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

The Illuminati is a secret global society dedicated to controlling the world; they serve as the main antagonists of the Deus Ex franchise. Members of the Illuminati are everywhere and they control all of the world's economic, political, and social institutions along with various different organizations.

In the game series, the Illuminati has manipulated the world from behind the scenes and has shaped the entire course of human history. They hold absolute unlimited power and continue to influence events in the world even after The Collapse as splinter-cell factions remain active and keep the Illuminati alive and well no matter what. Illuminati members are also everywhere and secretly manipulate the player to their own agenda.



The history of the Illuminati remains a mystery however it was rumored to have been established around 1776 in Germany but a former member claims that the Illuminati's involvement in the world dates back to history as far as the Crusades where the Knights Templar had supplied the Illuminati with money and supplies from banks under their control. 

20th Century

During the 20th Century, the Illuminati had began to rise to power when the era had began and started to rise. Leading the world from behind the shadows, the Illuminati had been heavily involved in politics and economics and even had major leaders and influential figures that were affiliated with the Illuminati according to Lucius DeBeers. In order to achieve their goal of a one-world government, the Illuminati had began to get involved and seized complete control over scientific and technological developments and advancements from all over the world in order to achieve their agenda and created two new establishments; the Bilderberg Group in 1954 and Majestic 12 in 1947. MJ12 had began to control the world's intelligence organizations and is heavily involved in the redistribution of both legal and illegal drugs all across the world. MJ12 was also tasked with introducing diseases and spreading them all across the globe in order to make profits off of demands for a cure. Throughout the 20th Century, the Illuminati had influenced events including both World War I and World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. In the 1960s, US President John F. Kennedy had publicly mentioned a plot by a secret society (the Illuminati) and was assassinated by orders of the Supreme Enlightened himself. The DuClare Family, a powerful and rich French Family heavily involved with the Illuminati, had acquired a mansion in France after the original owner was taken to a Nazi Concentration Camp during World War II.

During the Cold War, the Illuminati had supported both the Soviet Union and China but the USSR has still collapsed showing weakness in their power but after the Central Government experiment in China had worked, the performed it in Russia and Eastern Europe much to a less successful success. Sometime during the 1990s, Illuminati Scientists had began experimentation on children in the White Helix Labs, a subordinate division of the Illuminati-run company VersaLife, and began to conduct genetic experiments on infants in the labs. One such patient was Adam Jensen who was able to survive as the others had died. At the age of 5, Jensen was given mutagenic genes which made him immune to Darrow Deficiency Syndrome. Jensen then became the key to universal augmentation and the experiments had finally ended when the staff members had burned down the labs themselves to cover up their tracks.

21st Century

During the 21st Century, the Illuminati had seen a brand new opportunity when it got involved in the rising market of mechanical augmentations. The Illuminati had helped work with Zhao Yun Ru to help establish the Tai Yong Medical institution in Hengsha, China. This also resulted in takeover of the anti-augmentation organization known as Humanity Front and media takeover of Picus TV. Following the takeover of the Belltower Associates, it was used to follow the illuminati's goals and sent in The Tyrants in 2027 to attack on Sarif Industries where they killed many of the employees, destroyed countless amounts of collected data, and kidnapped Megan Reed. the goal of the illuminati is now to use the rise of augmentations as an effort to advance their agenda so they began to use Sarif Scientists to develop new ways to control augmented people in an effort to maintain a tighter grip on society. Adam Jensen was able to find out where they were and broke in and saved the scientists. It is the main antagonist faction of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Division of Humanity

2 years after the outbreak of the Aug Incident in 2029, the world is divided and has fallen right into the hands of the Illuminati. Due to the Aug Incident, Augmentations have been outlawed across the world and augmented citizens have now lost their rights as whole countries begin segregating them into ghettos and treating them as if they're dangerous animals. Groups such as the Augmented Rights Coalition have been formed to fight for the rights of augmented people around the world however, some have decided to turn to terrorism and violence in an attempt to acquire their long-lost rights. Task Force 29 has been formed to track down and eliminate augmented terrorists but, they're actually a front for the Illuminati and help maintain their grip on the world.


From 2027 to 2052, things only got worse for the Illuminati. All across the world plagues, wars, natural disasters, and the collapse of the middle class had began to wane the power of the Illuminati. Internally things were also bad as Illuminati Leaders were completely divided on what to do about the organization's massive problems. The internet had grown to the size that was uncontrollable by the Illuminate by the 2050s and any plan to do so only ended up with limited success at best. The worst had arrived when it was confirmed that Majestic-12 was now gaining more power and had plotted to overthrow the Illuminati during their weak state. By 2035 the Illuminati had fallen under MJ12's control as all of their financial, political, and military resources were now under their control and had became the de facto rulers of Europe and Asia and declared that the United States of America as their first victim of conquest.

From there, the Illuminati had been overthrown and nearly collapsed, however, small leftover remnants of the Illuminati remained active and kept the organization alive and well. The organization was still active barely on a string as the Illuminati wages a global insurgency against Majestic-12 with various different Splinter-Cell terrorist organizations. Illuminati members and leaders even meet JC Denton in the game and reveal what's really going on behind the scenes. After The Collapse, the Illuminati had officially dissolved with its leadership being wiped out and a handful of surviving members remaining untouched. One division of the Illuminati is the French terrorist organization Silhouette which is led by an Illuminati members and is fighting MJ12 in France.


After the collapse of the global economy and order, the Illuminati has had a revival as an Illuminati established currently exists in the year 2072, the year that Deus Ex: Invisible War takes place in. The new Illuminati has organized an army of elite soldiers and they track down the enemies of the Illuminati as they try to establish their new world order. It the player chooses correctly, they themselves can join the Illuminati in Invisible War and if they choose the Illuminati ending, this results in the entire world being taken over by the Illuminati and their global hegemony is now complete with a new One-World Government now created and the Illuminati rules supreme. 

One of the Illuminati's affiliated bodies is the Order Church. The Order Church is a religious movement that becomes a de facto official religion and it uses culture and spirituality to keep the Illuminati supported. The Order Church most likely acts like the new Knights Templar being the financial backers of the Illuminati since the new Templars have gone fanatical and are waging a war for control of the world. The ending is player-determined but if the player chooses, they can join with the Illuminati and have the one-world government they've always wanted.



The Illuminati is led by the Prime Illuminatus who acts as the leader and ruler of the Illuminati and is referred to as the Supreme Enlightened. Second-In-Commands are members of the Council of Five of the Illuminati which consists of high-ranking officials and members of the Illuminati who preside and oversee the secret society and the state of the world. Others include secondary leaders and other Illuminati officials and members. Many Illuminati members themselves are world leaders who hold vast amount of power and influence on the world stage.


The Illuminati wants to establish an all-powerful one-world government and have all the nations obey them and all of humanity under their control. They use the world's governments to do this and often manipulate the world from behind the scenes and are almost never discovered until Jensen found out. Illuminati members are often very influential and use their social and political status to have the world bend to their will. The Illuminati often views the augmented as a threat as if left unchecked, the augmented will have technology free from Illuminati control and as a result, the Illuminati works to control them even going as far as instigating the Aug Incident in 2027.


The Illuminati is a secret society yet wields uncontrollable power. All Illuminati members are in secret and often create an alternate image to hide their true colors and to keep the secret society a secret. The Illuminati hides everywhere and stationed all over the world and thus has many places to meet up in. The Bilderberg Group holds an annual meeting every year and that is where members of the Illuminati come together to meet and discuss the current state of world affairs. The society is secret yet it maintains absolute power and controls nearly all aspects of humanity. Illuminati Society is global with their members and leaders in every type of social, political and economic position imaginable and they use their position to expand the Illuminati's power and control.


The Illuminati has access to the militaries of the world being a secret society based worldwide. They have control over many private military companies such as the Belltower Associates who act as a military front for the Illuminati. The Illuminati also has elite agents such as the Tyrants who take out their targets and enemies to reduce opposition to the Illuminati. After the Aug Incident in 2027, the Illuminati has control over Interpol and Task Force 29 which they use as a front for the Illuminati and hunt down augmented terrorists to prevent them from opposing their rule.

Notable Members




Artificial Intelligence

  • Eliza Cassan - Picus News Anchorwoman (Possibly Rouge)
  • Daedalus - Powerful Artifical Intelligence
  • Morpheus - Artificial Intelligence 
  • Icarus - Artificial Intelligence

Subordinate Organizations

Majestic 12

A Major organization, Majestic 12 is held responsible for overseeing the world's resources and keeps the Illuminati alive and well. Protecting its influence, MJ12 had eventually grown so powerful that it eventually overthrown the Illuminati and became the De Facto rulers of the world. It now acts as an independent organization and seeks to maintain its power and control over the world's resources and humanity.

Knights Templar

Decedents from Medieval Times, the Knights Templar have evolved and still remain active thousands of years later as the financial suppliers of the Illuminati. Controlling vast numbers of banks, the Knights Templar keep the Illuminati well-funded and rich. Post-Collapse, the Knights Templar act as a splinter-cell faction and now fight against transhumanism and want to "purify" humanity.

Belltower Associates

An international mercenary organization, the Belltower Associates has many operations and troops stationed all over the world. This helps the Illuminati advance their goal of taking over the world. Belltower is made up of various mercenaries and operatives for the Illuminati. By 2029 however, Belltower went bankrupt due to leaked information but it was able to rebuilt and its remnants rebranded itself as Tarvos Security Services.


A powerful and influential company, VersaLife is ran by Bob Page who uses his company to create weapons for the Illuminati but soon makes weapons for himself following MJ12's coup and overthrow of the Illuminati. It now serves as one of the affiliations of Majestic-12 and uses its global and economic influence to keep MJ12 in power.

The Tyrants

A paramilitary organization, The Tyrants are used to take down enemies of the Illuminati as the organization's leader, Jaron Namir, is a member. They've assassinated various different world leaders and gather information on how to advance the Illuminati's Agenda. Tyrants members are heavily augmented and advanced soldiers and mercenaries who act as agents for the Illuminati and help the society kill off its enemies. The Tyrants were also partly responsible for helping the launch of the Aug Incident but was destroyed in 2027 by Adam Jensen.

Picus Group

Picus Group is a massive international media company and has high influence in the entertainment and media world. It appears to be normal often  being responsible for profitable marketing and the distribution of information around the world. Picus however, like Picus TV, is the de facto propaganda arm of the Illuminati and it keeps the masses misinformed and delusional as the Illuminati secretly rules over them with an iron fist.

Picus TV

Picus TV appears to be an average news channel, but it is secretly controlled by the Illuminati. The Illuminati uses Picus to keep the population silent on major issues and unaware and weak to their power. The channel is reported to often have a biased telling or stories. Due to the channel's popularity and high levels of cultural and media influence, it succeeds and manages to keep the population suppressed and left in the dark.

Page Industries

Another company owned by Bob Page, Page Industries is a multinational company that specializes in nanobiotics and various different technological, biological, and military defense creations and products. It's now a part of Majestic-12 after Page's betrayal and military uprising against the Illuminati.

Tai Yong Medical

An augmentation company based in China, Tai Yong Medical is ran by Zhao Yun Ru who specializes in human augmentations and most likely keeps the augmented populations of earth under the Illuminati's control. It's one of the most powerful augmentation corporations next to that of Sarif Industries.

Order Church

The Order Church is a religious movement and is affiliated with the Illuminati. It was formed after The Collapse and most likely is made up what's left of the Illuminati after Majestic-12 overthrew them. They keep all of their follows at bay and peace during a time of war and global economic recession and have followers from all the world's religions.

World Trade Organization

The WTO is under the complete control of the Illuminati. As its name suggests, it oversees global trade between countries and keeps the Illuminati's power and control over international politics and scenes at bay. After The Collapse, it acts as a Semi-Government Body in world affairs and keeps the Illuminati in power and in control of new territories in secrecy.

Bilderberg Group

A secret meeting comprised of high-ranking and influential people and officials, the Bilderberg Group is known for its secret meetings and secrecy from the public. It's most likely comprised of Illuminati members who most likely discus the current condition of the world and how the Secret Society is going in terms of global control. Its status remains unknown after both the MJ12 coup and The Collapse but it most likely dissolved.


French terrorist organization, Silhouette seeks to overthrow the French government which is backed by Majestic-12 and is led by Morgan Everett, a member of the secretive Illuminati and most likely uses the organization to help the Illuminati regain control over its lost territories and resources. Silhouette is also responsible for the deaths of numerous European Politicians and various different Terrorist Attacks all in the name of the Illuminati.

Humanity Front

Humanity Front is an anti-augmentation, human supremacist organization in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It is led by a member of the Illuminati and keeps the public divided and ingrate of the Illuminati's true intentions. It is led by a member of the Illuminati and seeks to keep human society in order and in the Illuminati's grip since the rapidly rising technology is putting pressure on the Illuminati and its power.

United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition

The United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition otherwise known as UNATCO, is a counter-terrorist military organization set up by the United Nations and was once under the control of the Illuminati. After being overthrown however, UNATCO has fallen under the hands and control of the Majestic-12 Organization following the coup.

United Nations

The United Nations was set up by the Illuminati to help establish a global one-world government seeing how the UN stretches to every single continent and all countries are apart of it. The UN assisted in the Illuminati's global hegemony as it helped assert the society's control over the world and made it easier for The Illuminati to control the world from the shadows, but after the Majestic-12 Military Uprising, it has fallen under MJ12's control and assists in their hegemony.


Sometime around the 2020s, the Illuminati has gained complete control over the Interpol organization and now acts one of it's proxies. In 2029, the Interpol-backed Task Force 29 is deployed to suppress augmented terrorists around the world but in reality it is used to suppress opposition and resistance towards the Illuminati and its control over the world. By the 2050s however, Interpol is now serving Majestic 12.

Task Force 29

Task Force 29 is a counter-terrorist organization founded sometime in the aftermath of the Aug Incident. Their goal is to track down and eliminate augmented terrorists and maintain world order and security. The task force is headed by Joseph Manderley as its director and he's a member of the Illuminati which makes TF29 a branch of the Illuminati.

Shadow Operatives

An elite group, the Shadow Operatives act as the covert-ops team and enforcers of the Illuminati around 2029 as a replacement for the Tyrants and Belltower. They are a secret organization and is comprised of augmented operatives that are directly controlled by the Illuminati and whose members will help advance the Illuminati's cause.



  • There was once a secret society known as the Bavarian Illuminati. It existed during the Era of Enlightenment but has since than dissolved. Despite this however, there are many conspiracy theories that claim that the Illuminati is still alive, remains active to this day, and is still controlling the world from behind the scenes. The Illuminati in Deus Ex is based around these various conspiracy theories.
  • Due to the Illuminati's control over Tai Yong, it could be possible evidence to support an in-game conspiracy theory that human augmentations can be used to control people and turn them against their neighbors against their will although it is unknown whether or not it's actually true or not.
  • Since the Illuminati is everywhere and controls practically all institutions in the world, Illuminati members are seen everywhere and often talk with the player of Deus Ex and manipulate him into doing their dirty work. Because of this, the player is either unknowingly an agent for the Illuminati or does know but depends on the player's actions.
  • Talos Rucker refers to Adam Jensen's superiors as "masters who hide behind the shadows" as a reference to the Illuminati. If he knows that they exist, it makes it major as very few people actually know and monitor their actions. It also puts him as one of the primary targets for the Illuminati's subordinate organizations.
  • Ironically, there still is a secret society known as Illumanti in the present day, having the same goal; establish a new global order.
  • It is highly speculated that the Illumanti are based on the HYDRA Organisation from Marvel.
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