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Proofs of a Conspiracy: Against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, Carried on in the Secret Meetings of Freemasons, Illuminati and Reading Societies (Forgotten Books) [Paperback]

John Arthur Robison
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Book Description

7 May 2008
John Robison (1739-1805) was a Scottish scientist, who late in life wrote the one of the definitive studies of the Bavarian Illuminati. He was a contemporary and collaborator with James Watt, with whom he worked on an early steam car, contributor to the 1797 Encylopedia Britannica, professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and inventor of the siren.

Although Robison was very much an advocate of science and rationalism, in later life, disillusioned by the French Revolution, he became an ardent monarchist. In this work, Proofs of a Conspiracy, Robison laid the groundwork for modern conspiracy theorists by implicating the Bavarian Illuminati as responsible for the excesses of the French Revolution. The Bavarian Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, was founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776 in what is today Germany. They had an inner core of true believers, who secretly held radical atheist, anti-monarchist and possibly proto-feminist views, at that time considered beyond the pale. They recruited by infiltrating the numerous (and otherwise benign) Freemasonic groups which were active at the time on the continent. Necessarily they had a clandestine, compartmentalized, hierarchical organizational form, which has led some modern conspiracy theorists to identify them as the original Marxist-Leninist group. However, this is most likely simply a case of parallel evolution.

Since we don't have convenient access to the source documents of the Bavarian Illuminati we have to rely on Robison and the Abbé Barruel's Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, both in the 'opposing views' category, for information on this group. The Illuminati have today become a byword for a secret society which hoodwinks its junior members and puppet-masters society at large. This reputation is in no little part due to Robison's book. However,

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Product details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (7 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606201018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606201015
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 554,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Robison (1739–1805) was a Scottish physicist and mathematician. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. A member of the Edinburgh Philosophical Society when it received its royal warrant, he was appointed as the first General Secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Robison invented the siren and also worked with James Watt on an early steam car. Following the French Revolution, Robison became disenchanted with elements of the Enlightenment. He authored Proofs of a Conspiracy in 1797—a polemic accusing Freemasonry of being infiltrated by Weishaupt's Order of the Illuminati. Robison and French priest Abbé Barruel independently developed similar views that the Illuminati had infiltrated Continental Freemasonry, leading to the excesses of the French Revolution. In 1798, the Reverend G. W. Snyder sent Robison's book to George Washington for his thoughts on the subject in which he replied to him in his Letter to the Reverend G. W. Snyder (24 October 1798). Modern conspiracy theorists like Nesta Webster and William Guy Carr believe that Robison's book described what the Illuminati may have started was the template for the subversion of otherwise benign organizations by radical groups through the 19th and 20th centuries. Spiritual Counterfeits Project editor Tal Brooke has compared the views of Proofs of a Conspiracy with those found in Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope (Macmillan, 1966). Brooke suggests that the new world order, which Robison believed Adam Weishaupt (founder of the Illuminati) had in part accomplished through the infiltration of Freemasonry, will now be completed by those holding sway over the international banking system (e.g., by means of the Rothschilds' banks, Federal Reserve, IMF, and World Bank). --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Gem 11 Mar 2009
This book did not disappoint. It clearly sets out the facts behind the run up to the French Revolution in both Germany and France, pointing out how certain individuals intended to demolish national statehood and sovereignty in order to bring ordinary people under their own control in the name of a union of worldwide brotherhood (cosmopolitanism) in liberty and equality, where there would be no longer any private property.
It points out how the philosophical demolition of morals was intended to be the means whereby character could be corrupted, families destroyed and society destroyed. It is clear that this was another sowing of the seed from which grew the tree of Communism and the modern oligarchical New World Order.

The author shows that while authorities in both church and state were at times undoubtedly corrupt, the alternative put forward by the secret cabals which went by the names of the Bavarian Illuminati, Reading Societies, Freemasons, Jacobins etc, was far worse. It is clearly shown that the Illuminati-infiltrated Freemasonic Lodges were behind the horrors of the French Revolution, a fact which is conveniently ommitted in school textbooks.

A useful book to read to gain an understanding of the times in which we live - as history repeats itself.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History is not by accident. 11 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"There are two views of history: (1) History happens by accident or (2) It is planned. The general public is taught that history happens by accident. However, the upper echelons... know that history is planned." R.E. McMaster, Jr.---Educator
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alluminations 2 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Robison, a Scottish physicist and mathematician and professor of Philosophy at Edinburgh University wrote this work while convalescing during a period of poor health in 1798.
At the top of the book jacket it states `Easy Reading Series`. I cannot imagine who at the publisher Forgotten Books decided to include this work under this heading, but I have to say I do not agree that this is easy reading. Bearing in mind this was written at the end of the 18th Century, the language is correspondingly archaic. I found that I had to make a conscious shift in my mental attitude in order to accommodate this. The language is almost poetic. In some ways this adds another dimension to the reading experience but with already challenging subject matter this may be of little consolation to the contemporary reader. Coupled with this, there are to be found passages of Latin and French for which no translation is offered. They are quite infrequent luckily. There are also numerous typos.
In this book, John Robison is aiming to bring to the attention of his readers the way in which the Freemasons and the Illuminati had infiltrated the avenues of influence. Himself a Mason, Robison has become disillusioned as to the aims of these secret societies and feels it of service to society to publish his findings. He tells us how masonry came into being as clubs for architects and engineers in antiquity and became `secret` societies of the learned. How in Germany there evolved a rather more sinister offshoot called the Illuminati who as part of their doctrine called for the abolition of religion and the removal of authority in order to allow men to be free. Robison alludes to the infiltration of this movement in the French Revolution and the associated horrors.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I was after 16 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can imagine that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but my brother is a big conspiracy lover and also loves books (he even works in a bookshop). He had no idea about this book beforehand, and he was over the moon when he received it at Christmas. It is after all the original conspiracy theory! I couldn't have hoped for a better response. Unfortunately that's all I can say about the book, since as it was a gift I haven't actually read it myself
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7 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why did i buy this book? 19 Nov 2009
I bought this book based on the excellent reviews, however it was not to my taste. it managed to turn what i thought would be an interesting subject into a dry and tedious account, so much so it took me 2 months to read the first 80 pages, it is also written from a very biased viewpoint, which was quite irritating and i have always believed to be considered bad form.
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