Scientologists, Vegetarians and the Illuminati
I had a strange conversation with Daniel of some enterest today before heading out to the library. I normally meet Natalie there on Mondays, but she was occassioned by some family visits, and we agreed to meet today in it's stead. Regardless, Daniel had a lot of unusual questions. I assumed that the records of history service the justice of destroying ignorant criticisms, but after that conversation, I suppose not.
Daniel: So, me and my friend James are going out tomorrow. He's got another rally. Did you want to come?
Me: To a mass congregation? Of what manner?
Daniel: Oh, you know, protesting at the world trade center downtown. It's not much of a rally. We only got 10 people this time. We want to make a post-Thanksgiving statement about how all the starving kids are being affected by globalization, so we got signs with turkeys being stabbed by the WTO. I think maybe we'll just bail on that and just go for a martini at this vegetarian bar somewhere downtown. So, what do you think?
Me: Oh... well... I'm not really quite understanding what these supposed "vegetarians" are. I don't particularly endorse the practice of worship of greens or tribute to agricultural gods, & that much I can certainly attest to. But who is this friend of yours, James, as you say?
Daniel: James? Oh, James D. Roosevelt IV, he's a friend of mine. We knew each other when I was in high school. We didn't actually go to school together though, he went to some private school though, we met through some friends. But he is a cool guy. He's kinda been mouthy about political stuff since he got into college, always talking about some shit I don't understand, he's so smart. Of course, that's because he got in to this fancy college with his dad's recommendation, and on a huge student loan. You'd learn a lot from him, being interested in politics and all that. You should come.
Me: I think I'll manage to pass.
Daniel: Man, you're lame. Anyways, this globalization stuff reminds me of all the conspiracy books I used to read about. I have some books upstairs on everything, the U.F.O's, the Bilderbergers, even the secret devil-worshipping Free Masons, oh, did you know Jack the Ripper was a Free Mason? Wait, you probably don't know about Jack the Ripper yet. Oh, and the Illuminati! Dude, totally, check this shit out, you won't even believe it. If you get out a dollar bill, and you flip it over, there are two seals...
Me: Yeah, I am aware. I was on the council that made those seals. Well, one of the councils. The pyramid was not my idea. The eye though, I approved of.
Daniel: What??? You made those??? But, but...
Me: Well yeah, they're somewhat masonic, if you want to go so far as to say that. They became more masonic after we adopted them, most definitely. Of course they are somewhat inspired by the same tradition as we had many friends in the lodge whose values contributed to the formation of the dollar.
Daniel: Rule! I time warped a guy who knows something about the Illuminati! Dude! This is awesome! I could get on fucking PBS or Unsolved Mysteries with this shit! Well, maybe not, if I gotta keep a low profile with you. You gotta tell me everything you know! Is it true they all used to worship Lucifer and are secretly conspiring to create a new world order? Fnord! Fnord!
Me: I don't know to which what span of the globe or bearing of the breadth of the knowledge of God you refer to.
Daniel: Well, dude, if you know about the freemasonry, then that's the Illuminati, right? The new world order?
Me: Well, having the accident of needing to answer such a question, fine, I will discuss with you the extent of what I know. Firstly, the difference between the two, the freemasons and illuminati, is that the freemasons were original but disfigured, and the illuminati appear to me more organized. From the book 'Antisocial Conspiracy' by Barruel I derived my first idea I have ever had of what is meant by the Illuminatism against which 'illuminate Morse' as he is now called & his ecclesiastical & monarchical associates have been making such a hue and cry. Barruel's own parts of the book are perfectly the ravings of a Bedlamite. Sounds as raving as you do now.
Daniel: Oh. Well, fine, Mr. Smartass, but you don't know how things are today. If the Illuminatus is not some devil-worshipping new world order then tell me what it is.
Me: Despite it seems that you've already had the opportunity to form a judgment likened to this cry of "mad dog" which has been raised against the doctrines of Illuminism, I will give you the idea I have formed from only an hour's reading of Barruel's quotations from him so many years ago, maybe my opinion and knowledge of the masons might make them seem more favourable. Wishaupt, the founder of the Illumination movement, seems to be an enthusiastic Philanthropist. He is among those who believe in the indefinite perfectibility of man. He thinks he may in time be rendered so perfect that he will be able to govern himself in every circumstance so as to injure none, to do all the good he can, to leave government no occasion to exercise their powers over him & of course to render political government useless. This you know is Godwin's doctrine, and this is what Robinson, Barruel & Morse had called a conspiracy against all government. These people at least in my time during their foundations were lodgings of those who believed in a free government so man can explore his identity. Not some "devil-worshipping new world order". Wishaupt wanted to promote this perfection of the human character was the object of Jesus Christ.
Daniel: Huh? You mean it's just a bunch of objectivist Christians? That's actually kinda... well, lame. All the books I read all said globalizationist conspiracy to control minds, which was kinda cool.
Me: Well you asked what Illuminatism was about, so I am telling you how Wishaupt believed, that his intention was simply to reinstate natural religion, and by diffusing the light of his morality, to teach us to govern ourselves. His precepts are the love of god & love of our neighbor. And by teaching innocence of conduct, he expected to place men in their natural state of liberty & equality. He says, no one ever laid a surer foundation for liberty than our grand master, Jesus of Nazareth. He believes the Free Masons were originally possessed of the true principles and objects of Christianity, and have still preserved some of them by tradition, but much disfigured. The means he proposes to effect this improvement of human nature are "to enlighten men, to correct their morals & inspire them with benevolence. Secure of our success, says he, we abstain from violent commotions. To have foreseen the happiness of posterity & to have prepared it by irreproachable means, suffices for our felicity. The tranquility of our consciences is not troubled by the reproach of aiming at the ruin or overthrow of states or thrones." As Wishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot & priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, & the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object & to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue. He proposed to initiate new members into his body by gradations proportioned to his fears of the thunderbolts of tyranny. This has given an air of mystery to his views.
Daniel: No shit. Anything that boring has to be mysterious to be interesting. Man, screw this. I should've never asked. I can't believe all those books were just a bunch of garbage. Next thing you know it, there'll be proof that the face on Mars is just a coincidentally shaped rock. I haven't been this disappointed since I found out that Scientology is just a bunch of wacko actors who suck at personality tests.
Me: Scientology? Vegetarians?
Me: Don't bother explaining, as I have a feeling I wouldn't understand anyways.
I met up with Natalie after my conversation with Daniel. Our meeting was short this time, and there seemed something pressing. She has told me that she wants to discuss something, but that it should wait for an appropriate time. Ms. Everson at work has been much nicer to me lately, in fact. I am pleasantly surprised at the betterment of her attitude. Regardless, I must go to go about more daily chores, and lend Daniel my last remaining $10 to go out to a "strip club" with some of his friends, although why one would make it a social gathering to create discordance of brush and trees from fields and soil, I would not know at all.
your affectionate friend.
- TH. Jefferson