Things You Should Know About The Illuminati

The Illuminati are thought to be a cabal of the most powerful politicians, bankers, entertainers, and businesspeople in the world. They have their hand in virtually every event that's happened in human history over the past two hundred years, from the French Revolution to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And despite their secrecy, they flaunt their power and wealth in public using Occult imagery and hand signals. But what do we really know about the Illuminati?

What is the Illuminati? Who are Illuminati members, and what are the Illuminati's secrets? Is it a real organization, or a complicated conspiracy theory that changes depending on who is espousing it? And what is its real history?

It can be hard to define Illuminati, but here are 20 facts about the Illuminati, both the historical Illuminati secret society and the pop culture Illuminati conspiracy, that you might not know about. But be careful what you do with this knowledge. Illuminati trivia is not for the faint of heart. Those who cross the cabal have been known to have bad things mysteriously happen to them...

  • Adam Weishaupt
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    The historical Illuminati and the one associated with numerous conspiracy theories are separate, and there’s no compelling evidence they have anything to do with each other.

    The historical Illuminati movement was founded by Adam Weishaupt on May 1, 1776 in Ingolstadt, Upper Bavaria, as the Order of the Illuminati.
  • The Enlightenment
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    The Illuminati group initially came together to espouse Enlightenment ideals and fight superstition. Facets of this included opposition to both the Bavarian monarchy and what they saw as the undue influence of the Catholic Church on philosophy and the sciences.
  • Freemasonry

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    The Illuminati modeled its rituals and vows of secrecy after those practiced in Freemasonry, as many of its members were also high-level Masons. At its height, the Illuminati had about 2,000 members in the various kingdoms that would one day comprise Germany.

    The movement’s professed goal was “to attain the highest possible degree of morality and virtue, and to lay the foundation for the reformation of the world by the association of good men to oppose the progress of moral evil.” Weishaupt and his comrades also advocated for the abolition of prejudice and the education of women, who they believed should be treated as intellectual equals.
  • Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria
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    In 1777, the new ruler of Bavaria, Karl Theodore, banned all secret societies, including the Illuminati. The group lasted another eight years skirting the law, until finally collapsing under the pressure of multiple government edicts. Weishaupt was banished from Bavaria, and the group members went their separate ways.
  • Proofs of a Conspiracy
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    Two books written in the late 1700s first posited the idea that the Illuminati were an element of a major conspiracy against the religious and governmental institutions of Europe. They were Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, written by Augustin Barruel and Proofs of a Conspiracy, by John Robison.

    These authors saw the Illuminati as a sinister force dedicated to destroying the Catholic Church and the natural order of society.
  • French Revolutionary Wars
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    The crux of these books was that not only had the Illuminati survived, but they were much more powerful than anyone knew. Most shockingly, the Illuminati had masterminded the French Revolution in order to overthrow the monarchy of France and introduce Enlightenment ideals to the downtrodden people.