Don Terry investigates the resurgence of the John Birch Society in "Bringing Birch Back," one of the featured articles in the Southern Poverty Law Center's quarter, Intelligence Report. The issue outlines the rapid growth of Patriot groups, hate groups and militia groups since the election of President Obama. The John Birch Society is categorized as one of the 1,360 "Patriot" groups, groups that believe that the federal government is conspiring to take Americans' guns and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global "one-world" government.
The John Birch Society, "a conspiracist Patriot organization," has taken the lead in fighting Agenda 21 which it calls part of a plan to impose socialism on Amerca and strip away provate property rights.
Writing about the John Birch Society, Terry says "After more than five decades of secret socialist plots and accusations of treason at the highest levels of American government — these are the people who once called President Dwight Eisenhower a communist — the arch-conservative John Birch Society is still waging its Cold War-era crusade against the Red menace and American “insiders” who, in the society’s view, are hell-bent on handing the country over to the socialists at the U.N."
“I can remember back in the early ’60s, there were people who were saying the John Birch Society wouldn’t achieve its 10th anniversary,” John McManus, the president of the group, tells the luncheon audience of more than 100 mostly gray-haired people. “Of course, they were hoping that would be the case. Well, I’m pleased to announce all those people who said that are dead and we’re still functioning and functioning quite well.”
Claire Conner made her national media debut in Don Terry's article. The child of Birchers #1 and #2 in the city of Chicago, Claire has watched the Birchers from a front row seat. When she was 13, she became a full-fledged adult member herself. Claire grew from a compliant Birchers into an outspoken critic. In 2008, she realized that the GOP lurch to the right was also the resurrection of John Birch ideas. Don Terry interviewed Claire for his six-page report.
He quotes Claire in the article, "I always say to my liberal friends you better stop laughing at these people and pay attention. The ideas that you hear today coming from the right were generated in the '60s by the John Birch Society. It's new language, but the same ideas. In terms of the intellectual framework of the GOP, it's the Birch Society every single day,"
According to Claire, liberals are still celebrating Obama's re-election while the Birchers and the rest of the right are back at work. "One lost election or 20 years of lost elections won't discourage them," she says. "If anything, they're going to be energized. They really believe President Obama is part of the socialist revolution that began with FDR. So, they're going to dig in their heels. They're going to get busy and stay busy."
Claire's book, Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right will be in bookstores and on-line July 2, 2013 from Beacon Press. It's available for pre-order (hard cover and ebook) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indie Books. Also coming on Audible books.
Read Don Terry's entire article about the Birch society:
Learn more about Claire and her book: www.claireconner.com.
"Claire Conner's story of growing up in a John Birch Society household was riveting. Everyone in the audience was spellbound by her narrative of her childhood and how she found her way out. We can't sait to read her book." Mary Freeman, President of Democratic Women's Club of Upper Pinellas County, FL