I just received this fascinating message from Ernie Lazar:
The Koch Brothers are frequently discussed online including recently in a Chicago newspaper article re: their possible interest in purchasing the Tribune Company (LA Times, Chicago Trib, etc.) I sent the author of the article some details about the Koch family and he suggested that I post my reply as a comment on his webpage — which I did.
Since this material might be of interest to your readers, I copy it below:
1. Fred Koch was one of the founding members of the John Birch Society and he served on its National Council (which, on paper, was the governing body of the JBS but, in reality, it was powerless).
HOWEVER, like many other people who joined the JBS (such as Phyllis Schlafly), Fred ultimately resigned from the Society because (according to his wife), Fred believed that JBS founder Robert Welch was “too extreme” — and because he thought Welch was wrong in his adverse evaluations of many prominent conservative politicians.
2. Fred’s son, Charles Koch, was also a JBS member but he resigned in May 1968.
One historian who has done research into the private papers of JBS National Council member William Grede claims that he found documentation in Grede’s papers which indicates that Charles Koch resigned from the JBS at the request of Robert Welch because Charles and Robert Love (a JBS National Council member from Wichita KS) had placed a full-page ad in the Wichita KS Eagle newspaper entitled “Let’s Get Out of Vietnam Now”.
At that time, the JBS had obtained almost a million signatures on a Vietnam petition advocating a win-the-war policy and withholding all aid to Communist countries — so Robert Welch apparently thought Koch and Love had undermined the JBS position.
3. It would be interesting if someone could get Charles to answer questions re: whether or not he still accepts the basic predicates of JBS ideology — namely, that most of our national leaders, government officials, and politicians during the past 8 decades have been Communist traitors, Communist sympathizers, or Communist agents?
Does Charles agree with the JBS position that Presidents Carter and Clinton should have been impeached for TREASON?
Or, for that matter, does Charles agree with this comment from the May 2008 JBS Bulletin in an article entitled “The New World Order Isn’t New”.
“Just as the John Birch Society showed in the 1960’s that the communists basically ran both the civil rights movement and the KKK, the strategy was nothing new. The former was used to transfer power to Washington DC in the name of civil rights and the latter provided a pretext for transferring power to Washington. You cannot get a really good conflict started unless you control both sides of the argument.”
More info re: JBS in my 204-page JBS Report here:
Questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note this PS Dated April 3
In my continuing debate about Charles Koch which is in reply to comments appearing on the Chicago Reader website, I posted this message today in reply to one of my critics:
Perhaps you at least can agree with one basic principle of truth-finding — namely, that due diligence requires independent research rather than just accepting at face-value whatever some public figure or organization presents in their self-serving statements or press releases??
Here are some basic questions which I would like to see Charles Koch answer before I would accept your predicate that he is a genuine libertarian who believes in tolerance and diversity.
1. Charles, do you believe the Birch Society contention that Presidents Carter and Clinton should have been impeached for TREASON?
2. Charles, do you believe the Birch Society contention that…
“A republican form of government or of organization has many attractions and advantages under certain favorable conditions. But under less happy circumstances it lends itself too readily to infiltration, distortion, and disruption” — and –as a corollary to that premise, do you believe along with Robert Welch that …”democracy, of course, in government or organization, as the Greeks and Romans both found out, as I believe every man in this room clearly recognizes — democracy is merely a deceptive phrase, a weapon of demagoguery and a perennial fraud.”
3. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that during the 1950’s:
“In the Senate, there are men like Stephen Young of Ohio, and Wayne Morse of Oregon, McNamara of Michigan, and Clifford Case of New Jersey and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, whom it is utter folly to think of as just liberals. Every one of those men is either an actual Communist or so completely a Communist sympathizer or agent that it makes no practical difference…”
4. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that:
“For the civil rights movement in the United States… has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you now frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists patiently building up to this present stage for more than thirty years.”
5. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that: Martin Luther King Jr. “attended a Communist training school” ??
6. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that:
“The history of the socialist movement in the U.S. is one of advocating mandatory public education. Recall that it is the tenth step toward communizing any country outlined by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto…The aim of the Conspiracy has always been to break down the old social order and replace it with the anti-God system of socialism. Kindergarten was part of the breakdown of the old social order and it included that indoctrination of children at an ever-younger age away from their parents.”
7. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that the following individuals are a representative sample of individuals who were, or are, either Communists, Communist sympathizers, or Communist “agents” who planned to destroy our country and bring us into a one-world socialist dictatorship?
a. President Harry Truman
b. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
c. General George C. Marshall
d. Allen Dulles (CIA Director)
e. John Foster Dulles (Secretary of State)
f. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren
g. Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State)
h. Governor Nelson Rockefeller (NY)
i. Governor Edmund G. Brown (CA)
j. Senator Hubert Humphrey (MN — and later Vice President)
k. Senator Estes Kefauver (TN)
l. Governor Orval Faubus (AR)
m. Senator John Kerry (now Secretary of State)
n. President Charles DeGaulle (France)
8. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that the liberal organization, Americans For Democratic Action… “whether a lot of its members know it or not, is the same as an arm of the Communist Party. Its weight can be thrown, and is thrown, time after time, with never an exception, in support of Communist objectives.”
9. Charles, do you believe, along with the Birch Society, that the NAACP, Congress of Racial Equality, National Urban League, American Civil Liberties Union, and other national civil rights and civil liberties organizations are all “Communist fronts”?
If Charles would answer these nine questions — we could arrive at a fact-based judgment concerning his actual values and beliefs and then measure them against the historical record regarding what American libertarian organizations and publications believe.