Founding of the Illuminati
The Illuminati was founded on May 1, 1776, in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt. Weishaupt was inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of reason, secularism, and the scientific method, and he sought to create a secret society that would promote these principles and combat the influence of religion and superstition on society.
Membership and organization of the Illuminati
The Illuminati was organized in a hierarchical structure, with Weishaupt as the leader, or “Perfectibilist.” The group had three classes of members: Novice, Minerval, and Illuminated Minerval. Members were required to take oaths of secrecy, loyalty, and obedience, and were expected to carry out the group’s agenda of infiltrating and influencing powerful institutions and individuals.
The Illuminati’s organizational structure was modeled after the Jesuit order, with secret codes, hand signals, and other rituals. The group was highly secretive and its membership was limited to a select few. Despite this, the Illuminati managed to attract a significant number of members, including politicians, academics, and other influential figures.
Relationship with other secret societies
The Illuminati had a complex relationship with other secret societies of the time. On the one hand, the group sought to infiltrate and influence other secret societies, including the Freemasons, the Rosicrucians, and the Martinists. On the other hand, the Illuminati was also viewed with suspicion and hostility by other secret societies, who saw them as a threat to their own power and influence.
Suppression and decline of the Illuminati
The Illuminati was outlawed by the Bavarian government in 1785, following a series of crackdowns on secret societies. Weishaupt was forced to flee Bavaria, and the group’s papers and documents were seized and made public. This led to widespread criticism of the Illuminati, and many of its members were ostracized or persecuted.
Despite this setback, the ideas and principles of the Illuminati continued to influence literature, philosophy, and politics throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the Illuminati is often associated with various conspiracy theories involving secret societies and shadowy figures manipulating world events from behind the scenes. However, there is no evidence to support the existence of a modern-day Illuminati or any widespread conspiracy involving them.