Finding aid of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.) Records, 1969-1984 Coll2008-052

Michael C. Oliveira
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007
(213) 821-2771

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), records
creator: H.E.L.P., Incorporated
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2008-052
Physical Description: 3.3 Linear Feet 6 archive cartons, 1 archive flat box
Date (inclusive): 1969-1984
Date (bulk): 1970-1975
Abstract: Minutes, membership applications and lists, lawyer referral reports, newsletters, newspapers, and related ephemera of the Homophile Effort For Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.). The organization was formed in 1968, in response to the subjective and aggressive behavior of the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail. Members were offered general legal assistance and if arrested for "homosexual activities" they were provided bail bonds and lawyer referral services. By the late 1970s, societal changes practically eliminated the need for many of the services HELP provided.
Physical Description: 5 archive cartons, 1 archive half-carton, and 1 oversize box.


The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Preferred Citation

Box #, folder #, Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), Records, Coll2008-052, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Acquisition Information

Method and date of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection created in September 2008 by Michael C. Oliveira, with the assistance of Richard French, from materials in box 104-34, and in ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives "HELP, Inc. (Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated)" subject files.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Administrative History

The organization that was to become the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), began with a proposal developed in early 1968. The first known meeting of the American Federation for the Advancement and Defense of Homophile Society (AFADHS) organizers was in September 1968 at The Patch, a bar in Wilmington, a neighborhood of Los Angeles. The organizers proposed the establishment of an alliance of bar owners, personnel, and patrons to defend against harassment and provide legal assistance in the form of bail bonds and attorney referrals. In a period of several weeks the AFADHS became the less ambiguous Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated. HELP provided bail bond service and lawyer referrals to its members and those vouched for by existing members. The primary focus of the organization was to provide support when its members were arrested for "homosexual activities." The aggressive prosecution of victimless crimes by the Los Angeles Police Department and the change in political climate led to the organization's rapid growth. HELP also supported the California State Committee on Sexual Law Reform to change the laws regarding sex between consenting adults.
However, the organization was plagued by periodic episodes of infighting and was also not able to maintain the on-going support of the bar owners. By the late 1970s, changes in society's attitude toward gays, recognition of gay political power, reforms of California sex laws, and changes in police priorities practically eliminated the need for many of the services HELP provided.
Colburn, Cal. "Hotline." Magpie, September 27, 1968, 3.
Richards, Yale. "From under My Soap Box." Magpie, January 1969, 4-10.
Vincent, Cliff. "What Else Is Happening in L.A.?" Magpie, December 20 1968, 20-24.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains the records of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, Incorporated (HELP, Inc.), an organization that provided legal assistance in the form of bail bond service and lawyer referral to members for a nominal annual membership fee. The organization coalesced after repeated raids on gay establishments by the Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail. The collection consists of five series: (1) Administrative Records, (2) Correspondence, (3) Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records, (4) Financial, and (5) Printed Materials. The Administrative Records include minutes, membership lists, and applications. The Correspondence Series contains chronologically organized and unorganized correspondence, as well as correspondence subject files. The Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records consist of lawyer referral lists and lawyers' reports on the status of defendants' cases. The Financial Records series contains unorganized bills, receipts, and a check register, along with records of fund raising events. The Printed Materials Series contains HELP publications, brochures, and other materials by which the organization informed its membership.


The series are arranged chronologically, with the exception of the Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records, which are arranged with the attorney referral lists followed by the attorney referral reports, arranged alphabetically by attorney.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Legal assistance to gays -- California -- Los Angeles
Police -- Complaints against -- California -- Los Angeles
Gay clubs -- California -- Los Angeles
Police -- Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD) -- Vice Squad
American Federation for the Advancement and Defense of Homophile Society (Los Angeles, Calif.)
H.E.L.P., Incorporated
H.E.L.P., Incorporated


Administrative Records Series 1: circa 1968-1979

Physical Description: 24 folders.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Administrative records consist of the Articles of incorporation, by-laws, minutes, and ballots for the board of directors, 1978-1979. The information packets contain a meeting agenda, November 1968, along with later newsletters. The remaining folders document the bail bond program, with the Bail Bond Program file containing blank applications, on-duty call lists, and a list of pseudonyms used by the Los Angeles Police Vice Detail. The Membership files contain orders for membership cards and lists of members. The Applications file contains completed applications; access to this file is restricted, as the applications include personally identifiable information.
Box 1, Folder 1

Articles of incorporation and by-laws 1969-1972

Box 1, Folder 2-7 ; 7, Folder 1 (Oversize)

Minutes 1968-1976

Physical Description: 7 folders.
Box 1, Folder 8-9

Ballots for board of directors 1978-1979

Physical Description: 2 folders.
Box 7, Folder 2 (Oversize)

Information packet 1968-1971

Box 1, Folder 11

Bail bond program and applications 1971-1978

Box 2, Folder 1-2

Membership card orders 1969-1976

Physical Description: 2 folders.
Box 2, Folder 3

Membership lists 1973-1977

Box 5-6 (Restricted)

Applications 1971-1978

Physical Description: 9 folders.
Box 5, Folder 6

Administrative records, assorted undated

Scope and Contents

Includes a partnership agreement with John Embry and a list of the board of directors from 1972-1977

Correspondence Series 2: 1969-1984

Physical Description: 10 folders.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Correspondence series contains several organized and two unorganized folders of general correspondence. The Howard Efland folder contains a few documents related to his alleged murder at the Dover Hotel. Using the pseudonym J. McCann, Howard Efland checked into the Dover Hotel. In the early morning hours of March 9, 1970, Los Angeles Police Department Vice Detail Officers allegedly beat him to death. The Black Pipe Tavern police raid folder documents a police raid of a HELP fundraiser and its aftermath. The remaining arranged folders contain board of directors, Alcoholic Beverage Control, and Drummer newspaper subscription correspondence. The final folder contains a scrapbook of pamphlets and flyers by Paul Roberts, titled Religion and the Gays.
Box 2, Folder 4-7

General 1969-1984

Physical Description: 4 folders.
Box 2, Folder 8

Howard Efland (pseudonym, J. McCann) 1970

Box 2, Folder 9

Board of directors 1970-1977

Box 2, Folder 10

State of California, Alcoholic Beverage Control 1972-1973

Box 2, Folder 11

Black Pipe Tavern HELP fundraiser raid 1972-1975

Box 2, Folder 12

Drummer newspaper 1973

Box 2, Folder 13

Religion and the Gays 1969-1972


Bail Bonds and Attorney Referral Records Series 3: 1970-1976

Physical Description: 16 folders.

Series Scope and Content Summary

After being arrested a HELP member would call the phone number provided, and contact the HELP person on duty. This person would confirm the arrested person's membership and arrange for a bail bond if necessary. The member would also be provided with the contact information for several attorneys who worked with HELP. These attorneys would report back to HELP on the status of the members' cases. This series consists of the lists of attorneys, and reports from the attorneys on which members contacted them and the status of their cases. The series is arranged with the referral lists followed by the attorneys' reports, arranged alphabetically.
Box 2, Folder 14

Attorney referral lists 1971-1976

Box 3, Folder 1

Andelson, Sheldon 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 2

Berg, Stanley P. 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 3

Field, Robert 1971-1972

Box 3, Folder 4

Glaser, Jerome 1970-1972

Box 3, Folder 5

Gordon, Albert 1972-1973

Box 3, Folder 6

Kohn, Harry 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 7

Lans, Doug 1971-1972

Box 3, Folder 8

Margolin, Bruce 1970-1971

Box 3, Folder 9

Peek, Jerry 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 10

Prutsman, Gary 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 11

Rehkop, C. Neil 1972-1973

Box 3, Folder 12

Russell, Thomas 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 13

Saltzman, Alan 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 14

Selwyn, Herbert 1971-1973

Box 3, Folder 15

Shacter, David 1971-1973


Financial Records Series 4: 1969-1981

Physical Description: 7 folders.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Financial Records series contains expense and income receipts, including bail bond bills, along with the records from such fundraisers as Kingmasters' "Night of Stars," the Hawks' art auction, and HELP's own "The Rides of Spring." The two folders of unorganized receipts include receipts, bills and a check register. The bills for bail bonds were issued to non-members or non-current members, or for arrests not covered by HELP.
Box 3, Folder 16-18

Expense/income receipts 1969-1981

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 3, Folder 19

Bail bond bills 1971

Box 3, Folder 20

Kingmasters' "Night of Stars" fundraiser 1972-1975

Box 3, Folder 21

Hawks' art auction fundraiser 1973-1975

Box 4, Folder 1

HELP's "The Rides of Spring" fundraiser 1977


Publications and Ephemera Series 5: 1970-1979

Physical Description: 14 folders.

Series Scope and Content Summary

The series consists of the newsletters, brochures, mailings, flyers, and a "H.E.L.P.line" column in the Los Angeles gay newspaper, Data-Boy, by which HELP reached out to and informed its members. HELP began publishing a newsletter in 1970. In 1972, this newsletter was superseded by the Los Angeles newspaper Drummer, of which HELP was a joint publisher. However, the joint publication of Drummer led to infighting between members, some of whom had stakes in other local publications, and HELP's involvement in the publication of Drummer ceased at the end of 1973. In 1974, HELP resumed publication of the newsletter, which continued through January 1979, when it was superseded by Outreach: Journal of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection, which lasted just two issues. The series also contains photographs from the newspaper and later newsletters.
Box 4, Folder 2-4

Newsletters 1970-1979

Physical Description: 3 folders.
Box 4, Folder 12

T-shirt decals circa 1976

Box 4, Folder 5

Drummer newspaper 1971-1973

Box 7, Folder 5 (Oversize)

Drummer newspaper 1973

Box 4, Folder 13

Photographs circa 1978

Box 4, Folder 6

"H.E.L.P.line" typescripts circa 1976

Box 4, Folder 7

Outreach: Journal of the Homophile Effort for Legal Protection 1979

Box 4, Folder 8

Mailings 1970-1978

Box 4, Folder 9

Brochures circa 1970-1978

Box 4, Folder 10

Flyers circa 1970-1978

Box 7, Folder 3 (Oversize)

Flyers circa 1970

Box 5, Folder 7

Promotional materials, assorted circa 1970-1978

Box 7, Folder 4 (Oversize)

Clippings 1972-1977