The Words of the Carlson Family

Conspiracy Theory

Paul Carlson
May, 2004

Throughout history, few topics have engendered more lasting speculation. For a topic that’s supposed to be secret, they’re awfully popular these days! Talk radio and the Internet have given them a vast new forum. An earlier version of this article appeared in 1997.

The best selling novel The DaVinci Code has revived the topic of historical conspiracies. It combines dozens of actual and rumored threads. Umberto Eco has long penned intricate European tales. David Morrell’s ‘powerful secret group’ thrillers often top the charts, while Marc Olden gives his novels an oriental cast. TV shows such as The X-Files, Buffy, and Alias gave the public another dose of mysterious plots and plans.

Virtually all conspiracy tales begin with Jesus or King Solomon, get a boost from the Crusades or Egypt’s Library of Alexandria, then wade into the morass of Europe’s occult groups, and finally bring it into the present day. Their people are often said to guard some talisman: ancient scrolls, the Holy Grail, the tombs of Jesus or Mary Magdalen, etc.

History is fertile territory. The Crusades really were rife with intrigue. Franks made secret deals with Assassins, Christians betrayed Christians, and mystical orders such as the Knights Templar gained immense power.

Some tales are fantastic, claiming that space aliens, or advanced people from inside the Earth, played a key role in early civilizations. Magic and ‘lost’ technology are combined in a mish-mash, then credited for the Pyramids and other ancient works. (Never mind that engineers now have an excellent idea of how they were built.)

Riding the New Age wave, a few self-appointed leaders are claiming some of this ersatz history for themselves. These include "Egyptian" priests, "Goddess" worshipers, "doomsday" prophets, and so on. They range from merely foolish to quite dangerous.


The assassination of President Lincoln attracts much interest. Legitimate historians are still uncovering evidence, and write of a plot that may have reached all the way to England!

The JFK assassination has inspired numerous books. These make mincemeat of the Warren Commission’s "case," and raise many disturbing, unanswered questions. However, the answers those books try to provide are contradictory at best.

The current Presidential front runners both belong to Yale’s powerful, secretive Skull and Bones society.

Liberals spoke darkly of their persecution by a "vast right-wing conspiracy," now transformed into wide open "attack squads." Conservatives say they’re busy fending off an "arrogant left-wing power grab." One side has its billionaire, George Soros; the other, Richard Mellon Scaife. It’s funny how your side’s Big Money is always clean and respectable -- unlike that other guy’s.

Recently the liberal media had been forced to run disclaimers, announcing that TV "news" shows promoting certain authors are owned by the same corporation that publishes their books!

Over the decades, most Presidents have been members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and the very private Bohemian Grove. (I’ve been there. It’s a beautiful wooded retreat.)


The sheer variety of alleged conspiracies is impressive.

Some patently false ones invoke Jewish Elders, bankers (as a class), and British royalty. The ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ hoax has been around for decades, and is constantly being revived by the Arab media.

Many genuine organizations have been tagged as "more than they appear": the Vatican, Rosicrucians, Masons, etc. Many historic entities are alleged to survive: the Prieure du Sion, Illuminati, Ninjas, etc. Also, various Nazi holdouts.

For decades the John Birch Society (JBS) has claimed that the well-known CFR controls the Communist and Western worlds. (One JBS member told me that my own good experience in Russia was a clever hoax, done to fool Americans about their supposed liberation.)

Today, the equally far out group sings a very similar tune. (Carlyle Group! Oil money! Bush knew!) Of course, neither group would admit this in a million years.

There are persistent rumors of satanic cults. This author has heard such reports in Las Vegas (from a liberal minister), the Deep South (from various authors), in northern California (on local talk shows), and in Oklahoma (at first hand, for once, from a local Unificationist). No one has shown actual evidence, but so many runaways go missing each year that some terrible maw could, all too readily, be consuming some of them . . .

On the other hand, certain genuine conspiracies are hardly acknowledged yet. Recently unsealed Venona and KGB records have vindicated Senator Joseph McCarthy. (There were only communist agents behind every other bush.) No doubt Washington, DC still hides its share of ugly goings-on.


An obvious question is, why bother? What’s the point of all those machinations, anyway?

My favorite TV cartoon said it best:

"What are we going to do tonight, Brain?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinkie. Try to take over the world!"

Theories abound, but are any of them more than cartoons?

In legal terms, conspiracies last from minutes to years; decades at the very most. After that, they either fall apart or become known entities.

An actual Vast Conspiracy would have:

1) A powerful, clandestine organization. (Anything less would be ineffective.)

2) People acting, at least on an intellectual level, beyond narrow self-interest. (Not conflicting over individual wealth or power.)

3) A self-perceived elite. Regarding themselves as divinely, or satanically, or otherwise appointed. (Otherwise they’d be too bland.)

4) An absolute rule. Serious dissent couldn’t be allowed. (Few public dissenters have ever appeared.)

5) Long-term plans and determination. (Otherwise the project would die with its founders.)

6) A large-scale program and goal. (Small stuff is likely to be overwhelmed.)

7) To regard themselves as -- what? Shepherds of the masses? Long-term opponents of -- who? Guardians of something? Absolute rulers to be? (Anything less wouldn’t hold their fancy.)


So, could they really pull it off? Probably not.

To do so, their children and heirs must carry on the plan, whether it’s from activists, plutocrats, or dictators. In reality their offspring seldom do. Without the support of a common culture it would be especially difficult. But if they did manage it, the dozen or more Vast Conspiracies might collide!

Many unpredictable factors influence society. Various disasters ruin companies and nations, and fads sweep the popular culture. With the advance of technology this is doubly true.

The leading ideology changes over time, and with it, the goals of the current ‘elite.’ In America, over the course of a century, racial slavery/segregation and unbridled industrialization have given way to egalitarianism and environmental rhetoric. (The bondage is now more subtle and the pollution has been moved to the Third World.)

Captains of industry seek to build ‘empires of service.’ Some, like Enron and (allegedly) Tyco, viewed their customers as lambs to be sheared. Neither policy lends itself to lasting secrecy.

Some few politicians are true statesmen, seeking their people’s long-term gain over easy popularity. Most try to wrest all the control they can. Both sorts could bollix a conspiracy.


A vast long-term undertaking does exist! God and Satan are the real conspirators, masterminds with very different styles, not to mention goals.

If any human conspiracies are out there, they’ll be encountered as God’s providence expands. Hopefully their leaders will see the wisdom of the Principle.

In the past, providential figures didn’t understand their true place in this great effort. Certainly, no mortal explained it to them. Even so, a handful intuited their position. For example, it’s said that Charlemagne’s son, Pepin the Short, felt a close affinity with King David.

Conspirators, no matter how powerful, will ultimately be judged by their support of, or opposition to, God’s Will. The deepest trends of history are guided by people empowered by their closeness to God. Parents, heroes, patriots, saints -- and beyond.

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