September 30th, 2016

REVIEW – The Illuminati by Robert Howells


Sometimes there’s nothing better to read than a new Illuminati and conspiracy-related book!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

This book demonstrates that the old secret societies were driven by the same impulse as Anonymous and WikiLeaks are today. These marginalized groups have always rebelled against the establishments; some subversively by spreading progressive ideas through art and literature, while others are far more proactive, driving revolution and exposing government secrets. The Illuminati, founded in 1776, aimed to rid Europe of the ruling aristocracy and religious control of education, politics and science. They supported the Age of Enlightenment and were accused of fueling the dissent that culminated in the French Revolution.

Since that time the term Illuminati has become a meme, giving a name to a secret network believed by conspiracy theorists to control the world. These were depicted as pranksters, working in the shadows to manipulate society. It was in this climate of pranks, memes and conspiracy theories that the hacktivist collective Anonymous were born. Their ideals of freedom from censorship and the empowering of societies against their rulers make them the spiritual successors of the Illuminati.

The kindling of the French Revolution by the Illuminati has found a modern counterpart in how Anonymous and WikiLeaks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings using the internet as a new weapon against dictatorships. It is the same battle fought by secret societies for a millennium but the new inquisition has shifted its focus from secret societies to wage a war on the connected communities of the internet age. This is the story of that war and how you need to be a part of it.

I absolutely love books about this topic and this book didn’t disappoint. I’ve always been intrigued by groups like the Illuminati and how their movement carries on into the present day. Howells takes us on a journey that not just describes the fascinating history of the groups involved but also how their philosophy has influenced present day groups like Anonymous and activists like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

As someone who isn’t religious, I found the history of religious stories fascinating, especially how the secret societies formed after being left unsatisfied by the churches. The book finishes with a call to really open our eyes to the world and apply the Illuminati’s teachings in a modern world.

This book helped me realise my opinions and perspectives of groups like the Illuminati are all wrong. The memes about senior politicians, for example, being members of the New World Order are unlikely as their actions totally go against the teachings of these groups.

I was originally going to give this book 4 stars but I finished it having learned so many new things that I felt it deserved 5. Aside from the topic, the book was really well written, very accessible and succinct.

Verdict: 5/5!

Thank you to Netgalley and Watkins for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Reply

    Karen Blue

    October 9, 2016

    I just watched a show the other day that tried to say that most of the people in the entertainment business were in the Illuminati, showed pictures of them making the Illuminati symbols. It is kinda funny that even today the name brings certain things to mind without really “knowing” the facts. I don’t read too much non-fiction, that’s terrible but it’s where I am today. This looks like the sort of book I would pick up though. Great review!

    • Reply


      October 10, 2016

      Thanks – it really was interesting. I must admit I do enjoy the conspiracy theories of people like Beyonce etc being involved in it all though!

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