Conspiracy theories, pop culture and Matthew 7:16


If you watched Beyonce’s raunchy, half-naked performance at the Super Bowl, chances are you saw her hold up her hands in the shape of a diamond. Though seemingly harmless, Beyonce’s hand gesture set off a tidal wave of commentary, primarily from conspiracy theorists, who think it was a covert way of showing her allegiance to the Illuminati, a secret society that – in association with Freemasons (a group that has been condemned by the Church since the 19th century) – has allegedly played a key role in determining world affairs since the 1770s.

The prevailing wisdom, however, is that Beyonce simply wanted to pay respect to her husband Jay-Z, a rapper who uses the symbol to promote Roc-A-Fella Records, a company he started in 1996.


While it’s undeniable Jay-Z has relied on that hand gesture throughout his career, that doesn’t mean it’s not an Illuminati reference. Nor is Jay-Z the first, or the last, to ever use it. There have been countless celebrities, musicians and athletes who have flashed it before, during and after their performances.

LeBron James

Over the years, a continued reliance on strange yet very similar imagery by Hollywood and global leaders has lead some to believe that the most influential politicians and entertainers belong to a secret Satanic society; entertainers like The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, who in this interview with 60 Minutes seemingly admits to selling his soul to the devil.

Now, it very may well be the case that A TON of celebrities just have a really strange fetish with the same hand gesture, and that Bob Dylan is suffering from old age. But is it so unbelievable to think very powerful people are in cahoots with each other, and are conspiring with one another in politics and the entertainment industry?

Ben Stiller

Speaking from a purely practical standpoint, I find it hard to believe super powerful people wouldn’t band together for their mutual benefit. After all, there are already closed door meetings that take place among global economic leaders in Davos, Switzerland every year. The Bohemian Grove club in Monte Rio, California has also been known to provide the rich and powerful with a place to congregate.

While it might seem far-fetched to think someone could actually sell their soul to the devil, it’s not inconceivable. Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan on three separate occasions. During the last temptation, Satan told Jesus he would give Him all the kingdoms of the world if He would just kneel down and worship him. Jesus obviously refuses and Satan departs from His presence.

Kanye West and Tom Cruise

The Bible makes several other references to Satan’s presence on earth as well. In fact, Jesus is quite explicit in the Gospel of John in suggesting that Satan is the ruler of this world and that many will follow his ways. The 1st Letter of John and Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians also warn about Satan’s power on earth.

In many ways I am reminded of Matthew 7:16: “By their fruits you shall know them.” Can anyone honestly say that the invective lyrics, trance-inducing melodies, debaucherous performances, and seductive outfits of top pop culture icons bring us closer to God? Do Hollywood films that glorify guns, sex and drugs make us better people? Do television shows that drone on about one-night stands, binge drinking and pointless chatter help us grow stronger in our faith?

The answer is no. They don’t. They desensitize us from what should be considered sinful, offensive and wrong. They set us down a path that glorifies man over God. And they distract us from what we must do in order to obtain eternal salvation. This is most certainly not the work of God.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Stephen Kokx is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Peace and Justice. His writing on religion, politics and Catholic social teaching has appeared in a number of outlets, including Crisis Magazine, The American Thinker and his hometown paper The Grand Rapids Press. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and is a graduate of Aquinas College and Loyola University Chicago. Follow Stephen on twitter @StephenKokx

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