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

Saturday, November 15th, 2008 | Illuminati 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 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.”

It makes no difference to me what Barruel or Robison had gotten right or wrong (incidentally Barruel was right); all that matters is that, now, we know the truth. First and foremost: it was indeed Johann Jakob Lanz (b. 1735) who was killed beside Weishaupt while riding horseback in Regensburg.

First, let’s identify all the known members of the Illuminati with either a last name of Lang or Lanz.

  • Franz Georg Lang (1752-1790) -Tamerlane-
  • Johann Adam Lang (b. 1762?) -Hugo Grotius/Plotinus-
  • Karl Heinrich Ritter von Lang (1764-1835)
  • Konrad Lang -Diogenes of Apollonia-
  • Lanz -Albert II-
  • Johann Jakob Lanz (1735-July 20, 1785) -Socrates/DuSaint-*

* See Hermann Schüttler, Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991), pp. 91-2; the foremost scholar on the Bavarian Illuminati alive today. His archival studies on the Illuminati, spanning the whole of Europe, culminated in the publication of Die Mitglieder, and includes a staggering 1255 confirmed members.

I’m not even going to get into why the others are not the Lanz/Lang that was struck by lightning - though the first and third are disqualified by their dates of death alone. I’ll merely recount what Dr. Schüttler says about Johann Jakob Lanz (on p. 92): ordained a priest in 1757, studied theology and jurisprudence; a Benefiziat [benefice] in Erding and a resident of Munich. Death by lightning in July 1785 while accompanying Weishaupt in Regensburg.

In fact, Schüttler used to have an extensive site on the Illuminati (now defunct, and which unfortunately hasn’t been cached by the Wayback Machine). For years his site included alphabetical lists of Illuminati members who have their likeness painted/drawn for posterity. Back in late 2005 or early 2006, I did a scrape of his Illuminati members pages. Here, then, is a screenshot of the Johann Jakob Lanz page (including his pic) as it once appeared at Schüttler’s site:

J. J. Lanz (Click for Full view)

Another McKeown error regarding Lanz was the claim that the latter wasn’t a member of the Illuminati! Johann Jakob Lanz was indeed a member of the Illuminati, even subsequently becoming head of the Freising Minerval Church; also a member of the Munich Lodge Theodor zum guten Rat (controlled by the Illuminati) and the co-founder of the Masonic/Illuminati Lodge Augusta zu den drei Kronen in Freising (Schüttler, op. cit., p. 92).

Törring zu Seefeld, Count Anton Clemens von (1725 Munich, Germany – 1812 ib.)

Count Anton Clemens von Törring zu Seefeld (1725 Munich, Germany – 1812 ib.)

This Freising Lodge - outwardly a Masonic one - was a vehicle for the machinations of the Illuminati. The charter was theirs, the Lodge was theirs, and the system (a society within a secret society) was entirely geared toward recruitment into the Order. Augusta zu den drei Kronen was solemnly instituted on August 4th, 1781 by the following FF. of the Illuminati: Count Anton Clemens von Törring zu Seefeld (Ulysses) and Franz Paul Edler von Berger (Cornelius Scipio), delegates from the Munich Lodge Theodor zum guten Rat; in the presence of Imperial Count Joseph Christian von Königsfeld (Augustus/Orion); Karl Eligius, Baron von Strommer (Atticus); Josef Georg von Delling (Pansa/Augustus); Franz Xaver von Kammerloher (Lepidus/Soccurus); Franz von Paula Hoheneicher (Alcibiades); Johann Jakob Lanz; Max Joseph Baron von Frauenberg (Adrian/Trajanus); Count Stanislaus von Taufirchen (Pomponius/Malacrida); Maximillian Kaltner (Allucius); Franz Paul de Dufresne (Maevius); Franz Xaver Ferdinand Josef, Baron von Gumpenberg (Protheus); and Franz Xaver von Hueber (Theocritus). Lanz was the Lodge’s first Orator and the Master of Ceremonies.*

* See Schüttler, op. cit., passim, and René Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie Allemande [Paris: 1914], Archè reprint, 2001, pp. 246-7 and n. 5, 394 n. 3. However, even the great Le Forestier calls him “Lang” instead of “Lanz,” though he gets it right that this person was indeed an important Illuminati at the Freising Lodge. Ultimately, the confusion might lie in the fact that both Franz Georg Lang and Johann Jakob Lanz were members of the Lodge Theodor zum guten Rat in Munich; it was from the latter Lodge that the charter for the Freising Lodge was received. Schüttler has done the necessary leg work and not only has two-hundred years of hindsight to draw upon, but new archival material with names, dates of birth, and station, etc. It probably wasn’t even possible to settle the question (Lanz or Lang) until the proper lists from Lodges and archives had become accessible.

The Illuminati Directorate of Freising (=Thebes) had the following structure:

Upper Palatinate (Delta)
Heinrich Karl, Baron Roth von Schröckenstein (Propertius)
Minerval Church Superior
Johann Jakob Lanz
Quaestor and Minerval Church Secretary
Karl Eligius, Baron von Strommer*

* Schüttler, op. cit., p. 231.

Divine Retribution

In 1785 Adam Weishaupt was on the run. He had escaped Ingolstadt just in time. The Bavarian Elector, Duke Karl Theodor had issued his second edict against secret societies in general and the Illuminati and Freemasonry in particular. Weishaupt had actually left two weeks before the March 2nd edict, and was safe for the time being in the free imperial city of Regensburg.

On July 20th, 1785 Weishaupt and his friend Lanz were riding on horseback near the gates of Regensburg. Lanz was struck dead by lightning while Weishaupt, at his side, remained unscathed. It is one of those episodes in history that at first glance is immediately suspect. But it is true. For all to bear witness, the Lord - in spectacular fashion - had revealed his righteous indignation. You see Lanz was a priest who’d willingly followed the Illuminati. He knew full well the anti-religious sentiments of his brethren, and worse: as Minerval Superior he proselytized, and personally indoctrinated men into a thoroughly ungodly system.* To a jealous God - a befitting end, indeed.

* For example, in one instance, a high-ranking member of the Illuminati, Baron de Bassus confessed that during a Minerval gathering in Munich (in 1778), he had personally witnessed a French abbot read to the assembly works of an extreme nature; intensely attacking Christianity and replete with atheism and vitriol toward God and his “imposters,” “Moses, Jesus and Mohamed” (Le Forestier, op. cit., p. 90 and n. 1).

Pinned are Freising, Regensburg (Rattisbon or Ratisbon), Silesia. The latter territory is additionally highlighted: from an 1786 map of Central Europe.

Pinned are Freising, Regensburg (Rattisbon or Ratisbon), Silesia. The latter territory is additionally highlighted: from an 1786 map of Central Europe.

Lanz was traveling to Silesia on a scouting mission for the Order and it makes sense that he had stopped in Regensburg to consult with Weishaupt. Regensburg is directly on the North-easterly route.

Lanz’ corpse was searched, and found sewn into his vestments was a list of members of the Illuminati and other papers detailing the Silesian mission. If Lanz had made it there, his next task would have been to visit as many Lodges as possible. The papers discovered on his body made clear that Lanz was admonished to take note of the following: (1) the names of Lodges and villages or towns in which they are located; (2) the name of the Master of the Chair, the two wardens directly below him, and any other influential members of the Lodge; (3) what system does it practice; (4) how long has the Lodge been active; (5) the manner in which it is directed or operated; (6) how many degrees it confers above that of the three symbolic grades; (7) if they are aware of the Order of the Illuminati; (8) what opinion they have formed of it; (9) what are their thoughts concerning the persecutions of the Freemasons and Illuminati in Bavaria, and who they think is responsible; (10) what they say about the Disciples of Loyola and the Jesuits. He was also instructed not to reveal his status as an Illuminatus, with hope of provoking genuine responses. (Le Forestier, op. cit., p. 477).


There’s a few other errors in McKeown’s “compilation,” but it is magnitudes more accurate than the truly disgraceful article at Wikipedia. In 2004 or 2005, Wikipedia actually had a half-descent entry on the Illuminati. Now, it has since been gutted due to the editors there not having even a modicum of research ability. If you’re going to muck with a professed “encyclopedic” article, you’d better damn well know your material inside and out.

It is more than fitting, I suppose, that one of the real reasons why Wikipedia has emasculated itself - all in the name of being reputable (what a laugh!) - is because Freemasons, and their coterie of professed know-it-all’s, have, as a sole purpose in life (perhaps as marching orders), the pooh-poohing of any possibility of a real “conspiracy” involving “real” secret societies who may or may not be affiliated with “benevolent” Freemasonry, whom they assure everyone, has not had a hand in the hidden-hand of history.

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15 Comments to “Lang” or “Lanz”: Myths about the “Myths”

November 15, 2008

Thanks for pointing the re-posting out, we’ll talk to our author for the english-section and then delete the copied post.

November 16, 2008

Keep up the good work Terry. Your last point about Masonic researchers muddying the waters is well taken. Many of them seem to take advantage of the, all too often, terrible research done by lazy authors and use this to support their “all conspiracy is imaginary” theory. On a related note, I recently purchases a used copy of “The Element Encyclopaedia of Secret Societies & Hidden History” by John Michael Greer. The articles have a strong anti-Christian, anti-conspiracy theorist bend and the author seems to exude a certain degree of joy in pointing out occasions where information was fabricated or misrepresented by bad ol’ Fundamentalists. He seems to assert that most charges made against secret societies are just products of ignorant people’s imaginations, except when charges are levelled against the Catholic Church. Anything bad said about them, is no doubt, always true. When it comes to the entry on the Bavarian Illuminati a substantial amount of space is given to blasting Barruel and Robinson. It should come as no surprise that the author is a self professed “32 degree Freemason, a Master of the Temple in one branch of the Golden Dawn tradition, the Grand Arch Druid of one Modern Druid order and a member of three others, and an initiate of more than a dozen other secret societies and an esoteric traditions.” With this in mind, I recommend readers of this book take one huge grain of salt before preceding.

Terry Melanson
November 17, 2008

Thanks for the comments, Illuminaten and Ross.

Re Greer: yes, that is the general m.o. Since all the rest of his brethren’s shtick is to attack Barruel and Robison, he follows suit. Automatons.

As far as Masonry and the Illuminati, the former are still sore over the fact that they had been duped and, to a large extent, taken over by the latter.

I have developed a greater appreciation of Barruel. There’s a new discovery about the Illuminati’s role in France during a visit by J. J. C. Bode in 1787 just before the Revolution. Only confirmed in the mid 1990s, we now know for sure that Bode’s little trip established a secret cell in France; and that Barruel (only privy to rumor) had almost managed to crack the case. A Mason/researcher from the Grand Orient of France admitted as much. (Details in my book)

Also, while reading over the great historian R. R. Palmer, he makes some honest remarks concerning the data Barruel had accumulated. In the Age of Democratic Revolution, II, 1964, pp. 251-55, Palmer gives him his due as far as Barruel’s knowledge of “revolutionaries” at the time. What Palmer didn’t know, however, is that a great many of those named would subsequently be identified as Illuminati. So, Barruel was even more accurate than he could have known.

sukrat bajaj
April 2, 2009

Dear Terry,

I am a filmmaker from India working on a documentary film that has much, if not all, to do with the truth about the Bavarian Illuminati.

The film is for an upcoming non-profit platform that besides other things is dedicated to rewriting true and accurate history in socio-political context, where need be.

As the director of the film I am very concerned about the accuracy of the research that is being used to write it.

Its been a pleasure to come across your site in this process. I was wondering if you would consider helping me out by answering a few questions that I have in regards.

Thanking you in advance,


September 23, 2010

Divine Retribution!

Indeed!!!! There is no question in my mind at all about the truth of this and for an interesting contrast to what happened to Lanz consider this weather event on the other side of the ocean specifically in Ohio circa 1853:

“During the summer of 1853 Oberlin was struck with a severe drought. The hay fields were dried up so there was no feed for the cattle. The cattle soon must die and the harvest fail unless rain comes. Crops had withered, wells dried up, and the parched earth became powdery.
On Sunday morning the church was filled. Not a cloud was in sight and no one expected a drop of water to fall from the skies that day. The situation was desperate. Finney arose from his chair walked to the pulpit and lifted his voice in prayer.
‘O Lord! Send us rain. We pray for rain. Our harvests perish. There is not a drop for the thirsting birds. The ground is parched. The choking cattle lift their voices toward a brassy heaven and lowing, cry ’Lord give us water…We do not presume to dictate to Thee what is best for us, yet Thou dost invite us to come to Thee as children to a father and tell Thee all our wants. We want rain! Even the squirrels in the woods are suffering for want of it. Unless Thou givest us rain our cattle must die…O Lord, send us rain! and send it now! For Jesus sake! Amen
“In the preachers voice,” reports the California minister, “was the
plaintiveness of a creatures cry. I do not know whether any pencil caught more of this wonderful prayer, but all who heard it had to tell of its bold importunity. It had the pathos and power of an Isaiah.”
Then the pastor-revivalist poured out his soul in a searching sermon, ’hewing close to the line,’ from the text, “I have somewhat against thee because thou hast left thy first love.” “Not many minutes did the sermon go on before a cloud about the size of a man’s hand came athwart the summer sky,” says the California preacher, “It grew fast. The wind rattled the shutters of the old church. Darkness came on the air, joy aroused our anxious hearts as great raindrops pattered on the sun-scorched shingles of the monumental old church.
Finney’s lithe figure, tall as a Sioux warrior, ruddy as a David, trembled. His clarion voice choked. God had heard his cry. The sermon was never finished, for torrents of water poured from the prayer-unlocked heavens. The preacher bowed over the pulpit and said, Let us thank the Lord for the rain.”
He gave out the hymn, When all they mercies, O my God my rising soul surveys, Transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love and praise.”
The congregation could not sing for weeping. Then Finney lifted heavenward a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. “I can remember not a word of the closing prayer, but the reverent and relaxed figure, the pathetic voice, the pallid and awe-struck countenance, are vivid as if it was yesterday; the plank sidewalks of the dear old town splashed our garments as we walked home from a short service, of which life’s memory must be lasting.” This is the testimony of the student who sat in the gallery and saw and heard Finney that morning.” {pg. 126-128 Miller}

It is certainly interesting and quite significant because Charles Finney understood the dangers of the Masons and fought hard to stop them in America. And O for some interesting scriptures about the weather check these out…

“Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down and violent winds will burst forth… In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury.” {Ezekiel 13: 8-13}

“When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses.” {Jeremiah 51:16}

“The Lord will cause men to hear His majestic voice and will make them see His arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.” {Isaiah 30:30}

and there is so much the more to see and learn!



January 24, 2012

god did it

February 15, 2013

Finally a person who talk about the “real” Illuminati. not the conspiracy one, thanks for illuminating me, on the subject. hehe :)

April 29, 2014

“(10) what they say about the Disciples of Loyola and the Jesuits.” - this tenth question is very interesting in partitular. Do you suggest any explanation why they would ask other masons of their opinion about the “disciples of Loyola”? By the way, this website is solid in knowledge!

Terry Melanson
April 29, 2014

It was to suss out the anti-jesuit masons. The 9th question is related in that many suspected the “ex”-jesuits of being the guiding hand behind the persecution of the Illuminati (which in some respects isn’t that far off). Naturally they would want allies in fighting against their enemy.

June 7, 2014

The fact that the getting struck by lighting part is real is what’s fascinating to me as a Christian Conspiracy theorist. That doesn’t happen commonly, and really makes it seem like Divine intervention.

September 30, 2014

Hi, i found it proper to put that question here, because here is where i’ve asked my previous question. The all-seeing eye symbol is so popular. But so far i somehow cannot find an authentic source that depicts it as illuminati symbol. Is there such a source with which we can safely conclude that this is an illuminati symbol?

Terry Melanson
September 30, 2014

The all-seeing eye was absolutely not a symbol of the Illuminati. Definitively no.

October 1, 2014

Thanks for the reply. The eye symbol it comes from freemasonry, and as we know the illuminati declared they goal to infiltrate masonry lodges, so its probably they embraced the symbol in order to get over freemasonry? It has to be something like that.

Terry Melanson
October 31, 2014

You misunderstood: the all-seeing eye is not a symbol of the Illuminati nor did they embrace it at anytime in their history. All-seeing eye was utilized by the Masons and the Jacobins afterwards during the French Revolution (due to masonic influence). Before that it was a prominent symbol in coins for centuries denoting that rulers were guided by God. Catholics used for centuries also, mostly above the altar (and still do). Hermeticists and Alchemists employed the symbol also. All the examples mentioned mean the same thing: the providence of God or in the mason’s case, the “great architect.”

It, along with the great seal of the US, was wrongly attributed to the Illuminati by ignorant conspiracy theorists, particularly through the writings of William Guy Carr and his source Emanuel Josephson, and mythology weaving occultists such as Manly P. Hall.

March 22, 2015

Yes, i got you. I have read Guy Carr’s books and i he really made it up hard as regards to the all-seeing eye and the “age old luciferian conspiracy” plan passed by Rotschild to Adam Weishaupt. When in reality there are no evidences, whatsoever, in support for it.

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