It is perhaps the most infamous secret organization to ever have existed: The Illuminati. The name of this group, which is Latin for “The Enlightened”, is at the root of many conspiracy theories. Originally founded in Bavaria in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, the group was founded to oppose superstition, obscurantism, as well as religious influence over public life and abuses of state power. While this might sound noble, this has not stopped many conspiracy theorists from attributing plots of world domination to the secretive group. Here are the top ten people who shaped the vast conspiracy theories surrounding The Illuminati.
While The Illuminati was formed in 1776 it didn’t take long for conspiracy theorists to start lobbing accusations at the group. By the late 1700’s, a French Jesuit, Augustin Barruel, claimed in his Memoirs Illustrating The History Of Jacobinism, that the Illuminati had infiltrated the age-old Freemasons association and had helped orchestrate the French Revolution. True or not, the accusation should not be surprising given that they were lobbed at a secular organization by a devout Catholic.
John Robison was a Scottish physicist and inventor of what has become known as the mechanical siren. In addition to his scientific achievements, he also published a book titled “Proofs Of A Conspiracy Against All The Religions And Governments Of Europe” in 1798. His conclusions were similar to those of Augustin Barruel in that he believed the Illumanti has infiltrated the Order of Freemasons and encouraged the French Revolution. Despite these claims, the Freemasons sought to refute that their ranks had been infiltrated.