Whenever we hear the word Illuminati, a number of things cross our mind. New world order, Bilderberg, celebs, politicians, witchcraft, conspiracies, and many other things instantly hit us. But, have you really tried to dig deep and explore Illuminati?
Could it be a secret organization of reptilians? Does it represent a group of people looking for global domination? Is it aiming for enslaving people? And, most importantly, are Illuminati and Freemasons connected?
It is true that it did originate on the same lines as the Freemasons. Presumably, the primary reason behind its creation was to oppose religious influence on the society. But, even after 200 years of its establishment, the Illuminati still remains a mystery. In fact, it has become the greatest conspiracy theory in the world.
Some say that it was created to control the celebrities and politicians. Some believe that it aims to change the world order to make it religion-free. So, what it really is? Who created it? Why was it created and when? Let’s find the answers to all these questions once and for all.
A small Bavarian city became the birthplace of an organization that turned out to be the world’s most influential secret group that still exists covertly. This quintessential secret group was established in Ingolstadt, Bavaria in the late 18th century. The sole aim was to create a rational society. This society became an infamous secret organization later on. It won’t be wrong to say that many conspiracy theorists are earning their bread and butter through it.
Origin of the Illuminati:
Historical accounts explain that the original Illuminati group was created by an anti-clerical professor Adam Weishaupt in the 18th century. He wanted to restrict the interference of the Church in public matters. The basic philosophy of this secret society was exactly the same as Freemasons though. However, it was somewhat different as it involved a series of mysterious rituals. The group was officially named by Weishaupt as the Order of Illuminati. The group, basically, was created to allow educated members to express their enlightened ideas.
According to the co-author of Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies for Dummies, Chris Hodapp, originally Illuminati members didn’t trust people over 30. That’s because they believed anyone over 30 was too old to adjust to new habits and ways of life.
Historians claim that the original Illuminati group received little success and couldn’t become as influential. However, it was successful in stirring the masses. Many influential figures became its members like German scholar Johann Goethe.
In the late 1780s, the government was having a crackdown against secret societies. The original Illuminati group also stamped out as a result. But, it continued to work underground and still exists somewhere.
What are the members of Illuminati?
According to a majority of the conspiracy theorists, it is the ultimate secret society. The Illuminati represents a group that is now spread across the globe. It cannot be controlled by any government as it operates secretly. It is also theorized that the real rulers of the world are its key members in modern times. For centuries, perhaps, these rulers have been participating in the activities of the Illuminati. The members of this group can be found in every government and every sector of society in the world. So influential is the Illuminati that they can exert considerable influence on the political scenes of the world.
But what do they want from the world?
It is believed that their aim is to establish a new world order. They want a single government across the world that would spread the message of the Antichrist. These claims may appear bizarre to many but it is a fact that the society does exist and its aims and motives are shady.
It was established with the single goal of encouraging a rebellion. At that time, the purpose was to abolish the monarchies. It was strictly political back then. Later on, its principles were structured according to the order of the Freemasons. Various mystical ceremonies and rites were included and members had to undergo them to become “enlightened.” In fact, there were several levels of enlightenment, each accomplished through a series of mysterious rituals.
Despite the fact that Weishaupt was a professor of religious law, he wanted to establish a new world order. Within 15 years of its establishment, the society was abandoned, but only outwardly. It is still operating secretly and its members hold key positions at all levels of the government, entertainment and media industry, and corporate world everywhere in the world.
Illuminati’s Founding Father:
Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati in 1776. He was a professor in ecclesiastical law in the late 18th century and lectured at the Catholic University of Ingolstadt. Weishaupt had so far lived quietly so it was unlikely for the state to suspect him to be involved in any secret anti-state group. However, the state was in for a big surprise, as it turned out to be the case later.
On May 1, 1776, Weishaupt founded the Order of the Illuminati. Initially, it was promoted as a reading group. Weishaupt asked 5 of his best students to meet secretly to have discussions on tabooed topics. He wanted the society to remain a secret because he didn’t want to attract the attention of the authorities. So, he was secretly marketing for the Illuminati so that its members are increased.
He allowed students to discuss everything under the label of Enlightenment thinking. Students could write their thoughts in diaries during the class, and later discuss them with him during their secret meetings. That’s how the Illuminati group started shaping up and holding ground.
Yet, it cannot be overlooked that Weishaupt had Grand Plans for the group. It was an important era in world history since Freemasons group was also strengthening in America and other parts of the world. Benjamin Franklin, for instance, was an important and influential mason.
Weishaupt was pretty inspired by Freemasons society. Hence, he wrote a letter to Franklin to inform about his humble Illuminati. He wanted to spread his Enlightenment theory to the Americans as well. However, this plan flopped because America was dealing with the War of Independence at the time. Therefore, Franklin had no time to learn about a secret society.
But, Weishaupt wasn’t one to sit back. He continued on his mission to recruit new members and spread the word about the Illuminati. So far, only his current and former Bavarian students were the members of this group. They wanted to recruit some influential members to fulfill their aim of social change. They, basically, wanted to change or rather destruct the power structure that was prevailing back then with their own.
To achieve this grand task, they needed support from some influential members of the country or even abroad. The only possible option, Weishaupt believed, was to penetrate deep within the power positions. He realized that the only way to change this society is to become a part of it. Hence, he started working on this strategy and aimed at placing Illuminati members at senior positions in different sectors.
Weishaupt turned out to be smarter than everyone believed he was. He formulated a unique way of operating for the Illuminati members. He came up with the idea of assigning each member a codename so that they could work secretly. Such as he codenamed himself as Spartacus, while other members received codenames like Tiberius and Ajax, etc.
Older members were asked to help the new members infiltrate the powerful positions of the country. They all believed that by holding influential positions, they can exert pressure on the society and establish new world order.
Weishaupt’s efforts paid off pretty soon as he was able to recruit well-connected members like a nobleman Freiherr Knigge from Lower Saxony. He was assigned the codename Philo, which was inspired by an Alexandrian philosopher.
It is worth noting that Knigge was already a member of the Freemasons society. Using his influence and connectedness, Weishaupt was able to increase the number of Illuminati members to 2000. These members came from different parts of the world including Bavaria, Hungary, France, Italy, and Poland.
He was even able to take Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on-board too. Goethe was the most popular writer in Germany at the time, so his inclusion was important for the group. Goethe was codenamed as Abaris.
Gradually, many high-ranking government officials, powerful princes, and professors became members of the Illuminati. Most of them were already members of other, well-established secret societies like the Freemasons. Since the aim of all secret societies was more or less the same, so members were allowed to be recruited in multiple groups.
Within no time, Knigge started exerting more influence than Weishaupt on the Illuminati members. He even created a new hierarchical system. Most of the ceremonies and rituals that are associated with Illuminati today are actually designed by Knigge. He believed that these rituals and ceremonies were important to impart a sense of achievement among members. Moreover, the system was needed for the structuring of the members.
During the ceremonies, the Illuminati members were instructed about adopting certain personality changes. They were asked to keep an eye on other members. Sharing their knowledge and spreading the enlightenment goals of the Illuminati were their key responsibilities.
Decline of the Illuminati:
As the society grew in size, a majority of its members started feeling that the main purpose was lost. Weishaupt and Knigge both wanted to create their own set of rituals and make them popular among the members. They became somewhat obsessed with the idea of customized ceremonies and rituals.
The focus on the goal of enlightenment was lost somewhere in the quest for designing rituals. Weishaupt wanted to reclaim the influence that has once had, before Knigge. Members started feeling that Weishaupt was losing his grip and to reclaim that he was bullying younger recruits.
This was when the downfall of Illuminati started. The falling out between Knigge and Weishaupt was like the last nail in the coffin. To increase his influence, Weishaupt wanted to recruit a large number of new members. However, Knigge disapproved it because the members were unverified. Similarly, Knigge wanted to recruit members of his choice, which Weishaupt disapproved. Finally, Knigge left the group and took along many members.
The organization survived this blow but then the ultimate debacle happened. The Illuminati was implicated in a politically controversial scandal. Weishaupt wanted to let Austria annex Bavaria in order to ensure an enlightened rule on the state. The plot was discovered by the government and the Illuminati faced strong opposition. A campaign was started against the Illuminati by another group, the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross. This group believed in spirituality, mysticism, and alchemy and was well-connected with the Bavarian authorities.
With consistent efforts and aggressive campaign, the group managed to convince the King of Bavaria to outlaw the Illuminati. Weishaupt quickly fled Ingolstadt as his secret was out. The secret society of Illuminati was officially outlawed in 1785. Most importantly, the society was exposed to the public and nobody now wanted to be associated with it anymore.
So, what happened with Weishaupt?
He was banished for life from entering Ingolstadt and spent the rest of his life in Gotha, a German city about 300km to the north.
Weishaupt wasn’t captured, which is why the organization never ceased to exist. On papers, the Illuminati order was discontinued and outlawed. But, in reality, Weishaupt was planning to reorganize the group. From 1788 onwards, he started rebuilding the group and formed a completely new organization. This time, the plan was successful and the organization became much stronger by the end of the 19th century. Since it worked underground, so, its activities still remain a mystery.
Why Illuminati was Created?
The Illuminati was created as a secret organization. The primary purpose of this group was to oppose the growing influence of religion on society. The group was also against the powerful position and influence held by the state. Weishaupt wanted to have a safe and flourishing space to express criticism over governmental policies, free speech, and debating.
Weishaupt was too much inspired by the Freemasons as well as the French Enlightenment movement. He strongly believed that religious virtues must not exert so much influence on society. The state should be free from religious prejudices and must not be dictated by religion, believed Weishaupt.
The reason behind the creation of the Illuminati was that Ingolstadt was ruled by religious and political conservatism back then. All the subjects that were taught at the university where Weishaupt lectured were strictly monitored by the state. So, Weishaupt founded the Illuminati with the primary aim to change the society. Journalist Michael Klarner explains:
“Not so many people know about it. But the Illuminati are part of the history of Ingolstadt. [Weishaupt] liked the idea of teaching people to be better human beings. He wanted to change society, he was dreaming of a better world, of a better government. He started the Illuminati with the idea that everything known to humankind should be taught – something that was not allowed at the university.”
But, this secret society couldn’t evade the establishment for long and within a decade only since its creation, it was outlawed. The society was disbanded for writing anti-state material.