Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both wrote letters concerning the Bavarian Illuminati. Was the Illuminati a danger to the security of the United States? A look at the historical records.

I was watching Alex Jones’ recent interview with Illuminati researcher Mark Dice and noticed that Jones was attributing statements to first President George Washington that are not found in his letters. Before Dice came on air, Jones claimed that according to his letters, Washington “fought the Illuminati” and that he wrote that the Illuminati “tried to control the [American] Revolution and make it like the bloody French Revolution”.

Jones always encourages his viewers to check his sources, and in this case, to read the Washington letters for themselves. I’ve made each letter available here as well as their providence so that you can see and read the letters for yourselves as suggested by Jones.

Washington wrote his letters well over a decade after the end of the American Revolution. In fact, Weishaupt was himself inspired by the American Revolution in creating his Bavarian Illuminati and was hoping to change the tyrannical society in which he lived.

The Illuminati did not inspire the American Revolution; the American Revolution inspired the Illuminati.

Note that Jones never claims to be an expert on the Bavarian Illuminati and willfully differs to Mark Dice who has been studying the Illuminati for over 10 years. The Illuminati makes up a minuscule portion of Jones extensive body of work.
Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy
Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy

The Founding Fathers are the leading figures of the American Revolution, the signers of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 and the framers of the United States Constitution. The Bavarian Illuminati was a secret society founded by Adam Weishaupt on May 1st 1776.

In August 1798, George Washington received a letter as well as a copy of John Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy from George Snyder. This led to a brief exchange between the two men. I have included the relevant letters (3 from Snyder, 3 from Washington) from the government archives below.

In January 1800, Thomas Jefferson received a copy of Abbé Augustin Barruel ‘s Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism and also commented on the book in a letter to Bishop James Madison.

George Washington was distrustful of the Illuminati while Thomas Jefferson supported Weishaupt and his cause.

Let’s examine each one by one…

Bavarian Illuminati and George Washington

There are three letters mentioning the Bavarian Illuminati written by George Washington to George Washington Snyder in response to a August, 1798 letter which came with a copy of John Robison’s anti- Illuminati book, Proofs of Conspiracy. The book itself was found in Washington’s library at his death.

Here is the Washington-Snyder exchange from various US government archives:

Letter 1 – Snyder -> Washington

From G. W. Snyder
Frederick-Town (Maryland) Augt 22. 1798.

You will, I hope, not think it a Presumption in a Stranger, whose Name, perhaps never reached your Ears, to address himself to you the Commanding General of a great Nation. I am a German, born and liberally educated in the City of Heydelberg in the Palatinate of the Rhine. I came to this Country in 1776, and felt soon after my Arrival a close Attachment to the Liberty for which these confederated States then struggled. The same Attachment still remains not glowing, but burning in my Breast. At the same Time that I am exulting in the Measures adopted by our Government, I feel myself elevated in the Idea of my adopted Country. I am attached both from the Bent of Education and mature Enquiry and Search to the simple Doctrines of Christianity, which I have the Honor to teach in Public; and I do heartily despise all the Cavils of Infidelity. Our present Time, pregnant with the most shocking Evils and Calamities, threatens Ruin to our Liberty and Goverment. Secret, the most secret Plans are in Agitation: Plans, calculated to ensnare the Unwary, to attract the Gay and irreligious, and to entice even the Well-disposed to combine in the general Machine for overturning all Government and all Religion.

Proofs of Conspiracy
Proofs of Conspiracy (Read it here, buy it here)

It was some Time since that a Book fell into my Hands entituled “Proofs of a Conspiracy &c. by John Robison,” which gives a full Account of a Society of Freemasons, that distinguishes itself by the Name “of Illuminati,” whose Plan is to overturn all Government and all Religion, even natural; and who endeavour to eradicate every Idea of a Supreme Being, and distinguish Man from Beast by his Shape only. A Thought suggested itself to me, that some of the Lodges in the United States might have caught the Infection, and might cooperate with the Illuminati or the Jacobine Club in France. Fauchet is mentioned by Robison as a zealous Member: and who can doubt of Genet and Adet? Have not these their Confidants in this Country? They use the same Expressions and are generally Men of no Religion. Upon serious Reflection I was led to think that it might be within your Power to prevent the horrid Plan from corrupting the Brethren of the English Lodge over which you preside.

I send you the “Proof of a Conspiracy &c.” which, I doubt not, will give you Satisfaction and afford you Matter for a Train of Ideas, that may operate to our national Felicity. If, however, you have already perused the Book, it will not, I trust, be disagreeable to you that I have presumed to address you with this Letter and the Book accompanying it. It proceeded from the Sincerity of my Heart and my ardent Wishes for the common Good.

May the Supreme Ruler of all Things continue You long with us in these perilous Times: may he endow you with Strength and Wisdom to save our Country in the threatening Storms and gathering Clouds of Factions and Commotions! and after you have completed his Work on this terrene Spot, may He bring you to the full Possession of the glorious Liberty of the Children of God, is the hearty and most sincere Wish of Your Excellency’s very humble and devoted Servant

~ To George Washington from G. W. Snyder, 22 August 1798
National Archives

About George Washington Snyder
The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Ritual and Doctrines of the Illuminati
The Secret School of Wisdom: The Authentic Ritual and Doctrines of the Illuminati

Illuminati authors Jeva Singh-Anand and Josef Wages, co-author of The Secret School of Wisdom wrote that we know very little of Snyder, but from what we do know; it’s likely that Washington was worried that Snyder was an anti-Masonic agitator. (Red Ice Radio, 45:40)

Not much information can be found on Snyder, who contacted Washington because he believed him to be “a Grand Master General, who presided over all of the English (or Symbolic) Masonic Lodges in the United States.”

According to Sachse, Snyder was an anti-Masonic agitator and political opponent to Washington and that he had “no ecclesiastical connection with any organized Church Body.” Snyder arrived in Fredericktown, MD in 1787 to collect donations for the construction of a church.

~ Jeva Singh-Anand, Illuminati Info

Not sure of who exactly Snyder was or what his intentions were, Washington wrote back on September 25, 1798:

Letter 2 – Washington -> Snyder

George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder September 25, 1798 (image transcript)
George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder
September 25, 1798 (image | transcript)


Mount Vernon, September 25, 1798.

Sir: Many apologies are due to you, for my not acknowledging the receipt of your obliging favour of the 22d. Ulto, and for not thanking you, at an earlier period, for the Book you had the goodness to send me.

I have heard much of the nefarious, and dangerous plan, and doctrines of the Illuminati, but never saw the Book until you were pleased to send it to me. The same causes which have prevented my acknowledging the receipt of your letter have prevented my reading the Book, hitherto; namely, the multiplicity of matters which pressed upon me before, and the debilitated state in which I was left after, a severe fever had been removed. And which allows me to add little more now, than thanks for your kind wishes and favourable sentiments, except to correct an error you have run into, of my Presiding over the English lodges in this Country. The fact is, I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice, within the last thirty years. I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this Country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the Society of the Illuminati. With respect I am &c.

~ George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder
September 25, 1798.
(image | transcript)

However Snyder, not having yet received a response to his August 22nd letter (#1 above), wrote back:

Letter 3 – Snyder -> Washington

“Some Weeks ago I sent you a Letter with Robison’s Proof of a Conspiracy which I hope you have received. I have since been more confirmed in the Ideas I had suggested to you concerning an Order of Men, who in Germany have distinguished themselves by the Names of Illuminati—German Union—Reading Societies—and in France by that of the Jacobine-Club, that the same are now existing in the United States.

It also occurred to me that you might have had Ideas to that Purport when you disapproved of the Meetings of the Democratic-Societies, which appeared to me to be a Branch of that Order, though many Members may be entirely ignorant of the Plan. Those Men who are so much attached to French Principles, have all the Marks of Jacobinism. They first cast off all religious Restraints, and then became fit for perpetrating every Act of Inhumanity. And, it is remarkable, that most of them are actually Scoffers at all religious Principles. It is said that the ‘Lodge Theodore in Bavaria became notorious for the many bold and dangerous Sentiments in Religion and Politics that were uttered in their Harangues, and its Members were remarkable for their Zeal in making Proselytes’; (and no Wonder since the Order was to rule the World.) Is not there a striking Similarity between their Proceedings and those of many Societies that oppose the Measures of our present Government?

Even in this small Place the French-Faction is very numerous—their Expressions are like those of Bloody-Lutetia [Lutetia Parisiorum, or Paris]: their Sentiments in exact Unison with those of the Jacobine Club: their Hearts panting for Faggots and Guillotines. The Foundation of their Sanctuary is laid with Lies, and every Stone of the Superstructure reared with Falsehood. They are laboriously employed to excite Discord—to extinguish public Virtue—to break down the Barriers of Religion—to establish Atheism, and work the Downfall of our Civil—and Religious Liberty. Should their perfidious Schemes succeed (I tremble even at the Imagination of the Consequences) what would become of our Columbia?”

~ To George Washington from G. W. Snyder, 22 August 1798
National Archives (Transcript)

To which Washington replied:
Letter 4 – Washington -> Snyder

“Sir: It is more than a fortnight since I acknowledged the receipt of your first letter, on the subject of the Illuminati and thanked you for Robinson’s account of that society. It went to the post office as usual addressed to the Rev’d Mr Snyder, at Frederick Town Maryland. If it had not been received before this mishap must have attended it, of which I pray you to advise me, as it could not have been received, at the date of your last, not being mentioned. I am, &c. G. Washington”

~ George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder
October 10, 1798.
National Archives (Transcript)

Letter 5 – Snyder -> Washington

Having now and received Washington’s initial reply, Snyder wrote back on October 17:

“Your Excellency’s Favour of the 25th of Septr last I had the Pleasure to receive on the 3d Current. My Pleasure, however, was interrupted, because I had sent another Letter [dated 1 Oct.] for your Excellency to the Post-Office about an Hour before I received Your’s.”

“I should be very happy in your Excellency’s good Opinion, that the Contagion of Illuminatism or Jacobinism had not yet reached this Country; but when I consider the anarchical and seditious Spirit, that shewed itself in the United States from the Time M. Genet and Fauchet (who certainly is of the Order) arrived in this Country and propagated their seditious Doctrines, which the illuminated Doctor from Birmingham has been zealously employed to strengthen, I confess I cannot divest myself of my Suspicions: yet I trust that the Alwise and Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe will so dispose the Minds of the People of these United States that true Religion and righteous Government may remain the Privileges of this Nation!

I cannot conclude without acquainting your Excellency that I have made Extracts from ‘Robison’s Proofs of a Conspiracy,’ and arranged them in such a Manner as to give a compendious Information to the Public of the dangerous and pernicious Plan of the ‘Illuminati or Jacobins,’ and by some Remarks to caution them against it. I had them published in ‘Bartgis’s Federal Gazette’ of this Place, from which they were copied and inserted into the ‘Baltimore Federal Gazette[’] of the 9th Inst.

I write under the Signature of Cicero. Whether my Endeavours shall benefit the Public Time alone can evince. Harm I am conscious I do not design. Should your Excellency have Leisure to peruse the Piece, I shall deem it a peculiar Favour to receive your Opinion upon it”

~ To George Washington from G. W. Snyder, 17 October 1798
National Archives (Transcript)

So I think we know by now what kind of guy this Snyder character was. He is the guys that sends you links “proving” that humans have never been to the moon and low-resolution videos of celebrities shapeshifting into aliens.

Surely realizing that Snyder was probably a little nut, Washington wrote his “This will be my last post on this thread” letter to Snyder strongly hinting that he was a busy man. (Note: Washington was the richest man in the United States and the richest US President in history):

Letter 6 – Washington -> Snyder

George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder October 24, 1798.
George Washington to George Washington Snyder
October 24, 1798 (image | transcript)


Mount Vernon, October 24, 1798.

George Washington, Master Mason
George Washington, Master Mason

Revd Sir: I have your favor of the 17th. instant before me; and my only motive to trouble you with the receipt of this letter, is to explain, and correct a mistake which I perceive the hurry in which I am obliged, often, to write letters, have led you into.

It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.

The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.

My occupations are such, that but little leisure is allowed me to read News Papers, or Books of any kind; the reading of letters, and preparing answers, absorb much of my time. With respect, etc.

~ George Washington letter to George Washington Snyder
October 24, 1798 (image | transcript)


This letter was the last in the Snyder-Washington exchange. Washington remained a lifelong Freemason and received a Masonic burial at his death.

There are no mentions by Washington of the Illuminati’s “infiltration of the US military”, nor did he believed that the Illuminati had “infiltrated Masonry” as Alex Jones claims. Of course, Mark Dice is aware of this, but I think he knows better than to interrupt Alex Jones by now. 😀 (I’m a fan of Dice’s work in debunking numerous Illuminati Charlatans and pretenders.)

Nevertheless, Washington was not sympathetic to what he believes were the Illuminati’s goals.

Thomas Jefferson and the Bavarian Illuminati

Thomas Jefferson was sympathetic to the Illuminati and believed that the secrecy employed by Weishaupt was necessary considering Bavaria’s political climate. In a January 31, 1800 letter to Bishop James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

Thomas Jefferson letter to Bishop James Madison January 31, 1800
Thomas Jefferson letter to Bishop James Madison
January 31, 1800 (image | transcript | transcript)


— I have received your favor of the 17th, & communicated it to Mr. Smith. I lately forwarded your letter from Dr. Priestley, endorsed `with a book’; I struck those words through with my pen, because no book had then come. It is now received, & shall be forwarded to Richmond by the first opportunity: but such opportunities are difficult to find; gentlemen going in the stage not liking to take charge of a packet which is to be attended to every time the stage is changed. The best chance will be by some captain of a vessel going round to Richmond. I shall address it to the care of Mr. George Jefferson there.

Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism
Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism (Read it here, buy it here)

I have lately by accident got a sight of a single volume (the 3d.) of the Abbe Barruel’s `Antisocial conspiracy,’ which gives me the first idea I have ever had of what is meant by the Illuminatism against which `illuminate Morse’ as he is now called, & his ecclesiastical & monarchical associates have been making such a hue and cry.

Barruel’s own parts of the book are perfectly the ravings of a Bedlamite.

But he quotes largely from Wishaupt whom he considers as the founder of what he calls the order. As you may not have had an opportunity of forming a judgment of this cry of `mad dog’ which has been raised against his doctrines, I will give you the idea I have formed from only an hour’s reading of Barruel’s quotations from him, which you may be sure are not the most favorable.

Wishaupt seems to be an enthusiastic Philanthropist. He is among those (as you know the excellent Price and Priestley also are) who believe in the indefinite perfectibility of man. He thinks he may in time be rendered so perfect that he will be able to govern himself in every circumstance so as to injure none, to do all the good he can, to leave government no occasion to exercise their powers over him, & of course to render political government useless. This you know is Godwin’s doctrine, and this is what Robinson, Barruel & Morse had called a conspiracy against all government.

Wishaupt believes that to promote this perfection of the human character was the object of Jesus Christ. That his intention was simply to reinstate natural religion, & by diffusing the light of his morality, to teach us to govern ourselves. His precepts are the love of god & love of our neighbor. And by teaching innocence of conduct, he expected to place men in their natural state of liberty & equality. He says, no one ever laid a surer foundation for liberty than our grand master, Jesus of Nazareth.

He believes the Free masons were originally possessed of the true principles & objects of Christianity, & have still preserved some of them by tradition, but much disfigured. The means he proposes to effect this improvement of human nature are `to enlighten men, to correct their morals & inspire them with benevolence. Secure of our success, sais he, we abstain from violent commotions. To have foreseen the happiness of posterity & to have prepared it by irreproachable means, suffices for our felicity.

The tranquility of our consciences is not troubled by the reproach of aiming at the ruin or overthrow of states or thrones.’

As Wishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot & priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, & the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object & to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue. He proposed to initiate new members into his body by gradations proportioned to his fears of the thunderbolts of tyranny. This has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment, the subversion of the masonic order, & is the colour for the ravings against him of Robinson, Barruel & Morse, whose real fears are that the craft would be endangered by the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men. This subject being new to me, I have imagined that if it be so to you also, you may receive the same satisfaction in seeing, which I have had in forming the analysis of it: & I believe you will think with me that if Wishaupt had written here, where no secrecy is necessary in our endeavors to render men wise & virtuous, he would not have thought of any secret machinery for that purpose. As Godwin, if he had written in Germany, might probably also have thought secrecy & mysticism prudent. I will say nothing to you on the late revolution of France, which is painfully interesting. Perhaps when we know more of the circumstances which gave rise to it, & the direction it will take, Buonaparte, its chief organ, may stand in a better light than at present.

I am with great esteem, dear sir, your affectionate friend.

Thomas Jefferson

~ Thomas Jefferson letter to Bishop James Madison
January 31, 180.
(image | transcript | transcript)


The Illuminatus! Trilogy and George Washington

Material from Illuminati popular culture are often brought up in discussing surrounding the Bavarian Illuminati and the Founding Fathers and are stripped of their fictional context and presented as historical information. (fnord)

Most famously, a passage from Robert Anton Wilson and ‎Robert Shea’s The Eye in the Pyramid, the first book of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, describing Adam Weishaupt killing off George Washington and taking his place as President of the United States:

The Eye in the Pyramid,, Book 1 of The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Eye in the Pyramid,, Book 1 of The Illuminatus! Trilogy


This is from a small left-wing newspaper in Chicago (The RogerSPARK Chicago, July
1969, Vol. 2, No. 9: “Daley Linked With Illuminati,” no author’s name given):

No historian knows what happened to Adam Weishaupt after he was exiled from Bavaria in 1785, and entries in “Washington’s” diary after that date frequently refer to the hemp crop at Mount Vernon.

The possibility that Adam Weishaupt killed George Washington and took his place, serving as our first President for two terms, is now confirmed. . . . The two main colors of the American flag are, excluding a small patch of blue in one corner, red and white: these are also the official colors of the Hashishim. The flag and the Illuminati pyramid both have thirteen horizontal divisions: thirteen is, of course, the traditional code for marijuana . . . and is still used in that sense by Hell’s Angels among others.

Now, “Washington” formed the Federalist party.The other major party in those days, The Democratic Republicans, was formed by Thomas Jefferson [and] there are grounds for accepting the testimony of the Reverend Jedediah Morse of Charleston, who accused Jefferson of being an Illuminati agent. Thus, even at the dawn of our government, both parties were Illuminati fronts. …

This story later repeats the Teenset report that Mayor Daley used the phrase “Ewige Blumenkraft” during his incoherent diatribe against Abe Ribicoff.


~ Illuminatus! Eye in the Pyramid
(Buy here)


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