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As Russell Kirk wrote in February 1962:
"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…Many members of the Birch Society, I think,…got into the Society without knowing Mr. Welch’s drift, and might have left some time ago, had they not disliked seeming to desert under fire. Already some of the original abler members have drifted away or become inactive. This leaves the Society in the hands of the fanatic fringe of course…"
26 years later, Herbert Philbrick (of "I Led Three Lives" fame) made a comparable observation when he wrote:
“Very early on I formed the opinion that sincere as he was, Bob Welch was ‘off the mark’ in his crusade. Rather than hitting – or even aiming at – ‘the bull’s eye’, his arrows were landing all around the circumference of the target. As with the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, I don’t think Bob ever really understood the communist mind; how a communist thinks. I never read anything of his suggesting a true understanding of dialectical materialism; and, as Chambers and many others have pointed out, if you don’t understand D.M., you cannot grasp the real meaning of Marxism-Leninism.”
And the list of prominent conservatives of every imaginable background who rejected the JBS or its assertions includes senior military officers, former FBI informants inside the CPUSA, major intellectuals and political activists, major conservative media publishers, and major conservative politicians who scored very high on the JBS "Conservative Index" or its subsequent "Freedom Index" etc.
June 1, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.
I am not bitter about the JBS and as I have stated repeatedly, I happen to AGREE WITH the JBS on a number of issues.
But, you my friend, are in EXTREME denial.
You cannot even acknowledge obvious facts -- including explicit statements repeatedly made by Welch in speeches and writings.
Furthermore (understandably) you never want to acknowledge or address all of the JBS members and JBS officials who have left the JBS -- often with BITTER attacks concerning their experiences inside the JBS!
I certainly did not make THAT up. In fact, two websites were created by very prominent Birchers (one by Alan Stang and one by Don Fotheringham -- both of whom were long-time JBS members) -- to document the massive exodus from the JBS by its disgusted members, local leaders, National Council members, and financial contributors!
Obviously, we cannot rely upon Bill for a factual and truthful account of JBS history and we certainly cannot rely upon the JBS itself!
For anybody who would like to see the scope of my FOIA requests during the past 32 years -- the following webpage presents an alpha listing of my requests.
As will become obvious from even the most cursory review of this list -- I have expended extraordinary time and effort (and money) to obtain not just FBI investigative files -- but also other critical material such as reports originating from our military intelligence agencies (G-2, ONI, OSI).
In many cases, the FBI told me I was the first and only person to request and receive those files.
I also have acquired what is probably the largest private collection in our country of correspondence by senior JBS officials--including, of course, by Robert Welch and by many National Council members.
By contrast, all that Bill can present (endlessly) is his personal cult-like clucking noises of adoration of everything Birch.
UNLIKE BILL -- I encourage everybody to STUDY JBS history -- and not just mindlessly accept whatever it says about itself -- which is ridiculous if you want to discover the truth.
Individual JBS members are often very fine, decent, honorable, and principled Americans --- but the actual history of the JBS, as an organization, is FILLED with appalling libels against virtually every major figure in U.S. history during the past 80 years.
THAT is why the JBS or its surrogates have lost libel lawsuits.
THAT is why most of the conservative anti-communist community rejected the JBS --- even persons who were personal friends and acquaintances of Robert Welch -- and even politicians or government officials whom Welch effusively praised!
June 1, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.
Bill -- surely you are not naive enough to believe ONLY the self-serving comments made for PR purposes by a highly ideological organization like the JBS?
The quotes I provided you were made by Robert Welch himself -- and he EXPLICITLY declared that a republican form of government or of organization was ONLY possible "under certain favorable conditions".
Those "favorable conditions" DID NOT EXIST in 1958 -- which is why Welch created the JBS as a monolithic organization where its members could NOT choose or change JBS leaders nor vote on policies to be adopted.
Why, therefore, is it so "crazy" to accept the JBS at its word?
Like all political extremist groups, the JBS has contempt for the American electorate. After all, according to the JBS, we keep electing and re-electing and honoring people who are "conspirators" and who are destroying our Constitution and our freedoms.
DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR THAT.
See the current issue of the JBS Freedom Index which reports that 60% of our Congress violates the Constitution by their voting behavior -- and that percentage has remained fairly constant (give or take 5-10%) since the first issue was produced.
Furthermore, if you go back and review the history of the Bolsheviks and of the Nazis -- BEFORE they achieved power -- you will discover that they promised "freedom" and they used many of the same buzzwords as the JBS -- BUT AFTER THEY HAD POWER -- they installed their dictatorships!
BY YOUR OWN WORDS, you want our previous Presidents impeached for TREASON!
BY YOUR OWN WORDS, you want certain people prevented from having political power, based upon YOUR flawed understanding of what is "Constitutional". What mechanism do you propose to implement that?
THAT is why Americans have ALWAYS recoiled in disgust at the JBS -- because we know, instinctively, that the JBS would eliminate our freedoms -- especially when JBS publications describe American heroes like MLK Jr. and Eisenhower as subversive Communist agents!
Eisenhower's approval ratings when he left office are STILL among the highest achieved by any President in our postwar history....but if it were up to Welch and the JBS, he would have been executed for TREASON!
I hope you continue to spout your absurdities so that Americans see the true face of the JBS.
I will continue to report accurately and truthfully about what is contained in the historical record about the JBS -- and the sources I will use include current and former JBS members plus JBS publications plus the very people and agencies which the JBS itself has recommended as indisputably authoritative and credible!
June 1, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
As Bill candidly acknowledges (and MANY Birchers share his opinion) the JBS wants a day of reckoning to commence whereby many Americans will be subject to trial, imprisonment or worse because their views don't conform to JBS dogma.
REMEMBER: The JBS thinks that most of our national leaders, government officials, and politicians over the past 80 years have been traitors and/or "agents" of a vast conspiracy.
AND: As JBS founder Robert Welch stated, it makes "no practical difference" to distinguish between an actual traitor, a Communist sympathizer, or a Communist "agent"!
That reveals everything you need to know about what the JBS would do if it ever achieved political power in our country.
Then remember the previous data I provided re: Robert Welch's grievously mistaken idea regarding the number of Communist Party members in our country.
Let me provide more of Welch's comment for context because it reveals something very important:
“…we believe that there are not more than 300,000 to 500,000 Communists in our country (or about ¼ of 1% of our population) and not more than a million allies, dupes, and sympathizers whom they can count on for any conscious support…” [JBS Bulletin, July 1961, page 14]
Thus, in total, Welch thought there were about 1.3 to 1.5 million Communists, Communist dupes, Communist sympathizers and Communist allies in the United States as of July 1961.
The FBI’s Security Index was designed to track all persons it considered actually or potentially dangerous to U.S. internal security. That Index included known and suspected Communist Party members plus Communist sympathizers, leaders in Communist fronts, and anyone whom the Bureau considered a potential security risk.
At the time Welch made his statement in July 1961, the FBI’s July 1961 Security Index report listed a total of 11,833 persons of which 9899 were in the “Communist” category--which included known or suspected Party members or sympathizers.
Thus, while Welch perceived more than a million Communist operatives or sympathizers or allies, the FBI concluded that only 9899 Americans were a potential security concern. [FBI HQ file 100-358086, serial #2939].
See my JBS Report for a more detailed discussion of the FBI Security Index criteria.
What Welch's comment tells us, however, is that more than one million Americans would have been at risk of losing their freedom if the JBS mentality had been predominant in our government.
And those one million plus would include many U.S. Presidents, Governors, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, state legislators, civil rights movement leaders, and numerous others identified by the JBS as "enemies" of our country.
BOTTOM-LINE FOR BILL:
If the JBS ever achieved power, it is CERTAIN that it would install a dictatorship -- because the "certain favorable conditions" (from the JBS perspective) HAVE NEVER EXISTED since the formation of the JBS in December 1958!
May 31, 2012 at 7:53 p.m.
PART TWO OF REPLY TO BILL:
According to the first AO Scoreboard the U.S. score was 20-40% under "Communist influence and control".
Lest you think that a 20-40% score represents insignificant “Communist influence and control” --- please remember the following:
In 1958, according to Welch, “a dedicated conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy” was in the U.S. Presidency, and Communist “tools” or “dupes” or "sympathizers" headed major U.S. government Departments such as Allen Dulles (CIA), Neil McElroy (Defense Department) and John Foster Dulles (State Department) and Earl Warren (U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice).
Thus, according to the JBS paradigm, as explained by Robert Welch in "The Politician" as well as in the annual Scoreboard issues of American Opinion magazine --- the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany and most NATO countries were already being led by Communist agents and sympathizers and the major institutions of western countries were dominated and controlled by equally disloyal individuals.
The reason why the JBS was created based upon a totalitarian model is precisely because Welch believed that the "certain favorable conditions" did NOT exist. And shortly after the JBS was founded he claimed that our government was already "literally in the hands of the Communists" -- which, of course, means the "certain favorable conditions" did not exist for government either
In 1960 the U.S. "communist influence and control” score had reached 40-60% and then in 1961 thru 1963 it was 50-70% and in 1964 it reached a staggering 60-80%.
Obviously, per the JBS, the "certain favorable conditions" which would permit a republican form of government simply DID NOT EXIST!
Now, combine all that data, with a list of all the U.S. politicians and public figures whom the JBS has described since the 1960's as Communist or Communist sympathizer or Communist agent -- plus re-visit the Welch position on ADA (and similar liberal groups), plus remember the JBS belief that most, if not all, of our Presidents since FDR have been traitors (which means the U.S. electorate cannot be trusted to elect the right candidates) AND THEN combine that data with the current edition of the JBS Freedom Index which tells us that our Congress IS NOT composed of people who understand our Constitution and they routinely violate their oath of office---then WHY should we expect the JBS to maintain a republican form of government TODAY when the "certain favorable conditions" STILL DO NOT EXIST?
May 31, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.
PART ONE IN REPLY TO BILL:
Bill wrote:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"...anybody who would seek to enslave other people through unconstitutional government can believe whatever they want but should be kept away from power or at least be prevented from instituting tyranny by the chains of the Constitution as that document requires and as the Founding Fathers intended."~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A VERY strong case can be made that the JBS, if it gained power in our country, would seek to enslave people plus imprison large numbers of Americans for "treason" or "un-American activities" or "subversion".
ALL political extremist groups (left wing or right wing) believe that there is always only ONE correct interpretation of controversial matters and only ONE correct public policy option to choose -- which, "coincidentally" ALWAYS conforms to their personal political/economic/social preferences!
Robert Welch EXPLICITLY stated in the JBS Blue Book (page 159), that:
"A republican form of government or of organization has many attractions and advantages under certain favorable conditions. But under less happy circumstances it lends itself too readily to infiltration, distortion, and disruption."
Because, (according to Welch), the "certain favorable conditions" were NOT in existence in December 1958, he proposed to create the JBS as a "monolithic" organization which "will operate under completely authoritative control at all levels" -- because, again quoting Welch, "democracy, of course, in government or organization, as the Greeks and Romans both found out, as as I believe every man in this room clearly recognizes -- democracy is merely a deceptive phrase, a weapon of demagoguery and a perennial fraud."
OK---so how did Welch quantify the supposed "unfavorable" conditions which existed in the U.S. in 1958 and thereafter?
This is very important because only then can we get an idea about when the JBS might think that the "FAVORABLE conditions" would exist to permit a republican form a government.
Consult the first edition of the “Scoreboard” issue of the JBS magazine, American Opinion (AO).
According to Welch, the Scoreboard issue was designed to estimate “the present degree of Communist influence or control over the economic and political affairs of almost all the nations of the world.”
May 31, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Incidentally, I let one of your comments pass without remarking on it:
NOBODY considers Lew Rockwell, or Jerome Corsi, or Alex Jones to be a "giant in the conservative movement".
If you polled 1000 people, I doubt that more than 2% would even recognize their names!
More importantly, none of them have contributed anything to our national debate -- unless you consider something like Corsi's birther arguments to be sensible and rational discussions??
But you DO raise an interesting question, namely:
HOW do we define/describe a "giant" within the conservative movement?
What qualities do they possess?
What effects do they have upon our national discussions and debates?
I would be happy to learn what you think constitutes the criteria for "giant" status --- whether in politics or anything else
May 31, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.
Phyllis Schlafly always denied being a JBS member -- although she lied.
However, like many people, she BRIEFLY was a member, but as soon as she discovered how absurd the JBS was -- she left in a hurry.
Ditto for JBS National Council members who terminated their relationship with the JBS.
May 31, 2012 at 5:44 p.m.
I know there is ZERO possibility of me changing your support for the JBS.
That is NOT even my goal.
I would be totally happy if JUST ONCE, a JBS member would acknowledge that my comments in my JBS Report are factually accurate and truthful.
In other words, for example, it would be extremely helpful for serious discussions if JBS members would acknowledge such things as:
(1) Yes, the JBS and its surrogates have lost numerous libel lawsuits
(2) Yes, many senior officials of the JBS (including Robert Welch) effusively praised J. Edgar Hoover's FBI as our nation's most knowledgeable, authoritative, and reliable source of factual data about the communist movement.
(3) Yes, FBI investigative files falsify most of the major premises and conclusions disseminated by the JBS.
(4) Yes, most of the most prominent figures in conservative movement history have rejected the JBS.
(5) Yes, even Mrs. Robert Welch (Marian Welch) terminated her membership -- and many very prominent JBS officials including National Council members and major financial contributors and JBS writers and speakers -- left the JBS often with caustic remarks about Welch and/or the internal procedures of the JBS
(6) Yes, even JBS-friendly politicians (such as Cong. Ron Paul) have never endorsed the crazy JBS predicates about major figures in our history like Martin Luther King Jr and Ronald Reagan. Nor have they endorsed the mean-spirited, hateful campaigns to impeach our Presidents for TREASON!
May 31, 2012 at 5:42 p.m.
Bill: Ezra Taft Benson was not a major figure in the conservative movement.
His writings and speeches were primarily concerned with religious issues.
Yes, he expressed support for Robert Welch and the Birch Society -- as did other people who well known. I can name many more of them than you can.
But nobody seriously consults the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture when they want to know factual information about internal security-related matters.
According to YOUR theory, ANYBODY who says ANYTHING positive about the JBS becomes a "major figure" in the conservative movement!
May 31, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.