Illuminati is a name that refers to several groups, both historical and modern, and both real and fictitious. Historically, it refers specifically to the (Bavarian) Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1st, 1776. In modern times it is also used to refer to a purported conspiratorial organization which acts as a shadowy power behind the throne, allegedly controlling world affairs through present day governments and corporations, usually as a modern incarnation or continuation of the Bavarian Illuminati. In this context, Illuminati is often used in reference to a New World Order (NWO). Many conspiracy theorists believe the Illuminati are the masterminds behind events that will lead to the establishment of such a New World Order. Confusing the issue further is the fact that there are also several modern fraternal groups which include the word "Illuminati" in their names.