The illuminati were originally formed by a group of Catholics called the Jesuits (or the society of Jesus), they were a powerful group in the Catholic church, but they preached absolution for kings and political leaders, which was not very popular among a lot of kingdoms in Europe. The Jesuits were often demonized as trying to seize control of the world back then.
Under pressure, the pope at the time, Pope Clement XIV made a degree and had the Jesuits banished, in which if they were to operate, they had to do it in secret, thus the illuminati. It wasn't until Pope Pius VII lifted the banishment that the jesuits could act freely. A lot of individuals don't seem to ever really take into consideration of the situation with the pontificate at the time, and it's amazing paranoia from that era still exists in a form today. It's really nothing more than hatred towards religious groups.
As far as the symbolism is concerned, it's all really just a matter of interpretation, and frankly, a torch or an eye can have a number of different meanings. Hell, for centuries, the swastika was viewed as a symbol of peace and understanding. We certainly don't view the nazis that way haha
i have an... interesting time talking about this to ppl cause (A)prove it (B)im to little to do nething abt it (C) ur crazy or im happy living in ignorance. so its frustrating to say the least. even if u have enough info that the equivalent of hitting them n the face with a brick ppl will only believe what they want to & nothing will change that until its to late. also since its difficult to shopw the effects of suddle changes for the worse over say a few generations its that much harder to prove your case since ppl r mainly focused on the here & now cuz lets face it life's difficult as is y freak out on something that is seemingly not going to affect u n this lifetime. (kids)