“I have pulled on a thread of the web of lies and it all has come to light”

Book review by Rita Müller-Hill

In the programme Les Terriens du samedi, broadcast on 9 March on French television Canal+, Philippe de Villiers was asked by journalist Thierry Ardisson whether Angela Merkel was aware of the history of Walter Hallstein, the first President of the European Commission, when she gave a grand eulogy for him in the German “Bundestag” on 13 November 2018. Philippe de Villiers answers very seriously: “Yes, and I think she lied.”1

Explanation of the book title

In the first pages of his book, Philippe de Villiers tells how he came to be involved with the history of the EU and how the title of his book came about. On page 19, he reports on a conversation with Maurice Couve de Murville, French Foreign Minister for many years (1958–1968), who held this office already during Charles de Gaulle’s presidency. In the course of this conversation, Couve de Murville spoke about the Marshall Plan, whose acceptance he described as submission, and about Walter Hallstein and the European unification process: “Oh Europe! The Europe of the founding fathers! It is sufficient if you pull on a thread, then everything comes.” – “But what thread?” – “On the thread of the web of lies.2

Opening the archives

A professor of the Sorbonne, whom Philippe de Villiers does not mention by name, later commented on this sybilline saying: “Couve de Murville witnessed the first stuttering of the European project. He knew everything about everyone, about the illusions and the ulterior motives, the whole entanglement, the fuss, the monkey business. Pulling on the thread, in his sense, should certainly mean going to the source”. “But to which source?” asks de Villiers. “To the source of the informations slumbering in the archives. […] They are no longer secret, they have gradually been opened, made accessible,” was the reply he received.3
 When de Villiers suspects that many researchers are now plunging into the archives, the professor has to disappoint him. There were very few who do. And when asked why the researchers were so little curious, he was told that this was done out of caution. One could lose one’s chair, one’s teaching position, one’s job, one’s publisher. – When asked whether this was a taboo, he gets the answer:“More than that, it is a myth, an ideology, a religious work. Everything that concerns these ‘founding fathers’ lies in the realm of the ‘holy, untouchable’. – “An official truth, therefore.”4
This conversation is a kind of initial spark. Philipp de Villiers assembles four working groups, which he calls his “brigades”, and sends them on a search of sources. In the book he documents the correctness of his statements with 28 facsimile copies on 111 pages. And Philippe de Villiers says what should not come to the light of the public. Only a close circle of initiates knew how things really were. General de Gaulle, who was not one of them and whom one would have preferred to have disposed of, also knew since the foundation of “France libre”5 in London (1940): Jean Monnet was not on his side. He represented the interests of America, which relied on Marshal Pétain, who collaborated with Hitler, and regarded de Gaulle as a disruptive factor.6

“So Philippe de Villiers had the spirit of research and the courage to go to the archives and publish what he found there: Documents that clearly prove that Jean Monnet was paid by the CIA for his activities as the ‘founding father of Europe’, that Robert Schumann was a shady figure who switched back and forth between the respective rulers and was ultimately in the service of the Americans.”

Research spirit and courage

In the German-speaking world, Andreas Bracher questioned the sacrosanct ideology of Europe already in 2001.7 In 2010 and 2011 Current Concerns published two articles which clearly showed whose services Jean Monnet was in and in which networks he was involved.8
So Philippe de Villiers had the spirit of research and the courage to go to the archives and publish what he found there: Documents that clearly prove that Jean Monnet was paid by the CIA for his activities as the “founding father of Europe”, that Robert Schumann was a shady figure who switched back and forth between the respective rulers and was ultimately in the service of the Americans. And Walter Hallstein, Nazi training officer and Nazi legal specialist for “The New Europe,“ also made his services available to the Americans.
Those who really wanted to know were not taken by complete surprise when de Villier’s book was published. Some things, however, are new: for example, the fact that Monnet’s “Memoirs” were not written by himself, but by a group of historians commissioned by Kennedy paid for by the Ford Foundation.9

How did Jean Monnet’s “memoirs” come about?

De Villiers tells how he discovered this mystery.10 This episode is exemplary of de Villiers’ approach: The many human relationships he has entered into in his life, his ability to listen, coupled with a good memory and a good portion of humour, mean that even years later he is still able to put certain information into context that he did not understand at first and to grasp its meaning. Because of the impressiveness and the exemplary character, we will go into this in more detail here. Since there is no official English translation of the book yet, all passages have been translated by the author of the article.
As a student, Philippe de Villiers visits Jacques Chapsal, his former professor of political science, who is surprised to receive a visit from his colleague and friend, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, professor of modern history and author of a fundamental work on international relations, the Duroselle, which every student knew at the time. De Villiers is allowed to stay and gains insight into the history of Jean Monnet’s memoirs. Chapsal asks Duroselle: “And what do these memoirs do? Is it going ahead?”
Duroselle: “Yes. The students are working hard on it. We’ve divided the work.”
Chapsal: “That’s certainly important for the foundation and for its reputation in the USA.”
Duroselle: “Yes, but it is even more important, dear Jacques,  for the unification of Europe. It needs a new impetus, new vigour.”
On another occasion, the French diplomat and politician Jean François-Poncet says: “Jean Monnet’s memoirs are ‘the little red Bible of the unification of Europe’ that we so urgently need.”11

Who wanted this book?

In this context, Philippe de Villiers asks three questions: Who commissioned these memoirs? Who paid for them? Who wrote them?12
At this point in the book it becomes clear how differently one can approach the answer to such questions. The extensive reference work, the biography of Jean Monnet by Eric Roussel,13 mentions names by names. People with whom Monnet was in contact. But who were these people? What functions did they perform? What networks were they involved in? What were their interests? Whose services were they in? Who paid them?
De Villiers followed this up, found the receipts and came to the conclusion: The Americans commissioned and paid for the work. You have to have background knowledge and the courage to disclose it. De Villiers proves that the Ford Foundation was not just the Ford Foundation, but one of the CIA’s money distributors. Who wrote the memoirs? Duroselle, as a senior professor, distributed the work to a group of students. Pierre Gerbet, Eric Westphal, André Kaspi, Richard Mayne. “It worked like a machine producing research, narration and writing.”14 Jean Monnet himself was hardly interested in the work. It was ultimately written by François Fontaine, a novelist who saw in the Roman Empire the preannouncement of a completed European Union.15
Our own research16 has shown that the authors mentioned above are an integral part of “Monnet research”. They are quoted again and again – in particular they quote each other – if you consult them, you are sent around in circles.

EU a stage on the way to world governance?

Only the last part of Jean Monnet’s memoirs was written by himself. And this, according to Philippe de Villiers, reveals the secret of his intentions: The European Community is not an end in itself. What is important is that the old nations of yesterday, with their respective sovereignty, should no longer be the framework in which the current problems are solved. The Community as such is only one stage on the way to the organisational forms of tomorrow’s world. Then, in Philippe de Villier’s view, world governance will rise, Globalia, which is “liberated” from all attributes such as sovereignty, democracy and different peoples. The dream of planetary management, the domination of humanity by technology, wrapped in a lasting peace by an all-encompassing market and guaranteeing unlimited individual freedom.17 “Soft, enlightened despotism”, Jacques Delors said approvingly.18
Philippe de Villiers’ book has already found many readers. The author appears in many television programmes and impressively stands up to the insidious questions of many journalists. The press coverage ranges from “all this is not new“ to “conspiracy theory“ to “untruth“. Philippe de Villiers shows who the real conspirators are, who has an interest in keeping the truth in the dark, and what the interests, goals and motives of European unification are and were. An extremely readable book, behind which history can no longer go back.     •

1    In the broadcast after 16.5 minutes
2    de Villiers, Philippe. J‘ai tiré sur le fil du mensonge et tout est venu. Paris Fayard, 2019, p. 19 (German translation of the title, R. M-H.)
3    ibid., p. 20
4    ibid.
5    “La France libre” [Free France]. On 18 June 1940, after France‘s defeat against Nazi Germany, De Gaulle had called from London, where he had fled with a handful of like-minded people, on all the French to resist and he subsequently founded a government in exile there.
6    From a letter from Monnet to Hopkins, quoted in: de Villiers, Philippe. p. 112
7    Bracher, Andreas. Europa im amerikanischen Weltsystem. Bruchstücke zu einer ungeschriebenen Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts. (Europe in the American world system. Fragments of an unwritten history of the 20th century.)2001
8    “Moloch EU and powerbroker Jean Monnet” (part 1). Current Concerns No. 38 of 27.9.2010 and “Jean Monnet as Special Envoy of the American President Roosevelt” (Part 2). Current Concerns No. 25 from 20.6.2011
9    Monnet, Jean. Mémoires. Fayard 1976
10    de Villiers, Philippe. p. 29
11    ibid., p. 32. Jean François-Poncet (1928–2012) was a French diplomat, politician and former Foreign Minister of Giscard d’Estaing. [“Red Bible”: following the “Quotations of Chairman Mao Tsetung”]
12    ibid., p. 33
13    Roussel, Eric. Jean Monnet. Fayard, 1996
14    de Villiers, Philippe. p. 37
15    ibid., p. 38
16    see footnote 8
17    de Villiers, Philippe. pp. 128.
18    ibid., p. 129 Jacques Delors was a French Socialist politician and President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995.   

”Monnet wanted to build a Europe that met American goals – the institutional, commercial and cultural ones.” (de Villiers, p. 117)

“What is noticeable in this fundamental chaos is the secrecy in the writing of the texts; the protagonists write themselves outside the framework of the institutions; Schuman later confessed: ‘It was Jean Monnet who, with his collaborators in a small hotel on Rue de Martignac, in a few months, without the knowledge of the public or even of the government, designed the idea of the Coal and Steel Community’.“(de Villiers, p. 134)

”This governance has been working for thirty years not to ’build Europe‘ – that is, to ensure the historical continuity of a civilisation – but on the contrary to deconstruct everything in order to undermine its emotional communities and destroy their fundamental boundaries and landmarks. It is not a question of building a ’Europeanity‘, but a ’globality‘, a wide playground without history or form, populated by interchangeable people.“ (de Villiers, p. 218)