A mysterious group has been putting a series of puzzles on the Internet known as Cicada 3301. The Daily Telegraph, which has been running articles on the phenomenon, explains that they are posted by a person or persons who says, “We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test…” This naturally leads to questions about who is doing the recruiting.
Liam Harnett wrote to me to point out that aspects of the puzzle might interest Robert Anton Wilson fans.
He remarked, "Why i think it might be of interest to RAW fans is the very first puzzle in the series led to the Book of Law by Aleister Crowley which is used as a cipher
"And in a later round of the puzzle, statements are given along with the following list of allowable evaluations:
*None of the above"
After I read Liam's email, I read the latest Telegraph story, which says that one of the latest puzzles has a series of images "arranged in such a way that some solvers are now debating whether the image is supposed to represent a Thelema star (a hexagram developed by Aleister Crowley) or an image of a Masonic Square."
An earlier story in the Telegraph says that posting puzzle is a "tried and tested recruitment tactic."
Then there's this bit:
One long, cautionary diatribe, left anonymously on the website Pastebin, claimed to be from an ex-Cicada member – a non-English military officer recruited to the organisation "by a superior”. Cicada, he said, "was a Left-Hand Path religion disguised as a progressive scientific organisation” – comprising of "military officers, diplomats, and academics who were dissatisfied with the direction of the world”. Their plan, the writer claimed, was to transform humanity into the Nietzschen Übermensch.
Obviously, it's the Illuminati!