Illuminati Statutes

Since this society does not intend to lift those sensible bonds with one has shown devotion to the state, but rather wishes to strengthen them, it is our will:
1. That all persons are met with love, respect, discrimination and in accordance to their social standing.
2. Therefore everyone should always observe proper decorum, especially when member are among the profane. Therefore, every noble gentleman must be paid the proper respect that is due his social standing (even if he occupies a lesser degree in the order), and because it is important to us that our members be honored by the profane, they shall be treated all the more respectfully by our own people, so that others will hold them in high esteem as well.
3. Only among the Brothers of the order do these differences of social standing one has in civic life disappear, and only those of age and character within the order remain. Here, even the least elder, and much more so, each superior, is met with the same reverence one would show as a person of high rank among the profane, especially when young persons or persons of equal rank are present.
4. The more courtesy a superior shows the subordinates, the more these should take care not to view this courtesy as familiarity; considering all that a trusted friend may do, the subordinates should not feel arbitrarily entitled, but they should ask through their superiors not to deal with a friend as with a stranger.
5. And although this may have the appearance of a compulsion that should be unknown among friends and exclude all brotherly inclinations, our most beloved Brothers should know that this is necessary to maintain order and that we do not intend to love one another temporarily but for all eternity; we also believe that nothing destroys the strongest and most intimate friendship when it degenerates into familiarity. Keep this in mind and hold to it, dearest Brothers! And your reward will be everlasting friendship.
6. Do not deny strangers the rights of man and hospitality.
7. Fulfill your civic offices dutifully and eagerly; because if you are you are negligent there, you will also be so with us.
8. Proliferate the sciences, arts, industry, social inclinations and virtues, and thwart that which opposes them.
9. Therefore, this class of the Order views itself also as a learned society, in which example and education guide the mind and better the heart.
10. Read the ancients. Record diligently what you have read. Think about this, but firstly, use your own and not someone else’s thoughts. If someone else has thought and said it, think and say it in your own manner. Do not accept an opinion without first investigating its author, origin, and reason. Practice problems, solutions. Read works that that lift the soul and move the heart, and share these with others. Consider practice and application. Above all, do not explore man from books, yourselves,  and judge others, who are in similar circumstances, from these.
11. Therefore, the current class is occupied:
  1. With investigating human personalities, their formation, causes, results, seeking to resolve them further.
  2. With the constitution of human nature in general.
  3. It investigates the reasons, motivations of human actions.
  4. Exercises the classification and exploration of human inclinations: how these may the guided, awakened, and extinguished.
  5. Familiarizes itself with old and new systems of ethics and philosophy, such as Stoicism, Epicurean, etc.
  6. Explores examples of these in ancient and recent history.
  7. Researches pleasing and displeasing social interactions from principles and better, from one’s own experiences or the experiences of others.
  8. Investigates the origin and mode of development of our judgments and opinions.

12. The superiors will provide books and further instructions for this.
13. Everyone is to serve his family as a good father, husband, son, master, and servant.
14. And above all, the Order recommends the Golden Temperance: without having passed sufficient tests in this regard, all paths to the higher classes are barred.
15. So that everyone makes a habit of good domesticity, everyone must immediately procure a money box and hand the key over to his superior. Everything that was spent on unnecessary entertainment is put in this box. At certain times, such as March 21 and September 23, the superior and the candidate will open it together, and that which is less than one Carolin, belongs to the Order; foe every man, the remainder will be saved for a future emergency, or for his heirs after his death, if he does not wish to make other arrangements himself. On demand, a certificate regarding his surplus will be issued, that he has to send a certain amount to this person or another. Such a certificate will be signed by two Brothers of the Order. If he resigns form the Order, these funds are issued to him, also in case of emergency.
16. The Order frowns on the practice of excess in eating, drinking, and apparel. Our motto is: quo simplicius, eo melius .
17. It is our duty to combat error, prejudice, and malicious intentions as much as we can, and everyone must seek to advance highly in self-knowledge, the investigation of one’s weakness, and ill-considered tendencies.
18. To this purpose, everyone shall hand a sealed sheet to his superior at the end of each month, which indicates:

  1. What he considers to be a prejudice.
  2. In whom he has seen such.
  3. Which prejudices he has discovered in himself.
  4. Which of these are his governing prejudices, and their number.
  5. How much of these he has weakened, or even extinguished.

19. Anyone who is sympathetic toward us will doubtlessly share with us his discoveries, inventions, secret relationships and in return, the Order promises solemnly not to abuse this.
20. Silence and secrecy are our Order’s heart and soul. Only toward superiors is reasonable candor virtuous; toward other Brothers of the Order, reasonable discretion and mistrust are the cornerstone and a basic requirement, so that they do not become weary of and disgusted with one another. Therefore, do not reveal the least important circumstances, e.g. how long you have been in the order, your fellow-Brethren, your degree, etc. without good cause.
21. The length of time you will have to remain in this class is undetermined. In most cases, this depends on the zeal and ability of each member.
22. Should your promotion not occur so soon, do not grumble about this, dearest Brothers! Rather think that nothing happens without a cause, and that no new creature appears in the edifice of the world, unless just as many others have perished first, in order to bring this about.
23. In addition, the Order has made it its highest duty to present to each man those truths necessary for his bliss in a agreeable and tangible manner, and in a manner tailored to each man’s standing, so that these presentations may easily be transformed into desires and actions.
24. It is to this purpose that the members continually practice writing essays. At times, they are also given questions they must resolve and elaborate upon. The best treatises are rewarded with promotion to the higher classes.
25. Thus every one of us makes it his business to lift up his office and his art or craft toward the higher perfection of liberty.
26. The degree one occupies is forever hidden from the others, and one only reveals it to equals.
27. To this end, no one shall tell another how long he has been in the Order, who has accepted him, and so forth.
28. The Brothers of the current class maintain a watchful eye on those in the lowest degrees, and they report about their conduct either to their superiors or the entire assembly, and therefore the lesser ones must always be known to the higher ones. But this insight does not extend upwards, but they only know their superiors as their equals.

~~ Original Writings of the Illuminati, translated from German by Jeva Singh-Anand

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