Primary Documents

Secret School of Wisdom

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 | Primary Documents | 6 Comments

The new book by Jeva Singh-Anand, Josef Wäges and Illuminaten scholar Reinhard Markner is available for preorder from the publisher or from Amazon. Titled The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Rituals and Doctrines of the Illuminati, it will be available on Halloween of this year. (Weird tie-in.)

I recommend everyone who has even a peripheral interest in the secret society run out and buy it. All the rituals and teachings of the Order are translated and presented, for the first time, in a single volume. According to Markner, a simultaneous publication in German will be available as well.

Here’s some links for more information:

  • Official Facebook page offers links, photos, and related translations (in the last two links, the main body of the letters was translated from the French original by yours truly)
  • A radio interview with Jeva posted on YouTube (Thanks for the kind words; I appreciate and feel the same)
  • Brief video from the publisher talking about the book and displaying a replica of the Minerval jewel.
  • A German article about the publication and Markner’s archival work on the Illuminaten

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Ritual & Doctrine of the Illuminati

Monday, August 12th, 2013 | Primary Documents | 45 Comments

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Jeva Singh-Anand, Josef Wäges, and Illuminaten scholar Reinhard Markner have been collaborating on an English translation of the ritual work of the Illuminati. All the rituals will be featured, from the Novice degree all the way to lesser and greater mysteries, including Regent and Provincial directives, Epopt and Doceten degrees. Conservatively, I’d estimate that the total amount of pages will be over five-hundred at the very least. This amounts to the most significant English translation of primary material in over 200 years.

Joe Wages has been assiduously collecting all of the original writings of the Illuminati with a view toward just such an endeavour. His hard work, dedication, personal funds, and especially the translating talent and hard work of Jeva Singh-Anand have finally paid off. All of this, combined with the knowledge and expertise of Markner, is really something to behold. Hats off all around – great work guys!

Jeva Singh-Anand has posted on his site, a taste – Illuminatus major – of what to look forward to. Please read and link.

As far as the ritual itself, I’m not qualified to comment. I’m not a mason myself, so I can’t assess where or whence it came from. Joe Wages, however, has come to the conclusion that a lot of the ceremony derives from the Strict Observance rite, which Knigge had much knowledge and expertise.

The good thing about this material being published for the first time in English is the fact that all of us will have the originals to look at. We can then judge it on our own level of understanding of the masonic milieu and popular philosophy of the 18th century.

The conspiratorial aspects, I’ll interject, are plainly seen for those who look closely.

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Knigge on the Illuminati (According to Knigge) and Other Reflections (According to the Historical Record)

Friday, July 6th, 2012 | Illuminati Members, Primary Documents | 15 Comments

by Terry Melanson, July 6th 2012

The exposure and persecution of the Illuminati had barely commenced. Adam Weishaupt fled from the Bavarian authorities in February of 1785.

Two weeks after his hasty escape, Elector Karl Theodor issued his second edict against secret societies (and the Illuminati specifically). More than a year would pass before he reached safety at the court of fellow-Illuminatus, Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha. Bobbing in alleyways, hiding in chimneys, and witnessing a friend drop dead from lightning, Weishaupt somehow managed to pen and publish five apologetic pamphlets concerning his activities as “General” of the Order.

After the writings and correspondences of the Illuminati were published in 1787 – reputations and livelihoods at stake – his cohorts penned their own accounts, most notably Christoph Friedrich Nicolai (1733-1811), Franz Xaver von Zwack (1755-1843) and Baron Thomas Franz Maria de Bassus (1742-1815). However it wasn’t until after these developments that Adolph Freiherr von Knigge (1752-1796) saw fit to issue his own account in 1788.

The latter work (Philos endliche Erklärung und Antwort …) has been translated by Jeva Singh-Anand: Philo’s Reply To Questions Concerning His Association With the Illuminati (lulu.com, April 5, 2012). It’s the first full English translation of a primary Illuminati source, and, for that reason alone, is highly recommended. You can read Jeva’s forward here and purchase it at Lulu or Amazon.

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Joe Wäges Interview: Illuminati Primary Source Material

Friday, November 5th, 2010 | Primary Documents | 25 Comments

You have a singular obsession with finding and collecting rare primary sources, with a major focus on Bavarian Illuminati material. What started you on this journey? It is somewhat reminiscent of a first-edition bibliophile, I suppose, but in a “web 2.0” setting.

My preoccupation with all things Illuminati goes back many years when I heard an interview on a radio program (the particular show escapes me) with some conspiracy researcher giving the standard the Illuminati runs the world speech. I found some of his claims to be quite fantastic, but on the whole captivating and curious. Being an avid book reader, collector and amateur historian, I had to learn as much as I could to see if there was any truth to his claims. When I sat down and started searching for primary source materials, I was amazed at how little material was publically available, and that it seemed that no one else had attempted to make public all of the primary literature. In my quest for knowledge I dedicated myself to liberating as much information as could be found. My first major contribution was a full color version of EOS. It was the logical choice as it was the first piece published, and because all of the books reference it, and had never been public until now. With its acquisition the trinity of Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens, Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften, and Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-Orden was complete. This is what drove me to acquire every single piece of literature that I could. After a few years I have almost all of them now, free for all to read. This is what will lead to true understanding, about the group’s significance, role in history and effects upon philosophy and indeed society. It seems the misunderstanding derives from a language barrier, but more importantly an accessibility barrier, the later now mitigated. This has led to all sorts of ridiculous claims and speculations. My goal is to let the public decide for themselves. Nothing more, nothing less.

Ya, you actually scooped the multi-million dollar scanning projects of Google et al. What University did you contact about Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens, and how did the whole thing come about? The stuff you are doing is not for free, so you certainly are determined.

I did a worldcat search for the book and found all of the American universities that held the work, the closest one being Duke University, in the Jantz rare book collection. I had originally planned to travel there myself and photograph the book along with 4 other primary source books, but after talking with a friend I decided that it would be much more effective in terms of time and expense to hire a graduate student researcher. The university provided a list of candidates; I selected one and had him take photos of the entire book, tables and all. It definitely was not cheap, but was necessary as no one would be able to do any research based on primary source material without this book in the public domain, as nearly all of the source books reference this book.

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Some Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (pp. 43-60)

Sunday, October 31st, 2010 | Original Writings, Primary Documents | 8 Comments

NB: Superscripted endnotes are my own, while parenthesized footnotes (when encountered) are from the original editors of the collection, c. 1786/87. – Terry Melanson

IX
Instruction for Cato, Marius and Scipio

Cato, Marius and Scipio are destined for the highest offices of the Order, and are not occupied with trivial affairs. [p. 44]

  1. Therefore, properly speaking, they are not recruiters; rather they are in charge of instructing capable men, and rekindling the zeal of new candidates.

  2. Lately they have focused their attention on Coriolanus, so that he acts according to his received instructions, and in this area, they do not let pass the smallest thing.

  3. In particular, they have to generally govern in a uniform manner.

  4. Their first concern is Athens itself. It has a system that reports only to Spartacus or those close to him. As for the other Coscios,1 they send and receive each month a sort of journal or gazette. – N.B. This journal has since become a daily affair.

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Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens at Scribd

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 | Primary Documents | 5 Comments

Joe Wäges has put a scan of the Original Writings of the Illuminati, published by order the Elector of Bavaria Karl Theodor in March 1787, online for the first time. With this he has outdone the multi-million-dollar scanning projects of both Google and Microsoft. Google had, years ago, scanned Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften, welche die Illuminatensekte (1787) and Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-Orden (1793), but had unfortunately neglected Einige Originalschriften des Illuminatenordens. Joe Wäges is fluent in German, and we’ve already begun collaborating. Translation is very time consuming and, in order to get it right and as perfect as humanly possible, an inordinate amount of dedication and perseverance are required. Hopefully, at least for Einige and Nachtrag, updates will be more frequent.

Taken together, these three works are known as the Original Writings of the Illuminati: Einige Originalschriften and Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften were confiscated in police raids on the domiciles of Illuminati Franz Xaver Carl Wolfgang Zwack zu Holzhausen (1756-1843) [Danaus/Philipp Strozzi/Cato] in Landshut (11-12 October, 1786), and Thomas Maria Baron de Bassus (1742-1815) [Hannibal/Minos] at his castle in Sandersdorf (May 1787), while the contents of Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-Orden were stolen - from Baron von Knigge - by Illuminatus-defector Ludwig Adolph Christian von Grolmann (1741-1809) [Gratian].

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Some Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (pp. 26-43)

Monday, February 15th, 2010 | Original Writings, Primary Documents | 9 Comments

NB: Superscripted endnotes are my own, while parenthesized footnotes (when encountered) are from the original editors of the collection, c. 1786/87. – Terry Melanson

VII
Reform of the Statutes of the 1st class

  1. All statutes, constitutions and previous privileges, whatever name they have received, are subject to change as circumstances warrant and, in so much as [p. 27] they fundamentally oppose these present ordinances, are hereby overruled.

  2. Notwithstanding, as in the past, the goal that the Order proposes for the future remains the same: to render unto man the importance of the perfection of reason and his moral character; to develop social and humane sentiments, to oppose the wicked designs in the world, to assist against the injustice suffered by the unfortunate and the oppressed, to encourage men of merit, and in general to facilitate the means of knowing and science. Assurance is here given, in a sacred and faithful manner that this is the sole goal — not just supposed — of the Order (1).

    On the contrary, the Order offers nothing more, therefore candidates will increase in due time; this will prove to be more beneficial, as they realize that, in opposition to the practice of other societies, we possess more than what we had promised.

    A member who is thrust upon entering the Order with the hope of gaining greater power and wealth would not be welcomed.

    (1) Fistula dulce canit volucrem dum decipit Auceps [“The shepherd's pipe sings sweetly to the bird, while the fowler ensnares it”; or “The bird-catcher plays sweetly on the pipe when he beguiles the winged creature”]

    [p. 28] To achieve such a goal of understanding and confidence between all members, and in accordance with these views, only accepting those external conditions for the betterment of the Order, all members must:

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The So-Called Schwedenkiste (“Swedish Box”), the Most Significant Illuminati Archive

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 | Primary Documents | 10 Comments

by Terry Melanson (17/6/2009)

Volume XI, "quibus-Licet-notebooks" by Illuminati members of the Saxon-Thuringian territories

Volume XI of the Schwedenkiste: 'Quibus-Licet-notebooks' by Illuminati members of the Saxe-Thuringian territories

After Adam Weishaupt had fled in 1785, the center of activity for the Illuminati shifted from Bavaria to the Duchies of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Weimar. And while the founder of the Illuminati was content to safely settle down for the long haul at the court of Duke Ernst II of Saxe Gotha, Johann Joachim Christoph Bode (1730-1793) took the reins and assumed the role previously held by Weishaupt.

Through the efforts of Bode and an expanding network of recruits – and under the protection of the Illuminati Dukes Karl August of Saxe-Weimar and Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha – new colonies were established in places like France, Russia and Italy. Bode kept the Weimar and Gotha Lodges Amalia and Ernst Zum Kompass informed of his activities, but the bulk of the evidence of continued Illuminati activity remained in his possession.

Ensuring that whatever they contained would remain secret, upon Bode’s death in December 1793 his literary executor, Illuminatus Christian Gottlieb von Voigt (1743–1819), transferred his deceased friend’s possessions to Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha who had already bought the voluminous papers before Bode died.

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Some Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (pp. 12-26)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 | Original Writings, Primary Documents | 2 Comments

NB: Superscripted endnotes are my own, while parenthesized footnotes (when encountered) are from the original editors of the collection, c. 1786/87. – Terry Melanson

[p. 12]

VI
Statutes of the Illuminati

As the Society proposes not to abolish the reasonable bonds with which one is subject to the State, but to further strengthen it, our desire is that:

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Some Original Writings of the Order of the Illuminati (title - p. 11)

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 | Original Writings, Primary Documents | 51 Comments

NB: Superscripted endnotes are my own, while the parenthesized footnotes (when encountered) are from the original editors of the collection, c. 1786/87. – Terry Melanson

Some Original Writings Of The Order of the Illuminati

WHICH WERE FOUND AT THE RESIDENCE OF ZWACK, FORMER COURT COUNCILLOR, DURING THE DOMICILIARY SEARCH EXECUTED AT LANDSHUT, ON THE 11TH AND 12TH OF OCTOBER 1786

Printed on the Supreme order of His Highness the Elector
Munich
Printed by Antoine Franz
Printer of the Court,
And on sale at the three libraries

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