Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 | Illuminati myths | 23 Comments
Trevor W. McKeown, the freemason webmaster at the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, has maintained a page on the Bavarian Illuminati for a least a decade. Only infrequently has it been updated, and inaccuracies remain. Wikipedia has used it as a reliable source for many years on their own Illuminati page, likely because the most active editor for that subject is himself a Freemason. I’ve written about one egregious error before, however an assessment of the page as a whole is overdue.
The beginning pullquote from Thomas Jefferson is meant to set the reader up for what follows – that the Illuminati had good intentions and were misunderstood; nothing nefarious went on.
Much has been made about the Jefferson letter, but the pullquote that McKeown uses is in fact a misrepresentation and out of context. Below, how it was quoted (on the left), and the way it actually is (on the right).
|“As Weishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot and priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, and the principles of pure morality. This has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment…. If Weishaupt had written here, where no secrecy is necessary in our endeavors to render men wise and virtuous, he would not have thought of any secret machinery for that purpose.”||
As Wishaupt [sic.] lived under the tyranny of a despot & priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, & the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object & to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue. He proposed to initiate new members into his body by gradations proportioned to his fears of the thunderbolts of tyranny.
This has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment, the subversion of the masonic order, & is the colour for the ravings against him of Robinson, Barruel & Morse, whose real fears are that the craft would be endangered by the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men
Obviously he intended to leave out the part after “pure morality” but neglected to include an ellipsis before “This has given an air of mystery to his views.” That’s a serious lapse. And seems intentional, to omit Jefferson’s accurate assessment that the Illuminati wanted to “lead the Free masons” and were engaged in the “subversion of the masonic order.”
Monday, June 15th, 2009 | Illuminati myths | 15 Comments
by Terry Melanson (15/6/2009)
The New American website has posted a slightly redacted version of William H. McIlhany’s 1996 article which appeared in the September 16, 1996 issue of The New American. (The original can be read here, which, in turn, appears to be based on one of McIlhany’s presentations).
I first became aware of McIlhany’s writings on the Illuminati in 2000. At the time I was very impressed by what I read, and immediately realized that his information on the real Bavarian Illuminati was more thorough than most. However, my own knowledge on the subject is a bit more advanced than it was some nine years ago. So with that in mind, here are some exaggerations and/or misrepresentations which struck me as I reread the article at The New American for the first time in years.
“Kölmer” and the Origin of the Lesser and Greater Mysteries of the Illuminati
According to McIlhany, Weishaupt was “instructed by a mysterious occultist named Kölmer.” The only problem I have with this statement is that it is not qualified with “alleged” or “purported.”
The Kölmer legend first appeared in Volume III of Abbé Augustin Barruel’s tome against Philosophes, Freemasons, the Illuminati and the Jacobins. He related it rather tentatively as a rumour going round, and as a possible way of explaining the ostensibly advanced nature of Weishaupt’s mysteries.
Saturday, November 15th, 2008 | Illuminati myths | 10 Comments
by Terry Melanson (15/11/2008)
So, I’m browsing through the results of a keyword-search (targeting blogs) that I had previously saved as an RSS feed in Google Reader - “Illuminati.” Usually the results point to sites that abuse the term as a mere descriptor for an overarching, all-powerful monolithic conspiracy. However, once in a while, I occasionally come across at least an attempt not to knowingly butcher the historical record.
The November 12th post at the English section of Illuminaten.org is one such example. But as I started reading “The Bavarian Illuminati: several myths revealed,” it became quite clear that the post is, in fact - word for word - an abridged re-posting of “A Bavarian Illuminati Primer.”
Once I got to the part about Lanz and Lang, I knew for sure.
Here’s what Mason Trevor W. McKeown thinks is the myth/truth:
As an example of the mythology that surrounds the history of the Illuminati, note that Barruel claimed that Lanz, an Illuminati courier and apostate priest, was struck by lightning, thus revealing Weishaupt’s papers to the authorities, but this does not appear to be substantiated. This error was widely reprinted and enlarged on by subsequent anti-masons whose lack of research and disdain for historical accuracy has lead them to confuse Johann Jakob Lanz (d.1785), a non-Illuminati secular priest in Erding, and friend of Weishaupt, with Franz Georg Lang, a court advisor in Eichstätt who was active in the Illuminati under the name Tamerlan.
Barruel mistakenly translated “weltpriester”, or secular priest, as apostate priest and subsequent writers such as Webster and Miller have repeated this error. Eckert renamed Weishaupt’s friend as Lanze and had him struck by lightning while carrying dispatches in Silesia. Miller cited Eckert but renamed Lanz as Jacob Lang and placed the lightning strike in Ratisbon. This is a minor detail in the history but it demonstrates the lack of accuracy often displayed by detractors of the Illuminati.
As nobody has challenged him on these assertions - not even a German site who should know better - I’ll reiterate and add additional information to what I had written back in August 2005. Mr. McKeown is guilty of the same thing he accuses others of: “lack of research and disdain for historical accuracy.”
- 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