A FORCE for evil or a force for good? A movement whose benevolent aim is human advancement, or whose sinister
purpose is the enslavement of mankind to the capricious whims of a self-perpetuating elite?
A left wing conspiracy or a right wing conspiracy, a mysterious esoteric cabal whose lore of occult
knowledge is based on ancient mystery cults - or simply a gigantic hoax, a fabrication stemming from the
over-heated imaginations of conspiracy theorists?
The All Seeing Eye
Such is The Illuminati - a subject which has attracted vociferous claims and counter-claims down through the
centuries. It has been blamed/credited - depending on who is grinding which particular axe at which particular time
- for everything from wars and revolution to assassination and manipulation of global economies. ‘The Illuminati’
is conspiracy theory par excellence – as a subject it is the mother of all conspiracy theories.
Complex in the extreme, it is yet possible to discern a thread running through the subject of The
Illuminati – a thread which establishes a link among The Illuminati, Freemasonry, ancient rituals of death and
resurrection – and a mysterious warrior cult whose origins lie deep in the snow-capped mountains of
Adam Weishaupt ~ ‘Spartacus’
To attempt to unravel the Gordian knot of The Illuminati a convenient starting point is Ingolstadt, Bavaria on
May 1 1776. It is on this date that the former Jesuit Adam Weishaupt is recorded as having founded a New World
Order - The Illuminati.
Born in 1748, by the age of 25 Weishaupt holds the chair of canon law at Ingolstadt University. Known to
his contemporaries as a rather authoritarian figure, he will tolerate no dissension from his views. Disillusioned
with both secular and profane authority he decides to set up his own organisation - an organisation that emphasises
reason and rationality. A firm believer in "the despotism of superiors", a secret inner elite will control the
Freemason Freiherr von Knigge - better known as Philo
On founding The Bavarian Illuminati Weishaupt takes on the 'illuminated’ name of Spartacus.
Strongly republican, anti-monarchy, and anti-established religion in character, by 1780 The Illuminati has
attracted the Freemason Freiherr von Knigge - better known as Philo - to its ranks. Borrowing heavily from
Freemasonic ritual, by late 1782 The Illuminati is peddling its own brand of "Illuminated Freemasonry”. The aim is
to take over the entire Freemasonic body.
Society, The Illuminati propounds, should be guided by reason - in particular through secret schools of
wisdom. Of these secret schools, Weishaupt claims they had always been " ... the archives of nature and of the
rights of man; through their agency man will recover from his fall; princes and nations, without violence to force
them, will vanish from the earth; the human race will become one family, and the world the habitation of rational
Jerusalem, the ancient Sion
Prominent Freemasons from throughout Europe flock to join the ranks of The Illuminati. Duke Ferdinand of
Brunswick joins in 1783, to be followed later by other luminaries such as Goethe. There is speculation that
Goethe's great work Faust may be a 'concealed’ history of an initiation by a disillusioned member of the Order.
Goethe had been initiated into Freemasonry in 1780.
The star of The Illuminati is in its ascendancy, but from approximately 1784 onwards its fortunes are on
the wane. Weishaupt and Philo come to angry verbal blows - with Philo suspecting Weishaupt of being a Jesuit in
disguise and attacking his authoritarian manner.
Alarm over what is seen as the order's anarchistic leanings inevitably leads to it finally being banned by the
Bavarian government in August 1787 - death being the penalty for anyone caught trying to recruit for the
Weishaupt settles in Gotha, where he dies on November 18, 1830. At the time, it was recorded he died " ...
reconciled with the Catholic Church, which, as a youthful professor, he had doomed to death and destruction".
But this was not to be the final, ignoble, end of The Illuminati.
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