There is no such thing as the Illuminati — the secret society that some conspiracy theorists insist controls most of the world’s governments and financial institutions.
However, if there was such a thing, and I happened to be a member of said secret society, I imagine I and my compatriots would be most displeased by this story in Slate, which attempts to pull back the curtain on our alleged involvement in the intellectual development of Ludwig von Beethoven:
As an Illuminatus, an important part of Christian Neefe’s duty was to covertly inculcate promising young people in the ideals of the order, then to recruit them when they came of age. Beethoven was as promising as young people get. So did Neefe inculcate this student? Surely he did. Was Beethoven recruited to the order? No—the Illuminati dissolved in 1785, when he was 14. There is also a question as to how inculcatable Beethoven was by anybody. Even in his teens, he was so fixed on his own tack that he only intermittently took notice of the rest of the world.
Another way to say it is that Beethoven was kicked out and the Illuminati feigned dissolution because he didn’t know how to keep secrets under that powdered wig of his, but that’s just speculation. Anyway, the article goes to great lengths to downplay the influence the Illuminati had on the young master:
Not only Neefe, but then and later most of Beethoven’s other friends and mentors and patrons were ex-Illuminati or Freemasons. Did those influences have an impact on his life and art? Among many other things, certainly. By the time Beethoven left Bonn, he was already planning to set Schiller’s Ode to music, and he had a good idea what that poem was about, from its humanistic surface to its Masonic and Illuminati depths. By then Bonn had helped give him ideas and ideals about being a composer that no one ever had before. He wanted to be something more than an entertainer. He wanted to be part of history.
Of course he did. And I’m guessing the Illuminati had big plans for him, which he pissed away — instead choosing to chase skirts and go deaf. It might even be the case that during his initiation process, Beethoven pansied out of doing the elephant walk and ookie on the cookie in the same night. Some Illuminati may have reported that Beethoven squealed like a pig doing the belt line and cried doing the Happy Corner.
But again, that’s just speculation.
Beethoven and the Illuminati [Slate]