The “murder” of “Rasputin” threw the Illuminati into chaos, and precipitated the First World War years earlier than they had intended. After the Russian revolution they fled, giving up their guise as rabbis and assuming another cover as returning American servicemen. They infiltrated the American Legion at its founding. Rising quickly in its hierarchy, they used their position to influence the Coolidge administration. Their policies led to the Crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression, allowing them to bring Franklin Roosevelt to power.
They thought they could control Roosevelt but he proved to be his own man, and having revealed themselves too openly they were again forced to flee, this time to a secluded fortress in the Carpathians. A surprisingly large number of the young members bravely volunteered to remain in America as agents under deep cover; they were never heard from again.
Secure in their new base in what is now Romania, the remaining enlightened ones settled in for a much-needed period of consolidation and stability. They knew war was coming, and anticipated a quick negotiated settlement between the Axis powers and the Allies. The resulting shift in the balance of power would bring them back to the ascendency. They saw Romania as the best place from which to capitalize on the stability they expected the Third Reich to provide.
The War Years
At the start of the Great Crash of 1929 they had profited hugely from their short positions, but they got back in the market too soon and lost much of their capital. Finding themselves with a temporary liquidity problem until they could realize gains from their extensive real-estate holdings in China, they turned their abilities to the production of advanced weaponry.
The Secret Nazi weapons lab paid the bills for most of the war, while never actually delivering anything but twenty Vril flying disks, useless without their telekinetic operators. Correctly anticipating the coming technological revolution, they hid their real successes from the Nazis, including their prize, a highly advanced analog computer modeled on Babbage’s difference engine.
Fortunately for everyone else, the thousand-year Reich came to an end in 1945, and the Illuminati found themselves again having to flee. Splitting into two groups, they made their way through the chaos of refugees and occupying soldiers. One group headed for the German coast while the other went overland toward Asia.
While making their escape the southern wing was intercepted by an American Army Intelligence unit. They were able to secure their release by bribing the gullible Americans with some clever but impractical ceramic substitutes for radio tubes. They managed to pass off their mechanical integrator as machine tools and toy parts. Anticipating an economic collapse as the war-time production boom came to an end, they realized the west was no place for them. They declined the offer of relocation to America and made their way to Tibet.
The northern group was less fortunate. Intercepted by the American military, they were taken to Huntsville, Alabama. Their fate remains unknown to their brothers, although there are hints that some may have survived, and even prospered after a fashion. Not one was ever able to restore contact with the Illuminati, though there have been hints of continuing activity.
UPDATE 12 January 2017: corrected grammar, added link.