by Sevak Gulbekian
New Dawn No. 86 (September-October
SEVAK EDWARD GULBEKIAN
lives in England. He is the publisher and chief editor
of Clairview Books, Temple Lodge Publishing, and Rudolf
Steiner Press. The above is an expanded chapter from his
book In the Belly of the Beast, Holding Your Own in Mass
Culture. Sevak can be reached at
In his book
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
Gore Vidal suggests that the American public has been
conditioned to respond to the word ‘conspiracy’ with a smirk and a
chuckle. Conspiracy, in other words, is for the nuts and the loners,
and is not to be taken seriously. In this way, he argues, through
the media’s association of the concept of conspiracy with fringe or
extreme elements, the real conspirators go unnoticed.
It is a vital point, and Vidal courageously chases and exposes
genuine conspiracies by politicians, the FBI, lobbyists for the
tobacco companies, and so on. But the flip-side of the conspiracy
coin is the proliferation of fanciful and fantastic theories that
now crisscross the globe in seconds with the help of electronic
The spread of the internet has democratized conspiracy theory.
Millions of people now have the means to publish their own unique
analysis of what is going on. A necessary consequence of this
massive growth in personal digital publishing is that it is getting
to be much more difficult to find the pearls among the rubbish.
Someone even observed that, in the age of the internet, if you want
to keep something secret you make it public…
Amidst the more fantastic theories of UFOs and intergalactic
lizards, certain core themes do persistently reoccur in the mass of
‘conspiracy theory’ material now available. Principal among them is
the idea that a shadowy elite is seeking to enslave humanity under
the auspices of a single, centralized world government. The name of
the mysterious ‘Illuminati’ is most often associated with such a
group, although what is meant by it is frequently ill defined. The
Illuminati are, supposedly, a cabal of top bankers, politicians and
businessmen seeking to create the aforesaid all-powerful government.
What is the truth of all this? I do not propose to give a full
answer here, but would like to introduce a perspective on the theme
– one that has generally not been given serious consideration –
taken from the research of Rudolf Steiner. In the second part
of the article I will try and relate Steiner’s ideas to other more
familiar conspiracy research.
So why Steiner? Because, if for no other reason, his pronouncements
and indications on practical areas of life have borne such
remarkable fruit, testimony to which are thousands of Waldorf
schools offering a new kind of education, farms successfully
practicing bio-dynamics, clinics dispensing anthroposophic
medicines, and so on.
As a profound clairvoyant, Steiner claimed to investigate other
dimensions of reality for insight into the human condition. His
legacy is hundreds of volumes of published talks and written works
on a cornucopia of themes. However, as mentioned above, his work –
in contrast to that of many other spiritual teachers and gurus – has
shown itself to have practical applications in all areas of life.
This in itself does not provide ultimate evidence for the truth of
his work, but it does correspond to the biblical dictum: “[B]y their
fruits ye shall know them.”
In 1916 and 1917, in the midst of the catastrophic First World War,
Steiner gave a series of 25 lectures to a group of his followers who
gathered together at their centre in Dornach in neutral Switzerland.
These lectures, since translated and published in English,1
offer a unique reading of contemporary events.
Behind the outer façade of world affairs, suggested Steiner, the
machinations of occult groups or ‘brotherhoods’ were at work.
Certain of these brotherhoods had wanted the Great War to take
place, and had manipulated events to bring it about. In doing this,
they sought to protect the dominant economic position of the
English-speaking world, and in turn to crush the ‘mediating’ role of
Central European powers such as Germany, the Austro-Hungarian
empire, and so on.
These occult brotherhoods – small groups of men who met together in
‘lodges’ and practiced ceremonial magic as a means of achieving
certain goals – originated from the English-speaking (Anglo-Saxon)
world and were allied, in particular, with Anglo-American interests.
Their aim was to extend Anglo-American influence across the globe,
and to ensure the predomination of Anglo-American culture.
Furthermore, they sought to extend its superiority into the distant
future; essentially to ensure that the present state of affairs
According to Steiner’s research, human evolution goes through ‘great
periods’ of development. During each of these periods, a particular
people is given the task of leading humanity in a spiritual sense.
Over the millennia, it has been the destiny of different peoples to
bring specific qualities, in a benevolent way, to the whole of
humanity. Particular periods of history are thus led by particular
nations. This does not imply a form of political control or empire –
and is certainly not a theory of national or racial superiority –
but is referring to a spiritual form of authority.
Steiner suggested that the Western world, and in particular the
English-speaking peoples, have been given the task of getting to
grips with the material world – of becoming comfortable on Earth and
developing in harmony with it. In this specific sense, the West was
to introduce a certain kind of (beneficial) materialism into human
But this materialism was only meant to
be developed up to a certain point. It was necessary in order for
humans to become fully part of the earthly world, and to help
introduce an individualized consciousness (the ‘I’). But beyond that
it had the potential to be destructive. Materialism as a philosophy,
which shuts out the possibility of soul and spirit, is
retrogressive, asserted Steiner, and works as an evil in human
The Anglo-American brotherhoods that seek dominion over mankind know
this, and hence today are deliberately sponsoring various kind of
materialism in the hope of halting and trapping humanity at the
present stage of its development. They don’t want humans to progress
beyond the present stage of immersion in the material world. In
other words, they don’t want us to reconnect in a free way with our
spiritual ‘I’, because they know that their grip over humanity would
then be lost. Human progress is dependent on spiritual knowledge,
and thus the occult brotherhoods work against it.
Steiner explained further the brotherhoods were aware that the
Slavic peoples were to be given the task of leadership on behalf of
humanity during the next ‘great period’ of history. For this reason,
the Anglo-American brotherhoods not only sought to dominate the
present great period of human development, but – knowing that the
Slavs had an important mission in the future – sought to gain
control over the Slavic peoples (Russia in particular) in the
present, in order to interfere with or even put a halt to their
coming task. In this way, the Anglo-American brotherhoods could
extend their control over human development into the distant future.
Steiner later claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which
led to the creation of the USSR and the 72-year cultural,
intellectual, economic and political repression of the populations
of its various peoples, was masterminded and sponsored by these same
brotherhoods as a means of controlling the region and its peoples.2
What is the evidence for Steiner’s analysis? Apart from anything
else, it is interesting to note the present state of world affairs,
and how – since Steiner spoke about this topic in 1916-17 –
Anglo-American culture has come to dominate the globe in tandem with
American economic and political influence (with the enthusiastic
support of British politicians). The assertion of unilateral
military action by the United States and Britain in the 2003
invasion of Iraq – in the face of almost total global opposition –
was a good example of this formidable power at work. However,
admittedly these observations do not provide ‘proof’ in a strict
Another source of evidence is the remarkable research of Prof.
Carroll Quigley (1910-77) who wrote two substantial volumes,
The Anglo-American Establishment
Tragedy and Hope (1966),3
on the secret network which emerged from
the enterprise of
Rhodes. Quigley characterized the power of this group through its
influence in politics, culture and social life as “terrifying”.
It is important to note that Quigley was no crazed and paranoid
conspiracy nut, but a respected Georgetown professor, and even the
teacher of Bill Clinton. (How such networks might be related to the
brotherhoods Steiner is talking about will be considered later.)
Other authors have followed Quigley’s
lead and complemented his studies with contemporary observations. A
few have even related Steiner’s ideas to Quigley’s research.4
In this context, however, I would like to mention only two external
‘symptoms’, which, at the very least, offer circumstantial evidence
for Steiner’s diagnosis.
In 1893, an Englishman called C.G. Harrison delivered six
lectures to the Berean Society, a mysterious group of ‘Christian esotericists’. A record of these lectures is to be found in
Harrison’s remarkable book
The Transcendental Universe. Little is
known about the Berean Society or Harrison, although he wrote two
further books in his lifetime. What is clear is that Harrison, who
speaks in defense of the “high” Church, had access to a phenomenal
store of esoteric thought, and was furthermore privy to a certain
amount of inside knowledge.
In his second lecture, he spoke not only
of “the next great European war”, but also of the “national
character” of the Slavic peoples and its ability to,
“enable them to carry out
experiments in Socialism, political and economical, which would
present innumerable difficulties in Western Europe”.5
Remember that these lectures were given
in 1893, 21 years before the First World War and 24 years before the
While Harrison claimed to be a “theoretical occultist” as opposed to
a “practical” one – i.e. he did not practice magic or ritual, with
the implication that he was not a member of a “lodge” himself – from
his work it is evident he represents an esoteric strain of thought
which clearly defends the English establishment.
How could he know about the forthcoming
War as well as the “experiments in Socialism”, which would take a
grip on Russia and its surrounding states for most of the twentieth
century? If he was not, as he claimed, a “practical occultist”
himself, it is reasonable to assume he had contact with people who
were, and who had access to the malign plans of such secret groups
referred to above.
The second significant piece of evidence which offers some backing
for Steiner’s claims of occult interference in world politics is to
be found in a special edition of the satirical weekly The Truth,
published at Christmas 1890. Under the heading ‘The Kaiser’s Dream’,
the magazine featured a cartoon map of Europe together with a
Many observations can be made of the
map, but the most pertinent point to note in relation to the above
is that all the countries of Europe are shown as republics with the
exception of Russia and its neighbouring states, over which are
written the words “Russian Desert”. In addition, Germany is
identified with the words “German Republics”!
This map signifies not only a
foreknowledge – similar to Harrison – of the fate of Russia to
become a cultural as well as an economic ‘desert’, but also of the
future splitting of Germany into ‘republics’. The magazine’s editor,
Henry Labouchère, was a Freemason. Was his remarkable
foresight pure luck, or once again did he have some inside knowledge
of future plans to shape the world?
It is of course possible that the above examples are merely
coincidences and happy flukes, but surely it is unlikely. Do these
examples offer evidence for the existence of occult brotherhoods
with pernicious plans for political manipulation? We may never know
for sure, but it is evident that Steiner’s perspective offers much
serious food for thought, and opens up important new vistas for
understanding current world events.
Modern Conspiracy Research
Having sketched out Steiner’s picture of secret brotherhoods, I
would like now to try and show how his perspective might relate to
the more general conspiracy research referred to earlier. To many
readers of this magazine
the Bilderberg Group, the
Council on Foreign Relations and
Trilateral Commission will be more
than familiar. In addition, the Yale University secret society Skull
and Bones is often identified by investigators in the conspiracy
The latter has been thrown into the
limelight recently due to the remarkable admission by both
Republican and Democratic candidates of the 2004 American
presidential election that they are members of the exclusive club.
Skull and Bones is a tiny society
that invites only 15 undergraduates per year to join its ranks – and
at any one time has only 800 or so living members – the fact that
the two candidates for the post of the most powerful position in the
world are members of it (from a population totaling some 293 million
people) is quite incredible!
It has long been known that
George W. Bush is an initiate
of Skull and Bones (as was his father
George Bush Snr. and grandfather Prescott Sheldon
Bush), but it has been something of a surprise to discover the
democratic candidate John Kerry is also a member.
nervously when questioned about his and Bush’s membership on
television. “You both were members of the Skull and Bones; what does
that tell us?” he was asked. “Yup. Not much”, he replied.6)
According to the key researcher of Skull and Bones, Antony C.
Sutton, the society was first founded in 1833. Members, who meet
secretly in its ‘tomb’ on the grounds of Yale, are sworn to secrecy
about the group’s rites and activities. In terms of its operations
and philosophy, Sutton refers to the ‘dialectical’ process, based on
the philosopher Hegel, as being at the heart of Skull and Bones
In particular, he tries to prove that
the group has been instrumental in funding and encouraging the
development of both far-left and far-right political groupings –
principally the Communists and Nazis – in the twentieth century.
From the point of view of Skull and Bones’ broad vision of human
development, left and right are viewed as two parts of the Hegelian
dialectical process; one political wing represents ‘thesis’ while
the other represents ‘antithesis’.
These two aspects clash and fight each
other, but eventually merge to form a ‘synthesis’. It is this
synthesis, according to Sutton, that Skull and Bones is aiming to
create. By controlling and manipulating the conflict, it controls
the outcome (or synthesis).
It is interesting to note that Sutton first published his
interpretation of Skull and Bones in the mid-1980s. At that time, he
quoted the group as working for a ‘New
World Order’ (NWO). This NWO was to be the product
of the synthesis of political left and right. Shortly after the
collapse of the Eastern-bloc communist countries, and the subsequent
triumph of Western capitalism – a triumph that Francis Fukuyama
referred to in his famous book as ‘the end of history’ – George Bush Snr. began to use the specific phrase ‘New World Order’ in public
This fascinating fact offers some circumstantial evidence for
Sutton’s reading. Presuming that Sutton is correct, humanity is
living right now within the period of ‘synthesis’ – the birth of a
NWO led by the West, and principally the United States. (And perhaps
it will come as no surprise to adherents of Sutton’s analysis that a
new ‘dialectic’ has suddenly appeared to take the place of the old,
i.e. Communism versus Capitalism is replaced with the West versus
Antony Sutton’s series of booklets on Skull and Bones begins with
his Introduction to the Order,7
in which he points out that – despite them being commonly associated
with conspiracy – organizations such as the Council on Foreign
Relations and Trilateral Commission are ultimately not secret, and
have large public memberships.
Likewise, it could be added that despite
the fact the Bilderberg conferences are not open to the press or
public, the names of the people who attend these yearly private
meetings are not concealed. (The minutes of the 1999 meeting in
Sintra, Portugal were even leaked and published wholesale on the
internet.) Lists of members of the above groups can be found in
Robert Gaylon Ross’s
Who’s Who of the Elite, Members of the Bilderbergs, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and
Skull and Bones Society.)
Sutton suggests that organizations such as the above form a larger
‘outer circle’ of members, while societies such as Skull and Bones
form part of an ‘inner circle’ of truly secret groupings, of which
there is a still further ‘inner core’ – the ‘decision-making core’ –
which remains completely out of public view, i.e. truly hidden (or,
literally, ‘occult’). This is a reasonable hypothesis. From what is
known of the Bilderberg conferences, for example, it could be
inferred that their essential motivation is to further the Western
Capitalist Project through high-level networking and the grooming of
To put it in another way, they are
working for the economic, political and cultural domination of a
globalized world by the West – in particular by the English-speaking
peoples led by the United States and Britain. (Although the
Bilderberg conferences include guests from around the world, the
emphasis is on North America and Europe, and its leadership is
From what is known of the Bilderbergers – and much has reached the
public domain – there appears to be no more conspiracy than that.
Groups such as Skull and Bones (and Sutton deduces that there are
others such as Scroll and Key) are not completely secret in that
their existence and membership are well documented. According to
Sutton these are the ‘core’, with similar objectives to the more
public groups but with more focused and consciously-held goals.
In contradistinction to the Bilderbergers etc., true secret
societies usually have elaborate initiation ceremonies and use
ritual as a critical part of their mutual enterprise. The
brotherhoods Steiner speaks of, as has already been mentioned, are
also built on Masonic principles of secrecy and ritual, but are
hidden from public view.
In relation to the groups referred to above, it is quite possible
that such genuinely occult brotherhoods form part of the inner,
‘decision-making’ core, which Sutton refers to. Having said that, as
Sutton points out, most members of the larger groups would have no
inkling of any subterfuge or conspiracy, and neither would many
members of Skull and Bones.
This work would be left to the
directors, or ‘initiates’, with esoteric knowledge and
understanding. According to Steiner, the specific brotherhoods he is
referring to not only have the conscious goal of maintaining
Anglo-American domination, but complement this aim with real
esoteric insight – i.e. an understanding of the evolutionary cycles
referred to above.
The above sketch gives a useful framework for comprehending how
public groups such as Bilderberg, more secret groups like Skull and
Bones, and the occult societies that Steiner refers to might
interact and co-exist. In this sense, the true occult societies
would be the central inspiration for the larger intersecting groups
of organizations with politically active individuals.
To my mind, such a complex picture is
more convincing than the nebulous idea of a single all-powerful
‘Illuminati’ that is supposedly responsible for creating a massive
conspiracy that controls every aspect of modern life.
Karma of Untruthfulness Volumes
I & II, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1988 and 1992.
See further in Sergei O.
Prokofieff, The Spiritual Origins of Eastern Europe and the
Future Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Temple Lodge Publishing,
The Anglo-American Establishment
was only published in 1981, Books in Focus, New York.
Tragedy and Hope was published in 1966 by Macmillan, New
See Terry Boardman, Mapping the
Millennium, Behind the Plans of the New World Order, Temple
Lodge Publishing, London, 1998, and Amnon Reuveni, In the
Name of the ‘New World Order’, Manifestations of Decadent
Powers in World Politics, Temple Lodge Publishing, London,
The Transcendental Universe,
Lindisfarne Press, New York, 1993, pages 98-99.
Daily Telegraph, London, 12 July
The Secret Cult of the Order
(1983), An Introduction to the Order (1984), How the Order
Creates War and Revolution (1985), How the Order Controls
Education (1985), Veritas Publishing Co., Aukland. A more
recent and high profile study is Alexandra Robbins Secrets
of the Tomb.