The causes of the First World War are usually ascribed to a terrible accident of alliances colliding with Balkan intrigues and ancient hatreds or German ambitions that got out of hand. A recent controversial book, Hidden History: the secret origins of the First World War (Mainstream Publishing) by researchers Gerry Docherty and Jim McGregor published in 2013, makes the startling claim that the war was planned by a clandestine elite group of powerful men in London who successfully deceived Parliament and the country. The authors draw the history of the group founded by Cecil Rhodes by American historian Carroll Quigley. The talk will discuss this in the context of how ruling elites have used deception to advance their interests over the centuries including today. Conspiracy theory or conspiracy fact? Judge for yourselves.