Formed by Robert Welch in December 1958, The John Birch Society takes its name from the legendary World War II Army Captain John Birch. The organization's overall goal, never altered in the 50-plus years of its existence, has always been to create sufficient understanding amongst the American people about both their country and its enemies, so that they could protect freedom and ensure continuation of the nation's independence.
Always an education and action organization, the Society has never deviated from its opposition to communism and any other form of totalitarianism, certainly including the steady drift toward total government currently arising from within our own shores. But the positive promise of what can be built in an atmosphere of freedom has always been more of a motivation for members than any negative fear of what must be opposed.
Building chapters of 15-20 citizens in communities across the nation, Society members have always followed the plan created by Robert Welch. It includes distribution of pamphlets, books, and the organization's magazines. Members also share films and DVDs, conduct letter-writing sessions, arrange for speakers to appear in their communities, and engage in all types of moral and tasteful forms of educational activity. The Society's goal has been summarized as, "Education is our total strategy; truth our only weapon."
While the Society has always focused on combating -- or occasionally applauding -- actions taken by government, the organization was also built on a moral foundation. Its motto proclaims the long-range goal of "Less government, more responsibility, and – with God's help – a better world." How much "less" government? Officials point to the U.S. Constitution and claim that adherence to its many limitations on power would result in the federal government being 20 percent its size and 20 percent its cost.
As for "more responsibility," the Society insists that the Ten Commandments should guide all personal and organizational conduct. Agreeing with numerous pronouncements of our nation's Founders, Society members believe that national freedom cannot long endure without moral restraint.
Unlike most other groups formed for patriotic purposes, the Society has always dared to attribute the many problems facing our nation to deliberate, conspiratorial design. America's decline, claim Society leaders, hasn't resulted from bungling or misinformation at the leadership level but from determined planning. Robert Welch often stated, "There is a conspiracy at work as sure as there is a law of gravity." Yet he always believed, as do those who lead the Society today, that most of the harm being done to our country results from the work of non-conspirators whose self-serving and ambitious goals make them willing to cast aside all concerns about right versus wrong and seek only personal aggrandizement.
Soon after its creation, enemies discovered the Society's potential to arouse and inform a generally sleeping population. At that point, there arose a totally unfair and withering smear campaign painting the organization and its members with an array of nasty and completely false charges, none of which ever had any validity. The Society survived that furious onslaught, and its tens of thousands of members continue to create understanding about the marvelous nation we inherited from those brave and far-seeing men who wrote the thunderous Declaration of Independence and created the oft-praised but little-obeyed U.S. Constitution.
With a membership made up of Americans of all races, colors, creeds, and national origins, the Society is currently enjoying a surge in activity, a large growth in acceptance, and increased hope for a future marked by less government and more responsibility. It is that combination that surely will, with God's help, lead to the better world desired by all men and women of good will.