Is There a Conspiracy Explanation for Recent History?
During the past one hundred years any theory of history or historical evidence that falls outside a pattern established by the American Historical Association and the major foundations with their grant-making power has been attacked or rejected — not on the basis of any evidence presented, but on the basis of acceptability of the argument to the so-called Eastern Liberal Establishment and its official historical line.
There is an Establishment history, an official history, which dominates history textbooks, trade publishing, the media and library shelves. The official line always assumes that events such as wars, revolutions, scandals, assassinations, are more or less random unconnected events. By definition, events can NEVER be the result of a conspiracy, they can never result from premeditated planned group action.
We are going to argue and present detailed precise evidence (including names, dates and places) that the only reasonable explanation for recent history in the United States is that there exists a conspiracy to use political power for ends which are inconsistent with the Constitution… If there can be a conspiracy in the market place, then why not in the political arena?
Most CFR members are not involved in a conspiracy and have no knowledge of any conspiracy… However, there is a group WITHIN theCouncil on Foreign Relations which belongs to a secret society, sworn to secrecy, and which more or less controls the CFR [whose] meetings are used for their own purposes.
These members are in The Order. Their membership in The Order can be proven. Their meetings can be proven. Their objectives are plainly unconstitutional. And this ORDER has existed for 150 years in the United States.
The Order: What It Is and How It Began
Those on the inside know it as The Order. For legal purposes, The Order was incorporated as the Russell Trust in 1856. It was also once known as the “Brotherhood of Death”. Those who make light of it…call it “Skull & Bones”.
The American chapter of this German order was founded in 1833 at Yale University by General William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft who, in 1876, became Secretary of War in the Grant administration. Alphonso Taft was the father of William Howard Taft, the only man to be both President and Chief Justice of the United States.
The Order is not just another campus Greek letter fraternal society. Chapter 322 is a secret society whose members are sworn to silence. It is not at all happy with prying, probing citizens — known among initiates as “outsiders” or “vandals”. Its members always deny membership (or are supposed to deny membership). Above all, The Order is powerful, unbelievably powerful. (see note [E1])
The Order is a senior year society which exists only at Yale. Members are chosen in their Junior year and spend only one year on campus, the Senior year, with Skull & Bones. In other words, the organization is oriented to the post graduate outside world.
There are two other senior societies at Yale… Scroll & Key and Wolf’s Head are supposedly competitive societies founded in the mid 19th century. We believe these to be part of the same network.
What is the significance of the “322” in Chapter 322?… [One] interpretation is that The Order is descended from a Greek fraternal society dating back to Demosthenes in 322 B.C. …Bones records are dated by adding 322 to the current year, i.e. records originating in 1950 are dated Anno Demostheni 2272.
Each year 15, and only 15, [new members] are selected. In the past 150 years, about 2500 Yale graduates have been initiated into The Order. At any one time about 500-600 are alive and active. Roughly about one-quarter of these take an active role in furthering the objectives of The Order. The others either lose interest or change their minds.
The most likely potential member is from a Bones family, who is energetic, resourceful, political and probably an amoral team player… Honor and financial rewards are guaranteed by the power of The Order. But the price of these honors and rewards is sacrifice to the common goal, the goal of The Order.
Entry into The Order is accompanied by an elaborate ritual… The neophyte’s name is changed…like a monk or Knight of Malta or St. John, [he] becomes Knight so and so. The old Knights are then known as Patriarch so and so. The outside world are known as Gentiles and vandals.
It is instructive to compare 1833 with 1983 and how, over the century and half span, a group of 20-30 families has emerged to dominate The Order. It seems that active members have enough influence to push their sons and relatives into The Order and there is significant inter-marriage among the families.
These families fall into two major groups. First, we find old line American families who arrived on the East coast in the 1600s (Whitney, Lord, Phelps, Wadsworth, Allen, Bundy, Adams and so on). Second, we find families who acquired wealth in the last 100 years, sent their sons to Yale and in time became almost old line families (Harriman, Rockefeller, Payne, Davison).
One example is the Lord family. The first Lord to be initiated into The Order was George DeForest Lord (1854), a New York lawyer [and founder of] the New York law firm of Lord, Day and Lord. In the next hundred years, five more Lords were initiated into The Order, [including] Winston Lord (1959). (see note [E2])
How Much is Known About The Order?
Only one article is known to have been published within the last 100 years on The Order [as of 1983]. Unfortunately, it is a superficial, almost mocking, review and provides some enlightenment but little contribution to historical knowledge. The article is the “Last Secrets of Skull and Bones” by Ron Rosenbaum (Esquire, September 1977). Rosenbaum is a Yale graduate attracted by the fictional possibilities of a secret society out to control the world.
This author does however, possess copies of the “Address” books, which used to be called “Catalogues”. These are the membership lists all the way back to 1832. With these we can reconstruct a picture of motives, objectives and operations. The actions of individual members are already recorded in open history and archives. By determining when members enter a scene, what they did, what they argued, who they appointed and when they faded out, we can assemble patterns and deduce objectives.
Who Is In This Secret Society?
Most members are from the Eastern seaboard of the United States. Members are all males and almost all White Anglo-Saxon Protestants. In great part they descended from English Puritan families. These families either intermarried with financial power or invited… money moguls whose sons became members of The Order.
A key family is the Whitneys, descended from English Puritans who came to the U.S. about 1635. Eight Whitneys have been members of The Order. William Collins Whitney (1863) and his two sons, W. Payne Whitney (1898) and Harry Payne Whitney (1894), are the core of Whitney influence in The Order which survives today through the Harriman family and intermarriage with Paynes and Vanderbilts.
Hypothesis Number One: A Secret Society dominated by old line American families and new wealth has existed from 1833 to the present day.
- Lord family (1635, Cambridge Mass.)
- Bundy family (1635, Boston Mass.)
- Phelps family (1630, Dorchester Mass.)
- Whitney family (1635, Watertown Mass.)
- Perkins family (1631, Boston Mass.)
- Stimson family (1635, Watertown Mass.)
- Taft family (1679, Braintree Mass.)
- Wadsworth family (1632, Newtown Mass.)
- Gilman family (1638, Hingham Mass.)
- Rockefeller family (Standard Oil)
- Payne family (Standard Oil)
- Harriman family (Railroads)
- Davison family (J.P. Morgan)
- Weyerhauser family (Lumber)
- Pillsbury family (Flour milling)
- Sloane family (Retail)
William Collins Whitney (1841-1904) is a fine example of how members of The Order rise to fame and fortune. W.C. Whitney was initiated in 1863… In the last three decades of the century, he rolled up a massive fortune, became a power behind the throne in the Cleveland administration, and directed the often unscrupulous activities of a cluster of capitalists known as “the Whitney Group”.
William C. Whitney married Flora Payne, daughter of Standard Oil Treasurer Oliver Payne. Their two sons, Harry Payne Whitney (1894) and Payne Whitney (1898), went to Yale and became members of The Order. After Yale, Harry Payne Whitney promptly married Gertrude Vanderbilt in 1896. [Their son] Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney married Marie Norton. After their divorce, Marie Norton Whitney married W. Averell Harriman (1913). It is these tightly woven family and financial interlocks that make up the core of The Order.
The elder Harriman, a prominent and not too scrupulous railroad magnate, sent both his sons to Yale. William Averell Harriman (1913) and Edward Roland Noel Harriman (1917) joined The Order. It may be that Harriman and his fellow investment bankers have dominated the direction of The Order in the past few decades.
In the 1930s, W.A. Harriman & Company merged with Brown Brothers. This was an older financial house whose partners were also members of The Order. By the 1970s the relatively unknown private international banking firm of Brown Brothers Harriman, with assets of about one-half billion dollars, had taken in so many of “the Brotherhood” that out of 26 individual partners, no fewer than 9 were members of The Order.
Finally, because Brown Brothers Harriman is a private banking firm it has relatively no government supervision and does not publish an annual report. In other words, we know NOTHING about its operations — at least we know nothing from Brown Brothers Harriman sources.
Brown Brothers Harriman advertisement from the Wall Street Journal, July 11, 1972 listing partners.
- J. Eugene Banks
- Moreau D. Brown
- Walter H. Brown
- Prescott Bush
- Granger Costikyan
- William R. Driver Jr.
- Terrence M. Farley
- Elbridge T. Gerry
- John C. Hanson
- E.R. Harriman
- Frank W. Hoch
- Stephen Y. Hord
- R.L. Ireland III
- F.H. Kingsbury Jr.
- Robert A. Lovett
- John B. Madden
- Thomas McCance
- L.J. Newquist
- William F. Ray
- Robert V. Roosa
- L. Parks Shipley
- Maarten van Hengel
- John C. West
- Knight Wooley
- Louis Curtis
- W. Averell Harriman
Brown Brothers Harriman partners who were also members of the Order:
In many ways, these old line Yankee families have outsmarted the bankers. [They] diverted bankers’ wealth to their own objectives without always absorbing the banker families. The Order controls the substantial wealth of Andrew Carnegie, but no Carnegie has ever been a member. The Order used the Ford wealth so flagrantly against the wishes of the Ford family that two Fords resigned from the board of the Ford Foundation. No Ford has been a member of The Order. The name Morgan has never appeared on the membership lists, although some Morgan partners are with the inner core, for example, Davison and Perkins.
What Organizations Has It Penetrated?
The Order has either set up or penetrated just about every significant research, policy, and opinion-making organization in the United States, in addition to the Church, business, law, government and politics… The evolution of American society is not, and has not been for a century, a voluntary development reflecting individual opinion… On the contrary, the broad direction has been created artificially and stimulated by The Order.
It’s a situation very much as Quigley found in “The Group” [based at Oxford University in England]: “It is probable that most members of the outer circle were not conscious that they were being used by a secret society”.
The Order gets the ball rolling in new organizations; [it] puts in the FIRST President or Chairman, and the ideas, and then when operations are rolling along, often just fades out of the picture.
Among universities we can cite Cornell University, where Andrew Dickson White (1853) was its FIRST President, and Johns Hopkins University, based on the German educational system, where Daniel Coit Gilman (1852) was the FIRST President (1875-1901).
Among academic associations the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Psychological Association were all started by members of The Order or persons close to The Order.
The FIRST President of the Carnegie Institution (from 1902-05) was Daniel Coit Gilman, but other members of The Order have been on Carnegie boards since the turn of the century. Gilman was on the scene for the founding of the Peabody, Slater and Russell Sagefoundations. McGeorge Bundy (1940) was President of the Ford Foundation from 1966-79.
The FIRST Chairman of the American Society for the Judicial Settlement of International Disputes was member William Howard Taft(1878). The Society was the forerunner of the League to Enforce the Peace, which developed into the League of Nations concept and ultimately into the United Nations. In the United Nations we find, for example, Archibald MacLeish (1915) who was the brains behind the constitution of the UNESCO organization.
In 1960, James Jeremiah Wadsworth (1927) set up the Peace Research Institute. In 1963 this was merged to become the Institute for Policy Studies, along with Marcus Rashking who had been National Security Council aide to McGeorge Bundy (1940), a very active member of The Order.
A key penetration is the Union Theological Seminary, affiliated with Columbia University in New York. Henry Sloane Coffin (1897) was Professor of Practical Theology at Union from 1904-26 and President…from 1926-45.
The major establishment law firms in New York are saturated with The Order. Lord, Day and Lord dominated by the Lord family; Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett, especially the Thacher family; David, Polk, Wardwell; and Debevoise, Plimpton, the Rockefeller family law firm.
There has been a significant penetration into communications. Some examples:
- Henry Luce (1920), of Time-Life
- William Buckley Jr. (1950), of National Review
- Alfred Cowles (1913), president of Cowles Communications
- Emmert Bates (1932), of Litton Educational Systems
- Richard Ely Danielson (1907), of Atlantic Monthly
- Russell Wheeler Davenport (1923), of Fortune
- John Chipman Farrar (1918), of publisher Farrar, Straus
The most presigious award in journalism is a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. The FIRST Director of the Nieman Fund was member Archibald MacLeish (1915).
Pierre Jay (1892) became the FIRST Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Politics and government is the area where The Order has made headway, with names like Taft, Bush, Stimson, Chafee, Lovett, Whitney, Bundy and so on.
Operations of The Order
In 1981, “The Anglo American Establishment” by Carroll Quigley was published in New York. Quigley describes in minute detail the historical operations of the British establishment, controlled by a secret society and operation very much as The Order operates in the U.S.
The British secret society, known as “The Group”… was founded at Oxford University, much as The Order was founded at Yale. The Group operates in a series of concentric circles and like The Order consists of old line families allied with private merchant bankers, known in the U.S. as investment bankers.
The Group’s objective is recorded in Cecil Rhodes‘ will:
“The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands… and the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire.”
Both The Group and The Order are unwilling or unable to bring about a global society by voluntary means, so they opted for coercion. To do this they have created wars and revolutions, they have ransacked public treasuries, they have oppressed, they have pillaged, they have lied — even to their own countrymen.
The activities of The Order are directed towards changing our society, changing the world, to bring about a New World Order. This will be a planned order with heavily restricted individual freedom, without Constitutional protection, without national boundaries or cultural distinction… Part of this activity has been in cooperation with The Group, with its parallel and recorded objectives.
We know the elements in society that will have to be changed in order to bring about this New World Order; we can then examine The Order’s actions in this context.
- Education: how the population of the future will behave
- Money: the means of holding wealth and exchanging goods
- Law: the authority to enforce the will of the state
- Politics: the direction of the state
- Economy: the creation of wealth
- History: what people believe happened in the past
- Psychology: the means of controlling how people think
- Philanthropy: so that people think well of the controllers
- Medicine: the power over health, life and death
- Religion: people’s spiritual beliefs, the spur to action for many
- Media: what people know and learn about current events
- Continuity: the power to appoint who follows in your footsteps
The Order’s next move was to control the Foundations. They got all the big ones — Carnegie, Ford, Peabody, Slater, Russell Sage and so on. As in education, the modus operandi of The Order was to get in FIRST and set the stage for the future. The initial objective was to establish a direction in an organization. Selection of managers intuitive or amoral enough to catch on to the direction kept the momentum going. (see note [E4])
When it comes to activities by individual members, at first sight the pattern is confusing and superficially inconsistent. [For example,] in the 1920s, W. Averell Harriman was a prime supporter of the Soviets with finance and diplomatic assistance. Harriman participated in Ruskombank, the first Soviet commercial bank. Max May, vice president of Guaranty Trust, dominated by the Harriman-Morgan interests, became the FIRST vice president of Ruskombank in charge of its foreign operations.
But we also find that Averell Harriman, his brother Roland Harriman, and members E.S. James and Knight Wooley, through the Union Bank (in which they held a major interest) were prime financial backers of Hitler.
Now our textbooks tell us that Nazis and Soviets were bitter enemies and [that] their systems are opposites. How could a rational man support Soviets and Nazis at the same time? Is Harriman irrational or is the inconsistency explainable?
The answer is, [such actions] are not at all inconsistent: because the objective of The Order is above and beyond these actions and in fact needs these seeming contradictions.
The objective of The Order is neither “Left” nor “Right”. Left and right are artificial devices to bring about change, and the extremes of political left and politcal right are vital elements in a process of controlled change.
Remember that both Marx and Hitler, the extremes of “left” and “right” presented as textbook enemies, evolved out of the same philosophical system: Hegelianism… The dialectical process did not originate with Marx (as Marxists claim), but with Fitche and Hegel in late 18th and early 19th century Germany. In the dialectical process, a clash of opposites brings about a synthesis… This conflict of opposites is essential to bring about change.
Furthermore, for Hegel and systems based on Hegel, the State is absolute. The State requires complete obedience from the individual citizen. An individual does not exist for himself in these so-called organic systems but only to perform a role in the operation of the State. He finds freedom only in obedience to the State.
This, then, is a vital part of our explanation of The Order. When its co-founder, William Russell was in Germany in 1831-32, there was no way he could have avoided Hegelian theory and discussion. It was the talk of the campus. It swept intellectual Germany…
Most of us believe that the State exists to serve the individual, not vice versa. The Order believes the opposite… The discussion and the funding is always toward more state power, use of state power and away from individual rights… So long as rights of the individual are not introduced into the discussion the clash of ideas generates the conflict necessary for change.
How The Order Relates to the CFR and Similar Organizations
Organizations like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) do not fit the requirements for a conspiracy. They are simply too large and their membership is not secret. The membership list for The Order has never surfaced until now. Anyone can obtain a list of members for the CFR and the Trilateral Commission (TC).
The larger open organizations are a forum for discussion, a place where ideas can be kicked around… where people can be assessed, where discrete comment and criticism can be made away from a nosy press… They may no be elected bodies, but neither are they conspiracies…
The Order is represented in these organizations but does not always dominate. David Rockefeller, a former chairman of the CFR, is not a member of The Order (only Percy Rockefeller has represented the family), but the present  chairman, Winston Lord is.
We can represent the relationship between The Order and the larger groups as a series of concentric circles:
- The outer circle
- Made up of large, open organizations with some membership coming from The Order
- The inner circle
- Made up of one or more secret societies like Chapter 322.
- The inner core
- A secret society within a secret society. This is the inner decision-making core. We cannot prove [that] it exists, but logic suggests that some members of the inner circle will form an executive committee, an action group, an inner core.
The Outer Circle
The Council on Foreign Relations is the largest organization in the outer circle. It has about 2500 members at any one time, as many asThe Order in its entire history. The CFR dates from 1922. [For example,] the following are members of The Order and the CFR:
The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and comprises 200 members worldwide, of whom about 77 are American. There is no overlap among memberships. However, Trilateral purposes, as portrayed in the literature, are almost identical to those of The Order. [Note that] J. Richardson Dilworth, the Rockefeller Family Associates chief financial and administrative officer is a member of The Order.
The Bilderberg Group dates from the 1950s. So far as we can trace, only William F. Buckley is a member of the Bilderbergers and The Order.
The Pilgrim Society dates from 1900. The Order does not show up directly on the Executive Committee of the Pilgrim Society, but only through family names, i.e. Aldrich and Pratt.
The Inner Circle
Chapter 322 of The Order differs from the CFR, Trilateral Commission and similar organizations in that it is truly a secret society. Its purposes and membership are not disclosed. It is paranoid about secrecy and in covering its trail.
Another important distinction between the outer [circle] and the inner circle is in funding. The families in The Order are closer to more foundations and more sources of funding than the Rockefeller family… Remember, it was The Order that got John D. Rockefeller off the ground with his General Education Board, not the other way round.
If we were to look back to 1983 from the year 2083, it could be that the Rockefellers will have followed in the footsteps of the Carnegies and the Morgans. Names in dusty files but no longer represented in the power group. (see note [E5])
The Chain of Influence
Initiates into The Order are assured of career advancement and success, even wealth, providing they follow the rule “to get along you must go along”. Intermarriage consolidates the power of the families and expands their span of influence. Finally, a chain of influence spread over many years guarantees continuity.
Members of the order are to be found in every segment of society… The major occupations of members are law, education, business, finance and industry. These five occupations account for over three quarters of the membership, and these are key fields for control of society. Notably the areas of society least represented are those with the least ability to influence the structural direction of society.
The practice of absolute preferment for members of The Order has worked to perpetuate its influence over time in a remarkable manner. The Order has only initiated about 2500 members in its history…each year 15 new members are initiated, no more, no less. Out of 30-40 million degree holders [in the U.S.], a few hundred men…are presumed to be the only ones fit to occupy top posts in government.
Furthermore, there are approximately 2500 institutions of higher learning in the United States. Are we to believe that only one of these institutions can generate the talent to lead the country?
Four families provides an example of one such chain of influence (Whitney, Stimson, Acheson and Bundy).
[Table adapted from chart and text –ed]
- Henry L. Stimson (1888)
- Joins law firm of Elihu Root in 1890. By 1901, firm becomes Winthrop and Stimson
- Marries Mabel White, daughther of Charles A. White (1854)
- Secretary of War under president William H. Taft (1878), succeeding Elihu Root
- Secretary of State under president Hoover
- Secretary of War under presidents Roosevelt and Truman
- Harvey Hollister Bundy (1909)
- Special assistant to Henry Stimson during WW II
- Key Pentagon man on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb
- McGeorge Bundy (1940)
- Son of Harvey H. Bundy
- Joint author with Henry Stimson of book “On Active Service in Peace and War” (Harper, 1948)
- William P. Bundy (1939)
- Son of Harvey H. Bundy
- Editor of CFR journal Foreign Affairs while Winston Lord is Chairman
Harvy Hollister Bundy and two of his three sons, William Putnam Bundy and McGeorge Bundy, are key activists and the activism has a Hegelian pattern — i.e., creation of conflict to bring about change. (For summary of their careers, follow links –ed)
McGeorge Bundy was National Security Advisor in the early years of the Vietnam debacle. While McGeorge Bundy was in the White House, his brother William P. Bundy was in key positions relating to the Far East in [the] Defense and State Departments. By acting jointly, the Bundy brothers could have controlled absolutely the flow of information relating to Vietnam from Intelligence, State and Defense. We are not saying this happened; we believe it to be a hypothesis worthy of examination.
Keeping the Lid on the Pot
The Order’s control of history, through foundations and the American Historical Association, has been effective. From time to time their plans go awry. The bubbling pot of political manipulation…threatens to spill over into public view.
More effective than outright censorship is the use of the left-right political spectrum to neutralize unwelcome facts and ideas, or just condition citizens to think along certain lines. The “left” leaning segment of the press can always be relied upon to automatically assault ideas and information from the “right”, and vice versa. In fact, media outlets have been artificially set up just for this purpose: both theNation and New Republic on the “left” were financed by Willard Straight using Payne Whitney (The Order) funds. On the “right” National Review published by William Buckley (The Order) runs a perpetual deficit.
The Order has several problems:
- The Order Lives in a Cultural Straightjacket
- Their knowledge of the world comes from an in-group and those who play along with the in-group. And the in-group lacks morality and diversity.
- An Easy Prey for the Ambitious Outsider
- Henry Kissinger is a prime example — an outsider who wants desperately to stay on the inside.
- Genetic Problems
- Extensive intermarriage among the families raises a serious question of genetic malfunctions.
- Shallow Power Base
- There is no philosophic or cultural depth to The Order; it lacks diversity.
The great strength of individualism, an atomistic social order where the individual holds ultimate sovereignty, is that any counter-revolution to an imposed social order where the State is boss can take a million roads and a million forms.
No one is going to create an “anti- The Order” movement. That would be foolish and unnecessary. It could be infiltrated, bought off, or diverted all too easily. The movement that will topple The Order will be extremely simple and most effective. It will be ten thousand or a million Americans who come to the conclusion that they don’t want the State to be boss, that they prefer to live under the protection of the Constitution. They will make their own independent decision to thwart The Order.
In conclusion, we must emphasize one point: An understanding of The Order and its modus operandi is impossible unless the reader holds in mind the Hegelian roots of the game plan… A statist system is the objective of The Order.
Above all the reader must put to one side the descriptive cliches of left and right, liberal and conservative, communist and fascist, even republican and democrat. These terms may be important for self recognition…but they are confusing in our context unless seen as essential elements in a game plan. You will never understand The Order [or their game plan] if you try to label it right or left.