I Am AcquittedTop of Page | Contents | Next Chapter
THE FEDERAL INDICTMENT CAME THROUGH A FEW WEEKS later. It was drawn in Washington, D. C., by the Department of Justice. Mr. Lamphere evidently knew it was coming through, as he had his attorney in Boise, where it was returned, awaiting the news, and ready to flash it to Moscow so that he could spread it all over the front page of his newspaper, The Daily Star-Mirror. George was not quite fast enough though, for news of the indictment appeared in my own paper, The Daily News-Review, just 24 hours before it appeared in the Star-Mirror. This made Lamphere fighting mad, and he blamed his attorney for having let us "scoop" him when he was in Boise on the job, and we had no attorney there. When the indictment was announced in the News-Review, all the joy was taken out of it for George Lamphere, naturally, for he had long awaited this day.
The charge was contained in five counts of the indictment, and these five counts were all based on the passport application. When the jury was sworn in, during the first few minutes of the trial, four of the five counts were thrown out, the Judge ruling they were duplications. This on motion of my attorneys. There was left then but one charge on which to go to trial. The government attorneys chose the count of "willfully and knowingly making false statements on a passport application, by stating that he was born in the U. S. when he knew full well that he was born in England." That was the one count left.
Engaged for the defense were Attorneys A. L. Morgan of Moscow, and Edward W. Robertson of Spokane. Judge Morgan at the time was President of the Idaho State Bar Association. He is now our District Judge. Mr. Robertson is one of the best known criminal lawyers in the United States, and one of the most lovable characters. I still owe him money on that case, and he has been very lenient with me. News items which have appeared the world over have estimated my wealth at anywhere from one million dollars to twenty-five millions of dollars. I wonder what they would say if they knew that Attorney E. W. Robertson has not yet been paid in full for defending me at that trial in 1936. As a matter of fact, the "Psychiana" Movement is a non-profit religious corporation, operating under an Idaho religious charter. All I am paid from the Movement, and all I ever take from the Movement is a salary, and that salary is hardly sufficient to meet our monthly obligations. I have no bank account, nor have I any money of any sort anywhere. I am not in the slightest degree interested in money. We have to take in enough to pay all of our operating expenses, and outside of that we are not interested in accumulating money. If the making of money becomes of any interest to me, I certainly can make it. I can put the "Psychiana" Movement on a commercial basis, or I can sell my services to other concerns for far more than the mediocre salary I draw. The growth of the Movement has been so phenomenal however, that magazines and newspapers have wrongly attributed to it sometimes, the making of money.
I live in a good home -- I have to -- I should live in one, and so should you. I drive a fine Cadillac car, and that, considering the work I do and the mental strain involved, I believe to be my right. I see nothing unusual in it. Mrs. Robinson owns considerable property, but none of that property has been accumulated from any money taken from the "Psychiana" Movement. Just as soon as someone endows us, all charges will be taken away, and we really shall be able to do something for God and humanity then. When a person knows the Power of God in the life, that Power is abundantly able to bring to all, whatsoever things they need, whether material or spiritual things -- it makes no difference. As a matter of fact, the Power of God exists, not to save the world from "hell" but to bring to the world the consciousness of the fact that the Power which is God is abundantly able to bring those very things into being. Surely the Power which, through the ages has been creating this wondrous universe, is able to bring to you and to me the few little transitory things we need? I think it is -- I am sure it is. I know it is.
When these false systems of theology are removed once and for all from this earth, then will the fullness of the Power of the Great Spirit -- God, be made known to all. There will be no poverty in those days -- neither will there be any more tears -- no sighing -- no illness -- no death -- not even newspapers -- for all those things will be swallowed up in the wondrous revelation of the ever-abiding Spirit of God. Those things are at hand. The only thing preventing them from manifesting is the false picture of God brought to the world by the many differing systems of religion in the world. Just a calm, cursory analysis of them will convince any thinker of the truths of these statements. Those who will not think, or those who cannot think, well, they just lose -- both here and hereafter. For God will be brought to this world through some man big enough mentally and spiritually to "think God out."
The trial opened in Moscow, and the court-room was crowded. Everyone in Moscow knew who was at the back of this case, and sentiment was running high. Little groups of people could be seen on every street corner, and the subject of their conversations was the Robinson trial. That trial broke George Lamphere. He is dead and gone to his reward (if any) and I suppose I should not even mention him. I have tried to figure some way to leave all this out, but that would create a wrong impression. So in this book, I have not spared myself, nor shall I give the impression that I am "keeping quiet" about this trial and the following deportation move. I am not ashamed of either one. I believe they belong in this strange autobiography.
One rather amusing incident happened right at the beginning of the trial, which took some sting off the tenseness in the court-room. The Presiding Judge was C. C. Cavanaugh, one of the fairest men ever to sit on a Federal bench. I believe the U. S. stands alone in the world from the standpoint of the fairness of its courts, and may God help this wonderful country if the day ever comes when they are not fair. We want no German or Italian or Russian courts here. They will be here though if the Allies lose this war.
At the opening of the trial, statements were made by the prosecution, telling the jury what it expected to prove; and by the defense, telling the jury what it expected to prove. A Mr. Griffith made the opening statement for the government, and his statement was something like this:
"* * * of course, the government has not the funds with which to engage the noted counsel the defendant has here. Over there sits the Hon. A. L. Morgan, President of the Idaho State Bar Association, while over here, internationally known, sits Edward W. Robertson -- the Mark Anthony of the American Bar."
Ed. Robertson is a southerner. He was educated at the Louisiana State University at the time former Senator James P. Pope was attending that same university. Short of stature, eagle-eyed, intensely in earnest, Mr. Robertson will not take a case until he is convinced of the innocence of the accused. Consequently he loses very few cases. When he arose to make his opening statement to the jury, a smile stole all over his handsome face.
"Gennelmen of the joowy -- ah've been in the practice of criminal law a long time now, and during that time ah've been called most everything a lawyer can be called. But this is the first time I have ever been called Mark Anthony. If I remember mah history correctly, Mark Anthony is the gennelman who knocked at Cleopatra's boudoir and when she opened the door he told her he had not come there to talk."
Naturally this speech brought down the house. The University of Idaho had the law classes attend that trial to see Attorney Robertson in action, and it was refreshing to have these students come to me during the frequent recesses and tell me where Ed. Robertson, seasoned trial lawyer that he is, was making a mistake. I think, according to that group of law students, Ed. Robertson and Judge Morgan made so many mistakes in that trial that the wonder is how they secured a license to practice law in the first place.
I shall not go into the details of that trial. It cost a lot of money, and it lasted many days. Witnesses were brought here from England, New York, Washington and from other parts of the country. Mr. Bannerman, as was his right, was there too. Many Postal inspectors and Immigration Department officials were there, and about the only witnesses I could bring were those who could testify as to my standing in Moscow. None of them could prove where I was born any more than I could. No one can prove where he or she was born. One has to believe what the parents tell him, which is exactly what I did. All through the record -- insurance papers -- documents of every description were introduced, and my birthplace as I had stated it for 40 years was always the same -- New York City.
The jury was evidently convinced that I was born there, for in addition to bringing in a "not guilty" verdict, they signed a unanimous decision that I was speaking the truth, and was born where I said I was born. That was complete vindication I believe. No appeal was taken by the government, and everyone thought that this would end any action against me. But I knew better. I knew what was coming up at once. Let it be remembered here that the specific charge on which I was tried and acquitted was of "wilfully and knowingly making false statements in a passport application, in that he stated that he was born in New York when he knew full well that he was not." The jury who heard this evidence decided that I was born in New York as stated. I may be wrong, but I believe that verdict should have settled the matter of my birthplace once and for all.
There is one remarkable demonstration I must mention before I leave this first trial. Fifteen minutes after the verdict was brought in, South Howard Street where we live, began to fill with cars. They came from all directions. They came by the dozens. My home is quite large, yet in 15 minutes it was packed to the doors with friends congratulating us on the verdict. The first man to show up was Milburn Kenworthy, the proprietor of Moscow's two picture houses. Putting his arm round me he said, "Frank -- I'm very happy." Not much to say, but then, he didn't need to say much. I knew what he meant. This demonstration kept up most of the day. It became necessary to put one girl on the phone at the house and another one at the office. I do not believe I have ever seen a greater show of friendship than I saw that day.
If you want to make anyone ---persecute them. If you want to stop a religious teaching -- never persecute its leader -- if you do, instead of breaking it you will make it. That is what happened in Moscow, and none knew it better than George Lamphere. Nevertheless, he had not given up hope. There was more to follow. At once he started the rumors round Moscow that the deportation proceedings would do what the criminal trial did not do . . . "Just wait. . . we'll get him yet," was his usual remark. When it became known that another warrant had been sworn out against me, this time by the Immigration Department, feeling ran high once more. The Star-Mirror, of course, blazoned the news across its front page, only, then toned it down very considerably, for they knew the sentiment. I kept off the streets after the first day for my hand was almost shaken off.
Unknown to me, a popular Moscow meat-packer, Chris Hagan, started a petition around Moscow, asking Madame Perkins to stop this latest deportation move. In half a day the signatures of more than ninety percent of Moscow people were affixed to the petition. As soon as I heard about it I stopped the petition. I wanted no favors. I wanted to meet out on the field of battle every charge which could possibly be made against me. I wanted to meet them because I knew, in a fair fight, I could lick them. I did not want any favors or "political pull" from any source. It would have been impossible in this case to have secured this had I desired it, so great and powerful were the forces arraigned against me. However, I am glad now that this all happened, for perhaps I shall be left alone with my God to do the work I have been called upon to do.
There is a gentleman in this country called Harry Bridges, who, admittedly is an alien. From all I can gather all this chap has done since coming to the United States is to call strikes and keep the water-front in an uproar. All I have ever done is to lead men and women to know the Power of God. But Mr. Bridges gets a college professor to sit as a special judge in his case, while I, who never caused any such commotion as Bridges caused, was not offered a college professor to help me. Of course, Bridges was not interfering with religion, so religion did not interfere with him.
While the Postal Investigation was going on I said to Inspector Morse, in the presence of Mrs. Robinson one day, "What good do you expect to do by trying to stop this Movement?" I shall not soon forget his reply. Here it is . . . "Psychiana is a disturbing element among the churches and it has to be stopped." There, you have the answer to a lot of things which otherwise might puzzle you. The strange thing about this affair is that the religious organization which was the most active in the proceedings, never appeared on the surface. I know quite a bit about the "submarine" activities of that organization though.
Bridges did not bother the churches. I did. So, regardless of whether the churches are teaching the truths of God or an old pagan superstition, I must be stopped while they are allowed to keep the truths of God from men and women by teaching something that in its very essence, never came from God. That, however, is the way present-day religion operates. It has always operated that way. Remember the Inquisitions? If you disturb it . . . if you do not leave it alone in its disastrous work of hiding God from the masses . . . then it will use all the political power it can muster to "get” you. In my case, however, that power was up against a far greater Power, and as always, when one fights against the Power of God, that Power grinds its adversaries to powder.
The surest proof that present-day theology is done, lies in the fact that at last, at long last, the actual truths of God are being brought to this earth. It must follow then, as the night the day, that these truths will win over the errors which have been taught in the name of God. On the one hand you have every denomination in the Christian religion crying its eyes out over its failure to do one thing for God. They cannot even save their own false structures, let alone save this war-mad world.
On the other hand, you have one man, and a poor one at that, fighting all alone for the truths of God, yet that one man, standing all alone, can, in twelve years, bring into existence a religious Movement which, in that short space of time, ranks eighth numerically in the list of American religions. Therein lies the difference. . . the one is teaching pagan superstition in the name of God, and I am teaching the pure unsullied truths of God. The latter cannot help but win.
If the world and the church were wise, instead of trying to down the "Psychiana" Movement and myself, it would listen to what we have to say. Either I am teaching the truths of God or I am not. The evidence speaks for itself. Men do not gather grapes from thistle bushes. If the results are good, the Teaching is of God. If failure results, and every church talks nothing but failure, the teachings are not of God, regardless of the human claims made for them.
* * *
A few days after my acquittal, a knock came on my front door, and, standing there was a gentleman who identified himself as a Mr. Nice, an inspector of the Immigration Department. Knowing that deportation proceedings were to be instituted regardless of the verdict of this Federal Jury, I had been expecting this call, and was prepared for it. Let me state that deportation hearings are not judicial proceedings. They have full judicial powers, in a way, but the accused has very little chance in those hearings. Of course, the findings can always be appealed to the courts, but not all have the means with which to do this.
Asking Mr. Nice in, I asked him to what I was indebted for this visit. He stated that he wanted to talk to me about my birth certificate -- he asked me if I had one. I told him that a Federal Jury had just rendered a verdict which very plainly answered the question as to where I was born. Mr. Nice replied that he was not interested in the verdicts of Federal Juries -- he worked for the Immigration Department which, as he put it, "is a law unto itself." I knew what would happen regardless of anything I said, so I said very little to Mr. Nice except to call him a "nice" man, which he suggested might not be the exact truth.
I referred him to Judge A. L. Morgan, now District Judge of Latah County, and had very little to say to him myself. That night I wired Senator Borah who, by the way, had received many wires from others, asking him to step in and stop these attacks on Dr. Robinson. The beloved Idaho Senator, now gone to a well deserved rest, was never asleep, and after the warrant for deportation was served and the $2000 bond posted, I wired the Senator that I was going fishing.
I came here to Rocky Point, stayed in the same favorite cabin I am now occupying, and here, on this wonderful lake, I received anew the assurance that if I paid more time to my fishing and less to the deportation hearings, I should be better off. When anything seems to threaten to disturb me these days, I let it alone. I do not think about it, and. . . it disappears. It just is not there any more. That is a secret every reader should learn. First -- know that the Spirit which is God lives in you, and, second: -- let that Spirit take care of you. If you do this you can never be confounded. This book is supposed to be an autobiography. It is; but it is interspersed with little messages which will do you good if you follow them. They do not originate in me -- they do come from the Spirit of God. . . in me . . . in you. . . and in everyone else.
Senator Borah saw Madame Perkins, and she very kindly had the proceedings put over for several months at my request. However, the day finally came when the music had to be faced. The Immigration Department called Attorney Ed. Robertson on the phone, and stated that they had received the deportation warrant from D. C. "Would the Immigration Department allow me to come to Spokane alone. . . or did they desire to arrest me and throw me in jail in Moscow?" Ed. Robertson asked. It would be O.K. if I appeared with $2000 bonds in my pocket, at the Immigration Department in Spokane the next morning.
I arrived there on time, and was taken from there, without escort however, for which I was thankful, fingerprinted and "mugged" just as a criminal would have been. That went hard. Here at Moscow was a wonderful wife, the daughter of a prominent Circuit Judge, and with her were two beautiful children, whose pictures appear in this book. Yet here was their father, who never knowingly hurt a soul, and never knowingly made a mis-statement in his life, on the top floor of the Spokane County jail, being "mugged" and fingerprinted. . . and for what? For teaching something contrary to orthodoxy.
The County jail officers called the Immigration Department and informed them that I had been there with Attorney Robertson, and I was allowed to go back to Moscow to my family. I had orders to report back in Spokane on July 20th, which I did. That was in 1936. The warrant by the way, charged that I illegally entered the United States at Eastport, Idaho, on the 19th day of September. As a matter of fact I was not anywhere near Eastport, Idaho, on that date, nor had I been for several years, if ever. I had lived here for about 35 years that I knew of, and, to the very best of my knowledge, I was born in this country. Moreover, a Federal Jury had rendered a decision which should have settled once and for all the fact of my birthplace, and where that birth occurred.
When Senator Borah heard of the deportation warrant, he said "Doctor -- I am the oldest man in the United States Senate -- I've seen some funny things in the past 33 years . . . but I have never seen such a vicious persecution as this is. Up to the time of this deportation warrant, I had nothing to say. . . but now. . . well. . . I'll help you, and I'll go the limit even if it means a Congressional Investigation." By the way, before the case was ended, Senator Borah threatened to "investigate this whole affair on the floor of the Senate" before the matter was finally settled.
When it was proven that I was not anywhere near Eastport on the date mentioned in the warrant, Inspector Stewart, before whom the case was tried, said. . . "I'm going to lay another charge reading that at an unknown port on an unknown date you illegally entered the United States." As before stated, there is not much one can do before these deportation hearings, except introduce witnesses who will testify as to one's standing and conduct. Personally, I was disgusted with the whole affair, especially as the matter of birth and citizenship had been thrashed out before a Federal jury, the highest trial jury in the land. However, we did bring many witnesses, and I shall briefly run over them to show you the type of men who volunteered to help me. I could have taken 1000 witnesses into that hearing had I chosen to do so.
The first witness was a Brigadier-General of the U. S. Army, General Chrisman, a character who was loved by all who knew him. His testimony was clear and concise. There was no room for doubt as to what he meant. Here, in part, is what he said. . . "He stands very high as a citizen in this community. . . he has a fine civic spirit, and is a very law-abiding citizen. He has done a great deal to develop the town in both a business and a social way."
Then the General mentioned the gift of Robinson Park, and the resolution of the American Legion that it be officially named Robinson Park. I wonder if the Legion would have taken similar action had Mr. Bridges donated a park?
The next witness called was Dr. C. W. Tenney, who was Assistant Director of "Psychiana" until the Methodist church forced him to resign. Dr. Tenney knew me many years ago. At the time of this hearing he was Republican nominee for State School Inspector, which position he had held in Montana, for several years. For eighteen years Dr. Tenney was President of Gooding Methodist College at Gooding, Idaho, and was, before that, President of Montana Wesleyan College at Helena, Montana.
Then came the Sheriff of Latah County, Charley Summerfield. He it was who superintended the proceedings when my machinery on the way from Elk River was attached. He testified that he had made me a special deputy sheriff, which honor I still enjoy, and he also testified as to the high standing I enjoy in the Latah County community. Sheriff Summerfield was followed by the Chief of Police, Ernie Whitmore, who testified that I had helped him feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and never had turned him down when he appealed for help for someone less fortunate. Then came the Prosecuting Attorney of Latah County, Murray Estes. His testimony was on the same general order, and he laid special emphasis on my being a "very truthful and law-abiding citizen."
Then came Harry Brenn, now State Senator of our county, and Captain of the Troop K of the 116th Cavalry, Idaho National Guard. Mr. Brenn testified that he knew of four cases that year that I was personally putting through the University of Idaho. He stated also that he was Chairman of the Business Relations Committee of the Chamber of Commerce, and that I was ever ready to help in any worthy cause. (What he did not know was that many a time have I gone to the bank and borrowed money, which I could ill afford to borrow, to give to someone who needed it worse than I did).
Harry Brenn was followed by State Senator C. G. Friend. In addition to being State Senator he was District Supervisor of the Farm Debt Adjustment organization, and a prosperous farmer. He was also Master of the Moscow Grange for four years. When asked about my personal standing and reputation he replied. . . "I can only say that it is A No. 1." The next gentleman called was W. L. Korter, otherwise known as "The Cougar." He was graduated from Washington State College. He was Democratic County Chairman and member of the Board of Agricultural Act. He was also a State Senator. His testimony was ringing in its clarity, and gave my standing in Moscow in no uncertain terms. As a matter of fact, my standing in Moscow and over the whole world for that matter is well known. The only evidence we could put in was the evidence of these witnesses. No evidence against me could be barred, and while the attorney could "object," the objection meant nothing -- it could not prevent a question being asked and answered, no matter how unfair that question might be.
There was one thing which I thought was quite unfair in these proceedings, and that was when Inspector Stewart asked Mrs. Robinson if she had ever taken any steps to become a U. S. citizen. Mrs. Robinson was born here in Rocky Point under a large pine-tree, just a stone's throw from this cabin. She has never been out of the United States in her life, yet the Inspector asked her if she knew she was subject to deportation. The question was later withdrawn.
There came then other character witnesses, but all to no avail, for the examining Inspector stated that he was going to recommend that I be deported. After these deportation hearings, the proceedings are sent to Washington to a Board of Review. If one has the necessary funds he may have an attorney appear before the board. When the case was set for hearing, I sent Attorney E. W. Robertson to Washington where he contacted Senator Borah. They both appeared before the review board. This board was fair; there is no question about that.
When Senator Borah personally intervened, the board stood out of respect for him. They promised him that they would give this case every consideration, and they stated that they did not believe it was a "deportation" case at all. But they pointed out the unsatisfactory condition of my present status. I might want to run for the U. S. Senate, which offer to run, by the way, I have twice refused. I had no birth certificate, which meant that the citizenship was all up in the air.
Then the Board asked my Attorney if I would cooperate with it in straightening out this matter to the satisfaction of everyone. Attorney Robertson said that I would do anything at all to legally straighten out this tangle. Then, the Board of Review ruled that I not be deported, but leave the U. S. voluntarily, and, on securing a visa, be allowed to immediately return. That was the official ruling.
It was not the ruling put out by the Associated Press, however, which sent over its wires "Robinson ordered deported." The United Press had the truth of the report, and sent over its wires, the true story. Undoubtedly the appearance of Senator Borah before that Board of Review had a lot of weight. They knew that this Great American would not be there in my behalf if I were not pretty near all right. The Senator was not that sort of man.
He has visited in my home many a time, and once paid me the greatest honor I shall ever receive. Shortly before his death. . . and he must have had a premonition of it . . . he said to me "Doctor -- there is one thing I would like to see, and that is you sitting in this seat of mine." I thanked the Senator, but informed him the "Psychiana" Movement was all in all to me, and political honors I did not desire. That, I considered a real honor.
As soon as the hearing was over, Attorney Robertson returned to Spokane where he lived, and we awaited the official report of the findings of the Board. These old Army and Navy records had been dug out, and I don't blame the Board for thinking I was a "bad egg". Yet there never had been one single thing except getting drunk in my whole history. Better men than I am do that and get away with it.
Here let me relate one of the very dirtiest things I have ever heard of or seen. When the newspapers found out that Senator Borah had appeared before the Board of Review in my behalf, the news was flashed from Coast to Coast. "Borah defends Robinson" was about the way the headlines ran. When Mr. Lamphere saw those headlines, he knew the second case against me had gone a-shimmering, so, in a last minute attempt to do whatever damage he could do, he had sent to the Review Board, on two consecutive days, thirteen telegrams, protesting against the intervention of Senator Borah. These wires were all charged to the Star-Mirror, and most of the men whose names were signed to them never saw them. They were called on the phone by Mr. Lamphere, who talked them into letting him sign their name.
I shall not give the names of those thirteen men who sent those wires, although I know them all. Let me give you one wire, which is typical of them all. You can imagine how the Board of Review felt when such wires as this began to come in. This was before the final decision not to deport me had been rendered, and the wires might have done considerable harm. However, I knew of their existence the day they were sent, but there wasn't very much I could do about it. Some of the men whose signatures appear on those wires have sworn to me they knew nothing about them at all, but I question that. Here is one of the twelve wires:
Federal Board of Review
Immigration Dept., Washington, D. C.
Cannot understand attitude of Senator Borah in Robinson case. He cannot be fully informed as to his standing here which is that of a fourth rate citizen. He should be deported.
Here was I, internationally known as the Founder of the fastest growing religious Movement on the face of the earth, known as such all over the civilized world, and yet these local men, under the domination of George Lamphere, sent such wires as that. Naturally, the ministers were well represented, one of them, an Episcopalian, died last week. It was a wonderful chance for them – only -- it did not work. The Spirit of God, as ever, was upon me, and I came through very victorious as you will later see. (Every effort was made to keep those wires secret. But I knew about them almost as fast as they were sent. )
When the official findings of the Review Board were received by the Immigration Department in Spokane, an official called up E. W. Robertson and told him that he could get me on a train for Canada any time he chose to. "What is the ruling?" asked my Attorney. "Oh, Doc can get on a boat or train, go to Canada and come right back again," he was advised. "Well is a visa necessary?" he asked. "No -- it is not" was the reply. Calling me on the phone in Moscow, he transmitted that information to me and the same day I was in Spokane in conference with him. Neither of us liked the information that no visa was required, as that was not at all what Attorney Robertson had been led to believe was the Review Board's ruling. After talking it over, I thought I saw a colored gentleman in the wood-pile, and made up my mind I was not going to Canada or anywhere else unless we knew what we were doing. That day, we both left for Seattle, and the next morning we called at the Immigration offices there and introduced ourselves.
Evidently the Inspector in charge knew all about us, for, when asked what we were to do, he replied, "Oh, just let Doc go over to Canada, and come right back again. . . that's all there is to it." But was it? . . . we shall see. When advised that all that would be necessary was my leaving for Canada and at once coming back, Attorney Robertson asked the Seattle Inspector if, that being the case, he would not give us a letter to that effect stating that I could immediately return. This however the Inspector said he could not do. Later in the day we went to the Canadian Immigration Department and laid the whole matter before them. "Certainly not" we were told. . . "he can't even get into Canada unless he has that letter from the U. S. Immigration Department stating that he will be at once re-admitted."
This information we took back to the U. S. Inspector, who informed us that he would not issue the letter. Going back to our hotel we sat in the bedroom and talked the whole matter over. Then we called up Senator Borah who at once got in touch with the Immigration Commissioner, and we received the information the following morning that the Seattle Inspector had been instructed to make a pre-examination, so that immediate re-admission could be had.
You can imagine our surprise the next morning when we went down to get that letter. The Inspector got quite wrathy and stated that he would not issue the letter. Then he wired the Commissioner that "This man has no visa papers." We had been instructed by both the Spokane and the Seattle Immigration office that a visa was not necessary. Knowing that some attempt was evidently being made to block us, we went back to Spokane and there wrote a full and detailed letter to Mr. Shaughnessy, the Immigration Commissioner, stating what we had tried to do, the treatment we had been handed, and we asked him to show us how to comply with the ruling of the Review Board. We sent a copy of the letter to Senator Borah. Truly something was being done against us; or else we were trying to be led into a trap. In any event, we waited our reply from the Immigration Commissioner and Senator Borah.
Many "underground" wires were pulled at this time in an attempt to get the Senator to "layoff" the Robinson case. But he was not that sort of a Senator. He was in this fight to the finish, and we saw the finish together. An interesting side-light on the great character of Senator Borah enters here, and you may like to read it. He was asked by a prominent Boise politician how Robinson came to have "such a pull with you?" The Senator's reply is illuminating. "Doctor Robinson is a friend of mine. . . I know him and his family intimately. . . he is being persecuted. . . and it would make no difference to me if this case involved the poorest colored man in Idaho instead of Dr. Robinson. . . I consider it my duty, when an injustice is being done to a constituent of mine, to do what I can to protect the one who is being so viciously persecuted. . . I am in this fight to stay." That was typically "Borah". I shall ever love the memory of that man as I loved the man himself when he was alive.
In a little while a letter was received from the Immigration Commissioner recognizing the troubles we were having in our honest attempts to comply with the ruling of the Board of Review. The Commissioner told me to go to Havana, Cuba, and see the American Consulate there. I left for Miami the next day. There was a very definite reason why that suggestion was made, and when I arrived in Miami on my way to Havana, I discovered the reason. For the first time I had what to me was evidence of the identity of the religious organization which was working so quietly, yet so viciously against me. I shall not mention the organization here. . . I don't believe it will be necessary. It is not an American system of religion.
Not much of importance happened on the way to Chicago, for that is where I changed trains. While resting in the Stevens Hotel, I received a long distance call from Senator Borah. "The enemy is getting very vicious," he said. He also told me to keep him advised every hour of the day where I would be. If I stayed at a hotel anywhere, he wanted to know just where he could get in touch with me. Then he informed me that he had talked with the Cuban Ambassador to the United States, and I had been made a diplomatic Representative of the Republic of Cuba, and this would insure my re-admission to the United States again. My papers would be given to me in Havana.
That never became necessary, for within 5 minutes of the Senator's call, there came a long wire from the Immigration Commissioner in Washington. He told me that I was to report to the Chief Inspector of the Immigration Service the moment I arrived in Miami. I called the Senator back and advised him of the wire from the Commissioner of Immigration, and this pleased him a lot. However, he told me not to forget that I was a Diplomatic Agent of the Republic of Cuba, if things did not go smoothly.
On arriving in Miami, I made my way to the Federal Building and asked for the Chief Inspector of the Immigration Service. There, I was informed that another Board was to meet, before which I was to appear, and a pre-examination, which would assure my legal re-entry was to be held. This was what we tried to have done in Seattle, but I guess that was too close to home -- something prevented it there. The next day I appeared before that specially impanelled Board, and my appearance before that Board constituted a legal entry into the United States, and was registered as such.
I felt very happy over that, and at once called Attorney Robertson in Spokane, advising him that I was leaving for home that night. "Wait a minute -- wait a minute" said Ed. Robertson, what's this all about? I informed him of the meeting of the Board, and of the ruling that my appearance there constituted a legal entry. However, he advised me to go to Havana and secure the visa anyway. Senator Borah, on being also called by me, repeated this advice.
I left Miami that night on the S. S. Florida for Havana, Cuba. Arrived there, I called Senator Borah, or rather I wired the Senator and told him of my whereabouts. There is much I could say here, but I shall leave it out of the picture. I shall just say that three weeks later I received the visa and came back to Moscow, Idaho. There is one interesting side-light on the matter of the Board which met in Miami. The instructions were to close the files on this case, and send them air-mail to Washington. The next day a new commissioner of immigration was appointed. So the wisdom of getting the visa was demonstrated. The appearance before the Miami Board might be challenged -- not the visa.
While I was away, I kept in constant touch with Moscow, and informed a few close friends that I should be back without any question. When I arrived back in Miami, I was met at the dock by newsmen, and the word was flashed over the wires that I had made a legal entry, secured the visa, and was on my way to Moscow. As soon as the Star-Mirror saw that item of news, it at once ran an article entitled "Robinson returns through the coal-hole". It did not make much difference to me whether you called it returning through the "coal-hole" or not -- I was legally back.
On my way to Moscow I stopped at Washington and saw and shook hands with Senator Borah. We had dinner together, and his advice was this: "Go back to Moscow and run "Psychiana" as vigorously as you can. If you are bothered any more, send me a wire". I have not been bothered, nor do I expect to be.
I think it is well recognized by now that all I am interested in is bringing to men and women, the truths of God. Others have the same right to teach whatever they care to teach about God. They can teach that God is made of green cheese if they care to. But they went a bit farther than that. Instead of minding their own business, they attempted to stop me from bringing to the world, the actual and literal truths of God, and in that they made a mistake. They were fighting God, and that, no church organization can successfully do.
Just as long as I can show that men and women are finding God through the message I bring, I should be allowed to teach that message. If the churches lose through my message, if their members drop away as they are dropping away, that in itself is proof that the story the church comes to the world with, is not true. If it were true, this whole world would have known God a long time ago. In any event, the people themselves must be the judges of what is of God and what is not of God. There can be no better judges.