Category: Poststructuralism

Social Construction of the Illuminati

Illuminati 1

The social construction of reality is the process of conceptualizing observations and experiences into a system of understanding, the resulting social construct is then adopted as a system of interpretation. Its a way of looking at our social world that is not inherent but rather the result of human decisions and judgment that is treated as real. In discussing  “the social construction of” there is often a considerable debate between essentialists in one camp or another who do believe in what can be called the “inherent self-evidence of” a given concept.

The Illuminati is one such concept. To view the constant echo-chamber of the internet on the subject of the Illuminati, this secret organization absolutely must be real. To my mind, the idea that elites would unify and form a cabal to control and manipulate sounds perfectly reasonable. Whether it seems likely, reasonable, or self-evident, the Illuminati is a social construct.

The first argument anyone could give against the social construction of the Illuminati is that the Illuminati exists in history.  Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati, a secret society in 1776 in Germany with the stated goal of using the “human foible” of secret societies for the “benefit of people.” After the society was banned in Bavaria, Weishaupt fled and the Illuminati was disbanded. This is the historical account (an abbreviated one). A few present day so-called secret societies (secret in name only) have adopted the term Illuminati to bolster their mystical credibility or otherwise promote themselves as older than they truly are. Several mock / parody websites have enjoyed the relative ease of appearing to be “the real Illuminati” and, as such, have been mistaken for or accused of being the real thing and cited as proof to the existence of the elite conspiracy. The transition from parody to truth in promoting the Illuminati is a theme that has existed since the modern belief in the group began.

The distrust in secret societies, whether with or without merit, is the subject of debate and is another subject that is socially constructed. Whether the historic Illuminati was egalitarian or not, the Illuminati became a construct that linked all secret societies, presumed a goal of elite control and manipulation, and is often suspected of being anti-religion (among a litany of other suspicions). The Illuminati also received a “historic totalization,” using the history of European secret societies to insinuate the Illuminati as being at least as old as the Knights Templar (some theorizing an ancient Egyptian origin). The Illuminati is also projected into the future through the fears and suspicions of those who hold that the group is currently in control of most (if not all) world government and intends to keep it that way.

One interesting aspect that this specific social construction has is that it is emergent. Unlike the social construction of race (a construct that has existed for millennia), the Illuminati has only recently been constructed. The history of belief in the Illuminati as a  real and modern entity starts in the Vietnam War Era and picks up right around the birth of the Internet and has had several concomitant social and pop culture forces combine to strengthen this social construct.

In some respects, the Illuminati is the joke that no one got. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea wrote The Illuminatus Trilogy in the 1970s. Part sci-fi, part humor, part psychedelia, the book was understood as satire and stood as a seminal work of “conspiracy fiction.” This does not, however, mean that it was taken as fiction by all who read the book, or skimmed it, or heard about some of the contents of the book in certain contexts. The social climate in America had become highly skeptical of authority following the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert Kennedy. The Vietnam War continued on after years of protests, placing a rift between supporters of the war and the antiwar movement. Conspiracy theories that began to surround the JFK assassination began to snowball, picking up new connections with events. Suddenly, the possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone or that James Earl Ray was not the true killer of MLK began to morph into a generalized set of conspiracies that may have been J. Edgar Hoover, or the Mafia, or Lyndon B. Johnson’s doing (to name a few among dozens). The erosion of faith in central authority that was felt among those in the Anti-Vietnam War movement also bled into the social structure in many ways, reaching an apex upon the resignation of President Richard Nixon (and subsequent pardon). Was it all connected? This question was the one that The Illuminatus Trilogy thumbed its literary nose at. “Yes, there are conspiracies, but they are often initiated by men who are shortsighted and end up shooting themselves in the foot, so drop some acid and worship Satan” (rough approximation of The Illuminatus Trilogy‘s throughline). With time, and the 1980s economic boom and social conservative revival, the conspiracy theories went somewhat dormant. In the meantime, Robert Anton Wilson went on to write books and make speaking engagements that were largely comedic and his and Robert Shea’s book would go on to be read by a variety of readers, many of whom did not necessarily get the joke.

A 1990 speech by President George H, W. Bush perked the ears of those long dormant conspiracy theorists, including readers of The Illuminatus Trilogy for its use of the phrase “a New World Order.” The phrase sounded to many to be the totalitarian one world government feared by anti-government right-wing conservatives and Fundamentalist Christians, the former thought the “New World Order” as the ultimate goal of “Big Government” and the latter believing it the power from which the Antichrist would rise. The 1990s saw disparate groups coming to similar conclusions; Anti-war liberals, libertarians, Fundamentalist Christians, conservatives and anyone who feared or distrusted global governing entities (such as the United Nations) were all put on high alert.

Pop culture began to spread the brand of the New World Order; giving it name recognition if nothing else. One of the most unlikely sources of unintentional promotion of conspiracy theory, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) debuted the New World Order (nWo) wrestling group in 1996. Ministry’s 1992 industrial song New World Order sampled Bush’s speech in the intro and was states as being anti-Bush but was also had a more general lyrical message against complacency toward totalitarian hegemony.The Illuminati also received increasing notice in popular culture, in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, in Umberto Eco’s book Foucault’s Pendulum, Marvel Comics’ Illuminati, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and Disney’s Gargoyles all have Illuminati characters and plot elements. The History Channel became one of the most prolific super-spreader of the Illuminati narrative in popular culture through the television show Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. Former wrestling star and former Governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura used his notoriety and public position to further the belief in an Illuminati that seeks global dominion via a New World Order, later parlaying this into a reality television show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.

The Internet is the site in which the current incarnations of Illuminati narratives live an grow. I use plurals because there are several “Illuminati narratives” at work, all of them socially constructed. From the Fundamentalist Christians predominantly comes the Satanic Illuminati and its various bloodlines betraying dark occult roots. The largely agnostic anti-government camp promotes the One World Government Illuminati that uses fear to create an ever greater web of control; abolishing freedom, and creating false flag disasters to allow for ever greater governmental controls. There is a third Extraterrestial/Reptilian Illuminati is self-explanatory; controlling all humanity are non-human entities that often pose as heads of state or other important figures. Though these are different Illuminati narratives, they often interact and share interpretations on current events and Illuminati tactics. Almost all news stories are fictitious or covering up the true intentions of the shadowy overlords controlling who-knows-what.

The Illuminati narrative becomes a clearinghouse for all things that lie outside of an individual’s ideology. To a liberal or libertarian Illuminati believer, George W. Bush was the symbol of the Illuminati during his presidency. The election of Obama meant a swap of ideological focus on the Illuminati; now conservatives, Fundamentalist Christians and the like were on guard. The Catholic papacy is often implicated by nearly everyone who believes in the Illuminati. Any time a social demographic ceases to be subjugated and pushed to the periphery, that group is implicated in the conspiracy of the Illuminati. If you view all of the above hyperlinks and try to combine them all into one singular “Illuminati narrative” you would have to call the Illuminati a jewish, muslim group run by the Catholic Pope that controls a wide variety of leaders including Barack Obama and George W. Bush and is not only satanic and atheistic but homosexual to boot! This, of course, is not how any individual views the Illuminati, but they instead take what parts fit their ideological view of the world and their political concerns and chuck the rest, calling any contradictory information a simple misunderstanding or the Illuminati’s own trickery meant to implicate the true patriot, true Christian, or “only honest man in politics.”

As the social construction of the Illuminati is ongoing, but totalizing, all media must fit into the “Illuminati Agenda.” The concept that includes narrative fiction movies and science fiction is the belief that the Illuminati must hide their plots “in plane site.” As a point of honor, the Illuminati are required to tell the world of their plans before they can follow through. This is why any famous musician is taken at face value when they may say that they “sold their soul to the devil” and the Arther C. Clarke book 2010 is believed to outline an Illuminati plot to turn Saturn into a second sun. These ideas are spread online and in person, the arguments that seem to validate these claims only compound upon one another, and disconfirmation is a non-issue since failure to complete presumed plots in the (often numerologically derived) allotted timeline are concluded to be a successful exposé of Illuminati by internet “researchers.”

Still, within the conspiracy theory worldview, another plot always lie in wait and the next current event becomes the next Illuminati abomination. The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and every Superbowl Halftime Show are actually satanic rituals of Illuminati power. The Illuminati suffer the conspiracy theorists because they actually become central to the pursuit of “one world government.”

The social construction of the Illuminati also gives prescriptive advice to prevent the success of the Satanic or Secular or Reptilian Illuminati and they are as bleak and nihilistic as anything that could ever be imagined. The following is taken entirely from (the website states that it was formerly and was written under the pen name Oiseau Bleu:

Find hope “beyond” information.  Information is a stepping-stone with some benefits and usefulness, but it will never set you free.

Tangible solutions for the truth movement –

#1. Recognize your vulnerability to mind-control techniques designed specifically for you.  Every person on planet Earth is subjected to an onslaught of satanic mind-control programming.  Understand that we are actually mind-controlled to further mind-control one another.  “Let’s go get a drink…” is just one simple example of that, though there are millions.

#2. Turn off your t.v.’s immediately and disconnect the cable service/connection.  This is obvious.

#3. Stop “enjoying” life (like the t.v. people), and replace that with genuine usefulness.  Worry when you are enjoying your-“Self” as just another consumer.

#4 Opt out of the System, instead of being beast-feeding busy.  Cancel credit cards/loans and stop paying taxes.  If done in mass, this would begin strangling the System.  Learning to Be calm, at peace, and passive is a prerequisite to effectiveness and harmful to the Beast.

#5 Watch the film “Revolver” (the rooftop scene – part 2 of 4  linked here) over and over till you’re certain you get this.

#6 Believe there will be no more chances after this one because God said so. This is final.

Live each moment knowing this, and act accordingly. The Fire is real and Satan is leading to it.

Don’t value information. Distrust others. Distrust your TV (but trust the Alternative news on the Internet). Resignation to, over enjoyment of, life. Don’t trust yourself: you are the enemy. There is only one option. Stay vigilant or be damned.

This is the end result of belief in the Illuminati.  A social construction that, when taken to its irrational extreme, prescribes absolute denial of all possible information outside of the belief in an absolute conspiracy. All conflicting information is to be regarded as deception. Apostasy is a death sentence. With this worldview, paranoia and fatalism are quite logical byproducts. The sad truth is that the several cases of individuals who believe in this socially constructed Illuminati who have killed themselves and/or others are immediately considered the casualties of their vigilance, marked for death by a secret cabal that knows all and sees all. There is no logic that can disprove the Illuminati. There is only the hope that the many susceptible individuals will go back to the work of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, The Illuminatus Trilogy, read it, read it again, and, hopefully, get the joke.


Manufacturing the Antichrist (and Addenda)

Alexis Tsiparis, Greece’s newest Prime Minister and current Antichrist retrofit.

Antichrist watchers have announced their newest suspected Antichrist. The 186th Greek Prime Minister is Alexis Tsiparis and some very loose fitting logic has placed this 41 year old in the running alongside Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, every Pope ever, and Barack Obama.

nowtheendbegins is a great source for paranoia.
nowtheendbegins is a great source for paranoia.

The truth is, some folks are always looking for the Antichrist and always seem to find it whenever a world leader is even remotely liberal, aspires to see peace between Israel and Palestine or within the greater Middle East region and, somehow, is well liked. This, obviously, makes it hard to be a politician that cannot be suspected as being the Antichrist. When combined with the fact that you can find the “Mark of the Beast” anywhere you want whenever you want.

Addendum 1: Antichrist Speculation is an unspoken past-time for many Christian Millenarians, and one that has overtaken the previously preferred hobby of speculative date-setting for the Second Coming of Christ. Since Matthew 24:36 states that “no man shall know the day or the hour” of the awaited return, “date setting” has seen increasing taboo within the culture of Christian Millenarians.

Addendum 2: Anyone in power, who hopes to bring peace to the world (especially in the Middle East) and is not a Christian Millenarian themselves will definitely be suggested as the potential Antichrist. The most common suggestion in America from 2008 (and will be until 2016 at least) is President Barack Obama (or, as this link suggests, Baraq O’ Bamah).

Addendum 3: Media, the exponential increase in information, the vast increase to access to information, the capacity for individuals to create media content, and for like-minded individuals and groups to share content has led to an explosion of pseudo-science, conspiracy theory, apocalyptic and eschatological speculation. The combination of all these factors creates a system of information subcultures, each of which taking what they like from other info subcultures and disregarding what they do not. The result are quasi-ideologies that intersect, overlap, conflict and/or contradict based on the preference of an individual rather than one steady-state doctrine or ideology that defines a specific ethos.