55 years ago today - May 25, 1966

Robert H. Hinckley, former assistant secretary of the U.S. commerce department, chair of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, and vice-president of the American Broadcasting Company, criticized the Birch Society in an address to students of the University of Utah. He lambasted the society's "collective slander, which now seems to have become standard operating procedure for some Birchites," and also "the semi-secret chapters that parallel Communist cells, the use of front groups, the tactics of infiltration, [and] the use of the big lie." Hinckley also identified Ezra Taft Benson as part of the "leadership of the Right Wing" in America. The full text of this assessment appeared in the Congressional Record in June 1966.

[Robert H. Hinckley, "The Politics of Extremism," in Congressional Record—Senate 112 (13 July 1966): 15584, 15583; "Says Birchers Copy Reds," Deseret News, 25 May 1966, A-12; "Hinckley Blasts Extremists," Provo Daily Herald, 25 May 1966, 14. From D. Michael Quinn, Ezra Taft Benson and Mormon Political Conflicts, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26:2 (Summer 1992), also in Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power Salt Lake City (Signature Books, 1994), Chapter 3.]

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