The Ordeal of Henry J.

The Ordeal of Henry J.

On the morning of his scheduled hearing before the Security and Subversive Control Board of the government department in which he worked, Henry J. awoke with a start. His mouth felt dry.

He picked up the letter from the Chief of his Bureau. It announced his suspension, without pay, and was accompanied by the “interrogatories.” Henry J. read this letter many times. In fact, only the night before he had again gone over it with his counsel in preparation for today’s hearing. His eye ran over the list of charges he must disprove.* The initial charge was concisely, if inelegantly, put:

“Specifically, it is charged that you continued sympathetic association¬†with a known Communist, read Communist literature and made pro-Communist¬†statements.”


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