Beiträge mit Tag secret societies

Wie Verschwörungstheorien funktionieren

Thomas Grüter - Freimaurer, Illuminaten und andere Verschwörer: Wie Verschwörungstheorien funktionieren

Die Illuminaten, stellvertretend für sämtliche sagenumwitterten Geheimbünde dieser Welt, waren schon von jeher zentraler Bestandteil so ziemlich jeder größeren Verschwörungstheorie.

Einschlägige Quellen zu den abstrusesten Weltbildern gibt es sowohl im Internet als auch in gedruckter Form schon mehr als genug, weshalb wir uns in diesem Blog auf die wesentlichsten und bekanntesten Mythen um den Illuminatenorden konzentrieren und auch ganz gerne die Entstehung und Hintergründe einer solchen Verschwörungstheorie etwas genauer unter die Lupe nehmen.

Dass wir mit diesem Gedanken nicht alleine dastehen, zeigen zum Beispiel die Publikationen von “Entschwörungstheoretiker” Daniel Kulla oder das von Patrick Jedamzik in seinem Blog vorgestellte Sachbuch “Freimaurer, Illuminaten und andere Verschwörer: Wie Verschwörungstheorien funktionieren” von Thomas Grüter, auf das wir an dieser Stelle etwas ausführlicher eingehen wollen.

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A Brief Encounter with Adam Weishaupt in 1804

Adam Weishaupt

Relatively late in the research for the book Perfectibilists, I became aware of an short account from Henry Crabb Robinson, in his Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence, where he had gone to Gotha in 1804 and met with Adam Weishaupt. I hadn’t included this exchange in my own book (as it wasn’t readily accessible to me at the time). However, recently, Google books has scanned in a full-view copy of the diary. Here, then, is Henry Crabb Robinson’s encounter with Adam Weishaupt (in Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence, Vol. I, Boston: Fields, Osgood, & Co. 1869, pp. 124-6):

[…] my object in referring to this visit to Gotha is to say something of a man whose name belongs to the history of the last century, though it was raised to undue importance by the malignant exaggerations of party spirit.

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A note about student societies in Germany.

In the XVIII century a passion for secret societies affected many people including students. At that time there existed student orders or societies, that had many ways copied the pattern of Freemasonry. One of such unions, Mosellaner (Moselbund), was set up in Jena in 1746. Later they formed a fraternity, the Amizisten (Amicistenorden), with its well-known motto “True friendship is a fruit of honour”. The order espoused some liberal ideas but they were doomed to die. Student societies splitted the academic Bürgerschaft into two parts. Members of the fraternities showed disdain for the uninitiated, while the latter were highly displeased with the societies’ policies. The discord between the two parties was a fertile ground to nuture mutual outrage, which led to the Gießen battle in 1777.

As a result of the orders activity, especially the Amizisten, the student unions caused government discontent: the authorities suspected the societies of having a secret political agenda. According to Regensburg Reichstag’s decision, the students societies were proclaimed out of law. Inspite of this, the Amizisten, the Burschenschaft predecessors, continued to attend their sessions in secret. At long last the Jena academic senate banished cum infamia the last twelve members of the Amizisten order.

Suggestions for further reading:
1. Friedrich Christian Laukhard. Der Mosellaner – oder Amicisten – Orden nach seiner Entstehung, inneren Verfassung und Verbreitung auf den deutschen Universitäten, Halle 1799


Dan Brown’s novels massive success might be explained by dexterous combination of reality and fiction, including the strongly sought-for secret societies topic. The theme of cynic individuals in possession of clandestine truths conspiring to cease power continues to fascinate the unsophisticated minds of Mr. Brown’s readers. However, Mr. Brown is only an author, he is writing fiction. His books are just “amazing tales with enigma piled on secrets stacked on riddles”. It’s up to the reader to believe these tales or to take them for what they are worth.

The blog is aimed to investigate the history of the illuminati and other societies that sought to foster their philosophical views and attitudes in people.