Documentary History of John Birch Society

1960--continued

9/6/60 = In a blistering letter to Fred Schwarz of Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, Welch expresses incredulity that Schwarz would attempt to undermine and bad-mouth the JBS.  This letter is also significant because it, too, falsifies standard JBS dogma about the “Communist” origins of the “smear attack” on the JBS.














    

      



9/14/60 = Robert Welch memo "To All Members of The COUNCIL" reports statistical information concerning JBS chapters and members:

"...that on Saturday, September 10, we had 324 chapters and approximately 5300 members.  This represents a gain of 84 chapters and about 1500 members since the last meeting of the COUNCIL on June 18...We had only 75 chapters and 1500 members at the first meeting of the COUNCIL last January..."

11/16/60 = Robert Welch memo “To All Members of The COUNCIL” states that the next Council meeting will be held on December 10, 1960 at the Harvard Club in New York City.  Item #2 on the agenda, according to Welch would be: 

A brief report of the various smears of, and attacks on, the Society during the past few months.  Not all of these attacks are known to some members of our COUNCIL, and some of them are not known to any members.  We shall seek the COUNCIL’S advice on basic policy, with regard to such attacks in the future.”

This is a particularly significant item because it falsifies subsequent JBS mythology concerning the “Communist” origins of “smear attacks” against the JBS. 

Standard JBS dogma maintains that attacks upon the JBS (aka the “smear campaign”) began as a consequence of “orders” from Moscow in December 1960 and those “orders” resulted in a “mother article” which appeared in the February 25, 1961 issue of the Communist newspaper, People’s World.

See, for example, former FBI Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen’s fictional account here:  http://www.zeios.com/OurRepublic/Article/27

“Because the Birch Society was practically unknown to the general American public I wondered how the Communist Party would launch its campaign. I had no idea that the legitimate American press would fall for the line which the Communists were about to broadcast.

On February 25, 1961, the official Communist newspaper on the West Coast called the Daily People's World, fired the opening broadside. The article was entitled, “Enter (from Stage Right) THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY.” The article depicted the John Birchers as a secret, Fascist society and said that it was setting up ‘cells’ all across the country.

Of course, the People's World has a very limited distribution which would do little damage, but the thing which astonished me was the rapidity with which the transmission belt began to function so that this story was planted in one major news medium after another until finally even some of the more conservative papers had taken up the hue and cry.”

The reality, as Welch acknowledged to his Council in November 1960, is that the “attacks” and “smears” began “during the past few months” – not as a result of any Communist newspaper article in February 1961.  In fact, in the opening paragraph of the September 1960 JBS Bulletin, Welch lamented that:

“For the past five weeks – it seems like five months – the John Birch Society has lived through one massive smear campaign on a national scale, and several regional attacks with varying degrees of plausibility, reach, and impact.”

Furthermore, see details above concerning Welch’s 4/60 Report to the JBS National Council which includes a discussion of the attack on Welch and the JBS by Elizabeth Dilling.


1961

2/61 = FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover requested a summary memo concerning what was known about Robert Welch and the John Birch Society.  The resulting 2/7/61 memo from a Section Chief in the Domestic Intelligence Division to the Assistant Director in charge of that Division concluded:

"We have been closely watching the activities of the JBS through the information supplied by the field.  However, to date no information has been received indicating subversive elements have infiltrated or taken over any chapters of JBS.  Also, no information has been received indicating JBS is operating as a 'hate' group or that its activities warrant investigation by the Bureau.  To conduct any investigation of this anticommunist group could possibly cause embarrassment to the Bureau as most of the people active in the chapters of JBS are community leaders, leading businessmen and respected citizens.  Some also appear to be crackpots." [FBI HQ file 62-104401, #639; 2/7/61 summary memo from F.J. Baumgardner to Alan H. Belmont]

2/10/61 = Robert Welch letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Lacey regarding "Communist-Zionist Conspiracy":



   


2/17/61 = The Boston FBI field office sent J. Edgar Hoover a very detailed background report concerning Robert Welch and the JBS.  Some of the information which Boston obtained was from former FBI informant Herbert Philbrick (of I Led 3 Lives fame) who stated that he was a Home Chapter member of the JBS.  

Boston reported the following:

(1)  American Opinion magazine (formerly known as One Man's Opinion) - was incorporated 1/13/56.  The President and Treasurer was Robert H.W. Welch Jr of 43 Fletcher Road - Belmont MA.  The Clerk/Secretary was Ellen M. Lovett of Cambridge MA.  The Directors were Robert Welch, Ellen Lovett and Ellen Douglas Gucker.  Welch held 1001 shares of common stock. A financial statement filed 4/23/58 showed assets of $27,320.85.  A financial statement dated 6/3/59 showed assets of $65,003.54 and a financial statement dated 6/27/60 showed assets of $77,475.82.

(2) John Birch Society, Inc. was incorporated 12/23/58 and given charter number 624-300.  The officers were the same as for American Opinion magazine.  The Directors listed were Mary M. White of West Concord MA, Robert Welch, and Ellen Lovett. The incorporators were:  Robert Welch, Marian Probert Welch (Robert's wife), Ellen M. Lovett of Cambridge MA, Mary M. White of West Concord MA; Ellen Douglas Snow aka Mrs. Stanley Carman Snow, formerly Mrs. Alexander Gucker of Belmont MA; Philip L. Jenkins of Brockton MA and Juliette D. Guild of Hingham MA.

(3) Robert H.W. Welch Jr:  He was born in Edenton NC on 12/1/1899. He married Marian Probert in 1922 and had 2 sons, Robert Jr. born 1923 and Hillard W. Welch born 1925.  

Robert H.W. Welch enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis MD during World War I and during World War II he served on the Advisory Commission of the Office of Price Administration for the candy industry.  In 1922, Welch founded the Oxford Candy Company and was its Sales Manager in 1935.  Beginning in 1940, he was Vice President and Director of Sales and Advertising of his brother's candy company, The James O. Welch Company of Cambridge MA.  In 1947, Welch was the recipient of the Kettle Award by the candy industry.  From 1940-1944, Welch was a Board member of the Massachusetts Chess Federation.

From 1951 to 1954, he was a member of the Belmont MA School Committee and served as Director of several small businesses and one bank.  He served as Chairman of the Board of the Washington Commission of the National Association of Candy Manufacturers and also was a member of the Board of Directors of the United Prison Association. From 1951-1957 he was a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers, being its Vice President from 1955-1957.  In 1941, he authored the book, The Road To Salesmanship. In 1952 his book, May God Forgive Us was published and in 1954, The Life of John Birch.

2/25/61 = What the Birch Society describes as the "mother article" which launched a "smear attack" upon the JBS in the mainstream media (such as Time magazine about a week later) is published in the Communist newspaper, People's World.  The article is copied below.


3/9/61 = The FBI's evaluation of the John Birch Society was starkly negative and it was not based upon any Communist newspaper article.  The Bureau's primary expert on the communist movement (i.e. their Chief Inspector who ultimately became Assistant Director in charge of the FBI's Domestic Intelligence Division) describes the JBS as "a lunatic fringe type of organization" which is "typical of the fanatics" which FBI speakers confront when they attempt to give the public "a true factual picture concerning the nature of the threat which communist activities in this country represent."  FBI memo copied below.


3/13/61 = Robert Welch letter to Otis Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times -- commenting upon its series of articles about the JBS and a not-too-friendly editorial published by the Times:

   

3/14/61 = Birch Society representatives in Los Angeles contact their local FBI office to request 10,000 copies of a Bureau poster, "What You Can Do To Fight Communism".  Senior officials of the Bureau advise that "in view of the extremist position taken by this group that we should not, of course, have anything to do with them" and they recommend that a letter be sent to all Special-Agents-in-Charge of FBI field offices instructing them that no FBI publications should be made available to the JBS or its representatives nor should the JBS be allowed to reprint FBI publications.  J. Edgar Hoover handwrites "Yes" on the recommendation.  Memo copied below.



3/20/61 = Robert Welch "To All Members Of Our Committee Of Endorsers And A Few Other Friends":  In yet another example of the relentless attempt by Welch and the JBS to characterize all of its opponents and all of their criticisms of the JBS as part of a "smear campaign" against the JBS, Welch distributed  the following 4-page letter.  The Birch Society has always perceived and portrayed itself as a totally innocent victim, totally undeserving of any criticism---and this mentality persists even today.  See my comments appearing underneath the copies below:


     



3/20/61 WELCH LETTER PAGE 2:

Welch states: "Our people have also been responsible for the production, and then during the past two months for literally thousands of showings, of a film strip called COMMUNISM ON THE MAP, which merely depicts factually the steady geographical advance of Communism since 1917, and especially during the past fifteen years.  This film strip was conceived, prepared, and produced by an ardent member of the John Birch Society, partly from our materials.  And it has been so effective that it was being shown every extensively at naval installations all over the country, by naval personnel until -- according to reports we have now received -- leftwing influences of some kind were able to get these showings by and for naval personnel stopped almost entirely."

The "ardent member" referred to by Welch was Glenn A. Green -- Executive Vice President of the National Education Program headed by George S. Benson (located at Harding College, Searcy AR).  More about Harding College below. See Glenn Green's 11/11/59 letter to Robert Welch here:


In February 1961, Cong. William Tuck of Virginia sent a letter to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover which reported that: “As you may know, Coleman Andrews and his son Coleman Jr., have been presenting Dr. George Benson’s ‘Communism on the Map’ to audiences in the City of Richmond on an average of about twice a week for the past three months."  

The FBI received numerous inquiries from concerned citizens around the country who wanted to know if the assertions made in the filmstrip were accurate.

The FBI obtained a copy of the filmstrip from the U.S. Navy in December 1960 and it was reviewed by senior Bureau officials in its Domestic Intelligence Division. The file copy of Hoover's 2/7/61 reply to Cong. Tuck contains the following notation:

"The film strip ‘Communism on the Map’ was prepared by the National Education Program, Searcy AR, of which Mr. George S. Benson is President…This film was reviewed by Bureau Officials on 12-22-60, at which time the consensus of opinion of the Agents reviewing it was it is not the type of material which should be endorsed by the Bureau.  It frequently dealt in half truths, distortion of truths and innuendos to establish its point that international communism is encircling America.”  [FBI HQ file 77-55206, #58; Cong. William Tuck of VA 2/2/61 letter to J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's reply]

The original December 1960 FBI review of the filmstrip was as follows:

page 1:

“In recent months we have received a number of inquiries concerning a lecture and film strip entitled Communism on the Map.  The Bureau has had no information concerning this lecture and accordingly, through Liaison, a copy of the taped lecture and film strip was obtained on loan from the Department of the Navy through Lt. Commander C.S. Williams, Aide  to Vice Admiral William R. Smedberg III, Chief of Bureau of Naval Personnel.  Admiral Smedberg had considered the film biased.”

“This lecture and film strip was reviewed on December 22, 1960 by Section Chief G.H. Scatterday and Special Agents C.D. Brennan, (name deleted), V.E. Ruehl, and (names deleted). The lecture and film strip was prepared by the National Education Program, Searcy Arkansas of which George Benson is on the Bureau’s special correspondents list..."  

“The film stressed the rise of international communism from its beginning in Russia to its current alleged encirclement of the United States. It covered Soviet infiltration and control of various European, African and Asian countries and indicated substantial Soviet infiltration into South America, Latin America, and Canada, which is gradually encircling the United States.  The principal theme of the lecture is based upon an alleged statement by Lenin, ‘First we will take Eastern Europe.  Next, the masses of Asia. Then we shall encircle the last bastion of capitalism, the United States of America.  We shall not have to attack.  It will fall like an overripe fruit into our hands.’  In this connection, it should be noted that this alleged statement has previously come to the Bureau’s attention and extensive research by the Central Research Section has failed to establish that this or a similar statement was ever attributed to Lenin.”

Page 2:

“Through such statements and the use of pictures, newspaper headlines and maps, the lecture and film strip frequently deal in half truths, distortion of truth and innuendos to establish its point, that international communism is encircling America.  Through references to activities in the 1940’s, it infers that the United States Government is heavily infiltrated by communists at the present time.  These references refer to the days of Coplon, Hiss, and others; however, through the distorted presentation of this material, the average person may believe there are currently many communists in Government service.  Although the FBI is not mentioned by name, the lecture and film strip could well be interpreted as indirectly implying that the FBI has been most derelict in its duties in not eliminating spies and communists from Government service.”

“It was the consensus of opinion of the Agents reviewing the lecture and film strip that it is not the type of material which should be used or endorsed by the FBI.”

The “Recommendations” section of memo includes following notation: “Suggest we tell Williams for the Admiral’s information, that we agree with Admiral Smedberg that the film is biased.”   Hoover  wrote “OK” and initialed the suggestion – which was “handled 1/3/61”.

MORE ABOUT HARDING COLLEGE - Searcy AR

In September 1965, James D. Bales, Professor of Christian Doctrine at Harding College (Searcy AR), sought permission from the FBI to publish a compilation of J. Edgar Hoover’s public comments about communism but Hoover refused to authorize such a publication.

One FBI memo reports that Bales had written to Robert Welch to inquire if the JBS publishing house (Western Islands) would be interested in publishing such a compilation of Hoover’s comments about communism, to be entitled “J. Edgar Hoover on Communism”.  Robert Welch was enthusiastic and the JBS drew up a contract with Bales.  A JBS representative met with an FBI Special Agent in Boston to discuss the idea.  [FBI HQ file 62-104401, #3151; 6/26/67 memo from R.E. Wick to Assistant Director Cartha D. DeLoach, page 1.] 

 Page 2 of the memo has the following summary of the 1965 contact by Bales: 

“In a memorandum prepared at this time, it was noted that Bales corresponded frequently with the Bureau and that Harding College is well known as a right-wing anticommunist center (and) is a source of extremist-type literature in the field of anti-communism.  It was noted that it would be highly unwise for the Director to be associated publicly with Harding College.”    

Bales sent a letter to J. Edgar Hoover dated 9/14/66 stating that despite the FBI’s rejection of  his proposal, he intended to go forward with it because Hoover’s comments were already in the public domain.  The FBI memo then observes: 

“Following receipt of the above letter from Bales, he was removed from the Special Correspondents’ List and he was again told the Director could not give any permission to either publish this manuscript as a book or to circulate it in any manner.”

Page 3 of memo “Observations and Recommendation” observes:

“It is felt the Director should remain firm in continuing to deny Bales and also the JBS permission to publish excerpts from the Director’s quotations on communism.  It is not felt that such a book could possibly give a balanced view of the Director’s statements and in view of the extremist position taken by both Bales and the Birch Society, it is anticipated that the Director could be subject to public criticism by any implied association with Bales and the Birch Society.”

3/20/61 WELCH LETTER PAGE 3

Welch repeats standard mythology about his so-called book-length "private letter", The Politician:  "By the time The John Birch Society was even founded I had stopped making copies of this 'long letter', we were letting it fade out of the picture, and it has never been any part of the materials of The John Birch Society in any way."

The reality is that during 1959 and 1960 Welch used The Politician as a recruitment tool for the John Birch Society.  He sent copies of his unpublished "private letter" to many individuals and he asked them to read and believe its content -- and then join the JBS to do something about "the conspiracy" discussed in its pages.  This is confirmed by both the FBI and a 1960 Naval Intelligence Report.  In fact, as late as December 27, 1961, T. Coleman Andrews wrote the following letter to Welch:

"Dear Bob:  This is just to remind you that you said you would let me have another look at The Politician.  Lon Backman tells me that you loaned him a copy recently and that he has now finished reading it and could send it over to me if it would be all right for him to do so."

See chapter 1 of my JBS Report for details as well as scanned copies of documents which establish that Welch deliberately lied about this matter.  

https://sites.google.com/site/ernie124102/jbs-1

3/22/61 = Robert Welch "To All Members of Our COUNCIL":  Welch discusses the announcement by Gov. Edmund Brown of California that the JBS will be the subject of an investigation by the California State Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities.  

In typical Bircher fashion, all investigative interest in the JBS is characterized as the result of "utterly ruthless members of a conspiracy".  At the first meeting of the JBS National Council in January 1960, Welch described Governor Brown (and Gov. Rockefeller of NY) as "almost certainly actual Communists".  When the Subcommittee's Report was released in 1963, Welch was so impressed by its general factual accuracy and fairness to the JBS that he reprinted the entire Report (with some additional comments regarding "errors" from the JBS perspective) and sold it through the Birch Society's American Opinion bookstore chain.



3/31/61 = Robert Welch sends a telegram to Sen. James O. Eastland, Chairman of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, asking that the Subcommittee investigate the JBS.  Welch declares: "None of our members will plead the Fifth Amendment".

4/1/61 = Two California members of Congress (Edgar W. Hiestand and John H. Rousselot) urge a Congressional inquiry into the JBS to refute "smears" about the JBS.  Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union defends the JBS in a letter to the Chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities by pointing out that "Regardless of how extreme and distorted (the Society's) views may be or how obnoxious they are to us or to the public at large, under the First Amendment, they have the right to be expressed free of government interference."

4/1/61 = Robert Welch "To Members Of Our COUNCIL and A Few Other Friends" - discusses national controversy over the JBS:


    
   



4/5/61 = The FBI received a phone inquiry from the Justice Department concerning what information it had concerning Robert Welch and the JBS.  J. Edgar Hoover responded with a memo addressed to the Attorney General:

"We are answering inquiries from the press and public for information concerning the Society by stating that this Bureau is an investigative agency of the Federal Government and, as such, does not make evaluations or draw conclusions as to the character or integrity of any organization, publication, or individual.  However, in the introduction to the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin dated April 1, 1961, I specifically pointed out the need for an objective and dispassionate approach in fighting the communist menace.  I felt this step was necessary because of the rash of vigilante-type individuals and organizations springing up throughout the country which tend to depart from fact and use gossip, hearsay, and unsubstantiated charges in fighting communism.  In the long run, such tactics hinder rather than help in this fight."  [FBI HQ file 62-104401, #990; 4/5/61 memo from Hoover to The Attorney General, captioned "The John Birch Society"]

6/7/61 = Bryton Barron of Springfield VA was a former U.S. State Department Historian.  In 1960, he became a JBS Coordinator in Virginia and Washington DC area but on May 14, 1961 he resigned.  In June 1961, he circulated a 4-page caustic letter (copied below) to respond to comments by Robert Welch.

 


In November 1960, Robert Welch sent Barron a 9-page single-spaced typewritten letter in which Welch pointed out that: "At about the time or just before you became a part-time Coordinator for us, you wrote me quite a long letter.  In it you made clear that practically everything we were doing in The John Birch Society, in both substance and method, was completely wrong.  In fact, you made it quite clear that we had to be both ignorant and childish to be making be mistakes; and with kind condescension and patronizing generosity you told us what we should be doing, and what our objectives should be."  

In another letter dated May 16, 1961, Welch opened his letter to Barron by observing: "You began your career in The John Birch Society by fighting with, and bitterly criticizing, every single member of the staff with whom you came in contact, either in person or by mail or telephone."

7/10/61 = In the first example of a JBS National Council member objecting to something which Robert Welch did, Paul Talbert objected to the fact that item #10 of the members agenda in the July 1961 JBS Bulletin had not been discussed with, and received approval from, the Council before being adopted as official JBS policy.  Item #10 called upon JBS members to begin a project of compiling data on "the leading Comsymps, Socialists, and Liberals" in the U.S. and then send such material to JBS HQ so that the Society could "build up, and have available for all future research needs, the most complete and accurate files in America...on the background, connections, and activities of all the leading Liberals (including, of course, both Comsymps and Dupes).

Copied below is item #10 from the 7/61 JBS Bulletin and Welch's reply in a 7/17/61 "To All Members of the COUNCIL" memo:

    
 
       

09/05/61 = National Council member Dr. Granville Knight encouraged his fellow Council members to consider "changes (that) must be made if we are to survive."  Among the changes discussed by Knight: "Bob Welch must be replaced by a nationally-known figure who has not been badly smeared and who merits the confidence of thinking Americans."  Two weeks later, Knight resigned as a National Council member.

        


09/12/61 = National Council member Fred Koch (Wichita KS) sent a letter to Council member Tom Anderson (publisher of Farm and Ranch magazine), inquiring "how it would be possible to get copies of my book [A Businessman Looks At Communisminto the hands of the 1,100,000 of your subscribers, what would it cost to run this booklet in one issue of your magazine?"  

Anderson replied on 9/19/61: "We figure we could run your book in the center of our November or December issue---sixteen pages handrunning for a total of $22,400."   It ultimately is published in the July 1962 issue of the magazine.  In addition, Anderson arranges with his printer to print 100,000 extra copies of the 16-page insert that ran in the July 1962 issue. In September 1962, Anderson tells Koch that 60,000 of the reprints had been purchased and Council member Paul Talbert in California had just ordered 10,000.  The Birch Society in Nashville TN distributed inserts to all doctor's offices in Nashville.  In October 1962, Anderson tells Koch that he only has 2500 reprints left and by 11/3/62 the supply was exhausted. Anderson states that he has "several thousand unfilled orders on hand".  On 11/9/62, Koch asked Anderson to arrange for printing of 100,000 new reprints at .3 cents each.

09/23/61 = National Council member Dr. Granville Frank tells Tom Anderson: "I have sent in my resignation from the Council due to my inability to attend meetings and my feeling that unless one is active he should retire in favor of someone who is able to attend the meetings."

09/27/61 = Clarence "Pat" Manion sends Robert Welch a letter (copied below) which supports Dr. Granville Knight's evaluation of the dire situation facing the Birch Society because of substantial negative publicity about Robert Welch.  Manion tells Welch that other prominent JBS members, including National Council members such as Father Richard Ginder and Stillwell J. Conner are in accord about the need for a new person to become the public face of the Birch Society.  On November 14, 1961, National Council member T. Coleman Andrews sends a letter to Clarence Manion agreeing with his comments.  Andrews tells Manion: "I know that it must have been extremely difficult for you to say to Bob the things that you did say to him, but I know how you feel, because I feel exactly the same way; however, the difference between you and me is that I would not have been able to say it nearly so well as you did.  I sincerely hope that Bob is going to take your advice.  If he doesn't, we will just have to do something about it."



In 1969, Father Ginder was arrested on morals charges after the Pittsburgh PA Police Department found photos in his apartment of teenage boys engaged in homosexual acts plus Ginder diaries documenting his own homosexual activities.  Ginder was placed on 10 years probation.   In 1978, Ginder was arrested again on morals charges.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 28, 2004

"Rev. Richard Ginder -- Former editor of prominent Catholic publications, including Our Sunday Visitor, and official diocesan censor. Placed on 10 years' probation in 1969 after police searched his Squirrel Hill home and found photographs of teenage boys performing homosexual acts and diaries documenting his own acts. Stripped of priestly duties in 1976 after publishing a book criticizing church positions on sexual morality. In 1978, convicted of sodomizing two 16-year-old boys. Sentenced to up to four years in prison. Died at age 70 in a 1984 car accident.”

09/28/61 = JBS National Council member Frank Brophy responded to anti-JBS comments made by Governor Pat Brown of California.  Robert Welch included a copy of Brophy's letter with the 11/61 issue of the JBS Bulletin, copied below.  


10/14/61 = Monsignor Francis Lally, the Editor of the Catholic publication Boston Pilot, challenged Robert Welch in an editorial entitled "One Half Of One" to document his assertion in an October 9th speech in Garden City, Long Island, New York that one-half of one percent of Catholic priests in the U.S. were Communist sympathizers -- which would mean 273 priests.

Copied below is the editorial and Robert Welch's reply to Monsignor Lally:

     


It should be pointed out that neither of Welch's statistical estimates regarding the number of Protestant and Catholic clergy who could accurately be described as "Communist" or "Communist sympathizer" are correct -- according to the FBI. Welch stated that he relied upon such "authorities in this area as Herbert Philbrick and Dr. J.B. Matthews" but the FBI evaluation of the assertions made by J.B. Matthews in his July 1953 article which Welch relied upon for his estimate - was as follows:

In arrangement, handling of names, selection of facts, and in its implications, the article is not at all fair to the Protestant clergy of this country” and it characterized Matthew’s charges as “more in the nature of sensational journalism than serious reporting of the facts.”  [FBI HQ file 100-5821, serial #22, 7/29/53].

11/61 = Council member Revilo Oliver issues a press release describing Robert Welch as "one of the finest and noblest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  I believe absolutely in his integrity and his judgment, and I support him without reservation."  However, 4 1/2 years later Oliver resigned from the Birch Society after making a speech with anti-semitic overtones.  In his resignation letter Oliver told Welch that:  

"I now learn that you are not, in fact, head of the John Birch Society.  I have ascertained that you are subject to the secret committee composed of Messrs. Blumenfeld, Kogan, Greener, and Solomon whose orders you must and do obey…I have written this letter in pain and anguish of heart.  Whatever the causes that brought you to your present plight, I pity you.  You have betrayed the great and noble Society that you founded. In deep sorrow, I bid you farewell.”


11/20/61 = In a speech in Austin, TX, Robert Welch asserted that "A comparatively few thousands Communists, concentrated in key departments" of the U.S. government had taken the U.S. "steadily down the road to Communism by steps supposedly designed and presented to the American public as ways of fighting Communism."  Assistant Attorney General J. Walter Yeagley (Chief of Internal Security Division of the Justice Department) wrote to Welch and asked him to provide whatever facts were in his possession "which might establish that certain Government employees are members of the Communist Party."  Welch never replied.

12/5/61 = JBS National Council member Clarence Manion sends Council member T. Coleman Andrews a copy of a letter which Manion received from a JBS Chapter Leader in California.  Manion handwrites on top of the letter "Dear Coleman: This letter is only one of many."  The letter expresses the frustration of the Chapter Leader concerning Robert Welch's statements about President Eisenhower being a Communist traitor contained in his unpublished private letter, The Politician:   "I have talked with many people. They all seem to think of the Birch Society and Welch synonymously and therefore their opinion is that it is a name-calling smear organization, etc.  As I told you yesterday, the minute the Society’s name comes up, so does the subject of Eisenhower and Welch.  They seem to close their ears the minute that it is mentioned…After a lot of thinking and discussion on the subject, the only way that our chapter members can come to a decision on the subject is that Welch should step down, and allow the Council to be the voice of the Society.  I think Welch is a terrific patriot…and would not stand for a second in the way of (JBS) progress.”


12/15/61 = Robert Welch "To All Chapter Leaders and Home Chapter Members" discusses the recently-formed American Committee For Aid To Katanga Freedom Fighters which was organized by William F. Buckley Jr.  Welch urges JBS members to support this Buckley enterprise.

12/61 = Rev. Richard Ginder resigns from JBS National Council.





Due to Google sites space limitations, the Documentary History of the John Birch Society is on 5 webpages here:

CHAPTER…..Time Period……………….URL

JBS 9-1 / 01/58 thru 08/11/60 =       https://sites.google.com/site/ernie1241/

JBS 9-2 / 09/60/60 thru 12/15/61 = https://sites.google.com/site/ernie1241a/

JBS 9-3 / 01/62 thru 12/31/64  =      https://sites.google.com/site/ernie1241b/

JBS 9-4 / 01/65 thru 12/31/65 =       https://sites.google.com/site/jbs9004/

JBS 9-5 / 01/66 thru current =      https://sites.google.com/site/jbs9005a/