There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.
If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2020.
| Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.|
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with !
| Some dare call it|
|What THEY don't want|
you to know!
The Illuminati, originally called The Order of Perfectibilists, was a freethinker society founded in 1776 in Bavaria by a man named Adam Weishaupt. Among the group's goals were the opposition of prejudice, superstition, and abuse of political power. In the universe that rational people agree to recognize as reality, the Illuminati ceased to exist in 1787, after Charles Theodore, Prince-Elector of Bavaria, had the group banned for conduct inciting people to rebel against state authority and ordered the publication of some of the organization's secret writings. (The actual doctrines of the Illuminati, in English translation, have been published under the title The Secret School of Wisdom, Lewis Masonic 2015.)
In the parallel universe where the likes of Henry Makow, Kerry Cassidy and David Icke hang their hats (and the snakes living therein), they not only have continued to exist, but have developed such enormous capacity for secrecy, power, and control that the complete absence of evidence for their existence, power, and control... proves their existence, power, and control.
The spread of the Illuminati legend and continued belief in them today can be traced back to the book Proofs of a Conspiracy by John Robison, a 1798 anti-Freemasonry book (the Freemasons and Illuminati are often regarded as one and the same by conspiracy theorists despite the fact that Weishaupt founded the Illuminati after being dissatisfied with Freemasonry). Proofs of a Conspiracy has become a source of inspiration to many conspiracy theorists since its initial publication and has been reprinted by, among others, the John Birch Society. Many contemporary variations of the Illuminati conspiracy portray them as a controlling influence in the New World Order. Another influential series was Mémoires pour Servir a l'Histoire du Jacobinisme by Abbé Augustin de Barruel (1799).
Keeping the fire alive
The alleged continued existence of the "Illuminati" looms large in many conspiracy theories, tall tales by evangelical Satanic Panic-fakers like Mike Warnke and John Todd, crank anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic writings, pseudolaw theories, etc. Depending on which version of the "Illuminati" story one believes, they are either a Satanic, Masonic, Zionist, atheist, reptilian, or secular financial conspiracy. Despite the many different versions of the conspiracy theory, proponents of each version claim to have evidence that theirs is correct. The Illuminati secretly control world events and their symbol, the all-seeing eye, is on the back of the U.S. $1 bill. This belief, in whatever version, is patently ridiculous but it persists. When the Founding Fathers designed the Great Seal, the all-seeing eye was proposed by members of design committees who were not Freemasons (since conspiracy theorists regard Freemasons and the Illuminati to be practically the same). It was also not named the "all-seeing eye," as the cranks believe, but rather the "eye of providence", a symbol for God[note 2].
Several 20th century conspiracy theory books such as those by William Guy Carr, Nesta Webster, and Des Griffin combined John Robison's allegations about the Illuminati and Freemasonry with those of the hoax book, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, to come up with an explicitly anti-Semitic version of the Illuminati theory. Jack Chick and Alberto Rivera on the other hand promoted an anti-Roman Catholic variant of the theory, alleging that the Illuminati project was a creation of the Vatican.
Robertson, it seems, has company among other theocratic media
weirdo personalities. Rick Wiles is under the impression that the Illuminati are not only linked to the 9/11 attacks but that the new One World Trade Center is actually a tribute to what he terms the "Free Mason/Illuminati New World Order".
The liars get on board
Mike Warnke and John Todd, mentioned above, are two fake "ex-Satanist" Protestant evangelists. They have both described the Illuminati as the highest level of Satanism. Warnke claimed he learned of the Illuminati when attending a high-level conference of Satanists and Witches, shortly before he dropped out of Satanism to join the Navy and convert to Christianity. Todd claimed to have been a member of the Illuminati himself, which he said was a high council of druids secretly working to destroy Christianity and make witchcraft the official religion of the United States. Belief in the Illuminati as a Satanic conspiracy continues to be held by many evangelical Christians, despite both Warnke and Todd being exposed as frauds.
To the true believer, exposing them as frauds only goes to show how far the Illuminati are willing to go to malign opponents.
To this day there are many YouTube videos of people claiming to be "ex-Illuminati" members, whistleblowers, etc. The only problem is why there are so many. Why don't the Illuminati take these videos down? Oh, something as simple as an auto correct of "NWO" to "NOW" in the comments section will make people say the Illuminati don't want people to know about the NWO, but they refuse to take down people who are blatantly saying they exist! Another problem is that all the stories have contradictions with each other. You would think these guys would be telling the same story, but no two stories are the same!
Illuminati in popular culture
The theory is also the basis of a kick-ass card game put out by Steve Jackson Games — not to mention video games that flat out depict the Illuminati as either an actual faction or even a playable one, such as Funcom's "The Secret World".
Today, some people think their secrets can be found on the deep web.
Easter eggs in the media
According to the theories, the Illuminati also have a "tendency" to put hidden symbols and clues to their existence around the world, and on money, for no apparent reason[note 3]. Nearly every popular culture icon, including television shows, politicians, musicians and any celebrity, are said to be somehow connected to the Illuminati in some way, from something as normal as a triangle to a hand sign[note 4]. Maybe it's because they want you to know their evil plans, or maybe it's because they're bored at their broadcasting job.
Probably the best example of this would be Tupac Shakur, whose last album issued before his death, entitled The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory, led to many theories.[note 5] The word "killuminati" (a portmanteau of the words "kill" and "Illuminati") is interpreted as Pac saying that he is speaking out against them and killing Illuminati, the truth being that he heard about them in prison and used logic — something the majority of these conspiracy nuts lack — to point out that: "If this organisation is so secret, how the fuck does everyone know about it?"[note 6] There is also the claim that Tupac faked his death and will be coming back (since 2003[note 7]). This is mainly because, a while before he died, Tupac was planning on permanently changing his rap name to Makaveli after the 15-16th century writer Niccolò Machiavelli.
An equally good example would be rapper Jay-Z, who is supposedly very high in the Illuminati's hierarchy of celebrities. The hand gesture that he flashes has been cited as "proof" (in a very, very loose sense of the word) even though it's meant to represent the diamond of Roc-a-fella Records and is thrown up as frequently as the "East" or "West" hand signs. Some have compared it to that Temple of Astarte logo. He is also accused of selling his soul, amongst other things. As with Tupac, theorists just turn to bullshit to prove their points, interpreting that the name of his newborn daughter, Blue Ivy, backwards (Yvi Eulb) is Latin for "Lucifer's daughter," even though there is nothing to imply this. Even the Church of Satan debunks this!  Jay Z has denied all these claims; his response to the conspiracy theorists can be heard in Rick Ross's song "Free Mason".
It can be very difficult to find anyone who isn't actually connected with the Illuminati. All of the claimed affiliations involve an occult symbol in a music video or photo (usually the "all-seeing eye", the Star of David, or a Pentagram). This is most likely to get people talking and get publicity. For example, if Rihanna has a newspaper cutout that says "Princess of the Illuminati" in a music video, millions of people will go and watch the video. In fact, there are even whole websites like this that are dedicated to finding pop stars who are part of the Illuminati. Basically, everyone.
Michael Jackson is a very interesting case. One faction of the conspiracy community considers him a member of the Illuminati, employed to brainwash the public. Another faction, however, says that Jackson was not a member, but actually was fighting to expose their control of the music industry and media. Jackson was supposedly killed for this very reason. Either way, the theorists have all the bases covered.
Spelling Illuminati in reverse and entering it as an URL leads to the NSA website. This is merely someone purchasing that domain and redirecting it to a government website as "inconclusive proof" even though anyone can do so.[note 8].
And, finally, there is the trend of blaming the Illuminati for the death of apparently anybody with any degree of fame. This is usually explained as the assassination of those who were just about to expose the conspiracy, or as one of the Illuminati's ritualistic, demonic "sacrifices".
One has to wonder... If the Illuminati controlled all the media, why won't they censor websites like PrisonPlanet and Vigilant Citizen? There are whole websites dedicated to "exposing" the Illuminati, but those are generally left alone!
There are many YouTube videos claiming that a popular singer has "sold their soul" to the Devil. However, there are four major problems with this:
- The cited celebrity could be joking.
- The video could have been taken out of context to omit what that celebrity really meant.
- Most titles of these videos are misleading.
And the most obvious and common:
- The celebrity could have been speaking metaphorically.
If the UN even ACKNOWLEDGES a music video, then, that video is Illuminati.
Celebrities are getting a lot of attention from this, so they're getting less and less subtle with the imagery. Rihanna went as far as to have a music video with the words "Illuminati Princess", and of course Mark Dice caught on to this before anyone else. Lady Gaga is taking advantage of it to the point where she is starting to claim she's having dreams about the Illuminati — though what she is exactly dreaming about varies. Celebs are even going so far as to use terms such as "I swear to Lucifer" instead of "I swear to God", and Katy Perry jokes about selling her soul to the Devil.
When Amy Winehouse was killed, CTs made a big deal of how she made a joke of refusing to "be molded into a triangle" in her last interview. Of course, coincidences happen all the time, so this isn't exactly proof on its own.
Often, theories will be made of symbolism over speculation. For example, when Kim Kardashian was undecided on what to name her baby, everyone decided to throw in their shoehorning. Only, they were blatantly wrong and didn't even get the name right.
The Deus Ex series of games features the Illuminati, though they are constantly fighting other shadowy organizations at the same time, like the UN New World Order, or the Knights Templar, or a Corporate Takeover of Earth or something, or FEMA death camps (or were those run by the Illuminati?).
Unsurprisingly, whenever anyone tries to show evidence against the Illuminati, or refute bogus evidence for the Illuminati, said person is called a shill to spread disinformation, or it's said that the evidence against them was created by the Illuminati to keep people from believing they exist. This makes the theory unfalsifiable.
YouTube is the only website where you can blow the whistle and expose The Powers That Be without worrying about being assassinated. Due to this, it is advised that you only use YouTube[note 9] as a source, as you don't have to worry about misinfo.
Seriously, though; YouTube is a horrible place to get evidence for… well, anything. It's probably THE largest repository of crank videos, despite the fact that Google is often accused of being in the cahoots with the Illuminati. It's a great place to find conspiracy documentaries and even lower-quality homemade ones. Some are as little as two-minute long montages of Mainstream Media, most stretch across about three hours of content, and a select few can be tens of hours long!
The bad thing about YouTube is that it actually gives nutjobs a way to get to otherwise sane, yet weak-minded skeptics. The type of "evidence" can range from a celebrity almost as crazy as them claiming the Illuminati exist, those celebrity's siblings claiming the same,[note 10] and pretty much everything else. Expect every interview by the POTUS/Google/UN to be quote-mined, and expect a shit-ton of Illuminati whistle blowers too (And every other Conspiracy Theory too, actually). Actor Randy Quaid, one of the makers of these videos, attempted but failed to claim asylum in Canada on the basis that the Illuminati-based "Hollywood Star Whackers" were after him.
Yes, these people can be fun to watch sometimes, but dear god for the sake of your sanity, please tread lightly, don't stay for too long, and make sure you aren't logged in if you absolutely must watch these videos. And you'll probably be better off if you steer clear from the comments, but that generally applies to any YouTube video that has comments anyway.
In a nutshell
- New World Order
- Trilateral Commission
- Joseph "Doc" Marquis
- Mark Dice: claims to have written the "ultimate book" exposing the Illuminati, The Illuminati Facts And Fiction. And you MUST buy this, or else you're a brain dead zombie.
- Illumination: the Secret Religion, a bunch of
nutjobs"people dissatisfied with the Old World Order" who apparently are trying to start a new religious and/or ideological movement claiming the title of the Illuminati.
- Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the Illuminati
- Weird Al Yankovic reveals the truth.
- ZOMG leaked video definite prewf
- ...maybe that's what they want you to think!
- And this isn't even the symbol of the Illuminati, the actual symbol of the Illuminati was an owl with an olive branch in it's beak. Well now conspiracy theorists still have something to freak out over, but alas, every time a simple triangle appears in the next Kesha video, that's apparently "evidence" Christians are in control of the media!
- Well, for no reasons that actually make sense, anyway. Cranks claim that the symbols are put there to somehow brainwash people into accepting the coming Illuminati reign.
- Bonus points if they add a PSeudohistory of it or (Insert occultist) does it.
- The album's title have led to claims that Tupac chose the title as a way of saying that he would die in seven days even though the time between him getting shot and dying was six days (the night of September 7th - afternoon of September 13th). Tupac actually chose the title to reference that the album was recorded and mixed in a relatively short period of seven days.
- Those aren't his words, but it's what he meant; Tupac never believed in the Illuminati. 
- Every once in a while people push back the guess a few years.
- A simple "WHOIS" search reveals the owner of "itanimulli.com" to be John Fenley of Provo, Utah. , although, truthers usually claim that the Illuminati only wanted to make it seem like a hoax. Yep, unfalsifiable.
- Or any popular conspiracy pundit that isn't a shill… In other words none of them
- La Toya Jackson claimed Michael Jackson wasn't overdosed, but Conrad Murray was framed
- All hail!
- Eye in the Pyramid, Masonic Service Association
- The Eye of Providence
- Robertson: Gay Marriage Advocates, Following In Steps of Illuminati, Out to Destroy God and Family, Right Wing Watch
- Wiles Links 9/11 to the Illuminati, Dispatches from the Culture Wars
- http://illuminatiwatchdog.blogspot.com/ Illuminati Watchdog: The Lego Movie: Building for the Illuminati One Brick at a Time
- Illuminati Watchdog: Drive Your Way to Hell in a Ford
- As parodied here.
- SATAN`S NBA ILLUMINATI
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN3mGkyCw24 OMFG TUPAC IS ALIVE!
- "Illuminati Musical Satanism: The Documentary"
- Jay-Z Slams Spirituality Accusations on Rick Ross' "Free Mason"
- Welcome to the National Security Agency!
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0CvIvC64EA A recent example
- As shown in the post by MelloStein
- an example of a metaphor
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRIOyU-9z34 OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE!!
- "Joe Rogan is a SHILL because he doesn't believe in the same crackpot conspiracy theories as I do"
- Martin Lawrence for an example (That is an unfortunately high number too)
- Hollywood star Randy Quaid arrested trying to enter US (October 10, 2015) Yahoo News/AFP.
- Santa Barbara County seeks to extradite actor Randy Quaid, wife on warrants by Veronic Rocha (October 12, 2015) Los Angeles Times.