In The Book of the Damned, Charles Fort opined, "I think we're property. I should say we belong to something." Reasonable people disagree about who owns us: an alien race of reptilians or the even more alien breed known as the Illuminati.
Either way, science has recently confirmed that there is in fact a small group of, well, let's call them overlords, who own pretty much everything in the world.
In a paper described by LiveScience as ".. the first clear picture of the global concentration of financial power," Stefano Battiston and James Glattfelder, physicists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, use the data crunching tools of physics to analyze financial markets of 48 countries and extract the "backbone" of each country's financial market. These backbones represented the owners of 80 percent of a country's market capital, yet consisted of remarkably few shareholders.
"You start off with these huge national networks that are really big, quite dense," Glattfelder said. “From that you're able to ... unveil the important structure in this original big network. You then realize most of the network isn't at all important."
By the physicists' calculations, The Capital Group Companies are the single most influential controlling shareholder in the world, figuring prominently in the control of capital in 32 of 48 countries considered. Ironically, the company was founded in 1931 by Jonathan Bell Lovelace who came away from the stock market crash almost unscathed because "by 1929 he could see no logical relationship between stock market prices and their underlying values" and got his money out. His timely insight was apparently lost on the majority of present-day traders who brought us the latest financial meltdown. Unless, of course, they were really acting on the orders of Mr. Lovelace's evil spawn, the reigning New World Order.
So, it seems Charles Fort theory that we are "owned" like "pigs, geese, and cattle" wasn't so crackpot after all. And in his Fortean wisdom, he also guessed the "whyness" behind our indentured fate: "All this has been known, perhaps for ages, to certain ones upon this earth, a cult or order, members of which function like bellwethers to the rest of us, or as superior slaves or overseers, directing us in accordance with instructions received -- from Somewhere else -- in our mysterious usefulness."