Navigate the JREF Website Join Now
James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Illuminati An identification generally adopted since the fifteenth century by those who believe they have a special understanding of mystical, occult, and obscure matters. The official Order of the Illuminati, though it had its origins much earlier, was a secret society founded in May of 1776 by Bavarian university law professor Adam Weishaupt (1748-1811). Originally a group of republican freethinkers loosely related to the freemasonry movement, it really lasted only a decade or so, but interest in the group was happily rekindled later by authors such as Aleister Crowley and today a plethora of dunderhead conspiracy nuts such as Texe Marrs——publisher of “Power of Prophecy”——ascribe to these underground agents——as well as the freemasons movements——every sort of imaginable, rascally, devious, action against humanity.
      Certainly, the Illuminati notion must be the most adaptable and wide-reaching of all conspiracy theories. It takes in such subjects as communism, the French Revolution, kabala, the Ku Klux Klan, the Mafia, magic, pyramids, Satanism, spoon-bending, Stonehenge, UFOs, witchcraft, Zionism, and many other silly pursuits and philosophies. The UK’s David Icke who has never hesitated to plunge into any conspiracy idea, has declared that the Illuminati are reptilian aliens.
      Who knows? Does anyone care?



[Encyclopedia Cover]

Click here to order a copy of the original hardcover edition of this Encyclopedia.

Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.

Created and maintained with the dictionary compilation software TshwaneLex.