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Could John Birch Society have been a Kremlin-hatched plot?

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,

I read Gene Danforth's letter on the John Birch Society with interest. I would like to offer Mr. Danforth another conspiracy theory.

Let's put it this way: if I had been a member of the Soviet Poliburo or the head of the KGB, I could not think of a better way of discrediting real concerns about the Soviet Union than to come up with a group like the John Birch Society. Could the JBS have been a Kremlin-hatched plot and never even knew it?

I am old enough to remember the JBS. I always found it rather amusing that for a group that hated the Communist Party so much, the JBS closely modeled itself after a Leninist party. For example, it created "front" groups and infiltrated conservative organizations. Like a communist party its members functioned in cells with the "party line" flowing from the top down.

In the mid-1960s, many conservatives started abandoning the JBS in droves because they were extreme even for many conservatives. Even such conservative "leading lights" at the time as presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and William Buckley Jr. thought the Birchers were nuts. Did that make Goldwater and Buckley part of the international communist conspiracy Mr. Danforth? Even Ayn Rand, the heroine of libertarianism thought they were wrong. Was Ayn Rand a Red, Mr. Danforth?

E. Scott Cracraft