Conspiracy Roundup (31-01-2016)
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.
isgp.nl on Alex Jones: Joel van der Reijden publishes an extensive article on the recent admissions (and implications) of Jones having family members involved in the CIA and/or special forces. Jones is an exaggerator by nature, however. His connections to the Council for National Policy (CNP) crowd has been well documented though, and Joel successfully marshals the details under a single reference. One note of caution is that CNP membership identification has over years been compiled exclusively by Barbara Aho; the primary sources for CNP membership are not provided and the people she identifies as having dual membership in the CNP and CFR, for instance, is wrong more than being correct.
One thing I’d like to address in Joel’s own research, concerns the following snippet in the same article: “Most members of the Illuminati, which absolutely hasn’t existed anymore for centuries [true], are known. I organized them here, along with names and membership of related groups. Sources should be easy to find, once you have the names.” The link goes to another page. See the screenshot below:
This illustrates how badly things can go wrong when you’re not as familiar with the minutia of certain topics. I won’t address the ‘Fratres Lucis’ group, except to say that its purported existence comes via a crystal gazing occultist, Herbert Irwin, claiming to communicate with the disembodied spirit of Cagliostro. Not exactly a credible source. The Scottish Rite and the Grand Orient didn’t begin in 1733. Grand Orient was created in 1773 – a transformation of the existing Grand Lodge founded in 1738. Scottish Rite with 33 degrees makes its first appearance in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801. Scottish (Ecossais) degrees were created in France beginning in the 1730s as soon as Masonry crossed the channel, however the 33rd degree system of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was born in America at the turn of the 19th century. The following were not members of the Amis Réunis: Lafayette, Mirabeau, Barnave, DuPont, Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Robespierre and Marat. The only one he got right was Ludwig X of Hesse-Darmstadt. [For reliable Amis Réunis/Philalèthes membership identification, see Charles Porset, Les Philalèthes Et Les Convents De Paris: Une Politique De La Folie, H. Champion (1996); Pierre-François Pinaud, “Un cercle d’initiés à Paris à la fin du XVIIIe siècle. Les Amis Réunis, 1771-1791,” in Paris et Ile-de-France – Mémoires (tome 44, 1993)]. Similarly, the following were not members of the Illuminati: Cagliostro, Saint-Germain, Mesmer, Duke d’Orleans, Lafayette, Barnave, Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Nicolas de Bonneville, Claude Fauchet, Prince Henry of Prussia and Thomas Paine. Joel relies upon Marco di Luchetti’s book Illuminati Manifesto of World Revolution. Those whom Marco claims as members are easily checked against the meticulous archival studies of the last 30 years. Marco knows about these scholars yet erroneously claims as members those who are not listed in these standard ground-breaking works (and upon the flimsiest mention in old obscure books from authors who were not experts in Illuminati studies and who had no evidence in the first place). Gone are the days of speculation. We can prove with great accuracy the real members of the Illuminati: See Hermann Schüttler, Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991), who includes over a thousand members; the accumulated list from the same scholar and his colleagues, here; and my own book Perfectibilists, for extended bios of 448 members.
Suspicious Minds – The latest in a long line of psychologists purporting to study the minds of conspiracy theorists is someone by the name of Rob Brotherton. He has a new book on the subject, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories.
The Los Angeles Times offered him space to hawk his theories and plug his book.
I’d like to quote one paragraph and offer some thoughts:
Dismissing all conspiracy theories (and theorists) as crazy is just as intellectually lazy as credulously accepting every wild allegation. The tricky part is figuring out what’s reasonable and what’s ridiculous, and we can do that only by honestly scrutinizing why we believe what we believe.
It’s not tricky at all, and you don’t settle it by scrutinizing “beliefs.” History is best left up to historians, investigative reporters, and archival researchers — not psychologists or social scientists. Whether the theory postulates a conspiracy or not, we deal in documents and testimony. Primary sources take precedent. Determining what’s “reasonable and what’s ridiculous” is a part of source criticism, which is only one aspect of historiography. You have to become an expert on a subject to even begin to make sound judgments on sources. If you’re lucky, other experts will point the way toward standard works. It will still take years of dedication and study, and years more of mistakes until a sound appreciation of a given subject begins to emerge — let alone trying to present your results in a clear and engaging narrative.
The psychologist is someone who deals exclusively with “theories”; not the historian.
“Secret elites” are not America’s problem, so sayeth popular author Mitch Horowitz at Salon.com. He’s right that the Illuminati have long been defunct, but he then proceeds to offer a brief but erroneous accounting of its history.
The group was born in the early ferment of the revolutionary period in America and France.
It had nothing to do with either America or France. There wasn’t much ferment or revolution in the air, and the Declaration of Independence was still months in the future and half-a-world away. The founding of the Illuminati was a very specific reaction to theocratic despotism in Bavaria in 1776, localized at first, in Ingolstadt University.
Founded by Bavarian philosopher and jurist Adam Weishaupt in 1776, the Illuminati advocated for then-radical ideals such as separation of church and state, free assembly, and democratic elections.
They didn’t advocate for any of those issues. Quite the opposite. After initially abandoning the name ‘Perfectibilists’ they settled upon “Illuminati” because they fancied themselves “Enlightened” – as in an enlightened elite. In today’s parlance they would probably have called themselves “technocrats.” According to the late professor Richard van Dülmen, a modern Illuminaten expert in the strictest sense, Weishaupt’s “objective was to raise the intellectual niveau among a selected elite, those who were in a position to subvert existing institutions and promote the spirit of Enlightenment at all levels […] a democratic model was out of the question, but the elite was still faced with the choice between a monarchy and an aristocracy” (The Society of the Enlightenment, Polity Press, 1992, p.112). Further, “it was the deliberate intention of the league that existing societies should be systematically undermined and all important religious, governmental and, not least, didactic institutions should be infiltrated in order that they might operate in the best interests of reason” (p.113). Similarly, in his study of the Weimar Illuminati, utilizing for the first time the archives from the Swedish Box, historian Daniel Wilson dubbed it “the perfection of enlightened absolutism through conspiratorial means.”
The masses simply were not enlightened enough to govern themselves. In the meantime, secret societies controlled by the Illuminati would need to secretly take the reins of the state, slowly indoctrinate the public in the ways of virtue and reason, so that gradually the state would become redundant and man could once again govern himself. A philosophy of history and progress coupled with utopian golden age longing; a sort of proto-anarchism as an ideal.
More from another, legitimate, Illuminati scholar:
The education of the “new man” was not an end in itself, but was supposed to train staff for a “moral regime”, which was to be secretly introduced within existing states. The political goal of the Illuminaten was thus not open revolution, but rather the hidden infiltration of the various forms of authority and institutions of the Ancien Régime in the age of the late Enlightenment. With a philosophy of history of human perfectibility taken from Rousseau’s triadic model, it was believed that over generations, indeed centuries, the Order could generate a process of political and social transformation leading to a society of rational citizens, still patriarchal in structure, but free from all other external authority. Any social structure exceeding the authority of the head of the family was regarded as dispensable in the future society of free and enlightened men. The social ideal of the leadership of the Illuminaten Order thus matched concepts of the anarchical utopia of the 18th century (Monika Neugebauer-Wölk, “Illuminaten” entry in Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism, ed. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Brill Academic Publishers, 2005, p. 591).
The group employed occult symbols to indicate its sense of attachment to ancient civilizations, its embrace of radical ecumenism, and its affinity for Freemasonry, which Weishaupt, a friend of Mozart and Goethe, hoped could be transformed into a political vehicle for Enlightenment values.
Where to begin? The Illuminati did not employ occult symbols. If you want to call the Owl of Minerva ‘occult,’ then that’s about the extent of it. There were no pentagrams, no all-seeing-eyes, no alchemical symbols of the kind utilized by their arch enemies, the Rosicrucians. Besides the Owl of Minerva, some standard masonic carpets were used in the Freemasonic class within the system, but overt esotericism was frowned upon throughout all the ranks, as was anything that smacked of superstitious folly. Not a trace of ‘ecumenism’ either, ‘radical’ or otherwise. Moreover, Freemasonry as an institution was typically derided as a lost cause, worthy only of control:
While fiercely critical of the wider masonic movement and disdainful of masonic ritual, the order nevertheless remained inextricably entwined with freemasonry, developing rather like a parasitic plant, using the parent body as a source of sustenance and recruits and instrument for propagating its ideology (Jonathan I. Israel, Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights 1750-1790, Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 836).
Weishaupt was not friends with either Mozart or Goethe. Where Horowitz got that idea, is beyond me. Mozart was indeed friends with a great many members of the Illuminati—dozens perhaps—mainly in Austria and Vienna; Goethe was himself an Illuminatus, but he was not pals with Adam. In fact, very few were aware that Weishaupt was the head of the Illuminati until their main corpus of correspondences were confiscated (1786-87). Everyone was genuinely shocked that he was the puppet master behind it all. Weishaupt didn’t have many friends, and he certainly didn’t chum around with Mozart and Goethe (nor did he sip tea with Beethoven or play cards with Voltaire!)
Elites have always been around. No name is needed; it’s a class thing. And what they do in secret is of great consequence.
As a description of today’s top dogs, I am partial to Joel van der Reijden’s term: Supranational Society. The Illuminati of the 18th century, despite their goals and dreams, were a bunch of girls scouts compared to these guys.
Rather than railing against conspiracy theorists who entertain themselves with pop-myths about Masonry and the Illuminati, or the latest Jihadist nut in a long line of Jihadist nuts, Horowitz might do well to read the fascinating exchange earlier this month at same website which published his article.