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By Robert Howells
Published by Watkins Publishing on 2016-10-20
RELIGION, BODY, MIND and SPIRIT
This book demonstrates that the old secret societies were driven by the same impulse as Anonymous and WikiLeaks are today. These marginalized groups have always rebelled against the establishments; some subversively by spreading progressive ideas through art and literature, while others are far more proactive, driving revolution and exposing government secrets. The Illuminati, founded in 1776, aimed to rid Europe of the ruling aristocracy and religious control of education, politics and science. They supported the Age of Enlightenment and were accused of fueling the dissent that culminated in the French Revolution. Since that time the term Illuminati has become a meme, giving a name to a secret network believed by conspiracy theorists to control the world. These were depicted as pranksters, working in the shadows to manipulate society. It was in this climate of pranks, memes and conspiracy theories that the hacktivist collective Anonymous were born. Their ideals of freedom from censorship and the empowering of societies against their rulers make them the spiritual successors of the Illuminati. The kindling of the French Revolution by the Illuminati has found a modern counterpart in how Anonymous and WikiLeaks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings using the internet as a new weapon against dictatorships. It is the same battle fought by secret societies for a millennium but the new inquisition has shifted its focus from secret societies to wage a war on the connected communities of the internet age. This is the story of that war and how you need to be a part of it.
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Robert Howells, born in London in 1968, has spent over 20 years investigating secret societies, counterculture and conspiracy theories. During this time he has built up an extensive knowledge and experience of secret societies, symbolism and esoteric thought. As a manager for 've years of Watkins Books in London, one of the oldest esoteric bookshops in Europe, he extended his research into comparative religion, transpersonal psychology, sacred geometry, Gnosticism and alchemy. He also came into contact with a number of secret societies during this time, including the Priory of Sion, the Freemasons, the Order of Lazarus and various neo-Templar orders, as well as Su's and other religious groups. His 'rst book, Inside the Priory of Sion, was published in 2011 and his second book, The Last Pope, in June 2013. Robert Howells is married with two children and lives in Kent, England.
Also by Robert Howells Inside the Priory of Sion The Last Pope
ROBERT HOWELLS THE ILLUMINATI THE COUNTERCULTURE REVOLUTION FROM SECRET SOCIETIES TO WIKILEAKS AND ANONYMOUS
This edition 'rst published in the UK and USA 2016 by Watkins, an imprint of Watkins Media Limited 19 Cecil Court London WC2N 4EZ email@example.com Design and typography copyright ? Watkins Media Limited 2016 Text copyright ? Robert Howells 2016 Robert Howells has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identi'ed as the author of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without prior permission in writing from the Publishers. 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 Typeset by Manisha Patel Printed and bound in Finland A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN: 978-1-78028-872-7 www.watkinspublishing.com
This book is dedicated to: Julian Assange, a refugee for truth, Edward Snowden, a patriot in exile, and my friend Paul John Denham, a prisoner without guilt.
Acknowledgements The journey to bring this book into the world was long and arduous. I am indebted to the team at Watkins Media for their ongoing trust and support: to publisher Michael Mann for his patience and guidance; to Bob Saxton for his excellent editorial skills; to Vicky Hartley and the rest of the sales and marketing team for their unending efforts on my behalf; and to Etan I'eld, who sees the 'big picture'. Also, thanks to those who support my work from the outside, including Bruce Burgess and the many online community members both known and unknown. And 'nally to my family and friends for taking a back seat as I headed for the far horizons of culture.
Contents Chapter 1: The Counterculture Imperative 3 Chapter 2: The Descent into Dissent 8 Chapter 3: Keepers of the Flame 23 Chapter 4: The Bavarian Illuminati 39 Chapter 5: The Path of the Illuminati 54 Chapter 6: Dissolution as Evolution 83 Chapter 7: Counterculture 96 Chapter 8: The Age of Conspiracy 117 Chapter 9: The Old World Order 140 Chapter 10: Disruptive Technology 157 Chapter 11: The Emerging Society 187 Resources Select Bibliography 204 Documentaries 206 Newsfeeds and Forums 207 Online Petitions 208 Privacy Resources 209 Index 212
Ask yourself 'What is the most important thing that I could be working on in the world right now'? Aaron Swartz (1986'2013) The entire legal system is called into question when laws are used to persecute the innocent.
Chapter 1 The Counterculture Imperative 'Socialization is a process by which we learn to 't into our surroundings.' This was the mantra of my social studies teacher which I learned to recite in secondary school at the tender age of 15. Even then I suspected it was the anathema of individuality and creativity, and on reflection I consider it an insidious piece of brainwashing to inflict upon young adults. Today, it is a lesson that I see taught everywhere, from the tide of mainstream media that vili'es and humiliates anyone who stands apart to religions that would imprison us with blatantly dishonest dogmas. Socialization is apparent in the words of our politicians that expect us to trust their disinformation and the actions of government agencies that imprison hackers for defacing the websites of morally corrupt corporations. We should know better than to question the news channels that report wars as if they were the spectacle of a 'rework display while denying us the footage of bombed schools and hospitals 'lled with civilians. Nor should we call to account the economists who recommend deregulation that allows bankers to ravage the economy and walk away with huge bonuses. And there is absolutely no alternative to banks
THE ILLUMINATI 4 charging interest on the money they lend, which puts every country and individual in perpetual debt, making economic slaves of us all. In all aspects of life we are told this is how it must be and we have no choice other than to conform to 't into society. But this is a lie. Counterculture is the anathema of socialization. It is the ambiguity that undermines all forms of government and their methods of control. In counterculture there are no boundaries or social structures, just forms of evolution and revolution. The new groups that gather and disperse usually foreshadow future trends in some way, and might prove to be the catalyst for change. To embrace counterculture requires that we cease to adapt to society and begin to exert our own identity so that individuality becomes a form of expression, a way of life that escapes tradition. We now live in an age of mass surveillance which records and reports our every electronic conversation, purchase, location and social interaction. Through this, governments can track and identify the members of any counterculture, or any party that would speak out against the ruling powers. Since the dawn of civilization governments and dictators have fought to take power and hold on to it by either force or manipulation. Those that stand against them risk persecution, censorship and death. Treason and heresy have always incurred the wrath of those trying to keep dominion over the masses, just as challenging religion led to heretics and scientists alike being imprisoned or put to the flame by the Inquisition. To counter this there have always been secret societies working in the shadows of every civilization to uphold an alternative view, and sometimes the truth, in the hope that one day all humanity would be free. Their ideas and philosophies were seeded into the public domain through philosophy and art, ritual and heresy. In Europe they fought to undermine the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to
THE COUNTERCULTURE IMPERATIVE 5 the Age of Reason through social engineering. During this period the controlling facade of the Church, toxic with corruption and hypocrisy, was losing control and no amount of burning corpses could hold back the revolution. By the 18th century a social upheaval was blowing through the West in the minds of philosophers, the words of poets and the civil unrest of the masses. The secret societies of the 18th century established a philosophy that can be traced through counterculture to the online hacktivist groups of today. But we begin with the archetypal secret society and the one group that 'rst stood in open revolt against all forms of oppression set upon humanity: the Illuminati. The term Illuminati belongs to three distinct groups in history. The 'rst is the original Bavarian Illuminati, the real secret society that appeared in 1776 among European Freemasons and academics with the intention of liberating humanity from physical, mental and spiritual bondage. During their brief incarnation they encapsulated the entire ethos of counterculture into a single system of organized dissent that is still relevant today. Many secret societies were founded to protect and promote spiritual ideals in the face of the Inquisition, and the Illuminati drew upon these but chose to be far more politically active in shaping the world to suit their beliefs. They had emerged among the Bavarian universities and Masonic lodges with the intention of liberating Europe from the royal and religious control of education, politics and science, and eventually they would become a driving force in the dissent that culminated in the French Revolution. As their influence began to impact society, the inevitable persecution followed and the Illuminati chose to take refuge within a myriad of other societies to continue their work from the shadows. In their absence their ideas would continue to 'nd a voice in the many counterculture
THE ILLUMINATI 6 movements of Europe and America in the 18th and 19th centuries until they eventually resurfaced as a myth in the 1970s. For the second Illuminati incarnation in 1976, authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea published The Illuminatus Trilogy, a vast work of 'ction that claimed that the Illuminati were behind every major conspiracy and key event of history. The idea was perfectly timed to capture the imaginations of those who were living in the wake of the Kennedy assassinations and at a time when Nixon succumbed to corruption. A cultural idea was forming that the world was ruled by a New World Order, a hidden hand that conspiracy theorists were quick to assign to the Illuminati. Since that time the term Illuminati has become a meme, giving a name to the shadowy architects that controlled the past, present and future of the world. They became synonymous with the idea of a New World Order devoted to control, enslavement and exploitation at the hands of banking cabals and corrupt politicians. While their name was being usurped by the conspiracy theorists, a new form of dissent was taking shape. In a climate of pranks and youthful exploration, the hacktivist collective Anonymous was born. Their ideals of freedom from censorship and the empowerment of societies against their rulers make them the idealistic successors of the Illuminati. Groups like Anonymous and WikiLeaks shared a common loathing of injustice and corruption and would thrive by using similar tools of secrecy and social engineering. Just as the Illuminati supported the French Revolution, these groups played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings by using the internet as a new channel for dissent. Governments were quick to persecute and incarcerate those who took up the 'ght for free speech and transparency in politics, but counterculture is born out of necessity. From the 'rst secret societies that protected spiritual truths to WikiLeaks hiding the identities of
THE COUNTERCULTURE IMPERATIVE 7 whistleblowers, the same battle has been fought on a continuous timeline, and the ideals of the Illuminati still ring true today. The political corruption and religious control that inspired the Illuminati to organize and take action are still present as a lesser evil, surpassed by the business and 'nancial institutions that are trying to take control of the world for their own ends. A new Inquisition has shifted its focus from secret societies to wage a war on the connected communities of the internet age that form the current raft of countercultures. These marginalized groups maintain rebellion against the establishment, with some subversively spreading progressive ideas, and others exposing government secrets. Together they drive a history of counterculture and subversion. The quote by Aaron Swartz that prefaces this book is a call to action that many now seek to ful'l but have no clear view of how to achieve. Given that the term 'Illuminati? means 'enlightened', it seems appropriate to invite the reader not just to learn about the Illuminati but to involve themselves in, and to influence others to take part in, what is the most important movement of this age. With emerging technology there is an opportunity for everyone to become an agent of change. A war has raged for centuries between the rigid structures of society and the emerging counterculture. This book is both the story of that war and a call to arms.
Chapter 2 The Descent into Dissent Society is a sphere of conformity clustered around an idea of what is acceptable. There are always outsiders: those unique individuals who exist on the fringe of acceptance because some aspect of their being or beliefs excludes them from the mainstream. Many people live and die alone as maverick spirits, while others may 'nd or form groups that share a common perspective. There are examples of these groups that have existed for centuries as heretical religions, philosophical schools and secret societies. Secrecy was often necessary for the survival of these groups as any perceived threat to what is acceptable is a threat to the ruling power, and this usually results in persecution and incarceration. The ruling elite are rarely progressive: they fear new ideas and disruptive ideologies and will use any form of suppression to maintain their position. Historically, this caused the greatest thinkers, scientists, philosophers and theologists to lurk in the shadows and enrol in secret societies to 'nd acceptance. For every oppressive regime that rules from a corrupt or regressive outlook there will always be a freedom 'ghter, a heretic or a revolutionary forging ahead in spite of them. The outsiders have to 'ght for a world that accepts them, and this often places them in a better position to see how power should be implemented. Where
THE DESCENT INTO DISSENT 9 those in power try to stamp out progress with injustice and inequality, terrorism and revolution become distinct possibilities. Oppression has powered dissent through much of history, and today we see it in all areas of culture, politics and business. Inevitably a new idea or technology will upset the status quo and threaten to shift the balance of power away from those who cling to thrones and titles. How a society reacts to such upheavals is a measure of how civilized it is. Historically, the prevailing form of oppression has been religious in nature. That is because, as a society tries to evolve, the religious dogma that permeates it becomes increasingly incongruent. Religions become 'xed in time and unable to develop, which prevents their subjects from discovering new ways to understand the world. Where they have control, religions also stifle education and science as they struggle to prevent the shadows of superstition from dispersing. Where authority is absolute, the balance is sought by heroic 'gures that exist to challenge the limits of society. In response to unjust laws and oppression, we can see the earliest forms of counterculture explored in myth, religion and history. Prometheus disobeys Zeus and Adam seizes the apple symbolizing humanity's quest for knowledge. Abraham was inspired by God to leave his home and go in search of spiritual experience. Akhenaten, in Egypt, rejected polytheism and was struck from contemporary records. Moses suffered the same fate in his flight from Egypt. This urge to shun normality and strike out on one's own is a recurring theme in counterculture, as is the common experience of rejecting the past to seek a personal truth beyond existing social tropes. Countercultures are often led by those who can rise above a stagnant society with a clear view of how humanity could be free from tyrants and religious bigots. Their dissent can range from the single cry of an angry individual to the full-blown political machinations of a coup or
THE ILLUMINATI 10 revolution. The empowerment of true revolutionaries comes from being free of all mindsets and structures of cultural influence. This begins with attaining some sense of truth from their environment and cultural history. Mythic History 'History is a matter of which myth you choose.' Voltaire The 'rst freedom to be attained is from the past. To be born is like waking in the middle of the night without knowing what came before. The dream that evaporates and the sound that awoke you cannot clearly be remembered, and the further you look into it, the more it becomes a matter of speculation. At that moment there is no influence to distort your view of reality. Briefly, the child is connected to everything; but from the umbilical cord onwards it is all a matter of separation. Early childhood is mythic, and this helps to allow the young mind to integrate their experiences and understanding of the world around them. Ask a child what happens at night and they will elaborately explain how the sun goes to bed beyond the clouds. They remain in this dream-like state until logic and reason take hold. But society does not always want logic and reason to rule, because society is influenced by religious and political thinking. It maintains its own myths, and these become tolerated as they justify separation, upholding a view of reality that can allow politicians to go unchallenged when advocating mass murder through war and supporting the followers of one false god against another. Religions are so dependent on maintaining their superstitions that they are threatened by basic science. As the distant past is slowly coming back into focus from the research of impartial historians and the evidence
THE DESCENT INTO DISSENT 11 of archaeologists, any claims of historical accuracy in Christianity are called into question. The oral histories and parables of the Bible were merged from earlier myths to teach a simpler mind, and it would still shock many today to discover that the story of Jesus is as much a parable as his teachings. But hidden among the biblical 'ctions are clues to an underlying truth that once meant something of great importance, and to deny this is to deny the source of many of the major religions. A Return to the Source It is clear that Christianity drew heavily upon earlier religions, and if the Bible were read in the context of mythological literature, the provenance of the stories therein would be revealed. Many key events that appear in the Old and New Testaments, including the Virgin Birth and the Cruci'xion, are taken from religions that predate Christ and even Judaism. For the ancients the cycle of death and rebirth, which lay at the root of nature, gave rise to the image of the wheel of life and also the journey of the soul. In the Greek Eleusinian mysteries, Persephone is described as being trapped in the Underworld in winter only to escape again in spring. Her journey into the Underworld is the story of the soul descending into the material world where it incarnates; and then, on death, it ascends again. This myth explains life as a cycle of nature, like the turning of the seasons. Nature reflects this cycle in the simple event of the rising and setting of the sun every day. Sun worship was central to early cultures partly on account of their fear of the dark but also because they recognized the sun as the bringer of light and heat that would grow crops and fruit and provide the people with food. Early civilizations would track the passing of time in the procession of the stars to know when to plant crops. Stories captured these events to transmit a people's knowledge
THE ILLUMINATI 12 of nature to future generations. These were the basis of all myths and formed a natural religion that is the source of all religions today. Persephone's journey is archetypal to this natural religion, as it describes the soul's descent on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice ? 22 December. There follows a three-day period of transition when the sun is lowest until 25 December when the soul incarnates in the world. Because the soul is both spiritual and manifest, it is often depicted as being born of a virgin, to reflect the belief that the child is in part divine. This story derives from a time prior to even the ancient Egyptians, when the constellations were used to illustrate the epic cycle of death and rebirth as the sun sets, or dies, on the Southern 'Cross? (visible from southern Egypt) at the winter solstice, and nine months later in September is reborn through the constellation of Virgo. This trajectory is also psychological, as it maps onto the process of exploring the underworld of the unconscious to redeem the lost fragments of the self in order that they may be returned to the light of the personality. This incarnation through Virgo appears in the birth of mythological characters, gods and demi-gods. Horus, Attis, Zoroaster, Dionysus and Krishna were all born to a virgin. Mithras was born to a virgin on 25 December. Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is a common myth among gods of the ancients, of which the story of Jesus is just a current retelling. Persephone, as the soul on its journey, is set to leave the Underworld and return to the gods at Easter, when the day becomes longer than the night. Again, three days mark the transition from death to resurrection. In a pre-Christian myth Attis, who died at Easter, was taken by his mother Cybele to a tomb from which he was resurrected after three days 'for the salvation of mankind'. Dionysus was cruci'ed and pierced by a spear in his side, died and was resurrected; Osiris was resurrected having been reconstituted by the great mother, Isis.
THE DESCENT INTO DISSENT 13 A ritual enactment of the cycle of death and resurrection was a key teaching of the ancients. An account of this ritual is briefly described in the New Testament when Jesus, the Son of God, raises Lazarus from the dead in the town of Bethany. This is taken from a much older myth described in ancient Egyptian texts as Horus, the Son of God, raising Osiris from the dead in the town of Beth-Anu. These narratives are identical and there is no reason to believe they are anything other than the same story repeated to preserve the ritual for future generations. The ancient Egyptians incorporated the afterlife into every aspect of their belief as they considered their journey through death to be more important than the journey through life. They believed that we pass from the visible to the invisible and back again over many lifetimes. Like the seasons of nature, we die and revive as surely as night transitions into day. Even now we uphold the ritual of dressing the dead in their 'nest clothes as we endeavour to maintain the dignity of the deceased in the afterlife. For the ancients the 'nal secret of the mysteries was that the journey through death is a return to the source and oneness. They understood life to be a spark that separates from the divine source to manifest within matter as the soul. Through life the soul has the opportunity to become self-aware and bridge the gap between spirit and matter before eventually returning to the source. Our time of death is reflected in Easter, a day dictated by the cycle of the feminine moon, and our birth is measured by the masculine sun roughly nine months later, the gestation time of a human foetus. By pretending that these archetypal events in the story of Jesus are factual, the Christian churches have denied their followers the underlying wisdom of the ancients. The journey through the Underworld is an incarnation into life and not death, since it is through death that the soul returns home to the divine source. Dante understood this when he