Let me back up a bit.
There was an American Christian missionary to China who became an intelligence officer for the US Air Force. He knew China was dangerous, because they were Commies, but said God had called him to duty. Dying his hair black, dressing in traditional Chinese garb and immersing himself in Chinese language and culture, he slipped behind Japanese lines during WWII, and aided the return of American bombers who had firebombed Tokyo. His name was John Morrison Birch. About two weeks after the Nagasaki bombing, Birch was shot and killed by Chinese guerrillas. Thirteen years later, a far right wing nutjob named Robert Welch would found the John Birch Society and claim that Birch's death was the beginning of World War III.
Birch Paranoid Theology/Mystagoguery/Worldview: A Thumbnail
The world is run by wealthy communists and capitalists who are in cahoots, only pretending to be at odds with each other. They've pulled the wool over almost everyone's eyes...except the members of the JBS, who took the classic narrative of the One-World Secret Evil Government run by a shadowy and terrible and unfathomably rich group called The Illuminati...and grafted it onto their own theology/conspiriology, or whatever you want to call it. The Evil Rulers are not the Illuminati, they are The Insiders, and the US hasn't been a Constitutionally ruled democracy or republic since...well, maybe 1895 or so. Maybe earlier. Maybe later. They - The Insiders - were probably organized by Cecil Rhodes, in the the late 19th century.
Birchers hate the U.N. It's evil by definition, and evidence of the will to enslave the population of the world, right in front of our noses. Birchers think their own interpretation of the Judeo-Christian sex code is the only interpretation. Anyone deviating from that code - a code which tends to engender willful stupidity and an emotional plague in general - is evil and should be dealt with. The Birchers think The Insiders control the media (AKA Jews), and The Jews have so much money their propaganda can straddle the globe and control minds. The Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, any of the Elite "Round Table" groups of intellectuals and politicians, is Insider stuff. The Bilderbergers? What do YOU think?
It seems The Insiders have morphed into The Illuminati over the past ten years, but it's hard for me to get a read on this stuff. What do the Birchers want to do? "Restore" the good old ways. The way things oughtta be. Before Things went wrong. (The way they never were, really. Racist, fearful, uneducated nostalgia looks like an ugly brew to me.)
So okay: The US has been commie-controlled since the 1950s. How do I know? Well, their founder, Robert Welch, a candy-man business-owner, said so. He said General Eisenhower, then-President of the US, original CIA head Allen Dulles, and Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren were all commies. Furthermore (and this is my favorite wingnut-riff from this period), Eisenhower's brother Milton was even "higher-up" in the commie pyramid than Dwight David himself. This led William F. Buckley, once a friend of Welch's, to try to purge him from the group, calling the charges "paranoid and idiotic libels." This pissed off Welch, who made a move to take over the YAFfers, or Buckley's Young Americans For Freedom. Oh yea: Truman and FDR were commie tools too, according to Welch.
Have you heard about fluoride in the US water supply? They say it helps fight cavities. But Welch and his followers knew the real truth: it was Soviet mind-control stuff. Hey, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice," as Bircher-backed Barry Goldwater said when he ran for Prez in 1964.
"Free market" everything, government is bad and can't do anything right, taxes are evil, universal health care is a horrific spectre haunting every real red-blooded American, "prosperity" is good, so are the real American "values," the 2nd Amendment is much sexier than the 1st, we need the Bible in schools, being anti-union (which is so obvious a commie plot) is a no-brainer, anti-anyone from any other country, anti-looking too brown or Asian, anti-the-rest-of-the-world, who are all a bunch of weirdos. And the flag is just grand. So how did they stay afloat? (I will guess: right wing billionaires think it's a good idea to keep the rabble as dumb as possible, but you are free to guess for yourselves.)
This stuff gets crazier and crazier. And often it gets cross-pollinated with KKK-like groups, militias,
Aryan Brotherhood garbage, and now a rather large portion of the Republican Party, etc. You know: patriots.
Wiki history of the JBS
Wither the Birchers?
Well, we can relax. I read the entry under "John Birch Society" in Michael Newton's compendious 2006 book The Encyclopedia of Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories, which ends with, "The group remains active today, continuing its 'educational' efforts in print and on the Internet, but the society is a shadow of its former self with the glory days of the 1960s (hopefully) lost beyond recall." (p.192)
That's heartening. Then 3 1/2 years ago I ran across this glib Gawker piece; more reason to relax, right?
But then, a scant eight years ago, in the Youngstown (Ohio) News: JBS making a comeback? That can't be right, can it?
Well, most of you were on to me 15 paragraphs ago: this stuff never went away; it's a major part of the fabric of thought in Unistat. Anti-intellectualism goes back to the 17th century here. And the Koch Brothers are the latest financiers of this Bircher thing, under other names: The Tea Party, Americans For Prosperity, etc.
Some liberal-progressives have been sounding the alarm. A few days ago I read in the Daily Kos, "Birch Society Republicans: America Now Has Three Major Political Parties,"with "Business Republicans" numbering 84 of the 435 in Congress, "Democrats" numbering 201, and Bircher Republicans amounting to 150 of the 435. And so it goes.
CODA: An Early Satirist of The Illuminati
It's Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, November, 1789. Scottish Professor John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy had made it to the US shores and caused quite a stir: are the same Illuminati that fomented the French Revolution - as Robison "proved" - here on our shores, plotting evil? Then word arrived that French Catholic Abbe Augustin Barruel's anti-Illuminati Memoirs of Jacobinism had been translated into English and we'd get to read all three volumes! (or was it four?) Anyway.
Someone writing into the Massachusetts Mercury, calling himself "A Friend to Truth," suggested that we all wait to read Barruel before passing judgement, and that we might want to consider that Robison may be a bit daft, and probably wrong about the nature of Freemasonry and its influence on the Illuminati; comparing Barruel to Robison might prove quite enlightening indeed.
Others wrote in to disparage the disparagement of Robison. Enter an Erisian writer named "Trepidus."
Trepidus wrote in to express his amazement and wonder at Professor Robison's discoveries of how influential the Illuminati had already been in America. What the Illuminati had already achieved dwarfed the achievements of the Gunpowder Plotters, the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, and the Sicilian Vespers!
What Trepidus wished to do was urgent, and on November 30, 1789, in the Massachusetts Mercury, he sought to urge Americans to take notice of a secret cabal in their midst now, one so like the Illuminati it's amazing we all didn't see it before! Who were these plotters? The Quakers! Yep. Some "Friends"! Here's Trepidus:
"The Illuminati esteem all ecclesiastical establishments profane, irreligious, and tyrannical; so do the Quakers. They hold also the obligations of brotherly love and universal benevolence. The Quakers not only profess these Atheistic principles, but actually reduce them to practice. The Illuminati hold the enormous doctrine of the Equality of mankind. So do these Quakers. They, like the Illuminati, have a general correspondence through all their meetings, delegates constantly moving, and one day, at every quarterly meeting, set apart for private business; and I engage to prove at the bar of any tribunal in the United States, that these Friends, these men so horribly distinguished for benevolence and philanthropy, (Ah! philanthropy!) have held, and do still hold a constant correspondence with their nefarious accomplices in Europe...Awake, arise, or be forever fallen!"
-The Bavarian Illuminati in America: The New England Conspiracy Scare, 1789, by Vernon Stauffer, pp.261-263, orig. published in 1918, my copy published by Dover Publications in 2006
So: Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea have an antecedent of remarkably old vintage, eh? Meanwhile, we brainwashed dupes of The Insiders/Illuminati continue to endure World War III...without even knowing it! (NB: Tinfoil Hats Actually Amplify Mind Control Beams!)
ficken Sie die Koch-Sauger!
Kids In the Hall's Dave Foley, performing a satirical prophecy, pre-Glenn Beck. As Allen Ginsberg said, the poets are the antennae of the race: