I have an article in The National Post today about John Todd, a man who traveled the circuit in the 1970s claiming to be a former member of the Illuminati. (Yes, this is another piece based on my book about conspiracy theories.) Here is an excerpt from the story, recounting some of the claims Todd made to a church crowd in 1978:
The Illuminati controlled Standard Oil and Shell Oil, Chase Manhattan and the Bank of America, Sears and Safeway. They controlled the National Council of Churches and the Satanic Brotherhood of America, the Federal Reserve and the American Civil Liberties Union, the Knights of Columbus and the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the John Birch Society and the Communist Party. In the United States, the Illuminati called themselves the Council on Foreign Relations.
Todd was initiated into the Council of 13 and was given a thirteen-state area to run from a base in San Antonio. He was also put in charge of Zodiac Productions, which he told the crowd was the country's biggest booking agency for rock bands. There he learned the secrets of the music industry. (Elton John, for instance, "has never written a song that was not written in witch language.") And he was shown an eight-year plan for the Illuminati to take over the remainder of the world, a scheme scheduled to conclude in December 1980.
Meanwhile, Charles Manson ("an old buddy of mine") was assembling an Illuminist army in America's prisons. "They have been promised weapons," Todd exclaimed. "Military weapons!" Congress was preparing a bill to confiscate Americans' guns, leaving us at the mercy of Manson's army. "Manson," Todd warned, "will either be released next year or the following year, they have not decided yet." Then he and his followers would sweep across the country, butchering a million people and giving the government a rationale for imposing martial law.
Read the rest here. There's only so much space in a newspaper story, so I don't even get to the part where "Philippe Rothschild ordered one of his mistresses to write an eleven-hundred-page book that would describe to all witches how they would take control of the world through the Illuminati. It was called Atlas Shrugged." You'll have to read my book for that bit. Perhaps more important, you'll have to read the book to see how some Toddian ideas that circulated on the fringe in the '70s managed to influence the mainstream in the '80s, when the Satanic ritual abuse scare took off.
Bonus link: This is the second of three excerpts from the book that the Post will be publishing this week. For yesterday's installment, go here.