Code of the Illuminati: Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, by A Barruel, tr. Robert Edward Clifford , at sacred-texts.com
On the Illuminees 1 and on the different Works whereon these Memoirs are grounded.
The third conspiracy, which I am now about to investigate, is that of the Atheistical Illuminees, which at my outset 2 I denominated the conspiracy of the Sophisters of Impiety and Anarchy against every religion natural or revealed; not only against kings, but against every government, against all civil society, even against all property whatsoever.
The name of Illuminee which this Sect (the most disastrous in its principles, the most extensive in its views, the most atrociously cunning in its means) has chosen, is of ancient standing in the annals of disorganizing Sophistry. It was the name which Manes and his disciples first affected, gloriantur Manichæi se de cælo illuminatos. 3 The first Rosicrucians also, who appeared in Germany, called themselves Illuminees. And later, in our time, the Martinists (with many other sects) have pretended to Illuminism. As an outline for history I distinguish them by their plots and tenets, and will reduce them into two classes, the Atheistical and the Theosophical Illuminees. These latter more particularly comprehend the Martinists, whom I have already mentioned in my second volume, and the Swedenbourgians, whom I shall mention in their proper place, where also I shall give what information I have been able to collect relating to them. The Atheistical Illuminees are the objects of the present volume, and it is their conspiracy that I mean to disclose.
The very numerous letters, books, and manuscripts, which I have received since the publication of my proposals, has rendered it impossible for me to comprise the proposed investigation in one volume. The baleful projects of the Sect and the laws for their execution are so strangely combined, that I thought it necessary to begin by making my reader perfectly acquainted with its code; that is to say, with the regular progression of its degrees, mysteries, and government.
This alone requiring an entire volume, I am reduced to the necessity of giving a fourth, in which I shall develope the history of Illuminism, and make
an application of the triple conspiracy to the French Revolution. I have more particularly applied myself to the investigation of the legislative part of this conspiring Sect, as no work has yet been published in which the whole of their code is to be found. Detached parts only were to be met with scattered throughout the papers which had been seized by the public authority. These I have collected and digested; thus enabling the reader more easily to judge what has been and what must have been the result of such laws. In such an undertaking, I feel myself bound to lay before the public an account of the documents on which I ground my proofs. The following then is a list of the principal works, with a few observations on each, that the reader may form his own judgment as to their authenticity.
I. The first is a collection entitled "Some of the Original Writings of the Sect of Illuminees, which were discovered on the 11th and 12th of October, 1786, at Landshut, on a search made in the House of the Sieur Zwack, heretofore Counsellor of the Regency; and printed by Order of His Highness the Elector.Munich, by Ant. Franz, Printer to the Court." 4
II. The second is a supplement to the Original Writings, chiefly containing those which were found on a search made at the castle of Sandersdorf, a famous haunt of the Illuminees, by order of His Highness the Elector. Munich, 1787. 5
These two volumes contain irrefragable proofs of the most detestable conspiracy. They disclose the principles, the object, and the means of the Sect; the essential parts of their code, the diligent correspondence of the adepts, particularly that of their chief, and a statement of their progress and future hopes. The editors indeed have carried their attention so far, as to mention by whose hand the principal documents or letters were written. At the beginning of the first volume, and on the frontispiece of the second, is seen the following remarkable advertisement by order of the Elector:"Those who may harbour any doubt as to the authenticity of this collection, have only to apply to the office where the secret archives are kept at Munich, and where orders are left to show the originals." 6
I entreat that my readers will recollect this advertisement whenever they shall see the Original Writings cited.
III. "The True Illuminee, or the real and perfect Ritual of the Illuminee; of the Illuminee; comprehending the Preparation, the Noviciate, the Minerval Degree, that of the Minor and Major Illuminee, all without addition or omission."With respect to the authenticity of this work, we need only quote the testimony of the Baron Knigge, surnamed Philo, the most famous of the Illuminees after the Founder of the Sect; and who was actually the chief compiler of its Code, as he tells us himself: "All these degrees (says he), such as I composed them, have been printed this year at Edesse (Frankfort on the Mein) under the title of the True Illuminee. I am ignorant of the author; but they appear exactly as they flowed from my pen; that is to say, as I compiled them." 7 This certainly is an authenticated document on the Sect, and recognized by the compiler himself.
IV. I now proceed to a work which was published by this same Philo,under the title of "Last Observations, or Last Words of Philo, and Answers to divers Questions on my connections with the Illuminees." In this work Philo-Knigge gives us an account of himself and of his Illuminism, of his agreements with the chiefs of the Sect, and of his labours for it. His vanity, however, makes this narrative fulsome. The reader will observe in his writings one of those pretended Philosophers who treat all religious objects with that contempt which they themselves deserve. This is of no consequence; he attempts to justify his own conduct; his avowals may therefore be received in testimony against the Sect.
V. "The last Works of Spartacus and Philo," Die neusten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo. Except the Original Writings, this is the most intelligent and important work that has been published on the Illuminees. It contains the two degrees of the greatest consideration both on account of the mysteries revealed in them by the Sect, and of the laws laid down for the adepts.Not a shadow of doubt can be maintained as to the authenticity of this work. These degrees and laws are published with a certificate of Philo attesting their conformity with the original, and under the seal of the Order. This certificate was scarcely necessary. Whoever can read must easily perceive that these degrees and these laws are no other than a compilation, and often (in the most essential parts) but a copy of the discourses, precepts, and principles, contained in the Original Writings. The publisher is a man who has passed through all the degrees of Illuminism. More dexterous than Philo, he makes himself master of his secret, and of that of the whole Sect. The better to unmask Illuminism, he becomes an Illuminee; and he has so well succeeded, that no member of the Order was better acquainted with it than himself.
VI. The same writer has published A Critical History of the Degrees of Illuminism, a valuable work, in which every thing is proved from the very letters of the grand adepts.
VII. The Directing Illuminee, or the Scotch Knight. This may be said to be the counterpart of the Last Works of Philo and Spartacus. It is a description of the most important intermediary degree of Illuminism. The Editor does not indeed publish it under the signet of the Order; but when the reader has compared it with the Original Writings, and even with the criticism on it by the chief, who was not much pleased with the compiler, he will soon decide that the grand seal of the Order is not necessary to authenticate it.
VIII. Remarkable Depositions respecting the Illuminees. These are three juridical depositions on oath, and signed 1st by Mr. Cosandy, Canon and Professor at Munich; 2dly by Mr. Renner, Priest and Professor of the same Academy; 3dly by Mr. Utzschneider, Counsellor of the Electoral Chamber; 4thly by Mr. George Grümberg, a member of the Academy of Sciences, and Professor of Mathematics. As every thing is juridical in these depositions, it would be useless for me to insist on the weight they must carry with them. These were four pupils, who did not wait to be initiated in the grand mysteries of the Sect to form their judgement on, and to quit the Sect. They
were cited at a tribunal to declare all they knew, and they answered with moderation and truth. Their depositions will find a place in the historical part of this work.
IX. The Apologies published by some of the leaders of the Sect are also to be classed among the incontrovertible evidence which we have acquired. These gentlemen will not be expected to have aggravated their own wickedness.
X. The list would be endless were I to subjoin all the works that have been written against the Sect. But I must distinguish in this place the works of Mr. Hoffman, Professor at the University of Vienna. I am but little acquainted with those of Doctor Zimmerman, though I have been informed by letter, that he furnished many valuable articles in a journal published at Vienna, and chiefly directed against the Sect. I often find Mr. Starks name mentioned as a strenuous opponent of the Sect. I have seen no publication with his name to it, except an Apology in Answer to the Calumnies of the Sect, which it continues to repeat, notwithstanding the victorious manner in which he has answered them.
Among the anonymous writings I find an excellent work entitled the Ultimate fate of the Free-masons (Endliches schicksal des Frey-maurer Ordens). It is a discourse pronounced at the breaking-up of a Freemason's Lodge. The writer of this discourse gives an excellent statement of the reasons why the Lodges should suspend their labours since Illuminism had intruded itself into Masonry.I believe he would have pronounced this discourse much sooner, had he known that all Lodges were not so pure as his own.
I have also perused the Biographical Fragments of the Sieur Bode, a famous Illuminee; these will be very useful in our Historical Volume. As to numberless other works which I have read on the same subject, it will suffice to give the titles of them when quoted. I have said more than enough to show that I am not in the dark with respect to the subject on which I am writing.
I could wish to express my gratitude to those virtuous men who, by their correspondence, and the memorials which they have sent me, have greatly advanced my undertaking. But open expressions of such a gratitude would prove fatal to them. To have contributed to the public utility is a sufficient reward for their virtue; and if my work is not so perfect as it ought to be, it arises not from any want of energy in their endeavours.
I find myself much against my will obliged to answer certain objections which my Translator has made, and which will, doubtless, be repeated by many other readers, grounded on the work of Mr. Robison, entitled Proof of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, &c. &c. That work was published just as this Third Volume was going to the press. Its author had not then met with my two first Volumes; but in a second Edition he is pleased to mention them in his Appendix. I am much flattered by his approbation, heartily congratulate him on the zeal he has himself shown in combating the public enemy, and am happy to see that he has wrought on the best materials. Without knowing it, we have fought for the same cause with
the same arms, and pursued the same course; but the public are on the eve of seeing our respective quotations, and will observe a remarkable difference between them. I fear lest we should be put in competition with each other, and the cause of truth suffer in the conflict. I entreat the reader to observe, that these differences arise from the different methods followed by him and myself. Mr. Robison has adopted the easiest, though the most hazardous method. He combines together in one paragraph what his memory may have compiled from many, and sometimes makes use of the expressions of the German author when he thinks it necessary. Beside, he has seen much, and read much, and relates it all together in the paragraphs marked by inverted Commas. The warning he has given in his preface will not suffice to remove the objections of some readers. In some passages he has even adopted as truth certain assertions which the correspondence of the Illuminees evidently demonstrate to have been invented by them against their adversaries, and which in my Historical Volume I shall be obliged to treat in an opposite sense. Nor will I pretend to say, that Illuminism drew its origin from Masonry; for it is a fact demonstrated beyond all doubt, that the founder of Illuminism only became a Mason in 1777, and that two years later than that he was wholly unacquainted with the mysteries of Masonry. 8
I know perfectly well, that this will not make Illuminism less disastrous; nevertheless I am obliged to differ from Mr. Robison when treating on that subject, as well as on some other articles.So much for objections; here is my reply.
In the first place Mr. Robison and I always agree as to the essential facts and the Conspiracy of the Illuminized Lodges; we also agree on their maxims and degrees; and this must be sufficient to convince the reader.
In the next place, in his general view of the Sect he has observed its detestable and most dangerous principles. Like a traveller he has seen the
But he has not described its forms, its manners, and its habits. Nor would it be very prudent to reject his narrative because some few circumstances are not perfectly authenticated, or because here and there some want of order may be observable.
In short, if we except one or two letters, which may be said to be translations, all the other quotations (though in the form of letters) cannot be called so, for they are not to be found in the letters of the Illuminees. They are Extracts from different parts, all brought together under one head; Mr. Robison has given them to the public in his own stile, and sometimes makes the Illuminees speak in clearer terms than is done in the Originals. His addition in the Translation of the famous letter from Spartacus to Marius, page 165-6, 9 has given rise to numberless questions, how theeven dwas expressed in the German text. A parenthesis follows (can this mean death?). I was obliged to answer that the even d, as well as the parenthesis, were additions; but at the same time that they were not additions contrary to the
sense of the letter. I could willingly have attributed these deviations to a difference in the editions of the Original Writings; but a new work must be supposed, as well as new letters, to justify the quotations, and all Germany must have noticed such changes. In the first place, the Court of Bavaria would have protested against such a supposition; as the Original Writings could not have coincided with an edition so dissimilar; next, the Illuminees who have not spoken in such clear language, though clear enough in their letters; in fine, the authors who have combated Illuminism, and whose quotations all exactly agree with the Edition of Munich. The Pages may change in different Editions; but whole Letters and Discourses cannot, especially when the public may, as we have seen above, have access to the Originals.
As for myself, whose name cannot be expected to have such authority as Mr. Robison's, I have taken all the precautions of which I felt myself to stand in need. 10 I never make a quotation but with the Original before me; and when I translate any passage which may stagger the reader, I subjoin the original, that each may explain and verify the text. I follow the same line of conduct when I compare the different testimonies. I never mention a single law in the code without having the original before me, or the practice of it to vouch for my assertion. Hence it will be perceived, that we are not to be put in competition with each other; Mr. Robison taking a general view while I have attempted to descend into particulars: as to the substance we agree. I heartily congratulate him on his zeal in combating the monster; and though we do not agree in certain particularities, we both evince the monstrous nature of the Sect, and the certainty of its horrible Conspiracies.
398:1 The Translator thinks it proper to inform the Reader, that, considering how much the abuse of terms, such as of Philosophy, Reason, &c. &c. has contributed to diffuse the new-fangled doctrines, he has adopted in the present volume (which may be said to be the first methodical work published on the subject of which it treats) the words Illumine, Illuminize, and Illuminization, though Illuminate and Illumination might perhaps be more correct expressions. Every reader will feel, that the illumination of the world, and to illuminate mankind, are objects worthy of the true philosopher. But may the man be ever accurst who shall attempt to illuminize his countrymen, or aim at the illuminization of the world! T.
398:2 Vol. I. page xxii.
398:3 Gaultier, Verbo Manichæi, Sect. 3.
398:4 Einige original schriften des Illuminaten Ordens, welche bey dem gewesenen regierungsrath Zwack, durch vorgennommene haus visitation zu Landshut den 11 and 12 Octob. 1786, vorgefunden worden. Auf höchsten befehl seiner churfürstlichen Durchleucht zum druck befördert. München. Gedruckt bey Ant Franz churfl; hof-buchdrucker.
398:5 Nachrichten von weitern Original schriften, &c. &c.
398:6 Wer an der aechtheit dieser versammlung einen zweifel trägt, mag sich nur bey den hiesigen geheimen archiv melden, allwo man ihm die urschrifften selbst vorzulegen befehligen ist. München 26 März 1787.
399:7 p. 399 Philo's Endliche erklärung, &c. Page 96.
399:8 Original Writings, Vol. I. Let. 6, to Ajax.Ibid. Let. 36 to M. C. Porcinsand the first Pages of the Critical History of the Degrees.
399:9 See Page 4, of this Volume.
399:10 I am also afraid that the difference that exists between the degrees of Rosicrucian, of which Mr. Robison is in possession, and those which I have mentioned, may give rise to argument. I answer, 1st. That I am acquainted with three degrees of Rosicrucians, very different in themselves; 2dly. That the Cathechisms, Questions, and Rituals for the same degree greatly differ in different countries: 3dly. That I have followed the works of Mr. LAbbe Le Franc, which Mr. Robison has quoted: 4thly. That Mr. Robison allows the degree of Knights of the Sun as described by me to be similar to that which he is in possession of. Since the publication of my Second Volume, I have received an account of the same degree which coincides with what I had said, and this degree is a sufficient ground for all that Mr. Robison or myself have asserted on the attack carried on by Masonry against Religion and Governments.