Known Illuminati Members

Known Illuminati Members

Who’s involved in the Illuminati? No one can be exactly sure. During the Illuminati’s formation in the 18th century, nearly 2,000 individuals from across Europe individuals joined the Order, including some well known historical figures.

Adam Weishaupt – Order of the Illuminati founder

Adam Weishaupt, FounderWeishaupt, born in 1748, founded the Bavarian Illuminati. After being educated in law, Weishaupt became a law professor and philosopher. On May 1, 1776, Weishaupt launched the Order of the Illuminati (also called the Bavarian Illuminati) with the hopes of combating prejudice, religious and governmental abuse of power, and gender equality. Within the Illuminati, Weishaupt was known as Brother Spartacus. Following a government edict to shut down all secret societies, Weishaupt fled his homeland of Ingoldstat, living and writing about enlightenment, the Illuminati and other thoughts. Weishaput died in 1830, still in exile.



Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Poet, politican and diplomat

goetheGoethe (born in 1749) was politician, author, lyricist and diplomat from Germany. Much of his work consisted of naturalist novels. While formally educated as a law scholar, Goethe secretly released sets of poems, anonymously. His writing career later took off, and until his death, Goethe released texts on science, politics, religion and fiction.




Adolph Freiherr Knigge – Author and Freemason

kniggeKnigge (born in 1752), was known for his involvement in the Illuminati, and in later years, suffered financially and socially for his involvement. Originally a law scholar, Knigge, was a member of several enlightenment era organizations. Like other suspected Illuminati members, Knigge was also a Freemason. After joining the Illuminati, Knigge worked with the group for nearly three years before leaving; constant disagreements with founder Adam Weishaupt pushed Knigge to suspend membership. Following his leave, Kniggee lost social rank and endured financial hardship before dying 13 years later.


Theodor Reuss – Journalist, spy and Ordo Templi Orientis leader

Theodor Reuss

Nearly 100 years following the Illuminati’s demise, Reuss (born in 1855) attempted to reinstate the Bavarian Illuminati’s presence in Europe. After two failed attempts, Reuss became involved with the Freemasons. Soon after, he began discussing and worked to establish the Ordo Templi Orientis, another secret society.