“Not very illuminating” (Illuminati)

DORITO

There are a couple of lovable ironies centering on the Illuminati conspiracy theory, one of the most enduring and multi-layered tales in the history of paranoid thought. One irony is that despite being the focus of some of the more extreme conspiracy theorists, this secret society actually existed, in 18th Century Bavaria. Whereas no one has ever identified the shooter in the Grassy Knoll, landed the Loch Ness Monster, or caught X-Men loading chemtrails onto a 767, the Illuminati were real. They were a collection of forward-thinking men (and women, as part of the forward-thinking distinction). They sought to bloodlessly abolish monarchies, favored science over superstition, wanted to root out government corruption, encouraged freedom of expression, and sought to separate church and state.

Their plans were extinguished by the Bavarian monarchy and the Roman Catholic church, which is the second irony: That the Illuminati were crushed by a conspiracy. The society was forcibly disbanded in 1787. But there are those who insist it survived, prospered, and continues to increase their power exponentially. However, the admirable goals of the original group have been coopted by dark forces who impose their will through wars, famines, assassinations, and alliances. They are said to have infiltrated every aspect of government, business, and entertainment. The lack of evidence for this is touted as proof of their stealth and skill.

The reach of the Illuminati is limited only by the imagination of the accusers. This suppleness has allowed different Illuminati hunters to blame pop culture, capitalism, communism, Satanism, Catholicism, and Zionism. For one speaker, the Illuminati are responsible for the infiltration of the State Department by homosexuals in the 1950s. For another believer, they are responsible for afflicting those homosexuals with AIDS in the 1980s. The Illuminati are credited both with putting JFK in the White House and for placing Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas Schoolbook Depository. They are responsible for Waterloo and Watergate, as well as the UN, ACLU, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hollywood, the CIA, and heroin. Members of immensely powerful families, such as the Kennedys, DuPonts, and Rothschilds, are said to be members. But usually no leaders are identified, other than unspecified Jewish bankers and/or reptilians.

Documenting Illuminati exposers would require volumes, and this is but a humble blog. So I will look at just one character, although they’re all pretty much the same. My focus is Michael Snyder at endoftheamericandream.com. His main targets are entertainers, mostly Jay Z and Beyoncé. Jay Z is regularly photographed putting his hands together in a method similar to a wide receiver catching a pass. For Snyder, this is an Illuminati symbol. In actuality, it is supposed to be a diamond, a reference to Jay Z’s record label, Roc-A-Fella. Some believers retort that Diamond Jim Brady was one of them there Illuminati. And, of course the Rockefellers are Illuminati, so there’s another giveaway.

Let’s follow Snyder’s line of reasoning and see where we end up. Under a photo of Jay Z in the diamond pose, Snyder wastes no time getting to the logical fallacies, specifically Begging the Question: “Why are Jay Z, Beyonce, and Rihanna so obsessed with the Illuminati?” Our intrepid reporter then lays it out for us. “Jay Z and Beyoncé are seducing our kids into the occult and they are making the New World Order appear to be hip, trendy and cool.” Mm-huh, the Great Seal of the US is what kids are into these days. And there’s no way to gain more street cred than being seen with the Eye of Horus.

Snyder then inadvertently reveals where a paranoid mindset will lead one: “When you know what to look for, you start seeing these things just about everywhere around Jay Z and Beyoncé.” Which leads to this: “Jay Z had Rihanna hold aloft a flaming torch in his music videos in order to reference the Illuminati.”

He follows by listing supposed Illuminati members, who range from as liberal as George Clooney to as conservative as Dick Cheney. “We think they are enemies, but they are really working for the same side.” And this is all because, “Those that the Illuminati hate, Christians, are being increasingly demonized in this country.” For evidence, Snyder cites that some military posts briefly blocked the Southern Baptist Convention’s website. Today, temporarily denied access on a taxpayer-funded computer to a denominational subset’s home page; tomorrow, all Christians captured and fed to the lions.

Snyder is only one flavor of Illuminati hunters, targeting mainly black music and its assault on his religion. Others prefer the alien angle. While the perpetrators are changed, the message is the same: The Illuminati is consolidating even more power, and either the antichrist or a UFO invasion is coming. It’s the same message as from 10, 20, 50, and 100 years ago. These types of conspiracy theories thrive on the idea that a dystopian disaster is imminent, but it can never arrive. If we ever end up in FEMA camps, I suspect the theorists won’t say, “I told you so,” but will be warning us this is a precursor to the arrival of our Stalin ape-men overseers.

David Icke is one of those pushing the alien/reptilian angle. Here’s why these Sleestak are so powerful: “The reptilians, operating from the lower fourth dimension have a very different version of time than we have, hence they can see and plan down the three-dimensional timeline in a way that those in three-dimensional form cannot.” Even this isn’t enough plotting for Icke, who says unspecified entities control the reptilians, who control the Illuminati, who control the government, who control us. The Illuminati have unlimited power, saving the ability to silence Icke for exposing them.

Some entertainers, such as Katy Perry and Rihanna, joke about supporting or being threatened by the secret society, and mockingly include Illuminati symbols on their work. This either goes over the heads of the believers, who take it as an endorsement, or it’s presented as the entertainers’ nervous reaction to being exposed. Tupac Shakur asked why an allegedly secret organization was universally known, and there are competing scripts as to what happened next. The Illuminati either sent hitmen after him, or they promoted him and whisked him away to their underground headquarters, where he rooms with Yitzhak Rabin.

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