Illuminati Conspiracy or Mass Hysteria?

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The Illuminati hysteria that came with the Angels and Demons novel and movie was not new neither was its conspiracy theme.

For decades, people have fingered the Vatican, Satanists, Wiccans, New Agers/World Order, Freemasons, CIA and Zionists in an alleged global take over.

Even Microsoft and the World Wide Web were linked with the church of Satan – until Christians 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 theme comes a set of “experts” who are always in the know of their secrets. But when the hype dies down, they collapse into themselves like a neutron star.

I was once caught up in the Illuminati hype too. In 2011, I stumbled on a “vigilant citizen” website owned by an “expert” at detecting Illuminati hoof prints behind music videos, movies and world events and I became totally hooked!

After a year of being on a roller coaster of conspiracies, I began to discover that the whole Illuminati-spotting business was based on subjective whims, abstractions, self-appointed authorities and tragi-comic episodes (like folks telling me how evil Beyonce was and happily downloading her music in the next breath).

Now, don’t get me wrong, conspiracies are real. The Bible contains several examples of them. e.g the enemies of Amaziah conspiring against him (2 Chr. 25:27), Sanballat, Tobiah and the Ashdodites against Israel (Neh. 4:8), the enemies of Jesus conspiring against Him (Mt. 12:14) and the enemies of apostle Paul (Acts 23:12) etc.

But just as Jesus and the apostles were not obsessed with those gathering against them, Christians are not to over-emphasize conspiracies or resort to speculation and hearsay in place of facts.

We need to ask: where do Illuminati experts get their piece of information from? Are their sources factual and reliable? If so, why are there conflicting information about the real identity of Illuminati, what their goals are, their history and those allegedly involved?

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 consists 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, which was 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 Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). Some self-appointed “whistle blowers” have stated in several YouTube videos that the Illuminati came from UFOs and the aliens who drive them.

French Kabalist, Eliphes Levi in his work, History of Magic, says the Illuminati was founded by Zoroaster in Persia and introduced into Europe by the Knights Templar in the 12th century.

But 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 the Rothschild family are without historical documentation.

Much of the “historical” data linking the Illuminati with the Rothschilds came from the works of Nester Webster, a British anti-semitic mystic who believed in mysticism and reincarnation. Her theories have been disproved 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 former 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 U.S. and the whole world, so Christians were to stockpile food, fuel and weapons and hide in the hills. Quite hysterical. But John Todd’s claims were later proven to be false on several levels.

There are also some Christians who believe the Illuminati came from the Jesuit Order. In the Crusader comic series, The Force, published by Chick Publications, Alberto Rivera said:

“[Ignatius de] Loyola created the Illuminati (Alumbrados), a satanic organization to control the minds of European leaders through hypnosis, witchcraft and mind control … Once Ignatius de Loyola came to power in the Vatican, he placed his occult organization, ‘The Illuminati’, under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic institution. The Illuminati secretly became the most important branch of the Jesuit order” (The Force, by Jack T. Chick, 1983 pp. 23, 25).

No source, reference or documentation was provided to support these fantastic claims. The reader is simply expected to just lap it up.

Today, there are a number of Christian websites, blogs and tabloids still churning out versions of these theories to brainwash their readers. But why would a Christian relish tabloid sensationalism generated by fear merchants? And why would a true believer 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. There is a point where a line is crossed between apologetics and a morbid obsession with cults.

When you reach a point where your daily thoughts are overwhelmingly centered around a cult, and you tend to “see” it behind every shadow, cabinet and event, then you have crossed that line.

Most Illuminati-hunting materials seldom present the Gospel to the unsaved. What they largely cater to are suspicion, hysteria and an unhealthy obsession with the occult. These things appeal to paranoid, fanatical and unbalanced minds mostly on the fringes of Christianity.

The Illuminati hype may seem attractive because it gives its experts a heady feeling of knowing what the “controlled masses” are oblivious of, but it can also be spiritually distracting and even perilous, if care is not taken.

While it’s vital to have a good grasp of cults like Wicca, Masonry and New Age etc., the data of information about the Illuminati is too abstract and shrouded in legends for a reliable or objective study.

As Christians, we have a God to serve, a Bible to study, a church to fellowship with, sinners to preach to and a spiritual life to live. Most importantly, we shouldn’t “have anything to do with godless myths that old women love to tell” (1 Tim. 4:7) let alone disseminate them.

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