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Rev. Robertson’s Grand International Conspiracy Theory

The New World Order

by Pat Robertson
Word Publishing, 319 pp., $17.99; $5.99 (paper)

Reverend Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson is the founder and leader of the most powerful grass-roots movement in American politics today. The Christian Coalition, a tax-exempt and supposedly nonpartisan institution founded after Robertson’s run for the Republican nomination in 1988, claims over a million members and 1.8 million households on its mailing list. It is, moreover, the central organization of the television evangelist’s empire, which includes the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Family Channel, various radio and television conglomerates, Regent University (formerly CBN University), and the American Center for Law and Justice, a far-right public interest law firm. Robertson’s political and media empire, in turn, is part of an extensive network of US and global television and radio evangelism, seminaries, publishers, and magazines directed largely by Robertson’s political and theological allies—not to mention the largest and most powerful Protestant denomination in the United States, the Southern Baptist church, to which many Christian Coalition members belong.

The Christian Coalition and its allies have achieved more power within the Republican Party than the now moribund trade unions ever had at the height of their influence in the Democratic Party—a fact shown by the nearly complete absence of criticism of Robertson and his followers by moderate as well as conservative Republicans (practically the only exception is Senator Arlen Specter, who is Jewish). The religious right now dominates the Republican Party in more than a dozen states, including the key states of Texas and Florida.

Among the conservative politicians and polemicists who have addressed the Christian Coalition’s “Road to Victory” conferences are Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp, Oliver North, William Bennett, William Kristol, Jesse Helms, David Brock, and Dinesh D’Souza. Not only do mainstream conservatives avoid criticizing Robertson and his movement, they rush to their defense in print. When the Anti-Defamation League, in 1994, issued a report critical of the religious right, conservatives like William Bennett, Irving Kristol and his son, William, and Midge Decter denounced the supposed “anti-Christian” and “anti-religious” bias of the ADL and of the media in general. Bennett, for example, has written that “Christians active in politics are now on the receiving end of an extraordinary campaign of bias and prejudice.”1

Ms. Decter, in particular, has come to Robertson’s defense in her article “The ADL vs. the ‘Religious Right”’ in the September 1994 issue of Commentary. The ADL quoted Robertson as saying at a Christian Broadcasting Network prayer meeting that “Jews were ‘spiritually deaf’ and ‘spiritually blind’ but that in the climactic end times many would be converted.” Defending Robertson, Decter wrote:

Even assuming that these quotes are accurate, they are left hanging without any indication of the specific context in which they were spoken or the larger theological context from which Robertson’s attitude toward Jews derives (a context, incidentally, that helps explain why he is so vehemently pro-Israel).

As we shall see, however, the larger theological “context” of Robertson’s views includes attacks on particular Jews and their historical role that are far nastier than Ms. Decter apparently realizes.

Another tactic, resorted to by William F. Buckley, Jr., during a debate on the television show Firing Line, in which he appeared as an ally of Pat Robertson, is to change the subject to matters of general interest to conservatives, like crime and illegitimacy, while passing over in silence the issues most important to fundamentalists themselves, like requiring Christian prayers in public schools, re-criminalizing abortion, stripping homosexuals of civil rights protections, and censoring schools, libraries, and the press. “The vast majority of conservative Christians,” writes William Bennett, want nothing more than “…safe streets, good schools, strong families, nonintrusive government and communities where people care for one another.” In his attempt to make the religious right look moderate, Bennett does not even allude to the one goal on which all factions of the religious right agree:overturning Roe v. Wade.2

The chief motive for conservative appeasement of Robertson and the religious right is strategic; as the editor of a leading conservative magazine explained to me in 1992, “Of course they’re mad, but we need their votes.” Such conservatives are so impressed with the political power of the Christian Coalition that they even refrain from criticizing the religious right’s “biblical” economic proposals, like the banning of usury and the abolition of debts in a periodic “year of jubilee.”3 In addition, many Jewish neoconservatives value fundamentalist support for American military and economic subsidies to Israel. Writing in Commentary in 1984, Irving Kristol called on American Jews to recognize that American Protestant fundamentalists are “strongly pro-Israel.” Excusing an evangelical leader who said that God does not hear the prayers of Jews, Kristol wrote: “Why should Jews care about the theology of a fundamentalist preacher?… What do such theological abstractions matter as against the mundane fact that this same preacher is vigorously pro-Israel?” 4

The task of conservatives and moderate Republicans in diverting attention from the radical social agenda of their fundamentalist allies has been helped by the moderate tone that the Christian Coalition has adopted recently. The new tone of moderation is part of a Popular Front strategy devised by the Christian Coalition’s executive director, Ralph Reed, a former leader of the National College Republicans and a campaign worker for Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich. Mr. Reed has defended “stealth” campaigns by Christian Coalition candidates, who run on issues like taxes or crime and reveal the causes most important to them—abortion, gay rights, creationism—only on assuming office: “It’s like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings….It’s better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night.5

Practicing what he preaches, Reed during the past few years has publicly played down religious matters in his statements to the press, claiming that the Christian Coalition is actually more concerned with traditional Republican issues like low taxes and pro-business policies. In 1990, however, he stated: “What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time.”6 The failure, so far, of several highly publicized evangelical campaigns against gay rights and the teaching of Darwinism in public schools does not mean that Robertson’s mass movement has failed. It has succeeded, rather, in going underground, as Reed announced that it would. The upset victory of Republican senatorial candidate Rick Santorum over Harris Wofford in Pennsylvania followed Santorum’s successful “stealth campaign,” in which he mobilized Christian Coalition activists while playing down his extreme conservative views on abortion and other social issues.7 According to People for the American Way, 60 percent of the 600 candidates for national, state, and local offices backed by the religious right won election on November 8, 1994.8

One problem with the strategy of camouflaging the views of the leaders of the religious right is that they are preachers who have been disseminating their bizarre interpretations of Biblical prophecy and world history for years through books, pamphlets, and broadcasts. Pat Robertson has been particularly explicit. In addition to his newsletter for viewers of his long-running TV program The 700 Club, Robertson has written a number of books, most of them constructed like sermons, with exhortations to achieve salvation through following his advice and jeremiads against the godless, libertine forces who oppose school prayer and advocate abortion.9 Only in his 1991 book The New World Order does Robertson set forth his views about America and the world at considerable length. Even though The New World Order was a New York Times best seller, it has hardly been discussed by the conservatives who defend Robertson. Now that Robertson’s movement is the most powerful grass-roots arm of the party that controls Congress, and may control the presidency in 1997, it is worth examining his views more closely.

The central aim of The New World Order is to expose a sinister plot. On pages 35, 36, and 37, we discover that a great number of apparently unrelated events—the adoption of Masonic imagery for the Great Seal of the United States in 1782, the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the call for a new world order by Woodrow Wilson in 1917, and a similar statement by Nelson Rockefeller in 1968—have all been part of the same conspiracy:

Can it be that the phrase the new world order means something entirely different to the inner circle of a secret society than it does to the ordinary person…

Indeed, it may well be that men of goodwill like Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush, who sincerely want a larger community of nations living at peace in our world, are in reality unknowingly and unwittingly carrying out the mission and mouthing the phrases of a tightly knit cabal whose goal is nothing less than a new order for the human race under the domination of Lucifer and his followers. [p. 37]

The story of this satanic conspiracy begins on May 1, 1776, when “a Bavarian professor named Adam Weishaupt launched a small secret society called the Order of the Illuminati.” According to Robertson, “Weishaupt chose as his vehicle for infiltration and takeover the established Continental Order of Freemasons,” whose members include many European statesmen (p. 67). In order for the Illuminati to gain control of the Freemasons, according to Robertson in “The Missing Link?,” a section of Chapter 8, Weishaupt needed the help of certain rich Jews:

That same year, 1782, the headquarters of Illuminated Freemasonry moved to Frankfurt, a center controlled by the Rothschild family. It is reported that in Frankfurt, Jews for the first time were admitted to the order of Freemasons….

New money suddenly poured into the Frankfurt lodge, and from there a well-funded plan for world revolution was carried forth. [p. 181]

With funding from Jewish bankers, the Illuminati unleashed the Reign of Terror:

During a Masonic congress in 1786, the deaths of both Louis XVI of France and Gustavus III of Sweden were decreed. [p. 181]

The slaughter that followed was not merely an assault on the king and the aristocracy—what was called the ancien regime—it was an assault against everyone, even the leaders of the Reign of Terror that followed on the heels of the revolution. The satanic carnage that the Illuminati brought to France was the clear predecessor of the bloodbaths and successive party purges visited on the Soviet Union by the communists under both Lenin and Stalin. [p. 68]

The next stage of the global conspiracy of the Illuminati, according to Robertson, unfolded with the European revolutions of 1848. Once again a key figure is a Jew:

Although Illuminism had been banned in Germany and was discredited in France, it surfaced again in the 1800s through secret revolutionary societies holding to the basic tenets of Illuminism. Operating in France and Germany, these societies commissioned the writing of a militant manifesto [i.e., the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels]. [p. 68]

  1. 1

    William J. Bennett, “Credit the Christian Right,” The Washington Post, Sunday, June 26, 1994.

  2. 2

    William J. Bennett, “Credit the Christian Right.”

  3. 3

    Modern experience has shown that usury ultimately leads to subservience. And God did not want that for His people, but rather intended for them to rule…. He directed that every fifty years all debt be canceled, all accumulated property be redistributed, and the cycle of use begin again…. Notwithstanding the sneers of many in the banking community, it may be that God’s way will be the only one open to us—a year of jubilee to straighten out the mess.” Pat Robertson, The Secret Kingdom (Word Publishing, 1992), pp. 148-149.

  4. 4

    Irving Kristol, “The Political Dilemma of American Jews,” Commentary, Vol. 78 (July 1984), pp. 24-25.

  5. 5

    Seth Mydans, “Evangelicals Gain With Covert Candidates,” The New York Times, October 27, 1992.

  6. 6

    Ralph Reed, May 1, 1990, Religious News Service.

  7. 7

    See Katherine Q. Seelye, “In Pennsylvania, Round 2 on Health,” The New York Times, October 20, 1994.

  8. 8

    See Richard L. Berke, “Religious-Right Candidates Gain as G.O.P. Turnout Rises,” The New York Times, November 12, 1994.

  9. 9

    See, for example, The Secret Kingdom: Your Path to Peace, Love, and Financial Security (Word Publishing, 1992), and The Turning Tide (Word Publishing, 1993).

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