THE INFLUENCE OF THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY ON FAR RIGHT POLITICS AND HOW IT BEGAN: (Part 2)
Just as Sarah Palin laid the groundwork for the fears of the far right concerning Barak Obama, Glenn Beck stirred the pot. And he did it by using the basis of the John Birch Society (JBS), the fanatical anti-Communist paranoia that colored everything the JBS espoused.
He immediately began playing on the idea that Obama was a Marxist, a Communist, a Nazi sympthizer, a Socialist, an imposter who had faked his birth certificate who really had not even been born in the United States. Because Obama pushed for the stimulus bill which, by the way, both the Republicans and the Democrats supported because America was clinging to the edge of the financial cliff by its toenails, he also painted him as a wasteful spendthrift who was going to spend our grandchildren and great grandchildren into eternal servitude. He did episode after episode on various conspiracy theories surrounding Obama.
Remember Robert Welch, the founder of the JBS, accused even Eisenhower, the allied general of World War II, of being a Communist sympathizer. If you study Welch's history, Welch accused Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower of being communist sympathizers and possibly Soviet agents of influence. He alleged that President Eisenhower was a "conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy", and that Eisenhower's brother Milton was the President's superior in the communist apparatus. President Eisenhower never responded publicly to Welch's claims.
Welch went further in a book titled The Politician, written in 1956 privately printed, rather than by the JBS, for Welch in 1963. It was his personal fact finding mission and was not part of the materials or the beliefs of the JBS. He said also that President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in advance, but said nothing because he wanted to get his country in the war. This, by the way, is a view, a great many right wing advocates believe today. It originated with Welch.
The book spawned much debate in the 1960s over whether the author really intended to call Eisenhower a Communist. G. Edward Griffin, a friend of Welch, claims that he meant collectivist, not communist. The charge's sensationalism led many conservatives and Republicans to shy away from the group. That included Robert S. Buckley, editor of the National Review and a leader of the Conservative movement, who began condeming Welch.
"Wherever he looked, Welch saw Communist forces manipulating American economic and foreign policy on behalf of totalitarianism. But within the United States, he believed, the subversion had actually begun years before the Bolshevik Revolution.
Conflating modern liberalism and totalitarianism, Welch described government as 'always and inevitably an enemy of individual freedom.' Consequently, he charged, the Progressive era, which expanded the federal government's role in curbing social and economic ills, was a dire period in our history, and Woodrow Wilson 'more than any other one man started this nation on its present road to totalitarianism' ... In the 1960's, Welch became convinced that even the Communist movement was but 'a tool of the total conspiracy.'
This master conspiracy, he said, had forerunners in ancient Sparta, and sprang fully to life in the 18th century, in the 'uniformly Satanic creed and program' of the Bavarian Illuminati. Run by those he called 'the Insiders,' the conspiracy resided chiefly in international families of financiers, such as the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, government agencies like the Federal Reserve System and the Internal Revenue Service, and nongovernmental organizations like the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission."
— Sean Wilentz, Princeton University historian, October 2010 
Welch also strongly opposed the United Nations, labor unions, and the Federal Reserve.
On the Federal Reserve, the JBS still holds to this view: "The powers of Congress are described in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and the creation of a central bank like the Federal Reserve is not listed as one of those powers. The Federal Reserve is charged with protecting the value of the dollar through managing our nation's monetary policy. However, since its inception in 1913, the dollar has lost 95 percent of its value under the Federal Reserve's monetary oversight. The John Birch Society advocates abolishing the Federal Reserve(https://www.jbs.org/issues-pages/federal-reserve). Of course, when one factors in inflation, that is a completely erroneous statement.
One of the first campaigns of The John Birch Society was to get the U.S. out of the United Nations. They saw the United Nations as a vehicle of those intent on establishing a socialistic global government stating, "The global power elites view the UN as their main vehicle for establishing, step by step, a socialistic global government controlled by themselves"(https://www.jbs.org/issues-pages/united-nations).
The Right to Work movement is intertwined with the ultraconservative John Birch Society, and has been since the JBS was founded in 1958. This is significant because the John Birch Society, once shunned by Republicans, is now at the center of the ultraconservative revolt that has pulled the GOP far to the political Right. Right-Wing demagogues such as Glenn Beck pluck many of their lurid conspiracy theories from the pages of JBS literature, which warns of collectivist conspiracies to control the government and manipulate the money supply.
Current conspiracy material from the John Birch Society, circa 2011
The "conspiratorial critique was begun in earnest” by the John Birch Society in the early 1960s. In 1962 the JBS published None Dare Call it Conspiracy, which “identified the CFR as pro-communist.”
The National Right to Work Committee shares numerous affinities with the John Birch Society, and both are mainstays of ultraconservative organizing stretching back into the 1950s. Edwin S. Dillard was the National Right to Work Committee’s first chairman back in 1955, and he became an endorser of the John Birch Society after it was founded in 1959.
In 1966 one of the National Right to Work Committee’s board of directors was listed as “homemaker” Mrs. Kennedy Smith. Mary Smith was also the vice president of Ben Venue Laboratories, with $16 million in annual sales. Her husband was chairman and president of Ben Venue Laboratories. Mary Smith was an activist in the John Birch Society, and a national committee member of the Movement to Restore Decency (MOTOREDE), established by JBS leader Robert Welch to “prevent the further corruption of American morals and manners by the evil forces of a clandestine revolution.”
MOTOREDE called public school sex education programs “part of the overall Communist design.” MOTOREDE also sought to block reproductive rights.
The collaborative relationship between the National Right to Work Committee and the JBS continued at least through the 1970s. For example, Reed Larson and other figures affiliated with the NRTWC were guests on the weekly Manion Forum radio program hosted by Clarence Manion, a member of the National Council of the JBS.
Why does this matter? Because the Birch Society was a group designed to pull ultraconservatives even further to the political right and into the realm of conspiracy theories.
The Birch Society blended Christian Right, business nationalist, and libertarian themes, gluing them together with allegations of vast conspiracies of powerful secret elites in league with communists. Among the subversive plotters targeted by Birch publications were politicians, bankers, corporate executives, journalists, academics, and, unsurprisingly, labor union leaders.
Author David A. Neobel, who worked closely with the John Birch Society, issued numerous books on the alleged communist conspiracy(https://www.organizedwealth.us/union-busting/larson-birch.html).
(To Be Continued)
Some material quoted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Welch,_Jr.
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