If the “New World Order” is the unified field theory of conspiracies, then Milton William Cooper was its Einstein. Published in 1991, Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horse is both a bible and a Talmud to the conspiracist faith, a 230,000-copy-selling, 500-page compendium of documents gathered in the course of Cooper’s supposed career as a Naval Intelligence officer and woven through with instructions on how to interpret its revelations (e.g., replace the word Jews in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion with Illuminati).
Cooper later backed off his assertion that the U.S. government conspired with space aliens to kill JFK—among other crimes—finally deciding that the flying saucers he’d witnessed destroying villages in Vietnam were built by humans to distract the “sheeple” from what was really going on. Which was, of course, the consolidation of power, via the U.N., into a socialist world government. This alarmingly popular right-wing theory dominated Cooper’s later teachings, as expounded on his radio show, “The Hour of the Time.” That program helped inspire Timothy McVeigh to commit mass murder in Oklahoma (Cooper thought that was an inside job) and induced the Clinton administration to call him America’s most dangerous radio host. (He was killed in a shootout with Arizona police, having anointed himself the director of Intelligence Service of the Second Continental Army of the Republic.)
As he admitted in a note that opens his best-selling book, “It is possible that one or more conclusions may be wrong.”