Since its founding on May 1, 1776, the Illuminati has been the subject of more controversy, disinformation and fear-mongering than almost any other topic analyzed by historians. But today, from impeccable archival research compiled over the past several decades, we now have an almost complete true picture of this clandestine organization and its nexus of influence.
Here are the seminal primary and secondary documents I recommend which present that historical portrait: Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, by James H. Billington; Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, by Terry Melanson; The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Ritual and Doctrines of the Illuminati, edited by Josef Wäges, Reinhard Markner and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Philo’s Reply To Questions Concerning His Association With the Illuminati, by Adolph Freiherr Knigge and translated to English by Jeva Singh-Anand; Illuminati Manifesto of World Revolution (1792): L’Esprit des Religions, by Nicholas Bonneville and translated to English by Marco di Luchetti Esq.; Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism: A Translation from the French of the Abbe Barruel, by Augustin Barruel; The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, by Robert Darnton; The Literary Underground of the Old Regime, by Robert Darnton; Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France, by Robert Darnton; Critique and Crises: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society, by Reinhart Koselleck; and The First Professional Revolutionist: Filippo Michele Buonarroti, 1761-1837, by Elizabeth L. Eisenstein.
Other secret societies have played a decisive and crucial role in shaping and staffing America’s oligarchical power elite.