Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessep in the film A Few Good Men (1992)
from the Aug/Sept 2016 issue of COMPLEX


M.E. Against the World

“Don’t mind the men behind the curtain.” -The Wizard Of Oz

This month’s issue is loosely themed on all things Illuminati. Despite the team’s assurances that it was done in a tongue in cheek sort of way, I cringed a bit when I initially thought about what I may write here. After all, isn’t it taboo to publicaly discuss the Illuminati? On one hand, if you do, you seem suspicious and paranoid; on the other hand, you can’t help but think, “What if they read this?!”

In an effort to gain perspective on this topic about this secret society, I formed my insight where one should always form an insight. The brain. Not literally in my thoughts, but rather in an observation of the way the mechanics of the brain works.

Dig. Experts estimate that the subconscious human mind can process 10,000,000,000,000,000 (Ten QUADRILLION) operations per second, without you even knowing it. One study led by Markus Diesmann and Abigail Morrison, using the NEST software framework, created an artificial neural network of our brain of 1.73 billion nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses. Scientists believe each one of us carry 80–100 billion nerve cells in our brains, which is about as many stars as there are in the Milky Way!

Okay, so the brain is vast and complex. Mind blown. But of all the countless functions the subconscious mind CAN DO, it CAN NOT DO one thing. Our subconscious mind can not distinguish between the real events we experience versus something we merely think about. That’s right. A thought, however rational or irrational, can have the same effects on you as an actual lived experience.

So, I ask to anyone who claims to have an absolute understanding of the way humans interrelate — how the fuck can you know what is really going on “out there,” when we can barely process and understand ourselves, “in here”? You can’t.

This probably explains why fetishizing the Illuminati can flourish in popular culture. It is a guilty pleasure of game theory meets Dungeons & Dragons. A cloak and dagger new world order is far more exhilarating to rationalize versus the more probable brutal reality that we are all relatively random to the universe.

Frank Morgan as the title character in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Like gossip, or rubber necking, focusing on the imagined machinations of conspiracies is our mind’s way of binge eating fast food — evidence of our tendency to be duped into the illusion of nourishment rather than have a genuine understanding of the often immovable world we live in. It’s a guilty pleasure, like corn chips, you can’t just stop with one.

Fundamentally, the world has a bewildering way of unfairly penalizing and also unfairly rewarding. Conspiracy theories have a knack for making the world seem more personal and giving meaning to our own individual plights. They can serve as an explainer for when we are knowingly outcast; for when we are NOT “in the room” either culturally or individually.

“What are they saying in that room? What gets done in there? Why am I/we never invited? How do I/we get in the room?”

Gatekeepers. Yes, believe it or not, some people in power have unreasonable amounts of influence. Welcome to fucking civilization, it’s been happening since day one.

Despite that fact, I don’t believe there is a cloak-and-dagger, sinister plan that’s being orchestrated in the basement of some mystic fraternal club. Nor do I believe there is an official secret handshake other than the handshake of money and influence. Yes, I have witnessed business people, organizations and even products leapfrog and defy laws of ascendancy, relative to what should be their natural rate of adoption in a marketplace. Yes, unfair advantages are a thing.

But here is where it can go all wrong. Accepting conspiracy theories as real has a powerful way of sapping you of your energy. This is the negative consequence of becoming so oversubscribed, over consumed by your thoughts of “what if’s” that it can convince you that any effort to impact the world is meaningless because there are other forces so grand that whatever energy you bring to the universe will be trivial.

If there really is an Illuminati, I imagine that is exactly what they/it wants. They want the very singular THOUGHT of them to paralyze a piece of your mind and your peace of mind.

Never that!

“I’m telling you! It is the Illuminati! Right?” you may say half jokingly disguised as a curiosity. But your posture and the shrug in your shoulders says something far more sad.

One can become apathetic.



One can disconnect oneself from one’s ability to influence and change things.

It’s like crying, “Uncle.” To give power to the THOUGHT, however real or imagined.

Or, alternatively, one could try to bust it up while you can. That is the decided difference. Real action versus “the thought of action”.

You MUST contribute something positive to the universe through action.

YOU need to.

WE need to.

Our actions give us all purpose. Who is anyone to say they are trivial? 10,000,000,000,000,000 operations a second, right? By that count, in the grand scheme of things, everyone is trivial! Even the gatekeepers.

So, is the Illuminati real? Sure. Or, at least it is as real as it is our thoughts of it are real. I mean if you count the evidence of thousands of years of fuckery and hegemony — yes, it is real. Is it filled with subversive pageantry and a hidden language of coded symbols? Probably not.

Maybe some of the more likely explanations of why shit is the way it is, are less filled with intrigue of the occult, and more likely the product of the complicated fact that truths are sometimes woven by the arbitrary nature of the universe. So have faith.

Ultimately, what separates you from the gatekeeper?

Nothing. At least nothing over the thought of them.


Marc Eckō