Dear Sam,

 What is up with the Illuminati? Is there actually a secret society founded by the Knights Templar that controls the fate of the western world? If so, have I placed us both in danger by asking this question in such a public forum? If so, how did they get so powerful?

Conspiracy Dave,

Palmeto ,CA


I’ll be upfront, Dave, I don’t run the world, nobody cares about my secrets, and trapping a fart under the covers in advance of my wife coming to bed is the closest I come to a nefarious plot. I can only assume that you have exhausted every other line of inquiry and found them blocked from on high, but we here at Sam The Turtle are as un-intimidated by power as we are unfamiliar with the rules of evidence, grammar, and any reasonable scope of practice.

Allow me to combine and restate your questions:

  • Do the illuminati exist– Almost certainly.
  • Do they control the world through manipulation of the banking system aided by a shadow government Yes they do.
  • How did they get so powerful– Dark magics, creative accounting, persistence.
  • Have you placed us both in danger– I assume you are dead as I write this.
  • Are they a secret society– To answer that you must first ask:

Do I, A.J. Valliant, an incurious man with an 8th grade education, who can name at most six of ten provinces [1], currently know the name and inner workings of said organization? If the answer is yes, and it is, then that is not a “Secret” society. It is a well publicized, ill intentioned, NGO.

Disillusioning, I know. It’s like finding out Bigfoot is real because he’s standing in line in front of you at Ikea, having a depressing cell phone conversation about how his wife won’t let him remodel the back deck because the hot-water heater might need to be replaced.


While I generally don’t advise evil cabals there is little enough mystery in the world that I feel the need to give a few suggestions that could restore some of the secretive luster that the Illuminati had in the old days. Listen up gentlemen.

 The Name and Logo are too flashy


A catchy name and awesome symbol are great when you are building your brand, but once you get a foothold on world domination you need to transition to something lower key. You hear the name Illuminati and think “What are those guys up to?”. And the whole pyramid with a floating eye symbol[2], it pretty much spells out “We are a cult formed in Ancient Egypt that is always watching you”. Kudos to your graphic designers, they knocked it out of the park in terms of simplicity, menace, and visual impact, but that sort of informative pictograph tips your hand unnecessarily.

Dial it back, maybe call your self “The Association” and have a brown square as your symbol. You could throw that on a sports coat and people would just think you were going for a professorial vibe.

The hand sign and who’s throwing it up


The whole Diamond Cutter thing is great, but it’s not a natural motion that a person would make. You might as well just hold up a copy of “Illuminati monthly” as a brazen nod  to the faithful. Honestly, I bet the Wink and the Gun has enough ironic capital these day that you could adopt it and still maintain a modicum of self respect.

And, on a sensitive note, don’t invite rappers to join the upper ranks of your dark cabal. They smoke weed all of the time. Get way too personal on diss tracks. And are notorious braggers. It’s one of their main things. I know the street cred is tempting, and Jay-Z is a savvy businessman and taste maker, but you cannot have someone who spends that much time with Kanye in your organization. Your spot will be blown up; it’s not a question of when, but how often.


I get the hiding in plain sight concept


But do you know what is better than hiding in plain sight? Crouching quietly in a bush about ten feet out of plain sight. And if someone asks “Hey man, what are you doing in that bush?” Just claim that you were hoping to take a shit if you could get some goddamn privacy. No one is continuing the exchange past that point.

But this only works if you are not also giving shout outs on drive time radio, selling monogrammed towels at your gift shop, and inspiring shitty Dan Brown novels. Your move Illuminati, try and be discrete.


 [1] Ontario, Quebec, The Maritimes, Vancouver, Maniberta, and the cold one where Yellowhorse is.

 [2] Additionally, maybe don’t put it on the money with your slogan underneath it. Admittedly, a baller move, but at that point you’ve gone beyond indiscreet and into “Serial killer who leaves his wallet and three years of tax returns on the scene” level of non-circumspection.