The comments are often the best part in the weekly Illuminatus! online discussions. There were a lot of good comments for episode 23.
One that stuck with me was Oz Fritz's comment about Iluminatus! as a recruitment tool for the Illuminati. He wrote, "Speaking of eternal serpent power and the Illuminati Secret RAW writes of in CT1 recalls hearing a recent internet rumor that the Illuminatti are recruiting. They need more Illuminati and Illuminatus! tells you how. Maybe this book functions as a clandestine (or not so clandestine) recruitment algorithm?"
This is perhaps an example of a serious intent behind all of the Illuminati jokes. In Appendix Lamed, the authors write, "This book, being part of the only serious conspiracy it describes — that is, Operation Mindfuck — has programmed the reader in ways that he or she will not understand for a period of months, or perhaps years."
Adam Gorightly's new Historia Discordia has many documents that shed light on Illuminatus!, but one of the most interesting, for me, is the "Constitution of the Illuminati" on page 109, which Gorightly attributes to Wilson and Shea. It lists "Five Rare Precepts" (perhaps playing off the Five Precepts of Buddhism?) Here are Shea and Wilson's "Five Rare Precepts," which I'm reprinting after asking Adam's permission:
1) We renounce and oppose the use of coercion in human affairs, whether for the purpose of monopolizing land or industrial property, resolving disputes, or that of advancing any political cause;
2) We renounce and oppose the use of deception and secrecy in human affairs, except for the purpose of an occasional harmless put-on now and then;
3) We adhere to the principles of participatory democracy, decentralism, and individualism within our association;
4) We give unqualified support to freedom of expression and freedom of belief;
5) Our specific purpose is to promote understanding and appreciation of anarchist ideas and practices in the political realm; we also encourage and support the cultural anarchism of surrealism and dada in the arts.