A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies

reader comments: illuminati

31 Jan 2010
It's funny how you call people that have a clue about what is really going on in this world, (PCT) Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists... There is a name for you as well... it's called dis-info as in disinformation and that tactic is not working any longer. Either that or you are what I'd like to call a sheeple. At any rate your antiquated, psychobabble, bs, rhetoric info that you list on your site is erroneous in itself. Your audacity apparently knows no bounds. Illuminati has been around far longer than Bavaria. Get your facts straight Mr. Professor. Ridiculous at best.


reply: cismerc is keeping his source to himself, but I suspect it's Dan Brown or some other fiction writer. What he doesn't know is that my disinformation is a smokescreen to keep the Vatican and 9/11 investigators off the scent. I'm actually an al Qaeda agent doing part-time smackdowns for Big Pharma, the CIA, and Westminster Abbey. When I'm in an especially bad mood I write poetry and torture people by reading it to them. By the way, Mr. Professor is my amanuensis and it is not true that my audacity knows no bounds. I can't get it to go past Texas, even if I promise to keep my poetry to myself.


1 Jun 2009
Dear Mr. Robert Carroll,

By chance I came upon an essay you wrote for the Skeptics Dictionary: http://skepdic.com/illuminati.html

I read the essay as I am interested in this topic and must say I was compelled to you write to you and give my feedback. You may or may not have any interest in my opinion, so I apologize for the intrusion if you see it as so.

My basic approach, in short, to evaluating the likelihood of a particular claim is to remove speculation, presupposition and bias, assess the facts and try to determine what the logical conclusion appears to be using the scientific method. Your essay contains gross generalizations, rampant presupposition and relies on speculation.

These failings, however, are not uncommon and would not provoke me to write such an email. It is, in fact, the following paragraph from your essay that I simply cannot let go un-commented:

"...Griffin actually does claim that No. 7 WTC, which collapsed at 5:20 pm, was blown up by explosives, and this is taken as proof that Washington was behind it. But what would the motive be? Blowing up an already-evacuated office building after thousands had died in the Twin Towers would seem like a waste of dynamite, not to mention office space. Did Bush think that public opinion had not been sufficiently inflamed by the 3,000 deaths? Do most Americans even know that a third office building, far smaller than the Towers, was also lost on that day? Griffin never explores that possibility that No. 7 was demolished because it had been contaminated by the white dust from the nearby North Tower. Explosives were used because, at 45 stories, No. 7 was too tall for a wrecking crane. "

In an effort to dismiss Griffin's argument you actually speculate that building 7 may have been brought down with explosives for safety concerns, yet you fail to grasp the fact that any demolition would have required weeks of preparation. Your speculation is so shallow as only the mind of one in denial can be.

The NYFD (Fire Dept.) does not have any technology to demolish buildings. They do not do that. Who exactly do you think it was who might have brought down the building for safety concerns? Can you actually advance an argument like this and not concern yourself with the most important fact: who was it that demolished the building?

You dismiss the idea that it was a pre-planned malicious conspiracy out-of-hand, yet, you admit that it is possible that it was brought down by explosives, yet, you insist that if it was brought down by explosives it MUST have been for GOOD reasons like safety and security, yet, there is no plausible way a 47 story steel building can be demolished without weeks of planning by demolition experts ...

In short, your state of denial allows you to stop with the assumption that if it was demolished, it MUST have been for safety reasons...you do not go any further because to do so would expose what you are afraid to see - that demolition requires advanced preparation, which proves inside conspiracy.

But it is not surprising that you fall into this trap. Many politicians have purposefully advanced the idea that building 7 'may have' been brought down for security reasons. Of course, they never explain why they think that, or WHO brought it down for security reasons, or why the 911 commission and the NYFD have never mentioned anything like that when there would certainly be a public record of such an event....

Apparently, advancing such a blatantly false and hollow idea is all that is necessary to appease the mind's of people like you, who would sooner feed their own denial than actually determine the truth.


John Piser, NYC

reply: I always appreciate commentaries from careful readers such as yourself. Your case sounds very compelling. I should point out one little problem with your insightful analysis: I didn't write the paragraph that you tear apart. I clearly label the material you cite as being a review by Richard Morrock of David Ray Griffin's 9/11: A Date That Will Live in Infamy. I hope you don't assume that since I have posted the review that I therefore agree with everything Mr. Morrock writes.

If you truly have an interest in what I have to say about building 7, you can read my article on 9/11 conspiracy theories. Or, you can read the paragraph below, which is taken from that article:

Building 7

Then there is the matter of Building 7.

Regarding building 7, which wasn't hit by a plane, Sheen highlighted the use of the term "pull," a demolition industry term for pulling the outer walls of the building towards the center in an implosion, as was used by Larry Silverstein in a September 2002 PBS documentary when he said that the decision to "pull" building 7 was made before its collapse. This technique ensures the building collapses in its own footprint and can clearly be seen during the collapse of building 7 with the classic 'crimp' being visible.

This is great reasoning. Silverstein says there was a decision late in the day on 9/11 to "pull" the building because it was unsafe. It seems reasonable that they weren't talking about demolishing the building right away. The dust hadn't even settled from the towers and chaos reigned. Then the building collapsed in its own footprint, as if it had been intentionally demolished. I don't know why it collapsed. But it was very near two huge buildings that had collapsed after being smashed into by large airplanes full of fuel. It's just possible that some of the debris from those events had a major debilitating effect on nearby Building 7, more debilitating than FEMA thought. There may well have been explosions in Building 7; after all, there were diesel generators located throughout the building that were fed by pressurized fuel lines from large tanks on the lower floors. Conspiracy theorists claim that there were a few small fires in the building, but this not true. They ignore the south side of the building.

Firefighter Richard Banaciski was there and this is what he reported:

We were told to go to Greenwich and Vesey and see what's going on. So we go there and on the north and east side of 7 it didn't look like there was any damage at all, but then you looked on the south side of 7 there had to be a hole 20 stories tall in the building, with fire on several floors.

You can make a case that fire alone would not have been sufficient to cause the building’s collapse. But just because FEMA claimed that structural damage alone couldn't have caused the building to collapse, doesn't mean they're right. If the conspiracy theorists are willing to admit that FEMA could be wrong about claiming fire and structural damage together caused the collapse, why can't they admit that FEMA could be wrong in claiming that structural damage alone couldn't have caused the collapse? How would FEMA or anyone else know the extent of the structural damage to Building 7 when it collapsed only a few hours after the twin towers came down? FEMA was speculating when it claimed that structural damage could not have brought about the collapse of Building 7. Ignorance of the facts doesn't give you a free ticket to speculate at will.

Another conspiracy theorist, Josh Parrish, writing for Project Censored, is also impressed that Building 7 collapsed "in its own footprint" as if it were being demolished. What did he expect the collapsing building to do? Fall toward Mecca? Why would anyone be surprised at a collapsing 47-story building that went down and toward its center? Once the weight of the upper floors pressed against the lower floors, would one expect the building to tilt north, south, east, or west? Again, just because it looked like a building that was being professionally demolished doesn't mean it was professionally demolished. How many collapsing buildings not professionally blown up have these guys—including Steven E. Jones—seen to compare Building 7's collapse with?

Emergency response workers at Ground Zero realized that extensive damage to the lower south section of WTC 7 would cause collapse as early as 3 pm on 9/11, a fact reported on news broadcasts at the time.* Video footage shows that when collapse occurred, the south wall of the building gave in first, which is exactly what we would expect based on the location of the most extensive damage. (Molé 2006)

Then there are the contradictory claims that fused steel beams were seen (which couldn't have been due to fires because they wouldn't be hot enough) and that the steel beams were whisked away for recycling so quickly that they couldn't be examined properly. We need those beams as evidence of a conspiracy! They were whisked away to hide the evidence! Maybe the government couldn't find an evidence room big enough to hold the steel from two 1,300 foot-high buildings and a 47-story structure.

Do these conspiracy theorists really believe that the Bush Administration would murder thousands of Americans to justify going to war against Afghanistan or Iraq? Do they really believe that thousands of government agents could work in secrecy to accomplish the faking of hijacked planes, the faking of plane crashes into buildings or fields, and all the other fakery that must have occurred to pull off this hoax? Can we really make the case that Zacarias Moussaoui is a Bush-clan dupe? You don't have to buy into the conspiracy theory to agree that the Bush Administration has taken advantage of the situation created by 9/11 to limit our freedoms and exert more control over our own citizens and those of foreign countries. 9/11 may have been viewed by the Bush administration as the Pearl Harbor mentioned in PNAC plan "to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests."* But the evidence for a 9/11 conspiracy with the Bush administration as the planners of 9/11 is too flimsy for even the most adamant Bush-hater to accept even if it's believed by dozens of "highly credible public figures" with Ph.D.s in physics or theology.

It is insulting and demeaning to the friends and family of those who died as a result of the terror unleashed on 9/11 to build a conspiracy theory on the kind of speculation, selective use of evidence, willful distortion, and innuendo promoted by the likes of David Ray Griffin, Thierry Meyssan, Gerard Holmgren, Charlie Sheen, and others with "high credibility." The evidence for this conspiracy isn't even up to the standard of evidence used to justify invading Iraq: that just prior to our invasion of Iraq it possessed weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with al-Qaeda, and that he was trying to get the ingredients for a nuclear bomb that might be given to terrorists to use against the United States.

This is a free country and Charlie Sheen is free to say and think whatever he wants. He can even call himself a true patriot for daring to have such bold ideas. I don't doubt that he is sincere in his beliefs, though I doubt he has thought through the consequences of his accusations. Certainly, we should not be afraid to criticize our government or any reports it issues. But a runaway cynicism is no substitute for a healthy skepticism. Sheen's promoters are free to claim that there is a media conspiracy to black out Sheen's accusations. (What would the headline in the New York Times read? Eminent Actor and Whoremonger Accuses President of Mass Murder or Charlie Sheen calls for 9/11 Investigation to Prove Bush Planned the Whole Thing). Project Censored is free to claim this is a story the corporate media is ignoring. But if this story is ignored by the mainstream media, it's not because great minds and great ideas are being suppressed by Rupert Murdoch and thousands of other co-conspirators. This story is ignored because, at least in this case, the corporate media recognizes the difference between a plausible and an implausible, if not reckless, set of accusations. There is some comfort in knowing that we won't be subjected to a Fox Network show on the 9/11 hoax. That said, if Clinton had been president when 9/11 happened, it would not have surprised me to have seen a program on the Fox Network accusing him of what Sheen and others accuse Bush of having done.

Have a nice day :)


30 Nov 2004
I read with interest the unsigned rant recently posted as feedback to the Illuminati page, and found it very typical of the sort of language you usually hear from disciples of Alex Jones.

Jones happens to hail from my hometown of Austin, Texas, so I have some experience with him. While he may be, in his own way, oddly sincere in what he believes and in the ideas he promulgates, his main tactic can be described as pure fear-mongering. Like believers in the paranormal, he starts from his conclusions (the government is out to get us) and looks for "evidence" to support them. Not surprisingly, he finds exactly what he wants, as virtually anything the government does (and in their frequent ineptitude they do much that is jaw-droppingly stupid that plays right into PCT hysteria) can interpreted into a suitably frightening gloom-and-doom scenario.

Jones' followers, like your nameless correspondent (for all I know he signed his letter then asked you not to print his name for fear the storm troopers would come for him, am I right?), view him and others like him as infallible, which means that the PCT movement is as much about cult of personality as it is about pandering to weird pathological needs in some to fear the government.

Jones, who doesn't work for a living, makes a handy bit of coin off his videos and tapes. I belong to a mailing list that was recently invaded by a Jones disciple, and his behavior was extraordinary. He considered himself a champion of skepticism and derided us for lacking "true skepticism" because we didn't believe his PCT claims unquestioningly. "True skepticism" is only that which is directed toward government claims; claims in opposition to the official story are worthy of belief simply because they are in opposition. Our suggestions that Jones and other purveyors of PCT scripture might not be infallible was met with increasingly shrill and abusive outbursts, which had the added irony of being accompanied by projections of his own behavior onto us. He eventually proved so insufferable he was kicked from the list, all the while insisting we were the government dupes and abusers and he the abused. Claiming the unassailability of his status as a skeptic all along, he never once entertained a notion any skeptic should: that he (and by extension, Jones and the other PCT figureheads he followed) could possibly be wrong.

Your letter writer seems the same. He makes numerous, increasingly far fetched claims for which he presents no specific evidence of his own. He emphasizes key words in all caps, for better emotional emphasis. Predictably, he simply insists you surf Alex's site. If Alex Jones or Myron Fagan say it's true, it must be true. That's it. He claims to have pictures of "FEMA detention camps" but presents none of them. (And if he did, they'd probably be as believable as the "OKC Ryder bomb truck in an Army compound" photo our guy tried to pass off to us.) He says the UN has documents detailing all sorts of nefarious plans to wipe us out, but presents none of them. And not once does he consider how it might even be scientifically possible for an implanted microchip to be used to control a human mind. These claims are made by the PCT scripture, and are believed, and that is that. Christian fundamentalists have a favorite bumper sticker: "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it." Replace "Bible" with "Alex Jones" and you have the PCT mindset in a nutshell.

Let me close with a thought. Assuming for a second the PCT's are right, it occurs to me that there are two practical approaches to the situation. Either take up arms and fight to the bitter end against the oncoming menace, or do nothing, and sit back waiting for the evil shadowy government assassins and UN mind controllers to kill us all. Alex Jones repeatedly stresses he does not condone the former (especially after one of his disciples was arrested in 2002, heavily armed and dressed in a homemade superhero costume, trespassing on the Bohemian Grove grounds looking for devil worshipers). Which leads me to ask, what's the point of the PCT industry, if not merely to exploit and encourage irrational fear — the better to sell books and videos?

Martin Wagner

24 Jun 2004
Read your attempt to discredit believers in the "Illuminati". Especially Myron Fagan. Nowhere do you refute any of his sources or charges. That is because they are true and verifiable. Not all "conspiracy theorists" have all their facts straight and many make illogical and outrageous charges. Yet that is the case with any movement. But Myron Fagan is not one of them. Also, you might want to check out Alex Jones' website www.infowars.com I believe you'll have much trouble debunking him because all he does is take mainstream news articles and show the agenda. He backs up EVERYTHING he puts out. It's all verifiable. You pride your website on it's use of logic and critical thinking. Can any truly rational person, with any scintilla of logical ability, who can make connections via mosaic theory etc., refute that we are truly heading towards a one world fascistic gov't state as designed by the globalist elite? ALL YOU NEED TO DO READ THEIR OWN QUOTES !

Why do we have RFID tracking chips being planned for every product? Why is there an Army War College position paper that talks of the inevitable implanting of every American with microchips for purposes of mind control and tracking? DON'T BELIEVE ME? Go to infowars.com and put in the search engine and you'll get a link to the article. Why is LA and NY trying out a test program to FORCIBLY embed RFID chips in the homeless? MAJOR MEDIA NEWSTORY. AP I believe. Why are there FEMA detention camps (I have pictures) manned by NATO/U.N. troops on American soil? Why does the U.N.'s OWN documents declare that national sovereignty, private property and individual rights must come to an end? Why do the U.N.'s own docs say that we need an 80% reduction in population by whatever means necessary?

I have many more questions and facts. Bt let me tell you this. I've done my research. And if you don't think there is a cabal of world leaders and elite bankers and politicians who want to see the DESTRUCTION of the U.S. - then you have your head in the sand!

11 Nov 2002
The phrase "new world order" actually may originate from the statements made by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. The outcome of WWII was clearly going to dictate the new world order and balance of powers, and the establishment of the U.N. was seen as a means of continuing the unprecedented cooperation and merging of national interests by providing an ongoing diplomatic forum that would continue to operate in peacetime, and the establishment of the Security Counsel with unilateral veto powers a means of further refining who the conquering powers felt they had to keep close counsel with. The allied military command of WWII headed by Eisenhower as Supreme Commander (directing both British and American forces) kind of laid the foundations for NATO.

A speech given by Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after he signed the Lend-Lease Act (committing resources and aid to Britain in order to fend off the Nazi onslaught) remarks of Nazi Germany -

"These men and their hypnotized followers call this a new world order. It is not new, and it is not order." (Washington, D.C., March 15, 1941)

In the years following WWII, Winston Churchill made several remarkable speeches concerning the newly globalized community and the direction it should take, the role of the U.N. as a policing force, etcetera, most notably in his "Sinews of Peace" speech wherein he warns of an "Iron Curtain" falling over the Soviet held territories of Eastern Europe.

So, if the paranoid Illuminati conspiracy buffs really want to find who to blame for the international shadow government with its fleet of black helicopters, they need look no further than Winston Churchill and FDR (followed by Truman), the men who conceived of and implemented their own New World Order, which may not actually look so bad compared to the Nazi version that would have chiefly entailed the death or enslavement of most of the world's population.


07 Dec 2000 
First of all I am not religious in any way, do not believe in the paranormal, I am not paranoid and I am certainly not mentally disturbed.

What does disturb me is the way in which you have everyone stereotyped into categories i.e. PCT's just because they happen to believe in a theory that is not taught or mentioned at school or college, or is not mentioned in written and broadcasted media.

reply: I hope I've given more justification for my belief that the illuminati are no longer real than that this notion is not taught in school or a topic in the mainstream mass media.

I happen to believe that maybe there is some truth in the concept of the "Illuminati" and it's goals i.e. total control, one world government etc. Although I do not believe in the witchcraft or the paranormal side of this theory. The reason for me believing this is not only due to the fact that everything in the media, written and broadcasted, fits in with the Illuminati theory even to this day. i.e. the election in the States, the way in which the election of the so called most powerful man in the world is being reduced to a farce. I also happen to live and work in UK for an American investment company (the companies insignia is the same as that can be found on the dollar bill and the same as that of British Intelligence, maybe coincidence) It is supposedly the largest in the world in terms of assets. Whilst working for this company within the IT department I have come to notice on numerous instances certain things that don't add up, all of which tie in with the theory. I can not go into detail, not because of facts or evidence (which I could get) but because I have signed certain confidentiality agreements and I'm sure you could find out who I am quite easily.

So please do not class me as a PCT's, but please try to maybe be a bit more open minded. And for all we know you and your web site could be set up to discredit the theorist anyway, by the way isn't all known science based on theories? Have you tested all these theories yourself, or do you dismiss them all as well?
Dan, UK

reply: Dan is right. I could be part of the Illuminati conspiracy. Perhaps I haven't written all this material in The Skeptic's Dictionary. Maybe it's just a front used to hook people or a smokescreen to set them off track. Dan's got his evidence he can't tell us about, so I can't comment on that. I will say, though, that (a) it is easy to find evidence to support just about any theory; and (b) some PCTs may turn out to be right once in a while, like Hillary Clinton's "vast right wing conspiracy." (See pp. 72-73 of my Becoming a Critical Thinker).)


* AmeriCares *

The true story.

Snake Oil Science
  Are you a sucker for placebo medicine?

Science Meets Alternative Medicine
Which side should you be on?

The Skeptic's Shop
No shirts, no mugs, no tinfoil hats.


Other Languages

Print versions available in Estonian , Russian , Japanese , Korean , and (soon) Spanish .

This page was designed by Cristian Popa.