Check out my review of Ken Wilber's latest book Finding Radical Wholeness

Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

Third Reply to Smith

Ravi Maheshvar

Hi Andy,

I have read your review and the discussions that followed with great interest. You asked some questions about the anonymity of the Illuminati and the way their ideas are written and published. I will try to address these issues below. Because I'm not a representative of Mike Hockney and can't speak on his behalf, I'll mostly quote relevant passages from his writings. You wrote:

"I understand that the Illuminati include political change in their program, perhaps even regard themselves as hiding from someone or some organization, but whatever is going on, I would appreciate some explanation."

Yes, that is exactly it. History, including recent history, is filled with examples of freethinkers being murdered or threatened by religious fanatics, or monitored by government agencies. There are many people who cling to the past or want to preserve the status quo, while our effort is to topple all the rotten structures and institutions, ushering in a new paradigm. Hence there are many people who want to stop us. (Another reason why we prefer anonymity is practical: most of us have regular jobs, so we don't want customers and future employers to find our names on various websites.)

As you well know, the fields of science, spirituality, philosophy, mathematics, psychology, religion, history and politics all overlap and intertwine. Presenting a scientific theory CAN therefore lead to religious riots, for example, and spiritual ideas can lead to a political revolution. Since the Illuminati are by their very nature rebels and revolutionaries, they must keep their identities hidden from the powers that be.

The Illuminati are "Renaissance men" or polymaths, in that they study and address all of the above-mentioned fields. This is the reason why the books and websites are, as you mentioned, "unsystematic, rambling and repetitious." Hockney explains the writing style of the God Series in the first book of the series, The God Game, in a section called The Glass Bead Game:

We ought to offer some advice on how to read this book and the others in the series. They are actually constructed in such a way as to provide a homage to Hermann Hesse's The Glass Bead Game, which was itself a homage to the Illuminati.

The Glass Bead Game is an extraordinary game whereby underlying patterns in existence are discerned in apparently disparate things. It's a kind of hyper sophisticated musical chess using, as the chess pieces, strands of information from all sorts of different topics and subjects. The game is to link the pieces in the most elegant, unexpected, beautiful and harmonious ways, revealing their deep connections and having them accompanied by the most exquisite music.

So, these books are written in a "hyperlink" style where they leap from one thing to another and eschew linear, formal discursive techniques. The books are supposed to reflect the Glass Bead Game itself, played at the ultimate existential level of revealing absolute truth.

The books are also designed for maximum reading effectiveness. By keeping the reader's mind always slightly off balance by jumping back and forth between all manner of subjects, including high-level mathematics, ultra-advanced philosophy, cutting-edge physics, The Simpsons, South Park, horror movies, and so on, we hope to detonate an immense creative explosion in the mind of the reader.

Putting it another way, you have no chance of understanding these books on a book-by-book basis, so don't get bogged down in the detail. The books are intended to be grasped across the whole series. Things that might make no sense in one book will become crystal clear in another where the same topic is addressed from a radically different angle.

We recommend that you read the whole series without paying too much attention to detail initially, and let the whole thing wash over you like the ocean. If we have done our job right, you should start to reach an excellent intuitive understanding of the material. Afterwards, you can start the series again from whatever point most interests you and study the material in depth.

Our aim is to present the most complex material of all time in as palatable a way as we can contrive. If we presented this material as pure philosophy, pure mathematics and pure science it would make sense only to academics, and even most of them would scratch their heads. So, we've come out with a new style of presenting challenging material. Whether we have succeeded with our experiment will be for you to decide - but please suspend your judgment until all of the material is presented, especially since it was originally conceived as a single book and single project.

Good luck to every player of the God Game, the ultimate Glass Bead Game.

From: The God Game


Although I was aware of the above statement, I nonetheless felt that it would be useful to present some of the ideas discussed in the God Series in a way that would be more easily accessible to academics. This is why a few months ago I created the mathmonism website you linked to in your review (the site mainly features quotes from the second book in the series: The Last Man Who Knew Everything, about Gottfried Leibniz). That site was not created by Mike Hockney, but by me, a reader. At first Mike was not that enthusiastic about my idea, but eventually he did approve and appreciate it.

Illuminism is not anti-science in that we fully appreciate the scientific method, and are in agreement with many scientific ideas (regarding evolution, chemistry, astronomy and so on). In fact, we would like to see the scientific method being used much more extensively in politics, and we would like to see many more retired scientists take up a career in politics (which they will only do when politics is no longer a popularity contest, and the super rich can no longer manipulate voters and politicians).

Some examples of Mike Hockney speaking favorably of the scientific method:

"The scientific method is the most successful technique humanity has devised for achieving organised, systematic progress, so why isn't it applied in other arenas? In particular, why is politics allowed to revolve around inconclusive moralistic debates instead of the tried and trusted steps of the scientific method?"

"So why not turn instead to how scientists do things? The scientific method involves four steps: 1) observe and describe a phenomenon; 2) formulate a hypothesis that explains the phenomenon; 3) use this hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to provide quantitative predictions of the results of new observations; 4) perform experimental tests of the predictions by several independent teams, using properly conducted experiments. In short, observe, hypothesise, predict and verify. If a hypothesis has been rigorously tested and still proves valid then it takes on the status of a theory, and can be used with a high degree of confidence (though certainty is never attained)."

"One of the aims of the Meritocracy Party is to abolish the 'moralising' approach to politics (what's 'right' and what's 'wrong' - the politics of principle) in favour of the scientific method (what works and what doesn't - the politics of pragmatism)."

"If you want a new society you have to understand something extremely simple - the prevailing ideology, the current "system", has to be smashed to smithereens. It's time for a new, dialectical system of continuous improvement - Meritocracy - that models itself on the most successful instrument ever devised by humanity: the scientific method. Meritocracy is about applying expertise, method and evidence to politics. It's about jettisoning ideology and rhetoric and dealing instead with hypotheses, experiments, data collection and evidence. Every aspect of society can be brought to perfection through repeated iterations of the dialectical method of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. There's no further need for hot air speeches and moralising by politicians. Now we will have theories put forward by experts in their fields, and these theories will be relentlessly tested and perfected - exactly as in science, humanity's jewel."

"Meritocracy is about turning politics into science, about applying the scientific method to create better and better answers to all social, psychological and political problems. The rich despise science because most of them are hopeless scientifically. Science is not included in "cultural capital". Science is the subject of true merit because no one can bullshit their way through science, and privileged connections won't take you far unless you actually know what you're talking about. A technocratic society run by scientists, mathematicians, technologists and engineers is a disaster for the elite."

"We seek to replace politics with political science i.e. a new politics that takes its lessons and methods from science, thus emulating the brightest jewel in the human crown."

"Science is characterised by smart people putting forward well-considered hypotheses, which are then tested by other smart people. Data and evidence are collected to see how well they correspond to the hypothesis. The hypothesis can be refined in the light of the data, and new experiments performed. If the hypothesis is unproductive, it is discarded while if it prospers then eventually it attains the status of "theory". A scientific theory is not something speculative and vague as many non-scientists erroneously believe. It has been successfully tested innumerable times and it takes something remarkable to overthrow it."

"Stories - Mythos - should be reserved for entertainment purposes, not for trying to understand mathematical, scientific and philosophical reality. Politicians, like religious leaders, are always spinning yarns to "sell" their message to us. We don't need their Mythos view of the world."

"There are no political parties in science. Disputes are resolved via experiments, hard data, mathematics and logic, not via speeches, rhetoric, stories and ideology. Scientists can't vote down other scientists and dogmatically push through their agenda regardless of the evidence. No scientists have to kiss babies and shake the hands of the "common man" to get elected. They have no party position that they have to defend."

"In the New Politics, clever people will propose hypotheses and these will be tested and the evidence collected. The evidence will decide between rival hypotheses, not some partisan debate in Congress full of hot air and fanatical ideology. Evidence, not rhetoric, is the only valid means of testing rival policies and ideas in order to identify the most successful ones."

"Hegel's dialectic is similar to the scientific method whereby an initial hypothesis is tested experimentally and continually refined until the predictions of the hypothesis exactly match the experimental results, at which point the hypothesis becomes a theory. In scientific terms, a theory isn't a speculative concept: it is something so well verified that it's practically an unchallengeable law of science."

"In the New Politics, clever people will propose hypotheses and these will be tested and the evidence collected. The evidence will decide between rival hypotheses, not some partisan debate in Congress full of hot air and fanatical ideology. Evidence, not rhetoric, is the only valid means of testing rival policies and ideas in order to identify the most successful ones."

"Every citizen will be able to propose hypotheses and have them treated with the utmost consideration. Clever citizens will be direct contributors to the new dialectical politics, not passive recipients of policies passed in Congress after "hot air" debates."

"We don't need any politicians or any debates. We just need hypotheses, experiments and evidence."

"Evidence replaces rhetoric. Science replaces politics. All debates are resolved evidentially. All disputes are turned into rival scientific hypotheses and put to the test. Is that not the only sensible and rational means to resolve conflicts?"

"All the hot air and ideology gets kicked out and is replaced by cool, calm science. No politicians are necessary, thank you very much: no pressure groups, no lobbyists, no hysterical media reporting."

"This new system removes all of the levers of power from the Old World Order and from the religious and political fanatics. Their irrational beliefs and propaganda can now be relentlessly challenged and tested."

"The whole world will have a transparent, systematic method to resolve all issues. All hypotheses will be available on the internet, as will all the experimental procedures to test them, and all of the results. The world will become a global laboratory dedicated to perfecting human life and society."

From: Meritocracy


So as you can see, Mike Hockney is not against science as such, but against the scientific establishment we have today. Just like he's not against religion as such, but against the religious institutions we have today. His main criticism towards both is that they are not sufficiently mathematical, or disregard mathematics completely.

In your review you wrote:

"The other strong recommendation I make to Mike Hockney is to tone down the rhetoric and cut out some of the long, repetitious rants against science and other "anti-rationalists" that I think mar the exposition."

You're certainly not alone in this, as it has been suggested to Hockney many times before. Two years ago I discussed this issue in an email correspondance, and his response was as follows:

"Many people write to us to say we should refrain from criticising Abrahamism, we shouldn't use bad language, we shouldn't be angry, or mention politics, or refer to reincarnation or the Holy Grail. Every single thing gets criticized and we are "advised" to drop it. If we followed this advice, there would be no site at all. ... We use Dada and Situationist methods on our website. It is a "performance" as much as an information site."

And some more recent quotes from the God Game:

"Illuminism seeks nothing less than to unify once and for all religion, mathematics, science, psychology, politics, sociology and even the "paranormal" in one super synthesis, a true Grand Unified Theory of Everything. We aim to create the ultimate paradigm shift. Through this series of books, we intend to set humanity on a new and astounding path - going all the way to divinity."

"Our claims to knowing ultimate truth may sound ridiculously far-fetched, even comical. Have not endless charlatans peddled their wares over the centuries and lured the unwary and gullible into their malevolent webs of deceit and exploitation? What makes us different from them? Why should you take us seriously? Well, as we stated at the outset, we are not prophets proclaiming these books to be the sacred word of God. We don't ask you to believe a single thing we say. In fact, we insist that you don't since we have contempt for the world of faith and belief. We don't threaten you with hellfire if you disagree with us, though we do offer paradise if you follow our long, intellectual road. Above all, what makes us different is that we have understood the true ontological basis of reality - i.e. the truth of existence - and it does not involve faith, mysticism, mumbo jumbo, obscurantism, mystery, magic or woo woo."

"Like the ancient Alexandrian mathematician Euclid whose book of geometrical axioms ruled supreme for millennia, we will provide the mathematical axioms that underlie everything. We will be using philosophy as much as mathematics since philosophy is the best way of interpreting mathematical concepts in relatively precise yet non-mathematical language. We will also employ some scientific concepts, although we will often be engaged in showing that the foundations of science do not rest on solid ground - because they are INSUFFICIENTLY mathematical and philosophical. Science, despite all of its success, is the junior partner of mathematics and philosophy. Mathematics is not known as the queen of the sciences for nothing, and philosophy has always been far more aligned to answering the big questions of existence than science. Science is still mute when it comes to addressing the whys of existence. It does "how" quite well, but that's never enough."

I hope you found this response useful.

Kind regards,
Ravi Maheshvar

Comment Form is loading comments...