At one time yes. Back in the 1600's, the Catholic Church was very much in power and those who were interested in scientific discovery, theory, education, knowledge, etc. were often at odds with the church and could find themselves accused as a heretic. People like Galileo, therefore, met in secret to discuss new ideas and discoveries. There were more than likely other Illuminati type groups all over europe that subscribed to ideas other than what the church told them to believe, whether or not they were all of a scientific mind, I don't know. Some could have been involved in things totally against what the church taught. Because groups that the church thought of as a threat to their power had to meet in secret, not much is really known about them. As to whether or not the Illuminati still exist...they may in some form or other, I don't think anyone really knows.
at 11:42 AM on Apr. 3, 2011