"There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation."
The letter was written to sound like a bitter condemnation from a disillusioned ally — "You could have been our greatest leader," it reads at one point — but King was unconvinced. As reported by the Times:
King was certain the letter had come from the F.B.I. Its infamous director, J. Edgar Hoover, made no secret of his desire to see King discredited. A little more than a decade later, the Senate's Church Committee on intelligence overreach confirmed King's suspicion. [The New York Times]
The Times' full account of the FBI's pursuit of King is worth a read. We may think of today's intelligence services as a bumbling, overreaching mess of pointless exercises and sinister plots — but J. Edgar Hoover's MLK witch hunt is still galling, five decades later.