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Criminal investigation and successful civil lawsuits against the ADL over privacy right violations - 1992-1993 


The investigation of San Francisco Police Officer Tom Gerard's possession of computerized files on Arab-American activists led criminal investigators straight to the Anti-Defamation League in 1993. Roy "Cal" Bullock was secretly on the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) payroll for forty years as an undercover "investigator" reporting to New York ADL chief research officer Irwin Suall.  Bullock compiled files, including information he could not legally possess, such as driver's license and social security numbers on 10,000 people according to 700 pages of files released by San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith.

Bullock and the ADL's investigation/infiltration efforts were focused on organizations and individuals considered to be potential threats to Israel: Arab and Palestinian groups.  This soon led to other work as Bullock and his contact on the SFPD (and former CIA operative) Tom Gerard began clandestine work for the intelligence services of the Apartheid government of South Africa.

ADL offices in California were raided and documents were seized.  After conducting initial interviews (included below) the FBI passed jurisdiction to investigate to local police.

Although District Attorney Arlo Smith likely could have criminally prosecuted the ADL for invasion of privacy, tax evasion, and Gerard and Bullock's activities as unregistered agents of a foreign government, they instead reached a settlement that allowed the ADL to deny wrongdoing while promising not to obtain private citizen information ever again. 

This didn't stop anti-Apartheid activists from suing the ADL and winning tens of thousands of dollars in damages while avoiding signing a standard confidentiality agreement. Archivist note: The following documents focus on the 1993 ADL California "files" controversy.  The Israel Lobby Archive thanks journalist and plaintiff Jeffrey Blankfort for providing reproductions of these historic ADL investigation files. For a more extended archive of ADL efforts to infiltrate the FBI, see http://www.IRmep.org/ila/ADL. For files on the FBI's pursuit of the ADL for espionage, see https://www.israellobby.org/ADL-FBI/


File File Size Excerpt/Description
05191975_ADL_Chomsky.pdf 102 KB ADL internal memo to Irwin Suall about Noam Chomsky.  "Chomsky is an Arab apologist, pure and simple, regardless of all his other verbiage.  He seems to have retreated from his position of advocating a bi-national state to one of the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."
05031976_ADL_Chomsky_Jabara.pdf 357 KB ADL monitors speeches by Abdeen Jabara, comparting Israel to Apartheid South Africa, mistreatment of Arabs, prediction Israel is preparing for war, poor financial position. Noam Chomsky, criticized Henry Kissinger, oil and the Middle East.  Hussein Rahmonn, nocturnal round-ups, illegal land grabs.
02251993_ADL_regional_dir_memo.SF.pdf 483 KB Memorandum to ADL Regional Directors about the investigation of ADL in San Francisco.  "Little press coverage.".  "ADL has asserted that our own privacy and First Amendment rights would be violated by disclosure of ADL files."  "We will keep you informed of future developments."  Talking points.  ""inflammatory articles."  "...materials are currently sealed under court order..."  "ADL has a long history of working with law enforcement agencies...the ADL has conducted in-depth investigations of extremist groups."
06181986_Tom_Gerard_ADL.pdf 496 KB San Francisco Policy Sergeant Tom Gerard briefs ADL about "Arab Activity in the SF Bay Area."  ACLU attorneys, theory that travel agencies are to facilitate secret travel, upcoming Arab terrorism conferences.

155 KB

ADL Central Pacific Regional Advisory Board President Elliot L. Ben protests Asian Law Caucus Inc.'s withdrawal from an ADL conference on the constitutionality of "hate crime" legislation citing the "Gerard" affair.

76 KB

ADL memo suggesting that regional offices "touch base" with NAACP to remind them "we're in the business of monitoring extremists, not our friends in the civil rights movement."

644 KB

Complete ADL organization chart, printed January, 1993.

121 KB

ADL brings IDF officer to speak during campus Hasbara Network events.

1.5 MB

Cover letter from ADL Executive Director Leonard Zakim to campus Jewish leaders distributing Jordan Millstein's background information on "pro-Arab sympathizers who are active on college campuses."  Letter asks "if you have knowledge of any individuals or groups not listed in the booklet, please pass the information on to us so that we can have a more complete and useful listing."  PS, "this booklet should be considered confidential...it could easily be misconstrued."  Organizations listed include the ADC, American Council for Judaism, American Educational Trust, Institute for Policy Studies, Palestine Solidarity Committee and others.  Individuals include Fred Huxley, James Abourezk, John Duke Anthony, Rabbi Elmer Berger, Michael Hudson, Abdeen Jabara, Edward Said, Israel Shahak, James Zogby.

176 KB

New York Times file copy, January 30, 1985.  "Middle East Scholars Upset by a List."  ADL claims "the document was prepared by an 'overly zealous student volunteer' who no longer works for the league."

1 MB

Complaint for injunction 956416, City and County of San Francisco. People of the State of California v. Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith and Roy E. Bullock. "defendants, four years prior to the filing of this complaint...received...certain non-public documents and/or other information that are precluded by law from disclosure to the defendants.  Such conduct, if proven, constitute and unfair practice within the meaning of Business and Professional Code 17200. 

"ADL and Bullock enjoined and restrained from...obtaining any document or other information precluded by law from disclosing..."

ADL "without any admission of liability or of any fact or issue of law raised by the complaint...the League and Mr. Bullock offer to compromise teh claims raised by the complaint and allow judgment to be taken, in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the enclosed Settlement Agreement.."

San Francisco District Attorney "accepts your offer of compromise..." In order to avoid costs of litigation, settlement requires, "League to create a Hate Crimes Reward Fund. to provide monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the perpetrators of hate crimes." $25,000.

"Training of SFDA employees for the SFDA Legal Lives Program." $25,000

SFDA agrees not to assist..."the bringing or maintenance of any civil action or proceeding against Bullock, League..."


1.8 MB

San Francisco Police Inspector Ron Roth declaration about search warrants on ADL offices in Los Angles and search of ADL San Francisco offices.  Search warrant served on Roy Bullock's residence, and residence and shed of Thomas and Julie Gerard, FBI interviews attached as exhibits, Bullock payments laundering from ADL through lawyer Bruce Hochman amounting to $169,375.

9,876 entries in Bullock's Paradox database, divided into Arab, Pinko, Right, Skins and ANC categories, payments to Tom Gerard and Roy Bullock from the government of South Africa , Operation Eavesdrop illicit phone monitoring for different ADL divisions across the country, ADL secret bank account in fake name of "L. Patterson" to pay for "fact finding operations of Los Angeles A.D.L."  Other A.D.L undercover operatives include "CHI-3" Chicago, IRONSIDES St Louis, Arab speaking man in Atlanta called "FLIPPER," "SCOUT," "SCUMBAG" and "HOT SPURS", California, "ADL employees were apparently less than truthful with regards to the employment of Roy Bullock and other matters. "Roy Bullock has been a permanent employee of the Anti-Defamation League for over 25 years.

Exhibit a

 1.7 MB Search Warrant and Affidavit by SFPD inspector Ronald Roth

Exhibit c and d

1/4 MB Interview of Tim Carroll from the San Diego Sheriff's office about Roy Bullock's operations for the ADL.

Exhibit 2-4

1/5 MB Search warrant - Tom Gerard property, Roy Bullock search inventory list, ADL Los Angeles inventory list, ADL San Francisco inventory list, news clipping 

Exhibit 5-10

1 MB Seized financial records - Roy Bullock


3.5 MB FBI interviews Bullock about his work for ADL, first contact with ADL, infiltration of groups, work for Apartheid South Africa intelligence service, joint work with SFPD officer Tom Gerard. (Missing some pages which will be added by 6/1/2013)


11 MB On January 25 and 26 of 1993, ADL operative Roy Bullock is interviewed by San Francisco Police Department  officer Ron Roth, Sergeant Bob Hulsey, and Assistant D.A. John Dwyer.  Bullock discusses Tom Gerard's hope the ADL could spring three mercenaries imprisoned in Brazil,  duties at the ADL, database on groups under ADL monitoring, interactions with South African intelligence.


1 MB Executed search warrant inventory of Tom Gerard's briefcase.  Contents include Consulate General of San Francisco entry stamps, multiple US and Philippine passports, multiple drivers licenses, fake birth and marriage certificates, news clippings about Central American death squads, photos in folders titled "Interrogation Training Farm Prison 1984," cloth hood,  and blank Department of Army letter head paper.

Exhibit_E_Interview_with_ADL_Lawyer_ Bruce_Hochman.pdf

116 KB Bruce Hochman explains how the ADL paid his law firm, which then disbursed funds to Roy Bullock.  Since "Bullock penetrated organizations" the AD "needed this arrangement."  Hochman was president of ADL when "arrangement" began.  Payments of $500 every two weeks.

617 KB

Register of $169,375 in ADL funds laundered through Hochman to Bullock between 1985-1993


2.8 MB On January 28, 1993, the SFPD interviewed former ADL "Fact Finding Librarian" David Gurvitz, maintenance of ADL files, use of "drop boxes," orders from NY Fact Finding Director Irwin Suall and others to "make sure such and such a meeting is covered." Bullock transfer of driver's license numbers and criminal history numbers to ADL Los Angeles, use of ADL money orders to pay informants,


1 MB On March 8, 1993, the FBI interviewed former ADL "Fact Finding Librarian" David Gurvitz about Roy Bullock's interactions with South African intelligence agents, reports to ADL headquarters in New York, ADL's possession of an FBI report on the Nation of Islam.  FBI questions Gurvitz about other FBI reports in ADL's possession.  When asked, "GURVITZ denied knowledge of any formal connection between the ADL and Israeli Intelligence. He added, though, that that did not mean there were no contacts between Israeli and ADL officials."

"...in approximately 1992, he learned from a law enforcement contact that a known member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, named MICHAEL ELIAS I was about to travel from San Francisco International Airport to Haifa, Israel. GURVITZ called the Los Angeles Israeli Consulate and advised a Deputy Consul General about the situation. Later the same day, GURVITZ was called back by another man, who said he was from the Israeli Consulate, and who asked GURVITZ to repeat the information about ELIAS. GURVITZ did not get this man's name, but their conversation was in Hebrew so GURVITZ felt confident the man was actually an Israeli Consulate official."


8 MB Reports, documents and clippings shown by the FBI to Gurvitz during his interview.

July, 1987 Report on Ron Paul and the Liberty Lobby, Bullock's "ARAB" database, FBI "Nation of Islam" report, "The African National Congress (ANC)/South African Communist Party (SACP) Alliance: Salient National and International Issues" report, cover of June 1986 DOJ report "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)- New York Area,

Exhibit I_Orgs_in_Gerard_Bullock_computers.pdf

7.7 MB Database listings of organizations tracked by Bullock and Gerard


3.6 MB State ADL tax filings with no payroll, medical or retirement withholdings for Bullock


86 KB Sample ADL letter transferring funds to pay Roy Bullock
04131993McCloskey.pdf 509 KB April 14, 1993 Class Action Lawsuit filed against the ADL by Pete McCloskey for involvement in "a massive spying operation which constituted an invasion of the Plaintiffs' privacy..."
08191993McCloskey.pdf 1 MB Class Action for 19 plaintiffs, Conference Status Statement.  ADL attorney argues ADL files seized by SFPD were protected by the First Amendment's free press and free association clause.  Plaintiffs sue under California Information Practices Act prohibitions "Any person, other than an employee of the state or of a local government agency acting solely in his or her official capacity, who intentionally discloses information, not otherwise public, which they know or should reasonably know was obtained from personal information maintained by a state agency or from "records" within a "system of records"
Exhibit A 174 KB July 7, 1961 letter to Saul Joftes, Executive Secretary of B'nai B'rith from ADL National Director Benjamin R. Epstein. 

"As you know, the Anti-Defamation League for many years has maintained a very important, confidential investigative coverage of Arab activities and propaganda.  In terms of our interest, the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda programs for which the Arabs are spending millions of dollars, emanate primarily from the United Nations, New York, Washington, DC, and Cairo.  Their impact is world-wide and include anti-Jewish and anti-Israel programs affecting almost every nation in the world where they have diplomatic relations.  In the course of our work, we have maintained an information-gathering operation since 1948 relating to activities emanating from the Arab Consular Offices, Arab United Nations Delegations, Arab Information Center, Arab Refugee Office and the Organization of Arab Students.

In order to obtain complete and thorough data on these activities, we must follow the Arab diplomatic corps in their political efforts, lobbying activities and propaganda programs emanating from their embassies, as distinguished from the Arab League, Arab relations with organizations like the American Friends of the MIddle East and all their professional publicity efforts. 

Our information, in addition to being essential for our own operations, has been of great value and service to both the United States State Department and the Israeli Government.  All data have been made available to both countries with full knowledge to each that were the source..."

Exhibit B 639 KB On July 16, 1993 the ADL in court categorically denies plaintiffs any access to its files.
10061993McCloskey.pdf 1.2 MB Plaintiff court filing.  "But the ADL has a private side as well.  As described in teh declarations submitted by Plaintiffs, the ADL for years has secretly cultivated police officers to provide illegally-disclosed information on private individuals and organizations solely because of the expression or participation in political activities opposed to the policies of Israel and South Africa...Further the ADL has used this information to damage the reputation and interfere with the gainful employment of individuals who have expressed opposition to Israeli and South African policies..."

"ADL objects to all but one of Plaintiff's document requests...offered to make its public publications available for inspection, but not its private blacklists nor its communications about Plaintiffs circulate within ADL.

ADL_Research_Black_Anti-semitism.pdf 6.7 MB ADL Research Report: The Anti-Semitism of Black Demagogues and Extremists, published in 1992 and prepared by David Evanier.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is presented without profit for research and educational purposes, most importantly understanding how government functions during law enforcement actions involving Israel and its lobbyists. The Israel Lobby Archive has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of the content nor is it endorsed or sponsored by the originator.

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