Did two cards from a 1995 card game accurately predict the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?
The cards in question are part of the game “Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy” created by Steve Jackson of the Steve Jackson (SJ) Game Company.
Although the game satirically exploited perceptions of various conspiracy theories and theorists, it has been cited by some conspiracy theorists as evidence that certain events (like those of September 11, 2001) were planned years in advance by shadowy and nefarious secret societies, and that Jackson must have been privy to inside information when creating the game.
Terrorist Nuke Card
The card which has probably received the most attention is the “Terrorist Nuke” card from the Illuminati: New World Order game released in 1995. This card depicts two buildings resembling the World Trade Center towers, with one of the buildings depicted as exploding in the middle. This card is often circulated alongside a real image of the September 11, 2001 attack in order to show similarities between the card and the real events of 9/11.
The card reads:
Play this card at any time to give +10 Power or Resistance (your choice) to any Violent group you control.
If used with an action, it must be played when that action is first declared, and counts only for that action. If used for defense, the bonus still lasts until the end of the current turn, is good for defense only, and does not count toward Goals.
Another card in the set is entitled “Pentagon” and depicts the Pentagon with a mushroom cloud originating in the center courtyard.
Although the cards do display attacks on skyscraper towers and the Pentagon, the type of attacks depicted are not the same as what occurred on September 11. The “towers” card calls it a “nuke” while the Pentagon card shows a mushroom cloud.
The card game was created two years after the first World Trade Center attack of 1993. It was known to be a terrorist target and it would not be a stretch to use the towers as a depiction of a potential future attack in such a game.
1990 Government Raid
Some conspiracy theorists point to a government raid of SJ Games back in 1990 as “proof” that Jackson planned to reveal the truth behind the Illuminati. The real story behind the raid, however, is that SJ Games had employed a man named Loyd Blankenship who was a well-known hacker wanted by the United States Secret Service for publishing a series of pilfered documents to an online bulletin board devoted to hacking.
The vice.com link below includes interviews with the illustrators of the game, which provide an interesting read. Blankenship dismissed the “predictions” of the cards, stating, “…it’s pretty much like any psychic—say that a Middle Eastern leader will be killed next year and you have a decent chance of getting it right.”
- Illuminati (game) (RationalWiki)
- Did the Illuminati Make This RPG? (Jake Hanrahan, Vice.com)
- Illuminati: The Game of Conspiracy (Official Website) (Steve Jackson Games)
Updated May 23, 2016
Originally published July 2013