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W. Cleon Skousen papers on the National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1977-1991

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 9364 Series 4 Sub-Series 5

Scope and Contents

Contains administrative records of the National Center for Constitutional Studies as collected by W. Cleon Skousen. The Center was previously named the Freemen Institute until 1987. Includes programs, letters, agendas, notes, product lists and other mailers, articles, minutes, board of directors materials, research files on the consitution and other world events, publication drafts, and legal documents. Also includes videocassettes and one audiocassette with recordings of various events and promotional material. Materials dated 1971 to 1991.


  • 1977-1991


Conditions Governing Access

Access restricted for 10 years from donation, until May 2029.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtainany necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

The National Center for Constitutional Studies was established under the name Freemen Institute in 1971 in Provo, Utah, as a non-profit educational foundation. It was founded by Latter-day Saint political writer, speaker, and professor, W. Cleon Skousen. Its mission was to create educational materials and specialized courses in constitutional studies for schools, public officials, and members of congress. It also presented seminars for the general public on constitutional principles and published books such as "The Making of America," and "The 5000 Year Leap." In 1980, the headquarters was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Around 1986, the name of the organization was changed to the National Center for Constitutional Studies. In 1988, Skousen retired as its president. Its headquarters was later relocated to Malta, Idaho. As of 2023, the organization was still active.

Biographical / Historical

Willard Cleon Skousen was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada, on January 20, 1913, to Margarita Bentley and Royal Pratt Skousen. The family moved to San Bernardino, California, when Cleon was 10. He studied at Juarez Academy in Mexico for 9th and 10th grade while living with his grandmother in Colonia Juarez. Skousen served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the British Isles. He later attended San Bernadino Valley Junior College, where he served as student body president and excelled as a debater and public speaker. He went on to attend George Washington University and received his J.D. degree. Skousen was admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the Federal District Court of Appeals. In 1935, while still attending law school, Skousen entered J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and was subsequently appointed as a Special Agent.

Skousen married Jewel Almira Pitcher Skousen on August 13, 1936, in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had eight children. Skousen served in various parts of the United States during World War II and was appointed to a supervisory administrative position at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. Skousen left the FBI in 1951, after 16 years of service, to become the Director of Public Services and member of the faculty at Brigham Young University. In 1956, he was given a leave of absence from BYU to reorganize the Salt Lake City Police Department, where he served as Chief of Police until 1960. In the fall of 1960, Skousen became Field Director for the American Security Council, as well as the editorial director of Law and Order, a police magazine. He returned to teach at BYU from 1967 to 1978.

Skousen's loyalty to America's founding fathers and the Constitution led to his founding the Freeman Institute in 1971, which was later renamed the National Center for Constitutional Studies. He served as president of the NCCS until 1988, working on educational courses, speeches, and writings aimed to educate citizens and elect government officials with similar views on the Constitution. Skousen authored many books and spoke prolifically across the United States. Some of his best-selling publications include "The Naked Communist," "So You Want to Raise a Boy?" "The Making of America," and "The Five Thousand Year Leap." He also wrote books on religion, including "The Prophecy and Modern Times,” and "Treasures from the Book of Mormon.” Skousen passed away January 9, 2006, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


47 folders

13 videocassettes

1 sound cassette

Language of Materials