Debunked: French President Hollande: “Illuminati Behind The Paris Attacks” ['illuminés' = 'crazies']

Steve Funk

Senior Member.
Here is a source that says the illuminati did it, quoting President Holland using the words "
ces illuminés ," (with the accent mark over the last e. However, My Harper Collins Robert dictionary says
illuminé as a noun means a pejorative term for visionary or crank. I'll have to check with a couple of native French speakers I know.

Update:, the context of the use of the word is:

Which means:
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Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
Here is a source that says the illuminati did it, quoting President Holland using the words "
ces illuminés ," (with the accent mark over the last e. However, My Harper Collins Robert dictionary says
illuminé as a noun means a pejorative term for visionary or crank. I'll have to check with a couple of native French speakers I know.és

I think you're right, in context "ces illuminés" means crank, crack pot, nutjob.


Senior Member
"ces illuminés" means crank, crack pot, nutjob.

I hope not to step on any toes....but this is interesting.

"Illumination" (usually, in the usage in English) means a sort of 'clarity'...(The vision of a light bulb above a person's head, for instance).

This must be the same "root" word? N'est pas? From the original Latin roots? Fascinating. Maybe it's the "ces", which is a pronoun if I recall my French from years ago? "ces" being a group pronoun, equivalent to the English "they".

Must be a cultural thing......I dunno......

(I can't help but be reminded of another iteration of the word..."Illuminati"....(wink)...:D
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Closed Account
according to google "illumines" has a meaning to enlighten in a spiritual or intellectual sense, so using it for "crackpot" looks like your basic irony - in that they are the only ones who know "the truth"....and we've all seen that in action on other topics!!

And yes both it and illuminate come from the same latin root "illuminare" - to cast light upon.

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.é

Translation: Insane.

"illuminés" seems to be a colloquialism... or at least it can be used in that way. The French president used a mildly derogatory term when referring to Hebdo murderers. I think he was being polite.
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Senior Member
What was the last bit about Michelle Obama?


Without a translator I already see the words 'menace' and 'death' ("mort").

Oh....translated....past-tense. The FLOTUS is "threatened with death by an illuminated". Very, very serious stuff, there.

Not touching that with a one-hundred foot pole.....

Trigger Hippie

Senior Member.
What was the last bit about Michelle Obama?


According to that dictionary the word "illuminé" can have a colloquial meaning: someone who is crazy, touched... someone who is best left alone. So they used it in a sentence for context, "Michelle Obama got a death threat from a nut"

I'm thinking the "ces illumine" issue should probably have it's own thread. I think it's getting some traction.
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Senior Member.
I think in the context of the speech it is painfully clear the President is talking about radical islam.

from video:
from google: (note: google only recognizes the feminine illuminee
"those who committed these acts; these terrorists, these illuminated , these fanatics , have nothing to do with Islam."

and from face book french people:
Illumine, illuminee translation


Pete Tar

Senior Member.
So the person who decided he meant the illuminati doesn't even speak french? This is everything that's wrong with conspiracy theorists these days, that kind of shoddy work wouldn't have gotten much traction in the past.

Marcel Prout

New Member
Native French speaker here (and new member as well)!

I confirm that "un illuminé" means someone who is crazy but in a spiritual/religious sense. Gurus can be called "illuminés" because they think they have been enlightened (or "illuminated") by a great spiritual entity. Same with radical Islamists.

And as cloudspotter noted, the French word for "Illuminati" is "Illuminati", it has nothing to do with "illuminé".

Mick West

Staff member
It's an interesting word, as there's no direct equivalent in English I can think of. I went with the generic "crazies" for the title, but the word illuminé seems to imply some kind of "crazy person who thinks they have received some revelations about the world". In some ways the word "truther" or even the derogatory use of "conspiracy theorist" might fit. But here there's a distinct religious implication, so "religious extremist" might be a better translation of the intent - but then he's also trying to distinguish them from "genuine" muslims, so maybe just plain "crazies" might be best.

The French Wiktionary entry for illuminé translates as:
Google also translates the last as "Bit dangerous mental patient. Sweet crazy that we should not upset."

Green Gogol

New Member
HellO! Another native French speaker and a new member here.

I confirm what Marcel has said, it is a crazy person with religious connotation. But not crazy in the sense of insane. Maybe zealot could be a translation. It is difficult to translate this word. It is said of people who seems a bit too enthusiastic in their belief, that have strange belief, that lacks critical thinking, that are the only one to know the truth.

The term can in fact be applied to CT's quite well. It describes them perfectly.
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Green Gogol

New Member
oh by the way, the direct translation is enlightened. It contains boths the concept of light and revelation.

For example, "la pièce est illuminée", means "the room is full of light" or something like that.

And "cette personne à reçu l'illumination" means "this person received a revelation". Like the Buddha.


New Member
This is likely from the Illuminés of France who may have been associated with the Alumbrados (Illuminated), a mystical Christian group from Spain.

The Bavarian Illuminati are not related to either the Illuminés or the Alumbrados. The Illuminati's philosophy was opposite of those groups and scientifically motivated. The founder, Adam Weishaupt, actually wrote a long essay entitled, Lesson for All Members who are Inclined Toward Theosophical Fantasies, where he refutes these mystical beliefs. It's on page 302 in the book listed below.

And the Illuminati-affiliated individuals in Paris, such as Nicholas Bonneville and Thomas Paine, were aligned with the moderates (Girondists/Brissotins) and imprisoned by Robespierre, and nearly killed. So they weren't "fanatics" either.és

Weishaupt's The Improved System of the Illuminati with all its Institutions and Degrees

Green Gogol

New Member
Well, illuminati is in fact the latin translation of illuminés.

But one refers to a specific group and the other is said of a person who think he has the utlimate truth. So their is a link between the two words. And I am fairly certain that illuminé as a word meaning both light and truth came before the group in France.


New Member
I believe illuminati itself is a Latin word, the plural of illuminatus (Latin). And that illuminati is the past participle of illuminare (Latin).

Illuminés is the masculine plural form of illuminer (French) and they are from illuminare.

Karl Valentin

New Member
french is a rather strange language...who the fudge would come up with a past tense form that is only applicable in writings...

so he talked about slightly crazy charming a description for terrorists that killed numerous people...I mean, is there no other word that could´ve been used and prevented all the noise?

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
He wasn't saying it for your or an english speaking audience's benefit - he was a using a word which has a precedent in usage in french.

Green Gogol

New Member
Yes, exactly, he was talking in French to a French audience, so no confusion there. It's only you English people that made the link between illuminati and illuminés. The word illuminés was appropriate in the context.

What do you mean about a past tense only used in writing?


so he talked about slightly crazy charming a description for terrorists that killed numerous people...
Given, as was explained earlier, that the word has a "religious zealot" connotation, it is, on the contrary, completely appropriate.
And this french poster can confirm that this word is used widely without refering the Illuminati.


Senior Member.
There's an fairly close english equivalent used ironically/sarcastically in cases of misadventure such as "who is the 'bright spark' who forgot forgot to screw in the bung for the dingy?.. it's now at the bottom of the harbour making a home for fish"
"Who was the bright spark who thought it was a good idea to grease the brake pads on the bike?" etc
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