Category: Secret Societies
Knigge on the Illuminati (According to Knigge) and Other Reflections (According to the Historical Record)
by Terry Melanson, July 6th 2012
The exposure and persecution of the Illuminati had barely commenced. Adam Weishaupt fled from the Bavarian authorities in February of 1785.
Two weeks after his hasty escape, Elector Karl Theodor issued his second edict against secret societies (and the Illuminati specifically). More than a year would pass before he reached safety at the court of fellow-Illuminatus, Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha. Bobbing in alleyways, hiding in chimneys, and witnessing a friend drop dead from lightning, Weishaupt somehow managed to pen and publish five apologetic pamphlets concerning his activities as “General” of the Order.
After the writings and correspondences of the Illuminati were published in 1787 – reputations and livelihoods at stake – his cohorts penned their own accounts, most notably Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), Franz Xaver von Zwack (1755-1843) and Baron Thomas Franz Maria de Bassus (1742-1815). However it wasn’t until after these developments that Adolph Freiherr von Knigge (1752-1796) saw fit to issue his own account in 1788.
The latter work (Philos endliche Erklärung und Antwort …) has been translated by Jeva Singh-Anand: Philo’s Reply To Questions Concerning His Association With the Illuminati (lulu.com, April 5, 2012). It’s the first full English translation of a primary Illuminati source, and, for that reason alone, is highly recommended. You can read Jeva’s forward here and purchase it at Lulu or Amazon.
By Terry Melanson (9/8/2016)
A Rupert Murdoch company purchased a 73% controlling interest in National Geographic Magazine in September 2015. In November they layed off 180 employees in what The Washington Post called the “biggest layoff in its history.” Several fact-checkers were also sacked.
One article in the July/August issue of National Geographic History definitely could have used some fact-checking.
The most egregious errors in the piece, written by Isabel Hernandez, are the following:
“Born in 1748 in Ingolstadt, a city in the Electorate of Bavaria (now part of modern-day Germany), Weishaupt was a descendant of Jewish converts to Christianity.”
“Weishaupt initially thought of joining a lodge. Disillusioned with many of the Freemasons’ ideas, however, he became absorbed in books dealing with such esoteric themes as the Mysteries of the Seven Sages of Memphis and the Kabbala, and decided to found a new secret society of his own.”
“Over the following years, Weishaupt’s secret order grew considerably in size and diversity, possibly numbering 600 members by 1782. They included important people in Bavarian public life, such as Baron Adolph von Knigge and the banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who provided funding.”
Bohemians, by the power of our fellowship,
Dull care is slain.
High up the hill you may hear Care’s funeral music.
[Tolling of the bell and faint, far strains of the funeral dirge (DENKE). Torches are glimpsed in the distance. Music and light approach.]
Behold, the effigy of this, our enemy, is carried hither for our ancient rites.
[Music ceases, drumbeat accompanies the descent of cortege. The cortege passes through the dinning circle and down the main isle as the Band and the effigy of Care proceed down the road to the floor of the Grove. When the torch bearers are leaving the dining circle, followed by the Old Guard.]
The Sire announces
Bohemians, follow to Bohemia’s Shrine!
[The band resumes the funeral dirge ( Denke ). The band turns into the traffic road, where it continues to play; the spectators pass to their seats opposite the shrine, through the two columns of the Torch Bearers who flank the path to Edwards Road. The shrine is bathed in the soft, flickering light from the lamp of fellowship. The radiance of the rising full moon touches the crown of Hamadryad’s tree. 0ffstage chorus of woodland voices. The Hamadryad emerges from the bark. Music by Jan Philip Schirhan and W.J. McCoy]
Drawing mostly upon Annie Jacobsen’s The Pentagon’s Brain, is a summary of some important details in the history of DARPA. The article, by Jake Anderson, purports to be a list of “15 historical facts.” But upon further investigation, some claims do not hold up.
“14. Four nuclear bombs were detonated during the Cuban Missile Crisis” It’s true there were four high-altitude tests during the Cuban Missile Crisis, however it was two from America and two from Russia. In November, after the crisis, the US exploded two more high-altitude bombs, dubbed Kingfish and Tightrope, as part of Operation Fishbowl. Russia was as crazy as America during these years. The summary mentions nothing about the former—a reflection of anti-American bias prevalent in conspiracy circles.
ARPA was not wholly responsible for these atmospheric tests. They did have a stake in it though.
I agree with Robert Schaefer’s statement in his review of Jacobsen’s book:
Perhaps because of the adverse consequences of Operation Argus, there was a treaty to halt to above ground nuclear testing soon after. But not too soon after, for during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there w[e]re four (four!) nuclear detonations in space, two by the U.S. and two by the Soviets. Exploding nuclear weapons in the middle of a nuclear crisis shows how insane the world was in the 1960s. For more information on these tests, do not look to The Pentagon’s Brain, instead Google “Operation Fishbowl,” “Checkmate,” and “Bluegill Triple Prime.”
“12. DARPA scientists drew up plans to nuke the Ho Chi Minh Trail…” The Jasons did, but they were not “at one time a dominant and prolific division within DARPA,” as Anderson contends. They advised ARPA and then DARPA, but were not at any time a “division” of it.
Searchlight Magazine, the antifascist parapolitical publication, posted a piece about the importance of the recently-deceased P2-boss Licio Gelli:
The likely date when Gelli became involved with the CIA is probably right at the start of its creation, 1947, when the American Freemason “reverend” Frank B. Gigliotti, a fervent fascist till 1938 who had met Mussolini in the early stages of the dictatorship, visited Italy to recommend certain changes to the new Italian Constitution and hasten the campaign to keep the Communists out of power. The Stay-Behind/Gladio strategy was being developed; money was pouring in from America to help in anti-Communist propaganda and in the recruiting of a clandestine army made up mainly of ex-fascist party members to be trained in the shadow of NATO in whose bases freemason groups were set up as a further means to tie everyone to secrecy.
Links with the Mafia had already been established by Gigliotti and others in the United States and Canada to get help with the landing in Sicily; now the omertà code was extremely useful in preparation of further undercover operations by Mafiosi and the Freemasons. Both organisations had suffered greatly under Mussolini and power was being returned to them, catapulted into action with links at the highest level. Gelli himself apparently did not become a fully-fledged freemason till 1963, but once he joined the “venerables” he operated to combine the secret activities of “brothers” with the political aims of maintaining fascism as a permanent presence: a government in waiting.
That Frank Gigliotti met Mussolini during “early stages of the dictatorship” and was a “fervent fascist till 1938” comes from my research in “Frank Gigliotti: Minister, Freemason, OSS and CIA.” I was hoping the article would be read by investigators researching deep politics, who have the most to gain from the information. Gigliotti was an important man. Much more so than the few scattered references over the years would let on. His life demonstrates in vivid detail the collusion between Fascism, ‘Americanism’ and domestic surveillance, Freemasonry and Protestantism, the OSS and CIA, Propaganda Due, the Mafia, and the Bilderberg/Atlanticist European Movement apparatus. From the 1920s until the 1970s Gigliotti was a valued asset of all of the above, behind the scenes, getting the job done.
By Terry Melanson (February 18, 2013)
Amongst the source material utilized during the writing of Perfectibilists, was a 1956 International Review of Social History article by Arthur Lehning: “Buonarroti and His International Secret Societies.”
I became fascinated with the so-called “first professional revolutionist,” especially the evidence of his indebtedness to the stratagems of the Bavarian Illuminati (directly or otherwise).
In the midst of Lehning’s thorough outline of the central role Buonarroti played in various secret societies during the period, a short passage caught my attention involving a clandestine nexus of French Carbonarists, Joseph Rey’s ‘L’Union,’ and a particularly revolutionary Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient: the ‘Amis de la Vérité’ [Friends of Truth]:
In 1821 the secret leadership of the anti-Bourbon opposition went over to the “Charbonnerie française”. Bazard, the later Saint-Simonist, formed in 1818 the “Loge des amis de la vérité” with its military “Compagnie franche des écoles”. Behind the “Loge” stood the secret “Union” of Rey, and it was Victor Cousin (of the “Union”) who, in fact, took the initiative. Involved in the military conspiracy of 19th August 1820, two of its members, Joubert and Dugied, having fled to Italy, brought back from Naples the statutes of the Neopolitan “carbonari”. They form 1st May 1821 the first “Haute Vente” of the “Charbonnerie française” of which soon the leading personalities of the parliamentarian opposition such as Lafayette, De Corcelle, Koechlin, Manuel – all deputies – and also Cabet and De Schonen, became members (127).
by Terry Melanson (22/2/2011) [also available in PDF]
1. Charles-Pierre-Paul, Marquis de Savalette de Langes (1745-1797)
Savalette de Langes was the son of Charles Pierre Savalette de Magnanville (1713-1790) – intendant of the Generality of Tours (1745) and Keeper of the Royal Treasury from 1756 to 1788 – and Marie-Émilie Joly de Choin (1726-1776), the daughter of a fermier général. In 1773, like his father, Savalette de Langes became a Keeper of the Royal Treasury; 1790/91, Captain of the Paris National Guard in the battalion of Saint Roch and aide-de-campe to Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834).1
Gardes du Trésor royal (i.e. keeper of the royal treasury) was a heredity title. On the significance of the post, Roland Mousnier writes:
The highest-ranking receveur-payeurs were the two gardes du Trésor royal. According to the edict of June 1748 this office was worth 1,200,000 livres. They earned 5 percent of the official value of the office in salary plus 12,000 additional livres when they were actually on duty; they also received 1,500 livres in salary for their work on the council and 60,000 livres, increased by Necker to 85,000, to cover the wages and expenses of their commis. These offices were family property. In 1749 Charles-Pierre Savalette de Magnanville took the first of the two posts. In 1773 his son, Charles-Pierre-Paul Savalette de Langes became his assistant and designated heir. In November 1785 they switched positions, Langes becoming the titulary of the post and Magnanville his assistant and designated heir. Both men were maîtres des requêtes and conseillers d’Etat. The father was for a time intendant of Tours. The family could claim three degrees of nobility and thus came close, in principle, to the gentilhommerie.2
One of the most active and influential Masons of his time, Savalette de Langes was first initiated in 1766 at the Lodge “L’Union Indivisible” in Lille, he was the founder of the Paris Lodge “Les Amis Réunis” (1771), Regime of the Philalèthes (1773), and convoked the Philalèthes Convents of Paris in 1785 and 1787. From the beginning Savalette was on the side of the Duke de Chartres (future Duke d’Orléans) for the creation of the Grand Orient, and after this was accomplished (1773) Savalette subsequently became its Grand Officer and Archivist. He was also a member of the Paris Lodge “L’Olympique de la Parfaite Estime” from 1783-88, the founder of “La Société Olympique” in 1785, and a member of the Paris Lodge “Centre des Amis” in 1793.3
Permanent, official correspondence between the Illuminati and Savalette’s Amis Réunis was established in 1784. Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig von Beulwitz (1755-1829), the head of the Rudolstadt Illuminati was initiated into the Amis Réunis in 1784, while visiting Paris, and received into the 11th class of the Philalèthes. Another Illuminatus, Sigismund Falgera (1752-1790) was already initiated into the Amis Réunis in 1784 (to 1789) and was appointed the official Illuminati correspondent/liaison to the Paris Lodge.4 Yet even before this, other Illuminati were simultaneously members of the Amis Réunis – Count Kolowrat, for one (see below) – and it would be hard to believe that they hadn’t at least tried to “Illuminize” this most important Lodge in Paris. In this regard, about all we can safely say is that there remains a lack of documentation about any successes the Illuminati may have had in France before 1787.
by Terry Melanson (7/1/2010)
Not widely known is the fact that some of the key ideas behind the creation of the Bavarian Illuminati came from a member of a German Studentenorden.
In 1776 Adam Weishaupt confided to one of his students, eighteen year-old Franz Anton von Massenhausen, that he was thinking of creating a secret society (at the University of Ingolstadt) to combat the influence of both the Jesuits and the Rosicrucians. Massenhausen had told Weishaupt that this was good idea, and that he already had some experience in this area. Before matriculating at Ingolstadt, Massenhausen informed his teacher, he had been a member of a student secret society in Göttingen; he went on to describe the manner in which they operated, its statutes, and the attire they wore. Taking this as a model, then, on May 1st 1776 Weishaupt, Massenhausen and three others, formed the Order of the Perfectibilists.1
It is ironic that such should be the case, for afterwards the Illuminati, in turn, had not only infiltrated various educational establishments but student societies as well. As Klaus Epstein explains it:
The famous Karlsschule in Stuttgart (Schiller’s alma mater) had several Illuminati on its staff. The educational movement headed by Basedow taught Illuminati principles, though Basedow himself apparently never joined the order. The University of Göttingen had several Illuminati among its professors, which led Weishaupt to exclaim with surprise that Ingolstadt was giving the law to its far more distinguished North German rival. Tutorial positions offered excellent leverage for working for the future triumph of the Aufklärung: the prominent Illuminat Leuchsenring served, for example, as tutor to the Prussian crown prince who became Frederick William III (though the later conduct of his pupil must have disappointed him).2 The two leading student societies (Studentenorden), the Konstantisten and the Schwarze Brüder, were both infiltrated by Illuminati. The actual influence of the order upon the education of Germany’s youth obviously cannot be quantitatively defined, and statistical calculations of the infiltration of the professorate are equally impossible to make.3 These examples suffice to explain, however, the fact that Conservatives called for a drastic purge of educational institutions.4
by Terry Melanson, April 24th, 2012 (Update/Introduction Aug 11, 2015)
The impetus for this compilation of numismatic Masonic symbolism during the French Revolution stems from a single paragraph (and accompanying end notes) in James H. Billington’s Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (pp. 93, 537-8):
In the early days of the revolution, Masonry provided much of the key symbolism and ritual—beginning with the Masonic welcome under a “vault of swords” of the king at the Hotel de Ville three days after the fall of the Bastille. To be sure, most French Masons prior to the revolution had been “not revolutionaries, not even reformers, nor even discontent”; and, even during the revolution, Masonry as such remained politically polymorphous: “Each social element and each political tendency could ‘go masonic’ as it wished.” But Masonry provided a rich and relatively nontraditional foraging ground for new national symbols (coins, songs, banners, seals), new forms of address (tu, frère, vivat!), and new models for civic organizations, particularly outside Paris.
[…]36. On the use of the voûte d’acier on Jul 17, see J. Palou, La Franc-maçonnerie, 1972, 187.
37. D. Mornet, Les Origines intellectuelles de la révolution française (1715–1787), 1954, 375; discussion 357–87; bibliography, 523–5; and outside of France, Billington, Icon, 712–4. A. Mellor, Les Mythes maçonniques, (1974) also minimizes Masonic influence, though vaguely acknowledging the influence of the occultist revival on the revolutionary movement.
38. Ligou, “Source,” 46, also 49.
39. This subject has never been comprehensively studied. For the best discussions in general terms, see O. Karmin, “L’Influence du symbolisme maçonnique sur le symbolisme révolutionnaire,”Revue Historique de la Révolution Française, 1910, I, 183–8 (particularly on numismatics); J. Brengues, “La Franc-maçonnerie et la fête révolutionnaire,” Humanisme, 1974, Jul–Aug, 31– 7; Palou, 181–215; R. Cotte, “De la Musique des loges maçonniques à celles des fêtes révolutionnaires,” Les Fêtes de la révolution, 1977, 565–74; and the more qualified assessment of Ligou, “Structures et symbolisme maçonniques sous la révolution,” Annales Historiques, 1969, Jul Sep, 511–23.
For the heavy reliance on Masonic structures in provincial civic rituals, see, for instance, F. Vermale, “La Franc maçonnerie savoisienne au début de la révolution et les dames de Bellegarde,” Annales Révolutionnaires, III, 1910, 375–94; and especially the monumental work for la Sarthe which lifts the level of research far above anything done for Paris: A. Bouton, Les Franc-maçons manceaux et la révolution française, 1741–1815, Le Mans, 1958. See also his successor volume Les Luttes ordentes des francs-maçons manceaux pour l’établissement de la république 1815–1914, Le Mans, 1966.
The Karmin article is the main source for what follows.
His methodology is simple: he mined a standard numismatic reference work and highlighted the examples of Masonic influence—minus illustrations, hence the need for my own treatment.
The evidence is clear and seems deliberate, although one isn’t quite sure whether the artists involved were actually Masons themselves.