Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson; drawing by David Levine

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]

Marx and Engels, though, were given direction by another Jew, who happened also to be one of the early advocates of a Jewish state: “The precise connecting link between the German Illuminati and the beginning of world communism was furnished by a German radical named Moses Hess” (p. 69). (Note Robertson’s use here, as in his descriptions of other Jews later, of the adjective “German” rather than “Jewish.” This does not necessarily mean much, since the adjective “German” or “European” frequently refers to Jews in the American literature of anti-Semitism.) Just as the Rothschilds presided over the marriage of Illuminism and Freemasonry, so Moses Hess, the secret Illuminist, is the true father of world communism. This is the first mention in Robertson’s book of that longstanding anti-Semitic myth, the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy. It is not the last.

Having launched world communism, the Illuminist–Freemason–Rothschild conspiracy next decided to destroy the mid-nineteenth-century United States:

Later, the European economic powers [i.e., bankers, particularly the Rothschilds] began to see the wealth of North America as a great treasure, and some of them still wanted to get their tentacles into America’s economy [note the “octopus” metaphor, a staple of anti-Semitic and anti-capitalist rhetoric]. They eventually did so not by force but by investing their money here, by sending people [i.e., Jewish bankers like Paul Warburg and Jacob Schiff], and by buying land. Europe could not defeat the United States by military force, but the European financiers knew that they could control the United States economy if they could saddle us with an American equivalent of the German Bundesbank or the Bank of England. [p. 61]

Fortunately for the United States, according to Robertson, two great presidents were able to thwart the nefarious schemes of International High Finance. “The so-called Bank of the United States (1816-36) was abolished by President Andrew Jackson….” (p. 123). At least Jackson lived to tell the tale. Another president who foiled the international monopoly bankers was not so lucky:

Lincoln’s plan to print interest-free currency, called “greenbacks,” during the Civil War—instead of issuing bonds at interest in exchange for bank loans—was so revolutionary that it would have destroyed the monopoly that European bankers exercised over the nation’s money. There is no hard evidence to prove it, but it is my belief that John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, was in the employ of the European bankers who wanted to nip this American populist experiment in the bud. [p. 265]

Foiled by Jackson and Lincoln, the “European bankers” got their way during the Wilson administration with the founding of the Federal Reserve, something that Robertson attributes to financiers who also turn out to be Jewish. “Their efforts failed until 1913, when a German banker, Paul Warburg, succeeded in establishing the Federal Reserve Board, America’s privately owned central bank.” (p. 61)

What was the goal of these international bankers who were controlled, ultimately, by Satan, through the invisible but powerful Illuminated Freemasons? Robertson’s answer comes close to endorsing one of the gravest anti-Semitic slanders of all—the claim that wealthy, cosmopolitan Jews incite wars in order to make money as war profiteers.

Robertson’s version of this view begins with his exegesis of the mystery of compound interest. “The companion secret to wealth building is compound interest, called by Baron Rothschild ‘the eighth wonder of the world”‘ (p. 121).10 What follows deserves to be quoted in full:

In fact, no individual has the resources to sustain long-term compounding of interest. Only a sovereign government, armed with the enforcement mechanism of an income tax, can sustain the long-term compounding of debt.

The money barons of Europe, who had established privately owned central banks like the Bank of England, found in war the excuse to make large loans to sovereign nations from money that they created out of nothing to be repaid by taxes from the people of the borrowing nations. The object of the lenders was to stimulate government deficit spending and subsequent borrowing. War served that purpose nicely, but from 1945 to 1990 the full mobilization for the Cold War and the resultant massive national borrowings accompanied the result just as well without a full-scale shooting war. [p. 122, emphasis added]

Amazingly, Robertson is arguing that the “money barons of Europe” (he has repeatedly identified the Rothschilds as prominent among them) have profited by compound interest payments on government deficit spending on the military, including Ronald Reagan’s military buildup. Robertson’s conservative allies might be surprised to learn that the leader of the Christian Coalition believes that the cold war may have been a hoax designed to funnel money from taxpayers to High Finance through the deficit:

Military preparation for the Cold War during the last forty-five years kept the economy on such a wartime footing that our government will owe an amount approaching $4 trillion in direct debt at the end of the fiscal year…

During the Cold War and détente, we were told that the Soviet Union was an economic powerhouse… Suddenly we learned that the awesome Soviet colossus is, in reality, a broken-down Third World economy….

One of two things is certain: either the CIA and the foreign policy establishment deliberately misled the American people about the strength of the Soviet Union so that the United States would continue its Cold War levels of wasteful spending, or the communists (like the Gideonites of biblical times) have deliberately sabotaged the consumer economy for the purpose of lulling the West into letting down its military, intellectual, and spiritual guard so that aid would flow, treaties would be signed, and (more particularly) alliances would form. [pp. 80–81]

Robertson protects himself by saying that “the latter alternative seems much more likely,” especially “in light of the abortive ‘coup’ of 1991” (in the foreword, he suggests that the August 1991 coup against Gorbachev was a hoax designed to promote the continued cooperation of the Communists and American internationalists). Suppose, however, that the first alternative—which Robertson considers serious enough to discuss at length—is correct, that the US foreign policy establishment deliberately misled the public about Soviet strength. Why would the secret cabal that runs the US through the Council on Foreign Relations want to keep up “Cold War levels of wasteful spending”? The argument of the book makes the answer clear: Compound interest, the Baron Rothschild’s “eighth wonder of the world.” By pretending that the Soviet Union was much more powerful than it was, the American establishment, controlled by Hochfinanz, could justify borrowing money from international financiers, and repaying them with tax dollars from working Americans.

According to Robertson, the cold war from the beginning can be seen as a hoax designed to funnel money to war profiteers and New York money-lenders:

We were told that behind the Iron Curtain—and later the Bamboo Curtain—lived the enemy. The Cold War required constant massive expenditures for arms, maintaining large numbers of United States ground forces in Europe and Asia, and stockpiling an evergrowing arsenal of thermonuclear weapons….

After we had spent the money developing our weapons, our leaders then negotiated with the Soviets to limit or destroy them. [pp. 75–76]

The “monopoly bankers,” it seems, not only stirred up a phony cold war, but they also conspired to promote arms control, so that planned obsolescence for weapons would send governments constantly back to the international moneylenders (reimbursed by the taxpayers) for the funds needed for more weapons.

Robertson suggests that not only the cold war but other expensive wars and geopolitical struggles have been hoaxes, set up by “monopoly bankers” so that they can make money from loans to governments.

After the war, the Prussian Kaiser was gone, the Ottoman Empire was gone, the Hapsburg Empire was gone, and the Tsarist empire was gone. The result was so profound and the excuse for war so flimsy, that casual observers would have reason to suspect that someone had planned the whole thing.

Before the war, monarchies held sway. After the war, socialism and high finance held sway. Was it planned that way or was it merely an “accident” of history? [p. 64]

According to the leader of the Christian Coalition, not only American taxpayers, but the Russian people as well, may have suffered for generations in order to enrich a small number of New York moneylenders:

In fact, is there not a possibility that the Wall Street bankers, who have so enthusiastically financed Bolshevism in the Soviet Union since 1917, did so not for the purpose of promoting world communism but for the purpose of saddling the Soviet Union with a totally wasteful and inefficient system that in turn would force the Soviet government to be dependent on Western bankers for its survival? [p. 31]

Is it possible that the Gulf War was, in fact, a setup? [p. 10]

Could it have been that the wrong signals were sent to Saddam because powerful people wanted a situation that was so obviously dangerous to the entire world that all nations would join together to deal with it? [p. 13]

Here Robertson is hinting that the Bush administration deliberately pushed Saddam into an unnecessary war in order to promote globalism and thus serve the interests of the masters of the US government, the international money men and their own masters, the Illuminati, the “powerful people” to whom he refers.

By posing his suspicions as rhetorical questions, and therefore avoiding saying so explicitly, Pat Robertson clearly suggests that “the money barons of Europe,” chiefly the Rothschilds and their agents (a category that includes not only Warburg and Schiff but “the Rothschild publication, The Economist“) have incited or exacerbated World War I, the cold war, and the Gulf War in order to boost military spending by various governments and increase the need for compound-interest loans, that “eighth wonder of the world.”

Robertson does not argue that international Jewish high finance was behind Hitler’s war against the Jews; he treats the Holocaust as the work of Satan prefiguring the coming holocaust of American Christians at the hands of diabolical liberals, including liberal Jews. According to Robertson, the “technique” that the Nazis used to isolate “the Jews in Germany” is now “being used already against Christian people” in the United States (p. 257).

In his book The New Millennium, published in 1990, Robertson explicitly set forth his views about Jews and Israel. In the rapidly approaching Last Days, Israel will be destroyed: “That tiny little nation will find itself all alone in the world. Then according to the Bible, the Jews will cry out to the one they have so long rejected….” The destruction of Israel will only be possible, however, because of American acquiescence: “One day a vote against Israel will come in the United Nations when the United States neither abstains or uses its veto in the Security Council to protect Israel.”

The US will abandon Israel, it seems, because American Christians, despite warnings by their leaders against anti-Semitism, will turn in wrath against the “cosmopolitan, liberal, secular Jews” who want “unrestricted freedom for smut and pornography and the murder of the unborn.” Robertson writes of “the ongoing attempt of liberal Jews in America to undermine the public strength of Christianity” and notes that “the liberal, wealthy Jews voted for Democratic candidates Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis, not Reagan and Bush.” Robertson warns,

The part that Jewish intellectuals and media activists have played in the assault on Christianity may very possibly prove to be a grave mistake…. For centuries, Christians have supported the dream of Zion, and they have supported Jews in their dream of a national homeland. But American Jews invested great energy in attacking these very allies. That investment may pay a terrible dividend…

Robertson’s argument is that the destruction of Israel in the near future, though ordained by God, may be hastened if “wealthy” and “cosmopolitan” Jews foolishly provoke America’s Christian majority, which is represented today, it must be presumed, by Robertson’s own Christian Coalition.11

To criticize the bizarre world view expressed in The New World Order is not to condemn the beliefs of ordinary Christians, as conservative defenders of Pat Robertson claim. In fact Robertson’s elaborate conspiracy theories have little to do with ordinary evangelical Protestant theology. They are rooted, rather, in the underground literature of far-right populism that purports to interpret world history as dominated by Jews, Freemasons, and “international bankers.” “It is not too much to say that the Greenback-Populist tradition activated most of what we have of modern popular anti-Semitism in the United States,” the historian Richard Hofstadter observed in 1955.12 To “the identification of Jews, New York, and international finance,” Victor C. Ferkiss has noted, the pro-fascist American right of Father Coughlin and Gerald L.K. Smith “added the identification of all three with communism.”13

Much earlier far-right literature, in contrast to Robertson’s book, attempts to exonerate Nazis and fascists; but it shares many of Robertson’s theories of historical causation. We can compare Robertson’s claims in The New World Order with those of the Canadian writer Commander William Guy Carr (RCN, Ret) in his book Pawns in the Game, a post—World War II defense of Hitler and fascism.14 Carr’s arguments will be familiar to those who have studied the pro-fascist literature of the postwar years. He writes as follows:

Since the Great War the International Bankers had set up twenty-six central banks. They were modelled after the Federal Reserve Banks in the United States, which had been established in 1913 according to the theories of Mr. Paul Warburg, the German who had gone to America in 1907 and become a partner in Kuhn-Loeb & Co. of New York.

Mr. Paul Warburg’s creation of 1913 had been steadily attempting to set up a “Central Banking Organization” which would acknowledge, no authority on this planet above it. Hitler knew that if Warburg and his associates had their way, the Bank of International Settlements would become as autocratic in regard to international affairs, as the Bank of England is in regard to British National Affairs and Foreign Policy. [Carr, p. 154]

Here is Robertson’s version of similar claims, in which he manages to name more Jews than Carr did:

But the centers of European finance could not rest until they had brought the powerhouse of the New World into their orbit. In 1902, Paul Warburg, an associate of the Rothschilds and an expert on European central banking, came to this country as a partner in the powerful Kuhn, Loeb and Company. He married the daughter of Solomon Loeb, one of the founders of the firm. The head of Kuhn. Loeb was Jacob Schiff, whose gift of $20 million in gold to the struggling Russian communists in 1917 no doubt saved their revolution.

Warburg was to become the catalyst, when joined with the Rockefeller and Morgan banking interests, to bring about the creation of a central bank for the United States….

Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., the father of the famed aviator, was the most vocal critic of the plan…. [Robertson, pp. 123, 125]

The following passages from Carr and from Robertson show both their differences and their affinities clearly enough. Carr:

In other words, most German politicians, except Communists, were agreed that Germany should depart from the practice of financing the nation’s business by incurring debts, a practice which had been imposed upon England in 1694, France in 1790, and the United States in 1791, by the international bankers. They realized that this system had resulted in astronomical National Debts, the principal and interest payments on which were guaranteed and secured by Direct Taxation of the people.

The Fascist Leaders in Germany decided they were going to create their own money and use their national assets, such as the value of their real estate, their industrial potentials, their agricultural production, natural resources, and the nation’s capacity to produce, as collateral. [Carr, p. 146]


Created by the German banker Paul Warburg, the Morgans, and the Rockefellers, the Federal Reserve Board was custom designed as an instrument of immense power…. The companion piece to that play was to change the United States Constitution to force the American citizens to pay for the loans these bankers would make through the Federal Reserve Board to the treasury. The federal income tax would become the most powerful fund-raising mechanism ever devised. [Robertson, p. 65]


Goering is said to have reviewed once more the part the international bankers had played in bringing about, directing, and financing the Russian revolution in 1917, which had enabled them to bring into existence the adverse conditions being experienced throughout the world at that time. [Carr, p. 150]


We also know that Lord Milner of the British Round Table and Jacob Schiff, of Federal Reserve Board creator Paul Warburg’s banking firm, gave the essential seed money to finance the Russian Revolution. [Robertson, p. 178]


Hitler reminded Lord Londonderry of the millions of Christians who had been ruthlessly slaughtered in the Communized countries since October, 1917.

…The whole pattern of international intrigue was laid bare. The manner in which Germany has been enabled to secretly rearm: The way French politics were controlled by Grand Orient Freemasonry….

According to the Germans, it would be impossible for the world to enjoy peace and prosperity as long as those who directed the World Revolutionary Movement insisted on fomenting wars in order to create conditions favorable for revolutionary action. They argued both International Communism and Political Zionism had to be stopped and the movements ended at once, or another war was inevitable, because the Secret Powers, pulling the strings, were determined they were going to reach their ultimate objectives. [Carr, p. 150]


We have explored the link between Marxist communism and the occult Illuminati. What we have not touched upon is a link between these centers of privilege (which have been paying the bills for the communists to bring about a new world order), and the occultic, New Age agenda which, in turn, promises a mystical new world order.

Both groups are moving toward one goal, but at the highest, most secret levels. [Robertson, p. 115]


Ribbentrop reasoned that the only way to clean up the mess was to “Get” the three hundred men at the top who were “The Secret Power” master-minding the negative forces whose various evil influences, and criminal activities, all furthered the Long Range Plan of those who directed the World Revolutionary Movement. [Carr, p. 150]


Rest assured, there is a behind-the-scenes Establishment in this nation, as in every other. It has enormous power. It has controlled the economic and foreign policy objectives of the United States for the past seventy years, whether the man sitting in the White House is a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, a moderate or an extremist. [Robertson, p. 96]

Apart from its emphasis on the United States rather than Nazi Germany, Robertson’s elaborate conspiracy theory of world politics differs from populist and fascist conspiracy theories in one significant respect: it does not resort to overt anti-Semitism. This last reflects the influence of premillennial Protestant fundamentalism, which holds that the reestablishment of the State of Israel is the prelude to the Last Days, when most Jews will be destroyed and when the remnant will convert to Christianity. But the conservative Jews who defend Robertson in Commentary apparently do not realize that fundamentalist support for Israel is not incompatible with dislike and resentment of American Jews, especially liberal Jews, of a kind that Robertson has repeatedly expressed. In 1989, for example, Robertson claimed that certain Jews are behind a campaign to suppress Christianity in the United States:

It is obviously one thing to insure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never repeated again… However, it is quite another thing for a strident minority within a minority of only 5,000,000 to regard the expression of the deeply held beliefs of the majority as so repugnant that it undertakes the systematic vilification, weakening, and ultimate suppression of the majority point of view from society.”15

The evidence most relevant to the question of whether Robertson is an anti-Semite is found in the details of his conspiracy theory as set forth in The New World Order. Between the Illuminati and the Freemasons the link is the Frankfurt branch of the Rothschild family. “Lord Rothschild”—presumably Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who became a peer in 1885—was the key link connecting the Judeo-Masonic conspiracy with the British Empire, through the Milner circle and Cecil Rhodes. Between world Freemasonry and world communism, the critical link is provided by Moses Hess. Between the Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevik “European bankers,” the Ivy League American establishment, and Lenin’s revolutionary Bolsheviks, the key links are two Jews, Paul Warburg and Jacob Schiff. Not only does the “octopus” control everything, but many of the major “tentacles” turn out to be Jews.16

Robertson’s theories about Jewish bankers and Jewish revolutionaries are central to his conspiracy theory, which in turn is central to his vision of his own destiny, his movement, and his ambitions for the American Right and the Republican party and the United States of America. Not since Father Coughlin or Henry Ford has a prominent white American so boldly and unapologetically blamed the disasters of modern world history on the machinations of international high finance in general and on a few influential Jews in particular. And not since Huey Long, with his Share Our Wealth movement, has there been a radical populist movement as powerful in American politics as Robertson’s Christian Coalition.

Much has been written in the American press about neo-fascist movements in Italy, Germany, Japan, and France. But the United States is the only industrial democracy in which a far-right political leader in one of only two major parties has created a base of support so powerful that conventional politicians and intellectuals in his party feel they must defend him from charges of anti-Semitism. They have so far managed to ignore the fact that his best-selling book purveys the Illuminati–Freemason–Communist–High Finance conspiracy theory of world history familiar from generations of anti-Semitic propaganda. What would such conservatives, particularly Jewish neo-conservatives, be saying if Louis Farrakhan had written a book that made the New York Times best-seller list and claimed that Jewish financiers like the Rothschilds, Paul Warburg, and Jacob Schiff were leaders in a two-century old Freemason-Communist-Banker conspiracy to exploit American taxpayers and the members of the armed forces in America by stirring up deficit-funded wars?

Pat Robertson has written such a book. He has not repudiated a single word of it. Ralph Reed and the conservatives who dominate the newly ascendant Republican party would prefer that we continue to ignore it.

This Issue

February 2, 1995