This Hollywood Story Could Not Be Told Until Now

“When I die, there are two people I want to meet, and one of them is Cleon Skousen. Have you ever read a book that literally changed the course of your thinking and your life? God bless Cleon Skousen for his untiring efforts to bring Constitutional principles back to this promised land.” —Glenn Beck 

Happy Leap Day (February 29)! 

One of the remarkable stories told in my uncle’s new book, “There Were Giants in the Land: Episodes in the Life of W. Cleon Skousen,” is the story of Olivia de Havilland, the famous actress who starred in “Gone With the Wind.”

My uncle said the story was so sensitive that it could not be published until after her death. She died in July 2020 at the age of 104!

The story can now be told (See “Giants” book, pp. 85-87) when Cleon was assigned to be a liaison to the Hollywood studios by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover

The Olivia de Havilland Story

“Back in California, an exciting case was waiting for me. In early 1946, I interviewed Olivia de Havilland, one of the stars of Gone With the Wind, at the request of Mr. Hoover. 

“Olivia and her sister, Joan Fontaine, had both been active communists during World War II. But J. Edgar Hoover was so impressed by Miss de Havilland’s portrayal of Melanie in Gone With the Wind that he felt she might swing over to our side if she really understood what America had done for the world and how evil communism had been from its inception. I was a liaison to the Hollywood studios at that time, and Mr. Hoover requested that I make contact with her to see if we could persuade her away from the Communist Central Committee, to which she was contributing rather large amounts of money each month.

“I made an appointment to visit her at the beautiful home where she and her sister lived in Hollywood. I soon discovered that, like many of the stars, they had a very pretentious mansion in front but actually lived in a small apartment in the rear of the house.

“I told Olivia how impressed Mr. Hoover had been with her portrayal in Gone With the Wind, and that he felt that if someone refreshed her mind on the great record of America in fighting for freedom, and how oppressive communism had been, she might want to help our side. 

“She immediately assured me that the communists were the best friends she ever had, and nothing would induce her to turn against them. Nevertheless, I asked her to let me tell her the American story so I could report back to Mr. Hoover that I had followed his instructions. With her permission, I gave her a 45-minute summary of the great obstacles America had overcome to raise up the first free people in modern times. She remained unconvinced and said she would remain with her communist friends, who loved her. Nevertheless, she asked me to thank Mr. Hoover for his kindness and that was the end of the visit.

“However, Miss de Havilland did not know that we already had a plant in the Communist Central Committee and that this undercover agent had made a recording of their proceedings. I went back to headquarters and listened to these tapes and found that when Olivia was absent, her fellow communists called her ‘Money Bags’ and schemed different ways to get her to contribute to certain causes for which she would be a ‘sucker.’

“After making a 30-minute clip of their insulting remarks, I took it to Olivia and asked her to listen to it. I told her I would wait out on the porch until she had finished. She had only listened for about five minutes when she came out on the porch swearing like a mule skinner. She said she would never go to their meetings again nor send them any more money. 

“I told her there was one way she could get even with them: She could make one more small donation and then furnish to us everything the communist unions were planning to do to take over the studios. She agreed, and soon their latest plans were being discussed on national TV as well as in the press. Then, to protect her from retaliation, I suggested that she tell the Central Committee there must be a stool pigeon within the committee and that she wouldn’t give them another cent until they found out who the stool pigeon was and got rid of him. 

“I continued to work with Olivia for some time, and we succeeded in persuading her to help us root out the communist takeover of the film industry. She was an effective double agent once she had been won over to our side.”

‘This is Your FBI’: Encounters With Public Enemies #1

Cleon is a remarkable storyteller, and it shows through his private journals that constitute the “Giants” book. On another occasion, he was assigned to work in organized crime, with remarkable stories about notorious gangsters such as “Baby Face” Nelson and “Machine Gun” Kelly, and mobsters such as Mickey Cohen and Bugsy Siegel. 

One of the scariest assignments was planting a telephone bug under Mickey Cohen’s house: Suddenly, someone yelled, “Shhhh! The FBI!” See the surprise ending on pp. 81-82. 

Of course, today’s FBI is totally different than the one Cleon was involved in back in the 1940s and 1950s. He would be rolling in his grave to see how political the FBI is today. 

‘Giants’ Is Banned in China!

After leaving the FBI, Cleon became deeply involved in the anti-communist crusade. His crusade against communism is still relevant today.

When our publisher tried to print a low-cost edition of the book in China, the Chinese government intervened and prohibited his book from being published in China.

The printer wrote us, “I was informed that China won’t allow it to be printed in any mainland printer due to its contents, what they referred to as ‘sensitive material.’”

I guess they took offense to such statements as “no patriotic American can be either a communist or a supporter of communism” (p. 155) and “Mao’s ‘butcher’ was believed to have supervised the slaughter of some thirty-five million Chinese” (p. 320).

Our publisher chose to print it in “free” South Korea. 

‘Are You Related to Cleon Skousen?’

Cleon Skousen was one of a kind, a “giant in the land.” I’ve mentioned my Uncle Cleon many times in my writings and speeches. He had a tremendous influence on my life and the lives of millions through his speeches, lectures, bestselling books and tours of the Holy Land.

Years after he passed away in 2006, wherever I go, I’m still asked, “Are you related to W. Cleon Skousen?”

I answer with enthusiasm, “Yes, he was my uncle and was like a father to me after my own father passed away when I was 16.”

Here’s a longer answer: My father, Roy Skousen, died of cancer at age 46, leaving behind 10 children that my mother had to raise (she was 39!). I was only 16 at the time. My Uncle Cleon, who was quite famous for his bestselling book “The Naked Communist,” and his Thousand Year books about the Bible, stayed close to our family when we moved to Utah, and he became in many ways my second father. I was a pallbearer at his funeral in 2006.

He inspired me and in many ways, I owe my success to his influence. He was instrumental in my complete rewriting of my book, “The Making of Modern Economics.” I tell the story in the introduction to Cleon’s book. Cleon stayed at our home in Northern Virginia and regaled our children with Bible stories. My wife and I spent time together with him on a cherished trip to Israel in 1980. Jo Ann helped edit Cleon’s book, “Days of the Living Christ.”

Many family members wanted to write his biography, but eventually, it fell on Jo Ann and me to compile and edit his voluminous journals and private diaries (120 of them!) into this book, and it took a long time, three years to do it. Now it’s out. The introduction is by Senator Orrin Hatch, who always said he was elected and was a senator for 42 years because of Cleon’s influence.

Our book has been endorsed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Senator Mike Lee, Heritage Foundation’s founder Ed Feulner, radio host Glenn Beck, conservative marketing genius Richard Viguerie, former congressman Bob McEwen, Leadership Institute founder Morton Blackwell and many others. He was long-time friends with former congressman Ron Paul.

The late Senator Orrin Hatch wrote the foreword: “Cleon had witty, humorous, twinkling eyes, sparkling eyes that would light up every time you started talking about our country, the Constitution and the beautiful land we live in. Cleon’s eyes witnessed the highs and lows of our modern era, yet he always had a positive outlook.”

Cleon Skousen was a master storyteller and spell-bounding speaker, whether it was about the history of communism, the Bible, the Constitution or the greatness of America. He was a family man who, with his wife Jewel, raised five boys and three girls.

Revealing Memoir Based on His Private Diaries

Now, after three years of hard work by my wife Jo Ann and I, his personal story can be told for the first time, in his own words, revealing never-before-published details about his personal and family life, his six careers and his influence with top government and religious leaders. The book includes over 190 rare photographs and newspaper clippings.

Over his 70-year career as an FBI agent, chief of police in Salt Lake City, BYU professor, author of the “Thousand Year” books, leader in the anti-communist movement and defender of the Constitution, Dr. Cleon Skousen gave over 10,000 speeches and wrote several bestselling books that have sold millions: The Naked Communist… The Naked Capitalist… The 5,000 Year Leap… The Making of America… and The Thousand Year books about the Bible (which still sell today, because they bring the Bible to life like no other book).

Labeled the “Constitutional guru” of the conservative movement by the New York Times, Cleon Skousen constantly defended our Constitutional rights and warned America about the dangers of communism, which he regarded as “the greatest threat to liberty on the earth today.”


–Why 1913, the year of his birth, became a special year in Cleon’s drive to achieve political success. “God gave me a mission in life to fight the three political mistakes of 1913!” (See p. 308-309).

–Working with the “ruthless” J. Edgar Hoover during his 16 years with the FBI, plus Skousen’s encounters with gangsters Mickey Cohen, Bugsy Siegel and “Machine Gun” Kelly (49-51, 80-84, 88-90, 270-271).

–A Church leader predicts in the summer of 1939, “There will be war!” which leads to Cleon’s first book, “Prophecy and Modern Times.” (59-60)

–Behind the scenes at the FBI headquarters on the Day of Infamy, December 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor (73-74).

–His confrontation with an atheist professor and later a debate with the son of notorious atheist Madalyn O’Hair (38-42, 383-385).

–His courtship of his high-school sweetheart Jewel Pitcher, and the secret to their marriage that lasted 74 years (43-44, 166, 479-480).

–What it was like raising five boys and three girls, and why his faithful wife Jewel should be the co-author of Cleon’s book, So You Want to Raise a Boy (206-209).

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–The real reason Skousen was fired as chief of police of Salt Lake City in 1960 (168-169).

–How a Church leader’s public endorsement made The Naked Communist an overnight bestseller, selling over two million copies (153-154, 160-161).

–Cleon’s appearance on nationwide TV at the Hollywood Bowl on October 16, 1961, with John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Senator George Murphy and Ronald Reagan in “Hollywood’s Answer to Communism” (193-198).

–Cleon’s friendship with Hollywood producer Cecil B. DeMille and his role in the filming of “The Ten Commandments” (136-140).

–Friendships with the Osmonds (373-375, 385), Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (166, 195), Art Linkletter (300-302), Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly (442-443) and economist Milton Friedman (299-300).

–Did Elvis Presley read Cleon’s “First 2,000 Years”?! (351-352).

–His special relationship with Ronald Reagan, and the behind-the-scenes reason why Reagan was forced to add George W. Bush Sr. to the Presidential ticket in 1980 (243-244, 331-332, 380-381, 387).

–How his Freemen Institute helped elect Utah Senator Orrin Hatch; their close friendship (290-292, 308-309, 322-324, 365-367).

–Cleon’s 70-year close relationship with Ezra Taft Benson as Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower and later as President of the LDS Church.

–Confessing a weakness for defending controversial figures like Senator Joseph McCarthy (296-297), the John Birch Society (299), Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver (345-351) and Reverend Moon (343-344), and how they all eventually disappointed him.

Recent Reader Found ‘Giants’ book ‘Unputdownable’!

Last month, I received the following letter: 

Dear Mark and Jo Ann,

I just finished reading your new tome, There Were Giants in the Land, and literally could not put it down. Okay, I came up for air a couple of times. 

I absolutely loved it and am on Cloud Nine from reading it. What a masterful job you did in celebrating the life of this great man, his wife and his accomplishments. Cleon’s books have long been favorites of mine. 

I have worked on life histories myself and know how difficult it is to amass information and get it down in the right spirit. 

Thank you for all the time and effort you put into it. Everyone should buy and read this wonderful book. 


Judith La Montagne

Essex, Iowa

What Others Are Saying

“Cleon Skousen was truly a giant. I encourage everyone to read the story of this great man, which will inspire you to join the cause of liberty.” —Senator Mike Lee

“Cleon Skousen was a key figure in the emergence of modern conservatism and the Reagan Revolution.” —Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House

“Congratulations for bringing this wise American patriot back to center stage. His book remains a standard bearer for those who believe in the miracle of America.” —Ed Feulner, Heritage Foundation

“It is difficult to overstate how big a name W. Cleon Skousen was when I was growing up in southern California. His books were widely read and his views on history, religion and politics carried considerable weight. This new compilation affords a look into the mind and personality of an author whose influence continues to echo into the 20th century.” –BYU Professor Daniel Peterson

“I say we need a thousand Skousens.” —Eldridge Cleaver, former Black Panther

How to Order the First Edition in Hardback and Audiobook

The first edition of There Were Giants in the Land is available in hardback (544 pages long), with lots of photographs spread throughout the text. Both Jo Ann and I wrote introductions and an index.

It’s also now on Audible for only $17.46 here.

The book is beautifully designed and will be a keepsake to be read and re-read. Every page is full of interesting stories and commentaries, all relevant to today’s hot political, economic and cultural issues.

We offer the best deal. Buy it at a discount at It’s priced at only $29.95 postpaid. We autograph each copy and pay shipping anywhere in all 50 states. I’ll also date it February 29, 2024, Leap Day! Order your copy today. 

Good investing, AEIOU,

Mark Skousen

You Nailed it!

S&P 500 Hits 5,000!

by Mark Skousen

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago” — Warren Buffett (“Maxims of Wall Street,” p. 136).

This month, the bellwether S&P 500 Index went over 5,000 for the first time, an all-time record. And that’s not counting dividends.

The 5,000 number reminds me of this photograph I took back in 1995 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 5,000. (The S&P 500 Index was at 500 at the time.) “Wall Street’s Record Winning Streak” is the headline I used for the October issue of Forecasts & Strategies. I was bullish then and am still bullish now.

The motto for my book “The Maxims of Wall Street” is “Bears make headlines, bulls make money.” But in this case, the bulls are making money and headlines!

Despite worries about interest rates, foreign wars, global warming, weak leaders and possible recession, we’ve stayed fully invested and profited from the bull market on Wall Street. Dick Davis said it best: “The best way to put odds in your favor is to invest long term.” (Maxims, p. 137)

The economy continues to defy the prophets of doom who are calling for a collapse and another financial crisis. While we wait for a “black swan” event, we continue to be fully invested.

Last Thursday, on George Washington’s birthday, I wore my “S&P 5,000” hat as Kim Githler, the president of the MoneyShow, presented me with the “America’s #1 Economist” award at the Las Vegas MoneyShow.

I was given the award, she said, for being the “most prolific economist in the pursuit of prosperity and freedom” through my writing an investment newsletter, authoring books, lecturing on college campuses and producing FreedomFest every year.

I can think of others who are even more prolific, but I was happy to receive this honor from Kim Githler. Several years ago, I dedicated my book “The Maxims of Wall Street” to her as “a great entrepreneur, lover of wisdom and freedom fighter” (she’s a huge supporter of FreedomFest. Use code EAGLE50 at checkout to receive $50 off the current Attendee rate).

Afterward, I signed 50 copies of the Maxims to new subscribers. Get your own copy at

From the analyst who beat the market over 15 years...
Dr. Mark Skousen's Top 3 Income Investments for the Next 12 Months

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You'll also receive Dr. Mark Skousen's weekly e-letter, Investor CAFE, at no cost, along with other associated financial content and special offers.

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