The age of the Internet grants anyone who can access it an opportunity to learn a great deal about virtually anything in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, the published information can be incorrect. Anyone who Googles "The John Birch Society" will see this problem demonstrated almost immediately. From the slanted view given of the Society at Wikipedia to the crazed rantings of detractors, much of the information provided is either distorted or downright false. Thus, we offer this page where we seek to set the record straight. A more extensive reading is available in The John Birch Society: Reality vs. Myth booklet.
Myth: JBS is a radical organization full of right-wing extremists.
Fact: JBS is dedicated to restoring the Republic according to the vision of the Founding Fathers: limited government, individual liberty, and the rule of law. Along with America's Founders, we believe that governments are instituted to protect individual rights and liberties, and are not formed to provide for the wants of individuals. To label JBS radical or extreme for agreeing with our nation's Founders is to place that same label on them.
Myth: The JBS message is hate-filled.
Fact: There never has been any hate in our agenda and it will never be employed as a tactic. From the outset, membership in JBS has been strictly denied to haters and, should any member adopt a racist or anti-Semitic attitude or behavior, the membership of such a person will be permanently revoked.
Myth:JBS Founder Robert Welch called President Dwight Eisenhower a Communist
Fact: Originally detailing some of Pres. Eisenhower's history in a 1954 letter sent privately to a few friends, Mr. Welch's research grew over several years into a full-length book entitled The Politician (1963). Once the book was published, its very existence was ignored while critics continued to dwell on only one of several possible conclusions offered by Mr. Welch.
The book provides 300 pages and 150 pages of footnotes and documentation, including covering one of Mr. Eisenhower's most immoral and despicable acts of authorizing "Operation Keelhaul"; which used American soldiers to repatriate anti-communist Poles to their certain death or torture. Read the book for yourself and discover what Mr. Welch did say and learn the role played by Mr. Eisenhower over his many years as one of our nation's military and political leaders.
Myth: JBS considers public water fluoridation part of a Communist mind-control plot.
Fact: While the JBS doesn't agree with water fluoridation on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional mass medication of the public, it was never opposed as a mind-control plot. Furthermore, opposition to fluoridation was never a major action item of any JBS campaign.
Myth: JBS is nothing more than a group of conspiracy theorists.
Fact: The John Birch Society reports on those that create and influence public policy and the motivations behind their actions. JBS directs members to counter unconstitutional actions through peaceful, educational means, including supporting or blocking legislation, setting up relationships with key elected officials and local leaders, and holding elected officials accountable to their oath of office.
By definition, a conspiracy exists when two or more persons work secretly for an evil or unlawful purpose. Given the state that America is in today, one could argue that an unconstitutional agenda is no longer secret, but in the open for all to see. Those that continue to work against the Constitution do so brazenly, continuing to make promises and entitlements to citizens that the country cannot afford while committing future generations to crushing debt and ever decreasing prosperity at the expense of liberty.
Myth: JBS was booted out of the conservative movement by William F. Buckley.
Fact: In the mid-1950s on more than one occasion, John Birch Society Founder Robert Welch financially helped an up-and-coming conservative leader, and recommended that others do the same, so this rising young star could get his new magazine off the ground. That newcomer was William F. Buckley and his magazine was National Review.
A few short years later, Mr. Buckley attacked Robert Welch in a lengthy article in his magazine. Over the past several decades, Buckley carried out a campaign of attacking or disparaging Welch and the Society. On numerous occasions, he boasted to friends that he intended to destroy The John Birch Society. He didn't succeed. Read more in John McManus' book, "William F. Buckley: Pied Piper for the Establishment."
Myth: The JBS is against civil rights because it opposed several Civil Rights acts.
Fact: Correcting civil rights abuses that do exist should be accomplished at the state and local level, something The John Birch Society members - of all races, colors and ethnic backgrounds - have always supported. Civil rights legislation should have come from the states and the communities rather than being used as a steppingstone toward our present-day out-of-control federal government.
Myth: The John Birch Society played a role in the assassination of President Kennedy.
Fact: This is perhaps the most despicable myth. The truth is that The John Birch Society has always lived by the age-old adage that foul means can never be employed to accomplish a goal, no matter how important that goal. While JBS and its members called attention to the many dangerous and unconstitutional acts and programs promoted by President Kennedy, it has always been the Society’s position that anything harmful to our country emanating from the White House should be countered by congressional or judicial action urged upon our nation’s leaders by concerned American citizens.
Immediately after the assassination, founder Robert Welch canceled the “For God and Country” rally that thousands had committed to attend in Boston the following day. He then sent a telegram of condolences to Mrs. Kennedy. In that brief message, published by the Boston Globe on November 23, 1963, Robert Welch stated: “On behalf of the Council of the John Birch Society and myself, I wish to express our deep sorrow at the untimely loss to our nation of its youngest elected President and to convey more particularly to you and all members of President Kennedy’s family our sincere and heartfelt sympathy in your overwhelming personal loss.”