Founder of the Bavarian Illuminati of 1776, born in Ingolstadt in 1748, died in 1811. Reached the post of professor in 1772 at the University of Ingolstadt. He had been educated by the Jesuits, but acquired an antipathy for them, and in his professional life soon was in conflict with all the clergy, partly because he occupied the chair of Canon Law, which had always been occupied by an ecclesiastic. In conferences with his students, he implanted liberal ideas about religion and philosophy, and soon realized that in a close association of enlightened or intellectualized people he could advance the development of the moral and intellectual qualities of himself as well as of others. This idea materialized as the "Illuminated" or "Illuminati", which at first had no connection with Freemasonry. In 1777 he was admitted to the Theodore Lodge of the Good Counsel (translated by some as Theodore Store of Attention) in Munich, and from that moment he sought to interrelate the affairs of his Illuminati group with Freemasonry.
The Baron Von Knigge
Adam soon formed an association with Baron Von Knigge, a capable and honest man from northern Germany, and the two could have achieved their goals were it not for the opposition of the Roman Catholic clergy. Both Weishaupt and Knigge disagreed with some of their "ritual interpretations". From the literature on the theme of Enlightenment and the caustic observations of Masonic writers, we may assume that this order or movement lasted a long time, but the whole drama began with the organization of the perfectibilists in 1766, and 18 years later, in 1784, the government Bavarian banished all secret associations, including Freemasonry. The following year, Weishaupt was dismissed from his post at the university and banished to Gotha where he found asylum with Duke Ernest in that small town, remaining there until his death in 1811. In Gotha he published a series of works, trying to be Of the Enlightenment: "An Enlightenment Image" 1786, "The Complete History of the Persecutions of the Illuminati of Bavaria," 1785 (where only the first of two planned volumes had been published), "An Excuse for the Illuminati," 1786; "An Enhanced Enlightenment System," 1787, and still others.
The deeper writers on the subject give Weishaupt credit for the fact that his literature is of high moral character to a deep thinker. It is interesting to note that his associate, Knigge, spoke with great respect of his intellectual powers. It seems, however, that he was the victim of at least two powerful forces: first, the vengeful hatred of the Church of Rome and the Bavarian government and, on the other hand, his own inadequate judgment on how to start a secret revolutionary movement with Foundations or the Enlightenment.
Adam Weishaupt, Founder of the Illuminati Order of Bavaria