Ye shall be as gods' (Genesis 3:5).

What is the heart of the conspiracy's successful appeal, both to its members and to its eventual victims? Not the goodies that it promises, "comes the revolution." There are lots of ways of getting goodies in life. The real appeal is the appeal of a uniquely revolutionary idea. It is the same idea that the serpent presented to Eve: "Ye shall be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).

Men live by ideas, and no idea in man's history produced more evil than this one. Man, the god. Man, the predestinator. Man, the central planner. Man, the director of the evolutionary process. Man, the maker and shaker of things on earth and in the heavens. As Karl Marx's collaborator and financier Frederick Engels put it over a century ago, "man no longer merely proposes, but also disposes."1 The chief premise of the modern conspirator is this: Man, the savior of Man.

This vision is inescapably religious. The impulse lying behind it is religious. Some have called it the religion of secular humanism. Others have called it the will to power (Nietzsche). But no one has described its implications better than C. S. Lewis:

What we call man's power is, in reality, a power possessed by some men which they may, or may not, allow other men to profit by.... From this point of view, what we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument .... Man's conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. Each new power won by man is a power over man as well. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger. In every victory, besides being the general who triumphs, he is also the prisoner who follows the triumphal car.... For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please.2

But there is something missing in Lewis' analysis. Must all progress necessarily lead to elitist power over others? If so, then we have a problem. If we proclaim the moral legitimacy of progress, and therefore the legitimacy of increasing man's power over his environment (power such as we possess with modern medicine), how are we to restrain the rise of power-drunk elites? Must we too become tyrants, just because we believe in historical progress?

Progress, after all, is not the product of cultural impotence. It involves the use of power. To avoid becoming tyrants, must we give up the idea of progress (as many in this century have done), and call for a retreat into mysticism? Are we to abandon the struggle against moral and social evil, in order to sit peacefully and contemplate our navels (or wait for the Rapture)? Are we culturally beaten before we start? In short, can we maintain our own vision of victory — and every successful group in history always has possessed such a vision — and still prevent it from becoming just another stepping stone in the advance of political tyranny?

The answer is "yes, we can." But to achieve progress without tyranny, we must elevate ethics over power. This is what is missing from Lewis' summary (or at least missing from my summary of Lewis). We must recognize that in a cosmically personal universe, there are perpetually binding moral rules. These rules are ethical. They should remind us that all autonomous (self-made) power corrupts, and absolute autonomous power (in the hands of sinful creatures, meaning all of us) corrupts absolutely.

This does not mean that all power is evil. It is always necessary for righteous men to possess power if they are to reconstruct a civilization that has been run by evil men who possess raw power. The issue is ethics, not power as such. It depends on which ethical system a society adopts. Some ethical systems are evil. Marxism is a case in point. The question is: Which ethical system? One which elevates man and man's goals, or one which elevates God and therefore limits man's power? In short, do we proclaim the religion of God or the religion of humanism?

Limited Power

Western Civilization adopted biblical ethics as its moral foundation. The Bible teaches the sovereignty of God, not the sovereignty of man. What this means is that all creaturely power is inescapably limited. Man is a creature; he cannot possess ultimate power, and it is a sign of men's evil intentions if they pursue power as such — power divorced from ethics. All political power should therefore be limited by statute law and also by tradition, because man is a sinful creature. It means, in short, that man is not God. Power is delegated to specific men by God through other men, and all legitimate delegated power is therefore limited power.

The Old Testament required that the people of Israel be assembled once every seven years to hear the reading of God's law. Everyone was required to come: residents, children, women, priests, and rulers (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). No one was exempt. All were presumed to be able to understand the law. Everyone would know when the provisions of God's law were being violated. Thus, men had reasonable expectations about law enforcement. They could predict both the State and each other's actions far better, for all of them knew the public, revealed law.

Absolute authority ruled from the top: God. Limited authority was delegated from God to rulers, but only by means of revealed and fixed law.3 The rulers could not legitimately change the law, and a bottom-up system of monitoring the rulers was established by the public reading of the law.

The U.S. Constitution, as a written document which binds the State itself, is an indirect product of this biblical approach. So is the common law jury system. A dozen of our peers are presumed to be better than robed judges at deciding both the facts and the law of the case. In any given .judicial dispute, the decision of the jury is final. There is no double jeopardy: once declared innocent, the person cannot be retried for the same crime. The.jury system is the last major bulwark against judicial tyranny.

Authority vs. Power

We need to understand that there is such a thing as authority. We must distinguish authority from power. Authority is limited power under God. It is legitimate power because it is limited by law and ethics. Political power must be limited if it is to remain legitimate. The Constitution's framers recognized this, and they attempted to construct a legal order which restrains political power. But to maintain itself from power-seekers of a rival faith, a society must be self-governed and self-restrained. Men must say to themselves, "My power is limited; therefore, the State's power is limited. The State is not Savior; therefore, the State is not absolutely sovereign. No appeal to the idea of the State as finally sovereign can be morally valid, and I will resist all such claims, and also those who make them."

Historically, this has meant that members of society must see themselves as under an authority other than the State. There has to be an enforcer somewhere. In the West, this has always meant God. For example, we added these words in the 1950's to our pledge of allegiance to the flag: "one nation, under God." Why? Because these words are consistent with American history. (Also, because Congress and the Supreme Court were not yet getting their concept of law from that ultimate "little old lady in tennis shoes," Madalyn Murray O'Hair.)4 From the beginning, the essence of "the American experiment" was the attempt of wise men to design political institutions of legally limited power.

The limitation of civil power: this is what the U.S. Constitution was originally all about. This was what The Federalist was all about. While Hamilton was far more of a centralist than Madison, his political influence after 1800 collapsed dramatically. His view of the national government as the source of both political and economic unity did not take deep root in the United States until after the Civil War. Hamilton did not present a case for the expansive State in his essays in The Federalist. He wisely recognized that voters would be hostile to any such suggestion. Americans in 1787 did not trust the State, and they were wary of the proposed national government. They wanted it tied down with chains, which is why they insisted on a Bill of Rights.

It has been the essence of conspiracies throughout history to substitute power for ethics, and to substitute unrestricted power for limited authority. If one word summarizes the conspiratorial program, it is this one: centralization. In all things, the State is to be the pre-eminent power, the initiating agency as well as the final court of appeal.

There is no doubt that the two most representative revolutions in Western history were the American Revolution (and Constitutional settlement of 1789) and the French Revolution of 1789-94 (and the Napoleonic settlement of 1799-1815). Here we find the great political alternatives: the American decentralization of political power vs. the French centralization of political power; checks and balances vs. bureaucratic sovereignty; the jury system vs. administrative law; common law ("innocent until proven guilty") vs. Napoleonic law ("guilty until proven innocent"); common law precedents vs. Napoleonic codified law. In short, bottom-up society vs. top-down society. The Russian Revolution was simply a better-executed, more thoroughly centralized extension of the French Revolution.

The Church-State Alliance

There must be a sustaining philosophy — indeed, a sustaining religion — to undergird every society. Marx was incorrect: it is not the economic mode of production that undergirds the prevailing religious and philosophical ideals. Rather, the ideals determine which sort of economy and political order can emerge. We must not become "closet Marxists." We must not become economic determinists, Freudian determinists, or environmental determinists. Ethics is primary, not economics or political power.

There is always a necessary alliance between Church and State. This alliance need not be tyrannical. The two institutions need to be kept separate. But the alliance always exists. Without a broadly based sense of moral legitimacy concerning the civil government (or any institution which possesses power), rulers cannot rule their subjects indefinitely. To remove the king's throne, you must first remove the priests, or else convert their leaders to new beliefs. Anything less isn't a revolution; it is only a coup d'etat.

This shift in the thinking of influential priests literally took place in the decades before the French Revolution. That was one of the most brilliant and successful aspects of the program adopted by the conspirators who directed the French Revolution. A similar program was begun a century ago in the United States: the capture of seminaries, church boards,5 and Christian colleges.6  The National Council of Churches has been instrumental in this "capture of the robes."7 Again and again, the money to fund this transformation after 1920 was provided by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., or one of the numerous Rockefeller foundations.8

To undermine a society, its opponents must first undermine men's faith in the existing moral and philosophical foundations of that society. This is why we find that in all cases of civilizations that have fallen into some version of the heresy of centralization, there has emerged a new alliance between Church and State, between new priests and kings, between new intelligentsia and politicians.

We must recognize that, in every era, anti-conspiratorialists also have their priests, kings, intelligentsia, and politicians. For every Jean Jacques Rousseau there is always an Edmund Burke. For every Maximilien Robespierre there is always a George Washington. For every Karl Marx there is always a Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk. For every Karl Barth there is a Cornelius Van Til. For every Walter Lippmann there is always a Malcolm Muggridge. In short, for every Arius there is always an Athanasius. The question is never "kings, priests, politicians, and intelligentsia vs. no kings, priests, politicians, and intelligentsia." It is always a question of "whose?"

Fractional Reserve Banking

Now try this one: for every David Rockefeller there is always a . . .?

All of a sudden, it gets more difficult to identify a good guy on the other side. In this one realm, banking, there seems to be no good guy lurking in the historical wings. There may be nice merchant bankers and central bankers. Somewhere. Perhaps. There are no doubt rulers of great banking empires who love their children and donate money to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But what we seem to be short of is presidents of major commercial banks or directors of central banks who cry out against the use of fractional reserve banking to centralize power at the expense of the public in general and borrowers in particular. Why is this?

Because modern banking is fractional reserve banking, it inescapably involves fraud. It also creates the boom-bust business cycle — a cycle which the manipulators can use to their advantage because they control the mechanism by which it is created: the money supply.9

This is not the place to go into the details of the process by which fractional reserve banking produces counterfeit money, and why governments exempt the banking system from prosecution against counterfeiting. Murray Rothbard has described the process more clearly than anyone ever has in his classic little booklet, What Has Government Done to Our Money?, which you can (and should) buy from the Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama. I've never read anything better on money. Let me simply say that the monopoly of fractional reserve banking is inherently corrupt, inherently a process of legalized theft, and inherently power-seeking.

When you deposit, say, a check for $100 into your bank, the bank takes about $10 of that money and sends it to the Federal Reserve System, our nation's partially private and partially governmental central bank. The FED pays no interest on the money. This $10 serves as a legal reserve for the money. Now, your banker makes money by lending money. He takes the $90 and loans it out. The fellow who borrows it then spends it. The recipient takes the $90 and deposits it in his bank. His banker takes $9 and sends it to the FED. Then he loans $81 to some borrower, who spends it, and the recipient takes the $81 to his bank.

You get the picture. In theory, $900 can come into circulation on the basis of your original deposit of $100, if the reserve ratio is set at 10%. This is the "genius" of fractional reserve banking. If you wonder why we have inflation in the modern world, here is a good place to begin looking.

Who, then, controls the Federal Reserve System? And why was it established? Why was it, in the words of Thibaut de Saint Phalle, an intentional mystesy?10

Again and again, the story of Establishment conspiracy returns to the big New York banking firms. For centuries, the plans of the conspirators have originated in conference rooms of the great banks, or in conjunction with the banking establishment.11 Why? Because money is the central institution in a division-of-labor economy; therefore, control over the issue of money becomes the single-most-important grant of monopoly privilege that the national government can make to any private or quasi-public organization. Those who receive such a monopolistic grant know how to use it to their advantage. Those who do not receive it seldom understand the process of money creation, the benefits it gives to those who do understand, and the catastrophes such monopolistic power invariably has led to in history.

This ignorance benefits the money creators. Monetary theory is so little understood by the public (including legislators and judges), and monetary institutions are so mysterious — they were designed to be that way, especially central banks — that once established, only catastrophic economic events, or a dedicated leader (such as President Andrew Jackson), can ever produce a meaningful reform. The supposed reforms otherwise go from bad to worse, from less centralized to more centralized.

The Unification of Man

We are monotheists in the West. The god of our civilization must be a unified god. For over a thousand years, the West, being Christian (with local Jewish subdivisions), historically affirmed the unity of mankind. All men are created in the image of God, who is Himself unified. But, at the same time, orthodox Christians and orthodox (uncapitalized) Jews — I don't limit this to Orthodox Jews alone — have always simultaneously proclaimed that mankind is divided ethically. There are good men and bad men, saved and lost, saints and sinners, covenant-keepers and covenant-breakers. Thus, the goal of the unification of mankind is necessarily limited. Men will never be unified ethically. There will always be a struggle between good and evil. The conspiracy will always be around. The point is, then, to construct institutions that will preserve the peace — civil, ecclesiastical, educational, economic, etc. — but which will also suppress the outward manifestations of evil. Warning: outward, not inward evil.

In the West, we have always recognized that God saves men, not the State. Laws must suppress outward evil, but they must never be designed to save men ethically. The State is not God. It is not supposed to make men good; it is only supposed to restrain men from public evil acts. The State has not been granted the power to replace God as Savior. Thus, Western Civilization has historically avoided the doctrine of salvation by law, especially statist law. Whenever and wherever the doctrine of salvation by civil law has been preached, then and there we have found a conspiracy against Western Civilization.

The motivation of conspiracies is simple: to be as God. The conspiracies of the West, being Western, have also adopted the notion of the unity of the godhead. But who is this god? It is man himself. To achieve (evolve to) this position of divinity, men therefore need to be unified — not just unified through voluntary co-operation (such as in a free market transaction), but unified ethically.

It would be futile to attempt to list all the statements by humanist scholars that proclaim the need for the unification of man. A representative example is an interview with Carl Sagan, the popular astronomer (I am tempted to write "pop astronomer") whose multimillion dollar 1980 Public Broadcasting System show, "Cosmos," was a 12-week propaganda blast for evolution. Sagan writes:

I'd say that our strengths are a kind of intelligence and adaptability. In the last few thousand years, we've made astonishing cultural and technical advances. In other areas, we've not made so much progress. For example, we are still bound up in sectarian and national rivalries.

"Intelligence and adaptability" are code words for evolution, meaning man-directed social, political, and economic evolution. "Sectarian and national rivalries" are code words for religious differences and nationalism. But Sagan is optimistic. He sees a new world a-comin'. Some people might even call it the New World Order.

It's clear that sometime relatively soon in terms of the lifetime of the human species people will identify with the entire planet and the species, provided we don't destroy ourselves first. That's the race I see us engaged in — a contest between unifying the planet and destroying ourselves."12

Back in the 1950's, the slogan was: "Peace in the world, or the world in pieces." It is the same religious pitch: the unification of mankind ethically and politically — the one-world or-der-is necessary if mankind is to survive as a species. Men must have the very similar moral, political, and economic goals. Divisive creeds and opinions need to be educated out of people, preferably by means of compulsory, tax-financed schools. Diversity of opinion concerning these "humanistic" goals must not be tolerated, meaning "sectarian and national rivalries." Mankind must not be allowed to reveal differences of opinion on fundamentals. Mankind's godhead is at stake.

Now, there are three ways to achieve this unity: persuasion ("conversion"), manipulation, and execution. The first approach takes forever, or at least it seems to take forever. It also eats up lots of resources. It takes teams of "missionaries." People just never seem to agree on these humanistic first principles. They bicker. They battle. They refuse to be persuaded. Mankind reveals its lack of agreement on religion and ethics. This, you understand, must not be tolerated.

If you cannot persuade men to co-operate, either by force of reason, or an appeal to self-interest, or moral appeal, then you have only two choices remaining: manipulation or execution. Either you confuse the bickering factions by means of an endless process of shifting alliances, thereby gaining their co-opera-tion under a unified (but necessarily secret) elite of planners, or else one faction must eliminate all rivals by force: you kill your opponents, or make them slaves. There is no third alternative, given the false doctrine of the ethical unity of man. Man is in principle ethically unified, this theology proclaims; therefore, any visible deviations from this hypothetical unity must be suppressed, one way or another.

This brings us to the next phase of conspiracy analysis. We need to ask ourselves: Which kind of conspiracy?


*Gary North, Conspiracy A Biblical View, (Dominion Press, Tyler, Texas)  p. 10-11

1 Frederick Engels, Herr Eugen Duhring's Revolution in Science [Anti-D$uhring] London: Lawrence & Wishart, [1877-78] 1934), p. 348.

2 C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: Macmillan, [1947] 1967), pp. 68, 69, 70, 71.

3 Gary North, Leviticus: An Economic Commentary (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1994), ch. 4.

4 Mrs. O'Hair and several of her associates disappeared ill early 1996. Her son Bill has been an evangelical Christian for over a decade.

5 Gary North, Crossed Floggers: How the Liberals Captured the Presbyterian Church (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1996).

6 George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

7 C. Gregg Singer, The Unholy Alliance (New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1975).

8 Albert F. Schenkel, The Rich Man and the Kingdom: John D. Rockefeller; Jr., and the Protestant Establishment (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress, 1995).

9 Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (3rd ed.; Chicago: Regnery, 1966), ch. 20.

10 Thibaut de Saint Phalle, The Federal Reserve System: An Intentional Mystery (New York: Praeger, 1985).

11 John Brewer, The Sinews of Power: War; Money and the English State, 1688-1783 (New York: Knopf, 1988); E G. M. Dickson, The Financial Revolution in England:

12 U.S. News and World Report (Oct. 21, 1985), p. 66.