Secret societies, the unseen hands that steer national and international affairs from the shadows, go back to the dawn of Western civilization. The individual most famously linked to these occult forces is Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830), a Jesuit-trained philosopher and lay professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt in southern Germany.
On 1 May 1776, Weishaupt founded a secret society called the ‘Perfectilibists’ (which soon became known as the ‘Order of the Illuminati’). The Illuminati recruited over 2,000 influential followers but apparently lasted only until March 1785 when the Bavarian Government uncovered the conspiracy, exiled Weishaupt, and outlawed the Order.
Some investigators suggest that rather than being wound up in 1785, the Illuminati (‘enlightened ones’) continued in existence to the present day. For the past 200 years, controversy persisted over its role in influencing global affairs.
In 1798 John Robison, professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, published Proofs of Conspiracy, a book alleging an Illuminati/Freemasonry plot to conspire against all religions, kings, and governments of Europe.1
According to Robison, the Illuminati had been instrumental in fomenting the worst excesses of the French Revolution. That same year the Jesuit Abbé Augustin de Barruel published Memoires pour Servir a l’Histoire de Jacobinisme which supported Robison’s thesis.2
A century and a half later, Nesta Webster and William Guy Carr revived conspiracy theories about the Illuminati.
Nesta Webster (1876-1960), who was linked to the British Union of Fascists, wrote that rather than being banished, the Illuminati remained active and within a few years had “multiplied its hotbeds all through the south of Germany, and as a consequence in Saxony, in Prussia, in Sweden, and even in Russia.”3
William Guy Carr, an English-born Canadian naval officer, and lay Christian preacher, supported this thesis, maintaining that Weishaupt had been retained by moneylenders, including the House of Rothschild. Carr claimed there was an evil force at the forefront of an international conspiracy to destroy religious institutions and national governments in order to bring about a “Satanic One World Government.”4
According to Carr, the conspirators used a variety of methods to help them accomplish their aims, including:
1) Monetary and sex bribes to obtain control of individuals already occupying important positions. Such recruits are then held in bondage through blackmail, threats of financial ruin, public exposure or physical harm or death of their loved ones.
2) Illuminati in colleges and universities recruit students possessing exceptional mental ability.
3) Individuals trapped into Illuminati control are placed behind the scenes of all governments as ‘experts’ and ‘specialists’ who advise the adoption of policies that serve the secret plans for a one-world government.
4) Control of the press and all other agencies which distribute information to the public.5
However, Illuminati researcher Dr. Tony Page says that Webster and Carr totally misrepresented the situation and were anti-Semites indulging in madcap conspiracy theory.
Page translated Weishaupt documents from the original German and presents him as a much-maligned moral and virtuous man whose intentions were “assuredly high minded and benign.” A man who “strove for far nobler and morally exalted goals than are properly ascribed to him.
In fact, his intention (naive perhaps) but in my view, sincere, was to promote and disseminate human virtue, equality and freedom, and the happiness and dignity that flow from them.”6
Today, some see the Illuminati “as a major factor and influence in international power politics, allegedly fomenting wars, civil disorder, and revolutions in their attempt to establish a one-world government.”7 It appears the jury is still out on whether the Illuminati is an ongoing occult force.
What we can say is that in our own intensive research over the past 10 years on the true origins of the First World War, we found no direct connection whatsoever to Weishaupt’s creation.
The secret society that we identify as responsible for the war employed similar tactics but was a very different, very English creation. Furthermore, it remained concealed until exposed by the late Professor Carroll Quigley in the latter half of the 20th century.
Quigley (1910-1977) was a highly esteemed American historian who moved in Establishment circles, lectured at top universities, including Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown, and was a trusted consultant to both the US Department of Defense and US Navy.
He studied this secret network for 20 years and was permitted to examine its records. In 21st century parlance, Carroll Quigley was the whistle-blower par excellence.
THE QUIGLEY ENIGMA
Professor Quigley wrote that the Rhodes secret society, or the ‘Milner Group’ as he called it after Cecil Rhodes’s death, was “one of the most important historical facts of the twentieth century” and of such significance that “evidence of its existence is not hard to find if one knows where to look.”8
The ‘Milner Group’ exposed by Quigley is now widely recognized and variably named by others as the ‘Hidden Power’, the ‘Money Power’, the ‘Deep State, or ‘the men behind the curtain’. All these labels are pertinent, but we call them, collectively, the Secret Elite.
Without Quigley’s revelations, the lid on this secret society would still be closed today. By opening Pandora’s Box and revealing some of the evils therein, he enabled others to see the truth.
His work exposing this powerful group has been enhanced and developed through years of careful research by other investigators into an explanation of how control of the civilized world has steadily been acquired through wars, economic manipulation, and political chicanery by generations of privilege and money.
Our own work, including the book Hidden History: The Secret Origins of The First World War, closely examines the men involved and reveals their nefarious global influence was greater even than Quigley believed.
We garnered solid evidence that its members were directly responsible for taking the world to war in 1914 and deliberately prolonged the terrible carnage for over four long years while making massive fortunes from it.
The immensely rich and powerful Secret Elite controlled the British and US governments from behind the scenes, then as now, and much of the global mayhem over the last century arose at their instigation.
While Professor Quigley did mankind a great service, he remains an enigma. He exposed this ruthless, anti-democratic, totalitarian organization and anguished over their determined attempts to suppress his writings, yet back-tracked on some of his original findings as if in fear of his life.
He also side-stepped a number of key issues and failed to discuss the Secret Elite’s role in the genesis of the 1914-18 war, or their audacious coup d’etat in 1916 whereby they literally took over the British government.
Rather bizarrely, Quigley stated that he agreed with their goals and aims.9 He did, however, disagree with their methods.
Their tendency to place power and influence into hands chosen by friendship rather than merit, their oblivion to the consequences of their actions, their ignorance of the point of view of persons in other countries or of persons in other classes in their own country – these things, it seems to me, have brought many of the things which they and I hold dear close to disaster.
In this Group were persons… who must command the admiration and affection of all who knew them. On the other hand, in this Group were persons whose lives have been a disaster to our way of life.
Unfortunately, in the long run, both in the Group and in the world, the influence of the latter kind has been stronger than the influence of the former.… I feel that the truth has a right to be told, and, once told, can be an injury to no men of good will.10
There is something deeply puzzling about Quigley’s assertion that while their methods brought much of what he held dear “close to disaster,” he agreed with their goals and aims for global control. These powerful men intended to replace democratically elected governments, arguing that their rule would be the rule of the best, whether or not the people wanted it.
A few researchers raise the possibility that Quigley was at some stage an actual member of the secret society, but failed to admit it. We believe it is far more likely his strange statements of support were down to self-preservation.
In his major works – Tragedy and Hope and The Anglo-American Establishment – he narrated a history peopled by men who successfully concealed their power and influence, their connivance, and common purpose. These individuals (and their descendants and agents ever since) conspired in secret towards the establishment of a world government that ultimately they, and they alone, would control.
It is worth noting that Quigley’s histories have themselves been subject to suppression. Tragedy and Hope were removed from bookstore shelves by unknown persons and withdrawn from sale shortly after its release. His publisher, the Macmillan Company, destroyed the book’s original plates and lied to him for the next six years.11
Quigley believed that powerful people suppressed the book because it exposed matters they did not want to be known. In this instance, unlike his exposure to the British Establishment, he did not name his tormentors.
IN THE BEGINNING
The opening passage of Quigley’s The Anglo-American Establishment may read like a John le Carré thriller, but it is no spy fiction:
One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole.
The staunch British imperialists who met that day – Cecil Rhodes, William Stead and Lord Esher – were well-known public figures but it should be noted from the outset that each was linked to infinitely greater wealth and influence. They were joined weeks later by Lord Alfred Milner and Lord Nathaniel Rothschild, the international merchant banker and richest man in the world.
He was inducted together with Lords Salisbury and Rosebery, whose families had for generations controlled the Conservative and Liberal parties in Britain and ruled the country as their personal fiefdom. Rothschild provided the financial clout while Salisbury and Rosebery provided the long-standing patronage and political networks.12
Cecil Rhodes, in association with Rothschild, had made his fortune in the gold and diamond mines of South Africa. Stead was the most prominent English journalist of the day and a moral crusader of great standing.
Esher represented the interests of the monarchy from Queen Victoria’s final years, through the exuberant excesses of King Edward VII, to the more sedate but pliable King George V. It was through Esher that the monarch was kept fully appraised of Secret Elite business.13
Alfred Milner, a contemporary of Rhodes at Oxford University, was a self-made man of ability and ideas who began his working life as an aspiring lawyer, turned to journalism, led the political agitation against the Boer separatists in South Africa, and eventually emerged as an immensely powerful and successful power-broker.
Milner was the master manipulator, the iron-willed assertive intellectual who offered that one essential factor: strong leadership. On Cecil Rhodes’s death in 1902, he became the undisputed leader of the world’s most powerful and far-reaching secret society. These were the founding fathers of what we recognize today as the ‘New World Order movement.
They met at private townhouses and magnificent stately homes. These might be lavish weekend affairs or dinners in private clubs which provided suitable London bases for their intrigues. The heady mix of international finance, political manipulation, and the control of government policy was at the heart of this small clique that set out to dominate the world.
They drew up their plan for a secret society that would take political control in Britain and, later by extension, the United States of America. They renewed the Anglo-Saxon bond between the two countries – the ‘special relationship’ – expanding their power base to bring Anglophile Americans into the secret brotherhood; men who would go on to dominate the world through financial institutions, global corporations, and dependent governments.
Wars, revolutions, and other major events of the last 100 years are directly attributable to these individuals. The Boer War and the destruction of Germany in 1914-18 were merely the first steps in their long-term strategy.
The secret society comprised concentric circles with an inner core of trusted associates known as “The Society of the Elect” who unquestionably knew that they were members of an exclusive cabal devoted to taking and holding power worldwide.
A second circle “The Association of Helpers” was larger and quite fluid in its membership. A third outer ring comprised members who may or may not have been aware they were either an integral part of or inadvertently being used by, a secret society, though “it is more likely they knew it.”14
The overlapping rings are themselves concealed, hidden behind formally organized groups of no obvious political significance. As Quigley put it, the group was able to “conceal its existence quite successfully, and many of its influential members, satisfied to possess the reality of power rather than the appearance of power, are unknown even to close students of British history.”15
In the early 20th century its tentacles spread throughout the British Empire to America, Russia, France, the Balkans, and South Africa. Their targets were agents in the highest offices of foreign governments who were bought and nurtured for future use.
What’s more, they had the power to control history, to turn history from enlightenment to deception. The Secret Elite dictated the writing and teaching of history from the ivory towers of academia down to the smallest of schools. They carefully controlled the publication of official government papers, the selection of documents for inclusion in the official version of history, and refused access to any evidence that might betray their covert existence.
Incriminating documents were burned, removed from official records, shredded, falsified, or deliberately rewritten so that what remains for genuine researchers and historians is carefully selected material. Their ambitions overrode humanity and the consequences of their actions have been minimized, ignored, or denied.
SPREADING THEIR TENTACLES
One of the problems facing anyone who turns to Quigley’s seminal The Anglo American Establishment is that it makes for a difficult read. Like several of the early chapters of the Christian Bible, his inter-connecting lists name many from the aristocracy, big business, high finance, politics, and the press. Some were linked by matrimonial alliances while others were by their gratitude for titles and positions of power.20 He devotes an entire chapter revealing how the Secret Elite controlled The Times (then Britain’s most influential newspaper) for more than 50 years with the exception of the period 1919-1922.21
A list of Oxford graduates, especially those given fellowships at All Souls College, included Milner’s heir apparent, Lionel Curtis, and numerous others who later gained positions of great significance and power.
Indeed, they all did, every single name listed by Quigley. Oxford gave the Secret Elite access to influential professorships, some of which they created and funded themselves, such as the Beit Chair of Colonial History, established in 1905.
It remains a serious concern that Carroll Quigley was absolutely correct when pointing an accusing finger at those who monopolized “so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.”22
There is no ambivalence in his accusation. The Secret Elite controlled the writing and teaching of history through numerous avenues including the press, but none more effectively than at Oxford University where they held huge influence over Balliol, New College, and All Souls, and largely dominated the intellectual life of Oxford in the field of history.23 They ensured we learn only those ‘facts’ that support their version of history.
The influence was so powerful that they controlled the Dictionary of National Biography, meaning the Secret Elite wrote the biographies of its own members. They created their own official history of key members for public consumption, striking out any incriminating evidence and portraying the best public-spirited image that could be safely manufactured. Has anything changed?
Oxford University was also the Secret Elite base for the Rhodes Scholarships, funded by the legacy left by Cecil Rhodes when he died in 1902. Rhodes’s wish was to create a “worldwide” secret group devoted to English ideals and to the Empire as the embodiment of these ideals,24 and the scholarships brought that international dimension to the society.
They “were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which members of the secret society could carry out his purpose.” Professor Quigley leaves us in no doubt that the secret society is the real power behind the scholarships.25
From its inception, Rhodes Scholarships favored American students, with 100 places allocated, two for each of the 50 states and territories, whereas only 60 were made available for the entire British Empire and, strangely, several from Germany. The ‘best talents’ from the ‘best families’ were to be nurtured at Oxford University and imbued with an appreciation of ‘Englishness’ and the importance of the “retention of the unity of the Empire.”
In The Anglo-American Establishment, Quigley concluded that the secret cabal advanced its power base through a triple-front penetration in politics, the press, and education.26 We would go further, and can but wonder why he omitted banking and the military-industrial complex from his analysis. Politicians will always be easy targets.
Ambition, greed, and sexual proclivity can be nurtured and harnessed. Sometimes men of real stature come to the fore and bring strong leadership to the cause.
In the early years, Alfred Milner assumed that mantle. Fired by a zeal forged by Ruskin at Oxford, he was consumed by the need to establish the primacy of upper-class Englishness at the pinnacle of world power. He believed in the need to bring the British Empire and the American ideal together to sweep aside any rival for world domination.
Milner went to South Africa in 1897 to save it from falling to the Boers. He deliberately started the Boer War and saved the diamond and gold mines for fellow Secret Elites Rhodes, Rothschild, Beit, and Bailey. He was idolized by Cecil Rhodes who placed his legacy in Milner’s safekeeping, and he was rewarded by the King with a knighthood and then a Viscountcy.
Critically, in South Africa between 1897 and 1905, he built a personal following of young carefully chosen civil servants who loyally followed his every decision behind the scenes in British and world politics. Lord Alfred Milner was arguably the most important man living in the first decades of the 20th century, yet his name remains virtually unknown outside academic and political circles. Why?
To demonstrate the privileged path that the Secret Elite created in their quest to establish a ‘New World Order’, we have chosen to follow the trail that began with Alfred Milner, the undisputed leader for 23 years following Rhodes’s death in 1902.
Critically, his most important achievement in South Africa was the creation of a network of extremely able acolytes to whom he entrusted the future direction of his cause: the domination of the world by the Anglo-Saxon race. His secretariat in South Africa comprised young men of “breeding, ability and conviction” from Oxford University, All Souls College in particular.
Dubbed “Milner’s Kindergarten,” they absorbed his commitment to Ruskin’s philosophy, his disdain for career politicians, and his concern that democracy, as it had developed in the Western world, was corrupt and untrustworthy. It was akin to “a religious brotherhood like the Jesuits, a church for the extension of the British Empire.”27
From 1909 Milner began expanding the Kindergarten into a highly secretive organization called the “Round Table,” with branches in South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and, crucially, the United States. (It is not to be confused with a benign charitable organization of the same name.)
The grand Arthurian title suggested equality of rank and importance, nobility of purpose, and fairness in debate, but was nothing of the kind.
Milner, and most of the Group, held democracy in contempt, and far inferior to rule by those who had an “intellectual capacity for judging the public interest” and “some moral capacity for treating it as paramount to their own.”28
Wealth, of course, also counted, and “the key to all economics and prosperity was considered to rest with banking and finance”29 which the Secret Elite controlled. Alfred Milner acted as both elder statesman and father figure to the Round Table with his role described as “President of an Intellectual Republic.”
The Round Table groups across the world kept in touch through regular correspondence and a quarterly journal called The Round Table that was controlled by the Secret Elite.
They saw Britain as the defender of all that was fine or civilized in the modern world. Her “civilizing mission” was to be carried out by force if necessary, for the “function of force is to give moral ideas time to take root.”
Asians, for example, would be compelled to accept “civilization” on the grounds they would be better off under British rule than that of fellow Asians.
“To be sure, the blessings to be extended to the less fortunate peoples of the world did not include democracy.” They would simply be educated up to a level where they could appreciate and cherish “British ideals.”30 The ‘White Man’s Burden’ is indeed great.
Milner, his Round Table, and the Secret Elite generally saw the new Germany with its economic, industrial, and commercial strength as a great threat to their global ambitions.
In The Round Table journal of August 1911, Lord Lothian, a member of the Secret Elite’s inner core, wrote: “There are at present two codes of international morality – the British or Anglo-Saxon and the continental or German. Both cannot prevail.”31
Alliances with France and Russia were created for the specific task of destroying Germany through a prolonged war.32 These men had no fear of war, though they rarely put themselves in the direct firing line.
EXPANDING THE ANGLO-AMERICAN PRIMACY
Cecil Rhodes had long dreamed of Anglo-American unity, and in 1891 actually discussed the possibility of achieving it by Britain’s joining the United States.33 On his death, the Secret Elite developed an even greater appreciation of America’s vast potential and the need for closer union.
They adjusted the original concept of British race supremacy to Anglo-Saxon supremacy so that Rhodes’s dream had only to be slightly modified. They created a common ideology and world outlook among the peoples of the United Kingdom and the United States, and the instruments and practices of cooperation in order to pursue parallel policies.34
Alfred Milner believed these goals should be pursued by a secret political and economic elite influencing “journalistic, educational and propaganda agencies” behind the scenes. The flow of money into the United States during the 19th century advanced industrial development to the immense benefit of the millionaires it created: Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, Vanderbilt, and their associates. The Rothschilds represented British interests, either directly through front companies or indirectly through agencies they controlled.
Small groups of massively rich individuals on both sides of the Atlantic knew one another well, and the Secret Elite in London initiated the very select and secretive dining club, the Pilgrims, that brought them together on a regular basis. On 11 July 1902, an inaugural meeting was held at the Carlton Hotel of what became known as the London Chapter of the Pilgrims Society. It was to have a select membership limited by individual scrutiny to 500.
Ostensibly, The Pilgrims was created to “promote goodwill, good friendship and everlasting peace” between Britain and the United States, but its highly secretive and exclusive membership leaves little doubt as to its real purpose.35
Seven months later the American chapter was formally created on similarly exclusive lines. This was the pool of wealth and talent that the Secret Elite drew together to promote its agenda in the years preceding the First World War.
Behind an image of the Pilgrim Fathers, the persecuted pioneers of Christian values, this elite cabal advocated the idea that “Englishmen and Americans would promote international friendship through their pilgrimages to and fro across the Atlantic.”
It presented itself as a spontaneous movement to promote democracy across the world, and most of the membership probably believed that. But the Pilgrims included a select collective of the wealthiest figures in both Britain and the United States who were deeply involved with the Secret Elite. They shared Rhodes’s dream and wanted to be a party to it.36
In Britain, at least 18 members of the Secret Elite, including Lords Rothschild, Curzon, Northcliffe and Esher, and Sir Edward Grey and Arthur Balfour, attended Pilgrims dinners, though the regularity of their attendance is difficult to establish. Such is the perennial problem with secret groups. We know something about the guests invited to dinner but not what was discussed between courses.
In New York, members included both the Rockefeller and Morgan dynasties, and many men in senior government posts. The power elite in America was New York-centered, carried great influence in domestic and international politics, and was heavily indulgent of Yale, Harvard, and Princeton universities.
Within a short period of time, they created an American version of what Carroll Quigley termed the triple-front penetration of politics, the press, and education. The Pilgrims Society brought together American money and British aristocracy, royalty, presidents, and diplomatic representatives. It was indeed a special relationship.37
Because closer ties with the United States were considered of such crucial importance, a Round Table group was also established in New York to further develop links between Westminster and Washington, and high finance in the City of London and Wall Street.
It was supported by Rockefeller and Morgan, managed in secret, hidden from the electorate and the politicians, and normally its meetings went unreported in the press. Members aimed to gain political influence and set the political agenda in the US, but they were rarely willing to speak out in public.
All was to be carried out in secret.38 How dangerous are those who believe they have the capacity to think and plan for the world’s good, impervious to the will of the people, and disdainful of democracy itself?
The first American to be directly associated with the Round Table was George Louis Beer, an outspoken Anglophile academic and writer who contributed reports and articles to their magazine for many years. Beer called Alfred Milner “the intellectual leader of the most progressive school of imperial thought throughout Europe,” and was one of the chief supporters of America’s intervention in the First World War. His link to the Secret Elite opened many associated doors and Beer became the recognized expert on colonial questions at the Paris Peace Conference in 1918-19.
In the manner which typifies how these powerful men write their own histories, Beer and his Secret Elite compatriot, Lord Eustace Percy, later drew up the outline plan for the History of the Peace Conference.
In other words, the Secret Elite made sure that the record for future generations was one they dictated. They supported Beer’s appointment to the head of the Mandate Group of the League of Nations and he was one of the creators of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London (Chatham House), its American branch, The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and sister organization the Institute of Pacific Relations.39 Lest there be any doubt, these were all Secret Elite creations.
Milner’s Kindergarten had been expanded into the Round Table and that, in turn, had been expanded into the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, the CFR in New York, and other Institutes across the globe.
The dominant role of the CFR in controlling American policy and politics cannot be overstated because almost all of America’s leadership has stemmed from this elite group.
That includes US presidents and their advisors, cabinet members, ambassadors, members of the board of the Federal Reserve, directors of the largest banks and financial houses, presidents of universities, and heads of metropolitan newspapers, news services, and television networks.
“It is not an exaggeration to describe this group as the hidden government of the United States.”40
It is no less than a carbon copy of how the Secret Elite took control of Britain in the 20th century. These organizations were direct extensions of the Round Table Groups and have helped drive the Secret Elite agenda through the 20th century and beyond.
Carroll Quigley was the trailblazer in unmasking the Secret Elite, and it is plain to see they still dominate the British and American governments among others; still control banking and finance, politics, the press, the military-industrial complex, the universities, and the key offices of state.
Wherever you live, ask yourself this, “is it happening here?” The grotesque plan set in motion by Rhodes and Milner at the end of the 19th century rolls on. Can it be stopped from reaching its ultimate destination – a totalitarian, elite-controlled one-world government?
The challenge is to reach beyond what Gore Vidal described as a conditioned response to the word ‘conspiracy’ where people react with a smirk and a chuckle; where historical analysis and contemporary evidence that demonstrates the power these people wield is dismissed as the product of ‘nuts and loners’ or fringe extremists.41
If we give up trying to educate the doubters, give up telling it as it really is, we the people are doomed to an Orwellian nightmare.
By Jim MacGregor & Gerry Docherty, NewDawnMagazine.com
Readers are encouraged to obtain a copy of the authors’ book Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and visit the authors’ blog at FirstWorldWarHiddenHistory. Hidden History is available from all good bookstores and online retailers.