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Philip Young (1954–) is a New Zealand conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed Christian leader. He is the author of several books, most notably, Save Our Democracy, which he published through a company he owned in 1988, whose main theme is that New Zealand was the subject of a deliberate set of actions by "Jewish international bankers" aimed at impoverishing and destroying the farming sector. This was followed by two further books on the same general theme, The Great Secret, and Jesus Says Go but the Pharisees Say "No!"
He is better known in recent times for spruiking trashy videos which claim, inter alia, that the Moon is populated by aliens, the 9-11 terrorist attacks were really part of an elaborate conspiracy involving the US government and UFOs under that government's control. This type of nonsense may be viewed on his YouTube channel, "NewsNotShownonTV", together with other outlandish claims.
Young is an accountant who worked in Te Awamutu for several years in the 1980s. During this time, while an employee of the firm, he had been writing Save Our Democracy.
The content of Save Our Democracy and its successors follows a familiar theme. Quoting other writers who espoused a conspiracy, Young claimed that the world political scene was controlled by unseen hands and a host of secret societies including the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers and the Council of Foreign Relations. He claimed that news coverage of these organisations was circumscribed, their tentacles reached into every segment of society, and the Freemasons were a Satanic cult. There was also a theme of general moral panic, as he included excerpts about such themes as "backward masking", commenting as though these were scientifically proven facts.
The general theme which ran through all three books was that New Zealand, particularly the rural sector, had been deliberately attacked and impoverished by a cabal of insiders comprising "Jewish international bankers". This was not an unpopular theme in some circles in the late 1980s and early 1990s as New Zealand had transitioned from a closed, protectionist economy under the National Party government of Sir Robert Muldoon to an open, market driven economy under "Rogernomics," a free market philosophy pioneered by Roger Douglas and the Fourth Labour Government in New Zealand. The transition had been painful, especially in the rural sector.
These books had a decidedly anti-semitic flavour, although Young does not espouse Holocaust denial, in the manner of revisionist historian, David Irving. Indeed, he accepts that the Holocaust took place. The anti-semitic themes consisted of themes such as the supposed existence of a cabal of "international Jewish bankers" who were conspirators. It is worthy of note that the promotion of such themes would be regarded as a crime under German law, article 86 of the Strafgesetzbuch, if undertaken within Germany. Offences under Articles 86 and 86a (which deals with exhibiting symbols, logos, regalia or similar of constitutionally banned organisations) carry a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.
In New Zealand, the adoption and promotion of such ideas is generally regarded as being within the preserve of the extreme right, but in fairness to Young, it cannot be suggested that he has espoused hatred or violence against any sector of society or that he encouraged or endorsed violent acts by others, such as Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist who shot and killed 51 Muslims in New Zealand's worst act of terrorism and who was duly sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, the only time such a sentence has ever been imposed in New Zealand.
Amongst the many conspiracy claims amongst his published writings and videos are many statements that are simply not true. He claims, in a video on his YouTube channel, that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is privately owned. This was the case when it was founded in 1934, but it became a government entity in 1936 and its activities are regulated by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021. The statute sets out the functions and powers of the Reserve Bank.
Another claim is that the Australian-owned banks which comprise the majority of the New Zealand banking system are not really Australian but are owned by others. Possibly the ownership of the Australian parents lies in the hands of others, but as a legal fact, the New Zealand subsidiaries are indeed owned by Australian banks.
Insofar as the videos are concerned, the suggestion that aliens have lived on the Moon, or that there are alien bases on the Moon is contrary to the well-established laws of science. The source of this appears to lie in a bizarre "documentary" screened on Televisión Española, a state-owned national broadcaster in Spain which ordinarily broadcasts news and other information. However, on 12 January 2004, the channel broadcast a nonsense documentary which purported to show Armstrong and Aldrin exploring ruins of alien buildings in the Sea of Tranquillity. The images, though extremely blurry, were obviously fake. The idea that aliens could survive on the Moon, or even get there in the first place is such obvious nonsense it hardly needs elaboration. However, the Moon has no atmosphere (to all intents and purposes), its "day" lasts 14 Earth days, during which the temperature is around 120ºC, followed by an equally long "night" with temperatures of -150ºC. Though there is water, in the form of ice inside craters, life as we know it would be impossible. The level of cosmic radiation reaching the lunar surface is around a thousand times that reaching the Earth's surface, as the Moon is not protected by a magnetic field and there is no air to attenuate the incident radiation.
As far as UFOs are concerned, if the concept is taken to mean alien spacecraft it is outside the realms of possibility to traverse any interstellar distance carrying a living creature. While concept interstellar craft exist, such as Project Orion, a concept involving pulsed nuclear propulsion based on the detonation of nuclear bombs to provide momentum to a spacecraft, the practical maximum velocity relative to the Earth that could be achieved is in the order of 10% of the speed of light, possibly practical for an unmanned expedition, but not for transport of any living creatures.
In relation to the assertions concerning the World Trade Centre terror attacks, the claim made is that there were UFO operations involving UFOs controlled by the United States and Israeli military forces. Of course, a classical trope of conspiracy theorists is that such things exist but all the technical information is suppressed or censored. As for the practical physics of how such an object would work, if it were terrestrial in origin, no explanation is, or can be given. In short, the content of most of the videos is nonsense.
Young's own life was not without its difficulties, which involved litigation and various problems. However, this article is directed towards his promotion of conspiracy theories and anti-semitic ideas rather than his personal issues.
Want to read this in another language?
- Sovereign Books (archived from April 29, 2007).
- Save Our Democracy: The New Zealand Story by Phil Young (1988). Sovereign Books.
- The Great Secret, by Phil Young (1990). Sovereign Books Ltd
- Jesus Says Go but the Pharisees Say "No!" by Phil Young (1992). Sovereign Books Ltd.
- Philip Young's YouTube channel "NewsNotShownonTV"
- Article 86 of the Strafgesetzbuch, the German criminal code (In German)
- Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch terrorist
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021
- Televisión Española
- Project Orion