Cause of World Unrest - Nesta Webster

Appendix A: The Alta Vendita

To the Editor of the "Morning Post"


Will you allow me to add another link to the very valuable chain of evidence set forth in your columns on the question of Secret Societies and World Revolution? This is the organization known as the Alta Vendita or Haute Vente Romaine, which originated with the Carbonari early in the nineteenth century. Monseigneur Dillon, in his remarkable series of lectures delivered in Edinburgh in 1884, traced the origin of the Carbonari back to the Illuminati of Bavaria. The Carbonari, however, did not begin as a revolutionary body; its founders were Royalists and Catholics who, deluded as to the real aims of Illuminism, followed the precedent laid down by Weishaupt of taking Christ as their Grand Master. But before long the adepts of revolutionary masonry invaded their ranks and obtained the mastery over the whole association.

"As soon as, perhaps sooner than, Weishaupt had passed away, the supreme government of all the secret societies of the world was exercised by the Alta Vendita or highest lodge of the Italian Carbonari. . . The permanent instruction of this body to its adepts consists mainly in war on the papacy, but it also admits: 'Our final end is that of Voltaire and the French Revolution, the destruction of Catholicism, and even of the Christian idea.'"

The Alta Vendita was thus a direct continuation of the Illuminati, and in accordance with the custom of their German predecessors, its members all elected to be known by pseudonyms. Thus as Weishaupt had taken the name of Spartacus, Clootz that of Anacharsis, and Babeuf that of Gracchus, the head of the Order, a corrupt Italian nobleman, is only known to us as Nubius. This young man, rich, handsome, eloquent, and absolutely reckless, was "a visionary with an idée fixe, that of elevating a pedestal to his own vanity." But it was not in the band of dissolute young Italians he gathered around him, but in his Jewish allies that Nubius found his principal support.

The documents of the Alta Vendita, afterwards brought to light, revealed, says Monseigneur Dillon:—

". . . his funds for carrying on the deep and dark conspiracy in which he and his confederates were engaged came chiefly from rich German Jews. Jews, in fact, from the commencement played always a prominent part in the conspiracies of Atheism. They do so still. Piccolo Tigre, who seems to have been the most active agent of Nubius, was a Jew. He travelled under the appearance of an i tinerant banker and jeweller. This character of money-lender disarmed suspicion. . . .

Of course he had the protection of the Masonic lodges everywhere. The most desperate revolutionaries were generally the most desperate scoundrels, otherwise they were gamblers, spendthrifts, and the very class with which a usurious Jew would be expected to have money dealings. Piccolo Tigre thus travelled safely and brought safely to the lodges of the Carbonari such instructions as the Alta Vendita thought proper to give."

Piccolo Tigre was only one of many Jews employed by the Haute Vente; others of his race worked for the conspiracy in Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and kept up a regular correspondence with Nubius. How far were these men acting merely as the agents of their Italian chief? Or were they animated by some ulterior aim? The author of the articles now appearing in the Morning Post has indicated the possibility of a Jewish conspiracy running through Freemasonry, and Monseigneur Dillon propounds the same hypothesis.

"Monseigneur de Segur," he writes, "connects modern Freemasonry with Jews and Templars. . . . There are reasons which lead me to think he may be right in doing so. The Jews for many centuries before the Reformation had formed secret societies for their protection and the destruction of Christianity which persecuted them and which they so much hated. The rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon was the dream of their lives. ... It is therefore not improbable that they admitted into their secret conclaves some at least of the discontented Templars burning for revenge upon those who dispossessed and suppressed the Order. That fact would account for the curious combination of Jewish and conventional allusions to be found in modern Masonry. . . .

"The Jewish formulas employed by Masonry, the Jewish traditions which run through its ceremonial, point to a Jewish origin or to the work of Jewish contrivers. It is easy to conceive how such a society could be thought necessary to protect them from Christianity in power. It is easy also to understand how the one darling object of their lives is the rebuilding of the Temple. Who knows but behind the Atheism and desire of gain which impels them to urge on Christians to persecute the Church and destroy it, there lies a hidden hope to reconstruct their Temple, and at the darkest depths of secret-society plotting, there lurks a deeper society still which looks to a return to the land of Juda and to the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem!"

Whether, therefore, as M. Cretineau Joly suggests, Nubius made use of Judaic hatred of Christianity for the purpose of the Haute Vente, or whether the Jews made use of the Haute Vente to further their own cause, it cannot be denied that Jews played an important part in secret societies at this period. Piccolo Tigre at any rate seems to have occupied a position of considerable authority, for on January 18, 1822, we find him issuing instructions to the Haute Vente Piedmontaise in these words:

"All Italy is covered with religious confraternities and with penitents of diverse colours. Do not fear to slip some of your people into the very midst of these flocks, led, as they are, by a stupid devotion. . . . Gather together in one place or another—in the sacristies or chapels even—these tribes of yours, as yet ignorant; put them under the pastoral^staff of some virtuous priest, wellknown but credulous, and easy to be deceived. Then infiltrate the poison into those chosen hearts; infiltrate it in little doses and as if by chance. Afterwards, upon reflection, you will yourselves be astonished at your success.

"The essential thing is to isolate a man from his family, to cause him to lose his morals. He is sufficiently disposed by the bent of his character to flee from household cares and to run after easy pleasures and forbidden joys. He likes long talks in the cafes, the idleness of spectacles. Lead him along, sustain him, give him an importance of some kind, teach him discreetly to weary of his daily labours, and by this manoeuvre, after having separated him from his wife and children, and having shown him how painful are all duties, you will inculcate in him the desire of another existence. Man is a born rebel. Stir up the desire of rebellion until it becomes a conflagration, but in such a manner that the conflagration does not break out. This is a preparation for the great work that you have to begin.

"When you have insinuated into a few souls disgust for family and for religion (the one nearly always follows in the wake of the other), let fall certain words which will provoke the desire of being affiliated to the nearest lodge. This vanity of the citizen or of the bourgeois for being enrolled in Freemasonry is something so banal and so universal that I am always full of admiration for human stupidity. I am not surprised to see the whole world knocking at the door of all the Venerables and asking these gentlemen for the honour of being one of the workmen chosen for the reconstruction of the Temple of Solomon. . . To find yourself a member of a lodge, to feel yourself, apart from your wife and children, called upon to guard a secret which is never confided to you, is for certain natures a delight and an ambition. . . . It is upon the lodges that we count to double our ranks. They form without knowing it our preparatory novitiate. They discourse without end upon the dangers of fanaticism, upon the happiness of social equality, and upon the grand principles of religious liberty. They launch amidst their feastings thundering anathemas against intolerance and persecution. This is positively more than we require to make adepts."

It was thus that in 1822 as in 1789 the conspirators found their dupes in the ranks of Masonry but, as Monseigneur Dillon points out:

". . . beyond the Masons, though generally formed from them, lay the deadly secret conclave which . . . used and directed them for the ruin of the world and their own selves."

This, then, was the secret force at work beneath the surface during the period usually represented to us as the dawn of Socialism. Many of the men who have gone down to history as the early Socialists, "champions of liberty," and so forth, went to the Haute Vente for guidance; Saint Simon, Bazard, Buonarotti consulted Nubius "after the manner of a Delphic oracle." From Russia Colonel Oestel, one of the principal leaders of the Dekabrist outbreak in 1825, sent to him for orders. Later we find Mazzini, already a Carbonaro, aspiring to become a member of the Haute Vente—a suggestion dismissed with scorn by Nubius. For the methods of the Carbonari were not those of the Haute Vente, which held that the mind rather than the body should be the point of attack.

"The murders of which our people render themselves guilty . . . " writes Vindex to Nubius, "are for us a shame and a remorse ... we are too advanced to content ourselves with such means. . . . Our predecessors in Carbonarism did not understand their power. It is not in the blood of an isolated man or even of a traitor that it must be exercised; it is on the masses ... do not let us make martyrs, but let us popularize vice in the multitudes. Let them breathe it in by their five senses, let them drink it, let them be saturated in it. . . . It is corruption en masse that we have undertaken; the corruption of the people by the clergy and the corruption of the clergy by ourselves, the corruption that ought one day to put the Church in her tomb. The best dagger with which to strike the Church is corruption. To the work, then, even to the very end."

It was thus that Mazzini excited the derision of the Haute Vente, for, as Nubius observed to Beppo, all his declamations on humanitarianism, and so on—

"reduce themselves to a few miserable defeats or to assassinations so vulgar that I should send away one of my lacqueys if he permitted himself to get rid of one of my enemies by such shameful means. Mazzini is a demigod to fools by whom he tries to get himself proclaimed the prophet of fraternity. ... In the sphere where he acts poor Joseph is only ridiculous; in order to be a complete wild beast he will always want for claws. He is the bourgeois gentilhomme of the secret societies."

Mazzini on his part suspected that secrets were being kept from him by the chiefs of the Haute Vente, and Malegari, assailed by the same fears, wrote from London to Dr. Breidenstein these significant words:

"We form an association of brothers in all points of the globe, we have desires and interests in common, we aim at the emancipation of humanity, we wish to break every kind of yoke, yet there is one that is unseen, that can hardly be felt, yet that weighs on us. Whence comes it? Where is it? No one knows, or at least no one tells. The association is secret, even for us, the veterans of secret societies."

Here, then, we catch a glimpse of the mechanism of revolution—the Socialists and Anarchists like animated marionettes waving their arms, declaiming, and all the while pulled by wires from behind, held in the hands of their sinister directors. Doubtless the Socialists imagined that they made the revolution of 1848. Piccolo Tigre can enlighten us further on this point. On January 5, 1846, he writes to Nubius:

"The journey I have just accomplished in Europe has been as fortunate and as productive as I had hoped. Henceforth nothing remains but to put our hand to the task in order to reach the denouement of the comedy. . . . The harvest I have reaped has been abundant . . . and if I can believe the news communicated to me here (at Livorno) we are approaching the epoch we so much desire. The fall of thrones is no longer a matter of doubt to me now that I have just studied the work of our societies in France, in Switzerland, in Germany, and as far as Russia. The assault which in a few years, and perhaps even in a few months from now, will be made on the princes of the earth will bury them beneath the wreckage of their impotent armies and their decrepit thrones. . . . What have we asked in return for our labours and sacrifices? It is not a revolution in one country or another. That can always be managed if one wishes it. In order to kill the old world surely, we have held that we must stifle the Catholic and Christian germ, and you with the audacity of genius have offered yourself with the sling of a new David to hit on the head the pontifical Goliath."

Two years later the revolution broke out in Paris, and as every book of history will tell us, was openly directed by the secret societies. The connection between these underground conspiracies and the second great outbreak of world revolution is therefore not a matter of surmise but of historical fact.—Yours, etc.,

Nesta H. Webster.

P.S.—The correspondence of the Haute Vente quoted above is taken from L'Eglise Romaine en face de la Revolution, by J. Cretineau Joly, who published them from the archives of the Haute Vente.