Shadow government (conspiracy theory)

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The shadow government, also referred to as cryptocracy, secret government, or invisible government, is a family of theories based on the notion that real and actual political power resides not only with publicly elected representatives but with private individuals who are exercising power behind the scenes, beyond the scrutiny of democratic institutions. According to this belief, the official elected government is subservient to the shadow government, which is the true executive power.

Some of the groups proposed by these theories as constituting the shadow government include central banks, Freemasons, communists, Nazis, the Rothschilds, intelligence agencies, think tanks, organized Jewry, the Vatican, Jesuits, or Catholics in general, as well as secret societies, moneyed interests, extraterrestrials and globalist elites and supranational organizations who seek to manipulate policy in their own interest or in order to serve a larger agenda that is hidden from the general public.


Literature on the subject postulates the existence of a secret government which is the true power behind the apparent government. Examples of such literature include works by Dan Smoot, William Guy Carr, Jim Marrs, Carroll Quigley, Gary Allen, Alex Jones, Des Griffin, G. Edward Griffin, David Icke, and Michael A. Hoffman II. Some of these authors believe members of the secret government may represent or be agents for groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, United Nations, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Tavistock Institute, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the Bilderberg Group, the World Health Organization, George Soros, and the Koch Brothers, in co-operation with international banks and financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Bank for International Settlements.[1][2][3] Also popularizing the idea was the hit US television show, The X-Files.[citation needed]

Milton William Cooper claimed that the shadow government was in cooperation with extraterrestrial aliens. His 1991 book Behold a Pale Horse,[4][5] influential among "UFO and militia circles",[6] describes "the doings of the secret world government" and "a variety of other covert activities associated with the Illuminati's declaration of war upon the people of America".[7] Cooper claimed to have seen secret documents while in the Navy describing governmental dealings with aliens. Cooper linked the Illuminati with his beliefs that extraterrestrials were secretly involved with the US government, but later retracted these claims. He accused Dwight D. Eisenhower of negotiating a treaty with extraterrestrials in 1954, then establishing an inner circle of Illuminati to manage relations with them and keep their presence a secret from the general public. Cooper believed that aliens "manipulated and/or ruled the human race through various secret societies, religions, magic, witchcraft, and the occult", and that even the Illuminati were unknowingly being manipulated by them.[4]

During the American Revolution, Committees of Safety were different local committees of Patriots that formed a shadow government to take control of the Thirteen Colonies away from British royal officials.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chatham House (RIIA) and the CFR, its US sister organization, are the focus of Quigley's The Anglo-American Establishment.
  2. ^ The CFR as a central institution of the secret government of the United States is the focus of James Perloff's book The Shadows of Power
  3. ^ Jim Marrs cites all the institutions listed in this paragraph in his study Rule By Secrecy, published by Harper Collins.
  4. ^ a b Michael Barkun (4 May 2006). A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America. University of California Press. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-0-520-24812-0. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  5. ^ Carroll, Robert Todd (2003). "Illuminati". The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 175. ISBN 9781118045633. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  6. ^ Nattrass, Nicoli (2012). The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 4, 23–27. ISBN 9780231149129. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  7. ^ Gilroy, Paul (2000). "Planetary Humanism". Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 352–353. ISBN 9780674000964. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  8. ^ T. H. Breen, American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People (Macmillan, 2010), pp. 162, 186–89.