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Bonneville’s Place In History


Bonneville’s Place In History

James Billington, the U.S. Librarian of Congress,
wrote in Fire in the Minds of Men (1980) that “Nicolas de
Bonneville” (1760-1828)1 of Paris was one of the “founding
fathers” of the “modern revolutionary tradition.”2 Indeed, in
1845, Karl Marx honored Bonneville’s fraternal order and
printing-house — the Cercle Social — as having “com-
menced the [modern] revolutionary movement.”3
The most definitive exposition by Bonneville of his
ideas was set forth in his L’Esprit des Religions. This work
appeared in two editions — one in 1791 and a virtually iden-
tical one in 1792. In July 1792, he added the Appendices.
This book is of great historical significance. It allows
a correct identification of the ideology of the group known in
history as the Brissotins. They are sometimes derogatorily
referred to as the Girondins. Often this group’s orientation is
completely misunderstood.
The Brissotins were all members of Bonneville’s Cer-
cle Social. Once the Brissotins took dominant control of all
executive posts in France in March 1792, the Brissotin Minis-
ter of the Interior, Jean-Marie Roland (1734-1793) — also a
member of the Cercle Social — financed distribution of
L’Esprit by “secret funds” from the French treasury. He

1. In French he is “Nicolas de Bonneville” but in English “Nicholas Bon-

neville.” Hereafter I will refer to him as either Nicholas Bonneville or
sometimes Nicolas.
2. James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolu-
tionary Faith (Basic Books, 1980)(2007 reprint) at 12.
3. Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, La Sainte Famille (ed. Sociales)(1972)
at 145. For full quote, see page 13.

Introduction 1
passed these monies back to the Cercle Social to print
L’Esprit via something Roland created called the Bureau of
Public Spirit. Roland’s propaganda efforts with Bonneville
went beyond merely L’Esprit. “The Cercle Social was the
major recipient from the Bureau of Public Spirit.”4 With
these funds, numerous Cercle Social publications were dis-
tributed nationwide to spread Brissotin ideology.
As a result, from March 1792 to early 1793, the Cer-
cle Social of Bonneville served as the quasi-official propa-
ganda arm of the French state.5 This gave Bonneville great
prestige and status. In this period, the Cercle Social created,
with government funding, a daily newspaper; a monthly mag-
azine; a separate journal for peasants and another for city-
dwellers; and it published 193 books.6 But among all of them,
L’Esprit was the essential manifesto to spread Bonneville’s
Thus, L’Esprit is not your average book. It holds an
important place in history. It clearly identifies what was the
agenda of the Brissotins. Moreover, it was the founding man-
ifesto for what became the modern world revolution.
In recognition of this book’s importance, we here pro-
vide the English translation of L’Esprit’s most significant pas-
Our intent is to offer in English a glimpse backward at
Bonneville. This way we can fully appreciate his impact on
our modern world. In unfolding L’Esprit, we are unwrapping
the first manifesto of the modern world revolution. We also

4. Anne Kupiec, “La Gironde et le Bureau d’esprit public: livre et révolu-

tion,” Annales historiques de la Révolution française (1995) Volume
302 Issue 3 at 577 (among the titles it published in 1792 was L’Esprit
des Religions); 582 (“the Cercle Social was the major recipient from
the Bureau of Public Spirit”).
5. During this period, the Cercle Social through funding from the Bureau
distributed thousands of pamphlets and books by Brissot, Paine, Con-
dorcet, Lathenas, Bancal — all members of the Cercle Social. Id., at
573 (Roland started March 1792), 574 (authors).
6. James H. Billington, Fire in the minds of men (1999) at 535-36 fn. 236.

Introduction 2
Bonneville’s Cercle Social

discover the ideology that united the famous members of

Bonneville’s society known as the Cercle Social: Brissot,
Condorcet, T. Paine, Sieyès, Cloots, C. Fauchet, Babeuf,
Maréchal, Bancal, Mercier, Varlet, etc. These names are all
well known to historians.
However, what has hitherto remained a mystery was
the bonds which united these men to advance the agenda in
Bonneville’s L’Esprit. By examining L’Esprit, we are able to
explain finally the multi-faceted yet common ideology which
all these men shared. Because their ideas were distinctly dif-
ferent from those held by other societies at Paris, we finally
can explain their seemingly separate actions by now identify-
ing the common center — their leader Bonneville and his
manifesto for action — his L’Esprit des Religions.

Bonneville’s Cercle Social

When L’Esprit first appeared in 1791, Nicholas Bon-
neville was the primary founder, leader and “most active
member”7 since October 1789 of the Cercle Social — a pub-
lishing house operated by a masonic-style secret society.
Rose comments that Bonneville was “used to the spirit of the
secretive Masonic lodge, [and] intended [the Cercle Social]
rather as a society of élite devoted to educating the masses.”8
Albert Mathiez (1874-1932), Professor at the Univer-
sité of Besançon, Dijon and renown scholar of the French
Revolution with over thirty-one scholarly books on the revo-
lution to his credit,9 says the Cercle Social

7. André Lichtenberger, Le socialisme et la révolution française (Paris

1899) at 69 (“Bonneville fut le membre le plus actif du cercle
8. R. B. Rose, “Socialism and the French Revolution: The Social Circle
and the Enragés,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, Manchester
Vol. 41 No. 1 (September 1958) at 142, citing Cercle Social, Letter
xliii, in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, England.

Introduction 3
in fact... was a Masonic lodge in which Bon-
neville, the smoky and bold spirit, [was] the
Grand Chief. The great aim is to instruct, to
prepare the spirits toward profound changes
which it keeps from the rest which is
announced in veiled and mysterious terms.10
Mathiez elsewhere described the Cercle Social as a
“group of revolutionary Freemasons” constituted as a “soci-
ety of propaganda with an interior and exterior circle.”11 As a
result, in Bonneville’s “Cercle Social...freemasonry bore a
large part.”12
Yet, the Cercle Social was an imitation of Freema-
sonry. Bonneville’s Cercle Social had no official affiliation
with true Freemasonry.
Instead, Bonneville made no bones about his alle-
giance and proud affiliation was rather with the Bavarian Illu-
minati founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776. The Bavarian
Order too imitated Freemasonry as a cover to pursue political
aims just as Bonneville’s group precisely imitated. Bonnev-
ille in 1791 admitted the origin of his ideas were Weishaupt’s
Illuminati. Bonneville wrote in his journal Bouche De Fer,
the mouth-piece of the Cercle Social, about Mirabeau’s 1788

9. “Albert Mathiez,” L’Annuaire des sociétés savantes de France at http:/

/ (accessed 3/1/09).
10.Isabelle Bourdin, Les Sociétés Populaires á Paris Pendant La Révolu-
tion (Paris 1910) at 159 quoting A.Mathiez, Le Club des Cordeliers
pendant la crise de Varennes et le massacre du Champ de Mars
(Geneva: Slatkine, 1975).
11.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la
Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Frères, 1916) VIII at 436.
12.“The History of the Jacobin Club,” The North American Review (Edith
Wharton, ed.) (Jan. 1856) 128-173, at 165 (an extensive synopsis of
Der Jakobiner Klub. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Parteien und der
politischen Sitlen im Revolutions- Zeit- atter, von J. W. Zinkeisen. Ber-
lin: Erster Theil. 1852. Zweiter Theil. 1853. [The Jacobin Club. A
Contribution to the History of Parties and Political Morals during the
Revolutionary Period, by J. W. Zinkeisen. 2 vols.])

Introduction 4
Bonneville’s Cercle Social

defense of the Bavarian Illuminati in Mirabeau’s On The

Prussian Monarchy.13 After referencing those comments to
prove how important Weishaupt’s Illuminati were to Mira-
beau prior to the Revolution, Bonneville claimed he himself
was carrying on the Bavarian Illuminati program in France:

This project (of the Illuminati), continues Mr.

Mirabeau, was beautiful, noble and great; and
since the very instant when [electoral] districts
were summoned in May 1789 [for the Estates
General], The Mouth of Iron, persevered with
all its might their noble intentions, and never
has abandoned the principles and promises
POSTERITY [i.e., the Illuminati].14
Professor Mathiez comments on this passage: “Bon-
neville considered himself the heir who carried on the
thought and work of Weishaupt.”15 As Billington likewise
notes, “Nicholas Bonneville was...the decisive channel of
Illuminist influence” in France.16
The Grande Encyclopedie (1873) of France concurs,
describing Bonneville as a “[p]artisan of the teachings of
Saint Martin and the Illuminati, [and] Bonneville was also
one of the adepts of Freemasonry.”17 Francovich, an Italian

13.On Mirabeau’s work, see page 121.

14. Bouche de Fer, April 8, 1791 at 73. A PDF of this edition is available
at our website. This quote also appears in Albert Mathiez, “R. Le For-
estier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la Franc-Maçonnerie allemande.
Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].” Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon:
Millot Frères, 1916) VIII at 432, 436. For further quotes from this
Bouche de Fer, see Footnote 331 on page 126 and accompanying text.
15.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la
Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Frères, 1916) VIII at
16.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (Transaction Publishers 2004) at

Introduction 5
historian who is an expert on the Illuminati, similarly said
Bonneville was “the greatest exponent of the French Illumi-
This does not mean that Bonneville necessarily
adopted the deplorable dissimulation tactics of Weishaupt.
Bonneville’s views were outspoken, and made in public.
Hence, he had little use for dissimulation, i.e., pretending to
be something that he was not. Thus, we may regard that Bon-
neville was the kind of Illuminatus who instead shared the
sentiments of Mounier in his book De l’influence attribuée
aux Illuminés sur la Révolution de France (1801):
There were many Illuminati who had pure
intentions.... They did not know what was dis-
covered since then that Weishaupt and his
close friends recommended to act with dis-
simulation to better observe others.19
Yet, the impact of Weishaupt on Bonneville’s ideol-
ogy is unmistakable time and time again. For example, in
issue no. 3 of Bouche de Fer, Bonneville is essentially quot-
ing the Original Writings of the Illuminati (1787). In words
virtually copied from that text, Bonneville summarizes the
goals of the journal of the Cercle Social — the Bouche de Fer
— as:
the union of all peoples and all individuals
who inhabit the earth into a single family of
brothers who rally to pursue for one another
the general good.20

17.“Bonneville, Nicolas de,” Le Grand Encyclopedie (Paris: 1873) Vol.

VII at 346.
18.Carlo Francovich, “Gli Illuminati di Weishaupt e l’idea egualitaria in
alcune società segrete del Risorgimento,” Movimento Operaio (Mil-
ano: Biblioteca G.G. Feltinelli, 1952), No. 4, July-August 1952, at 577.
19.J.J.Mounier, De l’influence attribuée aux Illuminés sur la Révolution
de France (1801) at 192.

Introduction 6
Bonneville’s Cercle Social

Similarly, Bonneville organized the Cercle Social as a

copy of the Illuminati. The interior structure of the Cercle
Social was not a club, but was overtly operated as a secret
society. In the first issue of the Bouche de Fer, Bonneville
wrote: “The Social Circle, which seeks neither masters nor
disciples, is not at all a club.”21 Billington relates the clandes-
tine traits which Bonneville declared it utilized:
Members had secret cards and assumed
names. They comprised an inner group within
a broader “patriotic circle of friends of
What further corroborates Bonneville’s Cercle Social
lodge was nothing more than a thinly disguised outpost of the
Bavarian Illuminati is the Graf Lehrbachs Illuminati List.
This was a list shared diplomatically by Bavaria with Austria
by communication with Count Lehrbach in 1791. It was a list
of names kept confidential who were foreigners discovered in
the Illuminati papers. These names were deliberately with-
held by Bavaria when it printed various editions of the Illumi-
nati papers from 1785 to 1790. On this list of fifty foreigners
were nine from France. And of those nine, beside Mirabeau,
three were members of the Cercle Social: Brissot, Paine, and
Fauchet (a co-founder of the Cercle Social). This is
explained in detail in an Appendix below.23
And, of course, the Cercle Social itself had unusual
international contacts from its inception which are hard to
explain if the Cercle Social were merely a local phenomenon.

20.The original French was: “l’union de tous les peuples et de tous les
individus qui habitent la terre en une seule famille de frères ralliés par
la tendance de chacun au bien général.” (André Lichtenberger, Le
socialisme et la révolution française (Paris 1899) at 69 (quoting
Bouche de Fer no. 3.) For the quote of the Illuminati initiation that this
paraphrases, see the quote accompanying Footnote 414 on page 160.
21.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 39.
22.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 39.
23.See “Appendix E: The Lehrbach Illuminati Liste” on page 240.

Introduction 7
First, the Paris Cercle Social derived from the London Social
Circle printing house formed while Bonneville was living in
London. It was run by John Oswald who later came to Paris
and became a key figure at the Cercle Social of France. Also,
the Parisian Cercle Social had corespondent societies in far-
flung places like Utrecht, Philadelphia, Genoa, and Geneva.24
Again, these international associates are indeed hard to
explain if Bonneville simply had a home-grown operation at
We have more proofs to discuss later about Bonnev-
ille’s allegiance to Weishaupt and likely direct affiliation with
his Order. For the moment, it is enough to understand that
Bonneville was a fiery and proud voice for the Bavarian Illu-
minati in France.

The Long-Term Agenda of L’Esprit

In L’Esprit, Bonneville writes that his opponents will
recognize: “Here is the germ of world revolution — the prin-
ciple of a healthy and insensible perfection, which should
ensure the destiny of mankind.” (L’Esprit (1792), Part I, at
93). This world revolution was to be achieved by the fraternal
association of the inner Cercle Social and its outer circle
known as the Friends of the Truth:
Member of the Cercle Social...all Friends of
Truth, gather together through all the world, to
lay the foundations of an institution which will
have all the advantages of the Tribune at Rome
without any of the inconveniences. (II, 251)
Friends of the Truth, it depends on you, a vow
only well pronounced to regain, of course, all
the rights of the weak. And all hope of saving
the world from those who hold in their hands
reins of government — monarchs, princes, sen-

24.See page 178 et seq.

Introduction 8
The Long-Term Agenda of L’Esprit

ators, etc. — whatever name they are called —

depends on their being forced to recognize in
a single day, and at the same time in all
empires, the sovereignty of nations and uni-
versal brotherhood. (II, 154.)
Bonneville spoke in veiled tones of one day creating a
world federation that would prevent war, mediating all con-
We must hurry, first, to establish the universal
object of a united universal association — the
freedom of avoid finally war [and]
the plague of bad governments. [To this end], it
will form the supreme court of nations, who
will judge the cause25 of kings and lead-
ers....The old and the new world we offer pro-
vide two examples upon which we begin an
universal compact of brotherhood among
men. (II, 159, 160.)
Bonneville then lays out the plan of a world revolu-
tion to make mankind perfect, a condition which we will later
describe as principled universal libertarian communism.
This entails four elements.
First, Bonneville intended to effectuate a world-wide
republic of all peoples enjoying complete liberty and equality
without any state to rule over the people. It was utterly liber-
Second, the means to this end was principled in that
this effort could not transgress any of the rights of man,
including the freedom of religion, in the process of being
established. Yet, one of the key goals was to achieve a civil
religion that effectively displaced worship of a Supreme
Being with a worship of the Laws — what Bonneville calls
the Cult or Religion of the Laws. This is a key focus of
L’Esprit. Yet, Bonneville in the Appendices to L’Esprit

25.[Original text.] “ne pourra former le tribunal suprême des nations, qui
jugera la cause....”

Introduction 9
explains that the only means of transforming wrong views
about religion, which to him meant traditional religion, were
efforts that complied with the Rights of Man. This meant reli-
gious error had to be tolerated until the freedom of the press
could be used to correct it. This explains why Bonneville, like
Weishaupt, said that their goals will be “secured little by lit-
tle, universally, [by] innumerable steps that must be taken on
our ladder.”26
Third, Bonneville planned what we would call today a
hybrid communism as depicted by the Illuminati leader Ado-
lph Knigge in his popular utopian novels of 1783-1785.27 To
effectuate this utopia, Bonneville called for an agrarian law. It
would divide up land so every family would be able to pro-
vide their own family’s food needs. At the same time in
L’Esprit, Bonneville calls for a sharing of a “community of
goods.” What did he mean?
The significance of this phrase is found in Knigge’s
identically-structured utopia. In it, just like under the agrarian
law which Bonneville proposed, each owner of the equally
divided plots of land provided first for their own family’s
needs. Then they would generously provide the elders of the
community — patriarchs to borrow Weishaupt’s terminology
— the excess production above their needs to help the elderly,
infirm, or those unable to work.
That this was Bonneville’s hybrid version of the com-
munist idea is corroborated by Bonneville’s Cercle Social
publication of Maréchal’s 1793 work Corrective to the Revo-
lution. In it, Maréchal espouses a communism utterly without
government (libertarian communism) where each father /
patriarch is responsible first for their own family’s needs, and
then the community’s needs.28

26.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 40, quoting Bonneville.

27.See “Appendix R: Knigge’s Novels Dreaming of Utopia” on page 336
et seq.
28.See “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective to the Revolution”
on page 317 et seq.

Introduction 10
The Long-Term Agenda of L’Esprit

The fourth element of Bonneville’s plan was the uni-

versality of this program. While Weishaupt was not quite
clear about the nature of the Universal Republic, Bonneville
was clear. Bonneville’s group advocated that this new liber-
tarian communist world was to be a “universal republic” but
not a “world government.” The Cercle Social specifically
rejected Cloots mistaking the words in L’Esprit in favor of a
“universal republic” as to be effectuated by fusing all cultures
and peoples into a single government run from a centralized
city like Paris. Instead, the Cercle Social published Bancal’s
1793 work to correct this misimpression from L’Esprit. In it,
Bancal advocated a universal republic but it had to be a feder-
ation of independent republics. Each nation’s culture and lan-
guage must be respected. The federation was solely a
mechanism to resolve and mediate all disputes, and was not a
government body.29 After all, the goal was libertarian com-
munism without government.
All of these elements are found in parts I and II of
L’Esprit. In it, Bonneville calls for:
• the “universal confederation of all nations” (I, 82); a “universal
republic” (II, 182); a “universal empire” (I, 81); “the future
communion of all nations forming a single nation” (II, 198);
“We dare set in order a universal government and regime”
(Appendices, 97-98).
• the “universal sharing of the land” (I, 59); “the equal division of
lands” (I, 77); “the agrarian laws” (I, 77); we need to emulate
the Sorcerers who were the first to have admirably “found uni-
versal sharing [was] a social art” and they pushed for “the larger
community of all goods” (II, 233).
• the “fraternal societies” which form an “imposing force” that
“disturbs all maneuvers” will outwit opposing forces while dis-
pensing “social equality” (I, 79); these “means of implementa-
tion” will “establish imperceptibly among all peoples the

29.See “Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of Cloots Published by the Cer-

cle Social” on page 263 et seq.

Introduction 11
sovereignty of nations and universal fraternity” (II, 178); one
day we will have “universally and secretly established [our new
system] in all four parts of the world!” (II, 184).
• all will acknowledge “the voice of the people is the voice of
God” (I, 80); “The voice of a free people is the voice of God
himself” (II, 251); we have discovered a “Universal religion” (I,
83), the “Confederation of the Friends of Universal Truth is...
this [new] religion and universal brotherhood, which necessarily
destroys all sects” (I, 82); “Christianity in the Roman era did
more harm than good to the strong constitution of a free state”
(II, 41); we usher in “The Universal Religion of the Regenerated
Human Race” (II, 182) “Yes, I shall tear from nature a confes-
sion that terrifies her: Man is God!” (Appendices, 95).
• we are restoring the religion of the Druids who “declared the
worship of no other god than that of nature” (II, 32).
• “You will find yourselves constructing the Temple of Truth” (I,
90) by replacing all sects with the “worship of the Cult of the
Law” (I, 90); “the Cult of the Law has begun to build a center,
the Temple of the Truth” (I, 90), “How do we arrive at this
social perfection...without shaking violence?...[The answer]
above all is the RELIGION (Cult) of THE LAW!’ (Appendices,

Cercle Social’s Importance On The History

Of Ideas
Modern historians, including Billington, have begun
to pay serious attention to the publishing firm, meeting-hall
and secret society at Paris during 1789-1793 known as the
Cercle Social.30 While its most influential period was rela-
tively short (i.e., 1789-early 1793), its impact upon France,
and world history itself, is enormous. Its famous members
included Babeuf, Mercier, Maréchal, Condorcet, Paine, Bris-
sot, Fauchet, Cloots, Varlet, Leclerc, Bonneville, and many
more famous names.

30. It had a resurrection in 1795 as a publishing firm in France.

Introduction 12
Cercle Social’s Importance On The History Of Ideas

Bonneville now deserves serious recognition as the

founder, leader and first Tribunate of the Cercle Social.
In fact, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1845 attrib-
uted the modern communist movement to the leaders and
authors of the Cercle Social:
The revolutionary movement which began in
1789 with the Cercle Social, whose main rep-
resentatives were to be LeClerc and Roux, and
which ended in Babeuf’s conspiracy, gave
birth to the communist idea which [Filippo]
Buonarroti, friend of Babeuf, reintroduced into
France after the Revolution of 1830. This idea,
consistently developed, is the idea of the new
world order.31
With the translation of extensive excerpts of Bonnev-
ille’s Esprit des Religions, we now can understand how the
communist program was first explained and indoctrinated
into the revolutionary cadres. No longer can historians mis-
takenly overlook the importance of the Cercle Social on the
modern revolutionary movement.32

31.Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Die Heilige Familie (1845) at 186;
Marx-Engels, The Holy Family (trans. Richard Dixon and Clement
Dutts)(1956), at
holy-family/ch06_3_c.htm. See also a similar quote in R. B. Rose,
“Socialism and the French Revolution: The Social Cercle and the
Enragés,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library Manchester (Sept.
1958) Vol. 41, No. 1 at 139.
32.For example, socialist historian Bax completely undervalued or missed
this evidence. To explain Babeuf’s communistic ideology of 1796, he
never mentioned Babeuf’s membership in the Cercle Social. See
page 326. Bax instead claimed Babeuf’s influence came likely from
Morelly’s book of 1755 even though he confessed there was no evi-
dence this was true. See Ernest Belfort Bax, The Last Episode of the
French Revolution Being A History of Gracchus Babeuf and the Con-
spiracy of Equals (London: Grant Richards, 1911) at 75, 77, 81-82.

Introduction 13
Principled Universal Libertarian
Yet, we will also learn that the original ideology of the
Cercle Social was principled universal libertarian commu-
nism. Bonneville and his Cercle Social taught it was imper-
missible to achieve such a new world if any step violated one
of the Rights of Man. The revolution had to be done demo-
cratically, while preserving all human rights such as reflected
in the Rights of Man, as we shall see.
Thus, it was this principled libertarian communism
which was the true beginning of the modern World Revolu-
tion. Its sons and daughters have forgotten the virtues and
wisdom of that original movement. Those original ideas have
become gradually obscured, forgotten and neglected. Now is
the time to rediscover these founding principles.

Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret

Events of 1792-1793
When we come to understand the Cercle Social-Bris-
sotin party by means of Bonneville’s L’Esprit des Religions,
we then can correctly understand the actions of the Montag-
nards under Robespierre as well as identify the political ori-
entation of the Brissotins versus that of the Montagnards.
Brissot was a member/writer for the Cercle Social as
well as one of the foreign Illuminati identified by Bavaria in
1791.33 Brissot evidently had been prepared toward the Illu-
minati by his membership in Mesmer’s lodge since about
1783.34 It was by 1787 that Brissot clearly joined, as in that

33.See “Appendix E: The Lehrbach Illuminati Liste” on page 240 et seq.

for Brissot’s identification in Bavarian diplomatic correspondence dis-
covered in the 1860’s.
34.See “Appendix C: Brissot’s Connection to the Illuminati” on page 218
et seq. See also “Appendix G: Lodge Harmony of Paris” on page 249.

Introduction 14
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

year he formed with Mirabeau a newspaper.35 And Mirabeau

in 1788 made no secret of his allegiance to the Bavarian Illu-
minati in the previously mentioned passage from On The
Prussian Monarchy which Bonneville quoted in 1791. As one
French encyclopedia explains even though dismissing the
importance of the Illuminati on the Revolution as something
“a man of sense today would not give the least importance”:
Mirabeau, during his sojourn in Prussia, was
initiated into the mysteries of the Illuminati,
and upon his return he introduced it within the
lodge of the Philalethes [i.e., the Amis Reunis].
The Duke d’Orleans, the prince of Talleyrand,
Condorcet, Brissot, Grégoire, were known by
him and adopted the principles of this German
Brissot was an easy acquisition to Illuminati princi-
ples because in 1780 he wrote a book in support of what we
would call today libertarian communism. In fact, long before
Proudhon did so, Brissot uttered the words “property is

Brissotin Jacobins’ Dominance & Left-Wing Seating Position

During 1791, and through the August 1792 Revolu-
tion, Brissot was the French nation’s revolutionary leader. He
dominated the Jacobin societies. Robespierre was the dis-
senter. In March 1792, the Brissotin voices accused the king
of disloyalty to the nation unless the king appointed Bris-

35.In November 1787, Brissot joined with Mirabeau and Clavière to

found a periodical called Analyse des papiers anglais. (Antonina Val-
lentin, Mirabeau (trans. E.W. Dickes) (New York: The Viking Press,
1948) at 265.)
36.“Les Illuminés,” France. Dictionnaire Encyclopédie (ed. Ph. Le Bas)
(Paris: Didot, 1843) Vol. 9 at 544.
37.See “Appendix B: Brissot” on page 214 et seq.

Introduction 15
sotins as ministers. The king bowed to them, and in March
1792 he appointed Brissotins to all significant public minis-
When in May 1792 the king dismissed three of them
— Roland, Servan and Clavière — over Roland’s threats of
revolution unless the king signed the legislature’s decree to
deport the non-juring priests — the Brissotins coordinated the
Revolution of August 10th. That morning saw the Brissotins
complete triumph, as the new Executive Council deposed the
king and put the Brissotins back in charge, reappointing
Roland, Servan and Clavière to lead it.38 On August 10th
1792, Roland39 was then voted in as President of the legisla-
tive Convention.40 Robespierre was a figure whose role on
August 10th one cannot even identify!41
It was during Brissot’s mastery over the Jacobins
from 1791 to August 1792 that Jacobin deputies in the
Assembly began the practice of seating themselves to the left
of the President’s Chair. Gradually, this behavior caused oth-
ers to spot a “left” and “right” wing. This behavior is the gen-
esis of our modern distinction of “left” and “right.”42

38.Gaetano Salvemini, The French Revolution: 1788-1792 (Jonathan

Cape, 1969) at 295; Schama, Citizens, supra, at 623.
39.Roland’s entry to the Illuminati circle was originally through Caglios-
tro. The Count Cagliostro (himself an Illuminatus since 1780 — see
page 360 et seq.) wrote in 1786 that he arrived in Bordeaux on Novem-
ber 8, 1783 and there he met a man — “Chevalier Roland who was one
of the conferees there” and “he [Roland] offered me a place within
their home...” Cagliostro, Mémoire pur le Comte de Cagliostro, accusé
contre M. le procureur général, accusateur; en présence de M. le Car-
dinal de Rohan, de la Comtesse de la Motte et autres coaccusés (Paris:
1786) at 14.
40.Durant, The Age of Napoleon, supra, at 48.

Introduction 16
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

Montagnards’ Superior Seating Position

The Montagnards started as a small minority at the
Jacobin Club opposed to the war. By contrast, the Brissotins
touted war in 1792 as a means to liberate Europe from abso-
lutist monarchical rule. The Montagnards got their name
because they sat together on the highest benches of the
Jacobin Club and the legislature. The term ‘Mountain’ was a
way of identifying their high seating position in these assem-
blies. They deliberately did not sit on the left.

How Did The Left Wing Label Later Get Misapplied?

As one can see from the above, the Brissotins were
the first to be called left-wing politicians. Bonneville’s press
early on depicted Robespierre on the right, in league with the
Royalist spirit of authoritarianism. As Billington points out:
“The Social Cercle equated Robespierre with the royalists
because of his authoritarian tendencies noticed even before
his ascent to power.”43 Yet, often times you will hear misin-

41.Max Gallo, Robespierre — The Incorruptible — A Psycho-Biography

(Herder and Herder, 1971) at 165 says, “Robespierre made no appear-
ance and did not take any initiative.... Danton... at least was active in
the City Hall....” When Robespierre later accused Brissot and his allies
of lacking revolutionary ardeur, Vergniaud—Brissot’s close ally—said
that Robespierre was hiding in a cellar on August 9th. (Id., at 58.)
Robespierre’s unimportance is also seen in the key actions. The key to
the revolution on the 10th was convincing the king to leave the Tuiller-
ies and seek protection at the legislative Convention. It was the Brisso-
tin legislators alone waiting for him at 8:30 a.m. in the morning, as the
Mountain and Right did not stay up in the all night session debating
what seemed like unimportant issues at the time. See Salvemini, The
French Revolution: 1788-1792, supra, at 294 (the benches of the
Mountain and Right were empty and “only Girondins [i.e., Brissotins]
were there....”)
Roland won the overwhelming vote of 255 legislators that morning.
Robespierre garnered six votes. (Durant, The Age of Napoleon, supra,
at 48.)
42.Richard Cobb, General Editor, Voices of the French Revolution (Tops-
field, Massachusetts: Salem House Publishers, 1988) at 9.

Introduction 17
formation that Robespierre was on the left, while the Bris-
sotins were on the right — part of a mysterious Girondin
party. Why?
Later, between October 1792 and June 1793, Robespi-
erre and his Mountain section / Montagnards usurped Bris-
sot’s control over the left-wing Jacobins. The Mountain’s
propagandists smeared the Brissotins as Girondists, meant to
imply that they only had support from one of the eighty-three
departments, i.e., the Gironde. Robespierre during 1791-1792
had pretended to be on the left wing, endorsing the Rights of
Man, democracy and other similar liberal left-wing values.
Yet, he demonstrated right-wing tendencies towards royalist
authoritarianism. Then by early 1793, Robespierre had drasti-
cally changed directions and was completely right-wing on
all points. But by taking over the left-wing Jacobins, and then
suppressing dissent nationwide, Robespierre claimed to have
the mantle and right to claim he was the leader of the left-
wing. But politically, he was completely right-wing.
This is because during 1793, Robespierre no longer
espoused any left-wing principles or liberalism. Instead, he
espoused contrary anti-liberal theories against the freedom of
the press, democracy, free commerce, and the Rights of Man.
In fact, he systematically destroyed the rights protected in the
Rights of Man, including democratic elections. In essence,
Robespierre, now a tyrant, destroyed all left wing and liberal
values which he himself earlier had pretended to endorse.
Unfortunately, historians impressed by modern agen-
das to justify tyranny to achieve utopia often persisted in
defining Robespierre as a left wing politician to the very end.
That distinction no longer properly belonged to Robespierre
once he became a tyrant and an opponent to the left wing of
France. Robespierre was in fact the very antithesis to what the
left wing and liberals stood for through 1793.

43.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 536 fn. 239.

Introduction 18
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

Babeuf, the famous communist of 1796 and Cercle

Social member since 1790,44 belonged to traditional left-
wing thinking. He wrote in 1794 that Robespierre was only
worth admiring as long as during 1793 he still espoused the
“Rights of Man.”45 Babeuf explained that “Robespierre the
apostle of liberty” in 1793 became “Robespierre the most
infamous of tyrants,” and he was no longer a friend of lib-
Babeuf gave an example of special pertinence to cor-
rect those like Buonarroti who tried to give a false impression
of Babeuf’s left wing ideology. Babeuf in 1794 said Robespi-
erre tyrannized merchants and proprietors so as to make the
people dependent upon Robespierre’s generosity to supply
food. Babeuf said the aim of the tyrant Robespierre was “to
destroy the power of proprietors, and thus prevent the mass
of citizens to [escape] their dependence [on the regime at
Paris],” “having nothing else at his disposal other than to ren-
der all proprietors under the hands of government.”47

44.John Renwick, Language and Rhetoric of the Revolution (Edinburgh

University Press, 1990)(“We know that Babeuf went to the Cercle
social in December 1790”) at iii. Billington points out that while Dalin
has an ideological impulse to separate Babeuf from Bonneville, yet
“Dalin admits Babeuf was closely familiar” with Bonneville. (Billing-
ton, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 535 n. 234, citing Dalin,
“Babeuf et le Cercle Social,” Recherches internationales à la lumière
du Marxisme (1970) no. 62 at 35.) It was later in 1796 that one sees
Babeuf trying to take the Tribunate role away from Bonneville, and
friction emerges. (Billington, supra, at 535-36.) Paine in Agrarian Jus-
tice (1797) criticizes Babeuf for seeking revolution despite France now
being a democracy, and instead reform should now be done democrati-
cally. See page 235 et seq. Similarly, Babeuf in 1796 says that Bonnev-
ille has taken a too moderate road of seeking democratic reform. This
began, Babeuf says, when Bonneville relied upon “Mirabeau and other
patricians” in 1791. (Billington, quoting Babeuf, at 535 fn. 234.)
45.Bax, supra, at 74.
46.Bax, id., at 74.

Introduction 19
Hence, Babeuf recognized that Robespierre’s move
toward tyranny and socialistic controls over business were
the opposite of what the left wing and liberals through 1793
had believed in. It was Robespierre’s friend and ally of 1793,
Filippo Buonarroti, who in 1828 misinformed liberty-seeking
spirits to accept his inventive mythology that infused Babeuf
and other leftists at the Cercle Social with a socialistic
agenda. This was false. Such a view only truly belonged to
Robespierre, a close friend of Buonarroti. Thereby, Buonar-
roti created a phony leftism.48 Robespierre’s animosity to the
true left is why his administration arrested or killed the Cercle
Social members Brissot, Condorcet, Paine, Bonneville,
Babeuf, Fauchet, etc.
In fact, Robespierre was simply a tyrant who manipu-
lated the previous left wing ideology articulated by Brissot
and Bonneville to have the people support more and more
state controls supposedly to achieve that same ideology. It

47.Gracchus Babeuf, Du systême de dépopulation, ou, La vie et les crimes

de Carrier: son procès, et celui du comité révolutionnaire de Nantes:
avec des recherches et des considérations politiques sur les vues
générales du décemvirat, dans l’invention de ce systême (Paris,
[1794]) at 27. It is hereafter referred to as Babeuf: 1794.
48.It was Buonarroti in 1828 who tried to portray Babeuf as in sync with a
“despotism of liberty” and socialism, but this was a false gloss to serve
Buonarroti’s revolutionary policies forty years later. Maréchal, Babeuf
and Varlet — the leading conspirators — in their books from 1794-95
were diametrically opposed to almost every economic policy of social-
ism, dictatorship and terror control used by Robespierre which Buonar-
roti, the friend and admirer of Robespierre, attributed to them. (See
infra.) Astute neutral scholars now recognize the invention by Buonar-
roti: “Buonarroti admits that he describes their economic plan almost
entirely from memory; he has probably added many ideas which
belong in reality to a later date.” (Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave, ed.
“Communism,” Dictionary of political economy (London: MacMillan,
1901) Vol. I at 363.)
On Maréchal’s opposing views, see “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s
Corrective to the Revolution” on page 317 et seq. On Varlet’s opposing
views, see “Appendix U: Varlet’s 1792 Cercle Social Work — Du Pro-
jet D’Un Mandat & 1794 Work — Gare L’Explosion” on page 349. On
Babeuf’s opposition to socialistic controls, see page 20.

Introduction 20
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

was a bait and switch by Robespierre. (Buonarroti completed

that switch.) What this switch did, however, was make the
people utterly dependent upon the absolutist tyrant, as Babeuf
correctly analyzed. The people thereby all became trapped
and prisoners of Robespierre just as much as the king previ-
ously had held such power over their lives.
Yet, such tyranny and domineering force over individ-
ual lives was a completely opposite road than Bonneville
would tolerate. It transgressed his commitment to individual
liberty. Instead, as Condorcet of the Cercle Social said, the
aim of government should be to retire more and more legis-
lation and thus create more and more liberty for the individ-
In 1793, the Cercle Social specifically endorsed giv-
ing freedom to farmers to sell their goods at market prices. Its
book on the topic explained any other policy of state controls,
as Robespierrists were advocating, would lead to famine.50 In
fact, the same Cercle Social book pointed out that state inter-
vention over farmers had been the standard prior policies of
monarchy. It was only during the Enlightenment that experi-
ments were made to let individuals, unrestrained by state
intervention, freely supply markets. When monarchical state
controls were removed, supply flourished. When reimposed,
supply contracted. The message was blunt: socialistic con-
trols are harmful and despotic. Liberty principles are progres-
sive and libertarian.
Had such a libertarian programme of lessening state
intervention been rigorously pursued, of course, it would lead
eventually to a society as close to a stateless one that can be
imagined. That was the Cercle Social’s dream. But the road
of Robespierre toward tyranny and state controls were a
regression into the old Regime. However, he was clever.
Robespierre sold the admirers of the Revolution (accom-

49.See “Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality &

Property” on page 309 et seq.
50.See “Appendix O: Sur Le Subsistances (1793)” on page 311 et seq.

Introduction 21
plished by men like Bonneville, Condorcet and Brissot) that a
regression to monarchist policies of the past — what had
been hitherto labelled despotism during the Enlightenment —
were now worth reviving as a “despotism of liberty” — a
contradiction in terms. No wonder Robespierre made no
bones about condemning the Enlightenment in his most
famous speech of 1794. In that speech, Robespierre con-
demned “Condorcet...for his prerevolutionary association
with the encyclopedists, who are presented by Robespierre as
the model of antireligious cynicism and fanaticism.”51

Brissot Lost The Party Struggle Over Control of The Left

J.M. Thompson describes correctly what happened to
the original left. He says Brissot lost the “party struggle”
from September 1792 to June 1793 which pitted the “Robe-
spierrest and Brissotin factions of the now
called ‘Mountain,’ and the ‘Gironde.’”52 Thompson recog-
nizes that Brissot had been the original leader of the Jacobins
during the Revolution of 1792—a startling revelation to
many students of this epoch. Robespierre’s faction at the
Jacobins simply later usurped power from the left-wing Bris-
Dr. M.J. Sydenham in his book The Girondins (1961)
likewise demonstrated the idea of a large coherent right-wing
Girondin party in the Convention “is a myth, created for pro-
paganda purposes by the Mountain [i.e., a different faction
within the Jacobins].”54

51.James Swenson, On Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Stanford University

Press, 2000) at 54.
52.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (Oxford: Basil
Blackwell, 1989) at 83.
53.Brissot was expelled from the Jacobin Club on 10 October 1792.
54.Alfred Cobban, The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988) at 64.

Introduction 22
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

The Turning Point That Led Robespierre To Bitter Hatred

The Brissotins in March 1792 held all national minis-
tries in their hands and looked invincible. Then, a turning
point event overlooked by almost every historian of this
period took place. In March 1792, Robespierre gave a speech
at the Brissotin-led Jacobins in which he prayed that
“Almighty God” might bless the troops fighting for France.
The Brissotins shouted him down, and forced him to suffer
humiliation as he tried to defend that there indeed is a God of
nature to be worshipped. Robespierre tried again four days
later to bring up the subject at the Jacobins, but again was
scourged by the Brissotins for having dared bring up the sub-
ject of God in the Jacobin club of Paris.55
In response, from April 1792 forward, Robespierre
started attending the Jacobins with an agenda in hand. He led
a very small party. He repeatedly attacked Brissot and his
allies in a merciless campaign of vilification. (Id.) By Octo-
ber 1792, it had its effect as Robespierre’s motion to expel
Brissot from the club was finally granted that month.

Montagnard Persecution of Left Wing Brissotins

The Montagnards by June 1793 usurped power at the
Jacobins and in the Legislature from the Cercle Social/Bris-
sotin party. In early 1793, Desmoulins marginalized and ridi-
culed the Brissotins as the Girondin party, implying they were
a group with narrow national support. Thereafter, Robespi-
erre took the most violent measures against all members of
the Cercle Social, executing/arresting Fauchet (a Cercle
Social co-founder),56 Brissot (a Cercle Social key writer and

55.See “Appendix T: Ridicule of Robespierre’s Defense of Belief In God

At Brissotin-controlled Jacobins” on page 343.
56.“Nightly, Claude Fauchet preached Rousseau or communism
and women at the Cercle Social....” (Jessica Blanche Peixotto, The
French Revolution and Modern French Socialism (N.Y.: Crowell,
1901) at 99.)

Introduction 23
member), Condorcet (a writer-orator of the Cercle Social),
Bonneville (the founder and leader), Paine (Cercle Social
leader and writer), as well as Cloots and Varlet (both Cercle
Social members).
These last two — Cloots and Varlet — were impatient
and thus uncontrollable Cercle Social members/writers. In
June 1793, they helped the Commune (mayor’s office of
Paris) undermine the Brissotin ministry in the government so
as to carry forward instantly the universal-religion agenda of
the Cercle Social program. (Varlet later regretted his support
as Robespierre took dictatorial control.)57
Why did they break away? As Condorcet (Cercle
Social leader) lamented in his book of 1793 entitled Sketch of
Human Progress, “rival schools” develop “animosity which
produces the spirit of a sect,” and “each member of a sect
then attaches to one party [over another] out of pride.” As a
result, “the personal passion of proselytism corrupts the more
noble passion” that spurred the original sect.58
Both Cloots and Varlet were swelling with such pas-
sion, believing that they knew better. However, they differed
in two significant ways from Bonneville which enormously
contributed toward a counter-revolution.
First, Bonneville did not imagine violating “the free-
dom of religion or of religions opinions,” which he vigor-
ously defended in the Appendices to the ‘Esprit des
Religions.’59 Bonneville envisioned that the freedom of reli-
gion would achieve the reform of religion he desired because
such freedom of religion “allows review and correction of
unwitting mistakes or prejudices” in religious beliefs. Bon-
neville said history proves tolerance of religious error is the

57.See text accompanying Footnote 489 on page 191.

58.Condorcet, Esquisse d’un tableau historique des progrès de l’esprit
humain: ouvrage posthume de Condorcet (edited by P.-C.-F. Daunou &
Mme M. L.S. de Condorcet)(Paris: Agasse, 1794) at 87-88.
59.See page 414 of the translation.

Introduction 24
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

best way to root it out.60 In the same vein, Condorcet, another

prominent Cercle Social leader, said the “only remedy” to the
“power of priests” is an “absolute freedom of the press and
However, Cloots and the Commune (mayor’s office)
would take the opposite approach, and enforce atheism.
To effectuate this, Cloots and his friends at the Com-
mune temporarily allied with the Mountain (Robespierre,
Marat, etc.) aka Montagnards to forcibly break Cercle Social
influence. Cloots and the Commune reveled in the use of ter-
ror which they wielded through the so-called “People’s
Army” under Commune control.62 They for a time worked
cooperatively with the Montagnard-controlled Committee of
Public Safety led by Robespierre. Cloots believed the terror
was the only means to change ideas in favor of Atheism, and
so he supported Robespierre’s imposition of terror. The
Mountain had different purposes behind the Terror than
Cloots and the Commune. This difference led eventually to
the execution by Robespierre of Cloots and the Commune
leaders as atheist cosmopolitan ‘ultra-radicals.’

60.Id. Bonneville in 1793 also published Bancal’s book that insisted upon
freedom of religion as a fundamental right. “Appendix K: Bancal’s
New Social Order Published In 1792 by The Cercle Social” on
page 268 et seq.
61.Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, “Essay on Despotism,
1789,” Œuvres de Condorcet (Ed. Arthur O’Connor, François Arago)
(Paris: 1847) Vol. 9 at 154 (“Le pouvoir des prêtres, qui n’est fondé
que sur l’opinion et la liberté absolue du culte et de la presse, en est le
seul remède.”) Condorcet goes on to explain that “in nations where
there is freedom of religion, the [resultant] division of priests into
numerous sects weakens their credit/power” and “where the press is
free, no one accepts what priests have to say except other priests.” (Id.)
Condorcet said when a legitimate government violates “natural rights,”
such as freedom of religion and the press, then you have “tyranny.”
(Id., at 164.)

Introduction 25
Robespierre/Mountain as Usurpers of The Left Wing
Babeuf — a member Cercle Social and leader in 1795
of the communistic Conspiracy of Equals — wrote in 1794
about this concert of two parties — the Dechristianizers
(Cloots, Hébert, etc.) and the Mountain. Babeuf said what
they did together by mid-1793 was hijack the Revolution of
August 1792. Babeuf noted that the “revolutionary govern-
ment [of August 10, 1792]...began as a government founded
by the wisdom and virtue of the People, but it was not con-
solidated by the same elements [as founded it].”63
Thus, the founders of the Republic in August 1792 —
leaders from the Cercle Social like Brissot and Condorcet —
were tossed aside by June 1793. With them was abandoned
the progress toward liberty policies and the Rights of Man
which had been enacted by the Nation. Babeuf gave specific
examples of what he meant, saying that while “Bris-
sot,...Isnard, Condorcet,...Vergniaux” aimed to “spare the
blood of the unhappy inhabitants of the Vendée...,” by May
31, 1793 the “Montagnard faction held all power...” and
aimed instead at massive terror. Referring to the Revolution
of May 31-June 2, 1793, Babeuf complained that at that point

62.The so-called ‘People’s Army’ numbered about 30,000. Each detach-

ment had 10 civilian commissars who came from Hébert’s Cordeliers
society-machine at Paris. Hébert was Assistant Procurator of the Com-
mune. This ‘Army’ was the forerunner of the KGB, etc., but was even
more totalitarian. Its members engaged in mass executions of citizens,
while destroying churches, hunting priests down, destroying crucifixes
and church emblems, as well as pillaging property-owners to redistrib-
ute to loyal patriots what they “needed,” etc. Cobb says this made the
Cordeliers/Commune the head of “an ultra-revolutionary power net-
work.” (Richard Cobb, The People’s Armies: The Armées Revolution-
naires, Instrument of the Terror in the Departments, April 1793 to
Floréal of the Year II (Trans. by Marianne Elliott) (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1987) at 7. See also Cobb, id., at 212 (civilian com-
missars); 201 (30,000 men).
63.Babeuf: 1794 at 12.

Introduction 26
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

the “infernal mystery of Montagnard government” replaced

the “humane and patriotic intention” of the Brissotins, now
smeared as the Girondin faction.64
Thus, by Cloots and Varlet aiding the downfall of the
Brissotins, including Bonneville’s position as a subsidized
propagandist of the French government, these two renegades
from the Cercle Social sought to immediately impose athe-
ism. Soon enough, these radical statist efforts to impose athe-
ism were highly unpopular in France, and necessarily led to
significant counter-revolution.
In response to the counter-revolution, the Commune
of Paris (mayor’s office) continued to support the rising star
of Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety (CPR).
The CPR and their legislative puppets during 1793 rational-
ized the most brutal extermination campaign hitherto known
in modern times. For example, as to the Vendée, the Conven-
tion voted to exterminate the entire territory. Deputy Fayau
introduced this motion, calling for the total annihilation of the
Vendée. He said “the whole territory must be so utterly con-
sumed by fire that, for at least a year, no man or beast will be
able to find sustenance.”65 On August 1st, 1793, this motion
was passed. The Reign of Terror was in full swing.
As a result, twelve Infernal Columns (colonnes infer-
nales) were sent to the region. They erased to the best of their
ability every life form, human and animal, in the Vendée in
compliance with the legislative decree. According to Simon
Schama, the respected scholar, the best studies demonstrate
approximately 240,000 persons were deliberately killed
among an original population of 800,000 in this territory.66
For example, one commander boasted that in a two
week period over 80,000 were killed.67 Babeuf later calcu-
lated the total number killed in the Vendée and the entire

64.Babeuf: 1794 at 51-52.

65.Michael Ross, Banners of the King: the War of the Vendée, 1793-4
(New York: 1975) at 302.

Introduction 27
Reign of Terror was about one million.68 Cities like Lyons
after their rebellions failed were mercilessly raised to the
ground by fire and explosions in order to fulfill decrees by the
now Montagnard-controlled legislature.69
Yet, Robespierre’s support of the Commune’s efforts
was not because of sympathy with the atheism or cosmopoli-
tanism of Cloots and Varlet. To the contrary, when their aid
was no longer useful, in late 1793 Robespierre began to
oppose their atheism as ‘ultra-radical’ doctrine. He vigor-
ously sought to exterminate such individuals including
It turns out that Robespierre’s terror agenda during
this earlier point in 1793 was two-fold. First, he wanted to
suppress counter-revolution. The second reason for massive
Terror was to fulfill a plan of ‘depopulation.’ Under this plan,
even patriots and sans-culottes would be sacrificed. Robespi-
erre had adopted this plan because the Montagnard Jacobins
viewed this step as the only ‘humanitarian’ means of making
sure crops could sustain the population and thus avoid mas-
sive starvation later (and hence disaffection with the new
regime).70 Thus, the plan was to pre-emptively exterminate
millions without making discrimination between royalists
and the sans-culottes (the poor).

66.Jean-Clément Martin, Schama relates, did an exhaustive and scholarly

study that “gives a total loss for the Vendée, Loire-Inférieure, and
Maine-et-Loire of just under a quarter of a million or one-third of the
entire population of the region.” Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle
of the French Revolution (Vintage Books, 1990) at 791-92.
67.Babeuf: 1794 at 54, quoting Campagne de Westerman (“we encoun-
tered an army of brigands at Mans on 22 frimaire, about 80-90,000
men, and they were completely destroyed over 12 days by the spirit
and courage of the soldiers of the Republic...who amassed treasures
from the despoiled enemies of the Republic”).
68.Bronislaw Baczko & Michel Petheram, Ending the Terror (Cam-
bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) at 183 (quoting Babeuf, Du
systeme de depopulation (1795).)

Introduction 28
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

Meanwhile, even though Robespierre and the Moun-

tain early on allied with those who became the dechristianiz-
ers, Robespierre later came to aggressively thwart their
atheist and cosmopolitan influence.
Ironically, it is almost always assumed that Robespi-
erre’s tyrannical behavior (among other factors) placed him
as a more faithful and earnest member of the left which previ-
ously was represented by the Cercle Social-Brissotins whom
he displaced. While Robespierre’s push to have the progres-
sive income tax be used aggressively to level wealth during
179371 is often assumed to place him ideologically on the
left, this is a poor basis to make such an inference. The state
was now all important, and such an expropriatory level of
taxation now aided Robespierre’s desire to make the state all
powerful. Thus he adopted an aggressive statist version of the
Cercle Social inventive plan that was designed to use pro-
gressive moderate income taxation as a slow and gradual
means of promoting equality.72
In other words, this aggresive statist tax made Robe-
spierre appear to be on the left in the tradition of the Cercle
Social-Brissotins. However, it was done so aggressively and

69.On October 12th, 1793, the Convention at Paris decreed that “the city
of Lyons shall be destroyed,” and its name disappear forever from the
memory of Frenchmen. “All the dwellings of the rich shall be razed to
the ground... and the name of Lyons shall be erased from the list of the
towns of the French Republic.” On “the ruins of Lyons shall be raised a
column attesting to posterity the crimes and the punishment of the roy-
alists of the city, with this inscription: ‘Lyons made war on Liberty.
Lyons is no more.’” (See Stanley Loomis, Paris in the terror: June
1793-July 1794 (Lippincott, 1964) at 361; R.R. Palmer, Twelve who
Ruled: The Committee of Public Safety, During the Terror (Oxford
University Press, 1941) at 156.) Montagnard commissioners obtained
approval to use gunpowder and fire to destroy Lyons. They wrote to
Paris: “The demolitions in the abominable city are going too slowly.
Republican impatience demands more rapid methods. Nothing but the
explosion of mines and the use of fire can give full expression to the
omnipotence of the People....” (Loomis, supra, at 361.)
70.On the Plan of Depopulation, see “Appendix S: Plan of Depopulation”
on page 340 et seq.

Introduction 29
for statist goals that progressive taxation became expropria-
tory and illiberal under Robespierre. It served his true right-
wing heart of a dictatorial statist policy. Robespierre’s aim
was thus at total odds with the libertarian liberal views of the
true original left who saw progressive taxation, if moderately
done, a liberal means of creating more equality. Because
Robespierre’s policies were effectively right-wing, and he
needed to conceal this fact, Robespierre’s mission became to
defame and destroy the original left of the Brissotins/Cercle
Social. He replaced their agenda with an opposite one: an
anti-liberal socialistic version which masqueraded itself as
the left. To do this, Robespierre had his cohort St. Just smear
the original left as the “ultra-radicals” and treated them as
much enemies of the people as royalists.73
In truth, Robespierre was a royalist-like authoritarian,
making himself a virtual monarch with old style socialistic
weapons to control and infringe on liberties. He deflected
attention from this by claiming he opposed ‘monarchy.’

Robespierre’s Elimination of the Left Who Supported Him

Nevertheless, Robespierre had a significant challenge
on how to eliminate the left who defected from the Cercle
Social and were part of the Revolution of 1793. They con-
trolled the Commune which embarked upon an aggresive
dechristianizing campaign. In particular, Robespierre would

71.“Robespierre had declared that the richest of Frenchmen should not

have more than 3,000 francs a year in income.” (Arnaud Meillan
[1748-1809, Republican], Mémoires de Meillan: député des Basses-
Pyrénées à la Convention (ed. Barriere and Berville) (Paris: 1823) at
17.) The original French was: “Déjà Robespierre avait déclaré qu’il ne
fallait pas que le plus riche des Français possédât au-delà de 3,ooo liv.
de rentes.”) At the May 10, 1794 Jacobin club meeting, Robespierre
said: “The rich are all anti-revolutionaries....” (H. Taine, The French
Revolution (2006 reprint) Vol. II at 323 fn. 95.)
72.See “Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s
Differing Ideology From The Cercle Social” on page 36 et seq.
73.See Footnote 78 on page 33, and accompanying text.

Introduction 30
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

have a difficult time to eliminate the most publicly visible

renegade Cercle Social member — Cloots. For Cloots and his
cohorts at the Commune were defiantly spreading Temples of
Reason in late 1793.
Robespierre was truly ideologically on the right, and
thus wished to call on God’s name for support. One must
recall that in early 1792, as leader of the small Montagnard
faction at the Jacobins, Robespierre tried defying the Bris-
sotins who then controlled the Jacobins. In May 1792, Robe-
spierre called on God’s name in a speech. He was soundly
ridiculed.74 In 1793, Robespierre now had the power to stop
such atheist ideology. Robespierre was determined to find a
way to stop Cloots and his dechristianizing friends. To do
this, Robespierre expanded upon the names he associated
with the so-called Foreign Conspiracy theory.
Previously, in March 1793, Robespierre fanned suspi-
cion about a supposed secret cabal at Paris controlled by for-
eigners from abroad. Robespierre bided his time on
identifying those in cahoots. In March 1793, the Commune of
Paris (mayor’s office) had decreed the closure of France’s
200 churches upon Cloots’ urging. The Commune then
decreed atheistic services known as the Cult of Reason to
replace the prior services.75 In late 1793 Robespierre was
ready to move. Now he identified those allegedly involved in
the Foreign Conspiracy. It now included the atheist and cos-
mopolite revolutionaries like Cloots. Dechristianizers who

74.See “Appendix T: Ridicule of Robespierre’s Defense of Belief In God

At Brissotin-controlled Jacobins” on page 343 et seq.
75.“[R]adical revolutionists like Chaumette and Anarcharsis
Clootz...wished to dechristianize France,” and “[u]nder their influence
the Commune of Paris, not the Convention, passed decrees (Novem-
ber 28) ordaining the festival of Reason (November 10) and the clo-
sure of the churches.” (Henry Cabot Lodge, The history of nations
Vol. X: F.A. Mignet, The French Revolution (Philadelphia: John D.
Morris & Co., 1906) at 284)(emphasis added).

Introduction 31
led the Commune — Chaumette and Hébert — were suppos-
edly dupes of the alleged Paris agent of foreigners — Baron
In reply, Cloots denounced Robespierre’s murmurings
in a speech of November 17, 1793 to the national Convention
(legislature). Cloots mocked Robespierre as one who “sees
counter-revolutionary intrigues in this [plan],” i.e., removing
Christianity from France, and who thinks “we are leading the
people to a precipice.”76 In the same speech, Cloots held up a
libertarian communistic universal republic as an ideal
which could be achieved only by crushing France’s current
religions.77 (Thus, some things Bonneville taught him never
were forgotten, but alas some lessons were also ignored.)
However, soon thereafter, as Robespierre’s voice
started to drown out that of Cloots, in late 1793 Robespierre
snatched anyone who held these atheist-cosmopolite views as
alleged agents of a renegade foreign-based conspiracy. Alleg-
edly Batz was a royalist who had the Machiavellian strategy
of supporting anyone who held extremist atheist and cosmo-
politan views on the left. St. Just, a cohort of Robespierre,
identified these supposed dupes of Batz as the “ultra-revolu-
tionaries,” and these radicals were equally “enemies of the

76.See Cloots, Religion is the Greatest Obstacle (Speech of 11/17/1793),
gion.htm (accessed 3/8/09).)
77.Cloots envisioned a levelling of wealth in a universal republic where
little government supervision (a withered state) was necessary: “Uni-
versal leveling stands in opposition to any rebellion at all. The Surveil-
lance Committee of the Universal Republic will have less work than
the committee of the least Paris section. It will be thus for all ministe-
rial offices. My republic is the antidote for bureaucracy: there will be
few offices, few taxes, and no executioners.” See Cloots, “Religion is
the Greatest Obstacle (Speech of 11/17/1793),” reprinted at http://
(accessed 3/8/09).) Incidentally, one of the reasons for Cloots’ dechris-
tianizing campaign was because he believed religion stood in the way
of his ideal communistic world. In this same speech to the Legislative
Assembly, Cloots said: “Citizens, religion is the greatest obstacle to
my utopia. But beyond a doubt, this obstacle is not invincible.” (Id.)

Introduction 32
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

people.”78 The truth was simpler than that: Cloots’ “fervent

revolutionary internationalism...diverged from the official
[Montagnard] Jacobin line.”79 Also Robespierre was “getting
ready to exclude as false patriots...[all the] atheists.”80
At the same time, Robespierre seriously wanted peo-
ple to believe Batz allegedly supported the “ultra radicals”
and deliberately made them a prominent force so as to embar-
rass the revolution. In other words, by Batz supposedly fan-
ning anti-clerical extremism, Robespierre was saying Batz
intended to help counter-revolution. Thus, Robespierre por-
trayed Baron de Batz as “the leader of a vast conspiracy
aimed at promoting Counter-revolution by using the excesses
of the ultra-revolutionaries, including dechristianization” to
bring disgrace on the Revolution.81 It was easy to paint
Cloots as an ultra-revolutionary. Besides his cosmopolitan-
ism, Cloots as member of the Convention signed his legisla-
tive bulletins provocatively: “Cloots, the Personal Enemy of
Jesus of Nazareth.”82

78.“St. Just began the violent struggle by a remarkable proposal, in which

he divided the enemies of the republic into three classes: the corrupt,
the ultra-revolutionary, and the moderates, and insisted upon their
punishment. This proposal resulted in nineteen of the ultra-revolution-
aries, and among them Cloots, Momoro, Ronsin, and several members
of the Common Council, being led to the guillotine on the 19th of
March, 1794. On the 31st of April, the corrupt were placed before the
Revolutionary Tribunal, and Danton, Camille Desmoulins, Hérault de
Sechelles, etc., were maliciously distinguished as their partisans and
involved in their fate.” (“The Last Days of the Absolute Monarchy,”
The American Encyclopedia of History, Biography and Travel (Tho-
mas Prescott, ed.)(Columbus: J.H. Miller, 1856) at 281.)
79.David P. Jordan, The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre
(University of Chicago Press, 1985) at 188.
80. Jean Matrat, Robespierre (Scribner, 1971) at 224.
81.“Jean, Baron de Batz,”
Jean,_Baron_de_Batz (accessed 1/23/09).
82.John Hubert Greuse, Blood and Iron (N.Y.: Shakespeare Press, 1915)
at 95.

Introduction 33
The fruit of Robespierre’s allegations about a Foreign
Conspiracy allowed Robespierre in March and April 1794 to
send to the guillotine Cloots, Hébert, Chaumette and Danton
— men opposed to Robespierre’s tyranny — as alleged leftist
dupes of the mysterious Baron Batz.83

Utility of L’Esprit to Identify Political Orientations

Thus, to understand Robespierre’s actions, and prop-
erly place respectively Robespierre and the so-called Giron-
dins — actually Brissotins — or Dantonists — on the left-
right spectrum, one must examine L’Esprit des Religions.
This book clearly was the manifesto of policies which
imbued the group often misrepresented as the Girondins — a
non-existent party concocted by Desmoulins as a label to
insult the Brissotins in a pamphlet of 1793. This was a label
used to justify usurpation, trying to replace the true left with
a phony left — a ruse that has persisted into our own day.
This ruse has succeeded only because of how good Robespi-
erre’s propaganda was. It was also always difficult to tease
out the party lines during that era. However, with L’Esprit
now being used as a sort of Rosetta Stone, we can place the
Cercle Social correctly on the left-right spectrum. The Bris-
sotins were all loyal Cercle Social members. They were all
inspired by Bonneville’s L’Esprit. The L’Esprit helps us
therefore define correctly what was the original left ideology
from the Cercle Social.

83.Prince Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution, 1789-1793 (N. F.

Dryhurst, Trans.) (New York: 1909) at 539; Barry Coward, Conspira-
cies and Conspiracy Theory in Early Modern Europe (England: Ash-
gate, 2004) at 265; The British Quarterly Review (Jan.-April
1857)(London) at 177, 182.

Introduction 34
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Also Helps Interpret Events of 1792-1793

Impact On Cercle Social Members Who Diverged In Policy

By studying L’Esprit, we also come to realize it could
inspire followers yet without them agreeing to follow all of
Bonneville’s limitations. Followers might not feel the neces-
sity to protect liberty in the process of achieving utopia. We
see this ideological effect in the action of Cercle Social mem-
bers like Cloots and Varlet. In 1793, they were politically
working independent of the Cercle Social to achieve the goals
laid out in the Esprit. Cloots was clearly a libertarian commu-
nistic thinker. However, he was willing, unlike Bonneville, to
violate the freedom of religion so as to achieve his utopia.
The fact Cloots and Varlet were renegades is obvious because
they helped destroy the power achieved by Bonneville. The
Cercle Social itself had been vaunted by Brissot and Roland
to become France’s national propaganda department in late
1792.84 This tremendous success was what Cloots and
Varlet’s actions directly undermined.

Hence, knowing the doctrines in Bonneville’s
L’Esprit lets us understand how Robespierre was pushing
back against the cosmopolite and atheist85 views in L’Esprit
whether advanced by the Cercle Social or by their over-eager
members like Cloots.
Thus, once we identify L’Esprit as a political mani-
festo of world revolution to achieve principled universal lib-
ertarian communism, the true meaning of Robespierre’s
actions can finally be identified. Robespierre clearly
embarked on a scheme to eliminate all elements of Illumi-
nism to the left of himself. This was despite the Illuminists’
importance in helping the Revolution in the first place.

84.See Footnote 205 on page 81 and accompanying text.

85.Bonneville advocated a religion of reason, where the voice of the peo-
ple is god. Thus, he was atheist in that God was supplanted with man
as god. See L’Esprit, Footnote 61 on page 417 and accompanying text.

Introduction 35
Then once Robespierre’s intent is more accurately
identified, one can say that Robespierre purposefully
hijacked the Revolution to pursue what he viewed as more
nationalistic and proper religious values86 than presented by
the Brissotins-Cercle Social members.

Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That

Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideology
From The Cercle Social
A principled libertarian communism would obviously
have no taxation. The Cercle Social was generally in favor of
lessening or having no taxes. Thus, the lesser the taxes, the
better.87 Indeed, in 1792, the Cercle Social published a book
A Republic Without Taxes written by Louis-Thomas-Hébert
Lavicomterie. In this work, Lavicomterie seriously discussed
the “suppression of taxes.”88 “He imagined France could be
governed without paying taxes, and thus he published a new

86.By 1794, Robespierre, of course, revived in France the ability to wor-

ship a Supreme Being, overturning the decrees of Chaumette at the
Commune of Paris. In July 1794, on the day before being toppled,
Robespierre expressed his motivations. He denounced Chaumette’s
postings on the cemeteries of France that “Death is an Eternal Sleep.”
Robespierre in a speech delivered at the Festival to the Supreme Being
on the 8th of Thermidor (July 1794) said: “O day forever blessed!
What a sight to behold, the entire French people assembled together
and rendering to the author of nature the only homage worthy of
him! How affecting each object that enchants the eye and touches the
heart of man!”... “No, Chaumette, No, death is not the sleep of eter-
nity!”.... “Remember, O, People, that in a republic, [that if] such truths
must be dissembled then bring me the hemlock!” (Buchez et Roux,
supra, Vol. XXXIII at 428, 435, 436.)
87.See “Appendix K: Bancal’s New Social Order Published In 1792 by
The Cercle Social” on page 268 et seq. See also, “Appendix O: Sur Le
Subsistances (1793)” on page 311 et seq.
88. summa-
rizes this book: “L’auteur aborde plusieurs questions: suppression de
l’impôt, de la loterie….”

Introduction 36
Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideol-

brochure entitled La Republique sans impôts [Paris: Cercle

Social, 1792] which quickly raised him to popularity.”89 As a
result of this book’s success, the city of Paris elected him as
its deputy to the Convention in 1792.90
However, the Cercle Social in late 1791 and early
1792 also toyed with the invention of a new tax to effectuate
equality slowly and gradually. The Cercle Social favored
long-term an equality of wealth while eliminating the burden
of taxation on the poor. Thus, the Cercle Social was the first
ever to advance the idea of a progressive income tax to gradu-
ally achieve both agendas. Their plan exempted the poor alto-
gether from taxation, in line with what Lavicomterie
As we shall see, Robespierre later came to sharply
disagree with this exemption. He said it would be an insult
upon the poor if they should not have to equally pay income
taxes. Then as to the ‘rich,’ Robespierre came to believe that
no one had any right to income above a bare subsistence.
During the Terror, Robespierre began to put this view into
effect. Thus, all would live at a bare subsistence, and the gov-
ernment would take all excess.
This tax policy of Robespierre is obviously why
Robespierre could not exempt the poor from taxation. He
envisioned all living a Spartan existence — and taxes had to
come from even the poor now that all would in the future be
living no higher than at a bare susbsistence. Robespierre’s
ideology was clearly modeled on the laws of Sparta which
rigorously enforced a bare-subsistence right of farmers to

89.“Lavicomterie,” Joseph Fr. Michaud, Louis-Gabriel Michaud, Biogra-

phie universelle, ancienne et moderne ou histoire, par ordre alphabé-
tique, de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes qui se sont fait
remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertus ou
leurs crimes (Michaud, 1827) Vol. 48 at 373.
90.After his arrival in September 1792, it became a favorite long-term
policy: “The Convention...had promised a Republic without taxes.”
(Antoine-Claire Thibaudeau, Mémoires sur la Convention, et le Direc-
toire (Baudouin frères, 1824) Vol. II at 32.)

Introduction 37
food they grew themselves. In Robespierre’s most famous
speech during 1794, he said Sparta represented a “light in an
immense darkness.”91 Instead, for France, the truth was that
the imitation of Sparta represented a dark goal in an
immensely dark period of that nation’s history.

Cercle Social View on Progressive Income Tax

In 1789, Condorcet expressed his belief in the funda-
mental human right to own property which necessarily
implied the right to accumulate it and thus even become
‘rich.’92 This right later become enshrined in the Rights of
Man — a fundamental bill of rights of the French Revolution.
In keeping with this right but also the goal of equality,
in 1792 Condorcet, a leader of the Cercle Social, proposed a
very modest progressive income tax. This idea was advanced
in Condorcet’s book entitled suggestively Sur l’Impôt Pro-
gressif. In it, Condorcet said it was fair for those who were
not poor such as the rich to pay for the benefit of government
services by a personal income tax. This tax would also serve
to narrow the gulf between the rich and the poor.
Thus, “in [1792], Condorcet advocated a moderate
progressive income tax....”93 It would exempt income neces-
sary for subsistence.94 Hence, the poor would pay nothing.
In fact, Condorcet’s proposal excluded all income
from taxation below 400 livres, making it quite light. Econo-
mists summarize Condorcet’s plan as proposing “a propor-
tional tax on the portion of income exceeding 400 livres but a
graduated income tax over [400 livres]....”95

91.See page 42 et seq.

92.See “Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality &
Property” on page 309 et seq.
93.Jacob Salwyn Schapiro, Condorcet and the rise of liberalism (Octagon
Books, 1963) at 171.
94.Condorcet, Sur l’Impôt Progressif (1792), in Guillaumin’s Mélanges
d’ Economie Politique (1847) Vol. I at 567.

Introduction 38
Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideol-

Condorcet said this tax would “destroy the inequality

of fortunes slowly...and much earlier and with much less sac-
rifice and by more soft and effective means” than would a
“sudden destruction.”96
At the same time, Condorcet said precautions must be
heeded so as not to apply progressive income taxation which
deters “an individual’s acquisition of land or placement of
new capital” into commerce.97 In this manner, Condorcet
explained “wealth and work will distribute itself over the ter-
ritory of a single nation, following the natural order which
the political institutions will not alter except as depends upon
general utility.”98
Condorcet had other similar proposals that were
designed to provide true insurance programs to protect aged
widows as well as orphans.99
The idea of progressive taxation actually began in
Condorcet’s journal Chronique du Mois in articles written by
Cercle Social member Etienne Clavière. He was a Swiss born
merchant who in March 1792 was appointed as finance min-
ister of France when the Brissotins were appointed to all min-
istry posts:
Clavière wrote a series of articles for the Chro-
nique du mois between November 1791 and

95.Franck Alengry, Condorcet; guide de la révolution francaise (V. Giard

& E. Brière, 1904) at 719.
96.Alengry, Condorcet, etc., id., at 720.
97.Alengry, id., at 720.
98.Alengry, id., at 721.
99.Condorcet was the first modern to recommend old age pension and
insurance programs for widows and orphans. See Condorcet, Esquisse
d’un Tableau Historique des Progrés de L’Esprit Human [1794] (Paris:
Biblioteque Choisie, 1829) at 258. Such a program does not require a
state-run social security if the system is run by true insurance princi-
ples. Even when a similar program was first passed in the U.S.A., it
was sold as an insurance program. However, it is now skewed into a
welfare program drawing upon general revenue of the state.

Introduction 39
March 1792 which tended to show that progres-
sive taxation was desirable on inherited wealth,
permissible on earned income, though question-
able on working capital.100
It was proposals like this which led Professor
Alphonse Aulard, the first historian to hold a chair in the Rev-
olution at the Sorbonne, to properly assess the true “left” in
the Revolution. Aulard correctly said the “left Republicans”
in the Revolution were ‘not socialist,’ but social and “funda-
mentally liberal,” calling for a “more just distribution of
wealth and a greater equality of opportunity....”101 By con-
trast, Marat, the Montagnard leader along with Robespierre,
opposed the left-Brissotins because the Brissotins stood for
the Enlightenment doctrine of “free enterprise”102 rather than
the failed monarchical state-intervention policies of the past.
The Montagnards thus truly stood on the right, despite being
misapprehended by many as on the left.
Thus, Aulard was precisely correct. Robespierre
rejected this Left Republicanism. Instead, Robespierre was
truly on the right and employed policies of state intervention
well-known from the despotic monarchical era, just as the
Cercle Social exposed in 1793 in the work Subsistences. (See
translation on page 311 et seq.) It was the Enlightenment
which finally exposed the error of state intervention policies
in the economy. Such centralized state management of com-
merce always creates economic disaster every time free
enterprise principles which were experimented with during
the Enlightenment were then abandoned. The work Subsis-
tences also demonstrated that state intervention in the econ-

100.Jean-Pierre Gross, Fair Shares for All (Cambridge University Press,

2003) at 124, citing La Chronique du mois (Paris: November 1791 -
March 1792) Nos. 1-5.
101.George C. Comninel, Rethinking the French Revolution Marxism and
the revisionist challenge (Verso: 1987) at 13 (Comminel’s synopsis).
102.Wil Durant, The Age of Napoleon (1975) at 49.

Introduction 40
Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideol-

omy also had the disadvantage of propping up the despotism

of kings. Hence, Brissotin legislators rejected social controls
over commerce, and, as Cobban notes, they viewed those
who “advocated a revival of the economic controls of the
Ancien Régime” as “crypto-counter-revolutionaries.”103

Robespierre’s Views on Progressive Taxation

Like other left wing issues, Robespierre originally
accepted the notion of a moderate progressive income tax. He
also originally agreed such a tax proposal should be crafted to
protect liberty. He also initially agreed to exclude from its
application any tax on the income of the poor. However, later
Robespierre rejected these same limits on such taxation.
Let’s review these facts by starting with the old Robe-
spierre first. He clearly started on the left.
Robespierre during 1791-92 acknowledged that the
working man was entitled to the ownership of “the fruits of
his labor.”104 Hence, he favored no taxation — the general
rule of the Cercle Social. In the same vein, Robespierre origi-
nally acknowledged limits to enforcing equality, as Gross
puts it, so that “society’s obligation to the poor consisted in
ensuring their wherewithal, not in demolishing wealth or
striving to achieve absolute equality, which would be self
defeating.”105 Indeed, during 1791 and 1792, Robespierre
spoke on the issue and said the sansculottes did not aspire to

103.Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France, Vol. I: Old Régime and

Revolution 1715-1799 (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1978) at 215.
104.Gross, Fair Shares for All, supra, at 126.
105.Gross. Fair Shares for All, supra, at 127.

Introduction 41
“equality of fortune,” but to an “equality of rights and happi-
ness.”106 In other words, they wanted an equality of opportu-
nity. They did not need an enforced equality.
In this period, Robespierre’s proposed amendment to
the Declaration of Rights said the poor were originally to be
exempt from any taxation, just as Condorcet had first pro-
posed: “Those citizens whose incomes do not exceed what is
necessary to their subsistence shall be exempted from con-
tributing to the public expenditure; the others shall support it
progressively, according to the extent of their fortune.”107
However, later “Robespierre changed his mind as to
the exemption of the minimum of subsistence.”108 The poor
were to be subject to income tax just as much as the rich:
“Robespierre...came out as the great defender of the univer-
sality of taxation, declaring that any favor of this kind was an
insult to the people.”109 Robespierre claimed it would inflict
a humiliation on the “purest party of the nation” if the poor
should be treated any differently than the rich.110 As a result
of Robespierre’s influence, the new Constitution (of 1793)
said: “Nul citoyen n’est dispensé d’honorable obligation de
concourir aux charges publique.”111
During the Terror of 1793-94, this harsh progressive
income tax principle was implemented by Robespierre’s
agents from the Committee of Public Safety (CPS). The CPS
did so in a deliberately expropriatory manner designed to

106.Id., at 127, citing Robespierre’s speeches of 5 and 21 of April 1791;

his Defenseur de la Constitution No. 4 of 7 (June 1792) and ‘Plan
d’Education nationale de Michel Lepelletier’ (13 and 29 July 1793),
Oeuvres, Vol. IV at xvi; Vol. VIII at 165, 181; and Vol. X at 10-42.
107.Gross, id., at 126.
108.Publications of the American Economic Association (The Associa-
tion, 1909) at 198.
109.Publications of the American Economic Association (1909) at 184.
110.Id., at 185.
111.Id., at 185.

Introduction 42
Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideol-

plunder everyone, rich or poor, of any wealth above mere

subsistence. Its official decrees allowed no income above
subsistence to anyone. This ‘tax’ payment was not voluntary,
but enforced by a military inspection and then sequestra-
tion.112 It was as if Sparta revived.

Sparta Was Robespierre’s Model: Equal Subsistence For All

This was no surprise. Robespierre had explained in a
May 1794 speech to the Convention that his inspiration was
Sparta. It was an ancient city-state that had no liberty but was
omnipotent under a military dictatorship. Equality indeed
reigned — but it was an equality of poverty because all were
forced to live at a mere subsistence level. All excess was
taken for the military state.113 Tragically, for the new Robe-

112.On Robespierre’s views on limiting incomes, see Footnote 71 on page

30. During 1793, direct expropriation of incomes above subsistence,
determined upon an inspection, was implemented by decree. Robespi-
erre’s colleague on the Committee of Public Safety — Collot d’Her-
bois (another renegade from the Cercle Social) — in November 1793
wrote an instruction with Fouché to the southern departments which
reads in part: “Those who [initiated the revolution] have seen, that
even if it were impossible to establish a perfect equality among men,
it would at least be possible to narrow the gulf.” The necessities of
war would give justification to expropriate income: “Money must be
found to pay the cost of the war... And there must be no exemptions;
every man who is not in need must contribute to this extraordinary
relief... There is no call for mathematical exactitude or for such timo-
rous scruples as one must display in assessing citizens for general taxa-
tion... Act, therefore, boldly and take all that a citizen does not need
for his personal use; for the superfluity is evident and gratuitous vio-
lation of the rights of the people. All that a man has beyond his needs
he cannot use... so in leaving him what is strictly necessary the rest
belongs to the Republic and its poorer citizens.” (“Instruction adressée
autorités constituées des départemens [sic] de Rhône et de Loire, par la
Commission temporaire” of Lyon [16 November 1793],” quoted in
Stanley Loomis, Paris in the Terror, supra, at 360; see also, The Eigh-
teenth Century 1715-1815 (Ed. George Rudé) (N.Y.: Collier-Mac-
millan Ltd., 1965) at 210-16.)

Introduction 43
spierre, this was the ideal to seek. On 18 Floréal Year II (May
7, 1794), Robespierre in his “most famous of his discourses”
Sparta shines like a flash of lightening amid
immense darkness.114
This was in line with many other statements: “Robe-
spierre...constantly extols a republican France modeled after
the republics of Sparta and Rome....”115 St. Just, his close
ally, was renown for being “anxious to see France a republic
on the model of Sparta.”116

Robespierre’s Anti-Encyclopedist Deistical Beliefs

In this speech, Robespierre for the first time revealed
a deep seated hostility toward the Encyclopedists who led
the Enlightenment (like Diderot, D’Alembert, Hollbach,
etc.) In the same speech, Robespierre condemns “Con-
dorcet...for his prerevolutionary association with the encyclo-
pedists, who are presented by Robespierre as the model of
antireligious cynicism and fanaticism.”117

113.Sparta was divided between soldiers and helots. The helots had land,
but could not keep their produce above “a bare subsistence,” having to
turn over all excess to the soldiers. (Hutton Webster, Early European
history (D.C. Heath & Co., 1917) at 83.)
114.James Swenson, On Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Stanford University
Press, 2000) at 54. Two months prior, however, in February 1794,
Robespierre denied he was modeling the Republic upon Sparta, but the
context shows he meant its “monastic austerity....” See Ralph Korn-
gold, Robespierre (Read Books, 2006) at 88 (“We have no intention of
shaping the Republic in the mold of Sparta. We wish it to possess nei-
ther monastic austerity nor monastic corruption.”)
115.Domenico Losurdo, Marella Morris, Jon Morris, Hegel and the free-
dom of moderns (Duke University Press, 2004) at 112.
116.François-Alphonse Aulard, Bernard Miall, The French Revolution:
The Revolution under the monarchy, 1789-1792 (C. Scribner’s sons,
1910) at 74.

Introduction 44
Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideol-

Indeed, in Robespierre’s speech of June 8, 1794, he

was finally able to have some revenge. He had suffered
humiliation in May 1792 when the Brissotin-led Jacobin Club
ridiculed his deism. (See page 343.) Now Robespierre
declared a mandatory worship of the Supreme Being. He and
his friend, David, “designed [the festival of June 8, 1794 to
the Supreme Being i.e., Le culte de l’Etre Suprême] to
counter the notorious Festivals of Reason.”118 For this occa-
sion, David made a statue representing Atheism. The inscrip-
tion on it read: “only hope of the foreigner.”119 David then
handed Robespierre a torch. Robespierre then set fire to the
Statue of Atheism which, being made of paper, was quickly
consumed.120 This point was not subtle.
This was the crowning touch on a mission started ear-
lier. Those who had tried to impose atheism like Cloots and
Chaumette were all arrested four months earlier as the “ultra
radicals.” They recently were executed as “the enemies of the

Where Does Robespierre Belong On A Left-Right Spectrum?

Where can one place Robespierre then on the column
of left versus right wing as defined by the Revolution’s most
sacred beliefs? He started left, and then took a hard right.
Thus, as surprising as it may sound, Robespierre by
1793 was surely on the right wing, and opposed to the left
wing. He was in favor of tyranny against liberty. Against the
progress of the Enlightenment, as exemplified by the Ency-
clopedists. Against the freedom of religion, even for atheists.
His idealization of a Spartan existence, where there was no

117.James Swenson, On Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Stanford University

Press, 2000) at 54.
118.Lynn Hunt, Family Romance of the French Revolution (1992) at 154.
119.James R. Lehning, The Melodramatic Thread (2007) at 1.
120.George Lillie Craik, The Pictorial History of England (London 1849)
Vol. VII at 430.

Introduction 45
right to accumulate property above a bare subsistence was
antithetical to the Rights of Man. Robespierre’s policies were
designed to empower the state, not the individual, and surely
not to promote a principled libertarian communism. Robespi-
erre’s ideology, while verbally opposed to monarchy, was in
practice identical to the worst of despotic monarchies. Robe-
spierre was thus right wing, in the sense of his policies being
opposed to everything left wing and libertarian up to that
Despite our era having fallen in love with Robespi-
erre’s right-wing policies of 1793, and thus felt the need to
view them as left-wing and liberal, the fact remains these
were regressive policies contrary to Enlightenment doctrines.
They were reflective of the worst policies of monarchy.
Courtois, the legislator assigned by the French legisla-
ture in 1794 to expose the crimes of the toppled Robespierre,
correctly interpreted the statist anti-liberal goals of Robespi-
erre and his close friend St. Just. In 1794, Courtois pointed
out that Robespierre and his allies in 1794 intended:

to bring us the happiness of Sparta,...and

hoped, after this revolutionary transpiration,
that they would distribute to each a plow and
some heartland clearing, to save us from the
dangers to the happiness of Persepolis [i.e.,
Thus, the difference between the true original left and
the misanalyzed ‘leftism’ of Robespierre is evident once
more when the issue of progressive taxation is examined.
Robespierre was no friend of the poor. He was also the
oppressor of the rich. Robespierre stood against the benefits
of free trade both in terms of liberty and the economy. Robe-

121.Papiers inédits trouvés chez Robespierre, Saint-Just, Payan, etc

Supprimés ou Omis Par Courtois, Précédés du Rapport de ce Député a
la Convention National (ed. Courtois)(Paris: Badouin, 1828) Vol. I at 6
(originally published in 1795).

Introduction 46
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Demonstrates The Purpose Behind Not Persecuting Ene-

spierre was intent that all live at a bare subsistence — an

equality of poverty — as dictated by the state by means simi-
lar to monarchical paternalism of the past. To do this, Robe-
spierre was willing to violate all the Rights of Man which the
left had advanced and which he previously mouthed support
for. He ended all the leftward progress which had departed
from the despotism of monarchy. Robespierre revived all the
systems of tyranny of monarchs, becoming the de facto mon-
arch of France.
Hence, Bonneville’s Cercle Social and Robespierre
were at diametrically opposite ends of the political spec-
trum. Any policy of the true left at the Cercle Social which if
applied with restraint could have led to a principled libertar-
ian communism Robespierre muddled and made tyrannical
and oppressive. It was the very opposite of what Bonneville’s
Cercle Social stood for.
Hence, the time is ripe to finally recognize that Robe-
spierre was a right wing reactionary of his day, and a phony
leftist politician bent on political power and tyranny. Yet,
ironically, he was allowed to influence the definition of what
was left wing politics and what true liberalism represents.
This in turn caused the modern confusion where some on the
left today actually support systems totally antithetical to true
leftism. And they support illiberal statist policy while yet pat-
ting themselves on the back that they are liberal. Our modern
use of political labels is completely topsy-turvy.

Bonneville’s L’Esprit Demonstrates The

Purpose Behind Not Persecuting Enemies
The Esprit also allows us to judge better the decision
by the Brissotins-Cercle Social to not support executing the
king in January 1793 and opposing the first act of terror by
the Commune — the September 1792 Massacres.122 Des-
moulins exploited this difference of opinion over the king’s
execution to ridicule the Brissotins as not fervent enough, and
marginalize them as the so-called Girondins.

Introduction 47
As a result, “[i]n general, historians have accepted the
Montagnard rhetoric, and most histories of the French Revo-
lution divide the Convention into the Montagnard (left-wing),
Plain (centrist), and Girondin (right-wing) factions.”123
Thus, as Barnes says, many historians have been duped by
the Montagnard rhetoric to let the Mountain be seen as on the
left when their policies were on the right; and then permit the
Mountain to label as on the right those whose policies were
truly on the left.
How did this happen? Because the Montagnard rheto-
ric of January 1793 claimed the Brissotin position not to exe-
cute the king was due to sympathy with Monarchy, i.e., a
right-wing orientation. However, the Brissotin position on the
king’s execution was not from a sympathy with the principles
of Monarchy at all. Hence, when their leading members in the
legislature, e.g., Condorcet, voted to leave the king’s fate to a
democratic referendum of the nation, it is absurd to suggest
Condorcet sympathized with Monarchy and hence was right
wing. While many historians have succumbed to relying upon
Desmoulins’ propaganda, and they use this policy decision to
lump these Cercle Social members with the right or monar-
chists, this is an error.

122.The Commune of Paris (mayor’s office) organized the summary exe-

cutions of September 1792 of over 1000 prisoners awaiting trial. Most
were priests accused of not taking the oath to the Constitutional
Church administered by the state. The Commune hired men in the dead
of night to drag out the prisoners, and hatchet them to death. The Bris-
sotins (misnomered Girondins) came out vigorously against these mas-
sacres. The Brissotins then aimed their verbal lance on October 29,
1792 at Robespierre. Louvet proclaimed Robespierre was an “insolent
demagogue.” (Patrice L. R. Higonnet, Goodness beyond virtue:
Jacobins During the French Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard Univer-
sity Press. 1998) at 37-38.) Incidentally, Higonnet disproves the com-
mon claim that the Brissotins were not on the left. Id., at 38.
123.Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revo-
lutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815 (2007) at 307.

Introduction 48
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Demonstrates The Purpose Behind Not Persecuting Ene-

There were other considerations than political orienta-

tion involved. First, the Esprit expressed the Cercle Social
policy of employing no revenge or terror that would need-
lessly arouse counter-revolution or rally enemies abroad.
Thus, when it came to the issue whether to kill the
king in January 1793, one can see in L’Esprit that there was a
Machiavellian rationale to limit the use of killing and terror.
As Bonneville will explain in the quotes below, revenge kill-
ing compounds one evil with another, and spawns more ene-
mies among the family (and friends) of the deceased.
Indeed, historians agree today that if the kindly King
Louis XVI had not been executed and had been left alive as a
mere observer in the USA, as the Brissotins planned,124 the
Republic likely would not have suffered counter-revolution.
There then would never have been any justification for the
blood-bath that drenched French soil.
Rather than a bloody course, Bonneville in L’Esprit
had pointed in 1791-1792 toward a more conciliatory and lib-
eral approach. He explained the strategy of prudent tolerance
of enemies. Bonneville explained that it is a tactical mistake
to seek revenge and to persecute one’s foes. Bonneville
writes in L’Eprit:
Principles of a Friend of Truth
Fanaticism and revenge, whatever the reason,
simply replaces one evil with another. How-
ever, the honest and incorruptible friend of
truth, exhibits a nature that must always serve
as a model. He does not laugh at anyone, not
even for his vices. He draws from within his
bossom nothing other than blessings he wants
his brothers and friends to enjoy and fill them

124.The Brissotin plan was to remove Louis XVI to the United States to
live peaceably in retirement. The Brissotins appointed Genêt as ambas-
sador to the young U.S.A., asking him to obtain agreement from the
U.S.A. to take the king as a peaceful resident. See text accompanying
Footnote 473 on page 186.

Introduction 49
with. (L’Esprit des Religions (1792) Pt. II, 192-
Persecution and its consequences.
The enthusiasm of superstition is a kind of
fever devouring by means of a delirium. It is
communicated to all weak brains. DO NOT
PERSECUTE. Persecution is reckless, and
often cruel, always cruel. Of course, if one
could not become passionate about a cause he
believed in, he would be among those people
who are utterly without any energy. However,
the hapless victim who died of persecutors by
the hands of a party that oppresses gives rise
by means of his death to a crowd of vengeful
persons — a father, brother, wife, their chil-
dren and even wise men [against] tyranny.
(L’Esprit des Religions (1792) Pt. II, 92-93.)
There was another important justification for not kill-
ing the king as an individual — his innocence. Holding such a
view did not make one a monarchist. A true republican could
believe Louis XVI was innocent of bad faith. The most ardent
and earliest republican of France was Thomas Paine. In 1791
Paine moved from his “London association with Mirabeau’s
former secretary to take up residence with Bonneville and his
wife and to become their closest friend.”125 While living at
Paris in 1791, Paine wrote the Rights of Man, which Bonnev-
ille published. It was a vigorous defense of the French Revo-
lution against Edmund Burke’s equally vigorous attack. In
this work, Paine — the utmost republican — explained the
French king’s good faith support of reform:
It was not against Louis XVIth, but against the
despotic principles of the government that the
nation revolted...The king was a friend of the
nation, and this circumstance was favorable to

125.James H. Billington, Fire in the minds of men (Transaction Publish-

ers, 1999) at 42.

Introduction 50
Bonneville’s L’Esprit Demonstrates The Purpose Behind Not Persecuting Ene-

the enterprise [of a revolution in principles].

Perhaps no man bred up in the stile of an
absolute king, ever possessed a heart so little
disposed to the exercise of that species of
power as the present King of France....126
Paine meant that the king was on the side of disman-
tling the despotic aspects of monarchy, and replacing it with
democratic institutions which protected the Rights of Man.
This did not change by August 1792. The Brissotins effectu-
ated the Revolution of August 1792 which ended the monar-
chy altogether and initiated the Republic even while
Robespierre’s Mountain cowardly did nothing.127
The Mountain’s subsequent demand in early 1793 that
it was necessary to kill the king was both politically unwise
as well as morally unjustified. Hence, in light of these factors,
why would the Brissotins’ view to not kill the king prove they
were right wing? Rather, the Brissotin position reflected good
sense and the proper moral choice.
Bonneville was thus right that killing for revenge is
pointless, and only raises antagonisms.
Where did Bonneville learn such ideas of prudence
and tolerance of enemies? To avoid becoming tyrannical in
order to end tyranny?

Weishaupt’s Tolerance & Anti-Tyrannical Measures

Bonneville’s message in L’Esprit of prudence to avoid
revenge killing and avoiding tyrannical measures to end tyr-
anny has an echo from the Illuminati’s Prepatory Catechism.
While some suspect Weishaupt is not entirely honest here,
let’s at least sometimes give him the benefit of the doubt.
Weishaupt wrote:

126.Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man: Being An Answer to Mr. Burke’s

Attack (London: J.S.Jordan, 1791) at 17.
127.See supra page 16 et seq. See also Footnote 41 on page 17.

Introduction 51
What then ought we to do? To favour revolu-
tions, to upset everything, to oppose violence
by violence, to exchange tyrants for other
tyrants? Far be such a thought from us! Every
violent reform is condemnable in that there
can be no amelioration so long as men remain
with their passion what they actually are.128
Hence, the Illuminati aimed first at changing the
hearts of the people to accept their ‘ameliorations.’ They did
not want new tyrants for old. This is confirmed by Bonnev-
ille’s defense of the freedom of religion. He was confident
that if errors are tolerated with kindness that gradually reli-
gious errors can be replaced with truth in the heart of the reli-
gious man.129 Bonneville cited the example of the Christians
of the 8th century who tolerated religious practices of the
defeated Bulgars of Bulgaria who in time did give up the idea
of sacrificing dogs.130 Bonneville said, in effect, atheists
should employ the same strategy toward all those who are
religious. No progress is made if new tyrants replace the old

The Influence Upon Bonneville: Weishaupt

As A Libertarian Communist
Where did Bonneville discover his libertarian com-
munist beliefs? Bonneville learned these ideas from
Weishaupt, the founder of the Illuminati. Thomas Jefferson
read Weishaupt’s writings in a book by Barruel which was
intended to expose the Illuminati as dangerous. After reading

128.Firminger, “The Romances of Barruel and Robison,” supra, at 60,

quoting Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 328.
129.Weishaupt spoke the same way about members — saying that one
can bear with members holding ‘erroneous beliefs’ which in time
could be changed by education.
130.See Footnote 59 on page 416 et seq.

Introduction 52
The Influence Upon Bonneville: Weishaupt As A Libertarian Communist

Barruel, Jefferson was not too concerned about the Illuminati.

He recognized in Weishaupt’s ideals a goal of complete liber-
tarianism. Jefferson said Weishaupt, whom he called an
“enthusiastic philanthropist,” believed in the “perfectibility of
man” and in “time [man] may be rendered so perfect that he
will be able to govern himself in every circumstance so as to
injure leave the government no occasion to exercise
their powers over him, and of course to render political gov-
ernment useless.”131
When we read Weishaupt’s words, we see more pre-
cisely the path to this stateless new world. He planned to
effectuate this libertarian dream by means of schools of rea-
son — the temples of the secret societies rather than terror.
These schools of reason would instill in mankind an adher-
ence to virtue which in turn should cause the world to dis-
pense with civil governments. By this means, Weishaupt
planned that we would all return to a patriarchal age where
only elders ruled with the love of a father. There would be no
state to dictate one’s actions. Weishaupt wanted less govern-
ment, not more government, which found endorsement in
Cercle Social members like Condorcet’s book On Despo-
tism.132 Weishaupt wrote in this Instruction in the Third
Chamber as follows:

Men originally led a patriarchal life, in which

every father of a family was the sole lord of his
house and his property, while he himself pos-
sessed general freedom and equality. But they
suffered themselves to be oppressed — gave
themselves up to civil societies, and formed

131.Letter of Thomas Jefferson to Bishop James Madison, on January 31,

1800, discussing ideas of “Wishaupt” [sic: Weishaupt], which can be
found in Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: 1795-
1801 (ed. Paul Leicester Ford) (N.Y.: Putnam & Sons, 1896) Vol. VII
at 419.
132.See “Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality &
Property” on page 309 et seq.

Introduction 53
states. Even by this they fell. To get out of this
state... there is no other means than the use of
pure Reason by which a general morality may
be established, which will... dispense with all
political supports, and particularly with rul-
ers. This can be done in no other way but by
secret associations, which will by degrees
and in silence, possess themselves of the gov-
ernment of the states.... Princes and Priests are
in particular the wicked, whose hands must
[be] tied up by means of these associations, if
we cannot root them out altogether. [We] shall
restore the rights of man, original liberty and
Thus, in the dreams of Weishaupt and Bonneville, and
their friends (like Knigge and Maréchal, respectively), the
final step to communism would not be a socialist state finally
ceding its property rights to the people in common. Rather, it
would be the state being rendered completely superfluous as
laws gradually transformed the land so it was evenly distrib-
uted, and allocated under family patriarchs. Then the people
could provide their own individual needs, and the abundance
left over would be treated as the community of goods owned
by all. No state would be necessary because virtue and frater-
nity replaced selfishness. The elders / patriarchs of the com-
munity could do the job of distributing the extra food. Knigge
added that when these rules were abridged then magistrates
would be necessary to punish infractions of these princi-

133.Robison, Proofs (1798), supra, at 106-07 (emphasis added). The

original source is [F.X.Zwackh], Nachtrag von Weiteren Origi-
nalschriften (Munich: Zweite Abteilung, 1787) at 44.
134.See “Appendix R: Knigge’s Novels Dreaming of Utopia” on
page 336 et seq. See also “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective
to the Revolution” on page 317

Introduction 54
The Influence Upon Bonneville: Weishaupt As A Libertarian Communist

Interestingly, the picture that most closely resembles

their ideal vision in actual human history was the period of
judges described in the Bible’s book of Judges. This was the
period beginning with Moses. It lasted the next 350 years.
Israel had no central government. Individual magistrates
would arise to deal with crises. Then when done, the magis-
trates would retreat back into their tribes, leaving no single
human or council specifically in charge of Israel. There was
only patriarchal elder-run administration. Everyone was free
to make their own decisions over how to run their own life,
for good or ill.135
Hence, not too differently than what happened at the
founding of Biblical Israel in a new territory, Weishaupt,
Knigge, and Bonneville imagined an initial redistribution of
land into equal lots of private ownership (i.e., the Agrarian
law). This would eventually lead to a stateless society. There
liberty, equality, and fraternity would all meet. Thus, an ini-
tial equitable division of land with these goals in mind is
more akin to a libertarian communism. It is completely the
opposite of state socialism.
Was Bonneville A Socialist?
While one reads often that Bonneville was a socialist
because of his endorsement of the Agrarian Law, this is
untrue. Socialism would be the very opposite of what Bon-
neville intended, and is a terrible way of describing his ideals.
Bonneville was sincerely committed to the respect for all nat-
ural rights which secure human liberty. He wanted equality
established in an environment of less government, not
However, modern socialism has never hid that it is
premised on an opposite approach. As Bernard Shaw, the
leader of the Fabian Socialists and a world-famous dramatist,
in 1927 wrote Adler:

135.See “Appendix V: Was Weishaupt Influenced Toward Libertarian

Communism by the Bible?” on page 356 et seq.

Introduction 55
We, as socialists, have nothing to do with lib-
erty. Our message, like Mussolini’s, is one of
discipline, of service, of ruthless refusal to
acknowledge any natural right or compe-
Shaw, in fact, said in a leading manifesto that under
Socialism you “would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged,
taught, and employed whether you liked it or not,” and if
you proved unworthy of the effort “you might possibly be
executed in a kindly manner.....”138
Hence, to say Bonneville’s ideas were socialistic is to
insult the memory of Bonneville. To the contrary, any idea of
state intervention to compel equality and thereby infringe lib-
erty was absolutely foreign to Bonneville’s ideology. Rather,
Bonneville was an Illuminati-style libertarian communist,
and not a socialist. The modern era has not made a careful
distinction because, indeed, it was the aim of later socialists
to make it appear they were in the same tradition as the

136.Compare Condorcet (Cercle Social leader)’s view that the legisla-

ture’s goal is to repeal as many useless laws as possible, and continu-
ally lessen the role of government, so as to expand liberties. See
“Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality & Prop-
erty” on page 309 et seq.
137.Peter Beilharz, Labour’s Utopias (N.Y.: Cambridge University Press,
1992) at 91 (quoting Shaw). One can find the original letter in Bernard
Shaw, Collected letters (ed., Dan H. Laurence)(Brown University,
1964) at 74.
138.The entire context deserves quotation: “Socialism means equality of
income or nothing, and under Socialism you would not be permitted to
be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and
employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you
had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you
might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were
permitted to live you would have to live well.” (Bernard Shaw, The
Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (N.Y.: Bren-
tano’s Publishers, 1928) at 470.) This is why the true origin of modern
totalitarianism is not in communist theory, but in socialist theory.

Introduction 56
The Influence Upon Bonneville: Weishaupt As A Libertarian Communist

founding fathers of the French Revolution like Bonneville.

However, rejecting this mis-identification is crucial in inter-
preting Bonneville’s writings.
Indeed, it is a chimera that state socialism is the
means to achieve true libertarian communism which Bonnev-
ille and his Cercle Social repeatedly advanced. State social-
ism is rather the most dangerous course of action to achieve a
libertarian utopia. One cannot achieve the maximum liberty
by taking the course of maximum slavery.
This is why Bonneville’s followers such as Bancal
(whose works he published in 1793 on this point) all decried
such state intervention efforts as relics of the monarchical
polices of the past. (See, e.g., page 311 et seq.) This is why
the Convention in early 1793 agreed with the Cercle Social
pamphlets. The Convention was still influenced by the Bris-
sotins. It decreed against the efforts at price controls by the
Commune and their political allies. Cobban explains the
rationale, which was in keeping with the Cercle Social pam-
phlets just cited: “To members of the Convention, the
enragés, because they advocated a revival of the economic
controls of the Ancien Régime, seemed crypto-counter-revo-
In other words, what later was given a more fashion-
able new name of Socialism was, in fact, the antithesis of
what the Cercle Social stood for. The Cercle Social stood for
liberty and the end of despotic powers in government, such as
those created when the state is entwined in directing prices.

Bonneville’s Commitment to Human Liberties

Rather, when L’Esprit is read in light of the several
Cercle Social publications translated here in the appendices
as well as Bonneville’s own words, Bonneville’s outlook
becomes clear. We must realize Bonneville’s Cercle Social

139.Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France, Vol. I: Old Régime and

Revolution 1715-1799 (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1978) at 215.

Introduction 57
believed that a libertarian communistic world would only be
worth achieving if human liberties and rights were protected
at all times during the transition.140 In fact, such protection
of human liberties was obviously understood as the path to
achieving libertarian communism. As liberty and equality
kept expanding, this would ultimately result in libertarian
Thus, in this left wing agenda, the Cercle Social of
Bonneville consistently preached that all rights to freedom of
worship, freedom of the press, and the right to own individual
property must be protected with the aim one day that property
would be held in an equal proportion, and all excess produc-
tion would be shared in a community of goods.142At no point
would dictatorial powers in the legislature or executive
branches be necessary or proper. Despotism was dead. And
obviously, state intrusion upon private property or businesses

140.Condorcet (leader at Cercle Social) wrote in 1789: “Tyranny is the

violation of a natural right exercised by a power whether legitimate or
illegitimate.” See “Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny,
Equality & Property” on page 309 et seq.
141.See “Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of Cloots Published by the
Cercle Social” on page 263 et seq; “Appendix K: Bancal’s New Social
Order Published In 1792 by The Cercle Social” on page 268 et seq;
“Appendix O: Sur Le Subsistances (1793)” on page 311 et seq;
“Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective to the Revolution” on
page 317 et seq. See also, “Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on
Tyranny, Equality & Property” on page 309 et seq.
Thus, Bonneville, Weishaupt and Knigge dreamed instead of a world of
virtue that would eventually lead to a communist ideal world by means
of extending constantly political liberty and equality. As freedom and
equality little by little keep expanding, we one day will arrive at liber-
tarian communism. They never imagined that as our lives little by lit-
tle became more dictated by the state and our proportion of property
became more and more owned by the state that we could ever arrive
at libertarian communism. That would be a fool’s dream, and the Illu-
minati were no fools, but scholars and academics who knew the les-
sons of history.
142.See for comparison “Appendix R: Knigge’s Novels Dreaming of Uto-
pia” on page 336 et seq.

Introduction 58
How Did This Freedom-Loving Agenda of Bonneville Later Get Distorted?

(today called socialism) would be the most foolish invitation

to despotism which could be imagined. It would represent,
essentially, a reversionary course to revive the failed despotic
social policies under the monarchy.
The L’Esprit thereby helps us to realize that it is a
modern mis-interpretation that tries to portray the left of the
French Revolution as fulfilled in Robespierre. This mistaken
view tries to take someone clearly opposing the left such as
Robespierre and portray him as on the left. This has led to a
distorted self-perception of leftism today. It is now generally
felt that the tradition of liberty, equality and fraternity in the
French Revolution justifies a modern leftism which
embraces: (a) dictatorship (now called the “dictatorship of the
proletariat”); (b) suppression of free speech/religion (in mod-
ern so-called ‘left’ regimes); and (c) inherently illiberal
socialism. As to the latter, historians / political theorists even
permit socialism to don the name of ‘liberalism,’ despite this
being a clear self-contradiction in terms.

How Did This Freedom-Loving Agenda of

Bonneville Later Get Distorted?
While most assume Weishaupt had a secret ulterior
plan to use the state in an oppressive way to achieve these
goals of libertarian communism, there is nothing in the writ-
ings of the Illuminati to support this.
Rather, Bonneville’s step-children like Cloots, Varlet
and Collot d’Herbois mistook Robespierre as a political
leader. They took the above agenda of libertarian commu-
nism, and appended Robespierre’s principle of a “despotism
of liberty”143 — a paradoxical contradiction in terms if there
ever was one — as the transitional step to complete liberty

143.See text accompanying Footnote 493 on page 192.

Introduction 59
from government. This is how state-intervention policies
became enmeshed in what previously had been an agenda
seeking a libertarian future structured on communism.

Buonarroti’s Distorts The Original Agenda

The person who made this distortion actually stick
was Filippo Buonarroti. In 1828, Buonarroti issued the equiv-
alent of a manifesto that claimed communism can only be ini-
tially achieved and thereafter maintained by means of a
dictatorship and a socialized system of rigid state controls. In
this system, Buonarroti explicitly called for total control to be
exercised over the life of the individual from birth until death
— what he called a “despotism of liberty.”
Eisenstein, the biographer of Buonarroti, explained
that in 1828, Buonarroti wrote the highly influential History
of the Conspiracy of Equals — a fanciful account of Babeuf’s
conspiracy from 1796 to legitimize in 1828 a very different
agenda than Babeuf’s in 1796. In this book, Buonarroti
preached that communism had to be achieved by a “despo-
tism of liberty.” Buonarroti glorified Robespierre’s Terror
under the Committee of Public Safety as virtuous and neces-
sary, and had it not been stopped, it would have led to the
“redemption of humanity.”144
In this book, Buonarroti endorsed “coercive and
extraordinary measures” to maintain utopia, without any
thought of liberty of the individual. Each person is just a mass
to mold like clay. This is not implicit but explicit, for Buonar-
roti writes that in the new order “the country takes posses-
sion of every individual at birth and never quits him until
death.”145 Buonarroti quotes Rousseau: “man must be forced
to be free,” and blesses Robespierre’s tactic of the “despotism
of liberty.”

144.Eisenstein, supra, at 71.

145.Eisenstein, supra, at 73.

Introduction 60
How Did This Freedom-Loving Agenda of Bonneville Later Get Distorted?

Buonarroti continued, opining that all socialized insti-

tutions represented a necessary permanent loss of liberty, but
supposedly for the good of all. For example, in the new order,
there never would be freedom of the press ever again. In the
new order, material is printed only if “their publication [is]
useful to the Republic.”146 Likewise, a permanent rule would
be that personal dress was to be a uniform based upon age
and sex. Merchants would be permanently removed, and
“unknown to the country.” The wealth of the nation would be
nationalized henceforth.147 The wealthy would be so heavily
taxed that they would only have the choice of emigration or
the “voluntary surrender” of their property.148
This work of 1828 was the key moment of intellectual
history where socialism was affixed to communism but in a
manner that utterly removed the libertarian goal of the
recession of the state. Rather, state socialism was proposed to
be a permanent condition necessary to maintain communism.
Gutted was the goal of libertarian freedom.
Hence, in Buonarroti’s plan, any libertarian character-
istic to communism disappeared. Gone was a future stateless
society, as envisioned by Weishaupt, Knigge, Bonneville,
Maréchal and Babeuf. Communism was now to be identified
with a co-existent state socialism where the state held all in
common supposedly for all — the exact opposite of what
Weishaupt, Knigge, Bonneville, Maréchal and Babeuf actu-
ally preached.149 In Buonarroti’s thinking of 1828, there was
not even any thought any longer about a withering away of
the state in the future.
Who was Filippo Buonarroti?

146.Eisenstein, id., at 74.

147.Eisenstein, id., at 75.
148.Eisenstein, id., at 75.
149.On Babeuf’s and Maréchal’s true views which Buonarroti later tried
to distort, see “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective to the Rev-
olution” on page 317 et seq.

Introduction 61
In 1785, he had been an Illuminatus at Florence.150 In
1793, Buonarroti came to Paris to serve under Robespierre.
They became close friends during 1793.151 The impact of the
dictatorial Robespierre upon Buonarroti is seen most clearly
in April 1794. Buonarroti was sent from Paris as a Commis-
sioner by Robespierre to the city of Oneglia in Piedmont,
Italy. There Buonarroti established a Revolutionary Dictator-
ship.152 This provided a Robespierrist lesson that would stay
with Buonarroti all his life.

State Socialism As Part of Communism

Then, in 1852, Weydemeyer, a later ideological suc-
cessor of Buonarroti, transformed this label of “Revolution-
ary Dictatorship” into the doctrine of the “dictatorship of the

150.In 1785, before any significant notice had come to Florence from
Bavaria about the Illuminati, an informer, Giuseppe Valtancoli, identi-
fied Buonarroti as a member of a Bavarian society of “Illuminati” at
Florence. Buonarroti’s Illuminati alias was “Camillius.” (Francovich,
“Gli Illuminati...” Movimento Operaio, IV, at 572, 585-97.)
151.Robespierre’s most frequent circle in his own apartment during the
Terror of 1793-1794 was Saint-Just, David, Buonarroti, Couthon and
Mme. Lebas. (J.M. Thompson, Robespierre (N.Y.: Howard Fertig,
1968), Vol. I at xxx.) Buonarroti as a result, the Grand Encyclopedie
records, “had great influence [at Paris] with the Jacobins and he
employed all his forces for the triumph of the Montagne [i.e., the
Jacobin party in Robespierre’s hands].” La Grande Encyclopedie
(Paris: 1873) Vol. 8 at 435 (emphasis added).
152.Robespierre’s influence to make Buonarroti believe in the virtues of
dictatorship is self-evident from the Oneglia episode. During April
1794, Buonarroti was assigned by Robespierre the role of governing
the city of Oneglia. There Buonarroti set up a Revolutionary Dictator-
ship — a “centralized system of ‘revolutionary agents’ designed to
mobilize the population against ‘agents of tyranny’ still serving the
aristocracy and priesthood.” (Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009) at
136-37, quoting Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men, supra, at 89.)
See also, “Ideas on communism and dictatorship,” International
Review of Social History (1957) Vol. 2 at 266-287.

Introduction 62
How Did This Freedom-Loving Agenda of Bonneville Later Get Distorted?

However, Marx and Engels did not initially embrace

this idea or that socialism was the path to communism.
Instead, they apparently had trouble accepting it. Marx and
Engels started their writing partnership in 1845. In this very
first work, their tone apparently reflects libertarian commu-
nism.154 They explicitly opposed increasing the power of the
state and instead dreamed of one day that the state would just
wither away.155 However, Engels in the end reconciled their
early libertarianism with Buonarroti’s socialist views, and
fused them together. He did so in a paradoxical and incompat-
ible manner which, nevertheless, has inspired millions and
several revolutions:
• Engels taught permanent state socialism was the path and the
means to maintain a withered away state. In other words, once
socialism was achieved, the state de facto had withered away,
and state socialism would continue as a permanent condition to
maintain so-called communism.156
• Engels similarly in 1871 advocated a “dictatorship of the prole-
tariat.” However, he put many conditions on the concept so that
the ‘dictatorship’ had to be democratically elected and it
enjoyed no powers of a state such as executive or legislative
powers.157 These caveats and limitations made the ‘dictator-
ship’ a fairly powerless version, and were designed to conform
to the notion of a ‘withered away state.’ These caveats were,
however, rarely remembered in later revolutions to achieve
Engels’ vision.

153.See Footnote 157 on page 66.

154.See Ernesto Screpanti, Libertarian communism: Marx, Engels and
the political economy of freedom (2007). Howard states “Marx’s idea
of communism is essentially anarchistic and libertarian....” (M. C.
Howard, J. E. King, The Political Economy of Marx (N.Y.U. Press,
1988) at 21.)

Introduction 63
The problem with Engels’ view was that if words
have meaning, one cannot say complete state socialism is the
same as a withered away state. Instead, word-meaning as
well as experience proves the opposite is the case. And thus
Ricouer asks the obvious question:
Why has the socialist state reinforced the
power of the State to the point of confirming
the axiom which Marx believed to be applica-
ble to bourgeois revolutions: ‘All revolutions
have only served to perfect this machinery
instead of smashing it?’158
Ricouer who believes in Marxism sees the solution to
the paradox is to infuse democracy once socialism is
achieved to hedge against the “possibilities for tyranny.”159
Engels may agree, but the terminology of the dictatorship of
the proletariat as well as endorsement of permanent state
socialism together necessarily institutionalizes tyranny by
any traditional meaning of the word.

155.In Marx & Engels’ first joint writing effort, The Holy Family of 1845,
they expressed the theory on the role of the state which was apparently
reflective of libertarian communism: “Only political superstition still
imagines today that civil life must be held together by the state,
whereas in reality, on the contrary, the state is held together by civil
ch06_3_c.htm (accessed 5/13/09). Thus, civil life can safely do away
with the state when it is ready to do so. This is evident again in Marx’s
and Engels’ criticism of Napoleon making the state an end in itself:
“Yet at the same time he [Napoleon] still regarded the state as an end
in itself and civil life only as a treasurer and his subordinate which
must have no will of its own.” (Id.)
Thus, Marx believed civil life is not subordinate to the state, but is the pre-
eminent force to respect. Marx’s earliest-expressed view was evidently
not to increase the power of the state, but instead to aim at a stateless
society where civil life finally does away with any superfluous state.
Incidentally, Marx never uttered the words “withering away of the state”
— this was Engels’ terminology. (Richard R. Fagen, Carmen Diana
Deere, José Luis Coraggio, Transition and development: problems of
Third World socialism (Monthly Review Press, 1986) at 198.)

Introduction 64
How Did This Freedom-Loving Agenda of Bonneville Later Get Distorted?

Hence, the fundamental problem in the Marx-Engels’

thesis is that state socialism, as a permanent condition, could
never be described as a withered away state. It is utterly the
opposite — the most intense machinery of state despotism. I
am not saying Engels was lying. Rather, he deluded himself.
And unfortunately, with him, millions more. The “possibili-
ties of tyranny” have become a reality which easily could
have been foreseen. It would have been resisted had true
labels been used instead of self-contradictions about a with-
ered away state achieved by permanent state socialism.
The reason for Engels’ self-contradiction was he was
trying later to stay true to his earlier ideals of 1845 that envi-
sioned a libertarian communism (“the state would wither
away”) and yet later hold to a “dictatorship of the proletariat”
and a permanent state socialism which his friends all believed
was necessary. His friends were relying upon Buonarroti’s
book on the Equals of 1828. However, these concepts are
irreconcilable in meaning and in practice. The dictatorial
socialist state is the elephant in the room which Engels was
asking us to ignore. He asked us to pretend that it is not a
state merely because it is socialistic. When state socialism
would be combined with dictatorship, Engels seriously asked
us to suppose we are not being controlled by a state, let alone
a dictatorship. Soviet ‘communism’ proved this theory was
an utter phantasy.

And thus the Illuminati agenda, which had the long-
term goal to decrease (not increase) the role of the state and
thereby expand liberty, became misidentified with a move-

156.Hans Kelsen, The Political Theory of Bolshevism (N.J.: Lawbook

Exchange, 2007) at 25 (“The achievement of socialism is, according to
Engels, the moment when the proletarian state disappears. In trans-
forming the means of production into state property, the proletariat, he
says, ‘puts an end to itself as the proletariat, it puts an end to class dif-
ferences and class antagonisms, it puts an end to the state as a state.”)

Introduction 65
ment which had the exact opposite goal: the permanent cen-
tralization of the state so as to dominate and eradicate any
human opposed to the ideology of the state. It is almost like
the Illuminati’s message was whispered in the ear, and then
was embellished each time it was repeated so by the end of
the chain it was the opposite of the original plan at World
Revolution envisioned by Weishaupt, Knigge, and Bonnev-
ille, etc.
In fact, in almost every way, our modern political
problems all stem from Robespierre’s perversion of the Illu-
minati movement by infecting Buonarroti — the later
leader of various subversive secret societies.160 Robespierre
thereby injected into the Illuminati’s sons and daughters the
ideas of a supposed necessity of a wilful imposition of tyr-
anny so as to effectuate the fullest liberty later. Thereby
Robespierre rejected the ‘perfectibility’ of man’s virtue by
knowledge and truth, as Jefferson himself recognized was the

157.Later Weydemeyer in 1852 developed the theory of the dictatorship

of the proletariat as the transition step to achieve libertarian commu-
nism. As mentioned in Wikipedia: “The ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’
or workers’ state is a term employed by Marxists that refers to what
they see as a temporary state between the capitalist society and the
classless, stateless and moneyless communist society. During this
transition period, ‘the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dicta-
torship of the proletariat.’”
Dictatorship_of_the_proletariat (accessed 6/24/09).
Marx first vaguely referred to this policy in 1852. He said in substance
that “this dictatorship itself constitutes no more than a transition to the
abolition of all classes and to a classless society.” (Id.) By 1891, it was
a firm position in Engels’ Civil War in France. (Id.) Interestingly, how-
ever, Engels tried making it democratic and only administratively dic-
tatorial, but not in any other sense. Engels said the administrators had
to be elective and quickly rotated. They would receive identical pay as
the workers received. Most important, Engels said the Commune of
1871 was the ideal because it “was to be a working, not a parliamen-
tary body, [with] executive and legislative [powers] at the same time.”
(Id.) Thus, Engels identified this dictatorship solely as one run by
administrators over decisions that were not dictatorship in the classic
sense of making laws and exercising undemocratic unilateral one man
rule. He was trying to keep the new order libertarian in theory.

Introduction 66
The Short-Term Program In L’Esprit Was Soon Fulfilled in France

premise of Weishaupt’s theories. Instead, Robespierre rested

radical reform on the necessity of killing dissenters, even to
the point of massive depopulation.161 Robespierre aban-
doned the democratic faith that if properly informed the
majority will always do right. Robespierre, like all later ter-
roristic revolutionaries, had too little faith in his own ability
to defend his ideas in the public arena. He thus leaned on the
blade of the guillotine to settle all arguments.

The Short-Term Program In L’Esprit Was

Soon Fulfilled in France
On a shorter-time scale of agendas, the L’Esprit des
Religions also represents the advocacy of an immediate polit-
ical program for France. By comparing Bonneville’s legisla-
tive agenda in the Esprit to the events often led by members
of the Cercle Social lodge (e.g., Brissot, Cloots, Varlet, etc.)
over the next two years, one sees an uncanny fulfillment.
The following actors took up actions which obviously
have their origin in propositions in the Esprit des Religions of
1791 and 1792:

158.Paul Ricoeur, History and Truth (Northwestern University Press,

Editions De Seuilat, 1965) at 263.
159.Id., at 264.
160.Buonarroti was involved in Babeuf’s conspiracy of 1796, but Babeuf,
the leader, desired libertarian communism by expanding liberties in a
new revolution to their furthest extent possible. The Babouvists did not
imagine liberties would be contracted into a dictatorship which sup-
posedly would serve as a transitional stage.
It was only later that Buonarroti in the early 1800s founded secret societ-
ies that had a different agenda, and saw a dictatorial statist world as the
transitional as well as permanent stage.
161.See “Appendix S: Plan of Depopulation” on page 340 et seq.

Introduction 67
• Brissot, a member/writer of the Cercle Social,162 was a die-hard
true communistic thinker as of 1780,163 and an easy convert in
the early 1780’s to the system of the Bavarian Illuminati’s agent,
Anton Mesmer. Dr. Mesmer founded twenty Lodges of Har-
mony throughout France. They were well-known covers for the
Bavarian Illuminati in France.164 Since March 1792, Brissot
served as leader of the faction dominating all state ministries of
France.165 They were called the Brissotins. With such power,
Brissot led the nation to revolutionary wars in 1792 on the same
thesis Bonneville sets forth in L’Esprit — to liberate Europe. In
Bonneville’s L’Esprit, this is the first step to usher in a “World
Republic.” Simultaneously, in the legislature, fellow-Cercle
Social member/author Baron Cloots166 kept insisting France
must embark on a “universal war” to effectuate a world revolu-
tion and thus create a “Universal Republic.”167 Cloots insisted
that “prejudice runs so deep that no one asks: Why is there more
than one nation?”168
• Cloots was a Cercle Social member who used in public his alias
of Anacharsis.169 Cloots was also the author of a book entitled
Universal Republic (1792) which held out the “dream of a
supranational state and global communism”170 However, it was
a libertarian communism, just as dreamed of by Bonneville and
Weishaupt. Cloots said, on the “same day” we declare a univer-
sal republic, it “will free us from what we call govern-
ment.”171 In 1792-93, Cloots engaged in the plan set forth in
the L’Esprit (1791/1792) to found a civic religion aimed at sup-
planting all other sects, based on the worship of reason rather
than a Supreme Being. Cloots enlisted allies who were leaders
of the Commune (mayor’s office) — Hébert and Chaumette.

162.For sources on this fact, see Footnote 211 on page 84.

163.“In 1782, Brissot de Warville invented the phrase, used afterward by
Proudhon, Propriété c’est le vol [i.e., property is theft].” (Theodore
Dwight, Communism and Socialism in Their History and Theory, a
Sketch (N.Y.: Scribner's 1880) at 102.) On Brissot’s truly communist
ideas, see “Appendix B: Brissot” on page 214 et seq.
164.See “Appendix C: Brissot’s Connection to the Illuminati” on page
218 et seq.

Introduction 68
The Short-Term Program In L’Esprit Was Soon Fulfilled in France

However, contrary to Bonneville’s strong belief in the freedom

of religion, these three men dechristianized France by means of
the Paris Commune issuing decrees closing churches through-
out France.172 They then monopolized the otherwise defunct
churches, and made them Temples of Reason for a new religion
which worshipped the goddess of Reason. In this respect, Cloots
and his new friends fulfilled a dream prefigured in L’Esprit des
Religions.173 Yet, it is impossible to believe Cloots did this
under Bonneville’s direction or with his approval. Besides these
policies violating the principles of freedom of religion, Cloots
and the Commune were also working at cross-purposes with the
success of the Cercle Social. Their destruction of the Brissotins
at the same time destroyed the power of the Cercle Social — the
subsidized propaganda arm of the French Nation.174 Thus, the
actions of Cloots and the Commune, while inspired by L’Esprit,
were an example of independent action that took Bonneville’s
ideas in illiberal directions. They worked contrary to Bonnev-
ille’s strong feelings that a religion of reason could not be

165.As Ruth Scurr in her book Fatal Purity (N.Y.: Metropolitan, 2006) at
188 explained: “In January [1792], the Jacobin Club [under Brissot]
had sent a circular to all its affiliates claiming that war was inevita-
ble....After Robespierre’s speech in February [against war] there was
another club circular announcing that the majority of the Parisian
Jacobins favored war. And in March the king gave in to the attacks on
his ministers...dismissed them, and appointed instead friends and
associates of Brissot’s, among them Mme. Roland’s husband, who
became minister of the interior, Etienne Clavière [of Cercle Social], a
Genevan financier and journalist, now minister of finance, and Joseph
Servan, minister of war. Brissot was suddenly at the center of a sphere
of political influence undreamed of by anyone since Mirabeau, rang-
ing across the Jacobins, the Legislative Assembly, and the executive
power. His war-mongering had proven popular....Brissot was emerg-
ing [as] the leading advocate of a republic in France. All eyes were
on him, none more warily than Robespierre’s.”
166.See Footnote 236 on page 96 and accompanying text.
167.His ally, Hébert, explained Cloots aimed at “universal war in order to
convert to freedom those who are not yet worthy of it.” (Louis Jacob,
Hébert, La Père Duchesne, chef de sans-culottes (Paris: Gallimard,
1960) at 304, quoted in Julia Kristeva, Leon Roudiez, Strangers to
Ourselves (1994) at 211.) Of Cloots’ plan of a universal republic, see
main text accompanying Footnote 170 on page 70.

Introduction 69
imposed in violation of the right of freedom of religion. Educa-
tion and tolerance would be the means.175 Not wishing to suffer
such restraint, Cloots not only acted independently, but he also
politically undermined the Cercle Social’s enormous power by
late 1792.176 Hence, while Cloots had adopted Illuminist ideals
from the Cercle Social, he suffered no restraint of protecting lib-
eral values that everyone is entitled to the right to choose their
own religion. Using his large money-bags, Cloots sought to
impose the atheist dream of Bonneville upon France without the
blessing of Bonneville’s organization or respect for the freedom
of religion which was a bedrock principle of the Cercle Social.
Later, Robespierre proved to be an enemy of Illuminism (i.e.,
cosmopolitanism/atheism).177 He thus labelled Cloots an enemy
of the people, and had him executed in March 1794.178 At the
same time, Robespierre had Bonneville arrested. (Bonneville
was in prison waiting to die when Robespierre fell in July 1794
whereupon Bonneville was released.)
• Emmanuel Sieyès (1748-1836), another member of the Cercle
Social,179 was the first to draft the plans for national festivals to
promote civic pride — what Thompson describes as ‘feasts of
reason,’ and proposed them to the Legislature.180 In honor of
the festival of reason held on November 10, 1793 at Paris,
Sieyès the next day at the Convention spoke in favor of it and
“even abjured his faith at the time of the installation of the god-
dess of reason.”181 Thompson notes: “He [i.e., Sieyès] never

168.“Les préjugés jettent de si profondes racines, que personne ne s’étoit

pas même avisé de demander: Pourquoi y a-t-il plus d’une nation?”
(Anacharsis Cloots, La République Universelle ou Adresse aux Tyran-
nicides (Paris: Marchands de Nouveautes, 1792) at 166.) See also,
Pauline Kleingeld, “Defending the plurality of states: Cloots, Kant, and
Rawls,” Social Theory and Practice (Oct. 1, 2006) (available online at
28972609_ITM (accessed Nov. 27 2008)(discusses same passage).
169.See Footnote 236 on page 96.
170.SARL Librairie Le Feu Follet (Paris) http://www.edition-origi-
du-genre-humain-A-Paris-1792.html,21538 (accessed 11/27/2008).

Introduction 70
The Short-Term Program In L’Esprit Was Soon Fulfilled in France

sank lower than when he spoke in the Convention on November

11, 1793, in support of the anti-clerical demonstrations of the
‘Feast of Reason.’”182
• In the government-sponsored Festival of Reunion of August 10,
1793, the President of the National Convention, M.J. Hérault de
Séchelles, “climbed a flight of stairs leading to an imposing
‘fountain of regeneration,” and above this fountain “towered a
statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis.”183 Then he, along with all
the legislators of France, each took a drink of water from the
stream flowing from the breast of the statue of Isis. Even the
name “Festival of Reunion” was taken from the Egyptian reli-
gion of Isis.184 This bizarre and unprecedented focus upon the
goddess Isis in a government-sponsored civic celebration had its
most recent connection in French culture to Bonneville’s words
in the Esprit des Religions of 1791.185 In L’Esprit, Bonneville
repeatedly praises the goddess Isis as embodying the true reli-
gious spirit of the French, supposedly stemming from the Dru-

171.Cloots’ ideas were communistic in Weishaupt’s libertarian sense of

no state as the final goal. In 1793, Cloots wrote: “Properly speaking,
there is only one power that of the sovereign people. As soon as we
shall have perfected our organization by universal union, that same day
will free us from what we call government. A Legislative Assembly,
consisting of one or two deputies from each department, would be suf-
ficient to superintend the small number of public offices, which, by the
progress of civilization, could be still further diminished.” (Quoted in
Dr. Sigmund Englander, The Abolition of the State: Historical and
Critical Sketch of the Parties Advocating Direct Government, A Fed-
eral Republic, or Individualism (London: Trubner & Co., 1873) at 8.)
172.See Footnote 75 on page 31.
173.Among many clear parallels is Cloots’ reference to a “people-God” in
his speech of November 17, 1793: “I loudly preached that there is no
other God but nature, no other sovereign than the human race: the peo-
ple-God.” (See Cloots, “Religion is the Greatest Obstacle (1793),”
gion.htm (accessed 3/8/09).) Bonneville in L’Esprit similarly says:
“The voice of the people is the voice of God” (I,80) and “The voice of
a free people is the voice of God himself.” (II, 251).
174.See “Rise of Cercle Social To National Power” on page 75 et seq.;
“The Mountain Destroys Power Of Cercle Social Between March-June
1793” on page 179 et seq.

Introduction 71
ids, the ancient priests of France, whom Bonneville claimed
worshipped Isis. (L’Esprit (1792) at II, 44, 46-49, 50, 61,104.)
Who sponsored this bizarre use of an Isis statue in 1793? Not
surprisingly, the very first proposal of this Festival of Reunion
focusing on Isis appeared in the July 18, 1793 edition of the
Chronique de Paris, whose editor-in-chief was Condorcet, and
which paper served the Brissotins.186

By reading the L’Esprit of 1791-1792, we thus find

the intimate rationale for each of these steps over the next two
years, and how they fit into a single unified political ideology.
This is not to imply that the Cercle Social directed each of
these actions. Clearly, it appears Cloots and Varlet were act-
ing on their own, lacking the savoir faire of Bonneville and
Weishaupt. Cloots and Varlet disrespected their premise that
gradual education would bring about reform in matters of
religion rather than force.

175.See Bonneville, Appendices to L’Esprit des Religions, translated at

page 414 et seq. See also, “Appendix K: Bancal’s New Social Order
Published In 1792 by The Cercle Social” on page 268 et seq. where
Bancal defends that freedom of religion is fundamental. See also,
“Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality & Prop-
erty” on page 309 etc., for view by Condorcet (Cercle Social leader)
that no progress is permissible that violates fundamental human rights,
including the freedom of religion.
176.What might explain the independence of Cloots was that he was
offended by a Cercle Social founder, Fauchet. For Fauchet had
demeaned Voltaire as an aristocrat. This Fauchet-Cloots argument was
carried out by a public exchange of pamphlets.
177.See page 5 supra.
178.See “Robespierre’s Next Destroys The Atheists On The Left” on
page 206 et seq.
179.See page 96. Yet Sieyès in January 1793 voted for the execution of
the king.
180.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (Oxford: Basil
Blackwell, 1989) at 12.
181.“Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès,” Wikipedia.
182.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (Oxford: Basil
Blackwell, 1989) at 12.

Introduction 72
The Short-Term Program In L’Esprit Was Soon Fulfilled in France

Yet, because the Cercle Social put its ideas in print in

L’Esprit des Religions, now those same ideas were free to
everyone. They could be followed without any obedience
toward other restraining principles of Bonneville. Most nota-
bly, Bonneville taught members in L’Esprit about the neces-
sity of establishing a universal religion while respecting
freedom of religion as a fundamental right.187 Thus, the
means to Bonneville’s end had to be education, not force.
Likewise, Bonneville had the Cercle Social publish Bancal’s
book The New Social Order in the same year. Bancal made
clear that freedom of religion is fundamental, and that all
private religious groups should be given unfettered liberty.
Truth would then sort itself out. Any kind of government con-
trolled religion would be tyranny. In fact, Bancal went fur-
ther. Any current public support of religion adopted earlier in
the revolution, such as putting priests on state salaries —
while previously useful — Bancal said must now be sup-
Thus, Bonneville by publishing L’Esprit was risking
his aims would be adopted but not the means. Bonneville had
disclosed for the first time outside lodge meetings the inti-
mate unvarnished goals for a world revolution. As a result,

183.Sean M. Quinlan, The Great Nation in Decline (Vermont: Ashgate,

2007) at 111.
184.The government of France sponsored a celebration of the August
10th revolution of 1792 in a feast by the name of a “Festival of
Reunion.” It took place on August 10, 1793. At the civic festival, “a
statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis” was the centerpiece. (Sean M.
Quinlan, The Great Nation in Decline (Vermont: Ashgate, 2007) at
111.) What makes obvious how central Isis was to this event is the fact
in the religion of Isis in ancient Egypt, at the annual “Festival of
Reunion” — the same name given to the civic ceremony of 1793 — a
statue of Isis and one of Hathor are brought inside a temple to symbol-
ize their mating. (Safiya Karimah, Moon Goddess (2003) at 19.)
Hence, even the name of this 1793 celebration was meant to invoke
Isis worship.
185.Prior to that time, the only appearance in French culture of attention
to Isis was in the lodges of Cagliostro.

Introduction 73
Bonneville could not prevent members who sought to achieve
his ideas by doing so well beyond the boundaries that the fra-
ternal society would have imposed. There were now no
longer any controls to stop the achievement of the same aims
by abuse of human rights. Alas! The most tragic results fol-
As a result, persons intimately connected with Bon-
neville are often the same ones engaged directly in these
extremely Illuminist moves independent of the Cercle Social.
Thus, clearly the Cercle Social had enormous impact ideolog-
ically upon movements within the French Revolution,
whether by direction or by inspiration. As Billington charac-
terizes it, Bonneville had planted “fire in the minds of men.”
In the end, this fire burned the Cercle Social itself, as most of
its key leaders were killed on the scaffold due to the antipathy
of Robespierre toward atheists and cosmopolitans.189

186.The Chronique de Paris explained: “From her fertile breasts (which

she will press with her hands) will spurt an abundance of pure and
healthful water. From it shall drink, each in his turn, the eight-six com-
missioners sent from the primary assemblies...a single cup shall serve
for all.” (Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (2007 reprint) at 45, cit-
ing in footnote 142 the Chronique de Paris of July 18, 1793.) For the
Chronique de Paris as a supporter of the ‘Girondins’ (Brissotins), see
Hugh Gough, The newspaper press in the French Revolution (Rout-
ledge, 1988) at 92 (“the Girondins had the support of...the Chronique
de Paris....”) Its editors were Condorcet, Joseph Fiévée, and Millin.
(“Joseph Fiévée,” Encyclopædia Americana (Ed. Francis Lieber)(Bos-
ton: Mussey, 1851) Vol. V at 115.) “Of this Chronique de Paris Con-
dorcet was the editor-in-chief....” (Joseph Fiévée, Oeuvres de J. Fiévée
(ed. Gabriel Janin)(Paris: Gosselin, 1843) at vii.)
For more on the Chronique de Paris as operated essentially by Condorcet,
see Hélene Delsaux, Condorcet Journaliste (1790-1794) (Paris: Librai-
rie Ancienne, 1931) at 273, 274, 275, 277, 279, 349.
187.See page 416.
188.See “Appendix K: Bancal’s New Social Order Published In 1792 by
The Cercle Social” on page 268 et seq.
189.See “Robespierre’s Next Destroys The Atheists On The Left” on page
206 et seq.

Introduction 74
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

The often overlooked fact until the last few decades is
that both Bonneville and Brissot (Bonneville’s close friend
and Cercle Social writer) together rose to national power in
March 1792. Brissot was made the leader of the state of
France and the Jacobin Clubs.190 Bonneville and his Cercle
Social publishing house and club were now subsidized with
huge sums from the public treasury. The Cercle Social had
become the de facto official propaganda arm of France.
There are many books written about Bonneville and
his Cercle Social. For example:
• François Furet, Nicolas de Bonneville et le Cercle social, 1787-
1800 (Paris, Microéditions Hachette, 1976).
• Philippe Le Harivel. Nicolas de Bonneville, pré-romantique et
révolutionnaire, 1760-1828 (Strasbourg, Librairie Istra; Lon-
don, New York: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1923).
• Gary Kates, The Cercle Social, the Girondins, and the French
Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985).191
• Nicolas de Bonneville. Studien zur ideengeschichtlichen und lit-
eraturtheoretischen Position eines Schriftstellers der Französis-
chen Revolution. (Heidelberg: Winter, 1981).

The most important recent synopsis about the Cercle

Social is found in Dena Goodman, The Republic of Letters
(N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1994) at 290-300. She
explains that in October 1790, the Cercle Social announced
the formation of the Universal Confederation of the Friends
of Truth. Joining this club was free for the first two weeks.
Soon 5,000-8,000 signed up. The leaders of the Universal

190.See Footnote 165 on page 69.

191.Billington faults Kates for failing to investigate anything beyond the
ideas and Parisian politics of the Cercle Social during 1789-1793.
“Kates, however, sees the entire group as a simple perpetuation of the
Enlightenment; and his study does not seriously investigate either the
occult connections or the post-Thermidor legacy of the Circle.” (Bill-
ington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 536 fn. 236.)

Introduction 75
Confederation formed a Directory, and established a set of
regulations called the Constitution. They initially tied mem-
bership to a journal subscription. The Universal Confedera-
tion also offered free reciprocal privileges to members of the
Jacobins. Then quickly the Friends of Truth “probably
became the largest club of [Paris,] France with a membership
that fluctuated between three and six thousand.” (Goodman:

1790-1791 Power Struggle Between Jacobins & Cercle Social

However, soon a “power struggle between the Cercle
Social and the Jacobin Club” began in the fall of 1790.
(Goodman: 292.) By April 1791, it was an all out conflict.
The Cercle Social accused the Jacobins of being dominated
by Freemasonry, and accused Freemasonry of being con-
trolled by Jesuits.192 (This was also a common theme of Bon-
neville’s journal, Bouche de Fer.)
Bonneville was playing upon the thesis in his Jesuits
Chased from Freemasonry (1788) which claimed only a vig-
orous expurgation (such as offered by the Illuminati’s meth-
odology) can purge the influence of the Jesuits among the
Freemasons. In April 1791, Bonneville was implying that the
Jacobins were not Illuminized enough, i.e., not inoculated
sufficiently from Jesuitism. Buchez and Roux in their famous
Parliamentary History state that in April 1791 the following
heated charges were raised by the Cercle Social:
The Cercle Social continues its attacks against
the despotism of the Jacobin club. Fauchet and
his friends claim that it is delivered to a
Masonic sect, which the Duke of Orleans, or
perhaps the Comte d’Artois, are the grand mas-
ters. They call this sect by different names,
they are Jacobites, the Clementines, etc. It is

192.Buchez & Roux, Histoire parlementaire de la révolution française

(Paris: Paulin, 1834) Vol. 9 at 443.

Introduction 76
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

impossible to give these stories the authority of

history. However we find a conviction behind
these serious charges which finally we can not
entirely pass over in silence.
La Bouche de Fer, on the basis of a German
book, entitled Biblioteque choisie des connais-
sances utiles pour tous les Etats affirms that the
Jesuits set out to take the hand of masonry dur-
ing the Seven Years’ War. They are the ones, it
adds, which govern the Friends of the Constitu-
tion [i.e., the official name of the Jacobins].
They are the worthy successors of the instiga-
tors of Jacques Clement,193 and how one can-
not but help tremble, when one of them [i.e.,
one of the Jacobins] was given to be a confessor
to Louis XVI, Father Lenfant? ([Bouche de Fer]
No. 20 April [1791].)194
However, amidst this conflict, the king on June 21,
1791 tried to flee France via Varennes. Brissot spoke at the
Jacobins on July 10th to persuade them to agree upon
dethroning the king. However, Barnave, then a leading
Jacobin, gave a counter-speech. He insisted the king was invi-
olable. Barnave argued that the Jacobins were defenders of
the monarchical Constitution, and not republicans.195
These more conservative Jacobins came up with a
compromise petition, and asked Brissot to draft it. The final
clause asked the National Assembly to deem Louis XVI had
abdicated, and that it should promptly fill the vacancy —
hence implicitly leaving the nation a monarchy in search of a
new monarch.196

193.“Jacques Clément (1567-August 1, 1589) was the assassin of the

French king Henry III.” (“Jacques Clément,” Wikipedia (2009).
194.Buchez & Roux, Histoire parlementaire de la révolution française
(Paris: Paulin, 1834) Vol. 9 at 443.
195.Eloise Ellery, Brissot de Warville: A Study In The History of the
French Revolution (Vassar, 1915) at 175.

Introduction 77
This Petition was to be presented at the Champs de
Mars for signatures. Brissot was appointed to a Jacobin com-
mittee to explain all these decisions to the public. However,
then the Jacobin Club suddenly reversed itself, and withdrew
support for this petition.197
While the Jacobins were vacillating, Bonneville and
the Cercle Social were in action.
On 17 July 1791, at the Champs de Mars, a group fol-
lowing Bonneville’s lead obtained signatures on the Petition
mentioned above. It petitioned the National Assembly to
rescind the decision to reinstate the king after his flight to
Varennes on June 21st.
In this scheme, Brissot, Paine, and Condorcet were
secret allies with Bonneville in an ultra-secret group known
as the Republican Club. It was specifically organized to take
advantage of the king’s flight.198
However, some republican-supporters not understand-
ing the delicate political negotiations then accused Brissot of
being in league with the Duke d’Orleans to make him king. In
reply, on July 17th, Bonneville publicly defended “patriot
Brissot” and explained his motives reflected a “patriotic
Yet, despite Brissot’s speech at the Jacobins on July
10th, and his effort to sway them to dethrone Louis XVI, the
Jacobins withdrew support for the Petition. Monarchy-sym-
pathizers were blocking the Jacobins from lending support.

196.Ellery, id., at 177.

197.Ellery, id., at 177.
198.See Footnote 312 on page 116 and accompanying text.
199.“Bonneville, a friend of Brissot and an enemy of Laclos, came to the
rescue of [Brissot]..., and in the Bouche de Fer of July 17, wrote: ‘Sur
le nom du redacteur le patriote Brissot, nous differons de rendre
compte des violens soupcons qui se sont eleves a la lecture (arrieres-
pensees Orleanistes) nous ne let partageons plus. Brissot est un patri-
ote integre.’” (Ellery, supra, at 178, fn. 1, quoting Bouchez et Roux,
Vol. X at 447.)

Introduction 78
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

At the same juncture, Nicholas Bonneville composed a letter

in the Cercle Social’s journal — the Bouche de Fer — that
suggested the Jacobins and Cercle Social should merge forces
to depose the king. Yet, the Jacobins continued still to hold
back from supporting the more radical and republican group
of the Cercle Social.
However, then in the famous Champs de Mars massa-
cre, Bonneville’s group staged demands for the dethronement
of the king. The military authority in support of the monarchy
declared martial law. The National Guard fired on demonstra-
tors, killing a dozen.
The Jacobins were no longer involved at that juncture,
so they avoided for the moment any similar persecution.
Regardless, because of their waffling during this period,
almost every member abandoned the Jacobins in July. The
exiting members felt the Jacobins had sympathized too much
in that period with the effort to dethrone Louis XVI.200
Because of Bonneville’s actual role, Bonneville had to
go into retreat. Four days later, Bonneville announced that the
Confederation of the Friends of Truth would cease to meet. A
week later the Directory of the Cercle Social decided to stop
publication of the Bouche de Fer. At the same time, the lead-
ers of the Cercle Social ended up switching club-attendance
over to the Jacobins.

200.Nevertheless, because of their perceived sympathy with the effort to

dethrone Louis XIV, the Jacobin Club of Paris suffered a withdrawal of
almost the entire club. “[O]n July 16 of that year [i.e., 1791], occurred
the separation of the Feuillans, which nearly inflicted a death-blow
upon the Jacobins, for at first the Feuillans were much their superiors
both in numbers and influence. Of the 2,400 members of the Jacobin
Club, 1,800 withdrew from its meetings, and one third of the latter at
once joined the Feuillans, while many others soon followed their
example. Only 600 therefore remained with the Jacobins.....” (See
“The History of the Jacobin Club,” The North American Review (Edith
Wharton, ed.) (Jan. 1856) 128-173, at 165.)

Introduction 79
While the Jacobins of Paris had been reduced to only
a few hundred in July 1791,201 they were reborn by the Cer-
cle Social-Friends of Truth members swelling their ranks.
Thus, by September 1791 Brissot became the president and
major force over the Jacobins. When the king was formally
deposed in August 1792 — those who proved to have the far-
sighted republicanism at the Champs de Mars massacre —
rose to power, at least until October 1792 when Robespierre
took control of the Jacobins away from Brissot.

Cercle Social Prepares for Summer of 1792 Elections

How this came about, however, was due to careful
preparation by the Cercle Social in early 1792. There was a
coordinated effort by the Cercle Social to raise a core cadre of
loyal members who would vie for political office. In their
journal that replaced the Bouche De Fer known as La Chro-
nique du Mois,
of the nine editors of the Chronique...who were
subsequently elected to the Convention during
the summer of 1792, all nine were [so-called]
Girondins: Jacques-Pierre Brissot; Jean-Antoine
Nicolas Condorcet; Jean Dusaulx; Jean-Phil-
ippe Garran-Coulon; M.E. Guadet; Armand-
Guy Kersaint; François Lethenas; Sébastien
Mercier; and Thomas Paine.202
In other words, they all worked as a single unit for a
single agenda. This influx into the Legislature of Cercle
Social members explains how they rose to even greater power
in the summer of 1792. Brissot had become President over
the Jacobin clubs beginning in late 1791 and retained influ-
ence for a long time thereafter. However, when all Brissot’s
friends and allies were appointed by the king in March 1792

201.See Footnote 200 on page 79.

202.John Keane, Tom Paine (N.Y.: Grove Press, 1995) at 596 n. 213. On
the names of Chronique writers, see page 248.

Introduction 80
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

to hold every significant state minister positions,203 Brissot

effectively took control over the entire nation.204 With Bris-
sot’s ministry in power as of March 1792, Brissot made sure
his admired friend — Bonneville — became the propaganda
voice of the Brissotin-led Jacobins and later of France.
Dena Goodman explains this amazing transformation
of France which recent historical studies on Bonneville and
the Cercle Social now allow us to appreciate:
The Cercle Social printing press soon became
the unofficial press of a Jacobin club led by
Brissot and his friends from the Cercle Social;
the Jacobin Club, in turn, became the social
and political base of the political party that was
known by contemporaries as the Brissotins.
(Id., at 294.)
In August 1792 the work of the Cercle Social
was subsidized by the Brissotin ministry to
the tune of 100,000 livres, used to form a
Bureau de L’Esprit Public, a new sort of
bureau de correspondence....205 The circular
letters sent out by the bureau were more like

203.Due to Brissot’s relentless attacks on the loyalty of the king’s minis-

ters in time of danger from war, the king appointed Brissotins to every
significant ministry of the nation. As of March 1792, they held the
ministry of war, of foreign affairs, of marine affairs, of the interior, and
of finances, as well as the important department of justice. Noting
these changes, it has been aptly noted: “After the breaking up of this
ministry the triumphant Girondists [i.e., Brissotins] entered the cabi-
net by storm, and inundated all the places of government.” (The pic-
torial history of England: being a history of the people, as well as a
history of the kingdom (Editors, George Lillie Craik, Charles McFar-
lane, Hans Claude Hamilton (C. Knight, 1843) Vol. III at 53.)
204.See Footnote 165 on page 69.
205.These were “secret funds” to pay for “a system of political publica-
tions, consisting of circulars and subscriptions taken of some newspa-
per.” It relied upon the “public credit” and “free shipping.” (Adolphe
Granier de Cassagnac, Histoire Des Girondins Et Des Massacres de
Septembre D’après Les Documents (Paris: Dentu, 1860) Vol. 1 at 233.)

Introduction 81
pastoral letters than letters persanes. As its
chief, Roland was soon able to report to the
Legislative Assembly that he had multiplied
letters....(Id., at 297.)
The printing press of the Cercle Social
became the press of the government Bureau
de l’Esprit Public,206 publishing newspapers
and pamphlets that furthered the embattled
cause of the Brissotin ministry. (Id., at 298.)
Avenel in his biography of Cloots describes this
period when Roland in the government ministry was funnel-
ing huge amounts of money to Bonneville’s Cercle Social.
With these monies, Nicholas Bonneville was plastering
France with posters and distributing journals everywhere
with his Illuminati doctrine. Avenel explains the transforma-
tion that Bonneville produced throughout France at this time:
[P]onder the mysteries of the Roland depart-
ment, and see the spirit of the Bouche de Fer
dictating to twelve or fifteen secretaries
[who published] sectarian posters which cov-
ered all the walls, and letters filled with
inspiring...moral accounts that are irritating
the Convention. Newspapers such as the Senti-
nelle of Faublas-Louvet, and the Chronique du
mois of the Illuminati Bonneville — Ah! you
again, brother Nicolas! These were all printed
in the publishing house of the Cercle Social,
on rue du Théâtre-Français, and then distrib-
uted and placarded throughout France with
the money of the nation. This was the contri-
bution of the mystics, the Rolandists including
Madame Roland and her old man who were the
leaders. As for philosophers and skeptics — the
Brissotins —...Brissot’s brother Girey-Dupré

206.Others put it this way: “Bonneville...was the official printer

for...Roland.” (Paul R. Hanson, Historical dictionary of the French
Revolution (Oxford, 2004) at 40.)

Introduction 82
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

spit in the face of Deputies at Paris. There was

something every day for the federalist doctrine.
These were passages of Montesquieu, of
Helvétius of Jean-Jacques Rousseau....[Noth-
ing] should contradict the cry that we had to
push to the top of [our] lungs: Vive unity, long
live the indivisibility of the Republic!207
Of relevance, Avenel in this quote said the Cercle
Social’s placards and broadsheets contained citations to Mon-
tesquieu, Helvétius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We will see
a parallel to Bonneville’s L’Esprit. The same literary sources
were cited by Bonneville in L’Esprit. He cited Montesquieu
to prove the need for an agrarian law to give land to the dis-
possessed;208 he cited Rousseau on the benefits of replacing
Christianity with a civil religion that worshipped the laws;209
and Bonneville cited Helvétius to prove the need for a univer-
sal single religion.210

207.Georges Avenel, Cloots, L’Orateur du Genre Humain (Paris: Libra-

rie Internationale, 1865) Vol. 2 at 43.
208.See text accompanying Footnote 4 on page 380; Footnote 13 on page
387; and Footnote 13 on page 387.
209.See page 380; Footnote 11 on page 386; and Footnote 14 on page
210.See page 382.

Introduction 83
Cercle Social Takeover of Jacobins Transforms Them
During the period of the rule over the Jacobins by
Brissot (author/member of the Cercle Social),211 the Jacobins
were transformed (a) structurally, (b) in their tactics, and (c)
ultimately in their national influence. Halevi and Patrice
Guenniffey explains that “the Jacobin club under Brissot”
became “an autonomous body” intent on “dominating, even
tyrannizing over the legally elected Legislative Assembly.”
(Goodman: 298.) Cochin says that the Jacobins were “no
longer a mere thinking society;” it had “become an instru-
ment of power.” (Id.)
At this juncture, the Jacobins incorporated the key
creations of Weishaupt — denunciation, discipline and cen-
sure — the means Weishaupt first developed to create a hard-
ened cadre. Goodman relates:
By emphasizing denunciation, discipline and
censure, Halevi and Patrice Guenniffey support
their argument, based on Furet and Cochin
that...the [Jacobin] clubs of the Revolu-
tion...sought not to open public discussion but
to close it by imposing their particular will on
those they gathered and on the state, first the
monarchy, then the elected assemblies. (Good-
By this juncture, Gueniffey and Ran Halévi explain
that the ritual of the Jacobin societies was “almost verbatim
from Masonic ritual.”212

211.Helene Delsaux, Condorcet Journaliste (1790—1794) (Paris: Librai-

rie Ancienne, 1931) at 277, 349. See R. B. Rose, “Socialism and the
French Revolution: The Social Circle and the Enragés,” Bulletin of the
John Rylands Library, Manchester Vol. 41 No. 1 (September 1958) at
146 (similar list of names); James H. Billington, Fire in the Minds of
Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (N.Y.: Basic Books, Inc.,
1980) at 72, 73.
On Brissot’s own memoirs mentioning his close friend Bonneville, see
page 117 et seq.

Introduction 84
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

Crane Brinton in his monumental work The Jacobins

reveals the “ritual and secrecy system” by this point which
operated at the Jacobins:
[The head of the Jacobin society] could appoint
a chancellor to do the actual work of presiding
for him, and he was assisted by four
‘ephors’213 who prepared the business to come
before the club . . . There was an elaborate
secret code . . . to recognize each other . . . As
the Monarchy declined, the Phrygian bonnet
gained in popularity . . . Under the Republic
the president of almost every [Jacobin] club
was required to wear the cap as a symbol of his
Serbanesco, a masonic scholar on Masonry, takes
delight that the red bonnet of the Illuminati’s epopte
degree215 became the symbol of Jacobinism in France by
March 1792:

The discourse [in Illuminati ritual]...ended, the

new “epopte” [in the Illuminati] would receive
a symbolic costume and it [i.e., the Illuminati
writings] say: “Cover yourself with a bonnet,
you are to wear the crown of the king.” We
observe then during the Revolution, that on
June 20, 1792, Louis XVI endorses the [same
red] bonnet!216

212.Patrice Gueniffey and Ran Halévi, “Clubs and Popular Societies,” A

Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (Harvard College, 1989)
at 460. See also Ran Yedid-Halévi, “La Sociabilité maçonnique et les
origines de la pratique démocratique,” Thèse de 3e cycle (Paris: Ecole
des hautes études en sciences sociales, 1981).
213.An “ephor” or overseer was an official in ancient Sparta. They were
elected annually to oversee civil trials, taxation, the calendar, foreign
policy and education. See “Ephors,” Wikipedia.
214.Crane Brinton, The Jacobins (Russell & Russell, 1961) at 16 17, 188.
215.An epopte was a Greek term meaning an higher initiate.

Introduction 85
Serbanesco’s reference is to an event when a crowd
infiltrated the king’s apartments in June 1792. The crowd in
his bed chamber demanded King Louis wear the red bonnet
of the Jacobin societies. He dutifully submitted to their
requests. In 1792, it was Brissot who was “the first to popu-
larize the bonnet rouge . . .” at the Jacobins.217 J. W.
Zinkeisen in his well-regarded Der Jakobiner Klub (1853)218
explains Brissot’s role in the red cap’s first use in March
Nearly a month later, on March 14 [1792],
another symbol of the Revolution, the famous
red cap, appeared for the first time in the gal-
leries of the Jacobin Club. The red cap was also
a work of the Girondists, and owed the favor-
able reception which it soon found principally
to an article of Brissot’s, in the Patriote François
for February 6 [1792], in which,...[it] was then
historically proved that all “great nations,” the
Greeks, Romans, Gauls, had held the cap in
peculiar honor, “in order to distinguish them-
selves from the barbarian nations, as a sign of
triumph over their tyrants;” and that, in more
modern times, Voltaire and Rousseau had worn
it “as a symbol of freedom.” The red color was
expressly recommended “as the most cheerful.”
Nothing more was needed to make the red cap

216.Gerard Serbanesco, Histoire de la Franc-Maconnerie Universelle

(Paris: Demange, 1966) Vol. III at 42.
217.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (N.Y.: 1989) at
74. See also, Isabelle Bourdin, Les Sociétés Populaires à Paris Pen-
dant La Révolution (Paris: Librain du Recueil Sirez, 1937) at 382.
218.See “The History of the Jacobin Club,” The North American Review
(Edith Wharton, ed.) (Jan. 1856) 128-173 (an extensive synopsis of
Der Jakobiner Klub. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Parteien und der
politischen Sitlen im Revolutions- Zeit- atter, von J. W. Zinkeisen. Ber-
lin: Erster Theil. 1852. Zweiter Theil. 1853. [The Jacobin Club. A
Contribution to the History of Parties and Political Morals during the
Revolutionary Period, by J. W. Zinkeisen. 2 vols.])

Introduction 86
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

at once the political fashion; and by the middle

of March it had been silently adopted as a cus-
tom, that the president and secretaries of the
Jacobin Club, as well as the orators, while
speaking, should wear the red cap.219
Interestingly, but not without significance later, Robe-
spierre opposed Brissot’s idea of the use of the red cap. Robe-
spierre’s argument against its use at the club carried the vote
on March 14, 1792 at the Jacobins. Yet, the Brissotin-
Jacobins continued its use, and the red cap marked them-
selves as the most fervent of revolutionaries:
Robespierre, in a few words, supported the
views of Pétion, calling upon his hearers to
return to the tricolored cockade as their only
symbol; and thus, after a brief existence of five
days, — for Grangeneuve, the Girondist [i.e.,
Brissotin], had first worn it in the Club on
March 14, — was the red cap banished from its
hall. Still, though Pétion and Robespierre could
exclude it from the Jacobin Club, they could
not prevent its continued use by the people; for
the Girondists [i.e., the Brissotins] continued to
uphold it, till the insurrection of June 20 made
it the emblem of the victory of republicanism
over monarchy.220
It was also during the time of Brissot’s rule over the
Jacobins from September 1791 forward that the inner circle
of the Jacobins was transformed. Now at the Paris Jacobins,
six members had to sponsor a candidate for admission to the

219.“The History of the Jacobin Club,” The North American Review

(Edith Wharton, ed.) (Jan. 1856) at 159-160, quoting Der Jakobiner
220.“The History of the Jacobin Club,” The North American Review
(Edith Wharton, ed.) (Jan. 1856) at 160.

Introduction 87
Paris society.221 Then “[t]he committee took a great deal of
care that the society should not be infiltrated by false com-
rades” by questioning the candidate in depth.222
Once accepted, the Jacobin member’s ordeal was not
over. Each Jacobin regularly gave confessions before the
society leaders, detailing his deeds in serving the revolu-
tionary movement. These confessions were called epaur-
ations. After the examination, anyone found lukewarm was
expelled.223 The periodic epaurations among the Jacobins
usually went on for days.
“The usual procedure,” Brinton points out, “was for
each member to take the platform in turn and justify his
orthodoxy before a single judge chosen for his purity, or a
small core of members admittedly irreproachable. Frequently
a list of questions formed the test.”224 These questions were
such as #What were you in 1789? What have you done up to
the present for the Revolution? Have you ever belonged to a
monarchical club? Have you ever been active in a counter-
revolutionary military organization? Have you signed an
unpatriotic petition?’ This interrogation format is remarkably
parallel to the Illuminati-initiation question-and-answer sys-
Cobban notes the use made of the epauration and bio-
graphical sketching of members. The Jacobins maintained a
“common ideology,” he says, by “the development of ritual,
tests of orthodoxy, purges, and public confessions [before the

221.Louis Philippe, Memoirs 1773-1793 (ed. John Hardman)(Harcourt

Brace Jovanovich, 1977) at 81.
222.Louis Philippe, Memoirs 1773-1793, supra, at 81.
223.Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France, Vol. I: Old Régime and
Revolution 1715-1799 (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1978) at 179.
224.Crane Brinton, “Revolutionary Symbolism in the Jacobin Clubs,”
The American Historical Review (July 1926), Vol. 32, No. 4, at 745.

Introduction 88
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

Also, the Jacobin committee of presentation kept

biographies on each member. It contained a history of the
member’s activities since the Revolution, including details on
their lives and morals.226
Again, this exactly paralleled the Illuminati practice
of collecting information on each member in a dossier. Many
papers seized from the Illuminati were dossiers kept on mem-
The Brissotin-led Jacobins also were using oaths at
this juncture. Brinton describes the Jacobin oaths “were prob-
ably of masonic origin.” (Actually, it was more likely of Illu-
minist origin, given the influence of Bonneville’s Cercle
Social with Brissot at this juncture.) For example, when athe-
ism was the avowed official policy of the Jacobins (during
Cloots’ period of influence in early 1793), the Jacobin mem-
bers had to take an oath to uphold it that read:

I swear . . . that I shall never have any other

temple than that of Reason, other altars than
those of the Fatherland, other priests than our
legislators, nor other cult than that of liberty,
equality, fraternity. Long live the Republic.227
Another oath from this point reads almost the same as
the oath taken in the Illuminati Minerval and Rex degrees.
Crane Brinton quotes this oath as follows:
I call down anathema upon kings and tyrants,
anathema upon dictators, upon triumvirs,
upon false defenders, upon false protectors of
the people; anathema upon any who under the
title of chief, general, stadholder, prince or any
other name whatsoever would usurp a superi-

225.Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France, Vol. I: Old Régime and

Revolution 1715-1799 (Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1978) at 179.
226.Brinton, The Jacobins (1961 Ed.), supra, at 25.
227.Brinton, The Jacobins, supra, at 189.

Introduction 89
ority, a pre-eminence over his fellow citizens;
and I swear to pursue him to the death.228
Further, during the Brissotin ministry of 1792, with
the Bureau of the Public Spirit under the Cercle Social’s con-
trol, the “Jacobin Club itself quickly became an instrument of
state propaganda rather than a free discursive institution....”
(Goodman: 300.)
Thus, under Brissot, the Jacobins from September
1791 to September 1792 were transformed into a replica of
the Illuminati of Bavaria — a state within the state, dominat-
ing the legislature by means of their party discipline. They
were the first modern-style political party to emerge in a
modern democracy.
The problem is that when the Brissotins’ control over
the Jacobins was usurped by the would-be dictator, Robespi-
erre, he inherited all this Jacobin machinery. Thus, the Illu-
minati systems at the Jacobins previously designed to
achieve liberty and influence party success at the polls,
Robespierre now used to impose tyranny and hijack the rev-
olution. As one historical work notes about the Brissotins,
their reformation of the Jacobins backfired on themselves:
It was they that had brought this full system
into play....[T]hey were undermined by their
own handywork and swallowed up like blun-
derers and blockheads in the abyss that they
had made.229

228.Crane Brinton, “Revolutionary Symbolism in the Jacobin Clubs,”

The American Historical Review (July 1926), Vol. 32, No. 4, at 745.
229.The pictorial history of England: being a history of the people, as
well as a history of the kingdom (Editors, George Lillie Craik, Charles
McFarlane, Hans Claude Hamilton (C. Knight, 1843) Vol. III at 78-79.

Introduction 90
Rise of Cercle Social To National Power

Cloots & Varlet Expose A Weakness In The Cercle Social

The flaw in the structure of hierarchical societies like
the Jacobins, Cercle Social & Illuminati is now self-evident.
No matter how good the surveillance, one can not stop diver-
gent subversion from within. The troops are trained too well
in such thinking that it tempts them to overthrow the entire
edifice to serve their own personal designs. This in turn feeds
planning surreptitious stab-in-the-back violence. Thus,
because Robespierre realized only an excessive ruthlessness
could succeed against the tight machine of the Brissotin
Jacobins, Robespierre devised a system of overwhelmingly
arbitrary terror that could break such a lock. This is how he
usurped control of the Jacobins away from Brissot between
October 1792 to June 2, 1793.
Personal agendas and revenge are what drove Robe-
spierre to subvert Brissot. Robespierre was antagonized in
May 1792 by the Brissotins. At the Jacobin club of Paris, they
hooted him down when his speech mentioned a belief in
God.230 All subsequent conduct by Robespierre (e.g., sup-
pressing the Festivals of Reason, killing the ‘ultra-revolution-
aries’ etc.) demonstrates this event had earned Robespierre’s
implacable and tireless opposition to the atheist Brissotins /
Cercle Social-ites.
Likewise, when Fauchet and Cloots had open hateful
back and forth pamphlets over Fauchet’s claim that Voltaire
was an aristocrat, the Cercle Social earned Cloots’ tireless
opposition. A friend became an enemy. And Cloots had the
money-bags to make new friends, and ally with the politically
powerful Commune. His friends could hire thugs to destroy
the Brissotins, which is precisely what ended up happening.

230.See “Appendix T: Ridicule of Robespierre’s Defense of Belief In God

At Brissotin-controlled Jacobins” on page 343 et seq.

Introduction 91
Moreover, the very nature of the agendas of these
clubs provided a volatile message that was difficult or impos-
sible to control where the fire would spread. The Cercle
Social taught men like Cloots and Varlet to rebel at all social
institutions, with the aim ultimately of a stateless final utopia.
Then how could one say that working for now within princi-
pled government for progress was the right course? Wouldn’t
the best course be to destroy those institutions even if they
could advance progress in the direction of a stateless libertar-
ian society?
These were dilemmas that caused men of intelligence,
tolerance, and non-violent characteristics to lean toward the
Cercle Social’s slow-and-steady course. However, men who
were impatient, intolerant, hateful and violent would opt for
the murderous illiberal solutions such as Cloots pursued.
This is why Cloots and Varlet abandoned and
betrayed their old allegiances to the Cercle Social and the
Brissotin party for these new ones. At the same time, they
advanced the long-term goals expressed by Bonneville in
Esprit des Religions but by means Bonneville would not
approve. Cloots tried destroying religion by force of Law
rather than reason. Thereby, Cloots and his cohorts lacked
the tolerant, patient, and liberal principles of Bonneville for
he vigorously defended religious liberty as the means which
over time would eradicate religious error.231 Cloots and
Varlet thereby inadvertently destroyed the entire project of
the Esprit by their impetuosity and illiberalism causing mas-
sive counter-revolution.
And sadly, the efforts of Cloots et al. during the 1793-
1794 dechristianizing campaign created a model for succes-
sor movements which thereby inherited the illiberal aim of
repressing the human right of religious liberty. But had Bon-
neville’s principles been followed, no such taint and inconsis-
tency would have afflicted the modern movement towards a
condition where the ‘state withers away’ and all live with lib-

231.See page 414.

Introduction 92
Background On The Esprit des Religions

erty and equality. Now illiberalism and repressing human

liberty of religion almost appear joined at the hip with the
modern revolutionary movement even as it idolizes the
objectives of the original Illuminati. This was not what Bon-
neville intended. And thus, whether modern radicals like it or
not, their true genesis was in the more principled defender of
liberty — Nicolas Bonneville with whom they have broken
faith just like Cloots had recklessly done.

Background On The Esprit des Religions

The translated text of L’Esprit des Religions herein
represents excerpts of a book written first in 1791 and revised
and re-released in 1792 by Nicolas de Bonneville. The second
edition has internal evidence of being completed in July
1792. Its last page has that reference. Also, its Appendices are
dated July 1792.232 It also makes no reference to the creation
of the Republic in August 1792 when evidently it would have
done so had it taken place. Thus, it was completed July 1792.
The title page of the 1792 version in French is:
De L’Esprit des Religions by Nicolas Bonnev-
Ouvrage promis et nécessaire a la Confédéra-
tion Universelle des Amis de la Vérité.
Nouvelle Edition.
A Paris
A l’Imprimerie du Cercle Social, rue du
Théâtre François, N°. 4.
Et chez les principaux Libraires de l’Europe.
Francs et Frères, il s’agit de la Liberté! Bouche
de Fer.
L’an 4 de la Liberté.

232.See “Appendices” on page 411.

Introduction 93
There was a prior edition in 1791.
One can download free the entire 1792 edition
through at the following link:
One can download free the entire 1791 edition
through at the following link:
The Appendices to the L’Esprit from July 1792 can be
downloaded free from Gallica at the following link:

What Has Been Said About L’Esprit Des

When the second edition of L’Esprit was released in
1792, the Moniteur of August 31, 1792 declared the 1791 edi-
tion had sold “with a rapidity of which there are few exam-
ples during the time of the Revolution.”233 The Journal de
Marseille of September 1792 recommended the Esprit des
Religions because “it associated with religion the cruelty and
turpitude of the human race.”234
The synopsis and background on the book that mod-
ern Antiquarians utilize to advertise the book states, relying
on several scholarly sources,235 the following:
BONNEVILLE, Nicolas de (1760- 1828) De
l’esprit des religions....1791. 2 parts in 1 vol-

233.Albert Mathiez, Les origines des cultes revolutionnaires (1789-1792)

(Paris 1904) at 75 (quoting the Moniteur).
234.Nadine-Josette Chaline, Jean Castex, Gérard Cholvy, L’Église de
France et la révolution (Paris: Beauchesne 1984) at 26.

Introduction 94
What Has Been Said About L’Esprit Des Religions

ume....92,254p. With 4 ills (cercles constitu-

First edition. A philosophical-political treatise
aiming at a universal brotherhood of man. Bon-
neville was together with Claude Fauchet a
central figure within the Cercle Social, from its
founding in October 1790 [sic: 1789] until its
suppression in June 1793 a centre for enlight-
ened philosophy and democratic agitation,
which counted among its members Condorcet,
Cloots,236 Sieyès, Brissot, and Thomas Paine.
The present book is Bonneville’s chief work....
It argues against the unjust division of property
by stating that “the only possible means to
achieve the great social communion is to
divide the estates in equal and limited parts for
the children of the deceased, and leave the rest
to divide among the other heirs.” ([I] at 59).237
Marxist historians observe that in L’Esprit Bonnev-
ille appears to write vaguely sometimes but if you are trained
to understand the meanings, his points are transparent. Ray-
monde Monnier explains: “Bonneville is less esoteric than it
seems if one admits that his style and art of using symbols/
signs can also be a mask to talk to one who knows how to lis-
Monnier further explains the origin of this deliberate
art of veiling one’s meaning: “[Bonneville] had learned the
art of handling symbolism as part of his work as translator
and facilitator of the Enlightenment in Europe and [as a result

235.It cites as sources: [1] André Martin et Gérard Walter [Bibliotheque

nationale, Department des imprimes] Catalogue de I’histoire de la
Révolution Francaise (Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1936-1969) 7 vols
at 4157; and [2] Hendrick Peter Godfried Quack [historian of social-
ism], Catalogus van de schenking-Quack (Universiteit van Amster-
dam)(Amsterdam: Bibliotheek Stadsdrukkerij,1915) (reprint London
1977) at 14.

Introduction 95
of] his commitment as a writer alongside Bode and the Illu-
minati in Bavaria. While [Bonneville] remains true to his
patriotic and republican commitment, the style of the Bouche
de Fer [is to operate as a] symbolic institution....”239
Famous people were impacted by L’Esprit. For exam-
ple, Charles Nodier’s biographer states: “Another influence
on Nodier was Bonneville with Les Jesuites chasses de la
maconnerie (1788) and L’Esprit des religions (1791).”240
Nodier later explained that he had met Bonneville, and
formed a close friendship.241 Nodier wrote famous works
that made Pythagoras a hero242 — just as Pythagoras was to
Weishaupt and Bonneville.
What brought Nodier close to Bonneville? Charles
Nodier at age eleven gave a speech at a Jacobin club, and
joined in 1792243 — the period of Brissotin control. What led
Nodier to the Brissotin Jacobins in 1792? Nodier in 1790, at
age ten, joined a group called the Philadelphes244 — the

236.The fact Cloots was a member of Cercle Social is also indicated in

Buchez & Roux, Histoire parlementaire de la révolution française
(Paris: Paulin, 1834) Vol. 9 at 443. As to the public letters between
Fauchet and Cloots over whether Voltaire was an aristocrat as Fauchet
claimed, they say this was a “debate inside the Cercle Social itself.”
Also, Avenel in his biography gives an account of Cloots’ entry into
the Cercle Social (apparently in 1789), and the publication by it of one
of his works. See Georges Avenel, Anacharsis Cloots, l’orateur du
genre humain (Paris: Librarie Internationale, 1865) Vol. I at 221-23.
Many believe Cloots was an Illuminatus, such as Menzel. Specifically,
Menzel says in Cloots’ promoting the “idea of the
extend a universal republic over the whole earth,—no one was so
active and consistent as the Prussian Baron Cloots; who...became the
strongest pillar of the party of the Illuminati.” (Menzel, “Nationality
and Cosmopolitanism,” Deutsche Vierteljahrs Scrhrift translated and
published in Absalom Peters, The American Eclectic (Jan.-May 1843)
Vol. III at 83.) However, Cloots did not remain enamored with the Illu-
minati, which largely explains his renegade behavior. Avenel records
that in Cloots’ feud with Fauchet, he charged Fauchet with being an
Illuminatus. Then Cloots says the following: “Claude Fauchet, I do not
love you or understand you, because I do not love or understand the
Illuminati.” (Avenel, supra, Vol. I at 231.)

Introduction 96
What Has Been Said About L’Esprit Des Religions

same name Bode disclosed in 1787 to Savalette des Langes

should be the cover name for the Illuminati Order within the
Amis Reunis lodge at Paris.245 In 1797, Nodier would re-
establish the Philadelphes, along with four students at the
Ecole Centrale of Besancon.246
Thus, Nodier’s connection to Bonneville appears to
be through their common bond to the Bavarian Illuminati
concealed by other names, i.e., Philadelphes and the Cercle
Social. This also explains why Nodier was heavily influenced
by Bonneville’s work L’Esprit.
And of interest, among the books Thomas Jefferson
personally catalogued in his library was a copy of De l’esprit
des religions, par Bonneville, 2 v 8º.247 This suggests that
among the learned of that era, Bonneville’s book was a neces-
sary work to read.
It also appears Napoleon may have read L’Esprit.
Napoleon put “a figure of Isis on the bow of his vessel.”248
Bonneville had contended that the ancient Celts of Paris wor-

237.Matthys De Jongh, “BONNEVILLE, Nicolas de (1760- 1828) De

l’esprit des religions,” Antiquariaat (Netherlands), http://www.mde- (accessed 2/15/09).
238.Raymonde Monnier, “Républicanisme, libéralisme et Révolution
française,” Actuel Marx (Paris)(2002) at 109.
240.Hilda Nelson, Charles Nodier (Twayne Publishers, 1972) at 127.
241.John Morris Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies (Scribner
1972) at 272.
242.Paul Bénichou, The Consecration of the Writer, 1750-1830 (Univer-
sity of Nebraska Press, 1999) at 151.
243.“Charles Nodier,”
244.Léonce Pingaud, La Jeunesse de Charles Nodier. Les Philadelphes
(Champion, 1914) at 39, as mentioned by Sellers: “As early as 1790,
for instance, at the age of ten, he is known to have been involved in a
group called the Philadelphes. [18. Pingaud, La Jeunnesse de Charles
Nodier, p. 39.]” (Jonathan Sellers (2003)
Qadosh/qadosh079.htm (accessed 3/10/09).)
245.See Footnote 370 on page 139 and accompanying text.

Introduction 97
shiped the Egyptian goddess Isis in the form of a ship and the
Romans used their ships to worship Isis. (L’Esprit II, 48-50.)
Outside of Bonneville’s contentions, there is no other con-
temporary writer whose work seems to explain Napoleon’s

Biographies of Bonneville
Nicolas de Bonneville (1760-1828) of Evreux, France
began his literary career as a poet. As one clever poet rhymed
his account, Bonneville was the “poet whose first graceful
and original lines had awakened the interest of the Queen,
who took under her protection the rhymer of eighteen.”249
That means Bonneville enjoyed such status as of 1778.
How could Bonneville, have charmed the Queen as to
earn her protection? Because the Queen Marie Antoinette,
ironically, was extraordinarily ‘enlightened.’ She was an

246.In The Modern language review of Léonce Pingaud’s La Jeunesse de

Charles Nodier. Les Philadelphes (Champion, 1919), it summarizes
Pingaud’s point including his mistaken views. See F. Page, The Mod-
ern language review (ed. C.G. Robertson)(Cambridge: At the Univer-
sity Press, 1920) Vol. XV at 454. Billington dismisses Pingaud’s
errors, ridiculing the idea that Nodier “simply imagined the Philadel-
phians,” and cites Baylot’s “careful account that incorporates recent
discoveries and assesses the Philadelphians’ influence without exag-
gerating their organization” — J. Baylot, “Des Philadelphes de ce que
l’on en imagine et de ce qui en procède,” La voie substituée. Recherche
sur la déviation de la franc-maçonnerie en France et en Europe
(Liège, 1968) at 73-92. (Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999,
Eighth Printing 2009), supra, at 547 fn. 182.)
247.James Gilreath and Douglas L. Wilson, Editors. Thomas Jefferson’s
Library: A Catalog with the Entries in His Own Order (Library of
Congress, 1989) Ch. 16, excerpted at
becites/main/jefferson/88607928_ch16.html (accessed 6/16/09).
248.Letters patent of grant of arms for the city of Paris, 20 January 1811,
cited in Camille AUBAUD, “Anamorphoses d’Isis dans l’oeuvre de
Nerval” (available at
21Aubaud.htm (accessed 6/15/09).)

Introduction 98
Biographies of Bonneville

enthusiastic fan of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as was Bonnev-

ille. Her “library was full of...Rousseau, Mercier, and even
When Rousseau died in 1778, the Queen Marie Anto-
inette in homage travelled to his final resting place on the
island of Peupliers. She arrived at the park of Ermenonville
with her entire entourage.251 Similarly, at the royal palace of
Versailles, the Queen created out back a place called the Tri-
anon — “an arcadian little hamlet.” It was a replica of a small
town where she could play “the role of shepherdess and milk-
maid”252 — in order to ‘return to the country’ as Rousseau
taught. Rousseau had declaimed “towns are the abyss of the
human race.”253 When Marie Antoinette gave birth to her
first child in 1778, she told her mother — the Empress Maria
Theresa of Austria — that she would not teach her child court
etiquette. Her mother reproved her for following “the present
gospel according to Rousseau.”254
Hence, Bonneville, was early on favorably treated by
the very liberal Queen and fellow Rousseau-ite.

249.“The Works of Charles Nodier,” The British and Foreign Review;

Or, European Quarterly Journal (London: Richard & Edward Taylor,
1844) Vol. XVIII at 137. Bonneville’s book of poetry was entitled: Les
poésies de Nicolas Bonneville (Paris: Impr. du Cercle social, 1793).
250.Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (Vin-
tage Books, 1990) at 213.
251.Gita May, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (Yale University Press, 2005) at
252.Colin Jones, The Great Nation (Columbia University Press, 2002) at
253.It is truly ironic that later historians have tried to ignore this aspect of
the Queen’s personal philosophy, but the truth is “Marie-Anto-
inette...was young, kind-hearted, and imaginative, [and] was consider-
ably influenced by the sentimental principles of the time, and dreamed
of the most generous philanthropy....” (Anna L. Bicknell, The Story of
Marie-Antoinette (N.Y.: The Century Co., 1898) at 110.)
254.Julia P. Gelardi, In Triumph’s Wake (N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, 2008)
at 220.

Introduction 99
In the 1791 edition of Bonneville’s L’Esprit des Reli-
gions, a Notice from the Editors picks up Bonneville’s biog-
raphy after his youth. It begins by focusing upon his role
during the time of the Revolution of 1789. It says:
We believe it useful to say here that the author
of Esprit des Religions, N. Bonneville was the
first on 19 June 1789, to make the motion for
the National Guard; was one of 14 electors
gathered at the Hotel de Ville in the famous
night of the 12th; was the Deputy Commis-
sioner General for escorting the convoy from
Havre on the road to Rouen; and up to the 27th
a former colonel of the First National Guard of
Rouen; as well as District President, represent-
ing the provisional commune, and now an elec-
tor of 1791.
The Preface to L’Esprit also lists books Bonneville
• “Traduction du Théâtre Allemand, 12 vols. Les 10 derniers tra-
duits par N. Bonneville.255
• Les Jésuites chassés de la Maçonnerie, 2 vol.256
• Le Tribun du Peuple à l’ouverture des Etats-Généraux, servant
d’introduction à la Bouche de Fer, I vol.
• Histoire de l’Europe Moderne, 2. vol. (Le troisième sous

255.Bonneville in the Chronique du Mois took credit for translating 10 of

the 12 volumes (and does so again in the 1791 introduction to
L’Esprit). Raitt recently has questioned whether this claim was true,
thinking Bonneville thereby despoiled Professor Adriend C. Friedel of
some of the recognition he should have been given. (Alan William
Raitt, A.C. Friedel et “Le nouveau théâtre allemand” (Amsterdam:
Rodopi, 1996) at 64, 70.)
256.This was later translated by Bode into German. See “Bonneville &
The Illuminati Of Bavaria” on page 121 et seq.
257.The dates of publication are 1789-1792. See, “Nicolas de Bonnev-
ille,” The New International Encyclopædia (ed. Daniel Coit Gil-
man)(N.Y.: Dodd, Mead, 1902) Vol. II at 219.

Introduction 100
Biographies of Bonneville

The latter work Bonneville conceived on a trip to

London in 1786. He initially thought of translating Russell’s
History of Modern Europe (which evidences Bonneville’s
knowledge of English). Yet, in the end, Bonneville ended up
writing his own work on European history.258
At about this juncture, Bonneville translated two of
Schiller’s works — Robbers and Don Carlos which both ide-
alized the “insurrectionary impulse.”259
In the 1877 edition of Brissot’s memoirs, Lescure pro-
vided a detailed biography of Bonneville from the Revolution
Bonneville embraced the cause of the revolu-
tion with ardeur. He was in turn leagued with
Condorcet, Bailly, Lafayette, Thomas Paine
and Kosciusko. He was an Elector in 89 and 91.
He was the first person who demanded the
formation of the National Guard. Charged at
this time to supply the city of Paris, he per-
formed this important function with a patrio-
tism that Louis XVIII has since not hesitated to
publicly reward.260 During the revolution, he
wrote several newspapers, and brought out an
infinite number of pamphlets in which he was
in favor of a wise freedom. The moderation and
justice taught in his writings caused him to be
denounced by Marat as a pure aristocrat...He
was arrested, but he had the happiness to

258.“Nicolas de Bonneville,” Biography: The English Cyclopedia (ed.

Charles Knight)(London: Bradbury, Evans, 1872) at 276.
259.S. Giora Shoham, And He Loved Big Brother (Macmillan for Council
of Europe, 1985) at 18.
260.This pension for Bonneville during the Restoration was in all likeli-
hood Lafayette’s doings. Lafayette likely took Bonneville back to
France in 1825, and thus away from the comforts of Paine’s estate
which he inherited with his wife and sons. (See page 112 infra.) With-
out a pension to look forward to for support, Bonneville would have
been less likely to return to Paris.

Introduction 101
escape prison. He resumed the use of his pen,
and continued to preach the true principles of
philosophy and freedom. After the 9th of Ther-
midor [i.e., July 1794], he wrote in the same
spirit. The elevation of Bonaparte did not make
him change his opinion: he showed himself to
be the enemy as much of despotism as he was
to anarchy, and far from experiencing the favor
of the Empire [i.e., Napoleon], he experienced
The reason Bonneville earned the anger of Marat as
early as 1791 was because he opposed Marat’s call for a dic-
tatorship after the king’s flight to Varennes in 1791. Bonnev-
ille answered Marat, pleading: “No more king! No more
dictator! Assemble the people and face the sun. Proclaim that
the law alone will be sovereign.”262
Further important details about Bonneville tell much
about his key role and help identify his allies in the crucial
1789 period. In 1789, he was the first to call for a citizen’s
militia to guard Paris and the first to suggest the siege of the
On the eve of the convening of the Estates Gen-
eral, he started with passion in politics that
seem like a newspaper, The Tribune of the Peo-
ple [Le Tribun du peuple]. He proposed the
creation of a bourgeois militia. During the
Revolution, he is among the first to propose
the taking of the Bastille. Once it fell, the
mayor of Paris, Bailly, praised [Bonneville’s]
“zealous and courageous” but “not prudent”
conduct; [and then] issued [Bonneville] a cer-
tificate of Lieutenant Colonel [in the city mili-

261.Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville, Mémoires de Brissot (ed. Mathu-

rin Lescure) (Paris: Librarie Firmin, 1877) Vol. 32 at 115-16 fn.2.
262.James H. Billington, Fire In The Minds of Men (Transaction Publish-
ers, 1999) at 42.

Introduction 102
Biographies of Bonneville

tia], assigned the task of servicing the refueling

the city of Paris by the Seine between Rouen
and Paris. [Bonneville] led the volunteers to
Rouen with him as their leader with the rank of
Lieutenant General.263
With respect to Marat (leader of the Mountain fac-
tion), it was an intense hatred on Marat’s side against Bon-
neville: “Marat demanded his head....”264 As a result,
Bonneville was arrested during the persecution by the
Jacobin-Mountain faction in June 1793 of the so-called
Girondins. Bonneville only escaped prison with the fall of
Robespierre in July 1794.

Bonneville’s Kind Effort To Save The Life Of A Political

Between 1794-1797 arose the Directory — the new
executive authority over France. The Directory gradually
moved toward policies of the Jacobin era. In 1797, it was per-
secuting royalists. The famous Charles Nodier mentions that
in 1797 Bonneville nobly had “concealed a man of opinions
opposed to his own” so as to save the other man’s life.265
In fact, it was both Bonneville and Thomas Paine who
resided together at Paris since 1791 who were both protecting
Antoine Barruel-Beauvert. Their guest was a royalist publi-
cist who was then hunted by the Jacobin-leaning Directory.
This account is corroborated by Bonneville’s widow in her
later memoires on Paine’s life written with Cobbett. Conway
summarizes these materials:

263.“Nicolas de Bonneville,”

Nicolas_de_Bonneville (accessed 6/16/09).
264.“The Works of Charles Nodier,” The British and Foreign Review;
Or, European Quarterly Journal (London: Richard & Edward Taylor,
1844) Vol. XVIII at 137.
265.“The Works of Charles Nodier,” id., at 137.

Introduction 103
The following incident, besides illustrating the
characters of Paine and Bonneville, may sug-
gest a cause for the rigor of Bonneville’s sur-
veillance [later by Napoleon]. In 1797, while
Paine and Bonneville were editing the Bien
Informé, a “suspect” sought asylum with them.
This was Count [Antoine Joseph] Barruel-Beau-
vert, an author whose writings alone had
caused his denunciation as a royalist.266 He
had escaped from the Terror, and now wan-
dered back in disguise, a pauper Count, who
knew well the magnanimity of the two men
whose protection he asked. He remained, as
proof-reader, in the Bonneville house for some
time, safely; but when the conspiracy of 18
Fructidor (September 4, 1797) exasperated the
Republic against royalists, the Count feared
that he might be the means of compromising
his benefactors, and disappeared. When the
royalist conspiracy against Bonaparte was dis-
covered, Barruel-Beauvert was again hunted,
and arrested (1802). His trial probably brought
to the knowledge of the police his former
sojourn with Paine and Bonneville. Bonaparte
sent by Fouché a warning to Paine that the eye
of the police was upon him, and that “on the
first complaint he would be sent to his own
country, America.” Whether this, and the
closer surveillance on Bonneville, were con-
nected with the Count, who also suffered for a
time, or whether due to their anti-slavery writ-
ings on Domingo, remains conjectural.
Towards the close of life Bonneville received
a pension,267 which was continued to his

266.Beginning in 1795, Barruel-Beauvert carried on a counter-revolution-

ary journal entitled Actes de Apotres. Barruel-Beuvert was sentenced
to deportation, but escaped. (Samuel Maunder, The biographical trea-
sury, a dictionary of universal biography (1854) at 77.)

Introduction 104
Biographies of Bonneville

widow. So much even a monarchy with an

established church could do for a republican
author, and a freethinker; for Bonneville had
published heresies like those of Paine.268
This gives us some impression that Bonneville never
feared the freedom of the press. He could protect the life of a
political enemy and publicist, and leave the decision on what
course the nation would take to the wisdom of the public.

Paine & Bonneville’s Literary Collaboration

In this same period, while living with Bonneville and
his family at Paris, Paine for the first time uttered communist
beliefs in his work Agrarian Justice (1797). This is excerpted
extensively in an Appendix here.269 The plan, however, was
no longer to implement an Agrarian Law as advocated in
1791-1792 by Bonneville. In L’Esprit, Bonneville endorsed
an Agrarian Law — the division of lands, including large
farms, to individuals. (L’Esprit (1792) at I, 58,77.) Thus, this
publication by Paine in 1797, while living with Bonneville,
very likely reflects a modification in the ideas of Bonneville
as well. (Condorcet may have influenced this view in Paine
and thereby caused Bonneville to modify his views.)270
In Agrarian Injustice (1795, 1797), Paine proposed a
death tax to pay for the ‘robbery’ by civilization of the origi-
nal “common right” of all to the entire earth. Actually, death
taxes are a moderate approach to rectify for a perceived lost

267.This was likely at Lafayette’s urgings, given he apparently took Bon-

neville back to France in 1825. See page 112.
268.Moncure Daniel Conway, William Cobbett, The Life of Thomas
Paine (Knickerbocker Press, 1908) Vol. II at 432.
269.See “Tom Paine’s Communistic Theory To Support Taxation of Prop-
erty At Death But Opposition to Violent Revolution” on page 235 of

Introduction 105
communist world. Death taxes, in Paine’s mind, was an
opportunity to effectuate justice for the loss of the supposed
original communist world.
Paine used the second edition to rebuff the old mem-
bers of the Cercle Social like Babeuf who created a move-
ment in 1796 to use revolution to return the world to a
communist system of ownership.271 Paine says Babeuf’s plan
would unjustly rob the cultivators of the land of the fruit of
their labor. Imposing a redistribution of land at this juncture
— after all this investment of labor — Paine said would com-
pound a new injustice upon the original injustice of creating
separate property rights over the land originally owned by
everyone. Paine’s system of a tax fund from death taxes to be
provided the expropriated unpropertied or lesser propertied,
he said, would satisfy all complaints of injustice.

270.Condorcet was a Cercle Social member. He wrote in 1789 an Essay

on Despotism in which he explained the right to own property. See
“Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on Tyranny, Equality & Prop-
erty” on page 309 et seq. In 1792, Condorcet appended to his views,
and invented the idea of a progressive income tax which would have as
a long term objective the patient and slow narrowing of the gulf
between rich and poor. See “Progressive Income Tax: An Issue That
Reveals Robespierre’s Differing Ideology From The Cercle Social” on
page 36 et seq.
271.In Paine’s preface to that edition, he says Babeuf’s solution involves
an unacceptably undemocratic violent seizure of power: “He [Babeuf]
availed himself of the resentment caused by this flaw [i.e., inequality]
and instead of seeking a remedy by legislature and constitutional
means, or proposing some measure useful to society, the conspirators
did their best to renew disorder and confusion, and constituted them-
selves personally into a Directory, which is formally destructive of
election and representation.” (Quoted in J.E. King & John Marangos,
“Two Arguments for Basic Income: Thomas Paine (1737-1809) and
Thomas Spence (1750-1814),” History of Economic Ideas (2006) Vol.
XIV at 60.)

Introduction 106
Biographies of Bonneville

Paine’s Maritime Compact Published By Bonneville

Soon thereafter, Bonneville in 1800 produced Paine’s
very influential Maritime Compact. It advocated an Associa-
tion of nations to enforce international freedom of trade — a
preview of the concept of a United Nations with which we are
all now so familiar. Vincent explains:
Paine, who now lived in the house of his own
printer (Nicolas de Bonneville) turned his
thoughts to international issues and the organi-
zation of world peace. In 1800, he published
Maritime Compact, an astonishing document
written “to compel the English government to
acknowledge the rights of neutral commerce,
and that free ships make free goods.”272
Bonneville translated this work for Paine into French,
and that version is known as Pacte Maritime.273 Paine’s pro-
posal was in conformity with ideas of a “Universal Republic”
in Bonneville’s L’Esprit. It also matched the Cercle Social-
writer Bancal’s 1793 view the World Republic must be feder-
ative rather than a centralized world government.274 Paine
proposed the creation of an “Association” of neutral nations
who, if any one member of the Association had its ship-tran-
sit on the high-seas interfered with, the Association of all
member nations would refuse to import any goods from the
offending nation. (Article Three of Maritime Compact.)275

272.Bernard Vincent, The Transatlantic Republican (Amsterdam, 1994)

at 90.
273.“En 1800, Tom Paine, qui logeait chez lui depuis 1797, le charge de
traduire son Pacte maritime.” (“Nicolas de Bonneville,” (accessed 2/24/09). Paine
wrote: “The Citizen Bonneville with whom I lived in Paris translated
it into French.” (Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine (ed.
Moncure Daniel Conway) (N.Y.: Knickerbocker Press, 1895) Vol. III
at 421.)
274.See “Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of Cloots Published by the
Cercle Social” on page 263 etc.

Introduction 107
Further, no payment would be made for goods owing
to the offending nation until reparations were made. The
offending nation’s misdeed would be published, and it would
be warned that in a fixed time the “penal articles of this Asso-
ciation” would go into effect. (These ‘penal’ articles are not
detailed.) The Association shall use its own flag alongside the
flag of each member state on all ships within the Association.
(Article Eight.) The Association members further pledged to
not export any armaments into any nations at war. (Article
Ten.) This would be the law until a “Congress of Nations
shall meet to form some Law more effectual.” (Article
The President of this Association would be rotated
among the various member nations of this Association.277
As one can see, Paine’s proposal does not suggest that
the Association should be a single centralized state. Consis-
tent with the Cercle Social’s criticism of Cloots’ centralized
version of a Universal Republic,278 Paine implies each mem-
ber of the Association retains its sovereignty. What they do is
federate / league at certain points to keep peace on the high
Paine and Bonneville had important success with this
First, this booklet was well-received by Talleyrand in
October 1797. Talleyrand was the newly appointed Minister
of Foreign Affairs in France. In the summer of 1800, Paine
delivered a copy of the plan to all the foreign ministers of
Europe who were then meeting in common session. Paine
informed Jefferson, his friend and not yet President of the

275.Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine (ed. Moncure Daniel

Conway) (N.Y.: Knickerbocker Press, 1895) Vol. III at 422.
276.Id., at 425.
277.Id., at 426. Note how this is the same as the rotating presidency of the
modern European Union.
278.See “Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of Cloots Published by the
Cercle Social” on page 263 et seq.

Introduction 108
Biographies of Bonneville

USA, of the progress toward the anticipated “union” of the

USA with the northern powers to ensure freedom of the
seas.279 As a result of the 1800 congress, Russia, Sweden,
Denmark, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, and Naples all shut their
ports to billigerents in conformance with Paine’s proposal.280
However, later, Czar Paul suffered an untimely death. This
broke the momentum toward the proposed union. Paine
lamented that but for this sad development, “a Law of
Nations, founded on the authority of Nations...would have
been proclaimed.”281

Paine Then Bonneville Move to the U.S.A.: 1802, 1807

In 1802, just before Paine left for the USA, Redhead
Yorke, a British revolutionary, paid Paine a visit at Paris. Ten
years earlier they had been roommates in England. Paine told
Yorke that Napoleon’s regime was no republic, and the peo-
ple are more “slaves” than ever. This opinion was despite
Napoleon having a deep affection for Paine. Yorke related the
anecdote of Paine’s about Napoleon. The Corsican had Paine
over for dinner one night after he returned from Italy and had
been appointed the Commander of the Army of England.
With his hair down to his shoulder, Napoleon spoke freely
that every city of the world should erect a golden statue to
Paine. Napoleon told Paine that “he always slept with a copy
of the Rights of Man under his pillow and that he would be
honored to receive his future correspondence and advice.”282
As a result, Paine held high level meetings helping Napoleon
devise the invasion of England.

279.Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine (ed. Moncure Daniel

Conway) (N.Y.: Knickerbocker Press, 1895) Vol. III at 419-420.
280.Id., at 426-27.
281.Id., at 427. Paine then recounts how Jefferson’s kind letter about this
plan was attacked by the Federalists. Id., at 428-29.
282.John Keane, Tom Paine (Grove Press, 2003) at 450.

Introduction 109
Despite such honors from the First Consul, Paine told
Yorke “they do not understand anything at all of the princi-
ples of free government, and the best way is to leave them to
themselves.” Thus, speaking of Napoleon’s regime indirectly,
Paine said “I know of no Republic in the world except Amer-
ica, which is the only country for such men as you and I.”283
It was in this frame of mind that in 1802, Paine quit
France. Paine’s friends also had advised that he was in danger
of arrest in France. Thus, he returned to the United States in
Then “Bonneville agreed to Paine’s suggestion and
sent his wife and three sons to the United States in 1803.”285
Napoleon refused Bonneville’s request to leave France, and
instead kept him under surveillance.286 Not until “1807 or
1808” did the elder Nicolas Bonneville leave France and join
his family in New Rochelle, New York on Paine’s farm.287
Paine then died in 1809. Under his will previously
prepared, Mme. Bonneville was made Paine’s prime benefi-
ciary and his executrix. As the will recited the explanation, it
was to thank Nicolas Bonneville for his kindness during
Paine’s time of trouble:
That in return for the compassion her husband
[i.e., Nicolas] had bestowed on him in his worst
days of tribulation, he [i.e., Paine] constituted
his Benefactor’s wife [i.e., Nicolas’s wife] and
children his legates.288

283.Craig Nelson, Thomas Paine (Penguin, 2007) at 287.

284.Charles Griffin Coutant, The History of Wyoming from the Earliest
Known Discoveries (Laramie, Wyoming: 1899) at 185.
285.Le Roy Reuben Hafen & Harvey Lewis, Mountain Men and Fur
Traders of the Far West (University of Nebraska, 1982) at 272.
286.Charles Griffin Coutant, The History of Wyoming from the Earliest
Known Discoveries (Laramie, Wyoming: 1899) at 185.
287.Hafen & Lewis: 272.

Introduction 110
Biographies of Bonneville

Paine also left a portion of the farm in trust for the

future education of the Bonneville children.289 Paine’s estate
was quite valuable.290
Incidentally, while in New York, Nicolas Bonneville
“opened a school for young ladies.”291
Before Paine’s death in 1809, Paine secured Nicolas’
son Benjamin an appointment to West Point when Benjamin
would become of age. As a result, Benjamin Bonneville in
1813 started at West Point.292 Benjamin Bonneville gradu-
ated in 1815 as a second lieutenant.
Bonneville & Lafayette
Then in 1824, the prior closeness between Nicolas
Bonneville and Lafayette (to be discussed momentarily) was
revealed in an episode involving his son Benjamin Bonnev-
When the Marquis de Lafayette visited the
United States in 1824-25, his old friendship
with the Bonneville family led him to assist
[Benjamin] Bonneville obtaining a leave of
absence [to return to France with Lafayette.]293
When General Lafayette visited America in
1824 he looked up the Bonneville family and
evinced a deep interest in them. This becom-

288.“Extrait des Nouveaux Essais de Nicolas Bonneville,” Paine, De

L’Origine de la Franc-Maconnerie, Ouvrage Posthume de Thomas
Paine (Paris: Pathus, 1812) at ii. (Available at Gallica.)
289.Hafen & Lewis: 272.
290.Henry Redhead Yorke, a friend of Paine (with whom Paine roomed in
England) and fellow revolutionary spirit, relayed in 1802 it was worth
about 7000 lbs. (Henry Redhead Yorke, Letters from France, in 1802
(London: 1802) Vol. II at 345.)
291.Charles Griffin Coutant, The History of Wyoming from the Earliest
Known Discoveries (Laramie, Wyoming: 1899) at 185.
292. Charles Griffin Coutant, id., at 185.
293.Hafen & Lewis: 273.

Introduction 111
ing known to the War Department, young Bon-
neville, out of compliment to General
Lafayette, was appointed an aide on the staff
of the distinguished and much beloved visi-
tor, and the young man accompanied the Gen-
eral on his tour through the United States.
When Lafayette returned to his home, he asked
that young Bonneville be allowed to return
with him to France as his guest.294
When Lafayette returned to France he took
[Benjamin] Bonneville with him and the latter
remained for some years an inmate of the
Lafayette home.295
Thus, Lafayette was friends with Nicolas Bonneville
prior to coming to America. He obviously came to the USA
in part to see Bonneville. As Lescure said, Bonneville in 1789
was “leagued with...Lafayette.”296 This league had an origin
in the fraternal societies.
In the mid-1780’s, General Lafayette was a member
of the lodge Contrat social at the same time it was led by
Bonneville.297 The general did not forget his old friend.
During Lafayette’s visit in 1824 to New York, Lafay-
ette showed the Bonneville family special importance. When
Lafayette returned to France in 1825, he took Nicolas’s son
Benjamin (1796-1878) back on the boat to France where
Lafayette introduced him to French society. Likely Nicolas
was on that same boat ride back to France because Nicolas
three years later is observed at Paris again in 1828 working

294.Charles Griffin Coutant, The History of Wyoming from the Earliest

Known Discoveries (Laramie, Wyoming: 1899) at 185.
295.Hiram Martin Chittenden, The American Fur Trade of the Far West
(N.Y.: Francis Harper, 1902) at 398.
296.See text accompanying Footnote 258 on page 101.
297.See Footnote 436 on page 169 and text accompanying Footnote 429
on page 166.

Introduction 112
Biographies of Bonneville

away at pamphleteering once more.298 Thus, unless Nicolas

Bonneville made a different trip than his son, Nicolas proba-
bly accompanied Lafayette and his son on the boat ride back
to France. This gives one some idea of the importance of
Nicolas Bonneville in the life of Lafayette.

Brief Biography of Bonneville’s Son

Incidentally, Benjamin Bonneville (now a Captain),
while still on leave of absence from service in the US Army,
took a survey of the Western unclaimed areas of the conti-
nent. With the support of a German immigrant to the USA —
the later famous John Jacob Astor299 — as well as support
from Alfred Seton, Benjamin Bonneville engaged in a
famous expedition to investigate the western regions of Ore-
gon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming with a group of 110 men.
In addition to his own explorations, Benjamin Bonneville
sent emissaries into California and Utah in 1832-1834 for the
first time. Benjamin Bonneville retired a Brigadier General
from the U.S. Armed forces, after serving in the Seminole,
Mexican and Civil wars. He died in 1878.300

Nicolas Bonneville in 1828

At Paris, Nodier ran into Nicolas Bonneville again in
1828. Nodier mentions Bonneville in his famous Souvenirs.
Nodier begins by describing Bonneville as at one time the
friend of “Roucher, André Chénier; and the collaborator of
Fauchet....”301 Nodier found Nicholas Bonneville living in

298.See Footnote 302 on page 114 and accompanying text.

299.John Jacob Astor was a member of the Holland Lodge No. 8, New
York. ( (accessed
3/18/09). DeWitt Clinton was a member of the same lodge. Id.
300.Alpheus H. Favour, Old Bill Williams, Mountain Man (University of
Oklahoma, 1962) at 105.
301.Charles Nodier, Souvenirs de la Révolution et de l’empire (Paris:
Charpentier, 1864) Vol. II at 24.

Introduction 113
the Rue de Grés, “the poor master of a poor book-stall, sink-
ing under the weight of age and hardship.” And Bonneville
“died there very poor.”302 Nodier records:
A demand made, alas! too late, by Alfred de
Vigny, Victor Hugo, and myself to Monsieur de
Martignac, who was then minister, for relief for
poor Bonneville, [and] obtained a small sum
which came to pay the expenses of his

Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville

One of the most important biographies that was
highly commendatory of Bonneville comes from the famous
Jacques Pierre Brissot (1754-1793) in his undated memoirs.

History of Brissot and Bonneville’s Alliance

Before we review that biography, we shall canvass the
details of the alliance of these two men. Bonneville and Bris-
sot knew each other since at least 1790, if not much earlier. In
1790, at the general council of the Commune (i.e., the
mayor’s office of Paris), “Brissot, Bancal des Isaarts [Cercle
Social member too],304 and Bonneville” were all council
members.305 The Paris Commune of 1790 was a small stage

302.“The Works of Charles Nodier,” The British and Foreign Review;

Or, European Quarterly Journal (London: Richard & Edward Taylor,
1844) Vol. XVIII at 137-38.
303.“The Works of Charles Nodier,” id., Vol. XVIII at 138.
304.The biographer of Cloots (Cercle Social member) mentions “Bancal
des Isaarts” [sic: Desissarts (1750-1826)] was “an old adept of the
Cercle Social, and a grand apostle of the Universal Confederation....”
(Georges Avenel, Anacharsis Cloots (Paris: 1865) Vol. II at 34.)
On Bancal’s important Cercle Social pamphlet advancing that a universal
republic must be federative and not centralized, refuting Cloots’ ver-
sion of the same idea, see “Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of Cloots
Published by the Cercle Social” on page 263 et seq.

Introduction 114
Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville

for Brissot, Bancal and Bonneville. They won a victory on

May 21, 1790 when they passed an ordinance ending the con-
trol exercised by individual districts in the city. In their place,
the city government would be centrally controlled by the
Commune of Paris. Nevertheless, the electorate did not
appreciate them. These three men “were not re-elected to the
general council” and thus did not receive the thanks they
hoped to receive.306
However, this experience evidently allowed the three
men — Bonneville, Brissot and Bancal — to learn they ideo-
logically had much in common. They held the most Illuminist
beliefs in terms of republicanism and social aims.

Brissot and the Republican Club With Bonneville

In 1790, and prior to the King’s effort in 1791 to
escape the control of the National Guard who ‘guarded’ him,
Brissot was already publicly advocating a republic and the
end of the monarchy.307 In 1791, Bonneville would become
the first to lead unsuccessful revolutionary action at the

305.Biancamaria Fontana, The Invention of the Modern Republic (N.Y.:

Cambridge University Press, 1994) at 87.
306.Fontana, id., at 87.
307.In July 1790, Brissot had praised “those who had the good sense to
pronounce the executive power [is] elective and not hereditary.” (Bian-
camaria Fontana, The Invention of the Modern Republic (N.Y.: Cam-
bridge University Press, 1994) at 87.) In November 1790, Brissot said
“kings are man-eaters” and “royalty is a political scourge.” (J.P. Bris-
sot, Lettre...á M. Barnave (Paris: Nov. 20, 1790) at 70-73, quoted in
Fontana, supra, at 92.)
When on June 21, 1791 the king flew to Varennes to escape the National
Guard ‘guarding’ him, Brissot said this was the time to announce a
republic: “It is necessary to throw the scabbard far away, and not to
profit from this lesson by halves.” (Fontana, supra, at 88.) On July 5,
1791, Brissot laid down the fundamental thesis that in a republic all
power is elective — even the executive: “I understand by republic a
government in which all powers are, firstly, delegated or representa-
tive; secondly, elective by and for the people; thirdly, temporary and
removable.” (Fontana: 96.)

Introduction 115
Champs de Mars to declare an immediate republic. What was
learned much later from Paine’s memoirs is that soon after
June 21, 1791, Brissot, Clavière, Condorcet, A.F. Duchastelet
and Bonneville had formed the Republican Club with
Paine.308 Its goal was to take advantage of the political fall-
out from the king’s attempted escape from France. This club
published a “broadside manifesto calling for Louis XVI to be
On July 2, 1791, this group published a journal enti-
tled Republicaine, and the lead article was written by Paine. It
is “among the earliest [articles] calling for the overthrow of
the monarchy.”310 Paine’s biographer explains the existence
of this club with Bonneville and Brissot although it is hardly
ever mentioned in other historical works:
Nicolas Bonneville...was a close friend of Tho-
mas Paine [elected deputy of France]. It has
been established that a Republican Club, more
radical than the Jacobins, contained among its
members ‘Paine, Duchatelet, and Condorcet,
and probably Brissot, and Nicolas Bonnev-
ille.’311 Moncure Conway in his Life of Thomas
Paine reported that this Republic Club plac-
arded Paris after the King’s flight in 1791 with
its manifesto that ‘the Law alone shall be sover-
Thus, Bonneville and Brissot, among others, were the
earliest to work together to take action in 1791 to advance a
republic. This effort to form a republic in 1791 is what

308.Thomas Paine, Eric Foner, Collected Writings (N.Y.: Literary Clas-

sics, 1955) at 843.
309.Thomas Paine, Eric Foner, Collected Writings, id., at 843.
310.Thomas Paine, Eric Foner, Collected Writings, id., at 843.
311.Baumer says it is ‘probably’ the case, but Foner says it as fact. See
Thomas Paine, Eric Foner, Collected Writings, supra, at 843.
312.William Henry Baumer, Not All Warriors (1941) at 3.

Introduction 116
Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville

bonded these men even closer. It explains Bonneville’s rise to

power as state-publisher when Brissot became the predomi-
nant leader of France by March 1792.
Incidentally, after their partial triumph when the king
decreed the Constitution of September 1791, which severely
limiting the monarchy, Paine was in London. On November
4, Paine gave a public toast to the “Revolution of the
World.”313 How prescient was Paine!
Clavière was part of this Republican Club through his
ties to Brissot. In the 1780s, Brissot’s closest friend was
Clavière: they “had become through agreements, polemics,
and meetings, the center of a network of friendships and intel-
lectual affinities....”314

Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville Discusses Lodge Activities

In Brissot’s biography of Bonneville in his memoirs,
Brissot talks about lodge activities from the 1780s that
involved both Paine and Bonneville and himself. Brissot’s
remarks arise in the context of Brissot’s discussion about his
friend Schmettau of Prussia315 having recruited Brissot into
“a German lodge of Freemasonry” — as he called it.316 In
1779, Schmettau founded a branch of the Zinnendorf Rite at
Paris. This branch from 1774-1776 was under Duke Ernst of
Gotha as Grand Master.317 This was the prince who later pro-
tected Weishaupt from 1787 to the end of Weishaupt’s

313.Thomas Paine, Collected Writings (ed. Eric Foner)(N.Y.: Literary

Classics, 1955) at 844.
314.Fontana, supra, at 88.
315.This likely was Friedrich Wilhelm Karl von Schmettau who lived
between 1743 to 1806, a cartographer and Field Marshall.
316.Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville, Mémoires de Brissot (ed. Mathu-
rin Lescure) (Paris: Librarie Firmin, 1877) Vol. 32 at 114.

Introduction 117
Brissot mentions that Thomas Paine (the close friend
and house-border of Bonneville) was also a member of this
“German lodge.” Then Brissot says that he took all the “horri-
ble oaths” and he found his expectation “frustrated” by the
silliness involved. However, Thomas Paine assured Brissot
that if Brissot “possessed all the secrets of the Order” that
Brissot would realize he misjudged the Order as all silli-
ness.319 We are left intrigued on whether Brissot ever went
further into the German lodge in which Paine and Bonneville
were members.

Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville Continues

Then in the next sentence Brissot launches into a dis-
cussion of Bonneville, Paine’s best friend. In this rambling
discussion, Brissot highly praises Bonneville. Brissot notes
Bonneville wrote a book-length work on mystic masonry that
talked like an Illuminatus. This may have been the 1788 work
on Templarism that J.C.Bode, then head of the Illuminati, had

317.Johann Wilhelm Kellner von Zinnendorf (1731-1782) was a member

of the Strict Observance (SO), as alias Eques a lapide nigro. (See
“Order Name,” Mackey.) Upon a dispute over his accounting of lodge
funds, he was excommunicated. Thereafter, he vigorously attacked the
origins of the Templars as given by the SO. However, he was able to
receive recognition for his masonic-style system from the Freemason
head lodge of England. By 1770, Zinnendorf had created a Grand
Lodge at Berlin, which united all twelve lodges in his system. In 1774,
Duke Ernst of Saxe Gotha became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge
of Germany (within Zinnendorf’s system). (See, “Ernest II, Duke of
Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg,” Wikipedia. (accessed 3/1/09).) However,
finding some discrepancies, on December 21, 1776, he “laid down the
hammer.” (Gottfried Joseph Gabriel Findel, Geschichte der Fre-
imauerei von der Zeit ihres Entstehens bis auf die Gegenwart (Leipzig:
1878) at 425.) Of this Zinnendorf system, members also included
Knigge and Johann Biester. See
(accessed 3/1/09). Thus, many Illuminists came out of Zinnendorf’s

Introduction 118
Brissot’s Biography of Bonneville

translated in Germany.320 Because it is Brissot speaking, this

next quote has enormous political importance in explaining
Brissot’s political pedigree. Brissot wrote:
Because I now mention the name of Bonnev-
ille, I will devote a few lines in tribute to the
esteem he inspired in me. I will speak later of
Thomas Paine. Deeply educated in all the lan-
guages of Europe, Bonneville has made known
to France German literature....Letourneur
assisted in his translation of Shakespeare....
Original, bizarre, if you will, in his style and
his ideas, his enthusiastic spirit brought in
mystic Masonry, and he talks like an illu-
miné321 and has even published a lengthy
book on the subject. I ask forgiveness for hav-
ing never read it, but this ardent apostle of the
revolution, and one worthy to serve it as it
should be served, he employed all his talents to
support its growth. True philosopher, a true
friend of the people, a true friend of freedom,
he has not exceeded the necessary limits. As
Thomas Paine and many others, he earned the
hatred of our most awful anarchists for the
honor of the republic....322

318.In 1783, Duke Ernst joined the Illuminati as Timoleone, and in 1784
became the Illuminati supervisor over High Saxony. In 1787, Duke
Ernst gave Weishaupt asylum and was his protector and employer until
Weishaupt’s death. See, “Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg,”
Wikipedia. (accessed 3/1/09).
319.Jacques-Pierre Brissot de Warville, Mémoires de Brissot (ed. Mathu-
rin Lescure) (Paris: Librarie Firmin, 1877) Vol. 32 at 115.
320.See page 128 et seq.
321.“Original, bizarre, si l’on veut, dans son style et ses idées, son esprit
enthousiaste l’a porté dans la mysticité franc-maçonnique, et il en dis-
court comme un illuminé; il a même publié un long ouvrage sur ce
sujet, que je lui demande pardon de n’avoir jamais pu lire; mais ardent
apôtre de la révolution....” Brissot, id., Vol. 32 at 115.
322.Brissot, id., Vol. 32 at 115.

Introduction 119
Bonneville’s Personality & Intellect
Washington Irving did a biographical tale on the son
of Nicolas Bonneville — Captain Benjamin Bonneville. In
this book of 1837, Washington Irving also summarized his
impression of Nicolas Bonneville — the French revolution-
ary — after coming from Paris to New York. Irving gives us a
glimpse of Nicolas de Bonneville — a man he saw often in
Battery Park, New York in the 1820’s. This must have been
just prior to 1825 — the date we previously surmised Lafay-
ette took Nicolas Bonneville back to France with Bonnev-
ille’s son, Captain Benjamin.323 Irving’s encounter with
Nicolas Bonneville reveals Nicolas to be both charming and
Captain [Benjamin] Bonneville is of French
parentage. His father [Nicolas] was a worthy
old emigrant, who came to this country many
years since, and took up his abode in New
York. He is represented as a man not much cal-
culated for the sordid struggle of a money-mak-
ing world, but possessed of a happy
temperament, a festivity of imagination, and
a simplicity of heart that made him proof
against its rubs and trials. He was an excellent
scholar; well acquainted with Latin and
Greek, and fond of the modern classics. His
book was his elysium; once immersed in the
pages of Voltaire, Corneille, or Racine, or of his
favorite English author, Shakespeare, he forgot
the world and all its concerns. Often would he
be seen, in summer weather, seated under one
of the trees on the Battery, or the portico of St.
Paul’s Church in Broadway, his bald head
uncovered, his hat lying by his side, his eyes
riveted to the page of his book, and his whole

323.Later Nodier in 1828 observes Bonneville back at book selling in

Paris. See page 114.

Introduction 120
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

soul so engaged as to lose all consciousness of

the passing throng or the passing hour.324
This person depicted by Washington Irving matches
the man whom we are reading in L’Esprit. We find Nicolas
Bonneville in L’Esprit to be extraordinarily erudite, citing
numerous sources, including works by Shakespeare, Montes-
quieu, Rousseau, Boulanger, etc.

Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

As mentioned earlier, Bonneville in 1791 wrote in his
journal Bouche De Fer about Mirabeau’s 1788 defense of the
Bavarian Illuminati in Mirabeau’s book On The Prussian
Monarchy. This passage in Mirabeau’s writings was a leading
means by which many among the French learned of the polit-
ical agenda for France of the Bavarian Illuminati on the eve
of the Revolution of 1789.325 Let’s review it with some care
so we then can fully comprehend what Bonneville means in
1791 that this inspired him to follow the Bavarian Illuminati.

Mirabeau’s 1788 Depiction of the Illuminati Agenda for France

One year prior to the Revolution, Mirabeau in his De
La Monarchie Prussienne, sous Frederic Le Grand Avec Un
Appendice (London: 1788) devotes seven pages of volume
five — pages 96 to 103 — to the “Illuminati of Bavaria.” He
outlines their plans, tactics, goals and strategies. He intro-
duces them as “enlightened, virtuous, and zealous for the
good of humanity.” (Vol. V at 96.) Mirabeau then identifies
their primary doctrines in a way that clearly is identical to

324.Washington Irving, The Adventures of Captain Bonneville [and] Bra-

cebridge Hall (N.Y.: Collier, 1904) at 15-16.
325. See prior discussion of this work supra at page 5 et seq.

Introduction 121
what history later records are the first democratic actions of
the French Revolution of 1789. (We will quote that passage at
length in a moment.)
Mirabeau says the “Illuminati of Bavaria” were busy
spreading “primitive entreaties of fraternity and equality”
[“fraternité et d’egalité”] while calling for a “wholesome
knowledge of the rights of men” [“droits des hommes”]. (Id.,
Vol. V at 98.) Mirabeau then lays out a list of legislative
reforms desired by the “Illuminati of Bavaria” such as
removal of taxes. Id., Vol. V at 99. Mirabeau aims these
reforms for France, saying: “This project [of the Illuminati]
was beautiful, noble and grand.” (Vol. V at 100.) Mirabeau
then says we must work to accomplish these goals (in
France), saying: “[l]et us work hard to spread true principles
and the desired revolution will work precisely in the manner
as we can aspire—slowly, sweetly, but surely, and without the
rascal to abuse the measures.” (Vol. V at 102.)
Here is the legislative programme which Mirabeau in
1788 outlined was devised by the Bavarian Illuminati for
France — clearly shown by Mirabeau’s reference to peculiar
French laws which they believed needed reform:

It was enjoined within the superior grades [of

the Illuminati]... to direct all by natural means
and acquire others for this goal: to contribute
all power to keep sovereigns from faults, of
errors and crimes; to abolish the slavery of
peasants, the bondage of man to the land [i.e.,
serfdom], the right of the dead hand “main-
morte” [that is, the French laws of inheritance
that allow the deceased to direct control of his
goods], and all usages and privileges which
debase humanity — the Corvee tax [that is, the
force enlistment of men to repair roads] [to be
put] under the condition of equitable equality;
all trade unions, all masters of any kinds that
impose themselves on trade and commerce,
through excise and taxes of all types; they

Introduction 122
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

sought with all they could attempt the relief of

the people, to procure a universal tolerance of
all religious opinions, by annihilating all eccle-
siastical jurisdiction, by destroying the armies
of superstition, by favoring the freedom of the
Press, by publishing and distributing elemen-
tary books which would instruct men of their
rights; they swore to oppose above all the injus-
tice of the powerful, and to expose... the
authors [of injustice] to the hot fire of
Restated, the Illuminati program for France as of 1788
was, according to Mirabeau:
• Abolition of serfdom and hence feudalism;
• Repeal of the Dead Hand right to direct heirs’ activities;
• Repeal of the Corvée tax which fell on the poor;
• Repeal of privileges, e.g., nobility;
• Initiation of relief (welfare) for the common people;
• Freedom from monopolistic “trade union” guilds which had the
tendency to keep down entry by the middle-class into profes-
• Freedom of trade from any kind of master over commerce by
means of government taxation or excises (i.e., government
interference with free trade);

326.Mirabeau, De La Monarchie Prussienne, sous Frederic Le Grand

Avec Un Appendice (London: 1788), Vol. V, at 98-100.
327.In those days, trade unions were guilds quite unlike what we think of
today as a trade union. “Medieval guilds existed to protect and enhance
their members’ livelihoods through controlling the instructional capital
of artisanship and the progression of members from apprentice to
craftsman, journeyman, and eventually to master and grandmaster of
their craft.” (“Trade Union,”
Trade_union.) Thus, they had monopolies over various professions,
keeping out newcomers. They were not there to bargain for wages, but
to keep out new competitors, and such exclusionary tactics had the
effect of raising members’ wages. The common man could not rise up
out of poverty into guild professions unless he or she was aligned with
the families who ran these guild monopolies.

Introduction 123
• Abolition of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in public life, e.g., likely
meaning over birth, marriage and death;328
• Freedom of religion — “universal tolerance of religious opin-
• Destroying “the armies of superstition;”
• “Favoring freedom of the press”;
• Encouraging book publishing to educate the public about their
legal rights; and
• Promoting “fraternity, equality,” and “the rights of man.”

Renown historian Albert Mathiez say one must be

stunned upon reading this for it means that “this program, set
forth in 1788 to the French public by an Illuminatus of
renown, was precisely the one the Revolution [of 1789] put
into effect.”329

328.One of Bonneville’s books was entitled Le Nouveau Code Conjugal

(Cercle Social, 1792). In it, he advocated that marriage no longer
should be more than a civil union. He devised a civil ceremony to
replace religious weddings. (See Suzanne Desan, The Family on Trial
in Revolutionary France (University of California Press, 2006) at 58.)
His rationale was that marriage was simply a contract. It can be dis-
solved based upon mutual agreement. Issues of grounds for divorce
were to be eliminated, and hence the church no longer was necessary to
sanction either marriage or divorce. (Harriet Branson Applewhite, Dar-
line Gay Levy, Women and politics in the age of the democratic revolu-
tion (University of Michigan Press, 1993) at 167.) Women could
initiate divorce therefore on an equal basis with a man.
Many scholars today also attribute the modern feminist idea of equal legal
rights for women to the Cercle Social leaders. Applewhite & Levy cor-
rectly explain: “Cercle Social feminism has been ignored largely
because the Cercle Social itself has been misunderstood.” (Id., at 164.)
Their members advocated the right to vote for women and full legal
emancipation. The Cercle Social published the very first feminist writ-
ings by Etta Palm d’Aelders “and other feminists, such as [Sophie de
Condorcet].” (Id.) These scholars conclude that the “Cercle Social
became one of the most important centers where an embryonic cam-
paign for women’s rights was launched during the early years of the
French Revolution.” (Id.)

Introduction 124
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Bonneville’s Commentary on Mirabeau’s Passage in 1791

After referencing how the above passage from Mira-
beau inspired many to follow the Illuminati, Bonneville
claimed he too was loyally carrying on the Bavarian Illumi-
nati in France. As we previously quoted, Bonneville said:

This project [of the Illuminati] continues Mr.

Mirabeau, was beautiful, noble and great; and
since the very instant when [electoral] districts
were summoned in May 1789 [for the Estates
General], The Mouth of Iron, persevered with
all its might their noble intentions, and never
has abandoned the principles and promises
POSTERITY [i.e., the Illuminati].330
What we did not relay previously is that Bonneville
continued and said in the next breath that his Universal Con-
federation of the Friends of Truth fulfilled the role of the Illu-
minati in France. He said:
[D]espite the cruel reproach [on the Illuminati
of Bavaria]..., as he [i.e., Mirabeau] hoped,
there was formed a veritable association of
free men who seriously occupied themselves
with a universal social regeneration, carrying a
great burden within the deliberations and deci-
sions of a reunited confederated people in
favor of universal liberty [i.e., the Universal
Confederation of the Friends of Truth / Cercle
Social run by Bonneville].331

329.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la

Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Freres, 1916) VIII, 432,
at 435.
330.Bouche de Fer (April 8, 1791) at 73 (available through Gallica.) See
also Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la
Francmaçonerìe allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].” Annales
Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Freres, 1916) VIII at 432, at 436.

Introduction 125
Based upon these two passages, Mathiez sees the
importance that the Bavarian Illuminati served in Bonnev-
ille’s mind: “Bonneville considered himself the heir who car-
ried on the thought and work of Weishaupt.”332 And as noted
earlier, Billington likewise mentions that “Nicolas Bonneville
was...the decisive channel of Illuminist influence” in

By The Way: A Unique Addition — Abolishing Slavery

To the enduring credit of Bonneville, the Cercle
Social added at least one distinct political objective to the list
of Illuminati reforms which was not on Mirabeau’s list: the
emancipation of the negro from slavery. Brissot in particular
was the leader of this campaign to liberate slaves, backed up
by the Cercle Social.
Prior to 1789, Brissot formed a club entitled Friends
of the Blacks (Amis des Noirs) to fight this campaign. This
club wrote many books and articles, and kept up constant
attention to this issue. It sought to “bring about a gradual abo-
lition of slavery” in the colonies of France.334 In 1791, “the
Société des amis des noirs” was “absorbed into the Cercle
Social....”335 The Cercle Social thereafter kept up the pres-
sure to end slavery.336 Condorcet in particular “condemned

331.Bouche de Fer (April 8, 1791) at 74 (available through Gallica.).

332.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la
Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Frères, 1916) VIII, at
436. Ligou downplays this to his Freemason readers, and says
“Mathiez thought that he [Bonneville] had the ambition to play in
France the role of Weishaupt.” See D. Ligou, (Ed.) Dictionnaire de
la Franc-Maçonnerie (Paris: PUF, 1987) at 150.
333.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (Transaction Publishers 2004) at
334.Peter P. Hinks, John R. McKivigan, R. Owen Williams, Encyclope-
dia of antislavery and abolition (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007)
at 425.

Introduction 126
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

slavery and the white man who profited by this immoral prac-
tice.”337 The main success by this movement before the over-
throw of the Brissotins was in March 1792. The legislature
granted full and equal legal rights to men of color in Santo
Domingo including the right to vote in the colonies.338
Incidentally, while Robespierre early in the Revolu-
tion sided with the Brissotin-left to end slavery, the later
Robespierre sided with Desmoulins who in 1793, speaking n
support of Robespierre, attacked Brissot as a friend of the
blacks. Desmoulins in Jean-Pierre Brissot démasqué
attacked Brissot “most notably for being a friend of the
blacks and for inciting black insurgents to riot.”339 As thanks
in part for this hit-piece, Robespierre supported Desmoulins
for election to the National Convention.

335.Mary Jacobus, Romanticism, writing and sexual difference (Oxford

University Press, 1994) at 71.
336.On the Cercle Social’s support to fight slavery, see Kates, The Cercle
Social, supra, at 214-219.
337.Leonora Cohen Rosenfield, Condorcet studies (1984) Vol. I at 7.
338.Peter P. Hinks, John R. McKivigan, R. Owen Williams, Encyclope-
dia of antislavery and abolition (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007)
at 425.
339.Leonore Loft, Passion, politics, and philosophie (2002) at 214.

Introduction 127
Bonneville’s Direct Contact With The Chief Of The Bavarian
In 1787, J.C.Bode was now the head of the Illuminati
of Bavaria which post he would keep until his death in
December 1793.340 In 1787, Bode came to Paris from Gotha
where Weishaupt lived.
Reliable historians record that in 1787 Bonneville and
Mirabeau introduced Bode to the members of the lodge Amis
Reunis at Paris.341 Bonneville was fluent in German and
French, and likely served as translator even though Bode was
literate in French.342
Mirabeau’s impression from the encounter with Bode
in 1787 is likely what explains his remark in a book of 1788.
Mirabeau said that the name of the relatively obscure
J.C.Bode “should be dear to humanity.”343
Moreover, indisputable joint-publishing evidence
further links Bode and Bonneville at the identical time of
Bode’s visit to Paris. This is Bonneville’s 1788 book entitled

340.An expert on Carl Leonhard Reinhold, Bode’s successor in the Illu-

minati Order, notes Bode’s prior role. “In 1787...Bode starts a reform
of the Order [of the Illuminati], from 1790 under the name Deutsche
Freimaurerbund. In 1793, Bode dies and Reinhold takes over the gen-
eral leadership.” (Jan A.M. Snoek, “What Does The Word ‘Religious’
Mean in Reinhold’s ‘Religious Freemasonry,” Egypt: Temple of the
Whole World: Studies in Honor of Jan Assmann (ed. Sibyille Meyer)
(Brill: 2003) at 413, quoted in Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009) at 132.)
341.See Isabelle Bourdin, Les Sociétés Populaires a Paris Pendant La
Révolution (Paris: Libraire du Recueíl Sirey, 1937) at 53 (citing Hector
Le Couteulx de Canteleu, a friend of masonry, entitled Sociétés
Secrèts, Politiques et Religieuses (Paris: Didier et Cie. 1863) at 168).
342.Incidentally, I suspect the importance of Bonneville in the Illuminati
system has alot to do with the fact he could read and write German.
343.Mirabeau, De La Monarchie Prussienne (London: 1788) Vol. V at
74. Speaking of J.C.Bode’s Examen impartial du livre intitulé: des
Erreurs...; par un frère laïque en fait de science (1782), Mirabeau
remarks as to Bode: “Un homme dont le nom deviendra cher à
l’humanité....” Id. (On Bode as the author of Examen, see La bulletin
du bibliophile Belge (Brussels: Olivier, 1869) at 26.)

Introduction 128
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Jesuits chased from Freemasonry. This book appeared in

France in 1788 with Bonneville’s name on it.344 Then a Ger-
man translation appeared at Leipzig. The Goschen firm —
Bode’s publisher — of Leipzig published it in 1788.345 Sev-
eral sources concur this German edition of Bonneville’s
book, in both of its two parts, was translated by J.C. Bode.346
Hence, it is very clear Bonneville wrote Jesuits
Chased etc. (1788), and Bode translated it into German. Bode
also likely did some editing while in Paris in 1787. This joint
venture between Bode and Bonneville obviously required
significant collaboration — as well as collegial and tactical
Thus, this joint publishing and cross-translation activ-
ity incontestably has Bonneville in 1788 having a business
partnership with what was then the highest level contact pos-
sible from within the Bavarian Illuminati: J.C. Bode. Thus,
Bonneville’s claim in 1791 to be carrying on the Bavarian
Illuminati at Paris is a realistic claim.

344.Bonneville, Les Jesuites chassés de la Maçonnerie et leur poignard

brisé par les maçons (Paris: 1788). This was composed of two books
under one title. The first book was La Maçonnerie écossoise comparée
avec les trois professions & le secret des Templiers du 14e Siecle with
its own title page. Then another title page Jesuits Chasses appears on
page 162 followed by the second book within the volume with another
title page which reads Méméte des Quatre Voeux de la Compagnie des
S. Ignace et Des Quatre Grades de Maçonnerie de S. Jean (1788).
345.Bonneville, Die Jesuiten vertrieben aus der Freymaurerei und ihr
Dolch zerbrochen durch die Freymaurer (Leipzig: 1788). Goschen’s
grandson said this book “possibly” came from Bode. See Viscount
Goschen, The Life and Times of Georg Joachim Goschen (London:
Murray, 1903) Vol. I at 347.
346.Stephan Füssel, Verlagsbibliographie Göschen 1785 bis 1838 (1998)
at 28 (part one was translated by Bode into German); Edward Batley,
Reforming the Whole World (Symposium Fife Research Lodge, 2003)
at 16 fn. 19 (part two, the Company of Ignatius portion, was translated
by Bode); see also, “Bonneville, Nicolas de,” La Grand Encyclopedie
(Paris: 1873) Vol. VII at 346 (Bode translated Jesuits, etc.). See also (Bode tr. part II.)

Introduction 129
Bonneville & Dietrich of the Illuminati of Weishaupt
Bonneville also was in direct contact with another
important Illuminatus of Weishaupt’s Order — Dietrich.347
Dietrich translated several of Bonneville’s works.348
According to Dresden attorney E.E. Eckert, Dietrich also
attended the 1785 visit by Bode to the Amis Reunis at Paris.
Bode “signed off” attending, and Dietrich was, along with
Mirabeau, involved in welcoming Bode to the convent of
Amis Reunis which opened February 1785.349 Incidentally,
Dietrich was the Mayor of Strasbourg, France in 1790-92.
Also of note, in 1793 the Montagnard Jacobins — the
enemy of the Illuminists — sent Eulogius Schneider to Stras-
bourg. Schneider arrested Dietrich on the ground he was a
friend of Lafayette. Dietrich was executed at Paris during
Robespierre’s Reign of Terror. This is another example of the
Montagnard antipathy toward the Illuminati of France.

Bonneville’s Activity In The Revolution of 1789 Conjoined

With Other Illuminati Members
Another proof of the proximity of Bonneville to the
Illuminati is that Bonneville was clearly operating in the ear-
liest moves of the French Revolution with four other Illumi-
nati: Mirabeau, Savalette de Langes, and the two Tassin

347.“Dietrich was one of them.” (Heckethorn: 312.) “[A]mong them was

Dietrich.” (Frost: 47.)
348.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men, supra, at 539 fn. 63.
349.E.E.Eckert [Dresden attorney], Magazin der Beweisfhrung für Veru-
theilung des Freimaurer-ordens (Schaufaussen Burter, 1855) at 136.
The Amis Reunis official invite list for the 1785 Congress did include
Bode. Few others mention Bode attended the 1785 convent of the
Amis Reunis. All historians acknowledge Bode came in 1787 to the
Amis Reunis at Paris. Bode left a journal of that trip which was
recently published in Germany. Yet, the mention of Bode’s 1785 visit
is given scant attention.

Introduction 130
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Mirabeau in 1788 wrote a famous book in which he

extolled the Bavarian Illuminati as “noble and grand.”350 In
1786, Mirabeau had joined Weishaupt’s Bavarian Order.351 It
was either Nicolai or Mauvillon who recruited Mirabeau.352
Mirabeau devised a plan in 1789 of a bloodless revo-
lution but achieved by arming of the French populace. This
would give the revolutionary party a ready-made armed
group to usurp control over the king and then use, as neces-
sary, to apply pressure. This plan — known in French history
as the Great Fear — was in obedience to a plan first extolled
in Machiavelli’s The Prince in 1537 as a means of revolu-
Louis Philippe, a Jacobin and son of the revolutionary
Duke d’Orleans, explained that Mirabeau in June-July 1789
devised a means to achieve formation of a militia. Mirabeau
would spread a panic throughout the nation about brigands
coming ashore. This would cause the municipal authorities to
call out the militia in each major city of France. This in turn
would allow the formation of what later was known as the
national guard. The panic would serve to arm the people, and
thereby minimize the king’s power through the French army.

350.See page 121 supra.

351.The enrollment of Mirabeau in the Illuminati is established in the
review of Mirabeau’s life in the secret societies done by René Verrier
(Grand Commander, Scottish Rite of France) entitled Mirabeau, franc-
maçon, 1749-1791; suivi du Mémoire concernant une association
intime à établir dans l’Ordre de la F... M... pour le ramener à ses vrais
principes, 1776 (Marseille: Éditions du centenaire, 1951). As summa-
rized elsewhere: “Mr. Verrier...shows that Mirabeau was admitted into
the order of Illuminés as Léonidas.” André Bouton, “Mirabeau Franc-
Maçon,” Le Symbolisme (avril-mai 1954) N°4/314 available at http://
ton.htm (accessed 1/9/09).
Mirabeau’s name also appears on the list of Illuminati that Bavaria in
1791 shared diplomatically with Austria. See “Appendix E: The Lehr-
bach Illuminati Liste” on page 240 et seq. See also, S. Brunner, Die
Mysteries der Auflklaerung in Oesterreich 1770-1800 (Mainz: 1869) at

Introduction 131
This in fact happened, and is known as the Great Fear.354
Louis Philippe, a contemporary and associate of Mirabeau,
explained its true origin:

Toward the end of July the wave of panic about

the so-called brigands reached Saint-Leu. It is
one of the most extraordinary developments
of the Revolution. The deputies of the popular
party thought that the formation of National
Guards in the provinces was going slowly, and
Mirabeau, who knew perfectly well how to
play on the credibility of the people, suggested
that the process could be speeded up by
simultaneously spreading a panic throughout
France, which would force the nation to take
up arms and form itself into contingents of
National Guards. This strange plan was tried
and was completely successful.355

352.In early 1786, Mirabeau travelled to Germany, and Nicolai published

Mirabeau’s Secret History of the Court of Berlin. Nicolai was alias
Lucian in the Illuminati, himself writing a book defending his member-
ship in the Illuminati. German historians report it was Nicolai who first
initiated Mirabeau into the Illuminati. See, René Le Forestier, Les Illu-
minés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie allemande (Paris: 1915) at
662 (citing Endl. Schick.)
Mirabeau in 1786 also met Mauvillon, alias Archesilaus in the Illuminati.
They collaborated on important books. Their letters were posthu-
mously published in two works: Lettres amicales du comte de Mira-
beau a M. Mauvillon a Brunswic (1794) and Lettres du comte de
Mirabeau a un de ses amis en Allemagne [Jacob von Mauvillon],
ecrites durant less anees 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789 et 1790 (Brunswick/
Brussels 1792).
Within these letters, Mauvillon clearly twice alluded to their joint mem-
bership in the Illuminati. He wrote Mirabeau that “within a few
years...the flame will take hold also and be embraced generally, [and]
then our Order will be able to do grand things.” In another, Mauvillon
wrote “within ten years the revolutionary flame will shine throughout
Germany” and the “Dear Brothers, maintained within our fraternal
association, will be able to render great services for the good cause....”
(quoted in Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçon-
nerie allemande, supra, at 663.)

Introduction 132
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

There can be very little doubt about Mirabeau’s role

in the national Great Fear in June-July 1789. In Mirabeau’s
earlier election campaign to the Estates General in March
1789, Mirabeau relied upon an identical modus operandi. In
advance of the Assembly vote at Aix where Mirabeau was
trying to stand for election, the people were roused by orders
they thought were from the king to burn the properties of the
nobles. After terrible destruction, Mirabeau then stood up,
calmed those obeying such orders, and asked the now grateful
communities to elect him due to his proven peacemaker sta-
tus. When the pillaging first broke out in March, the Inten-
dant of Provence wrote, “The population is attacking the
ecclesiastical, the noble, the bourgeois [that is, middle class]
without distinction... The peasant is continually announcing
that the destruction and pillage he is committing are in con-
formity with the will of the king.”356 The Military Com-
mander of Provence, Caraman, said that the “process is
directed by uniform principles. The same errors are shared

353.“Hiero of Syracuse... a private individual became Prince of Syracuse

[who was] elected [by the Syracusans] as captain from which post he
rose by ability to be Prince;... He abolished the old militia, raised a
new one, abandoned his old friendships and formed others; and as he
had thus friends and soldiers of his own choosing, he was able on this
foundation to build securely, so that while he had great trouble in
acquiring his position he had little in maintaining it.” (Niccolo Machia-
velli, The Prince (1537)(N.Y.: New American Library, 1980) at 50-51.)
354.An example from when the Great Fear was tapering off is a letter
dated August 3, 1789 which said at Auvergne “the peasants burn cas-
tles” and the people say they suffer “much repugnance” at having to
treat the “kind seignors” in this manner, but they have “imperative
orders, having been advised that the king wished it.” (Henri Doniol,
Histoire des classes rurales en France et de leurs progrès dans l’égal-
ité et la proprieté (2d ed.)(Paris: 1867) at 499 (letter of August 3, 1789
to Mr. Clermont-Tonnerre).) The letter continues: “seven to eight cas-
tles in the neighborhood had” similar treatment, all by their vassals,
who “all believed to act by order of the King.” Id.
355.Louis Philippe, Memoirs 1773-1793, supra, at 47 (emphasis added).

Introduction 133
Thus, what took place in March 1789 to gain Mira-
beau’s election was copied nationally in June and July 1789.
In the summer, the Great Fear was spread, causing the entire
populace of France to spontaneously form militias. Their
loyal action was then taken advantage of by the revolutionary
party at Paris who then federated all these militias as the
National Guard under control of Savalette, the Tassin broth-
ers and Lafayette, as we shall soon discuss.
Moreover, upon Mirabeau’s “election victory” at Aix
in March 1789 (secured by this identical ploy copied later as
the Great Fear), Mirabeau immediately left for Paris “accom-
panied by four hundred youths on horseback.”358 Mirabeau
apparently recruited them from the docks near Marseilles.
This is important because roughly the same number of men
on horseback were responsible for spreading of the Great
Fear later in June and July 1789. In the summer of 1789,
the Chevalier de Saint-Louis reported inquiring from one of
these horsemen what was afoot, and he replied that “he had
been sent by M. de Mirabeau and that there were about five
hundred of them scattered around the provinces to gather
information on what was happening.”359 This was half of the
truth: these horsemen were spreading the panic from town to
Young, a contemporary observer, noted how after
Mirabeau’s motion of July 8, 1789 to form a city militia was
denied in the Assembly, a greater panic was spread from Paris

356.Antonina Vallentin, Mirabeau (trans. Ernest Walter Dickes)(Viking

Press, 1948) at 297. The identical quote is in Taine, saying the dispatch
was at the time of the election of the deputies in the district of
Provence. See, Hippolyte Taine, The Ancient Régime (trans. John
Durand) (London: Sampson Low, etc., 1881) at 378.
357.Vallentin, Mirabeau, supra, at 297.
358.Claude Manceron, Blood of the Bastille (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1989) Vol. V at 428.
359.George Lefebvre, The Great Fear of 1789: Rural Panic in Revolu-
tionary France (trans. Joan White) (Intro. George Rudé) (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1973) at 130.

Introduction 134
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

to the nation as part of what is known as the Great Fear. (The

panic actually began in June.) This panic then ensured that
Mirabeau’s motion would be publicly accepted. Young notes
the use of “forged orders” from the king were employed to
instigate the people to the pillaging of the nation.360
Incidentally, Lefebvre provides an example of these
forged orders. The horsemen running from town to town rais-
ing alarm held up placards that read, “Edict of the King”
under which read: “The King orders all chåteaux to be burnt
down; he only wishes to keep his own!” Or they held up pre-
printed forms with the King’s seal that ordered looting and
destruction of estates to save the realm from brigands.361

360.Arthur Young, an English scientist travelling in France at the time,

records what contemporaries reported in the wake of the rejection of a
particular motion made by Mirabeau on July 8, 1789. Young mentions
a dinner conversation in Turin, Italy with some Frenchmen on Septem-
ber 25, 1789. The speakers talked of the Great Fear of the summer of
1789. Young asked, “by whom such enormities were committed; by
the peasants or wandering brigands?” Young reports that in response,
“they said by the peasants undoubtedly; but that the great and indisput-
able origin of the most villainies was the settled plan and conduct of
some leaders in the National Assembly, in union with, and by the
money of one other of great rank [the Duc d’Orleans]; that when the
Assembly had rejected the proposal of the Count de Mirabeau to
address the king to establish the milice bourgeois [i.e., July 8, 1789],
couriers were soon sent to all quarters of the kingdom to give a univer-
sal alarm of great troops of brigands being actually on the march,
plundering and burning everywhere, at the instigation of aristocrats,
and calling on the people to arm immediately in their defence; that by
intelligence afterwards, received from different parts of the kingdom, it
was found that these couriers must have been dispatched from Paris
at the same time. [Young adds in a footnote that this was later con-
firmed to him in Paris]. Forged orders of the king in council were
likewise sent, directing the people to burn the chateaux [homes] of the
aristocratical party; and thus, as it were by magic, all France was
armed at the same moment, and the peasants instigated to commit the
enormities which have since disgraced the kingdom.” (Georges Lefeb-
vre, The Great Fear of 1789 — Rural Panic in Revolutionary France
(Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1973) at 138-39, quoting
Arthur Young, Travels in France During the years 1787, 1788, 1789.

Introduction 135
How and from whom Mirabeau obtained the king’s
seal is no longer a mystery. In Mirabeau’s memoirs, we find
he notes Lamoignon, the Keeper of the King’s Seals, desired
a revolution. Mirabeau wrote Lauzun: “I like him [i.e., Lam-
oignon] personally... He showed me that he really wanted to
make a revolution for the good of the nation....”362
Furthermore, the true origin of the Great Fear as
Mirabeau’s doing was known by initiates into the mysteries
of the revolution. Cadet-Gassicourt, a responsible Freemason
leader before and after the Revolution, explained in a treatise
generally accepted by Freemasons as fair and true, that mem-
bers of the Templars (which included the Amis Reunis who
employed one grade of “Knights Templar”) including Mira-
beau (whom Gassicourt names as a Templar), instigated the
Great Fear (not yet historically known by that name) to agi-
tate the people to action:

To put the people in action, [the Duke]

d’Orleans hoarded wheat363 and he exported
[the wheat] to the islands of Gersey and Grene-
sey, so that their chiefs accused the govern-
ment of organizing famine. Their agents
traversed the countryside, they massacred
the nobles, the wealthy, the priests, they
burned the chateaus, and ravaged the har-
vests. The propagandists seduced the troops,
and they scattered the foreigners;....364

361.Lefebvre provides an example of one of these placards in a plate in

his work, The Great Fear of 1789. See also, Nesta Webster, World Rev-
olution (Boston: Small, Maynard & Co., 1921) at 32.
362.Antonina Vallentin, Mirabeau (trans. E.W. Dickes) (New York: The
Viking Press, 1948) at 268 (emphasis added).
363.Gassicourt drops a footnote here in which he cites as confirmation of
his own experience Felix Montjoie’s L’Histoire de la conspiration de
Louis-Philippe-Joseph D’Orleans, 3 vols. (Paris: 1796).

Introduction 136
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

The reputable historian George Lefebvre wrote a book

length treatment on the Great Fear. In it, Lefebvre confirms
that the revolutionary party took full advantage of the panic
to arm the populace:

[O]ne must accept that the orators in the towns

who encouraged the arming of local population
for political reasons did much to propagate
them....[T]he news operated to their advan-
tage and they were prepared to use it for
their ends; of all the accusations levelled at
them in this matter of brigands and rumors,
this seems to be the one we may accept as true.
Some of them... skillfully used the danger to
justify arming the populace.365

Bonneville’s Role In Taking Advantage of the Panic

When the same panic came to Paris in June 1789, the
revolutionary party used this alarm to organize the militia of
the city — what later was called the national guard. Who was
the first public voice in Paris to work within Mirabeau’s plan?
Nicolas Bonneville. As Bonneville’s own biography says in
the opening page of the 1791 edition of the L’Esprit des Reli-
N. Bonneville was the first on 19 June 1789, to
make the motion for the National Guard.
This motion among city electors was actually pre-
ceded by Bonneville’s article of June 9, 1789 in his Cercle
Social journal, Bouche de Fer. In it, Bonneville publicly
advocated formation of a National Guard to suppress the pil-
laging afflicting Paris at that time, and take the lead role over

364.Cadet-Gassicourt, Le Tombeau de Jacques Molay ou le secret des

conspirateurs, à ceux qui veulent tout savoir. (Paris: Les Marchands de
Nouveaute, 1796) at 20.
365.George Lefebvre, The Great Fear of 1789—The Rural Panic in Revo-
lutionary France (Princeton University Press, 1973) at 131.

Introduction 137
the other militias recently formed throughout the country.
They would combine to prevent the pillaging that had
become a national phenomenon. Thus, Michelet credits Bon-
neville as the first person to promote publicly the idea of a
National Guard.366
Finally, what was Savalette de Langes doing in this

Savalette’s Role In Taking Advantage of the Panic

Savalette was the figure whom Bode’s journal from
1787 says Bode recruited into the Illuminati Order at Paris.
Professor Porset has reviewed the recent publication of the
Journal of Bode.367 This journal of Bode’s Paris trip of 1787
had sat in the Dresden library for almost two centuries until it
was recently published. The Journal reveals: “Savalette was
gained to the ranks of the Illuminati on August 1, 1787 along
with four others [e.g., D’Aubermesnil], and [also] Rottiers de
Montaleau and [Pierre-Marie] Taillepied de Bondy.”368
This report about Savalette completely accords with
Bode’s report upon his return to Gotha. Bode spoke with the
famous Enlightenment playwright Schiller about the results
of his Paris trip. Schiller wrote on September 18, 1787 to his
friend C.G. Körner that:

Bode, it seems to me, has given me a very par-

tial description of France.... I suppose that he
frequented above all with Savalette de

366.Jules Michelet, History of the French Revolution (Chicago: 1967) at

367.Johann Joachim Christian Bode, Journal von einer Reise von Weimar
nach Frankreich. Im Jahr 1787 (ed. by Hermann Schüttler) (München:
ars una, 1994). This journal was preserved at the Dresden Library. The
librarian at the time who first received this was Karl Böttiger (1760-
1835). He was a friend and ally of Bode who in 1800 mentioned hav-
ing the journal. He stuck his professional neck out by putting a spin on
Bode’s writings that were accurate but misleading. See page 173.

Introduction 138
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Langes, chief of a Lodge where he [Bode] was

received [i.e., the Amis Reunis].369
According to Bode’s journal, Bode and Savalette (the
Grand Master of the Amis Reunis of Paris) agreed to hide the
Illuminati Order at the Amis Reunis under the cover of the
name Philadelphes. The Minerval grade of the Illuminati
Order was hidden under the cover name of Adspirans. Profes-
sor Porset relates that Bode’s Journal says “for France, it will
adopt the name of Philadelphes in lieu of Illuminati, and in
lieu of M[inervaux?], that is to say the preparatory class, the
[name of] Adspirans.”370
Professor Porset, by examining the archives of Kloss
as well as the names in Bode’s Journal, was able to determine
the eleven Illuminati Bode recruited to operate under cover at
the Amis Reunis lodge of Paris:
• D’Aubermesnil (aka Daubermesnil)
• Rottiers de Montaleau

368.Charles Porset, Les Philalèthes et les Convents de Paris: un politique

de la folie (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1996) at 230, citing Johann
Joachim Christian Bode, Journal von einer Reise von Weimar nach
Frankreich. Im Jahr 1787 (ed. by Hermann Schüttler) (München: ars
una, 1994) at 78 n. 49.
Pierre-Marie Taillepied de Bondy “in 1792 became the director of the
manufacture of the assignats” — the paper money of France. See http:/
/ (accessed 2/
21/09). Rottier de Montaleau is regarded as the “Maçon fondateur de
rites et ‘père’ du GODF [Grand Orient de France] moderne…et fidèle
partisan du ‘Petit tondu.’” (See
index.php?2006/03/26/39-le-marechal-magnan.) Rottiers (1748-1807),
Director of the Money of Paris, was involved in running GODF Free-
masonry & the Scottish Rite under Napoleon’s regime. http://
369.Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 668 n.3; see also Daniel Jacoby,
“Der Stifer des Illuminatenordens und eine Briefstelle Schillers an
Körner,” Euphorion (Leipzig: 1903) at 91. See also, Firminger, supra,
at 62. The original German is quoted in
Johann_Christoph_Bode (accessed 2/10/09).
370.Charles Porset, Les Philalèthes et les Convents de Paris: un politique
de la folie (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1996) at 230.

Introduction 139
• [Pierre-Marie] Taillepied de Bondy
• Le Sage
• Savalette de Langes
• Chefdebien
• Christian Gottfried Saltzmann [inspector at Strasbourg]
• de Gleichen
• the brothers Tassin
• Friedrich Tiéman (a German, friend of St. Martin)
• Stroganoff371
• Louis de Hesse-Darmstadt.372

This is why Bode wrote his girlfriend Ms.Hess:

My main purpose here has succeeded. Since I
arrived here, what I had written... was read
twice. This Convention has brought an end to
searching for alchemy, Cabala, theosophy,
Theurgy and the more subtle occult sci-

371.Strogonoff’s tutor was the mathematician Gilbert Romme. In 1789,

Romme on one of his frequent visits to Paris from Russia introduced
Stroganoff to Sieyès and Pétion. Romme joined the French legislature
in 1791, and was one of those who “found[ed] the cult of reason, [and
was the] author of the republican calendar.” (Elisabeth Roudinesco,
Martin Thom, Madness and Revolution (London: Verso, 1991) at 190.)
Prior to the Revolution, Romme was a member of the lodge Neuf Soeurs
from 1778-1783. During the crisis of 1793, Romme joined the Mon-
tagnard faction at the Jacobins. See, Vladislav Rjéoutski, “Les Français
dans la franc-maçonnerie russe au siècle des lumières: hypothèses et
pistes de recherche,” Slavica Occitania (Toulouse, 2007) no 24 at 91-
136. Romme proposed his calendar on September 20, 1793. It was not
repealed until 1805. Under Romme’s plan, the weeks were now ten
days: “The tenth day, décadi, replaced Sunday as the day of rest and
festivity.” (See
Republican_Calendar (accessed 3/7/09).
372.Charles Porset, Les Philalèthes et les Convents de Paris: un politique
de la folie (Paris: Honoré Champion, 1996) at 234-35 (“I have deter-
mined in 1788, the Amis Reunis set up a chapter — eleven Illuminati
who belonged. This began as a twelfth class within the lodge....[T]his
was represented by....[names in text].”)

Introduction 140
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

ences....and are determined to use their time

and mental faculties on such things as to
what reach out and are useful to human soci-
ety. So my travel has been totally satisfying.
You, do not speak of this to the Profane Free-
masons [i.e., those not Illuminized]. You
understand me.... I hope....373
Savalette as Grand Master of the Amis Reunis thus
had made Bode entirely happy about the new direction upon
which the Amis Reunis would embark.
Now we move ahead two years. In June 1789, Saval-
ette appeared before the municipal leaders of Paris, and made
the plea to arm the people whom he said he had trained and
brought with himself:
Gentlemen, here are citizens who I have
trained to pick up arms in defense of the coun-
try; I have no made myself their major or their
general. We are all equals. I am simply a corpo-
ral, but I have provided the example. Com-
mand all the citizens to follow it so that the
nation picks up its arms and freedom is invin-
For this reason, Savalette is recognized in French his-
tory as the “founder of the National Guard.”375
Simultaneously, the chief of the Paris National Guard
was another Illuminatus recruited by Bode — one of the pre-
viously mentioned brothers Tassin — Gabriel Tassin de

373.Leopold Engel [founder revived Illuminati], Geschichte des Illumi-

naten-ordens (H. Bermühler verlag, 1906) at 410-412.
374.Hector Le Couteulx de Canteleu, Sociétés Secrèts, Politiques et
Religieuses (Paris: Didier et Cie. 1863) at 211.
375.Albert Ollivier, Saint Just et la force des choses (Gallimard, 1954) at
103 (“Savalette...fondateur de la Garde nationale”).

Introduction 141
l’Etang — to be precise. He was the “chief of the battalion of
the National Guard of Paris” while his brother Louis Daniel
Tassin “was an officer of the National Guard of Paris.”376
Thereafter, this armed unit seized the Bastille Prison
on July 14, 1789 — the symbol for the start of the French
Revolution. It was done with virtually no bloodshed.
A year later — in July 1790, the Illuminati celebrated
at an international party held at Hamburg (in Germany) the
storming of the Bastille. The host was Illuminatus George H.
Sieveking (1751-1799) alias Osman. It was held in his botan-
ical garden called Harvestude. Celebrants included Knigge
(one of the most zealous propagators of the Bavarian Order in
its early days) as well as American, English and French citi-
zens.377 The seventy or eighty guests all wore sashes in the
French tricolor. The host let loose canon fire to honor the
French National Assembly and King Louis XVI, the
reformer. At the end, the throng sang Sieveking’s own com-
position — Song of Liberty.378
The reason for such celebration hosted by an Illumi-
natus was because at the core of that watershed moment of
the French Revolution were five Bavarian Illuminati: Mira-
beau (who set the entire national movement in motion);
Savalette de Langes (who trained the cadre at Paris to serve in
the militia); Gabriel Tassin de l’Etang (put in charge of the
Paris city militia); Louis Daniel Tassin (officer of the Paris
city militia); and Bonneville who then was the first to motion
the Paris municipal officers in June 1789 that they should

376.François-Xavier Feller, Supplément au Dictionnaire Historique

(Paris & Lyon: 1820) at 284.
377.Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Patriotism, cosmopolitanism, and national
culture (Rodopi, 2003) at 93. The famous poet Friedrich Klopstock
gave a speech and rendered a poem on this occasion. Yet, later he was
disappointed severely by the terror of 1793. Id., at 94. Knigge gave an
account of this party. See id., at 93 n. 11.
378.Nicholas Boyle, Goethe: Revolution and renunciation (1790-1803)
(N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2000) at 4.

Introduction 142
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

authorize the militia to form the National Guard. Later, by

acclamation, Bonneville’s good friend, colleague, and subor-
dinate at lodge Contrat social — Lafayette — was put in
charge of the entire National Guard of France.379
Clearly, Bonneville was on the innermost planning of
this particular event which was dominated by Illuminati
members. In Machiavellian style, the Illuminati with just 500
paid horsemen, and five well-placed political figures — (1)
Mirabeau in the Estates General, (2) Bonneville in his journal
and as Paris elector, (3) Savalette as a wealthy politician, and
(4) & (5) the two Tassin brothers — were able to single-hand-
edly create a virtually bloodless revolution.

The German Illuminati from Mainz Attach Themselves To The

Anti-Montagnard Anti-Marat Pro-Revolutionary Party
One of the best proofs that Bonneville stood directly
with the true German Illuminati is to see with whom the Ger-
man Illuminati from Mainz aka Mayence allied in 1793.
These Mainz-Illuminati were sent by their revolutionary gov-
ernment at Mainz to Paris. These German Illuminati after
arriving at Paris were, like Bonneville, opposed to Marat and
the rising Montagnard faction at the Jacobins under Marat
and Robespierre. They especially despised the rampant use of
terror just as it disgusted Bonneville and the Brissotin party.
Then, coincident with the arrests/executions of most mem-

379.At this juncture, by acclamation, Lafayette was put over the National
Guard. (Marie Joseph Lafayette, Memoirs, Correspondence and
Manuscripts of General Lafayette (London: Sanders & Otley, 1837)
Vol. II at 243-244.) As we note elsewhere, Lafayette was a member of
the Contrat social lodge in the early 1780’s when Bonneville was the
leading spirit of that lodge. See Footnote 436 on page 169 and text
accompanying Footnote 429 on page 166. Lafayette made a special trip
in the 1820’s to New York to see Nicolas Bonneville. See page 111 and
page 112. It was evidently Lafayette who took Nicolas back to France
before Nicolas died at Paris in 1828. At least, in 1825 Lafayette took
Nicolas’ son Benjamin Bonneville from N.Y. to Paris by ship. See
Footnote 293 on page 111 and accompanying text.

Introduction 143
bers of the Cercle Social-Brissotin party, the German Illumi-
nati from Mainz were likewise arrested and executed by
Robespierre. Hence, these many parallel behaviors and the
ultimate fate between Bonneville and the German Illuminati
at Paris demonstrate a likely concurrence of mind and
actions. This in turn confirms the true standing of Bonneville
with the original Illuminati from Bavaria.
This story begins with the French armies approaching
German-speaking lands and instantly finding civil leaders
coming out to them to negotiate surrender of their city-states
to the French. These leaders identified themselves as mem-
bers of the Illuminati Order. These efforts by the Illuminati to
win over General Custine were recorded in his memoirs pub-
lished just one year later — in 1794. In these memoirs, Cust-
ine evinced that he was completely oblivious about who were
the ‘Illuminati’ on the larger stage of world history.
In 1793, French General Custine approached Mainz
(Mayence in French) to lay siege to it. The Mémoires du
général Custine of 1794 “recounted all the details of how one
secret deputation came from Mayence in 1793 which were
found to have come from the Illuminati party, and it prom-
ised the turning over of the strong palace there, and to erase
all the difficulties one could find there.”380
In these memoirs, General Custine explained he “had
to believe in the influence of these Illuminati despite some
frustration that all their machinations were dangerous.”381
Clearly, in this 1794 book, Custine had no idea what he
encountered — the Illuminati — had any bearing on the
larger history of this group in the French Revolution itself.

380.Charles Louis Haller, Restauration de la science politique (Lyon &

Paris: Rusand, 1824), Vol. I at 183 fn. 1, citing Mémoires du général
Custine (Hambourg & Frankfurt: 1794) Vol. I at 45, 50, 54, 55,
381.Adam Philippe Custine, Mémoires posthumes du général françois,
comte de Custine (assembled by Un des ses Aides de Camp) (Frankfurt
& Hambourg: 1794) at 86.

Introduction 144
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Custine goes on in his memoirs to note that “the chiefs of this

sect extended to among the most ambitious” as they were
seeking to “establish their empire.”382 Finally, he comments:

This sect called Illuminés, is compounded of

excessive rogues and fools, which together
resemble, as a regime, the Society of Jesuits in
that its members are committed by duty to act
in the direction you want them, without being
admitted to the secret order, which are exclu-
sively reserved to their leaders.383
Custine’s Aide de Camp contributed to these mem-
oirs. He provides an account of a secret meeting with the Illu-
minati of Mainz/Mayence. He details their assistance inside
Mainz/Mayence to secure a French conquest over their city.
This passage of the Memoires begins by saying among the

intriguers and the number of the Illuminati

was the engineer Eikenmayer,... [and] one
named Dorsch,384 a Professor from Strasbourg,
who served as the intermediary for correspon-
dence, which by the hands of Böhmer made its
way to General Custine....[The] audacity of our
friends went even further as Böhmer385 and
Stamm offered to visit in secret at Mainz, and
after a conference with Eikenmayer, reported to

382.Custine, Mémoires posthumes, supra, at 47.

383.Custine, Mémoires posthumes, supra, at 47-48.
384.Anton Joseph Dorsch (1758-Paris,1819) was alias Ptolemy in the Illu-
minati. “In 1784, he was found on the list of Illuminati.” (Marita Gilli,
Pensée et pratique révolutionnaires à la fin du XVIIIe siècle en Alle-
magne (Presses Univ. Franche-Comté, 1983) at 220.) In 1786, he wrote
Theses Philosophica. In 1787, Dorsch wrote Erste Lienen. In 1790-91,
he wrote many more books. Dorsch founded in September 1790 the
Jacobin Club of Strasbourg, France. In October 1792, Dorsch founded
the Jacobins at Mainz. (Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009) at 282.) Dur-
ing the Directory of 1798, Dorsch worked for the French Foreign Min-

Introduction 145
our chief [i.e., Custine] the circumstances, the
place, and the new instructions which favor
the enterprise we were planning.386
The final mention of the Illuminati in Custine’s 1794
memoirs is highly astute. It notices the Illuminati were will-
ing, once given power by the French armies over Mainz/May-
ence, to take measures on transforming public policy so as to
win over the masses. Custine writes:

The leaders of society of Illuminati already

had for a long-time held principles very similar
to the French Revolution because they
announced that the purpose of their meeting
and their work was to reach out and extend the
boundaries of freedom, which was the first
property of the human species, to make their
peers aware of what had been taken away, to
oppose as a dam the abuse that the Princes can
do with their power and the alleged despotism
of the privileged classes, to serve religion by
removing abuses that have taken hold of the
heart. But they did not yet permit themselves
to talk about the total destruction of the former
regime. They only presented restoration
projects that appeared favorable for the general
good, and they were wrapping themselves in
a seductive form all to deform their [true]
intentions and [true] hearts; they encouraged
people not to revolt if they anticipated they
would become their enemies, [but] if their rea-
sons were known, this was just a cover for

385.Professor Johann G. Böhmer (1761-1839) is also found on Illuminati

lists. In October 1792, he co-founded the Mainz Jacobins with Dorsch.
(Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009) at 264.) He “became secretary and
interpreter to the General” Custine in dealings with the German sup-
porters of French armies. (George Peabody Gooch, Germany and the
French Revolution (Longmans, Green, 1920) at 359.)
386.Custine, Mémoires posthumes, supra, at 74.

Introduction 146
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

their condemnation of laws designed to ensure

against disruption of the public peace. The
largest number of their proselytes were young
people, whose imagination is more easily sub-
ject to praise and easier to move towards an
idealistic metaphysical appearance but which
are [mere] seductresses.387

The Background On The Illuminati of Mainz

The Illuminati at Mainz had used since 1785-87 the
cover name of “The Academy.” East German historian Walter
Markov, Professor of History at Leipzig, recently determined
that the Academy at Mainz was a thinly disguised Illuminati
lodge with all 50 Illuminati members from 1785 still attend-
ing after the name-change. Markov described this Academy’s
creation and then its transformation into an official Jacobin
Club leagued with the mother society at Paris. As a result,
this group is often simply called the Mainz Jacobins. Markov
says the founders were Georg Forster and Philipp Joseph
Brunner (1759-1829) — alias Pico Mirandola388 in the Illu-
minati — who founded “a secret democratic party on the
model of the Jacobin Club.”389

387.Custine, Mémoires posthumes du général françois, comte de Custine

(Frankfurt & Hambourg: 1794) at 149-150.
388.Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) was a Renaissance
writer. He wrote On the Dignity of Man [De hominis dignitate] (1486)
which the Catholic church disputed in part and persecuted him over.
(Richard Henry Popkin, The Columbia History of Western Philosophy
(Columbia University Press, 1999) at 311.)
389.R. R. Palmer, The Age of Democratic Revolution–A Political History
of Europe and America, 1760-1800 (Princeton University Press, 1964)
Vol. II, at 438. Apparently this work was Markov’s work cited on page
426 of Palmer’s book: W. Markov and F. Donath, Kampf und Freiheit:
Dokumente zur Zeit der nationalen Erhebung 1785-1815 (East Berlin:
1954). Another potentially relevant work is Walter Markov, Revolution
im Zeugenstand. Frankreich 1789–1799 (Leipzig 1982).

Introduction 147
Brunner confessed in a letter of June 1792 — long
before the French armies arrived at Mainz in October 1792 —
how the Academy had previously been set up with its head-
quarters at Mainz. He also explained that his confederates
were predominantly Illuminati. Brunner expressed joy over
the Illuminati Order’s success in France in a letter to Profes-
sor Numis in Mainz on June 9, 1792 — the point at which the
Brissotins/Cercle Social was largely in charge of France:

Alas, they have come to see that we have a dan-

gerous combat to struggle for the Good Cause....
Our manpower is full grown and our sphere
of activity has fully penetrated other lands.


We have had our first victory over the Jesuits

and Monks in the French Constitution, with
one victory after another and leaving them in
ruins, and now our conquests should flood into
Germany! Maybe it is the only means to hold
back our family from acting like we’re at the
Barbary Coast when it’s yet possible.

It’s safe to say, that since the greatest part of

our Confederates and poor choices come
from the Order of Illuminati that its quick
rise and disintegration is incredible.

In the new society, it is permitted to draw in

only the few who are entirely excellent and
reliable. In Mainz, Blau demonstrated proof of
this to the entire ruling group, and all the use-
ful persons guiding it, not to create a formal
plan yet necessarily keeping it confidential.

But it is not too early to enter into Details. One

day, it is easy to see, the main reunion will be
in the Rhine. Again, it is absolutely necessary
to use a Cloak, under which is our secret

Introduction 148
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

work, and to have these cloaks is the great

Trick, through which few hands have ever left
the movement, and as our tool we can obtain
and put into effect our German Plan. After long
speculation, I found some useful Vehicle, the
Establishment of a German Academy of Sci-
entists in Catholic Germany inaugurated by
the Organization (with headquarters in

O Man Gottes! When we are lucky, when we

bring them under the roof on this height, then I
will willingly roast the Jesuits and Monks.

This is the affair which one day on a walk, we

will of course go over many points by oral con-
versation. Perhaps I will accomplish this when
I go to Frankfort for the Kaiser’s
coronation. . . .390

The Mainz Illuminati Go To Paris And Are Dismayed

On November 2, 1792, Adam Lux, a Mainz Jacobin,
chaired a three day session of 233 leading citizens, at the end
of which 213 voted that Mainz should enroll as part of
France.391 Thereafter, a Convention at Mainz was held on
March 17, 1793. It declared, on the motion of Forster, to seek
enrollment of Mainz and its environs into the French Repub-
lic as the newly formed State of the Rhineland based at
Mainz. “The proposal was carried unanimously and Forster
set off with the young enthusiast Adam Lux (1765-1793) and
another deputy to present their petition to the National Con-
vention at Paris.”392

390.Richard von Düllmen, Geheimbund der Illuminaten (Stuttgart: From-

mann-Holzboog, 1977) at 413-16 (emphasis added).
391.“Adam Lux,” Wikipedia (2009).
392.Nicholas Boyle, Goethe (Oxford University Press, 2003) at 20.

Introduction 149
However, the experience Forster had by visiting Paris
in 1793, and seeing Robespierre’s Terror machine first-hand,
disillusioned him on the cause for which he fought:

I stick fast to my principles, but I find very few

who are true to them....Now that I know there
is no virtue in the Revolution it fills me with
disgust. They are devils — heartless devils. It is
just self and passion....Had I known eight
months ago, what I know now, I should have
gone to Hambourg, and not into the Club.393
Previously, Forster, co-founder of the Academy, had
accepted some use of killings. Forster at first said: “Liberty is
worth a certain number of atrocities.”394 However, what
Forster experienced at Paris cured him of using again such
Machiavellian principles.
What specifically happened at Paris is that Forster
saw first-hand the execution of his friend Adam Lux (1765-
1793). Professor Lux was a Doctor of Philosophy from the
University of Mainz. Lux had been part of the delegation of
three sent on March 21, 1793 by revolutionary Mainz to
Paris: Forster, Lux, and André Potocki. Their purpose was to
apply to the Convention at Paris for annexation of Mainz by
France. Lux had previously been the sponsor of the referen-
dum at Mainz in November 1792 whereupon an assembled
233 men voted virtually ‘unanimously’ to ask France to
annex their town.395
Yet, soon after arriving at Paris, Lux was grabbed by
Jacobin forces now led by the Mountain — Robespierre and
Marat — although the latter was recently killed by Corday.

393.Nicholas Boyle, Goethe (Oxford University Press, 2003) at 21.

394.Sydney Biro, The German Policy of Revolutionary France: A Study
in French Diplomacy During the War of the First Coalition, 1792-1797
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957) at 36 n. 16 (citing
Gooch, Germany and the French Revolution, supra, at 305).
395. (accessed 1/23/09).

Introduction 150
Bonneville & The Illuminati Of Bavaria

Lux had the misfortune of falling in love with Charlotte Cor-

day, who favored liberty without terror.396 She had assassi-
nated Marat as a means of liberating France from tyranny.
Lux likewise was “disgusted by the eruption of the Terror and
the radicalization...of the Jacobin club.”397
Lux and Forster witnessed Corday’s punishment —
an execution on July 17, 1793. (This was at the time of perse-
cution by Robespierre of Brissot and his allies.) Lux there-
upon began to write “pamphlets [signed with his own name]
that justified the killing [of Marat] as an act of libera-
tion....”398 Adam Lux’s effort at free speech was greeted with
his own arrest. At Lux’s trial of October 10, 1793, “he
assured the court that he did not fear the guillotine, and that
all ignominy had been removed by the pure blood of Char-
lotte.” When sentenced to death, Lux thanked the judges for
the blessing.399
Thus, the German Illuminati upon arriving at Paris
took sides against Marat and the Mountain faction which then
was controlling the Jacobins. The Mountain’s leaders —
Robespierre and Marat — had usurped control from the Bris-
sotin / Cercle Social group who formerly controlled the
Jacobins. Thus, the German Illuminati soon after arrival, like
Bonneville and Brissot, opposed the unjust and indiscrimi-
nate use of terror. The German Illuminati did not align them-

396.Corday was a liberal democrat. “Royalist though she had been in her
sympathies, she felt the justice of the people’s cause. She had seen the
suffering of the peasantry, the brutality of the tax-gatherers, and all the
oppression of the old regime. But what she hoped for was a democracy
of order and equality and peace. Could the king reign as a constitu-
tional monarch rather than as a despot, this was all that she cared.”
(Lyndon Orr, Famous Affinities of History: The Romance of Devotion
(Harper: 1942) at 97.)
397.“Adam Lux,” (accessed
399.Rafael Sabatini, The Historical Nights’ Entertainment (1919) at 269.

Introduction 151
selves with Robespierre or Marat — the enemies of the
Cercle Social and the enemies of the cosmopolite-atheist Illu-
minati of France. The Illuminati opposed the Mountain.
Hence, Bonneville and his Brissotin friends were pre-
cisely aligned against the same forces that Forster and Lux
(German Illuminati) were aligned against. This demonstrates
that Bonneville was a true representative of where the Ger-
man Illuminati stood in the middle of events of the French

L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The

Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On
Weishaupt’s Likely Intent

Bonneville’s work L’Esprit could have been written
by Weishaupt, the founder of the Bavarian Order. Bonneville
advocates a world republic, a community of goods, a univer-
sal religion of ‘Reason’ in place of all current religions, etc.
While some may think there are points of disagree-
ment, such as Bonneville’s firm belief in the right of religious
liberty,400 this is only because of assumptions added to how
one reads Weishaupt’s words. Indeed, Weishaupt talks of
“abolishing” religion (see infra), but this did not necessarily
mean doing so by imposing atheism and repressing religion.
In fact, Weishaupt talks about using secret schools of
wisdom and the print media to overturn current religious prej-
udices. Bonneville says the same thing in L’Esprit. Using
books to subvert religion is not the same as imposing laws to
suppress it. Thus, neither Weishaupt nor Bonneville ever
speak about using government to suppress religious beliefs.

400.See page 414 et seq.

Introduction 152
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

Below we will carefully set forth all the most vigorous words
of Weishaupt against religion, and you will not once hear any
intimation that government should suppress religion.
Thus, one cannot interpret Weishaupt’s or Bonnev-
ille’s meaning by the actions of Cloots and his dechristian-
izer-followers of 1793 in France. In fact, the evidence is clear
that Cloots in 1791 said “he had no love for nor understood
the Illuminati.”401 Moreover, Cloots was clearly a renegade
after his initial entry into the Cercle Social, later willing to
destroy its rise to political hegemony in 1792 under Brissot’s

The Bavarian Illuminati Did Not Invent The Plan At

Revolution In France
Before we begin, one must understand that the plan at
Revolution in France was solely of French origin. The Illumi-
nati were enlisted in this plan in 1782, as we shall see, and
their system of secrecy was employed to train participants to
carry it out. This is why their role is so important to recog-
The Illuminati’s system is what the French lacked if
they were to effectuate a revolution. There is no doubt that
the philosophes of France wanted revolution long before the
Illuminati existed. The Philosophes such as Voltaire and
d’Holbach tried using the encyclopedia and free public lec-
tures to start a revolution, but this was totally inadequate for
the task.
The philosopher party was meeting regularly at
d’Holbach’s hotel in Paris. It had by 1765 determined to form
a true political revolution. In that year, the liberal-minded
Horace Walpole was at Paris. He was the son of the British

401.This exchange begins with Cloots in 1791 saying: “Claude Fauchet, I

do not love you or understand you, because I do not love or under-
stand the Illuminati.” (Georges Avenel, Anacharsis Cloots, l’orateur
du genre humain (Paris: Librarie Internationale, 1865) Vol. I at 231.)

Introduction 153
Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. In a letter to Hon. Sey-
mour Conway, leader of the House of Commons in Britain,
on October 28, 1765, Horace Walpole said:

You will think the sentiments of the philoso-

phers very odd state news—but do you know
who the philosophers are, or what the term
means here? In the first place, it comprehends
almost everybody; and in the next, means men
who, avowing war against popery, aim, many
of them, at a subversion of all religion, and
still many more, at the destruction of regal
power. How do you know this? you will say;
you, who have been but six weeks in France,
three of which you have been confined to your
chamber? True: but in the first period I went
everywhere, and heard nothing else; in the lat-
ter, I have been extremely visited, and have had
long and explicit conversations with many,
who think as I tell you, and with a few of the
other side, who are no less persuaded that
there are such intentions. In particular, I had
two officers here t’other night, neither of them
young, whom I had difficulty to keep from a
serious quarrel, and who, in the heat of the
dispute, informed me of much more than I
could have learnt with great pains. As a proof
that my ideas are not quite visions, I send you a
most curious paper;402 such as I believe no
magistrate would have pronounced in the time
of Charles I. I should not like to have it known
to come from me, nor any part of the intelli-
gence I send you: with regard to which, if you
think it necessary to communicate it to particu-
lar persons, I desire my name may be sup-
pressed. I tell it you for your satisfaction and
information, but would not have anybody else

402.The editor notes: “This paper does not appear.”

Introduction 154
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

think that I do anything here but amuse

Walpole’s quote is a good reminder that the Bavarian
Illuminati did not invent the plan of a French revolution.
Rather, the idea was exported to the Illuminati in Bavaria.
They merely reimported it back to France in a new and
improved way. Their involvement is why a French revolution
realistically had hope for success. In the Illuminati’s hands,
the plan finally had a viable means of implementation. It
would focus upon indoctrination of a cadre ready and willing
to employ Jesuitical-Machiavellianism to guarantee a revolu-
Consequently, it must be emphasized that it was never
the Bavarian Illuminati’s original goal to hire thugs to vio-
lently overthrow a state. Rather, in the nations lacking the
right of democratic election in which all their members lived,
their goal was to re-educate a core cadre who would come to
secretly control via influence the monarch. They would sur-
round the king with their members. Weishaupt wrote: “When
the object is a universal revolution, all the members of these
Societies... must find the means of governing invisibly, and
without any appearance of violent measures, not only the
higher and more distinguished class of any particular State,
but even all stations, of all nations, of every religion. Insinu-
ate the same spirit everywhere; in silence, but with the great-
est possible activity, direct the scattered inhabitants of the
Earth towards the same point.”404
The goal was to spread the ideas of liberty and equal-
ity. Knigge, one of the Illuminati Order’s leaders, explained
to an intimate:

403.Horace Walpole, The Letters of Horace Walpole (ed. Paget Toyn-

bee)(Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1904) Vol. VI at 335.
404.Barruel, Memoires, etc. (Eng. trans.)(London: Clifford, 1798) Vol. III
at 23.

Introduction 155
We must give such an account of things, that
fanatics shall not be alarmed, and that shall,
notwithstanding, excite a spirit of free inquiry...
[B]y the assistance of hidden schools of Wis-
dom, Liberty and Equality, the natural and
imprescriptable rights of man warm and glow
in every breast.405
Note here the use of terminology that formed later
watchwords of the French Revolution — “liberty and equal-
ity” and the “rights of man....” These same words appear in
Mirabeau’s 1788 summary of the Illuminati agenda for
In the same vein, Knigge explained to Cato-Zwack
how to present the idea of a libertarian new world which
could be achieved without violent revolution:

Jesus Christ established no new Religion, but

only to restore natural religion and reason to
their old rights. He wished to unite men in a
great universal association, and through the
spread of a wiser morality, enlightenment, and
the combating of all prejudices to make them
capable of governing themselves; so the
secret meaning of his teaching was to lead men
without revolution to universal liberty and
equality. There are many passages in the
Bible which can be made use of and
explained, so all quarrelling between the
sects ceases if one can find a reasonable
meaning in the teaching of Jesus—be they
true or not. As, however, this simple religion
was afterwards distorted, so were these teach-
ings imparted to us through Disciplinara
Arcani and finally through Freemasonry, and
all masonic hieroglyphics can be explained

405.John Robison, Proofs (1798, Kessinger 2003 edition) at 87.

406.See page 122.

Introduction 156
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

with this object. Spartacus [i.e., Weishaupt] has

collected very good data for this and I have
myself added to them,... and so I have got both
degrees ready....

Now therefore that people see that we are the

only real and true Christians, we can say a
word more against priest and princes, but I
have so managed things that after previous
tests I can receive popes and kings in this
degree. In the higher Mysteries we must then
(a) disclose the pious fraud and (b) reveal from
all writings the origin of all religious lies and
their connexion....407
The Illuminati would thus educate members gradually
about “religious lies.” They would not use the state to abolish
religion; they would use truth ‘as they saw it’ to do so.
What about this tactic of using pious frauds? What did
this mean?
Weishaupt learned the Machiavellian use of “pious
frauds” from the Jesuits. Scholars explain that the Jesuits
defended use of “pious frauds” as sometimes necessary to
spread Christianity.408 Weishaupt taught what Jesuits had
used for what he regarded as evil could now be used for good:
gaining a hearing for Illuminism among those who might oth-
erwise be driven away by any sooner direct proclamation:

We must first gradually explain away all our

preparatory pious frauds. And when persons

407.Nachtrag von Weiteren Originalschriften (Munich: Zweite Abtei-

lung, 1787), Vol. I at 104-06.
408.Jesuits justified pious frauds. In fact, they made “casuistry a separate
science,” and defended “the permissibility of acts which are sinful in
themselves, but may be justified or at least pardoned, under extenuat-
ing circumstances, such as...tyrannicide to free the people from oppres-
sion...pious fraud or lying for a good purpose.....” (Philip Schaff &
Samuel Macauley Jackson, Theological Propædeutic, a General Intro-
duction to Theology (N.Y.: Scribner’s, 1893) at 441.)

Introduction 157
of discernment find fault, we must desire them
to consider the end of all our labor. This sanc-
tifies our means... because they procured us a
patient hearing, when otherwise men would
have turned away from us like petted chil-
In this quote, we hear “the end...sanctifies our means”
— a lesson that Weishaupt learned from Machiavelli.
Weishaupt repeatedly quotes Machiavelli’s phrase “the end
justifies the means” in numerous places in the Illuminati
papers. Recruits were even supposed to write papers on the
topic of “the End Justifies the Means” as part of their path of
A favorite device was to appear Christian by saying
Jesus favored communism. Weishaupt gave the following les-
son to the first level Illuminati recruit — the Minerval level:
“If Jesus preaches contempt of riches, He wishes to teach us
the reasonable use of them and prepare for the community of
goods introduced by Him.”410 (Bonneville likewise in
L’Esprit admires those who established a “community of all

The Key Quotes from Illuminati Instructions

Weishaupt’s lesson to the highest grade declared their
aims in broad terms — the destruction of civil society, prop-
erty, and religion:

409.Nesta Webster, World Revolution (Devon, UK: Britons Publishing

Co., 1971) (orig.1921) at 89 (quoting the papers of the Illuminati).
410.Nachtrag von Originalschriften, supra, Vol. II, at 100. Weishaupt
was alluding to Acts, 2:44-45: “And all that believed were together,
and had all things in common; and sold their possessions and goods,
and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” However, Jesus
did not teach this practice.
411.See “Sorcerers.” on page 410.

Introduction 158
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

To reinstate man in his primitive right of

equality and liberty we must begin by
destroying all religion and civil society, and
finish by the destruction of all property....A
time shall come when man shall acknowledge
no other law but the great book of nature.
This revolution will be the work of the secret
How would these grandiose objectives of liberty,
equality, reason and a stateless condition be achieved? By
violent revolution? Or by infusing a new morality through
education? Weishaupt, ever the professor, wrote:

[What shall we teach?] Not that morality which

adding to the miseries of the miserable, throws
them in a state of pusillanimity and despair, by
the threats of hell and the fear of devils. True
morality is no other than the art of teaching
men to shake off their wardship, to attain the
age of manhood, and thus to need neither
princes nor governments....[M]an is wicked,
because religion, the state, and bad examples,
perverts him....May our principles become the
foundation of all morals! Let reason, at length,
be the religion of men!413
Here, Weishaupt called for a future stateless society,
where civil society, including princes and governments disap-
pear. Property as we know it would disappear. Liberty and
equality would reign. Reason would triumph. The means
would be a moral education, not violent force of state law.
The particulars of this new world were explained in
an Illuminati instruction dated to about 1783. In it, Knigge as
an instruction to recruits, puts forth the goal of libertarian

412.L’Abbé Barruel, Histoire du Jacobinisme (1803) Vol. IV., at 23-24.

413.[Henry Dana Ward], Free a Master Mason (N.Y.:
1828) at 344, citing Barruel [Vol.?] at 119-20.

Introduction 159
communism where there was no more state. Thus, what we
see in Bonneville’s Esprit in 1791-1792, we read here first.
Knigge instructed in approximately 1783:

[Secret schools of wisdom] were always the

archives of nature and the rights of man;
through their agency, man will recover from his
fall; princes and nations, without violence to
force them, will vanish from the earth, the
human race will become one family, and the
world a habitation of rational beings. Moral
Science alone will effect these reforms imper-
ceptibly; every father will become like Abra-
ham and the patriarchs, the priest and
absolute lord of his household, and reason will
be man’s only code of law.414
Thus, the goal was the restoration of the patriarchal
period in human history. In the Bible, this was a period with-
out kings, without a central government, and total liberty of
each individual to do what he thought right or wrong. Magis-
trates were the only authority necessary to enforce the laws in
that patriarchal world spoken about in the Bible.415
Weishaupt was adamant that restoration of the Patriar-
chal condition was the ultimate goal — where there was no
more subordination of men to any rulers. The Illuminati les-
sons taught that the lowest citizen is himself a sovereign “as
in the Patriarchal state, and that nations must be brought back
to this state, by whatever means are conducible—peaceably
if it can be done; but if not, then by force—for all subordina-
tion must vanish from the face of the earth.”416
The Cercle Social had the same goal.

414.Nachtrag von weitern Originalschriften (Munich: Zweite Abteilung,

1787) at 80 et seq (emphasis added); Der neuester Arberten des Spart-
acus and Philo (Munich: 1793) at 38.
415.See “Appendix V: Was Weishaupt Influenced Toward Libertarian
Communism by the Bible?” on page 356 et seq.

Introduction 160
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

In 1793, in virtually identical terms, Maréchal of the

Cercle Social would write a book entitled Corrective of the
Revolution (published by Bonneville’s Cercle Social). In it,
he too envisions a “patriarchal” world with no state or gov-
ernments, and libertarian communism.417
Again, this was to be made to appear a doctrine of
Jesus Christ. Weishaupt emphasized repeatedly what became
watchwords of the Revolution of 1789:
Let us only take Liberty and Equality as the
great aim of his doctrines [i.e., Jesus’ doc-
trines], and Morality as the way to attain it,
and everything in the New Testament will be
comprehensible; and Jesus will appear as the
Redeemer of slaves.418
In the same vein, Weishaupt in 1786 wrote a book
entitled The Apology. In it, he takes the very same points that
were revealed in the Illuminati papers, and tries to explain his
desire was to gradually free individuals from error. These
words from Weishaupt are wholly similar to those we read in
Bonneville’s work L’Esprit. Weishaupt wrote in his Apology
for the Illuminati (Leipzig: 1786):419
But I have contrived an explanation [of Freema-
sonry] which has every advantage; is inviting
to Christians of every communion; gradually
frees them from all religious prejudices; acti-
vates the social virtues; and animates them by

416.John H. Lepper, Famous Secret Societies (S. Low, Marston & co., ltd,
1932) at 113.
417.See “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective to the Revolution”
on page 317 et seq.
418.J.C., “The French Revolution,” The Theosophical Quarterly (Brook-
lyn, N.Y.: Theosophical Society in America, 1920) Vol. XVIII at 314.
419.Weishaupt’s Apologie der Illuminaten (Grattenauerischen buchhand-
lung) first appeared in 1786. An amendment was published in 1787:
Einleitun zu meiner Apologie (1787). Another edition of Apologie was
released in 1789.

Introduction 161
a great, a feasible, and speedy prospect of uni-
versal happiness, in a state of liberty and
moral equality, freed from the obstacles which
subordination, rank and riches, continually
throw in our way. My explanation is accurate,
and complete, my means are effectual, and irre-
sistible. Our secret Association works in a way
that nothing can withstand, and man shall
soon be free and happy.420
Here, three years prior to the French Revolution,
Weishaupt is asserting a “speedy” prospect of universal hap-
piness of “liberty” and “equality” is just around the corner for
all mankind.
But how would this universal transformation take
place? Weishaupt says his explanation of human history,
including Freemasonry, would be the means. Weishaupt was
saying the knowledge of these secrets would be inviting to
Christians, and would gradually free one of religious preju-
dices and error.
How specifically would this be achieved? What
secrets would free us from religious prejudice? Was it vio-
lence or mere education?
In L’Esprit, Bonneville tried to remove religious error
by saying Jesus had certain teachings that were never written
down. They were secrets. And Bonneville claimed this secret
doctrine had a long history among other earlier religions. In
fact, Bonneville said that Jesus had passed on in secret the
same teaching as taught by the Egyptian goddess of Isis.
Bonneville got this idea evidently from Weishaupt. Adam
Weishaupt said the secrets traditions of ancient religions such

420.John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and

Governments of Europe carried on in the secret meeting of Freema-
sons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies, collected from good authori-
ties (N.Y.: George Forman, 1798) (reprint 1967) at 67 (quoting the
Apology (1789) by Adam Weishaupt).

Introduction 162
L’Esprit’s Program Conforms To The Illuminati Program & Enlightens Us On

as that of Isis contain the same truths about religion which the
Illuminati preached. Weishaupt wrote what the Insinuator
must teach:

He must begin by descanting on the supreme

felicity of being versed in sciences which few
can approach; of walking in the paths of light,
while the vulgar are groping in darkness. He
must remark, that there exist doctrines solely
transmitted by secret traditions, because they
are above the comprehension of common
minds. In proof of his assertions, he will cite
the Gymnosophists in the Indies, the priests of
Isis in Egypt, and those of Eleusis, and the
Pythagorean school in Greece.421
The linking of Jesus to Egyptian mysteries of Isis
which Weishaupt endorsed was a handy idea. This was a
well-known 2d century claim by Celsus designed to paganize
Christianity. Celsus had in the era of the Roman empire
claimed Jesus learned magic when his mother fled Israel and
took Jesus to Egypt.422
Thus, Weishaupt and Bonneville used the same thesis
of Celsus to attempt, once more, to paganize Christianity and
thus make it more amenable to men of reason. Their goal was
to radically change Christianity by new explanations of what
it represented. Over time, if these views were accepted, they
would recreate Christianity to contain the secrets of political
life which the Illuminati favored.
In every respect, both Weishaupt and Bonneville thus
aimed at libertarian communism with no state. Restoring
elders / patriarchs of families as the sole authority for society
would liberate mankind. The elders instinctively guide their

421.[Henry Dana Ward], Free a Master Mason (N.Y.:

1828) at 344, citing Barruel [Vol.[,] at 119-20.
422.James A. Francis, Subversive Virtue (Pennsylvania State University,
1995) at 138.

Introduction 163
families with a gentle loving hand.423 And the religion of
man would be a religion of reason. Christianity would be
transformed into a message carrier of this new political sys-

Thus, when one looks at the period of the Illuminati’s
influence over the French Revolution — 1789 and August
1792 and contrast it to the actions after its influence was lost
to Robespierre and the dechristianizers in 1793, we can infer
the true Illuminati tempered their violence by a strict neces-
sity. Some Swiss guard were murdered at the Bastille during
the siege of July 1789. Some street violence took other lives
including one minister of state that same summer. But no one
could blame the leaders of the revolution for these several
random petty killings. Thus, 1789 was a virtually bloodless
revolution. What of the Revolution of August 1792? The
same thing. An incited mob killed more Swiss guards — a
handful perhaps. Two revolutions and very few people killed.
Thus, it appears the Illuminati were extraordinarily
tactical in the use of violence when one carefully examines
the period of their influence in the French Revolution. His-
tory proves the relative non-violence was deliberate. For dur-
ing September 1792-January 1793, when the divorce by
Robespierre took place, one key reason for the divorce was
the opposition of Bonneville and the Brissotins to needless
killings. They objected to the senseless and unjust killing of
the king in January 1793. However, Robespierre and Marat
made that execution an article of faith of the Mountain. The
Brissotins likewise denounced the unjust September Massa-
cres of 1792 of persons awaiting trial. Hence, a consistent

423.Again, for an amplified understanding of the patriarchal condition

with no government, see “Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s Corrective
to the Revolution” on page 317 et seq.

Introduction 164
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

policy of the Illuminists of France was to oppose senseless

and unjust killings. They had a republic to build, not an old
order to decimate.

Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian

Illuminati Guidelines

Founding of the Cercle Social

In October 1789, Nicholas Bonneville (1760-1828)
with Fauchet founded the society Cercle Social.424 Bonnev-
ille was the primary leader. Bonneville’s Cercle Social lodge
employed systems which imitated a masonic secret society.
As mentioned earlier, Rose comments that Bonneville was
“used to the spirit of the secretive Masonic lodge, [and]
intended [the Social Cercle] rather as a society of élite
devoted to educating the masses.”425 As also quoted earlier,
Mathiez, a renown scholar of the French Revolution, writing
from a socialist persuasion,426 says the Cercle Social

in fact... was a Masonic lodge in which Bon-

neville, the smoky and bold spirit, [was] the
Grand Chief. The great aim is to instruct, to
prepare the spirits toward profound changes

424.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men, supra, at 39. R. B. Rose cor-

rects other historians on the date of the founding of the Cercle Social.
Rose points out it was founded in October 1789, not October 1790 as
some report. See R. B. Rose, “Socialism and the French Revolution:
the Cercle Social and the Enragés,” Bulletin of the John Rylands
Library, xli, no. i (Sept. 1958) at 142, 144.
425. Cercle Social, Letter xliii, in the John Rylands Library, Manchester,
England at 243, discussed in R. B. Rose, “Socialism in the French Rev-
olution,” supra, at 142.
426. (“His La Révolution
française appeared in three volumes (1922-1924). He wrote it as a
socialist, pro-Robespierre interpretation....”)

Introduction 165
which it keeps from the rest which is
announced in veiled and mysterious terms.427
Mathiez elsewhere described the Cercle Social as a
“group of revolutionary Freemasons” constituted as a “soci-
ety of propaganda with an interior and exterior circle.”428

Derived From Earlier Contrat Social Lodge

At the time of the Cercle Social’s founding, Bonnev-
ille belonged to a Freemason lodge with a similar name: the
lodge Contrat Social of Paris. Mathiez explains that “the
lodge Contrat social fell under the inspiration of Bonnev-
ille.”429 Thus, more or less, the Contrat Social was connected
to the Cercle Social when in 1789 Bonneville founded the lat-
The Paris Contrat Social lodge was led in 1779 by an
Illuminatus who just immigrated from Berlin: Dr. Boileau. In
1779, Boileau left Berlin and returned to Paris. There he soon
became the Grand Master of the Scottish Rite lodge of which
Contrat social had been made the Mother Lodge (Mere Loge
écossoise).430 There were only three such Scottish Rite
lodges at this time: Paris, Lyons and Strasbourg.431 In 1779,
Dr. Boileau revised the rites of the Du Contrat Social to
match the rites of the Berlin Illuminati.432

427.Isabelle Bourdin, Les Sociétés Populaires á Paris, etc.(Paris 1910),

supra, at 159 quoting Mathiez, Le Club des Cordeliers.
428.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la
Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Frères, 1916) Vol. VIII at
429.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la
Franc-Maçonnerie allemande., etc.” Annales Révolutionnaires (Besan-
con: Millot Frères, 1916) Vol. VIII at 437.
430.Its full name was Lodge du Contrat Social de St. Jean d’Ecosse.
431.George M. Martin, British Masonic Miscellany Part V (2003) at 132.

Introduction 166
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

Many members of the Contrat Social Lodge were

later members of the Cercle Social Lodge at Paris. This
points to the probability that the Cercle Social lodge was sim-
ply an outgrowth of the Contrat Social. For example, Con-
dorcet was a leading member, speaker and author for the
Cercle Social,433 and he was also a member of Contrat Social
lodge434 besides being a founder of an “Illuminati” lodge
near Grenoble.435 Also, Fauchet (1744-93), a co-founder of
the Cercle Social, was also a leading member of the Contrat
Social lodge.436
The lodge Contrat Social is the one from which the
plan of the Great Fear as a tactic arose, aiming thereby to cre-
ate a national guard militia. Cadet-Gassicourt, a respected
Freemason both before and after the Revolution, explained
this in his supplemental work entitled The Tomb of Molai. He
said he joined this lodge, and this is where he directly heard
the plan of what historians now call the Great Fear.437
Thus, what we must realize is that the Cercle Social
had several layers. At the widest and lowest circle, it had a
public journal, Bouche de Fer (Mouth of Iron). As the circle
tightened inward, we find it had a reading society where
members of the Friends of Truth society would hear readings

432.In 1779, he introduced into his Parisian lodge the scheme used by
Pernetty at the time in Berlin. Boileau created Grade 5 as Chevalier du
Soleil (Knight of the Sun); Grade 10 was Grand Inspector (cf. the
nomenclature of the Bavarian Illuminati); and Grade 12 was Sublime
Master of Ring of Light. (Joanny Bricaud, Les Illuminés d’Avignon—
Etudie Sur Dom Pernetty et sou groupe (Paris, Libraire Critique Emile
Nourry, 1927) at 1, 27-33.)
433.Condorcet was a speaker and writer at the Cercle Social, and leading
advocate of its doctrines. The Bouche der Fer journal of the Cercle
Social announced in December 1790 that: “One of our first writers has
been called to the Committees of the National Assembly, M. de Con-
dorcet, [and has] accepted the position of the orator of the Cercle
Social, and [he] will begin at once [his] function for some dignified
discourse... about the World Confederation of the Friends of Truth.”
(Hélene Delsaux, Condorcet Journaliste (1790-1794) (Paris: Librairie
Ancienne, 1931) at 44.) For Condorcet and Illuminati, see page 224.

Introduction 167
from Rousseau. An orator would present the reading, and
then lecture upon it. The orator had to be approved by the
Cercle Social.438
The Cercle Social also had a printing press. The
“Imprimerie du Cercle Social became the largest and most
effective center for...propaganda” of Bonneville’s ideol-
The Cercle Social’s lowest grade of initiates were thus
called Universal Federation of the Friends of Truth. This was
the group that had 6,000 members at Paris. Yet, in the highest
and tightest circle was a masonic-style lodge whose name is
never spoken. Mathiez simply explains the Cercle Social was
a “group of revolutionary Freemasons” who constituted the
Cercle Social as a “society of propaganda with an interior
and exterior circle.”440
How close did this structure follow the directions, and
latest strategies of the Bavarian Illuminati?

434.“According to Adolphus [Taine], Condorcet, whom Shelley admired,

was an active member of...a lodge called Le Contrat Social.” (Gerald
McNiece, Shelley and the Revolutionary Idea (Harvard University
Press, 1969) at 107.) Robison, a Freemason, likewise affirms Con-
dorcet was a member of Contrat Social. (John Robison, Proofs of a
Conspiracy (1798), supra, at 231 (relying on French masonic
sources).) Barruel coincidentally says likewise. (Barruel, Memoirs, etc.
(Hambourg: Fauche, 1803) Vol. V at 83.)
435.Condorcet was also a member of the Illuminati. Multiple biographical
sources confirm that “in the ruins [of Propiac] were initiated...the sect
of the Illuminati du Midi, under the active presidency of the doctor
Nicolas (of Châtillon), student and friend of Mesmer, and with the sup-
port of Condorcet.” See, “Nicolas, [Dr.]” Justin Brun-Durand, Dic-
tionnaire biographique et biblio-iconographique de la Drôme
(Grenoble: Dauphinoise, 1901) Vol. II at 194.

Introduction 168
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

Bavarian Illuminati Purposefully Created Ever Narrowing

Circles As One Ascends Upward in Rank
The Illuminati goal was not to be known by their own
name. They preferred using other organizations as a front to
deflect attention from their secret role over the organization.
Masonic-style lodges like the Cercle Social were just one of
many such possible convenient covers. Weishaupt wrote:
[Masonic systems] mask our progress, and
procure us the facility of incorporating in our
plans and of admitting into our Order, after the
proper trials, the most able men, whose
patience, long abused, thirsts after the Grand
Elsewhere, Weishaupt explained even more bluntly
the importance of not being recognized under their own

436.Jacques Le Sueur [or Lesueur] [true name, Alexandre-Louis-Bertrand

Robineau, a playwright], Les Masques Arrachés (The Masks Torn
Away) (London: 1790) said in 1782 the Lodge Contrat Social had a
guiding committee composed of De Leutre, Lafayette, Fauchet,
Bailly, Aiguillon, Bartolio, and Morel des Menus. (Firminger, “The
Romances of Barruel and Robison,” Ars Quator Coronati, supra, at
48.) Le Sueur’s mention of Lafayette is corroborated by Manceron
who reprints a copy of the minutes of the initiation on April 24, 1782
in the Contrat Social Lodge for the Marquis de Lafayette. See Claude
Manceron, Age of the French Revolution Vol. III Their Gracious Plea-
sure 1782-1785 (Touchstone: 1989) at 87. John Robison, a Freemason,
similarly found masonic records that listed as members of Lodge Con-
trat Social both LaFayette and Bailly.
437.“Appendix L: Gassicourt From Inside Reveals Agencies Who Caused
The French Revolutions” on page 277 et seq.
438.The “Cercle Social members saw themselves as disciples of Rous-
seau,” and thus each meeting of the Confederation of Friends of Truth
(Amis de Vérité) was based upon a reading from a chapter of Rous-
seau’s writings. (Harriet Branson, Women and Politics in the Age of the
Democratic Revolution (University of Michigan, 1993) at 175-76.)
439.Harriet Branson, Women and Politics in the Age of the Democratic
Revolution (University of Michigan, 1993) at 165.

Introduction 169
Conceal the very fact of our existence from
the profane. If they discover us, conceal our
real objective by profession of benevolence. If
our real object is perceived, pretend to disband
and relinquish the whole thing, but assume
another name and put forward new agents.442
Weishaupt similarly said elsewhere: “A cover is
always necessary. In concealment lies a great part of our
strength. Hence, we must always hide ourselves under the
name of another society.”443
Weishaupt said prior to the exposures of the Illuminati
that had he been unable to use Freemasonry as a cover, then a
reading society would have been a desirable alternative mask.
He wrote an instruction that next to Freemasonry

the form of a learned or literary society is best

suited to our purpose, and had Free Masonry
not existed, this cover would have been
employed; and it may be much more than a
cover, it may be a powerful engine in our
hands. By establishing reading societies, and
subscription libraries... we may turn the pub-
lic mind which way we will. In like manner,
we must try to obtain an influence in... all
offices which have any effect, either in form-
ing, or in managing, or even directing the mind
of man.444

440.Albert Mathiez, “R. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Baviere et la

Franc-Maçonnerie allemande. Paris, Hachette, 1915 [review].”
Annales Révolutionnaires (Besancon: Millot Frères, 1916) Vol. VIII at
441.Barruel, Memoirs of Jacobinism (1798), supra, Vol. III, at 213.
442.Peter Rosen, The Catholic Church and Secret Societies (Milwaukee:
Houtkamp & Cannon, 1902) at 50.
443.Die neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-
orden (1794) at 165, quoted in Umberto Eco’s Foucoult Pendulum
(Harcourt, 1989) at 491.

Introduction 170
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

Illuminati Survival Under The Cover of Reading Societies

Attached To Publishing Houses With A Secret Society Core
After the exposures of the Illuminati in 1784-1785, a
deeper cover was employed than Freemasonry allowed. Bode
now serving as leader, and Knigge once more in a supporting
role, set up the German Union and similar reading societies
beginning in 1785.445 The approach was to send an anony-
mous appeal by a written invitation to publishers like Karl
Bahrdt. The stated goal was unabashedly to capture the book
markets for those promoting the Enlightenment.
For example, in a subsequent trial of publisher Karl
Bahrdt for printing in 1788 a banned book entitled The Reli-
gion Edict, Barhdt explained how he was enlisted into the
German Union. It anonymously sent him The Religion Edict
for publication. Heckethorn summarizes this:
[I]n 1787, [Bahrdt] received another anony-
mous communication from the same source as
the first [from 1785], announcing the formation

444.Die Neuesten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo in dem Illuminaten-

orden (1794) at 165 (quoted in John Robinson, Proofs of A Conspiracy
(1798), supra, at 112) (emphasis added).
445.After the exposure of 1784-85, the Illuminati had several organiza-
tions in Germany they used as fronts: the German Union, the Lese Bib-
liotek, the Academies at Mainz and Bonn, etc., and later Reinhold’s
Bund der Einverstandenen [League of Truth and Friendship] of 1794.
As to the German Union, we read: “Of the German Union....the Order of
the Illuminati had given Bode the de facto direction.”(J.G. Fichte, La
philosophie de la maçonnerie (France: Librarie Philosophique, 1995)
at 159 fn. 327.) Menzel points out: “The society of the Illuminati con-
tinued, meanwhile, to exist under the name of the German Union....”
(Wolfgang Menzel, Germany from the Earliest Period (trans. Mrs.
George Horrocks) (N.Y.: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1899) Vol. III at 1330-
Franz Knigge, the former leader of the Bavarian Illuminati who resigned
in 1784 during its public disgrace, was nevertheless in 1785-1787 col-
laborating with Bode on setting up the German Union. (Vernon
Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati (N.Y.: Russell &
Russell, 1918) (Reissued 1967) at 190 n.2; Brockhaus Conversations-
Lexikon (Leipzig 1811) at 443 citing Nachtr Th I at 531.)

Introduction 171
of the German Union, which he was invited to
join. The letter contained printed details and
forms of oaths, which were afterwards pub-
lished [two years later by Göschen] in the book
More Notes than Text.446
In other words, the packet enlisting Bahrdt into the
German Union was anonymously sent to him. The packet
contained a work entitled More Notes Than Text. Its full title
in the edition published by Göschen said the German Union
was “a new Secret Society for the Good of Mankind.” How-
ever, Göschen intended to expose the German Union. In his
1789 published version, Göschen appended a subtitle:
“exhibited to public view, from a Bundle of Papers found by
an honest bookseller,” i.e., Göschen.
Schiller, a friend of Bode, confided to Körner that
Bode was the anonymous author of the bundle of papers enti-
tled More Notes Than Text — the packet sent various book-
sellers including Göschen. Schiller in a letter from March
1789 explained:

Towards the end of May, Bode will be paying

you a visit, which will cost you a few flasks of
Rhenish. He is the author of the work enti-
tled, ‘More Notes Than Text,’ but he wishes it
to be kept a secret....He is a person of some
reputation, and it is as well you should know
him personally. He is fond of attention being
paid him, and endeavours to be a favorite with
the ladies. He is a kind-hearted soul, and
deserving of some attention.447

446.Charles W. Heckethorn, Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries

(reprint 1992) at 330.
447.Friedrich Schiller, Correspondence of Schiller with Körner (London:
Bentley, 1849) Vol. II at 23.

Introduction 172
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

Bode obviously had hoped that Göschen would join

their secret union run by print-publishers. However, Göschen
was dismayed by the project, and instead published in 1789
More Notes Than Text to expose it as a scheme he feared was
designed to control the publishing industry. Thus, when
Göschen exposed More Notes Than Text, Schiller was noting
Bode’s concern that he would be linked with the criminal trial
of Bahrdt. The latter was in trouble for printing in 1788 the
Religion Edict. Instead, Bode’s role was to remain a

448.Klaus Epstein believed Bode could not have been the leader of the
German Union because he thought Bode wrote the exposé More Notes
Than Text. Because this work meant to expose the German Union to
ridicule, Bode supposedly could not be a leader of the German Union.
See, Klaus Epstein, The Genesis of German Conservatism, supra, at 95
Epstein was misled by the carefully crafted claims in 1800 by Karl Bötti-
ger (1760-1835) which made this appear to be the case. First, Böttiger
said that he was “on intimate acquaintance” with Bode, and “entrusted
with the original papers, which I offered to show anybody” which
proved, he said, “Mr. Bode was the author himself of a pamphlet enti-
tled ‘More Notes Than Text.’” (Augustus Böttiger, “Mr. Bottiger’s Let-
ter in Reply to Messrs. Barruel and Robison,” Monthly Magazine
(Sept. 1, 1799) Vol. III no. 2 (Jan. 1798) at 589-90, viz., 590.) Of
course, this was true. However, it did not make Bode the author of the
exposure of that very pamphlet in a book by the same title. Böttiger
obscured this issue by next quoting a letter from Göschen which said
he only wrote a “few lines” after the Preface of the book with the same
title — More Notes Than Text. However, Böttiger omitted the most
material fact about Göschen’s role — the nature of those “few words.”
While Bode wrote the pamphlet More Notes than Text, Göschen wrote
the brief preface to say he was exposing the pamphlet’s embarrassing
contents to public notice by publishing it. “The publisher [i.e.,
Göschen] says that it was sent him by an unknown hand, and that he
published it with all speed, on account of the many mischiefs which
this Society...might do to the world.” (Robison, Proofs, supra, (1798)
at 166.) Thus, Böttiger was truthful in both claims, but it was carefully
crafted to mislead the reader to think Bode was not involved in the
German Union because he wrote More Notes Than Text, but that was
not the exposé. Rather, it was the item being exposed!

Introduction 173
What More Notes Than Text Revealed As Ideology
The invitation to Göschen identified the leaders as the
Twenty-Two Brethren of the German Union. The Twenty-
Two were described as in favor of reason and virtue. (This
body of twenty-two is similar to the Directory that ran the
Cercle Social.) The Twenty-Two wanted to use a secret soci-
ety to unite the publishing houses of Europe who in turn
would sponsor reading societies. This structure would make
enlightened principles more widely held among the public. In
one portion, the text said the German Union wanted to
“accomplish the aim of the exalted Founder of Christianity,
viz. the enlightenment of mankind, and the dethronement of
superstition and fanaticism. . .”449 A longer quote reads:

To root out superstition, to restore mankind to

liberty by enlightening them, to consummate
the views of the founder even of Christianity
without violent means, such is our object. It is
for that purpose that we have formed a secret
society, to which we invite all those who are
actuated by the same views, and are properly
sensible of their importance.450
The secret society would establish in each city “liter-
ary societies” or “reading clubs” (lesgeschaften, in Ger-
The German Union as of 1788 also sought control
over booksellers just as the Illuminati had attempted to do.
Letter VI in More Notes than Text says that the German
Union “considers a chief part of its secret plan of operation,
to include the trade of bookselling in their circle. By getting
hold of this, they have it in their power to increase the num-

449.Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), supra, at 167.

450.Barruel, Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism (N.Y.: Clif-
ford: 1799) Vol. IV at 196-97.
451.Barruel, Memoirs Illustrating, id., Vol. IV at 197.

Introduction 174
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

ber of writings which promote instruction.”452 The German

Union shared the Illuminati’s strategy to ‘get a hold’ of book-
R.M. Johnston in the American Historical Review
(1901) summarizes the strategy of the German Union and the
story about its presumed demise:

From among the Illuminés arose the less impor-

tant but very curious German Union. The pro-
gramme and the doctrines of the latter
resembled closely those of the former, but it
had a business side. It included all the princi-
pal publishers of Germany, and their aim was
to convert it into a secret trade-guild giving
them a monopoly of public opinion and of
publishing profits.... Under the cover of read-
ing-rooms and literary clubs which the Ger-
man Union instituted, it was sought to control
the thinking public by decrees issues from
Leipzig [the publishing capitol of Germany].
The Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek [of Nicolai]
and the Berlinische Monatshrift were the organs
of the German Union;... the scandal of Dr. Barth
finished it.453

The German Union and the Cercle Social Structure

The evidence in the 1789 trial of Karl Friedrich
Bahrdt (1741-1792) provided a lot of material on the German
Union.454 Obviously, the German Union was an Illuminati
front, as Bode was its secret founder and leader. Moreover, as
we review the German Union’s structure, we also cannot help
but notice that Bode’s friend of 1787, Bonneville, at Paris

452.Robison, Proofs, supra, at 176 (quoting More Notes than Text).

453.R.M. Johnston, “Mirabeau's Secret Mission to Berlin,” American
Historical Review, supra, VI (Oct. 1990-July 1901) at 235, 243.

Introduction 175
employed the identical structure in founding the Cercle
Social: a publishing house run by an inner circle that is actu-
ally a masonic-style secret society.
The trial of Bahrdt at which these facts came out
involved the following circumstances:
Due to Bahrdt’s publishing the Religion Edict in 1788,
a criminal investigation was opened in 1790. A judge ordered
Bahrdt’s arrest and the seizure of his correspondence. In
court, Bahrdt testified how he came to be involved in the Ger-
man Union in 1787. He was anonymously invited to join a
group of men in the instruction of mankind. To prepare for
this service, he followed the instructions and founded a
lodge upon a Freemasonic structure at Halle in 1787. It was
made up of five to six close friends, and sixteen younger men.
However, the German National Lodge of regular Freema-
sonry refused Dr. Bahrdt’s request for a patent. He then met a
man in a coffee-house who was part of the German Union. He
discovered from him that he was working in concert with a
large number of other men who would help him. For exam-
ple, Wucherer, a bookseller at Vienna, had recruited 200
members in Vienna for the German Union operating there.455
The Plan of the Twenty-Two leaders of the German
Union was gradually unfolded to Karl Bahrdt. He was prom-
ised that he would meet his colleagues, but he never did.
Bahrdt was asked to publish a packet. The letter was signed
Friend to the Union. Bahrdt was promised 100 dahlers to
publish the two works in the packet. One of them was the

454.An extensive contemporary account of the trial and Bahrdt’s confis-

cated papers is in Degenhart Pott, Pragmatische Geschichte und endli-
che Aufklärung der Deutsche Union der XXIIIiger (5 vols.) (Leipzig:
1798), mentioned in Epstein, Genesis of German Conservatism, at 95
fn. 19. According to Richter: “Degenhart Pott also a member of the
German Union....” (Barbara Richter, Franz Heinrich Ziegenhagen
(Munster: Lit Verlag, 2003) at 179.)
455.John Robison, supra, at 202. See also F. T. B. Clavel, Histoire pittor-
esque de la franc-maçonnerie et des sociétés secrétes anciennes et
modernes (Paris: Pagnerre, éditeur, 1843) at 190.

Introduction 176
Cercle Social Structure Matches Bavarian Illuminati Guidelines

Religion Edict which harshly criticized a Royal Proclamation

by the Prussian king. However, because no one could prove
that Bahrdt wrote the work, the prosecution was eventually
Thus, when we compare the German Union of Bode
to the Cercle Social — founded by Bode’s writing partner and
friend, Nicolas Bonneville — we find Bode’s German Union
and Bonneville’s Cercle Social each had a publishing house
center that founded a masonic-style secret society which in
turn secretly controlled all business affairs.
In other words, Bonneville’s Cercle Social was
designed exactly to match the disguise initially used in 1785-
1787 by the German Union founded and run by Bonneville’s
friend and writing partner, J.C.Bode. This disguise was delib-
erately to hide the controlling presence of the Order of the

What Explains International Contacts of Cercle Social?

Further, prior to the Revolution, the Cercle Social had
correspondent societies in far-flung places in Europe. If one
recognizes the Cercle Social was the counterpart of the Ger-
man Union in Paris — part of the Illuminati’s European sys-
tem, then the following facts make sense:
In the first issue of Bouche de Fer (October
1790), the principle journal of the Cercle
Social, Bonneville had promoted a “different
superior power” that would conduct “censor-
ship and denunciation” in defense of the revo-
lution. Its mission was ‘universal surveillance’
on behalf of that ‘multitude of good citizens
who are not yet enlightened enough to know
what they desire.’ There seems to have been a
series of correspondent revolutionary clubs
in Utrecht, Geneva, Genoa, Philadelphia,

456.John Robison, supra, at 183-84.

Introduction 177
and finally London “where Bonneville had
lived and written just prior to the Revolution
and where a printing press and formal
branch of the Social Circle were founded
under ‘one of our English franc-brothers’ —
John Oswald” — Paine’s fellow revolutionary
in Paris....Although it is possible that Paine ear-
lier met Bonneville and other future members
of the Social Circle such as Oswald and Brissot
in London, he cooperated with Social Circle
members [in France]...On September 25 [1792]
Bonneville published Paine’s latest essay,
Address to the People of France in which Paine
suggested French armies would liberate armies
oppressed by “despots.”457
Thus, we see that Oswald had founded a Social Circle
press in London before Bonneville left England. Bonneville’s
Cercle Social at Paris not only had a London affiliate but also
correspondent societies in far flung reaches of Europe, such
as in Utrecht. Billington explains:
“Circles of free brothers” may have existed in
Utrecht, Geneva, Genoa, and Philadelphia —
all had correspondence centers for the Social
Bonneville, it is obvious, belonged to an international
network from the inception of his organization. What best
explains this is that he was an affiliate in fact of Bode’s Ger-
man Union, and through its auspices, Bonneville had interna-
tional affiliates with whom to correspond. This is another
clear indication of Bonneville’s accuracy when he said he
was carrying on the Bavarian Illuminati in France.

457.Steven Blakemore, Crisis in Representation: Thomas Paine, Mary

Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams, and the rewriting of the French
Revolution (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1997) at 30.
458.James Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (1999) at 39.

Introduction 178
The Mountain Destroys Power Of Cercle Social Between March-June 1793

The Mountain Destroys Power Of Cercle

Social Between March-June 1793
Having established the ideological foundation of the
Cercle Social as the Bavarian Illuminati in France, we will
find the Cercle Social was opposed by what came to be
known as The Mountain. During 1792, inside the Jacobin
Club at Paris was a minority who eventually called them-
selves the Montagnards, or in English ‘The Mountain Men.’
The Montagnards faction at the Jacobins were so-called
because they sat together as a group on the highest benches in
whatever assembly they sat.
The Mountain or Montagnards were led initially by
Marat (Amis Reunis Templar)459 and Robespierre (Amis
Reunis Templar).460 The Montagnards’ main distinct policy
was opposition to the war with Austria. They were at odds
on this point with Brissot, Cloots and the Cercle Social who
advocated war to bring revolution to all of Europe, which
Bonneville explains in L’Esprit des Religions.
In one historical synopsis of this Montagnard /Moun-
tain faction, we read: “In February 1792, Robespierre and
fellow future Montagnard Marat stood against the declara-
tion of war against Austria.”461 Their rationale was built on

459.“In 1774, Marat was initiated by a lodge in London....Before the rev-

olution, he was initiated into the lodge Amis Reunis of Paris.” (Jean
Epois, L’affaire Corday-Marat: prélude à la Terreur? (Cercle d’or,
1980) at 220.) The Amis Reunis lodge at Paris since 1778 had incorpo-
rated a grade of the Knights Templar into one level of their system.
460.Marat and Robespierre had a common bond in the secret societies
that operated at Paris prior to the revolution. Specifically, the Amis
Reunis lodge at Paris which included “Brothers Condorcet, Marat,
Mirabeau, Sieyès, Clacieres [sic: Clavière], Boiffy, Dupont, Robespi-
erre and Gregoire.” (Brother Leopold Wolfgang, Revolutionen, Welt-
krieg und Freimaurerei, Heft 10 der Freimaurerzeitung Am Bau
(München 1921) at 6.)
461.Richard Thomas, About the Jacobins & Robespierre (eHow Editor)
(accessed 2/14/09).

Introduction 179
a timidity that offended Brissot and Bonneville: “They [i.e.,
Marat and Robespierre] were more concerned with domestic
counter-revolutionaries than the possibility of a reaction
imposed from abroad.”462
Marie Tussaud, an observer at Paris, noted this dis-
agreement between (a) Robespierre and the “Jacobins
attached to him” and (b) Cloots who was frequently serving
as President of the Jacobins at the same time. Thus, Robespi-
erre represented a minority opposition within the Jacobins
who were opposed vehemently to war. Tussaud wrote:
Cloots was...tall, thin, and pale; stooped a little,
and had a dejected appearance. He addressed
the assembly in a discourse which had for its
object the proposal, that it should declare war
against the foreign powers; and, although the
subject had not even been named by any other
member, it very soon became the theme of gen-
eral discussion, and, in a short time afterwards,
hostilities were actually declared.
It was rather a remarkable circumstance, that
Robespierre, and the Jacobin party which
were attached to him, opposed the war; nor
has their motive for so doing ever been satisfac-
torily explained. That they, who were ever dis-
posed to uphold violent measures, whose
discourses abounded with little besides fire
and fury, should suddenly become the advo-
cates for peace, is most enigmatical. There
must have been some powerful reason, which
has never been disclosed; but certain it is, that
Robespierre and his party most pertina-
ciously opposed all hostile operations.463

462.Richard Thomas, id.

463.Marie Tussaud, Memoirs and Reminiscences of the French Revolu-
tion (ed. Francis Hervé) (Philadelphia: 1839) Vol. I at 172-173.

Introduction 180
The Mountain Destroys Power Of Cercle Social Between March-June 1793

Because of this policy difference over the war, Roland

(Cercle Social / ally of Brissot), the administrator of the
secret funds he controlled as head of the Bureau of the Public
Spirit, refused to give Marat (a Montagnard) a request for
15,000 francs.464 The Mountain and the Brissotins were
opposed to one another despite both operating at the Jacobin
Due to this disagreement over the war, the Mountain
sought to undermine the majority at the Jacobins — the Bris-
sotins.465 Among other tactics, the Mountain smeared them
in 1793 as the Girondins. This label implied the Brissotins’
popular support was only in one department among 83— the
Gironde. This was a false label. However, some historians
continue to use this misleading label of Girondins to identify
the Jacobin majority led by Brissot. The Brissotins were dis-
placed later by the Montagnard-faction at the Jacobins, but
the Brissotins were never a Girondin party. In fact, the Giron-
din party is a fiction created in the imagination of Desmou-
lins in 1793.
Rather those referred to as Girondins are typically
those who were the majority within the Jacobins until the
Mountain hijacked the Jacobin Clubs from them. This hijack-
ing process began in September-October 1792. It was thor-
oughly completed by June 1793. In this period, the
Montagnards (Robespierre/Marat) expelled the Brissotins
whom Desmoulins had labelled as the so-called Girondins.

464.Adolphe Granier de Cassagnac, Histoire Des Girondins Et Des Mas-

sacres de Septembre D'après Les Documents (Paris: Dentu, 1860) Vol.
1 at 233-34.
465.“After [Brissot’s] return to France in 1789 he began to edit the Patri-
ote français, which later became an organ of the Girondists (at first
called Brissotins).” (“Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville,” The Colum-
bia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition. 2008. 1 Mar.
2009) at

Introduction 181
As Thomas correctly explains, this pacifism policy of
the Mountain within the Jacobins was what gained public
favor for them and which let them undermine and eventually
expel the pro-war Brissotins who had dominated the Jacobins
to that point. Thomas explains:
This [dispute over the war] was the formal
beginning of the rivalry between the radical
Montagnards and the increasingly conservative
Girondin faction, but it is important to remem-
ber that both were, for the most part, members
of the larger Jacobin Club.466
Thus, one must never lose track of the fact that the
Cercle Social / Brissotins were on the left — in fact, were the
original left, and they believed in wars of liberation to accom-
plish a world revolution. Chill, one who compliments the rev-
olution, acknowledges that the Brissotins espoused
“universalist radicalism” in the Assembly from October 1791
to September 1792 and “they formed the Left fraction” who
concentrated their “zeal for a revolutionary war... preaching
a crusade of liberation for the oppressed peoples against the
‘crowned tyrants’ of Europe.”467
Thus, while the Brissotins are sometimes identified as
more ‘conservative’ than the Mountain, this is essentially
false. It was Robespierre who was nationalistic/patriotic and
opposed to ‘wars of liberation for world revolution.’ He saw
no virtue in the cosmopolitan cause. Robespierre favored the
failed state-intervention policies of monarchy which inter-
vened to try to control the economy. The Brissotins stood for
liberty of commerce which was one of the hallmarks of
Enlightenment thinking against the past paternalistic monar-

466.Richard Thomas, About the Jacobins & Robespierre (eHow Editor)
(accessed 2/14/09).
467.Joseph Barnave, Power, Property, and History (Introduction by
Emanuel Chill) (Harper & Row, 1971) at 39-40.

Introduction 182
The Mountain Destroys Power Of Cercle Social Between March-June 1793

chical policies of state intervention in the economy.468 The

only issue upon which the Brissotins appeared more conser-
vative was their desire to spare the king’s life. However, this
was primarily from a belief that killing the king would be a
tactical error, as it proved to be, causing a strong movement
of counter-revolution.
The means by which the Mountain overthrew the
Brissotins within the Jacobins and the nation was clever.
Despite being originally a minority at the Jacobins, the Mon-
tagnards devised a tactic to act as legislative deputies who
were operating ‘on mission.’ This was their tactic of authoriz-
ing deputies in the National Assembly of their minority party
to go around the country to exert executive power to enforce
laws with the support of the local police/authorities. Between
January and May 1793, the Montagnards used this tactic to
suppress the Brissotins’ influence in France:
The closure of...[the Cercle Social operated]
Bureau de l’esprit public in January 1793 saw
the initiative in political propaganda also pass-
ing to the Montagnard-Jacobin camp. In late
March [1793], restrictions were placed on press
freedom, and many Montagnard deputies on
mission used this as a pretext to impound
pro-Girondin newsheets in the provinces for
‘revolting partiality,’ and for their ‘corruption of
public opinion.’469
Colin Jones explains that the Montagnards were “dis-
proportionately represented...among deputies on mission who
were proving to be the backbone of the patriotic resis-
tance....”470 This is how the Mountain gradually repressed the
group they derogatorily referred to as the Girondins.

468.See “Appendix O: Sur Le Subsistances (1793)” on page 311 et seq.

469.Colin Jones, The Great Nation (N.Y.: Columbia University Press,
2001) at 472.
470.Colin Jones, The Great Nation, id., at 472.

Introduction 183
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th,
1793 and The Insurrection of June 1793
On 11 December 1792, Louis XVI appeared before
the deputies of the National Assembly in a mild and stately
appearance. He listened to a list of accusations against him.
On December 16th, while the king’s trial was getting under
way, the Assembly voted that if the King were found guilty,
he would be banished to the U.S.A., the nation he had helped
liberate from the British. However, the Montagnards under-
mined this vote, and that decree was suspended on December
On December 31st, the leading deputy from the
Gironde, Vergniaud, advocated putting the king’s fate to pop-
ular vote. The Montagnards took the position that instead the
king must be killed immediately.
Finally, in anticipation that the king would be found
guilty (which took place January 15th), the Brissotins made a
concerted effort to save the Revolution from counter-revolu-
tion by having the decree restored that the king would be ban-
ished to the U.S.A. Thus, on January 14, 1793, there was a
meeting at the Paris home of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Le Brun, to discuss the issue. He was a Brissotin. There
attended Paine, Brissot, Fauchet, Genêt and others, to dis-
cuss the fate of King Louis. This meeting is what led to Genêt
being sent to the young United States of America as an
The Brissotins hoped that King Louis would be sent
there in exile. Genêt was to obtain an agreement from the
young U.S.A. Genêt provides the following account of the
Roux Facillac, who had been very intimate in
my father’s family at Versailles, met me one

471.Gouverneur Morris, A Diary of the French Revolution (Ed. B.C. Dav-

enport) (1939) Vol. II at 595.

Introduction 184
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

morning [January 14, 1793] and wished me to

spend the evening at Le Brun’s, where I had
been invited. He accompanied me there and we
met Brissot, Guadet, Leonnet, Ducos, [Claude]
Fauchet, Thomas Paine, and most of the
Gironde leaders.... Tom Paine, who did not pre-
tend to understand French, took no part in the
conversation, and sat quietly sipping his claret.
“Ask Paine, Genet,” said Brissot, “what effect
the execution of Capet would have in Amer-
ica?” Paine replied to my enquiry by simply
saying “bad, very bad.” The next day Paine pre-
sented to the Convention his celebrated letter
demanding in the name of Liberty, and the peo-
ple of the United States, that Louis should be
sent to the United States. Vergniaux enquired
of me what effect I thought it would have in
Europe. I replied in a few words that it would
gratify the enemies of France who had not for-
given Louis the acceptance of the Constitution
nor the glorious results of the American Revo-
lution. “Genêt,” continued Le Brun, “how
would you like to go to the United States and
take Capet and his family with you?”472
The next day, January 15th, Genêt was appointed by
Le Brun (Minister of Foreign Affairs) as ambassador to the
U.S.A. The very same day, the king was found guilty. The
debate immediately turned on the penalty to be imposed,
which debate persisted for 36 hours.
In that debate, Paine spoke up early on behalf of the
Brissotins, making his appeal that the king should be sent to
the U.S.A. to live peaceably thereafter. However, the Moun-
tain knew somehow of the Le Brun meeting which led to this
proposal. It is suspected that Le Brun’s servant was a spy. The

472.Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine (Ed. Moncure Daniel

Conway) (N.Y.: G.P. Putnam’s, 1896) Vol. IV at xii.

Introduction 185
Brissotin planning session was reported to the Montagnard-
led Jacobins soon after its occurrence, and this “contributed,”
Genêt believed, “to the early fall of Louis.”473
Thus, the Cercle Social members were hanging tight
in the upcoming vote. Members like Condorcet voted to sub-
mit the king’s fate to the general will — a democratic vote.
Likewise, Brissot warned of the error of voting for death, say-
ing that to execute the king would bring all the monarchs of
Europe into war against France.474 (Brissot’s warning proved
prophetic, as Britain declared war ten days later — on Janu-
ary 31st — because France had killed its own king in what
Britain regarded as a terrible injustice.)475
Among all the deputies who voted on this, it was
equally divided until Lapelletier voted. He was the last to
vote, and he broke the tie in favor of the king’s execution.476
(The deputies from Gironde, ironically, all switched in the
final vote, and voted for death.)477
Yet, this sometimes difference of opinion over the
king’s fate gave the Mountain an opportunity to find further
complaint with the Brissotins now misidentified as the Giron-
dins. The Mountain later charged the so-called Girondins

473.Thomas Paine, The Writings of Thomas Paine, id., Vol. IV at xii.

474.Wil Durant, Age of Napoleon: The History of European Civilization
From 1789 to 1815 (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1975) at 52; J.M.
Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (Oxford: Basil Black-
well, 1989) at 12.
475.J.F. Bernard, Talleyrand, supra, at 138.
476.Wil Durant mentions that on January 15th the issue of guilt was
resolved by 683 finding guilt out an assembly of 749. (Wil Durant, Age
of Napoleon, supra, at 52.) Then the proposal to submit ratification of
this verdict to the people was defeated by a vote of 424 to 287. (Id.) In
the final vote of January 16th on death, the voting was split. Paine,
Brissot, Condorcet, etc., held firm against a death penalty. (Id.)
477.See infra at page 212.

Introduction 186
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

(truly the Brissotins) with royalism and conservatism — a

totally unwarranted charge for men who were merely prudent
and in every other respect the true left wing.
Nothing significant for a time was made about this
vote as proving any kind of disloyalty by the Brissotins/Cer-
cle Social, and life seemed to proceed again as normal.
Then in February 1793, the Brissotins submitted to
the Nation their proposed constitution written mostly by Con-
dorcet,478 an author, orator and leading member of the Cercle
Social.479 By April 1793, when the legislature was to vote on
Condorcet’s plan, the “word was out that the Jacobin club” —
with the Mountain gaining an increasing monopoly — “had
instructed a rival committee to draft an alternative constitu-
tion.”480 As a result, by April 1793, the Brissotins were

478.Condorcet’s plan was democratic and focused on structural issues.

His proposal for a new constitution established universal male suf-
frage, proportional representation, a single national legislative body, an
executive council elected by the people, and local self-government.
Condorcet was deliberately not inclined to the single-executive or the
divided legislature of the U.S.A. Condorcet explained that “the theory
of the limitation of powers [in France] took the place of that futile bal-
ance of powers [in America] which had so long been admired. Con-
dorcet believed that power in one committee, limited in theory by a
constitution, is better than a balance of powers.” See Antoine-Nicolas
Condorcet, Sketch for a Historical Picture of The Progress of the
Human Mind (Introd. Stuart Hampshire) [first published 1795] (Introd.
Stuart Hampshire)(trans. June Barraclough) [first published
1795](London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1955) at 146.
479.Hélene Delsaux, Condorcet Journaliste (1790-1794) (Paris: Librairie
Ancienne, 1931) at 44. See also Footnote 433 on page 167.
480.John Keane, Tom Paine (N.Y.: Grove Press, 1995) at 356.

Introduction 187
forced to endure the “failure of the Convention to accept the
new constitution which their colleague, Condorcet481 pre-
sented in February....”482

Varlet Enters The Picture: Renegade From The Cercle Social

Meanwhile, the Cercle Social member Varlet simulta-
neously had been actively and successfully agitating to create
a Central Committee of Public Safety (also known as the
Central Revolutionary Committee). He gained financing from
the Commune (Paris mayor’s office) run by Hébert. Varlet
was the original president of this Central Committee of Pub-
lic Safety but at that time this entity only had ties to the clubs
and the Commune. This Central Committee was intended by
Varlet to take supreme measures of public safety by executing
opponents. The Jacobins for some temporary purpose wanted
to distance themselves from Varlet — perhaps due to his link
to the Cercle Social. Varlet was expelled from the Jacobins in
late March, 1793.483

481.The official authors were Condorcet, Gensonné, B. Barrère, Brissot

(later replaced by Barbaroux), Thomas Paine, Pétion, Vergniaud, and
Emmanuel Sieyès. The four bolded names were all Cercle Social mem-
ber/writers. “Condorcet coordinated the bulk of discussions and did
most of the drafting.” (John Keane, Tom Paine (N.Y.: Grove Press,
1995) at 356.)
482.Colin Jones, The Great Nation (N.Y.: Columbia University Press,
2001) at 472.
483.R. B. Rose, The Enrages: Socialists of the French Revolution?,
supra, at 21-22; R.B. Rose, “Socialism and the French Revolution,”
John Rylands Library, supra, at 154.

Introduction 188
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

Brissotin Press Destroyed

Then, somewhat concurrently, on March 9-10th 1793,
popular action “saw militant crowds attacking the printshops
responsible for producing leading [so-called] Girondin news-
papers (notably Gorsas’s Courier des 83 departments and
Condorcet’s Chronique de Paris).”484
One can see the simultaneous trend of suppression of
the Cercle Social by the dates that its journals went out of
print. After the Champs de Mars massacre of 1791, the Cercle
Social had opened a journal known as the Chronique de Paris
(under Condorcet) which began in 1791. It ceased operation
in July 1793. Likewise, the Cercle Social published a daily
paper called Bulletin des Amis de la Vérité beginning Decem-
ber 31, 1792 but it ceased publication on April 30, 1793.485

Preparations for Another Revolution in 1793

Next, Varlet’s plans of March 1793 were taken to the
legislature by Danton, the head of the Cordeliers Club. He
proposed to the legislature in March two things: (1) a Revolu-
tionary Tribunal to guillotine opponents and (2) a Committee
of Public Safety to hold executive power.486 (Ironically, in a
few months, when Robespierre hijacked the revolution, Dan-
ton would be executed by virtue of Robespierre’s influence
over the tribunal and committee.)
Danton’s proposal shocked several deputies of the
legislature who in response cried “dictatorship!” These depu-
ties correctly perceived that the proponents of this committee
were simply looking for an avenue to seize power from the
legislature. Under Mountain-Jacobin & Cordelier-club pres-

484.Colin Jones, The Great Nation (N.Y.: Columbia University Press,

2001) at 473.
485.Hélene Delsaux, Condorcet Journaliste (1790-1794) (Paris: Librairie
Ancienne, 1931) at 273, 274, 275, 277, 279, 349.
486.Lefebvre, The French Revolution, Vol. II, supra, at 44-45.

Introduction 189
sure, the Convention agreed upon a tribunal as Danton pro-
posed. The Revolutionary Tribunal quickly began its deadly
work on April 2, 1793.487
Thus, what began as Varlet’s dream to attack counter-
revolution in March became official policy in April 1793.
Varlet was let back into this movement and he was a principal
leader until he was pushed aside on about May 31, 1793 — a
short time before the insurrection took place. Varlet, while at
one time of the Cercle Social, now appears momentarily to
have aided the Commune. It was temporarily in alliance with
the Mountain party of Robespierre. Varlet was not acting
loyal to the interests of the Cercle Social at this time because
his efforts undermined the national power held by the Cercle
Social. The same was true of Dobsen, an original founder
with Bonneville of the Cercle Social.488

487.Olivier Bernier, Words of Fire, Deeds of Blood—The Mob, the Mon-

archy, and the French Revolution (New York: Anchor Books, 1990) at
488.Varlet took with him other Cercle Social members such as Dobsen in
this campaign that disserved the Cercle Social. The Committee of Nine
who worked with Varlet’s committee to plan the insurrection against
the Brissotins increased to Ten by adding Dobsen. Previously, Dobsen
had “founded masonic lodges in the Champagne before the Revolu-
tion, and together with Abbé Fauchet and Nicolas Bonneville, had
helped launch the Cercle Social at Paris.” (Morris Slavin, The making
of an insurrection (Harvard University Press, 1988) at 144.) Almost
concurrently with Dobsen’s addition, Varlet was soon removed as head
of the Committee of Nine. Dobsen apparently came to secretly disap-
prove of the move toward dictatorship just as much as Varlet did. Later,
on August 31, 1793, Loys charged that “Dobsen...abandoned his post
at the Commune at the time of the insurrection of May 31” and
affirmed that “the man who conducts himself this way can be nothing
but a traitor.” (Slavin, supra, at 145.) Hence, it appears the Cercle
Social men in this movement were both being outflanked.

Introduction 190
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

Varlet’s Regret
Incidentally, Varlet in 1794 explained in his book
Gare L’Explosion that he was not trying to help Robespierre
become dictator in place of Brissot’s national role. Instead,
Varlet aimed at a legitimate republican revolution to remove
Brissot from power, but when Varlet refused to institute a
“revolutionary dictatorship” with Robespierre put at the top,
Varlet claims rogues pushed him out of a power-position at
the last moment (around May 31, 1793).489 Varlet called
Robespierre an “usurper.” Varlet explained what happened:
“The citizens were despoiled of their rights; they unhappily
trembled and were silent before their tyrants.”490
This view of Robespierre and the Mountain faction as
usurpers of the party of the true left was not only spoken
about by Varlet, but also by Babeuf in his book Depopulation
(1794). Thus, two verifiable members of the true left — the
Cercle Social — identified Robespierre as a usurper.

April 1793: Plans At Revolution Continue

Turning back to the events, in April 1793, the Moun-
tain-led Jacobins stepped up their campaign to kill deputies
on the left who sided with mercy to the king. This was aimed
at Brissot and his allies on the left. On April 5, 1793, Marat
wrote a circular that was issued by the Jacobin society in

489.“Writing from his prison cell in the fall of 1794, Varlet charged that
among those elected to ‘save the country’ on 31 May were true repub-
licans but also a number of emissaries from ‘the most destructive of
factions.’ This ‘League of Caligula’ saw nothing in the overthrow of
the Brissotins but the possibility of a vast scope for its ambition. He
continued: ‘The insurrectionary committee [the Committee of Nine]
contained the germ of the revolutionary government, conceived
secretly at the start....The false insurgents substituted Robespierre for
Brissot: for federalism they substituted a revolutionary dictatorship,
decreed in the name of public safety. As for me, I was too sincere to be
initiated into it; I was set aside.” (Morris Slavin, The making of an
insurrection (Harvard University Press, 1986) at 145.)
490.Jean Varlet, Gare L’Explosion (1794) at 10.

Introduction 191
which he said, “The Counter-Revolution is in the Govern-
ment, in the National Convention itself... Let us arrest all the
enemies of the Revolution, and all suspected persons. Let us
exterminate without pity every conspirator....”491

‘Despotism of Liberty’ Motto Emerges

On April 6, 1793, Marat, now also a regular speaker at
the Cordeliers, said: “It is by violence that liberty is estab-
lished, and the moment has come to organize a temporary
despotism of liberty to crush the despotism of kings.”492
(This double-speak would be echoed by Robespierre, who
said the “Government of the Republic is a despotism of lib-
erty against tyranny.”)493
To fight back, on April 11th, the Convention ordered
the arrest of Marat. It accused him of saying that the people
should take power and the Convention should be dispersed.
In April 1793, Fauchet (the co-founder of the Cercle Social
with Bonneville) voted in favor of the indictment of
However, on April 24th, deputy Robespierre
defended Marat.495

491.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution, supra, at 85.

492. Hal Draper, Stephen F. Diamond, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution:
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (Monthly Review Press, 1986) at
493.Prof. George Lawrence Scherger, The Evolution of Modern Liberty
(London: Longmans, Green, 1904) at 262, citing Buchez & Roux,
supra, Vol. XXXI at 276-77.
494.Paul R. Hanson, Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution
(Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2004) at 125.
495.Ernest Belfort Bax, Jean-Paul Marat—The People’s Friend (London:
Grant Richards, 1901) at 260.

Introduction 192
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

The Doctrine of Sparta Emerges

Then Robespierre at the same time proposed additions
to the Rights of Man based upon principles evidently Spartan
in origin. These proposals were directly contrary to Cercle
Social principles of liberty of commerce as a natural right of
man and the best means to guarantee food availability.496
Robespierre instead said that there was no right to goods
above one’s needs, and everyone had a right to their basic
needs fulfilled:
Every citizen has the right to enjoy and dis-
pose of that portion of goods recognized to him
by the law. The right of property is limited like
all the others, by the obligation to respect the
rights of others. It can endanger neither the
safety nor the liberty nor the existence nor the
property of other citizens. All possession, all
traffic which violates this principle, is

April-May 19, 1793 Actions Toward Revolution

The same day, April 24th, the Revolutionary Tribunal
acquitted Marat.498 The Convention was embarrassed, but the
deputies felt they had made the point that they would not wel-
come efforts at dictatorship.
The Cordeliers quickly countered the Convention’s
impunity against their ally, Marat. They secretly planned to
attack many of the Convention’s members. After grabbing
them, it planned to exterminate those deputies in the Conven-
tion who were opposed to them. Leclerc, who was on the
Insurrection Committee for this uprising, spoke at the
Jacobins of Paris on May 12, 1793 about it. Leclerc said:

496.See “Appendix O: Sur Le Subsistances (1793)” on page 311 et seq.

497.Bernier, supra, at 407.
498.Bernier, supra, at 408.

Introduction 193
Popular Machiavellianism must be estab-
lished... Everything impure must disappear off
of the French soil... I shall doubtless be
regarded as a brigand, but there is one way to
get ahead of calumny, and that is, to extermi-
nate calumniators.499
On May 17, 1793, at the Jacobins it was proposed that
a Committee of Public Safety (CPS) be established by the
At this time, Varlet was the president of the insurrec-
tion committee financed by the Commune and sections. It
was otherwise composed of Chaumette (the new Procureur
of the Commune), Leclerc, Danton, Marat, Robespierre, and
Pache (mayor of Paris).
On May 18, 1793, deputy Guadet, who was also Min-
ister of the Interior, warned the legislative assembly that the
Commune planned to destroy the Convention.501 On May
21st, the Convention appointed a Commission of Twelve to

499.Taine, The French Revolution, supra, II at 51 n. 2.

500.Morris Slavin, The making of an insurrection (Harvard University
Press, 1986) at 146.
501.Guadet, Ducos, Gensonné, Grangeneuve, and Vergniaud were the
actual elected representatives from the Gironde in the Legislative
Assembly. They were not right wing. They had together founded the
Jacobin club at Bordeaux. See Mona Ozouf, “Girondins,” A Critical
Dictionary of the French Revolution (Harvard College, 1989) at 353.
On Vergniaud’s biography, and clear early support for revolution in
August 1792, see page 212.
Vergniaud was executed October 31, 1793. He was astonished how he, a
veritable leader of the revolution, could end up being executed. He
uttered the famous line: “Citizens, we have reason to fear that the Rev-
olution, like Saturn, will successively devour all its children, and only
engender despotism and the calamities which accompany it.” (“Pierre
Vergniaud,” at
(accessed 3/6/09).)

Introduction 194
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

investigate the subversive activities of the Commune against

the Convention itself.502 For self-protection, the Convention
moved to the Salle de Spectacle of the Tuilleries.503
On May 19, 1793, Brissot wrote a friend:

For the last two or three days, we have been in

horrible torment. Half the deputies dare not
sleep at home. I haven’t left my lodgings yet,
but no one could be more convinced that we
are marked down for a St. Bartholomew’s mas-
sacre... I have heard with my own ears street-
orators saying, “there have been enough cooks
and coachmen guillotined: it is time that some
of the Conventionals should lose their heads;”
and the names of the twenty-two [who voted to
have the question of the king’s execution sub-
mitted to a popular national vote] are always
the first suggested.504
These fears spread throughout the Convention, as
Brissot notes. It made the Convention determined to use its
Committee of Twelve to stop the plots of the Cordeliers/Mon-
tagnard Jacobins. On May 24th, the committee arrested
Hébert and Varlet.505 Hébert was the Procureur of the Com-
mune and ally of Cloots. The Committee also ordered the
reinforcement of the guards of the Convention.
In response, the Cordeliers club together with the
Paris sections declared themselves sitting en permanence.
This was the equivalent of a call to revolution. On the next
day, the Commune brought a protest to the Convention. In

502.Ernest Belfort Bax, Jean-Paul Marat — The People’s Friend, supra,

at 272-73, 276.
503.Lynn Hunt, Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986) at 84-85.
504.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution, supra, at 85.
505.Ozouf, “Girondins,” A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution,
supra, at 359.

Introduction 195
anticipation of problems, the Commission of Twelve doubled
the guard at the gates to the Convention, fearing some vio-
lence would be taken against the chamber.506
This storm brewed for days. On May 27th, Marat, as
deputy in the Convention, moved that the Commission of
Twelve should be disbanded. Marat claimed that the rumor
which had spread about a plot to assassinate twenty-two dep-
uties who voted to submit the king’s sentence to the people
was false. “The proof that this plot does not exist is that not
one of you has received so much as a scratch,” Marat bel-
lowed deceitfully. Marat then warned that the people detest
“senatorial despotism as much as royal despotism, [and] if
patriots are driven to insurrection, it will be your work.”507
Then followed an intrusion into the Convention by
mobs. This allowed Danton to declare the Convention had
voted the Commission of Twelve should be suppressed. How-
ever, the next day, the Convention said that vote had been
obtained by intrusion and terrorism, and reversed it.

The Origin in 1793 of the ‘Girondin’ Myth

At this juncture, Danton’s faithful aide and Robespi-
erre’s ally, Camille Desmoulins, wrote a broadsheet to set the
tone of the day. Desmoulins’ pamphlet was called L’Histoire
des Brissotins. For the first time, the twenty-two deputies
who voted against immediate execution of the King were
identified with the Gironde region and especially with Bris-
sot. The aim was to smear them as narrow-minded or oppo-
nents of the revolution. Having so marginalized them,
Desmoulins called upon the Convention to “vomit the Giron-
dins from its belly.”508

506.Ernest Belfort Bax, Jean-Paul Marat — The People’s Friend, supra,

at 273-74.
507.Ernest Belfort Bax, Jean-Paul Marat, id., at 274.
508.Christopher Hibbert, The Days of the French Revolution (Harper Col-
lins: 1999) at 195.

Introduction 196
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

Thus, the fiction of a Girondin party was born from

the tirades of Desmoulins, not from reality.509 For Royalists
and Brissotins might both seek to spare the king’s life for
totally different reasons: one to save the king and one to save
the revolution from counter-revolution. Thus, to join them
into one party by means of a single issue was preposterous
but clever propaganda.

The May 31, 1793 Uprising

Next, on May 31, 1793, arising out of the reforming
of the insurrection committee, some erroneously believe the
Mountain-led Jacobins attempted to take control of every-
thing. An example of such error is the following: “It was this
reformed insurrectional committee, now dominated by
Jacobins and Jacobin sympathizers which organized the
actual demonstrations of strength against the Convention by
the armed sections on 2 June....”510
However, this statement is an exaggeration. The
Mountain at the Jacobins was still divided on what to do and
whom to support in this period. Hampson reports that the
“Montagnards were divided between their desire to have
done with the Girondins and their indignation at the pres-
sure to which the Assembly was subjected.”511
The truth is the effort was led by the Commune (the
mayor’s office) whose guiding spirits were Jacques-René
Hébert and Chaumette. (Robespierre’s men had a small foot
print in these events, preparing to usurp control over the
insurrection committee, as Varlet would later relate.) The

509.The idea of a Girondin party is demolished in M. J. Sydenham’s The

Girondins (University of London, Athlone Press, 1961). See also Cob-
ban, A History of Modern France Vol. I: Old Régime and Revolution
1715-1799 at 283.
510.R. B. Rose, The Enragés: Socialists of the French Revolution?,
supra, at 25-26.
511.Hampson, supra, at 180.

Introduction 197
Commune demanded the arrest of the 22 deputies who voted
for clemency of the king to be turned over: “We have come
for the last time, to demand justice against the guilty.”512
However, Hampson says this Commune request was
“referred to the Committee of Public Safety with a request for
an immediate report,” but Barrère on behalf of the Committee
announced shortly afterward that there was “no ground for
prosecuting the Girondins....”513
Hence, the Mountain-led Jacobins were not yet ready
to come to the forward, contrary to how some historians
loosely depict the case. It was the Commune who took the
lead so far and in this next step as well, which is what
explains Varlet’s continued role hereafter while being other-
wise pushed out of his control over the insurrectionary com-

The Fateful Day Arrives: June 2, 1793

Next, on Sunday, June 2, the Convention in session
was surrounded by cannon. Shortly before on the same morn-
ing, Roux was speaking at the Cordeliers Club and called for
a new Constitution which would put to death hoarders of
daily necessities (food, clothes, etc.). He intoned: “Liberty
does not consist in starving your fellow men.”514
Soon cannons rolled closer to the door of the Conven-
tion as if to send this message to the legislators. Lanjuinais, a
deputy among the twenty-two who voted for clemency on the
King, opened the session of the Convention by calling for the
abolition of the Commune and the Committee of Public
Safety. Then, as if in response to Roux’ call, Varlet arrived at
the Convention. He interrupted Lanjuinais’ motion even

512.Norman Hampson, A Social History of the French Revolution (Rout-

ledge, 2006) at 180.
513.Hampson, id., at 180.
514.William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution (Oxford
University Press, 1989) at 245.

Introduction 198
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

though he was not a deputy. Protected by cannon at the gates,

Varlet took the podium away and quickly sponsored an
accusation against the twenty-two deputies of the Conven-
tion as traitors.515 (Varlet had just been released from prison
by the effort of the Commune.) Varlet also included Isnard in
his accusation. It was Isnard who on May 16th had just been
elected president of the Convention.
Varlet claimed that the twenty-two violated the gen-
eral will by voting that the King’s sentence should be submit-
ted to popular vote.516 Varlet also claimed that the twenty-
two deputies were conspiring to hand the Republic over to
generals who were favorable to the old regime. Finally, he
presented to the Convention a list of twenty-two deputies that
the militant sections asserted had to be quickly arrested as a
matter of the gravest public emergency.517
The Convention voted to table Varlet’s proposal and
move on to the order of the day. In angry response, Varlet and
his friends from the sections stormed outside. There they
raised a hue and cry, “To arms! To arms!” (Later, it was dis-
covered that this was a hired mob.)518 These enemies of the
Convention would not relent. Lacroix, a follower of Danton
at the Cordeliers, came into the Assembly shouting that it was
surrounded by order of the Commune; it was no longer free;
and the Convention was now a prisoner.519

515.Slavin says this accusation was drafted by Varlet against the 22 depu-
ties on June 4th. The next day he read it to the Assembly. (Slavin,
supra, at 149.) However, first person accounts have different dates.
516.Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (Vin-
tage Books, 1990) at 714.
517.Schama, supra, at 713, 714; see also Ernest Belfort Bax, Jean-Paul
Marat — The People’s Friend, supra, at 272.
518.The supporters who helped invade the Convention on June 2nd were
not spontaneous participants. They had all been promised forty sous a
day as compensation to cover May 31 through June 2nd. This bill was
presented soon after these events to the Committee of Public Safety. It
was promptly paid out of its treasury. See, A. Goodwin, The French
Revolution (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1985) at 138.

Introduction 199
Thereupon, on June 2, 1793, the twenty-two deputies
were arrested in their seats at the legislative Convention.520
Ironically, the twenty-two included many who had been plan-
ners of the August Revolution such as Brissot and Rabaut St.
Etienne. The vote for their expulsion and arrest under such
pressure was carried by a large majority.521 Cowards die a
thousand times before their deaths, Shakespeare once said.
On June 8, 1793, the non-legal revolutionary commit-
tee was transformed into the now legalized and official Com-
mittee of Public Safety of Paris.522 Dictatorship was about to
be born on the ashes of the now defunct Republic.

Breck’s First Person Account of June 2, 1793

Samuel Breck provides us a first-person account of
that morning of June 2, 1793. Breck’s account is useful on
many levels.
First, it shows the heroism of the Brissotin revolution-
aries — which must be respected even by those who do not
share their politics. Moreover, Breck realized that the Corde-
liers and Robespierre were conspiring to support the Com-
mune in this event to take away the “supreme command”
which had belonged to the so-called Girondins (i.e., the Bris-
sotins). The Commune employed, he recounts, just 2,000 to
3,000 men on this occasion. The overall agenda, Breck says,
was a plan “determined to supplant the real republicans” —
the Brissotins.523 Thus, Breck helps to remind us that Robe-

519.Bax, Jean-Paul Marat — The People’s Friend, at 283.

520.Regarding Brissot: “Sentence of arrest was passed against the leading
members of it on 2 June 1793; Brissot attempted to escape in disguise,
but was arrested at Moulins....After a trial during which his demeanour
was quiet and dignified, Brissot and several other Girondists were guil-
lotined in Paris.”
(accessed 3/7/09).
521.Bernier, supra, at 410; Bax, supra, at 284. St. Etienne was later guil-
lotined in 1793 along with many others amongst the 22.
522.Slavin, supra, at 151.

Introduction 200
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

spierre was an usurper of the left-wing party, which is what

explains the mistaken identification of him as on the left. We
demonstrated elsewhere that Robespierre’s Spartan ideology
was a militaristic statist path to equality which violated all the
principles of liberty which the true left held as paramount in
importance to equality.
Finally, Breck correctly understands that this final
transformation was a revolution in the hands of what was tan-
tamount to anti-democrats willing to use violence against
democratically-elected representatives. Its leaders like Varlet
had been trained at the Cercle Social, but lost allegiance to it.
Varlet in turn would be betrayed. He gave his support to revo-
lutionary committees which then were usurped by rogues
from Robespierre’s organization. Breck provides the blow-
by-blow account of the Revolution of June 2nd, 1793:
A list of their names [i.e., deputies to be
arrested] was handed into the Convention by
the municipality of Paris [i.e., the Commune],
accompanied by a petition on the 2nd of June,
1793, asking for their arrest and trial. The gal-
leries were filled early in the morning of this
memorable day by the vilest of the populace,
placed there by the factious deputies, and
instructed to interrupt every attempt at defence
on the part of the accused. The Girondists, con-
sisting of De Valady, Brissot, Lanjuinais,
Vergniaud, Louvet, Barbaroux and others, were
not unmindful of their danger. The
denounced members had dined together the
day before for the last time. Many schemes
were proposed at this dinner to evade the
pending blow, but, relying upon their own
good intentions and the virtue of the Pari-
sians, they separated without having concerted

523.Samuel Breck, Recollections of Samuel Breck with his passages from

his Notebooks (1771-1862) (Ed. H.E. Scudder) (London: Sampson,
Low, 1877) at 229.

Introduction 201
any general plan of defence. On the morning of
the 2nd they were at their posts.524
Hence, we see these men — true revolutionary repub-
licans like Vergniaud and Brissot — were being hunted from
their legislative seats by the most unprincipled of men. Yet,
Vergniaud and Brissot remained bravely in their seats. Breck
Suddenly the hall was surrounded by a numer-
ous band of armed militiamen, who escorted
the bearers of the petition. The galleries
applauded, the crowd without clamored, the
sovereign people would be obeyed. Barbaroux,
one of the accused, and a man of great personal
courage, spurned at their threats and fought his
way to the tribunal, but in a moment twenty
hands tore him from it. Lanjuinais, another of
the denounced, sprang forward to occupy his
place, when Legendre with brutal ferocity
beat him to the ground. He arose undaunted,
however, and obliged the Assembly to listen to
him. With a firm yet serene voice he exclaimed
that “the ancients, when they prepared a sacri-
fice, crowned their victim with flowers and
garlands; and you, more cruel, you assault with
disgraceful blows; you outrage the victim that
makes no effort to escape your knife.” These
eloquent words produced a momentary
Again, we see these were the last gasps of heroic men
trying to hold onto the Constitutional right of the legislature.
Mobs were hired to assault the members and stop them from
speaking. Almost nothing ever like this has ever been
repeated in a democracy ever since. Breck continues:

524.Id., at 229-30.
525.Id., at 230.

Introduction 202
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

The Convention hesitated. Not so the crowd

without; their threats, their force increased, till
at length their clamors induced some of the
deputies to propose that the whole legislative
body should march out and reason with the
sovereign people. It was so decreed. The presi-
dent at the head leaves the hall, arrives in front
of a triple row of bayonets and reads with a
timid voice the resolve that has just passed.
“Return,” cries the commanding general, Hen-
riot— “return to thy post. Darest thou give
orders to the insurgent people? The people will
that the traitors should be given up; give them
or go back.” Then turning to his troops, “Can-
noneers,” he exclaims, “to your guns! citizens,
to arms!” Cannon charged with grape are
pointed against the Convention; muskets are
levelled at many of the deputies. They fly;
they seek a passage by two other outlets, and
twice they are repulsed. Marat appears at the
head of a hundred ruffians ready to perpetrate
any massacre at his signal. “I order you,” he
calls out to the members— “I order you in the
name of the people to go in, to deliberate and
Here was the moment of truth. Would the legislative
Convention be intimidated, and issue a vote under such pres-
sure? Once done, the power of the Commune — the mayor’s
office of Paris — would be sanctioned to be a national power.
This indeed is what was the consequence later of the vote of
June 2d. A few months later, the Commune’s decrees had the
force of law in the nation, such as the order to close 200
churches throughout France. Would the Convention prove
cowardly this day? Breck continues:

526.Id., at 230-31.

Introduction 203
The Convention returns to its hall. Couthon
rises and with insulting irony exclaims, “Well,
my colleagues, you have now convinced your-
selves that the Convention is perfectly free.
The honour of the people is only declared
against faithless mandatories, but as for us, we
are still environed with all their respect, with
all their affection. What wait we for? Let us
obey at once the calls of our consciences and
their wishes. I propose that Lanjuinais, Barba-
roux, Brissot, De Valady” (here follow upwards
of twenty names of the most eminent
Girondists) “be put in arrest at their respective
homes.” Couthon’s proposition was decreed.
During this extraordinary scene DeValady sus-
tained with republican energy the cause of
himself and friends. He retired in obedience to
the decree, and in despair at perceiving that all
his sublimated notions of government were
idle or impracticable, he resolved on flight. The
royalists had yielded to the constituents, the
constituents to the republicans, and the
republicans to the anarchists. The persecu-
tions of each faction acted upon the other, and
the death or exile of the vanquished party
was the never-failing catastrophe of the rev-
olutionary tragedies of those unhappy
Hardly more insightful words were uttered about this
transition. For the Brissotins’ fall was the decline into:
• plans of “depopulation” (i.e., a euphemism for mass murder
supposedly to prevent a social crisis from famines due to over-
population but useful to exterminate political opponents);528

527.Id., at 231.
528.See Footnote 70 on page 29 and accompanying text.

Introduction 204
Brissotin Party Discussion of January 14th, 1793 and The Insurrection of June

• a merciless terror in order to thwart the public’s right to stop

such tyranny and foolishness.

The Revolution of June 2d, 1793 was the third cycle

of revolution in what is often called the French Revolution. It
was the last one. It was the one that engendered its own col-
lapse in July 1794. It suffered by attacks from all sides —
from the so-called ‘ultra-radicals’ in Cloots’ mold, from the
Brissotin left, from the moderates, and, of course, from the

Marat’s Role on June 2d, 1793

Marat on that entire day acted as dictator from his leg-
islative seat. Marat by this time changed his view on the war.
The Convention heard requests from Marat’s allies to redou-
ble the effort at recruiting an army of national defense. In this
tumult, an unpopular recruitment (draft) for war was also
decreed. The first price controls were then put on grain.
Marat’s biographer says, “Marat at this moment might with-
out exaggeration have been designated the uncrowned King
of France.”529
However, his power solely stemmed from the Com-
mune, and its cannons.

The Fate Of The Arrested Deputies

In the few days thereafter, the Convention did all it
could to make the imprisonment of the twenty-nine loose. (A
few more above the 22 had since been added to the list.)
Apparently it desired that they could escape. In response,
Leclerc, one of the so-called enragés — allies of Roux and

529.Batz, supra, at 285. See also Doyle, supra, at 250 (legislation on the
army on June 2d); Greer, The Incidence of the Terror during the
French Revolution (Harvard University Press: 1935) at 10 (June 2d
decree on maximum on grain).

Introduction 205
Marat — complained that the twenty-nine should have been
killed immediately. “Why are you afraid of a few drops of
blood?,” he asked.530
In time, Leclerc’s plea was heard. These deputies,
except those few who escaped, were executed in November,
1793. At that time, the state had totally fallen under domina-
tion of the Montagnard Jacobins.
Over several weeks after June, the arrested number of
deputies expanded from twenty-nine to thirty-two and later to
over 100. Those deputies arrested included many left wing
Jacobins of yesterday. These were Pétion, Brissot, Lebrun
(the Minister of Foreign Affairs), Clavière (Minister for Con-
tributions), and Rabaud-Saint-Etienne.
Brissot explained in his own defense and that of his
friends, that they were only guilty of “wishing that disorder
should give place to order, and arbitrariness to law; that the
rule of brigands shall come to an end, and that men shall be
led to love the Republic, instead of hate it for its system of
terror....”531 Brissot’s plea fell on deaf ears.

Robespierre’s Next Destroys The Atheists

On The Left
As a result of the insurrection of June 1793, led by the
Commune under Hébert and Varlet, France now would be
subject to Cloots.
However, when these men began to push aggressively
to dechristianize France, Robespierre pulled out of his bag-
of-tricks the Foreign Conspiracy thesis that he invented in
March 1793 to destroy his enemies. Once the atheist move-
ment imposed by decrees of the Commune was gaining
momentum in late 1793, Robespierre turned the Foreign Con-

530.Richet, “Enragés,” A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution,

supra, at 339.
531.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution, supra, at 88.

Introduction 206
Robespierre’s Next Destroys The Atheists On The Left

spiracy theory so it would now include Hébert, Cloots, etc.

Thus enveloped by this theory, Robespierre was able to halt
the atheism which they were imposing on France.
Having executed all of the dechristianizers in March
1794, Robespierre then on June 8, 1794 revived worship in a
single deity. This overtly was done to prove his triumph over
the atheists. In his inaugurating ceremony, Robespierre made
his point by means of a statue of a goddess of atheism, under
which a plaque read: “The hope of foreigners.” In response,
in July 1794, the surviving atheist-movement agitators were
among those leading the overthrow of Robespierre. Let’s
review this in some depth to see what remained of Bonnev-
ille’s movement at the demise of Robespierre.

The Beginning of The Foreign Conspiracy Claims of

To understand how in late 1793 Robespierre tarred-
and-feathered the atheist wing who were inspired by Bonnev-
ille’s rhetoric, one must go back to March 1793. Robespierre
had in March 1793 created a paranoia of a Foreign Conspir-
acy. He attributed this to the machinations of one Baron Batz.
Robespierre explained:

There exists among the representatives of the

people of France certain perverse men who are
initiates of mysteries of a foreign conspiracy,
made up of weak but perverse men who are

These miserable agents of foreign powers, agi-

tated the clubs and the popular sections and
assemblies....The head of this plot is Baron de

532.Maximilien Robespierre, Œuvres de Maximilien Robespierre (B.

Franklin, 1970) Vol. III at 582. The same in full is in Philippe-Joseph-
Benjamin Buchez et P.C. Roux, Histoire parlementaire de la révolu-
tion française (Paris: Paulin, 1837) Vol. 31 at 18 et seq.

Introduction 207
Batz....[The] representatives of the people have
coalesced with bankers of powerful foreign-
ers....[And they manifest] hypocritical patrio-
tism....[P]atriots search for this invisible power
who wish to strike hidden blows to lib-
Baron de Batz in 1795 denied Robespierre’s allega-
tion, claiming he had no correspondence with any foreign
powers or enemies of France.534 Yet “what Batz was doing in
Paris remains essentially mysterious....”535
Not surprisingly, in March 1793 when Robespierre
first fanned paranoia with this conspiracy-theory, the identity
of the alleged participants were mysterious.
This mysteriousness allowed Robespierre in late 1793
to turn this paranoia against the atheists within the revolution-
ary movement. It allowed him to execute one-by-one the
enragés and all members of the left of Bonneville’s ideologi-
cal stamp, e.g., Fauchet, Hébert, Chaumette, Cloots, Roux,
etc.536 Hence, Robespierre was willing to kill the leading
members of the left while pretending to be their successor. He
clearly did this as a means of eliminating the cosmopolitan-
ism and atheism of these Illuminist activists.
Once Robespierre cleared the field of the activist-
atheist left by early 1794 — by the execution of Cloots (exe-
cuted March 23, 1794), Jacques-René Hébert (executed

533.Buchez & Roux, Histoire parlementaire de la révolution française

(Paris: Paulin, 1837) Vol. 31 at 21-23, 28.
534.Mead Minnigerode, Marie Antoinette’s Henchman — The Career of
Jean, Baron de Batz (1936) at 250-251.
535.David Andress, The Terror (MacMillan 2005) at 261.
536.As to Jacques Roux (1752-Feb. 1794), we learn: “Deserted by former
associates during the Reign of Terror, he was arrested under the Law of
Suspects in September 1793. Roux was condemned to death at the
Revolutionary Tribunal but before his execution stabbed himself and
was carried away to Bicêtre Hospital where he died.” http://en.wikipe- (accessed 2/28/09).

Introduction 208
Robespierre’s Next Destroys The Atheists On The Left

March 24, 1794), and Pierre Chaumette (executed April 13,

1794), then on June 8, 1794, Robespierre instituted the Festi-
val to the Supreme Being.
It was clearly in retaliation that Fouché, one of the
leaders of the Festivals of Reason under Cloots’ inspiration,
led the movement to overthrew Robespierre in July 1794:
By that time Maximilien Robespierre had
struck down the other leaders of the promot-
ers of atheism. However, early in June 1794, at
the time of his “Festival of the Supreme Being,”
Fouché ventured to mock the theistic revival
which Robespierre then inaugurated. A sharp
exchange took place between them, and Robe-
spierre tried to expel Fouché from the
Jacobin Club on 14 July 1794. Fouché, how-
ever, was working with his usual energy and
plotted Robespierre’s overthrow. Remaining
ultraleftists (Collot, Billaud) and moderates
(Bourdon, Fréron), winning the support of the
nonaligned majority of the Convention
(Marais), also opposed to Robespierre’s reign,
engineered the latter’s overthrow, enforcing the
Coup of the 9th Thermidor on 28 July 1794.537
So among those remaining leaders from Bonneville’s
movement at the fall of Robespierre were just a few men:
Sieyès, Paine, Babeuf, and Varlet, as well as allies such as
Lafayette. Paine noted the different paths of how he survived
versus how Sieyès did so. “Sieyès and myself [from among
those on the Committee of the Constitution] have [alone] sur-
vived. He by bending with the times, and I by not bend-

537. (accessed 3/7/

538.G. Vale, The Life of Thomas Paine (Kessinger, 2005) at 119.

Introduction 209
With these men rested the fate of the Cercle Social’s
agenda for France. After having suffered so many murders as
ultra-revolutionaries, were they able to continue their
agenda? How did Babeuf form a part of their survival? Did
Sieyès by bending with the times keep alive the flame? These
are all issues that belong in other books.
What we can say is that the Cercle Social and other
hands of the Bavarian Illuminati in France fanned a fire in
1789 which d’Holbach’s group had first created in the 1760s.
The Illuminati thought they could control this fire, but it
burned out of control (June 1793). In the end, this fire burned
them (March 1794). They helped put out that fire (July 1794).
Whether they started another remains for other historical
works to explain.
This review, however, teaches an important sociologi-
cal truth: a defect of secret societies that preach the pursuit
of power and Machiavellianism is that recruits can utilize
the same ideas to think for themselves. They then can
embark at an unsafe speed and on contrary principles to
achieve similar goals which, in the end, can lead to results
completely contrary to what the secret society originally

One can see from the foregoing that by focusing upon
Bonneville, and identifying his Cercle Social members, plus
recognizing their ideology by means of L’Esprit des Reli-
gions, one can finally unravel the factional infighting during
the 1792-1794 period.
Bonneville was clearly part of the group that led an
almost bloodless revolution during July 1789. The people
were armed; the French army was ordered to retreat from
Paris; and armed forces under control of Bonneville’s friends
(the Tassin brothers, Savalette, and Lafayette) were now in
charge of Paris as the National Guard.

Introduction 210

Bonneville was also the leader of the group that in

1791 first sought unsuccessfully to found the Republic at the
Champs de Mars. During late 1791 until August 1792, Bon-
neville’s group gained control over the Jacobins, and trans-
formed them into a model of the Bavarian Illuminati. When
the moment was right, it was the Brissotin Jacobins from the
Cercle Social who then led the almost bloodless revolution of
August 10, 1792 which founded the Republic. Again, only a
few Swiss guard were massacred by an angry mob whose acts
cannot actually be attributed to the ringleaders of the August
Revolution. At every step of the way, the Illuminized took
measured steps which never incited a serious threat of
counter-revolution despite some very new policies.
However, the Commune (mayor’s office) of Paris had
other ideas, and engaged in terror in the September 1792 mas-
sacres. Simultaneously, a small faction of anti-war Jacobins
known as the Montagnards / the Mountain led by Robespierre
and Marat usurped control over the Jacobins progressively
from September 1792 to June 1793. They voted in January
1793 to execute the king — which prevailed in a razor thin
vote (excuse the pun). Then by representatives-on-mission
they shut down papers associated with the Brissotin party.
Then in June 1793 they forcibly expelled Brissot and his
allies from the legislature.
These Montagnard / Mountain policies excited
counter-revolution. This in turn required extensive terror to
suppress. This terror in turn excited more counter-revolution.
This ever escalating terror and counter-revolution fed one-
another. This cycled out of control, ultimately leading to the
collapse of the Revolution in July 1794 when Robespierre
was arrested and executed, thereby ending the terror.
Thus, L’Esprit des Religions is one of the more
important books from this period. It allows us to understand
the broad ideology of the Cercle Social. It contained what
every member knew was their ideology. L’Esprit serves as a
defining document that unravels the history of the Revolu-
tion, and explains the infighting and its causes. The L’Esprit

Introduction 211
allows us to finally recover what were the original intentions
of the founders of the Republic of August 10, 1792. It was
only Robespierre’s propaganda which has been gullibly
accepted by historians for far too long that obscured these

Appendix A: The Forgotten Vergniaud

Vergniaud Biography
Pierre Vergniaud is typically an ignored figure in his-
toriography of the French Revolution. His biography does not
fit the image that Robespierre promoted at the time of the
Girondins. Yet, Vergniaud is another crucial figure to under-
stand so as to identify clearly the lines of faction, and their
In August 1791,Vergniaud was elected from the
Gironde Department. Vergniaud was a strong supporter of
war. “[O]n 27 December 1791, he stirred the heart of
France,...especially by his call to arms on 18 January” and
thereby “shaped the policy which culminated in the declara-
tion of war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary on 20
It was also Vergniaud’s speech of March 1792 which
led to the rise of the Brissotins into the ministerial positions
of France. On 10 March, 1792, he accused the king’s minis-
ters of conspiring for counter-revolution, and threatened ‘ter-
ror’ if these ministers were not removed. “Vergniaud
delivered a powerful oration in which he denounced the
intrigues of the court and uttered his famous apostrophe to the

539. (accessed


Introduction 212

Tuilleries: ‘In ancient times fear and terror have often issued
from that famous palace; let them re-enter it to-day in the
name of the law!’”540
When the king earlier fled Paris in June 1791,
Vergniaud supported founding a Republic. Then “on 3 July he
boldly denounced the king as a hypocrite, a despot, and a
base traitor to the constitution. His speeches were perhaps the
greatest single factor in the development of the events of the
time.” (Id.)
When August 10, 1792 came and a mob was march-
ing toward his residence, the king came to Vergniaud. He pre-
sided over the Assembly on August 10th. The king sought his
help. Vergniaud made the unprecedented move of drafting up
a decree suspending the king as monarch — a very radical
step but one that he, and only a few, like the Cercle Social,
had dreamed about: “[When] the royal family took refuge in
the Assembly[,] Vergniaud presided....An extraordinary com-
mission was appointed: Vergniaud wrote and read its recom-
mendations that a National Convention be formed, the king
be provisionally suspended from office,... and the royal fam-
ily be consigned to the Palais Luxembourg.”541
On December 31, 1792, Vergniaud then gave an
impassioned speech that the king’s fate in a trial should be
decided by a vote of the people of France. Yet, when it came
to the vote, Vergniaud and the Gironde deputies all voted for
death of the king, contrary to the common misperception of
historians who are influenced by Desmoulins’ slander of the
Girondin deputies. Vergniaud explained “he did not think he
ought to put the life of one man in the scale against the public
welfare.” (Id.) Thus, contrary to the false accusation by Des-
moulins, the true Girondin deputies voted for the death of the
king. The Brissotins otherwise voted his fate be determined
by a democratic vote, and thus voted no.

540. Id.
541. Id.

Introduction 213
Appendix B: Brissot

Brissot’s Communist Beliefs

At about age thirty-six, Brissot de Warville in his
Philosophical Researches on the Right of Property (Recher-
ches philosophiques sur le droit de propriété et le
vol)(1780)542 uttered the famous line: “Exclusive property is
theft.” Later Proudhon truncated this into his famous axiom
that “property is theft.” The further context surrounding this
famous quote most emphatically proves that Brissot was thor-
oughly imbued with a communist ideal, as Professor Janet of
the University of Paris explained in 1887. This is what helps
identify the reason for Brissot’s alliance with Bonneville.
Nicolas too espoused the communist ideal in L’Esprit. Brissot
explained in this treatise of 1780:
What we call property is the right of all living
bodies to destroy each other. The power to
destroy another body is so as to maintain one-
self. [What is the title of this right?] It does not
need any....The true property, the sacred prop-
erty right [is self-maintenance]. If an owner
has no need but I do, behold! My title
destroys his [right of] possession. If there is a
need on both sides, the situation is static. [That
is, no one has ever had the right to take any-
thing to the exclusion of others.] In the state of
nature, the thief is the rich. Exclusive property
is theft.543 In contrast, in society, one is called
the thief who robs the rich: What a change of

542.This is available free through Gallica online at

ark:/12148/bpt6k6472q.r=.langFR. It is catalogued there as Recher-
ches philosophiques sur le droit de propriété considéré dans la nature,
pour servir de premier chapitre à la ‘Théorie des lois’ de M. Linguet
par un jeune philosophe (Paris: Éditions d’histoire sociale, 1780).
543.The original French is: “La propriété exclusive est un vol.”

Introduction 214

Professor Janet comments on this passage:

We see from these texts that the famous axiom
of Proudhon [Property is theft] does not belong
to him. Did he borrow from Brissot, by virtue of
natural law that everyone is entitled to
all?...We can answer that question. The priority
of Brissot is incontestable.545
Brissot continues:
This is not to authorize theft. But we should
not cruelly punish thieves. [If a man keeps] (as
we have seen) ineffaceable the privilege of
ownership, those who are private laborers
require the owners to fill adequately their
needs. They [i.e., the workers] are entitled to
this wealth; they are masters of how it is dis-
posed in relation to their needs. [If the rich
oppose this right, then the workers holding the
opposing right may resort to] violence.546
Professor Janet comments on this passage:
We see that here we are presented with more
than just a legal reform of property because any
such reform, that is this Communist one,
would undermine the primary and inalienable
right of all. It is the right of theft. This is the
last level of savagery and anarchy.547
Brissot argued that animals eat their own kind. It fol-
lows that the right of survival justifies the thief living off the
rich. Brissot writes in the same piece:

544.Paul Janet (Professor, Institute of Paris), Histoire de la Science Poli-

tique Dans Ses Rapports Avec la Morale (3d ed.)(Paris: Alcan, 1887)
Vol. II at 663-64.
545.Professor Janet, id., at 664.
546.Professor Janet, id., at 664.
547.Professor Janet, id., at 664.

Introduction 215
Should men nourish themselves on their kind?
A single word decides this question, and this
word is dictated by Nature herself. All beings
have the right to nourish themselves in any
manner that will satisfy their needs.548
Taine’s quote of Brissot contains more of the same,
lest there be any doubt:
If 40 crowns suffice to maintain existence, the
possession of 200,000 crowns is plainly unjust
and a robbery.... Exclusive ownership is a ver-
itable crime against an
act of virtue which nature herself com-
Brissot then explained all private property is theft of
public goods. He called for a levelling of wealth, arguing
“there is no sacred right... to eat the food of twenty men when
one man’s share is enough.” Brissot then argued the laws
were fundamentally wrong. He said law itself is “a conspir-
acy of the stronger against the weaker, of the rich against the

Brissot’s Idealized World

In Researches of 1780, Brissot idealizes the inhabit-
ants of Terre de Feu (Tierra del Fuego) as living in the pure
“state of nature” akin to Knigge’s depiction of Mr. Brick’s
fictional account of an island paradise. Brissot says their
homes are “in the branches of trees;” they lack “any notion of
religion, of police, etc.”551 Brissot adds that the American
Indians likewise live with all their “provisions” provided to

548.J.P. Brissot, Biblioteque philosophique Vol. VI at 313.

549.H. Taine, The French Revolution (trans. John Durand)(2d ed.)(N.Y.:
Henry Holt, 1892) at 71 n. 4.
550.Will & Ariel Durant, Rousseau and Revolution (1968) at 938.
551.Brissot, Researches (1780), supra, at 29.

Introduction 216

them in “community.”552 This proves in the state of nature

that “the needs of men are very little” but these needs “singu-
larly multiply in society.”553
Due to this contrast, Brissot constantly berates the soft
“luxuries” of European society which wrongly believes
“nature has conferred on us as a right of property.”554 These
luxuries represent instead “usurpations in the name of prop-
erty.”555 “Societies have degraded primitive dignity, now
existing in nothing more than slavery.”556
Instead, those people “thrown to live on islands at the
extremities of the world have conserved the primitive notions
about the right of property which has been entirely effaced
within Europe.”557 “Within nature, there is a perfect equality
among properties.”558
The ancient Greeks knew this truth, Brissot insists.
The Spartans (whom Brissot apparently is holding somewhat
up to emulate) lived in a “policed nation, and all was in com-
mon.”559 Lycurgus, its leader, achieved “in part the beautiful
dream of the government of Plato.”560 (This was somewhat

552.Id., at 37.
553.Id., at 30.
554.Id., at 35.
555.Id., at 35.
556.Id., at 83.
557.Id., at 37.
558.Id., at 38-39.
559.Id., at 37.
560.Id., at 37.
561.The helots had individual lots to farm. All that they produced above
subsistence had to be handed over to the military which also lived fru-
gally. Hence, individual property right existed side by side with a
strong duty to supply the excess production to the community.

Introduction 217
Brissot then addresses the means of such reform today
— an agrarian law. Brissot notes that some say that if an
“agrarian law” were proposed, this would “cause discord
within the hearts of citizens.” Brissot responds that if this law
were passed by the senators, the “plebians would unite with
the patricians, and would not let such a republic fall from
their hands which would be so formidable and peaceful that it
would reign over all the world.”562

Appendix C: Brissot’s Connection to the


Brissot: An Easy Recruit For the Illuminati

As a result of Brissot’s communistic beliefs, Brissot
was an easy recruit into Weishaupt’s Illuminati system hidden
under Mesmer’s lodge at Paris. Brissot wrote several books
defending Mesmerism based on his claim that it had a politi-
cal agenda of levelling wealth and creating universal har-
mony. Hence, Mesmer was the means by which Brissot fell
into contact with the Bavarian Illuminati. Years prior to the
Revolution, Brissot rose to the top of the Mesmer system,
becoming its chief public mouthpiece.
Let’s now review Mesmer and his background in the

Mesmer’s Link to Weishaupt’s Step-Father

Mesmer attended in 1759 the University of Ingolds-
tadt in Bavaria. This is where Professor George Weishaupt,
father of Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830), taught until his death
in 1755. When Adam’s father died in 1755, Adam Weishaupt
was only age seven. Adam was adopted and raised by his

562.Id., 42.

Introduction 218

godfather Johann Adam Ickstatt, the leading Enlightenment

professor at Ingoldstadt University. Weishaupt was “accorded
free range in the private library of his godfather” Ickstatt.563
It had over 4200 volumes. This is where Weishaupt found the
works of Rousseau and other materials which inspired the
model of the Illuminati.
When Mesmer was a student at Ingoldstadt University
in 1759, Weishaupt’s adoptive-father, Ickstatt, was Mesmer’s
professor and a great influence over Mesmer:

Mesmer studied under the Wolffian scholar

Johann Adam Ickstatt in the middle 1750’s
[and] received the main impetus to adopt a
rationalist vocabulary and a predisposition for
appealing to rationalist explanations during
this formative period.564
Weishaupt would have been eleven years old when
Mesmer was his adoptive-father’s pupil. Thus, we might
fairly imagine that Mesmer met Adam Weishaupt as a young
lad when Professor Ickstatt held Adam in tow. This is what
likely explains what later we learn is the link between
Weishaupt and Mesmer.
After the University of Ingoldstadt, Mesmer went to
the University of Vienna to obtain his medical degree. His
doctoral dissertation of 1766 was entitled Influence of the
Planets which supposedly proved astrology could help care
for patients.
In January 1778, Anton Mesmer left Austria and went
to Munich, Bavaria, the home of the young Order of Illumi-
nati. He stayed a few weeks in Bavaria. Then in February
1778, Mesmer left for Paris.565

563.Vernon Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati (1918) at

564.Olav Hammer, Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistomology
from Theosophy to the New Age (2004) at 213.

Introduction 219
From the point Mesmer arrived at Paris in 1778 until
1784, he had created twenty lodges modeled on Freemasonry.
Mesmer’s lodges of Harmony were never affiliated with true
Freemasonry; instead, the lodges Harmony used the forms of
masonry as a cover — identical to the stratagem of
Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati. These twenty lodges of
Harmony as of 1784 could be found at Paris, Grenoble, Lyon,
Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Dijon, Montpellier, Marseilles,
Nimes,566 Metz, Nancy, Guienne, Bayonne, Amiens, Char-
tres, etc.567 It went international with lodges at Turin, Italy;
Malta near Sicily; and Stockholm, Sweden.568 The Mesmer
system even had one lodge in the island of Santo Dom-
When Mesmer first arrived at Paris in February
1778, he quickly wrote two books — one in 1779 and
another in 1781. These works recounted his trip to Paris
(which started in Bavaria).571After this experience in Bavaria
in 1778, he was now ready to “pass on to humanity, in all the
purity that I received from Nature, the inestimable benefac-
tion that I had in hand.”572
The utopian quality of his discovery (fresh from
Bavaria) is self-evident. Mesmer explained:

565.Margaret Leland Goldsmith, Franz Anton Mesmer (Doubleday,

Doran & Company, Inc., 1934) at 45, 108; “Mesmer,” Dictionnaire de
la Franc-Maçonnerie (Daniel Ligou, Ed.) (Paris: Presses Universi-
taires de France, 1987) at 793 (quit Vienna, and went to Munich in Jan-
uary, then left in February for Paris).
566.Charles Coulston Gillispie, Science and Polity in France (Princeton
University Press, 1980) at 278.
567.Alan Gauld, A History of Hypnotism (Cambridge University Press,
1995) at 20.
568.Alan Gauld, id., at 20.
569.Robin Waterfield, Hidden Depths: The Story of Hypnosis (N.Y.:
Brunner Routledge, 2003) at 97.
570.F.A. Mesmer, Précis historique des faits relatifs au magnétisme ani-
mal... (London: 1781) at 3.

Introduction 220

The great question I address is not just for an

individual or a nation, but is universal. It is for
all of humanity, and not just Paris alone or for
France or Germany....It is to the people of the
entire world I address my words.573
In 1779, his words were claiming a medical discovery
of animal magnetism, but his tone was using the vocabulary
of the Encyclopedists: “Philosophy makes every effort to cor-
rect errors and superstition.”574 There is an “imposture,”
Mesmer says, “upon reason which causes us to adopt systems
that are also evidently absurd and ridiculous that we see
Did Mesmer’s experience in Bavaria just before arriv-
ing in Paris in February 1778 impact him? Did it influence
him to talk about reason, superstition, imposture, and a uni-
versal regeneration of mankind in this way?
Upon his arrival in Paris, Mesmer announced he was a
representative of the Order of the Illuminati of Bavaria. As
François Dumas in his book Cagliostro explains, Dr. Franz
Mesmer, when he arrived in France, claimed he was a repre-
sentative of the Bavarian Illuminati. In Dumas’s book,
Cagliostro, we read:

571.The first book was entitled Mémoire sur la découverte du mag-

nétisme animal (Paris: 1779). This is available through Gallica.
The second was F.A. Mesmer, Précis historique des faits relatifs au mag-
nétisme animal jusques en Avril 1781 (London: 1781) which discussed
his trip to Paris at pages 20-25. This passage is quoted in Robert Darn-
ton, Mesmerism and the end of the Enlightenment in France (Harvard
College, 1968) at 117.
572.F.A. Mesmer, Précis historique des faits relatifs au magnétisme ani-
mal... (London: 1781) at 20-25, quoted in Robert Darnton, Mesmerism
and the end of the Enlightenment in France, supra, at 117.
573.F.A. Mesmer, Précis historique des faits relatifs au magnétisme ani-
mal... (London: 1781) at 6-7.
574.F.A.Mesmer, Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal
(Paris: 1779) at 4.
575.Id., at 4-5.

Introduction 221
Count de Saint-Germain and the Viennese
magnetizer Mesmer had revealed in Paris and
particularly in the lodges — for they were
Masons — the existence of the Illuminati of
Bavaria by whom they claimed to have been
given a humanitarian mission. They even
confided that they bore the ultra-secret high-
ranking title of Noble Travelers or Unknown
A scholar on French revolutionary female policies,
Mary Evans, recently mentioned that: “Mesmer’s secretive
and exclusive Society of Harmony was aligned with Adam
Weishaupt’s radical sect of Illuminati.”577 A high level
Freemason historical report from 1907 states unequivocally:

The Order of the Illuminati was founded in

Bavaria in 1776 by Dr. Adam Weishaupt....A
number of scientific men of liberal principles

576.François Ribadeau Dumas, Cagliostro (trans. Elisabeth Abbott)

(N.Y., Orion Press, 1967) at 196 (emphasis added).
577.Mary Evans, Feminism: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural
Studies (Routledge 2001) at 414. Masonic historians also mention this.
In an favorable account of the Illuminati, we read: “This society [i.e.,
the Illuminati] was joined by Mesmer, Cagliostro, Condorcet, duc
d’Orleans, Mirabeau, and the Abbe Sieyes.” (Ebenezer Cobham
Brewer, “Illuminati,” The Historic Note-book (1891) at 441.)

Introduction 222

gradually became members. Among these were

Where was the direct link to be found?
Masonic historians identify Mesmer’s affiliation as
follows: “Franz Mesmer, Lodge Les Philadelphes,
France.”579 We now know the Philadelphes was the cover-
name of the Illuminati in France. We point this out elsewhere
based upon the recently-published diary of J.C.Bode, the
head of the Illuminati in 1787, from his trip that year to Paris.
The diary explains that Bode and Savalette, the Grand Master
of the Amis Reunis of Paris, agreed that the Bavarian Illumi-
nati of France would operate in France under the cover-name
of “Philadelphes.”580 Evidently, this Philadelphes system is
the one by which Mesmer stayed in contact with Weishaupt’s
Bavarian Illuminati.
How did the Illuminati operate in Mesmer’s lodges?
They operated as an interior circle. For example, Grabianka
tapped a member at this Mesmer lodge for advancement into
the Illuminati. It is mentioned in Coberon’s diary that Grabi-
anka met new members of the Lodge Harmony and eventu-
ally lectured them on the virtues of joining the
Then once elevated, they would turn around and
found lodges of Illuminati. For example, Dr. Jean-François
Nicolas (1743-1816) was a famous doctor in Grenoble. He
was doctor to the Duke d’Orleans. After writing a notable
medical book on an epidemic in France, he was doctor occa-
sionally to the King of France.582 He became a leading Mes-

578.Chairman Henry Robertson, Committee of Correspondence, Grand

Lodge Proceedings June 10, 1907, reprinted in “Appendix to Proceed-
ings of 1903,” Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free, &
Accepted Masons of Canada, in the province of Ontario (Hamilton:
Spectator Printing, 1907) at i-ii of Appendix.
579. (3/18/09).
580.See Footnote 368 on page 139.

Introduction 223
merite. In the middle 1780’s, Dr. Nicolas in a house of
Propiac at Buis (near Grenoble) “inaugurated with Condorcet
within the ruins of the chateau of Propiac, a sect of the Illu-
minati du Midi.”583 Another historian of Grenoble notes “in
the ruins [of Propiac] were initiated...the sect of the Illumi-
nati du Midi, under the active presidency of the doctor Nico-
las (of Châtillon), student and friend of Mesmer, and with the
support of Condorcet.”584
Furthermore, the respected liberal historian Manceron
specifically mentions the “Illuminati” system prevailed at
Mesmer’s Lodge Harmony. First, Manceron discusses the
career of Adrien Duport (1759-1798), a leading Mesmerite.
Duport was an important figure in the Constitutional Club of
1785 with Condorcet, Mirabeau, Lafayette and d’Épremes-
nil.585 Duport was also a member of the Amis Reunis lodge
at Paris. In September 1788, with that lodge’s Grand Master,
Savalette de Langes,586 Duport founded the secretive Society

581.See Joanny Bricaud, Les Illuminés d’Avignon—Etudie Sur Dom Per-

netty et sou groupe (Paris: Libraire Critique Emile Nourry, 1927) at 87.
Pernetty’s Illuminati at Avignon started from the Berlin branch of
Weishaupt’s Illuminati. Mirabeau explains regarding the Avignon Illu-
minati of Pernetty: “At last, it is the Illuminati [of France], we learned
they took their title from the source of Bavaria, who maintained the
project, more interesting than wise, to oppose by a secret society as a
Dike against oppression and fanaticism.” (Comte de Mirabeau, De La
Monarchie Prussienne, sous Frederic Le Grand Avec Un Appendice
(London: 1788), Vol. V at 105.)
582.Justin Brun-Durand, Dictionnaire biographique et biblio-
iconographique de la Drôme (Grenoble: Dauphinoise, 1901) Vol. II at
194. (Available
583.“Nicolas,” Justin Brun-Durand, Dictionnaire biographique et biblio-
iconographique de la Drôme (Grenoble: Dauphinoise, 1901) Vol. II at
194. (Available
584.Bulletin d’archéologie et de statistique de la Drôme (Valence, 1871)
Vol. 16 at 86. (Available at Cf. Pierre Palengat, La
Drôme insolite (Editions E&R, 1991) at 381 (“Avec l’appui du philos-
ophe Condorcet, il fonda à la Révolution la secte des ‘Illuminés du
Midi’ dans les ruines du château.”)

Introduction 224

of Thirty at his home.587 Members included “Savalette de

Langes, Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau,...Talleyrand, the Abbe
Sieyès,... Saint Just,...Bergasse, [and] Brissot....”588 Finally,
Manceron describes how the Illuminati system was openly in
vogue at Mesmer’s lodge:

The only unique feature about Duport’s early

years was his meeting with the famous Mes-
mer... [W]hen Duport became vice-president of
the ‘Lodge of Universal Harmony,’ it was Febru-
ary 1784, the high point of an almost universal
infatuation in this society.... It gave the fine
ladies and gentlemen the illusion of being part
of something new, turning their backs on the
Church, of course, and on devotion to the
King. . . . Illuminism, recently born in Ger-
many, provided a pretext for the relation-
ships that the younger generation were
cultivating in Mesmer's rooms. It was there
that Duport became friendly not only with La
Fayette but also the Duc d’Orleans, Lauzun,
Ségur, Bergasse, and the banker Kornmann,
and a publicist whose name is becoming

585.“Le Club constitutionnel, qui débute en 1785, réunissait des parle-

mentaires, d’Épremesnil, Saint-Vincent et Duport, et des révolution-
naires, La Fayette, Mirabeau et Condorcet.” (Ernest Lavisse, Paul
Vida, Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu’à la révolution
(Hachette: 1911) Vol. 9 (Louis XVI) at 307.)
586.He was initiated by Bode into the Bavarian Illuminati in 1787. See
Footnote 368 on page 139.
587.Jean-Pierre Poirier, Rebecca Balinski, Lavoisier (1996) at 218.
Lafayette was also a member of the Society of Thirty. Id. Poirier
explains its propaganda committee: “A very efficient organization was
set up. A propaganda committee financed trips to the provinces by
‘apostles’ who distributed brochures and forms of wording for the
Registers of Grievances. They spread the idea of a national assembly
bringing together all the orders on equal footing.” Id.
588.Jean-Pierre Poirier, Rebecca Balinski, Lavoisier (1996) at 441 fn. 3.

Introduction 225
increasingly well-known, Jacques-Pierre Bris-
The Paris Lodge Harmony of Mesmer was located at
the Hôtel de Coigny on rue Coq-Heron — the same street
where was located the lodges Amis Reunis and Contrat
The structure of these Mesmer lodges is described by
an initiate, Baron de Corberon, in his daily diary. His journal
was first published in 1901. It revealed that Mesmer’s proce-
dures followed the “forms of masonry.” The hall was called
Lodge de l’Harmonie. When Corberon joined in 1784, there
was a Brother Orator, a secretary to his left, a presiding
officer — the “Veritable Master” — Mesmer himself — and
two vice-presidents on either side — Duport and Chatelux.
There was a table at the front with a red table-cloth. The
members sat in two rows with about 12 to 15 seats in each
row. Corberon’s journal indicates that he attended eleven ses-
sions, and then inexplicably mentions no more.590
By the end of 1781, the Paris Mesmer society had 103
members, and adopted the name Society of Harmony. Eventu-
ally, there were a total of at least twenty of these societies
founded all over France. Goldsmith in his biography of Mes-
mer adds: “All of them, modeled on the organization of the
Freemasons, swore their members to complete secrecy.”591
Just as Weishaupt dictated for his satellite lodges, Mesmer
used the “symbols of Freemasonry and the same name of
lodge. Moreover, its vocabulary, imagery, and ritual resem-
bled Freemasonry by its form.”592

589.Claude Manceron, The French Revolution Vol.V Blood of the

Bastille 1787-1789 (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1987) at 149
(emphasis added).
590.This is extensively excerpted in Appendix 3 to Robert Darnton’s,
Mesmerism and the end of the Enlightenment in France (Cambridge,
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1968) at 180 et seq.
591.Goldsmith, Franz Anton Mesmer, supra, at 132-33.

Introduction 226

Mesmer’s Lodges Spread Illuminati Ideology

Darnton recently discovered a memoir dated 1781 by
the lieutenant general of the Paris police which Darnton cate-
gorizes as reflecting that “the police were warned by anony-
mous letters that seditious speeches against religion and the
government were being made in the meetings of the mesmer-
In that same vein, two manuscripts of Bergasse’s
speeches as orator at the Harmony lodge have survived. They
are filled with pseudo-science to justify reform of political
institutions that will create harmony, as well as physical and
spiritual health for people.594 Mesmerism was simply a
reworking of the Illuminati message.
The Lodge Harmony generally preached to the public
that Mesmerism (hypnotism and body magnetism) was the
harbinger of a republic of full equality where rich and poor
would be no more.595 They dreamed of “an ideal republic
based on his animal magnetism.”596 To usher in this new age,
Mesmer put on banquets where participants ate “vegetables”
which had the “magnetic” property that he said was the key to
erasing all illness of body and “soul.”597

592.“Mesmer,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Daniel Ligou, Ed.)

(Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1987) at 795.
593.Lenoir papers, Bibliotèque municipale, Orléans, ms. 1421, cited by
Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the end of the Enlightenment in
France, supra, at 86.
594.See excerpts in Appendix 4 of Robert Darnton’s Mesmerism and the
end of the Enlightenment in France, supra, at 183 et seq.
595.Emmet Kennedy, A Cultural History of the French Revolution (Yale
University Press, 1991) at 186. Robert Darnton demonstrates in Mes-
merism and the end of the Enlightenment in France (1968), at 75, 78,
79-80, 86, 88, 91, 97, 100, 103, 104, 105, and 124, that Mesmer’s ideas
were used to promote ideas of radical political change. Darnton claims
the Enlightenment in France ended when Mesmer’s mysticism became
the basis for political theory.
596.“Mesmer,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Daniel Ligou, Ed.)
(Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1987) at 793.

Introduction 227
Mesmer then equated this very special vegetable fluid
with “universal harmony,” and that if this fluid was ingested
it would create this harmony first within “the human body”
and then second (it necessarily followed) in the “social
body.”598 Thus, ingesting vegetable drinks — tapping into
animal magnetism — was a means of ushering in a universal
world harmony.

Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made

It Wholly Political
Finally and most important, Brissot explained Mes-
mer’s political message in several books in a manner identi-
cal with Weishaupt’s doctrines.599 Brissot advised that if
humanity used Mesmer’s discoveries of hypnotism to
improve life, then we could usher in an era of leveling of
wealth and could create world peace. When Mesmer was
attacked by the established scientific community, Brissot
defended Mesmer by saying, “Don’t you [academicians] see,
for example, that mesmerism is a way to bring social classes
closer together, to make the rich more humane, to make them
into real fathers of the poor? Wouldn’t you be edified at the
sight of the most eminent men. . . supervising the health of
their servants, spending hours at a time mesmerizing them?”
Brissot criticized those academicians who rejected this lesson
as “base parasites” and “vile adulators” of the existing pow-
ers who, for added measure, he called “the oppressors of the
Fatherland.” Mesmer’s lessons, Brissot said, could establish a
Republic where the distinction between ill and healthy,
patient and doctor, rich and poor, could be abolished.600

597.“Mesmer,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie, id., at 794.

599.Brissot, Un mot à l’oreille des académiciens (1786).
600.Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in
France (N.Y.: 1970) (orig. published 1968) at 62-74, 97.

Introduction 228
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

In Brissot’s 1781 defense of Mesmer, Brissot also said

one day the sciences will be free of the tyranny of “despots,
aristocrats and electors” who prevent acceptance of Mesmer’s
science, i.e., hypnotism. We instead will have, says Brissot, a
“perfect republic” where to “admit. . . aristocrats or
electors. . . is to violate the nature of things, the liberty of the
human spirit.”601

Brissot Knew Mesmerism Was A Cloak for Revolution

Brissot’s memoirs contain a frank admission that he
knew these lodges of Mesmer, and the study of ‘hypnotism,
were a cloak for planning a revolution. Bergasse, a leader of
the Mesmerites, confessed this to Brissot one day:
Bergasse did not hide from me that in raising
the altar to magnetism, he had nothing in view
but making it an altar to liberty....
The time has come, he said to me, when
France needs a revolution. But to wish to
bring it about openly is to wish it to fail. To
succeed it must be wrapped in a mystery. We
must unite men under the pretext of experi-
ments in physical sciences, but in reality, for
the overthrow of despotism.602
This matches what Brissot left behind in his papers
from 1787. Brissot’s wife had become the governess in the
family of the Duc d’Orleans. This led to Brissot becoming

601.J.P. Brissot, De la vérité, our méditations sur les moyens de parvenir

à la vérité dans toutes les connaissances humaines (Neuchâtel: 1782)
at 165-66, 187, quoted in Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the end of
the Enlightenment in France (1968), supra, at 91.
602.Alan Gauld, A history of hypnotism (N.Y.: Press Syndicate of Cam-
bridge University, 1995) at 20 fn. 51, Brissot being quoted by Auguste
Viatte, Les sources occultes du romantisme, illuminisme. Théosophie
(1770-1820)(Thèse présentée à la Faculté des lettres de l’Université de
Paris pour obtenir le grade de docteur)(H.Champion: 1928) Vol. I at

Introduction 229
secretary to Ducrest, the chancellor to the duke. Brissot wrote
Ducrest in 1787 that he supported the Duc d’Orleans acting
as a leader of a radical movement, which he said would use
the rallying cry of “a Constitution for France.” Brissot said he
agreed that they must plan to obtain popular control over tax-
At that time, the Parlement court approved taxes when
applied for by the king, but historically the Estates General —
moribund for 140 years — had the power to approve taxes.
Thus, influence over the Parlement or a revived Estates Gen-
eral must have been in Brissot’s mind. In this same letter,
Brissot added that the means to achieve this would be the use
of the Duke’s money bags.603 Indeed, the Duke did devote
huge sums to this step toward revolution.604

Brissot: Strong Believer in The Freedom of the Press

Even though the Jacobins under Brissot were trans-
formed into a cadre of dedicated followers during Brissot’s
period of influence over them, there was no abridgment of the
right of free speech. As we shall see later, when Brissot was
supplanted in October 1792 at the Jacobins, he protested that
never before had the Jacobins sought to censure anyone’s
opinions or to make opinions be treated as a crime.605 (Under

603.J.M. Thompson, Leaders of the French Revolution (N.Y.: 1989) at

604.As Bosher notes, d’Orleans “led and paid” a notorious political cam-
paign in the 1780’s which undermined the monarchy. And G.A. Kelley
documents that d’Orleans used “massive wealth, research and propa-
ganda” to sway public opinion and public policy in directions he
favored. See J.F. Bosher, The French Revolution (Weidenfeld and
Nicolson, 1989) at 117; G.A. Kelly, “The Machine of the Duc
d’Orleans and the New Politics,” Journal of Modern History (1979)
Vol. 51 at 670.
605.See page 233 (“Since when has opinion been a crime?”)

Introduction 230
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Brissot’s successor at the Jacobins, Robespierre, this all

changed.) Brissot was a strong adherent to the principle of
free speech. In 1789, he wrote a book in fact with this title:
Mémoire aux Etats généraux: sur la nécessité de
rendre, dès ce moment, la presse libre, et surtout
pour les journaux politiques ([Reprod.]) par J. P.
Brissot de Warville - [s.n.] - 1789606 (82 pages)
The motto on the title page says everything: “You
cannot have A Free Constitution without having first a Free
Brissot says the point of his book of 1789 is to prove
“that the liberty of the press is a natural right of man.” (Id., at
4.) That right is “irreconcilable with any kind of censorship.”
(Id.) “All writings, journals, and principally those dealing
with politics, ought to circulate freely throughout the realm.”
(Id.) “We ought to propose and pronounce the abolition of all
regulations of books....” (Id.) To guarantee clarity, the Estates
General should pass a “law of libel.” (Id., at 4-5.)
Brissot continues that “the fact the freedom of the
press is a natural right is one of the truths that even children
know without having to demonstrate any kind of evidence.”
(Id., at 5.) “Such liberty is nothing less than a right among
men, as it develops the moral and intellectual faculties.” (Id.)
Thus, Brissot and Bonneville together supported the
freedom of the press (Brissot) and the freedom of religion
Yet, those who supplanted them — the Mountain
under Robespierre and Marat as well as the dechristianizers
such as Cloots and Hébert — believed in neither. Hence, a
core defect in thinking by those who supplanted the Cercle
Social’s influence in France was they were willing to deny
the civil rights of everyone so as to achieve their political

606.Available at Gallica at


Introduction 231
Brissot’s Cercle-Social Exposure of The Take-Over At The
Jacobins in October 1792
In October 1792, the Cercle Social published Brissot’s
book entitled:
A tous les républicains de France: sur la Société des
Jacobins par Brissot de Warville, Jacques-Pierre (1754-
1793) (Paris: Cercle Social, 1792) (40 pages)607
In this book, Brissot is bristling about the disorganiz-
ers and anarchists at the Jacobins who have taken over the
Jacobins. The club was now run by usurpers at every level.
When this Society censures, it had become the same as politi-
cal ostracism and public censure. Brissot believed this made
the Jacobins, a party previously dedicated to free speech
when run by Brissot, now the enemies of liberty. Brissot
To all Republicans of France About the Society of
Jacobins, Paris, October 24, 1792.
[3] Intrigue is scratching at the list [of members] of the
Society of Jacobins. I am going to unmask to the eyes of
all republicans of France the anarchists who direct and
dishonor the Society at Paris. I will explain...what has
become of this famous society. I will disabuse our brothers
among the departments. This superstition in favor of the
mother society will fall, and ought to fall where these vil-
lains wish to abuse and turn France upside down.
I have kept silence, but now has spread a general system of
persecution which is being used to help the disorganizers
to triumph.
Three revolutions are necessary to protect France. The
first was to overthrow despotism. The second was neces-
sary to overthrow the monarchy. The third must be to stop
the anarchists. It was for this earlier revolution of August
10 which I consecrated my pen and all my efforts which,
behold! is now my crime in the eyes of these agitators....
I believe in the existence of this plan of disorganization. I
have printed within the Patriot françois about this, for

607.Available at Gallica at

Introduction 232
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

which [they call me] a columniator, and indeed, I am cul-

It is a virtue that I have been cited by the Society and con-
demned by it.
But since when has an opinion been a crime?...Since
when has a Society dedicated to Liberty and Equality cen-
sured opinions? Since when has a journalist ever been
subject to censure by a society that is supposed to be the
[4] enemy of Censorship?...The Convention ought to
declare these rights [of free speech], and recognize that the
Society has violated them by its inquisitorial actions. (Id.,
at 3-4.)
Brissot next explains what the disorganizers at the
Jacobins (i.e., Robespierre’s Mountain) have done. One of the
key points is he identifies that they transformed the municipal
authority at Paris (the Commune) into a national power. Bris-
sot writes:
Do you want to know these disorganizers? Here are their
These disorganizers are the ones, after the destruction of
despotism, reversed or sought to reverse the constituted
authorities of the people. They sought to trample under
feet the laws. They invested a municipality with all the
power of the nation. They raised among themselves a
fight against the representatives of the nation. They
advised the representatives at the point of a scabbard who
sought to resist the municipal tyranny. (Id., at 5.)608
Brissot then identifies the ideological campaign that
accompanied the Mountain’s efforts. It was a campaign to
appeal to the people with a promise of a sudden levelling
which if put in effect would make France a desert where no
one would work at all. He claimed the Mountain’s purpose
was to use the people as a lever to take control by terror and
suppress the Constitution which inhibited their goals.

608.Burke pointed out that Brissot’s party held the majority of the
National Convention, but he utterly lost control of Paris, and this is
what the Mountain exploited. Edmund Burke, The Works of the Right
Honourable Edmund Burke (Boston: Greenleaf, 1807) Vol. IV at 196.

Introduction 233
In his prescient warning of October 1792, Brissot
begins by saying these disorganizers go about “arresting with
death warrants,” issuing “arrests without review” (lettres de
cachet), and they “preach fire [and] pillage,” while “familiar-
izing the people with blood and the spectacle of severed
heads.” (Id., at 5.)
Brissot said this party seeks to make “false accusa-
tion” to “divide” the people from the Convention while “pre-
tending to be “the most virtuous of men and independent of
all faction.” (Id.) Interestingly, Brissot said “the disorganizers
abuse words.” Specifically, and of great import in later his-
tory, Brissot explains:
The disorganizers are abusers of words. They preach to
one faction among the people, that is the people, the true
and sole sovereign, that they ought to reverse all. That
they are the only authority, not the municipality, not the
administrative bodies, not the executive power, not the tri-
bune [at the Convention], not the army. For these, all is
substituted with a word, a single expression: the Sover-
eignty of the People. (Id., at 5.)
The Mountain, in other words, filled the heads of the
people with the concept that they were a supranational
authority who could annul the Constitution by an appeal to
the Sovereignty of the People. Brissot resented this when the
Constitution, freely chosen and voted by the elected deputies,
was being supplanted by such an appeal. In other words, Bris-
sot was implying that once despotism was destroyed, and a
Constitution was freely elected where people are free to vote
for representatives, this necessarily must end the revolution-
ary impulse. From that point, organs of democracy should be
utilized for change.
This comes out as he continues. Brissot also identifies
the ideological warfare of the Mountain was to make unreal-
istic promises of immediate levelling of wealth and price con-
trols. Brissot goes on:
[5] The disorganizers are those who [declare] there is no
single law by which they are regulated unless ratified by
all 25 million French, because they [know] it is impossible

Introduction 234
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

to obtain such ratification, dragging thereby all to anarchy,

and [then] such anarchy drags us with impunity into pil-
lage and assassinations.
The disorganizers want to level property [“niveler pro-
priétés”], ease the price of food...[6]... [and they] want to
level all talents, knowledge, virtues, because they have
nothing of any of them. Such perfidious men!....Once the
people lose respect for men of superior talents and virtue,
Crime then is instituted upon the Throne. ****
The disorganizers, at last, want to destroy everything and
to build nothing. They want a society without govern-
ment, or a government without force;609 they do not want
a constitution, but revolutions, that is to say, pillages and
periodic massacres.
What is the result of the disorganizing system?....Good
men will perish or flee. Society will become nothing more
than a desert. The laborious part of the people will not
work.....Behold, the abyss to which the disorganizers will
take us. These are the cruelest enemies of the people.

Appendix D: Thomas Paine

Tom Paine’s Communistic Theory To Support Taxation of

Property At Death But Opposition to Violent Revolution
Bonneville’s best friend and constant house-guest for
years was Thomas Paine. Paine likewise voiced opinions sim-
ilar to those of Bonneville. This was in Paine’s book Agrarian
Justice (1797). Paine argued that Civilization has had an evil
effect in protecting property. For Civilization “has operated in

609.True Illuminists, including Brissot, had this ultimate goal, but it was
not something to be achieved all at once. The theory was that gradu-
ally, a stateless society was to be achieved over time, as virtue grew
and total liberty became more and more achievable.

Introduction 235
two ways: to make one part of society more affluent, and the
other more wretched, than would have been their lot of either
in a natural state.”610
Paine admitted the paradox that civilizations allows
some benefits while doing such harm. On the whole, he
believes that had there never been civilization then no one
would ever have been poor. He basically says that we should
not prize civilized life because it has led to poverty:
Poverty, therefore, is a thing created by that which is
called civilized life. It exists not in the natural state. On the
other hand, the natural state is without those advantages
which flow from agriculture, arts, science and manufac-
Paine put it succinctly: “The life of an Indian is a con-
tinual holiday, compared with the poor of Europe.”
Yet, Paine realized that once you have a civilized
state, trying to go back to nature is essentially impossible:
It is always possible to go from the natural to the civilized
state, but it is never possible to go from the civilized to the
natural state. The reason is that man in a natural state,
subsisting by hunting, requires ten times the quantity of
land to range over to procure himself sustenance, than
would support him in a civilized state, where the earth is
When, therefore, a country becomes populous by the addi-
tional aids of cultivation, art and science, there is a neces-
sity of preserving things in that state; because without it
there cannot be sustenance for more, perhaps, than a tenth
part of its inhabitants. The thing, therefore, now to be done
is to remedy the evils and preserve the benefits that have
arisen to society by passing from the natural to that which
is called the civilized state.612

610.The Writings of Thomas Paine (ed. M.D.Conway)(N.Y.: 1908) Vol.

III at 328.
611.Thomas Paine, “Agrarian Justice,”
Archives/agjst.html (accessed 3/7/09).
612. Id.

Introduction 236
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Paine then says that communism was clearly the way

of nature. He says this in remarkably modern terms:
It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its
natural, cultivated state was, and ever would have contin-
ued to be, the common property of the human race. In
that state every man would have been born to property.
He would have been a joint life proprietor with rest in the
property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, veg-
etable and animal.613
Paine then admits that with the growth of population,
the return to the state of nature is ‘impossible’ to restore. He
realizes too many people would have to die off suddenly to
restore the state of nature if forcibly imposed. Paine then the-
orizes that because of the natural right of everyone to the
landed property of their neighbor, everyone should have to
pay a “ground rent.” This will fund the projects he will be
advancing. Paine says:
Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to
the community ground-rent (for I know of no better term
to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is
from this ground-rent that the fund prod in this plan is to
issue. 614
Thus, Paine goes on to say that when cultivation
replaced nomadic existence, the common right was lost.
“[T]he common right of all became confounded into the cul-
tivated right of the individual.”615
However, in this 1797 treatise Paine is no defender of
the Agrarian Law (which Bonneville advocated in L’Esprit in
1791-92). Paine says such a law unjustly robs the cultivator
of what improvements he has made. It is the value of the
underlying land alone that still subsists and belongs to all, and
thus can be taxed for a base rent. Paine explains:

613. Id.
614. Id.
615. Id.

Introduction 237
It is only by tracing things to their origin that we can gain
rightful ideas of them, and it is by gaining such ideas that
we, discover the boundary that divides right from wrong,
and teaches every man to know his own. I have entitled
this tract “Agrarian Justice” to distinguish it from “Agrar-
ian Law.”
Nothing could be more unjust than [an] agrarian law in
a country improved by cultivation; for though every man,
as an inhabitant of the earth, is a joint proprietor of it in its
natural state, it does not follow that he is a joint propri-
etor of cultivated earth. The additional value made by cul-
tivation, after the system was admitted, became the
property of those who did it, or who inherited it from
them, or who purchased it. It had originally no owner.
While, therefore, I advocate the right, and interest myself
in the hard case of all those who have been thrown out of
their natural inheritance by the introduction of the system
of landed property, I equally defend the right of the pos-
sessor to the part which is his.616
Paine then explains that a common fund should be
paid by those who have real property:
Having thus in a few words, opened the merits of the case,
I shall now proceed to the plan I have to propose, which is,
To create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid
to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one
years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensa-
tion in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance,
by the introduction of the system of landed property:
And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to
every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to
all others as they shall arrive at that age.617
What is interesting is that Paine does not want to
make an “invidious” discrimination between rich and poor in
carrying this out. He explains:

617.Thomas Paine, “Agrarian Justice,”
Archives/agjst.html (accessed 3/7/09).

Introduction 238
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

It is proposed that the payments, as already stated, be

made to every person, rich or poor. It is best to make it so,
to prevent invidious distinctions. It is also right it should
be so, because it is in lieu of the natural inheritance,
which, as a right, belongs to every man, over and above
property he may have created, or inherited from those who
did. Such persons as do not choose to receive it can throw
it into the common fund.618
Thus, Paine insists upon being equitable. The ground-
rent is to fund a just redistribution to the dispossessed from
the original state of nature where all land was in common.
Rich and poor can suffer the same on the loss of that particu-
lar communistic right.
To interfere the least, Paine proposed this payment of
a tax be done at the death of the individual land-owner:
[I]t will be the least troublesome and the most effectual,
and also because the subtraction will be made at a time
that best admits it, is at the moment that property is pass-
ing by the death of one person to the possession of
another. 619
Paine had a sincere desire to spread democracy and
give each person a head start upon birth with his proposal. It
would reflect a revolution in civilization — a new way of
looking at things:
A revolution in the state of civilization is the necessary
companion of revolutions in the system of government....It
is a revolution in the state of civilization that will give per-
fection to Revolution of France. Already the conviction
that government by representation is the true system of
government is spreading itself fast in the world. The rea-
sonableness of it can be seen by all. The justness of it
makes itself felt even by its opposers. But when a system
of civilization, (growing out of that system of government)
shall be so organized that not a man or woman born in the
Republic but shall inherit some means of beginning [in]
the world, and see before them the certainty of escaping


Introduction 239
the miseries that under other governments accompany old
age, the Revolution of France will have an advocate and
an ally in the heart of all nations.620
Thus, Paine made proposals that were premised upon
Bonneville’s communistic ideas.

Appendix E: The Lehrbach Illuminati

Among the Illuminati papers which the police seized
in raids were names of about fifty foreigners. When Bavaria
published the papers in 1785-90, these names were deliber-
ately suppressed.
However, in 1791, Austria pressed for the list of Illu-
minati outside Bavaria. In about July 1791, Bavaria collected
a list of all these names, and transmitted them in strictest
secrecy to Austria. This letter is now known as Graf Lehrb-
achs Illuminaten-Liste. This letter was only noticed about
ninety years ago in the Archives of Vienna while Sebastien
Brunner was investigating the Constantinople Collection of
the correspondence of Joseph II.
The names listed in the letter came from the papers
taken from the Lodge St. Theodore at Munich. This lodge
was connected via Lyons-Willermoz to the Paris Amis Reu-
nis.621 Historians did not have ready access earlier to these
papers because the stash of Illuminati papers seized from the
Lodge St. Theodore were never published.622 And what was
published by the Bavarian Court of Inquiry suppressed any
names other than Bavarians. From the published papers
themselves, historians made a list of over 500 members.
However, Bavaria had made a conscious effort not to reveal

621.See “Appendix H: Amis Reunis de la Verité” on page 249 et seq.
622.See Robison, Proofs (1798), supra, at 116 (stash never published).

Introduction 240
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

names of any foreigners. In the publication, their names were

either entirely blanked out or were revealed only by initials,
e.g., Duke F...of...B.... for Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick.
In 1869, Brunner was the first to find in the Vienna
Archives this dispatch with the Illuminati list sent to Austria
by Bavaria in 1791.623

Brunner’s Serious Scholarship

There is no doubt about the serious nature of Brun-
ner’s research work at this juncture. In the year prior, 1868,
Brunner had published another well-accepted book based
upon the “archives of Vienna.” In a work of 1868, Brunner
established that the French had deliberately forged six letters
as being from Joseph II for political reasons. These letters are
now known as the Constantinople Collection. Scholars have
continued to agree with Brunner’s research conclusions of
1868. In 2005, a scholar on this period reminded historians of
Brunner’s correction which is sometimes overlooked in their
loose analysis of Joseph II.624
Thus, the 1869 investigation by Brunner also included
discovery of the Bavarian dispatch of 1791 found in the
archives of Vienna. It was the product of serious scholarly
work that otherwise has been highly regarded. The Bavarian
dispatch appears on page 35 of Brunner’s 1869 book.625

623.S. Brunner, Die Mysteries der Aufklaerung in Oesterreich 1770-1800

(Mainz: 1869) at 35.
624.Derek Beales, Derek Edward Dawson, Enlightenment and Reform in
18th-century Europe (N.Y.: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) at 121-23.
625.The following link is directly to page 35:

Introduction 241
LeForestier’s & Brunner’s Comments
Le Forestier notes this Bavarian dispatch letter in his
work of 1915. He describes the letter as a “a list of
Illuminati. . . by the minister [of Bavaria] Count Matthäus
Vieregg (1719-1802) [child-hood friend to Elector Karl The-
odore] to Count Lehrbach, Imperial Ambassador at Munich,
and sent by the court of Vienna.”626
Weiss indicates this was given in response to Count
Lehrbach in July 1791 “repeatedly inquiring after the Illumi-
nati on behalf of Emperor Leopold II....” to Count Vier-
Brunner says this list is “a register of Illuminati in
elevated positions, whose names were forwarded to Vienna
by the Imperial Delegate Count Lehrbach, as desired by the
Imperial government through the offices of the Bavarian
Minister Count Vieregg.”628 Yet, he also indicates it is
“mixed” with the names of Masons.629
Weis points out that because this list is mixed, any
identification as an Illuminatus from this list should require
confirmation from other sources that the individual was a
member of the Illuminati. Weis, the biographer of Montgelas,

626. Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 652. This letter is also

excerpted at length in Sebastian Brunner, Die Mysterien der
Aufklaerung in Oesterreich 1770-1800 (Mainz: 1869) at 35, which Le
Forestier cites. This list can be found at the copy of
Brunner’s book at this link:
This list is also known as Graf Lehrbachs Illuminaten-Liste.
627.Eberhard Weis, Montgelas: Zwischen Revolution und Reform
(Munich: Munich University, 1988) Vol. I at 74.
628.Brunner, supra, at 35, quoted by Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at
629.Brunner, supra, at 35.

Introduction 242
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

It mixes in the list quite harmless masons. The

list does also contain actual Illuminati such
as the Duke Ernst of Saxe-Coburg Gotha and
Karl August of Saxe-Weimar, Counsellor
Wieland, Dalberg, Graf Kolowrat, Minister for
Bohemia, and the imperial envoy in London,
Philip Graf Stadion, as well as his brother
Friedrich, and the canon Wurzburg. It also
names such persons whose membership is not
confirmed by other sources, such as the
Crown Prince (Friedrich Wilhelm III) of Prus-
sia, the former minister Hertzberg, and the
Minister for Hungary Count Palffy. From
France, [it identifies] the Duke of Orleans,
Necker, Lafayette, Barnave, Brissot and
Mirabeau, and from England, Thomas
Of the list from France, those that can be confirmed
independently to be linked / closely connected with the Illu-
minati of Bavaria are Mirabeau, Brissot, Paine, Lafayette,
and Fauchet (whom Weis inadvertently omitted) due to links
with Bonneville, a proud Bavarian Illuminatus. Thus, this
Lehrbach list stands as a significant confirmation of these
men as Illuminati, given Bavaria is disclosing what names
appeared in the Illuminati papers.

Trustworthiness of 1791 Confidential Dispatch

There are several validating aspects about this Bavar-
ian dispatch of 1791.
First, when it was written in 1791, no one had yet
publicly voiced any concern that the Illuminati were involved
in the French Revolution that had just taken place in 1789.
Hoffman would be the first to do so, but his alarm did not
take place until one year later — in 1792 — obviously after

630.Eberhard Weis, Montgelas: Zwischen Revolution und Reform

(Munich: Munich University, 1988) Vol. I at 75.

Introduction 243
the French king’s arrest on August 10th which alarmed Euro-
pean monarchies.631 Hence, the names of the French Illumi-
nati on the list were not likely made up to fit a preconceived
notion that had been circulating anywhere. As far as anyone
generally knew, there was no connection of the French Revo-
lution to the Illuminati.
Second, as one reads through this list (which is pre-
sented below), one recognizes its scope is broadly covering
several nations at once, with no focus on French members.
The French names are smattered at different points. It has all
the appearance of one nation — Bavaria — letting another
country — Austria — be informed in its foreign relations
who are the Illuminati members with whom they may have
contact. It names a few masons who evidently are mentioned
in the Illuminati papers as having some relations to the Illu-
minati, but this should not detract from finding they were
associated closely with the Illuminati. Overall, it is self-evi-
dent this dispatch was not intended to feed any hysteria in
Austria about suspicions of an Illuminati revolution in
France, as no such hysteria yet existed. It was given to Aus-
tria solely to assist its self-defense.
Third, while Sebastien Brunner (1814-1893) was a
Catholic writer,632 there is nothing to suggest he fabricated
such a document. He had no prior or subsequent books,
among his many works, on the secret societies. Moreover, if
he was trying to feed a conspiracy theory by a fabricated
account, he did not do a good job. No conspiracy book from
anyone ever mentions the Bavarian dispatch of 1791 despite
its obvious importance. The only mention of it until Weis
mentioned it in 1968 as part of Montgelas’ biography was by
Le Forestier in 1915. Thus, had Brunner ever intended this

631.Hoffman never attacked the French Revolution during 1789. Nettl, no

friend of Hoffman, himself notes Hoffman’s criticisms began only in
1792. (Paul Nettl, Mozart and Masonry (N.Y.: Philosophical Library,
1957) at 83.)
632.See “Sebastien Brunner,” Wikipedia.

Introduction 244
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

discovery to help raise questions about the Illuminati, he

never apparently shared it with anyone, and thus the discov-
ery for all practical purposes died.
Nevertheless, Le Forestier, a serious historian on the
Illuminati, quotes and translates it, even as he gives it cre-
dence. The Bavarian dispatch letter identifies the Illuminati
members as follows, with the French names bolded:
Henry, Crown Prince of Prussia;... the Duke of Saxe-
Weimar; Duke of Saxe-Gotha; Duke d’Orleans; Baron
von Dalberg, Coadjutor of Mainz; Dalberg, City Keeper in
Erfurt; Count Herzberg, former Prussian Minister; Count
Kolowrat, the High Chancellor of Bohemia; Count Balffy
[or Palsv], Chancellor of Hungary; Count Banfy [or
Panfy], Governor of Transylvania [Le Forestier’s trans. of
Zeibenburgen]: Count Brigido, Governor of Lemberg;
Count Stadion, Royal Imperial Ambassador in London
[for Austria]; Baron Kressel, Vice-Chancellor of Bohemia;
Baron Swieten, former Studien President (“Studienpraesi-
dent”) in Vienna; Baron Jacobe, Prussian envoy in Vienna;
Herr von Thom, Prussian envoy in Aachen; Minister of
Finance Necker; Court Counsellor Sonnenfels in Vienna;
Count Nicolas Forgach, “Obergespann” in Neutra; Count
Stadion, Canon in Mainz; Baron Hompesch, Canon in
Spire; Baron Hompesch, brother to the former, Adven-
turer; Count Kobenzel, Canon in Eichstadt; Baron Pod-
manizkv (or Bodmanizty), Government counsellor at
Ofen; Peter von Balogh, Justice Minister in Ofen; Court
counsellor von Schoitznigg, former Secretary of the Cabi-
net and Mentor of Marchduke Franz; General Lafayette.
Barnave, Member of National Assembly; Brissot, Roche-
faucault and Bishop Fauchet, members of the present
National Assembly; Paine, writer and state-representative
at Paris; Fabri, Town Mayor of Luettich; Van der Not (in
Brussels); Mirabeau (the deceased); Sheridan, Member of
the Post Office in Baden; Captain von Archenholz; First
Lieutenant von Mauvillon of Braunschweig; Court Coun-
sellor Wieland of Weimar; Privy counsellor Schlosser of
Karlsruhe (honorably resigned); Spittler, Meiners and
Feder, Professors at Gottingen; Campe and Trapp, School
Teachers in Braunschweig; Shun [or Chun], former librar-
ian in Kassel; Biester, librarian in Berlin; Plattner, Profes-
sor in Leipzig; Professor Engel in Berlin; Professor

Introduction 245
Meisner of Prag[ue]; Professor Schutz in Jena; Professor
Kreil in Pesth[?]; Professor Zeiller in Vienna; Justice
Councillor Klein in Berlin; Bohe, Publisher for the Ger-
man Museum; Professor Reinhold633 in Jena; Alringer in
Vienna; Blumauer in Vienna; Weyer (Netzer) in Vienna;
Professor Koefel in Lembert; Weishaupt and Comp [?].634
The full list is quoted above rather than just French
names so that the context will make clear that Bavaria was
not trying just to identify French Illuminés. Rather, Bavaria
was trying to convey the most reliable information possible to
an ally about Bavaria’s police investigation. These names fig-
ured prominently in the international politics of the time. The
Bavarian government never made this list public, and kept the
names as a diplomatic secret. So too Austria.
What further corroborates this list was genuine inso-
far as the French names are concerned is that other evidence
would have led us independently to believe these French
men were Illuminati, and not simply masons. The French
who were listed are a bit broader than Weis mentioned before.
The following names among the French names in the Lehr-
bach list can be independently linked to the Illuminati regard-
less of the Lehrbach list: Brissot, Barnave, D’Orleans,
Mirabeau, Paine, Fauchet, Rochefaucault and Lafayette.
Only Necker in the list does not have strong indepen-
dent confirmation. Yet, Cadet-Gassicourt does mention
Necker was in 1789 the guest of honor at a masonic lodge

633.Karl Reinhold (1757-1823) of Weimar / Kiel (northern Germany)

took over the Illuminati Order after Bode’s death in December 1793.
See Footnote 340 on page 128. On Reinhold’s life and work for the
Illuminati, see Gerhard W. Fuchs, Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Illuminat
und Philosoph: eine Studie über den Zusammenhang seines Engage-
ments als Freimaurer und Illuminat mit seinem Leben und philosophis-
chen Wirken (P. Lang, 1994). Interestingly, Reinhold was a believer in
God, and such belief was a premise of his philosophical writings of
1789 and 1791. Reinhold, however, relied on Kantian philosophy.
634.Sebastian Brunner, Die Mysterien der Auflklaerung in Oesterreich
1770-1800 (Mainz: Berlag von Franz Kirchheim, 1869) at 35-36. This
list also appears in Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 652-54.

Introduction 246
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

meeting of the Contrat Social — the lodge over which

Mathiez says Bonneville was the leader. It was during this
session that Cadet-Gassicourt first learned of the plans (a) to
institute what historians now call the Great Fear and (b) to
capture the upcoming elections.635 Otherwise, the only trace
of Necker to such a movement was the fact his wife’s name
appears on a roster from 1784 on a patriotic society at
Rennes, in Brittany.636
Otherwise, as to all the other names — those bolded
above, the identifications make perfect sense. For example,
Mirabeau, La Rochefaucault, Barnave, and Lafayette were
members of the Amis Reunis Lodge of Paris.637 It was this
lodge where the Illuminati visited repeatedly from 1782 to
1787.638 Then in 1787, according to Schiller’s and Bode’s
memoirs, the Grand Master of the Amis Reunis, Savalette de
Langes, was recruited by a Bavarian Illuminati leader, Bode,
during Bode’s visit to Paris in the summer of 1787.639 Mira-
beau’s memoirs, books as well as other independent sources
confirm Mirabeau joined the Bavarian Illuminati.640
Further, Lafayette was both active in Cagliostro’s Illu-
minati-Egyptian Rite lodge at Paris641 as well as the Har-
mony lodge of Dr. Mesmer642 (Illuminatus).
Of course, Brissot, Paine and Fauchet belonged to the
lodge of the self-avowed Illuminatus Bonneville. This lodge
at Paris was called the Cercle Social.

635.See “Appendix L: Gassicourt From Inside Reveals Agencies Who

Caused The French Revolutions” on page 277 et seq.
636.Augustin Cochin, Les Sociétés de Pensée et la Révolution en
Bretagne (1788-1789) (Paris: Librairie Plon, 1926) at 25, 30, 31 & n.
2, 36.
637.See “Appendix H: Amis Reunis de la Verité” on page 249 et seq.
638.See “Appendix H: Amis Reunis de la Verité” on page 249 et seq.
639.See “Savalette’s Role In Taking Advantage of the Panic” on page 138
et seq.
640.See Footnote 351 on page 131.

Introduction 247
Hence, Bavaria’s identification of these French mem-
bers to Austria appears quite well-corroborated by what we
independently know of them.

Appendix F: Chronique du Mois

The Cercle Social published Condorcet’s journal,
Chronique du Mois. It appeared from November 1791 until
July 1793. On its cover, it listed all ‘patriots’ who belonged to
that paper: E. Clavière, C. Condorcet, L.Mercier, M.E.Gua-
det, J.Oswald,643 N.Bonneville, J.Biderman, A.Broussonet,
A.Guy-Kersaint, J.P.Brissot, J.Ph. Garran, J.Dussaulx, Th.
Paine, and F.Lathenas. See, Chronique du Mois (Paris: Cercle
Social, September 1792).644 Collot d’Herbois was also one of
its writers. (Ellery: 500.)

641.Bernard Fay, the administrator of the Biblioteque Nationale and

scholar on secret societies in France, said Cagliostro’s “most ardent
disciple was the richest and [most] famous noble of France, the young
LaFayette.” (Bernard Fay, Franklin, The Apostle of Modern Times
(Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., 1929) at 478.)
On Cagliostro’s entry into the Illuminati in 1780, see “Appendix W:
Cagliostro & The Illuminati” on page 360 et seq.
642. See “Appendix G: Lodge Harmony of Paris” on page 249 et seq.
643.John Oswald (1760-Sept. 14, 1793) was one of the founders of the
Chronique. He was born in Edinburgh. He operated the Social Circle
press at London prior to 1789. Soon after the outbreak of the French
Revolution, he travelled to Paris. His closest associate was Bonneville
whom he mentions many times in his writings. In 1790, Oswald
belonged to the Jacobins. “In March 1792, Oswald called for the uni-
versal arming of the masses, and began organizing a small army of
sans-culottes in Paris known as the First Battalion of Pikers.”
(“Oswald,” Wikipedia.) Oswald was another proponent of a world
republic. In 1793, he wrote Le Gouvernment du Peuple, ou Plan de
constitution pour la République universelle (Paris, 1793) 80 pp. In this,
Oswald argued for a form of direct democracy, i.e., more localized rep-
resentatives called primary assemblies rather than a national govern-
ment. The people would elect public servants to do their local bidding.

Introduction 248
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Appendix G: Lodge Harmony of Paris

Members of Lodge Harmony of Mesmer included: the
Duke d’Orleans (then the Duke d’Chartres); Lafayette;
D’Esprémenil; de Gébelin; Kornmann (an Alsatian banker)
and Bergasse, a lawyer.645 One of the stockholders of the
Lodge of Harmony was Lafayette. There exists a signed con-
tract dated April 5, 1784 wherein Lafayette agreed to keep
secret what he learned at the Harmony lodge. Manceron
reprints the contract in his book Age of the French Revolu-
tion.646 Other members were: Dr. Cabanis; Jaucort, a writer;
Lauzun, and Noailles.

Appendix H: Amis Reunis de la Verité

On April 13, 1771, Savalète de Langes (sometimes
spelled Salvalette) (1746-1797) convened as Grand Master at
Paris a Freemason lodge named Amis reunis de la Verité. The
name meant “Reunited Friends of Truth.”647
Savalette was the state treasurer of France. By the
1780’s, the members were largely taken from the elite finan-
cial establishment of France. As Hermann Schüttler, a highly
competent scholar on the Illuminati,648 aptly notes:

645. See Claude Manceron, Age of the French Revolution Vol. IV, Toward
the Brink 1785-1787 (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1989) at 49.
646.Vol. III Their Gracious Pleasure 1782-1785 (N.Y.: Simon &
Schuster, 1989) at 378.
647.Masonic historians date the Amis Reunis’ founding to 1771. See The historian Gustave
Borde also maintained among his research papers (kept now at Prince-
ton) this lodge’s records in a folder marked: “Registre des travaux des
Ècossois composans la cinquième classe de la très-respectable loge des
amis reunis à l’Orient de Paris,” 1778-1789. See http://diglib.prince- (accessed 12/26/2008).

Introduction 249
[T]he Amis Réunis was a gathering of men that
held the levers of power in their hands, coming
from just below the ministerial level in the
administration of the state’s Finances and
Economy [of France] as well as of the military.
What here is striking in the composition of the
members is the proportion of persons who
were employed in these areas tasks: more than
two-thirds cover the same area. In addition to
high-ranking financial officials who had direct
access to the king and his ministers, the lodge
had [as members] bankers, businessmen, and
landowners at the highest level and finance
officials from the army and the navy in the
loge. Dozens in the outgoing Ancien Régime
were poorly respected [in the lodge]. Yet, in the
lodge equally represented were key administra-
tive officials and lawyers at the regional and
city level as well as the parliaments [i.e.,
courts], and all military ranks, from officer to
Dragoner, from all levels of troops up to the
Marshal of France. Even the guard of the King
met in the lodge. State officials in the diplo-
matic service in the administration and devel-
opment of Infrastructure operating engineers
and scientists were present. This completes the
picture of a Masonic lodge, in which people
who could meet to decide the Fate of

648.Hermann Schüttler is the author of the following several works: Die

Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93 (Munich: Ars Una
1991) [“The Members of the Illuminati 1776-1787/93”]; “Karl Leon-
hard Reinhold und die Illuminaten im Vorfeld der Französischen Rev-
olution,” Deutscher Idealismus und Französische Revolution (Trier
1988); and Bode und die Freimaurerei in Weimar (Weimar 1995). He
also published J.C. Bode’s journal of his trip to the Amis Reunis from
1787, entitled Johann Joachim Christian Bode, Journal von einer Reise
von Weimar nach Frankreich. Im Jahr 1787 (ed. by Hermann Schüt-
tler)(München: 1994).

Introduction 250
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

In 1773, Savalette began to reform this lodge’s rites to

suit his own taste. He introduced a rite known as the Rite of
the Philalethes. This rite was important because later 20
lodges in France would come to use this Philalethe rite.650
One of the lodges to adopt the Philalethe Rite was the
Templar Strict Observance of Lyons — Templars not being
Freemasons but a secret order based on chivarlic lineage. The
Lyons lodge was led by Willermoz.651
In return, the Amis Reunis adopted as one of their
grades that of the “Knight Templar.” The levels of initiation
were, from the bottom up:

(1) Elect; (2) Scottish Master; (3) Knight of the

East; (4) Rose-Croix; (5) Knight of the Temple;
(6) Unknown Philosopher; (7) Sublime Philos-
opher; (8) Initiate; (9) Philalethes (otherwise
Thus, due to one shared rite passing from the Strict
Observance to the Amis Reunis (i.e., the Knight Templar
rite), and one from the Amis Reunis to the Strict Observance
(i.e., the Philalethe rite), their bond was sealed. Then in 1778,
these two systems had a quasi-merger as the Chevaliers Bien-
faisants (or Bienfaisance) de la Cité Sainte — meaning
“knights of charity of the holy city.”

649.Hermann Schüttler, Freimaurer und Illuminaten (pdf on Internet,

accessed 12/26/08) at 23.
650.Arthur Edward Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (2003 edi-
tion) Vol. II at 351.
651.See Ligou, “Willermoz,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie
(Paris: 1987) at 1252. See also John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy
(N.Y.: Foreman, 1798), supra, at 24. Biographies of Willermoz are:
Alice Joly, Un Mystique Lyonnais et les secrets de la Franc-maçonne-
rie 1730-1824 (Macon, France: Protat Brothers, 1938) and “Willer-
moz,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie (1987) at 1250 et seq.
652.Arthur Edward Waite, New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (2003 edi-
tion) Vol. II at 351.

Introduction 251
Thus, for example, the Amis Reunis in 1778 changed
the name of the Philalethe Rite at their Auvergne lodge to
Chevaliers Bienfaisants (or Bienfaisance) de la Cité
Sainte.653 At the identical juncture, Kenning relates that at
the “convent of 1778 at Lyons, the French provinces of...
[the] Templar system [i.e., the Strict Observance at Lyons]
took the name of Chevaliers Bienfasants de la Cité

The CB Lyons-Paris Link To The Illuminati’s Head Lodge at

Munich: An Overview
In 1777, key members at a Munich lodge known as
Loge Zum guten Rat joined the Illuminati of Weishaupt. In
1779, this lodge affiliated itself with the Chevaliers Bienfai-
sants (CB Templars) lodge of Lyons — the mother lodge of
the CB Templars. The same year, the Munich lodge changed
its name to a French one — Loge St. Théodore au Bon Con-
seil. The mother lodge at Lyons was operated by Willermoz.
The Lyons system was in turn operated under the authority of
the Strict Observance of Germany.
In time, this lodge Theodore at Munich became the
headquarters of the Illuminati of Bavaria.
This is a key piece of evidence overlooked by many
who study the impact of the Illuminati on the French Revolu-
tion. Many of the leading actors in the French Revolution
came from the Amis Reunis at Paris.

653.Ligou, Ed., “Willermoz,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie

(Paris: 1987) at 1252. Cf. Milko Bogaard, 1891 SUPRÊME CONSEIL
DE L'ORDRE MARTINISTE (2003): “On a convention in 1778 it was
decided that the rite in the provence of Auvergne would go by the
name of 'Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte.” http://omeganexu- (accessed 12/26/08).
654.George Kenning & A.F.A. Woodford, Kenning’s Masonic Encyclo-
pedia and Handbook of Masonic Archeology (1878) at 387.

Introduction 252
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Le Forestier, a neutral historian privy to masonic

records, explained the closeness of the Lyons and Munich
lodges: “Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel at Munich was
the most cherished daughter of the Lodge des Chevaliers
Bienfasaints.”655 Identically, Albert Pike, head of American
Freemasonry who at one time had similar access to masonic
records, explained:
The Lodge des Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la
Sainte Cité at Lyons, in France, was the most
zealous and systematic of all the Cosmopolitan
lodges, and erected many Lodges in France,656
and granted constitutions to many in Ger-
many....[O]ne of its daughter lodges, Theodor
von der guten Rat, at Munich, was suppressed
by the Elector of Bavaria in 1786. It had others
at Regensburg, Spire and Worms.657
John Adolphus (1768 - 1845), an English historian
from London and attorney, pointed out in 1799 the links from
Lodge Theodore at Munich back to Lyons, France:
Weishaupt was a member of a lodge of Freema-
sons established at Munich in Bavaria called
the Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel. This

655.René Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la franc-maçonnerie

allemande (reprint 1974) at 680 (“Loge Zum guten Rat Rath de
Munich était la fille la plus chérie de la Loge des Chevaliers Bienfais-
656.Robison indicated the Chevaliers Bienfaisants had lodges at Paris,
Strasbourg, Lille and Toulouse with the mother lodge at Lyons. See
Ernest Nys, Idées modernes: droit international et franc-maçonnerie
(M. Weissenbruch, 1908) at 74.
657.Albert Pike, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
(1872)(reprint Kessinger Publishing, 2003) at 157. Robison had said
likewise. While Lodge Theodore had a “constitutional patent from the
Royal York at Berlin,” it had “formed a particular system of its own, by
instruction from the Loge des Chevaliers Bienfaissants at Lyons, with
which it kept up correspondence.” (Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy
(1798) at 57.)

Introduction 253
lodge corresponded with, and had formed a
particular system of its own by instruction
from the Loge des Chevaliers Biefaissans at
Trevor McKeown, a Masonic historian, similarly
explains this Munich “Lodge of [the] Strict Observance
[was] Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel.”659 (The Chevaliers
Bienfaisants was the French name of the Strict Observance
operated by Willermoz.)
Later, in the next section, we will demonstrate that
what transpired is that in 1779 Lodge Theodore separated
itself for the most part from the Royal York of Berlin. It then
adopted as its constitution that of the Chevaliers Bienfaisants
of Lyons. At the same point, it changed its name from a Ger-
man one — Loge Zum guten Rat — to a French name —
Loge St. Théodore au Bon Conseil — and then transacted all
official business in French.660
Then Lodge Theodore united itself with the Illuminati
of Weishaupt, making this lodge a link back to France. The
later French Revolutionary Mirabeau noted this significant
transformation. Mirabeau wrote in 1788 in On the Prussian
Monarchy how Lodge Theodore united itself with the Illumi-
nati Order. After noting the “Illuminati of Bavaria” were men
truly “virtuous, zealous for the good of humanity [who] arose
in Bavaria,” Mirabeau says

the Loge St. Théodore au Bon Conseil at

Munich [is] where we find these men [of virtue
and zeal] at its head and heart... Their chiefs

658.John Adolphus, Biographical Memoirs of the French Revolution (T.

Cadell, jun. and W. Davies, 1799) at 80.
659.Trevor W. McKeown, A Bavarian Illuminati primer (Grand Lodge of
British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M., 2009) http://freema- (accessed 7/14/09).
660.See Footnote 674 on page 258 and accompanying text.

Introduction 254
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

resolved to enter their branch with another

association, the Order of the Illuminati.661
Thus, by this transformation, Weishaupt was put in
touch with Willermoz’ Templar system in France, specifically
at Lyons. In turn, Willermoz was a link to a powerful masonic
lodge at Paris known as the Amis Reunis. In 1779, Willermoz
had created an alliance with the independent Freemason
lodge Amis Reunis, by the latter adding a Knights Templar
Grade that linked back to the Chevaliers Bienfaisants (Tem-
plars), as discussed above.662 This in turn permitted the Amis
Reunis of Paris to consider Lodge Theodore at Munich as a
daughter lodge of the Mother lodge at Lyons. As a result, as
to the “Amis reunis” of Paris, a masonic history of 1856
explains that “one of its favourite [fellow] daughters [was]
the Lodge Theodor von der guten Rath, at Munich....”663
We will see later what important names in history
belonged to the Amis Reunis of Paris, and thus be able to bet-
ter evaluate the influence Weishaupt could have from Munich
direct to Paris.

Specific History of Lodge Theodore

In 1744, an irregular Freemason lodge known as the
Pögnersche Lodge was founded at the Pögner Inn of
Munich.664 In 1773, some members joined Minister of Cul-
ture, Count Johann Theodor Morawitzky-Topor (1735-1810),
in founding a Strict Observance lodge at Munich known as
Loge Zur Behutsamkeit (The Prudence Lodge).665 “In it,

661.Comte de Mirabeau, De La Monarchie Prussienne, sous Frederic Le

Grand Avec Un Appendice (London: 1788) Vol. V at 96-98.
662.See Footnote 652 on page 251 and accompanying text.
663.Universal Masonic Library (edited by Robert Macoy) (N.Y.: Ameri-
can Masonic Agency, 1856) Vol. XVI at 23.
664.Geschichte der Munchener Logen
index.php?id=2035 (Grossloge der Alten Freien und Angenommenen
Maurer von Deutschland, 2009 accessed).

Introduction 255
Adam Weishaupt is recorded” as a member.666 His entry was
in 1777.667 Morawitsky’s later Illuminatus alias was
In 1774, another splinter occurred from the Pögner-
sche Lodge. The Electoral Chamber Counsellor Kaspar
founded Loge Zum guten Rat at Munich.669
Many key members of Lodge Theodore who joined
the Illuminati were Costanza, Falgera, Montgelas and Savi-
In April 1779, Loge Zum guten Rat obtained a patent
from the Royal York of Berlin. In that same year, “it changed
its name” to a French one — Loge St. Théodore au Bon Con-
seil671 — which change Le Forestier implied was due to its
recent affiliation with the Lyons Strict Observance of Willer-
moz. Le Forestier adds that after this point, all official writ-
ings of Lodge St. Théodore were in French.672 As mentioned
before, Le Forestier, said: “Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel
at Munich was the most cherished daughter of the Lodge des
Chevaliers Bienfasaints.”673

667.“Weishaupt selbst wurde erst 1777 Freimaurer in der Loge Zur
Behutsamkeit in München und trug hier den Namen ‘Sanchoniaton’” (accessed 7/26/09), cit-
ing Ernst Hagmann, “Adam Weishaupt war Freimaurer,” Quatuor-
Coronati-Jahrbuch 18 (1981) at 93-97.
668.Hermann Schüttler, Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-
1787/93 (Munich: 1991) at 107.
669.Geschichte der Munchener Logen
index.php?id=2035 (Grossloge der Alten Freien und Angenommenen
Maurer von Deutschland)(2009 accessed).
670.Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 392-93 n.5.

Introduction 256
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

During 1779, Lodge Theodore had, in fact, separated

itself from the Royal York’s control and joined with the
Lyons system. In F. T. B. Clavel’s Histoire pittoresque de la
franc-maçonnerie et des sociétés secrétes anciennes et mod-
ernes (Paris: Pagnerre, éditeur, 1843) at 194, Clavel explains:
The Loge St. Théodore au Bon Conseil, which
was an asylum for the Enlightenment, was
founded in 1775. [It was under the Mother
Royal York lodge of Friendship of Berlin]. Its
Venerable was Professor Baader. Soon they sep-
arated from the authority of [the Royal York]
and formed a correspondence with the Cheva-
liers Bienfaisants of Lyons, which professed
Martinism, and it adopted its system. This
lodge of Chevaliers Bienfaisants had acquired,
but we do not know in what capacity, a high
preponderence of lodges in Germany. It was
considered as one of the different factions of
the Strict Observance, and among those who
worked for it, either exclusively or part of the

671.“Patentierung der Loge Zum guten Rat durch die Loge Royal York in
Berlin, jetzt unter dem Namen St. Théodore du bon conseil (St. The-
odor vom guten Rat.” Geschichte der Munchener Logen http:// (Grossloge der Alten Freien
und Angenommenen Maurer von Deutschland, 2009 accessed).
See also, Loge zur Kette, Freimaurer in München (Munich, 2003) at 9
(“1779 Patentierung der Loge Zum guten Rat durch die Loge Royal
York in Berlin, jetzt unter dem Namen St. Theodore du bon conseil
(St. Theodor vom guten Rat).”)
The Royal York patent was received in April 1779. See Verein Deutscher
Freimaurer, Allgemeines Handbuch der Freimaurerei (1901) at 62
(“April 1779 errichtete hier die Loge Royal York, die hierzu eigentlich
gar nicht berechtigt war, die Loge St. Theodor zum guten Rat”).
672.René Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la Franc-Maçonnerie
allemande (Paris: 1915) at 198, 392.
673.René Le Forestier, Les Illuminés de Bavière et la franc-maçonnerie
allemande (reprint 1974) at 680 (“Loge Zum guten Rat / Rath de
Munich était la fille la plus chérie de la Loge des Chevaliers Bienfais-

Introduction 257
time, were part of the Templars with it [i.e., the
Lyons lodge] as a mother lodge of the associa-
Despite joining the Lyons system, the Loge St.
Théodore au Bon Conseil did not disassociate entirely from
the Royal York. Rather, it sought to derive as much advantage
as possible from its earlier association. In 1781, Lodge The-
odore received the Directional Right from the Berlin Royal
York to found new Royal York lodges in Bavaria, Italy and
Switzerland. Soon the lodge found new ones at Burghausen,
Griesbach, Freising and Eichstätt.675
Illuminati members came to dominate Lodge The-
odore. By 1781, as Mathiez commented in 1916, Weishaupt
was the de facto “master of the Munich Loge St. Théodore au
Bon Conseil.”676
And most significantly, because Willermoz allied his
Lyons Strict Observance system known as the Chevaliers
Bienfaisants (including his Munich affiliate) with the Amis
Reunis of Paris, this meant Weishaupt controlled a lodge sys-
tem in Munich which had a pipeline to Paris through Lyons.

674.The Lyons system had a convention in 1780 chaired by Willermoz.

Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick was named the Grand Master of the rec-
tified system created at the conference. Martinism was to dominate in
all the new rituals. They created a new rite within the lodges called
Ordre des Chevaliers bienfaisants de la cité sainte. This new rite
spread, according to Clavel’s history, “particularly in France, Switzer-
land....” (F. T. B. Clavel, Histoire pittoresque de la franc-maçonnerie
et des sociétés secrétes anciennes et modernes (Paris: Pagnerre, édi-
teur, 1843) at 199-200.)
675.Geschichte der Munchener Logen
index.php?id=2035 (Grossloge der Alten Freien und Angenommenen
Maurer von Deutschland)(2009 accessed).
676.See A. Mathiez, “Bibliographie...Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, etc.,”
Annales Révolutionnaires (1916) Vol. VIII at 433.

Introduction 258
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Amis Reunis That Weishaupt Could Influence

Who were the persons Weishaupt could potentially
influence by means of the Lyons-Paris link and alliance with
the Lyons Chevaliers Bienfaisants? In Kloss’s Geschichte der
Freimaurerei in Frankreich, 1725-1830 (Darmstadt: Jong-
haus,1852), we learn that the Paris Amis Reunis membership
list of January 8, 1781 identifies the following members:

Court de Gebelin [1725-1784], Dutrousset

d’Hericourt,677 Landgraf Friedrich [Georg] Lud-
wig [August] von Hessen[-Darmstadt, 1759-
1808], [Danish diplomat] Baron [Karl Heinrich]
von Gleichen, Abbé Rozier, [Friedrich] Rudolph
Saltzmann, Savalette de Langes, Graf Stroga-
noff [i.e., a Russian ambassador], Tassin de
l’Etang, and J. Baptiste de Willermoz.678
As of 1789, Poirier identifies the members of the
“Amis Reunis” lodge at Paris as:

Abbé Sieyès, d’Espagnac, Condorcet, Bar-

nave, Le Chapelier, [Adrien] Duport de
Prélaville,679 the Lameth Brothers, Duc de
Biron, the vicomte de Beauharnais, the duc de
Rochefoucauld-Liancourt, Du Pont (de Nem-
ours), Bureaux de Pusy,...Robespierre,

677.Joseph Dutrousset Herricourt was “the President of the Parliament of

Paris [i.e., the judicial court]...and attended the Convent of Paris [of the
Amis Reunis] of 1785 and 1787.” Kenning’s Masonic Encyclopedia,
supra, at 178. He held this post as of 1778.
678.Georg Franz Burkhard Kloss, Geschichte der Freimaurerei in
Frankreich, 1725-1830 (Darmstadt: Jonghaus,1852) Vol. I at 265. The
bracketed information derives from Wendelin von Winckelstein, Die
Odyssee des Aristoteles, Eine Rezeptionsgeschichte der Neuzeit
(Munchen: 2005), except von Hessen-Darmstadt’s information derives
from Schüttler’s Journal von einer Reise von Weimar, supra, at 95.
Masonic historians place him in the Philalethes as of 1776.
679.“Adrien Duport,” Wikipedia (“Initié à la loge des Amis réunis à Paris,
il participa aux débats franc-maçonniques.”)

Introduction 259
Cabanis, Volney, the Abbé Grégoire, Chamfort,
Delley d’Agier, the baron d’Allarde, Beaumar-
chais, Roederer, and Le Coulteux de la Noraye.
Chénier, Fourcroy, La Mettrie, Laclos, Marat,
Mercier, Saint Just, and Babeuf would join
them later.680
Brother Leopold Wolfgang likewise identified the
Amis Reunis in the years just prior to the Revolution as
including “Brothers Condorcet, Marat, Mirabeau, Sieyès,
Clavière, Boiffy, Dupont, Robespierre and Gregoire.”681
Respectable historians on Buonaparte’s administra-
tion acknowledge Buonaparte’s key advisor — “Talleyrand
was a member as late as 1788 of the Lodge of the Amis Reu-
nis,” and so were “the Duc de Liancourt, d’Aiguillon, Con-
dorcet, Sieyès, La Fayette,” etc.682
Ollivier, the respected biographer of Saint Just — the
right-hand man of Robespierre — says Saint Just was a mem-
ber of the Amis Reunis lodge prior to the Revolution.683 The
“years 1786-1787 were the first contacts by Saint Just with
the lodges.”684 Saint Just “had read” the Bible of that lodge

680.Jean-Pierre Poirier, Lavoisier: Chemist, Biologist, Economist

(trans.Rebecca Balinski, Charles C. Gillispie) (University of Pennsyl-
vania Press, 1996) at 441. At page 218, he identifies Duport de
Prélaville as Adrien Duport, “a member of the Amis Reunis lodge.”
Poirier mentions Duport was the founder of the Society of Thirty, an
important society in the early stages leading up to the French Revolu-
tion. It operated out of his house initially.
681.Brother Leopold Wolfgang, Revolutionen, Weltkrieg und Freimaure-
rei, Heft 10 der Freimaurerzeitung Am Bau (München 1921) at 6.
682.Barbara Norman Makanowitzky, Napoleon and Talleyrand: The Last
Two Weeks (Stein and Day, 1976) at 76. As to Talleyrand’s member-
ship, see also Émile Dard, Napoléon et Talleyrand (1935) at 85 (“Tall-
eyrand figura encore en 1788 dans la loge des Amis Réunis et dans la
Société des Trente.”)
683.Albert Ollivier, Saint Just et la force de choses (Gallimard, 1954) at
100 (“La loge des ‘Amis Réuns’...Saint Just ait appartenu á cette

Introduction 260
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

— Claude Saint Martin’s Des erreurs et de la vérité.685 Bill-

ington, the Librarian of Congress, mentions that Ollivier
notes Saint Just observed there was a “German influence”
over the Amis Reunis of Paris.686 It was in this period that
Mirabeau [and Bonneville] hosted a lodge meeting at the
Amis Reunis to accept their Illuminati brothers who had
arrived from Germany.687

Illuminati Contact with the Amis Reunis

During the period 1782-1787, Illuminati from Ger-
many made several visits to the Paris Amis Reunis lodge.
This includes the following Illuminati in these years: Kolow-
rat (1782),688 Costanza (1784),689 Dietrich (1784),690 Fal-
gera (1784),691 Hilmer (1785),692 Kolowrat again (1785),693
Dittfurth (1787),694 besides the well-known and famous visit
of Bode and Busche in 1787.

684.Ollivier, Saint Just etc., supra, at 102. See also, Albert Ladret, Saint-
Just, ou, Les vicissitudes de la vertu (1989) at 239 (“Albert Ollivier
fixe à 1786-1787 les premiers contacts de Saint-Just avec les loges. Il
pense qu’il avait été initié à la loge Les Amis Réunis” at this time.)
685.Ollivier, Saint Just et la force de choses (1954) at 101.
686.Billington, Fire in the Minds of Men (2004 edition), at 539 fn. 63, cit-
ing Albert Ollivier, Saint Just, supra, at 96-116, 149-50.
687.Albert Ollivier, Saint Just et la force de choses (1954)(“C’est au
comité des Amis réunis que Mirabeau adressa ses frères arrivés d’Alle-
688.Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonneríe en France; des origines a
1816: Les Ouvriers de l'Idéme Révolutionnaire (1688-1771) (Paris:
Libraire Nationale, 1908) (reprinted Geneva-Paris: Slatkine, 1985) at
689.Le Forestier, Les Illuminés, supra, at 658.
690.Barruel, Memoires pour servir (1798), supra, Vol. V, at 80.
691.Carlo Francovich, Storia della Massoneria in Italia Dalle Origini
alla Rivoluzione Francese (Florence: 1974) at 315; Richard von Düll-
men, Geheimbund der Illuminaten (Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog,
1977) at 97.

Introduction 261
Weishaupt had once explained how to league with
other lodge systems. Weishaupt explained that “all their
union [with us] shall be carried out by the correspondence
and visits of the brethren — If we can but gain that point, we
shall have succeeded in all we want; leave the rest to me.”695

Appendix I: Brief Biography of

Savalette de Langes
Charles Pierre Savalette de Langes (1745-1797) from
1766-1774 was a lawyer before Parlement. In 1774 to 1788
he was the Royal Treasurer and Paymaster General for the
Monarchy. After sharing the job for three years, in 1790 he
was again made sole treasurer of state. In 1791, he was the
leading member of the legislative committee of the new
National Assembly in charge of national finances.696
Savalette was also an officer of the Grand Orient
Freemasons since 1774. From 1774 to 1790, Savalette led
more than 20 deputations that visited lodges outside Paris.
From 1773 to 1776, Savalette was Master of Ceremonies,
Orator and Secretary of the Chamber of Administration of the
Grand Orient (i.e., the central committee of the GO.) From
1776 to 1778, Savalette was Grand Secretary of the GO. And
from April 1781 to April 1788, he was Grand Orator of the

692.Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonneríe en France; des origines a

1816: Les Ouvriers de l’Idéme Révolutionnaire (1688-1771) (Paris:
Libraire Nationale, 1908) (reprint Geneva-Paris: Slatkine, 1985) at
693.Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonneríe en France, supra, at 351.
694.Le Forestier, Convent du Philalethes, supra, at 44-45, citing Franz
Dietrich von Dittfurth, Antwort an die Philalethen (Wolfstieg: 1906) at
695.Barruel, Memoirs of Jacobinism (Trans. Clifford) (1798), supra, IV,
at 193.
696.Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonneríe en France, supra, at 342.

Introduction 262
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

GO. The Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie relates that

Savalette was “among Masons the most jealous, the most
curious and the most generous of his time. . . .”697

Appendix J: Bancal’s Refutation of

Cloots Published by the Cercle Social
As of 1793, Jean-Henri Bancal Desissarts (1750-
1826) was a Deputy in the Convention698 and a long-time
member of the Cercle Social.699 Bancal was also an old asso-
ciate of Bonneville in 1790 on the municipal government of
The Cercle Social in 1793 published a well-written
short book by Bancal addressing the plan of a universal
republic by Cloots. Bancal defended the plan of a universal
republic, just as Bonneville advocated, so long as such a
republic was composed of federated independent republics.
Bancal specifically rejected the idea of Cloots that the univer-
sal republic had to be a centralized “departmental” world-
government run from Paris. Bancal said the plan of Cloots
leads inevitably to tyranny. The exact title and publication
record was:
Henri Bancal, député à la Convention, à Anacharsis
Clootz, son collègue (Paris: Impr. du Cercle social, 1793-

697.“Savalette de Langes,” Dictionnaire de la Franc-Maçonnerie (Ligou,

Ed.), supra, at 1087.
698.He was “député du département du Puy-de-Dôme.”
699.H. Branson, Women and politics in the age of the democratic revolu-
tion (University of Michigan Press, 1993) at 165. Avenel likewise
notes “Bancal des Isaarts” [sic: Desissarts] was “an old adept of the
Cercle Social, and a grand apostle of the Universal Confederation....”
(Georges Avenel, Anacharsis Cloots (Paris: 1865) Vol. II at 34.)
700.See Footnote 305 on page 115 and accompanying text.

Introduction 263
This work demonstrates how the Illuminati at the Cer-
cle Social perceived a prior member of the Cercle Social —
Cloots — was going off in his own direction in a dangerous
version of the plan in favor of a Universal Republic. Bancal
feared Cloots’ version of a universal republic would lead to a
loss of liberty, and create a tyranny of superiors over the com-
mon man.

Here is a translation of the most significant parts of
this book’s sixteen pages:
[1] In your recent gave me your reveries of
a universal government in a conversation you directed at
Roland....I love all men as brothers.
[2] I do not want England, Switzerland, Germany and the
other states of Europe to become departments in the State
of France, with Paris as the capital. I wish instead one day
to create an assembly not of kings but of people, of which
the primary Assembly is agreed upon by the nations, and
which changes according to their will.
You go much further. You want a Europe not yet born. You
want all peoples, known and unknown, of the earth, to be
under one regime by laws of a single assembly, and in the
end to create a thousand departments.
Your fantasy of a departmental universal republic in your
pretty moral story [3] sounds as agreeable as the abuse of
words by the celebrated doctor Petit who was nothing
more than a charlatan.
[4] But I do not think that men and nations are condemned
to attend to your universal republic all to obey a single
center in order to become happy.
I think nature reflects...a natural balm, the principle of the
social life, according to the natural life. It is the reproduc-
tion indefinitely of a type of the greatest law, and it is this
law which that is necessarily derived from a great multi-

701. (2009)

Introduction 264
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

plicity of human societies, just as so many families, of

which there is no means of calculating the number, the
duration, or the end. ****
[5] If you want to convince me that there should be only
one nation, you must begin by proving to me that there is
only one family in the world. Beware of falling into the
patriarchal and oppressive system of Filmer.702...I repeat
here what I have said before. The paternal system is the
law of nature....The fraternal system is the one of society.
It is by playing with chimeras that you are promising us
heaven, just as the priests [once did] and took the goods
from our lands.
I resist everything that is unknown, systematic and ‘out
there’; I fear that while you promise me a universal repub-
lic, it does not place enough obstacles to break those
establishments against the human race which keep us
remaining brothers, and [instead] allows the rise of
fathers and mothers [to rule over us].
All political bodies that have too broad [6] a scope tend to
despotism like any man who throws himself into imagi-
nary spaces due to madness.
I believe very much in world peace and a universal
[But if you] invent a balloon which will take me anywhere
in the world in the same time it takes to travel to another
state of Europe [then] I will not believe your project is a
chimera. Yet, one will have still the obstacle of a great
many different languages. [7] Perhaps that would be the
most insurmountable obstacle of all.

702.“Sir Robert Filmer was...remembered only because John Locke’s

First Treatise was written against his views.”
sommerville/367/367-043.htm “Filmer’s theories in Patriarcha were
rooted in Natural Law thinking. He believed that the institutions of the
family and the state were established to fulfill the purposes of human
nature. Unlike contract theorists, Filmer equated familial and political
power. The king held the ultimate power of the father over all the fam-
ilies of his realm. Filmer saw political power as no more consensual
than paternal power, and he claimed that subjects had no more right to
disobey, resist, or bully their king than children did their father.” (Id.)

Introduction 265
Also, tell me how you can create an obedience to a single
assembly if one people barely knows the other who are not
anywhere near their homes? No society can exist or pros-
per that does not rely upon the laws of the local commu-
nity which reflect the general will [of the community]. It is
already difficult to know the general will of a single peo-
ple. How could anyone assure themselves of the will of the
entire human race?...What about those who detest a civil
life more than death [i.e., savages, Indians] who you
would try to stitch together in the same form of govern-
ment and who would seek to preserve to each their inde-
[8] I wish to see one day an assembly where we find the
deputies of all the known countries of the world who can
recognize their common origin, and which would promise
peace and fraternity so as to perfect the law of nature and
of nations. I hope for and wish to know a federative treaty
[to accomplish this]....But this assembly to which all the
nations would have to obey, it seems to me to be impossi-
ble. There would have to be an executive power named
among all the peoples in order to enforce the law. There
would have to be found a means to support this govern-
ment by means of assessment in an equitable manner [9]
by public contributions respecting each country and the
industriousness of each country.
I find this universal republic to be impracticable.
[10] When one believes in revolutions, it looks for new
words to believe in, because a revolution is a change in
ideas, opinions and morals. I think here that there is a
misunderstanding of the word federation. In advance of
your publication, Saint-Pierre and Rousseau had spoken in
favor of a perpetual peace. They had done justice to honor
the idea of a king. Yet Rousseau revealed that Henry IV
held interesting views which are in the hearts of all kings.
[11] Before the publication of your pamphlet, and a short
while prior to the revolution of July 1789, I was a member

Introduction 266
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

of a society which spoke out publicly in favor of a univer-

sal fraternity. They spread, and during my trip in
England I was [12] charged with a mission to form an
alliance between the Friends of Liberty.703 You have
become known as the Orator of the Human Race, and you
have even changed your name to this. You have advocated
a Universal Republic, and you look at the departments of
France, and you want all the peoples [of the earth] to form
a departmental division within the French [nation.]
[14] I insist all the more that I do not think the island [of
Britain or anyone] wants to become a department of
France. The Swiss have their love of liberty. The British I
know have their pride. Any people who have paid much
blood to be free would never give up the principle of the
sovereignty of the people which includes their history of
deeds and writings which were forged centuries earlier by
the exercise of the right of insurrection. This is an obstacle
to the execution of your project.
If you are [interested] in a proposition, Virgil has one:
brother, foederis aequas dicamus leges [i.e., Let us lay
down fair terms for a treaty].704 We should wish to estab-
lish by treaties equal laws for the liberty of the oceans, and
other rights common to all men. But since nature has made
islands, we are only masters of what is ours. Our Conven-
tion only decides by its sovereign power over our own
existence, which [15] is natural, political, religious, and
civil, and without obliging others to pass and repass the
seas in order to receive the laws of our Convention at
Lets begin by uniting people by a federative alliance. We
shall soon see whether it is possible to arrive at your
departmental division. I will give my consent once you

703.Bancal reveals he was recruited into an association with the very

same aim as Cloots seeks. Bancal appears to say his recruitment was in
England, and it was pre-1789. The implication, however, is the associ-
ation had similar aims but shared Bancal’s outlook on the means.
704.“Let us lay down fair terms for a treaty.” (Virgil, Aenid (trans. Nicho-
las Horsfall)(Brill, 2003) at 19.)

Introduction 267
show me, such that I can recognize it, that [with] all the
elements of this society [16] [in place] that it is still possi-
ble to enjoy liberty and equality.
Again, the first step to make happen what you want but
you don’t ask [to happen] is that all the peoples of the
earth who are ashamed of fighting begin by [agreeing] to
world peace. Let those of us who wish the human race to
be free and happy accelerate this great epoch by first
establishing among ourselves a sincere peace.
[The End.]

Appendix K: Bancal’s New Social Order

Published In 1792 by The Cercle Social
In Bancal’s book of 1792, we learn of the Cercle
Social’s reaction to the proposed anti-religious policies of
France. The book was entitled:
Henri Bancal, Du Nouvel Ordre Social (Published by
Order of the Constitution of the National Convention)
(Paris: Directeurs de l’Imprimerie du Cercle Social, 1792)
The work reads:
[3] In my country calling me to serve in the National Con-
vention has called me to a great duty. I will try to summa-
rize in this writing some of the ideas about the social
order.... I have attacked strong ancient privileges, which
many a good patriot has been delivered, one regarding
religion and the other the magistracy.
No matter: we were sent [here] not only to make bring
clarity and shine like the Tribune but also to be used to tell
the truth we know, and to denounce abuse of which we are
The Convention ought to distinguish itself by the spirit of
Philosophy and of Reason.
History has justly accused the French of being brutal,
tumultuous in their assemblies, impatient...quick to

Introduction 268
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

decide, difficult to reach agreement. This is the great peril

of the nation.
[5] It is the new order of things that has given an extraordi-
nary energy to the nation....The wisdom of the legislators
ought to be the glory of the nation.
I wish to see whether it is possible to simplify the social
order,... and realize such as patrimony so that never again
can [the nation] be despoiled by imposters and religious,
political and civil tyrants who have abused the human
But my nation presses me, and I would be reproached if I
were to keep silent now and were not to obey my duty to
In sum, I will speak in the hope that the convention will
address the interesting problem of which I will make clear.
[6] There are three conditions of man on the earth:
That of nature;
That against nature;
And the Civil State
....Voyagers have discovered peoples living in a state of
nature, and they are called savage....They enjoy a govern-
ment which perhaps is the most reasonable.
Then there is the state against nature. This is a nation that
experiences great revolutions because its laws are against
nature and have long [suffered] oppression. It is anarchy
which I defined as the effort of a people who seek to help
each other [free themselves] from tyrannical laws, and
arrive at just, wise and convenient laws that match their
character and situation.
The interval that exists between the destruction of old laws
and new ones is a time of trouble, convulsions, and out-
rages; it is a time when passions rule, and as a conse-
quence there are great crimes and great virtues.

Introduction 269
I call this the state against nature because the habitual state
of man is to be in society [with one another]. The authors
who have elevated the state of nature all agree man is a
social being.
Now let’s examine the social state. It is the way all nations
operate over the
[7] globe. I define this as the permanent condition of man
which guarantees the security of his person and his prop-
The Revolution of 1789 is one of the most extraordinary
events known in the history of nations. In this first epoch,
the people had not yet entirely broken off their chains. In
1792, they broke them entirely. The [nation] is free. But it
is still in a state against nature. The revolution of 1792 is
pure and without stain. But after this revolution, persons
and property has been violated. It has lost the civil state.
Let’s see how it may find and assure itself of a durable
At this frightening stage, where the social bond is broken,
where a worse tyranny than the first [has risen] in place
of the former, and [events] favor...proscriptions, the peo-
ple have lost their habit to assemble. They have appointed
their deputies, and given them their confidence to stop
anarchy, to form a body of the nation, in a word to civilize
The representative system is the only practical means for a
large nation to operate. The Convention that has assem-
bled is the most legal means which has been formed after
many centuries. It has been invested sufficiently with the
power to work for the happiness of the people. Let’s exam-
ine how this works toward achieving this goal.
In a good system of legislation, it ought to assure reli-
gious liberty and civil liberty.
Of Religious Liberty
Of all rights, of all ideas about man having possibly
another life, are conserved and respected by
[8] religious liberty....Because man is truly free, whatever
may be his future existence, he must each have the right to
voluntarily choose his priest, even if his priest is himself.

Introduction 270
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

He should be able to worship the divinity in his house, in

the mountain, in the solitary woods, wherever his heart
thinks proper....
If a paternalistic theocracy is established somewhere, it
may give rise to a domestic tyranny which is in contradic-
tion to general liberty. While paternity is the law of nature,
fraternity is the law of society.705
There must be abolition of fees [to support] religion,
which were passed to assure those [religions] under a
national faith which took place to aid the clergy who
became constitutional.
The state owes life to all its members, and the priests
ought not to be victims of these errors and the prejudices
which nourish them....
The duty of the legislator is very simple in terms of reli-
gious liberty.
It would suffice to suppress all the publicly [propped up]
religions, and to declare indefinite liberty to all private
religions, and such [9] religion shall fill the needs of itself.
We ought to destroy this trade which will bring to an end
religious wars and disputes, leaving peace upon the earth,
and open the gates to heaven to all men.
Civil Liberty
[10] Having destroyed religious, feudal and royal supersti-
tions, we should not create new ones in the realm of poli-
tics. Declare in favor of the use of right and sane reason....
[18] Abolition of the Death Penalty
...Criminal justice is a simple matter. The jury decides the
[19] How indeed we can perfect criminal justice and dig-
nify humanity! Suppress the death penalty! Because
nature gives life, it should have the right of taking it. Ren-
der habitable the prisons where the prisoners suffer a thou-
sand deaths.

705.Bancal said the same thing in his book to Cloots.

Introduction 271
Instead, give the prisoners officers of morality [to correct
them]. The great number of prisoners suffer from igno-
rance. The fault is our institutions. The real criminal is the
government....Crime is truly always involuntary. Virtue is
always his choice.
Thereby, man...shall be reintegrated by a wise govern-
[20] The feudal religious regimes and judiciary which
have done so much evil in the world are destroyed. Roy-
alty is overthrown....The French... have founded their
social contract on the eternal foundations of nature and
The veil of all superstitions has been taken away. The
Printing house [Imprimerie] propagates truth. It makes the
patrimony of all men. It is not possible to defeat it. It has
made clear and instructed all so as to render all both good
and happy. Establish quickly popular education and I
believe you will deliver to France the most perfect consti-
tution which has yet existed.
The Constitution of the Convention Ought to Bring
Together All Peoples
Make a constitution, which has local modifications, that
unites all peoples and all countries.
[21] We must move ahead... alone, and found a constitu-
tion that works for a nomadic people who walk as part of
their existence, which provides a fixed place [for them]
which is fertile and varied....Imitate the ancient legislators.
Wonder at Sparta, how happy and triumphant for 500
years, with the Laws of Lycurgus. And the Laws of the
Twelve Tables governed Rome wisely for centuries.
How was the Christian religion established? By apostles
on evangelical missions.
How will we establish the religion of morals within a
By missions of apostles of liberty and equality.

Introduction 272
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

[23] How can a system of legislation that only has a small

number of virtuous admirers be treated as anything but a
I know a republic ought to be a place where each citizen,
protected by all natural and civil rights, will find a simple
place to learn...about the laws.
[24] The Convention reaffirmed to all the social system;
you will find the rights and duties of the civil man. Within
society, there is no right without a corresponding duty. All
rights and duties are in common and reciprocal.
The man who lives in the woods lives in the state of
Within a well-ordered republic, the citizen is all about
The Declaration of the English in 1688 was a step made by
the genius of Liberty.
The Americans of the north have improved this beautiful
invention, and we imitated it in 1789.
But we still find these declarations imperfect.
[25] A grand number of articles and declarations prove a
long train of tyranny, and these precautions people have
needed to take precautions against tyranny. Within this is a
proof: it is always expressed as a negation.... A part of the
contributions [i.e., taxes] ought to go to relieve their old
age and infirmities, the unhappiness of being deprived of
all resources, and to give the people an education in their
rights [and] their duties....
The declaration ought also contain the right and the duty
of the people to be armed and always ready to defend the
nation from foreigners, and from [those in] an insurrec-
tion against the depositaries of authority, which tries to
usurp and reverse the Constitution.
[26]...The Army must be under civilian control. Its subsis-
tence must be established by the legislative body, at the
commencement of each session....

Introduction 273
It ought to contain the guarantee of a republican form of
government, the right of the public to elect those who
exercise the legislative function or the executives....
At last, the right of petition is a right that indi-
viduals....Its manner of exercise ought to be regulated by
the Constitution; it is the sole means to avoid convulsions,
revolution, and the spilling of blood....I would wish con-
sistent with the
[27] sacred right of resistance and insurrection to give it a
legal [basis of] organization.
A Republic built on equality ought to endure forever.
But one makes a republic prosper and endure by the total
liberty of the press. It is publicity which is the guardian of
the people....
[35] You will find in each local assembly 6,000 voters,
who each make a nomination of a single deputy [to the
national legislature].
I have called this division of France the division politique
to distinguish it from the departmental division which I
also call the division administrative.
This political division could never be turned around into a
system of federative republics which would never be prac-
ticable in the departments. Thereby, the union of France
and the union of the republic is guaranteed.
[39] Means to Assure the Legislative Power
The...83 members of the National Assembly were spe-
cially charged by the people...But first, I would believe
there was a usurpation of certain men who constituted
themselves to be judge of extraordinary tribunals. I would
believe there was a corruption of a small number of men
whose scheme was rendered easy by the connivance of
executive functionaries.
If one casts their eyes at our history [40] one sees that lib-
erty has been lost by the interruption of the national
assemblies, of which I regard the temporary cessation of

Introduction 274
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

their operation in France the same as the death of the

body politic.
I believe when the master leaves his house, he leaves it
open and exposed to pillage by his servants and foreigners.
The Executive Functionaries
The French nation has instituted a new form of govern-
ment. This organization gives being to executive function-
aries who operate it so as [42] to protect liberty and the
prosperity of the Republic....It involves a just division of
the responsibility for the execution of the laws....Too many
agents would embarrass the government. Too few and it
could tend toward despotism.
The number of functioning deputies of the National
Assembly...operating with a small degree of latitude are
without danger to liberty.
The government today in a revolting example
of inequality, abuse, and a brigandage no less criminal
because done by king and parliament. I looked hard to find
any honor of the human race in my century, and I found
a... [good] example in North America in its government.
Morality is the most beautiful of all religions; it is the one
upon which all agree, and which brings together all peo-
[47] You ought to desire to prove to France and to Europe
that you desire sincerely the happiness of the people, and
you detest anarchy as the worst of evils....You ought to
abolish the criminal hope of dictators, of triumvirs, of tri-
bunes, of regents, of all factions, of enemies both exter-
nal and internal, and to establish a happy empire serving

706.His note says: “See L’Esprit des Religions by N. Bonneville, 2d Edi-

tion, in the epigraph France and the Brothers who work for Liberty.”

Introduction 275
the general will, which is the Law, giving prompt instruc-
tion to the people.
[48] Establish primary schools....You can make the revolu-
tion durable by means of the Law. You can begin to form
opinion and morals....In the end, give them this universal
religion and you will unite all men and all nations.
Declaration of Rights to make, and the powers to give
by the People of France to the Estate General, in the
6th assembly at Paris, the Tuesday of April 21, 1789
[49][For] the happiness of all within the world, freedom of
speech, to write, to publish, and print, and the right of
Equality first in public education...and second in the distri-
bution of public justice, of compensation and of penalties.
III. Property as fixed by nations.
Of all the goods of the earth which the spirit and work of
man produces.
This is a sacred right, derived from the French people
being free-men and free of all impositions that tend to
diminish, alter, or destroy property, which is not to deny
an assignment of a necessary portion to maintain and
guarantee common properties....
IV. The Right of Assembly
VI. These conditions of society that are guaranteed are lib-
erty, equality and property.
[52] [There should be] three commissions to form three
The first is a social constitution, founded upon a declara-
tion of rights previously discussed.
The second is the public education of the people.
The third is an improvement in the assessing and adminis-
tration of taxes.

Introduction 276
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

[The End.]

Appendix L: Gassicourt From Inside

Reveals Agencies Who Caused The
French Revolutions

Cadet-Gassicourt’s 1795-97 Revelation

One of the most rare but important books in French
history is the short work by Charles Louis Cadet-Gassicourt
(1769-1821) entitled Le Tombeau de Jacques Molay ou le
secret des conspirateurs, à ceux qui veulent tout savoir.
(Paris: Les Marchands de Nouveaute, 1796). His later supple-
ment published posthumously (around 1821) is of almost
equal importance.
I had the good fortune to find his first 1796 book in an
original edition. I extensively translate it below. Unless I
identify a quote is borrowed from another source, it is my
translation and thus a quote from the original.707
The second edition of 1797 has a significant addition
to its title — identifying a trio of groups being discussed —
“Templars, Freemasons, and Illuminati.”708

707.The full first title was Le Tombeau de Jacques Molai ou Histoire

secrète et abrégée des initiés anciens et modernes, une Histoire secrète
des Templiers (1796).
708.The second edition appeared in 1797. See Charles Louis Cadet-Gassi-
court, Le Tombeau de Jacques Molay ou histoire secret et abrégés des
initiés anciens et modernes, des Templiers, Francs-Macons, Illuminés,
etc. (2d ed.) (232 pp).(Paris: Desenne, An V, 1797). Partner says the
first edition was printed in Year 4 of the Revolution, which signifies
1796-1797. The second edition was in 1797. See Partner, supra, at 190
n. 33.

Introduction 277
Background On Cadet-Gassicourt
Charles Louis Cadet-Gassicourt (1769-1821) was the
son of a famous and highly regarded pharmacist named Louis
Claude Cadet-Gassicourt (1731-1799).709 Charles Cadet-
Gassicourt (hereafter “Cadet-Gassicourt”) likewise became a
pharmacist. He also became a lawyer.710
At the college Mazarin, Cadet-Gassicourt won the
grand prize for composition. At age 15, he submitted a dis-
course to Buffon on the study of natural history.711 Cadet-
Gassicourt came to socialize with “men of letters such as
d’Alembert, Buffon, and Condorcet.”712 At the beginning of
the French Revolution he “embraced the cause with enthusi-
asm.”713 In 1789, Cadet-Gassicourt was a member of the
“first national guard of Paris.”714

709.The editor on Benjamin Franklin’s papers says of this father to Cadet-

Gassicourt: “Pharmacien-major at the Hôtel des Invalides. Chief phar-
macist of the German and Portuguese armies. Member of the Collège
de phamacie de Paris (1759) and of the Académie des sciences (1766).
Edited articles on bile and borax for the Encyclopédie. Published Anal-
yse chimique des eaux minérales de Passy (Paris, 1755) and numerous
other pharmacological works.”
framedNames.jsp?ssn=001-62-1550 (accessed 12/16/07).
710.“Charles Louis Cadet de Gassicourt,” Wikipedia (French).
711.“Cadet-Gassicourt,” Dictionnaire historique, ou, Histoire abrégée
(ed. François-Xavier Feller)(9th ed.)(Paris: 1827) Vol. III. at 501.
712.“Charles Louis Cadet de Gassicourt,” Wikipedia (French) (accessed
713.“Cadet-Gassicourt,” Dictionnaire historique, ou, Histoire abrégée
(ed. François-Xavier Feller)(9th ed.)(Paris: 1827) Vol. III at 501.
714.Id., Vol. III at 501.

Introduction 278
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Yet, of importance here, Cadet-Gassicourt was also a

Freemason leader both before and long after the French Rev-
olution. Masonic sources relate that after 1794, he accepted
the post of Master of a Parisian lodge.715 In 1809, he held the
office of Orator at the lodge Saint-Josephine at Paris.716

Cadet-Gassicourt’s Indubitable Sympathy With The

Montagnard Jacobins & The Dechristianizers

Cadet-Gassicourt also had been an ardent follower of

the Jacobin party between 1792 and 1794. Prior to his 1795
book, Cadet-Gassicourt was part of the revolutionary move-
ment of 1793. His personal sympathies were in sync with its
extreme directions. He is noted, based upon his revolutionary
work, to have been “a great enemy of Jesuits and full of anti-
religious prejudices....”717
This is evident in Cadet-Gassicourt’s commemorative
address in 1794 welcoming the bust of Marat to a meeting
hall as part of a full day’s celebration at various places in
Paris. Marat was one of the most notorious Montagnard-
Jacobin extremists, and leader of the Montagnard faction
which took tyrannical control under Robespierre.718 After
Marat’s assassination, Marat was treated like a saint of old.
Thus, in this speech, Cadet-Gassicourt calls the “Friend of the
People” (Marat) a “hero” and a “martyr to our Liberty” to
whom the audience will be singing later some “hymns.”719

715.W.K. Firminger, “The Romances of Robinson and Barruel,” Trans-

actions of the Ars Quatro Coronati Lodge (1937) Vol. 50 at 41 n. 2.
716.“Cadet-Gassicourt,” Daniel Ligou, Ed., Dictionnaire de la Franc-
maçonnerie (Paris: 1987) at 175.
717.George Bois, Maçonnerie nouvelle du Grand-Orient de France: dos-
sier politique et rituels (V. Retaux et fils, 1892) at 116.
718.See “Discours Prononce par le Citoyen Cadet-Gassicourt,” in Fete en
l’honneur de Marat et Lepelletier — Célébrée par la Section au Mont-
Blanc, le 12 Frimaire, l’an deuxième de la République [1794] at 5 et
seq. (This is available from Gallica free in PDF.)

Introduction 279
In the same speech honoring Marat, Cadet-Gassicourt
complimented the effort of Marat, Lepelletier and others to
dechristianize France. Cadet-Gassicourt declared that they
have torn down “the idols of superstition, so there is no other
cult than that of nature, and no other God than Reason by
which to discern honor among men.”720 Cadet-Gassicourt
proclaimed that such men “repelled our slavery,” where the
people previously “were despoiled at a church [temple] like at
a theater.”721 The “sustenance of the people” previously had
been consumed to satisfy the desire of a “sycophant priest” to
enjoy his “magnificent pomp.”722 Cadet-Gassicourt said the
old “superstition” taught “a seductive table of eternal beati-
tudes”723 and used “odious Sophistry” to frighten people with
“chimerical terrors.”724
This alleged evil past was all destroyed in the Repub-
lic, he told the crowd. Cadet-Gassicourt concluded his speech
saying that a “popular government” has finally been given
France where “the public interest moves within all its actions,
and each citizen is sort of his own State,” and all together
form a Republic where “philanthropy and patriotism are
Thus, by 1794, it is beyond question that Cadet-Gassi-
court was clearly at home among the Montagnards and
dechristianizers of the Revolution. This really did not change
because of his 1796 book. His dissent of 1796 was limited to
finding fault with the use of indiscriminate terror which
almost put himself under the guillotine.

719.Id., at 7-8, 14.

720.Id., at 6.
721.Id., at 6.
722.Id., at 6.
723.Id., at 9.
724.Id., at 9.
725.Id., at 10-11.

Introduction 280
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

As a result, we find that while Cadet-Gassicourt in

1796 exposed the Illuminati’s role in the Revolution, Cadet-
Gassicourt never lost his affection for Freemasonry or
French-liberal or even extremist ideas.
After writing these works critical of Templars and the
Illuminati, Cadet-Gassicourt was still held in very high
esteem in masonic circles. Friends of masonry such as
Lemaire agree that Cadet-Gassicourt “belongs to a category
of Freemason writers who rebelled at the mysteries of Scotch
Freemasonry [and] who is recognized by [Pierre Chevalier]
in Histoire de la Franc-Maçonnerie française (1974) as an
eminent and just man of very sensible views upon the inter-
pretation of events.”726
Cadet-Gassicourt also had a commendatory career
through the era of Napoleon as a medical aide to Napoleon:

He planned and inaugurated a new board of

health in 1806, serving as secretary for many
years; he accompanied Napoleon in the 1809
campaign as apothecary. He published many
valuable and successful books, and was a mem-
ber of many scientific societies.727
It was only after the Montagnard-Jacobins were
deposed in 1794 that Cadet-Gassicourt revealed the under-
ground causes of the Revolution. He wrote that unless people
recognized these factors behind the Revolution, the French
would experience another revolution with an identical dehu-

726.Jacques Lemaire, Les Origines Françaises de l’Antimaçonnisme

(1744-1797) (Belgique: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles, 1985) at
35, citing Chevalier, at 384.
727. (accessed 12/17/07). This
was a synopsis for CADET DE GASSICOURT, Charles Louis. Cours
Gastronomique, ou les Diners de Manant-Ville, Ouvrage Anecdotique,
Philosophique et Littéraire; Second Édition dédiée à la Société Epicu-
rienne du Caveau moderne. 364 pp. (1809).

Introduction 281
manizing terror. He was an eyewitness to such earlier plan-
ning, and he hoped to unravel the mysteries of the Revolution
to prevent a repetition.

Preview of Cadet-Gassicourt’s Account

Cadet-Gassicourt’s book made many important
claims about the intimate plans of the revolutionaries. For
example, as a Templar, Cadet-Gassicourt said he learned
before the Revolution certain secret plans to bring about a
revolution by means of the secret societies. He said that sev-
eral years before 1789, the Amis Reunis which used Templar
rites had four main lodges. These were at Paris, Naples, Edin-
burgh, and Stockholm. Each lodge required of their members
to swear “to exterminate all Kings and the race of Capetians
[the king of France’s common name], to destroy the power of
the pope, to preach liberty to the people, and to found a uni-
versal republic.”728
Cadet-Gassicourt also reported that Cagliostro (a
Bavarian Illuminatus since 1780) was the Templar emissary
at Paris.729 Incidentally, Cagliostro admitted to this in his tes-
timony in 1789 to the police at Rome. (See page 362 et seq.,
infra.) Cadet-Gassicourt further said these Amis Reunis
lodges had significant influence in many Freemason systems
of France.
Cadet-Gassicourt also claimed the Duke d’Orleans
was the chief of the lodge at Paris (lodge Contrat Social) in
rue Coqueron. In the posthumous supplement, Cadet-Gassi-
court revealed further that in early 1788 Mirabeau, d’Aguil-

728.Charles Louis Cadet-Gassicourt, Le Tombeau de Jacques Molay ou le

secret des conspirateurs, à ceux qui veulent tout savoir. (Paris: Les
Marchands de Nouveaute, 1796) at 11. The same quote is found at
Bois, Maçonnerie nouvelle du Grand-Orient de France: dossier poli-
tique et rituels (1892) at 118.
729.Charles Louis Cadet-Gassicourt, Le Tombeau de Jacques Molay ou le
secret des conspirateurs, à ceux qui veulent tout savoir. (Paris: Les
Marchands de Nouveaute, 1796) at 17 n. 1.

Introduction 282
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

lon, d’Eprémesnil, and Lally-Tolendal were leading

participants at lodge Contrat Social in a reception for Necker
hosted by d’Orleans.730
Cadet-Gassicourt likewise disclosed that other Amis
Reunis (Templar) members at Paris were famous names from
the Revolution: Mirabeau, Fréron, Robespierre, Clootz (or
Cloots), Danton, Dumouriez, and Lepeletier de Saint-
Fargeau. All were among the members of this Amis Reunis
Furthermore, Cadet-Gassicourt provided an explana-
tion for why the Templars in 1789 made the Bastille Prison a
special object of attack. He said the modern Templars
claimed a mythical connection to the medieval Knights Tem-
plars whom the French king in the 1300’s disbanded as pur-
ported subversives and Satanists. The Templars wanted to
destroy the Bastille to avenge the imprisonment there in the
1300’s of the Templar Grand Master, Jacques de Molay (who
later was executed).
Cadet-Gassicourt also said the newer rituals of Free-
masonry inculcated an acceptance of violence and assassina-
tion which prepared members of the brotherhood to commit
the savage acts of the Terror.
Cadet-Gassicourt explained the reason for his book
was his concern to stop the violent influences among the
Freemasons. His words were:

I hope that this book now leaves little left to be

desired, said [enough to give]...instruc-
tion about an abominable sect, which, similar
to the ancient Proteus takes all forms, even

730.Cadet-Gassicourt tells of how in early 1789 a large party was held at

the Lodge Contrat Social. This was the celebration for Necker. “The
venerables of all the lodges were present.” And the celebration in the
lodge was assisted by “Mirabeau, d’Aguillon, d’Eprémesnil, Lally-
Tolendal, etc... Duc d’Orléans supervised the lodge....” (Quoted in
Bois, Maçonnerie nouvelle du Grand-Orient de France: dossier poli-
tique et rituels (1892) at 120.) See also page 295 et seq.

Introduction 283
gambles in the human blood stream, corrupt-
ing the morals of the people, and depriving
[them of] their property....a Hydra of a hun-
dred heads, it seems impossible to shoot down,
if the government does not want to enter the
club of Hercules. I will speak of Followers,
Insiders, Freemasons, of Illuminati; [I will]
unveil their terrible mysteries, their political
attacks and to make known their leverage
they had in our revolution. Citizens who want
freedom for all! Know your domestic enemies,
your murderers! You you have powerful reposi-
tories of executive power! If none of you has
ever vowed at the Tomb of Molay, hurry to
deliver France, or otherwise you will tremble
Historians who try to downplay the Illuminati-thesis
never dispute these are the facts as revealed by Cadet-Gassi-
court. Instead, they try only to twist them to make it appear
that Cadet-Gassicourt misapprehended his true enemies as
Freemasons. But this was a false insinuation in the first place
because Cadet-Gassicourt did not point fingers at Freema-
sons in general. Instead, besides the Illuminati, Cadet-Gassi-
court pointed his aim at the Templar fraternity. It was not
masonic at that time. Instead, it was a separate order alto-
gether. It was composed of Knights, not masons. The Tem-
plars by then had won some small alliances with small but
influential masonic sects like the Amis Reunis. Yet, to say
Templars are masons at that time is inaccurate.

731.Quoted in Bois, Maçonnerie nouvelle du Grand-Orient de France:

dossier politique et rituels (1892) at 117.

Introduction 284
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Gassicourt’s 1796 Account in Closer Detail

Now let’s read together Le Tombeau de Jacques
Molay ou le secret des conspirateurs, à ceux qui veulent tout
savoir (Paris: Les Marchands de Nouveaute, 1796) in my
Cadet-Gassicourt begins by saying “without doubt, an
impenetrable veil has perhaps covered lines implicated in our
revolutions.” (Pg. 3.) He wonders how the French endured
one party of men “full of blind rage, [who] massacred prison-
ers without defense” and yet “[we are] unable to judge how
this happened, [or] what is the hand that directed this?” (Pg.
4.) Cadet-Gassicourt then criticizes those who in world his-
tory killed others for their opinions. He recounts the wrongs
of the Inquisition, particularly against the Templars. He
claims this repression inspired the Catholics to kill Protes-
tants in the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre. (Pg. 4.) Cadet-
Gassicourt was clearly identifying himself as an Enlighten-
ment philosophe, fully cognizant of the crimes of the Church.
Furthermore, Cadet-Gassicourt’s book makes clear at
various points that he is not hoping to bring back the monar-
chy. Rather, his purpose is to discourage anyone from resur-
recting Terror and tyranny as policy.
Cadet-Gassicourt begins his commentary by contrast-
ing the opinion of some that the revolutionary Montagnard
Jacobin party had the best of intentions against the reality of
the Revolution. He says “a historian... asks what is the devas-
tating demon that has torn France to pieces, which impover-
ished the population, that corrupted morals, that overthrew
the businesses, [and] that ruined the public treasury.” (Pg. 5.)
Cadet-Gassicourt then summarizes the prevailing views on
what caused the revolution:
• “One supposes the people agitated by themselves, and everyday
for the better,...”
• “[And others] attribute all their unhappiness in the revolution to
the influence of the foreigner.... They sought to prove that
France was everyday the victim of its natural enemies. This sys-
tem can acquire some good semblance of truth.”

Introduction 285
• “Others believe that all is explained by writing the history of the
prejudices and passions of humans. According to this theory, the
wealth of the nobles, the avarice of the parliaments, the fanati-
cism of the priests, the spirit of the army, the love of new things,
ambition, are the sole element of all our troubles.”
• Others say it was the vengeance of the Protestants for the revo-
cation of the Edict of Nantes.
• And others claim it was fate. Cadet-Gassicourt recalls famous
prophecies of a revolution in writings dating from 1650. (Pp. 6-
Gassicourt rebuffs all of these causation theories. He
claims that his knowledge on this issue comes from his expe-
rience within the Contrat Social and Amis Reunis lodges at
Paris and its allied friends. At a time when the Illuminati were
still hardly known in print, Gassicourt wrote in 1796: “I will
speak of Adepts, Initiates of Freemasons, and the Illuminati;
to unveil their terrible mysteries, their political crimes, and to
make known their influence upon our revolution.” (Pg. 8.)
Cadet-Gassicourt explains that it was essential to
recapture this truth because the same forces were on the
march once more. He warned the French that the same men
were planning an imminent revolution. He says: “Citizens,
who want liberty of all, know...your assassins, and your pow-
erful depositaries of executive power, which have sworn by
the tomb of Molai to hastily deliver France. Tremble for
yourself.” (Pg. 8.)
Cadet-Gassicourt explains that before the Revolution
of 1792, there were four Templar lodges in France. The oath
taken by each member was:

[T]o exterminate all kings and the race of

Bourbons [i.e., the French king’s line]; to
destroy the power of the Pope; to preach lib-
erty to the people; and to found a universal
republic.732 (Pg. 11.)

Introduction 286
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Cadet-Gassicourt explained how the Templars intro-

duced themselves into some Freemason lodges. Certain Free-
masons agreed to incorporate Templar lessons within a new
degree under the name of St. Jean, or of Saint-André. To sig-
nify that a masonic lodge had adopted Templar rites, it might
add to its name St. Jean of Jerusalem. The Templar lodges
linked themselves across borders, from France to Germany,
and then across to England. “These societies were conse-
crated to charities” and were established among different peo-
ples to create bonds that promoted ostensibly the
praiseworthy object of brotherly love. (Pg. 11.)
In these lodges, Cadet-Gassicourt points out one
could find many symbols that later emerged in the Revolu-
tion. For example, the “level of equality, the bonnet of lib-
erty, [and] the national colors [of ribbons of red, blue and
white].” (Pg. 15, n.1.)
Cadet-Gassicourt continued. He explained that each
Templar lodge was called a chapter and

has a travelling member who visits other chap-

ters, and he establishes a correspondence. The
famous Comte de St. Germain was for Paris.
Cagliostro was for Naples, and he was mixed
up in the celebrated Affair of the Necklace to
form at the court as an initiate a conspiracy
against the state. (Pg. 17 n.1.)
So Cadet-Gassicourt knew the truth about Cagliostro
although few others have ever publicly revealed Cagliostro’s
political motives in the Necklace Affair.
Gassicourt then discusses the French Revolution:

The principle initiates, who have played a role

in the French revolution, are Mirabeau, Fox,
the Duke d’Orleans, Robespierre, Cloots,

732.The original French is: “d’exterminer tous les rois et la race des bour-
bons; de détruire la puissance du pape; de précher la liberté des peu-
ples; et de fonder une république universelle.”

Introduction 287
Danton, Dumouriez, [Lepeletier de] St.
Fargeau. The Grand Master actually is the
Duke of Sudermanie, Regent of Sweden.733 It is
by the taking of the Bastille that the revolution
began, and these initiates chose it for the attack
of the people because it had been the prison of
Jacobus Molai [Jacques du Molay, Grand Mas-
ter in 1301 of the Knights Templars]. Avignon
was the theater of the greatest atrocities
because it had belonged to the Pope.... (Pg. 18.)
(Emphasis added.)
Cadet-Gassicourt continues:

The grand master of the [Templar] chapter at

Paris, Philippe d’Orleans, worked for the fall of
Capet [i.e., the surname of the King] and his
family. To arrive at the goal set by the initiates,
it was necessary to strike great blows, and to
strike rapidly. During two years, the Adepts
gathered a chapter within the palace of the
Grand Master, then at the village of Passy. It is
there that Sillery, Valence, Dumouriez, d’Aigu-
illon, Cloots, Lepelletier, Mer.... le Baron de
M... the Abbé S[ièyes]. .les Lameth, Mirabeau,
D...C... é le Baron de M. . . . [and] Robespierre
prepared the plans that he supplied to those
conspirators in the second order, Barere,
Thu..., Void..., Danton, Roe[derer]..., Petion,
Marat, Brissot, Cloots, Ta[ssin]... etc., who...
translated the philosophical-revolutionary lan-
guage and preached to the people by the organs
of Manuel, Gorsas, Carra, Hébert, Collot
[d’Herbois], Lou. Ché[nier].... (Pp. 19-20.)734

733.This Duke of Sudermanie was the Grand Master of the Strict Obser-
vance (Templars) in Sweden at this time.
734. It is unclear why Gassicourt hides some names in his description.

Introduction 288
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

The Great Fear

Cadet-Gassicourt explains how these Templar leaders
encouraged insurrection by misleading methods:

To put the people in action, d’Orleans hoarded

wheat735 and he exported [the wheat] to the
islands of Gersey and Grenesey, so that their
chiefs accused the government of organizing
famine. Their agents traversed the country-
side, they massacred the nobles, the wealthy,
the priests, they burned the chateaus, and
ravaged the harvests. The propagandists
seduced the troops, and they scattered the for-
eigners;.... (Pg. 20.)
At this point, Cadet-Gassicourt is referring to the
Great Fear. A succinct description of the Great Fear is as fol-
lows: in June and July 1789, approximately four hundred
horsemen ran about France with placards that had affixed
copies of royal orders. They even often apparently had the
king’s seal. The proclamation warned that brigands were
coming ashore. The order read that the king demanded every-
one to burn all large chateaux and to seize and destroy valu-
able personal belongings in those homes. In this manner, the
invader could take nothing as booty. The French in every
nook and cranny of the realm dutifully obeyed for six to eight
weeks. Finally, it became obvious these orders were unautho-
rized or forged.
According to historians who are unwelcome to recog-
nizing anything but spontaneous forces in the Revolution, the
‘cause’ of the Great Fear is supposedly unknown. Usually,
they claim it was ‘spontaneous’ at the start, but admit some in
the revolutionary party intentionally fanned the flame of
panic later for their political advantage.

735.Cadet-Gassicourt cites as confirmation of his own experience, L’His-

toire de la conspiration de Philippe, 3 vols. (Paris: 1796).

Introduction 289
Later, in the posthumous update on the Tombeau pub-
lished in approximately 1821, Cadet-Gassicourt reveals he
was taken into the planning of the Great Fear by a visit to the
lodge Contrat Social. It appeared to be the lodge spearhead-
ing this movement.736

Orleans Leaving France

Cadet-Gassicourt then discusses the episode when the
Duke d’Orleans had to leave France because of the embar-
rassing fiasco of the March of the Fishwives of October 5 and
6th, 1790. In that episode, many testified they saw d’Orleans
in disguise leading the ‘women’ to the Assembly at Ver-
sailles. Many of the marchers were men dressed as women.
This crowd demanded the king and Assembly move from
Versailles to Paris so they were in better ‘touch’ with the peo-
ple. Mounier was the President of the Assembly that day, and
in obvious complicity with their invasion of the legislature.
Later, many people exposed the Duke d’Orleans as
the secret leader of this event. D’Orleans, as a result, decided
to leave France for England. Cadet-Gassicourt explains what
happened next:

After the days of the 5th and 6th of October,

Philippe took himself to London to conspire
with Fox, Stanhope, Sheridan, the Doctors
Price and Priestly. These initiates established a
society of Jacobins [at London], and they called
him Grand Master. Soon after his return [to
France], the days of June 20th and August 10th
[1792] reversed the Throne. ... After the death
of the king, he [i.e. d’Orleans] hoped to take the
reigns of the state; he was undoubtedly suc-
cessful but the initiates were divided
amongst themselves.... [and meanwhile] he

736.See “Gassicourt In 1821 Later Expanded On His Views of 1796” on

page 295 et seq.

Introduction 290
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

took the name Egalité. But Robespierre had

already [a strong] party, and d’Orleans, [who
had] taken up himself with these abettors,
was sacrificed! (Pp. 21-22.)
What Cadet-Gassicourt is referring to is that the Duke
d’Orleans was abandoned by the Montagnard Jacobins in
1793 even though earlier his support for revolution was wel-
Then Cadet-Gassicourt attributes primary responsibil-
ity for the imposition of dechristianization during 1793-1794
upon Cloots whom he claims is a foreign Illuminatus: “While
Cloots, a Prussian Illuminatus, and Chaumette overturned the
altars, an Italian, Cagliostro, conspired at Rome. Cagliostro
was thrown into the dungeon of the Castle St. Ange[lo], and
another Templar was lost [and] hidden,....” (Pg. 22.)
Then Cadet-Gassicourt says:

These actions tend to show, that these foreign-

ers, anti-religionists [i.e., the Illuminati], [and]
anarchists seek without ceasing to upset the
public tranquility, and they have become the
instrument of constant conspiratorial faction.
It is within this faction that are found together
the Orleanists, the Dantonists, the Girondins,
the terrorists, and all names invented to tri-
umph over gullible people. The great political
troubles are worked upon from the points of
reunion of the chapter of the Templars. It is in
Sweden, in England, in Italy and in France that
the thrones are attacked and they waver or they
fall, that the ecclesiastical power is destroyed,
and the true Free Masons, the Jacobins, leagued
upon the tomb of Jacques de Molai, established
independence so they could master riches and
government. The first electors of Paris (Lavigne,
Moreaude, Saint Méry, Deleutre, Duveyrier,
Danton, Dejoly, Champion, Keralio, Guillo-
tin)737 etc. etc, the first commune of this city,

Introduction 291
the first Jacobins, were almost all Free
Masons, and leaders of the lodges,....(Pp. 23-
Again, Cadet-Gassicourt’s confession is confirmed by
independent history.
Cadet-Gassicourt then adds:

There are then in Europe a crowd of [Freema-

son] lodges; but they signify nothing. The true
Templar Freemasons are eight hundred [lodges]
about the earth bent on vengeance, ambition,
and their system, and have sworn to massacre
kings for the independence of the world.
Within their conferences, they debate the great
questions of state. If anyone reveals their
secret, it is punished by death. All members are
made to sacrifice for the order their life, and
they are supposed to make themselves avail-
able to serve what the order says is useful and
its interests. (Pp. 24-25.)
The Templars required strict obedience and a life ded-
icated to serving them. It was the Templars, Cadet-Gassicourt
says, who created the first breed of professional revolutionar-
ies. Their support, according to Gassicourt, came from the
mutual aid within the secret societies. Their charity box pre-
dominantly went to revolution. It only went sometimes to the
poor to win accolades and to disarm the attacks of critics.
Cadet-Gassicourt concluded:

Such is, in a few words, the mystery of Free-

masonry, [which is] denied, refused, ignored,
[and] ridiculed.... It would seem a fable to

737.Cadet-Gassicourt’s footnote to his name reads: “Guillotin, already

famous as the inventor of that terrible mechanical invention, (which he
made according to his principles of humanity), was venerable of a
lodge. It is there that was made the famous petition of six corps that he
then made in the Estates General.”

Introduction 292
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

those who do not know the immense resources

of this sect, but to one who is admitted for a
time in one of its simple lodges, with the spirit
that is allowed to reign there, one is able to
judge what animates the chiefs. (Pg. 27.)
Cadet-Gassicourt, with extra-ordinary insight, told us
their most secret tactic for success. “[Y]ou should know the
means to augment their power is, as a necessary step, [to fos-
ter in the public mind] the belief in imaginary dangers, and
that the secret to hide these crimes is to accuse those who
they intend to immolate [i.e., destroy].” (Tombeau, pg. 28.)
Their secret power is thus to spread the fear of conspiracies
and dangers that do not exist. When their own conspiracy is
found out, they blame it on their opponents (e.g., the old
regime, the nobles, the rich, the bankers, etc.).

Cadet-Gassicourt Is Never Maligned By Masons

It is important to remember Cadet-Gassicourt was
writing in 1796. He did not have the benefit of studies like
Robison’s or Barruel’s. (Even in his sequel to Tombeau in
about 1821, Cadet-Gassicourt eschewed any citation to them,
obviously viewing them as anti-masons.)
Cadet-Gassicourt in 1796 was simply writing on a
clean slate. What he said was his own personal witness from
being in these lodges. His background as a Freemason and
supporter of the Revolution cannot be disputed. Modern
French Freemasons harbor no ill word for him even though
he made these claims, e.g., Ligou’s Dictionnaire de la Franc-
Maçonnerie (1987).
Cadet-Gassicourt’s last words to his book of 1796 are
poignant for our time:

What is the end of this horrible plot? I can see

the immense number of the guilty are
unknown to the police of the government, to
the legislative body....; in only a moment of
foolishness, we can lose everything.... They

Introduction 293
[i.e., the Templar revolutionaries] can put an
end to the general peace and interior calm by
revolution, and it will not cause any tears to
the enemies of liberty. (Tombeau, pg. 31.)
Cadet-Gassicourt was advising his country on the
secret engine which he was concerned would institute a revo-
lution, but not for a truly liberal cause.
So Cadet-Gassicourt had revealed the Templars cen-
tered in Paris became the catalyst organization of the Revolu-
tion (with training from the Illuminati). He said these
Templars twisted certain Freemason lodges toward violence.

Cadet-Gassicourt Discusses The Amis Reunis of Paris

The Templars had an ally in a Paris Freemason lodge
which called itself the Amis Reunis. Cadet-Gassicourt identi-
fies the key members of this Amis Reunis lodge at Paris, their
structure, and their specific role in overturning King Louis
XVI. He reveals the oath that each Amis Reunis Templar738
took to overthrow the throne of France.
In essence, Cadet-Gassicourt has revealed that this
lodge Amis Reunis had adopted the same plan unveiled at
Wilhelmsbad to overthrow France, as revealed in the mem-
oirs of Landgrave Karl von Hesse. (See page 298 et seq.)
Cadet-Gassicourt is consequently an important eyewitness to
the penetration of the Templars and Illuminati in France. He
is simply not knowledgeable enough to know how to distin-
guish one from the other.

738.While the Amis Reunis started out as a patented Grand Orient lodge,
it had in alliance with the Lyon Strict Observance (known as Cheva-
liers Bienfaisants) by incorporating a grade known as “Knight Tem-

Introduction 294
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Gassicourt In 1821 Later Expanded On His Views of 1796

Later around 1821, Cadet-Gassicourt left behind a
book that was a follow-up to Tombeau de Molai entitled
Ancient and modern initiates, following the Tomb of Jacques
Molai. In this posthumously-published work, Cadet-Gassi-
court defended his prior work Tombeau as based upon
“authentic proofs.”739 He repeated his criticism of the Illumi-
nati, relying for corroboration upon De Luchet who, like
Cadet-Gassicourt, was an initiate.740
Cadet-Gassicourt’s opinions in this Ancient and mod-
ern Initiates about the cause of the Great Fear in the summer
of 1789 had not softened since the Tombeau of 1796. Cadet-
Gassicourt said: “Explain to me by what means, if it was not
the espionage and correspondence and secrecy of the Illumi-
nati and their initiates, that the Duc d’Orleans appeared to
have influenced so many murders all at the same time, from
the random unhappiness of Normandy, Provence, Bretagne,
etc., all seemingly on the same day.”741

How Cadet-Gassicourt Was Introduced To The Initial Plans

In Initiates, Cadet-Gassicourt added further details on
how he was first introduced into these plans. His point of con-
tact was not precisely disclosed in Tombeau but here in Ini-
tiates he gives us the answer: “I received from the Marquis de
Grand742 a ticket to attend the lodge Contrat Social on Rue
Coqueron....”743 There Gassicourt says he met “Mirabeau,

739.Cadet-Gassicourt, Les initiés anciens et modernes, suite du “Tom-

beau de Jacques Molai.” Oeuvre posthume par le C. C. L. C. G. D. L.
S. D. M. B. C. D. V. (C.-L. Cadet de Gassicourt) (Paris: Marchands des
Nouveautes [18??]) at 10.
740.Cadet-Gassicourt, Les initiés, id., at 15, 20-22.
741.Id., at 24.
742.It is impossible to tell who this represents. The appellation Marquis
de Grand is one used not uncommonly by the French nobility of that
era. Perhaps it was an affectionate name for Lafayette.

Introduction 295
d’Aiguillon, d’Espremenil, Lally-Tolendal, etc., with the Duc
d’Orleans holding the lodge.” There he “received Cara-
man”744 — later creator of the National Guard for
(We must pause to note this Contrat Social lodge is
the one Mathiez said Nicolas de Bonneville served as the
controlling spirit. See page 166.)
At this lodge, Cadet-Gassicourt was told by Deleutre
— one of the creators of the early national guard at Paris on
July 13th, 1789746 — that “the true motive of this reunion
was to prepare the insurrection of the month of July [1789]
in concert with all the lodges.”747 It depended upon “seduc-
ing the two regiments and assuring the elections in
advance.”748 Then d’Orleans “made this a common plan
under the pretext of visiting the different lodges.”749

743.Cadet-Gassicourt, Les initiés anciens et modernes, suite du “Tom-

beau de Jacques Molai.” Oeuvre posthume par le C. C. L. C. G. D. L.
S. D. M. B. C. D. V. (C.-L. Cadet de Gassicourt) - [n.d., 18--] at 25.
744.Id., at 26.
745.Cadet-Gassicourt is writing of Count Caraman of whom it is noted:
“the bourgeois National Guard had been formed by the Comte de Car-
aman at Marseilles in July 1789.....” (Henry Morse Stephens, A History
of the French Revolution (1886) at 483.)
746.Louis Blanc lists Deleutre among those responsible on July 13, 1789
for a “seizure of sovereign power by a handful of electors or obscure
eschevins [which] was a strange blow of audacity.” These electors
assembled at the Hotel de Ville “in permanent committee” making a
decree to raise Parisian soldiery and form sixteen legions. Each soldier
was to identify themselves by a red and blue cockade. (Louis Blanc,
History of the French revolution of 1789 (Philadelphia: Lea & Blan-
chard, 1848) Vol. I at 514.) Other important names in this list of elec-
tors were the “Abbé Fauchet, Tassin...Saint Méry....” (Id., at 514 n.)
Some trickery was necessary. These electors had “announced falsely [to
the crowd] the existence of a bourgeois soldiery” and “to form this sol-
diery, and to weigh upon the people, became the great occupation of
the electors.” (Id., at 512.) Earlier that day, Virieu called for the
reswearing of the Tennis Court Oath, at which was heard the call for an
“establishment of a bourgeois militia....” (Id., at 510).

Introduction 296
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Cadet-Gassicourt in Initiates then comments on the

criticism he received for his book Tombeau:

I never suffered the folly of seeking to prove, by

what I wrote in Tombeau de Jacques Molai that
the initiates, the Freemasons, the Illuminati are
the only agents of the revolution; but they had
a great influence; and they prepared the first
events of the revolution; they founded the
Jacobins, which infected the assemblies of the
people, and most of the legislators, who, under
different names, are the same men; who served
constantly the same party, and were the parti-
sans of Orleans...The Jacobins, with enhanced
speed and a frightening scandal, felt that they
could keep what they stole, and thus put an
end to revolutionary shocks. They no longer
trusted to put power in the hands of a single
man, and took such [power] for their sect.750
Cadet-Gassicourt then cites writings he has seen
which were only first were written in 1817 — a few years
before Gassicourt’s own death of 1821 — memoirs left
behind by two former Illuminati, the Landgrave Karl von
Hesse (1744-1836) and Müller:

If the readers desire to acquire more evidence

of the initiates’ dangerous existence, the Illumi-
nati, the conspirators, etc., I seek to engage not
only Prince Charles of Hesse,... but also...the
citizen Muller,751 who loves humanity more

747.Cadet-Gassicourt, Les initiés anciens et modernes, suite du “Tom-

beau de Jacques Molai.” Oeuvre posthume par le C. C. L. C. G. D. L.
S. D. M. B. C. D. V. (C.-L. Cadet de Gassicourt) - [n.d., 18--] at 27.
749.Id., at 27.
750.Id., at 27-28.

Introduction 297
than Jacques Molai, and...[all these] are friends
of real justice and freedom....752
Thus, Cadet-Gassicourt proclaimed his continuing
conviction of the truth stated in his prior book Tombeau — an
initiate’s perspective from the very beginning. And he must
have written this near the time of his own death — November
1821 — because the memoir of which he speaks regarding
“Charles of Hesse” was left by Landgrave Karl von Hesse in
March 1817. This is discussed next.

Appendix M: Landgrave Karl of Hesse

In 1782, the Knights Templar Order met at Wilhelms-
bad in a congress hosted by Landgrave Karl von Hesse-Kas-
sel (1744-1836). A publisher named J.C. Bode, who recently
was recruited into the Illuminati, enlisted Karl von Hesse into
the Illuminati at the Wilhelmsbad Congress as alias Aaron.753

751.This is evidently a reference to Johannes von Müller (1752-1809), a

famous Swiss historian, who was an Illuminatus known as alias San-
choniaton. See Stefan Howald, Begegnungen mit Johannes von Müller.
Ein Lesebuch. hrsg. von Stefan Howald. In Zusammenarb (Göttingen:
Wallstein, 2003).The papers of Müller from 1792 revealed the nature
of a lodge from 1785. (See, Jörg Schweigard, Aufklärung und Revolu-
tionsbegeisterung (Doctoral Dissertation) (Norderstedt, Germany:
GRIN Verlag, 2007) at 76.) Müller was in Kassel from 1781-1783. “In
Kassel, Johannes Müller became a member of Illuminatenorden, an
association similar to Freemasonry.” (
Johannes_von_M%C3%BCller (translated from Italian.) “The fall of
the Bastille was hailed by Johannes von Müller....” (George F. E. Rudé,
Revolutionary Europe, 1783-1815 (Wiley Blackwell, 2000) at 150.)
752.Cadet-Gassicourt, Les initiés anciens et modernes, suite du “Tom-
beau de Jacques Molai.” Oeuvre posthume par le C. C. L. C. G. D. L.
S. D. M. B. C. D. V. (C.-L. Cadet de Gassicourt) - [n.d., 18--] at 29-30.
753.Francovich, Storia della Massoneria in Italia Dalle Origini alla Riv-
oluzione Francese, supra, at 347.

Introduction 298
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

In 1817, Karl von Hesse would write a memoir pub-

lished privately and then publicly in 1861 after his death that
revealed what happened at Wilhemsbad. He said the meeting
decided there to overthrow France. Karl went along with this
plan until after the Congress Bode revealed to him elements
of the Illuminati plan that he thought were troubling.

Role at The Templar Wilhemsbad Congress

Karl von Hesse’s knowledge of the Wilhemsbad Tem-
plar Congress came from being a co-host of the event. Wil-
hemsbad was a small town outside of Hanau. It was within
his domain.754 As a leading figure of Templarism as well as
the host of the Wilhelmsbad Congress, the man then known
as Landgrave Karl von Hesse (1744-1836) sat during the ses-
sions beside Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick — the head of the
Templar Order — at the Wilhemsbad Congress.

Prior Role of Karl von Hesse in France & With Templars

Karl von Hesse in 1773 at Paris co-founded the Rite
of Philalèthes at the Lodge Amis Réunis.755 In 1775, Karl
joined the Strict Observance (Templars) lodge in Den-
mark.756 In 1779, the Paris Amis Réunis although patented
by the Grand Orient (the licensing superior organization of
French Freemasonry) decided to ally itself with the Lyons
Templar Strict Observance known as the Chevaliers Bienfai-
sants. It did so by adding in 1779 a grade called Knight Tem-
plar adopted from the Lyons Templar lodge.

754.Hanau was under the sovereignty of the mother of Karl since 1760.
See “Autobiography of Charles of Hesse,” Littell’s Living Age (July-
Sept. 1866) Vol. II at 199. This article is another review of Karl von
Hesse’s memoir published in 1861.
755.Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of
the Illuminati (2009) at 332.
756.Melanson, Perfectibilists, supra, at 333.

Introduction 299
Brief Biography of Karl von Hesse
While the “name [Hesse] sounds German,... he was a
Dane, a man of great prominence, [a commander in] the Dan-
ish Army, a relative of the Danish King.”757 “For most of his
life, Charles lived in Gottorp Castle with his family. For sev-
eral years, he was royal governor and commanding general of
the twin duchies Schleswig-Holstein.”758 In 1805, Karl was
given the title Landgrave of Hesse by his elder brother, who
had assumed the higher dignity and titulary of Imperial
Karl von Hesse is not to be confused with his nephew,
Charles of Hesse, who travelled to Paris in 1790 and became
a Jacobin. Later Charles served as a general within the armed
forces of revolutionary France.759

Memoir of 1817
In 1817, as Karl von Hesse neared his 72th year, he
left an explanation of his life in the Illuminati in his handwrit-
ten memoirs. He learned at Wilhelmsbad of the plan to over-
throw France. Yet he had no problem in this until a year later
Bode revealed to him an Illuminati writing that he had to
return some days later. It represented the entire plan of the
Order. After studying it carefully, Karl regarded these plans
as contrary to religion and morality. Karl was not a Christian.
Rather, he was a serious follower of Egyptian mysteries then
in vogue, although he was an admirer of Jesus. But Karl saw
lessons in the Illuminati that would undermine religion and

757.Helene Petrovna Blavatsky, Theosophical Quarterly Magazine

(1931-1932) (2003 reprint) at 359.
758. (accessed 6/11/09).
759.No such exploits are mentioned as part of Karl’s biography. See http:/
/ Rather, these are the activi-
ties of Carl Constantin von Hessen-Rotenburg (1752-1821).

Introduction 300
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

morality. Thus, in 1817 Karl of Hesse explained that from at

least 1783 onward he had worked as an Illuminati leader
solely to undermine the Illuminati.
Karl von Hesse’s memoir was later privately pub-
lished by his long-time friend and loyal freemason, Mr. Ger-
ber.760 It was written/dictated by Karl in French in March
1817 and then published in 1861 at Copenhagen as Mémoires
de mon Temps dictés par S.A. Landgrave Charles, Prince de
Hesse (Copenhagen: J.H. Schultz, 1861).761
However, the memoir was familiar to masonic broth-
ers by at least 1821. For Cadet-Gassicourt who died in 1821
mentions in Ancient Initiates — a sequel to his Tombeau du
Molai — published posthumously762 that “additional evi-
dence” to support the connections he was drawing (i.e., the
Templars/Illuminati to the French Revolution) comes from
Karl von Hesse.763
At the same time, this book Mémoires de mon Temps
was not intended for the public. The Endinburgh Review
noted that the “book was printed for private circulation in a
very distinguished circle” but “for the honour of receiving a
copy we are indebted to the condescending kindness of an
illustrious personage at the Court of Denmark.” It added: “We
have reason to believe that no objection will be taken to the

760.On Gerber, the autobiography of Karl von Hesse, and this memoir
admitting to the Illuminati’s plans at Wilhelmsbad, see Saint-Rene
Taillandier, “Un Prince Allemand Du XVIII Siecle D’Apres des Mem-
oirs Inedits,” Revue des Deux Mondes (Jan. 1, 1866) 891, at 923 n. 1.
Gerber also wrote a book-length proposal for reform of Freemasonry
dedicated to Karl von Hesse. Id. at 923. Both Karl von Hesse and his
friend Gerber consistently displayed a life-long zeal to protect and pro-
mote Freemasonry, and never slandered the organization.
761.The original text is available through Gallica (and posted in the Rare
Book section of my website) or a reprint can be obtained via Amazon
in a print by Adamant Media Corporation in 2001.
762.“Charles Louis Cadet de Gassicourt,” Wikipedia (French).
763.See “Appendix L: Gassicourt From Inside Reveals Agencies Who
Caused The French Revolutions” on page 277.

Introduction 301
use we are about to make of it.”764 After a comprehensive
review, the Edinburgh Review found that the “most implicit
reliance may be placed in [Karl’s] accuracy and good faith.”

The Key Portion of The Memoir About the Illuminati

Karl von Hesse said in a memoir dated March 31,
1817 — beginning at page 136 of the Mémoires — the fol-
lowing about the Illuminati, the plan of a French Revolution
and the Wilhemsbad Congress:
[136] The year 1782 was fixed for a masonic convention at
Wilhemsbad. The Duke Ferdinand, the grand-superior of
the Order, had already spoken to me a couple of years ear-
lier, approving and desiring it quickly... It was decreed to
assemble... I had been grand master of two German prov-
inces, and of Italy, but I was able to make it a separate
province. [137] I am not permitted to say more about its
work. It will suffice to say that we infinitely sought to
improve the order, and a religious tendency began to
replace the preceding goals. At the same time, a new soci-
ety, formed in Germany, especially in Bavaria, was
named the Illuminati. Many of their leaders were at
Frankfurt and many gathered around also the city of
Hanau. They were able to gain most of the deputies [at
Wilhemsbad] to their system of iniquity which had much
in common with the principles of the Jesuits [N.B. he may
mean their strict discipline] and above all with Jacobin-
ism. It started out that there were a few proselytes amongst
the deputies, but they were able to gain over a great num-
ber. The next year, Bode came to see me at Kassel to talk
to me of this New Order, that is masked behind the first
degrees of Freemasonry. He began by saying that its aim
was to overthrow the Church and Thrones.765

764.Edinburgh Review (London: 1866) Vol. 251 (Jan.-April. 1866) at

484. A German edition was printed in 1866.
765.The sentence in the 1861 French version is: “Le commencement
paraissait mener au bien, la fin était la renversement de l’église et des

Introduction 302
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Bode was a strong honest man of very good intentions.

He gave me a notebook and said to me: “You see here a
system which may cause the misery of mankind if it falls
into bad hands; but governed by a man of sound under-
standing, it may also do much good. I place these papers in
your hands, being fully empowered by the Order, and you
must be one of the chiefs: it is the north of Germany, Den-
mark, Sweden, and Russia that will depend entirely on
He left the papers with me and he would return to take my
orders within a few hours. I spread out the papers as
promptly as I could, and prayed to God from the bottom of
my heart to guide me in an affair of such importance for
the good of the entire world. I saw very well what I would
do, and my first movement was to bear witness as to the
horrors that I found;767 but, moreover, I felt the evil
which could result from ambitious hands, egoists, like
Bode, who would put themselves above the law of reli-
gion and morals. I remained poised and responded to
Bode, when he returned [138] to me, about the question he
put to me: “Well! you have the papers! How do you find
them? Do you accept the charge of the office that is
offered you?”
From that point until the end, I accepted the charge, with
the customary condition that the highest grades of the
order of masonry would not enter without my permis-
sion. With this understanding, he responded that “you are
empowered to arrange everything as you find good.”
The name of the charge was called the National of the
North. This was a perfect plan for the introduction of

766.For this quote of Bode by Karl, the translation was taken from the
Edinburgh Review (London: 1866) Vol. 251 (Jan.-April. 1866) at 522.
767.The 1861 French version reads: “Je vis bientôt de quoi il s’aggisait, et
mon premier mouvement furt de témoigner, combien j’abhorrais les
horreurs qui s’y trouvaient.”
768.The original text reads, “C’était un plan parfait de l’introduction du

Introduction 303
I received a list of members, which still exists. They fortu-
nately were not strong, and then I returned to Denmark,
and I spoke with their leaders, taking each aside sepa-
rately. But, I say, none of them knew yet the highest grades
and did not know the ruinous goal where they were to be
drawn along. I instructed them that I had accepted the
title Chief of the North to arrest the progress of this mon-
strous society. God is my witness! It did not do well in the
North, because of the persecutions that began in Bavaria,
and Jacobinism did not take hold in Germany, as it did in
France, where I had already learned at Wilhemsbad that
it was planned to make a revolution.769
The Edinburgh Review simply summarizes this part.
It does so without noticing the amazing revelation it repre-
sented. The Review seemed to have no knowledge about the
significance of what Karl was saying. It even erroneously
said the Illuminati were “formed in Germany in 1782,”770
exposing that the reviewer of 1866 did not know much about
the Illuminati. Nor did the review understand the importance
of this memoir to unravel the origins of the French Revolu-
tion. The reviewer then blandly notes that the Illuminati told
Karl “their real object was revolution in church and state.”771
Despite mentioning that fact, the reviewer makes no mention
of how these facts would change the perception of the history
of the French revolutions of 1789 or 1792. The Edinburgh

769.These last two sentences read in the original: “Je les en instuisis, en
leur disant que je n’avais accepté d’être le chef du Nord, que pour
arrêter les progrès de cette monstreuse société. Dieu soit loué, elle ne
fit plus un pas dans le Nord, au moins de mon su. Les persécutions
commencèrent en Bavière, et le jacobinisme ne put prendre racine en
Allemagne, comme it fit en France, où j’appris déjà à Wilhemsbad
qu’on préméditait une révolution.” Mémoires de mon Temps dictés
par S.A. Landgrave Charles, Prince de Hesse (Copenhagen: 1861) at
770.Edinburgh Review (London: 1866) Vol. 251 (Jan.-April. 1866) at

Introduction 304
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Review ends the review by saying that Karl von Hesse “takes
credit for having thus checked the spread of Jacobinism in its
most baneful shape.”772

Karl von Hesse’s Revelation: Its French Reception

In November 1865 and January 1866, the Revue des
Deux Mondes analyzed the memoirs of Karl von Hesse. In the
January 1866 edition, it focused upon his revelation about
Wilhemsbad and the Illuminati. Its subtitle was “Charles de
Hesse et Les Illuminés.” Unlike the Edinburgh Review, this
reviewer knew the significance of the bombshell that Karl’s
memoir represented.773 The Revue des Deux Mondes then
provided extensive quotes from pages 136-138 of the Memoir
where Karl von Hesse speaks about the Illuminati, Wilhems-
bad, and the plan of revolution in France. It accepts this was
in fact written by Karl von Hesse.

773. Saint-Rene Taillandier, “Un Prince Allemand Du XVIII Siècle
D’Après des Mémoires Inédits [Part] II Charles de Hesse et Les Illu-
minés,” Revue des Deux Mondes (Jan. 1, 1866) at 891 et seq. The por-
tion dealing with quotes about the Illuminati begins on page 917-925 et
seq. You may read this article online from Gallica at http://cata- (accessed 11/30/
2008). I also posted a copy at the rare book section of my website at
Part I can also be found at Gallica. It is entitled Saint-Rene Taillandier,
“Un Prince Allemand Du XVIII Siècle D’Après des Mémoires Inédits
[Part] I. - Charles de Hesse et Frédéric II,” Revue des Deux Mondes
(Nov. 1, 1865) at 774 et seq. It can be retrieved via Gallica at: http:// I have also posted a copy at

Introduction 305
The Revue’s Factual Errors in the Biography
The Revue des Deux Mondes, however, suggested that
this memoir was Karl’s attempt to clear his name by the
Revue claiming Karl was once a Jacobin in revolutionary
France. The Revue says “in 1790 he caused to be inscribed his
name at the Club of the Jacobins.”774
However, the author of Deux Mondes was confusing
Landgrave Karl von Hesse (1744-1836) with Charles of
Hesse also known as Carl Constantin von Hessen-Rotenburg
(1752-1821). The latter went to France in 1790, and joined
the Jacobins, there becoming “known [in France] as Charles
of Hesse, and Citizen Hesse” due to his exploits with the
Jacobins. Later, Charles of Hesse became a military general
during the period of the Terror.775 Citizen Hesse was the
nephew of Landgrave Karl. He should not be confused with
the Landgrave himself.

Revue’s Mistaken Impression on The Religious Views of Karl

The Revue des Deux Mondes leads the reader to also
believe that Karl von Hesse was animated by a strong Chris-
tian belief-system. This is as wrong as the Revue’s erroneous
view that Karl von Hesse was the Jacobin Charles of Hesse.
Tallandier in the Revue said of Karl von Hesse:
He has a serious spirit, a religious soul,
strongly attached to Christian doctrines.776

774. Saint-Rene Taillandier, “Un Prince Allemand Du XVIII Siècle

D’Après des Mémoires Inédits [Part] I. - Charles de Hesse et Frédéric
II,” Revue des Deux Mondes (Nov. 1, 1865) at 775.
775.“Carl Constantin von Hessen-Rheinfels-Rotenburg,” Wikipedia (Ger-
man)(accessed 6/9/09). See also Arthur Chuquet’s book entitled Un
Prince Jacobin Charles de Hesse ou le Général Marat (A Jacobin
Prince Charles of Hesse or the General Marat) (1906).
776.Saint-Rene Taillandier, “Un Prince Allemand Du XVIII Siècle
D’Après des Mémoires Inédits [Part] I. - Charles de Hesse et Frédéric
II,” Revue des Deux Mondes (Nov. 1, 1865) at 775.

Introduction 306
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

The truth was different. While Karl admired Jesus,

Karl certainly was not attached to Christian doctrines in any
orthodox sense.

What Religious Views Motivated Karl von Hesse

What drove the Landgrave Karl von Hesse? Was it a
love for the Christian religion that he decided to keep a
watchful eye on the Illuminati, to break their negative influ-
ence? Not likely.
As the Edinburgh Review puts it, Karl von Hesse
explained that in 1824 he tried to start a “new church,” which
indeed did find members in Europe and America, which had a
“mystical interpretation of the Bible” but was “equally
removed from Protestant[ism] and Catholic[ism].”777 While
Karl von Hesse was a profound admirer of Jesus Christ, he
held a completely unorthodox faith.778 To found this new
church, Karl wrote a book entitled La Pierre Zodiacale du
Temple de Denderah expliquée par S. A. le Landgrave
Charles de Hesse (Copenhagen: 1824).779

777.Edinburgh Review (London: 1866) Vol. 251 at 523.

778.In his Memoirs dated 1817 but published in 1861, Karl revealed his
feelings about Jesus while speaking about his close friend, St. Ger-
main. This latter gentleman was a mystic who claimed he was hun-
dreds of years old and capable of healings. Karl wrote of St. Germain:
“His philosophical principles in religion were pure materialism, but he
knew that it was difficult to make a victorious argument; yet I had the
pleasure of often confounding him. [St. Germain was] not an admirer
of Jesus Christ, [but when] he allowed me a few words to speak in this
regard, I would say: ‘My dear Count, you are free to believe what you
want about Jesus Christ, but I can tell you frankly that you will find
great difficulty in holding me to speak against him, to whom I am
entirely devoted.” Quoted in Saint-Rene Taillandier, “Un Prince Alle-
mand Du XVIII Siecle D’Apres des Memoirs Inedits [Part] II Charles
de Hesse et Les Illuminés,” Revue des Deux Mondes (Jan. 1, 1866) at 905.
779.One can download this 95 page book through Biblio-
graphical details are found in Ida Augusta Pratt, Richard James Horatio
Gottheil, Ancient Egypt: Sources of Information in the New York Pub-
lic Library (New York Public Library, 1925) at 222.

Introduction 307
In this book, Karl von Hesse reveals a fascination
with the Zodiacal Monument from the Temple Dendera. The
French armies in 1798 took it from Egypt. It thereafter could
be seen at Paris. On the monument appeared Zodiac signs and
hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt. The Zodiac signs matched
those from the Greek era, raising questions of whether Zodiac
secrets have been handed down from Egypt to Greece, and
from Greece to our modern world. Karl von Hesse cited
excitedly the fact historians at the time believed the monu-
ment dated to 14,000 years prior to the Christian era.780 Karl
for years had studied “Egypt and its mystery cult.”781 In the
Preface, Karl makes the reader become excited with him
about the possibility that he has found in the hieroglyphics on
this monument the ancient “sacred” secrets of Egypt. Karl
von Hesse then traced each hieroglyphic with precision for
his reader’s attention.782 This was a serious effort. Karl cited
major text books on interpreting the hieroglyphics on the
monument to support his understandings.783
While his work was quite scholarly, with many draw-
ings and citations to studies of ancient Egypt, it turned out
that his book had a major flaw. Investigators much later
proved that this monument found in Egypt dated to the
Roman era, and thus there was no link between that temple
monument and ancient Egypt. Thus, the “Greek signs of the
Zodiac had been transported to Egypt” rather than having a
more ancient legacy in Egypt itself.784
Yet, Karl’s seriousness on this issue, and elaborate
investigation, was worthy of a man of letters.

780.Charles of Hesse, La Pierre Zodiacale du Temple de Denderah expli-

quée par S. A. le Landgrave Charles de Hesse (Copenhagen: 1824) at
781.Id., at 4.
782.Id., at 4-5.
783.Id., at 7-8.
784. Karl Baedeker, Paris and Environs (Leipzig, 1884) at 182.

Introduction 308
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

More important, this proves the effort of Karl von

Hesse to combat the Illuminati from within was not to serve
conservation of the old order of things, in particular the
Christian system. Rather, Karl must have seen the Illuminati
as contrary to religion and morality which he believed as part
of his own eclectic outlook. In light of Karl’s very atypical
religious outlook, he must have meant the Illuminati were
inspiring principles that undermined religion and morality,
e.g., their Machiavellianism.
Thus, it is very clear that Karl’s opposition to the Illu-
minati did not have to do with his regard for Christianity.
Rather, it had to do with his speculative spirit that sought
answers in the secrets of Egypt yet apparently eclectically
merged with some admiration for Jesus. It was wholly mis-
leading to tell the readers of the Revue that Karl von Hesse
was “strongly attached to Christian doctrines.”

Karl of Hesse was a believer in an esoteric new age
religion yet who was concerned about the Illuminati’s

Appendix N: Condorcet’s 1789 View on

Tyranny, Equality & Property
Condorcet in an essay Idées Sur Le Despotisme from
1789 writes in pertinent part:
[164] Do not confound despotism with tyranny. Despotism
is the use and abuse of illegitimate power, a power that
does not emanate from the representatives of the nation.
Tyranny is the violation of a natural right exercised by a
power whether legitimate or illegitimate.
Suppose you had a well-ordered republic, where the repre-
sentatives of the people equally opposed the establishment
of new laws and forced the reform of old ones...but sup-
pose...that they made in this republic penal laws against

Introduction 309
heretics, and brought against them as capital crimes the
charges of sacrilege or blasphemy....This is not despotism,
but tyranny.
[165] The only way to prevent tyranny, that is to say the
violation of natural rights, is to put together all rights in a
declaration,...and establish that the legislative power in
whatever form it is instituted cannot transgress any of
these articles.
The declaration of rights is not only to restrain the joys of
the eyes, but also to see less laws and less complexity, and
to make disappear arbitrary dispositions that defigures all
XIX [166]
The natural right of man are: 1. security and liberty of the
person; 2. The security and liberty of property; and 3.
The last of these rights needs explanation. Equality is a
natural right that exists among men. It excludes all ine-
quality which is not necessary by the rights of men and of
things, and which are an arbitrary work of social institu-
tions. Thus, for example, the inequality of riches is not
contrary to natural right; it necessarily follows from the
right of property, as it flows from the free right to use
property, and due to liberty one might accumulate indefi-
But such inequality can become contrary to natural right if
it is due to the work of a positive law, such as a law that
accords a much greater portion [to one over another]...
Consider, when superiority is charged by a function in the
eyes of another where one is naturally subordinate by
means of this function, it is not contrary to natural right.785

785.Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet, “Essay on Despotism,

1789,” Œuvres de Condorcet (Ed. Arthur O'Connor, François Arago)
(Paris: 1847) Vol. 9 at 164-166.

Introduction 310
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Appendix O: Sur Le Subsistances (1793)

The Cercle Social of Bonneville published in 1793 a
book by Jacques-Antoine Creuzé-Latouche (1749-1800) enti-
tled Sur les subsistances. The publication details on the face
page are as follows:
Sur les subsistances par J[acques] A[ntoine]
Creuzé-Latouche, Député du Départment de la
Vienne, à la Convention Nationale. A Paris.
chez les directeurs de l’impr. du Cercle social.
The author refers, however, internally that it was writ-
ten in December 1792. (Id., at 15.)
This work demonstrates that Bonneville’s Cercle
Social was opposed to talk of a maximum price on goods as
the Committee of Public Safety would later decree in Sep-
tember 1793 by Robespierre’s fiat.787
Prior to that time, the Cercle Social successfully sup-
ported liberty of trade as the better cure to price fluctua-
tion.788 It did so again effectively in this book Sur les
Subsistances. Like Bonneville’s own writings, the author
makes a studious use of historical examples from the past of
France under kings Henry IV and Louis XIV, as well as under
Turgot. His proof was from history: every time the liberty-of-
commerce system was allowed to be used, it worked. Only
when memories faded, and ignorance, barbarism and despo-
tism took over, the royal despots interfered in the freedom of
commerce in foods again, and scarcity resulted.

786.This can be downloaded from Gallica at

787.See Footnote 792 on page 314.
788.During the 1789-1791 period, there was a move to abolish the king’s
interference with trade, adopting laissez-faire economics. See http:// (accessed 6/16/09).

Introduction 311
Jacques-Antoine Creuzé-Latouche was an economist,
academician, and member of the Institute of France. As a leg-
islative deputy during 1792-1793, Creuzé-Latouche, like
other Brissotins-Cercle Social members, refused to vote for
the death of the king. After Robespierre’s fall, he “took an
active part in the reaction after the 9th of Thermidor,” i.e., the
reversal of the policies of Robespierre.789 Creuzé-Latouche
was a leading member of the Council of 500 (the new legisla-
ture). Later he favored Napoleon’s coup of 18th Brumaire.790
Creuzé-Latouche’s wife was the daughter of the Rolands —
other major players in the Cercle Social.
The translation of key portions of his work on Subsist-
nces is as follows:
[5] Citizens, you have been alarmed to the extreme over
your subsistances (foods). You seek, without fault, to find
out what is the cause of this affliction. You seek to find out
where this is coming from. And you do not see that it is
coming from a single place.
I wish to show you where comes these errors that are mak-
ing you unhappy. I will point out the evil laws [being pro-
posed] which are meant for your good, but which have
proven [before] to be fatal to you. I will expose the actions
and events which have led to very confused ideas; and I
hope to show you clearly the remedy of your pains, which
is entirely at your disposition.
[6] I will commence by reassuring you about the quantity
of food which can be found in the interior of the country.
[Economic details and productivity are then summarized].
[7] These facts prove that France has enough to nourish
you. ****
[8] The exports to foreign countries which the government
permits when there are good years proves equally that in
the good years, France has an excess enough to make

789.“Jacques Antoine Creuzé-Latouche,”


Introduction 312
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

[9] Agriculture has been improved by artificially creating
fields; there is an error in the public mind, especially those
who live in cities, that these fields diminish productivity.
[10] The artificial prairies renews the usable land.
After three years, the production of villages has increased
by the effect of abolishing the right of the hunt (droit de
chasse), and also of the capitaineries791....
[14] You accuse the merchants of the villages [for the cur-
rent shortages]....But you perceive what is really going on
and what is causing this great distress? It was the same in
1789. The merchants of the villages were troubled,
denounced, menaced, pursuing all heads. Many lost their
fortunes, and others their lives....You are now in the same
state as in 1789.
A great number of citizens know this truth.
[15] But they actually take from the cultivators, accusing
them of not wanting to sell, and wanting [instead] to do
[17] You have been persuaded that the unlimited freedom
of commerce in grains is an evil...and you demand to
repress [the same liberty] by the most severe laws, and
you believe this will force cultivators to sell to you....792
Oh my! The same laws were tried by our ancient kings,
and by legislatures over three centuries, and anyone can
observe it never made the people more unhappy.

791.“The Capitaineries were a dreadful scourge on all the occupiers of

land. By this term is to be understood the paramountcy of certain dis-
tricts, granted by the king to princes of the blood, by which they were
put in possession of the property of all game, even on lands not belong-
ing to them.” (Arthur Young, Travels During the Years 1787, 1788 and

Introduction 313
You have to ask your fathers about the misery caused
thereby which the latter years of King Louis XIV prove.
The villages were never more tyrannized than under his
reign, [18] and famines were never more frequent.
In 1669, the king made a law which prohibited commerce
in grain unless permitted by the magistrates, and this was
entered in the public registries. It caused commerce to take
place only by means of a very few people....At the same
time, the magistrates exercised all sorts of persecutions
against the merchants of the villages...and your fathers can
attest there were caused all sorts of... famines within the
latter years of that unhappy reign.
You have no doubt heard the opposite spoken of the reign
of Henry IV793 as only a good time that was transmitted in
the memory of our fathers.
King Henry IV was...[19] jovial [yet] was ambitious and a
despot...and had very bad morals.
But as miracles happen, Henry IV had a minister named
Sully who was a man intractable to the vampires in the
Court [of the king], and he worked for the good of the peo-
ple....You can judge Sully as the friend of the people by
how much taxes [tailles] were reduced.

792.What Creuzé-Latouche feared became a decree of Robespierre’s

Committee of Public Safety (CPS) in September 1793. “The Law of
the Maximum was a law created during the course of the French Revo-
lution as an extension of the Law of Suspects on 29 September 1793.
Its purpose was to set price limits, deter price gouging, and allow for
the continued flow of food supply to the people of France.” (“General
maximum,” Wikipedia (2009).) However, there was an ulterior purpose
in the CPS issuing this decree: “In creating the General Maximum,
Robespierre shifted the attention of the French people away from gov-
ernment involvement in widespread shortages of money and food to a
fight between consumers and merchants....With the General Maxi-
mum, Robespierre offered the people an answer regarding whom to
blame for their poverty and their hunger.” (Id.)
793.“Henry de Bourbon (Pau, 13 December 1553 – Paris, 14 May 1610),
ruled as Henry III, King of Navarre, from 1572 to 1610, and as Henry
IV, King of France, from 1589 to 1610.” (“Henry IV of France,” http://

Introduction 314
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

This man knew that the abundance of food would only

come by liberty of commerce in grain and agriculture, so
he favored agriculture and the commerce of grains. He
gave the most unlimited liberty in commerce which all
the ancient ordinances, made by barbarous tyrants, had
rendered it almost impossible to engage in. Yet, these
[state-interventionist laws] returned after Sully under King
Louis XIV who himself [made] the reversal, to the unhap-
piness of the people, his work the product of ignorance
and barbarism.
[20] You ignorant and perfidious men, you dissent from
the Constituent Assembly having decreed the liberty of
commerce in grains, and you declare this liberty evil since
you are not at your happiest.
But this reasoning is an evil belief.
You recall the violence, the prescriptions, the assassina-
tions against the merchants of the villages during 1789.
Recall the fear and hatred made all citizens stop com-
[21] There was an explosion of violence in 1792....[A]nd
while the liberty of commerce can be found in the laws of
the Constituent Assembly and Legislative Assembly, this
liberty was not able to be achieved and realized in fact.
[25] In 1774, after the death of King Louis XV, Turgot was
minister. He gave liberty to the commerce in grains. He
made this liberty whole and unlimited by an express law
of 1778 was a great hail, and yet the law of
Turgot was maintained, and each year the prices moder-
ated, and this continued with very few variations except
when there were accidents or bad harvests in some years.
...But you should also know that it was minister Turgot
who besides wanting a complete liberty of the commerce
in grains also wanted to suppress the corvées and was one
of the first to [recommend] provincial assemblies which
would...restore sovereignty to the nation [i.e., the people].

Introduction 315
[26] [F]or this he was chased from the Court [of the king]
because he wanted to defend the liberty of the people and
abolish fiefs [i.e., serfdom].

Appendix P: Gallica Links to

Bonneville’s Works
For those wishing to do more research on Bonneville,
the following are links to his works at Gallica:
• [Le] nouveau code conjugal, établi sur les bases de la Constitu-
tion, et d’après les principes et les considérations de la loi... /
par N. Bonneville
• [Le] vieux tribun du peuple: année 1789 (-1790) / (par N. de
• De l’esprit des religions. / par Nicolas Bonneville http://gal-
• Appendices de la seconde édition de l’ ‘Esprit des religions.’ /
[par Nicolas de Bonneville]
• [Les] poésies / de Nicolas Bonneville
• [L’]année mille sept cent quatre-vingt-neuf ou Les tribuns du
peuple / par N. de Bonneville
• [L’] hymne des combats: hommage aux armées de la Répub-
lique / par Nicolas de Bonneville
• [Les] Jésuites chassés de la maçonnerie et leur poignard brisé
par les maçons / Nicolas de Bonneville
• Nicolas Bonneville, électeur du département de Paris, aux véri-
tables amis de la liberté

Introduction 316
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

• Lettre de Nicolas de Bonneville, avocat au Parlement de Paris à

M. le marquis de Condorcet

Appendix Q: Sylvain Maréchal’s

Corrective to the Revolution
Kropotkin, the famous Russian communist from 1909
explained that Maréchal believed in 1793 in what “we
describe now as anarchic communism....”794 However, the
correct name is libertarian communism. The goal was not to
have any governing authority at all. Rather, it was to abolish
the state. In various such utopias, it is always necessary to
propose instead a category of administrators who have no
legislative or executive power except to receive and then
redistribute the common foodstuffs produced in community.
Knigge called these persons the elders. Weishaupt called
them the patriarchs. Maréchal opted to call them the fathers
of families. They are synonyms for the same thing. These
ideas were explained in the Correctif which we now provide
excerpts in its most unvarnished form.

Correctif á la Révolution (1793) — Translation

[Poem before title page]
“All our unhappiness is due to Society. Man lost his rights
to happiness From the moment a criminal hand substituted
a code in place of a paternal voice.” Sylvain Maréchal
[Title page]:
Correctif á la Révolution
A Paris
Chez les Directeurs de l’Imprimerie du

794.Petr Alekseevich Kropotkin, The Great French Revolution, 1789-

1793 (N.Y.: Putnam, 1909) at 489.

Introduction 317
Cercle Social
Subject of the Work [Page prior to page 1]
To examine whether a family would be better governed
and happy under the eye of a father instead of thousands of
families under the sceptre of a single man or the fasces
[les faisceaux]795 of the many.
Correctif a la Révolution
[1] There are three sorts of tyrannies which assemble over
the heads of men:
The despotism of the one. The despotism of the many. The
despotism of all.
The first of these three represents a yoke which is less dif-
ficult to conceal, [such as]...Caesar of Rome, Charles I of
London, and Louis XVI at Paris. The only need is the
The despotism of the many is not beyond reproach. Can
not the people fail to place reason in the Senate? Despo-
tism exists if everywhere Society is being torn apart by a
violence which [if unchecked] will destroy it, and thus the
Many can push the nation just as much toward despo-
tism as the single one.
Liberty is not found in any one of these three systems. [2]
She flees the great affairs of men. [Instead, liberty] lives
more happily in an isolated family, governed by the oldest.
Any other government is fleeting. We therefor are speak-
ing of a patriarchal government.
II. Hey! How did civil society get turned around to the
profit of [some] men? It is an impure origin. The first
ambitious man was its founder. It was no doubt a single

795.This word has many possible meanings, including metaphorical ones.

There is an entire article in Wikipedia to explain these variations. See (2009). The fasces of Rome is its
origin. The fasces was a bundle of sticks tied together by string. This
was “the symbol of authority of the magistrates of the Roman repub-
lic.” (Id.) Here, I believe in context Maréchal in fact meant the fasces
— drawing a parallel between the sceptre of one and the fasces of the
many rulers — because the parallelism then best fits.

Introduction 318
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

man, a child of crime, and without parents...who severed

the carcass of nature who created...the basis of slavery.
[3] V. The first society of all was truly a mother and a
father and their child.....
[4] But the association of mother and child could not be
prolonged, and the child left his mother. It was there in the
state of nature, of the savage, where disappeared the pasto-
ral condition. It is there that nations, civilizations began
[out of the first society]. Thus, the first society was
invented and indebted to the love of the mother, a pure
source...without abuse or excess.
VI. “Man is born in society and there he lives,” says Mon-
[To the contrary] man is not born in society, but is born for
society, and for the most part lives as a prisoner in a dun-
Man is born within a family, and in it he ought to live and
die, without carrying
[5] his vistas and horizons farther than the paternal roof.
[However], it would be a worse existence if the mother
and father did not allow their child to enter into society,
and become known. It is at that point the child ought to
pick a companion [i.e., a mate].
...The child man doesn’t have need other than one com-
panion....Is it necessary to be happy to connect...with an
association of numerous people? ****
[6] I have read with sorrow about the history of govern-
ments that [start] as the most soft, the most natural and
[provide] the most dignity to men but then give birth to the
most absurd and revolting end. Nothing is more reason-
able than a family obeying its head. Most families that
get together find it simple to maintain this hierarchy. One
can see that a different thing is involved between ruling
over one’s family than is involved in ruling over others. A
father, while striking his children, will restrain himself.
[However], the scepter of a king inclines toward arbitrary
power, which does not fall only on foreigners.

Introduction 319
[8] The savage man is a man of reason.
XI. ***
The father of a family living with his children inside a
house allows him a better place to nourish himself and his
own. Behold, the most excellent man!
The savage is informed.
The city-dweller is deformed.
[9] It seems Moses was right by placing Adam within a
forest...It was not a place with walls for a city all com-
plete. He encountered his companion in the Garden of
It can also be noted that the innocent Abel was not given
the honor of creating civilization. Instead, it was his fratri-
cide brother Caine who invented towns and the art of mur-
XII. ****
Man is born at the same time for liberty and sociability....
[10] The legislators ought to find a most just balance
between the Rights of Man and his duties....Unhappily,
too often rights are sacrificed for duties....Man without
compromising his Liberty and without lessening his
duties to sociability can achieve both ends by obeying his
father, and not others....All was lost when man consented
to obey anyone other than his father....[This created] disso-
nance, a rivalry
[11] and resulted in all the disorders of civil society.
XIII. [Next came the epoch when people formed govern-
The forms of government are susceptible in themselves to
abuse and excess as they were from their first foundation.
[12] Mankind has tried every possible form of govern-
ment....He ought to realize that he was happiest when rest-
ing among his own family, when he knew no other
master than his father, when he knew no other laws than

Introduction 320
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

his father’s orders, when he knew no other religion than

filial piety. He enjoyed the sure protection against the hand
of his father by a love from instinct and duty, and from
need and dependence. I am persuaded that a father has a
capacity to love any number of his infants while a king or
a senate does not have the means to govern millions of
individuals who poorly know [13] their rights under their
similar [looking] faces. [Lit. eyes]. ****
[14] Wasn’t man happiest and wisest under the patri-
archs796 or fathers of families than under kings or sena-
tors? But you may say...this does not apply to a great
flourishing nation. What a good time! It’s very good!
Renounce these great associations in order to be happy,
and gather in small numbers.
XVIII. Simplicity is the distinctive character
[15] of nature...Nature does not direct that man’s birth was
for a society larger or more complicated that his own fam-
[16] If you ask the inhabitants of towns, they would tell
you that man was not born for a society so vast and com-
plicated as that which surrounds them. It is only the consti-
tution of nature which protects the human spirit.
[20] Few of the vices, I ought to speak about, a few of the
crimes which have injured humanity is the love of country
which has been turned into an [21] heroic virtue. The love
of country represents for the human race the same thing as
the exclusive love for one-self,[i.e.] for each individual [of
the nation]. At the root of this is egoism.
The love of one’s country does not exist within nature.
There is no natural point at which a mother rejoices at the
loss of her son, caused by a death in a dispute over terri-
tory. The severity of Manlius was an atrocious heroism.

796.This is identical to Weishaupt’s language. The patriarchs for the 350

years after Moses died was a libertarian society with no central author-
ity. See “Appendix V: Was Weishaupt Influenced Toward Libertarian
Communism by the Bible?” on page 356 et seq.

Introduction 321
The patriotic virtue is the worst of virtues....It does not
withstand the cold composure of reason. Such heroes
always have a fever. The pulse of a wise man is always
calm [lit. regulated/under control].
[22]...All was lost when men imagined inequality of for-
tune and its condition. It was society which comforted
them....[23] The civilized man wants to throw away the
plan of nature. Nature has made the great and the small,
the weak and the strong. Politics tries to correct where it
also believes there are some weak and some strong, some
small and some great, but it does so by an inverse reason
than Nature provides. It requires a perpetual shock, a gen-
eral conflict. The victims of society then call out for help
to Nature.
[25] The man in a family is reasonable.
The men in society become argumentative.
The man in a family lives peaceably.
The men in society are quarrelsome.
The man in a family conserves natural virtue.
The men in society are artificial.
XXXI. ****
Political people talk with pity about barbarous nations that
live without any form of government, without law, with-
out religion, without talents, and without luxury. But the
combat of gladiators...was suffered by sensible
[26] the time of Augustus.
[28] ‘The person of kings and queens is sacred.’ You are
dupes if you believe this saying.
[30] But the moment man was advised to destroy the per-
fect equality which reigned among us was when someone
had the fantasy to establish a distinction between the two
of us. A good accord was destroyed.

Introduction 322
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

[31] It is natural for man to live in a society of his parents

and friends. It is not natural for men to live in a society of
many thousands who seem to be in a group. A large asso-
ciation is not at all necessary for man.... [32] Civil society
is not the work of nature. Marriage is a natural right.
Paternal authority, the filial subordination is a natural
right. But the form of a monarchy, republican or mixed,
is the work of corrupt argumentative men.
[38] One of the first effects of a reorganization would be to
make the magistry useless.... [In its place] is the domestic
magistracy which will take on the same public functions
but would then become trivial.
[42] In a civil society, the only two alternatives are peace
and war.... A warrior people...finds in its interior that the
arts and commerce die. Agriculture languishes. The popu-
lation suffers the losses of war.
[47] LVI. “That which brings also carries away.” Let’s
make an application of this thirteenth proverb of Lok-
man.797 Society, under the pretext of bringing you secu-
rity of the person, also takes away your personal liberty.
[65] It is absurd to subject millions of men to the same
regime. That is, to make them submit to the same law, a
common law among thousands of individuals who each
have peculiarities, which should be modified according to
their respective characters....Man, to exist happy and wise,
ought to abide in his family. A social pact is too vague for
him. There is a necessity of exceptions and contractions.
All a man needs is the family pact.
[67] Charity, properly ordered, begins with the individual

797.El Hakim Lokman (or Luqmân), a contemporary of King David, was

an Ethiopian slave who became famous as an Arabian philosopher and
fable-story teller.

Introduction 323
Political economy is like medicine. The simplest remedies
are the healthiest. You will observe the opposite with a
medication composed of a long list of drugs very difficult
[68] to take one after the other.
It challenges you even within a republic if the interior
police can charge you under laws without number, [and
you need to be concerned about] defenses, injunctions, etc.
This either proves the ignorance of the leaders or their bad
intentions. They are charlatans who want you to turn
over to them your necessities, so as to make it that you
cannot exist with out them.
XCI. It is astonishing that all the governments of the world
are defective, and leave so much to desire. ****
[70] It is still true now. Chiefs over opinions and party
agitators are more to be feared perhaps in a republic
than despots in a monarchy. They monopolize the first
XCII. Civil society and politics are not permanent condi-
tions of the human race. Perhaps a certain modification to
it will allow us to pass into a place of perfectibility. It is a
kind of rough novitiate we have to endure so as to acquire
the proper light which will then clarify the true situation
which is conducive to man.
[78] The paternal authority, or the patriarchal government
is what properly belongs to man; it [already] reigns over
the earth to its farthest extent, encompassing most people,
most of the ancients....and according to the expression of
Montesquieu...[all] inhabitants respect their fathers....The
Chinese maintain the most proper subordination to them
out of respect for their fathers....
[79] The Chinese, born pacific, laborious and serious, are
perhaps the most admirable nation in all the earth, if it pre-
vents business [Fr. commerce]. Business [Fr. commerce],
the love of civil society, they made to decrease, as it
blames nearly all vices on it. It has degraded this nation,
and rendered her entirely unlike what she ought to be
according to her moral books.798

Introduction 324
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

[93] Without a general change, without a universal reform,

one cannot hope to purge civil society of all the abuse that
swarms about her. They persist despite all the palliatives
which have been administered!
[94] One ought to...take the hatchet to the roots. In vain
do you seek to modify the monarchical or republican gov-
ernments. In vain do you draw a distinction between abso-
lute power and arbitrary power, the legislative power, and
the executive power. The people have passed to other mas-
[106] The reversal of scandalous laws are the most holy
of humanity, which becomes necessary and indispensable
under a social regime....
[108] A citizen, upon arriving at the age of reason, ought
to assemble before all the people, and declare publicly
against all the laws both civil and religious of the coun-
try where he was born. He ought to have the freedom to
renounce his country or to adopt it with knowledge of the
reason after receiving a full account of its respective inter-
[113] The diversity of governments is not an argument in
favor of the institution of society. The fathers of families
have but one manner of governing children.
[114] Our nephews are indignant when they realize that
France has already arrived at the fourth year since the Rev-
olution and it has not yet established a primary school.

Maréchal & The Conspiracy of Equals

In 1795, about two thousand political prisoners began,
as they were released, what later was called the Conspiracy of

798.Maréchal apparently mens that China believed it cannot tolerate busi-

ness/commerce without degrading their morals.

Introduction 325
The leader was Babeuf, a member since 1790 of the
Cercle Social of Bonneville, and appointed by Bonneville as
a staff writer in April 1793. (Billington: 72-73.) As a result,
this conspiracy is sometimes also called The Conspiracy of
Babeuf.800 Members included Felix Lepelletier, Antonelle,
Darthé, Maréchal (Cercle Social), Debon and Buonarroti.801
They divided Paris in districts. In “each were workers and
reporters who engaged in propaganda.”802 Only an interme-
diary knew the names of the seven chiefs of the committee of
insurrection — a general agent named Didier.803 The com-
mittee’s Declaration of Rights, Article 1, said that “Nature
has given to every man an equal enjoyment of all goods.”804

The Political Goals of The Conspiracy of Equals

The first version of their political program was writ-
ten by Cercle Social member Sylvain Maréchal (1750-1803).
In April 1796, Sylvain Maréchal wrote a work entitled the
Manifeste des egaux [The Manifesto of Equals].805 This
Manifesto of Equals was “scattered broadcast among the peo-
ple,” and tracts “were distributed in large numbers.”806 The
Manifesto of Equals “is one of the most powerful works in
politics ever written.”807

799.Babeuf was imprisoned in 1795. “He improved the opportunity to

establish a connection with Darthé, Buonarroti, and other Jacobins and
Terrorists, of whom there were nearly two thousand in the same
prison.” (Richard Theodore Ely, French and German Socialism in
Modern Times (Harper, 1883) at 32.)
800.Ely, supra, at 32.
801.Ely, supra, at 32.
802.Ely, supra, at 32.
803.Ely, supra, at 32.
804.Ely, supra, at 34.
805.This was wrongly attributed sometimes to Babeuf.
806.Ely, supra, at 33.

Introduction 326
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Later, however, it was rejected internally supposedly

because followers did not like the fact Maréchal argued:
“Perish, if need be, all the arts as long as we have real equal-
Regardless, among Babeuf’s papers found after his
execution was a declaration that reads very much like
Maréchal’s communistic ideas:
We aim at something far more equitable, more sublime:
goods in common or the community of estates! No more
individual proprietors in land; for the earth belongs to
nobody. We demand, and will enjoy, the goods of the earth
in common. The fruits belong to all.
Disappear now, ye disgusting distinctions of rich and
poor, of high and low, of master and servant, of governors
and governed! For no other distinctions shall exist among
mankind, than those of age and sex.809
This is clearly a libertarian communist manifesto, just
like that of Maréchal. No governed. No governors. No
Similarly, an exchange in 1795 between Babeuf and
his friend Charles Germain proves again it is libertarian com-
munism which is contemplated. Babeuf’s closest associate in
the Conspiracy of Equals was Germain. They met in January
1795 at Les Orties prison. In a letter exchange that has sur-
vived, Germain replies to Babeuf about the “agrarian code”
that Babeuf advocated. (Babeuf’s preceding letter has been
lost.) In Germain’s reply letter, he says that there must be a
distribution of current land to individuals and then “the meld-
ing of such individual holdings into the ‘common domain,’

807.Busky, id., at 63.

808.Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto and other revolutionary writ-
ings (ed. Robert Blaisdell) (Courier Dover Publications, 2003) at 93 fn.
809.James Burton Robertson, Lectures on Some Subjects of Modern His-
tory and Biography (Kelly, 1864) at 481 citing Barruel, Memoires of
Jacobinism (London) Vol. IV.

Introduction 327
with cultivation directed for the good of all and the ultimate
aim complete equality through the equal distribution of the
products of the soil.”810
Germain’s idea is again completely consistent with a
non-socialist libertarian communism.811
Babeuf replied in a 5000 word letter, and this letter
survived. Rose says this “was a first draft of a public mani-
festo.” Babeuf added arguments, and did not disagree with
Germain. Babeuf said that current commerce exploits the pro-
ductive majority — their arms are set in motion “without
those who move them receiving the intended fruits.”812 With
communism, the pernicious aspect of commerce is removed.
Babeuf said that all would work for the “common
storehouse” to which they would send the produce of their
individual labor.813
Again, nothing is said that this signifies giving the
goods to the state. Rather, individuals are to give it to the peo-
ple’s own storehouse in order to share in common — quite
the OPPOSITE of a socialist state. Then in return, each citi-
zen would receive “every necessary” item of consumption.
Those who are aged, poor or invalid would likewise be enti-
tled to share equally as a “debt to humanity.” All this implies
is the need for administrators to keep track of what deposits
and debits are proper from the common storehouse.

810.R. B. Rose, Gracchus Babeuf (Stanford University Press, 1978) at

811.Rose, like many others, wishes to read more into Germain’s ideas to
fit modern concepts. So he says: “the clear implication of Germain’s
letter is that ultimately both agriculture and industry were to be cen-
trally organized, administered and directed.” (Rose, Gracchus Babeuf,
supra, at 192.) Yet, there is nothing explicit in that regard. There is
nothing socialist ever stated. The dream was somehow this would
operate with complete liberty.
812.Rose, Gracchus Babeuf, supra, at 190.
813.Rose, Gracchus Babeuf, supra, at 192.

Introduction 328
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

What proves this is libertarian is that Germain had

argued, in Rose’s summary:
even the rich would come to see the advantages of merg-
ing their private fortunes in an egalitarian common-
wealth. Such fortunes, after all, were impermanent, and
provided no guarantee of the future happiness of their
descendants to match that offered by the new society.
Developing the same theme, Babeuf argued that the provi-
sion of security for children and dependents would have a
powerful moral effect on society. Individuals would no
longer feel driven to accumulate private wealth and would
be able to reconcile themselves readily to the regime of
absolute equality.814
Hence, this passage lets us know the Conspiracy did
not envision expropriating the wealth of the rich. The distri-
bution of land did not mean necessarily seizing land from
anyone. In France, like most countries, dividing up land did
not necessarily require expropriation of large estates. There
was plenty of open land to give to the poor. What Babeuf and
Germain appear to envision is dividing up the common lands,
parks, etc., and ending distinctions of governor and gov-
erned. Simple administers would maintain storehouses for
goods to swap food for other supplies. The rich would still
exist but they would see the benefits of this system, and enroll
in the communist Republic so that their family’s future gener-
ations would benefit from the social security which such
communism provides. Hence, this is libertarian communism,
not socialistic communism.
Rose concurs that Babeuf and Germain were “less
than specific about the details” of who would be “responsible
for organizing the collection and distribution of the produce
of the community.”815 Rose says that Babeuf thought in
terms of an administration of the “great storehouse” or “great

814.Rose, Gracchus Babeuf, supra, at 192.

815.Rose, Gracchus Babeuf, supra, at 193.

Introduction 329
workshop.” However, this must be read in light of Babeuf’s
plan that there was no more “governor and governed.” Hence,
this administration is not governmental at all.
This is also implied from the fact Babeuf, Rose notes,
“specifically allowed for ‘governmental industry’ as an
acceptable contribution to the common good.”816 Babeuf
thus could not be imagining the government administered the
entire system because Babeuf instead envisioned the govern-
ment being permitted to exist so as to contribute toward the
common good along with the communist storehouses of the
people. Obviously, in time, just like the rich would enroll in
the new system and disappear as a class, Babeuf likely imag-
ined that government would enroll in the new system and
similarly disappear. Otherwise, the goal of no more governed
and no more governors could not be achieved.

Buonarroti and the Analysis of the Doctrine of Babeuf

Thirty years later, Buonarroti had his own agenda
when in 1828 he summarized the Conspiracy of Equals. He
had no idea how much material would eventually surface
after 1828 on Babeuf’s true agenda to make Buonarroti’s
claims appear bogus. If Buonarroti is to be believed, both
Maréchal’s and Babeuf’s simple libertarian manifestos were
set aside in favor of Analysis of the Doctrine of Babeuf.817
The Analysis comprised just fifteen axioms by persons who
supposedly heard Babeuf speak and wrote down his thoughts.
Looking at this, one would think Babeuf simply wanted to
restore the Constitution of 1793. Surely this was Buonarroti’s
view in 1828, but it is dubious that was Babeuf’s goal in
Regardless, even reading the very brief Analysis, it is
hard to find any social message. It is very vague.

817.Ely, French and German Socialism, supra, at 33.

Introduction 330
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

More important, Buonarroti is not to be trusted in his

claims. He was a devoted follower of Robespierre who
employed socialistic policies. Buonarroti was summarizing
thirty years later the goals of Babeuf’s Conspiracy of Equals
deliberately to sound Robespierrist. One astute economist
notes that Buonarroti is untrustworthy when explaining
Babeuf’s social goals: “Buonarroti admits that he describes
their economic plan almost entirely from memory; he has
probably added many ideas which belong in reality to a later
Thus, Babeuf is often misconstrued to have intended
to restore the policies of Robespierre such as state controls
over the economy, the terror, depopulation, etc. However, this
is giving Buonarroti too much credence. In fact, it can be
proven such notions were utterly foreign to Babeuf a short
year earlier than 1795. This makes it highly doubtful that one
year later Babeuf had a complete change in heart, as Buonar-
roti’s claims about him thirty years later would require.
For example, in just 1794, Babeuf wrote negatively
about the anti-liberal and socialistic tendencies of Robespi-
erre during 1794 when Robespierre turned away from the lib-
erty-supporting policies of 1793. Babeuf said there were “two
persons” in this single Robespierre — one the “sincere
patriot, a friend of just principles down to 1793, and Robe-
spierre the ambitious tyrant, and the worst of criminals of that
epoch.”819 (Barras made an identical contrast in private
memoirs between the “old” and “new” Robespierre.)820
Thus, when Robespierre supported liberty down to
1793, Babeuf supported him. Bax points out that among these
principles that Babeuf admired which Robespierre defended
until mid-1793 were those in the “Rights of Man.”821 And
Babeuf wrote that “Robespierre the apostle of liberty” unlike

818.Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave, ed. “Communism,” Dictionary of polit-

ical economy (London: MacMillan, 1901) Vol. I at 363.
819.Bax, History of Babeuf and the Conspiracy of Equals, supra, at 74.

Introduction 331
“Robespierre the most infamous of tyrants” provides many
good arguments for the “liberty of the press.”822 Thus,
Babeuf’s agreement with principles down to 1793 did not
mean he agreed with oppressive, terroristic and domineering
policies. Babeuf stood, in this example, for freedom of the
Also Babeuf obviously did not support during 1795-
96 what today we would call state socialism, contrary to what
some contend. This is for two reasons.
First, in Babeuf’s 1794-95 book about Robespierre,
Babeuf denounces what today we would call state socialism.
Babeuf recognized that making the government serve as
owner of private businesses led to tyranny under Robespierre,
i.e., he saw ahead that modern state socialism was dangerous
to liberty. Babeuf said the aim of Robespierre was “to destroy
the power of proprietors, and thus prevent the mass of citi-
zens to [escape] their dependence,” “having nothing else at
his disposal other than to render all proprietors under the
hands of government.”823
Second, and lastly, the ideologue of Babeuf’s move-
ment — Maréchal — was adamant there was to be no state at
all. There was to be just a patriarchal administration by
fathers of families. Maréchal imagined a future world where
land was held in common, but no state ruled over anyone.824
His reference to a patriarchal life was likely intended to refer

820.After the fall of Robespierre, Barras speaks of the “comparison I have

made between the first Robespierre and the second,” and the “old and
new Robespierres,” where the “old” is “less hideous” than his succes-
sor.” Robespierre, Barras goes on, “seems to have reached the point of
being the dictator of France through his ambition of becoming her leg-
islator.” (Paul Barras, Memoirs of Barras, Member of the Directorate
(editor George Duruy)(trans. Charles Emile Roche) (Harper & broth-
ers, 1896) Vol. IV at 209.
821.Bax, id., at 74.
822.Bax, id., at 74.
823.Babeuf: 1794 at 27.
824.See page 317 et seq.

Introduction 332
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

to the Bible’s example of a patriarchal life without any cen-

tralized government which operated for 350 years in Israel
immediately after Moses death.825 There was thus nothing at
all socialistic about Maréchal’s dreams.

Maréchal’s Communism Was Libertarian

In total accord, in 1796, Maréchal says in the Mani-
festo of Equals — the first manifesto of Babeuf’s group —
that he wants real equality “beneath the roofs of our houses.”
The only thing that was needed was for land to be held in
common. The demand was not for an agrarian law, i.e., divi-
sion of lands. Rather, land must now be held in common. This
does not necessitate a state doing so, and would be inconsis-
tent with Maréchal’s advocacy of no government at all. Then
what did Maréchal mean?
During that era in France, there was common land that
all were allowed to use for grazing animals, etc. This was
known as a communal right. When no one owned the land, in
those days, it was said to be held in common by the commu-
nity, not the municipality or national government.
There was the customary graze live-
stock on pastures that were owned in common
by the village community. This right usually
belonged to all inhabitants of the village.826
This was the direction that Maréchal was heading.
Why the switch from agrarian law demands?
During the Brissotin Revolution of August 1792,
Bonneville’s idea in L’Esprit of an Agrarian law was
attempted by application to common lands held by the com-
munity tradition. “In August 1792, the National Convention
introduced legislation to enforce the partition of common

825.See “Appendix V: Was Weishaupt Influenced Toward Libertarian

Communism by the Bible?” on page 356 et seq.
826.Martyn Lyons, Napoleon Bonaparte and the legacy of the French
Revolution (1994) at 149.

Introduction 333
land.”827 However, this proved unpopular, and it was
“largely sabotaged” by the peasant farmers. (Id.) Communism
was preferable in the eyes of the poor peasant folk. They
enjoyed communistic use of common land for centuries. No
state administered this. It was just a community custom. They
hated division into individual lots of the common land.
Hence, spreading the kind of communism familiar to
peasants was envisioned by Maréchal as something to extend
to all landed property. It was something very familiar to his
readers. Thus, it is important to realize Maréchal did not call
for any nationalization of land or of businesses. Later social-
ist historians of the Conspiracy of Equals tried to spin his
words that way, but that is projecting backwards certain
views which came later. Socialist writers did this in order to
make their own ideas appear more historically legitimate.
Instead, Maréchal’s clear goal was to establish the
common right of all to enjoy the use of all land without any
state ownership of land, just as practiced for centuries in
France on pasture land.828 This did not necessitate a state
ownership to enforce. Hence, Maréchal envisioned the state
receding, allowing a patriarchal society to emerge as the sole
administrative level. Only magistrates would enforce the
right to common ownership of all land.
Consequently, the Conspiracy of Equals was not a
socialistic program in 1795-96. However, when Buonarroti in
1828 would speak about the Babouvist program of 1796,
Buonarroti already believed strongly in socialism as a means
of enforcing communism. He thus tried to shape his descrip-
tions of this 1796 Conspiracy, and the first martyr to commu-
nism (Babeuf), so as to make it appear a precursor to his own
socialistic ideas. Buonarroti obscured the libertarian com-

827.Lyons, Napoleon Bonaparte and the Legacy of the French Revolution

(1994) at 150.
828.Maréchal, Manifesto of the Equals (trans. Mitchell Abidor), available
equals/1796/manifesto.htm (accessed 6/28/09).

Introduction 334
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

munism of Maréchal and Babeuf. However, historians must

scrupulously not permit such looking backward to find sys-
tems never proposed.

End of the Conspiracy of Equals

On May 8, 1796, the conspirators met, planning
17,000 of them would overthrow the Directory. On May 10th,
there was a leak, and Babeuf and the leaders were arrested.
The next year, their trial took place from February 20
to May 1797. Babeuf gave a well-regarded defense. He and
Augustin Darthé were found guilty, and executed by guillo-
tine on May 24, 1797. Babeuf’s last words were: “I wrap
myself in a virtuous slumber.”829 However, Maréchal and
Filippo Buonarroti were ordered deported.830 Of 65 tried, 56
were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Buonarroti’s Influence By His Misdescription

The principle reason that the communist movement
headed away from libertarianism toward totalitarianism was
Buonarroti’s misleading summary of Babeuf’s agenda in a
book of 1828. By this message, leaders of the later commu-
nist movement agreed to affix a socialist totalitarian compo-
nent to communism which Babeuf would have rejected.
Löwy points out that the “central themes” of Buonar-
roti’s summary of Babeuf’s Equals “had a profound effect on
the revolutionary movement before 1848, and ever after
(through Blanqui)....”831

829.Ely, supra, at 33.

830.Busky, supra, at 64. However, Buonarroti was not deported, but
remained in jail. He was then “allowed to escape to Switzerland” —
Geneva — for a time. (Ely, supra, at 33.)
831.Michael Löwy, The Theory of Revolution in the Young Marx (Brill,
2003) at 70.

Introduction 335
Buonarroti’s influence can be seen even in Karl Marx.
In 1845, Marx drew up a list of books to translate into Ger-
man and there was “Buonarroti, 2B” [two volumes].832
Yet, as demonstrated above, Buonarroti’s book of
1828 on the Equals was a fanciful effort to make it appear the
first Communist martyr, Babeuf, died for the same things
Buonarroti was advancing thirty years later. However, as
Löwy points out, Buonarroti obviously “put into the move-
ment of the Equals features of his own conspiratorial activi-
ties...[different] than it had in reality.”833

Appendix R: Knigge’s Novels Dreaming

of Utopia
The Illuminati dream was set forth in visionary books
by leaders of the Order. These books were a means to intro-
duce their ideas to the public. Adolph Knigge, the second in
command within the Illuminati until he resigned in 1784,
published from 1783 to 1785 several editions of a book that
embodied the Illuminati dream of a glorious libertarian com-
munist utopia. This work was entitled Peter Clausens

832.Michael Löwy, id., at 70.

833.Löwy, id., at 70.

Introduction 336
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Geschichte in drei Teilen [The History of Peter Clausens]

(Riga, Latvia: 1783-1785).834 An English edition appeared in
1793 at London.835
In Peter Clausens, Mr. Brick discovers a utopia in a
dream. He travels to the island of Tahiti on a ship of Captain
Cook. He finds a totally happy people living in primitive
bliss. And, of course, Knigge writes “no state has ever
existed... in that happy country. . . .”836
Katjár, an historian writing from within what was then
communist Hungary, says Knigge goes on to describe a land
with a “communist system of society.”837 Knigge says there
is no sense of property; half of the island’s land was divided
equally when it was first populated; and annually thereafter
its empty land is divided in small lots to new members for
their individual use; that all forests are held in common; all
workers provide their produce to the elders who then main-

834.Although Knigge had been long forgotten, communist writers in the

old Eastern Bloc in 1971-1972 gave credit for the genesis of commu-
nist ideology in Germany to Knigge’s utopian books. See Hedwig
Voegt, “Adolph von Knigge, Der Tram des Herren, Brick, Essays,
Satyran, Utopien,” Die deutsche jakobinishe Literatur und Publicistik
(Berlin: 1972); Jürgen Walter, “Adolph Freiherr Knigges Roman,
‘Benjamin Noldmanns Geschichte der Aufklaerung in Abyssinien.’
Kritischer Rationalismus als Satire und Utopie im Zeialter der Deut-
schen Klassik,’ Germanisch-Romanische Monatscrift No. 2 (1971),
cited in Katjar, supra, at 345.
835.Knigge, The German Gil Blas: or, the adventures of Peter Claus.
(London: C. and G. Kearsley, 1793) Vols. 1 and 2. Volume one of Peter
Clausen is available online from at http:// and
volume two at
836.Mária Kajtár, “German Illuminati in Hungary,” Studies in Eigh-
teenth-Century Literature (Miklos J. Szenczi and Lászlo Ferenczi, edi-
tors) (Budapest, Akadémiai Kiado, 1974) at 345-46. This account is
highly defensive of the Illuminati.
837. Mária Kajtár, id., at 346.

Introduction 337
tain their living standard at equal levels; and that they follow
a religion of reason where an agnosticism about God is

838.In volume two of Knigge’s The German Gil Blas: or, the adventures
of Peter Claus. (London: C. and G. Kearsley, 1793) at page 194, he
describes the new utopia found by Mr. Brick. In this island colony, the
people at the beginning “parted one half of the island into sixty equal
shares.” (Id., at 194.) Everyone worked at some “useful employment.”
All work was “equally esteemed,” and no profession was above
another. The inhabitants “should all wear the same habililments”
[clothing]. (Id., at 194.) Books and writing are prohibited. Id. “Science
and knowledge were alone remembered by oral tradition.” Id. Educa-
tion was in designated common buildings, and they “appertained by
the state,” and “all were educated in the same manner.” (Id., 195.) At
age 15, their talents were examined to determine “their future employ-
ment.” Id. “No one dared cultivate more than his own portion of land,
but all were obliged to labour that [i.e., that individual plot], indepen-
dent of business.” Id., at 196. The “forests and fields were in com-
mon....” Id. The elders ruled. “The whole island might be looked upon
as a single house inhabited by a family.” (Id., at 197.) “[T]here was no
distinct property.” (Id., at 197.) “The artisans delivered their work to
the old men, the labourers the produce of their fields, [and] the state
in return furnishing their maintenance.” (Id., at 197.) The judges
roamed daily to make sure “individuals strictly observed the statutes of
society,” and those who disobeyed were “put...on board a vessel” with
their eyes bound, and sent far away into the country of Simichireens
“from whence he could not return.” (Id., at 197.) The infliction of
death “was forbidden.” (Id., at 197.)
“The constitution of this colony was founded on nature, reciprocal agree-
ment forming its strength; passion and interest bearing no sway in their
affairs.” (Id., at 199) etc. The “connection between the sexes was inno-
cent and pure...,” etc. “They chose a wife which was easily obtained.”
(Id., at 200). The girls were all “equally rich....” “Education was per-
fectly equal.” The children were “taught the most stoical insensibility
for all fantastic ideas.” (Id., at 201.) “In infancy they taught nothing
more than the nature of God, but that he was a benevolent Creator, and
above comprehension of frail humanity.” (Id.) Each year was a reli-
gious festival that embarked on a “fresh distribution of lands in favor
of new members” and the “dispensation of labor to those who attained
the age of sixty.” (Id.) That is, one could retire at 60.

Introduction 338
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Unlike forests which were held in common, obviously

the worker on the individual lot was entitled to take his own
needs from the food individually grown on his own land. This
implies the excess would go to the elders for distribution and
to maintain everyone’s living standards.
This book Peter Clausens incidentally helps us under-
stand what Weishaupt meant by a return to a patriarchal soci-
ety. Knigge’s paradise had the elders — the patriarchs of
society — doling out the common surplus to those in need.
Further, in Knigge’s story, Mr. Brick finds the happi-
ness of this land too much to take. Brick’s reaction was: “I
could not stay on that lovely spot. I felt too weak to raise
myself to the level where these noble creatures existed. Ever
since childhood, I was raised in wickedness, driven by rest-
less passions. How could I have found myself happy in heav-
enly bliss where the perfect harmony of body, spirit, and
reason ruled?”839
Knigge’s book was intended to be taken as a serious
fantasy. For example, Brick contrasts Tahiti and its happiness
to the struggle in a busy hectic society like Germany. Life in
Tahiti is found to be far happier by Mr. Brick.
Moreover, Knigge used the last edition of the book to
launch another defense of the Bavarian Illuminati. In the
1785 edition of Knigge’s book, Mr. Brick encounters a phi-
losopher who says the Bavarian Illuminati were naive and
suffered contradictions. Mr. Brick replies, and then, in the
words of Katjár, “enumerates the arguments of Weishaupt in
defence of the Order.”840
Knigge’s Peter Clausens series had a great impact in
Germany. Katjár, a Hungarian historian, says in “their time
they were popular and widely read.”841

839.Mária Kajtár, “German Illuminati in Hungary,” Studies in Eigh-

teenth-Century Literature (Miklos J. Szenczi and Lászlo Ferenczi, edi-
tors) (Budapest, Akadémiai Kiado, 1974) at 345.
840.Id. at 345.

Introduction 339
Hence, in these works, Knigge made clear the Illumi-
nati plan of a libertarian world communist utopia modeled on
an island tribal society.

Appendix S: Plan of Depopulation

Robespierre was exposed after his toppling in July
1794 as having envisioned the Terror as a means of managing
the food supply. To this end, he aimed at massive depopula-
There are several sources of legitimate proof of Robe-
spierre’s Plan of Depopulation: (1) the Jacobin meeting
agreeing in early 1794 upon the necessity of the principle; (2)
David’s confession to Yorke in 1793; (3) Varlet’s revelation
of its infamous decree to exterminate 2/3 of the nation; (3)
Babeuf’s similar disclosure in 1794; and (4) the legislative
investigation which published in 1794 scores of documents to
demonstrate Robespierre’s plan was to destroy 12-15 mil-
lion of the French nation of 25 million.
Turning to each item in sequence, first Taine sets forth
the Jacobin club records from Strasbourg where this plan was
debated in early 1794. The only question was how many mil-
lions had to be ‘eliminated’ to make the land suffice as a food

841.Mária Kajtár, “German Illuminati in Hungary,” Studies in Eigh-

teenth-Century Literature, supra, at 345. For more on Knigge’s literary
impact, see Marino Freschi, Dall’occultismo alla politica. L’Itinerario
illuministico di Knigge (1752-1796) (Napoli, 1979).
842.Hippolyte A. Taine, The French Revolution Vol. II The Jacobin Con-
quest (2006 reprint) at 50-52 n. 3 (quoting Collection of Authentique
Documents for the History of the Revolution at Strasbourg, II, at 210.)

Introduction 340
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Second, Redhead Yorke, a British Jacobin, confessed

later that David (a close friend of Robespierre) told him in
1793 that the Jacobin plan was to reduce France’s population
from its then current 25 million to 14 million as part of a
“humane” policy.843
Third, Varlet (also a Cercle Social writer)844 made a
similar revelation of a decree of the revolutionary govern-
ment that implied 16 million must be exterminated. Varlet
was a true-blue revolutionary. He had been part of every
insurrection including the one which brought Robespierre to
power — the insurrection of May 31-June 2, 1793. However,
later he regretted his role, claiming Robespierre usurped that
insurrection to seize tyrannical power contrary to Varlet’s
expectations. Varlet in 1794 was loosely associated with
Babeuf as a political ally.845 In October 1794, Varlet wrote
Gare L’Explosion. In it he revealed one of the depopulation
decrees of the revolutionary government. It read:

“Two-thirds of the citizens are villains: the

enemies of liberty. They ought to be extermi-
nated. Terror is the Supreme Law.846 It is the
instrument to aid us. It is an object of venera-

843.Redhead Yorke, France in 1802, Letters of Redhead Yorke (Ed.

J.A.C. Sykes) (Heinemann, 1906) at 102, 127.
844.The Cercle Social had published one of his books: J.F. Varlet, Projet
du Mandat Spécial et impératif dux mandataires du people à la Con-
vention nationale (Paris, Imprimerie du Cercle Social, 1792)(22 pp).
For a summary, and how this lines up with the libertarian communism
of the Cercle Social, see page 349 et seq.
845.After Robespierre’s ouster in July 1794, which both Babeuf and
Varlet were thoroughly approving, both joined the Club Electoral.
(R.B.Rose, The Enragés, supra, at 91.) Then Varlet “together with
Babeuf” agitated for the restoration of the rights of assembly restricted
in September 1793 by Robespierre. (R.B.Rose, The Making of the
Sans-Culottes, supra, at 182.)
846.“Deux tiers de citoyen son des scélérats, ennemis de la liberté: il faut
exterminer. La terreur es la suprême loi.” This implied the depopula-
tion plan.

Introduction 341
tion. Destruction must be constantly the order
of the day. If the sword ceases to operate, if the
executioners do not serve as fathers of their
country, liberty is at risk. It wants to reign over
a pile of cadavers, watered by the blood of its
Mercier (another Cercle Social member) confirmed
this quote in his book Le nouveau Paris (Paris: 1797) and did
the math. He said: “I do not exaggerate the point that they had
the audacity to think two thirds of France were villains, and
they ought to exterminate sixteen million Frenchmen in
order to render them free.”848
Fourth, in 1794 Babeuf, another Cercle Social mem-
ber, exposed Robespierre’s plan of depopulation, although he
did not know the number of people Robespierre found neces-
sary to eliminate. Babeuf wrote of Robespierre: “having done
the calculation, that the French population was to a certain
extent exceeding the resources of the soil...that there were too
many arms for the execution of the works of essential util-
ity....[f]inally, (and this is the horrible conclusion) because of
the overabundant population which could rise to such an
extent...a portion of the sansculottes would have to be sacri-
ficed, that they would have to clear the rubble (the expression
of Barrère, Causes Secretes, p. 14), up to that quantity; it was
[only] necessary to find the means.”849
Finally, in the same year of 1794, the French Conven-
tion appointed Edme-Bonaventure Courtois to publish the
papers proving that the Terror was partly designed to reduce
France’s population to about fourteen million. Courtois in the
introduction explained: “these men who, in order to bring us
the happiness of Sparta, wanted to ‘destroy’ twelve or fifteen

847.Jean Varlet, Gare L’Explosion (Paris: 1794) at 10, quoting a decree

of the revolutionary government under Robespierre.
848.Louis-Sébastien Mercier, “Je Suis un Modéré,” Paris pendant la
Révolution (reprinted by Poulet-Malassis, 1862) at 229-30.
849. Babeuf: 1794 at 27-28.

Introduction 342
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

millions of French, and hoped, after this revolutionary tran-

spiration, that we would distribute to each a plow and some
heartland clearing, to save us from dangers to the happiness
of Persepolis.”850

Appendix T: Ridicule of Robespierre’s

Defense of Belief In God At Brissotin-
controlled Jacobins
A crucial episode for understanding Robespierre’s
motivations for revenge on the Brissotins is an event from
March 1792. In this speech at the Jacobin Club, Robespierre
ended up being hooted away because of his mere mention of
God’s name. Robespierre was trying to give a speech in the
Brissotin-led Jacobins in which he “brought on the storm [by
speaking] of Almighty God, and that Providence which
watched over the salvation of the free French people.”851
In response, having “scarcely uttered these words
when many voices, speaking and roaring all together, called
him to order, and accused him of a design to reintroduce the
old, exploded superstitions.” Robespierre replied:
Am I to be accused of leading citizens into
superstition! I, who have combated all sorts of
despotism! It is true, superstition is one of the
strongest props of tyranny, but to pronounce
the name of the Divinity is surely not to wish to
make citizens superstitious. I abhor, as much as

850.Courtois, Papiers inédits trouvés chez Robespierre, Saint-Just,

Payan, etc Supprimés ou Omis Par Courtois, Précédés du Rapport de
ce Député a la Convention National (ed. Courtois)(Paris: Badouin,
1828) Vol. I at 6 (noting the ‘destroy’ terminology was an “expression
of Collot d’Herbois.”)
851.The pictorial history of England: being a history of the people, as
well as a history of the kingdom (Editors, George Lillie Craik, Charles
McFarlane, Hans Claude Hamilton) (C. Knight, 1843) Vol. III at 56.

Introduction 343
any man, all those impious sects, which have
spread themselves over the universe to favour
ambition, fanaticism, and all the evil passions,
in covering themselves with the sacred power
of the Eternal, who created nature and man;
with those who believe in a God. I sustain the
eternal principles on which the weakness of
human nature rests in order to reach the higher
virtues. It is no crime or vain language in my
mouth, nor was it in men more illustrious and
as moral as I, to say that I believe in the exist-
ence of a God! (Id., at 56-57.)
Again many angry voices cried out, “Order! Order!”
while others made a wild hullabaloo. But Robespierre shook
his head and continued: “You shall not smother my voice!
You have no order of the day that can smother this eternal
truth!” (Id., at 57.) Robespierre was defiant and angry!
Robespierre then continued, dwelling for some time
on this profession of faith. Robespierre said he invoked God’s
name to establish morality and sound policy. He had hoped
the Jacobin society would adopt his principles and order pub-
lished his speech. In response to this request, there was an
“indescribable tumult [which] followed his descent from the
tribune.” When the president attempted to put the question to
the vote, Santhonax and others cried out, “None of your
Capuchin tricks, Mr. President!”
Finding the ringing of his hand-bell all in vain, the
president put on his hat, the session closed, and the Jacobins
quitted the hall “cursing and foaming like maniacs that had
broken out of a mad-house.” (Id., at 57.)
Four days later, Robespierre made a faint attempt to
renew the motion at the Jacobins for printing his discourse.
“Another terrible tumult arose, and, bending before it, he said
that he would not be the cause of discord in the club, and that
he would withdraw his address, having in his hands other
means to produce the good effect he desired upon the public
mind.” (Id., at 57.) Robespierre was referring to his newspa-
per — The Defender of the Constitution.
Introduction 344
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

This event refutes many historians who claim Robe-

spierre was not a deist, but advanced the cult of the Supreme
Being for practical purposes. Moreover, this event explains
Robespierre’s motivations to usurp the Brissotins which was
so murderous thereafter. He had been subjected at the Bris-
sotins’s hands to a laughing tirade designed to humiliate
In this war the Gironde [i.e., Brissotin] Jacobins fought on
the side of the materialists;....At least the major part of the
Girondists [i.e., the Brissotins], in declaring a determined
hostility to all established or revealed religion, pretended
a reverence for natural religion....Their triumph over doubt tended to prepare many a scourge
for their own backs.... (Id., at 57.)
Beginning in April 1792, Robespierre and his allies
engaged in a campaign of vilification of the Brissotins at the
Jacobins in the press and in pamphlets. The worst motives,
the grossest corruption, and the vilest treachery, were
imputed to all of the Brissotins.
When the war vote came in the Assembly in April
1792, Robespierre’s Montagnard faction tried to stall. The
Brissotins were in control. The Brissotins claimed the protec-
tion by Austro-Hungary of emigres proved a design on
France. Pre-emptive war on Austria was necessary. However,
Robespierre’s spokesperson said that war should not be
declared unless France was “sure that we shall not be
betrayed by our own armies and generals.” (Id., at 63.) Due to
Brissotin control, Bazire’s request for a three day delay was
shouted down.
Brissot then stood up and said the war decree must be
drawn up before they all withdrew. Robespierrists tried to
speak up again, but were hooted down. The president of the
National Assembly put the question to a vote. Again a Robe-
spierrist tried to take the podium, but his discourse was cut
short at the beginning by a chorus of voices demanding a
vote. The Assembly then voted that the debate had ended.
The Brissotin war party won, with four votes in dissent. All

Introduction 345
of Robespierre’s allies otherwise abstained from voting. (Id.,
at 63.) Robespierre represented the smallest of factions at this
Then Condorcet (Cercle Social / Brissotin) stepped
forth and said that the principles of this decision should be
explained to the enemies, and he just so happened to have
such a declaration ready for the occasion. It explained that the
French people were forced to this decision by the inequity of
despots. It was absurd to think that Louis XVI is in any state
of bondage, as was being claimed by some. The king was
only in bondage to the constitution. The National Assembly
ordered Condorcet’s declaration should be published.
Vergniaud (another Brissotin) then gave a speech that in
Europe, all thrones of kings must hear the cry “Liberty or
Death!” (Id., at 64.)

A Cosmopolitan Not A Nationalistic Objective

Within this declaration of war was a provision for
wars of liberation. It promised French armies would never
seek to expand French territory if it invaded foreign nations.
France would solely seek to liberate. Robespierre viewed this
decree as unpatriotic and sacrificing French blood for noth-
ing. The war declaration specifically said that France would
not undertake any war with the view of conquest, and
never...employ its force against the liberty of any people,”
and instead “would take up arms in defence of their liberty
and their independence; that the war into which we are
compelled to enter is not a war of nation against nation,
but the just defence of a free people against the unjust
oppression of a monarch; that the French will never con-
found their brothers with their enemies;...that France
adopts all those foreigners who abjuring the cause of its
enemies shall join in its standard, and consecrate their
efforts to the defense of freedom;.... (Id., at 64.)
Hence, the Brissotins had a cosmopolitan objective.
This rankled the nationalistic pulse of Robespierre.

Introduction 346
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

The War Begins

The results from the first battles went against France.
Its soldiers never got “within reach even of an Austrian rifle”
as the novice troops fled in panic. (Id., at 71.) There was a ter-
rible blame-game that followed. “Everybody seemed to be
accusing everybody else of treachery.” (Id., at 70.) The Bris-
sotins blamed General Rochambeau. Robespierre’s party said
this was due to the impetuosity to go to war which the Bris-
sotins suffered from. Their error was supposedly using ex-
nobles and not patriots as generals.
Brissot cleverly counter-attacked by claiming there
was an Austrian Committee secretly working to the defeat of
France in the war. One of the key accusations pointed
obliquely at Robespierre because an identifying mark of a co-
conspirator was that members of this committee were
“opposed” to the war with Austria. Robespierre had opposed
the war all along. However, Brissot’s conspiracy theory was
concocted and hence deliberate propaganda. Nevertheless,
Brissot insisted “I will prove it existed and that it still exists.”
(Id., at 72.)
The childish recriminations and investigations while a
war had begun was virtually interminable. (Id., at 73-75.)
Everyone was trying to look away from the real issue. The
unvarnished truth was that in opening skirmishes, young
French boys were scared and ran. That was all there was to
the lack of success thus far. Obviously, for the leaders at
Paris, it was just too hard to think of these French boys not
willing to die like Spartans. However, boys put in war facing
hardened soldiers of German well-known proficiency proba-
bly appeared to be sheer suicide to young inexperienced
boys! It was not cowardice these boys suffered from. It was
rather their joint conviction based on facts that they were ill-
prepared to meet career soldiers on the German side.

Introduction 347
Robespierre Sows Distrust of the Brissotins
Meanwhile, in May 1792, Robespierre started by win-
ning an important vote at the Jacobins based upon sowing
distrust for Brissot. Robespierre argued that the appointment
of several Jacobins to ministerial positions (i.e., the Bris-
sotins) represented a betrayal of the other members of the
Jacobins: “When I see members of our committees suddenly
obtaining lucrative employments, I can only consider such
Jacobins as ambitious men that are betraying liberty and the
people.” (Id., at 82.) The majority at the club had received no
post or profits, and were willing to hear out Robespierre.
Some on the Committee of Correspondence at the Jacobins
opposed this motion, but Robespierre said it was because
“they had sold themselves to Brissot” for the profits and posi-
tions he had doled out.
Robespierre proposed a solution. Because the system
of state-spoils from Brissot was leading some in the affiliated
Jacobin societies outside Paris to lean in favor of their bene-
factors (i.e., the Brissotins), thereby corrupting their deci-
sions, there must be a “suspension of the affiliation and
correspondence with the provincial societies.” (Id., at 82.)
The majority agreed over the vociferous objections of the
Brissotin club leaders and its committee of correspondence.
The affect of this win for Robespierre was two-fold.
Brissot was being gradually isolated. Robespierre was incit-
ing jealousy against him from within the club. Divide et
impera. The second result was that the Paris club under Bris-
sot’s leadership would now no longer be directing the outly-
ing Jacobin clubs. It had to cease correspondence with them.
Brissot was being forced to only try to rule the Paris Club,
which now with Robespierre’s snide motion was becoming
more and more tenuous. With a stroke, Brissot’s power base
outside Paris was being cut-off from helping him retain
power at the Paris Jacobins.
Then in the end-of-May edition of his newspaper,
Robespierre said that the Brissotins were the “greatest curse”
on France. In his article entitled “On the principal Causes of

Introduction 348
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

the Misfortunes of our Revolution,” he named Brissot, Con-

dorcet, Guadet, Vergniaud, and Gensonné. (Id., at 82.) These
men, Robespierre claimed, made the effort to “put liberty in
jeopardy,” i.e., by going to war before being ready to do so.
Robespierre accused them of desiring to restore “despotism.”
(Is not that the kettle calling the pot black?) The Brissotins
allegedly endeavored to “corrupt the clubs and patriotic soci-
eties in order to turn those excellent channels of public
instruction into instruments of intrigue and faction.” Further,
“[h]e declared that the Girondists [i.e., the Brissotins] had
done more injury to the revolution, and the real cause of the
people, than all the royalists put together,—that Brissot and
Condorcet were far worse men than Abbé Maury and Caza-
les.” (Id.)

Appendix U: Varlet’s 1792 Cercle Social

Work — Du Projet D’Un Mandat &
1794 Work — Gare L’Explosion
Jean Varlet (1764-1794) went to college at the Uni-
versity of d’Harcourt (where Talleyrand also had gone). He
became a postal clerk. In 1793, Varlet inherited a large profit-
able estate from his family.852 Varlet was a key player in the
1793 Revolution of May31-June 2d, although he was ousted
by Robespierre and his cronies. Varlet was also an associate
of Babeuf in 1794.

Du Project D’Un Mandat, 1792

In December 1792, J.F.Varlet had published by the
Cercle Social the following short 22 page book:

852.R. B. Rose, The Enragés: Socialists of the French Revolution?,

supra, at 13; R.B. Rose, “Socialism and the French Revolution,” John
Rylands, supra, at 153.

Introduction 349
Projet du Mandat Spécial et impératif dux mandataires du
people à la Convention nationale (Paris, Imprimerie du
Cercle Social, 1792)(22 pp).853
This is described as “a distillation of the purest princi-
ple of Rousseauist direct democracy....”854
This book demonstrates once more the Cercle Social
libertarian themes. Varlet’s Projet advocates getting rid of
national officials and national posts in favor of localized gov-
ernment. He demands less national centralized government,
which has tendencies towards tyranny and unresponsiveness.
He wants localized assemblies to approve all laws because
local government can be directly responsive to the people
who can participate personally in the primary assemblies.
Some call this “direct democracy.” In reality, it is a libertar-
ian program of localized representative/direct democracy.
Thus, Varlet’s book fit well into the Cercle Social’s
program to achieve a stateless or libertarian communism. No
wonder the Cercle Social of Bonneville published it.

Specifics of Varlet’s Projet

In Projet du Mandat Spécial, Varlet said when “pri-
mary assemblies meet and vote, the sovereignty of the people
has returned to its source.” The national legislature is inferior
and tyrannical compared to local government which repre-
sents the people directly because they are actually able to par-
ticipate. The national representatives thus represent the
“alienation of our rights.” The “phantom of liberty” persists
in national representatives; their existence is an invitation to
“tyranny.” This is because the national legislature creates

853.The full text is at

documents_divers/varlet_projet_mandataires.htm (accessed 7/29/09).
854.R. B. Rose, The making of the sans-culottes: democratic ideas and
institutions in Paris, 1789-92 (Manchester University Press 1983) at

Introduction 350
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

“unbridled power which, without warrant, can easily replace

systems [that exist] according to their own individual will
rather than follow the orders of the sovereign [people].”
Thus, “we demand a popular Constitution which is
parallel to the Declaration of the Rights of Man.” It is a “Con-
stitution without dictators, without senators, triumvirs,
decemvirs, nor tribunes, nor a chief of any kind or no mat-
ter how denominated any body that holds the same powers.”
This would “maintain the 83 departments,” and deputies
would be elected every two years. Within this structure, we
would be able to maintain a “free France,” and a “national
unity” with a “common center of activity.” The “primary
assemblies” of the people must examine the laws passed by
deputies, and only until these primary assemblies approve, no
law goes into effect. In turn the “execution of the laws will be
confided to an executive commission, composed of remov-
able functionaries. “Elite patriots will be elected as magis-
trates” by the sovereign people to enforce the laws.
Incidentally, Varlet speaks of the “gradual disappear-
ance of the very great inequality of fortunes” in this piece.
Thus, Varlet’s libertarian and egalitarian goals line up quite
well with the Cercle Social’s libertarian communism.

Gare L’Explosion 1794 by Varlet

On October 6, 1794, Varlet published a sixteen page
pamphlet entitled Gare L’Explosion.855 “Behold the Explo-
In this same work, Varlet exposed the inner players
within Robespierre’s Committee of Public Safety who
worked for tyranny against the Rights of Man. Varlet said Bil-
laud-de-Varennes, one of the CPS leaders, was “mendacious”
and wore a “mask.”856 He said Billaud usurped the May 31,

855.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794). Some have called
it the “earliest anarchist manifesto in continental Europe.”
856.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 5.

Introduction 351
1793 insurrection started by Varlet and then used the “terror
to prolong their power.”857 Those who were “complicitous,
making possible the reign of Robespierre, emperor and high-
priest” were Billaud, Collot d’Herbois, Amar, Vadier, Dacos,
Montaut, Carrier, and Barrère.858 These men were responsi-
ble for turning the days of May 31st to the 2d of June into the
“origin of oppression” within the “revolutionary govern-
ment.”859 Thus, while Varlet said he was “called to the com-
mittee of insurrection” in that period, “I was induced thereby
to serve the most odious of tyrannies, and for that I will give
a frank explanation.”860
“With the fall of the Brissotins,” there was “conceived
in advance a secret” plan where the “false insurgents substi-
tuted Robespierre for Brissot; in place of federalism, a dicta-
torship, decorated by the name of public safety.”861 Varlet
says that “when I saw these deputies [i.e., the Brissotins] held
under arrest, I retired, and I gave up all functions,...and with-
drew totally from the revolutionary government, which I saw
my duty was now to combat.”862 “All I wanted was an insur-
rection, pure and simple.”863 “Despotism had passed from the
palaces of kings to the table of a committee....They had given
my country a change of costume.”864 Varlet continues:

[8] The sacred principles within our declara-

tion of rights are superior to decrees. The path
to...our liberty is by placing respect to the mass

857.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 5.

858.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 5.
859.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 6.
860.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 6.
861.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 6.
862.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 6-7.
863.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 7.
864.Jean François Varlet, Gare l’explosion (s.n. 1794) at 7.

Introduction 352
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

of delegates of the people.....Live the rights of

the sovereign people! Respect for the National
Convention! Down with the usurpers! Perish
the revolutionary government rather than a sin-
gle principle!

What a social monstrosity, this chief work of

Machiavellianism was the revolutionary gov-
ernment [i.e., of Robespierre].


Slaves submit to the strongest hand. Weak ser-

vants of the court [9] move their chairs to help
all tyrannies. A kind of bipedal egoist...venal
writers who give the people journalistic poison;
fanatics; idolators of error; intolerant persons
who when they see the crime over there claim
they have no opinion [and] thereby prostrate
themselves as dupes of the revolutionary gov-
ernment. These authors made a pretext to legit-
imize dictatorship. In the name of public
safety, they believed in an infinite number of
dictators so as to serve as correspondents to the
Committee of Public Safety.

[T]hey made accusations of numerous conspir-

acies, parading in front of the Homicidal Tribu-
nal, a merciless accuser without affording any
means of defense; the criminal conscience of
the juries was everyday transparent; the ears
only heard bellow one cry: Death! Death! The
Temple of Justice represented an atrium of can-
nibals, and yet these monsters spoke of human-


Introduction 353
[10] The citizens were despoiled of their rights;
they unhappily trembled and were silent
before their tyrants.

Citizens, those jealous to know the laws of your

government, you should demand to know pre-
cisely the definition of the revolutionary gov-
ernment among its partisans, being licentious
without being free, ferocious but lacking
energy, which is what explains this beautiful
invention. [Varlet now quotes a CPS decree of
which he was apparently personally aware]:

“Two-thirds of the citizens are villains: the

enemies of liberty. They ought to be extermi-
nated. Terror is the Supreme Law.865 It is the
instrument to aid us. It is an object of venera-
tion. Destruction must be constantly the order
of the day. If the sword ceases to operate, if the
executioners do not serve as fathers of their
country, liberty is at risk. [Liberty] wants to
reign over a pile of cadavers, watered by the
blood of its enemies.”


[11] The revolutionaries cry against modera-

tion. I very much love moderation when it ren-
ders me human, tolerant, and reflective. Oh

865.“Deux tiers de citoyen son des scélérats, ennemis de la liberté: il faut

exterminer. La terreur es la suprême loi.” This implied the depopula-
tion plan.
Mercier (Cercle Social) confirmed this quote in Le nouveau Paris (Paris:
1797), which context is clearly lifted from Varlet, saying “I do not
exaggerate the point that they had the audacity to think two thirds of
France were villains, and they ought to exterminate sixteen million
Frenchmen in order to render them free.” See Louis-Sébastien Merc-
ier, “Je Suis un Modéré,” Paris pendant la Révolution (reprinted by
Poulet-Malassis, 1862) at 229-30.

Introduction 354
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

well! Then I am a moderate! I have therefore

earned the hatred of a great many patriots of
today...but I esteem them no less.


[14] The Society of the Jacobins denatured by

their ringleaders, is at the mercy of the ambi-
tious, who from there dominate the entire peo-
ple....This society has come to the point of
being a conspiratorial government, food for
factions, and degraded by intrigues. Its vice is
having two people within its assembly: the
people who run things who speak inside the
hall and the people who do not run things, the
true people, the public, who are mute among
the tribunes. Another no less significant vice is
the admission of deputies

[15] within this society. The people themselves

are not elevated, but these messengers prepon-
derate by coming to the Jacobins to become the
chiefs of a party. They wish to organize another
9th of Thermidor against the national conven-
tion. Republicans! You are sleeping! In 24, 25
departments these tyrannical revolutionaries
disseminate at all points, [but you] are ignorant
of what is taking place there.

You are sleeping! The Republic is in irons!...

To arms!...Pen in hand!...Audacity against
audacity! Here you must attack, harass and
press vigorously the enemy, and do not give it
rest.....LET’s DARE!...You are obliged to save
your country! Perils and obstacles overcome
with courage....Tremble tyrants who are
masked by popularity.... [16] Live the rights of
the sovereign people! Respect for the Conven-
tion Nationale! Down with usurpers! Perish the

Introduction 355
revolutionary government rather than a single

Appendix V: Was Weishaupt Influenced

Toward Libertarian Communism by the
Interestingly, Weishaupt’s mention of the patriarchal
age and his idea of a stateless society, combined with
Knigge’s mention in 1783-85 of magistrates enforcing the
communist life-style, resembles the Bible’s picture of Israel’s
condition immediately after Moses died. The period of judges
spanned 350 years before kings were begrudgingly accepted
by Yahweh-God. “[D]uring the period of the judges...there
was no central authority,” and hence a “disorganized condi-
tion of affairs” prevailed.866 As a result, “[t]he period is often
called ‘the age of anarchy.’”867
In this period, individual liberty was extensive, as
even the Bible says: “In those days there was no king in
Israel: each man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges
17:6, NIV.) The only ruling authority was periodically a
judge or magistrate who would emerge in a crisis period. This
was not a “hereditary” post, and “neither could they appoint
their successors.”868 Josephus explained that this period of
“anarchy” ended finally when the people insisted to God that
they have a king,869 and over God’s objections, the people
chose to have a human king.

866.A Dictionary of the Bible: A-Feasts (edited by James Hastings, John

Alexander Selbie, Andrew Bruce Davidson, Samuel Rolles Driver,
Henry Barclay Swete)(C. Scribner’s Sons, 1901) Vol. I at 399.
867.The Bible as literature (Eds. Richard Green Moulton, John Punnett
Peters, Alexander Balmain Bruce, Lyman Abbott)(1896) at 50
868.M. G. Easton, Illustrated Bible Dictionary (1897)(reprint 2006) at

Introduction 356
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

This period of the judges spanned at least 1225-1050

B.C. None of the judges in this Bible period were priests, and
any sense of a single “supreme tribunal” had “wholly lapsed”
by Judges chapter XIX.870 The judges seemed to rise up only
when necessary to lead the people in time of famine or social
disorder. Once the crisis was resolved, the judges “apparently
effaced themselves and rejoined the people.”871
Modern Christian authors whose works are published
by the reputable evangelical publisher Eerdmans say non-vio-
lent anarchism is a legitimate position for Christians to sup-
port. They assert this based upon the study of this period of
the judges. They claim this period when the tribes of Israel
were run by patriarchs is a form of government more blessed
by God than the period of kings. Joshua had been a temporary
military leader, but after the need for his services ended, the
patriarchs continued to rule over their families. When impor-
tant decisions were necessary, a popular assembly was called.
When the tribes settled in Palestine, there were no “tribal
princes.” The God of Israel evidently intended, as was clear
later, that He alone was the head of this nation.872
There are two texts in the Bible which specifically
confirm this view. First, when Abimelech tried to establish a
kingship, and assassinated his brothers to do so, he was
denounced by the prophet Jotham. (He proved to be a prophet
by his predictions about Abimelech.) When Jotham addressed
the people, he told a parable which clearly rejected the idea of
having a human king. In the parable, he said the trees gath-

869.Flavius Josephus, Flavius Josephus (ed. Steve Mason, Louis H. Feld-

man, Christopher Begg) (Brill, 2000) at 121 fn. 322.
870.William Smith, Dr. William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (ed. Hor-
atio Balch Hackett, Ezra Abbot)(Houghton, Miffin, and Co., 1890)
Vol. II at 1510. He says “none of the special deliverers called judges
was of priestly lineage.”
871.Jacques Ellul, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Anarchy and Christianity
(Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991) at 47.
872.Jacques Ellul, id., at 46.

Introduction 357
ered one day to elect a king. They chose an olive. But the
olive refused. The olive said his job instead was to produce
good oil. Then they chose the fig, and it likewise responded:
“Shall I give up my sweetness and the excellent fruit which I
bear in order to be above the other trees.” (Judges 9:9.) Yet,
the trees still wanted a king. They then asked the bramble
bush to be king. The bramble accepted, with a proviso that as
soon as one disobeyed the bramble, they would be burned by
the bramble. The point was made. No one should hope for a
king, for in the end, more harm than good comes from a
human king, as a human king would be prone to harshness.
Abimelech, incidentally, still became king. He paid
$42 (70 shekels) for a band to make him king. (Judges 9:10.)
The prophet Jotham fled. Abimelech reigned for three years.
“The Israelites, accustomed to freedom, then began to
revolt.”873 Tyranny and murder was Abimelech’s legacy.
Finally, a woman in a tower threw a rock which killed
Abimelech. The libertarian system of the judges was restored.
Then the second supporting text comes from 1 Sam-
uel 8 et seq. Samuel was merely a judge at the time. The peo-
ple, however, told him they wanted a king so they could be
like other nations. (1 Sam. 8:20.) They thought the king could
better protect them in wars. “Samuel protested and went to
God in prayer.”874 What was God’s response?
God said to Samuel: Don’t be upset Samuel. The peo-
ple have not rejected you Samuel, but me, God. ‘They have
constantly rejected me since I liberated them. Accept their
demand but warn them of what will happen.’ So Samuel did
so, warning a king would take their sons to be soldiers. He
would take their daughters to be part of their harem or as ser-
vants. He would impose taxes or confiscate the best lands.

873.Jacques Ellul, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Anarchy and Christianity (Eer-

dmann’s 1991) at 48.
874.Jacques Ellul, id., at 48.

Introduction 358
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Samuel said things that any sane rational person in response

would say, ‘no, we made a mistake asking for a king.’ How
did the people respond?
The people said they did not care. They wanted a king
anyway. Samuel tried warning again, but the people would
not listen. And thus Saul showed up on the scene, and was
made king, which God showed the people He chose. Saul
later committed all kinds of abuses of power.
Thus, the God of the Bible’s preference clearly was
there should be no human king. A king was tolerated by
God solely due to human preference. God was being demo-
cratic — letting the people choose, as long as they were
informed of God’s sore displeasure at their choosing to have
human kings.
When Moses discussed kings, he foresaw the people’s
desire would be to have a king. He did not flatly prohibit it
nor endorse it. He accepted it as a reality of human preference
possibly in the future. Moses said the people might one day
wish to have a king to be like other nations and then said if
the people take that route they should let God choose the king
at that point. Moses said:
14 When you enter the land which the LORD
your God gives you, and you possess it and live
in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like
all the nations who are around me,’ 15you shall
surely set a king over you whom the LORD
your God chooses, one from among your coun-
trymen you shall set as king over yourselves;
you may not put a foreigner over yourselves
who is not your countryman. (Deut. 17:14-15.)
Thus, just as Jesus and the Bible said about divorce, it
was not God’s plan from the beginning and God hates
divorce, but God can then set limits upon when and how it
was used.
However, this tolerance by God of what He disap-
proved — rule by human kings — was argued later to support
a divine right of kings. The argument of Bossuet was that

Introduction 359
Abimelech meant in Hebrew “father-king.” This supposedly
was a common title among Hebrew monarchs. A king was
thus supposedly a type of father. Early English reformers
claimed that one must obey the monarch by virtue of the
command in the Ten Commandments to obey’s one’s
father.875 However, this was a baseless extrapolation, and ran
counter to the Bible’s condemnation of the people’s desire to
be ruled by a human king.

Appendix W: Cagliostro & The

In 1789 Cagliostro was in Rome. He was spreading
his Egyptian Freemasonry, as he had done previously in
France in the early 1780’s. This prompted the Roman police
at the request of the Inquisition to arrest him in December. He
was interviewed, and various questions posed. In response,
Cagliostro wrote out his answers. He was appointed legal
counsel who represented him. All the legal papers from this
Roman police investigation were later reviewed by serious
scholars. They regarded all the procedures followed normal
Roman police procedures, and showed that all rights were
afforded to Cagliostro as a civilian prisoner.876
In 1791, a Mr. Giovanni Barberi (1748-1821) wrote a
book which summarized the testimony and the results of the
police investigation. Barberi quoted extensively from the
police interviews with Cagliostro. Barberi’s book was first
published in 1791 in Italian, French, Spanish, German and
(without authorization) in English. Its original Italian title
was Compendio della Vita. In English, this means Summary

875.Charles Woodruff Shields, Philosophia Ultima (Scribner’s, 1889)

Vol. 2 at 233.
876.See “Petraconne’s 1914 Scholarly Analysis of Compendio” on
page 366 et seq.

Introduction 360
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

of a Life. It will be referred to here as the Compendio.877 A

copy can now be downloaded from of
either the Italian or unauthorized English version. The
English version confesses in the Preface that this is a transla-
tion by friends of Cagliostro. It is identical to the Italian Com-
pendio except the English translation fails to translate and
include the two references to the Illuminati present in the Ital-
ian Compendio.878

Objective Tone To Compendio

The Compendio in Italian maintains a dispassionate
neutrality. As one reviewer — the famous author Charles
Dickens — similarly noted in his review of the French 1791

877.The original Italian version was G. Barberi, Compendio della vita, e

delle gesta di Giuseppe Balsamo denominato Il Conte Cagliostro che
si è estratto dal processo contro di lui formato in Roma l’anno 1790. E
che può servire di scorta per conscere l'indole della Setta de’ libri
muratori (Rome: Stamperia della Rev. Camera Apost., 1791). The
English version is The Life of Joseph Balsamo etc. (London 1791). The
Preface to the English edition reveals this was published by friends of
Cagliostro. It is identical to the Italian except the two pages referring
to the Illuminati are altered to omit any mention of the Illuminati.
For example, in the English-London version, the Templars are dis-
cussed at page 75, mentioning they sought revenge for their grand mas-
ter. This portion identically appears at page 80 of the Italian
Compendio. But in the Italian, the Illuminati are discussed on the iden-
tical page 80. “The Strict Observance belonged to the Illuminati.” But
nowhere in the vicinity of page 75 in the English version is there any-
thing comparable. Likewise, on page 91 of the Italian Compendio,
there is a discussion of a document “from the wisdom of the sect of the
Illuminati stamped Paris 1789,” and that it spoke of a murder before
the “coming of Jesus Christ.” In the English-London edition, this is
identically discussed at page 103 as a “book printed at Paris in 1789”
which discusses a murder “before the coming of Jesus Christ.” How-
ever, the mention that this was “from the wisdom of the sect of the Illu-
minati” is eliminated. Then the key portion which is the initiation of
Cagliostro into the Illuminati at page 114 of the Italian version, despite
its use of specific words like Frankfurt, Strict Observance, Illuminati,
“fourteen or fifteen steps,” etc., we find none of these words can be
found anywhere in the English-London version. This key passage has

Introduction 361
edition, it is “a matter of fact little volume” extracted from
1790 “proceedings instigated at Rome” and published by the
“Apostolic Chamber.”879 Charles Dickens adds that the Com-
pendio “has every appearance of a genuine work more or less
extracted from the evidence brought forth at the trial.”880

The Key Passages About The Illuminati

There are two very brief passages filling perhaps two
pages of text that mention the Illuminati in any significant
degree. Barberi, the author, appears to not be aware this is
the Bavarian Illuminati. He draws no linkage to Weishaupt’s
group. It appears clear he thinks the Illuminati are simply
either a higher level within the Strict Observance or a vague
group going by that name.
In these two passages, Cagliostro describes his first
introduction to a Strict Observance lodge in Germany and
then his initiation at Frankfurt into a high level of the Illumi-
nati. After a first introduction to the Illuminati through
Jiminez, Cagliostro is contacted again when he moves to
Frankfurt-am-Main for two days. There he encountered
Jiminez again. Jiminez then said Cagliostro was ready for fur-
ther initiation. Cagliostro’s account of this initiation was:

I met with two men, whom I cannot reveal,...

but they were chiefs of the Illuminati.... They
invited me to a café. They then took me alone
in a carriage three miles outside the city. We
then transferred to a garden where I saw a man-
made cave. With the help of a lit torch, we
descended together underground about four-

878.The English version from 1791 is at

books?id=AEsDAAAAYAAJ. On the alterations specifically to elimi-
nate mention of the Illuminati, see Footnote 877 on page 361.
879.Charles Dickens, “Remarkable Adventurers, Cagliostro, in Two
Parts, Part 1,” All the Year Round Vol. 14 (London 1875) at 281-282.
880.Charles Dickens, id., at 282.

Introduction 362
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

teen or fifteen steps, then entering a round

room. In the middle was a table, upon which I
saw a metal chest, that contained a quantity of
writing, among which...was a manuscript...
upon which was written, “We Grand Masters of
the Templars,” followed by oaths and expres-
sions that were [meant to] horrify, but which I
could not recall, and it contained obligations
to destroy despotic sovereigns. This formula
was written in blood, and it had eleven signa-
tures, among which my guide said he was the
first. I cannot remember the names of all the
men who signed but I will call them N. N. N. N.
N. N. N. N. These signatures signified the
names of the Grand Masters of the Illuminati;
but in reality my guide did not make me, nor
did I know, how it [this order] came to exist. At
that point, they asked me to read from this
book, which was written in French, and a little
later, I read in a certain part, of which I strongly
assured myself, that the determined blow of
this society was directed primarily at
France,881 and following that they would make
the next blow in Italy, in particular at Rome,
which Mr. Jiminez [whom he met in the first
contact] had been named to be the leader over
[that territory], that they had an intrigue, and
the Society had a great deal of money dispersed
in various banks in Amsterdam, Rotterdam,
London, Geneva, and Venice, and they told me
that they would pay me each year one hundred
eight thousand... and they had money available
for those who stir up a movement against des-

881.The original Italian of this important part of the passage is: “il colpo
determinato da questa Setta era diretto primieramente alla Francia,
colla caduta della quale dovea poi farsi il colpo per l’Italia, ed in parti-
colare per Roma.” Compendio (1791), supra, at 96. This appears on
pages 115-16 of the Italian Compendio downloadable through

Introduction 363
potic sovereigns. They also revealed that their
lodges in America and Europe were up as high
as 20,000, and that each year on the day of St.
John they each were obligated to send to the
Treasury of the Sect 25 Gold Louis. Finally,
they offered me money, telling me also that
they were ready to give me their blood [that is,
die for him as brothers]; and I received 600
[Gold] Louis happily. We then returned
together to Frankfurt, where the next day I left
with my wife for Strasbourg.882
In 1848, Louis Blanc, a French revolutionary and his-
torian of socialist principles, relied upon this passage to iden-
tify the Illuminati of Bavaria as important players in the
planning of the French Revolution: “He was at Frankfort on
the Main, when the deputies of the Illuminati met him and
determined to secure him...The first blows were to reach
France....He learned from the mouth of his initiators that the
secret society, of which he was now a part, had strong
roots....He himself received a large sum destined for the
expenses of propaganda...and went to Strasbourg.”883
It bears mentioning that immediately after this pas-
sage in the Compendio, Barberi never again draws any
importance from the mention of the Illuminati. He goes on
to talk about Cagliostro’s trip to Strasbourg, France (Septem-
ber 1780). He never discusses the Illuminati again. Even
later, when Cagliostro says that he met Jiminez again in 1786
outside Paris and was interviewed by Jiminez about prepara-
tions ongoing in France by the societies, Barberi does not
remind his reader that Jiminez was previously identified by

882.Compendio, supra, at 95-96 (emphasis added). In the edition of Com-

pendio scanned by, this quote appears at pages 114-
116. It includes the same revelation about the attack will “first be
against France” and after that upon “Italy.” (Id., at 116.) Thus, this
variance must be attributed to a republication, and some additions.
883.Louis Blanc, History of the French Revolution of 1789 (Lea & Blan-
chard, 1848) at 374.

Introduction 364
Brissot’s Explanation Of Mesmerism Made It Wholly Political

Cagliostro as an Illuminati leader in 1780. Barberi does not

appear to understand the significance that an Illuminatus such
as Jiminez was near Paris in 1786 consulting with Cagliostro.
Barberi simply relates that later event as follows:

When Cagliostro was freed from Prison after

the Affair of the Necklace [1786], he went to
the Village of Passy where among many other
visitors he received was Thomas Jimenez and
another Grand Master. “They asked me various
questions about the affairs of France, and the
circumstances of my suffering at Paris, and
they told me that as the leading Masons of the
Strict Observance they were managing to set
up the revenge of the Templars, directed and
aimed principally against France and Italy, in
particular against Rome.” In the same village,
he then celebrated in a lodge of their
rite, . . . and thirteen days later, he left for Bolo-
Barberi deduces nothing more about this event. He
moves on to the next scene. Of interest also, Barberi appears
to suggest that this was simply the Strict Observance and
Templars who were involved. The Illuminati connection is
missed by Barberi because he could not see these implica-
tions from Cagliostro’s testimony.
Hence, we have highly significant quotes from
Cagliostro about his Illuminati recruiters in 1780 telling him
at a Strict Observance lodge of their plan to strike a blow
against France. The same people in 1786 came to Paris and
reminded him that their plan was almost ready to be launched
against France.

884.Compendio, supra, at 111 (emphasis added). This appears at page

134 of the edition of Compendio that one can download through The google version continues to retain the “princi-
pally against France” language, and thus this edition was obviously
just a revised longer edition.

Introduction 365
Petraconne’s 1914 Scholarly Analysis of Compendio
As to the reliability of the Compendio itself, Petrac-
cone in 1914 summarized the scholarly analysis regarding the
authenticity of the work.885 Petraconne pointed out that in
1881, one highly reputable scholar, Ademollo, mentioned in
two articles that he had access to the police investigation
papers on Cagliostro. They had been kept in a private home at
Rome.886 Petraconne says that Ademollo was able “to fully
confirm all the details of the Compendio, how the process
proceeded, how [Cagliostro] was permitted to discuss his
defenses [with his attorneys], and how the rights of the
accused were protected.”887
Ademollo was a serious scholar of judicial operations
at Rome at the turn of the prior century. Ademollo wrote a
book detailing the Roman judicial system’s operations in
1674-1739 and 1796-1840, in a scholarly work entitled Le
giustizie a Roma, dal 1674 al 1739 e dal 1796 al 1840
(Rome: 1881)(available through Ademollo
was also a scholar on the history of the Roman theatre.888
Then, later, Petraconne found more manuscripts and
documents on the Cagliostro investigation at the Victor
Emmanuel Library at Rome. Petraconne examined them and
said they “confirm the content of the questions and answers
of Cagliostro, . . . [and] show even how well-informed his
attorneys were in assuming his defense and trying to get his

885.Enzo Petraconne, Cagliostro—Nella Storia e nella Leggenda

(Naples: Francesco Giannini & Figli, 1914) at 8 et seq.
886.Petraconne cites Alessandro Ademollo, “Cagliostro e i Liberi Mura-
tori,” Nuova Antologia (April: 1881) and “Di Nuovo intorno a Caglios-
tro,” Rassegna Settimanale, VII (1881).
887.E. Petraconne, Cagliostro—Nella Storia e nella Leggenda, supra, at
888.Alessandro Ademollo also was “the authority on seventeenth-century
theater in Rome....” (Gretchen Ludke Finney, Musical Backgrounds for
English Literature: 1580-1650: 1580-1650 (1962) at 229.)

Introduction 366
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

Unless these serious scholars are all wrong, it appears

that Barberi’s account remains as a credible account contain-
ing reliable information obtained by the Roman police in

Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s


The Impact of Cagliostro on World History

The Affair of the Necklace of 1786 was the single
event that most contemporaries believed caused the revolu-
tion of 1789. At the heart of this was a forged purchase con-
tract for a very expensive diamond necklace. The queen
supposedly signed this contract. The signature duped Prince
De Rohan to guarantee the purchase in January 1785. It also
caused the jeweler to turn over the necklace to De Rohan.
After the jeweler delivered the necklace, Cagliostro’s secre-
tary, La Motte, said Cagliostro eventually cut it up.890 It was
initially taken away by Villette. He was a member of the
lodge Amis Reunis.891
How did the story break? Cagliostro’s secretary, La
Motte, came forward and told the jeweler before anyone else
knew that this was a swindle.892 Comte Beugnot, a neutral in
this, was with La Motte when De Rohan was arrested. She
told Beugnot: “It’s Cagliostro from start to finish.”893 Later,

889.Petraconne, supra, at 10.

890.Cagliostro, Mémoire pur le Comte de Cagliostro, accusé contre M. le
procureur général, accusateur; en présence de M. le Cardinal de
Rohan, de la Comtesse de la Motte et autres coaccusés (Paris: 1786) at
41 (quoting La Motte).
891.Gustave Bord, La Franc-Maçonnerie en France; des origines a
1816: Les Ouvriers de l’Idéme Révolutionnaire (1688-1771) (Paris:
Libraire Nationale, 1908) (reprinted Geneva-Paris: Slatkine, 1985) at

Introduction 367
when La Motte was interviewed, she again implicated
Cagliostro as the criminal behind this theft.894 During the
trial, Cagliostro’s secretary, La Motte, further said Cagliostro
must have forged the document and cut up the necklace in
pieces.895 However, a critical event took place — the forged
contract was stolen from the court file.896 Cagliostro at the
same time denied he was a forger and claimed a high birth,
and rich background.
Unfortunately, no one was able to determine Caglios-
tro’s true identity during the trial, or that he had a criminal
background as a forger. As a result, Cagliostro escaped con-
The reason no one could prove this is that the prose-
cution did not want to prove this. Unbeknownst to the king,
the prosecutor he assigned — Baudard de Saint-James897 —
was a leading member of Cagliostro’s lodge system as well as
of the Amis Reunis:
Sainte-James (de), l’un des fondateurs du Rite
des philalètes en 1773 [i.e., Amis Reunis];
Grand-Chancelier dans la Mère-Loge du Rite
égyptien de Cagliostro en 1785.898

892.Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (Vin-

tage Books, 1990) at 208; Frantz Funck-Brentano, The Diamond Neck-
lace (trans. Henry Sutherland Edwards)(J.P.Lipincott, 1901) at 227.
893.Claude Manceron, Age of the French Revolution (Simon & Schuster,
1989) Vol. IV Toward the Brink 1785-1787 at 71 (quoting Comte
Beugnot, Memoires 1779-1815 (Paris: Hachette, 1959)).
894.W. R. H. Trowbridge, Cagliostro—Savant or Scoundrel? The true
role of this splendid, tragic figure (N.Y.: University Books, 1961) at
895.J.B.J. Doillot, Réponse pour La Comtesse de Valois-La Motte au
Mémoire du Comte de Cagliostro (Paris: L. Cellot, 1786) at 4, 46.
896.Mossiker, The Queen’s Necklace (N.Y.: Simon & Schuster, 1961) at
897.François Ribadeau Dumas, Cagliostro (trans. Elisabeth Abbott)(Lon-
don: Allen & Unwin, 1966) at 172.

Introduction 368
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

Cagliostro admitted at trial, on examination by La

Motte’s counsel, that Saint-James told Cagliostro before his
arrest that La Motte had implicated him, and Cagliostro
would soon be arrested and his living quarters thoroughly
searched.899 All La Motte’s attorney knew is this explained
why nothing incriminating was found at Cagliostro’s house.
What escaped anyone’s notice at the time is the motive for
Saint-James to help Cagliostro avoid detection.
Thus, Cagliostro was absolutely confident that he
could lie at trial and never be exposed. His secret lodge
brother of a peculiar fraternal order headed by Cagliostro was
the Prosecutor!
Thereby, Cagliostro at trial besides throwing all the
blame on his secretary, Mme. La Motte, was able to haughtily
imply the queen indeed signed the contract. And the queen
supposedly had led along the amorous attentions of Prince De
Rohan which explained De Rohan’s guarantee. France was
thereby led to suspect Queen Marie Antoinette was throwing
away money to buy expensive necklaces or was illicitly seek-
ing suitors to pay for the same. The press of 1786 used this to
attack the Monarchy. It indeed was the biggest shock prior to
1789 that undermined the prestige of the Monarchy. Caglios-
tro was the one who gave the case a political spin by making
these accusations and insinuations.
As a result of Cagliostro’s spin, Talleyrand, a revolu-
tion supporter in 1789, remarked prior to 1789: “I should be
nowise surprised if it [the Affair of the Necklace] should
overturn the French monarchy.”900 Henri Martin in 1866

898.Grand Orient Lodge of France, ACTA LATOMORUM ou CHRO-

FRANÇAISE ET ÉTRANGÈRE (Ed. Dechevaux-Dumesnil)(Paris:
1815) Vol. II at 376.
899. François Ribadeau Dumas, Cagliostro, supra, at 173-74.
900.John S.C. Abbott, The History of Maria Antoinette (N.Y.: Harper &
Brothers, 1849) at 105.

Introduction 369
wrote that the Affair of the Necklace “was destined to con-
summate the discredit of the royal family, and to accelerate
the fall of the throne.”901
As a result, the renown writer Alexander Dumas in his
famous work entitled Giuseppe Balsamo wrote that he
intended it as “a serious work, rather than a romance” in order
to dramatize the role of the Illuminati. He said of his work
Giuseppe Balsamo: “I have written the history of the Illumi-
nati...enemies of royal power—... [who] played a large part
in the French Revolution....”902

Goethe Verifies Cagliostro’s True Identity & Background

It turns out that Goethe’s personal investigation in
Palermo proves Cagliostro escaped responsibility at the Paris
trial of 1786 by lying about his identity. This perjury covered
up a forgery conviction back in Italy.
In 1787, Goethe, the famous author of the German
Enlightenment, made a journey to Italy. In his journal, he out-
lines how he proved satisfactorily the identity of Cagliostro
as Balsamo — and that he was a lowborn Sicilian convicted
as a forger in Palermo, Sicily.903 Goethe was able to do this
on a trip in April 1787 to Palermo.
First, upon arrival at Palermo, Goethe asked a guest at
his hotel about Giuseppe Balsamo. “One of the guests
responded to me that the portrait of Cagliostro had been cir-
culated to Palermo as it had been to all the towns of Europe,
and some persons had recognized the features of Cagliostro
[in the portrait] as Joseph Balsamo.”904 Then it was

901.Henri Martin, History of France from the Most Remote Period to

1789 (Trans. Mary Booth) (Boston: Walker, Fuller & Co., 1866) Vol.
XVI at 481.
902.Alexandre Dumas, The Memoirs of Garibaldi (1861)(Kessinger
Reprint, 2006) at 19.
903.J.W.Goethe, Memoires de Goethe: Traduction Nouvelle (Paris: G.
Charpentier, 1886) Vol. 2 Voyages at 140-46. Available at Gallica.

Introduction 370
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

explained to Goethe that the French Minister hired an attor-

ney in Palermo to investigate the lineage of Balsamo. Goethe
asked the guest to direct him to this lawyer, which the guest
then did so.
Next, Goethe met with the lawyer, who treated
Goethe kindly. “Having already sent,” Goethe wrote,
“regarding this genealogy and memoir [to Paris], he confided
to me that he kept a copy of these legal documents just in case
he ever had any need. Here is an extract of what he made:
[141] Joseph [i.e., Giuseppe] Balsamo was born
at Palermo within the early days of June 1743
who had as a godmother a sister of his grand-
mother, on his paternal side, whose husband
was named Joseph [i.e., Giuseppe] Cagliostro,
from the vicinity of Messina. This godmother
and great-aunt had given him the baptismal
name of her husband [i.e., Giuseppe], which is
what undoubtedly suggested to him much later
of taking equally the name of the family [i.e.,
Cagliostro]. His father, Peter Balsamo, a book-
seller at Palermo, died at 45 years, and left his
widow no resources and two children, namely
Joseph [i.e., Giuseppe] and a daughter named
....As to Joseph [i.e., Giuseppe] Balsamo, since
his adolescence, he took the habit of the Broth-
ers of Mercy, a special order that tried to heal
maladies. His vivacity and great aptitude for
medicine, which was remarked favorably
upon, was not enough to overcome the rever-
end fathers being forced to dismiss him for
misconduct. [142] As a means of subsistence,
he commenced to make magic and seek for
treasure. He developed...the facility of copying
handwriting in order to falsify ancient docu-
ments and fabricate frauds. One of these docu-

904.Goethe, id., at 140-41.

Introduction 371
ments led to a serious prosecution, and he was
found guilty, and thrown in prison. Yet, he
found a means of escape, and he was judged in
The fugitive traveled to Calabria, and then
landed in Rome where he then married the
daughter of a manufacturer of belts. After this
marriage, he left with his wife for Naples,
under the name of Count Pellegrini. He then
had the audacity to return to Palermo under
this assumed name. There, he made the
acquaintance of a young Sicilian prince....
Dona Lorenza, the name of the woman [wife] of
Balsamo, captivated the goodwill of the prince,
to the point he declared openly and proudly he
was the protector of the couple.905
At this point Goethe discusses details of the discovery
of Balsamo’s identity, the resurrection of the original charges
for fraud over documents, Balsamo’s arrest, etc. Then the
Sicilian prince stands by Balsamo, etc. Balsamo is freed
again. No one can determine under what pretext, as there was
no judicial act releasing him, etc.
Goethe obtained further from the lawyer’s secretary
copies of the legal documents so he could satisfactorily verify
the genealogy.
From the evidence received, Goethe concluded that
Cagliostro was indeed an imposter from Palermo whose real
name was Giuseppe Balsamo. Goethe then told the secretary
that he wanted to meet the mother and sister of Cagliostro.
The lawyer’s secretary made the introductions after some
reluctance. In that afternoon, he conducted Goethe to “the
home of the family of the celebrated Count Cagliostro.”906

905.Id., at 140-141.
906.Id., at 143.

Introduction 372
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

They lived on a street named Casaro. It was a tortuous

street. They lived in a house of “sickly appearance.” He met
Balsamo’s sister, a woman somewhere in her 40’s, as well as
the widow Capitumino. They recognized the secretary. They
understood and agreed to talk about the son. Goethe then
records this initial conversation:
“You know my brother!,” [said the sister].
“All Europe knows him,” I responded, “and I
think you ought to know...that he is in London
and is perfectly settled.”
“Then I wish to join him this instant,” she
Then Goethe told the mother how the son was
arrested, thrown in the Bastille, but now lived happily in
England. Yet, all around Goethe was poverty, evident in three
sick children in the house. Nevertheless, the sister confided in
Goethe that on a prior visit of her brother to Palermo “he
brought the sum of 14 ounces which was a great help at that
moment,” and they “thought he had become rich and a sig-
neur.”908 The sister then sought to find a letter from her
brother, which made the secretary very happy to hear about.
However, Goethe said “my curiosity was satisfied, and...[I
told them to] dispense with the need to find the letter.” The
family insisted on finding the letter. Goethe explained he had
to leave, and then the mother said:
“Tell my son I am so very happy of the message
that you brought me on his behalf,” at which
point I pressed her to my heart.909
Goethe then finally left.

907.Id., at 144.
908.Id., at 145.
909.Id., at 146.

Introduction 373
Goethe in 1791 Recounts the Affair of the Necklace
In 1791, Wolfgang Goethe (1749-1832) wrote a
masonic comedy entitled The Grand Kophta (Der Gross-
Cophta). While in the history books, most assumed Caglios-
tro was not behind La Motte’s alleged conspiracy, Goethe
tells a different story. In the story by Goethe, the hero is a
young Knight who finds out that the brotherhood he joined is
not aiming at altruism. It turns out to be a deception.910 Our
young knight is no doubt Goethe himself. The brotherhood is
obviously the Illuminati. Goethe had joined the Bavarian Illu-
minati in February 1783 as alias Abaris, reaching the rank of
Regent — the highest grade.911 However, here in Grand
Kophta Goethe is clearly expressing disillusionment.
As the story begins in Grand Kophta, Goethe identi-
fies the lead character — the “Count” who transparently rep-
resents Cagliostro in the historical event known as the Affair
of the Necklace. The Count of Grand Kophta is a penniless
adventurer running a secret brotherhood. The first grade of
his secret order teaches a pure ethical code: “seek what is best
for you in what is best for others.” It hooks the Knight.912
However, when the Knight reaches the second grade,
as Boyle puts it, “to his horror, the Knight learns that the wis-
dom of the second grade is opposite to that of the first
grade—it aims at worldly advantage and unscrupulous
exploitation of others: ‘What you want men to do for you, do
not for them.’”913 Then when the Knight rebels at this, the
Count explains to him it was all a moral test to see his true

910.Nicholas Boyle, Goethe: Revolution and Renunciation (1790-

1803)(Oxford University Press, 2000) at 274. The synopsis that fol-
lows is likewise from Boyle’s book.
911.Terry Melanson, Perfectibilists (2009) at 311, citing Schüttler’s
online version of Die Mitglieder des Illuminatenordens 1776-1787/93
(Munich: 1991).
912.Boyle, Goethe: Revolution and Renunciation, supra, at 173.
913.Boyle, id., at 174.

Introduction 374
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

heart. Now the Knight is ready for the third and final grade of
master. The Knight “is appeased by this...reversal of appear-
ances.”914 However, by the final act, when the Knight learns
of the Count’s involvement in the plot to steal a necklace, his
loyalty to the Count is “finally shattered.”915
In the account of the Affair of the Necklace interwo-
ven in the Knight’s initiations, Goethe describes the Count as
a “conscious” co-conspirator with a Marchioness. She repre-
sents La Motte in the real events. The Count (=Cagliostro)
“forces” the niece of the Marchioness to “impersonate the
Queen” (an event that was part of the true history) to feign
visions to encourage the Canon (who represented Cardinal
Rohan in the real history) to believe in the amorous intentions
of the Queen. The young Knight “learns of the conspiracy”
and “passes the information to the authorities.” This indeed is
what Goethe is doing by retelling the truth about Cagliostro’s
role. In the last act in Goethe’s play, unlike in the real world,
all are caught red-handed on the very night the Canon (=de
Rohan) gives the Necklace to the Marchioness (=LaMotte) in
anticipation of being rewarded with a “tryst” with the “spuri-
ous Queen.”916
The significance of Goethe’s play The Grand Kophta
is that Goethe was trying to tell the public that they did not
see the true picture of the co-responsibility of Cagliostro in
defrauding the jeweler. The Affair of the Necklace obviously
turned Goethe off to the Illuminati. He saw that they trained
members in duplicity and self-seeking rather than exclusively
in virtue. For Goethe, he could not countenance measures,
such as those taken by Cagliostro, to effectuate the reform of
men and the world he earnestly desired. Goethe saw it would
have a corrupting influence on human character.

916.Nicholas Boyle, id., at 172.

Introduction 375
This rejection of the Illuminati was self-evident one
month after the first performance of Grand Kophta. Goethe
wrote: “All secret associations should be destroyed, whatever
the consequences.”917 Thus, evidently, Goethe’s investiga-
tion into the life of Balsamo was an important pivot point in
his life, causing him to reject the Illuminati and all secret
societies. Perhaps such antipathy explains Goethe’s famous
warning against the delusion of political slaves:
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those
who falsely believe they are free.
Perhaps this is why Goethe also wrote, as quoted in
Goethe’s opinions on the world, mankind, literature, science,
and art (trans. Otto von Wenckstern) (Parker: 1853) his
opposition to artificial means of revolution:
[4] I could not be friendly to the French Revo-
lution, for its atrocities touched me too nearly,
and disgusted me almost every hour and every
day, while its beneficial results were at that
time beyond my vision. Nor could I look with
indifference, while attempts were making in
Germany to effect that by artificial means,
which in France was effected by a great and
imperative necessity.
But I have never been a friend of arbitrary
power....Because I hated Revolutions, they
called me a friend of existing institutions. The
title is equivocal and I protest against it.
[2] A truly liberal man employs all the means
in his power to do all the good he can. He does
not rush in with fire and sword to abolish
imperfections, which are sometimes unavoid-
able. He endeavors by cautious progress to
remove the ills of the body politic.

917.Boyle, Goethe, id., at 173.

Introduction 376
Goethe’s Investigation of Cagliostro’s Identity

Introduction 377
Introduction 378