Anthroposophy and the Question of Conspiracy in Modern History (2)

© Terry Boardman February 2000

This article was published in New View magazine (1st Quarter 2000)

The first part of this article in New View magazine discussed the  reality to  the  (in the English-speaking world) much-maligned concept of a ‘grand conspiracy’ in modern history – a reality that can be tracked through the deeds and statements of certain highly placed individuals over the last 200 years and which is aiming at the creation of a single world-state in three blocs, a new economically-driven “Roman Empire”, centred on the English-speaking countries and the USA in particular. I said that Anthroposophy, or spiritual science, which occupies itself with the relation between the visible and invisible worlds was especially equipped to illuminate this ‘grand conspiracy’ because it recognised that the world of the senses, including political and economic events, is but a veil which hides a supersensible reality. Finally, I outlined something of the exoteric background to a struggle that has been going  on since the time of the Renaissance between two groups of initiates: those whom I termed ‘the democrats’,  who believe that human beings in the post-Renaissance age have the potential to realise themselves as individualities and hence to determine their own futures, and the others – ‘the aristocrats’ or ‘oligarchs’ who still believe that humanity is immature and has to be guided by elites who work either in secrecy or semi-secrecy, as in the Mystery temples of old. I pointed out that Rudolf Steiner himself was unambiguous as to where he stood in this struggle – wholeheartedly in the camp of  the democrats. This second part of the article will describe something of the esoteric background behind the veil of this struggle, which in our time is approaching, if not a culmination, then at least a kind of major nodal point.

Before this is described it ought to be clear to all that human beings make no progress in their development without error, without resistance,  without struggle. This is indeed – on the macro-Anthroposophy & The Question of Conspiracy in Modern History (2)historical plane  – the very function of what is called ‘evil’ in the world. It provides the resistance, the shocks which wake up slumbering human beings to the reality of the world of moral spiritual forces, and this is especially so in this post-Renaissance age in which, due to the decline (c.1500-1900), even near-extinction, of  natural faculties of spiritual sight, mankind has fallen most deeply into slumber in terms of its understanding of the nature of the ‘real world.’  The Christianity of the second millennium was profoundly affected by the closing down of the natural capacity ‘to see in the spirit’. This was necessary so that Man’s intellectual capacities could grow in the freedom of ‘a spiritual darkness’. This would not have been possible if large numbers of human beings had always had before them revelations of supersensible worlds. In consequence of this development of personal intellectual thinking, confusion arose, as early as the 4th century, as to the nature of the Father, the Christ, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and the Church was riven by bitter doctrinal disputes as theologians insisted on the rightness of their own interpretations of religious truth. Given this confusion about the heavenly realms, it was hardly surprising that the infernal realms should also be misconstrued. A single infernal being was imagined and was made the bearer of multiple names – Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mammon – and was contrasted with a single divine principle, who was also given multiple names – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. A mighty shibboleth, an intellectual cosmic dualism was set up in the second millennium which influenced western humanity’s thinking right down to the end of the 20th century: the bipolar world duality of communism vs capitalism was only the latest effect of  that cosmic dualism.

The Incarnations of Three Cosmic Beings
But just as Newton’s natural scientific worldview was superceded in crucial aspects by Einstein’s, spiritual science revealed that the Church’s understanding of the forces of evil was profoundly flawed. There is not a single principle of evil, but rather evil is itself inherently dualist: Lucifer is not the same being as Satan. These two beings are mighty cosmic forces, which in abstract terms might crudely be called expansion and  contraction.(1)  These abstractions are seen for instance in the Chinese concepts of Yin and Yang, where Yang is the tendency to expand and Yin the tendency to contract. What is frequently overlooked by those who think that the Yin-Yang concepts go back millennia is the fact that Yin and Yang are abstractions which emerged in Chinese philosophical development (in their written form) at just the time when the capacity for philosophical abstraction was emerging in other major centres of civilisation such as Greece and India, namely after 700 BC.  Spiritual traditions throughout the world prior to 700 BC, on the other hand, did not recognise such abstractions as real forces in the cosmos; they recognised only spiritually perceptible beings, which they venerated as deities. Abstractions are but mental shadows which emerge when human beings are no longer able to directly perceive real spiritual powers active both within their own interior psychic states and within the world at large. The age of abstraction and intellectualism had to come about for humanity to learn to think for itself, without dependence on the forces of spiritual beings. Now that many human beings have since the Renaissance more or less gained this independence of thought, we can once again begin to perceive and recognise the real causative forces in ourselves and the world. Modern spiritual science too recognises such spiritual beings as real causative factors, regarding them not as the old deities who are to be worshipped anew, but rather as higher intelligences with whom we can freely choose to co-operate or not.

 The tendencies to expansion and contraction, which Rudolf Steiner named Lucifer and Ahriman(2) respectively, are non-physical beings with their own “biographies” – beings whose power, when exercised excessively within the human soul, is capable of driving the soul either to lose itself in self-obsessed fantasy and self-delusion (Lucifer) or else in sense experience, mendacity and material acquisitiveness (Ahriman). The soul needs to find an inner autonomous space in which it can hold its own in a dynamic balancing act between these two polar forces, and this it can do to the extent that it forms a relationship with the Christ – the cosmic force which can hold the two compulsive powers in check and which can enable the human individual to do the same within the psyche. Rudolf Steiner revealed that in the course of earthly and human development, it was necessary for all these three mighty cosmic powers – Lucifer, Christ, and Ahriman – which influence that development, to incarnate on the physical plane once and once only using as vessels three human individualities. (3) According to Steiner, Lucifer’s incarnation took place in the East, in China some three millennia before Christ. Then came Christ’s own Incarnation in the Event of Palestine. Ahriman’s incarnation in the West, in America, is imminent sometime as the third millennium unfolds. Thus in a period of 5000 years, 3000 BC to approximately AD 2000, all three cosmic powers will have incarnated. Obviously, profound spiritual impulses proceed from all three incarnations. The physical Incarnation of Christ, furthermore, is seen to have taken place both in time and space between the other two incarnations. Even on the plane of physical history therefore, Christ holds the balance between the two forces of compulsion which can be called evil – the Luciferic and the Ahrimanic.

The New Christ Rhythm of  33.33 Years
Steiner clearly realised that in the Christian era Ahriman is the pre-eminent opponent of Christ, and the political Roman Empire around the Mediterranean Sea was his vehicle for uniformity, centralisation and ‘global’ control 2000 years ago. With Christ Jesus a new periodicity entered into human evolution, that of his lifetime of 33 years.(4)  3 x 33.33 years makes a century. 30 cycles of this periodicity constitutes a millennium, and in the year 1000 a new religious Roman Empire based on the European mainland sought to dominate Europe. 33 x 33.33 years into the Christian era, in the year 1099, this new religious Empire sought to unite Europe by means of the First Crusade. Today, 60 cycles into this era, we see a new economic  transatlantic “Roman Empire” under rapid construction with its imperial centre and its papal seat in Washington DC and its proconsular administrations in the capitals of Europe. We see a busy semi-secret conspiracy to construct  a New World Order, a global superstate with the three pillars of the EU,  NAFTA,  and APEC -   a kind of mockery of the Holy Trinity: three in one and one in three. When this new global “Roman Empire” has been created, Ahriman will step into it and become its earthly lord and master. This is likely to happen in the 21st century, 3 x 331/3  years after Christ, according to Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual research, reappeared to human spiritual sight in the etheric or angelic realm, the spiritual correlate to the biosphere of the Earth, in 1933(5). Could one not think that Ahriman’s incarnation will most likely  happen in the 21st century, because this century  is the 21st ‘Christened’ century, the century when the New Adam  – as St. Paul called humanity, whether or not we are conscious of Christ’s earthly and spiritual activity -  becomes 21. 21 (in some older cultures, at 20) is traditionally the age of majority, the age when young people take control of their own destinies, the age when the human ego takes up possession of its own house, so to speak. Many mistakes may lie ahead in an individual’s biography, but the owner occupier moves in at or around  the age of 21. At the centre of each human organism  is an ego, an individual Self, and  humanity as a whole also has its centre or spiritual core,  the Christ  who since the 1930s, in periods of 33.33  years, has been helping new  impulses to be born in human souls. Ahriman is determined to supplant Christ as Humanity’s  Ego and focus of attention in the 21st century; the signs of this are all around us. This is the cosmic aspect of ‘the conspiracy’ and  the cosmic significance of this age when all human beings are called upon to choose what kind of Ego lordship we shall acknowledge – that of Ahriman or that of Christ.

The esoteric dimension of events on the physical plane: oligarchs and democrats

Such then is the esoteric dimension to ‘the grand conspiracy’ on the spiritual plane, as Ahriman’s centuries-long preparation for his incarnation  nears its culmination There is also the esoteric dimension on the human or physical plane, and here Lucifer also plays his part, which in this modern age is a supporting role in the drama.(6)  For here is that struggle between democrats and oligarchs to which I referred in the previous article. Those of the oligarchical tendency do not accept that Man is mature enough to live in freedom; he must still be guided as a child by wise guardians, even if those guardians are prepared to pay  lip service to the ideals of democracy: liberty, equality, fraternity. They feel in their pride (the ultimate Luciferic vice) that they alone know what is good for humanity – whether they be  the elders of Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist religious confessions, whether they be high-ranking mandarins at the United Nations, or some of those who meet at places like Davos. We might consider that in the pre-Christian era esoteric knowledge was held secretively in Mystery Centres, guided by initiates and shared only with highly trained pupils who were often taken through rituals of dying and rebirth. Today’s would-be oligarchs do not recognise that the hierarchical impulse of the old Mystery Temples has ended, indeed was ended precisely by the Deed of Christ in Palestine, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection. The old Mystery centres had guided societies through the spiritual darkness for centuries. When Christ made their actions visible and public through His Deeds, when He treated His disciples as His brothers and sisters to be trusted with their own spiritual and moral development and not as children to be led and disciplined, the old dispensation of the Mysteries was over. It has taken us 2000 years to begin to realise that. The likes of Cecil Rhodes, Nathan Rothschild, Alfred Milner, Walter Lippmann, Woodrow Wilson, George Bush and David Rockefeller, to name but a few of those who have laboured for the last century to create an Ahrimanic New World Order, did not realise it.(7)

In this last century, such people have striven to establish a “New Roman Empire” on primarily economic foundations rather than political or spiritual/cultural ones. This is in line with esoteric  knowledge of the development of humanity since about 3000 BC. Such knowledge makes clear that there has been an ongoing emancipation of the political and then the economic realms from within the spiritual or religious realm. During the time, for example, of the Egyptian culture, political and economic activities in themselves did not really exist – all was subsumed within the spiritual or religious realm and subordinate to it. Then during what is called the Greco-Roman era from about 750 BC and on until the Renaissance, political life struggled to establish itself separately from the religious sphere. Finally, since the 15th century, economic life has in turn been trying to emerge independently of politics and the State; this last stage has not yet been fully completed. Each of these three stages has had its own developmental characteristic also within the human organism, namely, the elaboration of human feeling, thinking, and willing respectively. In the modern post-Renaissance era the thinking capacity of the human mind, which was elaborated during what in the West is known as the Greco-Roman epoch, is slowly being  enlightened by morality and conscience. Thinking is being turned not only to the demands of living a material existence and of satisfying one’s personal desires, but towards realising individual spiritual liberty,  equality of rights, and economic-ecological fraternity (solidarity with and co-responsibility for the planet as a whole). This is being done not only by the privileged and initiated few as in the past, but by ever larger numbers of people and constitutes a major turning point in human consciousness from the deeds of the personality to those of the eternal self – living for others in a spirit of constant service, which is actually the state of the angels.

During the Egypto-Chaldean age, Man developed the life of feeling inwardly and explored the world of the stars, the astral world, outwardly. In the Greco-Roman culture, the life of thinking was developed inwardly, while outwardly, knowledge was focused on the world of the elements (fire, air, water, and earth). In our post-Renaissance age, it is the inner world of the will that is being developed, while outwardly, we have been exploring the mineral subterranean world. In our age, the human Ego can find itself as it struggles with the moral questions thrown up by interacting with the world of minerals in technological development. There is a  correlation between the human will and the mineral realm(8) just as there is between human thinking and the twelve-fold zodiacal world, and between our life of feeling and the variegated impulses of the planetary world (the seven planets, the seven colours, the seven intervals). One of the key issues of our time then, is whether and how the human will, when it interacts with the technological products of the mineral world, can be informed by morality and conscience. Not for nothing has ours become the  age of  the Green movement. The Greens are concerned to prevent organic life in all its forms -  which  exist essentially on or near the surface of our planet and as such are intimately connected with the sun and moon -  from being devastated by the products of the subterranean mineral realm of the Earth. Neither is it any accident that this 21st century (in which the human Ego “arrives”) is likely to see an increasing confrontation between the rapacious demands of global capitalism, which is based on a thinking that seeks to serve the needs of the self-serving personality, and the conscience-based actions of those who seek to live in harmony with what they see as a living being, Mother Earth.

The age of military-political empires is thus past and the age of economic empires is with us. That elements of the British elite began to understand this and that elements of the  American elite understand it very well is no accident either, for both cultures have been led or guided for much of the last two centuries by elites connected to  occultists who are familiar with the laws of human development. The western aristocracy and oligarchy have indeed involved themselves in occultism for centuries. Interest in it was rife in the Elizabethan era when the original 007, occultist John Dee, worked as an astrologer and secret agent for Elizabeth’s government, and also in the following Jacobean era when King James I played a major role in introducing Freemasonry into England from Scotland. Many of the  founders of the United States were committed Freemasons with an occult agenda for the new Republic.9 Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, author of the occult novel Zanoni  and Colonial Secretary 1858-9, apparently regarded himself as a Rosicrucian and was engaged in occult experiments for decades. Rhodes too set up his secret society with the aid of journalist and radical campaigner W.T. Stead, who also happened to be an ardent spiritualist and occult visionary. Averell Harriman, George Bush and many other members of the American elite have belonged to secret societies such as the Skull and Bones of Yale University, a society founded in the 1830s as an offshoot of German occultism. The members of the Anglo-American elite have been closely intertwined through marriage, education, Freemasonry, and more recently, through professional and academic links, notably via think-tanks and research institutes. All this is the real reason why the British bowed out of Empire with relatively little trouble, the bloody partition of India excepted. It was not because the British – as a people, as a culture -  had any innate civilised understanding of the matter and simply acted “on instinct”, as the British middle classes fondly like to imagine when they compare Britain with other imperialist nations, but rather because key individuals in the stream of Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Lord Milner, such as Philip Kerr (later Lord Lothian) and Lionel Curtis actively planned  for such a development over decades from 1909 when the Round Table movement was founded and actually brought it about as an act of will.(10) In this they were assisted by the members of the American branch of “the Firm”, who gave their British elite partners not a little and not-too-gentle encouragement to get out of the imperial game and make way for the new senior partner. Careful study of the media will reveal how closely the elites of the two countries continue to keep in touch and network with each other while effectively keeping foreigners out. An example is the Echelon global surveillance system in which, with help from Britain and its former white dominions, the American National Security Agency (NSA) monitors all  – and that means all – global electronic communications with its 20 supercomputers at Fort Meade near Washington – a Big Brother indeed. This system was first set up in 1947 under an agreement, called UKUSA, on cooperation in intelligence gathering. Only very recently have parliamentarians in Britain and Europe begun asking awkward questions about Echelon, so well has it managed to cover its tracks. That they have done so at all is due to the sustained efforts of  researchers who are alert to the machinations of the elite groups behind such schemes as UKUSA and the New World Order, Global Governance et al. There are substantial concerns  that in the post-Cold war era, Echelon is now being used by the USA to gather economic intelligence that can be of use to its major corporations.11

This then is the esoteric dimension  to the physical side of the equation: knowledge of the development of human consciousness which is then misused to serve the purposes of a particular group, the Anglo-American elite in the way described in the last two articles. The question for us to decide is whether we can concur with the view that this elite is itself being used as the instrument of a higher power, which in Anthroposophy is called Ahriman, to prepare for his incarnation as lord of a world state. To assess the truth of such a view, we need to go beyond dependence on the mainstream media for our intelligence gathering, although much can indeed be gleaned from such sources. Today, there is a wealth of sources which can help us to do this – from Rudolf Steiner’s key indications in this area to modern magazines, books, and innumerable documents on the Internet, not to mention our own daily experience of changes in modern life itself. We simply need to put aside a certain amount of our time actually to come to clarity on this question. These two articles have sought to make a contribution to this. All forms of  media today are the global commons, and knowledge – the key to modern society -  is commonly said to be power. The question is: what kind of knowledge and what kind of power? If Ahriman is left to dominate the media with his knowledge and his power, then he will bring about a world in which the human Ego will be thrust aside and will truly become but a ghost in a machine – unless we wake up to what is going on and re-enliven our capacity to think, feel, and will.

1. See Rudolf Steiner, “The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman” (Anthroposophic Press 1993)

2. Steiner took this name from the ancient Persian name Ahriman (or Angra Mainyu), the spirit of darkness and lies who sought to tether Man to the lower worlds; his eternal opponent was Ahura Mazdao.

3.   See Rudolf Steiner, “The Ahrimanic Deception” (Anthroposophic Press)

4.  See lect of Rudolf Steiner titled “Et Incarnatus Est” (23 Dec.1917)

5.  See Rudolf Steiner lectures of 1910 “The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric” (Anthroposophic Press, 1983)

6.  In our time, it is Ahriman who makes the running and Lucifer largely reacts to him. This is a key to understanding what is happening in the current struggle between the compulsive drive to globalisation by finance, the transnational  corporations and the US government on the one hand (“you will be ‘modernised’ whether you like it or not!”), and the various fanatical particularist resistances to globalisation (religious, nationalist, traditionalist) on the other.

7.  The human soul is a complex phenomenon. Both Lucifer and Ahriman constantly strive for domination of it. There is therefore no contradiction in saying that oligarchs who may be motivated by the Luciferic vice of pride (and which may stem from a previous life) can nevertheless serve the Ahrimanic goal of the New World Order. In our time Ahriman has the upper hand over Lucifer and is more able to make use of Luciferic soul characteristics; this is especially visible in some of the doctrinal battles of the modern scientific community.

8.   Esotericism has long posited a threefold correlation of seven elements in the following way: Saturn – lead – blue; Jupiter -  tin – orange; Mars -  iron – red;  Sun – gold – white; Venus – copper – green; Mercury – quicksilver – yellow; Moon – silver – violet). Our life of feeling is stimulated on the three levels of the planets above us, the minerals and crystals below us, and the plant life around us.  Rudolf Steiner too discusses these correlations in innumerable places throughout his work.

9.  See the thorough and intriguing book by David Ovason, “The Secret Zodiacs of Washington DC”, (Century, 1999) for a highly detailed study of the arcane secrets of the town planning, architecture, sculpture and artistic decorations of the city of Washington DC.

10.  See Carroll Quigley, “The Anglo-American Establishment” (Books in Focus, New York 1981)  Obviously, this is not to underrate the role the Indians themselves, not least under Gandhi’s leadership, played in the ending of British rule in India. On the contrary, they led the process in a sense. But the Round Tablers it was who persuaded or guided the British elite into accepting the end of Empire which they knew was inevitable.  Furthermore, the idea that the British Empire came about “opportunistically” as “an accident”, and most famously, in “a fit of absence of mind” is another myth that  still appears in  the media. The latter phrase in fact originated with J.R. Seeley, Regius Professor of History at Cambridge, the preeminent historian of the late Victorian era and an ardent imperialist with many significant links to the political establishment.

11.  “New Scientist” magazine 17 July 1999 (p.18-19)


©Terry Boardman February 2000


This page was created Feb 2000

Last updated 8.5.2012