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  • As far as secret organizations go, the most well-known is probably the Illuminati.

  • Their rumored membership includes nearly every public figure in the world, including Beyoncé, Paris Hilton, Barack Obama, Bob Barker, Adolf Hitler, and many many more.

  • This supposedly powerful cabal has been implicated in the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, the death of Whitney Houston, and the Ice Bucket Challenge,

  • and has been said to be pulling the strings that make the world go round.

  • So, what do we know about the Illuminati?

  • Back in 1776, a secular college professor in Bavaria, Germany was feeling ostracized by his Jesuit colleagues, and decided to start a society to spread Enlightenment-era ideas.

  • This was an attempt to shift the pro-monarchy, Catholic supremacy movement into a rational, scientific, and somewhat more secular movement.

  • Since knowledge of this group would have had serious consequences for the professor, he gave himself and other members nicknames and shrouded the group in secret rituals and symbols.

  • The order of the Illuminati specifically excluded Jews, Pagans, women, and members of other religions or cults.

  • After some time, the Illuminati, looking to expand their membership base, joined forces with the longstanding Freemasons group.

  • The Freemasons were an intricate fraternal organization of laborers; seemingly mysterious for their religious-like use of symbols and ceremonies as well.

  • After securing their own Freemason Lodge, the higher-order Illuminati members attempted to recruit from the higher-order Freemasons.

  • However, as a newer sect with different allegiances, they commanded less respect than existing groups.

  • Still, despite significant infighting over the origins of various rituals, political and social focus, and other petty differences,

  • the Illuminati managed to recruit between 650 and 2,500 members in Bavaria, at their height around 1784.

  • Around this time, an obscure Christian cult, known aszekrooSHənism [Rosicrucianism], infiltrated the Illuminati.

  • They were very religious and opposed the idea of an enlightened, philosophical, scientific, rational movement.

  • After infighting and further attacks by outside groups, as well as too high a membership to keep the order secret, knowledge of the group got out.

  • Many members were exposed, and a number actually held fairly high positions of power.

  • After being accused of publishing anti-religious literature, the Bavarian government banned all secret societies, and seized and published a large number of important documents from the Illuminati’s founders.

  • This effectively ended the existence of the group, and their original founder fled Germany.

  • In the few years after the end of the Bavarian Illuminati, a number of books were written,

  • purporting that not only did the Illuminati still exist in secret, but that they were conspiratorily responsible for many international events, including the French Revolution.

  • These books gained significant popularity, and the ideas therein have survived into modern times.

  • In recent years, the idea of a resurgent, or surviving Illuminati order that is in control of world events through underlying iconography and ritualism has been a popular conspiracy theory.

  • However, there is literally no evidence of the existence of this group, nor any connection between current groups and the Bavarian Illuminati.

  • Still... isn’t that exactly what they’d want you to think?

  • Another secretive society that has a considerable amount of power is the so-called "Church" of Scientology.

  • Are they a religion, or a cult? Watch our video here.

  • And thank you for watching TestTube! Don’t forget to subscribe!

As far as secret organizations go, the most well-known is probably the Illuminati.

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