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The reported members of the Illuminati include the royal families of several nations as well as a large handful of prominent leaders in finance, technology, and the upper levels of various national governments. This secret organization has long been a subject of speculation and conspiracy theory among researchers who attempt to draw connections between the Illuminati and major world events throughout history. Although membership in this group is often thought to be conditional on royal bloodlines, several famous non-royal names are included in available membership lists. The main purpose of this secret society is reportedly to create a single global government known as the New World Order.
Some well-publicized theories about Illuminati membership claim that it is only open to people born into one of 13 powerful families, some of which have famous names such as Kennedy, Rothschild, and Rockefeller. Various theorists report that no outsider can join the upper ranks of the Illuminati, which is a factor that sets the organization apart from other known secret societies. Since the highest-ranking members exert such extensive control behind the scenes of governments and economies, membership is strictly limited to new members who are born into the right family with the right bloodline.
Common threads among the Illuminati members are notable wealth, power, and success. Several Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of multinational corporations such as Bill Gates of Microsoft are counted among its mid-level members. While they may not belong to royal bloodlines, these members are said to be recruited and trained from early ages in order to ensure their loyalty and dedication to the Illuminati's purpose of eventual world control. In exchange for unwavering loyalty, the organization gives its recruited members access to secrets that facilitate their vast accumulation of wealth and domination of certain industries.
Founders of the United States such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are also counted among members of this secret and powerful organization. Many theorists connect the establishment of the US as a new nation to calculated strategies for a new world government. Some researchers claim that every US president has belonged to the Illuminati and only rises to power thanks to the organization's various maneuverings. A frequently-documented conspiracy theory claims that high-ranking members actually control presidential elections as well as both major political parties. Even though the word literally means "People of Light", several theorists attribute the Illuminati's power and influence to the practice of black magic and other occult rituals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Illuminati and what are its origins?
The Illuminati refers to various organizations, both historical and fictional, that are purported to control world events through masterful secrecy. The original Illuminati was an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, a professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt. Its members were intellectuals and freethinkers who sought to promote rationalism and critique the influence of the church and the state. The group was disbanded by the Bavarian government in 1785.
Are there any known members of the historical Illuminati?
Yes, the historical Bavarian Illuminati included several known figures of the time. Notable members were Adolph Freiherr Knigge, who played a significant role in the organization's development, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famed German writer, is often rumored to have been associated with the group. However, due to the secretive nature of the society, complete membership lists are not available, and many associations are speculative.
How does one become a member of the Illuminati?
In the context of the historical Bavarian Illuminati, membership was by invitation only. Prospective members were carefully vetted and required to share the Enlightenment ideals of the founders. Today, the concept of the Illuminati has evolved into a mix of conspiracy theories that suggest a shadowy elite controls world affairs. There is no credible evidence of such an organization's existence, and thus, no known way to become a member of this mythical modern version.
What impact did the Illuminati have on society?
The historical Illuminati had a limited direct impact on society due to its short existence and relatively small membership. However, the ideas promoted by the Illuminati, such as secularism, liberalism, and republicanism, were influential in the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment and may have indirectly influenced the revolutionary movements of the late 18th century. The mythos surrounding the Illuminati has had a lasting cultural impact, inspiring numerous books, films, and conspiracy theories.
Is there any truth to modern claims of an Illuminati conspiracy?
Modern claims of an Illuminati conspiracy controlling world events lack credible evidence and are generally considered to be unfounded conspiracy theories. Scholars and skeptics argue that these theories are a way to provide simplistic explanations for complex world events. The Illuminati is often invoked as a scapegoat for various societal and political ills, without substantiated proof of its existence or influence in contemporary times.