Saturday, April 04, 2009

Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati

In his new book, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Order of the Illuminati, author Terry Melanson puts a human face on the legendary secret society, which has been the object of more wild speculation than any other group over the past two hundred years.

The following is from the PRweb:

The secret society known as the Illuminati is the semi-fictional bad guy in the new Ron Howard film Angels & Demons, from Dan Brown's novel of the same name, with Tom Hanks reprising his role of sleuth Robert Langdon in the 2006 blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code.

In his new book, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Order of the Illuminati, author Terry Melanson puts a human face on the legendary secret society, which has been the object of more wild speculation than any other group over the past two hundred years.

Translating many books and original documents into English for the first time, Melanson traces the origins and subsequent diaspora of this fabled cult in encyclopedic detail, including thumbnail biographies of over 400 confirmed members, hundreds of illustrations, and actual mission statements written by the Order's inner circle.

First calling the new cult "Perfectibilists," to reflect his philosophy of perfecting the faculty of enlightened reason, founder Adam Weishaupt soon decided the word was too obscure, and adopted the name by which it has been known ever since: The Illuminati

"I have foreseen everything, and I have prepared everything. Let my whole order go to rack and ruin; in three years I will answer to restore it, and that to a more powerful state than it is in at present... I shall rise stronger than ever... I can sacrifice whole provinces, the desertion of a few individuals, therefore, will not alarm me."
--- Adam Weishaupt, 1782.

Sharing many adherents with the Freemasons, the Order was active in Bavaria from 1776 to 1786, when it was suppressed by the government, and many members were forced to emigrate to more sympathetic political climes. They then proceeded to infiltrate the highest cultural and political circles in Europe, heavily influencing the era's revolutionary fervor that led to the fall of the ancient monarchies, leaving a legacy that still plays a pivotal role in the dynamics of our modern world.

"....all the Lodges are summoned to confederate together, to unite their efforts to maintain the Revolution; to gain over it, in all parts, friends, partisans, and protectors; to propagate the flame, to vivify the spirit, to excite zeal and ardor for it, in every state, and by every means in their power."
--- circular to all Lodges from the Grand Orient in France, signed by the Duke d'Orleans, C. 1789.

Melanson also documents the direct adoption by Yale's Skull & Bones cult of Illuminati rituals and methods of manipulation, which formed a virtual blueprint for the creation of secret societies.

"Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar or king? Rich or poor, all are the same in death."
--- Slogan above a painting of skulls surrounded by Masonic symbols which hangs in Skull & Bones' sacred room 322, was lifted directlyfrom a Illuminati initiation ceremony.

A welcome addition to anyone's library, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Order of the Illuminati, is a chronicle of the Age Of Enlightenment, and the eclectic characters who embodied it. The record of this fascinating group's actual activities demonstrates that the true story is often, indeed, stranger (and scarier), than fiction.

Terry lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada and is the owner/operator of the popular Internet site,

Here is the link to the original report: Book

More information about the book:

Presenting an advanced and authoritative perspective, this definitive study chronicles the rise and fall of the Order of the Illuminati, a mysterious Enlightenment-era guild surrounded by myth. Describing this enigmatic community in meticulous detail, more than 1,000 endnotes are included, citing scholars, professors, and academics. Contemporary accounts and the original documents of the Illuminati themselves are covered as well. Copiously illustrated and featuring biographies of more than 400 confirmed members, this survey brings to light a 200-year-old mystery.

Customer Reviews

I have studied the Illuminati for years through various conspiracy books and websites. There can be a lot of confusion and misconceptions about who they were and what they were trying to accomplish. If I only had this book years ago, my research would have been faster and more complete. The book is well sourced, giving follow up reading, websites as well as known members. This is probably the most in depth volume on the Illuminati that you can find without having to learn German. Hopefully this trend will continue, and the public will take more interest in the enlightenment societies that shaped our nation and western civilization for that matter.

Possibly the most important English language work on the Bavarian Illuminati ever published to date. Based on documentation translated from French and German sources, Melanson keeps hysteria and paranoia to a minimum and provides an incredible reference work that outlines the history of the Order and its far-reaching cast of characters. Researched, footnoted and sourced in great detail, with documents never seen in English. Not the first book to pick up, as it assumes a certain amount of prior knowledge of the subject (see the Illuminati section of Vernon Stauffer's 'New England and the Bavarian Illuminati', which contains one of the best introductions on the Order to date), but VERY highly recommended to the serious scholar.

Only two reservations. First, the 'Skull & Bones' chapter seems to have flown in from another planet (or possibly a marketing department's request), and it stands out oddly. Second, Melanson makes no distinction between the different factions of Freemasonry that were expanding in continental Europe in the 1700s. Stauffer does a good job pointing out the differences in his book between the social club Anglo-Saxon Masons; the mystical Rosicrucian-style Masons who were attempting to make their brand more mysterious; and the Enlightenment social reformers of the Grand Orient of France who were involved in political movements. One style of Masonry was not the same as the next, and each had very different goals. But this is possibly a minor point and my own obsession.

I disagree strongly with Melanson's[...] website on a regular basis, and I think he and his fellow bloggers there seek boogeymen and a hyper-competent all-seeing, all-knowing criminal class of evildoers that control the world. But The Perfectibilists does not engage in the hysterics of that website. Melanson has produced a solid work of scholarship, and he is to be commended.

You can purchase the book from our bookstore: Buy Now

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:35 PM   0 comments links to this post


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