Skip to comments.The "New" John Birch Society
Posted on 11/23/2013 3:19:50 AM PST by defeat_the_dem_igods
Conner contends that today's tea party is the modern-day rebirth of the John Birch Society. They share a worldview, she says. The same paranoid distrust of government. The same desire to protect the rich. The same cruel streak that blames the poor for their poverty and seeks to deny government help on that basis. The same willingness to believe all manner of bizarre claims against political leaders they don't like.
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
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. The following report presents a representative sample of such comments.
Critics have included such prominent conservative Americans such as:
Sen. Barry Goldwater, Cong. Walter Judd, Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Russell Kirk, Eugene Lyons, Willmoore Kendall, James Burnham, Robert Bork, J. Edgar Hoover, Herbert Philbrick, Frank S. Meyer, Cong. Gordon H. Scherer, William F. Buckley Jr., Patrick Buchanan, Fred Schwarz, Lee Edwards, the editors of the conservative newspaper, Human Events, George Sokolsky, Roy Cohn, Anthony Bouscaren, plus even many former Birchers such as: Alan Stang, Gary Allen, Milorad Draskovich, John Rees, William Norman Grigg, Mrs. Robert Welch -— and many many more.
“I’m a faithful follower of Brother John Birch
And I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church.
And I ain’t even got a garage, you can call home and ask my wife!”
I should add that the ultimate issue is simply whether or not the Birch Society has been, over the past 55 years, a reliable source of factual information.
1. If the answer is “yes” — then we should all be interested in what they have to say.
2. If the answer is “no” — then believing their FALSE information can only have profoundly adverse effects upon our national discourse and decision-making.
3. ALL political extremist organizations attempt to seduce ordinary Americans into their ranks. Often they use buzzwords which they know are appealing to most Americans....but the key point remains that one must understand the underlying predicates which motivate those organizations i.e. what ideas inform their judgments?
4. The Birch Society is incorporated as an “educational organization” and it has always described itself as “an army fighting with facts.”.
OK — WHAT TYPE OF EDUCATION IS THE JBS PRESENTING?
That is the operative question which everyone must answer:
According to one JBS article, their “overall goal has always been to create sufficient understanding amongst the American people about both their country and its enemies, so that they could protect freedom and ensure continuation of the nation’s independence.”
Should we not be concerned about what conclusions the JBS wants us to accept as part of their “education”?
Here is a brief summary, presented in question form:
1. Do you believe that Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower were both Communist traitors?
2. Do you believe that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated because he had “fallen behind the Communist timetable” for our destruction AND he planned to “turn American”?
3. Do you believe that our civil rights movement was “Communist-plotted, Communist-controlled, and in fact...serves only Communist purposes.” ?
4. Do you believe that the Ku Klux Klan was also run by Communists?
5. Do you believe that prominent U.S. Senators in our history like Hubert Humphrey (MN), Estes Kefauver (TN), John Kennedy (MA), Wayne Morse (OR), Stephen Young (OH) , Clifford Case (NJ) were NOT “just liberals” — but, instead,
“Every one of those men is either an actual Communist or so completely a Communist sympathizer or agent that it makes no practical difference...”
6. Do you believe that in July 1961 (and thereafter) there were 300,000 to 500,000 members of the Communist Party in the United States? And another million+ sympathizers and allies?
7. Do you believe that Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York was a Communist?
8. Do you believe that President Charles DeGaulle of France was a Communist?
9. Do you believe that Gov. Orval Faubus of Arkansas was a Communist?
10. Do you believe that Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton should have been impeached for TREASON?
11. Do you believe that...
“The history of the socialist movement in the U.S. is one of advocating mandatory public education. Recall that it is the tenth step toward communizing any country outlined by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto The aim of the Conspiracy has always been to break down the old social order and replace it with the anti-God system of socialism. Kindergarten was part of the breakdown of the old social order and it included that indoctrination of children at an ever-younger age away from their parents.” ??
12. Do you believe that during the mid-1960’s, our nation was 60-80% under “Communist influence and control”??
13. Do you believe that ...”democracy, of course, in government or organization, as the Greeks and Romans both found out...democracy is merely a deceptive phrase, a weapon of demagoguery and a perennial fraud.” ??
14. Do you believe that a life-long Ku Klux Klan-supported racist politician such as former U.S. Senator James O. Eastland of MS — is the type of politician who genuinely understood our Constitution and he correctly represented its values by his votes in the U.S. Senate? [According to the JBS score of Eastland on its Conservative Index (now called Freedom Index) — Eastland scored 96%.]
If you answer YES to all or most of those questions -— then you will enjoy attending a JBS-sponsored meeting.
If you answer NO to all or most of those questions — then you would not be welcome in the Birch Society — because that is what they believe.
If the 50 year-old 'shiny new face' of the JBS provokes thought and gets people to realize that much of what is happening with their government is unConstitutional, so much the better.
In the last few decades, the FBI has covered the government's butt on everything from the WTC bombing (their informant showed them how to mix the explosive), to Waco, to flight 800, not to mention a host of illegal activities conducted by this administration.
As for the Civil Rights movement, I lived it. I was there, I saw and heard, I was attacked on occasion by virtue of the color of my skin, I fought. Don't quote some sanitized bureaucratic report at me, I am my source--I have firsthand knowledge.
So don't waste any more of my time.
You confirm my point, probably without realizing it.
A CPUSA sympathizer (or fellow-traveler) was also listed along with anybody who had the resources or potential to impact our national security in time of national emergency (such as through sabotage or espionage).
That definition, as I pointed out, omits many people who support Marxism, and whose goal is a socialist state. To avoid upsetting you I won't use the term "Communist" even though many of those people use that term to describe themselves. The FBI, correctly, omitted people it did not consider national security risks, thereby omitting from its definition the people who believe in and espouse a socialist state, but weren't likely to resort to illegal means to further their goal.
Sixty years later, the overwhelming majority of people discussing the influence of leftists in the politics of our nation are speaking about the people whose goal is a socialist state who were not the narrow and specific group of people the FBI was concerned about. And, in case you didn't notice, they aren't talking about agents of the former Soviet Union either.
You can totally ignore the FBI if you want. I cite them because the Birch Society has always recommended Hoover’s FBI as INDISPUTABLY knowledgeable and authoritative.
You can, instead, review the evaluations of Robert Welch and the JBS which have been made by giants within the postwar conservative movement. Perhaps in YOUR scheme of things it makes utterly no difference that virtually the entire conservative movement has REJECTED the JBS as “extremist” and irresponsible (just like the FBI)>
OR—you can review the comments made by former JBS members including some very prominent chapter leaders, section leaders, Coordinators, and National Council members who resigned from the JBS. Even Mrs. Robert Welch resigned from the JBS because of how the new leadership (after her husband’s death) savaged President Ronald Reagan in the pages of the JBS magazine, The New American.
MORRIS DEES: I have no clue why you bring up his name. I have no connection of any kind whatsoever to him nor do I care what he thinks or writes. Apparently, in your scheme of things, presenting straw-men arguments is how you use “reason” to make your best case?
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: I was there too. I lived it. I saw it. If you do not want to believe FBI investigative files which contain verbatim transcripts of closed secret CPUSA meetings (which is certainly odd since you claim to be interested in historical accuracy), you can, instead, consider the following comments made by JBS members:
1. George Schuyler — the famous African American conservative columnist and author wrote:
The White Citizens Council which has branches or cells everywhere, controls by terror such states as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and to a lesser extent, Virginia It has defied and disrupted the operation of the laws of the land. It has used threats and vicious economic reprisals It has become a legal arm of Mississippis Government. [4/22/61 Schuyler column in Pittsburgh PA Courier]
And what, exactly, did groups like the JBS propose as their remedy to such a grave situation?
Instead the JBS suggested that we just let the politicians, local communities, and government instrumentalities responsible for creating, defending, and implementing the terror, threats, intimidation, economic reprisals, continue business as usual IN PERPETUITY.
2. Rev. Delmar Dennis — a JBS member who infiltrated the most violent Klan in our nation’s history for the FBI (White Knights of the KKK of Mississippi). Rev. Dennis helped convict many Klan members for their criminal acts.
Delmar Dennis’s comment:
The Klan in Mississippi has completely infiltrated every phase of the legal, political, social and economic system in Mississippi. The membership in the Klan ranges from common laborers and criminals, to judges, lawyers, doctors and political leaders. While they may not be active members, they are secret members who use their influence to further Klan efforts and aid Klan activities, for example, it is generally known in Klan circles that supervisors who pick juries use their influence to get Klan members on the jury panel.
So while people like YOU are exercised over the largely MYTHICAL “Communist” influence within our civil rights movement, Rev. Dennis saw (and participated in) the actual everyday workings of southern society. He was a product of his small town values and environment and he accepted the premise that blacks were morally and intellectually inferior beings who should be segregated from whites.
Unfortunately, the Birch Society interpreted the problem in our southern states as entirely abstract ideas about the nature of our political system instead of understanding the real-world consequences to living human beings of the Jim Crow system.
As a result, the JBS totally ignored, de-valued, trivialized, or facilitated the daily injustices and crimes often committed (or condoned) by the very people in southern communities whom had the responsibility for translating abstract principles into reality. These were the folks who made states rights and the words life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness into a cruel joke for African Americans.
So don’t waste anybody’s time with your personal anecdotes and selective amnesia.
What is your point? Is it your position that our internal security agencies should have listed as subversive anybody whose political views offend you?
There are many people who accept some portion of Marx’s analysis of capitalist societies and (as you point out) those folks often had no interest whatsoever in violent revolution nor did they propose or condone illegal activities to achieve their goals.
So what is your point? You want them stigmatized in some fashion — just because you disagree with their political or economic views?
And just for your information, the FBI did track such individuals — but in different ways. While a non-violent democratic socialist would not be listed on the FBI’s Security Index (and thus be subject to apprehension during time of national emergency), there was another Index used by the FBI (the Reserve Index).
The Reserve Index was devised as a separate listing to keep tabs on individuals whom the Bureau thought might work against the interests of the government (which was never clearly defined!) -— but they were NOT considered CP members or sympathizers or likely to engage in any violent or illegal acts.
However, because of their prominence, and/or their presumed ability to influence large numbers of Americans through their writings, speeches, financial contributions etc., they were considered potentially “dangerous” to U.S. security. [MLK Jr. and Norman Mailer were on the Reserve Index.]
I suppose that makes you happy because you think government bureaucrats should be the final arbiter of who is or isn’t considered “subversive” or “un-American” or what ideas or policy proposals in a free society should be verboten??
LEFTISTS IN POLITICS:
Is YOUR concern focused exclusively upon “leftists in politics”?
What do YOU propose be done about “leftists in politics”?
Who decides what constitutes a “leftist” idea or proposal?
Are you proposing yourself as the final arbiter of what is or should be permissible within our political discourse and decision-making?
Turns out the JBS was right in everything they said.
Obviously a new canard, compare the Tea Party to the discredited JBS, who the communist media destroyed in the early sixties.
Incidentally, I am not “stuck” in the late 40’s or 50’s. I was discussing the historical record which the JBS asks people TODAY to believe.
Almost every issue of the CURRENT editions of the monthly JBS Bulletin quotes verbatim excerpts from their 1950’s and 1960’s publications because the JBS wants folks to understand and accept what they consider to be the indisputable continuity and accuracy of their judgments over the past 50+ years.
For example: in 2002, the Birch Society published a new edition of Robert Welch’s 1954 “private letter” manuscript entitled “The Politician”.
The JBS describes the 2002 edition on the back cover as “perhaps the most devastating expose of the last century” because it “tells the bitter, but little known, truth” about our postwar history (specifically the Eisenhower years).
Among the “truths” which the JBS wants everyone to read and believe from that book is that President Eisenhower and most other prominent American politicians and government officials during the 20th century have been traitors or “agents” of a criminal conspiracy.
And to bring this message into contemporary history, the back cover states:
“But most importantly The Politician exposes that ‘conspiracy of gangsters’ which even now is setting America’s foreign and domestic policy.”
The “conspiracy of gangsters” is put in quotation marks because it refers to a specific comment made by Robert Welch in The Politician (page 260 of the new 2002 edition) where Welch describes President Eisenhower as an enemy of our country who “is either a willing agent, or an integral and important part, of a conspiracy of gangsters determined to rule the world at any cost.”
And, remember, according to the JBS this grave situation continues to exist even now because a conspiracy of gangsters is setting Americas foreign and domestic policy.
So if anybody is “stuck in the late 1940’s and 50s” — the JBS certainly qualifies! It publishes, reprints, sells, and/or recommends NUMEROUS publications which were originally authored 50-60 or more years ago!
BUT — ONE WORD OF CAUTION! Because this will probably upset you (and Smokin Joe!)
JBS publications OFTEN recommend and quote from FBI publications. In addition, the JBS frequently quotes testimony by J. Edgar Hoover and/or his top subordinates before legislative committees and the JBS quotes from their speeches before various groups.
Unlike yourself, the JBS does not have a problem with “relying on definitions and cases” from the 1940’s and 1950’s. In fact, during the 1970’s the JBS published a 4-volume series of books entitled “Biographical Dictionary of the Left”. Virtually every prominent left-wing person and organization in our nation is described by the JBS in terms calculated to evoke suspicion, contempt, disgust, and revulsion. It probably would appeal to you.
How do you define “right in everything they said”?
If the JBS says “x” is true but their recommended sources state “x” is false — then why do you believe the JBS is “right”?
Apparently, you think the JBS is infallible? Then perhaps you can explain why the JBS (and its surrogates) have lost so many libel lawsuits?
There are similarities between the Tea Party and the JBS but they are not identical and, in many cases, they have irreconcilable viewpoints.
Significantly, the JBS scores all members of Congress in its “Freedom Index” (previously known as “Conservative Index”). There are Tea Party conservatives about whom the JBS gives very poor scores.
In addition, the current CEO of the JBS (Art Thompson) has previously written articles which excoriated Tea Party favorites such as Sarah Plain and Cong. Paul Ryan.
Really? Morris of the SPLC? You have no clue?
Since the Clinton administration Morris' bunch have had the ear of the FedGov telling them who is and who isn't a terrorist--like the 'bitter clingers' who believe in the bible and the 2nd Amendment. You should get out more. They may be full of it, but they are relevant, simply because they help define who gets snooped and who doesn't. While they include a few leftist groups, their bias is blatantly anti-conservative (well, anti-Constitutional).
As far as my personal anecdotes go, I trust them far more than any sanitized retrospective. I lived it.
If you won't hear the words of a witness, there is no point in continuing this conversation.
Completely. Fewer mistakes than God.
Then perhaps you can explain why the JBS (and its surrogates) have lost so many libel lawsuits?
MORRIS DEES: So what is your point? I have no connection to him and he does not decide who is or isn’t a “terrorist”. Our government has entire sections or units of government agencies that focus upon such matters.
PERSONAL ANECDOTES: As long as you realize that anecdotal evidence is the least reliable — then there is no problem.
BY DEFINITION, anecdotal means “not necessarily true or reliable, because based upon personal accounts rather than facts or research.” For example: if you collected “anecdotal” evidence only from people whose views conform to your own-—then, obviously, you would re-inforce everything you already believe but the basic predicates which inform your thinking could easily be mistaken. This is just a basic principle of logic — not something I just made up.
With respect to your comment about hearing the words of a “witness” — I suggest you review the literature on the problems typically encountered with “eyewitness testimony”.
For example, see:
Basically, witnesses provide unverified RAW information. Such information may be fragmentary, exaggerated, ambiguous, contradictory, false, biased, partially true, or speculative — which is why it must be evaluated, weighed for importance and compared to other information provided by other sources.
DOMESTIC TERRORISM: It is simply factual that most of the VIOLENT criminal incidents which have occurred in the U.S. during the past 10-20 years have been motivated by RIGHT-WING ideology...including (for example), various “sovereign citizen” types who have shot at, wounded or killed police officers as well as a variety of hate-the-government fanatics — including Posse Comitatus and similar adherents.
“Bias” is when you deliberately SELECT one group (or category) over another for attention even though both have committed the same acts. It WOULD be “bias” (for example), if 75% of anti-government illegal activities were committed by right-wing partisans but the government chose to focus its attention primarily upon left-wing individuals and groups. Similarly, if 85% or more of crime is committed by individuals 18-30 years of age, it would be “bias” if our law enforcement community concentrated most of its resources on prosecuting people 50 or older.
Sorry - I don’t understand your comments or your logic.
There are different standards of evidence for discovery of truth.
If you deliberately choose the lowest standards, then, obviously you are dumbing-down criteria so that the most unreliable evidence becomes elevated to cosmic truth.
LIBEL LAWSUITS: I guess your point is that juries are incapable of following evidence, making informed decisions, and then following court instructions with respect to defamation lawsuits.
It is significant that you have such contempt for decisions made in a courtroom environment since the standards of “proof” are so much higher there. Rumors, gossip, circular arguments, prejudice, hearsay, etc. are not permissible — which is probably why you are so contemptuous of libel cases which JBS members have lost.
STOP BEING LIBERAL!!!1!!1!!1111
Sorry to disappoint you but I am not “liberal”. The person whose views are most compatible with my own (domestic and foreign policies) is Pat Buchanan. This merely proves how your biases prevent you from perceiving reality correctly.
You need rest.
Is it your position that our internal security agencies should have listed as subversive anybody whose political views offend you?
Of course not, that's a fiction of your imagination.
I suppose that makes you happy because you think government bureaucrats should be the final arbiter of who is or isnt considered subversive or un-American or what ideas or policy proposals in a free society should be verboten??
I have never suggested any such thing, nor would I ever approve of such a wacky idea. You however, thought it and wrote it, projecting your idea onto me.
Is YOUR concern focused exclusively upon leftists in politics?
Not at all, but being this is a forum for conservatives to discuss political issues, the topic of "leftists in politics" has been known to come up from time to time.
What do YOU propose be done about leftists in politics?
I believe that educating the public about freedom and free markets and the ideas of the founders of our nation, and the cultivation of worthy candidates will lead to a rejection of the bad ideas espoused by the left, and the defeat of "leftists in politics" at the ballot box. That's what I try to do.
Who decides what constitutes a leftist idea or proposal?
Whoever is making the distinction, we have a free market for ideas.
Are you proposing yourself as the final arbiter of what is or should be permissible within our political discourse and decision-making?
Of course not. That statement is another strange fiction you have generated.
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