The FBI once sent a letter to MLK trying to convince him to commit suicide
On November 21, 1964, a package that contained the letter and a tape recording allegedly of King’s sexual indiscretions was delivered to Coretta Scott King, and later to Martin Luther King Jr. Although the letter was anonymously written, Martin Luther King Jr. correctly suspected the FBI sent the package.
Coretta Scott King described the tapes by saying "I couldn’t make much out of it, it was just a lot of mumbo jumbo." The letter does not specify precisely what action it is urging King to undertake; King understood the letter as advocating that he commit suicide, although some have suggested that it was merely urging him to decline the Nobel prize or step out of leadership.
On March 8, 1971, an activist group called the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI burglarized a local office of the FBI in Media, Pennsylvania, and stole classified documents. Part of those documents revealed a secret FBI operation called COINTELPRO. Those documents were later sent to newspapers and members of the United States Congress. During the Church Committee hearings and investigations in 1975, a copy of the "suicide letter" was discovered in the work files of William C. Sullivan, deputy FBI director. He has been suggested as its author. Once the surveillance tapes of King were publicly revealed, Bernard Lee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) sought to have tapes gained by wiretaps destroyed in a lawsuit. Their request was denied by United States District Court for the District of Columbia judge John Lewis Smith Jr. He ordered all tapes sealed until the year 2027 and placed into the National Archives and Records Administration.