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Perfectibilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati Paperback – January 31, 2009
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From now on, no one has the right to opine on the Illuminati unless they either have read this book or shows themselves to be more knowledgeable than Terry Melanson.
Only two reservations. First, the 'Skull & Bones' chapter seems to have flown in from another planet (or possibly a marketing department's request), and it stands out oddly. Second, Melanson makes no distinction between the different factions of Freemasonry that were expanding in continental Europe in the 1700s. Stauffer does a good job pointing out the differences in his book between the social club Anglo-Saxon Masons; the mystical Rosicrucian-style Masons who were attempting to make their brand more mysterious; and the Enlightenment social reformers of the Grand Orient of France who were involved in political movements. One style of Masonry was not the same as the next, and each had very different goals. But this is possibly a minor point and my own obsession.
I disagree strongly with Melanson's[...] website on a regular basis, and I think he and his fellow bloggers there seek boogeymen and a hyper-competent all-seeing, all-knowing criminal class of evildoers that control the world. But The Perfectibilists does not engage in the hysterics of that website. Melanson has produced a solid work of scholarship, and he is to be commended.
Are the Illuminati running the world?
No.... Capitalists, free markets and corporations are running the world. I can write a whole book on the economic benefits of corporations. But, it can be summed up by simply stating they circulate capital. If you are concerned with who is currently running the world you should look into the Bilderberg Group, The Council on Foreign Relations and The Trilateral Commission just to name a few. Many former presidents have warned the American public about mega industrialists. (Eisenhower, Kennedy, etc) Many such organizations follow the same pattern of clandestine meetings and people in high places that the illuminati is famous for. But, the ideology is different.
What could the Illuminati have directly influenced?
The fall of monarchies in Europe, the American revolution, the increased availability of education in Europe, the spreading of enlightenment ideals, and the French revolution.
What could the Illuminati have indirectly influenced?
American political policy up until 1900, communism and socialism.
If they were liberal or conservative by today's standards which would they be?
Did they worship the devil, want to enslave mankind or press the lower classes into submission?
No!!!! Once again maybe other organizations did, but that was not their ideology.
Did they want to overthrow the government of the time and were they atheists?
They probably were atheists or deists. The government of the time did end up getting overthrown. The world was run by kings, dukes, monarchies, the Roman Empire and corrupt governments in general. That system was replaced with democracy.
Why is the term Illuminati used to describe so many alleged back room shady organizations that attempt to influence the world and rattle government?
Because they were an organization that made back room deals and attempted to influence the world. However, the government of today and the government of yesterday are completely different.
This is a good unbiased book, for the most part. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject. I also commend the author for his tedious research.