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."
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: