Why conspiracists are linking the Omicron variant to the Illuminati

7 December 2021
What was claimed

The Greek letter 'Delta' is pyramid shaped and the Phoenician letter for 'Omicron' is 'Ayin, the symbol for which just happens to be an eye. Putting these together creates the ‘Eye of Providence’, a symbol of the Illuminati.

Our verdict

The Greek letter Delta is pyramid shaped. The Phoenician alphabet equivalent for Omicron is, like Omicron, a circle, but does derive from an older letter shaped like an eye. The Illuminati isn’t real.

A post on Facebook draws apparent links between the Delta and Omicron Covid-19 variants and the Illuminati. 

It claims that the Greek letter Delta is shaped like a pyramid, and that the equivalent letter for Omicron in the Phoenician alphabet is shaped like an eye. It then suggests that putting these two together forms the ‘Eye of Providence’, a symbol associated with Freemasonry and Illuminati lore.

It is correct that the Greek letter Delta is shaped like a pyramid, though the original pictogram from which it is derived likely signified a door.

The Greek letter Omicron may ultimately derive from a pictogram shaped like an eye, called “‘ayin”, but in the Phoenician alphabet (the probable precursor for the Greek alphabet, coming between this pictorial script and Greek), it did not resemble an eye, but a circle, as it does in Greek.

The Phoenician alphabet was a writing system developed around the 11th century BC, and spread across the Mediterranean by Phoenician traders, a people primarily located in what is now Lebanon.

The late Professor of West Semitic Epigraphy and Palaeography Joseph Naveh wrote about how Phoenician script was distinguished from earlier scripts as it had evolved from pictographs (like the eye) into more linear forms (like the Phoenician 'ayin).

The 'Eye of Providence' and the Illuminati

The Illuminati is a name given to real and fictional groups. 

It commonly refers to an imagined secret society which controls world affairs. There is no evidence such a group exists. 

The Bavarian Illuminati was a real group operating in late 18th century Germany which aimed to reduce religious influence over daily life.   

The Bavarian Illuminati had some connections to the Freemasons, and after they were disbanded were accused of having infiltrated the Freemasons, hence the link between the two.

While the ‘Eye of Providence’ symbol had been used to denote God’s omnipresence and the Holy Trinity since at least the 16th century, it started to be used by Freemasons in the 18th century, hence the convoluted link between the symbol and the Illuminati conspiracy. 

Needless to say, a group we have no evidence exists does not have anything to do Covid-19 or how its variants are named.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because the Phoenician letter equivalent for Omicron is not an eye, though it does derive from a symbol which looks like an eye. There is no evidence for the Illuminati having anything to do with the naming of Covid-19 variants or Covid-19 more widely.

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