Reminder: All human government is a conspiracy to rule. That there are genuine conspiracies is painfully obvious to anyone with basic awareness. That there are also a boatload of crazy wild tales to distract us from the real conspiracies is perhaps a little less obvious, but certainly it stands to reason. A real conspiracy would naturally protect itself by sponsoring all kinds of conspiracy theories.
The biggest conspiracy of all is the deception that we are not fallen. In our Western cultural mythology, we have a veneer of doctrine that says we are fallen, but the underlying assumptions about our human existence run counter to that doctrine. So when a scholar suggests that Western culture says we are fallen, he’s believing yet another lie. Everything we do from within Western cultural assumptions says that, whatever we might be now, we are perfectible. In other words, everyone can see we have problems, but the entire ground on which the West stands presumes that it can all be fixed.
And that presumption turns to human reason for the path to perfection. To the degree there ever was a historical entity that went by the name “Illuminati,” it rested firmly on the doctrine of perfectibility. I realize that we all tend to use that label — Illuminati — in a highly variable and popular sense that makes it something it never was. There is a vast lore of bogus literature and fake research on just what the Illuminati was (it no longer exists), but there is also a rather quiet solid basis in historical study that reveals they were sinister enough in their own right. It starts with that awful doctrine that men can morally perfect themselves.
Notice a clear distinction here: I am utterly certain that we can grasp enough divine moral truth to see clearly the nature of our sins and sinful constitution. We can catch a vision of leaving behind our fallen natural self and rising into a different realm of existence. We can see that Creation around us is not fallen and we can come face to face with God’s Person. But we cannot encounter Him in our fallen faculties. It has to be done on a different level with a different faculty. That fallen nature cannot be perfected; our fleshly existence cannot be redeemed fully. We can be blessed and made more otherworldly and more holy, but our clear vision of revelation makes it painfully obvious that we must first rid ourselves of this fallen nature. That means dying.
The founder of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt doggedly asserted that this fallen fleshly nature itself could be morally perfected. He denied the existence of a higher nature. In other words, he was a sucker for the Aristotelian notion that this universe is all there is.
We also know Weishaupt taught that men striving toward moral perfection didn’t need government or religion. To him, religion and government had conspired to keep men from discovering their own perfectibility. Now again, we grant that the religion and government of his day was deeply morally flawed, but that was no excuse for taking a fundamentally anti-government and anti-religion stance. From the ancient Hebrew mystical approach that served as the foundation of Jesus’ teaching, we know that there is no hope for this world as we experience it. And all the holiness in the world does not exempt us from having to deal with government and religion. They will always be with us because it’s part of fallen human existence. Christ taught that the natural world was held captive by the fallen nature of mankind, so it could not be released until there was no one left in a fallen state. Weishaupt was so blind as to believe Jesus taught quite the opposite, and he believed that his wild theories were consistent with Christ.
It was anti-Christian, but in the sense of secularism. Weishaupt was not consciously Luciferian; that was a wild tale told by someone named Taxil. And the Freemasons were already in existence, so that group didn’t come from the Illuminati. I don’t have space here to explain the relationship between the Illuminati and Freemasons, but they did overlap a lot back in those days. You can do your own research, but don’t believe the Freemasons. Your average Mason is pretty harmless, but the organization has always spawned crime and political corruption.
A worthwhile point here is that Weishaupt’s doctrine had consequences. After being exiled from Bavaria, he and his buds moved to France and helped to provoke the French Revolution. However, not long after that the label “Illuminati” became rather meaningless, in the sense that it entered the English lexicon adorned with a lot baggage that Weishaupt did not carry. It would be exceedingly difficult to point to any group today that can claim descent from the original, but it’s quite easy to see their influence.