Almost 10 months after his death, just-released FBI files offer a first look at life behind the scenes for the late Rev. Billy Graham.
The caseload with nearly 500 pages was kept secret until Monday. Much of it involves the man known as "America’s Pastor," a counselor to presidents and one of the best-known Christian evangelists ever.
The file includes insults against Rev. Graham’s ministry and threats on his life.
One letter from March 4, 1975 reads, “We are sending a copy of this letter to that phony preacher man Billy Graham—he is as wicked as the CIA.”
The FBI determined the writer was a woman who lived in Des Moines, Iowa, and was mentally ill.
Investigators said she wrote under aliases like “The Real Christian,” “Pentecost” and “Friends of the SLA,” which is short for the extremist group Symbionese Liberation Army.
They believe she wrote the letters based on her interpretation of the Bible.
At one point, a judge “paid it little heed” but showed concern because of the threats to kill.
Even though some of the correspondence went directly to Rev. Graham, the letters also threatened U.S. lawmakers, Congress, the CIA and President Gerald Ford.
One read, “You reap what you sow, and we are going to make you reap death.”
In the FBI file, an associate for the late Rev. Graham said Graham never actually read the letter. He was out of state when it came.
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