So, does all of this piss you off? You know, all of this drivel being peddled by "conspiracy researchers" in the name of "spreading the truth"? Does it make you angry?
Stop me if you've heard this one before. It's 1871. August 15th, to be precise. The eminent American Freemason, Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commander Albert Pike, sits down at his desk and, by the flickering light of a candle, composes a letter to his friend and fellow Mason, the Italian politician Giuseppe Mazzini.
"The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism," he writes (instead of the more conventional, "Hey Giuseppe, how's the family doing?")
Then, after gazing a little longer into his crystal ball, he sets to paper some sentences about a conflict seven decades in the future: "The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine."
Most remarkably, he goes on to inform his friend about another great conflict, one that has yet to come to pass: "The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the 'agentur' of the 'Illuminati' between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World. The war must be conducted in such a way that Islam (the Moslem Arabic World) and political Zionism (the State of Israel) mutually destroy each other."
Then, licking the envelope and affixing the proper postage he makes his way to the post office to deliver his letter (not forgetting to pick up some bread and milk from the store on the way home like his wife asked).
Sound familiar? Of course it does, because if you swim in "conspiracy" circles, you've heard some (probably more dramatic) version of this story many times before. Most recently, this tale has made its way into the hallowed pages of that most respectable and influential journal of record, The Daily Star, which—in keeping with its reserved and understated manner—gave it a suitably nuanced headline:
OK, so I added the exclamation marks. But they do seem to be implied here, don't they? (Besides, I only borrowed them from some of the Star's other headlines, like the one about the Coronation Street star spilling out of her "devilishly daring low-cut number"(!). Truly, journalism at its finest).
So what do we make of these remarkable predictions? How did Albert Pike make such incredibly precise forecasts of events that were still decades in the future? And what can we learn from his prescient warning about World War III, living as we are in the shadow of the War of Terror and its incipient Clash of Civilizations?
Absolutely nothing, that's what. Why? Because the letter is complete and utter hogwash, made up by admitted hoaxers and perpetuated by unscrupulous "researchers" who are more interested in getting clicks than telling the truth.
So do you want the real story of this (non-existent) letter? Here it is:
"Michael Haupt said, that William Guy Carr said, that Cardinal Caro y Rodriguez of Santiago, Chile said, that The Cause of World Unrest said, that the confessed hoaxer Gabriel Jogand-Pagès aka Dr. Bataille aka Leo Taxil said that Albert Pike wrote Giuseppe Mazzini in Le diable au XIXe siècle, v. II, 1892-1894, p. 605 (but actually pp. 594-606)."
Confused? Great! You should be, because this is a hot tangled mess of madness. But if you really need the full story then you simply must read Terry Melanson's careful, point-by-point unraveling of this pointless game of telephone. Back in 2010, Melanson decided to get to the bottom of this "Pike prediction letter" and, as you will see, went step by step back through the chain of quotations to get to the actual source of this rumor. I cannot stress this strongly enough: Read Melanson's article!
But here it is in all its glory: the first actual written reference to this letter. Given the vagaries of Google Books, it's entirely possible that you won't be able to access the full source depending on your geography, but Melanson does have the translated text in his article. Go on, read it for yourself and tell me where it walks about a First World War. Or a Second World War. Or a Third World War. Or "atheistic Communism." Or Nazism. Or political Zionism. Or any other words or phrases that weren't even coined at the time this letter was supposedly written.
Go on, I'll wait. Hmmm, funny that. There's no mention of those things whatsoever. When you follow Melanson's steps in putting together the chain of references, you'll see that all of that World War/Nazism/communism/Zionist Illumanati talk was added in by William Carr several decades after this whole fictitious letter was invented. As was the rumor that the letter had been "catalogued" in the British Museum Library. And it was several decades after Carr that a man named Michael Haupt re-popularized the fiction, making it the basis for his "Three World Wars" website. And this is where Carr's vague summary of this letter (that never existed) was magically transformed into a direct quotation of the letter.
Only one part of the whole thing (the bit at the end about bringing the "True Light" of the "pure Luciferian doctrine") is actually in the original "source" of this letter (which, once again, has never actually been seen because it was never actually written). And now those crack journalists at The Daily Star are resuscitating this whole pile of garbage yet again to harvest a few more clicks out of it.
Once again, you can't really appreciate how convoluted and silly this whole rumor is until you read Melanson's article, but the long story short is that a hoaxer made up a letter between Pike and Mazzini which then got picked up and summarized by others, which then got picked up and added to by others who provided vague summaries of information that never existed. Those summaries then got turned into direct quotations and continue to get passed around the internet as if they were true.
Sigh. So, does all of this piss you off? You know, all of this drivel being peddled by "conspiracy researchers" in the name of "spreading the truth"? Does it make you angry?
Well, it should. Anyone who is concerned about truth and who is looking to set the record straight on the many real instances of cover-up and conspiracy throughout history should be offended when people purporting to do the same are in fact just regurgitating tired old debunked nonsense that they didn't even bother to research. After all, there is a reason why the "crazy conspiracy loony" meme that the CIA has weaponized continues to hold sway with such a large part of the population. It's because there are "crazy conspiracy loonies" (or, more to the point, knowing frauds) who spread easily debunkable garbage, and not enough people in the so-called truth community calling it out.
This is why I have spent time setting the record straight on the JFK/Fed Myth. And the "Adorno wrote The Beatles" myth. And the "footage of the missile at the Pentagon" myth. And the Shemitah myth. And the "fat Osama video" myth. It's why I've debunked Patriot Mythology (and More Patriot Mythology). It is the same impulse that compels me to set the record straight on 9/11, or global warming, or WWI, or any of the other subjects that I look into in The Corbett Report.
If you take the search for truth seriously, I think you'll understand this impulse.
Now none of us are perfect. None of us are always correct. None of us have the time or ability to check the source of every piece of information we ever encounter. But when passing information on to others we have a duty to vet that information and make sure it's worth passing on. That is not a high hurdle to get over for anyone who is actually interested in spreading truth.
For those of you out there who had never even heard of this whole Pike letter foolishness, I almost feel sorry for bringing it to your attention. But Melanson's dissection of the story is valuable as a case study in how to track down the source of questionable information, so perhaps it is worth it.
All I know is: World War III is a subject worthy of further inquiry; Pike's supposed prediction of it is not.