"Rather than obey the dictates of the real, and adjust himself to his reduced limits, late eighteenth-century man took refuge among phantoms; satisfying his nostalgia with the marvels offered by impostors and necromancers, he fled matter and denied its existence....A whole culture was collapsing."
- A. Viatte, Les Sources occultes du Romantisme: Illuminisme-Theosophie 1770-1820 Adam Weishaupt "adopted the teachings of radical French philosophers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and the anti-Christian doctrines of the Manicheans. He was indoctrinated in Egyptian occultism in 1771 by a merchant of unknown origin named Kolmer, who was said to have traveled Europe in search of converts." - William T. Still, New World Order "Brilliant and well trained by the Jesuits in the conspiratorial methods of access to power, young Weishaupt decided to organize a body of conspirators, determined to free the world from the Jesuitical rule of Rome and help humanity back to the pristine Christian faith of the hermetic martyrs. He is reputed to have been initiated by a German merchant named Kolmer, he had spent many years in Egypt, into a secret doctrine based on Manichaeism. Mayday of 1776, Weishaupt founded his own sect of the Very Perfectibles - better known as the Illuminati - with five original members, self-described as reformist libertarians, partisans of absolute equality."
- Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks "Adam Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law at the University of Ingolstadt, conceived the idea of founding an order which, by mutual helpfulness, counsel, and philosophic discussions, would increase morality and virtue, lay the foundation for the reformation of the world, and oppose the progress of evil, all of which objectives were expressed in the name, 'Order of Perfectibilists' or 'Perfectionists', which was soon changed to 'Illuminati', which is best translated as 'intellectually inspired'. Modesty and humility seems to have been no trait of Weishaupt, for he was one of the first to attempt to fly with little knowledge of human aerodynamics. His ambition outweighed his judgement; his ideals were too refined for a rude world. Like many other promoters, Weishaupt sought the aid of Freemasonry to give his machine both propulsion and ballast. But it dragged Freemasonry down without helping Illuminism very much. He was too shrewd and subtle for his own good, though such qualities gave him headway for a time. Although he formerly belonged to the Jesuits, he secured admission to a lodge of Freemasons in 1777. Ironically, that was named 'Lodge of Caution'." "We are not informed as to just how Weishaupt became associated with Adolph Franz Friedrich Ludwid Baron Von Knigge(1), for the latter lived in North Germany, was of the nobility, and, after his initiation in 1773, showed little interest in Freemasonry. But noblemen were found in abundance in the most fraudulent orders in Germany claiming some Masonic connections. Weishaupt, in 1780, dispatched the Marquis de Costanzo to propagate Illuminism in the north and Knigge probably then first showed interest in the society. He became more and more enthusiastic as the plan was revealed to him, and, in 1781, accepted the invitation to visit Bavaria and receive full access to all of Weishaupt's materials. Knigge not only completed the scale of degrees but became a proponent of them, bringing to his aid the assistance of Johann J. C. Bode, a prominent German Mason. The order was at first very popular and attracted, it is said, some of the best men in Germany and some of the worst. It had 2000 names on its rolls and spread to France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy." - Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, 1961 "Unable in Catholic Bavaria to achieve this utopian goal by direct means, Weishaupt determined to work from within an existing organization: the Masonic order....By 1779, there were 54 members of the Illuminati, mostly young noblemen and clergymen, established in four Bavarian cities. Thereafter, with the help of a Masonic bookseller, Johann Bode, the order branched out through Southern Germany and Austria, and down into France and Northern Italy, intellectuals, such as Goethe, Schiller, Mozart, and Herder were attracted." - Peter Tompkins, The Magic of Obelisks "Knigge, especially, was a highly religious and intellectual man and would have had nothing to do with that or any other order which was anti-Christian, yet, the vicious attacks and accusations by Baruel and Robison had great influence, and it was even charged that the Illuminati were themselves agents of the Jesuits, though the latter were opposing it in their usual secret manner. The Illuminati were extremely secretive, even identifying themselves and their chapters by assumed classical names; for examples, Weishaupt was Spartacus, Knigge was Philo, Ingolstadt, the headquarters, was Eleusis, Austria was Egypt, etc. Dates were given in a sort of cryptography." - Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, 1961 Thomas Jefferson "strenuously defended the Illuminati, and described Weishaupt as 'an enthusiastic philanthropist'." - William T. Still, New World Order "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." - Thomas Jefferson "The Illuminati were finally beset by both internal and external disorders, for Weishaupt found fault with some of Knigge's ritualistic work and peremptorily ordered it changed, whereupon, Knigge became disgusted and resigned in 1784. The Jesuits had fought it from the first and eventually all priests became its active enemies and raised so much opposition that the Elector of Bavariasupressed the Order by edict, June 22, 1784, many Illuminati being imprisoned and some, including Weishaupt, being forced to flee the country. Though the first edict had been obeyed, it was repeated in March and August, 1785. Not only Illuminism, but Freemasonry was exterminated in Bavaria and neither ever recovered its former position. The Illuminati seem to have completely disappeared everywhere by the end of the 18th century." - Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, 1961 "The suppression of the Illuminati of Bavaria in 1785 created a tremendous furor whose echoes reached as far as New England, drawing George Washington out in support of the suspect American Freemasons. In fact the Illuminati proved to be the unwilling occasion for the birth of modern conspiracy theory. Wildly exaggerated accounts of their supposed wickedness and of the imminent peril which they represented for society were published in a great epidemic of pamphlets. Their secrecy, their insistence on recruitment of important civil servants, their concealment of the true aims of the society from all but a few highly placed initiates, combined to make them into the bogeymen not only of the German conservatives but of a wider European public. Four years later, when the French Revolution broke out, the mythical beliefs about the Illuminati of Bavaria were incorporated in a vaster and wilder conspiracy theory, which found room also for the Templars." - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians "What is today called the conspiracy theory was born in the flood tide of books, pamphlets, and articles denouncing the Illuminati and linking them to an ever-lengthening list of other supposed plotters. The scope of the accusations is reflected in the title of one anti-Illuminati book, published in 1797: Proofs of a Conspiracy against All the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried On in the Secret Meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and reading Societies, Collected from Good Authorities....The 170-year-old Proofs of a Conspiracy was reissued in 1967 by the John Birch Society, which apparently considered the Illuminati a clear and present danger." - Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (3) Rites of the Illuminati "The aristocratic mumbo-jumbo of the Templar lodges pandered to the confused conservatism of the German nobles and ad a great deal in common with the mumbo-jumbo of the Rosicrucians, to whose ideas the Illuminati were absolutely opposed. The Bavarian Illuminati were an austere emanation of the spirit of the German Professorate, inspired by a consciously bourgeois program, irreligious and radical." - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians "The ceremonies were divided into three principal classes and those into degrees as follows:
I- The Nursery 1. Preparatory Literary Essay 2. Novitiate 3. Minerval 4. Minor Illuminatus 5. Magistratus II- Symbolic Freemasonry 1. Apprentice 2. Fellow Craft 3. Master 4.(a) Scots Major Illuminatus ..(b) Scots Illuminatus Dirigens (Directory) III- Mysteries 1. Lesser (a) Presbyter, Priest, or Epopt (b) Prince or Regent 2. Greater
(a) Magus (b) Rex or King (some of these latter degrees were never completed)" - Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, 1961 "Status as a Mason was not required for initiation into the Order of Illuminati since the fourth, fifth and sixth degrees of Weishaupt and Baron Von Knogge's system practically duplicated the three degrees of symbolic Freemasonry. Although Knigge claimed to have a system of ten degrees, the last two appear never to have been fully worked up." - Jeff_Jorczak@vos.stratus.com "Openly political and antimonarchial, Weishaupt's 'Illuminati' formed another channel of 'higher degrees' for Freemasons to graduate into after completing the Blue Degrees. Weishaupt's 'Illuminati' had its own 'hidden master' known as the 'Ancient Scot Superior'. - William Bramley, The Gods of Eden "In the lower ranks - the 'nursery' - the member was very much in the dark as to the way in which the Order was run, and how it should accomplish its design of freeing the world. As he progressed, however, he found that a part of his service to the Society was to gain financial and social power, and to place them at the disposal of the group. He was expected to be a diligent Mason, and to try to gain control over Masonic funds. It was not until the tenth rite of promotion had been completed that the member was given - with the grade of Priest - certain definite knowledge. This included the fact that the Illuminati were proposing to destroy princes and prelates throughout the world, and were to remove forever the feeling of local nationality from the minds of men. The ways in which this was to be done involved infiltrating high positions in education, administration and the Press. "The very highest degrees showed that the rationalism and materialism of the thinkers who developed it were determined to stamp out belief in religion. God and any faith in a deity, the initiate was told, were human inventions, and had no real meaning. Subsequently this was developed further, and the member who arrived at the highest position (that of Rex, King) learned that he was now equal to a king, and that all men were capable of equal advancement; hence the need for kings over ordinary mortals was an illusion." - Arkon Daraul, Secret Societies