"Weishaupt had long been scheming the establishment of an Association or Order, which in time, should govern the World." (Robison's proof of a Conspiracy)
There have always been Occultists who practiced the process of Illumination, but the term "Illuminati" was used first in the 15th Century by enthusiasts in the Occult Arts, signifying those who claimed to possess "light" directly communicated from some higher source, through mysticism. We find the name "Illuminati" in Spain about the end of the 15th Century. The Founder of the Jesuit Order, Ignatius Loyola classed himself as a member of the Illuminati. And, from time to time, here and there, small bodies of those called "The Illuminati", sometimes known as Rosicrucians" rose into publicity for a short period.
But it was the Order that Dr. Adam Weishaupt headed that was the best known of all the Illuminati Orders. Dr. Adam Weishaupt founded the Order of the Illuminati on May 1, 1776. It is no accident that May 1st is considered to be a "high Day" among Witches! -Janet Stewart Farrar, Eight Sabbats for Witches, pg. 80,81 Weishaupt was a Jesuit Priest who was involved in "Illumination" or Witchcraft. In 1773, due to the pressure of the European Governments- was put out of existence by the Pope. And so, the Jesuits had to secularize.
Ingolstadt University in Bavaria had been a Jesuit Institution for many years. Weishaupt was professor of Canon Law there at Ingolstadt. He wanted to see the Jesuit Order come back into power, and eventually, he published a Plan to help the Jesuits take over the world. This Plan is laid out in a book called "Proofs of a Conspiracy" by John Robison, in 1798, and is discussed in other books as well:
"Weishaupt had long been scheming the establishment of an Association or Order, which in time, should govern the world! In his first fervor and high expectations, he hinted to several ex-Jesuits the probability of their recovering, under a new name, the influence which they formerly possessed, and of being again of great service to society, by directing the education of youth of distinction, now emancipated from all civil and religious prejudices." -Proofs of a Conspiracy, John Robison, pg. 59
Weishaupt formed his own Secret Society and called it The Illuminati- after the "Illuminism" or Witchcraft that he practiced. Like Freemasonry, the Illuminati is a Luciferian Movement used to preserve and promote the ancient Black Arts of Babylonian and Druid Witchcraft. Weishaupt began the Order of Illuminati with a mere 5 members.
In order to stay hidden from the vast population, Weishaupt and his co-conspirators selected for themselves "code names". Weishaupt himself assumed the name of Spartacus, and another Illuminist, Baron Von Knigge assumed the secret name of Philo. As a measure of security, the Order would correspond, using their pen names.
Weishaupt's goal was and to use Humanism (Atheism) to do it with. Then he would set up a One-World Government. And in order for his plan to succeed, Weishaupt realized that he needed to operate as much under cover as possible, and then when the gullible world finally found out what he and his Illuminati Order were up to, it would already be too late to undo the damage or to stop all of the plans that he had already set into motion!
This was another reason for having such great secrecy within his Order of the Illuminati. And, besides assuming their secret names for their members- the Illuminati also tried to hide their location, as they traveled in various countries, spreading their evil Illuminist Doctrines. They did this by using "Secret Code Names" to tell the other members of their Order where they were. For instance, Ingolstadt, Germany was given the secret name of "Eleusis", Austria was "Egypt", Munich was called "Athens, and Vienna took on the name of "Rome".
The Illuminati even went so far as to invent their own calendar, so that the dates when they planned to meet would remain a secret! The names of the months on their calendar were changed. January became "Dimeh", and February became "Bemah", and so on." -An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its kindred sciences, Mackey, (33rd degree Mason), pg. 346
THE ILLUMINATI- "THE CHOSEN ONES"
In the picture below, you can see a work on Illuminism on display at the Museum of Ingolstadt. Adam Weishaupt taught his disciples that the Illuminati were the only members of the human race who were truly enlightened or "illuminated" and who had a handle on what everything in life was all about. Weishaupt had his followers believing that they were the cream of the Intelligentsia, and that only people with the knowledge, mental capabilities and insight to govern the world and to bring world peace. -Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Vol. I, pg. 460.
The Illuminati believed that those who were not of their Order, had the "lower class" unenlightened worldview, and were their social and spiritual inferiors. The members of this Secret Brotherhood had been taught that the so-called "Illuminated", superior new man is not limited by the world's traditional values. Supposedly, they had a pure spiritual nature that "transcended" the normal confines of good and evil.
This outlook on things that the Illuminati had was aided by the fact that they partook of the drug, hashish, which was the same drug that was used by the Assassins. The leader of the Theosophical Society and "Mother" of the New Age Movement, Helena Blavatsky, wrote about how drugs, such as opium and Hashish were used in the ancient Mystery Religions to achieve altered states of consciousness, so that the practicers of that religion could "communicate with the Gods". And the use of this drug, Hashish, surely caused those of the Illuminati Order to really believe that they were in some sort of "other dimension" and that they were "the favored ones" who were allowed to know and hear the "Great Plan of the Gods" for the World's Spiritual Evolution!
This feeling of being those who were especially favored by the Gods no doubt led the Illuminati members to have an extraordinary belief that their plans for the World had to be carried out and that thus, "the end justifies the means" was their motto, and nothing was allowed to stand in their way!
METHOD OF ORGANIZATION
In 1779, Adam Weishaupt divided his Secret Organization into 3 classes:
3) Illuminated Minerval
As done in Masonry, the initiates of the Illuminati received "more light" as they progress up the ladder of the Degrees. Weishaupt induced mysticism into the workings of the Brotherhood, so that an air of mystery would pervade its entire doings. He adopted many of the classes and grades of Freemasonry and held out hopes that there would be a revealing of "deep occult secrets" as the initiates were on up into the higher ranks of the Illuminati. In the lower grades, the candidate was merely tried and prepared for the higher "Mystery" degrees. If he was found to be loyal to the Order and a good keeper of their secrets, and an apt scholar, he was gradually initiated into the higher degrees, where all that he had been formerly taught was overthrown, and radical and deistic theories and plans were then unfolded. Deism involves the reliance solely upon human reason.
An "Illuminatus" is a Master Mason who has received all of the light that can be gained in Masonry. Such a one is beyond the 33 Degree of Masonry and is known as "Master" of the Temple. Thus, the Illuminati's goal was to be an elite group of "Super Masons".
For the Order's strategy to be successful, the activities of its members had to remain a secret. Initiates were therefore sworn to secrecy, taking bloody oaths, describing what would happen to them if they ever defected from the Order or revealed its plans.
All of the Initiates were bound to perpetual silence, total loyalty, and complete submission to the Order and its leaders. If all of this sounds like the Order of the Jesuits, with the idea of complete submission to the pope and its church leaders, it is because Adam Weishaupt, Founder of the Illuminati, was formerly himself a Jesuit! One feature of the Illuminati Society was that of a system of mutual espionage. Every member spied on every other member. Every month the Novice, or lower level member, was required to deliver to Weishaupt a sealed letter that revealed every aspect of his relationship with his Superior.
Then when the Novice was promoted to the Minerval grade, an initiation ceremony was performed, during which time, the initiate was taken to a dimly lit room, at night. It was here that he learned the secret signs and passwords. He was allowed to learn who else was in the Minerval grade, but the identities of the members of the Illuminated Minerval were not disclosed. This is just like what is done in Freemasonry; only a few top men within their organization are allowed to actually understand the true goals of the Order.
Only a few of the Illuminati members knew Adam Weishaupt personally, and thus, although the Society if the Illuminati had many branches in all parts of Germany, to these few people alone was Adam Weishaupt visible. For this reason, those who had never seen him came to regard him almost as a "god".