but I viewed it as a kind of club for businessmen
i think Geo. Washington, Ben Franklin, etc. would agree.
Also, it is a possibility that No Mason’s no American revolution.
BTW, the illuminati theory was a propaganda ploy by Czarist Russia.
OK, I’m off to a couple of my churches now.
Stage 2. Freemasonry of the late 16th century and into the 17th century. Surviving Scottish Lodge records, as early as the 1630s, show a gentrification process — a transition from Operative to Speculative Freemasonry — evidenced by increasing non-operative notable gentleman within the membership. Virtually no records of English lodges survive prior to the speculative, Grand Lodge period of 1717 onwards. The purely speculative ritual and lectures of William Preston (1742–1818) demonstrate an increasing use of a ritual infusion of Enlightenment philosophy.
and here from Wiki
Adam Weishaupt, founder
The Illuminati (plural of Latin illuminatus, “enlightened”) is a name given to several groups, both real (historical) and fictitious. Historically the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776. In more modern contexts the name refers to a purported conspiratorial organization which is alleged to mastermind events and control world affairs through governments and corporations to establish a New World Order. In this context the Illuminati are usually represented as a modern version or continuation of the Bavarian Illuminati.