New World Order (conspiracy theory)

The reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States (1776). The Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the U.S. one-dollar bill since 1935, translates to "New Order of the Ages"[1] and alludes to the beginning of an era where the United States of America is an independent nation-state; conspiracy theorists claim this is an allusion to the "New World Order".[2]

As a conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian world government.[3][4][5][6][7]

The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.[3][4][5][6][7]

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.[8] 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 were actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios.[4][6] Those political scientists were concerned that mass hysteria could have what they judged to be devastating effects on American political life, ranging from widespread political alienation to escalating lone-wolf terrorism.[4][6][9]

Contents

  • History of the term 1
  • Conspiracy theories 2
    • End Time 2.1
    • Freemasonry 2.2
    • Illuminati 2.3
    • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion 2.4
    • Round Table 2.5
    • The Open Conspiracy 2.6
    • New Age 2.7
    • Fourth Reich 2.8
    • Alien invasion 2.9
    • Brave New World 2.10
  • Postulated implementations 3
    • Gradualism 3.1
    • Coup d'état 3.2
    • Mass surveillance 3.3
    • Occultism 3.4
    • Population control 3.5
    • Mind control 3.6
  • Alleged conspirators 4
  • Criticisms 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

History of the term

During the 20th century, many UN and NATO), and international regimes (such as the Bretton Woods system and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)), which were calculated 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 ultraconservative business nationalists from the 1930s on.[10]

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.[11]

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 planned economy.[12] 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.[13]

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 being the driving force 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 apocalyptic millenarian conspiracism. 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.[14]

Right-wing populist advocacy groups with a producerist 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 creation of the US Federal Reserve in 1913 by international bankers, who she claimed later formed the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921 as a shadow government. At the time the booklet was published, "international bankers" would have been interpreted by many readers as a reference to a postulated "international Jewish banking conspiracy" masterminded by the Rothschilds.[14]

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, who plot 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 and the witch-hunts of the McCarthy period.[14]

In his speech, Toward a New World Order, delivered on September 11, 1990 during a joint session of the his objectives for post-Cold War global governance in cooperation with post-Soviet states. He stated:
(NWO Speech)

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.[15] However, Chip Berlet, an American investigative reporter, specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the US, writes:

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.[6]

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 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.[14] 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.[6]

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 helicopter, FEMA "concentration camps", etc.—which for decades were previously 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.[6]

Following the start of the 21st century, and specifically during the late-2000s financial crisis, many politicians and pundits, such as Gordon Brown[16] and Henry Kissinger,[17] 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" that takes 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".[18] Fox News in general, and its opinion show Glenn Beck in particular, has been repeatedly criticized by progressive media watchdog groups, for not only mainstreaming the New World Order conspiracy theories of the radical right, but possibly agitating its lone wolves into action.[19][20]

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 are committed to exposing and vigorously opposing what they perceive to be an emerging New World Order.[21] 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 the political system.[22]

Conspiracy theories

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:[23]

End Time

Since the 19th century, many 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.[6][24]

Some of the most vocal critics of end-time conspiracy theories come from within Christianity.[14] 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.[25] Another critique can be found in historian Gregory S. Camp's 1997 book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia.[3] 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.[24] 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,[26][27] while Camp warns of the "very real danger that Christians could pick up some extra spiritual baggage" by credulously embracing conspiracy theories.[3] They therefore call on Christians who indulge in conspiracism to repent.[28][29]

Freemasonry

  • Quotations related to New World Order at Wikiquote

External links

  •  
  •  
  • Allen, Gary (1974). Rockefeller: Campaigning for the New World Order. American Opinion. 
  • Allen, Gary (1987). Say "No!" to the New World Order. Concord Press. 
  • Still, William T. (1990). New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies. Huntington House Publishers.  
  •  
  • Kah, Gary H. (1991). En Route to Global Occupation. Huntington House Publishers.  
  •  
  •  
  • Wardner, James (1994) [1993]. The Planned Destruction of America. Longwood Communications.  
  •  
  • Jones, Alan B. (2001) [1997]. Secrecy or Freedom?. ABJ Press.  
  • Cuddy, Dennis Laurence (1999) [1994]. Secret Records Revealed: The Men, The Money and The Methods Behind the New World Order. Hearthstone Publishing, Ltd.  
  • Marrs, Jim (2001) [2001]. Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids. HarperCollins.  
  • Lina, Jüri (2004). Architects of Deception. Referent Publishing.  
  • Tedford, Cody (2008). Powerful Secrets. Hannover.  

The following is a list of non-self-published non-fiction books that discuss New World Order conspiracy theories.

Further reading

  1. ^ a b Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary
  2. ^ a b "Novus Ordo Seclorum - Origin and Meaning of the Motto Beneath the American Pyramid". GreatSeal.com. 
  3. ^ a b c d Camp, Gregory S. (1997). Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia. Commish Walsh.  
  4. ^ a b c d  
  5. ^ a b Goldberg, Robert Alan (2001). Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America. Yale University Press.  
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Barkun, Michael (2003).  
  7. ^ a b Fenster, Mark (2008). Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture (2nd ed.). University of Minnesota Press.  
  8. ^ a b  
  9. ^ Pete Williams, Andrew Blankstein (1 November 2014). "Sources: Alleged LAX gunman had 'new world order' conspiracy tract". NBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Buchanan, Patrick J. (1999). A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny. Regnery Publishing, Inc.  
  11. ^ Hughes, J. "Better Living Through World Government: Transnationalism as 21st Socialism". Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Wells, H. G. (2006).  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Berlet, Chip (15 April 1999). "Dances with Devils: How Apocalyptic and Millennialist Themes Influence Right Wing Scapegoating and Conspiracism". The Public Eye. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Judis, John B. (20 November 1990). "George Bush, Meet Woodrow Wilson". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Grice, Andrew (4 April 2009). "This was the Bretton Woods of our times". The Independent. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  17. ^ Kissinger, Henry (12 January 2009). "The chance for a new world order". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Romero, George (2011). The Rescue. p. 246.  
  19. ^ Krugman, Paul (11 June 2009). "The Big Hate". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  20. ^ a b  
  21. ^ Monfette, Christopher (16 March 2009). "SXSW 09: New World Order Review". ign.com. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  22. ^ Gosa, Travis L. (June 2011). "Counterknowledge, racial paranoia, and the cultic milieu: Decoding hip hop conspiracy theory". Poetics 39 (3): 187–204.  
  23. ^ Johnson, George (1983). Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.  
  24. ^ a b c d Hughes, Richard T. (24 February 2011). "Revelation, Revolutions, and the Tyrannical New World Order". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  25. ^ Bruce, Barron (1993). , Winter 1993, pp. 44–45"Christian Research Journal"A Summary Critique. . Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  26. ^ Sine, Tom. "Suspicions of Conspiracy: How a spirit of fear can distort scripture and history". Sojourners (July–August 1995). Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  27. ^  
  28. ^ Vandruff, Dean; Vandruff, Laura. "Christians & Conspiracy Theories: A Call to Repentance". Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  29. ^ Coughlin, Paul T. (1999). Secrets, Plots & Hidden Agendas: What You Don't Know About Conspiracy Theories. InterVarsity Press.  
  30. ^ De Hoyos, Arturo (2011). As it True What They Say About Freemasonry?. M. Evans and Company, revided edition.  
  31. ^ a b McKeown, Trevor W. (5 May 2004). "Doesn't the satanic design of Washington, DC’s street plan prove that there's a masonic conspiracy?". Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions. Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  32. ^ a b McKeown, Trevor W. (5 May 2004). "Is the eye and pyramid a masonic symbol?". Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions. Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  33. ^ Knight, Peter (1 Jan 2003). Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 227.  
  34. ^ McConachie, James; Tudge, Robin. Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories, The (3rd). Rough Guides UK.  
  35. ^ McKeown, Trevor W. (5 May 2004). "Does Freemasonry have a secret political agenda?". Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions. Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  36. ^ a b Stauffer, Vernon L. (1918). "The European Illuminati". New England and the Bavarian Illuminati (Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M.). Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  37. ^ a b c McKeown, Trevor W. (2004). "A Bavarian Illuminati primer". Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  38. ^ Soviet Jewry: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations, United States Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. 1984. p. 56
  39. ^  
  40. ^ Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Corgi, 1982. ISBN 0-552-12138-X.
  41. ^ , '60 Minutes', 30 April 2006, presented by Ed Bradley, produced by Jeanne Langley, CBS NewsThe Secret of the Priory of Sion
  42. ^ Aho, Barbara (1997). "The Merovingian Dynasty: Satanic Bloodline of the AntiChrist & False Prophet". Retrieved 2009-11-11. 
  43. ^ a b Flint, John E. (1976). Cecil Rhodes (1st ed.). Little Brown & Company.  
  44. ^ "MR. RHODES'S IDEAL OF ANGLO-SAXON GREATNESS; Statement of His Aims, Written for W.T. Stead In 1890. He Believed a Wealthy Secret Society Should Work to Secure the World's Peace and a British-American Federation". The New York Times. 1902-04-09. 
  45. ^ Curtis, Lionel. Civitas Dei: The Commonwealth of God London (1938). MacMillan & Sons
  46. ^ History of CFR – Council on Foreign Relations
  47. ^ a b Scienta Press staff. "Carroll Quigley: Theorist of Civilizations". 
  48. ^ McDonald, Lawrence P. Introduction. The Rockefeller File. By Gary Allen. Seal Beach, CA: '76 Press, 1976. ISBN 0-89245-001-0.
  49. ^  
  50. ^ Fulford, Benjamin (2007). Benjamin Fulford interviews David Rockefeller. 
  51. ^ Shoup, Laurence H.; Minter, William (2004). Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. Authors Choice Press.  
  52. ^ a b c d  
  53. ^ Wells, H. G. (2006).  
  54. ^ H. G. Wells, British Patriot in Search of a World State
  55. ^ Bailey, Alice A. (1957). "The Externalization of the Hierarchy". USNISA. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  56. ^  
  57. ^ McKeown, Trevor W. (5 May 2004). "Has Freemasonry become part of the New Age movement?". Anti-masonry Frequently Asked Questions. Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A. M. Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  58. ^ Marrs, Jim (2008). The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America. William Morrow.  
  59. ^ Zeskind, Leonard (2009). Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  
  60. ^ Pipes, Daniel (1 May 2003). "Inverted Totalitarianism". Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  61. ^ The Ten Most Popular Conspiracy Theories
  62. ^ a b Frel, January (1 September 2010). "Inside the Great Reptilian Conspiracy: From Queen Elizabeth to Barack Obama – They Live!". Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  63. ^ Collins, Phillip D. (2006). The Ascendancy of the Scientific Dictatorship: An Examination of Epistemic Autocracy, From the 19th to the 21st Century. BookSurge Publishing.  
  64. ^ Hughes, James (2004).  
  65. ^ a b Holland, Joshua (June 15, 2007). "Debunking the North American Union Conspiracy Theory". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  66. ^ "Bachmann: No foreign currency". Star Tribune. March 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  67. ^ The Right-Wing Echo Chamber In Action: How A Conspiracy Travels From Drudge To Obama, Via Fox News
  68. ^ a b Partridge, Mark C (December 14, 2008). "One World Government: Conspiracy Theory or Inevitable Future?". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  69. ^ Levitas, Daniel (January 20, 2004). The Terrorist Next Door: The Militia Movement and the Radical Right. St. Martin's Griffin.  
  70. ^ BBC News Special Report (1998-10-05). "Death to the New World Order". Retrieved 2006-06-24. 
  71. ^ Ron Rosenbaum (2007-10-19). "Who Will Rule Us After the Next 9/11?". Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  72. ^  
  73. ^ "Total/Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA): Is It Truly Dead?". Electronic Frontier Foundation (official website). 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  74. ^ Seifert, Jeffrey W. (16 December 2004). "Data Mining: An Overview" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  75. ^ Terry Melanson (22 July 2002). "Information Awareness Office (IAO): How's This for Paranoid?". Illuminati Conspiracy Archive. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  76. ^ Morris, S. Brent (1 January 2009). "The Eye in the Pyramid". Short Talk Bulletin. Masonic Service Association. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  77. ^ Baard, Mark (6 June 2006). "RFID: Sign of the (End) Times?". wired.com. Retrieved 18 December 2006. 
  78. ^ Stanley, Jay (August 2004). "The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society" (PDF). American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  79. ^ Albo, Frank (2007). The Hermetic Code. Winnipeg Free Press.  
  80. ^ Laycock, Joseph (6 July 2009). "10 Commandments of the Anti-Christ: Mysterious "Guidestones" Madden Conspiracy Theorists and Christian Fundamentalists". AlterNet. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  81. ^ Henig, Robin Marantz (1997). The People's Health. Joseph Henry Press. p. 85.  
  82. ^ Rovere, Richard H. (1959). Senator Joe McCarthy. University of California Press. pp. 21–22.  
  83. ^ Harrington, Evan (1996). "Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference". Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2009-07-23. 
  84. ^ Ilan, Shrira (11 September 2008). "Paranoia and the roots of conspiracy theories - September 11 and the psychological roots of conspiracy theories". Psychology Today. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  85. ^ Melley, Timothy (December 1999). Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America. Cornell University Press.  
  86. ^ Rothkopf, David J. (2008). Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  
  87. ^ a b  
  88. ^ Lewis, Tyson; Kahn, Richard (2005). "The Reptoid Hypothesis: Utopian and Dystopian Representational Motifs in David Icke's Alien Conspiracy Theory" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  89. ^  
  90. ^  
  91. ^ Holland, Joshua (12 June 2009). "The Terrorist Threat: Right-Wing Radicals and the Eliminationist Mindset". Retrieved 23 July 2009. 

References

See also

Criticisms of New World Order conspiracy theorists also come from within their own community. Despite believing themselves to be "freedom fighters", many right-wing populist conspiracy theorists hold views that are incompatible with their professed libertarianism, such as dominionism, white supremacism, and even eliminationism.[14][91] This paradox has led Icke, who argues that Christian Patriots are the only Americans who understand the truth about the New World Order (which he believes is controlled by a race of reptilians known as the "Babylonian Brotherhood"), to reportedly tell a Christian Patriot group:

Hughes, a professor of religion, warns that no religious idea has greater potential for shaping global politics in profoundly negative ways than "the new world order". He writes in a February 2011 article entitled Revelation, Revolutions, and the Tyrannical New World Order:

Warning of the threat to American democracy posed by right-wing populist movements led by demagogues who mobilize support for mob rule or even a fascist revolution by exploiting the fear of conspiracies, Berlet writes:

Concerned that the improvisational millennialism of most conspiracy theories about a New World Order might motivate lone wolves to engage in leaderless resistance leading to domestic terrorist incidents like the Oklahoma City bombing,[90] Barkun writes:

Alexander Zaitchik from the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote a report titled "'Patriot' Paranoia: A Look at the Top Ten Conspiracy Theories" condemning such conspiracies are an effort of the radical right to undermine society.

The activities of conspiracy theorists (talk radio shows, books, websites, documentary videos, conferences, etc.) unwittingly draw enormous amounts of energy and effort away from serious criticism and activism directed to real and ongoing crimes of state, and their institutional background. That is why conspiracy-focused movements (JFK, UFO, 9/11 Truth) are treated far more tolerantly by centers of power than is the norm for serious critical and activist work of truly left-wing progressives who are marginalized from mainstream public discourse.[14]

Although some cultural critics see superconspiracy theories about a New World Order as "postmodern metanarratives" that may be politically empowering, a way of giving ordinary people a narrative structure with which to question what they see around them,[88] skeptics argue that conspiracism leads people into cynicism, convoluted thinking, and a tendency to feel it is hopeless even as they denounce the alleged conspirators.[89]

Partridge, a contributing editor to the global affairs magazine Diplomatic Courier, writes in a December 2008 article entitled One World Government: Conspiracy Theory or Inevitable Future?:

Domhoff, a research professor in psychology and sociology who studies theories of power, writes in a March 2005 essay entitled There Are No Conspiracies:

Skeptics of New World Order conspiracy theories accuse its proponents of indulging in the furtive fallacy, a belief that significant facts of history are necessarily sinister; conspiracism, a world view that centrally places conspiracy theories in the unfolding of history, rather than social and economic forces; and fusion paranoia, a promiscuous absorption of fears from any source whatsoever.[6]

Criticisms

[87]

Viewing the history of the world as the history of warfare between secret societies, conspiracy theorists go further than Rothkopf, and other scholars who have studied the global power elite, by claiming that established upper-class families with "old money" who founded and finance the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Club, Club of Rome, Council on Foreign Relations, Rhodes Trust, Skull and Bones, Trilateral Commission, and similar think tanks and private clubs, are illuminated conspirators plotting to impose a totalitarian New World Order—the implementation of an authoritarian world government controlled by the United Nations and a global central bank, which maintains political power through the financialization of the economy, regulation and restriction of speech through the concentration of media ownership, mass surveillance, widespread use of state terrorism, and an all-encompassing propaganda that creates a cult of personality around a puppet world leader and ideologizes world government as the culmination of history's progress.[6]

Although skeptical of New World Order conspiracism, political scientist David Rothkopf argues, in the 2008 book Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, that the world population of 6 billion people is governed by an elite of 6,000 individuals. Until the late 20th century, governments of the great powers provided most of the superclass, accompanied by a few heads of international movements (i.e., the Pope of the Catholic Church) and entrepreneurs (Rothschilds, Rockefellers). According to Rothkopf, in the early 21st century, economic clout—fueled by the explosive expansion of international trade, travel and communication—rules; the nation-state's power has diminished shrinking politicians to minority power broker status; leaders in international business, finance and the defense industry not only dominate the superclass, they move freely into high positions in their nations' governments and back to private life largely beyond the notice of elected legislatures (including the U.S. Congress), which remain abysmally ignorant of affairs beyond their borders. He asserts that the superclass' disproportionate influence over national policy is constructive but always self-interested, and that across the world, few object to corruption and oppressive governments provided they can do business in these countries.[86]

According to Domhoff, many people seem to believe that the United States is ruled from behind the scenes by a conspiratorial elite with secret desires, i.e., by a small secretive group that wants to change the government system or put the country under the control of a world government. In the past the conspirators were usually said to be crypto-communists who were intent upon bringing the United States under a common world government with the Soviet Union, but the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 undercut that theory. Domhoff notes that most conspiracy theorists changed their focus to the United Nations as the likely controlling force in a New World Order, an idea which is undermined by the powerlessness of the U.N. and the unwillingness of even moderates within the American Establishment to give it anything but a limited role.[52]

Alleged conspirators

Skeptics argue that the paranoia behind a conspiracy theorist's obsession with mind control, population control, occultism, surveillance abuse, Big Business, Big Government, and globalization arises from a combination of two factors, when he or she: 1) holds strong individualist values and 2) lacks power. The first attribute refers to people who care deeply about an individual's right to make their own choices and direct their own lives without interference or obligations to a larger system (like the government), but combine this with a sense of powerlessness in one's own life, and one gets what some psychologists call "agency panic," intense anxiety about an apparent loss of autonomy to outside forces or regulators. When fervent individualists feel that they cannot exercise their independence, they experience a crisis and assume that larger forces are to blame for usurping this freedom.[84][85]

Social critics accuse governments, corporations, and the mass media of being involved in the manufacturing of a national consensus and, paradoxically, a culture of fear due to the potential for increased social control that a mistrustful and mutually fearing population might offer to those in power. The worst fear of some conspiracy theorists, however, is that the New World Order will be implemented through the use of mind control—a broad range of tactics able to subvert an individual's control of his or her own thinking, behavior, emotions, or decisions. These tactics are said to include everything from Manchurian candidate-style brainwashing of sleeper agents (Project MKULTRA, "Project Monarch") to engineering psychological operations (water fluoridation, subliminal advertising, "Silent Sound Spread Spectrum", MEDUSA) and parapsychological operations (Stargate Project) to influence the masses.[83] The concept of wearing a tin foil hat for protection from such threats has become a popular stereotype and term of derision; the phrase serves as a byword for paranoia and is associated with conspiracy theorists.

Mind control

Skeptics argue that fears of population control can be traced back to the traumatic legacy of the eugenics movement's "war against the weak" in the United States during the first decades of the 20th century but also the Second Red Scare in the U.S. during the late 1940s and 1950s, and to a lesser extent in the 1960s, when activists on the far right of American politics routinely opposed public health programs, notably water fluoridation, mass vaccination and mental health services, by asserting they were all part of a far-reaching plot to impose a socialist or communist regime.[81] Their views were influenced by opposition to a number of major social and political changes that had happened in recent years: the growth of internationalism, particularly the United Nations and its programs; the introduction of social welfare provisions, particularly the various programs established by the New Deal; and government efforts to reduce inequalities in the social structure of the U.S..[82]

Conspiracy theorists believe that the New World Order will also be implemented through the use of human population control in order to more easily monitor and control the movement of individuals.[6] The means range from stopping the growth of human societies through reproductive health and family planning programs, which promote abstinence, contraception and abortion, or intentionally reducing the bulk of the world population through genocides by mongering unnecessary wars, through plagues by engineering emergent viruses and tainting vaccines, and through environmental disasters by controlling the weather (HAARP, chemtrails), etc. Conspiracy theorists argue that globalists plotting on behalf of a New World Order are neo-Malthusians who engage in overpopulation and climate change alarmism in order to create public support for coercive population control and ultimately world government.

Population control

Skeptics argue that the demonization of Western esotericism by conspiracy theorists is rooted in religious intolerance but also in the same moral panics that have fueled witch trials in the Early Modern period, and satanic ritual abuse allegations in the United States.[6]

For example, in June 1979, an unknown benefactor under the pseudonym "Rorschach test onto which any number of ideas can be imposed. Some New Agers and neo-pagans revere it as a ley-line power nexus while a few conspiracy theorists are convinced that they are engraved with the New World Order's anti-Christian "Ten Commandments." Should the Guidestones survive for centuries as their creators intended, many more meanings could arise, equally unrelated to the designer’s original intention.[80]

Conspiracy theorists of the Christian right, starting with British revisionist historian Nesta Helen Webster, believe there is an ancient occult conspiracy—started by the first mystagogues of Gnosticism and perpetuated by their alleged esoteric successors, such as the Kabbalists, Cathars, Knights Templar, Hermeticists, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, and, ultimately, the Illuminati—which seeks to subvert the Judeo-Christian foundations of the Western world and implement the New World Order through a one-world religion that prepares the masses to embrace the imperial cult of the Antichrist.[6] More broadly, they speculate that globalists who plot on behalf of a New World Order are directed by occult agencies of some sort: unknown superiors, spiritual hierarchies, demons, fallen angels and/or Lucifer. They believe that these conspirators use the power of occult sciences (numerology), symbols (Eye of Providence), rituals (Masonic degrees), monuments (National Mall landmarks), buildings (Manitoba Legislative Building[79]) and facilities (Denver International Airport) to advance their plot to rule the world.[6]

Occultism

American historian Richard Landes, who specializes in the history of apocalypticism and was co-founder and director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University, argues that new and emerging technologies often trigger alarmism among millenarians and even the introduction of Gutenberg's printing press in 1436 caused waves of apocalyptic thinking. The Year 2000 problem, bar codes and Social Security numbers all triggered end-time warnings which either proved to be false or simply were no longer taken seriously once the public became accustomed to these technological changes.[77] Civil libertarians argue that the privatization of surveillance and the rise of the surveillance-industrial complex in the United States does raise legitimate concerns about the erosion of privacy.[78] However, skeptics of mass surveillance conspiracism caution that such concerns should be disentangled from secular paranoia about Big Brother or religious hysteria about the Antichrist.[6]

In January 2002, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying information technology to counter asymmetric threats to national security. Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by the United States Congress in 2003.[73] The second source of controversy involved IAO’s original logo, which depicted the "all-seeing" Eye of Providence atop of a pyramid looking down over the globe, accompanied by the Latin phrase scientia est potentia (knowledge is power). Although DARPA eventually removed the logo from its website, it left a lasting impression on privacy advocates.[74] It also inflamed conspiracy theorists,[75] who misinterpret the "eye and pyramid" as the Masonic symbol of the Illuminati,[32][76] an 18th-century secret society they speculate continues to exist and is plotting on behalf of a New World Order.[36][37]

Claiming that corporations and government are planning to track every move of consumers and citizens with RFID as the latest step toward a 1984-like surveillance state, consumer privacy advocates, such as Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre,[72] have become Christian conspiracy theorists who believe spychips must be resisted because they argue that modern database and communications technologies, coupled with point of sale data-capture equipment and sophisticated ID and authentication systems, now make it possible to require a biometrically associated number or mark to make purchases. They fear that the ability to implement such a system closely resembles the Number of the Beast prophesied in the Book of Revelation.[6]

Conspiracy theorists concerned with surveillance abuse believe that the New World Order is being implemented by the cult of intelligence at the core of the surveillance-industrial complex through mass surveillance and the use of Social Security numbers, the bar-coding of retail goods with Universal Product Code markings, and, most recently, RFID tagging by microchip implants.[6]

Mass surveillance

Skeptics argue that unfounded fears about an imminent or eventual gun ban, military coup, internment, or U.N. invasion and occupation are rooted in the siege mentality of the American militia movement but also an apocalyptic millenarianism which provides a basic narrative within the political right in the U.S., claiming that the idealized society (i.e., constitutional republic, Jeffersonian democracy, "Christian nation", "white nation") is thwarted by subversive conspiracies of liberal secular humanists who want "Big Government" and globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order.[14]

Before year 2000 some survivalists wrongly believed this process would be set in motion by the predicted Y2K problem causing societal collapse.[70] Since many left-wing and right-wing conspiracy theorists believe that the September 11 attacks were a false flag operation carried out by the United States intelligence community, as part of a strategy of tension to justify political repression at home and preemptive war abroad, they have become convinced that a more catastrophic terrorist incident will be responsible for triggering Executive Directive 51 in order to complete the transition to a police state.[71]

These conspiracy theorists, who are all strong believers in a right to keep and bear arms, are extremely fearful that the passing of any gun control legislation will be later followed by the abolishment of personal gun ownership and a campaign of gun confiscation, and that the refugee camps of emergency management agencies such as F.E.M.A. will be used for the internment of suspected subversives, making little effort to distinguish true threats to the New World Order from pacifist dissidents.[20]

American right-wing populist conspiracy theorists, especially those who joined the militia movement in the United States, speculate that the New World Order will be implemented through a dramatic coup d'état by a "secret team", using black helicopters, in the U.S. and other nation-states to bring about a totalitarian world government controlled by the United Nations and enforced by troops of foreign U.N. peacekeepers. Following the Rex 84 and Operation Garden Plot plans, this military coup would involve the suspension of the Constitution, the imposition of martial law, and the appointment of military commanders to head state and local governments and to detain dissidents.[69]

Coup d'état

Judging that both national governments and global institutions have proven ineffective in addressing worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve, some political scientists critical of New World Order conspiracism, such as Mark C. Partridge, argue that G-20 will likely become more influential as time progresses. The question then is not whether global governance is gradually emerging, but rather how will these regional powers interact with one another.[68]

For example, in March 2009, as a result of the late-2000s financial crisis, the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation pressed for urgent consideration of a new international reserve currency and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development proposed greatly expanding the I.M.F.'s special drawing rights. Conspiracy theorists fear these proposals are a call for the U.S. to adopt a single global currency for a New World Order.[66][67]

Skeptics argue that the North American Union exists only as a proposal contained in one of a thousand academic and/or policy papers published each year that advocate all manner of idealistic but ultimately unrealistic approaches to social, economic and political problems. Most of these are passed around in their own circles and eventually filed away and forgotten by junior staffers in congressional offices. Some of these papers, however, become touchstones for the conspiracy-minded and form the basis of all kinds of unfounded xenophobic fears especially during times of economic anxiety.[65]

An increasingly popular conspiracy theory among American right-wing populists is that the hypothetical North American Union and the amero currency, proposed by the Council on Foreign Relations and its counterparts in Mexico and Canada, will be the next milestone in the implementation of the New World Order. The theory holds that a group of shadowy and mostly nameless international elites are planning to replace the federal government of the United States with a transnational government. Therefore, conspiracy theorists believe the borders between Mexico, Canada and the United States are in the process of being erased, covertly, by a group of globalists whose ultimate goal is to replace national governments in Washington, D.C., Ottawa and Mexico City with a European-style political union and a bloated E.U.-style bureaucracy.[65]

Conspiracy theorists generally speculate that the New World Order is being implemented African Union in 2002; and the Union of South American Nations in 2008 as major milestones.[6]

Gradualism

Just as there are several overlapping or conflicting theories among conspiracists about the nature of the New World Order, so are there several beliefs about how its architects and planners will implement it:

Postulated implementations

Democratic transhumanists, such as American sociologist James Hughes, counter that many influential members of the United States Establishment are bioconservatives strongly opposed to human enhancement, as demonstrated by President Bush's Council on Bioethics's proposed international treaty prohibiting human cloning and germline engineering. Furthermore, he argues that conspiracy theorists underestimate how fringe the transhumanist movement really is.[64]

Antiscience and neo-Luddite conspiracy theorists emphasize technology forecasting in their New World Order conspiracy theories. They speculate that the global power elite are reactionary modernists pursuing a transhumanist agenda to develop and use human enhancement technologies in order to become a "posthuman ruling caste", while change accelerates toward a technological singularity—a theorized future point of discontinuity when events will accelerate at such a pace that normal unenhanced humans will be unable to predict or even understand the rapid changes occurring in the world around them. Conspiracy theorists fear the outcome will either be the emergence of a Brave New World-like dystopia—a "Brave New World Order"—or the extinction of the human species.[63]

Brave New World

Skeptics, who adhere to the psychosocial hypothesis for unidentified flying objects, argue that the convergence of New World Order conspiracy theory and UFO conspiracy theory is a product of not only the era's widespread mistrust of governments and the popularity of the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFOs but of the far right and ufologists actually joining forces. Barkun notes that the only positive side to this development is that, if conspirators plotting to rule the world are believed to be aliens, traditional human scapegoats (Freemasons, Illuminati, Jews, etc.) are downgraded or exonerated.[6]

The common theme in these conspiracy theories is that aliens have been among us for decades, centuries or millennia, but a government cover-up enforced by "Men in Black" has shielded the public from knowledge of a secret alien invasion. Motivated by speciesism and imperialism, these aliens have been and are secretly manipulating developments and changes in human society in order to more efficiently control and exploit human beings. In some theories, alien infiltrators have shapeshifted into human form and move freely throughout human society, even to the point of taking control of command positions in governmental, corporate, and religious institutions, and are now in the final stages of their plan to take over the world.[62] A mythical covert government agency of the United States code-named Majestic 12 is often imagined being the shadow government which collaborates with the alien occupation and permits alien abductions, in exchange for assistance in the development and testing of military "flying saucers" at Area 51, in order for United States armed forces to achieve full-spectrum dominance.[6]

Since the late 1970s, extraterrestrials from other habitable planets or parallel dimensions (such as "Greys") and intraterrestrials from Hollow Earth (such as "Reptilians") have been included in the New World Order conspiracy, in more or less dominant roles, as in the theories put forward by American writers Stan Deyo and Milton William Cooper, and British writer David Icke.[6][61][62]

Alien invasion

Skeptics argue that conspiracy theorists grossly overestimate the influence of ex-Nazis and neo-Nazis on American society, and point out that political repression at home and imperialism abroad have a long history in the United States that predates the 20th century. Some political scientists, such as Sheldon Wolin, have expressed concern that the twin forces of democratic deficit and superpower status have paved the way in the U.S. for the emergence of an inverted totalitarianism which contradicts many principles of Nazism.[60]

This neo-Nazi conspiracy is said to be animated by an "Iron Dream" in which the American Empire, having thwarted the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy and overthrown its Zionist Occupation Government, gradually establishes a Fourth Reich formerly known as the "Western Imperium"—a pan-Aryan world empire modeled after Adolf Hitler's New Order—which reverses the "decline of the West" and ushers a golden age of white supremacy.[59]

Conspiracy theorists, such as American writer ODESSA and Die Spinne, have been working behind the scenes since the end of World War II to enact at least some principles of Nazism (e.g., militarism, imperialism, widespread spying on citizens, corporatism, the use of propaganda to manufacture a national consensus) into culture, government, and business worldwide, but primarily in the U.S. They cite the influence of ex-Nazi scientists brought in under Operation Paperclip to help advance aerospace manufacturing in the U.S. with technological principles from Nazi UFOs, and the acquisition and creation of conglomerates by ex-Nazis and their sympathizers after the war, in both Europe and the U.S.[58]

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. However, some conspiracy theorists use the research findings of American journalist Edwin Black, author of the 2009 book Nazi Nexus, to claim that some American corporations and philanthropic foundations—whose complicity was pivotal to the Third Reich's war effort, Nazi eugenics and the Holocaust—are now conspiring to build a Fourth Reich.

Fourth Reich

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.[6]

Paradoxically, since the 2000s (decade), 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.[6] 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.

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.[56] 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.[57]

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.[55]

New Age

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.[54]

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.[53] Wells warned, however, in his 1940 book The New World Order that:

The Open Conspiracy

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;[51] while others, such as G. William Domhoff, argue that it is in fact a mere policy discussion forum,[52] which provides the business input to U.S. foreign policy planning. The latter argue that it 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; and as far as being secretive, it issues annual reports and allows access to its historical archives. However, all these critics agree that historical studies of the council show that it has a very different role in the overall power structure than what is claimed by conspiracy theorists.[52]

In a 13 November 2007 interview with Canadian journalist Benjamin Fulford, Rockefeller countered:

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 his 2002 autobiography Memoirs, Rockefeller wrote:

Allen's 1976 book The Rockefeller File, wherein he stated:

The research findings of historian 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.[47]

In the 1960s, 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.[47]

The United States, Europe and Japan. The Trilateral Commission is widely seen as a counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Milner and British official 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.[45] 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.

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.[43]

In 1902, "The New York Times noted that following his 1877 will, Rhodes in 1890 put forth the same ideas, and set forth the goal that his secret society should work towards "gradually absorbing the wealth of the world".[44]

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:

Round Table

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.[8]

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.[6] 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 Merovingian Great 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.[40] Although the Priory of Sion itself has been exhaustively debunked by journalists and scholars as a hoax,[41] some apocalyptic millenarian Christian 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.[42]

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-revolutionary propaganda 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.[39]

Cover of a 1920 copy of The Jewish Peril

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.[38] 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.[14]

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

There is no evidence that the Bavarian Illuminati survived its suppression in 1785.[37]

[6] During the

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.[37]

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.[36]

Illuminati

Although the secularist causes, as exemplified by the Grand Orient of France, Masonic researcher Trevor W. McKeown argues:

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.[31] Furthermore, there is no published information establishing the Masonic membership of the men responsible for the design of the Great Seal.[31][32] 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,[33] 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.[34] 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",[1] 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".[2]

A Masonic Lodge room

Some conspiracy theorists eventually speculated that some 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.[6]

The esoteric nature of Masonic symbolism and rites led to Freemasons first being accused of secretly practising Satanism in the late 18th century.[14] 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.[14] 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.[30]

[14]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.