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


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.



Roots of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn


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.



The Illusion of Elite Unity: Elite Factionalism, the ‘War on Terror’ and the New World Order (Part 1)


By Will Banyan Copyright © January 2008

Author’s note: This essay was originally published on the Martin Frost website back in 2008. After a lengthy delay, Part 2 will eventuate later this year covering both the rise of the neo-conservatives and the prospects for world government.

‘I believe…that a grand game of chess is being played on a level that we can barely imagine, and we are pawns.’
Milton William Cooper, Behold a Pale Horse, (1991)

‘The basic thing is the establishment. The establishment is dying…’
President Richard Nixon, 13 March 1973[1]

‘If you were a member of the Council [on Foreign Relations] 15 years ago…you knew damn well that the conversation either was policy or would-be policy. Today, it is just interesting talk.’
National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1977[2]

1. The Elite Unity Hypothesis

One of the central assumptions of most studies about the New World Order is that a covert combination of the most economically and politically powerful people in the world, otherwise known as the ‘Establishment’, ‘Illuminati’, the ‘Insiders’, the ‘Brotherhood of the Snake’, the ‘Syndicate’ or even the ‘Committee of the 300’ – said to be secretly operating within and above the highest levels of government – are united in seeking to establish a ‘One World Government’ or ‘global fascist superstate.’ When describing this power-elite clique, most researchers into the New World Order typically refer to a wide-ranging network of policy-planning organisations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission; and secret societies, such as the Illuminati, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove and the Templars. Membership of these organisations is said to be limited to selected politicians, government officials, academics, businessmen, bankers and journalists; in other words the leading private and public individuals in society. This exclusive group is charged with implementing, justifying, hiding and ultimately benefiting from the sole objective to which all these ‘Insiders’ are believed to be committed: world government.

To readers of the myriad works on the alleged New World Order conspiracy this might seem like a self-evident truth unworthy of further comment. However it is important to realise that for many researchers these powerful advocates of world government (or global governance) are not some isolated segment of the uppermost tiers of the political, economic and military hierarchies; they are the power-elite. They are not just the majority of a super-rich minority; they are its dominant players and world government is said to be their only objective. For the purposes of this study we shall refer to this belief or assumption that the power-elite is united around the goal of establishing world government as the ‘Elite Unity Hypothesis’ (EUH).

A cursory review of the literature reveals the EUH to be the dominant paradigm. Look at almost any book on the ‘New World Order’ conspiracy and one will find this sinister network of individuals, organisations and secret societies is not only presented as being already firmly in control of all national governments, but also unanimous in its support for world government. Gary Allen and Larry Abraham, for example, authors of the bestselling None Dare Call It Conspiracy (1971) which perhaps did the most to popularise theories about the N.W.O, asserted that there was a ‘self-perpetuating conspiratorial clique’ of ‘power-seeking billionaires’ who ‘from the very highest levels manipulate government policy’ in their bid to establish ‘a government over all the world.’[3] John F. McManus claims in The Insiders (2004) that ‘for several decades, America has been run by a group of Establishment Insiders’, who are all members of the CFR, and whose collective goal is nothing less than to realise the ‘world government scheme of CFR founder Edward Mandell House.’[4]



The Future of Freedom: A Feature Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney

A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.
The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed — codenamed ThinThread — was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind), was destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.
William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope’s Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.


Was Carl Jung’s Ancestor an Illuminatus?


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).



Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education


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.



Blackmailed by the Bomb: Nuclear Anxiety and the Cult of the Superweapon

by Paul & Phillip D. Collins, October 18, 2009

In May of 2009, respected American journalist Seymour Hersh shared a shocking revelation during an Arab TV interview. According to Hersh, Pakistan’s former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, was a victim of a “special death squad formed by former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney” (“U.S. special squad killed Benazir”). This squad was “headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of U.S. army in Afghanistan” with Cheney using his position as chief of the Joint Special Operation Command to “clear the way for the U.S. by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA” (ibid).

Hersh has speculated that Bhutto was assassinated because she shared her opinion that Osama Bin Laden had been assassinated by Omar Saeed Sheikh (ibid). Could there be, however, a deeper reason for the Bhutto hit? These writers suggested as much during interviews on several radio shows shortly after the December 27, 2007 assassination. At that time, many in the media were blaming al Qaeda for the hit. The chief source for this claim seems to have been an “obscure Italian Web site” that alleged that its reporter had received a telephone call from Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, al Qaeda’s commander in Afghanistan (Ross). During the call, al-Yazid supposedly stated: “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahedeen” (ibid). The Web site further contended that Ayman al Zawahri, al Qaeda’s number two leader, decided it was time to do away with Bhutto back in October 2007 (ibid). While all of this sounded like a smoking gun, the claim was anything but conclusive. According to ABC’s Brian Ross, U.S. intelligence officials said they could not confirm the claim of responsibility for the attack (ibid).

While al Qaeda may very well have been involved in the assassination, it should be understood that al Qaeda is merely part of a larger conspiratorial infrastructure, so it may not be accurate to place the blame solely at the doorstep of a single terrorist organization. Bhutto had vowed to do many things that would invite violent reprisal if she was re-elected prime minister. One promise that probably set off several alarm bells among the world’s wealthy and powerful appeared in a September 26, 2007 report in the Times of India. According to the report, Bhutto promised to allow inspectors from the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to question A.Q. Khan, the metallurgist nuclear black marketer and father of Pakistan’s “Islamic Bomb” (“Bhutto commits to letting IAEA question A.Q. Khan”).



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

by Terry Melanson (15/11/2008)


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 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.”



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.

Photographer “Big Mike” in Germany, has this to say about the castle:

The Ruined Castle built between 1779 and 1781 close to the spa baths, although separated on its artificial island behind gnarled oaks, is the earliest pseudo-medieval castle on the European continent to have been purpose-built for a landscaped park in the form of a ruin. In fact, it served Wilhelm, the invested heir to Hesse-Kassel, as a summer residence. Its apparently dilapidated tower has been deliberately designed to bewilder the visitor, for it accommodates an elegant apartment on its ground floor and a magnificent domed hall with portraits of ancestors by Anton Wilhelm Tischbein on its upper floor.

Wilhelmsbad Pyramid

Wilhelmsbad Pyramid

There’s also a pyramid on the grounds, erected in 1784, in honor of William IX’s son Friedrich who died prematurely just shy of his twelfth birthday; designed by Franz Ludwig von Canerin.

William IX wasn’t a Freemason, but his brother Prince Karl, Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel (1744-1836), was. Karl was the chief organizer of the conference, and second in command to Grand Master (Magnus Superior Ordinis; ‘Eques a Victoria’) Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel (1721-92) – Illuminatus, February 1783.

The following is a list of the official deputies of the Strict Observance who attended the gathering:



A Brief Encounter with Adam Weishaupt in 1804

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.