Glenn Beck Recapitulates The John Birch Society


Joe McCarthy and Glenn BeckAs a longtime member of The John Birch Society (JBS), I’ve been watching the Glenn Beck TV Show closely since he moved over to Fox News in 2008. I’ve been fascinated to see how Beck has been getting progressively (sorry for the bad word choice) closer to presenting American history in the way that The John Birch Society has been doing it for over 50 years.

Last night’s show, June 24, which was an overview of communism in America, was the ultimate in complete agreement between the Beck and JBS presentations of American history. In case you missed Beck’s show, here’s the YouTube video for Segment A of the show:

Here are the links for segments B, C, and D of last night’s show:

There’s so much that could be said, but I’ll settle for just a couple of the most interesting bits of Beck/JBS overlap from last night’s show.

First of all, there was Beck’s wholehearted endorsement of Senator Joe McCarthy’s crusade to expose Communists in government in the 1950s. Beck’s featured guest was M. Stanton Evans, who published the definitive book vindicating McCarthy, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies, in 2007. At one point Beck held the book up and said that his viewers must read it. And we all know that this endorsement will automatically make this book skyrocket up in sales. Here's the video for Segment D of the show, which provides a photo of M. Stanton Evans:

M. Stanton Evans

Just as Beck did on his show last night, The John Birch Society has always stood up for McCarthy. For example, our magazine, The New American, published a glowing review of Blacklisted by History back in 2008 which was titled, “A Reputation Rescued.” Of course, both the JBS and McCarthy have been treated horribly by the mainstream media. Robert Welch, founder of The John Birch Society, once said that the top priority of the Communist movement worldwide in the 1950s was to destroy Joe McCarthy and the top priority in the 1960s was to destroy the JBS. The mainstream media certainly got on board with both of these priorities.

Another interesting connection is that M. Stanton Evans' father, Medford Evans, was one of the leading writers for the Society’s earlier magazine, American Opinion, during the 1960s and 70s.

Now let’s look at a second interesting connection. One of the highlights of last night’s show was Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower and later the leader of the LDS Church, and his statements in the 1960s about the Communist threat to America. It turns out that Benson was a good friend of Robert Welch in the 1960s. Furthermore, Benson’s son Reed became an employee of the JBS in 1962, and eventually worked in the Washington, DC office of the JBS in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Ezra Taft Benson gave a solid endorsement of The John Birch Society in his major speech, "Stand Up for Freedom" (online video of speech), in 1966 as he explained how he had encouraged his son, Reed, to work for the JBS. Here’s a 53-second video clip from that part of the speech:

We still sell a DVD of Ezra Taft Benson’s excellent 1968 speech on the proper role of government, Man, Freedom, and Government. Here it is as an online video also:

bookI certainly hope Glenn Beck gives us many more shows like last night’s. He is providing the vital historical understanding that Americans need for making sound choices in electing state and federal legislators and other officials.

Finally, here’s a nine-minute video of Robert Welch giving two speeches at a JBS Council Dinner in 1974. In the first speech he quotes from his two-day speech in 1958 at the founding meeting of the JBS. The ten predictions he made about our nation in that speech still amaze people with their accuracy. In the next speech Welch provides the five policies that political candidates in 1974 should promote. Again, it is amazing how well these policies fit today’s conditions.

Although this video has been available since our 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2008, we’ve changed the title to “The John Birch Society in 1958, Forerunner of the Tea Party Movement?” Take a look and see how appropriate the new title is. I believe the inclusion of this video in this article will help you see just how close the worldview of the JBS is to that of Glenn Beck in particular and the Tea Party movement in general.


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