Professor Quigley’s greatest contribution to our understanding of modern history was presented in his books, Tragedy and Hope, A History of the World in Our Time and The Anglo-American Establishment. The latter was written in 1949 but only released after his death in 1981. His disclosures placed him in such potential danger from an Establishment backlash that it was never published in his lifetime. The Anglo-American Establishment contained explosive details of how a secret society was formed in England in 1891 that aimed to renew the Anglo-Saxon Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigleybond between Great Britain and the United States, spread all that they considered good in the English ruling-class traditions, and expand the British Empire’s influence in a world they believed they were destined to control. [1]

The society comprised international bankers, aristocrats and other powerful, unelected men – we call them the “Secret Elite” – who controlled the levers of power, finance and foreign policy in Great Britain and the United States of America, and had done so throughout the twentieth century. Quigley’s evidence is considered highly credible. He moved in exalted circles, lectured at the top universities in the United States, including Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown, and was a trusted advisor to the government as a consultant to the US Department of Defence. He gained access to evidence from people directly involved with the secret society that no outsider had ever seen. Though some of the facts came to him from sources which he was not permitted to name, he presented only those where he was ‘able to produce documentary evidence available to everyone’. [2]

Professor Carroll Quigley

Quigley revealed a strong and crucially important bond between the highest echelons of power and influence in British government circles and Oxford University, particularly All Souls and Balliol colleges. He received assistance of a ‘personal nature’ from individuals close to what he called the ‘Group’, though ‘for obvious reasons’ he could not reveal the names of such persons. [3] Though sworn to secrecy, Quigley did reveal in a radio interview in 1974 that Professor Alfred Zimmern, a leading British historian and political scientist, had confirmed the names of the main protagonists within the ‘Group’. Without a shadow of doubt, Zimmern himself was a close associate of those at the centre of real power in Britain. He knew most of the key figures personally and was himself a member of the secret society. [4]

The Anglo-American Establishment by Carroll QuigleyThere is a worrying paradox contained in Quigley’s work. Despite being sworn to secrecy he named the instigators, exposed their intrigues and revealed their conspiratorial purpose to take control of the world. Bizarrely, while he abhorred the cabal’s methods, he admitted that he agreed with its goals and aims. [5] On the one hand he revealed an incredible conspiracy in intimate detail, yet in an interview with the Washington Post in 1975, he stated that ‘any conspiracy theory of history is nonsense.’ [6] He was an acclaimed historian. He was describing an enormous conspiracy. He detailed the persons involved and their interwoven relationships on the English side of the equation and baulked at it being called a conspiracy theory. Were these merely words of self-preservation? Clearly it worried him. In the 1974 radio broadcast, Quigley had warned the interviewer, Rudy Maxa, ‘You better be discreet. You have to protect my future, as well as your own.’ [7] How can this paradox be resolved? As John P Cafferky wrote recently, Quigley’s ‘claim leaves no wriggle room; either we dismiss him as a crank or we test his claim against the historical record.’ [8] And it is the historical record which proves that there was indeed a conspiracy.

Carroll Quigley left behind one very important challenge to those wanting to know more. He stated that evidence about the cabal is not hard to find ‘if you know where to look’. [9] We have done that. Starting with the principal characters whom he identified, and Alfred Zimmern confirmed, our next posting will trace the actions, interlinked careers and rise to power and influence of these men, and expose their responsibility for the war. Quigley admitted that it was difficult to know who was active inside the group at any given time, and from our own research we have added to his lists those whose involvement and actions mark them out as linked members or associates. Secret societies work hard at maintaining their anonymity, but the evidence we have uncovered brings us to the considered conclusion that in the era that led into the First World War, the Secret Elite comprised a wider membership than Quigley originally identified, and the individuals involved will be revealed.

Before venturing on, we want to clarify the sources we used to tackle Quigley’s challenge. First and foremost we are indebted to those writers and historians who, in the aftermath of the First World War, began to question what had happened and how it had come about. Their determination to challenge official accounts was largely dismissed by the Establishment, but they left a clear trail of credible evidence that has helped guide us through the morass of half-truths and lies that are still presented as historical fact. We were particularly enabled by the works of the American Professors, Sidney Bradshaw Fay’s The Origins of the World War and Harry Elmer Barnes’s The Genesis of the World War, as well as the Canadian, John S. Ewart’s The Roots and Causes of the Wars, (1914-1918). They provided the pointers to sources and documents which had been either studiously ignored or unavailable in earlier years. Without the cumulative effort of these men, together with the profoundly important revelations of Professor Quigley, it would have been impossible for us to unpick the webs of deceit woven around the First World War. Quigley set both the tone and the challenge.

The evidence provided by contemporary observers whose writings did not fall foul of the censor was instrumental in refuting many of the lies told in subsequent histories or in Parliament or the press. They include amongst others, Edith Durham who spent many years in the Balkans and whose book, The Serajevo Crime, provided a completely different analysis on Sarajevo to that of the Establishment. Rear Admiral Consett, the British Naval Attaché in Scandinavia, destroyed the myth of the great blockade from 1914 to1916 in his book, The Triumph of Unarmed Forces 1914-1918’. It was so damning that the Secret Elite political agent, Sir Edward Grey had to speak against it in a House of Lords debate. The Belgian Princess Marie de Croy did not realise just how much information she was providing about Edith Cavell when she penned her memoirs in 1932. Time and again the evidence from people involved in the war destroy the official lies and myths, sometimes quite deliberately, sometimes inadvertently. Prime Minister H H Asquith’s letters to his mistress, Venetia Stanley, are a tour-de-force of valuable information and gossip which were not published until 1982 and escaped the Censor’s pen. A definitive list of all of the primary and secondary sources is appended in our book, Hidden History, The Secret Origins of the First World War.

By focusing on the key players whom he called the secret society, and their associates, we traced their progress and influence, their domination of the Foreign Office, their close association with industry and finance, major newspapers, Cabinet ministers, royalty and the aristocracy and with Oxford historians whom they sponsored. Quigley pointed the way and we followed his direction. And the evidence is there, despite the attempts to obliterate it. Records in Parliament, in debates in the Commons and the Lords clearly identify the continuing influence and determination of the Secret Elite members inside these chambers. The same is true of the records of the United States Congress and the Congressional Library where online access provided a rich stream of documented fact as did the French Assembly, where post-war investigations revealed how internationally powerful the cabal grew. In the next post we will identify the men who really wielded the power behind the curtain.

[1] W.T. Stead, The Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, p.62.
[2] Carroll Quigley, The Anglo American Establishment, p.x.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid. p.313.
[5] Ibid. p.xi.
[6] The Washington Post Sunday Magazine, 23 March 1975.
[8] John P Cafferky, Lord Milner’s Second War, p.2.
[9] Carroll Quigley, The Anglo American Establishment, p.x.