Unlike the Illuminati card setsdistributed several years laterthe Game Master textbook for GURPS Illuminati contains many references to Freemasonry. While noting in the Introduction that it is merely a game, the writing style is such that the unwary reader may unwittingly accept the world view presented as being historically accurate. References to Freemasonry in the original Illuminati card game released by Steve Jackson in July 1982 are not available.
This book deals with a fictional world in which everyday organizations - organizations that exist in what we laughably call the "real world" - are players and pawns in interlocking conspiracies with the eventual goal of world domination. Of necessity, then, this book refers to real groups, and describes baroque and surrealistic intercon- nections between these groups. Conspiratorial view of history aside, rest assured that we are not impugning the reputations of any of these groups. This is, after all, a work of fiction. Its just a game. Isn't it? [p. 6.]
The Illuminati made extensive use of signs, grips and passwords, in much the same way as Freemasonry. [p. 7.]
Further, he claimed that Freemasonry had been penetrated and suborned by the Illuminati. Freemasonry was a cloak for conspiracy. All Illuminati were freemasons, Cosandey claimed, but all freemasons were not Illuminati. As a result of this confession, Pope Pius VII issued a bull condemning all secret societies. [p. 8.]
Heres a list, in no particular order, of organizations that various theorists claim to be part of the Grand Conspiracy: The Freemasons; the Communist Party (Soviet, U.S, and others); the U.S. Air Force; the Central Intelligence Agency; the N.M. Rothschild Company; the Federal Reserve system; the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; the International Monetary Fund; the Rhodes Scholarship Foundation; the London School of Economics; the National Council of Churches; and the Beatles! [p. 9.]
Conspiracy theorists believe that the Illuminati directly control only a few other groups - the Freemasons and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union have frequently been placed in this category. [p. 9.]
Even though it may be difficult to imagine a connection between Freemasonry and Bigfoot, there is a connection. [p. 12.]
Maybe everything in this book is true; perhaps the Prleure de Sion still exists and is behind both the Knights Templar and the Freemasons. Or maybe everything is different. Only the individual GM knows for sure .. . and thats just the way it should be. [p. 13.]
Groups like the Freemasons and Greek-letter fraternities announce their identities as secret societies. [p. 43.]
During the latter half of the 18th century - including the period of the French Revolution - many secret societies existed in western Europe: the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, the Compagnonnage - and of course Weishaupts Bavarian Illuminati themselves - to name but several. [p. 49.]
The Order [Prleure de Sion] maintains strong indirect control over the Knights Templar, and weaker influence over various factions within Freemasonry. [p. 61.]
There are several hundred Templars worldwide, congregated into small groups or Commanderies. They are thought to have some influence over at least some portion of Freemasonry, and, even though they think themselves independent, are actually being manipulated themselves by the Prieure. [p. 65.]
The Bavarian Illuminati may use Freemasonry as a cover, and continue their practice of secretly testing candi- dates for membership. [p. 65.]
A widespread and widely-respected fraternal organization, Freemasonry is frequently mentioned as a participant in the grand Conspiracy. The true origin of Freemasonry is lost in time. Masons themselves claim that their tradition dates back to ancient Egypt. Whether or not this is true, Masonic lodges were common in mainland Europe around the year 1500, and started proliferating in England and Scotland around 1600. Pope Clement XII issued a papal bull in 1738 condemning and excommunicating all Freemasons, which implies that the Catholic Church at that time saw Masonry as a threat. Apart from this, however, theres no concrete evidence that Freemasonry has ever engaged in any overt Conspiratorial actions. Theres some interesting indirect evidence linking Freemasonry to the Conspiracy and the Illuminati, however. Many Freemasons look to the Templars as their direct antecedents. Certain Masonic rites are said to have been drawn from the Templars, specifically the Strict Observance rite, which is claimed to have come directly from Templars who survived the scourge of 1307 to 1312 and perpetuated their order in Scotland. (Interestingly enough, the Strict Observance rite includes oaths to unswervingly follow some "unknown superiors.") Further, in the late 1640s, some influential Rosicrucians are thought to have become Masons. Members of the Prieure de Sion are also said to have joined the Masons. This indicates that at least three influential conspiratorial groups have had the opportunity to gain direct or indirect control over Freemasonry.
As a fraternal secret society whose oaths include the tender of aid to brothers in time of need, Freemasonry has a structure that could prove of great use to the Illuminati. Recognition symbols, passwords and secret grips are already in place. Further, Freemasonry has many grades of initiation that include compartmentalization of information. Members of one grade expect to know more of the organizations secrets than lower grades, and less than higher grades. Its possible, therefore, that certain grades of initiation are reserved partially or exclusively for members of the Conspiracy. Thus its possible that both the Templars and the Prieure control different "subsets" of Masonry. [p. 67-68.]
Some historians believe that the order actually continued to exist after its official dissolution. There were many Templars outside France - in Scotland, for example - who were never arrested, and its thought that many within France actually "went underground," perhaps with the cooperation of the Prieure, to escape the papal order. Freemasons claim that some of their rites are a direct continuation of Templar tradition, so in that sense the order might still be said to exist. [p. 69.]
The Protocols described a grand Conspiratorial plan, steps of which involved destroying certain regimes, infiltrating Freemasonry and similar organizations, and seizing control of all political, economic and social institutions in the Western world. [p. 91.]
These are groups such as the Freemasons and Greek-letter fraternities: organizations that openly described themselves as "secret societies," that actively recruit - and even advertise, in the case of fraternities - for new members, and that can be found in the phone book. They don't keep their existence secret, but they do conceal their ritual, their recognition codes, and - occasionally - their true goals and purposes. [p. 95.]
Individual organizations - particularly secret societies - often have their own symbols, such as the square-and-compasses emblem of Freemasonry. [p. 100.]
Freemasonry, too, is a (presumably) non-conspiratorial secret society that has a great effect on the world. As part of their initiation, Masons swear to aid their brothers to the best of their abilities; this often translates to material aid such as unsecured loans, job offers, etc. Much the same can be said of other such groups, like the Elks and the Rotarians. [p. 107.]
An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, by Albert Mackey. The Masonic History Company, Chicago, 1925.
The Teachings of Freemasonry, by "Essex Master." Cecil Palmer, London, 1928.
The Temple and the Lodge, by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (two of the authors of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail). A history of Freemasonry.
GURPS Illuminati, The World Is Stranger Than You Think, Nigel D. Findley (1960-1995). Edited by Steve Jackson and Jeff Koke. [Generic Universal Roleplaying System designed by Steve Jackson]. 1992, 1996, 2000 by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated; ISBN 1-55634-223-3. 129p.