The world “Illuminati” is thrown around rather freely to describe the elite group that is secretly running the world. Most have a general idea of the meaning of the term, but are confused about the concepts and the ideas relating to it. Is the Illuminati the same thing as Freemasonry? What are their goals? What are their beliefs? Why do they act in secret? Do they practice occultism? Attempting to objectively research the subject can become an arduous task as most sources end up being either dismissive disinformation pieces that deny (and even ridicule) anything related to the Illuminati or, at the other end of the spectrum, espouse ill-informed fear mongering based on rumors and misconceptions. In both cases, the researcher ends up with the same result: a distorted version of the truth.
Considering that Secret Societies are supposed to be, by definition, secret, and that history is often rewritten by those in power, obtaining the unbiased truth about the Illuminati is a challenge. This article does not claim to “reveal” or “expose” everything that is to be known about the Illuminati; it rather attempts draw a more precise picture of the Order by citing authors who have extensively studied the subject. Whether they are, at the end of the day, critics or apologists of the Illuminati, these authors base their thoughts on credible facts. Some of the most interesting documents on the Illuminati were written by initiates of Secret Societies as they understood the philosophical and spiritual undercurrent driving the movement forward. Using these works, we will look at the origins, the methods and the impacts of the Illuminati on world history.