Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the Church hasn't been teaching about secret combinations for quite a while now?
I'll admit I don't watch all sessions of conference these days, but I can recall a time when men like David O. McKay, J. Reuben Clark, and Ezra Taft Benson were constantly reminding us that secret combinations were among us in our day just as they were present among the Nephites and the Jaredites.
I could be wrong, but in all the years I attended Sunday School classes as an adult, the lesson plans seem to have skipped over those sections in the Book of Mormon that contained those salient warnings. Was that deliberate? Were those warnings in the Book of Mormon left out of the lesson manuals on purpose?
I first heard about secret combinations when I attended seminary in the late 1960s, and I'll admit I was confused by what the teacher was saying. What the heck was he trying to get at? The only secret combination I knew of was the combination to my locker at school, which, of course, I kept secret from everyone else. So when I heard the teacher say "secret combinations," all I could picture was my combination lock. Of course, I could have read those assigned chapters in the Book of Mormon and maybe figured it out. But hey, I was fourteen and groggy from the early morning hours -the last thing I wanted to do was pick up the scriptures.
So for you young people today who may not have any idea what "secret combinations" are: in a word, they are conspiracies. More accurately, the term "secret combinations" refers to conspirators; i.e. persons who combine together in secret to plot and implement nefarious plans. Back in Joseph Smith's day use of the term "combination" to describe an intimate group was so common that the pre-eminent dictionary defined essentially two kinds of combinations; one good, the other bad:
Combination: Intimate union, or association of two or more persons or things, by set purpose or agreement, for effecting some object, by joint operation; in a good sense, when the object is laudable; in an ill sense, when it is illegal or iniquitous. It is sometimes equivalent to league, or to conspiracy. We say, a combination of men to overthrow government, or a combination to resist oppression. (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, Pub 1828)What the Book of Mormon tells us is that these iniquitous groups working behind the scenes eventually took control of their entire respective governments. By the end of the Jaredite run, mass murder had become rampant not only within the political realm but among the populace as well. Mix that brand of mayhem with the social and economic collapse that had become endemic, and it spelled a one-two punch the Jaredite civilization could not withstand. The Nephites called the conspiracy at work among them "Gadianton's Robbers and Murderers" (Hel 6-18) after the guy who initially founded the cabal. The surprising thing is that over time, a majority of the people simply found it easier to go along to get along with these insiders since the dominant party clearly held all the cards. Easier to cooperate with the ruling class than to continue as a member of the shrinking resistance when hope already seems lost, right? Still, you might wonder: how could such a thing happen to an entire nation?
Well, some were inclined to just put up with it, or they decided to join in because they were attracted to the ideology. At any rate, allowing those secret combinations to get above them is the reason we don't see any Nephites or Jaredites living among us today. Eventually the influence of the conspirators had so overwhelmed the political and cultural landscapes of those societies that both civilizations were entirely destroyed from within. And here's why it's important for us to read up on these incidents: because God tells us the same fate awaits us unless we awaken to our awful situation (Ether 8:22-24).
So here's the good news: we have a road map from American history to show us precisely how and when certain secret combinations became entrenched in the United States just as they had on this continent all those centuries before. I'm going to direct you to that before I'm done here, but first I want to make a couple of more points about conspiracies.
Is It A Conspiracy 'Theory' Or Is It An Actual Conspiracy?
The first rule of a conspiracy is to convince everyone that there is no conspiracy. Many people haven't figured that out, which is why, when you find yourself getting close to the truth about a thing, there always seems to be some knucklehead standing by ready to shout you down by saying "that's just a conspiracy theory."
Intelligence agencies at the time didn't want anyone snooping around and possibly discovering that government contractors may have had something to do with the murder of the president. And they sure didn't want anyone discovering that Oswald may himself have been a deep-cover asset. So they had to keep secret what has since been revealed among the documents in the 20 gigabyte JFK document dump released when Donald Trump was president: that U.S. Intelligence agencies had Lee Oswald on their radar for at least two years before the assassination, because he appears to have been recruited by Naval Intelligence while in the Marine corps. Unredacted sources indicate that just prior to the assassination, Lee was being unwittingly groomed by his agency handler, one George de Mohrenschildt, to be set up as the lone-nut "patsy" who would take the fall for a shooting he had nothing to do with.
So America was told that Oswald was a nobody. It was this weirdo Oswald, and Oswald alone, who shot the president. Period. End of story, fade to black. Members of the press dutifully fell in line, deriding anyone who suggested otherwise as kooky "conspiracy theorists"-which itself was a term virtually no one in America ever uttered until the national security apparatus coined it to be used as a term of derision.
The Conspiracy You Didn't Learn About In School
I realize I'm wandering all over the place here, but there is one thing I want to present before we get to what I promised, and that's a discussion of the conspiracy everyone has heard about but few people know much about, namely (drum roll) The Illuminati! When the Bavarian Illuminati was exposed in 1797 it was huge news. Virtually everyone alive at the time was talking about it, both in America and across Europe. The fact that today this famous conspiracy is unknown to all but a few is a testament to what happens when the ruling class decides something should be swept under the rug: it stops being reported, never gets repeated, ceases being written about, and is no longer published in the conventional histories. Within two centuries the once-notorious incident of the Bavarian Illuminati had been flushed down the memory hole. Too bad, because this is one of those "lessons of history" we all ought to know about.
That's why I'm presenting below an excerpt about the Bavarian Illuminati written by one of the most reliable conspiracy researchers I know of, Donald Jeffries. The following is from his bestselling book, Crimes and Coverups In American Politics, and I present it because it's a very even-handed account, devoid of unnecessary alarmism despite the disturbing insouciance Weishaupt exhibits, given his stated intention to deceive virtually the entire world. Here it is:
ADAM WEISHAUPT AND THE ILLUMINATI
Of all the means I know to lead men, the most effectual is a concealed mystery -Adam Weishaupt
The earliest genuine "conspiracy" book that I know of carried the lengthy title Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All Religions and Governments of Europe Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati and Reading Societies. Written by Edinburgh Professor John Robison, it was published in 1797. The book was the first to focus on the Bavarian Illuminati, founded allegedly on May 1, 1776 by University of Ingoldstadt professor Adam Weishaupt, and its supposed infiltration of Freemasonic lodges.
While the establishment views the Illuminati as a seldom noted, innocuous organization designed to enlighten the masses, conspiracy theorists consider it as one of the leading candidates for the unseen power behind everything. Proofs was widely read, and a copy was even sent to George Washington. Washington commented on the book in a letter to Rev. George Washington Snyder, dated October 24, 1798. A well-known Freemason himself, Washington attempted to refute the contention that Masonic lodges in America had been widely infiltrated by the Illuminati, although he admitted that "It was not my intention to doubt that the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am."
Thomas Jefferson, however, seemed naively supportive of Weishaupt (whose name he misspelled as Wishaupt) in a January 31, 1800 letter, labeling him "an enthusiastic philanthropist." Jefferson dismissed the fears of those like Robison towards "the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men." In addition to George Washington, many other founding fathers were masons, such as Joseph Warren, James Otis, John Paul Jones, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Benjamin Franklin. So was the Marquis de Lafayette, the French nobleman who fought with the American colonists.
Even at that early date, the inclination was strong among establishment voices to discredit any "conspiracy theories." Robison had been a "respected" figure in intellectual circles prior to writing Proofs, and had contributed many valuable scientific articles to the Encyclopedia Britannica. After his controversial book was published, however, the Encyclopedia Britannica critiqued it with the following comment, "it betrays a degree of credulity extremely remarkable in a person used to calm reasoning and philosophical demonstration." That sentence could easily have fit into any New York Times review of an anti-Warren Commission JFK assassination book.
Few conspirators have left the kind of transparent confessions on the record that Adam Weishaupt did. Consider this quote from Weishaupt:
The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it never appear in any place in its own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation. None is better than the three lower degrees of Free Masonry; the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it. Next to this, the form of a learned or literary society is best suited to our purpose, and had Free Masonry not existed, this cover would have been employed; and it may be much more than a cover, it may be a powerful engine in our hands. By establishing reading societies, and subscription libraries, and taking these under our direction, and supplying them through our labours, we may turn the public mind which way we will.
Does this sound like the philosophy of an innocent free-thinker? Weishaupt, in another statement, appeared to openly advocate assassination, as he reminded his followers, "No man is fit for our Order who is not a Brutus or a Catiline, and is not ready to go to every length." Scoffing at the religious leaders who thought his movement innocuous, Weishaupt remarked, "The most wonderful thing of all is that the distinguished Lutheran and Calvinist theologians who belong to our order really believe that they see in it (Illuminati) the true and genuine sense of Christian Religion. Oh Mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?"
Weishaupt's Illuminati drew the attention of many prominent Americans. On the significant date of July 4, 1812, Joseph Willard, then president of Harvard University, delivered a speech in which he declared:
There is sufficient evidence that a number of societies, of the Illuminati, have been established in this land of Gospel light and civil liberty, which were first organized from the grand society, in France. They are doubtless secretly striving to undermine all our ancient institutions, civil and sacred. These societies are closely leagued with those of the same Order, in Europe; they have all the same object in view. The enemies of all order are seeking our ruin. Should the infidelity generally prevail, our independence would fall of course. Our republican government would be annihilated.
Although the mention of his name is scoffed at in polite society, Adam Weishaupt was a very real person; as noted, a professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. Robison's interpretation of Weishaupt's plans as "scheming the establishment of an Association or Order, which, in time, should govern the world" was well reasoned. His theory would lead inevitably to the concerns present-day conspiracy researchers have regarding the "New World Order," which always seems to be on the minds of those who lead us. Robert Shea and Anton Wilson used Weishaupt with great dramatic license as a character in their wonderful Illuminatus science-fiction trilogy in the 1970s. They even claimed that Weishaupt had killed George Washington and assumed his identity.
As was mentioned earlier, Weishaupt founded the Illuminati officially on May 1, 1776, which is of great interest considering that "May Day" also came to be celebrated as International Workers' Day, and is dear to the hearts of socialists and communists everywhere. It was an official holiday in the Soviet Union, with elaborate parades held in Red Square in Moscow and other major cities.
The establishment's view on Weishaupt was expressed by Dr. Tony Page, who explained, in his translation of Supplement of the Justification of My Intentions by Adam Weishaupt, "His project was utopian and naively optimistic...but neither he nor his plan was evil or violent in and of themselves. It is one of the deplorable and tragic ironies of history that a man who tried to inculcate virtue, philanthropy, social justice, and morality has become one of the great hate-figures of 21st century "conspiracy" thinking." -Excerpted from Crimes and Coverups in American Politics, 1776-1963 by Donald Jeffries (2019) *
*Jeffries has written a companion volume to Crimes & Coverups, titled Hidden History. Whereas Crimes and Coverups is a history of conspiracies in American politics from its founding up to 1963, Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Coverups in American Politics picks up from there, covering the Kennedy Assassination onward.Yeah, Well, That's Kinda The Problem, Isn't It, Tony?
I think most of us would differ with Tony Page's assertion that Weishaupt's actions were virtuous, just, and moral. Weishaupt was undertaking to deceive on a massive scale, with the ultimate goal being world conquest. Deception on that scale never results in the kind of "justice" most people envision when they hear the word. As much as Dr. Page would have hoped Weishaupt's utopian dream could have been allowed to come to pass, every single civilization founded on the ancient religion of illuminism inevitably degenerates into a dystopia, not a utopia. The precepts of illuminism dictate that the God of the bible was a jealous usurper, and that the true "Bearer of the Light" was Lucifer, The Illuminated One, The Son of the Morning. It is he, according to the the creeds of the Illuminati, who is the rightful god, unjustly kicked out of heaven just for believing the best way to ensure everybody gets saved is to force them into it. Satan would have coerced all mankind into behaving exactly as he commands them, and when they can't be perfect (as individuals seldom can), they would be forced to conform against their will, even if it means their enslavement, torture, or death for disobeying.
As we learn in the Book of Mormon, secret combinations could be found in every age and on every continent literally since Cain plotted to kill his own brother. The Mystery Babylon School has always been the model for oppression, not liberation. Illuminati creeds were developed many centuries ago by power-hungry men motivated by one over-arching philosophy: certain men were destined to rule over lesser men. That belief did not change with Adam Weishaupt's attempt at reviving the ancient ways, and that belief remains in force on every continent of the world today.
From the Hittites, to the Assyrians, to the Egyptians and others, the leadership of the Mystery Schools learned how to control the weak. The enslavement and oppression of lesser beings was the defining feature of those civilizations; without it they would have no power. Illuminists "have a very ego-centric, prideful theology that dehumanizes its believer. The ancient secret societies of the Illuminati practiced occult theocracies that are totally removed from the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ." (Fritz Springmeier, Bloodlines of the Illuminati).
One common thread weaves itself through the training of those attracted to the mystery religions: it is the desire for power. Compare that with the desire of the godly hero Captain Moroni, who said, "I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country.”
And That Brings Me To My Actual Point
As I was mulling this topic around in my head I was made aware of a recent blog post by Kendal Anderson. Kendal is the author of War: A Book of Mormon Perspective, which I gave a brief mention to awhile back in these pages. As concerns secret combinations, Kendal has brilliantly explained how these combinations got a foothold here in America at virtually the same time the nascent United States was founded. I have read entire books on this topic, but I have never seen this fascinating information explained as succinctly as Kendal has done here. What will really surprise you is that two of our founding fathers were instrumental in launching the very conspiracy that now threatens to hold every one of us in its totalitarian clutches. I hope you'll click on the link below to learn what they haven't been teaching you in school or in church:
Click This Link to be taken to "Gadiantons And The State"