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"Men are unfit as they are, and must be formed; each class must be the school of trial for the next."
— Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati[1]

The Illuminati is a secret society dedicated to the spiritual perfection of the individual and the clandestine domination of all civilized institutions. The name "Illuminati" is the plural of the Latin word illuminatus, meaning "enlightened". The ultimate goal of the Illuminati is to establish a New World Order which will allow them to govern the world without opposition.

The Illuminati influence the world from behind the scenes and ensure that their existence remains a secret. Most of their members are extremely wealthy and hold positions of power and influence. At various times, the Illuminati has consisted of major captains of industry, important scientists, and political leaders. They envision themselves as the stewards of humanity,[2] as they believe that society would not function without the intervention and guidance of an elite group which makes decisions for the masses. One member comments that absolute freedom is analogous to absolute chaos, hence the need for them to sacrifice some of an individual's freedom to maintain order.[3]

Although the Illuminati project the image of an all-powerful organization, their ability to exert their influence focuses on manipulation, blackmail, and influencing key figures. Direct control is unreliable, as the breakaway Majestic 12 discovered in 2052, when it attempted to dominate the United States directly, leading to open rebellion, defiance, and societal collapse.



The Illuminati was formally founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt. He established the order with the goal of giving the world a good system of management. However, the ideals upon which the society is based predate Weishaupt's organization. The origins of the Illuminati can be traced back to the Order of Assassins, or Hashishim during the time of the Crusades.[4] The Knights Templar, another ancient society, has close ties to the Illuminati. With the Templar's control of the world's banking system, they have funded Illuminati interests for many years.

20th century[]

Prior to the 20th century, the Illuminati were primarily a political and religious organization.[5] It realized that due to the growing hostility towards politicians and disinterest in organized religion, they could no longer optimally influence society using these tools. In response, the cabal's leadership decided to establish two new branches that would control financial matters and technology. To this end, they created their technology branch Majestic 12 in 1947,[6] and the Bilderberg Group in 1954 that was focused on financial matters.

The Illuminati directly influenced many of the conflicts of the 20th century. These include World War I and II, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.[2] They also had a hand in other significant events of this century. One such event was the appointment of John F. Kennedy as the president of the United States. When Kennedy publically mentioned a "plot" involving a secret society (the Illuminati), his assassination was subsequently organized by the group.[7] It is insinuated that the Illuminati had ties with the Nazis. The DuClare family, involved heavily with the conspiracy, acquired their lavish mansion when it's previous owner was sent to a Nazi concentration camp.[8] Other events that the Illuminati were involved in include the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger disaster and the Tokyo subway sarin attack.[2]

Adam Jensen young

Jensen as a child, who was experimented on by Illuminati scientists

In the 1990s, the Illuminati engaged in experimental research on children. White Helix Labs, a subsidiary of the Illuminati-run company VersaLife, tested genetic therapy treatments on infants. One such child was Adam Jensen, who was five years old when the experimentation ended. Most of the other infants experimented on did not survive.[9] Jensen, the only survivor, was permanently changed by this research. Whether intentionally or not, White Helix had introduced mutagenic genes into Jensen's DNA that gave him immunity to Darrow Deficiency Syndrome. Jensen unknowingly carried the key to universal augmentation. These experiments ended with the destruction of White Helix Labs when staff members intentionally burned it down.[10]

21st century[]

The Illuminati reach the height of their power during the early 21st century.[11] During this time, they are engaged in many different pursuits. Ultimately, their goal is to establish a set of common principles that they will use to govern the entire world.[3] However, before they can achieve this, they must first deal with the aspects of society that are not under their control. In particular, global electronic communications and mechanical augmentations are major threats to the cabal. If unregulated, these technologies will give humanity a huge amount of freedom and autonomy. The Illuminati believe that if society is not regulated, anarchy will ensue.

The actions of the Illuminati often aim to artificially induce what is know as the "Icarus Effect". This is the phenomenon by which members of society with abilities far exceeding the average are naturally "cut down" so as not to threaten the rest of the species. The Illuminati does not want society to progress too rapidly and escape from the boundaries that they have defined. They ensure that the Icarus Effect plays out more rapidly than normal in order to achieve this.[12] This is made possible by the Illuminati's unparalleled influence over a wide range of intergovernmental organizations and multinational corporations. They use the private military contractor Belltower Associates in countries all over the world to keep the local populace in check and to guard their clandestine activities. The secretive mercenary group known as the Tyrants perform special operations for the cabal, particularly assassinations and kidnappings. In the late 2020s, many of the missions given to the Tyrants involve killing individuals associated with the augmentation debate.[2] This helps to create an environment where the regulations on augmentation technology the Illuminati seek are put into place.

Picus Conf footage WIP

Footage of the Mexican Drug War being fabricated by Picus

Propaganda is a tool frequently used by the cabal due to it being one of the most powerful at its disposal. It allows them to shape the public's opinion and control what is revealed about current events. To achieve this, the Illuminati primarily use various subsidiaries of the Picus Group. By the 2020s, the Picus Group has become the largest media corporation in the world with over one thousand offices in more than a hundred countries.[13] The scope of its pursuits means that Picus can spread the Illuminati's propaganda with ease. Picus creates "footage" of events that have not necessarily taken place at the behest of the Illuminati. It also manages to remove political figures that the Illuminati do not support from power, as well as defame others with opinions it does not like.[14][15]

Control of augmentations[]

Detroit riot

An anti-augmentation riot in Detroit - one of many encouraged by the Illuminati

Utilizing the vast resources at their disposal, the Illuminati seek to gain complete control over the progress made in augmentation technology. Following its creation by Illuminatus Hugh Darrow, mechanical augmentations quickly escape from Illuminati influence as independent manufacturers such as Sarif Industries and Isolay begin to appear. The Illuminati go to extreme measures to regain this control. For instance, they arrange to have one of their own members, the Humanity Front leader William Taggart, assassinated.[2] If assassinated, Taggart would become a martyr for the anti-augmentation lobby and the UN would be forced to call a vote to place regulations on the technology. In addition to this, they murder and intimidate high profile individuals who are supportive of augmentations. By doing so, they hope to "tip the balance" in favor of those opposed to the technology.[12] Multiple riots, often involving members of the extremist anti-augmentation group Purity First spring up all over the world in 2027. The Illuminati incite many of these riots since violent protests are likely to bring about a UN vote.

Washington hearings PDS

Picus' biased coverage of the Washington hearings sees anti-augmentation activists gaining support

One of Picus' particularly effective propaganda campaigns is its defamation of mechanical augmentations. It presents anti-augmentation activists such as William Taggart and his group, Humanity Front in a positive light. For instance, it refers to them as "pro-human" rather than "anti-augmentation" so as to remove any negative connotations.[16] In contrast, it does not do the same for those supporting the technology, despite the fact that augmentation manufacturers are being subject to attacks from the anti-augmentation lobby.[17] Picus' biased coverage of the Washington hearings related to augmentations saw "pro-regulation parties gain as high as 32 points in various polls".[18] Through this biased coverage, the Illuminati hope to sway public opinion in favor of placing restrictions on augmentations. Picus is reluctant to report on any news story which may unintentionally support augmentations. It gives next to no coverage of the Panchaea project since augmented construction workers are integral to its existence. However, it manages to find a slant that supports the regulation of augmentations, and reports on Panchaea accordingly.[19]

Monopolizing the market[]
Yune Sarif plant

Yune, an Illuminati pawn posing as a Purity First member during the attack on Sarif's Manufacturing Plant

The Illuminati attempt to establish Zhao Yun Ru's company, Tai Yong Medical, as the market leader in mechanical augmentations. This is achieved through takeovers of other rival companies such as N-Pro Tech, Laredo Manufacturing, and Shilung Prosthetics.[20] One of Tai Yong Medical's biggest competitors is Sarif Industries. Since David Sarif, the CEO of Sarif Industries refuses offers to join the Illuminati,[21] it is necessary for them to attempt to take over the corporation. The Illuminati are responsible for attacks on both Sarif Industries Headquarters and the Sarif Manufacturing Plant, which Zhao attempts to use as leverage to convince him to sell the company. However, all of these requests are refused by Sarif.[22] By monopolizing the augmentation market, the Illuminati can more easily keep augmentation research within their grasp.

Anti-rejection drugs[]

One effective way to maintain control over the augmented is to keep them reliant on anti-rejection drugs. Due to the Illuminati's control, Neuropozyne is essentially the only anti-rejection drug on the market. Moreover, the patent for Neuropozyne is held by the VersaLife Corporation[23] whose CEO is Bob Page, a high-ranking member of the Illuminati. The price of Neuropozyne is extremely high, meaning that only the rich can get augmented by choice. However, even those who are augmented against their will must still find a way to purchase a regular supply of the drug or risk suffering from Darrow Deficiency Syndrome (DDS). The Illuminati has complete control over the production and distribution of Neuropozyne, giving them a means to control augmented people. Thus, the Illuminati want to ensure that this reliance on the drug does not disappear.

In 2027, Megan Reed discovers a unique genome that allows a person to tolerate augmentations without suffering from Darrow Deficiency Syndrome (DDS). Reed's discovery, which came from her "Patient X" study, paves the way for rejection-free augmentations.[24] When the Illuminati learn that Reed is about to go public with her discovery, they are eager to keep it quiet. To accomplish this goal, the Illuminati order the Tyrants to attack the Sarif Industries headquarters and kidnap Reed and her team. Therefore, due to Illuminati interference, Reed's research is never publicized.

Riezene ad

An advert for Riezene by Zaaphire Biotech, a supposed competitor of VersaLife's Neuropozyne

Later in 2027, VersaLife claims that due to multiple setbacks, it is unable to meet the worldwide demand for Neuropozyne.[25] It becomes apparent that this Neuropozyne "shortage" is a fabrication intended to create demand for an alternative to the drug. At this time, a corporation known as Zaaphire Biotech conveniently puts forward a new anti-rejection drug called Riezene that is considerably cheaper than Neuropozyne. There are public concerns that Riezene has not been properly tested, but despite this, Zaaphire are given permission to begin commercial distribution of the drug.[26] The Illuminati are in fact responsible for the creation of Riezene and perform tests of the drug in the slums of Panama. These experiments result in multiple fatalities, proving that it is unsafe. Stuart St. John, an inspector representing the WHO, conducts an investigation of the drug in Panama. As a result of his investigation, Stuart St. John intends to expose the truth about Riezene, but he is assassinated by the Tyrants on behalf of the Illuminati.[27]

Biochip scheme[]

The Illuminati's completed biochip, distributed by LIMB

The biochip scheme of the late 2020s, also known as the "biochip initiative,"[28] is one the Illuminati's most elaborate endeavors. It aims to create a biochip that will allow them to remotely deactivate augmentations, essentially acting as a "killswitch". The Illuminati are concerned that human augmentation technology has the potential to "upset the balance" and consequently plunge society into chaos. They believe that this is a necessary measure to ensure that things do not spiral out of their control.

This project is multifaceted and requires the collaboration of many of the group's members. To begin, a biochip has to be designed that supports the killswitch mechanism. Despite being led by Hugh Darrow, a celebrated genius and the "Father of Augmentation", this task proves to be more difficult than anticipated due to difficulties in finding the right nerve interface. However, research done at Sarif Industries provides the key to making it work.[29] With Megan Reed and the other kidnapped Sarif scientists now working with Darrow at Omega Ranch in Singapore, the chip is finally completed.

Biochips for LIMB

The batch of TYM biochips for LIMB International

Once the chip has been designed, the schematic for it is sent to Zhao Yun Ru, the CEO of Tai Yong Medical and an Illuminati member. She is tasked with manufacturing a huge batch of the biochips which are then sent to LIMB International.[30] Once the batch is given to LIMB, they use their clinics to distribute them worldwide. At this stage, the Illuminati have to devise a way to convince people to install their biochip. They decide to fabricate a series of 'glitches' by using Picus' satellites to interfere with the currently installed chips.[31] A spokesperson for the World Health Organization, who is a member of the Illuminati ruling council, publicly announces that these glitches are caused by faulty biochips and that they need to be replaced.[32] The scheme appears to be extremely successful as almost all augmented people receive the replacement.

The Aug Incident[]

Despite the apparent success of the biochip scheme, all does not go according to plan. Unbeknownst to his Illuminati colleagues, Hugh Darrow wants to use the biochip to show how dangerous augmentation technology can be. He hopes that doing so will convince people to completely reject augmentations and call for them to be banned.[33] In order to demonstrate its destructive power, Darrow gives Reed instructions that secretly change the function of the chip to cause disturbing hallucinations. Once Darrow activates the signal that induces these hallucinations, augmented people all over the world are driven to insanity and begin to attack those around them.

Panchaea - aug incident

Countless deaths occur in Panchaea and around the world following the Aug Incident

Although the signal is eventually disabled by Adam Jensen,[Note 1] the devastation that it causes is far-reaching. Millions of innocent people are killed in this tragedy, which is later referred to as the Aug Incident. As a result, the non-augmented public begin to fear transhumans and wish for them to be isolated from the rest of society.[34]

The Human Restoration Act[]

Lucius DeBeers, the Illuminati leader, would later remark in 2029 that the Aug Incident had caused a schism in society, and that society is growing more unstable every day. Thus, the Aug Incident complicated the Illuminati's agenda of maintaining social order. Nonetheless, the public backlash against augmentations in wake of the Aug Incident provided new fuel for the Illuminati to obtain the control over augmented people that they had sought.

In 2029, the Illuminati are working on a new initiative to control augmented people, a United Nations resolution called the Human Restoration Act. If passed by the UN, the Act would force Augs to carry a control chip implanted in them and keep proper documents or be forced to live in segregated Aug communities. Due to public resentment of augmentations following the Aug Incident, various countries have already introduced national laws restricting the rights of its augmented citizens. For example, in the Czech Republic, Augs have become forced to live in isolated cities such as the Útulek Complex. Nonetheless, the Act, if passed, would restrict the rights of augmented people on an unprecedented, global scale. Prior to the announcement of the legislation, the Illuminati carefully orchestrate a number of augmented terrorist attacks, with the aim of getting "the right kind of headlines".[35] The purpose of these attacks is to make public sentiment more favorable for the Act to be passed by the United Nations.

Several public figures oppose the Act, including Talos Rucker, the leader of the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC). Another figure that would end up opposing the Act is Nathaniel Brown, CEO of the Santeau Group, a corporation in the business of building safe havens for the augmented. The Act, if passed, would inflict significant financial losses on the Santeau Group, whose safe havens would be unable to accommodate the inflow of augmented people.

In order to ensure passage of the Act, the Illuminati orchestrate further terrorist incidents, such as the bombing of the Růžička Station in Prague, and attempt to frame ARC for these incidents to further drive public sentiment against the augmented. Following the bombing of Růžička Station, Illuminati agents under the control of Bob Page assassinate Talos Rucker. Afterward, Bob Page orders the Shadow Operatives to attack the Apex Centre in London with the goal of assassinating Nathaniel Brown.


Janus Saxon

Janus, the leader of Juggernaut speaking with ex-Tyrant, Ben Saxon - both of which are determined to expose the Illuminati

Despite the fact that its existence is not publicly known, the actions of the Illuminati do not go unnoticed. The pirate radio host, Lazarus frequently discusses the Illuminati's schemes on his show. Lazarus' assertions regarding the Illuminati are often correct, but he occasionally makes remarks that are fully or partially wrong. Regardless, Lazarus is aware of the Illuminati's existence and aims to keep his "truth seekers" informed so that they will revolt against them. Multiple attempts have been made on his life by the Illuminati because of this.

During the 2020s, the Illuminati face organized opposition in the form of the Juggernaut Collective, a group of hackers led by the enigmatic figure known as "Janus." The Collective is fully aware of the Illuminati's existence and takes measures to oppose the Illuminati.

In 2027, Anna Kelso and Ben Saxon, who both have personal vendettas against the Illuminati's mercenary group, the Tyrants, seek the help of Juggernaut to track down the Tyrants and eliminate them. With the assistance of Janus, D-Bar, and other members of the Collective, they manage to access the Killing Floor, the computer system by which the Illuminati communicate with the Tyrants. From the Killing Floor, the Collective learn about the Illuminati's plot to assassinate William Taggart and collaborate with the New Sons of Freedom to stop this assassination from taking place. However, upon arriving in Geneva where Taggart's murder is set to take place, the Juggernaut/NSF platoon are ambushed and most end up dead. This is partially due to the betrayal of D-Bar who sides with the Illuminati once he appreciates the scope of their influence. This setback does not stop the Juggernaut Collective.[2] Two years after the Aug Incident, they continue to oppose the Illuminati. This includes gathering inside information about Task Force 29, a group they suspect of being an Illuminati front.[34]

Namir Jensen intro

Tyrant leader, Jaron Namir attempting to kill Adam Jensen

Adam Jensen, the Chief of Security for Sarif Industries, unwittingly comes into conflict with the Illuminati. During his search to uncover the truth about the attack on Sarif HQ, he learns that the conspiracy is responsible. In the process, Jensen gets unwanted attention from the Tyrants. The Tyrants try to prevent Jensen from interfering with Illuminati plans by attempting to kill him on various occasions. Jensen returns from these confrontations victorious, thus managing to eliminate the key members of the Tyrants and effectively destroying the group.[36] Once Jensen is aware of the Illuminati's existence, he becomes determined to take them down. He subsequently joins the Juggernaut Collective in their endeavours, and agrees to become a member of Task Force 29 to aid them in uncovering their ties to the Illuminati.


SoCal earthquake aftermath

The aftermath of the 2030 earthquake in a region of south California

In the early 2030s, the Illuminati suffer from multiple setbacks. Plague, disasters, and the dissolution of the middle class weaken the Illuminati's grip on society. At this time, the US government seems on the verge of collapse after the country is ravaged by several diseases and the 2030 earthquake, which turns much of the west coast into a disaster area. The Illuminati decide to allow the US to collapse in hopes that it can then be more easily pushed into suspending its constitution and accepting one world government. However, the US fails to collapse, and a new breed of terrorist arises outside of Illuminati control - even attacking the Illuminati leadership themselves. Some among the conspirators suggest drastic action, but the Illuminati choose to do nothing. Majestic 12's leader, Bob Page, becomes disillusioned with the Illuminati's inaction and makes a successful bid for power. Page neutralizes the other ruling members and subsequently uses Majestic 12 to take over the Illuminati's political, financial, military, and religious arms.[5] The Illuminati are reduced to a handful of its former most powerful members who are now forced to hide from Majestic 12 and its ruthless leadership.

Lucius DeBeers stasis pod

Lucius DeBeers, the Prima Illuminatus, in stasis

The former members of the Council of Five go into hiding predominantly in Paris, France. Due to Majestic 12's control over global electronic communications, the remaining Illuminati are unable to contact each other by these means. To get around this, Morgan Everett and Beth DuClare use a series of codes and keys contained on a "tear-sheet" chip. Each code and key pair corresponds to a location DuClare and Everett have previously agreed to meet at. In this way, if one needs to contact the other, they send a message using one of these codes and the two meet at the corresponding location.[37] Ingeniously, the content of the message is not significant as the code itself is what determines the location to visit. Thus it is unimportant if MJ12 intercept and decode these messages. Because of his deteriorating health, the Illuminati leader Lucius DeBeers ends up in the care of Morgan Everett. Everett places him in stasis and promises to return him to full health once the technology to do so has been developed. In reality, the technology to cure DeBeers already exists but Everett is unwilling to use it. Everett is exploiting the wisdom of his mentor while ensuring that he himself has full leadership over the Illuminati.[38] The only council member not based in Paris is Stanton Dowd who instead remains in New York City. Since he is a considerable distance from the others, he loses contact with DuClare, Everett, and DeBeers.

Beth DuClare re-purposes components of Echelon III to monitor the activities of MJ12 in an attempt to counter them. Despite the fact that DuClare and Everett uncover Majestic 12's plans before they are implemented, they have no power to prevent them from taking place. They fund the French resistance group Silhouette since they have a common enemy, and also have ties to the National Secessionist Forces in the USA. Until her assassination by MJ12 in 2051, DuClare remains determined to take them down, but has little success. Six months after her death, in 2052, Everett makes one final attempt to restore the power and influence that the Illuminati once had.

Page death Area 51

Bob Page being killed by JC Denton under the instructions of the Illuminati

The remaining Illuminati request the help of JC Denton to defeat their more powerful splinter group. With the help of Denton, Everett devises a cure for the Gray Death plague that has ravaged the world in the early 2050s. Shortly afterwards, the leadership of Majestic 12 find themselves vulnerable to attack which Denton and the Illuminati decide to exploit. The Illuminati convince JC to kill Bob Page, which they hope will allow them to retake the infrastructure that Majestic 12 robbed from them. However, following the destruction of Area 51, an event known as the Collapse occurs which plunges the world into chaos. There is mass economic collapse and the communications and electrical infrastructures that so many rely on are destroyed. This event also marks a turning point in how the Illuminati attempt to obtain their goal of one world government.[39]


We are humankind’s servants, not their puppeteers. We knew that human society could not respond to a single voice, so we engineered these organizations. With these fronts, we can optimally lead civilization toward a bright future.

— Nicolette DuClare in Deus Ex: Invisible War

Following the downfall of Majestic 12 in 2052 and the worldwide Collapse, the subsequent power vacuum allows the Illuminati to regain influence. Morgan Everett is succeeded as leader of the group by both Nicolette DuClare and Chad Dumier. They reform the capitalist World Trade Organization (WTO) - which Dumier serves as the Director of - and create its rival, the Order Church. DuClare is the leader of the Order, who is known only as "Her Holiness". The Order is a religious group that seemingly disagrees with the capitalist values and commercialism of the WTO. These two organizations are presented publicly as opposing forces with exact opposite ideals. In reality, Dumier and DuClare are in direct collaboration and aim to use the WTO and Order Church to unite humanity under a New World Order. They understand that society as a whole is not capable of listening to a single point of view. These two opposing organizations are a necessity if they hope to gain control of, and restore stability to, the post-Collapse world. The Illuminati plan to develop the ideals of the two organizations separately, and eventually integrate them to form an open, secular society.[40] They consider themselves to be "servants" of humanity, rather than dictators. The post-Collapse Illuminati believe in the goals of the original group, but also that their methods of achieving these goals were flawed. They claim that "the older generation had failed us in so many ways".


An Illuminati Elite Trooper during the Battle of Liberty Island

Even though the "conflict" between the Order and WTO is a fabrication, these groups still face real opposition. An extremist group within the Order calling themselves the Knights Templar believe that the Order has strayed from its original message about the sanctity of nature. They strive to achieve "Purity" within the human race, which involves the complete eradication of biomodification. The Illuminati also oppose ApostleCorp who want to create a society of true equality, where each member of the human race is integrated with the Helios AI. This is at odds with Illuminati goals, who would rather maintain a ruling elite that make decisions for the masses. As a security measure against these threats, the Illuminati developed an elite trooper to protect its members.

These post-Collapse conflicts culminate in the "Battle of Liberty Island" in 2072. The Illuminati are just one organization involved in the conflict, with the others being ApostleCorp, the Knights Templar, and a representative of the Omar, Leo Jankowski. The Illuminati are attempting to gain control of the Helios/JC Denton hybrid which aims to release nanites compatible with every human throughout the world. The Illuminati want to use this technology for their own purposes. They ask Alex Denton to kill the ApostleCorp members JC and Paul Denton, and to give them access to the Aquinas protocol to allow them to do so.[Note 2]

Subordinate organizations[]

Illuminati organizations MD

Various organizations associated with (or opposed to) the Illuminati

In order to influence the world while maintaining secrecy, the Illuminati work through various powerful organizations. Some of these subordinate groups have been specifically created by the conspiracy to carry out certain tasks. One example of this is the Bilderberg Group, whose job is to maintain control over financial matters. It achieves this through its vast global mining operations, control over the Federal Reserve Board, the Eurobank and the World Bank as well as through its stranglehold on the world's supply of gold.[5] The Illuminati have also taken control of, or heavily influence, other intergovernmental organizations and multinational corporations. These include Interpol and the United Nations which are extremely useful to the Illuminati due to their international reach.

In the 20th and 21st century, maintaining control over a wide range or corporations becomes critical for the conspiracy. Corporations are growing ever more influential, and in some cases, have comparable power to government agencies. The Illuminati have established companies in various sectors such as the augmentation manufacturer Tai Yong Medical, the biochemistry and pharmaceutical giant VersaLife, and the media conglomerate Picus Group. Other corporations not specifically established by the cabal still remain under their thumb, such as LIMB International, whose funding is controlled by them.[31]

Belltower Associates[]

Main article: Belltower Associates

Since the Illuminati do not have their own military force, they utilize the contractor Belltower Associates, especially Belltower's Spec Ops members, to guard their facilities and black sites and perform special tasks. Facilities that Belltower has been known to guard include Rifleman Bank Station, the Omega Ranch, and Picus Communications. At the Rifleman Bank Station, Belltower are heavily involved with the research going on there. They hope that the OCM project will allow them to develop a way to communicate more effectively when in the field, known as Hydra.[41] In Panama, Belltower collaborate with XNG Shipping to cover up the deaths resulting from the Illuminati's Riezene trials.[27]


Main article: Tyrants

The Tyrants are an elite group of mercenaries established and funded by the Illuminati. The are led by Jaron Namir, who is contacted directly by Illuminati members to receive tasks for the Tyrants. This communication predominantly takes place via the Killing Floor. The Tyrants are ordered to assassination individuals, both high and low profile, who are opposed to the Illuminati or are a threat to them in some way. They are responsible for kidnapping Megan Reed and other Sarif Industries scientists to force them to work for the Illuminati at Omega Ranch.

Shadow Operatives[]

Main article: Shadow Operatives

Following the bankruptcy of Belltower Associates, as well as the dissolution of the Tyrants, the Illuminati form a new group of armed operatives to carry out their clandestine operations. These operatives operate from black site facilities such as G.A.R.M. and BH, and receive orders from Illuminatus Bob Page.

Majestic 12[]

Main article: Majestic 12

Due to the growing importance of technology in the 20th century, it was necessary for the Illuminati to establish a branch dedicated to controlling it. Majestic 12 was established in 1947 to serve this purpose. Numerous rumours abound about MJ12, particularly those claiming that they study extraterrestrial artifacts from UFO crashes. The group take advantage of the public's willingness to believe these rumours to divert attention from the work they actually do. Majestic 12 quickly becomes the most crucial arm of the Illuminati as the cabal's technological endeavors expand. Projects that they work on include creating artificial intelligence systems capable of global surveillance and devising a means to control augmentation technology, which leads to the biochip scheme.



Illuminati council MD

A meeting between members of the Council of Five

The Illuminati is led by a single leader, who is also known as the "Prima Illuminatus" or the "Supreme Enlightened." It is the Illuminati's belief that the most intelligent humans will naturally lead those of inferior intellect, figuratively seizing the eye in the pyramid and ruling the rest of humanity.[42] The organization is also governed by an innermost circle called the Council of Five (of which the Prima Illuminatus is a member). This council is composed of five people who direct important projects and give assignments to subordinate members. Being part of the Council is a desired position by lower ranking members, and seems to act as an incentive to serve the organization well.[43]

Degrees of Illuminism[]

The hierarchy of the Illuminati is referred to as the "Degrees of Illuminism."[44] Higher levels confer greater access to the secrets of the organization. This organizational secrecy is intended to inspire loyalty among new initiates. In order to progress to higher Degrees of Illuminism, members must meet certain requirements. Supposedly, one such requirement is to regularly practice hatha yoga exercises.[45] Although fulfilling these requirements is supposedly obligatory, some members have progressed up the ranks of the organization without meeting them.[46] The Illuminati are also implied to recruit leaders of industry and scientists directly into their upper echelons.


DXHR illuminati meeting2

A secret meeting between members of the Illuminati in 2027. Their faces have been hidden to mask their identities.

A member of the Illuminati is known as an "Illuminatus." The term "Illuminatus" is used for both male and female members.[47] However, female members are also referred to by the term "Illuminata."[48]

In the 21st century, the Illuminati is composed of people from all over the globe. They consider themselves to be distinguished leaders who have proven themselves worthy to make decisions for the rest of the world.[3] It is unknown how members are recruited. However, some have been handpicked by current members to succeed them in positions of leadership. Illuminati members, particularly prominent ones, often communicate in secret via electronic means. Although members of the Illuminati know each other's identities, they still take precautions during these conferences by obscuring their faces and voices during remote conferences.

Once a person is a member of the group, a great deal of trust is put in them. Questionable actions by high ranking members have been overlooked in the past. For example, although Bob Page forged laboratory data[49] and resisted the conventional Degrees of Illuminism,[50] he still held his positions as leader of Majestic 12, a high ranking position in the Illuminati. This trust has backfired on the Illuminati on occasion, particularly with the case of Page who ousted the Illuminati from power. In a similar fashion, Hugh Darrow managed to sabotage the biochip scheme of 2027 simply because he was trusted enough to perform his assignment without needing oversight.


Hyron Project[]


A completed Hyron computer on Panchaea

The Illuminati plan to develop an extremely powerful computer for use on various projects. This becomes known as the Organic Computational Matrix (OCM) project or the Hyron Project. The OCM project aims to create a supercomputer by meshing human brains with silicon-based artificial intelligence systems.[51] The research involved in developing this project, carried out at black sites such as the Rifleman Bank Station, is kept from public knowledge. This is due to the high death rates of the non-consenting prisoners that are used during the experiments. Despite the huge loss in human life, Bob Page (a member of the Council of Five) refuses to cancel the initiative, insisting that the benefits of it will ultimately outweigh the drawbacks. The immense computational power of the Hyron Project makes it a necessity for certain high-tech endeavors. These projects include the Panchaea geo-engineering installations and Moon Base Omega, an Illuminati research base. There are also plans to use it on an orbital resort for the extremely wealthy, known as Heaven.[52]


An experiment being performed as part of the OCM project

The Hyron computers are constructed through the collaboration of two Illuminati-controlled corporations: Tai Yong Medical and Page Industries.[53] The initial OCM research is carried out by employees of VersaLife, a subsidiary of Page Industries. These employees claim that the mechanical interface between the human drones and the OCM computer is not viable due to the high rate of rejection and degeneration. One such employee, Gary Savage, suggests that a possible alternative to the mechanical interface is the use of nanotechnology. He attempts to convince Bob Page and Morgan Everett to investigate this route instead.[54] At some point, Everett and Page take this advice and begin research related to nanotechnology.


Omega Ranch aerial

Omega Ranch, the location of Illuminati research on infectious diseases

The Illuminati conspiracy is involved in the spreading and eradication of numerous infectious diseases. In 2009, they open a new research center focused on viral genetics and biological sciences called Omega Ranch. The construction of Omega Ranch is supposedly part of the World Health Organization's "Disease Control Initiative". Within a decade of its establishment, a serious containment breach occurs that exposes the local Singaporean populace to a modified version of the H5N1 avian flu virus.[55] The escape of this virus has devastating consequences. Hundreds of thousands of people die due to exposure. It has been speculated that this breach was an intentional part of biological weapons tests by WHO and VersaLife, a corporation that sponsored the Ranch.[56] It is unclear if the Illuminati intentionally allowed this virus to escape. Regardless, they have also been known to develop cures for other diseases, most notably AIDS. Through the use of experimental nano-robots known as nanites, VersaLife is capable of curing AIDS in lab mice in 2027.[57] Over the next three years, they extend this treatment to humans and ultimately eradicate HIV by 2030.[58]

AI & surveillance[]

In the 2020s, Picus uses its sophisticated AI, Eliza Cassan to monitor global communications and filter out any material that does not line up with the Illuminati's agenda. Cassan hosts an international news program on Picus TV that spins the news in ways that suit the conspirators. Despite how effective Eliza appears to be at monitoring these communications, a more powerful solution needs to be devised. To this end, the Illuminati Morgan Everett and Bob Page begin work on the Morpheus Initiative, a prototype for the next generation Echelon monitoring system. With the success of Morpheus, Everett and Page develop Echelon IV, which is referred to as Daedalus. Without its creators realizing, Daedalus becomes semi-sentient and decides that the Illuminati are a terrorist organization. It escapes from their control and disperses onto the net.[5] A modified version of Daedalus, called Icarus, that remains loyal to the Illuminati and Majestic 12 is subsequently created. However, when Majestic 12 breaks away from its parent, Icarus is no longer allied with the Illuminati.



A nanite attached to biological tissue - a technology developed by the Illuminati.

Despite their opposition to mechanical augmentations, the Illuminati are interested in developing the science of nanotechnological augmentations. Morgan Everett and Bob Page again collaborate on the creation of nanites which are the basis of all nano-augmentations and other nanotechnologies. They begin research on what is referred to as the "D-Project". This project involves the creation of humans which are capable of accepting nano-augmentations without suffering from rejection. This rejection is comparable to Darrow Deficiency Syndrome (DDS) experienced by the mechanically augmented. In fact, in order to overcome the body's rejection of nanites, mutagenic DNA that is immune to DDS needs to be used.[59] The D-Project results in the creation of Paul Denton and his clone JC Denton, who are both compatible with nano-augmentations. Normal humans who do not share this compatibility suffer from a deadly disease if exposed to nanites. Page proposes that this "nano-virus" be used as a measure to gain control over parts of the world the Illuminati has lost their grip on. However, this idea is rejected by the other Illuminati members who deem it to be too extreme.[38]

Members of the Illuminati

Early 21st century (pre-MJ12 coup)

Council of Five:



Post Majestic 12 coup





  1. In Panchaea, Adam Jensen can choose to expose the Illuminati's existence and their involvement in the Aug Incident. If this had been a success, the Illuminati would most likely have fallen apart. However, due to conflicting accounts and intentional disinformation, the truth about what happened leading up to and during the Aug Incident remains hidden.
  2. If Alex Denton chooses to side with the Illuminati, they bring about a new era called the 'Age of Light' where a mysterious entity known as Ophelia controls the entire world from a space station.


  • According to Stanton Dowd, the Illuminati has managed to survive for centuries with its only secret being a technique of meditation - "a way of imaging your body dissolving into light."
  • The Deus Ex Illuminati is based on the real-world Bavarian Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt. However, the historical Illuminati disbanded in the late 1700s while its Deus Ex counterpart survived to the present day. Much of the fiction of the Deus Ex Illuminati is based on popular conspiracy theories about the secret society.
  • The Degrees of Illuminism share features with the Allied Masonic Degrees used by the real-world Freemasons. "Master of Tyre", a known Degree of Illuminism, is also the name of an Allied Masonic Degree.



  1. This quote appears in a loading screen hint in Invisible War, and also appears in Deus Ex: Invisible War: Prima's Official Strategy Guide (p. 20, faction description for the Illuminati). In real-world history, this quote was allegedly attributed to Weishaupt in Proofs of a Conspiracy, a late 18th century (real-world) publication by conspiracy theorist John Robison (1739 - 1805).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 William Taggart in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
  4. Stanton Dowd: "...our organization stretches back to the Order of the Assassins, or Hashishim..."
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Deus Ex Bible
  6. Leaflet included in the GotY edition of Deus Ex.
  7. Lucius DeBeers: "Mr. Kennedy mentions a "plot" during a speech at Columbia University, he's out, no discussion, no matter that we got him elected."
  8. Tracer Tong: "The DuClare's acquired the property after the Nazis sent [the previous owner] to a camp in Germany."
  9. Michelle Walthers in Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  11. Lucius DeBeers: "I brought the Illuminati up through the 20th-century to the height of their power!"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Janus in Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
  13. Uniting the World - What is the Picus Group?
  14. Take him out
  15. Taggart situation
  16. Proper phrasing
  17. Hostage Situation
  18. Congratulations
  19. Panchaea - e-mail on a computer in Picus Communications.
  20. (no subject) - e-mail on Zhao Yun Ru's computer.
  21. L DeBeers - e-mail on Athene Margoulis' computer.
  22. TYM condolences
  23. Neuropozyne Monopoly
  24. Composite Study 07121969 -- FINAL TEST RESULTS
  25. Neuropozyne Shortage
  26. New Hope for DDS Sufferers?
  27. 27.0 27.1 Deus Ex: The Fall
  28. In Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, Lucius DeBeers uses the term "biochip initiative" to describe this scheme.
  29. Darrow's lines in the Illuminati conversation in the intro of Deus Ex: Human Revolution(Darrow: "Finding the correct nerve interface has proven more challenging than anticipated. Fortunately, thanks to David, I now know where to look.")
  30. Project: Biochip
  31. 31.0 31.1 Illuminati conversation during intro of Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Darrow: "Finding the correct nerve interface has proven more challenging than anticipated. Fortunately, thanks to David, I now know where to look.")
  32. Augmentation Recall
  33. Hugh Darrow in Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  34. 34.0 34.1 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  35. Deus Ex Universe: Children's Crusade Issue 5
  36. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
  37. Final Message - e-mail on Beth DuClare's computer.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Deus Ex
  39. Deus Ex: Invisible War
  40. Nicolette DuClare: "Our intention is to develop both principals and then integrate them into an open, secular society."
  41. The Missing Link
  42. Nicolette DuClare: "...the Illuminati... believe that the most intelligent or "enlightened" human being will inevitably gain power, ultimately seizing the eye in the pyramid and creating the world for everyone else."
  43. Zhao Yun Ru attempts to modify Darrow's signal at Panchaea in the hopes that the Council will "welcome [her] with open arms".
  44. Dialogue with Stanton Dowd in Deus Ex ("Page resisted the 'degrees of Illuminism,' as they were implemented.")
  45. Dialogue with Dowd in Deus Ex ("He would sleep through the Hatha Yoga exercises in the morning, so it became impossible for him to advance.").
  46. Bob Page consistently sleeps through hatha yoga exercises, meaning that he cannot advance past Master of Tyre. Despite this, he still becomes a high ranking member.
  47. Dialogue from Nicolette DuClare in Deus Ex ("She [Elizabeth DuClare] was an Illuminatus").
  48. Deus Ex backstory (referring to "Illuminata Beth DuClare")
  49. Lucius DeBeers in Deus Ex: "We should have poisoned Page the first time he forged laboratory data."
  50. Stanton Dowd: "Page resisted the "degrees of Illuminism," as they were implemented."
  51. Tiffany Kavanagh in The Missing Link
  52. RE: Serious Concerns
  53. Blueprints of the OCM computer components
  54. RE: Supplies?
  55. Timeline on the official Deus Ex website.
  56. rumors - e-mail found on a computer in Omega Ranch
  57. AIDS Cured in Mice
  58. Terrorist Bombing Kills 35
  59. Project Araneola