Whenever something particularly spooky happens in the world, and it can’t be explained, there’s always bound to be at least a few people who are ready and willing to use the classic buzzword: “Illuminati”
Who are the Illuminati? Nobody, because as far as I’m concerned they don’t exist. There’s no real proof that the Illuminati even exists, but there are millions of people out there who believe that there is a clandestine group who controls everything and has been manipulating world events for centuries.
While I am aware that there used to be a secret organization known as the “Order of Illuminati” based in Bavaria, that same organization was suppressed, and permanently disbanded in the year 1785. The odd thing about this is that the Bavarian Order of Illuminati opposed superstition. They wanted to eliminate religious influence over daily life, and to promote such modern ideas as secularism, gender equality, and rationalism. Unsurprisingly, many kings saw them as a threat, and the Order of Illuminati was promptly extinguished.
There is no evidence supporting the idea that the Bavarian Order of Illuminati survived past the 1780’s, but the idea of the Illuminati as a modern secret society still pervades popular culture (or at least the Internet). The modern notion of the Illuminati comes from years of fascist propaganda, and the mad scaremongering of the fundamentalist Christian movement.
This leads me to an admittedly strange idea: what if the Illuminati of popular belief is basically a figment of the Christian imagination?
This would actually make sense, because the fundamentalist Christian movement emerged as a reaction to such Enlightenment principles of secularism, liberalism, and moderism, all of which were steadily being accepted by the public at large. The fundamentalists needed to create a faceless representation of everything they hated, and in order to rally the people, they had to make it seem like they were taking over the world and manipulating world leaders and events.
But then, since the Illuminati buzzword has found its way into secular use, there’s also the possibility that the Illuminati is basically just a scapegoat used by idiots, either to explain various political phenomenon, or because they want some drama in their grey little lives. Or, the idea of Illuminati could just be a manifestation of some people’s fear-based uncertainty of the state of the world, or something created as an alternative to admitting that the rotten state of the world stem from centuries of human greed and stupidity.
What doesn’t help is that neither believers or sceptics are willing to prove their argument. Most sceptics (the people who don’t believe the Illuminati exists) won’t prove their argument because they’re too high and mighty to admit that they don’t really know, and most believers (the people who do believe the Illuminati exists) are too scared to prove it in case the Illuminati is real and decides to have them assassinated.
In conclusion, I think that the idea of the Illuminati comes from an overactive imagination. I can actually relate, since I tend to have an overactive imagination, but this is what happens when you stretch the imagination too far, and on a cultural level. I hope in time we realize that the Illuminati simply doesn’t exist, and that there are people out there who are screwing with our imaginations to make money.