FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jewish members of The John Birch Society clear record of anti-Semitism charge of Society’s President in The New York Times
Snippets of John McManus discussing Jewish and Catholic faiths in two speeches nine years ago at a non-Birch function taken out of context
APPLETON, WIS. — June 26, 2009 — In a June 25 column, The New York Times asserts that John Birch Society President John F. McManus gave anti-Semitic talks to Catholic groups. However, the snippets the reporter lays claim to are cherry-picked from two speeches McManus gave in 2000. “They certainly are taken out of context," says JBS Jewish Member David Eisenberg.
“As a proud Jewish member of the National Council of the John Birch Society,” Eisenberg continued, “I must respond. I have a long time ago satisfied myself that those statements made nine years ago by John McManus have been misinterpreted. John is strictly describing what was happening to the Jewish faith during the birth of the Christian faith back in 70 AD.”
“I, too, fell victim to the smear that JBS was anti-Semitic in the 1960s,” Eisenberg offered. “So, it was my intention, as a proud Jewish man, to use the facts I discovered to destroy this anti-Semitic organization. After reading most of the Society's publications, seeing their movies and hearing their speakers, I asked JBS members who were co-workers if I could attend their meetings. I was welcomed to do so, and I did. After a year of personal investigation, I found that not only was the organization not anti-Semitic and racist, but that I was in agreement with the Society. I joined the organization and my wife did the same a year later. Our two children attended JBS Youth Camps. All four of us became Life Members. I have served as a Chapter Leader, Section Leader, Head of the Speakers' Committee, Youth Camp Counselor and Camp Director. In 1995, I was brought up as a Member of the National Council.”
“So, what are the facts with regard to the John Birch Society and anti-Semitism? Take it from this long-time Jewish member: The John Birch Society is the sworn enemy of all those who hate others on the basis of their skin color, their religious affiliation, or on the basis of any other arbitrary, collectivist categorizations. It is, instead, the most steadfast organization in America working to preserve and defend liberty and freedom for all Americans.”
In a written response, Andy Dlinn, another Jewish JBS member wrote, “There really is nothing here. Based on his speech and my many years of association with John, there is no evidence of any anti-Semitism.”
Dlinn was approached for membership in 1985 because of his involvement in organizations that promote liberty and free markets. He, too, was always told about the Society's purported anti-Semitism. "Although I agreed with the JBS' positions, I was very concerned whether or not the charges were true. So I actually read the early works of JBS founder Robert Welch before he started the JBS looking for clues to validate the charges. Having found none, I joined the JBS and have been a proud defender of freedom enhanced by the comprehensive tools the JBS provides. As Mr. Welch clearly states in his founding speech of the JBS, "Our hope is to make better Catholics, better Protestants, better Jews, or better Moslems out of those who belong to the Society. Our never ending concern is with morality, integrity and purpose."
Dlinn has served as volunteer chapter leader and section leader.
John McManus is available for interviews not only to refute the issue brought up by The New York Times, but to discuss the larger issue of some mainstream media outlets irresponsibly labeling dissent as “right wing extremism” or as “hate speech.”
McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966, becoming President in 1991. He has written and produced numerous books and audiovisual programs, including the popular DVD, “Overview of America,” which is a moving tribute about America’s Constitutional roots.
He has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. He is one of the Society’s few authorized spokesmen. In addition to being a regular contributor of articles to The New American magazine, he serves as its publisher. He is also publisher of the Society’s monthly Bulletin. He is currently wrapping up a speaking tour entitled “America’s Economic Meltdown,” in which he points to the Constitution for long-term solutions. His speech is based on his 1993 book “Financial Terrorism: Hijacking America Under the Threat of Bankruptcy.” Many of his predictions made in this book have come true during the current economic crisis.
Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, The John Birch Society is dedicated to restoring and preserving freedom under the U.S. Constitution. Members come from all walks of life and are active throughout the 50 states on local, regional and national issues. United by a strong belief in personal freedom and limited government, plus a sense of duty, members have played a continuous and pivotal role in halting legislation and federal policies that threaten the independence of our country and the freedom of American citizens. Visit www.JBS.org for more information.