I don’t know if the justices were in on it. Scalia was eye to eye with Orly and sincerely said he doesn’t know anything about the cases. That included Corts, Bergs, Donofrios and Orlys.
Thomas was at a funeral during the scheduling of one of the conferences. Yet the clerks are forging their names as reviewing the cases.
If the Justices were in on it, they wouldn’t need to have their names forged. They could sign off as denying personally and then decline comment.
If what you say is true, then there really is a Praetorian guard who have the real power at SCOTUS to decide what cases are seen.