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John Birch Society

JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY

JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY was founded in December 1958 by Robert Welch, a retired Boston candy manufacturer who considered President Dwight D. Eisenhower "a dedicated conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy." According to Welch and other society members, coconspirators ranged from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the various chairs of the Federal Reserve Board. John M. Birch was a Baptist missionary and Air Force officer who was killed by Chinese communists in 1945, ten days after V-J Day. Welch never met Birch, but he named his society in honor of the man he called the Cold War's first hero. The society quickly emerged as perhaps the most well-known far-right anticommunist group in the United States. By the early 1960s, the group peaked after enlisting some ten thousand members, including hundreds who sat on school and library boards or held other civic offices. Headquartered in Belmont, Massachusetts, society activists ran campaigns calling for the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and the United States' withdrawal from the United Nations. On a more regular basis, the Birch Society publishes a journal, American Opinion, and runs youth camps, book distribution services, and intellectual cadres of "Americanists" scattered throughout the nation. Its members have never advocated violence.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Broyles, J. Allen. John Birch Society: Anatomy of a Protest. Boston: Beacon Press, 1964.

Hardisty, Jean. Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.

KennethO'Reilly

See alsoAnticommunism ; Radical Right ; andvol. 9:The Blue Book of the John Birch Society .

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John Birch Society

John Birch Society, ultraconservative, anti-Communist organization in the United States. It was founded in Dec., 1958, by manufacturer Robert Welch and named after John Birch, an American intelligence officer killed by Communists in China (Aug., 1945). The most prominent of the extreme right-wing groups active in the United States, the society was founded to fight subversive Communism within the United States. Its other objectives have included the abolition of the graduated income tax, the repeal of social security legislation, the impeachment of various high government officials, the end to busing for the purpose of school integration, the end to U.S. membership in the United Nations, and the nullification of the treaty that turned over the Panama Canal to Panama. In his book, The Politician, Welch charged to the effect that Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles had actively aided the so-called Communist conspiracy. The society has also contended that an elite international cabal—the U.S. branch of which supposedly includes the Council on Foreign Relations, for many years led by David Rockefeller—is seeking to establish a world tyranny.

See R. Welch, The Blue Book of the John Birch Society (repr. 1995); R. Vahan, The Truth about the John Birch Society (1962); J. A. Broyles, The John Birch Society (1964); B. R. Epstein and A. Foster, Radical Right (1967).

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"John Birch Society." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"John Birch Society." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/john-birch-society