Subjects Matter: FBI Files

This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI archival material we've released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

Crowdfund the Subjects Matter: FBI Files Project

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For every $50 raised, we’ll write up a file we already have, as well as request one we don’t have yet. If there’s a write-up or request you really want us to see, let us know at

Backed by Phil Mocek, Chris Meller, Linda Tolbert, Courtney Selby, and 15 others.

$2,150.00 raised out of $5,000.00.

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Academics / Activists / Artists / Business Figures / Comedians / Criminals / Events Groups / FBI Programs / Film and Television / Government Officials / Journalists / Miscellaneous / Musicians / Politicians / Religious Figures / Scientists / Sports Figures / Writers



Hannah Arendt

Paul Erdős

Phil S. Foner

Timothy Leary

William Masters

John Silber

Howard Zinn


Cesar Chavez 1, 2

Betty Friedan

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn

Thelma Glass

Abbie Hoffman 1, 2

James Hood

Rodney King

Matin Luther King, Jr. 1, 2

Russell Means

Bayard Rustin 1, 2

Toshi Seeger

Margaret Sanger

Aaron Schwartz

John Trudell

Malcolm X 1, 2

Frank Wilkinson


Allen Ginsberg 1, 2

Ellsworth Kelly

Business Figures

Walt Disney 1, 2

Roger Fisher

Steve Jobs 1, 2

Burt Shavitz (Founder of Burt’s Bees)

George Wackethut


George Carlin

Groucho Marx

Harpo Marx


Charles Manson


ACT For America

African National Congress


Aryan Brotherhood of Texas

Aryan Nations

Bank of Credit and Commerce International

Banco Ambrosiano

Boy Scouts of America

Breitbart News

Burning Man

Church of Satan

Church of the Hammer (Westboro Baptist Church Parody)


Disney World 1, 2

Earth Liberation Front

Food Not Bombs

Gamergate 1, 2


Kl Klux Klan


Mardi Gras

Mattachine Society

Nation of Islam

National Committee to Abolish HUAC

Occupy Wall Street

Ramparts Magazine

Scientology 1, 2, 3, 4

TSR Hobbies

Winter Hill Gang (Notorious Boston-based criminal organization)

FBI Programs


Technical Security Surveys 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Film and Television

Roger Ailes

Alfred Hitchcock

Dick Clark

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Casey Kasem

Ethel Merman

Efram Zimbalist (Star of ABC’s The FBI)

Government Officials

James Angleton 1, 2

Edwin Black

William F. Buckley (CIA Station Chief in Lebanon)

Smedley Darlington Butler

Cartha “Deke” DeLoach

Jim Garrison

Alexander Haig

Miguel Narzar Haro (Mexican spymaster) 1, 2

Richard Helms

Roscoe Hillenkoetter (First CIA Director)

J Edgar Hoover 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

E. Howard Hunt

C. Everett Koop (Flamboyant Surgeon General during the Reagan Presidency)

Robert Mullen


Jack Anderson 1, 2

Ben Bradlee

Helen Gurley Brown

Danny Casolaro 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

David Frost

Michael Hasting

Warren Hinckle 1, 2

Clark Kent

Gavin MacFadyen

Edward R. Murrow

Izzy Stone

Hunter S. Thompson

Joe Trento


Irving Adler (Serviceman who shared name with prominent activist)

Stig Bergling (Swedish Soviet Spy)

Vincent Bugliosi (Attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson)

Fred Lee Crisman (Figure at the center of many 20th century conspiracies)

Lady Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton (Philanthropist and “prolific instigator”)

John Hinckley Sr. (Father of Reagan shooter)

Edward Lee Howard (CIA defector)

Dorothy Hunt 1, 2, 3 (Wife of E. Howard Hunt)

Loyd Jowers (Found culpable for Martin Luther King Jr. assassination)

Sergei Kourdakov 1, 2

Fritz Kuhn (Leader of the German-American Bund)

Mikhail Lesin

Oleg Lyalin

Jordan MacTaggart (American anarchist who died fighting ISIS in Syria)

Hunter Moore (Founder of revenge porn site IsAnyoneUp)

Yuri Nosenko (Soviet Defector)

Barney Rosset (Avant-garde book publisher)

Andrew Carter Thornton II (Cocaine cowboy)


Josephine Baker

Johnny Cash 1, 2


Whitney Houston


John Lennon 1, 2

Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Insane Clown Posse 1, 2, 3

Biggie Smalls

Tupac Shakur


Bella Abzug

Lady Diana

Samuel Dickstein (Alleged Soviet spy)

Vo Nguyen Giap (General known as the “Red Napoleon” of Vietnam)

Sir Robert Maxwell

Bess Myerson (First Jewish Miss America and New York commissioner)

Richard Nixon

Vang Pao

Ronald Reagan 1, 2, 3

Jack Shelley

Oliver Tambo

Margaret Thatcher

Kevin White

Eric Williams

Religious Figures

Paul Crouch

L. Ron Hubbard 1, 2

Fred Phelps

Sun Myung Moon


Isaac Asimov

Neil Armstrong

Hans Bethe

Alfred Einstein

Richard Feynman 1, 2, 3

Marvin Minsky

Carl Sagan

Nikola Tesla 1, 2

Sports Figures

Muhammad Ali

Daniel Duchaine

Dale Earnhardt, Sr.


James Baldwin 1, 2

Ray Bradbury

William F. Buckley

Truman Capote 1, 2

Tom Clancy

Ernest Hemingway

Christopher Hitchens

Aldous Huxley

Ken Kesey

Norman Mailer

Dorothy Parker

Ayn Rand 1, 2, 3

Susan Sontag

Terry Southern

Gore Vidal


227 Articles

Help explore Ronald Reagan's 30,000-page FBI file

Help explore Ronald Reagan’s 30,000-page FBI file

Ronald Reagan’s decades-long association with the Federal Bureau of Investigation - from his early days as an anti-Communist informant in Hollywood to the law and order governor of California to President of the United States during Iran-Contra - is attested to in his 30,000-page file, recently released to Emma Best. Due to the size and scope of the historical material contained in these pages, we’re using our new Assignments tool to start a crowdsourced project to hone in on the most interesting finds buried in the Bureau’s margins.

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Ronald Reagan couldn't get J. Edgar Hoover to guest star on "General Electric Theater"

Ronald Reagan couldn’t get J. Edgar Hoover to guest star on “General Electric Theater”

Last week, we took our first look into Ronald Reagan’s recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation file and how it documented the close personal friendship between Reagan and Director J. Edgar Hoover. However, a section of the file from a decade earlier reveals a much less auspicious first encounter between the Gipper and the G-Man, with Hoover repeatedly turning down a starstruck Reagan’s offer to guest star on General Electric Theater.

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Our first book is here! See the hidden lives of famous writers, as told by their FBI files

Our first book is here! See the hidden lives of famous writers, as told by their FBI files

The Federal Bureau of Investigation files on James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, and Susan Sontag, and a dozen famous writers have a lot of stories to tell, and over the past eight years the MuckRock team has been digging through them. Today, we’re excited to tell those stories in a new format: a 400-page volume that brings the most funny, frightening, poignant, and provocative tales about the intersection of surveillance and freedom to life, as told through those primary source documents.

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