The idea of the Illuminati harkens back to an 18th century theory about conspiratorial groups set to control the world. And while Illuminati claims to be a tongue-in-cheek game satirizing the idea of vast global domination, it has developed its fair share of conspiracy theories itself.
Tipping his hat to the "Illuminatus!" books by Robert Anton Wilson (another slightly satiric series about secret, global societies), game creator Steve Jackson is typically vague about how Illuminati is shaped by conspiracy. When asked in an interview if he was a member of the Illuminati, Jackson replied, "The Illuminati do not exist. I hold a moderately senior position" [source: Jackson].
That hasn't stopped some people from taking the humor out of the game and seeing it as not just a review of conspiracy theories, but a foreteller of the vast evil that will befall Earth. Sound menacing?
According to the theories, it definitely is. A lot of the conspiracies come from the cards themselves. For instance, a group card called "Combined Disasters" shows a scene of chaos, fire and a tumbling clock tower in the art. Some see the card as predicting the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, as the clock bears a striking resemblance to the Wako Tower clock in Tokyo. The clock's hands also appear to be at 3:11 -- perhaps a tip to the March 2011 date of the (combined) disasters [source: Exohuman.com]? (We would be remiss if we didn't note that Tokyo suffered little damage in the earthquake and tsunami, and the Wako Tower was not harmed at all.)
One of the more rampant theories is that the cards predict the September 11 terrorist attacks. One group card, labeled "Terrorist Nuke" depicts a huge fireball destroying one office-type tower with a similar (standing) tower in the background. Another card called "Pentagon" shows an inferno in the center of the Pentagon building [source: Rense].
What, not convinced? Well, there's also a card called "Oil Spill" that shows a duck covered in thick crude, which some claim is evidence of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico [source: Hayes]. There's even a Princess Di card, with the former royal surrounded by paparazzi . . . as on the night of her death? OK, bit of a stretch [source: Kardkrazy.com].
But if you do believe in the Illuminati (both the conspiracy and the power of the game) then stay out of Oregon. Because the game predicts (with the "Oregon Crud" card), that, well, something will happen to Oregon. From the picture, it appears to be some sort of purple sludge. So watch out for that, our rugged Northwestern friends [source: USAHitman.com].
Had enough conspiracy? Of course not. Check out the next page for lots more information ... if you dare!
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- Card Games Café. "Rules to Illuminati." 2008. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.cardgamescafe.com/card-games/illuminati/
- Exohuman.com. "Illuminati predicts Japanese disaster." (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.exohuman.com/wordpress/2011/03/illuminati-board-game-predicts-japan-disaster/
- Hayes, S. "Illuminati Card Games, Conspiracy Theories and Recent World Events." Socyberty.com. Jul. 4, 2011. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://socyberty.com/issues/illuminati-game-cards-conspiracy-theories-and-recent-world-events/
- Illuminati Card Game. "Illuminati Rules." Steve Jackson Games. (Mar. 2, 2012)
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- KardKrazy.ecrater.com. "Princess Di New World Order Illuminati Card." Mar. 1, 2011. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://kardkrazy.ecrater.com/p/3103574/illuminati-princess-di-world-order
- McCullar, Michael. "Fantasy for fun and profit." Austin American Statesman. Apr. 18, 1988. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.sjgames.com/general/news_stories/880418_fantasy.html
- Ray, Randy. "The Illuminati Card Game." 52pickup.net. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.52pickup.net/card-games/illuminati/
- Rense.com. "1990s Illuminati Game Cards Still Creating Controversy." Nov. 21, 2011. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://rense.com/general95/illum.htm
- Steve Jackson Games. "SJ Games vs. the Secret Service." (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.sjgames.com/SS/
- TheTruthBehindTheScenes.Org. "Illuminati Card Game." Feb. 22, 2011. (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.thetruthbehindthescenes.org/2011/03/22/illuminati-card-game/
- UFO Blogger. "Illuminati Card Game Shows Japan Earthquake Was Preplanned." Feb. 16, 2011 (Mar. 2, 2012) http://www.ufo-blogger.com/2011/03/japan-earthquake-illuminati-card-game.html
- USAHitman.com. "The "Oregon Crud" Illuminati card." USAHitman.com. Oct. 2, 2012. Mar. 2, 2012) http://usahitman.com/oregoncrud/