by Professor Revilo P. Oliver
On 26 January 1985, memorial services for the late Robert Welch were held in Belmont, Massachusetts, with the conventional funerary prayers to a god in whom the atheist did not believe, and a singing of the sinister "Battle Hymn of the Republic," on which see the article by John J. Synon, reprinted in "Liberty Bell," January 1985, pp. 53 ff.
In "America's Decline," I described the origin and failure of the Birch business, with which I was intimately associated until 1966. I have nothing to add to that account. I still cannot decide in my own mind whether Welch was sincere in the purposes he professed when he enlisted me for the society he intended to found. I am still uncertain whether the society could have been politically effective, had it operated according to Welch's original plan of organization, which was never put into practice. I am coming more and more to believe that by 1958 the cancer had eaten too deeply into the vitals of America to be arrested in its growth by any medication, however drastic, and that the disease had already reached the terminal stage at which there could be only one prognosis, the lingering death of a nation that was irremediably doomed – the nation of which we are now witnessing the death-throes, an agony that will probably be prolonged for several years.
The death of its founder should remind us that the Birch Society, whatever chance of success it might have had if it had held to the purpose for which he professed to found it, represented the very last chance of restoring the American Constitution by Constitutional means, and therefore the last chance of preserving the United States as a nation, as distinct from a geographical territory subjected to an alien government.
In 1958 a rationally patriotic organization had opportunities that could never come again. There were then quite a few men and women, still in the prime of life, who remembered that only six years before, in 1952, the last hope for using a political party for American purposes vanished when our domestic enemies prevented the nomination for the presidency of Senator Robert A. Taft and replaced him with the drunken mongrel(1) who had been nominally the commander of the troops that conquered Europe for the Judaeo-Communist savages. Only four years before, in 1954, any lingering hope placed in the Republican gangsters vanished when the Senate voted to censure Joseph McCarthy, a well-meaning but somewhat naif Senator, for his earnest but somewhat bumbling efforts on behalf of the American people, thus proving that honest patriotism was to be as likely in the U.S. Senate as virginity in a whore house. And in 1958 the mature men and women who were still conscious they were Americans were certain to be shocked and further alarmed when the Washington-Moscow Axis installed a Bolshevik bastion in Cuba at the beginning of the following year.
The issue of "Life" I have cited contains other significant photographs: the father of the disgusting creature named Harry Truman was obviously a Sheeny; the unfortunate mother seems to be a White woman.)
In 1958 there was also an opportunity for effective propaganda. The alien governments of the United States and the Soviet Union had worked in unfaltering cooperation since 1933, but they had thought it expedient to stir up and distract the boobs in the United States by jabbering about the evils of Communism and pretending that the right hand of the Washington-Moscow Axis was trying to fight its left hand. There was a whole series of comedy acts in the continuous vaudeville show called the United Nations, and veteran hoofers on its stage entertained the public with shadow boxing and ritual dancing while slanging one another with meaningless verbiage and keeping their faces solemn so long as they were facing the public.
In its early stages, however, the pretense that Washington had suddenly discovered that the Soviets were Communists was plausible, and when the shooting began in Korea in 1950, it was possible to believe, or at least to hope, for almost a year that it was a war, i.e., conflict between opposing powers, instead of a cooperative exercise to kill young Americans and further bleed the American economy. Even after April 1951, however, there was a constant sludge in the press to give the impression that the Washington arm of the Jewish International was killing and impoverishing Americans to "save the world" from the evils of the Communism that was the official doctrine of its other arm. And this sham was continued unabated for years to provide a pretext for Washington to deliver another attack on the American people by staging another phoney "war" in Vietnam, which was only in the planning stages in 1958. This bleeding of the United States continued until 1975, it will be remembered, and during that period it was thought expedient in Washington to wail from time to time about the wickedness of the Communists, and, in fact, there are still yips to that effect whenever the American boobs are to be taxed some more for weapons of defense that there is no intention of ever using against the enemy.
In 1958, therefore, when the official spoof about "anti-Communism" in Washington was being vigorously promoted, a patriotic organization could have counted on at least a decade in which a government which pretended to be opposed to Communism could not openly act to destroy an organization that really did attack the Marxist superstition and its open and clandestine promoters. This gave an opening for agitation on behalf of the American people that could scarcely have been outlawed.
What would have happened, if Welch had not converted the Birch Society into a chain of playpens, in which concerned Americans worked off their energies and squandered their money in futile games until they were tired? I do not know. In retrospect, one is tempted to conclude that even in 1958 the rotting of the nation had gone so far that even a sincere and sagaciously directed effort would have been foredoomed to failure. Epimetheus is always a pessimist!
I conclude "America's Decline" with my resignation from the Birch business in 1966, and it was shortly thereafter that Thomas J. Davis, who resigned as National Director of Publicity for the Birch Society, told the "Wall Street Journal," "I do not know of anything that would make the John Birch Society rise to a position of importance."
For twenty years, the Birch business has been just a hoax, peddled to the credulous by fast-talking salesmen – a sham with which even its pretentious founder became increasingly bored. He finally turned the racket over to a wily Congressman, Larry McDonald, who, it was said, had plans to revive the withering business by converting it into a Jesus-circus with an eye to eventual amalgamation with, or absorption of, the shows run by Jerry Falwell and other salvation-hucksters. Persons who knew McDonald personally thought him a very shrewd operator who probably would parlay the little Birch cult into a big-time extravaganza and make a big noise with the best performing politicians. This chance of renewal passed when McDonald happened to be a passenger on a Korean (!) air liner which, through either the negligence of the slap-happy Korean pilots or an attempt by the C.I.A. to use it for espionage, flew into Soviet territory and was shot down.
The mentality of the part of the "right wing" that provides a market for Birch hokum was shown by wild outcries that the diabolical Soviets had destroyed the plane because they were so afraid of McDonald, of whom, it is probable, no one in the Soviet government had ever heard. Such mentalities, of course, never stop to notice that the Oriental plane with its precious cargo could not have been shot down over Soviet territory if it had not been put there by its pilots, through incompetence or design.
The Birch business has now fallen by default into the hands of some of its old salesmen, who have not been able to entice anyone of even the slightest prominence to act as front-man and successor to the loudly lamented Larry. One would suppose that after a quarter of a century of continuous futility this superannuated bunko-game would cease to attract yokels, but one must remember that in this expiring nation there is a brisk and lucrative market for magic talismans that have been proved, "by scientific tests," infallibly to attract good luck, for icons that will inspire Jesus to shower wealth on the purchaser, and even for the words of chants which are "guaranteed" to put the chanter "knee-deep in thousand-dollar bills." It may be some time before the rump of the Birch business is buried with its head.
(1) Eisenhower was so indiscreet that he permitted a Jew named Bela Kornitzer to reproduce photographs from his family album in a volume of pseudo-biographical flattery entitled "The Great American Heritage" in 1955. One of these pictures was reproduced on a full page in "Life," 5 July 1968. From this picture and others it is obvious that Eisenhower's mother was a mulattress, probably a quadroon or octoroon, and he inherited from her the distinctly negroid features he had when at West Point, where, however, he was known as "the Swedish Jew." In the photographs, his father looks like a decent White man of the lower classes, his mind probably so stuffed with Christian drivel that he was willing to marry a mulattress, but showing no sign of Jewishness. Unfortunately for the United States, Eisenhower was permitted to scrape through, near the bottom of the class, at West Point. He was utterly incompetent as a military officer, and was reluctantly promoted just fast enough to keep him from being automatically retired as "overage in grade," a fate which the Army's tradition spared graduates of West Point. He was still a major when he was picked up as a useful tool by Barney Baruch, the Jewish satrap who was governing the United States, and was promoted to the top by the American catastrophe called Franklin Roosevelt, partly to demoralize the Army by showing that fitness for military command no longer counted under a government controlled by the nation's enemies.