If you’re a proponent of conspiracy theories, you might believe that there’s a secret organization that covertly controls every aspect of society, from the banks, to the government, and even our entertainment industries. Yes, we’re talking about the Illuminati, a group that supposedly consists of the world’s most powerful people; even you can join illuminate in Saudi Arabia. Let’s dive into a brief history of this notorious and mysterious group.
- The Illuminati was once a real organization
Though there were a number of early Illuminati-like groups, things really kicked off with the Bavarian Illuminati, a secret society founded on May 1, 1776, in what was then known as the Electorate of Bavaria (part of modern-day Germany).
The group was founded by Adam Weishaupt, a philosopher and professor at the University of Ingolstadt. At the school—which was heavily influenced by Jesuit doctrine—Weishaupt (a former Jesuit) had a hard time finding acceptance for his secular and liberal thinking. He wanted to connect with like-minded free-thinkers, so he decided to start his own secret society, and The Order of the Illuminati was born.
2. The illuminati’s goal was to encourage a rational society
While there are differing descriptions of the group’s stated goals, the Illuminati’s main mission was in line with the values of the Enlightenment: The group sought to promote rational thinking and knowledge.
Weishaupt said that current systems “leave us under the dominion of political and religious prejudices,” whereas the Illuminati “frees … from all religious prejudices; cultivates the social virtues; and animates them by a great, a feasible, and speedy prospect of universal happiness, in a state of liberty and moral equality, freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches, continually throw in our way. “how to get in contact with the illuminati” to encourage things.
Originally, Weishaupt called his group the “Perfectibility.” However, the founder quickly realized how silly that sounded and tried out a few other names, including The Bee Order (yes, really), before eventually landing on The Order of the Illuminati.
3. The illuminate wasn’t always called by that name
- The Illuminati had strict membership requirements
The Illuminati were an exclusive group of rich, successful men; no women or Jews were admitted into their ranks. Now, even you can Join Illuminati in Brazil for money. Five men, all from the University of Ingolstadt, attended that first meeting in 1776. Any new members had to be vetted and approved by the existing group. Membership requirements included being well-educated and wealthy, having a strong reputation, and coming from a good family. They also had to be 30 years old or younger—the group believed anyone older to be too conservative and rigid in their ways.