CFR Rhodes Scholar says Rhodes Secret Society does not exist

The works of Bill Clinton’s mentor, Dr. Carroll Quigley, are often cited by geopolitical analysts who concentrate on the Council on Foreign Relations, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, and other globalist NGOs, such as the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group, which are modeled after the Rhodes Round Tables. But according to Robert I. Rotberg, a Rhodes Scholar and CFR member, Quigley and those who reference his research should be disregarded as “conspiracy theorists.”

In an article for The Journal of Imperial Commonwealth History, entitled “Did Cecil Rhodes Really Try to Control the World?” Rotberg tries to debunk Quigley’s two most oft-cited books: Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time and The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden. Nonetheless, Rotberg’s attempt to “myth bust” Quigley’s texts falls apart as several strawman fallacies and red herrings strung together. And Rotberg’s ad hominem dismissal of Quigley and others as biased “conspiracists” is nullified by Rotberg’s own biased position as a member of the very “secret society” that he claims is embellished. Not to mention that he is a globalist activist who advocates for international governance and the perpetuation of Western corporate domination of Zimbabwe, which was once Rhodes’ DeBeers colony known as Rhodesia.

Notwithstanding, Rotberg validates Quigley’s major premises

In this June 2014 journal article, Rotberg—who is a Cecil Rhodes biographer and former Professor of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology—attempts to discredit Tragedy and Hope by denouncing its lack of a bibliography: “In part, Tragedy and Hope claimed that an international Anglophile network helped to run the world along with secret societies of bankers and other financiers. In that context, the Rhodes-Milner axis was given its first airing as a clandestine force based, Quigley wrote, on twenty years of study and a close look at its secret records. Unfortunately, Tragedy and Hope lacks the usual scholarly apparatus. It cites nothing” (553).

Nevertheless, despite the flawed ethos of Tragedy and Hope’s missing citations, much of its uncited claims are substantiated by The Anglo-American Establishment, which provides eighteen pages of endnotes with embedded bibliography entries. Furthermore, Rotberg himself actually confirms much of Quigley’s conclusions; the following is a list of many of those corroborations:

  • “As early as his Confession of Faith of 1877, Rhodes sought to . . . creat[e] a secret society ‘with one object’—‘the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule’ . . . and, if possible, reclaiming the United States” (qtd. in Rotberg 555).
  • “When Rhodes penned the confession in June 1877 he left all of his wealth to form a secret society to serve and buttress the empire” (556).
  • “[H]e transformed the confession into the second of his seven wills. [Secretary of State for the colonies Sidney] Shippard and the colonial secretary (then Lord Carnarvon) were appointed executors and instructed to establish a secret society” (557).
  • “It [Rhodes’ will] did assert, as Quigley indicates, a distant goal that can be said to have included the conquest of the world by means of secret society” (557).
  • “Rhodes made his fourth will in June 1888. . . . [Much of] [t]he remainder of his property—worth perhaps about £1 million—he bequeathed to Lord Rothschild, the wealthy and famous financier. . . . Rhodes instructed his imperious social better to use the funds that would be released upon his death to establish a society of the elect for the good of the empire” (558-559).
  • “Rhodes also bankrolled the Review of Reviews, which [William T.] Stead soon edited to promote Rhodes’ dreams for Africa and the world. Stead joined Rothschild in becoming a trustee of Rhodes’ fourth will” (559).
  • “[I]n 1892, Rhodes wrote another will, adding Bourchier F. Hawksley, his staid British South Africa Company solicitor, as an executor. Stead—the custodian of the ‘secret flame’—would see that the sums remaining would be allocated as Rhodes had always wanted, Rothschild would administer and invest Rhodes’ millions, and Hawksley would clear away any legal impediments” (qtd. in Rotberg 562).
  • “Rhodes approved Stead’s promotion of an ‘Association of Helpers,’ an embryonic so-named secret society” (qtd. in Rotberg 561).
  • “They [Rhodes and Reginald ‘Lord Esher’ Brett] plotted a secret league to promote ‘the English race’; each acolyte who joined would obtain two other backers, and on and on the league would grow” (qtd. in Rotberg 561).
  • “The sixteenth clause [of Rhodes’ final will] explains that, since educating young colonists at Oxford would ‘instil’ [sic] in their minds the advantages of keeping the empire together, he directs his trustees to establish colonial and American scholarships for male students” (qtd. in Rotberg 564).
  • “[H]is [Rhodes’] scholars, after they completed their studies, could be distributed around the globe, he [Rhodes] wondered, ‘to maintain the Imperial thought’” (qtd. in Rotberg 564).

In sum, Rotberg in fact agrees with Quigley’s major premises: [1] Rhodes did in fact use his fortune and political influence to create and advance a secret society with the mission of establishing a New British World Order; [2] Rhodes’ secret society plots did in fact involve alliances with prominent financiers, politicians, and media moguls such as Lord Rothschild, Lord Alfred Milner, and William T. Stead (558-559, 561); [3] these secret society dealings did in fact result in considerable geopolitical consequence: “The visionary impulses that had been memorialized in [Rhodes’] Confession of Faith had in many senses been realized easily” (558).

So if Rotberg agrees with Quigley’s major premises, on what basis, then, does he dispute Quigley’s analysis? According to Rotberg, Rhodes’ secret society was not as coherently organized, nor was it as “successful [Rotberg’s emphasis]” (557), as Quigley asserts.

Quigley’s minor scrivener’s errors do not void his thesis

To support this counterargument that the Rhodes Secret Society was not a tightly knit cabal, Rotberg points to inaccuracies and infelicities in Quigley’s research. For example, while Rotberg admits collaboration between Milner and Rhodes, he takes issue with the particulars of Quigley’s timeline concerning when and where Milner and Rhodes got hooked up (556, 560-561, 564).

However, even if these relatively minor details of Quigley’s account are not pinpoint accurate, Quigley’s thesis is not therefore invalid. For instance, whether or not “Milner was a Balliol man” (556), as Quigley apparently mistakes, does not disprove, as Rotberg admits, that Milner “was ‘in complete sympathy’ with Rhodes’ ‘broad ambitions for the race’” (qtd. in Rotberg 561). Nor does this mistake disprove that Rhodes appointed him as a trustee of his eighth and final will to oversee the scholarships which serve as recruitment invitations into the globalist secret society (564).

Thus, although Rotberg would have us believe that Quigley’s entire argument is compromised due to these moot discrepancies, Rotberg is merely trying to distract readers with irrelevant evidence and trick them into taking his red herring bait. For Rotberg’s nitpicking fact-check of Quigley’s tomes does not undermine their major findings: there was in fact, as Rotberg himself affirms, a secret Rhodes organization that entailed partnerships between the names above.

The Rhodes Secret Society’s shortcomings do not negate its existence

Nonetheless, Rotberg wants us to believe that if the relations between Rhodes, Milner, and their accomplices were not as tightly knit as Quigley depicts, then the secret society could not have been very regimented and, therefore, could not have been very powerful. To support this rebuttal that the Rhodes Secret Society was hardly a powerhouse in Britain’s “Great Game” of “Balance of Power” politics, Rotberg points to the shortcomings of some of the secret society’s stratagems.

As an example, Rotberg points out how Lord Salisbury refused to allow Rhodes “to annex a portion of what Portugal considered its East Africa possessions” (560). As additional examples, Rotberg notes how “the British government refused to let Rhodes annex the Bechuanaland Protectorate (Botswana)” and how the blunder of the Jameson Raid on the Transvaal—which Quigley states was schemed up by the secret society—was a political disaster for Rhodes that spoiled his immediate plans for a British Africa and British globalization (563). Rotberg also questions the degree to which Stead’s “Association of Helpers” was a substantial network of secret society agents (qtd. in Rotberg 561).

Like most skeptics who pejoratively throw around the label of “conspiracy theorist,” Rotberg presumes that secret societies would by their very nature be all-powerful; for if secret societies are so stealthy, they should be able to manipulate people, institutions, and events unseen and, therefore, without opposition or obstacle. This counterargument is a straw man, though. To say that there was no Rhodes Secret Society bent on British globalization simply because it was not able to get its way all the time is like saying that the Italian mafia (a society that operates in secrecy) never existed—as J. Edgar Hoover had avowed—because Al Capone eventually got arrested.

Cliques and personal politics did not undermine the Rhodes Secret Society:

Similarly, Rotberg constructs another straw man when he suggests that the Rhodes Secret Society was impotent because its various members were never all on the same page exactly, hence resulting in certain factionalistic branches such as the “‘Cecil’ bloc,” “the Milner group” (560), and “the Cliveden set” (554). Rotberg implies that collusion cannot occur if all of the culprits do not agree on the game plan or even the stakes. But even an amateur student of organized crime history knows that collusion (criminal conspiracy) does not work that way; opportunists jock for different positions at different times seeking different stakes with different motives, oftentimes double- and even triple-crossing each other. Consider how billionaire pervert Jeffrey Epstein was “obtain[ing] potential blackmail information” to extort his rich and powerful partners in pedophilia, according to court documents and FBI agents who seized hidden camera footage of the transhumanist financier’s alleged child “sex slave” ring.

In a nutshell, even if the Rhodes Secret Society was at all fragmented by personalities, beliefs, or personal interests, it was still at least a real institution which was used in various ways by different members to influence world affairs at different times, however ad hoc or partisan it may have been at times.

The Rhodes Secret Society as the CFR and the RIIA:

So if Rotberg’s rebuttal against Quigley is a red herring crafted to shake researchers off the Rhodes Society’s secret trail, what exactly is the smoking gun that Rotberg is attempting to divert attention away from with all his irrelevant evidence? The key piece of incriminating evidence, which Rotberg conveniently ignores, is found not in the Rhodes Society itself, but in its institutional offspring: the Round Tables—more specifically, the American Council on Foreign Relations and the British Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA, or Chatham House).

These two globalist NGOs are the direct legacies of the Rhodes Secret Society (Quigley Tragedy and Hope 132; Quigley The Anglo-American Establishment 5, 168, 190-191; Rotberg 552). They were both spawned by Lionel Curtis of the Milner Kindergarten of the Rhodes Secret Society, and they have been the main engines driving British and American foreign policy and globalization since they were instituted.

Moreover, both of these Round Tables operate essentially in secret. RIIA meetings are privy to certain secrecy under Chatham House Rule: “When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” Likewise, even though CFR historian Peter Grose claims that the council does not “deal with secret information” (56), he nevertheless admits in his book Continuing the Inquiry: The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996 that “[d]iscussions at Harold Pratt House [where CFR meetings are held] remain confidential” (56)—which makes those discussions, and the CFR itself, essentially secret.

To demonstrate just how pivotal the CFR has been in shaping world affairs for almost a century now, I will lay out an abbreviated roster of current and former CFR members who have held high-level positions of geopolitical influence:

CFR Members

American Presidents

[1] Bill Clinton

[2] Dwight D. Eisenhower

[3] George H. W. Bush

[4] Jimmy Carter

[5] Richard Nixon (Grose 41)

CIA and National Security Officials

[6] James Woolsey

[8] Alan Dulles

[9] McGeorge Bundy

[10] William Bundy

[11] Zbigniew Brzezinski

US Military and Department of Defense

[12] Elihu Root

[13] Colin Powell

[14] Edward Mandell House (Grose 1-3)

[15] Dick Cheney

[16] William Cohen

[17] Paul Wolfowitz

US Congress

[18] Christopher Dodd

[19] Dianne Feinstein

[20] Bob Graham

[21] Joseph Lieberman

American Media

[22] Dan Rather

[23] George Stephanopolous

[24] Tom Brokaw

[25] Jim Lehrer

[26] Barbara Walters

[27] Diane Sawyer

[28] Steven Rattner

[29] Bill Moyers

[30] David Gergen

American Finance and the Federal Reserve

[31] Averell Harriman

[32] Alan Greenspan

[33] Paul Volcker

[34] Paul Warburg

[35] George Soros

[37] Timothy Geithner

[39] Larry Summers

[40] John J. McCloy

[41] Michael Bloomberg

[42] David Rothkopf

Obama Administration

[43] Susan Rice

[44] James L. Jones

[45] Thomas Donilon

[46] Dennis C. Blair

[47] Robert Gates

[48] James Steinberg

[49] Richard N. Haas

[50] Richard Holbrooke

[51] Chuck Hagel

[52] Hillary Clinton

[53] John P. Holdren

[54] Thomas R Frieden

[55] Sylvia Matthews Burwell

[56] Tom Daschle

Secretaries of State

[57] Henry Stimson (Grose 15)

[58] Henry Kissinger

[59] Condoleezza Rice

[60] John Foster Dulles


[61] David Rockefeller

[62] David Rockefeller Jr.

[63] Jay Rockefeller

[64] Nick Rockefeller

[65] Mark L. Rockefeller

[66] Steven C. Rockefeller

Let me emphasize that this is an abbreviated list. Thus, it is quite clear that the CFR, as a tentacle of the Rhodes Secret Society, is indeed an elitist organization driving Anglo-American globalization through US foreign policy.

Rotberg’s modus operandi

Is it a coincidence, then, that Rotberg, who is both a CFR member and a Rhodes Scholar, makes no mention of the CFR as the legacy of the Rhodes Secret Society? Is it also a coincidence that he is a senior fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Africa Program of the globalist Woodrow Wilson International Center? Is it furthermore a coincidence that he has collaborated with the North-South Institute, a globalist think tank, as well as United Nations University and the World Institute for Development Economics Research? Is it further still a coincidence that Rotberg has written extensively on removing Robert Mugabe from his dictatorial presidency to protect the interests of “white farmers” and “the white business and mining community” in Zimbabwe, which was once Cecil Rhodes’ De Beers diamond colony formerly known as Rhodesia?

It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out that Rotberg’s attack on Quigley’s writings is a hackneyed cover-up attempt.

John Klyczek has an MA in English and is a college English instructor, concentrating on the history of global eugenics and Aldous Huxley’s dystopic novel, “Brave New World.”


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