British Governance Strategies: Religious Sects

UK has a long history of creating covert religious agent networks, using them for political purposes.

Britain has a long history of creating covert agent networks, subverting other countries and creating proxy movements. Religion played a significant role in London’s operations of influence, as they had to consider the identities of communities and peoples they interacted with in some capacity.

In England, multiple sects existed that held varying interpretations of the Bible and Christian teachings. Thus came the Baptists (advocates of adult baptism), Seekers, Diggers, Ranters, Quakers, Brownists (followers of Robert Brown), reformed into Independents, and many others. Several of them had short lifespans, but others expanded throughout the continent and made their way into the United States, leading to the emergence of even more peculiar movements. Social unrest was not uncommon in England and often spread to other countries.

Add to this all sorts of secret societies and fraternities, which included the local aristocracy and bourgeois. However, there is a difference between the internal turbulence and the dissemination of concepts across various nations. As history shows, Britain has been directly involved in projecting such concepts into the world and usually with specific geopolitical interests. Let’s look at the most prominent and well-known examples.

The origins of Zionism

Since the sixteenth century, there has been a movement known as British Israelism (Anglo-Israelism), espousing the belief that the British are descendants of the ten lost tribes of ancient Israel. This system combines pseudo-historical and near-religious ideas to assert this lineage. King James VI of the Stuart dynasty himself believed he was the king of Israel. The English lawyer and Member of Parliament John Sadler, who was also Oliver Cromwell’s private secretary, held similar views, although he combined them with the ideas of Millenarianism. In 1649 he published The Rights of the Realm, where he justified the Israelite genealogy of the British.

Such theories continued in XVIII and XIX centuries, where elements of archeology, linguistics and different occult trends, which were in vogue at that time (pyramids, numerology, connected with Kabbalah, etc.) were introduced.

It should be noted that British Israelism influenced racial theory and, in part, served as a rationale among Protestants in the United States as the ideology of Predestination in the XIX century. And on the other hand he had a significant influence on both Pentecostals and Mormons in the United States in late XIX.

In 1919, the British-Israel-World Federation was even established in London, which still exists today.

So-called Christian Zionism is another British creation that has become widespread in the United States, and now adherents of this current are high-ranking politicians who support Israel.

It is worth recalling that Britain was behind the idea of creating a nation-state of Israel — the Balfour Declaration (a letter from Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild) dates back to 1917, and later the concept was supported by France, Italy, the US and formed the basis of British Mandate approved by the League of Nations.

It was indeed from Britain that the impulses originated, paving the way for Zionist project and the dissemination of notions of racial superiority. In present-day Israel, these ideas are perceived by the governing class as justification for any oppressions of the Palestinians.


Wahhabism, named after its founder Mohammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab (1703-1792) and originating in the mid-eighteenth century in the central region of Arabian Peninsula, has seen direct involvement from the British in its emergence and growth in contemporary times. While in Basra, young Ibn Abdul-Wahhab came under the influence and control of an undercover British spy nicknamed Hempher, who was one of many agents sent by London to Muslim countries to destabilize the Ottoman Empire and create conflict among Muslims. Hempher, posing as a Muslim, called himself “Mohammed” and developed a close friendship with Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, and regularly gave him money, gifts. He also convinced him that many Muslims should be killed because they had violated the basic tenets of Islam by becoming “heretics” and “polytheists.” In one of the brainwashing sessions, Hempher said he had a dream where the Prophet Muhammad “kisses” Ibn Abdul-Wahhab between the eyes and tells him “you are the greatest” asking him to become his “deputy” to save Islam from “heresies” and “superstitions.” Ibn Abdul-Wahhab, convinced of his divine calling, started spreading his ideas in Uyayn but was ultimately driven out. He then went to preach in other villages and was joined by Hempher with other British undercover spies.

British agents managed to persuade Sheikh Diri, Mohammad al-Saud, to support Abdul-Wahhab. In 1744, al-Saud joined forces with Ibn Abdul-Wahhab in a political, religious, and marriage alliance. Through this alliance between them and their families, which still exists today, Wahhabism as a religious and political movement was born. Through this pact, each head of the al-Saud (House of Saud) family was given the position of Wahhabi Imam (“religious leader”), while each head of the Wahhabi family was guaranteed control over religious interpretation.

Next, a small army of Bedouins was created that terrorized the Arabian Peninsula and made raids as far as Damascus and Kerbela (where they desecrated the tomb of the martyr Hussein bin Ali). The goal was to create a Saudi-Wahhabi state.

In 1818, the Egyptian army of Caliph Mahmud the Second wiped out the Wahhabi clan, but their followers hatched plans for revenge and saw Britain as an ally.

Wahhabi Faisal Ibn Turki al-Saud turned to the British for support in 1848, and in 1866 the Wahhabi House of Saud signed a treaty of “friendship” with Britain. This angered the al-Rashid clan, who went to war against the al-Sauds, but part of their house managed to escape and find refuge in British-controlled Kuwait.

In early XX, the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and the British supported the new Wahhabi Imam Abdulaziz, who captured Riyadh in 1902, carrying out show executions of the inhabitants. This was followed by the expulsion of ruling Sharifs, direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, from the Hijaz and punitive expeditions, including Mecca and Medina.

It is believed that in the 30 years of Saudi Arabia’s creation (by 1932), fanatical Wahhabi Saudis killed and maimed more than 400,000 Arabs across the Arabian Peninsula, and more than a million residents had to flee to other regions. The Wahhabi imam then named the captured territory after his own family, calling it the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By the way, slavery was abolished there only in 1962 after numerous scandals and pressure from the West.


In 1889, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded this sect in Qadian (Punjab), during British-occupied India. He proclaimed himself as the Mahdi, a Christian messiah, an incarnation of the Hindu god Krishna, and the second coming of Muhammad (buruz), as believed by some Muslims. The doctrine of this sect is rather eclectic: for example, Jesus is believed to have faked his death and resurrection, but actually fled to India where he died at the age of 120. Moreover, jihad (“holy war”) is redefined as a struggle against unbelievers, which should be waged by peaceful methods rather than by violent military means.

There is no official word that the British may have been behind the creation of this community. However, it’s quite possible, given their modus operandi from the very beginning of the conquest of the Indian subcontinent, when they pitted local rulers against each other and supported those they saw as reliable executors of their schemes, regardless of their religious views. From this perspective, the British can be seen as having indirect involvement in the rise of Ahmadiyya.

It’s noteworthy that Ahmadiyya Muslim was established in Britain as early as 1913, with the construction of its own mosque in 1926. They are banned in Pakistan as they are not officially considered Muslims due to their bizarre teachings.

Overall, it’s important to keep in mind that the British influence had a detrimental impact on the future of Hindustan. This initially led to the 1947 partition into India and Pakistan along religious lines with all the conflicts that followed, including the never ending dispute over Kashmir.

British Shi’ism

The latest movement associated with London is known as British Shi’ism, headed by religious figures Mujtaba Shirazi and Yasser al-Habbib. Apparently, this movement was created to discredit Shi’ism as such, with an eye on Iran, Lebanon and Iraq, since these are the countries that have many followers of Shi’ism and are home to many shrines.

British “Shiites” consider non-Shiites “idolaters” and regularly insult various Muslim preachers. Shirazi even issued a fatwa on the necessity of killing Sunnis.

According to Iran’s Supreme Leader Imam Ali Khamenei, “individuals such as Shirazi and al-Habbib are at the disposal of the British Intelligence agency MI6, and they are employed to instigate sectarian wars. In January 2015, the Iranian government  closed down the offices of 17 so-called Shiite TV channels broadcasting over satellite on the grounds of inciting dissent between  Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Additionally, in June 4, 2016, a sermon was given again in Iran preaching “the need for struggling against British Shiism

Of course, the US also uses religious governance for political purposes. In addition to the religious freedom indices that define “authoritarian” countries, the World Council of Churches also has a clear political agenda, and the Protestant lobby influences decisions in Congress, the State Department, and the White House. And the church split in Ukraine and the creation of a body called the PCU (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) with the help of Patriarch Bartholomew, who is directly linked to US agents, is another confirmation of the Anglo-Saxon practices of the rather ancient principle — “divide and conquer”.

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