Adam Weishaupt, 1748 – 1830
- Weishaupt's Bavarian Illuminati is well documented in the public record. The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon masonic website includes a great deal of information; the following passage is taken from that site:
Most information regarding the rituals and objectives of the order is derived from papers and correspondence found in a search of Xavier Zwack’s residence in Landshut on October 11, 1786, and a search of Baron Bassus’s castle of Sondersdorf in Bavaria in 1787. These documents were published by the Bavarian government, under the title: Einige Originalschriften des Illuminaten Ordens, Munich, 1787. Perhaps the best English exposition on the Order is found in Chapter III of Vernon L. Stauffer’s New England and the Bavarian Illuminati, pp. 142-228. 
The contemporary masons of western Canada are supportive of Weischaupt and disparaging of John Robison, who they say:
"freely admitted that he had scanty knowledge of German and had derived all his information from other writers. Unfortunately neither he nor Barruel were concerned with providing references for their sources. When they do quote from the papers and correspondence of the Order as published by the Bavarian government or the published works of Adam Weishaupt and Adolph Knigge, they also fail to provide context or citations."
There are two sides to every story and I notice Trevor McKeown (author of the above passage) didn't go so far as to claim John Robison was wrong. Also of note is the inherent deceit within Freemasonry itself as explained by eminent Freemason Albert Pike in Morals and Dogma:
"The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry. The whole body of the Royal and Sacerdotal Art was hidden so carefully, centuries since, in the High Degrees, as that it is even yet impossible to solve many of the enigmas which they contain. It is well enough for the mass of those called Masons, to imagine that all is contained in the Blue Degrees; and whoso attempts to undeceive them will labor in vain, and without any true reward violate his obligations as an Adept. Masonry is the veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands heaped round it by the ages." 
Robison, a professor of natural philosophy at Edinburgh University in Scotland and a member of a Freemason Lodge there, said he had been asked to join the Illuminati. After consideration he concluded that the Illuminati were not for him. In 1798 he published a book called Proofs of a Conspiracy in which he wrote:
I have observed these doctrines gradually diffusing and mixing with all the different systems of Free Masonry; till, at last, an association has been formed for the express purpose of rooting out all the religious establishments, and overturning all the existing governments of Europe. I have seen this Association exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and conducted their first movements according to its principles, and by means of its instructions and assistance, formerly requested and obtained: And, lastly, I have seen that this Association still exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavoring to propagate their detestable doctrines among us, but that the Association has Lodges in Britain corresponding with the mother Lodge at Munich ever since 1784.
The Association of which I have been speaking, is the Order of Illuminati, founded in 1775, by Dr. Adam Weishaupt, professor of Canon law in the university of Ingolstadt, and abolished in 1786 by the Elector of Bavaria, but revived immediately after, under another name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It was again detected, and seemingly broken up; but it had by this time taken so deep root that it still subsists without being detected, and has spread into all the countries of Europe. It took its first rise among the Free Masons, but is totally different from Free Masonry. It was not, however, the mere protection gained by the secrecy of the Lodges that gave occasion to it, but it arose naturally from the corruptions that had gradually crept into that fraternity, the violence of the party-spirit which pervaded it, and from the total uncertainty and darkness that hangs over the whole of that mysterious Association." 
Robison's book was sent to George Washington, who replied:
It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am. The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of separation). 
Those who doubt the continued influence of Adam Weishaupt's organisation should refer to recording artist Rihanna, who is proclaimed Princess of the Illuminati in her S&M video, January 2011.
- A Bavarian Illuminati primer, compiled by Trevor W. McKeown. http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/illuminati.html
- Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1872 http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/md/
- John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy, 1798. http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/PROOFS_OF_A_CONSPIRACY_John_Robison.pdf
- George Washington – Letter to the Reverend G. W. Snyder (24 October 1798). http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=WasFi36.xml&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=388&division=div1
- LOC photocopy, George Washington Letter to the Rev. G.W. Snyder, 24 October 1798. http://memory.loc.gov/mss/mgw/mgw2/021/2010195.jpg
- Rihanna, S&M, , 31 January 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdS6HFQ_LUc&ob=av2e