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The New World Order (book)

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Cover of The New World Order.
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Were you looking for our page on the conspiracy theory itself, New World Order?
Are these the ravings of a lunatic?
—Pat Robertson[1]:266

The New World Order (ISBN 9780849909153) is a 1991 book by Pat Robertson in which he pushed every conspiracy theory he could that was popular at the time. ("A catch all for conspiracy theories," is how one reviewer put it.[2]) Robertson was strongly influenced by the John Birch Society, and like the JBS, included the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Illuminati, and the Rothschild family as part of the New World Order conspiracy.[3]:232-233

A book with no conclusions[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Just Asking Questions

One of the most telling things about this book is how little Robertson, by his own admission, can actually conclude anything. On occasion, he'll just admit that he has no evidence to back up what he says, such as when he wrote the following on the death of Abraham Lincoln:

There is no hard evidence to prove it, but it is my belief that John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, was in the employ of the European bankers who wanted to nip this American populist experiment in the bud.[1]:265

Why was this populist idea so dangerous that Lincoln was killed for believing it? Robertson explained a page earlier:

President Abraham Lincoln arrived at the very simple concept that it was not necessary under our government to borrow any dollars from any bank. The government, in fact, has the authority to issue money that is in turn backed up by the taxing power of the federal government. Congress could mandate a percentage growth rate of the economy each year, and authorize the treasury to issue enough funds to permit a modest rate of growth in the various indexes of money supply.[1]:264-265

Of course, Robertson offers no evidence that Lincoln thought this. In fact, the American Civil War increased the national debt from $63 million to $2.2 billion,[4] and Lincoln was even forced to default on the nation's debt in 1862.[5] If Lincoln really did know some simple means to keep the nation out of debt, but was also so adamant about it that if those in control of the banks felt the need to end his life, Lincoln sure did have a strange way of showing it.

Other times, Robertson will just ask the readers a question which, assuming they agree with the book, to which they should already know the answer. "Can it be that the phrase the new world order means something entirely different to the inner circle of a secret society than it does to the ordinary person?"[1]:37 "[I]s there not a possibility that the Wall Street bankers, who have so enthusiastically financed Bolshevism in the Soviet Union since 1917, did not do so for the purpose of promoting world communism but for the purpose of saddling the potentially rich Soviet Union with a totally wasteful and inefficient system that in turn would force the Soviet government to be dependent on Western bankers for its survival?"[1]:31 (That one is a hard no because, to put it simply, Western bankers didn't back the Bolshevik revolution.[6]) "Is it possible that the Gulf War was, in fact, a setup?"[1]:9 (A setup to what exactly?) "Before [World War One], monarchies held sway. After the war, socialism and high finance held sway. Was it planned that way or was it merely an 'accident' or history?"[1]:64

Of course, the main flaw with this argument is also its appeal, anything is possible, in the most general sense of the term. It is totally possible that everything Robertson suggests is the case actually happened, but that fails to make it any more true because, to put it simply, so is every other counter explanation that is not fully impossible.

Al Franken in his book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot spoofed this style of "just asking questions" by asking the following:

Can it be that the leader of America's most powerful grassroots political movement is a raving lunatic? Is there not a possibility that Robertson himself is Satan and that the members of the Christian Coalition are, in fact, his unwitting dupes? Is it possible that the Republican Party is in the thrall of Lucifer? Was it planned that way or was it merely an "accident" of history?[7]:255

His answers to those questions are "yes, no, yes, and accident of history" respectively.[7]:255

Getting things wrong[edit]

While Robertson doesn't always use facts to back up his claims, he does occasionally attempt to pull from reality — and fails quite a bit. At one part, in order to promote his views against oligarchy, he attributed the following quote to be Lincoln:

The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace, and it conspires against it in times of adversity, more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy. It’s more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed.[1]:266

There's no evidence that Lincoln actually said this, and Lincoln's official biographer even noted that this quote was nothing more then “a bold, unblushing forgery.”[8]

On another occasion, Robertson wrote that "the Supreme Court of the supposedly Christian United States… forbade children in public schools to pray."[1]:233 This is an old religious right claim that has been debunked thousands of times, but prayer is not banned in public schools, although school staff cannot lead students in prayer, both staff and students are allowed to engage in it if they so choose.[9]

Fun with sources[edit]

In a 1995 article in The New York Review of Books, Jacob Heilbrunn looks at some of the people Robertson cites,[10] and the results were eye opening. You see, Robertson very much relies on World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization[11] and Secret Societies and Subversive Movements[12] by Nesta H. Webster,[10] a British fascist.[13]:46

Robertson was also fond of Secrets of the Federal Reserve: The London Connection[14] by Eustace Mullins,[10] who is a Holocaust denier.


Umberto Eco's famous essay "Ur-Fascism" uses this book as an example for one of its fourteen features of fascism:

To people who feel deprived of a clear social identity, Ur-Fascism says that their only privilege is the most common one, to be born in the same country. This is the origin of nationalism. Besides, the only ones who can provide an identity to the nation are its enemies. Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia. But the plot must also come from the inside: Jews are usually the best target because they have the advantage of being at the same time inside and outside. In the US, a prominent instance of the plot obsession is to be found in Pat Robertson’s The New World Order, but, as we have recently seen, there are many others.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The New World Order by Pat Robertson, published by Thomas Nelson, Incorporated, ISBN: 9780849909153
  2. New World Order by Pat Robertson
  3. Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right by Matthew Dallek (2023) Basic Books. ISBN 1541673565.
  4. The History of the Debt
  5. The US has never defaulted on its debt — except the four times it did
  6. Separating truth from myth
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations by Al Franken (Delacorte Press, 1996) ISBN 0-385-31474-4
  8. Getting Wrong with Lincoln
  9. Guidance on Constitutionally Protected Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 His Anti-Semitic Sources
  11. World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization by Nesta H. Webster (2000) Read Books, ISBN: 1446501809. Originally published in 1921.
  12. Secret Societies and Subversive Movements by Nesta H. Webster (1924) A & B Publishers Group, ISBN:1881316882. Originally published in 1924.
  13. Thomas Linehan, British Fascism 1918-39: Parties, Ideology and Culture, Manchester University Press, 2000
  14. Eustace Mullins, Secrets of the Federal Reserve (Staunton, Virginia: Bankers Research Institute, 1954; second edition, 1984)
  15. Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco (June 22, 1995) The New York Review of Books.