Brothers of the Shadows

In his book The Last Empire 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 very real conspiracies by politicians, the FBI, lobbyists for the tobacco companies, etc. But the flip-side of the conspiracy coin is the proliferation of fanciful and fantastic theories which now crisscross the globe in seconds with the help of electronic media. The spread of the internet has democratized conspiracy theory. Millions of people now have the ability to publish their own unique personal analysis of what is going on. A necessary consequence of this massive growth in personal publishing is that it is getting to be much more difficult to find the pearls among the rubbish. In the internet age, it could be argued, if you want to keep something secret you make it public! (For example, how can anyone today make a reasonable assessment of who was responsible for plotting the assassination of J.F. Kennedy? Simply reading the reams of material on this subject would alone take weeks.)

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 usually ill-undefined. The Illuminati are, supposedly, a cabal of top bankers, politicians and business men 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 which has generally not been given serious consideration – taken from the research of Rudolf Steiner. Why Steiner? Because, if for no other reason, his pronouncements and indications on practical areas 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 be able 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: ‘…by 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 in their center 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 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 continues evermore.

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, has been given the task of getting to grips with the material world – of becoming comfortable on Earth and developing a harmony with it. In this specific sense, the West was to introduce a certain kind of (beneficial) materialism into human development. But this materialism was only meant to be developed up to a certain point. As we saw in Part 1, materialism in human evolution was necessary for humans to become fully part of the Earthly world, and to help incarnate our individual ‘I’ nature. But beyond that it has the potential to be destructive. Materialism as a philosophy, which shuts out the possibility of soul and spirit, is retrogressive, and works as an evil in human evolution. The Anglo-American brotherhoods who 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 that 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 later 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). However, this observation does not admittedly offer ‘proof’ in a strict sense.

Another source of evidence is the remarkable research of Prof. Carroll Quigley (1910-77) who wrote two substantial volumes, The Anglo-American Establishment (1949) and Tragedy and Hope (1966),(3) on the secret network which emerged from the enterprise of Cecil 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.

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.

I have already mentioned C.G. Harrison’s remarkable book The Transcendental Universe (see chapter 1.2), a record of six lectures given in 1893 to a mysterious group of ‘Christian esotericists’ named the Berean Society. 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, has access to a phenomenal store of esoteric thought, and is furthermore privy to a certain amount of inside knowledge. In his second lecture, he speaks 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 Bolshevik Revolution!

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 that he represents an esoteric strain of thought which is clearly in defense of the English establishment. How did 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 that he had contact with people who were, and who had access to the malign plans of such secret groups.

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 humorous commentary. 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 neighboring 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?

Is it possible that the above examples are pure coincidence and happy flukes? Perhaps it is possible, although it has to be said it is unlikely. Do these examples, on the other hand, 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 food for serious thought, and opens up important new vistas for understanding current world events.

1 Karma of Untruthfulness Volumes I & II, Rudolf Steiner Press, London, 1988 and 1992.

2 See further in Sergei O. Prokofieff, The Spiritual Origins of Eastern Europe and the Future Mysteries of the Holy Grail, Temple Lodge Publishing, London, 1993.

3 The Anglo-American Establishment was only published in 1981, Books in Focus, New York. Tragedy and Hope was published in 1966 by Macmillan, New York.

4 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, 1996.

5 The Transcendental Universe, Lindisfarne Press, New York, 1993, pages 98-99.

Extracted from In the Belly of the Beast to be published 1 March 2004; Hampton Roads Publishing Company; ISBN 1-57174-305-7; $14.95

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