Committee of 300
The Committee of 300, also known as The Olympians, is a conspiracy theory that claims a powerful group was founded by the British aristocracy in 1727 and rules the world. Proponents of the theory alleging the Committee's existence believe it to be an international council that organizes politics, commerce, banking, media, and the military for centralized global efforts.
Three hundred men, all of whom know one another, guide the economic destinies of the Continent and seek their successors from their own milieu.
In context, Rathenau was actually deploring the oligarchic implications of this statement, and did not suggest that the "Three hundred" were Jewish. However, by 1912 Theodor Fritsch had seized upon the sentence as an "open confession of indubitable Jewish hegemony" and as proof that Rathenau was the "secret Kaiser of Germany." The idea became more popular after the World War I, and the spread of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. Rathenau addressed the issue in a 1921 letter, stating that the three hundred referred to were leaders in the business world, rather than Jews.
After Rathenau's assassination in June 1922, one of his assassins explicitly cited Rathenau's membership in the "Three hundred Elders of Zion" as justification for the killing. This prompted the Reichstag to pass a Law for the Protection of the Republic making propagation of the myth a prosecutable offense. Nevertheless, it was still used by the Nazis before and after they took power.
Arthur Cherep-Spiridovich wrote that the group may also be known as the "Hidden Hand", which is headed by the Rothschild family of international financiers and based loosely around many of the top national banking institutions and royal families of the world. This version of the conspiracy theory claims that the Rothschild family are merely a part of the club and not the leaders.
In popular culture
The committee of 300 is the main antagonist of the Science Adventure series.
- Robin Ramsay (3 February 2012). Conspiracy Theories. Oldcastle Books. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-84243-819-0.
- Bennett, Richard M. (2003). Conspiracy: Plots, Lies and Cover-ups. Virgin. pp. 27–28. ISBN 978-1-85227-093-3. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
- Rathenau, Walther, 1867-1922 Zur Kritik der Zeit Berlin, S. Fischer 1922 p.207
- Mark Swartzburg The "Three hundred" in Richard S. Levy, ed. Antisemitism: a historical encyclopedia of prejudice and persecution Santa Babara, California; ABC-CLIO 2005 p.705
- Swartzburg pp.705-6
- Swartzburg p.706
- Cherep-Spiridovich (1926). The Secret Government or Secret Hand. The Anti-Bolshevist Publishing Association. p. 38. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- "CONSPIRATORS' HIERARCHY: THE STORY OF THE COMMITTEE OF 300" (PDF). www.cia.gov.