What is at stake is more than one small country [Kuwait], it is a big idea - a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children's future. --President George Bush in his state of the union address, January 16, 1991
The Illuminati was a secret society in Bavaria in the late 18th century. They had a political agenda that included republicanism and abolition of monarchies, which they tried to institute by means of subterfuge, secrecy, and conspiracy, including the infiltration of other organizations. They fancied themselves to be "enlightened" but they had little success and were destroyed within fifteen years of their origin (Pipes 1997).
Paranoid conspiracy theorists (PCTs) believe the Illuminati cabal still exists, either in its original form or as a paradigm for later cabals. Many PCTs believe "that large Jewish banking families have been orchestrating various political revolutions and machinations throughout Europe and America since the late eighteenth century, with the ultimate aim of bringing about a satanic New World Order."* What George Bush was talking about in his state of the union address in 1991 was no less than the establishment of a single world government with the anti-Christ (whom some say is Bill Clinton (or is he a decoy?), but could be Pat Robertson or George W. Bush) at its head.
In the paranoid mind, the Illuminati succeeded in their goals, and have now infiltrated every government and every aspect of society. They are responsible for every evil and every unjust act that ever occurs anywhere; the fact that absolutely no evidence of their existence can be found only serves to make them stronger and more frightening. They are the demon in the closet, and will probably never disappear from the paranoid fantasy world of right-wing conspiracy theorists.
--New England Skeptical Society
Their are several "sects" of PCTs. Among the more popular are the militant Christian fundamentalist branch and the UFO/alien branch. They each think the others are evil or nuts but their paranoia has the same focus: the end is near.
the Illuminati and the anti-Christ
The Illuminati are hastening the coming of the anti-Christ and the end of the world.
For those of us who still accept the Bible as God's revealed will to man, it's a matter of great concern to see the increasing propaganda for, and emergence of, a New World Order.... both Old and New Testaments warned us that the culmination of history would be marked by the reunion of the nations of the old Roman Empire in Europe; the restoration of the state of Israel (and the increasing hostility of all nations toward her); the implementation of a one-world governmental system; the imposition of a world-wide cashless monetary system; the development of a synchretistic [sic] world religion, based upon man, and presided over by a false prophet; the rise to power of a benign world dictator, who (once firmly in control) would eliminate individual freedoms, demonstrate iron-willed ferocity and cruelty, and make himself the object of worship; and world-wide apostacy [sic], coupled with active persecution and execution of believing Jews and Christians.
Mr. Whitley is prepared for Armageddon, however. He sells Emergency Dehydrated Food Kits.
the major players
Here is a typical set of the PCT's notions, extolled in a review of an author who claims he has exposed the Illuminati:
Who really controls world events from behind-the-scene? Years of extensive research and investigation have gone into this massively documented work [Bloodlines of the Illuminati]. In almost 600 pages, Fritz Springmeier discloses mind-boggling facts and never before revealed truths about the top Illuminati dynasties. Discover the amazing role these bloodlines have played--and are now wielding--in human history, with family names such as Astor, DuPont, Kennedy, Onassis, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Russell, Van Duyn, and Krupp. You'll also learn of the secretive, Chinese Li family, which operates with impunity in the U.S.A. and around the world. Along the way you'll find out why President John F. Kennedy and actress Grace Kelly were killed; who created the United Nations; who controls the two major U.S. political parties; how the Rothschilds invented and control modern-day Israel; who secretly founded false religions such as the Jehovah Witnesses; and much, much more. A literal encyclopedia of rare, unbelievable information!*
The "information" is certainly unbelievable, but it is not rare enough. Another PCT "sect" holds that it is the aliens who rule the Illuminati who rule the world, etc.
David Icke, another pundit of the Illuminati, believes humans have been getting messages from alien "Illuminati-reptilians" for thousands of years. The reptiles explain such things as the Gregorian calendar.
The whole senario [sic] was planned centuries ago because the reptilians, operating from the lower fourth dimension, and indeed whatever force controls them, have a very different version of "time" than we have, hence they can see and plan down the three-dimensional "time"-line in a way that those in three-dimensional form cannot.*
Icke fancies himself "The most controversial author and speaker in the world."* For him, the origin of the Illuminati is extraterrestrial. He knows this because he is sure we have been contacted regularly with messages from beyond by the alien lizards. He explains it all in several books, especially The Biggest Secret: The Book That Will Change the World.*
Another expositor on these hidden agendas and worldwide conspiracies is Jim Keith, who died on September 7, 1999, during surgery to repair a leg he injured at the Burning Man Festival. Keith, a former executive Scientologist and author of nine conspiracy books (including Saucers of the Illuminati) could see things the rest of us don't. Was this because he was better at seeing or because his imagination ran wild? He watches a Coke ad and sees fellatio and anal penetration.* You can imagine what he sees or hears when he gives his attention to world history.
Ken Adachi has a fine conspiracy page. He leaves no event unaccounted for as part of the plot to take over the world and hasten the Apocalypse. The Illuminati, however, is only one aspect of the occult cabal. He has transmogrified the New World Order into a cabal itself. According to Mr. Adachi
An extremely powerful civilian dominated cabal, the New World Order, includes Majesty [sic] Twelve [MJ-12], The Illuminati, Order of the Quest, The Bilderberg Group, The Trilateral Commission, The Executive Committee of The Council on Foreign Relations, The PI-40 Committee, The Jason Group [sic], The Club of Rome, The Group, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The Open Friendly Secret Society [the Vatican], The Rosicrucians, The Brotherhood of the Dragon (or Snake), The Russell Trust, The Black Families (of Europe), Skull & Bones, the Scroll & Key, The Knights of Malta, the Illuminati arm of The Freemasons, and many, many other secretive groups.
What is most amusing about Mr. Adachi's page is that even though the end is near, he still asks us to please support his sponsor, an organization that can help with debt consolidation or a home loan. What is not so amusing is his identification of the Freemasons as a subversive cabal. This idea is popular among PCTs, especially with those on the religious right like Pat Robertson, who are also prone to be anti-Semitic.
Mr. Adachi may have a fine conspiracy WWW page but he seems to have borrowed everything from Mr. Fagan, who undertook to explain all of world history as a plot of the Illuminati to establish the New World Order. Waterloo, Diamond Jim Brady, the French Revolution, any war you care to name, homosexuals in the State Department, JFK, the United Nations, the ACLU, Jewish bankers, the Communist conspiracy to control Hollywood and make films that would hasten the arrival of the New World Order, etc. ad nauseam. Fagan's audiotape, "The Illuminati," is available online.
Fagan, born ca. 1888, was a playwright, director, producer, editor and public relations director for Charles Evans Hughes, Republican candidate for president in 1916. In 1930, Fagan came to Hollywood and worked as a writer and director. In 1945, he says he saw some secret documents which led him to write Red Rainbow and Thieves Paradise. The former portrays Roosevelt, Stalin and others at Malta plotting to deliver the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Berlin to Stalin. The latter portrays the same group plotting to create the United Nations as a Communist front for one world government. Until his death, Fagan relentlessly uncovered plots for almost every historical event of any note. Fagan is the archetype for the PCT.
Milton William "Bill" Cooper
Cooper was a leader of the Arizona militia movement until his death in a shootout with a sheriff's deputy. Cooper opened fire on the deputy when he tried to issue a warrant for assaulting his neighbor. Cooper wrote The Secret Government: a Covenant with Death - The Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12, a paper given in Las Vegas at a MUFON meeting in 1989 focusing essentially on his belief of a cover-up of an alien crash at Roswell. He also wrote Secret Societies/ New World Order. He claimed that he got his information "directly from, or as a result of my own research into the TOP SECRET/MAJIC material WHICH I SAW AND READ between the years 1970 and 1973 as a member of the Intelligence Briefing Team of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet." (PCTs seem to like to use CAPS for EMPHASIS.) Cooper's veracity about his career in the Navy and his access to secret documents has been questioned publicly on alt.alien.visitor, as have other aspects of his personality. Cooper ran williamcooper.com, a site which promoted his many rants, including an autobiographical page that might be of interest to certain mental health professionals.
Cooper's "investigations" uncovered the usual conspiracies, although he also included some of the new ones such as the conspiracy to use AIDS to thin out the population of blacks, Hispanics and homosexuals, a notion he put forth in a book called Behold a Pale Horse. What Cooper lacked in hard evidence he oversupplied in detail and imagination.
Robert Gaylon Ross, Sr.
Ross is owner of Ross International Enterprises (RIE) and is the author of nine books in progress. RIE is "a private company chartered to do anything that is legal, ethical and moral, anywhere in the world." Ross started RIE when he couldn't find a publisher for his manuscript, Who's Who of the Elite, an expose of the elite. Says Ross, after you visit his site
you will have been exposed to the REAL TRUTH about the conspiracy behind the Bilderbergs; Council on Foreign Relations; Trilateral Commission; Skull & Bones Society; Bohemian Grove and Bohemian Club; the CIA's involvement in trauma based mind control, drug smuggling and money laundering; where are the Wealthiest in the World; who really owns the Federal Reserve System; and the more accurate theories found in "Logical Physics" [by Cecil Ross].
Robert Gaylon Ross's unique twist is to relate the "alternative physics" of Cecil Ross to the world of conspiracies.
To enter the world of the PCTs is to enter Bedlam. It would be pointless here to examine, much less attempt to refute, the delusions of people who think they have been turned into assassins by mind-control techniques so that they can carry out the will of inbred dynasties, that aliens are controlling the world, that none of the laws of science are actual, that the imagination and the thought of what is possible are better guides than the "physically manifested world," etc. A rational person might think many of the PCTs are joking. There are Internet sites that seem to be parody sites but it is difficult to tell, since there seems to be no belief, however inane or absurd, that the PCTs can't fit into their bizarre worldview. A rational person who never heard of Pat Robertson might well read his New World Order (Word Books, 1994) and think it must be a joke. Could anyone actually believe his rambling paranoia regarding Jewish bankers, Freemasons, Muslims, homosexuals, foreigners, etc.? Apparently so. Still, one wonders why PCTs exist and their numbers seem to be growing.
Of course, governments and some of the very rich have conspired to rule the world in one form or another. There are enough real conspiracies to satisfy even the greatest Pollyanna that one's government and the extremely rich and powerful don't play by the same rules, if they play by any rules at all, as decent folk. Those of us who have watched the U.S. government support one fascist dictator after another because he was "anti-communist" are uncomfortable to find that there are people who are so far to the right of the right-wing that they too want to expose the cover-ups. It is of no use to point out to the PCTs that our government led coups of democratically elected governments, assassinated leaders of nations and provided military and financial aid to thugs and murderers around the world, in a misguided belief that they were saving the world from communism, as well as opening up new markets for capitalist expansion. Many of the leaders and top agents in our government are and were evil and incompetent, but, as inept as they tend to be, even they would recognize the limits of their ambitions.
But, it is pointless to argue here because the PCTs are expert pseudohistorians: contradictory evidence is used to support rather than refute their notions. Does the U.S. Government go after the world's richest man, Bill Gates? Hah! It's a charade, aimed at getting us off the scent. Wasn't Hitler the one who thought he could rule the world and didn't the Allies stop him? Hitler was a dupe, used to advance the sinister plot to rule the world by the Illuminati.
One can only speculate as to why PCTs exist. It is easy to explain their proliferation: modern mass communications has made it possible for anyone to become his or her own press and propaganda machine. But why PCTs in the first place? The only other experience I've had with such thinking was when I had to get involved with some mentally ill people. I am not joking here. A relative had a "psychotic break" and severe paranoia. We (a group of relatives) were all targets of assassination by some unknown evil people. They could be partially identified by their license plate numbers. If the number started with a "5" then they were evil. No amount of logic or reasoning as to the preposterousness of the notion that anyone would want to kill a person of absolutely no political significance was of any use. No amount of reasoning as to how license plate numbers are assigned was of any use. Phone calls could only be made from "secure" lines, which involved either going to the fire department or talking your way up through a series of supervisors until you got a "good one." Through my ill relative I met others who were also afflicted with delusions and incredibly faulty judgment. They did not lose their ability to reason--in fact, my relative seemed even more intelligent in some ways when manic--but their assumptions were taken from sources inaccessible to the ordinary mind. They put vast faith in their intuitions and thought their ideas were brilliant insights when they were little more than the fancies of diseased brains. When I compare reading the literature of the PCTs to entering Bedlam, I mean to be taken literally.
For example, many PCTs consider the Great Seal of the United States and the motto Novus Ordo Seclorum (new order of the ages) to be Masonic and to mean New World Order. These "facts" are considered evidence in the argument to prove the vast conspiracy of the Illuminati. It is useless to argue against these "facts" with PCTs. They consider us dupes who would note that the Latin is usually translated as New Order of the Ages and that the symbol of the eye in the pyramid relates to a poem in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.* Even granting that the Great Seal of the United States and the symbols on our dollar bill are Masonic (which they are not) and that novus ordo seculorum means New World Order (which it does not), nothing significant follows, certainly not that there is a vast conspiracy to take over the world.
Providence and eschatology
I think it is likely that many PCTs in the West are initiated into their peculiar way of thinking by their religious training, in particular by their study of the Bible. They have been taught or they assume that everything happens for a purpose and that God ultimately has a reason for every event occurring just as it does. As it becomes more and more difficult to see this world as designed for anything, the theories get more and more preposterous to keep the teleological delusion alive. The war on evolution and homosexuality--encouraging the abandonment of science and stimulating murderous assaults--so obviously disproportionate by any rational standard, is difficult to explain without seeing the militant fundamentalists as beyond the last stages of desperation. The intense campaigns to expose possible alien abductions, UFOs, and mind-control is likewise preposterously disproportionate to any rational standard. It is becoming nearly impossible to account for the events on this planet with the assumption of a Divine Creator who has a plan and a rationale for everything. The systems of thought that must be created in order to maintain Divine Providence get more insane by the minute. (Explain Hitler, Slobodan Milosovich, or Ishii Shiro. Or, for that matter, explain Waco, Gulf War Syndrome, or any of a number of actual conspiracies engaged in by businessmen such as Bill Gates or political leaders such as Oliver North and his "neat" idea of a government within the government answerable to nobody, or Richard Nixon and the Watergate conspirators, or our formerly secret biological warfare programs.) There is, in fact, a New World Order emerging: the world of Alternative History, Alternative Physics, Alternative Medicine and, ultimately, Alternative Reality.
It is a very natural trait to try to make sense out of the world. The PCTs are trying desperately to make sense out of a world they can no longer relate to. The world is too complicated, too mean, too cold, too unsatisfying for them. In the real world, they are considered nothing and despair of ever being anything but on the outside looking in. They see science as telling them they are an accident and their lives are without meaning. In their alternative world, they rule and are hopeful. Everything is in its place or will be put in its place. There is order and meaning. Life is significant.
the end is near
The actual mechanism by which PCTs arrive at their weird notions is not that difficult to ascertain. The mentally ill people I came to know couched their paranoid fears in terms of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. They had no communal reinforcement of their delusions, however. No talk show host or publisher invited them to share their delusions with the world. They are under treatment, have been hospitalized, arrested, etc. They know that those around them will not accept their delusions. This is not true of religious or UFO groups. They reinforce each other and strengthen each other's resolve. They encourage each other to accept possibility as equal to probability, material experience as inferior to dreams, hallucinations, and out-of-body experiences, etc. They have no watchdog equivalent to I. F. Stone, and the mass media is too busy chasing tabloid rumors and celebrities to serve as a watchdog of anything. And since the PCTs function almost completely outside of the normal arenas where they would be challenged and forced to produce evidence in place of speculation, they flourish relatively unscathed and await their next appearance on the Art Bell or George Noory or Pat Robertson show, seemingly oblivious to the absurdity of such behavior during the final days of planet earth.
a concluding remark
The Cheney/Bush administration has acted remarkably like an administration whose goal is world dominance. It poses as pious while invading countries to make war on them. It allows torture* and spying* on its own citizens in the name of patriotism and defense of liberty. It practices many human rights abuses that it condemns in its enemies. The appointment of Paul Wolfowitz as head of the World Bank seems too good to be true if one is looking for support of this
Stop throwing the Constitution in my face! It's just a goddamned piece of paper! --George W. Bush???, November 2005*
hypothesis. It seems impossible that such bright guys went to war because of bad intelligence. To some it must seem as if the Cheney/Bush regime is trying to encourage terrorism rather than stop it. The more fear they can arouse the longer they can continue their aggression in the name of defense. Even so, there is little evidence that they are part of a global conspiracy. Yet, it's not surprising to see conspiracy websites like that of Alex Jones, who thinks the U.S. has become a police state. (If we were truly a police state Mr. Jones wouldn't have his website or his films.) It also will not be surprising to see a great increase in the number of people who believe in the Cheney/Bush illuminati cabal.
- 9/11 conspiracies: the war on truth by Robert T. Carroll
- The Illuminati by Edward L. King
- "Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference" by Evan Harrington
- Freemason -- from the 700 Club to Art Bell, an Object of Conspiracy Thinking by Conrad Goeringer
- 70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
- The Bilderberg Group
- Journal of The Inquiring Skeptics of Upper New York -parody by Michael Shermer (to find Shermer's piece, do a search for 'illuminati')
- Symbols and Mottoes on the Great Seal
- How the Pyramid got on the Great Seal
- Pat Robertson Quotations
- Are the MJ-12 documents for real? About.com
- Does May Day actually commemorate the birth of the Illuminati? 04-Feb-1982 - The Straight Dope