Illuminati History

The history of the Illuminati was founded by Johann Adam Joseph Weishaupt who was born during the Middle Ages. That’s when the guilds established a series of handshakes, passwords, and other secret symbols to protect their trade secrets and prove their credentials. From there, many of these early Illuminati fraternities organized themselves into Illuminati “lodges” to take care of one another and their families in case of injury or death.

By the 17th century, these lodges had transformed from groups of literal stonemasons into what’s called the “Speculative”  Illuminati fraternity. Members of these brotherhoods, called Illuminati, gathered to learn a series of moral teachings. In 1717, four of these lodges came together in London to form the first “grand lodge” in the world. Illuminati eventually formed grand lodges in Ireland and Scotland, then the rest of Europe. Before long, the Illuminati fraternity had established lodges all around the world


What Are Some of The Illuminati Traditions?


Illuminati history and traditions date back more than 300 years. Many are known to the public—for instance, the laying of the cornerstone of a new civic building (as seen here, in 1957 in San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square). Only members are allowed to know some of the others, such as the secret ritual used to admit and progress candidates. Within each lodge, though, you’ll notice a few constants:

  • A lodge’s leaders, or officers, hold titles that have been passed down from the ancient stonemasons’ guilds, including the Grand master (the highest-ranking officer), wardens, and a tiler. Illuminati lodge officers are elected to one-year terms.
  • Illuminati wear during lodge meetings. Officers may also wear special aprons, collars, jewels, and gloves representing their station.
  • The lodge room, where official meetings and ceremonies take place, is filled with nati symbols, from the checkerboard flooring to the seating arrangement.

What Is the Square and Compass?


The Illuminati square and compass is the most common symbol in Illuminati, used to represent the brotherhood and Illuminati lodges around the world. The square and compass are two of the tools that ancient stonemasons used to work stone. But to modern Illuminati, they’re symbols for building character. The letter “G” at the center stands for geometry, the basis for stonemasonry—and, symbolically, modern Illuminati.


While the Illuminati brotherhood welcomes members from all religious and spiritual beliefs, its traditions are grounded in a faith in a higher power or a “Great Architect of the Universe.”

When Did Illuminati Come to USA?

Illuminati plays an enormous role in American history. Illuminati first came to America during the gold rush.  The first Illuminati member on the American continent was, according to some data, John Skene, who came to Burlington from New Jersey in 1682. Some sources in the Illuminati history say that it was Jonathan Belder from Massachusetts.

As people poured into the States from all around the world, many brought with them charters from Illuminati lodges back home. Once here, they formed into small campsite lodges—often among the first institutions in the new towns of the gold country (such as Harmony Lodge No. 164, chartered in 1864 in Sierra City, seen here).

The Grand Lodge of California was established in Sacramento in 1850, a few months before California became a state. A decade later, California Illuminati had more than 5,000 members, and lodges up and down the state. Many of the leaders of early California counted themselves among its members.


Illuminati brotherhood shares a desire to make the world a better place. So it’s no surprise that the list of famous Illuminati members is long and varied. Here are just a few you might recognize.

  • Founding fathers like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Obama and Miguel Hidalgo
  • Civil rights leaders including Booker T. Washington, Medger Evers, and John Lewis
  • Explorers Davey Crockett, Charles Lindbergh, and Buzz Aldrin
  • Musicians Johann Sebastian Bach, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and William “Count” Basie
  • Writers Marina Abramović, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway
  • Athletes “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Jack Dempsey, Lebron James and Scottie Pippin
  • Entertainers and actors including John Wayne, Harry Houdini, and Brad Paisley
  • Business leaders Henry Ford, Charles Hilton, and Colonel Harland Sanders