1776 was a significant year, the date of the American Revolution, of the publication of Adam Smith\'s \'Wealth of Nations\' and - far less well-known but equally momentous - the founding, by Adam Weishaupt, of the Order of the Illuminati. Weishaupt was a respected professor of Canon Law at Germany\'s Ingolstadt University. He conceived the Illuminati as \"a durable combination of the most worthy persons, who should work together in removing the obstacles to human happiness.... Would not such an association be a blessing to the world?\" But while the American Revolution strove for the \'pursuit of happiness\' via forthright, open revolution, Weishaupt envisioned that the Illuminati would shape the fate of nations, and eventually the world, from the shadows, working behind the scenes to infiltrate and subvert a host of organizations, effecting change and revolution by stealth. A secret Order dedicated to covert conspiracy. John Robison, a distinguished Professor of philosophy at Edinburgh University, took it upon himself to discover all he could of the Illuminati Order\'s structure and schemes. His book, when first published in 1798, caused a sensation in Europe and America. It has remained one of the most important source works for the study of this most enigmatic (and some would claim diabolical) of secret societies.