The John Birch Society

If there was ever an organization which has been vilified to the nth degree, to the point that if you express any sympathy at all with its aims, you yourself are seriously labelled and shunned, then that organization has to be the John Birch Society.

As René Mathis said in Quantum of Solace and I often quote:

But I guess when one is young, it seems very easy to distinguish between right and wrong but as one gets older, it becomes more difficult – the villains and the heroes get all mixed up.

Just for once, I thought I’d put the reputation to one side and actually look at what they stand for:

#  JBS accepts membership from any races and has had many members of various persuasions.  The only stipulations are that they be of good character and support the society’s principles, listed below.  As members come from all walks of life, they are going to disagree on many issues whilst agreeing on the central ones of opposing collectivization and supporting the Constitution, limited government and free enterprise.

#  The society identifies with Christian principles, seeks to limit governmental powers, and opposes wealth redistribution, and economic interventionism. It not only opposes practices it terms collectivism, totalitarianism, and communism, but socialism and fascism as well, which it asserts is infiltrating US governmental administration.

#  In a 1983 edition of Crossfire, Congressman Larry McDonald (DGeorgia), then its newly appointed president, characterized the society as belonging to the Old Right rather than the New Right.  In other words, not Neocon but the old conservative way.  He was killed sometime after opposing the Fed and calling for an investigation of same.

#  JBS is opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, claiming it violated the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and overstepped individual states’ rights to enact laws regarding civil rights.  Civil rights legislation should have come from the states and the communities rather than being used as a steppingstone toward our present-day out-of-control federal government.

#  It endorses the timeless principles of the Declaration of Independence. The Society also labors to warn against and expose the forces that seek to abolish U.S. independence, build a world government, or otherwise undermine our personal liberties and national independence.

# It  endorses the U.S. Constitution as the foundation of our national government, and works toward educating and activating Americans to abide by the original intent of the Founding Fathers.

#  While the JBS doesn’t agree with water fluoridation on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional mass medication of the public, it was never opposed as a mind-control plot.

#  A conspiracy exists when two or more persons work secretly for an evil or unlawful purpose. Given the state that America is in today, one could argue that an unconstitutional agenda is no longer secret, but in the open for all to see. Those that continue to work against the Constitution do so brazenly, continuing to make promises and entitlements to citizens that the country cannot afford while committing future generations to crushing debt and ever decreasing prosperity at the expense of liberty.

#  JBS has never been funded by any Rockefeller money. Nelson Rockefeller publicly attacked JBS, and JBS has exposed the Rockefeller support for the United Nations and its goal of a new world order more than any other organization.  It is also disliked by the National Review and other new-right, establishment figures.

#  The society opposes “one world government“, and has an immigration reduction view on immigration reform. It opposes the United Nations, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), and other free trade agreements.

#  JBS argues that the U.S. Constitution has been devalued to favor of political and economic globalization, and that such alleged trend is not accidental. It cites the existence of the Security and Prosperity Partnership as evidence of a push towards a North American Union.[14] Stuart A. Wright has said that their political racism however was no different from both Republicans and Democratic politicians of the time.[15]

Er … do you see anything actually wrong in there?

12 comments for “The John Birch Society

  1. Sackerson
    March 16, 2012 at 13:35

    Is the wealth redistribution they object to, that from the people (aka “muppets”) to Goldman Sachs, or vice versa?

  2. March 16, 2012 at 15:04

    They state that it is enforced wealth redistribution imposed by large government, tied in with massive cost overruns and grandiose schemes at the taxpayer’s expense.

    I’m not a member and they’d probably not want me as one but I just thought the principles as stated were interesting.

  3. Wolfie
    March 17, 2012 at 08:17

    This guy is right up my street. I must be getting old.

  4. March 17, 2012 at 11:32

    Apparently, you believe every press release which the Birch Society has produced about itself. For example, your comment regarding the JBS position on fluoridation is false but, for public relations purposes, the JBS downplays its actual original position.

    Significantly, several dentists wrote to the FBI in the early 1960’s because they had read JBS literature at that time and/or they had attended JBS meetings which made it clear that the JBS position was that there was a definite connection between fluoridation and communism. In fact, a former FBI informant (Herbert Philbrick of “I Led 3 Lives” fame) devoted one of his newspaper columns to addressing accusations circulated by Birchers which attempted to link fluoridation and communism.

    Your comments about the JBS position on the 1964 civil rights legislation is very disingenuous. Principled conservatives (like Sen. Barry Goldwater) opposed that legislation for entirely legitimate and defensible reasons. But, UNLIKE the JBS, Sen. Goldwater never associated himself with racists and racist arguments that were used to discredit our entire civil rights movement. Several JBS National Council members were segregationists and hundreds of JBS members belonged to the White Citizens Councils movement — including several top officials of that movement.

    For a more factual understanding of the JBS, see the following reports:

    This 157-page report explains why J. Edgar Hoover and senior FBI officials within the Bureau’s Domestic Intelligence Division concluded in FBI memos that the JBS was “extremist”, “irrational” and “irresponsible”

    Contrary to claims made by the Birch Society about the alleged “left-wing” origins of JBS criticism, the most potent adverse comments about the JBS have always originated from the right-side of the political spectrum. This report presents a representative sample of such comments.

    This report presents documents which, generally, have never been previously publicly available — including private correspondence between Robert Welch and numerous individuals and correspondence by JBS National Council members during the formative years of the Birch Society. This report is a work-in-progress and considerable new material will be added over the next few months.

  5. March 17, 2012 at 19:02

    Ernie – “Apparently, you believe every press release which the Birch Society has produced about itself.”

    I wrote: “I’m not a member and they’d probably not want me as one”, I believe people’s principles as stated in the same way I believe Obama or the CFR or the EU.

    It was the principles I was looking at, rather than the society and as Wolfie said, those principles are “right up my street”.

  6. March 17, 2012 at 19:32


    Like all political extremist groups (right or left), the Birch Society exploits targets of opportunity and they use buzzwords designed to seduce otherwise decent, well-meaning, honorable people into their orbit.

    However, just like the Communist Party, the JBS disguises what it actually believes. Instead, it relies upon great-sounding “principles” which most Americans can agree with — but which carefully hide the underlying ideology which motivates the JBS.

    For example: I suggest you compare the “principles” you think the JBS stands for — to the following comments made by JBS founder Robert Welch. These comments were made to the first meeting of the JBS National Council. I seriously doubt that you, or any contemporary American, would want to associate themselves with these core beliefs of the JBS — which have never changed or been retracted!


    “Today, gentlemen, I can assure you, without the slightest doubt in my own mind that the takeover at the top is, for all practical purposes, virtually complete. Whether you like it or not, or whether you believe it or not, our Federal Government is already, literally in the hands of the Communists.”

    “In our two states with the largest population, New York and California…already the two present Governors are almost certainly actual Communists…Our Congress now contains a number of men like Adam Clayton Powell of New York and Charles Porter of Oregon, who are certainly actual Communists, and plenty more who are sympathetic to Communist purposes for either ideological or opportunistic reasons.” [Note: the reference to Governors refers to Edmund G. Brown of California and Nelson Rockefeller of New York.]

    “In the Senate, there are men like Stephen Young of Ohio, and Wayne Morse of Oregon, McNamara of Michigan, and Clifford Case of New Jersey and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, whom it is utter folly to think of as just liberals. Every one of those men is either an actual Communist or so completely a Communist sympathizer or agent that it makes no practical difference…”

    “Our Supreme Court, dominated by Earl Warren and Felix Frankfurter and Hugo Black, is so visibly pro-Communist that no argument is even needed…And our federal courts below that level…are in many cases just as bad.”

    “Our State Department is loaded with Communists from top to bottom, to the extent that our roll call of Ambassadors almost sounds like a list somebody has put together to start a Communist front.” …

    “It is estimated from many reliable sources that from 70% to 90% of the responsible personnel in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare are Communists. Our Central Intelligence Agency under Allen Dulles is nothing more or less than an agency to promote Communism throughout the world…Almost all the other Departments are loaded with Communists and Communist sympathizers. And this generalization most specifically does include our whole Defense Department.”

    Nor do I think many contemporary Americans would want to associate themselves with this JBS position — as stated in the May 2008 issue of the JBS Bulletin:

    “Just as the John Birch Society showed in the 1960’s that the communists basically ran both the civil rights movement and the KKK, the strategy was nothing new.” …

    Nor do most Americans agree with the JBS position that Martin Luther King Jr. “attended a Communist training school” — referring to Highlander Folk School (HFS) of Tennessee.

    That description of Highlander originated with an individual (Edwin H. Friend) who described himself as an “undercover investigator” for the Georgia Commission on Education (GCE). The GCE was created to preserve segregation in Georgia public schools. Edwin Friend was hired by the GCE.

    More importantly, Edwin Friend was the official photographer for the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia (Friend was a close associate of Calvin Craig, who was Grand Dragon of the United Klans of America in Georgia.)

    Edwin Friend testified before a Tennessee legislative hearing concerning what he “learned” during his “investigation” of HFS. The excerpt appearing below, reveals his underlying motivation and his basis for describing HFS as “Communist”.

    “Q: Mr. Friend, was that a subversive meeting there at that time?
    A: It was subversive, sir, to the way that I have been taught to live in America.
    Q: Explain that to the committee.
    A: I have been taught by southern tradition to keep the races separate. I was taught to go to Sunday school and Church. I was taught to respect the other fellow’s habitat, and that is what I have always tried to do. Up here it seems like all of those things weren’t even considered. It is the primary motive of this group to tear down the forces that were trying to keep the races separate in the South.” [Joint Legislative Investigating Committee, State of Tennessee: Investigation of Highlander Folk School, Grundy County Tennessee, 3/4/59, p447.]

    So, this is merely one example which demonstrates the quality of evidence, and the kind of persons, which the Birch Society relies upon to make its horrific accusations and conclusions.

    The Birch Society and its surrogates have been the subject of many libel lawsuits. When the JBS and its surrogates have had the opportunity to prove the accuracy of their accusations in a courtroom environment — they have failed. The most famous example being the historic precedent-setting libel lawsuit brought by Chicago lawyer Elmer Gertz whom the JBS described in an article published in its monthly magazine as “a Communist fronter” and a “Leninist” engaged in a “conspiracy” against Chicago police.

    After 14 years of litigation, including 2 different jury trials, numerous appeals, and review by the U.S. Supreme Court, the JBS paid Gertz $100,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages for malice. As you may know, punitive damages are only allowed when “malice” can be shown. Malice, in legalese, refers to “reckless disregard for truth” arising from evil intent and a desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering.

    So, again, one has to perform due diligence to understand the basis for JBS arguments and conclusions.

    During the 1930’s and 1940’s many intelligent, decent, honorable, principled Americans associated themselves with organizations, or they signed petitions, which they later discovered were Communist-front enterprises.
    The former FBI Assistant Director who headed the FBI’s Domestic Intelligence Division made a speech in 1961 which made the following observations. One could easily substitute “John Birch Society” for “Communist” or “Communist front or causes” in this statement:
    “Over the years, some well-meaning, intelligent, and patriotic Americans of distinction—including clergymen—have been induced to give their names, their prestige, and often their talents to communist fronts or causes without apparently being aware of their true nature or purpose. These men and women were mostly motivated by a genuine and idealistic desire to further what they thought or had been led to believe were worthwhile and laudable social objectives and programs. These individuals were frequently too busy or too unsuspecting, or both, to investigate the nature and backing of the organization with which they had identified themselves. Even though in some cases they have known or suspected that communists were involved, they were too unfamiliar with communist practices to realize that communists were not interested in the cause itself, but only in the way it could be twisted and used to advance communist aims and goals.” [William C. Sullivan, Communism and Religion in The United States, Highland Park Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas, October 19, 1961, page 3.]

  7. March 17, 2012 at 19:46

    James: As a postscript to my last message — I have one more comment:

    I think what bothers me about your original statement is that you used the word “vilified” to describe the JBS and you then quoted Rene Mathis to suggest that the JBS may have been wrongly and unfairly “vilified”.

    The only possible way you could come to that conclusion is if you have no factual knowledge about the JBS.

    If you really want to see a flawless example of “vilification”, I suggest that you read a 4-volume series of books published by the JBS entitled “Biographical Dictionary of the Left”.

    Every conceivable prominent liberal individual and organization is “vilified” by the JBS in those volumes. But the JBS did not stop there. It also “vilifies” prominent conservatives who dare to contradict its fundamental premises and conclusions.

    I suggest you review my webpage devoted to anti-JBS comments by prominent conservatives (link provided in my first message). Giants within the conservative, anti-communist movement warned that the JBS did not represent principled conservatism or effective anti-communism! Even former JBS members (including JBS chapter leaders, Coordinators, National Council members, and their most prominent writers) eventually terminated their membership. And that includes Marian Welch, the widow of JBS founder, Robert Welch!

  8. March 17, 2012 at 20:55

    Ernie, today there was a lady “looking after the shop” whilst I was at work and your comment initially went to spam, possibly because of multiple links and being a new face to WordPress here.

    I wrote back to her this evening about you [perhaps my assumption is wrong :)]:

    Yes, he’s a rightwinger in the American Thinker mould and probably more where I am. They won’t have a bar of John Birch over there, as we won’t have BNP. His comments, though his assumptions were wrong [about me], was a proper response on his position and I’ve posted it. It needed an American to do this, as we’re not fully au fait with their situation in that detail.

    That’s why I welcome your statements and links – anything leading to more openness is all right in my book. I myself don’t feel qualified to comment.

    Having said that, I do feel more than qualified to comment on those one could term globalists and many posts at this blog have been on that issue. We’re in a pitched battle with these, through the EU, at this very moment and it’s even caused people to change parties over here.

  9. March 17, 2012 at 21:38

    I have no problem whatsoever with anyone who (like myself) opposes what has been described as our “globalist” or “internationalist” foreign policy — which has been the prevailing viewpoint regardless of which political party occupied the Executive Branch of our government.

    I am certain that you and I could find isolated statements or conclusions contained in JBS literature — or in publications authored by other political extremists — which we AGREE with. The problem is the overall world-view which such people or organizations propose that we accept.

    I voted twice for Ronald Reagan as Governor of California, and twice more for him as President. I normally prefer the most conservative political candidates (local, state, national).

    Nevertheless, many Birchers describe me as a “disinformer”, a “New World Order stooge”, a “false patriot”, or as a seriously disturbed person. One JBS chapter leader refers to me as “Comrade”.

    Like all political extremist movements, the JBS believes that it possesses an Ultimate Final Truth (UFT) — and they are only interested in promoting their unique UFT — and they are totally disinterested and hostile toward any data (or person) which contradicts their viewpoints.

  10. March 18, 2012 at 07:01

    I would like to see a JBS counter-argument and I’m sure readers would too, just to make their own minds up. This side of them has clearly been very well stated. My immediate impression is that the definition of the blanket term “communist” seems to be an issue in much of this.

    For example, Jenner’s famous:

    “Today the path to total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people.

    We have a well-organized political action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state. It has a foothold within our Government, and its own propaganda apparatus.

    One may call this group by many names. Some people call it socialism, some collectivism. I prefer to call it ‘democratic centralism.’

    The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization. It is a dynamic, aggressive, elite corps, forcing its way through every opening, to make a breach for a collectivist one-party state. It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government without our suspecting the change is underway.

    This secret revolutionary corps understands well the power to influence the people by an elegant form of brainwashing. We see this, for example, in the innocent use of words like ‘democracy’ in place of ‘representative government.’ ”

    He saw it as an American phenomenon, originally mentioned by Wilson but it’s more international than that. Quigley also supported the general idea, as did Maurice Strong himself in interview and so did Muller in his writings.

    I find it very hard to get past this:

    “Feb. 9, 1950 – The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee introduces Senate Concurrent Resolution #66 which begins:

    “Whereas, in order to achieve universal peace and justice, the present Charter of the United Nations should be changed to provide a true world government constitution.”

    The resolution is introduced by Senator Glen Taylor (D-Idaho), who later states: “We would have to sacrifice considerable sovereignty to the world organization to enable them to levy taxes in their own right to support themselves.” “

    … or this:

    “1953 – Rowan Gaither, President of the Ford Foundation, tells a Congressional commission investigating tax-exempt foundations:

    “We at the executive level here were active in either the OSS [forerunner of the CIA], the State Department, or the European Economic Administration.

    During those times, and without exception, we operated under directives issued by the White House. We are continuing to be guided by just such directives, the substance of which were to the effect that we should make every effort to so alter life in the United States as to make possible a comfortable merger with the Soviet Union.” “

    … or this:

    “1975 – In Congress, 32 Senators and 92 Representatives sign “A Declaration of Interdependence,” which states that “we must join with others to bring forth a new world order…Narrow notions of national sovereignty must not be permitted to curtail that obligation.”

    Congresswoman Marjorie Holt refuses to sign the Declaration saying:

    “It calls for the surrender of our national sovereignty to international organizations. It declares that our economy should be regulated by international authorities. It proposes that we enter a ‘new world order’ that would redistribute the wealth created by the American people.” ”

    … or this:

    Adopted by Bush, Martin and Fox on March 23rd, 2005, as confirmed by the SPPNA themselves on their site.

    Now, I don’t know if Jenner or Holt were JBS or not but they certainly have the American focus which we don’t have. Then there is Mullins and McFadden. Nothing which has come to light since has debunked those two.

    The truth is surely somewhere in all the things which have been written on this page [post and comments].

  11. March 18, 2012 at 11:58

    The Rowan Gaither “quote” is a hoax and, in fact, there are different versions of the “quote” — which, incidentally, has only ONE source — i.e. Norman Dodd and even he waited until years after Gaither died before “revealing” the “quote”.

    Eustace Mullins was a chronic, habitual, pathological liar and a life-long racist and anti-semite. His autobiographical book, A Writ For Martyrs, will be discussed, at length, in the next edition of my Mullins report which is online. I will show how Mullins deliberately lied in “A Writ” to manipulate readers into believing the most favorable conclusions about himself and his friend, Max Nelsen.

    You are correct about one thing, however. The extreme right in the U.S. vastly expands the definition and application of the word “communist” to include anybody and anything they do not like. In 1961, Robert Welch declared that there were between 300,000 and 500,000 Communist Party members in the U.S. The actual correct number, based upon CPUSA membership data which the FBI obtained from moles inside the CPUSA and from dues payments calculations — was approx. 5600.

    It is fascinating to read JBS literature and see who they describe as “Communist” or “Comsymp”, or “Communist agent” — but, then, read transcripts of meetings of senior CPUSA officials (such as CPUSA National Executive Committee meetings) and discover what senior Communist Party officials said about those same individuals in their closed, secret meetings. The end-result is affirmation of the observation made by the great conservative intellectual, Russell Kirk:

    “Robert Welch…is remarkably ignorant of the nature of the Communist conspiracy which he denounces; and the sound of his own words has led him to the verge of what Burke called ‘metaphysical madness’. Ever since he founded his society he has done more to injure the cause of responsible conservatism than to act effectively against communism.”


    “Nothing could do more to discredit all conservatives than the violent language and unreal views regularly found in American Opinion. As several conservatively-inclined gentlemen have remarked to me…they would be sorely tempted to believe that the leaders of the Birch Society are agents of the Kremlin subtly working to discredit all opposition to Communism by reducing anti-Communism to absurdity. All Americans of a conservative bent should be warned against associating themselves with an organization which is totally ineffectual in resisting Communism and socialism.”

    OR as ex-Soviet spy Anatoly Granovsky pointed out:

    “The Soviet Communists would sacrifice a thousand American Communists to save the John Birch Society, for instance. I don’t mean the Birch Society is Communist-infiltrated. It doesn’t have to be. By discrediting prominent Americans, it confuses the population about whom to trust. In socializing Czechoslovakia…we did everything to divide the armed forces units trained by the British and the Americans by spreading rumors about officers until they were so thoroughly discredited their men would not obey them and they had to be removed.”

  12. March 18, 2012 at 12:42

    This is quite valuable and wouldn’t want you to disappear in high dudgeon without this talked out [not that I expect it will happen].

    I see what you zero in on, Ernie and you may well have a point there and I see what you quietly slip over. I’m not going to point to that but allow readers to make their own minds up.

    The Gaither quote – you’ve been pretty specific up to now so I’ll ask where it was conclusive that Gaither did not make the quote. I know you assert that and I’m not saying it’s not a hoax but any assertion like that needs backup in this discussion.

    Granovsky might also be right but so, it seems to me, was Bezmenov, by his lights and within the scope of his area he could speak on. People like Hanoi Jane did more damage than the Soviets could have hoped for.

    What of the skull and bones and Bohemian Grove stuff?

    What’s your view of betes noirs like Eric Foner who are pushing a socialist education model? How do you see Obama and Maurice Strong? In other words, I made an assumption about you being of the right but perhaps that is wrong. Where exactly are you placed on the political spectrum, Ernie?

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