There is much speculation as to the existence of the Illuminati. It is believed that they influence world events, such as wealth distribution and control of the planet’s population growth.
The term ‘illuminati’ is believed to first have been used by Spanish occultists at the end of the 15th century. Those who formed part of the ranks were alchemists/magicians who had the ‘light’, i.e. spiritual illumination thought to have been gotten from a superior being.
Others believe it has its roots in Gnostic dualism. Their beliefs were regarded as heresy by the Roman Catholic Church.
Whatever the case may be, the Illuminati did not believe in the church’s way of thinking and created a new method of pursuing what they believed was the truth, thereby challenging what could be seen as the ‘establishment’.
9. THE BEGINNING
The order is believed to have been founded in Ingolstadt, a southern province of Bavaria, Germany, in 1776. The founder was Adam Weishaupt, a professor of religious law. The initial five members grew to about sixty by 1780. The supernatural was blended into the brotherhood and supported republicanism. They also joined the Masons, adopting many of their customs. Progression within the order, it was said, would be rewarded with occult knowledge.
8. BARON VON KNIGGE
The Illuminati gained popularity when it attracted the interest of the baron. Francis Von Knigge was an occultist who had risen to prominence within other secret societies, one of which was the Masons.
Conflict arose between Von Knigge and Weishaupt, with the former withdrawing from the Illuminati in 1784. Weishaupt was left as the supreme commander.
Many had become disillusioned as they had not received the supernatural communication they had initially been promised.
6. SECRET SOCIETIES ARE BANNED
The Illuminati included members of the highest levels of society who, once realizing they were but pawns, withdrew their support. News reached the monarch of their intent to overthrow state and church, and he put out a decree which in effect banned them.
5. STRICT OBSERVANCE
The Illuminati has strict rituals which Weishaupt had incorporated by using elements of Masonic traditions. There are seven degrees one must pass through, i.e. apprentice, fellow, master, scots master, secular novice, knight, and lastly, lay brother. Reference should also be made to the elimination of occult sciences.
4. CONVENT OF WILHELMSBAD
Members high up in the movement met at Wilhelmsbad to decide on the order’s future. They also had to decide on the direction they would go with regards to mysticism.
3. AFTERMATH OF WILHELMSBAD
Not much that was constructive came from the meeting besides a regulation with regards to etiquette and numbering of provinces. There was, however, a ripple effect, leading to them renouncing their origin myth and loosening control. The loosening of control, however, led to lodges splintering off and rising dissatisfaction with their ability to keep their promises.
2. CHURCH VS STATE
A reason to believe they still exist is their support of republicanism and a drive to remove monarchies. Weishaupt wished to spread the ideas of enlightenment by means of a secret society consisting of like-minded people. He used the mystic component to loosen the church’s stranglehold with regards to power and to gain followers.
1. EYE OF PROVIDENCE
The Eye of Providence is probably the most well-known Illuminati symbol, even being on the US $1 bill. It is said to represent the eye of God as it watches over us. The symbol, however, stretches back in history, and is likened to the Eye of Horus.