Pastors, Prostitutes & Martin Luther King Jr.

NOTE: The following is protected by federal copyright law and is an excerpt from the book Marxianity written by Brannon Howse and is not to be published online. The footnotes that document the content in this article are found in the book Marxianity or the eBook.


On a deeply significant spiritual level, the sexual behavior of Martin Luther King, Jr., clearly does not support the contention that he was committed to scriptural principles for living. A lengthy headline in the October 16, 1989 Los Angeles Times offered disappointing insight into King’s moral character: “Alone Again, Naturally: Civil Rights: the Reverend Ralph Abernathy Has Been Cast Anew as an Embattled Outsider, Now for Detailing in His Autobiography the Extramarital Sex Life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” The paper explains Abernathy’s unpopular revelations:


[quote] He has been forced to do so because his new autobiographical account of the turbulent civil rights era, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down which was the name of his book, includes details of King’s sexual exploits in Memphis the night before he was murdered on April 4, 1968. Ralph Abernathy was good friends with Martin Luther King, Jr. They both were pastoring churches in Alabama, down the street from each other. The older Ralph Abernathy befriended King and became a mentor to him. And he traveled with him. And spoke with him. And was with him the day before he was killed and the day he was killed—In fact, the night before he was killed. It was Ralph Abernathy who introduced Martin Luther King, Jr. before he gave his famous, “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech. [end quote]


Ralph Abernathy shared room 306 at the Lorraine Hotel with King, and he wrote in his book that King had been with two women the night before his death.

A retired firefighter friend of mine in Memphis corroborates the likelihood of Abernathy’s allegations. My friend’s father had also been a Memphis firefighter. Two of his friends were assigned to the fire station across the street from the Lorraine Hotel. The firefighters knew the area and its population extremely well—including a number of prostitutes known to work the neighborhood. My friend explained that his father’s fellow firefighters called him the night King was killed and told firsthand about the prostitutes they had personally seen visiting King’s room at the hotel.
    I mention this because it is a firsthand eye witness account that lines up with the account in Abernathy’s book. My purpose is not to share sordid details, but to get at the heart of Martin Luther King’s real agenda and worldview. Was he a man of integrity and principle? Was he really concerned about the civil rights movement? Extremely doubtful. His sexual behavior, along with his association with communists, put the civil rights movement in grave danger. The Times article reveals details from Abernathy’s book that could have destroyed King’s credibility had they been revealed at the time:


[quote] The book provides a more vivid account of King’s extramarital sex life than those previously published, an account made all the more striking and controversial because the two men were so close. Abernathy writes that King spent part of his last night with two women and that in the course of an argument with a third woman who was jealous, “knocked her across the bed.” [end quote]


Abernathy said that he discussed King’s sex life to “set the record straight”— to share not only the what, but the why of King’s sexual activities. To show that heroes are mortals. And that mortals, even downtrodden ones, can become heroes.

A January 24, 2001 article from Front Page Magazine offers yet another substantiation of King’s aberrant sex life from another writer, Michael Eric Dyson, who at the time was a religious studies professor at DePaul University:


[quote] Dyson depicts King as a sexist who treated women scarcely better than the racist southern whites treated blacks—as inferiors—who should stay in their place and be compliant.

“As King grew more and more distant from his enabler wife, Coretta,” writes Dyson, “the renowned civil rights leader established relationships of significant affection with three women. One of the women, in fact, had become King’s de facto wife—a spousal equivalent upon whom he became emotionally dependent as she replaced Coretta as the primary focus of her husband’s intimacy and affection.”

Dr. King’s righthand man, says the article, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, in his 1989 autobiography, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, revealed Dr. King’s penchant for group sex with prostitutes and groupies. [end quote]


Like David Garrow cited by the Los Angeles Times, Dyson cannot be construed as someone “out to get” Martin Luther King. In fact, the book referenced in the Front Page article is Dyson’s I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr., Story. This is how the book description characterizes Dyson’s attitude toward King: “A private citizen who transformed the world around him, Martin Luther King, Jr., was arguably the greatest American who ever lived.”

The book is not a hostile exposé. It is a historical account of King’s life that included the good, the bad, and the ugly. Now a sociology professor at Georgetown University, Dyson is an award-winning author, prominent intellectual and political analyst, and a two-time winner of the NAACP Image Award winner (NAACP is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was also a plagiarist. The October 11, 1991 The New York Times Featured an article called “Boston University Panel Finds Plagiarism by Dr. King.” The article reports that a committee of scholars appointed by Boston University concluded that King plagiarized passages in his dissertation for a doctrinal degree at the university 36 years earlier.

The Gateway Pundit even exposes the real source of King’s most famous speech in the article “Bummer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Stole I Have a Dream Speech from Black Republican.” The article recounts that:

[quote] Gavin Trudeau reported on the MLK, Jr., penchant to plagiarize. “Even the much celebrated, ‘I Have a Dream’ speech of 1963 was plagiarized. By a particular turn of events, the source King raided for this was a speech given to the Republican National Convention of 1952 by a black preacher named Archibald Cary.” [end quote]


Even the “I Have a Dream” was not an original work by King.


What Now for Fans of King?


Perhaps the communists really have won a great battle for the hearts and minds of America. Church leaders abound who say that Martin Luther King, Jr., stood on the authority of the Word of God, applied Scripture to life, and is someone we should emulate. We’re encouraged to esteem a man who embraced socialism and who led a shockingly immoral and disingenuous life. And yet, pastors today celebrate him.

In April 2018, many of them gathered in Memphis in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of King’s murder. Ironically, one of the celebratory events is called “MLK 50, Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop.” Gospel reflections is a laughable attribution. King did not stand for the gospel. The only gospel to which he was committed was the social gospel.

It brings to mind again the sage but troubling words of William Sullivan who warned that members of the clergy would “show a proneness to join organizations without questioning their real sponsorship, direction or policies.” And that is exactly what these modern-day, “evangelical” fans of Dr. Martin Luther King are doing. Many men like Matt Chandler, John Piper, Tim Keller, are promoting, to one degree or another, the cultural Marxism of Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are living in a dangerous time—both spiritually and in the arena of national security. As Richard Wurmbrand, who spent 14 years in a Romanian communist prison warned, you cannot take a little bit of tuberculosis and mix it with a healthy body and still have a healthy body. His analogy to the church is clear: we cannot mix a little bit of socialism with Christianity and think that the result will still be Christianity.


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