The First Disclosures
From 1781 on, the resistance to Adam Weishaupt’s movement started to grow.
The first official attack on the Illuminati was made in 1783, 215 years ago. A rejected candidate, the bookseller Johann Baptist Strobl from Munich, was the first to raise the alarm. Weishaupt immediately declared that the man was an uninformed slanderer, rough in manners and speech.
But others came after Strobl: Professor Westenrieder and Danzer also warned about the Illuminati’s true activity, according to “Vagledning for frimurare” / “Guidance for Freemasons”, Stockholm, 1906, p. 166. The Duchess Maria Anna and professor Joseph Utzschneider at the Military Academy in Munich (who had left the Illuminati in 1783) also came out with public warnings.
In 1784 the Order already had 3000 members spread over France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Italy. Eventually, several members left: Zaupser and professors Grunberg, Renner and Cosandey from Munich. On the 1st July 1784, even von Knigge gave up all his responsibilities within the Order due to a conflict with Weis-haupt. The latter, though he totally accepted Philo’s (von Knigge’s) new, polished plan of reforms, still wanted to make additions and changes here and there. Philo was later to return.
Strobl’s company began publishing several polemical pieces aimed at the Illuminati. It is sufficient to mention: “Babo, Gemalde aus dem menschlichen Leben” (“Babo, Impressions from Human Life”).
These publications worked with planned effect. When a more conservative and patriotic regent, Duke Charles Philipp Theodore (1724-1799), reached power in Bavaria, he issued a ban on secret societies on 22 June 1784. The Illuminati and the freemasons closed their lodges. The freemasons sought to defend themselves publicly. The Illuminati even offered to present all their papers and allow themselves to be subjected to public trial but nothing helped.
On the 11 February 1785, Weishaupt was discharged and forbidden to live in Ingolstadt and Munich. At the same time, the university was informed that Weishaupt would be arrested. On 16 February, he went underground and was hidden by his Illuminati brother Joseph Martin, who worked as a locksmith. A few days later he fled from Ingolstadt to Nuremberg dressed in the working clothes of a craftsman.
He stayed in Nuremberg a short while and then traveled on to the free city of Regensburg where he continued his activities, but then a stroke of fate occurred that put the police on the Illuminati’s tracks. (Countess Sofia Toll, “The Brothers of the Night”, Moscow, 2000, p. 291.)
During the inquiry, more and more terrible evidence against the Illumi-nati appeared, but they continued their activities despite the ban. Therefore, on March 2nd 1785, a further decree was issued which made possible the confiscation of the Illuminati’s assets.
On 20 July 1785, the courier of the Illuminati Jakob Lanz (who worked as a priest) was hit by lightning in Regensburg and died. Weishaupt was together with him. Lanz intended to travel on to Berlin and Silesia and received his last instructions from Weishaupt before he died. He had sewn in a list of Illuminati and some compromising papers in his priest’s robe. Weishaupt did not know about this and became the victim of his own conspiracy. (Countess Sofia Toll, “The Brothers of the Night”, Moscow, 2000, p. 291.)
The local police found other important documents at Lanz’ house, including detailed instructions for the planned French revolution. Some of the papers were addressed to the Grand Master of the lodge Grand Orient in Paris. Everything was handed over to the Bavarian government and on the 4th August 1785 a new ban on secret societies was issued. On 31 August, an order to arrest Weishaupt was issued. A price was put on Adam Weishaupt’s head in Bavaria.
Weishaupt fled to Gotha, where the llluminatus, Ernst, Grand Duke of Saxe-Gotha, could protect him.
He gave Weishaupt the title of Privy Councillor, gave him sanctuary. Weishaupt stayed in Gotha for the rest of his life. He died on the 18th November 1830. A bust of him stands on display in the Germanisches Museum in Nuremberg.
The police began to look for known members of the Order. The Illuminati had managed to infiltrate many important posts in society. For this reason the police investigation was very slow. The raid on Zwack’s house, which had a direct link to the secret Illuminati documents found at Lanz’ house, was only made one year and two months after Lanz was struck by lightning, on 11 and 12 October 1786.
On the llth-12th October 1786, they searched the house of Dr Franz Xaver Zwack (Cato) in Landshut where the Illuminati kept their most important papers. In the following year Baron Bassus’ (Hannibal’s) castle in Sandersdorf was also searched and the police confiscated even more papers concerning the Illuminati’s conspiracy against the whole world.
In these documents, which I carefully studied in the summer of 1986 in the Ingolstadt archives, plans for a global revolution were laid out and these papers clearly stated that this destructive operation was to be the work of secret societies.
Several important men in Ingolstadt and Bavaria lost their posts, some were even imprisoned or expelled from the country – but some of those involved were so powerful that they were spared retribution.
The freemasons did not believe they were given a fair trial, as no defence was permitted.
In the autumn of 1786, the Elector Karl Theodor demanded that the Illuminati cease their activities. They did not.
In 1786, two remarkable books about the Illuminati were published: “Drei merkwurdige Aussagen” (in which Professors Griinberg, Cosandey und Renner testified) and “Grosse Absichten des Ordens der Illuminaten” (“Great Purposes of the Order of the Illuminati”) with Professor Joseph Utzschneider’s testimony.
After a lengthy inquiry, the Elector ordered two works containing confiscated secret documents to be printed under the titles: “Einige Originalschriften des Illuminaten-Ordens” and “Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften” (“Some Original Documents of the Illuminati Order” and “Supplement of Further Original Documents”).
These books were sent to the governments in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, but were not taken seriously (until it was too late). Johann Baptist Strobl also printed a new collection of documents concerning the Illuminati in 1787. According to “Guidance for Freemasons”, Weishaupt, von Knigge, Bode and the other “most distinguished Illuminati” were noble-minded, honest and well-intentioned men who aspired towards goodness and justice.
Some truly lofty cultural personalities allowed themselves to be fooled by the skilful Illuminati propaganda. Adam Weishaupt, as a skilled propagandist, had previously written the books “An Apology for the Illuminati” (1786), “Das Verbesserte System der Illuminaten” / “The Improved System of the Illuminati” (1788), “Spartacus und Philo”, (1794), and others.
When the Illuminati were banned on 4 August 1785, Zwack fled to Augsburg and from there to Weslar. After the death of the Elector, Zwack returned to Bavaria, where he was reinstated as a civil servant. Von Knigge travelled to Bremen, where he died as a British officer on 6 May 1796. Several other members were dismissed from their posts. All according to the Grand Master of the Illuminati, Leopold Engel.
Even the great poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe became a freemason in 1780 and joined the Illuminati somewhat later in the 1780s. His alias within the Order was Abaris. (“Geschichte des Illuminaten-Ordens” / “History of the Order of the Illuminati” by Leopold Engel, Berlin, 1906, pp. 355-356). But eventually he was able to see through their deception.
The Illuminatus Goethe wrote to Bode, a fellow member, on the 22nd June 1784:
“Believe me, our moral world is undermined by sub-terranean tunnels, basements and sewers, like a large town usually is, without anyone usually thinking of their connections. It is comprehensible to me or any other enlightened person if smoke sometimes rises from a crack or if strange voices are heard… ”
(to be continued)