The Illuminati hysteria that came with the Angels and Demons novel was not new neither was its conspiracy theme. For decades, people have fingered the Vatican, CIA and Zionists in an alleged global take over. Even Microsoft and the World Wide Web were linked with the church of Satan – until people began to use the Internet to spread the gospel. Man’s nature conditions him to blame something else for his problems. It’s as old as Eden. When Adam sinned, he blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, but the serpent had no one to blame.
With each conspiracy theory comes experts who are in the know. But when the hype dies down, they collapse into themselves. I was once caught up in the Illuminati hype too. I stumbled on a website owned by an “expert” at detecting Illuminati hoofprints behind music videos, movies and world events. I was totally hooked! Later, I began to see that the whole Illuminati-spotting business was based on subjective whims, abstractions, self-appointed authorities and tragi-comic episodes (like someone telling me how evil Beyonce was and happily downloading her music in the next breath).
Yes, conspiracies are real. The Bible contains several examples (e.g Mt. 12:14, Acts 23:12), but we are not to over-emphasize them or mix facts with fictions. I need to ask: where do Illuminati experts get their infos from? Are their sources factual and reliable? If so, why are there conflicting information about who the Illuminatis are, their goals or their history?
Granted, the Illuminati (meaning the enlightened ones) is a name used to describe various groups since the mid-1700s. Today, it’s generally agreed that the Illuminati consist of secret, underground cult linked with the Knight Templar and Gnostic groups aiming to take over the world using celebrities, politicians and the media.
Some have traced it to the Bavarian Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt, a former Jesuit on May 1, 1776 within the Masonic Lodges of Germany. But historians agree that by 1785, the Bavarian Illuminati was broken and suppressed by the government for plotting against the kings of Europe.
Another version says the Illuminati came from “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”, a mythological piece written by Hermann Goedsch in Europe in the 1800s. The work claims that 12 elders of Zion meet with Satan at a graveyard on how to take over the world. This work (later called The Rabbi’s Speech) became the main anti-Semitic tool used by politicians in Europe to persecute the Jews.
Some have linked the Illuminati to Aliens and UFOs. French Kabalist, Eliphes Levi in History of Magic says it was founded by Zoroaster in Persia and introduced into Europe by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. In 1962, the John Birch Society said the Illuminati consists of world bankers, communists, Council of Foreign Relations and the Jewish Rothschild. Most of the legends and speculations weaved around this Rothschild family are without historical documentation.
Much of the “historical” data linking the Illuminati with the Rothschild came from the works of Nester Webster, a British anti-semitic mystic who believed in mysticism and reincarnation. Her theories have been disproven by scholars, yet some Christian authors continue to cite her as a reliable source. Some Illuminati “experts” curiously picked up pieces from different sources and embellished them to generate a hype.
For example, John Collins Todd who claimed to be an ex-Druidic priest and Illuminati in a 1978 (?) tape said: In the Illuminati, the Rothschild are not humans …they are gods in human bodies …They are the sons and daughters of Lucifer in human bodies and his wife…The council that I was on was the private priesthood of these gods…” In the tape, he predicted that at “the end of 1980” the Illuminati would take over the US and the world, so Christians were to stockpile food, fuel and weapons and hide in the hills. Quite hysteric.
Today, there are some Christian websites, blogs and tabloids still churning out these theories (“hot secrets”) to brainwash their readers. But why disseminate tabloid sensationalism generated by fear merchants? Why spread speculations and guesswork instead of facts? Nowhere does the Bible direct Christians to spend the whole of their time spreading conspiracies. Instead, we are to spread the Gospel. Yet most Illuminati-hunting materials seldom present the Gospel to the unsaved. They largely fuel suspicion, panic and an unhealthy obsession with the occult.
The Illuminati hype seems attractive because it gives its experts a heady feeling, but it can also be spiritually distracting. While it’s vital to have a good grasp of cults like Wicca, Masonry and New Age etc, the data about the Illuminati are too nuanced and shrouded in legends for a reliable or objective study. Christians shouldn’t “have anything to do with godless myths that old women love to tell” (1 Tim. 4:7) let alone disseminate them.