On the US $1 bill, the Eye of Providence is above a pyramid of 13 steps, symbolising the original states. (Image credit: Alamy)
Conspiracy theories thrive on cryptic symbols and covert visual signs. The ‘Eye of Providence’ – an eye set within a triangle – is one such symbol, associated with Freemasonry but also linked with the apocryphal Illuminati, a secret group of elite individuals allegedly seeking to control global affairs.
The Eye of Providence is a lightning rod for conspiracy theorists because it is very much hidden in plain sight: not only does it appear on countless churches and Masonic buildings worldwide, it also features on the reverse of the American one-dollar bill as well as the Great Seal of the United States.
In truth, it’s an uncanny and frankly odd choice for a US symbol of state. The disembodied eye strongly conveys the sense of a prying authoritarian Big Brother. In combination with the pyramid beneath it, we have emblems suggesting an ancient and esoteric cult. So, what are the origins of the Eye of Providence, why does it fascinate us so much, and why is it frequently connected with the Freemasons and the Illuminati? Read more >>