The John Birch Society is a [conservative](https://doctorparadox.net/mental-self-defense/the-conservative-mind/) advocacy group in the United States that was founded in 1958 by Robert W. Welch Jr. The organization is named after John Birch, a U.S. Army captain and Baptist missionary who was killed by Chinese Communists in 1945, and is known for its strong anti-communist and anti-globalist views.
The organization advocates for limited government, individual freedom, and traditional American values. It promotes its views through publications, videos, and speeches, and has been involved in a range of political activities, including lobbying, grassroots organizing, and supporting [right-wing](https://doctorparadox.net/tag/right-wing/) political candidates.
The John Birch Society has been controversial since its inception, with critics accusing it of promoting [conspiracy theories](https://doctorparadox.net/why-do-people-believe-conspiracy-theories/) and engaging in extreme and divisive political tactics. In the 1960s, the organization was particularly active in opposing [[civil rights]] legislation and supporting the [[Vietnam War]], which further fueled controversy and opposition.
JBS Members such as [[Revilo P. Oliver]] were unabashed about their [bigotry](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/bigotry-is-bad-thinking/), including [racism](https://doctorparadox.net/category/psychology/racism/) and [[antisemitism]], that the organization was seen as associated with fringe views well outside what was acceptable in the mainstream.
## Even William F. Buckley thought the JBS was too extreme
Influential conservative writer and commentator [[William F. Buckley, Jr.]], who played a key role in shaping the conservative movement in the United States during the mid-20th century, became increasingly critical of the John Birch Society in the 1960s. He viewed the organization as promoting conspiracy theories and paranoid, unfounded views that were damaging to the conservative movement.
Buckley's criticism of the John Birch Society helped to establish a more moderate and mainstream form of conservatism that focused on limited government and traditional values rather than extreme views and conspiracy theories -- an era that arguably began ending with the more extremist voices in right-wing politics of the 1990s, through the [[Tea Party]] of the Obama years and into the MAGA era of [[Donald Trump]].