Biography of Revilo P.
23 October 1999
Dr. Revilo Pendleton Oliver lived from 1908 to 1994. He
received a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and later a Ph.D.
from there in 1940 under the direction of Prof. William Abbott Oldfather. He was
a professor of classical philology, Spanish, and Italian at the University of
Illinois, Urbana Campus, for 32 years. During his tenure, he published academic
articles in four languages in twelve scholarly periodicals in the United States
and Europe. During World War II, he was Director of Research in a “highly
secret” agency of the War Department, and was eventually cited for outstanding
service to his country.
Oliver crusaded for rightist causes such as white rights and a European America. He was a founding member of the John Birch Society (1958) and a member of its council until 1966, when he was expelled because of his public racism. He was an associate editor of its periodical American Opinion and wrote regularly for it. According to Kevin Alfred Strom, “He saw clearly, and long before most of his countrymen, where the subversive and alien elements were leading his people, and he chose to risk reputation and social position to speak out. From 1954 until his death in August 1994, he worked almost without ceasing for the awakening of Americans of European descent to their danger and their possible great destiny.”
Dr. Oliver is of great interest to the history of the JFK assassination because he so clearly represents the views of the American right wing, which quickly blamed the assassination on leftist elements. Oliver, for example, formed his views as soon as he learned that Oswald had been “a Communist.” They were further cemented when he came to believe that Jack Ruby had been a Communist from his youth. Until the end of his life, Dr. Oliver remained an outspoken commentator on the JFK assassination, blaming it on the “Communist Conspiracy.”
Oliver's two most famous articles on the JFK assassination were entitled "Marxmanship in Dallas" and "Marxmanship in Dallas II." They appealed in American Opinion in February and March 1964, after having been written in December 1963. Coming so close on the heels of the assassination, and well before the basic facts of the case could have been established, and in particular several months before the Warren Report was issued, they represented first responses to the assassination rather than any sort of documentable opinion on it. They thus show how the extreme elements of the right reacted immediately to the assassination. For what it's worth, Dr. Revilo maintained these same opinions throughout the rest of his life.
The articles caused a sensation at the University of Illinois, where he was a professor of classics. At that point, Dr. Revilo was 53 and a member of of the John Birch Society's national council. In the midst of the furor on campus, none other than Roger Ebert, then student editor of the campus newspaper Daily Illini, wrote that "only a strong and free society could permit Professor Oliver his own freedom." The university's board of trustees eventually considered the case, and concluded 8-1 that they did not have "adequate grounds" for dismissing him, even though the majority stated that he had been "ungloriously wrong."
The Oliver brouhaha was recounted in articles in Newsweek of 24 February 1964 and 30 March 1964. It was also discussed in editorials in The Nation on 2 March 1964 and the National Review on 7 April 1964. Among other things, the National Review editorial concluded that a professor at the University of Illinois does indeed retain the freedom to write whatever he wants, but that he will be censured for doing so.
These two articles were also the subject of Dr. Oliver's entire appearance before the Warren Commission. (See below.)
To see a few photos of Dr. Oliver, click here.
As might be expected of someone of Oliver’s ultraright background, he had some very strong beliefs. Here are some of them.
· The Holocaust was a hoax.
· The white race is more intelligent that the black.
· JFK was assassinated by a Communist plot in cooperation with the CIA.
· JFK was a Communist agent who was assassinated because he was about to "turn American".
· Karl Marx wrote “idiotic mumbo-jumbo.”
· All children are born unequal.
· We must encourage intelligent people to reproduce and inhibit those of lesser intelligence from doing so.
· Most “intellectuals” are just “frightened zombies.”
· The United Nations is a bunch of subhumans in a glass cage.
· Franklin D. Roosevelt was a “diseased creature” who surrounded himself in the White House with an “appalling gang of degenerates, traitors, and alien subversives.”
You get the point.
On the 18th Amendment (Prohibition): "Very few Americans were sufficiently sane to perceive that they had repudiated the American conception of government and had replaced it with the legal principle of the 'dictatorship of the proletariat,' which was the theoretical justification of the Jews' revolution in Russia."
On race: "We must further understand that all races naturally regard themselves as superior to all others. We think Congoids unintelligent, but they feel only contempt for a race so stupid or craven that it fawns on them, gives them votes, lavishly subsidizes them with its own earnings, and even oppresses its own people to curry their favor. We are a race as are the others. If we attribute to ourselves a superiority, intellectual, moral, or other, in terms of our own standards, we are simply indulging in a tautology. The only objective criterion of superiority, among human races as among all other species, is biological: the strong survive, the weak perish. The superior race of mankind today is the one that will emerge victorious—whether by its technology or its fecundity--from the proximate struggle for life on an overcrowded planet."
For a very different biography of Revilo P. Oliver, see the one by Kevin Alfred Strom, one of Oliver's greatest supporters. It is at http://revilo-oliver.com/rpo/abt-rpo.htm.
Because Dr. Oliver’s articles so effectively portrayed the beliefs of the ultraright at the time of the assassination, I have assembled a representative series of 23 of his articles, ranging from December 1963 through October 1992. A complete list of his books and articles, as assembled by Kevin Alfred Strom, is much longer. As you read these articles, you will see how easy it was for leftists to blame this group for assassinating JFK—the articles literally reek of hatred for the man and everything that Oliver thought he stood for. These and additional articles by Oliver can be found at the home page of Stormfront, a white nationalist group (webmaster Don Black), at http://bbs.stormfront.org/rpo.htm, The Revilo Pendleton Oliver site of Kevin Alfred Strom, at http://revilo-oliver.com, and First Amendment Exercise Machine, webmaster Eric Thomson, at http://www.faem.com/oliver. The list below shows where each article came from.
1. “History and Biology,” December 1963 (Stormfront)
2. “Marxmanship in Dallas,” February 1964 (American Opinion)*
3. “Marxmanship in Dallas II,” March 1964 (American Opinion)
3a. "Marxmanship in Dallas," unedited version, February 1964 (American Opinion)
4. “Can ‘Liberals’ Be Educated?,” early 1966 (Stormfront)
5. "What We Owe Our Parasites I" June 1968 (Stormfront)
6. "What We Owe Our Parasites II" June 1968 (Stormfront)
7. “Revised Historiography,” May 1980 (Stormfront)
8. “Who’s For Democracy?,” 1982
9. “The Yellow Peril,” 1983 (FAEM)
10. “The Holohoax,” November 1984 (FAEM)
11. “Righteous Racism,” May 1985 (Stormfront)
12. “Academic Prostitution,” September 1985 (Stormfront)
13. “New Hoaxes For Old,” November 1985 (Stormfront)
14. “Different Spooks,” May 1986 (FAEM)
15. “Geological disinformation,” August 1986 (FAEM)
16. “A Religion for Aryans,” December 1986 (Stormfront)
17. “Liberalism,” 1991
18. “High-speed Holiness,” August 1991 (Stormfront)
19. “Cui Bono?,” May 1992 (Stormfront)
20. “Killing Kennedy I,” October 1992 (Stormfront)
21. “Killing Kennedy II” October 1992 (Stormfront)
22. “Killing Kennedy III” (Appendix) October 1992 (Stormfront)
23. “Un-American Cat,” January 1993 (Stormfront)
Dr. Oliver’s long testimony to the Warren Commission makes fascinating reading. Under gentle but insistent questioning by Albert Jenner, Oliver was forced to concede that every substantial charge in his two articles entitled “Marxmanship in Dallas,” from February and March 1964, was based on loose evidence and hearsay.