55 years ago today - Apr 16, 1966

A Birch member in Arizona wrote a letter to "all of the General Authorities," which said "Brother [Mark E.] Petersen's article was a tragic and regrettable mistake," and added a few lines later that the "Communists and their dupes have directed their attacks and smear campaign against the John Birch Society . . ." Petersen's editorial was "a shocking smear I'm sure the Church doesn't condone," according to a "Letter to the Editor" which the Deseret News refused to print. This Mormon Bircher concluded: "Elder Petersen owes an apology to the readers of the Church News for the unwarrantable and unauthorized innuendos."

[Joe H. Ferguson to "All General Authorities," 16 Apr. 1966, 4, with postscript to "Mark" (Mark E. Anderson). 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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