How to Describe JBS to Others
by Chuck Beck, Field Coordinator for Northern California, Western Oregon, and Western Washington
Question: I am a new member of The John Birch Society. In a nutshell, can you suggest some things I can say to my friends and acquaintances when they ask me to explain what the JBS is?
Answer: The John Birch Society was founded in December of 1958 by Robert Welch. It is named in honor of John Birch, who was a captain in the U.S. Army in China during World War II. He was killed by the Communists shortly after World War II ended.
JBS is an education and action group. As our mission declares, we stand for “Less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.”We believe, as the Declaration of Independence proclaims, that our rights come from God, not from government. We understand that the U.S. Constitution implemented an exceptional form of government that protects those God-given rights.
However, our freedom and form of government are under attack. There are organized forces working to destroy what made our country great. JBS works to expose and counter this conspiracy. Accordingly, we labor to create an informed electorate that will elect candidates who support our founding principles and will follow the Constitution.We are not a political organization, as we don’t endorse candidates or political parties. However, we encourage our members to support the candidates and parties of their choice, in their individual capacities.
To create an informed electorate, we use a variety of tools, including The New American magazine and its reprinted articles, books, pamphlets, DVDs, speeches by national experts, information booths at fairs and community events, the internet, and various forms of social media. Many times, we rely on our local members talking to their friends and neighbors.
The John Birch Society is organized into local chapters of 8 to 15 members who meet monthly. In areas where there are no local chapters, members are in what we call the Home Chapter, and they work on our agenda items individually. All JBS members receive our monthly Bulletin which sets forth our agenda — the issues and goals we focus on — for the month. The Birch Society is monolithic in structure, which helps us avoid the infighting that has destroyed other organizations. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, we have a nationwide staff of field coordinators who assist local chapters in recruiting new members and implementing our agenda.
To join The John Birch Society, one must fill out a membership application. Dues are $87.00 per year for individuals, and $99.00 per year for married couples. Dues can be paid by cash, check, or credit card. With JBS membership, a person receives our monthly Bulletin and a subscription to The New American, which is delivered twice a month. Nonmembers may subscribe to TNA for $49.00 per year.
The John Birch Society is not affiliated with any particular religious group. While most Birch Society members have a belief in God, its membership consists of Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jews, and various other religious denominations. We also have members of all races and ethnic groups, and our members range in age from teens to senior citizens. Ultimately, the JBS is open to all people of goodwill who agree with our basic principles and are willing to work to implement our agenda.