In 1971 the Young Socialist Alliance ended its policy of barring gays. The FBI's San Diego office seized on this announcement "to play on people's bigotries to dissuade them from joining a political organization" by creating these fliers, says Jesse Walker of the Hit & Run blog. The FBI also made another flier with women's names and said the organization was "now accepting 'les' membership."
FBI headquarters wholeheartedly approved of the smear campaign: "Bureau feels preparation of leaflets as requested in relet has merit, and you are authorized to duplicate sufficient copies on commercially obtained paper to have posted on various bulletin boards where they might be seen by majority of students at San Diego State College. It is hopeful this action will have desired effect of dissuading would-be new recruits from membership in YSA."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects