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The Illuminati in popular culture

The historical Illuminati have had several influences on popular culture, many of them satirical, humorous, or intended as pure fiction:

  • Illuminatus! by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson is a three-book science fiction series published in the 1970s, which is regarded as a cult classic particularly in the hacker community. The occult group Illuminates of Thanateros can be safely assumed to have named itself inspired by this book and claims heritage to the Illuminati at least in spirit.
  • Robert Anton Wilson also wrote The Historical Illuminati Chronicles in the early 1980s. While this too is a fictional account of a young Italian Free Mason, the books are crammed with historical footnotes.
  • Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum is a labyrinthine novel about all sorts of secret societies, including the Illuminati and the Rosicrucians.
  • Angels and Demons (German title: Illuminati, Dutch title: Het Bernini Mysterie), by Dan Brown, is about an Illuminati order plot against the Catholic Church. In this novel the Illuminati movement was founded by Galileo Galilei and others as an enlightened reaction to persecution by the Catholic Church.
  • The Principia Discordia, the infamous holy book of Discordianism, includes the Illuminati as one of the Greyface forces opposing Discordians.
  • A small movement believes the Illuminati are a group of aliens that hold humanity on strings and control everything. This movement reads much like a science fiction novel.
  • In Simon West's movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) a group of high society 'bad guys' call themselves Illuminati, developing a plan to rule the world. They and Lara Croft's father claim that the Illuminati have existed for millennia for this purpose.
  • The anime series Serial Experiments Lain contains some references to the Illuminati and the Majestic 12.
  • Two games from Steve Jackson Games are based on the mythos: Illuminati and its trading card game reincarnation Illuminati: New World Order. "Secret conspiracies are everywhere, and where can you find the only truth? Certainly not in the game of Illuminati" states the advertising.
  • Deus Ex, a video game, features the Illuminati. Its sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War also features the Illuminati in a more active role.
  • The videogame Resident Evil 4 features its main plot as that of preventing a religious cult known as Los Illuminados, from ultimately ruling the world: using parasites - Las Plagas - to control and cleanse heathens.
  • The video game Area 51 contains multiple references to the Illuminati.
  • UK author Clive Barker, in his epic Imajica, imagines the Illuminati as a place where supernatural items are collected - and hidden/destroyed, so that the general public may never see them. Many of the items come from other dimensions, which the book expands on in great detail.
  • The storyline of Street Fighter III revolves around an organization calling itself the Illuminati seeking to create a new utopia.
  • In the DC Comics universe, there are at least two societies based on the Illuminati. The first was founded by Vandal Savage and Garn Danuuth in ancient Atlantis. The second was an organization known to its members as "Fiatlux" which was devoted to the release of a demon known as Hellrazer from the realm of Perdition.
  • In a recent episode of The Dead Zone it was hinted that the Illuminati will play a large role in the apocalypse that the show's protagonist John Smith is supposed to prevent.
  • In early editions of the Warhammer 40,000 table top miniatures game, these were humans who were possessed by daemons of Chaos, but were able to escape their grasp.
  • The song "No Purpose No Design" by Meat Beat Manifesto has some references to Bavarian Illuminati.
  • The German movie 23 has some references to Illuminati topics.
  • In David Craig Simpson's Ozy and Millie comic strip, much of the world is manipulated, though somewhat satirically, by a Dragon Illumiati, which works off the very chaos the world itself creates.
  • Fat Boy Slim has a song called "Illuminati"
  • The Jurrasic 5 song Concrete Schoolyard contains a passing illuminati reference.
  • In the Marvel Comics universe, the Illuminati was a secret clandestine group formed in the wake of the Kree-Skrull War, consisting of Iron Man, Professor X, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange, Namor, and Black Bolt. This group will apparently be the centerpiece of the big 2006 event.
  • In several episodes of the Walt Disney animated series Gargoyles, one of the major antagonists of the series, David Xanatos, was revealed to be a member of the Illuminati. In one episode he travels back in time 1,000 years, flashes his Illuminati pin and it is acknowledged. The Gargoyles Illuminati was founded in 948 A.D., eight centuries before the origins of the historical Bavarian Illuminati. The series ended before much was revealed about the order. It is rumored that if it had continued, it would eventually been revealed that the Illuminati had been founded by the immortal Sir Percival of the Round Table.
  • In September 2001 GammaRay released the album New World Order. It has several references to the Illuminati including the songs "Induction" and "New World Order" (both lyrics and music by Kai Hansen), and the booklet design (by Henjo Richter).
  • In Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, an episode revolved around illuminati members who were revealed to be aliens


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