Like His Dad, Charles Koch Was a Bircher (New Documents)



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The Koch Bros have been so

The Koch Bros have been so vilified by Washington and media ect ect, and being so rich, I just placed them in the secret band of the real rulers of America. But I completely changed my mind when I watched his interview on TV. When He talked about what his father taught his "boys" I seen a real man. I read about family fights and how he "just did what was right" and in that one interview I watched, I have just as much respect for him as I did for my father.

If I were younger, I would beg to be able to work for him, even if it had to be for free!
If this man could be America's President, God might give us another chance before we fall.

This is the respect I have for this man by just listening to him for one interview. I know a real man when I see him, and He is a true man of God.

God bless you Sir.
humbly... allan halldorson

Allan Halldorson more than 1 year ago

So what? It'd be news if

It'd be news if Charles Koch was a member of the Democratic Party or civil rights activist. Now let's take a closer look at the author's past life, and especially youth, for the sake of disclosure and balance. Oh yeah, that's what I thought, bully!

Anonymous more than 2 years ago

The John Birch Society is

The John Birch Society is still highly relevant to today's more extreme Republican Party. While the mainstream media was ignoring the JBS, it was recruiting at gun shows an militia meetings, on campuses and in conservative circles. The Society enjoys tremendous influence within state Republican parties.

Matt Osborne more than 2 years ago

Why is someone you like who

Why is someone you like who opposes a war (e.g., the Vietnam War) a peace activist and someone you don't like who does the same thing an isolationist?

Bogus more than 2 years ago

It should be re-iterated that

It should be re-iterated that today's Tea Party is just the old John Birch Society with a new name. The radical-right ideology, the extremism, the funding source and even the dynastic leadership is the same.

The only difference is that the militant kooks and know-nothings of the old JBS were kept outside of government. Now they're inside -- and using the tools of government to wreck our democratic institutions, our national infrastructure and our economy.

Jack Hughes more than 2 years ago

Jack: I know that it is very

Jack: I know that it is very common for people on the left to make your assertion that the JBS and Tea Party are essentially the same -- but I respectfully suggest that you are succumbing to lowest-common-denominator reasoning......

With respect to the Tea Party Movement.............

I am aware that the JBS likes to take credit for the growth and success of the TPM. ALL political extremist organizations exploit whatever controversies or trends or new political developments they think can be used to advance their interests.

You could find virtually identical statements in Communist Party publications which assert that the CPUSA was responsible for all of our advances in civil rights, for opposition to anti-labor proposals, or for peace and anti-war activities....BUT....It is dangerous to adopt the Birch Society mentality -- i.e. believing that there are no materially important distinguishing characteristics among all the people and groups whose views we disagree with......The reason why Robert Welch and the JBS lumped together actual Communist Party members and supporters with virtually all prominent liberal politicians and groups -- is precisely because Welch wanted his members to accept the reductionist JBS premise that there were no significant differences in objectives or behavior or ideology between and among left-wing personalities and organizations, i.e. they were all varying degrees of "collectivists"......This is also why Birchers attempt to change the usual understanding of a political spectrum by placing fascism, communism, socialism, and liberalism on the left-side of the spectrum versus conservatism and libertarianism on the right side. This is merely a ploy to identify and place all "enemies" on one-side of the political spectrum and all "good guys" on the opposite side.....That is also why Welch told his National Council (in 1960) that there was "no practical difference" between a Communist Party member, a Communist sympathizer, or a Communist "agent" (i.e. someone who enabled Communists to achieve their goals).

Quoting Welch directly......"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..." .........Unfortunately, there is not enough space here for me to address all the ideological differences between JBS and TPM but as an introduction...........The TPM is primarily concerned with fiscal matters--i.e. spending money which we do not have and the related matter of size/scope of government.....By contrast, the JBS has always had a much more highly developed ideology which focuses upon what they consider a massive conspiracy which has existed inside the U.S. for many decades. Furthermore, they believe that "agents" of that "conspiracy of gangsters" (their words) include many very prominent Americans (Republicans and Democrats) and, especially, a wealthy elitist group whom they describe as "Insiders" which the JBS previously described as "Communists", "Communist sympathizers" and their supporters/enablers (aka "agents").

Polling data and comments made by TPM leaders make it evident that they respect and admire many conservative politicians, intellectuals, and political activists. BY CONTRAST: The JBS describes many prominent conservatives as "phony conservatives" who cannot be trusted. [See below for more details.]

Furthermore, the TPM has never bought into the conspiratorial JBS arguments about matters such as our civil rights movement (CRM). The JBS believes that both our CRM and the KKK were staffed and run and controlled by "Communists".

When I discuss this matter, I often point this out: All humans have blood, but if you are given the wrong blood type you die!

Similarly, many persons, organizations, and movements may superficially appear to share similar ideas or objectives -- but, in reality, upon careful examination they have irreconcilable differences which render them incompatible with each other.

That is the case with respect to the JBS and the TPM.

Yes--it is true that if you use lowest-common-denominator reasoning, you can assert that the TPM and JBS are similar. But you have to look closer.

The predicates of JBS ideology are NOT shared by most TPM adherents---based upon polling which has been done such as NY Times/CBS News poll and based upon comments made by TPM leaders.

TPM adherents often respect and admire conservative politicians and conservative activists. The JBS does not believe that people like Ronald Reagan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Henry Kissinger, John McCain, George Bush, William F. Buckley Jr and the National Review crowd, plus many prominent right-wing intellectuals and pundits are actually genuine conservatives.

In fact, the JBS often refuses now to use "conservative" as a descriptive term because it prefers "constitutionalist" or "Americanist" -- and by JBS lights most GOP Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates plus most GOP cabinet-level appointments and GOP Senators/Congressmen since World War II have NOT been "constitutionalists" or "Americanists".

A recent issue of the JBS "Freedom Index" (which scores the voting behavior of all members of Congress) reflects that, from the JBS perspective, many GOP Senators score only 50% to 70%. In the JBS scheme of things, 50% is a failing score, 60% is poor, and 70% represents unpredictable behavior from someone who may be an opportunist and not sincerely committed to "constitutionalist" principles.

According to a recent JBS Freedom Index, the average score for the House of Representatives was 47% and the average score for the Senate was 43% -- which means, from the JBS perspective, the Congress (even the GOP-controlled House) is a total failure!

Specifically, the JBS gives POOR or FAIL SCORES (equivalent to D or F if you were in school) to such prominent Tea Party movement heroes as:

Cong. Michelle Bachmann (MN) = 50%
Cong. Jason Chaffetz (UT) = 67%
Cong. Paul Ryan (WI) = 60%
Cong. Marsha Blackburn (TN) = 60%

In the Senate, the JBS gave a POOR or FAIL SCORE to many prominent conservatives, including:

Marco Rubio (FL) = 70%
Saxby Chambliss (GA) = 67%
Scott Brown (MA) = 20%
Roy Blunt (MO) = 60%
Rob Portman (OH) = 70%
Lindsey Graham (SC) = 60%

The JBS thinks that our government (no matter which party wins elections or controls Congress) has been captured by an elitist cabal of "enemies" whose allegiance is to a one-world socialist dictatorship which will eviscerate our Constitution and destroy our freedoms.

Another area where you can see profound differences between the TPM and the JBS concerns our civil rights movement. I doubt that many TPM adherents would agree with the JBS predicate that our civil rights movement was begun by Communists, was staffed by Communists, was controlled by Communists, and "served only Communist purposes" -- which is the JBS position. [Many prominent conservatives (such as Sen. Barry Goldwater) endorsed and financially supported the NAACP or other national civil rights organizations. BY CONTRAST: The JBS described those groups as Communist fronts!]

Furthermore, I doubt many TPM adherents would agree with the following JBS position (as stated in its May 2008 JBS Bulletin):

"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."

Furthermore, the current CEO of the John Birch Society and the JBS magazine have explicitly stated that people like Sarah Palin and Cong. Paul Ryan CANNOT be trusted.

The JBS magazine published an article stating that Cong. Paul Ryan IS NOT a genuine conservative nor a fiscal hawk nor a serious genuine government reformer!

The Tea Party Movement is, by and large, concerned primarily with fiscal matters and especially growth of government. By contrast, the Birch Society has a much more highly developed ideology which is based upon their conspiratorial arguments about the motives of the persons who have run our country (and our large institutions) since Woodrow Wilson was in office.

The Birch Society DESPISES neo-cons (including major officials of the George Bush administration along with many pundits represented in The Weekly Standard magazine). The JBS DESPISES most establishment Republican politicians. They DESPISE the National Review crowd (Bill Buckley's magazine; in fact, the current President of the JBS, John McManus, wrote a scathing book attacking Buckley).

Mrs. Robert Welch terminated her membership in the Birch Society because she was so angry over how the new leaders of the JBS (after her husband Robert died) were savaging Ronald Reagan in the pages of the JBS magazine, The New American. The JBS described Reagan as a "phony" conservative. The current JBS President, (John McManus) once said that if the Republican Party nominated Reagan for President, it would be indisputable evidence that he was "a lackey of the Communists" !!

By contrast: see if you can find many Tea Party adherents who think Reagan was a phony conservative! OR who despise Bill Buckley, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney or his daughter Liz, Bob Dole, and who think Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and other politicians like them are NOT genuine conservatives

The Birch Society's current CEO (Art Thompson) wrote an article years ago questioning the bona fides of Tea Party favorite, Sarah Palin, as a "constitutionalist". In addition, Palin's unwavering support for Israel and her support for our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was evidence (in the JBS scheme of things) that she could not be trusted and probably was just a pawn of neo-cons whom the JBS despises.

It probably is human nature to pretend that all of our perceived political opponents are allies of each other -- but superficial appearances can be, and often are, deceptive.

Ernie Lazar more than 2 years ago

I wonder if Charles and David

I wonder if Charles and David Koch have given more money to gay marriage and to the United Negro College Fund than all Progressive writers, readers and donors combined?

Bruce Majors more than 2 years ago

Dear Mr. Lazar:

Dear Mr. Lazar:

Thank you very much for writing to us.

We did not realize you had posted information about Charles Koch being a Bircher before now, or we would most definitely have given you credit for your research. The fundraising letter we posted was identified in reviewing paper files in archives , not online, and to our knowledge it appears nowhere else, besides on, in electronic form. I do wish I had seen your work before now because it is indeed illuminating. Your site specifically references Charles Koch with the following note:

"JBS National Council member Robert D. Love sends a letter to Robert Welch advising him that he and Charles Koch anticipate meeting with Scott Stanley Jr., the editor of the JBS magazine, Review of the News. According to Love: 'Charles Koch can, if he desires, finance a large operation, however, he must continually be brought along, as he has many duties now as head of the company.' About a year later, Love and Koch place a full-page advertisement in the Wichita KS Eagle newspaper calling upon our national leaders to withdraw U.S. forces from Vietnam. Both Love and Koch subsequently resign from the Birch Society."

Thank you again for finding and sharing the letter quoted above from Love to Welch. We are happy to help share that information with our readers. We hope you find our independent research re Charles Koch's fundraising letter -- and our analysis of the context of that support for the John Birch Society in the midst of its top-line public campaigns against civil rights -- helpful in educating the public about his roots.
P.S. If you would contact our office, I'd love to discuss your work with you!

Lisa Graves more than 2 years ago

Lisa: As an interesting

Lisa: As an interesting historical note, Fred Koch's wife stated after her husband died, that he had "resigned" from the JBS shortly before his death because he thought the views of Robert Welch had become "too extreme".

Ernie Lazar more than 2 years ago

Thank you, Ernie! She made

Thank you, Ernie! She made that claim but the actually historical record contradicts the self-serving assertion she made in the midst of the public controversy the family faced in the early 1980s. Beyond his own letters that rebut such a claim there is also the fact that the family chose only a few organizations for mourners to send financial memorials, one of which was the John Birch Society to support its bookstore which promoted all the extreme views described in this article, plus many many more. Also, as you and others have noted, at an earlier point, Fred Koch wrote to Bob Welch to note that perhaps he was not extreme enough....

Lisa Graves more than 2 years ago

Lisa: I generally agree with

Lisa: I generally agree with your suspicions but there is one aspect which needs be considered and should be researched further.

In November 1966 Robert Welch published an article in the JBS magazine (American Opinion) entitled "The Truth In Time" which introduced the concept of a "Master Conspiracy" which existed long before the Communist movement and which was comprised of a more secretive and fiendish control group---including prominent and very wealthy American businessmen and bankers!

According to Welch, the Communist movement was only one tool of this "Master Conspiracy" which began with the 18th century Bavarian Illuminati.

Welch proposed that this higher and more secretive "ruling clique" should be referred to as "INSIDERS".

I suspect that many Birchers thought that the JBS could never sell such an esoteric and bizarre idea and this may help explain why there was such a sudden departure of key figures from the JBS during 1966 and early 1967.

One of the problems which serious independent researchers confront with respect to the JBS, is that the JBS does not permit independent scholars to have access to its archives for historical research -- despite the fact that the JBS was incorporated as "an educational organization". BUT, the personal papers of many JBS National Council members are archived in colleges, universities, and state historical societies around our country and if they were carefully examined, they might help us determine whether or not people like Fred Koch resigned from the JBS because they actually did believe that Welch's ideas really had become "too extreme" and his leadership could no longer be productive within the anti-communist and conservative movements.

ernie1241 more than 2 years ago

And your proof is....?

And your proof is....?

nalejbank more than 2 years ago

I don't mean to rain on Lisa

I don't mean to rain on Lisa Grave's parade, but the "new docs" she references (re: Charles Koch being a JBS member) are NOT new. I posted them online and shared them with many people almost one year ago.

For example, see:

..............To my knowledge, I was the first person to discover the documentary evidence that Charles Koch joined (and eventually resigned from) the John Birch Society. I am also the first person to discover that Birch Society founder (Robert Welch) asked Charles to consider becoming a member of the JBS National Council (after he had already resigned from the JBS).

I also have posted other documentary evidence pertaining to Fred Koch and Charles Koch and their connections with the JBS on my webpages which are devoted to "Documentary History of the JBS" at following links. Most of these documents have never previously been publicly available:

CHAPTER…..Time Period……………….URL

JBS 9-1 / 01/58 thru 08/11/60 =

JBS 9-2 / 09/60/60 thru 12/15/61 =

JBS 9-3 / 01/62 thru 12/31/64 =

JBS 9-4 / 01/65 thru 12/31/65 =

JBS 9-5 / 01/66 thru current =

Ernie Lazar more than 2 years ago

Interesting. I have myself

Interesting. I have myself discussed the Koch brothers links to the John Birch Society, the Tea Party, and particularly, Grover Norquist's efforts in the last 30 years to achieve the Koch brother's goals.

What the Koch brothers are trying to accomplish is to re-write the constitution (via supporting candidates willing to carry their water) to match their Randian worldview, which is, in fact, their religion. The scary part is that it seems to be working, just look at open-carry laws and recent supreme court rulings that favor the 'free market' and the establishment of religion over science, workers rights are under attack all over the country (in part, due to ALEC's boilerplate approach to writing laws), and that's merely one more plank in their platform.

Patrick Doyle more than 2 years ago

Dear Mr. Doyle:

Dear Mr. Doyle:

Thank you for writing in about our article and thank you for introducing us to your research and writing. We had not been aware of it before, but I am very interested in looking into your examination of Grover Norquist's history. I see from the links that you mention that David Koch was also part of the John Birch Society. If you could send me a note or give me a call at the office, I'd love to learn more about what you have on that. In the meantime, for our readers, here is the link to your mention of the Koch brothers and the John Birch Society:

Lisa Graves more than 2 years ago

Thanks for verifying what we

Thanks for verifying what we've so long known -- the neoliberal assault mimics the JBS created plan of hiding behind "fronts" to optimize sneak attacks.

Debs V Eugene more than 2 years ago

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