In the movie Angels and Demons:
Robert Langdon: "The Illuminati did not become violent until the 17th Century. Their name means 'The Enlightened Ones'. They were physicists, mathematicians, astronomers. In the 1500's they started meeting in secret, because they were concerned about the church's inaccurate teachings. They were dedicated to scientific truth. And the Vatican didn't like that. So the church began to, how did you say it? Oh, hunt them down and kill them."
It arouses my curiosity. After reading the wikipedia page about Illuminati, I find that it partially agrees with the description above.
It seems that the Illuminati, historically, were just a group of freethinkers promoting science, skepticism and intellectual interchange and opposed superstition, intolerance and some abuses by church and state (an offshoot of the Enlightenment).
And it makes me more curious.
If they were really just some scientists promoting sciences, why are their survivors (if there are any, after its downfall in 1777) always being portrayed as an antisociety group trying to take over the world?
[I suppose there were many other secret societies that were forced to be shut down by governments at that time too. Why is the Illuminati the one being portrayed so negatively?] Have they done something socially abhorrent that gave a bad impression to the society?