John Birch Society

The John Birch Society (JBS) is an American right-wing political advocacy group.[2][3] Founded in 1958, it supports anti-communism and social conservatism.[4][5] The JBS is associated with ultraconservative, radical right, or far-right politics.[6][7][8][9][10]

John Birch Society
AbbreviationJBS
Named afterJohn Birch
FormationDecember 9, 1958; 62 years ago (1958-12-09)
FounderRobert W. Welch Jr.
Founded atIndianapolis, Indiana, US
TypePolitical advocacy group
Purpose
HeadquartersGrand Chute, Wisconsin, US[1]
Chief executive officer
Bill Hahn
Chairman
Clark Curry
President
Martin Ohlson
SubsidiariesThe New American Magazine
AffiliationsAmerican Opinion Foundation
FreedomProject Academy
Websitejbs.org

The society's founder, businessman Robert W. Welch Jr. (1899–1985), developed an organizational infrastructure of nationwide chapters in December 1958. The society rose quickly in membership and influence, and was controversial for its promotion of conspiracy theories and opposition to the civil rights movement.[11][5] In the 1960s the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and National Review pushed for the JBS to be exiled to the fringes of the American right.[12][11] More recently Jeet Heer has argued in The New Republic that while the organization's influence peaked in the 1970s, "Bircherism" and its legacy of conspiracy theories have become the dominant strain in the conservative movement.[13] Politico has asserted that the JBS began making a resurgence in the mid-2010s,[14] while the JBS has argued that it shaped the modern conservative movement and especially the Trump administration.[15] Writing in The Huffington Post, Andrew Reinbach called the JBS "the intellectual seed bank of the right."[16]

Originally based in Belmont, Massachusetts, the John Birch Society is now headquartered in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, a suburb of Appleton, Wisconsin,[17] with local chapters throughout the United States. It owns American Opinion Publishing, which publishes the magazine The New American.[18]


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article John Birch Society, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.