The very word "illuminati" can produce strong reactions among true believers and debunkers alike, and the situation is not helped by the many inaccuracies in the film "Angels and Demons." One little known fact: the word has a very specific meaning. It refers to people who are either spiritually enlightened or who claim to be, and it is perhaps significant that many of today's elites refer to themselves as "wise men," and tend to be intellectually pretentious. Mystics have always believed that, by such means as meditation, people can achieve a higher state of consciousness and a oneness with God and with the entire universe. But they have also warned of the "left hand path" to a dangerous partial enlightenment sought (or settled for) by people seeking the supposed paranormal abilities attained in this state, abilities that can be used to obtain temporal wealth and power. Those who believe in the kundalini energy claim that it rises up the spine from the base chakra all the way to the crown chakra, which is when total enlightenment is achieved. It is perhaps significant that the highest level in freemasonry is supposedly the thirty third degree...and most people have 33 vertebrae. This hints that these Masons may be only partially enlightened.
There really was a historical Illuminati, an actual organization, founded by a Bavarian professor of law at the University of Ingolstadt, a man named Adam Weishaupt. Although of Jewish ancestry, his family had become Catholic, and he had been educated by the Jesuits, a somewhat mysterious order in their own right. He joined the Freemasons, and then created the Illuminati as an organization within an organization, infiltrating numerous Masonic lodges and taking control of them, as well as the universities. He created the order on May first 1776, and Mayday is a holiday sacred to ancient pagans, and, interestingly enough, to modern communists, and 1776 was the year of the American Declaration of Independence...and many of its instigators were Masons. He chose "Spartacus" as his code name for himself, after the gladiator who rebelled against Rome, and German communists after WWI referred to themselves as "spartacists." Weishaupt preached revolution against all existing social and political order and the destruction of religion, Judeo-Christian morality, and the nuclear family and the institution of marriage. He advocated a global socialist state. He advised his followers to recruit women by telling them that they were oppressed by men. Note that all of these ideas are preached by modern leftists.