The Ultimate, the one, the only – oh wait, never mind, there have actually been several of them. Okay, then, today is the 240th anniversary of the founding of the Bavarian Illuminati by Adam Weishaupt in, well, Bavaria, in 1776. Founded with what would seem to have been very good, very solid, Enlightenment-era ideals, they were quickly vilified by the clergy that dominated most of Euprope at the time. Like many other non-clerical groups of the time, they were a secret society. And since secret societies were banned by royal edict in Bavaria beginning in the late 18th century (with the full weight of Rome behind the bans)- actually they were officially banned through much of Euope, as well – they began to take the blame for most of the ills that befell royal Europe. And their alleged reach drove deep into the heart of the enlightenment-inspired founders of the fledgling United State of America. And that pesky eye in the pyramid on the dollar bill.
And the conspiracy theories grew, and multiplied with many, many fictional, and non-fictional, organizations laying claim to ties with the original Bavarian Illiminati. And, although it is questionable whether the group even survived their own internal issues, and the repression of the Bavarian rulers, no one really can say for sure precisely how large they got, or whether some groups might actually be able to lay claim to a lineage that traces directly back to Weishaupt. But it would seem to be unlikely that an organized conspiracy of enlightened elitists has exercised quite as much control over world events over the past 200 years as they have been given credit for. But it is sometimes is fun to think about.
“This is the great object held out by this association; and the means of attaining it is illumination, enlightening the understanding by the sun of reason which will dispell the clouds of superstition and of prejudice.”
— Adam Weishaupt
And perhaps the world would be a better place had he succeeded.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati