Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
November 11, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 10, 1998
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Publication Date: 
September 15, 1967
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PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00149R000400030022-4.pdf203.28 KB
Sanitized - Approved For Release 9 1 j @ FOIAb3b iz, The follnler of : it is Hou rs has deified a charge that the sprawlin Virginia conference center has been covertly sup- by the Peihta"on, State Denartr ent uad Central Intelli- j gen ee :_gency. ? "`got a sin doll -r of support bb ) b . c. YI a press conference earlier in the day. Riggs said that "an elaborate system of electronic bugging" had been installed in r irlie's main conference building and cculd secretly monitor' the conversations of conference participants. Bead denied such use. from the C_A c' any other similar org''a izedd.". has been offered or z:ecc ed by this institution," said Dr. I urdock Head, director of Founda- tion. "I can categorically state that this alleged support by the CIA can only 'rc attributed to an overly fertile imagination or, for some reason unknown to us, a deliberate attempt to falsify the facts," he maintained yester- day. The CIA declined comment, but government sources denied charges leveled by William Flin~s 1xT-hip-- atto-ne at Fou;:d No Fund Sdurce Higgs contended also that the alleged government involvement with the conference center violated a White I-Iouse policy approved earlier this year that no federal agency should "pro- vide covert financial assistance or support, direct or indirect, to any of the nation's educational or private voluntary organize-ifound,atlon with former inte i-;which could have influence in tions." genco officer's convinced him of the direction of the center." Riggs, 31, long associated with tho CL -State-Defense links. Frequently used by the State the civil rights movement and Head said, on the other , hand, Department and other govern- ail active supporter of a that ' Airlie "has been, from its. llaent agencies, the center also of radcauses, saki he scant inception, supported in the main j has housed meetings in recent _eur months doing, research on by myself and nay family. years of organizations including the subject, checking F it ie the House Republican leaders, Foundation's tax returns, land Alliances Avoided the International Association of records and other documents. "1W1e have been extremely Chiefs of Police, the D.C. School He ~? said a failure to find any careful to avoid alliances not Board, George 1Vashingtori source of substantial income for only with groups of this nature,) University and the NAACP Airlie and extensive ties of the, but with any organizations; Legal and Defense Fund. CPYRGHT Sanitized - Approved For Release : CIA-RDP75-00149R000400030022-4 CPYR ' 'a UANGTON 51W-2 "a hitize - Approved For Release ~ 1`3 i House ils I By ROBERT WALTERS Star Staff Wrifcr Washington attorney William Higgs today charged that Airlie House, the area's most pres- tigous conference center, i secretly supported by the Penta- gon, State Department and Cen- tral Intelligence Agency. The charge was immediate) denied by Dr. Murdock Head founder and director of the Air lie Foundation, and by a govern ment source. Head said tha "not a single dollar of supper from the CIA or any other sim?i lar organization has bee offered or accepted by this in stitution." Higgs told a press cjonfercnc that "an elaborate system o electronic bugging" equipmen has been installed in Airlie' main conference building and i capable of secretly monitoi-in the conversations of conference participants, A government source , said anyone taking part in a'confer ence at Airlie House was show the system and told it was use for legitimate purposes. Higgs is a supporter of radi- cal political causes and ha long been associated with the civil rights movement. ? He di. not say why he had made the charges about Airlie House, bu i indicated that his political lib ,eralism was at least a major reason. In charging government in volvement with the conferenc center, Higgs added that thi CPYRGHT cke er Ulm violates a White House directive ssued earlier this year which tates that: "No federal agency hall provide any covert finan- ial assistance or support, di- 'ect or indirect, to any of the ation's educational or private; oluntary organizations." Higgs also said Airlie House maintains a large medical clinic, and has two physicians special zing in plastic surgery on its'! staff, "I don't know what is going on in the clinic," he said. Airlie House is located on a 1,200-acre estate just east of Washington, in F a u q u I e r 1 was created, and it currently is County, Va. ' Its literature de- the ostensible owner and oper- scribes the facility as being, ator of the property, Higgs said. "operated by Airlie Foundation. He said the current foundation as an educational and research I! directors include Joseph J. Sis- Used by Private Groups Although frequently serving .as the center for conferences sponsored by a wide variety of government agencies, Airlie House also has been the site of a number of meetings organized by. private groups. Among groups which have held meetings there in recent years are House Republican leaders, the International As- sociation of Chiefs of Police, the D.C. school board, George Washington University and the NAACP Legal and Defense Fund, Inc. Higgs said four months of rc- !state for international organiza- "tion affairs. Sisco is Head's is vice president of the founda- tion, the directors now include FOIAb3b CPYRGHT ig nee officers and federal em- to es convinced, him of the I -State-Defense links. cad, in denying the charges, ai the conference center, now in Is sixth year of operation, "h s been. from its inception su ported in the main by my- sel and my family. We have e extremely careful to avoid, all nces not only. with groups of his nature (CIA), but with an organization which could ha e influence in the direction of he center." Sc eduled by private groups "a e in turn supported by rep- ut ble foundations, professional organizations, voluntary groups an civic and community asso- ci lions who are themselves, by an large, nonprofit." e added: "I can cantegori- ca ly state that his alleged sup- po-t by the, CIA can only be at ributed to an overly fertile i agination or, for some rea- so unknown to us, a deliberate at empt to falsify the facts." brother of Nicholas deB. Katzen- bath, under secretary of state, and Mortimer M. Caplin, former! director of the Internal Revenue Service, currently president of the foundation. Fund Source Probed Higgs said the public has been led to believe that the funds to purchase and' maintain the vast estate and the numerous build-i ings on the grounds have come from the parents of Head's wife, Jane. But Higgs said an investiga- tion of Mrs. Head's parents,: Lillian and Robert Gibson, showed they had few aseets. He said a credit report showed 1 Gibson worked as a washing machine salesman and his wife was employed by a beauty par- lor. Despite that, Higgs said, rec- 1 ords showed that' in October search had traced the foundingI of Airlie House to a 1957 memo written by Kenneth T. Young, then director of the State De- partment's Southeast Asia of-', fairs desk, who proposed the 1. creation of a private conference l center in the Washington area to cultivate and train "the rul- ing elite" of Asian nations. Higgs said Young, in a pri- vately circulated State Depart- i ment memo, called for: "The establishment of an in- Sanitized ! 11960 the Gibson's purchased 355 1 L W YY ct L1 ll5W11 -V-. - - f," house in the country near the ,$100,000, then transferred the city where key officials' could !property to Head for "love and spend a few days of concen- affection" but no money. trated attention on this problem Higgs said the failure to find with specialists and officers in j any source of substantial in- cx?.,..h;.,+., mnillrl facilitate -this come for the sprawling estate, problem." , now valued. at more than I, . ion and the foundation's 044 - 400030022-4 Bought Land u 1 Higgs said . that)' on purchased 11956, Dr. Head p first tract of land for what was' later to become the conference center. That purchase was fol- lowed by a July 10, 1959 pur- chase of 352 acres, Higgs added. He estimated total cost at about $200,000. Four months later, a nonprofit Virginia foundation called the Airlie House Foundation was created, but it ceased existence in September 1960, he said. In