Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009). [Purchase link.]
This is a superb, insightful and intelligent history of the Order of the Illuminati of Bavaria. It is the foundation stone upon which any modern proper understanding of the Illuminati should be based. Mr. Melanson treats his subject objectively and with precise care, never exaggerating but instead providing all the essential details. The thoroughness of his research is self-evident. Because I have read many of the books upon which he relies, I can confirm his accuracy. I read carefully to find even a single error, and found none. Mr. Melanson's book will therefore for a long time to come fill in the dark gaps in history regarding the Illuminati, and hopefully bring to a close the current chapter where hype and conjecture are taken as a factual account.
You can purchase from our Illuminati store at Amazon.
I received notice of this book's publication today, and I wanted to quickly broadcast its availability, and the availability to purchase it at this link.
Here is the summary the authors provide of this work:
For more than two hundred years, the world has held a prejudiced view of the Illuminati. Much has been claimed for and against the Order - its name synonymous with secrecy, intrigue, and mystery in the modern context, despite a poverty of concrete evidence in the English language. Little has been said about the factual structure and development through its life cycle. The Secret School of Wisdom - The Authentic Rituals and Doctrines of the Illuminati, is a ground-breaking text. It marks the first time that a comprehensive ritual book for the society has been re-assembled. Every degree, its instruction and associated texts, has been included and assembled in chronological order of progression. The reader is guided along the same path as many of Germany's most enlightened men, as they were in the years immediately prior to the French Revolution.
Much of this material has never been published - let alone translated into English. Supplemental texts are included to gain further historical insight into the Order and all documents have been checked for accuracy with the original archival texts.
I particularly liked one of the letters from a reviewer. Here is what it says:
Baron Adolphe von Knigge, Philo's Reply to Questions Concerning Is Association with the Illuminati (trans. Jeva Singh-Anand)(Lulu Press 2012) [Purchase link.]
An overdue book translates Knigge's 1788 work intended to defend himself from rumor and accusation, and misimpression, about his role in the Illuminati.
What is obvious is that Knigge was himself kept in the dark by Weishaupt. Even though Knigge loaned the Order his connections to recruit many important people, and Knigge wrote much of the ritual of the Order, it is obvious that Weishaupt pretended that there was no ultimate objective of the order. Knigge's book proves he naïvely still assumes that to be the case. Knigge never puts two and two together, as I will demonstrate below.
What I mean begins with Knigge's explanation at page 101 that the exposure entitled Original Writings of the Illuminati misleadingly cast him as one of the chiefs. Knigge then repeatedly says his role as one of the 12 Areopagites was to recruit people and to write the ritual (with Weishaupt as the final decision-maker). Knigge never in this work suspects he was confined to a limited role, and hence there was a secret agenda that he, Knigge, himself did not know.
A further example of importance is that Knigge mentions that at Wilhemsbad that it was Minos (Dittfurth) who attended the sessions, and that Knigge surrendered his right to attend as a delegate (page 61). Yet, Knigge never thinks it's possible that an agreement was reached at Wilhemsbad in a private conference which agreement reflected the true practical secret goal of the Illuminati, but that Knigge himself was not made privy.
Yet, what we now know independently about the Wilhemsbad Conference of the Templars / Strict Observance (not Freemasons at that time) from personal memoirs of five delegates (which writings were found / made many years later) is that the plan to overthrow France was adopted at that conference. One of the five, for example, the host of the Wilhemsbad Conference, Karl Von Hesse, wrote in his memoir of 1817 about the plan to overthrow France was agreed upon at the 1782 Wilhemsbad Congress of Templars. (See my work Illuminati Manifesto of World Revolution (2011) at pages 297 et seq.).
By contrast, Knigge only had a very vague idea about the general goal of the illuminati. At one point he says it had no real aim. (Page 51.) At another point, Knigge said that he wrote a ritual with a vague goal of the Illuminati to fuflill the aim of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to remove the conditions of inequality and that ultimately man would do without artificial institutions and government due to heightened morality. (Page 80.)
What proves that Knigge was kept in the dark was his statement that Wilhemsbad was "fruitless." (Page 92.) By contrast, the Original Writings of the Illuminati include several reports by Minos that he was able to convince the other delegates to adopt their plan – which he did not detail in the letter. Minos boasted of great success. Given what we now know about the several memoirs converging upon the agreement at Wilhemsbad to have the Templars (not Freemasons) to overthrow France, we must conclude that Knigge was kept in the dark. This work by Knigge shows that he indeed is a man of strong character, noble intentions, and very unlikely would be lying.
From one more item in Knigge's work, it is obvious how this happened. Knigge despite all his activities to help the Order kept himself in a subordinate rank even to the people he recruited. Knigge acknowledges this but doesn't see what it could imply – that even he was being kept in the dark. Here is the key quote to consider: "I enjoyed my work, delegated all management tasks, and worked, where there was an opportunity, as a subordinate member, yes! I reported to my own subordinates whom I elevated to chiefs, as can be seen in the reports printed in the Original Writings." (Page 92.)
Beyond that clarifying material, this work is an essential item for all researchers on the Illuminati to acquire. It includes many extensive quotes of rituals and rites. Knigge gives a first-hand account of why he wrote a certain way, and perhaps too unwise at times, etc. Knigge describes various figures in the Illuminati and their zeal including Ajax (Cato), Nicolai, Bassus and of course Weishaupt. It is also obvious that he's admitting to all the correspondence that was published as the Original Writings of the Illuminati as authentic. This thereby precludes any one considering that there's an option to deny these writings are genuine writings of Knigge, Weishaupt, et al.
Further Reviews: Mr. Melanson did a thorough review at http://www.bavarian-illuminati.info/2012/07/knigge-on-the-illuminati/