"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Illuminati, National Geographic, and Anti-Semitism

The longstanding problem with researching the Bavarian Illuminati has been the dearth of documentation (especially in English). REAL documentation. Not the daffy nonsense and speculation, almost always traceable to Barruel and Robison in one form or another. 

Josef Wages is the co-editor (with Dr. Reinhard Markner) of the new book The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Rituals and Doctrines of the IlluminatiTheir work (and the translation skills of the late Jeva Singh-Anand) is vitally important for anyone wanting to more fully understand the organization that was founded in 1776 in Bavaria and survived for just a decade - important because it is the first time that the actual rituals of the order have all been collected together in one place (in German or English). Anyone wishing to study the Illuminati for any reason needs to begin with this volume. Indeed, the 30 page introduction alone provides a concise, footnoted and well summarized history of the foundation and structure - along with the personalities involved - of the real group that has come to represent a true "secret society" to so many people around the world for more than two centuries.

Because the society has become the repository of paranoid fantasies for so long, peeling the fiction away from the fact has been challenging. But in light of the knowledge that so much misinformation exists, one would like to think that a publication like National Geographic would have taken more care with what they sling around as "history." Which brings me to the following.

Josef Wages posted the following message on his book's Facebook page today:

National Geographic pens an article on the Illuminati containing Anti-Semitic propaganda.
In the July/August 2016 issue of National Geographic History magazine, appears a woefully researched and embarrassing article on the Illuminati titled, “Adam Weishaupt: Founder of the Illuminati” by Isabel Hernandez. It is riddled with false statements and the only sources of research appear to be John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy and an unknown internet conspiracy site. As if it were not bad enough that such an ill prepared article should find its way to print, the author unwittingly utilizes and represents as fact, anti-Semitic propaganda. This is the trouble with poor research, that one risks printing not only discrediting information, but also is at risk of unknowingly parroting racist propaganda. While it probably was not the intention of the author to use racists research materials, a full retraction and correction must be issued to set the record straight. Perhaps they might consult the actual ritual book to divine the intentions and purpose of the society founded by Adam Weishaupt. At least then they might actually get the degree system correct.

The offending passages are these:
"Born in 1748 in Ingolstadt, a city in the Electorate of Bavaria (now part of modern-day Germany), Weishaupt was a descendant of Jewish converts to Christianity."

"Weishaupt initially thought of joining a lodge. Disillusioned with many of the Freemasons’ ideas, however, he became absorbed in books dealing with such esoteric themes as the Mysteries of the Seven Sages of Memphis and the Kabbala, and decided to found a new secret society of his own."

"Over the following years, Weishaupt’s secret order grew considerably in size and diversity, possibly numbering 600 members by 1782. They included important people in Bavarian public life, such as Baron Adolph von Knigge and the banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who provided funding."
The foundations of these ideas, that Weishaupt was a crypto Jew, and that he was funded by Mayer Amschel Rothschild, are actually a synthesis of ideas. The first level is built upon the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which establishes that the there is an organized international Jewish plot to establish a global government, and to defeat Christianity through Socialism and Communism.
Expanding on this idea, Nesta Webster in her 1921 book, World Revolution, brought the Illuminati into the mixture, and asserted the principal ideas represented in the article for the first time:
“The result of this agitation was seen later in the edicts passed through the influence of Mirabeau and the Abbe Gregoire by the National Assembly in 1791 decreeing the emancipation of the Jews. A more immediate effect, however, was the resolution taken at the masonic congress of Wilhelmsbad — which was attended by Lessing and a company of Jews * — that henceforth Jews should no longer be excluded from the lodges. At the same time it was decided to remove the headquarters of illuminized Freemasonry to Frankfurt, which incidentally was the stronghold of Jewish finance, controlled at this date by such leading members of the race as Rothschild, Mayer Amschel — later to become Rothschild also — Oppenheimer, Wertheimer, Schuster, Speyer, Stern, and others. At this head lodge of Frankfurt the gigantic plan of world revolution was carried forward, and it was there that at a large masonic congress in 1786 two French Freemasons afterwards declared the deaths of Louis XVI and Gustavus III of Sweden were definitely decreed.”
“From the moment of the great coalition effected at Wilhelmsbad, Illuminism, aided largely by the activities of Knigge, was able to extend its ramifications all over Germany; the lodge of Eichstadt under Mahomed (the Baron Schroeckenstein) illuminated Bayreuth and other Imperial towns; Berlin under Nicolai and Leuchtsenring illuminated the provinces of Brandenburg and Pomerania; Frankfurt illuminated Hanover, and so on. All these branches were controlled by the twelve leading adepts headed by Weishaupt, who at the lodge in Munich held in his hands the threads of the whole conspiracy.” - 1921 World Revolution by Nesta Webster, page 20.
Ironically her themes were then incorporated into the commentary portion of the 1922 English edition of the Protocols:
"There is no gainsaying that the Fabian Society has been first and foremost a gathering of intellectuals — a rebellious Intelligentsia whose accomplishments seem the realization of Weishaupt's dream of Masonic Illuminism, cleverly combined with Moses Mendelssohn's dream of Jewish Illuminism (Haskalah)." - 1922 Protocols of the Elders of Zion, page 250.
"III. Education. — In the matter of Education, the Fabian Illuminati have followed a theory which is none other than that suggested by one of the souls of Bavarian Illuminism, Nicolai, in the 18th century. Having secured posts on the School-boards of the country, it became very easy for Fabian socialists to instill their educational de-Chnstianized principles in the school curriculum. Their attack on religious teaching was subtle but deadly, as seen in the Education Act of 1902. They boasted openly of having in their ranks several Anglican bishops and divines, the list being headed by Bishop Headlam, one of the earliest Fabians. Eventually they won, having, as has always been their wont, resorted to intensive propaganda, generously distributing their tracts and leaflets." - 1922 Protocols of the Elders of Zion, page 255.
From this point forward the die was cast and the lie that Weishaupt was crypto Jew, working with the Rothschild’s to enslave the world under the banner of socialism, was fixed. 

Several attempts at contacting the magazine were made, with little and disappointing results. The editors seem to be more concerned with obtaining donations and selling subscriptions, than with correcting such an egregious mistake. We urge our readers to share this article on social media and to contact the magazine, with the hope that they might be persuaded to rectify the situation.
National Geographic History
Letters to the editor:
National Geographic Magazine: ngsforum@nationalgeographic.com
Email Us
Phone: 1-800-647-5463 Outside the U.S. & Canada +1-813-979-6845

UPDATE 8/9/2016

Terry Melanson, author of the extremely detailed English-language Illuminati history, Perfectibilists has posted a much more in depth dissection of the NatGeo article on his website HERE:
Murdoch’s Illuminati: The “Expanded Canvas” of National Geographic Magazine 


  1. Out there on the internet is René le Forestier, "Les Illuminés de Bavière et la franc-maçonnerie allemande" (Paris 1914) - still the most complete history. The society it depicts would be confused by shoelaces. They could have controlled much of Continental Freemasonry after Wilhelmsbad, but managed to offend nearly everybody instead. Looking forwards to new German research becoming available in English.

    1. http://www.degruyter.com/view/serial/35533

    2. (Just as aside to English readers following that link, the book is in German.)

    3. (...and criminally expensive.)

  2. Yes, the Korrespondenz volumes are indeed very expensive, they are aimed at academic libraries and not at the general public.

    But at $40 The Secret School of Wisdom is affordable, and a third, revised printing is currently on the way, as well as a French translation.


Your comments will not appear immediately because I am forced to laboriously screen every post. I'm constantly bombarded with spam. Depending on the comments being made, anonymous postings on Masonic topics may be regarded with the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers, as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not automatically expect to see your comment appear.