When it comes to outstanding and indemonstrable claims, there are few things as persistent as the belief in the Illuminati and their involvement in everything under the sun. And possibly in space and the universe at large if you believe some theories.
It seems like the whole Illuminati craze has even gone past the point at which it requires (like any respectable outlandish phenomenon) remarkable circumstances so that its adherents can sagely point their fingers and amiably shout: “A-ha! Illuminati. They’re behind THAT”.
Nowadays anything from a musical performance to possibly even your cats ominous and suspicious whiskers twitch are liable to produce the “Illuminati!” cry as the “obviously” lone plausible explanation.
So what is the Illuminati, you might ask? Well it’s (allegedly) a secret organization that over the centuries has grown so powerful that it now basically rules the world from the shadows.
And what is the Illuminati conspiracy theory all about? Proponents claim many things, but the main one is that this group are guiding the world from the background, with the impressive resources at their disposal (both financial and human) with the aim of imposing the New World Order, which allegedly is characterized as an age without religions or national governments, the place of the latter being taken by a world government consisting of the Illuminati, of course.
Finally, what is the meaning of Illuminati? It’s Latin for “The Enlightened”.
That’s about it when it comes to what the various Illuminati conspiracy theorists agree upon when it comes to their claims (well, most of them anyway).
Apart from this, there’s a host of other claims, as I was jokingly pointing out at the beginning of the article, including for example, that the Illuminati are working with the Aliens. For real. No joking this time (on my part at least). Or that they are aliens and many many more claims.
But you have to wonder, how did it get to the point at which a (supposedly) secret organization is so damned popular?! That’s a neat trick to perform for sure. I mean, celebrities probably work assiduously to become famous. While the Illuminati have not only managed to become a name that everybody recognizes without breaking a sweat, indeed they’re so proficient that they’ve done this while maintaining their secrecy?!
If they even exist, of course. We are still keeping that possibility firmly in mind, right?
Well, whether they physically exist or not, the Illuminati most certainly exist as a psychological, social and cultural phenomenon.
So let’s look at the 5 Illuminati conspiracy theories facilitators who wittingly or unwittingly aided this (fictional?) organization to grow in popularity.
Also, you do know that your cat’s whiskers are twitching in a really suspicious manner, right? What’s that all about? (Oh, and don’t tell me you don’t even have a cat. That’s what you think! She’s been lurking out of sight, right behind you for the past 4 years. Ask your friends. They didn’t have the heart to tell you.)
1. Augustin Barruel
Is one of the two “founders” of all the Illuminati conspiracy theories, because without his work “Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism” it’s quite probable that the modern Illuminati would not be around in the public’s attention.
He was a French Jesuit priest (and publicist) and published this book in 1797. In it, he claims that the historical Illuminati organization in Bavaria (yes, there was one) had survived its apparent decline and ultimate demise by the 1784, 1785, 1787 and 1790 edicts of the Bavarian ruler which outlawed all secret societies, including the Illuminati.
He goes on to claim that they had been working illegally and privately ever since and and were responsible for infiltrating the Freemasons (another historically confirmed secret organization) and setting in motion the events which led to the French revolution.
As the founder of the Bavarian Illuminati (the historically attested group, not the modern controversial one) Adam Weishaupt created the organization to battle abuses of power by state actors and most importantly to rid the world of superstition and religious influence over public life, in short to promote reason and science, Barruel’s theory isn’t extremely far-fetched, as it fits with what is known about the Bavarian Illuminati’s short activity (1776 – 1787).
Still, no hard evidence exists to support his claims.
2. John Robison
Across the channel, another man shared Barruel’s opinions. This time we’re talking about a mathematician, physicist and philosophy teacher: John Robinson. Who in the exact same year as Barruel published a book called “Proofs Of A Conspiracy Against All The Religions And Governments Of Europe”
He claimed almost the exact same things as Barruel (Freemasons being infiltrated by Illuminati and the French revolution being orchestrated by them), so I’ll not detail his work more.
Suffice to say that both works were analysed by historians who were contemporary with Robison and Baruel and have been analysed ever since by many in later generations without a shred of irrefutable evidence being produced to support their claims.
3. Nesta Helen Webster
Probably because the historians of the time dismissed the works of Robison and Barruel, the whole Illuminati are alive and well and working to impose their New World Order theory lay dormant until 1920 (more than a hundred years), when English Nesta Helen Webster, as one of the authors of “The Jewish Peril” series of articles which appeared in the London Morning Post published the same ideas as before.
But with a twist. This time on top of the previously presented claims, the Illuminati are in fact a Jewish cabal.
Many other works by Webster followed revolving around the Illuminati theory with its new-found antisemitic tone but as you’ve gotten used to the pattern by now, no irrefutable evidence. Which of course only serves to illustrate how able the Illuminati are if they managed to confound everyone and not leave a trace behind, despite the interest shown towards them by an increasing number of people at the behest of now already three authors.
What’s more, even Winston Churchill gave credence to the works of Helen Webster when he said in an Illustrated Sunday Herald article that “Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown” the Illuminati’s involvement in the French Revolution.
The able demonstration in question was also based on evidence in the form of “leaked” minutes of a gathering of Jewish Elders, called the “Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion”, supposedly from the end of the 18th century. They were demonstrated to be a Russian forgery at the time by many, including Webster’s countrymen. And have been re-confirmed as a forgery many times since.
4. William Guy Carr
Among modern Illuminati conspiracy theories you will see quite a lot of debate regarding what is the Illuminati symbol. Not because one such symbol can’t be found, but because several are proposed by conspiracy theorists.
Historically, the Bavarian Illuminati chose the Owl of Minerva as their symbol. This is confirmed.
But regarding the modern Illuminati, no such confirmation exists because no documents or other paraphernalia containing symbols have been presented as belonging without a doubt to the Illuminati.
The first attempt to do so though belongs to William Guy Carr a Canadian naval officer and author, though he was born in England.
Apart from his books on submarines and combat in such vehicles, he was also a prolific writer of Illuminati conspiracy theories during his life (1895 – 1959). And it’s one of those that claims that the All Seeing Eye on the back of the dollar bill is in fact the modern Illuminati’s symbol.
This claim gained massive popularity in time and is still widely used in Illuminati conspiracy theories.
5. John Todd
Is the first (in)famous one to claim that he was part of the Illuminati or at least knew them personally and had interacted with them.
Many others followed his example afterward, including the most recent mysterious “Hidden Hand”, a user that claimed on the Abovetopsecret forum to be of one of the Ruling Families of the Illuminati and that he was authorized and in fact bound by duty to answer the questions of subjects as long as they are respectful, intelligent and pertinent.
He proceeded to do that via 154 posts in a surprisingly eloquent and seemingly educated manner of replying.
What is strange about Todd’s Illuminati story though is that it is so riddled with inconsistencies and outrageous claims that it would seem common sense that nobody would take him seriously. But that’s not what happened. As an occultist, he even managed to start his own Wicca coven before he was arrested by the police when it was found out that he made girls perform sexual favors as part of the initiation rites.
The fact that they were underage didn’t help either.
Todd died in 2007 in the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, but his influence on modern Illuminati conspiracy theories continues, sadly, to this day.