The cover story of this week’s Boston Globe Magazine recounts the story of Anne Hale, a second grade teacher and Unitarian in Wayland, Massachusetts, who was targeted by the FBI at the height of McCarthyism. A member of the American Communist Party in the 1940s, Hale lost her job, her home, and her ability to find another job or apartment after informants—including some of her neighbors—accused her of holding and promoting “anti-American” views. Her minister, the Rev. Raymond Manker, defended her in the press, but attendance dropped dramatically at First Parish in Wayland. (Decades later, one of Manker’s successors, the Rev. Ken Sawyer, requested Hale’s FBI files; you can browse some of the files Sawyer and, later, the Globe received via Freedom of Information requests.)
For more on the era when the FBI actively investigated Unitarian Universalist leaders, congregations, and organizations, see our Fall 2014 cover story about First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles and its long history of government surveillance.