How to bypass activation on a Samsung Illusion on Verizon
To bypass activation on a factory new Samsung Illusion, slide puzzle piece to unlock screen; select language on screen and press next; on the next screen, choose emergency call button instead of activate, then on the dialer, enter *#83786633, which unlocks softkeys by showing a popup notice; then press the Home key to go to Home screen. From there you can navigate to Apps --> Settings --> Wireless & networks to set up your wi-fi.
Many thanx to all those who have blazed the trail with suggestions on how to bypass activation on earlier Samsung Android phones, esp. with the Fascinate!