Home‎ > ‎


rev. 01/11/20

This webpage pertains to some of the people whom the John Birch Society has employed as speakers under the auspices of its American Opinion Speakers Bureau and/or individuals which it has recommended as reliable and authoritative authors.

The documents below with photos are the summaries written by the JBS about some of its Speakers Bureau employees.


Gary Allen was one of the most prolific writers for the JBS magazine, American Opinion [AO].  By 1985, after Robert Welch died, Allen became very hostile toward the new leadership of the Birch Society and he wrote several very acerbic letters about his disgust with JBS leadership.  One is copied below.  Others may be seen on pages 13-26 of https://archive.org/details/JBS_CRITICS_INSIDE_JBS-1 

In a 8/19/95 letter addressed to "Dear Fellow Bircher" -- Allen discussed the firing of Scott Stanley Jr., (a former editor of American Opinion) and the treatment of Mrs. Robert Welch:

"This month would have marked my 20th anniversary as a writer for American Opinion. During this time I have written over 200 articles for the magazine.  The total word count is over two million.  I never intended to be a journalist. I became one because I was mad as Hell about what was going on in the world.  That is why I first became a Bircher and then, by circumstances, a journalist.

My writings have been well-received by Birchers because they knew I was telling the truth and not mincing any words.  Well, it's time to tell some more truths.  Unfortunately, this is the most unpalatable truth I have ever had to tell.  But the fact is that our vehicle to preserve and regain our freedom and liberties has been stolen from us.  And, it was an inside job.  I am going to tell you things that you don't want to hear; things that will break your heart.  But we can't hide from the truth.  If we do, we are simply engaging in the same kind of fantasies as your typical slumbering citizen.

You know by now that AO has been ash-canned.  Robert Welch must be spinning in his grave. He created AO as the ideological base and transmission belt for our movement.  AO and The Review of the News are theoretically to be replaced by a hybrid whose name, The New American, is also used by the Social Democrats for their newspaper!  An ideological journal and a news magazine don't mix very well, but that is not the point.  The official line is that the magazines had low circulation and were losing money.  This conveniently ignores the fact that Scott Stanley only produced the magazines.  He was denied any voice in promotion although he certainly craved to see his creations get the promotion and circulation they deserved.  He was promised repeatedly that marketing, subscription renewal policies and the like would be improved.  These promises were never honored.

Before we go any further, let's get something straight.  The official party line from Belmont will be that I wrote this letter because I am angry about Scott being fired. Guilty, but with an explanation.  Yes, Scott Stanley is the closest friend I have on this earth.  I couldn't love him more if we were genetic brothers.

The only people to whom I feel more loyalty are my family members.  The survival of freedom and liberty for my children comes first.  That is why this letter had to be written.

You have been told that Scott ‘resigned'.  That is about 10% truth and 90% falsehood. Scott was, for all intents and purposes, fired.  This is what really happened:  Barker told Scott that he had to desist from making speeches to raise money for Kathy McDonald's court defense against the vicious ACLU; that doing so was ‘competition' with the Society. (Barker has said ‘What has Kathy McDonald done for the Society lately?').  Scott told him that his conscience would not allow him to throw Larry's widow and babies to the wolves.  Barker replied that if this was Scott's attitude, he should resign.  The Barker Gang obviously saw Scott with all his creativity as a threat to their reign.  The wanted him out, gone.  So they created circumstances under which no man of honor could stay on.  That is the real story of how Scott ‘resigned'.

There was never a thank you for 25 years of sweat, blood, and total dedication.  Not a single friend of Scott's (outside his staff and writers) even called to express their appreciation.  Unbelievable!  Barker then fired Lee Clark, Scott's brilliant associate editor of nearly 20 years.

Scott's loyal staff has left virtually en masse.  Gone are associate editors Bill Hoar, Jim Graves and editorial assistant Julie Harding.  Gone are key writers John Rees, Alan Stang, Sue Huck, Medford Evans, and Gary Allen.

The new editor of The Review of the News is Jack McManus.  Jack is fairly glib orally, but he is no journalist.  His assistant has done most of the writing for The Birch Log.  There is a big difference between turning out a single-sheet commentary and putting out a weekly newsmagazine. …

The only thing crueler than the way Scott was treated was the absolutely despicable way Mrs. Welch was treated.  The Barker Gang's line on this one is that Mrs. Welch retired because of age.  Another lie.  She was rudely treated and was shoved out.  Can you believe that?  Call her and ask her about it …

About the lowest, most vulgar stunt I've ever heard of was when John McManus slithered into Mrs. Welch's office just two days after Mr. Welch’s death to gloat to her that her husband had converted to Feeneyite Catholicism on his deathbed, after having taken instructions in the faith.  This is a damnable lie.  During the last months of his life he didn't even recognize his wife most of the time.  He couldn't take instructions in anything.  You may think this stunt is beneath contempt, but I have a lot of contempt for it.

The Feeneyites believe the Pope, whom the KGB tried to assassinate, is a Communist and that all non-Feeneyites are going to Hell.  Outside of Tom Hill and Barker, this cult virtually runs Belmont.  If the general membership ever found out about Feeneyite control of the Belmont bureaucracy, there would be revolt in the ranks. …

Incidentally, Mr. Welch paid for the upkeep and maintenance of his home with royalties from The Blue Book and The Politician.  Barker has told Mrs. Welch that this policy has been cancelled.  Robert Welch put every cent he had into the fight.  There is no estate to speak of other than the house.  Mrs. Welch, after everything else she has suffered, has been forced to put that house up for sale."

Who is A. Clifford Barker, anyway?  Nobody knows this guy.  Barker became the head of the Society not because he was chosen, but because he volunteered.  The Belmont line is that he took over the Society at great personal sacrifice.  Well, he did have to give up his welfare check.  You see, he had filed bankruptcy.  His board of directors threw him out after his company had gone broke doing government defense contracts.  I thought that was impossible.  It was after the bankruptcy that Sperry-Rand stepped in and took over the debacle.  That is the true story behind Barker's great sacrifice, despite the baloney being peddled from Belmont…The truth is that Barker is a consummate liar. What are his motivations?  I don't know. Some think he was sent in to deliberately destroy the Society.  John Rees contends that if this were true, he would be more subtle about it.  What can be done about Barker, ‘The Destroyer'?  I don't know.  I don't know if anything can be done.  That is up to YOU.  I only know that, as Burke observed, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.  Sincerely, Gary Allen."

An example of how the Birch Society circulated false and inflammatory information can be found in an article appearing in the May 1967 JBS magazine, American Opinion, by Gary Allen.  The article was entitled “The Plan To Burn Los Angeles.  A reprint of this article was often sold on literature tables at JBS-sponsored events such as JBS speakers appearing under the auspices of the JBS-front group, Truth About Civil Turmoil.

Gary Allen claimed in his article that a group of “40-50 Negroes sent by the Communists into the Los Angeles area from all over the United States” was known to the Los Angeles Police Department as “The Organization”.  According to Allen, this group was “a board of revolutionary strategy” which “planned, engineered, and instigated the Watts rebellion…” in August 1965.  Allen further stated that, “It was this team of highly trained Communists – The Organization – which planned and directed what happened in Watts.”

By contrast, investigative reporters for the Los Angeles Times contacted the Los Angeles Police Department Intelligence Division for comment. Its senior officer, Harold E. Yarnell Jr. stated that the Allen report was false.  [See Los Angeles Times, 4/28/67, part II, pA6, “Watts Riot As Rehearsal For Red Coup Discounted”.]  

The following excerpt from the L.A. Times article pertains to comments made by Gary Allen:

“Police Chief Tom Reddin has disputed a John Birch Society magazine article citing unnamed police as authority that the 1965 Watts riot was a rehearsal for a nationwide Communist revolution to be touched off by total burning of Los Angeles.  ‘The facts as stated in the article are not based on information in our files’ Reddin said. ‘We do not reach the same conclusions the writer does. We do not make the same reading’…Allen writes that his information came from Los Angeles police officers, and particularly the intelligence division of the Police Department.

‘We have investigated to determine whom he may have talked to’ Reddin said. ‘It was nobody in a position of authority---not I, the intelligence captain nor the former police chief (the late William H. Parker).’

Reddin conceded the writer may have talked to ‘someone at the working level’. But Captain Harold E. Yarnell, Jr., head of the intelligence division, said an investigation failed to turn up any officer to whom the writer had talked.  ‘If we had such information, we wouldn’t talk to a writer’ Yarnell pointed out.  Yarnell said the article ‘attempts to recite some history we believe is not based on fact’, and then attempts to recite a major plot in the making. ‘It is not our position that the August 1965 riot was Communist-inspired’ he said. ‘We have never been able to isolate any group as being the motivating forces or manipulators’. …

Said Yarnell: ‘We haven’t been able to establish that any organization had anything to do with it. Three or four groups wanted to take credit. But when someone seriously became interested in talking to them about it, they backed down. I’m sure the Communist Party is gleefully watching every bit of dissension. But they haven’t gone out in front’.

The article specifically mentions reports that during the rioting, men wearing red armbands and speaking through bullhorns gave directions to the mobs. Yarnell said thorough investigation has failed to substantiate such reports.

The article also claims the rioters used stolen loot to build up an arsenal of weapons to be employed in the forthcoming major Communist revolution. ‘The only arsenals we’ve found have been those of paramilitary right-wing groups’ Yarnell said.


Eric Butler was the Far East Correspondent for JBS magazine, American Opinion.  He also wrote articles for Ron Gostick’s Canadian Intelligence Service newsletter.  According to Butler, Jews were behind everything from the Spanish Inquisition to Nazism. Hitler, Butler declared, was of Jewish descent. The Fuhrer was "a man who helped advance Jewish aims". Nazi policies were financed by Jews - with the intention of having Jews arrive as refugees all over the world to spread their anti-Christian evil and political subversion. 

In the early years of World War II, Butler produced two pamphlets, "The War Behind the War" and "The Enemy Within", which warned of the "demonic powers" of the Jew. 

Butler first came to the attention of the Australian federal government in 1945 after he served as an instructor of officers in the army. It was later revealed that he had been consorting with the enemy via the Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

In 1946, he published his "seminal" work, The International Jew: The Truth About the Protocols of Zion. [Its original title was “Hitler’s Policy Was a Jewish Policy" ] 

Butler also stated that the holocaust was a hoax, and six million dead Jews was a joke.  During World War II, Butler described  our war-time ally Russia as “a Jewish slave state . . . controlled by international Jewish financiers in New York”. Butler described the United Nations as "merely a cloak for Jewish policies", and aside from his association with the John Birch Society, he also worked with anti-Semites such as British Nazi Arnold Leese. 

In the 1950s Butler denounced the vaccine against polio as a Jewish ruse to kill children. In his second book he stated: "Violence to the negro is but a pleasurable excitement. Blood rites move him to ecstasy." 

Mark Aarons, an expert on Nazis in Australia, said Butler was a "leading fascist, a racist of the highest order, most especially he was an antisemite."


This example illustrates why you cannot rely upon the JBS for accurate evaluations of people or events or history. 

Albert F. Canwell was the first Chairman of the Washington State Un-American Activities Committee. He was an ardent supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. In later years, the editor of the JBS magazine, American Opinion, asked Canwell to write several articles for American Opinion---which Canwell did. 

Canwell was also a paid speaker under the auspices of the JBS Speakers Bureau and he made speeches around the country for them. 

The JBS publicity release on Canwell described him as follows: 

"Mr. Canwell is one of America's principal authorities on the internal threat from Communism. During his tenure as Chairman of the Washington State Committee on Un-American Activities, he was the first person to expose the machinations of Alger Hiss. An author, Mr. Canwell has published articles in American Opinion magazine...He has also served as Chief of the Identification Branch in the Spokane Sheriff's Department, worked on foreign investigations for the late Scott McLeod of the Department of State, and helped the FBI uncover Soviet espionage operations during the 1940's. A keen researcher, crack investigator, and excellent speaker, Mr. Canwell is now Director of the American Intelligence Service and Freedom Library, Inc. of Washington." 

In 1963, Canwell was one of several defendants in a libel lawsuit initiated by a Washington State legislator. 

Several JBS members and supporters were co-defendants with Canwell because they had published material claiming that the state legislator and his wife were Communist or "under Communist discipline". 

A JBS chapter leader in Bellingham WA (Lee Adamson) formed a Citizens Defense Fund to assist all of the defendants in that lawsuit--including Canwell. 

The judge in the case ruled that Canwell should be considered an "expert witness" about communist matters. 

Here, then, is an excerpt from Canwell's lengthy 1997 Oral History interview about his long anti-Communist career. Timothy Frederick was the interviewer.  

Canwell's comments about Robert Welch may be found starting on page 283 of the transcript: 

Albert F. Canwell: An Oral History, Washington State Oral History Program, Office of the Secretary of State, 1997


Mr. Canwell:

"The issues were that Robert Welch was not an anti-Communist. He was an opportunist, a world socialist actually, and he was doing a very dishonest job. He would gather some very fine people about him. He was a member of the National Manufacturers Association. So he sold them the idea that he was anti-Communist and that he had this program going and then he got quite a number of them to join his group. But what he was actually doing was getting people who were well identified as anti-Communist and able Americans, he’d get them to go along in his society and then he would smear them, destroy them. And that was what his object was."

Mr. Frederick:

Why was he doing that?

Mr. Canwell:

"Because he was an international socialist. I went to work in looking into his background when I began to have trouble with him. And I found that he had attended the London School of Economics, the top socialist school in the world. It became very obvious to me that he was able to acquire this leadership position by moving into the anti-Communist movement and pretending to be something that he was not. And then some of his own kind of people helped him do that: Drew Pearson, and others, who all of a sudden were attacking Robert Welch and giving him reams of free publicity. And the so-called Americans or anti-Communists thought, 'Well, if Drew Pearson is against him, he must be all right.' Actually Pearson and Welch were hand-in-glove."

"Another phase of this that I turned up was that Robert Welch was a long-time member of the American Civil Liberties Union, which would and did surprise a lot of people when I released that information. They denied it and he eventually made the statement that he belonged merely to get their publications, but that wasn’t the case. There was friction on that level.". ....

"Then they also put great effort into getting me to join their National Speakers Bureau. Again it became obvious to me what they wanted. They wanted my reputation plus they could put my picture in their brochure or their catalogue that they put out. But they would never find any worthwhile speaking engagements for me. I knew how that worked. They got Westbrook Pegler to write for them for awhile and then they started the damnedest smear on him that you could imagine. I could see the pattern and I became acquainted with some of the national members of his board, Dan Draskovich and others, and Welch did the same thing to all of them. He’d get them to identify with the Birch Society either on the speakers bureau or on their board or on the writing level and then he’d circulate information about them, derogatory information that was damaging to them. You talk about a sophisticated espionage operation, that was it. I would say that ninety percent, ninety-five percent of the Birch Society members were just downright good Americans, nothing wrong with them at all." 

Mr. Frederick:  Was he a head case?

Mr. Canwell:

"A head case? I don’t know. I suspected that he was on drugs, and I say that from having observed him in two or three meetings where he was talking and he’d leave the meeting and take some pills. I don’t know what kind or what for but I suspected that might be the case. Are these international socialists psychopathic or what? You know they just aren’t pro-Americans. They aren’t supportive of our system. This is all news to you, I imagine. You may think I’m psychotic, but on this I’m not. I have correspondence. I told him that because of his activity he couldn’t get his name in the paper any more and that I was going to put him back on the front page. But I just didn’t have time to work on him properly."


Sheriff Clark was another one of those unsavory characters who always seem to attach themselves to the Birch Society.  Clark was notorious for his use of violent tactics and intimidation of African Americans. He started a fight with Annie Lee Cooper, a 54-year-old black woman standing in line to register to vote, that ended with Clark's deputies holding her down while he beat her with a billy club. Clark and his deputies used cattle prods on black youths at a civil rights demonstration to force them to march until some collapsed or vomited from exhaustion. Claiming that any attempt to gain voting rights by African Americans was part of a plan for "black supremacy," Clark wore a small button reading "Never" as a symbol of his opposition to black civil rights.

During World War II, Clark was an engineer and gunner with the Army Air Force in the Aleutian Islands.  Afterwards he settled in Dallas County (AL) and raised cattle.

In 1955, Clark was appointed Sheriff of Dallas County (AL) by Gov. Jim Folsom Sr.  He served as Sheriff from 1955-1966

In 1963 the civil rights group, SNCC, organized a “Freedom Day” in Selma to register black voters.  Clark dispatched a photographer to take pictures and he threatened to send the photos to their employers.  (At the time only 1% of eligible blacks in Selma were registered to vote.)

In March of 1965, Clark joined Alabama State Troopers in attacking marchers with clubs and tear gas on the Edmund Pettus Bridge – injuring 84 marchers.  After subsequent demonstrations, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. In 1966 Clark ran for re-election but he was defeated in the Democratic primary.

Details re: United States vs James G. Clark Jr. here:  

On May 9, 1967 Clark was the main speaker before the segregationist Greater Los Angeles Citizens Council.  

On October 27 1978, Clark was indicted when the “Federal Grand Jury, Southern District of New York, returned a 49 count of 17 subjects” in connection with scheme to defraud investors throughout the United States via Trident Consortium (RICO and Fraud by Wire; Title 18, USC, Sections 1343 and 1962(C).  

“Investigation of Trident Consortium revealed a network of international conmen, thieves and organized crime which conducted an advance fee operations for the period 1/77 through 12/77, by the use of organized brokers located throughout the U.S.  Approximately 50 customers lost a total of $2 million in advance fees to Trident Consortium.” [FBI HQ file 87-144870, #87x1; 1/18/79]

On December 1, 1978, Clark was sentenced to two years in Federal prison for his conviction in Montgomery AL of conspiracy to smuggle marijuana. Clark spent 9 months in prison.  More details:  http://www.nytimes.com/1978/12/02/archives/exsheriff-is-sentenced-to-2-years-new-york-case-described.html?_r=0


From 1963-1965, Griswold served on the staff of Alabama Governor George C. Wallace. Griswold was interviewed by FBI Agents of the Birmingham AL field office after he sent the FBI a letter requesting 500 copies of an FBI publication.  A notation on the file copy of the Bureau reply states that “Griswold was interviewed by Agents of the Birmingham office on 09-26-63.  During that interview he advised he was a member of the local JBS and attends meetings of that group regularly.  He denied membership in the National States Rights Party…Rev. Griswold stated he is a segregationist and is frequently invited to speak on the subject of constitutional rights and communism at local meetings of the Klan and other conservative organizations.”

Among the times when Griswold was a speaker at Klan or other white supremacist events were the following.  Note:  The Ku Klux Klan (described by Griswold as a "conservative" organization, was on the U.S. Attorney General's List of Subversive Organizations.

06/07/73 = Rally of United Americans For Conservative Government at North Birmingham Masonic Lodge.  

09/02/63 = United Klans of America (UKA) rally at National Guard armory in Birmingham.  Featured speaker was Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton.  According to FBI informant reports, Griswold, Shelton, and third speaker (George Fisher) “alleged that the entire civil rights movement …is Communist inspired (and) the leaders of the various Negro groups active in the integration movement are Communists.” [FBI HQ 157-370-4, #106; Birmingham report on United Klans of America, page 5.]

02/08/64 = UKA banquet at Dinkler-Tutwiler Hotel, Birmingham under name of Alabama Rescue Squad.  Griswold identified as “Baptist minister active in United Americans For Conservative Government and ardent segregationist.”  Other speakers included KKK and National States Rights Party attorney Matt Murphy and Robert Shelton. [HQ 157-370-4, #118; 2/9/64 SAC Birmingham teletype to J. Edgar Hoover]. Subsequent Birmingham report (serial #123 dated 2/19/64, p 7-8), summarizes informants reports about Griswold speech:  “He claimed the Negro civil rights movement is completely dominated by Communists.”

Note:  For background information about the National States Rights Party, see FBI internal training monograph here:

04/29/64 = Conservative Tract League, Birmingham AL


Jack Mohr was a virulent anti-semite and an adherent of Christian Identity theology.  Some of his comments during his speeches appear below:

"Any time a Christian gives aid to those who call their Savior 'the illegitimate bastard of a Jewish whore, conceived during menstruation,' as the Jews state in their Talmud, they commit treason against their God, against His Son, Jesus the King, and against everything they claim to hold dear and sacred!"

"One of the most dangerous of all Jewish organizations is the Anti-Defamation League, of the Jewish Masonic B'nai B'rith. They are for all practical purposes, a powerful secret police organization operating illegally in the United States as an unregistered agent of the Israeli government."

"People cannot judge wisely unless they are informed, and the controlled media of America for at least the last seventy years, has done a masterful job of 'mis-information' to the public. A mis-informed, or un-informed public becomes a real danger to our freedom, but is so much easier for the 'masters" to control.' "

"The intellectual stupidity of white Christian Americans has played into the hands of our enemies, until today we stand on the edge of slavery and annihilation as a race."

"The purpose of the ADL is to fill Federal data banks with information on all persons and organizations who are 'prejudiced' against their drive for control, thus alerting law enforcement agencies nationwide on any of these activities. If the ADL had its way, anyone they accuse of 'prejudice' would be accused, tried, convicted and imprisoned."


"The power of the world Jewry has grown to the place where most pastors are afraid to buck it, even though they know the Jews are the enemies of Jesus Christ, and thusly of God Himself."

"There is no sphere of human activity where these anti-Christ's have not done Satan's propaganda work. They clamor for 'freedom in a democracy' so they can tear down the Republic. They desire freedom only for themselves so they can destroy every vestige of our White Christian Civilization."


"While Christians have been willing to open our doors and share America with the Jews; they in turn do not want to share America with the Christians. They want it all! Whenever they are accused, whenever their plot is exposed, they raise the plaintive cry of 'anti-Semitism'. This needs to be corrected in Christian minds, to read, 'Becoming Jew conscious!' "

"You may say, as others have: 'But why condemn all Jews?' It is because the Jewish Communities cooperate with the Zionist venture. Even though some of their leaders take a stand against Zionism, very few Jewish voices are raised in opposition to International Jewish crimes. They have developed an arrogance which they believe places them above the law of any land."



Circa 1967, Rees became the Washington Bureau Chief of the JBS weekly news magazine, The Review of the News.  In the 1970's he also self-published a newsletter, "Information Digest" as a product of his organization, National Goals, Inc.

The following data comes from a 3-page FBI memo dated September 27, 1968 from Alex Rosen (Assistant Director, General Investigative Division) to Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach (HQ file 176-1410-78, #334).  The first page of the memo is a "synopsis" of the details presented on pages 2 and 3.  What follows below is the entire text of the synopsis: 

"An investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA) informed our Chicago office that John Herbert Rees will testify before this committee as a friendly witness about information he has concerning the disturbances at the Democratic National Convention.  Rees was in Chicago in an undercover capacity.  In addition, the following hostile witnesses have been subpoenaed, all of which we have under intensive investigation as principal subjects in the disturbances: Abbott Hoffman, Thomas Hayden, Rennard Davis, David Dellinger, and Jerry Rubin. 

Rees, a 44-year old white male and British national is an official of National Goals, Inc., a non-profit counseling firm to police and other Government agencies in management and training. Last April he contacted our Newark office with an investigator from HCUA stating he had information of a racial and criminal nature. He spoke in generalities and furnished no information of value. Interviewing Agents were of the opinion his interests in contacting the FBI were self-serving. Rees was forced to resign his full-time position with a Federally funded local organization in Newark on 3/8/68 when it determined he had another full time job. U.S. Dept. of Labor is attempting to recover $7,597 paid to Rees in salary. Rees was fired from his job as a reporter with the London Daily Mirror when he used the paper to enhance his own personal standing. He kept company with a former secretary of our Legat in London in 1962 who planned to marry Rees before she discovered he was married and had five children. Rees presently married to a Negro. In 1964 he received nation-wide publicity when Grace Metalious, author of the novel `Peyton Place' died and left her quarter million dollar estate to him based on a death-bed will leaving nothing to her estranged husband and three children. She had known him for only a few months. Rees subsequently renounced all claim to the estate when it was determined the liabilities exceeded the assets.

ACTION: Rees is an unscrupulous unethical individual and an opportunist who operates with a self-serving interest. Information he has provided has been exaggerated and in generalities.  Information from him cannot be considered reliable.  We should not initiate any interview with this unscrupulous unethical individual concerning his knowledge of the disturbance in Chicago as to do so would be a waste of time."

J. Edgar Hoover initialed the memo and wrote "OK" on its "action" recommendation.

Pg 2 of the memo amplifies the FBI's concerns about Rees:

"He attempted to sell himself and his services to the FBI.  The interviewing Agents believed his interests were self-serving and that he came to the FBI thinking this would enhance his credentials in contacting other potential clients."

Same data also contained in Newark 157-2535, serial#4 (4/17/68 LHM regarding Rees and National Goals, Inc.) and serial #5 (SAC Newark memo to JEH 4/17/68 on Rees visit to Newark office). 

Newark 157-2535, #5, page 4 of the memo contains the following observations:

“In all, it was the opinion of the interviewing agents that Rees coming to the Newark office was in some way attempting to enhance his credentials in contacting other potential clients.  No encouragement was given him since it was felt that he is a ‘name dropper’ and it is not too unlikely that he will advise others that he has been in contact with the FBI, if he feels such a statement will be beneficial to him…In any contact with him, it will be at ‘arm’s length’ since it is believed he does exaggerate and will enlarge upon the truth to make a point.  Further, Rees’ background indicates he is an opportunist without scruples; and while he jokingly referred to himself as a con man at one point during the interview, it is felt there is more truth than jest in his remark.”  Page 2 of the memo mentions that Rees spoke in generalities regarding the racial situation and furnished no information of value.

John Rees is another former Bircher who had a serious falling out with the new leadership of the JBS after the death of Robert Welch.  


Control and domination of the civil rights movement by subversive elements is a constant theme in JBS literature during the 1960's.

According to Robert Welch in “The Time Has Come”, a 1964 JBS pamphlet, the Communist civil rights strategy since 1928 was to stir up racial bitterness and rioting while promising “to convert the Dixie states into a Negro Soviet Republic…”  This theme was echoed in a Birch Society national newspaper ad from August 1965 captioned “What’s Wrong With Civil Rights?” and it also was repeated by other JBS-recommended sources such as Dan Smoot and Alan Stang.

Alan Stang devoted chapter 3 of his 1965 JBS-published book, It’s Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, to discussion of this “strategy”.  [See “The Communist Position on the Negro Question”, pages 28-37]

By contrast, J. Edgar Hoover pointed out in his January 1960 testimony before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee that the 17th National Convention of the Communist Party USA held in New York City on December 10, 1959 had discarded that position:

"The Negro resolution adopted by the convention discarded the party's historic position advocating 'self-determination' meaning that Negroes should be given the right to form a separate nation in the Southern States…The 1959 convention resolution hence represents a party admission that its position concerning Negroes is bankrupt. Time itself has shown that the party is not interested in the welfare of the Negro, but only in using him as a tool to advance party interests." [J. Edgar Hoover: An Analysis of the 17th National Convention of the Communist Party USA; Statement made to Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, 1/17/60, page 7; Also see: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, March 1960 – for same comment.]

In the November 1965 JBS Bulletin, Mr. Welch strongly recommended Alan Stang's book entitled It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights because, in Welch's words, "It gives the whole picture of the 'civil rights' development, as a part of Communist strategy, more completely and convincingly than anything else available."

Again, in May 1966, Mr. Welch used the JBS Bulletin to heap praise upon Stang’s book:

"This book, because of its thoroughness, its comprehensive coverage of the whole 'civil rights' story, and its meticulous documentation, is the best single searchlight we have for exposing the 'civil rights' fraud."

According to Alan Stang, the “civil rights movement was not only planned by the Communists, but was begun, is staffed, and is conducted by the Communists—and has only one real purpose: the destruction and communization of America.”

In May 1965, the Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI Field Office forwarded proof sheets of the Stang book to FBI Headquarters, two months before its scheduled publication. An evaluation of the book was prepared for Assistant Director W.C. Sullivan by F.J. Baumgardner:

"It's Very Simple is an attempt to rationalize today's civil rights movement in this country as primarily a communist operation...Practically all his documentation is to public source material and there is no significant information in the book which appears to be new and previously unknown to the Bureau. Stang makes frequent use of literary license and importantly fails to include documentation for key passages (examples appear on pages 101 and 185). An entire chapter (14) is devoted to an attack on civil rights legislation and the book, in general, is critical of all Administration and other efforts aimed at improving the lot of the Negro." [HQ 100-106670-1412, May 28, 1965, and 100-106670-1525, June 24, 1965, both F.J. Baumgardner to W.C. Sullivan].

The concluding "Observations" paragraph states:

"The details of the book do not support the strong conclusions reached by the author. We have had available to us all the material which Stang has plus considerable additional data from our investigations and we could not arrive at such conclusions. The impression is received that Stang may have well started with his conclusions and then developed the information and manner of presentation which he hoped would prove his point. This work must be viewed in the light of the author's apparent close connections with Robert Welch and the John Birch Society." [Ibid]


Some context about Alan Stang's research habits might be appropriate to supplement the FBI's evaluation.

Alan Stang authored the American Opinion magazine article that resulted in an historic precedent-setting libel lawsuit by Chicago lawyer Elmer Gertz against Robert Welch, Inc.  [The article by Stang was entitled, "Frame-Up-Richard Nuccio and the War on Police" which was published in the April 1969 issue of the Birch Society monthly magazine, American Opinion.  Richard Nuccio was a Birch Society member and section leader.  His family later harshly criticized the JBS for what they claimed was its lack of proper support.]

Two juries on two separate occasions found the Alan Stang article to be libelous and the second jury awarded Gertz $300,000 in punitive damages in addition to $100,000 compensatory damages. Ultimately, the Gertz matter wound up being heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

During the Oral Arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on 11/14/73, the Birch Society was represented by Clyde J. Watts (a JBS National Council member).


During the oral arguments, Clyde Watts was asked by a Justice: 

"I understand Counsel brought a petition to say that it had been conceded at the trial that the article was libelous - do you deny that?"

Watts observed that he did not think the article was libelous but he acknowledged that during the original trial 

At 35:04 = "It was conceded that some of the remarks in the article were false."

At 36:01 = Watts admits that:

"Under Illinois law, the inference and impact of the article, absent the New York Times concept, would be libelous in Illinois. I think the Court is accurate in that observation."

The 1982 Appeals Court decision made the following comments about Scott Stanley Jr. (editor of American Opinion) and Alan Stang (the author of the defamatory article about Gertz).

"In summary, Stanley conceived of a story line; solicited Stang, a writer with a known and unreasonable propensity to label persons or organizations as Communist, to write the article; and after the article was submitted, made virtually no effort to check the validity of statements that were defamatory per se of Gertz, and in fact added further defamatory material based on Stang's 'facts'. There was more than enough evidence for the jury to conclude that this article was published with utter disregard for the truth or falsity of the statements contained in the article about Gertz." [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 81-2483, Elmer Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 6/16/82, page 20].

There is also a footnote appended to this paragraph in which the Appeals Court observed that:

"Furthermore, Stang's conduct in investigating and researching the article also is evidence of actual malice."...

Eventually, Stang became disgusted with the new leadership of the Birch Society after the death of Robert Welch.  Stang then created a website entitled "As I See It: A Brief Memoir" as a vehicle for disaffected Birchers to share their personal horror stories about what they claimed was dishonesty, corruption, and immorality within the Birch Society.  

Stang's Memoir website is now defunct but the 2002 version is here: https://web.archive.org/web/20030211031249/http://www.alanstang.com:80/default1.htm


When Varney was 18 years old, he published Socialist Tribune.  He later became a national leader and lecturer for the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).

By 1920, Varney became a publicity writer for the Republican National Committee.  From 1927-1933 he was Managing Director of the Italian Historical Society, during which time it published 15 pro-Mussolini books.  

From 1933 to 1936, Varney was co-owner and Editor of The Awakener magazine  a pro-fascist periodical which was repeatedly applauded by the Nazi propaganda organ World Service. The Awakener was set up as a partnership between Varney and Joseph Peter Kamp.  It was published twice a month. Associate Editors included Lawrence Dennis. Col. Eugene Sanctuary, and Demarest Lloyd and one major contributor was John Eoghan Kelly (of Christian Front). 

From 1930-1935, Varney had a room in Kamp’s apartment.  NOTE:  When Spruille Braden was interviewed by the FBI on March 15, 1961 about Varney, Braden described Varney asdefinitely not a Communist, but he approached being a Fascist.” (NYC 97-1889, #18; 3/31/61, page 6)

In September 1953, Varney wrote "The Truth About Joe McCarthy" (link below) for American Mercury magazine -- which, at that time, was owned and published by J. Russell Maguire.  Varney became the Political Editor for the Mercury:  http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1953sep-00003

Maguire (aka John Russell Maguire or Russell Maguire) was born in 1897.  He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University.  He began his business career as an order clerk.  He served in the Navy during World War I.  After the war, he worked for Aetna Casualty and Surety Company but he left them in 1935 to form the Russell Maguire Company, an investment firm.  This firm was dissolved in 1941 after an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission found that two companies under his control were guilty of illegal manipulation of stocks.  Subsequently, in 1945, the SEC denied his application to register as head of a brokerage company because of the 1941 incident.

Maguire was President and Chairman of Maguire Industries, Inc. The company originated in 1916 as Auto Ordinance Corporation but in 1939 it was sold to Thompson Automatic Arms Corp.  Maguire acquired this corporation in 1944 and it became part of Maguire Industries, Inc.  During World War II, Maguire’s corporation produced the bulk of Thompson submachine guns. Large government contracts made Maguire a multi-millionaire. His personal fortune was estimated at about $100 million.

Maguire’s political views were not well known prior to 1952. He financially supported the distribution of John O. Beaty’s 1951 book, Iron Curtain Over America.  The oldest Methodist Church periodical in North America (Zion’s Herald) described Beaty’s book as “the most extensive piece of racist propaganda in the history of the anti-semitic movement in America.”

Maguire was also a financial supporter of Merwin K. Hart’s organization, the National Economic Council.  [Hart later founded and headed the first Birch Society chapter in New York City.]  

In 1952 Maguire purchased American Mercury magazine (hereinafter AM) which was founded in 1924 by Alfred A. Knopf and edited by H.L. Mencken. Maguire published AM until 1961 when he sold it.  A few months after he acquired AM, his top editors resigned. In a joint statement they observed:

“It has been our understanding that the magazine would strive to represent dynamic and sophisticated conservatism…and that was the direction in which we sought to guide it. But in view of {Maguire’s] lack of sympathy, we feel it impossible to continue.”
[Time magazine, 12-8-52, “Trouble For The Mercury”]

During this period, Maguire hired Allen A. Zoll.  Zoll became an account executive for AM advertising, and he solicited subscriptions.  Zoll’s previous claim to fame was his formation of American Patriots, Inc. – an organization that was listed on the U.S. Attorney General’s list of subversive (fascist) organizations.

Maguire made some dramatic staff changes for AM and he hired some well known New York conservative anti-communists.  John A. Clements became editor. Columnists and regular contributors included:  J.B. Matthews (formerly with the Dies Committee and Sen. Joe McCarthy and later a close friend and confidant of Birch Society founder Robert Welch), Ralph deToledano (author of “Seeds of Treason”) George Fielding Eliot (who was military editor) and columnists Howard Rushmore and Eugene Lyons.

In September 1955, the entire top staff of the Mercury (listed above) resigned en masse. Frederick Woltman, the investigative reporter who was awarded the 1946 Pulitzer prize for his articles in the New York World Telegram and Sun on Communist infiltration of labor unions, was personally acquainted with the entire AM staff.  He wrote:  “The editors resigned feeling that attempts were being made to introduce anti-Semitic material into the Mercury.”  [Time, 10/3/55, “Blowup At The Mercury.”]

Maguire’s step-daughter became Managing Editor in December 1955.

In December 1955, AM re-activated a 1953 column that was discontinued in 1954 captioned “Do You Know?” which consisted of short statements of alleged “facts”.  
AM frequently cited as reliable sources such prominent anti-semites as Father Charles Coughlin and Henry Ford Sr. – in particular, the series of articles published as “The International Jew” in Ford’s Dearborn, Michigan newspaper.

On April 18, 1957 Maguire was named as head of the Constitution Party.  Maguire was the keynote speaker at the Party’s 1957 convention in San Francisco.  He discussed the evils of Jewish “international bankers” and their efforts to subvert America.

In October 1957, Maguire personally contacted the then-Secretary of Defense, Neil McElroy to report what he considered “subversion” within our CIA and other agencies.  The Defense Department referred the matter to the FBI and the Bureau instructed its New York City office to interview Maguire.  

Here is the summary which the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s New York City office sent to J. Edgar Hoover:

“He said that the powerful subversive organization that has the U.S. Government under its influence is made up of Zionists.  He said it’s the aim of the Zionists to take over the entire world, and their influence reaches into the higher echelons in the U.S. Government.  According to Maguire, Zionists started World War I in order to set up the Communist Government of Russia.  He added that Communism is just an offshoot of Zionism.  He said that the Zionists planned and initiated World War II in order to set up the country of Israel and they are planning World War III in order to take over the entire world.  Maguire stated that the headquarters of the Zionist movement is not in Russia nor in Israel but is located in New York City. [FBI HQ file 62-105023, #883, 11/2/58, SAC NYC to J. Edgar Hoover, page 3] 

In January 1961, Russell Maguire announced the sale of AM:

“We are happy to tell you that the Defenders of the Christian Faith, Inc., Wichita Kansas, now owns the American Mercury magazine…”

The Defenders was organized in 1925 by the Rev. Gerald B. Winrod.  In a January 23, 1961 letter to Tom Anderson, Robert Welch commented:

“The people to whom Maguire sold the Mercury are, according to reports I have received which seem reliable, one of the worst racist and hate groups in the United States.  I am told that they are even more viciously anti-Catholic than they are anti-Jewish.”

In 1963 AM was again sold to a group that included JBS member Gen. Edwin A. Walker and in 1966, Willis Carto’s Noontide Press acquired AM and he merged it with Western Destiny magazine, to become a quarterly journal devoting itself to circulating racist and neo-nazi propaganda.