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Seeing is one of our five senses and a principal source of our perception and knowledge of the world around us.  The eye, far more than the ear, the tongue, the nose or our sense of touch, has always been used as the symbol of knowledge, especially of that “knowledge” of “realities” beyond sensory perception, the profound “truths” accessible only by faith.  In an earlier post, “God and Mammon” (August , 2013 : scroll to the second last page of the multiple posts grouped under that date in the Archives), we spelled out the significance of the famous triangle surrounding an all-seeing eye – the Masonic Luminous Delta – found on the Great Seal of the United States and on the back of the dollar-bill.  It is suspended over an incomplete pyramid with thirteen strata (the 13 States of the Union in 1776) and is clearly a symbol of the Grand Architect and His project to have the nation whose beginnings He had blessed (“Annuit coeptis”) construct a “New Order of the Ages”, (“Novus ordo seclorum”).

“Seeing the light” is the consecrated phrase for acquiring knowledge, especially in the domain of religious belief.  I myself have used the metaphor in the title of my book, “From Illusions to Illumination”, in that of this Blog, “blindfaithblindfolly”, and in describing my own itinerary in terms of the miracle of John 9:25 : “I was blind but now I see”.   A more famous use of the metaphor is that in reference to a Bavarian secret society of the 18th century, the ILLUMINATI, which though officially defunct for the last two hundred years, continues to survive in contemporary literature and to be considered by many to be still actively engaged in the creation of a New World Order.

Some readers may have discovered the Illuminati, the Enlightened, in Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons”, others in Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery”.  I myself have just discovered them as the leit-motif (pun intended) of a fascinating recent thriller in a bestselling series by Eric Giacometti and Jacques Ravenne, “Le Règne des Illuminati” – “The Reign of the Illuminati” – (Pocket, Paris, 2015).  The novel explores the myth of the rôle of the Illuminati in the French Revolution and in the world of present-day geopolitics in a surprisingly convincing fashion.  It is, of course, fiction, but a brilliantly written yarn – what Australians would call “a bloody good read” – which weaves into the story, as do Dan Brown’s novels, enough authentic data, like the Bohemian Club, reserved for men of privilege and power, convening in their 3000-acre forested Grove north of San Francisco, seen by some as an American avatar of the Illuminati, to make it almost credible.  In the first line of their preface, the authors write : “One Frenchman in five believes in the existence of the Illuminati”.

It is this last phrase which I find frightening.  My fear and dismay are exponentially increased when I read what conspiracy theorists have described as “false flags” –  (Giacometti/Ravenne speak of such machinations as “black flags”)  :  the January and November terrorist attacks in Paris, like the historic Incident of Gleiwitz, staged to justify Hitler’s invasion of Poland.  It is one thing to accuse the Illuminati of engineering the false flag of JFK’s assassination as a cover for his … suicide (!), quite another to accuse the Illuminati and the French Government of engineering the Charlie Hebdo, Kosher Market, Stade de France and Bataclan terrorist attacks to prepare the electorate for the introduction of a French Patriot Act like that of the U.S.  How many Frenchmen/women believe this is true ?

Credulity, like the late Jacques Brel, is alive and well and living in Paris.  Is it any wonder that many Parisians along with millions of other French people and billions of others around the world, believe in angels and an afterlife, in miraculous medals and madnesses like the “Real Presence” of Christ in a wafer of bread, in prayer and the promises of the Sacred Heart ?

The eighteenth century gave us the Illuminati but also the Enlightenment.  Today we have the choice of believing the secret sect is still active in criminally seeking to rule the world, or of accepting the triumph of rationalism which should lead to the recognition of such a myth as excellent material for a novel but in reality unthinkable nonsense.