John Rees (journalist)

John Rees is a British right wing journalist and government informant resident in the United States.[1] Based in Baltimore, Maryland, he was active during the 1970s and 1980s.

Rees ran a network of private informants on college campuses in the United States, that Political Research Associates referred to as often having better placed infiltrators among campus groups than the FBI's own agents.[2] The network would pass information along to Rees, who would in turn forward it to the director of intelligence at FBI headquarters. From there it would be forwarded to field offices. These activities were part of a network of private right wing groups that the FBI used to gather intelligence on government critics and people opposed to the Reagan Administration's foreign policy stance in Central America.[3]

Rees also criticized Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche movement saying the organization had "taken on the characteristics more of a political cult than a political party," and a cult-like "blind obedience."[4] Among the publications he was associated with were Review of the News and American Opinion, published by the John Birch Society, with which Rees was an active collaborator.[5] His own Information Digest reported on extremist movements on both the left and right ends of the political spectrum. In addition, he worked with the Birch Society's late Congressman Larry McDonald in the activities of the Western Goals Foundation.[2]

Rees' lover, author Grace Metalious, was persuaded by him just before her death to sign a will leaving her entire estate to him, with the understanding that he would take care of her children. Her family was able to invalidate the will, but to little result as her estate proved to be insolvent from years of lavish living, overgenerosity towards "friends", and embezzlement by an agent. At the time of her death she had bank accounts totalling $41,174 and debts of more than $200,000.[6]


  1. Hillel Levin. "The Information Digest Ploy", The Nation October 7, 1978.
  2. 1 2 Chip Berlet. "The Hunt for Red Menace", Political Research Associates February 2, 1993.
  3. Ross Gelbspan. "Groups Give FBI Data on foes of US Latin Policies," Boston Globe March 15, 1988.
  4. "Ideological Odyssey: From Old Left to Far Right" John Mintz Washington Post January 14, 1985
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