Looking out upon the horrid ruin we seem to have made of the planet, in spite of the kind hearts and good intentions of the vast majority of human beings, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that some nefarious force has hijacked civilization, driving it towards ends that serve almost no one.
If we are headed for a future that no one would consciously choose, it stands to reason, some say, that we are not choosing; that something else, unfriendly to human welfare, is choosing for us.
Deeper study of certain pivotal events in history strengthens this conclusion. The official explanations of the Kennedy assassination or 9/11 are riddled with contradictions that are difficult to explain. Ominous coincidences pile up and make patterns, pointing toward a conscious agency orchestrating these events toward sinister goals. Diving deeper, one discovers patterns of patterns that ultimately coalesce into an alternate history of the world.
The alternate history explains world events as resulting from the machinations of a powerful, dark cabal of secret organizations comprising the global elite: the banks, wealthy families like the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, non-official organizations like the Bilderburg Council, organized crime, shadowy agencies within the government, secret societies like Skull and Bones and the Freemasons, and so on. Behind them all is a group even more secret, comprising the true rulers of earth, who count even prime ministers and presidents among their puppets. Some theorist say that these Illuminati who hold the reins of power are human beings; others say that they have extraterrestrial allies, or that this group is controlled by, or consists of, ETs. Their goal, it is said, is to impose a New World Order (NWO) in which their dominion is complete.
In addition, the dark cabal that rules the earth is purported to have powerful secret technologies at its disposal. Weather control, mind control, energy weapons, artificially created diseases like Lyme and Swine Flu, and other near-magical technologies enable them to destroy any opposition and control us in ways we barely suspect. Always they are seeking to impose new forms of tyranny, to extend their dominion over mind and matter.
The purpose of this essay is not to debunk conspiracy theories or uphold the dominant historical narrative. Rather, I will advance a third explanation that respects and transcends both. Most critiques of conspiracy theories dispute the author’s evidence, logic, and sources, and impugn his sanity, intelligence, or integrity. I will not do that. While such critiques often have merit, they tend to go after the low-hanging fruit: the sloppiest authors, the weakest points of their theses, the most easily explained of their evidence. Giving the best of the genre a fair reading, however, the impartial reader realizes that something strange is going on.
Moreover, the NWO conspiracy theory, whatever its flaws, bears some important truths. For one thing, it speaks to our sense that there is something deeply wrong in the world, something that is right in front of our faces yet that we are too blind to see. The NWO hypothesis feels validating and liberating. In the end, though, many people find it to be disempowering; as I shall describe, it subtly feeds into the mentality behind the very same conditions that it aspires to change. It robs us of our power and helps maintain the status quo. How does this happen, and how can its liberating potential be realized? To answer this question, let us begin with a meta-level critique of the NWO thesis, and conspiracism in general, a critique that opens the door toward integrating both the NWO and the dominant narrative into a larger framework.