Once upon a time in the 1770’s, there was a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati.
It was started by a man named Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian professor of law, who really had a thing for secret societies.
First, Weishaupt gave the Masons a try but decided they weren’t ambitious enough or secretive enough. And what’s the fun in that, really?
So one day he thought to himself, “I’ll just start up my own little secret society.
I’ll offer lower member fees and higher ambitions, and set about changing the world.
And all of this will be super secret, more super secret than all those other not so secret lameazoids. I will be the most secretive secret secret keeper ever.”
So he whispered in one ear and another and another and then he and his newly sworn undercover brothers set about whispering to others in places where people often whisper to others until one day the Order of the Illuminati was a silent army of 300 or so. The exact number remains a secret, of course.
They had it all, really. Secret words, secret names, secret rituals. They probably even had a secret handshake.
They only had one problem, a problem that has plagued secret societies all throughout their poorly hidden histories. They’re made up of people, and people suck at being secretive.
It wasn’t very long before the whispers fell into all the wrong ears. That’s a really fun thing about secrets. Sharing them.
The other fun thing about secrets is getting to change them up and make them sexier than they ever were before. More intrigue. More danger. More everything.
By 1784, the streets were alive with whispers and the government was feeling nervous, so they banned all that secretive stuff.
Some of the secrets turned into rumors. Rumors turned into accusations. Weishaupt turned into a blabbermouth, and told a government official everything in an attempt to save his society.
He ended up fleeing Bavaria in the end. Other members were arrested and, next thing you know, all of their secrets were made public. Their secret documents. Their secret letters. Their secret goals to promote reason and build a peaceful society devoid of superstition were soon laid out and asunder.
And that’s when things really got fun. The society was no longer a secret. They no longer even existed. Everyone was free to speculate.
They’ve gone underground. They’re plotting something big. They’re everywhere and into everything.
The word spread from Bavaria outward and the word took amazing turns along the way.
Soon everyone knew everything about a society that was no longer anything, but brother, don’t you buy that last bit.
Then came the French Revolution and the Enlightenment and some were none too happy about it. That’s when a Jesuit priest named Augustin de Barruel shared his conviction that the whole enlightened mess had been the master plan of one ingenious evil presence, the Order of the Illuminati.
Just think about it. They no longer existed. What a perfect way to be more secretive than ever.
John Robison, a professor in Scotland reached the same conclusion. It had to be the Illuminati.
These things don’t just happen. Every movement has to have a mover. Every uprising has to have someone who shoves it upwards. Every revolution has to have a central planner. And if they don’t, there will always be people like Barruel and Robison who will work feverishly to provide one.
And so they did, each working separately to craft similar tales of varying details by splicing together all the various rumors that had spun their way through all the various networks.
Their tales were met with wide acclaim, mass distribution, and a bit of mass hysteria.
And that’s how a secret society that was really bad at keeping secrets became the evil mastermind behind a plot to overthrow all that’s holy long after they ceased to exist.
Now you understand a little bit more about why your neighbor’s addicted to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and WND.com. They know all the secrets.
What I Was Reading When I Wrote This…
Ken Robert is a guy who can’t not write, writing things he can’t not say. If you can’t not read them, click here and sign up for free updates.