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Conspiracy Theory Book of the Month #3: Conspirators’ Hierarchy: the Committee of 300

By Mike RothschildMarch 19, 2024,

Conspirator’s Hierarchy was one of the 39 English language books found on Osama bin Laden's bookshelf. Find out how British writer John Coleman's paranoid ramblings about the "Committee of 300" have influenced conspiracists and antisemites from the Al Qaeda leader to David Icke, Kanye West and Alex Jones

John Coleman's Conspirators' Hierarchy (illustration by CW).

Conspiracy theorist literature is full of both real and hypothesized groups of powerful people meeting in various think tanks, committees, councils, and cabals for the purposes of enriching their own power while stripping the power away from those deemed lesser than them.

Some of these groups are real, though their imaginary power far outweighs what they really do, which is mostly have meetings in nice hotels and talk about geopolitics. These are organizations and think tanks like the Bilderberg Group, Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission. Others are simply vague ideas of groups of powerful people that are theorized to exist and have many unofficial names, often called “the Insiders” or “super-government” or “Hidden Hand.”

Of these, the most famous might be the one known in many circles as the Committee of 300. Claiming that smalls groups of industrialists and politicians run everything is plausible, of course, since there really are such groups of powerful people. But the idea that there are 300 of them, with the purpose of making a better world by culling the “useless eaters” only comes from one source, and it quietly became one of the most important books in the modern conspiracy theory library – British conspiracy theorist John Coleman’s 1991 book Conspirators’ Hierarchy: the Committee of 300.

And what he writes about is truly explosive information – the existence of a small but unimaginably powerful cabal of leaders with the goal of nothing less than a total genocide of humanity, leaving only a few survivors and consigning everyone else to death or slavery.

Assuming it exists, of course.

The Invisible Government

Though Coleman claims to have gotten his start in British intelligence, his best-known book centers around what he says is a “secret upper-level parallel government” that controls the United States, made up of the president (no matter who it is), Congress, and the titans of American industry and finance. They aren’t the only members, of course – Coleman’s “Committee of 300” is an international organization with leaders in every nation. But they exert a special level of oversight over America – and every American.

“There is not one single aspect of life in America that is not watched over, steered in the "right" direction, manipulated, and controlled by the invisible government of the Committee of 300,” Coleman writes late in the book. “There is not one elected official or political leader that is not subject to its rule. No one thus far has got away with defying our secret rulers, who do not hesitate to make "a horrible example" of anyone, including the President of the United States of America.” And the Committee is willing to get rid of anyone who attempts to expose them, including JFK, Abraham Lincoln, and Coleman himself, who claims to be the target of a disinformation operation “controlled by a group of homosexuals.”

In the introduction to the book, Coleman writes that his eyes were first open to this cabal when he “had the opportunity to view a series of top secret classified documents which were unusually explicit” while serving with MI6 in Angola sometime in the 1960’s. What he learned from these documents is, essentially, that every single agency of every single government, every university, every charitable organization, and every bank are either directly controlled by the Committee, or controlled by a group that is, in turn, controlled by them.

And Coleman truly does mean every single one.

Much like many other conspiracy books, Conspirators’ Hierarchy isn’t so much an actual story (despite him claiming it is “the story of the Committee of 300”) but an unfocused and rambling collection of accusations and assertions, broken up by long lists of various Committee front groups. It freely bounces around in time periods and location, making bizarre allegations such as “a committee of constitutional lawyers has been working [since 1977] to change the U.S. Congress into a non-representative parliamentary system” and “filthy, degenerate Mick Jagger's "Rolling Stones" were created as a mind-control cult.

Midway through the book, Coleman’s narrative jumps from Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky to British intelligence controlling the drug trade to the Kennedy assassination to who “really” runs American Express. And despite claiming he is the first person to have put all of this together, much of Coleman’s work simply rehashes past conspiracy theories and allegations. The committee wants the same thing as every other powerful group – one world government, abolition of private property, making it illegal to be white, control of world events, and finally, the murder of billions and the enslavement of the survivors.

And like many other books of the genre, Coleman knows who really controls the controllers – the same people who are behind so many other plots and schemes revealed in books like “Conspirators Hierarchy” – the Jews.

300 Zionists, Kanye West and Osama bin Laden

Coleman’s version of Jewish control encompasses both banking and intelligence. He makes lofty claims about the Israeli agency Mossad, claiming it has a presence in every country in the world. He writes that the Committee controls hate crimes laws around the world at the behest of its Jewish members, and in one particularly awkward moment he sticks up for Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel and claims “anyone who dares to try and show proof of Jewish control of Canada is immediately arrested and charged with so-called "hate crimes".”

More than anything, he attacks the German-Jewish Rothschild family (no relation to the author), the “Elders of Zion” who are behind the funding of every single human depravity of the last two centuries, while having dozens of its family members on the Committee. His “Rothschild-Warburg banking network” was so powerful it had its own intelligence service, controlled America’s actions during World War II, control the ADL (who are themselves a front group of British intelligence), and had an iron grip over 19th century drug trade.

Still, despite Coleman’s rambling narrative and blatant antisemitism – or possibly because of them – the book quickly found an audience in a growing fringe culture. The early 1990s were a boom time for conspiracy books, and Coleman’s acutely detailed story was popular enough to be reprinted multiple times, though there are no publicly available figures for how many copies it sold.

Where it did have an impact was in inspiring other conspiracy theorists.

Taking the “Committee of 300” idea as a starting point, Coleman would write books about the New World Order, the Rothschilds, and think tank the Club of Rome, which Coleman claimed was a “Committee of 300 subversive body.”

In later years, Kanye West alluded to “300 Zionists” who controlled American politics and media. David Icke frequently referenced the “Committee” in his work, and it became a touchstone for Alex Jones, as well. Jones mentions either the book or the idea of the “Committee of 300” on his show dozens of times, including interviewing Coleman in 2010, where the two shared conspiracy theories about the opium trade, one world government, and how Stalin “had his good points.”

And the book had one other high-profile fan as well: Osama bin Laden. Along with conspiracy touchstones like Bloodlines of the Illuminati and Secrets of the Federal Reserve, one of the 39 English language books found on the Al Qaeda leader’s bookshelf was Conspirator’s Hierarchy.

The Real Committee

While there is no evidence that any “Committee of 300” runs global politics and is planning to cull billions of useless eaters, the actual idea of such a committee is real. But like so many other ideas in the conspiracy world, it is twisted far beyond its origin into something that its creator likely never would have approved of.

In 1909, German-Jewish industrialist Walther Rathenau wrote in a Viennese newspaper that he believed “three hundred men, all of whom know one another, guide the economic destinies of the Continent and seek their successors from their own milieu.” His statement was meant as a rebuke to the industrial oligarchs of Europe who zealously hoarded their power and wealth, and had nothing to do with Judaism. Rathenau was a staunch nationalist who helped run German supply chains during the First World War, and would be rewarded in 1922 by becoming the first Jewish foreign minister in German history – only to be assassinated by members of a far-right terrorist group six months after his appointment.

John Coleman’s version of this committee has no resemblance to Rathenau’s, and his book never mentions him. The conspiracy theory version of the “conspirators” has no use for the real ones, who did far more damage than any far-fetched theory could ever catalogue.

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Mike Rothschild
Mike Rothschild
Journalist and expert focused on the rise and spread of conspiracy theories, he is the author of the first complete book on the QAnon conspiracy movement, "The Storm is Upon Us: How QAnon Became a Movement, Cult, and Conspiracy Theory of Everything", and his newest book is "Jewish Space Lasers: The Rothschilds and 200 Years of Conspiracy Theories". In addition to his writing and interviews, Mike has worked as an expert witness in cases related to QAnon and the 2020 Election, testified to  U.S. Congress on the danger of election fraud disinformation, and submitted written testimony to the January 6th Select Committee on the role of QAnon in the Capitol attack.
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