"Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right," Claire Conner

I just finished this book. Highly recommended. It’s a really fascinating and at times heartbreaking account of Claire Conner’s life growing up as the daughter of two founding leaders of the John Birch Society. They believe every crazy thing Robert Welch says as proven fact. These are zealots who are absolutely convinced every president since Hoover was a Communist and the Reds are going to take over openly any day now, for more than thirty years. The Civil Rights movement is a Communist plot. (And, yes, fluoridation too.) The Vietnam War, under both Johnson and Nixon, is only a fake anti-Communist war and really serves the Communist agenda somehow. They devote their entire lives to the cause. Indeed, they devote so much time – and money – that Claire is expected to finance her own college education, though her father is a seemingly prosperous businessman.

This passage should show clearly just how deep the evil-convinced-it’s-good-fighting-evil of the JBS runs:

True, but if Timothy McVeigh can find apologists as diverse as the John Birch Society and Gore Vidal, maybe Waco was an act of war, not police work.

Was there any theory advanced in the book that you agreed with or at least found plausible?

Of Welch or the JBS? Not a one. Of course, the author’s not actually making any case for them, she just reports what the Birchers said.

BTW, though we hardly hear anything about it any more, the JBS still exists.

*The JBS theory, BTW, was that KAL 007 was not destroyed but forced down, and McDonald taken prisoner. They beat that drum for years.

I suppose I would agree with their position on foreign military interventions by the U.S.; but their theory is that such are always part of a plot to internationalize the American military and draw us further into the orbit of UN/NWO control, which is preposterous.

They used to have a show on my local public access cable channel. Some of the things they showed had to be seen to be believed (that they existed, not that people actually believe some of this stuff). The creepiest thing I saw was the summer camps for children! I don’t think they do that any more.

Conner mentions those camps in the book, too.

Yeah, I’m sure the kids were really excited about going to them.

I read a book a while back by a physician who advocated alternative cancer therapies (can’t recall its title right now) and he mentioned in passing that for some years, he was an on-call physician for these camps when they were in his area. It sounds like they rented a Scout campground for a period of time and had them there.

I subscribed to THE NEW AMERICAN at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. There was no sentiment in it expressed but total condemnation, and no attempt to defend or deflect guilt away from Tim McVeigh, although there was, of course, lots of suspicion that the plot went beyond McVeigh to possibly involve, not Communists, but perhaps Muslim or European neo-Nazis.

Whatever this woman experienced in her family showing sympathy to McVeigh & the OK City bombing was not representative of the John Birch Society.

Not even any false-flag-operation theories?

At the time I was attending monthly parties given by a local Libertarian, and sometimes militia-types showed up. One I met was absolutely convinced the FBI blew up the courthouse to provide a pretext for cracking down on dissidents.

Nope, “false flag” accusations have flourished mainly since 9/11, and I have not kept track of JBS thought regarding that. I don’t know if Gary North is a Bircher but he certainly travels in the same circles & he raises the occasional question about certain aspects of it but I’ve never seen him make outright accusations.

At the time of the OK Bombing, The New American was also warning about some militia movements. Robert Welch considered many groups that combined their anti-Communist/Big Gov’t, pro-Free Market views with anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Masonry, racism, paramilitarism to be “Neutralizers” in the fight against Collectivism.