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ILLUMINATI[FROM WIKI], SOME INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW

The Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus , 'enlightened') is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically, the name usually refers to the Bavarian Illuminati , an Enlightenment -era secret society founded on 1 May 1776 in Bavaria , today part of Germany . The society's goals were to oppose superstition , obscurantism , religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power . "The order of the day," they wrote in their general statutes, "is to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them." The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed through edict by Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria , with the encouragement of the Catholic Church , in 1784, 1785, 1787, and 1790. During subsequent years, the group was generally vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed that the Illuminati continued underground and were responsible for the French Revolution .

In subsequent use, "Illuminati" has referred to various organisations which have claimed, or have been claimed to be, connected to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, though these links have been unsubstantiated. These organisations have often been alleged to conspire to control world affairs, by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations , in order to gain political power and influence and to establish a New World Order . Central to some of the more widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories , the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, films, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos.

Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830) became professor of Canon Law and practical philosophy at the University of Ingolstadt in 1773. He was the only non-clerical professor at an institution run by Jesuits , whose order Pope Clement XIV had dissolved in 1773. The Jesuits of Ingolstadt, however, still retained the purse strings and some power at the University, which they continued to regard as their own. They made constant attempts to frustrate and discredit non-clerical staff, especially when course material contained anything they regarded as liberal or Protestant. Weishaupt became deeply anti-clerical , resolving to spread the ideals of the Enlightenment (Aufklärung ) through some sort of secret society of like-minded individuals.

In discussions with the Areopagus and Weishaupt, Knigge identified two areas which were problematic. Weishaupt's emphasis on the recruitment of university students meant that senior positions in the order often had to be filled by young men with little practical experience. Secondly, the anti-Jesuit ethos of the order at its inception had become a general anti-religious sentiment, which Knigge knew would be a problem in recruiting the senior Freemasons that the order now sought to attract. Knigge felt keenly the stifling grip of conservative Catholicism in Bavaria, and understood the anti-religious feelings that this produced in the liberal Illuminati, but he also saw the negative impression these same feelings would engender in Protestant states, inhibiting the spread of the order in greater Germany. Both the Areopagus and Weishaupt felt powerless to do anything less than give Knigge a free hand. He had the contacts within and outside of Freemasonry that they needed, and he had the skill as a ritualist to build their projected gradal structure, where they had ground to a halt at Illuminatus Minor , with only the Minerval grade below and the merest sketches of higher grades. The only restrictions imposed were the need to discuss the inner secrets of the highest grades, and the necessity of submitting his new grades for approval.

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