new world order, old world news
One of the earliest conspiracy theories and perhaps the granddaddy of them all is the New World Order also known as a One World Government. Its numerous proponents claim that groups like the Freemansons and the Builderbergs use influential and powerful people to change the world. They create entities like the Trilateral Commission and a virtual alphabet soup of acronyms like the UN, the EU, the IMF, the WTO. All of these organizations are supposed pawns in the scheme to subjugate the world through war, intimidation, jingoism and trampling on human rights for the benefit of a select few at the top of the secret hierarchies of world rulers.
This view is very contradictory to how many of us are conditioned to think about the new world order. Utopian science fiction stories present a New World Order as a good thing. After enough conflict and chaos, write many sci-fi authors, humans realize that they’ll accomplish far more together than apart and the entire species binds together to work as a finely tuned machine. In just a few years, war is a thing of the past. Poverty is stamped out. Hundreds of diseases which thrive in slums and poor rural areas today, go extinct. Crime rates plunge. R&D budgets swell and manufacturing surge as humanity builds its new cities and a fleet of spacecraft designed to travel in deep space, answering our most existential questions. The One World Government of sci-fi literature is a powerful tool for good and the next stage of our evolution as a civilization. Its a mechanism that emerges when we overcome tribalism and nationalism to start thinking of ourselves as human beings first and foremost. So why is the New World Order of conspiracy theories so downright evil?
Believe it or not, that has to do with the theory’s origins in Biblical literature and the infamous Leo Taxil Hoax. To properly tell the story, we need to start with a French tabloid journalist Marie Joseph Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pags. Unwilling to write all that, he adopted the pen name Leo Taxil and used his writings to lash out at the Catholic Church for which he had very little love. In late 19th century Europe, the Freemasons were treated with a great deal of animosity since the country’s elites pinned the responsibility for the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolution on the elite gentlemens club that evolved from a stone masons union which often worked on churches financed by the Knights Templar. Some popes said that the Masons were Satanic because they didnt care for the authority of the Vatican and leaned towards Deism.
Taxil decided to play a trick on the Catholic animosity towards the Freemasons and concocted the character of a woman by the name Diana Vaughan in a book about Satanism. Vaughan was supposedly involved with the Masons to such an extent that she knew many of their innermost secrets. She met incarnate demons summoned by Masons during their black masses. She saw a secret factory in the arctic where anti-Church and pro-Satan propaganda was being printed for all the world to see. Lodge masters talked to her about their plan to unite the world under a pure Luciferian doctrine. Despite how bizarre and outlandish as those claims were, the Pope Leo XIII gave them credence and promoted them as warnings about Satanists hinding among good, God-fearing people.
You see, before writing the book, Taxil underwent a public conversion to Catholicism, swearing to repair the damage to the faith he did with the tabloids about popes and their indulgences he covered in great detail before. His books were seen as a genuine investigative work and with the existing disdain for everything Masonic, people wanted to believe it. Knowingly or not, Taxils Devil in the Nineteenth Century played on two lines of Revelations 13 from which the concept of the anti-Christ arose.
13:7 — And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
13:8 — And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Finally, Taxil assembled an audience of thousands including high church officials to introduce Diana Vaughan to the world. Instead he came up to the stage and announced that hes taken all who were gathered for a ride, sharing his amazement that so many people could fall for claims this wild and thanking the church for giving him so much promotion and credibility. With that, he bowed and left the stunned audience.
But his hoax didnt die. In fundamentalist religious circles, it’s still seen as proof of all sorts of nefarious groups who want to unite the world and summon Satan to rule over all of humanity. As new clubs and societies were created for wealthy and influential people who wanted to meet in private and share all kinds of ideas with each other, they were lumped with the caricature of demonic Freemasons and their agenda was immediately assumed to be sinister. This is a part of why many archconservatives fear a New World Order. Conspiracy theorists of recent times have taken this fear and spun it to include governments they didnt trust, corporations they didnt like and alien rumors by which they were fascinated.
All the ingredients for the theory were there since 120 AD when a Christian exile who adopted the name of John wrote Revelations to channel his hatred for the Roman Empire and his dream of how it would be defeated by the forces of God. Many writers since the 1500s tried their hand at spreading rumors about a potential New World Order conspiracy and there was quite a bit of literature floating around in peoples minds. The timing of major world events, the presence of a prominent private club which counted the wealthy and powerful among its members was an explosive combination waiting for a spark to reach its flashpoint. And that exactly what Taxils hoax was and the great New World Order conspiracy theory grew from there.