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  • Is Jay-Z really in the Illuminati?

  • Is Donald Trump? Is Katy Perry?

  • Am I?

  • Everyone from the BBC to Beyoncé

  • has been accused of being part of the Illuminati -

  • a secret group said to comprise of the world's most powerful people

  • seeking to establish a new world order.

  • Even if you haven't heard of the Illuminati,

  • chances are you've probably seen one of the symbols associated with them.

  • Pentagrams, goats,

  • even the all-seeing eye that's found on US banknotes.

  • References have also cropped up in music videos,

  • such as Rihanna's S&M,

  • which featured a fake newspaper with a headline declaring her...

  • So why do musicians and artists

  • like to play around with references to the Illuminati?

  • I think quite simply, they're just having fun.

  • They're just entertained by these stories like many of us are.

  • I'm reminded of a conspiracy theory from 1966

  • that Paul McCartney of The Beatles had died in a car crash

  • on the way home after doing some recording

  • and he'd been replaced by a Canadian DJ

  • who looked a lot like him and quickly learned to play the bass and sing.

  • Paul McCartney has never denied this conspiracy theory.

  • He's always kept quiet about it

  • and I think McCartney, like Jay-Z, Rihanna and others,

  • is just entertained by the story.

  • So who are the Illuminati?

  • Are they really a shadowy elite who control the world?

  • The Illuminati were, to the best of our knowledge,

  • a Bavarian secret society formed in the 18th Century.

  • It opposed superstition, religious influence and state authority.

  • They even created a rule book which stated that...

  • The Bavarian group eventually faded into irrelevance

  • and has nothing to do with modern concepts of the Illuminati.

  • The conspiracy theory that we know about today

  • stems from the Discordian movement.

  • The story goes that Discordianism began in 1965

  • in the office of a Texas drug attorney.

  • Two schoolmates...

  • ...used the office photocopier to publish copies

  • of the Principia Discordia, the movement's founding text.

  • The book promoted the idea that...

  • ...and Discordianism gathered steam throughout the 60s and 70s

  • with Hill and Thornley actively trying

  • to cause mischief and spread disinformation.

  • Their mission was expanded even further by two other Americans -

  • a writer called Robert Anton Wilson and his friend Robert Shea.

  • Wilson was editor at Playboy

  • and the two of them decided they would write a novel

  • and they would throw all of the great conspiracy theories into this novel

  • and call it Illuminatus.

  • And in fact, they enjoyed it so much they turned it into a trilogy.

  • They decided that it would be fun to try and spread

  • a little chaos and misinformation deliberately about the Illuminati

  • and they did this by writing letters to the mainstream press,

  • by writing letters to fanzines - which were popular at the time -

  • but also through the letters page of Playboy itself.

  • They would also write in letters from imaginary readers

  • saying that the Illuminati weren't real at all

  • or were kind of sitting on the fence.

  • It didn't really matter, what did matter is that all these people

  • seemed to be generating this conversation about the Illuminati.

  • And the idea was that you, as the reader,

  • were supposed to question that,

  • interrogate it, ask, "Are they really real?"

  • The myth travelled far and wide.

  • Wilson and Shea's The Illuminatus Trilogy

  • attributed some of the mysteries of the time,

  • such as, "Who shot John F. Kennedy?" to the Illuminati.

  • Although the multitude of conspiracy theories

  • that appear in the trilogy are imaginary,

  • they're blended with enough truth to make them seem plausible.

  • Probably the oddest theory was the suggestion that

  • Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Bavarian Illuminati,

  • assassinated George Washington and assumed his identity

  • {as President of the USA.

  • Believers of this theory point to Washington's portrait

  • on the US one dollar bill

  • which they suggest is actually the face of Weishaupt.

  • Despite its lack of mainstream sales the trilogy became a cult favourite.

  • It was even made into a mammoth eight-hour stage play in Liverpool,

  • launching the careers of British actors Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent.

  • The 70s print magazine culture seems distant now

  • from our globalised hyper-connected internet,

  • but Illuminati rumours are still rife on websites such as 4chan and Reddit

  • where believers swap their favourite versions of the conspiracy

  • and champion evidence to prove it's still in existence.

  • Ultimately it's not down to a shadowy elite whether you choose to believe

  • in the Illuminati conspiracy theory or not.

  • It's up to you.

  • Thanks for watching. Don't forget to subscribe

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  • See you again soon!

Is Jay-Z really in the Illuminati?

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光明會陰謀論是如何開始的? (How the Illuminati conspiracy theory started | BBC Ideas)

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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