The fact of the matter is that yes, this is all an illusion. But not in the popular understanding which allows for unlimited potential. The illusion of freedom of choice is built into us to allow for greater independence (to execute our processes) and finer, more complex analysis and decision making. Ultimately though, we are just auto pilots created to allow our creator beings to do things other than monitor their DNA's evolution and development. We are here to guide that process according to their instruction.
Imagine if you will a massive - well, why imagine, it's like that simulated... Second Life it's called. It's a real time, 3-d world you can access via the internet i.e. a site. It is built to resemble real life as much as possible (except you can't drown, and you can fly and teleport.) There is a functioning economy, land ownership, etc... Now, if you wrote a program that would control your character with such complexity as to actually give it something akin to self awareness and by that element give it what would appear to it as freedom of choice - that would be us.
At this point, one might make the observation that even if such a reality were the case, it would be irrelevant since we cannot perceive it. Thus, in effect or perception, we are real entities, self-aware, and asserting freedom of choice. Therefore, why bother even considering such an abstraction? The reality of this situation does have noticeable effect. I'm referring to what is commonly referred to as conspiracy theory. Clearly, [pardon my French] shit is fucked up. Something is going on. The observed organization and coincidences are overwhelming. But when first hand investigation is done, such notions are dismissed by the accused. Naturally. The feeling of deception is noticeably absent. The denial appears very genuine to me and most of the world. So what is the deal with these seemingly contradictory realities? The organized and consciously structured, behind the scenes, on-goings are actually not consciously being created and operating covertly with a devious master plan of world domination? Huh? Let me explain...
The organized ulterior motive of the powers that be, is in fact not consciously created by the individuals involved but by their creators/controllers. See, there's a whole other level of relationships and organization and dynamics that we will never understand or see first hand. The beings that created us have an entire universe unto themselves which essentially is independent of the universe we perceive. The only true connection between these two realities is via the DNA of living things. In fact that is the purpose of life. To guide the development (evolution) of each being's (vegetation included) unique pattern of DNA. The decisions we make and path we follow in life is determined by rules/programming set by our creators. Free will/self awareness is an illusion created to enable us to execute a tricky and subtle set of criteria for making certain decisions. The elusive grand conspiracy we observe so clearly but cannot pin down is organizational 'residue' from the relationships and organization of our creator beings in their universe. So yes, all this conspiracy stuff is real, it's just that those executing the broader plan have no idea they are doing so.