The Ant Illuminati

I am a writer and publisher interested in exploring the use of SAFE as a media channel.

As part of that I have been mulling over a concept for a safe website (?safesite) that I would like to share with you. Even though I’ve had the seed of the idea in my mind for quite a while, its still fairly undeveloped really, and I may end up re-working it quite a bit. But I figured it would be good to see if I can get any feedback at this early stage to help me decide how to proceed, and to gauge whether this is worth putting a lot of work into.

Also, I would be happy to hear from anybody that would like to work with me on this. It would be especially good to find a graphical artist.

Here is a first draft of some text I have just written for the site which attempts to explain the idea behind it:

Who Are The Ant Illuminati?

Regardless of whether or not the illuminati are a real organisation, or whether they truly have the power which some people attribute to them: the idea of the illuminati is a powerful meme which embodies many of the most pressing concerns people have about modern society and the nature of power and influence within it.

Even assuming that the existence of the illuminati is a myth, therefore, we may still assume it to be a useful myth. Throughout human history mythology has served as a powerful sociological force, serving to bolster our sense of community, helping us to explore and communicate complex social and moral questions, and expressing political and psychological realities in an accessible way.

Mythology is not simply the primitive religion of the past, nor is it ‘other people’s religion’. It is the collective wisdom of the crowd, often developed collaboratively over many years by diverse individuals, and expressed through that powerful tool which has so often proven to be the favoured medium of religion and philosophy alike: the parable.

In fact, the connection between mythology and religion as we know it today is itself largely a myth. Doctrinal religion is the death of mythology – its fixation at a certain point in time and the preservation of its corpse in the face of social change. Mythology, on the other hand, is a living, breathing, manifestation of the natural religious impulse.

A good myth is the embodiment of reality. Its own physical reality is a moot point. Does the ‘invisible hand’ of capitalist markets exist? Of course it does not exist in any physical sense as a material entity, but that does not mean that it does not exist, as shown by the substantial body of evidence documenting its actions. The invisible hand is a myth, but it is a useful myth which embodies a complex set of underlying realities.

A good myth also serves as inspiration, helping us to contextualize philosophical and political realities within the realm of individual human actions and relationships. We are, in a very real sense, the stories that we tell.

It is in this spirit that I present to you the idea of the illuminati as a useful enemy, and a convenient vehicle through which to understand and express many of the negative forces operating on the evolution of society.

More than that, I wish to use the myth of the illuminati as the genesis point for the development of a mythological counter-narrative: the Ant Illuminati.

Ants are a popular symbol within the SAFE community, for much the same reasons that they are useful in this endeavour: they present the perfect example of ‘spontaneous order’. The name also seems fitting as it can be read as ‘anti-luminati’.

The illuminati represents the totalitarian control of society by a small elite group, brought about in large part by an imbalance in knowledge caused by the hoarding of ‘secret wisdom’ by the elite and deliberate attempts to keep the masses in a state of ignorance, or the hidden machinations of secret societies, and enforced through a command and control system. Ant society, on the other hand, represents the possibility of a complex and perfectly ordered social system, including role specialization, emerging naturally from the independent decisions and actions of each individual, with no central control system, and brought about through the constant and free sharing of information (through pheromones, in the specific case of ants).

The purpose of this project is to explore the porous borderland between art and politics by using the new mythology of the Ant Illuminati to effect social change. It will be an experiment in modern mythology.

There will be no attempt to create a singular official version of this mythology, nor any central doctrine, nor to eradicate contradiction within it. Neither will there be any attempt to create an organisation called the ‘Ant Illuminati’.

Instead, it will attempt to create a mythological foundation as representative of a reality which already exists in the world. It will aim to provide a medium through which to draw together the various strands of this external reality into a single space. It will aspire to inform its development within the life of the individual, and to provide a set of tools through which to understand and manifest it.

Hopefully, it will also present a convenient and appealing way to explore and to share it with others, and a communal sense of identity and culture to inspire its builders.

In short, the answer to the question, “who are the Ant Illuminati?” is: You, if only you choose to be so.


Having recently listened to Mr Irvine’s Seattle Presentation on Scalability, I really really loved this post :slight_smile:

Spot on

EDIT: link added


Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!

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Very well thought out. It seems your passion and the SAFE network will be a perfect match.


"Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws"
This is the root of the evil.

Safecoin is potentially a game changer, bitcoin has become too centralized and traceable ( I dont know if it will survive from external pressure)

Great post btw! first kinda neutral post i see about this topic, shit is real though!!



do you have a link for that?

Very true.

You mean neutral in terms of specific solutions? If so then I guess yeah, it should continue to be neutral as much as possible.

Hi Dean,

I meant to say not biased. Many content provider are alarmist and obssessive about this topic which discredit the whole message. I like how you started the post by saying that regardless of one’s belief it’s still a useful myth, that’s the way we need to explain things to get the attention of the skeptics :wink:


Graphic artist yes. Someone did a white on black tea shirt print idea on this site that was done in antique style. It had ants in kind of an angelic fo, queens with wings and in the center something like a tomb stone with xor on it and some chilling words about the nature of evolution and all of the symbols arrayed with symmetry and balance in a pyramidal for but strongly conveying the upending of the pyramid- if memory serves. Dean that artist might be one to ask about collaboration. Its in the teashirt thread. Id find it myself but I am not in front of a PC.

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That does sound very interesting, I’ll see if I can dig it up.

Definitely! Sorry I forgot to link

Just added it to my last comment too

I think perhaps @Warren you meant this: MaidSAFE Tee Shirt which is a pretty awesome design, you are right about that, and it does have a kind of appropriate style too. I’ll send @optictopic message.


That’s it. It floored me. Very humble artist from what I could gather.


Use it as you like.

Click on the pic to go to the flickr page. If you are logged into flickr you can download the original size.


This one is has n99 instead of xor at the head. It also has the xor graphics underneath the ants unlike the first image.


Seeing as how much has changed since that video, i think it would be nice if dirvine did another one of these presentations to give an updated look at the system.

Yeah but I’d rather they just work on the network for now :smile:

And many of the core principles from that talk definitely remain true

Speaking as one of those so called “alarmist” and “obsessive” content providers my first reaction was that labeling the illuminati as a myth would further act as disinformation and confuse the issue. However there is merit in the idea that no matter what your position on their existence is much truth can be told by using them instead as characters in a story or myth. Take the graphic novel V for Vendetta for example. People would have struggled to accept the idea that people could actually rise up and collaborate on a mass scale against an oppressive government before reading that piece of fiction and if told in a historical context would have seemed absurd, indeed the stuff of “conspiracy theories.” However if told as a piece of fiction, a story, or a myth is readily accepted and inspiring of real action, indeed the Guy Fawkes mask has become a predominant symbol of anonymity, freedom and privacy throughout our modern day culture, largely in part due to the influence of the V for Vendetta fiction. If we cannot agree that the illuminati actually exist then we can create a story within which there is a character that acts as they do to illustrate the dangers of having centralized and secret power structures that use secrecy and the hoarding of knowledge to tip the balance of power away from the general public into the hands of the elite few. Then, the public having been made aware of the issues can then spot them in their culture and correct them. Regardless of whether the illuminati exist the issues are what matter and need to be corrected in order for the public to remain free and safe.


Gene Rodenberry used Star Trek extensively to talk about real social issues like racism, politics, gender inequality and class warfare all through the use of fiction. People of the time (originally during, what was it, the 1960s?) would never accept a black female in a respectable position like the communications officer on a military vessel in real life. BUT if it’s in the future on a space ship with aliens why not? It’s just a story who cares!


Great to read this response, it really inspires me to move forward with this. I love the example of V for Vendetta: That really is something which I would describe as a kind of modern myth, though less explicitly and perhaps unintentionally, which is both a story and also a real life political meme which, as you say, does inspire people and create the kind of sense of community and so on which drives social and political movements. I would describe it as a ‘memeplex’ - a point of gravity to bring together a set of disparate memes into a singular whole.