Conspiracy Theory and Occult Political Theory are intellectual neighbors. Conspiracy theory is, essentially, the mythic, political theory of cabals or collective secrets.
Occult Political Theory is the theory of individual incentive mechanisms.
The illuminati may well exist, but just as important as asking just what they're after is asking why people would join? What are the incentives? This leads to the real understanding of the occult world engine before any concern for what groups are doing. Each person comes into a group for entirely personal reasons and conspires to different ends, often times to the detriment of the conspiracy itself.
One of my main problems with conspiracy theory is that it tends to overstate the role of human agency in the occult dealings of history.
This, or it anthropomorphizes the role of para-volitional forces (lizard people, aliens) when it would be, perhaps, more fascinating if they were left unanthropomorphized. The lizard people theories are valuable as metaphors, as there is contained within them the kernel of a post-humanist take on nature: that that which possesses a surplus of surreptitious power will be able to maintain a parasitic relationship with its host for as long as it can siphon from it what it needs. Though weighted with many Gnostic moralisms, it ultimately sees humanity and whatever contends with it as no better than plants or bacteria.
Most conspiracy theorists, even willing to admit this would likely - like anyone else willing to admit it - prefer their own survival to that of other bacteria. Suddenly we're back at Darwin and with it, moral relativism.
The more sinister the imagery (lizard people, aliens), the more confluence the issue has to a moral struggle of titanic proportions.
The argument often made against conspiracy theorists is that their worldview speaks of such a bleak level of total control that it ultimately relieves those who buy it of any practical responsibility. Certainly, this is the case with some (but only offers the kind of half-assed Nietzschean/Freudian excuse for an argument which relies on the presupposition that a fallacy has been committed and then tries to rationalize the nature of its error by suggesting that it is actually some kind of psychological aberration: 'You like big asses? Well, that's because you listen to The Neptunes.') Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.
Occult Political Theory doesn't rely on conspiracy theory as such, but rather, assumes a Machiavellian view of the world. OPT has read The Prince and generally thinks it speaks the truth, regardless of whether or not that truth is pleasant.
But it also operates on the assumption that the nature of power itself has evolved, rather than taking the enlightenment view that things evolve simply by way of power (selection).
What does this mean? Ultimately, that power is most effective where it is most hidden. It has to be. Nature itself is full of ambushes and bombardments. A secular humanist, egalitarian, democratic society contains so many places for power to hide precisely because it pretends to operate according to human desire.
OPT is not horrified by wikileaks infodumps and high profile political scandals. It simply asks more questions, with the assumption that scandal cannot happen in a vacuum. That is why, biblically, there is to be whoa on those by whom scandal does come.
Also, with all this in mind, it is probably safe to assume that different cabals and forces are all themselves vying for control and stepping on top of one another. Conspiracy theory is more apocalyptic, in that it believes there is one final plan which can be revealed if one digs far enough.
OPT, on the other hand, posits that there can never be a final plan, only an endless sea of power and violence; a never ending occult war.