Ignorance Is Bliss

by Arthur R. Thompson, CEO

Where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise. 
              — 18th Century poet Thomas Gray

Ignorance is bliss.

But it is still ignorance.

And if ignorance prevails, bliss will not only cease; it will be replaced by agony for billions. The conspiracy that seeks to rule mankind with an iron hand will have reached its goal and the once-blissful billions will wonder what happened.

Essentially, ignorance means a lack of understanding. It manifests itself at the ballot box, in a variety of everyday choices, or when poor solutions to problems are embraced. It often brings on deep regret.

I have spent more than 40 years studying history in libraries all across America, which anyone can do, but few individuals are able (because of time constraints) or willing (because they are blissfully unaware) to devote time to overcome the ignorance that our enemies count on.

I have often scarred my tongue from biting it when I hear people speaking about some history they obtained from a questionable book, or from some element of the mass media.

It is very disconcerting, for instance, to hear leaders of the so-called conservative movement demonstrating how little history they understand or how few facts they actually possess. Some of these people are allied with us in some aspect of the fight for freedom. These are leaders we have to keep close to us because if we don’t, they will be led astray by clever individuals thought to be real friends. Without a solid understanding, they will ultimately be used by the very conspiracy we fight, especially when they adopt solutions offered by the conspiracy. They will lead other concerned fellow citizens to endorse dangerous alternatives. As a result, good people who look to them for leadership will waste time and even become counter-productive. They will also become alienated from working with our members because they see our Society at odds with them on key issues and the truly effective way to deal with them.

Without a sound grasp of history, it is often difficult to recognize a false solution when it is offered. The prime example of a false solution at the moment is a constitutional convention, or Con-Con. Recent events have demonstrated once again that good people can be buffaloed into supporting something fraught with danger.

Our friends don’t seem to realize that the Constitution they admire and advocate can be destroyed by a false solution supposedly aimed at dealing with government spending and inevitable deficits. Expecting politicians who already don’t pay attention to the Constitution to honor a revised constitution or an entirely new constitution is expecting something that won’t happen. Most political leaders will pay no more attention to a new amendment or a rewritten constitution produced by a Con-Con than they honor their oath to abide by the present Constitution.

We’re very grateful for the many Society members who have been holding the line before various state legislatures where the potential for a Con-Con has been introduced. We have lost a few battles, the fight is not yet over, but we have won enough to be able to state that, as of this writing, we have once again been the primary force in saving the Constitution from being placed in the hands of unknown forces in a Con-Con.

This particular issue tells us once more that you can never trust politicians, even the good ones, particularly when it comes to the solutions that are offered. Many of them are excellent when it comes to recognizing problems but they are almost always short on real solutions. Most people fit the same pattern.

Sometimes, politicians realize what must be done but are reluctant to take the needed political steps for fear of losing their office. This can happen when there is ignorance among the constituents. If those who voted for the office holder don’t have sufficient understanding of existing problems, and especially if the person they voted for isn’t willing to adopt solutions that might destroy his or her comfort zone, then the needed solution will not be adopted.

On many occasions, Society Founder Robert Welch suggested that a candidate for any office must run an educational campaign. The process he advocated would always help to build an informed electorate. If the candidate failed to get elected, at least a foundation for solid political activity in the future would have been built, not only for a candidate but in dealing with whatever issues might arise.

If the candidate lost the election, it would be safe to conclude that the people in his district were not yet ready to be represented by someone who adheres to the Constitution. If he or she wins without having created needed understanding, the victory will likely have resulted from extraneous factors. Then, without a sufficiently educated electorate, a strict constitutionalist will find it very difficult to be reelected.

Obviously, if enough pains are taken to bring awareness to the electorate, voters will send a hard-core constitutionalist to Congress, and re-send him or her again and again. The most important point to remember is that no real solution is possible without an informed electorate in a representative and free system of government. No solution! An uninformed electorate may elect good people as the result of a backlash of public sentiment, as happened in some districts in 2010. But are they ready to implement the real solutions necessary for good government?

Good government results when people accept the responsibility for their actions, their livelihood, their families, their communities, etc. They either do this or they will not live in a free society. Once they become irresponsibly dependent on the government, they will lose their freedom.

Looking at Con-Con History
There have been two constitutional conventions in American history. What? Many are aware of the one that occurred in 1787. But most either tend to forget or never knew in the first place that, after the Southern states seceded, the Confederate government had a Con-Con. What occurred in the few years of the Confederacy’s existence is just as much a part of our nation’s heritage as what our nation’s government has done since its founding.

The first Con-Con was conducted behind closed doors. No one knows for sure what the exact proceedings were. Except for the detailed notes taken by a few, including James Madison, we would have little knowledge of what happened.

Years later, some wanted the Confederacy’s Con-Con to be recorded and even conducted in open session. This was voted down. The Southern citizens didn’t know what occurred at that Con-Con any more than the people in 1787 knew what had happened behind those other closed doors prior to the results becoming known.

The secrecy surrounding the original Con-Con prompted the famous incident that saw a woman approach Benjamin Franklin as he was leaving the Convention Hall to ask him, “What have you given us, Sir?” His famous reply was, “A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
Just because a good set of government laws was produced by both conventions is no guarantee that equally good laws will be passed by a future, secretive Con-Con.

This is particularly true when we don’t have the constitutional scholars who would be needed at such a convention. We could go into many other arguments against a Con-Con, but The New American magazine and researchers such as our own Larry Greenley and Joe Wolverton have done fine work refuting the whole idea of a modern convention. This information can all be accessed on our website at (See also the “TNA Update” column in this Bulletin, page six, for information on our latest two articles warning against the Con-Con threat.)

Nullification and the United Nations
Solutions to other problems that are proper can be manipulated by judo moves to further the conspiracy’s agenda rather than ours. Nullification comes to mind.

We heartily support the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. After all, it is part of the “Supreme Law of the Land.” In addition to limiting the federal government, it actually forms the basis for nullification of onerous federal laws and unconstitutional mandates.

But we are also seeing the 10th Amendment ignored when mandates come from another source, such as the United Nations. As long as we remain members of the “House that Hiss built,” we are subject to being told what to do by a growing world government rather than by our own federal government. This is occurring with increasing frequency as portions of the UN’s Agenda 21 program are taking hold.

Local and state governments dominated either by socialist politicians or well-intentioned but ignorant office holders are implementing a governmental program more in line with the UN’s desires than with adherence to the American way. The UN is an alien system dominated by a majority of totalitarian states. Even the UN nations that are not totalitarian can’t be counted on to be friendly toward the United States and the American people.

This UN initiative involves pressure from below by do-gooders and others as part of a pincers movement whereby local governments turn away from representing their citizens and become an arm of international socialism. Meanwhile, the federal government — in league with the UN — is imposing international regulations from above at the same time. Pressure from below and pressure from above is occurring. You and your freedom lose.

Nullification is not the only solution. A far better course includes working to “Get US out! of the United Nations.” It also involves creating awareness amongst fellow citizens who don’t have a clue about what is meant by the term nullification.

Used in the past, the process of nullification has attempted to stop the federal government from gaining unconstitutional power. The most celebrated attempt saw South Carolina oppose a federal tariff that its leaders felt punished the state. They tried to nullify the law, while a few tried to instigate a rebellion.

This gave the excuse for President Andrew Jackson to threaten to send federal troops into the state to put down the uprising. Certain individuals went far beyond the wishes of the people who simply sought to overturn what they perceived to be a bad law. Even then, cries were heard to convert the unrest into a secession movement.

Thus it is with any legitimate grievance. There will always be some who will use the grievance as an excuse to perform their own judo movement and elevate the matter into something to serve the conspiracy’s aims. Hotheads will appear and quickly create a countering storm calling for nullification. The public will be told that the very idea of nullification is also extreme and the hotheads will serve as an example that it is indeed extreme. In the end, getting enough people to understand the basic issue will become difficult because the advocates of nullification have already been painted as extreme and duly rejected by reasonable people.

Awareness of Fundamentals Essential
Getting back to our discussion about the pitfalls that result from ignorance, we see various movements that are built on young, enthusiastic people whose hearts are in the right place, but who are victims of their poor government education. They may have broken through the bonds of that education to the extent that they realize something better is possible, something more beneficial to themselves and their nation, by returning to what our country’s Founders gave us.

A very serious problem in this regard can be seen in the erosion of understanding about the foundation upon which our American system was built. Some who express a desire to get back to the fundamentals actually reject the foundation. I am referring, of course, to the Judeo-Christian fountain from which sprang the basic ideas that we do indeed get our rights from God. If the well-meaning people reject God, there is a problem.

During a conversation I recently had with a nice young man, he told me that he was really into “conspiracy theories.” Since we were in a place where I wouldn’t expect such awareness, I was surprised that the notion of conspiracy even came up. I was delighted that such a young man was aware of what was going on — until we talked further when my delight faded.

I mentioned to him that the conspiracy we face today had roots during our nation’s founding. He said that he knew that and he mentioned a couple of names of men he thought were bad who sacrificed all to give us our heritage. I said to him that he needed to be careful which sources he used to study the conspiracy since the men he mentioned were actually good people and there is a campaign to convince modern students that the good guys were the bad ones, and the bad guys were the good ones.

I won’t mention all of the names of those about which he was confused because there is only so much space in these Bulletins. I will say that not all of the statements by early American leaders widely cited today were good at the time they were pronounced. Today, something may seem to be a valuable quote about freedom, but it shouldn’t be cited if it was uttered in support of the conspiracy and against the administration of George Washington and the Constitution.

Even today, the war against George Washington continues because he laid down the fundamentals of good government, projected the course for future government, and was an enemy of the same conspirators whose prodigies we face today.

I also mentioned to this young man that there were men lauded in the history books as patriots who were actually anti-Christian. My disappointment in this youngster grew when he said that he didn’t have a problem with that since he was opposed to Christianity as well.

We see his attitude manifested by young people who have recently awakened to the need for good government but do not have a clue as to the foundation for a good government. And if they do have a clue, they reject the Judeo-Christian part, just as did Ayn Rand.

For instance, if government is to protect life, liberty, and happiness, then life must be protected from beginning to end. No abortion at one end, no euthanasia at the other. If these exceptions are accepted, life in between will be eroded as well. It’s rather simple, really. It doesn’t matter what your opinion is, government must protect life, period. If not, then whoever lives or doesn’t boils down to a mere difference of opinion, and that opinion can later focus on quality of life, racial quality, etc. This has happened before in history, several times in fact.

In our Darwinian Age, these dangerous concepts aren’t taught in historical perspective. Instead, we are told that the Nazis, for example, were motivated by right-wing extremism rather than the prejudices of some disciples of the conspiracy such as Marx and Engels. Marx had a hatred of the Jews, and Engels likewise for the Slavs. The so-called right-winger, Hitler, tried to eliminate both. He was, of course, never a right-winger to begin with and was always a left-wing socialist.

The lack of morality that we see among contemporary conservative youth stems from ignoring God’s Word. We are not talking about this church or that church, just the basic precepts of the Jewish and Christian faiths.

From the very outset of our country, the war against the Constitution has been only a part of a vicious anti-God movement. The best-kept secret of the campaign to replace the Constitution with a socialist-style government may be its anti-God foundation. The fountain from which flows the conspiracy’s efforts is a rejection of the existence of God.

I recently listened to two speakers. One related an historical incident that tugged at the heartstrings of the audience even though it didn’t tell the entire story; the other actually promoted the words of a traitor, a real enemy who is extolled in every English literature class in our nation as a great philosopher and patriot.

This experience caused me to add two more scars to my tongue. But it wasn’t the time or place to try correcting what I had heard. Nor would I have had enough time to lay the historical background for the audience or the two speakers to get them to accept what I wanted them to consider. Plus, instead of being a kind friend with information they needed, I would have been perceived as someone who makes them appear stupid to their followers — even if I had the time to develop the background necessary for acceptance. Such an attempt on my part would have alienated them from The John Birch Society. At another time and in another place, quiet conversation will work better.

The speaker relating the sad story about the Fugitive Slave Law failed to mention that local authorities were stabbed repeatedly, and that the incident was used by local communist organizations to further their agenda. The incident he discussed is so little known that I was probably the only one in the audience who knew anything about it. I don’t profess to know everything but it just so happens that I had been doing some research on that very incident just a few weeks earlier.

The situation was one where two wrongs don’t make a right. He was wrong, but it would have been wrong for me to correct him publicly. We must be careful never to allow ourselves to become so obsessed with our cause that we do things or support things that are unethical, immoral, imprudent, or violent. When we do that, we actually become counterproductive to the movement. This is what happened in the very incident the speaker was talking about. By blindly opposing one wrong, the Fugitive Slave Law, the people were led into public chaos and attempted murder. The extreme methods produced a reaction of support for the law in other sections of the country, completely the opposite of the desired effect of the public participants.

Let me only bring into this discussion one individual mentioned in those speeches even though he was not the main part of the talk I heard. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson. If Emerson was not part of the conspiracy, then I do not understand the meaning of the term.

I like Emerson’s poetry. Who could not be stirred by his words etched on the Minuteman Statue at the site of the Concord Bridge where the “Shot heard ’round the world” was fired?

But I invite all to go to a library and perform more than superficial research about Emerson — about his associations and the organizations he joined — and you will find that he was the leader in America of the “death-of-God” movement. He actually left the ministry and became a “theologian” determined to bury God. Everything he touched led to the diminishing of the American people’s faith. While he did not directly lead organizations that both attacked the Constitution and promoted communism, he surrounded himself with such people, gave them inspiration, and participated in their organizations. His circle included many of the academics and intelligentsia of his time.

He fit well into the Illuminist plan to destroy the old social order, a goal necessary to break down the American state and set the stage for an Illuminist world. A Transcendentalist leader, he was more than just a friend of John Brown of the famous Harper’s Ferry attack. He and many others worked to dissolve this country. His works were promoted by the Democratic Review, the leading mouthpiece of the conspiratorial Carbonari and its Young America movement.

Because of the systematic expunging of American literature and publishing over the past 175 years, the likes of Emerson appear to the modern student to have been the flower of American literature — while others, who did not have an anti-God slant or socialist goal, have been dropped into the memory hole.

I plan on discussing this and much more in the future.

The reason I bring this up is to show that unless the people, and those who lead many of the organizations that have sprung up in the past 10 years, understand our nation’s true roots, they cannot find true solutions. Not only quoting such people but putting them forward as paragons of liberty does a terrible injustice to the movement.

I know that very early on, Mr. Welch pointed to Emerson as his favorite poet. After he founded our Society and involved himself in its leadership full time, he studied the conspiracy more deeply and refrained from extolling Emerson in the future. As did Mr. Welch himself, we have all grown in our understanding of who our adversaries are.

As a young man, I was not all that enamored of God either, just as the young man I mentioned earlier felt. I was a victim of my government education where my college English teachers promoted atheism. Once I joined The John Birch Society, Mr. Welch made me realize that we were involved in a fight between good and evil, and there was more to it than simply being an anti-communist. Patience on the part of friends led me to Faith. I believe that we have to be patient with those we see in similar straits and allow them the opportunity to work for good even if they do not yet understand the ultimate Good.

What I have stated above may seem to be more of a sermon than a Foreword to the Bulletin, but the two main points I have stressed have come to the surface as a result of recent events and my own continuing study. I have been reviewing many years of my own notes taken from approximately 500 books dealing with the first 100 years of the American experiment. The notes were compiled over three decades, and the full impact of what has been happening did not always come through to me because it was spread out over 30 years. Reviewing these notes all at once has made it clear to me that this war on the American people is essentially an anti-God movement. To me, this is inescapable.

I have come to more fully appreciate why Robert Welch called our enemy a “satanic” Conspiracy.

Today, all one has to do is to look at the frontispiece of Saul Alinsky’s small book Rules for Radicals where he salutes “the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.” Yes, he suggested Lucifer as a model for those he sought to train in his style of revolutionary activity. This book appears in the recommended reading list on the website of the National Education Association (NEA). The recent demonstrations around the country show that many of the teachers who left their classrooms and took to the streets have adopted Alinsky’s “Rules” as part of their modus operandi.

We are in a spiritual war, but many who understand this get themselves in trouble because they are still ignorant of history. Our job includes helping all to understand the basic principles upon which our country was founded. And this means reaching out to both friends and enemies of the Constitution. The reason for creating understanding among friends is that many of the false public “heroes” can then be exposed to our friends. This will help to blunt the obvious infiltration into the newly awakened groups whose members are being steered into cul-de-sacs designed for them to fail.

Helping the newly awakened to be leery of false heroes is only a beginning. These are the very Americans we must organize as members of our Society.

In all that we undertake, let us always remember that patience with others will always bring more success in leading them to the truth and the solution than any “in your face” approach.

The Mess in Madison

by Arthur R. Thompson, CEO

Unless you have been in a coma, you have witnessed the drama playing out in Madison, Wisconsin, with the various union members, especially teachers, abandoning their posts and demonstrating over losing some of their “perks,” even their collective bargaining rights.

At least this is the overview of the situation that the media has been covering. But the media didn’t present the entire picture. One reason was that they refused to see what was right before their very eyes, and another was that they had been educated out of any moral compass by the very type of educators represented at the demonstrations.

We could expound on a number of issues arising due to this event and the rolling tide of such similar uprisings in Ohio and Indiana, as well as smaller supportive demonstrations around the country, even internationally. But our purpose here is to give a little insight into how this fits into the Conspiracy that we battle.

First, the Conspiracy and its agents and dupes know they are in trouble. The American people are getting tired of excessive taxation, and also with the type of political representation they receive. Many are waking up to the fact that our country is in trouble. They are beginning to think they must get involved, and more and more people are asking who got us into this mess.

Second, they have to use the best means at their disposal to fight back. They think they have an issue with which to do this with the planned rollback of benefits and high salaries in the public sector.

Third, they are trying to overturn the recent election by mass action in the streets.

The reason the Conspiracy’s followers believe they can triumph is that they have ready-made troops, the public employees, who will be forced to pay for a larger portion of their benefits. With the help of the media, they are able to craft their position in a manner that makes conservatives look heartless.

And, they are able to lie, obfuscate, and deal in dirty tactics and get away with all of this, at least initially until the word starts to spread as to what is really going on. Because the public employees and their unions have gained the initial upper hand in the media, many viewers and listeners will favor their point of view. It will be difficult to change their minds later when all the facts become known. By that time it will have become an emotional matter.

It’s difficult to decide who is the primary victim in this fiasco: the people, the students, or the hardworking and dedicated teachers who do not like the situation any better than the general public.

Many of the demonstrators in Madison are teachers. Their numbers were swelled by people from as far away as California and Nevada. Many of them were salaried and had their expenses paid for by community action and union groups.

Buses rolled across the state line from Illinois and Chicago full of union activists and from communist organizations, accompanied by the labor editor of the communist newspaper, the People’s World.

Doctors were there writing out notes for the demonstrators who had called in sick in order to participate, so that when they got back to work their employer would be hard pressed to dock their pay for unauthorized time off.

Details are in the articles we have already posted at as well as in our cover story package in the March 21 issue of the print magazine.
What kind of message was given to the students of teachers who did strike and those in the area schools that were forced to close? What kind of message was relayed to students when teachers lied about being sick? Are these the messages we want communicated to young people?

Teachers were also busily engaging their students in the demonstrations, selling baked goods to raise money supposedly for the demonstrators, and encouraging the use of social networks to influence others to support the demonstrations. Some of the Twitter and Facebook messages were so outrageous that had a conservative posted anything even remotely similar, they would have been hauled into court for threatening the life of some liberal. Apparently it is okay to threaten the life of a conservative Governor. These were not isolated incidents.

We need to acknowledge that there are fine and decent school teachers who do not like the situation. However, the media does not seek these people out for comment. Many of them do not like the fact that they are forced into union membership in order to be able to teach. They do not like the fact that their union dues are used to finance campaigns for or against issues about which they have a contrary opinion.

We know of at least two instances where union dues taken from teachers have been used to fund campaigns against their husbands running for some office.

A person who does not keep up with communist and socialist publications is not aware of how many advertisements are placed by unions, including public service unions, in socialist newspapers and magazines. The number is overwhelming, especially at a time of special notice for socialists, when they celebrate some important socialist anniversary or birthday. The advertising tells a story of just where these unions “are coming from,” and how they finance the socialist movement.

In Wisconsin, teachers’ salaries and benefits are customarily higher than most get in the private sector. Milwaukee is an example. The teachers there in Wisconsin’s largest city receive over $100,000 per year in salaries and benefits ( And they pay next to nothing into their retirement fund. The average across the state is one-half of one percent of their wages; and they pay only five-and-a-half percent of their healthcare costs. This is very generous.

The across-the-board statistic is that benefits listed above amount to 74 percent as large as their base salary, in addition to their base salary. In some instances they are on two pension plans.

It is not unusual for the average Wisconsin public employee, such as a fireman, to retire and receive $50,000 per year plus medical coverage. This is not even a fixed sum; increases come each year based on inflation. The amount increases depending on the years of service.

The product that the Milwaukee teachers turn out (the supposedly educated students) has deteriorated so much over the past several decades that parents are seeking alternative ways to educate their children, such as home schooling. The teachers union there has done all it can to prevent the parents from doing so. They want total control of the children and retaining their compensation advantages is only one of their ways of doing so.

Milwaukee teachers have a history of socialist involvement. We could write an entire article about this, and it would be very interesting.

The history of the socialist movement in the United States 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. Part of the process has been promotion of the idea that children should be educated at increasingly younger ages by the state — even to the point of barracking the children in a total state-run operation away from the parents.

When I infiltrated some Marxist organizations in my youth, I was on several mailing lists and one of them was the Socialist Party. As a result, I received a mimeographed (ask your parents what that was!) sheet that was a “call” for participation in a new organization to work within the schools in my area. The goals amounted to steps designed to consolidate the schools into ever larger facilities as a cost-savings measure with the ultimate goal of barracking the children during the week, allowing them to be with their parents only on weekends.

When the organization went public, it didn’t list the final item as one of its goals; that was kept as a secret aspect of the effort. The socialists were able to enlist many prominent people in the community because, after all, the ostensible goal was to help children. Most of these people who supported the overall goals didn’t have a clue about what they were backing. The whole plot lasted for a few years with some success but it never came close to reaching its ultimate goal.

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 the indoctrination of children at an ever-younger age away from their parents. Parents can and do educate their children at a young age. But we are talking about doing it through the state, and indoctrinating them away from and even in opposition to their parents.

Friedrich Fröbel was a student of Illuminist Pestalozzi. He had studied under the committed conspirator in Switzerland. Fröbel developed the concept of kindergarten and coined the word now used for early education in both German and English. While his overall concept found appeal among socialists and freethinkers, the Prussian government actually banned it in 1851 as “atheistic and demagogic” for its alleged “destructive tendencies in the area of religion and politics.” Other states of the German Confederation followed suit.

Fröbel’s student, the wife of a man named Carl Schurz, founded the first kindergarten in America in Watertown near Madison, Wisconsin, just before the Civil War. Carl Schurz had been second in command of a communist brigade during the revolution of 1848 in Baden, Germany. He fled to France where he was expelled as a dangerous foreigner, then made his way to London where he kept company with Marx and Mazzini. He then relocated to the United States where he was active in a variety of socialist initiatives. He was appointed our ambassador to Spain by Lincoln, made a major general in the Union Army, and became a U.S. Senator. His highest post was Secretary of the Interior under Rutherford Hayes.

The next two documented kindergartens were created by Elizabeth Peabody who was a Transcendentalist, a disciple of Fröbel, and the head of the American Fröbel Union. A Transcendentalist was in reality a person who advocated socialism and attacked traditional Christianity.

The other kindergarten was established in Boston by the socialist “48er” Adolph Douai. It was short-lived.

In the period before the Civil War, there were literally hundreds of communes established and run by socialists in our country. These were a combination of experimental communities as well as training camps for future socialist leadership. As the socialists in some communes took two-year-olds and raised them communally, kindergarten was the “moderate” thing to do toward this end.

Why do I bring this all up? Because there is something bigger going on in Madison than is being reported.

When you see Jesse Jackson come to sing “We Shall Overcome,” and the people singing with him know the words, there is a clue. The song was believed to have been written by communist Pete Seeger. Actually, it was the American variation of the Latin American communist slogan Venceremos — translated “we will win,” or, “we shall overcome.” It was quite commonly used as a slogan, song, and newspaper title in the communist world, particularly in Cuba by Fidel Castro.

Many of the demonstrations by teachers held around the country in support of the Madison uprising have been sponsored by the locals of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This organization was so obviously socialist that the National Education Association wouldn’t merge with it some years back. Some of the NEA leaders knew that the AFT leader was also a leader in the Socialist Party.

Yet if you look at the NEA website, you will find that this organization of America’s teachers has pointedly recommended the books of Saul Alinsky to its members. Alinsky was the man who helped raise money in his college years for the International Brigade, the communist army in Spain. In his later years, he was a sponsor of the Highlander Folk School, found to be a communist training school by officials of the state of Louisiana. Many deny this and try to make people believe that this wasn’t true because Martin Luther King, Jr. was photographed in attendance as a student and teacher.

It is obvious to the informed that the tactics being used by the NEA affiliate in Madison are those of Alinsky. On the cover of one of his books written many years ago, Reveille for Radicals, appeared the following: “A call to action for democracy ... a blow-by-blow account of an orderly revolution already underway.”

Alinsky’s later book, also listed as recommended reading for teachers, was Rules For Radicals. In the frontispiece was this Alinsky quote:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.

Throughout the book, Alinsky intersperses the good with that which is intrinsically evil.

Is it any wonder that teachers who follow this style of leadership work against the inclusion of God in their curricula?

Or, that an organization like the Secular Student Alliance is established on 200 college campuses and, in a growing campaign, has formed units in 50 high schools so far. Interestingly, this outfit isn’t run by students but by white-haired old men.

The types of community activist groups that have shown up in Madison are typical of the organizations taught by Alinsky. And, let us not forget that our President was very much involved with these “so-called” community groups. His first employment out of college saw him working for the Developing Communities Project in Chicago, built on the Alinsky model of community organization and agitation.

These organizations receive grants from the federal government for the work that they do in building socialism block-by-block in local communities. Let me relate an example I was personally familiar with.

In Seattle, there was an organization started ostensibly to help mothers who were receiving Aid to Dependent Children. It was called the ADC Motivated Mothers Club. I was able to document that two out of the first three organizers were communists. It was funded by federal grants. The leaders went to the Legal Service Center and enlisted the help of lawyers funded by the federal government. They went into federal courts, to fight federal attorneys to petition for more federal money.

Do you get the picture? It is show business played out in the media with taxpayers caught in the middle. And it is happening over and over again all across the country under an umbrella of organizations bewildering in their titles and complexities — all funded with your tax money.

Recently, appearing on the Communist Party website until they took it down, was a video of international socialists gathered in Europe at a labor conference. It showed short individual clips of labor leaders expressing solidarity with the Egyptians in the streets. A woman from Belgium gave the communist salute at the end of her bit. Another stated that Egypt needed to become part of the New World Order.

Also, on the People’s World site, a video appeared of a labor leader in Egypt expressing his solidarity with the union in Madison through an Internet connection.

Why bring this up? For two reasons, one to demonstrate that what we see is not always an isolated incident, and two, to point out that a world-wide organization is behind what is going on using the word “solidarity.” It is a socialist word. It is used constantly by the socialists.

I happened to go to Europe with a friend on a fact-finding tour for The John Birch Society 20 years ago. At that time, we stopped by the headquarters of the Socialist Party in Vienna. Their newspaper was called Solidarity, in the German language. This was a time when we saw the Polish resistance use the word in the 1980s and 1990s. We believed the movement was phony at the top, using the workers as cannon fodder for a communist goal.

We have seen this word used in connection with the demonstrations in Madison. In fact, some of the signs have an uplifted fist over the word Solidarity. The uplifted fist is the communist salute.

The other word we have often seen is “democracy.” We hope that we don’t have to explain this to our members. However, democracy was to be the first step toward communism according to Karl Marx. He failed to mention what the second step is.

What we see being played out is actually syndicalism. My Webster’s dictionary says that syndicalism is: “a form or development of trade unionism, originating in France, which aims at the possession of the means of production and distribution, and ultimately at the control of society by the federated bodies of industrial workers, and which seeks to realize its purposes through general strikes, or terrorism, sabotage, violence, or other criminal means.” Doesn’t that sound like another branch of the Conspiracy’s war on freedom?

A general strike call has gone out from the socialist organizations with agreement by several union heads. How successful it will be remains to be seen, but it reinforces our point of syndicalism being the aim.

Of course, whoever controls the unions can control the nation. One of the aspects of Hitler’s rise to power rarely taught today is that the Nazi Party out-organized the communists within the German unions. It is true that Hitler revised the entire union structure after he came to power. But he gained that power through the workers and then betrayed them. Let us not forget that the actual name of the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers Party.

If you talk to some members of the teachers union, they will think that you are crazy to even mention such things. They generally have no clue as to what is going on and how they are being used. Unless there is a fine imposed over union members for not attending union meetings, most do not go. And, even if they do go, unless they control the microphone, they get nowhere.

Just as average citizens cannot see communism right in front of their eyes, the teachers in the union cannot see it either. In fact, because we know what they teach, it is obvious that they are blind to a lot of things. Or, they are so intimidated by the system, they stick to the script.

Even when I was a student, both in preparatory and college levels, I was appalled on more than one occasion by what was being taught. And, who was I, simply a dumb student who didn’t know what he was talking about. Or, on one occasion, I was told that we simply do not discuss such matters in class.

For those of our members who are teachers, I will not apologize since I am not talking about people who have a genuine love for their students and are willing to sacrifice in so many ways for them. I applaud you. I once considered joining you as a history teacher but changed my mind when I realized that I would never get out of school if I did.

What we are witnessing in Madison and elsewhere is a turning point. Either the taxpayers will win or the radical unions will gain strength. And, through the added strength that they seek, they would take control out of the hands of the electorate. Let this last statement sink in.

If the public unions win their battle, the voter will no longer stand a chance of controlling their public servants.
And I would love to relate to you how Carl Schurz played a role in the onset of this issue, but I am running out of space.

The battle rages on as we write. How will it play out? Probably the Republican Governors will win, but whether they do or not in the long run depends on the public relations job they can muster against not only the unions and the socialists, but their allies in newsprint and television.

If they can make the point that the economic situation precipitated the crisis, but that the unions are depriving the voter — not the taxpayer — of his rights, then they will not lose. Winning will come only when the Republicans realize that they too must stop spending for an agenda that does not come under the purview of government.

All in the Home

by Athur R. Thompson, CEO

One fundamental belief of The John Birch Society holds that the battle for America will be won in the homes (living rooms) of the American people.

There are many reasons why we have always maintained this belief. I will delineate a few practical ones before discussing the philosophical benefits of meeting in homes. However, the philosophy behind our belief is actually more important than the practical aspects of focusing on home meetings.

Of course, in this discussion we are addressing our Society’s chapter structure and the many types of meetings that result from it. Naturally, if a major event is planned, such as a public speaking engagement where you are seeking a large audience, a public hall is needed.

What we are focusing on here is the best way to conduct JBS business. We do not mean to suggest that all other ways are improper or should be canceled.

Practical Reasons

First, and most obvious, it is less expensive and it requires less in the way of logistics if meetings are held in the home. It is preferable that small meetings be held in the chapter leader’s home. But it is equally apropos if others host a meeting — a speaker’s event chairman, the leader of a video series presentation, or another member providing leadership for an action project.

Second, by meeting in the home, attendance will of necessity be limited in size. If meetings become too large for a home, then it is probably time to work toward splitting the chapter, either doing so with geographic considerations in mind or because of friendships that have developed. Of course, proper steps should be taken to appoint and season the new volunteer leaders who will assume the leadership of the split-off chapter.

Preparations for chapter splitting must be made well in advance, or the fallout from doing so might destroy the synergy and dynamics of the people involved, even hurting the effectiveness of the members.

The limitation in size of a chapter works well for overall effectiveness on many levels but let us discuss only three at this point.

A. Smaller units require less leadership time and skill. Some appointed as chapter leaders are not fully experienced in delegation, mentoring, and monitoring. A small chapter will likely help to overcome most of these problems and, as the chapter grows, the chapter leader’s experience and capabilities grow with it.
B. In a small chapter, more work is performed by each member on the average than would be performed in a large chapter. It is harder for anyone to “hide in the pew” when there are only a few in the church! The result will be that our organization gains a higher percentage of participation from all members and, along with this, more results.
C. Small chapters meeting in homes spread out and develop leadership by necessity. Larger chapters, meeting in public venues, tend to stifle the growth of leadership.

Third, by inviting people into one’s home, the homeowner is expressing to all a level of friendship and camaraderie that cannot easily be given in a restaurant, library, or Grange hall. In a public venue, those who attend are acquaintances, and maybe friends. In a home you are definitely friends, and in a short time can become like a family. The entire atmosphere is different and far more beneficial.

Our work is best done by forming personal relationships with opinion molders and others we are trying to influence. Building these relationships starts at the chapter level and radiates out into the community.

Let me interject that all life consists of personal relationships. The key to building and maintaining good ones is communication and sharing the same definition of words and terms. This cannot be done well, if at all, in a public venue.

If Robert Welch had not formed personal relationships with a number of important men around the country, the formation of The John Birch Society would have been far more difficult, and may not have been possible. Certainly, the initial successes of the Society would have been less substantial without these relationships.

The same holds true for us. If we form more and more relationships with opinion molders, we will be more successful and our educational and organizational efforts will bear fruit much more quickly.

Fourth, homes are in neighborhoods. It is much easier to get neighbors to cross the street or travel only a few minutes to see a video, hear a presentation, or attend a chapter meeting than it is at XYZ Restaurant or a local hall. You and your home are familiar territory. You are a neighbor — or should be.

There are people who enjoy having a meal as part of their meeting, but this should not be an encouragement for holding chapter meetings in restaurants. A potluck supper once in awhile is not a bad idea for a chapter to arrange. These types of social as well as business affairs will help to cement each chapter member’s relationship with other members. When holding a major speaking event in a quality environment, meals beforehand tend to make the engagement more successful both in appearance and in the quality of those who attend.

Regardless of the occasion, what guarantees attendance is that the inviter picks up prospects and takes them to the meeting. This not only guarantees attendance, it helps to cement the personal relationship. This is also true for a new member who may, for whatever reason, be slow to attend a chapter meeting. If the person who recruited him or her picks up and brings the new member to the meeting, doing so practically assures that the new member will become what we call a “Bircher.” People customarily need an “ice breaker.”

Never forget that a new member is often a stranger to the rest of the chapter. If he or she is treated as a friend at the outset, it will help to put him or her at ease and want to attend. But a new member must be made to feel some responsibility as a part of the chapter. One needs to believe that time spent to attend a chapter meeting is time well spent.

Fifth, neighborhoods are no longer the tight-knit communities they once were in many parts of the nation. We should try to reverse that by encouraging neighborhood chapters. Our neighbors, after our families and churches, are the people we will need to rely on most during any future problem, be it sickness, natural disaster, crime, or urban disruption. We need to have neighbors who trust each other and understand the problems facing our country. Forming neighborhood chapters will convert our neighborhoods into building blocks for sound government at all levels.

Sixth, you can control attendance better. If meetings are held in some public locations, such as a library, they must be open to the public. A chapter meeting is not for the public. Also, some rules apply to literature sales, admission costs, etc. in many public venues. In the home, there are no such impediments and meeting expenses usually include only the cost of cookies, liquid refreshment, etc.

We have always had problems with non-members attending chapter meetings. We do not encourage this except as a last step for somebody making a decision to join. Once started, having non-members attend can become a habit and the rest of the members will start to wonder why they need to pay dues if anyone can attend without doing so. Non-members can also be disruptive since they do not always understand our agenda and the solutions we offer, or worse, have attended only to promote some other plan or some other solution that we do not endorse.

I recall a large chapter on the south side of Chicago that met in a library. When I became the area Coordinator I realized that only one person in the room was a member of the “chapter.” He was the chapter leader. This was quickly changed.

That particular situation started out innocently enough, but after a time no one bothered to renew their membership since so many were attending who were not members. In the end, the only one reading our action Bulletin was the chapter leader — not a situation that makes for an effective chapter.

Another problem with open-door attendance is that from time to time unwanted people attend our meetings. They will usually come to pass out literature we cannot endorse or they disrupt the meeting with statements posed as questions that are unwelcome, occasionally even of a racial nature. These deliberate attempts to dissuade members and non-members alike from ever coming back have had a bad effect on all.

Since the members know what has been offered by a visitor is not Society literature or the Society’s position, there is usually minimal harm done to our members. But, a non-member who is considering membership doesn’t necessarily know this. After all, if a non-member is told he is at a chapter meeting, he assumes most if not all in attendance are members. A meeting in a home eliminates most of this beforehand because attendance is by invitation; whereas, a meeting in a public venue can be embarrassing no matter how well it is handled. At a public venue, you may not even be able to ask the unwanted person to leave since the venue may be open to the public and that means everyone.

I have attended many meetings in a public venue when someone has wanted to pass out materials that we cannot endorse. Even if we agree with the subject and solution in the literature, people will show up trying to get us involved with some other organization and take the people away from the focus of the meeting. This can be confusing to a new member but particularly upsetting to a new prospect. Whom does he follow, them or us? Whose solution does he buy into, theirs or ours?

Seventh, holding meetings in the home produces a look of success. If you are holding a video series and have a half dozen people in attendance, it is a success to the new comers, even if five of the attendees are already members!

It can be disappointing to newcomers to see a small group in a large hall. A small group can be very effective beyond their numbers but one who is unfamiliar with organization will not realize this. Most people are accustomed to believing that effectiveness can be achieved only through large numbers, not the organized work of a few that is really responsible for success. A show of numerical force does not represent those who actually roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Once people join the Society and learn how small groups can get things done, they will realize how good things (successes) come in small packages.

There is a long history of Society members hosting programs in their homes using videos and other media. And, on occasion, they may even present a live speaker, such as a local member who may have personal experience about an important issue of the day. Some of our speakers who became nationally known by traveling the country started out this way.

Caution must be used in this regard. But generally speaking, hosting a local speaker is a way for some who do have personal experience to “get their feet wet” as speakers. Sometimes, this can draw more people than videos and serve as a basis for larger attendance for subsequent home video showings.

I have seen homes literally filled to the walls with people who came to hear a speaker discuss an issue that is of current interest. This can be pulled together in a few days or scheduled out weeks into the future. You can be more flexible with your schedule if you are the host rather than needing to schedule a meeting room. It is no substitute for an organized public speaking engagement, but it can be used as another arrow in a chapter’s educational quiver.

As these programs in one’s home become established, it is not unusual for new, interested people to attend. When this becomes the case, chapters can be formed within a couple of miles of each other.

My personal experience saw that meetings held in my home started out slowly but with persistence and patience, they became a hub of activity and center for bringing prospects. As a result, recruitment blossomed and we built many new leaders and new chapters.

Eighth, keeping chapters small and away from public venues helps preserve the integrity of the chapter structure from those who mean to destroy our organization from within. An agent provocateur who hides his true motive and joins a small chapter might influence or break up only that small unit and not neutralize scores, perhaps hundreds of people.

On the Philosophical Side

While our loyalties should be to God, family, and country, big government always does what it can to break down loyalties to anything other than the government itself. Similarly, it will break down freedom of assembly, particularly in homes.

It is not unusual for a totalitarian government to ban assemblies of three or more people. This number may vary, but the point is that big government cannot tolerate any assemblage it cannot either control or monitor. The most difficult type of assembly for government personnel to influence or control is a home meeting. It is difficult for two basic reasons: one, it is private; and two, there can be too many such meetings for their forces to deal with.

There are ways that some government agents have found to deal with it however, such as enlisting local, neighborhood people to become monitors. It is only a small leap from the “Neighborhood Watch Committee” to the citizen committees established by the likes of Castro to keep an eye on the people. Today, it may be a violation of zoning laws or municipal ordinances. Tomorrow, it may be deemed a criminal act just to meet, even in one’s home.

In the name of too many cars on the streets, too much noise, ensuring that a street is used only for residents and not for commerce, or whatever the excuse, cities and counties have begun creating or employing ordinances for the purpose of limiting home prayer or worship services. One might think that this is only an attempt to keep neighborhoods clear for needed access of safety personnel and equipment. Ostensibly, such a thought makes sense, but when tied together with other factors, it constitutes an attack on our Judeo-Christian foundations.

Since the beginning of this country, the Conspiracy has waged a war against God, and against Christianity in particular. This problem has always been more widespread and intense than average Americans can even imagine.

From the agents of the Illuminati, to Transcendentalists and Spiritualists, and on to our day, the intelligentsia and literati have done what they could to convince Americans that religion is the opiate of the people. Many prominent persons from our nation’s early history were part of this organized campaign. This part of the agenda of those who mean to rule us, especially the names of some of those who carried out this portion of their agenda, would shock and disturb even members of our Society.

Our members need to be aware of these problems and do what they can to oppose such ordinances since they attack the very idea of freedom of assembly. The erosion of freedom that begins with the infringement of a basic right will ultimately lead to losing the right completely. Getting people to meet in homes and educating them about the Constitution will be just one little step to forestall such problems instituted by local governments. If more people conduct home meetings, it becomes harder to stop anyone from holding such gatherings.

The more meetings we have in homes involving local residents, the more all attendees will object to any infringement of the “right of the people peaceably to assemble.” The more we engage local residents in home meetings, the less they will be inclined to turn in a neighbor for something as benign as a Bible study — or a chapter meeting.

The intimacy of the personal relationships built in the home is a direct threat to any government desiring to rule the people. The loyalties built one to another are not the stuff that fosters blind loyalty to the state. In addition, hosting meetings in the home tells everyone that my spouse and I welcome you as a friend. It is very productive to be able to say to someone, “We appreciate that you have taken the time to come into our home. Welcome.”

Yearly Report

by Arthur R. Thompson, CEO

It has been a while since we reported to members about some of the encouraging results we have achieved during the past year.

On a Sad Note

Last year we lost two of our distinguished warriors. One was John Finn, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient at Pearl Harbor. The second was Brigadier General Andrew Gatsis, who commanded a brigade in Vietnam, served on Admiral McCain’s staff, and served on our National Council for 22 years. In our last conversation he was adamant that we get out of Afghanistan for a number of reasons, not the least of these was because we were there under a foreign command, and our American commander was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Single District Coordinator Program

The first stage of the Single District Coordinator program produced good to excellent results. The second stage is “under construction.”

The influence of reactivated and new chapters played a major role in the direction of the 2010 elections in these states. This is also true in many other areas around the country. One example of this influence is the following interesting comment made in a recent state Republican legislative caucus. During the proceedings, a “moderate” state representative said before all of his colleagues, “I have a new chapter of The John Birch Society in my area and I am going to have to answer to them.”

Of course, we are by choice not political. But the educational activities of our chapter members in his area and their influence acting as individuals have made an impression on this man.

Incidentally, the caucus went well, owing to our members’ activities in the area, the half-dozen members who were in the room, and the member-driven, concerned citizens outside the room who were there to remind the legislators inside the room why they were elected.

The New American

It would have been difficult to imagine the results that have come from the Internet even just a few years ago. Use of the Internet has been a plus across the board for the movement in general, not just for our Society. This is why there are both overt and covert rumblings within the administration to block the freedom movement from using this new medium.

When we decided to use the Internet to have The New American magazine become a news source, we knew it would be a daunting task. We started with literally a handful of writers and this number has grown over the past two years so that we now can call on scores of writers. We don’t use all of them all of the time, of course, but they are there and they want to participate.

We now post approximately 20 fresh stories daily. These are articles that we have commissioned to be written, or have been suggested by our writers.

When we were interviewed by the New York Times not too long ago, the interviewer was very impressed that we were posting about five fresh stories per day. That number has grown dramatically. Most Internet news sites employ links to other sites to “beef up” their content and drive traffic to their pages. We are obviously way ahead of these others.

In an era when almost all magazines and newspapers are losing subscribers, The New American is holding its own in hard copy. When we launched the magazine online in the new format two years ago, we had approximately 29,000 unique viewers per month logging on to read our articles. Today, we have a steady 300,000+ unique viewers coming to our site each month.

Since there are a number of viewers who download and embed our material for their own sites, we know that the numbers given above don’t account for all who are being influenced by our material. The growing numbers of visitors to are being led to our organizational efforts and the core philosophy of the JBS. So, far from being a respectable statistic, this means that our perspective is radiating out on a wide variety of issues into other spheres of influence.

We are in the midst of revamping our entire computer systems. When we began this absolutely necessary project, we were warned that it would mean a year of, well, stress. Those who forecast the anguish have been correct. Our organization is vastly different from any other and most of our members appreciate this fact. But they see it only from the standpoint of organization.

We don’t just sell educational materials. We are not simply a membership organization. We go further than just building chapters or maintaining several websites. And we could fill a couple of paragraphs with other examples of why we are different from any other organization or company. It is these differences that necessitate our having something unique in the field of computer software. What we are has necessitated a very complex system so that the various software portions of our operation can “talk” to each other.

Getting over this hurdle has delayed to some extent the rebuilding of The John Birch Society website. We have wanted for some time to have a site that presents a stimulating and motivating entry for new people who want to get involved, serves the members in the field, and provides help to our staff throughout the nation as well. All of what we want will be a reality soon.

Likewise, financial considerations have meant that Liberty News Network (LNN) online is being built more slowly than we wish. We have access to unique reports on vital issues throughout the nation, and we will attempt to be the cutting edge of investigative reporting in the future. At this juncture, we have a small but steadily increasing audience.

We only have a desire to be a competitor to CNN or Fox News in a small way, becoming the site of choice for those who want their information straight without any frosting on the truth focusing on important news not covered by CNN or Fox News.

We have already seen an impact from our modest effort with LNN in downloads that have been circulated through influential circles, particularly on the issue of immigration.

American Opinion Foundation

When I found it necessary to cancel the summer camp program, some members were disappointed, some even near rebellious. I obviously did a poor job of communicating what we were going to do in its stead.

In 2010, as a result of a few very generous gifts, we have now placed the Freedom Project of AOF on the fast track. We hired two capable videographers, and they are in the business of producing video lessons about the Constitution that can be placed online.

These lessons are not for the veteran members of The John Birch Society. They are for today’s young people who know nothing about the Constitution. They can also be viewed and used at home in a family atmosphere. Home schooling supplemental use is also an obvious way to take advantage of this resource.

The question has come up as to why we would be replicating what others are doing. The simple answer is that we are not doing that, and we receive indications of this nearly weekly.

As I have explained in earlier Bulletins, we want to accomplish three things with our lessons. We need to teach: 1) that the Constitution must be followed to the letter; 2) that we all have a moral responsibility to pass on our wonderful heritage to our children; and 3) that we battle men more than we battle issues and ideas. Men drive the issues and produce the ideas. Many of them are organized to do so, and, therefore, we have to build an organization that will out-organize them.

In 2010, we know that our Freedom Project reached tens of thousands of people. We do not know the exact figures because, for some inexplicable reason, YouTube stopped counting the number of viewers accessing our materials. We do know that one of our videos placed online reached 350 within a day and then the counter stopped. However, YouTube contacted us within a week and asked if we would accept advertising on the site. They usually do not do this unless the number of viewers on a site reaches over 10,000.

The use of our materials in student environments reached over 10 times the number of campers we attracted in the last year we scheduled the camps. AOF distributed close to 20,000 videos and copies of the Constitution at conferences. The contact with home school parents was over 29,000, with 3,500 attending classes, workshops, etc. The downloads plus the embeddings of our videos on other sites reached over 147,000. We cannot measure the additional impact from these other sites.

We now reach over 9,000 on a regular daily basis with Facebook.

We believe this is a much better program to reach students than a summer camp — and not just from a numbers standpoint. It reaches the parents. It is an outreach program, not an insular one that primarily teaches Birch kids. And, we have just begun.

Election results

By now it has become obvious that the results of the recent election were less positive for our side than what the major news networks touted. But the real gain can be found in how many people became involved in trying to turn our country around.

As has so often been the history of the Republican Party, the dance program looks great; they may play the right music, but the dance steps are a little more to the left than right. There are a few at the national level who want to do what is right, but are searching for guidance. That is where you come in, and the more personal contact that you can have with your Representative, the better.

We are very gratified with the number of people elected at the state level who do appear to be solid, and this includes more than a few members of our Society. This bodes well for the future as many of these people may go on to higher responsibility, not only at the state level but also at the federal level.

The important thing about our members being elected in so many legislatures is that they are familiar with how to organize and educate. We have heard several stories about how these men and women are doing just that.

The U.S. Congress has been lacking someone to organize the constitutionalists since the death of Dr. Larry P. McDonald. There have been a few Representatives who could have built the needed organization, but they either were co-opted by the Establishment or they didn’t have it in their nature to do so. Hopefully, in the near future, out of this new crop of state-level officials, we will see one or more move on to Congress who are capable and more than willing to organize their fellow Representatives.

Organization is what counts. The socialists have their organization intact, even after the 2010 elections. They lost only three of the approximately 82 members of Congress who are members of the Social Democrat caucus. Only 70 have openly declared themselves such. There is no contravening organization to compare with it. The socialists know how to organize.

There will be some legislative victories in the new Congress, but not as many as might be expected if there were a real constitutionally oriented organization in Congress standing firm and opposing the socialists. This is particularly the case since the congressional leadership will find any excuse to delay or fail to overturn the socialist agenda, all the while professing that their desire is to do otherwise.


If you measure the influence of The John Birch Society by the way we are treated in the media, we apparently have the most influence of any organization in the freedom movement. This has been the theme of most articles written about the new organizations on the national scene.

Not a week goes by that we aren’t treated to another article or spot on television, mostly how we are to blame for the Tea Parties and the new energy at the grassroots. The stories fit a pattern, and they all point to the same supposed evidence. It’s obvious that many reporters are either lazy or under orders to repeat the same bits of information. And they have to be following some direction to have wanted to write the articles in the first place. It is too well-spaced in time and too copycat in style. We have noticed, however, that the articles have now begun to simply mention us in passing more than give us any credit for the increase in grassroots awareness and involvement.

The impetus for much of the attention given us by the media was our involvement in several conferences and conventions, such as CPAC.

We will continue to do the same in 2011 and beyond. There will be times where we will not agree with other organizations on this or that issue, but you cannot educate and influence people, especially opinion molders, unless you are in the room with them.

The recent tragedy in Arizona was used to vilify not only the Tea Parties and ourselves, but the idea of any dissent against unbridled government. Never before have we experienced the blatant call by liberal pundits to shut down free speech. The occasion was even used to temporarily stop a vote to repeal ObamaCare in Congress. A great deal was done to hide the background of the assailant and imply he was a conservative of some sort. Thankfully, TNA (initially online), and others, exposed the fact that he was a demented drug user whose favorite books included The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

There have been a few cases where the articles about us were more than fair and complimentary. For one example, on November 13, 2010, the Salt Lake Tribune published the fact that the late Ezra Taft Benson, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sent several communications to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s supporting Robert Welch, The John Birch Society, and Welch’s negative opinion about Dwight David Eisenhower.

Nothing about this appeared in the national media outside of the Tribune.

What makes this somewhat astonishing is that Mr. Benson was the only cabinet member to have served throughout the entire eight years of Eisenhower’s administration. As Secretary of Agriculture and a member of the cabinet, he had the opportunity to observe “Ike” up close and personal.

Had the letters to Hoover been critical of the Society or of Robert Welch, I am sure that the national media would have featured them.

There is no question that the influence we have achieved has grown, perhaps to an all-time high level. We still have to translate this influence into larger membership and a more potent organization.

One important nationwide development has been a direct result of member activities over the past few years: the growing call to return to federalism and away from nationalism.

Never forget that the sovereign states formed the United States, retaining what they insisted was their own sovereignty over all matters not listed as specific powers granted the central government.

From the very beginning of our nation’s acceptance of the Constitution, the conspiracy has been using people who usually did not completely comprehend what they were doing in order to steadily move our country to where we can be placed into what they call the New World Order. This has not been done overnight; it evolved over time, with the states taking powers away from the counties by 1830 and the counties becoming nothing much more than minions of the state. This consolidation of power continued with the federal government taking powers away from the states and converting what was a federal system into a national system. This conversion occurred as a result of the Civil War and, later, the 17th Amendment.

At the end of World War II came the formation of the United Nations. A multitude of steps taken since then have entangled us more and more into regional and global agreements and arrangements leading to a total surrender of our sovereignty to a global system.

There have been some notable moments in our history where opposition to nationalism and defense of the federal system occurred, from nullification to secession. Why bring this all up?

The rejection of REAL ID, the discussion about nullifying/repealing ObamaCare, and the ongoing attempts on the part of some to have a Constitutional Convention have made state legislators more aware of state sovereignty and its role in a free country. You may ask how the fight against a Constitutional Convention has played a role. If nothing else, it has caused legislators and opinion molders once again to study the Constitution and its underlying principles.

The campaign seeking to repeal ObamaCare has a larger strategic battle underlying it than most realize. The use of nullification under the 10th Amendment will restore power to the states. Repeal of ObamaCare is ultimately necessary, of course. But using nullification as a step to slow down implementation of ObamaCare and give support to congressional repeal serves two purposes: repeal itself and restoring a proper level of federalism.

We have many allies who do not understand this aspect of the fight and are opposed to nullification. We grant that this is an area where we must be cautious and not fuel the fires of rebellion or radicalism.

Since 1798, there have been four major instances where the grassroots have been stirred up over encroaching government that has led to nullification or secession initiatives. These instances have all been used by the conspiracy in an attempt to split the United States. This can never be our goal.

Our desire is not anti-government; it is in re-establishing the proper role and level of government.

All in all, 2010 was a year of building influence. We expect 2011 to continue this process.

Some Understanding – Part Two of Two

by Arthur R. Thompson, CEO


It is always easier to focus on problems, not on solutions.

Why? Because problems tend to be more obvious; solutions a lot less so. Pointing to a problem involves minimal effort. Coming up with an acceptable solution usually involves a great deal of effort, especially when the problem emanates from what government is or isn’t doing. There will be a need to educate fellow citizens who, sadly, have little awareness of the Constitution’s limitations on government. And there are a multitude of other subjects within classic liberal arts that must be addressed. Getting others first to recognize the worth of a solution being offered, and then getting help to have it adopted, requires a lot of work.

In addition, we may think the person we approach understands the problem when he or she really doesn’t. At least, not the way we would understand it. We may know that a principle is being violated, whereas others might look at the problem’s cause as a mere example of faulty operation. Consider the United Nations. If the problem is one of principle, then our nation should get out of the UN. But if someone else thinks only that it is being run poorly, then the solution becomes reform or reorganization.

First, with each problem, one has to understand the principle involved. Regarding the UN, the principle is national sovereignty. Once that is understood, there are other, less difficult hurdles to pass.

For instance, many will recognize the proper solution to a problem, but due to fear or a personal comfort zone, they will be reluctant to actively support it. An example of this situation would be Social Security and its sister Medicare.

All sorts of emotions surge to the fore when talking about Social Security and Medicare: “You mean I will have to assume the responsibility for my own retirement? How do I do that? I’ve heard all sorts of financial advisors giving bad advice and various proposals that amount to defrauding the elderly. Whom do I trust? When will it phase out? How will it phase out? Will I be prepared? This will mean I will have to bear the responsibility to care for my parents. I can’t afford that. It will greatly interfere with my family life, recreation, and hobby, etc.”

These considerations show that simple “head knowledge” isn’t the only problem. Morality and moral responsibility have to enter the picture as well.
Self-reliance built this nation. Programs such as Social Security have weakened this essential aspect of the makeup of an American. Self-reliance is being destroyed in favor of reliance on government, a very dangerous development.

Supposedly to address the failings of Medicare, our government has enacted ObamaCare, making the overall problem worse by making it universal and calling it the solution. This is precisely an example of the process we quoted from The Communist Manifesto in last month’s Bulletin: Create a supposed solution that fails and then address the failure with an even worse solution.

To fully recognize both the problem and the correct solution, one must have knowledge of economics, political science, human nature, and the Constitution, then have the moral responsibility to do what is right, simply because it is right.

Tough, but not impossible.

Another example: It is a rare individual in America today who is unaware that illegal immigration is a problem needing meaningful attention. The solution is multifaceted and we have outlined some of what needs to be done in last month’s Part One of this discussion.

Let us not forget that less than 100 years ago, General Pershing crossed into Mexico to put down Pancho Villa after the Mexican bandit had crossed into the United States and terrorized one of our border towns. Our border towns are again being terrorized, yet we concern ourselves more with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., than we do our own territory and our own fellow citizens.

It is time to show that we mean business and that the freedom of the American people and the sovereignty of this nation will once again be protected. If we do so, we will also punch a hole in the plans to create a North American Union.

Proper solutions to illegal immigration also require certain knowledge on the part of an American: the meaning, necessity, and right of sovereignty; the economic dangers and debilitating affects of welfare; the cultural Balkanization of our country that can be used as a divide-and-conquer tactic by the Conspiracy; and the resolve to get the job done without generating malice toward the Mexican people.

These considerations also require understanding why false solutions such as national ID cards and fences constitute dangers to American freedom. We must always oppose solutions that will lead to more control over Americans.

Many solutions offered by the Insiders and those who follow their lead will indeed subjugate us. They either create or help to worsen a problem, such as illegal immigration, in order to be in position to offer a solution that leads to more government and more controls over the American people. These false solutions rarely deal with the problem, but they do create increasing taxation, regulation, and indebtedness for the American people.

Increasingly, the false solutions to illegal immigration and other problems are coming from those who profess to be conservative leaders. As we pointed out in last month’s Part One, those who mean to rule us come from both sides of our current political persuasions.

If you are still with me, I come now to the hardest of all solutions, one which most of our faithful members have knowledge of but, deep down, may not really accept. Bear with me because arriving at this solution will seem a bit circuitous.

We should not be surprised when those who cannot see the Conspiracy at work also cannot see the beneficial work of The John Birch Society. There are a number of reasons for this.
One, there is the natural tendency for people to want credit for the work others do. This is not always a selfish thing, since some sincerely believe they have brought about the good results they see. What they do not see is the tireless groundwork of our members that has already set the stage for the good results. What JBS members do is done out of their sight.

Also, the first one to claim credit for some victory usually gets it.

Two, many believe that they are responsible for results simply because of publishing an article or even a series of articles. This can be true, but normally, it is shoe leather and personal relationships that count more. Getting the article in the hands of those who can do something about the problem takes organization. Organizational work involves far more than the printed word. The printed word becomes far more potent when it is part of an established agenda, not simply a wisp of wind. Organizational work will almost always be outside the work of the publishers and writers since they rarely try to influence people face-to-face.

Reading an article or book is like placing a phone call to tell someone their apartment house is on fire. What is the result, assuming someone is there to answer the phone? Some will not believe it. Some will think the fire will be put out before it affects them. Some will flee. Some will tell a neighbor. A proper response will include organizing to tell others, evacuating the complex, and helping put out the fire — after having called the fire department. Yet while the person who made the original call will have had little to do with the organized effort, he or she will frequently claim credit for all the lives saved. And such a person is correct, at least in part. But organizing to solve the problem is more important than simply acknowledging that a fire exists.

Three, many conservatives and libertarians do not understand effective organization and, when it is suggested, most run away from it. For it demands at least two things on the part of the individual: the willingness to work as part of a team and all that this means, and the work itself that requires expending effort to achieve success.

Far too many conservatives and libertarians won’t join anything. They can not or will not follow direction because they are too independent. Their stance reminds me of Benjamin Franklin’s warning about teamwork — that we must hang together or we will surely hang separately. Our Founders had the same problems we face — people who would not get involved or felt that there was too much being asked of them.

Four, the media regularly ignores our efforts, discounts them, or even declares them counterproductive of “true conservatism.”

Understanding Who It Is We Fight

Success isn’t superficial and, therefore, the effort put into achieving it can’t be superficial. To be successful at what we seek in The John Birch Society requires more effort than most other organizations ask of those they reach. And, the rewards when success is gained are generally only the self-satisfaction of completing a job well.

We reach out to new people and bring them to a new level of understanding that includes a solution as well as identification of a problem. And then we involve them in a long range, broadly based program with the goal of preserving family and freedom. This takes work.

We understand that we are fighting people, not ideas and issues. In and of themselves, issues don’t exist. People conceive and drive ideas. Evil — in and of itself — doesn’t exist, not without people engaging in evil. Even in the spiritual sense, evil is Personified.

It is rare indeed that other organizations recognize the need to identify the enemy. Usually, the understanding of their leaders about who or what is the real enemy is deficient. This is why the Christian Right has been so misused. Its partisans often end up supporting the enemy because they don’t understand conspiracy and they aren’t aware that the people who seek power will call themselves anything whatsoever in order to gather support to gain that power. Do I need to mention any other name than Bush?

Does anyone think that because Mafia dons sit in church that they will get to heaven even while they continue their crime spree? They attend church to establish the façade of respectability even while they exercise criminal rule over the neighborhoods. Similarly, certain politicians sit in church while continuing to violate their solemn constitutional oath in order to maintain and extend power.

We all know of the existence of La Cosa Nostra (sometimes called the Mafia). Do you see it? Not unless you find it in a film or documentary. You see its effects in crime and vice, even control over certain service industries. But all of its activity is real.

The same applies regarding recognition of the Satanic Conspiracy. Few ever recognize the effects of the Conspiracy and then attribute them to the Conspiracy. There is a serious lack of understanding preventing many from reaching a proper understanding enabling them effectively to combat prevailing evil.

I have often used the example of a line drawing of a forest or jungle in which children are asked to identify the lions, elephants, etc. hidden within the drawing. It takes time and a new mental approach to begin to see the shapes of the animals and not just the cleverly drawn depictions of foliage.

The same holds true if one is to see the Conspiracy. And it is equally true if someone is to see the effects of the work of The John Birch Society.

Impatient Gradualism

Unlike the Conspiracy, we operate in the open. But if others don’t read our Bulletins, how would they even begin to know our agenda? Many times you can tell the fruits of our labor by the nuances contained in our agenda requests and their results we report. For many reasons, we rarely ask our members to undertake a task in the manner others might because we often have a different perspective about what is needed to create understanding that will see a solution through to its end. This usually means that we regularly offer a different solution than will be suggested by others. For example, you will not see us offer a solution that curtails the liberty of our own citizens in the process.

Likewise, we do our work without fanfare. While it is essential that we brand The John Birch Society and our work, nonetheless, we are not in the business of saving our country to benefit ourselves, except in knowing that preserving freedom will enable us to go about our own business and pass on the same freedom to our children.

So, for these and other reasons, we seem to be invisible to the world. Therefore, some conclude that we don’t even exist. How many times have you heard, “I didn’t know The John Birch Society was still in existence.”

Even among our own members we can seem to be ineffective because we normally go about our efforts without fanfare. Therefore, those who have loud trumpets get attention, even if they don’t have anything close to an army answering the call of the trumpets.

Of course, the conspiracy-controlled media is more than happy to give credit for any success on our side to anyone but JBS, so as to prevent our members and our organization being noticed in a favorable way. We are bypassed for no other reason than it’s known that people who want to be involved go where they think they can do the most good. Usually people believe the most good will be accomplished by the one who gets noticed by the press, whether deserved or not. It is rather like the magician who wants you to watch one hand and not the other where the real “action” is being accomplished.

The enemy knows all of this because the enemy knows organization. And that is why its leaders confide among themselves that The John Birch Society is their chief enemy, the leading organization combating their efforts. The worth of the Society will, on rare occasions, receive mention by the media and then quickly fade away. We have seen this happen just within the last several months in the midst of almost daily unflattering mentions of The John Birch Society somewhere in the media.

Due to the efforts of our members over the last few years, it has been difficult for the Insiders to keep the media from mentioning us. This is so even though the word still seems to be: don’t even note that The John Birch Society exists. Recently, it appeared we were being set up for another massive smear campaign. But it didn’t happen. There were several factors involved, not the least of which is the Insiders’ inability to find and use a leader with sufficient but false “conservative” credentials to lead the attack. But this may soon happen again. Stay tuned!

Lately, when we are mentioned, the goal seems to be to make it appear that the Tea Party movement grew out of the efforts of that “old extremist organization of the 1960s,” the JBS. Some articles make it appear that we are defunct and that we have passed the baton to some current “extremists.” This theme is so recurrent that it is impossible to think that it has not been orchestrated.

JBS Influence Growing Dramatically

We should be increasingly proud of the fact that we do play an influential role in the continuing groundswell of good sense. Yes, we are bragging about this, even while being fully aware that some individuals and groups are playing important roles even without holding membership in JBS. However, the other side realizes all of the recent activity would mostly be for naught if there hadn’t long been a sizeable organization from coast to coast with members working in unison on the same agenda at the same time. The very existence of concerted action scares the enemy.

Through the use of a wide variety of tools and means to build concerted action — the Internet, videos/DVDs, flyers, speakers, magazines, literature, etc. — we create a synergy level that results in waves of influence that go well beyond our numbers.

An example I like to use to show the influence of members is when Member A educates Citizen B to a level of understanding about an issue who, in turn, educates Mr. C. Then Mr. C tells Opinion Molder D about it. Since he is in a position of great influence, Opinion Molder D does something positive to solve the problem and gets credit for doing so. Meanwhile, Member A sees that D is an effective individual who gets things done, but he fails to realize that his own efforts started the ball rolling in the first place. The point is that, if Member A had never taken the first step, the problem would likely never have been solved. Member A is far removed from the person who arranged for the solution, but he deserves great credit.

As a whole, our members are often very far removed from the good result they have spawned. They don’t always see the fruits of their labors. On the other hand, there are very capable members who build and organize influence in their communities and do see the end results of their work. This is increasingly occurring, and we look for it to become more the case in many other locales.

We know through experience that the combined effort of our members will lead to 100 votes per member favoring the most constitutionally minded candidate for the House of Representatives. It is true that even though some members can’t seem to influence their spouse, they do have impact in the community. Others operating as a team influence thousands with their organized outreach.

One might think that this is also the case with other groups, but it isn’t because they are not organized as we are. They concentrate too much on the existing base of friends rather than engaging in true outreach programs; they don’t have the variety of tools to educate people; and, most importantly, they miss the mark by concentrating on the issue and a possible solution rather than ever mentioning the source of the problem — the Conspiracy.

We have always to be wise and patient in how we address the existence of conspiracy, recognizing the degree of awareness in our audience at all times. Nonetheless, exposing conspiracy is vital. Without doing so, the conspiracy’s cleverly placed agents will continue to assume the leadership of the Americanist movement, sidetracking it again and again, or preventing activists from hitting the bull’s eye in the target. As frequently happens in the latter case, success may seem imminent because the arrow is flying right to the target until, at the very last moment, it falls short.

This scenario is not unusual; in fact it is often the case. It produces the worst sort of effect in the long run: discouragement. We are well aware of sizeable conservative organizations formed to gather good people together and then misdirect them. One is reminded of the leader who wrote a book exposing the New World Order and then supported both Bush and Giuliani.

Since The John Birch Society was founded, there have been four groundswells within America whose purpose was to change the direction our country was headed. Each of them was the result of the educational work of our members.

In the first three instances, the Insiders neutralized the efforts over the ensuing few months and years. They were able to do this because of the lack of experience in each that made its followers vulnerable to neutralization. This occurred primarily because newly awakened people trusted false leaders who said some of the right things but captured the leadership and direction of the movement and sidetracked it into partisan politics controlled by establishment politicians.

It takes a certain level of knowledge and experience to tell who the real patriot leaders are. It remains for us to do a better job in this fourth groundswell by helping its key people recognize so-called “friends” who want only to neutralize them.

The difference between the JBS and other “educational” efforts is three-fold. One, we teach the Constitution including its original intent and that no aspect of the Supreme Law can be ignored. None! Two, we teach responsibility. It is part of our motto. Three, as already discussed, we teach that the battle is with men more than with ideas. Men breed ideas, organize ideas, and finance ideas. This is not a debate, it is not a war of ideas, it is a war between two opposing forces and whoever creates the superior organization will win. Yes, truth is a powerful weapon, but it will only become dominant when great pains are taken to disseminate it. That means building an organization to do so.

Elaborating on these three differences could consume another Bulletin article all by itself. It may be difficult to see the effect of these differences, even while believing that other groups and individuals teach many of the same lessons. But it is in the results of peoples’ actions that we recognize whether they really mean what they seem to be saying.

So what’s the point? It is this: The ultimate solution has to be a much larger, and therefore more effective, John Birch Society. This is the solution that must be kept in mind at all times.

Throughout our 52-year history, we have always stressed that recruiting is the number one item on our agenda for good reason. We can win battles, but not the war if we don’t have sufficient size. The road back to constitutional government runs through the Congress, and it starts in the House of Representatives. In order to see that constitutionally-minded individuals are elected, a JBS membership base of from 500 to 1000 members in virtually any congressional district, will accomplish the goal.

And, let no one forget that an ill-informed populace ill-equipped to elect a constitutionally minded Congress surely will not elect a decent president. It is, after all, the same voters.
Building the membership is not something we advocate just to make us look better; it is essential for victory. This is the ultimate solution.

So we again urge that you do all you can to recruit on an individual basis, and particularly place new members into chapters where the synergy of a group aids in convincing other new people to get involved. Teach them the value of our organization that is the solution through the use of video/DVD activism, preferably in your homes. We will discuss why there is a need for using one’s home in a future Bulletin.

What’s the job of every member? Build the organization so that its goals can be achieved.

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