Last year, at Texas Megachurch Pastor John Hagee's July 16-18 2007 "Christians United For Israel" conference in Washington D.C., US Senator Joseph Lieberman made a warmly received appearance and delivered a speech likening Pastor Hagee, Christians United For Israel's founder, to Moses. "He is an Ish Elochim," said the Senator, "A man of God." Lieberman went on, "and, like Moses, he is the leader of a mighty multitude."
[Below: video, by author, show Lieberman endorsing Hagee and demonstrates certain anti-Jewish and anti-Israel aspects of Hagee's belief system and behavior. For video demonstrating title assertion, see video #2]
But in March 2003, on three consecutive Sundays at his San Antonio-based Cornerstone Church, Pastor John Hagee gave a series of three sermons heavily loaded with anti-Jewish memes, stereotypes, slurs and conspiracy theories, one of which was almost identical to what was perhaps Adolf Hitler's favorite conspiracy theory, which alleged that an international Jewish banking cabal, led by the The Jewish Rothschild banking family, controls the fates of entire nation, even the progression of world events and history, through the manipulation of global money markets.
John Hagee Ministries packaged the three sermon series, given March 9, 16 and 23 of 2003, shortly before and after the US invasion of Iraq, into a set titled "Iraq: The Final War" and mass marketed it. The series was at least sold through Hagee's Cornerstone Church bi-monthly magazine and also via the Internet, off John Hagee's Cornerstone Church/John Hagee Ministries website. But the three sermon series may also have gone out on broadcast stations and networks, carrying Hagee's sermons, to tens of millions of households worldwide.
Thus, the man Senator Joseph Lieberman had praised to such a high degree at CUFI 2007, by likening Pastor John Hagee to "Moses," had also, in 2003, earned a profit by retailing what was essentially a commercial product promoting one of the most notorious anti-Jewish conspiracy theories known to modern history, possibly Adolf Hitler's favorite anti-Jewish conspiracy theory -- which served as a background 'justification' for the Holocaust. The alleged conspiracy theory favored by Hagee and Hitler alike ? -- "Jewish Bankers manipulating international finance control the world."
[ Below: following a 10-minute documentary, by the author, shows that Hagee's "international satanic Jewish banker" conspiracy theory is almost identical to the one espoused and sanctioned by Hitler and also aired in the most notorious anti-Jewish propaganda film ever made, the Goebbels-supervised film "The Eternal Jew." ]
In the last sermon of Hagee's March 2003 series, entitled "The Final Warning, The Coming Crash and The New World Order" and given on March 23, Pastor Hagee declared that an "unseen government" was behind America's economic problems, then Hagee identified the culprits; the first he cited were the members of the European-based Rothschild banking family, whom Adolf Hitler and his propagandists had also targeted in the buildup of Nazi demonization of Jews that preceded the "Final Solution."
Hitler deployed that conspiracy theory -- remarkably similar to Pastor Hagee's, in a chillingly prophetic speech -- on January 30, 1939, which Hitler gave to the German Reichstag. The alleged conspiracy of international Jewish bankers was forcing Germany into war, claimed Hitler, and if they succeeded in instigating the next world war the result would not be the defeat of Germany but 'the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe."
In his march 23, 2003 sermon given at Pastor John Hagee's San Antonio, Texas Cornerstone Church, Hagee first wheeled out the outlines of the alleged satanic, "Illuminati" banking conspiracy, which as a conspiracy theory falls into a class of conspiricism that is not uniformly anti-Jewish. But then Pastor Hagee invoked another, nakedly anti-Semitic class of conspiracy theory by naming specific Jews as alleged conspirators: Alan Greenspan and the European-based Rothschild banking family.
At approximately 16:01 into the body of his sermon pastor Hagee stated:
Out of European history then comes a group of people who are, who call themselves the Illuminati. They were a group of Satanists. The word Illuminati comes from the word illuminate which means to enlighten. The Bible says Satan is an angel of light. Satan is an angel of light. The Illuminati were a super secret organization of international financial power brokers in Europe, who had as their goal a worldwide economic power, and they would rule the world through economic wealth.
22:00 into the sermon, Hagee continued fleshing out the alleged conspiracy:
Now here are the four things that have to happen before the New World Order can come to power. One, there must be the destruction of the economic system, the monetary system.
It may be shocking to you but I believe that America's economic problems are not created by market conditions, they are planned and orchestrated to devalue and to destroy the value of the dollar.
It was done by an unseen government that I'll discuss later in this message.
Then, at 24:01, Hagee named some of the conspirators who he claimed controlled the world:
Our economic destiny is controlled by the Federal Reserve system that is now headed by Alan Greenspan. Think about this. It is not a government institution. It is controlled by a group of Class A stockholders including the Rothschilds of Europe and the David Rockerfellers of America...
So get this one thought : The value of your dollar is controlled by an organization that is not controlled by America.
The Nazi propaganda film "The Eternal Jew," personally produced by Joseph Goebbels also ascribed to The Rothschild family a central role in an extremely similar, alleged international Jewish banking conspiracy:
"The house of Rothschild is just one example of the use of this tactic by the Jews to spread their net of financial influence over the working man. The house of Warburg follows the same tactic as do other Jewish banking families.
By the beginning of the 20th Century the Jews are sitting at all junctions of the world's money markets.
They're an international power though they make up only 1% of the population of the Earth.
Their capital enables them to terrorize world exchanges, world opinion, and world politics."
Pastor John Hagee may have even broadcast and mass-marketed his "International Satanic Jewish Banking Conspiracy" theory to tens of millions of homes worldwide. Hagee's Cornerstone Church sermons are routinely televised and the many TV stations, radio station and broadcast networks that carry Hagee's shows, of Hagee's weekly Cornerstone Church sermons, reportedly in 2008 can reach up to 100 million households worldwide.
Hagee's citation of what was extremely close to one of Hitler's own favorite conspiracy theories that the Fuehrer had wielded to such vicious and deadly effect against Germany's and Europe's Jews was not the aspect of Hagee's "Iraq: The Final War" sermon series that might seem bizarre coming from a noisily declared philo-Semite and lover of Israel such as Hagee. In his first sermon in the March 2003 triptych, Hagee declared that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq would inevitably destabilize the Middle East and lead to a massive, Russian-led Arab and Muslim attack on Israel.
Hagee appeared in favor of that possibility and in one of the sermons, entitled "The Final Dictator," Pastor Hagee went on to explicitly associate Jews with the devil and with criminally psychopathic tendencies by suggesting the Antichrist which Hagee clamed would soon arrive on the world stage would "make Hitler look like a choirboy" by "slaughtering" 1/3 of the Earth's population. That anti-Christ, Hagee predicted, will be German, a "blasphemer," gay and "partly Jewish -- as was Hitler, as was Marx."
[ Below: video, by the author, features audio from Pastor John Hagee's "Gay Jewish anti-Christ" sermon and footage of US Senator Joe Lieberman comparing Hagee to Moses ]
Hagee's claim that Hitler was partly Jewish, popular among anti-Semitic groups, has largely been debunked -- as vaguely possible but highly unlikely, and Hagee's choice to associate Jewish ancestry with the violent psychopathology of mass murder suggests Hagee's professed love for Jews is closer to an obsession verging on psychosis.
Such pronouncements from Hagee are not anomalous but, rather, part of a pervasive and deeply disturbing pattern. For example, Hagee's Cornerstone Church members routinely sing a song, at CUFI's signature event, the "Night To Honor Israel" with scripture drawn from the Second Book of Joel, Chapter 2, verses 1-11. That scripture, according to Pastor John Hagee's own scriptural exegesis in John Hagee's "Prophecy Study Bible" (currently sold) concerns prophecy forecasting the invasion and "desolation" of Israel expected by Hagee and his church flock, which is divided into twelve administrative units each named for a Tribe of Israel. The song, "Blow The Trumpet In Zion," is a celebratory song.
John Hagee has also, to wide public notice, declared that God sent Hitler, to chase Europe's Jew towards Palestine with Nazi persecution and with the Holocaust. Hagee, additionally has stated that Jews are not "spiritually alive."
[Below: widely publicized video, by author, demonstrating Hagee's "God sent Hitler" and "not spiritually alive" statements]
[ Below : John Hagee's depiction of Jews includes the depiction, in Hagee's 2001 film Vanished, as what appears to be a gangster of Mafiosi ]
In the buildup towards World War Two, Hitler and his Nazis used the pretexts of alleged threats from internal and external foes to launch vicious attacks on Jews, on gays, on communists and socialists, then on liberals. The Nazis were not in the majority initially, far from it, but they knew human mass psychology, they knew power of threats and intimidation to silence possible opposition to the gathering Reich.
Few in the American Jewish community, or the Israeli Jewish community, grasp the magnitude of the anti-Jewish hatred that has been stoked, from American pulpits and American televangelist broadcast networks, literally for decades. The propaganda has been slightly coded but in the end not very subtle. Rather than directly vilify Jews, Christian fundamentalist preachers and leaders have for decades vilified groups and terms that traditionally, for better or worse, have been associated with Jews.
Christian fundamentalists have inveighed against Hollywood and "liberal media," they have singled out New York City as some purported, uniquely horrible "moral cesspool." They have railed against traditional Jewish occupational pursuits, such as law, media and journalism, blaming those for many of the evils they claim beset American society.
Over the last several decades, through the vector of dispensationalist prophecy loaded with anti-Jewish memes, stereotypes and symbolism, Christian leaders such as John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Tim Lahaye and others have injected anti-Jewish ideas so effectively into American culture, that one can now buy comic books, such as Manga Messiah, published by Tyndale House, at leading national bookseller chains.*
But anti-Jewish conspiracy theories involving evil cabals of Illuminati, Masons or Rothschilds, alleging that Jews control the World and are to be blamed for all manner of societal and national misfortune -- because they [Jews] are of, allied with and intimately related to the Devil -- are to be found nowhere in the Bible.
"New World Order" and "Protocols of The [Learned] Elders of Zion" styles of conspiricism have become interwoven in the American cultural fabric and especially on the Christian right and Pastor John Hagee, along with other prominent televangelists, routinely broadcast such ideas to millions around the globe.
In a 2006 series of speeches conservative Baptist scholar David P. Gushee noted with concern that narratives of cultural complaint and despair to be found currently on the American right share much in common with similar narratives that flourished in pre-fascist and pre-World War Two Germany:
It was this cultural despair -- a toxic brew of reaction against secularism, anger related to the loss of World War I, distress over cultural disorientation and confusion, fears about the future of Germany, hatred of the victorious powers and of those who supposedly stabbed Germany in the back, and of course the search for scapegoats (mainly the Jews) -- that motivated many Germans to adopt a reactionary, authoritarian, and nationalistic ethic that fueled their support for Hitler's rise to power. A broadly appealing narrative of national decline (or conspiratorial betrayal) was met by Hitler's narrative of national revenge leading to utopian unity in the Fuhrer-State.
Conservative American evangelicals in recent decades have been deeply attracted to a parallel narrative of cultural despair. Normally the story begins with the rise of secularism in the 1960s, the abandonment of prayer in schools, and the Roe decision, all leading to an apocalyptic decline of American culture that must be arrested soon, before it is too late and "God withdraws his blessing" from America. While very few conservative evangelicals come into the vicinity of Hitler in hatefulness, elements similar to that kind of conservative-reactionary-nationalist narrative can be found in some Christian right-rhetoric: anger at those who are causing American moral decline, fear about the future, hatred of the "secularists" now preeminent in American life, and the search for scapegoats. The solution on offer -- a return to a strong Christian America through determined political action -- also has its parallels with the era under consideration.
The "Dolchstoßlegende," the "stab in the back" myth, blamed the German loss in World War One on a Jewish conspiracy and related narratives blamed Jews as well for crime, economic hardship and alleged immorality.
*[Manga Messiah depicts sinister, swarthy rabbis scheming with the devils and Jews laughing at and taunting Jesus as Christ is nailed to the cross. There are no "good" Jews depicted in the comic.]
Related Resources John Hagee:
More writing on Pastor John Hagee's conspiricism
Transcripts of Hagee's "Iraq: The Final War" sermon series
McCain Courted Hagee for at Least a Year (Frederick Clarkson)
McCain Reneges on Pledge To Never Seek anti-Catholic Support (Bruce Wilson)
Hagee Acknowledges McCain Sought His Endorsement (Bruce Wilson)
McCain Was After Hagee Like a Dog In Heat (Bruce Wilson)
AIPAC Event Helps Mainstream Allegations Of "Satanic Liberal Jewish Conspiracy" (Bruce Wilson - story details full extent of Hagee's ideological extremity)
Boldly Backwards To The 16th Century: McCain For President (Bruce Wilson)
Senior McCain Advisor: Religious Right is a "Serious Problem" (Frederick Clarkson)
On Bennett Show, McCain Waffles Over Hagee Hate Speech (Bruce Wilson)
Holy Warriors Set Sights on Iran (Bill Berkowitz)
Christian Zionism all juiced up (Esther Kaplan)
Armey: Bush Believes in Tribulation, but not Trying to Make it Happen (Richard Bartholomew)
Lobbying For Armageddon (Sara Posner)
Pastor Strangelove (Sara Posner)
Related Resources On Conspiracy Theories and Conspiricism
Here are online resources on conspiricism from Political Research Associates.
Conspiricism: An Overview
The Illuminati Freemason Conspiracy
The recent spate of conspiracism that are analogs of the Protocols.
"Protocols to the Left, Protocols to the Right: Conspiracism in American Political Discourse at the Turn of the Second Millennium"
Conspiracism Post 9/11
Supplement to New Internationalist Articles on Conspiracism with emphasis on antisemitism: