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Authors: Jacob Nordangård

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The interest in religion was also shared by Junior’s son Laurance and later Nelson’s son, Steven Rockefeller, who became Professor of Religion.

Evolutionary Humanism

A major inspiration for the Rockefeller family was the French Jesuit priest, palaeontologist, and geologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. According to Teilhard’s teachings, mankind was evolving into a point of cultural convergence, called the noosphere, and would eventually reach a mystical state called the Omega Point – the end goal of humanity which also included the Second Coming of Christ.

Teilhard’s transhumanist teachings, combining Christianity with Darwinism, suited the Rockefellers perfectly and provided a deterministic foundation for their Utopian vision for the world and gave it a Divine blessing.

Even the secular humanist Sir Julian Huxley, friend of ‘Pére Teilhard,’ had similar views, summarised in his vision for UNESCO.

…the general philosophy of Unesco should, it seems, be a scientific world humanism, global in extent and evolutionary in background.

When Teilhard de Chardin’s book,
The Phenomenon of Man
(1955), was translated into English in 1959 Huxley wrote in its introduction:

The incipient development of mankind into a single psychosocial unit, with a single noosystem or common pool of thought, is providing the evolutionary process with the rudiments of a head. It remains for our descendants to organise this noosystem more adequately. (…)

Accordingly, we should endeavour to equip it with the mechanisms necessary for the proper fulfilment of its task—the psychosocial equivalents of sense organs, effector organs, and a co-ordinating central nervous system with dominant brain.

Teilhard’s visions of the future were also closely connected to the development of cybernetic technology. The first step towards the development of the Noosphere is represented by the Internet and will, according to the vision, be followed by the development of a technologically improved Super Human, with a united global consciousness and unified nations under a World Government.

This vision of a global society was something the Rockefeller family wanted to help turn into reality.

During the 1970s, Laurance, RBF, Rockefeller Foundation, and Lilly Endowment funded Lindisfarne Association where discussions were held on how to make Teilhard de Chardin’s visions of a planetary culture and ethics a reality.
This had a major impact on the emerging New Age movement, which Laurance also helped fund.


As early as 1946, Laurance Rockefeller and his brothers had launched Rockefeller Brothers Inc. for investing in emerging technologies, especially information technology.

In 1969 Rockefeller Brothers Inc. was turned into Venrock, a major financier of Silicon Valley and the computer revolution. Leading tech companies such Apple and Intel Corporation both received their founding financing from Venrock.
In the 1970s Intel developed the 8080 processor for the first personal computer, Altair 8800.

Through Venrocks research director, Warren Weaver, Rockefeller Foundation had supported both mathematician Norbert Wiener who, in 1948, founded the research field cybernetics, and the first conference on Artificial Intelligence, held in Dartmouth 1956.

While investing in early computer technology Laurance also supported a number of New Age gurus and organisations in which the technological revolution was sold in spiritual trappings. The seemingly disparate areas of religion and technology would decades later be merged with the threat of climate change to get everyone onboard for the Great Transformation.


The internationalism advocated by both Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Julian Huxley has had a strong influence on most of the Rockefeller family’s activities from the outset. Domination over the American system was only a first step. Now, these ideas would be spread globally. By supporting the founding of international organisations, the family’s goals and initiatives could more easily be disseminated across the world. For the Rockefellers, it was also about furthering their business interests in international trade. Some of the brightest minds available were enlisted to achieve these goals.

Council of Foreign Relations

In 1921, one of the Rockefeller family’s most influential centers of power was founded, the elite think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), sister organisation of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), founded in London in 1919.

Initially, CFR was funded by leading banker families
J. P. Morgan
, and
Rockefeller (John D. Rockefeller Jr.
financed both its foundation and its first headquarters in New York).
After the death of
J. P. Morgan Jr
. in 1953, the think tank was run by the Rockefeller family.
David Rockefeller, who had become board member in 1949, was chairman 1979–
after which he retained an honorary chairmanship.

Several other board members from the Rockefeller Foundation and RBF have been members of the CFR
Many key players involved in the climate threat discourse have also been members, including
Carroll L. Wilson
Walter Orr Roberts
Edward Teller
Frederick Seitz
, and
Al Gore.

CFR, which
advocates the same internationalism as the Rockefeller family, soon became a major power base – especially in influencing foreign policy by its members holding key positions in presidential administrations ever since its inception, including national security advisors such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinzki.

That David Rockefeller left CFR $25 million in his will is an indication of how much he valued the organisation.

Two other fora of great value to the family in their internationalist ambitions have been the Trilateral Commission (founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski) and the Bilderberg group (initiated in 1954 by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands).

League of Nations

League of Nations (1920–1946), precursor to the United Nations, was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation dedicated to maintaining world peace. John D. Rockefeller Jr. was a major donor and had close ties to the organisation.

The project, however, did not succeed. The United States never joined. The Soviet Union was expelled after attacking Finland. Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and other nations withdrew from the organisation. It also failed to prevent the second world war.

United Nations

In 1945, the Rockefeller family (via Council on Foreign Relations), together with the British élite (via Royal Institute of International Affairs), were involved in the launching of the United Nations as replacement for the LN.

During World War II (1939–45), the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation had funded CFRs
War & Peace Studies
, in which rekommendations were made that led to the founding of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank.
Vice-chairman of the project was Allen Dulles.
His brother, John Foster Dulles helped draft the preamble to the UN Charter together with David Rockefeller in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

At the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco 25 April – 26 June 1945, which launched the United Nations as an organisation, Nelson Rockefeller was part of the U.S. delegation.

My father [Nelson], who served in government positions under four presidents and as governor of New York, had a passionate interest in international affairs. He and my grandfather [John. D. Jr.] played an active part in helping to establish the United Nations in New York City, and my family has been a supporter of the UN ever since
(Steven Rockefeller)

In late 1945, when the newly founded United Nations needed location for its headquarters, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and his sons offered their Pocantico

estate, upstate New York. As this was too suburban to be suitable, John D. Jr instructed his son Nelson to purchase a 17-acre site on the East River in New York City, at walking distance from Rockefeller Center.

Nelson and his favourite architect, Wallace Harrison, negotiated the purchase and got all the necessary city, state, and federal permits and waivers – a process accomplished in only thirty-six hours.

The property, worth $8.5 million, was then donated to the UN by John D. Jr.
Nelson then commissioned Wallace Harrison and Max Abramovitz to lead the project, who chose the designs of Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer for the modernist landmark.

In a speech in 2012, to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. donation to the League of Nations library, the U. N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon expressed his gratitude towards the family:

I personally want to thank the Rockefeller family for my own office—and the entire United Nations campus on the East Side of Manhattan. When Rockefeller’s donation of the land was announced in the General Assembly in 1945, the Hall was filled with loud applause.  The United States Ambassador cheered Mr. Rockefeller’s ‘magnificent benevolence.’ I am deeply grateful to the esteemed members of the Rockefeller family and the Rockefeller Foundation for continuing the noble tradition of supporting international organizations devoted to peace.

The Rockefeller brothers had grand visions for the UN as carrier of internationalism. Right from the start, ways of strengthening the organisation's influence were sought. The UN was the embryo for a World Government and a first step towards the dream of Pierre Teilhard de Chardins utopian Kingdom of Peace.

In their internationalist aspirations, the family cooperated with other philanthropic foundations such as the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Guggenheim Foundation, often sharing board members.


Part of the international project, and a crucial tool for reshaping the world, was the new modernist movement from Europe, aimed at reforming all the fine arts in order to create a new international progressive culture.

Museum of Modern Art

In 1929, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York was founded by John D. Junior’s wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and her friends Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. Abby invited industrialist A. Conger Goodyear to become its first president, with herself as treasurer and driving force.

MoMAs first exhibition in 1929, in a rented venue, displayed works of van Gogh, Gaugin, Cézanne, and Seurat, followed a decade later by the retrospektive Picasso exhibition which gave MoMA international prominence.

Abby’s husband, John Jr., was at first opposed to the museum and Abby had to find funding elsewhere, but eventually he gave in and in 1939 donated the family’s property on 53rd street for the building of MoMA and became one of its major donors.

In 1939, their son Nelson became chairman and financier of “mommy’s museum”, until 1958 when he became Governor of New York State and left the position to his younger brother David. David was initially not too keen on modern art but was eventually converted and turned into one of the worlds greatest art collectors. After his death in 2017, his collection sold for $830 million, of which $125 million was bequeathed to MoMA.

The Rockefeller family’s ties to the museum have remained strong. RBF started funding it in 1947. David Rockefeller Jr. and Sharon Percy Rockefeller (the wife of Senator Jay Rockefeller) are still board members (2018).

MoMA’s board of directors has over the decades included Walt Disney, department store owner Marshall Field, Henry Luce, Beardsley Ruml (New York Federal Reserve), and other luminaries from the New York high society, including members of the Ford, Goodwin, Guggenheim, Payson, Phillips, Sachs, Vanderbilt, and Warburg families.

According to curator Philip Johnson, however, there was no question of who was in charge: “It's a Rockefeller institution; it's a democracy of one.”

The Covert CIA Cultural War

In 1950, the CIA, led by Ivy League alumni with a liberal education, set up the International Organizations Division for “combating communism” by infiltrating leftist cultural circles abroad with the goal of swaying them towards American rather than Soviet sympathies. For this purpose, organisations such as Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) were founded in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, and Australia. CCF published dozens of cultural magazines in these countries and enrolled many leading intellectuals, including Arthur Koestler and Bertrand Russel.

BOOK: Rockefeller – Controlling the Game
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