Talk:John Birch Society

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Old Membership Estimates

The claim in this article that by March 1961 the JBS had 60,000-100,000 members is an utter falsehood. In reality, the JBS had approximately 13,250 members.

In September 1960, Robert Welch told his National Council that the JBS had 324 chapters and 5300 members.

In the December 1960 JBS Bulletin, page 4, Robert Welch declared that "we have been doubling in size approximately once every four months" (i.e. 25% per month) which seems fairly accurate considering that in April 1960, the JBS had 150 chapters and 2800 members according to JBS National Council meeting minutes.

If one uses the formula stated by Welch (i.e. 100% every 4 months), then actual JBS membership would be approximately as follows:



Thus, the JBS was increasing its membership by about 1325 per month between September 1960 and January 1961 -- which would produce the following member estimates:








Interestingly, the 1960 financial statement of the JBS declares that it received $198,719 in member dues during all of 1960. At that time, annual dues were $24 for men and $12 for women. If one uses an average of $18 that would mean there should be about 11,039 members as of the end of December 1960 -- which is very close to the 10,600 extrapolation shown above for 1/61.

Response on Old Membership Estimate

I have made an addition to reflect the dispute. Lisa Graves

Other Discussion

Debating a Birch Society member or sympathizer is often very difficult because Birchers (a) use language as a weapon in service of their dogma (such as when they seek to conflate liberalism, socialism, and communism) and (b) because Birchers typically engage in lowest-common-denominator reasoning (such as assigning evil, sinister, subversive intentions to someone whose position on some matter might parallel a position taken by the Communist Party.) and (c) because Birchers often cite persons who were associated with the FBI (as informants or Special Agents) or who testified, under oath, before legislative committees --- thus giving JBS assertions an aura of being supported by "experts".

A newly revised and expanded 65-page edition of my JBS Report is posted on-line at:

It is based, primarily, upon FBI documents and files but also incorporates material from military intelligence, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, private correspondence by JBS officials, and other sources.

Other JBS-related reports at:

Anyone wishing additional information may contact me at:

Chapter titles are as follows:

1. FBI Evaluations of Robert Welch and the John Birch Society

2. FBI vs. JBS on Internal Security Status of the U.S.

3. FBI vs. JBS on Communist Infiltration of Clergy and Religious Institutions

4. FBI vs. JBS on Communists in the Department of Health, Education & Welfare

5. FBI vs. JBS on Dr. Harry A. Overstreet as a Communist sympathizer or dupe

6. FBI vs. JBS on civil rights movement [Alan Stang's 1965 book It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights published by the Birch Society; and Highlander Folk School described by the JBS as a "Communist Training School".]

7. FBI vs. JBS on Persons JBS Claims To Be “Experts” on Communism.

12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT) 12:23, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Good stuff but the info is over 40 years old!!

I love some of that info from the F.B.I. but the reports and assessments are at least over 40 years old and collected during the presidential administration of a powerful anti-anti-communist president, namely that of "JFK". So, if you have anything more current, I would really like to see it. Reading a report that Hoover didn't think that the goals of communists have not been implemented made me laugh considering how many of their goals have at this point in history been achieved. Too bad Hoover isn't alive now to see how things have changed for the worse.

While it's true the Birch Society has some odd and unsubstantiated ideas, at the same time most of their facts are right on target and usually collated from other news sources. So I tend to collect the facts and reach my own conclusions.

As far as Julia Brown is concerned, she is attacked by authors on this site because of having a ghost writer and her own personal issues. Wow. I wonder if these authors hold their left-wing leaders to such a high degree of morality. I know they don't so it's important to ignore that kind of nonsense. Anyway, following is an article by Julia that I found after a internet search:

An Anti-Communist Negro Makes This Appeal: Please Don't Help Glorify Martin Luther King by Julia Brown Presented by the nationwide network of TACT Committees, to help spread the Truth About Civil Turmoil

Mrs. Julia Brown spent more than nine years as a member of the Communist Party in Cleveland, Ohio, serving as an undercover operative for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She "surfaced" in 1962, to testify in Washington about her experiences and to describe how the Communists plan to use Negroes as "cannon fodder" in their program of racial agitation. Today, she continues to risk her life on coast-to-coast speaking tours, exposing the Communist-led revolutionaries who pose "a clear and present danger" to Americans of every race.

Heavens to Purgatory! It just wouldn't have been been true blue American Pie if those commies would have successfully used America's Negros for cannon fodder to advance the Red horde, when the US government had a much better idea for their Negros utilisation; canon fodder in an immoral SE Asian war.

Of course, all that the US and Hoover would have had to do to end the vastly overstated miniscule probability of communism's victory in the USA was to honestly try to bring about a free and equal American society, irrespective of skin color, but Edgar was much too busy dressing in drag for his lifelong soulman, and creating gargantuan files on dangerous citizens, such as Benjamin Spock.

What garbage, irrespective of the skin color of its purveyor. Guess what? It is generally the underclass that is used as cannon fodder in any political struggle; in any war. That's probably a plus too when one finds themselves a part of the batter in some godforsaken omellete fixings cooked up by evil bastards. It a nightmare having to share a foxhole with inbred prisses afflicted with uncontrollable bowels and incontinence. --Hugh Manatee 18:32, 6 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, once called Martin Luther King "the most notorious liar in the country." I agree with him. But I also believe that Mr. King was one of the worst enemies my people ever had.

I know that it is considered poor taste to speak ill of the dead. But when someone served the enemies of our country while alive, and his name is still used by his comrades to promote anti-American activities, shouldn't people who know the truth speak out?

I learned many surprising, things while I served in the Communist Party for the FBI. Communist leaders told us about the demonstrations that would be started, the protest marches, the demands that would be made for massive federal intervention. Every Communist was ordered to help convince American Negroes that we are no better off than slaves. Wherever we went and whatever we did, we were to promote race consciousness and resentment, because the Communists know that the technique of divide and conquer really works.

We were also told to promote Martin Luther King, to unite Negroes and whites behind him, and to turn him into some sort of national hero. We were to look to King as the leader in this struggle the Communists said, because he was on our side!

I know they were right, because while I was in the Communist Party I learned that Martin Luther King attended a Communist training school. I learned that several of his of his aides and assistants were Communists, that he received funds from Communists and that he was taking directions from Communists.

Most Americans never look at the Communist press in the country. If they did, they would learn that the Communist love Martin Luther King. He was one of their biggest heroes. And I know for a fact the Communists would never have promoted him, financed him, and supported him if they couldn't trust him. He carried out their orders just as slavishly as Party members in Cleveland, Ohio.

Martin Luther King may never have carried a Communist Party membership card. That's not important. Most of the people that Communists counted on to further their work were not official members of the Communist Party. But I am as certain as I can be, that he knew what he was doing! And I am just as certain that the drive to glorify him now is just as much a Communist project. Through it, the Communists expect to raise millions of dollars to help further their programs, to gain even wider acceptance for their campaign of civil turmoil, and to further divide the American public.

But none of this has to happen. Although many Americans are still deceived about Martin Luther King, more and more are learning the truth. I want to assure every reader that what I've said here is the truth. I urge everyone to investigate this crucial issue further. Please make sure of the truth. For it is only through honest information and sincere efforts that the problems this country faces can be solved.

[reproduction of a check from the Southern Conference Educational Fund, Inc., payable to Dr. Martin Luther King in the amount of $167.74.]

This check, from an official Communist front and signed by two identified Communists, is just one of many payments to Martin Luther King from the sworn enemies of our country.

[Photo of Martin Luther King at a Communist training school]

This photograph was taken at a Communist training school in Tennessee. shows: (1) Martin Luther King, (2) Abner Berry of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, (3) Communist Aubrey Williams of the Southern Conference Educational Fund, and (4) school director Myles Horton.

Lastly, the fact that MLK was in fact a plagarist and deserves to lose his doctorate for fraudulent submission of his thesis is widely ignored by the left-wing.


Hi Ernie, I never knew you were in the encyclopedia business. Say, I was also rummaging around PRA a bit. Verrrrrrry interesting. Also, the Left wing forum in Pittsburgh. You are a man about town, to be sure.


9/22/08 = Links to updated versions of all my reports and articles pertaining to the JBS, Dan Smoot, Julia Brown, and many related subjects are available at:

12/4/04 reply by to comments made above:

Writer states he/she isn't impressed by data "over 40 years old". Well, historical research is often more productive than contemporary accounts because, among other reasons, we have the benefit of documents that were not available when the events originally took place---such as, for example, private papers of deceased parties who have left their papers to some institution.

With respect to the FBI, Hoover and the JBS: It is important to understand that both Robert Welch and the JBS assured us repeatedly and emphatically that Hoover and the FBI during his tenure were our nation's most knowledgeable, authoritative, and reliable source of information about the Communist Conspiracy. In addition, both Welch and the JBS assured us that Hoover was a man of impeccable character, integrity, and patriotism. Therefore, Birchers now have an opportunity for a "reality check" to compare their dogma against the evaluations and judgments made by Hoover's FBI.

SUCCESS OF COMMUNISTS: You express your opinion but the factual information developed by the FBI during the course of its investigations and from information obtained from other intelligence agencies (such as G-2, ONI, OSI, etc) plus contacts with local and State law enforcement agencies and thousands of informants, frequently refuted JBS premises and conclusions!

For example: the Bureau maintained a Security Index to list persons they considered actually or potentially dangerous to our national security. In fact, SI subjects were subject to detention during time of national emergency. The great majority of the 12,000 persons listed were Communists or Communist sympathizers. However, at the very time the Birch Society was claiming massive infiltration of our Federal government by Communists, the FBI Security Index reflected 15-20 known or suspected Communists working in the entire U.S. government. Similarly, see my original posting for FBI conclusions which rejected Birch hallucinations regarding Communist penetration of the Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Your choice, therefore, is between the fevered imagination of a retired candy manufacturer versus the full scope of knowledge available to the FBI.



With reference to the person above who quotes extensive comments by Julia Brown:

There is a huge dilemma with respect to Birch Society speakers such as Julia Brown and Lola Belle Holmes.

The dilemma is this: which Julia Brown or Lola Belle Holmes should we believe?

Number 1 = The person that testified under oath before a Congressional committee and/or the Subversive Activities Control Board? OR

Number 2 = The person that later became a paid speaker for the Birch Society?

In both cases, #2 contradicts #1!

See my 91-page JBS report and my 19-page report on former FBI Special Agent Dan Smoot for details:

JBS Report: [1]

Smoot Report: [2]

Also see how Birch Society endorsers and speakers (such as former FBI Special Agent W. Cleon Skousen) misrepresented their FBI background to claim expertise which they did not have -- and which, even today, is being promoted by people like Glenn Beck:


Links to all of my reports:

Additional details from: Ernie1241 11:37, 7 October 2009 (EDT)ernie1241

Relocate from article page - will add ref to main article page --Bob Burton 23:11, 1 May 2005 (EDT)

4/29/05: For interested parties, the FBI HQ main file on the John Birch Society [JBS] is 62-104401 and it consists of about 12,000 pages.

J. Edgar Hoover or his top subordinates referred to the JBS in FBI memos and reports as "extremist", "irrational", "irresponsible" and "lunatic fringe".