Gonna Find Out Who’s Illuminati or Nice

Question from Janiece:
I’m an atheist and I am very curious as to what others think of The “Illuminati” and their so-called devil worship. Everything I’ve researched regarding this group always leads to Satanism. To my understanding, these folks have knowledge that they wish to keep secret and have themselves created these religions to misguide people. Yet they use symbols and have practices that mirror the rituals of Satanic cults. Anybody?

Answer by SmartLX:
I’m happy with my succinct summary of the Illuminati here in 2012, so I’ll just recycle that passage:

“The Illuminati were a real organisation formed in Bavaria (now part of Germany) in 1776 and forcibly disbanded and outlawed in 1785. That’s nine years in the whole of history where we can point to a single thing they actually did. Despite what’s in Angels & Demons, there hasn’t been a single confirmed act by anyone working on behalf of the Illuminati in hundreds of years. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but if they do they’re now so secret that they might as well not exist. As far as anyone knows, we have nothing to fear from them.”

Everything you’ve read to suggest that they’re practicing anything at all today is unsubstantiated, but I invite you to comment with your sources for people to peruse.

You may have your last statement backwards, incidentally. Churches have a long history of portraying pagan symbols, rituals and other practices as demonic: pentagrams, spell-casting, sacrifices and so forth. If you’ve learned of rituals that people are actually carrying out, it may be that public (and your own) perception of Satanism has been crafted to mirror these rituals in order to reinforce prejudices.