The mystery and intrigue surrounding The Illuminati is undeniable. Some conspiracy theorists believe that The Illuminati controls the world’s political and social agendas, steering us toward a One World government which will push us head first into the apocalypse. Others believe The Illuminati is the driving force behind the wealth, power, and prosperity of the world’s most successful individuals. Celebrities like Madonna, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Jay-Z, Beyonce, and even our own President, Barack Obama, have been rumored to have a relationship, to some extent, with this elite organization.
Tattoo by @lazerliz
According to the website www.illuminatiofficial.org:
“The Illuminati is not a church, religion, political group, or charity organization, but an elite collective of global influencers who work to further the interests of the human species as a whole. Our decisions are independent of all human divisions, including religious and political differences. We operate solely for the benefit of the human species we have been entrusted to protect, and therefore make no demands of our citizens regarding personal worship, morality, or belief.”
Tattoo by @nikkohurtado
The Illuminati was founded on May 1, 1776 by a 28 year old German philosopher, Adam Weishaupt. Though his parents were Jewish, Weishaupt grew up as a Catholic. After his father died in 1754, he was raised by his godfather, curator of the University of Ingolstadt in Bavaria. While studying law there, Adam converted to Protestantism. At the same time, he became fascinated by the occult and began to study the works of Pythagoras and the Eleusian and Mithrian mysteries. From there, he began formulating ideas about how to “further the interests of the human species as a whole”.
Tattoo by @heczerjanos
Adam Weishaupt was initiated as a Free Mason in 1774. In May of 1776, he branched off to form his own organization, The Order of the Illuminati. Only five people attended the first ceremony. Attendence gradually increased and by 1784 The Illuminati had 3,000 members, most of which were affluent and prominent young men.
Tattoo by Florian Santus
Joining Weishaupt’s secret organization wasn’t something that could happen overnight. The initiation process and rituals held back in the day, according to one source, sound downright frightening – for example: some aspiring members had to perform animal, and in more extreme cases, human sacrifices in order to be “reborn”.
Though considered a secret organization, The Illuminati made a noticeable impact on European society – so much that it’s existence was blamed for inciting the French Revolution.
Whether or not you know about it’s history, the first thing that probably comes to mind when you hear about The Illuminati is the all-seeing eye. This symbol appears on dollar bills and is known as The Great Seal of the United States. Below the symbol are the words “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, Latin for “a new order of the ages”. Some theorists believe these words are linked to the NWO (New World Order) – which was the ultimate goal of Weishaupt.
Tattoo by Chris Bint
There are numerous interpretations of what the all-seeing eye symbol actually means. Some have said that it represents the eye of God watching over mankind. Others believe it’s the eye of Lucifer. The symbol has also been associated with Freemasonry – however, their use of the symbol came fourteen years after the creation of The Great Seal.
Tattoo by Thomas Hooper
Though the meaning of the symbol might vary from one person to the next, there’s no shortage of individuals adorning their skin with The Illuminati’s most well-known, the all-seeing eye.