Friday, October 6, 2006

Tonight's Episode: The Tory Perspective, or There Goes my Severance (THIRD UPDATE; see comments section)

A brief preface:

This one is long and unfortunately heavy on history, but PLEASE stick it out. Toward the end of this entry I will share some very significant personal news that is directly related to the substance of this essay. Forgive me for “burying the lead,” but in this case it's necessary to do so.

In the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, those now honored as the fathers of American Independence were often disparaged as extremists – uncouth radicals given to hyperbole, ad hominem attacks on on King George and his agents, alarmist assessments of seemingly innocuous policies, and other off-putting rhetorical excesses.

Heading up the Department of Rhetorical Excess for the Freedom Faction was Samuel Adams, who was also its canniest and most effective organizer.

As Mark Puls points out in his splendid new biography Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution, Adams – although eclipsed by Washington, Jefferson, and his own second cousin John – was the chief instigator of the independence movement. To paraphrase James Madison, Samuel Adams took alarm at the first experiment on the liberties of the American colonists, and resisted abuses of power before they became institutionalized as policies.

During a 1761 conversation with John, who at the time didn't see the British government as a potential threat, Samuel “said he was suspicious of British power in the colonies and believed that leaders in London had `hostile designs' to rule over them,” notes Puls. “For more than a century, Britain had a `hands-off' policy concerning the colonies, but that attitude seemed to be changing.... Samuel told [John] to be on guard for signs of growing power by royal officials.”

The wealth and productivity of the Colonies had indeed provoked more than a few concupiscent glances from London. Once France was effectively chased from the Americas at the end of the Seven Years' War, England emerged as the most powerful Empire since Honorius woke up one morning in 410 AD to find himself hip-deep in Visigoths.

But debt is always empire's greedy and implacable consort, and London was looking to the Americas to pick up the tab. This meant, among other things, keeping Redcoats garrisoned along the western frontier – allegedly to provide security against terrorism from the Indians, but in fact to exact what London considered due obedience to its dictates.

As taxes were ramped up, efforts to avoid them escalated as well. This prompted London to begin a “war on smuggling,” employing “writs of assistance” operating in a fashion somewhat like roving wiretaps, national security letters, and other “homeland security” measures operate now.

And King George's administration created its own special tribunals – admiralty courts in Nova Scotia (from which the British had expelled the Acadians in the New World's first instance of “ethnic cleansing”) to prosecute those who ran afoul of the new impositions.

None of this was lost on Samuel Adams, even though most of the public was utterly oblivious to what was going on. He himself had been an elected tax collector, albeit one who displayed a pronounced indisposition to force people to pay up. The one good thing to come out of that disreputable job, notes Puls, is that Adams “developed a feel for the pulse of public opinion that no other local leader could match.”

But Adams, unlike the trend-sucking invertebrates that typify the contemporary PR industry and the cringing, timid sycophants who pay for their advice, wasn't content to “ride the wave” of public opinion. Leaders don't ride waves; they make them. This is why Adams made an issue out the 1764 Sugar Act when practically nobody else paid attention to it.

“In his view,” writes Puls of Adams, the Sugar Act “would lead to more taxes, more royal officials, and dependence on Britain, and eventually would render the self-governing legislatures powerless.... If an outside body such as Great Britain was allowed to tax [the Americans], then their liberty was gone.”

But Adams stood practically alone; nobody else in the political clubs or merchants' associations seemed to understand or care about the issue. He needed “to rouse the indignation over the taxes” -- which were imposed not just on sugar but on various other raw materials and finished products -- “and turn theoretical arguments about government and liberty into battle cries.”

This meant haranguing as many audiences as he could reach, using suitably alarmist and intemperate language, and then organizing a boycott of British goods that was calculated to provoke heavy-handed reprisals from London. This was intended to make clear and tangible the latent tyranny of London's policies.

Adams on one occasion defined his political strategy as: Put them in the wrong, and keep them in the wrong. He was, in a word, a provocateur. He was also an unabashed demagogue, both in the original sense of being a teacher of the public and in the less elevated sense of being prone to what some might now characterize as “violent” and “extremist” rhetoric.

And Adams was not at all afraid to tear into those he deemed collaborators with tyranny, including those who were passive out of a desire for respectability.

“If ye love wealth more than liberty,” wrote Adams in addressing that cowardly and sanctimonious lot as the War for Independence began, “and the tranquility of servitude more than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May you chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were ever our countrymen.”

Now, that's extremism. Would to God that our nation today were to come down with an epidemic of it.

Thomas Paine was a similarly gifted practitioner of patriotic invective, even though he didn't possess Samuel Adams' genius for organization (and was less commendable in many other important ways). Paine's most memorable – and important – use of his God-given gift of patriotic vituperation came in his treatment of King George in Common Sense.

The chief task before Paine in composing that Pamphlet was to provoke a sufficient portion of the torpid American public – not a majority, but rather an active, informed minority, who would influence a plurality – into reclaiming their sovereign rights from a government bent on centralizing power and reducing the colonists to peonage.

To that end, Paine directed his fire at the person of King George III, describing him as the “Royal Brute of Great Britain,” a “crowned ruffian” who was “nothing better than the principal ruffian of some restless gang; whose savage manner of preeminence in subtlety obtained him the title of chief among plunderers.”

This isn't to say that Paine believed America would be better off with a different king. Rome had some experience with this kind of thing, as Montesquieu observed in The Spirit of Laws. "Instead of being roused from her lethargy by Caesar, Tiberius, Gaius Claudius, Nero, and Domitian, she riveted every day her chains,” he observed. This was because, "If she struck some blows, her aim was at the tyrant, not at the tyranny."

What Adams, Paine, and other intemperate, insult-spewing “George haters” of the Founding Era understood, however, was that it is impossible to take aim at tyranny without targeting the tyrant as well. It wasn't enough to speak in diaphanous generalities about abuses of power; the abuser had to be named and shamed, along with his collaborators, both active and passive. When a political system had become corrupted into a tyranny built on loyalty to a man, those who agitate for freedom will have to deploy arguments against that man – that is to say, ad hominem attacks.

As the late Murray Rothbard pointed out, Paine “delegitimized and desanctified the king in American eyes.”

I'm not that familiar with the reaction of Tory pamphleteers to the attacks on King George and his agents. I would be willing to bet, however, that some of them -- while professing to sympathize with the grievances of their over-taxed fellow Americans, and acknowledging the troubling trend toward despotism – saw King George, the most powerful ruler of his time, as a persecuted “victim” of those rhetorical assaults.

As the British noose tightened on Boston in reaction to the agitation of the Freedom Faction, Tory publicists no doubt strove to find some way to focus blame on Samuel Adams and his kindred “extremists,” whose radicalism had supposedly precipitated the crisis, and whose unproductive personal attacks on the King supposedly alienated moderate and respectable people.

The Tory position, in a phrase, would be this: Samuel Adams and his fellow radicals are to blame for our troubles, because they pissed off the King and those who support him.

What would the Tory Perspective sound like today -- an era when America is living under another hereditary Emperor named George, who is also the most powerful ruler on the planet?

Transposing the basic sentiment into contemporary terms, it might take the form of a warning against “Feeding the Police State Through Hate” -- the “hate” in this instance consisting of rhetorical attacks, done in the style of Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, against the beady-eyed, in-bred, bloody-handed little simian who presently defiles the presidency.

“The major problem in attacking the wrong-doer rather than the action is the natural human tendency to allow room for the wrong in sympathy with the victim of ad-hominem style attacks,” lectures this voice of what could be called Tory “respectability.” “ As critics of the Bush administration level personal insults at President Bush, his apologists defend every presidential usurpation of power and assault on the Constitution -- in the name of fighting the war on terror, of course.”

“Apologists for the Imperial Presidency play upon the natural revulsion of the uninformed for this type of personal name-calling and ranting,” continues this tutor in moderation, who insists that “principled Constitutionalists ... can agree that giving power to the offender by attacking the person rather than the action plays right into the hands of those who seek to exploit it.” The Bush administration “has almost perfected the art of exploiting this flawed approach, and are masterfully using it to excuse their abuse of the Constitution -- along with the alarming accumulation of power in the Executive Branch.”

The man who performed that feat of verbal contortionism appears to have been auditioning for the rhetorical equivalent of the Cirque du Soleil: He places the blame for our descent into presidential dictatorship on those who have been warning about it, even as he has studiously avoided engaging in the struggle against the all-but-consummated transformation of our republic into a Reich.

Indeed, had our Founding Fathers acted on counsel of that sort, the United States would never have come into existence. And following that advice today will certainly result in the extinction of what remains of our liberty.

The author of those words is Alan Scholl, a man for whom I have great affection and no little respect. My feet have been under his table on more than one occasion, and my family has worshiped alongside his. We have been the beneficiaries of his kindness and generosity, and until last Tuesday (October 3), I was a professional colleague of Alan's on the staff of The John Birch Society, for which he serves as Director of Mission and Campaigns.

On Tuesday I was fired because I refused to shut down this blog, which I created and maintained on my own time.

According to Alan and the others who made the decision to fire me, I have used this private, after-hours web diary to express opinions and espouse positions contrary to the purposes and principles of the JBS. They insist that I have given scandal to those who have erroneously been identified as the Society's “core audience” -- Bush-enraptured Republicans, the very people working most energetically to build a presidential dictatorship.

Alan, who is in charge of shaping the Society's campaigns, has said, in so many words, that the JBS cannot undertake a campaign to oppose the emerging Fuhrer-Reich because by doing so it would become a “pariah.”

Given that the Society is already routinely – and dishonestly – compared to the KKK and groups of that ilk, what does it have to lose in terms of its public image by taking a principled stand in favor of civil liberties? And what does it have to gain by passively “riding the wave” on immigration and related issues, rather than (forgive the mixed metaphor) distinguishing itself from the conservative herd by standing up for the Constitution, individual liberties, and the rule of law?

With the legal foundation laid for an American gulag, I have to ask: Is freedom worth risking one's reputation, and livelihood? We know the answer of those who pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.”

There are many, many good and capable people working in and for the JBS. Its principles are still sound, as is the concept behind its creation, which was to be the modern equivalent of Samuel Adams' Commitees of Correspondence. Those principles, and that concept, remain laudable and worthy of the attention of sober and serious patriots.

What the JBS needs, at the leadership level, is modest amount of Samuel Adams' intrepidity.

The New American, for which I was a contributor since 1990 and a Senior Editor since 1994, remains the finest journal of its sort in circulation. It still draws on the talents of many capable and principled writers, the best among them – now as it has been for some time – being William F. Jasper, the surviving Senior Editor and a very close friend.

Bill tells me that the Society is recovering very well from a tumultuous (and badly overdue) change in administration a year ago. Many key people, both volunteer leaders and former staffers, have returned to the crusade. The organization boasts a terrific media department as well as an impressive – and expanding – web presence.

It is my sincere hope and prayer that the organization grows and prospers – but more importantly, that its leadership quickly rediscovers the advertised purpose of the JBS, which is to lead an organized, principled struggle to restore our freedoms.

And by the way --

It looks like I'm not the only commentator recently pink-slipped for committing unabashed acts of "Bush Hatred":

"Comic Paul Mooney (most recently of Chappelle's Show) was midway through a taping of the famed Harlem theater's weekly variety show when the plug was abruptly pulled. Mooney claims the show's producer, Suzanne de Passe, told him material in his monologue had offended unnamed officials from Time Warner, whose chairman, Richard Parsons, heads the Apollo Theater Foundation's board of directors and is among the country's most prominent black Republicans."

"They wanted me out of there, the Republicans, the Time Warner people," Mooney insists. "They said I was Bush bashing, and it was hatred. I felt like I was in Iran or Cuba or somewhere." (Emphasis added.)

The routine, as Mooney describes it, was fairly vulgar, but not the sort of thing that used to get Lenny Bruce locked up. Were I in his place, I would have dropped the remarks about presidential daughters Jenna and Barbara, who are non-combatants, and focused entirely on the Wee Decider himself. Indeed, the bit that "killed" did exactly that: "Mooney also did a bit on how the letters in Bush's name can be manipulated to produce the number 666, proving Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez's recent claim that Bush is the devil. `The audience went crazy for that,' he says."

"My point is ever since 9/11, we lost all our rights," Mooney contends. "They're practicing on the minorities, but when they get good at it they're going to do it to the white folks."

As a fellow "Bush-Basher of Color" who just lost a job for giving offense to the Dear Leader and his followers, I'm not entirely in accord with Mooney's analysis: It seems to me that the regime is "practicing" on all of us without regard to color. I do agree with Chris Floyd's take on this incident: "[T]he ethos of the Leader-state officially ratified by Congress last week is spreading fast...."


A Radical Whig in Chattanooga said...


This is truly bad news. The TNA and JBS has lost a valuable asset.
I seem to remember reading in a book somewhere that if salt loses its savor...........
Please keep us posted as to where you end up. We hope to continue to see you in print!

God Bless,
Rich Beecher
A Radical Whig in Chattanooga

Vache Folle said...

Thank you for continuing to publish your excellent essays. I pray that this will turn out to be an opportunity for you rather than a setback.

Bantam said...

Excellent article, Will. As the previous poster stated, I hope this allows you more opportunity, economic stability, and personal freedom, rather than limiting those things.

God bless you, and Alan, and the JBS, and let us pray that His will prevail, regardless.

Neo said...

Gee, Will, your contributions to TNA will be sorely missed. Sooner or later JBS is going to have to take a harder stand as time is running out and riding the fence for very long only makes one get splinters. With your writing talents I'm sure this will be a small bump in the road.

Have you ever thought of writing for They've got some radical writers like Vox Day with similar views to ours.

Keep us posted on your future successes and thanks for keeping the blog going!

Flavius Aetius said...


I'm sorry to hear this and after the business about your previous blog I was afraid something like this would happen.

I hope to see your writings one day in The American Conservative. I don't doubt they would be well received.

Best of luck to you.

Flavius Aetius said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike Tennant said...

What a shame. I always enjoyed your writings at TNA and frequently forwarded them to others.

I doubt that WND is the place for you, though. They keep purging their roster of columnists who don't toe the line.

The American Conservative and Chronicles are probably good places to start.

JT said...

I'm sorry to hear about the Society pushing you out the door. As if mainstream Republicans are going to join the JBS at this late date! I've read TNA and its predecessors for years. I seem to remember an editor being forced out in the late '80s because he was too libertarian and too critical of U.S. military meddling abroad (e.g., Panama). Erik somebody? My new book about American political history--Where Did the Party Go?--has a chapter on the CFR and cites the writings of Carroll Quigley. I owe my interest in those subjects, and my realization about the folly and hypocrisy of limousine liberalism, partly to the JBS. Vince Mart, a chapter leader in my hometown, was one of my early political mentors. Your departure is the Society's loss. I'm glad you have a venue to share your views. There's a lot of garbage on the Web, but there's a lot of good stuff too!

-- Jeff Taylor, a Jeffersonian in Minnesota

JT said...

P.S. - Sam Adams and Tom Paine were wonderful patriots and they were allies of Jefferson when he was leading his new political party. Paine eventually scandalized many Americans by publicly criticizing President Washington. Temptations toward monarchy, servility, and idolatry were present from the earliest days of the republic.

Dale Kaye said...

God bless you for your contributions.
Most members of the JBS thought the societie's problems were over after finally ousting Vance Smith and finally understanding that there was problems with him. Hopefully the membership will soon realize that the present leaders of the society are the same people that not only protected Smith but critisized those that questioned him.
I am glad to see your blog on The Right Source. God bless!

Anthony Gregory said...

Will, I wish I could maintain the respect for JBS that you still have, but the organization has made such a bad decision, I don't know what to say. It truly reflects poorly on the group.

Karen De Coster said...


Just think positive -- look at all the time you will have on your hands for reading Stephen Covey's "119th Habit" and listening to efficiency experts!

Karen De Coster

Karen De Coster said...


Just think positive -- look at all the time you will have on your hands for reading Stephen Covey's "119th Habit" and listening to efficiency experts!

Karen De Coster

IMP said...

It should be mentioned that history now recognizes that King George III was certifiably mad and had to be put away into an asylum for treatment.

America might not have needed to revolt, and Napoleon might never have arisen, and Europe might have avoided two centuries of bloody history, had the Brits at the time called a spade a spade and removed their 'eccentric' ruler.

dixiedog said...

Will, you were "relieved" of your duties because of so-called "Bush hatred"??

This is the straw that breaks the camel's back for me. I was a subscriber to TNA from 1997 'til 2005 and was thinking of renewing. Now that the senior editor has been canned I'll find it difficult to renew my subscription. You, Jasper, and Steve Bonta were/are my fav contributors/editors/writers for the magazine and now that the senior editor has been expunged, it's an ominous sign of the Society's, or at least it's premier publication's, apparent direction going forward.

I find it amazing that TNA is now also apparently inundated with a PC mantra like the mainstream media organs and publications have been for eons. It's not like the JBS has always had a lot of Republican supporters.

As I've alluded to before, Will, the country is past the point of return. I think the "civil" war and its aftermath was the turning point for our country and the dawn of the total state. After the passing of a 141 years I'm actually shocked we still have even a remnant of a republic, albeit terminal.

As others have mentioned, though, I think this might just be an opportunity on a personal level to move in another career direction. In any event, pray for the Lord's guidance to enable you to make the right decision going forward and I'm certainly going to pray for you, brother Will.

dixiedog said...

Have you ever thought of writing for They've got some radical writers like Vox Day with similar views to ours.

Indeed neo, but OTOH VD has been heavily edited by WND nonetheless with some of his more provocative columns. Also, his father is/was a WND board member, IIRC, so that "helps" in not ending up purged as mike tennant points out.

rick said...


keep the faith. this ain't nuthin but a bump in the road. you've been through worse, and have emergerd stronger as a result of the experience. but on the other hand, this in no way expunges you from the fact that you still owe me something. :-)

hmpf. i think they'll hire you back.

William N. Grigg said...

My dear and good friends:

Thank you for your kind words, your support, and especially for your prayers.

A couple of days ago, a friend from Appleton (JBS HQ) send me an IM asking how we're doing, and telling me that he and several others were still shocked and hurt, considering my termination akin to a "death in the family."

The job search is heating up. I do have a couple of promising leads, but of course I'd appreciate any and all help on that front.

Complicating things considerably is the fact that Korrin has been seriously ill; she's been hospitalized three times this year and is frequently bedridden. As a result, much to our disappointment, we had to send our oldest children to school (we had been home-schooling, of course, and intend to again when Korrin's health improves).

Over the past several days I've been quietly rebuking myself, wondering if it was vanity rather than principle that resulted in the loss of my job when I have a sick wife and five young children to care for. And I have to be candid: Vanity is something I struggle with more than most people I know.

I asked Korrin about this yesterday, and -- God bless her -- she said that she not only supported my decisions, she says that she loves me even more.

I've got more to say in my next post; please stand by....

William N. Grigg said...

My offense was failing to discharge my "responsibility to [my] employer," as the termination letter puts it.

(Once again, this is long, but stick around to the end; it's important)

Depending on whom you ask about the decision to fire me, and his mood when you ask the question, my chief delinquency was either re-publishing on this site the deleted Birch Blog from last June exposing the phoniness of the immigration debate, or publishing "anti-Mormon" material on this site, or both.

The first I did because what I wrote was timely and urgent, and entirely ignored by Appleton (shorthand for JBS HQ).

It is redundantly obvious now that the immigration "debate" was what pro rasslers call a "work" -- while the effort to create a presidential dictatorship was real and deadly serious.

So if charge number one is taken seriously, what it means is that I was fired for being insistently right about something Appleton was trying desperately to ignore.

Charge number two -- that published "anti-Mormon" material on this blog -- is even more problematic. Full disclosure: I am an ex-Mormon. My family formally resigned from the LDS Church in 2003. This has caused quite a bit of turmoil in our relationships with friends and close family (including a few efforts to break up our marriage).

But the key "offense" here, the recent entry about Mitt Romney and torture, IS NOT ABOUT MORMONISM; it's about TORTURE.

There is a discussion of some aspects of Mormon doctrine and history that make Mormons uncomfortable, but there were no misrepresentations of any kind. And with Romney emerging as a serious presidential contender those matters will be ventilated for public inspection pretty soon.

My chief point was that Mormons and Evangelicals within the Repulican coalition can set aside matters of eternal concern in the interest of what they consider to be truly important: Building presidential dictatorship and sustaining the warfare state.

That essay, as well as several others both here and on the Birch Blog, was also very critical of the Christian Right. In fact, I've been more volubly critical of Republican-aligned Evangelical/Pentecostal leaders (aka "Ecclesio-Leninists") than of Mormon figures, whether contemporary or historical. And that criticism is based entirely on the merits of what those individuals are doing to my country.

To be blunt: People like Mitt Romney and John Hagee are writing checks that would be cashed in the blood of my children. As advocates of aggressive war and dictatorship, they are the enemy of everything I hold precious. I don't apologize for opposing them with every resource at my command.

One last thing about the blog:

If you go to The New American's home page right now,(, you will see a "splash" ad at the top of the page asking for donations. (I'm writing this on October 7, for the record.)

Click on it and, toward the end of the pitch, you'll be told about plans to update the TNA and JBS sites.

"[W]hen that updating [of the TNA site] is complete," the ad states, "you'll find it resident within, so you can easily take advantage of that site's features: news feeds, issue dissections, original research, Will Grigg's blog (and other blogs)...."

Wait a second.

They're still using "Will Grigg's blog" as a SELLING POINT, days after firing me for ... maintaining a blog? And months after they KILLED the Birch Blog?

I'll have one last comment anon....

William N. Grigg said...

This is also long, but I think it's worthwhile, so please bear with me.

A few months ago, I nearly quit my job at TNA in protest over an article that would have endorsed what I call the WWJ(B)D -- "What Would Jack (Bauer) Do?" -- ethic.

Jack Bauer is obviously intended as a dramatic avatar for our jut-jawed, intrepid Dear Leader and Great Decider.

The surrogate battles he wages on "24" are meant to illustrate the kinds of things that supposedly must be done to keep us safe from the scourge of "Islamo-Fascism."

At issue in my communications with Appleton (shorthand for JBS HQ)was a review of the hideous teevee show "24," which should be looked on as a "public-private partnership" between Hollywwod at the Department of Homeland Security.

The version we published was, to be blunt, bad enough.

The version that made it all the way to the galley proof stage was much, much worse.

Jack Bauer, the show's protagonist, has been depicted murdering innocent people, torturing suspects, kidnapping and "renditioning" people, and so forth.

In the original version of the TNA piece was found the following assessment of what Jack Bauer symbolizes:

"Jack's strength is that he always faces down his fears of oblivion and damnation and makes the right choice, for country and mankind, if not necessarily for God."

Here's what I wrote to Appleton after reading those words:

"We can make `right' choices in defiance of God, and our fears of damnation? One of the `right' choices Bauer made, as [the author] observes, was to kill his innocent friend Ryan in order to appease a terrorist's demand. This is an example of the `lifeboat exercise' par excellence -- something we would have pointed out emphatically not so long ago."

Another key excerpt from the original draft was the following:

"Hundreds, or thousands, of years of monitoring ourselves as humans have led to an unavoidable conclusion: when we make moral choices that are immoral, there are always major, real, terrible consequences.... [If a real Counter Terrorist Unit like on "24" exists], there will certainly come a day when we become collateral damage of a difficult moral decision, whether through good or bad intentions."

To which I offered the following rejoinder in the e-mail to Appleton:

"This is pure, unalloyed, evolutionary humanism: Moral restraints are man-made, and thus subject to revision when necessary, and while that can lead to ugly consequences, we simply have to muddle through, re-calibrating our moral compass when necessary. And this task requires brave, dauntless men like Jack Bauer -- a Nietzschean uber-man, operating beyond good and evil, who will defy God's law when necessary to serve the greater good of humanity.

Good grief ... what is the Society becoming? How could this essay even make the first cut as a manuscript, much less make it to the proofreading stage?

How can we possibly consider running a piece that promotes the EXACT worldview we're fighting, at PRECISELY the time it poses the greatest threat to what remains of Christian civilization?

IF we're going to focus on `24,' we should exploit this unique opportunity to show how this product of Hollywood's Gramscian manipulators has captured nearly the ENTIRE conservative movement. Think of it: [the author]refers to the recent Heritage Foundation seminar on the program, where one of the presenters was Rush Limbaugh, the Establishment's Oxy-contin and Viagra-fueled chief manure-spreader....

This is a textbook case of Gramscian subversion, and its target is the people we're trying to reach -- who are falling for it by the millions.... Shouldn't we be exposing this, rather than abetting it?"

Grudgingly, Appleton made some small and largely cosmetic changes to the piece. What we published was an attenuated version of the same hymn to Jack Bauer -- who is, once again, a made-for-TV propaganda proxy for the president who was just given statuatory permission to imprison, torture, and murder anyone he chooses.

Captain Kirk said...


You wrote: "Over the past several days I've been quietly rebuking myself, wondering if it was vanity rather than principle that resulted in the loss of my job when I have a sick wife and five young children to care for."

Please refer to the last two entries of yours on this page if you ever begin to sink into the notion that your conflict with TNA and the JBS were fueled by vanity. You are probably the most principled human being that I have been blessed to know. I base my opinion of you on three things. 1) How I have come to know you based on your contributions on the other forum to which we both contribute. When you first began to contribute on that forum, I immediately saw that the Truth was more important to you than anything else, including, but not limited to your family and your job. As a rule, a principled man is willing to sacrifice these when the Truth matters the most. I recall that you were in this place a few years ago and as it worked out, God blessed you with the retention of that which is most dear to you. 2) What I assessed of your person and character when our families got together last year in Wisconsin; specifically, not only your words, but also observing your family and how you interacted with them spoke volumes to me about the kind of man that you are, principled and not vain. 3) When I began to read your Pro Libertate Blog, I gained further insight into your intellectual machinations. I already knew the magnitude of the horsepower that resides between you ears, but until I started reading your insights here at Pro Libertate, I was unaware of the nuances, nuances that are indicative of character and not vanity. No will ,you are not a vain man when it really matters. Perhaps you posess a measure of superficial vanity, but whom among us does not. Hang in there brohter. God has something great in store for you, Korrin and the kids.

Captain Kirk

Anonymous said...


You wrote: "Over the past several days I've been quietly rebuking myself, wondering if it was vanity rather than principle that resulted in the loss of my job when I have a sick wife and five young children to care for."

Please refer to the last two entries of yours on this page if yo

Karen De Coster said...

Will, what Korrin noted when she said she supported you.....well, she was absolutely right. There's no vanity to question here - just you, a rock, looking down at the pitiful pebbles around you that brought you down. As I wrote in my email, I've "been there-done that" with this type of thing, and what typically happens, a year or two later, is that you look at your current state of affairs, then think back, and you say, "God's hand must have been guiding me *here* and away from *there.* I believe that somewhere there exists a better place for your immense writing skills, and you shall find this place.

Karen De Coster

Truth Addict said...


I sensed that all was not well with the JBS when they pulled your blog, and as I mentioned in a post previously I was surprised that they were allowing you to post some of the things that you did. Not that they shouldn't have, but I worried they would think you were going "rogue". I've been a subscriber to "The New American" for about 6-7 years now and it has brought me into this brave new world with eyes wide open that had previously been crusted shut with sleep. However, recently I have felt the need to shed the tutulage of my teacher and explore beyond the village limits as I have let my subscription lapse as of a month ago. My reasons and timing for doing so couldn't be better especially in light of what has happened to you. It has been my suspicion that TNA/JBS was getting "soft" and I can no longer support that. As stated before I was highly disappointed in the TNA's refusal to give weight to the 9/11 truth movement's evidence or explore it beyond the yellow jounalism article published by "Popular Mechanics" especially in light of their coverage of The Murrah building during the 90's. After further independent research I felt that TNA was not as alarmed at current trends as they should be. It is indeed times like these that we must be even bolder, less forgiving, and intolorant of those seeking to deprive us of liberty. As the path gets narrower there will be less of us on it, so perhaps this is the funneling effect and we are now in single file. Either way I it is my intention to be behind you the entire way! Looking forward to more of your blogs and work.

arne said...

Hi Will
I have been worrying about the JBS and TNA for some time now. I think their article supporting the government's explanation of the 9/11 plane hitting the Pentagon was the start. I am an active Mormon but I still support you Will. I read your letter about leaving the LDS Church and so I understand where you are coming from. Ignorance and passivity is everywhere, It seems most organizations and movements are effected....especially Christianity in its many forms. Let's all stick our heads in the sand 'cause God will surely save us. Christians talk so much about the importance of family, their children.....don't they realize the Hell that is coming here if they don't take a stand now to try and stop this evil conspiracy? It might be a hellish job to oppose it but hell will surely come if they don't!!
God Bless you Will, may the way be opened for you to progress in your liberty and family sustaining efforts.

anaximander mead said...

Mr Grigg:
I am a member of the JBS in Houston and an admirer of your writings and of your past lectures here in Houston. I am writing about the last comments in your article on Sam Adams -- your wishing the JBS well.

If those remarks were meant to show that you have no malice in your heart toward the JBS, I appreciate that. Vengeance is not the Christian mode.

But if the JBS is whitewashing the Sadean nature of the Republican Party in order to get new Republican members, that is deceit. It is the deceit which Murray Rothbard described in his article on “The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult.” The JBS is now declaring that they have an Esoteric philosophy (anti-police state) for the elite, and an Exoteric philosophy (Go, Go, GOP) for the masses.

As a member of the JBS, I am being asked to join in the deceit. I am being asked to keep my mouth shut in our monthly meetings about the descent into Hell of our country lest I scare off some new and naive member, who has not yet been asked to make a large monthly pledge.

The JBS, it seems now, as it has been called in the past by people who seemed disreputable to me, is a Right Gatekeeper. The only way to wish its leaders well is to call them to repent.

Good luck for the future.

The Airborne Ranger said...

Dear Mr. Grigg,

I'm saddened to hear about your fallout at JBS. I have been a JBS member for about 4 years and a reader of the New American for about a decade. Your pros have been great and informative. I wish you well in your future endeavors. Mr. Grigg, during these trying times we have to hang together other wise will be hanged separately.

David Prior

Bantam said...

For the previous poster who mentioned thinking that the Pentagon was not hit by an airplane, read, especially section 2.

And also read over too.

Scott Alberts said...

I am increasingly shocked by the "let's court the Republicans" policy. Just two weeks ago, while at a Chamber of Commerce mixer here in Appleton, I got the customary finger-cross/vampire-repellant gesture from a potential business contact when I mentioned my 14-year stint at the JBS/TNA. (Such is the dismal PR record of the Society that after the better part of 20 years in this town it is not known even LOCALLY)! I proceeded to "defend" the JBS by reciting my oft-stated assurance that they are even tougher on the Republicans, that the issue is Constitutional, etc....
Now even my defense is indefensible?

William N. Grigg said...

The process of "rectifying" Will Grigg at The New American has begun (please forgive me for pulling a Bob Dole by referring to myself in the third person).

Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth in 1984 was to "rectify" back issues of the Times, so as to bring them into harmony with the Party's current line. This process of "bringing the past up to date" is now sometimes called "ret-conning."

In the Soviet Union, razor blades would be included with copies of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, so that dutiful subjects could make the necessary excisions in order to be in tune with the Party line.

I see that today -- effectively one week after being fired by the JBS and TNA for running a blog, and about two months after Appleton shut down the Birch Blog (without informing me; I had to learn about this second-hand)-- the fund-raising ad on the first page of TNA's website has finally been "rectified," or "ret-conned" -- meaning that it no longer mentions "Will Grigg's blog" as a fund-raising tool.

I did, of course, print out a copy several hours ago, with the current date.

Obviously, someone in Appleton has been reading the comments section on this post, else I doubt this matter would have come to their attention. Thanks for visiting Pro Libertate!

Here's another damage control tip:

About three weeks ago I had lunch with the JBS Coordinator for this part of Idaho. He informed me that he and several others had been instructed to raise money for a weekly syndicated radio program, using as a selling point the idea that Yours Truly would host the program.

This was going on after the Birch Blog had been terminated, and Pro Libertate opened for business.

So it looks like the work of "ret-conning" my TNA/JBS career has just begun.

Now it will be necessary to take the razor blades to 16 years' worth of TNA articles, three books, dozens of pieces in the Bulletin....

And then there's the half-dozen or so video documentaries (hey, maybe George Lucas could do a computer-generated special edition of "Injustice For All," or "Civilian Disarmament")....

Then there are the recordings from speaking tours and Council Dinners, and the still-available content of the Birch Blog itself (which is in volume roughly the equivalent of a 350-page book)....

Good luck with that, guys.

jurassicpork said...


Man, I'm sorry, dude. I always thought that I'd be the first one in Left Blogostan who would've gotten the old heave-ho. This is exactly the reason why so many of the most popular lefty bloggers run incognito (Digby, whose very gender is in dispute, Jesus's General, the Rude Pundit, d r i f t g l a s s, etc).

Of course, I'm sure that you'd heard of Eric Alterman's sacking from MSNBC, by now.

Good luck finding another job, dude. With your credentials and talents, I'm sure that you'll find a safer home.

Steve said...

What happened to you and news of it on Jim Bovard's blog brought me here. I had not heard of you before now.

You are yet another Libertarian of princinple who has earned my respect.


Douglas S. said...

I was lead to believe that the John Birch Society was non-partisan. I’ll have to reconsider renewing my subscription to “The New American” and further evaluate the benefit of joining the JBS, if a man of Mr. Grigg’s character and skill is not up to their standards. Mr. Grigg’s work at TNA of exposing the Constitutional violations by both the Democrats and Republicans was a welcome change from the thoughtless tirades of Rush Limbaugh & Al Franken, for example. Apparently, the TNA subheading “That Freedom Shall Not Perish” is merely window dressing.

I refered to many TNA articles to promote the ideals of the American Independent Party in California and the Constitution Party nationally.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Grigg!

Jamie said...


{deep breath}

Well... "this, too, shall pass."

Cheese Puffs said...

Why couldn't TNA have demoted you in lieu of termination? (Actually, you should have been promoted with an accompanying massive pay raise.) They could have kept you on staff as a 'contributing writer'. (Come on! They once had the cranky, but lovable Samuel Francis -may he rest in peace- listed as a TNA contributing writer.) Jeez, termination is a little over-the-top. Bill Jasper and Will Grigg were the New American's dynamic duo. (Sorry Bill, you're Robin.) I love ya Mr. Scholl, but did ya have to do this? I feel utterly dejected.

factfinder said...

Although I have always been a vehement critic of the Birch Society, I used William N. Grigg as an example of one of its more rational and insightful intellectuals whose writings deserved serious consideration.

In my own writings, I have identified 3 categories of Birchers:

1. the intellectuals
2. the activists
3. the wackos

Nobody seems to know what percentage of the membership falls into each category but I have always appreciated and welcomed friendly debate/discussion with categories 1 and 2.

Unfortunately, after reading Mr. Grigg's explanation for why the JBS decided to fire him, I now wonder if the senior leadership of the JBS falls into category 3!

More about me and my research here:

DRS said...


The periodic lay-offs at my place of employment have often prompted the remark that no one is irreplaceable. But if every rule has an exception, then your firing surely qualifies. I fail to see how your unsurpassed insight & analysis could possibly be duplicated at TNA.

I was introduced to the JBS and TNA over a decade ago through Alan Scholl. I'm very thankful for the man, still consider him a friend, and even had lunch with him roughly 2 months ago. I also made your acquaintance while you were attending church in Kaukauna and greatly enjoyed conversing with you and Korrin. (Sorry to read of her health issues).

I remember remarking to Alan over lunch how I enjoyed your blog ("Will Unleashed" -- I think I called it). He responded that there was a huge percentage of polled people in the JBS orbit who reacted negatively to the Bush-bashing. This shocked me. If even JBS influenced people can't handle the truth about the Bush regime, what hope is there for the JBS, say nothing of America?

There's a side of me that greatly enjoys an artfully constructed slam of Bush and his regime, and at this, you are one of the best. But I fear it appeals to my fleshly side and I can see how it could detract from the central message which (I hope!) we all agree on.

I also am puzzled by your positive portrayal of Sam Adams as a provocateur looking to provoke heavy-handed reprisals in order make clear the danger to the masses. The truth boldly spoken, whether in politics or religion, will precipitate enough reprisal all by itself. There's no need to purposefully seek reprisal, is there?

On the other hand, I fail to see how a privately-maintained blog is a violation of the principles of the JBS.

I sincerely hope and pray that some type of understanding can be worked-out between you and Appleton.

David Stertz

William N. Grigg said...

David -- It's great to hear from you! Please say hi to Pastor Rob and the rest out at Calvary Baptist.

The comment about Sam Adams being a "provocateur" was not meant to suggest that his approach was akin to that of Carlos Marighella, who urged "urban guerrillas" to create and sustain a cycle of outrages and reactions until a "revolutionary crisis" was at hand. Adams, as I see it, understood that unless and until the somnolent colonials had tangible illustrations of the British ministry's intentions, they wouldn't be moved to act.

Until the Boston Tea Party, as I recall, Adams stayed within the law, and he never abetted violence. But he knew that pressing the colonists' claims would precipitate reprisals from London. He understood that it was better that this happen before England had consummated its plans to reduce Americans to peonage.

That's where we are right now, in some ways. In other ways, we're much worse off than the colonists were during the time of Sam Adams and company. This is why I think we should adopt the rhetorical posture of the blessed John Knox: "Spare no arrows." Let the whole quiver fly, while we still can.

William N. Grigg said...

David -- a few additional comments about the situation with the JBS.

First, Alan is entirely incorrect about the alignment between the JBS and the Bush-centric demographic he is targeting: THEY aren't orbiting the JBS, any more than (for instance) Saturn orbits Titan.

There IS a cohort of people who orbit the JBS, and they are not Bush-aligned Republicans. And beyond that realm is a HUGE population of decent, patriotic, liberty-loving Americans who don't identify themselves as "conservative" who are susceptible to a principled appeal for joint action in defense of individual rights.

For reasons that elude my understanding, Alan has decided to hitch the JBS to the GOP just in time for the Republicans to implode beneath the weight of their accumulated arrogance, corruption, and stupidity.

As far as polling data goes: In January, the JBS polled its members and readers regarding their view of impeaching George W. Bush for his manifold crimes against the constitution, waging illegal aggressive war, criminal behavior, etc. Unless I am VERY much mistaken, the response to this suggestion was overwhelmingly favorable.

So, of course, Alan and his associates, in their wisdom, decided on taking exactly the opposite course. Can't risk being a "pariah" in the eyes of those who most eagerly support the very policies leading to our impending destruction as a relatively free and prosperous nation.

Yes, anti-Bush invective appeals to the "fleshly" part of our personality. But freedom is NEVER won through spiritual means alone. Those among the Revolutionary generation whose rallying cry was "No King but Jesus" didn't reach that point until the incumbent king who claimed to rule them was well and thoroughly impeached in their eyes -- in both political AND personal terms.

Take care, my friend. Say hi to Randy, Betsy, Pastor Rob, and the rest for us.

libiddybill said...

William- I just discovered your blog through a link from a former JBS'er in the central Florida (Melbourne) area. I don't know where I've been! Your amasing instights, beautiful prose, articulate history, and passionate positions of principle should not have slipped past me, although your past affiliation with the JBS may be why, as I have little trust of the organization.

I am of the opinion that the JBS has been "compromised", and a willing to believe the rumor that it was "compromised" from the beginning-- it was set up in the interest of the Hegelian strategy of Tension by the finnacial elite social engineers. I cannot confirm this if pressed, it is a suspician I have that I was exposed to I think from perhaps Jack Blood. Nevertheless, your termination from the organization for the so-called "reasons" only reinforces my suspicion. Whether you write there or on your own blog makes no difference now. Perhaps it was only through your termination that I finally discovered your wisdom and insight, and for that I'm thankful, although that may be of little consolation to you.

I look forward to backreading your posts, and to your posts in the future. Best of luck on the job search if that has yet to fall into place. There are those, btw, who make a decent living from blogging (although I have yet to enter those ranks).

In liberty,
Bill Losapio

Anonymous said...

As far as polling data goes: In January, the JBS polled its members and readers regarding their view of impeaching George W. Bush for his manifold crimes against the constitution, waging illegal aggressive war, criminal behavior, etc. Unless I am VERY much mistaken, the response to this suggestion was overwhelmingly favorable.

Although the poll has apparently been removed from the JBS website, an archived copy of it can be viewed at:
It appears that the polling ended with 73% in favor of impeaching the president.

Anonymous said...

Say it ain't so!

Greetings Will to you and your family from Charlotte, NC. As a JBS member and volunteer since 1990, I've been involved (more than once) with the logistical groundwork locally during the JBS speaking tours, so that we Charlotteans could be graced with your presence and wise insights. It pains me greatly that Alan Scholl (on behalf of the organization) saw fit to relieve you completely of your JBS/ TNA duties.......are they nuts?

Because you established your own web blog?!?! (Hope that you'll forgive the sports analogy) but imagine the Lakers releasing Kobe Bryant to waivers, because he played pick up basketball games in the neighborhood (when he wasn't wearing purple & gold)........Come on, what's the REAL story here?

Because you roughed up Emperor George a bit too much on your blog (and fawning RepuliBOTS might get their feelings hurt and not sign up as JBS members?.....PLEASE!!!) AGAIN, what's the REAL story here?

How much of the 'Ex-Mormon' part was a factor in the JBS Upper Management's decisionmaking process (BTW, I'm thrilled to learn that you are FORMER LDS).

Your departure is truly the JBS loss. As I rethink (and already have been) my role in JBS, this course of events will not be a small factor in my decisionmaking process. I have no doubts that you will land on your feet and truly prosper.

For starters, you need to get on board with (if you're not doing so already).

Best Regards;
Harvey Carpenter

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Will. You were one of my favorite authors and I will continue to read your blog. This makes me very disappointed in the JBS. If they are becoming so politically correct and afraid of offending some Republicans, I have to ask, where then are their principles? I have sent them an email with the same sentiment.

I sincerely hope they realize the error of their ways and extend to you a heartfelt apology. You deserve it. I must say that this has made me question what the JBS has become. I no longer will look upon it in the same way.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg:

After not seeing your name on the New American, I decided to search and found your site.

I am glad indeed you are still good friends with Mr. Jasper, and I do hope he remains a pillar within the organization. I admire you both very much, as I do all sincere, loyal Americans.

There is a phrase I like very much. Perhaps you've heard it. "One with God is a Majority. One with God is all Authority."

God bless you for your fearless, unshakeable stand. May Legions of Angels ever attend us, and may the Prince of Peace ever stand by our side to help us all to forgive and forgive and forgive, and to save this nation, before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grigg:

A few more thoughts from your anonymous commentator.

For many years, I have also been involved with a very patriotic, anti-communist organization, which is also principally religious. Over the years, certain things have been watered down, perhaps out of fear.

At times, in my view, terrible decisions have been made, some incomprehensible, some even, as I thought, treasonous to the organization and to God. But the organization has gone on, and many of the people who have been involved for decades have continued doing the best they can under tremendous pressure.

Where can you be the greatest servant to God? Where can you be the greatest servant to America?
Is it through this blog? Is it through some other job? Is it through the JBS? (That question may be moot. Would they even take you back if you apologized and removed your blog? You can always publish one anonymously, of course.)

I'm not offering advice. Only God knows what He wants you to do. But I do know this. This world is not perfect. People are not perfect. The JBS is not perfect, and never will be, not until Christ returns. And by then we probably won't need the JBS. But until then, what else is there? Is there another organization with their track record? Is there another publication which offers, even now, what the New American does?

One with God is a Majority. Absolutely. Just be very sure you are one with God on this one.

I hope you don't find these words too sharp. But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't write them.

If the JBS isn't interested in having you return, then you need not think about it any further. It's water under the bridge, and God will put you in your perfect place. But if it is an option for you to return, perhaps you might reconsider. Isn't Congress better off to have Ron Paul among them, even if he is a but a voice crying in the wildnerness?

That being said, only God knows what's best for you and your family. I don't want to torture you with doubt of having made the wrong decision. I just thought it best to lay all the questions on the table.

God bless you. With His hand in yours, you cannot fail. All the best!

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous -- Thanks for the kind words of blessing on behalf of me and my family. And thanks especially for the pointed questions, which were no sharper than the occasion demands.

Bluntly asking sharp questions (is this a species of pun -- sort of an inverse "Tom Swiftie," as it were?) is a sign of sound character, and often of true friendship.

The volunteers and field staff of the JBS are among the finest people I've ever met. The field staff have the TOUGHEST job I know of that doesn't involve combat (I know of at least one case in which a former JBS Coordinator quit to become an air traffic controller -- which puts things in perspective, I think). I devoutly hope the organization somehow gets the leadership it deserves before it disappears altogether.

I'm at peace with the idea that there is no way I can reconcile with the current JBS leadership. First of all, they've not asked me back, and have done what they could to undermine my reputation after canning me last October (the latter, alas, being something of a corporate tradition for the JBS, as I've found out).

One example of this is a letter sent by Alan Scholl (the chief instigator of my firing) to a JBS member in which he claimed that I wasn't the material author of most of what had been published under my name for the past several years. That is a documentable falsehood, of course, one calculated to injure my professional standing.

Alan reportedly admitted as much when Bill Jasper confronted him about it -- but insisted that he wouldn't apologize to me because he felt it would offer me an advantage of some sort.

The same letter cast aspersions on my character and was clotted with dark insinuations about even graver defects and offenses ("this is just the tip of the iceberg") that Alan chastely refrained from specifying.

Duels used to be fought over this kind of thing.

The second problem with the prospect of my rejoining the JBS staff is that, if the offer were made, I would be required to be a party to a lie -- in this case, that I had done anything to justify my termination in the first place.

You no doubt recall the dramatic apex of Huckleberry Finn in which the protagonist is told to pray and ask forgiveness for something his conscience told him was NOT a sin (refusing to help Jim's "owner" track him down). It amazes me that Sam Clemens, a professed unbeliever, nailed the truth to the floor with his insight that "you can't pray a lie." In like fashion, I think it's a sin to ask forgiveness for something you haven't done.

Granted, Huck in such a situation could say "All right then -- I'll go to hell!" because he didn't have to worry about taking care of a sick wife and five small children, as I do. That's why, as I've described elsewhere on this thread, I discussed the matter prayerfully and at length with Korrin, and she told me that she wouldn't WANT me to go back to work at the JBS if doing so meant compromises of this sort.

A third problem intimately related to the first two is this: What good would I do in the JBS, now that its "leaders" have made a strategic decision to do NOTHING to defend or restore our constitutional system?

Right now, the JBS leadership is monomaniacal on the subject of immigration. They KNOW that we're living in Germany circa 1934 -- the police state is in place, but it hasn't gotten REALLY nasty yet -- and they don't care. They're courting the Republican Right with the pathetic, desperate eagerness of a homely girl looking for a pity date for the prom, and they've figured that THIS is the issue that will work, even though Alan Scholl's admitted that it hasn't ("we were given a t-ball issue ... and we couldn't even get it out of the infield," he lamented in an e-mail written just before I was fired).

If you're interested in some more comments about this, check out my other blog, "Notes on the Jerry Seinfeld Society" --

God bless -- Will