Category: Secret Societies

The So-Called Schwedenkiste (“Swedish Box”), the Most Significant Illuminati Archive

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by Terry Melanson (17/6/2009)

After Adam Weishaupt had fled in 1785, the center of activity for the Illuminati shifted from Bavaria to the Duchies of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Weimar. And while the founder of the Illuminati was content to safely settle down for the long haul at the court of Duke Ernst II of Saxe Gotha, Johann Joachim Christoph Bode (1730-1793) took the reins and assumed the role previously held by Weishaupt.

Through the efforts of Bode and an expanding network of recruits – and under the protection of the Illuminati Dukes Karl August of Saxe-Weimar and Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha – new colonies were established in places like France, Russia and Italy. Bode kept the Weimar and Gotha Lodges Amalia and Ernst Zum Kompass informed of his activities, but the bulk of the evidence of continued Illuminati activity remained in his possession.

Ensuring that whatever they contained would remain secret, upon Bode’s death in December 1793 his literary executor, Illuminatus Christian Gottlieb von Voigt (1743–1819), transferred his deceased friend’s possessions to Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha who had already bought the voluminous papers before Bode died.

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Roots of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

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by Terry Melanson (26/4/2009)

[Author’s note: My initial speculation was warranted, it seems; additional corroboration in the following post (and comments): “Was Jacob Frank a Rosicrucian?“]

The Golden Dawn – of Mathers, Westcott, Crowley fame – has gone Web 2.0.

Some of the most revealing posts on their blogs, are: The Golden and Rosy Cross Worn by International Golden Dawn Imperator, David Griffin; The Red and Golden Cross; and significantly, The Sabbatian Qabalah and its relation to the Golden Dawn.

From Griffin:

I wear a cross of pure 24k gold, enameled red, that derives directly from the 18th Century German Rosicrucian Order known as the Gold und Rosenkreutz. […] The Gold und Rosenkreutz Order, the Rosicrucian predecessor of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is, in fact, the source of origin of entire grade system of the Golden Dawn, as well as the mystic numbers of the grades, mystic titles, symbols, etc.

From “Sincerus Renatus”:

[…][W]hat we see here is a direct Rosicrucian lineage in the Golden Dawn descending from the Gold und Rosenkreutz order through the Asiatic Brethren and the Frankfurt-am-Main lodge Zur Aufghene Morg[e]nroethe, aka L’Aurore Naissante, aka Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur in Germany.

In my book over the Bavarian Illuminati it was established that the Gold- und Rosenkreutz [Golden and Rosy Cross] were the enemies of the Illuminati and vice versa. Why? 1) They were competitors for initiates; 2) Illuminati were rationalists and outright worshipers of reason, while the Rosicrucians pursued mysticism and theosophy and indulged in all manner of practical occultism (séances, theurgy, thaumaturgy, astrology, sorcery, kabbalistic magic and alchemy), which the Illuminati frowned upon, to say the least; 3) and the fact that the Rosicrucians were also aligned with the obscurantists of religious orthodoxy, the Jesuits, and recruited members from among its ranks.

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Was Carl Jung’s Ancestor an Illuminatus?

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by Terry Melanson (17/2/2009)

There’s two Illuminati with the last name Jung identified in Hermann Schüttler’s Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991): Franz Wilhelm Jung (1757-1833) and Johann Sigmund Jung (1745-1824).

The latter, it turns out, was probably the uncle to the famed Swiss psychoanalyst’s grandfather, Carl Gustav Jung (1794-1864).

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Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education

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by Terry Melanson, May 20, 2010

Freemasonry is…interested in and concerned for “the education of all the children of all the people.” The “Temple” which the Craft is building is nothing other than the human family living happily together.

– H. L. Haywood, Great Teachings of Masonry (Kessinger Publishing, 1942), p. 152

A fairly recent Lew Rockwell blog post by Christopher Manion highlights the efforts of the state and anti-Catholics to control the educational apparatus:

Few Americans today realize that the public school movement began 150 years ago as part of an attack on the Catholic Church.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Protestant “Know-Nothings” railed against the millions of newly-arrived Catholic immigrants — “criminals” who had a lot of kids and were starting their own schools, complete with armies of foreign nuns and papist priests. According to Rousas Rushdoony’s history, Horace Mann, the founder of the public school movement in Massachusetts, believed that “the [public] schools are the means, instruments, vehicles, and true church by which salvation is given to society.” Given that goal, Mann “changed the function of education from ‘mere learning’ or religiously-oriented education to ‘social efficiency, civic virtue, and character” (by the twentieth century, character “ceased to be a concern” in the public schools, Rushdoony notes). Mann also demanded that control of community schools be transferred into state hands.

A decade later and a continent away, another pioneer took up the cause. John Swett was responsible for “framing the basic legislation of the state system” as California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction during the 1860s. Swett made his goals perfectly clear: “Children arrived at the age of maturity belong not to the parents but to the State, to society, and to the country,” he insisted — so children should be educated not according to the beliefs of their parents, but those of the government. The “civil religion” taught in government schools was designed to neutralize the papist heresies taught in the parochial schools. For the Know-Nothings, Catholic families were not only the competition: they were the enemy. Catholics were inferiors that had to be raised to the level of civic virtue expected of everyone else.

Although I’m not comfortable with Manion utilizing Rushdoony as his main source, the facts are essentially sound. Not mentioned though, was that Masonic affiliation was probably a factor. According to 10,000 Famous Freemasons, John Swett was a Mason; while Horace Mann is claimed as such—perhaps by his wife—in Paul Fisher’s Behind the Lodge Door.

In Europe and North America, “culture war” was the socio-political preoccupation of the mid- to late-19th Century. However, the struggle for control of the educational establishment actually began a hundred years earlier during the Enlightenment.

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“Lang” or “Lanz”: Myths about the “Myths”

by Terry Melanson (15/11/2008)

Johann-Jakob-Lanz-Illuminati-Member

So, I’m browsing through the results of a keyword-search (targeting blogs) that I had previously saved as an RSS feed in Google Reader – “Illuminati.” Usually the results point to sites that abuse the term as a mere descriptor for an overarching, all-powerful monolithic conspiracy. However, once in a while, I occasionally come across at least an attempt not to knowingly butcher the historical record.

The November 12th post at the English section of Illuminaten.org is one such example. But as I started reading “The Bavarian Illuminati: several myths revealed,” it became quite clear that the post is, in fact – word for word – an abridged re-posting of “A Bavarian Illuminati Primer.”

Once I got to the part about Lanz and Lang, I knew for sure.

Here’s what Mason Trevor W. McKeown thinks is the myth/truth:

As an example of the mythology that surrounds the history of the Illuminati, note that Barruel claimed that Lanz, an Illuminati courier and apostate priest, was struck by lightning, thus revealing Weishaupt’s papers to the authorities, but this does not appear to be substantiated. This error was widely reprinted and enlarged on by subsequent anti-masons whose lack of research and disdain for historical accuracy has lead them to confuse Johann Jakob Lanz (d.1785), a non-Illuminati secular priest in Erding, and friend of Weishaupt, with Franz Georg Lang, a court advisor in Eichstätt who was active in the Illuminati under the name Tamerlan.

Barruel mistakenly translated “weltpriester”, or secular priest, as apostate priest and subsequent writers such as Webster and Miller have repeated this error. Eckert renamed Weishaupt’s friend as Lanze and had him struck by lightning while carrying dispatches in Silesia. Miller cited Eckert but renamed Lanz as Jacob Lang and placed the lightning strike in Ratisbon. This is a minor detail in the history but it demonstrates the lack of accuracy often displayed by detractors of the Illuminati.

As nobody has challenged him on these assertions – not even a German site who should know better – I’ll reiterate and add additional information to what I had written back in August 2005. Mr. McKeown is guilty of the same thing he accuses others of: “lack of research and disdain for historical accuracy.”

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Masonic Congress of Wilhelmsbad

Wilhelmsbad in 1783
Wilhelmsbad in 1783

by Terry Melanson (08/11/2008)

The above was painted by Anton Wilhelm Tischbein (1730-1804) in 1783. The scene depicts the grounds of the spa – the ruined castle, the kitchen and the carousel in the background. In the foreground (right) is the hereditary prince William IX of Hesse-Kassel (1743-1821) with six year-old son William. William IX, at the time, was the ruler of the principality of Hanau, subsequently becoming William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel – after his father Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel had died in 1785 – and then William I, Elector of Hesse.

The castle as it looks today (from the German Wilhelmsbad entry at de.wikipedia)

The castle as it looks today (from the German Wilhelmsbad entry at de.wikipedia)

The Hanau-Wilhelmsbad spa, fashionable from 1777 to 1785, was the location of the Masonic Congress in the summer of 1782 (16 July – 29 August).  William IX made it his summer retreat, and the ruined castle, prominent in the painting, was where high-degree Masons from the whole of Europe had deliberated the fate of the rite of Strict Observance.

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A Brief Encounter with Adam Weishaupt in 1804

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Johann Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830); founder of the Order of the Illuminati

Johann Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830); founder of the Order of the Illuminati

by Terry Melanson (20/09/2008)

Relatively late in the research for the book Perfectibilists, I became aware of an short account from Henry Crabb Robinson, in his Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence, where he had gone to Gotha in 1804 and met with Adam Weishaupt. I hadn’t included this exchange in my own book (as it wasn’t readily accessible to me at the time). However, recently, Google books has scanned in a full-view copy of the diary. Here, then, is Henry Crabb Robinson’s encounter with Adam Weishaupt (in Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence, Vol. I, Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co. 1869, pp. 124-6):

[…] my object in referring to this visit to Gotha is to say something of a man whose name belongs to the history of the last century, though it was raised to undue importance by the malignant exaggerations of party spirit.
During the heat of the first Revolution in France, two works appeared, one in England, by Professor Robison of Edinburgh, and the other, the more voluminous, in France, by the Abbe Barruel, with the common object of showing that the Revolution and all the horrors consequent on it were the effect of a conspiracy deliberately planned and carried out on the Continent of Europe by an Order of Infidels, who, by means of secret societies, planned to destroy all thrones, overturn all altars, and completely upset the established order of things. The society to which this scheme was ascribed had the name of The Illuminati. They were supposed to have ramifications everywhere. The Kantian philosophy was one of the instruments. Indeed, more or less, every union of men, and every variety of thought, opposed to monarchy and popery had about it the suspicion of “Illumination.” And of this tremendous evil the founder and archdeacon was Adam Weishaupt. When I found that this notorious man was leading a secluded life in Gotha, I determined to call on him. On entering his room, I remarked that he was both embarrassed and reserved, and it was not till I had introduced myself as one anxious to see him, though I knew of him only from his enemies, that he seemed willing to enter into conversation with me. On my taking leave, he even invited me to repeat my visit, and I went to him three times. He frankly told me that I was let into his house through the stupidity of a servant-girl, whom he was on the point of turning away for it; but he had forgiven her on account of the pleasure he had derived from our interviews. He said he held in abhorrence all travellers who made impertinent calls, and especially Englishmen. He would not gratify the curiosity of such men. But my candor and openness had rendered him willing to make an exception in my case. In saying this he was, perhaps, not departing from that character which his enemies ascribed to him. Indeed, as is usual in such instances, the statements made concerning him are founded in truth. The falsehood lies in the exaggeration of some parts of his history, and in the omission of others.

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The Illuminati Revisited — “The Secret School of Wisdom”

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On Thursday April 2nd, 2015 the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon will review and discuss the newly published book “The Secret School of Wisdom” Authentic rituals and doctrines of the Illuminati edited by Joseph Wages, Rienhard Markner and translated by Jeva Singh Anand. Host Poke Runyon (Marion Roland) will be joined by his fellow Beyond Lemuria stars Merrick Rees Hamer (Master Phylos) and Frater Solomon (Samyaza) in our discussion of the various aspects of the Bavarian Illuminati: their Masonic infiltration, Christian-based socialist ideology, and conspiratorial agenda. We will discuss Adam Weishaupt’s mysticism and contradict some previously held opinions about his atheism. We will discuss his relation with Baron von Knigge and some of the later individuals and organizations influenced by the Illuminati — so If you want to immanenitize the eschaton (whatever that means) tune in and be illuminated.

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Owl of Wisdom: Illuminati, Bohemian Club, Schlaraffia, James Gordon Bennett Jr.

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by Terry Melanson, March 8th, 2009

Pallas Athene (or Minerva to the Romans), the goddess of wisdom, honored the owl as her sacred bird. The owl was recognized as an emblem of penetrating sight and intelligence. It was considered to be a favorable omen if an owl was spotted on the battle field or at times of crisis. The Athenian silver tetradrachm bore the owl (Athene noctua); and owls were protected and thrived in great numbers at the Acropolis of Athens (a temple dedicated to Athena).

The Bavarian Order of the Illuminati

Illuminati Seals

Minerval Seals of the Illuminati: two of three known to still exist. P.M.C.V. stands for Per Me Caeci Vident (Through me the blind become sighted). An owl holding an opened book (signifying learning), surrounded by a Laurel wreath (a symbol of learning or graduation); Per Me Caeci Vident was a reminder to the Superiors of the class, whose responsibility it was to properly instruct the Minervals. These medallions were worn around the necks of Minerval initiates.

For a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati – emulating the ancient schools of wisdom, and having a "Minerval Academy" as a foundation – would there have been a more fitting symbol than the Owl of Minerva?

The class of Minerval was a relatively low rank in the scheme of things. However, it was the soul of the Order, and functioned as a sort of assembly line for recruits.

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Illuminati Conspiracy Part Two: Sniffing out Jesuits

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By Terry Melanson, Sept. 12th, 2008

Jesuiten-Freymauer-RosenkreuzerNB: My apologies to those who’ve been waiting three years for this “Part Two.” As many of you know, since the posting of my “Illuminati Conspiracy Part One: Exegesis on the Available Evidence” in August 2005, I have been hard at work on a book about the Bavarian Illuminati. So, necessarily, I had to put on hold the planned three part series. As the book is finished and scheduled for a November 2008 release, I am free to proceed. (Part two is not what I had originally planned on writing, but nonetheless, it is original and distinct from the book.) – TM

Orientation: The Bavarian Illuminati were the antagonists of the Jesuits, and vice versa

I have chosen to critique parts of | this webpage | as a means to inform the reader on certain facts essential to a proper understanding of the 18th Century Bavarian Order of Illuminati. The other reason is this: a particularly rabid and extremely annoying “Jesuits-rule-the-world” theorist who spams many YahooGroups (always in the customary all-caps shouting mode), had deigned this “Religious Counterfeits” webpage as the proper authority – I am not sure why – on the following theories: 1) that Adam Weishaupt was a Jesuit – not just Jesuit-trained, but a Jesuit priest; and 2) that the Illuminati, therefore, are synonymous with the Jesuits and, in fact, the two are the same (that is, the former was merely the organ of the latter, and the proof of said assertion is the fact that Weishaupt was supposedly a Jesuit himself). To someone who has even a modicum of familiarity with the 18th-Century European Enlightenment, this is indeed a preposterous claim; it’s based upon a falsehood – Weishaupt being a Jesuit – and displays ignorance of the history of the period to which we speak.

What follows is a quote/rebuttal format which will hopefully put to rest certain erroneous assertions being claimed by the Jesuits=Illuminati theorists.

Quote: There have always been Occultists who practiced the process of Illumination, but the term “Illuminati” was used first in the 15th Century by enthusiasts in the Occult Arts, signifying those who claimed to possess “light” directly communicated from some higher source, through mysticism.

The first occurrence of “Illuminati” was not in the 15th century. “Illuminati” has been used by followers of Mani, or Manes (Manichaeism; the apostles of light) – they called him the supreme illuminator. The Virgin Mary, too, was given the appellation “Maria Illuminatrix” and the “illuminated/illuminator.” Jewish Kabbalists were called Illuminati. And lest the reader get the impression it is only used in the occult or by the Roman Catholic Church, be reminded that in Calvin’s Institutes, the theologian mentions twenty times the word Illuminati and Illuminatus, four times (see Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority (Vol. IV), Good News Publishers, 1999, p. 290; the statistical calculation of the words was compiled by the first editor of the magazine Christianity Today, Carl. F. H. Henry, and presented at the above-cited page, along with other keywords in Calvin’s Latin texts such as “Illuminated” and “Illuminate.”)

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