When discussing the mysterious powers that are believed to covertly control the world from the shadows, the secret society known as the Illuminati is often at the top of the list for conspiracy theorists. This clandestine group is accused of manipulating global affairs across finance, military, education, and media and religion.

The origins of modern Satanism can be traced back to April 1966 when American musician Anton Szandor LaVey publicly established the Church of Satan in San Francisco. LaVey is widely considered the “founder” of Satanism and the “Black Pope” of the Church of Satan, introducing rituals such as vampire-style blood drinking and group sex. The principles of Satanism as laid out in LaVey’s Satanic Bible promote “indulgence”, “eternal life”, “herd psychology” or mob mentality, and the glorification of the individual self. Satanism teaches that one can ensure earthly pleasures and still gain deeper insights into reality.

This philosophy seemed to appeal greatly to those wanting to explore the mystical world without sacrificing worldly pleasures. The seven deadly sins mentioned in the Christian Bible – pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth – are presented by LaVey as natural human qualities. His statements in the Satanic Bible appear well-suited to the decadence of the 20th century. Followers of Satanism wore strange accessories like goat head rings, upside-down crosses, altars decorated with skulls and bones, and sharp blades. Their rituals incorporated drug use, self-mutilation by cutting themselves to draw blood as offerings to Satan, and group sex. Their motto was “Hail Satan”.

However, LaVey was not the first to worship Satan. The secretive society that has long been shrouded in mystery and accused of silently controlling world events from the shadows through its alleged global power and influence is the Illuminati. The primary symbol of the Illuminati is the iconic inverted pentagram inside a circle, representing the head of a goat—the sign of Satan. Members of the Illuminati put their complete faith in worshipping Satan, also called the “fallen angel” Lucifer. The ultimate goal of the Illuminati was said to be the overthrow of church and state rule everywhere, transform human nature, and establish a worldwide empire by uniting all nations under one rule—what has commonly become known as the “New World Order”.

Founded on May 1, 1776 by a German philosopher named Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria (now part of Germany), the “Illuminati” in Latin means “the enlightened ones”. In its early days, the secret society attracted a small number of members but quickly grew to between 650 to 2,500 people within a decade between 1776-1783. Weishaupt established a highly secretive yet structured hierarchy within the Illuminati divided into three classes – novice, minerval, and illuminati minerval – where members had to take solemn oaths of secrecy and allegiance to superiors.

The initial goals of the Illuminati were to fight superstition, clerical influence over public life, and state abuse of power. They believed that humans are inherently good but corrupted by religion and misguided by governments and contemporary influences. Weishaupt thought the greatest enemy obstructing social progress was religion, aiming to oppose the church and promote rationalism. In 1783, the Bavarian Illuminati was banned by Charles Theodore, the Elector of Bavaria, due to pressure from the Roman Catholic Church alongside other governmental edicts which succeeded in completely disbanding the remaining structures of the secret society by 1800.

Weishaupt denied the government’s prohibition of Rosicrucian and alchemical occult traditions, so he was forced to flee Bavaria. During his exile, he wrote four books about the Illuminati over three years before passing away in 1830 in Gotha, Germany. However, their revolutionary ideas spread across America and Europe. Conspiracy theorists maintain the Illuminati survives covertly as a shadow government frighteningly controlling world issues and even orchestrating historic events like the Battle of Waterloo, French Revolution, and John F. Kennedy assassination by infiltrating governments and corporations.

It is believed symbols were invented in ancient times to describe concepts and ideas rather than words alone. Secret societies each have identifying ideologies and agendas accompanied by their own distinctive symbols used as a means of communication between members that only initiates would understand. Illuminati members communicated very carefully and anonymously, never mentioning the name “Illuminati” but rather using special signatures as a characteristic emblem within their secret order. Their many cryptic signs, sigils, and codes served to identify one another with the primary focus on expressing devotion to Satan. All used Greek and Roman names to hide their true identities as well.

The pyramid with the all-seeing eye insignia was created by Adam Weishaupt on May 1, 1776 featuring the Roman numerals MDCCLXXVI at its base. The Latin words “Annuit Coeptis” above mean “Announcing the birth of” and “Novus Ordo Seclorum” below translates to “New Order of the Ages”, thus interpreted as “Announcing the birth of the New World Order”. Pyramids have long been spiritual symbols to ancient Egyptians, while the eye represents God’s omnipresence for Christians—but to Illuminists it embodied ruling elites overseer world events. The number 666 is considered in Christian scripture as Satan’s number and symbolic of tempting humanity astray—also embodying the serpent coercing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The inverted five-pointed star or pentagram is an ancient symbol originating from depictions of the four elementary planets Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, and Venus—with the top point signifying Venus, the queen of heaven and divinity to its worshippers. Early Christians adopted it to represent Christ’s five wounds but Satanists have reversed it in mockery of God and to signify opposing positions valuing science over religion and “abolishing” God to worship Lucifer. Its recognition as a symbol of evil stems from depicting the head of a goat (Baphomet), drawing similarities to the biblical scapegoat bearing humanity’s sins in old Jewish ritual sacrifices.

Satanists and occultists believe symbols like this can summon dark forces through rituals and better exemplify the Illuminati’s higher wisdom and esoteric principles. The owl and its association with the goddess Athena representing wisdom was adopted as it was a nocturnal bird able to see in the dark, just as Illuminists saw themselves as enlightened souls covertly guiding humanity. Doves, bees, and cucumbers were also popular due to the all-seeing eye depicted within their forms—cucumbers were especially connected with fertility rites and sex magic.

For centuries symbols have allowed concepts to be visually depicted in place of words alone. The distinctive iconography of each secret society accompanied their covert agendas to be deciphered only by initiates. Such veiled signs served as a communications medium for Illuminati members concealing behind allegories and ambiguities. Across time their influence has manifested within best-selling fiction, films, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos according to conspiracy theorists attempting to decode and expose such alleged hidden messages and indoctrination.

The true extent of the Illuminati’s ongoing influence remains shrouded in mystery. Academics and researchers continue exploring whether this enigmatic secret society devoted to Satan genuinely maintains covert control over global operations in modern times. Much of what we believe about such historically evasive groups depends on which historical accounts we find most compelling. Nevertheless, it is irrefutable that through their symbolic promotion of seditious philosophies and plans to revolutionize society, some organization once sought supernatural means to contest prevailing authorities and social conventions of their era. In so doing, they established enduring legacies that persist in provoking intrigue and theories within our own society, as their esoteric objectives and obscure symbols take on new interpretations across generations seeking to unravel the undisclosed. Whether the Illuminati perpetuates its otherworldly designs covertly or lives on principally as a topic of fascination, their legacy as a shadowy figure arousing speculation about clandestine manipulation of events will likely endure.

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