Now days it is sort of a joke about this conspiracy or that government plot when the term illuminati comes up. I was doing some reading and it seems that while the thinking around the term tends to be fringe or part of a movie plot, the philosophy of the real Illuminati makes sense. What I would like to pitch that maybe it’s time for a new Illuminati or the emergent Illuminatus.

Who Where The Illuminati?

The real Illuminati where a Bavarian academic society, that happened to need to be secret due to the oppression of free thought, created officially in May 1, 1776.[1] The idea initially was to be opposed to superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life and the abuse of state power. Richard van Dülmen is quoted as saying,

“[the purpose of the Illuminati is] to put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them.” [2]

Are these ideals that align with transhumanism? Do we not oppose superstition, want to share knowledge and other wise increase the betterment of man and all Intelligence? For is it not true that only through the effort of as many of us as possible can we succeed in the engineering and science needed to achieve basic human rights and through logic and a shared vision in science can that become true? Is that not just a modern version of Illuminati ideals?

I’ll let you decide…

But the term ‘Illuminati’ refers to being ‘illuminated’ which goes to the period in Europe referred to as the Enlightenment Era

“A European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. It was heavily influenced by 17th-century philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, and Newton, and its prominent exponents include Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith” [4]

Could we need a new ‘enlightenment’ to move us forward?

To enlighten refers to ‘having or showing a rational, modern and well-informed outlook? Or give greater knowledge and understanding about a subject or situation or Enlightenment itself which is the action of or being in a state of enlightenment? [4]

Again is this not ‘transhuman’, philosophically?

What is Transhumanist?

To be frank, there are lot of definitions, but I’ll go with mine which is simple and clean, that is: “To be transhuman, philosophically, means to believe in the moral and ethical obligation to use technology to improve humanity, or intelligence that is fully sapient and sentient, without limit and the freedom for all to choose that path or not regardless of their ideals.” [3]

I would argue that this is the definition of being enlightened in a new era as we approach singularity and transhuman enlightenment is key to driving us forward. As I noted earlier, the Illuminati are “opposed to suppression of ideas and knowledge”, as transhumanists should be also, they were only secret due to suppression of the church and state at the time. It is in the chaos of our modern era we might again need this secrecy, with limits on biological and AI related research. It is this constant suppression of ideas that are considered fringe that would limit the research moving forward; due to rules such as genetic modification of human cells or people becoming increasingly against science. I’m not saying we are currently there, but it might be time to consider it and to come together as transhumanists to do what we can, where we can… possibly as the Illuminatus…


        1. Wiki reference to Illuminati ( 4/21/02015 AD
        2. Polity Press 1992, quote, “To put an end to the machinations of the purveyors of injustice, to control them without dominating them.”
        3. David J Kelley, Quote 4/26/02015 AD
        4. Term definition, enlightenment, 4/16/02015 AD


* hero image used from