The New World Order, or NWO, is one of the most well-known conspiracy theories in modern history, right up there with the faked moon landings. In fact, there are those who believe that the NWO orchestrated the fake landings to reinforce their control over the population. Like a handful of cookie crumbs, the NWO has a way of slipping into the cracks behind every other far-fetched theory, and like entropy, the theories about them only get bigger with time. Just keep in mind that as plausible as these theories sound, they are, unfortunately, absolutely insane.
10The Ten Kings Prophecy
Conspiracy theories that begin with the Bible are nothing new, but according to some people, the New World Order was very specifically predicted in the Book of Revelation. The Ten Kings Prophecy is the theory that 10 nations will rise to power and create a new government. The “prophecy” usually quoted for this comes from Revelation 17:12, which reads “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”
The idea of a small group of people ruling the world is entirely what the NWO is about, so it’s no wonder that this is seen as a direct prediction of a new world order. And if you study a prediction enough, you’ll start to see it everywhere. The problem, of course, is that nobody can actually agree on where it’s happening.
There are those who think that the Club of Rome is the seat of the NWO, because they published a paper in 1973 that recommended splitting the world into 10 regions. If you crawl even deeper into the fog, you find others touting the G8 as the group of 10 kings from Revelation. Put that calculator away—there are only eight world leaders in the G8, but proponents of the theory predict that it will one day expand to include 10 core nations, signaling the start of Armageddon and, probably, the end of life as we know it.
In order to maintain its iron grip over the world, the NWO would have to trim off some of the excess population. According to conspiracy theorists, that means killing most of the planet and leaving about two billion people to continue the human race. These survivors would obviously be the best of the best—scientists, engineers, writers, and politicians—and they would live underground in cities connected by maglev trains. Alternatively, they’ll use alien technology to build bases on the Moon.
Exactly how the New World Order will trim down the population is a point of contention among theorists. Some people believe that a virus bioengineered by the NWO will wipe out the majority of the population, while others hold firm that Obamacare is slowly poisoning people with vaccines. Other purported methods range from devastating drone strikes to educating people about abortion.
8Silent Sound Spread Spectrum
One big theory about the NWO is that they use mind control on the general population. While that’s a constant in almost every conspiracy theory, NWO believers think that, when the time comes, the world leaders will flip a switch and instantly force the population into submission. If such a technology were that important to achieving their totalitarian goals, they would obviously try to test it first.
Silent sound spread spectrum (SSSS) is the term most commonly used, although it’s also called “voice to skull” (V2K) technology. It’s almost a cliche these days when a person complains that the government is putting voices in their heads, but they’re still popping up all over the place. One example that’s always repeated on conspiracy theory websites is that the US military used SSSS on Iraqi soldiers, causing them to surrender immediately.
The idea of setting up a system to send microwave signals into the mind of every American—not to mention the rest of the world—is ludicrous at best, but this theory is a cornerstone of the New World Order curriculum.
7Blueprints In Literature
In 1928, H.G. Wells published a book called The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution. In the book, he lays out a recipe for establishing a new world order that will last for generations, all of which will be run by the “Atlantic” elite. In 1940, he followed it up with the aptly named The New World Order.
Most people are familiar with H.G. Wells from books like The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, but his guidelines for the New World Order were anything but fiction. As an outspoken socialist, he believed that a world government was inevitable and that widespread eugenics was the proper course for humanity.
True to form, conspiracy theorists are quick to assume that his NWO literature is “required reading” for the world elite. They see it not necessarily as a prediction but as the impetus that brought the “current” New World Order into existence in the first place.
The conspiracy theory of the Majestic 12 goes something like this: In the 1940s, President Truman commissioned a secret committee of scientists and government employees to keep track of the UFOs that were plaguing America’s skies. The organization, Majestic 12, was kept top secret, but over the years, various documents have surfaced that seem to “prove” their existence.
That’s not what this is about.
According to conspiracy theorists, the government created the entire thing as a hoax in order to keep the public’s attention away from the real threat: aliens in the government. The NWO isn’t headed by the elite of humanity, per se—it’s being planned by aliens who already have humanity’s elite under their control. Majestic 12 is a convoluted mess of a conspiracy within a conspiracy, and while we’re all concerned about it, the aliens have been propelling human look-alikes to powerful government positions and giving us AIDS.
5The Bohemian Grove
The Bohemian Grove is a very real thing. It’s a campground in Sonoma County, California that’s owned by the Bohemian Club, a grouping of the world’s leaders, artists, and captains of industry that boasts several thousand members. Every year, these men get together and do . . . something. According to one writer who sneaked in, the retreat involves a lot of drinking and peeing in bushes. In other words, it’s like a summer camp for powerful people.
But according to the people who haven’t been there, the Bohemian Grove is a dark place of pagan rituals and devil worship, a birthing ground for devious plans to initiate the New World Order. It’s also here that they ritually burn a human in effigy while wearing robes and chanting a prayer to Moloch. Reagan, the Bushes, and Henry Kissinger are reported to be members, to name a few. Nixon famously (and insensitively) called it “the most faggy godd—ed thing you could ever imagine.”
4The Geronimo Skull
Since many members of the Bohemian Club are also members of Yale’s prestigious Skull and Bones club, the theft of Geronimo’s skull in 1918 is worth mentioning. According to the Apache warlord’s descendants who sued Yale University in 2009, Prescott Bush (George W.’s grandfather) and a group of Skull and Bones members raided Geronimo’s grave and made off with his skull and his left hand. They placed the skull in a glass case in the secretive tomb where the society holds their meetings.
Why would they want to do that? And what does it have to do with the New World Order? The history of Skull and Bones is complex, but it is believed to have originated in Germany in the 1800s. Because of that origin, the Skull and Bones is closely connected to the Bavarian Illuminati, which gives it inextricable ties to the development of a one-government world.
As for Geronimo’s skull, Prescott Bush once served as a volunteer at Fort Sill, where Geronimo was buried, and heard a story that the warrior had been blessed with unnatural power. Probably wanting to preserve a relic of that power, the Skull and Bones society appropriated the skull for their own use. It wouldn’t be the first time they tried to get a famous skull.
3The Surveillance-Industrial Complex
With either Edward Snowden or the NSA showing up in the news on an almost daily basis, this one’s a conspiracy theorist freebie. The surveillance-industrial complex, usually just called “mass surveillance,” is a widespread plan to keep tabs on the world’s population. There are plenty of countries that do implement relatively widespread surveillance—the Soviet Union had a network of spies, America has the NSA and PRISM, and China has their Golden Shield. The stated goal of these programs is usually what you’d expect, like thwarting terrorism or cracking down on child pornography.
But to NWO conspiracy theorists, their motivations are much, much darker. While aliens are usually the most agreed-upon scapegoat for why the government wants to watch you brush your teeth, it’s important not to forget about dark chakras, mirror worlds, and Satan.
If you look up into the sky on a clear blue day, you might catch a glimpse of an unusual checkerboard pattern of thin clouds that look almost—but not quite—like airplane contrails. These are chemtrails, which the government sprays over the population to spread mind-controlling chemicals, biological weapons, or weather-altering super-technology, depending on whom you ask.
The weather control conspiracy is the most widespread theory about chemtrails. The theory states that the chemicals spewing out of government planes are designed to create “ionospheric disruption” that can be used to manipulate weather patterns. The results include everything from Obama engineering Hurricane Sandy to creating warming patterns that will melt the Arctic ice and cover the Earth in a blanket of methane. Of course, who would be behind this but our favorite shadowy cabal of elite puppet masters?
1Posthumans And The Technological Singularity
The inevitable goal of the New World Order is to create a new breed of superhumans called posthumans. This isn’t a human design—it’s what the aliens want. In fact, aliens have been credited with every advancement in human evolution since the dawn of civilization.
In the future, that’s going to come about in two ways. The first will be the initial birth of posthumans in the inner circle of NWO leaders. They’ll be so advanced that regular humans like us will think of them as gods. The second is going to be a rapid advancement of technology that eventually culminates in artificial intelligence and a technological singularity, which is the point where AI overtakes human intelligence. These two developments will ensure that the New World Order is capable of controlling every aspect of life. The lower classes will be exterminated and replaced with robots, and humanity will finally reach its shining apex—just as the aliens have always planned.
This article is about the use of the term New World Order in conspiracy theory. For other uses, see New World Order.
The New World Order or NWO is claimed to be an emerging clandestine totalitarianworld government by various conspiracy theories.
The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretivepower elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which will replace sovereignnation-states—and an all-encompassing propaganda whose ideology hails the establishment of the New World Order as the culmination of history's progress. Many influential historical and contemporary figures have therefore been purported to be part of a cabal that operates through many front organizations to orchestrate significant political and financial events, ranging from causing systemic crises to pushing through controversial policies, at both national and international levels, as steps in an ongoing plot to achieve world domination.
Before the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right and secondarily that part of fundamentalist Christianity concerned with the end-time emergence of the Antichrist. Skeptics such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet observed that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about a New World Order had not only been embraced by many seekers of stigmatized knowledge but had seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating a period during the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the United States where people are actively preparing for apocalypticmillenarian scenarios. Those political scientists are concerned that mass hysteria over New World Order conspiracy theories could eventually have devastating effects on American political life, ranging from escalating lone-wolf terrorism to the rise to power of authoritarian ultranationalist demagogues.
History of the term
During the 20th century many politicians, such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill, used the term "new world order" to refer to a new period of history characterised by a dramatic change in world political thought and in the balance of power after World War I and World War II. They all saw the period as an opportunity to implement idealistic proposals for global governance in the sense of new collective efforts to address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve, while always respecting the right of nations to self-determination. These proposals led to the formation of international organizations (such as the UN in 1945 and NATO in 1949), and international regimes (such as the Bretton Woods system (1944-1971) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, 1947-1994)), which were calculated[by whom?] both to maintain a balance of power in favor of the United States and to regularize cooperation between nations, in order to achieve a peaceful phase of capitalism. These creations in particular and liberal internationalism in general, however, were regularly criticized and opposed by American paleoconservativebusiness nationalists from the 1930s on.[need quotation to verify]
Progressives welcomed these new international organizations and regimes in the aftermath of the two World Wars, but argued that they suffered from a democratic deficit and were therefore inadequate not only to prevent another global war but to foster global justice. The United Nations was designed in 1945 by US bankers and State Department planners, and was always intended to remain a free association of sovereign nation-states, not a transition to democratic world government. Thus, activists around the globe formed a world federalist movement, hoping in vain to create a "real" new world order.
British writer and futurist H. G. Wells went further than progressives in the 1940s, by appropriating and redefining the term "new world order" as a synonym for the establishment of a technocratic world state and of a planned economy. Despite the popularity of his ideas in some state-socialist circles, Wells failed to exert a deeper and more lasting influence because he was unable to concentrate his energies on a direct appeal to the intelligentsias who would ultimately have to coordinate a Wellsian new world order.
During the Red Scare of 1947–1957, agitators of the American secular and Christian right, influenced by the work of Canadian conspiracy theorist William Guy Carr, increasingly embraced and spread unfounded fears of Freemasons, Illuminati and Jews as the alleged driving forces behind an "international communist conspiracy". The threat of "Godless communism", in the form of a state atheistic and bureaucratic collectivist world government, demonized as the "Red Menace", therefore became the focus of apocalypticmillenarianconspiracism. The Red Scare came to shape one of the core ideas of the political right in the United States, which is that liberals and progressives, with their welfare-state policies and international cooperation programs such as foreign aid, supposedly contribute to a gradual process of collectivism that will inevitably lead to nations being replaced with a communist one-world government.
Right-wing populist advocacy groups with a paleoconservative world-view, such as the John Birch Society, disseminated a multitude of conspiracy theories in the 1960s claiming that the governments of both the United States and the Soviet Union were controlled by a cabal of corporate internationalists, greedy bankers and corrupt politicians who were intent on using the U.N. as the vehicle to create a "One World Government". This right-wing anti-globalist conspiracism fuelled the Bircher campaign for US withdrawal from the UN. American writer Mary M. Davison, in her 1966 booklet The Profound Revolution, traced the alleged New World Order conspiracy to the establishment of the US Federal Reserve in 1913 by international bankers, whom she claimed later formed the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 as a shadow government. At the time the booklet was published, many readers would have interpreted "international bankers" as a reference to a postulated "international Jewish banking conspiracy" masterminded by the Rothschilds.
Claiming that the term "New World Order" is used by a secretive elite dedicated to the destruction of all national sovereignties, American writer Gary Allen—in his books None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971), Rockefeller: Campaigning for the New World Order (1974), and Say "No!" to the New World Order (1987)—articulated the anti-globalist theme of much current right-wing populist conspiracism in the US. Thus, after the fall of communism in the early 1990s, the main demonized scapegoat of the American far right shifted seamlessly from crypto-communists, who plotted on behalf of the Red Menace, to globalists, plotting on behalf of the New World Order. The relatively painless nature of the shift was due to growing right-wing populist opposition to corporate internationalism, but also in part to the basic underlying apocalyptic millenarian paradigm, which fed the Cold War (ca 1947-1991) and the witch-hunts of the McCarthy period (1950s).
In his speech, Toward a New World Order, delivered on 11 September 1990 during a joint session of the US Congress, President George H. W. Bush described his objectives for post-Cold War global governance in cooperation with post-Soviet states. He stated:
Until now, the world we've known has been a world divided—a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play ... protect the weak against the strong ..." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.
The New York Times observed that progressives were denouncing this new world order as a rationalization of American imperial ambitions in the Middle East, while conservatives rejected any new security arrangements altogether and fulminated about any possibility of a UN revival.Chip Berlet, an American investigative reporter specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the US, wrote that the Christian and secular hard right were especially terrified by the speech. Fundamentalist Christian groups interpreted Bush's words as signaling the End Times, while secular theorists approached it from an anti-communist and anti-collectivist standpoint and feared for a hegemony over all countries by the United Nations.}}
American televangelist Pat Robertson, with his 1991 best-selling book The New World Order, became the most prominent Christian popularizer of conspiracy theories about recent American history. He describes a scenario where Wall Street, the Federal Reserve System, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission control the flow of events from behind the scenes, nudging people constantly and covertly in the direction of world government for the Antichrist.
Observers note that the galvanizing of right-wing populist conspiracy theorists such as Linda Thompson, Mark Koernke and Robert K. Spear into militancy led to the rise[when?] of the militia movement, which spread its anti-government ideology through speeches at rallies and meetings, books and videotapes sold at gun shows, shortwave and satellite radio, fax networks and computer bulletin boards. However, it is overnight AM radio shows and viral propaganda on the Internet that have most effectively contributed to their extremist political ideas about the New World Order finding their way into the previously apolitical literature of numerous Kennedy assassinologists, ufologists, lost land theorists and, most recently, occultists. From the mid–1990s on, the worldwide appeal of those subcultures transmitted New World Order conspiracism like a "mind virus" to a large new audience of seekers of stigmatized knowledge.
Hollywood conspiracy-thriller television shows and films also played a role in introducing a vast popular audience to various fringe theories related to New World Order conspiracism—black helicopters, FEMA "concentration camps", etc.— theories which for decades previously were confined to radical right-wing subcultures. The 1993–2002 television series The X-Files, the 1997 film Conspiracy Theory and the 1998 film The X-Files: Fight the Future are often cited as notable examples.
Following the start of the 21st century, and specifically during the late-2000s financial crisis, many politicians and pundits, such as Gordon Brown and Henry Kissinger, used the term "new world order" in their advocacy for a comprehensive reform of the global financial system and their calls for a "New Bretton Woods" taking into account emerging markets such as China and India. These declarations had the unintended consequence of providing fresh fodder for New World Order conspiracism, which culminated in talk-show host Sean Hannity stating on his Fox News Channel program Hannity that the "conspiracy theorists were right". Progressive media-watchdog groups have repeatedly criticized Fox News in general and its opinion show Glenn Beck in particular for not only mainstreaming the New World Order conspiracy theories of the radical right, but possibly agitating its lone wolves into action.
In 2009 American film directors Luke Meyer and Andrew Neel released New World Order, a critically acclaimed documentary film which explores the world of conspiracy theorists - such as American radio host Alex Jones - who consistently expose and vigorously oppose what they perceive as an emerging New World Order. The growing dissemination and popularity of conspiracy theories has also created an alliance between right-wing populist agitators (such as Alex Jones) and hip hop music's left-wing populist rappers (such as KRS-One, Professor Griff of Public Enemy and Immortal Technique), thus illustrating how anti-elitist conspiracism can create unlikely political allies in efforts to oppose a political system.
There are numerous systemic conspiracy theories through which the concept of a New World Order is viewed. The following is a list of the major ones in roughly chronological order:
Since the 19th century, many apocalypticmillennialChristian eschatologists, starting with John Nelson Darby, have predicted a globalist conspiracy to impose a tyrannical New World Order governing structure as the fulfillment of prophecies about the "end time" in the Bible, specifically in the Book of Ezekiel, the Book of Daniel, the Olivet discourse found in the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Revelation. They claim that people who have made a deal with the Devil to gain wealth and power have become pawns in a supernatural chess game to move humanity into accepting a utopian world government that rests on the spiritual foundations of a syncretic-messianic world religion, which will later reveal itself to be a dystopian world empire that imposes the imperial cult of an “Unholy Trinity” of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. In many contemporary Christian conspiracy theories, the False Prophet will be either the last pope of the Catholic Church (groomed and installed by an Alta Vendita or Jesuit conspiracy), a guru from the New Age movement, or even the leader of an elite fundamentalist Christian organization like the Fellowship, while the Antichrist will be either the President of the European Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, or even the Caliph of a pan-Islamic state.
Some of the most vocal critics of end-time conspiracy theories come from within Christianity. In 1993, historian Bruce Barron wrote a stern rebuke of apocalyptic Christian conspiracism in the Christian Research Journal, when reviewing Robertson's 1991 book The New World Order. Another critique can be found in historian Gregory S. Camp's 1997 book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia. Religious studies scholar Richard T. Hughes argues that "New World Order" rhetoric libels the Christian faith, since the "New World Order" as defined by Christian conspiracy theorists has no basis in the Bible whatsoever. Furthermore, he argues that not only is this idea unbiblical, it is positively anti-biblical and fundamentally anti-Christian, because by misinterpreting key passages in the Book of Revelation, it turns a comforting message about the coming kingdom of God into one of fear, panic and despair in the face of an allegedly approaching one-world government.Progressive Christians, such as preacher-theologian Peter J. Gomes, caution Christian fundamentalists that a "spirit of fear" can distort scripture and history through dangerously combining biblical literalism, apocalyptic timetables, demonization and oppressive prejudices, while Camp warns of the "very real danger that Christians could pick up some extra spiritual baggage" by credulously embracing conspiracy theories. They therefore call on Christians who indulge in conspiracism to repent.
Main article: Masonic conspiracy theories
Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal organizations and arose during late 16th–early 17th century Britain. Over the years a number of allegations and conspiracy theories have been directed towards Freemasonry, including the allegation that Freemasons have a hidden political agenda and are conspiring to bring about a New World Order, a world government organized according to Masonic principles and/or governed only by Freemasons.
The esoteric nature of Masonic symbolism and rites led to Freemasons first being accused of secretly practising Satanism in the late 18th century. The original allegation of a conspiracy within Freemasonry to subvert religions and governments in order to take over the world traces back to Scottish author John Robison, whose reactionary conspiracy theories crossed the Atlantic and influenced outbreaks of Protestant anti-Masonry in the United States during the 19th century. In the 1890s, French writer Léo Taxil wrote a series of pamphlets and books denouncing Freemasonry and charging their lodges with worshiping Lucifer as the Supreme Being and Great Architect of the Universe. Despite the fact that Taxil admitted that his claims were all a hoax, they were and still are believed and repeated by numerous conspiracy theorists and had a huge influence on subsequent anti-Masonic claims about Freemasonry.
Some conspiracy theorists eventually speculated that some Founding Fathers of the United States, such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, were having Masonic sacred geometric designs interwoven into American society, particularly in the Great Seal of the United States, the United States one-dollar bill, the architecture of National Mall landmarks and the streets and highways of Washington, D.C., as part of a master plan to create the first "Masonic government" as a model for the coming New World Order.
Freemasons rebut these claims of a Masonic conspiracy. Freemasonry, which promotes rationalism, places no power in occult symbols themselves, and it is not a part of its principles to view the drawing of symbols, no matter how large, as an act of consolidating or controlling power. Furthermore, there is no published information establishing the Masonic membership of the men responsible for the design of the Great Seal. While conspiracy theorists assert that there are elements of Masonic influence on the Great Seal of the United States, and that these elements were intentionally or unintentionally used because the creators were familiar with the symbols, in fact, the all-seeing Eye of Providence and the unfinished pyramid were symbols used as much outside Masonic lodges as within them in the late 18th century, therefore the designers were drawing from common esoteric symbols. The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the one-dollar bill since 1935, translates to "New Order of the Ages", and alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States of America is an independent nation-state; it is often mistranslated by conspiracy theorists as "New World Order".
Although the European continental branch of Freemasonry has organizations that allow political discussion within their Masonic Lodges, Masonic researcher Trevor W. McKeown argues that the accusations ignore several facts. Firstly, the many Grand Lodges are independent and sovereign, meaning they act on their own and do not have a common agenda. The points of belief of the various lodges often differ. Secondly, famous individual Freemasons have always held views that span the political spectrum and show no particular pattern or preference. As such, the term "Masonic government" is erroneous; there is no consensus among Freemasons about what an ideal government would look like.
The Order of the Illuminati was an Enlightenment-age secret society founded by university professor Adam Weishaupt on 1 May 1776, in Upper Bavaria, Germany. The movement consisted of advocates of freethought, secularism, liberalism, republicanism, and gender equality, recruited from the German Masonic Lodges, who sought to teach rationalism through mystery schools. In 1785, the order was infiltrated, broken up and suppressed by the government agents of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria, in his preemptive campaign to neutralize the threat of secret societies ever becoming hotbeds of conspiracies to overthrow the Bavarian monarchy and its state religion, Roman Catholicism. There is no evidence that the Bavarian Illuminati survived its suppression in 1785.
In the late 18th century, reactionary conspiracy theorists, such as Scottish physicist John Robison and French Jesuit priest Augustin Barruel, began speculating that the Illuminati had survived their suppression and become the masterminds behind the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. The Illuminati were accused of being subversives who were attempting to secretly orchestrate a revolutionary wave in Europe and the rest of the world in order to spread the most radical ideas and movements of the Enlightenment—anti-clericalism, anti-monarchism, and anti-patriarchalism—and to create a world noocracy and cult of reason. During the 19th century, fear of an Illuminati conspiracy was a real concern of the European ruling classes, and their oppressive reactions to this unfounded fear provoked in 1848 the very revolutions they sought to prevent.
During the interwar period of the 20th century, fascist propagandists, such as British revisionist historian Nesta Helen Webster and American socialite Edith Starr Miller, not only popularized the myth of an Illuminati conspiracy but claimed that it was a subversive secret society which served the Jewish elites that supposedly propped up both finance capitalism and Soviet communism in order to divide and rule the world. American evangelist Gerald Burton Winrod and other conspiracy theorists within the fundamentalist Christian movement in the United States—which emerged in the 1910s as a backlash against the principles of Enlightenment secular humanism, modernism, and liberalism—became the main channel of dissemination of Illuminati conspiracy theories in the U.S.. Right-wing populists, such as members of the John Birch Society, subsequently began speculating that some collegiate fraternities (Skull and Bones), gentlemen's clubs (Bohemian Club), and think tanks (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission) of the American upper class are front organizations of the Illuminati, which they accuse of plotting to create a New World Order through a one-world government.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an antisemitic canard, originally published in Russian in 1903, alleging a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy to achieve world domination. The text purports to be the minutes of the secret meetings of a cabal of Jewish masterminds, which has co-opted Freemasonry and is plotting to rule the world on behalf of all Jews because they believe themselves to be the chosen people of God.The Protocols incorporate many of the core conspiracist themes outlined in the Robison and Barruel attacks on the Freemasons, and overlay them with antisemitic allegations about anti-Tsarist movements in Russia. The Protocols reflect themes similar to more general critiques of Enlightenment liberalism by conservative aristocrats who support monarchies and state religions. The interpretation intended by the publication of The Protocols is that if one peels away the layers of the Masonic conspiracy, past the Illuminati, one finds the rotten Jewish core.
Numerous polemicists, such as Irish journalist Philip Graves in a 1921 article in The Times, and British academic Norman Cohn in his 1967 book Warrant for Genocide, have proven The Protocols to be both a hoax and a clear case of plagiarism. There is general agreement that Russian-French writer and political activist Matvei Golovinski fabricated the text for Okhrana, the secret police of the Russian Empire, as a work of counter-revolutionarypropaganda prior to the 1905 Russian Revolution, by plagiarizing, almost word for word in some passages, from The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, a 19th-century satire against Napoleon III of France written by French political satirist and Legitimist militant Maurice Joly.
Responsible for feeding many antisemitic and anti-Masonic mass hysterias of the 20th century, The Protocols has been influential in the development of some conspiracy theories, including some New World Order theories, and appears repeatedly in certain contemporary conspiracy literature. For example, the authors of the 1982 controversial book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail concluded that The Protocols was the most persuasive piece of evidence for the existence and activities of the Priory of Sion. They speculated that this secret society was working behind the scenes to establish a theocratic "United States of Europe". Politically and religiously unified through the imperial cult of a MerovingianGreat Monarch—supposedly descended from a Jesus bloodline—who occupies both the throne of Europe and the Holy See, this "Holy European Empire" would become the hyperpower of the 21st century. Although the Priory of Sion itself has been exhaustively debunked by journalists and scholars as a hoax, some apocalypticmillenarianChristian eschatologists who believe The Protocols is authentic became convinced that the Priory of Sion was a fulfillment of prophecies found in the Book of Revelation and further proof of an anti-Christian conspiracy of epic proportions signaling the imminence of a New World Order.
Skeptics argue that the current gambit of contemporary conspiracy theorists who use The Protocols is to claim that they "really" come from some group other than the Jews, such as fallen angels or alien invaders. Although it is hard to determine whether the conspiracy-minded actually believe this or are simply trying to sanitize a discredited text, skeptics argue that it does not make much difference, since they leave the actual, antisemitic text unchanged. The result is to give The Protocols credibility and circulation.
During the second half of Britain's "imperial century" between 1815 and 1914, English-born South African businessman, mining magnate and politician Cecil Rhodes advocated the British Empire reannexing the United States of America and reforming itself into an "Imperial Federation" to bring about a hyperpower and lasting world peace. In his first will, written in 1877 at the age of 23, he expressed his wish to fund a secret society (known as the Society of the Elect) that would advance this goal:
To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible, and promote the best interests of humanity.
In 1890, thirteen years after "his now famous will," Rhodes elaborated on the same idea: establishment of "England everywhere," which would "ultimately lead to the cessation of all wars, and one language throughout the world." "The only thing feasible to carry out this idea is a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world ["and human minds of the higher order"] to be devoted to such an object."
Rhodes also concentrated on the Rhodes Scholarship, which had British statesman Alfred Milner as one of its trustees. Established in 1902, the original goal of the trust fund was to foster peace among the great powers by creating a sense of fraternity and a shared world view among future British, American, and German leaders by having enabled them to study for free at the University of Oxford.
Milner and British official Lionel George Curtis were the architects of the Round Table movement, a network of organizations promoting closer union between Britain and its self-governing colonies. To this end, Curtis founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs in June 1919 and, with his 1938 book The Commonwealth of God, began advocating for the creation of an imperial federation that eventually reannexes the U.S., which would be presented to Protestant churches as being the work of the Christian God to elicit their support. The Commonwealth of Nations was created in 1949 but it would only be a free association of independent states rather than the powerful imperial federation imagined by Rhodes, Milner and Curtis.
The Council on Foreign Relations began in 1917 with a group of New York academics who were asked by President Woodrow Wilson to offer options for the foreign policy of the United States in the interwar period. Originally envisioned as a group of American and British scholars and diplomats, some of whom belonging to the Round Table movement, it was a subsequent group of 108 New York financiers, manufacturers and international lawyers organized in June 1918 by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and U.S. secretary of state Elihu Root, that became the Council on Foreign Relations on 29 July 1921. The first of the council’s projects was a quarterly journal launched in September 1922, called Foreign Affairs. The Trilateral Commission was founded in July 1973, at the initiative of American banker David Rockefeller, who was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations at that time. It is a private organization established to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan. The Trilateral Commission is widely seen as a counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations.
In the 1960s, right-wing populist individuals and groups with a paleoconservative worldview, such as members of the John Birch Society, were the first to combine and spread a business nationalist critique of corporate internationalists networked through think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations with a grand conspiracy theory casting them as front organizations for the Round Table of the "Anglo-American Establishment", which are financed by an "international banking cabal" that has supposedly been plotting from the late 19th century on to impose an oligarchic new world order through a global financial system. Anti-globalist conspiracy theorists therefore fear that international bankers are planning to eventually subvert the independence of the U.S. by subordinating national sovereignty to a strengthened Bank for International Settlements.
The research findings of historian Carroll Quigley, author of the 1966 book Tragedy and Hope, are taken by both conspiracy theorists of the American Old Right (W. Cleon Skousen) and New Left (Carl Oglesby) to substantiate this view, even though Quigley argued that the Establishment is not involved in a plot to implement a one-world government but rather British and American benevolent imperialism driven by the mutual interests of economic elites in the United Kingdom and the United States. Quigley also argued that, although the Round Table still exists today, its position in influencing the policies of world leaders has been much reduced from its heyday during World War I and slowly waned after the end of World War II and the Suez Crisis. Today the Round Table is largely a ginger group, designed to consider and gradually influence the policies of the Commonwealth of Nations, but faces strong opposition. Furthermore, in American society after 1965, the problem, according to Quigley, was that no elite was in charge and acting responsibly.
Larry McDonald, the second president of the John Birch Society and a conservative Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives who represented the 7th congressional district of Georgia, wrote a foreword for Allen's 1976 book The Rockefeller File, wherein he claimed that the Rockefellers and their allies were driven by a desire to create a one-world government that combined "super-capitalism" with communism and would be fully under their control. He saw a conspiracy plot that was "international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent."
In his 2002 autobiography Memoirs, David Rockefeller wrote:
For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents ... to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
Barkun argues that this statement is partly facetious (the claim of "conspiracy" and "treason") and partly serious—the desire to encourage trilateral cooperation among the U.S., Europe, and Japan, for example—an ideal that used to be a hallmark of the internationalist wing of the Republican Party (known as "Rockefeller Republicans" in honor of Nelson Rockefeller) when there was an internationalist wing. The statement, however, is taken at face value and widely cited by conspiracy theorists as proof that the Council on Foreign Relations uses its role as the brain trust of American presidents, senators and representatives to manipulate them into supporting a New World Order in the form of a one-world government.
In a 13 November 2007 interview with Canadian journalist Benjamin Fulford, Rockefeller countered that he felt no need for a world government and wished for the governments of the world to work together and collaborate. He also stated that it seemed neither likely nor desirable to have only one elected government rule the whole world. He criticized accusations of him being "ruler of the world" as nonsensical.
Some American social critics, such as Laurence H. Shoup, argue that the Council on Foreign Relations is an "imperial brain trust" which has, for decades, played a central behind-the-scenes role in shaping U.S. foreign policy choices for the post-World War II international order and the Cold War by determining what options show up on the agenda and what options do not even make it to the table; others, such as G. William Domhoff, argue that it is in fact a mere policy discussion forum which provides the business input to U.S. foreign policy planning. Domhoff argues that "[i]t has nearly 3,000 members, far too many for secret plans to be kept within the group. All the council does is sponsor discussion groups, debates and speakers. As far as being secretive, it issues annual reports and allows access to its historical archives." However, all these critics agree that "[h]istorical studies of the CFR show that it has a very different role in the overall power structure than what is claimed by conspiracy theorists."
The Open Conspiracy
In his 1928 book The Open Conspiracy British writer and futurist H. G. Wells promoted cosmopolitanism and offered blueprints for a world revolution and world brain to establish a technocratic world state and planned economy. Wells warned, however, in his 1940 book The New World Order that:
... when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people ... will hate the new world order, be rendered unhappy by the frustration of their passions and ambitions through its advent and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.
Wells's books were influential in giving a second meaning to the term "new world order", which would only be used by state socialist supporters and anti-communist opponents for generations to come. However, despite the popularity and notoriety of his ideas, Wells failed to exert a deeper and more lasting influence because he was unable to concentrate his energies on a direct appeal to intelligentsias who would, ultimately, have to coordinate the Wellsian new world order.
British neo-Theosophical occultist Alice Bailey, one of the founders of the so-called New Age movement, prophesied in 1940 the eventual victory of the Allies of World War II over the Axis powers (which occurred in 1945) and the establishment by the Allies of a political and religious New World Order. She saw a federal world government as the culmination of Wells' Open Conspiracy but favorably argued that it would be synarchist because it was guided by the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, intent on preparing humanity for the mystical second coming of Christ, and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. According to Bailey, a group of ascended masters called the Great White Brotherhood works on the "inner planes" to oversee the transition to the New World Order but, for now, the members of this Spiritual Hierarchy are only known to a few occult scientists, with whom they communicate telepathically, but as the need for their personal involvement in the plan increases, there will be an "Externalization of the Hierarchy" and everyone will know of their presence on Earth.
Bailey's writings, along with American writer Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 book The Aquarian Conspiracy, contributed to conspiracy theorists of the Christian right viewing the New Age movement as the "false religion" that would supersede Christianity in a New World Order. Skeptics argue that the term "New Age movement" is a misnomer, generally used by conspiracy theorists as a catch-all rubric for any new religious movement that is not fundamentalist Christian. By this logic, anything that is not Christian is by definition actively and willfully anti-Christian.
Paradoxically, since the first decade of the 21st century, New World Order conspiracism is increasingly being embraced and propagandized by New Age occultists, who are people bored by rationalism and drawn to stigmatized knowledge—such as alternative medicine, astrology, quantum mysticism, spiritualism, and theosophy. Thus, New Age conspiracy theorists, such as the makers of documentary films like Esoteric Agenda, claim that globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order are simply misusing occultism for Machiavellian ends, such as adopting 21 December 2012 as the exact date for the establishment of the New World Order for the purpose of taking advantage of the growing 2012 phenomenon, which has its origins in the fringe Mayanist theories of New Age writers José Argüelles, Terence McKenna, and Daniel Pinchbeck.
Skeptics argue that the connection of conspiracy theorists and occultists follows from their common fallacious premises. First, any widely accepted belief must necessarily be false. Second, stigmatized knowledge—what the Establishment spurns—must be true. The result is a large, self-referential network in which, for example, some UFO religionists promote anti-Jewish phobias while some antisemites practice Peruvian shamanism.
Conspiracy theorists often use the term "Fourth Reich" simply as a pejorative synonym for the "New World Order" to imply that its state ideology and government will be similar to Germany's Third Reich.
Conspiracy theorists, such as American writer Jim Marrs, claim that some ex-Nazis, who survived the fall of the Greater German Reich, along with sympathizers in the United States and elsewhere, given haven by organizations like ODESSA