Francois Charles de Berckheim, special commissioner of police at Mayence, a Freemason, had his attention drawn to the activities of the Illuminati, and began an investigation to determine whether or not the sect still was an active movement. He found that there were initiates “all over Europe” and that, instead of dying out, he stated that “Illuminism is becoming a great and formidable power and I fear, in my conscience, that kings and peoples will have much to suffer from it unless foresight and prudence break its frightful mechanisms.”
Grand Orient Freemasons would have the world believe that Illuminism really did expire in 1812, or earlier. But the evidence supports no such conclusion. It simply went “underground” wherever it became necessary, much as has Communism in our times.
Continuing his investigations the commissioner of police wrote a report (1814) which described the subtle methods by which Illuminism maintained its existence, even when prohibited by governments and proscribed by Masonry. We quote from this report (the original was, at last word, in the French National Archives, index No. F7 6563) the portion which explains how the organization of Illuminati is carried on invisibly, so as to defy the eye of authority:
The Association had, it is true, assemblies at its birth where receptions (i.e. initiations) took place, but the dangers which resulted from these made them feel the necessity of abandoning them. It was settled that each initiated adept should have the right without the help of anyone else to initiate all those who, after the usual tests, seemed to him worthy.
Initiations are not accompanied, as in Masonry, by phantas magoric trials, .. . but they are preceded by long moral tests which guarantee in the safest way the fidelity of the catechumen; oaths, a mixture of all that is most sacred in religion, threats and imprecations against traitors, nothing that can stagger the imagination is spared; but the only engagement into which the recipient enters is to propagate the principles with which he has been imbued, to maintain inviolable secrecy on all that pertains to the association, and to work with all his might to increase the number of proselytes.
It will no doubt seem astonishing that there can be the least accord in the association and that men bound together by no physical tie and who live at great distances from each other can communicate their ideas to each other, make plans of conduct, and give grounds of fear to governments; but there exists an invisible chain which binds together all the scattered members of the association. Here are a few links:
“All the adepts living in the same town usually know each other. unless the population of the town or the number of the adepts is too considerable. In this last case they are divided into several groups, who are all in touch with each other by means of members of the association whom personal relations bind to two or several groups at a time.
“These groups are again subdivided into so many private coteries which the difference of rank, of fortune, of character, tastes, etc., may necessitate: they are always small, sometimes composed of five or six individuals, who meet frequently under various pretexts, sometimes at the house of one member, sometimes at that of another; literature, art, amusements of all kinds are the apparent object of these meetings, and it is nevertheless in these confabulations that the adepts communicate their private views to each other, agree on methods, receive the directions that the intermediaries brie, them, and communicate their own ideas to these same intermediaries, who then go on to propagate them in other coteries. It will be understood that there may be uniformity in the march of all these separated groups, and that one day may suffice to communicate the same impulses to all the quarters of a large town… “These are the methods by which the Iliumines without any apparent organization, without settled leaders, agree together from the Neva of the Rhine to those of the Neva, from the Baltic to the Dardanelles, and advance continually towards the same goal without leaving any trace that might compromise the interests of the association or even bring suspicion on any of its members; the most active police would fail before such a combination ….