Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety, known as Dom Pernety (February 23, 1716, Roanne - October 16, 1796, Avignon) was a French writer. At various times he was a Benedictine, and librarian of Frederic the Great of Prussia. Together with the Polish Count Tadeusz Grabianka, also influenced by the Christian mysticism of Swedenborg he founded in 1760 the secret society of 'Rite hermetique' or Illuminati of Avignon.
At an early age he joined the Benedictine Congregation of Saint-Maur and there devoted his life to these patient studies for which Benedictine monks are justly famous; he published numerous works on theology and fine arts, geography and mythology, philosophy and mathematics, but he became celebrated for his researches in the realm of the hidden Sciences. His explorations into forgotten lore led him to the creation of the "Academie d'Avignon" a sect of Illuminati whose influence in Freemasonry has long been felt: the most famous, if not the most important, degree introduced in the Masonic nomenclature by Pernety is the Twenty-eighth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, known as Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept; and a considerable part of his rite is still preserved in other masonic systems, such as the Martinist Order.
Pernety took part in the 1763-64 expedition under Louis Antoine de Bougainville that established the Port Saint Louis settlement in the Falkland Islands, and published a two-volume account of his nature exploration of the Falklands and the Brazilian island of Santa Catarina. In particular, he gave the first description of the Falklands stone runs phenomenon.
Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety is also author of Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermetique (1758) and Rituel alchimique secret du grade de vari macon (1770), Dom Pernety also created the Swedenborgian Rite while he was librarian to Frederick the Great. Here he met a Polish Count, Thaddeus Leszczy Grabianka (1740 - 1807) and in 1786 they founded the Societe des Illumines d'Avignon.
"Dom Antoine-Joseph Pernety is not to be confused with his cousin Dom Jacques Pernety, the illustrious alchemist and cabbalist who was a freemason and a member of the Loius d'Argent Lodge of Paris. Nobody knows if Dom Antoine Pernety was ever a freemason."