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New Yorkers Against Religion-Based Bigotry Message Board › "Illuminati"/"New World Order" claims and their bigoted

"Illuminati"/"New World Order" claims and their bigoted roots and consequences

Group Organizer
New York, NY
Post #: 593
"Conspiracy theories" featuring the "Illuminati" and the "New World Order" have gotten more and more popular these days. Many people now assume these claims must be true simply because there are so many websites and videos about them on the Internet. Few have bothered to look into the history of these claims or the goals of their most ardent promoters,

Historically, these claims are associated with some of the most dangerous kinds of religion-based bigotry, such as the Protocols of The Elders of Zion and the Satanic panic of the 1980's and early 1990's.

A real, historical Order of the Illuminati was founded in 1776 in Bavaria (now a part of Germany) by Adam Weishaupt. The purpose of it and other secret societies, back in the 1700's, was to be a safe space for unconventional thinkers to speak their minds, given the absence of free speech back then. Weishaupt's order was founded to be a safe space for atheists and anarchists who believed that if only people could learn how to behave ethically, then government would no longer be necessary. To the latter end, the public face of the Illuminati was the Minerval Academies, in which people studied the ethical teachings of Jesus. But the Illuminati were soon outlawed and suppressed. Clearly, they were NOT in control of Bavaria or any other country.

When the French Revolution happened, some counter-revolutionaries blamed the Illuminati. Historians do not agree.

Panic about the Illuminati spread to America, where this panic was one of the factors resultiing in the Alien and Sedition Acts.

In the 1890's, the Russian secret police forged a document called the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, in which various old paranoid claims about the Illuminati were recycled as claims about an alleged elite cabal of Jews. Throughout Europe and the U.S.A., the Protocols inspired a fierce wave anti-Jewish bigotry that eventually culminated in the Nazi hatred of Jews. The document was exposed as a forgery in 1920, but nevertheless is once again popular in many countries around the world.

Throughout the 1900's, paranoia about "the Illuminati" was kept alive in fundamentalist Christian apocalyptic literature, wherein the Illuminati were seen as a conspiracy that would eventually establish the reign of the Antichrist.

In the 1960's, worries about "the Illuminati" were revived in the secular realm by the John Birch Society, a notoriously paranoid anti-Communist group that believed, for example, that President Dwight Eisenhower had been a puppet of the Communists. Robert Anton Wilson then wrote the Illuminatus trilogy, a satirical parody of the John Birch Society's claims.

In the early 1970's, two Christian "ex-Satanists," John Todd and Mike Warnke, introduced the idea that the Illuminati were an elite cabal of Satanists. (Previously the Illuminati were regarded as evil atheists.) John Todd and Mike Warnke were later exposed as tellers of tall tales about their own alleged personal histories.

In the 1980's and early 1990's, there was a major "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare in which many ordinary people were convicted of horrible cirmes that most likely never happened, and in which many other families were torn apart due to "recovered memories." Although the SRA mythology has been largely discredited in law-enforcement circles, it still resurfaces occasionally, and many grand conspiracy ideologists have worked hard to keep it alive.

At the same time, "Illuminati"/"New World Order" paranoia was promoted by major religious right wing leaders including Tim LaHaye (a co-founder of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority) and Pat Robertson.

The 1990's saw the emergence of the right wing "Patriot" movement, including the militias. "Illuminati"/"New World Order" paranoia was and still is common in that movement.

The perpetrators of violent hate crimes are, in many cases, believers in "Illuminati"/"New World Order" grand conspiracy ideology. (Examples include Scott Roeder and James W. von Brunn.)

For more information, see Resources for debunking grand conspiracy claims, and for documenting their political significance.
A former member
Post #: 10
illuminati or illuminatus simply do not exist at all. There are secret societies that exert influence however, such as the Freemasons.
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