It is currently unknown when The Cooperative was formed.
They had advance knowledge of the nuclear apocalypse that occurred in 2020, leading to them purchasing underground buildings that they converted into extravagant fallout shelters. One of these was an exclusive boys school that was turned into Outpost 3.
After Michael Langdon arrives at the Outpost 3, introducing himself as an agent of The Cooperative, Wilhelmina Venable mentions that she got an encrypted communication from the Co-Op before all communication lines went down and was ordered to destroy it after she read it. She also angrily mentions that the Cooperative is made up of masters of the universe, titans of industry that managed to blow the whole world to hell.
According to Jeff Pfister and Mutt Nutter, members of the Cooperative sold their soul to the Devil. The members would never admit to being in the organization. The Cooperative consists of a hundred members. According to Michael Langdon, the Cooperative is made up of world leaders, tech giants, media moguls, and cultural influencers. The Cooperative controls the money, the arts, the armies, the thoughts, and runs the world.
Other Known Members:
- In American Horror Story, the Cooperative is inspired by the Illuminati. Historically referring to an Enlightenment-era secret society, pop culture and conspiracy theories conflated the term with the New World Order and other similar organisations, supposedly controlling the world. As revealed by Mutt Nutter, the Cooperative was formerly known as "The Illuminati" and changed their name for branding purposes.