The truth is in here
§As we prepare to delve into the pyramid-shaped history of Ancient Egypt in Assassin's Creed Origins (opens in new tab), what better time to look back and ponder all the ways that the series has altered history so far. If you're not a history buff and believe everything you play, you might even think that it was all about meeting famous figures and stabbing them in the face. But in reality, that's only the half of it. In addition to focusing on the lives of various Assassins (members of a secret society with a fondness for running up walls and a deep hatred of mandolin players), the story also shows the profound effect Assassins and their Templar nemeses have had on humanity. Their's is a secret war, fought in the shadows, with vast impacts on the world at large.
Hmm, secret war and shadow-battling smacks of conspiracy theories, doesn't it? Well, that's not the only thing about Assassin's Creed that sounds a bit tin-hatted. The series has tons of fun incorporating some of the world's most well known conspiracy theories into its storyline, and even more fun saying they're all completely accurate. For those not in-the-know, I have here 11 insane conspiracy theories that Assassin's Creed says are true, so that you may finally open your eyes! Just put this foil hat on first. It'll keep the CIA out of your brain.
The Knights Templar found something on the Temple Mount
The conspiracy: Back in 1120, the Knights Templar (one of the strongest and most wealthy Crusader forces) sweet-talked their way into some swanky headquarters on the Temple Mount, one of the most important religious sites in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Kind of a big deal. What made it an even bigger deal was that the Temple Mount was supposedly the location of the fabled Solomon's Temple, and conspiracy theories abound that the Templars found something incredibly important there. By which I mean proof that Jesus survived the crucifixion and married Mary Magdalene. Basically the oldest celebrity gossip in existence.
Assassin's Creed says: Not only is Solomon's Temple real, but what it contained is way crazier than some dusty old scrolls. Inside the Templars found a Piece of Eden, a tool that ancient beings used to control human minds. (In a very lovely gold chest, too. You'd think someone would have noticed that sooner.) Finding was all the Templars did with it though, since your first act in the first Assassin's Creed is to nab the thing and head for the hills. SUCKEEEEEERS.
The Illuminati is real, and it's run by the Knights Templar
The conspiracy: You've probably heard of the Illuminati (the secret society said to quietly control the entire world) and the Illuminati has definitely heard of you. While the historical Bavarian Illuminati (a pretty benevolent secret society, really) was stomped out in 1785, that didn't stop it from becoming a legend. Theories emerged that the Illuminati was truly the Knights Templar in a new guise, and that it had regrouped as a Satan-worshipping fraternal cult set on world domination. Proof that it exists is apparently everywhere, from the all-seeing eye on the back of the dollar bill to Beyonce concert posters to these nefarious cats. Wake up world!
Assassin's Creed says: While the Illuminati is never specifically named, the Templars fit the bill precisely: descended from the Knights Templar, fraternal secret society, see everything, know everything, plans for world domination. The only thing standing between them and shooting a brainwashing mind-control orb into space are some parkour artists with shivs up their sleeves. Bet you couldn't tell that from folding a dollar in half!
Jesus had an heir
The conspiracy: The DaVinci Code didn't come up with this one. Questions about Jesus Christ's bloodline have existed for a very long time, though written examples started to stack up at the beginning of the 13th century. The theory goes that Jesus had a child (possibly with Mary Magdalene or some other unnamed woman) who was spirited away after his death, and is symbolically connected to the Holy Grail. All kinds of different folks, from a guy who claims to be the true king of Scotland to an elderly Japanese man from Aomori, assert that they are Jesus' descendant to this day. Even though most historians dispute the theory, that never stopped anybody from believing something, right?
Assassin's Creed says: Jesus totally had a descendent, but meh, she's not really worth talking about. Introduced in Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles, Adha "the Chalice" is the highly sought descendent of Jesus who will supposedly unite all warring factions of the world. Also, she's Altair's girlfriend. Unfortunately for Adha, Altair's Chronicles was terrible, so she was killed immediately and only grudgingly ever mentioned again.
The Philadelphia Experiment was real
The conspiracy: Science is just magic with numbers, a well-known fact to those who believe in the Philadelphia Project. In 1943, the U.S. government supposedly conducted experiments on the USS Eldridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, misapplying using principles of unified field theory to turn the ship invisible. Because time machines or something. Researchers were supposedly able to make the Eldridge disappear, reappear in Virginia, and then go 10 seconds back in time. Oh, and the first time they tried it, the ship reappeared with the crew embedded in her metal structure. And you thought you had a bad day at work.
Assassin's Creed says: The experiment totally happened under the Templars' orders, though the original conspiracy theory leaves out some details: the Eldridge actually went forward in time, stayed there for 18 minutes, and it's all thanks to a Piece of Eden. However, a company email shows that the Templar front group Abstergo Industries chose not to carry out any more experiments, due to the risk of creating time paradoxes. Well, somebody's genre-savvy!
Houdini was murdered
The conspiracy: According to the historical record, the death of Harry Houdini is fairly straightforward: he perished from inflammation of the abdominal lining and a ruptured appendix in October 1926. There is speculation that these medical issues were caused by a punch to the stomach from a fan, but that's not a particularly crazy notion, so it isn't good enough to some. As a result, a couple more conspiracy-friendly theories have cropped up, such as the suggestion that this was all planned out and Houdini was actually murdered. What anyone would murder him for is a mystery, but that's just part of the charm, right?
Assassin's Creed says: Houdini was killed by the Templars so they could get ahold of--wait for it--a Piece of Eden he carried. That's what allowed him to do his tricks (or fool people into thinking he was doing them, whichever) and expose mystics like he liked to do. His big crime was having something the Templars wanted, and they had plenty of resources to make his death look like an accident.
There really was someone on the grassy knoll - as a cover
The conspiracy: The assassination of JFK. This event is the focus of so many conspiracy theories they need their own Wikipedia page, and a majority of Americans believe at least one of them. To sum it up, a lot of people don't buy the official story that President Kennedy was killed by lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, but they disagree on which conspiracy theory to believe. Some say the mafia was involved, or the Soviets, or Kennedy's own Vice President - and there was definitely, definitely someone on that grassy knoll.
Assassin's Creed says you're all wrong, because it's even crazier than that! Kennedy had something that the Templars wanted (hmm, I wonder what it could be), and they sent in their own extraction team to kill him and nab the prize. The group included Oswald, video-taker Abraham Zapruder, and Kennedy's own driver, who carried out the assassination and used a Piece of Eden to project a distraction onto - the grassy knoll. Well now don't we feel silly.
The Tunguska Event was an orchestrated disaster
The conspiracy: Duck and cover, this one's explosive. Back in June 1908, a mysterious object detonated in the center of Russia, leveling over 800 miles of forest in what is now known as the Tunguska Event. The explosion was supposedly caused by a meteor, but not everyone bought that story, so conspiracy theories have cropped up to explain what really happened. Maybe it was aliens, or secret bomb testing, or time-traveling aliens, or a black hole, or anti-matter, or other science-y stuff. Heck, some people even think Nikola Tesla did it! Haha, how silly!
Assassin's Creed says: Nikola Tesla did it. With a giant death ray on top of Wardenclyffe Tower. Because fuck Thomas Edison. It seems that in 1908, the Templars got ahold of yet another Piece of Eden and took it to a research facility near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. Assassins approached Tesla, who at that point had been financially ruined by Templars like Edison, and asked him to use his tower's wireless power transmission to destroy the facility. Destroy it he did, but not before getting in one last dig.
Rasputin brainwashed people with black magic
The conspiracy: Did you have a section in your high school history class about the Russian Revolution? Do you watch the History Channel? Have you played Just Dance? Then you've heard of this guy. Healer to the Russian Prince Alexei during the early 20th century and crazy eyes extraordinaire, Rasputin exerted an impressive degree of control over the Russian royal family. Some even say Rasputin wasn't just a healer, but a mystic who mentally controlled the Tsarina to worm his way into power. Also, he was really, really hard to kill, and after being poisoned, shot, beaten and thrown in a river, he died of drowning.
Assassin's Creed says that's all true, but Rasputin didn't do it on his own. A covert Templar agent, he infiltrated the Russian royal palace under the guise of healing Alexei and stole the Imperial Sceptre, which was totally normal and in no way magical. Just kidding, it was a Piece of Eden, which Rasputin used to heal, control minds, and survive brutal injury. Like his intestines falling out. Eugh.
Hitler escaped his bunker, but he didn't get far
The conspiracy: There are those out there that found Hitler's suicide in his military bunker in April 1945 to be anticlimactic--or, at the very least, unbelievable. It's not uncommon for people to be skeptical about the death of a horrible tyrant without physical proof, and not surprising how quickly conspiracy theories of his escape cropped up. The most popular claim is that the bodies found in the bunker were doubles and that he and Eva Braun bailed for South America. Their destination is disputed--one book published in the '60s says Argentina, and a dissertation that hit the news this year says Brazil - but the theory is the same: Hitler slipped right past the Allied forces without anyone being the wiser.
Assassin's Creed says Hitler did try to escape, but don't worry, he didn't get far. As it turns out, the Assassins didn't like him much, and were all too happy to find his bunker and dispense justice while he was on his way out. You're welcome, world.
The world was going to end in December 2012
The conspiracy: Ah, the 2012 phenomenon. Like Y2K on steroids. According to conspiracy theorists with questionable archeological backgrounds, the Mayan calendar predicted the world would end or change cataclysmically on December 21, 2012, because that's when the calendar ended. Despite the fact that that's not how calendars work, the theory held strong until the fateful date, when everyone went about their business and the world quietly failed to end.
Assassin's Creed says: It was totally going to happen, because solar flares! One was going to mess up the polarity of Earth and cook the planets surface, and only a portion of humanity would survive. Thankfully the creators of humankind built a reality altering machine (just go with it) that could protect Earth at the critical moment, and wouldn't you know it, Desmond was there to use the thing! He died in the process, but the planet was saved and the developers got to kill off a character they didn't want to deal with anymore. Everyone wins.
Human evolution was altered by alien intelligence... sort of
The conspiracy: This one's so old and so well known, it gets a fancy sounding name: the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis. It says that a race of intelligent extraterrestrial beings visited Earth and vastly altered the trajectory of homo sapiens. Apparently everything from Egyptian pyramids to human genetic code exists because of smarty-pants aliens playing fast and loose with our evolution. It even suggests that what we now think of as gods were those alien visitors, it's just that we were still chewing rocks at the time and didn't know the difference.
Assassin's Creed says this exactly! Except they were here first and we were their cattle. A telepathic humanoid species known as the First Civilization, humanity's creators needed a bigger workforce to support their society. So, they took some unsuspecting apes, molded the creatures in their own image, and humanity was born! Except those early humans got tired of being slaves, rebelled against their creators, and built new societies on the ruins left behind after the struggle. Call it our species rebellious teen stage.
Cleopatra was killed by an Assassin. Of course.
Now your eyes have been opened to the 11 conspiracy theories that Assassin's Creed says are true! Which of these blew your mind? Did you totally call that one about Tesla? Do you think you could beat Rasputin in a dance off without evil alien magic to help? Tell us in the comments below, and DON'T TAKE THE HAT OFF THEY'LL GET TO THE CHIP IN YOUR BRAIN!!!!!!
You want the truth? You can't HANDLE THE TRUTH, but have some anyway. Check out the truth about Assassin's Creed Unity, Assassin's Creed Rogue, and 8 reasons Assassin's Creed is secretly a game about cats.