One of the first groups that had asked Pauling to speak about atomic weapons was the
Independent Citizen’s Committee for the Arts, Sciences, and Professions (ICCASP),
a sort of artist’s and intellectual’s lobbying organization. Its politics were decidedly
left-wing, its members a polyglot of New Deal Democrats, Socialists, a few Communists,
and many liberal members of the Hollywood movie community. Pauling’s first talk to
the group was well received, and he was invited to become a member. He and Ava Helen
were happy to join.
The ICCASP connected the Paulings with an exciting and glamorous crowd of activists
who seemed to believe in "just the sort of liberal politics that appeals to me," as
Pauling put it. They were soon visiting studios, seeing movies being shot, attending
sneak previews, and partying with directors, producers, and stars. They chatted with
Charlie Chaplin, visited Charles Laughton in his home, and dined at the Brown Derby
with Ronald Reagan (in his early, more liberal days). Pauling soon became the local
group’s vice-president and served on a national board of directors with Frank Sinatra,
Thomas Mann, Duke Ellington, and Eleanor Roosevelt. It was all very exciting for a
couple from small-town Oregon.