The Illuminati (the “enlightened ones”) was a late 18th century German political secret society. Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian philosopher and lawyer, started the secret society on the 1st of May 1776 at the university of ingolstat. In 1785 it was outlawed in Bavaria.
Later, other groups formed using the same name. There is no evidence that these present-day groups have any significant power or influence. They promote themselves using the Bavarian Illuminati to attract membership.