Crime & Courts

Some people asked him to join the Illuminati. They just needed a down payment, SC cops say

Davidson police confirmed Tuesday that they are investigating a former South Carolina church volunteer whom SC police charged with sexually assaulting children at the North Charleston campus of Newspring Church.
Davidson police confirmed Tuesday that they are investigating a former South Carolina church volunteer whom SC police charged with sexually assaulting children at the North Charleston campus of Newspring Church. Stock image

After wiring thousands of dollars to join a secret society, a South Carolina man had second thoughts about his decision and called law enforcement.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies were called to a Woodruff man’s home Tuesday regarding a fraud.

When they arrived, the man in his 60s told deputies “he was given false information about an organization in which he thought about joining. ... they instead stole his money,” according to an incident report.

The man told sheriff’s deputies that the organization he was contacted to join was the Illuminati.

The Illuminati was created in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian man (now part of Germany) who eschewed religion and founded a secret society to “find another form of ‘illumination,’ a set of ideas and practices that could be applied to radically change the way European states were run,” according to National Geographic. Not unlike the Freemasons, Weishaupt’s members included noblemen, politicians, writers, intellectuals, doctors, lawyers and jurists, but the order was banned in 1784.

Currently, the Illuminati is viewed as either a secret organization of powerbrokers who control the world or a conspiracy theory.

There are claims the Illuminati was behind the assassination of President John Kennedy, and the 1969 moon landing among other things, according to the Guardian, which reported the organization’s members are rumored to include Queen Elizabeth II and Beyonce, among many others.

People allegedly from the Illuminati asked the Upstate S.C. man to join the group. He only had to make a down payment of $250 to join, according to the incident report.

He obliged and told deputies he sent the money via Western Union.

The S.C. man sent another $2,000, but changed his mind and called the sheriff’s office, deciding he was a victim of fraud.

He also contacted Western Union and Capital One Visa, which he used to make the second payment, and was able to cancel the $2,000 transaction, according to the incident report.

No suspects have charged, but the sheriff’s office reported that Western Union is currently investigating the case.

Charles Ponzi didn’t invent his eponymous pyramid scheme — but he lent star power to one of the oldest scams in the book. He also believed that his plan could have become a legitimate business.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


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