Mr. Thompson makes several totally illogical statements.
1. Ezra Taft Benson did not have access to classified information about the communist movement in the United States so it is totally absurd to assert any connection between Benson and his agreement with Robert Welch's personal opinions -- which often were nothing more than insinuations and innuendos contained in Welch's "private letter" entitled The Politician.
2. It is NOT "factually incorrect" (as Thompson claims) to state that the Birch Society "believed Eisenhower was a Communist".
The premises, arguments, themes, evidence, and conclusions contained in Welch's "private letter have always been the premises, arguments, themes, evidence, and conclusions used by the Birch Society to educate its prospective members---which is why...
(a) Robert Welch sent copies of his unpublished manuscript to prospective JBS members during 1959 and 1960 and he then asked them to join the JBS based upon their reading and acceptance of the content of The Politician and
(b) In 2002, the JBS published a new edition of The Politician. This new edition is self-described on the back cover as the most devastating expose of the last century because it tells the bitter, but little known truth about our postwar history and the back cover statement concludes:
But most importantly, The Politician exposes that conspiracy of gangsters which even now is setting Americas foreign and domestic policy.
It is also why several JBS National Council members and JBS Coordinators stated that The Politician represented a "higher truth" which only certain JBS members could be trusted to understand.
(c) The Birch Society DID explicitly endorse The Politician after it was first published in 1963.
JBS Bulletin, 09/63:
Robert Welch declared that The Politician "has now proved to be by far the most effective single help to our recruiting efforts."
JBS Bulletin, 6/63
Welch encouraged JBS members to make The Politician "the largest selling book in all history".
AND, in a 8/22/62 letter to Ezra Taft Benson in which he offered to send a copy of the unpublished edition of The Politician to Benson, Mr. Welch wrote to Benson:
"For there are quite a number of outstanding Americans who are among our strongest and most unshakable supporters who had been made so by reading this document; and we have never really had any trouble with, or criticism from, those who have actually read the 'letter' themselves..."
(d) In addition, in September 1960, the Office of Naval Intelligence prepared a summary report concerning JBS activities in the Chicago area.
Here is the pertinent excerpt from their Report which provides further evidence of how JBS officials used The Politician as a recruitment tool for the JBS when readers could be "properly guided within the Society". [JBS National Council member Stillwell Conner's name is mis-spelled as "Connor"].
Stilwell J. Connor, 6657 N. Sioux Avenue, Chicago, Illinois and his wife have been particularly active Coordinators for the John Birch Society in the Chicago area and specifically at Glenview, Illinois. [Name deleted] of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Glenview has cooperated with Society Coordinators by calling special parish meetings for the purpose of organizing local chapters of the Society and extending the use of church buildings for holding such meetings. One such meeting held on July 11, 1960 attracted about 200 citizens to hear Connor present the views of Robert Welch via sound films and literature."
"One member of the audience asked about Welchs book, The Politician. Connor vehemently denied the existence of such a book whereupon the interested spectator produced the book and proceeded to read appropriate quotations for the benefit of Connor and his audience. Connor then admitted the existence of the book but reportedly said that the book was only for those who were properly guided within the Society. Connor reportedly remarked that to make the book available to the general membership without proper guidance would be analogous to permitting a first year medical student attempt to cure cancer. On another occasion a potential recruit of the Society was disillusioned after reading The Politician and expressed her disgust to Connor who cautioned her that if she ever revealed the nature of the book he would promptly discredit her and deny the existence of the book at its contents. [District Intelligence Office, Ninth Naval District Chicago IL; 9/16/60 report captioned "Ninth Naval District Subversive Trends of Current Interest, The John Birch Society, pages 2-3].
(e) Lastly, if you prepare a list of every person named and attacked in The Politician, you will discover that the Birch Society has always presented the same derogatory judgments about those individuals in their official publications -- including the 4-volume JBS publication entitled "Biographical Dictionary of the Left"
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