Thursday, March 06, 2008


Picking up where I left off yesterday with John Robison's 1798 book, it is time to look at the Illuminati to which he devotes his second chapter.

Motivations behind Weishaput's formation of the Illuminati included a desire "to make of the human race, without any distinction of nation, condition, or profession, one good and happy family." He believed all other considerations would have to give way to this notion, including sovereign governments and religion. Methods for bringing this about included major deceptions. The Illuminati was a two-tiered system. Those at the top, in the know, did not admit to those in the lower grades what the end purpose of the organization was about. Robison writes:

Weishaupt's emissaries had already procured the adherence of many other Lodges; and the Eclectic Masonry had been brought into vogue chiefly by their exertions at the Willemsbad convention. The Lodge Theodore was perhaps less guarded in its proceedings, for it became remarkable for the very bold sentiments in politics and religion which were frequently uttered in their harangues; and its members were noted for their zeal in making proselytes. Many bitter pasquinades, satires, and other offensive pamphlets were in secret circulation, and even larger works of very dangerous tendency, and several of them were traced to that Lodge. (p. 59)

In the beginning of 1783, four professors of the Marianen Academy, founded by the widow of the late Elector, viz. Utschneider, Cossandey, Renner, and Grunberger, with two others, were summoned before the Court of Enquiry, and questioned, on their allegiance, respecting the Order of the Illuminati. They acknowledged that they belonged to it, and when more closely examined, they related several circumstances of its constitution and principles. Their declarations were immediately published, and were very unfavorable. The Order was said to abjure Christianity, and
to refuse admission into the higher degrees to all who adhered to any of the three confessions. Sensual pleasures were restored to the rank they held in the Epicurean philosophy. Self-murder was justified on Stoical principles. In the Lodges death was declared an eternal sleep; patriotism and loyalty were called narrow-minded prejudices, and incompatible with universal benevolence; continual declamations were made on liberty and equality as the unalienable rights of man. The baneful influence of accumulated property was declared an insurmountable obstacle to the happiness of any nation whose chief laws were framed for its protection and increase. Nothing was so frequently discoursed of as the propriety of employing, for a good purpose, the means which the wicked employed for evil purposes...
(p. 60-61)

Evil applied for good purposes is the hallmark of the Sabbatean-Frankist "Jewish" heresy. The testimony continues:

After the mind of the pupil has been warmed by the pictures of universal happiness, and convinced that it is a possible thing to unite all the inhabitants of the earth in one great society, and after it has been made out, in some measure to the satisfaction of the pupil, that a great addition of happiness is gained by the abolition of national distinctions and animosities, it may frequently be no hard task to make him think that patriotism is a narrow-minded monopolising sentiment, and even incompatible with the more enlarged views of the Order, namely, the uniting the whole human race into one great and happy society. Princes are a chief feature of national distinction. Princes, therefore, may now be safely represented as unnecessary. If so, loyalty to Princes loses much of its sacred character; and the so frequent enforcing of it in our common political discussions may now be easily made to appear a selfish maxim of rulers, by which they may more easily enslave the people; and thus, it may at last appear, that religion, the love of our particular country, and loyalty to our Prince, should be resisted, if, by these partial or narrow views, we prevent the accomplishment of that Cosmo-political happiness which is continually held forth as the great object of the Order. It is in this point of view that the terms of devotion to the Order which are inserted in the oath of admission are now explained. The authority of the ruling powers is therefore represented as of inferior moral weight to that of the Order. "These powers are despots, when they do not conduct themselves by its principles; and it is therefore our duty to surround them with its members, so that the profane may have no access to them. Thus we are able most powerfully to promote its interests. If any person is more disposed to listen to Princes than to the Order, he is not fit for it, and must rise no higher. We must do our utmost to procure the advancement of Illuminati into all important civil offices." (p. 74)

Those are the seeds of revolution that flowered in France in the overthrow of the monarchy and anti-clericalism taken to the ultimate end of murdering priests.

Baron Knigge was the second most active member of the Illuminati after Weishaput. His Order name was Philo. Weishaput's name was Spartacus. Other members included Zwak (Cato) Bassus (Hannibal), Hertel (Marius), Marquis Constanza (Diomedes), Nicholai (Lucian). The City of Munich was referred to as Athens. Vienna was Rome. (p. 76). Many of the Illuminati papers were destroyed, but some correspondence has survived.

In a Feb. 6, 1778 communication between Spartacus and Cato, Weishaput wrote:

We have to struggle with pedantry, with intolerance, with divines and statesmen, and above all, princes and priests are in our way...Only those who are assuredly proper subjects shall be pickied out from among the inferior classes for the higher mysteries, which contain the first principles and means of promoting a happy life. No religionist must, on any account, be admitted into these: For here we work at the discovery and extirpation of superstition and prejudices...we shall labour at the contrivance of means to drive by degrees the enemies of reason and of humanity out of the world, and to establish a peculiar morality and religion fitted for the great Society of mankind. ... (p. 77)

The allegory on which I am to found the mysteries of the Higher Orders is
the fire-worship of the Magi. We must have some worship, and none is so apposite. LET THERE BE LIGHT, AND THERE SHALL BE LIGHT. This is my motto, and is my fundamental principle. (p. 78)

There was a sisterhood for the female members of the Illuminati as well. (p. 79) There were founded in addition German reading societies. The Illuminists were expected to write profusely, and these written materials were the matter discussed in the reading societies, the object of which was to change the zeitgeist. (p. 84)

On p. 86 Spartacus (Weishaput) speaks of founding a new religion:

You can't imagine what respect and curiosity my priest-degree has raised; and, which is wonderful, a famous Protestant divine, who is now of the Order, is persuaded that the religion contained in it is the true sense of Christianity. O MAN, MAN! TO WHAT MAY'ST THOU NOT BE PERSUADED. Who would imagine that I was to be the founder of a new religion.

Robison refers to this new religion as "Masonic Christianity". (p. 86)

Weishaput is quoted as saying

Spartacus exults exceedingly in the acquisition [of Nicholai] saying "that he was an unwearied champion, et quidem contentissimus." Of this man Philo says, "that he had spread this Christianity into every corner of Germany. I have put meaning," says Philo, "to all these dark symbols, and have prepared both degrees, introducing beautiful ceremonies, which I have selected from among those of the ancient communions, combined with those of the Rosaic Masonry; and now," says he, "it will appear that we are the only true Christians." (p. 88)

Mention is made of the "Agape, or Love Feast", and of the "Superiors of the Order as the unknown Superiors of Free Masonry". (p. 102)

An account of the Love-Feast is given which appears to be a parody of the Catholic Mass, specifically the consecration. (p. 103)

Much like the Libertarians, the Illuminati reject any notion of original sin and rely on reason and believe that man's nature is essentially good, making it possible to do away with the rules and provide perfect freedom which will lead to universal happiness.

Whoever spreads general illumination augments mutual security; illumination and security make princes unnecessary; illumination performs this by creating an effective Morality, and Morality makes a nation of full age fit to govern itself; and since it is not impossible to produce a just Morality, it is possible to regain freedom for the world. (p. 107)

Duplicity institutionalized within the order is evidenced by the description of the degree of Presbyter:

I conclude this account of the degree of Presbyter with remarking, that there were two copies of it employed occasionally. In one of them all the most offensive things in respect of the church and state were left out. (p. 109-110)

Recruiting ground for the Order is the three lower degrees of Freemasonry (p. 112).

Apparently they were able to access church funds:

"We have got Pylades put at the head of the Fisc, and he has the church-money at his disposal."

"We have been very successful against the Jesuits, and brought things to such a bearing, that their revenues, such as the Mission, the Golden Alms, the Exercises, and the Conversion Box, are now under the management of our friends."
(p. 114)

They claim to have gotten control of "the Bartholomew Institution for young clergymen" and hope to use this control to "supply Bavaria with fit priests." (p. 115)

Robinson writes:

Their first and immediate aim is to get the possession of riches, power, and influence, without industry; and, to accomplish this, they want to abolish Christianity; and then dissolute manners and universal profligacy will procure them the adherence of all the wicked, and enable them to overturn all the civil governments of Europe; after which they will think of farther conquests, and extend their operations to the other quarters of the globe, till they have reduced mankind to the state of one undistinguishable chaotic mass....

Observe that Weishaput took a name expressive of his principles. Spartacus was a gladiator, who headed an insurrection of Roman slaves, and for three years kept the city in terror.
(p. 121)

He employs the Christian Religion, which he thinks a falsehood, and which he is afterwards to explode, as the mean for inviting Christians of every denomination, and gradually cajoling them, by clearing up their Christian doubts in succession, till he lands them in Deism; or if he finds them unfit, and too religious, he gives them a Sta bene, and then laughs at the fears, or perhaps madness, in which he leaves them. (p. 122)

Having thus got rid of Religion, Spartacus could with more safety bring into view the great aim of all his efforts--to rule the world by means of his Order. As the immediate mean for attaining this, he holds out the prospect of freedom from civil subordination....The pupils are convinced that the Order will rule the world. (p. 123)

On p. 131-132 Robison sums up the egomaniacal state of the minds of Weishaput and his followers when he says:

What CAN BE MORE IMPROBABLE than this, that He, whom we look up to as the contriver, the maker, and director, of this goodly frame of things, should have so far mistaken his own plans, that this world of rational creatures should have subsisted for thousands of years, before a way could be found out, by which his intention of making men good and happy could be accomplished; and that this method did not occur to the great Artist himself, nor even to the wisest, and happiest, and best men upon earth; but to a few persons at Munich in Bavaria, who had been trying to raise ghosts, to change lead into gold, to tell fortunes, or discover treasures, but had failed in all their attempts; men who had been engaged for years in every whim which characterises a weak, a greedy, or a gloomy mind.

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