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Hunting the Illuminati-Ruling Elites: Facts, Falsehoods and Mystery


"I'm here to see the Abbot," The tall, thin Australian stared meaningfully into thin air, "the Dalai Lama wants to know how the Dharma Year is going." This man was an internationally recognised oraclist from birth, he would know that kind of thing. He's told me he can speak oracles in a dozen languages, and is in contact with a deity that is composed of the collective mind of the human species. I'd heard of that: N'atonus, they call it. I said the name and he looked at me, eyes glowing in an unsettling manner; he laughed, a little like Dracula, but friendly.
It was a response to an ordinary question: What are you doing here, at Samye Ling Tibetan Monastery? But it quickly turned complicated, merging into a confession that he was a member of a high-grade occult society called the Illuminati. Allegedly, they're the secret rulers of the world, The Invisible Hand pulling humanity like puppets through the manipulation of media and economy to serve their own dubious agenda. Founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria, they successfully infiltrated the Freemasons, becoming thus a secret society within a secret society. But they were officially disbanded a short time later, they're attempt at seizing power and de-monarchising the Bavarian state thwarted. However, rumours of their existence persist to this day, fuelled by links with American presidents, the French and Russian revolutions, and more recently strange encounters with Alien agendas. Many claim the Illuminati never died, that they meet in secret to this day, conspiring to control the world.
Up to the point he said he was a member of the Illuminati, the mysterious man at the monestary was tenuously plausible: he was Valor Kand, lead singer of Christian Death, going incognito in the UK to escape his adoring fans and the hordes of Christians who wanted to kill him (he'd put a picture of Jesus injecting heroin on one of his album covers and ran a long campaign of anti-Christian polemic). But when someone says they're a member of the Illuminati, one can get suspicious of everything else they've told you. The reader may wonder, so you believed him when he said he was an oraclist from birth? Well, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. What do I know? Maybe he can speak oracles in a dozen languages. And if anyone is a member of the Illuminati, he fits the bill: mysterious origin, a millionaire, renaissance man, established heretic and cultural engineer. When we were doing yoga later that day, he confessed to having half a woman's body, finding the postures quiet tough as a consequence despite his long history as a dancer. On close inspection in his tight trousers I'd never seen a man with hips and legs like those. But I found it difficult to believe he was a member of the Illuminati, and I began to find it difficult to believe that he was Valor Kand from Christian Death: later web searches revealed information that didn't quiet add up to the stranger at the monastery. But then, who was he, and why such an elaborate network of lies? It neatly sums up every problem of investigating the Illuminati. They exist in a realm where you forgo the conclusion that black is black and white is white, and where truth is never simple. The equal territory of the paranoid delusionist and the hopeless romantic, Valor personifies the Illuminati problem because if somebody tells you they're a member, you wouldn't believe them.

But none of this put me off trying to verify their existence, even if there's something of the unicorn about them. A mythic beast that from behind looks like a legitimate animal, but rears its head and defies our sense of the known world if we choose to believe in them. And, until proof presents itself, The Illuminati remain a belief, like aliens, God and the efficacy of crystals to cure cancer: they don't appear on the news, nor are they discussed in open conversation outside the context of conspiracy, untold histories or a catalogue of bullshit. If they were real, surely more people would have heard of them, or even come close to discovering something about them? John Sergeant had been a political correspondent with the BBC for a long time, and he produced Jon Ronson's documentaries about the Bilderberg group and weird Us Military Experiments. Ronson says in the book to his TV series, “John Sergeant's research can be found on every page." So surely Mr. Sergeant must know a thing or two about shadowy elites? He was coming to my area to promote his new book, so I thought I'd ask him. But when I asked, tongue firmly in my cheek, whether he'd ever heard whispers about the Illuminati in Westminster, he said: "What? Who are they. No. Never heard of them." He was busy signing a pile of books the lady from Waterstone’s had given him. He didn't make eye contact. I wanted to know whether he'd seen any evidence during his time in politics of the workings of a shadow government. He gave me a cautionary few words about conspiracies, and said that people don't have time for allegiances to secret societies. I thought that was curious. I hadn't mentioned anything about secret societies. But I suppose his journalistic instinct knew what I was getting at.

I prompted him for a final word: "So, John. It's a dead end?"
"Yes." He said. "And I should be careful."
This is another problem with investigating something like the Illuminati. When you ask people like John Sergeant about them, there's something in their answer and tone that betrays a loyalty to their reputation before the possible truth of such things. He knows enough to advise me to be careful. But that could mean any number of things, not necessarily that I'd be treading on peoples toes. If the legends are true, the Illuminati are buried deep, puzzles within puzzles. Hence their pseudonym, The Invisible Hand. Even if they were in broad daylight, nobody would see them. If they do exist, the complexity of the supporting evidence renders yes and no answers insufficient, and if they came out on the news, who'd believe them? Which is where another secret society, the Knights Templar, come in.


In Hertford here in England, The Knights Templar have demanded an apology from the Vatican for years of persecution they underwent during and after the Christian Crusades. They were a knights order founded during the crusades, and became the richest religious order around in the middle ages, outdoing even the Vatican: they invented a prototype of modern banking, and possessed a secret that reputedly threatened the existence of the Catholic Church, their original masters, who soon allowed the Templars to exist as an independent body. Once they came back from Jerusalem, what was originally a very poor order of knights suddenly had two horses each and immense power and influence. Depending upon who you listen to, the Knights Templar found either the holy grail, the Turin shroud, or secret sex magic rituals gleaned from an obscure sect of Islamic Sufis. One thing is known, members were charged with heresy and their leader, Jacques De Molay was burned at the stake in 1314, on Friday the 13th, hence the unlucky nature of that day, some claim. Then the order disappeared, either going underground, or simply ceasing to exist. But as with the Illuminati, their legend persisted, as did rumours of their existence.

The modern day claimants to the title of Knights Templar have hinted that they know the whereabouts of the Holy Grail, and that the time is soon coming when they will reveal truths to the world which will shatter our conception of history and send us soaring into a new age. They also say that there are secret tunnels under Hertford, where members of the Knights Templar and the Illuminati meet-up and have done for centuries. How are they linked? The Freemasons had always taken lineage from the Knight Templar, and The Illuminati were a secret society within the Freemasons. And all three have associations with occultism.423:28

Late last year in Hertford, when all of these stories began to appear, a Templar insider brought Danny Wallace to the brink of meeting an Illuminatus, but the figure copped out at the last minute. At the centre of all of the Hertford Templar news stories seemed to be one man. One man, that is, and his identical twin. The Acheson's. Ben and Tim the Templar Twins. It was them who spoke to the Guardian, and they who allegedly were behind the request for a papal apology. But more specifically it was Timothy Acheson who brought Danny Wallace to meet an Illuminatus, and also Timothy who spoke to the Hertfordshire Mercury, the spring of these stories. A website called The Insider is copyrighted to the Acheson Intelligence Group, and Tim has been referred to as a 'reporter for The Insider'. It's a conspiracy theory forum, where besides international stories of highly political significance sourced from many newspapers, we find the Hertford Templar stories neatly juxtaposed. It seems on the face of it, that without Timothy Acheson there would be no story. I felt that, if he had knowledge about the real Illuminati, I had to see him. If the Hertfordshire Mercury was the spring of these stories, Timothy Acheson, the Templar Twin, was the underground river that birthed it. And a possible link to a perennially important question: are the Illuminati real? And if they are, should we leave them to it?

Discussing these things upsets some people. On the Masonicinfo website, run by masons, there are many scathing remarks about people who believe in the Illuminati, as well as people who believe in sinister goings on within the Freemasons. They seem equally guilty of the naming, blaming and shaming tactics of so-called 'Anti-masons', and the tone of the website reminded me of a wild, wounded animal lashing out defending itself. When people research these things, they read books. But I began thinking surely the best way is to find a member of a secret society and ask them?

But getting hold of a member of a secret society isn't that easy, even if you do have his e-mail address. It had been hinted that Timothy Acheson was a member of the Knights Templar, so if true he would surely be a good source. But a week passed with no response. I posted an enquiry on the feedback section of the Insider, and even found an email address that strongly suggested it was his: two tries and still no reply. Perhaps I was spam to Mr. Acheson. But eventually I got a response from Oliver Burkeman, the writer of the original Guardian report where I'd heard the Hertford Templar story, during the media pique of interest in the work of Dan Brown. He assured me that the Insider was the best way to contact Tim, and suggested I just try again. He added; "He's a very personable bloke, quite willing to admit, with a grin, that he's got no way of proving to you that it's not all a joke." From the very beginning, then, it seems this is all a question of faith.

After persevering and risking making an enemy of a total stranger, I recieved an email subjected The Illuminati, and sent from The Insider. I tentatively opened it, only to read the following: "Unfortunately this is a topic that I cannot discuss. Please accept my apologies." Snubbed. Of course. What was I expecting? But he suggested I look at a documentary the people at the insider had put together about the Freemasonic conspiracy. And, when I thought about it, he didn't say he wouldn't meet me, just that he can't discuss The Illuminati. I thought I should give over my six quid and watch the documentary, hopeful I'd still get a meeting with my elusive Templar Twin. By no means had I been put off. The Insider documentary was my next step on the Illuminati Trail. Made by conspiracy theorists for conspiracy theorists. Banned in the US and the UK, shunned by the mainstream media. The hype was tasty, and I wanted to gain insight into the strange world of Templar Tim and finally discover the truth about the Illuminati. Perhaps it was time to have a deeper look at the Freemasons and their links to a conspiracy of global control.


To some, Freemasonry's secrecy and weird rituals implement them in a sinister gambit for world domination. My father was a mason, with Bob Monkhouse, and he'd always assured me nothing sinister was going on. And when I thought about it, there never was anything particularly sinister about Bob Monkhouse. But my father did say he had left because he began to feel like people were merely joining to improve their position in society. And this is one of the popular conceptions of freemasonry: that it bestows privilege and shortcuts, that within its corridors are portals where one can stroll into power, through the back-door without the hard slog the great unwashed might find themselves going through. Wink, nudge, shake your leg and you're the president.

The documentary from the Insider focused upon the views of four individuals. A Masonic press officer, an investigative journalist, the mysterious "Tim" and an academic. The journo was saying: "The masons are sinister." The press officer was saying: "the masons aren't sinister." Everything the academic was saying contradicted the press officer. And Mystery Tim was throwing in titbits of clarity as an insider that formed a strong case for masonry being slightly sinister.

One popular "proof" of a Masonic conspiracy is the appearance of an eye in a pyramid on the dollar bill. Asides from being a symbol associated with the Illumianti, the eye on the pyramid is a well known Masonic symbol, and just to complicate or clarify the issue, beneath the pyramid is written the Latin phrase: Novus Ordo Seclorum. This can be translated in a variety of ways. New Secular Order, New Order of the Ages, or New World Order. With the latter translation the conspiracy theorists hits pay dirt with proof of a Masonic conspiracy to create a New World Order.

In the documentary, the Masonic press officer clearly stated that the eye in the pyramid is not a Masonic symbol. In one sense that's true, it pre-dates masonry and is merely a symbol that they adopted. But he goes on to say that masonry isn't a secret society and that it doesn't use occult symbols. That was bullshit. The pentagram, the hexagram, the set square and compass are all occult symbols: symbols whose meaning is hidden, occult or occluded, from the uninitiated. I wasn't a mason and I seemed to know more than him. Unless he was lying. But the one dollar bill thing doesn't necessarily point to a 'conspiracy' either. What becomes troublesome about masonry is the behaviour patterns of some of its members. Many American presidents have been high ranking masons. The first capital city of America was Philadelphia, the city of 'brotherly love', a key theme in masonry, and the constitution itself contains many Masonic ideas, the founding fathers themselves being largely masons. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a 32nd degree mason, and he approved the idea of the Eye in the Pyramid being printed upon the one dollar bill. The symbol indicates the Great Architect of the Universe, Freemasonry's idea of the Supreme Being or Deity. And he liked the motto because to him it meant 'New Deal of the Ages', and harked back to the ideas of the Illuminati, who wanted to create a new order to 'improve' world ills. The possibility is then that rather than a Masonic conspiracy, freemasonry is merely the carrier of influential, progressive ideas. It was formed during the enlightenment, encourages secularism and the equality of men. Maybe even, in our politically correct society, they encourage the idea of the equality of men and women. But the Illuminati had come back again. Weishaupt's order, though it may have led a very short life in the eighteenth century, lived on as an idea, but particularly as a popular idea of governance. It seems that a pattern emerges if you look for the influence of those ideas; a pattern that weaves a narrative through the lives of royalty, bureaucrats, aristocracy, bankers, frat societies like the Order of Skull of Bones at Yale, and some of our most powerful politicians - who else would be inspired by Weishaupt's ideas and simultaneously have the money and influence to set them into action?

Once the Illuminati were forced underground, Weishaupt, it is said, took refuge in Gotha with a gentlemen called Duke Ernst: the date indicates that this was one Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later Saxe -Coburg-Gotha) in 1785, where he remained until he died in 1811. That was interesting in itself, seeing that our very own royal family were the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha's, changing their names to Windsor during the first world war to avoid a PR fiasco. The duke that Weishaupt found refuge with was the father of Ernst II, who was the brother of Prince Albert, husband of our own Queen Victoria. Whether the continuing form of the Illuminati is a monarchist plot to regain sovereignty, a republican capitalist organisation, a Jewish Banking elite or a group of Alien mind-controllers is a view dependent upon the conspiracy theorist. Another royal was to be instrumental in one of the central organisations that give some solid credence to the existence of a clandestine form of world governance, but who couldn't be the Illuminati because of their visibility. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was a founder member of the Bilderberg group. The Bilderbergers are one of three traceable organisations, the influence of whom provides solid evidence of a conspiracy of sorts. I'd initially heard of them through reading Jon Ronson's book, Them: Adventures with Extremists. What you can find out about the Bilderberg group, and whether you believe it or not, can make the notion that we live in a democratic society laughable.


When I looked up the Bilderbergers on the web, I found a website called, run by a journalist and eco-pro opposer of clandestine governance: his name was Tony Gossling. The name rang a bell, and sure enough, he was the investigative journalist on the Masonic Conspiracy DVD. He had an address and number in plane view on his homepage, so I thought he might be somebody worth talking to.
Along with groups like the council on foreign relations and the trilateral commission, the Bilderberg group are accused of involvement in the implementation of the New World Order. They have private, strictly no-press meetings once a year at different locations, where they study and discuss matters of global import. According to some researchers things like the European union were born and pushed through with the Bilderberg meetings, and they were responsible for the misplacement of Margaret Thatcher from the British Prime Ministerial position. It's this level of control, manipulation or subtle influence that is often accredited to the Illuminati.
Tony Gossling's office in Bristol was like some war bunker. He wore combats, furthering my image of him as involved in some hidden conflict against a shadowy enemy. His walls were covered with slogans like 'comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable', and anti-NWO material.

While he made some phone calls to sort some bug on his three networked and dusty PCs, I had a look through his books. Noam Chomsky, Anthony Sutton, books with titles mentioning the Illuminati and the Freemasons, and the memoirs of one Lord Rothschild. Along with what seemed every episode of Rocko's Modern Life on video tape. When we got to talking, he was quick to distance himself from the aplomb of a conspiracy theorist: "I'm a trained journalist who's very careful about whether he reports known facts or speculation." He stresses the importance of the distinction, and holds the view that much conspiracy writing is speculation posing as fact. From what I'd been reading, I couldn't argue with that; references are appalling, and if references are used, they're questionable, often second hand, and in the case of one book, nearly entirely composed from the work of other conspiracy writers like Icke and Webster, who's credibility isn't obvious. He advised that scepticism was important. He also stressed that what conspiracy theorists and writers do is pretty much what all journalists do: misrepresent, use careless language and "lie", whether intentionally or not. It's a slack style that effects all but the most conscientious writers. But if this is what all journalists do, what makes some subjects worth reporting and not others? This was one of Tony's areas of expertise. He'd just come from a trade union meeting about the closing of the Bristol Observer. When I asked him why it had folded, who was behind it, he mentioned Lord Carrington, owner of the Daily Mail. And then went on to discuss how all of the major newspaper owners attending Bilderberg meetings, or have links with members of groups like the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations and the Royal Institute. It's a startling fact that most of the world's media is owned by 5 corporations: control of it isn't really that difficult. The media gives us our popular ideas of the world, gives us our news, and according to some people tells us exactly what to think.

When you look at the material, it's quiet easy to see where ideas of a New World Order are coming from. Tony Gossling's work is a rare example of a fire where there's smoke. Some elite Satanic group, sacrificing Children to an Owl God and controlling the minds of the masses to shape the world according to their malign designs is an unlikely source of the world's misery. But the highly concentrated power of corporations, and the individuals who control them, is a traceable fact that weaves a disturbing narrative distinct from the world we're presented with on a daily basis. But it seems that often the most common source for the theories that posit an invisible hand in control of the world, or even the universe, is in the psychology of the individual. An attempt, like a belief in God, to order a disordered world, and source blame for human ills on a nebulous other. Secret societies, being secret, are ideal candidates for this projection, because nobody knows what they really do, except the members themselves, and they're not telling - or if they do, only half truths, like the Masonic press officer on the Insider DVD. My relations with Tim Acheson became strained when he'd somehow discovered that I'd been asking the press about him. The possibility of a meeting became more and more remote as our communications continued, and he was able to garner that I knew more than a little about secret societies. I began to doubt the authenticity of his associations. Persistent investigation revealed that he liked to plug his website, and that he worked hard at giving the impression that the Acheson Intelligence Group was an all seeing eye all to itself.

The elusiveness of the truth regarding the Illuminati is perhaps what keeps people going. There are hints, but no real evidence. Just a trail of connections which are baffling, intriguing and a little scary all at the same time. One truth possible to garner from investigating the Illuminati is that history is not as it's told in schools: there is a matrix of hidden influences behind all of the events that have shaped our world. Are they all Masons? Are they all a secret elite, guiding humankind either to its destruction of liberation? Researchers like Tony Gossling and Jon Ronson have come across some startling things, but these have more to do with the strange behaviour of government: the idea that a hidden hand could control the world is perhaps putting a little too much faith in the powers of the human, and too little faith in the power of Chaos and the individual's choice to live free as they will to do, inhibited only by a web of cultural norms and values that seem to turn some people into zombies and others into freedom fighters.
Gossling was my full stop. Masonic conspiracy my arse. But when I left Tony's office, a picture on the wall I hadn't seen caught my attention. It was the plaque on the main MI5 offices, and it bore a striking resemblance to the eye in the pyramid: I took a closer look, and on inspection that's exactly what it was.

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