To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


The Koch Archipelago



VernTurnerThere are parallels to the famous Gulag Archipelago written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in today’s right wing efforts to control the lives of the majority of humans by an oligarchy of the few and powerful men who aspire to world domination.

It may sound like what fascists do [Hitler, Mussolini, et al], but today the Koch brothers, Charles and David, sponsor organizations that actively try to institute those controls over free men and women.

A little historical research took me back to the founding of the infamous John Birch Society in 1958 by Robert W. Welsh in Indianapolis, IN. Lo and behold, a co-founder of this extremist, paranoid organization was none other than Fred Koch, the daddy of Charles and David.

After reviewing the tenets and activities of the JBS, I was struck by the similarities I see in today’s propaganda mills around the country. Virtually every state has a “Public Policy Foundation” that “studies” and promotes virtually the entire JBS agenda.

When one looks at the financiers of these organizations, one finds not only Koch Industries, but several other multi-national corporations, their CEOs and a host of local Republicans all singing from the JBS song book.

John Birch, a Baptist missionary and World War II military intelligence officer, was killed by Chinese communists in 1945, thus establishing, in Welsh’s mind, the horrors of communism, socialism and anything else that didn’t meet his criteria for absolute free market enterprise as the sole operator of American capitalism.

He opposed anything that smacked of cooperating with the rest of the world in politics [U.S. out of the UN], economics [no regulation of businesses] and social issues [the workers are there to serve business].

I guess the practice of those principles that caused the Great Depression didn’t register on his memory.

A delicious irony here is that Welsh declared that the society be founded on Christian principles. That said, one wonders why they are against the Civil Rights laws, equal voting rights, financial and material aid for the poor, worker safety regulations and a host of other people-friendly parts of our society all the while being all about making the rich richer.

The JBS tried hard to get ultra-conservative politicians elected to office by funding their campaigns from virtually the day it came into being. In some cases they succeeded [with the ultimate paranoiac, Joseph McCarthy being the cherry on top] and others failed. They even attacked President Eisenhower as possibly being a power monger and a communist who wanted to create a whole world government.

I’m not making this up.

Well, today we have the American Legislative Exchange Council which acts as a dating service for right wing politicians to meet corporate America and their fellow ideologues to write legislation that promotes the agenda of conservative politics. ALEC is a secretive organization that will not disclose its membership or donation sources.

Yet, they are responsible for writing heinous legislation like voter ID laws, stand your ground laws, show your papers laws, anti-abortion laws and laws trying to punish insurers who participate in the insurance exchanges on the website.

We now see the formation of this archipelago of mind control “foundations” leading to governmental control by modern oligarchs, the ghosts of the John Birch Society, the Koch brothers and their fellow hypocrites of freedom. Take a look at your state Public Policy Foundation via a web search and read their mission statements, the resumes of their organization, the departments for “research” and what they intend to do with their “education” initiatives. To me, it sounded just like the tenets of Robert Welsh pushed through a sophisticated propaganda practice that would make Joseph Goebbels blush. Then look up the National Center for Public Policy Research and you’ll know for sure that the extremism, power madness, paranoia and the seeds for society’s destruction are sown within.

We have the relative luxury to see first-hand what these people are doing and still have the ability to stop them from destroying what so many died to preserve and worked so hard to build. We still have the opportunity to educate ourselves, get off our butts and vote for those we know and trust.

If we don’t do that, we will be subject to a 1984 style takeover from the oligarchs.

Vern Turner is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. He lives in Marble Falls, TX, where he writes a regular column for the River Cities Daily Tribune. He is the author of three books – A Worm in the Apple: The Inside Story of Public Schools, The Voters Guide to National Salvation and Killing the Dream: America’s Flirtation With Third World Status – all available through



Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.