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And to this day, the proverb is still repeated from the Danube to the Rhine: "It is dangerous to talk too much about the Illuminati."

VON JUNTZ, Unausprechlichen Kulten

Theoretically, an Age of Bureaucracy can last until a paper shortage develops, but, in practice, it never lasts longer than 73 permutations.

WEISHAUPT, Konigen, Kirchen and Dummheit

In a well-known passage in the Necronomicon Abdul Alhazred writes, "They ruled once where man rules now; where man rules now, they shall rule again. After summer is winter, and after winter, summer." Weishaupt, who possessed only the Olaus Wormius translation, in the 1472 Lyons edition with its numerous misprints and errors, found this text scrambled into "They ruled once where man rules now, summer. Where man rules now, after summer is winter. They shall rule again, and after winter." Thoroughly confused, he wrote to his good friend the Kabalist Kolmer in Baghdad for an explanation. Kolmer, meanwhile, dispatched a letter to him answering a previous question. When this epistle arrived, Weishaupt had been experimenting with a new strain of Alamout black and was in no condition to realize it was a reply to an earlier query; he was, thus, ready to accept enlightenment in the words: "Concerning your rather thorny enquiry: I find that, in most cases, ergot is the best remedy. Failing this, I can only suggest the path of Don Juan."

Weishaupt assumed that Kolmer meant the passage would become clear if he read it while under the influence of ergot. He promptly went down to his laboratory and tossed off a jigger; then, for good measure, he chewed a few peyote buttons. (He was under the misapprehension that the Don Juan referred to was the same Yaqui Indian magician of the twentieth century whose mind he had been tapping through the Morgenheutegesternwelt. Peyote was that Don Juan's great "teacher," and Weishaupt had imported some from Mexico at great trouble and expense.) It should be explained at this point that the question which Kolmer was answering happened to be not philosophical but personal. Weishaupt had sought his advice on a problem much perplexing him that month: the fact that his sister-in-law was somewhat pregnant and circumstantial evidence seemed to mark him as the father. He wasn't at all sure how to explain this to Eve. Kolmer had intended to convey that Adam should give his paramour the ergot, since it often functions as an abortifacient; the alternative referred to the path of an earlier Don Juan and meant splitting the scene entirely. However, the stoned Ingolstadt sage misunderstood totally, and so came to the Necronomicon full of hashish, peyote, and a substantial quality of ergot, which had, under the influence of the other drugs and his own intestinal juices, mutated into ergotine, a close chemical cousin of LSD. The result was that the words seemed to leap out of the page at him, shouting with intense meaning:


Abdul Alhazred's concept of the Great Cycle, which derived actually from the Upanishads, took on kinky edges in Weishaupt's flipped-out cortex. Five kinky edges, to be exact, since he was still obsessed with the profound new understanding of the Law of Fives he had achieved the night he saw the shoggoth turn into a rabbit. He quickly fetched Giambattista Vico's Scienze nuovo from his shelf and began reading: He saw that he was right. Vico's theory of history, in which all societies pass through the same four stages, was an oversimplification-there were, when you looked closely at the actual evidence behind Vico's rhetoric, five distinct stages each time the Italian listed only four. Weishaupt looked very closely, and, like Joe Malik, the harder be looked the more fives he found.

It was then that the man's truly unique mind made its great leap: He remembered that Joachim of Floris, a proto-primus Illuminatus of the eleventh century, had divided history into three stages: the Age of the Father, dominated by Law; the Age of the Son, dominated by Love; and the Age of the Holy Spirit, dominated by Joy. Where most philosophers rush to publish their insights, Weishaupt saw the advantage of an alternative path. The Law of Fives would be kept secret, so that only Illuminati Primi would know about it and could predict events correctly, but the Joachimite theory would be revived and publicized to mislead others. (He, Kolmer, Meyer Amschel Rothschild, DeSade, and Sir Frances Dashwood-the original Five-had some discussions about possibly pushing Vico instead of Joachim, but, as Weishaupt argued, "Four is a little bit too close to five" Even so, it was quite a spell of years before they found the ideal front man to push the three-step theory, G. W. F. Hegel. "He's perfect," Weishaupt wrote in the De Molay cipher from Mount Vernon. "Unlike Kant, who makes sense only in German, this man doesn't make sense in any language.") The rest of the story-the exoteric story, at least -is history. After Hegel was Marx; and after Marx, the Joachimite three-step was permanently grafted onto revolutionary tactics.

The esoteric story, of course, is different. For instance, in 1914, when the fifth and final stage of Western Civilization was dawning, James Joyce published A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The five chapters of that novel not only suggested five stages in the hero's growth, but by the alteration of styles from chapter to chapter suggested analogies with other five-stage processes. This was too much for the Illuminati Primi of the time, who warned Joyce to be more careful in the future. A battle of wills ensued, and all through the writing of Ulysses Joyce was still considering a novel built entirely around the Law of Fives. When the Illuminati gave him what they call "the Tiresias treatment" -blindness-he finally compromised. Finnegans Wake, when it appeared, broke with the Joachim-Hegel-Marx three-step but did not include the funfwissenschaft. Instead, the Viconian four-stage theory was resurrected, a middle path that appealed to Joyce's sense of synchroniciry, since he had once taught at a school on Vico Road in Dublin and later also lived in a house on Via Giambattista Vico in Rome.*

* Do you believe that?

Now for a few words about the "real truth," at least as the Illuminati understand "real truth."

Every society actually passes through the five stages of Verwirrung, or chaos; Zweitracht, or discord; Unordnung, or confusion; Beamtenherrschaft, or bureaucracy; and Grummet, or aftermath. Sometimes, to make comparison with the exoteric Hegel-Marx system more pointed, the esoteric Illuminati system is defined as: Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis, Parenthesis, and Paralysis. The public Hegel-Marx triad is also called the tricycle, and the arcane latter two stages are called the bicycle; one of the first secrets revealed to every illuminatus Minore is "After the tricycle it comes always the bicycle." (The Uluminati are rather prone toward literal translations from Weishaupt's German.)

The first stage, Verwirrung or chaos, is the point from which all societies begin and to which they all return. It is, so to speak, the natural condition of humanity-an estimation which the reader can confirm by closely observing his neighbors (or, if he has the necessary objectivity, himself).

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy

It is, therefore, also the fundamental Thesis. The Illuminati associate this with Eris, and also with other goddesses from Isis to Ishtar and from Kwannon to Kali-with the Female Principle, yin, in general. This correlates with hexagram 2 in the I Ching: that is, K'un, which has the meanings of receptivity, nature (in contrast to spirit), earth (in contrast to sky), female (in contrast to male). Thus, although this is the first stage chronologically, it has the mystical number 2, which is always associated with the female in magic; and it correlates with the 2nd trump in Tarot, the High Priestess, who represents not only maternity and fertility but gnosis. The sign of the horns represents Verwirrung because the fingers make a V shape; and the planet or the symbol of Venus,, also designates this stage. On the Zodiac: Aquarius,

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The second stage, Zweitracht, begins with the appearance of a ruling or governing class. This is the Antithesis of chaos, of course, and leads directly into discord when the servile class discovers that its interests are not the same as the interests of the ruling class. This correlates with Osiris, Jehovah, and all masculine deities; with the symbol of the All-Seeing Eye; with hexagram 1 in the I Ching: Ch'ien, the creative, the heavenly, the strong, the powerful; with the male principle, yang, in general; with the number 3, symbolizing the all-male Christian trinity; with the 12th trump of the Tarot, the Hanged Man, symbolizing sacrifice, schism and schizophrenia; and with the planet or symbol of Mars,. Naturally, a Zweitracht period is always replete with "internal contradictions," and somebody like Karl Marx always arises to point them out. On the Zodiac: Pisces,

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The third stage, Unordnung or confusion, occurs when an attempt is made to restore balance or arrive at the Hegelian Synthesis. This correlates with Loki, the Devil, Mercury (god of thieves), Thoth in his role of Trickster, Coyote, and other spirits of illusion or deception; with hexagram 4 in the IChing, Meng, youthful folly or standing on the brink of the abyss; with the number 11, signifying sin, penance, and revelation; with the 21st trump in the Tarot, the Fool who walks over the abyss; and with the planet or sign of Mercury,. It represents that attempt to restore the state of nature by unnatural means, an annihilation of the biogram by the logogram. On the Zodiac: Cancer,.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The fourth stage, Beamtenherrschaft or bureaucracy, represents the Parentheses that occur when the Hegelian Synthesis does not succeed in reconciling the opposites. This correlates with Void (absence of any divinity); with IChing hexagram 47, K'un, oppression or exhaustion, superior men held in restraint by inferior men; with the number 8, indicating balance and the Last Judgment; with the 16th Tarot trump, Falling Tower, representing deteriorations and the Tower of Babel; and with the planetoid or sign of the moon,. On the Zodiac: Libra,

The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy

The fifth stage, Grummet or aftermath, represents the transition back to chaos. Bureaucracy chokes in its own paperwork; mind is at the end of its tether; in desperation, many begin to deny the logogram and follow the biogram, with varying degrees of success. This correlates with Hermaphrodite; with IChing hexagram 59, Huan, dispersion, dissolution, foam on the water; with the number 5, union of male and female; with the 6th trump of the Tarot, the Lovers, indicating union; and with the sun or its symbol,. On the Zodiac: Virgo,

Since the association of these references, and their bearings on history, may be a bit unclear to some readers, we will give further details on each stage.