The one recently that made me laugh the hardest was an email invitation to join the Illuminati, which I include below, verbatim:
WELCOME TO THE GREAT TEMPLE OF ILLUMINATI.My favorite part was that I could achieve my dreams by beaning a member of the Illuminati, because honestly, that seems to have no downside that I can see.
Are you a business man, politician, musical, student
and you want to be rich, powerful and be famous in life.
You can achieve your dreams by beaning [sic] a member of
the illuminati. With this all your dreams and heart
desire can be fully accomplish, if you really want to be a member of the great illuminati then you can contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call+2348104933655
The whole ultra-secret conspiracy worldview, wherein the puppet strings are being pulled by some super-powerful cadre of initiates and adepts, is a popular trope of fiction. It's part of the universe of The X Files; it was a theme in just about every one of David Lynch's movies and television shows; it was a central plot element in Umberto Eco's amazing novel Foucault's Pendulum.
But still, there's that important word "fiction" there that a lot of people don't seem to focus on.
Which is why I'm reasonably certain that pop singer Katy Perry is trolling the gullible in her latest publicity stunt, in which she is saying that she'd like to join the Illuminati herself.
[image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]
Well, far be it from an entertainer to lose an opportunity like that. Following Brendan Behan's dictum that there is no such thing as bad publicity, Perry stirred up things further in an interview last week with Rolling Stone.
"If the Illuminati exist, I would like to be invited," Perry said. "I see all that shit and I’m like: 'Come on, let me in! I want to be in the club.'"
Indeed. If I could be part of a magical secret society that had the key to the ultimate power of the universe, I'd want in, too, notwithstanding the fact that there's no particular reason the Illuminati would want a 50-something science nerd with no other obvious qualifications as a member.
That she was trolling Jones et al. became apparent later in the interview, though. "It sounds crazy," Perry admitted. "Weird people on the internet that have nothing to do find, like, strange triangles in your hand motions... I guess you’ve made it when they think you’re in the Illuminati. But I believe in aliens, so if people want to believe in Illuminati, great."
Which is the right attitude, all things considered. But honestly, if there is any truth to this, I doubt that getting in would be as easy as making a specific hand gesture in public, or responding to a spam email. Because, you know, if the Illuminati exist, they're probably a little more thoughtful about their admission policies than that. What I find endlessly funny about Alex Jones and his followers is that they think the world is being run by people who are super-intelligent and secretive and evil, and simultaneously so stupid that their identities and motives could be figured out by a clown like Alex Jones.
But just for the record, if I'm wrong, and there are any Illuminati reading this, I just made a triangular hand motion, so I'm expecting my Welcome Letter to arrive in the mail this week. Does being an Illuminatus give you discounts at restaurants? You know, like AARP? If so, I think it's worth it just for that alone.