Jump to content
The Education Forum

Recommended Posts

Within the past week or so, several John Birch Society members have been posting messages all over the internet in response to an opinion columnist's article published in the Washington Post newspaper by Marc A. Thiessen (link below) and reprinted in many other papers nationwide.   


Mr. Thiessen's "crime" from the standpoint of the Birchers was his comment that:

"Both the left and the right have a responsibility to police their own movements. In the 1960s, William F. Buckley excommunicated the John Birch Society, widely believed then to be anti-Semitic and a proponent of nutty conspiracy theories, from the respectable right, and today, conservatives have a responsibility to do the same with the white nationalists of the alt-right."

The responses by JBS members were uniformly hostile and abusive toward Thiessen and the Post and they accused Thiessen of lying.  For example, one Bircher replied as follows:

"This false attack on the John Birch Society is disgraceful and totally untrue. The JBS has had Jews on its national council since day 1 and it always has expelled anti-Semites. When the state of California investigated the allegation they said: 'At any rate, our investigations have disclosed no evidence of anti-Semitism on the part of anyone connected with the John Birch Society in California, and much evidence to the effect that it opposes racism in all forms.' So now that that lie is exposed, let's turn to William Buckley, the "excommunicator." In his magazine, he wrote that whites whom he called the "advanced race" were doing the right thing by denying voting rights to blacks whom Buckley said were backward and uncivilized. Also Theissen's "American Enterprise Institute" employs a man designated by the SPLC as a 'white nationalist.' C'mon Denver Post, what's wrong with you? You should delete this ridiculous post and apologize for printing the lies of a racist loon."

There are so many misrepresentations and historical falsehoods contained in these Bircher replies that I have responded at length to their claims.  However, the most compelling counter-evidence comes from several former JBS members who had specific first-hand knowledge about a controversy over remarks made by former JBS President John McManus before Catholic organizations.  I have posted some of that material online on Internet Archive (links below) for anybody who wants to pursue this subject:

John Birch Society CEO Vance Smith letter re: anti-semitic speeches by John McManus:

John Birch Society CEO Art Thompson Audio Re John McManus
07-25-06 Wayne Rickert Reply To David Eisenberg Re McManus
1963 Report--Calif Senate Factfinding Subcommittee On Un American Activities (pages 1-61 on JBS)
1965 Calif Senate Factfinding Subcommittee Report on John Birch Society (which reported "a dangerous increase" in anti-Semitism within the JBS.


Edited by Ernie Lazar

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, H.L Arledge said:

I recently finished reading a book on this subject, written by a young lady who grew up with JBS leaders as parents in the '60s. Fascinating read.



Yes, Claire's book gives a very good idea of what it is like to live in a very dark ideological environment.  She mentions me in her book because I sent her some information which she wanted.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my reading today, I came away believing the Goldwater would have been embraced by the JBS, and, likewise Goldwater would have embraced the JBS if they could have backed away from claims similar to the "Eisenhower is a Communist" claims.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now