What links an 18th-century president of Yale, an inter-war aristocratic Nazi sympathizer, a McCarthy-era anticommunist zealot and the former editor of Playboy? How are the origins of the French Revolution, the murder of the Romanovs, the design of the dollar bill and alien abductions connected? The answer lies with one of the world's most mysterious, feared and arguably, maligned secret societies - the Illuminati. References to the Illuminati span centuries, millennia even, yet the group actually existed for little over a decade. So why are they said to be behind the world's greatest conspiracies? For nearly 250 years references to the Illuminati and their alleged influence on major world world events have continued to resurface. There are those who claim the Illuminati are much older than their first recorded incarnation suggests, dating their origins to the time of the pyramids, and others who believe the group is literally not of this planet but part of an alien culture bent on taking over the earth.
This book looks at the reality and the myths, questions the allegations and explores how fears about the group have taken many different forms, whether fear of intellectuals during the Enlightenment, or fear of communists during the McCarthy era. An Internet search reveals that belief in the group's shadowy influence is as active as ever - what does that say about us today? And are we right to be afraid?
Lindsay Porter is a full time journalist and has contributed to a number of books as a ghost writer. She is a credited contributor to 'Conspiracy Theories in America: An Encyclopedia' where she wrote on secret societies. She has a particular interest in French secret societies - including The Illuminati. She lives in Massachusetts, USA.