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Does anyone know anything about the sources of the Illuminati mythology?

I've heard that they're a group of people who are secret masterminds and have done some dreadful things, but is it based on real history or prior myths?

  • Much of the modern mythos may derive from the fiction of Robert Anton Wilson. I do recall he makes a connection with the Freemasons, who are an actual, secretive society. – DukeZhou Dec 29 '16 at 19:24
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    @DukeZhou The Illuminati were (are?) also an actual 18th century society, a Bavarian offshoot of Freemasonry. – yannis Dec 29 '16 at 19:40
  • @Yannis Bavarian? There are even French Illuminati. "Illuminati" is an Italian word meaning "Enlightened ones." It refers more to the higher degrees of Freemasonry than it does to Freemasons from a certain region. See Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked. – Geremia Jan 1 '17 at 21:14
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    I was referring to the group that first used the term in their name @Geremia. Yes, others have also used the term, variously. Also, it comes from Latin, not Italian. – yannis Jan 2 '17 at 3:34
  • @Yannis When you say Bavarian, are you referring to Adam Weishaupt? – Geremia Jan 2 '17 at 15:33
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The following work on Freemasonry gives a broad overview of its historical development: from its origins in the era of Solomon's Temple up to the 19th century, with an emphasis on Freemasonry's plans of the past few centuries for the destruction of the Catholic Church:

Regarding Freemasonry's symbolism, see:

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    The question asks specifically about Illuminati, rather than Freemasonry. It might be helpful if you could add a brief explanation to clarify why resources on Freemasonry would answer a question about Illuminati? – femtoRgon Jan 2 '17 at 17:06

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