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On 19 April 1966 Ernest Wilkinson [BYU president] asked his administrative assistant to organize a group of conservative students to monitor professors who were regarded as Communist sympathizers. Nearly all of these professors had publicly condemned The John Birch Society. Among them was political scientist Louis Midgley whose anti-Birch article in the Daily Universe had resulted in a muzzling of the newspaper two years earlier… For a year Stephen Hays Russell, student-leader of this ‘spy ring,’ had already been reporting to the local Birch Society chapter and to Wilkinson about some of these professors.

“On 20 April, Russell organized ten to fifteen other Birch students in a room of BYU’s Wilkinson Center. A non-student chapter leader of the society acted as guard. This room was the regular meeting place for BYU’s Young Americans for Freedom, and each prospective spy was invited to this special YAF meeting, to be held at the regular place, 370 ELWC. These students included the president of BYU’s Young Americans for Freedom and Cleon Skousen’s nephew Mark… What linked these students was their participation in the Provo chapter of the Birch Society and the BYU chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.”

D. Michael Quinn, Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 15 January 1997), 93.