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The Bavarian Illuminati was established by Dr. Adam Weishaupt on May 1, 1776. Some claim that Weishaupt didn't invent the Illuminati, but only revived it. Pre-Weishaupt origins are given to the Alumbrados of Spain and the Illumines of France. This claim holds in name and mystical concerns, but no solid historical lineage is known. The Order of Illuminati has been traced back to the Knights Templar, to the Greek and Gnostic initiatory cults, and to ancient Egypt.
Weishaupt was a professor of Canon Law at Ingolstadt University and was a former Jesuit Priest. Weishaupt's Order of the Illuminati was formed within the existing Masonic lodges of Germany. Since Masonry is itself a secret society, the Illuminati was a secret society within a secret society. In 1785 the Illuminati were suppressed by the Bavarian government for allegedly plotting to overthrow all the kings in Europe as well as the Pope. This much is generally agreed upon by all historians.
The purpose of Weishaupt's Order of the Illuminati was to establish a New World Order, which meant the abolition of governments, religions, private property and marriage. The actual character of the society was modeled after one of its traditionalist enemies, the Jesuits, and was an elaborate network of spies and counter-spies. Each isolated cell of initiates reported to a superior, whom they did not know, a party structure that was effectively adopted by some later groups, including more recently by the early Ba'ath party in Syria and Iraq.
In 1799, George Washington read "Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe" (by John Robison, a prominent scientist and professor at the University of Edinburgh, published in Dublin, Ireland in 1797). This book reconfirmed his awareness of the danger to our Republic from Illuminists. Five years earlier Illuminist agents had used front organizations ("democratic societies") to trigger the so-called "Whiskey Rebellion" in Pennsylvania. Washington's public exposure and opposition with armed troops stopped this early campaign of sedition without bloodshed.
Weishaupt received the assistance of Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1745-1804), and lived in Gotha, Germany writing a series of works on Illuminism. He died there in 1811. A century after Weishaupt's death, occultist interest in the Illuminati picked up, through the writings of Aleister Crowley.
Their practice of mysticism and attempt to reinterpret communication with God through meditation, along with claims of communication with Lucifer, enlightenment, and their sexual practices, all denote a seeming connection with later Illuminati groups, but claims of connection is not unsubstantial.
Weishaupt has been called an atheist, a Cabalistic magician, a rationalist, a mystic, an anarchist, a fascist; an alchemist, and a totalitarian. The Illuminati has also been credited with managing the French revolution from behind the scenes, continuing underground up to the 1970s, and secretly worshipping the Devil.
The one safe generalization one can make is that Weishaupt's intent to maintain secrecy has worked; no two students of Illuminology have ever agreed totally about what the "inner secret" or purpose of the Order actually was, leaving room for endless speculation. There have been sensational exposes of the Illuminati in every generation since 1776.
Today the Illuminati seems to manifest itself in ultra secret conspiratorial organizations such as The Builderburgers, Skull and Bones, The Council for Foreign Relations, Club of Rome, stc. which are reputed to control world affairs. These are most likely branches or fronts for the modern Illuminati. In a conspiratorial context these and other organizations seem to be continuing Weishaupt's Illuminati dream and plan for a New World Order (NWO). They are the brains behind the events that are leading to the One World Government, Economy, and Religion. A New World Order in which the world will be run by a single, fascist government, and the population of the world enslaved and exterminated.
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