"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Secret Societies, Lapel Pins and Tacos

So tonight, Alice and I are absent-mindedly monitoring a truly silly TV series on the Science Channel about Nikola Tesla and his experiments at wirelessly transmitting electricity. Naturally, they have chosen to tart it up as a multi-part series postulating that  TESLA WAS MURDERED OVER A DEATH RAY!!! And they keep promising to get around to talking about supposedly newly declassified FBI investigation documents looking into his death in 1943 and the files stolen from his safe before police arrived. We keep an eye on these programs just because a while back, we wrote Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies. As a result of that, we still get the occasional call from producers over the damndest topics, like Tesla for instance. We had zero to do with this one, but it follows the standard  "Episode 4: Still Nothing To Show You, But Did We Mention The Death Ray Again?" format, complete with the handheld footage of three guys exclaiming "OMIGOD!" over nothing. What one producer described to me as "the woo-woo factor."

Anyway, a commercial popped up that reminded me of something. Seven years ago, I was traveling in Ohio and posted a photo and blog entry. It was of a light fixture at the doors to a Taco Bell that clearly portrayed a square and compass (photo above), which obviously demonstrated "More proof we Masons rule the world." 

So, imagine my surprise when Taco Bell's new TV campaign portrays a secret society, called the "Belluminati." 

I'm obviously way too late discovering this, as they are already sold out of the tie-in hats, hoodies, tee-shirts, and yes, lapel pins. 

Can't be a secret society without lapel pins. 

Freemasonry can't escape being linked to the Illuminati in the public perception, no matter what. But I'm just more than a little depressed that, instead of the 20th century image we once had as something to be aspired to, then as sinister in the 1980s, then vanishing into obscurity for two decades, then resurrected by Dan Brown and his imitators as something spooky, today we've just become the punchline to a taco commercial.

My old post might have been the inspiration for this ad campaign, even if only accidentally. Or maybe it wasn't. But oh, how I wish I had thought up their description of the reason for their lapel pin:

"Forged in secrecy, this pin allows members to exchange silent nods of acknowledgement without actually having to spend energy nodding."


  1. They've got Belluminati T shirts on ebay :-)
    -- Karen Kidd

  2. There's Belluminati T shirts on ebay :-)
    --Karen Kidd

  3. Fun post. Those interested can still purchase a set of authentic Illuminati jewels at themasterscraft.net. They are unique in design, beautiful, and make for good conversation at small Masonic gatherings.

  4. I need one of those pins to wear during my AASR Game Guild videos...I wonder how long it would take the brethren to realized I wasn't wearing a LoP pin, but this one...

  5. When I heard this story 20 years ago, I couldn't believe someone had not turned it into a movie or mini-series.
    Gary Thomas PM


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