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You simply cannot invent any conspiracy theory so ridiculous and obviously satirical that some people somewhere don't already believe it. ~ Robert Anton Wilson

Conspiracy is a term used to refer to a broad range of social alliances, and is most often used with a connotation of secretive and sinister purposes. Cabals are said to exist where a number of people greater than two are involved in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue. In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. A civil conspiracy or collusion is an agreement between two or more parties to deprive a third party of legal rights or deceive a third party to obtain an illegal objective. It is not necessary that the conspirators be involved in all stages of planning or be aware of all details. Any voluntary agreement and some overt act by one conspirator in furthance of the plan are the main elements necessary to prove a conspiracy. A conspiracy may exist whether legal means are used to accomplish illegal results, or illegal means used to accomplish something legal. In criminal law, a criminal conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement.

See also:


Alphabetized by author
The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. ~ J. Edgar Hoover
All of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead. ~ Alan Moore
The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless. ~ Alan Moore
In the eighteenth century, freemasonry became expressive of a militant policy of enlightenment, as in the case of the Illuminati, who were the forerunners of revolution; on its left, it culminated in the Carbonari. ~ Leon Trotsky
Although Masonry is often denounced as either a political or religious "conspiracy", Freemasons are forbidden to discuss either politics or religion within the lodge. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
  • In periods of economic upheaval, in periods of economic crisis, wealth is not destroyed, it is merely transferred.
    • Larry Bates, in The Money Masters: How International Bankers Gained Control of America (1998)
  • Illuminism is becoming a great and formidable power, and I fear, in my conscience, that kings and peoples will have much to suffer from it unless foresight and prudence break its frightful mechanism.
    • Francois Charles de Berckheim, in a secret police report (1810 October), , as quoted in The Controversy of Zion (1978) by Douglas Reed
  • These are the methods by which the Illuminés, without any apparent organization, without settled leaders, agree together from the banks of the Rhine to those of the Neva, from the Baltic to the Dardanelles, and advance continually towards the same goal, without leaving any trace that might compromise the interests of the association or even bring suspicion on any of its members; the most active police would fail before such a combination.
    • Francois Charles de Berckheim, in a secret police report to Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1814), as quoted in The Return of the Puritans (1983) by Pat Brooks, p. 76
  • Freemasons, n. An order with secret rites, grotesque ceremonies and fantastic costumes, which, originating in the reign of Charles II, among working artisans of London, has been joined successively by the dead of past centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it embraces all the generations of man on the hither side of Adam and is drumming up distinguished recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos and Formless Void. The order was founded at different times by Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Cyrus, Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucius, Thothmes, and Buddha. Its emblems and symbols have been found in the Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of Karnak and Palmyra and in the Egyptian Pyramids — always by a Freemason.
  • In every country unscrupulous wealth can, by artificially "making opinion," mislead and beguile the people more easily and with less chance of detection than in any other way.
    Democracy has no more persistent or insidious foe than the money power, to which it may say, as Dante said when he reached in his journey through hell the dwelling of the God of Riches, "Here we found Wealth, the great enemy."
  • Out of these troubled times, our objective—a new world order—can emerge. Today, that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we have known.
  • From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
  • The truth is, the Jesuits of Rome have perfected Freemasonry to be their most magnificent and effective tool, accomplishing their purposes among Protestants.
    • John Daniel, in The Grand Design Exposed (1999), p. 302
  • The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.
  • There is in Italy a power which we seldom mention in this House … I mean the secret societies.... It is useless to deny, because it is impossible to conceal, that a great part of Europe — the whole of Italy and France and a great portion of Germany, to say nothing of other countries — is covered with a network of these secret societies, just as the superficies of the earth is now being covered with railroads. And what are their objects? They do not attempt to conceal them. They do not want constitutional government; they do not want ameliorated institutions … they want to change the tenure of land, to drive out the present owners of the soil and to put an end to ecclesiastical establishments. Some of them may go further...
  • The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.
  • The real rulers of a nation are undiscoverable.
    • US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, when asked at a cocktail party who really runs the United States, according to "Globalists Run U.S., Says Sen. Malone", Chicago Daily Tribune, April 25, 1949, p. 1.
    • Unsourced variant: The real rulers of Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.
  • Further world progress is now possible only through the search for a consensus of all mankind, in movement toward a new world order.
    • Mikhail Gorbachev, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly (7 December 1988)
  • The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.
  • I am one of those who do not believe the national debt is a national blessing... it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country.
    • Andrew Jackson, letter to L. H. Coleman of Warrenton, North Carolina (29 April 1824)
  • For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.
    • John F. Kennedy, "The President and the Press", address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association (27 April 1961)] (Audio). In his speech President Kennedy addresses his discontent with the press's news coverage before, during, and after the Bay of Pigs incident, suggesting that there is a need for "far greater public information" and "far greater official secrecy" in light of the international "communist threat" during the Cold War.
  • The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control... Do I mean conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.
    • Congressman Larry MacDonald, killed in the Korean Airlines 747 that was shot down by the Soviets. Introduction to The Rockefeller File (1976) by Gary Allen
  • The counterconspiracy theory of history … maintained that many otherwise incomprehensible historical events could be explained by identifying the conspiracy theories held by the protagonists … a surprising number of cases where prominent political, military and law-enforcement figures had been (openly or secretly) conspiracy theorists.
    • Ken MacLeod, The Star Fraction (1995), p. 93 in the first U. S. edition (Tor, 2001)
  • The revolutionary movement which began in 1789 in the Cercle Social, which in the middle of its course had as its chief representatives Leclerc and Roux, and which finally with Babeuf's conspiracy was temporarily defeated, gave rise to the communist idea which Babeuf's friend Buonarroti re-introduced in France after the Revolution of 1830. This idea, consistently developed, is the idea of the new world order.
  • A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.
  • Excerpts from Rep. Louis T. McFadden's speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, June 10, 1932:

    Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal reserve banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and the iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks acting together have cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. ...

    Some people think the Federal reserve banks are United States Government institutions. They are not Government institutions. They are private credit monopolies which prey upon the people of the United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers, foreign and domestic speculator sand swindlers, and rich and predatory money lenders. ...

    Those 12 private credit monopolies were deceitfully and disloyally foisted upon this country by bankers who came here from Europe and who repaid us for our hospitality by undermining our American institutions. Those bankers took money out of this country to finance Japan in a war against Russia.They created a reign of terror in Russia with our money in order to help that war along. They instigated the separate peace between Germany and Russia and thus drove a wedge between the Allies in the World War. ...

    Every effort has been made by the Federal Reserve Board to conceal its power but the truth is the Federal Reserve Board has usurped the Government of the United States. ...

    Mr. Chairman, when the Federal reserve act was passed the people of the United States did not perceive that a world system was being set up here which would make the savings of an American school-teacher available to a narcotic-drug vendor in Macao. They did not perceive that the United States was to be lowered to the position of a coolie country which has nothing but raw materials and heavy goods for export. That Russia was destined to supply man power and that this country was to supply financial power to an international superstate--a superstate controlled by International bankers and international industrialists acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure.

    • Congressional Record, 72nd Congress, 1st session, June 10, 1932; Vol. 72, pp. 12595-12603. McFadden served as Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency 1920 to 1931.
  • Abraham Lincoln was assassinated through the machinations of a group representative of the international bankers, who feared the United States President's national credit ambitions.
  • Yes, there is a conspiracy, in fact there are a great number of conspiracies that are all tripping each other up. And all of those conspiracies are run by paranoid fantasists and ham-fisted clowns. If you are on a list targeted by the CIA, you really have nothing to worry about. If however, you have a name similar to somebody on a list targeted by the CIA, then you are dead.
  • The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.
    • Alan Moore, in "The Mindscape of Alan Moore" (2003)
  • The present Federal Reserve System is a flagrant case of the Government's conferring a special privilege upon bankers. The Government hands to the banks its credit, at virtually no cost to the banks, to be loaned out by the bankers for their own private profit. Still worse, however, is the fact that it gives the bankers practically complete control of the amount of money that shall be in circulation. Not one dollar of these Federal Reserve notes gets into circulation without being borrowed into circulation and without someone paying interest to some bank to keep it circulating. Our present money system is a debt money system. Before a dollar can circulate, a debt must be created. Such a system assumes that you can borrow yourself out of debt.
    • Willis A. Overholser, A short review and analysis of the history of money in the United States, with an introduction to the current money problem (1936), p. 56
  • It must not be felt that these heads of the world's chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather, they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up and were perfectly capable of throwing them down. The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investments bankers (also called 'international' or 'merchant' bankers) who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks.
    • Professor Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (1966), pp. 326-327
  • For more than a century, ideological extremists, at either end of the political spectrum, have seized upon well-publicized incidents, such as my encounter with Castro, to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal, working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists,' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
  • The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.
  • Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship.
  • People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
  • There is no such thing, at this stage of the world's history in America, as an independent press... We are the tools and the vassals of the rich behind the scenes. We are marionettes. These men pull the strings and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our capacities are all the property of these men - we are intellectual prostitutes.
    • John Swinton, c. 1883. Attributed to "a prominent New York journalist" in E. J. Schellhouse, The New Republic. Founded on the Natural and Inalienable Rights of Man (1883), pp. 122-123. Later sources attribute this specifically to Swinton. American Notes & Queries (Jan 1943, p. 159) says "It is more than likely that John Swinton's statement ... was made at the 'Journalists' Gathering' in the rooms of the Twilight Club in the Mills Building, New York City, on April 12, 1883. The subject of Swinton's talk was 'Some Things an Editor Dare Not Discuss.'"
  • It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am. The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.
  • Do you realize sufficiently what it means to rule—to rule in a secret society? Not only over the lesser or more important of the populace, but over the best of men, over men of all ranks, nations, and religions, to rule without external force, to unite them indissolubly, to breathe one spirit and soul into them, men distributed over all parts of the world?
    • Adam Weishaupt, "Greeting to the newly integrated illuminatos dirigentes", in Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften vol. 2 (1787) p. 45
  • You simply cannot invent any conspiracy theory so ridiculous and obviously satirical that some people somewhere don't already believe it.
    • Robert Anton Wilson, in Everything Is Under Control : Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998), Introduction, p. 16
  • Although Masonry is often denounced as either a political or religious "conspiracy", Freemasons are forbidden to discuss either politics or religion within the lodge. Gary Dryfoos of the Massachusetts Institute of technology, who maintains the best Masonic site on the web, always stresses these points and also offers personal testimony that after many years as a Mason, including high ranks, he has not yet been asked to engage in pagan or Satanic rituals or plot for any reason for or against any political party. The more rabid anti-Masons, of course, dismiss such testimony as flat lies.
    The enemies of Masonry, who are usually Roman Catholics or Fundamentalist Protestants, insist that the rites of the order contain "pagan" elements, e.g., the Yule festival, the Spring Solstice festival, the dead-and-resurrected martyr (Jesus, allegedly historical, to Christians; Hiram, admittedly allegorical, to Masons). All these and many other elements in Christianity and Masonry have a long prehistory in paganism, as documented in the 12 volumes of Sir James George Frazer's Golden Bough.
    The major offense of Masonry to orthodox churches is that it, like our First Amendment, encourages equal tolerance for all religions, and this tends, somewhat, to lessen dogmatic allegiance to any one religion. Those who insist you must accept their dogma fervently and renounce all others as devilish errors, correctly see this Masonic tendency as inimitable [sic] — to their faith.
    • Robert Anton Wilson, in Everything Is Under Control : Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998),Freemasonry, p. 187; in the final sentence here, inimitable perhaps should be "inimicable".
  • Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 132.
  • Conspiracies no sooner should be formed
    Than executed.
  • Take no care
    Who chafes, who frets; and where conspirers are:
    Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be.
  • Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
    If thou but think'st him wrong'd and mak'st his ear
    A stranger to thy thoughts.


  • Now that we can control the weather, create earthquakes and tidal waves and, use it as a weapon of war, we do not need a treaty.
    • Attributed to Senator Claiborne Pell, Senate Intelligence Committe member, commenting on a USA/USSR treaty signed in 1978. This is almost certainly a misquotation as Pell was the most prominent advocate for the treaty. After reports in 1971 that the U. S. military seeded clouds to try to make the Ho Chi Minh trail impassable, Pell pushed for a treaty banning weather modification and other "Environmental Warfare". Pell said that most such weapons were currently impossible, but "today's science fiction is tomorrow's strategic reality".


  • If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency (instead of Congress), first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.
    • Attributed to Thomas Jefferson, purportedly in a 1802 letter to then Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin. The book Respectfully Quoted says this is "obviously spurious", noting that the OED's earliest citation for the word "deflation" is from 1920. The earliest known appearance of this quote is from 1935 (Testimony of Charles C. Mayer, Hearings Before the Committee on Banking and Currency, House of Representatives, Seventy-fourth Congress, First Session, on H.R. 5357, p. 799).
  • The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or so dependent on its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system will bear its burdens without complaint and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.
    • Attributed to Senator John Sherman in a letter supposedly sent from the Rothschild Bros. of London to New York bankers Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould, on 25 June 1863. The letters are forgeries that could not have been written before 1876. Further, no evidence of a firm with the name "Ikleheimer, Morton, and Vandergould" has been found.
  • Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!
  • Variant: Give me control of a Nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.
  • Variant: Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws.
    • Attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 - 1812) mostly with the date 1790, the year before the establishment of the First Bank of the United States.
      No primary source for this is known and the earliest attribution to him known is:
      “In the present critical stage of American development I would call your attention to the following maxim of the " money lenders " of the Old World : "Let us control the money of a country, and we care not who makes its laws." Those who favor the continuance of banks of issue in this country are to be classified in history with John Sherman and Nelson W. Aldrich and the money power.”
      by T.C. Daniel, 1857 - 1923 ; letter to President W. Wilson, May 8, 1913; reported in his statement for the joint hearings before the subcommittees of the Committees on Banking and Currency of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, charged with the investigation of rural credits, Sixty-third Congress, second session, part 1, pp. 764, February 16, 1914;
      Daniel was the author of Real Money versus Bank Credit as a Substitute for Money, 1911, and of The High Cost of Living: Cause — Remedy, 1912 ; further in the statement pp 771 he quoted:
      "Let us control the money of a country and we care not who makes its laws." This is the maxim of the house of Rothschilds, and is the foundation principle of European banks.

      This quote was used in The Magazine of Wall Street and Business Analyst (November 10, 1934 p.67) and in Money Creators (1935) by Gertrude M. Coogan.

      It might perharps be a play on an English proverb, Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.
  • Variant: I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.
  • Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take this power away from them, and all the great fortunes disappear, and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control credit.
    • Attributed to Josiah Stamp, "President of the Bank of England and the second richest man in the British Empire". However, Stamp was never President of the Bank of England, though he was on the board of directors, nor does he appear to have ever been anywhere near the second richest man in the British Empire. He died in 1941, but the earliest source is The Legalized Crime of Banking (1958) by Silas W. Adams, which gives no earlier citation, only saying "as said in an informal talk to 150 University of Texas history, economics and social science professors, in the 20's". The quote also seems to imply that Stamp made his fortune in banking, which is not true. It is inconsistent with everything Stamp wrote and said about banking on the record.
  • It is perhaps well enough that the people of the Nation do not know or understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
  • Variant: If the American people knew the corruption in our money system there would be revolution before morning.
  • Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce... and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.
  • The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight.
    • Attributed to John F. Kennedy, purportedly in a speech at Columbia University, 10 days before his assassination. However, Kennedy made no speech at Columbia in 1963 and there are no actual records of him ever saying anything like this anywhere.

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