Well, that really depends on whom you ask. Some people maintain it's a now-defunct clandestine organization that existed during the Enlightenment era and consisted of freethinkers who opposed prejudice, the Roman Catholic Church's religious control and gender inequality.
Today, most Illuminati enthusiasts (read: internet "experts") agree it is a modern-day secret society with ancient roots that is made of up powerful and elite individuals who conspire to control the world — politics, government, religion, entertainment, the whole shebang. Their goal? A "New World Order."
So, who is supposedly part of this brain-bending group? Let's take a look...
Shhh... don't tell anyone, but Jay Z is pretty much the modern-day godfather of the Illuminati. For starters, the symbol — which he often flashes — for his Roc-A-Fella Records label is the pyramid, which is said to represent the hierarchical structure of the Illuminati. In his "On to the Next One" video, Hova wears devil horns, incorporates a goat skull (representing the goat-headed demon Baphomet) and employs symbols of Freemasonry.
Some people have been saying for years that Celine Dion's music is the work of the devil (mainly men), so it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch that she is now being lumped in with the Illuminati. In concert, she often throws up the Devil's Horns or the "El Diablo" hand gesture — a nod to the devil. And she has also been pictured covering one eye, a nod to the All-Seeing Eye.
Whoa, B! Jay Z's wifey proudly shows off some double six or "A-OK" signs — just one is said to represent the mark of the devil. She caused a bit of a ruckus with Illuminati watchers when she reportedly formed the Illuminati symbol during her racy 2013 Super Bowl halftime show... right before the power outage. Also, in a photo shoot for I Am... Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé donned a dress adorned with a goat skull. Blue Ivy's apparently in on it, too.
In a strange string of messages on one of the many Illuminati conspiracy theorist sites that have popped up all over the internet, the cast of Boy Meets World was ousted as a ring of Illuminati members by... Pretty Little Liars' Keegan Allen? The source, who more than likely is someone using Allen's identity, claimed the cast was "involved" with the Illuminati.
Is Mother Monster holding out on her Little Monsters? Or is she speaking to them via her music videos? Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video showcases a goat head-shaped star formation. In other videos, she has used triangle icons and images of unicorns — supposed symbols of the "immaculate conception" of the New World Order. Gaga has even gone so far as to outright admit to incorporating an Illuminati ritual into her shows after having a dream about it.
His throngs of teenybopper fans may find it simply unbelievable, but Justin Bieber may just have bought into the Illuminati hype. In addition to being photographed holding the A-OK symbol up to his face and peering his left eye through it, the Biebs often wears shirts that conspiracy theorists say are covered in pentagrams (you may recognize them... as stars).
Jay Z's protégé appears to be following in the footsteps of her famous mentor. Rihanna frequently forms a triangle with her hands during performances and flashed a fake headline across the screen in her "S & M" video that proclaimed her "Princess of the Illuminati."
Move over, Jay Z — Madonna may just have seniority when it comes to musical Illuminatis. A now-infamous picture keeps making the rounds on the web that shows Madonna rocking a jacket with an All-Seeing Eye and pyramid on the back. She only bolstered occult claims with her 2012 Super Bowl halftime show, which featured everything from devil horns on her helmet to a human pyramid.
Another Roc-A-Fella Records artist, Kanye West, definitely plays up the Illuminati rumors with a Horus necklace, big-a** Eye of Providence rings, plenty of occult imagery in his videos and, of course, liberal use of the pyramid hand symbol — including alongside Jay Z and Rihanna during shows.
Aside from shacking up with ol' Yeezus, there isn't much pointing toward Kim Kardashian being a member of the Illuminati. However, that didn't stop conspiracy theorists from going berserk when she posted an All-Seeing Eye-shaped photo collage on Instagram of her and bestie Brittny Gastineau. She played innocent on Twitter, saying, "What is the illuminate? A religion?... I'm a Christian."
Coming from a chick who's copped to drinking her own pee, nothing seems that crazy anymore. Kesha has been stirring the Illuminati rumor pot lately by flashing an evil eye tattoo on her palm in her "Crazy Kids" video and featuring inverted crosses and pentagrams in her "Die Young" video. Not to mention, she "joked" in a Rolling Stone interview that she was "really the leader of the Illuminati."
D***... you know you must be good when people start claiming you got your skills by making a pact with the devil. Seriously. That's the crux of the theories connecting LeBron James to the Illuminati. Well, that and the fact that he has been photographed a time or two flashing the triangle hand sign, and that he posted a picture on Instagram in which he is sporting a T-shirt covered in triangles with eyes.
The favorite symbol of Daft Punk — often used as a gigantic DJ booth during their shows — is none other than a triangle. And like many of the other supposed Illuminatis on this list, they've been caught on camera throwing up the pyramid hand sign on more than one occasion.
Ironically, not much was made of Emma Watson's role as Hermione Granger — you know, the clever young witch from the Harry Potter franchise. However, much was made of a photograph in which she framed her eye with the number six.
Wearing a ball cap emblazoned with an inverted cross and a pyramid during a 2011 photo shoot for Interview Magazine was enough to land Lil Wayne on the list of supposed celeb Illuminati members. Since then, he's also added some questionable tattoos and hand gestures to the mounting evidence.
So, you already know the Pretty Little Liars cast was somehow tangled up with ousting the Boy Meets World cast as secret Illuminati members (see above). But Ashley Benson — aka Hanna — and the other "Liars" are much more involved, according to the internet experts. They're apparently mixed up in a bunch of evil Illuminati practices that will ultimately help them become even more rich and famous.
When Britney Spears appeared on the cover of the Women's Health January/February 2015 issue, readers worked themselves into a frenzy over the pop star's allegedly photoshopped face and abs. What may have been missed in the hullabaloo, however, was Spears' subtle "nod" to the Illuminati during the photo shoot by framing her face in a triangle.
With the way Lindsay Lohan's career has been going, no one is likely to believe she has bartered her soul for success. Still, with the picture her mom, Dina, posted on Mar. 10 of Lindsay giving a nod to the all-seeing eye, we'll be super suspicious if Lohan's career magically gets resurrected in the coming months.
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