Newspapers reported that more than a thousand LDS members of the Birch Society had written church headquarters with complaints or requests for clarification. The media may have obtained that information from McKay's secretary, Clare Middlemiss, who supported the Birch Society. In fact her pro-Birch orientation became the source of complaints by rank-and-file Mormons to the First Presidency.
[Source: "CROSS REFERENCE SHEET," Mrs. Joyce M. Sowerwine letter, 25 Nov. 1966, "re: Claire Middlemiss & John Birch Society," in "Hugh B. Brown's File on the John Birch Society." 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.]