Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 18:53:01 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <>
From: James Daugherty <>
Subject: CFR: Imperial Brain Trust for New World Order!
A-albionic Research Weekly Up-date of 9-9-95

Excerpts from
Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, The Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations & United States Foreign Policy

From the Introduction, pages 3-7.
11 September, 1995

Too often, discussions of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and its plans for a New World Order are seen as "right-wing" or "Bircher" paranoia. However, if "paranoia" is defined as disconnection from reality, it is those who fail to recognize the power of the ruling class/conspiracy as exercised through the CFR who are the real "paranoids"!

What follows is an excerpt from a "Marxist", left-wing analysis of the power and influence of the CFR.

Over fifty years ago, in the wake of the First World War, a group of wealthy and influential Americans decided to form an organization. The Council on Foreign Relations, as it was subsequently named, was designed to equip the United States of America for an imperial role on the world scene. Great Britain had dominated world politics during the nineteenth century, not only through its colonial empire, but also through an even wider informal sphere of influence. In a similar fashion, so felt these American leaders, would the United States play a dominant role in the years following the war.

But in 1919 the United States was not yet adequately prepared for world leadership, as was well illustrated by the conclusion surrounding the issue of United States membership in the League of Nations. Even the leaders of opinion had been unable to arrive at a common understanding of the part the United States should take in world affairs. The Council on Foreign Relations would help remedy this defect. By keeping "its members in touch with the international situa- ton"{l} and devoting itself to a continuous study of the "in- ternational aspects of America s political, economic and financial problems,"{2} it would develop a "reasoned American foreign policy."{3} As one early statement of aims ambitiously noted, the Council on Foreign Relations "plans to co-operate with the Government and all existing international agencies, and to bring all of them into constructive accord."{4}

The Council on Foreign Relations still exists today, more than half a century later. Yet it is hardly a household word. Even many of those Americans who are relatively well informed about foreign policy recognize it, if at all, only as the organization which publishes Foreign Affairs magazine. The Council is rarely mentioned in the press or on television. The number of articles, scholarly or otherwise, devoted to its activities is minuscule, even if one adds together the output of over fifty years. The lack of public attention might suggest that the Council's importance does not match its original ambitious goals. One might conclude that it had become simply another discussion group, or a specialized research organization, of little interest except to its own members, and not particularly important to the overall picture of United States foreign policy formation.

But such a conclusion would be profoundly mistaken. Reading the occasional references to the Council that do appear from time to time, one gets quite a different picture:

New York Times: "The Council's membership includes some of the most influential men in government, business, education and the press."{5} The CFR "for nearly half a century has made substantial contributions to the basic concepts of American foreign policy."{6}

Newsweek: The Council's leadership is the "foreign-policy establishment of the U.S."{7}

Peter Schrag: The Council is "the ultimate organization of the Eastern Establishment."{8}

Theodore White: "The Council counts among its members probably more important names in American life than any other private group in the country."{9}

Marvin and Bernard Kalb: The Council is "an extremely influ- ential private group that is sometimes called the real State Department." {10}

Richard Barnet: Membership in the Council is "a rite of passage for an aspiring national security manager."{ll}

As several of the quotes imply, just the names of members give an impressive picture of Council importance. The current Council chairman is David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank {circa 1977}, a man with incredible personal wealth and financial power. Wall Street lawyer Allen W. Dulles, a Council director for over forty years, helped establish the CIA and directed it while his brother John Foster (also a Council member) ran the Department of State. Diplomatic superstar Henry A. Kissinger was a Council protege who began his career in foreign affairs as a rapporteur for a Council study group. Kissinger later told Council leader Hamilton Fish Armstrong, who had played a key role in Kissinger's rise to power, "You invented me."{l2} The list could easily be prolonged with eminent financiers, Wall Street lawyers, Ivy League scholars, and high government officials--in short, a galaxy of "establishment" figures.{l3}

It is such intriguing indications of the Council's significance that led us to a more detailed investigation of this little-known organization. Our results show that the Council on Foreign Relations, despite its relative public obscurity, plays a key part in molding United States foreign policy. In the Council, the leading sectors of big business get together with the corporate world's academic experts to work out a general framework for foreign policy.

Since the Second World War at the latest, the Council has had remarkable success in getting its point of view across to The government, regardless of the administration in of office. As government officials, Council members have implemented policies. As "experts," they have generally succeeded in keep- public debate in line with "respectable" views. But they are by no means omnipotent. The decline of United States power faces them with new problems: defeat in Indochina, and the new independence shown by Japan, Western Europe, and the oil-producing countries. They are resourceful, however, and are presently busy thinking up new ways to maintain United States predominance and to convince the American people that such a role is best for everyone.

That the Council is little known is thus not a sign of insignificance, but rather points to its mode of operation. The men at the top meet and work out together the general directtion of policy--the limits of respectable debate. Through a complex network of channels, the content and tone of their discussion reach the policymakers and the leaders of opinion. Eventually they may reach those of us who take an interest in what our country is doing in the world, but we may have little idea that what comes to be a natural "climate of opinion" was carefully fostered and guided. For the process is not public. Council members are selected by the Council's leadership and the meetings are confidential. As the New York Times expressed it, "Except for its annual public Elihu Root Lectures, the Council's talks and seminars are strictly off the record. An indiscretion can be grounds for termination or suspension of membership.''{14}

Despite this conscious secrecy, it is possible to find out something about what the Council is and does. Putting together bits and pieces from many sources and searching out references to Council activities in government archives, we have put together a picture of the inner workings and significance of the Council. Our conclusions challenge the conventional interpretations of policy formation as dispersed among a wide variety of groups or elites. In contrast to this view, we will show, in the pages to follow, the leading role played by the Council on Foreign Relations and the sector of society it represents, the corporate upper class.

We believe that the process itself is not only undemocratic, but that the results have been and are against the interests of both the majority of the American people and of the people of the world.


  1. Shepardson, 1960:3.
  2. CFR, 1922:1.
  3. Ibid.
  4. CFR, 1919:5.
  5. New York Times, January 14, 1975:18.
  6. New York Times, May 15, 1966:34.
  7. Newsweek, September 6, 1971:74.
  8. Schrag, 1974:130.
  9. White, 1965:87.
  10. Kalb and Kalb, 1974:51.
  11. Barnet, ]972:49. White, Marvin Kalb, and Barnet are all Council members
  12. Newsweek, October 2, 1972:40.
  13. For journalistic commentaries on the Council and its prominent members, see Kraft (1958), Campbell (1971), and Lukas (1971). Far the only previous systematic scholarly treatment of the Coun- cil and its membership, see Domhoff (1970), Chapter 5.
  14. New York Times, May 15, 1966:34. Quoted in Domhoff, 1970: 120.


Forward by G. William Domhoff



I: A Portrait of the Council on Foreign Relations

1. A Brief History of the Council

2. The Council Network

3. The Council and the New York Financial Oligarchy

II: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy, 1939-1975

4. Shaping a New World Order: The Council's Blueprint for Global Hegemony, 1939-1944

5. Implementing the Council's World View: Case Studies in United States Foreign Policy

6. The Council and American Policy in Southeast Asia, 1940-1975

7. Toward the 1980s: The Council's Plans for a New World Order



1 Key Leaders of the Council, 1921-1972

2 Trilateral Commission Membership, 1975

3 Council Directors, 1921-1975



James Daugherty,
volunteer Postmaster for A-albionic Research (POB 20273, Ferndale, MI 48220), a ruling class/conspiracy research resource for the entire political-ideological spectrum. Quarterly journal, book sales, rare/out-of-print searches, New Paradigms Discussion List, Weekly Up-date Lists & E-text Archive of research, intelligence, catalogs, & resources.

E-Mail Update/Discussion/Archive: e-mail:
World Wide Web/Gopher/FTP: