Column – Among rap stars and secret 18th century sects

Cecily Trowbridge

A belief among certain religious groups is that a large number of recording artists are members of the historically renowned Illuminati, dedicated to secretly representing symbols of the devil in song lyrics, public gestures, and music videos.

These celebrities are, mysteriously, all black rap and R&B singers who have sold their souls to the devil in the promise that they will be given fame and fortune. Such artists include Rihanna, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Tupac Shakur, P. Diddy, and Beyonce.

Call me enlightened, but I don’t make it a habit to grasp for satanic straws.

Anyone who has seen either “The Da Vinci Code” or “Angels and Demons,” roughly understands the Western culture’s explanation of the Illuminati. They are stubborn yet discreet scientists and devil worshipping heretics to many others.

Whatever your opinion is on Illuminati, it is more than likely that you consider the group to be extinct, a historical event of the past that has no effect whatsoever on your life; a name that you may have heard in a movie you liked that represented entirely fictional events.

In reality, the Illuminati is the name of a society founded in 1776 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria -a state in southern Germany- which was kept secret due to the controversial mentality of the group.

The Illuminati believed heavily in Deism -the belief that God created the universe but left it to its own devices immediately afterward- therefore having no control over life or upon natural phenomena. Their explanations for events beyond a person’s control were scientific and logical, both frightening concepts to religious peers and threatening to religious authorities.

Illuminati members were often hunted down, imprisoned, persecuted and executed for their beliefs; seen as potential threats to the religious mentality that was used commonly as a tool to bring inner peace and stability to peoples’ lives.

Civilians wanted to maintain the oblivious mentality that their destinies were, for the most part, out of their control, and that there was someone watching over them, constantly picking battles, choosing outcomes and guiding lives.

They were not ready to believe that they were entirely in control of the events that occurred. In conjunction, the leaders that relied on manipulation and strategically placed fear to control the masses were not ready to give up their power.

Blog websites with written comparisons of satanic symbols and popular song lyrics have blown up the web. On YouTube, you can watch videos that point out anatomical impossibilities in the bodies of stars such as Rihanna. Many of the videos make the point that in order for one image in Rihanna’s “Umbrella” music video to be created, someone must have graphically enhanced the image so that her neck was long enough to re-create the image of the devil in a triangle.

The videos go so far as to break down the inches enhanced and point out every part of the “devil face” shown, including snout and horns.

Although I am agnostic, I consider myself to be open and respectful of all possible universal beginnings, but I will not be frightened into believing anything and I will not be thrown into proverbial damnation with the rest of the heretics because I refuse to be “saved.”

For that reason I will not believe that the only way these performers became famous was by selling their souls to the devil. These people are talented, and they have worked hard to go the distance.

If one day one of us were to become successful, I am hard pressed to believe that we would appreciate the rest of the world chalking it up to the devil. We are an emerging generation: what we accomplish is our feat and ours alone. I believe that it is a virtue to give ourselves due credit, and to avoid begrudging others the same.