Code of the Illuminati: Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, by A Barruel, tr. Robert Edward Clifford , at sacred-texts.com
Under the appellation of Intermediary Class of Illuminism might be comprehended all the Degrees which Weishaupt had borrowed from Freemasonry. In that case we should comprize under this denomination the three degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, and Master. But it has been already said, that these degrees are simply a passport for the Sect into the Masonic Lodges; and that its object may be less conspicuous, it leaves them in their original Masonic state. This, however, is not the case with the higher degrees of Scotch Masonry. The Sect shrewdly surmised that the views of these degrees coincided with their own: beside, it wanted some of these superior degrees, either for the direction of those Masonic Lodges which it composed of its own members, or who were to gain admittance, dominate, and preside over other Lodges which were not devoted to Illuminism. The great veneration in which the Scotch Knights are generally held by Masons, more strongly determined the Baron Knigge to make himself master of this degree, and engraft it on Illuminism. The Sect has constituted this into both an intermediary and a stationary degree. It is stationary for those into whom it despairs of ever infusing the principles required for a further admission to the mysteries; but it is only intermediary for those who have shown dispositions more accordant with the pursuits of the Sect. 1
Whatever may be his destiny, no Brother is ever admitted into this new degree, until he has previously given proofs of the progress he has made in the arts of Scrutator, whose code must have been his chief study since his admission to the degree of Major Illuminee. The secret Chapter of the Knights has had the precaution to propose certain questions to him to ascertain how far he is capable of judging of the state of the mind by exterior appearances. He will have had to answer, for example, to the following ones:"What is the character of a man whose eyes are perpetually in motion, and whose countenance is changeable? What features denote voluptuousness, melancholy, and pusillanimity?" 2
As a further proof of the progress he has made, he is to transmit to his superiors another dissertation on the life of the hero whose name he bears for
his characteristic. The history of his own life, which he had delivered in the antecedent degree, had laid open the whole of his existence, and all his actions through life. This new dissertation will show the Order what he admires or disapproves of in others, and will particularly demonstrate whether he has discovered those qualities in his patron which the Order wished he should imbibe and imitate when it gave him his characteristic. 3 Should any part of his life have escaped the vigilance of the Scrutators, he is still at liberty to give a new proof of his confidence in the Order; and this is described as a meritorious act; but he may reserve it for the cognizance of the Superior of the Order only. 4 He is then to declare under his hand-writing, that he looks upon the Superiors of Illuminism as the secret and unknown though legitimate Superiors of Freemasonry; that he adheres and always will adhere to the illuminized system of Masonry, as the best and most useful existing; that he utterly renounces every other association; that he is, in short, so persuaded of the excellence of Illuminism, that he fully adopts its principles, and firmly believes himself bound to labour, under the direction of his superiors, at the object and according to the intentions of the Order for the happiness of mankind. 5
After having received these numerous pledges, the Scotch Knights invite the new Brother to a secret Chapter, for such is the name given to the Lodges of this degree. It is hung with green, richly decorated and brilliantly lighted. The Prefect of the Knights, booted and spurred, is seated on a throne erected under a canopy all of the same colour. On his apron a green cross is seen, and on his breast the star of the Order; he wears the riband of St. Andrew in salter from right to left, and holds a mallet in his hand. On his right stands the brother sword-bearer, holding the sword of the Order; on his left the master of the ceremonies with a stick in one hand, and the ritual in the other. The Knights assembled are all booted and spurred, each girt with a sword, and all wear the cross suspended at their necks by a green riband. The Officers of the Order are to be distinguished by a plumage, and a priest of the Order compleats the Lodge. The Prefect then delivers himself as follows to the Candidate:
"You here behold a part of those unknown legions which are united by indissoluble bonds to combat for the cause of humanity. Are you willing to make yourself worthy of watching with them for the sanctuary? Your heart must be pure, and a heavenly ardour for the dignity of nature must fire your breast. The step you are taking is the most important one of your life. Our games are not vainly ceremonial. In creating you a knight we expect of you that you will perform exploits grand, noble, and worthy of the title you receive. Long life to you, if you come to us to be faithful; if honest and good you answer our expectations. Should you prove a false Brother, be both cursed and unhappy, and may the grand Architect of the Universe hurl you into the bottomless pit! Now bend thy knee, and on this sword take the oath of the Order."
At these words the Prefect seats himself, the Knights are standing with their swords drawn, and the Candidate pronounces the following oath:
"I promise obedience to the excellent Superiors of the Order. In as much as it shall depend upon me, I engagenever to favour the admission of any unworthy member into these holy degreesto labour at rendering the Ancient Masonry triumphant over the false systems which have crept into itto succour, like a true Knight, innocence, poverty, or oppressed honestyNever to be the flatterer of the great, nor the slave of Princes;to combat courageously, though prudently, in the cause of Virtue, Liberty, and Wisdomto resist boldly, both for the advantage of the Order and of the world, Superstition and Despotism. I never will prefer my own private interest to that of the Order. I will defend my Brethren against calumny. I will dedicate my life to the discovery of the true Religion and real doctrines of Freemasonry, and I will impart my discoveries to my Superiors. I will disclose the secrets of my heart to my Superiors as to my best friends. So long as I shall remain in the Order I shall look upon the being a Member of it as a supreme felicity. I also engage to look upon all my domestic, civil, and social duties as most sacred. So help me God, both for the happiness of my life, and for the peace of my mind."
In return for this oath the Prefect declares to the Candidate that he is going to create him a Knight of St. Andrew, according to the ancient usage of the Scotch"Rise," he says, "and in future beware of ever bending thy knee before him who is only man like thyself." 6
To these ceremonies the adept Knigge added a certain number of others which were mere derisions of the rites of the Church. Such, for example, was the triple benediction which the Priest pronounced over the new Knight, such the atrocious mockery of the last supper, which terminated the ceremony. But, impious as is the imitation, Weishaupt declares it to be disgusting because it is still religious, theosophical, and borrowed from superstition. 7 But what perfectly coincided with the views of the Bavarian founder were, the instructions given to the new Knight. He is enraptured with that discourse, where one may observe the Illuminizing Orator selecting the most impious, artful, and disorganizing systems of Masonry, to make them at once the mysteries of their Masonic Lodges, and an immediate preparation for those of Illuminism.
Let the reader recal to mind what was said in the Second Volume of these Memoirs 8 concerning the Apocalypse of the Martinists, entitled Of Errors and of Truth. He will there have read of a time when man, disengaged from the senses and free from matter, was still more free from the yoke of the laws and from political bondage, to which he was only subjected by his fall. He will there have seen, that the daily efforts of man should tend to the overthrow of Governments, that he may recover his former purity and ancient liberty, and thus retrieve his fall. I might there have demonstrated that absurd Idealism reducing our senses to vain fictions, that the prostitution of them might be but a chimerical crime; 9 there, in short, I might have shown, according to the Martinist, that in all ages this system of corruption and disorder has been the doctrine and secret of true Philosophy. This intermediary degree was destined by Weishaupt to serve as a point of union between the Masonic Lodges and Illuminism. It was but natural that the should have selected the most
monstruous and most artful system of the Craft. Let not the reader therefore be astonished when he sees the Antitheosophist, the Atheist, the Materialist Weishaupt borrowing in this degree the doctrines of the Martinists on the twofold principle or double spirit. But let it be also remembered, that whenever, in consequence of this artifice, he is obliged to use the words spirit or soul, he informs the candidate, that such words are employed in the Code only to conform to the vulgar expression. This precaution taken, the Initiator may without apprehension repeat the sophisticated lessons on the twofold principle. And indeed one might be tempted to think, that the doctrines he lays down as the grand object of Free Masonry had all been copied from the Martinist system. He begins by deploring a great Revolution which had in former ages deprived man of his primitive dignity. He then represents man as having had the faculty of recovering his ancient splendour; but that by the abuse of his faculties he had again immersed himself still deeper in his defiled and degraded station. The very senses are blunted, and said to lead him into error on the nature of things. Every thing that he beholds in its actual state is falsehood, show, and illusion; and he lays particular stress on those schools of sages which had, ever since the time of the grand Revolution, preserved the secret principles of the antique doctrines, or of true Masonry. Nor does the monstrous Hierophant blush at placing Jesus of Nazareth among those sages, and blasphemously numbering the God of the Christians among the Grand Masters of Illuminism. But soon was the doctrine of Christ falsified, and Priests and Philosophers raised on these divine foundations an edifice of folly, prejudice, and self-interest. Soon also does the tyranny of Priesthood and the Despotism of Princes coalesce in the oppression of suffering humanity. Free Masonry opposes these disastrous attempts, and endeavors to preserve the true doctrine; but it has overburdened it with symbols, and its lodges gradually subside into seminaries of ignorance and error.The Illuminees alone are in possession of the real secrets of Masonry; many of them are even still to be the objects of their researches; and the new Knight is to devote all his attention to their discovery. He is particularly recommended to study the doctrines of the ancient Gnostics and Manichæans, which may lead him to many important discoveries on this real Masonry. He is also told, that the great enemies which he will have to encounter during this investigation will be ambition and other vices which make humanity groan under the oppression of Princes and of the Priesthood. 10
The obscurity which enwraps these lessons on the new and grand Revolution which is to counteract the ravages of the former, is not the slightest of Weishaupt's artifices. With respect to Princes, this is the last degree to which they are admitted. They are to be persuaded, that the antique Revolution was no other than the coalition of the powers of the earth with the Priesthood, in order to support the empire of religious prejudice and superstition; and that the new Revolution to be effected is the re-union of Princes with Philosophy, to overthrow that empire and ensure the triumph of reason. Should the serene adept be startled at his having sworn never to flatter the great, nor to be a slave of Princes, he will be reconciled again by the latter part
of the oath, where he engages to look upon his domestic, civil, and social duties as most sacred. But let him form what opinion he may as to his initiation, he has nevertheless sworn, that he will protect the Brotherhood from superstition and despotism; that he will obey the most excellent superiors of the Order; that he will favour its progress with all his power, and that he believes it alone to be in possession of the secrets of real Masonry.
In the less important class of adepts, should any still hanker after their Theosophical ideas, that is to say, should Weishaupt despair of ever infusing into them its Anarchical and Atheistical principles, they are condemned to become stationary in this degree; and he imposes on them as a task the explication of all the Hieroglyphics of Masonry, which they may set to the tune of the grand Revolution. Under pretence of discovering a more perfect religion, he persuaded them that Christianity was at this day nothing more than superstition and tyranny. He has infused into them his hatred for the Priesthood and the existing forms of Government. That will suffice to procure him agents of destruction; as to re-edification, he has not so much as mentioned it to them.
But should there be found among the number of Knights men who of themselves dive into the meaning of that great Revolution which only deprived man of his primitive dignity by subjecting him to the laws of civil society, should they have comprehended the meaning of this other Revolution, which is to restore every thing by re-establishing man in his primitive independence, such men will be pointed out by the Scrutators. It is at them that the Code particularly aims when it says, Let the Scotch Knights seriously reflect, that they are presiding over a grand establishment, whose object is the happiness of mankind. In short, these Knights have to act the parts of Superiors in the Order; they are the Inspectors or the Directors of all the preparatory class. They have on that account assemblies peculiar to themselves, called Secret Chapters. The first duty of these chapters is to watch over the interests of the Order within their district. "The Scotch Knights," says their first instruction, "are to pay particular attention to the discovery of any plans which may contribute to fill the coffers of the Order. It were much to be wished that they could devise means of putting the Order into possession of some considerable revenues in their province.He that shall have rendered so signal a service must never hesitate at believing that these revenues are employed in the most noble purposes.The whole must labour with all their might to consolidate the edifice little by little within their district, until the finances of the Order shall be found to be competent to its views." 11
The second part of the Code entrusts these Knights with the government of the preparatory class. Each Knight is to correspond with a certain number of Brethren who have the direction of the Minerval academies. The Code contains instructions which point out to them upon what objects they are permitted to decide; what Brethren they are to forward or thwart in their promotion; and what reports they are to make to their Superiors. In their correspondence with their Inferiors they make use of the common cypher, but when they write to the chiefs they employ a peculiar character which may truly be called Hieroglyphic.
They are particularly charged with the inspection of the Major Illuminees. "The Scotch Knights," says the Code, "shall be particularly attentive that the Major Illuminees do not neglect to mention in their monthly letters such employments as they may have to dispose of." 12
I have shown, in the foregoing chapter, how useful and indeed how necessary this precaution proved for recompensing the zeal of the Brethren. The adept Knigge wished to demonstrate that it might be equally useful for princes, when combined with the scrutinizing Code. "Let us suppose," says he, "that a Prince, having an Illuminee for his Minister, wishes to find a proper person to fill any vacant office; by means of the Scrutators, the Minister may immediately present the faithful portrait of divers personages, from among whom the Prince will only have to make his election." 13But every reader, I hope, will recollect, that in consequence of the oath that has been taken by the Minister to dispose of all places in favour of the Brethren, and that according to the direction of the Knights, he will only present such adepts for those offices as the Order shall have chosen; and thus will Illuminism soon dispose of all benefices, employments, and dignities, and have the entire direction of the whole power of the State.
Meanwhile, until the Sect shall exert this influence over Courts, the Scotch Knights are to acquire an absolute sway in the Masonic Lodges. Their laws on this head deserve particular attention. We shall select the following:
"In every town of any note situated within their district, the Secret Chapters shall establish Lodges for the three ordinary degrees, and shall cause men of sound morals, of good repute, and of easy circumstances, to be received in these Lodges. Such men are much to be sought after, and are to be made Masons, even though they should not be of any service to Illuminism in its ulterior projects." 14
"If there already exists a Lodge in any given town, the Knights of Illuminism must find means of establishing a more legitimate one; at least, they should spare no pains to gain the ascendancy in those which they find established, either to reform or to destroy them." 15
"They must strongly exhort the members of our lodges not to frequent (without leave of their Superiors) any of those pretended constituted lodges, who hold nothing of the English but their diplomas, and some few symbols and ceremonies which they do not understand. All such Brethren are perfectly ignorant of true Masonry, of its grand object, and its real patrons. Though some of the greatest merit are to be found in such lodges, we nevertheless have strong reasons for not readily allowing them to visit ours." 16
"Our Scotch Knights must pay great attention to the regularity of the subordinate lodges, and must above all things attend to the preparation of candidates. It is here that in a private intercourse they will show a man that they have probed him to the quick. Surprise him by some ensnaring question in order to observe whether he has any presence of mind. If he be not staunch to his principles, and should expose his weak side, make him feel how great his necessities are, and how necessary it is for him to be guided entirely by us." 17
"The Deputy Master of the Lodge (who is generally the auditor of the accounts) must also be a member of our Secret Chapter. He will persuade the lodges that they alone dispose of their funds; but he will take care to employ them according to the views of the Order. Should it at any time be necesssary to help one of our brethren, the proposition is made to the lodge; though the brother should not even be a Mason, no matter, some expedient must be found to carry the point."
"No part of the capital, however, must in any case be alienated, that hereafter we may find the necessary funds for the most important undertakings. The tenth part of the subscriptions of these lodges must be annually carried to the Secret Chapter. The treasurer to whom these funds must be transmitted, shall collect them, and endeavour by all kinds of expedients to augment them." 18
"But before any part of our own funds are appropriated to the help of any of our Brethren, every effort shall be made to procure the necessary succours from the funds belonging to lodges which do not pertain to our system.In general, the money which these lodges spend in a useless manner, should be converted to the advancement of our grand object." 19
"Whenever a learned Mason shall enter our Order, he must be put under the immediate direction of our Scotch Knights." 20
From what code can Weishaupt, or his compiler Knigge, have selected such laws as these for their Scotch Knights? Many readers will be ready to answer, that they must have learned them from a Mandrin, a Cartouche, or some hero of the gibbet. But it is no such thing:their own ingenuity was sufficient to invent such doctrines. Weishaupt lays down as a principle, that the end justifies the means: he made the application of it when he taught his adepts to rob the libraries of Princes and Religious Orders; his compiler Knigge applies the same principle to the funds of the honest Masons; and we shall soon see what use they made of those funds. It will be in vain for the Illuminee (more zealous for the honour of his founder than for that of the compiler Knigge) to object, that Weishaupt never approved of the degree of Scotch Knight. It is true, he never much admired it. But it is not the system of theft (evidently deduced from his own principles) that he reprobates; not a single expression in any of his letters can denote that he did so; for Knigge might have answered, what do those fools of Masons do with that money? just as Weishaupt had written what do those rascals of Monks do with their rare books? He blamed it not for its principles, but because he thought it a miserable composition: der elende Scottische ritter grade are the terms in which he expresses his contempt. When he corrected this degree, the thefts were not the parts which he expunged; they were too serviceable to the order. Weishaupt, however, consented to let this degree (such as it was) serve as a preparation for the mysteries of his Epoptes; that is to say, for his priests of Illuminism; and when considered in that light it may be truly said, that the Knights brigands were but pitiful and miserable indeed. I will, however, give the reader an opportunity of judging for himself.
p. 467 p. 468
468:1 Original Writings, Vol. II. Part I. Sect. 11.
468:2 See this degree, Sect. 4, No. 2 and 3.
468:3 See second Instruction for this degree, No. 8.
468:5 Ibid. Reversal Letters.
468:6 Ibid. Sect. 7.
468:7 See the Last word of Philo, Page 100.
468:8 Chap. XI.
468:9 When treating in the Second Volume of the religious and political tenets of the Martinists, I did not extend my researches to their doctrine of Idealism, and I frankly confess that I did not sufficiently understand that part of their Apocalypse. Since the publication of that Volume, however, I have met with a Gentleman perfectly capable of comprehending any intelligible system whatever; I mean the Abbé Bertins, residing at present at Oxford. He reproached me in terms similar to those in which some other people had reproached me respecting the Rosicrucians. What you have written, said he, is ALL true, but you have not told the WHOLE truth. I had indeed said a great deal of those gentry, and I never will advance any point which I cannot prove. The Abbé Bertins condescended to give me some little insight into the doctrines of this famous St. Martin. It fully confirmed every thing which I had advanced on the tenets of the Martinists, with respect to the nature of the soul, and to the pretended origin of that soul forming a part of God, of the essence of God, and of the same substanceBut what I had not said was, that according to the same system matter has no real existence, or at least has such a separate existence, and is so entirely null with respect to the soul, that there neither is nor can be any relation whatever between it and the soul; in fine, that it is, with respect to us, as if it were not. I had surmised these consequences in a conversation which I had had with an estimable young man, the Vicomte de Maimbourg, whom the Martinists had endeavoured to taint with their erroneous doctrines. When they came to treat of the pleasure of the senses, throw that to the fire, they say in their treatise of morality; to the fire: give to the fire all it asks; that is not the spirit, all that does not affect the soul; and this fire is matter; it is the senses, the body. It is not in the same sense that the Martinist tells us, "It is in vain that the enemy pursues me with his illusions. Matter shall not have remembrance of me here below. Does man taste the pleasures of matter? When the senses feel pain or pleasure, is it not easy to perceive that it is not man that feels this pain or pleasure?" (No. 235, of the Man of Desire, by the Author of a work On Errors and on Truth). How frightful is this enigmatical language! If all the passions and senses are foreign to man, if he may gratify them with affecting his soul either for the better or for the worse, what monstrous consequences must ensue to morals! And indeed a Danish Martinist was consulted by the Viscount, who, more candid than the recruiting Brethren, answered, "Beware, dear Sir, of ever entering into our mysteries;I am unfortunately engaged, and should in vain attempt to withdraw myself from them. I could not succeed; but, for your part, take care never to deliver yourself over to those men." The Viscount followed his advice. As to the Abbé Bertins, he was too much for Mr. de St. Martin, who had to argue with a man that perpetually objectedif my soul is part of God, and of the substance of God, my soul must be God. After three months lessons, which the reader will readily suppose the Abbé Bertins only submitted to through curiosity, the learned teacher violently exclaimed, "I see I never shall be able to convince p. 468 a Divine:" and thus Mr. de St. Martin took leave of a scholar far more fitted to teach him real knowledge than to receive his sophisticated lessons.
468:10 See this degree, Art. 8. Instruction on the Masonic Hieroglyphics.
468:11 See First Instruction for this degree.
468:12 Second Instruction, No. 12.
468:13 Last Observations of Philo, Page 95.
468:14 Third Instruction for the same degree, No. 1.
468:15 Third Instruction for the same degree, No. 3.
468:16 Ibid. No. 5.
468:17 Ibid. No. 9.
468:18 Third Instruction for the same degree, No. 12.
468:19 Ib. 13.
468:20 Third Instruction for the same degree, No. 16.