Chicago (100-51732)
  • “SAC” Special Agent in Charge
  • “SM” subject matter, example: SM-SDS is subject matter of Students for a Democratic Society
  • “WDC” Washington, District of Columbia

 ADEX Categories

Ivan Greenberg’s “The Dangers of Dissent” (2010) on Google Books cites the purpose and codes of the ADEX, which is seen frequently in these FBI files. The purpose of the Administrative Index (ADEX) was to have a current listing of individuals deemed currently dangerous to national security. These individuals were to be afforded priority investigative coverage in the event of a national emergency. For an example of its usage in the FBI files, see document 100-459865-62 page 2.

Greenberg states that during the 1970s this Index had 4 categories:

  • ADEX, Category I included all leaders of revolutionary groups, persons demonstrating violence against persons rather than property, and other extremist leaders with special terrorist training.
  • ADEX, Category II included secondary leadership of revolutionary groups and extremist groups, active participants who furthered the aims of such groups, as well as unaffiliated revolutionaries who had acted violently against property rather than people.
  • ADEX, Category Ill included rank and file participants in recent extremist or revolutionary activities.
  • ADEX, Category IV included those in a position to influence others to engage in acts part of national defense, who had a proclivity for exercising such influence, but who otherwise did not qualify under the first three categories.