Those who confine the natural religion of the human race to no corner of the world; who deny not salvation to the moral man, whether he wears a turban or a cowl; who consider their species as in the hands of their Creator, subject to the special guidance of a perfect Being, that has not formed them for the sole and ultimate object of eternal damnation, nor require of them to believe what their reason (God's best gift) tells them is absurd or abominable; these are too prone to taunt the clergy of all sects, with their construction of the celebrated text of “compel them to enter.” “Yes,” they continually exclaim, “whenever you have power, you compel men to enter to a feast of blood and carnage, to a Moloch's orgies; for what are all the horrors that have been committed in the name of Christianity, since the days of Constantine, to be compared to, but to the feast of Moloch!”
Here our Christian authors exercise their moral outrage because Moloch, under his various guises—Baal Hamman, or Kronos in Greek, or Saturn in Latin—accepted child sacrifices in a particularly grisly holocaust. The existence of this practice seems to be well attested in ancient literature. References to the fire-sacrifice to Moloch occur in the Bible (Leviticus 18:21, 20:2-5; 2 Kings 23:10; Jeremiah 32:35; etc.) as well as in Diodorus Siculus (Library 20.14) and other ancient Greco-Roman authors. However, there is no explicit evidence that the various gods titled Baal (“Lord”) were the same as the various gods titled Moloch or mlk (“King”). It is only at Carthage that inscriptions to mlk occur with evidence of child sacrifice. Some have argued that Moloch wasn’t a god at all but a name for child sacrifice, to whatever god was involved, and that perhaps even the Israelites perpetrated it.
So why would Moloch be part of an Illuminati conspiracy? The obvious answer is that if Moloch is pagan, then he is in opposition to Christ and part of the Illuminati. The more complicated answer is that anti-Illuminati activists think that the giant owl statue at Bohemian Grove, before which a fire is lit during the gathering of the California retreat’s wealthy and powerful members, resembles Diodorus’ description of the statue of Cronus and medieval rabbinical tradition about statues of Moloch having ovens at their base. Alex Jones was one of the conspiracy theorists who started this claim in 2000 when he short clandestine footage of the fire being lit beneath the owl statue. Christopher Knight and Alan Butler similarly associated Moloch with the rise of Freemasonry and the so-called “star families” (i.e. Venus Families) in Solomon’s Power Brokers because Solomon, patron of Masonry, raised a temple to Moloch in 1 Kings 11:7 and therefore must have been involved in a global Freemason child-sacrifice power-wielding conspiracy. Modern scholars believe that the reference to Moloch in 1 Kings 11:7 is an error for Malkam, the Ammonite god, not that our authors would care about such niceties.
It’s rather interesting that I wasn’t able to find a single instance of the Illuminati being tied to Moloch-worship prior to 2000, but I did find that Bohemian Grove has apparently been rumored to have Moloch connections since July of 1993, when a story about Moloch appeared in the Santa Rosa Sun, a community newspaper. That story alleged that child sacrifice was behind a probably untrue claim that a child snuff film was shot at the owl statue in 1984 or 1985, and it compared (without identifying) the owl statue with Moloch, noting many differences. (This is a very complex set of conspiracy claims, mostly centering on allegations that young boys were being kidnapped nationwide as part of a pedophile sex ring and one was murdered in Bohemian Grove while Hunter S. Thompson filmed it, allegations a grand jury found to be a hoax.) This, in turn, led David Icke to propose that the owl statue at Bohemian Grove was purposely intended as Moloch, which Alex Jones then repeated in 2000, turning a comparison into an identification and making the Bohemian Grove attendees into demon-worshiping devotees.
Does any of this tie in to Beltane, the Celtic festival? Not really, but conspiracy theorists allege that the “Bel” in Beltane refers to Baal and thus to Moloch, so the fires lit in honor of summer are really the fires of Moloch’s infant holocaust. In reality, etymologists believe that the bel element comes from the Indo-European root for “bright” or “white” (like light or fire). Here, though, we find that a century ago some slipshod scholarship asserted that Baal and Balder (the Norse god) were the same, and that on the basis of similar sounds, Beltrane must have been another fire festival of the same gods. Maude E. Sargent, writing in 1905, is typical of the type:
There is little doubt that the custom of lighting fires on Midsummer Eve is of Eastern origin. Those who watch the Irish peasants driving their cattle between two blazing piles, or see the young men leaping over the glowing embers, as the bonfires sink lower, and the brief darkness of the midsummer night gives place to the rose-flush of dawn, can hardly fail to be reminded of that ‘passing through the fire to Moloch,’ so strictly forbidden to the Hebrews. Whole families pass solemnly between two fires, or spring backwards and forwards over the flames.