The Illuminati or the Invisible Evil
The history of the Illuminati begins in 1776 with the foundation of the so-called “Order of the Illuminati” in Ingolstadt, Germany. It was designed as secret society, was at the beginning considerably successful but began to fall apart gradually in inner quarrels even before its prohobition by the Bavarian Land government in 1785.
The history of the Illuminati begins in 1776 with the foundation of the so-called “Order of the Illuminati” in Ingolstadt, Germany. It was designed as secret society, was at the beginning considerably successful but began to fall apart gradually in inner quarrels even before its prohobition by the Bavarian Land government in 1785. Their founder was the professor for ecclesiastical law Adam Weishaupt.
He was born in Ingolstadt in 1748 and there was educated at a Jesuitical high school. When he was 15 years old he started to study philosophy, history, political science and justice. In 1774 – with only 25 years – he was appointed a professor in ordinary for nature and ecclesiastical law. As many university-bred men at that time, he was an adherent of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment comprises different mental and cultural trends: all in common was the criticism of the absolute pretensions to truth in religion and absolute monarchy.
Within the meaning of these doctrines, Weishaupt founded a student’s order in 1776, the Perfectibilists, to spread “enlightened” ideas. Student’s orders were very common at that time; they corresponded to the enlightened spirit of this time. Some universities prohibited such orders, so they continued to exist secretely.
Weishaupt had a hierarchical order in mind. Minervals (the beginners) should be educated by the higher ranks, then ascend and educate new minervals themselves. A strict system of controlling, reporting and observation supervised the development of the order members. The society changed its name from “Perfectibilists” into “Illuminati”. In 1777, Weishaupt became member of the Freemasons and there he also started to recrute new members. The Freemasons were a secret society in the sense because they knew secret rites and were obliged to silence concerning the internals of their society. The existence of Freemason’s lodges as such was known. The Illuminati on the other hand were already hidden from the outer world. The order soon suffered from consumption.
At the end of 1779, Knigge joined the order and he could unify the disharmonized order, last but not least because of his personal charme. The Aeropag (the managing body under Weishaupt) charged him to work out the system of the higher grades. Knigge used Weishaupt’s materials and as well some symbolicism from the Freemasons. At that time, the Freemasons had 27,000 members in Germany and the Illuminati planned explicitely to penetrate their lodges and to take them over. Knigge took part at the Wilhelmsbadener Freemason Convent in 1782 as envoy of the Illuminati. There, he could gain a lot of new members including famous writers and aristocrats.
In the years 1782/1783 the Order of the Illuminati had reached its peak of members and influence. At that time the order was split up into three classes with two to three sub-classes. They had the following names:
I. Plant school or Preparation class
3. Little Illuminati
II. Mason class
1. Apprentice – Journeyman – Master
2. Illuminatus maior (Scottish Novice)
3. Illuminatur dirigens (Scottish Knight)
III Mystery classe
1. Small Mysteries: a) Priest, b) Regent
2. Great Mysteries: a) Magus (magician), b) Rex (king)
From the lower classes were requested absolute obedience, constant report concerning the own progress and as well concerning other order members. It existed secret badges, codes, order names and as well an own chronology. Weishaupt was dreaming of an ethical, philosophical and moral educated élite, raised with strong disciplin, which should exercise a legitimate government. He made little of democracy.
The Order of the Illuminati never came to realize its objectives. Weishaupt disputed with Knigge, and as a consequence Knigge left the order in 1783. A lot of other members were leaving the order also and raised publicly approaches towards the Illuminati. They were accused of having stolen secret documents from the Bavarian Court and of interfering in the Bavarian foreign policy. On 22nd June 1784, elector Karl Theodor prohibited all secret fraternities without naming them explicitely. Nine months later, he expressed the prohibition of the Illuminati and the Freemasons. Weishaupt lost his office as professor.
In Bavaria started a regular hunting for Illuminati with house searches, arrests and expatriations. Weishaupt, threatened by arrest, fled to Regensburg and from there to Gotha. There he lived until his death in 1830. From 1785 on, the order was officially thought to be extincted. Since 1787 it also ended factual.
Till today, the Illuminati stand the racket as demonical adversaries of tradition and religion. German conservatives used the scandal of the Illuminati as an opportunity to pin the hated enlighteners. They were accused to have been responsible fo the French Revolution. A lot of writers branded the Illuminati as perversion of the Freemasons and imputed them to some sinister plans and deeds. Till today, they served in the U.S.A. as cheap bugbears. In the publications of the conspiracy theorists they lost more and more the status of a real secret society. Instead of they assumed a more demonical character and became finally the flight point of all fears of the evil behind the world.
Also check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati