Of all the secret societies the Illuminati are the most feared. Countless conspiracy theories and rumors of a new world order are attached to this ancient sect, but is there any credibility behind these claims? The truth is surprising; this is the history of the real Illuminati.
The Real History of the Illuminati
On May 1st, 1776, a German professor at the University of Ingolstadt, along with four friends founded the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria. Adam Weishaupt was a student of liberal ideas and philosophy and hoped to expand his liberal ideology in a very conservative and primarily catholic Bavaria.
As Freemasonry flourished in Europe, countless other spin-off clubs were formed from England to Germany. Adam Weishaupt became a Freemason in 1774, but the Craft’s ban on political and religious discussions did little to appease Weishaupt’s desire to spread his liberal philosophies. Weishaupt eventually used the structure of Freemasonry as a model for his own secret society, the Bavarian Illuminati.
Within three years the Illuminati had grown to 54 members and had five separate lodges all over Bavaria. Adam was content with the modest growth as his candidates were hand selected and put through an intense course of study. Adam was able to weave in liberal ideas that human nature was essentially good and religion and conservatism stood in the way of universal human enlightenment.
Adam picked his initiates carefully, choosing the wealthy, intelligent, and the socially prominent men of Bavaria. The intiates of the Illuminati began studying the classical philosophers such as Cato and Aristotle whose dogma was based on morality, then the initiate would study the more contemporary teachings of Holbach and Helvetius.
The initiate was trained to look inside himself and with guidance of his superiors. The initiate worked his way through the training program to become an enlightened elitist and was to help spread the power of the Illuminati by reaching a position of political influence, in hopes to one day transform Bavaria into an enlightened Utopia.
As the success of the Illuminati’s recruitment efforts began to pay off Adam’s thirst for power took a greedy turn. He began infiltrating and recruiting leaders of Masonic lodges, in some cases taking complete control of the lodge itself. By 1784, the Bavarian Illuminati had spread throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Bohemia, Hungary and the northern reaches of Italy. The first degree of Illuminati, the Illuminatis Minor, had over 650 men amongst its ranks.
The Death of the Illuminati
The Illuminati used secret codes, handshakes, and nicknames while they spread their influence into the highest reaches of European governments. Adam Weishaupt himslef went by "Spartacus" a reference to the slave that led the great uprising against the Roman Republic. Weishaupt was intent on brining about the downful of Bavaria and other European gonvernments to form a one world nation.
In 1782 agents of the Illuminati attended the great Masonic conclave at Wilhelmsbad seeking to control the fledging Rite of Strict Observance, but high mason Jean-Baptiste Willermoz received a heads up and foiled the attempt, sending the Illuminati packing.
It seems as if the Freemasons may have attempted to show their own capabilities. The next two years Bavaria was flooded with terrible rumors about an evil cult with cruel intentions called the Illuminati. Soon the Government of Bavaria imposed an edict banning all secret organizations, even calling out the Illuminati by name.
Adam Weishaupt ordered the Illuminati lodges to go underground while he fled the country, in hopes to plan a secret revival. His dreams were crushed when the government raided a close colleague’s of Weishaupt’s uncovering many of the orders's documents. Adam remained in Saxony where he kept quiet and chose a career as a professor of philosophy and a writer. All remaining Illuminati in Bavaria were either jailed or they too fled the country.
So was this the end of the Illuminati or did some members stay in influential positions? The government of Bavaria destroyed the Illuminati and its leaders in Bavaria, but the organization had already spread to several countries around Europe.
We do know for a fact that an influential Illuninatis named Christopher Bode made several trips to Paris in an attempt to gain commitment from the ever growing French radicals. He was successful in converting Nicholas de Bonneville, then a lawyer, but within a couple years after his initiation he became the influential and radical journalist for the People’s Tribune, playing an important role in the French Revolution.
History tells us that the Illuminati faded out of existance. It seems strange that an international order, thousands strong, couldn't have replaced Weishaupt with one of the many prominent men that he recruited.
Could the Illuminati, like the Knight's Templar before them, have wanted the world to think they were destroyed, whilst they cotinue their plot to bring down the old European Monarchies? Is it a coincidence that the French Revolution began just four years after the Illuminati's destruction?
The Illuminati were constituted as a secret society, but their lack of secrecy brought about their damnation. If they were to move on, it would have been wise for them to do so with the utmost secrecy. Adam Weishaupt created a pyramid structure of power within the Illuminati where only those closest to Weishaupt were allowed in the top degrees. He once stated that he has two men close to him that know everything, and those two hae their to men, so if anything were to happen, a chain of thousands could be called upon in a short time.
The following is from a letter penned by Weishaupt to his Illuminati bretheren: "The strength of our order lies in it's concealment. Let it never appear in any place by it's own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation. None is fitter than the lower three degrees of Freemasonry; the public is accustomed to it, expect little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it. Next to this, the form of a learned or literary society is best suited to our purpose."
It is said that during the Masonic convention of Wilhelmsbad, that which previously mentioned and told of the Illuminati's foiled attempt to take over the Masonic Rite of Strict Observance, they were successful in enrolling several German, magistrates, judges, and ministers of state into their Order. Furthermore, the headquarters of Illuminized Freemasonry were moved to Frankfurt, Germany, the stronhold of the German finincial system. It was here where they recruited prominent fininciers and several members of the Rothchild banking empire.
It seems the government of Bavaria's call for dissolution could hardly have stopped the international force that the Illuminati had become. Armed with power and passion, Weishaupt himslef stated "Do you realize sufficiantly what it means to rule, to rule in a secret society? Not only over the lesser or more important of the populace, but over the best men, over men of all ranks, nations, religions, to rule without external force, to unite them indissoluby, to breathe one spirit and soul into them, men distributed over all parts of the world?"
"The pupils are convinced that the order will rule the world. Every member therefore becomes a ruler." - Adam Weishaupt, Founder of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria.