The John Birch Society was just 10 years old when I joined back in 1968. The reasons then are the same reasons I remain active today. This is from my friend and publisher of The New American, Bill Jasper, published today, Friday, October 5, 2018:
Sixty years of unflinching service to God, family, country. Six decades of uncompromising dedication to truth and principle. In December 1958, when Robert Welch summoned together 11 prominent American patriots to found The John Birch Society, our nation was in deadly peril — from without and within. Communism was sweeping the world, while here at home Democrats and Republicans alike were embracing welfare-state socialism. Politicians from both parties were not only lauding and funding the recently formed United Nations organization, but were practically tripping over each other to transfer more and more powers to that global body.
World War II, in which totalitarian collectivism — in the form of communism, Nazism, and fascism — had ravaged the planet, had ended only 13 years earlier. The Korean War, fought under United Nations command and with incredible restrictions on U.S. forces, had ended only five years earlier, in 1953. But it had not really ended; our leaders had settled for a cease-fire and the abandonment of American POW/MIAs to communist North Korea. President Harry Truman had sent America’s fighting men into that cauldron of death without a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress, as demanded by our Constitution. He and his enablers in Congress and the media got around that by claiming that the Korean “conflict” was a “police action” authorized by the United Nations. There was no need, they said, for a formal declaration of war.
More than 36,000 Americans gave their lives in the UN’s Korean “police action” — and a dangerous precedent was set for sending America’s armed forces to far-flung battlefields on open-ended missions, based merely on presidential whim and the supposed demands of the “international community.” Another consequence of that conflict was the successful solidification of communist conquest of yet another land. The “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” backed by the Soviet Union and communist China, was, in effect, rewarded by the United States with a guarantee of future nonintervention. Communist dictator Kim Il-sung, Korea’s Soviet-installed “Supreme Leader,” presided over one of the most repressive regimes on the planet until his death in 1994. His son, Kim Jong-il (ruling from 1994 to 2011), and grandson, Kim Jong-un (ruling from 2011 to present), have continued his sordid, lethal reign. The current global tension and tumult caused by Kim Jong-un is an enduring legacy to betrayal by American leaders decades ago.
The crucial issue of betrayal and treason was a thorny matter that Americans had been grappling with for more than a decade. There was no question that a large number of Soviet agents had penetrated our federal government, with the State, Treasury, and Labor Departments being particularly infiltrated. From the start, President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal administration, infatuated with central planning by “experts,” had been friendly toward all brands of leftist ideology, welcoming on board socialists, Marxists, communists, and fascists. However, with World War II, the communist bridgehead expanded dramatically. The war was begun with the joint Nazi (National Socialist)-Soviet invasion and division of Poland. However, when Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin turned on each other, FDR and his advisors jumped at the opportunity to embrace Stalin as “our noble ally” and to shower his genocidal regime with military, industrial, and financial aid.
The “peace” following the terrible world war gave way to the ugly reality of the Cold War, as one nation after another joined the captive nations behind the Soviet-imposed Iron Curtain: Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, Georgia, Albania, and more. In 1948, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Arthur Bliss Lane published I Saw Poland Betrayed, his eyewitness account of the “deliberate and treasonous betrayal of Poland, by our government, into Soviet hands.” As testimony and evidence surfaced, it became obvious that betrayal and treason were also responsible for the tragic fates of the other captive nations. Although Ambassador Lane’s tell-all book deserved to be a bestseller, the pro-Soviet forces in the American media smothered it.
However, in that same year, 1948, another revelation of betrayal and treason erupted that the pro-communists in government and the media couldn’t cover up — at least not entirely, although they tried mightily to do so. We are referring to the exposure of infamous Soviet agent Alger Hiss, the high-level State Department official who served as a top advisor to President Roosevelt at the Yalta Conference, where Eastern Europe was pitilessly betrayed into Stalin’s bloody grip. He was also a main architect of the United Nations Charter and served as the acting secretary-general of the United Nations founding conference in San Francisco in 1945. In that capacity, Hiss stacked the UN deck against the United States and for the Soviets by promoting fellow communists: Solomon Adler, Virginius Frank Coe, Laurence Duggan, Noel Field, Harry Dexter White, William Ullmann, and others.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was aware of the communist infiltration. A 1946 memo from FBI special agent Guy Hottel to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover warned:
It has become increasingly clear … that there are a tremendous number of persons employed in the United States government who are Communists and who strive daily to … destroy the foundations of this government…. Today nearly every department or agency of this government is infiltrated with them in varying degree. To aggravate this situation, they appear to have concentrated most heavily in those departments which make policy, particularly in the international field, or carry it into effect … [through] such organizations as the State and Treasury departments, FEA, OSS, WPD, etc.
In addition to the testimony of Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, and Hedde Massing, all of whom were former Communist Party members and members of the Soviet espionage network, Alger Hiss stood accused by massive physical and circumstantial evidence. However, since the statute of limitations had passed for his espionage activities, he was convicted only of perjury, for lying under oath before a congressional committee, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison (he served only three years and eight months).
As all of this was happening, Hiss’s communist comrades in the State Department were completing the betrayal of China to Stalin and his communist minion, Mao Tse-tung. U.S. Ambassador to China General Patrick Hurley, who had witnessed the betrayal — and had fought valiantly to stop it — was one of many who raised their voices to warn America of the treason and treachery in the highest levels of our government. The fall of China in 1949, he charged, was the result of a “conspiracy to overthrow the Nationalist Government of China, and to set up in its place a Communist regime — and all this movement was part of, and cannot be separated from, the Communist cell or apparatus that existed at the time in the Government in Washington.”
Following fast on the heels of the stunning China betrayal came the indictments, trial, and convictions of the “Atom Bomb Spies” — Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and their co-conspirators — and further revelations that their espionage ring represented but the tip of a much larger, still-concealed iceberg threatening our ship of state.
The betrayals by enemies within continued during the Korean War. General Douglas MacArthur stated: “Always in war when I visited my wounded in the hospital, I could look them in the eye, no matter what their condition or how tragic their wounds, knowing that our country had backed them to the hilt. But when I went to see my Korean wounded, I just couldn’t look them in the eye, knowing that they had been forced to fight with one hand tied behind their backs…. I am convinced I was restrained in Korea by some secret Administration policy directive or strategy about which I was not informed.”
General MacArthur was fired by President Truman for wanting to win the war and for hitting the communists too hard. He was succeeded as UN commander in Korea by General Matthew Ridgway, who was then succeeded by General Mark Clark. In his book From the Danube to the Yalu, General Clark speculated that “perhaps Communists had wormed their way so deeply into our government on both the working and planning levels that they were able to exercise an inordinate degree of power in shaping the course of America in the dangerous postwar era.” “I could not help wondering and worrying,” he continued, “whether we were faced with open enemies across the conference table and hidden enemies who sat with us in our most secret councils.”
In 1950, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin began his heroic efforts to expose the enemies within our most secret councils and to drain the communist-infested swamp in Washington, D.C. Naturally, the Daily Worker and other official Communist Party publications immediately launched a nonstop, vicious attack of lies and disinformation on the crusading solon. That was not in the least surprising, since that is what communists always and everywhere do when threatened with exposure. In doing so, they are simply following the instructions of Vladimir Lenin, who said: “We can and must write in the language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, scorn, and the like, toward those who disagree with us.”
What was shocking to many Americans was the degree to which so much of the establishment press, as well as prominent elected and appointed officials, joined in the Leninist smear and denunciation of Senator McCarthy. Notwithstanding the unprecedented rapid fall of much of our planet to Soviet-sponsored revolution, the penetration of our government by a network of communist traitors, and the widespread infection of our educational and cultural institutions with Marxist-Leninist ideology, the supposed voices of wisdom screamed that McCarthy and “McCarthyism,” not communism, were the real threats to American liberty. Senator McCarthy, they claimed, was a rogue, a demagogue, a drunkard, a paranoid, a bully, an extremist, and a witch hunter.
It was as if the man who was sounding the fire alarm and attempting to put out the fire, while also pointing to the arsonists, found himself being condemned, while the criminal arsonists were congratulated and rewarded. It was not only Senator McCarthy who was subjected to this treatment — although he, by far, was the most virulently attacked victim. Any and all anti-communists could expect the same treatment to varying degrees.
With all of the aforementioned treachery and debacles in mind — and much more besides — Robert Welch welcomed 11 men to Indianapolis in December 1958 for a two-day state-of-the-nation, state-of-the-world presentation. On the first day, he sketched a brief picture of the dire predicament of liberty before the advancing forces of the global communist conspiracy and the concomitant tidal pull of Big Government socialism disguised as liberalism. The men in his audience were familiar with his detailed geopolitical analyses and historical insights, which had appeared in his bi-monthly journal, One Man’s Opinion, which Welch had launched in 1956. Early in 1958, he expanded the journal and renamed it American Opinion, including original articles by prominent contributors such as E. Merrill Root, Taylor Caldwell, Russell Kirk, Ludwig von Mises, Hans Sennholz, Medford Evans, Hilaire du Berrier, Representative Martin Dies, Senator William Knowland, J.B. Matthews, and others.
The men who came to Welch’s two-day founding presentation included:
- William J. Grede, founder and president of the Milwaukee-based Grede Foundries, and a former president of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM);
- Fred C. Koch, founder and president of Rock Island Oil (which has grown into Koch Industries), and author of A Businessman Looks at Communism;
- Ernest G. Swigert, founder and president of heavy-equipment manufacturer Hyster Corporation, and a former NAM president;
- Laurence E. Bunker, U.S. Army Colonel (retired), Boston attorney, and chief personal aide to General Douglas MacArthur, 1946-1952;
- Robert Stoddard, president of Wyman-Gordon Company in Worcester, Massachusetts, and chairman of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette newspaper company.
All of those named above, as well as four additional attendees at Welch’s Indianapolis founding presentation, became original members of the 24-man Council of The John Birch Society. They were joined on the Council by prominent conservatives, such as Professor Clarence Manion, dean of the University of Notre Dame Law School and host of the popular radio/television Manion Forum program; film star Adolphe Menjou; Ambassador Spruille Braden; anti-communist businessman and China expert Alfred Kohlberg; Balkan scholar and author Dr. Slobodon M. Draskovich; Lieutenant General Charles B. Stone, U.S. Army Air Forces; and textile industry leader A. G. Heinsohn.
While much of Day 1 of the two-day, 17-hour presentation focused on the imminent threat of communism (both globally and domestically), Robert Welch also took aim at the “cancer of collectivism,” the growth of government that gradually strangles liberty and always leads to tyranny. He discussed the paramount problem of “the loss of faith” and “the rise of the amoral man,” which he saw as “one of the greatest causes of our constant retreat, and one of the greatest dangers to our survival.”
On Day 2, Welch switched his focus from the bad news and the frightening reality of the current situation to his plans for an organized effort to change the nation’s calamitous course. He noted that there were already at that time hundreds of conservative, patriotic, anti-communist, and libertarian organizations, and he was a member of, and/or supporter of, a number of them. However, none of them (alone or combined) was offering the type of program and leadership essential to stopping and reversing America’s disastrous march toward the abyss. He offered an analysis of the structural failings and other problems that afflicted the conservative/anti-communist movement and explained his proposal for a new organization that would chart a different course and provide the type of national leadership liberty-minded Americans desperately needed and desired. (The transcript of Robert Welch’s two-day presentation was first published in 1959 as The Blue Book of The John Birch Society, and is now in its 30th printing.)
The organization Robert Welch proposed to launch would, he said, employ both sound education and concerted action. This was in keeping with Thomas Jefferson’s observation, to wit: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
Welch envisioned a citizen-based educational program that would bring about an era of “less government, more responsibility, and a better world.” While he proposed an organization based on Christian ideals and Christian morality, he did not show favor to a particular church or sect, and welcomed all who would join arms in opposing Godless communism and amorality. Methodists, Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Jews, and Mormons — without compromising or violating their deeply held beliefs — could and should, he believed, work together on matters of mutual survival. He named the new organization after Captain John Birch, who was a Baptist missionary in China, a legendary World War II hero, and a young man of stellar character. When Birch was murdered by the Chinese communists 10 days after the end of the war, Welch called him the first victim of World War III and an exemplar that all Americans could proudly emulate.
The John Birch Society, Welch stressed, would not be a political organization and would never endorse, nominate, finance, or support political candidates for any office. However, Society members would be encouraged to be politically active, not only by voting, but by informing themselves and their associates (friends, neighbors, family members, and business and work colleagues) concerning constitutional principles and civic issues of the day. Keeping ever in mind that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” members would be expected to keep watch over the voting records of elected officials, especially members of Congress, and to encourage those who faithfully adhere to the Constitution and reprove (or expose and vote out of office) those who do not. Some members, it was expected, would themselves run for office, and over the decades many have been elected to local, state, and national political offices.
Robert Welch’s plan called for letter-writing campaigns, petitions, educational billboards, book and pamphlet publishing, a national speakers bureau, a national bookstore chain, ad hoc committees to focus on specialized issues, and much more. But the heart of the organizational effort he envisioned would be locally organized units, called chapters, coordinated by a national, full-time, paid field staff, something no other organization had done. It was not sufficient to merely publish material or produce a radio show, even if the information imparted by these means were excellent. Unless a sufficient number of citizens were educated and mobilized to use this information effectively, the impact would be negligible against the organized onslaught arrayed against us. Welch did not expect the organization he was launching to be a mass organization of passive armchair patriots — but rather, an educational army of informed, dedicated activists.
Robert Welch pointed out that America’s enemies were successful in marginalizing and destroying Senator Joseph McCarthy because there did not exist at the time a solid organization capable of exposing the massive smear campaign against him and arousing public support for him when he most needed it. As a result, even many of McCarthy’s erstwhile supporters fell victim to the overwhelming propaganda and abandoned him, or even turned on him and joined in the denunciations.
Within a matter of months of the founding meeting in Indianapolis, the infant John Birch Society had burst onto the national scene with several high-profile activities. One of its first efforts was a national petition campaign in 1959 urging President Dwight Eisenhower to cancel his plans to invite Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev to the United States for a summit. Among the brutal crimes of Khrushchev listed in the JBS campaign as reasons why he should not be given the dignity and platform of a U.S. visit were his role in the Soviet genocide-by-starvation of six to seven million Ukrainians in the 1930s and the communist slaughter of Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. The petition and its supporting information were placed in full-page advertisements in 150 newspapers throughout the nation, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Arizona Republic, Houston Chronicle, and Chicago Tribune. The endorsements of more than 50 prominent Americans accompanied the ads. Besides members of the JBS National Council, endorsers included Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, New Hampshire Senator Styles Bridges, and retired U.S. Army General Albert C. Wedemeyer.
The Society hired full-time field staff coordinators for Massachusetts, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Florida, New York, and Tennessee, and had chapters sprouting up in virtually every state. In 1959, the JBS also went into action to expose a subversive plan to enlist major department stores in a scheme to de-Christianize Christmas and to replace traditional Christmas decorations with United Nations paraphernalia and propaganda.
The rapid rise of the upstart John Birch Society did not go unnoticed in the Kremlin — or in the corridors of globalists, who were urging “accommodation” with the Soviets and their communist minions. In 1960, Communist Party leaders from 80 nations were summoned to Moscow to receive orders for a new global campaign against anti-communists.
A 1963 report by the California State Senate’s Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities determined that the Kremlin-organized campaign was directed specifically at the JBS. “So far as the American Communists were concerned, this was an order — plain and incontrovertible,” the subcommittee report stated. “It was an implementation of orders from the highest source of the world Communist movement, and it was therefore imperative that the party here do everything in its power to render the Birch Society, the anti-Communist schools, and other rising anti-Communist organizations ineffective.”
People’s World and other Communist Party publications immediately swung into gear, using their typical smear tactics, accusing the Birch Society of racism, anti-semitism, fascism, Nazism, white supremacy, etc. None of this was true, but within weeks Time magazine and other organs of the establishment press were echoing almost identical charges. The relentless smear campaign of false accusations, misdirection, and ridicule continued for years — followed by years of silent treatment, which were intended to convince the American public that the Society had disappeared. The volume and intensity of vicious propaganda aimed at the JBS in the 1960s would not be seen again directed at any individual or organization until the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Thanks in large measure to the decades of heavy lifting done by the Birch Society, millions of Americans were not fooled by the “Fake News” media in 2016. The term “Deep State,” referring to the “permanent government” of globalists operating inside our intelligence agencies, the Cabinet, and the bureaucracy of virtually all of the major federal agencies, is becoming generally recognized. Organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Brookings Institution, and other similar groups have been widely exposed for the subversive forces they are. The coordinated attacks by both the hardcore Left — including the communists — and the establishment, globalist elites on President Trump, are daily convincing more and more Americans that we are indeed faced with a conspiracy that aims at destroying our constitutional system and replacing it with what they call a New World Order.
Still Alive, Still Fighting
“Our enemies have written our epitaph many times and pronounced us dead,” says John F. McManus, the Society’s president emeritus, “but we’re still here! In fact, we’ve outlived many of the magazines, newspapers, and pundits that penned our obituaries. And we’re not at all sorry to disappoint them and prove them wrong.”
“The plans for submerging our Republic in a world government with the communists and socialists have clearly advanced since the early 1960s,” notes Art Thompson, the Society’s CEO, “but there is no question that the Birch Society has played a key role (though seldom publicly noted) in stopping, reversing, and/or delaying many of the globalist agenda items, especially those aimed at undermining our national sovereignty and destroying the Constitution.” Thompson cites the leading role played by the JBS in defeating the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the North American Union, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as bringing illegal migration to the forefront of public debate, and repeatedly foiling various constitutional convention schemes aimed at altering our Constitution.
For once, it seems that the propagandists of the left-wing media cartel agree with the Birchers, at least with regard to Donald Trump riding and channeling many of the issues that the Society has championed for decades. In fact, a number of the anti-Trump/anti-Birch talking heads have taken to claiming that the Birch Society, which they have heretofore frequently derided as insignificant and irrelevant, has now actually managed a hostile takeover of the Republican Party!
According to Professor Robert S. McElvaine of Millsaps College, writing in the Huffington Post, “The Trump candidacy is the culmination of the long campaign begun by McCarthyism and the John Birch Society in the 1950s and aimed at discrediting virtually every institution in the United States.”
In a piece for Politico entitled “The John Birch Society Is Back,” John Savage warns, “The Society’s ideas, once on the fringe, are increasingly commonplace in today’s Republican Party.”
In a similar vein, Jeet Heer, a staff writer for the New Republic, claims, “with Trump triumphant, we have to see the Birch Society and its style of conspiracy-mongering in a new light.” “Far from belonging merely to the lunatic fringe,” says Heer, “the Birchers were important precursors to what is now the governing ideology of the Republican Party: Trumpism.”
The New Republic scribe continues: “Bircherism is now, with Trump, flourishing in an entirely new way. Far from being drummed out of conservatism, it has become the dominant strain. And with its ascendancy comes a uniquely frightening moment in American history.”
Daniel Denvir, over at Salon, opines that “the far right that has taken over the Republican Party incorporates a whole range of extreme theories rooted in the Cold War paranoia of the John Birch Society.”
These and a host of comparable rants in the establishment press have dished up the Trumpism=Birchism thesis. The purpose in doing so is, of course, to further smear President Trump by tying him to a group that, supposedly, has been discredited. However, despite suffering decades of intensive smears and media lies, The John Birch Society steadfastly refused to buckle, to die, to surrender to political correctness and bullying. And its unfaltering dedication to truth and constitutional principles has paid off. Many of the themes that propelled Trump to victory are indeed echoes of the JBS agenda and program of action. In his statements and positions on the immigration crisis, border security, the United Nations, the Federal Reserve, the European Union, Brexit, NATO, NAFTA, TPP, TTIP, WTO, globalism, Planned Parenthood, national sovereignty, taxes, federal regulation, EPA, the Fake News media, global warming, gun control, federal public lands, and many other issues, Trump tapped into the reservoir of understanding that those “crazy Birchers” had been building since the 1960s.
Consider, for instance, illegal immigration/border security, a signature Trump issue. The Birch Society and The New American magazine were sounding the alarm on this very real crisis back in the early 1980s, before the disastrous (and misnamed) Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. This writer was, perhaps, the only journalist to have traveled virtually the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border, over the course of four years, filming interviews with illegal aliens and Border Patrol and Customs agents, and graphically showing the massive numbers of illegals from all over the world who were swarming across our borders unvetted and unhindered. The 1988 JBS video documentary Out of Control: The Immigration Invasion, which I filmed and narrated, provided the first wake-up call to many Americans concerning the crisis on our borders. I then went on a nationwide speaking tour, appearing on numerous radio and television programs. That documentary 30 years ago, and our many subsequent articles and other media efforts on this issue, built the base of understanding that finally paid off in the 2016 elections.
The United Nations is another example. When the Society launched its “Get US Out! of the United Nations” campaign in the early 1960s — complete with books, films, pamphlets, nationwide billboards, petition drives, bumper stickers, and speakers tours — it stood virtually alone. Even other conservative groups backed off, suggesting instead that we should expend our efforts in futile attempts to “reform” the UN. Now, after six decades of failed reform efforts, millions of Americans are recognizing the global body for the communist/socialist-dominated dictators club that it truly is. The JBS had warned from the start that the UN and its treaties, agreements, agencies, subsidiaries, and programs are aimed at destroying national sovereignty and entrapping us in world government. For decades these charges were met with denial and ridicule by the globalists. However, as readers of The New American know, the UN globalists have now begun openly holding an annual “Summit for World Government” to finalize what they have told us for decades they wouldn’t dream of doing. When President Trump addressed the United Nations with his “America First” speech and repeatedly stressed a commitment to “national sovereignty,” he was sounding a theme that vindicated years of patient JBS efforts to expose the UN and the very real threat it poses to sovereignty and independence.
Much the same can be said regarding many of President Trump’s other signature issues, especially those concerning trade.
Schooling the Country
One of The John Birch Society’s little-known, but most significant, influences has been its pioneering leadership in the independent Christian school movement, the burgeoning homeschool efforts, and, now, the growing online education movement. For many decades, the Society was one of the largest distributors of the classic McGuffey Readers and phonics-based reading books. The late Reverend Paul Lindstrom, a JBS member, was a major force in making homeschooling the widespread phenomenon it is today. Reverend Lindstrom, who toured the country for the JBS in the 1960s on the POW/MIA issue, started Christian Liberty Academy in the Chicago area in 1968. In the 1970s, he began an outreach program to help families across the country that didn’t have alternatives to their local government schools. That quickly grew into the Christian Liberty Academy School System (CLASS), which now provides homeschooling services and curriculum materials to families in all 50 states and more than 50 countries. More than 100,000 families have educated their children using CLASS homeschooling. In 1977, JBS member Bill Bowman launched Our Lady of Victory School, the first Catholic homeschool program, which now has thousands of families enrolled throughout the United States and worldwide.
The late Samuel Blumenfeld, a former JBS staff member and prolific author of books on education, toured the country on the JBS speakers bureau for many years, promoting home education and exposing the manifold dangers posed by the National Education Association and the public-school system.
The Society’s FreedomProject Academy (FPA), founded in 2011, is now providing homeschoolers with fully accredited, interactive, live-streaming classes utilizing live teachers and a classical curriculum for K-12. FPA is also partnering with private schools and churches, streaming FPA classes into brick-and-mortar classrooms, thereby accelerating the rapid expansion of faith-based schools across the nation.
“We live in times of both great peril and great promise,” says Art Thompson, “and we should take motivation from both. The John Birch Society has always held to the belief that ‘It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’ So we will continue to light candles, to expose the darkness, and to implore God’s blessings on our efforts and those of all patriots who are working to keep America free, prosperous, and independent.”