1- The Alumbrados in Spain have existed since the 16th century. "Alumbrados" litterally means "Enlightened ones" in english and "Illuminati" in latin. They were mystic, elitist clerics and intellectuals which believed that they were closer to God than the rest of the populace. There were the target of the Great Inguisition of 1623. Here's a few reliable links on them:
www.newadvent.org... (from the Catholic Encyclopedia)
www.britannica.com... (from Encyclopedia Britannica) The whole chapter on the Alumbrados is located in Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 14, 1910, pg. 320
And here's a text version of 'Heresy and Mysticism in Sixteenth-Century Spain: The Alumbrados', written by Smith/Mc Kim: www.infomotions.com...
2- The "Illuminés" is a bunch of groups of intellectuals, philosophers and politicians which existed since the beginning of the 17th century in France. They have been forming philosophical circles in the elite, and these were revolutionary philosophical circles, aiming to get rid of the Church and the monarchies in Europe and to install a new order based on their fundamental political and moral principles (which are mostly found in the U.S. Declaration of Independance and the Bill of Rights).
Voltaire, Diderot, d'Alembert, Martines de Pasqually, Saint-Martin, Count Mirabeau were all known to be illustrous members of these circles, before and during the French Revolution. This is where the term "Lumières" comes from, as it is an understated reference to their association with these groups.
From Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org...
3- A group called the "Illuminés d'Avignon" was also formed in the second half of the 19th century in France (in Avignon, of course). A book was written on them and their founder, is it: "Les Illuminés d'Avignon, étude sur Dom Pernety et son Groupe" from Joanny Bricaud. Dom Pernetty created the Illuminés d'Avignon in 1786, later know under the name of the "Académie des vrais maçons" (Academy of the True Masons). He also created the first Swedenborg Rite lodge around the same years in Avignon.
Musician and intellectual P.J. Frick also joined the group www.ritmanlibrary.nl... as he was sharing the same beliefs of Pernety and Swedenborg that an illustrous branch of people in society were able to enter in close contact with God and the angels (just as the Alumbrados), had access to a true knowledge of God and humans, and that they had to build the New Jerusalem for the Second Coming.
4- Ooh! And look what I have found by accident... evidence on the alledged existence of another Illuminati group in Britain, at the beginning of the 20th century! And this is taken from an official Freemason website, in a text in the Swedenborg lodge:
For this and for other reasons he was becoming disenchanted with the Rite; it was, he told Reuss, 'never popular here, & I recommended the Soc. Ros. instead of it.' It would seem that the Swedenborgian Rite was part of a package deal with Reuss: in exchange for the Rite, and a German College of the SRIA, Westcott received membership of the Order of Illuminati and the right to propagate it in England.
Ahhh, the great treasures of knowledge that we can find on the Internet when we make the effort of researching and reading!
Their relation to the Illuminati of Bavaria as well as their detailed agenda is still vague (because they were secret societies, after all!), but yes, there were other Illuminati lodges or groups before the Bavarian ones, and perhaps during their existence, since no proofs points out to if and how they were dismantled in France or other European countries.
You're right, Nygdan, I have no evidence of their existence... I only have wordly recognized PROOFS of their existence!