Behold a Pale Horse: Quotes From William Cooper

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Behold a Pale Horse" by Milton William Cooper. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Does the government lie to the public? Will it seize private property on a large scale? How important is the U.S. Constitution?

William Cooper has definite answers to these questions. He’s the author of one of the most influential conspiracy theory books ever written. Behold a Pale Horse lays out the roots and methods of a secret movement to topple the American government and establish a global totalitarian order.

Continue reading for five Behold a Pale Horse quotes, along with some context and explanation.

Behold a Pale Horse Quotes

We’ve collected several Behold a Pale Horse quotes to give you an idea of what the book is about. Here’s each quote, followed by a brief discussion of Cooper’s related ideas.

“We have been taught lies. Reality is not at all what we perceive it to be.”

Cooper believes that the Illuminati and the U.S. government have deceived the public over the years. For example, he claims that a major conspiracy is operating just under the surface of American society: the presence of aliens on Earth, which has been kept secret for decades. According to Cooper, alien spacecraft regularly land on Earth and abduct people to this day, and the government has hidden this from the public as a way of maintaining social control.

According to Cooper, both the U.S. and the Soviet governments, with the aliens’ help, have already built functioning bases on the Moon and Mars. Cooper claims that popular representations of both planets as barren are a cover-up by NASA and that the truth can be seen in the 1977 documentary Alternative 3 and George Leonard’s study of NASA photographs, Someone Else Is on the Moon.

Also, Cooper asserts that the U.S. government covers up the fact that the global economy is a massive system of social engineering run by the Illuminati. He believes that the Illuminati also manipulate people through pop culture and the news.

“When the government is able to collect tax and seize private property without just compensation, it is an indication that the public is ripe for surrender and is consenting to enslavement and legal encroachment.”

According to Cooper, recessions and economic booms are deliberately triggered at random intervals to destabilize people’s lives. Having lost their job, savings, or property, people become more trusting of “big government” initiatives supposedly designed to ease their suffering, such as tax hikes or the seizure of assets from corporations. In fact, these initiatives increase the government’s power and force people’s participation in welfare programs, which Cooper claims are used for surveillance, along with tax records, the census, and electronic payment systems like credit.

When the Illuminati feel that the time is right to move, they will dissolve all of the world’s governments and form the New World Order, a single, centralized and socialist body led by a council of the politicians and businessmen who already control the Earth’s natural resources and armies. All private property will be seized.

“I believe in the Constitution of the Republic of the United States of America, without interpretation, as it was written and meant to work. I have given my sacred oath ‘to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic.’ I intend to fulfill that oath.”

Cooper’s claims are based primarily on secret files he claims to have seen while posted to the Office of Naval Intelligence in the early 1970s. He purportedly handled documents revealing treaties with the aliens, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by a Secret Serviceman, plans to suspend the Constitution and establish a police state, and more.

Cooper is a passionate defender of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of citizens to carry guns. Cooper argues that its purpose is to provide citizens recourse against government tyranny.

Cooper argues that, in addition to attacking the Bill of Rights, the Illuminati are attempting to undermine the “checks and balances” system laid out in the Constitution by increasingly empowering the Executive branch at the expense of the Legislative branch.

Cooper points to the development of military national disaster contingency plans in the 1970s and ’80s, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). These programs provided for the suspension of the Constitution and mass detention without cause in the case of a vaguely defined “national emergency.”

Cooper warns that the Illuminati’s plans can be avoided only by popular armed resistance from the American people. Like the American revolutionaries of the 18th century, the people must rise up to defend their rights and preserve the Constitution, which Cooper calls the closest thing to a perfect political document ever produced.

“You must accept that you have been cattle and the ultimate consequence of being cattle—which is slavery—or you must prepare to fight, and if necessary die to preserve your God-given right to freedom.”

According to Cooper, the Illuminati believe that their takeover is necessary for the survival of humanity, as well as for future economic prosperity and scientific advancement. Most of humanity is too weak and unintelligent to be allowed to govern themselves, and the NWO will prioritize the lives of the most gifted while exploiting the rest for resource extraction. The source documents Cooper refers to call this disposable population “cattle.”

“Like it or not, everything is changing. The result will be the most wonderful experience in the history of man or the most horrible enslavement that you can imagine. Be active or abdicate. The future is in your hands.”

While Cooper agrees with the Illuminati that the Earth is nearing a crisis point in international tensions, resource distribution, and the health of the climate, he rejects the belief that most of humanity is too unintelligent or weak to contribute. All of these problems can be solved, he argues, through the widespread application of American democratic ideals. Though these principles have not been applied in practice due to government corruption and Illuminati interference, Cooper believes that a second revolution and more direct involvement in government by the citizenry will realize the ideal America of the future.

Behold a Pale Horse: Quotes From William Cooper

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Here's what you'll find in our full Behold a Pale Horse summary:

  • One of the most influential conspiracy theory books ever written
  • Theories about UFOs, the Illuminati, the Kennedy assassination, and more
  • How the 1991 book impacted different groups in society

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, and philosophy. A switch to audiobooks has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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