Re: Weishaupt and the occult
It is the mystics and occultists of his era that he had disdain for - i.e. the Masons playing at being Templars; the Rosicrucians fleecing people out of their money for crucibles and elixirs and promising gold from lead; the Swedenborgians professing contact with spirits. To Weishaupt, it was the wisdom of the ancients that was authentic - the ancient mysteries, Pythagoras, Plato, the Gnostics, and even the more eclectic teachings from the Gherbers and the Parsees, the Gymnosophists, the Priests of Isis and the Mysteries of Eleusis.
On the Fire Cults of the Parsees and Zoaroastrians etc., he was no doubt influenced by a particular set of books published in the early 1770s. M. Anquetil-Duperron went to India and wrote of what he found still extant of the fire cult of the Parsees. It was read by a lot of people and it probably captured Weishaupt’s imagination as well. Before the Duperron publications, authentic knowledge of Zoroastrianism on the European continent was almost non-existent.
And even though he had reverence for ancient knowledge, it was only that - reverence and respect. You asked me in the email if there was evidence of operative occultism in the Illuminati; I said no; and there wasn’t. The Templar Strict Observance and the Rosicrucians and the Swedenborgians and the Martinists and the Illumines of France did, however. And this is what Weishaupt and his rationalists disliked and fought against. He thought they were all scam artists, zealous fools, and/or Jesuit-infiltrated.
Perhaps if the final grades in the Illuminati had been able to evolve and mature before the Order was suppressed, some of Weishaupt’s fascination with the Fire Cults would have been translated into tangible rituals for the initiates - but this didn’t occur. The final Grade even (of Man-King Docetist), was passed on to a select few of initiates. They were only given the chance to read it. It was akin to a philosophy paper and represented ideas only. It was a mixture of left-wing Wolffian philosophy, gnosticism, and the doctrine of metempsychosis.
All the hardcore occult initiatory groups today get their teachings and rituals directly from those 18th century rivals of Weishaupt and his Order - not from the Illuminati. Strict Observance, Golden and Rosy Cross, Elus Cohen, Martinists, Swedenborgians and the Illumines of Avignon. What the OTO and the Golden Dawn engage in is precisely what the latter groups invented and had already perfected - an amalgamation of them all.