On this day in 1958, the John Birch Society was founded in Indianapolis by Robert H.W. Welch, Jr. Another one of the founding members was a chemical engineer named Fred C. Koch, who started a company in 1940 named the Wood River Oil and Refining Company, which later became Koch industries.
Prior to starting Wood River, Koch became embroiled in some lengthy legal issues, which forced him to travel to Russia, where he helped set up 15 oil refineries for Joseph Stalin. After his work in Russia ended in 1932, he traveled to Germany, and set up the 3rd largest oil refinery in the country, a project which had personally been approved by Adolf Hitler.
The John Birch Society is still very active today. In 2010, JBS was a co-sponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference. Although membership numbers are not released, the organization has reported a resurgence of members since Trump’s election, especially in Texas.
If you read the 25 items listed under “issues” on the website shown below, you’ll notice that the Society basically wants the Federal government to have very little involvement in the actually running of the country. They also want to reduce virtually all foreign entanglements, including membership in the U.N., and any treaties and trade agreements.
If you are wondering where Trump got his “America First’ ideas, start here.
David Koch became the CEO of Koch Industries in 1966 shortly after his father’s retirement, and his brother David (who later ran for vice president in 1980 on the Libertarian ticket) later joined him.
Since their father was a founding member of the John Birch Society, the Koch brothers have established goals that are remarkably similar to the goals of JBS:
The Koch brothers provided financial and organizational assistance to the Tea Party movement in 2010, and batshit crazy Michelle Bachman started the Tea Party caucus in Congress in July 2010. One of the members of the Tea Party caucus was Senator Mike Lee of Utah:
The Tea Party caucus evolved into the Freedom caucus in 2015. One of the founding members, Jim Jordan, announced his intention to run for the House Speaker position held by Paul Ryan, but the “adults in the room” regained control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, which prevented his ascension to the top position.
One of the members of the Tea Party caucus was Utah senator Mike Lee, who recently warned of a civil war if Democrats continuing supporting the Federal government.
If you are wondering how someone as crazy as Mike Lee could get elected, remember that he represents Utah, and 67.7 % of the population is Mormon. Of all religious groups, the only one in which Trump has a popularity rating higher than 50% is the Mormon religion, who STILL gives Trump a 61% approval rating.
The members of the Freedom Caucus can be found in the link below:
A few years back, a former member of this site named Veronica (who the John Birch Society had tried to recruit) offered some insightful ideas about the organization. Although it would be difficult to pick up her posts today, the best insider’s look that I have seen is a book titled, “Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right”. The author is Claire Connor, whose parents were very active members of the John Birch Society in its early years. Although I would recommend reading the book, the link below will give you a pretty good synopsis:
Donald Trumps’ father, of course, was a supporter of the KKK, and the Jamaica Estates area of Queens where the family lived was a breeding ground for white nationalist ideas. The local orthodontist even had pamphlets from the John Birch Society in his waiting room. Consequently, it shouldn’t surprise any of us that Donald thought there were “fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville in 2017.
It also should not surprise you that the current leader of the KKK, pastor Thomas Robb, felt that Donald Trump was "the pick of the litter" in the 2016 presidential race:
The official KKK website, incidentally, makes for "interesting" reading. If you review the items listed under the "platform" icon, you'd swear that you were reading the website of the John Birch Society:
[website redacted by moderator]