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Sofia Ahmed
By Sofia Ahmed December 1, 2023

John D. Rockefeller did not write a ‘secret covenant’ about world domination

If Your Time is short

  • This "secret covenant" emerged online in 2002 on a financial website written by an anonymous author.

  • We found no credible information linking this statement to John D. Rockefeller.

  • Rockefeller, one of the world’s first billionaires, and his family are frequent targets of conspiracy theories.

Facebook users have resurfaced a conspiracy theory about John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Co. and the world’s first billionaire. 

A Facebook reel shared 22,000 times claims that Rockefeller wrote what the post describes as a "secret covenant" about controlling the world’s population. In the video, a voice-over says, "We will make them kill each other when it suits us. We will keep them separated from the oneness by dogma and religion. We will control all aspects of their lives and tell them when to think and how." 

That Facebook reel was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Rockefeller lived from 1839 to 1937 and became one of the world’s first billionaires after creating the Standard Oil Company. He and his family are frequent targets of conspiracy theories. 

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In 2020, Snopes found that the text from Rockefeller’s alleged secret covenant was posted in 2002 by an anonymous author with the title "The Secret Covenant" to, a website that provided financial information and a platform for businesses to sell their products. 

The website also had a news section where conspiracy theories were posted. A disclaimer was posted under the "Secret Covenant" article saying that the editorial staff does not know the author’s identity and that the piece was submitted through a form on which the author left an unusable email address. 

We searched key phrases from the secret covenant on Google Search, Nexis biographies and intellectual property and RE: Source, a Rockefeller Archive Center publication, and couldn’t find any evidence connecting Rockefeller to the covenant.

Rachel Wimpee, associate director of research and engagement at the Rockefeller Archive Center, told PolitiFact that the archive center doesn’t hold every item Rockefeller wrote but, "To the best of our knowledge, there is no such quote attributed to John D. Rockefeller."

We rate the claim that Rockefeller wrote a secret covenant detailing plans for world domination False.

UPDATE, Dec. 5, 2023: This story has been updated to include a statement from the Rockefeller Archive Center. The rating is unchanged.


Our Sources

Facebook reel, Nov. 29, 2023.

Snopes, "Is this John D. Rockefeller’s ‘Masonic Creed’?", Sep. 17, 2020., "The Secret Covenant", June 21, 2002., News Archives, July 2, 2002. 

RE:source, a publication of the Rockefeller Archive Center, Nov. 30 2022. 

PolitiFact, "Pope Francis kissing the hands of David Rockefeller & John Rothschild." April, 19, 2021

USA Today, "Fact check: ‘Rockefeller Playbook’ and ‘Operation Lockstep’ are hoaxes", Jan. 14, 2021

PolitiFact, "John D. Rockefeller didn’t coin term ‘fossil fuels’ to trick people and boost oil prices", April 1, 2022

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John D. Rockefeller did not write a ‘secret covenant’ about world domination

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