BYU's former student body president [Rex E. Lee] wrote in September 1963 about the difficulty of separating Era Taft Benson's partisan statements from his church position. Rex E. Lee observed, "It is regrettable, however, that Brother Benson has detracted from his effectiveness as a Church leader through his active support of the John Birch Society." This future president of Brigham Young University continued, "I have found myself periodically called upon to remind my friends, usually without success, that when Elder Benson acts to promote the ends of extremist organizations and leaders he is not declaring Church doctrine."
[Lee to Ralph R. Harding, 30 Sept. 1963. 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.]