While a standard trope on the left about the Tea Party movement is that it is the Koch-funded John Birch Society 2.0, as a student of Minnesota’s Tea Party chapters, Bluestem finds this less than useful.
And not just because calling anything 2.0 is so 1999.
In Minnesota, the John Birch Society is alive and well and serving up videos and powerpoint presentations at Tea Party gatherings across the state.
Witness the Wright County Tea Party Patriots, who not only will be playing host to freshman Minnesota state representative Marion O’Neill on November 5 at 7:00 p.m., but wrapping up its six-part series, “The Constitution Is The Solution,” a video produced by the John Birch Society.
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The Wright County patriots meet at 5:30 to watch the video and discuss the segment they’ve just watched. There’s even a set of handouts, most of which include worksheets. Bluestem’s favorite handout is Exposing the Enemies of Freedom which first asks these three questions:
1.) List three traits of a conspiracy:
2.) The Illuminati is:
A.) A myth
B.) An alien race of reptilian shape-shifters
C.) A group founded in the late 1700s, seeking world government
3.) List at least 3 objectives of the Illuminati:
Back in 2009, the New York Times checked out the scene at the JBS Headquarters in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, and reported back in Holding Firm Against Plots by Evildoers.
Wright County Tea Party Not Alone: JBS in other chapters
The Wright County chapter isn’t alone in offering John Birch Society material. Bluestem has written before about the JBS content on the Central Minnesota Tea Party, as well as the JBS presentations at the SW Metro Tea Party.
The SW Metro Tea Party’s video page includes the October 8 2012 presentation The Power of 500 with Mark Griffin from the John Birch Society, with a link to the group’s website, and JBS member Rolland(Rollie) Neve spoke after Allen Quist in a May 20, 2013 presentation on Agenda 21.
PDFs of the organization’s minutes document that Neve handed out folders of JBS material warning about Agenda 21 in April 2012 and in July 2012 showed a JBS DVD.
These three chapters do–operating in Carver and Wright Counties and St.Cloud–Little Falls area–are among the more robust chapters in the state.
Worried about the Illumaniti? You’re not alone. A Republican operative hoping to rebrand Minnesota’s Tea Parties for the 2014 elections as simply folks getting together to work for liberty, limited government and so not social issues? Good luck with that.
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