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Page 6- The Behrend College Beacon - Thursday, December 10 , 1998
FBI documents on Sinatra detail decades of investigations
By Ronald J. Ostrow and Lisa Getter
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The FBI opened
its files Tuesday on entertainer Frank
Sinatra, a 1,275-page dossier docu
menting decades of probes into the
singer’s life, from his alleged ties to
organized crime to a tip from gossip
columnist Walter Winchell that he had
bought his 4-F draft exemption for
A bureau inquiry found the charge
relayed by Winchell to be baseless.
But the files, made public under the
Freedom of Information Act, detail
other probes into Sinatra’s life, with
frequent mention of his links with
such notorious mob figures as Lucky
Luciano and Sam Giancana.
Those associations produced no
criminal charges against Sinatra, but
reportedly were extensive enough to
lead President John F. Kennedy to
cool his relationship with the famed
The agency investigated allegations
that Sinatra had links to the Commu
nist Parly, as well as death threats
made against the entertainer.
The bureau rejected Sinatra’s offer
to serve as an informant - an offer
Jimmy Swaggart still
preaching; few are listening
By Joe Mathews
The Baltimore Sun
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Rev.
Jimmy Swaggart plays a scale on his
grand piano and slides off the bench
to grab the microphone. “Praise
Jesus!" he says, launching a spellbind
ing two-hour sermon, which he inter
rupts twice to record 30-second pro
motional spots for the TV version.
Swaggart yells. He collapses to the
tloor. He recounts a conversation with
God. Seven times, he abruptly breaks
into tears. And he lays hands on a par
tially paralyzed young man. "Jesus
will heal you because he can heal
you,” says Swaggart, weeping again.
"I know we have sinned ... but Jesus,
please, please help him."
The tears resemble those that fell
from Swaggart’s face in 1988, when
the tele-evangelist, caught with a
prostitute, told his congregation, "1
have sinned, my Lord.”
Ten years later, everywhere
Swaggart looks, his eyes see the dam
age caused by his indiscretion in a
New Orleans motel room.
To his left and right, huge curtains
block off seats and disguise the fact
that his 7,000-seat Family Worship
Center on Bluebonnet Road now at
tracts only 500 to Sunday services.
Outside, the 100-plus Hag poles that
once carried the banners of every
country where his sermons were
broadcast stand unused. Decorating
the stadium-sized, mostly vacant
parking lot at the worship center are
signs for a shuttle bus that long ago
Like Jim Bakker and Oral Roberts,
Swaggart, 63, has lost much of his
flock and his financial empire, which
once enjoyed annual revenues of $ 150
million. But Swaggart still preaches
the same message from the same
place, his 200-acre complex in Baton
Rouge. His only public concession to
falling popularity is his use of pub
lic-access channels (more popular
cable outlets largely shun him) to
broadcast his message to 250 TV
markets at odd hours of the week.
He remains, he says, an “old-fash
ioned, Holy Ghost-filled, shouting,
weeping, soul-winning, Gospel
preaching preacher.” He still preaches
that Jews and Catholics are going to
hell, and he still assails - without a
hint of irony or compromise - homo
sexuality, pornography, psychology
and, yes, prostitution and hypocrisy.
And he still lives in the same gated
Read the Beacon
similar to one the bureau accepted
during the 1940 s from Ronald Reagan
and his wife, actress Jane Wyman.
The 4-F inquiry was conducted in
1944 after Winchell forwarded the
FBI an anonymous letter outlining the
allegations. The FBI concluded that
This worried man ... added that there are certain sex
activities by Kennedy that he hopes are never publi
cized. (The informant) said he learned that these
parties involving the Senator and Sinatra occurred in
Palm Springs, Las Vegas and New York City.”
Capt. Joseph Weintrob. the medical
officer who examined Sinatra at a
Newark, N.J., induction station, was
justified in exempting Sinatra from
military service because the singer
had a perforated left eardrum and re
lated ear problems.
During a psychiatric interview that
was part of the medical exam, Sinatra
described himself as “neurotic, afraid
to be in crowds,” leading the examin
ing psychiatrist to find that the bobby-
"We don't discuss the past because
we don’t live in the past," says his son
Donnie, 44, a vice president in Jimmy
Swaggart Ministries. “We’ve moved
Avoiding the past might prove im
possible. In a book set to be published
next month. Hunter Lundy, the attor
ney who exposed Swaggart’s fond
ness for prostitutes, suggests strongly
that the minister was also a pedophile.
Swaggart’s old rival, the Rev. Marvin
Gorman, has re-emerged, driving a
Toyota, doing tent revivals and gen
erally posing a humbler eontrast.
“The whole story is tragic,” says
Gorman over breakfast in the New
Orleans suburb of Metairie.
“It’s very hard for people who have
as much prominence as he and I did
in the church to stay humble. Pride
goes before destruction and the
haughty spirit before the fall. And that
crept into each one of us."
Swaggart refused to be interviewed
for this article. But his sermon offers
a reply to his critics. “You can find
things about me you don't like. And
frankly, I don’t want to hear it,” he
says. "If you look hard enough, you’ 11
find something good about me and
At least, Swaggart adds, he has the
ability to survive.
Jimmy Lee Swaggart, born poor
near the Mississippi River in Ferriday,
La., started preaching on the revival
circuit in 1958 with his wife, Frances,
and a beat-up Plymouth. God, he says,
has spoken repeatedly to him since he
was 8 years old. The Lord instructed
him to begin a TV ministry in 1973.
By 1986, his TV shows reached 510
million people in 145 countries, and
his complex in Baton Rouge made
him one of the city’s largest employ
ers. He mailed 7 million fund-raising
letters a day, raised $135 million an
nually in contributions, and used the
money to build schools, churches and
his own Bible college, while provid
ing a lavish lifestyle for his family.
His 1984 autobiography pro
claimed, “There are no skeletons in
the Swaggart closet,” but recounted
a warning from a longtime triend.
“There are men who can’t stand pros
perity. They can’t stand fame. It goes
to their head. They start to think they
Swaggart seemed to ignore the ad
vice. After pronouncing divine judg
ment on tele-evangelists Jim Bakker
and Marvin Gorman for their sexual
indiscretions, Swaggart was investi
gated by Gorman, who discovered
World and Nation
soxer idol suffered from psychoneuro-
But because Sinatra was being re
jected for physical grounds, the diag
nosis was downgraded to a notation
of “emotional instability” to avoid
“undue unpleasantness for both the
selectee and the induction service.”
The agency’s review of Sinatra’s
draft status was conducted under
handwritten orders by FBI Director
J. Edgar Hoover to do nothing “ir
regular." In the draft report, the FBI
noted that Sinatra had been arrested
twice in 19.38 in Hackensack. N.J. -
first on charges of seduction and then
on adultery. The charges eventually
were dismissed, but agents added two
police mug shots of the singer to the
Swaggart’s weakness for prostitutes.
Swaggart apologized, famously: "I
have sinned against you, my Lord, and
I would ask that your precious blood
would wash and cleanse every stain
until it is in the seas of God's forget
fulness, never to be remembered
against me.” Swaggart received as
much money from that single broad
cast as he did in three months.
Ten years later, that speech haunts
him. Gorman won $ 1.85 million from
Swaggart in a defamation suit. In
1991, Swaggart lost more followers
when he was stopped with a prosti
tute in Indio, Calif.
A lack of financial contributions
forced him to close dozens of
churches, schools and medical pro
grams overseas, and to lay oil hun
dreds of staff in Baton Rouge. He liq
uidated other assets to pay off debts
such as the $1.4 million court judg
ment in Dallas for failing to pay for
Right now, Jimmy Swaggart Min
istries resembles nothing so much as
a real-estate enterprise. Many of the
buildings on the 200-acre campus
have been leased to the Louisiana
Department of Environmental Qual-
ity or to private businesses.
Swaggart’s Bible college is open, but
enrollments have declined and the
college recently dropped its founder’s
Swaggart, his son says, feels vin
dicated by the troubles of President
Clinton. "A lot of people said he
should confess his sin like Jimmy
Swaggart,” says Donnie. Swaggart
takes heart from several dozen new
members who have begun attending
services since 1991.
“Everyone has trouble. It’s not for
us to judge his personal life,” says
Judy Washington, a Family Worship
Center member from Port Allen, La.
Adds Diane Bouche, who helps teach
Sunday school: ‘Tve done things in
my past that are worse. They just
didn’t happen on TV. And he never
And he never stopped selling. On a
recent Sunday, the church bookstore
stayed open during services, and vol
unteers distributed copies of
Swaggart’s magazine, the Evangelist,
complete with the Swaggart gill cata
As he preached, ushers gave out
tithe envelopes that ask for a credit
card number. Younger visitors were
offered admissions materials for the
The FBI dossier includes hundreds
of references to Sinatra's ties to
“criminals and hoodlums."
Relying on unnamed informants,
press reports and secret surveillance,
the FBI spent nearly 30 years track
ing Sinatra and his associates.
Bugsy Siegel invited him to the
opening of the Flamingo Hotel in
1946. Luciano listed him in his ad
dress book in 1949. Giancana. Vito
Genovese and Thomas Luchese were
his guests in Atlantic City in 1959.
James John Warjac. who had made it
to the FBl's 10 Most Wanted List, had
a picture of Sinatra dealing blackjack
when Warjac was nabbed in 1960. Joe
Fischetti dined with him in Miami in
Gangsters all, the FBI said.
One 1961 memo noted that
Giancana and Sinatra liked to have
contests to see who could spend the
most money buying drinks and trin
kets for their friends in Chicago.
But Sinatra told the FBI that
Giancana “was only someone he re
called meeting at an airport."
Particularly worrisome to the FBI
was Sinatra's relationship with Presi
Berkeley to clamp
on homeless street
By Edward Wong and Maria L
Los Angeles Times
BERKELEY, Calif. - Here in the
land of free speech and the home of
the brazen, a City Council of leg
endary liberalness is poised to
choose capitalists over street kids.
Tuesday night, Berkeley’s coun
cil is expected to ratify an ordinance
aimed at taking the city’s colorful
main commercial streets back from
;bands of homeless street youths and
their dogs wjio have turned
of Telegraph and Shattuck avenues
into urban campgrounds.
“What we’re trying to do is en
sure sidewalk accessibility,” said
Council Member Polly Armstrong,
who co-authored the pioposed or
dinances. “We continue to be an ex
tremely liberal city, and we’re
proud of that. But there's a differ
ence between liberal and lawless.”
The proposed rules - which
bubbled up from complaints by
business owners about aggressive
panhandling and open drug deal
ing - would prohibit people from
sleeping or lying on Telegraph and
Shattuck during the day. In the ca
nine corollary, the regulations
would ban three or more dogs from
standing or lying within 10 feet of
1 billion to poverty
By John M. Goshko
The Washington Post
UNITED NATIONS - One billion
people - nearly a sixth of humanity -
will enter the 21 st century doomed to
poverty because they are unable to
read a book, write their names or
master other skills necessary to hold
a job, UNICEF reported Tuesday,
“The consequences of illiteracy are
profound - and even potentially life
threatening. For millions and millions
of children, education is literally a
matter of life and death,” UNICEF
Executive Director Carol Bellamy
wrote in the agency’s annual report
on illiteracy, “The State of the World’s
timated 130 million children, about 40
percent of the elementary school age
population, either never enter school
or drop out, the report says. Of that
total, 73 million are girls.
Even in many industrialized coun
tries, 15 percent to 20 percent are
functionally illiterate, unable to un
derstand a job application, much less
operate a computer or develop other
As a senator, the FBI noted,
Kennedy attended “an alleged indis
creet party" with Sinatra, other guests
and several prostitutes.
Even Kennedy’s campaign man
ager was concerned, the FBI reported
it was told by a reliable informant.
“This worried man... added that there
are certain sex activities by Kennedy
that he hopes are never publicized.
(The informant) said he learned that
these parties involving the Senator
and Sinatra occurred in Palm Springs,
Las Vegas and New York City."
One informant told the FBI that the
underworld was using Sinatra to gain
access to the White House.
Indeed, the FBI noted. President
Kennedy called Sinatra in Atlantic-
City in 1962 while Sinatra was attend
ing the wedding of Philadelphia mob
boss Angelo Bruno’s daughter.
In 1954, the Army refused to aliow
Sinatra clearance to entertain the
troops in Korea, saying he had failed
a security clearance because “serious
questions existed as to Mr. Sinatra’s
sympathies with respect to commu
nism. communists, and fellow travel
incensed, Sinatra argued that "he
hated and despised everything that
Some students at the University
of California campus, which sits at
the top of Telegraph Avenue, wel
come the proposed Berkeley ordi-
“I don’t mind them cracking
down, because it gets really annoy
ing here,” says 20-year-old senior
Weijean Strand. “This is a college
town, and I know people come here
because of the freedom. But at the
same time, you want to upkeep the
The homeless, however, are less
than impressed. Shane Scully, a 27-
year-old with a large blue star tat
tooed on his forehead, calls the side
walks of Telegraph Avenue home
and has no plans to leave.
“Why should I go someplace else
to be happy when I’m happy here?”
asked Scully, a native Rhode Is
lander who lounged on a green
blanket one recent day with his
Sometimes called the “People’s
Republic of Berkeley,” this city has
stood since the 1960 s as a symbol
of tolerance. Nothing embodies that
spirit more than Telegraph Avenue,
with its colorful array of
bookshops, cafes and street vendors
who sell everything from pottery to
“I Love Hemp” T-shirts. But a coa-
skills necessary to survive in the com
petitive global economy.
Using statistics from a variety of
sources, UNICEF found that children
with no basic education will face dif
ficulties that go far beyond support
ing themselves and their families.
Education is vital in helping people
achieve fundamental human rights,
such as health, nutrition and safe
childbirth, the report says.
It also says literacy helps people
learn to manage conflict and respect
diversity in society: “On a society
wide scale, the denial of education
harms the cause of democracy and
social progress and, by extension, in
ternational peace and security.”
The goals of expanding access to
and improving childhood education,
agreed upon at a 1990 world confer
ence, have progressed more slowly
than hoped, the report noted. The lag
is particularly acute in providing edu
cation for girls and women.
Individual national governments
hold primary responsibility, the report
concludes. While education was de
clared a human right under the 1989
Convention on the Rights of the
ied countries, an es-
pertained to communoni I'an .a n
end of the meeting, the genci .n- .
fused lo change their mm.K 11
however, compliment Sum
performance in the Idm I : ' 1 1 !!. i.
to Eternity." according i.' i o'", t t
In the midst of writing a h' * 'k .tN.t,;
her father in 1 96 l >. Nano; 'on >f '
wrote to FBI Directin' If ” '■ ( !"i 1 -
To make my hook complci ■ ! IoT
that true experiences slu:c.l v mF !
friends will allow the p.M'li. ;
the real Frank Sinatra.' ; r
"I would like to kilo v. |F' 1 1 '
moment that \on haw * *>->’ s
Daddy that stands out a* dm ;
memorable in your mind
Nancy Sinatra's Idler. Km mu
no secrets in his response In - !c.m. 1
told her about a coineiviimn !:.
with Sinatra on Dee. 11. nr J..
Frank Jr. was returned viteK .me h
kidnapping. Hoovct -..mi lu i-m
Sinatra to keep mum mini m ..1
"Your father, ol com sc. coopri m
in every possible waw lh>o\ci » m
lition of merchants has demanded
that the city sweep the streets eh an
of these young wanderers and tin ir
canine companions and lin t atened
they would move their businesses
“I think there's a time when tie.
community just has to come to
gether and say, ‘lies, we're luim
victimized here,’ " said M a'.
Weinstein, owner of Amoeba Me
sic, which has been on lihg< h;l
Avenue for nine years.
Kriss Worthington, tin- 1 ii> • ■ 1
cil member who represent - b a
graph and cast the sole \“U a-.a.i: .
the new rules, suggests th;*> • ii l
needs to work on more lone. !i *
solutions, including homeh -s !i ■. ■!
ters, detox programs and c ni.a ,
ment of existing laws “rathe; dmo
making up a host ol new in w s.'
Kain Wesson. 20. i'uiin < u
Utah,said he’s been in Bcrk--'i > »• i
months and insists lie and hi -
weiler, Jezebel, won't lie ilnr-id
“I don’t care what tins an u
ing to do. I’m going to do w lnto <.
I want with my dog. M\ dog ha, m
as much right as I do,” said es-„ a
who was wearing a black knit < .i|
Army fatigue pants and a I - in
with a cannabis plant logo.
Child, “there lias not Ivcn sidla
political will” in main countin',
make the necessary investment
money and effort, it savs.
“To achieve education tor all ciul
dren, the world would need to spem
an additional $7 billion a ve.tr ovc
the next 10 years.” the repoii noic -
"This is less than is annua!!’, speni.
cosmetics in the United Stales oi o
ice cream in Europe.”
Among Third World eounti io if,
report finds that the greatest mtpi o, e
ments during the last Ids ears m I .at n
America and Asia. But even m these
areas, vast disparities remain Iviw ec
haves and have nuts.
The report cites isolated "brigl
spots” where innovative el forts at
being made to expand literacy In t!i
Philippines, itinerant icachcm in
backpacks over rugged terrain t
bring classes to children in isolate
provinces. In Cambodia, teaehei
from different villages share mulct
als. And in many countries anion
them Nepal, Nicaragua and the Ik
minican Republic - efforts are hem
made to expand teaching owi th- r.