Thursday, February 4, 2010

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The Birth of the Illuminati Conspiracy

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At the beginning of 1797, John Robison was a man with a solid and long-standing reputation in the British scientific establishment. He had been Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh University for over twenty years, an authority on mathematics and optics, and had recently been appointed senior scientific contributor on the third edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, to which he would eventually contribute over a thousand pages of articles. Yet by the end of the year, his professional reputation had been eclipsed by a sensational book that vastly outsold anything he had previously written, and whose shockwaves would continue to reverberate long after his scientific work had been forgotten. Its title was Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, and it launched on the English-speaking public the enduring theory that a vast conspiracy, masterminded by a covert Masonic cell known as the Illuminati, was in the process of subverting all the cherished institutions of the civilised world and co-opting them into instruments of its secret and godless plan: the tyranny of the masses under the invisible control of unknown superiors, and a new era of ‘darkness over all'. (1)

Robison had hit a nerve by offering an answer, plausible to many, to the great questions of the day: what had caused the French Revolution, and had there been any plan behind its bloody and tumultuous progress?

The first edition of Proofs of a Conspiracy sold out within days, and within a year it had been republished many times, not only in Edinburgh but in London, Dublin and New York. Robison had hit a nerve by offering an answer, plausible to many, to the great questions of the day: what had caused the French Revolution, and had there been any plan behind its bloody and tumultuous progress? From his vantage point in Edinburgh he had, along with millions of others, followed with horror the lurid press reports of France dismembering its monarchy, dispossessing its church and transforming its downtrodden and brutalised population into the most ruthless fighting force Europe had ever seen -- and now, under the rising star of the young general Napoleon Bonaparte, attempting to export the same carnage and destruction to its surrounding monarchies, not least Britain itself. But Robison believed that he alone had identified the hidden hand responsible for the apparently senseless eruption of terror and war that appeared to be consuming the world.

Many had located the roots of the revolution in the ideas of Enlightenment figures such as Voltaire, Diderot and D'Alembert, who had exalted reason and progress over authority and tradition; but none of these mostly aristocratic philosophes had advocated a revolution of the masses, and indeed several of them had ended their lives on the guillotine. In the early 1790s, it had been possible to believe that the power-hungry lawyers and journalists of the Jacobin Club had whipped up the Paris mob into their destructive frenzy as a means to their own ends, but by 1794 Danton, Robespierre and the rest of the Jacobin leaders had followed their victims to the guillotine: how could they have been the puppet-masters when they had had their own strings so brutally cut? What Robison was proposing in the densely-argued and meticulously documented pages of Proofs of a Conspiracy was that all these agents of revolution had been pawns in a much bigger game, whose ambitions were only just beginning to make themselves visible.

The power of Robison's revelation was that it identified within this buzzing confusion of conspiracies a single protagonist, a single ideology and a single overarching plot that crystallised the chaos into a concerted drama and elevated it into an epic struggle between good and evil,

The French Revolution, like all convulsive world events before and since, had been full of conspiracies, bred by the speed of events, the panic of those caught up in them and the limited information available to them as they unfolded. The Paris mobs, cut off from the outside world by their heavily guarded city walls, had been convinced that counter-revolutionary forces had joined together in a pacte de famine to starve their communes to death. The French aristocracy, in turn, were convinced from the beginning that the King was to be kidnapped and murdered. Rumours swept the army that they were being betrayed by their high command. The cities of surrounding countries hummed with allegations of plots to incite their own peasants to revolt against them. In Britain, enemies of the revolution such as Edmund Burke had claimed from the beginning that ‘already confederacies and correspondences of the most extraordinary nature are forming in several countries',(2) and by 1797 most believed -- and with good reason -- that secret societies in Ireland were plotting with Napoleon to overthrow the British government and invade the mainland. The power of Robison's revelation was that it identified within this buzzing confusion of conspiracies a single protagonist, a single ideology and a single overarching plot that crystallised the chaos into a concerted drama and elevated it into an epic struggle between good and evil, whose outcome would define the future of world politics.

* * *

Robison's vast conspiracy needed an imposing and terrifying figurehead, a role for which Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, seemed on the surface of things to be an unpromising candidate. Obsessive and domineering, Weishaupt had from the beginning found difficulty in attracting members to his secret society, where they were expected to adopt mystical pseudonyms chosen by him, jump through the hoops of his strict initiatic grades and take up subservient roles in his messianic but unfocused crusade for world domination. Nor did the appeal of his Order translate easily into the world beyond his small provincial network. Catholic Bavaria was held tightly in the grip of the Jesuits, under whom Weishaupt had been educated and whose influence his Illuminati aimed to counter and subvert; but the ‘secret knowledge' of enlightenment with which he lured initiates was mostly secret only in Bavaria, where the philsophies of Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot were still suppressed. Elsewhere, and particularly in France, their works had long been freely available: French Masonic lodges, particularly the Grand Orient, already offered congenial surroundings and company for discussing such ideas, and had shown little interest in the Bavarian Illuminati's attempts to infiltrate them. After 1784, when the Order had been exposed and banned by the Elector of Bavaria, Weishaupt had exiled himself to Gotha in central Germany, since when he appeared to have done little beyond producing a series of morose and self-justifying memoirs of his adventures.

Weishaupt's exposure, and with it his cloak-and-dagger strategy of covert infiltration and his doctrine of the perfection of human nature by the destruction of government and religion, offered dramatic confirmation of the traditionalists' deepest fears

Yet there was also much in the career of the Illuminati that offered, to Robison at least, a view of a far more expansive and sinister scheme. Weishaupt's grandiose sense of his own mission and the Order's extravagant structures -- its nested grades of Novice and Minerval, Illuminatus Minor and Major, Dirigens and Magus, and the portentous pseudonyms of members such as Spartacus, Cato and Pythagoras -- all hinted at a far larger organisation than that which had been exposed. Weishaupt's subsequent publications had also revealed an ideology more extreme and politically reckless than most of the enlightened philosophies of his day. While most of the leading apostles of reason, such as Voltaire, had envisaged that their programme would eventually generate benign rule by an educated elite, Weishaupt had espoused a radical programme of egalitarian reforms, including the abolition of all private property, inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau's belief that the exercise of reason would free humanity from its chains of servitude and restore the natural life of the ‘noble savage'. This was perhaps, in the 1780s, not so much a revolutionary plan for the future of politics as a wistful, even reactionary hope of a return to an idealised and imaginary past; but since the French Revolution had erupted, it had begun to read ever more suggestively as a prophecy of the anarchy and bloodshed that had followed.

The suppression of the Illuminati, too, had generated a furore quite out of proportion to the danger it represented. It had become a lightning-rod for pervasive anxieties among the supporters of church and monarchy about the project of reason and progress that was being seeded across Europe by the confident vanguard of philosophers and scientists, and the members-only network of Masonic lodges through which it was being propagated. Most representatives of this world were discreet about their activities and conciliatory about their beliefs, but Weishaupt's exposure, and with it his cloak-and-dagger strategy of covert infiltration and his doctrine of the perfection of human nature by the destruction of government and religion, offered dramatic confirmation of the traditionalists' deepest fears. It was not in the interests of Weishaupt's enemies to play down his ambitions or take a sceptical look at the threat that he actually represented, and the Illuminati furore had generated hundreds of screeds, polemics, handbills and scandal sheets, all competing to file the most damning charges of godless infamy. It was these sources that Robison had spent years perusing intently for scraps, anecdotes and telling details to mould into the proofs of the conspiracy that he now presented. To the dispassionate observer, Weishaupt and his Illuminati might have been a suggestive precursor or an eloquent symbol of the forces that were now reconfiguring Europe; but for Robison they had become the literal cause: the centre, thus far invisible, of the web of events that had consumed the world.

* * *

Robison may have been a distant spectator of the Illuminati furore, but he was no dispassionate observer. While Proofs of a Conspiracy came as a surprise (and in most cases an embarrassing one) to his friends and scientific colleagues, there were many reasons why the Illuminati had presented itself to him in particular in the form that it did. It was a discovery that resolved long-standing suspicions and conflicts in both his private and professional life, and one that chimed in particular with his own curious adventures in freemasonry.

Robison, however, found Black's capitulation humiliating: he had never accepted the new French theories, and by 1797 he had worked the new chemistry deep into his Illuminatist plot

By 1797, Robison's character had taken a grave and saturnine turn, far removed from the cheerful and convivial temperament of his youth. In 1785 he had begun to suffer from a mysterious medical condition, a severe and painful spasm of the groin: it seemed to emanate from behind his testicles, but its precise origin baffled the most distinguished doctors of Edinburgh and London. Racked with pain and frequently bed-ridden, by the late 1790s he had become a withdrawn and isolated figure; he was using opium liberally, a regime which according to some of his acquaintances made him vulnerable to melancholy, confusion and paranoia. As the successive crises of the French Revolution shook Britain, with rumours of massacres and threats of invasion following relentlessly upon one another, the nation was gripped by a panic that was particularly intense in Scotland, where ministers and judges whipped up constant rumours of fifth columnists, traitors and secret Jacobin cells. Tormented, heavily medicated and constantly assailed by terrifying news from the outside world, Robison had all too many dark thoughts to elaborate into the plot that came to consume him.

Political events had also thrown a deep shadow across his professional life. The physical sciences, too, were in the grip of a French revolution, led in this case by Antoine Lavoisier. During the 1780s, Lavoisier had overthrown the chemical theories of the previous century with his discovery of oxygen, from which he had been able to establish new theories of combustion and to begin the process of reducing all material substances to a basic table of elements. Lavoisier's revolution had split British chemistry: some recognised that his elegantly conceived and minutely recorded experiments had transformed the science of matter, but for others his new and foreign terminology was, like the French metric system and the revolutionary Year Zero, an arrogant attempt to wipe away the accumulated wisdom of the ages and to eliminate the role of God in the physical world. The old system of chemistry, with its mysterious forms of energy and its languages of essences and principles, had readily contained the idea of a life-force and the mysterious breath of the divine; but in Lavoisier's cold new world, matter was being stripped of all such imponderable properties and reduced to inert building-blocks manipulated by the measurable forces of pressure and temperature.

He had been a member of the Scottish Rite for decades without ever regarding its lodges as more than ‘a pretext for passing an hour or two in a fort of decent conviviality, not altogether void of some rational occupation';(5) but his career had frequently taken him abroad, where he had been shocked to discover that not all masonic orders were so innocent

This was a conflict that had not spared the University of Edinburgh. Its professor of chemistry, Joseph Black, had long been the most distinguished chemist in Britain: in 1754 he had been the first to isolate and identify ‘fixed air', or carbon dioxide, and his subsequent study of gases had enabled his friend James Watt to develop the steam engine. Lavoisier had built on Black's discoveries to formulate his new chemistry, and Black had been quick to recognise its validity. Robison, however, found Black's capitulation humiliating: he had never accepted the new French theories, and by 1797 he had worked the new chemistry deep into his Illuminatist plot.(3) For him, Lavoisier -- along with Britain's most famous experimental chemist, the dissenting minister Joseph Priestley -- was a master Illuminist, working in concert with infiltrated Masonic lodges to spread the doctrine of materialism that would underlie the new atheist world order. Madame Lavoisier's famous salons, at which the leading Continental philosophes met to discuss the new theories, were now revealed by Robison to have been the venues for sacreligious rites where the hostess, dressed in the ceremonial robes of an occult priestess, ritually burned the texts of the old chemistry.(4) Implausible though this image might seem, it was all of a piece with other proofs that Robison had assembled in his book - for example, the anonymous German pamphlet that claimed that, at the great philosophe Baron d'Holbach's salons, the brains of living children bought from poor parents were dissected in an attempt to isolate their life-force.

But if the Illuminati seemed to be crowding into Robison's profesional life, his most personal connection with their conspiracy came through Masonry itself. He had been a member of the Scottish Rite for decades without ever regarding its lodges as more than ‘a pretext for passing an hour or two in a fort of decent conviviality, not altogether void of some rational occupation';(5) but his career had frequently taken him abroad, where he had been shocked to discover that not all masonic orders were so innocent. In 1770 Catherine the Great had requested the British government to supply some technically-minded naval officers to modernise her fleet and Robison, who had previously supervised a trial of John Harrison's longitude chronometer on a voyage to the West Indies, was offered the chance of secondment. He spent a year at Catherine's court in St. Petersburg, learning Russian and lecturing on navigation, and during the course of his travels he had met with other masons and visited lodges in France, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

What he saw had shocked him: by comparison with the Scottish Rite, the Continental lodges were ‘schools of irreligion and licentiousness'. Their members seemed to him consumed by ‘zeal and fanaticism', and their religious views ‘much disturbed by the mystical whims of J. Behmen [Jacob Boehme] and Swedenborg - by the fanatical and knavish doctrines of the modern Rosycrucians - by Magicians - Magnetisers - Exorcists, &c.'. He had returned to Edinburgh with the chilling conviction that ‘the homely Free Masonry imported from England has been totally changed in every country of Europe';(6) now, thirty years later, as he recalled the occultism and freethinking to which he had been briefly but unforgettably exposed, he had no doubt as to the source of the destruction that had engulfed the Continent.

* * *

Shortly after the publication of Proofs of a Conspiracy, Robison's theory received striking corroboration from the first volumes of the Jesuit Abbé Augustin de Barruel's monumental Memoires pour Servir a l'Histoire de Jacobinisme, published in French in 1797 and swiftly translated into English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Portugese. Barruel had fled to London after the dissolution of the Jesuit order during the French Revolution and had, like Robison, spent years assembling the most lurid denunciations of the Illuminati into a polemic arguing that the apparent chaos of the revolution had in fact all been ‘foreseen, premeditated, plotted, planned, resolved; everything that happened was the result of the deepest wickedness, because everything was prepared and managed by men who alone held the threads of long-settled conspiracies'.(7) Even the guillotine had been designed (by Dr. Guillotine, the well-known Freemason) in the shape of the Masonic triangle. Adam Weishaupt, according to Barruel, had pulled together the threads of atheism and anarchy that had emerged over the previous century - the sceptical philosophy of Spinoza, the demonic conjuring of Mesmer and Caglostro, the godless fact-gathering of the French philosophes - and injected them into French masonry and the Jacobin clubs, from where they had radiated out to the ignorant and mesmerised French masses. Robison regarded Barruel's synthesis as ‘a very remarkable work indeed',(8) and added a postscript to the second edition of his book that spelt out the extraordinary similarities between them.

Barruel's work rolled out in volume after volume, each wilder and more vituperative than the last, and rapidly established itself as a founding text of conspiracy theory for the nineteenth century and beyond. In almost every way, he and Adam Weishaupt were perfect foils for one another: Weishaupt the lapsed Jesuit whose Illuminati were established in the image of his nemesis as shock troops for reason and liberty, and Barruel the attack-dog for the deposed ancien régimewho sought to turn the ‘black legend' of Jesuit conspiracy and brutality back on the enlightened forces that had generated it. The power of each depended on ramping up the threat that the other represented; each colluded in concocting and feeding fantasies of secrecy and potency; but each also saw deep into the hidden heart of his adversary, externalising and parading his secret dreams.

However, this was a drama that had less potency in Britain, and though Proofs of a Conspiracybecame a handsome bestseller, the Illuminati conspiracy never gripped the imagination of the British political class as it did in Continental Europe. Edmund Burke, for example, though he welcomed Barruel cordially to London and deplored the persecution of Catholics and Jesuits in revolutionary France, was careful not to endorse his extravagant theories. Although some conservative voices would later attribute this to superior British common sense, the fact was that Britain at the time had more serious threats and conspiracies to contend with. Tom Paine's Rights of Man, a far more incendiary and radicalising work than any of the Bavarian Illuminati's ‘secret texts', had sold over two hundred thousand copies in its cheap sixpenny edition, a number that far exceeded what until that point had been considered the entire book-buying public. Nor was the existence of malign conspiracies a matter to be theorised about or argued over. By the winter of 1797, the British government had estimated that the United Irishmen, an illegal society recruited by the swearing of a secret oath, had 279,896 men recruited and armed with home-made pikes: by May 1798, when the Great Rebellion broke, the conspiracy would erupt all too visibly from the shadows. With the British fleet convulsed by mutinies and the government struggling to contain mass protests and riots, it was hardly surprising that the doings of a long-disbanded Bavarian lodge seemed less than a pressing concern.

* * *

But the nation where Robison's book had a profound and enduring impact was the United States of America. Here, the polarised forces of revolution and reaction that had swept Europe were playing out in a form that threatened to split the Founding Fathers and destroy their fledgling Constitution. While the likes of Thomas Jefferson saw themselves as cousins of a French republic that had thrown off the shackles of monarchy and with whom they traded amid British naval blockades, other founders such as Alexander Hamilton, whose Federalist party favoured a powerful state geared towards protecting the interests of its wealthy citizens, feared the infiltration of the radical ideals of the French revolution. In an overheated political milieu where accusations of conspiracy and treason were hurled from both sides, Proofs of a Conspiracy was siezed on eagerly by the Federalists as evidence of the hidden agenda that lurked behind fine-sounding slogans such as democracy, anti-slavery and the rights of man. Robison's words were repeated endlessly in New England pulpits and pamphlets through 1798 and 1799, and Jefferson was publicly accused of being a member of Weishaupt's Order, but the substance of the charges failed to stand up to political scrutiny.

The ‘Illuminati Scare' petered out and the Federalists lost power, never to regain it; yet the scare had touched a nerve deep within the American political mindset, and it has been woven into many subsequent paranoias and panics. Many on the isolationist right continue to believe Robison's theory to this day: the official John Birch Society line, for example, remains that Weishaupt's Illuminati ‘was the ancestor of the Communist movement and the model for modern subversive conspiratorial movements'.(9)

Robison's ideas would continue to flourish, to be rediscovered and reinvented, and to influence modern politics in curious ways. In 1919 the doyenne of modern conspiracy theory, Nesta Webster, published the first of her many polemics against the ongoing ‘world revolution'. This had begun, she claimed, in the Bavarian lodge of the Illuminati; its first act had been the French revolution, the second the Soviet, with the third waiting in the wings. For Webster, however, the Illuminati were in turn a smokescreen: the true conspirators were the ‘Jewish peril' whose agenda had, she believed, been accurately exposed in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Although Webster later consigned herself to the margins by joining the British Union of Fascists, her support at the time was more broadly based, and she even won admiring citations in the journalism of Winston Churchill. ‘The conspiracy against civilization dates from the days of Weishaupt', Churchill wrote for the Sunday Herald in 1920; ‘as a modern historian Mrs. Webster has so ably shown, it played a recognisable role in the French revolution'.(10)

* * *

After Robison's death following a final medical crisis in 1805, John Playfair, mathematician and pioneer of modern geology, succeeded him to Edinburgh's chair of natural philosophy. Playfair later wrote a respectful memoir of his predecessor that focused on his scientific achievements, but was unable to avoid mention of the work for which he was best remembered. ‘The alarm excited by the French revolution', he suggested tactfully, ‘had produced in Mr. Robison a degree of credulity which was not natural to him'.(11) It was a credulity, Playfair stressed, that had been shared by many who were unable to believe that the revolution had been a genuine mass movement reacting to the oppression of a tyrannical regime; they had clung to their belief that it must have been orchestrated by a small cell of fanatics, and that the lack of evidence for any such conspiracy was itself evidence for the conspirators' cunning in concealing their operations from public view.

There was much plain sense in Playfair's analysis, and it could equally be applied to many who subsequently came to believe in Robison's theories, and who continue to believe them today. Indeed, in the postscript to Proofs of a Conspiracy, Robison explicitly argues for his conviction that the social order is not broken, and has no need of any revolutionary scheme to fix it. ‘There is something that we call the behaviour of a gentleman', he insists, that ‘the plainest peasant or labourer will say of a man whom he esteems in a certain way'. Despite the mass protests, riots and mutinies of 1790s Britain, and the draconian emergency laws drafted to suppress dissent and free speech, he maintains that ‘I do not recollect hearing the lower ranks of the state venting much of their discontent against the Peers, and they seem to percieve pretty clearly the advantages arising from their prerogatives'. While Britain had become to many an oppressive, militarised state, waging war for profit abroad and gagging the protests of its own citizens at home, for Robison it remained a beacon of the ancient system of noblesse oblige, ‘the happy land, where the wisest use has been made of this propensity of the human heart'.(12)

But if the shock of the modern world erupting into existence before his eyes had unbalanced Robison's judgement, it had also given him a vivid, even visionary perspective on the new dangers that might result from wresting politics away from the church and monarchy and placing it in the hands of the people. Forged in the same crucible as every modern political ideology from nihilism to conservatism, anarchy to military dictatorship, the Illuminati conspiracy has become a modern myth - not just in the dismissive sense that its factual basis evaporates under scrutiny, but in the more potent form of a shapeshifting narrative capable of adapting its meaning to accomodate new and unforeseen scenarios. Since the 1970s, it has been gleefully satirised as a baroque folly of conservative thought by counterculture figures from Robert Anton Wilson onwards, yet this has only increased its fame and mystique: Dan Brown's Angels and Demonsdemonstrates that today's readers will still lap up unreconstructed versions of Robison's theory in their millions. In popular culture and old-time religion, satire and nationalist politics, the Illuminati conspiracy still resonates with its timeless warning that the light of reason has its shadows, and even the most open and enlightened democracy can be manipulated by hidden hands.


(1) John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy (Americanist Classics 1967 [1797]), p.131
(2) Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
(3) J.R.R.Christie, Joseph Black and John Robison, in Simpson, A.D.C. (ed.), Joseph Black 1728-1799: A Commemorative Symposium (The Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh 1982)
(4) J.B.Morrell, Professors Robison and Playfair, and the Theophobica Gallica: Natural Philosophy, Religion and Politics at Edinburgh 1789-1815, in Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol.27, 1972-3, p.51
(5) Robison p.1
(6) Robison pp. 3-5
(7) J.M.Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies (Paladin 1974 [1972]) p.204
(8) Robison p.297
(10) Winston Churchill, Zionism vs. Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People (Illustrated Sunday Herald, Feb 8th 1902)
(11) Works of John Playfair Esq. (Archibald Constable & Co, 1822), Vol. 4, p.163
(12) Robison pp. 291-4

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Police State Propaganda: Beyonce Grammy Performance Glorifies Tyrannical Stormtrooper Riot Police

Beyoncé performing "If I Were A Boy & You Oughta Know live at the 2010 Grammy Awards at Staples Center in LA.

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Hollywood's Masonic Myths - Full Disclosure

This excellent video takes us through the common themes, symbols, myths, and characters involved in so many of Hollywood's Masonic productions. If you're not already convinced that Hollywood is a Masonic propaganda machine, this presentation should convince the staunchest skeptic. Many more videos on this subject at the creator's homepage:

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NASA Extends Cassini's Tour of Saturn

PASADENA, Calif., (NASA) — NASA will extend the international Cassini-Huygens mission to explore Saturn and its moons to 2017. The agency’s fiscal year 2011 budget provides a $60 million per year extension for continued study of the ringed planet.


* 123

“This is a mission that never stops providing us surprising scientific results and showing us eye popping new vistas,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The historic traveler’s stunning discoveries and images have revolutionized our knowledge of Saturn and its moons.”

Cassini launched in October 1997 with the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe. The spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004. The probe was equipped with six instruments to study Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Cassini’s 12 instruments have returned a daily stream of data from Saturn’s system for nearly six years. The project was scheduled to end in 2008, but the mission received a 27-month extension to Sept. 2010.

“The extension presents a unique opportunity to follow seasonal changes of an outer planet system all the way from its winter to its summer,” said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Some of Cassini’s most exciting discoveries still lie ahead.”

This second extension, called the Cassini Solstice Mission, enables scientists to study seasonal and other long-term weather changes on the planet and its moons. Cassini arrived just after Saturn’s northern winter solstice, and this extension continues until a few months past northern summer solstice in May 2017. The northern summer solstice marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

A complete seasonal period on Saturn has never been studied at this level of detail. The Solstice mission schedule calls for an additional 155 orbits around the planet, 54 flybys of Titan and 11 flybys of the icy moon Enceladus.

The mission extension also will allow scientists to continue observations of Saturn’s rings and the magnetic bubble around the planet known as the magnetosphere. The spacecraft will make repeated dives between Saturn and its rings to obtain in depth knowledge of the gas giant. During these dives, the spacecraft will study the internal structure of Saturn, its magnetic fluctuations and ring mass.

The mission will be evaluated periodically to ensure the spacecraft has the ability to achieve new science objectives for the entire extension.

“The spacecraft is doing remarkably well, even as we endure the expected effects of age after logging 2.6 billion miles on its odometer,” said Bob Mitchell, Cassini program manager at JPL. “This extension is important because there is so much still to be learned at Saturn. The planet is full of secrets, and it doesn’t give them up easily.”

Cassini’s travel scrapbook includes more than 210,000 images; information gathered during more than 125 revolutions around Saturn; 67 flybys of Titan and eight close flybys of Enceladus. Cassini has revealed unexpected details in the planet’s signature rings, and observations of Titan have given scientists a glimpse of what Earth might have been like before life evolved.

Scientists hope to learn answers to many questions that have developed during the course of the mission, including why Saturn seems to have an inconsistent rotation rate and how a probable subsurface ocean feeds the Enceladus’ jets.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

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A grim report given to President Medvedev today by Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Kudrin is stating that the private European banking conglomerate known as the United States Federal Reserve System, that basically rules over the finances of America, has given a “shock warning” to President Obama that they do not intend to renew the charter granted to them in 1913 by the US Congress and is set to expire on December 21, 2012, which (coincidentally?) is also the exact date that the controversial Mayan Calendar predicts will be the ending of our present age.

Even worse for the American people, this report says, is that in the Federal Reserves notification to Obama they further stated that they only intend to pay back the US Government $156.3 Billion from out of their “huge profits” gained from their looting the United States Treasury of an estimated $23.7 Trillion.

Interesting to note about these events is that for the first time known, the “mainstream” American press is beginning to align themselves with those of us who have long warned of this banking monstrosity and their deliberate destruction of the US economy, and as we can read as reported by the Bloomberg News Service in their January 29th article titled “Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows”, which says:

“The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all.

Wednesday’s hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.

We’re talking about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose role as the most influential part of the federal-reserve system -- apart from the matter of AIG’s bailout -- deserves further congressional scrutiny.”

To Bloomberg’s admission of this “secret banking cabal” that is destroying the American economy we can further read as reported by Canada’s Center for Research on Globalization:

“As we have constantly emphasized, as the global government and the financial takeover accelerates, it’s becoming harder and harder for the elite to hide the true intention of what they are doing, which is centralizing power into fewer hands, destroying sovereignty and creating a one world order run by an unelected, undemocratic authoritarian system.

So whereas “conspiracy theorists” were once sidelined as paranoid kooks, as more and more of what they warned about comes to fruition, they gain more credibility and the establishment finds it more difficult to neutralize what they are saying by means of character assassination.

The Bloomberg writer’s admission that the “conspiracy theorists” were probably right reminds us of former Clinton advisor Dick Morris’ appearance on Fox News last year, when he pointed out that people who have been sounding the alarm bells over a global government takeover for decades have also been vindicated.

“Those people who have been yelling ‘oh the UN’s gonna take over, global government’, they’ve been crazy but now – they’re right!,” stated Morris on Sean Hannity’s show.”

To the dramatic shift of the “mainstream” American news in telling their citizens the truth of what is happening to them we can see further evidenced by a New York Times article posted today which actually gives these peoples sound advice, and as we can read from their story titled “No help in sight, more homeowners walk away”, and which says:

“We’re now at the point of maximum vulnerability,” said Sam Khater, a senior economist with First American CoreLogic, the firm that conducted the recent research. “People’s emotional attachment to their property is melting into the air.”

Suggestions that people would be wise to renege on their home loans are at least a couple of years old, but they are turning into a full-throated barrage. Bloggers were quick to note recently that landlords of an 11,000-unit residential complex in Manhattan showed no hesitation, or shame, in walking away from their deeply underwater investment.

“Since the beginning of December, I’ve advised 60 people to walk away,” said Steve Walsh, a mortgage broker in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Everyone has lost hope. They don’t qualify for modifications, and being on the hamster wheel of paying for a property that is not worth it gets so old.”

Mr. Walsh is taking his own advice, recently defaulting on a rental property he owns. “The sun will come up tomorrow,” he said.”

To how bad the Federal Reserve System (which many call the World’s largest Counterfeiter) has destroyed the American economy is evidenced in their destruction of the US Dollar which has lost over a quarter of its value in the past 8 years, and what a single Dollar could buy in 1913, when this secret banking cabal began to strangle these people, would cost $21.67 today, and which comes out to a shocking inflation rate of 2067.0%!

And, most unfortunately, it is going to get worse as new reports are showing that the Baltic Dry Index (the World’s most reliable indicator of future economic growth) has collapsed over 40% in the past 10-weeks signaling the worst of this Global financial crisis is yet to come.

Equally as worse for the Americans is the ending of the World’s central banks support for the Federal Reserve, and as we can read as reported by the Business Week News Service:

“The Bank of England said Wednesday that it and other major central banks are ending emergency lending arrangements put in place with the U.S. Federal Reserve in the wake of the global credit crisis, citing improvements in financial markets.

The decision marks the first unified retraction by central banks around the world of extraordinary support measures to boost lending after credit markets seized up in late 2007, causing the global economic downturn.”

To the doom warned facing the American people it is entirely predictable to envision, as what is happening to them now has happened in the past, and they could plainly see if they but opened their eyes to the truth of how completely manipulated they’ve been.

And the truth behind the “manipulators” currently destroying the American people was the creation by a European elite class of bankers (headed in the United States by Paul Warburg (known to history as the “Father of the Federal Reserve”) and chief financier of the United States and its Allies in World War II, and in Germany by his brother Max Warburg, who through his families 200-year-old private bank M.M.Warburg & Company was the chief financier of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party) intent upon total Global domination and the enslavement of mankind.

[Put into its simplest context, the stark truth is that World War II was entirely financed by these two Warburg brothers using American funds funneled to them by Prescott Bush and the right-wing cabal that has, in essence, ruled the Western World since 1918 and has reaped Trillions of dollars in war profits for their “investors” at the expense of hundreds of millions of lives.]

To the American people awakening to their soon coming destruction it is not in our knowing, other than to point out the obvious fact that even as they continue to suffer under the cruel regime these “banksters” have imposed upon them, they still continue to pay their “bills” to a corrupt and secretive cabal so that they can continue reaching for the American Dream.

Unfortunately it is not a dream these people are living in, it is a nightmare….and of their own making because they just won’t face the truth. And as hard as it is to believe it is nevertheless true that these American people pay more on overdraft fees to their banker masters than they spend on fresh vegetables!

What can you say about people such as this? Maybe that they truly deserve what is coming.

[Note: Russian Finance Ministry calculations show that should the American people stop paying their money to banks (mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and all declare bankruptcy the entire debt load carried by the US Government would be paid in less than 2-years and the United States would have over $85 Trillion available to them over the next 10-years to pay for the complete rebuilding of their Nation and society.]

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The Round Table is a secret society that was started around the turn of the 20th century by Freemason and Rothschild agent, Lord Alfred Milner, who was entrusted the mission by Cecil Rhodes. When statesman/businessman Cecil Rhodes died in 1902 he was one of the wealthiest men in the world. In his will Rhodes devoted his entire fortune to the creation of the Round Table groups, the purpose of which would ultimately be to form a world government, or as he said in the will, “To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world.” Cecil Rhodes strong desire for world government was epitomized in his statement, “I would annex the planets if I could.”

“In the middle 1890’s Rhodes had a personal income of at least a million pounds sterling a year which he spent so freely for mysterious purposes that he was usually overdrawn on his account … Cecil Rhodes’ commitment to a conspiracy to establish World Government was set down in a series of wills described by Frank Aydelotte in his book American Rhodes Scholarships.” -Dr. Carroll Quigley, “Tragedy and Hope”

Frank Aydelotte in his book “American Rhodes Scholarships” wrote, “In 1888 Rhodes made his third will … leaving everything to Lord Rothschild (his financier in mining enterprises), with an accompanying letter enclosing ‘the written matter discussed between us’ … The model for this proposed secret society was the Society of Jesus, though he mentions also the Masons … The ‘secret society’ was organized on the conspiratorial pattern of circles within circles. Professor Quigley informs us that the central part of the ‘secret society’ was established by March, 1891, using Rhodes’ money. The organization was run for Rothschild by Lord Alfred Milner – The Round Table worked behind the scenes at the highest levels of British government, influencing foreign policy and England’s involvement and conduct of WWI.”

Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar and a student of Round Table researcher Professor Quigley at Georgetown University. In his Presidential acceptance speech he thanked Dr. Quigley and called him his mentor. Carroll Quigley was not only a long-time researcher of the Round Table, but was brought inside for a couple years as official historian. He wrote about this in his 1966 book, “Tragedy and Hope.”

“The Rhodes Scholarships [which Clinton received] … are known to everyone. What is not so widely known is that Rhodes in five previous wills left his fortune to form a secret society, which was to devote itself to the preservation and expansion of the British Empire. And what does not seem to be known to anyone is that this secret society ... continues to exist to this day …There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960's, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies ... but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known." -Dr. Carroll Quigley, “Tragedy and Hope”

“One of the most important secret societies within the Illuminati web is called the Round Table. It is based in Britain with branches across the world, and it is the Round Table that orchestrates the network of the Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.” –David Icke, “Tales from the Time Loop”

Just like the ancient Mystery Schools, the Templars, Masons, Illuminati, and other secret societies, the Round Table groups were/are conducted in a pyramid structure with the most knowledge kept at the peak and each person down the line working on a need-to-know basis. Or as Rhodes discussed in his will, a succession of inner and outer circles.

“The Round Tables started out as a collection of semisecret groups formed along the lines of the Illuminati and freemasonry with ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ circles and a pyramid hierarchy. The inner circle was called the Circle of Initiates (or the Elect) while the outer circle was called the Association of Helpers. Two members of Rhodes's inner Circle of Initiates were British financiers Lord Victor Rothschild and Lord Milner.” -Jim Marrs, “Rule by Secrecy” (89)

“These organizations, like the Round Table, are made up of inner and outer circles. The inner circle knows the Agenda and works full time to achieve it. The next circle knows much of the Agenda and works to that end in their particular sphere of influence. The next circle is pretty much in the dark about the real Agenda, but is manipulated to make the ‘right’ decisions in their area of operation without knowing the true reason for them.” -David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” (229)

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JERUSALEM - A Rockefeller is raising capital to rebuild the Jewish Temple, said the news release published on CNN Money's Internet site and other news sources. | The plan would include a united Jewish and Palestinian Arab state. A Jewish group promoting the rebuilding of the Temple was reported to be cooperating. | The story spread virally through the evangelical Christian blogosphere. | But it was all part of an elaborate hoax.

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What If Yellowstone Erupts in Days as Predicted?


Increased seismic activity around Yellowstone has frequently produced speculation that an eruption may be imminent, but thankfully the supervolcano has failed to deliver.

Eruptions of supervolcanoes (VEI 8's) are very rare, the last one was seen 26,500 years ago (Lake Taupo, New Zealand), and it was 640,000 years ago that Yellowstone saw a super eruption.

The last Yellowstone eruption and the one at Lake Taupo were much the same size. The Taupo eruption plunged the Earth into a volcanic winter and is believed to have wiped out an estimated 60% of the human population.

There is no doubt that Yellowstone will erupt again and such an event is already overdue, but no one can predict the size of the eruption, or the damage it will cause.

I found this latest prediction HERE and wouldn't normally mention it, but for some reason I felt this should be an exception.

Whilst I do have some unusual abilities (occasionally), I would not consider myself a psychic. However, before actually finding the article "Yellowstone Eruption Days Away?" I had been getting a feeling that some catastrophic event was due to take place and that it might involve Yellowstone.

Although I have taken an interest in the quakes around Yellowstone in the past, I must be honest and say that I haven't bothered just lately. However, according to the article "The current earthquake swarm at Yellowstone can now be called the longest and most eventful in modern history."

Is there anything to the prediction made, or my recent feelings? We shall have to wait and see.

If Yellowstone should erupt, what can we expect?

Yellowstone Eruption Days Away?

Before It's News - ‎13 hours ago‎
The current earthquake swarm at Yellowstone can now be called the longest and most eventful in modern history. I include the following snapshot from today's ...

The destruction would of course depend very much on the size of the actual eruption. If it were as big as the last one, there would be a considerable number of deaths in the immediate area. Ash would then spread over a much wider area causing yet more deaths and the ash clouds would eventually affect the whole planet.

As the ash clouds will block the Sun, temperatures would fall and we would experience a volcanic winter. This in turn would affect crops and create food shortages, producing more casualties.

Apart from the environmental damage that such an eruption would cause, there are also the economic effects to consider, such as trade, employment and business in general. The United States would obviously be the worst affected and probably be unable to function for some years. But this would also indirectly affect many other countries.

Although a supervolcano eruption would be devastating for the whole planet, there are perhaps some potentially long term benefits. In humanity's fight for survival we can expect to see an end to wars, more unity between different races and religions, and a natural solution to the over-population we are currently seeing.

Nature has shown us many times that it can solve our problems far more efficiently than man ever could. Maybe, with all the terrible things happening in our world, such a catastrophic event should not be seen as the end of the world, but a new beginning?

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January 27, 10:55 PMSeattle Exopolitics ExaminerAlfred Lambremont Webre

NASA’s Stereo spacecraft monitoring the Sun began registering huge spherical UFO’s in the vicinity of the Sun around January 18, 2010. According to one observer, the UFOs “appear to be moving as they are in different positions on many [of the NASA Stereo] photos, and are huge possibly at least the size of Earth. If the UFOs were planets or some type of huge asteroid comets, they would already have been pulled into the Sun by the strong gravity the Sun produces as in the case of the recent comet."

Dr. Joe Gurman, NASA Stereo Project scientist states the giant solar UFOs are compression artifacts. Moreover, he states, the "’central data recorder’ at DSN, that stores all the playback data from all the missions DSN supports, failed' on January 18, 2010, the date the solar UFO wave began, thus accounting for the images of giant UFOs (see full statement in the article below).

In a quantum physics solution to the mystery of the giant solar UFOs, physicist Nassim Haramein states in a video-taped analysis (below) that Earth-sized UFOs are in fact giant extraterrestrial or interdimensional spacecraft, which are accessing our solar system, using the Sun as a black-hole singularity, or star gate. Mr. Haramein contends that NASA Stereo data of giant solar UFOs prove that extraterrestrial civilizations access our solar system via a star gate on the Sun when using large (Earth-size) vehicle spacecraft.


Photographic evidence and NASA’s explanation

Figure A sets out a NASA Stereo image of the Sun on January 23, 2010.

Figure B and Figure C set out NASA Stereo images of the Sun which Mike Bird, director of Exopolitics Canada, states he was able to download from the NASA Stereo website “from the NASA site before they were replaced yesterday. The last one (Figure C) has 5 spheres; 3 at 10-11 o’clock, and a pair at 2 o’clock.”

The video below (4mins. 50 sec.) analyzes similar NASA Stereo spacecraft images of the Sun taken on January 21, 2010, and highlights the UFOs around the Sun. It is recommended that readers watch this video to fully view the giant UFOs.

The narrator in the video states, ìNotice also that [the giant UFOs] are reflecting the Suns light just like a metal constructed ship would do. My best guess is that they are huge planet sized spacecraft either observing the Sun, or could it be that disclosure is now happening. Either way, I await NASA's official explanation.î

NASA’s explanation of the giant UFOs around the Sun: equipment failure

(Dr.) Joseph B. Gurman, NASA STEREO Project Scientist responded to the images of giant UFOs near the Sun with the following technical explanation (reported January 21, 2010). Dr. Gurman wrote, ìWhat you're seeing is the difference between "beacon mode" (near real-time, heavily compressed, binned [I believe 512 x 512 or smaller]) images and normal playback telemetry images (2048 x 2048 native mode, less heavily but still lossily compressed).

"On January 18, at 21:47 UT, the 'central data recorder' at DSN, that stores all the playback data from all the missions DSN supports, failed. A backup CDR took over, but apparently started working on data from January 10, instead of just the four previous hours, as designed. (The last I heard, the DSN engineers don't understand why, but it certainly sounds like a software issue.) For some reason, DSN is unable to reset a pointer and say, please start processing from this time instead of that time. So we, and all the other missions supported by DSN, are waiting for our playback data from January 18 and all following days. As soon as we get it, and the instrument teams have reformatted the telemetry into scientifically useful formats (that allow, for instance, making SECCHI EUVI data into images), we will post the images and other STEREO browse data in the normal places. And no, I don't know why DSN designed such an inflexible CDR system. I suspect they may modify it after this experience."
(Dr.) Joseph B. Gurman, NASA STEREO Project Scientist

The recipient of Dr. Gurman’s letter did not find NASA’s explanation credible.

Physicist Nassim Haramein says ET UFOs access our solar system through the Sun’s star gate

Giant, Earth-sized UFOs have appeared before around the Sun and have been monitored and recorded by NASA’s Stereo spacecraft. The present “giant solar UFO wave” which commenced on January 18, 2010 is the most recent of a recurring phenomenon.

Physicist Nassim Haramein may have successfully explained giant solar UFOs in terms of quantum physics and singularity theory. In the following video extract from one of his lectures, using the example of a prior giant solar UFO wave recorded by NASA Stereo spacecraft. Earth sized Ufo's using the sun as a stargate Video

According to Mr. Haramein, every Sun contains a black hole singularity. Advanced extraterrestrial or interdimensional civilizations wishing to access our solar system with large (Earth-sized) spacecraft can do so through the star gate of our Sun.

What are the implications for 2010 ET disclosure of giant solar UFOs?

The January 18, 2010 wave of giant solar UFOs has profound implications for 2010 extraterrestrial disclosure, assuming original NASA’s Stereo space data are true images.

1. NASA cannot be trusted to perform extraterrestrial disclosure – The technical explanation of equipment failure offered by Dr. Joe Gurman, NASA Stereo Project scientist is implausible. Without just cause, NASA removed images which showed giant solar UFOs from its website.

2. Progressive human science now can explain giant solar UFOs – Nassim Haramein’s singularity theory offers a plausible, science-based explanation of giant solar UFOs, which use the star gate of our Sun to access our solar system from interdimensional reality.

3. The January 18, 2010 solar UFO wave constitutes a disclosure of their presence by extraterrestrials – By entering our solar system through the Sun’s star gate and being monitored and recorded by NASA’s Stereo spacecraft, extraterrestrial (interdimensional) civilizations have de facto disclosed their presence in space ships as large as the Earth.

4. Earth-sized solar UFO spaceships accessing the solar system through the star gate of a Sun that Earth has made subject to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (Article II), which provides that “Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”

5. Earth-sized solar UFO spaceships accessing the solar system through the star gate of the Sun appear to have the capability to render emergency assistance to (or socio-political domination of) our human population, if need be. Such an intervention would violate a universal law of non-intervention. – See: 2012 may bring the “perfect storm” – solar flares, systems collapse

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