(Just a harmless bunch o'regular folks who happen to hate just about everything.)
So there we were, Amato and I at the Tea Baggers rally in Santa Monica yesterday. More people with cameras than picket signs. More Ron Paul supporters than TEA folk. More "you shoulda been here earlier", than here now (I got there at 3:30 where the crowd had swollen to 40 - by 5:00 it was down to 10).
But there was a guy walking around handing out business cards. The gist was warning America of the plot by NAFTA to take over the country and turn it into one big Mexico and Canada. The card came with an appeal to visit JBS.org and "get the inside story".
I remarked to the guy that I hadn't heard anything about the John Birch Society in years and always wondered what they were up to lately. The guy, a rather ambiguous fellow dressed in personality-matching beige, shook his head emphatically that he knew nothing about the John Birch Society and that he was "just handing out these cards", and quickly melted into the thinning crowd.
Yes, I always wondered what became of The John Birch Society - that epitome of Communist conspiracy paranoiacs. Where did they go? What became of that "million plus" membership I was always hearing about in the 1960's.
True, their ranks thinned out when their founder Robert Welch died, and I thought they went the route of so many flavor-of-the-month extreme groups and just evaporated.
Not so. Seems the JBS is alive and well and kicking up all sort of under-the-radar dust. This time it's not communism but EU World domination and of course government meddling in private lives (read: guns, taxes, far-right ideology and oh yes, massive funding from people like the Koch family). So, you roll all those things together and its the same old Leopard of the 50's and 60's, only with new Millennium spots.
So I stumbled across a news item from 1965, a review of a new film put out by the Society in an effort to drum up support.
Seems after over 50 years of being around, the John Birch Society is still around and paranoid as ever.
(Back in the day when every living breathing thing was suspected of having Communist sympathies)