John Birch Society's Agenda 21 Opposition Plan Pushes Local Involvement

Where Tea Party Lawmakers Get Their Wacky Ideas About Sustainability

In its ongoing quest to block implementation of the United Nations' sustainability agenda, the John Birch Society, a conservative advocacy group, is looking to involve PTA presidents and town milkmen.

The organization has a dedicated website promoting its claims about the U.N.'s Agenda 21, along with an action guide. A booklet available on the website shows a family dreaming about owning a house, a car and a teddy bear, all things the Society says would be prohibited under the U.N. framework.

Agenda 21, signed in 1992, promotes such sustainability tools as bike paths and walkable communities. Although it hasn't been ratified by the U.S. Senate, the issue has become a favorite of Tea Party legislators, who use the John Birch Society's research to push for Agenda 21 bans in their states.

A Society representative was among those urging the passage of an Agenda 21 ban in New Hampshire, where the measure was defeated in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Progressive advocates have painted Agenda 21 opposition as "tinfoil hat material," and indicated the Society's support for bans as reason to vote them down.

Among the Society's theories about Agenda 21: It would allow the government to seize private property from Americans, force those in rural communities to move into urban centers, prohibit people from entering woodlands, and restrict civil liberties and local government control over drinking water, showers and bathroom usage. The Society also claims that Agenda 21's goal to increase "civic participation" is code for forcing Americans to work in agricultural labor camps.

"The American dream of the beautiful house, big front and back yard, white picket fence and one or two cars is to be replaced with United Nations' Agenda 21 vision of living in small urban dwelling, where you are restricted in the amount of what you can consume and dispose, where prices on goods and services are higher, and where you will have no mobile freedom or independence to travel as you please," according to the Society.

In its manual for organizing against Agenda 21, the Society recommends the formation of coordinating committees and the recruitment of community leaders, including town milkmen and PTA presidents, to join the cause. The Society says milkmen and parent leaders can exercise influence over politicians to help block Agenda 21.

The manual urges those seeking to oppose Agenda 21 to get involved in local government, including attending meetings of land-use boards and town councils in an effort to influence local decision-making, along with organizing to elect members to local offices. The Society also recommends Agenda 21 opponents not sit together when attending such meetings to avoid revealing their numbers.

The material from the John Birch Society, however, does not contain the controversial "mind-control" theories promoted by some Agenda 21 opponents.

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