In the House of Commons, on November 5, 1919, Mr. Winston Churchill gave a very remarkable account of the Russian Revolution. He began by quoting a passage from Ludendorff’s book on the war. It occurs in volume ii., page 509:
- „By sending Lenin to Russia [says Ludendorff], our Government did moreover assume a great responsibility, but from the military point of view his journey was justified. Russia had to be laid low. But our Government should have seen to it that we were not also involved in her fall.„
So far Ludendorff. Let us now see what Mr. Churchill has to say upon the implications of this passage:
„Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or of cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy. No sooner did Lenin arrive than he began beckoning a finger here and a finger there to obscure persons in sheltered retreats in New York, in Glasgow, in Berne, and other countries, and he gathered together the leading spirits of a formidable sect, the most formidable sect in the world, of which he was the high priest and chief. With these spirits around him he set to work with demoniacal ability to tear to pieces every institution on which the Russian State depended. Russia was laid low. Russia had to be laid low. She was laid low in the dust.
- „Colonel Ward—But she is not dead yet.
- „Mr. J. Jones—Why did you not declare war on him?
„Mr. Churchill—Her national life was completely ruined; the fruits of her sacrifices were thrown away. She was condemned to long internal terrors, and menaced by famine. . . . Her sufferings are more fearful than modern records hold, and she has been robbed of her place among the great nations of the world.“
Now let us carefully consider this gloomy, impressive, and almost terrifying passage. What does it mean?
- It means, first of all, that the German Imperial Government used an organization —“the most formidable sect in the world“ — for the destruction of Russia.
- Secondly—as we also gather from Ludendorff—the German Government ran a great risk—“assumed a great responsibility„—in letting loose this mysterious power.
- Thirdly, Ludendorff seems to suggest that the German Government handled this power clumsily, so that they were also brought down by it.
- Fourthly—and here we come to Mr. Churchill —the sect was not German only or Russian: its leading spirits were drawn from New York, Glasgow, Berne, and other countries.
It was a power outside Germany, a power outside Russia: it was a world-wide power. And it was a power strong enough to bring Russia down, and also, if we are right in our interpretation of Ludendorff’s words, to bring down the Imperial German Government and the House of Hohenzollern.
What was it?
Before attempting to answer this question, let us make another quotation, this time from an author long dead. The Abbe Barruel wrote his Memoirs of Jacobinism towards the end of the eighteenth century. The English translation was pubUshed in 1 797-1798. The Abbeè traced the origin of the French Revolution through a bewildering maze of secret societies, French and German, chiefly Masonic or pseudo-Masonic in form, and all inspired by a common plan.
He suggested that the jparent sect of the Revolution was the Illuminati founded by the famous „Spartacus“ ‚Weishaupt in Bavaria in 1776, and after describing the sinister activities of this and other organizations of a similar kind, he warned his readers in these remarkable words:
- » “ You thought the Revolution ended in France, and the Revolution in France was only the first attempt of the Jacobins. In the desires of a terrible and formidable sect, you have only reached the first stage of the plans it has formed for that general Revolution which is to overthrow all thrones, all altars, annihilate all property, efface all law, and end by dissolving all society.„
Now, the Abbè Barruel’s book caused a great sensation at the time, and became the centre of a great controversy—both in Europe and America — now almost, if not quite forgotten. Among those who attempted to answer Barruel was Jean Joseph Mounier, famous in the early stages of the Revolution as President of the National Assembly.
Mounier was one of those Liberal-Constitutionalists who seem doomed to be the dupes of the Revolutions over whose early stages they preside. Mounier then wrote a reply (* Influence of the Philosophers, Free-Masons, and Illuminants on the Revolution in France (1801)). to Barruel. In this reply Mounier pointed out that the Illuminati had been dissolved in 1787.
- „How, therefore [he asked], could it have produced the Revolution of France which began in 1789? True, we have been assured that it was continued in more secret forms; but this assertion is out of all probability. . . . They who say the order still exists ought to give up the attempt to persuade the Germans of it, who are witnesses of the conduct of those who established it. . . . If we are to believe the writings of Dr. Robison and M. Barruel, the systems of M. Weishaupt were diffused with the rapidity of the electric fluid.“
Here surely is a passage upon which Time sheds a strong and dramatic light. In 1801 no German believes that the followers of “ Spartacus“ still exist as a secret society. In 1918 they come out of their shadows and attempt a Revolution in Berlin! In 1801 it is absurd to suppose that a secret society, a „formidable sect,“ could spread from Germany to France „with the rapidity of the electric fluid.“ In 1919 Mr. Churchill asserts that Revolution was carried from Germany to Russia „in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid.„
Barruel then is justified by time. As we shall presently show, he finds support in the researches of modern history. The French Revolution—like the Russian Revolution—was actuated by a formidable sect—“the most formidable sect in the world.„
The proofs of this statement we must reserve for a subsequent chapter. In the meantime let us merely state the question which these papers will attempt to answer.
What is this „formidable sect“ of which Barruel speaks in the eighteenth century, of which Mr. Churchill speaks in the twentieth? Is it the same then as now? That is a disturbing question. Upon the answer may rest the safety of England—of Christianity—and of the civilization based on Christianity.
„The appalling thing,“ says Lord Acton in his Essays on the French Revolution, „is not the tumult but the design. Through all the fire and smoke we perceive the evidence of calculating organization. The managers remain studiously concealed and masked, but there is no doubt about their presence from the first.„
What was this calculating organization? Lord Acton does not answer. He was too absorbed in his pre-occupation of Constitutionalism—that will-o‘-the-wisp which all our Whig historians are eternally chasing through the quaking bogs and the lurid shadows of those terrible times. Was it by any chance the same „formidable sect“ which the German Emperor let loose upon Russia?
Mrs. Webster, in her admirable book on the French Revolution,^ suggests several answers to this question. She recalls the „formidable sect“ of the Illuminati of Bavaria, founded by „Spartacus“ Weishaupt in 1776, and asks if it can be „mere coincidence “ that the Spartacists of modern Germany adopted the pseudonym of their fellow-countryman and predecessor of the eighteenth century.
We shall examine that theory later on. Then Mrs. Webster goes on to point out that the Internationale, by the admission of Prince Kropotkin, had „a direct filiation“ with the „Enrages“ of 1793 and the secret societies of 1795- That also is a question we shall have to consider.
They are mentioned by Mrs. Webster as an afterthought, suggested no doubt by the terrible events which were taking place when she was completing her book. The main body of her work is occupied with tracing the Orleanist conspiracy, which beyond doubt had its share in those events.
Now the Duke of Orleans was a voluptuary and a coward. Sober historians, after examining his character, laugh at the idea that he could have organized such a conspiracy. Why then was his name—the name Phihp Egalite—a rallying cry of those formidable sects which organized the Revolution? That is a question which we must also hold in suspense for a moment.
Then Mrs. Webster allots its due share to the Prussian conspiracy organized by Frederick the Great, and continued by his successor, for the destruction of France. That Prussia had its share in the French Revolution is no longer in doubt. „Anacharsis“ Clootz, that horrible Prussian; Ephraim, that horrible German Jew, were probably agents of the House of Hohenzollem.
Had they also a „filiation“ with the „formidable sect“ ? We shall see.
Again, there was the obscure conspiracy to place the Duke of Brunswick on the Throne of France. There were also English influences at work in the „formidable sect.“ English gold helped to finance the French Revolution. That is certain. But it is also certain, as Mrs. Webster shows, that it was not the gold of Pitt. The Government of George III. had no hand in the foul conspiracy. The aid was given by certain „revolutionary clubs“ in England.
What interest had they in the destruction of the House of Bourbon? Were they also members of the „formidable sect„? If they were—if Bavarians, Prussians, Frenchmen, and Englishmen were all working in the same conspiracy, in the same organization—then the „formidable sect“ could not have been French merely. It must have been International.
Are we to believe that even in the eighteenth century there was an „International“ devoted to the destruction of Church and State?
The French Clerical, the French Royalist, will reply at once: Certainly, there was Freemasonry.
That is an answer at which Englishmen will be inclined to laugh, for no one who knew anything of them could suspect our English Freemasons of any revolutionary design. But there is Freemasonry and Freemasonry. The danger of the Masonic organization is this—that every secret society which aims at revolution finds in Freemasonry a disguise which it is almost impossible to penetrate. Freemasons themselves admit, as we shall see later on, that the trowel has been used as a dagger, and that the square has covered a bomb. Let us quote from a witness who upon this point is not likely to He. Louis Blanc was himself a revolutionary, and his History of the French Revolution is written to glorify that event. Let us see, then, what he says on this subject.
After reminding his readers that Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity are words dedicated to Freemasonry he continues:
- „As the three grades of ordinary Masonry included a great number of men opposed, by position and by principle, to every project of social subversion, the innovators multiplied the degrees of ‚the mystic ladder to be climbed. They created occult lodges reserved for ardent souls . . . shadowy sanctuaries whose doors were only open to the adept after a long series of proofs calculated to test the progress of his revolutionary education. … It was to these subterranean schools that Condorcet alluded when, in his Histoire des Progrh de VEsprit Humain, interrupted by his death, he promised to tell what blows monarchical idolatry and superstition had received from the secret societies, daughters of the Order of the Templars.“
This testimony, as we shall see, does not stand alone. And it has the merit also of explaining a good deal that is otherwise inexplicable. For it is certain that in France the Duke of Orleans was Grand Master both of the Central Masonic Lodge, the Grand Orient, and also of the Templars; that Frederick the Great was Grand Master of a world-wide system of Freemasonry, and that the Duke of Brunswick was Grand Master of the German Freemasons.
Whether these principals were the directors or were the tools of the „formidable sect“ is a question that must also be answered.
But in the meantime we must examine a little more closely the words of Louis Blanc’s testimony. We gather from this closer view that the ordinary lodges and the general run of Freemasons—even in France—were not entrusted with the designs of the conspirators. These conspirators created special lodges—“arrières loges,“ as they are called—behind (and above) the ordinary lodges. The „innovators“ were thus protected by a screen or several screens, one behind the other, of unsuspected and unsuspecting Masons. These were the „shadowy sanctuaries, “ open only to the adept, where blow upon blow of the revolution could be directed in safety—as from a bomb-proof dug-out or the armoured top of a battleship.