The Illuminati and Revolution
In 1797, eight years after the French Revolution, the prelate Abbe August Barruel made, for the time, an
astonishing claim. The Illuminati had survived he said, and in the guise of Freemasonry was responsible for the
cataclysmic civil strife then sweeping Europe. The French Revolution, he asserted, had been an
Illuminati/Freemasonic plot against established secular order and the Church.
A central part of this plot, some assert, was the manipulation by The Illuminati of the grain market – thereby
creating a shortage. One of the main figures behind this was the Duc d’Orleans, grandmaster of the Grand Orient
lodges of Freemasonry.
A contemporary copy of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens, modelled on the earlier
American Declaration of Independence, features Freemasonic symbols. Prominent at the top of one copy of this
revolutionary document is the familiar Illuminati symbol of the All-Seeing Eye/Eye of Horus, contained within a
pyramid. A significant number of French Jacobins - named after the church where they held their first meetings -
They included Desmoulins, Danton, and Sieyes - who proposed the Declaration. Robespierre's father had founded
Freemasonic lodges in France, reputedly under Charles Edward Stuart, after the Prince had fled the carnage of
Culloden battlefield following the abortive Jacobite Rising of 1745.
One need only look at an American dollar bill, with the Freemasonic
symbol of the All-Seeing Eye inside a triangle above a four-sided, 13-stepped pyramid and the scroll
proclaiming the advent of a new secular order, to appreciate the role that Illuminati/Freemasonic influence
played in the formulation of the American Declaration of Independence. At least ten of the signatories to the
Declaration were Freemasons. George Washington, the nation's first president, was a Freemason, as have
successive Presidents including Harding and Gerald Ford. Washington's Masonic apron still survives. Presented
to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania by the Washington Benevolent Society in 1829, it is now displayed in the
Masonic Temple in Philadelphia.
Abbe Barruel's claim that The Illuminati, in the
guise of Freemasonry, was hell-bent on the destruction of established authority was to be echoed down through
the ages - but it was not the first time such a claim had been made. Fifty-five years before he made his
claims, in April of 1738 the Roman Catholic Church, fearing a Freemasonic Order could threaten the moral
hegemony of its teachings, had issued the first of a series of Papal Bulls condemning the craft. By 1740, in
the Papal States at least, membership of a Freemasonic lodge was punishable by death.
Other Papal Bulls were to follow, culminating in the famous Bull of Pope Leo XII, issued in 1884. Although the
Roman Catholic Church has now relaxed its attitude towards Freemasonry, the condemnation of the Craft in the 1884
Bull has reverberated down the years.
Commentators on the Bull have claimed that - following Abbe Barruel - for 'Masonic' read 'Illuminati'.
Part of the Bull reads: " ... The purpose and aim of the Masonic sect having been discovered from plain
evidence, from the cognition of causes, its laws, Rites and commentaries having come to light and been made known
by the additional depositions of the associated members, this Apostolic See denounced and openly declared that the
sect of masons is established against law and honesty, and equally a danger to Christianity as well as to society;
and, threatening those heavy punishments which the Church uses against the guilty ones, she forbade the society,
and ordered that none should give his name to it."
Admitting that there may indeed be esoteric knowledge relating to the nature of the universe - but that only the
Vatican should be privy to these - the Bull further states:
" ... There are several sects of men, which, though different in name, customs, forms, and origin, are identical
in aim and sentiment with Masonry. It is the universal centre from which they all spring, and to which they all
"Although in our days these seem to no longer care to hide in darkness, but hold their meetings in the full
light and under the eyes of their fellow-men and publish their secrets openly, yet they deliberate and preserve the
habits and customs of secret societies.
"Nay, there are in them many secrets which are by law carefully concealed not only from the profane, but also
from the associated, mainly the last and intimate intentions, the hidden and unknown chiefs, the hidden and secret
meetings, the resolutions and methods and means by which they will be carried into execution. Hence the difference
of rights and duties among the members; hence the distinction of orders and grades and the severe discipline by
which they are ruled.
"The initiated must promise, nay take an oath, that they will never, at any way or at any time, disclose their
fellow members and the emblems by which they are known, or expose their doctrines. So, by false appearance, but the
same kind of simulation, the masons chiefly strive, as once did the Manicheans, to hide and to admit no witnesses
but their own."
An early member of the Bavarian Illuminati - perhaps even one of its founders - was Mirabeau, who wrote that the
Order was committed to toleration for all religious opinions, and abolishment of servitude.
Of Weishaupt, Webster concluded: " ... he knew how to take from every association, past and present, the
portions he required and to weld them all into a working system of terrible efficiency - the disintegrating
doctrines of the Gnostics and the Manicheans, of the modern philosophers and Encyclopaedists, the methods of the
Ismailis and the Assassins, the discipline of the Jesuits and Templars, the organisation and secrecy of the
Freemasons, the philosophy of Machiavelli, the mystery of the Rosicrucians - he knew moreover, how to enlist the
right elements in all existing associations as well as isolated individuals and turn them to his purpose.
"So in the army of the Illuminati we find men of every shade of thought, from the poet Goethe to the meanest
intriguer - lofty idealists, social reformers, visionaries, and at the same time the ambitious, the rancorous, and
the disgruntled ...
" ... Although this was not the invention of Weishaupt but had been foreshadowed many centuries earlier in the
East, it was Weishaupt, so far as we know, who reduced it to a working system for the west - a system which has
been adhered to by succeeding groups of world-revolutionaries up to the present day...”
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