If you are a Christian, why are you voting for Hillary Clinton when she wrote her Senior thesis on Saul Alinsky who dedicated his book Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, The Devil. She says he was and still is her mentor.

-As attributed in Carson's speech

Did Saul Alinsky dedicate his book to Lucifer (or the devil) and is he considered Hillary Clinton's mentor? What is the source of this?

  • There are two separate questions combined here.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 14:46
  • 2
    @Oddthinking IDK, if he didn't dedicate his book to the devil, then it doesn't matter if he's Hillary Clinton's mentor - in the context of the quote. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 15:05
  • I flagged this question for deletion as I can't delete it with an answer. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 15:34
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. I thought it had been messed up in revision. Why flag for deletion?
    – rougon
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 15:38
  • 3
    @SomeFreemason I'm leaving this question so it can help other users with the same doubt in the future.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


This is easily google-able and a matter of record. Quotes from Alinsky's book are readily available and can be verified. The answer is very clearly:

  • no, he did not dedicate his book to Lucifer (or Satan), and
  • no, he was not her mentor.

Two good looks at this are from Snopes and the Washington Post.

On the claim that he dedicated his book to Lucifer: Both sources point out that he wrote about Lucifer being the "first radical" in the book's introductory pages, but NOT it's dedication page. From Snopes:

...while it's true that one of three epigraphs on an introductory page (not a dedication page) of Rules for Radicals characterizes Lucifer as the "first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment," the book is neither dedicated to Lucifer, nor need it be read as an endorsement of devil worship or Satanism.

Here is the text from Alinsky, which is clearly not anything related to devil-worship, but is establishing a mythical context for radicalism (a la Paradise Lost):

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.

You can read it for yourself.

On being her mentor: Clinton wrote her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky. According to this New York Times article, she agreed with some of his main criticisms of (then) contemporary progressivism but advocated more for change-from-within than radical agitation and direct action.

Clinton has praised some of his work, but, as the Post concludes:

But there's little evidence that Clinton was particularly close to the man. And indeed, her decision to write a thesis involving Alinsky wasn't her idea, her thesis adviser recently told The Washington Post.

Alinsky had at one point offered her a job, which she declined. Ultimately, there is very little tying them together, other than an analytical research paper she wrote about his work when she was in her early 20s and a few subsequent exchanges.

  • 6
    I attempted to google for myself, however something like dedicating your book to the devil may not make it to a trust worthy website that is well sourced. Therefore, it is a good question for Skeptics. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 14:32

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