It’s good to have school-age kids to find out what the “yoots” of today are thinking about woo-woo topics. Apparently, 6th graders know enough to be dangerous when it comes to the Illuminati. My kid told me that when she wears a certain patterned tee, several kids remark about how it is an “Illuminati” symbol.
Obviously, it’s not. But where do they get these things from?
She didn’t know what the Illuminati was or what they meant by those remarks. Actually, I don’t think her commenters KNOW what the Illuminati is or what the hype about their symbolism is. In fact, I’m not sure I know because it’s all a bunch of secret conspiracy, shadowy, fiction-sounding mumbo-jumbo that I don’t pay much attention to. But it has been in the news over the past few years in places that kids might be paying attention to – namely pop culture.
The Illuminati was:
…a secret society in Bavaria in the late 18th century. They had a political agenda that included republicanism and abolition of monarchies, which they tried to institute by means of subterfuge, secrecy, and conspiracy, including the infiltration of other organizations. They fancied themselves to be “enlightened” but they had little success and were destroyed within fifteen years of their origin.
So it’s gone. But not forgotten. A secret, controlling cabal was such a great idea that conspiracy theorists choose to believe the Illuminati still exists in some form or as a network of various societies that continue to serve as puppetmasters for government or industries. Their ultimate goal is “New World Order”. Such an overarching, mastermind agency provides a handy go-to explanation for ANYTHING troubling that happens in the political world.
Several membership-only organizations claim to be descended from or associated with the original Bavarian Illuminati but this is more marketing hype than fact. They may love the idea of deep-rooted mysterious history, but there is no evidence that any group (other than the typically influential wealthy) have any special political powers or ability to control or guide world events. But, it is ego-boosting for some to be a member of such an elite-sounding group.
How would kids have heard about the Illuminati as a “thing”? Well, rumors of music and movie stars’ involvement in the Illuminati intertwined with Satanism have been circulating for a few years. It goes like this: the industry lures naïve, talented people to Hollywood where they sign contracts, or, if you wish, “sell their soul”. They serve the “master” and recruit others with the promise of fame and wealth. The catch is that at any time, you might be sacrificed to the demon overlords. (That’s the story, it’s a metaphor, not fact.)
Illuminati references appear in books/films, comics, television shows and music. The connection between several secret societies such as the Freemasons and Knights Templar seems particularly strong recently for the likes of superstars like Beyonce and Jay-Z as well as Ke$ha, Rhianna, and Madonna (who has a song entitled “Illuminati” but she brushes off any connection). The Grammy Awards performances are often a place where the symbolism is widely commented upon. 2015 was no exception. In fact, symbolism was all over the place. But that doesn’t mean it’s nefarious. I mean, if it’s so secret, why is it in full view and promoted?
- Beyonce was accused of flashing an Illuminati symbol in the 2013 Super Bowl performance.
- Whitney Houston’s untimely death was tied to Illuminati sacrifice.
- The Kardashian’s Christmas card was apparently chock full of symbolism.
- The death of Robin Williams and the success of Justin Bieber and the Ice-bucket challenge – all Illuminati-based.
- Municipal officials may even be taken in by the rumors. One school canceled classes based on unsupported rantings from a conspiracy site.
It’s not a healthy society that is manipulated by rumor of underground machinations. It’s especially bad when kids take these crazy stories seriously. In June 2013, an aspiring rapper was found guilty of attempted murder of his friend whom he said was necessary as a “sacrifice” to further his own career.
Carrying a rumor of involvement with a dark, secretive, dangerous group may be just a crazy fashion trend and provide a mysterious allure that will get you more attention. Yet, it’s important to think about the role it plays in our culture and to be aware of what is fiction and what, if anything, is based in reality. If you hear people mention “the Illuminati,” ask them what they really know about it. Ask them HOW they know about it. It’s a good bet that they just know this stuff from media mystery-mongering and from their story-telling friends. There is very little basis in reality for an underground secret power network. Remember, the first Illuminati failed not long after its start. Or, that’s just want I want you to think.
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