Monday, February 22, 2010

Naomi Litvin: The John Birch Society: SPIN CYCLE: Part 3

This is Part 3 of my series: The John Birch Society. Click the links below to read my previous posts.

The John Birch Society: SPIN CYCLE: Part 1
The John Birch Society: SPIN CYCLE: Part 2

I was frustrated and also a little worried about Part 3 of this John Birch Society series. The whole subject was starting to sound old and boring, with CPAC grinding along. I was monitoring tweets in two search columns on Tweedeck: one was John Birch Society, and the other was CPAC. All I was getting was hysterical tweets from lefty baby boomers who had suddenly sobered up and realized that the JBS has co-sponsored the conservative's CPAC convention. Seeing Rachel Maddow shmoozing it up at the John Birch Society Booth only revealed a few silly items, like JBS had a nice shiny booth and Rachel was acting like an idiot.

I had been reading books about the John Birch Society from 'special order' at the library. They were interesting, albeit pretty musty smelling, and chock full of Bircher material from the 1960's. I needed something fresh, something to get my juices flowing, something that I could get some shock and awe out of. Nothing much was happening. Yes, Glenn Beck likes the JBS. And yes, Ron Paul won the straw vote and he is a JBS man, too. Nothing much was jumping out at me, if you know what I mean.

I needed a break, so I picked up Libby Kahane's book about her husband Rabbi Meir Kahane, Volume One and started up reading where I had last left off. Suddenly there was just what I needed. Rabbi Meir Kahane worked for the FBI as an undercover agent inside the John Birch Society under the pseudonym of Michael King.

Then, when the John Birch Society had tweeted me up, I couldn't help from feeling pleased about that . After the shock settled in that they had noticed me, I was re-energized and ready to keep going on this!

The_JBS: If you're going to CPAC today, stop at Booth 706/708. Talk to Andy Dlinn, an outspoken JBS Chapter Leader and Jewish member.

NaomiLitvin : Don't understand: are you saying you have a 'Jewish' division in the John Birch Society?

The_JBS: Just saying that we welcome those of all races and creeds. According to your blog, you're curious about JBS.

Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought - Volume One: 1932-1975
Libby Kahane

Libby Kahane: ..."Another project concerned the John Birch Society. This ultraconservative, anti-Communist, anti-Semitic group was gaining support all over the country. During the 1960s it had about 100,000 members and extended its influence through a chain of 400 bookstores. Meir had written about the danger to Jews posed by the Birch Society in 1963*...

Meir Kahane: The F.B.I ... to [its] credit, was intensely worried about the Birchers. They sensed a threat to the democratic structure. They asked our group to research the Birchers and find out whatever we could about them: where they were getting their money, who their backers were, their philosophers, their writers and what constituted their appeal in their mushrooming growth ... The fact that the Birchers, and others of their ilk, could thrive during a period of relative prosperity (actually it was an affluent period) made me worry: What would happen during economic depression when a scapegoat is needed for the hardships and deprivations of the masses?*

Libby Kahane: In a project funded by a "law enforcement wing of the government," Meir joined and infiltrated the John Birch Society. In a 1972 radio interview, he said: "I spent two years with them trying to find out their sources of income, which I did."*

*There are 181 pages of detailed footnotes in Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought - Volume One: 1932 - 1975

Meir Kahane
"Kahane was as a consultant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). His assignment was to infiltrate the right-wing, ant-Semitic John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI. For this position Kahane took on the false name Michael King and spent nearly two and a half years posing as a Christian, learning all he could about the John Birch Society."

Peddlers of Fear:
"A rally in Boston in July, 1966 was the scene for a vicious smear attack on Jewry
by Doctor Revilo P. Oliver, a member of the National Council of the John Birch Society since its founding, a contributing editor of the American Opinion, with a long record of anti-Semitic activities. For more than an hour, Oliver ranted to his ultra right wing audience that the "conspiracy of the Jews" presented "the conspiracy of the Illuminati and the Communists" and that it had helped produce "the evils of today" which he enumerated as being "degenerates, scum, dregs, savages, desperate screaming enemies, cockroaches, mobs, parasites and lazy illegitimates."
"Welch was a leading figure at the rally. Simply stated, therefore, the John Birch Society has become a safe harbor for anti-Semites. It condones anti-Semitism and anti-Semites, providing them with captive audiences to present their warped and unsound views on the national loyalty and integrity of the Jew and Judaism. Perhaps Welch might claim to be an unwilling fellow traveler with the anti-Semitic lunatic fringe; however, the record of his past performance leaves reason to doubt his ability to control his followers who use the Society to further their blasphemous vilification of the Jew and his faith."

Buckley And The Jews
The Jewish Press
Jason Maoz

"Among his many other accomplishments, William F. Buckley Jr. made the conservative movement a far less forbidding place for Jews."

"Conservatism in the early 1960's was, fairly or not, largely defined in the Jewish mind as a downscale hothouse of paranoia, racism and resentment fronted by such figures as the Christian Crusader Rev. Billy James Hargis, the anti-Semitic columnist Westbrook Pegler and, of course, Robert Welch, whose John Birch Society was never officially racist or anti-Semitic but attracted a fair number of those who could accurately be classified as such."

The Daily Beast
Return of the Fright Wing
by John Avlon
"The Birchers have tried to rebrand themselves without changing their essential message, with a slick new Web site featuring a multicultural set of children emblazoned with American flags, announcing that they are simply “Standing for Family and Freedom.” But inside, the forums offer support for the 9/11 Truth-associated Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina and tales that “the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ‘collapse of communism’ were not planned and implemented by the Soviet Union’s KGB ...”

Adding to bibliography:
Rabbi Meir Kahane: His Life and Thought
Volume One 1932 - 1975
Libby Kahane

Comments are welcome. 
Let's keep the conversation going. I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg on the subject. 
Please help me decipher further what is going on here with the return of the John Birch Society.
I'd like to thank Ernie1241 for his work on the John Birch Society and comments on Part 2


  1. Good detective work - well done for keeping going!

  2. I've always poo-poohed the JBS, haven't much followed their story or history. One quote stands out at me from your link to John Avlon (A Daily Beast)...

    "The Birchers have tried to rebrand themselves without changing their essential message..."

    Can this guy, Avlon, actually get away with saying that whilst presenting no evidence except an unlinked 'inside the forums, somewhere, there's someone who is saying something, but I won't link it, because it might prove to not support my story, given it's context' shot?

    Rebranding is defined as "changing or updating the image" of a product. It only works if the essential message is left easily exposed, barely covered, like something in a litter box. Have you found the 'essential message' of JBS different from the 'rebranded' one? (And don't link Charles Johnson; he's a hater what needs a branding... )

    False rebranding is what ACORN is doing, as we speak. Re-inventing their name, but the strategy won't change.

    As far as the JBS, I do wish they would dissolve, given what I've smelled of their past history. But we wish that of a lot of old, tired organizations that still percolate just under the surfaces, now don't we?

  3. Naomi: Greetings! Gilmore here (Shabbosgoy on Twitter). JBS was "a" sponsor of CPAC, not a co-sponsor, for what that's worth. Most conservatives had no idea JBS would be within a billion miles of the event (I didn't attend). The overwhelming majority of conservatives were appalled and have decided to ignore them. We are working to make sure they are not co-sponsors next year. Here in Minnesota, we are fighting off the Ron Paulers and their latent anti-semitism! Really, it is quite something. I had zero response from the Paulbots about your link to L. Ron Paul's love for JBS. Crickets. That was telling.

    Thanks for all and best regards,


    PS: Kahane is a mixed bag, no?

  4. I could not help but unfortunately coming across your series of articles besmirching the John Birch Society. This is NOT a skinhead or racist organization; such an organization would not have Jews or African Americans such as Rev. Steven Craft and Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson in its ranks. I am currently preparing an academic article on the relationship between Jews and the John Birch Society in the past 50 years since the organization's inception. I believe that your efforts at providing source material are in good faith, although there is another side to the story. Neither Robert Welch, nor any other leader of the JBS ever pointed to a "Jewish conspiracy." The "conspiracy" is one of the godless and megalomaniacs against all people of good will of all faiths and backgrounds. Nelson Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Henry Wallace, FDR, and other of like mind, including most members of the CFR are liberal Protestants/Episcopalians who do control many of the nation's institutions and have kept Jews out of the Ivy League, whiteshoe law firms, Wall Street, and other prominent societal and governmental positions.

    I must take exception to this branding of the JBS as anti-semitic. I am an Orthodox Jew and ardent Religious Zionist who is also a proud member of the John Birch Society. I also have great admiration for HaRav Meir Kahane, HY"D ZT"L, as he articulated perhaps the only firm position against the Jewish Establishment's self-hatred and the acceptance of foreign funds by the state of Israel, which threaten Israel's sovereignty (a position taken by R' Kahane, Ron Paul, the Jewish Task Force, and L' Herut Tzion, Israel Eldad, and the affiliated Zionist Freedom Alliance, led by Yehuda Hakohen and inspired by the thought of Eldad, a member of the Avraham Shtern gang).
    The JBS, however, cannot be said to be anti-semitic, despite what Rabbi Kahane and many Jews mistakenly believed at the time. Not only does the JBS have several Jewish members, but it is also counts among its ranks Rabbi Marvin S. Antelman (HaRav Moshe Shlomo Antelman), who authored the brillian t book "To Eliminate the Opiate," which documents the unholy alliance between the Illuminati/CFR/One World Goverment crowd and the communists and Reform and Conservative movements, all of which deviate from traditional Jewish belief and praxis. Rabbi Antelman's book, by the way, is sold by the JBS and many leaders in the society have read both volumes and have the deepest admiration for Rabbi Antelman. Would an anti-semitic organization sell a book written by an Orthodox Rabbi whom it respects? Would an anti-semitic organization have respect for any rabbi?
    In addition, the JBS has thrown out anti-semites and banned such horrific scum from its ranks. While Westbrook Pegler did write for the JBS at one time, once his anti-semitism became apparent, the JBS threw him out and Pegler is not regarded as a "Bircher." Sarah Palin, however, quoted Pegler in a speech, albeit inadvertently. In 1964, Robert Welch, founder of the Society, outed Pegler from the editorial board of the American Opinion and promised to the ADL that the JBS would be "no haven for anti-semites." To quote Irving Spiegel in "ANTI-JEWISH BIAS DENIED BY WELCH; Says Birch Society Will Not Be Haven for Prejudice," New York Times, May 17,1964, pp. 53, "Robert Welch, head of the John Birch Society, has notified the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith that his rightist organization is "not anti-Jewish" and that he will not "allow the society to be a haven" for those engaged in anti-Semitic activities.

  5. Your vehement email to me, which by the way, readers, is much longer than this comment, makes me wonder...why doth he protest so much? What is the point? Why are you so invested with the John Birch Society? Invoking the ADL is non-impressive, as they don't do much except collect huge amounts of donations to keep their big shots in high salaries. What the heck is really going on here? And why is the John Birch Society spending so much time on my website?

  6. First of all, I am not the JBS. I am an individual. The point is that you are spreading falsehood, lies, and unsubstantiated information based on no objective evidence. You are committing slander on this website against an organization that has been cleared of charges of racism and anti-semitism time and time again. What is your obsession with making unsubstantiated allegations against the JBS when Robert Welch condemned anti-semitism and purged the organization of racists and anti-semites, the California State Legislature cleared the JBS of charges of anti-semitism and racism, and countless anti-semites and skinheads went on the condemn the JBS for not kowtowing to their vicious agendas.

    The point of my post is to debunk your erroneous and false claims. It would be irresponsible for me to allow you to spread lies and one-sided information as if it were gospel truth. For instance, you claim that Pegler was a member of the JBS, but fail to mention that once he began spewing anti-semitic vitriol, Robert Welch expelled him from the organization, in what Dr. Samuel Lawrence Brenner describes as "A purge of racists and anti-semites" in 1966, in his doctoral dissertation "Shouting at the Rain:
    The Voices and Ideas of Right-Wing Anti-Communist Americanists
    in the Era of Modern American Conservatism, 1950-1974," where he acquits the JBS of charges of anti-semitism, citing JBS satellites such as the Jewish Society of Americanists and The Jewish Right, a JBS-style Jewish organization based in Los Angeles led by Dr. Barney Finkel, MD, Orthodox Rabbi Chaim I. Etner, and Holocaust survivor Georgia M. Gabor.
    I might remind you that libel is subject to civil litigation.

    If you have any concrete evidence that the JBS is anti-semitic, other than the writings of Meir Kahane (a convicted terrorist), than I would not bother bringing attention to this matter. However, you are spewing lies and falsehood about an organization that has always fought against the enemies of the nation, and in the words of Robert Welch's opening speech, "Our hope is to make better Catholics, better Protestants, better Jews, or better Moslems out of those who belong to the Society. Our never ending concern is with morality, integrity and purpose."

  7. Reb Doniel..."I might remind you that libel is subject to civil litigation. "

    Oh, for crying out loud. Why don't you go fuck yourself, you asshole. The John Birch Society was tainted, and is still tainted AFAIC. It stinks. No reasonable person who values their integrity wants to knowingly associate with it, or be known to have ties to it. Like Ron Paul and Alex Jones: good people know them to be loons, losers and truthers and stay away from Jones and his sites (InfoWars and PrisonPlanet). There's nothing good there, or will there be any good come from it.

    What happened in the past is not staying in the past, and will linger like a foul cloud about the JBS forever.

    I suggest you resign your membership, implore that the JBS dissolve and perhaps take up with a better-smelling group of people.

  8. I read the response from the schmuck on your site I am more convinced of what I wrote in response to you. An overeducated pompous asshole who being a Jew and by my living the principles of Rabbi Kahane z"l I would protect and defend. Privately I would like give him a knock but you are right he protests to much, he changes spots as convenient he will be first to cry when nationalism is used to blame us and try to eliminate us

    this may be the reason for the searches you told me about
    Dr. Samuel Lawrence Brenner describes as "A purge of racists and anti-semites" in 1966, in his doctoral dissertation
    Maybe he thinks I am related

    I might remind you that libel is subject to civil litigation. Absolutely defendable by the truth

    If you have any concrete evidence that the JBS is anti-semitic, other than the writings of Meir Kahane (a convicted terrorist)

    Previously he stated

    I also have great admiration for HaRav Meir Kahane, HY"D ZT"L, as he articulated perhaps the only firm position against the Jewish Establishment's self-hatred and the acceptance of foreign funds by the state of Israel, which threaten Israel's sovereignty (a position taken by R' Kahane, Ron Paul, the Jewish Task Force, and L' Herut Tzion, Israel Eldad, and the affiliated Zionist Freedom Alliance, led by Yehuda Hakohen and inspired by the thought of Eldad, a member of the Avraham Shtern gang).

    The concrete proof I have to offer was personal experience, as one of 2 Jewish students in a high school in Orange County California in 1966 who was told by self proclaimed members of the jbs that I was responsible for their parents unemployment that I shouldn't try to participate in sports and clubs, was it true I had a tail and that Jewish men menstruated and after they tried to beat me up(unsuccessfully) I might add, I had all the motivation to follow Rabbi Kahane z"l and never forget. NEVER AGAIN

  9. Fuck the John Birch Society.

    Hey, "Reb Doniel": Smell the coffee. The JBS is a bunch of self-masturbating crazy anti-semites.

  10. Iam a 66 yr. old jewish viking (blond hair and blue eyes) In my life in the north but especially in the deep south i've witnessed too many conversations by john birchers, KKK and even today birthers. They were then years ago and even today right wing haters who try to hide not behind white sheets anymore but in code. The real true history of the jbs is of a disgrace for our country..