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Created: 2012-06-07 10:31:25
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Oh, boy! More conspiracy fun! Let's get to it, Scooby gang.



...Okay, we can't get right to it, because ceco's only provided a tiny cropped thumbnail, and not a full sized copy. So I guess I don't even need to worry about debunking this. Well, that was an easy one...



Alright, yes, I can't help myself, and have gone and taken the liberty to find a full sized copy. Not because I'm egotistical, but simply because of how popular these myths and misconceptions there are about the dollar, and the various symbols and motifs used by the United States (yeah, that excuse'll do):

First things first is that the dollar bill you see before you was only introduced in 1935 under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It's not quite as old as one would think, and nor is it as sinister as some would have you believe, with the two main design elements being the front and reverse of the Great Seal of the United States - the pyramid on the left is the reverse, and the eagle is the front of the Seal. I've already written somewhat extensively about the history of the Great Seal in another conspiracy topic. I'll be lazy and re-use my original post, except with minor adjustments, updates and corrections (I had mistakenly said John Quincy Adams was on the first design team, when I really meant just John Adams. Quincy was his son. Schoolboy error.).

****You can skip this if you've already read it. Or you can skip it anyway. Do what you like. I'm not your mother. ****

The signs on the back of the US dollar is NOT an Illuminati symbol, nor is it a Masonic symbol either. After the Declaration of Independence was signed July 4 1776, by all of the 13 united colonies (Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia), the Continental Congress commissioned the designing of a new national seal.

"Resolved, That Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin, Mr. J[ohn] Adams and Mr. [Thomas] Jefferson, be a committee, to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America." – July 4, 1776, Journals of Continental Congress"

You can read some of the Congress' journals from the period on here.

Because Franklin, Adams and Jefferson had no knowledge of heraldry, they sought the assistance of a man called Pierre Eugène Du Simitière to assist them. Sadly, history has not been kind to Du Simitière, because Google Suggestions only has two results: "Pierre Eugène Du Simitière" and "Pierre Eugène Du Simitière illuminati." It's one of the reasons why I go to such extreme lengths with topics like these. Real history is being sullied and corrupted by made-up information and conspiracy twaddle, and important men (and ladies. Can't forget the lovely ladies. Betsy Ross was a minx. ^_~) forgotten or their legacy smeared. Don't worry, Pierre. I've got your back, bro.

Anyway, Du Simitière was a Swiss artist who had emigrated to the (now newly-christened) United States several years prior, living in Philadelphia, and would be one of the key designers of the Seal. Rather than be a quickly decided matter, the Seal took over six years to design, and underwent many different changes, as each of the people involved had different ideas. I should also point out that, despite the claims of conspiracy movies like National Treasure, only *one* of the designers was a Mason (Ben Franklin), and whilst President George Washington was a Mason, he took no part in the design of the Seal.

After a month of designing and planning, the first presentation of their written proposals to Congress took place in August. Benjamin Franklin took his inspiration from the Old Testament and the Book of Exodus:

"Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharaoh who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, to express that he acts by Command of the Deity.

You can see his original handwritten notes on the Seal here:

The motto he chose was "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God."

(Note: He had previously suggest a rattlesnake to be a good symbol of the United States in a Pennsylvania Journal article on December 27, 1775. He had written under the pen name of ""An American Guesser", so I hadn't actually heard about it until updating this post. Never too late to learn something new. You can read his magazine letter here.)

This Biblical design was rejected. It would later be drawn by a historian called Benson John Lossing in July 1856 (and printed in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 13 Issue 74), and would end up looking like this:

Jefferson wanted the front of the Seal to be a depiction of the Children of Israel, and the reverse to be a depiction of Hengist and Horsa, based on early English Saxon legend.

Adams took his inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology, and based his Seal design on a painting called "Judgment of Hercules", where Hercules must decide between the path of indulgence ("flowery paths of Pleasure"), or the path of greatness ("rugged mountain of Virtue"). You can read Adam's letter to his wife describing his choices (and more details on the Seal's creation, like Du Simitère's working methods of cutting and pasting, scrapbook-style, baby) here.

You can see a copy of the painting here:

All three of these designs were rejected, since they weren't traditional Seal designs, being too dependent on imagery, rather than heraldry, and didn't convey much information as a seal should. Du Simitière's design was the only one that came closest to being approved, because it was a traditionally designed heraldic seal. His written proposal was thus:

"The shield has six Quarters, parts one, coupé. The 1st Or, a Rose enamelled gules and argent for England: the 2nd Argent, a Thistle proper for Scotland: the 3d Vert a Harp Or for Ireland: the 4th Azure a Flower de luce Or for France: the 5th Or the Imperial Eagle Sable for Germany: and the 6th Or the Belgic Lion Gules for Holland, pointing out the countries from which these states have been peopled.

The shield within a bordure Gules entwined of thirteen Scutcheons Argent linked together by a chain or, each charged with the initial letters Sable, as follows: 1st NH, 2nd MB, 3d RI, 4th C, 5th NY, 6th NJ, 7th P, 8th DC, 9th M, 10th V, 11th NC, 12th SC, 13th G, for each of the thirteen independent States of America. [emphasis mine]

Supporters, Dexter the Goddess of Liberty in a corselet of Armour, alluding to the present times, holding in her right hand the Spear and Cap and with her left supporting the shield of the States; Sinister the Goddess of Justice bearing a sword in her right hand and in her left a Balance.

Crest, the Eye of Providence in a radiant Triangle whose Glory extends over the shield and beyond the Figures.

Motto: E Pluribus Unum. [translation: "Out of Many, One"]

Legend round the whole achievement, "Seal of the United States of America MDCCLXXVI"

The part in bold is the first incarnation of what would eventually be that famous eye that's mislabeled as the eye of "Lucifer" on the picture. However, as you can see, the eye is NOT referred to as "Eye of Lucifer", "The All-Seeing Eye" the "Illumined Eye" , or anything to do with a "Great Architect" (which is anti-masonry nonsense, but that's another story), in either the description, or any of the letters, diaries or correspondence of the anybody involved. If you've ever read the Declaration of Independence (if not, why not? It's one of the most important historical documents ever written, even if you don't believe in conspiracies), you'll know that the last line is:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Divine Providence being God, essentially.

The finished design would look like this, as sketched by Du Simitière himself in 1776:

But! As you might have noted, I said Du Simitière's design came "closest" to being approved, but it was still rejected. Congress would then commission a second design committee in March 1780. The members of the design team this time were James Lovell, a delegate from Massachusetts, who headed the team, and John Morin Scott, New York Senator, and William Churchill Houston from New Jersey. The designer they employed this time around was Francis Hopkinson, the same chap who had helped designed the United States Flag in 1777:

...and also signed the Declaration of Independence, being from New Jersery. None of them were Masons. Hopkinson did most of the work, and delivered the sketches he had done to Congress on May 10th. His design for the front and reverse of the Seal was thus:

You'll notice similar themes and symbols being repeated, such as the use of the number 13 in the stars atop the shield. Far from being an evil or unlucky number, as conspiracy theorists claim, it's actually representing the 13 united colonies (Virginia, al) that form the United States. "Out of Many, One", as the motto on Du Simitière's design said - out of many states, one country. There are also 13 alternating stripes on the shield. Congress had already approved the flag and its use of the 13 stripes and stars, so it made sense to tie the flag and Seal together using common heraldry:

You'll also notice other design features that'll be included in the final Seal, like the Olive branch on one side of the shield, and the Sword on the other side, with the motto "Bello vel Paci" translating as "For War or For Peace" - again, this being an ideal coming from the Declaration of Independence, in which it states:

" Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do..."

The finished design would portray this via the American Eagle (representing Congress) clutching arrows in one talon (representing War), and an olive branch in the other (representing peace). The "power to levy war and to conclude peace."

The Reverse of Hopkinson's Seal has the figure of Liberty holding a staff on which a liberty, or pileus/phrygian cap sits. It looks similar to the triangular Eye of Providence from Du Simitiere's design, but it's not, and is merely another symbol of freedom (dating back to the Greeks, and later, Romans ), which would later be used in theofficial Seal of Iowa.

However, this design was ALSO rejected by Congress. A third commission of a design team took place on May 4, 1782. This time, it included Declaration signers Arthur Middleton and former Southern Carolina governor John Rutledge and Elias Boudinot from New Jersey. A man called Arthur Lee from Virginia was on the committee, but he was replaced by Rutledge. As with all the design teams, they employed the expertise of a specialist in heraldry, this time a man called William Barton. None of these men were Masons. Barton did two designs, and the committee submitted the second one, the front of which looked like this:

And the reverse of which looked like this:

You'll notice the influence from Du Simitière's Eye of Providence, except this time Barton didn't use a triangle. You'll also spot the steps of the incomplete pyramid for the first time. Barton took the design from the Seal on the Continental Currency, which had been designed by Hopkinson, utilising the same 13 colonies motif as his flag and Seal design, with the pyramid having 13 steps: (or "Strata", as they were called).

The motto "Deo Favente" on Barton's seal translates as "With God's Favour" - again, reinforcing that the Eye is NOT the "Eye of Lucifer", but the "Eye of Providence"/the eye of God.

Needing a Seal rather quickly (the 1983 Paris Treaty was looming), Congress turned over all the previous designs to one man, called Charles Thomson. Thomson took inspiration from all the previous designs and blended them together. The front of his Seal, taking the Latin motto from Du Simitière, the 13 stars and stripes and "powers of War and Peace" from Hopkinson, and was drawn as thus:

For the reverse, he took Barton's design, and added the triangle around the Eye of Providence from Du Simitière.

You can read his final report on the Seal here (pages 41 and 42):

Congress approved the final designs June 20, 1782; the same day Thomson submitted them. In addition to the designs themselves, he gave his heraldic explanation for the design. Of the pyramid, which he simply called "Pyramid unfinished", he said it represented "Strength and Duration." As well he might - over 200 years later, the United States is still standing strong without a single blemish, fault, flaw or issue in anyway, shape or form[citation needed].

****End of shameless copy and pasting. Thanks for reading and/or skipping ahead, lest you be crushed by the wall of text.****

That should really be the end of the matter, covering the various design elements, but let's just go over cover some of the claims in the picture not mentioned above.

The first few problems are apparent If anybody is familiar with Latin at all, as one would know that "Novus Ordo Seclorum" doesn't mean "Secular New Order", or "New World Order", as I have also seen it mistranslated, but instead, "New Order of the Ages" - "Seclorum" meaning "ages", "generations" or "centuries", not "secular." "Seclorum" is also plural, and "Seculars New Order" wouldn't make any grammatical sense at all anyway.

The motto was thought up by Charles Thomson, one of the men on the various design committees who came up with the Great Seal. I've posted the history of The Great Seal above if you need a refresher course on its evolution. It's simply saying "the founding of America is a new, fresh beginning." As it was.

"Annuit Coeptis" is also another Latin bungle, since an accurate translation would be to "favours undertakings", or "approved beginnings", with "Annuit" meaning "to favour", or "to smile upon", and "Coeptis" to mean "beginnings", "endeavours" or "undertakings". It's literally meaning that God (or the non-specific Divine Providence, or the "Eye of Providence") favours the founding of the United States, and the beginning of their country.


This is perhaps the closest the image has gotten to a correct translation, but it's still off. The meaning of "Pluribus" should be obvious, since it's where we get our use of the word "plural" from. "Unum" being a form of the Latin word "una" or "unus", meaning "one." But rather than be "One of Many", it really translates more accurately to "Out of Many, One" - "e" meaning "out of" or "from" - the 13 united colonies that fought for Independence against us limeys (we'll take them back one day, just when you least suspect it...mwhahaha...) that make up the United States - "Out of many, one." It's the same reason why the unfinished pyramid has 13 steps or "statra", and why the shield on the eagle had 13 alternating stripes. It's in reference to the colonies. The 13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum" is just coincidence.

The "Illumined Eye" is already covered in the history of the Seal above. Needless to say, it's not as scary as conspiracy theorists make out, and is simply the eye of God, and isn't an evil symbol. It's a shame that such an interesting design choice, and symbol of the founding of the United States that sits on every dollar bill in circulation and on the back of the Great Seal, is so little understood by its citizens.

"72 bricks = 72 powers of the name of God? - I really have no clue about this, and seemingly, neither do others. Google Suggestions for "72 powers" returns nothing but this phrase, no doubt from curious looker-uppers. Apparently, the "72 powers of the name of God" is some really super-magic that Moses used when he parted the Red Sea. All he had to do with rub his hands together, say the 72 names, and by their powers combined, I am Captain Pla......erm....I mean, the seas parted Cecil B. DeMille style and he walked out of Egypt like a boss. I don't see what this has to do with the Great Seal, though.

I'm also not going to count the bricks, because I doubt there's exactly 72, and the person who made this conspiracy diagram was hoping you couldn't be bothered to check either (if even a pedantic snob like me can't be asked, a casual reader stands no chance).

MDCCLXXVI - actually does equal 1776, the year of American Independence, and was also the year that the Order of the Illuminati was founded in Bavaria. That's all I can say. It's really little more than a coincidence, and even then, not much of one, considering that the war for independence had been going on for well over a year by then, and the Illuminati was only newly founded just a few months prior to the signing of the Declaration, on May 1st and could hardly have an impact, meaningful or otherwise, on a country 4000 miles away as the crow flies. (I've always wanted to say that. It makes me sound like a wizard) But the Illuminati is a huge topic in and of itself, and I've already stolen enough from the other conspiracy topic as it is.

DCLXVI also equals 666. But so what? Taking out numbers and letters can transform anything into almost anything else. Still, this image at least gets points for getting their Roman numerals correct. I've seen conspiracy theorists say that MDCCLXXVI meant 666. :(

"Different powers possessed by the 13 colonies" - The image doesn't say what these powers are, but it must be something sinister, otherwise they wouldn't be included. But really, this is covered already in the history of the Seal. The olive branch in one hand represents the power of Peace, and the arrows in the other represents the power of War - which Congress wanted the right to wield independently from Great Britain. It's all mentioned right in their Declaration of Independence.

"Phoenix not an eagle" -, it's an eagle. It's looks like an eagle, it's called an eagle in every description of the Seal ever produced - trust me, it's an eagle...The image creator must have ran out of things to twist or mistranslate, so had to resort to writing cutesy flowery prose about the "ashes of an ignorant world." Although, Ben Franklin didn't like the choice of the Eagle, thinking it looked more like a turkey, and said that a turkey would have been more appropriate, in a letter to his daughter after he first saw the Seal. But "great turkey rising from the ashes" doesn't quite have the same ring to it, I guess.

"...the Turkey is ... a much more respectable Bird...of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on." ~ Ben Franklin to his daughter Sally, January 26, 1784.

(Psst...I'd also recommending some of Franklin's other funny writings, such as his wonderfully titled Fart Proudly)

"Nine Spheres"

This is a reference from Dante's Divine Comedy (the Heaven part, not the more famous Circles of Hell bit). I really don't understand what it's meant to mean in context to the Great Seal, the United States, Freemasonry or the Illuminati in anyway. Does anyone know? Bueller? Bueller? Anyway, here's the Wiki page for those interested in reading up on their Dante.

̶ J̶e̶r̶r̶y̶'̶s̶ jimfish's Final Thought

And yet another conspiracy claim that's wrong on pretty much all its attempts, either through deliberate lies (or maybe just confounding ignorance - "Secular Order" - Jeez... how hard is it to Google a Latin dictionary or translator?), twisted facts, coincidence, or assertions not borne out of or supported by evidence. I'm not sure anybody's going to be shocked, ceco.

False information about the Seal has spread for decades, and this image alone is at least as old as June 3rd 2004 (earliest I could find posted, but could be even older, as finding the age of an image is a big more difficult than text.) It's been reposted year in year out, and yet nobody's seen fit to correct its obvious spelling mistakes, let alone its factual or historical ones.

My advice? Don't rely on poorly spelt, poorly researched images passed around on Facebook or internet forums for your historical information. American history doesn't just have to be learned in schools, and that goes for those both inside and outside the States. It's never to late to learn. Read a book. Ask a teacher or friend. Try a Google search. Crack out the Latin dictionary. Even a Wikipedia page would suffice. The only way to defeat ignorance is to confront it, and the best place to start would be with yourself.

Here endeth the lesson.
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Man that is one long post, i may read it sometime :p
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Too much work reading it. Just pretend to read it and say you have. Or dump it in the sewers and say you pretended to read it.
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Great Futurama reference xD Which reminds me the next season is set to air this month.

You really put a lot of work into you posts, but couldn't you please include a tl;dr for us lightweight readers? xD
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interesting. Some of that stuff I allready knew, like the latin.
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Yeah, that's all nice and dandy but you forgot to mention the secret owl :D
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Ah, but I only consigned myself to ceco's image. If I were to go through every claim about the dollar, my post would have ran the length of the Encyclopedia Galactica, like the so-called "Mason Pentagram" (lol @ MDCCLXXVI = 666), or this wonderfully off-the-wall brainfart of a website where you can see Satan in George Washington's sideburns (kinda...sorta...not really. Although to be fair, such a thing does have precedant...)

"The Owl" only peeks the conspiracy theorists' curiosity in that it's the mascot of the sooper-sekret Bohemian Grove club that they so love to fear. The "Owl" on the dollar, however, doesn't require much effort to dismiss, as even a casual glance is enough to reveal it's a) incredibly tiny, b) an incredible stretch on the imagination. Just another case of pareidolia, like the Face on Mars, or the N64 that looks like a Koala. If you stare at wallpaper for long enough you'll find all sorts of secrets symbols that'll put the dollar to shame, no doubt put there by Home Depot.

But, if you really want a true, honest to God secret symbol hidden in the dollar bill, planted by a nefarious secret society bent on world domination... look no further:

And, wait! If you were to draw over the pyramid, treating it as the hidden letter "A", and using the "ONE" part as the rest of the hidde...Oh...My... God...

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Haha jimfish's reference to "forever alone" had me cracking up. Thanks.

I also would like to mention that I took the time to read your whole post. You have an intelligent sense of humor. I also like how you took the time to use proper grammar, which makes for an easy and fast reading on an interesting topic.

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