John Robison (1739-1805) was a Scottish scientist, who late in life wrote the one of the definitive studies of the Bavarian Illuminati. He was a contemporary and collaborator with James Watt, with whom he worked on an early steam car, contributor to the 1797 Encylopedia Britannica, professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and inventor of the siren.
Although Robison was very much an advocate of science and rationalism, in later life, disillusioned by the French Revolution, he became an ardent monarchist. In this work, Proofs of a Conspiracy, Robison laid the groundwork for modern conspiracy theorists by implicating the Bavarian Illuminati as responsible for the excesses of the French Revolution. The Bavarian Illuminati, a rationalist secret society, was founded by Adam Weishaupt in 1776 in what is today Germany.
“The Order must possess the power of life and death in consequence of our Oath; and with propriety, for the same reason, and by the same right, that any government in the world possess es it: For the Order comes in their place, making them unnecessary. When things cannot be otherwise, and ruin would ensue if the Association did not employ this mean, the Order must, as well as public rulers, employ it for the good of mankind; therefore for its own preservation. Nor will the political constitutions suffer by this, for there are always thousands equally ready and able to supply the place.”
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