Secret Texts, 5-7







Masonic Conspiracy in 1792

Carla Mulford



"Philosophical Gas"

Gary Dyer



The Bronte:-s

Elizabeth Imlay



5. (pp. 169-87) Carla J. Mulford : "Joel Barlow, Edmund Burke, and ... Masonic Conspiracy in 1792".

pp. 170, 174 comparative religion & pantheism of Joel Barlow

p. 170

"American propagandist ... "prophet" Joel Barlow flaunted propaganda ... produced by radical societies. ... Barlow's ... poem The Conspiracy of Kings (1792) ... played on ... deployment of pantheist, comparative, and Masonic materials and allusions, ... in which the forces of conservatism ... were the forces to be abhorred, for they were ... against mankind."

p. 174

"Barlow's study of comparative religion merged with the radical pantheism then current on the Continent. ... This radical pantheism proposed ... the establishment of a new {viz., non-Christian} religion ... first proclaimed by the ancients (Jacob 221, 223, 154)."

Jacob = Margaret C. Jacob : The Radical Enlightenment : Pantheists, Freemasons and Republicans. London : Allen & Unwin, 1981.

pp. 174, 184 sexual enlightenment

p. 174

"as Aram Vartanian has shown, sexual enlightenment became a fact of the Enlightenment itself (347-67). "Because of the suppression of the sexual ... functions ..., ... it was to be expected that the rescue of Eros from ... abstinence -- would in turn become one of the strategies of the ideological struggle ..." (353). Le Mettrie, Diderot, and other philosophes ... sought ... to be bring a measure of sexual enlightenment to the public."

p. 184, n. 23

"Published between 1748 and 1750, Le Mettrie's L'Art de jouir and La Volupte' celebrated the potency of a newly discovered "sixth sense," sexuality. Diderot's works -- Les Bijoux indiscrets ... and various other writings and Encyclopedie entries -- evidence Diderot's preoccupation with questions related to human sexual freedom."

Vartanian = Aram Vartanian : "Le Mettrie, Diderot, and Sexology in the Enlightenment". In :- Jean Macary (ed.) : Essays on the Age of Enlightenment in Honor of Ira O. Wade. Geneva : Librairie Droz, 1977.

pp. 172, 179-80 anticipated overthrow of the government of England by Freemasons, in a New World Order -- countre-acting the royalist conspiracy of church-and-state (of England) against humanity

p. 172

"English radicals and reformers generally wished to use ... a massive revolution, abetted in part by radical factions like the popular Freemasons, ... against the crown ... . ... these reform societies -- whether the more radical factions of the Freemasons or the Society for Constitutional Information or the various Revolution Societies -- were secret organizations preparing for the international overthrow of all monarchies."

p. 179

In The Conspiracy of Kings, "The poet becomes the Master-architect of the new world order, as Masons -- and the masses -- are newly made masters of their own world. ... Like Masons, the radicals, "well-taught," are building a new edifice ..., with a foundation ("base") of equal rights and with "walls of wisdom" ... . ... In the last section of the poem, beginning at the point where the

p. 180

reader is asked to "hail man," is remarkably reminiscent of the Masonic songs of the eighteenth century".

{Hailing humanity is likewise a feature of the Bektas^i occult secret-society, in Albania.}

"in Barlow's Conspiracy of Kings, ... Masons and revolution societies were not conspiratorial; kings were. Barlow's counter-world was one in which the church and state were mere artificial puppetry ... serving to dupe masses of people, a world in which {stooges of the ruling-class} were "knaves" protecting

"crested reptiles,"

{a figure-of-speech now much-used by David Icke and by certain other flying-saucer theorists}.


6. (pp. 188-209) Gary R. Dyer : "The "Philosophical Gas" of the Illuminati". {The term "gas" may be (because it is "light"-weight) to indicate the "levity" of jesting.}

pp. 188, 191-2, 205 Peacock's literary source, via Shelley, in Barruel, on the Illuminati of Germany

p. 188

"In Thomas Love Peacock's Nightmare Abbey (1818)

{With this repeated-digits date (1818) cf. the praevious repeated-digits date (1717) of the founding of the Grand Masonic Lodge of London.}

the ... protagonist Scythrop Glowry develops "the passion for reforming the world" when he consoles himself with philosophy ... . He plans to organize a society of "mystical dispensers of liberty" who will help him "institute a perfect republic," and in order to attract the "illuminati" necessary for his "projected regeneration of the human species" he writes a treatise titled ... Project for the General Illumination of the Human Mind (III, 14, 91)."

p. 191

"Scythrop centers his hopes for reforming the world on reviving "those secret associations of the illuminati, which were the terror of superstition and tyranny" (15), and as a first step writes ... "... meanings ... filled with hints ... which ... would set the whole nation in a ferment." ...

Barruel's Memoirs, Illustrating the History of Jacobinism is the major text behind Scythrop ... .

[p. 205, n. 7 : "The 'venerable eleutherarchs {'Liberty-Starters' (in Hellenic)}' ... originate in the romance of his friend T. J. Hogg, the Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff {'Defender by Blood' (in Hellenic)} (1813). Butler finds additional sources in Coleridge's Christabel, Schiller's Ghost-Seer, and Goethe's Stella and Young Werther (Peacock Displayed : A Satirist in His Context [Boston :Routledge, 1979]. p. 124)."]

The model for Scythrop's planned society is made most apparent when he discovers in his

p. 192

tower at Nightmare Abbey a young woman who asks to be called Stella. A "lover of freedom," she needs shelter ... . Scythrop discovers that she is much like himself, and he "listen[s] with delight ... to her encomiums on the sublime Spartacus Weishaupt, the immortal founder of the sect of the Illuminati" (94).

Peacock ... got ... what he knew about the Illuminati through Shelley, who at Oxford in 1810-11 had immersed himself in Clifford's 1797-98 four-volume translation of Barruel's Memoirs. [LSh, 1:376]

p. 205, n. 8

"Peacock's use of Barruel for Scythrop's illuminati has been noted recently by Marie [Mulvey] Roberts, in Briritsh Poets and Secret Societies (London : Croom Helm, 1986), pp. 92-95. She reads the history of Weishaupt's Illuminati into Scythrop's protection of Stella ... . Roberts emphasizes in Nightmare Abbey ... the insight the text provides into the use of Barruel in his Proposals for an Association. Barruel is also behind Hogg's Alexy Haimatoff (1813), the protagonist of which is initiated into a secret German revolutionary society : see Memoirs of Prince Alexy Haimatoff, introd. Sidney Scott (London : Folio Society, 1952), pp. 110-29."

p. 192

"the Jacobins' "Sect" ... is itself a coalition of a triple Sect, of a triple conspiracy ... . (Barruel, I, xiii)

The first of the three groups was the French philosophes, Barruel's "anti-Christian conspiracy";

the second was the Sophisters of Rebellion ... that ancient sect whose tenets constituted the whole secret of the Occult Lodges of Free-masonry."

The third was ... not only against kings, but ... even against all property whatsoever." They were "known by the name of Illuminees," and were founded in 1776 in Bavaria by Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law at Ingolstadt, who used "Spartacus" as a pseudonym (Barruel, I, xiv). [vide MSS, pp. 118-29] ...

The Illuminati were the group in Barruel that interested Shelley and the others ... . This organization was at the center of Barruel's ... : the last two volumes of his work dealt with them, and each of his four volumes has on its title page this quotation from their leader Weishaupt : "Princes ... shall disappear from the face of the Earth ... and this REVOLUTION shall be the work of SECRET SOCIETIES." Barruel describes the history of the term "illumine'e" thus :

The name of Illuminee which this Sect ... has chosen, is of ancient standing ... . It was the name which Manes and his disciples first affected ... . The Rosicrucians also, who appeared in Germany, called themselves Illuminees. (Barruel, III, v)".

H. F. B. Brett-Smith & C. E. Jones (edd.) : The Works of Thomas Love Peacock. 10 voll. 1924-34.

Augustin de Barruel (transl. by Robert Clifford) : Memoirs, Illustrating the History of Jacobinism. 4 voll. London : 1797-98.

LSh = Thomas Jefferson Hogg : Life of Shelley NY : Dutton, 1933.

MSS = J. M. Roberts : The Mythology of Secret Societies. NY : Scribner's, 1972.

pp. 201-2 realization by Humphrey Davy (while inhaling nitrous oxide) that the universe consisteth of thought

p. 201

[quoted from Davy, vol. 3, p. 289-90 :] "I lost all connection with external things; trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind, and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. ...

p. 202

When I was awakened from this semi-delerious trance ..., ... I exclaimed to Dr. Kinglake, "Nothing exists but thoughts! -- the universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures, and pains!"

{This is likewise Mahayana (and Veda-anta) doctrine.}

John Davy (ed.) : The Collected Works of Sir Humphrey Davy. 9 voll. London, 1839.


7. (pp. 210-27) Elizabeth Imlay : "Freemasonry, the Bronte:s, and the Hidden Text of Jane Eyre".

[citing as text :- Charlotte Bronte: (ed. by J. Jack & M. Smith) : Jane Eyre. Oxford U Pr, 1969.]

pp. 210, 226 the eldest of the Bronte: children

p. 210

[quoted from BB, p. 121] "an important letter of Branwell's, written as a young man ... to the editor of Blackwood's, ... shows the children were reading and revelling in its monthly issues even at the death of Maria [1825]."

p. 226, n. 2

"Maria, eldest ... of the Bronte: children, died aged eleven, and was immortalised by Charlotte as "Helen Burns" in Jane Eyre."

BB = Winifred Ge'rin : Branwell Bronte:. London : Nelson, 1961.

pp. 211, 226 women Freemasons

p. 211

"Branwell Bronte: ... was also very close ... to his sister Charlotte, with whom he continued to collaborate over the Angrian saga which had so much absorbed them in their creative childhood. ... But Charlotte could ... share Freemasonry with Branwell".

p. 226, n. 6

"There were in fact women Freemasons at this time : Jose'phine Buonaparte had presided over them in France, but they had separate lodges from the men."

p. 212 elementals

"The nomenclature in Jane Eyre appears to be carefully planned. The most obvious thing is that many names are

elemental :


Rivers, Poole and




water, and


p. 215 pyramids

""You shall walk up to the pyramids of Egypt!" growls Rochester to Jane ... . ... In Blackwood's, Feb. 1845, occurs a review of a book by a Mrs. Poole. The name ... calls to mind Mrs Grace Poole ... a the door of Bertha's cell ... . ... She ... dealt sternly with an effreet {>ifrit} in her bathroom, and

walked up to the Great Pyramid."

{This may refer to the rite of the "Sublime Sage of the Pyramids" ("SSP").}

"SSP" =

pp. 215-6 initiation into the Mysteries of goddess Isis as a "ravishing through the elements"

p. 215

In "The Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius ... The last chapters describe at length how ... Lucius is rescued from his ... donkey-like by the goddess Isis".

{[In the Gospel of Truth,] [quoted from "ChGTGT", p. 60] "the famous goddess Isis ... was described especially as Plane ... on the basis of the wanderings (planai) Isis had to make in her seeking for Osiris."}

p. 216

[quoted from Apuleius : The Golden Ass, lib. XI, p. 581] "I approached near unto hell, even to the gates of Proserpine, and after that I was ravished through all the elements ... : about midnight I saw the sun brightly shine, I saw likewise the gods celestial and the gods infernal".

"ChGTGT" = Jan Helderman : "A Christian Gnostic Text : the Gospel of Truth". In :- Roelef van den Broek & Wouter J. Hanegraaff (edd.) : Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times. State U of NY Pr, 1998. pp. 51 sq.

p. 216 elements in Freemasonic initiations (based on the cult of Isis)

[quoted from The Magic Flute (chorale by the Men in Armour), Act 2, Scaene 28 :] "He who commits himself to this dangerous route will be purified by Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. If he can surmount the terror of death, he will soar upward from the earth toward the sky."

[translated from F-MPG-OF, p. 308 :] "The first element is the Earth ... . It is represented by the Cabinet of Reflection in which the Member-Elect is confined.

The first journey is related to Air ... the emblem of ... the difficulty of undertakings, the obstacles that are multiplied in our path ... .

To give the member-Elect assurance, he is made to undergo the purification by water. ...

In order to contemplate the Queen of Hell ... the Initiate must pass through a triple enclosure of flames. This is the trial by Fire."

F-MPG-OF = Alan le Bihan : Francs-Mac,ons parisiens du Grand-Orient de France. Paris.

pp. 218-9 invisible world of guardian-spirits

p. 218

"the vision of death's gates opening, showing eternity beyond, indicates ... religious gnosis ... . ... Platonism, in most of its variants ..., assumes the existence of beings like those mentioned by Helen Burns : "Besides this earth, and besides the race of men, there is an invisible world and

p. 219

a kingdom of spirits : that world is round us, for it is everywhere; and those spirits watch us, for they are commissioned to guard us ... ." (Ch. VIII, Vol. I)"

[A divine spirit-guide is described as coming to Charlotte Bronte:'s sistre Emily, in Emily's poe:m The Visionary :] "A messenger of hope comes every night to me ... .

He comes with western winds ...;

And visions rise and change ... with desire."

"Arguments have already been made for a strong Platonic influence in Emily's writing. [EB, pp. 153-4] Yet ... it is Jane Eyre that owes most, and most directly, to those initiation rituals ... derived from ... Plato and beyond, which ... have passed through into Masonic practices."

EB = W. Ge'rin : Emily Bronte:. Oxford U Pr, 1969.

p. 219 yew-tree spirit

In the midnight scaene, "that spectre rose up black by the black yew ... . ... (Ch. IV, Vol. III)"

{"Robert Graves has an extensive discussion of yew-lore in The White Goddess ... . These trees are associated with death, Saturn and lead : ... they extend a root to the mouth of each corpse in the graveyard" ("CYS").}

"YS" = "Composing with Yew Spectres"

p. 220 Gateshead

""Gateshead" is a birth ... : it signifies an entry into the physical world. ... But Jane Eyre, the air-girl, cannot be comfortable here".

{The name /Gateshead/ could imply inhibition by means of gates, as, e.g., in the Kemetic Book of Gates or Book of Pylons [of the Freemasonic-like "cosmopolitan spirit of ... the Amarna Period" (AEBA, p. 55)] from heading ad libitem in just any direction in wandering : this would interdict her own name, for /eyre/ may be taken to be (instead of from Hellenic /aer/) from Middle-English /eire/ from Old-French /oire, erre/ 'errantry' (wandering)', and thus referrable to goddess Plane ('Wandering') in the Khenoboskion text Gospel of Truth.}

AEBA = Erik Hornung (transl. by David Lorton) : The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. Cornell U Pr, Ithaca (NY), 1999.

pp. 220-1 Cabinet of Frightful Trials

p. 220

"A ... Cabinet of Reflection was shown in the frontpiece to the first edition of the libretto of The Magic Flute in 1791. It is a frightful place, with ... grave-digging implements, cabbalistic symbols on the walls, and a glimpse of a corpse in the foreground. Chailley mentions that it is sometimes called the Cabinet of Frightful Trials. He comments ... : "his guide removes the blindfold ... . Lighted only by a lantern or torch, the room is painted black and decorated with macabre symbols : skeletons,


{Cf. in the Chinese Dream of the Red Chambre is a riddle : "Eyes though it has; eyeballs it has none, and empty 'tis inside!"}

teardrops ... ."" (MF, plate 33, and p. 134)

p. 221

"that room contains a mirror,

{In the Chinese Dream of the Red Chambre is mentioned, as solution to another riddle "a looking glass!"}

in which she sees her own reflection as a small phantom ... (Ch. II)".

MF = J. Chailley (transl. by H. Weinstock) : The Magic Flute : Masonic Opera. London : Gollancz, 1972.

p. 221 "red room"

"Jane wakes "with a feeling ... I had had a frightful nightmare, and

{[quoted from DRCh :] "Subsequent to the visions of a dream which he had, on some previous occasion, experienced, the writer personally relates, he designedly concealed the true circumstances, and borrowed the attributes of perception and spirituality to relate this story".}

seeing before me a terrible red glow, crossed with thick black bars. I heard voices too,

{There is also mentioned in DRCh : incense which when smouldering "glows during the day, as well as in the night!" and

speaking with a hollow sound ... ."

"boards carved hollow with fretwork".}

These voices ... allied to the elements -- earth in the "hollow sound," ... to signify ... within Jane".

DRCh = Hung Lou Meng, or, the Dream of the Red Chamber

p. 222 Lowood

"Jane begins to move ... out of Gatewood (in January, to remind us of Janus, keeper of gates), and spread ... in the spiritual atmosphere of Lowood." {"That forest-dell, where Lowood lay, was the cradle of fog" (Jane Eyre, cap. 9).}

{Goddess Plane was so "rootless (that) she was in a fog" (Gospel of Truth 17:30).}

Jane Eyre, cap. 9

Khenoboskion text Gospel of Truth

p. 223 hearing laughter, hearing a flood

"Jane arrives at Thornfield, the realm of fire, and soon ... lunatic laughter she hears while meditating on "fire, life, feeling," as she paces the third storey of the building.

Then, lying helplessly on her bed, she hears a flood approaching : "the waters came into my soul;

I sank in deep mire : I felt no standing;

{"I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing" (Thilli^m 69:2)}

I came into deep waters; the floods overflowed me." (Ch. XI, Vol. II)"

{"Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul" (Thilli^m 124:4)}

Thilli^m 69:2

Thilli^m 124:4

p. 224 dreaming by Rivers beside the river Ganga

"'And I shall see it again', he said aloud, 'in dreams, when I sleep by the Ganges;

{In the dream narrative (based on the sleeping by Silenos's in Midas's rose-garden [i.e., exemplifying Rosicrucianism]) Roman de la Rose, "Narcissus ... sees the bottom of the river ([line] 1524)."

and again, in a more remote hour -- when another slumber overtakes me, on the shore of a a darker stream!'"

Relatedly, in "Chretien de Troyes's Yvain, an acknowledged precursor for the Roman, ... While King Arthur is asleep, one of his knights, Keu, is rude to the queen" ("MCPM") : Keu = Cei, whose "breath lasted nine nights and nine days under water" (according to the Culhwch ac Olwen -- "CCAH").

"MCPM" = Jerry Root : "Marvelous Crystals, Perilous Mirrors". ROMANIC REVIEW, Vol. 102, No. 1-2.

"CCAH" = "Cei : a Cymric Arthurian Hero, also known as Cai, Kai, Kay"

p. 224 Ferndean

"Ferndean, the last locality in Jane Eyre, is ... a low, damp area were ferns grow. Coming to it ... with "small, penetrating rain," Jane finds ... her master in the dark, and she

takes the tray supporting the candles and

{cf. the head of "Baphomet" (>abu-Fih.amat) supporting a lighted candle} {[<arabi] /fih.ama/t = [<ibri] / 'ember'}

drinking glasses ... . "You are not altogether a human being, Jane?" asks Rochester."

{perhaps an allusion to the drinking-bouts in heaven, mentioned in the Qur>an}

pp. 225, 227 esoteric references

p. 224

"she had given the name "Mason" to a ... maniac {enthousiast}.

{This "Mason" was, when wounded in the "shoulder" (as was Haides in the Iliad), viewed by Jane Eyre in conjunction with a "disk -- silver-white and crystal clear" (Jane Eyre, cap. 20). This may be an allusion to one of the "Thirteen Treasures of Britain", to wit, the chessboard with pieces of "silver and crystal" belonging to Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio ("ITThDdYP"). ["Chesspiece" is one of the Old-English Rune-letters.]}

p. 225

... I ... surmise that the word "Mason" suited her purposes in conveying ... the body as the "house" of the soul ... .

{The "body is the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1st Epistole to the Korinthioi 6:19); and the soul is its altar. The guild of stonemasons was responsible for aedifying cathedrals.}

Similarly, she may have used "Rosamond Oliver"

{Is this name an allusion to queen BrammiMONDe of Saragossa, against whom OLIVER defended Roland (in Roland a Saragosse)? Or is it (more likely) an allusion to GisMONDa the wife of (in Ariosto 15:73) OLIVER? The "two huge birds" (in Ariosto 15:72) who had carried off the two infant sons of Gismonda are most likely the reason (on account of those birds' eyrie nest) for the spelling of Jane's name as /Eyre/ (instead of as */Ayre/). [There may be an allusion to the infant Zal who was carried off by a bird of prey to the eyrie nest (according to the Persian S^ah Nameh, a text of Zaratustrian provenience).]}

as a ... reference to the Rosicrucians."

p. 227, n. 30

"the name Edward Fairfax Rochester. Once again, it is impossible that Charlotte could not have known that Edward Fairfax was the English translator of Tasso's Recoverie of Jerusalem. ... His [Tasso's] poem is concerned with the exploits of Godfroi de Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, whose importance to ... the Knights Templar and will be known to readers of The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (London : Jonathan Cape, 1982".

Jane Eyre, cap. 20

"ITThDdYP" = "lsTri Thlws ar Ddeg Ynys Prydain"

1st Epistole to the Korinthioi 6:19

Ariosto = Ludovico Ariosto : Orlando Furioso.

p. 225 mysterious books

"he brought out of the secret place of the temple certain books written with unknown characters,

partly painted with figures of beasts declaring briefly every sentence, partly with letters whose tops and tails turned round in fashion like a wheel, joined together above ...,

{commonplace in European mediaeval illuminated manuscripts}

whereby they were wholly strange and impossible to be read of the common people. ... (Book XI, p. 579)"


AMS STUDIES IN CULTURAL HISTORY, No. 1 = Marie Mulvey Roberts & Hugh Ormsby-Lennon : Secret Texts : the Literature of Secret Societies. AMS Pr, NY, 1995.