Former FBI Director Wrote Scathing 'X-Files' Review in Newly Released Letter

The third most powerful man in the FBI wasn't a fan of The X-Files, a newly obtained letter reveals. The former Deputy Associate Director of the FBI, Cartha "Deke" DeLoach advised The X-Files on a fifth season episode of the series, "Travelers," in which a retired FBI agent tells Fox Mulder about a 1950s cover-up. A letter obtained by government transparency journalists and researchers at MuckRock captured DeLoach's reaction to the "Travelers" script, which was supremely negative.

"The script was entertaining, but very sophmorish," DeLoach writes. "When compared to FBI policies it was totally lacking in accuracy and objectivity. It may appeal to some segments of the masses through attempts at sensationalism, but it's [sic] crudeness and primer like aspects will turn off anyone with knowledge of the FBI and law enforcement in general."

DeLoach retired from the FBI in 1970, after serving for years as a confidante to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Associate Director Clyde Tolson. DeLoach, who died in 2013, was also the primary point of contact between the FBI and President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1998, The X-Files brought on DeLoach as an uncredited consultant on their depiction of the Bureau during the days of the Hollywood Blacklist and the Red Scare.

DeLoach also wasn't a big fan of the acting and writing. "I am not much impressed by the actors and actresses," he said, pledging to give away the promotional photos sent to him by the production to his grandchildren, rather than hang them "on the walls of my banking office."

DeLoach even predicted that The X-Files—by then on its 111th episode and fifth year on the air—"will be short lived."

In "Travelers," Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) visits a retired FBI agent, who describes tracking down Skur, an alleged communist who turned out to have been the victim of government experimentation. Now host to a parasitical alien entity, which bursts from his mouth to kill anyone who threatens him, "Travelers" suggests that 1950s paranoia surrounding communist infiltrators was actually part of a cover-up for something even more sinister.

The depiction of the FBI as rabidly anti-communist particularly incensed DeLoach, who spent much of the letter distancing Hoover from McCarthyism. "Why bring disrepute to the FBI and to Hoover's name by such shoddy programs?" DeLoach asks in the conclusion to his letter. Unfortunately, his annotated script notes were not included in the 137 pages of FBI documents released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from MuckRock's Emma Best.

More than a flashback episode, "Travelers" also included Mulder's father, Bill Mulder (Dean Aylesworth) and reveals the origin of the X-Files themselves, when a 1950s FBI secretary reveals that she files "Unsolved" cases under "X," because there's more room in the folder than under "U."

Former FBI Director Wrote Scathing 'X-Files' Review in Newly Released Letter | Culture