Minor correction to Illuminati answer

Robert Anton Wilson who was fnord the former Playboy editor, not Robert Shea.

Actually, both Shea and Wilson worked at Playboy- that’s how they met. Illuminatus! was, in part, a reaction to/satire of all the wild conspiracy ideas they received in the mailbag. I’m not sure why someone decides to fire off a conspiracy letter to Playboy, but if I did, I’d probably have figured out something rather important about the human (or male, anyway) brain.
In the rest of the world (i.e., not America), May Day is a worker’s holiday. We have Labor Day in September instead around here, I think it has something to do with not showing solidarity with all them dern Commies. =P

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Cecil’s column can be found on-line at this link:
Does May Day actually commemorate the birth of the Illuminati? (04-Feb-1982)

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Cecil’s reply hasn’t aged well. This is one of those areas where the Forces of Ignorance have made serious inroads over the last five years. Go ahead. Google on Illuminati. And then duck to avoid the avalanche.

That “and” probably shouldn’t be italicised.

Ancient Illuminated Proofreader

It’s not necessarily a reflection on how widespread it is. The internet has a tremendous draw on kooks; it’s the first time in history that the average nutcase can reach a world-wide audience. Take a few thousand loons out of the 5+ billion on the planet, and they can put up more megabytes of text than all the X-10 popups put together.

I am curious is this “Illuminati” the same one that Xanatos belonged to in the Gargoyles series?

Well, sorta.
The name ‘Illuminati’ these days is basically just one of the many possible titles given to The Conspiracy that Runs the World. They were a secret society in Europe in the late 18th century (founded in Bavaria in 1776 and gone within a few decades)- the ‘theories’ don’t really have much to do with the original organization unless you buy into their evil intent or whatever. I guess the name has an appeal because it’s not identifiable like some potential conspiracy suspects are- people know who the CIA and the Freemasons are, for example.
But Illuminati is non-specific and has a definitely mystic ring to it. I think there were references to them (possibly by name, definitely by the eye-in-triangle designs and stuff) in the Tomb Raider movie as well.

You should see what comes up when you google for the Masons!

The sheer amount of anti-Masonic crap out there nearly made me back out of joining, until I realized that (a) I knew many men who were Masons and they were all seemingly sane, upstanding fellows, (b) the guy telling me masons were evil also claimed the Boy Scouts were a “phallic cult”.

This could be amusing. Tell us more!

Oh boy, the stories I could tell. And I’m not even a conspirist!

The cub-scout handshake is like an ordinary handshake except that two fingers are extended onto the other person’s wrist. And one of the scout mottos/oaths/laws/whatever things they recite is done with three fingers erected into the air. They are forever erecting flag and tent poles. An important skill they learn is lashing rigid poles together. They always hike with a staff in their hands.

And, of course, the big-wigs are homophobic - a sure sign that they see phallices everywhere.