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Illuminati Having a Pop Cultural Moment

What do Sherlock Holmes, Gaga, Jay-Z, and the New York Times have in common? If the past few weeks are any indication, it’s a vested interest in occultish secret societies: the Masonic order and Illuminati, to be exact. Hold up: what’s an Illuminati? Adam Weishaupt founded the secretive group of “free thinkers,” an offshoot of the Enlightenment movement, in Bavaria in 1776. Because of its cloak-and-dagger pretense, the sect has since gained a much more sinister reputation in the canon of pop culture. Is the group of “ruling elite” a New World Order conspiracy? Probably not. But it sure is fun to speculate.

Paranoid blogger The Vigilant Citizen claims that “hiding one’s eye can be traced back to the ‘eye of Horus’ of Egyptian mythology. This symbolism seems to have evolved into a a kind of signal flashed by artists who have been initiated into the select circle of Illuminati pop stars.” Evidence? Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

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In fact, Our Lady of No Pants might even be an Illuminati puppet. Here she is posing in what appears to be a Masonic temple. (The gold symbol on the throne at left, the “twin pillars” of Jachim and Boaz at right.) No matter that the Gags references all sorts of batshit cultural ephemera in her costumes and performances and is as much as a member of the Illuminati as she is an actual alien sex slave.

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Guy Ritchie’s loose interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes franchise introduces a diabolical foil to our confident hero, an aristocrat named Lord Blackwood who invokes the devotion of his own secret society, The Temple of the Four Orders, to exercise mind control on the powers that control Victorian London. Trickery and chalice-sipping and crested rings and and poofs of smoke ensue. Hokey, sure, but isn’t it all?

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The Vigilant Citizen sez, “Sasha Fierce is wearing a metal plate featuring Baphomet’s vehicule, [whose face] is also featured on the sigil of the Church of Satan.”

Next up: B’s hubby Jigga. By all accounts, Jay-Z is a savvy businessman, but is he also a vessel for Baphomet worshipers from the Illuminati? He’s been photographed sporting a sweatshirt reading “Do What Thou Wilt,” purportedly the slogan of nefarious 19th-century personality and occultist Aleister Crowley. Jay’s latest video, “On to the Next One” with Swizz Beatz, also contains some heavy references to the sect: animal skulls, horns, chalices of blood, face paint, and (snort) devil hand signs in front of halo imagery.

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Semi-debunking the mystery of the Masonic order is an op-ed piece in last week’s Times by Holly Brubach. Brubach profiles a growing “transparency” on behalf of the Freemasons, whose PR team is hard at work “updating” the Masonic vibe for the 21st century. The rituals will be written down for the first time ever, and the order is trying to recruit the under-30 set to carry on the flame. She also points out there this is a (hilarious) YouTube video exhibiting the “secret” handshakes of the Freemasons and Illuminati. Take all that with a grain of salt.

Related: The Awl points us to an amazing, pun-laden article on the same topic from a 1998 issue of Vibe. Which goes to show that nothing is new and the secret worshipers of Baphomet will be controlling our minds forever.

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