illuminatus
Illuminatus!
Excerpt from the semi-fictional novel 'Illuminatus! Trilogy - Eye in the Pyramid'
by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson, written between 1969 and 1971.

"The Illuminati. The real force behind all communist and fascist movements. Whether you're aware of it or not, they're also already in control of the United States government."

"I thought everybody in your crowd was a right-winger—"

"And I told you spacial metaphors are inadequate in discussing politics today," Hagbard interrupted.

"Well, you sound like a gang of right-wingers. Up until the last minute, all I've heard from you and your people was that the Illuminati were commies, or were behind the commies. Now you say they're behind fascism and behind the current government in Washington, too."

Hagbard laughed. "We came on like right-wing paranoids, at first, to see how you'd react. It was a test."

"And?"

"You passed. You didn't believe us—that was obvious—but you kept your eyes and ears open and were willing to listen. If you were a right-winger, we would have done our pro-communist rap. The idea is to find out if a new man or woman will listen, really listen, or just shut their minds at the first really shocking idea."

"I'm listening, but not uncritically. For instance, if the Illuminati control America already, what's the purpose of the assassinations?"

"Their grip on Washington is still pretty precarious. They've been able to socialize the economy. But if they showed their hand now and went totalitarian all the way, there would be a revolution. Middle-readers would rise up with right-wingers, and left-libertarians, and the Illuminati aren't powerful enough to withstand that kind of massive revolution. But they can rule by fraud, and by fraud eventually acquire access to the tools they need to finish the job of killing off the Constitution."

"What sort of tools?"

"More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason—or are manipulated into reasoning—that the entire populace must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted. Targets for assassination will be mavericks of left or right who are either not part of the Illuminati conspiracy or have been marked as unreliable. The Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, for example, were capable of mobilizing a somewhat libertarian left-right-black-white populist movement. But the assassinations that have occurred so far are nothing compared to what will take place. The next wave will be carried out by the Mafia, who will be paid in Illuminati gold."

"Not Moscow gold," said George with a smile.

"The puppets in the Kremlin have no idea that they and the puppets in the White House are working for the same people. The Illuminati control all sorts of organizations and national governments without any of them being aware that others are also controlled. Each group thinks it is competing with the others, while actually each is playing its part in the Illuminati plan. Even the Morituri—the six-person affinity groups which splintered from the SDS Weathermen, because the Weathermen seemed too cautious—are under the control of the Illuminati. They think they're working to bring down the government, but actually they are strengthening its hand. The Black Panthers are also infiltrated.

Everything is infiltrated. At present rate, within the next few years the Illuminati will have the American people under tighter surveillance than Hitler had the Germans. And the beauty of it is, the majority of the Americans will have been so frightened by Illuminati-backed terrorist incidents that they will beg to be controlled as a masochist begs for the whip."

George shrugged. Hagbard sounded like a typical paranoid, but there was this submarine and the strange events of the past few days. "So the Illuminati are conspiring to tyrannize the world, is that it? Do you trace them back to the First International?"

They're what happened when the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century collided with German mysticism. The correct name for the organization is Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria. According to their own traditions they were founded or revived in seventeen seventy-six on May first by a man named Adam Weishaupt. Weishaupt was an unfrocked Jesuit and a Mason. He taught that religions and national governments had to be overthrown and the world ruled by an elite of scientifically-minded materialistic atheists, to be held in trust for the masses of mankind who would eventually rule themselves when enlightenment became universal. But this was only Weishaupt's 'Outer Doctrine.' There was also an 'Inner Doctrine,' which was that power is an end in itself, and that Weishaupt and his closest followers would make use of the new knowledge being developed by scientists and engineers to seize control of the world. Back in seventeen seventy-six, things were run largely by the Church and the feudal nobility, with the capitalists slowly getting a bigger and bigger piece of the pie. Weishaupt declared that these groups were obsolete, and it was time for an elite with a monopoly on scientific and technological knowledge to seize power. Instead of eventually producing a democratic society, as the 'Outer Doctrine' promised, the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria would saddle mankind with a dictatorship that would last forever."

"Well, it would be logical enough that someone around that time would think of that," said George. "And who more likely than a Mason who was an unfrocked Jesuit?"

"Well, the Illuminati, after staying above ground long enough to recruit a hard-core membership from Masons and freethinkers and to establish international contacts, allowed it to seem that the Bavarian government had suppressed them. Subsequently, the Illuminati launched their first experimental revolution, in France. Here they suckered the middle class, whose true interests lay in laissez faire free enterprise, to follow the Weishaupt slogan of 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.' The catch, of course, is that where equality and fraternity rule, there is no liberty. After the career of Napoleon, whose rise and fall was purely the result of Illuminati manipulations, they started planting the seeds of European socialism, leading to the revolutions of eighteen forty-eight, to Marxism, finally to the seizure of Russia, one-sixth of the earth's land mass. Of course, they had to engineer a world war to make the Russian Revolution possible, but by nineteen seventeen they had become quite good at that. World War Two was an even more clever job and resulted in more gains for them."

"Another thing this explains," George said, "is why orthodox Marxism-Leninism, in spite of all its ideals, always turns out to be not worth a shit. Why it's always betrayed the people wherever it established itself. And it explains why there's such an inevitable quality about America's drift toward totalitarianism."

"Right," said Hagbard. "America is the target now. They've got most of Europe and Asia. Once they get America, they can come out into the open. The world will then be much as Orwell predicted in Nineteen Eighty-four. They bumped him off after it was published, you know. The book hit a little too close to home. He was obviously on to them—the references to Inner and Outer parties with different teachings, O'Brien's speech about power being an end in itself—and they got him. Orwell, you see, ran across them in Spain, where they were functioning quite openly at one point during the Civil War. But artists also arrive at truth through their imaginations, if they let themselves wander freely. They're more likely to arrive at the truth than more scientific-minded people."

"You've just tied two hundred years of world history up in a theory that would make me feel I should have myself committed if I accepted it," said George. "But I'm drawn to it, I admit. Partly intuitively—I feel you are a person who is essentially sane and not paranoid. Partly because the orthodox version of history that I was taught in school never made sense to me, and I know how people can twist history to suit their beliefs, and therefore I assume that the history I've learned is twisted. Partly because of the very wildness of the idea. If I learned one thing in the last few years, it's that the crazier an idea is the more likely it is to be true. Still and all, given all those reasons for believing you, I would like some further sign."