Friday, March 07, 2008

"PROOF OF A CONSPIRACY" - The German Union

by John Robison - 1798

"The German Union" is terminology I had not read before this book. It refers to more of the same sort of Illuminist activity discussed in Chapter II, and is a continuation of that activity following the suppression of the Order of the Illuminati in Bavaria and Wirtemberg by the reigning monarchs. As Robison puts it:

The minds of men were predisposed for a change by the restless spirit of speculation in every kind of enquiry, and the leaven had been carefully and skillfully disseminated in every quarter of the empire, and even in foreign countries. (p. 157)

It sounds a little too much like the current state of affairs here in the U.S. right now for my comfort. How closely the impact on culture that the reading societies made comes to the impact of today's movies and videos combined with computer games and rock music. Corrupting the culture is at least a 200-year-old methodology.

The freedom of enquiry, which was supported by the state in Protestant Germany, was terribly abused (for what will the folly of man not abuse) and degenerated into a wanton licentiousness of thought, and a rage for speculation and scepticism on every subject whatever. The struggle, which was originally between the Catholics and the Protestants, had changed, during the gradual progress of luxury and immorality, into a contest between reason and superstition. And in this contest the denomination of superstition had been gradually extended to every doctrine which professed to be of divine revelation, and reason was declared to be, for certain, the only way in which the Deity can inform the human mind. (p. 160)

The fullest account is to be had in a work published at Leipzig by Goschen the bookseller. It is entitled "More Notes than Text, or the German Union of XXII, a new Secret Society for the Good of Mankind," Leipzig, 1789. The publisher says, that it was sent him by an unknown hand, and that he published it with all speed, on account of the many mischiefs which this Society (of which he had before heard several reports) might do to the world, and to the trade, if allowed to go on working in secret. From this work, therefore, we may form a notion of this redoubtable Society, and judge how far it is practicable to prevent such secret machinations against the peace and happiness of mankind. ...

The book More Notes than Text contains plans and letters, which the Twenty-two United Brethren have allowed to be given out, and of which the greatest part were printed, but were entrusted only to assured members.
(p. 166)

This association, too, has an outer and an inner order:

THE GERMAN UNION has now acquired a consistence, and we now divide the fraternised part of the nation into ten or twelve Provinces or Dioceses, each directed by its Diocesan at his office: and these are so arranged in due subordination, that all business comes into the UNION-HOUSE as into the centre of the whole.

"Agreeably to this manner of proceeding there are two classes of the Brotherhood, the Ordinary, and the Managing Brethren. The latter alone know the aim of the Association...
(p. 168)

This association, too, depended upon Freemasonry to which all belonged (p. 717), and it continued to use reading societies to spread the new philosophy (p. 172).

Robison tells us

there is a secret plan of operations, that is known only to the Centre and the Confidential Brethren. The author of Fuller Information says that he has this plan, and would print it, were he not restrained by promise. He gives us enough however to show us that the higher mysteries of the Union are precisely the same with those of the Illuminati. Christianity is expressly said to have been a Mystical Association, and its founder the Grand Master of a Lodge. The Apostles, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, were the ELECT, and Brethren of the Third Degree, and initiated into all the mysteries. The remaining Apostles were only the Second Degree; and the Seventy-Two were of the First Degree. Into this degree ordinary Christians may be admitted, and prepared for further advancement. (p. 180-181)

...it is certain that many Reading Societies had been set up...in every quarter of Germany, and that the ostensible managers were in general of very suspicious characters, both as to morals and loyalty. (p. 182)

Among the books provided to the reading societies was one Better than Horus by Illuminatus Dr. Bahrdt, written at the behest of Weishaupt. As Robison puts it:

Licentious books will be read with fluttering eagerness, as long as they are not universally permitted; and pitiable will be the state of the nation when their number makes them familiar and no longer entertaining. (p. 187)

This, too, sounds like the state we have come to in America.

This Dr. Bahrdt was a parish-minister, and president of some inferior ecclesiastical district and led a debauched and licentious life. He used up the financial resources of his wife then abused her. He kept a mistress in the house, giving the mistress command of the family while his wife and daughter were confined to a separate part of it. The mistress lived with him while he was in prison and bore him two children. When he was set free he brought all three to his house to life. He ended his own life with an overdose of Laudanum, leaving his mistress and illegitimate children provided for but not his wife and daughter. (p. 197-198)

Robison closes the chapter with the assurance

That the Illuminati and other hidden Cosmo-political societies had some influence in bringing about the French Revolution, or at least in accelerating it, can hardly be doubted. (p. 206)

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