Last year I wrote an article exposing the hypocrisy of The John Birch Society (JBS), proving that their Founder Robert Welch and his successor, Larry McDonald, supported the convention process in Article V as a means to adopt the Liberty Amendment (see The John Birch Society Denies Its History and Betrays Its Mission). JBS president, John McManus has long denied this truth and insisted:
The John Birch Society has always opposed the creation of a constitutional convention (Con-Con) as authorized in Article V of the Constitution...
I know that Robert Welch never wanted a Con-Con. I know of no JBS official who wanted it... Anyone who claims that JBS leaders (past or present) ever intended to have Congress create a constitutional convention either doesn’t know what he or she is talking about or is being deceitful. (Falsehoods Mark the Campaign for a Constitutional Convention)
(Note: JBS intentionally misrepresents an amendments convention by calling it a Con-Con which is short for Constitutional Convention in order to propagate their false teaching that the Constitution will be completely eradicated. For further information see The Difference Between a Constitutional Convention and and Convention for Proposing Amendments.)
In an effort to justify JBS opposition to a Convention of States, McManus is now tying himself in knots. Take a look at this video which shows McManus trying to explain their past support, and finally simply admitting to the fact that JBS advocated for an Article V convention. The video also provides evidence proving that JBS did in fact support a convention for the Liberty Amendment: “Willis Stone, his strategy was to have state legislatures call for a Con-Con and we (JBS) backed what he was in favor of years ago and now that is being held against us...”
As you can see in his presentation, he acknowledges the fact that Stone was seeking to have state legislatures call a convention and that JBS adopted that strategy. Yet McManus somehow tries to maintain his position that JBS’s leadership has always opposed a convention. His basis for this claim is a private conversation he had with Willis Stone, the creator of the Liberty Amendment, who supposedly admitted that he did not want a convention despite actively promoting numerous pieces of legislation calling for one. McManus can offer no other evidence than his own personal recollection of a private conversation he had several decades ago, which scarcely weighs for much against all the documentation proving JBS’s support of a convention to adopt the Liberty Amendment.
But if McManus’s recollection is accurate and his statement true, that raises some very unsettling questions about the organization’s leadership. Why was the JBS leadership and the author of the Liberty Amendment secretly trying to undermine a convention while instructing its members to support it? The John Birch Society and Mr. Stone sought financial support and asked their grassroots around the country to lobby state legislatures to pass legislation promoting a convention to adopt the Liberty Amendment. Larry McDonald even testified in favor of a convention in Congress. If McManus is telling the truth, then Stone, Welch, and McDonald are hypocrites of the highest order: They were deceiving their supporters, donors, legislators, and the entire country for years in regards to their true intentions.
What kind of organization is JBS if their leaders misrepresent programs to their supporters and seek donations from them while having no intention of supporting those programs?
Members of JBS should be demanding answers to these questions, immediately.
Here is what is likely the truth. Mr. McManus has been duped by the myth of the runaway convention theory which was perpetrated by the liberals back in the 60s and 70s to defeat conservative amendments that the states were seeking to propose. (Here’s the proof of these arguments coming strictly from the radical left: How Liberal Propagandists Fooled Conservatives into Opposing an Amendments Convention.) McManus broke with JBS’s leadership and began his “No Con-Con” campaign against the Constitution's amending process when the states were trying to overturn Roe v. Wade by proposing a Right to Life Amendment in an Article V convention.
McManus’s motive for trying to neuter states’ constitutional rights and stop federal overreach is not clear. Perhaps he has been opposing the states for so long that he cannot bring himself to admit that he was wrong, and now has to twist the truth to fit it into the box in which he has placed himself. Perhaps he believes that the maintenance of the status quo serves as an important fund raising mechanism for his organization. Short of an honest admission, we may never know for certain why McManus parted ways from his former leaders, but the public now knows that the fear of the Constitution being perpetrated by JBS today began with him.
Mr. McManus would be wise to read the second resolution listed in The John Birch Society Resolutions written by Robert Welch: “2. I shall always be truthful... The highly placed politician who makes a habit of dealing in falsehoods, about his actions or his intentions, should be defeated or impeached for that reason alone...” Good advice. Someone here has failed to live up to this cornerstone principle. Either McManus or JBS’s past leadership have betrayed their members.
It’s time to start asking some hard questions about who is responsible for this deception. Perhaps McManus himself needs to be impeached, so JBS can go back to its long and cherished history of supporting an Article V convention to reign in a federal government now run amok.