Historic Cases of Hidden Power


To find examples of people who were considered the "power behind the throne" in powerful countries since the 1900s.

Early Findings

  • The expression "Power behind the throne" is defined as "the person who secretly controls a country, organization, etc., by controlling the actions and decisions of the official leader".

Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud

  • He is the son of the actual king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and direct heir to the throne. However, he is already considered as the true ruler of his country despite being only crown-prince.
  • In 2009, he was appointed by his father to be his special adviser, then became minister of defense when his father became king in 2015.
  • The same year he became deputy crown prince and finally became crown prince in June 2017.
  • A number of decisions were attributed directly to him during that time to consolidate his power, including a crackdown on some of his perceived opponents in September 2017, in which a number of intellectuals and religious figures were arrested and detained.
  • In November 2017, he strengthened his control by detaining 381 important business figures and collected over $100 billion in settlements from them.

Martin Bormann

  • He was Hitler's deputy and personal secretary, but most importantly he is known to have been his closest confidant and influencer. Some of Hitler's acts may have been directly influenced by him.
  • He was considered to be the "power behind the throne" during Hitler's reign in Nazi Germany by historian Louis Snyder, and a great manipulator who would use his proximity to Hitler to outmaneuver his rivals.
  • He worked mainly behind the scenes and did not seek publicity or public recognition, which made him one of the most powerful hidden figures of the Nazi regime.
  • He made himself indispensable to Hitler by using his talent for intrigue and ruthless efficiency.
  • According to some of Hitler's quotes, Bormann used to prepare detailed proposals to Hitler, that only required a yes or no decision to be implemented.
  • Eventually, he managed to cast a protective nest around Hitler, not allowing anyone to see him without passing first by him.
  • The Nuremberg Tribunal found that Bormann played a major role in the persecution of jews, including in the elaboration of the slave labor program.

Deng Xiaoping

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