Katie Herzog in The New American 2.28.20

California Artist Features John Birch Society History

Written by  Steve Byas
Monday, 17 February 2020

Katie Herzog, a Los Angeles-based artist and director of the Molesworth Institute, has prominently featured some notable history of The John Birch Society (JBS) in a recent exhibition of her work. (The JBS is the parent organization of The New American.)

While it is highly unlikely that Herzog intended her art to be complimentary of the JBS, the artwork does recall some of the work of the JBS in the early years of the organization.

Included in Herzog’s exhibit are paintings that picture the famous billboard from the 1960s, which was part of its campaign to “Impeach Earl Warren.” It is said that the billboards were so ubiquitous that some children (and perhaps some adults) thought the first name of the then-chief justice of the Supreme Court was “Impeach.”

She also included the dozen book covers from JBS’ Americanist Library classics. In the 1960s, these inexpensive reprints of twelve classic works in favor of limited government, anti-communism, and related themes were sometimes called “One Dozen Candles.” Each book included the saying, “Not yet O Freedom! Close thy lids in slumber, for thine enemy never sleepeth.”

Among the books in the collection was Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington; Nine Men Against America by Rosalie Gordon; Seeds of Treason by Ralph de Toledano; America’s Retreat from Victory by Joseph McCarthy; The Invisible Government by Dan Smoot; The Actor by Alan Stang; and The People’s Pottage by Garret Garrett. The books sold for a dollar each, and were distributed free to schools across America.

Even a Birch float from a Tournament of Roses parade which featured the Statue of Liberty was included.

Herzog’s painting includes a copy of a self-portrait of former President George W. Bush taking a shower. Bush now paints in his retirement. But Herzog evidently does not care for Bush, either, as it is painted entirely in various blues.

The review found in the Los Angeles Times, asserts, “The effect is subtle but inescapable. Bush may appear cheerfully ludicrous in his clumsy original version, naked back to the viewer and blank-eyed face framed in the reflection of a shaving mirror. In Herzog’s adaptation, ‘blue boy’ is now set in cold-storage — a man furtively using art in a fraught attempt to cleanse himself, sort of like Lady MacBeth and that damned spot.”

Herzog recently completed a series on Transextuality that was included in a recent publication, Transgender Studies Quarterly from Duke University Press.

Other subjects covered in the exhibit include the occupation of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016 by armed anti-government militias and photographic banners depicting conservative billionaire Peter Thiel.

But it is The John Birch Society that gets the most attention.

Of course, the Los Angeles Times’ story uses the typical descriptions of JBS that have been used by its opponents on the Left since the 1960s. They describe The John Birch Society as “far-right,” and “a once-fringe small-government-advocacy group whose extremist, paranoid doctrines have become mainstream in the 21st century.”

Of course, the reason that the “doctrines” of the JBS are now “mainstream” is that those “doctrines” have been largely proven prophetic. For example, the reprint of Dan Smoot’s The Invisible Government, which is an expose of the then little-known Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), was among the earliest exposes of the globalist organization that has staffed the executive branch of the U.S. government with perhaps thousands of individuals now often dubbed “the Deep State.” When The Invisible Government was first written by Smoot, even many strong conservatives had never heard of the CFR.

But the distribution of The Invisible Government by JBS, and other books since then over the past few decades, exposing the nefarious activities of the CFR, such as None Dare Call it Conspiracy and The Shadows of Power, have led to increased public awareness of the machinations of those (such as the CFR) pushing for world government, it is true that many of the ideas of The John Birch Society have become mainstream.

Unfortunately, Herzog, like so many on the Left, cannot differentiate between those who are truly constitutional conservatives, such as JBS, and non-conservative Republicans, such as former President Bush, whose father was a director of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Still, in a way, Herzog’s art exhibit is sort of like a back-handed compliment to the work done by the Birch Society since the 1950s, doing its best to promote “less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world.”

As much good as they have done, however, they are always looking for reinforcements in the battle to stop those who would destroy our constitutional republic.

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