Friday’s premiere of the suspense thriller "Angels and Demons,” based on Dan Brown’s book of the same name, may spark interest in a secret society central to the movie’s plot. So says Mark Dice of San Diego, author of the new book "Illuminati: Facts and Fiction.” Dice, 31, said historians and scholars agree that the Illuminati organization was created in Bavaria, Germany, in the late 1700s, but there continues to be a debate about whether the group completely disbanded when its sinister plans were discovered by authorities, and its members were exposed more than 200 years ago. Here, Dice discusses his book on the Illuminati, a group featured prominently in "Angels and Demons”: Q: How did you become interested in secret societies or groups such as the Illuminati? A: I was always interested in current events, politics and how the world works. There was always something missing — a piece of the puzzle. I started learning about the New World Order. I also learned that secret societies exist. For example, President George W. Bush was a member of Yale University’s Skull and Bones fraternity, and so was (Sen.) John Kerry, by the way. It’s a lifelong membership. It’s fascinating. Nobody in the mainstream media seems to ask anybody about that. Q: Why did you write this book at this particular time? A: I had written a previous book, "The Resistance Manifesto,” and the Illuminati is mentioned in one section. The Illuminati is the core of what a lot of people call the conspiracy theories. There’s so much information and speculation about it. I started to compile all of the wild allegations out there, like some authors say the Illuminati is a group of aliens who look like humans. I wanted to have a book that people could use to trace the truth and see what is documented and what is fanciful that someone just made up. Q: By several accounts, the Illuminati are given a sinister history. Was the group sinister? A: People today say they were a poor group of free thinkers persecuted by the monarchies, but in fact several homes of the Illuminati were raided in the 1700s. Letters were taken and published that showed that the majority of these men were ruthless, devious and power-hungry guys. They didn’t want to alleviate monarchies; they wanted to replace them. They wrote letters about things like how to poison people and how to send a fraudulent letter. Q: You say the Illuminati plotted to secretly infiltrate key positions of power in politics, morally corrupt society, and ultimately abolish Christianity. What would prompt such a group to go after Christianity and organized religion? A: The Roman Catholic Church was a powerful organization. Q: Will "Angels & Demons” spark more interest in the Illuminati? A: There is going to be tremendous interest. You have a blockbuster star, Tom Hanks, plus Dan Brown (who wrote "The Da Vinci Code,” which sparked controversy and protests from Roman Catholics and other faith groups). It mixes some historical information about the Illuminati with fiction. It blurs the lines between facts and fiction. Dan Brown makes it seem like they were good guys just being persecuted by the church, that it was a group of scientists and artists. There were scientists and artists, but it was mainly a group of men with political aspirations searching for political power. Q: Why do you want people to learn more about this group? A: I think people need to know their true history. If we have the wrong interpretation about the past, we are in a position to make the wrong interpretation of the present. Q: How can people obtain your book? A: It is available online at Amazon.com and at www.markdice.com.
Mark Dice, author of the book "Illumaniti: Facts & Fiction" talks about the Illuminati, a secret society featured in the upcoming movie "Angels & Demons."