As a conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a totalitarian one-world government. The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which replaces sovereign nation-states—and an all-encompassing propaganda that ideologizes its establishment as the culmination of history's progress. Significant occurrences in politics and finance are speculated to be orchestrated by an unduly influential cabal operating through many front organizations. Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an on-going plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes. Prior to the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right, and secondarily fundamentalist Christians concerned with end-time emergence of the Antichrist. Skeptics, such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet, have observed that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about a New World Order have now not only been embraced by many seekers of stigmatized knowledge but have seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating an unrivaled period of people actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. These political scientists are concerned that this mass hysteria could have what they judge to be devastating effects on American political life, ranging from widespread political alienation to escalating lone-wolf terrorism. End Time Since the 19th century, many apocalyptic millennial Christian eschatologists, starting with John Nelson Darby, have feared a globalist conspiracy to impose a tyrannical New World Order as the fulfillment of prophecies about the "end time" in the Bible, specifically in the Book of Ezekiel, the Book of Daniel, the Olivet discourse found in the Synoptic Gospels, and the Book of Revelation. They claim that people who have made a deal with the Devil to gain wealth and power have become pawns in a supernatural chess game to move humanity into accepting a utopian world government, which rests on the spiritual foundations of a syncretic-messianic world religion, that will later reveal itself to be a dystopian world empire, which imposes the imperial cult of an "Unholy Trinity" — Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. In many contemporary Christian conspiracy theories, the False Prophet will either be the last pope of the Catholic Church (groomed and installed by an Alta Vendita or Jesuit conspiracy) or a guru from the New Age movement or even the leader of an elite fundamentalist Christian organization like the Fellowship, while the Antichrist will either be the president of the European Union or the secretary-general of the United Nations or even the caliph of a pan-Islamic state. Some of the most vocal critics of end-time conspiracy theories come from within Christianity. In 1993, historian Bruce Barron wrote a stern rebuke of apocalyptic Christian conspiracism in the Christian Research Journal, when reviewing Robertson's 1991 book The New World Order. Another critique can be found in historian Gregory S. Camp's 1997 book Selling Fear: Conspiracy Theories and End-Times Paranoia. Religious studies scholar Richard T. Hughes argues that "New World Order" rhetoric libels the Christian faith since the "New World Order", as defined by Christian conspiracy theorists, has no basis in the Bible whatsoever and that, in fact, this idea is not only unbiblical; it is anti-biblical and fundamentally anti-Christian because, by misinterpreting key passages in the Book of Revelation, it turns a comforting message about the coming kingdom of God into one of fear, panic and despair in the face of an allegedly approaching one-world government. Progressive Christians, such as preacher-theologian Peter J. Gomes, caution Christian fundamentalists that a "spirit of fear" can distort scripture and history by dangerously combining biblical literalism, apocalyptic timetables, demonization, and oppressive prejudices; while Camp warns of the "very real danger that Christians could pick up some extra spiritual baggage" by credulously embracing conspiracy theories They therefore call on Christians who indulge in conspiracism to repent.