Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lovecraftian Thing a Day No.299: The Illuminoids.

Neal Wilgus The Illuminoids is something of an odd footnote in the niche world of Lovecraftian esoterica, but this attempt at welding together various strands of conspiratorial lore makes a few interesting references to Lovecraft and his creations - notably the claim in a timeline of conspiracy 'history' in the second part of the book that in 1915 the 'first recording of the Outer Ones from Yuggoth' occured, along with the charge that Yog Sothoth might be the power behind the Illuminati. Wilgus' book also offers an early example of an author speculating about possible links between the Cthulhu Mythos and von Daniken's ancient astronaut hypothesis which Jason Colavito has explored in greater detail. That said, mention of Lovecraft is unsurprising here as Wilgus seems to be taking his lead from Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! trilogy, which also weaves both Lovecraft and the Cthulhu mythos into its conspiratorial melange. Indeed, Wilson not only provides an introduction to the book, but manages a throwaway reference to Lovecraft on the first page. The waters are further muddied as Wilgus' own introduction leaves things open as to whether The Illuminoids should be taken seriously or whether it is a tour de force in the vein of  - if not outright cashing in on - Shea and Wilson's work.

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