", 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" 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".
these new international organizations and regimes in the aftermath of the two World Wars, but argued that they suffered from a democratic deficit and were therefore
inadequate not only to prevent another global war but to foster global
justice. The United Nations was designed in 1945 by US bankers and State Department planners, and was always intended to remain
a free association of sovereign nation-states, not a transition to democratic world government. Thus, activists around the globe formed a world
federalist movement, hoping in vain to create a "real" new world order.
British writer and futurist H. G. Wells went further than progressives in the 1940s, by appropriating and redefining the term "new world order" as a synonym for the establishment of a technocratic world state and of a planned economy. Despite the popularity of his ideas in some state-socialist circles,
Wells failed to exert a deeper and more lasting influence because he was unable to concentrate his energies on a direct appeal to the intelligentsias who would ultimately
have to coordinate a Wellsian new world order.
Claiming that the term "New World Order" is used by a secretive elite dedicated to the destruction of all national sovereignties, American writer Gary Allen—in his books None
Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971), Rockefeller: Campaigning for the New World Order (1974), and Say "No!" to the New World Order (1987)—articulated the anti-globalist theme of much current right-wing populist
conspiracism in the US. Thus, after the fall of communism in the early 1990s, the main demonized scapegoat of
the American far right shifted seamlessly from crypto-communists,
who plotted on behalf of the Red Menace, to globalists, plotting on behalf of the New World Order. The relatively painless nature of the shift was due to growing right-wing populist opposition
to corporate internationalism, but also in part to the basic underlying apocalyptic millenarian paradigm, which fed the Cold War (ca 1947-1991) and the witch-hunts of the McCarthy period (1950s).
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.
In 2009 American film directors Luke
Meyer and Andrew Neel released New World Order, a
critically acclaimed documentary film which explores the world of conspiracy theorists - such as American radio host Alex Jones - who consistently
expose and vigorously oppose what they perceive as an emerging New World Order. The growing dissemination and
popularity of conspiracy theories has also created an alliance between right-wing populist agitators (such as Alex Jones) and hip hop music's left-wing populist rappers (such
as KRS-One, Professor Griff of Public
Enemy and Immortal Technique), thus illustrating how anti-elitist conspiracism
can create unlikely political allies in efforts to oppose a political system.
There are numerous systemic conspiracy theories through which the concept of a New World Order is
viewed. The following is a list of the major ones in roughly chronological order:
Some of the most vocal critics of end-time conspiracy theories come from within Christianity. In 1993, historian Bruce Barron wrote a stern rebuke of apocalyptic Christian conspiracism
in the Christian Research Journal, when reviewing Robertson's 1991 book The
New World Order.Another critique can be found in historian Gregory S. Camp's 1997
book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia. Religious studies
scholar Richard T. Hughes argues that "New World Order" rhetoric libels the Christian faith, since the "New World Order" as defined by Christian conspiracy theorists has no basis in the Bible whatsoever. Furthermore, he argues that not only is this idea unbiblical,
it is positively anti-biblical and fundamentally anti-Christian, because by misinterpreting key passages in the Book of Revelation, it turns a comforting
message about the coming kingdom of God into one of fear, panic and despair in the face of an allegedly approaching one-world government.Progressive Christians,
such as preacher-theologian Peter J. Gomes, caution Christian fundamentalists that
a "spirit of fear" can distort scripture and history through dangerously combining biblical
literalism, apocalyptic timetables, demonization and oppressive
Camp warns of the "very real danger that Christians could pick up some extra spiritual baggage" by credulously embracing conspiracy theories. They
therefore call on Christians who indulge in conspiracism to repent.
Freemasonry is one
of the world's oldest secular fraternal organizations and arose during late 16th–early 17th century Britain. Over the years a number of allegations and conspiracy theories
have been directed towards Freemasonry, including the allegation that Freemasons have a hidden political agenda and are conspiring to bring about a New World Order,
a world government organized according to Masonic principles and/or governed only by Freemasons.
Freemasons rebut these claims of a Masonic conspiracy. Freemasonry, which promotes rationalism, places no power in occult symbols themselves,
and it is not a part of its principles to view the drawing of symbols, no matter how large, as an act of consolidating or controlling power. Furthermore,
there is no published information establishing the Masonic membership of the men responsible for the design of the Great Seal. While conspiracy theorists assert that there are elements of Masonic influence on the Great
Seal of the United States, and that these elements were intentionally or unintentionally used because the creators were familiar with the symbols,in
fact, the all-seeing Eye of Providence and the unfinished pyramid were symbols used as much outside Masonic lodges as within them in the late 18th century, therefore
the designers were drawing from common esoteric symbols. The
Latin phrase "novus ordo seclorum", appearing on the reverse side of the Great Seal since 1782 and on the back of the one-dollar bill since 1935, translates
to "New Order of the Ages", and alludes to the beginning of an era where the
United States of America is an independent nation-state; it is often mistranslated by conspiracy theorists as "New World Order".
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.
advocated a secret society which would make
Britain control the Earth
Magnate and colonist
In 1890, thirteen years after "his now famous will," Rhodes elaborated on the same idea: establishment of "England everywhere," which would "ultimately lead to the cessation of all wars, and one language throughout
the world." "The only thing feasible to carry out this idea is a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world ["and human minds of the higher order"] to be devoted to such an object."
Rhodes also concentrated on the Rhodes Scholarship, which had British statesman Alfred
Milner as one of its trustees. Established in 1902, the original goal of the trust fund was to foster peace among the great powers by creating
a sense of fraternity and a shared world view among future British, American, and German leaders by having enabled them to study for free at the University of Oxford.
on Foreign Relations began in 1917 with a group of New York academics who were asked by President Woodrow Wilson to offer options for the foreign policy of the United States in the interwar period.
Originally envisioned as a group of American and British scholars and diplomats, some of whom belonging to the Round Table movement, it was a subsequent group of 108 New York financiers, manufacturers and international lawyers organized in June 1918 by Nobel
Peace Prize recipient and U.S. secretary of state Elihu Root, that became the Council on Foreign Relations on 29 July 1921. The first of the council’s projects was a quarterly
journal launched in September 1922, called Foreign Affairs. The Trilateral Commission was founded in July 1973, at the initiative of American banker David
Rockefeller, who was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations at that time. It is a private organization established to foster closer cooperation among the United States, Europe and Japan. The Trilateral Commission is widely seen as a counterpart to
the Council on Foreign Relations.
The research findings of historian Carroll Quigley, author of the 1966 book Tragedy
and Hope, are taken by both conspiracy theorists of the American Old Right (W.
Cleon Skousen) and New Left (Carl Oglesby) to substantiate this view, even though Quigley argued
that the Establishment is not involved in a plot to implement a one-world government but rather British and American benevolent imperialism driven by the
mutual interests of economic elites in the United Kingdom and the United States. Quigley also argued that, although the Round
Table still exists today, its position in influencing the policies of world leaders has been much reduced from its heyday during World War I and slowly waned after the
end of World War II and the Suez Crisis. Today the Round Table is largely a ginger group, designed to consider and gradually influence the policies of the Commonwealth of
Nations, but faces strong opposition. Furthermore, in American society after 1965, the problem, according to Quigley, was that no elite was in charge and acting responsibly.
In his 2002 autobiography Memoirs, David Rockefeller wrote:
Barkun argues that this statement is partly facetious (the claim of "conspiracy" and "treason") and partly serious—the desire to encourage trilateral cooperation among the U.S., Europe, and Japan, for example—an ideal that used to be a hallmark of the internationalist wing of the Republican Party (known as "Rockefeller Republicans" in honor of Nelson Rockefeller) when there was an internationalist
wing. The statement, however, is taken at face value and widely cited by conspiracy theorists as proof that the Council on Foreign Relations uses its role as the brain trust of
American presidents, senators and representatives to manipulate them into supporting a New World Order in the form of a one-world government.
In a 13 November 2007 interview with Canadian journalist Benjamin Fulford, Rockefeller countered:
Some American social critics, such as Laurence H. Shoup, argue that the Council on Foreign Relations is an "imperial brain
trust" which has, for decades, played a central behind-the-scenes role in shaping U.S. foreign policy choices for the post-World War II international order and the Cold War by
determining what options show up on the agenda and what options do not even make it to the table; others, such as G. William Domhoff,
argue that it is in fact a mere policy discussion forum which provides the business input to U.S. foreign policy planning. Domhoff argues that "[i]t has nearly 3,000 members, far too many
for secret plans to be kept within the group. All the council does is sponsor discussion groups, debates and speakers. As far as being secretive, it issues annual reports and allows access to its historical archives." However, all these critics agree that
"[h]istorical studies of the CFR show that it has a very different role in the overall power structure than what is claimed by conspiracy theorists."
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.
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.
that former Nazis and their sympathizers have been continuing Nazi policies worldwide, especially in the United States
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[dubious– discuss].
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 regionalism will
be the major force in the coming decades, pockets of power around regional centers: Western Europe around Brussels, the Western Hemisphere around Washington, D.C., East Asia around Beijing, and Eastern Europe around Moscow. As such, the E.U., the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the 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.
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 FEMA will be used for the internment of
suspected subversives, making little effort to distinguish true threats to the New World Order from pacifist dissidents.