The original writings of the Illuminati have never been completely translated into English. Contemporaries of the Illuminati, such as John Robison and Augustin Barruel, had included choice excerpts from the primary material, but that is all.
During the research for the writing of Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati, I had emailed one of the leading experts on the Illuminati in Germany, lamenting the fact that the original writings, after more than 200 years, are still only accessible to those proficient in German. To my astonishment, I was told that there was in fact a full translation of both Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens (1787), and Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften, welche die Illuminatensekte (1787; two volumes) - all 800+ pages - into French. Well, my knowledge of German was/is extremely rudimentary, but I’m comfortable and proficient enough with French (descending from an Acadian French-speaking family, and having learned to properly read a write the language through French immersion at school).
The French translation of the original writings of the Illuminati were published serially in the infamous Revue Internationale des Sociétés Sècretes (R.I.S.S.), from 1929 to 1933. Editions Delacroix will sell for a fair price the entire translation compiled into one volume.
That the German Illuminati expert had recommended it to me, was confirmation enough of the quality and integrity of the translation. And when I subsequently got a copy into my hands, I then compared it with common passages known to me from the writings of Robison, Barruel, Nesta Webster and especially René Le Forestier. I was satisfied with the meticulousness of the work; that it was in fact a literal translation.
The English translation that I have undertaken, and will be posting serially on this site, is based on the French translation found in R.I.S.S. Now twice-removed from the original German, it is not the most ideal of situations. Nevertheless, if care is taken to match the literalness of the French source, inevitable misinterpretations can still be kept to a minimum.
It is not specifically mentioned by R.I.S.S. - at least not in the Delacroix compilation - who the translator originally was. It may well be that it was Henry Coston (1910-2001) - though, if this is the case, he would have been only nineteen years-old in 1929 when the translation began to appear in the journal - for in his La Conjuration des Illuminés (Paris: 1979), the same French translation is reproduced in an abridged form (cut short at p. 117 of the first volume of Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften), but also with additional tables not present in the R.I.S.S. publication. Alternatively, the translation might ultimately be the work of the founder and editor of R.I.S.S., Monseigneur Jouin.
- Terry (email@example.com )
- Illuminati Conspiracy Archive
- Illuminati Conspiracy Part One: A Precise Exegesis on the Available Evidence
- Illuminati Conspiracy Part Two: Sniffing out Jesuits
- Jeva Singh-Anand’s Illuminati Blog
- Marco Di Luchetti’s “Illuminati of Bavaria”
- Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati