As a person who is bilingual I cannot help but be amazed at the task writer and translator Jeva Singh-Amand undertook in his translation of PHILO'S REPLY QUESTIONS CONCERNING HIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE ILLUMINATI.

The Illuminati has been presumed to exist for a very long time and has been subjected to mystery by many and presumed occult in nature as well. Mr. Singh-Anand brings to
light the history of the Illuminati and the lesser baron that would become it's architect, and an even lesser known philosopher and administrator of what was a fledgling attempt to organize enlightenment and bring it to Germanic states. "Philo" was a secret name. It was customary for all those affiliated with the Bavarian Illuminati to take on
pseudonyms to work unhindered.

Philo was really Baron Adolph von Knigge, raised in a family that nurtured curiosity in all things, including the occult. His father, interested in alchemy was never able to covert anything into gold but that did not dissuade the young baron from pursing his own interest in things mysterious.

A little known fact is that Baron von Knegge became most
prominent in the area of etiquette upon which he wrote extensively. Yet his own curious and determined nature sought something that could encapsulate the best of mankind for the betterment of mankind. As a result he became introduced to and worked with founder Adam Weishaupt.
As he discussed his objective of finding a way to promote enlightenment Weishaupt informed him that such an organization already existed. He was quickly asked to perform the gargantuan task of fostering the development of the Illuminati in five areas. Beginning second in command to none von Knigge took on this responsibility willingly and enthusiastically.

What becomes clear in this wonderful translation that read as if written in English is von Knigge's labors, efforts and ultimate disagreement with Weishaupt which led to his leaving the movement. But what truly shines through is the brilliance of the mind that was von Krigge. What is truly applicable to today's times is the wisdom he exhibited in the face of criticism and misrepresentation of the Bavarian Illuminati.

Reading this learned philosopher's point of view which reflects the optimism that truth and it's light will always show itself regardless of slander and ignorance lends a truly new awareness to the childhood adages such as "sticks and stones" and "water off a duck's back". Von Knigge was a man who knew when silence was the strongest tool and only
provided this treatise when his anonymity was revealed by another within the Illuminati.

Mr. Singh-Anand's translation brings forward a little known
philosopher's wisdom in a manner that is both engaging while still capturing the history of this organization. As a result he accomplishes removing the veil of mystique surrounding the Illuminati, revealing what it truly was which was an organization that originally was similar to the philosophy of what we Americans call Libertarianism
although one can also see how its tenets were threatening and in its time seemed to promote anarchy.

Established for the betterment of mankind and for it's membership, Weishaupt promised "Heaven on earth" for the brotherhood but it was really von Knigge that laid down the foundation and degrees of what would constitute reemasonry. In comprehending the principles of this organization one can easily see how "brotherhoods" of the wealthiest
in modern times are also targets of curiosity, criticism and mystery.

The most interesting facet of von Knigge's personality, to me, lies in his recounting Westhaupt admission early on in von Knigge's administration and development of the "order" in which he admitted that the Illuminati as von Knegge described it did not exist as was expressed. All it has been was a young, was a loosely connected movement of scattered intelligentsia not yet organized to have any impact on the promises of Westhaupt at least not until von Knigge entered the picture. Already having established in his own mind what an ideal society could be like and the worthiness of working toward that goal von Knigge chose to continue working diligently to create what he believed in which was a living, breathing viable network of capable people who were willing to be entrusted with the
common good of mankind and of course, as security, themselves.

I wish to thank Mr. Singh-Anand for this work and his labors in bringing to the foreground this little known philosopher who, in his own way, offers much in the way of basic standards for conducting oneself under pressure by refusing to accept the pressure and by truly reaching that point in which explanations are owed to no one but the
self. In consider this a spiritual approach to handling the pressures that come with anonymous and cultural and societal criticism that as individuals we can all gain benefit in adapting for our personal lives.

I highly recommend this book for its merit, it's offering of little known history and its clarification of what to many is a mystery. Mr. Singh-Anand has dutifully presented von Knigee as a philosopher for not just his time but ours as well in a translation that flows in English allowing one to simply forget it was originally written in German.

I look forward to more of Mr. Singh-Anand's scholarly translations of other authors known perhaps only to German academia.

This book is available through and

Author's Bio: 

Cate Cavanagh is a published poet and author (GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT AND HER GODMOTHER), syndicated columnist in various magical e zines as well as a print political columnist in New York and pod caster on Here she discusses her school of metaphysics QUANTUM SPIRITUALITY, The Science of Change (this program is copyrighted.)

As International Poet of Merit honoree for 2001, and elected poet for "The Best Poets of the Millennium" and "The Best Poets of 2000" her poetry has been widely published. Cate is a featured author for CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL-WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE CAT, a screenplay writer and snark columnist

A practicing Witch Cate is also a creative supernatural and occult specialist for TV and screen please visit

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