"Wiccans Attempt to Overthrow U.S. or Other Governments"

The Accusations:

This particular accusation seems to have originated with Joseph "Doc" Marquis, and attempts to list Wicca as part of some vast conspiracy to overthrow the United States government. Supposedly, Wicca, Freemasonry, the Catholic Church, and the Rock Music Industry are all in league to form the Illuminati, an organization that wants nothing less than to take over the world. This Illuminati is led by the "Council of Thirteen," which is purported to include such notables as Gavin and Yvonne Frost, and Raymond Buckland. Marquis has written at least eight books on this and related subjects, and while he has had his fifteen minutes of fame in the 1980s, some of the accusations that he wrote about continue to be leveled at Wiccans today.

Marquis's concepts are, in part, a recycling of anti-Masonic and anti-Jewish propaganda, with a side order of pseudo-Fundamentalist Christian theology. While few people seem to take him seriously as a primary source, it must be noted that his accusations--frequently absent of the source--are quite common in some Fundamentalist Christian literature. It is likely that Marquis is not the original source of these accusations, but he has certainly gathered most of these myths in one source for publication. 

Roots of the accusations:

This particular accusation--less the specific naming of Wicca as part of the conspiracy--has been around for centuries. In some respects, it is a continuation of the "blood libel" rumors that have been used in various attempts to smear Christians, Jews, lepers, Cathars, supposed "witches," Freemasons, Mormons, Theosophists, Satanists, and now Wiccans. Marquis' claims are part and parcel to this type of slander, but his specific statements are so far-reaching and complex that it is difficult to pin down sources. However, the lynchpin of his claims center around he mysterious organization called "The Illuminati."

The Illuminati

  • The Claim: Marquis claims that the Illuminati is the primary organization for a world-wide conspiracy to overthrow all governments and bring about a "one-world government."
  • The Facts: "The Illuminati is an organization founded by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, in 1776. It was a secret society whose aim was to work towards the abolition of all monarchies in order to bring about scientific and political enlightenment of mankind. The society was secret because such republican ideas were very radical in that time and place. Weishaupt disguised the group's aims under a veil of occultism, adopting the grades of Freemasonry in his organization. The organization grew rapidly and in 1780 an influential Freemason, Baron Von Knigge, became actively involved, linking the Illuminati with the older Freemasons. It was a short lived relationship, however, and Knigge and the Freemasons withdrew after much squabbling. Eventually some disgruntled members, discovering that the organization was simply a front for Weishaupt's anti-royalist activities, informed the royal authorities. Weishaupt fled and the Illuminati and Freemasonry were outlawed in Bavaria.
    "The idea that the defunct Illuminati was still in existence came from a treatise by a Jesuit named Abbe Barruel in 1797. Barruel claimed that The French Revolution was the result of an ancient conspiracy which could be traced back to two organizations: The Knights Templar and the Moslem sect called The Assassins. Barruel claimed that the Templars had not been stamped out in 1314, but had gone underground and ultimately resurfaced as the Freemasons and the Illuminati. Barruel claimed that this secret network was allied to the "Sons of Satan", Barruel's name for Jews. Barruel claimed that the leader of this international conspiracy was a Grand Master who ordered assassinations and started revolutions to bring about a single world government led by the Anti-Christ." [Kerr Cuhulain. "Mythmakers, Part 2," part of the "Witch Hunts" series hosted on Witchvox. [find URL]]

The greatest irony of this urban legend is that it was started by a Jesuit--a member of an organization that figures heavily in Marquis's own version of the Illuminati.

Defense against the accusations:

Marquis, himself, is not a creditable source. He states that he was initiated into the Illuminati at age 4, made a high priest at age 13, and became a "Master Witch" at age 17--and simultaneously states that his family knew nothing about his activities. Marquis also claims to have either witnessed or participated in over one hundred human sacrifices during his twenty years in the Illuminati. As one interviewer said, "If he is telling the truth, why isn't he in jail? And if he isn't telling the truth, why is he training our police?" [note: Jim Macdonald--find credentials]

Reasons for the Accusations:

The only logical reason for Marquis to make these claims are that the lurid nature of the claims that he makes sells books. The concept of a conspiracy "against all that is good, right, and true" has long been a popular staple of both fictional and non-fictional literature, and Marquis seems to be well aware of the market. His books are targeted to a market of suspicion, fear, and even hatred, and his books pander to and perpetuate that market.

The breadth, depth, and scope of questionable (or downright ridiculous) claims that Marquis makes is the fringe of pseudo-Christian paranoia.

Refutation of the Accusations:

To be perfectly blunt, Marquis typifies the kind of all-out paranoid "True Believer" in conspiracy theories that it is almost easy to dismiss him out of hand as a mere caricature of anti-Wiccan authors, were it not for the credence that his writings have been given by some. Jack Chick, Ted Gunderson (a former FBI investigator), Alexander Hislop (author of The Two Babylons, a viciously anti-Catholic screed), and Lyndon Larouche (political maven, presidential candidate, and convicted felon) are among the people who not only support Marquis, but who use his writings to bolster their own works.

For Marquis as an individual, the only real question is whether or not he believes the accusations he is making, or if he is cynically selling a bill of goods to "the rubes."

Suffice it to say that I have no interest in a "one-world Government." I am quite satisfied with our current representative democracy, and while it has been said that democracy is a lousy way to run a government, it has also true that it's best point is that it's a lot less "lousy" than all the other ways out there.

That's not going to be enough for Marquis. He'd probably either say that I'm just not "high enough" in Wicca to know the real score, or that I'm lying to conceal my heinous activities. Joseph "Doc" Marquis is just one more snake-oil salesman, trying to sell his books.

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Copyright 1997-2004 c.e., et seq., Justin Eiler. This text file may be freely distributed via computer, print, or other media, provided that no editing is done and this notice is included.