"Illuminati" is the name that refers to several groups, both real and fictitious. Most commonly it refers specifically to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment era secret society founded in the late eighteenth century. However, in modern times it refers to a purported conspiratorial organization which acts as a shadowy hand behind the throne, allegedly controlling world affairs through present day governments and corporations, usually as a modern incarnation or continuation of the Bavarian Illuminati. In this context, Illuminati is often used in reference to a New World Order (NWO). Many conspiracy theorists believe the Illuminati, The People of The Light, or illuminated ones, are the masterminds behind events that will lead to the establishment of such a New World Order. (

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