10 Notable Members of the Bavarian Illuminati

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 | Illuminati Members

by Terry Melanson (22/2/2011) [also available in PDF - here and here]

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.

The famous trip Johann Joachim Christoph Bode (then head of the Illuminati) had made from Weimar to Paris in 1787 has been for over 200 years a source of speculation. It turns out, however, that Bode had kept a travel journal that was only recently rediscovered and published for the first time in 1994. This, along with a letter Bode sent to Illuminatus Christian, Prince of Hessen-Darmstadt (1763-1830) at precisely the same time, includes the explicit admission that the Master of the Amis Réunis and the Philalèthes, Savalette de Langes, after over a month of meetings and talks with Bode, was persuaded to join the Illuminati. He was initiated on August 1st, 1787, followed three days later by Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Adéodat Taillepied de Bondy (1741-1822) and Alexandre-Louis Roëttiers de Montaleau (1748-1808). This hitherto unknown secret Lodge of the Illuminati in Paris had decided to operate under another name – Philadelphes. Little else is known save the pledge to work toward the “healthy reason” of the politically inclined Illuminati. Additional Amis Réunis recruits during Bode’s visit were Jean-Baptiste Le Sage (1757/67-1838) and Francois-Antoine Lemoyne Daubermesnil (1748-1802).5

In the letter to Christian von Darmstadt, Bode outlined some specifics about how the Illuminati would operate in France:

  1. Correspondences should be marked with a cross. In this way, out of politeness and respect, rejections from the censors would be few;

  2. The utilization of a standard Masonic cipher, but for the ninth key, the word St. … [a gap in the text, perhaps deliberately] from an agreed upon almanac;

  3. Adopt the name Philadelphes instead of Illuminati, and in place of Minervals, Preparatory class or Aspirants. One of the reasons, Bode says, is that the Amis Réunis already have the class of Philalèthes for their final grade. And finally, for those adverse to mysterious societies, a beneficial assembly under the name Philanthropes.

Less than a year after Bode’s visit an organizational transformation did in fact take place at the Amis Réunis: a new Chapter was instituted, which included only one-fifth of the total number of Amis Réunis members. There were seventy-six members, according to Hermann Schüttler, of which eleven were known Illuminati. Of the eleven, however, he only lists ten: Daubermesnil, Le Sage, Roëttiers de Montaleau, Savalette de Langes, Taillepied de Bondy, Ludwig X. Landgrave von Hessen-Darmstadt (1753-1830), Friedrich Rudolf Salzmann (1749-1820), Friedrich Tiemann (1743-1802) and Russian envoy Count Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov (1733-1811). Among others, those who also belonged to the Chapter were the banker brothers Louis-Daniel Tassin (1742-1794) and Gabriel Tassin de l’Étang (1743-1794), Jean-Pierre Louis de Beyerlé (1740-1806) and François-Marie Marquis de Chefdebien d’Armissan (1753-1814). Schüttler rightly described it as a “lodge within a lodge within a lodge” (Amis Réunis -> Illuminati/Philadelphes -> the new 1788 Chapter). About the nature of its work nothing is known, only that it lasted until 1792 and had dwindled to 22 members.6

The significance of this and other evidence, as it relates to the conspiracy thesis of the French Revolution, is summarized by Porset:

The register of the Amis Réunis to which I have already referred, specifies, in 1789, which Brothers called for the recommencement of the Convent of Paris on the occasion of the reunion of the Estates-General…Montmorency-Luxembourg, who fled to England on the first day of the Revolution, was a member of the Philalèthes, but he was not a revolutionary. Yet in a very interesting letter written at that time, to Chataigner, he blames the Philalèthes and explains that he never wanted to give in to their pressure, but he adds that he didn’t want to betray them - whom he respected; and finally, Chaillon de Jonville, deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, thus the institution which preceded the Grand Orient, denounced the Philadelphes in a text which appeared in 1789; he held them responsible for the revolutionary disturbances. What more can be said? These Brothers of the foremost Lodges, weren’t they in a position to speak [candidly] about what they had experienced?7

Professor Porset, himself a Grand Orient Mason, thus ends his erudite work on the Philalèthes by reluctantly admitting that the 18th Century contemporary “anti-masonic” Illuminati conspiracy theorists, such as Barruel, Starck, Lefranc, and Hervás y Panduro (though Robison might be mentioned in this company as well) were better-informed than has previously been suspected.8

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Mesmerists in France at the time, of which Savalette de Langes was an adherent, member, and associate, were far from being harmless mystics. The formidable historian, Robert Darnton has shown conclusively that the clubs and Lodges of the Mesmerists, before, during, and after the Revolution, were the premiere gathering places for revolutionaries and radical pamphleteers.9 As Porset has summarized:

…it suffices to remark that Mirabeau, Lafayette, Duport, Brissot, Carra, Bergasse, the Rolands, d’Epremesnil, Desmoulins, Danton, Robespierre, and Savalette de Langes, were all Masons and frequented the same milieu, – and that this milieu, the Masonic-Mesmerists and Illuminists, played a decisive role before and during the Revolution.10

2. * Gabriel Honoré Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791)

Comte de Mirabeau

Comte de Mirabeau

That Mirabeau was influenced by Illuminati such as Jakob Mauvillon and the Prussian Aufklärer in particular, there is no doubt.

As an introduction, we can hardly improve upon the words of the Librarian of Congress, historian James H. Billington:

Frederick the Great’s interest in revolution as a spiritual and political event subtly influenced many Germans of his time. He created in Prussia a sense of new Promethean possibilities. His impatience with tradition in affairs of state was echoed in the republic of letters by the rebellious poets of the Sturm und Drang. Radical Bavarian Illuminists urged in the early 1780s that his secularizing reforms be carried even further through an “imminent revolution of the human mind.” Their opponents, in turn, already saw in such a program in 1786 the threat of an “imminent universal revolution.”

Thus Germany – not France – gave birth to the sweeping, modern idea of revolution as a secular upheaval more universal in reach and more transforming in scope than any purely political change. This concept was transported to Paris by Count Mirabeau, a former French ambassador in Berlin; it helped him to become the leading figure in the early events of the French Revolution in 1789. His study of Frederick the Great in 1788 had proclaimed Prussia the likely site of a coming revolution, and the German Illuminists its probable leaders. Mirabeau’s speeches and writings the following year transferred these expectations of a deep transformation from Germany to France. He became both the leader in turning the Third Estate of the Estates-General into a new National Assembly and “the first to succeed in launching a journal without the authorization of the government.” His reputation as the outstanding orator of the Assembly is closely related to his pioneering role in convincing the French that their revolution, though political in form, was redemptive in content. Mirabeau popularized the Illuminist term “revolution of the mind,” introduced the phrase “great revolution,” and apparently invented the words “revolutionary,” “counter-revolution,” and “counter-revolutionary.” Mirabeau pioneered in applying the evocative language of traditional religion to the new political institutions of revolutionary France. As early as May 10, 1789, he wrote to the constituents who had elected him to the Third Estate that the purpose of the Estates-General was not to reform but “to regenerate” the nation. He subsequently called the National Assembly “the inviolable priesthood of national policy,” the Declaration of the Rights of Man “a political gospel,” and the Constitution of 1791 a new religion “for which the people are ready to die.”11

He’s prefaced here with an asterisk because his membership in the Illuminati, however probable or likely, is not confirmed.

Mirabeau’s (claimed) aliases are Adramelech and/or Leonidas.

In Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93, Hermann Schüttler used an asterisk under Mirabeau’s name in the section that lists the Paris Illuminati, but neglects to include it in his actual biography (pp. 221 and 106 respectively). The good thing about Schüttler, however, is that he is completely transparent. Precise citations are provided on three fronts: 1) for biographical details, 2) Masonic and 3) Illuminati membership. The sources for the latter, in identical order listed in Schüttler, are:

  • Le Forestier, René: Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie Allemande (Paris 1915), p. 664 n. 3
  • Grolmann, Ludwig Adam von: Endliches Schicksal des Freymaurer-Ordens in einer Schlußrede gesprochen vom Br. *** vormals Redner der Loge zu *** am Tage ihrer Auflösung (Giessen 1794), p. 20
    • ———: Nöthiger Anhang zu der jüngst erschienenen Schrift: Endliches Schicksal des Freymaurer-Ordens (Regensburg 1795), p. 14
  • Hoffmann, Jochen: “Bedeutung und Funktion des Illuminatenordens in Norddeutschland,” in: Zeitschrift für Bayerische Landesgeschichte (v. 45) (1982), p. 366 n. 21
  • Starck, Johann August von: Der Triumph der Philosophie im Achtzehnten Jahrhunderte. Zweyter Theil (v. 2: 1804), pp. 288ff and 293f
  • Barruel, Augustin: Memoires pour servir a l’Histoire du Jacobinisme [1798] (Vouille, 1973), I and II passim, and II p. 413; or, in the 1800 Münster/Leipzig German language edition, v. 4 p. 348f
  • cf. Lenhoff and Posner: Internationales Freimaurer-Lexikon [Vienna 1932] (Vienna reprint 1980), p. 1042f
  • cf. Welschinger, Henry: Mirabeau in Berlin als geheimer Agent der französischen Regierung 1786-1787 (Leipzig 1900), p. 37

Suffice it to say, none of the above sources are primary material, hence the asterisk. The oldest claim is from Grolmann – a former Illuminatus who was kicked out of the Order and subsequently took up with the counter-revolutionaries12 – followed by Barruel and Starck. Le Forestier points out that it was Starck who identified Mirabeau’s alias as Leonidas without citation. It seems that Starck’s source for Mirabeau being an Illuminatus rests solely upon Grolmann’s 1794 pamphlet Eine Rede über den Illuminaten-Orden and Barruel, who, in turn, cites “Discourse of a Master of a Lodge on the ultimate fate of Masonry” (Grolmann’s then-anonymous Endliches Schicksal des Freymaurer-Ordens in einer), which also apparently includes an appendix with “an admonition” by Leopold Alois Hoffmann.13

So, after all this time, the answer to the question of his Illuminati membership, in a definitive sense, has continued to elude the historian and archivist. And be that as it may, the circumstantial evidence is strong:

  1. There is an official diplomatic communiqué, dated 1791, that names Mirabeau among “Illuminati and Freemasons.” It was sent by Bavarian Foreign Minister Count Karl Matthäus von Vieregg (1719-1802), to Imperial Ambassador Ludwig Konrad von Lehrbach (1750-1805) at Munich, who then forwarded it to Vienna. There are a few individuals mentioned in the list that have since been confirmed as indeed being Illuminati, so Vieregg was better informed than his contemporaries.14 In addition to Mirabeau he lists such French revolutionaries as Duke d’Orléans, Lafayette, Antoine Barnave, Jacques Pierre Brissot, Claude Fauchet, even Thomas Paine. But in the end, since no distinction whatsoever is made between Freemasons and bona fide Illuminati, it’s effectively useless.15

  2. If he did become a member of the Illuminati, it was surely sometime during his three (semi-official and semi-secret) diplomatic missions to the court of Prussia, 1786-87. Mirabeau was already a friend and colleague of Jakob Mauvillon’s, the prefect of the Kassel Illuminati, and the latter had helped him with the bulk of the material for a history of Frederick the Great: De la monarchie prussienne, sous Frédéric le grand [The Prussian Monarchy under Frederick the Great] (1788). While in Berlin, he associated with the Popularphilosophen/rationalist circle of Illuminatus Friedrich Nicolai (prefect of Berlin), was privy to Karl Friedrich Bahrdt’s “German Union” as well as the operations of the Wednesday Society’s Berlinische Monatsschrift and Nicolai’s Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek. And in The Prussian Monarchy…, Mirabeau wrote glowingly and apologetically about the Illuminati – condemning its suppression – even to the point of embracing aspects of the Order’s anti-Jesuitism almost as if he were an Illuminatus himself.16 Indoctrinated, he certainly was;17 and, as Billington has summarized, after having imbued the principles of the Illuminati Mirabeau put them to good use in France during the Revolution.

  3. A curious document was found by his adoptive son, Lucas de Montigny, amongst the belongings of Mirabeau after his death: Plan of an intimate association to be established in the Order of Freemasonry, with a view to restore that Order to its genuine principles, and to make it really tend to the good of mankind: drawn up, in 1776, by B. Mi—–, now surnamed Arcesilaus. It is obvious that it represents the principles and teachings of the Illuminati, probably drafted by his friend Mauvillon whose alias within the Order, it so happens, was precisely Arcesilaus.18 1776, might have been a mistake; rather, it should have been 1786, corresponding to Mirabeau’s trip to Berlin; or, perhaps 1776 was intentional, alluding to the year of the Illuminati’s birth. Nevertheless, all the essentials are there: the imposition of a “secret society within a society,” or parasitizing Freemasonry; the harkening back to the primitive wisdom of man in an egalitarian golden age; praise for Pythagoras and the mystery schools; the importance and socio-political effectiveness of the secret society; to “abolish all ecclesiastical jurisdictions, diminish the number of priests, where that number is excessive, and wrest every weapon from the hand of superstition”; and the strategic use of the conspiratorial stratagems of the Jesuits toward good, rather than evil.

  4. Mirabeau also had a significant friendship with the Swiss banker, Illuminatus J.C. Schweizer (see below) who set up shop in Paris.

Someday it may well be proven one way or another whether Mirabeau was an Illuminatus. The question of his membership in Freemasonry has long been debated as well. Multiple sources simply state that it is supposed that he became a Mason in his younger years; Amsterdam in 1776 is often claimed.19 However, it now seems that the question has been solved – in the affirmative. According to Charles Porset, Mirabeau is known to have been affiliated with the famous Lodge “Neuf Soeurs” [Nine Sisters], December 22, 1783. The evidence can be found at the Masonic National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Massachusetts: a manuscript of a speech made by the Marquis de Pastoret which is accompanied by Mirabeau’s signature. “This affiliation,” writes Porset “indicates that Mirabeau had already been initiated as an apprentice in another Lodge. At any rate, his Masonic membership gives us insight into how he could have established links with the Illuminati [in the first place] …”

3. Alexandre-Louis Roëttiers de Montaleau (1748-1808)

Roettiers de Montaleau

Roettiers de Montaleau

As mentioned above, Roëttiers de Montaleau was initiated into the Illuminati, August 4th, 1787, by J. J. C. Bode. For over thirty years Montaleau was one of the most energetic Masons in France, a member of the Amis Réunis, the Philalèthes, and an officer and Grand Master of the Grand Orient. The “right-hand man of the Duke d’Orléans, Roëttiers was his active agent at the beginning of the French Revolution.”20 The protector of Freemasonry during the Revolution, Montaleau was arrested and nearly guillotined during the Reign of Terror. Released after the fall of Robespierre, he resuscitated and reorganized French Freemasonry becoming the Venerable Master of all the Lodges in 1795. As I had written in my book:

Exactly what influence the [Illuminati] connection really had on the man, we will never know. One question that naturally comes to mind, is: Since he was the protector and savior of French Freemasonry during and after the Revolution, and had full control over the direction he wished to steer the enterprise, how much of Bode’s Bavarian Illuminism had made its way into the inner core of the newly- re-instituted Grand Orient of France? At the very least, was there an adherence to the “secret society within a secret society” principle so integral to the very purpose of the Illuminati? It would seem like the perfect time to institute such a system and could be flawlessly integrated into the core.21

Between Savalette de Langes and Roëttiers de Montaleau, Bode had managed quite the coup by winning them to the cause of the Illuminati (secretly taking on the name Philadelphes). One of Montaleau’s first acts as Venerable of the Grand Orient was to issue a patent for the instalment of the Genevan Grand Orient Lodge “Des Amis Sincères” on June 7th, 1796. Curiously, this Lodge was joined by the professional revolutionist Philippe Buonarroti (in 1806), who then “immediately formed an inner circle within the Lodge, a ‘secret group of Philadelphes’.”22

4. Count Franz Joseph von Kolowrat-Liebensteinsky (b. 1748)

Aliases: Numenius and Julius

There were three members of the Kolowrat family (variously spelled Kollowrat, Kolovrat, Kalowait, Colovrat, Collowrath, Collowarth, Carolat, Carolath or Carlath) who were initiated into the Illuminati. Of polish-Slavic nobility, the Kolowrats held high positions within the Austrian Imperial administration, especially in Bohemia. F.J. Kolowrat was court chamberlain to the Emperor and an artillery captain in Prague.

First becoming a Freemason at the Prague Lodge “Zu den drei gekrönten Säulen” in 1779, he was a member of the Strict Observance (Frater Franciscus Eques ab Aquila Fulgente) and one of the deputies present at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad as a representative of Vienna and Sibiu [Hermannstadt] in Transylvania. It was at Wilhelmsbad that he was recruited into the Illuminati in August 1782.23 Kolowrat was received into the Paris Amis Réunis on December 11th, 1782.24

He had already been corresponding with Savalette de Langes as early as 1781, giving the latter details on occult personalities of the day.25 Marquis de Chefdebien attended the Wilhelmsbad Congress as well, and had received an intelligence report from Savalette de Langes, about, among others, Kolowrat. Savalette wrote that during a previous voyage in France Kolowrat was received by the Masonic adepts at Montpellier and Lyons (viz. Willermoz), even among the Élus Coëns and the Martinists.26 Illuminatus Count Savioli, in a Quibus licet report dated December 2nd, 1782, informed his superiors that Kolowrat was a theosophist and affiliated with Willermoz’s (Martinist) system at Lyons, and was probably even a Rosicrucian. This meant that Kolowrat had to be properly indoctrinated (or deprogrammed) by the Illuminati before he could be of any use: a re-orientation of his religious and mystical proclivities. As Weishaupt wrote to Zwack: “Put me in correspondence with Numenius: I want to try and cure him of his theosophy and bring him closer to our views.”27

It is not clear whether or not Kolowrat was “cured,” or even how far he advanced into the mysteries of the Illuminati,28 but in 1783 he co-founded a Lodge (“Zu den Wahren Vereinigten Freuden”) in Brno (or Brünn)29 that functioned as a base for the Illuminati in Bohemia.

Historian Jiri Kroupa elaborates:

In 1783 a division of Brno Masons founded a new lodge, The True United Friends (Zu Wahren Vereinigten Freuden). The lodge became the refuge of the Secret Order of Illuminati (Geheimorden der Illuminaten). The association of the Illuminati with Freemasonry was in fact part of the expansion strategy of this secret society, which remains of great interest to historians, especially in Germany. At the time of its greatest appeal within the Enlightenment milieu, the circle of Brno Illuminati had about forty members and exerted authority over two smaller circles in Opava and Prague. We are best informed about the Brno Illuminati. Their circle organized a number of lectures and discussions dealing with such themes as education, popular Enlightenment, morality and virtue, academic institutions, and patriotism. Thus for a brief period they established a society ‘in the manner of a learned Academy’, concerned mainly with moral philosophy and with the individual, or rather with what in the milieu of the Illuminati was called ‘character’. Through this secret union, Enlightenment and morality were introduced into the Masonic lodge. In his analysis of the function of the secret in esoteric societies, Norbert Schindler has accentuated the part it played in constituting a ‘new subjectivity’ for the neophyte.30

Sabine Roehr also briefly cites Schindler’s study in her book on Illuminatus Karl Leonhard Reinhold:

…the order functioned as a kind of scholarly academy in which knowledge was collected and scientific research done. One of its major objectives was to develop a new, strongly empiricist concept of science, especially of the science of man. Knigge spoke of a “semiotics of the soul.” Finally, full knowledge of the order and its utopian political goals was accessible only to those in the highest ranks. Schindler calls the educational undertaking of the order “secret pedagogy.” According to him, the Illuminati represented the dualism between Masonic secrecy and the enlightened demand to make everything public.31

5. Johann Caspar [Jean Gaspard] Schweizer (1754-1811)

Schweizer32 was a Swiss merchant and banker, a member of the Helvetian Society, made a Mason at the Zurich Lodge “Bescheidenheit und Freiheit” (Modestia cum Libertate) in 1782, was initiated into the Illuminati in 1785, and became a Jacobin.33

The Zurich lodge ‘Modestia cum Libertate’ today

The Zurich lodge ‘Modestia cum Libertate’ today

Born in Zurich, his uncle Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) became his guardian and educator after Schweizer’s mother had died when he was four. Lavater, dubbed the “prophet of Zurich” by his contemporaries, was an important figure in the mystical, pietist, theosophic, and millenarian loose-movement denoted by scholars as “Illuminism” (c. 1760-1830)34 – not to be confused with the rationalist German Illuminati of Weishaupt or the French philosophes of the Enlightenment. These Illuminists, rather, were concerned – often obsessed – with spiritualism and the occult sciences. Besides Lavater,35 adherents of Illuminism included the likes of Karl von Eckartshausen (1752-1803), Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), Antoine-Joseph Pernety (1716-1796), Martinez de Pasqually (1727-1774), Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803), Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), Franz Xaver von Baader (1765-1841), Baron von Kirchberger de Liebisdorf (1739-1799), Jean-Baptiste Willermoz (1730-1824) and Landgrave Karl von Hessen-Kassel (1744-1836).

Johann Caspar Schweizer; Pastel by James Sharples (from the Pestalozzianum in Zurich)

Johann Caspar Schweizer; Pastel by James Sharples (from the Pestalozzianum in Zurich)

From the mid-1770s until 1786, together with his young wife Magdalena, née Hess (1751-1814), Schweizer entertained scholars and artists at their house Zum unteren Berg in the Hirschengraben, Zurich. Guests included Lavater (of course), Illuminatus Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), doctor Johannes Hotze (1734-1801), professor Johann Jakob Steinbrüchel (1729-1796), professor Leonhard Meister (1741–1811), and Illuminati Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) and Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (1757-1828). Schweizer was particularly friendly with Pestalozzi and the two would often engage in pedagogic discussions. By 1785 both were members of the Illuminati, and it was in that year, they set up a (secret?) society for the “furtherance of domestic and moral happiness.”36 It was, in fact, Pestalozzi who co-founded with Johann Heinrich Rahn (1749-1812) the Illuminati branch in Zurich in 1783. And a year later, Rahn and Pestalozzi had instituted a pedagogic society in the city as a camouflage organization of the Order.37

David Hess, the cousin of Magdalena, was the executor of their will. He wrote a biography of Schweizer in 1822 (published in 1884) which has become quite valuable, as the primary material he used – the personal papers of the Schweizers – has since been destroyed.38 On Schweizer and the Illuminati, Hess had written that the former had been a “Perfectibilist” at heart long before he’d learned of the Order’s existence; that the Illuminati had inflamed his imagination, and he vigorously devoted all his resources to the cause, both intellectual and financial.39 His financial resources, it should be noted, were indeed substantial, having inherited a banking house from his deceased father in 1768; a further fortune from his uncle, at the beginning of 1785, was valued at 1 million francs.40 Wrote Frédéric Barbey: “Schweizer quickly became one of the ‘heads’ of this secret society, a ‘perfect Illuminati’ [degree of Illuminatus Major?]. He puts at their disposal a considerable sum of money.”41 Quite generous with his finances Schweizer had been – even irresponsible. And the inheritance from his uncle, in particular, had offered a unique opportunity. “Armed with new funds that he would make available to the Illuminati, his philanthropy increased tenfold,” wrote Barbey, “and the treasure was scattered like a torrent ‘for the salvation of mankind.’”42

Johann Caspar and his wife were living comfortably in Zurich. However, “to Schweizer’s lively mind, Zurich seemed too cramped;”

[H]e longed for a wider sphere of activity, and hoped to increase his fortune by successful speculation, so that he might do good on a large scale. Paris seemed to him the most suitable place for the realisation of his plans. He founded there a banking house, gave brilliant receptions, became the confidant of Mirabeau, was caught in the whirlpool of the Revolution, and forfeited his entire fortune.43

Schweizer arrived in Paris in June of 1786,44 met, and immediately became friends with Mirabeau. The latter was back from his secret mission to Berlin (late-May to July), before returning (July to January, 1787).45 At any rate, it was inevitable they would become acquainted, for they frequented the same milieu, coupled with the fact that Mirabeau’s mission to Berlin was funded by Swiss and Paris bankers46 to begin with.

The point of contact between the two was fellow Swiss banker François Jeanneret (b. 1758), whom Schweizer had become acquainted with and together would incorporate the company Schweizer, Jeanneret & Cie. He had assured Schweizer a doubling of his money in short order through stock market manipulation. Jeanneret, an adept speculator, had important financial contacts in the capital leading up to the revolution – particularly the Genovese exile Étienne Clavière (1735-1793), who financed both Mirabeau and Jacques Pierre Brissot (1754-1793) to write, publish and distribute, financial pamphlets calculated to manipulate the price of stocks, gaining an advantage; Isaac Panchaud (1738-1789), who had directed the short-lived Caisse d’escompte (a sort of forerunner to the Bank of France); and Abbé d’Espagnac (1752-1794), an unrepentant speculator who took part in the storming of the Bastille, a member of the Jacobin club from its inception, and was subsequently beheaded along with Danton.47

As the revolution approached and Schweizer’s finances seemed entirely secure (thanks to insider manipulators), he preoccupied himself with politics. Indeed, as Frédéric Barbey had summarized:

The Bastille was stormed, the King was lead back to Paris, and the Constituent Assembly wearily hammers out a constitution in this city ablaze in riots. Schweizer’s friends Barnave, Mirabeau, Bergasse – elected [Estates-General] deputies – are precisely at the head of the movement. It is impossible that Caspar does not partake in their work, of the establishment of a just government, the realization of the happiness of France and of humanity.48

Caspar Schweizer, “the exalted Zuricher,” wrote historian Arthur Chuquet, “threw himself headlong into the Revolution, collaborated on the draft of the constitution with Mirabeau, composed hymns in honour of liberty, conducted the work on the fortification of Montmartre, made great speeches in the streets, and became a Jacobin and a sans-culotte.”49

Of those “hymns in honour of liberty,” one was titled La Nouvelle délivrance de la Gaule [The Recent Liberation of Gaul]. After singing praises of the seizing of the Bastille, Schweizer continues with the glorification his friends: Mirabeau, “with the figure of a lion, invincible like Prometheus”; Isaac René Guy Le Chapelier (1754-1794), “ardent deputy of Breton” (and one of the initial founders of Le Club Breton, known later as the Jacobin Club); Antoine Barnave, with “the silky curls”; J. J. Mounier, “sent forth from the misty mountains by the people of Delphi, who conspired for Liberty”; Jean-François Reubell (1747-1807), “the fair, who bears the gold coat of arms of Alsace for a shield.”50

For the next eight years Schweizer’s large house on the Rue de la Chaussée-d’Antin was a meeting place for speculators and swindlers, “beaux-esprits,” writers and politicians, and those who played a role – sometimes a significant one – in the Revolution.51 While Schweizer was engrossed in political discourse, his wife conducted spiritualist and mesmerist séances at their home. Somnambulists were consulted, and spirits summoned. Those who attended were Bathilde d’Orléans, Duchess of Bourbon (“Grande Maîtresse” of the male/female Adoption Masonic Lodges of the Grand Orient), as well as revolutionary mesmerist Nicolas Bergasse. The Duchess of Bourbon and Magdalena Schweizer, in particular, became adherents of Catherine Théot (1716-1794), a millenarian mystic visionary, self-described as “the virgin who would receive the little Jesus.”52

Illuminatus Schweizer, an “assiduous Jacobin”53 in the thick of the Revolution, had truly endeared himself to those around him. The Marquis de Luchet (1740-1792) spoke of his beautiful poetic imagery, and Fabre d’Eglantine of his encyclopaedic knowledge. A Prince Gallitzin wrote to Schweizer: “I’ve never known a soul as noble as yours; you could command even a king!” The Duke of St. Aignan: “Schweizer is my religion. I find his virtue superhuman.” Nicolas Chamfort called him an “esprit universel” (savant; polymath; Renaissance man), a profound metaphysician with great intelligence, and a creative phenomenon. Mirabeau, to their mutual friend, the financier Isaac Panchaud: “some time without seeing Schweizer, and I weary after his creative spirit”; and to the Chevalier de Witry: “The virtue of Schweizer makes me blush and his genius surpasses even mine. His ideas are always fresh and bright; he seduces, he moves, he feels. Whatever subject he treats, he comprehends all aspects, he presents all points of view, and his style is never uniform, because nature is not either.”54

Despite the tumultuous events during the French Revolution – indeed the Reign of Terror – the Schweizers managed to survive unscathed in the refuge of their “salon.” Caspar remained a resolute revolutionary “burning with exalted patriotism.” Having decided to unite his fellow-Swiss-countrymen to the “grand republic,” Schweizer (with his wife) departs Paris six weeks after the execution of Marie Antoinette – heads draped with liberty caps and flying the tricolour flag – as an official diplomat for the Comité de salut public [Committee of Public Safety].55 They crossed the frontier at Pontarlier and entered Berne on December 6th, 1793, then on to Baden and the ultimate destination of Zurich. However, for five months “citizen” Schweizer was variously ignored, rebuked, ridiculed or treated suspiciously like a “Jacobin bandit.” The mission was a complete failure.56

In July 1793 they arrived back in Paris, and lack of success notwithstanding, Schweizer’s efforts did not go unnoticed. The head of the commission for commerce and provisions, Jean-Claude Picquet (a friend of Schweizer’s) had a new proposal. The Republic was in dire straits. France was encircled with a menacing military coalition, the currency was debased to the point of bankruptcy, and munitions, supplies and food were desperately needed. Schweizer was to join forces with an independent merchant from America, Colonel James Swan (1754-1830).

Late in the summer of 1794 the “Commission de commerce et approvisionnements” appointed Johann-Gaspard Schweizer, a rich Zurich banker then living in Paris, as Swan’s associate. The firm of Swan & Schweizer (known in official correspondence as Jones & Gaspard) was ordered by the commission to arrange in America for the purchase of food, merchandise, naval munitions, and whatever the commission might designate as necessary to the republic. The goods were to be paid for with bullion, a quantity of which they were authorized to export, and with the large credit from the American sales of the confiscated goods, including wine which had been captured from British cargoes. Jones & Gaspard was further empowered to provision French vessels in American waters.

The head of the Commission de Commerce, Jean-Claude Picquet, knew that Swan was an expert financier, but he was entirely aware of Swan’s reputation. For this reason, Picquet dispatched Schweizer to accompany the colonel on his American mission, charging him to follow Swan’s every step.57

Colonel James Swan by Gilbert Stuart: Philadelphia; probably 1795; Oil on canvas

Colonel James Swan by Gilbert Stuart: Philadelphia; probably 1795; Oil on canvas

Swan, a most interesting character, had an “uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time.”58 An immigrant from Scotland, he arrived in Boston in 1765 and was initiated into the famous St. Andrews Masonic Lodge in 1777,59 which met at the Green Dragon Tavern (referred to by subsequent historians as the “headquarters of the revolution”). The Sons of Liberty gathered there as well. Swan joined them, and together, along with the tavern’s fellow-Masons, planned and executed the Boston Tea Party.60 He worked in a counting house alongside “Count Rumford,” served in the revolutionary army, was appointed secretary of the Massachusetts Board of War, and married heiress Hepzibah Clarke – thus linking him with the gentry and gaining ample opportunities to benefit financially. After the war of independence, Swan “launched a wide variety of commercial ventures, including speculation in Maine lands, Boston real estate, and confiscated loyalist property.”61 The economic depression of 1786 affected his fortune, and in late-1787 he set out for France looking for new schemes. With letters of introduction from prominent French officers (Lafayette among them), Swan succeeded in insinuating himself among the financial elite, and in 1791 “entered into partnership with a French firm, rechristened Dallarde, Swan & Cie.”62 His wife Hepzibah joined him in 1790 and they lived in luxury on the rue de Lille across the river from the Tuileries Gardens. “Casting all shame aside,” Eleanor Pearson DeLorme cites historian Yvon Bizardel, “Swan was inviting influential Frenchmen and distinguished Americans to dinner with shady traffickers, including ‘a Persian from Damascus’ and two pirates who pillaged American cargoes and sold their crews into slavery.”63

The gold bullion was obtained from melting down confiscated ecclesiastical ornaments while the large caches of luxury goods were looted from aristocrats and the royal family. An example of the latter still exists today in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts – a ‘Vase Bachelier,’ “decorated in polychrome enamels and gold,” from the Château of Versailles.

Rice writes:

Swan reached America in December, 1794, and with the new year the “commercial agency” of Swan & Schweizer began doing business. Schweizer, incidentally, had been delayed on the way, but his absence or presence never greatly concerned his partner. Headquarters were established at Philadelphia, then the seat of the federal government. Sub agents were appointed in all the principal ports: John Vaughan, at Philadelphia; John Murray, at New York; Mason & Fenwick, at Georgetown; Samuel & Joseph Sterett, at Baltimore; W. & J. Thayer, at Charleston; Caleb Gardner, at Newport; Elias Derby, at Salem; Myers, at Norfolk; William Armistead & Company, at Alexandria; N. & J. Cuslie at Petersburg; and Henry Jackson, at Boston. All these firms could be “depended upon” as true friends to France and liberty. If their political principles were suspected, the business was entrusted to some one else, as the case of Messrs. Sterett of Baltimore, who found the agency taken from them in September, 1795.64

Swan & Schweizer closed its books in 1796. France had negotiated treaties with its enemies and was fortunate to have had a good crop year. But due to the political situation in Europe and deteriorating relations between the United States and France, Schweizer stayed in America, with the Swan family in Philadelphia, until 1801. Schweizer occupied himself with tutoring Swan’s three daughters, composing poems to his wife, land speculation, as well as writing a book called Critique de la civilisation.

Significantly, Frédéric Barbey describes the latter activities in following manner:

He again plunged into his social studies. He thought about founding a model state on his land in Virginia, putting to practice the religion of nature, community of property, and universal tolerance. The accumulation of thousands of extracts and notes allowed him to write a Critique of civilization, an immense work and a unique treasure for future sociologists.65

I can only assume that this utopian tome of Schweizer’s is part of the lost or destroyed property of his estate mentioned above; there doesn’t seem to be any bibliographic record of it other than the mention of the book by both Hess and Barbey and a few others.

Having gone into debt, neglecting his business in Europe and being separated from his family, Schweizer would record in his diary that the six years spent in America was disastrous; as if a cruel demon had intervened on a daily basis, creating a thousand obstacles between him and his work.

Upon his return to France his misfortune continued. Deceived by his associates, surrounded and duped by usurers, he spent his remaining years engaged in costly court battles accompanied by declining health and a broken spirit.

6. Friedrich Christian Carl Heinrich Münter (1761-1830)

Alias: Syrianus

Friedrich Munter

Friedrich Munter

A theologian, church historian and archaeologist, Münter studied theology and philosophy in Copenhagen (1778-81) and Göttingen (1781-83), being taught by, and/or studying with some of following: Johann Benjamin Koppe (Illuminatus), Johann Georg Heinrich Feder (Illuminatus), Christian Gottlieb Heyne (1729-1812), Christian Wilhelm Walch (1726–1784), Ludwig Timotheus Spittler (Illuminatus) and Johann Christoph Gatterer (1727-1799). He earned a doctorate of philosophy in 1784, was a professor of theology in Copenhagen in 1788, a member of the Danish Academy of Sciences in 1798, and became Bishop of Zealand in 1807. Münter was invested as a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog in 1808, and became the commander of the Order in 1817.66

He was initiated into Freemasonry in 1780 and reached the 5th degree of the Zinnendorf Rite in the same year; a member of the Gotha Lodge ‘Zum Rautenkranz’; a member of the Templar Strict Observance, knighted ‘Eques ab Itinere’; initiated in 1787 at the Copenhagen Lodge ‘Friedrich zur gekrönten Hoffnung,’ becoming its librarian and Lodge Master from 1794 to 1807; visitor of the Vienna Lodge ‘Zur wahren Eintracht.’67

Münter was insinuated into the Illuminati in 1783; Illuminatus Major in 1784; Prefect of the Illuminati in Copenhagen. He helped spread Illuminatism into Italy (1784-87) and established an Illuminati cell in Naples with Mario Pagano (see below), Emmanuele Mastelloni, Donato Tommasi, Giuseppe Zurlo, Gaetano Carrascal, and Nicola Pacifico; and one in Rome (February 1785), that according to the late historian Hanns Gross of Loyola University Chicago was overseen by Wilhelm Tischbein.68 Gross cited historian Carlo Francovich as his source. Corroboration comes from Hermann Schüttler, who wrote that Münter had been recruiting members for the Order while staying at the palace of Monsignor (later Cardinal) Stefano Borgia (1731-1804).69

His alias refers to Syrianus (c. 5th Century AD), the Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher and the teacher of Proclus.

7. Francesco Mario Pagano (1748-1799)

Alias: Janus Baptista la Porta

Francesco Mario Pagano

In 1780 Pagano co-founded the Naples Lodge ‘Della Vittoria’ of the Orient. He was insinuated into the Illuminati in October 1786,70 and became one of the six founding members of an Illuminati cell in Naples;71 named Venerable Master of the Naples Lodge ‘La Philantropia’ in 179672 – the Lodge which contained the core of the Illuminati insinuated by Münter.73 His alias refers to the influential sixteenth-century Neapolitan author, scholar, occultist and scientist Giambattista della Porta (1535?-1615).

Pagano was an author, historian, philosopher and a professor of law in Naples. His famous work Saggi Politici, was a major contribution to the Neapolitan Enlightenment (Illuminismo, in Italian), and is compared with Adam Ferguson’s Essay on the History of Civil Society. It was translated into German by fellow-Illuminatus von Müller (Anselmus Sanchoniaton) in 1796.74

Pagano was a supporter and collaborator of the failed Neapolitan Revolution of 1799, and was an active legal defender of those accused of conspiracy against the monarchy. From February 1796 to July 1798, Pagano was imprisoned on suspicion of taking part in the first Jacobin-Masonic – possibly Illuminist – conspiracy in Naples (1794). Upon release “he went into exile in Rome, under its revolutionary republic.”75 After four months he returned to Naples and was appointed to draft legislation for the Provisional Government of the newly-declared Republic. When the republic’s constitution was published on 1 April 1799, “it was accompanied with an address by Pagano explaining its principles.”76

King Ferdinand IV (1751–1825) had already fled to Palermo in January. By June he managed to reclaim Naples with the help of “of peasants, bandits and royalists known as Sanfedisti (Followers of the Holy Faith), led by Cardinal Ruffo.”77 The Royals re-established rule in the Kingdom and proceeded to exile, imprison, and execute the revolutionaries. Pagano and his compatriots were summarily “hung in the great, bleak Piazza del Mercato, pushed from ladders while little urchins, the tirapeida, clung to their feet.”78 Illuminatus Nicola Pacifico (1734-1799; alias: Franciscus Patricius) was executed as well, along with other members of the Lodges ‘Della Vittoria’ and ‘La Philantropia,’ namely Pasquale Baffi (b. 1749), Francesco Caracciolo (b. 1752), Domenico Cirillo (b. 1739) and Giuseppe Leonardo Albanese (b. 1759).

Despite the difficulties of establishing direct organizational links between the Illuminati and later revolutionary uprisings during the 19th century, historians have suspected that the core of the Carbonari secret society (of the 1820s and ‘30s) had formed during the Naples uprising of 1799, through the subsequent Bourbon restoration exiles.79 Furthermore, one historian has recently speculated about the possibility of Pagano being, at least, an ideological influence upon the Carbonari:

Charcoal burner tropes also had attractive Enlightenment connotations, perhaps most strongly in the ideas of Rousseau, possibly filtered through ideology current in the late eighteenth century Jacobin clubs, or transplanted in 1799, or during the French Decade, to southern Italian soil by occupying military men steeped in French Revolutionary ideals. Further, there may be more immediate roots in the Neapolitan Enlightenment. For instance, influences may have come from the writing of Francesco Mario Pagano … Pagano, denying the necessity of Rousseau’s notion of the social contract, argued that nature itself instilled in primitive human beings a moral order manifested in veiled feelings of injustice and pain in the face of human suffering. From that gradually sprang a natural tendency towards equality and as history moved along, the idea of mutual help, for Pagano the profoundest of natural laws, would develop and become more conscious (Badaloni 1973: 883; Pagano 1792). Mutual help is a central theme in carbonarism. Throughout carbonaro writings there resounds the notion of a fall from natural but primitive goodness and a loss of virtue among humans to be blamed on the development of contemporary society Carbonaro notions were, of course, simplifications and perhaps confusions of Rousseau’s or perhaps Pagano’s ideas, but ‘noble savage’ ideas are obviously present, and indeed, some carbonaro intellectuals certainly read the philosophy of the times. More educated recruits may have been attracted to the society’s tropes because of these intellectual affinities.80

Galt then illustrates such common affinities by quoting from the preamble of a Carbonari initiation:

Nature in creating man wanted him free. Sacred duties towards himself, those like him, and towards the Fatherland, that are associated with this liberty; should have made man equal to the ends that nature intended in creating him. He should have shared together with his brothers, communicated his will with them, shared work with them, and brought himself into balance with all of creation. From this he should have reached the most sublime level of virtue. Sadly her beautiful hopes remained deluded; man abhorred the sweet name of his brother, and treated his equal like an enemy. The strongest usurped the rights of the weakest. Cleverness substituted for strength of will. Plots, hatreds, frauds, and superstitions arose, and they quickly put the finishing touches on universal extermination. So it was with the most sublime object of creation. Nature came out of it defiled; man became the vile slave of his infamous passions. However, reason, first lady of the human spirit, did not fail to elevate the principles of things for certain wise thinkers, and to indicate to them the poisonous secrets leading toward general corruption. They cried out to summon strayed humanity to the path of virtue, but the latter, deaf to their voices, abhorred their laws and admonitions. Tirelessly; to obtain their goals, they conceived of secret societies, which through the assiduousness of their labours, would become accustomed to the exercise of virtue, and would be able to educate strayed mortals, and bring them around to their views. They consecrated their labours to the immortal divinity; and as sons preferred by nature, they took advantage of her very products to create mysterious symbols, well-suited to penetrate the hearts of the wayward pagans, and to reform them according to that fine principle that corresponds to the goal of creation. The sacred principle of the Carboneria, the collection of these societies, is that, united together, they create the sublime elegy to virtue.81

Anyone familiar with the doctrines of Weishaupt will recognize the identical themes in ‘Anrede an die neu aufzunehmenden Illuminatos dirigentes’ (1782) – his discourse for the directing Illuminati which later became the preamble to the Priest grade of the Lesser Mysteries. Obviously, Weishaupt, the Jacobins, as well as the Carbonari afterwards, cribbed liberally from Rousseau. However, the insertion of “secret societies” (as the hidden torchbearers of virtue throughout the ages) into this particular mix of post-Rousseauian primitivist-longing was the invention of Weishaupt and, indeed, the heart of soul of Illuminatism.

8. Ignaz Edler von Born (1742-1791)

Alias: Furius Camillus

Ignaz Edler von Born

Ignaz Edler von Born

Ignaz Elder von Born was a metallurgist, mineralogist and mining expert, inventing an amalgamation process for the extraction of silver and gold. Born was a member of “over a dozen learned societies throughout Europe.”82 According to Heather Morrison, von Born belonged to “the Royal Society in London, academies in Russia, Toulouse and Danzig, the Royal Academy of Sciences in Turin, and the Munich Academy of Sciences” and societies in “Göttingen, Uppsala, Lund, Burghausen, and Siena.”83

Born came from a noble family at Karlsburg, Transylvania and was educated by the Jesuits in Vienna. After sixteen months in their tutelage he fled Prague and took up the study of Law, afterwards turning to mineralogy, physics and mining.84 From 1769-70 he traveled throughout Europe—mainly Germany, Holland and France—studying and learning from the mining districts in those regions. In his late twenties Born had a serious accident, having been poisoned by noxious fumes in a mine shaft. Apparently, the consequences of this incident left him “a semi-invalid for the rest of his life.”85

In 1776 Born was chosen by Maria Theresa to enlarge and reshape the natural history collection of the Imperial Museum in Vienna. By 1779 Born “was appointed Wirklicher Hofrat at the mining and monetary administration of the Austrian court.”86

In 1770 he was initiated into Freemasonry at the Lodge ‘Zu den drei gekrönten Säulen’ in Prague.87 When he settled in Vienna, Born was enthusiastically proposed for initiation into the Lodge ‘Zur wahren Eintracht’ by the former-African prince and Master Mason Angelo Soliman.88 On November 19th, 1781 Born passed the Second Degree; “raised to the Third Degree two days later; on 9 March 1782 he was elected Master of the Lodge by a large majority.”89

The Lodge ‘Zur wahren Eintracht’ published a successful literary enterprise: Journal für Freymaurer: als Manuskript gedruckt für Brüder und Meister des Ordens [Journal For Freemasons: As a Manuscript in Print for Brothers and Masters of the Order]. From 1784 to 1786 the journal appeared “in twelve stately volumes, each of them recording a quarter of a year of Masonic activities and related news throughout the world.”90 The first issue in 1784 featured a lengthy essay by Born, “Über die Mysterien der Aegyptie” [On the Mysteries of the Egyptians]. It is more of a treatise, over 116 pages, having a scholarly tone, relying on quotations and citations from authorities in antiquity. According to Peter Branscombe’s detailed overview, the essay is divided into three sections: the first section deals with the Egyptians themselves, and an account of the myths of Osiris; section two “concerns the constitution, duties and knowledge of the Egyptian priests”; and the third discusses the similarities between the Egyptian Mysteries and teachings, rites and rituals of Freemasonry.91

For hundreds of years Masonic writers have asked the same questions, many of whom arriving at the same conclusion:

Are not the various initiations into the secrets of Isis, or nature, of Serapis, or inner knowledge of nature, and of Osiris, or full recognition of the highest godhead, approximately the same as the various degrees in Masonry?92

These sentiments still resonate with Freemasons today, and it explains the excessive use of Egyptian symbolism incorporated in Masonic regalia and within the Lodges themselves.

It has been theorized for some time that Born is the prototype behind the character Sarastro in Mozart’s Masonic opera, The Magic Flute (it is precisely in this context that Born’s essay on the Egyptian Mysteries is analyzed so thoroughly by Branscombe). Frans Jozef van Beeck, priest and Jesuit, wrote that “Sarastro, high-priest of Isis and Osiris, is Mozart’s monument to a man he much admired.”93 Freemasons Charles H. Johnson and Richardson Wright reiterate:

… von Born … inspired Mozart to compose the initiation scene of The Magic Flute, one of the finest in this or any opera.

All the characters in The Magic Flute are symbolical. Thus: Sarastro, Hierophant and Dispenser of Light, is von Born, the Queen of the Night is Maria Theresa, the anti-Masonic Empress, Monostatos, the villain, is the clergy, Pamina is Austria, while the Neophyte is the Emperor Joseph II, who succeeded Francis I; and who, it was hoped at the time, entertained thoughts of becoming a Mason.94

Born’s method for the extraction of ore enabled some financial security and won him a knighthood. On April 24th, in 1785 his Lodge held a celebration after he was made a Knight of the Realm. Present at the gathering was Mozart and his father. Wolfgang sang his newly-composed cantata, Die Maurerfreude [The Mason’s Joy].95

It is unknown when Born was first initiated into the Illuminati, but it was probably soon after he joined the Lodge ‘Zur wahren Eintracht’ in 1781.96 It is possible that his Viennese Lodge was fully Illuminized before he became acquainted with its brethren. In any case, Born excelled at Illuminatism just as he had with Masonry, science and writing. He ascended the ranks quickly, becoming a Provincial in the Order, the Regent for Vienna and finally Weishaupt’s National Director for Austria.97

Born’s alias alludes to Marcus Furius Camillus (c. 446-365 BC), one of the “most outstanding personalities of the early Republic … more important than Brutus the Elder or than Publius Valerius Publicola.”98 According to Plutarch, Camillus was “continually in the highest commands … was five times dictator, triumphed four times, and was styled a second founder of Rome.”99 This alias (nom de guerre) is particularly noteworthy considering the Illuminati’s codename for Vienna was Rome.100 Born’s task in Vienna, then, as his alias suggests, is comparable to a “second founder”— reinstituting a new republic of Rome in the image of the Illuminati.

While the persecutions against the Illuminati had commenced, at one point during Weishaupt’s flight from the authorities he actually went to Vienna and had a meeting with Born and another member of ‘Zur wahren Eintracht,’ the popular poet and journalist Johann Baptist Edler von Alxinger (1755-1797). Weishaupt thought that in the Hapsburg territories he could be afforded a measure of protection from Karl Theodor while at the same time having the chance to earn a living as a professor. He couldn’t find work, however, but the degree of Enlightenment sentiment in Vienna can be gauged perhaps by the short article written by a correspondent for the Bayreuther Zeitung [Bayreuth Journal], recording the arrival of the head of the Illuminati, dated August 16, 1786:

The celebrated Bavarian professor Weishaupt, who left his native country due to well-known causes, arrived here, and has been received with deep respect. We do not know the real purpose of his trip, but it is safe to assume we will retain in our midst this excellent professor of canon law.101

Born had already publicly supported his brethren in November of the previous year, by resigning from the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich. The second Electoral edict against the Illuminati had been issued in August and the interrogations in Bavaria – the “Specialcommission im gelben Zimmer des Schlosses” headed by ex-Jesuit Ignatius Franciscus Franck [Ignaz Franck] (1725-1795) and censor Johann Caspar von Lippert (1729-1800) – had begun. A seasoned satirist,102 Born sent his letter of resignation to the Bavarian Chancellor Baron von Kreittmayr,103 which was later printed in the German Spectator:

Your Excellency [Karl Theodor], it is said, in his zeal, so commendable and honorable on his part, found the means to drive out of Munich and Bavaria, or of stripping their employment and benefits, many men who were among the most sensible and the most enlightened. How can you be reluctant to fulfill this charitable duty towards a foreigner whom you do not know, especially since I can tell you unequivocally that I do not regret being a Freemason? With that admission, which has probably injured the ears of both yourself and reverend P. Frank, I add with all the frankness with which I possess: I hold Zaupser’s poetry against the Inquisition one of the most beautiful products of reason in Bavaria; I hold all the entire process against the heretics the work of gutless cannibals; I have carefully read the Dictionary of Bayle and even possess it; … that I read all the best books; that I declare myself an enemy of all ignorant monks, who are like a plague on human reason and I believe we should never confer on them the education of our youth; that, for me, Jesuitism and fanaticism have the same meaning as malice and ignorance, superstition and folly, in a word that my way of thinking is exactly the opposite of the reputation you have in Bavaria.104

9. Friedrich Ludwig Ulrich Schröder (1744-1816)

Friedrich Ludwig Ulrich Schroder

Friedrich Ludwig Ulrich Schroder

Alias: Roscius

Schröder was a major reformer of German Freemasonry, a stage actor, theatrical manager and dramatist. His mother was an actor as well, and the young Friedrich – travelling with his mother and stepfather, Konrad Ernst Ackermann, an actor from Russia – appeared in child roles.105

When he moved to Hamburg in 1767, Schröder befriended Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and worked “as a script editor and critic for the Hamburg national theater.”106 In 1771, after his stepfather had passed away, he and his mother took over the management of Ackermann’s theatre in Hamburg. From 1781-85 he was a court actor at the Vienna Hofburg (for the Hapsburg Imperial residence); from 1786-98, and again in 1810, he was the director of the Hamburg theatre.107

On the suggestion of J. J. C. Bode, Schröder was first initiated into Freemasonry at the Hamburg Lodge ‘Emanuel zur Maienblume’ in 1774 and received the Master Degree in 1785, becoming the Lodge’s Master in 1787; a member of the Lodge ‘Einigkeit und Toleranz’ in 1792/93; Provincial Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in Hamburg, 1814-16; and a co-founder of the Engbund Chapter in Hamburg. Schröder was the determining influence in the ritual reform of German Freemasonry, which he accomplished in collaboration with his former Illuminati brethren Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Carl Leonhard Reinhold and Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland. He practically made a career out of Freemasonry. According to Dr. Schüttler, Schröder was the most significant Masonic reformer and author of his time.108

His alias alludes to Quintus Roscius Gallus (c. 126-62 BC), the most famous Roman actor of his time.

The Schroder’s Rite, and the Engbund chapters, represented the last vestiges of three successive attempts at extending the life of the Illuminati. First, in 1790, the second head of the Illuminati, J. J. C. Bode institutes a reform of the Order under the name “Deutsche Freimaurerbund”:

When Bode died in 1793, Reinhold took over. The Order was now re-christened the ‘Bund des Einverständnisses’ [or Einverstandenen]. Together with Schröder, Herder, Goethe, Hufeland and others, Reinhold continued the reform-project, which eventually resulted in the famous Schröder Ritual of 1801, which was of great influence on German freemasonry. Schröder’s ‘Engbund’, which continued until 1868, can be regarded as the last continuation of the original Order of the Bavarian Illuminati.109

10. Mathias Metternich (1747-1825)

Alias: Thuisco

Mathias Metternich

Mathias Metternich

A professor of mathematics at the University of Mainz, he was also a member of the Erfurt Academy of the Arts and Sciences Useful to the Public. When the French Revolution broke out, Metternich was enthralled and subsequently an active participant as a founding member of the Mainz Jacobin Club, its literary propagandist and vice president of the Rhenish-German National Convention after the Republic of Mainz was declared.

Patterned after the Paris Jacobin Clubs, the Mainz ‘Society of the Friends of Liberty and Equality’ (Gesellschaft der Freunde der Freiheit und Gleichheit) advocated political union with France. There were twenty original members and Illuminatus Professor Anton Josef Dorsch (1758-1819) – who had previously renounced his priestly vows and already joined a Jacobin Club in Strasbourg – was sent as commissioner for the Mainz club. It was at his previous post at the Strasbourg Jacobin Club that Dorsch was recorded as saying on December 26th, 1791:

The Illuminati Order counted among its members the noblest men in Germany and provided great service for the education of many a young man. The reports, which the clerical and secular inquisition give of the Illuminati, are for the most part as false as that of a propaganda [club] in France.110

Nearly all of the founding members of the Mainz Jacobins were initiates of the Illuminati, and in addition to Mathias Metternich and Anton Josef Dorsch, we can list the following:

  1. Felix Anton Blau (1754-1798)
  2. Johann Christoph Blessmann (1760-1836)
  3. Johann Georg Wilhelm Böhmer (1761-1839)
  4. Johann Adam Caprano (1760-1800)
  5. Franz Anton Chambion (1754-1822)
  6. Johann Heinrich Rudolf Eickemeyer (1753-1825)
  7. Andreas Josef Christian Hofmann (1752-1849)
  8. Johann Stephan Köhler (1733-1815)
  9. Johann Adam Lang (1752-1790)
  10. Franz Konrad Macké (1756-1844)
  11. Johann Georg Nimis (1754-1811)
  12. Johann Valentin Schumann (1733-1803)
  13. Lorenz Schweickhard (b. 1768)
  14. Friedrich Joseph Stumme
  15. Adam Umpfenbach (b. 1748)111

On the Mainz Jacobins, Richard van Dülmen wrote:

Many of the speeches at the Mainz club are classic products of the radical Enlightenment. … German Jacobinism adopted both the political and ideological experiences and ideas of the French Revolution and the programmes and objectives of the German Enlightenment.

…the Jacobin clubs not only maintained close links with the reading societies and the League of the Illuminati, at least to the extent that the Jacobin elite in Mainz were members of both these associations: the Mainz reading societies and the Illuminati lodge actually facilitated the transition to Jacobinism, particularly for the champions of the Enlightenment in Mainz.112

The Club met for the first time on 23 October, 1792 in the Electoral Palace of Friedrich Karl Joseph Imperial Baron von Erthal (1719-1802), who had fled the city two days earlier. The Elector, though, had long acquiesced to the projects of his more liberal subjects and was an adherent of enlightened absolutism. Georg Forster (suspected Illuminatus) was the librarian of the Elector; Illuminatus Johannes Müller (1752-1809) was the Elector’s personal secretary and held various high posts within the government; and Illuminatus Anthony Blau, along with other academics – many of whom were Illuminati, too – had been appointed to the University of Mainz, replacing the Jesuit instructors after their Order was nominally abolished by the Pope.

Before the night was done, the Jacobin Club signed up twenty members; by the end of the year, however, this number had increased to five-hundred. “Within this group, a small number of personalities, collectively known as the ‘Clubbists’, set the tone,” writes Michael Rowe. “They included the professors Metternich, Blau, Dorsch, Hofmann and Eickemeyer, as well as the doctor Georg Wedekind [suspected Illuminatus] and, most famously, the naturalist and philosopher Georg Forster, a figure of international renown who had accompanied Captain Cook on one of his expeditions … a majority of ‘Clubbists’ were ‘foreigners’, something that provided ammunition to their opponents… Each brought different talents to the enterprise: Metternich, who recognized the need to engage the peasantry, emerged as the Club’s propagandist; Wedekind, whose sister translated Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man into German, became the leading theorist; and Dorsch, who subsequently headed the government of the Republic of Mainz, distinguished himself as an organizer.”113

“These people committed unheard of follies,” wrote Wolfgang Menzel.

At first, notwithstanding their doctrine of equality, they were distinguished by a particular ribbon; the women, insensible to shame, wore girdles with long ends, on which the word “liberty” was worked in front, and the word “equality” behind. Women, girt with sabres, danced franticly around tall trees of liberty, in imitation of those of France, and fired off pistols.114

Other Jacobin Clubs instituted in German territory during the Revolution were those of Trier, Speyer and Worms. They, too, were rife with members of the Illuminati.115 However, these Clubs maintained control for a short time only. Forster and the Illuminati in the Mainz Club, along with other Jacobin Clubs throughout the Rhineland, had jointly declared the Republic of Mainz on March 19, 1793, but by July they were completely overrun by Prussian troops. An investigation was undertaken, and the conspirators who had not escaped were rounded up, taunted, interrogated, harassed and prosecuted.

Again in 1797, those same Illuminati (Dorsch, Hofmann, Metternich) and Wedekind, and other groups, resurfaced when the French had retaken Mainz. Interestingly the Jacobins, in power again, now asked Adam Weishaupt if he would like a teaching job at the University of Mainz; he prudently declined.116 The Rhenish-Jacobins called for the institution of a Cisrhenane Republic (or Cis-Rhenish), but once more, their efforts were thwarted.117

Matthias Metternich’s alias alludes to the deity Tuisco of Germanic/Teutonic myth, the prime progenitor or ancestor of all Germanic tribes.

Revolutionary tendencies ran in the family, it seems. His son, Germain Metternich (1811-1862) was a prominent communist radical, before, during and after the 1848 revolution. He emigrated to the United States among the group of Forty-Eighters, settled in New York, was involved with the socialist Turner movements, and actually fought for the Union army during the Civil War.118

***

1 See Charles Porset, in Les Philalèthes Et Les Convents De Paris: Une Politique De La Folie, H. Champion (1996), p. 146; 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), in particular pp. 136-9; and Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, “SAVALETTE DE LANGES, Charles Pierre Paul” (an entry in a French Masonic Encyclopaedia). On the National Guard and Savalette, one should also be aware of the account by Barruel (though he neglects to cite a source).
2 Roland Mousnier, The Institutions of France Under the Absolute Monarchy, 1598-1789: The Organs of State and Society (Volume 2), University Of Chicago Press, 1984, p. 206.
3 See Beaurepaire, op. cit., and Hermann Schüttler, Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una 1991), p. 132-3.
4 See Porset, op. cit., p. 217. There’s confusion about who became the official correspondent – Beulwitz or Falgera. Porset wrote that it was the former while Hermann Schüttler, in “Freimaurer und Illuminaten. Bodes Wirken in den geheimen Gesellschaften” (1994), specifically identifies the latter. And on page 51 in the Falgera bio in Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (1991), Schüttler mentions that Falgera, after being initiated into the Illuminati in 1782, became the Order’s propagandist for France, also listing his membership in the Amis Réunis and the new Chapter it had formed in 1788. At any rate, both Beulwitz and Falgera, in 1784, managed to establish official contact between the Illuminati in Bavaria and the Amis Réunis in Paris.
5 See Perfectibilists, pp. 68-97; Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, pp. 92-93, 128, 131, 132-3, 153, 221 and especially his introduction to Bode’s diary, “Freimaurer und Illuminaten Bodes Wirken in den geheimen Gesellschaften,” where the details of the letter to Christian von Darmstadt can be found; cf. Porset, op. cit., pp. 225-241.
6 See Schüttler, “Freimaurer und Illuminaten Bodes …,” op. cit; cf. Porset, op. cit., pp. 234-5. As mentioned in note 4, Falgera was also a member of the new Chapter, adding up to eleven confirmed members of the Illuminati, as Schüttler had stated. Salzmann is indeed listed as a member of the Illuminati in Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 131, as is Tiemann, p. 154 (though with an asterisk, meaning unconfirmed), but Stroganov is not. This was in 1991, however, and the introduction in Bode’s diary comes three years later. I can only assume that Tiemann and Stroganov have since been confirmed, perhaps by way of the lost Schwedenkiste archives in Moscow.
7 Quoted and translated in Perfectibilists, p. 73; see also Porset, op. cit., pp. 733-5.
8 Porset, op. cit., p. 734: “[Ils] étaient mieux informés qu’on ne l’a cru.”
9 Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France (Harvard University Press, 1968); on pp. 70 and 72 n. 16, Darnton reveals that in 1786 the Parisian Mesmerist Society of Harmony, after a schism, was dominated by [the soon-to-be-Bavarian-Illuminati] Savalette de Langes and Taillepied de Bondy, among others.
10 Porset, op. cit., p. 235.
11 James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith, Basic Books 1980, pp. 19-20.
12 See Perfectibilists, op. cit., pp. 121-3, 151 and 312 for his bio.
13 On Hoffmann, also an ex-Illuminatus and counter-revolutionary, see ibid., pp. 114-23 and 318-19.
14 The Bavarian authorities kept secret many of the names found in the original writings of the Illuminati – on purpose – out of fear of the repercussions, while the Illuminati themselves, in correspondences, would frequently only give an alias or initials and leave us with very little else to go on. Some, but not all, of the missing names have since been identified. The remaining “unidentified” are listed in Schüttler, op. cit., pp. 188-195, should someone wish to take a crack at it.
15 Discovered in an Austrian archive and published for the first time in Sebastian Brunner, Die Mysterien der Aufklärung in Oesterreich, 1770-1800: Aus archivalischen und andern bisher unbeachteten Quellen (F. Kirchheim [Mainz] 1869), p. 35 [viewable at Google books]; cf. René Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie Allemande [Paris: 1915], Archè reprint, 2001, pp. 654-5.
16 For the details of the mission to Berlin, see Robert Matteson Johnson, “Mirabeau’s Secret Mission to Berlin,” American Historical Review (1901), for which I am grateful to the adept researcher Marco Di Luchetti for making it available online. For an established historian, Johnson is quite candid on his views about the importance of secret societies. He also sheds light on Mirabeau’s Freemason/banker benefactors, and though he’s wrong about the Illuminati membership of some of Mirabeau’s contacts in Berlin (Luchet and Struensee), Johnson highlights the fact that it was Freemasons in France who commissioned and financed the trip in the first place, while Freemasons and representatives of the Illuminati had in turn welcomed him in Berlin, pointing out that to move in such circles, one obviously had to be privy to, and involved with it in the first place.
17 See also Le Forestier, op. cit., pp. 662-3.
18 For Mauvillon, see Perfectibilists, op. cit., pp. 361-2; Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 101, and his defunct webpage.
19 See, for example, Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 106 (with no source cited).
20 Perfectibilists, op. cit., p. 90.
21 Ibid., p. 91.
22 Ibid., p. 138; for an extended discussion of Buonarroti, the “Philadelphes,” other secret societies and potential connections with the Illuminati, see pp. 134-50. Cf. Arthur Lehning, “Buonarroti and His International Secret Societies,” International Review of Social History, Vol. 1 (1956), p. 120.
23 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 87.
24 Porset, op. cit., p. 569.
25 See Benjamin Fabre, Un Initié Des Sociétés Secrètes Supérieures “Franciscus, Eques A Capite Galeato”. 1753-1814. Portrait Et Documents Inédits. Nombreuses Reproductions En Photogravure, Arche 2003, pp. 478-9
26 Ibid., p. 82. At the end of 1781 Savalette wrote that Kolowrat was young, so there is no doubt that he is speaking of F. J. Kolowrat, 33 at the time, as opposed to the Imperial Count Leopold von Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1727-1809; aliases: Navius and Quintus Icilius), also an Illuminatus, who would have been 54. Further confirmation is that we know for sure that it was F. J. Kolowrat that attended the Wilhelmsbad Congress, not Leopold von Kolowrat-Krakowsky. Count Vinzenz Maria von Kolowrat-Liebensteinsky (1750-1824; alias: Decius) was an Illuminatus as well, perhaps the brother or cousin of F. J. Kolowrat.
27 See Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften, welche die Illuminatensekte, I, 1787, pp. 153, and 71.
28 According to Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 87, Kolowrat was initiated as an Illuminatus minor.
29 Ibid., p. 87; and Le Forestier, op. cit., p. 406. Le Forestier wrote that the Lodge was founded by two Illuminati, Kolowrat and “Plency” (identifying the latter also as a Rosicrucian) - that is, Illuminatus Joseph von Plenciz (1752-1785), an M.D. and professor of pathology and pharmacy in Prague; deputy provincial Masonic grand master for Bohemia (see Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, p. 119).
30 Jirí Kroupa, “The Alchemy of Happiness: The Enlightenment in the Moravian Context” [pp. 164-181], in: ed. Mikuláš Teich, Bohemia in History (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 170.
31 Sabine Roehr, A Primer on German Enlightenment: With a Translation of Karl Leonhard’s The Fundamental Concepts of Ethics (University of Missouri Press, 1995), p. 115.
32 The two main sources everyone must now consult for Illuminati membership identification – Richard van Dülmen and Hermann Schüttler – both list him as a member. I simply did not realize the significance of this person and he was regrettably overlooked when I wrote my book. For correcting my oversight, however, I am indebted to the research of Marco Di Luchetti. Marco is a lawyer by profession and is adept at the inferential argument and “guilt by [ideational] association.” Therefore, I sometimes vehemently disagree with the looseness of his conclusions. However, his talent as a researcher and (multi-lingual) translator is formidable, and I look forward to his forthcoming contribution to the practically non-existent field of “Bavarian Illuminati research in the English language.”
33 In Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, pp. 142 and 229.
34 Thorough academic study of “Illuminism,” and its influence upon the esoteric aspect of Romanticism, was spearheaded in the 1920s with Auguste Viatte’s standard two-volume text, Les Sources Occultes Du Romantisme. It has since burgeoned into a specialist field of its own. In particular, valuable contributions have been written by Ernst Benz, René Le Forestier, Antoine Faivre, Arthur McCalla, and Wouter J. Hanegraaff. For the state of research into western esotericism in general (with copious attention paid to the Illuminism of the 18th to the 19th centuries), see the indispensible work, Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism, ed. Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Brill Academic Publishers, 2005. However, there is a problem. Since the term “Illuminism” has now been defined so concretely by a plethora of scholars, what then are we to call the ism (the distinctive doctrine) of the Bavarian Illuminati – Illuminism or Illuminatism? While I commend the meticulous research that has been conducted on the esoteric movements during the Enlightenment, it boils down to Adam Weishaupt himself being the origin of the confusion. When he decided to call his secret society “Illuminati,” Weishaupt probably didn’t realize that in France, in particular, as well as with adherents of Rosicrucianism, Martinism and Boehmist theosophy, there were already groups who were identified as “Illuminés” that were diametrically opposed to his own, and whose doctrine was loosely called “Illuminism.” Furthermore, contemporaries were aware of the problem as well. Joseph de Maistre wrote in 1811, for example: “[The term Illuminés] necessarily misleads many people because in ordinary usage it signifies many different things. An ordinary freemason, a martinist, a pietist, and one of Weishaupt’s followers are all commonly referred to as Illuminés. It would be difficult to abuse terminology more or to confuse things more dissimilar” (quoted in J.M. Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies, Paladin: 1974, p. 310). The confusion remains to this day, having been further compounded by conspiracy theorists who encounter the words “Illuminés” and “Illuminati” in history books: if only Weishaupt had stuck with his initial idea and retained the name ‘Perfectibilists’ for his Order!
35 Interestingly, Lavater and Adam Weishaupt were acquaintances. The former had even visited the latter at his home in Ingolstadt, on 17 June, 1778. Weishaupt mentions the meeting to Zwack in a letter in the Original Writings (Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens, p. 250). Lavater’s theories on physiognomy were quite popular at the time. Weishaupt and the Bavarian Illuminati were firm believers in its efficacy for apprehending the true nature of man and desired to utilize the pseudo-science – Lavater would have been horrified – for purposes of control. Even though Lavater has been classed among other mystics and the esoteric movement of “Illuminism” proper, he would have objected to being identified with any group, society, or philosophy. Hence he never became a Freemason and also rejected overtures to join other secret societies. Baron von Knigge, for example, had tried and failed to recruit him into the Illuminati early in 1783. Lavater’s response is instructive on many levels, and can be read in Le Forestier, op. cit., pp. 402-3.
36 Escher and Stettbacher (eds.), Pestalozzi and his Times: A Pictorial Record (Zurich: 1928), p. 11.
37 Perfectibilists, op. cit., p. 377.
38 David Hess, Johann-Caspar Schweizer, Ein Charakterbild aus dem Zeitalter der franzosischen Revolution, Jakob Baechtold, Editor, (Berlin: 1884) [Google books]. A French adaptation of it, utilizing additional supporting material, was published in 1913: Frédéric Barbey, Suisses hors de Suisse. Au service des rois et de la Révolution d’après des documents inédits (Paris, Perrin: 1913), pp. 213-323; that the original material used by Hess had been lost, see p. 213 n.1.
39 Hess, op. cit., p. 39.
40 Barbey, op. cit., pp. 216-7, 230; cf. Arthur Chuquet, in his review of Hess’ book, in: Revue critique d’histoire et de littérature, v. 22 (Paris: 1886), p. 421.
41 Barbey, op. cit., p. 230.
42 Ibid., p. 231.
43 Escher and Stettbacher, op. cit., p. 11.
44 Herbert Lüthy, La Banque protestante de la Révocation de l’édit de Nantes à la Révolution, v. 2, (Paris: 1959), p. 721. He had in fact spent two months in Paris ahead of time, in 1785, to get the lay of the land. It was more than he could have imagined, and upon his return to Zurich, in autumn of 1785, he resolved himself to make the move; see Barbey, op. cit., p. 231 and n.
45 See Le Forestier, op. cit., p. 662 and John Stores Smith, Mirabeau: a life-history, vol. 1 (London: 1848), p. 216. Proof that they became friends during this narrow window of opportunity comes via a letter from Mirabeau to Schweizer (dated Nov. 28th, 1787) while the former was in Berlin: see, Revue historique, v. 29 (Paris: 1885), pp. 82-6.
46 See Robert Matteson Johnson, op. cit., pp. 239-41.
47 Barbey, op. cit., pp. 232-7; Robert Darnton, “The Brissot dossier,” French Historical Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1991), pp. 201ff; Johnson, op. cit., pp. 240-1; Henry Heller, The Bourgeois Revolution in France (1789-1815), Berghahn Books, 2009, pp. 77-9; George V. Taylor, “The Paris Bourse on the Eve of the Revolution, 1781-1789,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 67, No. 4 (1962); “Marc René Marie de Sahuguet d’Amarzit d’Espagnac – Wikipédia.
48 Barbey, op. cit., p. 246.
49 Chuquet, op. cit., p. 422.
50 Barbey, op. cit., p. 247.
51 Besides Mirabeau, some others were: Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre (1737-1814), Fabre d’Eglantine (1750-1794), Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794), Paul-Jérémie Bitaubé (1732-1808), Count Gustav von Schlabrendorff (1750-1824), Count Johann Gaudenz von Salis-Seewis (1762-1834), Johann Wilhelm von Archenholz (1741-1812), Lafayette, Charles François Dumouriez (1739-1823), Antoine Barnave (1761-1793), Abbé d’Espagnac, Nicolas Bergasse (1750-1832), Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), and Anacharsis Cloots (1755-1794), etc.; see Chuquet, op. cit., p. 422.
52 Théot quote, from p. 85 of Clarke Garrett’s Respectable Folly: Millenarians & the French Revolution in France & England (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975); on the Schweizers and mesmerism, see Darnton op. cit., pp. 70, 130 and Barbey, p. 251; on the Duchess of Bourbon, see Karen-Claire Voss’ article in Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism.
53 Barbey, op. cit., p. 248.
54 David Hess, op. cit., pp. 53-4.
55 Barbey, op. cit., pp. 264-7.
56 Ibid., pp. 267-272.
57 Eleanor Pearson DeLorme, “The Swan Commissions: Four Portraits by Gilbert Stuart,” Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1979), p. 366; cf. Barbey, op. cit., pp. 274ff.
58 DeLorme, op. cit., p. 364.
59 Winthrop et al., “Special Meeting, 1873: Tea-Party Anniversary,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. 13, (1873-1875), p. 209.
60 Howard C. Rice, “James Swan: Agent of the French Republic 1794-1796,” The New England Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 3 (1937), p. 465; DeLorme, op. cit., p. 362; Winthrop et al., op. cit., p. 209.
61 Rice, op. cit., p. 465.
62 Ibid., p. 467.
63 DeLorme, op. cit., pp. 371-2.
64 Rice, op. cit., p. 474.
65 Barbey, op. cit., p. 299.
66 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder …, p. 108; Schüttler, “Friedrich Christian Carl Heinrich Münter”; “Friedrich Münter - Wikipedia
67 Ibid.
68 Ibid.; Hanns Gross, Rome in the Age of Enlightenment: The Post-Tridentine Syndrome and the Ancien Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 260-1. For more substantial treatments of Münter and his Illuminati activities, see Nico Perrone, La Loggia della Philantropia (Sellerio Editore Palermo, 2006); Friedrich Münter, Alexander Rasmussen, Øjvind Andreasen, Frederik Münter: et Mindeskrift (P. Haase, 1949); Carlo Francovich, Storia della massoneria in Italia: Dalle origini alla Rivoluzione francese (La Nuova Italia, 1974).
69 Schüttler, “Ausschnitt aus der Einleitung zu: Johann Joachim Christoph Bode …,” who writes: “Münter hatte in einem römischen Kardinalspalast Loge gehalten und für die Illuminaten geworben, die zu diesen Zeitpunkt in Bayern schon von der Regierung verfolgt waren.” He doesn’t mention Borgia by name, however it is well known that Münter had stayed with Borgia while in Rome, learning Coptic and examining the latter’s collection of ancient manuscripts. They would continue to correspond, collaborate professionally, and remained friends for decades.
70 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder …, p. 115; Schüttler, “Francesco Mario Pagano
71 See Francovich, op. cit., p. 421; Friedrich Münter et al, op. cit., pp. 115-16.
72 Erasmo Notizie: Bollettino d’informazione del Grande Oriente d’Italia, VII n. 13-14, Lugio 2006, p. 25.
73 See Bruno D’Errico, Domenico Cirillo: scienziato e martire della Repubblica Napoletana, Istituto di studi atellani, 2001, p. 58; cf. Nico Perrone, op. cit.
74 John Robertson, “Enlightenment and Revolution: Naples 1799,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Sixth Series, Vol. 10, 2000, p. 39.
75 Ibid., p. 40.
76 Ibid., p. 41.
77 Desjardins, “Soap-opera diplomacy in late-18th-century Naples
79 See, for instance, R. John Rath, “The Carbonari: Their Origins, Initiation Rites, and Aims,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 69, No. 2 (Jan., 1964), pp. 354-56 and notes. Speculation on Illuminati and/or Freemason origins – what the majority of historians have asserted – are also covered.
80 Anthony H. Galt, “The Good Cousins’ Domain of Belonging: Tropes in Southern Italian Secret Society Symbol and Ritual, 1810-1821,” Man, New Series, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1994), pp. 794-5.
81 Ibid., p. 795.
82 L. Day and I. McNeil, eds., Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, Routledge (UK), 1998, p. 83.
83 Pursuing Enlightenment In Vienna, 1781-1790, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of History, Louisiana State University, 2005, p. 192.
84 Day and McNeil, op. cit., p. 83.
85 Georg Knepler, Wolfgang Amade Mozart, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 124.
86 Day and McNeil, op. cit., p. 83; “Ignaz Edler von Born,” LoveToKnow 1911 Online Encyclopedia.
87 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder …, p. 28 and Schüttler, “Ignaz Edler von Born
88 Angelo Soliman is an interesting figure. Born in 1721, he began life as an African Prince. At the age of seven he was kidnapped and became the slave of Johann Georg Christian von Lobkowitz (1686-1753). After the death of Lobkowitz, Soliman earned his freedom and became a Royal tutor for Emperor Joseph II. He was the first black person in Vienna and lived in relative comfort among the aristocrats, becoming a Mason around 1771. The Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna has portraits of Soliman, his daughter and grandson. An incredible incident of morbid curiosity occurred after his death in 1796. Prince Lichtenstein had Soliman’s body “flayed and his preserved skin fitted onto a specially prepared wood model that displayed him in a dramatic, heroic presentation in the prince’s quarters. Here he remained on view to the prince’s guests until consumed by fire 48 years later.” Sources: Aufderheide, The Scientific Study of Mummies, p. 60-61; “Angelo Soliman - Wikipedia”; Rodgers, “Hitler and the Negro,Chicken Bones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes; “Masonic Trivia
89 Peter Branscombe, W.A. Mozart: Die Zauberflote, Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 40.
90 Knepler, op. cit., p. 125.
91 Branscombe, op. cit., p. 21. See Chapter 1, “The Sources” section titled “Ignaz von Born’s essay,” pp. 20-25.
92 Ibid., pp. 23-24.
93 God Encountered: Understanding the Christian Faith (Vol. 1), Liturgical Press, 1993, p. 128.
94 Transactions of the American Lodge of Research for Free and Accepted Masons [1939], Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 183.
95 Zaslaw and Cowdery (eds.), The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, W. W. Norton & Company, 1991, p. 37.
96 We know, for instance, that Born was included in the Utica membership list of 1782, which professor Dülmen reproduced in Der Geheimbund der Illuminaten. Darstellung, Analyse, Dokumentation.
97 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder …, p. 28 and Schüttler, “Ignaz Edler von Born
98Controversial Personalities of the Roman Republic: Marcus Furius Camillus, ‘alter conditor Romae’, 390 BC
99 Plutarch’s Lives, “Camillus,” trans. John Dryden
100 See Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens…, p. 3.

101 Perfectibilists, op. cit., p. 35.
102 One book, in particular, was the widely-read Monachologia: or, Handbook of the Natural History of Monks: arranged according to the Linnaean system, which was first published in Latin in 1783, wherein Born systematically satirized the entire genus of the ecclesiastic establishment.
103 Wiguläus Xaverius Aloysius Baron von Kreittmayr (1705-1790): A Bavarian statesman, law professor and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences; the creator of the first comprehensive codification of natural law for the State (Codex Juris Criminalis Bavarici, 1751); a member of the Erfurt Academy of the Arts and Sciences Useful to the Public (1754); and a good friend of Baron von Ickstatt, the godfather of Adam Weishaupt. Underscoring the medieval atmosphere still extant in Bavaria at this time, after becoming a key figure in Bavarian politics in 1749 Kreittmayr showed moral ambivalence toward witchcraft, and didn’t see any reason to rock the boat, so to speak, “since witches continued [and would continue] to be burned in Bavaria.” Nevertheless, Kreittmayr incorporated “stiff penalties for sorcery and witchcraft” into his Codex; and as “late as 1751, Kreittmayr’s legal reforms provided justification for the execution of a fourteen-year-old girl.” See Wolfgang Behringer, Witchcraft Persecutions in Bavaria: Popular Magic, Religious Zealotry and Reason of State in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. 347 and n. 82, 348 and n. 84.
104 See Perfectibilists, pp. 51-52; cf. Le Forestier, op. cit., p. 538. P. Frank was of course “Père Franck,” who, as previously mentioned, had persecuted the Illuminati; Bayle’s Dictionary represented one of the excuses – Weishaupt having procured it for the Ingolstadt University library – used by the Jesuitical inquisition to deprive Weishaupt of his job; and Zaupser was at one time an Illuminatus himself. In Perfectibilists I mistakenly thought that Born’s letter of resignation occurred after the publishing of the original writings of the Illuminati. It was actually written on Nov. 9th, 1785, and first printed in Born’s Journal For Freemasons.
105Friedrich Ludwig Schröder - Wikipedia
106 Ibid.
107 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, op. cit., p. 140.
108 Ibid.
109 Jan A.M. Snoek, “Dealing with Deviations in the Performance of Masonic Rituals,” in Ute Hüsken (ed.), When Rituals go Wrong: Mistakes, Failure, and the Dynamics of Ritual (Brill 2007), p. 114; cf. Perfectibilists, pp. 131-133 and notes.
110 Quoted in Steven Luckert, Jesuits, Freemasons, Illuminati, and Jacobins: Conspiracy theories, secret societies, and politics in late eighteenth-century Germany, Ph.D. dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1993, p. 429.
111 Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, op. cit., pp. 213-14.
112 The Society of the Enlightenment: The Rise of the Middle Class and Enlightenment Culture in Germany, (tr.) Anthony Williams (Polity Press, 1992), p. 119.
113 Michael Rowe, From Reich to State: The Rhineland in the Revolutionary Age, 1780-1830, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 61-2.
114 Wolfgang Menzel, The History of Germany: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Vol. III, London: 1854, p. 166.
115 Le Forestier, op. cit., pp. 652-3; Schüttler, Die Mitglieder…, op. cit., pp. 224, 225, 228.
116 Luckert, op. cit., p. 429.
117 R. R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800 – II: The Struggle, Princeton University Press, 1970, pp. 440-1.
118 See also, Jonathan Sperber, Rhineland Radicals: The Democratic Movement and the Revolution of 1848-1849, Princeton University Press, 1991, pp. 102, 112, 316; “Germain Metternich (1811-1862) - demokratiegeschichte.eu

59 Comments to 10 Notable Members of the Bavarian Illuminati

Josef Wäges
February 23, 2011

Wonderfull piece as usual Terry!

Terry Melanson
February 24, 2011

Thanks. Much appreciated.

Siyakhaphaka
March 4, 2011

wow

Justin Russell
March 9, 2011

Thorough research as ever Terry. The account of Schweizer and Swann and their forays into America is quite the tale. Love to know more of the deatils of that.
And the little snippet on Angelo Soliman really made the entire piece for me. Upon death flayed, stuffed and made an exhibit out of for viewing “pleasure”? Terrifically morbid.

Terry Melanson
March 12, 2011

Schweizer also has the distinction of being the only member of the Illuminati known to have even crossed the Atlantic, while actually spending considerable time in America. Someone told me about another member who was in South or Central America and who had apparently died of malaria there, but I’ve yet to get a name of said initiate so as to confirm it.

My feeling is that Jefferson was right - that there was no reason in America for a secret society such as the Illuminati. They had had their revolution, and the subsequent revolutionaries in France cribbed from their playbook - not the other way around. Even symbolism such as the liberty cap originated in America rather than in France as is often assumed.

Some members of the Illuminati did apparently want to emigrate to America, as Joe Wages has uncovered. However, it was due to the fact that freedom had already been won, thus offering opportunities for putting a utopian egalitarian lifestyle to the test.

Toff Philippo
March 13, 2011

It seems to me I read of another who spent time in America, but I’ll have to rack my brain to recall who. Sorry I haven’t been in touch, too much going on right now.

Terry Melanson
March 13, 2011

American Count Rumford [Sir Benjamin Thompson] was claimed as a member of the Illuminati by Leopold Engel. However, his membership was never confirmed, and if he did become a member it was after he left America and got a job at the court of Elector Karl Theodor (1784 at the earliest).

On another note, and this might go well with what you’ve been researching lately, there was a secret socialist/marxist organization, in America, called the Illuminati, formed by Burnette G. Haskell.

Toff Philippo
March 13, 2011

Rumford/Thompson’s not the one I’m thinking of, interesting though.

I had come across some info on Haskell and his Illuminati. Short-lived, and possibly never-formed it seems like, but it deserves further research. Possibly he got the idea for using the name from George Lippard’s Brotherhood of the Union, which supposedly claimed descent from Weishaupt (I need to look into that), or from Thomas Lake Harris’ group the “Illuminati or The Secret Brothers of the New Life.”

There’s been over twenty groups in America named the Illuminati, besides all the others not using that name but claiming descent from it, and the ones not using that name that were nicknamed it by others. More in the foremost category when one includes publishers, periodicals, etc.

Terry Melanson
March 14, 2011

I’m speculating here that more than a few of these claimants are speaking on behalf of the Rosicrucians (not just that one branch which you mentioned to me in an email).

Esotericists have a penchant to make things up in order to make their own clique seem important. The Illuminati did this as well, as did practically every secret society. All this is to be expected, especially after the notoriety that the Illuminati had gained. The frustrating part about it is that the Rosicrucians are completely ignorant of history - Weishaupt’s group and their own antecedents were arch enemies. Admittedly though, Rosicrucians, alchemists, pietists and kabbalists were called “Illuminati” long before Weishaupt had the bright idea to claim the name for his own organization. It’s the conflation with Weishaupt’s group that gets me going. It would be another thing altogether if they said straight up that they were the real Illuminati while the Bavarian Illuminati were the johnny-come-lately fakers.

Toff Philippo
March 14, 2011

At least four of them are Rosicrucian groups or splinters, but others seem like they might be as well, I just don’t have much info on them yet. Others I’m pretty sure aren’t Rosicrucian.

The Illuminati in Brooklyn was a women’s literary society (1908?-1950?), which combines two of the things the Illuminati panics seized on, so I’m curious how they picked that name. Was supposedly the largest literary society in the US, and had bought land on Van Buren Point (western NY, SW of Buffalo on Lake Erie). Their papers are archived locally, so hopefully they kept a record of the formation.

Terry Melanson
March 17, 2011

It was pointed out to me that the link to the page on the Mirabeau French Encyclopedia entry has gone dead. Perhaps I came across one of their internal pages not intended for the public and they realized this from tracking the links going in. At any rate, here’s the relevant passage that I was citing: “On sait aujourd’hui qu’il fut affilié le 22 décembre 1783 aux Neuf Soeurs: le manuscrit du discours prononcé par Pastoret dont l’autographe est conservé à Lexington (bibliothèque du Muséum of our National Heritage États-Unis) le prouve. Cette affiliation indique que Mirabeau avait auparavant été reçu apprenti dans une autre loge. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette appartenance à la maçonnerie permet de comprendre les liens qu’il a pu entretenir avec les Illuminaten.” Also, in Charles Porset, Les Philalèthes Et Les Convents De Paris: Une Politique De La Folie, H. Champion (1996), p. 88, we read: “Mirabeau was affiliated with the Nine Sisters, December 22, 1783. As for Calonne and Desmoulins, they belonged to the Lodge ‘Maitres’ of the Orient in Amiens.” Further, Porset has written a monograph on Mirabeau and his Masonic affiliations.

jose antonio hernandez
March 20, 2011

Another magistral piece of history, on your usual style.
Please write about the illuminaties in america.

jose antonio hernandez
April 3, 2011

Dont forget the great Philosopher Hegel,his theories are a part of the struglee,betwen the true and any theory.

Izzii
May 3, 2011

I’m not sure about the what the meaning of the triangle… Can someone send me more details about the triangle through my email..

Frank Stahl
May 17, 2011

Terry - am freshly finding your site and find it highly informative. I am not sure if I have correctly understood that you are purporting that illuminati factions of yesteryear do not exist today in the various Orders?

Terry Melanson
May 20, 2011

There will always be people within various occult groups that label themselves (or have been labelled by others) as Illuminati. The Bavarian Illuminati, however, has no tangible continuity up until the present.

Terry Melanson
July 14, 2011

The Mirabeau link used as a source is back up again, with a new url.

holland
July 14, 2011

Very Impressive, compliments!
How nice that people are able to reconstruct history for those who care. I can’t tell you how much it fascinates me to learn why there is a dark force that does horrible things to others.

Where do I start…. I believe (knowing is something else) that the main aggressors are some super-rich and extremely powerful “families” in the states. Playing a game to make a new world order possible. But why or why not? Old Europeans are the fundament of these American “families” and I am finding out here what the hard core is made of. Old men influencing the young to achieve a sort of new mind-set.

It is still happening within groups of the happy few, I have studied myself and joined a fraternity and a “Corps” at first (No Corps no fraternity possible) . I know about initiatory ragging and traditions of a brotherhood. I am still active for botch organisations.

So what?
I mean well, have no hidden agenda. But I must have met people during my nice time as a student, even in Holland. I suspect that the oldest association called “Black and White” has a history of some free masonry (a guess). The have the skull with bones in their logo and are the oldest, biggest, and best financed club here. Are there strings to the dark force? Better chance that the Corps of Leiden has those strings, our royals are old members of Minerva in Leiden. Queen Beatrix is also the daughter of Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld a quite controversial German (Lockhead affair, sex affairs). Bernhard also founded the Bildenberg Group.

The base is clear to me, happy few, power at the top and followers at the bottom. But how infected is Holland with the “free masonry virus”?

Let me conclude with another compliment on your work, it is so much and I have so little time. What is the next step of the Illuminati (free masonries). What in earth can we do about it?

Please, excuse me for my “rude English”.

Eric Winter
September 26, 2011

@holland: what on earth are you ranting about? this is not prison planet or any of the other conspiracy nut tin foil websites, if you haven’t noticed mr. Melanson is a serious scholar and his website is a great source of actual and factual historical knowledge. I wish the comment section was more moderated though so as to keep it clean from all the confusion and ignorance that plagues the internet when it comes to subjects like the Bavarian Illuminati and Freemasonry.

Cooksgirlisme
October 8, 2011

Terry i am new to this whole world as a matter of fact its this site that has sparked my curiosity right now!!!!! i have no clue where to start for a simpleton such as me i am an open book and i am now thirsty to start this quest for nothing other than myself HELP where do i start!!!!!!

Toff
October 23, 2011

My friend is taking forever with the Russian translation I think I mentioned to you quite some time ago. Sorry about that! (I can’t ask for much when she offered to do it for free.)

Terry Melanson
November 4, 2011

Toff,

Worry pas. It will probably be worth the wait!

MaRiA CoNcHiTa RiVaS
November 18, 2011

This is fasanating information Gracias

sammy artista
February 9, 2012

Hi Mr.Terry I would love to have info on a group from UK wich are starting a Merytocracy Party in UK and anywhere.They calim to be the real Illuminaty,and want to destroy the OLD World Order etc.They have a site tha is called Ilumintaion .How to become God.please send info on what you know about them.Thanks.

Why not go deeper into the truth?

Daniel
April 15, 2012

Terry

Wonderful article, regards from Chile.

moses
April 23, 2012

SO WHAT!! King James Bible
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

arshaad
April 23, 2012

simply fantastic !!! stoned completely

Tamia Craig
May 16, 2012

I wanted to know if around the 16 maybe 1700’s if some of the enlightenment thinkers such as Galileo were apart of the Illuminati.I’am doing an important research paper trying to prove how the Illuminati was in fact a secret society who wanted a better world or were they(as many of my classmates say ignorantly)a satanic cult. I very much appreciate it.Thank You.

Terry Melanson
May 16, 2012

That’s a Dan Brown invention. Galileo lived a hundred and fifty years before the Illuminati (1776-1787/93).

The Illuminati were indeed a secret society in every sense of the word. Their m.o. was to infiltrate and subvert all strata of society, to gain influence and control. A “better world,” according to them, was one in which “reason” would steadily replace obscurantism and superstition — and they would lead the way. A democracy was not the solution. At first a cryptocracy would be necessary, and eventually a sort of “illuminated” oligarchy of enlightened despotism.

To the Illuminati, nationalism and patriotism was a sin. They were cosmopolitans, internationalists. Thus, if they had gained real power, their ultimate goal would have been some sort of “world government” with their leaders at the top.

Pedro Garcia Burgalês
May 18, 2012

Excellent piece.

P.S.: Have you read this book by any chance?: Louis Dutens.

Aramis Ayres Jr
June 1, 2012

i was hopin to see names like shopenhauer, goethe and niestchze but, oh well

Terry Melanson
June 1, 2012

Goethe, yes. The others, no - especially not Nietzsche, who was born long after the Illuminati had petered out by the mid-1790s.

1394 members have been confirmed. I chose these 10 for various reasons. In my book, however, there are bios of 447 members - a number of them relatively famous in the annals of history - should you wish to learn more.

Second edition is coming soon. First edition is sold out.

Spartacus
March 16, 2013

terry- had a few questions. First, what was weishaupts master plan? I read your “a concise exegesis on the Bavarian Illuminati” and i can’t remember for sure but, it seems i only remember names, places, and dates. What i mean is, was it just global domination, centralization of all wealth and material matter, creating a uptopia by the year 2749? OR…was it the destruction of all and then rebuilding in their ideal image. OR…was it just him and amschel trying to put them selves thousands of year ahead so they could thereby initiate a blue print for the destruction, rape , torture and sacrifice and billions of people. Please feel free to email me as well at chrisdarko33@gmail.com

Terry Melanson
March 16, 2013

They didn’t last long enough for a comprehensive agenda to form. If the higher discourses for initiates, written by Weishaupt, is taken as its ultimate philosophy, then a sort of primitivist utopia was idealized where gradually man would become perfected - with instruction from the Illuminati - and eventually have no need for the state or the church. Secret societies, in Weishaupt’s view, were the only way to achieve this, through indoctrination of its initiates, and infiltrating them into positions of power - thus a state within a state. Only by this means would a radical transformation of society gradually occur. Outright revolution was frowned upon.

Re “amschel”

I take it you mean the patriarch of the Rothschilds? No, he wasn’t a member, and you wouldn’t expect him to be. At the time he was an illiterate Jew in the ghetto, and they wouldn’t have even associated in the same circles. The Illuminati recruited from the rising educated class, the emerging public sphere: professors, philosophers, public officials, priests and ecclesiastics, officers and rank and file nobility (if they expressed enlightened attitudes). Hardly any bankers or merchants. Mostly the educated establishment, or those close to it; Jews and pagans were explicitly forbidden.

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

Either your an illuminatus or…I know they caused the stock market to crash..and bought it for pennies on the pound…and thats were a noticeable percentage of the rotschidts zillions come from….

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

I hate to do this because your other book was my favorite book but…i cant remember how to quote so ill just say this. This is an excerpt from the article is “The Illuminati and the House of Rothschild” By Johnny Silver Bear. i dont own this and i didn’t write it..i found it on http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports/2005/08aug/redshield.html ..I’m not taking credit it for i give all the credit to site and authors who work with the site..i didnt write this and im not taking credit for it….. “Meyer Amschel Rothschild began to realize that in order to attain the power necessary to influence and control the finances of the various monarchs in Europe, he would have to wrest this influence and power from the church, which would necessitate its destruction. To accomplish this, he enlisted the help of a Catholic priest, Adam Weishaupt, to assemble a secret Satanic order.

Adam Weishaupt was born February 6, 1748 at Ingoldstadt, Bavaria.”

Also, this excerpt from the article “The Illuminati and the House of Rothschild” By Johnny Silvier Bear there are other references to amschel and his five sons being bankers and merchants and masons and illumniaughty.

i know your probaly going to hate me after this but i had to point out your mistake..can someone please remind me how to quote? i still love your other book, and have much respect and feel that i learned most throughout all my studies from “A concise exegesis on the Illuminati based on the available evidence”

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

Here is the correct quote for the excerpt from that article..:”Silver Bear, johnny. “The Illuminati and the House of Rothschild.” http://www.redicecreations.com, 28/08/2005. 3/18 2013.” would have done this before but i totally forgot. know how people can get about these things and i just want to stay out of trouble……………

Once again i apologize for counter revolutionizing you but, i feel it is in the best interest of the American people to let a few parts of the truth be told…but not all.. i apologize for a few of statements in the previous comment before last.

Terry Melanson
March 18, 2013

Whenever you read something from someone check to see if they cite a source. If they don’t, it probably means that they can’t. Also, the burden of proof is upon the claimant of any assertion. It is not up to everyone else to prove them wrong. If that were the case we’d all be wasting our time endlessly checking everyone’s work. You think that’s fair? No. If you say something back it up, or don’t say it at all.

Having said all that. I wrote a book on the secret society that is 500 pages long, and that has footnotes at the end of nearly every sentence. I was thorough and extremely meticulous and completely transparent in sourcing. I checked every assertion that was claimed about the Bavarian Illuminati, and then some. There were no Rothschilds as members that can be traced back to a contemporary source, let alone primary sources. Period. If there was I would have said so, and so would others who came before me - at least the honest ones. To repeat: anyone can claim anything they like, but ya better well prove it to be taken seriously, especially when it conflicts with already well-established history.

Besides, if Rothschild were really a member, don’t you think I would have included him on this list of 10 notable members? :)

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

Good point! But in your book “A precise exegise on the bavarian illuminati” by Terry Melanson(wonderful book..
) it says , “In exchange for these newfound liberties the Jews had to pay him 440,000 florins; 31 financed by Mayer Amschel Rothschild, 32 at a substantial profit, no doubt. A number of Masonic Jews at the time also petitioned von Karl for the “exclusive right to maintain lodges in the city.”
Gosh i forgot to cite, but i didnt write this excerpt and i dont own it…its written by terry and is on this site…i used to read like 20 articles a week.
Im not racist or anything, just part of the point I was trying to prove…
Once again, it doesn’t say he is, but i did their sources, you should check that site out, seems pretty legit. The site is http://www.redicecreations.com/specialreports/2005/08aug/redshield.html …anyways, this was the part about Lord Dalberg who WAS an illuminatus and if he assoiciated with him or even knew him you’d think amschel was a mason and then also an illuminatus.

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

I did CHECK their sources, not all but some i forgot to add CHECK their sources. the 9th sentence down, i forgot to add Check their sources..ha, anyways, Sorry, this is my very first time blogging on the internet.

Terry Melanson
March 18, 2013

I wasn’t talking about you not citing; I was talking about the guy at the site. No sources cited for anything he writes. “A Precise Exegesis on the Available Evidence” is not a book. It’s an article. But yes, I wrote it. I wrote more things in my actual book too. Rothschild is mentioned a few more times. He had connections to only three members. Wasn’t a member though.

You say: “you’d think amschel was a mason and then also an illuminatus.” That’s called jumping to conclusions. You have to prove such an assertion. As I told you, I looked. He wasn’t an Illuminatus, nor even a mason.

Spartacus
March 18, 2013

Very good points and also true. My bad..but anyways, thanks for the responses and as i said im new to this blog idea. Anywways, wonferful article you’ve written and very enlightening. perhaps you could send me your email adress, as I might write on similar things in the future, but now i know that. my email is chrisdarko33@gmail.com. great conversation!

chris

Rose
August 24, 2013

You forgot to mention Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati.

Terry Melanson
August 24, 2013

Goes without saying.

Lance
October 18, 2013

Thank you. Very useful information but where are Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe and Georg Wilhem Friedrich Hegel. As far as I know they were both devoted members of the “Order the Illuminati”.

Terry Melanson
October 20, 2013

Hegel no, Goethe yes.

This article is about notable members for other reasons, which should be apparent by their bios.

Anthony
January 12, 2014

Quote Terry Melanson “The Illuminati were indeed a secret society in every sense of the word. Their m.o. was to infiltrate and subvert all strata of society, to gain influence and control. A “better world,” according to them, was one in which “reason” would steadily replace obscurantism and superstition.”

Did the Illuminati actually write that they wanted to replace superstition Terry.

Surely Christianity along with all other religions is by definition a form of superstition?

These people were highly educated they would have understood the contradiction in such a bold statement.

Terry Melanson
January 12, 2014

They wrote that they were fighting against it, yes. That’s what they were talking about - religion. Or, more precisely, how it was corrupted over the ages by priests and despots. It’s a common theme of the Enlightenment as a whole, except they thought that they could accomplish the education of man - to where reason and “morality” prevailed over superstition - through direct infiltration of the government, education and social institutions, and putting their own initiates at the helm.

Anthony
January 13, 2014

The Illuminati specify that members must be Christians.

This confuses me because similar to all religions Christianity is based on dogmatic belief.

The old testament of which Jesus quotes from around 24 different Old Testament books has very dubious morality indeed.

Do you think the Illuminati used the term Christian to mean European,caucasian as it was not unusual for them to use code words.

Terry Melanson
January 13, 2014

Catholic theocracy. Bavaria at the time was run by a catholic Duke who had a Jesuit confessor who in turn reported to the Pope. All the institutions felt the hand of Rome. You couldn’t do anything unless they told you you could.

Besides that the rest of Europe was Protestant and Lutheran, or of Moravian brethren - all Christian. You were either Christian or Jewish. There was no in between at that time, unless you were atheist. By “Christian” they meant not Jewish, not pagan, not Muslim, not an “unbeliever.” In any case, at the highest levels they became more forthright and if you actually professed yourself to be an atheist you would probably ascend to highest ranks much quicker than if you continued to be pious and a dogmatic believer. In fact if you continued to cling to religion you were guaranteed not to be promoted very high at all. Deism, a good middle ground, was what was most preferred.

Anthony
January 13, 2014

That makes total sense regarding deists and atheists ascending to higher ranks much quicker when reflecting on the attitudes of the perfectibilists.

Regarding the Moravians,during your time studying (which is very much appreciated as you have shared your work) did you ever find any evidence of a link with the Order of the Mustard Seed which was a Moravian society formed by Nobles who were also university students(similar to Illuminati but predating)

Thanks for the reply’s Terry

Terry Melanson
January 13, 2014

Not much is known about the Order of the Mustard Seed - whether it continued after his death in 1760, reverted back to its original name “Slaves of Virtue,” or exactly who were members, when, and for how long. If someone proves they existed between 1776 and 1790 and then manages to get a verified list of members; only then can it be compared to Illuminaten lists.

Even if it did exist at the time (or still does), I doubt one would find mutual membership. The Illuminati frowned upon mysticism, and religious orders. One would surely find Rosicrucians involved, however - i.e. the enemies of the Illuminati.

Anthony
January 14, 2014

One last question for you Terry which might seem a little random.

Was Leipzig a hot bed of Illuminati activity ie Leipzig university.

Terry Melanson
January 14, 2014

Not particularly, no. A very small presence there, and not at the university.

Anthony
January 17, 2014

Quote Terry Melanson “Hegel no, Goethe yes.

This article is about notable members for other reasons, which should be apparent by their bios.”

If genuine this is proof of the Rosicrucians plotting against Goethe.

“Letter of Count Görtz:–

“‘Triumph, dear count. Your knowledge of men, your addresses conquer. You have foretold well: our gracious master is enchanted with you and asks you hereby, in due form through me to come to his court.

“‘You are really a wonder-worker, for his detested, plebeian favourite now totters . . . a little help, one stroke of your genius and the advocate of Frankfurt, who intrudes upon us, is checkmated. Will you fight him openly now, or do you prefer to make first an incognito personal survey of the territory? put down one or two

mines for him and show yourself only when he is totally beaten out of the field? and then take his place with far more right and power?

I leave all this to your sagacity. Rely upon me as before, entirely, and a small élite of faithful aristocrats, one or two of which you may wish to bind closer to you if you think it good.

“‘Always yours truly’

“‘Count Görtz, marshal of court.’”

REPLY

St. Germain’s answer:

“‘Dear Count!

“‘I am quite ready to associate further with you and your companions in opinion, very grateful for the complaisant invitation. I will follow it later on.

“‘In the present moment I have promised to visit Hanau, to meet the Landgrave Karl at his brother’s and work out with him the system of the “Strict Observance”–the regeneration of the order of freemasons in an aristocratic sense–which interests you too so much.

“‘The Landgrave is to me a dear and sympathetic protector, and if not a prince regnant, his position in Schleswig attached to Danish service, is very princely. I will, by all means, before I decide quite for the Landgrave, come to Weimar, liberate you from the hated intruder, and recognise

p. 156

the field there. Maybe I will prefer to do incognito at first.

“‘Recommend me faithfully to your master, and promise my visit for some time to come.

“‘In the name of prudence, silence and wisdom I salute you

“‘Yours

“St. Germain.’”

http://www.sacred-texts.com/sro/csg/csg09.htm

John Robert Priesmeyer
January 30, 2014

Hello Mr Melanson, i love your work and i have a question that i think will peak your interest.

This website here
http://armageddonconspiracy.co.uk/The-Secret-History%281492844%29.htm
claims this is an actual quote from Weishaupt original documents. since your the authority who is translating the original Swedish lockbox i was hoping you could verify. The quote is as follows.

“The Ancien Régime is a Satanic Order. The Illuminati’s noble and historic mission is to release man’s higher self by destroying the archons - the princes of the world - who prosecute Satan’s will and hold mankind in their dark thrall. Their corruption has reached its zenith in France. That diabolical tyranny is ripe for destruction. All that is required is a spark. We are the spark.”
Adam Weishaupt (Grand Master of the Illuminati), 1789

Terry Melanson
January 30, 2014

The quote is made up, and the site is pure bunk.

John Robert Priesmeyer
January 30, 2014

lol! I knew it. thanks man, keep up the good work.

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