What are the signs of the Illuminati?

Updated July 20, 2017

A secret organisation called the Illuminati was founded in Germany in 1776 by a university professor named Adam Weishaupt. It is known to have been partly modelled on Freemasonry, and it attracted liberal-minded, secular thinkers, writers and businessmen. In 1784, the Illuminati society disappeared from public view when the Bavarian Government banned secret organisations. The name "Illuminati" lived on and has become increasingly popular as the subject of conspiracy theories about secret societies seeking to rule the world. Much that is written about the Illuminati confuses it with Freemasonry, particularly as regards signs.


The mythological "Udjat," or All-Seeing Eye, is seen by many conspiracy theorists as a clear sign of U.S. Government involvement in the Illuminati. This is because of its similarity to the Eye of God on the Great Seal of the United States. But the similarity is entirely superficial. The eye on the Great Seal alludes to what was seen in the 18th century as Providence's care of the new nation. It also appears on the dollar bill. The pyramid on which the Great Seal's Eye rests is also usually portrayed by conspiracy theorists as a sinister Illuminati sign. However, the creators of the Great Seal gave a less esoteric explanation of the design.


A medieval sign that is alleged to be used by the Illuminati is that of Baphomet, a mythological character with a goat's head, woman's breasts and a bat's wings. Between its horns is a pentagram. It is said to be connected with Satan.

Dot in Circle

Another sign is a simple dot within a circle, which is said to be the most significant and widely used symbol of the Illuminati. This has been linked to the astrological sign of the Sun and the mystical Jewish Kabbalah of the Middle Ages. There are 14 different meanings ascribed to the point within a circle, going as far back as ancient Egypt.

Hand Gestures

More modern signs take the form of hand gestures, and several pop stars have been accused on the Internet by conspiracy theorists of being Illuminati supporters on the strength of what they do with their hands during song and dance routines. The gestures vary, but include raising the first finger and little finger while bunching the fingers in between, and forming a pyramid shape with both hands and then looking through it with the left eye. Others who have been detected by Illuminati enthusiasts making signs which single them out as having connections with the organisation are former President George W. Bush and his wife, the Pope and the British Queen.

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About the Author

Peter Staples has been writing professionally since 1965, in journalism and public relations. He has worked for “The Times," BBC online and other outlets in England, plus Australian newspapers “Sydney Morning Herald” and "Melbourne Age." Staples holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from the U.K.’s Open University.