By LYNN PICKNETT & CLIVE PRINCE—
While questions remain about the existence of a single global elite with an agenda that goes beyond simply keeping itself very, very rich, there are certainly groups that want to run the world for quite other reasons. And with the increasing globalisation of political and economic institutions, it has become easier for a relatively small group to inveigle itself into quite staggeringly influential positions. One cabal in particular reveals – alarmingly – what a small group, driven by a fanatical belief system, can achieve from the shadows. And writing as we are in the United Kingdom, this group is on our doorstep, and has been for over a century. And although perhaps small in number, its reach is big.
Our research into this subject – detailed in The Stargate Conspiracy (1999) and The Sion Revelation (2006) – demonstrated that every major step in the development of the European Union from a simple trading body to a borderline superstate can be traced back to a very specific ideology, which upholds rule by an elite from behind the scenes. But this isn’t just about politics. Astonishingly, this ideology is also about mysticism and magic.
This shadowy politico-occult movement is synarchy, which was developed by the Frenchman Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves, the Marquis d’Alveydre, in opposition to the rise of anarchy in the second half of the nineteenth century. To him the ideal synarchist state would be a rigid social hierarchy topped by an elite that is predestined to rule – absolutely at odds with the then emerging concepts of democracy, individual liberty and social mobility.
Central to Saint-Yves was the creation of a united Europe, a call for which appears on the first page of his first book on synarchy, Keys to the East (1877). He believed that his perfectly balanced society reflected deep cosmic laws, with which his elite perfectly resonated. They are also directly guided by the powers that rule the universe – as he believed himself to be.
Saint-Yves claimed that in the ancient past an advanced civilisation – based, of course, on synarchic principles – had governed the whole world. This golden age lasted from 7500 to 4000 BCE, before imploding due to a global catastrophe, remembered in legends such as Atlantis. Since then the occult powers-that-be have periodically reintroduced the revelation of synarchy, sending or inspiring figures such as Moses and Jesus – and, naturally, Saint-Yves himself.
He adopted the idea, popular in nineteenth-century esoteric and theosophical circles, that spiritually advanced masters – to him preservers of the synarchic revelation – existed in Agartha, a hidden realm in the Himalayas. He confided in his closest associates that he had been visited by its emissaries.
Another significant aspect of his version of history was that clandestine societies had transmitted the secret of synarchy throughout the ages. It comes as no surprise to discover that his ‘spiritual fathers of synarchy’ were the usual suspects – the Knights Templar.
For a time in the 1880s and 90s Saint-Yves’ ideas were seriously discussed in political circles in France and elsewhere in Europe. In 1886 he formed the Syndicate of the Professional and Economic Press to promote synarchy to political and business leaders. Several members of the French Parliament joined, including government minister François Césaire Demahy – later a founder of the influential nationalist movement Action Française – and Paul Deschanel, who became President of France in 1920. Saint-Yves was made a chévalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1893.
In the end, however, Saint-Yves’ followers realised things would have to change radically. After his death in 1909, and particularly in the uncertain aftermath of the First World War, they knew they could never achieve their ambitions through conventional means – and turned to stealth. They decided on inveigling their members into key positions in political and economic institutions intending on creating, in the words of Richard F. Kuisel, a specialist in twentieth-century French political history, “a world government by an initiated elite.”1 Synarchy came to stand for ‘rule by secret society’, which in practice makes it difficult to distinguish between card-carrying synarchists and those merely under their influence.
Towards Europe’s ‘United States’
The most high-profile late nineteenth-century devotee of Saint-Yves was the physician Gérard Encausse (‘Papus’), a leading light among French esoteric societies. He blended the teachings of his ‘spiritual master’, the eighteenth century occult philosopher Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin, and his ‘intellectual master’ Saint-Yves. Encausse founded the Martinist Order, into which he absorbed synarchist principles – so that, unusually, it had political ambitions, including the formation of ‘a United States of Europe’. Delusions of grandeur, one might have thought…
Encausse’s death in 1916 resulted in a schism in the Martinist Order over its involvement in politics. The activists, under Victor Blanchard – head of the secretariat of the Chamber of Deputies of the French Parliament – formed the breakaway Martinist and Synarchic Order, which established the Synarchic Central Committee in 1922, designed to pull in promising young civil servants and “younger members of great business families.”2 The Committee soon became the Synarchic Empire Movement, or MSE (Mouvement Synarchique d’Empire) in 1930, under dedicated firebrands Jeanne Canudo and Vivien Postel du Mas.
Canudo is best remembered today as an energetic campaigner for European unity and founder of several youth organisations in the 1930s, select members of which were inducted into the esoteric synarchist orders that she led together with Postel du Mas.
An important witness to these events was the celebrated Parisian litterateur Maurice Girodias (publisher of scandalous sensations such as The Story of O, Lolita, Henry Miller’s Sexus and William S. Burrough’s The Naked Lunch). As a teenager in the 1930s he was involved both with Canudo’s European groups and an esoteric society that met at Postel du Mas’ luxurious apartment to hear the ‘secret masters’ speaking through teenage trance medium Laurette. Girodias said of Postel du Mas’ magical salons: “I saw at his feet men of science, company directors, and bankers.”3
Beyond Top Secret
The MSE produced an important but beyond Top Secret document – its very existence unknown to outsiders until 1941 – entitled The Synarchist Revolutionary Pact for the French Empire, usually known simply as the Synarchist Pact. The exact authorship is uncertain but the main candidates are Postel du Mas and the businessman Jean Coutrot. It was only as a result of Coutrot’s apparent suicide under the Nazi Occupation, when copies were found among his possessions, that anyone knew the Pact existed.4
This highly scary document set out a programme for “invisible revolution” or “revolution from above”: that is, taking over a state from within by infiltrating into high office. The first step was to take control of France, before creating the “European Union” – then, tomorrow…
Saint-Yves did not invent the concept of a federal Europe. For example, Victor Hugo is credited with first using the term ‘United States of Europe’, although – probably not coincidentally – he was a close friend of Saint-Yves in the French ex-pat community in the Channel Islands in the 1860s.
But it became a serious political force when the Pan-European movement was established in 1923 by the Austrian Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, described by Otto von Habsburg – in rather telling terms – as the “guide and prophet” of a united Europe. He famously won over Winston Churchill, who began espousing European unity from 1930 and wrote a foreword to the Count’s 1953 book An Idea Conquers the World. The Count was a committed believer that cosmic forces shape events, giving him at least the profile of a synarchist. (Sadly we have no information about Churchill’s views on the more occult aspects.) But there is evidence of a closer connection with the French synarchists.
In their 1968 Synarchy and Power, André Ulmann and Henri Azeau interviewed one of the inter-war members of the MSE, who claimed it had “inspired the action of Coudenhove-Kalergi and his pan-Europeanism.”5 Coudenhove-Kalergi also lent his support to pro-Europe groups formed by the MSE’s Jeanne Canudo.
Maurice Girodias’ involvement with the synarchists began as a 16-year-old when, at a Theosophical Society lecture in 1935, he was intrigued by a group in flamboyant Templar garb led by Postel du Mas and Canudo. He was told they were “schismatic theosophists with political designs, and they are linked to Count Coudenhove-Kalergi… who is a champion of the United States of Europe… Their aim is to launch a pan-European political party and to institute in the entire world, commencing with Europe, a society obedient to a spiritualist idea.”6 In conversation with Girodias Postel du Mas named Coudenhove-Kalergi as one of the two major promoters of his and Canudo’s plans.
The Hood and the Illuminati
In the tumultuous aftermath of the First World War, like the rest of Europe France became polarised between communism and fascism. The mid-1930s saw the creation of several clandestine far-right groups, both civilian and military, which were integrated into a single network under the control of a three-man Superior Council. Although it gave itself no particular name, the press dubbed it the Cagoule – or the sinister-sounding ‘Hood’.
Indeed, the Chicago Tribune’s correspondent in Paris, William Shirer, summed up the Cagoule as “deliberately terrorist, resorting to murder and dynamiting, and its aim was to overthrow the Republic and set up an authoritarian régime on the model of the Fascist state of Mussolini.”7 Italy supplied the Cagoule with funds and arms and, in return, the Cagoule assassinated anti-fascist Italian refugees in Paris.
The Cagoule was led by chévalier of the Légion d’honneur Eugène Deloncle, with the other Council members being Dr Henri Martin and Colonel Georges Groussard, who oversaw cabals within the military. It was funded by wealthy industrialists, including Eugène Schueller, founder of L’Oréal – who obviously thought synarchy was “worth it” – in whose company’s headquarters the group met.
Although most of the Cagoule were simply anti-communist extremists, who had probably never heard of synarchy, there’s no doubt that there was a strong connection between the MSE and Superior Council, particularly Deloncle. The connection was acknowledged by Shirer8 and by Richard Kuisel, who writes: “Strangely enough, although the Cagoule was an archenemy of Freemasonry, it imitated Masonic ritual, symbolism, and method of recruitment. The head of the Cagoule, Eugène Deloncle, even likened its recruiting procedures to the ‘chain method’ of the Illuminati.”9
Basically, through the Cagoule, the synarchists had taken over terrorist groups for their own ends, planning to precipitate a state of emergency that would enable its chosen man to step in as a strong leader to restore order “in the interests of public safety.” And their chosen man was Marshal Philippe Pétain.
In September 1937 a series of bomb explosions rocked Paris, intended to kick-start a wave of armed attacks to spread chaos and confusion. But a lucky break led the police to caches of arms and ammunition around the city and Deloncle was arrested.
An official report pointed to the MSE, noting “affiliates of the Synarchic Movement were very numerous and already in place within, and at the head of, the major organs of the state, ready to take charge.”10
It is hard to overestimate the influence of the synarchists. They were – and no doubt still are – hardly a bunch of nobodies. A major player in this story was none other than François Mitterrand, later France’s longest-serving President. Although he was to reinvent himself as a socialist, before and during the Second World War he was very much of the extreme right.
Even at the time it was rumoured that Mitterrand was a member of the Cagoule. But more sensationally, Henri Martin’s family claimed he had actually planted the 1937 bombs.11 But while no firm evidence exists to support Mitterrand being a cagoulard, and he strenuously denied it when confronted with his shady past in the 1990s, he certainly had the connections, besides the relevant political – and indeed, esoteric – views.
Mitterrand believed in rule by an elite – preferably an elite of one: himself. Although from a relatively modest background, he always had an unshakeable belief in his personal superiority, even seeing significance in his family’s origins in the town of Bourges, where a field called the Champs de Mitterrand marks the exact centre of France. ‘Mitterrand’ means ‘middle of the land’.
When the ultra-ambitious Mitterrand finally achieved power he notoriously governed through his ‘clan’ of friends and relatives, famously remarking that he needed only “fifty well-placed friends to run the country.”12 And he began building the clan during those pre-war days, around leading cagoulards, particularly those close to Deloncle.
Mitterrand was a close friend of conspirator in the assassination of the Italian anti-fascist Rosselli brothers, Jean Bouyver, and of François Méténier, Deloncle’s assistant who was sentenced to 20 years for his part in the 1937 bombings. But the closest family connection was with Deloncle: Mitterrand’s brother Robert married Deloncle’s sister-in-law just before the outbreak of war. It is inconceivable that Mitterrand never met the Cagoule’s mastermind and top synarchist. Also, as we will see, like Deloncle Mitterrand was deeply fascinated by esoteric and mystical matters.
Secrets of the Hitler-friendly State
Although the Cagoule’s plans to create a state of emergency to bring Pétain to power failed, of course this was achieved three years later by an even greater crisis. In June 1940 France fell to Nazi Germany, Pétain emerging as the leader of the new Hitler-friendly French State, based in Vichy.
Almost immediately after France’s ignominious surrender some claimed elements in the military had connived in the defeat, believing that jumping into bed with the Nazis would enable Pétain to achieve his cherished national reorganisation.
So it is all the more disturbing that one of Ulmann and Azeau’s ex-MSE informants told them that a senior figure behind the group and “one of the mentors” of the young men being groomed for future greatness in the 1920s and 30s was none other than General Maxime Weygand.13 No doubt not coincidentally married to Saint-Yves’ great-niece, he was Supreme Commander of French and British forces at the outbreak of the Second World War, and in June 1940 it was he who advised the French government to ask Hitler for terms.
French researcher Roger Mennevée argued that Vichy represented the climax of the first phase of the plan outlined in the Synarchist Pact – taking power in France in preparation to extend it to Europe – using the Germans to do what the Cagoule had failed to three years earlier.14 Ulmann and Azeau note that, coincidence or not, Vichy was organised precisely on synarchist lines.
Both the Occupation and Vichy were seen as an opportunity by the synarchists. In Paris, Postel du Mas and Canudo positively welcomed the German overlords. One investigator into synarchy notes of one of her pro-Europe organisations, “the majority were found, after 1940, either in the corridors of power in Vichy, or in the collaborationist circles in Paris.”15
In Vichy, unsurprisingly, former cagoulards rose to the top, particularly in the dreaded Milice, Vichy’s equivalent of the Gestapo. Deloncle was freed from prison – and formed a political party to build a ‘new Europe’, while Henri Martin and Colonel Groussard enjoyed high-level roles in the intelligence and surveillance network. Historian John Hellman states bluntly that former cagoulards were behind the “manipulation, control, and orientation of Pétainist France.”16
Although a one-to-one connection between the Cagoule and the synarchs may sometimes be something of a leap, the latter were undoubtedly active in Vichy. Shirer declares there is “no doubt” that synarchists “infiltrated the highest posts in business and finance and in the government bureaucracy.”17 Certainly many of the young hopefuls groomed by the MSE rose to Vichy’s upper echelons – including Yves Bouthillier, Minister of Finance from 1940 to 1942.
What about Mitterrand? Imprisoned in June 1940, he escaped from the Occupied territory in December 1941 to the Vichy zone. He was welcomed by ex-cagoulards who got him various government jobs (his main sponsor was the father-in-law of both his brother and Deloncle) and was even awarded Vichy’s highest honour for services to the state, the Francisque Gallique, in 1943.
Soon afterwards Mitterrand hastily changed sides, joining the Resistance and making his way to London to ally himself with the Free French – the only episode allowed to be remembered after the war. He wasn’t the only Vichyite to jump ship. Many French synarchists began cosying up to the Allies, as it was increasingly obvious that the tide had turned against Hitler. Henri Martin joined the American covert organisation, the OSS, and Deloncle established contact with the British SOE, although he was killed in a gun battle with the Gestapo in January 1944.
In November 1943 a group of Free French analysts drew up a report explicitly examining synarchists in Vichy and, lately, in the Resistance, acknowledging the reality of synarchy and its considerable influence.18
Unbelievably, Mitterrand emerged from the conflict a Resistance hero and a left-wing politician, his connections with Vichy and his far-right background assigned to the collective amnesia that conveniently gripped France after the war.
But as he clearly had cagoulard sympathies and connections, he must have shared their aims – despite his later bluster to the contrary. And with his interests, associations and chameleon-like changing of political colours in order to achieve his goals he certainly looks like the perfect synarchist. But most suspicious by far are his extraordinary efforts to create the European Union…
The EU: An Alternative History
The ‘European project’ began on 9 May 1950 with French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman’s announcement that France and West Germany had agreed to co-ordinate their coal and steel industries. Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg took up his offer to join in, leading seven years later to the Treaty of Rome that established the European Economic Community (EEC).
Schuman was only the front man. The prime mover was actually Jean Monnet, the most influential businessman and economist in post-war Europe. Period. The massive international power base he had built up before and during the war gave him immense political influence while keeping out of the public eye. It was Monnet who had secured the Allies’ backing for General de Gaulle against Roosevelt’s opposition, and in return, de Gaulle gave him responsibility for rebuilding the French economy and industry – a position he used to achieve his great dream, laying the foundations for the EEC.
The ‘Schuman Declaration’ was the result of intrigue, trickery and subterfuge by Monnet,19 his most audacious trick being to get French and West German governments to set up a supranational organisation to co-ordinate their industries without realising exactly what they had signed up to. This radical new concept, of an organisation with control over individual nations’ industries but with its own, outside autonomy, laid the foundation for all that came after. Unsurprisingly, Monnet became president of the new body, called – with a chillingly Orwellian tone – the High Authority. Shuman became the first president of the European Parliament in 1958.
What was really going on? A rather large clue lies in the fact that Monnet was another pre-war protégé of the Synarchist Empire Movement. In 1936, Vivien Postel du Mas told Maurice Girodias that, alongside Coudenhove-Kalergi, Monnet was an influential promoter of the synarchist agenda. He certainly publicly supported Canudo’s pro-Europe groups. And one of Ulmann and Azeau’s ex-MSE informants went so far as to describe Monnet as a “true synarch… whose membership of the movement was never in doubt for the true initiates.”20 (Note the occult-sounding “initiates.”)
Schuman, too, had pre-war synarchist connections, although not as direct: he had worked closely on political reform in France and European integration with the professor of law Louis Le Fur, a synarchy activist.
Power for Power’s Sake
The Single European Act of 1986, which established free trade and movement between EEC states, was the culmination of the process set in motion by the Schuman Declaration. Over the years the EEC had come to include the UK and Ireland, among others, but the original idea had gone as far as it could.
It was Mitterrand who went beyond the original concept by proposing not just closer economic, but also political, union. The 1992 European Union (‘Maastricht’) Treaty not only turned the EEC into the EU, but for the first time gave the European Parliament powers over member nations (until then it had only an advisory role). Was this the beginning of a European superstate? It also agreed on a single currency, establishing the ‘eurozone’ and the European Central Bank – now terrifyingly beleaguered. All this was Mitterrand’s initiative (aided by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl), including changing the name to the ‘European Union’. Straight out of the Synarchist Pact.
Mitterrand made his second bid for the presidency in 1981 – but unlike the first sixteen years before, backed by Jean Monnet, this one was successful. He held the office for two seven-year terms, only being prevented from a third term by the onset of the cancer of which he was to die in 1996. His presidency is remembered for its corruption and the blatant nepotism of his ‘clan’ being rewarded with positions of power.
Political historians accept that Mitterrand was purely interested in power for power’s sake, and for the enrichment of himself and his clan, with no real political agenda or vision – except when it came to the ‘European project’. There, he was driven by the desire to see a fully integrated Europe, which he declared “takes precedence over everything.”
But was Mitterrand a card-carrying synarchist? He moved in the right circles, through his pre-war associations with the Cagoule’s leadership. His pursuit of closer European integration certainly fits the synarchists’ core objective. And his interest in esoteric matters also fits the profile – which tends to be downplayed by Mitterrand’s biographers, although it is explored in Nicolas Bonnal’s Mitterrand, the Great Initiate (2001). He employed astrologers – even for major foreign policy decisions – believed in reincarnation, and was interested in UFOs.
Even more intriguing to Dan Brown fans – and indeed, our own – is the fact that he had a special veneration for Mary Magdalene, focused on her cult centre at Vézelay. And much has been made of him visiting the celebrated ‘village of mystery’ of Rennes-le-Château (actually only the most high-profile of several visits) during his 1981 election campaign.
Nicknamed ‘the Sphinx’, Mitterrand was also fascinated by ancient civilisations: as President he oversaw a great accumulation of Egyptian antiquities by French museums and universities, believing there was some connection between that civilisation and ancient France. Saint-Yves would have agreed.
As President, Mitterrand also spent some 30 billion francs on a major programme of public building, mostly in Paris. Like all egomaniacs he was driven to leave his solid, tangible mark on history. But apparently, there was more to it than that. His monuments’ esoteric symbolism is acknowledged even by mainstream writers, such as Marie Delarue in her 1999 study, tellingly entitled A Republican Pharaoh. She refers to the Parisian buildings as “a journey for initiates,” noting they “seem to relate more to personal destiny and François Mitterrand’s pronounced taste for hermeticism and the Sacred Science, than to the politics of socialist governments.”21
The most famous of his monuments is the great glass pyramid outside the Louvre, unveiled in 1993 to mark the bicentenary of the French Revolution, and clearly reflecting a link between ancient Egypt and France. But the most imposing public work is the Grande Arche de la Fraternité in the La Défence area of Paris, completed in 1989 and designed by the Danish architect Otto von Spreckelsen. Bizarrely – and rather ambitiously – it represents a three-dimensional ‘shadow’ of a hyperdimensional cube that he called a “porte cosmique”: ‘cosmic gateway’ or perhaps even ‘stargate’…
But “the most beautiful, most esoteric and least known of the Mitterrandian Great Works”22 – and his personal favourite – is the 1989 Monument to the Rights of Man and the Citizen in the Parc du Champs-de-Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Modelled on an Egyptian funerary temple and aligned to the Sun on the summer solstice, it is literally covered in esoteric symbolism, much of it obviously Masonic. After Mitterrand’s death his staff revealed that he often visited it at night, silently meditating.
In both action and belief Mitterrand certainly fits the profile of the synarchist. But remember that synarchy’s elite believed itself to be in direct contact with powerful non-human intelligences who effectively pulled the strings of those in power. Or perhaps Mitterrand was simply under the synarchist elite.
Nobody can pretend the journey from the Schuman Declaration to today’s EU has been untroubled. It has been repeatedly obstructed by those opposed to a federal Europe, and diverted by vested interests – political, economic and even criminal – seeking to turn it to their advantage. The whole thing simply can’t have been planned and directed exclusively by the synarchist elite. But on the other hand, it is undeniable that things have turned out how Saint-Yves and his followers would have wanted. And given that all the major steps along the way were the initiative of individuals with direct synarchist connections, it would equally be wrong to dismiss their influence on the EU’s creation.
Of course, Saint-Yves’ vision did not end with the creation of the EU and the eurozone. They merely marked the beginning of the ultimate synarchist dream of a true United States of Europe. Building on those foundations, and bringing about even closer integration, depends on overcoming the individual nations’ interests, which has always presented a problem – unless the situation changes drastically.
And that is precisely what is happening right now with the major crisis in the eurozone, which has brought the EU to the brink of make-or-break. Senior figures – including the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso – have declared that the only solution to the crisis and preventing it happening again is an even greater level of economic and political integration. The same conclusion has been reached by the likes of the powerful financier George Soros, who has called for a European central authority with greater powers over the member states. On the other hand, some believe that the crisis will be the downfall of the EU. And synarchists – no matter who or where they are – simply can’t let that happen.
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1. Richard F. Kuisel, ‘The Legend of the Vichy Synarchy’, in French Historical Studies, spring 1970, 378.
2. André Ulmann and Henri Azeau, Synarchie et pouvoir (Julliard, 1968), 63.
3. Maurice Girodias, Une journée sur le terre (Éditions de la Différence, 1990), vol. I, 411.
4. The Pact was finally published in 1946 by Raoul Hussan, writing under the pseudonym Geoffrey de Charnay, in Synarchie: Panorama de 25 années d’activité occulte (Médicis).
5. Ulmann and Azeau, 64.
6. Girodias, vol. I, 149.
7. William L. Shirer, The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Enquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 (William Heinemann, 1970), 209.
8. See Shirer, 217-20.
9. Kuisel, 385.
10. Quoted in Jean-Raymond Tournoux, L’Histoire secrète (Plon, 1962), 173.
11. The allegation was made to journalist Pierre Péan, during his research for Une jeunesse française: François Mitterrand 1934-1947 (Fayard, 1994), see page 109.
12. Quoted in John Laughland, The Death of Politics: France under Mitterrand (Michael Joseph, 1994), 60.
13. Ulmann and Azeau, 116.
14. Writing in Action, 2 November 1945.
15. De Charnay, 69.
16. John Hellman, The Knight-Monks of Vichy France: Uriage, 1940-1945 (Liverpool University Press, 1997), 331.
17. Shirer, 218.
18. The report is reproduced in Ulmann and Azeau, pages 293-310. Ulmann was one of the Free French analysts, who worked alongside Mitterrand after his ‘defection’.
19. See, for example, Merry and Serge Bromberger, Jean Monnet and the United States of Europe (Coward-McCann, 1969).
20. Ulmann and Azeau, 63.
21. Marie Delarue, Un pharaon républicain (Jacques Grancher, 1999), 8.
22. Delarue, 50.
The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 18.