Kittie, who turns out to be a member of the sororal organization known as the Order of the Eastern Star, continues to explain to Dickerson her hunch about the mysterious guy they call “Bowler Hat.”
“Not The Antichrist,” she answered, “but an antichrist, you can say that. He’s a member of the Illuminati.”
“What?!” was all I could get out. I knew of several organizations throughout history that called themselves the Illuminated ones, or more simply, the Illuminati. The first such group was a bunch of heliocentric scientists who organized themselves against heresy charges brought against their like-minded brethren by the Roman Catholic Church. These were men like Galileo and Kepler, men of science striving to make new gains in a world where religion, and the superstitions that often go with it, controlled everything. Another group was the Bavarian Illuminati, the brainchild of Adam Weishaupt, a high-ranking Mason, but that iteration died with its founder.
“Which one?” I responded playfully. “Hell, you can go online now and find websites for a dozen groups claiming to be the Illuminati, and I bet not one of them pertains to anything but a bunch of nut jobs wanting to be powerful and accepted.”
“I see what you’re getting at,” she answered, all smiles now, “but the stakes are just a bit bigger than who pulls the strings of the people who run the world.”
“How do stakes get higher than that?” I asked. The question itself seemed rather silly, but it needed to be asked.
“The stakes are the hearts and souls of the world which those men run,” was the answer she gave, and one I with which I could not argue.
“What’s this really about?” I finally asked. “This can’t be about Frank, and his booze, and his pills, and his ring. It can’t be just about some romp through the city on some kind of Masonic scavenger hunt. You said it’s about the hearts and souls of the world. How can that be?!”
“You might wanna light another cigarette, Bill,” she said. “This is a long story.”