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The Existence of Illuminati: Debunked 

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The Illuminati’s existence and the claim that “they” pull the strings of almost every single event, big or small, in history has been a pervasive conspiracy theory that has penetrated deep into the everyday culture of America. The story of the Illuminati begins in a forest just north of Munich on the night of May 1st, 1776. Created by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian professor of the Jewish faith turned Christian, what is now known as the Bavarian Illuminati was a secret order originally purposed to go against the church and the way religion was imposed upon the population. He considered the Order of the Illuminati to be a means to an end in order to create “a state of liberty and moral equality, freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches, continually throw in our way.” This secret society was abruptly ended on March 2nd, 1785, almost ten years later due to an edict that was issued by the government and Charles Theodore, the then Duke of Bavaria, that banned all secret societies and orders. This included the Illuminati.

Since then, it has been theorized (if that word can even be used) that the Illuminati went “underground” at that time and has been secretly pulling the strings of all the events of the world in order to reach the goal of creating a one-world government in which they would control everything. For example, it has been posited that the Illuminati were behind both World Wars in order to create the start of the one-world government, the United Nations. More interestingly, a theory has surfaced that the Bavarian Illuminati have nothing to do with the real Illuminati and that the real Illuminati have been pulling the strings behind the scenes for thousands of years. In fact, a man named Wes Penre popularized this idea back in 1998 and has since updated it many times. However, it is a reasonable claim to state that if Robert Anton Wilson had never been one of the authors of Principia Discordia (printed in 1965), a satirical book on the fake religion of Discordianism, then this whole Illuminati conspiracy theory would most likely never come into existence. At the very least, its unveiling would have been pushed back to a later date in history. Discordianism and the Principia Discordia object to the culture of the time and sought to inject chaos into the perceived order of society. Robert Wilson included the Illuminati hoax in this book and it spread out of control from there. Wes Penre eventually learned of this hoax and was one of the first people to turn it into a full-blown conspiracy theory. His article overview of the Illuminati is ironically titled “The Secret Order of the Illuminati: A Brief History of the Shadow Government”. Wes made innumerable mistakes in this long and rambling article that one has trouble keeping up with all the unfalsifiable (unable to be proven wrong) claims that he makes. It is no wonder that this conspiracy theory has spread so far and wide.

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One of the first oversized claims that Wes made is that the Illuminati he has written about is run by extremely rich people who are part of just thirteen families and their goal is to create a society in which everyone serves them. This claim makes three critical errors. First, there is a massive evidence gap. Wes fails to provide even one piece of evidence in support of this claim. This is unusual as far as conspiracy theories go because the typical behavior of a conspiracy theorist is finding evidence, however small/insignificant/irrelevant that evidence may be, and then completely misreading or misusing it. Wes goes beyond this and does not provide any evidence that this claim may be possible. Second, even if he did provide sufficient evidence, how are these supposed “Illuminati” (ironic because Illuminati quite literally means people claiming to possess special enlightenment) planning on taking over the world and creating a society built on slaves if they could not silence Wes himself from blowing their cover? If they were that powerful, why wouldn’t they have taken over the world by now instead of waiting thousands of years? It is either one or the other. They are either all-powerful and are capable of taking over the world or they are completely incompetent. Third, and finally, his claim is completely unfalsifiable in the sense that you cannot prove wrong that the “super-rich Power Elite have the ambition to create a slave society!” It is completely unnecessary to even continue through the second and third critical errors because the first is enough to stop his claim in its tracks. The late and great Christopher Hitchens put it best when he said, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

The second massive claim that Wes makes is that the “Christian viewpoint on this is that the Illuminati are in fact descended from the fallen angels and the Giants that walked the Earth.” He goes on to say that the offspring of these “Giants” still walk the earth and are at the top of the ruling class. This time, Wes provides evidence by using a verse in the Bible which states that, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Even though he provides evidence this time, Wes is still in violation of two principal errors. The first still being that there is still an evidence gap. He is correct that in the Bible it says that giants were walking the earth thousands of years ago, they bred with human women, and the offspring of these human women were “men of renown”. What has this proved? Absolutely nothing. The Bible states this claim without any evidence of it being true. Not only that, but even if it were true, how could Wes reasonably go from what this verse says to “it’s the Illuminati that the Bible depicts here and they’re trying to create a one-world government”? The answer is, of course, that he cannot. In fact, it is extremely unreasonable to do such a thing. It is a classic example of not having sufficient evidence and the evidence that is at hand is completely misread and misused to the nth degree. The second principal error he makes is that there is another issue of unfalsifiability in this claim. There is absolutely no way to prove wrong that giants did walk the earth, bred with human women, and gave birth to giant-human hybrids. Let alone, proving wrong that these hybrids are still walking the earth and that their offspring are at the top of the ruling class. Again, I refer you to Mr. Hitchens and his rule of thumb involving the assertion of a claim without evidence.

The third large claim that Wes makes is that “the UFO’s people see are a mix of both government vehicles and alien ships” and that the Illuminati are behind it in order to stage a fake alien invasion to unite the world into a one-world government. Wes once again proves to make two major errors. First, he once again is committing to a claim without evidence to back it up. There is no evidence at any sufficient level to justify saying that UFO’s are a mix of government ships and real aliens. The evidence that does exist for UFO’s always point towards them being experimental aircraft for the research and development department of different military branches. Another explanation is simply that the people that reported seeing UFOs are simply mistaken. Regardless, even if the above statement were correct, one could not reasonably get to the Illuminati being behind it to stage a fake alien invasion to create a one-world government. Again, Wes committed the typical mistake of not having sufficient evidence and misreading and misusing what he does have. Secondarily, his claim is unfalsifiable in the sense that you cannot prove wrong that the Illuminati is working up to stage a fake alien invasion to unite the world into a world government controlling everything.

Wes has committed many logical fallacies in his overview article of the Illuminati. Yet, the overarching critical error that he made is assuming that the Illuminati existed in the first place as a secret society in the conspiracy version portrayal of them. There is absolutely no reason to believe they exist because there is no evidence of their existence. Why assume something exists if there is no evidence for something existing. That is akin to me claiming wholeheartedly that the universe was created by magic dust wielding fairies, but not having evidence for such a bold and silly claim. Not only that, but I would be stating something that is unfalsifiable on two levels. I would not be able to prove that these fairies created the universe because there is no evidence for their existence nor is there evidence against their existence, let alone the fact that there is no evidence for if they created the universe or did not create the universe. Due to not having evidence for said claims and said claims being unfalsifiable, it would be more reasonable to assume that these fairies do not exist and that they did not create the universe, not that they do exist and that they did create the universe. The same goes for Wes’ claim of the existence of the Illuminati, let alone all of the specific claims that fall under that umbrella. It is much more reasonable to assume that the Illuminati does not exist in lieu of that it does. This level of reliable reasonability continues to increase the more that specific claims are added to the overarching claim.


  • Fotostock, Maria Breuer/ImageBroker/Age, and Karger-Decker/Age Fotostock. Meet the Man Who Started the Illuminati. National Geographic, September 3, 2019.
  • Galer, Sophia Smith. The Accidental Invention of the Illuminati Conspiracy – BBC Future. BBC News. BBC, August 9, 2017.
  • Genesis 6, King James Version (KJV): The Bible App. Read the Bible. A free Bible on your phone, tablet, and computer., n.d.
  • Hataley, K. M. In Search of the Illuminati: A Light Amidst Darkness. In Search of the Illuminati – K. M. Hataley, n.d.
  • Hitchens, Christopher. A Quote by Christopher Hitchens. Goodreads. Goodreads, n.d.
  • Penre, Wes. WebCite query result, September 26, 2009.


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