Code of the Illuminati: Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, by A Barruel, tr. Robert Edward Clifford , at sacred-texts.com
There sometimes appear men formed with such unhappy dispositions, that we are led to consider them in no other view than as emanations from the evil genius, bereft by the avenging God of the power of doing good. Imbecil in the sphere of wisdom, such men are only efficient in the arts of vice and destruction; they are ingenious in those conceptions, skilful in that cunning, and fruitful in those resources which enable them despotically to reign in the schools of falsehood, depravity, and wickedness. In competition with the Sophisters, these men will surpass them in the arts of exhibiting error in false and delusive colours; of disguising the vicious passions under the mask of virtue; and of clothing impiety in the garb of Philosophy. In the den of conspirators they are pre-eminent by the atrocity of their deeds; they excel in the arts of preparing revolutions, and of combining the downfal of the Altar with that of Empires. If their career be ever impeded, it is only when they approach the paths of virtue and of real science. When Heaven in its wrath permits a being of this species to appear on the earth, it has only to put nations within the sphere of his activity, and it will be awfully avenged.
With such qualities, and under such auspices, was born in Bavaria, about the year 1748, Adam Weishaupt, better known in the annals of the sect by the name of Spartacus. To the eternal shame of his Serene protector, this impious man, heretofore Professor of Law at the University of Ingolstadt, but now banished from his country as a traitor to his Prince and to the whole universe, peacefully at the court of Ernest Lewis, Duke of Saxe Gotha, enjoys an asylum, receives a pension from the public treasury, and is dignified with the title of Honorary Counsellor to that Prince.
An odious phenomenon in nature, an Atheist void of remorse, a profound hypocrite, destitute of those superior talents which lead to the vindication of truth, he is possessed of all that energy and ardour in vice which generates conspirators for impiety and anarchy. Shunning, like the ill-boding owl, the genial rays of the sun, he wraps around him the mantle of darkness; and history shall record of him, as of the evil spirit, only the black deeds which he planned or executed. Of mean birth, his youth was passed in obscurity, and but a single trait of his private life has pierced the cloud in
which he had enveloped himselfbut it is one of hateful depravity and of the most consummate villany.Incestuous Sophister! it was the widow of his brother whom he seduced.Atrocious father! it was for the murder of his offspring that he solicited poison and the dagger.Execrable hypocrite! he implored, he conjured both art and friendship to destroy the innocent victim, the child whose birth must betray the morals of his father. The scandal from which he shrinks is not that of his crime; it is (he says and writes it himself) the scandal which, publishing of the depravity of his heart, would deprive him of that authority by which, under the cloak of virtue, he plunged youth into vice and error.Monstrous Sophister! he accuses the devils of not having skreened him from this scandal by those abominations which called the vengeance of the God of Nature on the son of Judah.Then, impudently daring, he perjures himself; he calls every thing that is sacred to witness, that neither he nor his friends ever knew of the existence of those poisons or secret means of skreening him from infamy, much less that they had ever proposed, sought, or employed them. He challenges, and at length forces, the magistrates to prove the accusation; they produce the letters of the perjured Sophister, and therein we behold him entreating a first, a second, and even a third confidant, to seek, or cause to be sought, and to communicate to him, these horrid arts. We see him recalling promises of three years standing with respect to these means. He complains of the little success of his attempts, he accuses the agents of timidity or of ignorance; he entreats and conjures them to renew their attempts, telling them, that it was not yet too late, but that expedition was necessary. Who can paint the depravity of this single trait. How monstrous the being who could have combined such depravity! That the God who humiliates the Sophister should have permitted this single trait to have been brought to light, will suffice to show how far wickedness may be carried by the man who, with virtue on his tongue, and under the shade of that sacred name, was forming and fanaticising the blood-thirsty legions of a Robespierre.
After so shocking an accusation the reader will naturally expect us to produce incontrovertible proofs. We will, therefore, first lay before him the letter of Weishaupt to his adept Hertel; it is the Third Letter in the Second Volume of the Original Writings of the Illuminees in Bavaria.
"Now," says Weishaupt to this adept, "let me, under the most profound secrecy, lay open the situation of my heart. It destroys my rest, it render me incapable of every thing. I am almost desperate. My honour is in danger, and I am on the eve of losing that reputation which gave me so great an authority over our people. My sister-in-law is with child. I have sent her to Athens (Munich) to Euriphon, to solicit a marriage licence from Rome. You see how necessary it is that she should succeed, and that without loss of time; every moment is precious. But should she fail, what shall I do?How shall I restore the honour of a person who is the victim of a crime that is wholly mine? We have already made several attempts to destroy the child; she was determined to undergo all; but Euriphon is too timid. Yet I scarcely see any other expedient. Could I depend on Celse's secrecy (the professor Bader at Munich), he could be of great service
to me; he had promised me his aid three years ago. Mention it to him if you think proper. See what can be done. I should be sorry that Cato knew any thing of it, lest he should tell all his friends. If you could extricate me from this unfortunate step, you would restore me to life, to honour, to rest, and to authority (that is over his people). If you cannot, I forewarn you of it, I will hazard a desperate blow, for I neither can nor will lose my honour. I know not what devil". . . . [Here decency obliges us to be silent; but he continues] "As yet nobody knows any thing of it but Euriphon; it is not too late to make an attempt, for she is only in her fourth month, and the worst of it is, that it is a criminal case, and that alone makes the greatest efforts and the most extreme (or boldest) resolution necesssary. Be well and live happier than I do, and do think of some means which can extricate me from this affair. I am yours, &c. Spartacus."
Notwithstanding his repugnance to let Cato into the secret, Weishaupt is at length obliged to write to him on the subject, and, after repeating that which through decency we have omitted above, this monster of hypocrisy says, "what vexes me the most in all this, is that my authority over our people will be greatly diminishedthat I have exposed a weak side, of which they will not fail to advantage themselves whenever I may preach morality, and exhort them to virtue and modesty." 1
Now let us observe the same Weishaupt barefacedly saying in his apology, "I think and declare before God (and I wish this writing to be looked upon as a most solemn declaration), that in all my life I have never heard of those secret means (of abortion) nor of those poisons; that I have never seen nor had knowledge of any occasion when I or my friends could even have thought of advising, administering, or making any use whatever of them. And this I say in testimony and affirmation of the truth." 2 It is thus that by the most abominable hypocrisy he sustains a barefaced and detestable perjury.
So much for the moral virtue of this man; but our chief object is, to consider him in his character of a Conspirator. Let us then descend into that baleful abyss, and observe him in the schools of impiety, rebellion, and anarchy. Here again he appears to have been ignorant of the gradations of crime, of the space that lies between the slightest deviation from rectitude and the most profound wickedness. Here, scarcely have the magistrates cast their eyes upon him when they find him at the head of a conspiracy which, when compared with those of the clubs of Voltaire and DAlembert, or with the secret committees of DOrleans, make these latter appear like the faint imitations of puerility, and show the Sophister and the Brigand as mere novices in the arts of revolution. It is not known, and it would be difficult to discover, whether Weishaupt ever had a master, or whether he is himself the great original of those monstrous doctrines on which he founded his school. There exists, however, a tradition which on the authority of some of his adepts we shall lay before the reader.
According to this tradition, a Jutland merchant, who had lived some time in Egypt, began in the year 1771 to overrun Europe, pretending to initiate
adepts in the antient mysteries of Memphis. But from more exact information I have learned that he stopped for some time at Malta, where the only mysteries which he taught were the disorganizing tenets of the antient Illuminees, of the adopted slave; and these he sedulously infused into the minds of the people. These principles began to expand, and the island was already threatened with revolutionary confusion, when the Knights very wisely obliged our modern Illuminee to seek his safety in flight. The famous Count (or rather mountebank) Cagliostro is said to have been a disciple of his, as well as some other adepts famous for their Illuminism in the county of Avignon and at Lyons. In his peregrinations, it is said, he met with Weishaupt, and initiated him in his mysteries. If impiety and secrecy could entitle a person to such an initiation, never had any man better claims than Weishaupt. More artful and wicked than Cagliostro, he knew how to direct them among his disciples to very different ends.
Whatever may have been the fact with respect to this first master, it is very certain that Weishaupt needed none. In an age when every kind of error had taken root, he did what is naturally to be expected from men who, guided by their unhappy bias, both in religious and political opinions, always select the most abominable. He must have had some notion of the ancient Illuminées, for he adopted their name, and the disorganizing principles of their horrid system. These notions were then strengthened, without doubt, by his favorite application to the disorganizing mysteries of Manichæism, since we may observe him recommending the study of them to his disciples as a preparatory step for, and as having a close connection with, those for which he was preparing them. 3 But perfect Atheist as he was, and scorning every idea of a God, he soon despised the twofold God of Antient Illuminism, and adopted the doctrines of Manes only in as much as they threatened every government, and led to universal anarchy. He was acquainted with the systems of the modern Sophisters; but, notwithstanding all their democracy, he did not think they had given sufficient latitude to their systems of Liberty and Equality. He only adopted their hatred for God, or pure Atheism. One class led to the destruction of all civil and political laws, the other to the overthrow of all religion; he combined them both, and formed a monstrous digest, whose object was the most absolute, the most ardent, the most frantic vow to overthrow, without exception, every religion, every government, and all property whatsoever. He pleased himself with the idea of a distant possibility that he might infuse the same wish throughout the world; he even assured himself of success.
With the talents of a vulgar Sophister such a hope would have been the summit of folly; but with a genius like that of Weishaupt, formed for great crimes, it was the confidence of unlimited wickedness. The Bavarian Sophister knew his powers; he believed no crime impossible; he only sought to combine them all to reduce his systems to practice. The mediocrity of his fortune had obliged him to consecrate the latter years of his education to the study of the laws. Whether by dissimulation he concealed the plans fostered in his breast,
or whether he had not as yet digested them all, he however found means of getting himself named to the chair of Laws in the University of Ingolstadt, before he had attained his twenty-eighth year. On the 10th of March, 1778, he writes to Zwack that he was not yet thirty years of age; and in the same letter he informs him, under secrecy, of his future projects on Illuminism, which he had founded two years before.
He must have known himself possessed of profound dissimulation; he must have been master of strange resources, to ground his plans for the subversion of all laws throughout all empires, on the very function of public interpreter of the law. It was nevertheless at the college of Ingolstadt that Weishaupt, affecting the greatest zeal for his duty, conceived himself to be admirably situated for forming and conducting by invisible means the great revolution which he had planned. He justly estimated the influence which his office of teacher gave him over his scholars, and he had the courage to supply in private the deficiency of those lessons which he was obliged to give to them in public.
But it would have been too poor a conquest for Anarchy or Impiety to have gained only those who were under the eye of the founder. Weishaupt beheld mankind subject to religious and political laws from pole to pole, and his jealous zeal weighed the means which the saints had employed to extend the faith of Christ. There still existed the scattered remnants of an Order which the imprudent policy of Kings had obliged the Sovereign Pontiff to sacrifice to the machinations of a Philosophism, the professed enemy of both Kings and Pontiffs. Weishaupt knew how to appreciate the support which the laws had acquired from men who were heretofore spread throughout all Catholic countries, and who, in the towns and villages, publicly taught youth, thundered from the pulpit against vice, directed Christians toward the path of virtue, and went to preach the faith of Christ to idolatrous and barbarous nations. He well knew how much empires were indebted to religious Orders, that in preaching the duty which each man owed to his God, strengthened the ties that bound him to his neighbour and to his Prince. Though he in his heart detested the children of Benedict, Francis, or Ignatius, he admired the institutions of these holy founders, and was particularly charmed with those of Ignatius, whose laws directed so many zealous men dispersed throughout the world toward the same object and under one head: he conceived that the same forms might be adopted, though to operate in a sense diametrically opposite. 4 "What these men have done for the Altar and the Throne (said he to himself) why would not I do in opposition to the Altar and the Throne? With legions of adepts subject to my laws, and by the lure of mysteries, why may not I destroy under the cover of darkness, what they edified in broad day? What Christ even did for God and for Cæsar, why shall not I do against God and Cæsar, by means of adepts now become my apostles?"
In attributing such a wicked emulation to Weishaupt, I will not leave the historian to fruitless conjectures. No, these very wishes in plain language are contained in his confidential letters to his disciples; and he even reproaches
them with not imitating the submission of the followers of those holy founders. 5 His most celebrated adepts have declared, that they had observed him copying them throughout his code; 6 they must also have remarked, that Weishaupt, in planning his systems according to the forms adopted by those religious founders, had reserved it to himself to add all the artifices which the most infernal policy could suggest. At the actual period when this conspirator formed his plans, he was ignorant of the object of Freemasonry: 7 He only knew that the fraternity held secret meetings: he observed that they were bound by mysterious ties, and recognized each other for brethren by certain signs and words, whatever might be their country or religion. In his mind, therefore, he combined the plan of a society, which was at once to partake as much as convenient of the government of the Jesuits, and of the mysterious silence and secret conduct of Masonry. Its object was, the propagation of the most Antisocial Systems of ancient Illuminism, and of the most Antireligious Systems of modern Philosophism.
Brooding over this disastrous project, Weishaupt cast his eyes on the young pupils whom government had entrusted to his care to form them for magistrates of their country, and defenders of the laws, and he resolved to begin his warfare against both by the perversion of these youths. He beheld in distant succession his first disciples seducing others, those again, subject to his laws, forming further adepts; and thus by degrees he came complacently to view his legions multiplying and spreading from the towns to the country, and resident even in the courts of Princes. He already heard those oaths which, under the secrecy of the Lodges, were to bind the minds and hearts of those new legions who, replete with his disorganizing spirit, were silently to undermine the Altar and the Throne. He calculated the time necesssary, and smiled to think that he would one day have only to give the signal for the general explosion.
Scarcely had this modern Eratostratus attained his eight-and-twentieth year, ere he had laid the foundations of those laws which he meant to give to his disorganizing Sect. Though he had not actually written his code, he had arranged it in his mind, and he made his first essay on two of his pupils, one named Massenhausen (whom he surnamed Ajax), about twenty years of age, and afterwards a Counsellor at Burkhausen; the other called Merz (whom he surnamed Tiberius) 8 nearly of the same age, but whose morals and character proved so abominable, that they made even his vile seducer blush. These two disciples soon vying with their master in impiety, he judged them worthy of being admitted to his mysteries, and conferred on them the highest degree that he had as yet invented. He called them Areopagites, installed himself their chief, and called this monstrous association The Order of Illuminees. 9
It was on the first of May, 1776, that the inauguration was celebrated. Let the reader well observe this epoch. It indicates a feeble beginning; it preceded the French Revolution but by a few years; that however was the time when that abominable Sect first started into existence, which was to combine all the errors, all the conspiracies, and all the crimes of the adepts of Impiety,
[paragraph continues] Rebellion, or Anarchy, and which, under the name of Jacobin, was to consummate the dreadful Revolution. Such was the origin of that Sect which I had in view when I proclaimed to all nations, and unfortunately with too much truth, "That whatever their government or religion might be, to whatever rank they might belong in civil society, if Jacobinism triumphed all would be overthrown; that should the plans and wishes of the Jacobins be accomplished, their religion with its Pontiffs, their government with its laws, their magistrates and their property, all would be swept away in the common mass of ruin! Their riches and their fields, their houses and their cottages, their very wives and children would be torn from them. You have looked upon Jacobinical faction as exhausting itself in France, when it was only making a sportive essay of its strength." 10
According to the wishes and intentions of this terrible and formidable Sect, nations, astonished, have yet only seen the first part of the plans formed for that general Revolution which is to beat down every Throne overturn every Altardestroy all propertyblot out every law and conclude by the total dissolution of all society!
The omen is fatal; but (more fatal still!) I have numberless proofs to demonstrate the truth of this assertion. With respect to the Conspiracies of Illuminism, I shall draw my proofs from their own code and their archives. I will begin with their code; it will lay open the object, the extent, the manner, the means and inconceivable depth of the Conspiracies of the Sect. This First Part will comprehend the plan of their conspiracies, the extract and analysis of the code of laws which they had constructed for attaining their ends. The Second Part will show their progress and their successes from their first origin, till that period when, powerful in Revolutionary Legions, without leaving their secret dens, they unite and confound themselves with the Jacobins, and in unison with them prosecute that war of desolation which menaces with total ruin the Altar of every Godthe Throne of every MonarchThe Law of every Societyand the Property of every Citizen. O! that I could in delineating what the Sect has done, what it is doing, and what it still meditates to do that I could but teach nations and the chiefs of nations what they themselves ought to do, to avert the impending danger; those, I say, who have mistaken these disasters for a sudden explosion, while they are in fact but an essay of the strength of the Sect, and the commencement of their general plan.
406:1 Original Writings, Vol. I. Let. 61, to Cato.
406:2 Introduction to his Apology, p. 6.
406:3 See the degree of Directing Illumine, oder Scottischer Ritter (Scotch Knight) page 72.
406:4 Mirabeau de la Monarchie Prussienne, vol. V. P. 97.
406:5 Vid. Original Writings, Vol. I. let 27, to Cato.
406:6 See the Original Writings, Vol. I Instructio pro recipientibus, art. BLet. 2, to Ajax.Divers letters to Cato.Last Observation of Philo.
406:7 See hereafter the chapter on Masonry illuminized, Vol. IV.
407:8 p. 407 Weishaupt, in a letter to Zwack, says, "My three first colleagues were Ajax, you, and Merz." (Let. 15, Feb. 1778). This clearly states, that Merz was the Tiberius who was illuminated with Ajax; for it is clear that Zwack was only initiated ten months after the two adepts Ajax and Tiberius. (See Orig. Writ. Vol. I. Sect. IV.)
407:9 Orig. Writ. Vol. I. Sect. IV.Let. 2, to Philip Strozzi.
407:10 Vol. I, page 23.