From its conception in 1891, members of the secret society have taken exceptional care to remove all traces of the conspiracy. Letters to and from its leader Alfred Milner were culled, removed, burned or otherwise destroyed. [1] In 2013 we closely examined many of Milner’s remaining papers which are held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. They bear witness to the zeal with which much evidence of wrongdoing has been obliterated. Secret dispatches that we know from other sources that he sent, have disappeared. Incriminating letters penned by King Edward VII – a leading player in the secret cabal before his death in 1910 – were subject to an order that they must be destroyed immediately on his death. Admiral Jacky Fisher a Royal favourite, noted in his Memories that he had been advised by Lord Knollys, the king’s private secretary, to burn all letters sent to him by the king. Fisher consequently burned much of his royal correspondence but couldn’t bear to part with it all. [2] Lord Nathaniel Rothschild likewise ordered that his papers and correspondence be burned posthumously lest his political influence and connections became known. As his official biographer commented, one can but ‘wonder how much of the Rothschilds political role remains irrevocably hidden from posterity’. [3]

In Britain crucial primary documents about the lies and deceit surrounding the First World War through diaries, memoirs and important letters were censored and altered, evidence sifted, removed, burned, carefully ‘selected’ and falsified. Bad as that may be, it is of relatively minor importance compared to the outrageous theft of crucial papers from across Europe. In the immediate post-war years, hundreds of thousands of important documents pertaining to the origins of the First World War were taken from their countries of origin to the west coast of America and concealed in locked vaults at Stanford University. The documents, which would doubtless have exposed the men really responsible for the war and their transgressions, had to be removed to a secure location and hidden from prying eyes. It was the greatest heist of history that the world has ever known.

Herbert Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover, a corrupt and bullying ‘mining engineer’ reinvented as a munificent humanitarian and international relief organiser, was the Secret Elite agent charged with the mammoth job of stealing the European documents. In modern day parlance had it all been recorded on computer, he was the one who pressed the delete button. He had earlier been tasked with ensuring that Germany had sufficient supplies of food, without which the war would have been over by 1915. Far from just being the man who saved the Belgian people from starvation during the war, his so-called ‘Belgian Relief’ agency also fed the German army in order to prolong the conflict and maximise profit for the banking and armaments manufacturing elites on both sides of the Atlantic. [4] Hoover’s American-based organisation raised millions of dollars through loans and public donation, shipped vast quantities of food and necessities to war-torn Europe and made obscene profits for his backers, yet no documentary evidence of this enormous enterprise could be found at the end of the war. It had disappeared. All of it. Impossible, surely?

The theft of Europe’s historical documents was dressed in a cloak of respectability and represented as a philanthropic act of preservation. These documents, it was claimed, would be properly archived for the use of future historians. The official line was that if not removed from government agencies in France, Russia, Germany and elsewhere, the papers detailing the extent of Hoover’s work would ‘easily deteriorate and disappear’. [5] It was no chance decision that only documents relating to the war’s origins and ‘Belgian relief’ were taken. No official British, French or American government approval was sought or given. Indeed, like the thief in the night, stealth was the rule of thumb. On the basis that it was kept ‘entirely confidential’, Ephraim Adams, professor of history at Stanford University and a close friend of Hoover’s from their student days, was called to Paris to coordinate the great heist and give it academic credence.

In 1919, Hoover recruited a management team of ‘young scholars’ from the American army and secured their release from military service. They were primarily interested in material relating to the war’s true origins and the sham Commission for Relief of Belgium. Other documents concerning the conduct of the war itself were ignored. His team used letters of introduction and logistical support to collect import / export bills, sales and distribution records, insurance documents and local customs permits amongst a plethora of incriminating evidence.

He established a network of representatives throughout Europe and persuaded General John Pershing to release fifteen history professors and students serving in various ranks of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe. [6] He sent them, in uniform, to the countries his agency was feeding. With food in one hand and reassurance in the other, they visited nations on the brink of starvation and faced little resistance in their quest. They made the right local contacts, ‘snooped’ around for archives and found so many that Hoover ‘was soon shipping them back to the US as ballast in the empty food boats’. [7] Hoover recruited an additional 1,000 agents whose first haul amounted to 375,000 volumes of the ‘Secret War Documents’ from European governments. [8] It has not been possible for us to discover who actually funded this gargantuan, massively expensive venture.

The removal and disposal of incriminatory British and French material posed little or no problem and with the Bolsheviks in control, access to Russian documents from the Czarist regime proved straightforward. They undoubtedly contained hugely damaging information on how the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 had been orchestrated through Petrograd, and how Russia’s general mobilisation on Germany’s eastern border had been the real reason for the war starting. It might appear strange that the Bolsheviks cooperated so willingly by allowing Hoover’s agents to remove twenty-five carloads of material from Petrograd. [9] However, when one realises that the international bankers in the secret society had financed and facilitated Lenin and Trotsky’s return to Russia, and the Bolshevik Revolution itself, it becomes clear. [10] The Americans could have what they wanted. This surprising event was reported in the New York Times which claimed that Hoover’s team bought the documents from a ‘doorkeeper’ for $200 cash. [11] And some people think that fake news is a twenty-first century concept.

Removal of documents from Germany presented few problems. Fifteen carloads of material were taken, including ‘the complete secret minutes of the German Supreme War Council’ – a ‘gift’ from Friedrich Ebert, first president of the post-war German Republic. Hoover explained this away with the comment that Ebert was ‘a radical with no interest in the work of his predecessors’. [12]

German President, Friedrich Erbert

But the starving man will exchange even his birthright for food. Hoover’s men also acquired 6,000 volumes of German court documents covering the complete official proceedings of the Kaiser’s pre-war activities and his wartime conduct of the German empire. [13] If Germany had been guilty of planning and starting the war – as decreed by Court Historians ever since – these documents would have proved it. Strange that none have ever been released. Had there been incriminating documents, it is certain that copies would have been sent out immediately to every press and news agency throughout the world proving Germany was to blame. The removal and concealment of the German archives by the Secret Elite was crucial because they would have proved the opposite: Germany had not started the war.

By 1926, the ‘Hoover War Library’ at Stanford University was so packed with archived material that it was legitimately described as the world’s largest collection of First World War documentation. [14] In reality, this was no library. While the documents were physically housed within Stanford, the collection was kept separate and only individuals with the highest authority had keys to the padlocked gates. It was the Fort Knox of historical evidence, a closely guarded establishment for items too sensitive to share. In 1941 carefully selected archives were made available to genuine researchers. Over the previous two decades the unaccountable ruling cabal – the very men responsible for WW1 – had unfettered control over them.

What they withheld from view, shredded, or put in the Stanford furnace will never be known. Suffice to say that no First World War historian has ever reproduced or quoted any controversial material housed in what is now known as the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Indeed, it is a startling fact that no war historian has ever written about this utterly astonishing theft of the European war documents and their shipment to America.

‘To the victor go the spoils and history is part of that booty’, but it is our history. We should be demanding to know what is hidden from us. The First World War was the seminal event of the twentieth century, and all that followed, including WW2, came as a direct consequence. The people of Britain and Germany, indeed the world, have a right to know the full extent of what has been secretly retained, hidden, or posted ‘missing’ regarding responsibility for that war.

1. A.M. Gollin, Proconsul in Politics, p. 551, footnote.
2. Lord Fisher, Memories and Records, vol. 1, p. 21.
3. Niall Ferguson, House of Rothschild, vol. II, p. 319.
4. Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty, Prolonging the Agony, p. 201 et seq.
5. Cissie Dore Hill, Collecting the Twentieth Century, p. 1
6. Charles G. Palm and Dale Reed, Guide to the Hoover Institution Archives, p. 5.
7. Whittaker Chambers, Hoover Library
8. New York Times, 5 February 1921.
9. Whittaker Chambers, Hoover Library at
10. Macgregor and Docherty, Prolonging the Agony, p 453 et seq.
11. New York Times, 5 February 1921.
12. Whittaker Chambers, Hoover Library at
13. New York Times, 5 February 1921.
14. Hoover Institution, Stanford University at