Friday, May 27, 2016

Æther Salon - Secret Societies! (Edited Transcript)

Presented by Jimmy Branagh

Jimmy calls from behind the curtain and asks "WHAT IS THE PASSWORD?"

Thank you for coming today. The sheer volume of information on so-called "secret societies" fairly renders them not so secret, and it would be impossible to cover it all in the short time we have today.

Hopefully, I will pique your interest in doing some research of your own, because after all, the person sitting next to you may well be a member of such a society, and is ... observing you.

A secret society is a club or an organization whose activities, events, and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence.

The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, that hide their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence.

The exact qualifications for labeling a group a secret society are disputed, but definitions generally rely on the degree to which the organization insists on secrecy, and might involve the retention and transmission of secret knowledge, the denial of membership or knowledge of the group, the creation of personal bonds between members of the organization, and the use of secret rites or rituals which solidify members of the group.

Genuine secret societies have existed for centuries, conducting their business in darkened back rooms and more often than not, exerting a mysterious influence upon our culture. Through history there have been many secret societies and countless conspiracy theories about those societies.

I had planned to bounce around the subject and discuss many of these societies, but due to time constraints I will proceed with the most well-known as there is a lot of information. I will cover as much as possible. It will all be included in the transcript.

This is the sign of Ordo Templi Orientis.

Ordo Templi Orientis is a mystic organization that was started in the early twentieth century. The group was established along the same lines as the less secretive Freemasons, and supposedly relied on ritual and occult practices as a means for members to move from one level of prestige to another within the organization.

The general philosophy of the group was a belief in new age esoteric principles and practices as a method of realizing one's true identity.

Famed occultist and all-around eccentric Aleister Crowley composed much of the group's lore, including a manifesto called the Mysteria Mystica Maxima, and he later became the head of the order.

After his death, the influence and popularity of Ordo Templi Orientis began to wane, but it still exists today and has various chapters scattered across the world, chiefly in the United States, the U.K., and other parts of Europe.

As Aleister Crowley's popularity as a new age figure has continued to grow, more and more of the teachings of the Ordo Templi Orientis have come to light. As such, the group makes much less of an attempt to be secretive today than it did in the past.

This doesn't mean that they don't still have some bizarre practices. Chief among these is the group's fixation on - the more sensitive among you forgive me - the sexual, especially their teachings on the “adoration of the phallus” and the magic of masturbation.

No famous members, but attendees have included Ben Bernanke, the royal families of Spain and the Netherlands, World Bank officials, and representatives from major corporations.

Bilderberg Group

The Bilderberg Group is not a secret society per se, but it does operate under a similar veil of mystery, which has made it the subject of countless conspiracy theories and criticisms.

The group was started in 1954, and since then it has convened every year as an exclusive, invitation-only conference of various world leaders, captains of industry, and media moguls.

The group was originally started as a means of addressing a streak of anti-Americanism that was spreading through Europe following WWII, but over the years it appears to have morphed into a more broad discussion on reaching mutual understanding between cultures.

The Bilderberg Group has become controversial for one key reason: no press is allowed in the conference and no significant details concerning the topics discussed are ever officially released to the public.

That kind of secrecy, along with the intense security of the meeting sites, which often feature armed guards, police, and even fighter jets patrolling the skies overhead, has produced a number of conspiracy theories centered on the conference.

The most popular is that the group tries to steer the direction of public policy, financial markets, and media in certain prescribed directions of their choosing, perhaps even with the goal of forming a so-called “one world government.”

These claims have been brushed aside by the group, which claims global understanding and the end of nuclear proliferation as its main goals. How influential they may or may not be remains in dispute.

The Knights Templar
A cross pattée gules

After Jerusalem fell to the crusaders in 1099, most of the crusaders who did not return to their homelands became dedicated to establishing independent Christian states.

There arose two problems for the remaining crusaders: how to protect the pilgrim routes to the newly won holy places - and the defense against Moslems surrounding the narrow strip of reconquered lands.

At this time there were only about five hundred knights available to maintain the kingdom of Jerusalem, therefore small groups banded together to take on these tasks. One such band was formed in 1115 by Hugh de Payens of Burgundy and Godfrey de Saint Adhemar, a Fleming, who recruited seven other knights from northern France.

This small voluntary group escorted pilgrims from Jerusalem to Jericho and on to Jordan, the traditional site of Jesus' baptism. In 1118 the group swore an oath to protect the pilgrims and observe the monastic vows of poverty, obedience and chastity.

The two founder-members had originally only one horse between them, a situation reflected in the order's seal. Under their vows they were to wear only clothes which were given to them and to own no possessions other than their weapons.

From these inglorious beginnings came their first name - the Poor Knights of Christ. Impressed by their devotion, the king gave them quarters in a wing of the royal palace which was located on the supposed site of the Temple of Solomon. This soon gave rise to a new name for the group - the Knights of the Temple, or Knights Templar.

The number of knights had grown by that time and they felt that they should be officially endorsed along monastic lines in accordance with their vows but with allowances for their military role. Around 1124 Hugue de Payens approached the Council of the Catholic Church, meeting at Troyes in France. It was this council which gave the Knights Templar the statutes which established them as an official military-religious order.

The Order's hierarchy consisted of the Grand Master, Seneschal, Deputy Master, Marshal, and the commanders or Masters of the provinces. Each province was divided into houses known as preceptories, each with its own commander, or preceptor. These divisions were used both in the field and in the administration of monastic life.

The seal of approval from both the Pope and Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux, and from the beginning a strong supporter of the Templars, resulted in generous donations for the order.

Preceptories were quickly formed not only in Jerusalem, but in Antioch, Tripoli, Aragon and Portugal. In time preceptories were founded in Hungary, Germany, Sicily, and Greece. By spring of 1129 Templars had established a strong foothold in France, England and Scotland. In Scotland, around Aberdeen alone, a substantial quantity of Templar property was held including houses and churches in Turiff, Tullich, Maryculter, Aboyne, and Kingcausie. South of Aberdeen at Culter, they possessed a huge estate of no less than 8,000 acres.

By the second half of the 12th century the Order was flourishing and had become one of the leading landowners in Syria and Palestine. Funds and recruits continued to arrive from Europe and in order to manage this great wealth the Templars became experts in banking. By as early as 1148 they were moneylenders, despite the Church ban on usury and they soon had one of the most efficient banking networks in the western world.

Pilgrims could now not only rely upon the protection of the Templars but could deposit money at their local preceptory and withdraw it as required by producing a letter of credit at any other preceptory.

With a common Rule, the Order's legal and economic status was similar in almost every country, however it was only in the great capitols - London, Rome and Paris - that financial dealings took precedence. Outside the capitols, each commander or preceptor used his allotted lands in the appropriate way - farming, spinning, brewing and baking.

The Order's military reputation and strength was also growing swiftly. Throughout the 12th century the Templars, together with the Hospitaller knights, were the finest fighting force in the Holy Lands. In time however, partly because fewer recruits could be found who were willing to die for the faith and partly due to growing rivalry between the various military orders which had now been created, the Templars' military strength in the Holy Land began to decline.

When Acre fell to the Moslems in 1291, after a siege of the castle which lasted weeks and included fire bombs, catapults and mines, the Holy Land was lost forever. Over 20,000 Templar knights and sergeants had met their deaths since the Order's inception. The Templars had lands in Cyprus and it was here that they created a new headquarters in the Middle East.

Other than a few unsuccessful raids on the Syrian and Egyptian coasts, the Order deteriorated into one of bankers and moneylenders. A series of verbal attacks was launched against all military orders, the Templars in particular, suggesting they no longer had a purpose for existence since they failed to take steps to regain the Holy Land.

Nothing came of these attacks until a renegade Templar, Esquiu de Floyrian, made specific charges of blasphemy, idolatry and sodomy against the Order to Phillip the Fair (Phillip IV) of France.

The Pope was informed of the charges in 1305, and at the end of the following year the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was summoned to Rome. Apparently unaware of the charges against the Order, de Molay rejected the Pope's proposal that the Templars and Hospitallers unite to form one order and that a new crusade be launched. After de Molay returned to Cyprus in 1307 Phillip once again pressed the charges. The Pope agreed to an inquiry.

On September 15 of that year Phillip sent sealed instructions for the seizure of all members of the Order and their property throughout France. The brothers were thrown into prison where all except three eventually confessed – under torture – to the charges. Powerless in the light of the confessions, the Pope issued a command to all Christian princes to arrest Templars in their lands.

Soon, under torture, Templars were confessing to homosexuality, devil worship, blasphemy and corruption. In England, Spain, Cyprus and Germany they were found innocent of the charges; but in France the persecution continued and many Templars who retracted their confessions when the torture ended were burned at the stake as heretics. Finally, in 1312 the Order was suppressed; its vast wealth passed on to the Knights Hospitaller.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The Rosy Cross

The order of the Golden Dawn was created by Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All three were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, an organization with ties to Masonry.

It is considered by many to be a forerunner of the Ordo Templi Orientis and a majority of modern Occult groups. The belief system of the Golden Dawn is largely taken from Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and Renaissance writings.

William Yeats and Aleister Crowley are two of the more famous members of the group.

The fundamental documents of the order are known as the Cipher Documents. These were translated into English using a cipher attributed to Johannes Trithemius. The documents are a series of sixty folios containing magic rituals. The basic structure of many of these rituals appear to originate with Rosicrucianism. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the origins of these documents.

The Black Hand
Unification or Death

The Black Hand was a secret society of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries that was started in Serbia in 1912. It formed as an offshoot from Narodna Adbrona, a group that sought to unite all of the Slavic people of Europe under one country.

This required the separation of Serbia from the monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which had annexed the country some years before. With this in mind, the group began disseminating anti-Austrian propaganda and training saboteurs and assassins to disrupt political rule within the province.

Their plan was to incite a war between Serbia and Austria, which would give them a chance to free their country and unite the different Slavic nations as one.

The Black Hand would be all but forgotten today if not for their unlikely involvement in one of the biggest events of the twentieth century. In 1914, the group engineered the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The job was badly botched, and was only completed when a low-level hood named Gavrilo Princip stumbled upon the Archduke's car and shot him to death at close range. Still, the results of the assassination were catastrophic.

Within days, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, and after the allies of both countries joined the fray, the small dispute managed to escalate into WWI.

The aftermath of WWI eventually led to WWII, and this led to the Cold War, which seemingly makes The Black Hand one of the most strangely influential forces of the twentieth century.

The Hashshashin

The Hashshashin, or Nizari, were a mysterious band of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the 13th century. The group was made up of Shia Muslims who broke off from a bigger sect and banded together in order to establish a utopian Shi'ite state.

Because their number was small, the group used guerilla tactics in their battle against their enemies, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination.

The Hashshashin would plant highly trained moles inside enemy strongholds, with instructions to only attack when the time was right. They were known for their extreme discretion in minimizing civilian casualties, as well as their penchant for using stealth to intimidate their targets.

As the story goes, enemy leaders would often wake in the morning to find a Hashshashin dagger lying on their pillow, along with a note saying “you are in our grip.”

Their legend soon grew, and before the Mongols finally destroyed the group, they became well known contract killers, supposedly performing jobs for the likes of King Richard the Lionheart.

Around the time of their downfall, the library that contained all Nizari records was destroyed, so much of what is known about them today has taken on the status of myth.

The most controversial legend centers of the group's use of drugs and other intoxicants– “Hashshashin” translates roughly as “Hashish user”, which some have said were employed by the members in battle.

This has been widely discredited, but the term “Hashshashin” as it refers to the Nizari is believed to be the origin of the modern word “assassin” although that remains in dispute.

The Square and Compass

The Craft that evolved into modern Freemasonry emerged in the period between the Black Death, 1348, and the Wars of the Roses, 1453. Before that date there are no trends or events that can be identified as leading definitely towards Freemasonry. It appears to have emerged from the building industry as a whole. Equally, there is no part of England that can claim the honour of originating Freemasonry.

The later pre-eminence of London was not apparent at that era. The Regius Poem and Cooke manuscripts, about 1390 and 1410 respectively, are written in the dialects of west and southwest of England. They may have been written for the school of masonry associated with Salisbury Cathedral.

The first recorded use of the word lodge in a Masonic context was in 1278 during the building of a Cistercian Monastery at Vale Royal near Chester. Initially the lodge was no more than a rude hut in which the masons worked and possibly took their midday meal. At other sites they may also have slept in the lodge.

By 1352 there were elaborate rules governing the behaviour of the mason connected with the lodge at York Minster. These regulations are described as the “ancient customs of the masons” (consuetudines antiquae quibus cementarii). The Master and Deputy Master were required to swear an oath that the ancient customs would be adhered to.

Fifty years later all masons were required to swear the same oath. We are not aware of anything esoteric about these customs; they mainly concerned rates of pay, hours of work, holidays etc. However, given the medieval obsession with mysticism it is unlikely that their customs were wholly mundane.

A pen drawing by Matthew Paris, circa 1250, purports to show Henry II in conference with his masons. The men building a wall are shown using a level. The mason actually being addressed by the King is holding a large square and compass almost as if to demonstrate his importance, the implication being that he is the Master Mason.

There is a similar carving in Worcester Cathedral, circa 1224, which shows the architect clutching a pair of dividers and, apparently, discussing the plans with a monk. These may suggest the beginnings of the ceremonial significance which is now given to the square and compass.

The earliest occurrence of the word Freemason was in London in 1376. Four men were chosen to represent the city’s builders on the Common Council of Trades, this was the first time they had been represented. They were originally listed as Freemasons although the word is then crossed out and replaced with Mason. The possible reason for this error is significant.

Much of the building in the South of England was done with a material called Freestone. This is a form of limestone which is soft and easily worked when freshly quarried but afterwards hardens and becomes very durable. And the men who worked it were of course, called Freestone Masons. There seems to be no evidence to link the prefix free- with freedom. The balance of probability seems to suggest that Freemason is indeed a contraction of Freestone Mason.

John Wycliffe, writing about 1383, used the terms “men of sutel craft, as fre masons and others” he also refers to “fraternytes or gildis”. Then Henry Yevele, a master builder who died in 1400 may have been described as a Freemason on his tombstone. On the other hand the word Freemason appears in neither the Regius or the Cooke Manuscripts.

At this distance in time there can be no certainty but the evidence does strongly support the suggestion the Freemasonry could have developed from Guilds and Lodges of the medieval masons. This does not mean that other movements or bodies of ideas or organizations did not also contribute significantly to survival and growth the Freemasonry.

Indeed it seems very probable an organization that has survived five hundred years must have been prepared to absorb and use any ideas that could contribute to its strength and growth.

Freemasonry has thus also been said to be a direct descendant of the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon" (the Knights Templar); an offshoot of the ancient Mystery schools; an administrative arm of the Priory of Zion; the Roman Collegia; the Comacine masters; intellectual descendants of Noah; to have existed at the time of King Athelstan of England, in the very late 10th century C.E. - Athelstan is said by some to have been converted to Christianity in York, and to have issued the first Charter to the Masonic Lodges there; and to have many other various and sundry origins.

It seems reasonable to suppose that, whatever its precise origins, Freemasonry provided a haven for the unorthodox and their sympathizers during a time when such activity could result in one’s death, and that this has something to do with the tradition of secret meetings and handshakes.

As the Middle Ages gave way to the Modern Age, the need for secrecy subsided, and Freemasons began to openly declare their association with the fraternity, which began to organize itself more formally. In 1717, four Lodges, which met at the “Apple-Tree Tavern, the Crown Ale-House near Drury Lane, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul’s Churchyard, and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Westminster" in London, England (as recounted in (2)) combined together and formed the first public Grand Lodge, the Premier Grand Lodge of England (PGLE).

The years following saw Grand Lodges open throughout Europe, as the new Freemasonry spread rapidly. How much of this was the spreading of Freemasonry itself, and how much was the public organization of pre-existing secret lodges, is not possible to say with certainty. The PGLE in the beginning did not have the current three degrees, but only the first two. The third degree appeared, so far as we know, around 1725.

The Two Great Schisms of Freemasonry (1753 and 1877)

The PGLE (Premier Grand Lodge of England), along with those jurisdictions with which it was in amity, later came to be known colloquially as the “Moderns", to distinguish them from a newer, rival group of Freemasonry, known colloquially as the “Antients". The Antients broke away and formed their own Grand Lodge in 1753, prompted by the PGLE’s making changes to the secret modes of recognition.

The differences between the two groups ran deeper than just that, however. The “Antients" were based in York, and claimed that their version of the Freemasonic Ritual (which included an additional fourth degree, the “Royal Arch", with Christian elements) was truer to ancient tradition.

From the point of view of the Moderns (actually the older group, in spite of the name), the Antients were trying to Christianize a fraternity that had always been non-Christian and religiously non-dogmatic. From the Antient point of view, on the other hand, the fraternity had been a Christian organization during the Middle Ages, and the Moderns had de-Christianized it.

In fact, both groups changed Masonry in the eighteenth century by adding new degrees, so neither can claim to be thoroughly ancient in practice. Tensions between the two groups were very high at times. Benjamin Franklin was a “Modern?? and a deist, for instance, but by the time he died, his Lodge had gone “Antient??, and would no longer recognize him as one of their own, declining even to give him a Masonic funeral.

The schism was healed in the years following 1813, when the competing Grand Lodges were amalgamated, by virtue of a delicately worded compromise which left English Masonry clearly not Christian, returned the modes of recognition to their pre-1753 form, kept Freemasonry per se as consisting of three degrees only, but which was ambiguously worded so as to allow the Moderns to think of the Antient Royal Arch degree as an optional higher degree, while still allowing the Antients to view it as the completion of the third degree.

Because both the Antients and the Moderns had “daughter" Lodges throughout the world, and because many of those Lodges still exist, there is a great deal of variability in the Ritual used today.

Most Lodges conduct their Work in accordance with an agreed-upon single Rite, such as the York Rite which is popular in the United States, or the Canadian Rite which is, in some ways, a concordance between the Rites used by the “Antients" and “Moderns".

The second great schism in Freemasonry occurred in the years following 1877, when the GOdF started accepting atheists unreservedly. This on-going schism is in many ways a re-emergence of the same basic conflict that created the split between the Antients and Moderns: the religious requirements, if any, for being a Freemason.

While the issue of atheism is probably the greatest single factor in the split with the GOdF, the English also point to the French recognition of women’s Masonry and co-Masonry, as well as the tendency of French Masons to be more willing to discuss religion and politics in Lodge.

While the French curtail such discussion, they do not ban it as outright as do the English. The schism between the two branches has occasionally been breached for short periods of time, especially during the First World War when American Masons overseas wanted to be able to visit French Lodges.

Concerning religious requirements, the oldest constitution of Freemasonry that of Anderson, 1723, says only that a Mason “will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine" if he “rightly understands the Art". The only religion required was “that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves"

In 1815, the newly amalgamated UGLE changed Anderson’s constitutions to include more orthodox overtones: “Let a man’s religion or mode of worship be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believes in the glorious Architect of heaven and earth, and practices the sacred duties of morality."

The English enforce this with a requirement for belief in a Supreme Being, and in his revealed will. While these requirements can still be interpreted in a non-theistic manner, they made it more difficult for unorthodox believers to enter the fraternity.

In 1849, the GOdF followed the English lead by adopting the “Supreme Being" requirement, but there was increasing pressure in Latin countries to openly admit atheists. There was an attempt at a compromise in 1875, by allowing the alternative phrase “Creative Principle", which was less theistic-sounding than “Supreme Being", but this was ultimately not enough for the GOdF, and in 1877 they went back to having no religious entrance requirements, making the original Anderson document of 1723 their official constitution.

They also created a modified ritual that made no direct verbal reference to the G.A.O.T.U. although, as a symbol, it was arguably still present. This new Rite did not replace the older ones, but was added as an alternative. European jurisdictions in general tend not to restrict themselves to a single Rite, like most North American jurisdictions, but offer a menu of Rites, from which their Lodges can choose.

The first Freemasons lodge opened in what would become the United States on July 30, 1733. The influence of Freemasonry in the founding of the United States is still unclear, but is acknowleged to be significant.

The Illuminati
The All Seeing Eye

The Illuminati is one of those well-known shadowy organizations shrouded in myth and legend. They are credited with behind the scenes manipulations of world events and seen as the secret power that controls everything. /me chuckles

The Illuminati, along with other secret societies like the Freemasons, were seen as subversive in the late eighteenth century, due in large part to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Since then, the idea of the Illuminati has come to be associated with any secret organization that proclaims to have links with the original society, though in many cases these links are unsubstantiated.

Organized in a way very similar to that of Freemasonry, the Illuminati very likely used the Masons as a pattern for which to their model their own society. Indeed, some present day Illuminati groups claim to have origins far older than the historical 1776 account, using their connection to Freemasonry in their principal argument. Some groups even lay claim to connections that trace back to ancient Egypt and the Ra and Isis cults that thrived in antiquity.

It is difficult to trace the history of the Illuminati much of what it did was in secret. After the original society was outlawed, what was left, allegedly, went underground to continue its work in secret. These claims include involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and were considered, by some, as responsible for the French Revolution in 1789.

Many believe that the subversive goal of the Illuminati was to form a one world government. The Congress of Vienna was, according to these beliefs, brought about by the Illuminati who hoped to achieve their goal by forming a League of Nations. When Russia refused to join, however, their plan was foiled creating, supposedly, a great deal of animosity towards the Russian powers within the Illuminati rank and file.
Congress of Vienna

Congress of Vienna, 1814-15

The Illuminati are said to have devised a plan for there to occur three world wars over the course of the twentieth century that would lead, ultimately, to the formation of a one world government. In line with this theory, they orchestrated the tensions that led to World War 1. With the goal of destroying Imperial Russia and get revenge for the failed Congress of Vienna. World War II was likewise planned by the Illuminati to strengthen communism. There was to be a third war between political Zionists and the leaders of the Muslim world, which was to have weakened everyone to the point where a one world government was the only feasible option left. This makes for an interesting theory given the present state of geopolitical affairs at hand in the world today.

While this is, by far, the most sensational account of the Illuminati available, very little of it can be verified historically. What we do know is that the Illuminati were founded by Adam Weishaupt, who was raised in Bavaria and educated at Jesuit school graduating ultimately from the University of Ingolstadt in 1768 with a doctorate in law. Interestingly, the Jesuits have been accused of broader conspiracies, subversive methods and conspiratorial practices.

Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge in Munich in 1777, the year after he founded the Illuminati. Once he joined, he reorganized the Illuminati in order to attract more Freemasons to its ranks. While the Masons brought more influential members into Weishaupt’s society, it also led to disagreements between his ideals and those new members. Seeing trouble and seizing an opportunity, the Bavarian government acted on disquiet at the prominence of members in governmental positions, stepped in and disbanded what was left of the Illuminati.

And still, this secret society was not unknown in the world. Letters from George Washington show that he was aware of the Illuminati’s plan to overthrow all current governments. Despite the large number of Masons among American’s founding fathers, Washington was confident that none of his allies were interested in pursuing that agenda. Washington wrote, on October 24, 1798,

"...It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned….

In a modern context, as a secret society, it is impossible to say if the Illuminati still exist today or not, due to their very nature. How do you disprove something that is said to not exist? There are many organizations that claim to have roots that trace back to the Illuminati though they currently exist under different names.

The formation of a one world government does not, however, seem like such a far-fetched notion with increasing globalization and the strong presence of multinational businesses and governmental styled agencies including the IMF and the United Nations. But, how much of this is merely a perpetuation of the idea that a shadow society is calling the shots by orchestrating the maneuvering of progress. Perhaps in some respect, the ethos of the Illuminati is its legacy of its continuation in the modern world.

The use of Illuminati symbols in modern day culture helps to perpetuate the belief that the secret society is still operating in the shadows and controlling many of the world’s events. The obvious symbolism of the All-Seeing Eye is linked pervasively with the Illuminati as seen in many places, including the currency United States. The inclusion of on the currency is an obvious chicken before the egg analogy that conspiracy theorists have latched onto as an obvious and overt sign.

The pyramid, once again present on the American $1 bill, is said to represent the hierarchy of the order. It is left unfinished to show that the goals of the society have not yet been accomplished. The Bavarian society did indeed have pyramids displayed at their meetings though once again the same symbol is often attributed to the Masons.

The owl, too, is the symbol of the goddess Minerva who was the goddess of wisdom. The Bavarian Illuminati who had reached Minerval status (in between Novice and Illuminated Minerval) especially considered it a very important symbol and included it on their medallions.

Some contemporary pretenders find a more nefarious image suggesting links to the occult. In these instances, the pentagram is also sometimes said to be a symbol used by the Illuminati in the practice of black magic. But the Bavarian society had no occult practices that we know of in comparison to this modern day context. If a modern day Illuminati group claims the practice of magic, they most likely have no true connection to the original order.

The reality behind the Illuminati is as shadowy as its existence. Their secret nature, combined with the vast number of groups that claim lineage with them makes it impossible to trace their activities through history. Much of what is currently known about the Illuminati is little more than guesswork and greatly influenced by the sensational depiction of them in popular culture.

Top Illuminati Conspiracies
  • Everyone famous is in the Illuminati, including Jay-Z, the Pope (all of them), Usain Bolt, Glenn Beck, Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, and Lady Gaga as members. Taylor Swift and Howard Stern are some of its biggest promoters. Stanley Kubrick was an insider who tried to expose it in his film Eyes Wide Shut, and the patron saint of the Masonic silver screen, Nicolas Cage, makes films in promoting its ideals.
  • That a “global elite” society that is either in control of, or is seeking to take control of, the world.
  • That Freemasonry and Satanism are the driving forces behind the Illuminati.
  • That they seek to form a one-world government, a one-world monetary system and a one-world religion.
  • The entertainment industry is controlled by the Illuminati.
  • Organizations like the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations are pawns of the New World Order.
  • Denver is an Illuminati world domination layover site to off the grid blacked out labor camps.
  • Gay Activism and feminism are an Illuminati Conspiracy.
  • That the Illuminati is governed by a race of shape-shifting reptilian pedophiles who are ultimately behind an “Orwellian Global Super state”
  • The moon is the home base of the Illuminati.

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