The Confederate Freemason Who Some Believe Predicted World War I, II, And III

Some stories have it all: The United States Civil War, Russia's Bolshevik Revolution, Nazis and World War II, Freemasonry, prophecies, government conspiracies, and a secret letter discussing how World War III "must be conducted in such a way that Islam and political Zionism mutually destroy each other," per a 2016 piece in The Sun (via And if that last bit reminds you of terrorist organization Hamas' 2023 attacks on Israel, then congratulations: You can see how this somewhat older tale has taken on a new, creepy light. 

The man at the center of the tale — Albert Pike — might not be a person whom many would recognize. On one hand, he was a Boston-born Confederate general and slavery apologist who got more than 2,000 Native American troops to enlist in the Confederate army during the U.S. Civil War, as the Trans-Mississippi Theater Virtual Museum says. The Smithsonian Associates describes Pike as a person who studied law and was a "philosopher, jurist, orator, author, poet, scholar, soldier" as much as a "libertine, traitor, glutton, incompetent, murderer." Pike was also heavily involved in Freemasonry and rumored to be part of the KKK.

And then we've got Pike's infamous 1871 letter, which seemingly predicted World Wars I, II, and an impending III. This purported document is quoted in a 2013 News24 piece and the 2016 Sun article, the latter saying "there is no primary source for the letter." Nevertheless, the tabloid's piece was also circulated via sites like The West Australian and covered by outlets like the Daily Mail. Indeed, the story keeps cropping up not just in articles, but tweets, podcasts, YouTube documentaries, and more.

[Image by Mathew Benjamin Brady & Levin Corbin Handy via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled]

Alleged prophecies in a lost letter

When unraveling the story of Albert Pike and his seemingly prophetic letter, we can start with the letter itself. As the Daily Mail says, Pike wrote the letter to Giuseppe Mazzini, an Italian nationalist and propaganda writer who lamented 19th-century Italy's transformation into an elected government. Harboring similar fascist sentiments, Pike defected to the U.S. Confederacy, as Readex explains, where he did things like rhapsodize about the glories of the Civil War in a feverish poem titled "Dissolution of the Union."

Pike's letter comes in 1871, six years after the Civil War ended. In it, per the Daily Mail, he describes World War I (1914 to 1918) and World War II (1939 to 1945) with uncanny accuracy. Regarding World War I, he wrote, "The First World War must be brought about in order to permit the Illuminati to overthrow the power of the Czars in Russia and of making that country a fortress of atheistic Communism." Regarding World War II, he wrote, "The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine."

Accurate as these statements might be, there's a problem with them — the Nazi party didn't by name exist until 1920, almost 50 years after Pike apparently penned his letter.

Whispers of a global conspiracy

Those speaking up in defense of the incongruency between Albert Pike's reference to Nazism and the date he wrote his letter would perhaps say, "Oh, well Pike was also predicting the rise of the German Workers' Party before the party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers' Party, aka 'Nazi' party, because that was part of the plot to blah, blah, blah." Even giving such blatantly self-duplicitous illogic a pass, Pike also mentioned "the Illuminati," a very short-lived fraternal organization that officially petered out in 1787. That is, unless someone also wants to claim that the Illuminati lives on to this day as men in black suits sitting in dark rooms and controlling global events. 

Some have already headed down this path — a video on the Anonymous Official YouTube account describes as fact "the Illuminati plan." So sure: Global hacktivists extraordinaire apparently disseminate information through the Google-owned, megacorporate entity YouTube. Readers may take note of the date of that video: Right at the onset of the October 2023 Hamas attacks on Israel. A similar video was posted on another channel the same month and discusses Pike's letter in a doomsaying light using hashtags like "#worldwar3" and "#islam." And at risk of squirming down a related conspiratorial rabbit hole, The Sun and — both of which published the letter — are owned by News Corp, the Rupert Murdoch-founded conservative media conglomerate. 

Requests to the British Library

Given all of the above information, it would be extremely easy to claim that this whole Albert Pike prophetic letter business is merely Islamophobia stoked by a handful of media outlets with wide-reaching fingers — or by those duped into replicating the information without digging deeper. We've got information from circumspect or biased sources, and no letter. Or at least, we haven't had any letter since 1977, as sites like News24 say. As this handy explanation goes, the British Museum Library was in possession of Pike's letter — the perfect carrot to fuel the conspiracy — before it vanished.

The British Library has fielded multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to disclose Pike's letter, as we can see on What Do They Know here and here. Those requests are word-for-word copies of each other but apparently sent by two different people. And in both instances, the British Library responded — in responses 2042 and 2345 — with identical replies, saying, "We have considered your request, and the British Library, and prior to that the British Museum, has never owned or seen the document in question, and therefore it has never been on display with either organisation." As an aside, the British Library does have records of U.S. documents dating back to the 1700s available online, but nothing related to Pike or World War III Illuminati chatter.

Pike's stained legacy

And so we come to the legacy of Albert Pike, the perfect vehicle — Union defector, 33rd-degree freemason, KKK member — to tote around whispers of impending cataclysm and a murderous "Jews & Christians vs. Islam" fear-stoking World War III tale to circulate online. Overall, his letter's prophetically doomworthy quotes — talk of "political Zionism," conflicts between the "sovereign state of Israel" and Palestine, scare-talk about "atheistic Communism," and mentions of "the Fascists" from World War II, all per the Daily Mail — sound much more like a neatly crafted bundle of contemporary political buzzwords meant to catch the ear of the gullible and historically unaware. On that note, the term "fascism" didn't exist until 1919 when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini coined it, per Teach Democracy. That's strike number two for anachronistic terminology in an 1871 letter. 

At present, Pike's prophetic latter tale has its share of online proponents, but it hasn't seemed to greatly popularize him amongst a public wanting easy explanations for difficult questions about the causes of conflicts in the Middle East. On Juneteenth 2020, Pike came into the news because his Washington, D.C. statue was torn down, set on fire, and tagged with red, white, and blue graffiti during protests following the murder of George Floyd, per The Guardian. It's anyone's guess however if any of those protestors knew that they were defacing the monument of a conspiratorial prognosticator. It's also anyone's guess if Pike himself saw them coming.