To understand why Adam Weishaupt is a Saint in our church, we must examine the man and his works, and look for that which Crowley saw in him.
Jean Adam Weishaupt was born February 6th, 1748, in Ingolstadt, Bavaria. His father died when he was young and his guidance entrusted in his godfather, Baron Johann Adam Ickstatt, curator of the University of Ingolstadt, who promptly turned his education over to the Jesuits of his institution. Ickastatt was to ultimately liberalize the University, lifting bans on books, establishing chairs in public law and political economy, and generally lessening the power of the resident Jesuits. Luckily, Weishaupt was allowed free range in his godfather’s library and his “questioning spirit was deeply impressed by the brilliant though pretentious works of the French ‘philosophers’”, saving him from the conservative, clerical leanings of the Jesuits, which instead pushed him toward anti-church sentiment.
His expansive personal readings and intellectual repression by the Society of Jesus combined led him to develop his individual will: “he would deliver others from their bondage to outworn beliefs, he would make it his duty to rescue men from the errors into which the race had been long plunged. His object in life thus early determined, he threw himself with great zeal into the study of law, economics, politics, history, and philosophy.”
He quickly rose in prominence after graduating from the university in 1768, going in five years from tutor to assistant instructor to chair of canon law, a position previously held by the Jesuits for over 90 years, causing great resentment in that camp. Two years later, he became dean of the faculty of law, at the age of 27. The Jesuits, resentful of his meteoric rise and their growing distress at his voicing unrestrained criticism of ecclesiastical intolerance and bigotry, intrigued against him, protesting payment of his salary and disseminating the idea that he was a dangerous free-thinker. Weishaupt himself furnished secret reports to his godfather’s successor calculated to reflect on the Jesuit professors unfavorably. A squabble ensued, reinforcing Weishaupt’s anticlericism. His reflections on the history of mystery schools and the influence exerted by secret cults of old, led him to seek the opportunity to propagate his views through the current Masonic institutions. His readings of Masonic books however, persuaded him that the “mysteries of Freemasonry were too puerile and too accessible to the general public to make them worthwhile.”
He would instead, go it his own, forming a secret organization, comprising concealed ‘schools of wisdom’ “wherein those truths which the folly and egotism the priests banned from the public chairs of education might be taught with perfect freedom to susceptible youths. This Order, whose chief function would be teaching, had the ultimate goal of attaining human progress, the perfection of morals, and the achievement of happiness for all.
On May 1, 1776, 233 years and two days ago, he founded this organization, the Order of the Illuminati, also known as the Bavarian Illuminati. There were three primary grades: Novice, Minerval, and Illuminated Minerval.
Youths who where rich, virtuous, eager to learn, and persevering of nature were encouraged in a certain course of study, suggesting the advantages of secret association of likeminded men, the superiority of the social state over that of nature, the dependence of all governments upon the consent of the governed, and the delight of knowing and directing men. Upon completion, they entered a novitiate period of at least two years, where they studied under their enroller, the only member known to them.
During this time, they were to perfect their moral character, expand their principles of humanity and sociability, to grow their interest in thwarting the schemes of evil men, assisting oppressed virtue, and helping men to find their true place in the world, first finding their own through the complete recording, examination, and reporting of their lives and family, the subordination of their egoistic views and interests, and an absolute fealty to their superiors in the order. Monthly reports of their benefits from and service to the order were also required. Soon, they were set to work at recruiting and could not advance without success in these efforts. The initiation to Minerval disabused the candidate of any lingering suspicion that the goal of the order was the subjugation of the rich and powerful, or the overthrow of the civil and ecclesiastical governments, but instead to be useful to humanity, to maintain silence and an unbreakable fidelity, to obey, unconditionally, the rules of the order, and to sacrifice all personal interests to the higher purpose of the society. Admitted to the rank of Minerval, the candidate received the statutes of the Order and additional duties and obligations, with special emphasis on his studies. He was free to call on the assistance of Minervals in his area with the prosecution of his labor and was expected to assemble with them monthly to discuss their works. He also could expect the assistance, encouragement, and good reference of his superiors in his researches, any travel ensuing, and the publication and marketing of his works, if he so desired.
Minerval initiates who were judged worthy of advancement were admitted to the grade of Illuminated Minerval, where it was communicated the expectation that they continue the progressive purification of their lives as they worked their way upward in the order, and that the mastery of the direction of men be their special pursuit as long as they remain in this grade. To do this, they must observe and study constantly the actions, desires, motivations, faults, and virtues of the group of Minerval initiates placed under his personal direction, for which he was given extensive written instructions.
The further grades of this organization devoted both to the perfection of self and to the redemption of the world as conceived by Weishaupt were only sketchily envisioned, finally being added when a rich and organizational minded benefactor Baron von Knigge came onto the scene in 1780. In the Illuminati, Knigge was named Philo, after the Hellenistic Jewish philosopher, who used allegory to synthesize Greek philosophy and Judaism, and Weishaupt was Spartacus, after the Thracean gladiator that led a famous, devastating, and unfulfilled slave revolt against the Romans.
You can see that the Illuminati are a worth antecedent to O.T.O., which Crowley indicates represents the Current of Scientific Illuminism in our past. As Kenneth Grant says in the Magical Revival, “the ‘Lost Word’ in Weishaupt’s system is Man. The recovery of this Word required that man should find himself again; that the redemption of humanity is to be effected through and by man; that man should govern himself and throw off the shackles of alien powers and controls. In a word, he should become a king by his own right, by virtue of his own primal inheritance… in Crowley’s system, the idea of the “kingly man” became paramount; it is synonymous with being a Thelemite, i.e. one who has discovered his True Will (Thelema) and is capable of doing it. Hence, Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
Grant also points out that in 1895 Karl Kellner carried on the system begun with the Illuminati and living through the Masons and Martinist, through the works of Cagliostro, Mesmer, Engel, Steiner and Hartman, when he founded the O.T.O, and was further developed by Ruess and Hartman upon Kellner’s death in 1905.
The Point within the Circle, taken by Weishaupt as the symbol for the Illuminati is also found within our system, as not only the hieroglyph for the sun and the god Horus, but symbolic of Crowley’s addition to the system, the union of Nuit with Hadit, which is, to quote Grant, “emblematic of Consciousness and its projection as a ray of light. The union of the Circle (Nuit) and the Point (Hadit) formulates their ‘child’, or combined wills, expressed as Ra-Hoor-Khuit;” these also represent the abstract expressions of Love and Will, twin components of the magical equation known as the Law of Thelema.