New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry
Project: Against Grand Conspiracy Ideology
Links to other sites
Resources for debunking grand conspiracy claims, and for documenting their political significance
- Grand conspiracy ideology here in the U.S.A.
- The growing popularity of grand conspiracy ideology
- Grand conspiracy ideology and the religious right wing
- Grand conspiracy ideology and other right wing movements
- The spread of grand conspiracy ideology into other social milieux
- Evangelical Christians who reject grand conspiracy ideology
- Grand conspiracy ideology outside the U.S.A.
- Web resources on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
- Grand conspiracy ideology and the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare
- Web resources on the Bavarian Illuminati
- Web resources on anti-Masonry and its overlap with anti-Jewish claims
- Web resources on the Federal Reserve System
- Examples of non-"conspiracist" critique of the U.S. power structure
- Miscellaneous debunking resources
- More resources needed
- Notes on the term "anti-semitism" and on the Arab-Israeli conflict
Grand conspiracy ideology here in the U.S.A.
The growing popularity of grand conspiracy ideology
- Jesse Ventura Takes the Soaring Interest in Conspiracy Theory to TV -- And Viewers Are Flocking to It by Daniela Perdomo, AlterNet, January 30, 2010.
- In a zombie nation, 'secret' history sells by Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tuesday, October 06, 2009. Includes mention of (1) Fox News host Glenn Beck's speculation about the "true meaning" of the architecture of New York's Rockefeller Center and (2) the popularity of books about the Freemasons, the Illuminati, and America's "occult" origins at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.
- Glenn Beck makes nice with the John Birch Society by Alex Koppelman, Salon.com, Thursday, Jul 26, 2007. (And here is an example of Glenn Beck promoting fear of a "one world government": Transcript of his show on November 18, 2009.)
- Conspiracy theories propel AM radio show into Top 10 by Delfin Vigil, San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, November 12, 2006.
- Who Is Irma Plavatsky? Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, and the Internationalization of Popular Culture from the Dime Novel to The Da Vinci Code by Massimo Introvigne, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), 2006. Introvigne has also written Dan Brown and the London Court Case: After Many Bogus Conspiracies, A Real One Finally Surfaces and Dan Brown Wins the London Case - where Judge Confirms that the Priory of Sion is a Hoax, about the legal dispute between Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, and Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, co-authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (1982).
Grand conspiracy ideology and the religious right wing
- Articles by political analyist Chip Berlet:
- Dances with Devils How Apocalyptic and Millennialist Themes Influence Right Wing Scapegoating and Conspiracism. Detailed multi-page article with lots of information about the religious right wing. (Link leads to table of contents.)
- Hagee's Antisemitic Conspiracy theories. Briefly discusses Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye, as well as John Hagee, as part of a brief history of grand conspiracy ideology in the U.S.A. Note: The characterization of Hagee's beliefs as "antisemitic" is possibly overstated, although some of Hagee's beliefs are indeed derived from classic anti-Jewish conspiracy claims. (See More on Hagee and Anti-Semitism by Richard Bartholomew, June 14, 2008.) In any case, Hagee's version of "Illuminati" conspiracy claims do display similar bigotry against other religious minorities. (See NYARBB's position against "Illuminati" claims.)
- John Salvi, Abortion Clinic Violence, and Catholic Right Conspiracism. Contains information about the Catholic religious right wing, plus a section on the tendency of the mass media to ignore the grand conspiracy ideologies of right wing movements, even though these movements often do manage to attain mainstream political clout at least temporarily.
- More about Pat Robertson:
- New world order, old world anti-Semitism - Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalition by Ephraim Radner, Christian Century, Sept 13, 1995
- Rev. Robertson’s Grand International Conspiracy Theory by Michael Lind, New York Review of Books, February 2, 1995. (Review of Pat Robertson's book The New World Order. Summarized in Pat's paranoia - and bigotry by Bruce Miller, The Blue Voice, Friday, July 15, 2005, and Abroad at Home; The Crackpot Factor by Anthony Lewis, New York Times by Anthony Lewis, April 14, 1995.)
- Anti-Masonic Examples: Pat Robertson on the "Anti-Masonry: Points of View" site by Edward L. King
- More about Tim LaHaye:
- Wikipedia article on Tim LaHaye
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State: If Best-Selling End-Times Author Tim LaHaye Has His Way, Church-State Separation Will Be ... Left Behind by Rob Boston, February 2002
- Talk To Action: The World According to Tim LaHaye: Chapter Eight - The Age Old Conspiracy by Chip Berlet, Mon Sep 18, 2006
- Page on Tim & Beverly LaHaye in Time magazine's photo essay 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America, Feb. 7, 2005 (date obtained here)
- More about John Hagee:
- John Hagee's Controversial Gospel - An excerpt from Sarah Posner's new book, God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, The American Prospect, March 12, 2008.
- Hagee Mass-Marketed Hitler's Favorite Conspiracy Theory by Bruce Wilson, Huffington Post, June 12, 2008
- Resource Page on John Hagee and Christian Zionism by Bruce Wilson, Talk To Action, Mon Nov 02, 2009
- About Thomas Muthee (Sarah Palin's witchhunting pastor) and other leaders in the same religious movement (New Apostolic Reformation) to which Palin belongs:
- Part 2 of Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare - Muthee and the "Transformations" Franchise by Ruth, on Chip Berlet's blog Talk To Action, October 30, 2008. (See also Bruce Wilson's posts Imagining a Witchcraft-Fighting Vice President, October 31, 2008, and Links to Information and Documentaries on Palin's Churches. See also A true Halloween horror: Sarah Palin's extensive connections to Joel's Army by dogemperor, Daily Kos, October 30, 2008.)
- Conspiracy as Prophecy, Fri Jun 12, 2009, and Col. Jim Ammerman, Apostle & New World Order Conspiracy Theorist, Mon Jun 22, 2009, by Ruth, Talk To Action. (Col. Jim Ammerman heads the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches, an endorsing agency for over 270 military chaplains and chaplain candidates, as well as chaplains serving prisons and veteran's hospitals.)
- What Palin's "Jewish people will be flocking to Israel" statement really means by Bruce Wilson, Talk To Action, Thu Nov 19, 2009
- About some phony "ex-Satanists" who helped popularize "Illuminati" claims among evangelical and Pentecostal Christians in the 1970's:
- The Legend(s) of John Todd - reprint of editorial from Christianity Today, February 2, 1979
- The Cornerstone series on Mike Warnke (and another copy here of "Selling Satan: The Tragic History of Mike Warnke" by Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein)
- Illuminati - RationalWiki. Very brief article emphasizing promotion of Illuminati claims in evangelical Christian subculture
The claims of Mike Warnke and other "ex-Satanists" helped to launch the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of the 1980's and early 1990's. Also they played a key role in popularizing the more occult-oriented versions of "Illuminati" claims among evangelical Christians, especially among Pentecostals and charismatics. (Note that Pentecostals are among the fastest-growing Christian denominations.)
Grand conspiracy ideology and other right wing movements
- Black helicopter alert! Conservative media suggest Obama supporting one-world government - Media Matters, April 10, 2009. Documents statements by major mass media figures such as Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Bill O'Reilly claiming that Obama is in favor of a "One-World Government" -- one of the major bugaboos of most grand conspiracy ideologies. See also O'Reilly in Bircherville: Obama's selling us out to 'one world government' by David Neiwert, Crooks and Liars, Friday, April 3, 2009.
- The John Birch Society, from the book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons (Guilford Publications, 2000). See also this news story about the John Birch Society's summer youth camp by Roy Rivenburg , Los Angeles Times, July 1996. Nearly all of today's many variants of "Illuminati" conspiracy ideology are heavily influenced by the John Birch Society's version, which was widely promoted in the 1960's. More recently, the JBS, once regarded by mainstream Republicans as a beyond-the-pale extremist group, has become increasingly influential in the conservative movement as a whole. (See, for example, Rightwing Fringe Welcome at Conservative Confab, Gay Republicans Not So Much by Steve Benen, Alternet, December 17, 2009, about the JBS being welcomed as a co-sponsor of the Conservative Political Action Conference.)
- Battling the New World Order: Patriots and Armed Militias, another excerpt from the book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons.. Includes a section titled "Ripples on the Pond," about some "local, state, and federal election races where candidates for public office sought to attract voters from the ranks of the "Patriot" movement" and were, in most cases, elected successfully. Also includes examples of successful influence by the "Patriot" movement on the Republican Party in terms of agenda.
- Beyond the Bombing: The Militia Menace Grows, Anti-Defamation League, 1995, on the Nizkor site.
- Lyndon LaRouche: Fascist Demagogue - collection of articles by Chip Berlet
- Common Law and Uncommon Courts: An Overview of the Common Law Court Movement by Mark Pitcavage, on the ADL site, about the weird legal theories of the Posse Comitatus, a source of many ideas of the subsequent "Patriot Movement"
- The North American Union: Right-wing Populist Conspiracism Rebounds by Chip Berlet. A recent (spring 2008) example of "Illuminati" conspiracy-believing right wingers influencing mainstream politics. (Note, however, that not all the people who worry about a forthcoming "NAU" are "Illuminati" believers; some just see the alleged NAU plan as an agenda of multi-national corporations.)
The spread of grand conspiracy ideology into other social milieux
- David Icke And The Politics Of Madness: Where The New Age Meets The Third Reich by Will Offley, on PublicEye.org.
- Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz Deny 'On To The Next One' Satanic Rumors by Shaheem Reid, MTV, January 13, 2010, and Jay-Z music video accused of being 'satanic' by Ann Lee, Metro (U.K.), 14th January, 2010. The rumors discussed here include allegations that rapper Jay-Z is a "Master Mason" and a member of the Illuminati, as well as a "Devil worshiper." For an example of these allegations that made it into Google News search, see Is Hip Hop CEO Jay-Z a Member of ‘The Illuminati,’ a Satanic Cult?! (Photos) by Elizabeth Malchow on HipHopRX, January 16th, 2010.
- Farrakhan Rails Against “Illuminati”; Praised by Venezuelan Consul by Richard Bartholomew, March 29, 2007. See also Minister Farrakhan addresses thousands across nation in lecture series by Nubian L. Muhammad, March 22, 2007, on Farrakhan's own website, and see also McCain Has His Own Farrakhan by Joe Conason, New York Observer, March 4, 2008.
- Too Weird for The Wire: How black Baltimore drug dealers are using white supremacist legal theories to confound the Feds by Kevin Carey, Washington Monthly, May/June/July 2008.
- The Sucker Punch of Right/Left Coalitions and Right Woos Left by Chip Berlet, about the influx of right wing ideologies into otherwise progressive political movements such as the anti-war movement.
- Austin, Texas: paranoid politics central by Amanda Marcotte, Guardian (U.K.), Friday 19 February 2010
Evangelical Christians who reject grand conspiracy ideology
The writers of the following pages are evangelical Christians who reject grand conspiracy ideology while acknowledging that it is very widespread among many other evangelical Christians.
- Conspiracy and Prophecy by Mark M. Mattison, a former advocate of grand conspiracy ideology. He says he was eventually turned away from grand conspiracy ideology by reading The New Age Rage by the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1987), especially the chapter titled "The Final Threat: Cosmic Conspiracy and End Times Speculation."
- The Present-Day Illuminati Theory by G. Richard Fisher, who opposes grand conspiracy claims of religious right wing leaders including "Jack Van Impe, Charles Taylor, John Hagee, Peter and Paul Lalonde, Larry Burkett, Pat Robertson and ... Texe Marrs." Books referenced include: (1) Behind World Revolution — The Strange Career of Nesta Webster by Richard Gilman, (2) The Illuminoids — Secret Societies and Political Paranoia by Neal Wilgus, and (3) The Politics of Unreason by Seymour Lipset and Early Raab.
- Christians & Conspiracy Theories - A Call to Repentance by Dean Van Druff, a politically conservative evangelical Christian who rejects grand conspiracy beliefs, which he says have become pervasive among evangelical Christians. (See also the brief summaries of this article here and here, plus Van Druff's Repentance from Conspiracy Theories FAQ.) Van Druff's article contains some interesting attempts to reason against the grand conspiracy mentality. However, he reinforces the stereotype that "conspiracy theory" believers are just a bunch of powerless nobodies - whereas, in reality, some grand conspiracy ideologues, such as Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye, have had lots of mainstream political clout, at least temporarily. (He also complains about alleged tendencies to ignore the threat of Islamist terrorism, but, alas, fails to acknowledge the opposite danger of paranoia against Muslims.)
- The Origins of the Illuminist Myth: The Fabrication of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion by S.R. Shearer. Another, very similar page on the same site is Part 4: The "Illuminati Conspiracy": The original, anti-Semitic version in The New Antipas Papers. Shearer's info on the Illuminist myth is said to be primarily from two sources: Warrant for Genocide by Norman Cohn and Organized Anti-Semitism in America by Donald Strong.
Mark Mattison says he grew up in the Adventist Church. He says, "When I was eighteen, I wrote an article entitled 'The Satanic Empire' which was published in my denomination's prophetic magazine, The Restitution Herald, in March of 1986. ... I outlined a conspiracy theory focused on the occult. I wrote that Rosicrucianism, the Illuminati, and Freemasonry were different arms of the same global conspiracy, an ancient threat that dated back to the fallen angels described in Genesis 6:1-4 who married human wives. My primary sources included not only the Bible but the Pseudepigrapha, occult sources, and Nesta Webster's 1921 book World Revolution (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co.). I took each of these sources at face value."
Alas, this article contains at least one paragraph filled with factual errors about the history of occultism. Examples: Referring to he Golden Dawn as a "Satanic cult," saying that it was founded by "Allister Crowley," and saying that Crowley's "cult was perpetuated in England by Margaret Murry and in America by George Gardiner in the 1950s as the 'Wicca' cult of witchcraft." (In fact, the Golden Dawn system was based on Hermetics and Kabbalah, not any form of Satanism. Aleister Crowley did not found the Golden Dawn, but was a member for a while. Crowley himself was fond of symbolism with multiple meanings including obvious Satanic meanings, thus either was or was not a Satanist depending on how you define the word "Satanist." Margaret Murray was not directly involved in Wicca, although Wicca did draw some inspiration from her books. Gerald - not George - Gardner founded the first publicly known branch of Wicca in Britain, not America. Wicca is hardly Crowley's "cult," although the rituals of Gardnerian Wicca are based heavily on Crowley's rituals.) So, while this article is interesting, all its information should certainly be double-checked.
Note: Dean Van Druff credits the LaRouchites for popularizing grand conspiracy ideology among evangelical Christians, ignoring the probably-much-greater role of (1) the John Birch Society; (2) the fraudulent "ex-Satanists" of the 1970's, such as John Todd and Mike Warnke; and (3) major religious right wing leaders such as Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye, both of whom parroted the John Birch Society's version of "Illuminati" grand conspiracy ideology. In contrast, the LaRouchite ideology, which blames "the British" for everything, has never become anywhere nearly as popular among evangelical Christians as "the Illuminati," conceived of as a conspiracy either of evil atheists ("secular humanists") or of evil occultists/Pagans/"Satanists."
Three of the above pages recommend the book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Time Paranoia by Gregory Camp (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1997).
Grand conspiracy ideology outside the U.S.A.
- Bilgerberg by Richard Bartholomew, May 19, 2009, about the conspiracy claims advocated by Metropolitan Seraphim, Greek Orthodox bishop of Piraeus
More links will be listed here later.
Web resources on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols itself
- PDF copy of The Protocols itself (with warnings and debunking intro added), part of an excellent collection of resources about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on David Dickerson's website, including also a quoted example of Hitler's endorsement of The Protocols, plus many links to other sites (most of which are also listed below).
History and current use of The Protocols
- Brief history of the use of The Protocols as anti-Jewish propaganda and a timeline, from the Holocaust Encyclopedia of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. About the latter institution, see also Museum Exhibit Explores Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Michael Jay Friedman, on the website of the U.S. State Department. For more aboutt the exhibit, see also 'Protocols of Zion': The Life of a Fraud & Its True Believers by Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, Saturday, April 22, 2006.
- Wikipedia article on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - see especially the section on Contemporary usage and popularity, especially the sub-section on Other contemporary appearances
- Hamas Charter, 1988 on Palestine Center, a pro-Palestinian website. Endorses The Protocols. Included here only as an example of the contemporary use of The Protocols in the Middle East, one of the reasons why it is important to educate people about The Protocols today. (Note also that NYARBB does not necessarily endorse any of the other contents of the Palestine Center website. See the Note on the Arab-Israeli conflict at the bottom of this page.)
- The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and Antisemitism by Shaul Wallach. Brief history of literary precursors of The Protocols, starting with the anti-Illuminati and anti-Masonic writings of Robison and Barruel in the late 1700's, plus a brief history of the publication and use of The Protocols, including their use today in the Hamas charter and in Islamist propaganda. Ends with a bibliography. (But see our Note on the term "anti-semitism" at the bottom of this page.)
- On the Nizkor site:
- Danny Keren's commentary on The Protocols - brief history of literary precursors to The Protocols. (Almost identical to a portion of Shaul Wallach's page, above. It is not clear who copied whom.)
- Copy of Los Angeles Times news story Russian Court Rules Protocols an Antisemitic Forgery by Michael A. Hiltzik, November 28, 1993. (See Note on the term "anti-semitism" at the bottom of this page.)
- Copy of Moscow Times (Russia) article 'Protocols of Zion' Puts Church in Hot Water by Andrei Zolotov Jr., Monday, January 14, 2002, about recent promotion of The Protocols within the Orthodox Church in Russia.
- The Trial of Adolf Eichmann, Sessions 13 (Part 3 of 5)
- The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion by Konrad Heiden
- Various short introductory articles about The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its history:
- What are "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"? - brief article on the website of the Holocaust History Project, concluding with a biblography. Emphasis on some of the contents of The Protocols, plus the use of The Protocols by the Nazis.
- The Straight Dope: What's the story with the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion"?, June 30, 2000. Brief history of The Protocols and their use.
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion on The Skeptic's Dictionary Very brief introductory article, concluding with a bibliography.
- Protocols of the Elders of Zion on SkepticWiki - includes instances of contemporary promotion of The Protocols.
- A Hoax of Hate: Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion on the website of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Brief history of the publication and use of The Protocols as propaganda, including a page about the Contemporary Re-Emergence of The Protocols. Another copy can be found on the website of the Virtual Jewish library, which also has copies of some other pages about The Protocols.
- Anti-Semitic "Protocols of Zion" Endure, Despite Debunking by Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News, September 11, 2006. For balance, page 2 of this article includes a statement by Khaled Hroub, director of the Cambridge Arab Media Project at the University of Cambridge, England, that the popularity of The Protocols in the Middle East has been exaggerated by some observers. He says most people in the Middle East have come to recognize that the Protocols are bogus, and that the book is no longer as popular as it was in the 1980's, although the book still "has its supporters."
- October 2004 issue of New Internationalist, about Judeophobia, including (among other worthwhile articles) Spreading the Stain by Asma Agbarieh, a Palestinian who opposes "both Arab antisemitism and Israel’s use of antisemitism as moral cover for its policies," and Judeophobia - the facts, a collection of statistics.
Debunking The Protocols
- The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: Plagiarism at its Best by José Delacruz, November 2003, on the website for a course on the Holocaust at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Contains some comparisons of The Protocols with Maurice Joly's Dialogues in Hell, plus some of the other evidence that The Protocols is a forgery.
- In 1921, Philip Graves Exposed the "Protocols of Zion" as Phony by Jared Israel and Samantha Criscione, on the Emperor's Clothes website. This page includes links to both HTML and PDF copies of Philip Graves's three London Times articles about The Protocols (originally published on the 16th, 17th and 18th of August 1921).
- Also on the Emperor's Clothes website is some excellent commentary on The Protocols by Jared Israel:
- 'The Protocols of Zion,' Part One: Weapon Against Democracy
- 'The Protocols of Zion,' Part Two: Illogical, Sloppy, and Incoherent...
- 'The Protocols of Zion,' Part Three: Reader Comments: 'I am no Antisemite. Why do some parts of "The Protocols" Ring True?'
- Project Gutenberg's online copy of Maurice Joly's 1864 political satire Dialogue aux enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu (Dialogues in Hell between Machiavelli and Montesquieu), from which many parts of The Protocols were apparently plagiarized. Currently available only in French. David Dickerson says that an English version was published in 2005, but gives no details. It does not seem to be available on Amazon or anywhere else. If you encounter an English translation, please let us know.
- Advertisement for the book Dismantling the Big Lie — The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Steven L. Jacobs and Mark Weitzman, said to be a very detailed and specific refutation of the claims made in The Protocols.
Note: NYARBB does not necessarily endorse everything else on Emperor's Clothes, such as Jared Israel's strong pro-Israel stance, his strong pro-Serbian stance, or his conclusions about 9/11. (See Note on the Arab-Israeli conflict at the bottom of this page. See also NYARBB's position on 9/11, on a separate page. For some brief critiques of some of Jared Israel's views on Israel/Palestine, see Israel and Apartheid: A Response to Jared Israel by Lev Lafayette, published in XMag, September 2004, and Dear Jared Israel: Thoughts from an old friend by Macdonald Stainsby. NYARBB does not necessarily endorse these critiques either, but we're mentioning them here for the sake of balance. Regarding the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, see Debate: The Srebrenica Massacre on Balkan Witness.) NYARBB is also critical of the Emperor's Clothes site's tendency, on some pages, to use the word "Muslim" in contexts where "Islamist" or "theocratic" would be more appropriate. (See NYARBB's position against both Islamism and anti-Muslim bigotry.)
Nevertheless, the Emperor's Clothes site contains some useful information and commentary that cannot easily be found elsewhere.
Grand conspiracy ideology and the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare
- Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference by Evan Harrington, Skeptical Inquirer, September/October 1996 - about the role of "Illuminati" claims in the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of 1980-1995 (or at least at one particular conference).
- Wikipedia article and talk page about Malachi Martin, a major purveyor of anti-Satanist paranoia among conservative and traditionalist Catholics.
This section under development. More links will be added later. In the meantime, see the earlier sub-section on About some phony "ex-Satanists" who helped popularize "Illuminati" claims among evangelical and Pentecostal Christians in the 1970's:. About the SRA scare in general, see The "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare of the 1980's and early 1990's.
Web resources on the Bavarian Illuminati
- The Enlightenment, Freemasonry, and The Illuminati by Conrad Goeringer, on the American Atheists website. A defense of the historical Bavarian Illuminati. Points out how the Illuminati promoted Enlightenment ideals which, among most people in the Western world today, are taken for granted as the best aspects of modern civilization, such as modern science and the separation of church and state. At the bottom of the page is a very interesting collection of footnotes.
- On the website of the Masonic Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, Canada:
- A Bavarian Illuminati primer by Trevor W. McKeown
- alt.illuminati FAQ
- Jefferson on Weishaupt
- The French Revolution and the Bavarian Illuminati
- Roots of twentieth century conspiracy theory
- The European Illuminati by Vernon L. Stauffer
- Article about the Illuminati in the online Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 edition). The Catholic Church was the number one enemy of the real-life Bavarian Illuminati, yet the Catholic Encyclopedia article is reasonably sober.
- FAQ: The Illuminati by Trevor W. McKeown. Brief introductory article with bibliography.
- Wikipedia article on the Illuminati, with a section about the Illuminati in popular culture.
- "Sub Rosa" section of the Internet Sacred Texts Archive. Contains HTML copies of various old books about secret societies and alleged conspiracies, including two books that sparked paranoia about the Bavarian Illuminati back in the late 1700's: Proofs of a Conspiracy by John Robison and Code of the Illuminati (Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism) by Abbé Augustin de Barruel. Also available here is a copy of Devil Worship in France, A.E. Waite's debunking of the infamous Leo Taxil hoax.
- The Illuminati and Angels and Demons FAQ - Do the Illuminati Really Exist? by Massimo Introvigne, Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR). Includes instances of the Illuminati theme in popular fiction and movies. (In his brief chronicle of the popularization of "Illuminati" claims, Introvigne ignores the spread of "Illuminati" claims within the very large American evangelical Christian subculture before 1975, e.g. via Tim LaHaye's and Mike Warnke's writings, and he ignores the role of the John Birch Society.)
- Article about Texe Marrs by Kerr Cuhulain, September 9, 2002, in Cuhulain's "Witch Hunts - Exposing the Lies" series on the Witchvox site.
Web resources on anti-Masonry and its overlap with anti-Jewish claims
- The Illuminati Freemason Conspiracy on PublicEye.org (Political Research Associates). Brief introductory article with bibliography.
- On the website of the Masonic Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, in Canada:
- Anti-Masonic claims refuted - large collection of pages, including an Anti-Masonry FAQ, rebutting many anti-Masonic claims and other grand-conspiracy claims
- History of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
- Milton William Cooper
- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: Anti-Masonry and Anti-Semitism by Leon Zeldis
- The Myth of the Judaeo-Masonic Conspiracy by W. Bro. A Israel, Master, in a collection of pages about Masonry on the website of Gary L. Dryfoos at M.I.T.
- Anti-Masonry Frequently Asked Questions on Mastermason.com
- Anti-Masonry: Points of View by Edward L. King, including responses to many objections to Freemasonry
- Criticisms of Freemasonry & Where to Find Refutations of those Criticisms by Paul M. Bessel
- Freemasons - from the 700 Club to Art Bell, an object of conspiracy thinking by Conrad Goeringer, May, 1998, on the American Atheists site
Web resources on the Federal Reserve System
Closely related to Protocols-style grand-conspiracy claims is the idea that the world is secretly run by a cabal of Jewish bankers, primarily the Rothschilds.
Various right wing groups have advocated grand-conspiracy theories featuring "international bankers." Such theories don't necessarily target Jews. After all, the Rockefellers and the Morgans are not Jews.
Nevertheless, banker-conspiracy claims closely parallel and are often linked to Protocols-style Jewish-cabal claims, via the idea that the Rockefellers and the Morgans are somehow "owned" by the Rothschilds (a European Jewish banking family). And one of the most popular banker-conspiracy writings is Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins, who also believed in the traditional anti-Jewish blood libel.
So, if one is going to debunk anti-Jewish claims, it helps to be familiar with "banker" claims too, and their fallacies.
Some common claims, e.g. in popular Internet videos such as Zeitgeist, are the following:
- That the Federal Reserve System is nothing but a private banking cartel, "as Federal as Federal Express." In fact, it's an odd mixture of public and private, neither strictly a government agency nor strictly a private entity either, nor is it a for-profit entity. It has a Board of Governors who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. But it consists of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, each of which has “member banks,” which are private banks.
- That the Fed's profits go into the pockets of member banks, at the expense of the U.S. Treasurey. In fact, only a small portion of the Fed's profits go to member banks. The member banks are required to keep some of their own money at the Federal Reserve Bank, and they earn a dividend on that money. But those dividends are only about 2 or 3 percent of the Fed's profits, most of which go into the U.S. Treasury. (See the Federal Reserve System's income and expense tables for 2005 and 2006.)
Many other claims are addressed on the following pages:
- Debunking the Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories by Edward Flaherty (another copy here).
- Jewish "Control" of the Federal Reserve: A Classic Anti-Semitic Myth on the ADL site.
- A long discussion about the Federal Reserve System starting on page 3 of the thread We Are Change - September threads on right wing views in the Truth Action forum.
- Review of Zeitgeist, Part III by Edward Winston on his Conspiracy Science site.
Examples of non-"conspiracist" critique of the U.S. power structure
- Social Cohesion & the Bohemian Grove: The Power Elite at Summer Camp by G. William Domhoff, U.C. Santa Cruz, April 2005. See also Interview: G. William Domhoff by Chip Berlet, September 2004.
- Reviews of Secrets of the Temple by William Greider (about the Federal Reserve System): revew by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times, January 21, 1988, and review by Alan S. Murray, Washington Monthly, Jaunuary 1988. (Note: NYARBB does not take stands on monetary policy and does not necessarily endorse the opinions expressed in either the book or the reviews. They are presented simply as examples of other ways that one might criticize the Fed, without the egregious errors of fact found in the writings of Eustace Mullins et al. See also Conspiracism and "Secret Elites" by Chip Berlet.)
- The Rise of the National Security State: FEMA and the NSC by Diana Reynolds, on PublicEye.org (Political Research Associates).
- Challenging Populist Conspiracism (indentified here as being by Michael Albert), on PublicEye.org (Political Research Associates).
Miscellaneous debunking resources
- The Royal We by Steve Olson, The Atlantic, May 2002. About geneology. Useful in debunking any alleged significance of millenia-old "Illuminati bloodlines."
- More later.
More resources needed
More online resources are needed on the following topics:
- Anti-Jewish banking conspiracy claims and refutations thereof.
- Well-documented refutations of claims that Jews own the media or otherwise dominate the U.S. elite.
- Well-documented explanations of why most historians reject Robison's and Barruel's claims about the Bavarian Illuminati.
- Sober, well-documented debunkings of exaggerations of the power of "the Jewish Lobby." (Here is a list of articles on this topic, but most are by people with a passionate pro-Israel bias or who otherwise seem unreliable.)
If you know of any good online resources on the above topics, or if you've studied these topics enough to produce such a resource yourself, please let us know.
Notes on the term "anti-semitism" and on the Arab-Israeli conflict
Note on the Arab-Israeli conflict: NYARBB does not take a stand on how to solve the Israel/Palestine problem. Instead, NYARBB has only the humbler goal of contributing to the solution (whatever the solution might ultimately turn out to be) by counteracting the demonization of both Jews and Muslims.
On the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs in general, NYARBB does not take a stand other than to urge people to listen carefully to the grievances of both sides. Too many people on both sides have simply dismissed the concerns of the other side. But any genuine and lasting peace will require that the needs of both sides be taken into account. We also urge people to scrutinize carefully the historical claims and evidence presented by scholars and journalists on all sides before strongly championing any historical viewpoint.
Note on the term "anti-semitism": NYARBB recommends phasing out the term "anti-semitism" in favor of more precise and literally correct terms such as "Jew-hating," "bigotry against Jews," "demonization of Jews," "Judeophobia," or "anti-Jewish racism," as appropriate. Although the term "anti-semitism" has historically referred to bigotry against Jews, such usage is a slight to Arabs, who are Semites too. We aim to avoid such unnecessary slights.